In Memory of Andy

Posted: January 22, 2011 in ALL POSTS, Memoirs

Circa 1992, I was with my good friend Strick(see my Mexico expedition blog for some info about him)viewing an abandoned 500 acre ranch about fifty miles west of Austin in the Hill Country of central Texas.

At that time,Strick was the director of Child Incorporated a not-for-profit that has improved the lives of pre-school children in Austin since 1972 and which by the way was where I worked my first job in the field of human services — but that’s another Blog.

Ftrick had come up with the idea to have Child Inc buy the ranch for the use  of building a training center/convention center — which they in fact did and and its called Flat Creek Ranch.

Actually, calling the place a ranch is a misnomer, because it was actually not a ranch, but a failed housing development, that had gone belly under after the infrastructure had been built — culs-de-sac, water pipes, but no buildings.
Anyway, we were standing out in the middle of a field of scrub brush and cactus, when I felt something on the back of my leg. When I turned around, I saw a skinny bedraggled Border Collie covered in burrs, with her left paw against my calf and with a look of desperation in her eyes. We then heard a cacophony of crying coming from under a small bush nearby and found there three tiny puppies, roughly (the vet told us later) six days old. Both mom and the pups were starving and covered with fleas.
So as not to transport the fleas along with the dogs in Strick’s car, I waited with them while Strick drove to the nearest town twenty miles away to get some flea shampoo. After giving each of them two baths removing about a trillion fleas and as many burrs, the mom and her pups were transported to my house, where they became immediate residents.

I named the mother Diana after the Roman God of the hunt,  because she had had her pups in this wilderness, where she had apparently been dropped off pregnant by some scumbag and where we found Bobcat scat on the ground right near where we found the pups.

I kept mom and the three pups for six weeks and then put two of the pups in good homes, but kept Diana and one of the pups.  In keeping with the mythological theme, I named that pup Andromeda and she quickly became Andy.

For the next sixteen years, Andy was my constant companion, both in my daily life and my travels around the country, where she pursued her passion of diving into any possible body of water available.  Below are some photos of this amazing creature, who I will always remember fondly and miss dearly.

Andy dives into the air over the waters of the Lake next to Old Forge in the Adirondacks of northeastern New York state.

And then the splash down.

A rainbow collage of Andy:

Andy, a mild-mannered dog, dons her secret costume:

And finally, why it was never a good idea to mess with Andy:

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