Friday, July 29, 2005

We've got a Birdie

We figured it was time to move Alex. He was way too comfortable in the house and had obviously become attached to our household and especially me; not to mention that I had certainly become attached to Alex. He seemed to fit in our house so well, constantly playing with Max and even trying to play with Sheba. We moved him last saturday and got Birdie in exchange.

Birdie is a cute little black lab, about 60 lbs. She reminds us a lot of Lady (our first foster). She's very sweet, calm, and loves attention. She's also a bit skittish and will bolt when startled. Definitely a low energy dog, but she loves to retrieve the ball and will go full out. We also took her over to the pool and after the first few times, she was diving into the water after the tennis ball like a pro.

Birdie has the hand maneuver down pretty well; that's where she nudges her nose under your hand and flips it to her head so you'll pet her. One night, while sleeping, my arm ended up over the bed. I woke up when she put her head under my hand so I'd pet her.

The name is a bit silly, but she's a great dog. She'd be really good for a first-time dog owner. Personally, I think there's a dominant little lady just waiting to come out of her. She just needs to be spoiled and it'll pop out.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

That's a neat trick

We seem to have a family of foxes who like our yard now. Noticed a momma fox and baby fox behind our fence a few days ago. Plus regularly there is a fox in our yard usually foraging for berries; it drives the dogs (esp Max) nutsos. Since I don't want any accidental scuffles between the dogs and the foxes, I've been very careful about not opening the backdoor until the fox has run outside the fence boundary.

One day, Max was at his normal spot by the family room window when he spotted the fox in the yard. Of course he started making all sorts of silly noises to get outside: grunts, whines, squeaks, barks, and howls. I look outside and there is a fox, proud as you please, under the tree on our hill. This guy must be pretty self-confident because he was looking right back at me and made no move to leave. The dogs are going crazy at this time running all over the place, so I squeeze myself out the back door to prevent the dogs from getting out and stand on the deck trying to scare the fox away. The fox finally leaves and jumps over the fence, so I head back indoors to let the dogs out. Strangely, I can't seem to get the back door open. I figure it must be jammed somehow. Luckily, Mike was in the kitchen and opens the door for me. Apparently while I was outside, the dogs were still jumping around and managed to lock the bolt on the back door! I think next time, I'll just stay indoors and wait until the fox leaves on its own.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Scare of the week

Had a few years out of my life taken off yesterday. The dogs were all inside and freaking out by the back windows. I look outside and see a fox in our backyard, no surprise. I wait for the fox to jump over our gate before letting the dogs out. That keep Max from actually catching the fox and possibly getting into a fight, but gives him some excitement as he chases the scent all over the backyard.

While I let the pooches out (by the way, Max is sounding a lot like Quinn did when he rushes down the stairs chasing after an animal, a lot of high-pitched whining and half-barks), I noticed a stuffed animal outside, so I head out to grab it. While outside, I notice a gap between two fence posts. It took me about 5 secs to put it together, but the back gate had somehow gotten unlatched (probably all the overgrowth around the fence). I, of course, freak out and rush to the gate and start calling for Max and Alex. Alex comes rushing back to me, thank goodness he's bonded so strongly to me. No Max. So I get the dogs inside, having to wipe down Alex since he had the stream mud all over him, grab the leash and tennis ball and rush into the car.

I start cruising up our street yelling, "Max! Max!" every few feet. While doing this, I run into Rex's mom (Barbara) jogging the street (Rex is a yellow lab that our dogs will play with while we got for a walk) and let her know that Max got out. If she sees him, would she please bring him back to our house. Then I head to the street over and start yelling his name over and over. I get out at the end of the street and walk the common ground hoping to hear his collar jingling but nothing. At this point, I figure I should head home and check around that common area before heading further out. I head into the driveway and notice Barbara at our door with Max! She was jogging down the street and noticed him wandering around so she grabbed him and brought him back to the house. Thank goodness! I'm so glad he came back to the house area, but I could have strangled him for putting me into such a panic. Max probably had a jolly time and dreamt about chasing fox that night. I'm going to have to put a ziptie around the latch to make sure it doesn't get loose in the future.