Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)



30 November 2005

Ajax the Golden Dog

My "Ajax the golden dog" got his name based on Mary Elwyn Patchett's "Ajax, the Golden Dog of the Australian Bush". When I was a kid, my mom bought a set of encyclopedia that came with a set of books for kids. The kid books had whole short stories and excerpts from longer books. "Ajax the Golden Dog" was one of them.

Four years ago, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, my husband was outside, bringing in a load of wood for the soapstone stove. He came in and said, "There's a dog hurt or in trouble or something over at the neighbor's. Let's go check it out." (The "neighbor's" is the mostly-abandoned house next door, where they come up once a year and mow the waist-high grass in the driveway, then go away again for another year.) So I got a coat and boots on our then-2-year-old, and we all went outside.

The "noise" had moved, and turned out to be a tiny, fuzzy, dirty little tan puppy, most unhappy at being all alone, at the bottom of our driveway. He was overjoyed to find someone, anyone, and followed us up to the house. We took him inside and stood him in the bathtub to get most of the mud off, and after his bath, he lay down in the bottom of the wet tub to take a nap. We scooped him up and let him snooze on a towel by the stove while he dried off. Then we drove up and down our country road and asked at all the closest houses if anyone was missing a puppy. No one was, or at least no one admitted to it! So we assumed he was a drop-off instead of a stray.

The first night we tried putting him in our puppy crate. This tiny little dog, with a yip that would break glass, complained, whined, gnawed, barked, and howled until about 3am. The second night, after an hour or so, I let him out of the puppy crate, whereupon he curled up on the rug next to our bed and fell fast asleep!

He started out weighing 10 pounds. He grew. And he grew. Then he grew some more. By the time he was full grown, he was a beautiful wheaten golden color, and weighed over 100 pounds. What kind of dog is this? He sort of resembles a Great Dane, but then again he looks very similar to our aunt's Rhodesian Ridgeback. He doesn't have the backwards hair on his back, just a funny little cowlick right on the top of his head, a perfect tiny swirl of hair right on the bony crest.

Ajax at a couple of months, and 4 years

When he was a puppy, he would sleep on my feet while I washed dishes. Now that he's a big lummox of a dog, he still tries to do this whenever I stop moving. Then I can't reach the sink! He's a great footwarmer when I knit or tat, providing my toes don't go numb from his weight. And he's a confident dog. If you've ever had a small dog that would wade into any size of other dog -- Ajax is the size that little dog believes itself to be!

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