Yes, it's me again. This email is actually directed to all dogs
clever enough (like myself) to use computers. I firmly believe that we dogs are intelligent enough to ditch our dependence
upon humans like the 'trainer.' Oh, ha ha, I have to laugh every time I think of her as such. I'm really much
smarter than she is.
Today's tips concern
foraging for our food. Tips #1 and #2 are cautions. Do not--I repeat, do NOT under any circumstances attempt to
eat those black and white wasps that favor fallen fruit. I really should have known after the first sting on my big
fat belly, but I forgot and today I was reminded that wasps are not all that tasty and they react viciously to being eaten
or teased. Go for grasshoppers instead.
Next, wooden matches are difficult to digest. The 'trainer' was burning brush and foolishly left a box of matches on
the bench. After tasting the first one and finding it unpalatable, I did find that a full box of blue tips make a great
toy if, after tearing the box I run around the yard as fast as an antelope. The wooden matches fly through the air and
land upright in the tall grass creating an interesting pattern. The 'trainer' was not amused.
She's been picking bowls of late season raspberries almost daily.
Yum, I love raspberries and while I do pick my own whenever I'm feeling peckish, it's so much easier if I just wait for her
to set the bowl on the ground. I think they are very good for me and much tastier than that kibble she feeds me.
If I'm really fast I can also supplement my diet
with a daily egg. All but one of those silly hens has stopped laying, so the 'trainer' hurries to collect the very limited
supply, but I can usually beat her to the nest and I can certainly outrun her after grabbing the prize. A quick drop
on the bricks and the egg is all mine. No wonder my coat is as shiny as patent leather. I am a very pretty girl.
Tonight she made herself a boring salad for dinner,
but when the phone rang I helped myself to some of it. Thanks to my adventuresome appetite I am growing like a weed
which makes shopping on the counters easy peasy. Life is good, but oh so tiring here at the Peaceable Kingdom.
Oh well, I guess I'll stay.
buried Booger this afternoon. He now rests next to Little Ivy and dear Walter in the cat graveyard. I've no doubt
that he thanked me when I nodded to the kind vet after she said she felt the most humane thing would be to release him from
his incurable misery.
This was his fifth
trip to two different veterinary clinics, but all the drugs and treatments were futile and his condition (finally tentatively
diagnosed as throat cancer) worsened by the day. This morning I knew his time had come.
Booger's life here began one late autumn day ten years ago. I and a friend were speeding along an interstate where the little
black and white kitten was patiently sitting on the side of the pavement as if waiting for a cab, seemingly oblivious to the
cars and trucks that rumbled past his tiny form.
I pulled onto the shoulder, backed up the truck and my passenger opened her door and scooped him up, saving him from becoming
yet another cat pizza on the freeway. I looked down at him as he sat calmly on the seat between us and said, "He's
a cute little booger, isn't he?" And so he was named.
RIP, dear Booger.
Since excruciating and unrelenting back pain beset me about a year
ago, woods walks with the dogs became fewer and fewer until finally they ceased entirely. But today the gang and I revisited
our favorite place--Ranger Rick's Woods. Who could have guessed that starting the day with water aerobics and swimming
four times a week would restore my health and consequently my former much-loved routine? It's been like a miracle.
Tess, even with her limited experience is the most well-mannered dog in the trio. On lead she heals like a veteran show
dog. (Off lead is another story....) Julie pulls blindly to the right and Ernie's heft challenges my strength
until he's reminded, "NO TUGGING!" As if to say, "Oops, I forgot," he settles into a comfortable
gait as we make our way up the road.
Safely behind Rick's gate the leads come off and off go the dogs. Julie could
outrun almost any deer and Tess isn't far behind. They fly through the trees, leaping over hurdles like horses at a
steeplechase. Such energy, such excitement, such curiosity--except for Ernie.
An onlooker might think he's Velcroed
to my knee. The woods make him nervous. A tree creaks in the wind and his upward-turned face says, "Yikes,
what was that?" A deer breaks and heads for the bean field and Ernie halts in his tracks. "OMG!
Did you see that? It almost ran over me!" He can't wait until we're back on the road, away from such surprises.
streambed is dry, but at last we come to a perennial puddle and big old Ern is the first one in. Like a happy pig he
stands belly deep in the slurry, a delirious smile on his doggie face. It looks as if he's wearing black goulashes when
he finally emerges, but how can I be angry? It's the highlight of his otherwise nerve-wracking outing.
As we enter my own woods we are greeted by Tom the cat. He and I sit on the swing
along the nature trail and visit while Julie and Tess continue to investigate trees and bushes they sniff every day of their
lives, but Ernie hurries off as if his tail is on fire and heads to the safety of the house. He's waiting at the back door
when Tom, Julie, Tess and I get there. 'Such a Nervous Nellie, but the rest of us had a lovely time.