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Like most of us here, I have been hyperventilating about the fiscal cliff, the GOP internecine struggles, the Progressive dislike of the current compromise, the inequality of our system, global warming.  It is understandable since I I am here and I care ... damn it. BUT, I need a break. So let me tell you about my clever dogs.

Some background first.  I live with my daughter (long sob story about how my wonderful daughter took me in has been told) who had twins on December 14.  Right now, I help her take care of the babies when she lets me (for she is jealous mom) and I will be nanny when she goes back to work.

So what does this have to do with our clever dogs other than giving me an opportunity to play with images in diaries and post a picture of my grandchildren?

Chula and Zoe are kind enough to let us share their home. They are rescue dogs and the next best thing to sliced bread.

This story is really about Chula a (very) mixed breed with some herder in her.
When the twins came home, she was a little stand offish, but started to warm up to them in the next few days.  First, she was just curious to see who was invading her home of 10 years.  Then she was interested in watching and sniffing them.  Then three nights ago, she came and woke me up ... paws patting my face and wimpering. when I got up to see what was wrong, I herd the babies crying and my daughter trying to take car of both babies. The next night she called me when they started whimpering. Now she wakes me when she just barely hears them grunting, before they start to whimper, much less cry. She is truly a herder and  a better nanny than I will ever be!

Since the topic is clever dogs, I have to share my favorite story  ... back 20 years ago wh had Scruffy, the Houdini of dogs. He was beagle and Fox terrier and looked just like Snoopy and was just as clever.  Scruffy learned to climb chain link fances, scale brick walls and escape at will. So we had to make him a mostly inside dog.  He did not like that since he was a wandering soul and learned to unlock, open the patio door and escape to explore the world. Finally we put in a lock at the top of the door so that he could not go out.  He was not happy but since he was a short little dog and could not reach it even after he pulled up a chair, he learned to live with it.

One day, he needed to go out and went to tell my son who was about 11 and mad about video games. So my son put him off, several times. Finally, Scruffy had had enough, and being the clever dog that he was, lifted his leg on my son's back and let go. I always think of that as a most appropriate way to express how pissed off you are. BTW, NOBODY messed with him after that ... if Scruffy asked to go out, we stopped everything to make sure that he got out to do his business!

So, take a break with me and tell about your favorite clever dog/cat/mouse/snake story.

Originally posted to CorinaR on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:49 AM PST.

Also republished by PWB Peeps.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What a pisser! n/t (14+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:55:36 AM PST

    •  What a great story. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CorinaR, Calamity Jean

      We have two rescue dogs and I can not imagine life with out them.
      Our young pup new rescue dog is also a Houdini of dogs. We found him under the next door neighbors house sick and on deaths door. We nursed him back to health but he seemed to have very weak rear legs that meant he had trouble getting up an steps even the three to our porch. But... He could squeeze out of a chain link fence gate a mouse would have trouble getting out of. Just so he could rush down to raid the hen house of a neighbor.

      We moved none to soon as the neighbor threatened to use his shotgun on our soldier. The house we live in now has two floors and Soldier can bound up the stairs faster than me. He still gets out once in a while and plays a good game of ‘catch me if you can’ but the last time he got out by the time my niece got her shoes on he was laying at the front door waiting for the snack we use to get him back with. Me thinks some dogs may just be smarter than some humans.

      Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

      by arealniceguy on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:19:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope that dog had babies. (13+ / 0-)

    If dogs get any smarter, they will be in charge. It would be a better world.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 10:59:16 AM PST

  •  Awww (11+ / 0-)

    Dogs are so protective.  Our family dog wouldn't let strangers get close to me when I was an infant.

    Thanks for the happy story!

  •  I've pretty much always (12+ / 0-)

    had animals around, so there's lots of stories. This is a story about Abby the dog. Abby was a stray who had been living in and around a local dog park and, though extremely shy, was friendly with the real Hugo Dog. Somebody must have been pretty nasty to her early on - she was always nervous with new men, especially if they had a beard. Somebody also did a terrible job docking her tail - my guess is that they used a car door. Eventually she came to live with him, but that's another story. She spent the first year with us cowering in the corner whenever I came into the room.  She was  certainly a "heinz 57", brindle, and I've always suspected a coydog. She never told me what her mom & dad were like. She was also very protective of her personal space - unless she invited another animal in, the other 4 legger would get a bark and probably a snap if they came too close, certainly a snarl and a demonstration of tooth. Even so, she and Hugo were like an old husband & wife team. But, because of Abby's snarkiness, we were worried when we brought a new (human) baby into the house. Well, early on Abby heard the baby making some newborn kid sounds and proceeded to run back and forth between my wife and the baby over and over until my wife picked our daughter up. We knew by her actions that afternoon that everything would be A-OK.

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:10:43 AM PST

  •  Does it have to be our own dogs? (14+ / 0-)

    Then there was the dog who was obsessed by a mole on his human's back, and finally tried to bite it off while she was sunbathing. Which led a doctor to look at it: melanoma. All right, if anything can detect a chemical difference, it's a dog's nose, but how did the dog know the difference was important?

  •  Cute! Hang a Bell By the Door. (9+ / 0-)

    You can teach them to ring it when they need to go out. I've seen new dogs learn it from the old ones without any human teaching.

    We have doggie doors in our screen/storm doors, but if the inner door is closed they have to ask.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:28:53 AM PST

    •  Yup, the certainly do teach each other stuff. (8+ / 0-)

      we had a rescue dog teach our Belgian to jump on the kitchen counter. Thanks a lot.

      These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

      by HugoDog on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 11:37:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "A very mixed breed,"--the best kind! (7+ / 0-)

        Chula is beautiful.  She looks a good deal like our late "terrier mix," without a Schnauzer "beard."  And our terrier mix was super protective of me, especially as she aged.  

        I will be posting a Memorial Tribute to her soon.  Lost her one year ago on the 9th (of January).

        Out of seven dogs, she had the most mild and even temperment of all.  As much as I loved by pure breed dogs, truthfully, most of them have had a bit of a quirky temperment (albeit a very sweet and good personality).

        So, let's hear it for all the "Chula's of the World."

        “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

        by musiccitymollie on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 12:56:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A couple from our pooches... (7+ / 0-)

    ...and they're bulldogs.  One day we had just come home from a consultation with a lawyer.  There was a family problem at hand and it had gotten nasty (fortunately one letter from that lawyer was all it took to handle the matter.)  We were feeling grumpy and sad and we came in and sat down at the table.  Our littlest bully, Dulce (she's tiny, about 30 lbs) came running around the corner, tail wagging and tongue sticking out as always.  She ran up to us, and then jumped up on a dining chair and then ON THE TABLE.  Before we could scold her for being on the table in the first place she scooted over to my wife and just started slurping her face as fast as she could with the tail wagging to beat the band.  Of course all we could do was just crack up laughing like crazy.  That fixed a really bad day really quick, and she's never jumped on the table since.

    One evening our boy Hank wandered into the dining room where I was doing some stuff online.  Usually he'll bark like mad if he needs out.  Not tonight.  After a few minutes, he walks over to the back door, sits down, rips a really loud fart, and then just slowly turns and looks at me as if to say, "You catch my drift, buddy?"  We love that little canine smart aleck.

  •  Our first Catahoula assistance dog, Sadie (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CorinaR, broths, ladybug53, NonnyO

    Was a sweetie. Catahoulas are also herding breeds. One time we were in the mall, and all of a sudden she pulled Dad in his wheelchair to the front of the toy store, before Dad could figure out what was going on, she cut off the escape of a toddler who had snuck away from Mom and was headed out the store. That kid tried to move around and under, and Sadie just patiently blocked him until his mom caught up.
    She also wouldn't let Dad go into any room where Lysol had been sprayed. If he tried to go in she'd sit down in front of his chair and just.. not move. Lysol is one of his asthma triggers, and after the first time it happened, she just decided no more.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 02:11:06 PM PST

  •  a jack russell story (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CorinaR, broths, ladybug53, NonnyO

    now gone but forever in our hearts, we named him "Chum" (an old fashioned word for friend) and he went with us to France a good number of times, because they love dogs so much there that they let you bring one in with no questions asked, (although it's said to be required that you need to bring a vet's sworn statement that there's nothing wrong with the pooch, but no one ever asked to see it)

    we were in the countryside and walking was our favorite pastime there

    this one unforgettable time we'd gone pretty far into the woods, and when we turned to go back, the two humans just couldn't remember the way to go; we stood around looking for a while before finally noticing that Chum kept looking at us and then at a little bit of a path, et voila! there it was...

  •  I have had a lot (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CorinaR, broths, NonnyO, Calamity Jean

    of best friends over the years Mostly German Shepard's with a Husky and Black Lab add to the list all good dogs and friends I don't know what I would have done without them they make life so much better. As for your dog Scruffy sounds like we need to sent someone like him to DC and ever time some Republicans pisses on us Scruffy can return the favor.

  •  Such beautiful babies! /nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CorinaR, ladybug53, NonnyO
    •  Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy of Fishes, ladybug53, NonnyO

      They are such miracles ... sometimes I just look at them and try to remember what my babies looked like. You will have your own grandbaby soon so you too can enjoy just holding and looking at the baby.

      "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

      by CorinaR on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 06:07:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sweet babies & woozles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, NonnyO

    Thanks for sharing them with us. Happy New Year.

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 08:23:57 PM PST

  •  Dog Stories... (0+ / 0-)

    The first dog we had was already there before I was born.  I don't remember her, but I have pictures of me @8-9 months standing by a chair and she's right there, and then again when I was maybe 15 months old and walking and there she is, right next to me and a baby lamb.  She was a lovely big black mutt of some kind; pretty dog, already fairly old by then, and she died before I have any conscious memory of her.

    Mom told the story of when I was maybe 18 months old or so, it was a hot summer day, I was playing in the yard, and a neighbor fellow was walking to town [people did that then - this was between 65-70 years ago] and he came up the driveway to the yard to ask for a drink of water.  He reached out to pat me on the head..., and before he could make contact, my faithful protector put her mouth over this fellow's hand.  She didn't bite or growl or do anything nasty to him..., just held his hand until Mom said it was okay and he could pat me on the head.  Remember, this was not intended as a threatening gesture, he was trying to be nice and say what a cute little kid I was.  He was not going to lift me up, I wasn't yelling, and he didn't present a threat in any way.  My faithful protector was just not going to let him touch me without getting permission from the alpha dog in 'her pack'..., my mother.  The fellow got his drink of water and headed on down the road.

    Then, summer of 1952, I was six and entered first grade two or three months later..., the World's Best Kids' Dog entered our lives.  Chesapeake Bay Retriever and something else that gave her a luscious chocolate brown color, brown eyes, and she had a white blaze some four inches long on her chest.  There was a reddish shine to her wavy fur on her back and ears in the sunlight.  The first day we got her she was still a pup and I have a picture of me holding her with a dolly bonnet (my old baby bonnet) and a baby kimono on, and she has a kind of bewildered expression on her face.  She retrieved sticks for my brother and the rest of the family within a short time.  Later, she was older, she went duck and pheasant hunting with Dad, and she would retrieve only for/to the four of us in our family ... and no one else, which my cousin discovered ca 1957 when he took her hunting one fall when the entire family went to Montana to visit my dad's bro and family and she was stuck at home and a cousin took care of her that week.  She retrieved the ducks..., and neatly laid them down on the other side of the ditch bank!  The water was too deep to wade in, so to get to the birds, my cousin had to travel halfway around the quarter section of land and walk to the other side and get them.  Obviously, no one was going to go hunting with her without one of our four family members ever again.

    And this World's Best Kids' Dog loved children...!!!  Didn't matter whose children - they were 'her children' when they came to visit.  She was just totally and completely gaga over children, from crawling babies to the older ones who would throw sticks for her so she could retrieve them.  She was the great protector of children!  Little ones who were just crawling to learning to stand could brace themselves on her to stand, they would learn to pet and be nice to a "goggie" or lift her ears or lips or pet some more or lay on her..., and she loved it!  Remember, no one made her come over and lay down by a baby/toddler - she went over and laid down by them.  If they got a little rough with her, she'd get up and go lay down on her rug at the foot of my brother's bed in his room, or go outside, or otherwise get out of the roughhousing.  Adults..., eeeeeh.  Not as fond of them (a couple of them she outright detested, one especially who had kicked AT her once, didn't even connect, but she hated him anyway)..., but kids!  Oh, my!  Get out of the way, she was gonna go play with her kids!  :-)  She even got a smiley expression on her face with 'her kids.'  It was amazing!

    She greeted us at the school bus every day when we got home from school.  She'd actually wait for the school bus and her nose prints were on the picture window..., except in summer.  She knew when us kids were coming home and would watch for the school bus, and once she saw it, she'd alert Mom to let her out so she could run down the driveway and greet us.  Imagine that welcome every day of your life through grade school and high school...!  :-)

    When I was a teen in the summer, I'd sometimes lay out and get some sun.  Along comes the Great Protector, so I went and got a brush and groomed her.  She'd turn whichever way she could for maximum advantage while I brushed her.

    She got old, of course, and a couple of years after I graduated her age made her lose most of her hearing, her sight, she became incontinent, and arthritic..., so Dad and my brother took her to the vet's in the spring of '66 and we had her euthanized (in truth, we probably waited too long, but she was a patient old gal, quietly dealt with any arthritic pain, and we couldn't face parting with her, so it was human selfishness that kept her alive longer than we should have).  We buried her under one of the trees she ran by all the time in her daily rounds.

    There's nothing like protective dogs around kids to make a person feel safe, and female dogs [in particular] seem to adopt the human children in "their pack" as their responsibility and nominate themselves as permanent babysitters [see wolf pack behavior; the alpha female gives birth, the junior females become the babysitters - this is the behavior female dogs replicate in the blended human and canine families].  Certain male dogs will do the same, but they're more guardians.  Females get right in there and not only guard the little charges they feel responsible for but double as playmates.  Each is known to have saved lives of children and adults and we read stories like that all the time, but [in my limited experience] it's the females who become the protective aunts if there are children in a family.

    Your twin grandchildren are gorgeous, and I suspect this "baby-makes-noise-go-get-human" behavior will remain rather consistent for the rest of Chula's life.  That she is a loving dog who oozes compassion is obvious in her eyes in that one picture above - she has a kind face.  If the kids cry when they become toddlers, you're going to have a circus on your hands, because Chula will know the difference between "attention" cries and "distress" cries.  Hungry babies have a "distress" cry, and Chula now has that one memorized which is why she comes to wake you up when she hears them crying in the middle of the night; she knows what's coming after the barely whimpering sounds, and she doesn't want the babies to have to get to that distress cry, so at the first sound she comes to get you.

    Good Chula!  Give her some extra pets and hugs from me for being a loving protector of people you love.

    Keep us informed as life goes on and babies progress to the crawling and walking stages and let us know how Chula acts as "her babies" grow.  I think you'll have some great life adventures ahead.  :-)

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 12:38:44 AM PST

    •  Aren't we lucky to have 4 legged guardians!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I love your stories and almost cried about having to let your dog go. I cry every time one of my puppies (whatever their age) dies.  Thanks for sharing.

      "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

      by CorinaR on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 08:37:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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