Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bubba? Is That You?

This morning Lois and I took our usual walk.  It was still dark.  The day before, temperatures had warmed up a bit, melting much of the pretty snow.  Then it cooled again.  The potential for ice patches under every step slowed our progress. 

Just ahead, there was something.  A rabbit perhaps.  No, too big to be a rabbit.  As we drew closer, whatever it was did not scurry away. What is slightly larger than a rabbit and unafraid of an approaching dog and human?  We were just two sidewalk squares away from the creature when identification became possible.  It was an orange and white cat. 

I stopped.  Lois stopped.  The cat just sat there.  For several seconds, we all remained motionless, looking at each other.  Memories of unpleasant encounters with cats flooded my mind.  Like the time I was walking with my late friend and Collie, Wilma.  A cat lounged on the grass next to the sidewalk.  As we passed by, the cat hissed and swung a handful of claws at Wilma.  Then there was the time, big Golden Retriever Hank and I were walking and a cat leaped out of a hedge and tackled Hank.  Hank laid on his back as the cat stood on his chest and clawed at his nose. 

Finally, I said to the orange and white cat, "look pal.  This is one stretch where there isn't much ice.  Let us through."

The cat didn't move.  Just beyond the orange and white cat, a couple more sidewalk squares distance, sat another cat.  This one was black and white.  He looked familiar.

No, there was no tearful reunion with warm hugs.  This black and white cat was probably Bubba, or one of his progeny.  Either way, we weren't friends, not even acquaintances.  Bubba was a feral cat.

It was time to quit the stand off.  I proceeded forward, Lois at my side.  The orange and white cat sauntered away.  Bubba darted away.

Lois and I went home and ate pancakes.

Skim through my rant on feral cats to learn more  About Bubba

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

The turkey has three more hours to cook.  To escape the tantalizing aroma, Mabel retreats to the yard.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fluffy and George

So, what's this about Santa is white?

Beats me.  Like his skin color changes who he is?

Speaking of creating outrage.  How come PETA isn't
an end to reindeer abuse?
   Where's the Unions yelling
 about Santa's Elves' working conditions? 
Yeah.  And where's OSHA and the EPA on this?
 And DHS.  And what about cities with ordinances
 against stopping standing and parking on residential rooftops?
  And surely entering a domicile via the chimney
 goes against SOMEBODY's sensibilities.
Good thing Santa is a magic elf. 
Just imagine how bad it could get without that magic.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Trees and Dogs

At this festive time of year we are reminded that our dogs don't necessarily share our attitude towards decoration.

In other words, not all dogs are indifferent. 

Or just plain cooperative about following the rules.

Thus, this merry reminder that dogs don't always ignore things that don't belong to them.  Sometimes something,  a wooden snowman ornament for instance, is appealing.  Tell him NO!

We did.  Alas, it was after the snowman's arm had already been torn off.  Oh well.  The mangled snowman still hangs on the tree.  As Lester still hangs in our hearts.

Happy Holidays to all dogs and their people!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wild Turkeys

The Wild Turkey is the largest North American game bird.  Females are brown with slight iridescence, the males' plumage is ruffled iridescent bronze.  He has a large fan tail and bare blue and red skin on his head and neck.

Male and female Wild Turkeys travel in separate groups.  They wander through woods and clearings in search of food.  At night, the birds roost in trees.

During mating season, the males display for the females.  Toms woo hens by strutting their manliness with wings spread, chest puffed up and tail fanned.  He also gobbles and hums alluringly.  The gobble can sometimes be heard a mile away.

Males mate with multiple females and do not participate in rearing the offspring.  The female scratches a depression for a nest on the ground under a shrub or beside a tree trunk.  She doesn't bother much about lining the nest -any dead leaves or plant material that happen to be there suffice.  She lays 4-17 eggs and has one brood per year.  When the youngsters are about 1 day old, they follow mom around and quickly learn to find food on their own.

Some Wild Turkey Facts

-  incubation:  25-31 days

-  nestling:  1 day

-  length:  43-45 inches

-  wingspan:  49-57 inches

-  weight:  88-381 ounces

-  diet:  berries, buds, ferns, seeds, bulbs, moss, nuts, insects, snails, salamanders

-  found in most of the US, parts of Mexico, parts of Canada

-  predators:  coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, mountain lions, Golden Eagles, Great Horned Owls, humans

-  nest predators:  rodents, birds, snakes, woodchucks, foxes, skunks, opossums 

Turkeys are capable of running and flying.  However, they usually choose to walk.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 20

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.  Now, our question.

Recently in Michigan, a woman entered a bank, brandished a bag she claimed contained a bomb and made off with some cash.  This bank robber was subsequently caught.  She was taken into custody along with her bag.  The contents of the bag where examined.  There was something in the bag, but it was not a bomb.

What was in the bag?

Dang, I heard about this but can't
 remember what was in the bag.
  It was something edible, I think.

Hostmaster:  close, but not close enough.

A squirrel?

Hostmaster:  incorrect.
I remember now!
It was a jar of spaghetti sauce.
Hostmaster:  correct.  However, you went out of turn.  Therefore, I declare no winner.
Spaghetti sauce in a jar is full of fat and salt.  
She was robbing a bank
 for crying out loud.
  If she was hungry for spaghetti,
 you'd think her plan would be to use some
 of the stolen money and go to a nice
 restaurant- not to drink bottled sauce. 
 A cautionary tale!  Stay off the sauce!
We end this round with a groaner.
   No.  Make that a lemento!

I've got a sudden hankering
 for spaghetti.  Mangia! 
Round 20
Fluffy/Molly  9
Bryan/Cyndi  9

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

George and Fluffy

I heard on the radio
 that some woman was
 in a run-away  SUV.

Yeah, I heard that too.
The accelerator was stuck.
She dialed 911.

I know I'm just a dog but I
can't help wondering why she
didn't put it in neutral
and stomp on the brake.
What did she think
the 911 operator could do?  

It worries me sometimes that
 many people fail to act
 to help themselves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Breed Profile: Mastiff

Pictures and descriptions of mastiff-like dogs go back as far as 4,000 years ago.  Mastiffs have been used to guard flocks and families.  Mastiffs have served as hunters for such game as lions and wild horses.  Mastiffs have been called upon to fight, in wars, as gladiators and for bull and bear baiting.

The Mastiff of today is a guardian.  Not, however, the type of guard dog that patrols the grounds, but  the type of guardian that lives with and protects his family.

Indeed, the Mastiff would rather not be left outside all the time.  He prefers to be with his people.  Though not a high energy dog, he is strong steady presence, calm and easy going.  The Mastiff is gentle, even with children pulling on his ears.

Because the Mastiff is very large and heavy, if he accidentally steps on your toe or wags his tail over a fully set coffee table, breakage may occur.

Some Mastiff Facts
also known as:  Old English Mastiff
-  weight:  120-230 pounds
-  height:  27-30 inches (at shoulder)
-  life span:  9-11 years
-  short double coat
-  coat colors:  fawn, apricot, brindle, with dark muzzle, ears and nose
Mastiff Manifesto
-  once I know the rules of the house, I will follow them, in my own good time
-  if you want a giddy emoter, get a Bishon Frise.  Meanwhile, hold still while I lean on you.
-  that's right.  I drool.  Keep towels handy or I'll be forced to use your lap as a napkin.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Chipmunks are small Ground Squirrels.  (Prairie Dogs, by the way, are large Ground Squirrels.)  Ground Squirrels, as the name implies, spend the bulk of their time on the ground.  Chipmunks are however, quite capable of climbing, and do climb.

Omnivores, the Chipmunk eats a variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, fruits, buds, grass, shoots, fungi, insects, worms, and bird eggs.

Most chipmunks dig burrows in the ground with an area for sleeping, nesting and storing food.  The burrow is accessed by one or more tunnels.  Some chipmunks live in logs, bushes or bird nests.

Not true hibernators, Chipmunks go into a state of torpor.  To prepare for winter, Chipmunks don't store fat in their bodies, they store food.  They gather the food, carry it in their cheeks, then place it in their nest to be eaten later.

Chipmunks are solitary and pretty much ignore each other until Spring when they mate.  The pair typically has one litter of 2-8 pups.  The youngsters stay with mom and dad for about 2 months.  Then the family separates.

Some Chipmunk Facts

-  approximately 25 species

-  average life span:  2-3 years

-  size:  body 4-7 inches, tail 3-5 inches

-  weight:  1-5 ounces

-  gestation:  30 days

-  predators:  hawks, cats, foxes, snakes, weasels, coyotes

-  range:  all over the world, in forests, deserts, rocky areas, grassy areas

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pop Culture Frenzy, Round 19

Welcome once again to Pop Culture Frenzy.   Here's our question.

A bicycle belonging to an associate math professor at Iowa Lakes Community College was repeatedly vandalized.  Who did it?

A disgruntled colleague?
Hostmaster: incorrect.
A disgruntled student?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
A spurned lover?
Hostmaster:  incorrect.
A squirrel?
Hostmaster:  Correct.  Some other professor came forward with a photo of the squirrel "attacking" the bike tires.
Another professor "came forward" with a photo? 
Sounds fishy.  I think Fluffy and I got it right.
  It was a disgruntled person.
The squirrel was hired to vandalize the bike,
 then was thrown under the bus, so to speak. 

Yeah!  But I still think it was a spurned lover!
  We all know who ugly failed relationships can get!

On the other hand, photos can be doctored.
  Perhaps the photo implicating the squirrel is a cover-up
for something even more nefarious.
Could be the real culprit was a
 former student/colleague/lover of the math professor,
further embittered because this associate
 animal behaviorist professor's
 life work has been foiled by uncooperative animals.
Darn elegant solution employing a squirrel for the hit!

Haha!  I can sort of relate to wanting
 revenge against uncooperative animals!

Is that a dig?
Perhaps it was a random attack.
This math professor guy was simply unlucky.

Or maybe the math professor is a dork and
 nobody likes him.  People can be cruel.
Maybe he was the only dork who rides his
bike to school.

It's probably a "hate" crime.
  Lots of people hate math!

Was the squirrel allowed to make a statement
 or did they convict solely on a photograph? 
The squirrel does not appear to have been
 given an opportunity to offer his side of the story.
 Meanwhile the math professor now
 parks his bicycle inside the building.
Round 19
Fluffy/Molly  9
Bryan/Cyndi   9