There is a dog who made the world news last year. This dog has sat in the same place in front of the gate to his dead master's house for the last five years. This will be year number six going on seven if the dog is still there. The house is abandoned. The dog is perhaps still waiting.
Sometimes, when the sun has not shown for a few days, Snookie seems an even more reliable presence in my life than my own shadow. He is there even when my shadow is not. A dog fed love wants nothing more than to return it. A blanket of security, I to him and he to me. A loyal bond broken only by happenstance and never by will. A dog's bond is a gift hard to trump and important to acknowledge. A dog for all his good, is not blessed with the years given to men.
Saying farewell and thank you to a dog nearly kills the heart. So, while there is still some time with Snookie, I am thinking of him today and all the joy and comfort he brings to me. He's on the floor before my feet and soon I will be there too with my arms tight around him in a human to dog embrace. A thank you for and an acknowledgement of his unrelenting and unconditional friendship.
Daisy was over 16 feet tall when I met her. The tallest animal I have ever stood next to. I did not even come near the bottom of her belly. I would look from the ground at her huge hooves and huge knees. Her legs just kept going. They seemed so big until I finished looking up to realize that in perspective they were actually rather delicate. She was a gentle giant.
I know a wild elephant. Once she was tame, used to humans and to complying with their biddings. She was called Eleanor. I met her in 1987 when I went to Tsavo, Kenya, East Africa as part of a research team. We were studying the thermoregulation of elephants living in a “natural setting”.
To whom it might concern: Below please find the resume of Lonesome Larry. He is quite a qualified fish!
Isis was a goat kid. She was given to me when I was eleven by my school teacher who had a goat farm. She was part Nubian goat. She had long silver ears that hung down past her nose like a basset hound's. Her eyes were big and bright. They were topaz and held wide open as if she was always caught by surprise. Her coat was several colors of brown. She had white markings on her face and a black dorsal strip that ran all the way down her back to the end of her tail. She was a beautiful animal.
I was lucky to have a great pony when I was young. His name was Cloughan, which means “stepping stone” in Gaelic. Pronounced "claw han". He was a white pony with gray dapples that eventually became all white as he aged. He had a long, gray mane and tail and a round belly. He was a confident pet and lively companion.
Each white tail deer is an individual but we rarely take the time to think of them as unique beings. An all white deer however, stands out from the herd. It is only a genetic mutation that makes it white and not brown like its herd mates. Yet this rarity makes it a remarkable individual in the eyes of humans. There have therefore, been laws and taboos against harming white pigmented deer through out history.
Roy, Silo and Tango made news in 1999 as the first known “modern penguin family”. Roy and Silo were male chinstrap penguins. They lived at New York City's Central Park Zoo. In 1998 the zoo staff saw them performing mating rituals together. In 1999 they attempted to hatch a rock as if it were an egg.
The zoo keepers took away the rock and gave them a viable egg. The egg had come from a straight pair of penguins who could not hatch it. The egg was carefully attended to by Roy and Silo. This resulted in the hatching of a chick. The zoo keepers named the female chick Tango.
As far as I was concerned, there could have been no finer creature than Buster. He was the best dog in the world. He was a personality more charming than Alf. He was my shadow, my pride, the sponge of all my free time. And I was to him, the finest owner a dog could ever have. His loving gaze and infinite patience in waiting for me for hours clearly indicated his feelings. Our bond was as strong as Gorilla Glue. Whenever we had the choice we would be together.
One February I was taking a walk on Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts. It's a long beach with high sand dunes behind the beach. As I approached the end of the beach I saw something white partially buried in the sand. At first I thought it was going to be a plastic shopping bag but as I got closer I could tell that the white was feathery. I assumed I was about to see the remains of a gull. However to my surprise it turned out to be a snowy owl.
This is a special Monday's Beast. Roo Roo was a well loved rooster I owned until he died a few years ago in a hawk attack. That day, in my sadness and confusion, I took him to the transfer station, carefully wrapped in plastic. That was a mistake that I will always regret. He deserved better. I should have a least thought to bury him. I did however write an obituary for him the day he died and sent it off to all the friends I could think of who might have known him or at least cared to know that I had lost someone important to me. Now I have finally done him one better and made him a little creative tribute. This painting is really a tribute card of Roo Roo made for my new group art project called BeastField.Com.
You too can remember an animal friend and place them in the BeastField of well loved and carefully remembered animals friends. Please check out the BeastField.Com website and learn how to submit an entry of your own to the BeastField.
To read Roo Roo's obituary click here or scroll down.
A well loved rooster and important member of the Blue Sky Farm animal familydied suddenly when he was struck down by a hawk around lunch time on the 3rd of January 2013. While coming to the aid of his chickens, Roo Roo was attacked from the air by a hawk and suffered a broken neck. Death was surmised to be instantaneous.
He was a great bird, beautiful in both body and spirit. Roo Roo was a real looker, probably a show quality example of the Blue Cochin Chicken Breed. He weighed in at around 10 or 11 lbs. He was very kind, helpful, respectful and watchful over his flock of hens. Roo Roo was always gentle and compliant with his human handlers.
He is proceeded in death by Missing Chicken and Stricken Chicken, and survived by Chicken Chicken, Sister Chicken, Fricken Chicken, Beauty Chicken and Ugly Chicken.
There will be no service or memorial of any kind...his body, while still warm was wrapped carefully in plastic and he was taken to the transfer station by his tearful owner. He will be greatly missed by his avian lovers and human friends at Blue Sky Farm.
"May you rest in peace Roo Roo in a land of corn and millet and whatever else you fancy.”
Unsinkable Sam was a legend, a good story and perhaps a true cat. The little black cat with the white nose was down a few lives when he finally died of old age in 1955 in the Belfast “Home for Sailors”.
In July of 2015 a solo king penguin went for a walk across a field at Cape Pembrokeshire Nature Reserve in the Falkland Islands (near Stanley). The penguin was spotted there by a group of wild horses. They came over to check him out as he was walking towards them. Each horse greeted the bird with a sniff and gentle nuzzle. They had never seen a penguin before but seemed delighted to meet this one. The bird stayed with them for about an hour and then went on his way, back towards the ocean and his more typical penguin life.
Hamilton T. Bone, aka Hambone, was a famous US Army mule. He was known as “The Jumping Jackass”. He won many jumping events against horses both at the local and national level. He was eventually barred from horse competitions for being too good.He belonged to the 4th Field Artillery out of Camp Carson, Colorado. He supposedly served two tours over seas. He died in 1971 at the age of 39. Hambone was originally difficult and hard to train but eventually became a shining and popular star of the US Army.
King Neptune was a Hereford pig employed by a United States Navy recruiter, Don Lingle. Between 1942 and 1946 they raised $19 million in war bonds for the construction of the battleship Illinois. Neptune's parts were actioned off many times but he was never butchered, as he was a very popular pig. People enjoyed visiting with him. He attracted large crowds where ever he went. He died in retirement of pneumonia.
LeeRoy Brown was an adopted,alpine/boer goat. He walked from Seattle, Washington to Springfield, Ohio with his owner, Steve Westcott. LeeRoy died in Ohio after getting sick. They were on their way to New York city. Steve finished the cross-country trip in October 2016 with another goat named Miles and with LeeRoy's ashes in his pack.
Silverton Bobbie, famous farm collie, walked 2551 miles home, alone, after getting lost on a cross-country, family vacation. In 1923 he accompanied his family on a vacation. Bobbie made his way East - from Oregon to Indiana - on a box mounted on the back of the family car. He got lost in Indiana as the family was leaving to return home. Bobbie managed to get back to his home in Silverton, Oregon in six months. He was emaciated and his paws were badly worn out. His family was ecstatic to have him home.
An odd song of a lone, unidentified whale was first picked up by U.S. Navy microphones in the Pacific ocean off the coast of California in 1989. The strange songs continue to be recorded. No one knows really who sings them. Marine biologists don't know if all the songs are even actually sung by just one whale. Many marine biologists believe them to be.
Old Douglas: died at the Battle of Vicksburg 1863
Old Douglas was a dromedary camel. He was the mascot and friend of the men in the 43rd Mississippi Infantry, which later became known as the Camel Regiment. He was part of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Cher Ami: died June 13, 1919
Cher Ami was a homing pigeon who served the United States army in France in 1918. One of her most extraordinary flights was at the battle of Argonne. Two homing pigeons had already been released by a battalion of the 77th Division in an effort to save themselves. The pigeons were shot down by the Germans who had the battalion surrounded. Cher Ami, the division's last pigeon, was released with the following note attached to her leg:
Smoky, a 4 pound, 7 inch Yorkshire terrier, was found in an abandon foxhole in the jungle of New Guinea during WWII. She was sold by one corporal to another for about $6.50. She spent the next two years with Corporal William Waynne, the corporal who had bought her. She served in the South Pacific with Wynne and the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron.
One of the first animals or even people I met when I moved my horse to a new barn was a big, old ugly turkey. Her name was Lucy. She was the fattest turkey I had ever seen. She walked with a limp, kicking one foot way out in front of her while she walked. She never put her toes down on that foot, like a person who has stepped down on a thorn but has not stopped to pull it out. She was missing a lot of feathers too. It looked like something had been chewing on her. She certainly was not a pretty sight to behold. But she was friendly.
Sergeant Stubby: 1916-1926
Sergeant Stubby was a bull terrier type dog that was found as a stray on the Yale University campus by the 102nd Infantry, 26th Regiment. He was smuggled aboard ship when the regiment was shipped to France. When the commanding officer discovered him, Stubby saluted, as he had been trained to do by the soldiers. He was allowed to stay.