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Queenie, The Irreplaceable Dog

September 1, 2017
Another Way for week of September 2, 2017
Queenie, The Irreplaceable Dog

Photo from author Winona Miller

Guest column by Winona Miller

Editor’s note: Winona Miller of Middlebury, Ind. sent this story in to Another Way when Melodie Davis asked for dog stories earlier this summer.
 
When we moved to the small farm where my husband was raised, we had three sons, ages four-and-a-half, three and two weeks old. My in-laws built a “grandpa house” on the other side of our driveway. Later we had two more sons.
One day sons Brian and Steve ran into each other riding their bikes out in the driveway. Steve had a broken femur (leg bone), so he ended up in the hospital in traction for a couple of weeks. After he was released the doctor put him in a body cast from the waist down to his foot on one leg, and down to his knee on the other leg, and sent him home.
One Sunday after church we were invited to our friend’s house for lunch. We had Steve on his lounge chair on the porch as the rest of the family played games in the yard. Out of nowhere, a little fox terrier puppy came and jumped up on Steve’s lap. Where did she come from? No one knew in the neighborhood. So we took her home with us. I think God sent her because the puppy was just what Steve needed. She proved to earn her keep. We named her Queenie.
When she got a little older, she would sleep out in the shed with our milk cows. If by chance one of our sons forgot to latch the milk stall gate, the cows would find their way to get to the grain bin to help themselves. But as far as Queenie was concerned, they were in trouble. She would come running to the outside of our bedroom window and bark, then run to the barn, and back to the house again, until we would go out to check on the situation. Sure enough, the cows were not where they were supposed to be.
Whenever we had to sell one of our cows, after the cow was loaded on the trailer, she would stand in the driveway and cry as the truck went down the road. One of her buddies had left her on that trailer.
On the road across from our house, there was a ditch. Muskrats and groundhogs set up homes out there. Every once in a while Queenie would capture one. She would bring it to our backdoor after it was dead and lay it on the ground for us to see, seeming to say, “What do you think of my prize catch?”
Our five sons were all busy in school sports, so we sold our cows. That was a very sad day for Queenie. Once again, she stood in the driveway and cried as the last of her barn buddies left her.
My husband and I both worked during the day while the boys were in school. So Queenie started hanging out more across our driveway at my in-laws at the grandpa house. Whenever Grandpa Milo went away in his horse and buggy, she would lay out by the driveway and wait for him to return. If she would happen to take a snooze while waiting, the clop of the horse’s hooves would wake her. She recognized Brenda’s steady clopping. She would happily greet them running beside the buggy and after they stopped, her whole body would wiggle all over until Grandpa climbed out and greeted Queenie.
Then one day Grandpa got hurt and he needed surgery on his injured leg. He was in the hospital for several days. When he came home and was nestled in his rocker, he finally said, “Why don’t you let Queenie in the house for a bit.” She was so excited to come in she ran right over beside Grandpa’s chair and sat there. It seemed like she was smiling from ear to ear saying, “I missed you so much.”
Sadly, the next night all of a sudden Grandpa couldn’t breathe so we called 911 and they took him to the ER. As they went down the road, Queenie once again cried. Sadly Grandpa passed away later that night. She must have known her friend was not coming back.
If she saw a squirrel in the pasture she would chase it back towards the woods. More than once she would catch them. One day when we were cleaning an old wire corn crib that had a cement slab for its base, we didn’t know it but mice had built a wonderful tunnel network under the slab. Too bad for the mice: Queenie had a heyday. Mice scurried every which way not knowing where to go. Queenie and our sons had a great time.
We had Queenie with us until the ripe old age of about 15. Then one day we couldn’t find her anywhere. So finally I went across the road and peered down in the ditch. Oh no! There she was lying face down in the water. We think she went to get a drink and lost her balance. She wasn’t very steady on her feet anymore.
We never got another dog again for she would have been too hard to replace. So that was our sad day when it was her turn to leave us.
***
I’m happy to hear more of your dog stories here! Share in the comment space. 

Or, send to Another Way Media, Box 363, Singers Glen, Va. 22850 or anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

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