Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lost and Seen

My orange hen disappeared a couple weeks ago. The other orange hen has started sitting on the nest in the supposed hen enclosure (they only use the nest; the chickens all insist on sleeping in the trees), so I've been hoping the lost hen also decided to raise a family. I keep looking for her nest. I've searched the woods and all the covered areas I can think of. No hen.

I'd pretty much given up hope on my hen. Then this morning as I was driving down to pick up seed I saw an orange hen scratching around with the others. Since the one is locked in the enclosure, I was pretty sure this was the lost hen. With a sense of excitement I continued on and picked up my seed.

By the time I got back all hens had disappeared. They reappeared like magic when I started scattering food for them - all except the orange one. I checked the enclosure nest, and was heartily pecked by the disgruntled mother-to-be. So I did see my lost hen.

Another search of the woods has turned up nothing. At least I know she's hiding out there somewhere...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lost and Found

I work at home on Mondays, so it seemed like a good time to get my new kitty accustomed to the house outside of her room-of-seclusion. I put the dogs out and brought Squeek to the computer desk. She explored the area and finally curled up next to the power supply on a shelf under the desk.

Later I decided to bring in my new TV. This meant the front door was open for a significant time as I maneuvered the large and heavy beast from the car to the house. When I got it all set up, I returned to see how Squeek was doing.

She wasn't. I couldn't find her anywhere. I searched the house, then brought the dogs in to search. I sat quietly to see if I could feel her cat essence. Nada. I feared she'd decided to explore the great outdoors. After significant outdoor searching I still came up without a cat. Several times during the night I went out to call and search for her.

In the morning I was heading out to the kitchen, thinking about how I'd look for my cat, when suddenly 3 dogs headed for the closet. I followed, and found my adorable new kitty stretching and offering a small meow. I'm sure the dogs and I had looked there before, but Squeek is obviously a master of the "I am not here" state of being.

My feeling of well being at having not lost a cat lasted until I came home from work. Ursa was not there to greet me. This is very unusual, so I hurried inside to change shoes and grab a flashlight. I searched the area around the house first, thinking her arthritis may be acting up. From there I started down the hill along the fence, searching the hillside and woods as I went down and around the sheep fields. I figured she must be in the flat area by the outbuildings, but was careful to make sure she hadn't gotten stuck somewhere along the way.

But she wasn't by the outbuildings. As I searched the woods coming up the other side of the hill I started wondering how a person can lose a 120 pound dog. I looked behind the dog yard, getting really worried. As I headed by the house I shone the flashlight towards the porch...and the 120 pound dog standing on it, wagging her tail, waiting to be let in.

"Can't you BARK?" I asked, as I gave her a huge hug. I've no idea where she was, or how I missed her. But I was very glad to see her there.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Every Dog Needs a Job

I have a Border Collie with enough physical issues that it's hard to find work for her, and, being a Border Collie, work is important. She is very creative, and is pretty good at finding work for herself.

It is difficult to know when a Pyr or other LGD needs to go outside or come inside. They usually stand at the door silently, looking intently out or in. We are supposed to know, sometimes from another room, that they wish to leave or come in.

Put together a Border Collie and a task that needs doing and something interesting usually happens.

Hannah has taken on the job of butler. While she can't (fortunately) actually open the door, she stands by it and makes enough noise to let me know there is someone who wants that door open. She then excitedly greets incomers, and gets lots of praise for being so helpful.

Hannah has become so good at this that she sometimes alerts before the dog makes it to the porch. I'm not sure how she knows everyone's intentions, but then she is a Border Collie.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

No Fighting!

I have 3 free-range geese. They have decided that the safest place to spend the night is in front of my house. The house is at the high point of the property, but I don't think the geese enjoy the view. Charlie the Pyr, however, does. This is where he hangs out while he's listening and looking for threats, in between fence patrols. The other night there was a confusion of noise outside that got my inside dogs riled up. I went to check it out.

At first glance it looked like Charlie was attacking two of the geese.

At second glance it was obvious that the geese were fighting, and Charlie was trying to break up the fight.

The geese had each other by the wing where it attaches to the body, as male geese are wont to do. Charlie was trying to grab something to break them up, but the only "things" handy were goose necks, which he seems to realize are pretty fragile. He would back off, woof at them, and wade in again.

I think this is Charlie's version of "No fighting in MY house!"

Monday, February 05, 2007

Montana Dogs at Work

A rancher had property on either side of a major road. A tunnel was put in so he could take his sheep across the road without stopping traffic. The first year they used the tunnel, his Great Pyrenees went across the road as usual. She stood in the middle of the road while her sheep went underneath, stopping an 18-wheeler. When the truck came to a halt, she walked up to it and bit a tire.

Stay away from MY sheep.

Ya gotta love a dog with attitude.

Greek Dogs at Work

Photos and comments by my friend in Greece, Annie the Greek.

The one in the pen with the spike collar was put there because he was barking so ferociously at me. The other two guys, well, just normal growling.

Once you get to know them, they're friendly enough. If you get friendly enough with them to scratch their ears, they'll love you forever because no one ever scratched their ears before in their lives.

If, however, you just drive by them, they'll bite the tires on your car, and love to bite you into pieces as well.

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My Dogs at Work

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sky Shadow

I've no idea what caused this pattern, and have not seen it before. Interesting morning sky. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 02, 2007

Still Life

This morning is a study in cold-weather pastels. The sky is a watercolor of translucent white clouds stretched over a pale blue sky. The mountains are sketched in with a broad brush coated in dark blue. Patches of snow show through where the brush lifted from the background. In front of the mountains is a layer of dark, dark green, interrupted by the vertical patterns of brown tree bodies. A bright yellow glows amidst the gray layer of clouds that surround the sun, and St Helens stands out in sharp relief against the golden-gray south sky.The world is frozen. Still life with sky.