high on the upper flanks of Table Rock, South Carolina near the summit. Mary is about to be 8 years old at the end of this month and for the first time ever I can start to see it in her face. Mary was brought to us 7 years ago this spring by the fate of being abandoned here in town. When she first came home and met the family her endangered instincts caused her to be very skittish, scared and even sometimes defensive. Within a few weeks the real Mary came out and she has been the best dog ever since.
That fall on a dog ride at Poplarnam, I mean tent Mary was accidentaly hit by God rest his soul Steve Harris' front wheel. Steve flew over the bars and slammed into the hard double track and Mary disappeared. Steve was very upset and bleeding a little but somehow I was able to get my apology(it was my fault for getting ahead of my dog) across to him in a way that two grown men can look into each others eyes and realize at that split second anger is as useless as a fish with a bicycle. Then it was on to the task of finding Mary which took 8 days! The search was daily, there was a lot of area she could possibly be but I knew I wanted her to be back with us, we were the first humans that she trusted after being neglected. So on the afternoon of the 8th day there she was under an ole sugar shack way deep off of Goodman Road. She had been seen storing rabbit food that she had been stealing from a farmer close by under the plank board building. When she saw me up under those boards her whole body wagged in excitement. From that day on we have never been separated other than my travels.
It is sort of strange but I had not thought about having a German Shepard before but my Grandad had the whole time I was growing up. I remember him as an ex NYC cop who in retirement still worked for the Fire Departments of both the municipality and University in our area. I can see in my minds eye him with these huge unteachable Shepards in his yard trying to break them with his strength and voice training. None of them ever seemed to be what Mary was the second she was safe. Grandad passed shorty before Mary came and I could not help but make the connection between the then and the now. On top of Mary's head contrasting the tan fur is a black marking that looks clearly to me as if it were an ascending bird, like the third part of the holy trinity.
I do not run Mary on the trail with the bike at all anymore, it has been a few years. I do though take her on plenty of walks both in the woods and in Dooleyville and now with run club she will get to go out a bit more. She also gets tennis ball sprints multiple times a week with the other pack members Danger and Max. She is alpha pack leader of the three and always will be as longs as she is around....