November 3, 2011

Best bird dog I could ask for...

This is my dog, my soulmutt, my Nuala (noo-la). AKA Scoobs.
AGE: approaching eleventy
BREED: Rocky Mountain Mutt

She had been abandoned when I found her underweight, covered in poop, and naive about everything human (especially stairs) at the Fort Collins shelter in Colorado back in 2001.  I had to wait a week while she was held for a minimum number of days, spayed, etc.  It was the longest week of my life.  I remember the moment she learned to trust that car rides are a good thing - it was the first time we went into PetSmart and shopped the bone aisle.  

We've been best friends ever since.  

I can count on two hands the number of times I've heard her bark and after ten years together we often just communicate silently.  Over the years she's had two TPLO surgeries, one per knee, had at least a dozen lumpectomies (all benign!), been sprayed by skunks on three separate occasions, and turned out to be the best leash free, jedi force, birdwatching dog I could hope for.  She simply lies down in a state of standby when my binos go up.  She'll spend eight or nine hours in any weather watching hawks for weeks on end...

She waits while I conduct point count surveys...

She waits for me to tally my bird counts...

She waits for me while I pack up my scope...

She waits to get to the next point count...

And happily gets up in the wee hours of the morn to do it all over again...

She trusts me when she's unsure, will follow me onto ferries, elevators, and into vet's offices...her beautiful soul defines unconditional love.

She has been on thousands of miles of road trips, hundreds of hours of bird and bat work, seen grizzly bears and mountain goats in Glacier National Park, bighorn sheep in our backyard in Montana, watched Old Faithful go off in Yellowstone National Park, been in breweries, spent two puppy days lost without me in Nebraska, been to Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug, Acadia National Park, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, co-indulged in fresh mule deer, caribou, pronghorn, bison, seabass, tuna, lobster, moose, elk.  She's been through nine moves between four states and been to over 30 of the lower 48 - basically Scoobs has been everywhere man.  Yes folks, sing it like Johnny Cash.      


  1. What a great post! This is a beautiful summary of Scoobs' adventures with you. "Hold on Scooobs!" XO

  2. Ha! I wanted to add that in there - something about how I call out 'Hold on Scoooobs' even when I'm alone in the car! :)

  3. That was beautiful...she is one lucky dog to have you in her life. Oh and man I wish I had her life it sounds amazing.

  4. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! She does have it pretty good!

  5. love it, Lauren! you could have written much, much more about what an amazing companion she was to you and a true friend to many!
    big hugs to you and lots of good vibes to Nuala (as I know her and Otis are romping around somewhere):)

    1. Thanks M, I still have yet to sit down and write a posthumous legend account...I did make a nice online print-book of loads and loads of her photos though. Oats was always her favorite manimal!