Buster was our outside dog. He wandered over here probably 9 or 10 years ago, just a white and black pup needing a home, and he found it : ) For years he was really good at helping keep the squirrels at bay, but, truthfully, they had pretty much worn him down. He was getting old and just got too frustrated trying to keep up with them...oh, he would still make a show of it occasionally, just to let us know he was trying, but usually, he just looked at them and took a nap instead. He was still really great at sounding out when anyone came around, or if intruding critters, other than squirrels, were around. I know you've picked up on the fact that I'm speaking of him in past tense, and, sadly, we did lose him about 6 weeks ago. I was hoping when his time came, he would just go to sleep. Instead, his leaving was terribly dramatic...he came upon an animal he didn't recognize, and probably just in his friendly way was checking it out...we never heard a sound. We found him lying in the back yard, not very far from our bedroom window. No one could understand the quietness of his leaving in such a violent way, that is, until the cub print was found, and then the mama bear print, just at the corner of our property. Buster certainly would not have recognized such an animal here, and was probably just curious and never had time to be frightened. That gave us comfort.
Now, about the gift...My husband and I always spend time camping at Lake Ouachita near a little town called Mount Ida. My mama was raised there and I still have people just down the road from where we stay. We get lots of fishing and visiting in and get to enjoy the beautiful Fall colors. We had a great time as usual.
On our way back home, however, I couldn't help but feel a little blue. I knew this time Buster wouldn't be running up the road to meet us, and turning back to lead us to the driveway, with little yelps of joy and his tail wagging like a helicopter. He was such a cute boy-dog. It made me sad not having him. When we arrived home I got out of the truck to unlock while my husband worked at getting the camper backed in. After a quick walk through the house, I went out to get the mail, still just missing my dog and wishing he was there. Walking back across the yard, something on the ground caught my eye...something white. I bent down and picked it up...a tiny hummingbird nest had fallen from a tree...a perfect little nest made almost completely of Buster's hair! My eyes filled with tears, and I could only look up and say, "Thank You for caring for the little things as well as the big ones."