Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why I Can't Have Anything Nice

The background of this photo that shows my once really nice backyard has me reminiscing a bit. My wonderful, private fence no longer looks like that. I'm afraid if archaeologists every examine my yard, they will wonder what fierce creature I kept in bondage. Uh... that would be Mabel.

Between my only neighbor feeding every stray cat in the area and living on a canal with an ample supply of critters, Mabel stays fairly busy on patrol.

When she first arrived, at four months old, and became aware of the racoons and possums and such, they terrified her. I had never heard the jump rope song "Mabel, Mabel Set the Table," when I came up with the first Mabel Lou song. (I often make up songs with my new dog's names in it to help them learn their name in a fun way. Since I always get shelter dogs, I've found they associate their name with something bad. The song is my way of changing that.) It started like this: Mabel, Mabel sleeps on my table... The poor pup was so scared of the critters, she would sleep on top of a glass table on the patio. I was really worried what would happen to her as her weight increased!

But after a month or so she started growing into the tough girl she is now. One afternoon, we both heard some critter under the deck. Mabel took off and made it to the back steps, stopped and looked over her shoulder at me. Her expression seemed to ask, "You comin'?"

"No, that's your job," I replied.

Off she went. And never looked back. If only I would have known how seriously she would take that job!

The other day, I was in the office. The windows were open on a warm afternoon. I heard Mabel on the back deck making a horrendous noise. As it intensified and suddenly sounded like she were chewing something, I took off to see what was wrong.

From the patio, I could see she was eating the deck! I yelled. Of course she didn't stop. (When will I ever learn?) So, I grabbed the camera and filmed the destruction. Here she is in all her glory.

After that, not believing anything was really under there, I went into the kitchen to make some lunch. When the noise changed again, I went out to inspect the damages. Here's what I found.

The apology you hear at the end of the video is to the possum. After that, I grabbed Miss Mabel and took her in the house until the possum left. To think I stuck my hand in there! And now my deck looks even more "lived in."


Duly Inspired said...

Okay, so in that first photo I couldn't even look at your fence b/c I could take my eyes of your pup on her back. And then I read on, and shuddered that you stuck your hand in there! Glad all is okay. Well, except for that damage there. :-(

Annie said...

Now that's determination, isn't it. You've got to be more determined than she if you want to stop that behavior and save your deck.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Alison, She was SNORING so loud when I took that photo through my screen door!

Annie, I'm about ready to pour concrete back there!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't stop looking at the photo of Mabel on her back, I was trying to find her head, I clicked on the photo to enlarge it but it isn't enough. I think her head is on the far side, right? Looks so comfy! That's a pretty fence, by the way, what's wrong with it?

My mouth fell open when I saw Mabel chewing up the deck! I thought she must be getting splinters in her gums. That's amazing, how in the world did she even start making a hole? Oh, you were sooooo lucky that your hand didn't get bitten. I hope you've learned not to stick your hand anywhere unless you're sure there's nothing there!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Janet, From the upper left corner of the bed, follow the edge of the bed right and the first beige spot is the bottom of her chin.

You would think I would follow HER instincts. It's so rare to see one of the critters during the day. I really thought it was nothing. Oh but that sucker had some kind of teeth!

Becky said...

Holly! That video was hilarious! I laughed out loud and I don't know when I've done that last. It also almost made me burst into tears to hear your voice! I miss you guys so much! Oh, your poor deck!

Anonymous said...

Now I see it! Boy, she sure looks comfortable, wish I could sleep like that.

How in the world do you repair that deck? I might just put a big planter over the hole. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm glad we have sight hounds who forget about anything that isn't moving! They do like to dig pits though, will actually stand in line and take turns until they dig a hole big enough to put a volkswagon in. Carmon

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Becky, So glad my pitiful deck could make you laugh! I miss you too!

Janet, It still amazes me to see her sleep like that. She generally only does that when she's really hot.

Carmon, I think I have the best (worst?) of both worlds. Mabel is a total greyhound on trail, racing after everything that moves. But she's also a good tracker and never gives up.

Linda@VS said...

Well, I'm glad to read about the concrete you're planning to put in. I couldn't understand why your voice was so calm on the videos. That girl was DOIN' some damage!