Farm Dog

Musti on the Roof

When my mom visited a while ago, I scanned a bunch of old family pictures that she’d brought down. One of them is this (rather bad) shot of one of the dogs my grandpa had when we lived with him on the farm in North Ironwood, Michigan. This scruffy mutt’s name was Musti, which we understood to be Finnish for “Blackie.” He was a good dog, but a farm dog through and through. I’m sure he came inside sometimes, or maybe every day, but he spent most of his time outside. He must have smelled awful, but you can see the intelligence in his face. My recollections are of him trotting protectively after my grandpa as he did farm chores or, alternatively, lying on the roof of the entrance to the cellar – which is where he’s standing here. Rain or shine, sun or snow, Musti would lie there, just the other side of the kitchen window, where he and Grandpa could keep an eye on each other. The second he saw Grandpa get up from his chair at the kitchen table, Musti would scramble up and jump down from his perch to go wait by the front door.

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