Animals

Rosie

Rosie Rosie (1990-2006)

I met Rosie as a puppy on E. 3 St in 1990. She was my first dog and she died in San Diego, in a vet’s office, in 2006. I started writing about her when she began to die and I kept it up until spring of 2015 and finished the book in Marfa. I joke that I am now a dog biographer but in fact it is true. The book is as fantastic (and I mean realm, not quality) as Rosie was so I have written a dog memorial and I urge you to go there now and read about her, a wise, soulful, great great dog. And more.




Honey

HONEY is now approximately 4 or 5 years old. Her youthful strayness means she has an age not a range. We’ll be together three years in September. I was in Marfa in July and in the final day or two of a big ass writing project. I took her to Pinto Canyon Road which just goes on with little traffic and ranch land on both sides. Some of the pictures you see on this page especially horses express her love for LARGE animals. She can’t get enough. When we run Mimm’s ranch in the morning when she hits the cow moment, if there are cows out there – or are they bulls – anyhow she becomes transfixed. Once I let her free there which is a no no and she went out on the ranch land herding what I thought were cows for almost two hours. I felt like a cartoon clown chasing her. And she returned of her own accord. So on July 31st when I was walking her on Pinto Canyon and I felt her tugging to run free I should have been wary of her passion but my writing project felt good, near done & Honey had been maybe walked less frequently and extensively all July. I was having a very good coconut paleta and it was about 7pm just beautiful. I let go of her leash. She ran to the side of the road sniffing. And then she was clearly looking for the hole in the fence. Did I try reeling her in then. No, I just watched. I write it off to the ecstasy and the altered state of intensely writing all month and not being so much on the active pole of reality. Maybe I live my life that way. Anyhow she found the hole and unbeknownst to me until that moment there were cattle out there on the ranch land and she was heading that way. I was bugged but confident I knew the drill. I watched her go. Eventually I went out there. She was nose to nose with a bull and the bull suddenly loomed giant over her and she crouched down submissive and the bull receded. They were in animal speech and Honey was pink with transformation. She was not a domestic animal anymore, but wild. She was on the other side. Again I was sort of transfixed and maybe a little scared of the bulls. That night I stayed there until 12:30. I didn’t stay in the grasses. I returned to the side of the road. The last thing I yelled at her as I abandoned her to the ranch lands is you are not a cow. She knew that. She knew more. She was not listening. Mary Etherington came out and Tim Johnson and Caitlin Murray. Creighton came out with a flashlight. This was the beginning of the complete generosity of the people I know. Cause I went instantly into despair and didn’t want to bother people, did call Mary who I thought of as knowing Pinto Canyon Road. Then I called Joe Proulx who knows Honey and he told me to call Tim. I didn’t, he did. I didn’t want to impose. People gave me numbers of ranchers and I called them. I thought ranchers might shoot my dog but instead they identified as dog people. In the end that first ranch I called was where she was found in the barn. Dee and Augustine found her. She was sighted on day two herding bulls. People assured me that she would drink with the cattle so she would not be too dehydrated. She would probably eat rabbits. I was afraid she would be prey. I was told that coyotes, javalinas and bobcats could stalk her. Other people said she was a match for them, at least the smaller creatures. I eventually made a shrine out there of first a teeshirt, then underwear which I cut off myself, standing there. Later I brought out a bowl of kibble and treats and on the last day I left my best cut offs at the shrine. And that was the day she was found. Deidre, who practically runs the wilderness around Marfa contacted other ranchers, the ones who sighted Honey especially. Deidre talked to the Border Patrol. Deidre went up in a plane with a guy named Cady and looked at all the ranch land she could be cavorting/herding in. Every time in the four days she was gone I returned to my writing project I felt like I was killing her. I made a flyer and I posted it everywhere. I met George, of animal control and he said he had a small dog that looked like Honey but she came in on Thurs not the Sunday when she’d been lost. I went anyhow to the shelter and met a tiny pit named Grace (I named her) who I perversely decided to adopt if Honey didn’t return or even if she did. I haven’t so far. How’s Grace. She was adorable, looking about 30 pounds of pit. A small dog. Everyone was great. Chip, at the bank. Peggy O’Brien came with me the morning I left town to set the jeans down. Tom, venture capitalist, partner of Vilis, went out with me one night. Peyton drove out too. I can’t tell you the level of support I got in that town. I went into the backyard of a woman who lives across from the rock shop, flyer in hand and I said I’m sorry to disturb you but I’ve got a lost dog. Is it Honey she asked. A man named Neil called me out of the blue and he and his wife Mary discussed the helicopter option with me. I drove to his house the day before I left and gave him a bunch of flyers. Jennifer made dinner for me one night. And I actually have not SEEN Honey since. I was driving out of town – I had a gig in Connecticut, was heading to New York and then Cape Cod. My mother died in April. Life goes on. About half an hour into the trip to El Paso airport, in Valentine, I get the call. We’ve found your dog. I think her name was Deeny, I couldn’t really understand, but she was telling me we found her in the barn with the bulls. Deidre picked her up and took this entirely visionary portrait of her. Deidre and Peggy had a pajama part with Honey that night in Fort Davis. I urged them to watch animal movies which she likes but I didn’t get that report. Next day Honey was delivered to Mark So in my house who had always planned to stay with her now and after him Joe when I went off on my Afterglow book tour. It was going to be the saddest book tour, I being a double dog widow. People will say do you have a dog and I would look across the ranch lands in my head and mournfully say, I did. And believe me those ranchlands are in my head. If I nap, especially then, I keep wandering through the scratchy grassy country where the buffalo used to roam and now it’s full of bulls that my dog feels an affinity with. I spent hours looking out over that wildness, day and night and now it’s a space in my head that feels very mortal like that’s where I’ll go when I die, looking for my dog. And now I know that in this life what my dog wants is some land. And some cattle. Let’s see if she gets some.

visionary dog last pic honey poster honey under horse dog shrine Deidre Dee and Augustine desire gaze honey ptown sheltershot


Tasha

If there’s a horse, there’s a goat. Honey enjoys a goat for about three minutes and then she realizes there’s a horse.

goat




Beryl

FERRUGINOUS HAWK

Honey and I were walking in the golf course in Marfa last March and met Beryl. She obviously had a hurt wing or something and tried to fly when we especially Honey approached but she could not. It looked like she was smiling but perhaps it was a grimace. Even a dare. Mary Farley is virtually a bird and I sent her a picture of the bird and she immediately knew what it was and came to pick her up. Beryl went to a vet in Fort Davis and they fixed the wing which was hard as it was an old injury. But they succeeded and then she went to rehab in El Paso which was going to take a few weeks and I think she should be flying right now if all has gone well.

hawk




Tortoise

Mary found this tortoise and after a movie at the Crowley we all went to her car to see him. Male? I had a name for him right away but I forgot. Jim? Bernard? He promptly peed which I hope wasn’t panicky but was very impressive.

tortoise




Ernie

When I drove to El Paso in October ERNIE (the cat Rosie and I lived with in San Diego -- we mourned Rosie together, and briefly Ernie & I lived together in New York before he said enough is enough) turned up and we had a tiny reunion. He’s aging and Bobby and Lee Byrd who he now lives with say he’s no longer top cat in the neighborhood, loses some fights. For his pleasure he defiantly likes to lie down and sprawl in the middle of the street, in the evenings, mainly, which so far is okay. All my animals like to live on the edge.

ernie ernie ernie