Six months later, Glory was born. To a different mother, from a different line, but there is no doubt in my mind, that within her is the spirit of all those who went before, Addie, Piper and Vixen. It seemed fitting to name one of Meadow’s girls “Glory”. It was a name I had always loved and it had been part of Piper’s registered name.
I wonder, when I chose the names for that litter, how I would have known that she was the one to be named Glory, not her sister, who I named Caroline. I cannot imagine her as Caroline. Glory is, in every way, a piece of who my other girls were, especially Vixen. She is so like Vixen, in looks and behavior, that I often catch myself calling her by that name. Ironically, I have had friends who knew Vixen, do the same.
She is a girl who needs a job. She is always busy. Her antics fill my mind with plenty of “Glory Stories” and she is frequently the subject of my dog writing. Instead of muddy streams, there are vegetable gardens and apple trees. She jumps and leaps with ease and often we refer to her as a ‘Houdini’, as she can disappear in a flash. One minute she is within sight and the next she is gone.
The first time she disappeared was frightening. I was rushing to get dogs fed and then outdoors. I needed to be at dog training by 6pm and as I rounded everyone up and called them in I counted, one, two, three, four, five. Six? Seven? No puppies in sight! Frantically, I raced about the yard, my feet soon drenched from the wet grass, my hair plastered to my face from the combination of the fine mist and sweat. As I shouted for them, the fear in my voice became more and more evident. My heart was pounding, as I raced from one edge of the yard to another. All I could think of was that they had somehow gotten under the wire fence along the busy road at the top of our driveway. It seemed impossible that they could have disappeared so quickly. I had visions of two puppies, in the road or lost through the woods with no tags or collars. Hysteria overcame all sane thoughts as I screamed for the others to get to the house. I grabbed my car keys and prepared to expand my search. I took one last desperate glance. My eyes scanned the field beyond the split rail fence dividing our property from the farmer’s. In the distance, I saw two black specks, bounding through the tall grass, heading towards me. One in the lead, the other following, creating a vision from The Incredible Journey. It all played in slow motion as I moved in their direction, arms outstretched, yelling “good puppies”, “come, come”! My relief turned to gratefulness but a small part of me wanted to grab their necks and drag them straight to their crates.
That was over 2 years ago and I still call both girls my puppies. But it is Glory who has the drive. It is Glory who has a mind of her own, setting her agenda, yet still wanting to please. When everyone else brings out their soft toys, Glory will bring them in. But she also makes sure she is last coming in. Just in case there is a chance to have one last play. She claims the best spot on the leather couch to watch tv. Not just animal shows but anything of interest. She notices reflections in the skylight at night and stands her ground. No fence can keep her out of the vegetable garden when the tomatoes are ripe. And when the apples are ready for picking, she doesn’t even wait for them to drop.
Each time I witness this spirit, I know who she is. I know that she will run like the wind, and perform the way Vixen did. When I work with her in agility, I see that same drive, that same enthusiasm. She is all that the others were and more. Her eyes are intense, as she watches me, and I know in my heart what she is telling me.