Some of you may be new to this publication but Peaches, our white English Golden Retriever, is certainly not. Indeed, she gets substantially more fan mail than I do. So, for all of you who need your Peaches “fix,” an update is in order. You may remember from previous articles that our six-year-old beast dances to a different drummer. As a puppy, she refused liver treats, attacked us from behind, and dug up concrete fence posts. Her rough play and 75 pound strength precipitated my first-ever trip to an osteopath. She has required the services of a trainer and a psychologist, and has attended a two-week attitude adjustment camp in San Antonio. After a consult, Patty and I were advised to change her name from the original Lily to Peaches. It seems that early on, we only used the name Lily in conjunction with “dammit” or “sh@@” and Lily decided to totally ignore both her name and us. We trashed her personalized collar and hand-painted food bowl and began life anew with Peaches.
That idea hasn’t worked so well.
In the big city, she is constantly on a leash, ever mindful of taunting squirrels, other dogs, butterflies, you name it. In Peaches’ world, there are no boundaries. If you let her go, you might not see her for a while. But on a ski trip to Crested Butte, we let our guard down. For three days, she romped in knee-deep powder, constantly running 50 yards ahead of us, always alert to our exact position, and usually just out of our reach. This was the life she dreamed of.
One small problem, however. When we returned to the FBO, she forgot where she was.
The instant Patty opened the car door, Peaches decided she was still on the mountain top. Leash and all, she bolted for open space. The runway! Patty was horrified and angry at the same time. Peaches calmly sat at the edge of the taxiway and watched as a turbine Bonanza taxied by. Not so calmly, Patty turned to me and asked if the AIRPLANE would be damaged if Peaches ran into it! Jumping on the tug, Patty rode side-saddle with the lineman as they coaxed our mutt back onto the rescue vehicle and to safety.
Peaches was so ashamed! She cowered back into our Mustang and covered her face. Thinking she had learned her lesson, I continued with my pre-flight. Until I glanced over my shoulder to see a white flash making a beeline towards the FBO. Now with four people chasing her, she flew up the steps and into the waiting area, where she promptly squatted and soiled their brand new carpet. The carpet that they replaced from her previous accident in the same location.
Shortly after Christmas, we received this note from the general manager of Gunnison Valley Aviation.
Dear David and Patty:
“Thank you so much for your generous holiday gift to me and the crew. We so enjoy working with you and seeing you often. We love Peaches too.
Maybe someday she’ll be allowed back in the building.”
Right now, Peaches is sitting in the pool and barking at the Polaris cleaner.