Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dog Blog: Dog Jog & Fat Dog

I've been keeping an eye out for those terrorist rabbits, but they seem to be lying low since the night I met One Eyed Jack. And since they've always been so clever about staying just out of my reach, I've been practicing some "caninja" skills on them. I make a show of not being able to reach one particular spot in the yard, and I've been holding back when they approach my "zone" -- no barking, no lunging -- hoping to lull them into thinking they know where my boundaries are.

I'll get them yet.

Meanwhile, things have been going great inside the house. I'm starting to enjoy the kids a little more, now that they don't all climb on my head, cooing at me everytime they see me. One at a time, they can be very sweet.

And the Mom lady got something great in the mail: a "Walky Dog"! It's a lead pole that mounts on a bicycle so that I can run alongside while she rides. It's fantastic! The Dad takes me on a nice meandering "explore" every morning, and the Mom either runs with me, or hooks me to the bike at night. And when she's on her bike, I can fly, baby!

She's been a little timid about it, though, so I've had to pull her along on most of the rides.

Those evening runs have an element of danger to them, though. I may have mentioned that I don't care much for other dogs. (I am a real bitch, you know.) As a result, I tend to get a little... *ahem* ...belligerent when I see them. I don't know why, but I can't help shouting at them when I see them. And since most of the dogs around here are yappy little pipsqueaks, or oafish tongue-lolling lab mixes, I feel I can put most of them in their place.

Then there's Fat Joe. He's an enormous Rottweiler that lives around the corner somewhere. I can't quite figure out where, but if I do, I'm going to leave him a vicious p-mail.

The first time I ran across him, he was pretty far away, but I let him know I was there. "Hey, Fatso, you better stay out of my way!" I yelped.

He just turned his head and blinked, looking like a hairy, black Marlon Brando on all fours. "It's Fat JOE," he said. "Fat SUE is my little sister."

But the Mom was dragging me across the street and in the other direction at that point, muttering something about livestock.

We saw him a couple of days later, but we didn't spot him until we were already on the same street together. The Mom dragged me to the other side so we wouldn't have to get too close, but I had to say something. It wouldn't be polite to just ignore him, would it?

"Hey, Fatso! You ever start any fires with your blubber thighs rubbing together like that?"

Who knew a dog that size could move so fast? His owner apparently didn't; he was yanked off his feet, and looked like a cartoon person with his feet flapping like a flag as he was pulled into the fight.

Now, if those darned humans had just stepped off and let us go, I'm sure I would have had him. I took a chunk out, that's for sure. But they pulled us apart, and the Mom lifted me up and carried me off toward home, a stream of really ugly words coming out of her mouth the whole way. (I know what I'm going to say to Fatso, now, next time I see him!)

Apparently, our little dust up made the local fauna news. The squirrels started cheering whenever I came out. "We got 20 nuts down on you for the next bout, killer!"

I even caught One Eyed Jack's attention. He came into the yard a couple of days later. I couldn't see him, but his voice seemed to be coming from just outside my reach while I rested by the pool.

"You're pretty scrappy," he said. "Could come in handy. We might be able to use you, if you get a little better with the caninjitsu."

"Use me for what?" I asked. I was irked that he knew about my plans, when I still had no idea what his were.

"We'll see," he said, cryptically. "I haven't made up my mind which side you're on, yet."

"What sides are there?" I sneered. "I'm on the good side!"

But he was gone already.

Dog Blog: The Fourth & the One-Eyed Jack Rabbit

What a lousy week I've had. Every time I hear the explosions outside, I jump. I can't help it. The family laughs, sympathetically, and says, "Poor Trixie! She must be gun shy." But that's not it. Every screamer, every M80, every roman candle sends me up the wall with terror, but it's not just the noise that bothers me.

I'm terrified because any one of those noises could be Them...

I told you I don't trust those rabbits. I knew they were up to something. These aren't just your usual lazy, good-for-nothing lapidary menace. I could tell by the way they run just far enough away so I can't reach them, and then stand there taunting me. They wink, they tease, and they never quite leave... which is what I want them to do!

One of the cheeky little buggers even sits in the middle of the yard, waiting for me to come out so he can bait me. The family puts me on a lead when I go out, and he knows exactly how far I can go. The first couple of times, I thought he was as startled as I was, but then I noticed that he would dart around the corner of the fort, and then run around it and sneak up behind me while I was barking at the corner where I saw him last. Oh, he thinks that's great fun!

Two can play games, though. I started sneaking along the wall whenever I came out, hoping to get enough of a jump on him to at least put the fear of dog into him. And a couple days after my last post, it worked!

I came through the gate at full speed, and there he was. He had heard the door, but I managed to keep the chain from clinking. His ears went flat, and his mouth made a great "O" as he turned to take off. I felt my teeth in his fluffy little tail, too, just before the line jerked me off my feet. That hurt, but even before I landed, I had twisted and shot around where he usually sneaks up from behind. No sign of him!

Satisfied, I went and curled up next to the pool to pant. He wasn't done with me, though. He came sidling back to peek around the corner of the fort. "You think you're pretty clever, huh?" he said. "That was good, but it won't work twice."

I sniffed, and acted like I couldn't see him. Maybe he'd come a little closer, and we could have another shot.

"A bit of friendly advice, though," he went on. He wasn't fooled one bit. "I wouldn't try that with One-Eyed Jack. If you do, you tell him I warned you."

"And who are you supposed to be?" I asked.

"I'm Peter," he said. "The kids might have mentioned me; they named me, long before you came along. Just remember, you might be the predator type, but you're not the one in charge around here."

I shudder now, but at the time I laughed. "Bring on the One-Eyed Jack!" I snorted. "I'll take on any of your type that get within 30' feet of my pole, there."

But Peter was gone.

The next night, after a good walk around the block, I was lying down under the rose bush while the family swam and sat around the patio, reading their books. None of them smelled the thick rabbity effluvium on the air, but I knew they were out with a vengeance. Then I heard an odd, muffled thump.

I looked over at the fence, and there was a huge jack sitting there, holding something strange in his mouth. He thumped it on the ground again. "Know what this is?" he asked.

I hadn't moved, yet, trying to think of a way to get at him. I shook my head, no, to answer his question, and eyed the fence line. No way I could get to the end, and dash around in time to grab him.

"This is an explosive device," he said. "You know those loud bangs you keep hearing?" I nodded. "That's the humans, blowing these up. You know how many my people have managed to gather?" Rhetorical questions I ignore, especially from a stupid rabbit.

"We've got enough of these to take out this whole block," he said. It wasn't like bragging, because I could tell he meant it. But why tell me? "I'm telling you so you know to stay out of our way. You're new here, and I don't think Peter really got through to you the other night."

"And who are you to tell me who's in charge in my own yard?" I growled.

And then he turned. You know how rabbits, being prey animals, usually can't look at you straight on? They usually have one eye on each side of their head, and only really look at you from the side. Well, he turned to face me, and instead of two eyes staring off in two directions, he only had the one. The other side, where an eye should have been, was a mass of scar tissue. Part of the ear was even missing. The scar ran from the ruined base of the ear, down through the eye socket, and pulled up his lip, so he looked like he was snarling.

Without another word, One-Eyed Jack picked up his firecracker, and disappeared into the tall grass on the other side of the fence.

And now, every time I hear one of those pops, bangs, or cracks, I wonder... is it Them?

Dog Blog: Week Three

I think I'm starting to figure out this family I've been assigned to. They aren't too hard to get along with -- one at a time at least. And I think I know now why I was sent here to protect them.

They had me really baffled for the first couple of weeks with that word they kept shouting up my nose: Trixie. Apparently, that's my name. If I perk up my ears and wag my tail when they say it, they go all giggly. I tell you, it's good to figure out the basics, and feel like I have some control over the proceedings. Now I just have to finish hashing out who's who around here. Got to establish Dominance.

The Momma and the Dad were easy enough to figure out. They're bigger, and they made sure I knew they were boss right away. Then there's the kids. Whenever the parents aren't around, I try to mount them, of course. But they don't get it. They just laugh, run around, and yell "She's doing the 'Dog-danio!'" and swarm me. I really wish I knew what THAT meant.

At least the Dad has been really good about getting up early in the mornings and taking me on patrol. He still hasn't learned what rabbits are for -- they're for killing, hello! -- and that's really my only complaint. They won't even let me have at the impudent, long-eared rats when they're in my own yard!

The other night, we came home from one of our walks, and one of the little bastard was hunkered down right in the middle of the front yard. The Dad nearly stepped on it, leapt into the air, and shouted something I hadn't heard before. It sounded like a sneeze: "K chertu!" I think it was Russian.

But even with the sneaky devils ambushing him in front of his own dog, he won't let me go after them. I suspect the Lapidary Mafia has something on them; some kind of nefarious influence. Maybe they've got a hostage or something. I plan to make it my mission to figure out what it is.

Meanwhile, I keep watch. And bide my time. They will sure be glad I was on the job! The amazing Trixie: Dog Detective, Defender from Rabbits!

Oh... time for another nap!

Dog Blog: One Week

I won't bore you with my life story, but let's just say I ended up in the klink. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, I suppose, but jail is jail, and I was a little freaked out.

I've never been able to get along with other dogs, and the kennel amplifies their voices something awful. Have you ever tried to sleep while a chihuahua mix rabbits on and on reciting the dog rosary? Or while a basset hound sings the blues all night?

They put me through all kinds of tests and things, and I have to admit, I wigged out a little bit. Not my finest hour. I ended up back in the kennel, feeling like the end of the world was coming. That's about when they showed up.

There were six of them; four small ones, one huge one with as much hair on his face as I have, and one that was clearly the momma. I liked her right away. They met me outside, and I was so relieved to be in the yard, being petted. The kids weren't bad, I just didn't know what to do with them. So I ignored them, and let everyone scratch me behind the ears. The big hairy guy found that spot at the base of my tail, and when the staff took me out front again, and the whole group led me to their car... I didn't know what to think!

It seemed to go pretty well, though they were feeding me that crap from the kennel. The hairy guy has been taking me for walks in the morning, and sometimes I get to walk the kids to school. The only consistent trouble seems to be with rabbits. Apparently they can't see the little beasts, because they never let me chase them down and destroy them. I managed to slip out of the harness once to show them my chops, but they seemed pretty upset that I didn't catch the one I was after.

They took me in the car today, and all was well (I thought we were going to the "doggy store" again to get toys), and we showed up back at the jail. I even recognized a couple of bitches from my cell block. I was terrified they were going to turn me back in or something, but then we didn't go inside. We went over to a grassy area, and had a lady teach them how to handle me. Some of it was pretty rude... telling them how to discipline me sounded like a raw deal... but then it seemed like everything she was teaching them involved giving me treats. The phrase was "positive reinforcement", and the teacher lady made them practice feeding me treats again.

Life is sweet. Let's hope this keeps going.