Say Hello to….”THE DISEMBOWELER”

Early last fall, a new dog moved into the neighborhood.  He was sort of a blocky-headed Border collie…but not quite.  Mostly black, with some tan, a lot of tan ticking on his front legs, a husky sort of dude, probably about 75 pounds.  He looked like a Rottweiler blend, perhaps the reason for the blocky-head?  Anyway, his Mom is Monica, and she warned My Dad and I right away that…what’s his name?……Wesley…that’s his name, did NOT like men and did not get along well with other dogs.  My faithful, loyal, well-informed followers (thank you!) are very aware that I am very calm, very cool, very collected….unless I see a FedEx truck, or their associated vehicles.  I am very well behaved when meeting other dogs….I just stand there, tail up and wagging briskly, and I wait for the dog, strange or not, to approach me.  My Dad and his family, and most of my human buddies have come to the belief that I give off some subtle signal (EFF with me at your own peril!).  On top of my well-mannered behavior, most of the dog people around here call My Dad, The Dog Whisperer…he is pretty cool with strange dogs and they like him as quickly as they like me…but just because you like me does not mean I am going to like you, if you’re a dog…I’m very picky about the canines I am going to interact with.  If I like you, I will know immediately.  If I don’t like you, we will exchange canine pleasantries, CALMLY AND RESPECTFULLY, and I will continue on my walk.  People are another matter…I really enjoy meeting and greeting ALL people.  I am so in tune with being a Therapy Dog that I will go out of my way to say HI! to a person in a wheelchair – really!  Where were we?  What’s his name, Wesley, the blocky-headed BABY…he is SUCH a baby…he whimpers when he sees My Dad, he wants to hang out at our place, AND he is a toy thief!  He has taken my toys right from My Dad’s unwilling hand…gently, but with authority.  And then, after stealing MY TOY (one time it was my two-tone green squeaky crocodile or alligator), Wesley immediately heads for home.  His Mom, Monica, says he takes the toy home and DESTROYS it.  Jeez, some of my toys have lasted months…even years!  I pretend I’m being rough with them but they’re still intact.  Wait…what?  Oh, yeah…My Dad just reminded me that I have a reputation for popping those play-balls, and there are also times when toys, plush toys, squeaky toys, deserve a good pull-apart…especially those toys with the white fluffy stuff inside of them.

Which brings me back to Wesley.  My Dad and I ran into Monica and Wesley this morning.  My Dad had two-tone green squeaky alligator with him.  As soon as My Dad saw Wesley cruising in, he hid the green alligator at the back of his shorts.  Wesley knew there was a toy…somewhere…but was too polite to knock My Dad to the ground and search him for the toy (I hope).  Wesley likes to insert himself into our walks and really likes to hang out by our door.  Then, My Dad, the wizard that he is, brought out a small Angry Birds plush toy that was given to me as a gift…MY TOY…although I must admit that it was not a toy of great interest.  So My Dad offers the toy to Wesley…Wesley opens his teeth just a teeny bit and takes the Angry Birds plush toy with a slow pinching movement…I thought that was sort of WEIRD.  Wesley then lays down and begins treating Mr. Angry Bird like he is a fresh kill…pulling the outer layer from this poor toy little bits at a time.  And then, Wesley gets to that white stuff, inside Mr. Angry Bird, and very deliberately, almost surgeon-like, begins making a pile of white fluff to THE RIGHT (and only the right) SIDE of Mr. Angry Bird.  Here check out the photos of THE DISEMBOWELER at work…

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And something else about Wesley…something I can identify with…HE DOESN’T LIKE HIS PICTURE TAKEN!  He started giving it to My Dad, barking at him…”Don’t take my picture during a disembowelment!”  You’ll notice I stayed in the background.

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FEDEX INTERCEPT and PIGGIES UP

Before we get to the BIG EVENT of the day, my faithful, loyal, followers have been asking me to give an example of “piggies up.”  I checked with My Dad and signed a consent form (just kidding) to have my photo taken while demonstrating “piggies up.”Image

 

Pretty simple, straightforward…almost a trick (a simple trick for a BC).  My Dad says, “Piggies up,” I place my front paws on whatever object I need help with, and My Dad places both arms (very gently) under my tummy and caboose, and lifts me gently.  Easy stuff.

But like I said earlier, during a very chatty moment, the Scion is back.  My Dad took me to the vet to get my Adequan injection.  The waiting room was empty, no stories about bulging eyes, drooling, or dogs thinking of biting me.  We were in and out pretty quickly…almost…  My Dad came up with this really poor idea to get my nails clipped.  Every dog I have chatted with says that they DO NOT like to have their claws trimmed or their feet touched.  Our feet are VERY important – that is how we get around.  I did NOT like it, I was struggling with the two vet techs, but we got through it.  Gives me the shudders…

Our next mission was a drive to the Glenview Post Office…check the P.O. Box.  Now for the good part!  My Dad, bless his human heart, intercepted a FedEx delivery truck.  I really let the FedEx guy have it…”I SEE YOU…YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYBODY…I SEE YOU…I SEE YOU…I SEE YOU.”  Surprisingly, My Dad was ready with his Sony 20 megapixel camera and documented this encounter.

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We stopped at the bank and the car wash after the FedEx intercept.  My Dad took me inside the car wash…no one was interested in petting me…sigh.

I am feeling wonderful about getting my car back.

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THE RETURN OF THE SCION (xB)…JOLLY GOOD SHOW

Time for some celebration, some serious barking, some serious bye-bye in the car!  My Dad’s Scion xB, with it’s very comfy rear seat and cargo area….AND my own window to bark from, has returned!  As my wonderful, loyal, faithful followers will recall, My Dad switched cars with his sister, Mary.  Mary had surgery, didn’t have full use of her arms, and My Dad offered the use of the Scion xB (automatic transmission).  I know, I know…  I gave My Dad “the look” the first time he said “piggies up” for our first ride in the Mini Cooper (a six speed) a couple of weeks ago.  (really?  this is cramped!  there is no rear window to bark from! really?  you’re a bit jerky on the shifting.  I am not comfortable…sigh)

In fact, I do believe I had LESS rides in the Mini Cooper because My Dad knew I was unhappy with the rear of the Mini Cooper.  Yes, I was VERY unhappy.  The Scion xB is luxurious, at least from a 62 pound Border collie’s perspective.  I can lay down, I can lay diagonally, I can stand up, I have TWO windows to bark from, I can easily watch out for delivery trucks, and auto carriers, bridges, tunnels…blah, blah, blah.  I am feeling very chatty.  My Dad certainly thought he was Mr. Suave, Mr. Jolly Good Show, Mr. British Gran Prix in the Mini Cooper.  Yeah…that was a real “jolly good show” when you were trying to come off the light (in fourth gear) as the 2003 Honda Civic with the exhaust amplifier zipped away….didn’t think I noticed that, did ya’?  Like I always say, “Border collies notice EVERYTHING!  Such a proud moment!  Or, how ’bout the Dundee Road straightaway, through the Forest Preserve, that one mile stretch where My Dad usually hits 70 (I watch the speedometer, too).  Yes, Jolly Good Show at the next traffic signal, at Sanders Road…My Dad effed it up with the clutch, killed the engine and all of the slow-pokes caught up to us.  I was embarrassed, no barking for about 15 seconds.

My Dad made a purchase of several car magnets from Cafe Press.  My Dad thinks it’s pretty cool to have me in the car.  Yes!  These are Border collie magnets – WOOF, BORDER COLLIE, DOGS HAVE OWNERS, BORDER COLLIES HAVE MINIONS.  My Dad was asking me very nicely to look happy when he took my picture.  See below for the results of THREE takes.  I DO NOT LIKE MY PICTURE TAKEN….jeez.

 

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FLOWERS IN ON SATURDAY

It was snowing here on Friday…SNOWING in mid-May.  And this isn’t Nome, or Yukon, or International Falls…this is Chicago.  But the next day, Saturday, was really nice.  From the time we got up, My Dad was talking about a bike ride on the Des Plaines River Trail…which meant the Border collie stays home…sigh.  My Dad went out to have coffee with his sister Mary.  By the way, did I tell you My Dad CHANGED CARS with Mary.  Yes, yes, yes…she had surgery, she can’t drive a stick…blah, blah, blah.  So MY Magnanimous Dad offered to switch cars for a time yet to be determined.  HELLO  HELLO  HELLO….THERE IS JUST ONE PROBLEM WITH THIS ARRANGEMENT.  There is no window to stick my head out of, you know, for barking…this is a TREMENDOUS inconvenience for me.  You don’t see My Dad barking out his window…do you?  And another thing, the back of the Mini Cooper is not as roomy as the Scion xB.  I bet My Dad hasn’t taken photos of the cramped area I am confined to in the Mini…”nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.”  But, My Dad did not leave me at home all day on Saturday, just so he could take a bike ride.  I got to stay out almost all afternoon, outside in the sun, with My Dad!  He came home with bags of potting soil, flowers, some new perennials, a fern plant…  The winter was very hard on the landscaping outside our apartment…the perennials…as My Dad put it, “croaked.”  So, I was “the sentinel” all afternoon – watching for the devious mail trucks, FEDEX and UPS.  But it was a quiet afternoon.

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You can’t force me to look happy…I DO NOT like my picture taken….OK!?

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My Dad thinks this fern plant is really cool…how ’bout putting it a bit lower, so it can be suitably marked, duh…

Oh, on Sunday, I did get to go to soccer all day with My Dad.  Yes, I tolerated the back of the Mini Cooper just fine, thank you…

MONITORING MY DAD

My Dad was out of sorts Tuesday and Wednesday.  Staying up til 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning…watching Animal Planet about a dead hippo being picked apart by scavengers in Africa.  What was going on?

As my followers are well aware, I watch My Dad, monitor My Dad, VERY CLOSELY.  When he is driving the Scion xB, I watch EVERYTHING he does to control the vehicle…every time he touches ANY of the controls at ANY time, I watch very carefully.  I would LOVE to drive the Scion xB.  When My Dad is in the kitchen, you can find me at the kitchen entryway…monitoring.  When My Dad is in the bathroom, I am either right next to My Dad or blocking the bathroom entryway.  When My Dad is in bed, I am right there…my head on his right thigh, or, I am “muzzling” his right elbow for some extra petting.

But, Tuesday morning, My Dad did not have breakfast.  When we went out on “assignment,” to serve papers on some deadbeat, we made a stop to get some burgers at McDonald’s, but, My Dad did not buy his usual – The Thai-Chili Wrap with grilled Chicken.  He did buy a Sprite…but no food. Strange behavior.  I got two plain burgers, though.  We were back home by 3:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.  My Dad wasn’t eating anything…was he sick?  I noticed that the big plastic jug in the CVS bag was now in the kitchen.  My Dad filled this jug with water and shook it up.  My Dad must have been thirsty…he drank five or six glasses from this jug over the next hour.  I had to monitor him in the bathroom, much more frequently than usual.  Then, later on, he got real thirsty again.  He finished off the remainder of this jug.  Every time he drank a glass full, he had this look on his face that it tasted yucky.  Sometimes, I like stuff that tastes yucky, but, he would not let me try any.  Usually, My Dad and I are in bed by 10:00 p.m.  Not Tuesday night, he was on the couch watching some gross Animal Planet series on dead animals in Africa.  We were up way past 2:00 a.m.  I even got a walk in at 2:00 a.m.  A short walk…My Dad seemed impatient, he wanted to get back inside to the bathroom.  I was becoming worried…more bathroom time.  But I am a very faithful, very loyal, companion.  I was right there, in the bathroom, monitoring…

Yesterday morning, My Dad left early.  But he didn’t drive his Scion xB.  Someone else picked him up, the car was different, didn’t sound like the cars our neighbors use.  My Dad was back home by 11:00 a.m.  He had some pasta and chicken from Noodles & Co.  I got some chicken and a few pieces of the curly-Q pasta…yummy!

So, everything is back to normal.  My Dad is eating again.  I was listening to My Dad say everything was normal, no problems…whatever that means.

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Monitoring My Dad is a tough job.  Vigilance, alertness, and dedication are the primary requirements.

HAPPY HUMP DAY (and it’s not even Wednesday)

My wonderful, faithful, and loyal followers are well aware that I am VERY well behaved.  When my fellow canines engage in behavior that is, let’s say, inappropriate, especially if they engage in frowned-upon activities with me, I will correct their behavior.  A “correction” may consist of a slight raising of a lip, or, getting right in your face with ALL teeth being bared.  Remember those pit bulls who tried to mess with me?  Yep, that lasted all of about 13 seconds before they trotted off…back to the hole they emerged from.  While I am a highly respected therapy dog with a stellar reputation, that does not mean I’m a “woossy.”  I stand my ground…I’ve never backed down from any canine.  It’s always “friends first”…unless you act like an idiot.  Sorry…enough about me…

Yesterday was AMAZING – weather wise.  Sunny, very comfortable temperatures, no chilly breezes off of Lake Michigan.  My Dad had a soccer match up at Mundelein High School.  I didn’t get to go bye-bye in the car…too warm to leave me in the car.  But I did get to bye-bye in the car later in the day.  What was my point, here?  Oh, yeah…Hump day.

It was dinner time, My Dad had just finished a salad and was enjoying a glass of ice-cold Boulevard Brewing 80 Acre.  Our patio slider was open.  My Dad and I live in a first floor apartment that faces east and looks out on a large tree-shaded, grassy, meadow.  My Dad thinks we have the nicest unit in the entire Village Green complex.  Two of our neighbors, Shweta and Angela, were out in the meadow, enjoying the beautiful evening with their dogs.  Shweta’s dog is a Maltese (I think) named SNOWY, and Angela’s two dogs are also Malteses and their names are LOLLIE and COCO.  All three of these dogs are in the micro-dog classification.  I am a big Border collie at around 62 pounds…SNOWY, LOLLIE, and COCO each have weights measured in ounces…OK, just trying to be funny…how about eight (as in the number 8) pounds apiece?  So…LOLLIE is a male who has been de-equipmentized, if you know what I mean.  I have also been de-equipmentized, but that was over 10 years ago.  COCO is a female who has NOT been de-equipmentized.  I bet you know where this is going…

The little micro-dogs were playing amongst themselves.  I was relaxing in the shaded, cool, grass, watching over my domain, as Border collies are supposed to do.  Suddenly, instead of THREE little white micro-dogs playing, I am seeing only TWO.  Where did the third micro-dog disappear to?  Just as I thought I would have to activate my Border collie-ness to conduct a location exercise on a missing micro-dog, I realized that LOLLIE was engaging in INAPPROPRIATE behavior, and TWO micro-dogs now appeared to be ONE micro-dog.  Angela, LOLLIE and COCO’s Mom, said that COCO was…for the sake of young readers, let’s use the term…IN SEASON.  And poor LOLLIE, in spite of being de-equipmentized, still had his primal instincts kicking in at a very INAPPROPRIATE time.  “DUDE!  calm down!”  I don’t think he cared what we were thinking.

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OK, pay attention…there are THREE micro-dogs in this image.  LOLLIE is hard at work.  INAPPROPRIATE!

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The bouncing micro-dog is LOLLIE.  He is very eager to get another opportunity with COCO…and they live together.  I sense future issues with these two.

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It’s been a long day.  My Dad is about to take me on the last walk of the day.  Soccer today with My Dad…have a great Sunday.

JUST SHOCKED MY DAD

My Dad helps me onto the bed at night.  I know the routine….brush teeth, go for the last walk of the day, get my meds, My Dad reaches into the cookie box, turns off the kitchen light, and we head to the bedroom.  “piggies up”  I put my front feet on the bed and My Dad lifts me gently under the tummy – and I am in bed for the night!  In the morning, My Dad brushes his teeth, makes coffee, does some other stuff that might be personal, gets dressed and then takes me in both arms and (very) gently places me on the floor.  My Dad knows my hips are bad…no more Frisbee for me.

My Dad was up early this morning trying to serve some miscreants.  He needed a nap around 3:00 this afternoon.  After the nap, My Dad says let’s go for a walk…..AND…drum roll…..I jump down from the bed all by myself!

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Here is a picture of me working…The Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) National Convention.  A lot of people were crying when they were petting me…everyone told me I did a great job.  I was on assignment with THE EXTRA MILE MINISTRIES.  Yes, My Dad was with me, too.

BIG PAWS

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I’ve heard this all my life.

“Wow, he’s got big paws.”  “Those are some paws…”  “BIG OL’ PAWS!”  “GOSH, those are HUGE Pawwwwws!”

OK, I get it.  Border collies need big paws on the front because we need that traction, that maneuverability….sort of like a Porsche 911.  But most athletic Border collies could probably pull more G’s at high speed than a Porsche 911…just sayin’…STOP START SPRINT RUN TURNING….over and over and over.  Canine athletes.  Border collies – the versatile breed…right?

RIDING SHOTGUN IN THE SCION Xb

I was out all day with My Dad, yesterday.  We were on assignment – tracking down some deadbeat to serve him with a court summons.

My Dad can get pretty imaginative with finding people.  Sometimes he asks me my opinion…that usually results in a long conversation.  Like I said, I am very chatty.  Anyway, we drove down to Summit, a little industrial pocket situated off of I-55, close to the sewage evaporation ponds.  I know, that sounds pretty cool.  My Dad saw this guy’s car parked next to a garage that had an apartment built on top of it.  Yep, the guy was up there and he even answered the door.  He was cool with it.  My Dad stopped at the Hinsdale Oasis on I-294 and bought me two plain McDonald’s burgers – the little ones.  I’m OK with that.  My Dad breaks them up into bite size pieces because I have a very big throat and can swallow food without chewing.  My Dad always says, “Codeman, chew, enjoy your food…”  Not if I can help it.  We continued out west to the DuPage County Court facility.  My Dad rolled the windows down a bit before leaving to review some records.  He carries a bottle of water and a bowl in the Scion.  Every time we stop, My Dad pours water in the bowl…all that barking makes me thirsty…My Dad is very thoughtful.

Remember, My Dad had soccer on Sunday so I got a ride in the car to Glenview.  I met another soccer referee’s dog, his name is LEONIDAS, I think.  He has all of his equipment, if you know what I mean.  But he was cool, not pushy or trying to dominate me, but then again he was only about 30 pounds…if that.  The referee said that Leonidas is a Jack Russell.  He sure could jump!  Straight up, like a ball coming off the concrete.  He peed a lot, always covering my spots…whatever, dude.  I think he picked up on that I am an Alpha male – but I am very subtle about it.  He didn’t get snippy or try to mount me from behind, so, no harm, no foul.

Ugggh, I was B-E-A-T when we got home last night.  My Dad made a salad and was watching Jack Reacher.  I slept…

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RIDING SHOTGUN IN THE SCION…THAT’S MY DAD, THERE.Image 

HERE I AM AT THE SOCCER FIELDS IN GLENVIEW. LEONIDAS IS POSING…DON’T ASK ME WHY.

 

RENDEZVOUS WITH THE MAIL TRUCKS

My Dad and I were up and out early yesterday…I got to go “by-by in the car” TWICE!  My Dad bought a new camera last week.  He has been in the market for a new camera ever since reading about a NOKIA Cell phone that had a 20 megapixel camera.  My Dad has a Verizon semi-smart phone with a 3.5 Megapixel camera, and an older Samsung 5.3 Megapixel digital camera.  My Dad takes a lot of pictures and has been quite happy with the results of the aforementioned cameras.  Wednesday he stopped at Abt in Glenview and purchased a Sony CE5000 that has a 20.1 Megapixel image sensor.  Did I mention that I DO NOT like having my picture taken?  Here I’ll prove it.  See this picture, with the view of my ticked back?  Ha!  That was no accident by My Dad.  I saw the camera coming up to his face, he called my name and I IMMEDIATELY turned around and put my back to him.

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OK…Back to the mail trucks.  We drove from home base in Wheeling to the bank in Northbrook…My Dad needed to get an affidavit notarized…I think he served paper on some deadbeat.  Any, I saw A LOT of Mail Trucks, over 12, maybe 15 or 16.  They were EVERYWHERE!  And when I see a mail truck, I MUST inform them that they have been spotted…my bark gets DEEPER, more threatening.  “I SEE YOU MAIL TRUCK, YOU ARE NOT FOOLING ANYONE, GET AWAY FROM THE SCION…I MEAN IT!  After the bank run to Northbrook, MY Dad let me stay outside while he washed the xB.  Then I got to go on ANOTHER ride in the car.  Like I said in earlier stories, I AM VERY CHATTY.  I like to bark at just about everything.  My Dad had his orange earplugs in, it was a gorgeous day, the windows were down…great stuff for a Border collie.

Me in the back of the Scion…see how comfy it is?

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Time to go to soccer with My Dad…he has three games today.  Have a great Sunday!

-Cody