Our Dog’s Morning Excitement

He was (ab)used as a puppy. The sheriff’s department had videos, shown to us by the shelter workers, that were used to convict his prior owners for dog fighting. The videos showed a caged puppy put into a dog fighting pit with a fighting dog. The big fighting dog was unable to physically hurt the puppy, but the puppy was completely terrorized. After that, the caged puppy was removed from the pit and the fighting dogs were set to fighting each other.

We adopted him soon after the prior owners’ convictions were made final and in the 11 years he has been with us, we have not been able to “convince” him that other dogs can be friendly. He is now 12 years old and, with the exception of our yellow lab dog, remains aggressive toward other dogs. So, we ensure he is not put into a situation where he is off leash around other dogs and we also make sure that other dogs can’t approach him.

Fortunately he did not associate the abuse with humans or other animals. He is perfect with kids, cats, birds and adult humans…and his favorite time is when he can sit down in front of a toddler to get pets and hugs.

Anyway, this morning there was a black tailed jack rabbit about a foot from the glass door to the house. Our dog noticed the rabbit when he walked by the door and he went on “full alert”. The rabbit saw this, moved about 10 feet away and stopped. We don’t want the jack rabbits around to eat our garden so we let the dog outside and the chase was on. The jack rabbit was easily able to out run the dog, but he (dog) still had a good time chasing the rabbit and after 30 seconds of running, came prancing back to the front door.

It has been raining a lot, and the ground is now a sticky clay, so we had to wash the dog’s paws off before we let him back into the house. He (dog) actually loves the water spraying on his paws, so it was an easy cleanup.


I was sitting in the front yard this morning and heard a rooster crowing. I was curious, so I started walking along the dirt road to see if I could find the rooster. After walking 1-1/2 miles/2.5km, I found the rooster. Our dog didn’t care about the rooster other than “it should have been another mile or two farther away”…longer walks..

That illustrates the quiet here.

On the way back home, I noticed two cars and one pickup truck driving on the main road. Obviously it was rush hour as there has been only one other vehicle, the post office van, go by in the past 4 hours. In case you’re wondering, I’m defining main road as “paved and two lane”. I’m about 1/4 mile (1/2km) down a dirt road from the main road.

Other than these sounds, the only other sounds I heard were birds singing, my feet making crunching sounds in the sand as I walked and the jingling of the tags on the dog’s collar.

I did go into town to get the mail, get groceries, get potting soil for my huge plant pots, and also a few plants to make a herb garden. I hope the “critters” aren’t pleased with my efforts on their behalf. 🙂


I grew up in an area where ticks were “everywhere” and I would remove 8-10 ticks per day from our dog. Even today, more than 40 years later, when I pet a dog, I automatically feel for ticks.

None of my parents or grandparents smoked, so there was no need for “smokers’ ashtrays” but we kept some around for “tick duty”. These ashtrays were two compartment ashtrays with one side filled with Petroleum Jelly and the other side filled with sewing machine oil. When any of us would find a tick on the dog, we would put some Petroleum Jelly on the tick, wait 10-15 seconds and then remove the tick. The tick would then be drowned in the sewing machine oil.

Back then it was considered acceptable for smokers to “light up” in a non-smoker’s house and the height of rudeness to not offer the smoker an ash tray. We were not rude. When someone would ask for an ashtray, I would offer them one of the tick ashtrays. They would notice the drowned ticks, decide not to smoke and leave when the tobacco cravings became too great for them. 🙂 I hated (and still do) the smell of cigarette smoke, so them leaving without smoking did not bother me.

We had been traveling where ticks are more common and today I found 4 ticks on our two dogs. Tomorrow morning we are taking them to the dog groomer that works at the veterinarian’s office and they will get a “tick bath”.

The ticks I found today were set outside on the cement and hit with a hammer. They all “splatted”, so they are certainly dead.

Yes, I’ve been checking myself for ticks, as has my wife. People can get ticks too. So far, we have not found any ticks on us.

They are gross little “bugs” (actually arachnids….spiders). I think they are even worse than leeches.

I’m Wondering. Or, a weak attempt at humor.

While we were walking with our dogs, the yellow lab dog found an empty beer bottle and carried it home.

I do know that dogs like the taste of beer and that set me to wondering about dogs and beer.

If dogs were to name a beer, would they name it Pissness Stout?

If her tail wags enough about a beer, would that make it a draught beer?

Would it be sold only in growlers?

Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

Test Daughter’s Tig

Supposedly “test daughter” was the one to pick out the puppy, but I’m not sure. 17 years ago this past November, she, her husband, her dad and I went over to a house to look at a puppy. I remember the tiny puppy bouncing over and laying down on test daughter’s feet, so I’m not sure if she picked out test daughter, or if test daughter picked out the puppy. I guess it doesn’t matter as that puppy came home with them and they named her “Tig”.

When I would stop by, Tig would greet me with about a minute of bouncing up and down while running in tight circles and excited yip noises. I would make a slight jump and Tig would then start running around in the back yard before coming back in to lick my hand while I gave her a lot of ear rubs.

As time went on, Tig’s reaction was the same, but not as long lasting. Still, it was easy to tell she was thrilled to see me.

Starting about 4 months ago, Tig would come up and wag her tail, sniff me and then lick my hand while I gave her ear rubs.

Very recently, she seems to be deaf, she walks into walls, she’s lost control of her bladder, she no longer likes to be petted, she’s eating and drinking very little, and most of the time when she’s standing, she looks into the distance at “nothing”.

It’s time.

Today, the vet called to confirm tomorrow’s appointment and warned that due to Covid, only one person could accompany Tig. So I stopped by today to see her one last time.

Tig didn’t notice me right away, but she finally noticed “someone” and struggled up to see who it might be. She sniffed me and then started licking my hand. Test daughter’s 14 year old son tearfully told me I was the only one to ever get hand licks from Tig, so I’m sure she recognized me.

Tig will head to the rainbow bridge with only one “pack member” (test daughter) there to say farewell. The rest of us will have to wait outside.

A Big Sigh

Last night our dog, a 13 year old Yellow Labrador Retriever, was restless. All last night she was growling and barking and pacing and I couldn’t figure out why. Several times I got up to look around and never saw anything amiss, so I’d just go back to sleep.

About 2am, I heard her moving around in the office where I have set up the equipment to scan all of the film and slides, and I got up to shoo her out of room so I could close the door to “keep her out of things”.

This morning, I went to get the last slide mailer (containing 20 slides) from the large box that, at one time, held over 300 mailer boxes.

The small yellow box wasn’t there.

I remembered the dog being in that room last night, so I started looking around for evidence of a chewed up yellow box and…there it was…in the grass….in the back yard….all soaked….by the lawn sprinklers…that I just fixed….

The cardboard top was chewed off, but the slides, nestled in the plastic part of the box, were not chewed.

I cleaned the slides and cardboard mounts in distilled water and used “canned air” to blow the water off of the film. Now the slides are sandwiched between two pieces of blotter paper with a book atop them so that, hopefully, the slide mounts won’t curl or come apart as they dry. If the mounts have problems, I’ll get some plastic mounts and remount the slides.

……dogs……sigh…. 🙂

Update I decided to scan the images after the cardboard mounts were dry enough to not drip water, but not so dry as to have the cardboard mounts mounts curl or do other weird things.

I was successful. All the scanned images look just fine and the slides are now back between the weighted down blotter paper. I won’t put them into archival storage until they have thoroughly dried for a couple of weeks.

Oranges — 2020

No, this is not a post about USA politics.

I am done with the late January to mid February orange picking project.  This year I bought a new orange juicer, a Hamilton Beach commercial one, to replace my greatly abused, but valiant, Phillips brand juicer.

The Phillips juicer was probably designed for making a glass or two of orange juice each morning and not for, year after year, juicing 700 pounds/300kg of oranges over 3 or 4 days.  Despite the abuse, it has worked flawlessly and if Phillips still makes it, I’d recommend it for even a large family of orange juice drinkers.

I have a *HUGE* freezer that is now full of enough glass jars of frozen orange juice to last my wife and I for the next 12 months.

I have also given away a bunch of oranges, probably 150 pounds/70kg, and eaten 20-25 pounds/10kg of oranges myself.  If I eat any more oranges, my normally gray hair will turn orange.

What I find amazing is that the top 1/3 of the tree (the unreachable oranges) is still full of oranges. I guess those will be for our two orange loving dogs.  The entire time I was picking the oranges, the two dogs were carefully watching me and whenever one dropped to the ground, they ran and grabbed it…eating it as they were running from the other dog.



Cold or Flu?

For the past few days I’ve had no energy, a dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, a headache, but no fever.  And, it’s going away as quickly as it showed up.  The only remaining symptoms is a sore set of ribs from my coughing and some fatigue

One year I broke my foot, leg and ankle in multiple places and I had to make my way 1/2 mile (800 meters) to my car (I spent 3 days in hospital, plus had a several hour surgery for that little “stunt”), so I know I can keep moving when it’s not comfortable.  This makes it even more difficult for me to accept the idea that I need to build up my energy to walk from the bed to the sofa or back.

The 19 year old cat and the 9 year old dog laid tight against me when I was in bed.  The other dog is 13 years old and she isn’t able to climb up into the bed.  So, she laid on the floor where I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed without stepping on her.


(Not) Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

A few days ago, we took the dog to the vet to get some growths surgically removed.  The one inside her upper eyelid took about 45 minutes for the vet to remove, while the other four, in various places on her body, each only took a few minutes to remove.

The vet put the Elizabethan Collar on to keep her from licking the wounds and it worked as far as it went.

I had “warned” the vet that our cat would likely help the dog and, sure enough….this picture was taken within five minutes of arriving home.


The vet laughed when I forwarded him the picture and said we should do what we could to “discourage” the cat from his licking.  When we weren’t around (or awake) to supervise the two of them, we had to keep them in separate rooms.

For what it’s worth, “kitty” is almost 19 years old and “doggie” is nearing 12 years of age.  Just in case it’s not obvious, they have been together for almost 12 years.

It’s Been Awhile

It’s been awhile since my last post.

My “excuse” is that my wife and I (and our two dogs) were driving around the western USA for over 3 weeks.  We visited places in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, northern Arizona, southern Idaho and southern Montana.

I have a few photographs, but, again, I’m not the picture taking type.  If I get busy taking photographs, I get too busy doing that to actually *enjoy* the place.

Whenever possible, we avoided the interstate highways. Out of the 3,000 miles (5000km) we drove, less than 200 miles (350km) were on “interstates”.  The remainder was the US Highway system, the various states’ highway systems and a lot of just “plain ol’ country roads”.  Most days we would drive three or four hours and then stop for the day.

Since we were towing our small tent trailer, we could camp at commercial camp grounds and government agency (US National Park Service and US Forest Service) campgrounds.  Our favorite, however, was what is called “dispersed camping”.  If you’re not familiar with dispersed camping…..it’s drive down a marked US Forest Service (dirt) road until one finds a suitable place and set things up.  Since there are no services offered, there is no fee for dispersed camping.  The other methods provide things like electricity, water, toilets, possibly showers, washing machines and dryers–and a fee is charged for using the campground.

My wife and I both grew up in *VERY* rural areas and since we now live in a *VERY* large city, we both desperately miss “the quiet”.  After dinner and dish washing, we would just sit, read and “listen to the quiet” until it got cold enough to crawl into the sleeping bags.

It was also fun watching our two dogs lay in the pine needles and listen to the forest noises.