Archive for the ‘other animals’ Category

Killers Among Us

We live with killers. Did you know that? Likely all of you reading this are sharing your home and possibly your beds with a known assassin. Even the sweetest among them are lethal and don’t you forget it for a second.

Bella the hunterToday I saw first hand, the violence in action. My sweetest of all dogs, Bella is ruthless when her prey drive is in 5th gear. She has been hunting a nest of bunnies in our big yard for a week now. Well, actually, she hunted for a day and then has spent the rest of the week inside. I had hoped that the bunnies would be old enough by now to get away, but I was wrong. I heard the squeaking while I was moving large rocks. I started running while holding a rock, didn’t get far, stopped to drop the rock carefully and ran to her, the whole time yelling at the top of my lungs “LEAVE IT!!!” (which didn’t work, even for me, by the way). I thought I had saved it, it looked unharmed and wiggled in my hand, but then slowly, I saw it’s neck moving strangely and, well, I’ll save you the details. The bunny just slowly died. I stood there for some time, marveling at the beauty that goes so largely unnoticed by us – those velvety ears, the tiny nose, the beautiful fur, the perfect little face. It made me so sad, so very very sad, the waste of it, the loss of such a young life. I walked with it to the edge of the yard and gently slid it to the other side of the fence. Maybe some wild thing will eat a meal today. Maybe the life won’t be lost for nothing.

But then I realized the hypocrisy in me – I nearly rejoice when they kill chipmunks – the critters that ruin my gardens and my morning sleep – why do I have such an arbitrary view on the value of life? And as I turned to walk back to the house, Hermes joined me with a low head, sweeping tail and a smile that said clearly, “wasn’t that COOL? Dude, SO cool!” And I saw Bella in the distance, looking for more. They do what they do without all the stories in mind – they just do what they know to do – chase little furry things that move fast, but not fast enough.

Baby moose video

Here is a video someone shot of a moose family romping round the sprinkler in their back yard!

Link to “baby moose” video.

March 25, 2010 • Tags: , , • Posted in: other animals • 2 Comments

Video of a dog and a deer playing together

We now have a short video to go along with the beautiful photos we posted of Juno and her new friend playing together in Wisconsin. Here is Juno and a deer romping around together:

Watch this and other CanineFostering videos on YouTube.

Dogs and birds can be a rough mix

You know the intent of the sentence, “what, you think it’s just going to fall out of the sky and land in your lap?” – it means you have to go out there and work for what you want in life.

Well, not always.

our dog HermesToday it was warm and sunny for the majority of the day – amazing! The dogs had been in the yard, running and wrestling and were now taking a rest on the warm patio, near the house. The sun was shining hard on the second story picture window and must have made it look just like an extension of the sky, from a bird’s perspective. I was mopping the floor, right on the other side of the lower level picture window when I heard a loud BANG! and thought, and saw, at the same instant, “bird.” It dropped like a stone, right in the middle of the dogs circle. They all leapt up, startled and leaned in to investigate. Hermes figured it out first – “a free lunch!” (another platitude proved false) and grabbed it and ran. I tried not to think about it. It was too late to do much anyway. When I rounded them up to go walk a few minutes later, they all came running to the door where I stood, all except Hermes. He was standing over a pile of gray and black feathers, and lowered his head as I approached. It was nearly gone and what was left looked like a high school biology lab dissection – neat and pared down and red. He gulped the remainder and I said out loud – “This is what it would look like if you ever got Frank Frank…except the feathers would be green” And I think I actually shuddered.

our parrot Franklin

Frank Frank

Later, that afternoon I was holding Frank Frank as Hermes laid by the piano and I became aware of his whining, quiet yet persistent. He was looking right at Frank Frank. I said, “LEAVE IT” and glared at him but it didn’t phase him. I truly believe he thinks I am an idiot, playing with my food. Eventually, he gave it up and went to sleep but I fear the damage is done – one slip on my part and bye bye Frankie…yikes.

Deer Kisses for Juno

Here is an update on Juno (formerly Cherry of Willow‘s goup), and some amazing photos…

Juno is doing great; she’s getting to be a big girl. She’s 31 lbs, as of last Friday, and growing quickly. She is outgrowing her crate, and we’ve graduated her to sleeping on a dog bed (just last night). We still keep her penned in with fences during the night, but she likes her bigger bed and she continues to be a great and quiet little sleeper.

Juno and deerYou were quite correct in telling us that she was an active girl, because she is certainly so! She likes being outside, so she spends a good part of the day in the backyard chewing sticks, rolling large stones (which she likes to push around with her head—very cute), and digging holes. Her new favorite activity is chasing tinkerbell. She goes absolutely crazy chasing the flashlight beams—she can do that for about 90 straight minutes. When we go outside in the evening, she looks for the flashlight beam. Of course, we’ve discovered that this makes picking up her poop in the evening a bit of a challenge when she’s with us. She loves the game so much that she can spend the next half hour after we’re done playing still looking for tinkerbell. Along the same line, she also enjoys chasing shadows (and her tail).

Juno is a very smart girl; we’ve discovered that she learns tricks (and how the world works) very quickly. She is curious but very easy to train. Sometimes she gets a little nippy when she’s out of control, so we’re finding ways to calm her down or we take her out somewhere where she can run full out. We can tell that she is trying her best not to bite, but we can tell that it is so hard for her—still, she is much, much better about not nipping, and it is getting better each day. Her adult teeth are coming in, so she’s definitely in the teething stage. Her house training is pretty good; she’s using the bell at the door to let us know when she needs go out. She has an occasional accident when she is so excited that she forgets to let us know she needs to go or if she gets mad at us. We’ve adapted to both situations by taking her outside, and so far that has been a good solution.

She is a very lovable and wiggly little girl, and she has made lots of friends in the neighborhood. She’s hangs out with the neighbor’s dog fairly often, and she met a couple of other dogs in the neighborhood—all of which have extended invitations for playtime.

Juno and deerWe took her up to a cabin in Wisconsin, and she met a fawn. The fawn is provisioned, so it hangs around on the property looking for food. We (including Juno) discovered that the deer is quite friendly, and, as you will see, is not afraid of dogs. In fact, once Juno figured out that the deer was Ok, she played with her for three days. Juno and the deer liked to play chase—mostly Juno attempted to get the deer to chase her. On the open grass, Juno very quickly discovered that the deer can run her down easily, so Juno resorted to diversion tactics—running around bushes, under chairs, around us, etc. Every morning, Juno would go out and look for her deer buddy. I’ve enclosed a couple pictures, and I will be sending you a CD with pictures and movies.

Oh deer

Today as I was driving to the gym with Ryan I saw something that I almost didn’t understand on the side of the road. It was one of those moments where you see something and your brain is trying to make sense of it but somewhere you know instantly what it is. I stopped short and threw on my flashers and jumped out of the car yelling my son, “DON’T GET OUT. There’s a baby deer on the road”

A deer in the yard (not the one in the story)

A deer in the yard (not the one in this story)

It was fine. Still and as small as it could get itself. I didn’t want to touch it – to get my human scent on it so I nudged it with my foot but it stayed put. Finally, after assessing “will it bite? Naw” I gently put my hands under its belly and lifted. It was SO light! And as I watched the impossibly long legs unfurl I noticed how warm it was, how soft and clean, and how light it was and how skinny. It wobbled to its feet and started toward the brush when I heard the mama snort and stamp and run a few feet away. I shooed it into the brush until it was at least a few feet from the road and got back into the car. It was likely trying to cross our crazy busy road to get to the prairie on the other side with mama and fell down the slight embankment onto the road. It must have been less than a day old, maybe two days but definitely young!


June 16, 2009 • Tags:  • Posted in: observations, other animals • No Comments