my dog friend sleeps on my lap
my dog friend sleeps by my side
sometimes he dreams
what does he dream about?
then he whines and whimpers
what is he pursuing or is it chasing him, why does he cry
when he huffs and puffs what are his worries
with tiny woofs he wakes me
I reach out and stroke his furrowed forehead
and, sometimes I feel the tension leave his body
but, sometimes I have to gently wake him from…
I’m sure I do not want to know
maybe then I would cry at night too
I’m sorry if I made you worry for Karl’s health. I’ve been putting stuff off at a furious pace lately. I’ll blame it on sunny Spring days, and a dog that wants to sleep on top of me all day.
We’ve settled into a routine, and each and every day I’m thankful I have Karl in my life. He is so smart and gentle, and he only wants to please me and I try to do the same for him.
I bought the book that was recommended to me, and I’ve been reading it daily. I read the passage that was written about the importance of how I use my voice, it helped clarify some issues I wasn’t sure about and Karl seems to respond better when I know what I’m doing. Another thing I learned in the book that helps, is it used to bother me to have a pet watch me in the kitchen. I thought they were only there for the possibility of free food, also I’m not real good at having someone watch my every move. Now, I realize he’s just entertained by watching me, and I doesn’t bother me. But, when I sit down to eat, I still don’t want an audience for every bite, so I just point to the bedroom and tell him to go there, and like a scholarly little gentleman he does as I ask without fuss, oh he does hang his head and gives me the brown eyed puppy look, but I’m mostly immune to that, right. It actually surprises me how easy going he is.
Karl is also getting better at staying at the door when I open it to go outside, most of the time, I’m a soft touch and can’t get to excited when he rushes through the door first – it’s something I better get control of soon though, as I don’t want him biting Mailmen when we move back to civilization.
Also, the issue of chasing vehicles seems to be dying down, and now when they drive by I try to get his attention before the vehicle is in sight -- that seems to help.
Karl at the Vet
Last week I took Karl to the Vet for his vaccinations. When we got there the front office was closed for remodeling and the temporary office was in the horse receiving area. We signed in and once the technician arrived I handed Karl off to her and asked if I could come along, “Sure, no problem!”
Because, we came in the side door, the three of us walked through the central area of the backroom. Here were about five or six Doctors and technicians going about their work day duties. Every one of the staff knew Karl by name and said hello to him as well as some pleasant fawning. The technician that gave Karl his haircut was there and I thanked her again for the great job she did shaving him. I knew she wasn’t too sure how well it would look, because she cut his hair more as a necessity than as a function of grooming. She was very pleased at how Karl was looking with a little growth to his hair. The actual Vet visit was very pleasant and Karl went through it like a gentleman. The biggest issue of these trips is the ride in the van, he trembles and pants a lot. I need to get him used to riding in the van with me, sooner than later I suspect.
Later when we got home, I was sitting on the front porch with Karl and I notice one of the guys from the ranch pulling up in his work truck to unload his ATV so he could spray the weeds in the old corral. I grabbed Karl’s leash and took him out to meet my friend. Karl decided it was a good time to defend his territory. Bark, bark… and so on. I tried to get him to calm down, but he wasn’t having any of it. So, my friend and I just kept talking and ignoring Karl and Karl eventually stopped barking. But, when my friend turned to go back to what he was doing Karl lit up again with the barking. I ended my conversation with my friend and took Karl back to the house, no one worse for the wear. I think Karl is mostly just defending our territory.
Karl and the Bumble Bee
I’ve got some trees in my yard that have little white flowers on them. The bumble bees are working those trees over pretty heavily. At time it sounds like the whole tree is buzzing. Twice now I’ve found big bumble bees on the floor of my house, they are about the size of a quarter. I don’t know how they get in the house and they seem about done in when I find them, dozy they are. I scoop them up and put them outside, and one time I used a broom to sweep one out to the front porch. Karl sees this huge bumble bee and is immediately interested, “No, buddy leave him alone!” and, I sweep our visitor into the yard. Of course Karl sees exactly where the bee lands and starts sniffing around, I’m trying to get him to come to me, and suddenly Karl is jumping back, shaking his head, snuffling and tearing up the grass with his hind legs. But, he’s still going back and sniffing around the bee, but with a growl. I finally drew his attention away from the bee and got a good look at his nose, he seemed okay then and now. Maybe a valuable lesson was learned about bumble bees by little buddy? Oh, and no Karls were hurt in this incident.
Yesterday, I just started to take Karl for his walk and my landlord pulled up behind us on an ATV, he was checking the fields, seeing how the peas and wheat were doing. We got to talking and Karl was barking most of the time. I was able to get him to stop when I dropped down beside him and stroked his head, gently talking to him, so that was a bit of an improvement. I told my landlord I’d be putting up some fencing across the end of the garage that is open to the yard, I’d do this to keep Karl there during the harvest operations as my landlord parks fuel trucks and various equipment in my yard. I don’t need Karl going after the crew and possibly biting someone or being injured himself. My landlord was good with that.
After our talk my boss/landlord took off on the ATV up the road Karl and I walk and course Karl wanted to lay chase to my boss. I ended up cutting our walk short, because I didn’t feel I could let Karl off his leash. So, we just played in the yard when we got home. Karl’s a funny guy.
I'll try to update you on my life with Karl when I can, but I can't compromise my writing telling you we ate toast today :)
update 5-16-2016 1am___________________________________________________
The Red Ball
I bought my friend a red ball, he seems to have a… ball with his new toy. When I bought it I had visions of us playing fetch, but I knew it would not be easy for the two of us to figure out this new game. The week before I bought him the ball I’d tried to get Karl to play fetch with a stick. This experiment met with varying degrees of success. I’d throw the stick and then chase him around the yard trying to fetch the stick from him – he thought that was great sport – me not so much after the first dozen times throwing the stick.
Aw… but, the red ball brought a whole new element to the game, that and the treats in my pocket. There we met with more success and in no time I’d throw the ball and Karl would chase it down in a fury, then sometimes he would literally run all the way around the house, and stop about ten feet from me before dropping to the ground to chew on the ball. As I’d walk up to him to retrieve the ball he’d jump up and run away, before dropping to the ground and resuming chewing on the ball.
So, I figured since I was tired of chasing Karl around the yard I’d sit down and wait for him to come to me. Now, comfortably sitting on the porch in my lawn chair Karl would come closer to me and drop the red ball on the ground, and then he’d start rolling on the ball on his back, squirming and wiggling like he does when he rolls on coyote poop. There’s a thought.
Actually, our game of fetch is going better than I expected. Most of the time I can get him to fetch and he will bring it to me a few times, especially if there are treats and praise involved. But, this only works for a while before he decides he’d rather play with the red ball by himself. I don’t really mind, he likes his toy and we get some exercise and all is good in our play.
Friday night I took Karl out for a break, I know it’s time because he’ll be laying on me and suddenly he gets very playful and kinda goofy. It’s actually a pleasant way for him to tell me he wants out. Now, when we go out I have a very powerful little flashlight that will light up the hillside really intensely about 50 yards away. And, because of the nearness of coyotes I take my walking stick with me… you know just in case I have to fight off a pack of wild coyotes with my Karl at my side.
So, I’m shining my flashlight around, and Karl generally seems to wait for me to check out the area first with the light. When I spot some orange eyes drifting across the small field above my house. The glowing orange eyes headed towards the ravine and I lost sight of them when some nearer bushes cut off my view. What does Karl do, he bolts for the field, full-bore with me hollering at him to come back. I walked out to the field not as confident as I wanted, but I was able to tamp down that feeling fairly well, especially with my walking stick in hand. No matter how much I called Karl, he is not too much into listening yet, especially when the ‘hunting instinct’ cuts in.
I finally coaxed Karl to come back, but he didn’t want to come into the house. So, after a moment’s hesitation I figured he knew what he was doing. Besides, I think what I saw was probably not a danger to him, like a deer maybe, so I went back into the house. He stayed out for about ten minutes or so and then let me know he wanted back in. No fuss, no muss.
But, that’s not all to the story of the orange glowing eyes. About an hour later Karl is all snuggled on my lap when he sits up and starts ‘woof woofing’ at the door. I tell him, “Well I told you to not be messing around, and now something’s sniffing around out there isn’t it?” He looked at me and “woofed” a few more times before curling back up on my lap. Saturday night we had another “woofing” episode, so I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, but it just goes to prove we’re not alone out here. I’m not really worried, between the two of us covering each other’s back we’ll be fine, but I am cautious. Now, if I could just instill Karl with a bit more caution and the awareness he needs to come when I call. Maybe working with the red ball will help?
Karl and I thank you for supporting our story, thank you