I’ve been worrying about Freya a lot lately. She’s 9 this year and slowing down. Since the day I brought her home at 18 months (a rescue I adopted,- collie/malamute and quite likely wolf mix), she has made it her job to take care of me. She loves the rest of the family but I am her priority. Over the years, she’s defended me from people when we lived in a seedy part of town in Anchorage, from the meth head trying to get in my door to pit bulls charging at me. Even in a locked truck, she looked intimidating enough to keep me from getting hassled by pan handlers.
She’s always accepted every pet, every critter I’ve brought in to the household. All I’ve ever had to do is show it to her, let her sniff the new member and tell her “mine”. From that point on, she would look out for the little one, regardless of species. She has watched over tiny kittens that want to crawl all over her with their needle claws, silly chickens and sick goaties with the same love and devotion she has cared for my children. They were mine, thereby an extension of me, and she watched over them all.
When we moved here, she extended that protection to the farm. This past winter, she started having some difficulty with the stairs here in the house. More recently, she’s cut down on her “patrols” and hunting varmint (her favorite pass time). She spends more and more time on the deck, barely leaving it to relieve herself, and then not going only a few feet from the stairs. I talk to her often and tell her to let me know when it’s time for her to go, that it’s ok if she needs to and that she’s done a great job. I especially worry knowing that we’ll be making a major move involving a climate change within the next 2 months.
This morning, as I let her out, the chickens set up a major fuss. She took off and within seconds, I could hear her barking. Freya ran to their defense, running off a lone coyote. And for a split second, the old wolf disappeared. I say my Freya at her peak again, young, fit, healthy and on guard.
When danger had passed, Freya limped back to me, her eyes shining, soft and full of love.
“Good Girl”, I said, “You did a great job!”
We came back inside and she laid down on the floor in “her” spot, the spot she can survey her indoor kingdom from while I poured a cup of coffee. There she lays still as I write this blog, not quite ready to give up the title of “Grand Protectress, “Heart of the Pack”, “Guardian of the Farm” and “Most Beloved Dog of Dogs”.
I guess we’re gonna make it to Atlanta together after all!
*Footnote: She didn’t make it to Atlanta. She passed away just as we crossed the Georgia line. RIP my beautiful girl!