19 February 2009

That's no moon...

that's a huuuge Golden Retriever.
Well, he's no space station either.

This is my installment of "The Dogs of Our Lives."

**Preface, I am quite the Star Wars fan. Not necessarily the last 3 (or first three episodes in the "series" if you will) but the Original Trilogy, unaltered. I grew up on those movies. As for my dog, Anakin, he's a 100-pound Golden Retriever.

That's right. He's "big-boned."

I would have kids come up to me, and upon hearing his name responses followed such as "Whuh?" or "Mister, he looks like a lion" or "Anakin, he's a bad guy."

It's this last retort I would like to quickly address. Those of you not in to Star Wars, first of all I somewhat understand as George Lucas has kind of ruined things (in my opinion) over the last few movies. Secondly, I try to tell the kids have you not seen the end of Return of the Jedi?

Kid, his is a redemption story.

"You were right, you were right about me. Tell your sister, you were right." - Anakin Skywalker

Child, do you not understand what I am saying to you.....?"
Sigh, they generally don't. Generation thing.

Anyhow. When I was in graduate school and living in Alpine, TX (<-- hit that link. For those who don't know me or what I look like, that's me on the horse.) I was doing a bit of shopping. Understand that Alpine is far away from everything. "Splendid isolation." So, sometimes when one must, one goes long distances to an airport, or to shop for a particular item, or to just get out of town. I was in El Paso when I came across this breeder with retriever puppies. That's where the relationship between young Skywalker, Anakin III (seriously, so a couple of other owners have named their dog Anakin?? Wierdos.) and me began. On the drive back to Alpine, I stopped for gas in Van Horn. When I got back into my vehicle the puppy was gone. Well, actually, he decided to hide under the passenger seat of my Pontiac. There must have been maybe six inches between that seat and the floor. It was difficult to extricate this tiny guy with a pot belly and "big paws" from underneath the seat. More difficult still is believing this dog was once that small.

People used to say, "What a cute puppy. Look at those big paws. He'll grow into those."
"What?" I would casually think at the time.

I wish I had pictures of him that small. I can't find any right now, and they may have all been film anyways.

To the right is a picture of Anakin, when I was back home visiting the family for Christmas.

He is 4 to 5 months old there.

I never liked that "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" song growing up. So Anakin is getting out some puppy energy while I workout some personal issues.

The following are a few pictures of Anakin and his first snow. It does snow in Texas. Alpine is at 4500 feet elevation.

This is the front yard of the house I rented while in Alpine.
I would throw a snowball, as we had done time and time again, high in the air.
Only this time, when the ball hit the ground, it would disappear.
He was thinking so hard trying to figure out what happen to the snowball when it fell back to earth and hit the snowy yard.

I would eventually resolve to compact enough snow to make a large snowball that he could push and roll and otherwise play with on the ground.

I also learned of how wonderful this little (well, growing beyond little) blessing was when we were both educated on the finer niceities of slushy, muddy pawprints on a carpet that I did not own.

My landlord was a Vet Tech Professor at the local school, and was thankfully understanding during the Learning Times.

The next pictures are when I took him to Balmorhea Lake, near Balmorhea, TX. I was still a resident of the trans-Pecos region of the state, working and going to school.

Being born and raised in the Chihuahuan Desert, this was one Golden Retriever than was not too used to the water. The picture below is when we first arrived at this man-made structure. He wasn't sure what to do with it. Eventually, though he came to enjoy the water.

Anyhow, the puppy is now huge; 100 pounds. He's not really fat, anymore, but he is certainly on "high end" of the Golden Retriever biomass range. He'll be 5-years-old in July.

A picture taken moments ago.

With this wonderful world and all the fellow organisms we share it with, I look forward.
I look forward very much, in fact.

With Heidi and, yes, even with young Skywalker I greatly enjoy the present and certainly look forward to the future.

Together, walking up the hill and looking over and out toward ...

Learning about the Known. Embracing and absorbing the Not Yet Known and That which may never truly be.


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