Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Memories of Fort St. John, BC

This picture must have been taken about 1982. That is me with my three sons and Panda (short for Pandemonium). She is pulling my middle boy and I have the baby in a sleigh also.

The following winter we had to leave Fort St. John, to move to Edmonton, and we didn't think Panda would fair well in the city so we found another home for her at a farm. She had other ideas though and I heard on the radio about a week later that a large black dog was seen walking across frozen Charlie Lake, and sure enough next day we saw her coming over the hill towards us. She had travelled about 200 miles to find us.

So we found another home with trappers right out in the bush and we never saw her again. I hope she soon forgot us and settled into an idyllic life romping through the wilderness rather than being couped up in an apartment in Edmonton.

At the same time we had a cat we labeled Astro (short for Catastrophe) as we had rescued him from being stoned by a crew of small boys. He never was too bright, poor Astro, I think his brain may have been injured.

Some of the things I can remember about Panda is her glee at seeing the boys come out all togged up in winter gear and she in her excitement would send them flying with her tail, until I had three crying boys wanting to come in. She took her guardianship of the boys most seriously and the first time I allowed my eldest to walk to the end of the street to mail a letter, she escorted him there and back although not asked to do so.

During the time we had Panda, a Newfoundland dog, she mated with a Corgi and gave us fifteen puppies. We figure she must have laid down for that amorous dog to accomplish the job, as she was a fairly big dog. The puppies were quite comical to look at having Newfoundland head, tail and body and Corgi legs, but we found homes for all of them. When she had the fifteen puppies I would take half of them into the bath where I had hot water bottles and a clock under a blanket and they would settle there so she could feed the other half. Then after a suitable time I would rotate them, however some may have been luckier than others because they were identical and I may have got mixed up a time or two. Panda lay in the shed rolling her eyes toward heaven begging me for relief from her offspring.

We had made a temporary pen in which to keep the puppies but as they grew bigger Panda decided they needed to see the world and kept pulling up the fencing to let them out, and they would arrange themselves in a row along the front of our property, watching the world go by until I came out and got them in again but it was a constant fight between me and Panda. This picture shows some of them puppies having a meal, we did it in relays so we could be sure everyone got some food. The boys are supervising.


Jeni said...

Puppies and little kids! Is there anything any better?
When my kids were still fairly small - maybe just starting school - the romeo dog we had at the time met a girl friend and brought her home to us. We named her Sheba and she very nicely presented us with a litter of six puppies that she gave birth to under my bed on a New Year's Day morning! Thankfully, it was a year I hadn't gone out celebrating the New Year's eve party scene and stuff so I had no hangover - which was good! And caring for six puppies, their mother and father too - that was enough of a job - but fifteen pups - WOW!

Gene Bach said...

That's a pretty big adventure for a dog...200 miles. I've heard about things like that happening before but I never could figure out how in the world they did it? What kind of a tracking device do they have anyway? Whatever it is, I wish I had one. LOL!

Hootin'Anni said...

Wow...I just read about Panda...and her 200 mile trek to be with you! That is amazing.

I'm here from blogger over 50 and just visiting and sending along a happy sunday to you.