Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Walking Down The Bunny Trail

I may have mentioned a few times here that Morgan is very keen on rabbits at the moment.  Bunny and Blueberry both can be, but often, they can just ignore them, as well.  Most nights that we walk are uneventful and it gets easy to forget that the little fur-suited devils are always lurking out there.

The other night, we had a nice walk and were on our way home.  Already, you are expecting a rabbit to leap out at us, I know.  That wasn't exactly what happened, however.  As we approached the last corner away from our house, I saw him.  A big, fat rabbit sat at the corner of the yard, nose twitching and ears flipping backwards.  He froze as he saw me approaching with Bunny and Blueberry, no doubt wetting his little rabbit knickers as her realized he'd been snuck up on.  I slowed down, hoping to distract the girls and keep them from noticing, since I was sure he'd take flight and head away from us.  My husband laughed and joked "Rabbit!" 

I told him there was a rabbit, just up ahead.  However, he didn't see the rabbit lurking there, which was most unfortunate, because by this point, the Greyhounds definitely knew their next snack was waiting just a few yards out of reach.  Morgan looked at Bunny and saw that her ears were pointing "He's thataway!" and turned her head to look.  If only Mr. Taleteller had seen it first.  If only he'd believed me when I warned him that danger lurked just around the shrubbery.  If only the rabbit had run when he first saw Bunny and Blueberry coming up the Cotton Trail. 

Instead, the rabbit took one look at Morgan and her big teeth and made one of those cartoon faces where his eyes telescoped out of his head for a moment before he finally turned his fluffy little tail and ran.  Morgan had her eyes on the prize.  Actually, all three of the dogs did.  Bunny was dancing at the end of her leash while Blueberry actually licked her chops and stared.  Morgan was the one to break and make a lunge, though, and Mr. Taleteller was caught completely unaware.  I'm amazed that he and Morgan didn't both go rolling down the little hill at the corner as they wrestled and battled wits about what was going to happen next.  Morgan's logic was that the rabbit was begging to be the bedtime snack while Mr. Taleteller felt that eating rabbit so late at night would lead to bad dreams and worse gas. 

In the end, the rabbit disappeared into some tall shadowy shrubs at the back of the property and we finally convinced the girls to head home for some treats from the dog bakery.  However, the dogs never forget a rabbit sighting.  Every night since then when we've passed that house, they're on high alert.  I don't think the rabbit is going to be so lucky next time.  It's possible that Mr. Taleteller or Morgan won't be either!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Not All Surprises Are Good

Here it is Monday morning again already and I'm sure most of you are musing on just how short the weekend was, just like me.  I had high hopes for us to go and do some fun things with the dogs over the weekend, but then the van needed some work and had to go into the shop until later today, so those plans went a bit to the wayside.  It turned out to be wickedly hot again, so it was probably for the best that we couldn't take the girls off to do some hiking anyway.  Still we somehow managed to have some excitement here, but it wasn't exactly the sort I was looking forward to.

Saturday night, Mr. Taleteller and I returned home after going out for dinner and doing a bit of shopping.  We stayed up to watch Saturday Night Live and the Taylor Swift episode actually proved to be rather amusing.  At around midnight, we decided to head to bed.  I did a little bit of reading and then turned out the light and went to bed.  I expected to have a nice night's rest, especially since Lilac has recently decided that she'd rather not have to get us all up lately on the weekends.  No doubt you're all thinking that this doesn't sound like a terribly eventful Saturday evening.

At one o'clock, I woke up to my husband moving around muttering something that my sleep-fogged brain didn't decipher.  As the fog began to clear, I turned over and tried to squint over at him over Bunny's nose, which was sleeping blissfully away on my pillow.  She buried her nose against my chest as I tried to lean up.  I should mention here that we've been sleeping on top of the bedding with just light quilts on top of us because it's been so warm.

Me:  What's wrong?

Mr. Taleteller:  I don't know.  (I realize he's rifling through the blankets.)

Me:  Um, well, what are you doing?

Mr. Taleteller:  I can't figure it out.  My back keeps getting wetter and wetter.

Me:  What?

Mr. Taleteller:  I think somebody peed on my side of the bed.

At this point, I turn on the lamp and sit up.  Bunny thunks her head down to the bed and continues snoozing away.  My husband keeps rifling through the layers of bedding, feeling it and sniffing at it. 

Mr. Taleteller:  Somebody did!  Somebody peed on the bed!

Me:  (sighing deeply as I climb out of the bed)  I can't believe it. 

Mr. Taleteller:  I can just go sleep on the couch.

Me:  No!  We're getting this in the wash now!

So, the process of unmaking the bed begins, much to Bunny's great annoyance and dismay.  Morgan is up by this point, glad to offer any sort of assistance we might need.  She seems particularly eager to help herd Bunny off the bed for me.  Lilac is up, blinking her eyes like a little owl, wandering around in dazed confusion.  I have to admit, I took a moment to feel a brief pang of victory for having a tad of revenge for the last year of round the clock wake ups from her, even though I am certain that she is the only one who could not be a suspect in this crime.  Throughout the entire incident, Blueberry remained stubbornly on her dog bed on my husband's side of the bed, defiantly sleeping and refusing to move.

As Mr. Taleteller carts the bedding downstairs, I start to work on removing the mattress cover.  We have one of those memory foam beds and I can honestly say that last night, despite the pain of removing that cover, was probably the night I was the happiest to have one.  Not only did the cover and blankets seem to have absorbed most of the disaster, but the foam itself doesn't seem to absorb water but repel it.  We treated it a bit anyway, but nothing had really seeped into the mattress, thank goodness. 

Taking the cover off proved particularly difficult, because Bunny refused to give up the bed.  She kept jumping back up and making sure she had her spot.  I began a little interrogation as I worked.

Me:  Did you pee on this bed?!

Bunny:  I would NEVER!  This is my bed and it's like sleeping on a cloud!  If it was Blueberry or Morgan's bed, well, it might be different, but it's mine.  Can I go back to sleep on it now?  Pretty please!  (doe eyes batted at me)

Lilac:  Who's in the well?  Morgan, go get Timmy out of the well!

Me:  Nobody's in the well!

Morgan:  Headcount!  Where's Dad?  Who broke in and peed on the bed?  Alert!

Me:  I swear, if I find out who did this!

Blueberry:  Zzzzzz!

Me:  Blue, if I find out you did this -- again -- I am going to be SO unhappy!

Bunny:  Maybe Dad wet the bed.

Me:  I don't think so!

Morgan:  Well, he was saying the other day how he's getting old and all...

Lilac:  Getting old sucks! 

Me:  You're all driving me insane! 

Mr. Taleteller returned upstairs, helped me remove the mattress cover and it was dragged down the basement as well.  Then we treated the mattress, absorbed the treatment liquids and remade the bed enough that we could go to back to bed.  Everyone was relieved, although Lilac was pretty discombobulated and needed a little while to figure out that we were going back to bed.  Needless to say, we all slept in yesterday morning.  I am so glad it was Saturday night and not Sunday night!

As for who the guilty party is, I really, truly am not sure.  I do know that it is not possible for it to have been Lilac.  She can't even get up on the bed anymore, and she was out in the living room all day.  Blueberry, Bunny and Morgan all had turns in there on the bed throughout the morning.  A long time ago, Blueberry did pee on our guest bed, in what we believe was an attempt to claim it as her own.  She has also tried it on our bed once before, just after Bunny came here.  At least, I strongly suspected it was her, but I didn't catch her in the act.  She NEVER has an accident in the house and it has been a long time since she's done anything like that, so I'm not sure.  Bunny has been rather unhappy with Morgan, so it is possible that she could have tried to mark it as hers and not Morgan's.  Morgan was running around and playing in there a lot in the morning, too, so she could have decided to try the same thing, just out of spite for Bunny.  I just don't know.

What I do know is that the girls have lost the privilege of staying in the bedroom on Saturday mornings for a long time now.  I'm thankful that memory foam doesn't absorb water.  Having a washing machine in your house is one of the greatest things ever.  Finally, I'm glad that this didn't happen during the week and I'm still glad that I share my life with dogs.  At least things are never boring! 

So, how was everyone else's weekend?
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bottled Up

After sharing our lives with Greyhounds for the last ten years, we've gotten used to having a variety of dog toys around.  However, a few of those toys have proven to be...not quite hardy enough for the type of workout Morgan likes to give them.  Fortunately, our new girl is easily amused.  Her favorite toy in the whole world is an empty water bottle.  No, we're not foolish enough to give her one that's full.

For those of you out there with dogs who share a similar prediliction for plastic bottles, you may know that this can be hazardous to your feet, not to mention your dog.  I can tell you with assurance that I will not be signing up to walk barefoot across a bed of glass in a circus anytime soon.  It's funny where little pieces of plastic and bottle caps can end up.

When Morgan first came here, we had a fleece bottle cover that looked like a pig.  We'd slide the bottle inside and she'd attack it with gusto.  Sadly, the pig bit the dust a week after Morgan arrived here.  A couple of weeks later, Mr. Taleteller found her an orange cat cover for the same purpose.  He lasted the first night, but before we went to bed the next night, he was also in stuffie heaven trading horror stories with the pig.

Around that time, we found this company called Olive.  They make "green" pet toys and other products.  We found a more durable bottle sleeve that's made out of bamboo.  Of course, we had to try it.  So far, it's holding up pretty well, and the most important part is that Morgan seems to like it.

I guess it's a good thing that she has simple tastes!

We're participating in the Pet Blog Hot again this weekend.  If you'd like to join in, it's pretty simple.  Add your link into the McLinky tool and copy and paste the code into your html editor.  We're very thankful to Life With Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confesssions of the Plume for hosting the blog hop every weekend!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

And The Award Goes To...

I imagine most of our readers already read about Morgan's Academy Award-worthy performance this week.  You would think that she'd be a shoo in at the nomination ceremony, but I don't think she'll be alone.  We seem to have a house full of starlets here.

There's also Lilac, able to pretend that she's old and feeble one minute, then demanding we get out of bed and dance to her tune at the drop of a hat.  She's definitely got the diva attitude, even if she doesn't have her name up in lights on a marquee yet.  She never pretends to be ashamed by any of her actions, but the way she can convince you that her misdeeds are actually because of something you did is really a piece of work.

Of course there's Bunny.  She's managed to fake injury, emit the Greyhound Scream of Death during obedience class when her leash was stepped on while she was laying down, convince residents of the nursing home that she's terribly neglected and malnourished, and act as if she's dead in bed to avoid having to move over among other things.

We also have Blueberry as a contender.  Blue saves her acting for while we're out on walks.  Depending on the situation and who her audience is, Blueberry can either act as if she's extremely tired and needs to be carried home, is terribly abused and needs a new home, or is really excited to go for a walk and promises that neither of the first two options will happen, even though they always do, every time we go for a walk.

So, I leave it to you.  Which dog wins the award?  I wonder who's going to get the little gold statue.  Sometimes I wonder if I should win the award for putting up with all of them!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dewey Beach Or Bust

Bunny here, sharing a little news that has had my tail wagging for a little while now.

I am really looking forward to Autumn this year for several reasons.  One of them is that we'll be able to do more hiking.  I have my new heavy duty Wolf Pack all ready to hit the trails with.  Rumor has it that we might even get to go this weekend.  Another is that our annual Greyhound reunion for my adoption group is going to be coming up soon and I'll get to see a bunch of hounds there who all were lucky enough to find homes like I did.  I really have my paws crossed that some of my littermates will be there.  Third, it's apple cider season, and I LOVE cider.  Finally, Mom says that she and I are going to Greyhounds Reach The Beach in Dewey Beach this year.

I am so excited, I can barely sit still!  I want to start packing for our trip right now, but Mom says it's not until October so I don't need to get my suitcase out for quite a while.  For all my friends who aren't Greyhounds, Dewey Beach is a big Greyhound gathering where hounds and their owners from all over the country, even some from out of the country, to get together and have fun.  Blueberry says I'll even get to see the ocean and play in the water.  We're going with a Greyhound friend and I hope that I have as much fun there as Blueberry and Lilac did when they went.  They said they're staying home with Dad this time and that's fine with me.  Is it October yet?

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stop The Drama

Bunny here with a little story that I can hardly believe myself as I type it.

I may have mentioned on a few occasions that Morgan is a bit obsessed with teaching me to place this bitey face game.  It seems a bit barbaric to me, as I do not believe that my head belongs in anyone else's mouth.  I mean, I know Mom says I'm sweet and all, but I don't think that means I should be tasted by a certain dog of German heritage around here.

Well, tonight Morgan came up with a new idea to try to get me to play bitey face.  She tried putting her head in my mouth.  I swear that's what happened!  Dad tells some crazy story about how I just walked up and bit her ear, but he has a hidden agenda.  Trust me, she tried to force her head into my mouth!

In that moment, there was a bit of loud barking, by me, of course.  I shouted "Get your hairy head out of my mouth" but Dad thought I was attacking his princess and yelled to knock it off in a loud voice.  Mom was downstairs getting our food.  The moment passed and I thought that was the end of it.

Oh, no!  It turns out that Morgan has been to acting school!  She walked around with her ear half cocked and Dad came over on the couch with her, making a big deal out of it.  Morgan was acting all pathetic and sitting in Dad's lap part of the time.  I can't believe he fell for all that show! 

I mean, look at her just a few minutes after getting up on the couch.  Does that look like the face of an injured dog?  She was totally playing Dad, and the worst of it was that they were sitting in MY SPOT!  I gave Dad a certain look and then they both got up and moved. 

I had to sit up there and guard the couch and Mom's feet the rest of the night.  If anybody needs an actress for a movie, I know where you can find one.  We'll just have to get her out of Dad's lap first!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

My Dogs Are Too Darned Popular

This is not a post about how Bunny now has more friends than I do on Facebook, although that has recently happened.  Today's post is about our visit to the dog park on Saturday night.  It was a problem that I haven't encountered before, and I'm still scratching my head over it a bit.

Saturday turned out to be a pretty toasty day, so we waited until after dinner to take the girls to the dog park to burn off some steam.  As we walked into the gate leading into the second gate, we saw that there was a young German Shepherd puppy and a Pit Bull puppy playing with some people inside the dog park.  Morgan was in heaven, barking and wagging her plume of a tail in anticipation of a rousing game of chase me and bitey face. 

However, as we were about to enter the park, two teenaged girls approached and grabbed the Pit Bull puppy.  That's not terribly unusual, a lot of people will pull back their dogs so others can enter.  The Shepherd's owner called her back, too.  As we walked in, though, the girls began gushing over Bunny and Blueberry.  We've gotten used to people fussing over them, too, and that's okay.  I know that people have questions about them and a certain fascination.  I let the girls both go and the two teens were both very insistent on petting them.  Usually the girls will just walk off, though, and ignore people when they've had enough of their attentions like the true little princesses they are.

The usual small talk ensued as the girls began to make their way around the park.  The teenagers were accompanied by their parents and the Shepherd had an older couple there with her.  We were asked their names and I told them.  No sooner had the girls learned their names then they began really pursuing all three of our dogs.  Calling their names and running around the park after them.

Certainly, they weren't hurting the dogs.  Their mother joked "I'm not sure if the girls are wearing the dogs out or the dogs are wearing the girls out."  I just thought, "We came here so the dogs could play with other dogs, not be pestered by annoying children."  Despite the fact that I thought that, I did not say that.  I wanted to, but I didn't.  I just felt like, the girls seemed like they were old enough that they ought to have known better and if they didn't, perhaps the parents should have put leashes on them. 

I'm still at a loss as to how to respond to the situation.  If someone had an aggressive dog that had bothered mine, I wouldn't have hesistated to tell them to call their dog off, and most likely would would have left.  It wasn't a situation where the dogs were in danger, it was just interfering with their and our enjoyment of the dog park experience.  I've met other kids there who were very pleasant and fun to be around, but these two were not. 

On a positive note, after they left I saw our best Bunny and Morgan moment to date.  Bunny walked through the trees and laid down under a tree like a crouching lion.  She stared at Morgan and Morgan stood staring back at her.  After a few minutes of stare down, Bunny leaped up in the air, ran straight at Morgan and then veered off, leading Morgan into a nice game of chase, and Morgan managed to play this round without putting any parts of Bunny in her mouth.  The game and the evening ended on a high note, with three tails wagging.  My only regret is that it was too dark to get a picture of the event!

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Appreciating Antiques

I've been doing some reflecting lately.  In one month, on September 20, Lilac will be fifteen years old.  That is rather aged for a Greyhound and she's definitely showing her age, but she's still humming merrily along.

It's hard to believe that we thought she was a senior dog when we adopted her seven years ago at the tender age of eight years old.  We weren't particularly looking to adopt a senior dog, but we had her as a foster after she arrived on a dog haul after having recently weaned her last litter of puppies.  After months with not one single person offering to adopt her, we decided that she should stay here with us.  Actually, she'd decided that she should stay here with us from the moment she laid eyes on me at the adoption group president's house where she'd come off the hauler.  It just took me a while to figure out that she'd made her decision.

We weren't adverse to adopting a senior, but we lead an active lifestyle and we thought when we added to our pack again, it would be a younger dog so that we could give Treat and Hawk a break.  Obviously, it didn't work out that way.  Later, we did keep Blueberry here, but that's a story for another day.  Aside from her penchant for garbage and candy theft, Lilac was actually very unassuming, just coming up to us when she wanted some love and wrapping her head around our necks. 

I had no idea that Lilac would end up outliving Treat and Hawk when we decided to keep her here.  I thought we'd be blessed with her company for a few golden years and that we'd make her life comfortable and pleasant.  Little did I know that a sassy, independent and opinionated old lady lurked inside that dark brindle fur coat.  I'm so excited that we're going to be celebrating her fifteenth year next month.  We want to do something really special for her, but we haven't decided what that will be yet. 

In spite of the middle of the night wake up calls and some of the other negative things that accompany old age, we wouldn't trade a minute of our time with our Grande Dame.  I realize now that every day we have together is a gift and it's one we need to make the most of.  There is something infinitely sweet about life with an old dog.

It makes me think about all the senior dogs out there, waiting for homes, who are passed over because someone wants more time together, or they think these dogs aren't as attractive, or a host of other reasons.  The dog I thought I'd have for the longest, who was always ready to go on an adventure, passed away much too soon at only ten years old.  You never know how things will end up working out.  If Lilac leaves any kind of legacy from her life, I hope that it's letting people know that you can't discount the joys of adopting an older dog.  The rewards that you will reap far outweigh the costs.  We have been unbelievably lucky that Lilac decided we were hers all those years ago!

We're participating in the Pet Blog Hop again today.  We're very thankful to Life With Dogs, Confessions of the Plume and Two Little Cavaliers for hosting the hop.  If you'd like to join in, it's pretty simple.  Add your link to the McLinky tool, copy the code and paste it into your html code editor, and follow the three hosts.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Sometimes Public Service Is Its Own Reward

Bunny here, finally able to type at the keyboard.

Well, I'm not going to lie.  I'm feeling a little left out lately.  Lilac and Blueberry both seem to have some kind of understanding with Morgan, but she keeps trying to put my whole head in her mouth and put her paws on my back and I don't like it.  Plus, I got in trouble with Dad when I told her off.   This is really not the way a Greyhound princess is meant to live.

I was really happy last night when Mom got out my perfume, a fancy collar and my harness and told Morgan to go in the crate.  It was time for me to go visit at the nursing home and since Dad had a meeting, that meant that I was the only one going.  My tail wagged for the first time this week. 

We arrived at the nursing home and I was ecstatic to see my civilized canine friends there.  It was just wonderful to do a little socializing.   I watched Vinny and Chip do some tricks to entertain the people down in the Alzheimer's wing and Lil had her special stool with her so she could get up high enough to visit with the residents who couldn't bend down to pet her.  Max and Journey were there, too, working the crowd and sharing tail wags.  Everybody, canine and human, was happy to see me and I was glad I went to bring good cheer, because it surely brought me some.   It's funny how that works!

By the time we left, I was feeling much better, until I started thinking about Morgan pouncing on me when we got home.  Then something amazing happened.  Mom turned into Dairy Queen and I got my own strawberry sundae.  It was such a wonderful night.  I wasn't expecting to get ice cream, but Mom said I'd done such a wonderful job visiting that I'd earned it. 

The best part was coming home smelling like strawberry sundae when nobody else got any!  I'm glad that Mom remembers that I'm special after all.   Now I just need to get Morgan to understand how one treats royalty.

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