Category Archives: Critters

Meet Chappie

So a few weeks after Bosco died, we decided to get another pup and become a two-dog family again. Actually, I was kind of pushing the idea, while Christi had understandable reservations since Boo, our remaining dog, still is only half-trained and semi-wild. But we pressed ahead and put a deposit on a male Catahoula from the same breeder who sold us Boo.

That pup was born in December, in a litter of six. Five were males, and we had first pick among the boys. Some consider the more well-known leopard-spot Catahoula coloring to be most desirable, however, we chose a black-and-tan pup with brindle trim. Catahoulas either are born with one merle gene, two merle genes or none at all. Those with no merle genes are mostly solid-colored, like ours.


We picked him because he appeared to be the largest in the litter, with an inquisitive disposition and kind of leader of the pack. I wanted Boo to have a larger companion to keep her safe at the farm. We’ve had coyotes in the side yard, and fresh signs of wild pigs, and our farm neighbors tell us there’s a pair of cougars living along a creek system a few miles away. So if Boo has a run-in with a critter bigger than she is, it’ll be good to have a buddy watching her back.

The kids wanted to name him Chappie – after an artificial intelligence-enhanced robot in the 2015 movie by the same name – and we were OK with that. We brought him home a week ago. He’s 9 weeks old, and I’ve been spending the better part of most days since then refereeing dog wrestling events and working using a dog crate as a housebreaking tool.

I wish I could augment his canine brain with enough AI to skip ahead past the potty training, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Nonetheless, we’re pretty happy with the little guy so far.

Also posted in Country Life, Farm

Regrets And Resolutions

Nah, I’m not up for that. You drive better when you’re looking through the windshield instead of the rear-view mirror. So lets just charge into 2016, official Year of the ‘Dillo:


Also posted in Metaphysics, Photography

Dogs Are Never Ashamed

No matter how badly you might think you’re humiliating them, no worries! because dogs are never ashamed. Still, I figure that’s no reason not to help your canine friend look her best.

We had decided that, even though she has excellent conformation, hunting drive and very cute spots, we would not breed Boudin, our 9-month-old Catahoula. We would have her “fixed.” Which is a pretty awful thing to say, really, if you think about it, but that’s what people say. More correctly, we have decided to have her broken. We will pay a veterinarian to break her reproductive system so that she cannot have puppies.

But there’s a waiting list and, at present, Boo isn’t scheduled to have her operation until mid-November. And things being what they are (chaotic, odds seemingly against us) she went into heat a couple of weeks ago while waiting for the vet procedure.

This was pretty much inconvenient all around, especially since I’d finally gotten Boo signed up to start a dog manners class in a couple of days and now I was going to have to call up the woman running the class and tell her we would have to withdraw because, in heat.

But no, the trainer said, Boo is going to have to learn to behave in heat or out, and the other dogs in the class are going to have to learn to behave well toward their classmates regardless. You just, she said, need to put the dog in some bitches’ britches. That is what the woman said.

Well, I was fresh out, but when I found out what they are, I bought a pack at the local dog products emporium (Walmart) and discovered they are exactly like the diapers I used to put on my children except more poorly made and with a hole punched in the booty area for the dog’s tail. Boudin looked ridiculously old to be wearing diapers, they hiked up around her thighs, the available colors were horrid and she didn’t like them. It took her less than 120 seconds to rip off the first pair.

Then I did what fashion doctors everywhere recommend for the sporting girl-pup: I went out and bought a pack of 2T-3T size toddler boy’s underwear, in assorted stylish color patterns. You put them on the dog “backwards,” which causes the pants opening to face upward, so the dog’s tail can poke out quite comfortably.


We find they do the job, stay on snugly and look just bitchin’.

Also posted in Family

Dog Bowling On The Open Prairie

What cloud appears on yon horizon absent a silver lining?

To be brief: The Catahoula is a hunter and herding dog possessed of unusual drive and strength even at a tender 8 months and 45 pounds. Should one encourage such a beast to frolic at high speed through the brush in order to test one’s LG G4 mobile camera, one risks canine over-stimulation for which, alas, there are no brakes, apparently.

Yeah, I got her wound up, and the dog decided that rather than juking and leaping past as usual, she would just lower her shoulder into my legs like so many bowling pins.

Silver lining: Somehow my phone camera snapped this picture as it (and I) hit the ground. For the record, this hurt a lot. But the dog indicated she was real sorry.


In one fell swoop, it turns out I’ve probably invented a new mobile photo category that I am nearly sure will catch on virulently: The Falling Selfie. Ask me how it’s done.

Also posted in Country Life, Duh Files