With Bells On

One of Gandy’s favorite winter activities is finding ice that has fallen from the black plastic that covers the wood stacks behind the house.

She was nosing around in the leaves there as I watched through the back door this morning, nosing around in the leaves and litter, pawing at something with great interest.

Suddenly, she lifted her head proudly, marched straight up to the back door, and lifted her head to look at me. She was holding a small brass bell by the short bit of color string attached.

She marched once around the front room, and came and sat on command so I could snap the picture. The sheepish look says “I know you’re going to take this away from me, but I really would like to keep it for my very own. I found it. I should get to keep it. Please?”

I can’t stop laughing. What a silly dog!

(And NO, I have no explanation for where the bell came from. It is quite solid, with clapper attached. It makes the least bit of a tinkle, and is more decorative than functional. Maybe Ann will recognize it. It came from UNDER the wood that I have so far burned up this winter, so it’s likely NOT from this year or last, since the wood’s been stacked there for at least two years.)

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. She’s really cute (& proud).

    But, you know how it got there — it was a Christmas present from Santa for Gandy.

    I agree — see if she will let you attach it to her collar. She may like the sound (or not — then you remove it & keep it for next year).

  2. An absolutely priceless picture! Dogs may not speak but they communicate. I agree with Clarence and Adele3 – attach it to her collar – that way she gets to keep her find and you’ll be her hero!

  3. OMG! Fred, that’s one of the cutest things I’ve EVER seen! You need to make that your Christmas card next year, with a message about ringing in a season of peace or ringing in the New Year, or something! Whatta dog!!!

  4. I agree with everyone, fantastic picture. Gandy is certainly communicating her desires and also, I think, pushing the female card a bit. LOL. You know, if she were human, the lowered eyelashes peeking to see if you were paying attention type look. She is a beautiful creature. You have to let her keep the bell, at least for a few days. She may well tire of it by then anyway. I hope you update us on Gandy and the Bell. BTW, love the idea, above, about using this picture as a Christmas card next year and “ringing in season of peace or the new year”. Would be perfect.