Blog Archives

The sadness of a runaway dog… And his recovery.

Three evenings ago our smaller dog, Byron, pushed his way out of the front door as he regularly tries (and sometimes succeeds) to do. Usually he returns in about an hour wanting water and to get on a couch and go to sleep. This time he didn’t return.

Elly and I drove up and down the nearby streets for two days hoping we would see him or, a miserable thought, find him dead along the side of the street having been hit by a car,

We called the dog warden to see if anyone had turned him in, but there has been no lost dog answering to his description (nor has there been any dog reported hit by car in our area). The Warden keeps us on the list watching out for the next month, but Elly and I think we have seen the last of Byron. If someone has taken him in I hope he has a good new home.

We miss him.

UPDATE!

Wonder of Wonders… Byron is Back!

We got a call this morning from the dog warden’s office saying Byron was found last night by a family several miles away. We, of course, immediately ran over to get him… a tired and roughed up dog that had spent two days on the run… his face looked like he had been fighting and he smelled of cow poop.

The folks who found him had three dogs and Byron was apparently not being all that friendly with the male of the three. But these good folks fed him and gave him a place to sleep and called the dog warden with his description.

We got him home and hosed him down to get the dirt and stench off and wiped off his face and brought him into the house. He immediately curled up near Elly’s feet. It looks like he’s glad to be home.

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The loudest thunder I’ve ever heard…

We’re in some kind of direct thunderstorm path out here in rural Harpers Ferry. The thunder from last night’s storm, which woke me up, was incredibly loud… as it had been the night before.

Both our dogs were upset and  I had to come out into the living room and pet them and calm them down. Byron, the smaller of the two, crawled behind my recliner and put his head under the seat… I presume so he couldn’t see the lightning flash in the windows. Nestle, my big old boy, moved back and forth from couch to couch unable to rest comfortably.

We have even more of these storms projected by the Weather Channel for this afternoon… 60% chance, which is usually pretty good.

I hope my dogs are up for it.

The Philosophy of Friendship…

Sometimes testing is very simple and the results are more than obvious.

I say this after just getting back from my weekly bout with ongoing depression with my therapist and being met at the door by Byron and Nestle, the two demanding dogs who are both thrilled to see me (and who want their lunch.)

I can’t imagine anything more pleasant than being greeted by two furry things who seem to have no other function in life than paying attention to me paying attention to them.

Moving to the new house has been somewhat of a confusing experience for the two of them, but they now seem to have centered on favorite spaces and times when things happen (lunch, walk, etc.) that pertain to them.

Political Humor – The Mutt Romney Blues

This is dedicated to my pals Nestle and Byron (thanks for the great walk, guys.)

Have a nice Thursday evening.

I’ve been trying to convince my dogs that they should help around the house…

… so I showed them this video:

Nestle went back to sleep and Byron picked up a chew toy and ran upstairs.

So much for dog responsibility.

Watching an old friend get older…

Nestle

Our 15-year-old labby, Nestle, is starting to show signs of “dog senility“… in reality, he is having major personality changes and acting like a very old and tired dog.

Where he used to, only recently, run downstairs in the morning to eat his breakfast, he now comes down slowly and ambles over to his bowl. He is very slow on his walks and certainly can’t keep up with Byron, our younger dog, where he used to have no problem.

And he now sleeps most of the day… and doesn’t come up to bed in our room at night without a lot of encouragement where he used to lead the way.

He now has signs of hip displasia and the stairs are getting harder for him (a tough thing in a 3 floor townhouse.)

There are days when he throws up what he eats, so we have limited him to no plate licking, which was his joy, and only 2 small biscuits as snacks.

It’s hard to watch these changes and we are worried that we won’t have our best friend dog much longer.

What a great Sunday Morning…

Our friend the blackbird

Talked to Elly on the phone this morning while I was walking the dogs (and having the fifth day of our friendly red-winged blackbird following us around and making tight circles in the air around us!)  and she’s coming back tonight (her plane leaves Minnesota at 4:30 and I think she has to change flights in Milwaukee…2 hour delay) and my boys will be thrilled. They have so missed their Mama.

G. Bradley Sanders

I didn’t have to water Elly’s gardens this morning since we had a night of rain and thunderstorms (where Byron, my dog who is afraid of thunder, crawled under the bed where he barely fits to sleep in safety) which more than took care of all the plants. So, I went over to Mellow Moods where I had coffee with G. Bradley Sanders, who owns the Timberframe Folly site out in the woods south of town. This was a guy I really wanted to meet for three reasons: his creative history is pretty exceptional, he is putting together a “Folly” at the Folly in August… a 22nd Century Carnival… that I want to be involved in, and I wanted to talk to him about producing Philip Glass‘s chamber opera, The Photographer, at the Folly in a year or so.

The Folly

It’s nice speaking with another 65-year-old who, incidentally, told me he listens to John and me on WSHC Friday mornings. Anyway, now I’m a volunteer for his Carnival Folly… if you’d like to find out more about it, go HERE. Bradley also is willing to let me do The Photographer at the Folly, now I can proceed to my next stage… finding someone to coordinate the music and finding out how much this is going to cost, royalties and such, so I and get into fundraising.

So now I’m going to do the Cartoon(s) of the Week and then get back and give the boys their lunch.

And some Thursday Afternoon Humor: Two Dogs Dining…

Certainly not like my Nestle and Byron

The intelligence of dogs.

Perhaps you saw this in the Huffington Post or elsewhere… there is a border collie named Chaser who has been shown to understand over 1000 words. The previous record for comprehension of words by a dog was

Nestle and Byron

200… so this one, which has been proven over three years of testing, says a lot. (You can see Chaser in action HERE.)

Chaser will retrieve, from another room, various toys by name and always come back with the correct toy. Amazing. My two dogs, Nestle and Byron, respond to the word “Toy”, but it’s always a guess as to what they bring back. I have started keeping a list of words they DO understand… and I determine this by their reaction to the word and how specific it is… and so far I only have about a dozen (including Food, Lunch, Walk, Breakfast, Out on the Deck, go to Bed and, of course, their names.)

I spend a certain amount of time lately marveling at their personalities and the way the interact with each other. Nestle is 11 years old, but is fairly active for an old dog. We don’t know how old Byron is (he is a “pound puppy” and we think he is around 4 years old), but he is the more active of the two and is always challenging Nestle to chase him and try to take the toy stuffed animal he is carrying. They have both worked out what seems to be strategies in this game (my favorite is how Nestle ignores Byron until he puts the toy down… then Nestle grabs it and takes off around the couch.)

I truly believe that dogs are extremely intelligent in their fashion, and I am always happy with their company. They are my friends and make my days extremely pleasant.

The Nativity Scene – Received from my sister…

My dogs, Nestle and Byron, are thrilled that dogs are included in the Christmas Story.

My younger dog, Byron, pooped in the house…

… while I was off picking up my son at Reagan National Airport yesterday and my wife was at a meeting. Of course, I didn’t discover it until this morning (he carefully hid his donation behind the washing machine closet door which was ajar). If you don’t catch him right when he is doing it, trying to teach him an object lesson is useless.

Oh well…