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The Digger Effect

April 26, 2018 Leave a comment
digger_small0418

“Digger” (c)Lawrence A Capozzolo

Archaeologists? Public utilities workers? Construction types?

What’s this about?

It’s about “Digger”, a ground hog that thinks he’s protecting our garden basically by eating it.

Digger stopped in with his parents a few years ago. They looked cute together all munching on my 2 1/2 foot zucchini. Actually it was one of the twelve growing at the time, so honestly I really didn’t care too much. I wanted to leave them alone, as I figured they would go away after getting their fill, but I did need to get some tomatoes for pasta sauce. Well, as soon as I opened the gate the parents fled instantly – they’ve been around long enough to know how to bolt our of the garden quickly. Unfortunately Digger was young enough to be clueless. It was sad seeing this baby of a ground hog scared stiff watching it’s parents run down the hill. Digger had a look in his eyes that clearly said, “Mom …. Dad …. ummmmm ……. I think you forgot about me.” I seem to remember things happening like this when I worked in malls in the late 80s.

After his parents made it all the way down the hill and out of sight … Digger scurried around to look directly at me with his eyes basically saying, “please don’t eat me”. He was about the size of my fist at the time. A few minutes later with me not making much of a move, Digger seemed relaxed enough for me to approach and get a chance to guide him out of the garden. Even when I tried to nudge him out, he stayed still … he was comfortable enough to eat a bit in front of me, but not enough to follow my encouragement towards the exit. I decided to leave the entrance open and hope that no deer would come into the garden and damage it. I was thinking his parents would come back to take him home.

When I checked later that night, Digger was still in the garden and in the same general area – no parents had shown, even with no people present. I physically nudged Digger our the door with my hand little by little until he was in the grass. He didn’t seemed stressed and actually sniffed my shoes a few times. After a while with me watching him from our sun room, he decided to explore down the hill where he noticed his parents going last. I figured I’d see the three of them together later the next day.

Well, no parents the next day, and Digger was foraging himself … he seemed to get along OK. At some point I knew he would pick things up and survive … probably meeting with his parents in the process. I was wrong … I’d see him every day out in the field, with no family … they seemed to have abandoned him. This seemed sad, but I guessed it was just part of nature.

One day a little while after all of this happened I was sitting at the entrance of our sun room, I heard a noise in the flowers next to me. It was Digger. He, so slowly, came over to me and started sniffing my shoes (he did that once on the garden before I guided him out). He then sniffed the other one, put his paws on my leg and looked up at me – almost if to say “thank you”. He occasionally showed up in the yard and seemed to recognize me and my family. More than once I’ve seen him walk past and next to our dog. They really didn’t seem to mind and almost seemed to know each other as sort of friends.

Digger has hung around our house for years now …. causing no damage (believe me, we check). He always seems to stop and look at us as if to say “Hi” and go about his business. He has slowly become part of out family (I’ve even seen him sunning himself once on top of our dog – it was amusing). Our original dog, Brandy is really relaxed, so I’m not sure this will continue of the new retriever sees him … but we’ll see. You never know what dog communicate to each other about their other furry friends outside.

This almost reminds me of a very old show called Grizzly Adams. The animals in that show easily existed with the humans around them …

Maybe we can learn a bit from the?

-SWB

PS.  We’re pretty sure that Digger thinks he’s a dog now. He looks at people like they should toss him treats. Also … he doesn’t like Phil (he was irritated with the length of winter this year).

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Furballs N Things

April 19, 2018 Leave a comment

petunia_small_framedYep … We’re suckers.

We? (My Wife, Step-Kid, and Myself … and yes, I know that’s grammatically incorrect).

Some time last October (2017), we decided to adopt a friend for our rescue who was then about 9 1/2 years old. With all of us now out working (yes, my teen has a job), even with Dad in our house now – Brandy needed a friend.

Well, great …. Brandy got a friend. Wooohoooo! Yep, didn’t know what we were getting into.

Trouble dog? Nope – love’s everyone (as long as her food bowl is safe) – especially if you give her snuggles.

Doesn’t like the new home? Nope …. works out great for her (as you can see in the pic).

So what’s the issue? …

Fur …….. lots ……. of ……… fur.

So far we’ve had a Basenji/Lab mix and a Beagle/Boxer mix.

Basenji/Lab … occasional shedding.

Beagle/Boxer … it happens, but you don’t really notice it.

Golden/Something mix …… holy ****!!!!! …… basically to date we’ve needed to be rescued by the fire department at least twice due to the overnight shedding build up.

In the middle of the night I hear my wife “….. no air ….. all fur ….. can’t breath …. help ………. gasp”

So, what should we do?

We’ve has the following ideas:

  1. Place her in a bag covering everything but her head so the can breath and permanently attached it to a vacuum cleaner, continually vaccing up the fur.
  2. Spray all of her fur (less her face) in a concentrated Aquanet coating (heck …. it worked for the big hair ladies in the 80s).
  3. Old fashioned Nair treatment (it’s been working for humans since the 40’s).

……. Note: for all of the pet lovers that will freak out about the statements about (please exclude yourself if you are a normal pet lover) … no, we are going to take any action on any of the ideas above. Our cat has advised us that the alternative resolution to our problem is for her to train us on how to hack up hairballs (and to buy an industrial vac).

… Groan

-SWB

The Mascot, The Poodle, Stereotypes, and the quest for readership

September 13, 2016 Leave a comment

brandycmYou guessed it … it had to happen … one of the pets of a SWB writer became the mascot.

Was this because of the old, wise-dog look of an 8.5 year old pup?

No.

Was it because she did something terrible, like eating the toy poodle sitting next to her and we’re trying to clear her name?

Possibly.

Here’s the truth … we’ll stoop as low as possible to get readership … as most blog owners will. It’s just reality. When you are competing against tens of thousands of other writers than can’t write, along with another ten thousand legitimate journalists with blogs, resorting to a pic of a cute pup enjoying the day at an outdoor coffee shop works …

at least with the women (yes, that was a sexist statement … we know it … but it’s true, so we’re still using it). We couldn’t find a football to stick next to the dog, so we know the guys will care less about the post (stereotypes are our thing).

No we didn’t feed the dog coffee, well … at least we didn’t until she held the poodle hostage.

Hmm …. actually, maybe we should have let her keep the poodle as a hostage as leverage to see if we could get her signed as the mascot for the Riverhounds (oh wait … they don’t make enough money yet). Maybe we can get a deal with the Steelers … on the other hand, they already have a dog (Ben).

We need a sports team that wants a mascot so I can make a ton of money off the last few years of this animal, buy a new house, and stop writing this crap.

Maybe the Pirates (they’re resembling a country dog now …. lay on porch, do nothing).

… or the Penguins (wait …. I can’t pick on them – Mario only lives a mile from where I’m writing this, and he’s bigger than I am).

Dreams.

Yes … she ate the poodle – said it tasted like cat hair.

-SWB

P.S. We hope you enjoyed the mindless sanctuary your brain went into when you were reading this – it will help your therapist enjoy your next session.

P.S. P.S. PLEASE tell your friends you actually read this garbage … the more people we dumb down, the smarter our blog looks 🙂   Cool, huh? Modern marketing at work.

The Dumb, The Smart, and The Cute

April 3, 2009 Leave a comment

brandyday1You’ve seen this pic on a post before ….. it’s one of my pets. It’s not the smart one either (we’ll give you the humorous details in another post someday). My other dog is 90% basenji, which is the oldest known domesticated breed. She’s about as smart as a 1 1/2 year old child. She likes to bark at everyone through the windows, but will hide behind me if you walk up to us out in the open. The dog in the picture only barks if my basenji barks. Other than that she eats, sleeps, and pees (finally outside and not on the floor). Needless to say, she get classified as the “dumb” one. We have a cat too, she’s smart, but more or less get classified as “cute”. BTW – the brown one in the picture is a boxer-mix.

Why did I write about this, which is more of less useless information? Well, all of the animals mentioned were rescued in some way. Whether “dumb”, “smart”, or “cute” all pets need someone to care for them, especially the forgotten ones. Tippy, my basenji was acquired from a basenji/lab mix littler being given away at flea market. Brandy, our boxer mix was acquired will at PetSmart when we went for dog food (she was a stray that spent a month in a dog shelter). Skittles, my wife’s cat was acquired from a shelter also.

So with spring and Easter coming … your children will probably start asking for a cute, furry companion. Consider adopting or rescuing a pet. It gets them a home, out of a small confining cage, and you a pal for your children (and maybe yourself). Pet adoption also helps put the puppy and pet mills out of business.

Advice, though:

  • Pet adoption is not an “impulse buy” – think it out or you may mentally hurt the animal more that it already is.
  • When you are considering a pet, try to see if you can do that around allot of people. If the pet can get along with allot of people at once and not freak or be visibly scared – that’s a sign that the pet is stable.
  • Consider your financial situation when adopting a pet – if you can’t give it the basics, it’s not any better with you than at the shelter.

-SWB

PS – Weasels can be pets too …. albeit a little dirty and annoying.