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Dogs and Cats

dogs.jpg (14746 bytes) In this cartoon, in case you can't read it, the sign says, "Dogs must be on leash."

I guess what I like most about this is the expression on the white dog's face.

Update of June 10, 2005: Correction notice

Update of June 26th: More here later. . .



nosemouse.jpg (46,463 bytes) 02152004 450 x 406 My mom has a sense of humor that I must have inherited.  This is the Valentine's Day 2004 card she sent my family.

I guess what I like most about this is the expression on the mouse's face.



Update of March 12, 2008: A sign at the entrance to the venue of a large-scale clothing sale near here.



nepalese_shepherd_dog.jpg (13,331 bytes) 03172006 300 x 239


This photograph of our Nepalese Shepherd was taken late into the evening of St. Patrick's Day 2006.

The condition of having different-colored eyes is called heterochromia.  The condition of having different-colored eyebrowls is called one too many Guinness Ales.

I wish I could he say he's the world's smartest dog, but the fact is that even though I'm not all that good at chess, he almost never beats me.

Still, he's the world's second best dog ever, and the world's first best dog still alive.

Update of Sunday, August 20, 2006:  rRa'udeiGh just up and died this afternoon at 3:00 PM.  He was born March 5, 2004, we got him a year later, and we enjoyed him immensely.  So did lots of other people, especially on walks.  He really liked to take walks, and he was good at them.

By all accounts he was an unusually appealing dog to look at.  Half the strangers we encountered on our walks went out of their way to describe him as "pretty" or "beautiful," and I don't think that's so common with most purebreds or most mutts.

He had this bushy, marvelously shaped tail that was always raised high and wagging, saying, "I'm happy, what's next?"  He had little black spots sprinkled about on his long white fur, he had brown and black streaks on his ears, and he sported a short black cape on the nape of his neck.  Where you would expect to see eyelashes he had outright fur.  And of course the heterochromia set him apart even further.


Take a detour to see more
photos of rRa'udeiGh.

With little provocation he would jump up on people he hadn't met before, whether on walks or when they entered his house.  I thought of it as his "I Love You" dance.  It was as though he wanted to introduce himself at eye level and then trade hugs to make a stranger a friend.  Unless the potential assaultee was a small child or an frail-looking person, I almost never reined him in, just to see how people would react.

rRa'udeiGh was good at standing up on his hind legs, as good shepherds must be so they can look over the top of the flock to the other side.  If something got him excited, sometimes he'd rear up into a standing position and then bounce up and down to keep his balance; it was an impressively athletic performance for such a big dog, and you simply could not watch it without feeling his joy.  I suspect he knew how much we liked seeing it.

He always enjoyed playing Chase around the couch in the living room, in either direction, and sometimes he would try to herd us people, just like a good shepherd does.  He loved to shove his head into any hole in the ground he stumbled upon, and sometimes in his furious attempts to enlarge these holes he'd lose patience with how slow his paws were and he'd actually start biting away the dirt.  Then he'd just stick his head in and wait and snort and shiver and wait some more, sometimes for minutes at a time.

rRa'udeiGh was thoroughly convinced, mistakenly, of two things with regard to "game" animals such as squirrels and rabbits and even deer.  First, he just knew that he could catch them if he was quick enough.  Or slow enough.  Sometimes he would walk at like a tenth of a mile an hour, hoping to creep up silently on a chipmunk and take it by surprise.  When I would finally have to take a step to keep up with him on his leash, he'd give me a look that said, "Hey, dummy, do it like me.  S l o o o w l y."

His other unshakable misconception was that he could climb trees.  He'd see a squirrel or a chipmunk climb a tree, so he'd stand on his hind legs and launch himself at the tree over and over again trying to pull himself up, which is a very amusing spectacle to watch when you're 55 pounds of dog.  And he never gave up even after dozens of attempts to climb various trees of all shapes and sizes and despite a never-changing success rate of 0%.

This page is titled "Dogs and Cats."  rRa'udeiGh's relationship with other dogs was simple.  Of the hundreds of dogs we encountered on our many walks he invariably started with the assumption that each and every one was his new best pal.

His attitude about cats was also simple.  It was forged from his first encounter with Chester Dwan, one of our two Siameseses.  rRa'udeiGh rushed up to Chester in his friendly, rowdy way, and Chester -- suddenly awash in adrenaline -- had a decision to make.  Chet's decision was to stand his ground, six pounds versus sixty, and he laid open rRa'udeiGh's nose leather with a single blindingly fast swipe of his fully armed right forepaw.  It was at that instant rRa'udeiGh learned not to mess with cats, and he was always wary of them thereafter.

He learned tricks easily, having pretty well mastered "Come," "Sit," "Down" and "Shake" over a period of just a few days thanks to some expert training by Annette.  I was secretly putting the finishing touches on "Speak" when he died.  My signal for him to bark was to hold my index finger up to my lips and say, "Shh."

He liked to sleep with people, and he was good at it.  He never inchingly encroached or flailed his arms or legs.  He didn't snore or slobber, and he didn't have bad breath or a smelly coat.  What else could you ask for?

His only vice was Kleenex.  He was convinced it was one of his missions on Earth to shred said tissues, so whenever and wherever he could find them -- in waste baskets, on tables, day or night -- he tore them into three or four pieces each and left them where they fell.  I think he thought he was doing us humans a favor, as though for some reason he couldn't fathom, we really hated Kleenices and he was our warrior, going around dismembering them for us.

He was a good doggie.



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