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Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014
Bucky grows up...and up...and up!Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009, at 11:13 AM
This is the "little pup" that I wrote about earlier this year. He was dumped in the Arab, Mo. area of Bollinger County as a pup, and I had NO IDEA how big he would get! That is NOT his carrier in the background; he outgrew it months ago! Fortunately, he lies quietly on an old quilt in the middle seat of my Jeep, when we go to the vet.
"I think he may have some border collie in him," said Marilyn, ever optimistic.
I drove out west to Arab, past that very busy station/grocery store/community gathering place, and on to a gravel road, then dirt, then rocks - to the top of the hill, where Ruthie Shirrell, soft-hearted lady that she is, was keeping "Buck," one of TEN enormous pups who had been dumped one night, one to each "yard."
Within a week, I had a sneaky feeling that, if this was a "border collie," it was the biggest one I had ever seen.
Not only that, he didn't even WALK like a border collie!
"He walks like a Great Dane," said my sister Kathy. "See how his back end moves separately from his front end?"
When I told Marilyn how much he weighed at the vet's office at about 10 weeks, she said, "Uh, oh, that sounds a little like my mastiffs when they were young."
"Bucky" came to live with me on my remote Tillman farm, along with my 6-year-old hyperactive, matriarchal border collie Sassy and 5-year-old blue-eyed Chigger, a sweet-natured red and white hound that my daughter adopted from a neighbor. Both are spayed females, and I was worried about adding more dogs, though I knew I needed a third dog to replace my husband's old favorite who died last summer.
I need not have worried. Bucky has fit in beautifully, though I'm not sure Sassy would agree.
For about three months, Sassy still ruled the roost on the DeJournett farm, but before long, Bucky was looking DOWN on the other two and - even though I had him neutered at 4 months - he soon made it clear that HE was TOP DOG!
Sassy had been in the habit of disciplining Chigger, whom she obviously considered "her" dog, but this heavy-handed behavior did not meet with Bucky's approval, and he soon put a stop to it.
The first time I looked out the front window to see Sassy actually playing with my big gentle giant, I was flabbergasted. She never did that - even with Chig!
Things now seem to have settled into a pleasant routine -- except for that maddening habit that puppies have about chewing up stuff. I saw something of a paper nature lying in the yard when I left the house this morning, and I'm hoping it's not some vitally important document that the U.P.S. man has left for me.
At seven months, Bucky weighed 65 pounds, so I'm not sure what he'll top out at - but it may be 100 pounds. That's okay with me, as long as he's stays as sweet as he is right now. He has a big, deep bark that I find rather reassuring in the howling contests with the local coyotes, and he actually minds me better than the other two. He stays close to me on our morning and evening walks -- and he doesn't appear to have the urge to wander off on his own to faraway places. He is strictly a "pack dog," which is exactly what I wanted.
All in all, he's a big sweetheart, and I'm very, very happy that I made the decision to bring him into our family.
From the remote yellow hills of Tillman, Missouri, this is your rural reporter Madeline, signing off in an idyllic golden season!
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 573-722-5322.