This is a difficult blog to write today because I had to say goodbye to Fergus McClain Baron. I remember just eleven years ago during this same week of spring, I read an ad that someone in Anderson had West Highland puppies for sale. Somehow, I talked Denny into taking me there to see the puppy and that was the end of the “let’s just go look” tale.
I was still teaching and couldn’t bear to leave him home alone. So, I packed him up in a little crate and took him with me. Of course, all the kids at Delta thought he was a delight. The “ I Can” kids supervised him during the day. They kept a log on his potty and eating schedule, and saw that he had adequate rest time without pats and too much stimulus.
When I retired, Fergie and I became inseparable. He slept with us and loved going on walks. The temperament of a terrier keeps his owner active. There were few days we didn’t walk at least one mile. Fergie gardened with me, killed moles in the yard, and walked back and forth with me as I gathered flats to plant in the garden. If I rested on the glider, he too sat on the glider with me. He loved being outside and wading through puddles or hurdling over snow mounds. Actually , Fergie kept me moving when I retired and never let me fall into an inactive slump.
Fergus stayed in my art room with me. If I scrap booked, he laid right at my feet. When I painted, he was at the bottom of my easel. When I would write on my computer, he was under my feet. I just became conditioned to my loving little shadow that followed me everywhere. We were a team.
Then, about six Christmases ago, we adopted Dobie Gillis. He had been an abandoned dog and needed a home. Fergus accepted him so openly. He stepped back an offered his food to him. He ran and gave him a stuffed toy. He had a little difficulty sharing me, but if I petted them both simultaneously all was well. Now, our walking team was three.Neighbors waved and called “hi” to the boys each day.
Fergie and Dobie would chase each other in circles around the living room and entertain us, guests, and each other. They laid on their big pillows in front of the fireplace and were content to be sleeping pals. As soon as I would arise from my chair, both would be at my feet.
When Ava, our first grand child arrived, they became sentinels on each side of the cradle. They knew she was family, and they wanted to protect. For five years they loved playing pull and tug when she came and sitting in her lap. Squeals of laughter could be heard as they covered her with doggie kisses.
Fergus’ outstanding trait was his large vocabulary. He understood so many words. I would say, “ Fergus, have we praised the Lord today? He would immediately start turning circles and barking. If I danced before the Lord using my tambourine, he would bark and run in circles. He amused my writing friends many times teaching them how to praise the Lord.
We have so many Christmas memories of Fergus waiting for his new toy or stocking filled with treats. He watched each of us unwrap and awaited his time to tear open his new toy. I think of all our autumn walks and car rides. I will miss his huge round black eyes keeping constant eye contact with me all day, every day.
Dobie goes from room to room smelling and looking for his friend. He waits at the trap door for him to come bounding through but to no avail. For hours, Dobie has kept his nose pressed against the window looking and looking. Our sweet Fergie is gone, but oh so many memories remain in our hearts. Dobie and I will have to adjust . Losing a team member is so difficult. My red rimmed eyes mourn for my little white fluffy friend who was faithful and gave my retirement even more joy. You are missed my Fergie boy. You taught me unconditional love. You taught me joy is in giving. You made me laugh when I was sad. You were such an integral part of my living. You will be missed.