Showing posts with label Animal tales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animal tales. Show all posts

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To the dogs in our life:

Dandy on guard

‎"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love , his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." ~~~ Unknown

Our dogs have so much to give, yet so many are neglected. They are left tied in the hot sun, often with no food or water. They are left to roam the countryside, or left behind when their family moves away. 

I have had only three dogs in my life, The first was a childhood playmate: the second, a family protector, determined to guard us all even after she was almost blind and crippled by old age. My third dog, the little fellow who is now sharing my life, has placed a new perspective on owning a pet.

My Dandy isn't a pet. He isn't a lapdog. The surest way to quieten him when he is wanting attention, is to invite hime to come sit in my lap. That simple invitation sends him to his favorite corner to take a nap. 

No lap sitting, please.

He has no patience with handshaking or kissey foolishness, and it has only since my most recent lengthly absence that he has volunteered a few loving licks. Yet, he has all of the wonderful virtues in the quote above.

Being home alone, stinks.
In my absences, he roamed the house hunting "his Lady". He welcomed me home with joyous howls and offers to share his squeaky toys. The second time I left, he jumped in the car, and laid at my feet until he was removed. When I returned, he had no howls of greeting - he simply whined and whined, and pranced along at my side as I walked down the sidewalk. 

So-o, thanks to Dandy for being my companion. And may all the others needing a forever home soon find one. Perhaps a card giving the quote at the beginning of this post would be food for thought for those planning to adopt a dog.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wimpy, A Lot of Bull

Wimpy, the bull

A family friend, who is not prone to exaggeration,, told this story about an experience of his, back in a cold icy spell a few winters ago.
He lives in a small town but has a small herd of cattle a few miles out in the country. Cattle are notoriously hard on boundary fences, living by the old adage that the grass is greener on the other side, and thus frequently find themselves grazing on a neighboring pasture. Naturally, they don’t remain by the spot of entry. They wander. Sometimes miles. Sometimes even into another pasture or out into a road.
Farmers and rancher are a little possessive about their available grass, especially in times of drought, when grazing begins to get in short supply, and cattle wandering along a road is always frowned upon, so action is called for.
So this is life in the country. Fences get old. Fence posts rot and break off, or staples holding the barbed wire loosen, making an apparently sturdy barrier nothing more than a than an annoyance to a hungry cow reaching for that blade of green grass on the other side.
Fence building is time consuming and hard work, Farmers generally have too little of the first and too much of the second, so cattle often roam from their home pasture into that of a neighbor.
Country folks usually know their neighbors fairly well, but they are not quite as well acquainted with each herd member. After all, one white-faced Hereford, or Black Angus looks very much like another, so the owner is not always readily identified. When stray cattle are spotted and their owner not known, the sheriff’s department is generally notified.

The deputies, whose duty is to remove the roaming cattle and find the owner, often get well acquainted with these herd members. They often have a closer contact than they’d prefer, for that cow grazing so peacefully often develops an attitude when she’s being herded toward a strange trailer. If she happens to have a young calf by her side, well, to paraphrase another old saying ––Hell has no fury like a mama cow when a stranger approaches her baby.
Then there’s the self-appointed protector of his herd. If the bull happened to take advantage of the break in the fence, and has meandered along with other herd members, nobody wants to test his feelings toward the two-legged intruders into his otherwise pleasant day.

On this icy day, our friend got a phone call from a frantic deputy who had recognized the cattle but was not familiar with the herd’s guardian – a black angus bull not in the least interested in moving along toward the deputy’s trailer. Neither was the deputy interested in testing his powers of persuasion, so my friend, Matt, was called.
Of course, Matt didn’t want his cattle annoying his neighbor or wandering out on the road and causing an accident, and the deputy sounded especially perturbed,so he hurried the three or four miles out to the location the deputy had called from. Once there, it was easy to understand the deputy’s frantic call. He was sitting atop the cab of his pickup, shivering in the cold wind, and intently watching every move of the herd bull––a big fellow standing over five’ 8” at the shoulders, apparently very interested in the strange actions of the law officer.
Matt assured the deputy that he was in no danger from Wimpy, the bull, and could descend from his perch, but the officer thought differently, and remained where he hoped he’d be out of reach if the big fellow decided to meander over to get acquainted.
The small group of cattle had not wandered far from the break in the fence, so Matt walked over to Wimpy, gave him a pat on the head and turned toward the home pasture with the big fellow following docilely, the rest of the herd falling in behind.

A few days later, as the icy weather became worse, Matt went to the farm to put out hay. He slipped on the ice and fell. He twisted and turned, but could not get enough traction on the icy surface to  get to his feet. There was nothing within reach to be of help in pulling himself upright. He was beginning to wonder how he was going to get out of his predicament when Wimpy walked over, lowered his head to our helpless friend, who immediately took a firm grip and was raised upright.

Who would’ve thought such a thing could happen? Wimpy was truly a lot of bull, but this story isn’t.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Doggie Tale

     Dandy doesn't want to talk about it. He is curled up hiding his face and ignoring the world. I am sure that  at his first opportunity, he'll sneak onto this computer and tell the world how mean his Lady is, but this is so sad/funny that I must share the story.
     Like a proud mother of an exceptionally smart child (does that include all of us?), I have bored all my friends with "smart doggie' tales BUT  I didn't realize just how smart he really is!
     Last week was his first bath here at his new home. The sink in the utility room seemed to be an ideal spot and of course he was a very patient, enduring dog. Of course!
     However, I was a little fearful for his safety being so high from the floor. I was afraid the urge to jump and shake would overcome his caution and he would get hurt, so for this bath time I decided to try the bathtub. There was a rubber mat to keep him from slipping and a hand-held shower spray attachment to do on-the-spot shampooing and rinsing. This should be a more efficient way to handle this little chore, I was sure, so calling to him and chattering about "bath time,
I turned on the water, adjusted the temperature, and looked around for Dandy. Well, there he was, lying on the bedroom floor, his chin flat on the carpet and his eyes closed. I called...he didn't blink or twitch an ear! Silly me, I had said the b-a-t-h word and he knew. He knew that running water was for him.
     My only option, if I were to remain as head of the pack around here, was to go over and pick him up.
     He ran! He was a streak of brown fur and then I spotted him in the corner by the bed trying to get under. Luckily the bed is only a few inches off the floor so he was cornered. I was sure I had him! I reached to pick him up and he made a lightening quick dive under the bedside table and looked at me. This space was 5 1/2 inches high and he filled it completely. I tugged on his harness and he yelped. I reached around him and tried to give a gentle shove. He whined. I tugged some more and it hurt. The table was heavy and it was loaded with things, as all flat surfaces in my house are, so postponing moving the table,  I called and called and he began to wiggle out, those big eyes looking at me, silently begging me to please go away.
     The moment he was free from his tight spot he almost sprang to freedom  but I grabbed the little fellow and petted  and soothed him as best as I could.
     Yes, he got his bath and stood patiently through it all. Naturally, once out of the tub, he gave a mighty shake or two but my handy towel covered that. Once released from the bathroom, he made a beeline for the sofa with me close behind.  Maneuvering him into his bed instead of the sofa, he patiently endured a blow-dry and brushing and condescended to join me in the kitchen for a treat.
     I am not yet forgiven but there will be other baths. I'll try to remember not to say the "B" word and I will never, never start that little chore without having Dandy on a short lease. I don't want his dread of a bath causing him to get into such a tight spot that I can't get him out!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cats and More Cats

Cats: they’re fun, they’re pests, they are useful…. and their numbers increase faster than you can give them away.
Three years ago, a stray, perhaps alerted by a cat style hobo mark, stopped by, ready for her handout. Skinny and obviously carrying kittens, she received her expected daily handout of table scraps.
These were placed in a worn-out birdbath, and if you have never heard of a birdbath being worn out, let me assure you that it can happen! Not from the flapping and fluttering of wings, however, but from a flaw in the concrete, which caused it to deteriorate until huge holes appeared, and it could no longer hold water.
Now that it had become a convenient feeder for the cat, other wildlife took notice. There were four crows, jays and cardinals, and one evening we glanced out the window and spied a fox crouched n the birdbath, happily enjoying the remains of our evening meal.
At about this time, the cat with no name, retired to have her kittens. Happily, there were only two; identical black and white ones, a male and a female. They were a joy to watch as they jumped and wrestled in the late evening twilight. As half grown cats they seemed not to notice that their no-name mama had deserted them (and us), and one night the male also decided to roam and like his mama, never returned.

The little female grew tall and leggy, but remained as wild as her mother and no amount of food put any fat on her lean frame, but her fur was jet black and glossy so she officially became Pretty Cat, as we are not imaginative folks. Soon I renamed her Mighty Cat, after watching her frighten the fox away from her dinner table. Occasionally, she would deliberately lengthen her meal time, while the fox waited patiently a short distance away.
Once the fox must have been extremely hungry, for he got to the feed early, and established himself firmly over the goodies before Mighty Cat arrived. It was a standoff. He ate, She watched. She even swatted that long bushy tail hanging over the edge of the feeder, with no results.
Naturally, when putting food out it was not always entirely eaten and other animals sense that the welcome mat is out. We were not surprised to see a huge coon appear for his share of the free , easy to get, food. He soon established his position as boss over the other animals and left not a crumb if he was hungry. He never seemed very disturbed by my yelling and stick waving.
Late one evening, we were startled to see two foxes enjoying the bounty that the birdbath held.. Cantaloupe rinds, overripe fruit, left over veggies from the dinner table…they cleared their dish. They did not eat broccoli. One night, the old coon also brought his mate along . There were more to come. The evening the entire fox family arrived, I could not tear myself away from the window. The pair of fox were both in the birdbath, chowing down, but constantly watchful for danger.The almost grown young ones were playful, wrestling and snapping at each other. Occasionally, they would snatch a bit of food, which bothered their parents not at all.
Not to be out done, the old coon brought his family up for a free meal. In the coon family, the rules were different. The he-coon first had his leisurely meal while his family waited impatiently. His mate or one of the three young, would sometimes reach a tentative paw toward the edge of the bird bath, only to be swatted away. After observing the foxes’ congenial behavior, I was shocked by this old fellow’s selfishness. In fact, I was so annoyed that I chased the entire family away.
There may be a moral here about freebies, because from the first give-away to one cat, we now were feeding a cat, a fox family of five, and a coon (the entire family never appeared again.)

In the naturally progression of cat life, Mighty Cat soon presented us with her own litter of five kittens, a beautifully marked brindle, a grey and white, and three ugly tortoise ones because of their strangely marked faces. Following in the footsteps of her mama, she also disappeared, returning occasionally to swat her brood away from the feed pan. By this time, we were buying cat food in 15 lb. bags. The foxes had left, deciding they could feed elsewhere with less hassle.

Of the five kittens, all females), we managed to catch two and sent them to a new home in a barn reported to have an over abundance of mice and rats. Their yowls of protest as they were placed in a carrier were impressive and the remaining three cats became even more leery of a human touch and strange vehicles sent them streaking for shelter. Their appetites were never diminished by their nervousness.
Suggestions about what to do with three female cats were plentiful. Suggestions don’t tame cats and the wild gene remains strong in this group of cats and continues in a new, fourth generation of eight darling blue eyed kittens. A direct look sends them under the nearest bush. A movement of a single hand sends them streaking for distant safety. Regardless, now that there are eight new, wild little critters creeping up to join their mamas at the feed pan, somehow, a cat-snatching must be arranged..
Any one want a kitten?