Animals

Dumb Dogs

I'm not sure which of my three dogs is the dumbest. Today it's the little one, Max. A few months ago he seemed to be at death's door and could barely move. The vet wanted to operate on him, but his blood test revealed a liver problem. We figured he'd be dead in a month. I started giving him some wet food as a treat in the morning, and he recovered. It's not like he was starving, he always ate his food the same as the other two dogs. It's just that this food seems to excite him. What dog doesn't like wet food over dry? Keep in mind this dog is about 17 years old, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he were ready to pass away. He's old, can't see for cataracts, has cysts all around his body, and generally doesn't have much of anything to do; except eat that wet food every morning. Now it's something he demands. I get home from the gym about 9:00 am and let all the dogs inside. He immediately starts running into me, stepping on me, and doing everything he can to get his daily wet food treat. I can't give it to him in front of the bigger dogs, since they'd just nudge him away and eat it. I have to get them back outside and then Max starts prancing. You'd almost think he was a 2 year-old dog again. He literally stands up on his hind legs, paddles his front paws, and then BOUNCES his way into the kitchen to eat. That's what he was doing this morning, bouncing along and looking over his shoulder, when he bounced his furry ass into the water bowl for the big dogs. It's almost big enough for him to sleep in it, but he doesn't because, you know, it's full of water.

Anyway, he hops full body into the bowl, jumps out, and splashes water all over my kitchen floor. It doesn't matter to him, since he still wants that wet food, but you know he's not going to clean up the mess he made. Max earns the award for Dumbest Dog of the Day.

New Species: American Homeless Eagle



Homeless, originally uploaded by Doug Lloyd.

Larry Dale and his minions from the Orlando Sanford International Airport continue to destroy eagle nests, thereby creating a new species of American Homeless Eagles.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a permit to the airport to kill nuisance birds, though Eagles are excluded and are not being killed.

However, the nest destruction has another by-product – orphaned eaglets. Audubon Society workers took the eaglets to the Birds of Prey center, and will try to find other eagle nests to act as foster homes.

Meanwhile, the evicted adult eagles wander the streets like drug addicts kicked out of a crack house scheduled for demolition. Congratulations to Larry Dale and the Orlando Sanford International Airport for re-defining our national emblem for the modern age.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter (not my photo), originally uploaded by beeez.

Things aren't going so well for the Easter Bunny these days. Everywhere you look, there's competition for attention. This weekend, the City of Sanford, FL has two events. One is an Easter Egg hunt for the kids. The other is a birthday celebration for Paw Park – the city's off-leash park for dogs.

Both kids and dogs will invade Historic Downtown Sanford this Saturday, April 7th. The kids get to hunt for Easter Eggs and assorted prizes. The dogs get their own “pawrade” (I didn't make that up, they did) through Downtown.

However, the dogs get a bit more attention. They also have a plethora of vendors lined up, obedience demonstrations and something call Flyball demos. I think that's something like acrobatic frisbee catching, but who really knows except the dogs?

The Secret Life of Dogs

Zach

I honestly don't venture out into my back yard very often. When I bought the house, I decided that the back yard was for the dogs. It's fenced and that should keep them safely contained.

That was before I brought in Zach, the Destroyer. Zach is my Golden Retriever. Zach has lots of energy. Zach eats everything. Zach likes to dig. Zach has completely destroyed my back yard.

For a while, Zach liked to dig under the fence to escape into my neighbor's yard, which is also fenced. I put some stones in the hole so he couldn't dig there anymore. He didn't. Instead, he moved three feet to the left and started digging there. Once he tasted the fresh air of freedom, Zach was no longer content to reside in my back yard while I left for work. If a root or something prevented him from digging deeper, he chewed off part of my wooden fence so he had room to slide under.

Eventually, I had to line that entire section of fence with chicken wire covered with stones to keep him from digging. It took a lot of trial and error, as Zach learned how to push the chicken wire aside and continue digging. My other two dogs weren't instigators like Zach, but they also liked the fresh air of freedom.

My neighbor didn't like it, though. Twice, he called Animal Control to come take my dogs away (although I wish he would've called me). Each time, Zach managed to elude capture. The fines for the other two dogs set me back $300. The county apparently thinks they could use this money. I would've rather put it into better repairs to keep my dogs from digging out. So I spent more money to make the repairs, and the dogs remained in my back yard for a month or so.

This morning, I'm working from home because I have a nasty sore throat that's part of a lovely cold. I put the dogs outside for a while. When I opened the back door to call them inside, no dogs. Eventually, I see Zach's nose. He's inching his way back from the other side of the fence. This isn't part of the fence where he previously had any interest in digging. Humphrey came inching along behind him, but Max did not.

I called. I yelled. I repeated his name many times. The furry little bugger didn't appear. After locking the other dogs inside, I got in my car to drive around the neighborhood in search of this wayward ball of fur. If he gets caught on a third strike, it'll be even more expensive. Of course, I don't see him anywhere. When I finally get home, he's in the front yard right by the garage door.

So, it's cold. I'm sick, and my dogs have a new escape path. The only thing for me to do is put down more chicken wire and top it off with some stones. This is exactly what I wanted to do while suffering from a lovely cold.

Why Dogs Attack Their Masters



, originally uploaded by dooce.

I've always been impressed by Heather Armstrong's ability to put objects on her dog's head while he remains perfectly still. This time, she's gone too far. Chuck can now go on disability due to emotional castration.