I realized that I referenced the Shamrock story in the previous post thinking that I had written about it in this blog at some point. After perusing the history files, I see that I have never shared this story in the blog genre.
It's a shame. One that I will try to alleviate today. Then maybe, you can see where the hysterical laughing/crying jag came from.
After a few years my Dad announced that Shamrock's car chasing days were through. He had found him a beautiful home on a sheep ranch in Idaho. He would be the bellwether of the flock and never be subjected to any harm.
This was a win-win that was out of character in a rancher. We were taught at an early age that you did what you had to do. My father loved his animals and there are none that were better cared for, but it was a business. And business is business. (The story of Patches comes to mind here - but that is for another time.)
So, Shamrock went away to Idaho with many hugs and tears, but happiness was in our hearts that he would be happy and safe. I still have the image in my head of Shamrock ambling over rolling green hills, bell on collar, leading the sheep to greener pastures.......
Be very careful in believing that the grass is always greener.
A few months later, Grandpa was over at dinner. We were all gathered around the dinner table - Norman Rockwell style - when Grandpa said in his heavy Norwegian accent, "Well, ya, is dis da kid's sheep? It's goot, not too tuff."
We had been eating Shamrock for God knows how long.
The children screamed. Mom insisted she didn't know. We cried and cried and retched and cried.
And Dad and Grandpa got the hell out of the house.