About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Crazy Zack

(Our host for this week's Fun Monday is Angela over at aoj and the lurchers . Angela wants us to share our favorite photograph(s)and why, out of the thousands we have, these photos mean so much to us. I immediately thought of a few old photos of Zack the crazy border collie. He fit all the requirements: a favorite with plenty memories and stories to tell about him.)

In 1983 I was suffering from a major case of puppy lust and specifically thought I needed a border collie. Why, I don't know because I knew nothing about them except what they looked like. And, I lived in a three room duplex with a no pets rule and traveled too much for work. However, one Friday I spotted an ad in the paper for a litter of six week old pups, wormed, shot and ready to go to a good home for $6.00 each. A local farmer's working girl border collie had managed to get an unauthorized "date" with the handsome black lab running loose in the neighborhood. Apparently, he was quite persuasive because Working Girl forgot all her border collie discipline and ended up with a litter of children that combined her intelligence and his good looks. Sound familiar?

Anyway, I rushed out to the farm after work on Friday afternoon to have a look. . .and this little fur ball came up to me and said "Write the check and where are the car keys!" So I did and we drove home.

We had a weekend to bond before I had to leave on Monday morning for a week's work in the far end of the state--beginning the first of many dogsitting challenges. Luckily, I had some very tolerant friends who had two small children who loved the idea of keeping a puppy for a week. So Zack--his name by then--spent his first week playing with the two little ones until he was exhausted.






As you can see, he took bathtime supervision quite seriously. He got a good conduct report at the end of the week except for ripping up some horrid green indoor/outdoor carpeting on the back steps. The border collie in him just knew that fake grass carpeting is just wrong.




Zack the Escape Artist--from the beginning Zack was a frenetic, smart, and challenging dog and I was clueless about what he needed--and suffered the consequences. We lasted only three months in the duplex before getting evicted. I bought us a house, but it didn't have a fenced yard. I couldn't stand him tied, so I used my income tax refund to build him a fence. He repaid this kindness by sitting on top of the fence as the workmen pulled out of the driveway. The only thing that kept him in was a little "goosey wire" strung along the fence. He learned to avoid it and I gave myself a cheap electrical thrill every time I mowed the lawn. Whenever I opened a door to the outside he was ready to bolt. His theme song, Born Free, started playing in his head and off he went through the neighborhood with that gorgeous feather tail flying. The neighborhood kids loved the "Zack's loose!" alarm cry and gave chase. Usually I would find him pinned to the ground by a heap of kids, grinning from ear to ear with tongue lolling.

Zack the Weather Barometer--as is common with lots of high strung dogs, Zack was petrified by storms. He would pace, pant, and drool at the first cloud that passed over. He destroyed window and door screens trying to get in the house and even chewed through a wooden door once when I accidentally left him outside. In his older years he became even more bizarre. It wasn't enough to hide under the bed, he became a water seeker. He'd curl around the sump pump hole or--the best--crawl in the bathtub to ride out a storm. The crazier he got, the more destructive. He chewed through dryer vent hoses and once the furnace ductwork. The repairmen said it was a good thing it was summertime or we would have all gone under from carbon monoxide fumes. After that escapade, he became Zack Kevorkian to me for a time.


Zack the Parochial--like our current president, Zack had little curiosity about the world beyond his neighborhood. In particular, he opposed any international travel on my part. In '93 I was saving pennies for an English horticultural tour and--in a maniac race around the yard--he tore his cruciate ligament, which required about $1,500 in orthopedic surgery to repair the damage. Kiss the Chelsea Flower Show good-bye that year. In '98 when Zack was 15 years old (!) I went on a tour of Ireland and Scotland, leaving him and his three brothers in my sister's care. In his last "got ya", Zack died of old age and heart problems in the middle of the night. My dear friends, Sally and Dan, came to the rescue. At 6 a.m. they came to the house and loaded him in their car trunk and took him to Bob Evans' Restaurant for a farewell breakfast until the vet's office opened. Being new to pet funeral planning, imagine my shock to get a call from the vet to come by and pick up Zack's cremains. He's currently resting comfortably in a heart-shaped box in my closet. As usual Crazy Zack got the last laugh on me. . .


Crazy Zack has many more stories to tell, but out of consideration for other Fun Monday players I'll save them for another day. I'm headed over to aoj and the lurchers right now to check out other favorite pics--this is going to be a good week!

27 comments:

laurie said...

ah, so boscoe like! also from a farm, also part lab!

lots of love in this post.

Celeste said...

What a neat story. He looks like a character and his personality apparently matched those looks!

Kaycie said...

Lovely, Faye. He was a big mess, and you loved him all the more for it. The pictures are adorable.

Karina said...

AWWW...I just kept saying AWWWW through your whole post. Great photos, great stories!

Mine will be up in the morning, but I thought I'd get a head start visiting all the "early" posters! ;-)

Swampwitch said...

I think that any of us who have had a dog, recognize many of Zack's traits in our own pets. Border Collies seem to be one of the most intelligent breeds...probably has a better use of the English language than the President you referred to.
Crazy Zack and my Junior are probably giving all the rabbits in the universe a run for their money right now.

Alison said...

I love Zack...funny my picture is of our Zack!!...he was gorgeous and had quite the personality!! what an adorable puppy he was!

Pamela said...

My rotty had that happen in both back legs. Months and months of recup and dollars and dollars of expense.

I have his ashes, too.

Pamela said...

ps. Faye I don't have your Email address to respond about you not being able to access my blog.

I have had the same problem with another blog, so I'm going to assume it is problems with blogger.

WT said...

What a great looking dog!

tea4two-two4tea said...

what a character!! I love the photo of him peering over the bath LOL

Aoj and The Lurchers said...

What a lovely story, and great pictures to go with it!

Zack sounds such a character! We had a Border Collie that had very similar escapological traits!

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh, I'm giggling with delight! Such fabulous photos. [I especially like the one jumping OVER the fence. How lucky to have the camera at the right time and the right place.

Thanks for visiting my FM favorite photos and leaving such a wonderful comment.

Molly said...

I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your Zack and reading his story. He was a mighty cute puppy. Zack reminds me of our childhood dog, Princess a Shetland sheep dog, who was also afraid of storms. I look forward to more stories about Zack.

iPost said...

How cute is he?!? I am not even a dog person, but in the heat of a moment found myself adopting a cute little lab mix. Four years later I can't imagine life without him!

Sayre said...

I had a black lab/pit bull mix that was also terrified of storms and took refuge in the bathtub. That became the place she went anytime she was scared. I think it must have been the lab parts!

I think I just fell in love with Zack.

Lil Mouse said...

i love the fence picture. so cute.

ellen b. said...

Oh Faye this is quite the story. I loved it all. I think I'm a border collie at heart :0)
Oh and I so agree about that awful green indoor/outdoor capeting...

SwampAngel65 said...

Sounds like Zack gave you some fun memories and good times. He sure was a cutie and looked like a big, crazy fluff ball. Sweet story...

Jettie said...

OOHH he's so cute!!
I love them!!

Tink *~*~* said...

Those ARE some crazy stories! I can tell you loved him, despite it all. Will the heart-shaped box ever come out of the closet, d'ya think?

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

storyteller said...

I love all the photos (I couldn’t pick just one either) and all the ‘Crazy Zack’ stories. There’s nothing quite like sharing our life with a fur-friend like him … and many of us find ourselves with similar cases of ‘puppy lust’ at various times in our lives. Thanks for sharing today ;--)
Hugs and Blessings,

Big Momma said...

What a hoot! I love the bathtub picture. I love my dog, who is also crazy. I now wish I would have posted some of her funny moments. Great post, I am laughing out loud!!!

Ari_1965 said...

Great photo and story. I hope you eventually made it to the Chelsea Flower Show.

lisaschaos said...

Zack sounds awesome! He must have been entirely awesome if you also came home with three of his brothers!

KittyHawk said...

Zack Kervorkian! Clever! ;-)

KAREN said...

GOrgeous pictures. I'm a sucker for a doggy tail, er, I mean tale!

Lane said...

What a post! And what a guy! I loved reading that.
It seems a few of us have dogs in boxes. Mine's under the stairs:-)