|Julie..., Butch Ukura..., Me...,|
Yesterday I was talking to a young fellow, and he remarked that he had grown up in the neighborhood where we had lived prior to acquiring The Ranch. He didn't remember me..., but he sure remembered my Great Dane dog, Khoel.
I remember him too..., and miss him. Almost a year ago, Don Henry Ford Jr. ("The Urepentant Cowboy") whose Blog I follow (link at my profile) wrote this piece for The Agonist
In it he described having to put down an injured foal.
"The week was rough. Wednesday morning Manuel called from Seguin and tells me that one of my mares had a foal but the foal isn't getting up. I arrive to discover that she has stepped on his front leg and broken the coffin bone. Not just cracked it--it's completely broken in two. The foal tries to get up and falls, again and again--the leg dangles like a limp rag. He looks at me and nickers.
I have no gun.
But I have a pair of fencing pliers...
I spent the rest of the day thinking I deserve to be dead.
Today marks the day we killed Jesus. Again.
Lord have mercy. I don't know about the rest of you but I'm going to need it."
I worte this piece about Khoel for him. It's almost as hard to read as it was to write.
I Thought I Was Tough...,
I wasn’t going to pay a vet $75 to take care of something that I could do for pennies. I felt it was my responsibility. We had raise Khoel from a pup.
A big, coal black Great Dane who struck fear in the hearts of the car deck hands on the Alaska Ferry System when they walked by the canopied Toyota pickup. They couldn’t believe we were going to let him out on a leash during the car deck call. He was fine with people when he wasn’t guarding his truck. And I have never seen a smirk dissolve on the face of a man as fast as the Rottweiler owner when the Rot “got away from him” and charged straight for Khoel. I gave just enough slack in my leash to let Khoel swat the Rot off balance with his front paw and pin the Rot to the deck with his jaws clamped to back of the Rot’s neck. Khoel had more than just heart…, he had the physical prowess to back it up.
But those days were long gone and his hips had given out. His back end was lifeless and he couldn’t get up at all or even stand with help. So I managed to wrestle him into the back of his pickup once more and we drove from town out to what is now The Ranch…, but was then just The Property. I dug the hole. Then we drove out to the ocean beach at La Push and looked out with him where he used to be able to stretch out more like a Greyhound than a Great Dane and run like the wind. We bought him a chicken dinner and drove him back to The Property.
I regretted most that he would never be there to guard The Ranch like he guarded his pickup…, at least not above ground. Then I put a 9mm slug in the back of his head. He stiffened out and didn’t move. I threw the gun on the seat of his pickup and took a couple of deep breaths. I took off his thin, decorative silver choke chain and put it around my neck. I gave him a pat on the chest to say good-by…, and his heart hadn’t stopped beating yet.
I’m not so tough.
Mercy granted Don…, mercy granted.
Scott R. April 11, 2009 - 12:24pm