When I was out in the backyard today, watching out for snakes and preparing to do pooper scooper duties for our four dogs out there with me, I had what may be the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had. Or it may be a pile os shit, I’m not sure. Just because it seemed inspirational to me, doesn’t mean it actually is a fantastic, or even a good, idea.

That’s why I’m putting the idea ‘out there’ hoping some one far cleverer than is able to follow up on it. So this is the background to my idea. I am the owner of four dogs – one aging standard schnauzer, and one oldish pharaoh hound and her two children, a boy and a girl from her two litters of puppies. The dogs are all medium sized dogs, with the usual habits of their breeds. We love them and care about them. But with four dogs, poop is an issue you can’t ignore.

And we live out in the country, to the north of Adelaide in the Mallala district. It’s a lovely place to live, but heat can be a problem, and of course flies can be a problem too. I am so sick of having to wave flies away, out of my eyes, my nose, my mouth. I am so over flies!

So my idea was that it would be wonderful if we could feed something that was not toxic to our dogs, that when they pooped, the resulting product was super-sticky, and any flies that landed on it couldn’t get away. Then, when one of us picks up the poop and puts it in the poop bucket, the flies can’t secape and they go in there too, to be thrown into the pit dug for the purpose of disposal of said poop.

So, what do others think? It would certainly decrease the number of flies in our backyard, and that would be a great thing. Any scientists out there able to give it some thought? I sure hope so!

Well, this warmer change is certainly nice, and the likelihood of a swim in our pool has risen. But with warmer weather of spring and summer, where I live, come snakes.

BrownSnake_Australia

This is a brown snake and looks like the one that lost its life in our backyard this morning. The main difference between the two is that the one in the backyard no longer had its head attached to its body. One of our dogs, the youngest one – Missy – had bitten off its head. So the snake was dead, and had almost stopped moving when I first saw it. I think it would have stopped moving now, it’s in a lidded container.

Missy wasn’t entirely triumphant though. She may have killed the snake, but the snake bit her. We rushed her to the closest vet clinic, and we’re hoping they can save her. It’s not a definite thing, it depends on how her body reacts to the treatment she’s getting. And if she gets worse, the cost will go up and up, until it may get the stage where we can’t afford any more treatment and have to let her go. I truly hope that doesn’t happen, it’s the cruelest decision a person with a pet ever has to make…

At the moment, I’m thinking about ways to cover our vet bill, and hoping to make it through without too much stress, financial or emotional. And worrying about poor Missy, who certainly bit off a lot more than she’d realised.

 

If every back yard needs at least one dog, and some trees, then every back veranda needs a comfy seat from which to contemplate Nature. Nature comes in many shapes and forms. Dogs and trees are two of those forms. There are also insects, birds and grass. Plants of all kinds can be there too, and maybe even cats and reptiles of several different kinds.

It’s best not to have snakes, in my opinion, and the opinion of most Australians, I would think. In Australia, lots of the snakes can kill you if they bite you. I certainly don’t like to see those potential killers in my backyard. My dogs have been known to attack these killer snakes (brown snakes). Well, they caught one and bit it in half, one summer, killing it (obviously) and remaining safe themselves.

The dogs seem to have a particular hatred for reptiles and if they see one in the yard, they’ll kill it, or at least damage in ebough that is stops moving. My poor husband has had to put several lizards out of their agony. It’s not a job he likes doing, but it’s for the best …

My own task in the backyard is to perform occasional pooper scooper duties, and to sit out there on the comfortable sofa, and to just be with Nature. This ‘being with Nature’ is an informal meditation, just being there, in the present moment, while Nature goes on its own way – the clouds, the birds, the trees and other plants, and of course our four dogs, and other creatures. At the moment, one creature that has made a visual impact on the back yard have been ants. We have a trail now that mid-sized ants have created by following a path from one side of the yard to the other side, and beyond.

I have no idea what made them start along the trail, but thousands of them are tramping along the trail, all day every day. I wish I could ask them about it!

ananka small

What is a dog?

sofa dogs

A dog is a friend, companion, garbage disposal unit and guard.

A dog is a comfort, a joy, an irritation and a threat.

A dog is a trip hazard and a steady thing to lean on.

A dog is a child watcher, a teacher and a life lesson.

A dog is a non-judgemental listener.

A dog is the best thing a broken-hearted person can have.

A dog is a heart-breaker too.

A dog is a poetry prompt, A book inspiration and an interested listener to book readings

A dog is the best thing you can have in a family!

Photo from back when the first print run of my first self-published book came out. Currnetly promoting my thrid print run!  "Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs"

Photo from back when the first print run of my first self-published book came out. Currently promoting my third print run.
“Dig It! Gardening Tips for Dogs”

I’ve thought long about what dogs mean to my life, and I know that the day there are no longer any dogs in my life will be a very sad day indeed. Dogs help to keep me centred, they make me get up and do stuff, and they amuse me enormously. Dogs have their own rules for living well, and I’ve certainly learned a lot from our dogs about this.

Dogs know the value of having a good rest, and eating stuff when stuff is there to be eaten. I get quite philosphical sometimes, when I sit outside watching the dogs as they run and sniff, watch and chase. I don’t like all of the things our dogs do, but I love all of them, all four of our dogs, and all of the lovely dogs I’ve met over my lifetime.

If I die and come back in life, I’d love to come back as a dog, and live with someone who loves me as much as I love them!

We have four dogs at our place. All of them have been show dogs, some for longer than others. They were pets as well as being show dogs, and all live in our house and yard, no locking them up in kennels all day. All of them are now pets.

Two of the dogs sleep in our room at night the other two sleep in our son’s room. There is one male dog, and three girls. The oldest of them, Nena, is a standard schnauzer, the rest are pharaoh hounds – the oldest, Ananka, is mother of the other two (Lah Dee and his little sister Missy). 

At the moment, the two pharaoh girls are in season, and Lah Dee is being a pain, whinging and harassing poor Nena. Nena is desexed, but Lah Dee doesn’t care, he knows someone is in season, and Nena is a girl dog, that seems to be good enough for him… Nena’s been growling at him, but he doesn’t care – he’s bigger than her and he’s obsessed.

Looking at the dogs is always an interesting thing, seeing the way they organise things. At the moment the pharaoh girls are shut away up the other end of the house, and right now, Lah Dee and Nena are both lying down peacefully on the sofa. Oh, now someone’s come home, woof woof, and quiet again…

The three pharaoh hounds have been sick, from Monday, when we took them to see a vet, a new vet, at the Roseworthy Veterinary clinic. We were impressed with the facilities there, and the people there were impressed with our pharaoh hounds, who were on their best behaviour, probably because they were quite sick. They all had temps of 39, and all had the runs, in a big and messy way. Sometimes having dogs sleepin in your room is a bad, bad idea!

They all seem to be benefitting from the tablets they’re on, with night times being much calmer and far less messy. The joys of having pets, you get a good look at the realities of life. birth, death and the messy smelly bits in the middle, and happy waggy tails too.

Life with dogs is a good life!

 

Nena

Today, as the title suggests/states is a fine winter’s day. The sky is blue and the temperature is cool, but not too cold. A perfect day in fact to get outside and do some work. The task to be undertaken wasn’t one I thought of, but I had to step up and be involved.

My son Jake suggested to me that we finish off groom Nena, our standard schnauzer. The schnauzer is a breed that needs to be either clipped or stripped regularly to keep looking good. If you let too much time arrive, you end up with a creature that looks like a total hairy mess. We did a pretty good job on clipping Nena recently, but didn’t quite finish off removing excess hair from her legs and feet. Today was to be the day to finish that job off.

I got out the necessary tools, and put them near the grooming table, then we let Nena outside. She came outside, sensed what we were up to and she retreated from us, twenty metres away in fact. She didn’t come when called, which is most unlike her. We have four dogs, Nena is the only schnauzer, the others are all pharaoh hounds. Usually Nena is good about coming when we call her, and it’s the pharaoh hounds who aren’t so obedient. 

She doesn’t like being groomed though. She really, really doesn’t like being groomed. Nena isn’t a completely naughty dog though, not at all, so Jake was able to get her and put her on the grooming table, and keep her more or less on the table. It was bit of a struggle, with Jake holding on gently, but strongly as Nena struggled to get back to the ground. In the meantime I clipped and snipped as best I could, taking care not to damage Jake or Nena. 

As i turned out, the job got done, and while there was some blood, it was only mine, and only a little. I accidently clipped my left hand slightly and made it bleed. Looking at Nena now, she’s looking good and she seems to have forgiven us for the grooming outrage. Life around the place is good, the weather is still fine, and I’m grateful to live with this lovely dog. Nena is twelve and a half years old. She’s been a show dog and a mother, but her finest role is the current one, that of being a lovely and obedient family friend. 

Dangers not just from Strangers

This link has some sobering thoughts on the subject of Stranger Danger, and the actual truth of the matter – it’s not just strangers who commit awful crimes against children…

 

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