Dogs, Frogs and Other Denizens of Our Compound

    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 4:45 am

      Well I haven’t bored you all with silly animal stories for awhile so if you’ve been missing them (HA!) here you go…

      First off my frogs have decided they need to breed. They sing all the time now and sometimes do these quartets in different keys and rhythms. The two smaller frogs (males? I have no idea) spend a good portion of their day drifting around the tank attached to the two larger frogs. This would worry me because while I like my frogs I don’t need any more, except for the fact that the two smaller frogs aren’t anywhere close to the pertinent areas. Apparently the appropriate anatomy wasn’t part of their instinctual package…though they usually manage to grab at least one limb in their frantic clutching. The patience and tolerance of the two female frogs simply amazes me, though I did see one bang the head of one of the male frogs repeatedly into their little castle. No, he still didn’t let go, so she had to drag him to the surface with her to breathe. I’ll refrain from making any sexist comments here… Right at this moment I’m watching one female drag around one male while the other two are playing “catch me if you can.” Ya’ll should really consider these little critters as pets, they are really low maintenance and extremely funny.

      On to the high maintenance pack o’ wild mutts… Fall always gives the dogs a little boost to their energy, not to mention destructive instincts. I am now the proud owner of 3 dogs who are determined to make their way to Taiwan through the middle of the planet. I have caverns, pits, holes and even the beginnings of a tunnel that abruptly stopped when they reached the “raptor cage” barrier we installed in their dog pen. Not to be daunted by a mere three feet of hogwire they decided they could just go under it and still make their way outside to that dratted squirrel who has been annoying them for months now. Now I’m not the most mobile person right now so dashing downstairs to yell at the dogs for digging (again) just isn’t a viable option and while I don’t mind a little recreational digging in their own pen I have to draw the line when their efforts fly up all over the windows of the house. Yes they are THAT enthusiastic, they can and will send dirt flying from between their legs almost up to the second story windows. That makes it easy for me to tell when they are digging near the house anyway, so I open the window, yell at them, they slink inside looking guilty for a few minutes and then proceed to destroy their pillow, or a plant. Sigh. It’s just the change of weather, we go through this every year. As soon as it starts getting cold they revert back to their puppyhood and act like morons for a month or so. Last night they did laps – out the dog door on one side of their room, down the hill in the dog pen, circle the first tree, trip (that was Emmitt, he’s clumsy) head to the second tree, do a lap around that, race back up the hill, then dash in the dog door on the other side of their room – pause at the door/window to make sure I’m still watching, then do it all over again. Sometimes I’ll go stand out there with the walker (assuming I’m stable enough) and let them use me to circle around. They are very careful not to knock me down – they did that once and it totally freaked them out so they get close to my legs but never actually touch me. :p

      And if that weren’t enough… the wildlife has also elevated their activity to nearly insane levels. We constantly have deer in the yard who couldn’t care less that the dogs are on the other side of the fence barking at them, and don’t even care if I wobble outside right into their pack. They have gotten so used to me and the cane or walker that I can almost walk up and pet them now – but I wouldn’t, I’m not trying to tame them, just give them a place to live free of the constant gunshots I hear this time of year. The drought has hurt the wildlife as much as the perfect green lawns in nearby towns. We have taken to putting several containers of water around the yard for the deer and smaller creatures, particularly the raccoon who decided my cat’s water bowl was the perfect place to wash all his food. THAT took me awhile to figure out… the water was muddy every morning though I give her a fresh bowl at night… until one morning there were two nuts still in the bowl and even kids know that raccoons wash their food. I laughed about that for DAYS and then one morning I got up in the middle of the night and saw the happy chef swishing away in Moss’ waterbowl. That very day, once it was daylight, I had my husband give the little bugger his own water bowl – away from the house.

      Birds birds birds everywhere – of course it helps that we have two bird feeders and are pretty consistent about putting out bird seed all year long so we’ve attracted regulars. They have also become quite used to me and will frequently land within a foot of me when I go sit on the deck to read. Chicadees, Titmice and Nuthatches are our most frequent visitors and the nuthatches are the funniest. They walk upside down up and down the trees looking for bugs but also come to the feeder. One of them is so tame he flys over as soon as I come outside and scolds me when the feeder is empty, or just short on his favorite seeds. Of course attracting small birds usually attracts their predators as well so we’ve been seeing more hawks and falcons lately. Our most elusive predator has been a bald eagle family that moved into the neighborhood this past summer. I hear them all the time and I’ve seen the male at least twice! We also have several families of peregrine falcons that are really cool too, though I’m not sure how they are liking the new competetion with the eagles. Oh and Sunday night I got up to go to the bathroom, saw the light on in the truck outside so I went out to close the door and turn it off. I walked through a small pack of three deer who were right next to the house and then an owl scared the crap out of me by hooting right above my head. If I hadn’t just gone to the bathroom I would have peed all over myself – as it was I fell down, started laughing and scared both the owl and deer crashing away through the trees. I’m amazed my husband can sleep through all the nighttime commotion.

      Well I could go on for hours (oops, it’s been an hour and a half already!) but I’ll save the stories about the skunks and snakes for when my fingers get some feeling back into them. Besides, I don’t want you all to get the impression that I actually LIKE animals or anything… 😀

    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 8:04 am

      Thanks so much for this. It was wonderful, funny, and a gentle reminder that perspective is very important in life.
      With Hope for cure of these diseases (and joy in life despite them)

    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 11:43 am

      Julie, Pictures Woman!!!:D I wouldn’t get that impression at all;) !
      I enjoy the Animal Stories!
      My family just ignores me when I’m in one of those animal zones, they put up with me just barely.:rolleyes: I can totally relate to the season change anticks, Henry acts like a pup also, even though he is going on 12 yrs.

      I like to drive my hubby nuts when I yell at him to stop the car while we are out for a ride, just so I can get a few shots of the falcons, hawks or what have you. He has learned not to say a word about it! he has actually stopped the car on his own if he sees a creature of interest before I see it.
      Since you have frogs, do you think frogs would be safe around a fresh water crab or lobster? I want to get more frogs and a crab and a lobster, but I only have enough room for our 10 gal acrylic tank.(and my daughter will be getting a couple fish also, since its in her room)
      Keep the critter stories coming!:)

    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 12:15 pm

      Your stories always bring smiles. And I really needed it today. Thanks!

    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 2:34 pm

      Julie, You should be a professional writer, great stories.
      We have two dogs and Yellow cat. Yellow loves the outdoors and when it is time to come in he knocks on the door or window. He adopted us when my English Bulldog “Hurdy Gurdy” died, just one year after my boy bullie Gus. We now have a soft coated wheaten terrior and a black pug.
      We live right on the Missouri river, so that is pretty much the wildlife and bird watering bowl. We have a birdbath and, of course inside water bowls. We also have an eagle family Mom, Dad and baby girl. They are right around our house in the trees, no fear of people. The sea gulls turn the river islands white, and we see pelicans twice a year. A herd of about 40 to 50 deer live in the nearby woods, along with the turkeys and coyotes. Isn’t wildlife and domestic petlife wonderful!!! Keep writing your news–fun!! Regina

    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 7:54 pm

      Great writing Julie. Too bad you couldnt write for your local paper or something….
      thanks for sharing.


    • Anonymous
      November 7, 2007 at 11:30 pm

      Julie Julie Julie,
      O.K. You just took me right out of my crap! I laughed so hard. And my partner who read along with me said to tell you she loved it and thinks you should be writing for a living. (She is an English teacher and writer). Really, thank you, because I am having one of those days where I can’t see the light. Humor helps so much and you reminded me that offering that kind of perspective VS. the negative one is much more productive. You should check out a site called
      [I]Helium [I] on the web. They pay people to write articles based on reviews. You would get amazing reviews. And probably find a whole new line of work. Thanks again and good luck with the disability stuff.

    • Anonymous
      November 8, 2007 at 1:21 am

      Helium huh? Are you trying to say I’m an airhead Linda? HA HA HA!! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Well I must say you all are very tolerant if you think I’m a good writer, although English is theoretically my first language I always had to struggle with the writing part of it. Ah well, we all grow up eventually… but seriously I’ll check out Helium, I’d like to be employed, or at least busier if I am able. :rolleyes: