My husband, Pete, often tells me I always write about my dog, Emma, and never about his dog, Griz. He’s right. Although Griz gets a little coverage when I do write about Emma, he’s a little like the good boy who gets overlooked because he’s so darn easy to get along with. But Griz walks through life with as much character as Emma; and we discuss his attributes at length, particularly when Emma or my daughter’s dog, Brodie, test our patience and goodwill.
So, I will share my favorite image of Griz.
Now and then in the evening while I’m fixing dinner, I’ll look out the window and see Pete and Griz headed out to take the mares and geldings to their overnight pastures. As they drive south down the alley-way I see Pete’s head on the left and Griz’s on the right; both appearing to be in equal partnership to the work at hand. While I realize I’m anthropomorphizing Griz, attributing human characteristics to a dog, watching him riding shotgun makes a believer out of me.
When Pete needs Griz’s help moving the horses on these nights or when he needs help with steers in the arena, Griz knows Pete depends upon him for his help and expertise. Griz is ever watchful for Pete’s nod and when it’s given Griz goes to work and is so careful to do it just right. Griz, in my mind, believes he is Pete’s top ranch hand.
I know Griz is not the only ranch dog that has the ability to be such a partner. Stock dogs provide that kind of relationship. And when television commercials advertising medications for our pets say, “They’re more than just pets, they’re family,” they are actually telling the truth. Griz wants nothing more than to love and be loved: he wants to know more than anything else that he is needed and important to Pete and his work. I’ve never been one to romanticize our pets, but I believe Griz feels in his relationship with Pete they are not only working partners but kindred spirits.