Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Occasions

Sorry, I couldn't resist. Stella and I are house sitting for my friend Beverly (from the previous post) and when we found this in her dining room yesterday, just in time for the Royal Wedding, I just couldn't pass it up. Now that we've seen Her Majesty the Queen's tiara out in the light of day, it's even better. They almost match. Well except for the rhinestones. And Stella, who's game for just about anything, didn't even blink when I put it on her.

Those rumblings about the Kitten Report (or lack thereof) haven't gone unnoticed. The last couple of weeks have been a wild ride. Now, what with all the chaos of kittens, and a ton of extra work, as of yesterday morning we (of course) decided to up the ante. An e-mail arrived the night before about two kittens that had been abandoned by their mother. She was jumped by a dog in a thunderstorm. The kittens (7-10 days old) were going on two days without eating (which is really bad in the whole kitten scheme of things) so once I made the call the gentleman who rescued them brought them to my house to see what Domino thought. There was pacing and growling and a little bit of confusion, okay, a moderate amount of confusion considering I was asking her to do this all over again, amid flying six-week-old kittens but..

She did it. Thirty hours in and I think we're now a litter of five. Keep your fingers crossed. Pictures soon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shave and a haircut

Walter being entertained by Stella and Smiley, waits to get his summer haircut

A little over a week ago we picked up our old friend Walter and headed over to Beverly's house to hang out for a little while and get him a haircut. He and many of the other folks he lives with at the group home have gotten to know Stella well enough that it's a big deal whenever she stops by. If it's a nice day and they're all sitting outside, they come over to the car and ram their collective arms in my back window to pet her. She responds by wagging her tail and slobbering all over them and the glass. I haven't mentioned it but she's been a lot better about letting people pet her lately. Early on, she was overwhelmed by the attention and would often lunge in the opposite direction but somehow (maybe just through repetition) she seems to have overcome it, even with little kids, I'd say eighty percent of the time.

Anyway, we picked Walter up and made it over to Beverly's house whereupon we were greeted by two notorious Texans, Smiley and Pepper. This bunch (some of you may remember) used to live on a giant farm in Kentucky. Now (hooray), they're just across the river. Both dogs are seniors and Stella seems to understand that although they're friends, they aren't the rough and tumble kind of friends we normally encounter. Meanwhile, Walter got his hair cut and she had a great time just romping around the yard scouting butterflies and squirrels.

Pepper, looking almost like a puppy again, already got her summer haircut

Friday, April 15, 2011

Meow Mix

It's been four weeks. The kittens discovered their feet a couple of days ago and now they're racing around my guest room with that look in their eye. You know the look I mean right?

The one that says: "I bet I can run up that wall. Watch."

You can see a little glimmer of it in the photo above.

One of them hissed at Stella the other day and now she's keeping a fair distance which, at this point may be for the best. All she'd have to do to injure one would be step on it, so I've sort of blockaded them in. Mama can come and go as she pleases but they won't be able to escape for at least another two weeks. Knock on wood.

The end of winter walking

Just pictures mostly. I was going to write something about how regularly walking a dog, you get to see an awful lot of things you wouldn't ordinarily have noticed. Whether you're out in the woods or in the heart of the city, if you're there in the same places throughout a season, you see the changes in a much more intimate way.

I wasn't much of a walker before Stella came along. I spent a a lot of time outdoors working but at those times, I was usually focused (literally) on other things. It may sound outlandish to some but I really feel that walking twice a day has reset my circadian rhythm. I sleep better, I have more energy & less anxiety and I've decided that if everyone who has a dog started walking it twice a day, there might be a lot less Ambien in the world (possibly a few less newspapers too).

Stay tuned for The Kitten Report...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You talkin' to me?

There's a yard we pass regularly with two dogs in it who are under the supervision of an invisible fence. There's the original mixed breed dog, yellow, (maybe) eighty-pound big barker and an additional well behaved, brown, pit bull. We call the barking dog Chief for no other reason than he seems to think he is one. Occasionally, if Chief is feeling extra brave he'll get to the boundary of the invisible fence and just say something along the lines of "fuck it" and burst on through, running the line of his own yard and smack talking us until we're out of sight. Stella used to respond to his outbursts but now she just passes by without so much as a nod. This of course, makes him crazy. The pit bull might stand up and watch but it never barks or appears agitated in any way.

So the other day we're walking by and Chief comes tearing across the yard at us as usual. He gets about halfway to us and Stella makes a beautiful little ninety degree hop to square off in his direction. He freezes. She then proceeds to pick up the newspaper in his very own driveway (I hadn't even noticed) and slinging it with her head by it's flimsy plastic wrapper murders it right in front of him.

About five seconds into this colorful display, she apparently feels my amusement and begins slamming it on the ground repeatedly until the plastic is shredded, now barely able to contain its herniated contents. She stops and stares at Chief who is not surprisingly, still frozen.

"Drop it," I whisper, and she does. Then she pees. At this point, I can no longer contain my laughter. We turn to walk away, with Stella leaping like a little gazelle (because that's what she does when she knows I love her) and we don't hear another peep out of grouchy old Chief.