Saturday, February 27, 2010

Miró and Alanis take up landscape design

They have embarked on two projects: (1) They are trying to dig a tunnel into the neighbor’s yard to get at the little white yapping dog and (2) They have decided this tree must be uprooted and moved because it is taking up too much room.

It is extremely difficult and not particularly fun to dig holes in the Pacific Northwest because you hit hard clay as soon as you get past the topsoil. Alanis and Miró have gone for wide and shallow.

 Have you ever tried to photograph a wide, shallow hole in the ground? It doesn’t make particularly interesting subject matter.

There are acceptable and unacceptable digging places. Digging plants is unacceptable, so I applied a trick I learned to halt the digging in those places. It’s not pretty or fragrant but it has worked so far. Note: don’t try this in your vegetable garden.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Alanis has such a smooth gait that you could balance a teacup and saucer on her back as she moves down the street and it wouldn't even rattle--though it might slide off her fur. The smooth stride is due to her conformation but I like to think it's part of her ladylike character. Unfortunately, if I try to film her and walk and hold the leash, we get a very jiggly video with big "whoosh" sounds from the moving camera.

Miro has a funny walk, as if he's moving his hind legs stiffly. He moves better when he's trotting or running, which goes with his being a high-octane type. I was told when he was a pup that he's short in the loin; that's right in front of the top of the back leg. So, being long of leg and short of loin, he doesn't have the room to move his legs like a ballet dancer. Which is OK. Judging by the big pawslaps he likes to give, he'd rather box than dance.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bath time

There's one place in the yard where the chickens can find dry dirt; they head straight for it when let out.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Do not read if you're easily embarrassed

I have mentioned in the past that Miró loves his bed. Meaning he humps it with great enthusiasm. Often. Tonight I was watching the latest episode of Bones on TV when I looked over during a commercial and saw him standing with back arched and that stupid look dogs get on their faces when they’re going, “Uh oh.”

I look for the source of the problem—his undercarriage. The dog has an engorged, extended penis that’s giving a bit of a bounce every few seconds. Is my first thought, “Poor doggie” or “How embarrassing”? No, my first thought is, “How much is this going to cost if it’s not going away on its own?”

I Google “engorged dog penis” and find a question on by some idiot whose dog has been like that for two days and she’s wondering if something is wrong! Dr. Mike writes that the bulbous glands at the base of the penis “have managed to engorge outside of the prepuce, which makes it difficult, or impossible, for the penis to retract.” The advice is to take the dog to the vet, or emergency room, where the dog may have to be anesthetized while the vet uses traction sutures to put the equipment back in place. I don’t know what traction sutures are but the dog's situation doesn’t sound like something you can fix with a little olive oil.

It’s kind of dark in the room so I can’t tell if the glands are out or in but at least I know Miró hasn’t been in that condition for two days. It's more like five or ten minutes since the previous TV commercial. Thiniking about teenage boys and cold showers, I fetch the spray bottle used for the parrots’ baths and fill it with fresh, cold water. When I spray the affected area, he doesn’t even wince. I bend down to look. Is the swelling going down? It looks like it’s going down. He throbs again. No, it looks the same. I spray some more and wait. Besides, the commercial is long over and I’m missing the whole show.

I watch TV for a few minutes. Miró wanders over and flops onto the carpet nearby. Normality restored. I’ll keep the spray bottle handy; he probably hasn’t learned a thing from this experience. Maybe I'd better not watch Bones with him in the room.