Marv, our first dog, was a lab/hound mix that lived outside. We put his food in a bowl but as he got bigger, he started picking the full bowl up and flinging the food all over the back patio. We finally gave up on the bowl and just dumped the food on the patio. Marv never went hungry.
Max, our youngest dachshund, is an inside dog. He also throws his food on the floor. He can’t pick the bowl up, so he uses his tongue to fling the food all around the bowl.
Dogs are not the only messy eaters.
Alex, our grandson who just turned one, is also a messy eater.
The difference is Alex is a very cute messy eater.
We hosted Christmas Eve on Miller Farm this year. My nephew was quite enthralled. When he asked how the dogs and chickens got along, I explained all was well if everybody stayed on their side of the fence.
When he looked out the window a little later and saw a chicken walking along the fence, he was most concerned and went out to convince the chicken to return to the safe side of the fence. He could move in and stay quite busy keeping the chickens safe on Miller Farm, but I think he has higher aspirations that involve the University of Houston.
Life is really interesting when the chickens decide to venture onto the side of the fence that is not in our yard at all.
Most often they visit the neighbor with Connor – the old Great Dane. I’m not sure Conor would hurt the chickens, but the owners always work to make sure the chickens make it back to safety. Sometimes I get a text saying, “there is a chicken in our yard,” and I help bring it home.
Recently I got a text from the neighbor on the other side saying, “Rosie (their dog) found a chicken in our yard. It’s been saved and it’s now hiding behind the rain barrels.” This was puzzling as there is not only our chain link fence but a privacy fence between our houses as well. That chicken was glad to be back in its own yard and has not gone back to play with Rosie.
I discovered there are some boards missing in the privacy fence leaving just enough room for a curious chicken to explore the neighbor’s yard. The grass may be greener on that side of the fence but it is guarded by a chicken-loving dog so it is not worth it for the chickens to go there.
Instead they wander along the path between the fences. When we had the snow storm, one chicken walked further than ever before.
Max was fascinated. The chicken was quite brave with a fence between her and the dog.
I was fretting over the chickens being between the fences but not enough to climb over and get them. I have torn too many pair of pants doing that in the past.
The chickens eventually make it back. I think they go there to get away from over amorous roosters.
I figure they’ll work out a pecking order. They are chickens after all.
This is where we find our Buster most days. Sitting and staring out the back door.
Not wanting to go out. Just looking out all lost like.
That’s how I find myself some days in this pandemic world. Not motivated to do anything though there’s plenty to do.
I feel like I’m Alexander in Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
Only this hasn’t been just one bad day. These Alexander days just keep on coming… piling on top of one another.
Like Alexander, I must decide what to do with these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad COVID-19 pandemic 2020 days.
I can grump and gripe and complain. Be immobilized like Buster in the kitchen door.
Science writer, Tara Haelle says my feelings are okay in a Medium article I read recently. 2020 has depleted our surge capacity for handling disasters by piling on endless calamities with no breaks.
“We can kick and scream and be angry, or we can feel the other side of it, with no motivation, difficulty focusing, lethargy… or we can take the middle way and just have a couple days where you feel like doing nothing and you embrace the losses and sadness you’re feeling right now, and then the next day, do something that has an element of achievement to it.”
Read all Halle’s suggestions for recharging our surge capacity in the Medium article here.
Another choice… Alexander fixes his bad day when he alters his attitude in the Viorst book. I can alter my attitude.
BTW, if you haven’t read Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, you should. It’s available on Amazon or any online book store. It’s a delightful children’s book that will warm your adult heart during this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year we’re having.
Our Buster embraces both solutions. He sits for awhile then gives a celebratory woof or a take-that-world bark and settles next to the chair where I’m writing. His safe place.
Our little ten-pound Maltese is fearless. Just ask his younger brother an eighty-five-pound Old English sheepdog.
Part of his pluckiness is his small dog Napoleonic syndrome. Not really a bad thing considering he’s always shared his home with someone so much bigger than him.
When Buster first came to live with us, we had our Toby. Old English sheepdogs are big but very gentle and easygoing. Buster loved his big brother Toby.
Then Toby crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2016. Poor Buster moped around missing without him. We hoomans missed having an Old English sheepdog around, too.
That’s when Finnegan MacCool came to live with us.
Buster’s world was turned upside down. Toby had been four-years-old when the two met. Finn was a ten-week-old puppy.
We knew about eager, playful puppies. Buster didn’t.
Only took a bit for him to train Finn. They became great pals.
Except at bedtime these days. There’s a nightly showdown. Buster guards the bedroom door warning Finn to stay out.When I give Finn permission to enter, which sometimes requires picking Buster up, Finn takes a flying leap onto the bed.I guess it’s some kind of power play for Buster because once Finn’s on the bed, Buster is fine. They settle on either side of me and all is well.
But you’ll notice Finn’s little play of defiance… his paw rests over my knee just to show Buster he’s really king of the household.
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