Sunday, July 24, 2016


Well, the kids and grandkids have visited and have left again, as of Thursday morning.  I've been catching up since then.

Dear Son #2, wife and two teenage girls have a bit of a menagerie at home: two cats, a bunny, a lizard and nine fish.  So they had to make an arrangement for their care while visiting us.  During their visit they received an email that a woodpecker had come down their chimney and was trapped behind the glass door of the fireplace.  That was driving the cats bonkers!  They said, "Just leave it.  We'll be home tomorrow and take care of it."

But their friends had pity on the poor bird and decided to free it.  With a small blanket in hand to catch the bird, they opened the fireplace door.  The bird flew out before they could catch it!  Fortunately, they had left the front door open, and the bird headed for the open air and light.  Unfortunately, just as the bird was flying out the door their young son came running in, frightening the bird right back into the house.  It was finally caught under the blanket as it tried to hide behind the door and they released into the front yard.

This was caught on video, and I'd love to have a link to show you, but I don't think DS has  posted it yet.

In the meantime, we have been dog-sitting a large Chesapeake Water Retriever, quite young I think, judging by how rambunctious and energetic she is.  She came here on Saturday the 16th the day that we had two of our kids, one DIL and three grands visiting.
It was supposed to be for five days, but she's still here!

On Monday, during her "gallop" around our acreage she smelled something VERY INTERESTING underneath the garden shed.  It's up on three big beams, so just a bit off the ground.  She ran around the shed sniffing and trying to get underneath.  While she was on the south side snorting around an orange cat SHOT out from the north side and made a clean getaway out back over the railroad.  Hollis thought the cat was still there.

Each day after that as soon as we started our walk she bolted for the garden shed and snuffled all around.  On Thursday morning's run (the kids had just left early that morning) Hollis disappeared under the shed.  She had managed to dig out enough on the back side to wriggle under it.  I realized this when she didn't reappear from behind the shed.  I could hear hear whimpering under the shed.

I got a flashlight and had a look.  Hollis was upside down about the middle of the shed, trying to chew her way through the floor.  What to do????

I got a crowbar and claw hammer and began trying to pull up one of the sheets of plywood that make up the floor of the shed.  Jim saw that I was involved in something strange and came out to help.  I guess it took us at least 15 minutes to get that plywood pried up.  I had built the shed back in 2000, and done a very good job!  When it was pried up enough to make a small opening, we coaxed her through it.

Now, you would think that she was scared enough that she wouldn't go near the shed again, but you would be WRONG!!!  She had lost the privilege of running off-leash, but she hadn't lost her interest in whatever might be underneath the shed.  Thank goodness she was on leash!

For a few days I walked (ran) her on the road past our place, a paved country road.  She behaved very well, obediently sitting at the roadside when told to whenever a vehicle was approaching.  But it was a pretty quick 1 1/2 mile hike for me.  She's very strong and pulls really hard on the leash.  If she were any bit stronger or if I were any bit weaker, she would win the contest.  She doesn't know, "Heel!"

By yesterday morning she no longer ran around to the back of the shed, but sniffed briefly around the front and then went on with our routine path around the property.  I keep her on leash until we are away from the shed and onto the gravel drive.  She knows if she will sit still when we get to the driveway I'll unleash her and she can charge around.

She's pretty good about sticking somewhat in the same area that I am.  Yesterday I paused long enough near the dugout for her to take a little swim around.  But she had her mouth open and swallowed a gulp of pond water that didn't go down right.  For the next 10 minutes she was horking up pond water and weeds.  Today she took a very small and not very enthusiastic swim.

She's a good dog but a little too rough for me at this point.  She jumps on me with joy and enthusiasm when I come to feed or exercise her.  She "tooths" me on my hands and arms, never hard enough to break the skin, but still uncomfortable, which I think is just her way of saying, LET'S PLAY!!!  LET'S RUN!!!

It's time for her owner to return and take her home again!

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