Rotten Brothers

My brother and I used to get into terrible fights. Little arguments turned into wrestling matches, he was scrappy and strong and didn’t know how to give up. Fortunately for me he was late to grow. Unfortunately for him his big sister was super mean.

Maybe it was when he did finally grow bigger than me and I had to be nice to him, or maybe it was just that once we didn’t live together and fight over the radio station everyday that we discovered we actually, maybe, sorta, liked doing things with one another.

But, somehow or other we’ve gone from no-holds wrestling to me purposely subjecting myself to multiple hours in the car with my kids just so our families could spend the weekend together.

Rotten brothers change.

My brother and Trip.

Well, some rotten brothers change…

Trip (my dog) and his litter mate Sunday (my brother’s dog) got into their first real fight when they were about 12 weeks old (prior to that, I didn’t know puppies ever did that).  Things have improved since then but I still wouldn’t call them “friends”. We all survived their adolescence, when they both went looking for a fight, with minor wounds and have settled into a more mature phase where, while supervision is always necessary, they can co-exist and hunt together and so long as they are busy they don’t feel the need to beat up on one another.

Except for when they do.

While out for a long run in the woods, while we skied, the boys were mostly ignoring each other and things were going fine.  My brother ahead and I behind, the dogs had all come together on the trail between us and paused. Maybe it was the inactivity, probably it was the presence of a girl dog (Yeah, I’m totally blaming the boys’ terrible behavior on a girl. It’s a thing!) but they went from happily coexisting to, snarling, snapping monsters.

This was not my first dog fight rodeo with the two of them but it was the first time that I had to separate the two of them while wearing cross country skis and poles. After quite a lot of ineffective pole waving (I do not recommend ski poles as an effective prop for dog fights) and yelling, (I always yell. I have no idea why, it does zero good) I was able to ditch my poles, side step into the deep snow off the trail and grab a dog in each hand.

Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home. Sticking your hand into a dog fight is a terrible idea. Breaking up a dog fight on skis is an even worse idea. It must be done strategically, quickly and it helps if you are strong enough and the dogs are small enough to hold them in the air at arms length if necessary while balancing on skis.  Did I mention this wasn’t my first rodeo with these two knuckleheads?

The dogs, once in hand, calmed down immediately and simply stood and looked at each other as I held them apart. Thankfully I saw that my brother was coming back through the woods towards me so I would not be stuck in the woods holding the tiger(s) by the tail, so to speak. I sighed and looked back down at our two trouble makers to assess damage.  Sunday had a small tear under one eye and I could still feel him growling and grumbling. I looked over to Trip, who was bleeding from a scratch on his nose, and saw that he was wagging his tail to beat the band as he cheerfully looked at his brother.

It reminded me of fighting with my own brother as a kid. Those few shining moments when he started it, came out on the worse end of it and he got in trouble for it… well, if you’ve got a rotten brother of your own then you know that’s enough to make any sibling gleeful.

My brother and I shook our heads, put a little distance between them, and headed the boys back down the path toward home. They went back to happily running through the woods as if nothing had ever happened.

Brothers…

What can you do?

I’d also like to note here that Goose (my dog) and his litter mate Buster (my brother’s dog) have so far gotten along fantastically.  Let’s just hope it stays that way! 

Full Manual

I haven’t used full manual mode much but I gave it a try while running the dogs this week. In the past I have struggled to catch the all the action of the running dogs and still have them in focus. But, this time, I think I did it!

It just turns out that most of the action I see is from behind.

Caption This – 2

I have this picture that I keep meaning to share but I’ve been holding off waiting for just the right caption to come to me.

It’s not coming.

Help me out.

How would you caption this picture of the poor sad puppy who appears to be locked out of the house by the grumpy cat?

Uncle Trip

The new puppy is Trip’s nephew (for real, Goose is his half-brother Turk’s pup) and Trip has taken to his Uncle-y duties well – not a single growl or grumble.

This is probably because he has, so far, refused to acknowledge that the puppy exists.  Well, other than this look he keeps giving me:

Judging from past puppy experiences, I suspect that when Goose gets a bit older Trip will be willing to play, but until then, Trip has gotten to go on a bit more car rides and gotten to be on the flip side of the naughty dog coin.

Today while Trip was sitting by my side with his head in my lap and we watched (well, I watched, Trip looked the other way) Goose attack a knothole in a post in the living room.  I looked at Trip and said, “Someday he’ll be a good dog too… Someday…

 

Puppy Names

The new puppy has arrived!

And his name is Goose.

Despite many people’s dubious reaction to his name, I’m keeping it.

Partly because within the first two hours the kids had already called him Goose 7 gazillion times (revisit the saga of Sarah Cat and wonder why I didn’t learn my lesson) and partly because I like it (and Mom still gets ultimate naming power because I did learn something from the Sarah Cat saga).

Besides, his dad’s name is Turkey so it makes perfect sense.

But now what I need is an official registered name for Goose. On paper he’s the offspring of Mr. Impressive and Fearless (none of this Turkey and Trixie business on the official documents) but so far my inspiration has only taken me as far as Super Goose.

And so, brilliant people of the internet, give me your best idea for a registered name for Goose!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words But…

It’s said that a pictures is worth a thousand words and it may be true, but sometimes they need a few more. 

A little girl meanders down a sandy road, with her dog trotting behind on a summer’s day.

But there was more to it than that.

For starters, that dog isn’t trotting along behind (he doesn’t ever do that), he is briefly checking in with his family before diving back into the foliage to see where his nose will lead him. That foliage is swarming with mosquitoes and biting flies (Can you see the little girl slapping her arm?) and riddled with poison ivy even if it does look inviting and green from a distance.   You can’t tell from the picture that that little girl is the princess of the family in every way and that everyone was surprised when she was the first to put her shoes on and run for the door when a hike in the woods was suggested. Nor can you tell that she’s out in front of her mom, grandpa and sister quick stepping along because she’s hoping to see the “interestin’ stuff” first and you can’t tell that she lingers at the interesting finds the longest. You also can’t tell that the accompanying sister is not the sister who was expected but the oldest, who was too interested not to come and too pretend-grumpy to admit it and so complained about the swarms of bugs and the lack of fun at every opportunity. You can’t see that her sister didn’t have too much time to complain because her grandpa was busy showing them tracks: deer tracks, bear tracks, turkey tracks, woodcock tracks, snapping turtle tracks and wolf tracks.  You can’t see her mom trying to identify flowers with the little girls’ grandpa, while checking out the growing hazelnuts and chewing on wintergreen. And you can’t see her mom melting in the sweatshirt that she’s wearing on such a hot day just to hide from the bugs as she gives the little girl a piggyback ride up the hills on the way home while snapping pictures of butterflies, flowers… and of  a little girl with her dog.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it still needs an additional three hundred and sixteen.

V is for …. Vulture

Turkey Vulture if you want to be specific.

I always know when they are flying over the house because my bird dog came with a Vulture Alert System.

Perhaps it’s the frustration of having big bird that he can’t point leisurely sail by, perhaps he suspects that there is something smelly and dead nearby that he doesn’t get to roll in, or maybe he just hates vultures.   Whatever the reason, he goes tearing across the lawn barking at them.

Every.

Single.

Time.

I guess it works, they’ve never tried to infiltrate his yard and it is a very handy habit if you need a “V” picture…

 

Photo blogging my way through the alphabet with: