Holy Toledo Don’t Move

If you follow me, you know that I have a few dogs.  Mutt is the biggest of all three and the biggest chicken of them all.  This scaredy cat syndrome she has leads to a lot of uncontrolled barking.  My neighbors hate it and so do we.  My husband had threatened for years to buy one of those shocking dog collars for barking, but I forbade it.  All I could imagine was the ‘youtube’ video where the dude had the collar on and he barked.  Each time he barked louder and each time he was shocked with more intensity.   The poor guy was crying uncontrollable by the time he got it off.  NO WAY WAS THAT HAPPENING TO MY BABY GIRL. PERIOD.

Mutt is totally afraid of everything and everyone.  If she sees white on the ground, she refuses to go out.  It does not help that she was clobbered by a 2 foot avalanche of snow off the roof one year.  When she sees anything out in the yard that has not been there all her life, she spazzes out especially if it is black.  In out, in out, barking for one of us to come see what is in her space.  Fall is the worst.  Leaves…do I need to say more?  She has a dog door but you can forget about her using it after sun down.  In the rare cases she has tried to brave the night, she has high tailed it right back in with eyes as wide as apples, hair ruffled on her back, and barking to beat the band.  Heck, half the time she is running so fast and out of control to get back inside she misses the dog door completely and smacks her head into the door facing.  She is definitely my 80 pound chicken little.

One day I came home from work.  Hub was avoiding eye contact.  I knew something was up right then.  He only does this when he has done something he knows I would not approve of.  I looked all over for evidence to support my suspicion.  I found nothing.  As I was fixing dinner, I noticed Hub was becoming more fidgety and shifty eyed.  Hmmmmm.  I served dinner and all were in attendance except Mutt.

MUTT.  I look at Hub. Not a word escaped his lips.   He had that deer in the head light look.   I got up and looked out the back door.  There was Mutt in the corner of the yard pressed against the fence.  She was just sitting there not doing anything.  I opened the door and called her in.  She came walking on her tip toes.  What the heck was going on?  I asked Hub if he had beaten my dog.  He looked at me as if I had asked him if he’d killed one of my kids.  “Of course not!” he said with disgust.  Mutt comes in with a mixture of calm and defeat.  I thought maybe she was sick.  I resumed eating.

It was not until later that night I realized she had not uttered a sound all evening.  She went out and came back in without incident.  What in the world was going on?  I called her over to the couch.  She jumped up and laid her head in my lap. And that is when I saw IT.  Hubs had gone and bought that shock collar!  I throw my evil eye upon him and he immediately started with his defense.

He pointed out the fact that we had not heard a peep out of her all night.  (evil eye).  He pointed out that she has calmed down to a normal dog’s energy. (slight evil eye).  And the most important thing was the collar seemed to have a calming affect on her that made her a bit braver and more confident.  (Are you kidding me?  Huge Evil Eye!).  He gave me a little cockeyed smile.  I went to take it off but he forbade me.  Oh boy, but I went along with it.  I was going to trash it as soon as he went to sleep.  However, something happened that night.  She did seem a bit more confident.  She went in and out the door with ease.  No barking and no frightened looks.  It was as if this collar was protecting her at all times.  I’m sure in her mind everything around her was getting shocked too and therefore nothing would dare move or grab her.  I did not throw it away.

Next morning, I asked him about her reaction to the collar.  He said she was barking her fool head off at something, probably a falling leaf.  He put the collar on and walked back inside.  She started to bark again and got a surprise!  It shocked her and he said she yelped.  She tried it one more time, yelped, then never barked again.  It broke my heart to hear this but she was being quiet and acting very content.

Over the years she has become friends with it.  She knows the collar gives her more freedom and willingly comes to you to put it on.  (we can let her out without fear of the neighbors complaining)   You can even ask her where it is and she will look around the room as if she is really looking for it.  She has figured out she can bark but only intermittently.  The collar gives her a couple of times before it shocks. Please don’t think of this as cruel the why I did at first.  We give her the bark time she need to be queen of the back yard and, at least for my dog, it has helped her and us so much.  Now to the reason I started this story.

Jeff, our Pomeranian, has a vocabulary of about a billion barks. He loves to continually show off his aptitude.  Today was an extremely vocal day for Jeff and Hub had reached his limit.  He snatched the collar off Mutt.  She gave him a surprised look.  He then proceeded to adjust the size to fit Jeff.  No! No! I yelled. Mutt started walking in circles.  I kept telling Hub he was too little.  It would hurt him.  But Hub continued with his mission.  Before you knew it, Jeff was sporting a new shocking device around his tiny little neck.

I was freaking out.  Hub started laughing and I looked at him with contempt only to see him pointing at Mutt.  Mutt was sitting on the couch reared back with the whites of her eyes showing.   She and Jeff had locked gazes.   Her ears were lying down and she was so still she was not even breathing.  It looked as if she were telepathically warning Jeff not to make a sound or make a move.  And Jeff obeyed her every telepathic thought.  He stood there frozen stiff.  It was as if she had told him all about that collar.  He never made a peep.  And she never took her googly eyes off of him.  After a few minutes of laughter, from both of us, Hub felt sorry for him because he told me to take it off.  I did and off he went out the dog door to educate the backyard critters with his verbal skills. All I can say is I sure am glad the boy knows how to keep his mouth shut when it counts.


Until next time remember this: When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person, err, dog who can live in peace with others.


Fundamental Fridays: Everybody Dies Famous In A Small Town


I know I am late Sorry. 😉


I love living in a small town but sometimes I just want to escape.  Like when the cattle trucks come through our little village and stop at the gas station across the street from me.  It does not take long for the cows to start mooing.  They are calling out to me.  They know I’m here and they can feel my pity for them.  They are mooing my name Ruuuuuuth, Ruuuuuuuth over and over again.  They sound so scared, pitiful  and helpless. Don’t get me wrong I am a steak eater but I am an animal lover more, especially to the ones that know my name.  On more than one occasion I have thought about sneaking over there and unlatching the door.  I would shout be free, run free, get the heck out of that truck don’t you know what is coming?  I have gone as far as to walk outside to get a better look see and strategize my plans.

Some ideas are….

1.  Wait until the driver goes inside to get his cup of coffee then creep over to the truck and open the door. Then run like heck back to the store where I work.  I could fake it when the local PoPo ask me if I saw anything.  I could tell them  a band of very tiny forest people  stood on one another shoulders to release the bovine.  Then I would have my friends claim I was insane and I don’t know what I was talking about much less where I am at.

2.  Wait until the driver goes to get his coffee and a burrito then race over like The Flash and blow the lock with c4.  Okay you got me I have no idea what c4 is other than it is an explosive they have used on NCIS.  More than likely I would blow up the cows and that would defeat my purpose.  But what a heck of a steak and shake party that would be. What am I saying?

3.  Wait until the driver goes in to get his cup of coffee, burrito and uses the bathroom.  Run over pick the lock then one at a time guide each cow into one of my storage units that are right next door to the gas station.  Of the ones that can’t fit, I could tie them up in peoples yards.  I can put straw hats and spots on them to make them look like yard art.

4.  Wait until the driver goes into get his cup of coffee, burrito, uses the bathroom and flirt with the little ladies that work there.  Unhitch the trailer and hook it to my truck.  Haul them off to a undisclosed field where they can be happy and roam the country side  never more to worry.

The only thing that stops me is the thought of having to face Hubs.  Oh and I guess my friends might have a few words to say like :”ARE YOU CRAZY?” and “I just don’t know who you are anymore!”  The Daughter would hang her head in shame. I would get a reputation of being a cow hugger (that I would not mind).  Do they still hang people for cattle rustling?

I think I will just invest in a great pair of ear plugs.  I can pop them in as soon as I hear/smell the truck coming.  All I know is that I have to do something or one day you all will be seeing a headline about a crazed woman that reads, “Who let the cows out? WHO WHO WHO WHO?”


Now this story may or may not have been amusing but if truth be known…I REALLY DO WANT TO LET THE COWS OUT.

aMusing Mondays: Waterfall?

Last summer the weathercaster promised a meteor shower. A meteor shower in itself is not uncommon to see up here in the mountains. What made this time different was my daughter’s cousin was visiting for the summer. Living in a big city he had never seen anything other than the moon and a hand full of stars in the sky. I was hoping this could be an experience that he would carry with him long into his adulthood.

We waited until late in the evening then went to the backyard to watch the show.  Living in the Lincoln National Forest has a way of limiting your view of the sky, as in way too many trees.  So, we took a couple of throw blankets, jumped in the car and headed toward the highway to find a better spot. We found that space at the end of our lot. We parked and rolled down the windows. Out the windows the kids plopped landing on the roof and hood. Apparently, it was a new moon because there was NO moon light anywhere. I held my hand up in front of my face and I could not see it.  To say it was dark, would be an understatement. On occasion a car would come by and we could get our bearings as to where we were and what was around us.

As we settled down, it got quiet, eerily quiet. A car passed and we noticed a few flying creatures. After a brief discussion we determined they had to be bats. “That’s cool, bat’s are awesome.  They fly so funny.  I like those vampire bats the best.  Yeah they suck blood!”, were just a few of the comments the kids made.  Then silence as we sat waiting on the show…in the dark.  Somewhere in the distance we heard a coyote howling.  Minutes later another one answers then the stillness filled in the moment.  In the quiet darkness, my mind started thinking about those bats with their big fangs and bloody mouths.   Apparently, I was not the only one thinking about them because all three of us found different reasons to sit in the car until we could see the meteors. Sp Sp Spooky.

Shortly there after, the show began and we jumped out to watch. It was not the best shower I had ever seen but it was awesome for the kids. I would hear lots of ooohhs and aaaahhs as they shot across the sky. In between the showers, it would become quiet again and the thought of the bats would return. In the dark you could hear the rearranging of bodies. Our finale viewing spot was the car door windows half in half out…you know, just in case.

We were sitting there waiting on the next shooting star and I was thinking what a great night it was turning out to be. Soon I heard cousin say he heard a waterfall. I think WHAT? We have very little  water up here on the mountain much less a waterfall anywhere around us.  Daughter and I are racking our brains to remember where there might be water in our neighborhood. There is no mistaking the sound of running water and we all heard falling water. We listened for a bit then it hits me. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!. I could not stop laughing long enough to tell them what it was. Finally, a car comes by and I show them what was making the noise. That waterfall…. was the horse across the highway with bladder issues which went on and on and on. We all started laughing uncontrollably. Then cousin said lets go home I got to make a waterfall too.

Oh and that memory I was hoping to make was not exactly the one that I was wishing for, but it has been forever etched in our minds. Tee Hee. It did turn out to be one of the best nights ever.

aMusing Mondays: UCC

Thank you all, for the well wishes concerning my dad.  A better community of people I could not have ask for.  My father has good and bad days but I don’t see him getting to go home.  He has terminal cancer and has been told he could possible live as long as a year if he gets Chemo.  He has started treatment.  This treatment causes days upon days of time loss for him, considerable pain and hallucinations.  This is causing unbelievable stress on him.  But each and every time he opens his eyes he is so grateful to still be alive.

Now on to aMusing Mondays: UCC

Back around the beginning of winter 2010, I discovered I had a mystery on my hands. It seemed every time I would put out the bird feeders they would be completely emptied by morning. The suet container would also be completely empty. This being my first year to feed the birds, I was at a loss to what was going on. At first, I thought it was a bear. Then I decided it had to be  something much smaller. My feeders were in disarray not destroyed.  Plus the suet feeder looked as if it were gently opened and emptied. A bear would have broken the whole thing, (dainty, bears are not). I would have to keep an eye opened for this UCC (unidentified crawling critter).

The next night I had a fire going.  After a couple of hours, the house was so hot I had to cracked the window.  My dogs started smelling the crisp air through the window.  Within seconds, they were raising cane. I got up, turned on the light and looked on the porch. At first, I did not see anything but scattered seed all across the porch. I kept my seed in a huge 5 gallon bucket with a tricky child proof lid. I thought it has to be a bear! It takes all I have to get that top open and I have thumbs!. Then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something about the size of a small dog disappear around the corner of the house.

A trap was set up the next night with suet as the bait. I still did not know for sure what it was but the trap I had would surely do the job. The next morning the bait was gone but no critter. The same thing would happen night after night. WHY? WHY? This has never failed before. A few nights later my dogs are going at it again. You would have thought big foot himself was on the porch. I quickly flipped on the light. I was totally taken back by the scene that was unfolding right in front of me.

RACCOONS all over the place! Over on the wicker couch was the big Kahuna laid back and relaxed belly full and poking out. I swear, I could have easily seen a cigar in his mouth and giving directions in his best godfather voice… that’s if I had had a few glasses of wine. Over on the coffee table was another one watching with anticipation rubbing his little hands together fast at first then slow. He looked as if he were from the movie Frankenstein. He would have been Igor the doctor’s assistant. Add another glass of wine and I could have easily seen him mouthing “Yes master.” And on the rail was the largest of them all, the bruiser the blockhead the lookout. His head was darting back and forth so fast you would have thought he was watching a tennis match. Apparently, he took his job seriously. On top of the cage was a rather hefty raccoon holding up the switch plate which held the bait in place so not to trip the trap. Inside was a little toot grabbing the goods. He was not at all above taste testing the fruits of his labor. His face and hands were covered in suet. His hands were so greasy that he couldn’t hold the package long enough to get it out. It was one of the strangest sights I have ever seen.

At first, the light caught them so off guard that they did not even think to skedaddle. Soon my dogs caught wind of the raccoons and tried to fly through the windows at them. The coons quickly decided to abandon their mission. Blockhead was scrambling on the rail as if to shout ABORT! ABORT! run you fools. Igor…GONE without a trace. Godfather Kahuna, turned to the window and with a grunt got up and walked away with nary a look back. The two at the trap were the funniest of all. Toot’s hands were so greasy that he could not easily turn himself around in the cage to run. Hefty was still holding the plate. He could have let go but his buddy Toot would have been trapped.  After what seemed like 5 minutes, Hefty looked at us with what appeared to be smile on his face. It was a little apologetic, a little scared, and a lot of please don’t kill me. Moments later, Toot was  out.  They ran off the porch and around the corner.  Then without looking back Blockhead jumped off the rail back feet first. It reminded me of a paratrooper jumping out of a plane and then he was gone.

Since that time we have had several sightings of raccoon’s sitting on the porch all stretched out and enjoying their evening.  I guess it all comes with living in the forest.


aMusing Monday…..Oh My, Hurry Hurry Honey

One evening a couple of years ago, I was sitting in the living room watching TV. My husband was in the den fully engaged with something on the computer and my daughter was in her room doing homework, well that is what she was told to do. As I sat there watching TV, I heard a huge thud on the large picture window, which was right behind my head. My first thought was, ‘That was a huge bird.’ Then I thought it was a bat but it was the middle of winter no way would a bat be out now. I then settled on an owl. That had to be it. It was a big thunk certainly as big as a very large owl. I got up to satisfy my curiosity. And to administer any kind of help I could give to that poor, poor little creature.

I flipped on the porch light. I immediately noticed the porch was illuminated but the door area was dark. Dang maybe one of the lights burned out, no bother, for now my attention was on the little owl. I ran around the couch and over to the big window. I looked out but I didn’t see it. I looked and looked but nothing was out there. That seemed impossible to me. That owl hit that window so hard it made me think the glass could have shattered or it could have been knocked out. Maybe it was under the wicker couch on the porch….it had to be. While looking for the bird I saw that the light near the door had not burned out. It was as bright as the other two lights that were shining on the porch. Weird!

I decided to go on the porch and check under the couch. Not only was it cold, we still had snow on the ground. That little creature would freeze to death if left out there. I ran around the couch again to the door. All of a sudden I noticed the door was still dark. What the heck? I leaned back to view the picture window…. lights were on but yet the door was dark. My dogs were GOING crazy. I leaned into the beveled glass to try to see what the problem was. All I saw was my dog’s hair reflecting in the glass. I decided I would deal with the light issue as soon as I got the bird taken care of. I turned the lock on the door knob and preceded to open the door when all of a sudden this huge shadow moved and light started pouring in the front door’s beveled window. OMG what just happened? I left the door shut and ran to the front window again. And there it was! No, not a bat nor a bird not even an owl, it was a huge black BEAR!!!!!!!!!! And it wanted in my house! More precisely, it wanted me! I ran to the den shouting BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! my husband was still so involved working on the computer that he never even looked up….”okay” is all he said. UGH! I ran back to the porch window. The bear was now standing straight up and looking at me…ME! I screamed BEAR! BEAR! BEAR! and ran to get my daughter. She was all involved in her ‘homework’ which was really a computer game and her response was “okay mom in a minute”. I ran back to the window. I did not see it anywhere but I did noticed the door was dark again. I ran to it, all the while screaming BEAR BEAR BEAR THERE IS A BEAR ON THE PORCH. OH MY HURRY HURRY HONEY!…. no one responded. I checked out the beveled door’s window. OMG that was not the dog’s hair reflected in the glass. IT WAS THE BEAR’S HAIR AND HE IS TRYING TO TEAR THE DOOR DOWN! Now I am screaming so loud even my dogs can’t compete and they head for the bedroom with tails tucked. I look out the window again…bear is on the move…to the BACK YARD! I have a doggie door. It is not big enough for the “BEAR” to get in but its head or paw could get in. I run to get the dog door cover located behind my husband’s chair and slide it into place.

It was about then my hubby looks up and says, “What are you doing?” I scream “A BEAR, A BEAR IS TRYING TO GET IN THE HOUSE!” “What?”, he says with a dazed and confused look on his face. Then it hit him and he sprang into action. He ran to the front window and said, “There is no bear out there.” “DUH! I KNOW THAT!”, I said, “It went around the back!” He runs to the back and opens …..THE DOOR! He is nuts and I am not waiting to see what happens.  I run for the bedroom with the dogs. Along the way I pass my daughter in the hall and yell, “A BEAR!”. After what seems like at least 15 minutes all was calm when I came back out. There was no bear anywhere. I guess he went to our neighbors. Daughter was back in her room and hubby was back working on the computer. They were notimpressed.  And you know why?  Because they NEVER saw a THING!  The dogs were still traumatized and in hiding under the covers and I was left with an exciting memory of an owl, I mean “BEAR!”

Who knew that bears wake up early around here?

Oh! and the next morning I saw the big old paw print that he smacked the window with. It was at the same height as my head would have been sitting in the chair!!! Thank God for thick glass.

Until next time


“Well behaved women rarely make history!”  Mae W.