When i decided Sili needed a companion my mind immediately went to a Great Pyranese. They were majestic. They were huge (bigger than coyotes). They were brave, fiercely protective, highly intelligent, job oriented dogs. They were also massively fluffy (not gonna lie, there was a cuteness factor pulling at my heart strings). However, i wasn’t sure this was the type of dog we needed for this particular property. Everything i had read about them indicated that a great pyranese would not be condusive with our type of fencing. Also, they tended to give the orders rather than take them. They were used to being left alone in the hills to look after a herd of sheep on their own. They weren’t the type that could be made to sit, fetch, or roll over on command. I wondered whether Sili would still follow my orders if she saw another dog calling their own shots. Also, and most importantly, the several thousand dollar a/c and heated dog house (some assembly required) i had purchased online was a large, not an extra large. I began looking at other breeds. Then suddenly it hit me. I had always loved Australian Shepherds but never thought about owning one because i didn’t have the land or the lifestyle that would be required to have one. Well, now i did. An aussie was exactly what we needed. They were highly intelligent and easy to train. They were fearless and high energy working dogs. They were known for being bold (what we needed). They were bigger than Sili. And most importantly, they would fit in a “large” sized dog house. So i made up my mind. We would find an aussie. As soon as i started researching i realized two things. 1. Aussie puppies go fast. 2. Aussie puppies are insanely expensive. I made up my mind. We would not be paying over 400 dollars for a puppy. Most of the Australian Shepherd puppies in the area were listed at 800 to 1250 per dog. I made up my mind that when the right opportunity arose and an australian shepherd puppy presented itself for less than 400 dollars, we would go get it. Only problem, where were we going to put it? I figured i had better get to work on constructing the uber expensive freight delivered dog house. I spent over $2000 on the thing and all together it weighed 384 lbs. it seemed like an investment i should seal against the elements in some way. I had a can of “chestnut” colored paint in the tool shed. I figured that ought to seal it well enough. So i set a piece of cardboard in the yard and placed brushes and a stir stick on it. I pried open the lid of the paint can with a screw driver and begun painting all the pieces “chestnut”. Half way through the day i would turn the pieces that had sun-dried laying in the yard and paint the other side. I inherited my grandmother’s ivory skin so i had anticipated a risk of sunburn. I had sunscreen on my eyelids, my ears, and even on the part in my hair. The only place i didn’t think to put it, was my butt crack. I don’t think anyone intends to have plumber pants. I sure didn’t. But, with hands full of paint, i wasn’t going to reach down and pull my migrating pants up. I kept thinking, “i’ll get them as soon as i finish with this piece…” but there was always another piece. Eventually all the pieces of the dog house were painted. They laid in the grass drying under the bright sun. I went inside the house and leaned on the counter. Suddenly i felt pain. I lifted my shirt up and turned my head. The little strip of skin directly above my butt crack was not crab red, but maroon, almost brown. It was beyond burnt. It was so burnt i considered calling a doctor to see if there was a protocol that should be followed. It was as dark as the paint. I placed a bag of frozen peas gingerly onto the remnants of my skin and realized this would one day be a very strange tan line. There are no pictures included here for obvious reasons. There’s an unspoken rule in life. It goes something like, “If you are stupid enough to wear pants showing your butt, don’t have photographic evidence of you doing so, and if you do, don’t share it with others whom you wish to respect you.” My sunburn took weeks to heal. Layer upon layer of skin peeled, one at a time. I do still have a dark brown line across my butt where the pants sat. I learned something. When painting, wear a long-tailed shirt. The pieces of the dog house were painted, dried, and placed back into the shed to await assembly. We were one step closer to a new addition, an alpha puppy.
Before and After