posts tagged with 'dogs'


This morning I was still upstairs when I heard Leah open the door to the porch and the dogs rush out. A few moments later there was one short sharp bark, and then immediately after it an immediately identifiable smell started drifting thought the open window. Yes, for the first time in a good while the dogs had been sprayed by a skunk. Luckily for everyone involved it wasn't too bad: they must have been spared a direct hit. They smelled bad when they came back in (right away!) but not unbearably horrid; we didn't even bathe them, Leah just got some supposed odor-neutralizing spray and doused them with it. We don't know how much it actually did, but we were able to survive the day in the house with the pups, and that's what counts. It's just as well we didn't have to get them in the tub, since getting sprayed was traumatic enough! They didn't even want breakfast; each of them just found a spot to curl up and they pretty much didn't move until mid afternoon. By this evening they were back to their regular selves—but, I hope, a little bit wiser!

expensive dog food

This evening I took some ground beef out of the fridge, where it had been defrosting since last night, and left it on the counter for that last little bit of thawing in the half-hour before I started cooking. Then I did some other stuff. When I came back I was confused to not see it. Did I accidentally put it back in the freezer? No... Why are the dogs looking at me like that? Why is there torn-up plastic bag on the living room floor? Ohhhh. I see what happened.

It's been quite a while since they've taken anything off the counter or the table. The trash, sure, but that's a gray area: sure it makes a mess, but they know we don't want that stuff any more. But the days of them stealing butter or cookie dough (those things both happened—the butter more than once) I had thought were passed. I suppose grass finished local ground beef was just too much to resist. At $10 a pound that's a pretty expensive supper for the dogs. I hope they appreciated it!

that answers that question

A couple weeks ago the dogs got sprayed by a skunk. They were sad puppies, and Leah was sad too because she had to be in the car with them for the whole drive home, and then give them a bath (I was no help at all because this was the early morning walk and I was still in bed). As people—including me—heard the story of their adventure, the natural response was, "I wonder if they learned their lesson?" This morning we have the answer, and it's no. At daybreak, back for another walk at the same place they got skunked before, they had another encounter—with the same results. And another stinky trip home, and another bath. In Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls baths are the consequence Lil Petey uses to help Dog Man learn to ignore balls and squirrels, but it takes hundreds, if not thousands, of repetitions; we don't have that kind of shampoo budget.

That's not to say there were no lessons learned: Leah won't be going back to Foss Farm any time soon!


Leah is on the Cape now to keep clear of us while she attends and works on a virtual conference thingy. And she brought the dogs with her. We miss her, of course, but she's been gone before; this is the first time since we got them over a year ago that the dogs haven't been here while we are! Leah left yesterday afternoon, and last night going to bed I really felt their absence. The house was so quiet! Zion had already been missing them, since he's accustomed to spending lots of time snuggling with them when he can't think of anything else to do. Of course, no everybody regrets having them gone: the chickens were able to spend the whole afternoon and evening out in the yard, and today they'll have a full day of unmolested foraging, something they never get when they have to split time with a couple of rambunctious pups. And of course, I'm sure the dogs themselves are having a grand old time down at the beach! We're going to be joining them on Monday; excitement is running high for the journey.

these dogs let THEMSELVES out

Our first dog, Rascal, was nervous of doorways and small passthroughs. He was reluctant even to push through a partway closed bedroom door, and would never dream of trying to squeeze through a gap in the fence. That's not the case with Scout and Blue. Their first day at our house they kept slipping under the gate from the yard, so the second day I had to do some construction work to make it puppy-proof. It was a whole new level of responsibility! And while that fix worked, their drive for pushing or squirming their way through to places where we don't want them hasn't dimmed at all. In the last few days they found a hole in the fence somewhere, so that when we let them out into the yard we were actually letting them out into the whole wide world. I tell you, it was a little surprising when they just strolled in the front door while we were reading our bedtime story a couple evenings ago. I had no idea they were even outside! (and yes, they managed to open the front door themselves; that shows how secure our house is). I found the hole yesterday and fixed it, but not well enough. Knowing the potential, they pushed it open again and we had to call them in from the neighbor's driveway. It's not like they're going to run away—they've got a pretty sweet deal here—but it's a little embarrassing to have them wandering all over the neighborhood. This evening I fixed the hole again, and better this time. But I have no doubt they'll find another one before too long. Just another thing keeping life interesting!

not going quietly into the good night

Leah usually goes to bed earlier than I do; I tend to take some time in the evening to finish up work (and, you know, write blog posts and things). The dogs go up to bed with her, but while she's settled in for the night they most emphatically are not. Every time I move around—especially if I go into the kitchen!—they come racing down the stairs to see what I'm up to. When it's nothing, they decide they have to go outside. And they don't just walk calmly out the door when I open it for them: every time, they whine and yip and dash out like there's who knows what they might catch if they don't waste a single instant. Of course usually there isn't anything interesting out there, so they come right back in, only to repeat the process as soon as 15 or 20 minutes later. If I don't let them out the next time—because, you know, they've just been out—they sit by the door in such a state of high excitement that I can't concentrate on what I'm doing. And of course, when I do open the door for them, it's another mad yipping rush into the yard. I wonder if they realize how they're repeating themselves?

walking (and walking and walking) in a winter wonderland

Yesterday afternoon I took the dogs out for a walk in my favorite woods. It was maybe a little ambitious, given that it had snowed 18 inches the day before, but I figured—to the extent that I thought about it at all—somebody probably would have broken a trail in the more than 24 hours since the snow had stopped. That was not the case. Climbing over the pile left by the plow to get into the woods I sank up to my waist, which set the tone for the next hour.

It was strange snow we got in this storm. It has some fluff to it—it must have to accumulate so high just overnight!—but it's also super wet. The shoveling was easy where the snow was undisturbed, but where it had been stepped on or even brushed off somewhere else and fallen in a pile it was practically solid. And walking on it on the trail was kind of like I imagine it would feel to wade through not-quite-set concrete.

As I made my slow and laborious way, it occurred to me that one feature I like about the woods by the airport is the length of the loops. So the shortest one we could take would still be longer than I would have really liked. But of course I would never dream of turning back. It's loop or nothing! So on we trudged (or I trudged; the dogs bounded). At least it was very pretty!

the dogs ahead of me in the snowy woods

beautiful and exhausting

(That's from one brief section of trail broken by a skier... the only place I had the energy to take out my phone for a picture.)

In trying to stick to the shortest way around I ventured onto a trail that I don't often take, and after a little ways found that it had disappeared. With the snow bending all the trees over everything looked so different! There was no going back, though, so since I knew the direction of the main trail we just pushed ahead between the trees. I could play up the drama, but really the woods aren't that big and I knew I'd come to a landmark I recognized before long; sure enough, after only five minutes or so of bushwhacking we were back on a recognizable trail—unbroken trail, of course, but at least I knew exactly where I was.

Only where I was was a section of the trail that's been ruined by 4-wheelers and is nothing but a series of muddy holes that in the spring resembles nothing so much as a World War I battlefield. It was warm enough that I had a moment of concern for the ice over all those holes (some of which held up to 18 inches of water less than a month ago...), but I was so tired I couldn't do anything but push ahead on the shortest path. The dogs shared my concern, or maybe they were just tired of breaking trail, because they waited for me to go first.

I did fall in once or twice, but it hardly mattered since I was so wet already from the snow and from sweat. And at the end of the treacherous holes I came across a section of trail that had been broken by someone on snowshoes, and soon after that passed two actual other humans. Civilization was near! In another few minutes we were back at the car, where we all collapsed. I had to catch my breath for a bit before I felt safe to drive.

It was exercise the likes of which I hadn't got for a long time, and today my body didn't let me forget it: my calves especially are absolutely killing me. Of course it didn't help that I went back to the same woods this afternoon with the boys to explore some new sledding hills... but that's a story for another day.


this morning

Some days I wake up ready to jump out of bed and face the day with vim and vigor, and then other days are like this morning. Elijah came into our bed sometime in the early morning hours, and then Zion joined him at first light. Cuddling with them was lovely but not conducive to jumping up—especially with the outside temperature below 10° and the inside temperature well below 60. Then the dogs came home from their walk and showed us that they were up and ready by bounding into the bed. The licks on my face I suppose were alright, but I really didn't appreciate the icy cold paws lacerating my chin and neck. I got up after that, but my energy and goodwill for the day was already running low!

on the ice

As much as I'm loving the light lately, we do love winter—and it's been a little disappointing lately in the snow and ice department. There's still no snow around now, but it's been cold enough overnight the last few days that the ice is finally solid, on ponds at least. This morning we got to enjoy it on the Old Reservoir.

Harvey and Lijah sliding on the ice

Harvey is demonstrating the "starfish slide"

The dogs have been braver than any of us over the last couple weeks so they've had plenty of ice time already, but today it was firm enough that they felt completely confident and chased each other around without a care. I wish I had a video of the the flailing legs every time they tried to change direction or accelerate suddenly. But with four legs to flail, they never fell down! Unlike the children who fell down constantly. Of course, they loved it!



This evening I was trying to work on a different blog post, a post about what is happening in our lives this week, but I've been too distracted by the news of this afternoon's attempted coup-slash-insurrection in the capital. At supper Leah told the boys they were living through times much more interesting than what we experienced as kids. "Is that good or bad?" Harvey wanted to know. Some of each, I guess?

Then a little bit ago I let the dogs out, and after a few minutes Scout asked to be let back in. I can almost open the door from my seat here, so I didn't really pay attention to him. But then when Blue didn't follow right away I turned to Scout to ask him where his brother was—at which point I saw that his face was covered in blood. Yikes! I ran right outside and found that nobody was hurt, it's just that the dogs had killed a rabbit and Blue was eating it. Judging by the considerable amount of blood on Scout—enough that I had to get a wet cloth to clean him off—I'm sure he must have made the kill, and then have mean Blue take it from him. I gave him a rawhide chew to make up for it, but it's not the same. So yes, interesting times.