Saturday, September 24, 2011


Above is a picture of Sally and our little Bichon (Aimee) on South Padre Island a few years ago. I want you to see the expression on the dogs face as she was running up and down on the beach, which she loved.

The following is my story of how she came about and our lives together.

I was driving truck across country and having a very hard time of staying awake. I'd drive for 2 or 3 hours and then have to take a nap and the naps got to be 4 hours long. I felt good and not taking any medicines. So I got to thinking that I needed a dog (cheaper than a woman) to ride along with me and make me get out of the truck and etc.

When I was telling Sally she looked at me incredulously as we had 1 doberman at home now. I said I cannot take her. Even with her short hair she sheds way to much and she smells to much like a hound, to ride along in a truck for 10 to 15 hours at a time. AND you don't exercise he she runs. I'd been checking out different breeds and told her I thought I'd like a Bichon Frise. I had to find a picture of one and she said WHY???. They are non shedding, hypoallergenic and relatively smart. She said how much? I said a lot.

Soon we found a family over in Whitehall that had a litter and we took a quick look. They were all little snowballs and as puppies go very cute. 8 weeks old
 Needless to say I fell in love with a little female that was friendly but she would go off and explore while we were looking at the litter. She could fit in the palm of my hand. She and I did a lot of miles together in the truck. She was a joy and ever only had one accident and that was my fault for not stopping.

Our first trip was from Hart, MI. to Denver, CO. then to Louisville, KY , Indianapolis, IN to Hart, MI. I laughed as I told people that I didn't know there were that many rest areas as we were traveling. Also I'm sure she saved me a ticket in Colo at the scales. They told me to pull over bring in my paperwork an etc. So I did and the scalemaster was going through the items he wanted to look at my log book. I said well its in the truck I'll go get it and asked if it was ok to let my pup out and he said yeah he guessed so. So I went out knowing when I went back in I was going to get a ticket for a log book violation. While walking the dog he came out to me because he couldn't see the dog from inside. He picked her up and ooo'd and awd and gave her back to me and said music to my ears, "Catch up on your log book before you leave here and stop by again.
Aimmee at about 10 weeks

She was a joy to ride with and of course like any baby she slept while the truck was moving. BUT when I parked it and set the air parking brakes she was ready to go outside and do something. But she didn't stop my sleeping problem and now all of a sudden I was not able to understand anybody on the phone. I called home and asked for a dr's appointment as I was starting to get very dizzy with also. Meniere's Syndome was the diagnosis in my left ear and there is no cure. They give you Valium and say "good luck" then the worse happened I got it also in the other ear and the doc say congratulations you now have it bi-lateral. I was sick puppy myself for about 6 weeks. I sat at home in a straight back chair and holding on to the seat as I felt I was going to fall off. The only way I could walk was if I had the wall to touch or else crawl on my hands and knees. The attacks can be anywhere from minutes to years apart and I bet they can last just as long also. Veritgo that brings on nausea, dry heaves, headaches, coldsweats. I would fall into fitful sleep for 8 or 10 hours at a time and wake up reavenously hungry. Along with all of that I lost about 80% of my hearing. I did try to do some more driving but I could not use the Valium as I thought I was dumb enough already and it is one of the no-no drugs anyway. I did have the valium with me but I never used it while in the truck but Aimee did. Some how she got in and ate about a half dozen of the pills and I was horrified. I called Sally and she called the vet and called me back and said the Valium would not hurt the dog but she could sleep quite awhile, boy, I was relieved and she did sleep for quite awhile but I don't remember how long.

My last trip driving I was coming north on US 31 when the Meniere's caught me as I was going around Indianapolis. If I could look through one eye only I could drive but at a reduced rate of speed. I made a lot of enemies that afternoon as I drove about 45 mph. It was speed I felt safe at and I thought to hell wth the the world. I made it back into Michigan after a couple of naps and called dispatch just before they closed for the night. I told them where I was, I thought I was ok but that when I unloaded I would be done driving. I know I was in tears as I talked to the boss. I didn't want the rest of my life to be like it had been for the last couple of months.

I made it back to Hesperia about midnight. I should've been in about 8:30 or 9 PM. I emptied everything out of my assigned truck and left for home.

                                       "Aimee" with her friend "Honey" in Idaho

 Now having a house with both a Doberman and a Bichon is an experience in itself. With snow on the ground, which both dogs loved, the dobie would bound effortlessly over and through and poor Aimee would almost tunnel, but she would try.
  Soon we  entertained the idea of "workamping". So we took a job up at Empire and I was really surprised when Sally  really liked it. But she was a people person and they say, she "never met a stranger". We bought a bigger (36 ft with 3 slides) fifth wheel which also meant we bought a bigger truck.
 Got rid of all of our real estate and loaded the kids up with "things" and struck out for another adventure. Soon we realized that we didn't have room for the dobie, our daughter Kitt found a good home for her and she lived out her life there.
  Wherever we went Aimee made friends, liked kids and minded real good except for 3 things.
1: She loved to chase cats, it was her passion and the next best thing was #2: rabbits. With numerous jackrabbits in TX she scared me a few times when she'd take off way out of sight,
and of course out of my hearing, and me wondering how many coyotes were around and were they going to get her
 3: She loved to sneak into the trash, as far as I could tell, to just make a mess.
  In Idaho I introduced her to hunting. They have a spring season on "Ground Squirrels". They actually flourish under the snow all winter and hibernate in the hot summer. 10's of thousands of them happened to be in our area where we were working. The squirrels weighed maybe up to 2 pounds, a lot smaller than a prairie dog. So I became adept at popping them in the head and it didn't take Aimee long to realize that the way the 22 rifle was pointed there might be a squirrel out there somewhere. So I had to learn to point the gun in a different  direction so I could shoot at the target in the other direction. She loved it, she would worry those little critters and got awful dirty doing it. You can imagine with her white hair and the mud and the blood on her. She was so proud of all of that. Even if it did mean she'd have to have a bath afterwards, which she even enjoyed.
 I would take her on patrol with me which could be anywhere from 1 to 4 hours and she'd have her nose in the windshield all of the time. If we stopped to look at an animal she'd look at it out the side window. If the animal had horns she'd growl if it didn't she'd bark. If it was a cow she'd do both because most of them had very short horns.
 I pull up to talk to a rancher, cowboy or hunter and if they knew me the first thing they did was ask if it was ok to give the dog a treat or what ever. Many a times I'd watch them get a piece of their lunch for her. If the patrol for the day consisted of using one of the quad runners she'd ride on the tank for hours on end. In fact whe was riding with me one day when I was chasing some cows up on a hill side and making a turn to the left when there was a large depression in the ground and both right side tires went down into it. Immediately the quad was upside down on top of me and Aimee and she was squealing like a stuck dog. All I could think of was her back was broke and how was I going to explain it all to Sally. Everytime I tried to kick the quad off of me, it would roll back down, but I fianlly got it kicked off enough for her to get out and she was ok. In fact she came right on over to me and gave me a kiss and seemed to say, LET'S GO. I was wishing I had Lassie or Rin Tin Tin to send for help. BUT after about a dozen tries I gave it one more mighty shove as hard as I could and the machine stayed up far enough so I could get out. I'm sure the Lord was with me because if it hadn't stayed up there I might still be there. Nobody knew where I was and no one in their right mind would even be up where I was. I could not upright the machine because I'd received a broken collar bone and at least three broken ribs out of the deal.
 I looked at Aimee and said it's time for us to walk and she  ran behind me and barked. I turned around and there was one of those cows asking me if I was done playing with them, I guess. Well it wasn't too far to the road maybe a quarter mile and we started walking. When I got to the road I had another decision to make which way to go. I was in an area where the neighbors and home were about even distance, 2 or 3 miles.
  I said lets go to Walt and Sues we might run across them working on the fence or something and lo and behold  just over the next hill in the road there they were. I went up and told them my problem and got severly chewed out by both of them. I said I think I can operate the machine once it is on the road, which I did.
  One elk season one of the workers shot a young bull elk. They used my personal pickup so they wouldn't get in trouble using Idaho Fish and Game truck hauling the meat. Craig, the hunter, proudly had the elk in the back of the pickup and of course blood and juices were dripping on the ground. Aimee was licking it up like all dogs and I thought nothing of it. Everytime she went outside she'd go back there and lick. Come to find out she was swallowing some of the small stones and so she had to go to the vet. Surgery was going to be in the 4 to 500 dollar range BUT he said, I think they are small enough they'll pass through her. So he suggested having her lick petroleum jelly by putting it on her nose so she'd lick it off. So I made a big deal of putting some on my finger and pretending I was eating it. SHE LIKED IT!! Until her dieing day I would still give her some vaseline as a treat. She never seem to be constipated.
  In California we stopped at my uncles and Aimee and his choc Lab Taylor became fast friends. From there we went to Apache Junction, AZ.  Norma an Mingo were bound and determied we were going to get a job which we did. It was a quaint little park which need TLC and had a drug dealer, I found out. I would take Aimee out on a leash about sundown, with a revolver in my pocket to go for a walk and she became my "dope dog". Now with my demented hearing I was depending on my little dog. She was great if somebody was standing or hiding in the shadows she'd let me know either by barking or growling, sometimes both. Soon it became apparent to the dealer that I was there for the duration and he left. Though it did take awhile for his customers to find out.
 While we were at the goldmine in NC it became obvious that Aimee was on her last legs. The vet wanted $50.00 to put her down and put her in the trash. No way could I do it. I tossed and turned for quite a few nights and then I asked a good friend Ronnie, if he would.
 She was buried on the edge of a little hill where she can watch the squirrels and deer. My faithful friend for 15 years was gone.
 I probably cried for at least three nights. Thinking to myself of all of the good times I/we had had with her. Life as I knew it was changing real fast for me.  Sally knew how bad I missed Aimee but she was to weak to help me really. As we both shed tears.
 A couple months later we picked up a little black Pekenese and he filled a small part of the void. A short time later I gave him away to a good home because Sally was taking all of my time and I knew her time was short.
 Thus ends the story of Aimee who made friends all over the U.S. and I'm sure I'll remember until my end.
  Also  I sort of like what Will Rogers said "If dogs have a heaven I'd like to go there." 
 Also there is Rainbow Bridge  click here

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