PLAY DATE

Our neighbors decided on the spur of the moment to take a trip to see their elderly relatives.  They asked me if I would be willing to come to their house a few times and let their new puppy out to go to the bathroom and feed her while they were gone.  I told them I would rather bring her home and keep her until they got back.  They were fine with that, but a little bit afraid that the two dogs would not get along.  I assured them that Tippy loves puppies and is really good with them.  So, they agreed.

I brought her home with her crate, food, toys, blanket, etc.  As I was unloading the car, they called and, unfortunately, their little girl started feeling sick and had a high fever.  So, the trip was cancelled.  I asked to keep her for about an hour for a play date so that she and Tippy could get used to each other, in case they needed me to keep her in the future.

Her name is Esther Pearl.  She is a Labrador/Husky mix.

Esther Pearl
Esther Pearl

The initial meeting was while Tippy was tied out, just in case. They were fine, as I knew they would be, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.  Then we went on a walk into another neighbor’s pasture field.  They did great.  Tippy basically did her thing, but would stop and wait for us to catch up.  Esther just walked along on leash, not pulling at all.  I think she really enjoyed it.

When we got back, Tippy got a drink from the spigot and I gave Esther water in her bowl.  It was then they decided to greet each other, face to face, or should I say nose to nose.

nose to nose
Pleased to meet you.

We came inside to rest.  I had to laugh at the way they laid down at first.  Then, they took turns going over to each other, giving a play bow, and letting out a playful bark.  They never quite got to the point of actually playing together, but I felt it was a good start.

face off
I like you, but not sure how close I want to be yet.

Esther loved to get a drink out of Tippy’s inside bowl.  She’d take a couple of sips, explore, and then go back for a little more.  I guess because it was something new.  She decided her favorite place to go was on the bottom shelf of the end table in the above picture.  Needless to say, the pictures had to be moved.  LOL

She spent a lot of time laying under the chair I was sitting in.  Tippy was just a tiny bit jealous, I think, because when Esther would lay down there, she would come over and nudge my hand to be petted.

under chair
This looks like a nice, safe place to rest.

I think it was a great first meeting and hope we will do more play dates in the near future.  It will be good for both of them.

 

 

 

IT WAS A FROGGY WEEK

This week has been pretty much run of the mill.  It rained a few days, so a lot of Tippy’s time was spent napping.  We did take off the trash and drove over to drop some stuff off at the Post Office.  She always enjoys a ride, no matter where to or how far we go.

We were able to take a few walks into the neighbor’s pasture.  The most interesting wildlife we found was this little frog.  It’s a Northern Cricket Frog, so named because of the noise it makes.  They are apparently fairly abundant, but I had never seen one before.  Had it not jumped in front of me, I would have missed this one.   In the “far away” picture he is at about 2 o’clock from the buttercup.  Do you see it?  It has great camouflage.

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We’re almost sure that Tippy has some Australian Shepherd in her, so she likes to herd.  I am always concerned when we go into the pasture and see the cows.  She will usually take a run toward them, growl, and move on.  I think she does it just to get a rise out of me.  The cows know she is harmless, so will usually just stand there and look at her.

The last couple of times we have seen them she just walks right on by like they aren’t there.

cow
May I help you?
tippy and the cows
Cows? What cows? I don’t see any cows?

It has been hot out, when it’s not raining.  Tippy and I aren’t ready for it to be humid and over 80°F.  After our walk today, she plopped down in her favorite spot to cool off…the kitchen tile.  I was tempted to join her.

Tippy cooling 2
It was hot out there mom!

We hope you make interesting discoveries and have fun adventures in the week to come.

 

 

TURNING SEVEN

This week Tippy turned seven.  At least we think she did.  Since she is a rescue and was found in a ditch with her sister, the exact birth date isn’t known.  My veterinarian estimated May 13th, so that is the day we celebrate.

It’s hard to believe that she is seven already! On the one hand, it doesn’t feel like I have had her very long. On the other, I feel like I’ve always had her.  She still has the energy of a puppy, with the maturity that comes with adulthood.  Well, sometimes she forgets how to adult and just runs around, getting clumps of the lawn in her mouth, and ignoring me when I try to get her to stop. I think we all need to have those days when we throw caution to the wind.

It’s been a good birthday week for her.  I have been home most of the week, so we took plenty of walks/runs back in the pasture field.  On one walk to get the mail, we found this little guy on the side of the driveway.  Do you see him in the first picture?  He was very well camouflaged.

Then, this guy was sunning on the fence post when I closed the gate one night.  I was just glad he was practicing social distancing and didn’t jump on me for a hug or something.  He was just curious as to what I was doing.  He had zero fear.

We also had a birthday picture shoot in the daisy patch where my garden once was.  I noticed some daises out there a couple of years ago that I let go to seed.  Did the same thing the next year and this is the result.  They are my mom’s favorite flower.  I was amazed at how many there are.  The patch is just beautiful.  Pictures don’t do it justice.

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Yes. This is my domain. Any questions?
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I love these flowers. I hear they are my grandma’s favorites.
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Did you see that mom?

I saw a rabbit take off right after I snapped this last picture.  Normally, Tippy would give chase, so I was really surprised when she just started sniffing around.  I got closer to her to try to get another picture when I heard it.  A little squeak.  Yep. She had found the rabbit’s nest and had the baby in her mouth.  It was too late, so I left and let nature take it’s course.  I hate it when she does that, but I know it is instinct and it’s not like the rabbits are in any danger of becoming extinct any time soon.  There are sooooo many around here.

She did get presents for her birthday.   First, I sang Happy Birthday.  I’m not sure what she thinks of my singing abilities.  She just knew something was different and she was going to get a treat when I was done.

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Why does your voice sound so funny?

I got her a puppy cupcake and a new duck squeaky toy.  I’m pretty sure the cupcake was a hit.  What do you think?

First we practiced patience.

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Come on mom! Let me have it already.

She had a hard time getting that first bite.  It kept rolling away from her.

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This is going to be so good.

She made a mess, but cleaned up every last bit.

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Good to the last crumb.

She is really not a big fan of toys, but seems to like this one.  She just couldn’t find the squeaker.

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Why can’t I make it squeak like you did?

We had a great week and are looking forward to many more together.

We hope you are all staying safe and have a great week full of fun adventures to share with those you love.

 

WALKING ADVENTURE

Today’s walk back in the cow pasture was a little bit more exciting than most.  As we started out, Tippy stopped, gave a serious look, ears back, and took off running as fast as she could.  I was expecting to see the usual squirrel, rabbit, turkey, or deer.  Nope.  It was a racoon!  Not sure why it was out at 3:00 in the afternoon.  It didn’t look or act sick, so maybe it knew a storm was brewing for the night and it needed to get something to eat before it hit.  Here is a stock picture of a racoon, in case they aren’t indigenous in your part of the world.

Raccoon feeding on food provided caretakers at Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C.
I think they are sort of cute.

Fortunately, trees were nearby and it managed to outrun Tippy to the nearest one and scurry up.

Do you see it?  It was well camouflaged.

racoon in tree
Shew. I’m glad dogs can’t climb trees!

 

I’ll help you out in case you can’t.

Racoon in the tree
There it is.

Tippy did eventually leave it alone and followed me on back into the hills.  It was long gone by the time we got back.

We also found interesting insects and spiders on some daisies.  The spiders are the Goldenrod Spider which feed on insects that land on the flowers.  They are very well camouflaged too.

To top it off, Tippy either ran through the edge of the pond looking for the racoon, or just waded in to get a drink, but she was pretty nasty from the belly down when we got home.  After getting a drink, she got rinsed off before being allowed in the house.

muddy paws waiting for a drink
Muddy paws? I don’t see any muddy paws?

After that adventure, what was there to do except take a nap on the cool kitchen tile.

cooling it in the kitchen
Awww. That feels soooo goooood!

Did you have any exciting adventures today?

SAY WHAT?!

When I first brought Tippy home, almost 7 years ago, I filled her water bowl up from the faucet outside the garage.  When she got thirsty again that day, she walked right up the faucet and looked at me, expectantly.  I turned on the faucet and she started drinking straight the spigot.  She has been doing that ever since.

fox2
I need a drink!

One of the things I have taught her is to “Say Please” when she wants a drink – that is to sit politely and wait.  One reason I want her to do that is that the sun shines on that area of the garage and the first bit of water coming out can be hot.

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May I have a drink, please?

This past summer I had to have my air conditioner worked on.  The man finished, and was standing at the door of his truck righting up the bill when Tippy decided she wanted a drink.  I said, “Say please.” like I always do, without thinking about it.

I noticed the repairman move and the look on his face was priceless.  It was a “Say what?” moment.

shocked look
Umm. Just exactly what do I need to be asking for politely?

I don’t know what was going through his head, but I’m pretty sure he thought I was telling him to say please for some netherious reason.  He did immediately realize I was talking to Tippy, but I had a good laugh about it after he left.

I have since been more mindful of my surrounds when giving Tippy commands.

 

LUNA MOTH

I woke up this morning to find this beauty resting on my windowsill.

According to the National Audubon Society, even though they are fairly common over their geographic range, they are a rare find due to the fact that their lifespan is only about a week and they are nocturnal creatures. I am lucky to see one almost every year since my house is situated right in the middle of it’s favored habitat, the deciduous forest. They generally emerge from their egg in the morning and find a place to rest and hang through the day to allow its wings to inflate with its blood before flying off at night to seek a mate.  I guess this one felt my window was a perfect resting place.

An interesting fact is that because they only live for about 7 days, their only function is to procreate.  Therefore, they have no mouth or digestive organs.

I had to leave around 9am, but he was still here when I got home a little after 2pm.  (I say “he” because the male has fuller antennae and I don’t think they could get much bigger than this.)  Tippy did investigate, but she didn’t bother it.

lunar moth
It almost looks like he is saying, “Help me!  Let me in!”

I cropped the picture so you can get a closer look at his underside. If you compare the antennae from this morning, you can tell that he filled out a lot during the day.

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From the other side

He’s an odd looking, fluffy creature that you want to hug and run away from all at once.  If you took away the wings, it would make a perfect urban legend monster.  Or maybe a mutant zombie Olaf?  What do you think it looks like?

 

 

 

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: STOMACH BUG

Last night, for the first time since I’ve had Tippy, I threw up in front of her.  She was very concerned and came running over and leaned against my legs. I felt bad that I couldn’t console her, but that’s hard to do when your head is in a trash can.

I spent the night on the couch, since it’s easier to get up from quickly and is closer to the bathroom.  She kept an eye on me to make sure I was okay.  She’s a great little caregiver.

Tippy laying in the floor
Are you okay, mom?

I have been able to keep some food down today, so hopefully it was only a 24 hour bug and I’ll be back to normal in a couple of days.

SQUATTER FAMILY – IT HAPPENED

Last night, I went out on the porch, planning only to count the skunks and not take any pictures.  But, the squatters came out a little earlier than they had before, so I managed to get a couple of decent photos.  I didn’t get one of all of them because they spotted me and ran for safety.  At least you can see that the mother is almost pure white on the back.

This morning, I let Tippy outside around 8:15.  I heard her pounce on the walkway and bark.  I went to the window and saw her retreating around the corner.  About the same time the odor hit me.  I knew it had happened.  She had gotten sprayed!

I went out to make sure she was okay and found foamy slobbers in the garage floor and her licking her lips like you do when you have tasted something awful and are trying to get the taste out of your mouth.  Other than that, she seemed okay.  I got her a doggie cookie, thinking that might help. It didn’t hurt.

She was lucky that there was only a small slit between the boards.  She seemed to only get a glancing blow, and mostly on the right side of her face and ear. I got her shampoo, a rag, and a tub of water and went back out.  She usually balks at all attempts at a bath, but will tolerate it once I start.  Today, she came right to me. She must have understood that I was trying to make the smell go away.  The groomer who formulated this natural cedar shampoo said that it works great on skunk oil, to just be sure and put the shampoo on the affected area before wetting it so that it can contact the oil directly. I followed her directions and used the rag to give her head a good scrubbing and rinsing.  It seemed to work pretty good.

Since she had been foaming at the mouth, I did call her vet and talk to them.  They said to just keep an eye on her and as long as she was eating and didn’t throw up, she would be okay.  As you can see, she was fine.

relaxing on the porch
I’m okay, mom.

We took the trash off later in the morning, so she could enjoy a ride in the truck.  I did have an ulterior motive, however.  I wanted to get away from the constant odor that permeates the garage to see if I had gotten it all off of Tippy.  When she turned her head toward me, I would get a mild whiff.  So, when we got back from our ride, I gave her a good bath all over.  She was due one anyway.  She wasn’t as fond of that, but survived.  While she was damp, I put some baking soda on her ears and the side of her face.  I’m not sure which thing worked, but I don’t smell anything on her tonight.

I hate to do it, but until the squatter family is evicted, I am going to have to keep Tippy on leash when she is outside.  Hopefully, it won’t be too long before the babies follow mom and we can trap them.