My Big O’ Redneck Dog

Well by now you have met my dog Mutt, the wonder hound, as in I wonder what that button do?  She is of course my key to all things strange.  A chicken at heart but a watch dog when needed, (OMG liar, liar pants on fire).   A courteous eater with all others of the pack feed first and not a drop on the floor, (burn baby burn).  A toy sharing mongrel  that would give her last toy to her siblings, (is that the devil I see coming?)

Okay, okay, she is a typical dog with typical jealousies.  She is extremely curious which has led to her being lost in the neighborhood for half a day, a million holes dug to find the critter that her big sis loved to eat, hours spent investigating leaves that fall to the ground .  Objects that have been moved from one place to the other fascinates her to no end.   And if there are any black objects that have magically appeared, ANYWHERE, you had better hold your ears because she will let you know it is there until  the alien of the dark side has been removed!    Then there is the, at one time, new washer and dryer.  She still watches it daily.  It holds a hypnotic power that can transform her from a hyper little 5-year-old to a sleepy old gussy. And this is where the redneck comes into play.

Mr. Moody’s recliner was the most used piece of furniture in the house.  All three dogs had their own con-caved perches on varies spots of the chair with Mr. M in the center. The smallest one on the arm, next one was located at the top of the head rest and the big dog’s spot was wedged in beside the master, but she hated to share.  Her ideal squatting spot was dead center and stretched out head to toe.  She would actually look at you and whine until you came over to recline the chair for her optimal comfort.  Both she and M, had worn the snuginess right out of the chair.  Holes as big as babies bottoms were worn between the seat and back.  Springs were poking where springs should not poke but her love for that chair was unmatched by any other piece of furniture.  So you could just imagine her surprise when the Mister came home with a great big object.

She watched him push, pull, and tug her little cloud of comfort out of its spot.  She then saw him struggle, drag, and scoot a rather large dark (but not black) thing into its position.  And that position was right where her old comfy sleeping station was just moments before.  Mr. M said she had her misgivings.  She crept up to it like it was alive.  When he pulled the lever to show her it reclined she shot out of the house like it was a feral cat  coming after her.

When I got home I was surprised to see the new VERY large double recliner.  It was nice and he could not wait to show me it was built for two.  In reality, it was made for two skinny people or one Mr. M and one large dog, but we managed to squeeze in together.  SuzieQ was barking and wanting up with us.  Jeff was already in his usual spot minus his cozy nest like feel.  Big girl was nowhere to be found.  Later that evening Mutt was still MIA.  I called her but she did not come in.  I looked out the back door and there she was.  She was back in her element, her comfy zone.

Ya see, Mr Moody moved the old chair on the back porch until the weekly trash run.  Mutt found it and staked her claim as full owner of the redneck backyard porch recliner.  Yes my dog is a redneck dog and loves it.  I know we should remove the porch recliner but it would just break her heart.  She has tried to share Mr. M’s new chair but he keeps shooing her out of it.  Rotation of newchairSo the back porch chair will stay, at least until fall.  For the time being, my big old redneck dog can enjoy life once again.

Rotation of oldchair

You might have a redneck dog if  your canine likes to help you load the dish washer by licking clean each plate before it lands in the machine!

You might have a redneck dog if  “shot gun” means riding in the back of the pickup truck.

You might have a redneck dog if “Flying American” means its ears are flapping in the wind while riding “shot gun” on the highway.

And finally, you might have a redneck dog if it has its own recliner on the back porch of its very nice home.

Later Y’all

Ruthie

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aMusing Mondays: Taste Like Chicken

In 2005 Hubs, The Daughter, Son2 and three dogs moved into our family built home. At first, we had construction ground. Ya know, dirt, grass, dirt, grass, bump, tree, dirt, grass, etc. My father in law did all the excavating and to his credit he left more grass than dirt. This lead to a full grass lawn within a year. And that is when it all began.

One afternoon Hubs and I were cutting the grass. Every time I got off the mower, I would fall into a hole. These holes would always have an underground tunnel attached to them which was evident from the turned up dirt on top of the ground. Some of the holes were small and some, like the ones I kept falling in, were huge. I could not figure out what type of animal would make both large and small holes. Finally, I decided it had to be moles. Being from the south, that was a critter I was familiar with. However, these trails were so much longer and wider than what I had been accustomed to. I hike a lot around my neighborhood and I would spot thousands of tiny holes with underground trails attached to them. DANG! We were infested. When I hike I almost always take my dogs, Mutt, Jeff and Lucy. They love to go any place outside and I like their awareness, it keeps me on my toes.

This particular day I was trying to get home before the rain started. I was hootin’ and hollerin’ for the dogs to keep up. As I got to our driveway, I looked around for the them. They were no where to be found. Lucy was my oldest, at 17 pounds she was one of the smallest, and the love of my life. We were perfectly in sync with each other so for her to not be at my side was unusual. There had been some sightings of mountain lions close to our neighborhood and I was not about to lose one or both of my dogs like that. I had to back track. They were not on the road so that meant getting back in to the woods. I followed my footsteps back until I spotted them, well one of them. As I turned the bend, I noticed Lucy jumping up and down into the air then she would dart back and forth like an out of control wind up toy. I could see her stop and run back over to the other dog, Mutt, and soon after it would start all over again. I had never seen either of my dogs act like this before so to say I approached cautiously would be an accurate statement. As I got closer, I saw my Lucy covered in dirt. I’m not talking ’bout a little dirt; I’m talking dirt stuck to her wet nose, in her runny allergy eyes, in her ears and all over her body. It was stuck to and in every cavity she had. Then I saw why she was in such a state. My big dog, 70 pound Mutt, was digging in the dirt like a high speed auger. Dirt was flying as far as four feet back and at least 2 feet high. I watched them for a while to try to figure out what they were after. I would notice that every time Mutt would tire the little one, Lucy, would run to the big hole and start sniffing. It was not one of those dainty sniff, sniff, kind of sniffs. It was the kind that you would see on the cartoons. Ya’ know, the animal would sniff the hole so hard it would suck up everything under the ground into its nose. Hence, all the dirt on her nose, which was now caked so thick that she’d lost her nostrils. As soon as they saw me, they went into a frenzy. Mutt jumped up and started digging like the wind with an occasional pause to see if I were watching her. Lucy was running after the dirt trying to catch it in mid-air. Then all of a sudden I saw some kind of critter fly by as if it had been shot out of a cannon. Lucy was all ready in flight when she caught it. Then she ran like the devil under a bush. Big dog, Mutt, had no idea that Lucy had claimed the prize and was off enjoying the fruits of Mutt’s labor. Mutt was still digging, digging and Lucy was munching, munching. It was not long before Mutt stopped to smell the hole. Immediately her head pops UP and she looks around for Lucy. She knew she had been duped. She starts running in circles trying to find her. Soon they were both in the bushes. Out they came, Lucy was caring what looked like a big ole’ fat tailless rat with Mutt hot on her paws. I made her stop and drop. UGH! A half eaten something. It looked like a grayish, stubby tailed ratlike-thingy. I gave Lucy the go ahead and by the time we got home she had eaten it all. Poor Mutt couldn’t do a thing but watch all of her hard work go down Lucy’s throat. Lucy was looking at Mutt, with those cute twinkly eyes, as if to say, “Tastes like chicken.”

After I got home, I asked Hubs what the heck it was. He called it a Vole. It turns out these critters eat tree roots. They leave hundreds, if not thousands, of holes and trails all through your yard. It is suggested that a trap be used to catch them. Or you can use poison….UGH! Or you can do like me and turn your dogs on them. No yucky traps to empty, no killing of innocent critters with the poison, just good old fun for your dogs. You may even experience a decrease in your pet food budget. Of course, there is that little “large holes to fall into” problem. But hey, the dogs are happy.

A sad note: Kazooie, aka Lucy, died November 20, 2010. It is a hard thing to lose one’s shadow. I still love, remember, and miss her antics. The best dog I ever had. I love you sweet baby girl.

Fundamental Fridays: Love you through it <3

Although my dad passed from stomach cancer the true meaning of this song applies.  He was scared but I think we loved him through it.  Open the following site  if you would like to listen while you read I’m going to love you through it.

As I sit across from my dad’s hospital bed, I think back over the years of how strong and bigger than life he has always been to me.  I think of the times he would drop me off at school because I could not wake up on time.  How the one time in my life I reached out for my mom he stepped in and held my hand.  He gave me the courage to accept the reality of it all.  I think how I could not remember one single day in my dad’s life he was sick in bed.  He did have a heart attack very early in life but came out of the hospital fit as a fiddle after surgery. He changed his life style.   He was not even fazed.  He and I were never close when I was growing up.  I was a bit of a handful, more than he or mom could handle; and apparently, that started at age two when I ran away and the police found me about a mile away. I do not remember this, but no one ever let me forget it.

A few years ago my dad found himself helping to take care of Susan, a young woman and a victim of MS.  Her death had a profound affective on my dad.  So much so, it changed his life and a new relationship between us was born.  For eight years we called each other daily.  I felt he was projecting his feelings for Susan but I did not care.  I had my dad in my life.  What I thought was a fad, turned out to be a true and unending love.  Everyday for eight years we talked emailed or face booked.  He wrote a piece on FB that explained why the economy was tanking.  Then called to tell me that politicians were reading his post because he just heard a presidential candidate speech that repeated his post word for word.

My dad was wise, but yet, a bit naive, strong but gentle,  a wise cracker but kind, a man among men, a man with humor, an entertainer, a breakfast cooking fool. A man that raised and loved a son that turned out to be a most wonderful father and husband. He was a loving grandfather that would love so hard he inspired his oldest grandson to greatness as well.  He loved and prayed for a grandson that finally found his way, a granddaughter he thought the world of and praised her artistic talents.  He found hope and happiness in his other grandsons too. He took such pride in their athletic abilities, their intelligence as well as their creativity.   He was a great-grandfather to 4 awesome kids.  But most of all, my dad was a compass, a beacon of light for a little girl lost, that would be me.

In the end, my daddy put forth such an effort to live.  One that would rival any championship boxer, any basketball team even U of M, any sports team on earth.  My dad was one of two known people to survive an acute yeast infection in the blood according to the team of doctors he had. He made his doctors and surgeons cry.   He made his nurses hold on to one another. He made his family cling to one another. He had the love of his life and in the end she let him know how much she loved him.   He wanted to live more than any person I have ever known.  He did not want to leave my brother,  his daughter in law who stayed with him and cared for him just as hard as his own children, his grandsons, his granddaughter, his great grandkids,  his two precious doggies that got him through the day Susan and Gizmo and  his daughter (me).

My daddy, I love you and I thank you for giving me life, for loving me for who I turned out to be warts and all.  I pray we brought you comfort and enough courage to pass on to your next adventure.  We wanted to be with you every minute so you would not die alone.  I pray we loved you through it.

 

Wait at the gate for me daddy for it is you I want to see when I get there.

My daddy started the fundamental me.  My Daddy, my life,  November 16, 1932 to October 13, 2011  Passed from  Colon/Stomach Cancer. .

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 Mondays – Wishy Washy

A while back my washing machine started making funny noises.  It would cough, crawl and leave little wee wee spots all over the floor.  Mutt would head straight out the doggie door as soon as she saw me with the clothes basket.    This kind of stuff freaked her out.  Well, I didn’t need a crystal ball to tell me a new bill was in my future.  I decided to go all out.  I got a brand spanking new front end loader with, get this, the matching dryer.  Kelly Rippa would be proud of me.  I too can come home from a long days work, strip, throw the “worn all day” clothes in the dryer’s REFRESH cycle and out they come smelling clean just as her commercial promises.

Mutt was so excited to see them pull out the old machine and very curious as to what was coming in.  It took 4 guys to get them in and set them up.  Apparently, the washer has 800 pounds of weight attached to the bottom.  Delivery dude said it’s needed to keep the machine from doing cartwheels while in the spin cycle. Hmm.   As soon as they left, I grabbed the clothes basket and out the door went Mutt.  I turned it on and saw that it would take TWO hours to wash!  What is that all about?  How can this be energy efficient?  My old rock and roll washer only took about 25 minutes to wash anything.  I sat and watched it for a minute then came to the conclusion it was saving on water, not electricity.

After a while, I noticed Mutt was no where to be seen.  I went to call her at the back door and caught a glimpse of her in the laundry room.  She was sitting in front of the washer watching the clothes through the front door window.      She was mesmerized, in a trance of some sort.  Soon it kicked into spin.  She stood up with her back  hackled.  She was ready to bolt.  Her head was just a-weaving back and forth.  It started making a whistling sound as it hit full spin and that was all it took.  She high tailed it out the dog door then turned to announce her disappointment!  She must have barked for 10 minutes.  Eventually, she crept back in slowly and quietly, as if the washer could hear her walk. Tippy-toeing back to the laundry room, she quickly peeked in several times.  After her curiosity was satisfied, she took a seat and waited for the next show.

The other day at work one of our vendors came in with a few goodies in his truck.     He tells me his hummingbird feeder bottle brushes are perfect for cleaning out the lint vent of your dryer.  Well, I’ll be dang. I thought this was a marvelous idea and took one home to try it.  I could not wait to see how it worked.  I pulled the filter out and stuck the brush in, swished it side-to-side then pulled it out.  It looked like a fuzzy hamster had attached its self to the end of the stick.    I looked down the hole and found even more lint.  I poked it way down in there again, then without warning… Swoosh!  It was gone.  It was as if something just jerked it out of my hand and sucked it down to oblivion!  Mutt was mildly entertained by my reaction.  I know I should have panicked or at least worried really hard but all I could do was laugh.  The more I studied my situation the harder I giggled.  Every time I took a breath, Mutt’s tail started wagging uncontrollably.  We were having a moment of laughter together.  It was awesome.  Finally, I regained my composure and came to the conclusion it could not stay down there.

A screwdriver was in order.  After a brief search, we- Mutt and I- were ready to tackle this problem.  I started unscrewing every screw I could find.  The filter housing would not budge.  After talking it   over with Mutt,  (see photo) I decided the answer to my problem lied within.    I poked my head in the dryer’s opening and proceeded to unscrew all the screws I could find.  I still could not get it to come out.   “DANG IT”, I yelled and at this, Mutt was all about finding out what was happening.  She struggled to poke her head in too.  I started laughing again and I could feel her whole body swaying back and forth….we laugh a lot.  She soon got tired of all this work and giggles and tried to remove herself.  But her head was wedged in and she couldn’t get it out.  Her eyes said full panic mode!  I could not move either.  I am not as skinny as I once was and she’s a bit on the hefty side, as well.  Front-end washer and dryers are placed on pedestals to make it easier to load and unload.  However, once you get stuck in one it makes it hard to get your balance just right so you can get back out.  She wiggled and tugged until she was free then I heard the dog door and again her disapproval.  I finally found the last remaining screw and removed the housing.  The brush was resting right at the top.  I quickly replaced the filter and shut the dryer door.  As I was cleaning up, I saw three little screws.  Oh boy, what to do?  Without a word to anyone, I took my broom and sweep them under the dryer.  Hey, if I need them I know where they are.