Stories of Lincoln, Abbey and Lightning
In 2008, Abbey and Lincoln, our sister and brother, chocolate and black, block-head labs, were in the prime of their lives. One day this gangly blonde dog appeared by the mailbox at the bottom of the drive. Every day for the rest of that week I would say, “You go on along.”
We didn’t need another dog; the labs were 105 and 115 pounds of muscle and they pretty much filled up the back of the Corolla Wagon when we took them hiking, which they loved to do. Nonetheless, that blonde dog did not just move on along and one day Abbey took matters into her own paws. Clearly, she told the dog to come on up the driveway and get in with the good life, because that’s where I found him upon returning from work.
Mrs H and I discussed the situation and agreed that we could have the vet do all that would be required to get him ready for the Animal Harbor to offer him for adoption. In the time it took to get all that done, this very well mannered, although skittish, blonde Shepherd – Retriever mix (so the vet said) had wormed his way into the household and we now had a Black, Brown and Beige trio. We named him Hamper’s White Lightning, Lightning for short. Magically, he fit in the back of the Corolla with the other two just fine.
Lincoln and Abbey in 2002
Abby’s Misspent Youth
Abbey and Lincoln are long gone across the Rainbow Bridge to join all those previous pets that are waiting for us to show up so they may once again enrich our world. (I learned to my dismay that big labs don’t have the lifespan for which I had hoped.) However, they are with us in a pair of bronze sculptures that Mrs H got for my birthday, and which teared me up when she presented them.
Lightning is with us, although he’s beginning to show his age.
At 91 (dog years, if you believe that old trope), he still insists on the daily ride and run that he conditioned me to deliver many years ago. I’ll load him up in the truck and drive him around the 4 mile loop so he can get his snoot out in the breeze and see what’s up. Then, at the corner about half a mile from the driveway, I’ll let him out and he’ll “run” home. He used to manage 20 mph effortlessly but now he’s mostly about a nice saunter.
After the curve, I’ll leave him behind so I can have his meds ready when he gets home.
He does still make a good faith effort at running alongside. Not bad for a 91-year-old!
There’s a lot more to Lightning than his daily ride around the cove and run. He’s a big brother to the cats, Phantom and Franklin. He and Franklin, being blonde guys, have a special bond.
Having been brought into the family by two very active outdoors dogs, plus having spent some time with coyotes (according to vet that got him all spruced up), Lightning has always been a nature boy. Here he is in 2013 on his way to and at our friends’ place out near the bluff of the Cumberland Plateau.
He’s really happy in the woods.
Although he’s never been much of a swimmer, he’ll go wading almost anywhere.
He’s always been good at lounging around waiting for someone to give him a skritch.
This is his absolute fave position, with his people either in the kitchen or on the porch.
So, there’s the canine History of the World, Part I. The saga of our feline overlords will have to await another day.