Bart: Ranch dog
Breed: Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Labrador
Color and Age: Black - 15 months
Weight: 90 pounds
Disposition: Lover, mauler, mischievous, stealthy and gross

"Bartalizations." I've briefly mentioned this term to you before, but since Bart's gotten a little bigger, older and bolder, the term has definitely taken on a new meaning. Our current definition of a "Bartalization" is described as: "AN ACT OF DEEFIANCE, BY BART, THAT'S CARRIED OUT AGAINST THE INNOCENT BY UNPREDICTABLE TACTICS AND METHODS, BASED UPON AN INSTINCTIVE PHILOSOPHY THAT IS DEMONSTRATED THROUGH GROSS AND UNACEPTABLE BEHAVIOR."

A good example of an extreme "Bartalization," took place the other day, when Bart attached a neighbor's goat that wandered onto our property. After rushing outside, I saw a cloud of dust rising up from behind my work shed and could tell that Bart was in a very aggressive mode, something that I've never witness before. As I turned the corner of the shed, a young "buck" ran to me for protection, sheltering himself between my legs. Finally, after a lot yelling and coaxing I was able to calm Bart down enough to gently carry the wounded animal to my car and return it to its owner. I've previously warned him about his herd of goats that wanders the canyon in search of food, to stay off of our property, because I've always suspected that Bart might instinctively go after one of the animals in defending his turf. So when I returned the slightly injured and still very frightened goat, not only was I a little agitated by the continued lack of responsibility demonstrated by the goat's owner, but I also must have looked a little scary and perhaps even somewhat maniacal with the front of my shirt being stained with the blood from the poor "Bartalized" goat. Thanks Bart, for yet another failed attempt at a "good neighbor policy!"

Another example of getting "Bartalized," occurred a few days ago, when my wife decided to hang out some laundry. (Being "green," without even trying. How cool is that!?) In the past, Bart had taken it upon himself to remove laundry from the clothes line and joyfully drag it all around the outside of the house. After recalling how Bart had previously treated clean laundry, Verna cunningly decided to hang out just a few towels, to see what Bart would do with them. After closely monitoring the freshly hung laundry for some time, all appeared to remain normal, so we naively though that perhaps Bart had finally grown up and "changed his ways." Well, as the day wore on we forgot all about the towels, but woke up the next morning surprised to find them in a heap on "BARTLAND," our front porch. Bart had piled them up during the night and used them as a pillow! See dreams, Bart?

If you recall, several months ago, I described to you how Bart loves to play with chickens and how he accidentally killed a couple of them. Well, one of the chickens that he literally played to death with mysteriously vanished and was never recovered. Not until a couple of weeks ago! It seems as though Bart had decided to stash the thing for about six months, then without warning end the disappearing act by treating us to a time altered mummified chicken. From the outside the poor critter seemed to be fully intact, but internally it was completely void of any physical matter. It's taught, dried skin, and slightly feathered body reminded me of something that might have been buried for centuries, deeply hidden within an Egyptian tomb. Resting peacefully, it solemnly laid unmolested on our dirt driveway for a couple of days, until one day when I inadvertently ran over it with my car turning it into a puff of dust that quickly vanished amidst a gentle morning breeze.

"Bartalizations," come in all sizes and shapes. Some have to do with gross things that are done with both living and dead things such as with chickens or rats, while other sinister acts are carried out with such subtlety, that you really don't know that they've been plotted and initiated until it's too late. A good example of this type of "Bartalization," occurred one afternoon, when my beautifully dressed wife had just returned home from work, left the car, then suddenly found Bart on top of her after he had just gotten out of his little pool and rolled around in some dirt. "Welcome home Mom, I love you!"

Stealthy, rude, gross and even obstinate, Bart's just the kind of dog that I've always wanted. Full of love and mischief and always a little on the edge. A guys dog (sorry Verna), a ranch dog and definitely my dog. To me, he's living proof, that sometimes, when we ask for God's blessings, He can sometimes bless us with a little more than what we asked for. Well, maybe not just "a little."