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06 August, 2013


These goggles make my nose look big. Please take them off.
 Long ago, a fluffy puppy joined a daughter in the house. Ten years, another daughter, and a cross-country move later, Daisy dog is still fluffy. People always think she's a puppy, even though she's mellowed out a lot, and does a lot of this:

For some reason nobody can remember, much less make sense of, the plan had been to go to the shelter and adopt a cat. All the felines were tweekers, or on a smoke break, or hazing new arrivals, but then a pack o puppies hit the floor, and soon enough a girl was headed home with a puppy in her arms.

She (the puppy) turned out to be--stop me if you've heard this before--the best dog ever. Smart, nice, pretty easy to train and to live with. Instead of growing up to be the Labrador mutt the shelter staff thought, she looks a lot like what people here call a mid-sized Alaskan Eskimo dog. Curly tail like a sled dog, but with much softer fur. Fur like the softest wool, in fact, fur like the famous (and allegedly extinct) Salish Wool Dog, which was used by Indians in the Pacific NW to make blankets. We've woven (OK, twisted and plaited) some of her fur from the Spring haircut that always makes people say "Ohhhh, cute puppy!," and yeah, it makes good wool.

But planning ahead to wash her at the right time, save a few years' worth of fur, and actually weave anything is more than me or anyone descended from me may be able to achieve. Salish Sea tribes apparently raised flocks of these dogs, placing them on islands all summer, where they would be safe from predators and interbreeding with hunting dogs and village curs. That, and a general description of dogs much like mine, is about all I can find out about the breed, but I have to assume that this wool-dog husbandry was complex, and had it's mavens. Absent real info, I speculate: shepherding may have been a convenient way to send pain-in-the-ass teenage boys away from polite society, wool-dogs may have inhabited prairies where root-foods grew to keep the rodents in check, mind wanders.

In any case, it had to be cute in extreme. A bunch of fluffy white canines cavorting in an island meadow, pouncing on voles and each other, playing, and of course, napping in the sun.

My puppy is not part of a flock. She'll tolerate some dogs, ignore a lot more, and occasionally snarl down the law on the ones stupid enough to question her reign. She is part of a small flock of girls, trained by her, who do her bidding (mostly). Her fur is in our furniture and clothes (and more food than we'd like to think), but not woven into a blanket. Being a pound puppy, she's not going to have any pups of her own, so there will be no flock o' Daisies. It's sad to know that despite her eternal youthful looks, she is not immortal, and there will never be a replacement, but we enjoy the time we have with her.

1 comment:

  1. I shall say what I always wanted to hear shouted from large crowds when I dreamed about being in a band (guess what that band was going to be called ...):