One of my favorite trail walks meanders past a small prairie dog colony, and facing the colony is a memorial bench in honor of “Molly.” Molly was a dog, and I am sure she loved to watch “her” prairie dogs. A few months ago, I saw something I had not seen before, and which I later learned was the characteristic prairie dog “jump yip.” This was early summer, and I suspect one of the jumpers was pretty young: it jumped, yipped, and promptly fell over. And because it was so much fun (?) it would do it again . . .
Around the same time, on one of my other favorite walks, I met Nick LoFaro, a metal artist who was putting the finishing touches to an enormous sculpture called “Poseidon”:
A few months later, I commissioned my own (much smaller) sculpture from Nick. I wanted the jump yip, but Nick could not build in the jump and still have it look like a prairie dog . . . so he made him into the sentinel. But I still call him “Yipper”:
Why yes, there are spoons and forks and gears and all sorts of reclaimed metal parts! I am especially fond of the drill bit for the tail, and the blue marbles for his eyes. These days, he either hangs out as a guardian/sentinel on our tiny front balcony overlooking the commons area, or in our equally tiny backyard overlooking the next subdivision. And just think: we are art collectors!