The Elusive Fraser Valley DitchPig


Usually TDBCR alumni Zephyr looks like this:

(Photo courtesy of Mambomutts Photography)

But when he came out to Food Lady’s farm he found the only standing “water” left on the whole 10 acres in this heat wave we’re having.  I say “water” because in actual fact it is about 10 inches of stagnant, extremely vile mud-and-silt in a ditch adjacent my garden.  I am always hollering at my dogs for trying to lie down in it, but Zephyr did them one better and did not just lie down in it … he WALLOWED in it.  Rolled, dug, flopped and wiggled until he had a fine coating of utter stink.

When he emerged, nobody recognized him!

“Nobody” includes The TWoo.  He has met Zephyr before and was very well mannered at the time, but seeing this mud creature on his lawn was too much for him, and he went in for the beat-down.  Since he only comes up to Zephy’s belly, he didn’t accomplish much in the way of punishment, but he was sure a jerk about it.

The image of the ditchpig haunted me for days, and this morning I had to take my dogs to the beach to cleanse the images in my head.  Despite the heat, we’ve not been to the beach in a while because first Megan got spayed, and couldn’t get her stitches wet, and then two more puppies arrived to make my brain (and patience) explode.

But yesterday Miss Megan went to her new home with Dexter’s sister Ally :(  I am sad because I miss her, but happy because she is in a FABULOUS home and still part of the family.

After Megan left, I took Miss Twist and dropped her off with her foster home, and my dog numbers are back down to a reasonable 6 again.  It says something about me that 6 dogs feels totally reasonable and manageable, but I’m not exactly sure WHAT it says!

Of course, foster puppy Race is a going concern and he feels a bit like having 2 or 3 puppies all at once.

I’m going to eat that.  I know it’s not technically edible, but I’m gonna eat it anyway.

So far I have lost the corner of a chair, the edge of an area rug, and the strap of my favourite shoe to this voracious destructobeast!  And it’s early days still.  But without his BFF Twist around, he is much more human-focused, less inclined to wander off down the road in search of cattle and generally more likable.  He even sleeps in!

I was a bit worried about how Race, a prairie dog, would take to the beach, but this is one bold puppy and didn’t phase him even a little bit.

Yay!  Water = fun!

He was in and swimming without a second thought.  The 15 or so iron stairs that lead down to the beach didn’t concern him either – those stairs gave TWoo a coronary the first he saw them, and even Wootie prefers to tumble down the cliff rather than use them.  So while Race may be a bit shy with people and angry voices, general life experiences are approached with gusto.  No fear of new situations or noise sensitivity at all.  I get the impression that when he is more confident, he’s going to be a whole lotta dog!

He has no fear of Mad Teeth™

The madder the better!

He does his best to keep up with Dexter

And he has even, somehow, convinced TWooie to play with him!

I think this qualifies as a miracle.

TWoo’s dog-on-dog aggro issues were really improving a lot, but bringing in two strange puppies, then inviting Zephyr over and THEN inviting Ally (he beat her up also) over put his little pea brain over the edge, and he’s back on high alert when we go out in public, very concerned about approaching dogs.  He’s a bit frazzled.

This is all my fault, as I picked him and hurled him way over threshold a bunch of times in the space of 3 days (metaphorically speaking) and undid a whole lot of the progress we’d made.  After Race gets adopted, I am going to stay foster-free for a while and devote more time to working with TWoo.  I know that under all that bravado there is a dog who *can* be a polite and reasonably sociable creature, and I’m annoyed with myself for pushing him too far.  So after this, it’ll be time for TWoo and TWoo alone and we’ll get back to where we were last week.

Wootie prefers Race to Megan because while he liked playing WITH Megan, he did not like playing AGAINST Megan.  Getting the frisbee was literally impossible for Woo when Megan was lurking around, as she would always get a head start and beat everyone to it.  Or on the rare occasions when he got there first, she’d bite him until he dropped it, and eventually he just stopped trying to play with it.

At first he was not totally convinced she wasn’t skulking around behind an old boat or something, so he prowled through the shallows crocodile-style to secure the perimeter.

And once he was convinced she was gone, he back to his old tricks.

Ahhh, how I missed Big Air Woo!

He wasn’t the only one up to old tricks.

Deep water is scary!  Don’t leave TWoo behind!  Get out of there, you’ll drown!  I’m lonely here on the shore!  I’m scared to swim to you!  HELLLLPPPPP MEEEEEEEE!!!

The tide was coming in pretty quick, so we didn’t stay as long as I would’ve liked to.  But the ever-deepening water did not worry Race at all.  He felt safe as long as he had Piper nearby.

She wasn’t too impressed with her new red merle shadow.

But someone is going to be impressed with this handsome fella – and lucky too!  He’s a smart cookie, and can’t you imagine how flashy he’d be on an agility course?


  1. Ahhhhh they look so happy and cool in the water!! Thanks for another great post.

  2. Christine says:

    Looove the mad teeth. Even better than Duffy’s.

  3. The Food Lady says:

    Hmmm … Duffy has Mad Teeth ™. Race likes Mad Teeth ™. Race also looks like Duffy. Therefore, Christine should adopt Race!

    I love logic! When shall I drop him off?? ;-)

  4. Brilliant photographs again. I laughed out loud when I saw your snaps of Zephyr the mud magnet. I s the saying “as happy as a pig in sh*t,” an international one, or just a UK one?

    I miss Maggins already, but it sounds like your gonna have a lotta fun with Race too. Hope he stops munching your house contents and that he and Twist find there forever homes soon.

  5. nickelsmum says:

    My old red Aussie girl is a heavy duty mud wallower. In SF Bay Mud, which is like glue, she really looked amazing.

    BTW, have you noticed that the dark red markings about Race’s eyes kinda look like little devil horns?

  6. Deep water is scary! Don’t leave TWoo behind! Get out of there, you’ll drown! I’m lonely here on the shore! I’m scared to swim to you! HELLLLPPPPP MEEEEEEEE!!!

    Totally Aussie! They are great communicators ;) LOL.

    Race reminds me of my first dog, a reddish lilac merle Aussie/Golden mix. Very smart and willing. Thank doG for the Golden part, since I was an absolute neophyte, having never had pets growing up.

  7. Oh, I heart the TWoo. I seem to have a soft spot for “special” dogs. I think he’s handsome, even mid-meltdown.

    And good luck with your “Going Concern”! Love it. Or is it a Growing Concern…??? Hmmm. Hope he stops eating things once he settles in…

  8. I’m not usually a merle fan, but Race is awesome!

  9. Oh boy, you’re in for some more serious background checking when Race is ready for adoption. He’ll be a real standout amongst the ‘boring’ black and whites. What a chick magnet. :c)

  10. ginnysmom says:

    All I can say is “Oh my Zeph!?!”. I’m sure I can speak for Dana when I thank you for not doing anything to stop him from writhing in the swamp! “Oh my Zeph…”

  11. LOVE crocodile Woo! And Jennifer, “as happy as a pig in…” is a phrase we know well on this side of the pond. And in the pond. And adjacent to the pond.

    And Race’s little marks totally look like devil horns! I was trying to think of why he looked so… so… so soap opera villainy. I guess that picture (p 2.1.5) makes me think of a smoking jacket, a very cocked eyebrow, a twisted smile with a little handlebar mustache… riiiiiight before he throws his head back and bellows like Count von Count (complete with thunder and lightning).

    Or is that just me?

  12. Race is SO dashing

  13. That was a brilliant post – what a fun time!

  14. So funny. Known here as the lesser spotted swamp monster. Scientifically identified as the transmuddyfication of a staffy (visitor), yellow labrador (resident), leonberger (resident) and hysterically laughing human(me).

  15. Best Mad Teeth ™ pics YET!!!!! The eyes too — totally perfect!

  16. I’m glad I’m not the only one that oddly enjoys seeing a dog roll in mud! Glad you had a good time Zeph!
    I hope more people read this for your comments about over threshold too…. I’ll be back … muddy Zeph brought me here but reading your post will make me come back!

  17. I miss Twist! And i covet her. If only my hands weren’t full with the dogs i have :(

  18. Your pictures, as always are amazing. My favorites this week= the ones of Race- talk about a looker!

    And of course, who couldn’t just love that one of poor Twooie crying for help/companions while chest deep in water!

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