Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Folsom Toenail Blues

SUMMARY: If Johnny Cash had a dog...

Radio Taj MuttHall (K-TMH) hasn't posted in a lonnnnng time. So here ya go. True story.

I hear those toenails comin',
They're clicking down the hall.
I ain't clipped those dog claws since
Adam was small.
I've got to grab those clippers
And then the Dremel tool.
Then I must clip them shorter
While doggies sit and drool.

When they were only puppies,
My groomer told me, gal,
Keep their toenails shorter to
Improve the dogs' morale
But I let them grow like bamboo,
So now they're ten feet long
And if those puppers jump me,
That sure will end thi

Monday, June 10, 2019

Chip is a Very Good Boy

SUMMARY: And a tattletale. Which keeps Zorro safe.
        Posted on Facebook June 9, 2019, without photo

Dogs can convey so much with their voice and body language. If only we understood. Sometimes I succeed. I was sitting here quietly typing away, beautiful quiet morning, and heard Chip whimper in the front hall. Well, earlier he had said, "I just heard something and it was scary," so I figured it was more of the same.

But then he came into the kitchen in a little trot on his tippy toes, little whines, head and ears down like "something's wrong" but in a bouncy happy way, if you can picture it, like "something's exciting but different and I don't know if it's OK." I asked him casually, half paying attention, "Is there a cat in the front yard?", then >>sudden lightbulb!<< I leaped up, raced to the front door to open it, and sure enough, there was Zorro wandering around out front. I said HI! to him and he dashed into the house. Chip was very happy and I praised him enthusiastically.

Side gate was open. Latch apparently isn't working properly and needs repair. Thank you, Chip! I think I recognized the message because on a very few other occasions Zorro has been out front or accidentally closed in the garage (latter is not quite so exciting, but still concerning, apparently).

Buds playing, September 2015

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Vantage Points

SUMMARY: Yardmasters must be able to see clearly to protect from squirrels and other evils.

Note: Haven't found a single photo of Jake up on the deck or a hot tub. Ah, well. All the other seven are represented here.

Zorro on the shelf attached to the deck
Chip in the same special spot

When one dog isn't enough! on that same shelf

On the bench on the deck

Tika, same deck, older paint job, looking under the bench

Boost, same deck, looking down at me through sliding glass door

Remington, like all of my dog, loved lying on whatever hot tub was available

Zorro, same hot tub
Chip, same hot tub
Sheba and Amber on hot tub from long time ago and far away

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Celebrating Four Years Together

SUMMARY: Zorro's Gotcha Day (June 7)

On June 6, four years ago, I drove 3 hours up to the Sierra foothills into the relative boonies for Chip and me to meet "Luke" at the rescue who'd taken him in. I had fallen in love with his photo and his description. We met with him that evening and the next morning, and somehow he ended up in my car to come home with us.

Chip wasn't entirely convinced yet, but he wasn't entirely against it, either.
I eventually renamed him Zorro, and we've had our issues and also plenty of successes, but wow, my heart overflows with delight when he looks at me with those bright eyes and the big smile and says he's ready for anything, Human Mom, Teach Me Something! His tail always wags--when he's up and about, that little curled white flag never stops--he is one happy dude.

On our way home from that trip four years ago, we stopped to share ice cream.

So, two days before this anniversary, we shared ice cream again.

 (They did get a bit more gourmet peppermint stick ice cream than this before we were done)

And on the actual Gotcha Day fourth anniversary, we shared a jelly donut.

Zorro is impatient and has a huuuuuge tongue.
Chip tries to be delicate but is also in a hurry

The memories, and these photos, and these dogs, made me smile or laugh out loud.   Thanks for staying, Zorro.



Joining, for the first time, The Weekly Smile. Click the logo for more things that people have smiled about this week.

Thanks to Dawn's Change Is Hard A Smiley Kind Of Week post for the smile idea.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Keep your pets at home. Thank you.

SUMMARY: I do not want your cats in my yard. Any part of my yard.

I have been unhappy about this ever since I got a yard, which is a long time, indeed. Because the same problems keep coming up. So, if you've heard me rant about this before--or even if you haven't but just don't want to hear a rant, stop here, scroll to the end to see pretty cat photos, then go have a nice cup of tea, and read something fun.

Today this started because a neighbor asked other neighbors to keep their cats out of her yard. Wow, a lot of people landed on her. "Don't you like cats?" "It's not hurting anything." "They are excellent at catching rodents and bugs; you should be glad to have them." Like that.

What ever happened to consideration for people you live among? (Oh, right, people have been complaining about this for thousands of years. Dammit.)

Actual photo of ancient Roman neighbors arguing about cats in each other's yards.

And this: "How do you expect them to keep their cat out of your yard?" I try not to let my blood boil. Probably the same people who think that cats can't walk on leash and can't learn tricks or do anything else that the cat might find interesting.

So I'm putting my long response here.

My dog is an excellent ratter (and catches bugs, too). And he loves being out and about. And he likes people. So I guess no one would mind if he roamed free in the area to reduce the rodent population?


  • I hate finding cat poop in my garden beds and planters when I'm working in them--why should I go out of my way all the time to protect front and back yard from invasive cats to protect my health and the quality of my yard? It's my yard, not theirs!
  • I hate having cats sitting in my tree or on my fence all day while my dogs make a racket about it (sure, I could take them inside for several hours until the cat decides to leave, but it's my yard, come on, not yours or your cat's).
  • I hate that, when I had a dog who was an intense hunter, she didn't distinguish among any small furry critters who ran through the yard, such as rats, mice, or cats that people irresponsibly let run loose.
  • I hate when I've seen a cat with a dead bird or found feathers in my yard from what I suspect to be a cat's kill--I have birdbaths and bird feeders and I want the birds, not the cats, in my yard.
  • I hate nearly running over cats when I'm backing out of my driveway, or when they run in front of me as I drive down the street in the evening.

Too bad about feral cats if they're injured or killed by dogs, cars, other cats, raccoons, or coyotes, or are trapped and turned in to a shelter where no one adopts it and then who knows what happens to it. But if you care about your But if you care about your beautiful, loving, sweet pets of any kind, keep them safe. And out of my yard. Thank you.

If these are your beautiful cats--take care of them! You adopted them; take responsibility!

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Recalculating Route...

SUMMARY: Life isn't always what one expects or hopes for.

U-turns? Streets blocked off? Got lost and hence found things that one wouldn't have otherwise, or just wasted time? Map not up to date?

I have been pondering my life over the last week or so; not sure of the trigger, but I'm diving deep upon finding that I'm considerably less happy than I've been trying to be for quite a while.

A lot of it still has to do with loss in recent years. At a pace that continues accelerating--which shouldn't be surprising as I grow older, but still...

So much of it also has to do with my expectations about life, and although (seriously) most of my life has gone very well, still, I'm counting many things that have mattered to me and scoring them lower and lower.

At a high level, for example:

I expected to be married until he or I died, but that ended after 20 years.
I expected to be doing agility and hiking until I died, but arthritis is making that prospect dimmer--and that started showing up about the time of my divorce.
I did move on, bought a house, changed my expectations about the rest of my life.
 I've been lucky enough that the arthritis more or less was manageable for a decade and a half after that, but the last 4 years have been a rollercoaster.
Still trying to change my expectations about the rest of my life--or maybe trying again--but trying to change also is a rollercoaster. You know, wah wah, kicking my heels, I don' wanna!
People who have rediscovered themselves after much bigger challenges than mine are inspiring in reminding me that I have a lot to work with; just have to decide, again, how to do it.

[TO DO: Insert Future is Here photo when blogger/google drive is back up.](1)

I want to tell the Dungeon Master: Please, I'm tired of this game, and the challenges are getting harder and more tedious, and I'm just feeling like--like I'm having a low percentage on making my saving rolls. May I please start over? Or at least start a new game with all of my points intact? Dexterity, Agility, Energy, Enthusiasm, Health, Endurance, and also nice would be high scores in, say, Healing, Spellcasting, Unarmed Combat, Charisma, Falconry, Acting, Pottery, and particularly Philosophy and Wisdom and Financial Planning. And Dog Training and House Cleaning.  And Poesy.

Am I asking too much?

Sadly, the DM isn't answering my calls, texts, or emails, so I'll have to figure out something on my own. Hate when that happens.

Purely coincidence: After typing all the previous, a friend posted a link to this Green Day song, which hits me here, right in the middle of my blog.  I'm Still Breathing.... (asks: Are you scared to death to live?) Graphics are grim but in a hopeful way...


(1) Why I had trouble uploading images.

Photo credits: Signposts: Ellen Levy Finch (back yard--and also I made them); Future Is Now sign: Ellen Levy Finch (downtown San Jose)