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Ol' Laz
(Laura's Miracle aka "Lazarus")

written by Tom Farmer

When he turned one, I decided I needed to know what he was made of.  Was he a real bulldog or just another dog?  So, I asked a friend if we could try my dog on a wild hog he had captured.  He agreed, so we set up a time.  I had the hog in a round pen, so I opened the gate and led Laz in on leash.  As soon as I closed the gate, I released Laz and said, “catch him boy.”  I didn’t have to wait long to find out about my dog because Laz went over to check out this strange looking animal that he hadn’t seen before.  As soon as he got close enough to get a whiff of the critter the hog woofed and lunged at him at the same time. We’ll from the pig’s point of view that was a mistake because Laz moved like a cat bouncing to his right out of harm’s way and then back to the fight like a prize fighter catching that hog on the left cheek putting the pig in squeal mode and a bulldog smile on Laz’s face.  “Good boy Laz, good boy,” I said as I slipped the deer antler between his jaws and broke him off the pig.  I was holding him by the collar as the pig jumped up and ran around the pen glad to be free but I’m not sure if that hog had a get back problem or a moment of temporary insanity because as he circled that pen, he woofed and charged us again.  I thought now that’s not a good idea as I turned Laz loose and said, “Catch-im boy!”  Laz took off full bore meeting him head on in the middle of the pen with the same results as the first time.   Pig squealin' and Laz smiling with a happy tail wag to boot.  Not a good day for the pig.  I guess he was insane cause they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.  As I led Laz out of the pen that day I thought yep, got myself a Bulldog.

We had many more adventures over the years most were good but a few not so much.  Like the time, when he was about seven months old my wife happened to look out the window just in time to see Laz playing tug of war with what laundry was left hanging on the line and the rest of it strewn across the yard.  After I acquainted Mr. Laz with the daily newspaper across his posterior, he never wanted to play that game again. I guess you could say he was a quick study.

Over the years I have enjoyed archery hunting for whitetail deer, and I have been blessed to have taken many, which provided food for my family’s table.  Having Laz around made it all the better because any archery hunter knows that you drop very few deer in their tracks with a bow and arrow.  You almost always have to track them down because they cover a lot of ground in the 10-15 seconds it takes them to bleed out. Such was the case one fall morning when I shot a nice fat doe.  I had set up my climbing stand up on a friend’s property a few miles from my home.  That morning as I sat 30 feet off the ground the doe came slipping through the woods just as I had planned.

I took the shot and watched as she ran out of sight through the thick cover.  I took my time searching for blood but there was little to be found.  My shot was a little off the mark for what ever the reason and the ground cover was making it difficult to see the small amounts of blood that were  there.  I decided to leave the track long enough to go get my trusted hunting buddy, Laz.

 I had started him out as a young pup taking him to follow me as I trailed my deer through the woods.  Pretty soon I realized he had an amazing nose and really enjoyed using it to find those animals.  I think he understood that he was going to get some really tasty morsels at the end of the trail.  Because he enjoyed it so and I trusted his nose more than my eyesight.  I have many memories of him finding my deer in some of the thickest cover you can imagine and doing it much quicker than I could have alone. He has found deer for nephews and grandsons on many occasions and seem to enjoy most every moment except when we found ourselves in the middle of a patch of cat claw briars, nope, not so much.

Arriving back at the hunting spot I placed the tracking collar on Laz and dropped the tailgate on the truck.  Laz knew what we were about to do when I placed that collar on him cause the only time, I used that red collar was when we were tracking deer.  As soon as I pulled it out, he would start wagging that tail as if that was the best day of his life.  It was a good one for him and me, because I enjoyed him working the trail.  I led him to where I made the shot and called him to the blood I had found.  I took a couple of steps in the direction the deer had gone and said, “look, good boy…go find him”.  His ears were alert, as he listened to my command, his eyes staring intently ahead.  He immediately put his nose to the ground taking a deep whiff of deer scent and fresh blood.  He began moving quickly in the direction I was walking, passing me in short order.  Down the trail he went jumping over debris and stopping on occasion to look, listen and sniff the air.  He was a master at getting down wind of an animal then zeroing in on its location even when the blood trail was not that good.  After a minute or so of him working circles and figure 8’s as most good dogs do, he had trailed my deer to a fence where we had to find a place to cross.  After getting over that hurdle he headed due east in thick cover and was soon out of sight.  I continued walking that direction picking my way down one trail then another still moving east and looking for any sign of my deer.  I hadn’t seen Laz for a few minutes, so I stopped to listen.  I always figured that if he trailed up a wounded animal, he would catch it and I would hear the commotion.  As, I stood there listening I saw movement about 50 yards ahead and realized it was Laz working the back trail.  He came closer until he spotted me at which point, he stopped and looked at me intently.  He then turned around and took a few steps away and looked back as if to say, "Would you come on, I’m trying to show you where it is and it’s going to spoil if you don’t hurry up!'   Well sure enough he had found it and led me right to it.  I reached down and rubbed that big ol' head then patted those thick shoulders and said, “Good boy Laz, you're a good boy. You did it again man…you're a good boy."

We made many memories, me and Laz, and he never showed any sign of brain damage as medical science would claim.  You see, when he was just a day or two old my sister Lynn (the breeder) returned home from church to find one pup missing.  She looked around in the whelping box but could not account for all the pups.  She searched more intently looking around the whelping room, but it was no where to be found. She finally got the Momma dog to stand up.  Much to her dismay, there was the missing pup.  The momma knew the pup was in trouble and trying to keep it warm and had laid on it.  The pup had been dead for a while as it was purple around the muzzle.  It was mashed flat from the weight of the mom and was cold…just like death is.  My sister being a woman of faith picked that pup up and shouted at the Devil.  You’re not going to steal what my God has given to me. She began to command death to leave that pup and asked God to restore life to it in the Name of Jesus, (that is what Jesus brought to earth you know, Abundant Life).   At the same time, she began rubbing that pup and telling it to wake up.  She then blew into its mouth and told it to breath.  Nothing happened for over 40 minutes. She continued to pray and rub and blow as she commanded death to leave and life to return.  Then it happened.  A gasp for air.  “Thank you, Jesus” she exclaimed.  More rubbing, more blowing, more praying and more thanks to the giver of life.  There was another gasp, followed by a short breath and then another and another…as life was returning to his cold dead body.  At the first whimper the momma then had to see what was going on and they were reunited to live again.  The pup was soon nursing as the momma nuzzled and licked her pup all over.  The whole ordeal took about an hour from the time Lynn found the pup, but we have no idea how long it was dead.  That is the account of my furry friend’s miraculous beginning and the reason he was called LAZARUS.  I named him the day I picked him out, named after Lazarus, the man, that Jesus raised from the dead.  Now when we call the dog, we remember the words of Jesus.  “Lazarus, come forth.”

Over the last 11 years ol' Laz, came to a few conclusions of his own.  The first one was that his number one purpose was to guard this house and this yard.  There was no doubt when someone or something, that didn’t belong, showed up because he had a bark and then he had a BARK!!!  The bark meant something was out of place and the BARK meant someone is in my space.  As the UPS driver told me one day.  “I see a lot of dogs everyday and I just want you to know that if you didn’t have your yard fenced that big brindle Bulldog would bite me.”  The mailman said, “as long as the doggie treats hold out all is good but as soon as they run out, he is all business.”  I never knew that he bit anyone but most folks thought he would.  Like the day my friend showed up at the house unexpected.  I was working outback in my shop when I heard Laz take off in a streak with his BARK on.  I looked around the corner just in time to see Laz closing on Jeff, who in his own words was looking at a mouthful of teeth and a whole lot of bristle.  I shouted at the top of my lungs, my go to words, when I needed Laz to stop something. “NO LAZ” which caused him to freeze in mid-stride.  If only parents could teach their kids the meaning the word ,NO, what a wonderful world it would be.  Any way, I rescued my friend from the Jaws of Death that day and the color eventually returned to his rather pale looking face.

  Over the last few years Laz would follow me out to the shop, and I would leave the back yard gate open on purpose. Ol' Laz would check everything out for a few minutes and put his mark on anything that he deemed necessary. In a bit I would notice Laz would be gone just to return a little while later.  I began to watch him, and realized the second thing he knew was that nothing was going to enter the front gate and nothing was going to bother me without going thru him first.  Laz would position himself on the little hill on the south side of the house where he would have a clear line of sight to the front gate and down to the shop where I was.  He would only leave his post for a few moments to see where I had disappeared to inside or behind the shop.  Then it was back on duty keeping a watchful eye on everything under his charge. The third thing that he knew was that he had all the time in the world for someone that wanted to pet him and rub those ears.  He was especially happy when my grandkids would come over and spend hours playing with him and trying there best to rub all the hair off him.  He loved them all.

I am asked quiet often if I think there will be animals in heaven to which I respond as my cousin, Lemuel Miller, does.  Well, I don’t know for sure, but this is what I know.  My Lord created them, so he must like them like I do.  The Bible tells us when Jesus comes back, he will be riding on a white horse.  So, I won’t be at all surprised, when I make it to heaven, that I will spot ol' Lazarus sitting on a little hill with a clear view over his charge and watching the Pearly Gates, waiting for me to come over and pet that great big head one more time.    Until then we will all miss him.

Lazarus of Laura Kennels

Just a Good Bulldog


Tom's grandson, Brydon with Laz