Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Glass half full or empty?

No one ever accused me of being a glass half full sort of person. But yesterday I was reminded of the classic joke about the little girl who arrives home on her birthday to see a pile of horse manure someone put on her doorstep and exclaims, "Oh, look, somebody bought me a pony!" She's the embodiment of an optimistic attitude.
Three weeks after a huge windstorm (when I really thought a neighbor's tree was going to fall on my house), I was still picking up branches from a wooded area on my property when I came across these guano-covered bushes at the foot of a tree. My first thought was, "Oh boy, birds nested up there!" Delighted, I looked up and up, but you can see why I couldn't make out any nests.

It occurred to me that there are ways and ways of being a glass half full sort of person, at least if poop is involved.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Product review needing little explanation

Nylabone DuraChew for powerful chewers of 50 lbs and up.

42-lb dog

DuraChew after one hour's play.
It's probably not necessary to point out that the toy used to be in one piece.
The best that can be said is that Emily really liked it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lazy us

Summer 2010

Summer 2011

Summer 2012

Summer 2013

Summer 2014

Summer 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Preparing for every pet's favorite holiday

Tier one:  Compressed rawhide is a special holiday treat. I spread a large sheet on the carpet to protect it from goop. This is the only hard chew that both dogs can have. Miro's jaws are so strong that he once cracked a tooth on an antler chew a couple of years ago. He'll gnaw huge chunks off raw meaty bones and try to swallow them.  You could say dogs are really stupid about food, but are people truly smarter? Not judging by the amount of beer and strawberry shortcake that gets snarfed up during picnics.

Tier two: indoor lure coursing with a decapitated Kong. Emily loves this one. The string gets shorter each time she chews off the knot.

Tier three: Anti-anxiety meds just in case. Last year I used Melatonin, having found no help in Rescue Remedy or Benadryl. When I called the vet to verify dosage of Melatonin, she recommended Alprazolam, which has been swallowed by enough anxious dogs to be as safe for them as it is for us, which is to say that nothing is 100%. The neighborhood pharmacist told me she has been filling a lot of these prescriptions all week--and this in a city where fireworks are banned, where there are trees and parks all over the place, where every growing thing is extremely dry because we have had virtually no rain for two months for the first time in my memory.

Maybe, just maybe, people around here will get smart about fireworks this year. One can hope.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cow dogs

 Grazing on blossoms.
Grazing on grass.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Drowned rat

I speak literally. One sunny day, I saw Emily sniffing persistently around the pool, which is more like a three-foot deep square bucket with a stick in the middle out of which the water is supposed to fountain if the motor worked. I keep a board over it during the rainy season from October through June. This year we had almost no rain during May, the drought having crept up from California.
with board part-way over
 Thinking I'd got lucky and some frogs had moved in, I lifted the board. The rainwater was within a few inches of the top. No frogs. Just a long, dark thing paddling barely above the water. Emily extended her nose. I pulled her head back and let the board fall.
Without board after I bailed it out. Yes the person who built this was stupid enough to put it right up against the base of a tree, forgetting that trees, like children, grow.
What to do? The rat was clearly exhausted and suffering. I feel guilty when killing slugs--though I do kill them. Once in the past I killed a rat by smashing its head with a brick, the only weapon to hand. Never want to do that again.

Terrier= vermin weapon! Clearly Emily is more interested in hunting than Miro. Maybe she's like Keeper who cheerfully and quickly killed any varmint she could catch.

I lifted the rat out of the water with the pooper-scooper. It lay on the concrete looking pathetic, too exhausted to move. A person with sense would have left it in the water until fate and bad luck did their thing.

But no quick neck-break here. Emily wanted to play. She sniffed. She poked. She lifted it and dropped it. I dithered. I swore at the dog and the rat.

And then I cursed myself for the worst idiot of all three as I picked the rat up again in the scooper and carried it out to the forested area at the front right side of my property and flung it into the bushes where it landed softly amid the salmon berries and evergreen needles. I imagined all the happy little rats whose futures I had now enabled.
Where'd it go?

Guess I'll just graze on blossoms instead.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New dogs

You start out looking like this
Go 'way; I'm sleepin'.

and by the end of the day you look like this

 What'd ya think of my Noble Beast pose?

       Yrs truly,

Hey, I can do noble, too.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday in the park

Emily, I am not going in that water, so quit pulling.
This is more like it.