Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On the Lookout - Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Love Her Ways

Some times, I am so enamored of my girl. Her little quirks and sweet ways make me smile so much every day.

Lover Girl
One of the most wonderful things that Mabel does (and honestly, every rottweiler in my family has done this to a degree) is greet the humanoids in the pack with an equal gusto to that of dogs.  Dogs typically greet other dogs and they may or may not greet the humans. All my rotties have always acknowledged the humans around them but Mabel does it with such flourish. And I'm grateful that the other pet pawrents at the creek welcome her with open arms and lavish her with kisses and scritches.
Mabel greeting Hank and Sue's Mom

Girly Girl
On the rare occasion I venture forth in the world...for a real job or to meet a client or teach a class, such a sadness falls over my spoiled girl.  I think she knows I'm leaving her home alone because of that stuff I put on my face. As I stand in the bathroom primping, Mabel always ventures into that too small space and stares up at me. This started when she was just a pup. I will always ask her, "Did you want to put on your makeup too???"

She does this little bounce from side to side and I grab some tissue and pantomime dabbing it in the makeup and blot all around her face. I stand back admiring her and tell her how beautiful she looks.  With that, she seems satisfied and she jumps on my bed and allows me to finish getting ready.

 Mabel greeting Lucy's Dad

Demanding Girl
When I've been working on the computer for too long - according to the four footed member of my household - Mabel always lets me know. She hooks her paw into the arm of my desk chair and pulls, spinning me away from the computer.  She does this periodically during the day, during the evening and especially at bedtime.

The Sweetest Girl
There are times when Mabel hugs me... yes, hugs me!  I cannot demand a hug as I do a kiss. It is always a spontaneous thing. When we are at the creek and she is having a good time, she will sit in front of me (which is rare with her greyhound hips!) and take her front paw and place it behind my knee and pull me into her!

The other hug I get is when we are playing bitey face at night. I will start to get up to end the game and Mabel will place both paws around my neck and pull my head close to hers. I often get a kiss with this one...

I would love to tell you more but my chair is spinning.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Duckpdate 8/14

This is the last picture I was able to get of the ducks. Mabel and Bart are such brats... they give me no peace and not enough quiet when I try to visit the ducks. Normally, the two fur-brats would veer downstream and disappear for 10 - 20 minutes! But now they know my wishes so well, they roll around in the duck pond instead! They scare the team into hiding and they won't leave my side while the ducks are around.

Just after this shot was snapped, we headed on over to to the river and the two promptly disappeared! They can't give me five minutes with my ducks but they disappear as soon as they think I've lost interest! ARGH!

So... I now avoid the duckpond altogether. But the other night, I saw 10 ducks flying in formation... and my heart leaped! I still miss them. I still worry about them!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Take Me to the River

It was SO FREAKING HOT today that I even went swimming in broad daylight! And then I got hot again. Since it was still 100 degrees when I headed to the creek, I found a swimsuit that sorta fit and I put some boxers on top of it. I wore my water shoes,  grabbed a dry pair of shorts for the ride home and my towel and we were off.

As usual the two dogs dashed into the river. I carefully walked into the waist deep water, Mabel and Bart eying me curiously. It was so hot, we were the only ones around. As soon as I found a big boulder under the water to sit on that allowed the water to wash over my shoulders, what did the two brats do???


They both got out of the water apparently not wanting to be seen with me! Mabel kept watch from a good 20 feet away and Bart went further up the hill and curled up there! Despite my begging, pleading and promises off cookies and ice cream later, they would not venture back into the water... until I got out! WTH???

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We All Scream

This summer, we introduced Bart to ice cream. It's a pleasure Mabel Lou knows too well.

But it's been fun watching Bart figure it out and... seeing the effect that has on Mabel Lou! We are more often in the back of my jeep ...which makes picture taking hard. So this session was in the BFF's back yard.

At first Bart tried to chew his way from the outside in! Oh, the faces he would make when he bit into paper and wax.  By round two, he chewed the paper less but...he still does it a little.


We get them a child's scoop of vanilla at Baskin Robbins. Check out that tongue:

The first time we all had ice cream in the car, Mabel just did her thing. She's been doing this for years! But the second time, she was suddenly aware of Bart in the car. She panicked and picked up the whole scoop in her mouth...where it promptly got stuck! Can you say "Doggie Brain freeze?"

She doesn't seem to worry so much if she has a bit more space. In the yard, she just licked her bowl dry. Then we made her leave the area so Bart could eat in peace. Then both of them came around wanting OUR ice cream.

It's been a fun adventure watching Bart learn about the finer things in a dog's life.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hiking Buddy Profile: Attila

This is one of our extended hiking pack buddies Attila a/k/a Tila Boy, an Aussie shepherd. The name Attila is hardly fitting. He's more the peace keeper / Camp counselor in the pack. He doesn't like it when anyone is upset. He even barks at me when I yell for Bart to come back from his adventures!

Attila rarely sits still. He is forever chasing a golf ball, organizing the pack, asking for a drink of water (he prefers bottled to creek!), humping Chloe, asking for a snack, rousing lizards, or just running. So these pictures of him sitting still are a rare treat!

I just love that he's all covered with dirt and foxtails! Tila is a favorite of everyone at the creek and Bart and Mabel love him and his dad, who always has cookies and bottled water... for when a dip in the creek is just too tedious!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Rare Moment

Both standing still...

We want give a big shout out welcome to Blogville to our real life hiking buddy Gretchen a/k/a Chloe's Mom. She's a talented artist and photographer and if you check out her new blog, you're likely to see a few pics of some pups you already know...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To the Best of His Ability

Bart is...challenged... in many ways. Life has not always been kind to him. But deep down, after you set aside the fear masquerading as bravado, he's a gentle, kind boy...always has a smile on his face!

But because he does have shortcomings, all the pet pawrents at the creek encourage him whenever we can. He gets lots of attaboys and scritches.

The thing that causes great laughter at the creek, followed by a loud round of "Good JOB Bart!" is his burial skills. The other dogs often make fun of him. He is getting a little better.. but not much.

Here is a ball he "buried" last week:

He tries so hard... bless his heart!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Marking Our Territory

There are days when I just don't feel fit for human consumption and every venture out into the real world leaves me feeling worthless and empty. Every encounter with human life leaves me hurt, wounded or just disappointed. At times I feel so lonely and yet there seems to be no one on the planet that I connect with. And I just can't wait to get home, behind my big steel gate. My home is my castle; the proverbial rock this red head would rather hide under.

Saturday was such a day. And I was not looking forward to my walk with the dogs. They had been so rambunctious all week culminating in Mabel disappearing on me Friday night. And my leg and arm pain were at an all time high. Add all that to the way I was feeling about the world in general and people in particular.... and I was in no mood for our boisterous hiking pack...human or canine.

I was hoping the town's Watermelon Festival would keep most of the regulars at bay. As we rounded the levee, I was thrilled to see absolutely no one. A solitary hike, just me and the dogs. YES!

Mabel headed for her favorite cuzzi spot and curled up for a soak. Bart bee-lined for the rocks where the weirdo from the night before had been drying his "laundry." Bart had been most uncomfortable with the presence of this strange man.

Bart sidled up to the boulder where Mr. Undies had been sitting a mere 24 hours before. He gave it a long sniff, cocked his leg and gave that stone a good whizz! (Take THAT Mr. Undies!)

I just about fell over with the best belly laugh I've had in ages. And yes, I wish I had that tool in MY arsenal some days... I think the world would be a bit easier if we all could just draw a boundary line in the sand!

Communitcating with Dogs

It's not until I run across a dog that doesn't speak Human / English that I really appreciate how great Mabel Lou's communication skills are.

I've written about how Mabel makes her wishes known before, most recently here.  But I still marvel at her almost daily.

A few weeks back, we were meeting a pack at the creek. Mabel and Barticus, who tear out of my car, are often 50 yards down their favorite trail before I'm out of the parking lot. If I take too long to catch up, Mabel will return to check on me. She was on her way back when she noticed me taking the other trail to meet up with our friends.

Mabel did a little dance, pointed with her nose to the trail I was on and shook her head once. Translation: Why are you on that trail? We always go this way!

"No, girl, we're going to the river. We're meeting friends for a long one!"

She started toward me, stopped, looked back up the trail Bart was on, and looked at me with her brow furrowed. Translation: What about Bart?

"He will figure it out or you can go and tell him."

Mabel turned, ran about 10 feet in Bart's direction, stopped and within seconds was running toward me. Bart was right behind her!

I simply adore that I understand her and I love that she tries so hard to make herself known. This comes in most handy when Bart gets lost off doing "Bart Stuff" as he often does. Whenever I think he's been too long, I look at Mabel and ask her, "Where's Bart?"

Mabel will point with her nose and...he's always right where she says.

If only, this worked the other way around! Sadly, little Barticus is not so adept at communication with humans! Last night, Mabel Lou scared the crap out me! She disappeared! For close to 40 minutes! She has not pulled a stunt like this since she was a pup! And Barticus was no help at all!

We were meeting up with the RottRover and her Bart last night. We all met up on the main trail and took all three pups to the water for swimmies. We were all most perturbed right away as a weirdo / homeless man was sitting right by Mabel's favorite cuzzi spot in his undies! (For those of you uncertain of the definitions of personalities at the creek, the glossary is HERE)

He claimed to have been panning for gold but his clothes were drying on the rocks - hence the multi-category. Mabel was annoyed, Barticus was scared and barking, and Bart the rott was... cautious. All three put together meant get the heck outta there. Since it was time for the RottRover to head home, I called the dogs and we headed to levee. Bart the rott joined us but my two kept swimming. I called them again and kept walking.

20 feet down the levee...still no Mabel or Barticus. I looked over to see if they are coming and... they were MIA! We called out to Mr. Undies and he pointed toward Rafi's camp. Rafi is a homeless man that Mabel and Barticus are both fond of and visit daily. Thinking they would visit for a minute and then come on up the levee, I wasn't worried. We kept going.

When we got to the end, I noticed that Barticus had joined us...only he was 20 feet back and turning his body sideways and wouldn't look me in the eye. Not seeing Mabel anywhere, Bart's strange behavior caused me to start worrying.

Barticus and I ran back down the levee, screaming for Mabel.

I stopped time and time again and asked Bart, "WHERE'S MABEL???" Nothing!

When I got near the end, I asked Mr. Undies again... again, he points toward Rafi's. I suddenly heard barking back over at my car. I knew full well that Mabel Lou goes to the car when we get separated. But I also knew she would back track to me if she were there. I felt like she might be there but I felt more strongly that I should investigate Rafi's area first.

We went Mabel. We started up the hill to the shortcut trail and ...more strangers and weirdos...none of my regular pack. I'm was really starting stress as I had left my cell phone at home! Finally, a weirdo describes Mabel to me and pointed her out to me! She was running back from the car.

Bart and I ran to greet her and then I yelled at her for making me so worried and scared. Then I yelled at Bart for not telling me where she was! I wonder if Rosetta Stone makes tapes to teach Human English to dogs of Bart's IQ?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Plans

Mabel Lou here! I am most excited about the weekend because rumor has it that my mom has no classes to teach! So, I'm making the plans around here.

What am I planning??? Oh, just  a little of this

And a little of that

And a whole lot of this

Hope yours is special!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

There He Goes Again

Bart is a pretty cool, laid back little dude. But he turns into a wild and crazy cracker dog exactly twice a day: when we park at the creek and just before I get back to the car to leave. Three un-neutered male dogs...who NEVER get walked, much less go for a good run live right beside the entrance to the hiking area.

And while Barticus would run and hide if he met them on the street, since they are confined and a good five feet above him, he unleashes all of his cracker dog energy.

Note: Mabel Lou pretty much ignores the dogs and Bart...unless she thinks I'm watching! My camera was sort of a dead giveaway. She's doing her level best to "snoopervise" Bart.

Some of these are a little blurry... I had my long lens hoping for ducks! But I just love the play of shadow and light in the early evening.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Duckpdate 8/11

I thought it was time for another Duckpdate!  I have been overjoyed this week as the ducks no longer run and hide from my rather loud  hiking party.  Maybe it's the good talking to I gave Bart and Mabel about being nice to the ducks...or maybe it's that the team is nearly gown!

I have seen them every night this week. Some nights I don't see them all but there's a big reason for that... the babies are officially flying!!!  Two of them circled up over the team and landed on nearby power poles joining what I thought was just a bird. Then all swooped low and joined the rest swimming! Hank & Sue's mom had told me she had seen them having a lesson last week... and they were sputtering and crashing into the pond. No more!

Last night, two flew off into the distance when I arrived!

Often when we get there, the team is enjoying the last drops of sunlight on the pond. The smart buggers have figured out they don't have to swim away... they can simply descend the back side of the rock and make themselves "invisible."

One little guy (Evan???) even swims within 10 feet of Miss Mabel!

They are all doing well and growing!! I hope I can get some flying pictures before they all fly away!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

My Prince! My Prince??

La dah dah dee dee dah....Some day my prince will come. I thought for sure I had found him...

But it seems he's too in love with himself to allow me to kiss him...

Monday, August 08, 2011

Exactly 24 Hours

That's how long it took for the sting from the stinging nettle I walked into at the creek this week to stop stinging!

I thought I had encountered them before... but apparently NOT! This pain, I would remember!!!! I tried  aspercreme, silvadeen, hyrdocortisone and another steroid... NO relief! The only bit of relief came from ice...hard to sleep like that....or from holding my morning cup of coffee on my knee!

Take a closer look at those thorns!

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I've been a cleaning frenzy. Part of it is a financial necessity as I've been selling off stuff I no longer use on various sites. Part of it is emotional... the fear that I'm becoming a hoarder. I just don't want my godchild or relatives to have to clean up such a mess.

The other day, I was up at 4 and in the attic, organizing and getting rid of old tax paperwork. I tossed anything older than the prerequisite 13 years. (I have several friends who don't admit to working for the IRS but have pointed out to me that the agency can audit back to 10 years. IF they find a problem, they can request and additional three in either direction.)

As I moved to the recycling bin, I was absolutely stunned that EVERYTHING in those boxes is ripe for some lurking identity thief. My bank in the late nineties (sold to other corporations several times now) placed my entire social security number ON EVERY PAGE OF EVERY STATEMENT!

My credit card receipts...printed on REAL paper...  contain the ENTIRE number.

So, I stoked a fire in the outdoor fire pit and started burning. I only managed about two years worth before the thing was full of ash!  As I minded the fire, I started cleaning the garage. I decided my shipping area was ripe for a reorganization. Just look at what I found lurking there... she's bigger than a quarter!

Yes, I smashed her dead! If only we could do the same with identity thieves!

Friday, August 05, 2011


The rotten butt edition

Mabel Lou and Bart - the most interesting dog in the world (I think...Rottrover! Help???)

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Creekhikers - A Video

My bestie has lots of fun with her Mac! The humans were discussing a not so pleasant topic, so she sped up the video and now... it sounds like we are listening to the high pitched inner thoughts of dogs! Check out Mabel Lou's sneeze!! Too funny!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A Message for Granny

The other morning, I phoned my mom as I often do. And, as phone conversations with my mother go, I usually say "Hi Mom!" and she's off and running. The next twenty minutes, I rarely do more than grunt until I say, "I have to go Mom." Since I have arm issues and back issues, I put Mom on speaker so I can get stuff done. I was dashing about trying to get breakfast for me and Mabel Lou.
I had the Mom phone in one hand and Mabel's kibble in the other when I lost my balance coming in the back door and dropped the phone right in front of Mabel's bed. Mabel looked at the phone, puzzled at first. Then she gingerly belly crawled over to it, listening intently. She reached down and kissed the earpiece where her Granny's voice was coming from...twice.

Sigh.... I LOVE MY DOG!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Versatile Blogger

Mabel Lou here. Our real life furiends over at RottRover gave our blog the Versatile Blogger award. I'm certain it's because all the posts I write around here!

I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about my human (That's hardly interesting but I suspect that since we k9s need human hands to post, and those humans are so overly interested in themselves... well, you know.)  Here goes:

  • My mom loves to cuddle with me on the sofa. We don't do it as much in the summer. When she gets up and I stretch out, she often sits on the floor beside me.
  • She loves the creek as much as I do. We both love to frolic with friends but we both love to just sit and listen to the water music!
  • My mom loves taking me just about anywhere. I get sad when I don't get to go - mostly when it's hot. But she will run errands and buy groceries at night so I can go too!
  • She loves to laugh. I love to hear her laugh.
  • Mom worries too much sometimes; it's my job to make sure she doesn't.
  • She never met a rotten she didn't like. She wants to curl up and play kissy face with dogs other humans label as vicious! She turned many a barking snarling dog into a tail wagger in a matter of seconds!
  • Mom plays a mean game of bitey face with me!! I think she's really a k9 in a human outfit!
Update: Mabel was supposed to pass this on but it seems she feels the same way about that as her mom.... hmmm! So if you want it, take it!