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GUNS Magazine January 2013 Digital Edition - Page 82
a dog story Big and small. John taffin That was then… T hose who are in the know, or at least pretend to be, told us the recession ended in June 2009. They obviously haven’t seen all the empty storefronts in my town and I would be willing to bet sight-unseen yours is in the same situation. Old-line businesses have disappeared, my two favorite Mexican restaurants are gone, and the last one I discovered is about to go. If the recession is over I certainly haven’t seen much evidence of it. On a more personal note there seems to be a mass migration of kids back home. Of my five local grandkids, one has been transferred to a job 300 miles away, another is off at school, and the other three, two of which are married, have moved back home. Economically speaking it is rough out there and by moving back home things are much simpler and they can actually save money every month instead of going further in debt. Two of them have large college bills to pay on top of everything else. Both sets of parents who have received the prodigal children have plenty of room so that is no problem but while people get along fine the affected dogs don’t always do so. This is a good place to back up and trace what has transpired. Back in 1995 a long time wish of mine came true when I bought two 6-week-old purebred Malamute puppies, littermates. My grandson, who was 2 years old at the time, named them Red and Wolf. As they grew I soon found it was tough keeping them from fighting each other and also keeping them in the yard. They soon 82 grew out of the former state, however it took a 6' wooden fence with an electrical wire to keep them in. Without the wire they simply dug out underneath the fence. They grew to be large, wonderful, beautiful, loving and protective companions. They were especially good with the grandkids who were very young at the time and totally protective of Diamond Dot, who, if you are new to these pages, is my wife and shooting companion of more than 50 years. If she was in a chair reading one was on each side of her; when she was at the table one was behind her chair, the other was under the table. When she was sick they were beside her bed. When she had a hip operation she was worried about coming home, as they were always so exuberant in their greeting. Somehow they knew and as she entered the house, they never jumped up and were careful not to bump into her. Whoever said dogs were dumb? All good things come to an end in this life. First Wolf died and two years later Red followed. For the last three years of his life Red was blind; he had a little trouble in the house but he knew where everything was outside. By the time he passed I was devastated. For several years I caught myself going to the sliding door on the deck to let them in every morning. Every time I pulled in the driveway I expected them to be waiting for me at the gate. I didn’t think I could ever replace them; I couldn’t even bring myself to think about getting another dog. But it’s strange how things happen. When two of my granddaughters were in high school they both received puppies as gifts from boyfriends. The continued on page 81 … this is now. W W W. G U N S M AG A Z I N E . C O M • JA N UA RY 2 0 1 3