Thursday, September 10, 2020

Me? Picky?

Sometimes it pays to be a picky eater. I know Labs like me are supposed to be canine garbage disposals, but I'm a very discerning pup.  It makes Mom a little crazy when I refuse to eat. The problem is I can't tell her if my tummy is upset or if I'm just being hard-headed. Here lately, she suspects the latter. 

The other day she found some old ground lamb burger in the freezer and cooked it off. I'd never smelled lamb before, but I was kinda interested. Then she mixed a big spoonful of the lamb in with my dog food and stirred and stirred and stirred until there was no way I could pick out the lamb and leave the chow. I had to eat the whole thing!

Mom's pretty smart. I wonder what I need to do to get lamb all the time?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

**Note from Mom: Dream on black dog. Dream on...






Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Tractor Time With Deuce

Deuce helps service the John Deere 1023
Dad works hard to keep my yard looking good. It's not easy for him but he's a stubborn guy. He just keeps chipping away at a project until it's finally finished. Mom and I know he works so hard on our yard because he knows we love our yard. Even that skanky Loki likes our yard. 

Mom and Dad have a big John Deere tractor. They call it the 1023 but I'm not sure what that means. There's another smaller John Deere they call a 370 but it can only mow. I'm a smart dog so I know I don't have to know about the equipment, just keep out of its way when it's moving. 

This summer, Dad's been all hopped up about doing something called a two-hundred-hour service on the 1023. I'm not sure what it means, but I know it's had Mom snorting. She's had to crawl under the tractor and that's not her favorite thing to do. A couple of weeks ago they changed the coolant and the oil. Yesterday, they changed the hydraulic fluid. I learned that's what makes the bucket, backhoe, and snowblower go up and down. 

Or something like that. I'm Deuce. I'm a dog. Mom and Dad talk and I hear the words but sometimes it's pretty boring stuff. All this tractor talk has nothing to do with me getting snackies so it's not important. Show me the treats and I'll pay attention. 

Anyway, yesterday it was Dad's turn to get under the tractor. First, Mom set down the outriggers, lifted the back tires off the ground, and shoved blocks under the tires. It was safety first before Dad got out of his chair. 

Well, let me tell you. Dad out of his chair on the ground is not a good thing in my world. Dad on the ground anytime is not a good thing, and this time he did it on purpose. I did not like this. I came over and watched to see why he'd do this. I knew with me and Mom right there it must not be tooooo bad, but I still didn't like it. Once he's down he has to get back up. Not good. It worried me. 

Turns out, it was a good thing he was the one looking at the underside of the tractor. The people sent him the wrong filter (he was not happy) and Mom might not have known it was the wrong one. He put the old filter back on because, he said, the old fluid was still really clear, whatever that means. They take good care of the tractor so I bet that next year, we'll do this again with the correct filter even if we don't have four-hundred hours run time on the 1023. 

By the end of the day, the 1023 was back under the carport, the bucket of old fluid was loaded on the Silverado to go to the recycling place, and Mom was serving BBQ chicken sandwiches for dinner. 

I wonder what's for dinner today? 





Monday, September 7, 2020

I tried to tell them, but noooooo

Last night while we were eating dinner...well, Mom and Dad were eating dinner. I was successfully bumming bites of grilled pork chop, so maybe I was having dinner, too. Anyway, I heard a noise so I did my job and barked. And what did they do? They shushed me!

I'm insulted. I knew a branch had fallen out of a tree. I know what that sounds like. I didn't know it had fallen across the lane but Mom and I discovered that when we went out for a stroll after dinner. 

Mom tried to apologize for shushing me but I wasn't ready to let her make up to me. She didn't have any snackies with her so I very smartly thought I'd wait until we were back inside and she could give me a Griller to officially accept her apology. 

I mean, really folks. Do not shush me for doing my job. Barking to alert you guys to something happening on the manor is what I do, and you know I do it very well. 

So remember this next time.  Just say to yourself, "do not shush Deuce when he's correct." Then repeat it. 

One more thing to remember - don't leave the house without treats in your pockets. 








Sunday, September 6, 2020

Where's the frog at today?

Where's the frog today?
I'm a pretty smart dog. Ask Mom. She'll tell you I'm not fibbing. I learn new stuff all the time, and one of the things I've learned is that frogs are sneaky little things. It's true! Let me tell you the facts.

There is a ditch that runs along the lane so that when it rains, the water coming down from the top of the big hill doesn't make ruts Mom's car can't drive over. There's a spot where the water makes a tiny pool and a frog lives in it. Mom says a frog in that spot is a good thing because it eats bug eggs which, sounds really nasty, but I'm not a frog.

Oh, and Mom says not to worry about the frog. It's just a couple of hops over to the spring branch or the creek, so if his little pool dries up, he'll be fine. 

Anyway...I know about the frog. When Mom and Dad take me down to the creek to play in the water, I look for him. I know how to stand really still, too. Mom says I have really good focus when I want. The funny thing is, I know he's there and I still jump every time he moves! How silly is that? 

I'm Deuce! I'm a big, bad, black Labrador Retriever, for heaven's sake. I'm descended from the St. John's Dog! He's an itty bitty frog. It's not like he's bigger than me. The deer are bigger than me and I'm not jumpy over them. 

Some days the frog isn't around. Maybe he's back inside the culvert or under the water where I can't spot him. I get a little disappointed when that happens. It's a lot more fun to sneak up on him and make HIM jump.

I'll try again tomorrow. 






Friday, August 21, 2020

How can you resist this face?

It's really good to be me. I'm a lucky dog. Mom and Dad feed me, play with me, take me on walks, take me along for rides in the big truck, and they let me sleep on the bed. Not every pup has it so good. One of the things Mom does for me is to fill my hex toy with dog chow. 

Now, that may not seem like much but it is to me. I don't have thumbs so I can't do it for myself. Mom knows that if I give her the hex, I'm feeling sort of nibbly. 

The hex holds about a cup of chow and Mom keeps track of how many cups I get in one day. If we go for a long walk, I get a little extra. If we don't do much of anything, I might get a little less and then need a snack. 

Once my hex is filled, I can roll it around so a few pieces fall out. If I'm just feeling snacky, I might play with the hex for a long time before every piece of chow falls out. Sometimes I eat a few pieces and realize I'm hungry and that's when I roll it around fast. 

That was me the other night. I thought I was feeling nibbly so I gave the hex to Mom. She finished reading her chapter (I didn't like that because I wanted her to fill my hex NOW) and then did what I asked her so politely to do. I had the first couple bites and then I wolfed it all down. When I gave the hex to Mom a second time, she took my picture. 

And you know what? It worked! She filled it again!

Seriously, though. Who can resist this face? 





Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sleeping on the bed makes me famous!

According to Mom, I forgot myself this morning. I'm not sure what that means. How can I forget myself when I am myself? One of us is confused and I think it's Mom. 

Here's the backstory.  I love, love, love to sleep on the big bed with Mom and Dad. It's a good thing. We're a pack and the pack should sleep together. I mean, you never know when a bear or a moose or even some big old deer will sneak up on you when you sleep. Am I right? 

Of course, I'm right! I'm Deuce! 

So I sleep with Mom and Dad. Loki was outside last night so it was just the three of us. Mom got up first thing this morning, and I figured she wasn't coming back, so I used her pillow. What did Mom do? She didn't say a word, just snatched up her camera and took a picture. Then she said I was "blog fodder," whatever that means. 

Well, I knew she meant it would go on my blog, but there's more. I bet she even puts this picture on Twitter and Pinterest. Maybe even Instagram. Does that mean I'm famous, or infamous? 




***Note from Mom***
He sounds soooo contrite for sliding into my spot, doesn't he?





Saturday, August 1, 2020

Another overcast day made my walk muggy

Deuce with the old reservoir in background
I love, love, love my walks with Mom. We take the same route most of the time because it's the safest
one for me. The old road is gated closed so there are no cars or trucks and I can be off-leash and hop in the creek every time we cross over it. 

Mom took a couple of pictures, but it was cloudy so she's not happy with them. 

We always spend a few minutes at the old reservoir. The water there comes up from the ground in a spring. It's cold and clean and really good to drink. Before the road was gated, lots of people in our community, Mom included, used to come to the reservoir and fill jugs of water for drinking and making ice tea. A long, 
long time ago, some people used this spring 
water for making something called Apple Jack. 
I never met my great-granddad but Mom says 
he would have loved me a lot! 
overflow pipe at old reservoir


I'm Deuce! What's not to love??

The overflow pipe at the reservoir is pretty cool. The water comes out and creates a deep hole that I can play in on really hot and muggy days like today. I don't stay in for long because the water is really cold! I'm a Labrador Retriever and we like water, but I like it to be a little warmer to stay in for a longer time. I have learned that if I step under the pipe, I get very wet so I try to remember to not do that. Besides, Mom laughs at me when the water hits me on the head. 

When we got home, Mom said we walked almost two miles. I think that was enough walking for me for today. Dad's puttering in the shed and Mom is blogging for me, so I think I'll hop up on the bed and take a well-deserved nap. It's a good way to while away a hot afternoon. 








Tuesday, July 21, 2020

My yard is my playground

I have a big yard to play in. Mom took a video so I can show you everything. It was a really, really, really hot day, so we didn't play ball or anything. We just strolled around.

Mom started standing at the patio and looking at the shed. Then she panned to the back yard and the picnic table and campfire ring. Do you hear the cicadas? They are loud! The windchimes are softer except when the wind blows hard. 

Dad built those terraces to help when it rains. Living on the side of a mountain is tricky business when the water run-off comes through. It has to rain pretty hard before that happens - maybe once a year. Those two windows are the office windows. I spend a lot of time in there when Mom's working. It's my job to keep her company. 

The woods at the west end of the house are called, "The West 40." It's not really forty acres but my parents call it that. They get strange notions sometimes. We burn out there which is why we keep our fires small and a water hose handy. My woods go all the way down over the hill, but I don't go down there. I don't like briars because they can hurt my paws.  

Walking on around, there are the flowers at Mom's sunporch. It's outside her office. The orange stuff is called Tiger Lily and the red is Bee Balm. The little hummingbirds like that stuff. Right now, there's the top of a tall tree on the ground. Half of it broke out about two months ago, and now the rest of it fell to the ground. Dad's going to pick it up with the pallet forks and move it over to be burned later in the year. 

So you can see I have a big playground. I love to sniff around and see who's been in my yard. The main road is far away and I don't have to be scared of cars or be on a leash when we go outside. Even though it's safe, I almost never go outside by myself. 

Mom videoed all the way around and back to the shed. So that's it! That's MY yard. I'm really happy I have room to run around and be a country dog. And it's good we have room to be the pack, and being the pack is everything. 





Sunday, July 19, 2020

It was hot today - I got a patio bath, and Bambi was in my front yard

July 18, 2020

Oh, my paws it was hot today! I thought I might melt when we went outside this morning. Mom and Dad wanted to put the pallet forks on the John Deere 1023 and I went along to watch. Thank heavens they worked in the shade, and that they didn't work for long. I don't think we were out more than about an hour.

Mom said it was 95F. That's hot! I plopped down over the air conditioning vent. The cold air felt soooo good on my belly, at least at first. I had to move because, um, well, pinky started to get a bit chilly. Next time I need to make sure he's not over the register. 

I was panting so Mom filled a big bucket with lukewarm water and took me out on the patio for a quick shampoo. It felt sooooo good to be wet! Mom made sure the water got all the way to my skin. It felt so good I stood really still when she rinsed me out. Oh, my! If it's hot tomorrow, maybe she'll get me wet again. And the bonus was I shed and shed and shed! Mom brushes me but this was like a big-time shed! Now I'm cool and fluffy. Mom and Dad know just what to do to make me feel really good. 

We stayed inside all afternoon after my patio bath. After dinner, Mom looked out the window and saw the doe with the two Bambis in the front yard. She didn't tell me they were there until after they were gone. Seriously, Mom? I know I'm not supposed to chase a Bambi. Heck, I'm bigger than they are! It wouldn't be fair for me to scare them like that. 

What Mom did do was take a video of them walking into the woods and over the stone fence on their way down to the creek to drink water. The video is uploading as we work on this blog. I hope it finishes soon or today might become tomorrow and that might get confusing because Mom and I wrote this blog today. See what I mean? 

Today DID turn into tomorrow before Mom could upload the video! 







Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dad went along on our walk

I got a surprise treat a few days ago when Dad went along on our walk. He could only go as far as the old reservoir because his fancy chair can't cross the creek, but it was pretty cool he went that far. And not just because his saddlebag has a pocket full of treats for lil' ole me, although I admit that is a big plus. A guy gets snacky on a walk, you know. 

Mom and I went almost as far as the lake. It was really quiet in the woods yesterday. And hot. I didn't even see a squirrel, which is odd. There were plenty of the little rodents in my yard. They have no respect for my boundaries. Did I mention it was hot?

On the way back, I got a surprise. Dad waited for us! We came around the last bend before the reservoir and I couldn't believe my eyes! Seriously!

I looked and looked and looked at Dad, thinking the entire time my eyes were playing tricks on me. Was that really him? Mom said it was so I picked up the pace and went to him even though that left Mom alone. I guess that was okay since she could see us, but my job is to walk with Mom and keep her safe. 

Mom and I talked about it and decided Dad must have enjoyed being out in the woods or else he'd have gone home without us. We're going to ask him to walk with us again. Maybe we can load up his scooter and go down to the towpath one day. That would be fun! 

It's not a surprise that Mom made of video of my almost faux pas. She's got more of them uploaded, too.