Bridget is growing and constantly learning new tricks. One of her best ones is counter surfing. use the other day I heard loud cursing as Kate discovered the dog had eaten her lunch….stealing it off the counter. Yesterday it was laundry. Bob had folded a literal mountain of laundry, it was spread all over the bed in neat piles. Bridget decided that looked very attractive, so she curled up in the middle, making a nest in the middle of the clean folded clothes. Bob found her, chased her off, and refolded the clothes; putting them away this time. Then he started finding socks. One at a time, spread all over the house. No holes in these socks, but in the weirdest places: Under the table, in the bathroom, and even in her dog bed were socks.
Again, another week on he half day plan. half day — 5 am to 5 pm or 7 am to 7 pm plus a bit more plus commuting. YEAH Work. I hope the crisis is over and I can go back to more normal hours. No blog posts on the half day plan.
But yesterday, I managed to get a great picture of Bridget and Charlie playing together. More accurately, Bridget tries to play and Charlie lets her know he does not like to play like she does. I’m always scared bout the claws and eyes, but Charlie is a remarkably gentle cat for household members. Ferocious hunter of birds, gophers, and lizards.
Bridget can be a real pain in the …… Elly thinks so and often tries to get away from the puppy. Bridget has the habit of biting Elly, grabbing onto her fur and tugging. Sometimes it is in play and sometimes it’s because she’s trying to hog the attention. Well this morning, Elly got mad, really mad. SMACKDOWN! Next thing we knew was that Elly hissed at the puppy and bit back. Puppy squealed and ran away. Elly chased her. Since then Bridget has been a bit politer and respectful of her elder. Good Elly.
So last week was one of those bad weeks — way too much work and stress to even think about writing blog posts. And that means no pictures. But I do have some good stories. Today was a good any for Bridget — lots of enrichment.
Bridget got downstairs into my domain this morning. It’s been a disaster area, everything getting stacked on any open surface to the point where nothing can be done except a major cleaning. This weekend was the cleaning. And Bridget got downstairs where she found an old bully stick in a bag. So pleased as she walked up with thi disgusting dog treat wrapped in a plastic bag. Elly was instantly jealous, she wanted one also. So we were nice and let them have treats — a brand new one for Elly and the older half eaten one for Bridget. Since Bridget does not yet have her adult teeth, these bully sticks are substantial treats that take her hours to eat. Elly chomps them into pieces in minutes and then was not allowed to steal Bridget’s. So Bridget spent hours downstairs under my computer table happily eating while Elly sulked upstairs.
The dogs also got a good walk today. First they both managed to slip into the stream of disgusting moss and ugly smells. Then Bridget found the dead animal, perhaps gopher. Well into the decomposition period, Bridget happily rolled on top of the dead animal. While Bob was dealing with Bridget, Elly proceeded to also roll on the dead animal. Both of them had a fine selection of rotted meat and other ugly smells embedded into their fur. Glad I didn’t have to ride in the car with them. Double shower time at home.
In the afternoon, it was barking lessons. Elly would do a couple of deep WOOF WOOF’s. Then Bridget would try–weef weef, not woof woof. It’s funny, pathetic sound to hear. Who would have thought that dogs have to learn how to bark–not me before getting dogs. But it’s not good that Elly is teaching her bad habits about barking at nothing out the window. A crow, a leaf blowing in the wind, aa noise in the bushes, all are good bark bait.
The capper this evening was going over to visit Rupert, Garrett’s dog. Like an over tired kid, Bridget was beyond belief as she raced around. At one point, both Ruper and Bridget had Elly pinned to the ground. Up the hill down, and even faster racing around the yard. ” Let’s then go check what is on the dinner table. OOHHHH!!!! I like that smell, any chance of pulling that down to the ground?” Bridget had incredibly bad manner, even for puppy standards. I was not happy with her, she was Bob’s dog at dinner time.
Now she’s sleeping on the dog bed on the kitchen. Her back leg is twitching. I wonder what Bridget is dreaming about? Do dogs even dream?
Both dogs love going for a walk in the morning. And then both dogs spend the afternoon sleeping. Dog beds are a valuable commodity in this house, all our pets like sleeping on them. We only have 1 dog bed in the kitchen, there is not enough floor space for that item much less two of them. So the dogs have share. Bridget is getting huge, there is almost not enough room on the dog bed for both dogs.
Compare the two dogs from a photo taken just a few weeks ago.
Technical woes are being slowly overcome. Sometimes I can make the PC seethe sdchip reader. If not, then I can use the cable to read a chip in the camera. Also got a new screen on my iPad. Now all I need to do is get a new case so I don’t crack the iPad glass again. I hate the fact that it is hard to find accessories for devices that are five years old. Evidently I am now officially a luddite since I try to make my toys and tools last as long as possible. Apple and Microsoft really want me to buy new stuff. Using the PC is getting so difficult where things that work one week won’t work the next because of updates that I probably will do something. Perhaps move to Linux.
Anyway, back to puppy business. She is getting big and rapidly turning into a little dog. She has gotten big enough to counter surf. Ok almost big enough. If she stands on het toes and turns her head sideways, her tongue can sometimes reach food. Gross.
For the last few days, I have been dealing with technical problems. The iPad has both a cracked screen ans a keyboard that is not working correctly. The laptop has been screwed by Microsoft Windows 10 updates. Not only has Microsoft removed programs they didn’t recognize (without asking) but they have disabled the sad chip reader, the touch screen, and the sub ports as being out of compliance. Nothing is working right, all because Microsoft wants me to buy new hardware. I am not happy.
So blog posts have become more difficult, hours of pain fixing stuff that used to work before I can start writing. Hence the limited blog posts. There is not enough free time to fix and write in a single day. So today I have a single photo of the cats. They are sitting and antucipating dinner. Perhaps you can perceive that calmness in them as they wait for the dinner cry. Puppy tales wait until I get tools working better.
The other morning, Charlie caught a huge grasshopper which he brought into the house to enjoy. Bridget saw this delightful treat and stole it from the cat. Bob thought the puppy was eating it. But no, it was even grosser. She was laying on her back, sucking all the innards from that poor cricket. Later he found the shell discarded on the floor.
Bridget loves farm life. She is part of the pack and they are busy, busy, dogs. Lots of things to do. Rolling the mud. Eating old sticks. Chasing each other around. Practicing the come command. She’s has even learned how to swim. That was exciting.
Bella has a favorite swimming hole which she visits multiple times per day. She swims. Elly prances through the hole, stirring up the mud on the bottom. Bridget watch, but for a while was too scared to go in the water. Finally she backed up, took a running leap and landed in the water. Immediately she went under and I worried if I was going to have to rescue a puppy. Just then her head came up and she frantically started dog paddling. Since then she has been a bit more restrained, walking on the edge of the pond, not going swimming.
It is 7.04 am and already the dogs are tired. We don’t even know what time they got up–but it was at the crack of dawn when all three dogs started whining. There is no sleeping in for parents of puppies and dogs.
Bridget has a Kong that Bella my parents dog has brought her. It’s a bit too big for her mouth and she is spending minutes–yes precious minutes–trying to pick up. The other dogs are rolling in the cold wet grass. Gray skies and lots of mud add to the general gloominess of the moment. Mom brings me a very welcomed cup of coffee since I am the current designated dog sitter. Bridget is so small she can easily get lost, get eaten, fall in the streams, or do any other stupid young animal type stunt.
It’s cold, gray, and yet puppy therapy is working. I get up to kee an eye on where the dogs are and see some daffodils poking there heads up at the edge of the lawn. From inside the warm house, I hear laughter. My mom says that those kongs are Bella’s most prized possessions. Every night she gets one during cocktail hour — a long standing ritual at Brindejjon. The sun is going down, the world is beautiful for a couple of moments of peace and loveliness. It’s a wonderful time of the evening to enjoy a glass of wine some cheese and crackers. Or if you are a dog,enjoy a Kong with dog treats frozen inside.
It’s 7.35 am and Bridget just went into the barn. Time to get up and see where she’s going. Five minutes later, I’m back blogging again. We have a pack of filthy disgusting dogs, covered in Mud. Already my nice clean clothes are covered in mud from Dogs. It’s too early to shower them, so I’ll sit outside and enjoy being watching them play. I think the puppy just learned how to bark. Short high pitched little barks as she chases Bella. I’m blessed, it’s like being able to see a child’s first steps.
Elly is a city dog. In other words, she loves going out and seeing the different city sites, visiting beer brewpubs, and smelling great foods. Even sometimes enjoying them. Walking around during a barbaque festival is exquisite torture for her with the possibilities of licking something off the sidewalk.
And we spoil her. One of our favorite places to go is the Oceanside Ale Works. A warehouse containing the brewing center of that delicious strong ale. When we go, Elly sometimes gets a special treat. She loves her bully sticks, lying on the cold concrete eating. Other dogs wander around and she knows they would take her treat if unguarded for even a moment. She eats fast, but that danger of loss makes the treat even better. Add in no puppy AKA no babysitting duties and life is wonderful for a moment.
The golden retriever puppy that Kate occasionally puppy sits (Molly) came over yesterday. Agai, chaos reigns as three dogs rough house all day long. Had some new squeaky tennis balls that were popular. We released 3 balls — one for each dog in attempt to reduce fighting. But that did not help, there was only 1 BALL that all dogs considered desireable. So all three dogs were fighting over that ball while 2 other (identical to me) balls were a couple feet away. At one point Bridget was pinned down Molly as Elly moved her head in for the steal. No one was harmed except the ball with is now in pieces. Bridget was hungrier than usual. And today all three dogs are sleeping.
Wow, that puppy has become a wild preteen. Willing to break the rules.
- “Can I run for it?’
- “Do I really have to go into the back yard?”
- “What happens if I chew on that?”
- “Can I get to the cat litter box if I run fast enough?”
- “How deep can I dig that hole?”
I know why most dogs are surrendered between 6 months and 18 months of age. She’s not yet 6 months but rapidly developing that attitude. Just this morning, she ruined my favorite skirt by putting holes in it. And yet there are those moments where she runs around with all that joy and energy from just being alive. It makes me laugh and curse. I am more alive with emotion because of her.
And she’s spurred a new craft for me — making dog toys. Big heavy hard to tear apart dog toys. I’ve made several different types and am letting her and other dogs test them. The purple one seems to be a winner for the smaller dogs. This bigger one needs a different type of rope. o the prototypes being dog tested. Once I figure out the right ate rials, how much rope is needed, and write the patterns, I’ll have some great kits for sale.
OK, I can’t prove that Bridget is guilty, but I know in my heart she is responsible for ruining my favorite sweater. Puppy teeth, teething pains, young dog that doesn’t know what to chew and what to leave alone. This morning as I’m leaving for work, Bob points out the hole in my favorite sweater. It was not there the last time I wore it. And the only explanation I can discerned for a hole in the sweater is a teething puppy. Hence the phrase, Damned Dog!!!!!!!
Still painting or at least trying to learn how to paint dogs and cats. One of the more fanciful painting encounters was with a waitress named Bridget. She sent me a photo of her dog to paint. I think she wanted a bag, but instead she got a painting. It took me a while to figure out who had sent me the photo. But I enjoyed the creating the painting (in watercolor) and it’s possible that the waitress still thinks we named our puppy after her. Maybe so, one never knows.
ANway, below is the original photo and the end painting.
Last night Bob and I went on a date to Costco. Dinner is cheap–we spent $5.35 on dinner for two. But the shopping is expensive. We always find something extravagent that is a must have item. Last night it was toys for the dogs. Justification 00 the puppy needs lots of chew toys which is true. But we could make them for a lot less. But hey, it’s a puppy and she deserves a new toy or two. Elly agrees she too needs some new toys.
So last night we gave both dogs one of there fake plastic bones. Elly promptly took her bone and stashed it somewhere in the house. Then she came back to the kitchen and took away Bridget’s bone. By this point in the evening, Bridget was too tired to protest. So she lay next to Elly waiting for the right moment to steal back her bone. Very cute to watch.
For the last few days, I have been working the worlds worst shift — 11 pm to 7 am. Why–because the job needs to be done and I didn’t duck fast enough. Tedious work, auditing computer systems for security protocols– did they set up the user accounts correctly, are the routers turned on , and other fascinating questions to be answered. Anyway I get home about 8 am, a tired exhausted wretch. Have breakfast and go to bed. Sleep all day, get up have dinner and go to work. I feel empathy for those who have to work different shifts on a regular basis, it’s hard.
But cats love this schedule. Someone to sleep with 24 hours a day. And they do sleep most of that time. We have three cats. You only hear about two of them, because the oldest cat, Sally, lives in a laundry basket. It has an electric blanket that she adores. Since it has an 8 hour switch, we are constantly flipping the switch on for her. Constant refrain is “did you turn on the cat?” Even today, she spent the day in her laundry basket instead of the bead. She spends about an hour on a nice sunny day outside, and then it’s back to bed for her.
Now Sophie and Charlie are more than willing to sleep with me on the bed. Charlie however has limits to the amount he can sleep, waking me up about 1 pm to let him out of the bedroom. Charlie has a routine, he needs to patrol the yard and make sure all is well in his territory. He also loves to go play outside with Elly, follow Bob around as he does chores and generally has an active social life in the neighborhood.
Sophie is a trooper, sleeping under the covers with me all day long. While I’m at work, she splits her night between Kate and Bob. Guess she’s an old lady. But more than anything,, she is a Dagon cat. She defends her right to sleep on the bed with any and all humans. I’m the top priority. If I’m around. She’s next to me. And woe betide any cat or dog that tries to approach. That cat can bevicious. Even the puppy is painfully learning this fact. And when there are no humans, she curls up with Charlie the cat.
Dog beds are very important in our pets lives. Having a dog bed is status, even or the cats. And so we have lots of these big giant pillows around the house. A couple weeks ago Bob and I had a COSTCO date primarily so we could acquire a couple new beds. One for Charlie the cat and One for Elly. Of ourselves, the cheap dinner helps. We spent $5.35 on dinner for two. Good tasting food and a great price. Not healthy. But that’s beside the point, we got two new beds. At the dinner table the little kid at the next table was so impressed with our beds. He wanted to try them.
Charlie always has first pick of the Ed. Elly get’s what is left. And the older bed got moved into the kitchen. Bridget the puppy is so excited by her change in status. Everyone sleeps on the bed in the kitchen. And like a puppy, she had to try peeing on the bed. Wonder what they are thinks when that happens? I’m sure the result is not what they planned because my reaction is to drag the bed outside, hose it down, wash the cover, and let it dry for a couple of days. No dog bed for the puppy. Back to. Small blanket on the floor.
Yesterday, Molly the dog came to visit. Katie occasionally gets a dog sitting job for a young (6 month) old golden retriever. Big, beautiful, clumsy, and highly active puppy who loves to play. Elly is not impressed, two puppies is too much for her. They tumble and wrestle through the kitchen, the living room, and and any other space possible. The noises from their roughhousing are truly frightening. GRRRRRR. YIP. SQUEAK. GRRRRRRR. Lots of teeth showing.
The cats were not too happy. We did the nightly cat treat ritual; Sally refused to come into the kitchen. So. I let her eat in the bathroom. Wise decision becaus the dogs managed to bust open the kitchen screen door and chase off the cats. Out went the dogs and the cats emergency rations — cut up pieces of ham.
Order between the dogs is restored when one dog sits on another. It’s impossible to get a picture of Bridget on top, she moves so much. But Bob did get great one where Molly is siting on Bridget. And occasionally we try to tone down the noise by doing sit / stay lessons. By the end of the evening, The number of periodic time outs (separation of dogs into different spaces) increased as the day went on. Those three dogs got into that state of frenetic exhaustion. We’ve all seen it with kids-frantic, loud, raucous behavior in a mad attempt to stave off sleep. Beyond reason, they truly are mad animals at that point.
At that point, Katie took Molly home. Evidently once she got in the car, the dog fell instantly asleep. Bridget did the same on the kitchen floor. And Elly just disappeared, I’m assuming to sleep. Bob and I were noticing there seems to be a correlation between rainy days and Kate’s dog sitting jobs. I wonder why?
Charlie is not too sure about this pup. OK, there are more snacks and treats available. Plus late night potty breaks offer extra opportunities for escaping the house and playing outside all night. But she doesn’t understand how cats like to play. He’s ok with a good game of chase. But it should not end with the puppy on top of him licking no cleaning his face. Charlie will take care of his own cleaning–thank you very much. He doesn’t need any stinking puppy breath in his face.
And sometimes a cat just needs to sleep. Especially on a cold morning where there is a warm bed and sunshine to enjoy. Nothing like a great morning nap after a wild night outside.
Three of the most important commands are COME, then SIT, then STAY. If done correctly , one can get the resulting photo of two dogs waiting for a snack. But unfortunately that result is not common enough. It takes a lot of work and constant bribes to train up a dog.
I remember when Katie was an infant. Her grandmother got a puppy when she was two weeks old. I remember going with her and Maggie to pick up Bridget number 1. And we worked hard at the commands of sit and stay. Katie grew up with the puppy. We all have fond memories of her walking around the yard at Grandma’s house holding a cookie above her head. That was the only way she could eep the dog from eating it.
By the time Kate a year old, she had those commands down solid. Coming out of a grocery store, I would place Kate at the curb an say “SIT” and “STAY”. It was wonderful, the kid was safe while I put groceries in the car. Other people were not so impressed. I remember one woman telling me very indignantly “That is a baby, not a dog. You should be ashamed of yourself”. Wish I had been quick enough to reply “Really, that’s a baby? I was ripped off, the breeder told me it was a golden hair pup.”
Well Sophia is not happy with all the attention given to that puppy. And she likes being the center of attention. So much so, she I suggesting a boycott of puppy photos, puppy stories, and the like. Instead, these blogs should be about her and only her. She may have small paws, but she has a big presence. Go Sophia!!!!
We have had a lot of rain this year. Hurrah!!!!! We need it after 6 years of drought. Only problem is that we have no rain gutters. And if we get too much rain without diverting it from the house, it gets wet underneath the house. Easy, cheap quick fix — blue tarps along the edge of the house. Longer term fix — install the rain gutters and possibly a French drain. During the rain storms, we’ve gone with the cheap easy option.
Now these tarps are fun for the puppy when wet. She considers them to be a doggie slip and slid. Race along, halt suddenly, and slide along the sidewalk. Might slide though a puddle or two, that only adds to the fun. While we may care about a wet muddy puppy, she doesn’t. Besides getting dried off with a towel is fun.
In our house there s a tradition of feeding the cats special food at night. An end of the day ritual, this event begins with the cry “All right, Sally, Sophie, Charlie”. At the first word “All” chaos explodes in the house. Charlie starts running around with an up tail, crying and rubbing against my leg. Sophie waunders around and Sally begins sauntering out at a measured pace. The Dogs have a role in this ritual. Both need to go outside while the cats get their food. And they wait.
Most nights, all three cats eat rapidly. First one done often goes to help the next one finish. Last night that was Sophie helping Sally. Since Sally didn’t appreciate the help, there was a small altercation. The dogs waiting eagerly outside hear the noise and they begin whining. “Can’t we come in now?”
Eventually the time arrives, dogs get their chance to lick the plates. Bridget is so excited she can’t figure out where to start. So she races in circles, putting her feet on all the plates. All cats scatter, leaving the plates to the dogs.
Our dogs love to visit Gmom Lewis. Not only is she happiness and pets personified, she’s the source of all good treats. What that means is that the dogs are slavishly devoted to her, spending every second by her side. Or at least every second when they want to lounge. Both dogs are always on their best behavior for Gmom Lewis.
So yesterday we had cultural enrichment day! In other words we joined the rest of the world in watching the Super Bowl. Bridget enjoyed the puppy bowl. I swear she was watching the puppies play on TV. Liz claimed that Roman, her Cat, enjoyed the Kitty Gaga Half-time Show. So perhaps those animals were recognizing themselves on TV. But by the time the actual Super Bowl arrived, our dogs were exhausted and had to sleep.