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Dawgs - 2003
February 11, 2003

When Helen came back from a trip to Boston, she started talking about how city dogs and country dawgs are different. It seems that she saw a woman walking a bunch -- about 7 -- of dogs in Boston Commons, which must be a big park. She said that were walking fast and looked straight ahead and weren't stopping to sniff anything. She was comparing that with us country dawgs running down the road or stopping to sniff stuff on our walks. She said they all looked happy, but nothing can beat taking off and running, but we couldn't run into the fields when we got out the other night because the snow is too deep. We always head first for the house across the street to see if anyone is home to greet us.

Helen told us that Don is going home tomorrow. Great for Don, but I will miss having a third person to help handle Tess and Tess will miss arguing with Don -- they just argue so well! Tess and I want Don to come back for visits. In fact, if we don't get that as a promise, we will probably boycott his leaving.

March 3, 2003

Don, we are keeping up your reputation! Helen thought that she had closed the door when she went to get the morning newspaper. Well, she had, but it was still openable, and we joined her at the paper box by the road-- the paper wasn't there but we were. We followed her back to the porch, then Mahler decided that he wasn't ready to go in yet. We took off. The snow is crusted so we ran on top. That bothered Helen because she couldn't track us, even on her snowshoes. She was not pleased with us. In fact, I am dictating this from the crate.

Helen says that you are glad to be home. Good. But we still miss you.
Yeah, Mahler isn't as much fun to fight with.

I really miss your "taking on" Tess. She won't leave me along. Always wants to play, but then takes all of the toys. Helen just let us out of the crates. Tess is trying to get someone -- namely me -- to chase her. She goes down into the stair well and stands and barks with her mouth filled with the ball! I bark in response, but I'm not going to chase her. Good, Erik just went downstairs to play with her. Don, she really misses you.

May 22, 2003
The warmer weather is really great. We can go in and out of the hanging screen door whenever we wish. Tess does this quite frequently, but I prefer to go out only when someone goes with me. We have spring fever.

Helen says that she is having trouble with all of the wild things around us. The bird build a nest on top of the front door, like it did last year. Helen tried to stop her, but she just build it too fast and was sitting in it before Helen could get it down. She did try twice, but Ms. Bird worked extra fast on a day when Helen was away or not watching. But then Ms. Bird left for awhile and Helen noticed a little yellow stain in the porch floor which might have been a yolk of an egg. Anyhow, Ms. Bird is back again and sitting on the nest.

And there is a little red squirrel in the garage. It has good taste -- it likes the dog food. It chewed a hole in one of the bags, then took the food to the top of the wall container. A couple of times the squirrel and Dick have come eye to eye when Dick has opened the door. Erik watched the squirrel run up to one corner of the garage, away from the house. It probably has a nest there. Now, it seems that squirrels like eggs……..wonder if it knows anything about the egg stain by the front door.

And thinking of birds -- we weren't, except that's where eggs come from -- Helen is upset about the tragedies of the last couple of days. A beautiful red-headed woodpecker evidently tried to come into the living room but found that the glass was stronger than he was. Helen said that this was the first one she had seen in a long time. And then this morning she found a yellow warbler that had either tried to come into the dining room or hurt itself around the flowers on the porch. She said that that bird was probably migrating. So we are trying to help her figure out a way to bird-proof the house so they don't keep flying into it. Any suggestions?

September 4, 2003
I am concerned about my friend Buddy, a Goldie about 8 months old. I am sending this note to him, also, so he will know my thoughts are with him. He has been quarantined for sniffing a raccoon that had rabies. 45 days is a loooooonnnnnnnnnngggggggg time for any dog, but Buddy is especially active. He was here for a few days earlier in the summer, and we (me, Tess, and Buddy) had so much fun that we were all exhausted when he left. So, Buddy, sorry to hear about your plight. And I hear from Helen that you and your family are leaving for North Carolina -- wherever that is, but I know it's far away -- for the winter as soon as you are let free. I hope somehow that we can get a play date squeezed in somewhere. I don't have any tips for you while quarantined, except maybe to get lots of sleep so you can erupt with energy when you get out. I know I will be careful not to get close to any other animals. (Don, you'd better be careful of that fox that Helen tells me tries to get friendly with you by your house.)

Earlier this summer Erik was startled one morning by a dead mouse in his room! It was wet and had been mauled. Mystery. The door to the back yard had been open. Had one of the cats actually ventured out without the dogs seeing her, caught the mouse and brought it back? Erik talked to the cats, and noticed that Bear's paws and some of her fur was wet. Also, she seemed to recognize the mouse. Assuming that she were the culprit, we all praised her for doing the "cat thing." (You wouldn't see us Dawgs catching a mouse!)

December 3, 2003
We had a good Thanksgiving. Krista was here with Don and the two cats. Don wasn't feeling well when he got here, and we had diarrhea for a day or so after the rich Thanksgiving dinner

When Erik was getting winter things (gloves, scarves) from the closet in the hall, he noticed a hole in the ceiling of the closet, and there was dog food in the box with the scarves. So maybe the squirrels are living in the house for the winter. We have heard that squirrels hide food in many places, and don't always remember all of the hiding places. Well, Dick keeps shoes in the garage, and when he went to put them on one morning, he found one of them full of dog food. But Helen is puzzled. One morning when she went to feed us, there were mouse droppings around the dog food. Do we have more residents, or are squirrel and mouse droppings similar?

Donovan, it is good to see you when you come for a visit. The people laugh at us when we talk. Tess is such a talker--Erik said that she talked the whole time she was at the vets. Donovan, you are learning to talk in very funny places and times. And I, Mahler, talk mainly when people sit too long at the table and don't pay attention to us. We do have voices.

December 9, 2003
Hey, guys, Donovan here. Helen is writing from my house this time! She came down to do some business with Krista. That’s done now, so she decided to take time to write the notes before taking a bus to Boston for a meeting later this afternoon. This is really fun – now I will hear the note as it is being written, and you guys – Mahler and Tess -- have to wait to read it!

Now I can describe what my life is like, with two catz. You know both of them, so you know how demanding they can be. Actually, we really do get along fine. Sometimes we sleep together, sometimes Maggie and Merlin chase each other and sometimes they just stay away from each other. Actually, most of the noise in the house comes from Kira. He is really a noisy, noisy bird! He seems to be managing OK since his partner died, but certainly likes to have people talk to him. When the catz and I are wanting attention, he has to get his squawking in also.

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