Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bailey's escape

Since we're not doing any building, our lives seem to center on the weather and our road, and the dogs.  With two growing pups it's easy to overlook some of Bailey's signals.  Being an Akita, he's quiet, but extremely opinionated.  We were disappointed, but not surprised that he hasn't been thrilled with the addition of two energetic pups to the family.  He's never aggressive with them, but doesn't tolerate their attentions. 

When we came to Belize, over four years ago, we drove from Oregon to Bullet Tree in our Toyota Tundra.  Bailey was in heaven and loved every minute of the trip.  We bo't this truck specifically so he'd have a comfortable ride.  Now, four years later, we rarely have occasion to take any of the dogs in the truck.  Well, Bailey never forgets and boy did he make it plain.  All of the dogs needed their rabies shots and a general checkup, so we started by loading the pups in the truck and taking them to see Dr. Isabelle and her wonderful interns.  They're so caring and thorough.  Afterwards we stopped to see Peggy at her restaurant and the pups layed down next to us just to show that Irish Setters can have manners.  The next day we loaded Bailey in and repeated our trip.  It's always interesting to see the affect our 135# boy has on others.  He's so quiet, but huge. 

OK, so we've done our best to make things equal, right?  Wrong.  We put the fence collars on the pups first thing each day, but Bailey rarely goes off the veranda unless we take him down with a leash for a walk so we don't usually put the collar on him.  A couple of days after our vet trip, Bailey wandered down off the veranda,  stopped by the truck, looked up at us and calmly walked up the driveway, thru the gate and headed down the road.  It was so obvious that he was mad at us about letting the pups in HIS truck.  If he could talk in human words, he'd have been swearing big time.  Art headed after him, calling his name and I tried to head him off.  Two points.  1 - When he doesn't want to come, Bailey is deaf and just keeps going.  2- Art and I are neither young or very athletic, so our dashing is more of a pathetic toddle, so we didn't stand a chance of catching him.  He veered off down a track thru a neighboring plot.  I went back and got the old Trooper and followed him, worried both about him and Art's stamina. 

Our property is surrounded by bush and this area is owned by a man from El Salvador who doesn't speak English and we don't speak Spanish.  There had also been some problem between this fellow and another neighbor over land rights, so I was intimidated when he approached the Trooper with his machete.  I did my best to try to indicate that we were just trying to find our dog.  Thankfully, just then, Art came out of the bush and Bailey appeared several feet away.  I hoped that this gentleman got the picture.  Darn Bailey, he just looked over his shoulder at us and went back into the bush.   Besides all the critters that are in the bush who can do you harm, Bailey had on his regular collar, which can catch on every vine and bush.  We were so upset, but had no choice but to return home and hope that he'd find his way back.  It was getting dark, so I made food noises (dropping kibble into his metal dish) and eventually he strolled back in and came up the stairs.  I guess he showed us. 

Now, if he's near the truck and the pups come close, he sits by the door, as if to say, it's mine and you're not going. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Irish Setters

When we decided to get the Setter pups, we heard comments about them being dumb (how wrong that is) and extremely hyper.  Well that one could apply to Shannon at times.  She's small and thin, no matter how much food she eats, and has lots of energy.  Rusty is much more laid back.  It's been such a blessing to have the fence as they can race around the yard, playing together, burning off some excess energy.  They've picked up on some many things that we say and continually surprise us with their responsiveness.  They both just want to please.  Shannon's one trait that is annoying is that she gets so excited to see someone (anyone) that she jumps up on them.  We're working on breaking her of it, but will take time.  They so much want to give and receive love that they can be annoying, in that they both vie for attention.  Firmness is working to get them to sit and with two hands, they each get a good scratching.  Works for me! 

We're so pleased that we decided to bring these guys into our family.  I can't say that Bailey would agree to that, but he does find his own space and tolerates them, but that's an Akita for you.  I just want to go on record that these Setters, besides being absolutely gorgeous, are smart, loving companions. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Happy Birthday babies

Our beautiful pups turned one year old today.  What a blessing (and maybe a tiny curse) they've both been.  They make me laugh and occasionally want to scream, but their beauty and generous affection has brought so much joy.  I've just been watching them tear around the yard, playing chase.  We've never regretted getting two pups as they play together and keep each other company.  They both love Bailey, but he doesn't really return the feeling.

We finally got them their rabies shots and they're both healthy.  Shannon weighs 44 lbs and Rusty weighs 60 lbs.

The only treat I gave them was a small bag of Cheetos, which they really love.  After all, can't they have junk food just this once.  How often does a guy turn one.  Anyway, Happy Birthday babies and keep those hugs coming.  We love you.