Chopper turns 10 years old today. It is hard to believe that we have been together for an entire decade. I guess you could say we think of her as our first born child. We certainly treat her as if she is human.
Her name comes straight from the classic flick “Stand By Me”. It is one of my favorite movies and I said that my first dog would be named Chopper whether the dog was a boy or girl. Our Chopper is a girl.
Tonight for her birthday she will receive an entire grilled boneless chicken breast as her birthday present. That dog loves her some chicken. We can’t even say the word without her perking her ears and running to the kitchen. I am a little embarassed to say it but we actually spell it out so she doesn’t know what we are talking about.
Chopper’s life has been split right in half with the first five years being in Colorado and the next five here in Kansas City. Not unlike myself she misses Colorado. She was living the good life as she went to the woodshop with me every day to play with the other dogs. At one point there were 9 dogs at our shop.
Chopper has always been a flight risk. She likes to get out and run. That fact meant that she spent a lot of time on a leash or locked up inside of the shop. We actually made log gates to block her escape while we had the doors open on a nice day. She would still find a way out. I once caught her faking sleep while someone was opening the gate. The person checked Chopper as she was curled up and assumed she was sleeping. As I watched, I saw her open and close her eyes twice and then open only one eye to check the situation. They opened the gates and she was off like that rabbit at the dog races. She would pin her ears back and not slow down until she was out of earshot.
She would occasionally bring back serious treasure from her excursions. Many times it would be a small animal but one time with her chest puffed out proud, she dropped a white trophy at my feet. It looked like it was maybe a snowball, but turned out to be a dirty diaper.
She once caught a bird in mid flight. I was kind of disgusted but more proud than anything.
Because of Chopper’s coloring she blends very well against an aspen or a pine tree. When I would look for her after one of her daring escapes I often times couldn’t see her. I thought I had outsmarted her when I placed a bell on her collar because that allowed me to hear where she was. I quickly found out that when I would hear the bell and then it would stop that meant that she saw ME. I would catch her frozen in mid step as to not make a sound. As soon as she knew I saw her she would be off again.
The old girl still gets around pretty well but has decided that the escape routine is just not all it used to be. She barks like crazy and sometimes drives us nuts, especially if it is a full moon. She digs in the trash if you don’t watch her and she begs for food constantly, but she also makes us laugh every day. Even when she gets in trouble she is funny. I love that dog.