Thursday, June 20, 2013

My four-legged family

Bliss is quietly checking out what I've been photographing or perhaps waiting to go for a walk. While "the boys" can go anywhere on the property on their own and do early in the morning - (Invisible Fence confines them safely to their place keeping them off the roads and from wandering), they usually wait for me to walk with them either on the property or in the fields and bush belonging to generous neighbours.
Spirit on the other hand, doesn't often stand around, but lies down to wait for whatever is happening next, unless of course I'm mowing the lawn. Then the two follow the tractor very closely, or lie in its path when I'm mowing a large patch and not the pathways where we often walk and I watch the birds. I seem to be constantly telling them to move - and they grudgingly, slowly get out of the way...frustrating for me, but also quite funny when I think about it... how would they know where I'm headed next?
Eleia appears to be scolding me from her spot on the deck. She will lie for hours watching the chipmunk who has a series of tunnels under the fish pond and out into the garden. The other day she caught it and brought it into the kitchen!

When I yelled at her, she dropped it in surprise, but since she was on her way up the church window into my bedroom, her usual preferred pathway, the chipmunk got left behind on the window sill. It tried to go up the window as well, but I grabbed a soup ladle, not effective at scooping the poor creature up, but enough to keep it from going up to my bedroom and certain death. It ran along the counter and jumped down behind the stove.

What to do? Bliss came running over to the kitchen. Both dogs could smell it under the counter, but there was no easy way out - or so I thought.

I baited a squirrel trap with peanut butter and sunflower seeds, and stuck it in the drawer under the stove.

Later that night, after I'd gone to bed, I heard a big scuffle as dogs suddenly started running around. Aha I thought, the chipmunk. Sure enough, there it was when I got downstairs, running behind the woodstove, dogs in pursuit. This is a small home - not a lot of room for big dogs to chase a squirrel, chipmunk, mouse or bird - the latter having been brought in many times. So I put the dogs Invisible Fence collars back on, opened the doors and encouraged the dogs to move closer to the front door.

Sure enough, the chippie smelled freedom and made a break for it...heading for the deck door through which it had been unceremoniously brought. Waiting outside the door like Darth Vader was my big black cat Christopher. The chipmunk didn't hesitate... it must know about this cat - who only chases moles and rats. It ran right past Christopher who just watched it go.

Talk about laugh. What an adventure.

Eleia of course stayed upstairs, totally annoyed with me. She'd spent months trying to catch that critter and here she'd been successful and I'd spoiled the last bit of fun. (Thankfully.)
Christopher stares at me - not terribly pleased with his nap in the sun being interrupted. But when I walk over and rub his ears after taking the photo, he purrs and rolls onto his back for a good tummy rub - something all four love.

They're great company, wonderful companions. The dogs are terrific guard dogs I found out the other day when someone arrived to do some work on the property and told me the boys had growled at him not allowing him onto the property. I know they bark at certain trucks, tractors and cars going by or up my neighbours' drive, so they've always alerted me. But protecting me and the property? Good to know.

Christopher doesn't chase birds, and Eleia is learning they're not to. It takes time but it is possible.

So it will be interesting to learn what these four will do in their new home. None of them are particularly good with change. The cats in particular. But we'll manage.
Sun setting on another adventurous day

Hope you can deal with any changes that occur in your life today - easily and with aplomb. And hopefully any changes aren't monumental - unless of course, that's what you want... enjoy whatever comes your way!


  1. Adventures with pets can be so rewarding. They really do make our lives more enjoyable and interesting, don't they? Nice to see you back!

  2. Thank you for the welcome back Bill - it was a pretty difficult spring in which I had to make the tough decision: stay or find a new place to live...

    But the deed is done, I will be moving and the pest will deal - and you are so right my adventures with my four have been a total delight - I've had up to 11 animals at one time in my life - that when I had five horses as well as dogs and cats and a designer guinea pig bequeathed to me by a errant would be daughter in law who left her behind when she took off for the far east.

    But each has given me far more I figure than I've ever given them... yes I'v provided food and lodging and love - but the laughter, the unquestioning devotion, the silliness, the tricks and personalities of each - what joy!

    Thanks for the welcome back - funnily I've missed writing the blog even though I needed to focus on other things. One of my favourite pieces you've written during this time is the one before Max... about being in Northern Quebec and the photos, the description of the lake at dusk and sunset... brilliant imagery, memorable and evocative writing... so well done Bill... you are a true delight!