That was one angry duck…

I’m sitting in the living room, minding my own business, working from home (as you do), when I see a large bird land in the neighbor’s yard, followed by a male mallard duck. Being me, and curious, I checked and sure enough, the first bird was a female duck.

After they finished doing … whatever it is they were doing in the neighbor’s yard, she popped up on the fence and started quacking. Loudly. For a LONG time.

She was up there for a good two minutes, quacking angrily. And then she moved…

Yes. That’s my car. With an angry duck on it. She flew off along with Mr. Duck. You can almost hear the “Honey! Wait for me!”

Teaching the dog about Santa

For the last month or two, Quinn and I have been going out for walks after the kids are in bed. Its quiet, the dog has a great time, and we get to talk for an hour (tonight it was iPad woes and trying to remember this story about the SR-71 and a Navy Hornet). I’ve been feeling better, and am a little smaller, so its a win all the way around!

It is now bunny season. They are everywhere, and they are not smart. They will sit very still, even after Butter sees them. They will sit very still until she’s almost convinced herself that they aren’t really there. That’s when they bolt, and Butter tries to take our arms off bolting after them. The worst part is that they never seem to run into cover, they run along it, so she can see them for the longest possible time.

Bunnies.

So, tonight there was a real winner. He sat, still as a stone, until Butter was about 6 feet away from him. Then he ran, along the road, for about 20 feet (if you’ve ever seen Butter run, you know that’s not nearly far enough) to the corner of a fence. And sat there staring at the dog, who was on high alert and at the very end of her leash. It would be worrying, but her ears flop into her eyes, so she just looks ridiculous.

Quinn says, “I wonder what she would do if I ran after the bunny, and pretended to catch it.” I can see the wheels turning in his head, even in the dark.

“Don’t you dare.”

But the bunny isn’t moving, even as we keep walking toward it (he was between us and home; I don’t torture bunnies for fun). Quinn keeps giggling to himself, thinking about chasing the bunny, and the dog’s reaction. And the bunny still isn’t moving and we’re back to a 6 foot lead.

I sighed. No way around it. “Please chase the bunny.”

So he does. He runs towards the bunny, who is completely confused, and takes a second to start running, too. Butter tried to take off with him, but I was ready for it and she didn’t get anywhere. The bunny high-tailed it towards the back of a house, and Quinn went after it, just into a shadow.

This is where the fun starts, you see. He made growly, eating noises. Butter could not believe it. Quinn caught the bunny and ate it. She spent the rest of the walk looking for her own bunny to catch and eat. (He did not really catch the bunny, but Butter was firmly convinced her dad was a mighty predator tonight.)

Quinn wants to get a toy bunny (safe for dogs) and carry it with him on our walks. He’s going to chase another bunny out of harm’s way, and bring back the toy to give to Butter. She will firmly believe that he’s sharing his kill with her. He says, “It will be like teaching her about Santa Clause!” because she will be firmly convinced that is was bunnies taste like.

I’m not sure if this is going to be hysterical, or the start of many bad times for the local bunnies.

Good thing there’s lots of them.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

A thought for anyone who asks “Can I stop paying taxes because of this thing I don’t like/can’t use?”

There are lots of things that you pay for but will not, choose not, or hope not to use. Your tax dollars go towards welfare, unemployment, drug treatment programs, prisons, nuclear bombs, and foreign countries. Do you expect to take advantage of any of those programs in the near future?

Taxes pay for things that benefit the public at large, but don’t necessarily benefit you.  That’s a price we pay for civilization.

I Am a Turd Burglar

I am my dog’s personal turd burglar.

Most nights I take Butter, the dog, for a walk around our neighborhood.  It’s good for her and it’s good for me.  As a responsible citizen I clean up after her.  I wouldn’t want to step in another dog’s waste, after all, so I don’t inflict it on my neighbors.  I wish everyone else were so considerate —  most are, not all, but that’s a different topic.

Butter isn’t very regular.  Some days she craps three or four times in the span of our walk (about 45 minutes to an hour), other days there’s not a single bowel movement.  If I could choose which days would be more feculent I would pick garbage night so that I wouldn’t have to carry the bags very far, but I don’t get to choose so sometimes I wind up carrying around a lot of purloined stool.

She pees a lot too, but that seems to go alright because I don’t hassle her about where she makes water and I certainly don’t go back for it.  But her manure is fair game for pilfering, and it’s mine, all mine.

I think Butter has a vague idea that we do our business in the bathroom instead of outside.  I find the dichotomy interesting, actually: a dog’s bathroom is outside, in the open.  If a person made them defecate and urinate inside their house, and other people found out, that person would be considered weird (and probably a bit filthy) and no one would want to go visiting at their home.  The flip side of that coin is, if I am caught soiling the ground outside I could be arrested for disorderly conduct and possibly charged with other offences — even if I do it in the bushes and offer to scoop everything into this nice little baggy I brought with me.

When it comes time to make doody I imagine Butter’s internal monologue goes something like this:

“uhh… hold on… ohohohoh uungh… ahhhhhhhhhhhh

“oh I feel better, time to kick it away and clean up —

“why is he yelling at me to stop?  Doesn’t he like clean —

“ugh no he’s fiddling with the rustling things again.  He’s going to —

“oh gawd yeah he’s picking it up again.  Why do you have to make it weird?

“dude.”  Looks at me reproachfully.  “If I drop a deuce in the house you yell at me.  I do it out here and you insist on bringing it all the way home with us.  What’s up with that?

“gawdammit everywhere I sniff it smells like my poop now.  How can we search for everyone else’s scat if all I smell is my own?

“You’re a moron, did you know that mister?”

And so it goes.  From her perspective I stalk her in order to plunder her excrement and keep it for myself.  I think I confuse her a little, but not too much because she’s not that smart.

Humans, on the other hand, supposedly are smart.  We recognize that dogs are a paradox.

She might be the smart one, though.  After all, she gets free room and board, and a personal turd burglar.