As the man asked Trevor if he wanted to go for a “walk” Trevor responded with an
enthusiastic rush to the drawer where the leash and collar were stored. He danced a collie jig as the man removed them and placed them onto Trevor. The Collie’s deep brown eyes were full of happiness and enthusiasm as he watched the woman place a leash and collar upon Niamh’s Misty Meadow Lad, or Lad as they called him.
Trevor is the brother to Lad’s Mother and as with any uncle whose nephew is young and learning away from his mother he is in the process of teaching Lad everything he knows. Lad, while smart and swift to learn, is frequently overcome with puppy disregard and many times blows off the things he has learned from Uncle Trevor and from the Man.
This day, a rainy fall day was frequented by spells of open skies with brief sunshine only to have the clouds roll in and again plunge the landscape into another gloomy round of rain.
As they headed for the door Trevor could hear another of the Misty Meadow collies, Teddy,in another room squawking his protest over not being able to particpate in the day’s walk through the woods. But, while Teddy was the closest chum to Lad, he also has certain bad habits that the Man did not want Lad to learn and imitate. Lad, who deeply admired Teddy, would watch Teddy do the classic collie stance and then imitate him. Yes, Teddy is a good collie, but he makes a walk into a wild romp and riding with him in an automobile is no fun. He fusses, whines, barks and bounces around and the Man had noticed that Lad was learning these traits. So, today he and the woman took the gentle giant Trevor with Lad for a walk.
Now Trevor, a classic Tri-Color collie of sturdy, stocky build had recently, with Lad,came into the life of the Man. Trevor quickly attached himself to the short, stocky, melancholy man who treated Trevor with much love and respect. Never in his kennel life had Trevor felt so loved and had so much attention lavished upon him. But, Trevor noticed the man was quite often sad. It took a few days but Trevor intently watching the Man figured out he was not the cause of the sadness, much to his relief. Several days after that the Man took him for a walk around the yard and he watched the man remove the old hat from his head under an apple tree as the Man wept silently.
Trevor sniffed the mound on the ground and his collie senses finally told him why the man was sad. In the ground he smelled death. As he sniffed more his brain registered that below, was a dead collie. He could smell her own smell and looking up he knew that whoever was buried there meant a lot to the Man. Trevor’s understanding could not bring him to know that this collie had been the Man’s closest friend after the woman. Oh, he knew the man loved this collie, but he couldn’t know that the man and the collie had become inseparable. That they had loved each other in a way that most dog lover’s could be lucky to love usually once in their lives. He wagged his tail as he looked up into the sad man’s face not knowing the man was remembering holding this dear chum as she died in his arms, giving him one last look of love as she softly faded from this life. The Man had noticed Trevor and given him a hug and said, “Come Treve, lets explore more.”
As they headed out the door, Trevor looked up at the smiling man and did his best colliestrut to the car and eagerly jumped in. He snuggled up to the Man and looked out the window at the passing scenery quietly giving Lad admonishing looks when he would do a Teddy imitation. The Man softly stroked his head as they rode to the beautiful woods to go for their stroll.
The rain spitted, sputtered then faded away as they drove into the woods coming to a stop under a huge oak tree as angry dark clouds rolled overhead. Trevor waited until the Man had beckoned him to come out of the car, obeying the command to “stay.” HE was very conscious in showing Lad a good example for he knew it pleased the man.
Cool autumn winds swirled around them as they began down the trail to a spring that had a series of small pools cascading down the side of a hill to a pond below. Trevor was in his glory, doing his Collie strut knowing when he did so it pleased the Man and the Woman immensely. Trevor looked over to see Lad doing his best to imitate Trevor’s slow pace making the walk a pleasant event for all involved. As they passed the pond Trevor’s ears perked up at a singing bird but on he continued knowing that to break the walk was against the expectations of the Man who was cooing soft encouragement to him. Trevor panted and smiled for never had he experienced so much love, so much fun and so much of a sense of belonging as he did with the family of collies and the Man and the Woman.
Over the pond they strode on a water level bridge. Trevor noticed Lad getting distracted by the water and he picked up the pace slightly which of course caught Lad’s attention and kept him moving perfectly across the bridge. The man noticed and softly gave words of encouragement to Trevor.
The rain spitted some more and it grew darker but on they walked through a swampy area out onto a floating dock on a beautiful lake.
Trevor stopped at the edge and looked out at the beauty as he heard the man talking to the woman about how Niamh had loved these woods and it had been her favorite place to go for walks with the Man.
He noticed the man becoming melancholy again and he turned to him and looked up at him with happy eyes, smiling his collie smile and wagging his tail as he placed his head in the rough hand of the man. The man smiled sadly down at him and asked Trevor if he was ready to go and Trevor didn’t wait for a second offer but led the group off the lake back into the red a yellow hued woods.
On they trudged with Trevor setting a good example for Lad who was doing his best to imitate Trevor. Gloriously he strutted through the woods impressing the man and woman with his excellent leash skills and his gentleness as he led the group past stands of cedars, under a grove of oaks, through the ancient maples up to a beautiful stand of red pines called the Enchanted Forest by the locals.
Now the enchanted forest is dense with big red pines, whose forest floor is covered in green moss, white mushrooms and many pine cones eaten by the local red squirrel population. The silence is deafening in the forest and as the day progresses the sunlight changes the look in the enchanted forest. At certain times, the red bark on the trees and the red needles covering the ground makes the forest glow red. At other times the light reflects in such a way that the green needles and green moss gives it a glowing green hue. Other times, on clear days it is dark and shadowy with golden rays gloriously illuminating small areas of the forest floor.
As they entered in reverence and awe this beautiful place they could hear the wind whispering above them in the trees. “Whispering Pines” the man whispered as the local squirrels barked, purred and chattered amongst themselves. Such beauty was filling the man, woman and Lad with awe.
However, Trevor sniffed in disgust. Yes, it was awesome, but it lacked something, it lacked a collie touch. It was at this moment that the group sauntered up to a bunch of cut logs sticking up out of the ground. These logs were meant to be natural seating to rest upon and for a meeting place for the local schools to teach the students about nature.
But, this meant nothing to Trevor. Oh, dear reader, Trevor is a wonderful collie, a very obedient collie and a dear chum. However, he also has a streak of naughtiness in him as you soon shall read.
Trevor sniffed in disgust again as he heard the oohs and aaahs of the group. This would not do at all. Oh no, this place was full of beauty, of wonderful smells and much to enjoy. But, the squirrels who were chattering are unsporting characters to Trevor. After all, they run up trees where a Collie cannot go and then tease them. Trevor knew the landscape needed a statement to these unsporting squirrels and a definite collie touch to the scene. He knew what he was going to do.
The Man saw Trevor stop turn his back to stump them proceed to sit upon it!! “What in the world?” the man asked. Then, he watched in disbelief as Trevor lifted his backside off the stump and then giving the man a big mirthful and mischievous smile proceeded to do his “Duty” upon the stump. Shock and disbelief filled the group. Lad looked on in wonder, the woman gasped and the man stammered: “Treve, Trevor…” But the collie just smiled even more and the began to lead the group away from the scene of his crime. The man looked back at the stump, then looked in shock at Trevor and then began to laugh.
While horrified and disgusted, he realized Trevor was making a statement and was making this a collie paradise, he laughed. Trevor had let everyone who would pass by there know he had been there. (Of course as they left they one of them did use their scoop and baggie to clean up the mess, but Trevor did not know this)
The woman was horrified and tried to protest. Lad looked up at Trevor in awe, the man laughed and Trevor he looked back and up at the master with a mischievous grin which made the man laugh all the more. “Imagine a painting of this spot” the man laughed. “So much beauty, so picturesque, but with a special collie touch. Trevor, you’re a loveable idiot!” Trevor smiled again and led the group down to the river which meandered slowly under a huge group of cedars.
Admiring the beauty, the man decided they had better get moving since the rain was again sputtering and spitting. Trevor’s heart soared as he heard the man still laughing. He loved to see him happy for he saw way too many moments of melancholy overcome him.
The Woman spoke; “Niamh would have never done that.” The man nodded and replied; “She was an angel, a perfect collie and the best dog we ever will know. But, Trevor is all male. He is a manly dog and he has a mischievous streak in him. Hopefully Lad didn’t learn anything from him though…” Then the man snickered some more as he looked down at the big gentle giant called Trevor who was strutting like a champion as he led them through the forest towards the car.
The man smiled for he remembered the many adventures he had experienced with his noble Niamh in these woods. She had been bred from a line of Champions that traced back all the way to Albert Terhune’s Sunnybank collies. A beautiful collie, she had never been a champion show dog, but she had been the champion friend and chum of their lives. The man mused on how much Trevor looked like her, but he smiled at Trevor for he truly was a great chum who indeed would bring a streak of liveliness into their lives. It was later that the man found out through research that Trevor was a cousin of his Niamh.
Trevor enjoyed the ride back as he noticed Lad riding quietly, the woman chatting softly and looking up at the Man he saw him smiling, although he could sense the sadness, he knew the man was happier than he had seen him since arriving at Misty Meadows. Yes, Trevor was now part of the family. The man proudly proclaimed the gentle giant of a dog one of his Niamh Misty Meadow Collies. Trevor smiled at the Man and looked forward to a treat when they arrived home and for a nice long nap at the Man’s feet. He looked again at the Man as they entered the drive and saw him wink, and smile. Trevor smiled back.