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tartan 1

You want some photos?

tartan 2

Well, that’s negotiable.

tartan 3

And I don’t come cheap!

tartan 4

What do you mean ‘pose first, pay later’?

tartan 5

Hah! That will be the day.

tartan 6

I want Timbits. And there better be more than two of them…

tartan 7

If you want this handsome face in your viewfinder.

tartan 8

And another thing…my agents says- oh look! A squirrel!

Of farts and fright

Dear Scotts, purveyors of fine suet cakes that are being gobbled at the speed of light by flocks of mooching nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees and other assorted feathered friends:

I have a complaint.

red poll finches

I want to know just what is it you put in your bird food that creates more methane than a dozen herd of cows when it’s eaten by a collection of birds that would not match a cow’s hoof in size or weight. How do I know they fart? Well, I’m going to tell you. And I’m so glad you asked.

I’m sure you understand that a dog’s hearing is far superior to a human’s. Perhaps you are unaware though, that a blind dog’s hearing is…well, extraordinary. They, or Grady specifically, can hear trays of Timbits being taken out of the oven, 23 miles away. So hearing birds expel gas is child’s play to him. The hearing is not the problem. It is the barking.

Grady lays in front of the patio door, unaware of just why the cats are chirping and salivating all over his bed. He couldn’t care less, since his olfactory skills also tell him that it’s not food they are excited about. It’s the birds out on the patio, shovelling up the seed into their pointy little beaks. Grady of course, can’t see them. Out of sight, out of mind. And the barking is driving me out of mine.

It’s not like he barks at every little noise. He takes no notice at all of screaming Blue Jays, Chickadees and cats hitting the patio door (from opposite sides). Not a hair does he turn when I stub my toes on the treadmill at 4am on my way to the bathroom. But when all things are quiet, and even my pretty good hearing detects nothing that sounds like someone is using explosives to breach the door and steal our Dentastix, he goes ballistic. This of course sets off Stage 2 ballistics from Brandy, who possibly can’t hear birds breaking wind, but if Grady barks, by doG, she’ll bark until he stops. And then bark some more to make sure the birds know that they better stop that right now. The suddenness of said barking scares the living crap out of me.

Since Grady is usually right by the Seed Smorgasbord out on the deck, it has to be the birds. I would posit that it was the cracking of sunflower seed shells, but it happens when the only thing being consumed is bits of fruit or microscopic seeds. And given the speed at which these little feathered fiends ingest said material, they have got to have gas.

I would appreciate it if you could start coating your products in Gas-X or some other animal friendly fart-reducing substance. My nerves can’t stand much more.




cold canadian dogs



The bark brigade, defending hearth and home from farting feathered friends.

It’s certainly not The Sound of Music around our house. In fact, it’s more like a set for Frozen. We’ve had over five feet of snow since Jan.24. This is of great concern to both of us. For different reasons.

snow storm Feb. 2015

First, I have a four foot snow limit. After that, various parts of my body start to break down. Last week it was my shoulder and the muscles that run every so lovingly over to your neck and cause gigantic spasms of pain after you have been throwing snow over said shoulder for oh…hours. This of course, does not bother Grady a bit, as long as I have one good arm with which to dish up food and hold the leash when he needs to go.

Grady’s concerns are a bit different. His primary worry is whether there is enough snow left in which to make doggie snow angels. Over and over and over. Every time he goes out. Yes, Grady. There is enough for snow angels that if placed tail to nose would encircle the earth, 400 million times. This makes him very happy. So much so, that he pretends to have to go at 2:30am, right after I have gone to bed, forcing me to stand outside in -30F weather in my pajamas while he drops, rolls, and scratches his nose on the icy bits.

His other concern is slightly more serious. Being blind, Grady has mapped the yard in his little pea brain. Six steps this way and around the tree for a stoop and poop. Except there is now a six foot bank of snow there and the tree has been buried. So when he goes out, he runs his head into the snow banks and comes out white, which is mildly amusing. Add to the changed topography of his world, an urgent need to perform the S&P, and it gets even better.

After the last storm he charged out the door, frantically searching for his beloved stooping grounds. His anxiety level was so high that he spun around several times, then backed up the snow bank until he was at a 45 degree angle, head down, and cocked his leg. Then stooped and made his deposit with leg still extended.

No, I did not have a camera. Pity. But it would likely have gotten snow in the lens as I ricocheted off the snow banks, laughing hysterically. In its place I offer this much tamer pic of him in more standard operation. Please ignore the yellow squiggles. His writing is dreadful.

snowmageddon

The Night Before Christmas

(With apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Snoring was heard from each eggnog souse.
The stockings were hung on nails way up high,
Far above furballs who think they can fly.

The cats had all snuggled down in my bed,
Where visions of ornaments danced in their heads.
Left with six inches of mattress, onto it I leap,
With the mistaken idea that I was going to sleep.

leandro under the tree

Ten seconds later a bellowing moose
Caused a scattering of cats as all Hell broke loose.
I dashed for the door, being somewhat bold,
Tripped over Grady and knocked myself cold.

It was like a convention, out there on the lawn,
Three rabbits, a racoon, two does and a fawn.
The volume of laughing, rose and then sunk
Santa and crew had run over the skunk.

Things had got ugly, and Santa he swore,
This would be his last trip to our house, he’d come back no more.
The wee creatures’ eyes grew with each new term they heard ,
Rudolph was texting his union steward.

The reindeer argued and pointed at Vixen,
Who blushed and admitted she was pregnant by Blitzen.
Santa snarled at the team and up they all flew
I think it might have been the threat of a stew.

With a mighty leap, through the sky they were rushing,
To toots that showed someone’s intestines need flushing.
The sled and the toys, and the fat gentleman too,
Arrived on the roof to applause from the zoo.

The cats were all clamoring, anticipating some nip,
As I limped back inside, thinking of a new hip.
“Wait just a minute!” Santa growled an aside,
“Who put the damn chimney on the outside?”

He slid down the bricks, filling the night,
With an odeur that said he might have worn black and white.
The aroma followed him in through the door,
Where he didn’t see the hairball on the floor.

He flew into the air, his feet kicking and wiggling,
I’d type what he said if I could only stop giggling.
His acrobatics were surely the high point of the day,
And seldom seen outside Cirque du Soleil.

He rose with a groan and dragged open the sack,
With a mutter about how he’d never come back.
Stockings were stuffed, and he was this close to done,
When Grady barrelled into him at a full run.

waiting for Santa

To say he went ass over tea kettle would be quite understated,
And the words that he said were certainly X-rated.
He was giving the poor dog an angry ‘what-for’
As Grady slid between his legs and began to explore.

Santa’s armpits were empty, his bellybutton likewise,
Ditto his ears, his butt and his thighs.
Up one down the other side of Santa he races,
Grady was looking for food in all the wrong places.

“Let me out of here!” Santa screamed, out the door in good time,
He whipped up the reindeer who turned on a dime.
And we heard him exclaim as he flew towards Dover,
“You’ll see me back here when this damn place freezes over!”

tree 2

On behalf of Grady, I would like to wish our wonderful friends and followers, a Merry Christmas, and a joyous New Year, and share with you some exciting news. Grady’s blog has been nominated in two categories of the Dog Writer’s Association Awards, one for dog blog, and one in the humour category, for the article “Revenge is Sweet”. No matter the outcome, we are honoured by the nominations and grateful to the two rescues without whom there would be no Grady and no blog. God Bless us all, every one.

The Conspiracy

Is there really life on Mars as evidenced by the 1976 photos showing a sphinx, a pyramid and a Neanderthal Kardashian? Did Shakespeare’s works actually pay for the eggs to go with Francis’ bacon? These mysteries are among the world’s great conspiracies, but none of them can hold a candle to the underworld undermining of authority that is going on right here.

It started with the Case of the Vanishing Kaiser Rolls. The ones that were carefully pushed to the back of the top of the microwave where even a long-bodied, long-legged dog can’t reach. Thanks to some top-notch detective work, and needing to tie my shoe, the lost were found. Kind of. It was more a case of the “remains”, which consisted of part of the plastic bag and copious crumbs underneath the dining room table.

The first thing armchair detectives should know, is that the table is up against the kitchen counter that divides these two miniscule areas of the house, and the microwave is against the wall on the end of the counter. Ergo, there is no way the bag could have fallen onto the floor. Fortunately, due to past transgressions, it was pretty clear who was responsible for the disappearance. What wasn’t clear was how he got hold of them. It was clear however, that a dietary change was in order, as plastic has very little nutritional value.

Skip forward several days, and the happenstance that my footsteps were relatively quiet, and another theft was in progress. Walla, as the French say. The thief is caught. Or at least identified, since his four feet are much faster than my two, and he vanished quicker than the rolls.

The evidence:




chewed roll





The perpetrator:




On guard





The package had been chewed through by none other than the new kid on the block, Leandro. But it still did not explain how Grady joined in the feast. That revelation came the next day when once more, I forgot to put the rolls inside the microwave, and they were pillaged again. I came around the corner just in time to find Leandro dragging the bag (which had already been chewed) across the counter and dropping it on the floor, right in front of Grady. The plundering continued amidst language not fit for a blog of this high calibre.

Now, the question was: how to put a stop to this? That turned out not to be as simple as putting the rolls away. Because first, I forget to do that. Frequently. And Leandro’s tastes are not limited to rolls. He also enjoys crackers, cake, dried fruit, and basically anything edible that is not inside a locked vault. Grady also enjoys these things. Quite often, thanks to Leandro.

The accomplice/beneficiary of the crime:




fart 1
I’m innocent Your Honour, and I have witnesses!





One thing Leandro does not appear to appreciate, is hard dog biscuits. That doesn’t mean he leaves them where they are found. Far from it. To date, he has been caught on my desk with a paw on the shelf overhead, pushing treats off onto the floor. Then on the kitchen table, where he showed himself a dab hand/paw at shoving biscuits across the smooth surface and into the gaping jaws of Grady. It’s a shame there are no Cat Olympics. He’d have the curling gold medal in the bag.

The Fountain of Youth

Grady has discovered the fountain of youth. Which is really a Pioneer pet fountain. Big Max, to be exact.

How do I know this, you ask. Because Grady went to the vet last week. The vet, being a man of wisdom and not inconsiderable experience, looked at the white creeping up over the doggy noggin and said “How old is he now?” Well, we don’t know for sure because when the unknown scum tossed him out on the streets to starve, there was no note attached. You know, “This is my baby, I can’t keep him anymore. He’s 10 years old and will eat anything.” All Grady had when he was taken in by Animal Control, was a matted coat, ribs sticking out, and eyes that could no longer see. It was *thought* he might be ten. And that being two years ago, my superior math skills tell me that he *might* now be twelve. And might not. Ten at least, that’s what we settled on.

Grady was there because his right eye, still beautiful even without sight, has become more opaque of late. He also has cataracts, so it behooves Mama to keep a close eye on changes like this. The vet agreed. Then he tried to examine Grady. And that’s where it started.

On the first attempt, Grady dove under the vet’s arm and pretty much down the front of his V-neck surgical top. After we extracted and lectured him, he sat back calmly with that alert, “I’m on board with you” expression which can only mean disaster. Let’s just say the vet got a real good look in his ear, and could verify that no, Grady no longer had any testicles.

I’ve never played Twister with a dog before. It’s rather like doing yoga with an octopus hyped up on speed. Only I was never quite sure whether on the next WWF move, I would end up face to face with Grady or lying on the floor being told to “sit, stay!”

As the examination progressed, the vet’s assessment of Grady’s age started to drop. After Round 1, he posited that for an old dog, he was in pretty darn good shape. He didn’t have enough breath for any more comments until after Round 4 when I heard him mutter that he’d known young dogs that weren’t that flexible. By the time we were on the home stretch, he announced that ten week old puppies weren’t that lively. The muffled giggles and snorts coming from the other side of the examining room door where his wife sat at the desk went unremarked.

We left with the good news that there is nothing seriously wrong with his eye. And also that the vet could get an early appointment with his chiropractor.

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