Freak off a Leash

Last weekend our cousin Snowy came for a visit – along with Auntie K and Uncle S.  We had a blast which included many walks around the neighborhood (our ‘Hood).  The coolest part of their arrival was that we didn’t have to spend all Friday in our crate since they arrived well before our parents on that afternoon.  Second best part was that they brought the portrait of Montana that AK painted:

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So now she is next to Sam and Banshee!

But I digress.  The real point of my story was how Zoe almost ruined the whole weekend when she bolted away from the pack when she saw a squirrel after sliding down the slide at the park.  See, everyone was having a blast taking turns going down the slides for kids that they have at our local park.   We were planning a triple shimmer (they have a three panel slide) when Zoe took her last solo flight.  Somehow, in all our anticipation of the Big Triple someone (Dad?) did not get a firm hold of Zo-bug’s leash so when she saw the aforementioned squirrel, she made a charge for the furry little beast and in so doing, realized that she was essentially “off leash” – even though the leash was still attached to her collar there was no human at the other end to reel her in.  And off to the races she went!  And boy she is fast.   A number of cars stopped and asked about her/offered to help, as the rest of the pack was following her – I  (and Snowy) didn’t really care if she found a new family to live with but my parents and Aunt/Uncle seemed to think they had to coral her before she found a new home – or got injured.

In order to stop her from sprinting off they tried to employ some of the lessons we have been working on at doggy (human) training.   The upshot of this was my parents realized they needed to do a lot more work on the “come” command.  Zoe did stay relatively close and would do a fly by when they called out to her (at least sometimes) but she remained a good leash length away from them so as not to be captured.   Eventually, she wore down (and got distracted by a very pungent skunk odor) at which point Mom regained control of her (Zoe’s) leash.

So realizing that Zoe might be associating the “Come” command with “Capture” or no more fun, Mom suggested that we go to the local dog park and work on getting Zoe to return to them when she was off leash and reward her with a treat.   For this exercise they utilized hot dogs.  So before I go on I have a couple of quick asides. 1) Hot dogs are tasty things and I was glad to find out that they are not really made of dogs, 2) Local dog park?  How did I not know about this until now?  Come on people!!  Anyhow, we went there both days this weekend and had a bloody muddy mess of a good time.  On Day 1, Zoe didn’t set any recall records but Athena (my new best friend) and I were always right at Mom’s hot dog containing pocket as soon as she uttered the “come” command.  In fact, the two of us hardly left her side from that point on.  IMG_8945

Ms. ADHD (aka Zoe freak off leash) was randomly running around the lot.

On Day 2, we were both much more in tune with our parents and would immediately come from anywhere in the park and stop at Mom’s feet and await our reward.  Again, despite no Athena, we were having a blast playing fetch with yet another new friend.  He may have been a bit older than us but nowhere near the age of Sammy.  This particular trip to the park ended shortly after Zoe tackled our new friend in the mud.  It was TOTALLY a legal hit – the other dog had already touched the ball – but the other dog’s owner was not particularly excited by the additional dirt that had now encapsulated his pup.  To be fair to Zoe, his paws and underside were already filthy dirty but now his shoulder and back may have also been a bit muddy.  That Zoe!  To be clear, the dog left the park with a HUGE grin on his face.

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After all of that, we still had to go to training today.   But that is another story.

The Tempest

This weekend also reminded Zoe and I to always keep our eyes open to the spectacle of the world we live in – it can be quite amazing and beautiful.

Tempi and Zoe

 

Rude Awakenings

As will soon become clear, this entry will have no photographs to support the text because: 1) you don’t want to see what Zoe coughed up; 2) back before iPhones, pictures were apparently snapped at a less frequent pace.

1) Last night, or rather early this morning, I was awoken by a viscous attack upon my person by Zoe – apparently she thought I was interested in the food she had just “made”…food that she had actually eaten a good eight hours or so earlier.  Mom woke up before I did because she heard a grumbling coming from the torso curled up next to her.  That grumbling soon became a pile of partially eaten dinner that projected out of Zoe (so I assume – I was sleeping peacefully at the time it happened).  Her getting sick to her stomach would have normally activated the whole household since dog puking is usually preceded by that horrible retching sound.  This time everyone was up in a matter of moments but with the exception of Mom, this was driven by the barrage on me  (me still being in a sleep stupor and shocked by her suddenly aggressive nature) rather than the aforementioned gagging or lack thereof.   Dad, also shaking off his exhausting dreamscape, tried to get between Zoe and I in order to break up the not really fight.  I say not really as Zoe was pretty worked up but I just stood there blinking and pretending to barr my teeth at her through her barking and barring of teeth thinking “why am I not still asleep?”  Followed closely by “why would I want to eat that?  You eat it.”  Which Zoe tried to do as Dad worked on corralling us outside and Mom started the clean up process and the detective work to try and figure out what sparked the mid-slumber up-chuck fest.   Her concern deepened when she found no obvious foreign particles in the aftermath.  In addition, Zoe had another episode of regurgitation in the back yard and was entirely squirmy the rest of the early morning while sitting with Mom on the couch (Dad fell back asleep after finding a non-puke bed).  Quick aside, while Mom was on the couch consoling Zoe, she checked her email and the first of HUNDREDS of emails sent company wide started piling up in her inbox.  By the time Dad finally arose, the count was already at 80 from people responding (to all) with all sorts of humorous things like: “I shouldn’t be on this email”, “PEOPLE STOP RESPONDING TO ALL!”, or “Is this some sort of Cyber-attack?”  or “my name is so and so and I do x.  Surely you have the wrong so and so.”  Anyhow, as I mentioned, Dad was now awake for reals.  So it was shower time.  This was when my Mother finally finished her detective work into why Zoe had gotten sick.  Apparently, at some point during the evening (sleep time), “Speedy” slunk into the shower and consumed the best part of a bar of soap.  This apparently caused her some gastric distress :).  She was fine by breakfast, and there appears to be no negative aftermath.

2) Back in The Day of Cats, our parents similarly awoke in a rapid and traumatic fashion.  On this occasion, in the era before iPhones, there was no retching, puking, or other such animal-related sickness.  However, as they would eventually determine, it was pet induced.   See, back in the day, Dad would bring a glass of ice water with him to bed and set in on the headboard.   This tradition was subsequently modified based on this event – and the fact that they eventually ended up getting new bedroom furniture so the glass of water could be on a side table rather than above their heads.  So, on the night in question, or at least the night of this story, the water glass was perched above them.  And this was not just any water glass but one of those jelly jar heavy type things – a real solid piece of glass.  Mom and Dad were sound asleep but suddenly awoke “simultaneously” when they felt said glass bonk them on the head and felt a sudden rush of cold water cascading over their shoulders.  “WHY DID YOU DO THAT?” they both said awaking from their slumber.   While rubbing their heads…and shivering (as it was the middle of the winter)…they realized that the culprit was actually Boomer who sat on the headboard carefully grooming himself from the horrible trauma inflicted on him by the splash of water that caught his paw after the glass had unceremoniously fallen from the headboard, hit one and then the other of our parents in the head before dousing them with the cold water.  Hee hee hee.

The Tempest

Thanks for the story Boomer.  Hope all is well at college!

Speedy Gon-Zoe-les

PS

This comment on my last blog entry got me thinking of this past summer – shortly after Zoe arrived as a full time member of the pack.

Then we got this comment, which made me think of cartoons (and classic Peter Sellers films of course), which inspired the title of the blog…albeit from different animators:

What a pity that Zoe is not Pink! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pink_Panther

Before I start on the actual story I wish to relate, I should say that had Zoe actually been pink I would have immediately welcomed her into the clan.  Although my color is actually purple (check out my collar), I do have a penchant for all things pink…stuffed flamingos, some of mom’s socks, certain sheets which I find particularly tasty, etc….

Anyhow, back to this summer when Zoe initially demonstrated to us how particularly speedy she actually could be.  See, on this occasion, Mom was in the kitchen making dinner while Dad and I were working on one of my finer posts.  Upon completion, we asked for an editorial review – which is typical of our writings (see the Scribe is just that, basically a stenographer, so we need someone to review what he actually typed).  So Mom vacated her post at the kitchen counter, having just finished flouring the 4 fish fillets, to get the computer so she could do her review while the fish was cooking.  When she returned to the kitchen Zoe had performed a particularly speedy conversion of the fish from 4 to 1.  Come to think of it, this reminds me of the Shel Silverstein poem where a boy gradually converts 1 dollar into 5 pennies (SMART!).

https://www.marketplace.org/2009/04/27/life/poetry-project/poem-smart-shel-silverstein

Now I feel a bit of deja vu!  Not about poetry but more about my story telling.  I think I may have given account of Zoe being bad back in December.

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So what could have possibly occurred that I felt the need to retell the same tale?  I suppose it may have been the comments from my last post about her speed but I sense there must be something else.  Another story of Zoe’s extreme maneuverability?  More ill-behavior from a pup in our pack?  For the life of me I just can’t seem to place it.  This is particularly disturbing since I had the scribe’s attention and have so many untold stories I have to tell!

Maybe it is just that the days are starting to grow longer which was a simple reminder that summer time is approaching…when the warm sun, loads of outdoor time, and other great adventures happen on almost daily!  Even our solar panels seem to be itching for some good sunny days in which they aren’t covered in an icy-snowy mix.

Of course, once we go outside, the deep cold temperatures, and continual snow quickly bring us back to February and the polar vortex of the upper mid-west (USA) where we live.  Although we still do find a lot of fun stuff to do with all this snow on the ground.  In fact, it is kind of a nice soft wrestling mat for Zo’ and I when we are “fighting” outside.  And when we aren’t doing that there are always spots that we can perch upon (inside or out)!

IMG_5239That last picture of me and Sammy reminds me of another story but for now I am just too tired to go on.  Think I’ll dream of warm summer days.

The Tempest

Speedy

Black Panther

You may be thinking this is a review/commentary of the blockbuster hit of 2018.   And in all honesty I wish it was but my parents don’t let us go to the shows…and in fact, they tend to only watch movies in the comfort of our home with us, just to make sure we don’t miss out on an opportunity to be culturally aware.

However, this short entry is about the rare photo of a black panther/black leopard that is the first of its kind in 100+ years!

Zoe and I were surprised that this feline has been stalking the earth for over a century- she looks so young and seems to be such a sleek beauty!  But then it was explained to us that it may not be the exact same creature that was caught on film back in the day, but rather another with a rare mutation that causes melanism, which is the opposite of albinism – thus the black fur.

I just want the world to know that prior to this sighting, and photographic evidence, I myself, THE TEMPEST, caught a similar image on film:

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In looking at my picture again  I could see how someone might just think this is a shadow effect and not truly a back predator.   But believe me folks, this female is a menace to society (my life) and shares a similar sleek black coat as the Black Panther.

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The seemingly colorful look of her in this shot is the twig stuck in her jowls, the “pretty (orange) collar” she wears to reduce her insistent chatter, her collar (teal, pink and black), and her Pi Sign white insignia on her chest which some may claim as evidence she is not a melanite.  However, I think it is a brand imprinted on her from the Mount of Olympus to indicate she is not the Alpha in our pack but much further down the pecking order (beneath me – Ha!).

Here’s the NatGeo story about what I presume is the good version of Zoe’s doppleganger!

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/02/rare-black-panther-spotted-in-africa-century

Take that, Zoe.  The Tempest.

 

A Home Coming Story

As usual, a lot has gone on around here, many stories to tell, many MANY stories, but the Scribe has not been attentive.  However, tonight I got him to sit down for a bit so I thought I would share a very short story from earlier this week.

As you may recall, in summertime we often play the “where is Dad” game in the backyard when they return home from work.  This typically happens after the big trucks come by during the day and take away all our trash – which by the way, does not capture things we would have thrown out if our house were a true democracy.  In the winter, the trash bins do not go in the backyard but rather on the side of the garage.  This seems to be for the sole reason of reducing the amount of shoveling they (our parents) have to do when the snow starts flying.  Anyhow, once the change of locale for the trash takes place so does the Tuesday routine of returning them to their appropriate spot.  Thus, Dad doesn’t hide somewhere in the backyard but rather creeps up on us and peers at us through the blurry window in the front door:

We do eventually forgive him for his actions.

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The Tempest

 

Unfortunately our car doesn’t accommodate magnetic slogan or we would definitely be getting this one!  We saw it on a car on our way back from a training session which is a MUCH longer story.

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Earliner

My parents recently got back from a trip on an airliner, realizing our floor work was quickly eroding and the baseboards were still a mess.  This weekend my parents started the painting project that involved washing, repairing, taping, and painting the baseboards on the ground floor of our house (note the use of the Oxford comma in this opening sentence – very first class).   Anyhow, we (Zoe and I) were of course first class assistance in this intricate family venture.  The end product was a most refined living space…thanks in large part to my supervisory skills:

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However, in the course of the painting, Zoe got a bit mixed up in the works mostly due to an unexpected visitor who rang our doorbell midway through our work.  This caused her to stomp on the front window sill, getting white paint on her paws and then prancing around in front of the door dispersing the paint over a good part of the newly refinished floor:

Interestingly, somewhere along the line, despite all  her hard work, she found a way to spend some time in front of the mirror getting her ears perfectly manicured (if that is the right word) with white tips.

We are expecting that Earliner is going to be all the rage in the upcoming music festival and fashion seasons this summer-time.

Best,

The Tempest

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Mud Bowl

For the past so many years (spans much beyond what us canines view as practical), the Greek system at the University of Michigan engages in a fundraising ritual termed the Mud Bowl.  I know our parents went to Michigan as well but as I recall they were a part of the Geek system which apparently is a totally different beast.  However, as pups of a certain age we were quite intrigued by this idea of wrestling in mud – in a purely sporting way.  And as luck (or Mother Nature) would have it, late this year our backyard turned into the perfect venue for such activities.  My initial plan was to post our exploits, and a bit of internet history of the Michigan Mud Bowl, as part of a tribute to the success Michigan football team following their Peach Bowl win over Florida.  However, as fate would have it, their largely exceptional year kind of exploded over the last game of the regular season and in the aforementioned bowl game.  In fact, many people may have referred to their performance as like “mud” – or some other less than polite simile.

So I scrapped the idea for that post until former Michigan player Tom Brady won his record setting sixth Super Bowl championship – this is a game for the professionals.  Most of the day was spent painting the trim throughout our house (more on that later) before we were left alone while my parents went off to watch the game with friends.  Despite not being able to watch the game live I did read quite a bit about it on my smart-device today while they were at work.   Interestingly, although there is a long standing understanding that “defense wins championships,” the same derogatory terminology was being cast about this morning, following the historically low scoring (13-3) game, and was being used to describe the last two games of the Michigan football season – which by the way featured very little defense.

With all that prelude out of the way, here is how Zoe and I celebrate Mud Bowl season:

By the way, we may be approaching an early Mud Bowl 2019 as the snow is quickly melting away and the addition of rain on top of that is turning our backyard into another perfect setting for MB19-1 (MudBowl 2019 take 1).

The Tempest

And for those interested, here is some reading material about the Ann Arbor MB’s:

https://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2018/11/phi_kappa_psi_theta_chi_gear_u.html

https://michiganmudbowl.org/