In the Fall of 2000, I told my kids we needed to go to Rockford for some school shopping. My kids were great shoppers and going to Rockford was an even better treat. Largely due to the fact that they knew there was a Toys R Us and if they begged enough Mom might stop there. We took the usual route but along the way we turned into a drive. There in the yard was a fluffy puppy sitting alone in a play yard, wagging his butt as he really had no tail. Yep, we were picking up a puppy to take home. I took care of some paperwork and then I put my two children and the new bundle in the back seat of the car. “Are we still going shopping?” Adam asked. “No, we need to take the puppy home.” Okay, so I’m not against little white lies when they are in good fun or when they give Mom a few minutes of peace.
The puppy grew like all puppies do. He liked to ride in the combine with Joe. He worked cattle, although we had to teach him to go after the tail and not the head. He loved his trips down to the creek (rhymes with trick) to play with the kids and chase sticks in the water. He had the misfortune of chipping two teeth when he tried to play centerfield while Adam practiced batting baseballs. Batting practice ended up being the only time, Maverick ever saw a chain. We really thought a dog should keep his teeth.
Sarah also turned him into her 4-H project and he did very well with classes and shows.
The most favorite thing for Maverick to do though was to go sledding. Hats, gloves, and scarves were fair game to steal and pull on. Kids who had the misfortune to fall off their sled were also in for a good…ummm….pouncing.
As time went on, the kids grew. Maverick kept getting older. Sarah went off to college and then came home again. Adam left for college but came home this summer. We all knew it was getting closer to the time when Maverick would no longer be with us. His hearing had left a long time ago. Did I mention he also liked to sit right by Joe and Adam when they target practiced. He had a couple bouts of pneumonia that Sarah was able to treat and keep him going.
Last week he stopped wanting to eat. Raw hamburger wasn’t even doing the trick. This morning he followed us out to the barn and took his usual spot in the middle of the floor so we would as usual have to step over him. He got up as best as he could to greet Sarah when she came to the barn and the neighbor friends he had also known forever. He struggled to follow Sarah to the top of the hill and the calf barn. There in the calf barn, he collapsed and after a few minutes and with his beloved Sarah petting him, he died.
The once small boy who held the little puppy on the way home (instead of going shopping), took it upon himself to dig a hole and bury his dog under the apple tree. The apple tree overlooks the yard where Maverick chipped two teeth playing baseball with the same boy.
We hope there are plenty of balls to chase where you are at, our sweet, pretty boy.
Kudos to the Stephenson County Fairgrounds, the AASSC, and other sponsors for bringing in this popular and growing trend of obstacle racing to Stephenson County. This is a beginners obstacle race where costumes and teams are encouraged. This won’t include some of the crazy obstacles that the popular “Tough Mudder” race has. Personally, I have no desire to run through electrical wires and get shocked. I live on a dairy farm. I get accidentally shocked by electric fences way more than I care to as it is. If you are 14 and over of any athletic ability, please join us on June 8th. I think I heard something about a beer tent being involved also. Go to http://www.AASSC.org and click on the eventbrite button to register. Hurry price goes up soon.
It has been a very wet, cold spring. There has been a lot of flooding near the Rock River and other waterways in our area. We are so glad the weather is finally turning around and becoming spring like. The oats have been planted and now the farmers are going to be going 24/7 for the next couple weeks if the weather holds.