Hot Dogs and Dry Grass

What can you do if you’re a dog and it’s too hot to run around and play? You lie down under a tree and conserve your energy. Make sure the tree is in a place where you can see the back door and the deck, in case there’s any action there, or a chance to come in and have a snack.
Poor Emma looks bored, and Ruby has given up on anything interesting happening. But wait! Something is moving in the trees above.
It’s just a chickadee. Too high up to jump for.

Emma gives it a look. “If it wasn’t so hot, I’d make a leap for you….”

But, yawwwwn … she knows she wouldn’t get it.

Might as well just nap until this dog day of summer is over and the mistress calls us for supper. Sure wish she would have watered the grass though, so it’s not so prickly to lie on.

Grass is dry and breaking off,

It’s dry this summer season.

The mistress turned the water off,

But do you know the reason?

 

It’s not for conservation that

She lets the grass go yellow.

The fact is she is lazy and

Would rather just be mellow.

 

If grass is green it grows a lot,

And then you have to mow it.

The mistress is a lazy sod,

Now all the world will know it.

 

 

 

Shamed

Since the black bear came to visit a few days ago, I’ve been very nervous about letting the dogs out in the backyard.   They’re always inside during those early dawn hours and at dusk anyway, but now even more so, until I hear that the bear has been taken away or enough time has gone by that either the bear or I have died of old age.

But dogs like to be outside when the weather is fine, so I peeked out to check if the coast was clear.

First thing I saw was this deer. Oh, no! I thought. How did it get in? When did I leave the gate open? Or did it jump over the lower gate at the back of the property? Is my garden eaten? Are the fruit trees stripped? I was about to go open a gate and try to shoo the deer out when I noticed the mesh of the fence was on my side of the deer. He was in the neighbours’ yard. What a relief that was.

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The deer was quite used to people and didn’t run when I came close, talking softly to it. When it left, I let the dogs out. I figured there was no bear around today, since this is almost the very spot where the bear was the other day, and if the deer was here, the bear was not. I felt a little bit ashamed for being such a nervous coward when a defenseless deer was brave enough to walk the same ground as the bear.041a

As it turned out, the dogs were not outside very long before Emma started that fear-filled barking again, this time looking towards the other side of the property where the bear would also have access. Today we’re all hiding in the house. I’m normally quite brave about scary things – all except for spiders and bears.

Real Puppy Love

What’s not to love about Emma? Would you take home this English cocker spaniel if she needed a place to go?

??????????Almost eight weeks old, she already knows her name and will come when you say, “Emma, come,” … IF she feels like it. Luckily for me, she nearly always feels like it.

She gets into mischief, like any puppy, trying to chew the buckle off my shoe.

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Or investigating an age-old sprinkler which happens to work better than the newer one we had (but this may be a thing of the past when Emma gets through with it).

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But wait! Don’t you already have a dog? you ask.

Yes, we have our English springer spaniel, Ruby.

Ruby — “Puppy from Hell”, “Monster Puppy,” — Ruby who turned out to be a sweet, biddable and loving pet and an excellent bird dog. She wasn’t always like that though.

Here is Ruby looking sweet (and don’t forget that looks can be deceiving).

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Then the devil came out in her and she put me through my paces as I tried to turn a very bold dog into an obedient one. She had a mind of her own, strong-willed, and single-minded.

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Just TRY and tell me what to do.

 

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No way I’m giving up this toy.

After ruining my summer making me nearly give up all hope of turning this monster puppy into a decent dog, she miraculously changed into the most wonderful dog you could ever hope to have. It happened soon after her first heat. Seems all she needed was a shot of hormones. Ruby is sweet and loving, and at the same time she’s a persistent and tenacious bird dog. She’s the best.

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She’s gentle and loving and now, heartbroken, because she thinks her place in our hearts is threatened. Of course we love them both. In time Emma and Ruby will become like good sisters to each other.

The Mowing Game

Apologies to a couple of faithful followers who visited my blog three years ago and are still hanging in there, please forgive the repeat. This re-blogged post is meant to buy me some time to get out and take more pictures. Our weather has been less than pleasant so I’m desperate for new photos. Here is a true story from some time ago:

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When I emailed to my friend that I had to go out and mow, she thought I was using the riding mower, so she wrote:

“It’s so funny knowing what you’re doing right now—mowing. I can just see you, sitting on this wonderful vehicle, speeding through your yard, pedal to the metal and hair straight back. Right?”

I wrote back to her:

“No such luck. I had to mow the part of the back yard that has fruit trees and shrubs growing here and there, the parts the riding mower can’t reach, and so it was grunt and shove with the power mower.”

At one point I was backing up, pulling the mower, and I tripped over a stick I had pounded into the ground beside a small apple tree. The stick was meant to protect the tree from getting rubbed if I dragged the hose around the garden.

So I’m lying there flat on my back, my nose crinkling at the stench—oh God, I missed the nearest pile of doggie doo by only a couple of feet—and I have to hold onto the handle or the lever will shut off the mower.

I could get up easily enough, and continue mowing, but this mutt comes over to lick my face and bat at me with her paws. Ruby thinks this is a new game where I roll on the ground and she wrestles with me. I push her away with one hand while the other arm is stretched full out holding onto the mower lever. The more I push Ruby away, the better she likes it. Still on my back, I now have a dog tussling game in full swing.

I’m at a disadvantage because I do not want “doo” on me. I could let the lever go, but I’d rather the mower didn’t shut off. It’s a miserable old sonofagun, a bitch to start, and I’m just too lazy to pull the cord repeatedly and fight with the machine.

Meanwhile, I’m thankful for the many shrubs around our yard, so the neighbours don’t see the old lady flat on her back losing the wrestling match with her springer spaniel.

In the end, I have to let go of the lever. As Ruby stops pouncing long enough to figure out why it’s suddenly so quiet, I find my feet and pull myself up. As I brush the grass clippings off my clothes I hear giggling from the neighbour’s yard.

“Hi, Anneli,” calls a child’s voice. I look over to the fence and see the grinning eight-year-old boy from next door.