A Fathers Rant

This past weekend was absolutely beautiful outside so we spent many hours in our backyard and watched the first mowing of the lawn – I love the smell of fresh cut grass by the way.  So of course with the sun shining, Sammy sleeping, and my winter claustrophobia melted away by the wide open (yet small) space of our backyard I couldn’t help but let out a bit of the ol’ Montana tornado:

Around this time I felt I was getting glared at a little by the old guy holding the camera.  What was that about?  He started babbling about how grass was like hair.  What?  Now I must admit I didn’t fully listen to what he was going on about but it had something to do with how both grow where you don’t want it to and does where it shouldn’t.  Again, what?  And why is he looking at me when discussing such nonsense?

First of all, I don’t understand hair in the first place.  Why not go for a nice sleek coat of natural fur?  Then maybe they wouldn’t have to worry about “style” and what is “fashionable.”  In my opinion, I look good EVERYDAY and I never even change my collar…not to say a good pedicure every now and again is not a joy – a girl needs good looking nails.  Even Sammy looks reasonably good everyday without changing his fur but to be honest, he could use a brush every now and again so he doesn’t get that matted down look.

Now, getting back to the issue at hand…


…apparently those gaps in the grass (the dirt parts) are not supposed to be there.  For some reason Dad thinks a lawn is supposed to be a contiguous expanse of grass without these gaps.

Likewise, grass is suppose to know that it should not extend into the gravel path or the garden section that is reserved for flowers and plants.  Hmm….how exactly does he expect grass to respect such arbitrary borders.  As he continued his soliloquy of derision I came over to inspect what he was going on about.

I could see the grass there and had to admit it was a little unsightly but I still didn’t know what I had to do with any of this and why it all started after I did my rounds around the yard.  Hey, nothing in my paws this time – although I guess these pictures don’t really constitute definitive video evidence…luckily for me there was no flag thrown so a video review was not necessary because it might not be “indisputable video evidence.”  In this case, I’ll just have to ask you to trust me that my toes are clean of grass clumps.

So why the incriminating looks?  He eventually explained that during my tornadic activities I not only rip out chunks of grass but also redeposit them in other areas in the back yard where the grass is not suppose to exist.  He eventually admitted that he has the same problem in the front yard – at least the part where the grass invaded the plant beds – so he relented and we had a great evening hanging out with each other as a family.  (psst – it is really hard to stay mad at me 🙂 ).

I guess that is about it for today.

But wait!  I forgot to ask him what this had to do with hair!  Why on earth did he compare grass and hair in the first place?  Better go back and clarify this matter.  Just a second…

So here it is.  According to him, he used to have hair on the top of his head (although I have never seen it) and not on his shoulders, or in his ears or…lets just leave it at that.  Hair isn’t where he wants it but is where he doesn’t.  I’ll spare you the photos.  Again, I suggested to him to just go for fur.  Much more practical.

Take care,

Montana Tornado


Duck, Not a Duck

While in Florida, my parents learned about a new system for categorizing objects in the natural world.  Now this system is not as sophisticated as that binomial system that the Swedish dude Linnaeus came up with so my uncle Glenn probably won’t end up having a statue made of him at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, but it has a simple purity that I can really appreciate.


The system is this:

  1. Duck – this is for everything that is a duck
  2. Not a Duck – pretty much everything else

Of course this requires some knowledge of what qualifies as a duck, and really categorizing as food or not food is probably a better system, but I will go with Uncle Glenn on this one.

Lets do a little practice before I go on with my story:









Answers: 1) Duck, 2) Not a duck, 3) Not a duck, 4) Duck – that one was tricky given it didn’t have a head but trust me it is a duck.

So, guess what we saw on our walk this morning…

Sorry for the steadiness of the video but I was a bit excited about seeing some ducks right there in front of us.   Since I caused some difficulty for my filmographer,  the camera was turned off when Sammy got into the duck chase…that old guy still has some hop to his step.

Needless to say, being on leashes – and under the control of my parents – neither Sammy or I were able to catch those little sassy feathered beings.   So no duck tacos for us this week.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot why I called them sassy.  Before we started after them, the lady duck (the brown one) was strolling across the street away from us not paying any attention to the traffic on the street.  I know this is not a good idea and ALWAYS look both ways before I cross any street.   A car started coming down the road and hesitated when it saw the duck – he may have been trying to decide for himself if the bird in the street was a duck or not a duck.  Either way he slowed down which is when the dude duck came swooping in dive bombing the SUV…and convincing her to move on to our side of the street.   This is when we got involved.  Bottom line: just because they are ducks doesn’t make them gods – in fact, I guess a god would by definition be Not a Duck.

Take care,



Skunks 4: Multiple Perspectives

First off, I have to apologize for taking so long to complete the stories about skunks.  You have to understand that we were about to visit Michigan again and the Scribe was a bit concerned that “finishing” our tetralogy before we went would result in the need to extend the series to Part 5.  So all my ideas for how to tell Part 4 kept spinning in my head – almost to the point where I collapsed…only so much thinking one can do during any given day.

Finally the day came.  Friday April 1st.   Despite the fact that we went to visit Dave the Dog Guy on Thursday (which often happens before a trip to the Grandparents), I must admit I was a little suspicious that packing up the car on a Friday morning was all some fancy trick…a bad April fools day.   But no, we actually piled into the car with enough dog food for a weekend, our jar of treats and a good assortment of toys.   Sammy must have not been convinced that we were really headed toward Michigan since he barked (or what since his surgery has to pass as a bark) pretty much the whole first two hours of the drive.  Once he saw the welcome to Michigan sign he started to calm down some…the fact that this corresponded will pulling over for a rest stop I am sure was a total coincidence.

Alas, we arrived in Ann Arbor, had a great skunk-free weekend, returned home for what I expected would be some free time for me to finally complete my blog entries about skunks.  But this was not to be.  For one, my parents decided to pick up a cold while in Michigan – and let me just say now, the lingering effects of running into one of those bugs is much longer than any residual skunk smell…and that is coming from someone with an excellent sniffer.   My point being, why do they make such a stink about our interactions with skunks when they don’t have the common sense/decency to avoid the cold?   Not only did this set our story telling back a few days but then they left Sammy and me behind while they went to Florida.  This greatly upset me since I had been reading about all the dead fish washing ashore down there recently.  I love fish!   Now I probably wouldn’t eat any old dead fish but you better believe I’d be rolling in all that stinky goodness.   No fish in the world would be able to detect my approach after spending an afternoon on those beaches…then what do you think they would say about a little bit of skunk juice?

For more on that story:


But that isn’t the real story I am trying to tell in this entry.  This time it is about the 4th skunking episode in Michigan…the one we hope is the last.  But if we ever get a new addition to our family I suspect I’ll be able to report on another series of incidents – kind of like the three sets of Star Wars trilogies.

As you have likely guessed, SKUNK 4 also took place at my Grandparent’s house in Michigan.  This time, my parents utilized all the reactionary steps outlined in my last blog as soon as they got a whiff of that smell.   Mom grabbed me on the back porch and kept me from going inside.  My Grandmother and Father tried to get Sammy to come to the cleaning area where I was being retained.  However, Sammy would not come to that side of the house.  Instead, he ran to the other side of the family room and barked to be let in – remember this is when he still had his full original voice.  When he saw them approach with the Nature’s Miracle Skunk-Off solution, however, he high tailed it out of there.  In the meantime, the cleaning supplies were brought to mom where she proceeded cleaning me off.   As she continued her work, the search for Sammy continued.  Since it was dark it was hard to see him but every once in a while a white flash of fur could be seen running along the back part of the yard….locating him was a little easier since he would not shut up the whole time.  Finally, through the use of some tasty treats and assurance that he would not be doused with the dreaded NMS-O, Sammy listened.   With this deal in place, Sammy was captured by Dad and Grandma and to their surprise…he had no SKUNK smell what-so-ever!  This was fortunate for them since they did not have to renege on their deal of no NMS-O, and therefore saved them from a leg-lift dousing of their own.

At this point, as they were celebrating, they were reminded that Mom and I were still in the midst of a de-skunking.   In reality we were completely forgotten through all of this; a very different version of the above story, and more of a reflection of what we went through.  In reality, Mom ran outside and shut the door (per plan).  She grabbed me (per plan) so I would not run away.  Sammy refused to come (not per plan).  We all watched Sammy run back and forth with his white fur flashing in the night across the back yard.  Sammy disappeared, and Mom and I wondered why no one followed the plan to give us skunk off and paper towels and the garbage bags.  Eventually Mom looked in the door and saw grinning Sammy getting pet by everyone.  That bro of mine is a card!  As relayed above, he was not skunked, ran away from the dreaded NMS-O, and therefore there was no leg lift.  I, on the other hand, was miserable…  FINALLY people came and threw NMS-O and paper towels and garbage bags at us so I could get wiped down, Mom could drop everything in bags as planned, and we could go inside.  I like Sammy’s version better…

End of episode 4…but:

The other morning Mom thought she smelled skunk and warned us “no skunk” as she opened the door.  Imagine her chagrin when I ran outside barking!  Lucky her, no skunk… maybe in a future post I will share what I treed!


NOTE:  IMG_7646Apparently when left alone with the pet sitters we cause some problems judging by the note on this awesome piece of artwork my aunt made a while ago depicting Sammy and Banshee.  I keep posing in front of her hoping she’ll eventually draw me to!