A reminder to be sure to spare more … for all who love us 🙂
I was forwarded an email with some appropriate dog images that and I can’t resist sharing some of those images here!
Living in a rural area as I do means living in the vicinity/proximity of wildlife. We have deer, turkeys, rats, raccoons, snakes and even a mountain lion has been sighted on occasion. My dogs for the most part stay reasonably close by but once they get the scent for something to chase -well the chase is on! At night time I have lights for them to wear. Super bright led lights. Sky my Australian Shepherd wears the red lights and Zulu the green lights so I can easily tell them apart when they are running in the dark.
Last Tuesday when I got home from work at about 11pm after a double shift I had plans to take the pups for a brief walk around our marina. Mostly just over to the beach but not too far from my dock.
We had barely started our walk when Zulu, my 48lb Catahoula took off and ran all the way up to the habour master’s house. I could see his green lights from his collar going crazy as if he was in a fight with something (wild animal) but without the noise from his adversary.
I ran to his aid. (This is the first time I have attempted running since my ankle tendon replacement surgery last July – and I mentally took note of this and mentally said a short prayer for both myself and the pup). I was terrified that he was being injured by his prey which I could only assume to be the most common of our night critters, the raccoon.
Anyone who has encountered the cute little raccoon up close knows that there cuteness is generally accompanied by a ferocious claw and a temperament that is not prone to surrender. They are vicious animals in the up close and personal! This does not mean that I wish harm on the raccoon -only that that their cuteness must be accompanied by a wariness for their viciousness.
Zulu by nature is a hunting/prey driven animal. He is almost 5 years old now and has become far more of a ‘home-body’ than even me. He used to be gone for hours in his hunting explorations but now he comes almost instantly when called, and stays closer to home than my Australian Shepherd (known for her desire to be invisibly underfoot – like in your blind-spot-step-on-the-poor-dog zone!!) Zulu was right in the middle of this audible altercation and not backing down and I was scared and running !
I came upon Zulu and his foe. They were in open space right under me. I was yelling at Zulu to drop the raccoon and simultaneously trying to kick the racoon – they were really right in the middle of the drive and literally under foot. Reason set in with me and I realised that the only sounds of distress were coming from the raccoon. Ideally I would have loved for both animals to walk away unharmed but in this circumstance I had to root for Zulu and pray he would be ok. He apprantly had the raccoon in a death grip and the two of them circled and circled through the brush and up and down a small crest of hill. The harbour masters’ son, Mark, heard our calls of distress -(mostly mine) but the dog’s & raccoon’s as well and came out with a shotgun in hand. He warned me that it would be loud but there was really nothing to be done until Zulu released the raccoon and that didn’t happen until Zulu felt he had won.
Mark yelled at Zulu to get out of the way and then put the raccoon out of his misery. I don’t think either Mark or myself had any pleasure or desire to see any living being having to be shot but as the circumstances warranted this deemed the only humane solution and I do thank Mark for being there and helping to end the altercation.
I was so grateful that my other dog Sky, my Australian Shepherd did not attempt to go to Zulu’s aid or get involved. After it was all said and done the three of us, Zulu, Sky & myself headed back home. Zulu, as if another day in the life and nothing had happened stopped to relieve himself in a matter of fact way. I personally was rather shaken up and in disbelief.
Ever since that day I have found a way to have the pups on leash after about 6 pm. It gets dark around 430 or 5 pm. I really don’t want to be in this situation with either of my dogs again and was an idiot for not having had them on leash at the time. Lights or not raccoons are probably our most dangerous foe in the immediate neighbourhood. Yes there is the mountain lion we have seen and the occasional coyote over the years but in all honesty the most viable threat in the immediate vicinity and regular appearance would be the raccoon. As sorry as I am to see a life lost in the situation (the raccoon’s) I remain grateful that it was small enough (about 10-15lbs) for Zulu to be the victor in this instance.
We live in a remote area where wildlife, humans and pets must find ways to coexist. The raccoons and the rats eat the trash in the outside trash cans and the dogs keep the boundaries defined. The humans remind the dogs that there are boundaries and the dogs remind the humans that there are wildlife. We all have a purpose and a meaning – for today I am just grateful Zulu was the winner and is an especially good rat hunter and keeping those rodents off the docks and at bay!
What are your favorite spices?
Cinnamon & nutmeg. Growing up on the island of Grenada these spices that are grown locally continue to be a staple in my life. See my post here about Nutmeg & Grenada.
What object do you always have with you when traveling and why?
My shepherd’s whistle. I have it with me at all times because my dogs are trained to respond to it. Mostly to come or come quickly. I wear my whistle 24 hours a day because I don’t ever want to be without it when it is most needed as in dogs coming!
What is one thing you love about being an adult?
I suppose tonight, watching parts of the White House Correspondent’s Dinner -I’m grateful to be able to understand the jokes and be able to laugh. By the same token I sometimes wish I didn’t understand.
What item, that you don’t have already, would you most like to own?
I would like to own a home not to live in. I love living on my boat but a home that could be rented out as a source of additional income for my retirement would be good.
A love of sunsets, my pups & my marina home is the essential subject of this video slideshow.
The first dog silhouette is of Boeing, my Australian Shepherd who passed away a few years ago. An array of marina photos and sunsets follows. The one bridge pictured within is the Richmond San Rafael bridge with Mt Tamalpais in the background. The bridge is not visible from the harbour but a great sunset just the same.
The last two dog-sunset-sihouettes are of my current family members, Zulu (a 4yo catahoula) and then Sky (a 6yo Australian shepherd). The slideshow ends with a couple of stunning moonrises!
The background music is “Oh! Mio Babbino Caro” sung by Gianni Schicchi. I’m not really an opera music listener but this piece of music inspired me to get the photos together and there is always the option to turn your sound off if the music doesn’t suit you.
Overall the slideshow is for me to remember special moments and images from the last several months and if they suit your taste you will enjoy as well.
Today Zulu met up with his good buddy that he practically grew up with !!
Zulu and Watson are about the same age and love to romp and wrestle with one another. They are about the same weight and size and well matched in dispositions.
A few passes at the ball gave Zulu some running and jumping…
After their fun playtime together Zulu & Sky and I went on to Crissy Field – a great beach with a surf that is virtually always gentle. They didn’t run and chase as much as usual but they still got in some good sand digging and bird chasing!
Experiment with panning: pan your camera across your scene while following your moving subject. It takes practice, but if done right you can produce images with clear subjects against blurred backgrounds.
Sky, (full name Skyhawk -like TA4j Skyhawk airplane) had to have a Cyst that has been bothering her removed from her tail yesterday. Yep, surgery. I have a great vet, as in an honest vet who tells it like it is. He doesn’t mess around. Hard to explain, but he is not one of those vets who rushes to cut or prescribe drugs to make a killing. As a matter of fact I brought Sky to his office last July before I had my own surgery (tendon replaced in my ankle) and he thought it best to wait till it seemed an issue for her. Well it became an issue for her about 2 weeks ago when I noticed her constantly trying to chew at it so last Friday I went back to the vet and he agreed we should probably go ahead and remove it.
After weighing her Steve the vet had me hold her in my lap as he gave her the injection to give her her surgery nap. That was at noon and he told me to come back around 3pm. At 3 she was still in the recovery cage. A little freaked out-still waking up and probably not happy about being in a cage that reminded her of her pre-rescue life. I sat there with her waiting for her to feel comfortable and steadier on her feet.
At about 4pm she was ready to go home. I was told to limit her food and drink for several more hours. She really was thirsty too. I would let her drink a little and then have to take it away from her. Now the dilemma! She has to leave her tail alone so it can heal but since I live on a boat a cone around her head would just be too dangerous when she is not sleeping.
Steve told me to not bandage it as it needs air to heal but i was also concerned about the amount of dust and other dogs out here so I wanted the surgery protected from sniffing noses including her own and from the dirt and dust. I came up with an idea. I had an old tube sock which I had cut the elastic out of in an attempt to protect my cast when i was wearing one. I cut the other end off and was able to easily pull Sky’s tail through and then use the medical tape that sticks to itself wrapped around the top and the bottom of the sock. The incision still gets air to heal and now it is protected. I still have to watch her because on occasion she wants the sock off her tail understandably so.