Saturday, December 29, 2012

Canine Excavations Never Take Vacations.

Bert was a Digger. The animal dug whole bunkers into the ground and he would totally disappear into them.  It took half a truck load of dirt to fill in the holes he dug when we moved, and I’m willing to bet if left to his own devices that dog could have dug a hole big enough for a family of five to live in. Sam is a Dirt Hunter. That animal will dig a two feet deep trench that is six inches wide that goes as straight as buttered toast to the carpet. Any mole that had taken that left turn in Albuquerque was totally safe but if some subterranean mammal dug a straight line Sam had him. 
Lillith is an excavator. Lillith is an archeologist. Lillith wants to bring me artifacts.

This is fine as long as what she digs up is an old beer can or a piece of a house that burned down a hundred years ago. But Lillith wants, needs, searches out, broken glass. And this will end very poorly, I fear.

It’s bad enough she is digging up stuff I never knew was out there, but she is also carrying the broken glass in her mouth, to bring it to me. I am not entirely sure she understands why she gets scolded but for the last week or so we didn’t have another glass present. But I did find one of her new dig sites and there was a piece of glass near it.

Europeans invaded what would one day be known as Georgia about 400 years ago. De Soto passed through South Georgia and so did a host of other explorers and trail blazers for genocide. The natives were pushed out long, long, ago, and clearly there have been homes where I live before, even though most of the people I meet cannot remember there being a house where mine is now.

Bert brought me two ceramic insulators one day; both of them identical and whole. I’ve found odd pieces of metal and glass and all sorts of things out here. The strangest thing that I have found so far was a piece of screen and a metal brace of some kind. That in and of itself wouldn’t be weird at all, but these two items came out of a piece of a hollow log that I had burned. I found them in the ashes after a fire and I can tell you, it was a weird feeling to find metal where none ought to be.

Maybe that Oak, before it rotted and fell, was once part of a tree house. Or perhaps there are people, like me, who will sometimes put odd and ends into tree hollows. I took a poem someone had written years ago and put into a corked bottle and set it into the hollow of a tree. The hollow was far above head height and I often wonder what happened to that tree and that poem. I wish I could remember the poem now. This all happened on a road trip to Macon Georgia and I stole the poem from a notebook and my plan was to put the poem into the bottle and toss it into a river or a creek. But we stopped to take a leak in the woods and the tree was there so I left the poem there too. Years ago when I was in the Army I rented a car to go home with but turned up towards Macon to look for the tree but damn. It was too long ago.

A friend of mine climbed into a tree one day and nailed a bronze plaque with his name on it high above the ground.  The tree stood for just another year before getting hit by lightning and dying and I always kidded him about killing that tree. Worse, when the tree fell the plaque was pinned under a massive limb so he never got it back, as far as I knew. Maybe one day someone will build a house there and their dog will dig it up.

I hope Lillith stops digging up glass. I checked her pads and they’re clean, or at least not injured. Lillith likes to dig in the firepit when the ashes cool. There is something about a fire that draws that dog and I cannot understand it, well, yeah, nevermind.

Lillith is unlike any dog I have ever shared time with. She will get off alone and sleep on a blanket in another room and she seems to forget we’re here. It took her a long time before she would come up to me and ask for attention, but in the last week or so she seems to have gotten the idea that it’s okay. Lillith is a very polite puppy. She doesn’t like to make a fuss or push me around to get my attention.  This morning I grabbed her and pulled her onto the sofa with me and she didn’t resist or growl, or even struggle, which is a sign she pretty much trusts whatever I’m doing is okay.

Sam still doesn’t like to be grabbed suddenly. I practice grabbing the dogs so if they’re ever out in public and a child comes out of nowhere and hugs Lucas we don’t have a disaster on our paws. Sam still reacts poorly to this, but Lucas has come to accept it as a form of play and petting.  But the L Hounds are kissy face dogs and are used to me getting nose to nose with them, which is also good for public greetings and meetings.

But this glass thing, sorry, I got distracted. I may have to put some pieces of tin up around the fire pit which I have been meaning to do anyway. Lillith shows no signs of losing interest in the past of this place and I’ve never met a glass proof pooch. Ever it may bring, Lillith is her own dog now, not a puppy anymore, and I have got to understand that and begin to act accordingly.

Take Care,


  1. No, no, Doubloons, ya dumb mutt, pieces of Eight, pearls, jewels.

    1. Really. I mean just a few bucks worth of silver would do.

  2. Tree growth is amazing.

    My brother was clearing trees on his land and one had a brake rotor embedded far inside. Ruined his chainsaw blade. Apparently someone just left the rotor at the bottom of the tree and the tree grew around it.

    We have a birdhouse dangling on a chain. The hook around the branch has become embedded in the branch much faster than I thought it would. I am going to have to rescue the birdhouse before the chain itself starts to embed.

    Take care of Lillith. That glass habit is scary!

  3. Lillith inherited her sense of fearlessness from Lucas.

    I admire that trait but sometimes....