Don’t Scare Me Like That


For those of you that follow my blog know that I have recently adopted a new little girl who is a Maltese mix to fill the void left by the death of Gizmo. Her name is Sandy for her coloring which is mostly white with sandy colors mixed in. I adopted her knowing that she needed to be treated for heart-worm which we have been undergoing for the past couple of months with several more months to go.

She really is a very sweet little girl although somewhat demanding just as most females are. It is easier to cater to the demands of a little dog rather than a full grown person of the opposite sex. That’s why I have dogs. She gets along very well with the other three dogs even Ginnie who is the only one remaining from the original pack and can be a bit of a snot. She really likes Mikey who is super full of energy and himself very demanding for attention. As for Buddy, the other recent adoptee, he just goes about his business wandering around the garden or spending his time asleep. Buddy is very deaf and does not see too well either which makes him a bit of a slow mover.

When Richie was around, he was a really inquisitive dog always exploring in the oddest of places including the woods at the back of my house. He did this by digging out under the fence resulting in my scrambling over this 6 feet high wooden fence in order to get him back. At the time, the neighbor had a mean donkey that had the run of these woods and she had warned me that it was a killer of small animals so you can imagine how quickly I was after Richie. He came back after taking one look at the donkey and I quickly blocked up the hole he had dug. I then ran an electric fence all the way around the entire fence line really close to the ground to deter Richie from future explorations of the great outdoors beyond the fence line. He must have hit it at least once as he never again tried to dig his way out.

That was several years ago and the fence worked well. Richie joined the other dogs of my life in that great outdoors up in the sky after getting bit by a rattlesnake about 3 years ago. I kinda let the electric fence go a bit as none of the other dogs had any inclination to dig their way out being content with their lot within the confines of their own back yard. It hurts my feelings when they try to get out like that as I give them the best care and all of the love that I have. But, dogs are dogs and probably retain some of their wild instincts even after all of the thousands of years of domestication.

That is, until Sandy came along. I had no idea she was a digger until I happened to glance out of the kitchen window after coming in to get a drink and there she was, tail erect and trotting down the driveway towards the very busy road. I did a double take and tore out the door leaving the faucet running in my haste. I opened the back gate having enough sense to close it to keep the other dogs in and trundled off down the driveway after the dog. I can’t remember the last time I broke into a trot other than a fast walk but run I did even at eighty three. In the meantime, Sandy was heading back as the traffic on the road was enough to frighten her forcing her in the same direction from which she had come. I called her and she immediately came back to me and I was so relieved to get to her unhurt that I forgot to scold her for digging out.

I checked the yard and sure enough, in the area that the famous Murmuring Creek, which runs through the bottom of my yard, was a hole dug neatly under the electric fence which I should mention, was not working. The hole was big enough for a little dog to squeeze out. This creek only flows when we get a gully washer as it is located on the low spot of the land and all of the water for several hundred yard around finds its way across my yard and then my neighbors yard and on. Plus there is a twenty four inch culvert that runs under the road and empties directly outside of my fence line. The end result of all of this water is Murmuring Creek.

I grabbed my shovel and filled in the hole and reinforced the rest of that part of the fence line with extra dirt and then went to work on getting the electric fence operable again. This took me several hours and after getting zapped a couple of times myself through my own carelessness, decided that the fence was working properly. I had to check the wire in the creek area making sure it was not grounding out and was unbroken. Satisfied, I turned to go back up the garden and when all of a sudden, Sandy screamed in pain and I immediately rushed over fearing that she had gotten bit by a rattler. In fact, what she had done was touch the electric wire with her nose and quite obviously, it was working just fine. She ran back to the house crying all of the way. I hated that she had to get shocked but at the same time, she learned a valuable lesson that might keep her alive.

She comes down with me to the bottom of the garden but steers clear of the fence line. I still worry that she may get brave enough to try it again so I stacked rocks across the spot where the water flows under the fence allowing the water to flow through on the odd occasions when we get the gully washer but enough to where she cannot dig her way out. If we get a big enough wash, I will need to replace it as the dirt will get washed away.

The entire width of the “creek”
The electric fence is in a wire stretched through the yellow holders.

I had this long conversation with her about how much she means to us as a family and that she needs to be careful but I don’t think that it sank in. She just looked at me with her big brown eyes and demanded more attention. Oh yes, I am no worse for wear after breaking into a stumbling run but I don’t think I will take it up as a form of exercise in the future. I also had one other stroke of luck as I was walking back to the house when lo and behold, the very large Turtle that lives in one of the ponds was walking down the path towards me. I scooped him up and put him back hoping that he will stay there. That with the luck of looking out of the kitchen window at exactly the right time was enough to make me jump in my truck and buy a lottery ticket. You never know as things do come in threes and I could use a couple of million dollars.

Just another day in the life of a dog(s) owner.

Written 5/18/2019

The Upside of losing a pet


Mini, Be-Be,Manley and Fat Cat on the couch...

Mini, Be-Be,Manley and Fat Cat on the couch…

Though the death of a pet is a devastating blow
and the grief really hurts as we all well know
there are some positives to be found
which helps get through this loss so profound

Danny, Richie and BeBe

Danny, Richie and BeBe

In the case of Danielle the dog we just lost
a forty pound mutt all covered in hair
every time she came in she would give a shake
and half of the yard she would leave in her wake
she would never clean up after one of these shakes
instead, would amble to her chair
curl up and sleep and leave more hair
for me to sweep up by the pound
if a use for dog hair could be found
a small fortune she left just hanging around

Fat Cat

Fat Cat

The same is true when Fat Cat passed
after a run in with one of the dogs
and even though she did last the night
by the morning she had breathed her last.
She had this habit because of her size
of not using the litter box that I did provide
instead she would find a corner to use
all I had to do was follow my nose
to locate her accident and get out the mop
to clean the spot that she forgot.

Young Manley as he was known

Young Manley as he was known to me

Manley another one of our clan
had a stroke or heart attack in my arms
and passed peacefully away
to be buried the next day out in the yard
Manley was a little male Maltese
and for a while had a harem of dogs
and because of this even though he was fixed
would mark every corner or protrusion to say
this is my territory, better stay away.

Mini

Mini

The only one that did not do bad things
was Mini the Scottie and truth to say
she had long hair and probably shed
but it mixed in with Danielle’s, who got the blame
and Minnie just went on with her play
smiling her dog smile as she ran away

So you see that not everything is bad
there are positives out there to be had
you just have to think in reverse
and instead of thinking of the worst
the fact that one of your pet’s has just died’
can be balanced against what they won’t provide
in the future for you to clean or mop
one less chore for you to stop.

Who am I kidding with these fairy tales
truth is I did not mind to clean
and even though I might have complained
I would gladly do it again
if all of my friends were still around
as we do not consider the cleaning a chore
and the life of our pet’s is worth so much more.