Tuesday, 10 July 2007


Here’s Trapper - the other member of our family. Tiki and Grannie found him under a trailer and brought him home when he was a puppy. I first encountered his dirty-paws-on-white-shirt routine when he was a year and a half and Effie knew him for close to four years. He died four years ago at the age of 12 but he remains with us in more ways than just through his grave, the many water dishes scattered about the property, and the “guard dog on duty” sign we have yet to take down. Trappy shaped much of who Tiki and I are and who we are as a family. Mainly, I think, because he was what others would describe as “anti-social” as well as stubborn. He also was never ever able to understand the term “heel” despite hearing it 56 million times, possessed a menacing bark, nibbled sometimes (and bit once - sorry AGAIN Raul) and he was prone to take off after deer, rabbits and other dogs. These challenging attributes pushed us in the direction of always being conscious of what he was up to, what his needs were, how he was interacting with other dogs and humans and how we were going to approach these situations. So, from tossing out the “how does your child measure up” bumf soon after Effie was born, through Effie leading us in the direction of unschooling and onward, we have - as a family - dealt with family life based on the foundation we gained in the years when it was just the two of us and the Trap-man. As silly as it may sound, in many ways our dog helped to define our lives.

I’m not even going to get into how it blows my mind how the boy Fergus, in so many ways, is Trapper-incarnate.

Trap was also extremely handsome, cuddly, kissy, loyal, energetic, funny and had the most wonderful smelling coat when he laid in the sun. Four years ago we buried our dear pal Trapper beneath a peculiar tree, off the side of a trail and within sight of the house. We all think of and speak of him often. Effie, especially, continues to take good care of both him (through tending to his grave with the occasional bounty of flower petals) and his memory (via anecdotal stories she relays to her brother). I think people know what he meant to us - it's rare that someone asks when we’re going to get another dog.

Trapper Bray:

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