Sunday, August 29, 2010

Remembering Our Princess

Princess found my husband at our house here in the canyon in February 2006. She was five or six years old. And she was starving and worn out. For some reason my husband did not, as we had always done, look for an owner. Intuition, yes, because we later found out she had belonged to a crystal meth addict who had left her alone and gone away for two weeks at Christmas. So Princess had in effect spent six weeks in the hills around here. Many people had seen her, but no one had taken her in.

It's too painful for me to share recent pictures. In March of 2006, my husband took a series of photos of her as they were hiking on our land. On the ones that follow, he is down below what we call the waterfall (and it would be one if there were ever enough rain) and she is on top. At first she is trying to figure out how to get down, then she gives up on that and sits down, giving him some interesting and I think beautiful shadow photos. I'm placing them in-between the text.

When Bandit was lost in the hills and we searched and searched, my husband finally had the idea to bring Princess to where we last saw Bandit. Without training, she understood what she was supposed to do. She took off in a totally different direction, ran up a hill and down on the other side, out of sight, came back up and stood at the top, wagging her tail. Bandit was on the other side and we got him.

Another time, I left her outside while I went into the house for a minute. When I came out, she was gone. Then I heard a horrible sound from the fields. Wild animals were killing something, and it was not a rabbit, probably a dog. I feared for Princess as I grabbed some "weapon" and ran to the fields, calling her name. She didn't come. When I arrived at the fields, the horrible sound had ended, and there came Princess, looking like she had rolled in the dirt. Her coat was covered with dirt. She was uninjured but really shook up. Of course I don't know for sure what happened. I believe that coyotes were killing a dog and that Princess ran to investigate, if not help. I don't know if dogs think they are going to help, but she was like that.

You can read about how she stopped Samson from running away and tried to keep up with Soldier when my husband dropped his leash and he took off here.

And whenever Angel drifted too far away, Princess would always go and get her and herd her home. She was such a wonderful dog, my Princess.

In her everyday life, she always came with me when I worked outside. She would find a shady spot and lie down and watch out for me. When we went hiking in the hills, she would run in front. Sometimes, she would see a rabbit and be off on a chase.

And how she loved winter and snow. First thing she would do if there was any snow, she'd bury her face in it, make a long furrow, and then roll and roll in the snow. She had so much fun in the snow. Just like her mom, she loved winter and snow the best. After the snow melted, I would take her looking for snow and when we found some on the shady side of a juniper, she would try to roll in whatever was left.

I know she was happy here with us. She is the one dog that has lived with me that I know had the right kind of doggie life. Not tied up, no leashes, just running free on the mountain, doing her good deeds, and helping out always. And she was so obedient. In the summer, worried about snake encounters, I would say, "Stay on the road Princess," and she would come back and stay on the road. I never taught her this; she just knew what I wanted.

I think she was a good little dog blogger too and I know she enjoyed speaking her mind very much. I particularly enjoyed her post about her vet visit on May 1, this year. The one where the very large dog fell for her and drooled all over her. She was not pleased. You can read about it here.

Dear Princess, Daddy says goodbye and wants you to know that he will miss you always. You were his best friend when he worked on the house here and there were many a night when you kept him warm as you both slept on the cold concrete floor. He will always remember how you shared everything that winter, the long walks, the cookies, the food, and how much you both enjoyed playing fetch with the sticks. He loves you, sweet Princess. Angel and Soldier miss you too. You were their best friend and always kept them safe and they know it. Samson says he liked to kiss you so much and he will miss you too. Pippi Birdie isn't saying much, but then, you know, he is just a little bird.

Goodbye, my sweet Princess, Mommy will always love you. And I will never forget what a very good girl you always were.


  1. Inger, thank you for telling us Princess's story. What a beautiful dog she was, inside and out. A true heart dog. And, there she will live, for the rest of your life, always remembered, always loved.

  2. Inger, this is a beautiful post. You and your husband seem to understand dogs so well. I think that is a special talent that not everyone has. I spent most of yesterday getting caught up with your blog. I'm almost there, and I am sorry you have had falls and losses, but I must say you are never short on adventure.

  3. Inger, this is a great tribute to Princess.. you were all lucky to have found each other. I know she loved you to the Moon and back... Hugs!

  4. Hello Inger! I am asking myself how when you've been following my blog for awhile have I not visited yours before? I have spent some time reading your posts and have so much enjoyed my visit, and feel like I know you a bit better now!!
    Your post today is really a beautiful and touching tribute to your precious Princess. I can tell that she truly was a "once in a lifetime dog" that made a difference in your life, as you did in hers! What a wonderful life you shared! I know how painful it can be to sometimes share those memories, so thank-you for sharing her with us today! :-)

  5. Hej Inger,Åh vilken fin berättelse om Princess, hon verkar ha varit en underbar hund och en kär vän. Försår tt du/i saknar henne varje minut.
    Kramar från ditt Stockholm

  6. Thankyou for sharing your memories of Princess with us and the photographs are lovely ~ Ally x

  7. What a lovely tribute to Princess! Beautiful pictures! I know you were probably doing some crying as you wrote this, just as I am now, reading it. Princess was one very special friend.


  8. Oh, my. Hugs to you from me. They always hold a place in your heart...


  9. Inger, I understand how hard this must be for you. If it's any consolation, think of what you have given Princess over the years you had her. Hang on to those great memories as I'm sure you are. Lovely photos.

  10. Louise: That was so well put. Thank you.

    Barbee: I'm so glad to hear from you. Life sure has its ups and downs, but hearing from and being with friends makes it all worth while.

    Sandra: Thank you, yes, she loved us so.

    Kim: I love your dogs and your big heart. It takes a lot of time to read all the blogs out there, thanks for checking mine out.

    Petra: Tack snalla du fran mig i vilda vastern.

    Ally: Thank you, I'll let my husband know about the pictures. I think they are so beautiful and a wonderful memory of Princess.

    Sharon: Yes, I've cried all day. More sad stuff happened, not here, in Texas, where a friend lost a donkey today. I wrote a post for tomorrow already. Then on to happier times.

    Cat: Thank you, yes they do stay in our hearts don't they?

  11. What a beautiful post in memory of a beautiful and very special dog - now I am crying, and sending you a great big ((HUG)) because I know how hard it is to have to say goodbye ....

  12. Jabacue: Yes, I will never forget this dog. She was my farm dog that tunderstood what living here was all about. The others are city dogs, I'm afraid, just like me, city woman.

    Lynda: I have cried too. I just wanted to tell her story, since she blogged too, and my blogger friends knew her. But she was modest dog and wouldn't have let on what a great search and rescue dog she could have been.

  13. I'm sure Princess is watching and listening..RIP!
    PS...time is a man made thing isn't worries from this end...always waiting for your view os!

  14. Yes, the way us humans look at time, it's totally man made. You dogs are so much smarter with all that, living in the now, well, you know.

  15. You are so write Inger, animals are great teachers of how to be in the now, that's all their is to them. Wow that was really a beautiful tribute to your Princess. Love the pictures.- Tina

  16. Tina and Judy: Thank you so much.

    And thanks to all of you for your caring comments. They mean the world to me.

  17. Beautiful pics of Princess. She was such a sweet girl. Thank Goodness that our memories of our precious animal friends stay with us forever.

  18. What a cool dog!

  19. Inger, what a lovely post about a special friend. I know you must miss Princess terribly. Funny how little four-legged creatures win our hearts. I still miss my first Yorkie, Dexter, who could smile on command and scarfed up popcorn before anyone could snatch it from his little jaws.


  20. what a sweet trobute to a precious animal. You obviously both found each other, needed each other, and helped each other in a special way...
    and I love her pictures, too, so majestic. A true princess.

  21. I meant tribute. I can't spell today.

  22. Rachael: She was sweet.

    Toemailer: And cool, too. She always knew what to do!

    Liz: I know, I still miss all of mine that have passed away.

    Polly: Thank you, I will let my husband know you liked the photos.

  23. Wonderful tribute to Princess, I know you miss her and Bandit. So glad you still have Soldier and Angel with you and Sampsom to come and visit once in a while.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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