I’m not sure I ever told the story of the dog that has appeared in so many posts. His name is Happy Jo Jensen-Happy for short-and he came to us in October of 2014 as a free agent of the high plains…
I had left for work one day and half way there remembered I had left some borrowed art supplies and decided to turn around and come back. When I arrived at our house I saw a strange black and white dog roaming around. I was wary of him (never know about country dogs) and told him to go on-which he did, sort of.
That evening we were sitting in the tool shed after dark and the same black and white country dog walked in and sat down on my husband’s feet. As my husband tells it, the dog told him his name, Happy Jo Jensen, and that he was now his dog.
I was dubious (that is my job after all) and said I’m not sure about keeping this one. My husband said well, we’ll just see if he hangs around-not invite him in the gate or anything…Not only did he hang around, the next day when I came home he was in my fence. Apparently he climbed the woodpile and hopped in. When I got onto him for being in the yard, he promptly jumped back over the fence. Oh yeesh.
One thing led to another and suddenly I’m ordering dewormer online and he’s sleeping on the floor on my husband’s side of the bed. Yeah, he was a part of the family and I totally fell in love with him and wanted him to STAY in the yard. I told my husband, if he stays in the yard, we can keep him and keep him safe. My husband argued against it saying, “Happy came to us a free man, and he will leave and not come back some day, the same free man.”
I didn’t like that one bit, but trying to keep him in the yard risked him hanging himself trying to get out. So we built him a launch pad in both sides of the fence so he could maintain his free agent status, coming and going as he pleased.
The result was that Happy kept very close watch on our house and land and kept all the coyotes, bob cats, porcupines and every other critter imaginable a safe distance out.
Every time we would drive up the road he would busy himself making sure our path was clear and all was safe before we got out of our vehicle. Once out he would greet us with great, loving enthusiasm.
When I ran on our roads, Happy ran with me. When we worked around the place he stayed close, keeping an eye on us. Anytime we ventured out to use the restroom at night, he waited patiently beside the outhouse for us to return to the safety of our shed.
On cold mornings when I would get up and start a fire, he would sit by me, keeping me warm until the fire place heated up. He was a constant I could count on and one I became quite attached to.
Last Wednesday morning he was spotted by a neighbor a mile across the valley. She took a pic of this super friendly dog and sent it to our friends wondering who he belonged to. Before she got the response-he took off again, not to be seen since.
I have spent hours driving through prairie, finding roads that barely exist, and calling his name-nothing. No body-no leads-just gone.
Happy has reclaimed his free agent status in full and has disappeared.
My mind spins with the possibility of what could have happened. Each time I drive up my road I long to see him clearing my path. Each night I wait to hear the sound of him coming over the fence or to see him laying in the front porch in the morning listening for coyotes.
But that hasn’t happened and I think I have to go ahead and accept that it will not.
My heart is sick. I have to say goodbye to my friend but I will only do so with the following wishes:
- May the place you have found keep you as purposeful as ever,
- May those that you protect in the future know that you love tight hugs, ear rubs, chin scratches, and that you MUST ride in the center console of any vehicle,
- And may you never spend a moment bound where you cannot run fast and be absolutely free.
I love you Happy Jo. Goodbye.