Monday, November 03, 2008

'Familiar Dogs' and Used Books'

It has been a busy day. I ran with all three dogs today. Yep. I had Ella-Rose on a 6' tether, and my other two girls on 26' retractable leashes. Ella did not pull at all. She has wonderful leash manners.

I'll tell you what is a little beyond weird. One of the reasons I became enthralled with her is because she looks so much like Lucy. ---------------Break Away----------------

I began writing the above last evening. I looked up Llewellin English Setters, and I realized that for many years I have been operating under a terrible delusion. Well, two really. First, I've always spelled Llewellin as Llewllyn. Second, I mistakenly thought that these were tri-colored dogs. We were told that Lucy was a Llewellin Setter. Mark just informed me that the person who told us this was a 'third party". He grew up with Llewellin's and declared Lucy to be one. So her lineage is suspect. She was from pedigreed stock, I do know that because she came from a friend of my Mom's who bred these dogs. He had a litter and my father asked for a pup for my stepmom's (my mother had died and my dad had remarried) daughter's family. I'm not sure how we came into getting a dog in addition to them (perhaps my dad asked, and I said, "Sure".) We paid for her shots (though I do not think my dad even did that for the other dog). Naturally, we did not get any papers for her. The other dog went to live a life of hell--kept inside, not allowed to run and ultimately causing much trouble (terrorized by young kids) before running off and never to be seen again. They were many states away, so intervention on my part was not an option.

Rather than "Llewellin" designating a color specification, it delineates a lineage specification. While perusing the various pages, I saw a beautiful female who was being retired from littering whose breeders were looking for a good home. While it would be terrific to open one's home to a dog such as this, spaying an older female dog, particularly one that has had previous litters, subjects them to a higher incidence of mammary tumors. I had this with Chloe and my SIL had it with Sadie. They were benign, but still, it is a threat.

So I spent most of my evening visiting the websites of various Llwellin breeders and marveling at these beautiful dogs. I also saw one that looked identical to my Daisey! But the main impetus for my writing this post is to remark about Ella-Rose's similarity to Lucy and secondarily to tell you some of my used-book finds.

This year we took in two kittens from my neighbor's surprise litter (they took her in to be spayed and she was pregnant). One of the kittens, Wyatt, looks almost identical to Herm, who disappeared last year around this time after leaving on a hunting expedition and not returning. So seeing Wyatt (who we call 'Little-Herm") is a daily freshening of Herm's memory. I'm pretty confident that Wyatt's Dad and Herm's father were the same cat given how striking the markings are.

With Ella-Rose, the 'feeling' is the same. Seeing her is like reawakening our memories of Lucy. Ella Rose is a different personalitied dog altogether, but at certain angles of the turn of her head, she looks identical to Lucy--and the body markings at any angle are identical. As I was at my computer yesterday, I looked down at her--and could see the famiiar countenance of Lucy--curled up in her old age and sleeping the day away. It is very evocative.

Yesterday, I let Ella Rose off of her lead to play with the other dogs. She ran to the dogs and then did a left turn to the great beyond behind my home. I lost sight of her quickly, and became terrified that she would keep running. I could hear Tim's chickens next door, and new that she had flushed them where they were feeding in the bottom. I got my mountain bike out so I could cover some territory to look for her. Thankfully, she followed my anxious calls and ended up on the other side of Tim's gate in the goat pasture. She had traveled through the swamp, and her legs and under belly were brown--just like Lucy who spent hours hunting back there. In fact, that is how the UPS man remembers Lucy--a beautiful dog with legs covered in mud!

I rarely see people who are so familiar in that way--but I can imagine how odd it would be to lose a close family member and see someone with a near-identical visage and how familiar they would be to you.

Onto my books. While in Sylva, I ran into a used bookstore that happened to be open fro 20 more minutes! (We got there at 7:40 p.m.). I'm suspecting that Sylva is a thriving college town with its proximity to Western Carolina Univesity. Accordingly, there were many interesting books. Here's what I acquired:

The Vedanta Stutras (Part 1)
History as a System and other essays toward a philosophy of history, Jose Ortega y Gasset
Man and Crisis, Jose Ortega y Gasset
Dao De Jing (featuring the recently discovered bamboo texts) translated by Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall
Pontius Pilate, Ann Wroe (a finalist in the Samuel Johnson Prize)
Shu Ching, Book of History, Clae Waltham
The Moral Philosophy of William James, edited and with an introduction by John K. Roth
Peter the Great, Robert K. Massie (it won a Pulitzer Prize I since learned).
The Helen Corbitt Collection--Recipes.

My purchases totalled $30. I gave her $40. All of the books are donated, all of the workers are volunteers and all proceeds are on behalf of the library.

There is something about walking into a used book store (I go to the vintage cookbooks, which in this store was very thin! and the philosophy and religion section) and searching the stacks for something that calls out to you. I wishe that I had more time in this store, but I came away with plenty to read to be sure.

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