Thursday, December 13, 2012

Copper's Job

Copper has excellent sled dog blood lines and is a veteran of Iditarod (2006).   He came to us as a retiree from Alaska via Utah.  He has a thyroid problem and is medicated for it.  In his heart he is a lead dog, but also , from his breeding way back possibly, he is a herder.  He has appointed himself the kennel herder/guardian/big boss.  He lives in the house, but prefers the porch where he can survey everything.  At night he sleeps next to my bed.  He knows the schedule and keeps us to it.

Yesterday he proved himself beyond expectations.   Lillen, our 16 year old retired leader, who is
deaf and partially blind, slipped her lead on her morning walk.   She looked back at me as if to say,
wow, I'm free.   She took off, as the gee haw command leader that she is, and did not stop.  The 'trail' took her out the driveway and headed for the highway.  No time for me to grab the ATV.  She may be retired but she's a lead sled dog and she was running to WIN.  I must have been the 'team' she was racing.  16 years old and she was winning the race.

Once I sat down so she wouldn't think I was chasing her (if she could even see me). No matter, she kept on rolling; she was on a trail!  I was so afraid in her semiconfused mind that she'd hit the highway toward which she was headed.  I YELLED " Copper, come!" (he had been on his porch bed through the trees and up the hill, not in view).  Next ,I saw his mighty chest came barreling down the driveway, you could almost see his Superman cape.  He was looking at me like, "What can I do?"  He saw Lillen, poured on the steam (maybe he was in race mode, too?),hurtled toward her and gently (as he has learned every morning) headed her off and turned her around.   It was a miracle. I was so afraid for Lillen and I can't run like a sled dog.  But he did and he saved Lillen's life. 

So I'm giving him the highest praise  doing what he does so well, taking care of all of us.  He can still run on sleds, but his guardian job is so important to us.  Every kennel needs a guardian/herder and he is ours.  Thank you, Copper!  Lillen is none the worse for her adventure, probably very happy to have had such a nice run.

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