Possums Gone

I lost one of the sources of great pleasure in my life.  I have had and known lots of wonderful dogs in my life, but none as special to me as Possum.

Possum and her sister Silver as puppys

She was special with people and other animals.  She would understand when people were troubled and try to help.  At the 63 ranch, Heather, one of the owners had a horse colic and had to be put down.  Heather was devastated and I saw her sitting on a rock sobbing and Possum went over and stayed with her.  She understood.

She loved cats.  She would sleep with the kittens and when it was a sunny day and Possum would be out in the morning soaking it up, the cats would all come lay with her.

She never got to far away from me when I was with her.  In the house she slept on a pad behind my chair.  In the trailer she slept beside me on the floor.  Outside, all the other dogs might be off doing something and I would have to call them to me, but with possum was pretty close most of the time. It was as close to true kinship with an animal I have known.

When Tammy would go ride and I was doing something else all the dogs would go with her.  Not possum, she stayed with me.

She could really read me.  If I was upset with the other dogs she would just disappear in the grass or brush and then show up when things were okay again, or if I called her.

She was what I really liked in a working dog.  She had lots of feel and could be as rough or soft as she needed.  We had a black heifer that really hated dogs and would leave the bunch just to pick a fight with the dogs.  One day I watched Possum go out in the pasture and just lay down. The heifer came to get Possum but she just moved out and layed back down.  I didn’t understand what she was doing but as I watched I saw a dog that understood how to work with so much feel and she got that heifer to walk to the corral without being bothered.  From then on if Possum was alone the heifer would work for her.  If there were other dogs she would fight, and Possum would just stay out of the way.

Possum could really move cattle smooth

She had a great life.  She got to do what she wanted, didn’t make many mistakes, and made lots of people happy.

She loved to drag on tails and bite ears.  I didn’t like it, but she loved it.  She was so quick and was not afraid to get right in there with the meanest bulls and never get hit by a horn.

A week or so before she died, we were working bulls around the arena at D and H Cattle.  HD was putting Ban-amine in a bulls jugular in the chute.  He was just about to put the needle in and Possum and I came by and she saw her chance and took ahold of the off side ear.  We both got a bit of a look!

I am so glad I had this very special dog in my life.  She was a licker and a tail wagger and didn’t care that her tail banged on everything close.  I miss her so much, and will never forget her.

I wonder why she had to go.  Some native traditions believe that animals will sacrifice their lives for their human companions that maybe facing death.  That’s the kind of dog she was, and I believe she would have done it.

I am so sad she had to go, but I am so glad I got to be a part of her life and feel like we both added to each other’s quality of life.  I am going to try to get abetter kinship with all my animals quality of life and will always be grateful to Possum for the wonderful memories.

Ill never forget her.

This was one of the first songs i heard after my Possum died.

7 thoughts on “Possums Gone

  1. Jacquie Bennett

    Curt, so sorry for your loss. God gives us our fur babies and they show us such unconditional love. The Ian Tyson song is wonderful. This story is a wonderful tribute to Possum. Thank you for sharing. My thoughts and prayers are with you for comfort. God bless.

  2. Bill Dale

    The truth is, dogs just don’t live long enough, no matter how long they are part of our families. But boy, do they ever pack a lot of joy into their short lives. God bless them all..

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