Saturday, February 28, 2009

Its Not Blood

No, it is not blood.


Bert managed to get the pan I warmed up my taco sauce in today.

Mom made her famous tacos today and I brough some home to enjoy for lunch.

Every spring we cannot use the plumbing for about 5 weeks and so washing dishes is quite a chore.

Thank goodness I have dogs......

NOT

Friday, February 27, 2009

Colored Water

So, try and explain this one to me. Vickie gets reamed by her doctor about eating better, getting more exercise and watching her Cholesterol. So what does she do, but comes home from the doctor and starts cleaning out her cupboards. Into the garbage can go all sorts of goodies that she clearly knows, I would be happy to eat for her. Why oh why would you waste that stuff.

On the up side, she told me that she would have to take me on more walks. OK, I can go with that.

She figured she had about an hour before she needed to be back to work so we started her new lifestyle today. She grabbed a handful of snap peas a fruit and nut trail bar and off we went.

Time was not going to allow us to head to the hills so we headed west. Past the park, past all the houses, past the turkey farm and way way west. When we got to the place she decided to walk we had traveled for miles. Ah, a new place. This surely was going to be good. Jamie and I jumped out of the truck and headed out.

Oh my goodness, we hadn’t gone 100 yards before we were surrounded by water. Blue water, green water, and some rusty red water. Some of it was covered with ice, which I wasn’t aware of until I slid across one patch spinning around twice and ending up in a snow bank. It was pretty fun when you get over the shock of loosing your footing and propelling across the surface of what you thought was water.

The blue water was an actual river flowing through the bird refuge and Vickie warned me and Jamie to stay away. This was tough because I could see and hear a bunch of birds swimming around. Vickie called them ducks. While I was intently watching these “Ducks” I felt a shadow go just over my head and a strange loud honking sound. I ducked down, rolled on my back and looked up just as a flock of geese and swans flew directly over my head.

Geese and swans, now those are interesting birds. They fly in groups and make all kinds of noise as they travel. When they land they make even more noise. I would give anything if Vickie would have just let me run out to where they had landed. I would love to meet those things one on one. I am just sure they would like me as much as I would like them. I bet they would play with me too.

But Vickie said no so we just stood on the shore line for a while and watched them land and take off and land and take off.

When we were bored with the birds, we kept walking. That’s when we came across the green and red water. Vickie took a picture, I took a drink. You know, it tasted just like that big old cow pie I had the other day. I wonder if cows had been here. It kind of looks like cows might have lived here at some recent time. Sure tasted like it.

Moving on a little forward I was delighted to find a very ripe, dead fish that was probably dropped by an eagle last fall. Vickie would say it stunk to high heaven, but I just felt like I had found heaven. I rolled in it, around it, over it and under it. I wanted to smell just like it.

Normally I would have expected Vickie to holler at me to “Leave it” but this time, she just laughed and said “Why even try”.

Do you think she is starting to accept me for who I am?

It was a lovely day and a lovely walk and just to be kind to Vickie and thank her for all her efforts, I made it a point to roll in a snow bank, just before we got back to the car. I was hoping to get some of the rotting fish smell off before we got back in the car. Aren’t I thoughtful? (see video below)

Actually I remembered the last time I got that “Good Smell” all over me, and how she hosed me down. I am not really in the mood to be hosed again.


There was a fun surprise for me when I got home. Some of the kids from Lincoln Elementary got together and made me (and Murphy and Tucker) a really cool poster thanking us for coming to their school this week. Vickie put it on the wall so I could look at it any time I wanted to. If any of you guys from Lincoln are reading this, We all say, "THANK YOU" right back.

video

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stinky things and stinky dogs

This morning Vickie went into the laundry closet and pulled out four dirty socks, then she put them in her coat pocket. Next she got into my search dog pack and pulled out the GPS, got the camera and put them both next to the keys to the car. Now I may be young, but I know those actions mean something fun is up and coming.

I made it a point to stick close to her all morning. I didn’t want her sneaking off without me. It was such a long morning. I mean, a lot of my friends came to Day Care and it was exciting to see them, but still I knew something really cool was still coming.




Gus and Cleo came early. Gus was really wound up. He was whining and barking before his ride had even pulled up to the gate. Natalie, their human, couldn’t get out fast enough for Gus. I could hear him from the office. We all came out to greet them as Vickie opened their play area up so they could go in and check out all the smells from yesterday.




Ellie and Gracie soon arrived and headed back to the big play area behind the house where they were to spend the day with Frankenstein and Monte. Shortly after them came Zeus, Kodiak and Kenai. Then two other dogs came, I haven’t met them yet but they were huge, I mean HUGE. I can’t believe there is a dog bigger than Zeus but this one guys face is bigger than anything I have ever seen.

Mind you, I wasn’t afraid because he seems awful gentle, just HUGE.. Striker is the biggest of the two and Sam, well he isn’t far behind. Sam is very playful and he found Zeus to be a great playmate, although I am not sure Zeus was as tickeled with him.

Striker spent most of the day just walking around smelling smells. I got a great deal of joy watching him. He has the biggest brown eyes and they look so very soulful. He looks sad, but yet, he is happy. Now how does a guy do that?





Finally all the day care dogs arrived and Vickie settled them all in, then came and got me and Jamie, the camera, GPS and dirty socks. Off we went……I thought we were going to Fort Buenaventura which I love, but then when we parked before the bridge and got out, Vickie started walking west of the river into an area I was not familiar with.

She said we were going to set up an evidence trail for some of the other dog handlers from American Search Dogs which meant lots and lots of walking and I love walking. We covered a couple of miles while we walked along the river and every now and then, Vickie would stop and hide one of the dirty socks, marking the location on her GPS. She said it would be like a game.

The handlers would get the GPS coordinates and that would give them a general location, then the dogs, got to use their noses and close in on the dirty socks. Not really a problem as far I as I could tell, cause I could smell those dirty things a good 100 yards away.

When we were almost done with the walk, Jamie alerted, smelling something really good over by the river. Off she went, down the bank and under the bridge. Vickie and I just walked. Then she came running back up to us with something in her mouth. Yep, she had found someone else’s clothing that they had left behind

I saw Vickie cringe as Jamie brought it back to her, wanting her to play tug of war with it. Since it was clear Vickie wasn’t going to play with the smelly stuff, I decided to grab it from Jamie and keep it for myself. Whoa!!! It was potent.

Jamie wanted it back and Vickie was hollering to me to drop it. They both wanted it now, but I wasn’t going to give it up. I ran with it for a while, but then my mouth started watering so much from the smell and taste of it that I decided it should be diluted a bit with some water.


I looked around but I was too far from the water and Jamie was blocking my way to it anyway. I didn’t want her to get it so I headed to the side of the trail where there was some run-off water, well maybe it was more of mud than water.

Yep, that stopped both of them. That Jamie is pretty prissy about keeping her feet dry. I think it is because of the sore she has on her foot. Vickie had tennis shoes on and so she was not threat at all. But just in case, I buried the prize in the mud and then just to make it even more unattractive to both of them, I laid on it.

No body wanted it now… It was all mine. But now it was so muddy that even I didn’t want it so I just played a little more in the mud and slime, then we all headed back to the truck.

Vickie said she was torn as we got closer to the truck. She was mumbling something about not wanting a muddy filthy dog in the truck, but it was too cold to dump me in the river to wash it off. The discussion she was having with herself went on for about five minutes and luckily for me, muddy won out. That river did look awful cold.

Before she let me into the truck she pulled out a bunch of blankets and covered the seats. Then boosted Jamie in, then me. She got in and we headed for home.

We hadn’t gone more than 20 feet when Vickie started complaining about the smell. Now what smell could she be talking about? I thought the air in the truck was just fine. Vickie suddenly stopped the truck, then reached past me and opened the window. Next she opened the drivers side window. She was making these gagging sounds. The same kind of sounds I make, just before I throw up.

She was making those sounds all the way home, and when we got home, she wouldn’t even let me in the house. She locked me in the front yard and then she brought out the hose and soaked me down. She was washing off all that really neat smelly mud that I had found. She kept saying stuff about “Swamp Gas” and “Sewers”.

Sometimes I don’t get her at all. But even when she is totally weird, I just keep reminding myself of all the fun times we have together. She’s ok..

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lincoln Elementary

Vickie says that today I made her very proud. I don't know what the big deal is, I just did what comes naturally. You know, just being me....sweet loveable, charming ME.


It has been a bit boring around the house/kennel for the last few days. We have hardly left the place at all. Well one day Jamie, Vickie and I walked down to John and Triggers house to play for a bit. That John can really throw a ball a long ways. Trigger doesn't mind it when we come over because he really likes Vickie. She spends a lot of time petting him and talking to him, while John throws the ball for me.


I can really stretch the old legs when John throws. I am getting so fast, that I can almost reach the ball before it hits ground. Soon baby soon. Anyway, other than that little excursion, we have been mostly hanging around the kennel.


It was a long weekend, the sun has been out for most of it, and a good lot of the snow has melted leaving lots and lots of doggy doo doo for Vickie to pick up, so I have just been laying around. Until today.....


Around 1 o'clock this afternoon, I noticed Vickie was loading up the search dog pack with all the goodies that meant, "we are off for a good time"


I could tell that it was time to do another demonstration at a school which means, Kids, KIDS, KIDS. I love kids......


I hopped up into the truck as she loaded the pack and off we went. It was sad to see Jamie at the gate watching us, I know she wanted to come but Vickie says that because she is almost deaf and close to blind, that she would be safer if she stayed home today. Vickie promised her that we would go to the park tomorrow, but I don't think that helped Jamie feel better.... Maybe she couldn't hear what Vickie said...


As we drove up to the school I could see Tucker waiting patiently in the back of his pick up and Murphy sitting high in the back seat of his car. I jumped out to great them, the second Vickie opened the door.



When we went inside I was so excited I could hardly stand it. I was hoping to see a bunch of kids waiting for me like up at the environmental center, but when we walked in, the school was quiet and there were no kids in sight.



We walked down the halls and came to a big empty room where we went inside. Still no kids. Now this is odd, I don't understand at all. We all stood around for about 10 minutes and I was just about to give up hope when I looked up at the entry way and there stood about 6 kids. They were looking in at me, Murphy and Tucker and had big grins on their faces. They were pointing in our direction and talking, but not coming in.






I was trying to get Vickies attention to let her know that there were KIDS just outside the door. I stood up and put my two front paws on Vickies shoulders but she just turned away from me. I was having a hard time getting her to pay attention.


Finally, finally, the kids started coming in. The six kids came in and right behind them, to my delight were 100 more. Kids just kept pouring in through the door....It was like Christmas. All my dreams coming true.... Kids, Kids and more KIDS.


Some of them even knew my name. I heard them saying my name and Murphys name as they pointed. "Cool, I am a celebrity" "Kids know my name"



The demonstration was pretty much like the others that I have been to but Vickie said that I acted like a well behaved young man instead of the "Maniac" I usually act like. I am not sure what she means by that but whenever Vickie is happy, I am happy so today everyone was happy.



I showed the kids how I say my prayers, Tucker showed them how obedient he can be and Murphy did "Stick em Up" and "Bang" He plays dead really well



And I got to be surrounded by Kids for about two hours....What a life.......


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sunny Days at Canine Country Club



What a beautiful day we had today. It was Saturday and Vickie was in a real good mood. I think she must be taking happy pills... So she took Jamie and I to the park for a while, then we came back and spent the day playing with the other dogs that were staying at Canine Country Club.

Vickie wanted to do something really fun for KC because he was feeling a little depressed. He had to come and stay with us for a few days because Vickies mom (KC's family) had to have surgery on her hand last week and wouldn't be able to take care of him for a few days. KC loves to run and play, likes to eat the straw in the play areas and chase birds, so thats what we all did.





Dexter only got to play for a while because he plays too rough for the rest of us. I even get a little nervous when he comes barreling towards you, then slams into you knocking you sideways. It is all in fun for him, but wow, it can be a little painful.







Ellie found some ice to eat on top of one of the shade barns. She wouldn't share with me even though I asked really nicely. So I just went to another barn and got some of my own later.











Gus the golden-doodle had a super time but boy is he exhausted tonight. Today was his first day here and he didn't understand that you should pace yourself. He is probably used to a bit quieter lifestyle than what goes on here because he is really pooped.....
All in all, with the sun shining and the warm day, it was really great. Hope you had a great day too.



Friday, February 20, 2009

Friends


I know I am only 9 months old, but as Vickie points out to me daily, I am very likable. It is because of my likability, that I have made so many many friends. You have already met some of them but I thought it would be fun to let you meet more of my friends today.








The first friend I want you to meet is “Horse” Vickie calls him Horse because she cannot pronounce his name, I call him Horse because, well because, Vickie is typing this and sometimes I have to accept the fact that she has limited understanding of the realities that I deal with every day. I have to just let her do what she thinks I want….She doesn’t’ do to bad… So Far.



Anyway, I met “Horse” on my very first walk when I was very young. AT first he frightened me because he is soooo very big. But as we got to know each other better over time, I learned that he is just like me in many ways. He loves to play and he likes to run with me along the fence. (see video below)






“Horse” likes it when Vickie gives him grass from the park and sometimes, I like to give him a kiss on the nose when he is eating. Once, when we were first getting acquainted I was right next to him, smelling his face and nose when he let out a huge snort…..I jumped back and rolled down a little hill I was so startled. I swear to you that “Horse” started laughing… he lifted his head, spread his lips wide and his teeth were going up and down as he made a loud whinnying sound. Both he and Vickie couldn’t stop laughing.




Its ok, my feelings weren’t hurt, I had just been a little startled. Since then, he doesn’t’ scare me at all and I love it when we go to the park so I can go see my friend “Horse”.







My next and newest friend is Dexter. He is called a German Shepherd and he actually did live in Germany for a while before he came across the ocean. He say’s that the trip across was pretty bad. He had to stay in a really small cage on the flight over and then something else happened. He doesn’t like to talk about it, but it must have been something really bad.

When he came to stay with us, he refused to go inside the buildings even though it was really cold and snowy. He just sat outside and let out little crying noises until Vickie went out and asked him if he wanted to come into the house with us.

He came right in and made himself at home. IN fact right now he is laying in MY bed, but that is ok. I don’t mind sharing. He is kind of a shy guy, but it is like there is a lot going on inside his head. He watches everything Vickie does, even when he seems to be sleeping.




Next we have Tucker (Australian Shepherd) and Murphy (Golden Doodle). Obviously Murhpy is my mentor, I mean except for Jamie who is all the dogs mentor. Murphy is a great search dog and I want to grow up to be just like him, only with less hair. I noticed the other day that Murphy stands up a lot and from behind he looks almost human, only with a tail. He is great….

But I have to say my best Search Dog friend is Tucker. We have a wonderful time together. Tucker is a great sport. Vickie says he is better trained than I am and that we will need to work on our obedience so I wont embarrass her all the time because I am so wild. She always asks my why I can’t be more like Tucker.

Well maybe one day, but not today……..I like pretending I don’t hear her when she calls, or looking like I don’t understand her when she says “Sit”. Its just part of my charm….

I think for today I’ll tell you about one more friend and then I am going to go eat my dinner, if Vickie will fix it…..

I have several human friends, well, actually I have more human friends than dog friends. One of my favorite friends, and I don’t’ get to see her much but whenever she emails, Vickie will tell me she says hi, is Erin. She has a big dog named Jessie who comes to stay with us. Jessie is teaching me how to smile.

Anyway, Erin comes too and one day Erin asked if she could come back and help teach me my search dog stuff. Well of course Vickie was thrilled, cause sometimes it is hard to find people who want to play hide and seek with a dog. So Erin came over one day and we all went to the park.

She is a pretty good hider but a better player. When I found her, she played tug-of-war with me for a bit and I’ll be darned if she isn’t pretty strong for a little human.



So I am going to sign off now, but I just wanted to add a special “Hi” to my friends Erin and Chase. Chase is a whole other story. Maybe I’ll tell you someday.

Mmmmm I smell food. See Ya







video



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Winter Fun Days at Environmental Center

Well, it doesn’t get any better than this. Today I got to go to the Environmental Center up near Liberty and participate with Lacy, Murhpy and Tucker in a demonstration for 110 children.

When I walked into that building and saw all those kids sitting down waiting for me, I just about had a stroke. There they were, all sitting at my level with big excited looks on their faces, wanting me to come to them, to lick them, to sit on them, to play with them. I just couldn’t help it, there was no stopping me as I ran in and dove into the whole pile of kids.





Vickie started out by talking to the whole group about how us dogs can find you if you get lost. She talked about how you humans have a special smell and that it is all over your clothes. So if you ever get lost or something, then the Sheriff gets a sock or shirt or other clothing article and us dogs smell it and then boom!!! We come find you.

Joyce talked about the things you should take in your pack when you go hiking, like a light stick, water, extra socks and a whistle. I didn’t like it when she blew on the whistle cause it hurt my ears, but I’ll bet searchers could hear you blowing on that whistle for miles.

Paulette talked about what you should do if you get lost. She had this boy lay down on the ground and make a “Snow Angel” Man… He was so close and I wanted to run to him and lick his face but this big guy who was holding my leash wouldn’t let me go.

Ken talked about what you should do before you go, like leave a note telling people where you are going and when you will be back. He also showed them how to make a tin-foil shoe print.

All in all it was a pretty fun hour, even though I was made to sit down and behave through most of it. But after the talking was through, we got to go outside and play in the snow again.

This snow was the greatest stuff ever. I have seen snow before, but only a couple of inches at a time. Here, I was surrounded by 6 to 8 feet of the stuff. Vickie, Paulette, Ken and Joyce all walked around on a nicely snowplowed road way but us dogs jumped up the side of the road and into the snow fields. Then we could run across the top. It was like being the tallest dog in the world.

We got to walk to and from the environmental center. It was about a mile each way and so us dogs got to play and play and play. I have never had such a good time. By the time we finally got back to the car, I was exhausted. I barely made it into the truck, climbed up behind the seats in my special bed and fell asleep. I don’t even remember the ride home.

What a GREAT DAY

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rouse Days

Well, here is one for the books. Yesterday Vickie started screaming at the top of her lungs. I ran into the kitchen to see what the problem was. I have never heard her scream like that. I hear her hollering now and again, but this was a high pitched “Yeak” sound that she kept screaming as she ran through the kitchen.

I finally saw what was making her jump from one place to the other while she screamed “Yeak” again and again. You won’t believe this. It was a teeny tiny little fury brown thing I later came to learn as being a Rouse. Too small to be a Rat and too big to be a mouse, thus the name Rouse.

I mean, come on, it was just a tiny little critter, why the big Who Ha!!!

Think about it. The little birds that she feeds in the front yard are no bigger than that mouse and SHE IS FEEDING THEM. So why act so crazy over a little Rouse. Next thing I know, she is scrambling up to the attic mumbling something about finding the old trap.

A trap, now isn’t that a little extreme? I know about traps…..When I was younger, and learning how far across the cupboard I could reach when I stood on my hind legs, she …set a trap… then. It was awful. It was a little wooden thing that had a big heavy wire across the front that snapped shut if you came near it. It was called a mouse trap. I wasn’t too concerned cause I wasn’t a mouse.

One day Vickie put about three of them across the front of the counter with a FINE piece of steak on the other side. I knew the meat was meant for me, why else would she leave it out on the counter.

All I had to do was wait until she left the room, stand on my hind legs, reach up with my paws and slide that piece of meat closer so I could grab it with my mouth and then…..Happy Day…. Steak for Bert.

When she left the room, finally….I made my way to the counter. Looking around to make sure that Jamie or Abby were not around, I stood up on my hind legs and put my paws on the edge of the counter.

There it was…..just waiting for me….delectable delicious meat….All I had to do was reach past those mouse traps she had left in front of the steak. That should be no problem. I noticed she had placed them upside down. The snapping trap part was on the counter and the back of the trap was facing up. I wondered how she expected to capture a mouse when the traps were upside down, but that was her problem. I had much juicer things to work on so I pushed my paw past the trap to the meat.

I’ll be danged….all of a sudden, the world came crashing in around me. I must have just barely touched the middle trap with a hair from my paw. That thing blew straight up into the air making a loud snapping sound as the metal clamp flipped it around and cracked shut. Then it dropped out of the sky falling on the second trap which caused it to shoot in the air whirling straight for me. I blocked it with my snout just as the clamp slammed shut missing my lips by a fraction of an inch. As I pulled myself back from the cupboard my other paw grazed across the third trap, and WHAM……it leaped into the window causing a horrific whacking noise and then fell into the sink below.

From that day forward I have NEVER placed my nose, paw or any other part of my body on the counter. You can put a hot dog, a steak or my very best, most favorite toy in the world up there and there it will stay, for you never know when she might put another one of those traps out there and I might not know it.

So now, hearing her up there in the attic, looking for the trap, my heart sinks. I feel bad for that furry little creature. I wish I could tell him to Run, RUN for your life, little fella, Run….. But alas, his fate is now in the hands of “The Trap” I just hope he isn’t as easily fooled by the smell of food as I was. Poor little guy.

Gosh, it took Vickie about 10 minutes of searching before I heard her say “Got It” and down the attic stairs she came. I didn’t want to even look upon those little wooden items of torture, but I couldn’t help myself.

I was surprised to see she was carrying a long wire cage type thing. It had a metal door on one end and a little teeter tauter type thing in the center. I guess she could see the concern in my face and she told me this was called a “Live Trap”. She said that she didn’t want to kill the Rouse, she just didn’t want it to live here with us.

Vickie promised she would “Relocate” the Rouse if she caught it. Now I am not sure what she means by Relocate, but it must be good because I know she is a kind heart and doesn’t like to hurt any living creature.

Next, she took a cracker and sprayed cheese over it, then placed the trap in the kitchen and we all went to bed. I was anxious all night. I would go in and check on the trap almost every hour. Nothing…..It got kind of boring so around 4 am, I settled in and finally went to sleep.

Just before 5 am we were all awakened by a loud thwacking sound. (Yes that is a word, look it up). I ran into the kitchen followed closely by Vickie and Jamie. There it was, the Rouse…..sitting safely inside the trap. Not hurt, just a little surprised. He or she, not sure about that and didn’t want to know, watched us closely as we all peered in at him or her.

Then Vickie picked up the trap and put it out in the garage. She said the rouse had to stay out there until after all the day care dogs had arrived. Then we would all get in the car and take him to his or her new home. It was all very exciting.

Boy that was a long morning. I spent most of it, just imagining where his new home would be. I was hoping it would be way out west by the bird refuge because that would mean we got to take a long walk. Vickie promised she would find a place where he (the rouse) could find a warm and safe place to hide with a lot of food close by as it would be like moving to a new neighborhood where you didn’t know where the store was.

Finally it came time to get the rouse and go for a ride…..

We all jumped into the front of the truck, but the rouse had to ride in the back of the pick up by himself. Its ok, though. We have a shell on the truck so he was plenty warm enough.

When we got way out west past all the houses and close to the bird refuge, we got out. Vickie put on her gloves, hat and coat and got the rouse and off we went. It was a great walk. IT was snowing and I got to run and run.

When we finally reached the place where the rouse was to go free, Vickie set the metal cage down, put me and Jamie on a Sit Stay. (I think she thought we would chase the rouse, but I wouldn’t hurt him, I would just play hide and seek with him for a bit) then she opened the cage door and told the rouse to go ahead and be free.

I thought the rouse was just frightened because he didn’t move. Vickie tried to coax him out by tipping the cage so he knew he could go, but still he clung to the floor of the cage. Then I heard Vickie give a sad little sigh. I think I knew too that something was wrong.

Our little mouse finally tumbled head over heal out of the cage and lay motionless on the ground beside us. We all waited for him to jump up and run off into the tall grass and bushes that bordered the river where his new home was to be, but he just lay there barely breathing.

Vickie started to cry because she felt so bad that this little creature was dying and there was nothing we could do. She explained to me that it was probably so frightened by all that had happened that morning that its little heart had given out. Little rouse died a few minutes later and Vickie slid him under a big warm looking bush and we turned and left him there.

It was a very sad walk home for Vickie.

But on the lighter side, I am making headway with Roxy. I was a little worried at first that Zeus might try to impress her, but he spent most of his day asleep on the lazyboy andwhen he did come out, he pretty much made it clear, that he wasn't interested in her. He said, "She isn't my type of girl" I wonder what he meant by that. So Check out the video below. She and I play for hours…..I think she is falling for me……Yahooy




video