Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
"One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young." -- Unknown
Monday, March 16, 2009
Fourteen months ago - our lives were quiet and somewhat sedate. We had settled into a daily routine. I spent many days alone while my better half was working in the city. Wild birds were my favorite entertainment and we spent hours watching and photographing them. Now you must understand that bird watching is primarily entertainment - the photography is frequently an exercise in futility as the contrary creatures are often far beyond the reach of the lens of my camera or they choose to pose behind the biggest twigs or sticks to be found in the woods.
All of that changed the day Kody entered our lives. No more lingering under the down comforter; now Kody wants to join me. No longer do I bundle up and sit alone on the deck watching the turkeys scratch under the bird feeders or deer come browse on our favorite and most expensive viburnum. When Kody comes out on the deck the barking begins; these are invaders in his kingdom! He must proclaim for all to hear that he is in charge and they may only come into the yard with his permission which is only given from inside the house where he is no longer aware that they are nibbling away at seed and treasured plants.
This tiny three pound Pomeranian pup has grown to a seventeen pound armful much more like the breed’s ancestor the Spitz than the tiny Pomeranian I had expected. NO! I don’t want to send him back — well, at least not most of the time— not now that he is housebroken and has become part of the family.
This little Kody dog loves to chew. He mostly eats rawhide. Thanks to the inspiration of Hannah Hinchman (in her book “Little Things in a Big Country”), I learned to rub the rawhide with “Tillamook extra-sharp cheddar.” Usually he is delighted with his rawhide and settles down by my feet to munch contentedly ... of course here in the east it is very difficult to get Tillamook cheese so sometimes we must settle for a Vermont substitute :) Then there are the times when he reverts to his full stage of puppyhood and chews up his bed, pulling out great wads of stuffing before I even notice that he has changed from gnawing rawhide to ripping up fabric. My needle has been kept busy sewing up stuffed puppy toys, my goose down lap-robe, two of his beds - both were marketed as being good for dogs who have a strong chewing instinct. Now I am wondering if the marketers meant that the beds were easy to chew.
Everything chewable - which we have come to realize means everything - is now located at least three feet above the floor and more than a dog’s reach beyond all chairs and other furniture. All trash cans are now covered or enclosed; we watch with admiration as he figures out how to open them. Kody is strictly a gourmet eater; his favorite foods are Kleenex - either new or used, chicken, salmon, and dirty socks. When offered something like kibble he gives it a ceremonial sniff and looks at us with a look that seems to say “what do you expect me to do with that?” If pressed further he will simply turn his head to the side staring at nothing as if to say “kibble? We will not even discuss the subject.” Our trainer keeps reminding us that is important to keep track of who is training whom.
“I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better.“ ~ George Bird Evans