--by Mike Murray
Roaming the outer reaches of his expansive territory, Mac's fur alertly rises from the back of his neck. An ancient instinct wells up inside, bringing him to a heightened state of readiness.
Mac is probably somewhere into the second half of his allotted days. But his prowess has only grown with the passage of time. Still fit and agile, he is now additionally possessed of maturity and wisdom that make him even more capable.
It was roughly a half-dozen years ago that he came to live with Dave and Mary. Amid the group of anxious pooches vying for attention, Mac had distinguished himself by his quiet demeanor. His calm presentation might have owed to caution. Perhaps it was simply an expression of an introverted personality.
Whatever the reason, his controlled manner differentiated him from the rest. And it helped to land him an adoptive home.
Mac shares space on his property with a variety of creatures, among them horses, goats, humans, and a dog named Juice. Though companionable, he is different from the rest. Mac, it is plain to see, needs his space.
Who knows what specific experiences add to genetic predispositions in shaping the unique outlooks of rescued animals (or any other being on the planet, for that matter)? Nature/nurture mixes are usually mysteries; their resultant influences, however, are often revealed through behavioral tendencies.
So it is with Mac. It is abundantly clear that he needs room to breathe. Perhaps fate lent a hand in putting him together with Mary and Dave -- and with Marsh Hollow. The place and its owners seem perfectly tailored to his temperament, perfectly suited to his needs.
You'll hardly find a friendlier soul. Mac readily offers and accepts expressions of affection. He is generous to a fault: he graciously shares his territory -- of which the cabin is part -- with human and canine guests alike.
All he asks is that you allow him to periodically occupy one of his favorite cubby holes, a nook beneath the cabin's deck stairs. If you wish your privacy, you'll probably never even know when he's around, he's so quiet. But if you'd like to briefly visit now and then, well, he'll likely accommodate that desire, too.
And you can rest easy that, by virtue of his daily patrols of the property's perimeter, you'll be "protected" from all manner of potential invaders (small critters, trucks passing by along Wagner Road, etc.) They pose no threat, of course. But Mac wants to do his part. He earns his keep by keeping watch.
Nicely nestled as it is in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, Marsh Hollow has much to recommend it. I feel certain that the beauty of the area, the warmth of the hosts' hospitality -- and the sweetness of Mac's disposition -- will bring Pam, Janna, and me back.
Copyright © 2005 Michael F. Murray -- All rights reserved.