Category Archives: Pets

When your dog is more focused than you…


Good morning Everyone!

Something about the Christmas season seems to send my absent mindedness into hyperdrive.  Not so my dogs.

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

The Mandinator!

Here’s my proof:

1.       It was raining last week, and I was the last one to leave the office. I usually go out the front, which requires me to unlock and then lock it back,  but that night I went out the back door, which always lets people out even if they can’t get back in.  After I got outside and into my car (it has a combination lock that lets me unlock it without the key), I started to panic when I couldn’t find the keys anywhere in my purse.  I hadn’t even closed the car door yet.  I started to send a frantic text to one of my friends from work asking her to come back to free me, but as I was doing so, I realized there was the most annoying “ping, ping, ping” coming from the car.  I looked up to realize that my keys were in the ignition.  I must have put them in the ignition without even thinking about it.

2.     I am working on a knitting project that involves using a row counter.  This means that after I finish a row, I have to stop and hit the button on the counter to tally each row.  To do this, I have to put the “free” needle – the one without yarn on it at the time – down.  I got quite annoyed the other night when I couldn’t find the darn thing after one row tally.  There is nothing more frustrating than losing an object when you have been sitting in the same place the whole time.  I was sitting by Mark and he finally asked me what I was looking for.  When I told him I was looking for my knitting needle, he looked at me strangely before telling me that it was tucked behind my ear!

3.    We put a memory foam mattress topper on our bed last night.  We leaned back to see how it felt, and Mark had my glasses in his hand.  I kept reaching out to take them back, and he finally asked, “Why are you reaching for my glasses?”  I started to inform him that they weren’t his glasses, they were mine – until I realized that my glasses were still on my head.  Then I had to tell him that I had forgotten my glasses were still on me!

Compare that to Mandy’s behavior this morning.  She sailed onto my chest about 6:30, ready for me to get up.  Apparently the extra 4 inches added to the bed by the mattress topper doesn’t pose any problems for her, but I digress.  When she did, I noticed that in her mouth she had one of Mark’s handkerchiefs.  Sleepy or not, I was aware that most dogs do not carry handkerchiefs around with them, so I removed Mandy’s from her, put it in the hamper, pushed the clothes down to be sure they stayed out of reach and went on about our day.  About an hour later, I went back into the room for something and Mandy followed me, sailed back on the bed and began searching for the handkerchief I had taken away.

That moment was when I concluded that my dog is far less absent-minded than me.

Have a great day!

Nancy

 

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Memories of a Sweet Dog


Hi Everyone!

I can still remember picking Tyra out at the Humane Society.  We had lost our first dog, Shadow, about a year before, and our other dog, Woof, didn’t like being alone, so we decided to see if we could find a second dog so she would have some company.  Woof didn’t like the shelter much; it was too noisy and loud, so we put her back in the car and returned.  (It was February 14, so the weather was not an issue.)  The first run we encountered had two dogs in it, and two placards with their names on them attached to the door.  One of them said “My name is Tyra, and I know how to sit!”  Mark looked at both dogs, said sit, and one of them, a pretty dog with black hair and white, brown and tan markings did.  (She rarely sat on command after that, but the one time in her life it counted, she certainly did!).  We asked the shelter volunteer if we could adopt her, and the attendant said, “I think that’s an excellent idea!”

Adopted Dog, Shelter, Homecoming

Tyra’s Second Day at Home

No matter how hard a kennel or shelter tries, dogs that reside there acquire the very potent “Eau de Dog” scent, so as soon as we got her home, we popped Tyra into a bathtub, and washed her. From then until the day that she died, that dog never put a foot onto the tile portion of a bathroom in any house we resided in. Apparently, we had inadvertently scarred her for life!

Every dog has a unique personality, and Tyra’s outstanding characteristic was her eagerness to please – not in the goofy, sloppy, wonderful way a lab does, as if his whole world revolves around that instant in time his owner asks him to do something , but in her own quiet, determined way.  She had been left at the kennel by her first family because they had a baby and no longer had time for her.   I always had the impression that she was determined that would never happen again.  Of course, she couldn’t know at first that our family has one firm rule about adoptions of any animal, canine or human – once you’re a member of the pack, you’re always a member of the pack – but I suspect she caught on after a while.

She adapted quickly and well, as this picture from that first summer show.

Dog, photograph, sleeping in the s

Tyra in the back yard in Montgomery

Even better, Woof regained the ability to sleep in the sun and be happy even when Mark and I weren’t in the yard.

Dog, Sleeping in the Sun, Old Dog

Woof in the Back Yard When Tyra was There

We didn’t know it at the time we adopted Tyra, but she was not going to be the only new member of our family that year. In mid-November, at long last, the people at the Alabama DHR told us that they had a child they would like us to consider taking in as a foster child, with hopes that we could adopt her eventually. By December 1, 2004, Kayla had come to live with us. Here is a picture of all five us right about then:

Family Photo

Family Photo

We all had new experiences to share that winter, including the dogs experiencing the joys of having a child on the floor with her Dad and a bunch of Lincoln Log train tracks.

Dogs, Child, Play

Train Tracks, Family and Paws

Kayla and Tyra bonded quickly.  It really helped Kayla understand what was going on with her when we could explain to her what happened to Tyra – and it helped Kayla trust us to keep loving her when she saw how we loved Tyra.

Kids, Dogs

Kayla and Big Dog

Sweet Kisses

Sweet Kisses

There are so many things that made her unique – like the fact that even when she was old and blind, she could hear you peel a banana from 50 yards away and arrive instantly to demand her fair share, or that the only time I ever knew her to intentionally go after another person or dog was when she thought one of us was threatened. She did it twice – once when she thought another dog was attacking Woof, and once when Kayla was four and answered the door when the doorbell rang, then screamed because she didn’t recognize the person there. That time, Tyra had four teenage boys treed on the trunk of their car in the few seconds it took Mark to fly from the back yard to the front door himself. I felt sorry for the boys – all they wanted were directions. Both times, there was not a mark on either the dog or the boys when all was said and done but she had made a believer out of all of them!

Her story here came to an end on March 22. We hadn’t really thought we were that close to the end, even though she was 14, but that weekend she simply couldn’t seem to lift herself up off our wooden floor or go down the stairs at all, so I dropped her off at the vet’s that day, afraid of what I would hear.  When the vet called me back, I think I knew what she was going to tell me before she said it.  Tyra’s back had many osteophytes on the spine that had grown to the point that they were impinging on her nerves. Dr. Mitchell explained that Tyra would be in constant, worsening pain from then on, and we made the only decision we could.

I am comforted by the thought that Tyra knew without a doubt that we loved her; Mark, Kayla and I all made it to the vet about 1/2 hour in advance so we could be with her, petting her and telling her how much we loved her, and then it was time.

I also expect that it was only seconds after leaving here that Tyra was with Shadow and Woof –  trying to help Woof explain to Shadow exactly what Mandy looks like.

Sleep well, sweet Tyra Belle.

Nancy

Riddle Me This!


Good morning Everyone!

Here’s a favorite family riddle:

WHAT’S BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?

From Print Shop Professional 2.0
From Print Shop Professional 2.0

ANSWER:

 

 

 

 

Boo 1

BOO, ON SPAGHETTI NIGHT!

(Boo is one of Mandy’s nicknames.)

She looks very repentant when caught in the act, doesn’t she?

DSC_0614

Have a great day!

Nancy

A Fish Tale Only Jonah Would Believe


Hi Everyone!

I don’t often reblog something, but the day this happened, my husband “called” it for Facebook, so I will share Mark’s version with you. Every year, there is a big fair in Montgomery, and Kayla’s school went to it on a field trip on October 13. Here is what happened:

Goldfish

Photo courtesy of .clickartonline.com

Yesterday was the day my 12 year old daughter Kayla and her class went on a field trip to the Fair. Before she left we cautioned her about bringing anything live back except her classmates. We specifically stated, don’t play the stupid gold fish game and win a fish because you don’t need any more pets. Feeling that the instructions were clear and reasonably easy to follow my wife and I then sent her on her way with hugs, kisses, and lots of love. However, the 12 year old mind is apparently hopped up on hormones and thus unable to process information in a direct and meaningful way. I know this because when I called her yesterday to see that she made it home okay I was told, “Dad I have a bit of bad news….” Apparently we played the fish game, but tried hard to lose. Unfortunately we were just too darn lucky and won a goldfish named Kisses any way. Well we couldn’t just flush it – I know this because I suggested it and was quickly rebuffed by her and my wife – so we are now trying to be responsible and raise it. That decision has presented my daughter with a moral dilemma. In order to keep it alive she really needs to invest in a real fish tank which I have refused to pay for because I am openly hoping that Kisses croaks. Therefore she would have to use her money to pay for said tank, but she is saving for a new IPOD and apparently is much more conscientious with her cash than with Dad’s. She is further concerned because I’ve told her that if Kisses dies she cannot replace him even if she buys a tank. So when I left this morning she was trying to decide whether it is nobler to accept the demise of poor Kisses or risk it all and buy a tank. I could rescue her from her situation, but as I told her, she got into this situation by not listening, so she needs to learn to get herself out. Besides the way I look at it I could win either way. If she buys the tank and the fish dies, then she doesn’t get the IPOD which means she will have less electronics and more time to spend with the family. If she lets the fish die, then I will have one less useless pet in the house. However, with her luck she will probably buy the tank, get enough money from her relatives for her birthday next month to buy the IPOD and the fish will out live us all.

P.S. from me:  10 days later, Kisses, the fish, is still going strong, making him exceptionally long-lived for a fair fish!

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

Characteristics of a Buskey


Hi Everyone!

Meow0, who works over on the blog site Talented Tails, found the post last week with pictures of Mandy, Stella and Sawyer and wanted to know more about the buskey “breed,” so I thought I’d go over the characteristics all of you have helped me identify in buskeys that we have found so far.

1)  Geneology .  Buskeys are not an official breed, nor are they even an official mix like goldendoodles.  However, to classify as a buskey, a dog must have a basset hound and a husky as parents.

Basset Hound Husky dog

Mandy, The Quintessential Buskey

2)  What does a buskey look like?  A buskey has the long body and short legs of a basset hound, with hair about the length of a husky’s, and a beautiful curved fringed tail.  A buskey’s coloring is highly variable – so far, I’ve seen colors that range from typical husky colors (Mandy) to pure black.  Their eye color can range from two blue eyes, to one blue eye and one brown, to both brown.  Mandy’s eyes are enthralling – she has one blue and one brown eye, but if you look at the brown eye closely, you can see that even it has a patch of blue in it!

buskey, basset hound, Siberian Husky

Mandy – One Blue Eye, One Brown Eye

3) What does a buskey do?  Nothing it does not want to.  If you look at lists about how “trainable” dogs are, huskys (surprisingly) are close to the bottom of the list, and basset hounds (not surprisingly) even lower.  It’s not that they can’t learn to do things; it’s just that they’re only motivated to work on the things that interest them.  A buskey is highly independent.  Even when one is chastised for something, its nose never gets out of joint.  The buskey simply looks thoughtful for a minute, as if to say to the chastiser, “You have an interesting point of view” and then returns to doing whatever it was that got it into trouble in the first place.  Buskeys do love to run – and in spite of their short legs, they are amazingly fast.

Sawyer dives for something

Sawyer dives for something

4) What is a buskey’s temperament like?  A buskey has the most infectious joie de vivre of any dogs I have seen.  Imagine a dog that smiles all the time, much like a dolphin, and you have a good idea of the look on a buskey’s face 99% of the time.  The buskey I have, and the buskeys I have learned about are, without a doubt, the happiest, most content dogs the owners have ever had.  My Mandy, for example, is simply never in a bad mood.  Ever.  Unless you mess with her food bowl.

 

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

5)  Is there anything buskeys are exceptional at?  Yes.  Foraging.  Mandy grazes the counters and tables at my house regularly, unless we stop her.  Trash cans pose no obstacles to her, either.  I once spent $65 to buy a large kitchen trash can with a pedal and a self-closing lid to try to thwart her garbage foraging habit; she had it figured out in 30 seconds, and turned around to look at me, wag her tail and thank me for my thoughtfulness, since the self-closing lid was slower than the previous trashcan’s lid, so she had time to be more selective in the scraps she chose to pursue.  If there is an apocalypse, and Mandy and I survive it, I am following her to the nearest feeding ground.

Dog, eating, counter

6) Is the buskey a family dog?  In spite of its independent streak, yes, a buskey is a fabulous family dog, loving, sweet and happy.  They do well with children, and other dogs.  I have yet to encounter a buskey owner with a cat, so I’m not sure how they do with animals besides dogs.

buskeys, dogs

Tyra and Mandy Share a Walk

Mandy and Darwin confer

Mandy and Darwin confer

7) Where can I find a buskey?  Beats me.  Every single one I know of so far was adopted from a rescue shelter, so it appears to be pretty much luck of the draw.  If you ever see one, though, you’ll recognize it instantly.

Stella as a Puppy - the only buskey puppy picture I have!

Stella as a Puppy – the only buskey puppy picture I have!

8) Why bother writing about them in this blog?  It’s a basic consumer demand type thing – my first post on Siberian husky/basset hound mixes, which I used to highlight my Mandy, is one of my top 5 posts of all time – it gets viewed continually, and many people now are kind enough to tell me why they are looking and all of them either have or are considering getting a buskey.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Buskeys Rule: Additional Encounters with Husky-Basset Hound Mixes


Good morning Everyone!

In August, 2011, I wrote a post about Mandy, our husky basset hound mix.  Since that date, that post has been visited over 4000 times!  People have been kind enough to tell me sometimes why they wanted to read it – most of the time, someone has either just adopted a puppy or dog who is a buskey.  (For those new to the blog, “buskey” is the name I’ve decided to use to call this most unusual, but beautiful mix.)

I’d like to introduce you to a new member of the buskey family:  Stella.  As you can see, she bears a striking resemblance to other buskeys, as most of them do.

Stella, a basset hound husky mix

Stella, photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella has the body shape and the striking blue eyes common to the buskey, and you can see that her tail has longer hair on it than a hound’s tail would.  Her coloring is interesting, since she appeared to pick up more of the basset hound brown then some of the other buskeys we have seen.

husky basset hound mix

Stella enjoying a car ride.
Photo from her Mom, Amelia.

Here’s a picture of our Mandy enjoying a ride in our motor home.  You can definitely see the resemblance!

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy Out for a Drive!

Just like all the other buskeys, Stella has a laid back temperament, a generally sunny disposition, and a marked aptitude for foraging/scavenging kitchen counters and any other surfaces which may have food lying around loose.

Stella as a Puppy - Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella as a Puppy – Photo from Amelia, her mom

We are fortunate in that Ms. Amelia was able to send us a rare photo of a buskey as a puppy.  A lot of the people who now have buskeys adopted them from shelters as rescues (including us) and never had the opportunity to see our buskeys as puppies.

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

This pose looks familiar to me – it is one of the poses Mandy uses when she has decided to get me up in the morning.  It’s usually a warning shot before she starts to walk across my hair, which always gets me up.  (It hurts!)

While we are always happy to meet new buskeys, it’s nice to hear from some of the others we have already met.  Sawyer’s owner, who was the first buskey owner to ever contact me. recently sent me some updated photos.  Believe it or not, Sawyer is now 8!  That hardly seems possible.

Sawyer, Husky Basset Hound Mix, Buskey

Sawyer at age 8 with his family. Photo from Neda, his mom.

He looks happy, doesn’t he?  Here he is on the front steps of their home:

Husky Basset Hound, Buskey, Sawyer

Sawyer in the front yard: Photo from Neda, his mom.

Sawyer’s resemblance to Mandy can be almost uncanny – since he originally was adopted from a shelter in Birmingham, both families have speculated as to whether they might be related – but that, alas, is something neither of us will ever know for sure!

Huskey/Basset hound mix, Sawyer, buskey

Sawyer napping; Photo from Neda, his mom.

Compare that picture of Sawyer with this one of Mandy sharing her bed with Tyra, and you’ll see what I mean about the resemblance.

Mandy buskey update

Tyra and Mandy Sharing a Bed

It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

If any of you other buskey owners out there who have or will visit here to find out more about these unusual dogs want to share pictures, I’ll be happy to share them!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Mark and Nancy’s Great Camping Adventure


Good morning Everyone!

A conversation with Kristina over at Family.Work.Life about whether camping in a trailer or motor home as opposed to a tent is  “real” camping reminded me of a story from early on my married life.

When we moved back to Alabama from North Carolina in 1991, we ended up living in Alexander City, a town at the north end of Lake Martin, which is a huge man-made lake that powers three dams for the Alabama Power Company.  We decided to fulfill a dream of Mark’s, and bought a brand-new boat 1989 Bayliner.   Because it had been in the local boat shop’s inventory for almost three years, we managed to get quite a good deal on it.

One of the best places to enjoy Lake Martin is at Wind Creek, a state park with hundreds of camp sites, very nice boat launch facilities and just about anything else you could ever want from a state park on a lake.

Our family at that time consisted of three:  Mark, me and our first dog, Shadow.  Shadow loved riding in the boat. Mark and I decided one weekend in March that we would go camping at Wind Creek in the new four person tent we had bought, and bring the boat along with us.

It sounded like a great idea, but it wasn’t.  Wind Creek’s name, at least in March, is not meant to be aesthetically pleasing but rather descriptive, and with the prime camping spot we rented at the tip of the point, we had no shelter at all from the apparently gale force winds.

After a great deal of difficulty, we managed to get the tent put up and myself and Shadow deposited inside it to keep it from blowing away (yes, Shadow would have been enough but there was no way that dog was going to stay inside the tent by herself in that kind of wind.).  Mark then started to light the barbecue grill outside the tent while I talked to him through the door, but the wind was so strong we couldn’t keep a flame lit.  He finally gave up and took off into town to bring us back a pizza.

While he was gone, I shivered in the tent and listened to the wind roar through the pine trees and pull at our tent.  Once I had to slip outside to rescue various substantial camping paraphernalia that the wind had decided to play catch with, but fortunately the tent didn’t fly away too.  The entire time, Shadow was by my side, looking at me with sad eyes that plainly said,” We have a perfectly good house only miles from here; why on earth are we sitting out here in the wilderness fighting the wind?”  The best answer I could give her was that we were waiting for pizza.

Once Mark got back with the pizza, we ate it, sharing the obligatory portion with Shadow, who was somewhat mollified by our peace offering until the wind managed to rip out one of the tent stakes even with three of us in the tent.   It tickled me so much that I started laughing non-stop.  I was pretty useless from that point forward in any attempt to set the tent back to rights.

We finally conceded defeat about ten p.m., loaded everything back up into our pick-up truck and boat, and headed back into town, with a very relieved dog sitting in my lap.

I don’t remember us ever trying to camp again until we bought our first trailer.  I don’t even remember myself wanting to try camping again until I had a trailer, although I’m sure I mentioned it at least once or twice.

And that, my friends, is “Mark and Nancy’s Great Camping Adventure!”

Have a great day!

Nancy

Da Dogs


Good morning Everyone!

It’s been a while since I devoted a post exclusively to our three dogs, so today’s the day.

Regular readers to this blog will recall that we have three beautiful and unique dogs as pets:  Tyra, who is now 14, Mandy, who is 8 – 9 in August – (which is very hard to believe!) and Darwin, who is 5 (that’s another one that’s hard to understand.)  All three of them are pound puppies; we are forever grateful to the Montgomery Humane Society for Tyra and Mandy and to the Lake Martin Humane Shelter for Darwin.

Tyra is completely blind; we have suspicions that she might be losing some hearing also.  (To get her to hear where you are going/want her to go, you have to stomp like a dinosaur tap dancing – that is known as a clue!)  She is the sweetest dog we have ever had, although she has become a bit demanding when it comes to her nightly snuggle time with Mark.  She has always viewed herself as Mark’s dog, although she loves the rest of us too.  We suspect she is an Australian Shepherd mix.

Australian Shepherd Mix

Tyra

Mandy is a free and independent basset hound/husky mix with excellent self-esteem.  She loves all of us, and she is particularly my dog (when we first got her, Woof was still alive.  Woof was my kitchen dog, as I called her – she wouldn’t leave me to myself no matter how bad she wanted to be in a room with everyone else.  She trained Mandy for the same position.)  She is the only dog we’ve ever had whose response to being scolded and told “bad dog” is to stare at you thoughtfully, let you know that she feels your point of view is interesting but not particularly upsetting, and then walk away to plot how to continue whatever it was she was trying to do in the first place.  While she is absolutely unique, I have been surprised at how many people are interested in or have basset hound/husky mixes.  Over 400 of them have looked at my post about Mandy as a basset hound/husky  mix, and I’ve had a good 8 to 10 people at least send me messages about the buskeys (a good handy nickname) that they own.

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy

Darwin is the biggest dog we have ever owned.  He is either a black german short-haired pointer, in which case he is not recognized as a short-haired pointer in America although he is in Europe, or a Lab/Great Dane mix.  He is incredibly eager to please his people and surprisingly affectionate for a male dog.  He’s not entirely sold on the idea of being Kayla’s dog (he has an application in for the position of Mark’s dog which is never going to be granted while Tyra is alive), but is beginning to reconcile himself to that position now that we allow him to go to bed with her at night, which means he ends up sleeping on her bed with her during the night, a much better deal than he’d get in our room.

Lab/Great Dane Mix

Darwin

The three dogs care about each other, and their interactions are fun to watch.  Darwin and Mandy play together a lot, which has kept Mandy young.  They like to chase each other around the yard, and while you’d think the larger Darwin would have the advantage, he doesn’t – Mandy is the fastest dog I have ever seen, and can hold her own against him.  Darwin wants to play with Tyra, but she can’t see him “play bow” to know that he is just playing, so things can get a little tense.  I did get to see the two of them figure out how to play one day, and it was ingenious – neither one moved their legs, while they kept moving their heads around playing “tag” with their heads – apparently you somehow scored a point if you touched the other dog with your head.  Tyra doesn’t believe that play is play unless barking is included, so the din was pretty astonishing.

Australian Shepherd Mix Camping

Tyra Camping

Husky Basset Hound mix camping

Mandy Camping

Lab/Great Dane Mix Camping

Darwin Camping

The three dogs like to camping with us in our (gracefully aged) motor home, but they each have different attitudes about it.  Boo is happy to be with us, but her level of happiness is the same as if she was going for a ride in the car or with us for a walk.  Tyra has always loved camping, and the motor home is no exception.  She likes to come to the front while we’re driving, flip up the arm rest on the driver and passenger seats and get her ears rubbed.  Continually.  For the entire duration of the trip, whether it is a five-minute drive to the nearby state park or a six to eight hour drive to the Smoky Mountains.   Darwin is ecstatic to be camping, and shows it with all his might.  Mandy and Darwin both like to sit on the dashboard of the motor home while we are gone and just watch the world go by until we come home.  I have been astonished at how little they bark at anything outside, including other dogs, when they do that.

Two dogs

Boo and Darwin Together Camping

Two Dogs in Motor Home

Tyra and Mandy Together

So there are our three canine family members.  Each well-loved and loving well in return, each unique and each one indispensable to who we are as a family.

Two Dogs on Bed

Tyra and Mandy Share a Bed

I hope your pets are every bit as interesting!  Tell me about them in the comments section if you have time.  I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great day and weekend everyone!

Nancy

A Tadpole Tale


Good morning Everyone!

Kayla’s elementary school has a unique feature:  a rock garden pool.

Rock Garden 3

When we have a heavy rain the day before, the boundary of the pool slips ever so slightly out of its bounds onto the rocks as well, and then over the next day slowly recedes back into its normal boundaries.

Rock Garden 2

A couple of weeks ago, the water was receding over the rocks when Kayla and her friends discovered a swarm of tadpoles that were caught in a puddle on the rock and which would soon die.  Kayla collected empty water bottles from her friends, punched holes in the lids, filled the bottles with the pond water and proceeded to catch several tadpoles for each of her friends, including herself.  She told me her friends were calling her “The Tadpole Whisperer.”  She also presented me with the algae-and-tadpole ridden water bottle that was hers and informed me that she was going to take her six tadpoles and raise them into frogs.

Now, let’s back track just a minute.  As many of you may recall, we have three “inside” dogs:

Dog

Tyra

Mandy, awakens from a nap

Mandy

Dog, Labrador Retriever

Darwin

Ever since Dog #3 was admitted into our home, Kayla has been repeatedly told that we will have no other pets, not even a goldfish, entering the house.  (This wise rule has prevented sustained arguments over rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, ferrets, goldfish, aquariums, mice, baby squirrels, etc.)

When she presented the algae- and tadpole-ridden water bottle to me, I reminded her of this rule.  She informed me, absolutely seriously, that the no-pet rule didn’t count here because she would merely be fostering them until they turned into frogs.  Thinking that such a fine argument deserved at least a little credit, I told her she could bring the bottle home, but that she needed permission from both Mark and I to keep the tadpoles until they were frogs, and that I didn’t really think it was likely she’d be able to keep them.  (I also started doing a mental inventory in my mind of the multitude of aquarium-related equipment we’d need for this to be a success and decided that it was not going to be cost-effective, either.)

Rock Garden 1

Sure enough, once the tadpole bottle made it home and an inventory of the effort and effect of raising the six tadpoles was completed, Kayla was told that her tadpole project was a no-go and the tadpoles would have to be disposed of.

tadpole, bull frog

Bull frog Tadpole, Photograph from the U.S. Geological Survey and therefore part of the public domain

Kayla took it well and that was the end of it.

Or at least it should have been.  Now we come to the part that annoys me – I just couldn’t dump the tadpoles either down the toilet or onto the pavement. I just couldn’t.  Even though logic told me that 1) the tadpoles should have died on the rocks at the school anyhow , 2) even if they didn’t, the odds of any one of them living to be a frog were infinitely small and 3) if  they had been spiders or insects I would have stomped on them (or had Mark do so) without hesitation, I just couldn’t dump them out without at least a chance at life.  Nor could I just return them to the rock pool, since I gauged their chances of success there almost as slim as if I poured them out on the driveway.

Mark didn’t really understand it either, but since he loves me and Kayla he graciously gave us a couple of more days to allow me to have time, finally, on my lunch hour to carry the tadpoles to an offshoot of Lake Martin near our house where I could release them.

It is a testimony to Kayla’s skills as a tadpole catcher and feeder that all six of the little things were still alive when I released them in a quiet, warm, still section of the lake.

Have a great day everyone!

Nancy

The Sound….


Good Morning Everyone!

Picture, if you will, the following scene:

I am at the breakfast table, huddling over my breakfast and trying to wake up.  In the rooms in the back, which include my bedroom, I hear the normal tap-tapping, shuffle, shuffle sounds of the dogs playing.  I hear the scuffle, snarl that means that they are playing with some kind of fabric, and then there is silence.   (I should have started worrying then, but I am a slow starter in the a.m.) Suddenly, out of the blue, I hear “CLINK, Clink, clink.”

Only one thing could make that sound – my wedding ring bouncing onto the floor from my bedside table, and, earthquakes being in short supply this morning, there is only one way it could get there – being pulled down by a dog interested in chewing.

(To make matters worse, I have already lost my wedding ring twice in the last five years, and although Mark has been very sweet about it both times, the second time replacement was accompanied with the very reasonable request that I try to hold on to this one for a while!)

Fortunately, I rescued it in time, but it was a close call!   I never thought the day would come when I wanted them to chew socks….

Have a great day!

Nancy