a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Olio a la Canine

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Olio a la Canine

SUMMARY: Dog Day, rats, computers, lawns, cameras, ballet, agility, and anything else I remember to stick in here.

Ballet: Canine freestyle keeps advancing in wonderful ways. Plus this is a blue merle working border collie. Let's see your jumping horses do this.

National Dog Day: Who knew? Check it out.

Rats: Returned to my attic shortly after we thought that they were eradicated and sealed out. Apparently gnawed a new hole. Didn't I vow live traps after my last trauma? There's a reason why you wire the traps to something large or immobile when you set them: Yesterday, a young rat caught just his rear leg. Dragged the trap as far as the wire let him. Tika is an avid rodent hunter and slayer, so I figured, take it out to the yard, release it, and Tika will make quick work of it. Boost was intrigued, especially at the squeaky-toy squeaking. Tika? Turned tail and ran into the house. Came out when I insisted but wouldn't come within 5 feet of the rat and backed off as quickly as possible. Boost, who apparently has a soft mouth, thought it was a great toy--picking it up, carrying it around, tossing it in the air. This was a cruel way to treat the poor injured thing, and when neither dog showed any interest in completing the task that I really didn't want to do, I got a shovel and dispatched it with one quick slice. Sorry. It was traumatic for me, too. I am definitely in the market for a live-capture trap. I have no idea how effective they are. Dang dogs. Dang rats.

Camera: Still haven't decided for sure what to get. But it might be postponed even longer. Because--

Computer: Have been putting off buying a new Mac for as long as possible. Bought this one in January 2001. Invested in an upgrade processor a year ago, plus new internal disk drives. The processor died back in April, but it cost me a goodly sum of service dollars to get to the root of the problem. Went through 2 replacements under warranty until we got a 3rd one that finally worked. This week--all the symptoms are starting to reappear. I am close to not having a working Mac anyway. Jeez, I hate computers. I would really LIKE to get a new one, but it's all about the $. However, I'm starting to get into a negative time & $ flow on the existing one. Sort of like having an old car--when you start paying more on repairs than you'd pay monthly for a new car, it's time to switch. Sighhhhhhhhh--

Lawns: Mine. Infested by grubs. Last year they killed a small section of grass before I figured it out. This year lots being killed, but I kept checking and didn't find any grubs until last week, when suddenly all very visible. Applied grub poison yesterday. Labeling is very scary. Kept dogs off lawn all day yesterday until it had been watered in twice & dried (label says once/dried is enough). But can't afford to keep resodding lawn, either. Maybe too late. Much dead grass.

Agility practice for this weekend: Ha.


  1. AWESOME Dance! Thanks! (I've now cross-posted it. :-)

    Do you know *what* flavor of grub you have? If it happens to be Japanese Beetle (BIG destroyer of turf east of the Rockies), you can apply something a lot less scary for you and your beasties: Milky Spore Disease. Like Bt, it's a biological control that doesn't cause the grief that general toxins and poisons can.

    Good luck either way!

  2. I'm guessing fig-eater beetle. Mainly because I've had tons of them in my compost for several years, so they're around, and presumably they can do a lot of damage to lawn, too.

  3. Grubs and rats at the same time, ugh. I guess I'll quit whining about my lice infestation.

    I've had good success with a live trap for mice, not sure if rats are smarter or more wary. I only ever have a mouse or 2 at a time though, never a big invasion. At least that I know about. I've got a don't ask, don't tell policy about what may or may not be living in my crawl space.

  4. I wouldn't ask, except that the rats keep making enough noise to sometimes disturb my sleep and also my renter's, who isn't happy about there being rats that close to inside the house. Me, neither, actually.