It's been raining, and so there isn't much to do. I can't read or watch tv very much during the day, as the alpha buddy is home. Marquis keeps trying to read mystery novels--if the alpha buddy comes upstairs, Marquis just pretends he was tearing the book up. Doesn't work very well, though, as then he's left wondering who the murderer was. I usually blog while alpha buddy is running errands or eating lunch, but that isn't all that much time.
Sometimes the three of us charge around the house. It usually starts when George picks up a piece of cardboard and starts running around. Way fun. I bark, Marquis chases him, he crashes into stuff. Weird thing, though, is that the alpha buddy always tries to get us to do it outside, especially if he's on the phone. Don't know why, as it isn't nearly as much fun. I thought it was because he wanted to join us--that's what puppy buddy does--but he just kind of shoos us out and then forgets, I guess. So, I bark outside trying to get his attention--you know, remind him that we're out there and waiting for him to join in--and HE BRINGS US BACK IN. So, of course, we charge around the house barking and crashing. We can do this cycle more times than you would think possible--alpha buddy never remembers to join us.
Back to blogging
Sorry for the silence--the buddies were all home for the last four days! And alpha and puppy buddy for five days! We went to Comealong Park TWICE. The water was really high, and pretty cold, so George was the only one to swim. Puppy buddy wanted to swim, but alpha and beta said "NO!", so he "fell" in the water a couple of times. Even he got cold after a while and had to borrow a sweatshirt from beta buddy. But the walks were great--lots of other dogs (we even added to the pack for a while, a cool pitbull puppy named Roscoe, but his buddy caught up and took him away), good smells, and tons of fun. I also got taken to some other park where we usually go swimming, and where there are usually lots of dogs, but not this time. The swimming area there was blocked off--I guess the water was too cold or something. I just hung around and let people scritch me while the puppy buddy played with other puppies. (I will confess to being more than a little tired of people saying, "That isn't a dog; that's a horse." The first ten thousand times I heard it, it was not funny. It's even less funny now.)
The only other excitement was that the squirrel was walking across that big wire or rope thing that's way high up in the air in our backyard. We were all doing our best to jump up at it, but it was way too high. Chester never told me what you're supposed to do when squirrels do that.
What about small dogs?
I've gotten email from some dogs concerned that I don't seem to mention as much about small dogs, possums, and squirrels. Well, things are boring on the possum front--haven't seen one on the fence in months--but the squirrel chases have more than made up for that. Lots of great ones. Of course, not nearly as many as George thinks. He spends a lot of time barking at trees, but a brief review of the Chester blog reminds me that I used to do that, too, so I guess I won't make fun of him.
In fact, he has gotten to into the chase thing that he has taken to chasing birds away from the bird feeder. I have tried to explain to him that it is a bird feeder, meaning that birds are supposed to eat from it, but I haven't gotten anywhere.
I haven't said much about small dogs because I don't share Chester's antipathy. I've written about that elsewhere, so I won't say much here.
I will say, though, that the whole "love the dog, hate the smallness" thing doesn't make any sense to me. The dog is small. When you love a small dog, you love a small dog; it isn't as though smallness is some separate part of its identity.
Oh, I know there are those who believe smallness is a choice, although they can't explain why puppies are born small, and I know that there are those who believe that you can put elevator pads and all that stuff on small dogs and make them run around pretending to be big. But, at the end of the day, they're still small. And that's fine by me.
What's Been Happening, Pt. IV
George reminds me that I didn't tell about his big adventure. The whole thing remains unclear to me on crucial points, about which George generally says, "Dunno," so if it seems a little elliptical, that's because it is.
As I mentioned before, on those mornings when people sleep in (Bufford says they're called "weekends"), we usually go for a long walk. Then, at night, the buddies all gather in the "study" and read or play computer games. We usually hang out with them, or I doze on the guest bed. Alpha buddy stays up way late playing computer games, long after beta and puppy buddy have gone to bed. Well, one night, George wouldn't come upstairs, even after beta and puppy went to bed--he didn't like some kids were hanging out on the street--bad juju, he said. "What, precisely, is wrong with those people?" I asked. "Dunno," he said, "bad juju." "What, precisely, does 'bad juju' mean," I asked. "Dunno," he said, "just, you know, bad juju." I went to bed.
So, he says, he was staring out the front windows watching these kids when the guy who has all that pizza showed up. (You know that guy? Whenever he comes, I am all over him--I wish I could get him to come more often, but he seems scared when I rush to him at the door.) They show the pizza guy something AND HE THREW HIS PIZZA AT THEM!!! George went nuts, and starts barking like a mad dog. Marquis jumped up and ran downstairs. I didn't pay any attention, I have to confess, because he's barking something about "They're throwing pizzas!" and I figure it's one of those barking-in-your-sleep episodes. (At first the buddies just yelled at George to stop barking, but, when the police showed up, decided they had been wrong.) Anyway, the kids run off, police show up (with Sargent, who did some tracking), and big excitement all around with buddies talking to police and police taking pictures of the pizza on the ground and so on. (But, they would not let us out to eat the pizza! Why take pictures of it? It's PIZZA, ferdawgsake, you EAT it.)
George was like a big hero around here for quite a while, and the buddies now pay close attention when he barks.
What's Been Happening, Pt. III
Another big change has been that the alpha buddy is around a lot. He's got a blog about that. If you think I'm too hard on the buddies for being clueless, note his version of the rainy night ("Rain Rain Go Away"). I told you he had no explanation for taking the bell down.
Reading his blog reminds me of the trip to the ranch. We didn't take George--I don't know why not--but I'm sort of glad. It was pretty crowded as is. The buddies drive leetle cars. Every time we're in a parking lot, they pick out the same little cars. I always try to drag them to a big truck--that's what I think they should be driving--but then they go back to their same ones. Odd. Anyway, so there we are in the Highlander with me and Marquis in the very back. Marquis kept sitting on my head.
It was raining at the ranch, but I didn't mind too much. Good rabbit chasing (I almost caught about three, and I'm sure I would have if Marquis hadn't gotten in the way). No pigs this time (they are SO much fun to chase--they squeal like...well...like pigs!), no deer either. I smelled pigs, and coyotes, so they were around. Maybe they've learned to stay away. (Sorry, I just snorted so hard I hurt myself.)
Marquis went wading in the tank, and was bragging about how baaaaaaad he smelled. It was impressive--he'd gotten into that black kind of really sticky mud and covered much of the back of the Highlander with it. The alpha buddy had a really weird reaction, though, kind of a little fit. I assume he was jealous, but he knows where the tank is, so I don't know why he didn't get into it, too. We didn't do any really long walks this time, but it was still a good trip.
What's Been Happening, Pt. II
I'm slowly getting to like Marquis. He's got some lab, and I don't know what else, maybe Sharpei. (When he chases bugs, he gets a very wrinkled forehead.) He's about fifty pounds, so Chester would approve. I was kind of cool toward him at first, because he wasn't going to stay, and I don't like the way he sits on me when I'm lying on the guest bed. But, we're getting to be better buds all the time.
The pack has developed a pretty nice pattern. Many days the beta buddy gets up in the dark, and we all go for a short walk around the block. I love it--we're the first dogs out on the fresh smells, and you know how much stronger everything smells when it's dark? We used to go down into the drainage ditch, and she'd let me off leash. I loved running around every one of the fences and getting all of the dogs to bark. Because it was dark, they'd all go nuts--there I am, running around, five or six dogs barking. Whoof. We don't do that any more--I don't know why. Now we just go around the block (unless it's raining, and then I don't even bother getting out of bed). Then, after the walk, it's back to bed till breakfast is ready. After breakfast, the alpha buddy lets us walk the puppy buddy to the bus stop. Sometimes we get to bark at other dogs that go by, sometimes we just bark at the kids who run, sometimes we just get scritched. After that, a longish walk with the alpha buddy. Back home, and mid-morning nap.
On one of the mornings when people don't get up early, we all head off to a park. I used to think it was called "Comealong Park." Turns out it's Emma Long Park, but I think my name is better. It's a couple mile walk mostly along a creek. aaaaaooooooooo!!!!! Four tails up. Lots of other dogs, good wading, good smells, and entirely off-leash. I love it (especially now that George has gotten over his car sickness and the drive isn't as nerve wracking as it was when I was wondering if I was going to be covered in...well, we won't go there....).
The kittens are as loony as ever, but don't run around as much as they used to. They whined for a while after the alpha buddy blocked the way that scorpions were getting in the house--Winston loved the challenge. George still hasn't gotten completely over his sting, though, so I'd just as soon keep the scorpions on the other side of the door.
The alpha buddy put Mr. Bluefish in the toilet bowl. Seems a strange place for a fish to me, but chalk it up to how weird they are.
What's Been Happening, Pt I
As most of my readers know, this is a continuation of the Chester blog. The last entry on that was about how I came out of my depression with the arrival of George Washington, a shepherd/lab mix. I'll try to fill in the blanks as to what has happened since then, but it'll take a few entries, as I only have while the alpha buddy is messing with stuff downstairs.
George is great, and we get along fine. We took him to the ranch, and he loved it. Unfortunately, I forgot to warn him about barbed wire (there are so many things Chester didn't tell me!), and he did that thing where it catches and snaps back. Whoof. We took him to a vet near there, and it turns out the vet also is a vet for the Iditorad!!!!!!! I saw a picture of him with Snowshoe!!!!! Way bone.
Coolhand Luke passed on not too long after Chester did. He just went downhill fast, and there wasn't much they could do. He missed Chester, and I just didn't have the patience for listening to complaints about arthritis the way Chester did.
Anyway, after a month or so of wrestling with George, my back was really hurting. Just around then, this other puppy shows up--looks like a smaller version of George. The buddies were talking about how they were going to foster him. He and George took to wrestling, which was good for my back (leaving me the task of chasing them around the yard, just as much fun and not nearly as rough on the spine). The buddies named him Marquis de Lafayette, something about his following George around and looking up to him. The beta buddy was going on about, "No, no, if we're going to try to find a home for him, we name him 'Cowboy' or 'Buddy'" but she was outvoted. After we had him for two weeks, I heard her tell the puppy buddy she had found Marquis a home. The puppy buddy's lip started to shake (I HATE when they do that). She said, "Bear, I told you we weren't going to keep him." He said, "I know, mom, but it's just that hellos are so much more fun than goodbyes."
She should have just given up then, but instead said, "What do you mean?" "Well," he said, "we had to say goodbye to Chester, and then Coolhand Luke, and now Marquis." I heard her go upstairs and say something to the alpha buddy. Now we are a family of three dogs.
It's been raining here a lot lately, and I really don't like the rain. It makes the buddies' behavior very strange, even by their rather high standards. For instance, the other night, I needed to pee. Okay, normally, what would happen is: I ring the bell, someone (usually alpha buddy) gets up and opens the back door, I go out, I pee, I come back in and knock my bowl, he gives me a snack, we all go back to bed. But, in the rain, there's a problem. I ring the bell, someone gets up, opens the back door, and IT'S RAINING. Hello? Rain? See the rain? So, I try to get them to open the front door, to see if it's raining out that door, too, but no, they won't. What do they expect me to do? Go out in the rain? So, they rant for a while and go back to bed. I *still* have to pee, so I ring the bell again.
Here's the amazing thing. Do they do any of the reasonable things? Stop the rain? Let me out the front door where it might not be raining? No, after a few iterations of this thing, the alpha buddy TAKES THE BELL OFF THE DOOR. I'm not kidding. He just took it right off the door. Whoof. So, all the dogs got on the guest bed and the beta buddy covered us with a blanket. I held it till morning.