of the catz, well, this is more speaking of what we dawgs do with cat
stuff----Erik got a new litter box for the catz with – would
you believe it?—a top. The catz don’t trust it ‘cause
it looks like a cat carrier – a reminder of going to the vet’s,
so Erik has to take the top off so that they will use it. It has a
really nice swinging door on it and really would give them privacy,
but Erik has it tied open. Actually, that’s probably one place
where catz have it made over dawgs. We have to go out in the cold.
Maybe Helen would get us an indoor litter box. I just hope that the
catz don’t figure out that Mahler and I are the reason that
they got the top in the first place. Right now the catz probably just
think that the people are mean.
my turn. Once in awhile we do put something over on people. I did
this about a week ago. Helen had made some dough, used part of it for
pinwheels for supper, and made 6 big cinnamon rolls for the next
morning. She left the rolls in a casserole dish on the counter,
covered with tinfoil. She was surprised when the casserole dish was
empty the next morning. She can make those rolls any time she likes.
is here! We know because
squirrels are out playing the back yard and in the trees, driving us
back yard is turning from white to yucky brown and there is a river
between the snow and the house in the back – if we lived in a
castle, that would be a moat.
are having conventions.
downstairs flooded a couple of nights ago from the melting snow and
the rain—hate being wakened up in the middle of the night by
the cats are creeping closer to the door, until it is opened and they
realize that the air isn’t hot yet—that will signify
last wrote, we had an unsettling time. Helen left one morning with
Dick and didn’t come back for 2 days – and she hadn’t
taken a suitcase. And Dick kept coming home and going out again.
Helen had gone for a test and they – whoever ‘they’
are—found that she had severe anemia—which had something
to do with her blood, so they gave her more blood (she didn’t
say that she was bloodless, so we really don’t understand the
whole thing). Anyway, she had more energy now, and has even been
taking us for walks.
going through identity crises here. I, Mahler, am tired of being
compared with my predecessor, Lohengrin. It seems that he liked to
sit and look at the world, but Helen says that I am really the
philosopher because of the way I sit and contemplate the world. Lohen
used to get the paper every morning, but I refuse to put it in my
mouth – who knows where it has been? Lohen used to poke Helen
to say good-night, and I just curl up beside the bed. Helen likes the
extra fur between my toes –I guess that I have more than Lohen
had. Dick was reading somewhere that if dogs get bonded to people,
and if they are going to get along with other dogs, they have to have
dogs around them when they are very young. I guess that Lohen didn’t
have other dogs around, and really didn’t like them. I, on the
other hand, have had dogs to play with all of my life! Guess I’m
just the more sociable. Sometimes. But at other times I just want to
go into my crate and say ‘go away’ to the world. Maybe
I’m just a normal dawg.
noticed that there are no Pit Bulls in the dog shows. So Dick went
out to the web and found that name for the breed it Staffordshire
Bull Terrier. And there are two types, American and English. Now,
doesn’t that look like me – except that it’s a
male? So, from now on, I am known as a Staffordshire Terrier.
Day is really a strange holiday for us animals. We are taken away
from our mothers as soon as we can eat on our own and given to
someone strange. Only Mahler knows the name of his mother, and that’s
because he has something called ‘papers’ that tell his
heritage. Even he has had no contact with his mom since January 10,
2000, when Dick and Helen brought him here.
has gone on since we last cornered Helen into writing. Probably the
biggest events have been the episodes of flooding. Well, not really
flooding, because the stream didn’t rise that much. (Mahler
thought that we had written about this before, but we can’t
find any copy of it, so guess we have just talked about it so much
that it seems as if we must have written about it.) Mahler describes
it as the rains came down and the ground water came up (or couldn’t
go down or anywhere) and the house got caught in the middle. We had
Helen check the dates. The first time was Friday evening, April 2,
when we started getting water in Dick and Helen’s bathroom.
That sometimes happens, but this expanded to the other bathroom then
started seeping up through the hall floor, and then Erik’s
suite and the other rooms. We had 2 wet vacs going, and on Sunday,
Helen got a third vac. She finally turned off all of the machines at
5 AM on Monday morning. Then they started the dehumidifiers. It took
several days for the carpeting to dry. Erik and the catz slept
upstairs on the futon. Helen figured that during the 10 hours when
the seeping was the worst, they took over 900 gallons of water out,
or dumped it down the bathtubs. We’re not good with figures,
but she calculated it as 15 gal. with the 2 vacs emptied every 10
minutes, or 6 times an hour =90 gal per hour x ten hours, and then
consider there was another 26 hours with considerable seepage,
especially with the third vac going, so she estimates that there was
at least 1500 gallons total. We couldn’t help them – we
just can’t drink that much. In fact, we plain stayed out of
their way. We did not like the sound of the machines. We had to walk
by them to get outside—but we didn’t even want to do that
because of the heavy rain. One miserable time.
happened again on April 30, when Dick started the vacs. That didn’t
last about 15 hours, but Erik and the catz are still sleeping
upstairs. Erik had just put in new bookcases that got wet. So now he
has put everything that he wants to keep dry into the cellar area, or
the space under the porch. Dick called some company, so we’ll
see what damage was done and if anything can be fixed when they come
in a couple of weeks. The water level on the stream is still high,
was up beyond the canoe. Helen said that the road about 6 miles down
where 2 ponds come together was flooded for several of days, so she
had to take longer routes to get places. We are really tired of the
some of the details of the summer….
been away quite a bit, sometimes for a week at a time. She planned
most of her trips so that she was away when the work was being done
in the house. Well, she said that she didn’t actually plan them
that way, but she sure had good luck in making it work out like that.
First there was the drilling to put the new drainage system in (and
dust got everywhere, even upstairs and in closets), then there was
removing the carpeting and flooring downstairs, then they decided to
do the flooring and carpeting in part of the upstairs. This means
that things had to be moved from one room to another all summer, and
things are still not back to their usual places. But it did mean a
good thing for Tess….she now has carpeting in her crate
because she refused to eat unless she was standing on carpet, so Erik
put some in….none of the bare floor for her!
As for our
crates, we spend a good deal of time in them when the people were
working around here. We would have liked to meet the workers and
given our opinion of the work, but weren’t allowed to. So we
just greeted them with barks when they arrived, and napped until we
were let out again after they left.
workers cleared out quite a bit of the dead trees and small growth on
the stream-side of the house, so we can now see the stream. We sound
an alert when the heron comes. It wades right out front and everyone
gets excited to see it.
been taking longer walks this summer. Went for 1.5 miles this
morning. The other morning we were noting how the neighborhood has
been going to the dogs. When we walk to the top of the hill and go
right toward the stream, there are 2 dogs on the house on the right
just after the stream (Helen calls that Mrs. Rommel’s, although
there is someone else living there now, as she died several years
ago). Those dogs came at us one morning, and were friendly enough,
except that Tess was ready to take them on. Helen says that there is
a Dalmatian in the house on the left, but we haven’t seen it.
We went left onto Dennis Hill a few mornings ago, and heard dogs in
the house on the right part way up the hill. And as we started back,
we heard more dogs and then saw the school bus. We waited between
driveways for the bus to pass and to pick up kids at the development.
Helen made us wait until the dog that was at the bus stop with the
kids went home before we continued. I saw the dog but Tess was too
busy sniffing and ‘doing’ to notice. And if we go down
Stevenstown Road, we can get to mailbox #204 before we get to dogs.
We went that far this morning, heard two large (by the voices) dogs
and walked rapidly back toward home, almost pulling Helen up a hill.
Sometimes we meet a woman walking two large poodles, and they get
just as excited when we pass as we do, so Helen and the lady try to
keep us from meeting.
One other thought – the noises around here. We just heard some
gunshots somewhere across the road, like someone having target
practice. Pretty soon we’ll have to put on our orange collars
when we go for walks. And Dick got a bug zapper for his room that
really ‘bugs’ us. Tess goes into a panic, sitting on
Helen’s bed, refusing to lie down. Dick closes the door to his
room but it still bothers her. It bothers me, too, but I just move to
another spot and try not to hear it. We’re not sure why it
bothers us, but it does. Don’t know why it doesn’t bother
people (but we actually have seen Helen jump a bit sometimes when she
hears a zap).
will need to get jackets out soon, as it is getting colder. We dawgs
actually like it this way, because the heat of summer really makes us
uncomfortable. But we probably have only a few more days to go
swimming….. oh, well……