Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blanket Bridge

New things happening at our house!  Remember when I told you about the zappy wire thing my mom put around the back 40 as she calls it.  It had little white flags to show us where to stay to avoid the zapping ping.  The white flags are almost all gone now but Caesar and I know that the "painful ping" is still there if we get too close.

For the past many months, when my mom wanted to go for a walk with us off the back forty, she put us in the car, backed the car out and then we jumped out to go for a walk with her.  It was how we avoided the zapping pinging thing. When we came back, we popped back into the car then back into the garage.  She was so careful to make sure we didn't get pinged.

"What happens if the car won't start?" we heard her ask my dad one day.  "Or if it snows and we can't back out?  How will I take them for a walk down the road?"

My mom and dad asked around.  A friend said maybe put us in a little red wagon and pull us across.  Another friend suggested putting a hood over our heads.  I mean, please, a hood?

Then yesterday a neighbor said to put a blanket down and make up a command so we wouldn't be afraid.  My mom selected "Safe!"  She put a red blanket down, said "Safe" and then pulled us onto it.  We didn't get pinged!  And we had the best walk ever!  When we came back I was a little hesitant but she said "Safe!" again and I stepped right on it.  Wow!  How cool!

I still don't know for sure what makes that blanket (that is sometimes on the bed so when we're dirty our feet get it dirty rather than the comforter) "safe."  Maybe it has something to do with those collars we wear when we're in the back 40 but that mom takes off of us when we go for walks over the safe bridge.  You think?

We're getting ready for Christmas too!  Hope you are!  Have a happy one.  Bo, Woof, Woof

Monday, November 7, 2011

Caesar's birthday

It's Caesar's birthday today!  Here he is trying to keep my mom from working.  It seems the only way to get her to close a book when she's researching is to cover it with our bodies.  As soon as Caesar wakes up we're going to have a party.  What a treat.  I personally like hooves but Caesar likes bully sticks.  Whatever, I bet there'll be toys and special food too.  I hope you celebrate your birthdays. Caesar is three in human years but 21 in dog years.  He could be on his own now but why would he leave the warm confines of Casa Court and my mom and dad's hugs.  Hope you all have a great day and pray that I won't eat too much ice cream!  Woolf Woolf!  Bo

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fall Foliage

     It's fall in Central Oregon and we headed over the mountain for one of my mom's book signings.  On the way back my mom made my dad stop so we could take pictures of the fall colors.  My mom says it may not be Vermont but it's all we've got and she thinks it's pretty cool.  Here's Caesar taking in the view. He had two baths yesterday:  one because he'd visited a sheep barn and rolled in the old sheep doo-doo and the second when he found raccoon poo and rolled in it.  I couldn't find either one of them!  Dang!
    We'd spent the night at Simon's house in Salem, that's Caesar's brother. They have a birthday next week.  I wonder if my mom will have a party.  Caesar will be three!  He has so much yet to learn!

     Then there's PB who has taken an interest in Yoga maybe because he doesn't get to travel with us.  I think he calls this one "Downward Dog" or something like that.  My mom noted there are 13 yoga studios in Central Oregon and maybe she should look into that as a relaxing form of exercise especially since her episode in the hospital with ulcers.  I have no idea what ulcers are but we were home alone with dad for four whole days while she was tending to them. When my dad took us into the hospital to visit her, we couldn't find them anywhere so I'm not sure how they held her hostage there, but they did.
      I hope your fall is going well and full of lots of foliage. Maybe you could send us pictures my mom could put up on Facebook...or maybe here if she can figure out how to do it.  Meanwhile, Don't let your downward dog get you down and don't let ulcers hold you hostage.  Enjoy the fall foliage instead.  Woolf!  Woolf!  Bo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Writers' LIfe is the Dog's Life too

This is what a writer's life is really like:  boxes in the back of the car, a cart to haul them while me and Ceasar wait.  Caesar's sleeping next to me.  Then my mom speaks, she makes people laugh, then signs books and my dad loads stuff back into the car and we drive three hours or more home.  My mom blogged about why she drives so far to meet readers.  You might like the post though she didn't even mention me.http://stephaniebarko.com/2011/08/15/jane-kirkpatrick  Still I'd rather go with them than stay at home.

Except this last time when my mom and dad flew to Minnesota.  They left us with Alena.  She smells so good!  She wears jeans and spurs and works with horses and dogs all day and has a business looking after people's animals when they travel.  She fed PB and us and watered plants and it was cool. We all like her a lot.

We haven't been able to run in the back forty much because of all the cheat grass.  Caesar's visited the vet three times in one week to get those little weeds out of his ears. Now my mom puts cotton in our ears and we can play for about an hour and then she pulls us into the yard.  It's a nice yard, though.  My mom gave in, she said, and called the landscaper to clean out the big grass and weeds that we were hiding in a lot.  Here's a picture of it after being cleaned out. The stones were made by her friends on the reservation.

My mom said she felt ten pounds lighter after the landscapers came.  I don't know why.  She ISN'T ten pounds lighter.  Maybe if she'd pulled all those weeds she would be...but I digress.  The landscapers also put stuff in the pond to kill the algae but it's safe so when I jump the gate before my mom catches me and plunge into the pond, I won't get sick.

See the truck in the background?  If you have any ideas about how to get rid of a pack rat living under the hood let me know.  I've done my best to bark up under the truck but when we lift the hood only his nest is there.  We need help!

I hope you have a good summer.  Ours has been new and different but we're happy, even when we have to wait in the car.  Woof!  Woof!  Bo

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cheat Grass and Edits

This is one of the last pictures taken while walking with my mom in the back forty as she calls it.  We learned to wear our collars, stay inside the white flags and not even chase the mules that ran right up to the fence. Now it's off limits.  CHEAT GRASS!
       My mom has mowed a bunch of it, little cream-colored barbs that stick in shoes and inside my toes and ears. Caesar went the vet twice in one week to have his ears cleared. He had to be "put under." So we're stuck in the yard, back to dog parks and living in the house until fall when my mom has some seed company coming to spray the cheat.  Hurrah.  Those little barbs make a misery of fur.  But meanwhile, the rabbits and chipmunks we like to chase are sitting on the other side of the fence chattering at us because we can't come "play" with them.
     I've been so preoccupied with cheat that I haven't convinced my mom to let me blog. But today she finished her "edits" she calls them.  She sits for long, long hours at the computer taking tiny little taps changing "He said" to He scratched his chin" or vice versa. She's cutting words but choosing better words she says. She finds words she repeated too much and has to delete them. She added a couple of scenes she said...I don't know what scenes are.  Her editor put notes in the margin and she answers those she tells us, promising to work just a few more minutes and then we can "go for a walk."  She's started spelling "w-a-l-k" so Caesar won't get too excited but I know what those letters mean. And she's still sitting there after four hours with me lying in the doorway so she can't get out without my knowing it.
    We've also seen some changes in our grassy yard.  It was a great jungle with tall grasses and places to look for lizards chasing them under the decks but then she had some people come in who spent the day digging and tossing out things they called weeds. She says it feels like she's lost weight seeing that yard cleaned up so nice. I don't tell her that she hasn't lost weight.  I'm just glad she's happy because that means she'll be letting us outside more often and maybe she'll even stick cotton in our ears and let us run in the back forty if only for a minute or two.
  Hope you get to run in your back forty!  Woof!  Woof!  Bo

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From wildflowers to Woof Woof!

I'll tell you, it's been a cool summer so far.  Lots of rain and mud, oh how I love it.
 My mom had a woman come with a camera and she took lots of pictures of us.  In a couple of weeks I'll put one or two up here.  My mom called it a Photo Shoot but I didn't see any guns anywhere, just that camera.  It was fun.  We had to get a big bath at a new place the day before and we looked really good before the "shoot".
     A little while ago, the sun came out and look what my mom found.  A wildflower and she caught me in her little camera too in the back, running in what my mom calls "the back forty."
     To run there, Caesar and I have to wear those collars I was telling you about but it isn't bad, not really.  As long as we stay away from those white flags.  Well, Saturday, I just couldn't.  My mom was off to someplace called Salt Lake City and my dad had friends staying here and he and Ken drove away in the car leaving me with the woman, Nancy, and I couldn't take it!  So I ran through the white flags!
     I heard the warning beeps but I couldn't stop myself.  It was the irresistible pull of irrational behavior (my mom says there is a book with that title) and I ran through it.  Yowser!  I felt a jolt but I kept going, running after my dad's car.
     He saw me in the mirror he said.  He was driving again! That's something new since all his time with the doctors, hospital and lately something he calls "cardio rehab."  He stopped and I got in.  He drove me back and I had to stay at home.  It's so hard to stay home!  So I chewed my bone, chased PB around for awhile then let Caesar have the bone.  That's the best way to get over a misery, get generous (though PB might wish I'd done that earlier.)
     Here's a picture of PB making up with me though.  You can't tell, but he's grooming me.
And here's the real treat:  that little house there, it's in the back forty and underneath it lives something warm and furry.  It's how Caesar and I spend our days now, trying to get under there and see what it is.  Life is so wonderful.  I hope you keep having things that attract your attention and good friends who forgive you when you mess up too much.  Woof Woof!  Bo

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strange Goings On

Last week a truck arrived with a picture of a dog on the side above some letters my mom said read "DogWatch" and a guy got out with a machine that began to dig a trench (I would have dug it if he'd let me!)  Then he put spaghetti in the trench and covered it up.  Well, my mom says it was wire and the trench and wire went all the way around the back of our property and around the garage pad too. My mom says it reminded her of when she and my dad buried seven MILES of phone line, digging a trench, twice!  But it got them a phone at the ranch at last.
    Meanwhile, back at home. The next day, along the trench, little white flags showed up.  A woman came and put them beside rocks and next to old juniper trees, all the way around the back field I really, really like.  Right now there are white flowers blooming in the desert which is what my mom calls it. After the flags were set, Caesar and I got new collars.  It was all very exciting.
    Then the lady took me around that field I just love with all the rabbits and mice and lizards and sagebrush and rabbit brush and old juniper trees, some all old with moss on them.  It's my favorite place with a million smells and whenever my mom didn't notice, that's where I'd run to and not come back for sometimes half an hour!  But this time I was on a leash with the new collar and the lady wanted me to look at the flags.  If I got too close, she said "Danger" and I stopped.  I'd never heard that word before but the tone of her voice is the same as when my mom says "NO!" when I get too close to the dinner steaming on the table top.
    But then once I did get close to the flags and I could hear a beeping.  I ignored it because on the other side of the Danger flags was a deer trail, I'm just sure.  But wow!  When I put my nose past the flag I not only heard the beep but I got zapped, like when PB the cat whacked my nose once.  Not something one ever wants to do again.
    Pretty soon both Caesar and I figured out that the Danger Flags were meant to keep us inside the field and as long as we did, we wouldn't have to worry about being zapped.  Well, why didn't they just say so?  We love that field.
      My mom's been taking me along the flags every day now and I stop plenty short of them. Caesar stops short and turns his back to them to make sure those danger flags don't zap him again either.
    My mom even took me to have my hair trimmed so I could see those flags better.  And both Caesar and I got a bath and lots of scrubbing and we look pretty cool.  So far my mom hasn't gotten a good picture of us yet she says.  Soon, we'll be able to run in that field without a leash, just like at a dog park! And we'll be right at home. Woof!  Woof!
    My dad's doing well too.  Every other day now my mom drives him someplace where he says he walks on machines like the one in our sun room and has other machines to make him stronger too. He isn't able to take me on a leash yet because I get too excited and could pull him over.  Danger, Danger, that would be!
   But he laughs now and he sits on the back deck while my mom takes me on the Flag walk and we're getting to really like this place even though it doesn't have a river running through it. Everyone has to make adjustments. He doesn't like to use his cane but he says it's there to protect him for awhile.  Just like our Danger flags!  That's just the way life is my dad says.  He's making lots of adjustments and he has danger flags too he says, they just aren't so easy to see.
    Caesar also got to go on a walk away from the flags with his little brother Simon and my mom and her friend, Simon's mom. They came to visit.  They were raising money for Habitat for Humanity and promoting my mom's book too. I stayed home with my dad but here's a link to the TV news story about their walk. Caesar got to be on television!  Next time, it'll be me.
Woof Woof to you all.
Bo  Author Inspires Sunriver Charity Walk.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An attack of the heart

The last time my mom let me slobber on the computer I told you that my dad's daughter was coming to visit after his stroke.  Well, she did. That's her on the left and I'm trying to get her attention.  Anyway, the very next day....we had lots more excitement.
     Right after lunch my dad got sick and he said it was what Katy gave him to drink, some "healthy" stuff.  After that, he complained about "gas."  Now, I know about gas.  I can clear a room in five seconds.  Even Caesar can clear a room and he's a quarter of my size. Well, my dad didn't clear a room but he said his stomach hurt a lot.  So my mom called the doctor and she raced into town to get some medicine. Caesar and I rode along. THEN, he said his chest hurt but he was sure it was gas and to give the medicine time to work.  I hung out in their room and Caesar curled next to him on the bed.
     In the evening, Katy went to bed and my mom was at the computer when my dad called to her.  She went right in to him and he said now his heart was doing very strange things so she said we were going to the emergency room. We know where that is.  We were there two weeks before.
    But she didn't take us.  Instead they hurried into the garage and into the car.  But it wouldn't start!  So they got into the truck.  Now, I always go with my dad when he's in the truck but not this time! What was happening?
    My mom got the truck into gear and off they went.
    About three hours later my uncle Ellis arrived to get my aunt Katy to take her to the hospital.  They left us home again!  They said something about the doctors stopping his heart and getting it started again and that he was having a stent placed, whatever a stent is.
    Finally, almost when the sun was coming up, Katy and my mom came home.  My dad had had something called a "heart attack".  I didn't see anything attack his heart.  I would NEVER let anything attack my dad.  Neither would Caesar but this time what attacked his heart came from inside it.  Well, a dog can't be expected to do anything about that!
   The next day we got to go in and see my dad because this hospital allows "pets" (such an uncommon name for how grand we really are) visit their parents even in intensive care. My mom took a picture of us in there but I didn't like how I looked so I'm not using it.  Instead, we're using this one where you can see that my dad is doing pretty well now that he's home. Lots of people come here to have him do things. My aunt Katy stayed extra days so my mom could do her work with her new book.
    I'm sure glad my dad made it and that my mom knew how to drive the big truck.  And I'm REALLY glad that we live close enough to that emergency room place.  Otherwise my dad might not be alive.  At least that's what my mom says. Two assaults on his body in two weeks, that's a lot of misery.
    We are happy to have my dad back home recovering from that stroke and heart attack.  We'll give him extra hugs and be careful when he's walking with his walking stick around the house so he doesn't fall.  We'll stay on the look out for anything that might attack his heart.  Love your masters because you never know when something might attack them that you can't see.Woof!  Woof!  Bo

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Big Red Truck comes to our New House

It's been awhile, I know. My mom's been on the computer finishing her novel and hasn't let me on it to keep you posted.
       Much has happened at this new place.  There's almost as much excitement here as on the ranch.  First of all, last month, a big red truck with flashing lights showed up at our door.  I was inside with Caesar sleeping in my mom's kennel she calls her "office" when my dad shouted for her and we all went running.
     When we got to the bedroom my dad looked strange and he said he couldn't make his legs work and he started to sound like he had a mouth full of ice cream because my mom couldn't understand him.  So she helped him to bed then got on the telephone!  I mean, mom, on the phone?  When dad's like, weird?
     Well, after the phone call she put us outside so we watched everything else through the bedroom sliding door.    Pretty soon the red truck arrived with three guys carrying suitcases.  I guess she must have called them.
     I don't like suitcases. It means someone is going away.
     Sure enough, my dad got something stuck in his nose and a needle in his arm and then he was on a skinny little bed and they wheeled him out the door.  My mom rushed around, grabbed her purse and I wondered if she'd remember us out there looking in.
     She did!  We hopped in the car and spent most of the day there at this place called an emergency room (where the red truck was parked in front of).  She came out a couple of times to give us water and walk us but we were fine in the car.  I like leather seats and it's a cool kennel to hang out in.
     Finally, my dad came home and I licked his face.  But he isn't the same as when he left.  He uses a cane now and he goes to a place for "PT" they call it (sounds like PB the cat to me!) and Speech.  My mom says he had a lacuna stroke.  I personally like to be stroked but I don't think that's what this is.
    So different people have been staying with us and my dad while my mom goes off with her suitcase to "promote her book".  We used to go with her and my dad when they did that but not now.
     I'll keep you posted but just know that the three of us -- me, Ceasar and PB -- are being real careful not to trip my dad or rush past him 'cuz he's sort of unstable my mom says.  We'll keep an eye on him.  He knows we have his back.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Home Again at last

I'm back home at last!  My parents finally got back from Baja.  Both of them are sick and coughing.  My mom's on stuff called antibiotics and she can hardly talk to me without hacking away. My dad sneezed until his back hurt so he's been in bed a lot too.  I have to go outside sometimes just to give my ears a rest from all the coughing at our house.  So much for vacations.  I hope I don't get it!  I had a great time at the ranch!

But here I am on a Navajo rug and I'm where I need to be, with them, my mom and dad.

I did enjoy their vacation because I was at the ranch almost every day playing with Rex and sometimes Charlie and Toby, too.  PB the cat was also there and now he's back home too.  I'm getting used to calling this place in Bend "home" even though my whole life has been at the ranch.  Until now.  But my mom says things change and that's what living looks like. So I see that I need to change too.

Today my mom took me for a walk on BLM land.  Wow!  Lots of new smells there!  Rabbit brush and sage and rim rocks and sage rats and ground squirrels and the wind blew sand and dust and juniper trees creaked.  With only a few steps from the house we were able to see the mountains and then no other houses at all!  It was like we were at the ranch with no neighbors.  She hasn't let me off the leash yet though. I think she's afraid I'll chase the neighbor's mules.  What she doesn't know is that yesterday when I was outside with my dad for just a minute, I did chase the mules!  But they chased me right back so I don't think I'll be going there again any time soon.

Here's a picture of PB and Caesar.  I missed Caesar!  And PB is one happy cat now that he's become an indoor Tabby.  We're all together in one place on Valentine's Day!  I hope you had a happy one!  Woof!  Woof!  Bo.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Abandoned at the ranch

Hi.  I wanted you to know that I got to visit the ranch with my dad!  As soon as the truck turned down the steep-as-a-cow's-face grade, I sat up and smelled the river.  Ah, heaven. Wow, it was so cool coming home.  Rex was there, my "brother's" dog.  He had surgery before Christmas but we could play and wrestle.
          Not that I don't like our new place, I do but there's nothing that can replace a river with slivers of ice at the edge and geese (hundreds of them) sitting on open water or on the flat fields beside it.
        This time, my dad also brought PB, my cat buddy along.  I'm not sure why...but he and my mom were talking about something called "Cabo" and packing suitcases and how they couldn't leave PB in Bend because he'd feel abandoned.  Abandoned?  Where are they going?  What are they saying?
          I forgot about it when I got to the ranch. The litter box and PB's house and my ear drops and anti-fungal medicine and some weird wash my mom puts in my ears once a week all came along.  PB isn't used to travel so he howled the entire way but once we got to the ranch he ran right up to his old food bowl on the deck.  But here's the amazing thing:  my dad let him sleep inside the house!  And use the litter box!  My mom says this is a sign that even octogenarians can adapt.  I don't know what an octogenarian is.  Someone related to an octopus?
           So my mom didn't come along and neither did Caesar.  Toward the end of the second night with just "the boys" at the ranch, I realized this was not a good sign.  Me and the cat here with my dad; mom and Caesar in Bend.  Hmmmm.
           This morning my dad packed up again and told Matt to look after me good and said I couldn't go with him this time.  I couldn't believe it!  I pulled against my collar Matt was holding and as soon as the door closed and he released me I slammed against the door.  It didn't budge. I could hear my dad walk away! Oh my heart ached!  Is this what abandoned means?
           But as soon as the truck rolled out the driveway without me Matt let me out of the house and Rex came over and we rolled down the hill and then PB came out and washed his face on the deck and climbed up on me. Friends are what you need when you feel abandoned. My pals helped me remember that I was here, at the ranch, my favorite thing!  Well one of them anyway and I couldn't afford to be sad when I had friends and a good place to play right in front of me.  Matt and his wife will come stay with us here or they'll take us home with them until my mom and dad come and get me.  So I guess I'm not abandoned only left behind for a time.
          Boy will I have stories to tell Caesar!  Guess he'll have a few to tell me too because he's going to stay with his brother and sister at the breeder's house.  We're all going on vacation!  But I get to go on vacation at the ranch and there's no better place than home.  Woof Woof!  Bo