Boone is, and always has been, an amazing dog. He's well bred, well trained, and well mannered. He's a top notch cow dog.
Then one cold October evening, we brought home something that was slightly larger than a rat, and it changed Boone's world forever.
My husband took Chigger out of his coat pocket, and Boone wasn't sure what to think of him.
Chigger had been left abandoned in a box on the Indian reservation. When he came into our lives, he weighed two pounds, had just been treated for mange and ticks, and he had the sweetest disposition of any dog around.
After a few weeks of TLC and expensive dog food, he started thriving, and he melted our hearts. But most importantly, Boone found a soft spot in his heart for the little guy too. And for the last ten years, they've been inseparable.
They're like Bert and Ernie.
Bo and Luke Duke.
Peas and Carrots.
Barney Fife and Andy Griffith.
Lucy and Ethel.
They are the best of friends.
Chigger is the polar opposite of Boone in every way.
He doesn't know any tricks, doesn't have any manners, and can't herd a cow to save his life. He's absolutely worthless to have around, but we love him all the more for it.
Boone has a little stub tail nubbin, but Chigger has a long slender tail. He flaunts it around Boone, and I think he considers himself to be superior because of it. In fact, I'm sure of it.
Chigger also has a diva mentality. Boone has slept on the cold, hard floor since he was a pup. The tough life suits him just fine. He's a manly dog. But not Chigger. Chigger demands plush bedding. He used to burrow down under the covers until we kicked him off the bed for good. Now he attempts to nest into whatever's laying on the ground. A pile of clothes, a fallen pillow, a towel....he'll sleep on anything.....except the floor. Don't even get me started about the Lazy Boy Recliner that is nothing but an expensive dog bed now.
He's such a hooligan.
Chigger has no loyalty. He's an equal opportunity lover. He adores everyone the same, and he'll let you know it with a lick...or five licks. In the summer time he loves to come up behind me while I'm cooking, and lick me behind the knees. Talk about giving me the willies! He also licks Boone, and it annoys him to no end.
With years of experience following me on horseback, Boone sticks close by, and comes to me when I whistle for him. Chigger doesn't know a thing about coming when called, but he'll follow Boone to the ends of the earth and back, so we've never had to worry about losing him in the forest or pasture. He just runs right beside Boone. However, Boone is now facing some new challenges in his senior years. He's completely deaf, and going blind, so he can no longer come to a whistle, a call, or anything else. Therefore, he and Chigger now run amok in the fields, completely oblivious to our commands. Boone has no idea what's going on, but Chigger hears it all, and just refuses to listen.
What I'm trying to say is, Chigger doesn't pull any weight around here. He lies around getting his belly scratched all day, eats dog food, and annoys Boone. He has no skills, no manners, and no devotion.
But we sure love him. We couldn't imagine life without him. He's our Chigger.
And he's Boone's best friend.