Meet Helen

For those of you that were trouble by my loss of George and Weezy and thought I would be despondent by their departure, I wanted to let you know that a new companion (of sorts) has presented itself to me.

Meet Helen.  I tried to make the picture too big and freak everyone out.  But she is substantial.  And has decided to park herself right at eye level outside my office window.

So no need to worry.  I am not alone.

And Tom is living on the gate to our fence, just a few feet to Helen’s right in this picture.

For those of you not getting the whole naming protocol that exists here, I suggest you brush up on your 1970’s television.

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Future Kong Testers

I bought the dogs new toys yesterday.  I found a Kong that squeaks and figured, Kong’s are pretty indestructible.  So why not give it a try?  There was a red stick (seen here).  And a green bone (seen here).

They were SO happy to see new toys.  Who wouldn’t be.  It lasted less than an hour.

First, the stick was the one everyone wanted.  Then Annabelle took over the bone, so of course Solo wanted that as well.  And within 45 minutes, the green bone squeaked no more.

After that, Solo was very territorial about the stick and wouldn’t let Annabelle play with it.  And kept taking it away from her.  So now, I am hiding the stick to eliminate any issues.

I should submit some of the photo’s and stories to the Kong Company and see if we can get these two set up as toy testers!!!!

And then there is Annabelle

This morning I posted about Solo and his fits, tantrums and rants.  He is a very vocal dog and uses his voice to try and get what he wants.  One of, actually THE key issue with Solo is a lack of consistency from his parents and even Annabelle.  We were told to ignore his whining and barking and he would learn that he doesn’t get what he wants when he does that.  I ignore.  Michael does not.  And since Solo doesn’t distinguish between negative and positive attention, Michael scolding him or yelling at him is still the attention he was looking for.

Annabelle is even worse.  When I am ignoring Solo, she jumps off the couch (yes, the couch, don’t get me started) and brings him a toy or plays with him.  So, it is hard to train the dog, even harder to train Michael and Solo gets mixed messages.  But when I yell at him, he knows it is serious and stops whatever he is doing.

As I am typing this, Solo is taking a nap.  And while he is the vocal one, Annabelle seeks what she wants in different ways.  She barks some.  Not nearly like Solo.  But as I look up from my computer, I see this.  And she didn’t make a sound…..

The Daily Indicator

Every morning Michael takes the dogs for a walk.  They leave around 7:15 and get back by 7:30.  I sit in my office, quietly reading and typing, waiting for the key indicator of how the day is going to go.  Some days, they leave and the door reopens after just a few minutes, a dog comes through and the door shuts again.  That would be Solo getting kicked off his walk.  Usually because the neighbors cat is out.  This would be a BAD sign.  Other days, they come back, I hear SIT and they both get treats.  This is a GOOD sign.

Solo is a Black and Tan Coonhound (maybe some Rottie in there), which means he is a perpetually 2-yr old.  Tantrums, fits, meltdowns, the whole bit.  On a good day, these don’t start until about 4pm.  And then it is just a waiting game until Michael the play buddy gets home.  With the kids back in school, I can take the dogs for a walk around 2pm (just barely miss the school buses) and sometimes the fits will hold off until play buddy gets home.  On a bad day, they start right after lunch.  And then, it is me or him.  One of us is going out the front door.

Walks, running an errand, a trip to Starbucks, they all do the trick.  Just a quick break from the fit that Solo can work himself into.  Even Annabelle needs a break sometimes.  She will bring him a toy, chase him off the couch.  Once in a while, I even throw them in the car and take them for a ride.  But I don’t want to make a habit of rewarding his bad behavior with a car ride.

Today, the grade is good.  They came home and both got treats.  Let’s see how long it lasts.

A Warning would have killed you???

Really, I thought animals were supposed to be so in-tuned with the earth, the weather, and changes in such things.  At about 1:50 this afternoon, my ass was shaken off the couch by a 5.9 magnitude earthquake up in VA.  I immediately thought storm or tornado, but there were sunny skies and no wind.  I ran to the windows (smart, I know, but we don’t think earthquake in NC) and there was nothing going on outside.  The shaking eventually stopped and when I looked around, everyone was right where I had left them.  Sleeping on the couch, in the chair and under the table.

A warning would have killed you?  Is it out of the question to think you would be as concerned for my safety as I am for yous?  I mean, really!  I jumped on the internet and immediately confirmed the earthquake between Charlottesville and Richmond.  Aftershocks are possible.  And still, the animals are sleeping.