The continuing adventures of Phantom and her adoptive family have me thinking that those of us who don't have cats, but rather dogs, have been far too quiet (I admit, I laughed aloud at the mouse thing, and especially at Bitty kitty's dump down the mole hole (talk about sour grapes! eeeew!)
Mia, a very happy black lab who is eight and a half but who still thinks she is two, loves to chase squirrels. In fact, chasing squirrels and chipmunks comes third to chasing cats who dare to trespass in Mia's fenced yard (it is not ours, after all), and swimming. Swimming is her first love, without reservation. But chasing squirrels happens far more often.
Every morning, when her dogslave owner puts on the coffee in the pre-dawn light (I must admit, I love the term catslave, and I have unabashedly expropriated it), Mia sits at the kitchen door, wondering why it is taking her doddering servant so long to open the door. Ostensibly, the purpose of going out is to pee, among other things (usually involving a lot of sniffing), but the first thing on the agenda is to try to catch the squirrels who are trying to find her female dogslave's tulip bulbs (she tries to treat her dogslaves as well as she can, as when they are happy, she tends to be happy). The chase starts the same way, every day: Standing at the top of the stairs on the deck (we live on the 2nd/3rd floor of an old house, above my office), she then scans for the rodents, hackles raised. Target acquired! then three barks, a mad dash down the stairs, and then -- nothing. By the time her feet hit the lawn, the squirrels are in the trees, and Mia runs beneath barking impotently. She has made her point though. MY YARD!
I have often advised my dogmistress that she might not want to bark before running down the stairs (which itself sounds like a heard of elephants). But she always looks at me as if to say: "HUH?"
She almost caught a chipmunk the other day (it is living IN our lawn), but it could turn much faster than Mia could, and made short work of the chase. In any event, I have learned that chasing squirrels is just fun. It is chasing cats that poop in HER yard that is serious business (I am strangely supportive of that activity, given that I am the one who must clean up the mess) because that is just plain insulting her dignity.
(We unfortunately have a number of strays and irresponsible cat owners living around us. Not that I dislike cats (they can be utterly irresistable), I just don't like people not taking responsibility for their pet, no matter what kind it is. If I knew where the cat lived, and could prove that the poop belonged to it, I would return the stuff to the rightful owner, with all due ceremony.)
Mia will never, ever catch a squirrel or a cat, which is fine with me. Scaring them out of the yard is all that is necessary.
It's a good thing my dogmistress loves swimming to the exclusion of all other things (swimming while chasing her floating Kong is pure heaven. Requires dogslave to throw the Kong at least fifty times. Warning: dogslaves tire easily), because she is a horrible squirrel and cat catcher. But I think that it is the chase that she loves. If she ever cornered a cat or squirrel, I don't think that she would know what to do! If she could speak, I bet she'd say "CAN WE DO THAT AGAIN!?! CAN WE?!? HUH? HUH? CAN WE?!?! PLEEEEEEASE?!?
One of my favorite stories of my dogs is when they found a rattle snake. Now I have four dogs (we live on a small farm) but this story involves only two. A big rather ferocious looking lovable pitbull rescue Zoey that thinks she is big and bad but really will just lick you to death and a cute Jack Russle/Rat Terrier mix Shelby who, while small, really is big and bad. Well as we live in Arizona, USA we have rattle snakes from time to time. Not a big deal because they normally let you know where they are before they bite you. Well one nice spring morning a rattle snake decided to use our sunny back porch for a good spot to sun bathe. The dogs happened to be outside and for some reason the dog door was closed.
So all of a sudden we hear a rattle, and then we hear a few barks from Shelby followed by a huge bang as Zoey tries to break down the door to get in the house and away from the snake. She was not bitten she was just scared out of her mind. I didn't have time to laugh at the situation at the moment but it was really funny afterwards. Shelby, cute little lovable dog, was an inch from its nose barking so ferociously I think the snake was scared to bite her. And Zoey, big bad kick your butt if come near my family Zoey, was screaming in terror and trying to break down the door.
Of course I rushed outside and grabbed Shelby away from the rattle snake as Zoey ran inside and barked at the big mean snake from the top of the couch (which she is never permitted to be on but in her terror it was the fartherest point from the snake where she could still see it).
We sprayed the rattle snake with a garden hose until he moved along.
I just still get a chuckle out of seeing the fright in my huge scarry pitbull and the hunters eyes on my little fluffy puppy.
I used to be a dog-lover when I was little - and I still am, but now I'm a cat-lover as well.
That being said, I found Ginny a very impressive little dog. Ever heard of "the dog that saved cats"? It was a very good example that a dog can have a huge love for cats - "like cats and dogs" isn't thus a very accurate phrase.
She has died already, though. Requiescat in pace, little Ginny.
I said goodbye to my old black lab Mia (who I posted on almost 5 years ago above. Gosh that went by fast!)on Friday. She was fourteen, and life just hurt because of severe arthritis. I bawled like a baby when I felt the last breath go out of her body, but I knew I was doing the right thing.
Friday night, I drove her body up to Pike Lake, her favourite place in the world (endless swimming and romping through woods. Dog paradise!). Everything is frozen around here, so burial was not an option. I lit a lantern for her and for me, and then I cremated her in a very hot hardwood fire. I sat by her pyre until there was nothing but embers left in the wee hours of the morning, and then I went home in the dark.
There's been a hole in our house since Friday. Even our newest family member, a little Norfolk Terrier named Guinness, has been looking around for her.
No creature loves quite as perfectly as dogs love their humans.
Goodbye, thou good and faithful servant. Mia, you are remembered.
I feel for you Clansman. We lost two dogs (Keeshonds) within 3 months of each other almost two years ago. Perrin was a little over 11 but had cancer. His mum, Son (Sonja), came sprightly down the path for breakfast one morning three months later and had barely completed it when she simply keeled over in what was thankfully a short coma before she died. She was 15.
The house was so quiet and empty that it was only six weeks later we went looking for a new companion. Keeshonds are not always easy to find here in Austalia but we were fortunate to find a puppy very quickly. While Strider settled extremely well with us it was very obvious he needed a dog companion. Another puppy just 8 weeks younger became available and now Strider and Baggins are proving to be amazing companions for us and for each other.
It was not until we later checked Baggins pedigree that we found out that he was a great grandson of Son's.
We are all different and I fully understand people having preferences for cats and other domestic pets but I am of the group that would agree with you that "No creature loves quite as perfectly as dogs love their humans.'
We will never forget Perrin and Son and in fact a photo of them in their favourite spot on the tiles in our hallway is beside my computer. I expect you will also be reviewing your fond memories of Mia.
Sorry to hear you are without Mia now Clansman, at least now she is without pain.