Stop Buggin’ Me!!

These guys are all over every single flower / weed / thistle on the property and they are always – ALWAYS – gettin’ it on!  It’s a live bug orgy sex show all over the farm.

It bugs me.

But not as much as Ginny bugs her little-big sister Flip.

On Friday we went to the lake with Auntie Cathie, Ginny and the mighty Flipster.  As usual, Ginny and Maggins got along fabulously.

(Meanwhile, brother Big Head tried not to sink…

… and TWooie patrolled the perimeter for interlopers:

Actually, TWoo did quite well, for a small space, and didn’t really object to most dogs who ricocheted into his general orbit.  After a couple of hours though, he got a little possessive of the beach, and took some offense (he walked over and postured at him) to a particular dog who came over the crest.  Even then I got him to call off and recall to me, which I think is a massive step for my hairy Napoleon.  But when the beast decided to retaliate (from behind, I might add), TWooie kinda lost his shit – fortunately, I had his collar. Unfortunately, the two shirtless monkeys accompanying the dog had no recall on theirs, and I got bit in the process of keeping myself between 25 lbs of TWoo, and 75lb of Shepherd mix.  *grumble*  Turns out the owners were real jerks, so it seems TWooie was onto something there!)

I haz good taste.  For example, I like to taste hotdogs.  I can haz hotdog?  Right now?

I wasn’t the only one who got bit – Ginny and Queen Flipperoo got into a squabble also.

I’m a Jack Bitch.  No forgetty this important fact.

It seems Miss Ginny is looking to overthrow the queen as she matures, and the big bitch and the small bitch are having some issues.

Sound familiar Maggie?

What the hell?  I’m just laying here!

Auntie Cathie feels that she needs to reinforce that Flip is above Ginny in the household hierarchy to restore peace.  I meant to ask her how she would go about doing this, because I am genuinely interested, but I think this was when TWooie spotted the ‘Roid Monkeys and their nasty ole dog.  Because I’m really curious how that would be done, as I’ve never had to do it.

In my house, there is ONE person in charge of everyone else.  And you know who that person is …

It’s Piper.

And don’t you forget it, neither.

But seriously, in Casa de Food Lady, I reign supreme (when I have hotdogs) and everyone does what I say (except the WooTWoo.  Unless I have hotdogs.  Sometimes).  I am in charge of the dogs’ behaviour, but Piper is in charge of their lives.  NOBODY fights with Piper.  Nobody DISAGREES with Piper.  Everyone does what Piper SAYS they should do, and that includes fighting amongst themselves. I believe I mentioned in an earlier blog entry that TWooie and Maggins got into a scrap over a bone, and Piper put a stop to it because she Does Not Allow That Sort Of Thing. She’s like the best police officer ever.

I am lucky to have her, I think.  Prior to her, my Briggs dog was the local law enforcement, although over time he handed more and more of his responsibilities over to the Mighty P, who was glad to have them.  She is mostly pretty fair, as far as I can tell, and doesn’t lord over her minions too much, but she puts an end to anything untoward.  In almost 8 years, Piper’s never been in a dog fight – she doesn’t have to.  Everyone who comes into our house knows immediately where the power lies and they kowtow to her right off the bat.  Which is why I wasn’t worried about fostering Maggie with her wicked reputation.

Without Miss Piper, I’m not sure we’d have as much peace around here as we do.  Because not everyone likes one another – TWooie loathes Dexter and resents his very existence.  Dex is getting irritated with TWooie’s personal space bubble and I’m seeing a lot more lip out of him.  But before it can escalate, Piper’s in there demanding they both retire to their separate corners.

You’re lucky Piper’s here, Evil TWooie.

She’s the reason I’ve never adopted another female dog … I don’t think there would be a problem, but if I accidentally adopted another Piper, would there be one?  And if I didn’t have a Piper, would it be smooth sailing in my household?  I am mostly extraneous to the pack’s social interactions, I think, so how would I go about putting a hierarchy in place among them if I didn’t have Piper to do it for me?  Is it possible to even do?

I am pretty sure if I tried, I’d get killed in my nest.  I mean bed.  Maybe that’s what happened to mama swallow.

I climbed the ladder and checked on “my” nest the other day to find the babies much less uglier, and eyes open.  And you see mama swallow there at the side of the nest?

Yeah.  She’s dead as a doornail.  That’s weird isn’t it?  How does a bird die IN its nest?  Papa swallow is still feeding the babes, so I guess they’ll be okay, but how macabre is it that the babies are growing up with a corpse in the dining room?  I was thinking about putting in a pair of rubber gloves and chucking her out, but then I discovered the wasp’s nest beside the ladder.  ACK!  And I’m not the only one who discovered a wasp’s nest two days ago either.  Piper stuck her head in one in the woodpile and came out covered in angry stinging wasps.  She got them all off on her own (good thing, as I am terrified of wasps) and didn’t even swell up a little bit – I did give her preventative Benadryl, maybe that stopped it.  Tweed swells up like a balloon when he gets stung.  Thank goodness I have cats, who take care of stray wasps who get in the house.

Donut wouldn’t pose for this entry, so her stand-in Carl did it for her.

^^ This is Carl.  You may remember her from such photos as:

It seems I have been remiss in introducing you all to Carl, whom I kept from that litter of kittens I fostered.  Right now she is laying across both my forearms, which makes it very difficult to type this entry, but also reminded me that I should probably introduce you to her.  Donut hates her, but Dexter loves her.  They play all the time.

Speaking of which, it’s time for a last play outside before the sun falls.

Moooommmm!  Can I have Ginny’s retrieving bumper?

That’s called a Lunker.  It’s the only toy Tweed’s ever been really interested in that is not a tennis ball.  I’m thinking I will have to get him one someday soon.  Ever used one?


  1. We loved our Lunker – until Ranger lost it in the river. We watched it float down stream till it was out of sight. It is somewhere out in Puget Sound now – if he currents are on your side it may appear up at the beach in White Rock some day. It was green – keep your eyes out for it. :)

  2. SweetCeana says:

    Do you think the wasps got the Mama bird? I imagine it wouldn’t take many stings to take down a bird.

  3. Wait a minute… why is the girl kitten called Carl instead of Carla?

  4. Can we pleeaase have some video of Dex playing with Carl? :-)

  5. I love TWoo! He’s just so cute!

  6. Oh, poor mama swallow…how sad (and as you say, macabre!)

  7. Carl looks sad. But what a beeyootiful kitteh!

  8. what a cutie! and of course they love one another, carl had dexter ears as a kitten!

    that dead bird is freaking me out…

  9. Maria Shanley says:

    Piper reminds me of our working BC, Bo. She ran the dog pack, and believed everything from livestock to any malfunctioning household items were her responsibility. I’m sure she would have learned to drive, type and fix fence if she could have (lol)! Still much missed for her quirky personality, and also every time we have to help our neighbor load sheep.

  10. The Food Lady says:

    “Wait a minute… why is the girl kitten called Carl instead of Carla?”

    Because her name isn’t Carla, it’s Carl. :)

    Carl always looks sad. It’s just the shape of her face. Kinda like how Donut always looks angry, and Dex always looks insane.

  11. TWoo looks less … rotund … than he did in his early days at Casa FL. Stopped feeding him, did you? Good thing. He looks more like a dog and less like a hassock. :)

  12. I have three strong-willed female dogs in my house – Phoebe is a ~10yo Jack Russell terrier semi-rescued in May 2008, Jadzia is a ~8yo BC rescued in April 2003 (and our first dog), and Ezri is a 2yo BC from sport lines. We also have a 6.5yo male BC, but he wisely stays out of dominance tiffs, usually hiding in his crate. ;)

    Around this time last year, Phoebe began challenging Jadzia for dominance, possibly coinciding with Ezri’s first birthday and entering dog adulthood. We tried everything to deal with it – split them up, interrupt fights, feeding order, enter/exit order, and so on. Nothing helped, and it may have made things worse – Jadzia was reverting to her skittish fear-state from when we first got her, and Phoebe was being an absolute ass. Around Christmas is when Ezri started making her moves, jumping in to defend Jadzia whenever Phoebe started a fight. THAT is when the real problems began, because Phoebe is mostly incapable of injuring another creature (dull worn teeth from previous homes) and Jadzia will only “finish” a fight enough to get the other dog away, but Ezri is young, has plenty of sharp teeth, and felt that SHE needed to END the fights.

    So that’s when we started simply removing Ezri from the fights and letting Jadzia finish them. We still feed the BC’s first and Jadzia is allowed out of the house first, but other than that we don’t enforce much of a pecking order and let them do that themselves. The frequency of fights has gone down significantly, especially with the addition of a small crate in the living room to house Phoebe for high-stress situations (like guests coming over), and the last one was over two weeks ago (knock on wood). We don’t run them with each other in flyball, either, and if they -have- to be on the same team then they have at least one “buffer dog” between them.

    I think Ezri is going to end up on top of the dominance pile, but for now she’s happy enough to let Jadzia keep it, and just spend extra time on my lap. :)

  13. Thanks for reintroducing us to Carl…. where have you been hiding her all that time? (Has she been hiding in the laundry basket with your undergarments?) Your post of the 12th July 2009 is one of my favourites evah.

    Much as I love my BCs, if I’m having a crap day, this is the post I revisit to see the kittehs and their mum, Foldy McFolderson. Love them all but my heart always melts when I see Carl’s black and white crazy, “camera hugging” sister. Could you pleeeeeeeaze update us on her progress?

    Hope your swallows are doing okay without their Mum. That’s so sad. The swallows were late arriving in Scotland this year and initially we only had a few. On Saturday morning, between 75 – 100 were having a party between our telephone line, our roof and the air space in between………..the little buggers are so quick, I couldn’t get a proper count! There are a few families nesting under our eaves here but I don’t know if the rest are nesting at our home farm, or if they’d invited their cousins from the farm next door too. They pooped everywhere but I am so happy they visited here.

  14. Um, FL? What is the Loch Ness monster doing in a Canadian lake? And how did you get such a clear photo, when other photos are always grainy?

  15. Cathy, Che and Jeepers says:

    Poor Mama swallow. Maybe you could sneak up at night, when the wasps are asleep and yank out the dearly departed.
    Vis-a-vis the dominance thing: first out the door, first fed etc., I don’t feel it holds any water with pet dogs. I keep everything even with lots of ” Che’s turn and Jeeper’s turn. They understand that the other’s turn predicts THEIR turn, so they can relax.
    There is only one boss, and that isn’t them. Fastest dog gets out the door first.

  16. Sorry to hear you were bitten and I hope it wasn’t too bad. I know what it is like to be bitten by a dog, really bad, and it’s not nice at all. Twooie might not have been wrong this time. :(

    Changing subjects he looks happier than he’s ever looked in photos since you took him in, almost as happy and blissful as Tweed, so you’re definitely a good mommy for them. ;)

    I’m really happy that you find a good home for Maggie and she is going to be close to you so that you and the dogs can see her every now and then. It’s really great. And about the dominance between dogs, really I don’t know I only had one and all the people I know only had one not “big families” so maybe it’s a good idea to keep one of one of the sexes to “rule them all”, just keep an eye in Piper in case you see any traces of Gollum coming out, Just kidding don’t worry with Piper see looks very good and disciplined. :)

  17. Catherine says:

    The only advice I have RE the lunker… is don’t let some sweet well meaning knot tying freak tie a monkey’s fist (knot) in the end of the rope. Dog shakes lunker by mid-point in rope, knot smacks dog in head, dog staggers and refuses to touch lunker again.

    RE the swallows – leave nature be. I learned a lot about how nature generally does best when we stop anthropomorphizing. Spent a fascinating week with a naturalist in the Galapagos. We think it’s macabre, but for them, it’s part of the cycle of life. Pulling mama out, could mean knocking a little one out, doing more harm.

    Lovely photos as always.

  18. Twooie is looking amazing. Meatball no more!

  19. We have a mini-lunker! It is the toy of choice for the BC’s, and can be stuffed down your pants with ease when doing agility. The great dane has the Zoing, which is a lunker with a very loooong stretchy cord, also a fan fave, but does not fit down your pants! These toys last forever so long as they don’t sit down with it and chew, highly recommend them.

  20. I’ve been seeing one really good behaviorist about Bug’s anger management issues, and talking to a couple of others. And one thing they all agree on is that female dogs are the pack bosses, and multiple females in one household is a recipe for disaster. Not that it isn’t done successfully, lots — I’m sure we all know dozens of people with multiple females who are all BFFs. But there’s a large possibility of serious trouble. So, I agree with you about keeping your pack of boys with one Piper to rule them all. :)

    The other thing they all agree on is that a human can almost never actually influence the pack hierarchy. You can force the dogs into a bunch of behaviours that make it LOOK like the rank goes however you want it to, but they’re artificial and have nothing to do with what the dogs actually think about their statuses. Of course whenever someone tells me that something CAN’T be done, I develop an insanely powerful urge to go DO it, so I would be very interested if your friend were successful in rearranging her dogs.

    Carl is super cute.

  21. BoxerDogs says:

    in total agreement with pet dogs not caring one bit who gets in/out the door first.

    and even more agreement that more than one female dog in a household is uber disaster waiting to happen. in general, i mean. sure, many homes have more than one female & things go smoothly. not me. no thanks. one girl at a time, i say.

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