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  • Share a story about you and your pet.

    Here is my most recent experience with my Golden Retriever, Buddy. He was 2 1/2 years old on May 22nd. He now weighs a lean 71.5 lbs.

    Late yesterday morning I met my high school classmate Tom, his girlfriend Julie, and their female German Shepard Nadja for our second doggy play date. The first play date was three weeks ago at a private dog park and it went well. Buddy and Nadja had the place to themselves and ran and ran. This second play date was at a nearby public dog park and it went differently….

    Buddy and I arrived first. Two other people were already there, a young man with two dogs and a young woman with her dog, all medium sized mutts. Buddy was the largest of the four. They all got to know each other and played for about 10 minutes.

    Then Tom and Julie arrived with Nadja. As Julie was entering through the gate with Nadja leashed, Buddy and the other three dogs rushed up and crowded around them. I thought, “Oh boy, Nadja is going to feel cornered.” Nadja was hanging very close to Julie. The other three dogs ran off together leaving Me, Buddy, Tom and Julie.

    Julie unleashed Nadja and we chatted while Buddy and Nadja sniffed and nosed each other. Suddenly the two dogs were at each other’s throats, baring teeth, growling and snarling. After a long 15 seconds or so Buddy went down and rolled over in his back with Nadja over him. Both were still snarling and showing their teeth. Then Julie and I took hold of the collar of each of our dogs and separated them. We calmed our dogs down and everything was peaceful from that point on.

    Nadja outweighs Buddy by a good 10 lbs. and is taller and longer. She is Tom and Julie’s first dog. Previously they had cats. They found this dust up alarming. I explained that Nadja was likely feeling overwhelmed on arrival and Buddy, in his enthusiasm to play, crossed a line. I explained that they simply were establishing the pecking order, that neither dog was injured, and that this was simply the two of them getting straight who was top dog. I predicted there would be no further problems and I was correct. They ended up playing for another 50 minutes and everyone went home tired and happy.

    It IS alarming to see your gentle baby instantly turn into a growling, snarling monster before your very eyes!

    Buddy and Nadja after the dust up and everything is fine:


    Buddy in my backyard last Thursday evening. He had a bath that afternoon.


    Buddy in a friend's 3/4 acre pond this past Saturday:

    Last edited by Tom Montgomery; 06-01-2023, 06:32 AM.
    "They have a lot of stupid people that vote in their primaries. They really do. I'm not really supposed to say that but it's an obvious fact. But when stupid people vote, you know who they nominate? Other stupid people." -- James Carville on the plethora of low-quality GQP candidates in the mid-term election.

  • #2
    Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

    I took our cat, Frankie, to be neutered when he was a kitten.
    12 years later and he still hasn't forgiven me.
    Totally ignores me but clings to my wife.
    That's all I've got for a pet story.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.


    • #3
      Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

      Dogs will be dogs.

      Some breeds will be more protective of their owners than others, more prone to expressing dominance when other dogs are present.

      Until experience indicates members of a group can 'play well' with one another it's better to err on the side of caution, human handlers should keep their charges under control. Things can quickly spiral into tragedy otherwise.

      Glad Buddy came out intact from that episode.
      "Because we are not divine, we must jettison the many burdens we cannot bear."

      Mark Helprin, 2017


      • #4
        Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

        Tom - I've noticed that before also... people unused to dogs don't understand their social system. To this day we have one neighbor (first-time dog owner) who thinks we're wild animals because our dog put their new young adult dog on his back when their dog got yappy. Didn't hurt him, of course... just showed him who was boss. <sigh>

        One story I like about Beorn (half collie, half Elkhound) was a snow camping trip where our half-built snow cave collapsed with him inside. My girlfriend & I had good shovels, and we set to digging with urgency. Got to the area where I thought he'd be, and he barked. From behind us. He had dug himself out the backside. No idea how long he'd sitting there watching us dig.

        Bonus tidbit: For 18 years, Beorn went with me, in the back of the truck, pretty much everywhere. Including my frequent stop on the way home at Baskin & Robbins drive-thru. They always had a small cup of ice cream for him, and knew him well enough that they knew he liked strawberry.
        David G
        Harbor Woodworks

        "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)


        • #5
          Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

          While not really "pets" we have had chipmunks who come for snacks, pats and just to hang out with us when we're sitting outside. One chipmunk, Stripe, lived in the neighbor's yard across the street. If Stripe saw you outside, she would make a bee-line over to see you. On one occasion, Stripe was crossing the road and nearly got hit by a passing car. After that, she'd stop on the curb - look both ways - and cross if it was clear. Every time.

          If we were chatting with the neighbor, his wife and sometimes the kids, she'd stop over and stand in the circle as if paying attention to the conversation - would freak my neighbor right out.

          Cleaning up the garden beds in the fall, I had the sense that I was being watched. Looking to my left, Stripe was sitting patiently waiting for me to get done with what I was doing. When I got done and stood up, she raced around to the front of the garage and was sitting on top of the bucket where we kept the sunflower seeds.

          The best story from this little animal was on a rainy evening. We'd come back from visiting friends up at a lake and the weather had deteriorated with thundershowers which sent us heading home. Upon arrival home, Stripe came racing over for some snacks. I went and got a handful and was sitting on the front porch giving her sunflower seeds. All of a sudden, there was a flash of lightning and a clap of thunder that were virtually right at the same time. Once I'd recovered from the startling experience, I realized I had a shaking, furry ball just under my chin.
          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
          -William A. Ward



          • #6
            Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

            Well, we've had a bit of excitment here the last two days. It's been a roller coaster of emotions for me, too.

            Lucy jumped out the window.

            Now this would have been less of a problem if I hadn't had a steel roof installed on the porch roof. But I did, a couple years ago, in hopes of making it a lot harder for the squirrels to destroy the shingles on the roof trying to pry the sunnies out from under them (remember the bird feeder is off the second story window, above the roof).

            And the steel roof is slippery.

            So out she goes, while I'm filling the bird feeder, and immediately she slides down the roof to the gutter. Panic. She tries to climb back up and can't get traction. Slides back down. More panic. Repeat.

            I go downstairs and try to convince her to jump down to me, but instead she gets halfway up the roof, slides down, loses her grip on the gutter and falls into a bush.

            Too fast she leaps out of the bush, scuttles frantically along the fieldstone house foundation and finds the only hole in the foundation to the crawl space.

            And squeezes her little silver body into the basement.

            O K. So at least she's safe.

            I go round and get some bricks to close up the hole. Then I have to get the clippers to cut the azaleas back so I can get to the place where she vanished. Takes 20 minutes or so and finally I put the bricks over the hole.

            Now the only way out is the Bilko door. No stairs inside, no inside access to the crawl space. I go 'round, open the deeply rusty Bilko door which makes a horrible sound of steel against steel, and go down the ladder into the basement.

            Of course, no visible cat.

            So I close the Bilko door, go upstairs and get her food bowl, bring it down, open the horrible noisy Bilko door, and place the bowl in the bottom of a big trash barrel, so if she jumps in to eat she might have trouble getting back out.

            I leave, and close the Bilko door.

            Silence. Every time I walk across the hall and kitchen floor I call to her. Silence. Every couple of hours I open the Bilko door and sit at the top and talk to her. Silence. All night, silence. What if she got out while I was getting the bricks? What if she refuses to budge and she's in the front where the head space is around 14"? How much will it cost to hire someone to come crawl around in the sand trying to get her out?

            And what if there's no cat there?

            The next morning the food's all there. Silence.

            I research Havahart traps, call a couple friends, run errands, take some pix, come back in the late afternoon, look up online how to open the trap (jeeze that's complicated and counterintuitive), take a fresh can of beef slivers, place it in the trap, climb down in the basement and put the trap on the floor.

            Silence. All night silence. Surely I would hear the trap upstairs if it was tripped. I go to bed - a second night without my little, soft, silvery creature. I berate myself for being such a bad cat adopter. I review all the work she and I have gone through to help her adjust. 4am I finally eat breakfast and fall asleep.

            7am with trepidation I go down, out the door, around to the Bilko door, make that awful racket, climb down the ladder, and, whew, she's in the trap.

            It's heavy, but I wrestle it out the Bilko door, into the house, open it up, she runs out, the can of beef is empty, she runs upstairs, I take the trap back out to the car, come back, she's pacing back and forth upstairs waiting for me. At least she's not under the bed.

            We do the lap thing, I go get morning coffee, we do more lap thing, I get morning cereal, we do more lap thing, I go back to bed, she stays in studio. I wake up at noon, she comes into bedroom and demands lap thing. I get back dressed again and go sit in studio chair. We do lap thing. I make food for her. We do more lap thing. We play the treats game. More lap thing.

            Well, at least it seems we're not going to have to repeat the entire socialization thing of the last two months.
            A society predicated on the assumption that everyone in it should want to get rich is not well situated to become either ethical or imaginative.

            Photographer of sailing and sailboats
            And other things, too.



            • #7
              Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

              Little Orphan Annie

              Sanka was a very good boy. I Newfie Lab Shepard mix who didn't drool didn't stink didn't live in the house shed like crazy to of course help with songbird construction projects around the yard and was a friend to the neighbors who got him hos own bed and bowls at their house. He had to be broken out of their home once to go camping with us but we'll let that slide just this once. He was a giant teddy bear of a dog who loved people but let those that were not the nicest know he knew. He was great with the kids and keeping the salesfolks form the driveway. He shared his food with the Jays and the squirrels even and didn't seem to mind since he lived outside with them what the heck, right? He lived a long 12 years on this earth and was one of the smartest dogs I have met. Sadly he passed away after a long slow decline and died in his sleep. I got a phone call from my son one June day at work and all he said between sobs was "he's gone Dad!" I knew right away.

              We soldiered on after this, petless for a bit but we survived. We tried fish and that wasn't quite right, chickens either and then my wife decided our youngest needed a bunny. Ah yes a bunny. So into our life comes Barrington the Bunny in all his gray haired pee spraying glory. He was a cute little guy with a bit of a personality. We happily lived with this arrangement for the next 3 months and the kids loved him.

              I was self employed at this point and was building radiant in floor pump manifolds in my driveway on a Friday afternoon and thought it's a nice day out I'll let the bunny out to play. He hopped around happily for a few hours and munched the greenery seemingly content in the yard as I soldered away. Until he wasn't. Oh Boy. I looked everywhere to no avail. Not really thinking it through I let my worst fears take over and I assumed the worst( I realized bunnies are very good at hiding later) So no bunny.

              Saturday rolls around and we go to YES an antique and wooden boat show near home. Yes!! I was in my glory except for the dread of a long gone bunny. My kids are sad because they also assume the worst since Dad is giving off that vibe. We are looking at some wonderful CC's and at the end of the row there are two brothers with an antique out board display and wait for it a PUPPY!

              Feeling very bad that I "lost" the bunny, I caved. Easily. The kids and the wife are down ooing cooing and the like to this darling lab mix that is "free to a good home" Well you can see where this went. She was immediately named Little Orphan Annie and came home with us. That night I was outside working in the yard and much to my chagrin there sat Barrington under the wood pile. We now had a bunny and a dog. That was eleven years ago this summer. Annie is still with us and has been a great dog. Sadly Barrington passed away last year.

              So goes the story of Little Orphan Annie the dog from the wooden boat show.



              • #8
                Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

                We took in a stray cat whom we named "Yancy" Yancy was asleep on the front porch when a German Shepard approached (no leash laws then) and snarled at her a bit. She quickly jumped up and scratched the hell out of his face. He ran off, bleeding, and she went back to sleep.

                Wasn't really a pet in the normal sense, but we had a blue jay fly in our kitchen window and peck at a pot roast. Sink was dripping, and she took a shower in it. Then flew out. Every day she'd fly in that kitchen window just about noon, stand in the sink and chirp until we turned a slight flow of water on. After 3 minutes or so, he was out the window again until the next day. Come fall he flew off, and that ended that.
                "Banning books in spite of the 1st amendment, but refusing to regulate guns in spite of "well regulated militia' being in the 2nd amendment makes no sense. Can't think of anyone ever shot by a book


                • #9
                  Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

                  When we moved into mom's house to take care of her we brought a cat; Spot. Spot fell down the fireplace flute? which led to the basement where ashes from fires would end up. There was a door at the bottom. Fireplace had not been used in many years, and plumbing prevented that door from opening very far, but Spot managed to squeeze out. Needless to say, she was filthy with soot. For some strange reason, she did this a second time, which we didn't expect. figured she'd learned a lesson.

                  We plugged the hole.
                  "Banning books in spite of the 1st amendment, but refusing to regulate guns in spite of "well regulated militia' being in the 2nd amendment makes no sense. Can't think of anyone ever shot by a book


                  • #10
                    Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

                    Had a red-belly woodpecker that would fly over, hammer on the metal rain gutter above our bedroom window if the suet had run out.

                    Does that count?
                    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....


                    • #11
                      Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

                      I once had two coonhounds with politically incorrect Confederate-themed names, Dixie and Scarlett. I adopted them when they were 4 months old. On the way home Scarlett got carsick, which turned out to be a continuing tradition. The first thing the pups did when they got out of the truck was to chase the cat up a tree. After all, that is what coonhounds are bred to do.

                      Dixie was a "biddable" dog, very cooperative and easy to train. Scarlett, OTOH, was an "independent thinker." At first I thought Scarlett was retarded, but I came to realize that she was a very intelligent dog and had a mind of her own.

                      I decided I was going to train the dogs to hunt squirrels. I found a road killed squirrel and skinned it. I kept the skin in the freezer and thawed it out for training sessions.

                      I tied a string to the skin, dragged it through the grass across a field, and then threw it up in a tree.

                      Dixie complied with the training program. She followed the scent trail across the field, looked up at the squirrel skin, and stood next to the tree and barked.

                      Then it was Scarlett's turn. She laid down in the grass, looked at the tree, and looked at the squirrel skin. Then she turned and glared at me as if to say, "That ain't no real squirrel, and I ain't chasin' that thing!"
                      "George Washington as a boy
                      was ignorant of the commonest
                      accomplishments of youth.
                      He could not even lie."

                      -- Mark Twain


                      • #12
                        Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

                        There's a story about Aldo (Who many of you may remember) and a ferry boat ride and an unfriendly deck hand, a less than happy capt. and an empty pocket that looked like it probably had a large knife in it, but didn't, and then a cascade of dog pee as Aldo in his crate was uncerimoniously hauled off the upper deck of said ferry in St Georges. Thankfully the dog pee all ended up on the unfriendly deck hand's head and face.
                        But the whole story will have to wait because it's been a long very unproductive day.


                        • #13
                          Re: Share a story about you and your pet.

                          I leave dog issues to Paul. He’s supposed to leave the horse issues to me. The cat issues are a toss up.
                          Pet photography, the degree you get when you fail aromatherapy - Duck D.