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Dawgs - 2006
   
February 16, 2006
MAHLER
It has been a really mild winter so the window quilt in the dining area has been up quite a bit. With the trees cleared out, we can see squirrels and ducks. Dick has seen eagles fly by and sometimes sit in a tree. But I was outside when the eagle landed on the ground a few days ago. I watched it land and froze and did not make a sound or a move. I did not want to attract attention. Besides, it was the scariest bird that I ever seen, and it had a mean looking beak. It was accompanied by a what Dick called ‘a fighter plane escort’ -- a bird that was large and sleek - obviously designed for speed (whoops! - I mean "evolved for speed").

The weather is warm today and the road is dry, so Helen took us for a longer walk today. She fell on packed snow a few weeks ago, so we haven’t had many walks, and only short ones. We will just have to remind her to wear the grippers on her boots. Of course, we weren’t pulling at all….She’s really be very strict about pulling since the fall –just warning you, Don. When you come up next week, you’ll get jerked more than usual.

We are looking forward to your coming, Don, while the electrician rewires your house – I’m not sure what that means except that I know that everyone is in a cleaning frenzy to get things cleaned up and uncluttered at your place. Erik and Helen have been making so many trips to your place to help, and bring back unusual things. People collect so much stuff and then decide that they have to be neat about it. All we dawgs collect are toys and bones and balls -- and even these are ‘put away’ when people go on cleaning streaks. Guess that they get tired of tripping on our things, while they just walk by their stuff.

Helen watched the Westminster Dog Show a couple of nights ago. A golden retriever won the best in his group, but terrier won the best in show. Helen said that the goldens that win at these shows are usually the really blond ones with straight hair, and that they aren’t as pretty as I am. Maybe she is just prejudice. After all, my dad was a champion—and he had blond, straight fur.
Speaking of fur, we now have a ritual. I get ‘raked’ at the front door before being allowed inside after a walk. So does Don. It doesn’t seem to apply to Tess, but she sheds like we do. Not fair.

April 15, 2006
MAHLER
HAPPY EASTER AND PATRIOTS DAY
And Happy (?) April Showers

We just thought that we would get all of the greetings out at once.

I don’t know what Patriot’s Day is – Helen described it as a couple of men riding horses around Boston to warn people that some other people were coming to fight them. There were probably dogs running along with them – if there weren’t, there should have been. We could have really raised a raucous and woken more people up faster. Oh, well. Helen said that happened loooonnnnggg before we were born.

TESS
Since our last note, I had a tumor on her right ankle. It came up fast and needed to be taken out fast. I really didn’t feel much, just some pressure on my ankle and noticed a big bump. The doctor said that it had to be taken off before it got any bigger or there wouldn’t be enough skin to close the hole and cover my bone. After they cut it out, they put a bandage on the ankle for a week or so, and then I had to go back to have it checked and then to have the stitches taken out. Nice to get all of the attention at the doctor’s. I don’t even have a limp, just a bare band around my ankle until the fur grows back.

July 8, 2006
MAHLER
We have been busy. From April until Memorial Day, nature was really hopping in the backyard, toward the stream. There were as many as 7 turtles sunning on a couple of partially submerged tree trunks, the eagles—three different ones—flew by regularly and sometimes rested in our trees, the muskrats were swimming, there was a big red-headed wood pecker around for a few days. Not to mention the usual squirrels, chipmunks, and crows—oh, the crows have been so noisy and bold some days. We had to start putting the garbage out on the big plastic containers so the crows couldn’t rip holes in the bags—well, we didn’t do it; we just supervised our people doing it. And we didn’t even mention the birds that have nests around the house. The one over the front doorway is back. The first brood of 3 babies left the nest a few weeks ago. The mother left also, for about 2 weeks. But she’s back, and sitting on the nest again. Helen speaks to her as we go in and out the door for our walks. Imagine, talking to birds. (Oops, sorry Kira.)

But the nature scene all changed on Memorial Day weekend. We figure that the number of boats going by discouraged the turtles, and then there were the days of rain that made the stream rise so that their logs were mostly covered with water. But we didn’t mention the loons. They have moved down into our area from Horseshoe Pond, and we hear at least one almost daily. One night Dick even got Helen up in the middle of the night to hear their loud calling. We would have slept through it except for the people.

But the horse flies are out big-time this year. They really bother Tess and Helen, but ignore me. Helen has even started wearing a hat to keep them out of her hair. And the ticks have been bad this year for both dogs and Helen.

We really have to watch Helen carefully. Mahler likes to lie down by the tub when she is taking a shower. But one night he didn’t get up quickly enough and she turned out the lights and closed the door, leaving him in the bathroom for a couple of hours while she wondered where he was. And last night Tess followed her into the utility room when she was starting a wash. Lo and behold, Helen turned of the light, closed the door, and then wondered why Tess hadn’t come to bed. Dick rescued her a few minutes later after hearing her whimpering.

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