Sweet Old Con
Westmark’s No-Cut Contract January 22, 1988 – April 19, 2003

Sweet old Con. My big-headed puppy. She was the daughter of Buck and my first Lab together, the queen-like Amanda Blackvelvet. After Contract’s death in 2003 at fifteen, irreplaceable Maggie, (Maggie the Wonder Dog), joined us and shared adventures until her difficult struggle with hip dysplasia and arthritis of the spine ended in November of 2011. Trolling my computer hard drive looking for a photo having absolutely nothing to do with dogs becomes a pop-up arcade. Memories ambush my heart. Most of what I know of dignity, loyalty, and grace, I learned from them.

Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth, and gnaw it still. — Henry David Thoreau

Amanda’s puppies were born today, the first about 6:50 a.m. and the last at 2:30 p.m.; nine in all. One stillborn. Buck buried the tiny black male in front of the rose bed. Two yellow females; six black:of those, three girls, three boys. Growing up afraid of dogs, I never imagined I would experience anything so wonderful as this.