The Jerk and the Doofus

This morning we woke up to the first snowfall of the season. Let me correct the term morning, morning was 1:15am. Mitch ever the dedicated wanted to get up an hour earlier than normal so he could get to work extra early in order to get all of the equipment they use at work up and ready for a day of deicing one airplane after the other. Anyway at 1:15 this morning we had about two inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing fairly heavily.

After I fed the dogs and Mitch in that order, got him to work then it was time for our morning stroll. The dogs started off down the road with Orso the Doofus head down eating snow as he was loping along. He kept lurching ahead wanting to race around and play in the snow. Charlie the Jerk walked along at his usual pace head down sniffing the ground always hunting and because Mitch lets him get away with murder, Charlie has a really irritating tendency to race back and forth from one side of the road to the other, yanking my arm around. It is nearly impossible to be on both sides of the street at the same time, but Charlie gives it his best shot.

We had reached our turn around point on the walk and started back when Orso forgot he was eight years old and suddenly became a two year old again. He lunged forward yanking the leash causing me to lose my balance on the slick road. I went down in what had to be a very graceful plop in the road landing on my butt hard. I lost my grip on the leash and Orso took off with his butt down racing around in circles slipping and sliding in the snow. It was a good thing I let go of the leash because otherwise I would have literally been dragged down the road. On one of the laps around Charlie and me, Orso decided that both of us should join in the winter fun. He ran over me stepping on me and bashing into Charlie. Charlie didn’t forget he is ten years old and snapped at Orso growling and trying fruitlessly to get in a good bite or two, also stepping on me in the process.

Orso undaunted raced off to find a weapon to battle the Jerk with. He came across a stick snatched it up and waved it around whacking Charlie and me in the head. Charlie went after Orso with a deadly purpose, causing Orso to race away barking back at Charlie. Now I have one dog barking and one dog with murder in his eye at 3:30 in the morning. My neighbors just love us.

I was finally able to get back up on my feet and grabbed both leashes got the dogs under control and finished the walk with all of us covered in snow. It’s going to be a long winter.

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.

The Great Snowmaggedon of 2013

Thursday the weather forecasters finally got it right.  We have been in a severe drought since last June, so there hasn’t been much for them to talk about.  It has been so bad that the mere suggestion of the possibility of precipitation has brought a flurry (no pun intended) of continuous weather reports.  Our weather forecasters were downright giddy throughout the day having successfully predicting the Great Snowmageddon of 2013.  It was touted as the biggest single day snowfall in decades.

They started predicting that the storm would arrive at midnight on Wednesday dropping one to two inches an hour.  We got up at 2:30 am and looked outside, no snow, what a disappointment.  We figured the weathermen got it wrong, again.  We would probably just get a dusting.  Well the snowflakes didn’t start to fall until about 7:00 am on Thursday long after we had been up and at work.  It snowed with a vengeance for about 5 hours coming down fast and furious. 

People were getting their cars stuck in the middle of the roads or sliding off the roads into ditches and just leaving their cars where they got stuck, causing huge traffic jams and wrecks.  It was as if a lot of people that have lived here for years had forgotten how to drive in the snow.  People over-estimated their ability and under-estimated the conditions.  It made for spectacular news coverage.  Nothing like a massive blizzard to give the media something to talk about.  The media had reporters out on the roadways taking pictures of snarled traffic throughout the city, interviewing stranded travelers and pretty much making nuisances of themselves, as usual.

We ended up with about nine inches of snow and in the process making tow trucks, body shops and car dealers very happy.  Business is booming for them.

Oh and Orso thinks the snow is pretty awesome!

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Great White Hunters?

This year we have been experiencing a real winter, with cold temperatures and snow.  Mitch told me this would be “real” pheasant hunting (you mean all the other times weren’t?).  This was going to be a short trip, just a weekend trip with an overnight stay.  So I didn’t need to pack my whole wardrobe, I was reminded.  But I would need to think COLD and pack “warm”, in other words, my whole wardrobe.  Can’t have too many layers. 

When we got to Todd’s preserve there was another group of hunters just heading off in the direction that we normally went.  Todd came walking over to us and we caught up on what had been going on since November.  The morning was cold with a strong wind out of the north and there were heavy clouds, looking like it could start snowing soon.

Todd said, “I’m going to take you to a different place to hunt this morning.  It’s over by my house and there are lots of pheasant and chukkar that have escaped and are just hanging out around in that area.  I want to get that area cleaned out.”

It didn’t matter to us where we hunted as long as there were birds, and this sounded like it would be just too easy, so we said sure.  We loaded the dogs back into the car and followed Todd over to the property close to his home.  Mitch pulled the station wagon in and parked alongside Todd’s truck.  We got out and surveyed the area.  We had never been to this area before and felt kind of special, like we had made it to the inner circle or something.  There was about 200 acres of more land that Todd owned.  To our left was a corn stubble field, in front of us were small hills and down over the hill was a wooded area.  But Todd wanted us to work a small wooded draw off to our immediate right.  It started at the road and went back into his property about the length of a football field.  It wasn’t very big at all.  Along side of the draw on the left were old junk, parts of some farm machinery, tubes that looked like they were part of a silo and various other sundry items.  On the right side of the draw was where he kept some cattle at the edge of his family lands.  So we had to be careful about shooting in that direction.  Down in the draw we could see a winding creek and open ground with no cover except for the tall trees growing out of the draw.

Mitch was clearly skeptical and we were both a little disappointed.  We thought that we were going to “hunter’s heaven” and here we were standing at the edge of what looked like a huge waste of time.  But outwardly Mitch didn’t show any of his disappointment to Todd.  Todd told us to start at the street and work our way to the back and we could go to our left and work the cornfield and after that we would go farther into the fields.  Todd suggested that one of us stay up top on the outside edge on the right side of the draw and the other one go down in the middle and work our way back.  Todd said he had some things to do and would come back by in about an hour and see how we had done.