Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Life And Times Of Mr. Ziffle!

This morning after reading Rick's e-mails, the phone rang. "Hello Nancy, this is David Farrar, at The Trails End Guest House. Can I have your e-mail address? I want to send you a story that I wrote about Mr. Ziffle?"

I gave David my address. "How is Mr. Ziffle doing?"

"He is doing fantastic! And, he is so smart! We love him and he is happy."

"Any cat trouble?" I reluctantly asked, as I crossed my fingers and eyes!

David sorta laughed. I didn't. "A little while ago, Ziff went through the doggie door, to go outside, and he didn't know that there was a cat, on the other side—waiting for him. When our cat saw him, she whacked him real hard on the nose! He's okay, and no longer wants anything to do with our cats—he's scared of them!" We both laughed.

I am so happy that Mr. Ziffle finally found his forever home, I mean his super forever home! He really lucked out with David and Desiree! Here is David's story about Mr. Ziffle. Tony and I love it and I can't wait for Kinky to read it! Y'all have a great evening! I am, because this has been one really great day for me!

Here ya' go.

Cousin Nancy,

Just an update from all that's happened with the Ziffer. First, all is good. He understands the dog door after Desiree and Tala (our other dog) went in and out a few times to show him the ropes. (Actually Desiree didn't go through the door, bad knees, but she would have if she had needed to. She has the patience of a Saint.) Ziffer was pretty excited with all the new smells but he has calmed down and is now just one of the family at Trail's End. He's a very smart and learned dog for such a young age. He learned a lot from his birth mother and late last night he passed on to Tala some of his stories.

As I am an early riser, Tala woke when I did, took me to the side this morning about 4:am and passed on to me the true tale of Mr. Ziffell.

The story begins back in the early 1920's when a man going by the nom de plume B Traven traveled into the northern range of the Serria Madre Oriental with his constant companion, a pure bred male black German Shepherd. During his travels in the area he was befriended by a group of local intellectuals who, upon his departure, gave him a tamed Mexican Wolf. They entrusted him with this female wolf as they felt he could smuggle the wolf out of Mexico and somehow perhaps preserve the species, which had been all but eradicated throughout all of Mexico just few years earlier. They locals knew and understood Traven to be a person disgruntled with Capitalism and they hoped he would share their vision of all things wild to be free and above the taming hand of progress. While they didn't completely share all his views, they knew to save their last native wolf they would need someone with a radical outlook.

Traven retreated to Tampico and waited for a ship back to post Kiser Germany. During the interim, nature took it's course. The Shepherd and the Wolf hit it off in a big way and before he knew it Traven had a brood of seven puppies to contend with. Not being able to handle all the animals, Traven took a great amount of time and found a kindly low level public official and gave he and his family five of the pups. Traven then departed into the future and nothing of the departing Shepherd, Wolf and puppies are known. Since Traven was always a mysterious figure one can only imagine what stories those animals saw and lived.

Of the pups left in Tampico, they enjoyed a good life. The official and his family took extra care of them. As the pups grew up they were taken into areas of northern Chihuahua to breed with other known surviving wolf mixes. In 1947 an American movie production company came into Tampico to make a movie about three American drifters searching for gold. During the filming the Mexican official was able to secure a small bit part for two of his adult children as locals. His children were well educated and spoke fluent English. They quickly became friends with one of the actors, Tim Holt. Holt introduced them to Humphrey Bogart and others of the production company. As the filming was completed the two wanted to present a gift to their new American friends. They gave one of the cast members two dogs that were in the direct linage of Traven's breeding pair.

(Mr. Ziffel said his family wasn't sure who in the production company received the puppies, among most dogs all humans look alike.)

The production company member left along with everyone else but along the way the puppies were held up in quarantine. There was a question of worms or something. (Mr. Ziffel is a little sensitive on the discussion of worms. It is the feeling of dogs universally that worms are caused by eating after humans. In the view of dogs Humans are not known to be the cleanest of animals. They have never been witnessed grooming their anal area in the correct fashion and rarely do they approach and evaluate another human correctly; I.E. polite butt sniffing to ascertain the other Human's hygiene habits.)

By the time the puppies had cleared customs the contact for the crew member was lost. The crew member had been trying to get custody of the pups but was called out of the country again for a location shoot. He left contact info for a friend to pick up the pups but when the friend went to Customs the pups had been returned to Mexico.

The Mexican official's family gladly took in the returning pups. Due to growing health problems of living in an industrialized area the family moved into the northern reaches of the Sonoran Desert, close to the Arizona border. Here the generations of the families, both human and wolf dog alike thrived and prospered. There was, in the late 1970's a resurgence of interest of preserving the Mexican wolf. Some of the descendants of the original breeding pair that belonged to Traven were sent to be part of the experiment. Some things went awry and in the Carlsbad project the pack meant to be released were instead scheduled to be euthanized in 1997.

A young male was able to escape and with many trials and tribulations he made his way to Texas. He lived as many things; street dog, a short stint as a drug dog, junk yard dog and finally ending up as the loving companion to an aging Hippy desert rat living in a small travel trailer just east of Sanderson, Texas. As an aging male one of his last acts was to mate with a full blood black German Shepherd that happened to stop, with its owners, at the Hippy's trailer looking to buy some desert rock carvings.

From there, as Mr. Ziffel would say, the rest is history. Now, Tala says he doesn't know that Mr. Ziffle's story is 100% true, but why would he make it up?

We will pass along more as we find out.




DY_Goddess said...

I love those kind of true made up stories! That was a great story of Mr. Ziffle's ancestors and lineage, thanks for sharing!

cousin nancy said...

Hi Fay! I love them, too! I have been flooded with phone calls, and e-mails about David's great story of Mr.Ziffle! In fact, Rick, from Port A. called to tell me that David's story was fabulous! I love it! Fay thank you for your comment from Canada, and thank you David, for sharing the great story that you wrote! Everyone loves it!