Thursday, November 16, 2017

Can I say "I told you so?"

Yesterday was pretty interesting and not in a good way, at least at first. 

I have a really big yard to patrol. I take this job very seriously. Mom and Dad depend on me to let them know when deer are in the yard, and to keep an eye on Dad when he's outside. 

Well, he went outside WITHOUT me, so how was I supposed to accomplish that?

It's autumn and that means lots and lots and lots of leaves are everywhere! I like leaves! Leaves are cool! They fly around when I run through them! I love the crunchy sound! But too many leaves can smother the grass so Dad rides the mower around to chop them up. 

Yesterday, Dad went out to do some chopping and he left me inside. I did not like this and I liked it even less when the mower stopped running and Dad was stranded out in the middle of the yard. I could have been there for him! I could have kept him company until help arrived! 

When the mower wouldn't start, he called Mom. Mom said she tried to call a few of the cousins but no one was home so she left her job and came home to help Dad. She got me to come outside, too, which was the right thing for her to do. I needed to keep an eye on them! 

Once Mom got Dad back in his power chair and the mower rolled back in the shed, she told Dad he needed to take us to Sonic for dinner because she needed to go to the grocery store and hadn't stopped. Mom confessed she was out of dog food!

What gives here?? Okay, I know Dad needed help, but he left me inside the house. Mom really should have stopped at the store on her way home. Dad could have lasted another ten minutes. It wasn't that cold!

And why was she out of dog food? I might starve! I'm a Lab and we really like our dinner. 

But it all worked out. Dad was safe. Mom got to go to the store and got not only my dog food (and a new kind of treat), she got a turkey. And the best part is we all went to Sonic and we each had a hamburger! Mine was plain. Theirs were loaded with stuff like pickles and lettuce that I don't like. 

Dad, next time you go outside, you'd better take me with you. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

I do look like Jett!

Greenbrier Smokey Jett - first snow 2003
Mom was looking through some old pictures and she found one of Jett she thought she'd lost. It's of him when he saw snow for the first time. I hope Mom doesn't misplace any pictures of me. 

Hey, I remember snow! Snow was fun! And cold! But I'm older now and I can handle the cold better. 

Mom tells me secrets sometimes and she told me she didn't think she'd ever love another dog the way she did Jett, but then I came along and I'm special in my own ways. I know I have some big pawprints to fill, but I can do it.

Jett was a Lab like me. Mom says even though I look like Jett, she can tell our pictures apart. She says my soul shows in my eyes and she'll always know it's me. I guess it's a good thing to have a soul, whatever that is. Mom says Jett was a lot more laid-back and easy-going than me, not that it's a bad thing. It was just the way he was. I'm more energetic and outgoing. It makes me who I am and Mom likes that. She told me I should always be myself because that's the best way to be a happy dog. 

Maybe it would be okay if Mom misfiled a picture or two of me. That way she can be happy and think about the good times with me when she finds them. 

Greenbrier Smokey Deuce - fall 2017

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Another picture of little 'ol me

Mom thinks I'm very handsome. She likes to snap my picture. She took a bunch of them while we were walking last Saturday. 

Here's me in my orange safety vest. I turned around to see what was taking Mom so long and sure enough, she took my picture. 

I'm Deuce! I should have known!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

An early November walk

Yesterday was a really nice day. Not too hot, not too cool. Just the kind of day Mom loves and when
Mom is happy with the weather, I get to go on long walks through the woods. 

I knew we were going. I overheard her talking to Dad. Then she put my orange safety vest on me. It's the proper fall style, or so she says, but it's a lot tighter than it was last year. I am full grown now. But it wasn't too tight, and orange looks really good with black fur, so it was okay. Mom wore orange, too, even though the hunters are not supposed to be anywhere near where we were. Mom says some of them deliberately ignore the markers so it's better safe than sorry.

First off, Mom didn't let me get in the creek. I knew I couldn't because she didn't slip off my collar. That was okay. The water is pretty cold now. When we got to the top of the first hill, there were walnuts everywhere! They look like balls but they taste nasty. Mom wondered if she should come back after our walk and gather up a bag full. Like I said before - people are nuts. 

Mom took a video of me just being me. She wants to remember me forever so she likes to do that. She doesn't care if they don't look professional. They're for her and Dad although she shares a few of them from time-to-time.  

I really like walking with Mom because she lets me run around and sniff whatever I want. She doesn't think it's bad that I mark my trail or that I lead the way. It's my walk, too, so she thinks I should enjoy it. 

The water at the headwater of the creek was cold, too. I walked through it but didn't get too wet. I saved that for on the way home. And today I learned I have to be careful and not swallow dry leaves. They stick to the side of my throat and make me cough. I do not like that.  

After we got home, Mom and Dad worked on one of the mowers while I played with an old Frisbee. It started to get chilly so we all went inside. Mom fixed dinner and we all settled down for the evening. It was a good day to be Deuce.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The long ride

Mom had vacation days she said she had to use or lose so she took a long weekend. I like having her home for five days straight. I get to do a lot of interesting things when Mom is home with me and Dad. Today was great! Dad wanted to go for a drive and I got to go along! We took the new truck.

I was pretty excited to get to go along. We packed a cooler with lots of water and a bowl for me. We drove across the Potomac River, and then the Shenandoah River. I could tell from the way they talked Mom and Dad had been across those bridges quite a few times. They knew where they were going but it was all new to me. 

We stopped at a Sheetz and had a smuffin for breakfast. Mom said folks will think I only ever get to eat people food but the truth is my parents are pretty careful about what sort of people food I get. Real protein, like eggs and bacon, Mom doesn't worry about. I know they're really, really good! After breakfast, Dad found a side road so I could get out and tinkle. Mom made me use my leash, which I didn't like. I wanted to explore but she said 'no' and she's the boss. 

The road led up this big hill to a place called Ashby's Gap. Mom and Dad like it because as soon as you get to the top, the view of a valley, to the right, is pretty spectacular. Mom wanted to take a picture but it wasn't safe to pull over. 

I got a little bored and made myself comfy. Sure the mountains were pretty, but see one and see them all. I tried to take a nap, but I couldn't. I was really glad when Dad made a right turn and I sensed we were headed home. We were gone almost four hours and even though we stopped every hour just in case I had to pee, it was a long time in dog minutes. 

Going for a long ride with Mom and Dad is okay. I think it's better than being left home alone. Mom said we all learned a lot about how we can travel together. I think that means I'll get to go with them more often. I'm good with that. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The red fox

Saturday morning started out with a boom. Seriously. A big boom! The neighbor down over the hill fired a shot at daybreak! Dad said it sounded like a black powder muzzleloader. The deer hunters have a black powder season so lots of the neighbors have those guns. 

Mom and I woke up to the big boom. Mom muttered something about idiots but since she wasn't talking about me or Dad, I went back to sleep for a bit. When we finally got up, Mom took me straight-away to the door like she always does. I knew as soon as I stepped outside something was wrong. I smelled it and pushed Mom back inside. She didn't know what was going on and fussed me for almost knocking her down. 

I growled and growled so she started looking out the windows and that's when she saw it lying in the yard beside the patio - an injured red fox. Mom opened the bathroom window and the fox tried to get up and run but it couldn't. Its hind legs were paralyzed but it was still strong enough to drag itself a few feet and hide under the hostas. 

Right away she told me it had been shot. Mom went into the bedroom and told Dad he had to get up and put the fox out of its misery. I had to think about that for a minute and I'm pretty sure she meant the fox was in a lot of pain and it made her sad. It made Dad sad, too. He got up and didn't even put on his pants before he loaded the rifle. He said we couldn't let the fox suffer any longer than necessary. 

Dad's a really good shot. 

Mom and Dad used the backhoe on the John Deere to bury the fox. Even though they don't like having foxes around, they were still sad they had to put it down. They're kind of angry with the neighbors, too. They say if you load your gun to hunt, you'd better know how to make a clean, quick kill. They say it's wrong to let any animal suffer. 

I agree.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

There were sticks everywhere!

Yesterday, Mom, Dad, and a bunch of people cut down a tree. I got to meet cousin John. He's pretty cool. I like his red polka dot hat. 

The tree that needed cut was a big oak. Like, really big. Mom rented a big lift and put Uncle Mike on it. Uncle Mike is fearless. He went up so high - all the way up as far as the lift would go. They didn't ask me if I wanted to ride along and I'm glad they didn't. I would have been scared. At least I didn't have to run away and let them all know that. It would have been embarrassing. 

Most of the time I had to watch from in the house. Mom and Dad worried a log might fall on me and they may have been correct. Things falling from the sky isn't something I know to watch for. I got to go out and greet everyone, and then watch while they got the equipment positioned. Then I got to go back outside when Uncle Mike was finished cutting. Best of all, I got to eat lunch with everyone! Mom fixed me two plain hamburgers! I did do a lot of running yesterday. It's hard work keeping an eye on Dad when he's on the John Deere but I'm in really good shape and can run beside him. 

I found a bunch of really good sticks while everyone worked. Mom and Aunt Donna played fetch with me. The guys - not so much. They were focused on getting the job done, but Mom knows it's important to make me feel like one of the pack. 

Today me, Mom, and Dad are going to burn a brush pile. There's a lot to burn, too. I'd say it's a waste of perfectly big sticks but I know I can find more. 

I just hope Mom fixes something good for breakfast. I burned a lot of calories yesterday!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The little round red thing

I love my ball! I love it soooooo much!! I'll do anything Mom says if she offers to play ball with me. She tries to be sneaky and call the ball the "little round red thing" but I've caught on to her.

I'm Deuce. I know!

It was a beautiful autumn Saturday so Mom and Dad decided to cut down a few trees along the lane. I was worried at first. Whenever they want to play outside with power tools, I end up left inside. Today was different. This being almost two years old is really paying off!

Turns out the trees they wanted to cut down were small ones. Dad got on the John Deere and Mom used the battery-powered chainsaw. She didn't need the big Stihl for these. I don't know much about trees, but Mom said if they cut down the small maple, cherry, and poplar trees, then the little oak tree would have room to grow big and strong.

We were outside for a couple of hours. I ran around in the woods and had a good time while they worked. I know how to stay aware of which way the tractor is moving and to keep wide. When they hook a chain around a downed tree to drag it, I know to stay to the rear. I didn't know how to do that last fall.

But the best part of the day was when Mom played ball with me. I love the little round red thing.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The big, bad kitchen floor

Mom's not happy and when Mom isn't happy, ain't no puppy happy. 

I don't know why, or maybe I can't remember why, but I'm afraid to walk across the kitchen floor. It doesn't make any sense. I used to run through the kitchen all the time. Now it scares me. 

Mom is trying to be patient with me, but she knows there's no reason in the world for me to be afraid. It's only the floor. We all walk on the floor.  Heck, I sleep on the floor. The floor doesn't move or anything. It just lies there. 

I wish I knew why I got frightened. I'm Deuce. I'm a big guy, not a baby. So why am I behaving like a little scared puppy? It's sort of embarrassing. 

Mom's being patient with me and helping me work through it. She puts her hand on my shoulders and tells me it's okay. Once I take the first two steps into the kitchen, I'm better. I can do it.

But you know what's really confusing? Sometimes I forget I'm scared and trot right through! 

No wonder Mom told me I'm behaving like an idiot. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

A big change

Today was very different for me. First off it's something called Labor Day. It sounds sort of fishy to me because a lot of people are on a holiday but Mom and Dad know things I don't. 

The day started out okay. Mom fixed me breakfast. She fed Dad, too. I'd better mention that. Breakfast is important. Then they got ready to go away. I was not happy because when they go away without me, I have to go in my crate and it's boring. But today was different. Mom said I could stay loose in the house! 

I was good all day. They left at eleven in the morning and didn't get home until six in the evening! I really had to pee but I held it all day long - just like the good dog I am. Mom told me she was sorry they were gone so long, but the place they went has no concept of how valuable time is or how important it was to her to get home to me. I think she was more stressed than I was that I had to hold myself for awhile. 

But that's not the strange part of the day. They left in my truck and came home in a different truck. Well, you know I barked like a big dog at first because I didn't know it was them. Mom came into the house and got me lickity-split and showed me how to jump into the new pickup. The back seat has a door on each side! I can jump in from Dad's side and that is so cool. I like it! I bet Dad likes it, too, now that he won't have to go around to the other side to let me in. It'll be a lot easier for him when it's just the two of us. He still needs to put on a set of running boards to make it easier for him to get in and out, and then the truck will be as good as old Silver. I wonder what Mom will name this blue truck?

Mom fixed dinner and then we all went for a ride in the new pickup. I had plenty of room to sit and I can see out the windshield better now. Plus, my windows go up and down! I like that, too. The back seat is what Mom calls a split seat. She says it's a one-third to two-third split. The smaller seat is perfect for me! I might get to sit there when Mom is along. 

I liked the old truck but I'm learning that things change. The new blue truck has made Dad really happy so I'm happy, too. I wonder where he'll take us tomorrow?