Maybe I’m just a wuss

But if you were outside with the dogs and called for the WooTWoo, and it/they appeared from the underbrush and looked at you like this, wouldn’t you also be kind of afraid?

I choose to believe it/they were mole hunting, because the alternatives (moving a dead body, building a satanic fall-out shelter etc.) are just too frightening.

The other thing that is kind of frightening is just how many dogs I can fit in my house.  Meet Dog #7:

This little guy is a 5-6 month old Craigslist acquisition I picked up last weekend.  I figured Tweed needed a red buddy, since he was odd man out and all.  SEVEN dogs doesn’t make me crazy, does it?

I’m just kidding, I’m not keeping him.  He’s real cute and all, but I’m just fostering him.

Oh phew.  Cuz I don’t want to live with scary TWooie forever.

I was going to find him another foster home, but he’s been a pretty easy puppy so far – housebroken, quiet in his crate, comes when called etc.  And to be honest, even TWooie hasn’t f*cked with him all that much … he’s too busy hating Dexter, and resource guarding EVERYTHING in the house.  In fact, I was going to blog about that today because I’m going to be looking for some suggestions on those topics real soon.  But I was invited to go play with and photograph some ponies this afternoon, so I’m going to do that instead :)

I had to buy this puppy, as the woman was not in the least bit interested in releasing him to rescue for free.  Normally, I’m not all that chuffed about buying dogs from CL, and I let nature take its course, but a red and white intact male puppy just spells trouble for me down the road, since it generally means candy coloured border collie adolescents puppy up in rescue in about a year, so I went ahead and paid her what she was asking.  And I’m glad I did too, because he has the worst case of parrot mouth I’ve ever seen.

And he has two retained testicles.  This is a dog that should not be passing on any of his genetic qualities.

If you’re at all interested in helping offset those costs, you know where the paypal button is ;-)

But he is a very NICE puppy, although as he settles in, he’s beginning to show me what he’s made of.  He learned to play Dumbball (initially he didn’t understand why I was throwing the ball away, and then he couldn’t really figure out the benefit of bringing it back) in about an hour and now he’s kind of obsessive about it.  On day two he was trying to snatch the frisbee out of my hand when I went to pick it up and nailing me pretty hard in the process.  And this morning, as we were out to tending to chickens rather than playing Dumbball, he decided it would be a good time to bark at me and bite me in the leg to indicate his displeasure at NOT playing Dumbball.  And since he was living in a house with 5 children under the age of 10, I feel like I made a good decision getting him out while I did.

Plus, you know, he’s super cute.

But not as cute as my Tweedles!

That’s right, bitches, I’m da bomb!

Spring is really diggin’ having him around, as he’s a puppy and therefore likes to play more than the older dogs do.  She also seems to really enjoy having someone to boss around, finally.  Last night I was relaxing with the latest episode of Breaking Bad (I am so naming my next dog Heisenberg!) and all the big dogs were sprawled around the house sleeping, and the red puppy was bored.  So he started meandering about picking up various toys … and every toy he would pick up, Spring would take away from him and stash in “her” bed (a cat bed atop a chest in the living room).  By the end of the evening, she was uncomfortably crouched atop a MOUNTAIN of dog toys and old bones, and the poor puppy was just gazing wistfully at her from the floor, wondering why he wasn’t allowed to have any.

I’m the boss of the puppy.

I tend to think that the toy hoarding is a terrier trait, which would go back to the borderjack theory of origin.  But then I watch her run, and I think she might be a pocket lurcher after all.

She looks so greyhoundy when she’s really moving, and she’s really stinkin’ fast!

She’s such an itty bitty drop of canine awesomeness.

And while she may be enjoying the puppy, her all time favourite wrasslin’ companion remains The Woo.

Oh shit.


Even TWooie will do in a pinch!

Having run the heck out of the dogs this morning

and bathed Woo after he was done moving the dead body, or whatever,

I am now off to go play with ponies before class.  Yay!!

Have a great long weekend, ya’ll (yay!).  I have to work the whole thing (boo).

But before I go, let me ask you a question … have you ever heard of a CAT with separation anxiety?  Yes, I said a CAT.  Mr. Orange can’t stand it when I leave the house, and he sits in the window and cries and cries and cries until I come home, whereupon he immediately goes and finds somewhere to lay his fat self down to sleep again peacefully.  In the mornings, very early, I can hear him crying all the way from the back of the acreage.  What kind of effed up cat have I gotten myself into??



  1. Poinies! Hope you have permission to share a few. Loves me a sweet pony, yes.

  2. My cat does the same thing when I take the dog outside. I think she doesn’t like to be left all along in the apartment. It’s also possibly because she’s in love with my boyfriend and gets all emo when he’s away even for a minute (little homewrecker…).

  3. Dog (puppy) #7! I’m in love! If only I weren’t on the other side of the country.

  4. I’ve heard of people in the flyball world deliberately breeding not only border/jack mixes, but whippet/jack mixes and whippet/border/jack mixes, which might explain something of the border collie looking lurcher dog with terrier tendencies.
    I did notice she isn’t yet up for adoption, is she still being evaluated or are you going to keep her for good?

  5. I think Spring is a tea cup Lurcher.

  6. I recently found out My cat Bob has separation anxiety; my neighbors complained.

    I’m not sure why, its pretty weird. I’m not sure what to do about it.

    I love Spring and I hope you keep her.

  7. Awww, Seven is really cute! But what is dumbball?

    (Also, I confess I hope you’re keeping Spring, because I would be so sad if I didn’t get to see regular pictures of her! She cracks me up.)

  8. I still can’t get over how much Spring looks like a miniature of my smooth-coated b&w border collie, Starr. It could literally be her Mini Me! Everyone that I have shown your blog to comments and asks how my dog ended up in your care. LOL!

  9. Spike HOWLS when he knows that everyone is home, but outside without him. HOWLS. But he doesn’t do it when the dogs are inside and we’re outside. It’s just when we have left him alone with Hazel. Not sure what he does if we take the dogs down to the dike or something.

  10. Cats can certainly get separation anxiety just like any other pet, really. Usually they’re more independent animals, hence I’m guessing the feeling of “…huh?” at the behavior.

    I know cats can be very sensitive to changes in their environment – the addition or removal of new animals or people, different scenery, big changes in their routine, etc. It can really stress them out. When I moved cross-country with my cat, she started stress-licking. She was happy to be with me, just stressed to suddenly be in a different place with different animals. It’s possible that Mr. Orange is feeling a bit stressed with different dogs coming in and out of the picture rather frequently – any changes within three to six months tend to still be recent enough to cause some possible anxiety.

    That being said, do you have a lot of stimulation around the house for him when you leave? Interactive toys, hidden treats or things for him to investigate, things like that? Cats definitely need to be entertained, and they can get destructive and upset at being left alone if they don’t have things to occupy them. You can look for other behavioral things too – is he just a cryer, or does he obsessively groom (usual areas tend to be the belly or side areas? Is he good about using the litter box or an approved bathroom area? Any fluctuations in his eating or drinking or mood? If there are any additional odd quirks that you can add to his crying, sometimes it’ll be easier to figure out the underlying problem.

    Either way, if he really is just suffering from anxiety, you could look into trying Feliway. It’s something that using synthetic feline pheromones that help calm kitties. It comes in sprays and even plug in diffusers, and is odorless to people. Could be worth a try – Bach Pet Rescue Remedy is good too, a couple drops in the cat’s food or water can help them feel calmer.

    >.> Sorry for rambling so much. I’m a cat guy and have loved/studied them since I was a wee little thing. Don’t take any of my questions as insinuations that you haven’t provided awesomeness for your kitties – I’m sure you have, they’re just generic questions to help narrow down things and suggest solutions. :3 Good luck!

  11. Janice in GA says:

    Tweed will always be the star of the blog for me. I gotta keep up sharing my love for Mr. Tweed. :)

  12. I don’t think my cat has separation issues, but she definitely gets idignant if I come home from work, and the go out again. And she tells me when she thinks it’s bed time and I should no longer be in the lounge room.

    I, too, have to confess to loving Spring, and I hope she remains :)

  13. My pocket lurcher theory has taken hold! LOL at teacup lurcher, too; but I seriously think there is whippet in that Springy girl. Whippet/Jack or Whippet/Border/Jack – both seem plausible. She’s clearly poetry in motion, whatever the mix.

    That first picture of the WooTwo is perhaps one of my all time favorites – and yes, that look might cause me to shudder inwardly just a bit!

    And yes, I’ve had cats who squall when I leave and ones that give me a serious talking to if I return from a longer than usual trip. You should have heard our little cat Franklin give us a piece of her mind when we were gone on a trip for nearly a month once! She totally read us the riot act.

  14. I wonder if it might have something to do with the changes in the domestic environment. And by that I mean the ongoing introduction of new dogs. Which, of course, is the point of living where you do. Or for you, probably, the point of living.

  15. Question: what is parrot mouth?

  16. I too wonder what is parrot mouth. Tweed with uppy ears looks so different, but still deadly cute.

  17. ahh, if only i wasn’t in montana! Puppy #7 would be an awesome fit for me and my 6 month old lab.

  18. I would love to see pony pictures!

    As for the kitty, does he do it if you leave him in the house without taking any dogs with you? I know this is most likely a rare occurrence (you always have dogs with you, right?), but try it and see. He might be jealous of the dogs getting to go outside with you, as someone else mentioned. Or it might just be plain separation anxiety.

  19. the ‘condition’ of your blinds in that last picture just cracked me up! can’t imagine how they got that way…..

  20. The Food Lady says:

    “It’s possible that Mr. Orange is feeling a bit stressed with different dogs coming in and out of the picture rather frequently – any changes within three to six months tend to still be recent enough to cause some possible anxiety.”

    Well, Mr. Orange better get used to it, because nothing’s going to change for his benefit!! ;-)

    “That being said, do you have a lot of stimulation around the house for him when you leave? Interactive toys, hidden treats or things for him to investigate, things like that?”

    Nope. We can’t have cat toys in the house, as dogs eat them. And I care more about giant vet bills for blockages than little cats who are bored!!

    “You can look for other behavioral things too – is he just a cryer, or does he obsessively groom (usual areas tend to be the belly or side areas? Is he good about using the litter box or an approved bathroom area? Any fluctuations in his eating or drinking or mood?”

    Nope, nope, yep, nope, nope, nope. Other than the yelling when I take the dogs out, he’s the same as he always was. I even tried taking him with us, but he was an uncooperative walker. And given our resident coyote is bold as brass, I don’t want him going outside unattended.

    “As for the kitty, does he do it if you leave him in the house without taking any dogs with you?”

    Nope, he only yells when I take the dogs and leave him behind :)

    Parrot mouth is an overbite – the puppy has a serious, severe, overbite!

    “ahh, if only i wasn’t in montana! Puppy #7 would be an awesome fit for me and my 6 month old lab.”

    I think the LAST thing a person with a 6 month old puppy needs is another 6 month old puppy! ;-)

    “the ‘condition’ of your blinds in that last picture just cracked me up! can’t imagine how they got that way…..”

    HAH! Actually, that was me. I was moving a heavy piece of furniture, and I fell down, and grabbed the blinds and destroyed them. I keep meaning to replace them, and keep forgetting!!

  21. If he absolutely can’t have toys, I’d probably guess part of this is that he’s bored out of his mind. XD It sounds silly, but I mean…to me that’s the equivalent of leaving a child in an empty room and then leaving them. Of course the kid is going to have some behavioral issues after a while – cat’s stimulation is just as important as any other facet of their health. It’s not some light-hearted thing to brush off; if your cat leads an indoor life, but you can’t provide the necessary things to keep it mentally exercised in healthy, I don’t think it’s a good choice to have a cat at all, really. Animal’s mental health is just as important – and obviously if he’s crying how he is, he is feeling some kind of emotional distress or stress. I agree with people, obviously seeing as I mentioned it too, that the relatively rapid addition of new dogs and then them leaving can be contributing – and usually I’d say the same thing I just said, if you can’t have a comfortable environment for the pets, why keep the pets? But that point is a little more controversial on that issue in particular.

    Still, if you can’t even provide /one room/ of stimulation for him, if he can’t go outside, if there’s nothing to keep his mind healthy and active…even if he stops crying eventually, I can’t imagine that’ll be very good for him at all. I can’t think of any cat that’s good for, I can’t think of any person my humane society would adopt to if they told us they were going to keep the cat inside but with no stimulation o.O The cats would be happier at the shelter in most cases.

    I suppose you could still try the natural remedies though? Though now it sort of just sounds like drugging a reasonably crying baby. >.>

  22. The Food Lady says:

    You know Quinn, I’m sure you mean well, but there’s a couple of things to keep in kind before you start lecturing me on my cat keeping skills.

    The first thing to keep in mind is that I’ve had cats longer than I have had dogs. I’m on my third set of cats at this point in my life, and they’ve all lead long happy lives without critical intervention and the introduction of multiple cat stimulus palaces. Barney, Leonard and Missus Peel all lived to ripe old ages, and now I have Carl, Donut and Mr. Orange and I’m keeping them in much the same fashion. And yet only Mr. Orange makes a stink when I leave. None of them has had any behavioural problems to speak of.

    Secondly, I can’t “even provide /one room/ of stimulation” for the cat because I don’t _have_ one room for cats – I have a two room farmhouse with no interior doors and we all have to live in it. If you’re offering to buy me a home with a kitty Disneyland in it for poor Mr. Orange, I missed that offer I guess :)

    Thirdly, I acquired Mr. Orange from the animal shelter – WHERE I WORK – because the alternative was that Mr. Orange was going to be euthanized for being a royal dick to both visitors and the other cats in the shelter. He was so aggressive that we couldn’t have him loose in the community cat room so he was scheduled for euthanasia, since life in a cage didn’t seem like a good option for him. So I brought him home and spared him the needle. Thus, I don’t really feel all that badly about the fact that I didn’t set him up in Kitty Shangrila, what with saving his life and all that. Plus, since I seem to the be the only person in the world that Mr. Orange doesn’t bite and scratch, I guess I’m doing something right, despite your dire predictions.

    Lastly, I rescue dogs – I have rescued dogs for the last 12 years and I have no intention of stopping just because a fat old cat yells out my window when I walk the dogs. He walks among them without fear, has no problems sharing a bed with any one of them when we are home, and is not above having a chase or wrestle game with Carl or Donut when the mood strikes him. He eats raw and high quality grain free kibble – his choice – and there is no room or surface in the house that is off limits to him (well except my kitchen counters, because I think it’s disgusting when animals who step in their own feces are allowed on food preparation surfaces). I really don’t think Mr. Orange is having a bad life, all things considered.

    So there you have some more factual information about my life, and Mr. Orange’s life, and maybe it will put an end to the lecturing – I hope so! Because the FACT is, while there is always room for improvement in all of us pet owners, I tend to think that my animals have it pretty damn good … especially when I compare their lives to the pitiful existences of some of the poor animals that I see daily at work. You know, like the ones turfed out of their homes and abandoned on the street when they are dying of heart failure or just old age, or the ones that nobody comes to collect from the shelter when they show up here, or the ones we scrape off the frickin’ road every day and put in the freezer in case someone cares enough to look for them. Wouldn’t you agree?

  23. With two other cats and all of the dogs and dog toys my guess is he just wants to go along even if it isn’t safe for him. You could try a treat he has to lick out of a toy. You could also put him in with the chickens if he isn’t a hunter and they wouldn’t attack him. Yeah right. So I guess you will et great photos of him whining because you cruelly won’t let him go out and play with the coyotes. It sounds like he has a pretty good life.

  24. “I think the LAST thing a person with a 6 month old puppy needs is another 6 month old puppy! ;-)”

    unless that person happens to live on acres and acres of private land and works at a school which doesn’t mind frequent puppy visits! still, better wait until he’s a year or so.

    sort of unrelated: how long does a person/vet wait before saying a testicle is retained? because murphy had only one visible until he was about 4.5 months old or so and my vet never said anything about it. he was neutered today and i know the second testicle was out and about because…well…its fairly obvious, so i was just curious.

  25. My Jack Russell stockpiles toys also. And yesterday, I caught him making several trips from my bathroom to the front living room. When I followed him, he had pulled a toothpaste box, an empty Lunchable container, an old magazine, and a pastry bag from Starbucks out of the trashcan (someone forgot to close the door). When we watch TV in the living room, he will take every toy from the living room to the front room, then get the toy our other dog is playing with away from her and stockpile that one too. Then he whines at me to bring the toys back to the living room so he can do it again. It’s so funny how much personality each dog has.

    Mr. Orange sounds okay. He has other live playmates and cats sleep most of the time anyway. Maybe he’s yelling in relief instead of loneliness for some quiet time without the pack?

  26. I saw on your most recent blog post that you were accused of being a terrible cat owner, and of course I knew which post that had to be regarding, so I came back to check it out. :) I agree that Mr. Orange has got it pretty good. He doesn’t sound like he’s upset about having dogs coming and going, because then he would RELISH time alone, instead of hollering at the window the whole time. LOL

    Like you, I’ve had cats longer than I’ve had dogs, and I actually have had very few cats that needed to be surrounded by toys 24/7. Most cats are quite content eating, sleeping, sitting in windows, and getting attention occasionally.

    I do have one cat now who doesn’t handle change well, particularly when it involves other animals coming into her home. But this hardly means I’ve had to upend my life to coddle the psychotic kitty. The idea is to help the cat adjust, not to change everything to suit the cat. But having had a cat like this, I can say with some certainty that Mr. Orange in no way sounds like this kind of cat. In fact, I think your assessment is dead on — he thinks he’s a dog, and believes he is being left out when you take the dogs for walks!

  27. I’ve just discovered your blog, and your black/white border collie/whippet mix girl looks EXACTLY like my Dolce boy! I’m psyched to know that my guess that he is a border collie x whippet is seconded by a twin!

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