a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Egrets and Gophers and Holes, oh my!

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Egrets and Gophers and Holes, oh my!

We just went for a walk, just the two of us, ending over in the big field. Tall, pencil-thin white egrety thing there, watching us--but when it decided we were harmless, I got to watch it stalk its prey. Not at all sure what it's finding out there to eat, but it pounced on SOMEthing and shook it and snarfed it down while the crows swooped and scolded.

Remington found a good gopher hole with fresh scent and set about digging out the offender. I let him go at it for about a minute on the way out and again on the way back. You'd think this dog had all the energy in the world. However, based on how awful he felt after the day the roomie let him dig "for about 20 minutes," I didn't want to repeat that. I said, "you want to kill yourself digging for gophers?" And he said, his head buried in the hole up to his ears, "snork! snuffffffffffle!" which I interpreted as, "there could be worse ways to die."

We both got soaking wet up to Rem's chest height from all the dew on the outacontrol grass--all of which will be foxtails in a couple of months and then, in the natural progression of field ecology, two months later will be an 80-unit housing development.

At home, Rem went back to being meatloaf dog (lying there like a lump, cooking himself in the sun), occasionally rousing to lick off more of the nanoparticles of moisture that are detracting from his aura of Mr. Cool and that mom somehow missed while toweling him off. He ate most of his breakfast, but when he was pretty sure that no chicken particulate matter remained, he blew off the rest of the cottage cheese and rice. I had to point out to him with a spoon all of the remaining chicken substance, which he painstakingly removed from its surrounding Boring White Food.

I then offered him a handful of his regular dry food (he's not getting enough fiber with this other diet and it's clearly not interesting him except for the chicken). He sniffed it carefully and turned it down, until I asked him to do a couple of tricks, which he did in extended slow motion, accepted pieces of kibble as reward, and then chomped down the rest of the handful as if it were his due for a job well done. Funny guy.

But definitely the low energy continues. We're not getting upsidedown dog first thing in the morning. He descends from his bedroom a while after the rest of us and goes straight to his downstairs bed to rest up from the ordeal. Lies down while waiting for me to get dressed to go for a walk.

Last night I took him to my compost demo, and I don't usually take the dogs. I scritched his backside the whole time that other people were presenting, and he seemed to like that. Lots of folks commented on how well-behaved he was. Truth--he is, but he's also just really subdued. Looked really worried every time I got up and moved away from him, so I just moved his little bed right up next to where I was doing my presentation, and he hung in there quietly. By the time we were done and all these strangers were coming by to give him skritchies, he decided it was time to go exploring and very quickly found the refreshment table on the other side of the auditorium. Nuthin' wrong with that doggie sniffer. Then, when we got home, he collapsed into intense napping mode and hardly moved again til morning.

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