Wednesday, November 9, 2011


**Cheryl (my mom) do not read!**

Just over 13 years ago, Mike and I took a trip to Utah.  While we were on this trip, Mike bought a truck (his dream truck, which he sold later to help pay for a surgery, but that is a story for another day).  While we were getting new tires put on the truck, I happened to be looking through the classifieds and came upon an ad for yellow lab puppies.  Mike had been telling me I could get a dog, so I jumped at the chance.  By that I mean I took advantage of the fact he was getting a new truck, so I should be able to get a new puppy!  Mike said go for it and I headed to Payson, Utah to pick out what would become the best $75.00 ever.  Mike about died when he found out I paid money for a DOG!  But he forgave me and soon fell in love as well.
Payson the winter after we got him!
Payson has been on every move with us, which has been quite a few.  He started in Lima, went to Dell, then Rexburg, onto Ovid, back to Lima, to Boulder, Clancy, Helena, and now Dupuyer.  He was a faithful dog right from the beginning.  He kept me company when Mike would work long hours.  When we moved to Rexburg I was 8 months pregnant and it was a hot August.  Payson and I spent hours by and in the river that our yard ran into.  I would park my plastic chair right in the depths of the water, right up to my chin, and he would swim around me fetching sticks.
When we moved to Ovid, I became fairly busy with a 1 year old and a new born, and Payson didn't get as much attention from me.  Mike hated the sad eyes he would get as he and Jiggs would load up to go to work.  It did not take long for him to succumb to those puppy dog eyes that I am sure Payson coined.  Hence, Payson became a cow dog.
When Payson barked, he meant business.  Mike and I can usually pay no mind to our other dogs barking, but the second Payson would give his deep, booming bark, we would jump and go see what the matter was.  It could be a mountain lion he was warning us about, a stranger that was prowling around, or a cow that was not where she was supposed to be.  When he was moving cows and would give that bark, he would almost create a stampede.
He was known to take a 2000lb bull on the fight down to the ground, hold calves down that had run through the fence until Mike could get around to them, and even let our kids ride him like a horse (he was their first pony).  He loved our kids.  He was so good to them, even when they would climb all over him.
He knew how to bask in the sunshine, usually sitting in a regal pose.  We would call him our sphinx the way he would always sit with his front legs crossed.  From the time he was a puppy, whenever I would sit by him, he would have to be touching me.  Usually this meant a paw on my hand, or foot, or leg.  He was never a needy dog, or a jealous dog, but he was a great dog.
13 years is a long time to have a dog in your life.  Especially for us.  In 13 years our lives have changed and grown, and he has been there through it all. He has changed as well.  The once bounding, vivacious puppy changed into a old, crippled, broken down dog.  It is hard to watch them get old.  When we moved here, I remember looking at him and saying, "Payson, this is your last move old man."  And it was....  Buried outside our home today, under a tree, is truly a close friend.  I know he was JUST a dog, but he was my dog....  And he will be missed so much..... Goodbye Old Man, I love you!
He always looked sad, but was truly happy....

At the elk ranch in Ovid, ID


whitey said...

WOW what a great story of a great dog, he was truly a faithful companion till the end. I am sure both your lives were enriched by each other. Another hard loss for you and your family.

Robin said...

Such a sweet tribute to Payson. Made me want to get a dog.
sad day when you say goodbye to them. hope all is well with all of you!

Schoenfelds said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Payson. What a great dog! You wrote a beautiful story! Love you guys!

Nettie said...

Briggs family, sorry to hear of both dogs. Payson sounded very special. I had no idea you had any one dog that long. We had two dogs that survived until 13, Pepper and Sugar. I don't know if you remember, but when we were moving from NC to Dugway Proving Grounds, we flew Sugar out here and your Dad took her in and let her be a cow dog for a while until we got here. Our other two beagles not so long. 5 years with Shadow and 8 years with Saidee. It is so hard to lose them, is like losing a member of the family. I'm not gving up on Maxito either. He just may suprise you.

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Ranch born and raised, we love the lifestyle that ranching offers. We also enjoy the oppurtunity of passing on the tradition to our four children.