Basil’s gift & saving LeDoux // our rescue story

Hand holding a dog paw.
Love.

I lost my heart when Basil walked on without us. I feel that since that time i have barely been holding on, struggling to care or breathe or live. It was gut-wrenching. I would always enjoy my favourite things a little less, i’d always feel i could’ve have done better by him. Been more patient, less this that and every other god damn thing under the sun. “Forgive me forgive me,” i’d scream in the shower, on the floor by the bed with my head in his blanket. I was going through hell. Real hell. The kind of hell you don’t make it back from, and i’ll never be the same because that love cannot be replaced. It wont be. Basil, Jack and i were a small force. We fought, we struggled but we had a love like no other. He will always be my sweet velvet cherub and the dog who saved me, stayed with me and kept me going. Because that was who he was. He protected me even though he was small, he was mighty. I will never let him go, and im not scared of dying because he’ll be waiting. As you can tell — i am still very much in the first phase of grief and i believe i shall stay here forever.
-HOWEVER-
Basil was with us yesterday and Basil had a gift.

Lunch at Sonic. Number 8. Unsweet ice, a large water and a lemon slush.

I was awake all night. Jack was snoring like a son of a bitch and my pills for insomnia barely touch the problem some nights, but i dont dare to take two incase i don’t wake up. Thats the anxiety talking whereas the depression would try to persuade me to take them all. I pulled my ass into the living room and re-arranged all the western blankets and fluffy pillows to make a den to sleep in. However i ended up just playing Hogwarts mystery on my phone whilst i watched forensic files. Thats usually how the nights tend to blow over for me. The next morning , after i caught an hours sleep, i got up to make breakfast. The coffee started dripping whilst the bacon danced in the pan. I buttered the toast with some difficulty. Fuck un-spreadable supposedly spreadable butter. Jesus. After my toast incident i made sure Jack was up. We had to be in Cheyenne by 10.30am.

Crotch shot.

I’d been looking at petfinder for about a year or more; since before we left New England. I felt guilty for looking, but i had to have some hope for something. Dogs came and went. I don’t know exactly what i was looking for. I didn’t want another beagle because it would feel like i was trying to fill a Basil shaped hole with a beagle. So i searched for any hound; plott, coon, black & tan, bluetick or fox. As long as it was a hound it would be ok. After discussing the idea with my doctor and my counsellor they both believed a dog would help me with my depression. I was honest with them, and they obviously realise my problems wont disappear but it can be helped. Im on a lot of medication these days and my farts smell like the devil smoke shit & acid in the same stogie. Jack and i were already discussing how an ESA could help me, so when both medical professionals confirmed it would be a huge help. I really started to look, but i still didn’t know what i was looking for. I wanted a hound but as soon as i applied either the descriptions lied, or the foster parents decided to keep the dog. Through my searches Jack had pointed at one dog.

“He’s cute, what about him?”
“You like him?”
“Yeah, don’t you?”
“I do, i just was’t expecting  you to like him too.”


The truth was that i had come back to this dogs profile on petfinder maybe a hundred times, i thought he had such a lovely face and i adored his name. I had planned on more of a hound dog, because i wanted something with a similar personality to a beagle. However i really was open to almost anything. All i knew was that i wanted a big dog.
And i got big dog named LeDoux.
LeDoux means “the sweet one” in French.
After Jack and i discussed it i went ahead and put in an application. It couldn’t hurt and if it didn’t work out at least i could cross him off my list so to speak. I was prepared at the prospect of having to meet several before i met the one. I communicated back and forth with Janet from Yola & Boogy Fund in Wyoming Cheyenne. And as i said before — we had to be in Cheyenne at 10.30am to meet LeDoux.

                                

I didn’t get any pictures of me during the first meeting, these are the pictures taken by Janet as she was so happy and surprised with how LeDoux acted with us. He loved us straight away. It was so amazing. I still haven’t stopped smiling. I wish i’d known LeDoux & Janet would be standing in the field together waiting for us to drive up, because i would’ve filmed seeing him for the first time and his reaction to us. Having said that i’m also glad that i didn’t. It was a special moment that Jack and i share – thats more important. Anyway there he was, this big red dog and he was so excited to see us. He ran right up to us and within a few minutes Jack had started teaching him to play fetch. It was truly meant to be. He needed some training and to learn a few things, but he’s very eager to please. Already today he’s starting to figure out Shake, Stay and Down. All very slow but often. This weekend we’re mostly letting him relax and take his time and find his place in our routine, so far so good.  He’s one year and three months old. A hound, boxer & pit bull mix.
He’s perfect.

Man and a rescue dog. Ready to get in the car and go home.
Ready to go home.

Janet took LeDoux back with her while we ran some errands. We picked up new toys, training treats, natural shampoo and a nice big comfy bed for his crate (we leave the gate off in hopes he’ll learn that it’s his safe place to sleep, but he get in and out if he wants to). We weren’t planning on bringing him home yesterday even if we did like him — we planned to discuss it for a week and see what we thought. But that changed. Guess who wanted to take him home immediately. Moi. Jack didn’t take much persuading either. Ha.
On our way back to take him home we grabbed sonic for lunch, we’d already grazed through our healthy picnic that i’d packed for the day, and just like that LeDoux was ours. As you saw he stuck his head out of the window and had so much to see. It felt like he knew we were his and that we were coming to get him. It was magic, simple and better than i could have hoped. I asked Basil to help me find someone that needed a home and that would be good for us. And as always the little guy answered. Thanks Buddy. Sounds like hooey but i choose to believe it, the only kind of faith i had is in that dog, Jack and now LeDoux.
 

About to get in the car and head towards Laramie!

Janet actually gave us the leash, blue harness and the lovely turquoise dog collar. She was a very nice person, clearly she loves what she does and every animal she helps.

Dog with his head out of car window enjoying the sun.
Sunshine & car rides.
Dog sleeping in car.
Making himself at home in the car on Happy Jack Road.
Hand holding polaroid of dog.
LeDoux on his first trip to Vedauwoo.
man walking dog
First national park adventure.

Between Cheyenne and Laramie is our favourite park Vedauwoo, we decided to take a short walk with LeDoux to see how he liked it and i think he rather enjoyed it. The hound in him certainly showed with him following tracks and sniffing about. I took pictures and polaroids. I really was on cloud nine. Nothing settles a troubled soul like taking a walk with a dog. Believe me. The best antidepressant. He’s also a fantastic car dog. Bonus!

Happy man & happy dog.
LeDoux with Jackdad in Vedauwoo.

When we arrived home he settled right in instantly. He walked around with us, ran around the yard and kept coming back for hugs. When we came inside and he had his food — instantly on the couch where he stayed till bedtime.

Happy dog.
Happy to be home.
A beautiful dog.
Handsome fella.

We don’t know a whole lot about LeDoux but apparently he was a stray as a puppy and got hit by a car, he didn’t receive any medical attention on his back foot so it grew together leaving a big lump. It doesn’t bother him at all aside from an occasional limp. Eventually he ended up in an animal shelter in Casper when Janet picked him up. She cared for him, took him to the vet and got his shots and whatever else. He’s a very happy and healthy boy. We’re surprised how sweet and gentle he is, doesn’t hold a single grudge or worry about a damn thing.
He’s just our happy LeDoux.

Dog.
Relaxing in the sunny afternoon and showing him around the neighbourhood. (Please note his beautiful dotted tail on the far right.)

Over time as he figures everything out in his own time he’ll be my ESA companion. From now on its easy living for this boy, lots of love and adventures.

Dog loving his new year.
LeDoux Flynn.

And thats the story thus far. We welcomed him to our very small family and it was meant to be.

LeDoux was adopted from the Yola & Boogy Pet Fund. 

could you close your flap so i don’t fore go my boiled eggs?

It was a quiet weekend here with us. We’ve taken walks away from everyone, and right now Jack is taking care of the shopping whilst i sit in the car to limit the chances of covid exposure. I don’t mind all that much because i dislike shopping — Walmart being mostly the only option. Since we’ve been staying at home most of the time i’ve been finishing projects and starting new ones. Lately i’ve started playing a new instrument, i’ve been finishing knitting projects for etsy and have the mind to work some on my novel writing and dreading the search for rejecting literary agents. I’ve also started working on digital drawing using photoshop (which is a lot harder than it sounds). I’ve already worked on a few logos and tshirt designs for the horse revival i volunteer with. Next week we’re going out to pick up a new mustang from northern Wyoming. I’m pretty excited and pleased, because we tried to go get the poor thing last week and were sure it was going to get shot in the field due to ridiculous issues. However, it seems we’ll get another chance to go and get him next week. Fingers crossed.


As for staying home and the social distancing, i like it. I’ve always crossed the road when someone can my direction on a walk – so thats not new. I actually think i get a lot more done at home, i’m more productive even since my job has become crazy during this entire pandemic started and again, fitting in the writing is the tough part.
I also called Pat today, my good old sailing friend, i’ve been meaning to call him for weeks now but i hadn’t got around to it. How we talked and laughed like old times, it was so good for my bones. I can continue a little longer. We talked about boats Jack and i might buy to live on one day when we return to Texas. We laughed about forepeaks and i was honoured when i found that one of the lines i’d made for his sails was still holding strong — one of his prized possessions he said. That is a great compliment from a galant man of the sea. I don’t have friends as such, i’m a very internal person. I’ll perform for an audience but i wont talk to them after. So you can imagine how important he is to me.

I think thats about all from me, i’ve been suffering from a ghastly headache all day and night, so i think i’ll see goodbye and hope you write more when i feel better.

Stay safe and stay home..

i’ve been gone from home a long damn time now


I’ve been gone from home a long damn time now. I don’t remember it much, the memories escape me and are beginning to seem like nightmares, some of the good dreams appearing like golden stones amongst all the broken rocks on all those beaches i once watched stretch far as the eye could see — while i sailed around the South West Coast of England. For many years i blamed England for a lot of things, my hardest living was on those shores and it gave me that cynical shell i so like to stew in but lately i’ve been missing home. The good house on Sand Road that now stands ruined by modern greed, the bay where i’d run into the sea in the middle of winter and wave the pirates by — waiting till i was old enough to go with them. Where i was soft hearted, and i was truly. I’d go and see the fine commodore, my dearest friend, and talk about all the things he’d seen and he’d tell me of the writer he knew i’d be. When all was deaftly quiet i would tell him..
“If something happens while i’m gone,” i’d say all choked up and taking a long look at my once only friend. “You come and you tell me yourself, no matter how you go. You find a way to tell me — and you promise to visit me.”
“Oh Izzie, i will. I’ll sit in a dark corner with a bottle of good chardonnay and boo at you as much as you like.
It’s a tough life living on wheels and wings and strange intentions. But thats me, whether i asked for it or not. Honestly, i think i always knew that i would never live any place forever and thats why i still to this day am very dubious about letting folks in. Whats the point when i wont be around long enough for anything to matter?


For the rest of my life my heart will always be a little broken and lost, with no real place thats mine and as the years go by i’m beginning to get real square with it. Lately i’ve found everything hard and i don’t mean that to seem bad, its not necessarily. I’m still here to ride through it, right? I don’t really understand what i’m meant for. To move from place to place like my traveller ancestors? To sail out in the venturous sea like my forefathers and gods or if i am simply bred to exist and talk about whatever my hearts dreaming of?  I could be dead before i find that out, which tells me thats not that important.
England, old girl and sailors haven, how i miss you today. And i suppose it’ll always been on the heart of my sleeve, but i forgive her now. I’ve hit the age that i can forgive her and i hope she forgives me, perhaps now we may both have peace. It took me moving to the western world where the sand is red like blood, the wind is a bitch and where i see possibilities where there are only stray mustangs and jagged cliffs — for me to realise that England made me hardy girl.
Summers beginning to loom in, teasing us with her random warm days full of sunshine from here to China. I’ve never wished for Summer more than i am lately. Winter in Wyoming wasn’t as bad as we’d been told it would be, but it feels like we’ve been living in the cold for 5 years and seen very little of good sunshine. Suppose we’re missing our Texas sunrises and hot afternoons with bees buzzing about us like poverty ridden men with no water.

Wyoming was one of my favourite places when we first moved here, i loved it before i started working. It was a free place where i could see Calamity Jane in the street and hear her drunken cussing as she rode into the dark. Since then, i’ve started to realise — as much as i like it here and enjoy the landscape, theres too much willing us onwards a final time, or southwards i guess. Perhaps if my situation was different and i was living like a western author i could see about living here for years to come, but Its not Texas. Its not a place we can run to when shit hits the fan, theres no Matt Le Blanc to talk through life’s troubles with and love til the day we all die, no Van Roekel or Madeley to laugh and live with. Texas, why the thought of her now sends tears to my eyes and sends my heart into absolutely frustration. The home where i fell in love with a Texas boy, and the little dog at his feet who loved me through all my faults.


While i sat on this rock and waited for the camera to click, my life flew by like a stone through a window. I never dreamed i’d be where i was. I never would’ve believed that that person sat right there — would be me. But it is. Im tough, i’m honest and getting there. I pretty rough around the edges after all these years and a lot of scars richer than before. Wyoming inspired me and gave me the push i needed to finish my novel, something i never believed i’d achieve. I have finished it and while the rest of the world is crying in a pandemic, all i can think about is my novel and the new venture i’m about to embark on. I’ll always be who i was, and i’ll always keep changing.

I wanted to go out to take pictures on Saturday, i had this feeling that i needed to get out out out. So we took a walk by the outskirts of town. We found new places to explore when the summer finally shows up. I sat down and played my flute a while as i listened to the wind, Jack holding my camera up so the wind wouldn’t knock it over and thats were this little bleeding notion hit me, and thats what i’m doing here. Sharing it with you.