Mountain Musings


How Much Is That Doggie In The Window


Freckles came wandering into my yard when we resided in VOE, back in the 90s, emaciated, hungry and lonely. The black and white Springer Spaniel with freckles on her nose had apparently been abandoned when her owners moved out of the neighborhood.


The kids immediately took to her and she quickly adopted them. The kids took her for walks around the neighborhood and to the Heart Rock trail where she would revel in splashing in Seeley Creek’s cool water and swimming in the pond at the bottom the waterfall.


Back home, she enjoyed playing grab and fetch the stick or an occasional bone. She also loved climbing onto our bed and curling up next to us for a good night’s sleep. But what really floored us is when she would nurse our orphaned kittens after their momma mysteriously disappeared. We figured the mom had fallen prey to a coyote, or else was imitating a manhole cover on some nearby road.


Freckles always warned us by barking whenever someone showed up at the front door and, though she rarely wandered into the street, she would always chase away other dogs that wandered into our yard. That dog never ceased to amaze us. Sure, she would chase away other animals, like coyotes, skunks, raccoons and an occasional deer – but never a cat, she seemed to have a fondness for furry felines.


But what really amazed us was when a rather large black bear (they’re actually brown, even though they’re called “black bears.”… go figure) wandered into the yard, looking for some lunch or dinner. Well, as “Smokey Bear” was exiting our driveway, she followed it into the street, where she and the bear sniffed each other’s rear end, as many animals will do. “Oh my God, she’s about to get her face ripped off,” I shouted to Rhea. But, you know what? That bear casually strolled across the street to visit the next house, while Freckles sauntered back up the driveway, waggling her tail all the way.


“How much is that doggie in the window? The one with the waggly tail. How much is that doggie in the window? I do hope that doggie’s for sale.” (“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page – 1953)


Freckles, who resided at Motley Manor for about 10 years – which would make her the equivalent of at least 70 human years – had been healthy, except for an occasional bout with worms, which she would cough up on the kitchen floor… Yuck! But old age finally crept up on her and she began a slow decline, exhibited by a loss of appetite and extended naps. We took her to the Humane Society in San Berdoo, where they pronounced her incurable. So, reluctantly, because we didn’t want her to suffer, we asked to have her “put to sleep.”


“How much is that doggie in the window, the one with the waggly tail?”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott