A Catastrophe Narrowly Averted

The day started off so benignly, I took Mitch to work, walked the dogs, went to see my grandchildren and picked Mitch up from work. Boring stuff. After we got home from picking Mitch up, I started to fix us some lunch. Mitch was in the process of changing out of his work clothes to his grubbies so he could finish installing a step to the passenger side of the pickup truck. It’s a real challenge for me to climb into the truck, since I’m vertically challenged. Yesterday he installed the driver’s side and today it will be the passenger side.

I had set the table and finished making the salad, filling the salad bowls when I heard a weird noise coming from the third bedroom. I turned to look and saw both of the dogs lying on the floor in the dining room not the least bit interested in the noise. Because of their lack of interest I thought that Mitch was looking for something there.

We are in the midst of ripping up the hardwood floor and replacing it with bamboo. Because of the age of the house there has been some settling and the back corner of the room has sunk a few inches. Mitch is tearing out the floor and the subfloor to assess what will need to be done. This has left a small hole in the floor opening up to the basement on the old side of the house. The basement on the old side is made up of shelf rock, limestone, I believe. It’s very primitive and if I had a way down there without going outside first, I would have the perfect place for a wine cellar, cool and dark. Otherwise, it’s just creepy down there.

I called out to Mitch to ask what he was looking for and there was no response, but I could still hear the rustling sound. So I walked to the bedroom stepping over two sleeping dogs and started to walk in the room to ask Mitch again what he was looking for. Imagine my shock and surprise when I walked in on one large panicked squirrel running around in the room jumping up and down on each window looking for a way out. How he got in there I have no idea, but the last thing I wanted was the dogs to wake up and discover him in the bedroom. There would have been mayhem and carnage unimaginable. I’m not sure the house would have survived.

I quickly stepped out of the room and started yelling for Mitch. I had no idea where he was, so I ran to the door and shouted for him out in the garage, luckily he was still in the house and I didn’t have to search for him, leaving the squirrel and the dogs alone together. I told him we have a squirrel in the house, to which he didn’t believe me. I told him where it was and grabbed the dogs to take them to the master bedroom for the squirrel’s safety. Of course the panicked squirrel didn’t stay in the bedroom; no he ran to the kitchen and starting running around under the kitchen table. All I could see in my future was it jumping up on the table destroying dishes and scattering food everywhere. At that point I probably would have just burned the house down.

Mitch stood there watching the squirrel run around with a silly grin on his face. I could see the ten year old boy very close to the surface just when I needed a superhero and not a ten year old boy. Mitch regained control of himself and told me to open the kitchen door, close the bedroom door and hand him a broom. I thought oh please don’t start whacking things. I don’t want squirrel parts everywhere and in the course of killing the squirrel destroying the kitchen. I know most men resort to the caveman inside when an opportunity to be the tough guy comes along and I didn’t want to have to clean up the mess.

Thankfully Mitch just used the broom to point the terrified animal in the direction of the open kitchen door. The squirrel couldn’t get out of the house fast enough; he raced across the yard and fled up a tree. I still am not sure how the dogs missed the sound of the squirrel running around in the bedroom or didn’t catch a whiff of him either. But one thing’s for sure, I am really glad they didn’t.

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He’s My Doofus

Question: Know anybody that wants a ninety eight pound drool machine? Answer: No one in their right mind. Don’t get me wrong, I have no intentions of getting rid of Orso or Charlie for that matter. I simply posed the question to examine on my own sanity or lack thereof. The main reason we have dogs is for pheasant hunting. The by-product of that is companionship, unconditional love (from both humans and dogs) and entertainment. So why is it that we own a ninety eight pound chocolate lab that doesn’t particularly like water that would prefer boat rides to swimming and doesn’t care at all for hunting? Oh sure he enjoys being out in the field with us, wandering around behind me so I can break down the brush ahead for him. But the idea of sticking his nose to the ground and searching for a bird is beneath him. That’s Charlie’s job. Orso will rush up and try to play tug of war with Charlie when he finds the downed bird. But the hunting part, that is not his style.

Orso’s main purpose in life is to eat anything and everything he can get in his mouth, sleep on our bed sprawled out to his full five and a half foot length and launch drool missiles on as many walls as possible. He is also the most vocal dog I have ever seen. He barks at me when I pick up my purse and put on my coat to leave because he wants to go too. He barks at me when I come home. He barks at me when I do take him with me, especially when he has to stay in the car. Orso has learned and memorized the routes to the store, the gas station and Mitch’s work and knows the difference in each. When I take Mitch to work in the morning he just sits patiently and barks once to tell Mitch goodbye. He knows when we go to the gas station and waits patiently while I fill the tank, watching all of the other people around. But when I go to the store he howls like a girl as soon as he figures out where we’re going. People turn and stare at the shrill high pitched wailing coming from this huge brown head hanging out of the car window. God forbid if I go someplace he is not familiar with or take a different route, he starts wailing before he even knows where we end up at. Sometimes he is the most annoying dog ever.

Orso is also totally devoted to me. He follows me everywhere. When I sit at the computer he jumps off the comfy bed to lay on the floor next me. Outside he follows me or lies down to watch me mow and when I’m done he runs down to meet me and walk back beside me while I push the mower to the shed. If I can’t go on the walk for some reason and Mitch has to take the dogs by himself, Orso turns his head back over his shoulder to watch for me. Mitch has said on numerous occasions that he spends the major part of the walk tugging on Orso’s leash to get the dog to walk with him

He’s a big a doofus, but he’s my big doofus.

Sunrise Photos

These are some photos that I took on our walk this morning just after sunrise. I would have taken more, but in my haste to grab the camera and dogs, I didn’t check the battery and guess what, the battery died after just a few pictures. I was so bummed.

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Sunrise clouds

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Some areas of the lake that are not frozen, silly geese

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Don’t they know it’s too cold to go swimming?

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Clouds pretty in pink

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Poor lonely dock, there will be no dock diving for awhile

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You can see the reflection of the sunrise on the ice of the frozen lake

Photos taken by Susan Kelly

Snow Dogs

What is it about snow that makes a seven year old dog think he is a one year old puppy again? We had about two inches of snow the other night, but the streets had been cleared making it easy to walk the dogs. I took the dogs on a walk and both acted like perfect gentlemen as we left the house and walked down the street. All three of us were on the lookout for deer or other wild animals in the dark. Charlie and Orso, because they want to chase something anything, me, because I don’t walk to get my arms ripped out of their sockets or knocked off my feet and slammed to the pavement left to freeze in the dark. I know, pretty selfish on my part, but I’m the one with the house key.

Everything was nice and peaceful, a great walk all the way to the dam. On the way back I spotted three deer standing in a yard up on the hill, but lucky for me the wind was blowing the other direction so the dogs didn’t pick up their scent. We walked past them, with the dogs oblivious and the deer stood very still waiting for us to get beyond them. Both dogs sniffed and peed on just about everything they could all the way back.

Just as we got back to our driveway, which hadn’t been shoveled yet, Orso decided that he was twelve months old again and spun around in a circle and jumped at Charlie for a full on tag team match, leaving me on the ground with my feet sticking out in front of me. Luckily I went down on my rear end and not on my face or we would have had dog stew for dinner. Orso turned around looking a bit contrite, not too contrite but a little and when he realized I wasn’t dead he turned back to Charlie for a snow romp. I let go of the leash too late to save myself but in time to not get dragged into a chest bumping dog wrestling match.

It took me ten minutes to get them back under control and into the house. It seems Charlie can still act like a puppy too when the mood strikes him.