Saturday, October 16, 2010

Krispy - The Outdoor Girl

Krispy’s first summer was fraught with concern last year about her desire to “bust loose.” That was then, this is now. Having gotten the Krispized fence in place (and clearly doing its job), we are both decidedly more comfortable with her outdoor time. If she had her way she’d be outside from dawn to midnight. But that’s a little too extensive for me. Can you tell from her expression?
Then there’s that look she gets when she suspects I’m going to pick her up to bring her inside. See:
It turns into an expression of “I think I’ll move away so you can’t reach me.”

And if she does wiggle away too far, she has excellent hiding spots that are exceedingly difficult for me to reach her. But it’s rare she actually hides from me. Ninety-nine percent of the time when I call her outside she comes running like she’s running the Preakness at top speed. It’s quite impressive to watch. One day I’ll get a picture of it, but it’ll be a complete blur without a stop-motion camera!

As soon as the neighbor boy gets out his basketball, Krispy is off on a barking jag. This isn’t too bad for anyone since her vocal chords were clipped by the breeder, but I always worry, so I bring her in the house when they’re shooting hoops.

She’s also learned to jump up on my swiveling armchair in front of the living room window to view what’s outside (usually me!). During these times when she wants out or is waiting for me to come in the house she does a lovely job of adding doggie nose marks to the living room window and the glass in my French doors. You know a dachshund lives here because all the marks on the glass are no higher than 12” to 18” off the floor!

While Mr. Quincy was here visiting recently there was a rare moment when he didn’t object to sharing the sofa space with Emily. Amazingly they maintained the lion lying down with the lambs pose for quite some time, allowing me to slip off the couch for my camera.

You may be wondering where there was room for me, but they did a nice job of squashing together so there was room for me. Quincy is a bit hard to see here since it was so dark, but he’s on the left.

I suspect Mr. Q introduced Krispy to yet another fine tradition in dachshund-dom: the dig. She wasn’t a digger when I got her, but it’s sure in their genes, no doubt. It started at first with hiding under foliage without too much actual earth digging. Quincy, on the other hand, can be fond of the dig as entertainment.

Krispy graduated to minor digs in the garden, which didn’t bother me too much, as I could easily fill in. She seemed to like the holes as cool spaces to lie down in on hot days. She didn’t dig up or destroy plants or flowers, so I gave her lots of leeway.

Recently, during another Quincy visit, she found a new place at the bottom of one of my olive trees to put her paws and claws to work. Quincy helped a bit, but it was mainly her effort. Take a look:

You can see how deep it is from her completely submerged rear end as she dug out the front of the hole.
Then she had to get a better working angle.
And finally…rest. So much work digging these holes!

I have since refilled this hole twice. I suspect I’ll have to do the same at least twice more before the rains put a halt to her efforts! The neighboring Euonymus and Kapphir lily plants can’t be too happy. But their roots should recover over the winter.

Unfortunately, during the winter a certain sunbather will have to give up her warm spot out front. It will be much too cold for this activity:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy (Belated) Anniversary, Krispy Kreme!

It’s been a bit more than a year now, Memorial Day Weekend 2009, since Krispy joined the family. And what a transformation! She loves the outdoors, and I no longer feel the panic that she might disappear…permanently…when she’s playing in the yard. Oh, yes, she still loves to search out the cat poop, that much is clear on her breath sometimes when she returns to see me. She’s a total sweetheart, though. Completely affectionate.

There are new quirks that have turned up more recently: Given her dis-ease with all manner of artificial noises (commercial vehicle ‘back up’ beeping; Clint Eastwood’s spurs dinging when he walks in Two Mules for Sister Sara; cell phone beeps indicating the battery needs re-charging), I was a bit surprised to discover she’s equally freaked out by the sound of the dishwasher running. This is more evident if I forget and accidentally run it on delayed timer so that it starts running at 2 a.m. Krispy proceeds to wake up and then run up and down her ramp and across the bed at a fast pace until the cycle is over and quiet. Nothing I can do will calm her. (Note to self: No delayed time runs on the D/W!)

Krispy has taken Good Manners class three times now, but she’s still quite uncomfortable around all other dogs except Quincy. Guess we’ll be going back for more sessions in the future….

And, of course, right now we’re fully into ‘burr’ season. With her coat now completely grown out since she’s been on a much healthier diet this past year, she is a magnet for all manner of dead vegetation in the neighborhood. Fortunately, she’s rather patient about allowing me to pick out the twigs, grass bits and burrs from her tail, leg ‘feathers’ and ear fur.

Her days are filled with fun and enjoyment since the weather is so nice. She’s able to spend most days out in the yard, snoozing on the patio, on the grass or in her outdoor crate while I watch her from my desk. One of her favorite yard activities is racing around the house at top speed along the paths, showing off her lightning speed.

There are many more stories, but I think it’s pretty clear from my posts that finding time for frequent blog entries is few and far inbetween. I’ll save other stories for another day. But it goes without saying (though I will), Krispy Kreme has been the most delightful addition to the family this past year and brings immeasurable joy to my days!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Cat that (Almost) Swallowed the Housefinch

On this lovely, beautiful day Emily decided to show off her triumph and waltzed in through the open French doors to show me. She had a housefinch in her jaws. Still alive, unharmed, but caught.

I admonished Emily for bringing the bird into the house. (She was taking it off to the bedrooms. Great, just what I need: a panicked bird flitting around my bedroom!) She didn't hear me.

She returned a minute or so later with the bird still in her jaws, and I asked her to take it outside. (I was trying to get some work done!) She opened her mouth to say something and the bird flew out...into my office. Feathers everywhere!

The bird thrashed around the room while I tried to subdue Emily. At first the bird in its diminished capacity flit around low to the floor, allowing Emily within close proximity. Then she found the rail with the halogen lights and had a private perch. Then she spotted a window and promptly flew right into it. More feathers exploded around the room. Emily jumped across surfaces she doesn't ordinarily attempt to use, while I attempted to detour her away from the increasingly panicked bird.

I came to the rapid conclusion that I wasn't going to be able to direct the bird out the open doorway until I had Emily out of the way, so I hauled her off to the pantry and closed the door. She wasn't happy.

The bird, on the other hand, had taken sanctuary on the floor, behind a cabinet and partially behind my portfolio case leaning against the wall. I retrieved oven mitts in the event the bird thrashed in my hands (and I've heard it's healthier for the bird so it won't pick up pathogens on my hands). I tucked hands in and around the feet of the cabinetry she was hiding behind.

Surprisingly she was subdued and presumable exhausted and disoriented. I picked her up and carried her out into the sun, placing her on my fence by a hummingbird feeder. After I stepped away to decrease her panic, I realized I should probably have chosen someplace under a bush. But I had thought as soon as I got her outside she would fly away. But she remained shell-shocked (or rather, Emily-shocked) for several minutes. When I stepped outside to check on her, still sitting on the fence, she immediately flew off. Good for her!

That Darn Cat! Now I have feathers everywhere!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Raining! It's Pouring! Why Do I Have to Wear This Coat?

I had thought I'd already posted these pics here, but I forgot after I posted them on Facebook a week ago. Here is Miss Krispy Kreme in her lovely Burberry Coat for the rain:
This photo was not taken today as it poured and poured today. I got Miss KK to model her hand-me-down (from Quincy) coat on a nice, sunny day a few weeks ago. Here's another view:

At first she found the coat a bit awkward. It's a bit large and the portion around her shoulders hangs low hitting her legs. She thought it made it difficult to go up and down steps, but she's since decided she can maneuver without help up and down the stairs while wearing the coat. And since dachshunds really don't seem too fond of rain, this is a big help when it's coming down by the bucket-load.

Today we discovered a new Krispy Idiosyncrasy. (There are so many!) With pouring rain from dawn until after 4pm, we had no choice but to take care of business while the water streamed down from the sky. As we walked out and got closer and closer to the street where she prefers to explore, roll in the grass and do her business, she stopped in her tracks to study the new sight in front of her that was perplexing:
Our neighbor had attached purple balloons, which were waving wildly in the wind and rain, to the street sign post for their engagement party. The balloons were batting about in the winter weather which Krispy found to be most confusing. She couldn't tell if they were animate or inanimate objects. She kept pacing side to side trying to make out this curious vision. It was a bit like the vacuum cleaner or lawn mower effect: Were they friend or foe? Ultimately I convinced her to walk the other way down the sidewalk as we were getting drenched and I wasn't seeing any action on the purpose for our walk.

Who knew balloons would provoke such a reaction?! Thankfully, on balloonless days that are dry, she gets to enjoy the yard a bit more. Here is one of her favorite spots:

This corner is closest to the neighbor who plays basketball and other people action, so she's frequently running back and forth barking, trying to create quite a row from her post. Thus, she's managed to displace a large portion of the mulch, exposing the irrigation line. But she loves it there, so I let it be. When it's quiet, she'll nap there, all well with the world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Krispy!

Do you like my Snuggie? Do you really like my Snuggie?
Krispy did really well at Good Manners class today. We even got a couple of "downs" today (with assists). And she didn't completely freak out at the windshield wipers on the way there (as the storm was fierce!).

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's My Birthday - I'm Five! Let Me Shout that I'm Five!

Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! "What's that black thing in front of your face?" "Can I play with it?" "Walk with me! Faster!"
Miss Krispy Kreme turns five years old January 20! What a cute girl. All enthusiasm and affection.

We'll be at "Good Manners" class first thing in the morning. She can't quite understand "down" -- she's already so close to the ground, seems silly to get closer! Strange thing is she does it automatically each time she's waiting to have her harness put on her. But try it with a treat, lowering it to the ground from a "sit." She just doesn't get it and up pops her fanny as she pursues the treat.

Latest quirk: Besides great fear of windshield wipers (a phobia discovered as the rainy season began here), her latest phobia is Fear of Frogs Croaking. Yup. I don't know the technical name for this serious disorder, but the sounds of the frogs going into their song in the evenings in the pond out back really freaks her out. Now, she doesn't react the same way as she does to the basketball bouncing or a beeping cell phone or smoke detector. She's just disconcerted and paces a bit. If she feels really bad, she'll crawl under my dresser.

I was so happy that Krispy and Quincy provided me with a second opportunity to document their shared bed use. This is the smallest one. There's hardly room for one of them in this bed, let alone two mini-doxies! I found them a few days earlier (but, alas, sans camera opportunity) in Quincy's favorite bed -- the blue one, a bit larger, easily shared by two. They looked so cute together. Here Krispy doesn't really fit, butt hanging out and all, but it is sweet.

Oops! It really is too small for both of us! "What is that black thing in front of your face?" Krispy queries upon rising from her repose.
A great irony of the "bed" thing is that she didn't like any of them for many, many months. Now that Quincy's visiting and uses beds all the time, she likes them. She uses the one in the bedroom and the one in the office.

The view I see most often on our walks. First, both Krispy and Quincy compete heavily for the right to squeeze out the front door first...literally squeezing between furniture and door opening. The tail wagging is a dead giveaway here; they are both blissful at the opportunity for a romp outside. (Recently this has been curtailed since Krispy made a daring, non-Stalig 17-style escape briefly -- in front of my eyes -- with the intention of attacking Tyler, the basketball shooting neighbor. Huge heart attack later, pre-fence repair, they are restricted to the indoors until the storms are over and fence repaired.)

Happy Birthday, Miss Krispy Kreme! You've become quite the little lady of the house.