Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tiegan & Miles, December 2016

Tiegan and Miles are now busy, active two-year-olds. They are so full of energy and enthusiasm for everything. When they are inside and spot a squirrel in the back yard, they immediately run a lap through the house before scratching at the back door. There seems to be a very definite rule that our excited puppies cannot simply go straight to the door but must first run a lap. That gives me time to open the door as they round the corner from the piano room and fling themselves out into the back yard.  

    Our vet and the animal hospital staff knew how devastated we were when we lost Dasa and then Ivan eight months later. They were delighted that we were once again basenji parents. When we went in for Miles’ wellness exam our vet wrote on our paperwork that Miles was a good brave boy and thank you for bringing Tiegan along, they always love seeing her. One of our friends said, what that really meant was “Peggy and Eric have two new dogs; we can add on another wing.” 
     They are little tornadoes who run through our house, leaving chaos and laughter everywhere. Tiegan has efficiently dispatched a record number of pens, tubes of lip balm, shoes laces, and handles on all sorts of tote bags, purses, and lap top cases. She greets me with her front feet in the air, waving and dancing when I come home.
      Miles discovered the hair dryer blows warm air, and thinks it is a wonderful thing indeed. When he hears the hair dryer, he promptly sits with his back to me so I can run it up and down his back and sides. I only do this for a few seconds so I don’t dry out his skin, but he is just blissful and basks in the warmth.
     Both babies are extremely helpful with laundry. They love to grab a sock and race off, knowing I will chase them and trade a treat for the sock. If the laundry room door is open for the teeniest sliver of time, they materialize, both grasping the same piece of clothing, happily pulling on their ends until I save the endangered item.
     They love to kill stuffed animals. Miles is especially skilled at this, and our house often looks as though we’ve had a blizzard in our living room, with fluffies from destuffed animals and the occasional small dog bed festooning the floor, the rugs, the couch, the chairs….

    We had little horse blanket coats made for them because this is the only type Miles does not pull over Tiegan’s head and wave around. He is also much happier about wearing these than regular sweaters. 
    I cross-stitched their names on stockings that we’ve hung from the ceiling with care, so Tiegan and Miles are ready for Santa. They are, of course, both on the Nice list.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cute Dogs Who Eat Frogs

     Although the high casualty rate has lessened considerably with the cooler fall weather, the mortality rate among frogs in our neighborhood was shocking during the summer months. Quite frequently, poor frogs became flattened frog jerky on our streets. Tiegan and Miles thought this was the best. They lunged for the former frogs with enthusiasm one might find among ravenous beasts tucking into their first meal in weeks. It could not possibly be good for my children to eat frog jerky. The good news is that both Tiegan and Miles allow me to thrust my hand in their mouths to grab and fling away the offending amphibians. We stop and wave whenever a car goes by, so I would find myself flinging a flat pliable frog and then straightening up to wave and smile at my neighbors driving past.
     Starving orphan dogs

    This frog inhalation occurred on our morning and evening walks, and Tiegan and Miles never seemed to hold a grudge or be dissuaded from gobbling up the next frog they happened upon. One August morning shortly after school started, a backpack laden young boy met us and remarked how cute our dogs are. We thanked him and minutes later had to stop so I could retrieve a frog from a doggy mouth. “Yes,” we mumbled to each other, “cute dogs who eat frogs.”  Some of the people driving by stop to remark on how pretty/handsome/beautiful Tiegan and Miles are. Miles has a lovely gait and prances down the street and Tiegan is the most delightful little pixie so we are proud parents indeed. We are grateful, however, that no one has stopped while I’m pulling frogs from my dogs’ mouths. 
    And for our next trick....  


Friday, October 7, 2016

Blessing of the Animals

   We took Tiegan and Miles to a Blessing of the Animals service in a little outdoor chapel in a grove of pine trees. This was one of those hope-overrides-reality situations.

    When we got out of the car, Eric took Miles. I took Tiegan, two lawn chairs, a blanket, and a bag containing treats and another blanket. If I had also balanced a large basket of fruit on my head, it would have been a fairly equitable distribution of labor. I set up our chairs, folded one blanket into a neat square between them and settled into a chair with Tiegan lying on my lap, wrapped in a blanket, serenely taking in the scene around us. 
    Although Miles was somewhat over stimulated, he was actually quite well behaved, especially compared to the handsome but fretful dog near us who emitted the whine of a bad engine belt throughout the entire service. Miles occasionally voiced sotto voce protests, but did not do his baby dragon imitation. Hallelujah!
     Eric did a masterful job, no pun intended, of keeping our boy under control, at least to our standards. Since Miles decided sitting on Eric’s lap was too simple, he put all four feet against Eric and pushed so he was standing sideways. A couple of times, Eric and Miles took short walks, which seemed to help.Thanks to a firm grip on his harness, and with a minimum of thrashing about, Miles stayed close to us and received lots of praise, treats, and reassurance. Both Tiegan and Miles were given multiple compliments and opportunities to sniff friendly humans.
    Fortunately, this was a dog-savvy crowd in that no one brought their dogs charging up within inches of other dogs to say “Hi!!” Miles was happy to receive human attention, even if other dogs were cause for concern. He is doing well with new and potentially worrisome situations.
    The service focused on the care and compassion our wonderful animals deserve and on living gently alongside other creatures and with the whole creation. Tiegan and Miles received little medallions and blessings: “May God, who created you in beauty and variety, now bless the companionship you share with people in your journey through life.”
  Tiegan and Miles are such treasures. We feel very blessed indeed.

  Tired little wild animals.