In Blueberry Fields

In blueberry fields, the collies grow

Making ridiculous faces, row on row

TWooie’s probably disgusted that I just trivialized Remembrance Day by marginalizing that poem.

But it’s not like we can even have a moment of silence around here.  TWoo and Dex are too busy making ugly noises at one another.  The unfriendlieness between those two wants to come to a head, like a festering boil.  Last night, Dexter lifted his leg in my house!  He marked my mudroom wall after he and TWoo had a growl-off about who got to guard the cat-food-in-bathroom-slash-go-outside corridor, and then he marched into the living room and lifted his leg on TWooie’s bed.

If you ask me, someone would be wise to remember that he has testicles, because the leg lifting just reminded me that it’s about time to have those things removed.

Although I can maybe just chalk it up to some supremely frustrated dogs.  The time change means it’s now dark when I get up to go to work and dark when I get home too, and while I’ve lived with dogs, a job and time changes for lo many a year, I’ve not had to do it out here in the stix, where streetlights are a rarity.  It’s pitch black outside no matter where I go, so we are confined to walking down the end of my dead end road and back several times as a piss poor excuse for “exercise.”  Lame!  You can practically see the little frustration tornadoes exploding in Dexter’s adolescent brain.


In the mornings I rotate between having Tweed and then Piper in the shelter with me.  Can’t bring in the WooTWoo because they obsess over the guinea pigs on the counter.  I’ve also been bringing my 2X2’s to work with me in the truck, and on my lunch break Dex and I go out and practice in the parking lot.  Then he gets to come into the shelter with me for the rest of the afternoon where he drives my coworkers insane by playing with a squeaky toy for hours on end, and greets all visitors with a football for them to throw.  I used to take them for a hike or game of ball at a nearby park after work (sometimes the one by my parents’ place, as they then feed me dinner!), thus accomplishing both exercise and missing the commute crush home, but now it’s dark long before my shift ends.

Horrors of horrors … I’m contemplating getting myself a head lamp so we can walk the dykes in the dark.  That’s what it’s come to.  How embarrassing.

Food Lady?  Wearing a head lamp? Nope, don’t know her, never met her.  Nope.

There are many hazards of walking in the stix in the dark you know!  Aside from the obvious ones like tripping/falling down and coyotes, there are also potentially SPIDERS, and the most insidious danger of them all – the dead fish.  I just know there are dead fish out there, and I know it because the other night when I went to bed after our evening walk, there was an overpowering smell of fish in my bedroom … which turned out to be emanating from Wootie, who had clearly rolled in one on our walk.  I hate the 11PM dog bath!!!

Everyone was happy today when we went out for an extra long walk along the dykes and through the blueberry fields.  Now that it’s November, the fields are once again empty of workers and can be re-incorporated into our walking routine.  Especially Mr. Handsome Young Man.  Look how nicely he is turning out!

He’s still a little taller in the back than the front, but he is starting to even out a little more every day.  He’s also no longer a beanpole draped in pathetic puppy coat – he’s muscular and athletic and growing some real fur.

And speaking of fur, we haz it – in abundance!  I don’t know if it’s been a cooler year, or if the dogs’  biological clocks know that it’s going to be a brutal winter, or if it’s just because for the last year I had no job but I did have a yard and we spent a lot more time outside, but whatever the reason, my dogs are growing coats like nothing I have ever seen in their lives.  Even PIPER is hairy – and I mean really hairy, with undercoat that is matting and everything.  Someone recently called her “fat” but when they laid hands on her, realized it’s all hair!

Fat?  Someone called me FAT?  I’ll beat them to death!

And Tweed looks like a cotton ball, with all this incredibly manly chest hair.

I am manly, oh yes ma’am, I am.

Does anyone else have any extra-coated dogs this year?  We are spending a lot more time getting up close and personal with the grooming kit or I can’t keep the matts under control.  It’s crazy!

It’s almost as crazy as the voting storm that has overtaken poor DogSport Magazine and NTI’s contest!  hahahahaha!  Oh those people people didn’t know what hit ’em when we asked for your votes.  Dexter is blowing every other photo out of the water.  That doesn’t mean he’ll win, but I think he deserves to ;-)  He’s such an archetype of an athletic, driven, focused, intelligent dog … and it doesn’t hurt that his photo is pretty nice too.  But thank you all for your support!  That was so fun to watch :)

I wish this photo were not blurry because it’s so typical of Dexter on a tear.  This photo is not angled – it’s dead flat, it’s just the gravity-defying way in which Dexter turns a corner.

I don’t know how he doesn’t fall down more often.

Sadly, there will be no Chet updates because due a long, depressing story that makes one really wonder if the phrase “good breeder” is an oxymoron, he is no longer coming into rescue.  There’s no point in sharing the story, but let me just say that it’s wise to remember that just because someone is a big deal in dog circles doesn’t mean they have a well calibrated moral compass, or any moral compass at all for that matter.  The more breeders I meet, the more I like my rescue dogs.

It’s probably for the best on THIS end, because me and my dogs could all use the break, and I now I won’t have to quarantine myself from visiting the Candy Puppies at Hilary’s (yay!)  In fact, I may go visit them tomorrow, so watch for an update!  In the meantime, another rescue offered me a dingo (yes, an ACTUAL dingo!), which I really, really had to think about really hard before saying no.  Because of COURSE I want a dingo!!  But really, I shouldn’t have a dingo.

Should I?


Yeah, no.  No.


  1. Allie and I want a Dingo!

    btw, have you heard about the sea lions getting Lepto?
    looks like we won’t be getting most of our exercise at the beach for a while

  2. Love the fluffy dog pictures! Mine don’t have any more hair than normal but it could be colder by you.

    Go for the head lamp or a really big flashlight. I also hate the time change because of all the walking in the dark.

  3. Hershey (mix of BC, golden retriever, maybe some kind of spaniel) grew a grizzly bear coat over the summer which she is now blowing. I attributed it to her being O.L.D.(TM) (old lady dog, she’s 11) as the shelties’ coats have remained the same. Even the vet tech from whom I adopted Hershey remarked on her extra full coat.

  4. Not really extra coat here. But we’re not close to you either. :-) Minnesota, USA

    Go beat ’em with a stick Piper! lol

    Dingo — no. No, definitely not. I think a dingo would just tip things a leeetle bit over the edge at Casa del Food Lady!

  5. Now I could seriously see the lady with the Eagle having a cayote!

  6. My coyena and I want a dingo!

  7. OOPS Did I say Coyote? I meant Dingo (jeez and I come from the Antipodes!)

  8. That makes me sad about Chet. : ( Was looking forward to the pictures–and, you know, the good home and stuff. Bah.

    Hey, is Twist also back in rescue? What happened?

  9. CharlieDog says:

    You should totally definitely get the Dingo.

    Actually, that’s probably a really really bad idea, because I’m sure Twoo would have a heart attack.

    My little Aussie/JRT mix has been growing a bit more undercoat this year than normal, but we’ve been having colder and colder winters down here in Georgia than normal, and while it’s nothing compared to where you live, it’s COLD here! My Lab, on the other hand, hasn’t been growing any freaking coat at all.

  10. Get these for your dogs in white. They throw a lot of light and are great for night walks. That and a headlamp should get you through the winter.



  12. Dog groomer here, and Jesus have we seen a lot of hair this year. Even chihuahua-ey things are throwing coat like huskies. My home is shared with four shepherds and I vacuum way more now than ever before… Just make it stop!

  13. Didn’t the dingo eat your bay-by? ;c)

    Anyway, I agree with CharlieDog. There would be a mess-o-TWooie-Dingo-dog-Snackies-Dexter — with possibly some baby birds and chickens thrown in for good measure. And besides, Tweed would be traumatized.

    And sorry to hear about Chet. Sounds grim. He’s such a cutie. Hopefully the planets will rearrange in his favour.

  14. Pat Anderson says:

    I have a pair of scissors that have no points designed for cutting bandages without stabbing your child. They come in handy for cutting a bad mat that has thorns from Tumble weeds in it. You just cannot undo that tumble weed. Yes, we have had more of those this year. Normally 1 to 3 each winter per dog and this time it is per month.

  15. get a really good head lamp. you’ll love it. and if you put little reflectors on the dogs collars, you’ll be able to keep track of where they are.

  16. I heart my headlamp from Dollarama. It was $2, works like a dream & I’ve seen the same ones at other stores for $10+.
    BTW, nobody can actually SEE you in them, kwim? Because you blind them when you turn your eye on them…… that’s how I’ve convinced myself I don’t look dorky in it.

    Well, that & self-preservation kicked in. I live in burbs with no sidewalks, few streetlights & demented drivers.

    (& hey, once you have one, they come in very handy. Lots of times you’re doing stuff around the house & need a light & two free hands. I’ve even used it when dremelling the dogs for a bright spotlight….)

  17. Headlamp FL!! I initially got mine at MEC to go snow shoeing at night but I used it to walk Lucie for a long time and it also does double duty as a handy BBQ assistant now that the time has changed and it is fully dark by dinner time :)

  18. I think it will be a tough winter as there’s a LOT OF HAIR here at my house of 3 dogs in Montana. And DARK. But the spiders here are all dead now or hibernating due to night-time cold. Lucky for me I have some daylight hours for dog stuff and even if I miss daytime hours we in the stix here have lights.

  19. Maria Shanley says:

    No extra hair on the dogs here in Wyoming, but the horse is putting on coat as if he were emigrating to Siberia. We’ve had an unusually long and mild fall – what is mother Nature plotting? (lol)

  20. Lost my comment, lol.

    My dogs (interior BC,) havve way thicker coats than normal. In passing conversation with a local deer hunter, he mentioned that the deer that he’s caught this fall have abnormally thick coats. In 35 years of hunting he’s never seen a deer with a coat as thick.
    Guess the predictions of a very cold/long winter are looking more accurate.

    *I’m sorry to hear that Chet’s breeder bailed on the poor dog. I definitely think you should get the Dingo though :D lol

  21. Go get a headlamp. I have one and the dogs have flashy tags for their collars. Means we can walk along the beach when it’s pitch black out and not worry. I love it!

    Also, go get a Dingo!

  22. Tweed is the handsomest.
    He had to grow the manly chest poof to demonstrate to those young upstarts. No growly face required, just look at the magnificence.

    DO NOT GET THE DINGO!!! Who the hell is offering you a dingo so I can go smack the a&& off of them, bloody dingo-enablers!! *smacks Fletch in the a&& for good measure*

    You already have the woo-twoo for predatory fun-times – no dingo required.

    Did I mention Tweed is the handsomest?

  23. Oh, Tweed! **swoon** Your coat is so handsome… Just like the rest of you. FINALLY the FL is supplying me with my Tweed fix these last few posts.

    Get the headlamp. Skip the dingo. (hmm, that would be a great name for an indie band — Skip the Dingo.)

  24. That last shot of Dex just kills me. That TONGUE! He could use it as a rudder LOL.

  25. I see your gravity defying collie and raise you a gravity defying horse…

  26. Get a headlamp. They make really little ones now not big clunky heavy ones. A must have for walks after dark in the ice and snow we get here in MN. My dog hates flashlights but the headlamp – she doesn’t care about. Mine is so light I forget it’s on and when we come home and whip my hat off, down goes the headlamp. I don’t care what the headlamp looks like, I’m walking my dog that’s all that matters!

    Love the Dexter photos.

  27. I use a puplight on Bess dog and it lights the ground pretty good. I carry a small flashlight for me. I like the puplight because it is bright, dangles like a pendant, but lights forward and down, not just her feet. Sometimes, I clip my cell phone on my derriere pocket and touch it so it lights up occasionally so cars from behind will see us faster. Other times, I mostly swing my little flashlight when I walk and make a good sized arc so it is noticed front and back.
    Skip the dingo. cool, but so not worth the chaos it will create.

  28. Just stumbled onto your blog. The photos are wonderful. LOVE the action shot with the tongue hanging out!

  29. a head lamp words great, i don’t get off work till 10pm so its really dark, i use the ones for bikers, they fit around the dogs necks really well too. these are the only ones that haven’t broken after 2 days. and they are water proof as well, good for your part of the country. As for thicker coats, most definately thicker than normal. Good luck on your night time walks, just a thought, maybe bear bells so you can hear them as well.

  30. Oh man, FL you DO NOT want a Dingo!

    I have a friend here in Aus that was recently fostering 3 Dingo pups for a rescue (they were only a few days old when they were brought in, and no one new what they were until about 7 weeks later) and they drove her INSANE.

    The pups destroyed her house, (could escape the Xpen at about 4 weeks old) terrorized her poor pomeranian, re-landscaped her entire backyard, climbed trees, and could barely be contained by a solid 7 foot fence. Not to mention the fact that they had absolutely NO bite inhibition and if you picked them up against their will they would lunge straight for your face, teeth snapping like miniature crocodiles. If you tried to correct with a tap on the muzzle or anything remotely “hands on” they would come right back at you ten times more aggressively. And these guys had been handled by humans from 1 week old! They are wild animals TO THE CORE.

    I loved visiting them and spending time observing them, but after seeing how intense they are, even as young pups, you could not pay me to own one!


    Kelly (w/ Joey from TDBCR)

    P.S. Congrats on Dex’s big win! It’ll be great for rescue dogs everywhere!

    P.P.S. “Chuck It” makes a really durable glow-in-the-dark rubber bouncy ball. I use it up at the local park with Joey when I get home late. I just make sure I only throw it in areas where I know the terrain is flat and smooth.

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