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whatever happens

April 2017

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whatever happens

For a change, an upbeat post!

The monsoon season seems to be over, and the ground is dry everywhere except the deepest holes and pits. The weather is so warm that yesterday I put up my winter clothes and got out my summer clothes. Every year I go through this memory thing, where cold feet make me long for summer, and sweating at the computer makes me long for winter. (Forget spring and autumn. This is Texas. Those seasons last about 3 days.)

My puppy fatigue is improving. The pups still get overenthusiastic when they see me (which, as any puppy mom can tell you, is both terrifying and a joy), but they settle down more quickly. They've learned what I expect of them, and they actually do it about 40% of the time. Dinner is a hoot. When I used to carry their bowls out, they would go crazy and jump up on me like a school of fish with a shark rising under them; they tried to grab the bowls, even when I held them over my head. I insisted that they SIT (yes, I yelled it) before I set the bowls down. They learned, so now, when I step outside with the bowls, they both immediately plant their butts and grin at me expectantly. Sometimes Nika loses it and jumps up, but she sits right back down again. There's an art to lowering the bowls, by the way. If I don't lower them both at exactly the same time, they both charge into the first bowl to reach the ground.

It's still dangerous for me to go out the front door and down the ramp, but easier, and sometimes I can even sneak out without them seeing me.

I took them to the vet for their first check up. They were pretty well behaved, and they are completely healthy. Our dainty, leaping Nika weighs 48 lbs, and our "massive" (the vet's word), phlegmatic Taffy weighs 53. And they just turned 6 months old. They are already nearly as tall as Kita, our 90 lb 11-year-old German shepherd.

I do have one puppy adventure story. Nika discovered how to climb our chain link fence. The first time I figured out what she was doing (by viewing the damage to the top of the fence, which was rolled down and out), I reinforced that area with a welded wire fencing that she can't get her paws into. This was expensive, for me, because I had to hire (local) help. But she just moved to another spot and learned to climb that. So mean ol' Kat (aka Aku Kat) decided to alleviate her panic at finding the dog outside the fence (we live one block from a highway) and, taking finances into account (i.e., being retired and poor), she strung hot wire all along that stretch of the fence. She strung a double line, one at knee level and one just under the top of the fence. Then Aku Kat sat in her recliner and waited for the first reaction. In about 10 minutes, it came, a sharp, surprised yelp. Kat smiled. Then, in another ten minutes, a caterwauling broke out, screams and frantic yelps that lasted several seconds, followed by the pattering of feet outside the door and the "I'm so abused" whining that Nika's good at. Kat grinned, then went outside and reassured a frantic puppy that her suffering was not due to Kat being angry at her. Which was more or less true. Since that time, about a week, there has been one more yelp, and the dog is still in the yard and the fence is still unbent. Mwa ha ha.

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