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Fossil Creek Adventure

So after Monty went home, Mum and Dad took me on a special adventure. I tried to be patient waiting for them to put all the camping stu...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Cheer!

Okay, I admit, I've been a tad slack with my postings of late. I thought I'd just send out some good holiday vibes to you all, and at the same time share with you all a couple of festive pictures of my paw-pal, Henry. He lives in Devon with his person, Cath, who my mum knows from her previous lifetime in that place way across the ocean she sometimes talks about.

Henry is a handsome chap, and although we've never actually met, I've heard some things about him and know that he's a good sort. He must be to suffer the Christmas costume so willingly - boy, do I know what that's like!

Hope your Christmas stockings are filled with all the right kind of dog treats, and you get all the turkey leftovers you could wish for. Merry Woofmas!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

While Mum's Away... Dad & Ruby Get to Play

Oh yes... It's playtime and adventures all the way this week! Mum's gone off to Santa Fe to do one of her Energy Medicine trainings so it's just Dad and me. I get to take over three quarters of the bed, beg for all kinds of snacks and go on lots of hiking adventures.

Dad makes a big fuss of me when Mum's not here, so I can get away with all sorts of things I'm not normally allowed to do. All I have to do is give Dad my sorrowful-eyed "I miss Mum soooo much" look, while drooping my head over the back of his seat, and the front seat in the car is all mine. Want my own plate of eggs for breakfast? I just slink around looking all out of sorts, like I've lost interest in everything and voila, a hot breakfast in my bowl.

Yes, I probably won't have much time for writing, so I'll catch you up on all my adventures some time next week.

P.S. Don't tell Mum!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Mystery of the Dog that Barks Back

I want to tell you about something interesting that's been happening for a while now when I go on the morning walk with my mum. We usually go the same way, taking the short cut into the forest near Isis' house (Isis is a border collie who came camping with us once and wouldn't get out of the car the whole time, but that's another story). The forest is always fresh with scents at that time in the morning, and I get a pretty good idea of who passed through there during the night. Mostly, I check out the coyote scents and sometimes I get the feeling they are lurking somewhere right nearby, so I set up a ferocious barking to send them on their way. That's when the other dog starts barking back at me. It's the same every time. She seems to hang out somewhere up in the rocks by the steep cliffs. As soon as I bark, she barks back and, strangest of all, she always barks EXACTLY the same thing I bark, woof for woof! Now, how do you explain that? If I bark, "Woof,woofwoofwoof, woofwoof, woof", then she'll bark, "Woof,woofwoofwoof, woofwoof, woof". There's never a moment's pause and she never makes a mistake. Yet when I run up the rocks trying to find her, she's nowhere to be found. So, I have a plan up my paw, to take her by surprise one morning. I can't reveal the details here, in case she's the kind of dog who keeps up with blogs. I do have one clue, though. She's a type of dog called an Echo. I've never heard of that breed before, but Mum always says, "Come on, Ruby, it's just an Echo", like it's not a dog even worth bothering with. It's funny how she always disappears off somewhere before we see her, almost like she just vanishes into thin air. But I'll catch her out one day, just when she's least expecting it. Then we'll see about this silly Echo dog! Until then, I'm keeping an ear cocked.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Swankiest Dog in Town

The house has been a bustle of activity of late, and I've taken every opportunity I could to sneak out of an open gate, slip under the gap in the fence and go visit some of our friendly neighbors. I have to enjoy my visits at lightening speed as everyone is getting to know me. Sometimes they get on the phone to my Mum before they've even offered me a treat. It's just not the way it used to be when we first moved to this neighborhood and I could be hanging out at someone's house for ages, luxuriating in all the attention, and trying the various brands of dog treats they had on offer, before they would even think of checking my collar for an identity tag. Ah well, at least it creates some excitement still, and I often get a car ride home.

Ram, the carpenter, has been doing some work at our place again. I usually don't like it when he starts up with all the sawing and banging, but today was different, because he was putting in a new door, just for me! I pretended I wasn't that interested for quite a while, but then, when no one was looking, I went into the living room and sniffed out the situation. I have to say, it's a mighty fine entrance way, and Ram put in some classy touches that make it look like one of the swankiest dog doors I've ever seen. It's very big, so I don't even have to crouch down to get through. I heard them saying it's so Monty will be able to use it too when he comes to stay.

Mum's also been busy, re-covering my couch that's on the front porch. Usually she just puts a clean sheet over it every so often, but now I have special covers that she made for the seat, with pictures of dogs on them. One of them looks just like me. The new color scheme does suit me very well, even if I say so myself. My couch is my very own and I don't have to share it with anyone. I'm allowed to stay on it all night now that the weather's cooler. It's the perfect spot for viewing approaching coyotes, and now I'm camouflaged by the new cushion covers, I'll really be able to take them by surprise. Have to go now, I think I can hear some coyotes already.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Music Festivals & Dog Camp

It's a tail-wagging, lying-on-my-back, can't-get-enough-rubbing, day in Lyons, Colorado. Mum and Dad picked me up from dog camp yesterday and boy was I glad to see them. It wasn't that camp was bad, but there were no walks and no one to snuggle up with at night. They explained that I couldn't go to the Folks Festival with them and that they wanted me to be somewhere safe, but I sure did miss them.!

But now we're on vacation and camping at a wonderful place right on the river. The place is full of squirrels, which I have to be on full alert for all the time we're in camp. Last night a raccoon came by and parked itself in a tree right above my tie-out. I love it here! A couple of times a day, Mum and Dad take me to the dog park just up the street. It's also on the river and there's lots of grass for me to roll around in. I've made lots of friends already. Jed, the German Shepherd puppy, has latched onto me and tries to follow me everywhere I go. He's only 9 weeks old, so I can easily shake him off when he starts to be a nuisance.

Kona and Daisy, a couple of Golden Retrievers, were taking their walk this morning in the park where we are camping. The place is just full of great dogs and places to run. I think I never want to go home. I'll let you know if I can persuade Mum and Dad to move up here. I'm working on it, I promise!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Little Dogs Laughed...

No time to write much this week. I've been too busy playing with my pal Monty. Here's a photo of us, though, that Mum took when we were both having a good laugh.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Out of the doldrums

Things have suddenly gotten a whole lot more interesting around here. I managed to chase a deer and two coyotes yesterday when Mum took me out on the afternoon walk. She was none too pleased and spent a long time running after me and calling me back, but when the opportunity is there like that, I just can't pass it up. Those coyotes can get very cocky and I never know when one of them is going to sneak around behind me and take a nip, so I have to make myself look really big, puffing myself out and jumping around barking in my deepest voice. I gave those two a good run for their money.

I also heard that Monty is going to be paying us another visit next week, while his folks go away for a week. That will mean lots of romping in the house and trying to tear apart those new toys Dad brought home for me last week. I haven't done a very good job so far of pulling that white stuff out from inside them, but I know when Monty gets on the other end and we start pulling, we'll soon have those things in shreds.

We've been to the creek a few times recently, which perked me up no end. I found some smelly raccoon droppings to roll in (I SO love that smell!) and was particularly pleased with the way I got it spread around my neck - nice and even, and worked right into my collar. It lasts longer that way. I can never understand why, but Mum and Dad don't have the same appreciation for those kind of smells. As soon as we got home, Mum got out the bucket and soap and starting scrubbing away at me.

Tomorrow night we're off to a barbecue with Babushka's folks. I haven't seen her since before her trip to the kennels, so I'm looking forward to catching up.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Summertime Blues

Yes, I know. It's been ages since my last post. But it's the dog days of summer and sometimes it's just so hard to crawl out from my cool spot under the bed. This is one hot dog tapping out the missive today, so if it's shorter than my usual posts, you'll understand why.

First there was the fire, which everyone was babbling about. I didn't see much of it myself, but the smoke was everywhere and started to get me down. Mum stopped me sleeping out on my couch and made me come in the house, although it wasn't much better there. Then we weren't allowed to go for our daily walk on the trail anymore. The whole of our forest got closed and I had to walk on my leash on the hot pavement for all the walks. It was miserable, and then Mum and Dad had a great idea. They took me camping!

Suddenly things got interesting again. We drove off in the car and went into the woods at the top of the mountain near the mining town. It was cool, and sometimes raining, and the smells... Ha! I pretty much know everyone and everything that comes through our neighborhood, but up in the woods there was so much to keep on top of that I barely had a chance to take a nap. When I wasn't watching out for deer and rabbits, I had to be on constant alert for the cheeky squirrels that would try and scamper through our campsite every time my back was turned. And then there was THE BEAR. I've heard about bears, and I've smelled them a number of times, when we've been camping in Colorado and California, but this is the first time I've actually seen one. I learnt a couple of things about bears. 1. Bears don't seem to be able to hear that well. I barked my most ferocious bark and this one didn't even bat an eyelid. Now what does that tell you? Had to be deaf. No other explanation. 2. Bears hear really well up close. All it took was a loud snore from the man in the tent where it was stealing food, and the bear went running. Now I didn't have time to get up close myself to prove any of this, (it was breakfast time, after all) but sometimes you just have to take a dog's word for it.

I wish we could always live in the woods. It's the best! We went for long hikes everyday, and it wasn't hot and dusty like at home. A couple of nights Babushka and her family came up to sleep over, then we all got to go on a hike together and I had to show Babushka the ropes because she's never been in the woods like that before.

Now we're back in Sedona, and it's hot and sticky, and I haven't had a friend come visit in WEEKS. Even getting an ice treat has lost its allure. There has been some talk of more camping and a trip to Colorado. I've been hearing Camp Bow Wow bandied about quite a bit, which is apparently where I'm going. Not sure what that is, but the campfire treats sound like they might be promising. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Cool Dog

You all should see this dog! Thanks to Uncle Jack in Austin for finding it. Jack's Blog

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Beach & Snow Fun - Some Everyday Adventures

Watch the video
Meeting new friends at the beach in Oregon last fall. Playing in the snow (my favorite) in the woods near Flagstaff on my birthday in March.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

In the Dog House

I've been a bit of a "naughty girl", and Mum and Dad are none too pleased with me.

We had a trip to the creek, on the very hottest day we've seen so far. It was all fun and games, Mum and Dad lounging on a rock in the water, while I swam all over the place, getting out occasionally to shake myself in their vicinity and share some of the refreshingly cool creek water with them.

After a while, the water began to lose its initial allure and I decided to explore some bushes and a rock wall. It was rich with all sorts of scents, and I could barely keep up with it all, dashing from one to the next. Before I knew it, I found myself way up high, on a narrow ledge, and there were Mum and Dad, still sitting on the rock, but now looking to be about the size of miniature poodles. They were calling my name, and I think, saying something about how I'd better get down, RIGHT NOW! But they were so small and far away, it was hard to really tune in and focus. Then I realized that the ledge I was on was really narrow, and I must have jumped across a gap in the rock to get there, and in the other direction was a big cactus it was hard to get past, and I got dizzy thinking about it all. Suddenly I wanted to get back down to Mum and Dad, but my legs started shaking and I was afraid of slipping, so I sat down to wait for Dad to come and get me, and that silly whining noise I used to do when I was in the shelter started coming out of my mouth.

It took Dad ages to climb all the way up there. Sometimes I feel so sorry for my people. They seem to have such a hard time doing the simplest of things with those hefty boots they wear on their feet, to say nothing of the major shortfall of only having two legs. He arrived a few feet from where I was, covered in scratches and panting very hard. Mum was down below, with her soothing voice, telling me to wait for Dad and that I'd be okay.

So now I was one side of the gap, and Dad was on the other, and that was how it stayed because, apparently, Dad weighs more than me and couldn't step on the rock overhang. He wanted me to just jump back over the gap, but I got really scared just thinking about it, so I tried crawling along a shelf just above where Dad was. This ended up going nowhere, and was covered in pack rat poop, which made me even more scared. Of all the critters there are around here, pack rats are my least favorite. They give me the willies just smelling their scent, and started my legs wobbling all over again. I tried the shelf option several times, every time Dad would call me, but I just ended up getting rat poop all over me. Yuck!

I was getting very tired and thirsty, so I lay down for a bit, and Mum said she had an idea. She came back with a donut. Yippee! She started throwing pieces up to me, but Mum can't throw for toffee and they were always just out of my reach. In fact they kept falling right at the edge of the gap I didn't want to jump over. It took all my skills to slide myself along to where they were and reach my tongue out, so I could snatch them up without having to leave my safe spot. I started to get the impression that Mum was actually aiming the donut pieces at the edge of the gap so that I would have to jump over to get them. Well, I wasn't falling for that one! After all that exertion, I lay down for another rest. Mum had used up all the donut so she went off to think up another plan.

Mum was starting to get upset (and that's never fun to see, I can tell you), and next thing I heard was her on the phone to Marta Williams. Now, for those of you animals who don't already know, Marta is what the humans call an "Animal Communicator". What that means is that she can have a conversation with us, just like a real dog can, which is very exciting. The first time Mum and Dad put her in touch with me, after the "mushroom incident", (more about that another time) I couldn't stop talking. She told Mum and Dad I was a "Chatty Kathy", whatever that means. Maybe she's not so smart after all, since everyone knows my name is Ruby. Anyway, that's the good part. The bad part is that with Marta, there's no pretending you don't understand because she can read all your mind pictures. It's not like when Mum and Dad tell you to do something and you can just pretend you don't quite get it. She speaks very clearly and there's no mistaking what she says.

Anyway, when I heard Mum was on the phone to Marta, I thought the game was almost over. It would have been great to chew things over with her for a while, but before long, I know I would have blurted out about the easy path down the other side. Oops! The one Mum and Dad hadn't noticed yet. And there was still a chance Mum had some more donut stashed away, so I didn't want to ruin my chances of scoring some more of that treat. I NEVER get to eat donuts under normal circumstances, so this wasn't a chance to be passed up. My luck was in. Marta wasn't home.

Dad decided to try some other options, so next thing I know he's down below another part of the ledge, and has found a way to climb up so he can almost touch me. Mum is telling him to grab my collar and I realize they're planning on hauling me down on Dad's shoulders. Not likely! I may have looked like a complete wuss, but there are limits to what a dog will go through. My pride was at stake, and more to the point, I had noticed a couple of things that changed the situation. 1. The heron I'd had my eye one ever since we'd arrived, was now somewhere down below within chasing distance. 2. Most importantly, I noticed when Mum was throwing the donut, that quite a few pieces had fallen short and were now lying somewhere on the ground below begging to be eaten. As Dad made a grab for my collar, I did a quick about turn and headed for the easy descent. Dad was now having trouble getting back down himself, so while Mum and Dad were busy with that operation, I skipped down the rocks, sniffed out the treats and got a belly full before they had even figured out what had happened!

Needless to say, they weren't at all pleased when they found me, especially when they discovered that I had rolled in some rather ripe racoon poop (I had to get rid of that pack rat smell somehow). I started to get a sneaking suspicion that they were now doubting I had really been in trouble up there in the first place. I was, honestly, but, well, you know how it is when you're getting all the attention and you kind of forget what it was that started it all off? It was kind of like that. And then when the donut throwing started...

I think I'll have to lay low for a bit until they forget about it. It will probably be a good idea not to try that one again, at least not this side of summer, anyway.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Black dogs, bones and the Polish deli

Earlier this week, Babushka came over to spend the day with our family. She's (please don't snigger when you hear this) a Cockapoo! Yes, you heard it right. Can't say I'd like to be in her paws. Now, telling people you're a Golden Retriever, or even a Golden Retriever/Irish Setter mix, has some pizazz to it. It sounds dignified, solid, let's people know what your skills and interests are. But tell someone you're a Cockapoo and what does that tell them about you? I've overheard some talking and it seems it's something to do with being part of a Cocker Spaniel and part of a Poodle. Spoodle would have made more sense to me, but there you go, that's humans for you.

Anyway, in spite of the label, Babushka is a top notch dog, smart and cute with black curls and floppy ears. It made me spin around in circles and jump all over everyone when she arrived on Wednesday morning. She came from the Humane Society too, so we understand each other. It's been a bit rough for her recently. Her people got divorced and decided it was time for her to have a new home. Luckily, some really good people found her at the Humane Society - my mum and dad's friends, Rob and Chizuko. Rob used to have a dog called Wolf, who was one of the smartest dogs anyone has ever known. I didn't know her for long myself, but people still talk about her, and my mum has a picture of her in our house. She died quite a while ago, so Rob and Chizuko have been missing having a dog around. Quite frankly, I don't know how they've managed all this time. No one to take on walks or snuggle up with them in bed at night. Doesn't bear thinking about! Lucky for them, Babushka's a real snuggle bunny, and can wag her whole body nearly as much as I can. She's only 2, so I've been teaching her a few things and she's been catching on really fast. Almost too fast, I would say. I showed her my marrow bone, thinking it would be much too big for her little mouth, but I'd only turned my back for a moment and sure enough, she'd carted it off somewhere and buried it. No matter, I'll soon sniff it out. There's not much gets past my nose!

Another visitor this week was a black lab called Molly. No one invited her over, but she arrived at the gate one evening after dark. I dutifully guarded my territory with some ferocious barking that should have scared a dog twice her size, but being Molly, she just stuck her face through the gate and kept on wagging her tail until my mum came out and let her in. Now, I knew it was Molly and that she lives just around the corner, but Mum didn't recognize her and because she wasn't wearing a tag with her phone number on it, the police had to come and take her off to the Humane Society so her people would know where to find her. While we were waiting, Mum asked her what her name was. Of course, Molly was saying it loud and clear, but Mum couldn't get it, and went through a whole list of names before she got the picture Molly was sending her. Then Dad remembered who Molly's mum was, and where she lived. My mum quickly went over there to tell Molly's people what had happened, but no one was home, and the yard gate was open, so Molly still had to go for the ride in the police cruiser. I prefer Officer Rob's truck myself. Mum doesn't like it when I go for a ride in the animal police truck, as it means I've been "a naughty girl" and gone exploring the neighborhood on my own, which Mum says is dangerous. I usually get to ride up front where I can see everything, and they give me a treat to make sure I'll jump in. I would anyway, but it's best not to take any chances when a treat is being offered.

Speaking of treats. Today we went to my all-time favorite place in Sedona. The Euro Deli! Those people really know how to treat a dog. In fact it's more like a whole dinner. They have a place outside where dogs can wait, and there's always a full bowl of fresh water waiting. I sit there on my best behavior while Mum is inside, trying to catch the eye of the lady with blonde hair. I can tell when she's spotted me because everyone in there starts talking about dogs and what a "good girl" I am, and I can see the lady going behind the counter for MY TREATS! It's nothing like one of those dry biscuits you get at the bank drive-through. This is a whole plate of the tastiest meats and my mouth starts watering before she's even part way through the door. I have to scoff it all down at record speed, in case there are any other dogs watching and getting ideas that it's for them instead. I can taste it even now. Just writing about it is making my mouth water all over again. I'm going to be dreaming about that Euro Deli tonight. In fact, I think I'll get a head start right now.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Hooray for dog pals!

The heat is starting to hit and my daytime activities have slowed down a lot these past few days. My hole under the pine tree in the back yard is having to be dug out on a daily basis, to make sure the nice cool earth is uncovered. When even there gets too warm, I stroll back into the house and seek out the coolest spot - usually the floor in the laundry room. Sometimes they forget to leave the door open, so I have to hang around near the laundry room door until someone notices and opens it for me. I'm not much of a dog for the heat - give me some snow any day! Or the creek...

Now that reminds me of what I wanted to tell you all about. I overheard some really good news today. My friend Monty is going to be coming to stay at the end of May, for a whole 10 days! I couldn't believe it when I overheard my mum talking to his mum about it. Last I had heard, Monty was having some knee problems and had been banned from visiting, mainly because we like to get into some full-on wrestling matches when we're together and his people thought it would be too dangerous. Well, I'm happy to say that they think he's made a good enough recovery to be able to partake in some lightweight roughhousing again. I'm sure mum and dad will be keeping a careful watch so that we don't over do it.

Best of all, when Monty comes to stay, we go to the creek ALL THE TIME! Yes, Monty is a dedicated water dog, so my people give him plenty of opportunities to swim. I'm not so keen on the wet stuff myself. He even likes baths, if you can believe that! Getting my ears wet is the worst, so I always make sure I keep my head above water. Old Monty will just go plunging right in, but I like to take my time and work myself up to it. If someone is throwing a stick or a ball, though, I usually can't contain myself, as my number one rule is never to let the other dog get the toy. When Monty's there, I have to start thinking up some sly tricks, because he really is a very good swimmer. I'll often wait until he has fetched the stick and is almost at the bank, then I'll launch my attack and grab the other end of it while he's swimming. It doesn't take long before he gets tired of me hanging on the other end and lets go.

Of course, if there are any birds around - ducks in particular - it goes without saying that there is very little that will keep me out of the water (maybe a firm hand on the collar, but sometimes I can even manage to slip out of that too). Those ducks are so frustrating. You should see the way they tease me, making that terrible quacking noise and swimming by mere feet from my nose. Once or twice I've almost reached one, then at the last minute they start flapping those wings of theirs, and before you know it, they're sailing several feet ABOVE the water, and laughing in my face to boot. It's just not fair! But I certainly don't intend giving up. I have a few cunning plans tucked up my paw for this season. I'll show them!

Here's a reminder of what a handsome boy our Monty is:

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Neighborhood Critters - Javelina

Originally uploaded by Peaqoud.
For those of you who don't live in the southwestern United States, this is what a javelina looks like.
They are actually a collared peccary, although some (and I'm not naming any names) call them pigs. A couple of dogs I know have been torn apart by their tusks, but it doesn't stop me from chasing them when I get the chance. Their stink can be picked up from a great distance. In fact, they smell so strong that my mum even has to hold her nose when they're trotting nearby. Something akin to rotting garbage and a human who hasn't been near a shower in a very long time. The babies are easy to scare, but sometimes the bigger ones turn tail and chase me back. Then dad gets very upset and makes me go on the leash. Last time that happened, he stopped taking me to the arroyo where the granddaddy of the javelinas lurks (dad told mum he was the size of a small horse!).

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Bark is Out

Finally! I get to have a voice of my own and a place to woof about what's new and important in my life. My name is Ruby Tuesday (officially), although I also get called plain old Ruby, the Princess Rubelina (when mum and dad are doting), Bubela, Ruby-Buby, and when the doting starts to disintegrate into puppy-talk, Boobers, Booberus and Booberishus. They're all pretty much okay names with me, as long as the tummy is getting sufficiently rubbed and dinner arrives on time.

I live with my people, in Sedona, Arizona, USA. Life is good here. I have my own couch on the front porch, from where I can watch for coyotes skulking down the street, or javelinas trespassing into the front yard. Most days, a troop of quails or one of the obnoxious bluejays will come a bit too close to the edge of my fence, which gives me permission to start up some serious barking and tell those no-good intruders exactly what I think of them. I have quite a lot to say, and was even once called a "trash talker" by some smart-aleck dog trainer. Sure, I like to speak my mind, and I always make damn sure I get the last word. Especially when the yard dogs across the street start with their name-calling.

My best friend is Monty. He comes for sleepovers when his people go out of town. I've taught him how to play pully the way I like it, and although he's not as agile as me, he's very strong (but he usually lets me win anyway).

More about Monty later...

This has been quite a lot already for my first entry, so I'm going to sign off here. My people are going to take me out for my nighttime walk before bed. I have to patrol the neighborhood for stray coyotes and make sure the coast is clear before we all retire. It's alive with scents out there this time of night, so I'll be off to pick up the latest news.