Tag Archives: Ike

Ike’s visit to the Windy City

Ike decided to tag along on a trip to Chicago this weekend. Actually, he didn’t see much of the city, since he had to stay home while the folks went to town. But that was okay…he had plenty of new experiences.

Here’s what he learned:

If he’s pushy enough, he can weasel his way into the front seat of the car for much of the five-hour car trip. Like a child, he spent the first hour popping up and down to peer out the window,  the scenery of which he did not recognize.

Good thing he doesn’t get carsick.

Sitting in the car for five hours was worth it. He got to spend much of the weekend running leash-free around the fenced-in backyard. This is a big deal for a Schnauzer whose only two times outside off-leash involved mad races through Bluffton trying to elude his weary captors.

Sadly, his dreams of catching up to one of those furry little animals that hop hop hop across the yard while he watches out the window, remain unfulfilled. He discovered today that they can out-hop him.

That’s not to say the hopping bunny didn’t give him an interesting adventure — there was that lovely-scented little nest that just begged for a good sniffing.

Those two little girls who look an awfully lot alike are lots of fun to chase around. Emma even helped him investigate the bunny nest.

Ally — or maybe it was Emma (he still gets confused over which one is which) renamed him Mike. He’s not sure how that happened.

New houses have new smells and sounds, all of which serve to both confuse and intrigue. New neighborhoods have unfamiliar dog smells, which requires careful investigation of every inch of grass and every tree trunk in every yard on the block.

What with all this excitement, life could be pretty boring back home.

 

 

 

 

Four-legged creature leaves trail of unstuffed toys

It is true that time dulls the memory. Once the kids leave home for college, we quickly forget the shoes strewn around the house, the backpacks covering the couch, iPods plugged into various outlets, and the Lego piles left in a corner. Well, the Lego sets really disappeared much earlier than the shoes, backpacks and iPods, but you get the picture.

A few months later they pop in for Thanksgiving break and new items appear in random piles around the house, only to disappear a few days later when off their owners head off again. Eventually, they move on to their own homes and somewhere along the way, learn to deal with their own piles of stuff.

What I didn’t realize was that a 15-pound four-legged creature can manage to make more of a ruckus that two teenagers can. Most days I return from work and pick my way carefully through what looks like a war zone.

The first clue is a path of bits of stuffing that, when followed, lead one to the little mutt’s favorite half-stuffed (or is half-unstuffed), one-legged lavendar bear. Although, at this stage, what was once a bear resembles not much more than a mostly chewed-up piece of fabric.

Nearby is the missing leg, which has oddly become a favorite toy of the aforementioned mutt, more formally known as Ike, the mini Schnauzer.

Lest you think I’m exaggerating, here is a photo lineup of the ravaged toys….all leading to the furry culprit, digging through his toy box for yet another well-chewed favorite.

Welcome to our zoo, part two

Late Friday afternoon, an energetic Havanese entered our lives with the force akin to a full-blown blizzard. My first hint at how the weekend might play out came when Ike bolted to the front door, sniffing along the doorjamb, whimpering only slightly.

Much to his surprise, the door opened and a white ball of fluff barreled into the living room, skidded across the oak floor and slammed into Ike. The moment he was off his leash, the two dogs were racing through the house. Watson barely stopped long enough to acknowledge his owners’ goodbyes.

Ike thinks he's hiding

This went on for the next three hours, with periodic time-outs to catch their collective breaths. In the meantime, the hubs and I vacillated between laughing uproariously to feeble attempts at creating order.

 

We finally gave up. At about 9 p.m., the Havanese was relegated to his crate in the basement and the Schnauzer collapsed at my feet, happily snoring within seconds.

This morning, Ike slept in like a teenager. Obviously, he was storing up energy for another day at the races. Fred finally dragged him from slumberland and took him out to perform his morning ablutions. When they returned, we fetched Watson from his crate and sent him out for his turn about the block.

Back in the house and they were back at it, running in circles, stopping only long enough for a gulp of water or to snitch a kibble.

For the moment, things are quiet. Ike has crashed in his favorite spot on our bed near the window…ever on guard for the next squirrel. Watson is downstairs — not sure he wants to navigate the steps.

I’ll say one thing for this dogsitting business. It has cured me of my urge to get a second Schnauzer to keep Ike happy. We’ll just borrow Watson.

Ironically, last night when my husband asked how big Watson will get, I told him that he’s already full-grown.  Besides, he’s mostly fur. This morning, Fred told me about the dream he’d had last night.

Turns out Watson arrived with a tag that read: This dog will grow to 2,000 to 3,ooo pounds.

In the dream, he’d said to me, “See, I told you so.”

 

 

 

Baffle latest attempt to finesse squirrels

My husband is engaged in an all-out battle with the squirrels that want to feast on our bird feeders. This is, of course, a long-standing feud, and one that neither side is willing to give up on.

Over the years, he’s launched several plans, each designed to one-up the furry tailed creatures. A few years ago, for Christmas, I gave him a long-handled hook that — according to the seller — was guaranteed to out-fox the squirrels. At first, Fred was ecstatic over his new toy. He promptly stomped out into the frigid, snowy weather to attach the long hook to the side of the house, hanging the bird feeder on its end. Then, he sat back to enjoy his birds. That lasted about five minutes before squirrel number 1 made his own appearance, balancing precariously along the pole.

Note to manufacturer: 1.) Apparently, you don’t know the definition of “guarantee”, and 2.) You don’t know Bluffton squirrels.

A few weeks ago, we were checking out at Meijer, and I noticed an odd saucer-shaped contraption in my husband’s cart. (Yes, we use two carts…that’s a completely different blog.) Seeing my raised eyebrows, he grinned and proudly announced that this was a “baffle”, yet another tool in “Fred’s-gonna-fool-the-damn-squirrels-yet” campaign. Trust me. I did not say a word. I’ve learned.

That was a few weeks ago. The baffle has been installed, and he-who-would-be-the-squirrel-king has tested it at various positions, and has sprayed the pole with something that will supposedly make it even more difficult for the little guys to climb to the end. But…and here’s the best part. The hubs has engaged the dog in his feud. Always happy to please, Ike is proving his mettle as GUARD DOG. From his vantage point on a rocker in the living room, he keeps one eye on the street for his girlfriends, the two little she-dogs that pass by regularly, and another eye on the secret garden, where the bird-feeders are positioned. At the first sign of a squirrel, he is off his chair and jumping up and down at the window, whining and barking until Fred pounds on the window, no doubt intending to cause apoplexy to  any creature in the vicinity.

Usually a few whacks on the window send the squirrel flying but once in awhile, the whining, barking and window whacking continues for a solid minute. In the meantime, I cringe, hold my breath and say a prayer of thanks to whoever created those ancient heavy windows.

Personally, I think it’s become a game of one-upmanship. A game which could, unfortunately, never end. Kind of like those Monopoly games that I played with my brothers. They went on for days until our mom finally got sick of seeing the board. I wonder….maybe she could intervene in this one? Mom?

Musings

Random thoughts, my usual fall-back blog topic, seems too, well, random. Musings sound so much more meditative, more thoughtful. Since I’ve been on a short four-day weekend “vacation”, my time to muse meditatively has been productive.

Technically, this was a “staycation”, although it was really anything but. “Staycation” would suggest “staying”, easing back onto the patio chairs, and doing nothing but reading, resting and drinking something tall and cool. In reality, these four days have been more movement-oriented, though there have been quite a few tall, cool, ones.

So technicalities aside, these are some of the musings I’ve mulled over during the past three and one-third days:

1. Massages are well worth the money spent. They’d probably be even more worthwhile if the MASSAGEE paid attention to the MASSAGER’S caution to “take it easy for the day…don’t do anything heavy duty.”  That cautionary note must have missed the part of the brain that understands and processes messages, because two hours later, my electric Mantis appeared on my patio. Freshly repaired, and bearing shiny new rotors, it begged to be tested. So I hoisted the little tiller to my herb garden and happily tilled away. My husband offered to move some flagstones for me, then stood back and grinned. Only he knows how truly excited I was to be able to use the Mantis. Just a year ago, I wasn’t in any shape to do gardening of any kind, and we weren’t sure when or if I’d get to do so again. I even pulled weeds and smiled…much to the chagrin of my massage therapist, Joy Stemen. who chided me for ignoring her.

2. Listening to Car Talk on my morning run makes me wonder what car mechanics think when someone comes in with a car problem and explains the solution as suggested by Click and Clack. There’s probably a lot of eye-rolling. Anyway, I’ve been planning my own call to Car Talk. All the callers are from big cities…never any little towns like Bluffton, Ohio. I want to be the first. And I have the perfect problem. A few months before we retrieved our 1997 Dodge Caravan from our daughter, she’d turned on the van only to find the dashboard dark. Nothing lit up. Hm…she drove to the Dodge dealer and explained the problem to the woman at the service desk. The woman grinned and accompanied her to the van, where she gave a hearty smack to the top of the dash. Bingo! On blinked the dash lights. Her comment? “Fixed that problem, eh?” This happened again a few weeks ago, so Fred whacked it once and they blinked back on. But I’m just curious enough to call the  Magliozzi’s for their take on this curiosity…if only to hear them mangle “Bluffton”.

3. Yesterday, we moved more of our daughter’s “stuff” to her new apartment. Ike, of course, went along for the ride and as soon as he stepped in the house, the cat went into hiding. We looked everywhere. High, low, under beds, in closets, behind the fridge. No Casio. Anne, however, was not giving up. After about 30 minutes of looking, she got down on the floor and found a hole about four inches in diameter, leading to a larger space in the cabinet area. Peering inside, she saw two bright eyes staring out at her. You have to understand. Casio is not a kitten. He is a more-than-full-grown cat. Huge, in fact. Almost as big as Ike.We managed to entice him out with some catnip. How can a cat squeeze his body into a hole smaller than his head?

4. I am of the belief that one cannot have too many white shirts. My daughters used to laugh when I went shopping because they could predict I’d return with at least one white shirt. This is true. I still do this. I’m sure my therapist would have some Freudian explanation for this fixation. If I lined all my shirts up by color, there would be a gazillion white ones — each different — followed by other hues in singles. Oh, except for black. I am also of the belief that one cannot have too many black shirts. I’d say it is fortunate that the girls no longer get to examine my shopping bags, but it doesn’t matter. They come home and go straight to my closet to count the whites. And the blacks.

5. Why do some people have such nice, pleasant dreams and I have such stupid ones that wake me up at ungodly hours? I used to blame this on my mother’s side of the family, because she has equally odd dreams. But a Pannabecker cousin recently mentioned that my dream sounded like the ones she has. Guess I can’t blame it on the Suters anymore. The most recent one involved someone’s dogs having puppies in the car while my oldest brother was driving. Cute though the puppies were, they were expelling worms. Ewww…but even that one doesn’t match my all-time worst nightmare of pulling nails from my skin. In handfuls.

6. My friend and running partner, Mary, and I received the same Mother’s Day card. Mine came from my daughter, hers from her father-in-law. When I got mine, I called my daughter to thank her and ask if they came in other names. Dead silence on her part, then a big guffaw. “Mom, think about it. What other name would work in the “punchline” on the inside?. Eat, drink and be…?” This proves to me…once again….that there should be a club of Marys. We could count how many of had to smile politely as old men teased us as children, “How does your garden grow?”

I wonder if other people muse their days away like I do?