Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Canine Crew

"Antisthenes says that in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer."- Plutarch, Moralia

It is cold but thankfully it is not THAT cold here. I might be wimpy but I would think it is not "fit for man nor beast". The chickens have not ventured far from the coop and make short work of the warm milk and bread. In a "while the cats away the mouse will play" time the wild turkeys took advantage and ate their fill at the feeders.

The sheep and goat don't venture far from the barn and quickly belly up for feed and hay. The cat sleeps all day as close to the wood stove as she can get without becoming cooked. The dogs quickly go out, do their business and return scratching at the door to get back into the warmth.  And since I rarely have dog pics, I will introduce the canine crew.

Shadow is the old dame of our canine family. She is an 18 year old black lab X Springer spaniel with selective hearing. The man had her when we met and she is aptly named. I cannot walk out of her sight without her following me. If I walk into a room and turn to walk back out I have to wait for her to turn and then wait for her to walk. She is afraid I will change my mind again so keeps looking back over her shoulder after every step. I have fallen more times than I would like trying not to fall on her. She of course gives you an apologetic look and moves on.

As winters are long and we are easily amused, I sometimes walk in large circles just to see if she will follow...and she does. Other times I stand up and she stands up, then I will sit down just to see how many times I can get away with it before she gives up...I give up first usually. When you run she runs, her whole demeanor changes and she looks like one of the Lipizzaner horses. Her head goes up, her steps get high and her chest goes out...she actually looks young again.

When the younger dogs start playing, she stands up and starts barking at them. Every time she does it she reminds me of a frustrated school teacher with a class room full of rambunctious boys....scolding them and nobody listening. I know what she feels like because I could swear the kids are deaf sometimes.

I am surprised the makers of Rogaine have not found me and kidnapped her. I have never seen a dog loose so much hair and not be naked. You know at Christmas time when you go to a tree lot and then stomp the tree on the ground and all the needles fall off....well every time she stands up, she shakes and hair just drops off. She must some impressive hair follicles to keep up. My vacuum hates her.

The next fur ball is Digger, an eleven year old Keeshond. This is #1's favorite pooch. The man and I rescued her from the pound. She is a nipper though if things get loud so I am not sure what happened to her before we got her. She is double coated fur ball with the daintiest feet.  I have spun her fiber and made #2 son a pair of slippers from her. In the spring when her second coat lets loose, we go outside to brush her and if it is windy, it looks like she exploded all over the yard. Again we are easily amused.

She is the mouth of the canine family. Every time you tell her to go lay down or call her away from what she wants to do, like go in the trash can, she talks back. Usually it is just growl-ly low drawn out barks and if you continue talking to her she will continue to talk back. The man and her go round and round like this.

And the last is Cooper a one year old redbone hound. He was a mother's day present. #1 will tell you he is spoiled and she will say he is loved more and in some respects that is true. He is the only dog I ever had from a puppy.

He hates rain, is afraid of the dark and swears to God he is only the size of a Chihuahua which is very delusional of him as he weighs 110 pounds. This is the little man squeezing himself up small enough to lay on a hassock in front of the woodstove. 

And boy does his bark echo throughout the valley. At night he sits on the back porch, under the light and waits for sinister things like Bambi to come out of the woods. When this happens he starts barking, we open the door and his ass tries beating his head thru the door because sinister Bambi might pinch his butt! Then he spins around and gives several more deafening bellows from inside the house, sure that he has taught that Bambi a lesson.

So while some people will still go skiing, ice skating or ice fishing when it is only 3 degrees, I will remain inside with the canine and feline members of the family, laughing at their antics. All of us cozily sitting around the woodstove...until I get up and try to walk.


Sandie Knapp said...

Your Digger, and my Dudley sound like two of a kind. And oddly enough, but for size, Dudley does resemble Digger. I wonder if Pomeranians are somehow remotely related?? LOL

When I was a child we had a red-bone coon hound. She was a fierce protector and every other person in the neighborhood knew it, and one foolish young man found out the hard way when he lost a pound of flesh from his buttocks after swinging a bat at my brother one day. She knew the sound of his voice, and every time she heard it, she would go nuts, trying to get at him again.

I had 3 nice big turkeys out at my feeders today. It was the first time I've seen them this Winter.

I'm glad you are keeping toasty and warm. Me too. :)

cyndy said...

rouh rouf rooo rruuuhh rrooh ro!


Give them all a biscuit for me...and a pat. Tell Cooper to move over and make room on the hassock in front of the woodstove. it a 3 dog night?