111 Farm Dog
Basset Hounds are known for their sad eyes and Cyrus was no exception. However, Cyrus had seen enough tragedy to warrant his cheerless look. Cyrus lived on a 75-acre farm in Central Florida. Basset Hounds are not your typical farm dogs, but Cyrus had a gentle, congenial nature and was compatible with the farm animals.
His first taste of heartbreak was with a chicken buddy. It is quite rare for dogs and chickens to co-exist, but Cyrus wouldn’t hurt a fly. He and one particularly handsome grass-fed chicken chased each other around the coup daily. One morning the chicken was gone and that night for dinner, Cyrus noticed a serving plate that was covered with poultry that resembled his playmate. It was no surprise that Cyrus didn’t eat that night.
Cyrus also spent time with the pigs, since they were his closest dimensional equals. He loved to wallow and roll around in the mud with the piglets. They would grunt and howl out a melody together in not so perfect harmony. He didn’t even notice their smell. His owner did and Cyrus wasn’t allowed in the house without a thorough washing. Time and time again Cyrus would get attached to a feeder pig and then it would be sold at market.
These losses were small calamities in Cyrus’ life compared to losing his most important companions-the boys. During the day, Cyrus was the protector to the youngest son Barton. Cyrus tried to make sure no harm came to Barton by chasing away bees so they didn’t sting him or preventing him from a fall in the pond. They spent hours cheering while older brother Baxter performed tricks on his horse. At night after Barton went to sleep, Cyrus transferred his dedicated attention to Baxter and lay by his feet while he watched TV or did his homework.
The day came when it was time for Barton’s first day of school. It was a rainy morning and Barton was driven away in the family car. They’ll just be gone for a short while, Cyrus thought, so he sat and waited in the rain by the gate. When the car came back with no Barton, Cyrus was confused, bewildered and barked anxiously. He finally calmed down and tried to find answers from the pigs and the chickens. They were clueless. A new layer of sadness weighed heavily on Cyrus’ already sorrowful eyes. The next day was the same. At least he had his nights with the boys.