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Country Discussion Topics
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Things that go bump
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Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 05:23:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's a constant thing. Elvis snapping and growling at the pup. Elvis is old and cranky and puts up with no nonsense, and that includes all minor canine maintenance, such as nail clipping, ear hair removal, and the likes of that. A pup like the one my daughter dragged home is basically an instrument of torture to an old dog like Elvis. The last thing he wants at his age is to have his ears chewed on, or a rousing game of tug of war played with his tail. So, when it sounds like he is about at his wits end and the snapping and growling reach a fever pitch, I allow Elvis to leave his post on the back porch and come into the bathroom for a few hours of peace. This goes over well during the day, but night-time is a whole different story.

Last night sitting at the computer I heard the familiar rage in Elvis’ growl and I heard the pup bouncing around the back porch creating havoc, so I open the back door to let Elvis in. Normally he doesn’t hesitate but bounds through the door and makes a bee line straight for the bathroom and lays down on his pallet. This time however was different. I had to order him into the house, and like a good dog, he obeyed, but was clearly uneasy.

I was standing at the sink brushing my teeth. Elvis was seated beside me gazing up at me.

“Why don’t you lay down! Go on! Lay down!” I nudged him with my knee.

He did. But a moment later when the pup went to barking at something out there in the dark night he was on his feet again.

“What’s he barkin’ at?” His eyes wanted to know.

“How the heck do I know, he’s out there, I’m in here. Now go lay down!”

Heavy sigh. He flopped down and lay his head on his paws. There came a sudden thump from the back porch, and up he sprang again, his eyes like saucers.

“I’m not sure he can handle it out there, he’s just a kid, you sure you want me to stay in here?”

“Yes Elvis, I’m sure. He will learn about the armadillo that crosses under the yard light at midnight and the stray cat that sleeps in the palmettos, just like you did.”

“I’m not so sure” he sighed and sat down at my feet. “I’m really not comfortable letting him handle the night shift….. too many things can go wrong. He’s green, anything could happen.” He was staring at the bathroom door, his face a wrinkled mass of dog worry.

“It‘l be fine.” I stroked his head. “Now lay down and stop your bellyaching”

He lay down again but stared at me balefully, watching my every move as I changed into my nightgown and finished getting ready for bed.

“Don’t make me turn the light off on you with those big eyes staring at me. Now go to sleep” I demanded. He blinked once and then slowly his eyes closed. “It’ll be all right” I whispered, and then turned out the bathroom light and went to bed.

I had just gotten to that soft floaty stage somewhere between wakefulness and sleeping when the pup let out an ear splitting howl and then a series of short rapid barks and I heard him scramble off the porch, his barking becoming more pronounced and urgent, while fainter with each bound that took him deeper into the back yard. This didn’t sound like a reaction prompted by an armadillo crossing under the yard light, or a cat making his bed in the palmettos. I felt Elvis’ breath on my arm

“Put me back in coach, he needs me out there!”

“Okay Elvis, have it your way.”

I got out of bed and opened the back door and watched as he slipped out and then disappeared into the darkness, his baying joining that of the pup somewhere at the back fence. I waited, peering out the window and saw them when they entered the glow of the yard light and returned to take up position on the porch again.

It’s a sad fact that Elvis won’t be around much longer. That’s one of the main reasons we allowed the pup to stay. As sad as I will be to see him go, it’s nice to know that he is training his successor well. I don’t know why that amazes me so. He’s been an amazing dog since the day we got him. How many dogs do you no that can talk? (grin)


KellyGa    Posted 08-27-2003 at 13:07:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Tip talks, all the time. She is a border collie after all. :) She has different sounding barks for different things. To wake up Shelby in the morning, I say "Tell Shelby to wake up!" and she has this funny two barks she does. Play barking is different from 'theres somebody out there that shouldnt be' barking. Lots of body language. Eye to eye language. I think we just about know what each other is thinking. I asked her this morning was there anything in the trap, and she immediately went over and checked. At my parents, I have to clean up poopy and bury it, so I ask her did she go poopy? and she leads me to it to get it up, lol. Lovely, I know. She knows not to leave the yard, that the street is off limits. I could go on and on. Love that dog. My cats on the other hand are both old farts, and try not to say a thing, unless its self serving of course. :) The birds rattle on all day, and the lizard has never uttered a word, but has a lot of body language. You definitely know when she wants to be fed. I am prety good at knowing what everybody is saying.


Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 16:38:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know a lot of people who veiw cats and dogs as things, and the crazy thing is, the more you put into them the more you get out, in more ways than one. Before you know it we'll see you on amazing animals having a conversation with that dog.


SusanMo    Posted 08-27-2003 at 09:07:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
cindy im fairly new here but i thoroughly enjoy your stories and know what you are talking about. i used to have a cat that only i knew all his little looks and meows etc. my husband hates cats always has always will but this one after what he did gained the respect of hubby. i got up one morning to let him out to do his thing i had barely got the coffee on and heard him pawing at the the sliding door now mrkitty always stayed out for at least an hour or better when i let him out of the the morning, not this one. he kept meowing loudly and going back and forth between me and the door. i said whats wrong mrkitty i looked up and hubbys workshop was on fire. didnt know i could move that fast i literally tore the fire extinguisher off the wall hook and all yelled at hubby and he runs out to shed in the sleet no less and puts out the fire. thankfully all that we lost was a shop vac. he was working on a red oak gun cabinet for someone but it was saved. my hubby really took to my cat after that.


Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 09:55:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
My husband is one of those cat haters too, but it's funny, every cat we have gotten over the last twenty years, he will say...I hate cats...but this one is okay. I wonder exactly which cats he hates? Sounds like your cat is pretty special. One of mine would have probably roasted marshmallows in the flames. :)


~Lenore    Posted 08-27-2003 at 10:54:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
TC (Top Cat) my 10 year old Himalayan talks, too.
He also herds.
He is excellent at it,
he manuvers all around you to get you moving where he wants you to go.
He also understands when I speak to him.
Of course, he usually does what he wants to do.
He has a special distress voice and when he uses it,
I know I need to leave the PC and tend to something immediately!


Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 16:42:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
I believe it. I used to have a siamese that sensed my moods way yonder better than my ex-husband ever could. When one of Jim's useless buddies would come over that cat would make his life miserable by climbing all over him and running circles around him on the couch until he would get disgusted and leave. If it was someone that I didn't mind being over, he would leave them alone.


RichZ    Posted 08-27-2003 at 06:21:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
All three of my dogs talk to me, all of the time. My horses, goats and cats talk to me, too. If you have a close enough relationship with your animals, you know what each gesture and sound means.

But some animals are gifted in the art of communication. My mastiff, Mulder, is like that. He has a series of barks, grumbles, growls and whines, and if you don't understand them, he'll act out what he wants. For example, in the winter he loves our wood burning stove, and loves to lie in front of it. When he wants a fire, he'll look at it and bark and it. If someone is too dumb to understand that, he'll pick up a log from the woodpile, and drop it in front of you. If that doesn't say "Make me a fire!", I don't know what does.

Mulder also will bark when you ask him what he wants. If he wakes me up in the middle of the night, I ask him; "Do you want to go out?" If he does, he gives a little bark, if it's something else he keeps looking at you wagging his tail. Then you go through the list of other things he may want, until he barks. Then you give it to him, and he goes back to sleep. He's incredible!!


I was wondering where you    Posted 08-27-2003 at 06:28:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
I haven't seen you around much. How's it going with the project? Cindi


RichZ    Posted 08-27-2003 at 07:06:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi, Cindi. Ahh, the project. That's why you haven't seen me around much, I've had to take a lot of time off from work, where my computer is.

We discovered that all of the sills in the front of the house were rotted, and we had to jack the house up. Again!!!

And later that evening, as I was cleaning the stock tanks for the horses, I discovered that I had no water. Our well pump went kaput!!! I was guessing that jacking the house up may have disconnected one of the wires to the pump, and I turned out to be right, but it took hours to find the broken wire. In the meantime, I was hauling water from our creek to the barn for the horses and goats. That wasn't fun.

And now with all the extra work we're rapidly running out of money!! Oh, well, I guess that's what home equity loans are for. We just slide deeper in debt!!!

But...other than that things are going well!!!
:)


Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 16:43:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well, it'll all be worth it eventually when the value of that house far exceeds the investment, and I suspect that will definitely be the case. Don't you?


RichZ    Posted 08-28-2003 at 05:21:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yes it will. But getting there is tough. We've already remortaged our house, borrowed money from my father, and now we'll have to take out a home equity loan. The project just keeps getting bigger and bigger!! :)


LH    Posted 08-27-2003 at 05:46:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well all mine talk if you listen well enough. Just before I went ot bed this morning, my hounds started in howling their fool heads off. So I went outside with the 22 cussing and prepared to eliminate the usual possum for some peace. Upon getting outside I heard our old pekin duck quacking her fool head off. She had managed to get in the wifes ornamental pond again and the water was low enough she couldnt get out. So she made enough noise to set the hounds off who in turn called me out to her aid. So see Cindi all my critters talk if you just listen :-)


Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 06:14:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yer dang right. It's an intricate system out there and they know what's going on better than we could ever hope to. Sounds like you speak dog very well. It's one of the few second languages I know. Well, I can cuss a little in espanol. (smile)


Maggie/Tx    Posted 08-27-2003 at 08:09:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Great story, Cindi! And yes, my dog and all my cats talk to me...you just have to know how to listen. The cats talking us usually silent, but they DO have facial expressions and body language that can be read. The dog just flat out talks. He makes noises and chews them up just like talking. I think this is a form of imitation from years of me talking to him and he's trying to talk back. I love it. :)


Cindi    Posted 08-27-2003 at 09:58:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
With Elvis, it's all in his face. He's part greyhound so he has this long thin face and when he meets your eyes, you can't look away. Then when you add in the body langugae he talks almost as much as my teenage daughter.


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