I have, for the past three weeks, played “Shuffle the Dogs” while Elsa was in heat. Early morning I’d rotate who would help in the corral, the other would go into the kennel with Dally for the 3 hours that we feed in the morning. Dally is just at the age of wanting to follow but ignorant of vehicles and dangers, so she is banned from the morning activities. Whoever was free also got to go along on the hay trailer with Bob and Boomer as we fed. Elsa does well at this, leaning way over to bite at the cows’ heads as they snitch hay off the trailer. Lucas has poor self control, thinking the only way to back off a cow is to jump off the trailer and heel her! He knows he is to stay on the trailer, so his return is quick and guilt laden, but he just can’t seem to help himself. Fortunately, no cow has stomped him, most are a little snarkeldy about their brand new babies. (SNARKELDY, def.: a term coined by 4 year old Victoria about a bottle calf meaning “mean, wild, out of control”; as in, That one acts a little snarkeldy.) Throughout the day, I’d rotate Elsa or Lucas in and out of the kennel and/or house and/or chain. Today all that came to an end as Elsa is done, and as far as I know, unpregnated! Yay! She would have had to have a boyfriend secretly in the night without setting off the other dogs guardian instincts, so I feel pretty safe. The one problem that now plagues me at this instant is Lucas. The boy, in his quest to keep a clean kennel, refuses to poop inside it. Well, they all do actually. But with Lucas it becomes a problem as his hips are narrowed from being crushed, and sure enough, just this last day, he has become constipated. The boy was miserable this afternoon and won’t eat anything to help himself. We went on a long walk/run. He avoids my touch as I have had to give him an enema before, and he wanders just beyond range. My hope is that things will work themselves out overnight…ummm, so to speak. Right now Vernon just let him in, and he bounded up to me with a smile on his face for some lovin’. He now lays on his dog bed… maybe he’s OK. He still hasn’t eaten. But nothing I have ever had to do with this dog has diminished my perception of him. We’ve been together through two operations. I had to have a sling under his belly to help him walk and pee and poop. I’ve given him an enema, electric current therapy, massages, physical therapy, uncountable pills, and Love. I still pick him up to put him in my Durango, because he thinks that’s the rules. I carry extra water for him when we ride because he works doubly hard with three bad legs. I doctor his nerve damaged front foot with gel insoles, neosporin, vet wrap and duct tape every other day. But always, until the day I die, always I will see him as this photo portrays him… He carries himself like this often, and this pose I’ve seen in all different settings. Lucas could be King of the Kalahari… if the Kalahari was in Wyoming and he was a lion… I LOVE this pose!