Monday, June 8, 2009

June 7 Hot day

<- Demon and Samantha

Freya was supposed to have slept in Jim's room so she could socialize with him and get used to him. She apparently woke him up very early and he let her out. She was outside when I let Samantha, G'kar and Valkrys out at 5:40am. I sat with them for some time, enjoying the weather as it was still rather cool, but warming fast.

I started working on the path that will run from the west side of the porch to the east side of the enclosure where the trees are, and where the dogs like to hang out when not on or under the porch. The birds were singing, and I could identify the song of a red-wing blackbird, several different types of woodpecker, a finch, and a bird I wasn't sure of. There are three black walnut trees in my fenced yard middle that cover most of the back with a bit of shade, two of them look like they have been previously ravaged by lightning and woodpeckers. The third looks in decent condition, but it was the late bloomer, so not sure if it is as good as it looks. On the east side of the lawn, however, is a dense clump of woods with lots of shade. It is there that the dogs lie in wait for squirrels that have the misfortune of not seeing them.

Sometime around 8am, there was some critter running through the woods that I didn't see, but I could hear it. Samantha and the boys streaked to the fence like four ground cruise missiles. Samantha, my escape artist tried the fence here and there, and finally found another place where she could wriggle through... sigh... So, it was off to chase the dog again. Samantha is a special case and needed to recovered fast. She is a quick and vicious hunter, and the way she has been acting towards our other dogs, I wasn't sure how friendly she would be with some of the free-roaming neighbor dogs. But she was nice to the dog that used to live at our house (he was left by his previous owners long before we came to Kentucky and the people across the street took pity on him and kept him). He is what looks like a Chihuaua and pit bull/possibly boxer mix if you can imagine that. When she got out last time, she just sniffed noses with him. So, my biggest worry was chickens... Lord knows she'd probably get in to them if she could find them.

Fortunately she seemed more interested in stretching her legs than in hunting. She ran up and back, down the hill, up the hill, around the fence, back down the fence, out to the woods, back through the woods, around the fence, up the hill, down the hill, into the woods and finally came to me wagging her tail, tongue lolling and happy as could be. I praised her for coming when she was called, trotted with her back around the fence, up the hill, in to the gate, up on to the porch where she drank her fill, and my husband shut the porch gate to keep her up there and under the shade until I could fix the fence so she couldn't get out again.

Picking up seven rebar rods and the sledge, I hiked around the fence, reinforcing a couple of areas she may have been able to wriggle out given enough time, and then got to the place where she had wormed her way under the fence. Demon was busy trying to duplicate her effort, but couldn't figure out how she had wriggled through. Thanking him for showing me the spot, I put in the last two rebar there.

No sooner had I come back in the fence and let her off the porch, did she run down to the same spot and tried to wriggle out again to no avail. Thank goodness jumping the fence never occurred to her... She got a bit frustrated and began digging at the spot, so I picked up a large flat stone (about a 70lb rock) nearby, and put it on the spot she was digging. After ensuring she couldn't push it with her nose, she gave me this hurt look and stalked off.

Some time around noon, the temperature got above 85, it was time to bring in the dogs to the air conditioned home. Yukon was easy to coax in, Demon hid under the stairs, so I got Freya next, then finally got a hold of him, picked him up and carried him in. Neither of the boys was thrilled to wear a diaper... How can you blame them? I wouldn't want to wear one either... it was embarrassing, but Yukon bore it with dignity, Demon just shuddered by the back door not wanting to show his face. (Really though, it was the idea of being indoors. He and his brother had never been kept indoors, so he was considerably ill-at-ease in the house.)

A bowl of ice cream made them all feel better about being inside, and Demon, Freya and Samantha laid down by me where I sat with my back propped against the back door. Yukon, however, wanted to explore this strange new land (even though he'd been indoors before).

For four hours I sat and comforted Demon by the door, while he lay his shaggy head on my lap. He finally felt calm enough to sleep for a bit with his chin on my knee. He is so soft and cuddly, I find his name and his temperment quite the oxymoron. There were some good movies on, so other than being on the floor it wasn't really a hardship. By the time five o'clock rolled around, it began to cool off a bit and the humidity had gone from 70 down to 35%, so we let the dogs back out after removing the diapers. Both boys felt really good having been out of the heat for some time and they played for close to half an hour before hiding under the porch from the last rays of the sun. We live in a shallow mountain valley near the peaks, so the sun goes behind the hills around 8, but it is still light until close to 9:30. Samantha, G'kar, Valkrys and Freya curled up in my room and we all went to sleep around 10.

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