Saturday, September 13, 2008

Me. And My Shaaa-a-dow

"Something is following me."

"Hellooooo!! Food Lady! Are you listening to me?"

"I think it's down there."

"Oh shit. It's behind me isn't it? I'm just going to keep smiling ..."

"Oh hai! I'm not doing anything!"

Poor Tweed. Sport will not leave him alone - where goest Tweed, Sport is sure to be not far behind. It sometimes results in a beat down for Sport, because he is far from agile and woe to the Sport who is in Tweed's path when he spins to race after a ball. He knocks Sport to the ground, and then is angry that a boney heap of dog is in his way, so he punishes him soundly. But Sport never learns, and with herculean effort he clatters to his feet and shuffles off determindely after his BFF, who is a shining beacon of love for Sporty.

Sport is to Tweed what Woo is to Piper - a flaming pain in the ass!

You may be wondering why there are photos of Tweed running, when this dog with the mangled leg is supposed to be on crate rest and leash walks. Never fear, I have a perfectly reasonable answer for you: Tweed is a bastardog!

Please love me. I'm super cute.

After two days of pathetic three-legged limping and big sad eyes, and me feeling horrible about HA HA laughing at him when he fell down, I scrounged through the sofa for the last of my loose change and carted Tweed off to our vet. Terry played with his foot for a while and thought he had broken a toe.

$200.00 worth of x-rays and drugs later, Tweed walked out of the clinic with not even a trace of a limp and damned if he hasn't been as good as new ever since.

My theory is that he dislocated his toe, and while trying to feel for the break Terry popped it back into place. Nice.

Anyone feel like feeding the Food Lady? Tweed is determined to spend all my grocery money. It's not like the dogs will go hungry, because when all else fails, they can just eat these:

Does anyone else's dog eat blackberries? I spent a good portion of our hike today struggling and swearing my way through thorny bushes detaching hand-staining berries for my little four legged fan club. Piper and Woo can and do eat them off the bushes themselves, but this late in the season all the good ones are still up quite high and guess which one of the 5 of us has arms?

(in unison)"Thanks for the berries, Food Lady!" (Sport: "What?")(he doesn't eat the berries)

Thanks for all the comments and emails about how well Sport is doing (*shines knuckles on lapel*). He's been with us for a couple of months now, and while still a skinny little skeleton, he is doing amazingly well. Really, it has nothing to do with my mad skillz as rehabber - it's just a stable home, a healthy diet, a tapeworm eviction and the magic of prednisone.

I'm not much a woo-woo kind of person, but it's hard not to think that the universe HATES ME and gave a version of Red Dog right back to me again, just when I had gotten used to being able to, oh I dunno, go for a dogwalk without my spidey senses tingling. I'm right back to where I was before, scanning the horizons for approaching dogs so I can leap on my old dog and squeeze his mouth shut before he tries to tear the other dog's face off. Sport shares many of Briggs' qualities - he limps, he has eyes only for me, he's an asshole to other dogs ... *sigh*

Anyway, in my paranoid scannings today at Bridgeman Park I sighted a man on a small crest, not very well hidden by bushes, who was ... uhhh ... "enjoying his outing" a little too much, if you get my drift. Sick. Who does that at a DOG PARK? The temptation to take a photo of him and post it on the itnernetz to shame the sicko was almost overwhelming, but I was worried Blogger would cancel my account for p0rn content if I did. Where's an army of beefy young fast running men with a collective sense of social justice when you need them? Yeesh!

In other news, Woo found god this afternoon.
ha ha!

As you can see, he was VERY excited about it.


His new faith did not give him the ability to walk on water though, so he had to utilize stepping stones instead. Woo won't swim in the river, for some reason.

"Throw the ball for me! Plz?? I'll swim in the river!"

It's hard work, being such a keener.

You know, I think if I had become a photographer before I became a dog owner, I might have chosen a different breed. Weimeraners are SO awesome to photograph. No wonder Wegman got famous doing it!

Ruby was a little harder to photograph. .2 seconds before she tried to eat my camera:

This Golden was a little more cooperative.

So I need your help, readers. You may recall that last week or so I complained about stepping blithely out of the shower and straight into a pile of murdered bird, courtesy of the one and only Nutz.

A few days later, she bounced gracefully into the house and with a self satisfied "MEOW" released a flapping, screeching, blood spraying mess of seriously injured finch into my living room. It flapped, squawked and bled its way around my apartment with me in furious (and totally grossed out) pursuit until I cornered it behind the sofa with a blob of paper towels that amounts to about 37 dead trees in a rainforest.

After some whining and crying on some internet forums, I did learn of several humane ways to knock off an injured birdie at home (can also be interpretted as there are several budding serial killing sadists full of advice on the internetz! ha ha!). I also learned that the local bird population would benefit if Miss Nutz wore a bell.

I returned from work that day with a pretty pink collar with a matching dingaling, and renamed Donut "Tinkerbell." Tinkerbell was mighty pissed off, but I admit it was fun to hear her tinkling merrily away around the building as I went to and from the elevator ;-)

Okay but so the bell worked for a total of three days. Just 10 minutes ago, I caught TinkerNutz in the bathroom trying to stuff a very much alive finch down the sink drain. Fortunately, this one was unharmed and flew out of my hands when I took it outside on the deck.

"Oh hai. Can I get a side of bird with that?"

So help me out readers. Short of releasing a press release to the local bird population about the dangers of TinkerNutz The Butcher, how do I put an end to the murders? I can't keep her off the deck because Mr Pee Pants Sporty needs to go out and bless my garden with his bladder fairly often, and the logistics of my set up prevent me from constructing some sort of "cat area" that is bird safe. Can I affix an airhorn to her collar instead of a bell?


Holly said...

how wonderful to have a kitty who loves to bring you gifts, this comes from a no-cats-thank-you-very-much person. Consider her "presents" clorine in the gene pool.

hmmmm, guess that was no help,huh?

shihtzustaff said...

What about tying her? Long enough so that she can some benefit of being outside but short enough that she can't hang herself or kill birds.

The Border Collies said...

What about tying her? Long enough so that she can some benefit of being outside but short enough that she can't hang herself or kill birds.

Impossible. The sliding door is right next to the deck railing. Anything that would allow her to go outside would allow her to jump the railing and potentially hang herself.

Anonymous said...

Is it just my screen, or is that a green-and-purple weimeraner?

I really wish you would try the catbib idea on Donut. I'm just curious to see what happens. It looks like you could make one pretty easily with a piece of neoprene, some scissors, and a bit of neoprene glue (or duct tape as a temporary substitute). I'd heard about these things exactly once before but until the link was posted I had no idea what one looked like or how it worked:

The Border Collies said...

I really wish you would try the catbib idea on Donut.

Lady, if you think I'm putting that contraption on my cat, you on crack!!

I'm just curious to see what happens.

?! I'm not, I already know! cat bib = dead Food Lady killed in sleep by cat!

Sue said...

No advice for the curbing Donut's hunting. My boyfriend just shook his head and said, "That's what kitties do" and I've yet to owned cats.

I do have a none-too-stealthy Golden Retriever who looks remarkably like the one you captured on film. Her Goldeness loves the raspberry bushes in our yard and eats them off the branches without regard to thorns or bugs. I'm sure she'd enjoy blackberries if they grew around here.

Thank you for the fabulous blog. I hope the green finger has healed and that all your pups are doing well! (The psycho kitty too ;-) )

Emma H said...

Just to let you know, I think I've seen that guy wanking off at Bridgeman dogs surrounded him looking for love while I walked VERY fast by, wishing once more that I had REAL dogs that would protect me from creeps like him!

Anonymous said...

I'd lock her in the bathroom for the duration of Sport's stay & not let her out unless she's leashed to you. Toilet Kitty 2. I know (from what you said in another forum) there's decks below decks & wide edges etc etc but I honestly think that in the pursuit of a bird, cats lose their brains & one day she'll leap too far & splat waaaaay down there.... Once they've started hunting, and esp if they've had success, it's very difficult to convince cats to stop. Bells might give the bird a better chance of escape but I still think she's likely to fall off while in pursuit.

The Border Collies said...

I'd lock her in the bathroom for the duration of Sport's stay

Okay, but then you better convince Sport to die quick, because at the rate he is improving, Tinkernutz is gonna be in the bathroom for a loooong time.

& not let her out unless she's leashed to you.

Leashed to me?!?! I don't know what kinda cats you grow where you live, but I have about a 0% chance in H. E. Double Hockey Sticks of leashing Nutz to me!

The Border Collies said...

Thank you for the fabulous blog.

Thank YOU for the fabulous compliment!

I hope the green finger has healed

The Green Finger of Death is now the white finger of peeling nail. Ewww.

tinsenpup said...

Two little bells attached side by side on the collar might help. Some cats actually work out how to mute a single bell, but it's harder with two (or even three) tinkling against each another. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

dp said...

Yes, multiple bells is better than one bell for a real hunter. Also the round dingly ones are easier to keep quiet than the little cowbell shaped ones. Can you put netting around your deck? We had ours enclosed in chicken wire because Alley was a monster.

Anonymous said...

Plan A. Buy a goose, most kitties, dogs, and people don't mess around with a big vicious bird.
Plan B. Buy a bigger dinner table, just in case Plan A fails.

Natalie said...

Okay, first of all, guy in the park? EW. That is so beyond disgusting. Ick ick ick.

Cat... only way I know to prevent a hunting cat from hunting is not letting them out. Sorry. Some cats are just way too good at it. :/ A friend just told me yesterday that the bell thing isn't stopping her cat from killing chipmunks.

Oh, hey, it's a porch right? Can you screen in the porch so the birds can't get *in*?

The Border Collies said...

Can you put netting around your deck?

Unfortunately no ... that would be considered an 'eyesore' to management. And to be fair it kind of would be an eyesore, since the deck is over 600sf. It'd look like a batting cage!

The nice thing about her is she keeps the seagulls off the deck, but I used to enjoy hearing the little songbirds cheeping away in the morning. Alas.

I am off to MEC today to buy some bigger, better bells!

The Border Collies said...

Oh, hey, it's a porch right? Can you screen in the porch so the birds can't get *in*?

One other thing about my deck is that it houses the water main on our building for firefighters, so legally they require unrestricted access to that water main. To screen in my deck, even if I were allowed to, would require the construction of an elaborate, wind resistant free standing structure to hold up the netting around that water main. It's difficult to explain if you can't see it, but trust me when I say it's impossible.

My apartment is also the victim of high winds because there are no buildings as tall as it around me, and in the winter it gets windy enough to make it difficult to even open the door against the pressure. Anything I put up would be ripped down in the wind for sure (been there, done that!)

Anonymous said...

Do they make muzzles for cats? Barring that, try two - or more - bells. Is access to the deck by a doggie door? You could get an electronic one and the accompanying collar for Sport - who gets more adorable by the day.

The picture of Woo is amazing. Glad you and Tweed are both better.vnllsg

Katt said...

Think the bell ticked of Donut?
How about this?

Mary said...

I am of no help. If I got paid for that, I could retire. But I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain about the "gifts" cats leave for us. Blue, when she managed to get out, would always bring me back a gift and dump it on my pillow. Never anywhere else...just my pillow.

Could you perhaps rig something on the banisters of your deck? Maybe get some of those plastic runners they use in offices for using chairs on carpet? Put them upside down so that the spikey sides face up and perhaps this will deter Donut from jumping up there.

Sweet~Ceana said...

I have only had one cat that did not maim the local wildlife, and he weighed 25lbs. (Food= Love to my parents) So, unless you plan on making Nutz into a Canadian Garfield I can't fathom a way to curb her socio-path skills.

Perhaps you could start a small business on the side. Possibly WooNutz pest removal? At least then it would pay for Tweed's vet bill.

The Border Collies said...

Perhaps you could start a small business on the side. Possibly WooNutz pest removal?



Kathleen said...

Cats...ya gotta love 'em. I wonder if the novelty of hunting will wear off in a few weeks?

I haven't got any good ideas about an effective early warning system for the birds...maybe a harness with many bells? I believe the birds will quickly learn to avoid her. My old cat used to catch ground squirrels (who never learned to avoid the cat) and line them up on the front step. I think she thought she was providing meals for us.

Good to see Sport is doing so well!

The Border Collies said...

I wonder if the novelty of hunting will wear off in a few weeks?

Hmmm ... come to think of it, I wonder if the novelty of going outside will wear off when the rains come! TinkerNutz does NOT like getting wet. I probably will see a lot more of her around the house this winter!

Deb said...

Well, on a positive note, the bell HAS cut down on the number of birdies Tink has murdered and the last one was basically unharmed, so that counts for something, don't you think?

Think of it as "survival-of-the-fittest" -- Tink's improving the neighborhood bird gene pool for better hearing and faster flight.

(Spike still brings me birds sometimes, too, but I figure the bell slowed the massacre down by about 80%.)

Anonymous said...

Cats and hunting... I certainly understand the eeeww factor when they bring them to you.

You can either - deter birds from coming close, or deter cat from going outside. A mix of ideas here.

first - what on the deck is attracting the birds? Low planter with flowers? bird food? water? Is there a way to isolate/remove those items that attract the birds?

next - the fake owls... posting them on porch might deter the birds from approaching.

What if you put a kiddie pool of water (or shallow baking pans filled with water) through which sport would walk, but the cat wouldn't, just outside the open door to the deck? Think a moat wide enough to deter kitty, but let sport out. Or... some sort of sprinkler/mister that would again not deter sport, but keep kitty in.

There are noise makers that you can plug in that are supposed to deter birds and not annoy your pets. No idea if they work as promised.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem with my indoor/outdoor cat who gets cystitis if I try to keep him in. He doesn't get birds so much as small squeaky creatures. I wouldn't mind so much if he actually *killed* them straight out, but a number of them he's just mauled and then I'm left trying to figure out how to humanely put them out of their misery. It's horrible.

Anonymous said...

How about hanging used CD's, like modern day scrarecrows, to frighten off the ferious little finches? Twisting and glitterin in the wind, they keep the birds away from my fruit trees...

Anonymous said...

Too bad my old wolf dogs weren't with you when you ran into porn dude. Seriously - imagine two wolfs, CIRCLING (in full prey mode) the guy who was wanking off (which he promptly stopped doing; apparently being hunted didn't put him in the mood)....I laughed and laughed and never saw him out there again.

As for Tinker-Nut The Butcher...once again, I snorted liquid (red wine this time, not pleasant) reading about your mad & bloody dash around the apartment. No helpful hints about the killer though. I could never stop my cats from doing it either...hence, no more kitties.

megangiselle said...

Why not institutionalize the bird hunting/eating?

There are many people feeding raw to their cats and dogs. Its natural, they're carnivores.

If you satisfy her carnivorous urges by providing her with purpose bred quail, she may leave the indigenous songbird population alone.

saratogajean said...

Sorry, I've got no advice for you. My cat has absolutely no desire to catch birds, not even the sonofabitch mockingbirds that dive bomb her and yell obscenities at me.

I really enjoy reading your blog; your dogs are gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

The look on Sports face to Tweed when Tweed realizes his shadow is behind him is classic. Sport looks like "you are seriously twisted, I knew it all along, just shy a few treats from the bag upstairs, should have been born a blonde..." it makes me laugh every time. I have never owned a cat, however I've always had the big plastic owls on my deck to keep birds away and it has been very effective.

Anonymous said...

One morning when I went to call in my male BC and the female BC foster I had this summer out in the back yard, I found them side by side, eating rasberries off my bushes! So cute! And every time I would go out to pick berries the dogs would "help" either by eating them (most of the time I managed to keep them out of the bucket) or in the case of the male, occasionally peeing on them. I just cautioned people to wash them well . . .

Anonymous said...

I think Donut-belle is just being herself. Like border collies being intense. I have cats, but they've always been indoors only, and if they find a bug or a fly indoors I very much appreciate their hunting skills. But I think with Ms. D-belle and birds, it is kind of like saying, "WTF, my border collie wants to be doing something ALL THE TIME. What's with that? How can I get them to lay around like a basset hound?"

Not helpful when the bloody bird is repainting your apartment, I know.

Anonymous said...

Down south our problem is grackles - the mockingbird, annoying and kamaze may it be is our state bird and a no no on the maim and murder list. One thing that helps with the grackles and the seagulls is clear plastic string, like fishing line, strung up high above the deck surface. Try to get a few that go perpendicular as well as parallel. Something about it totally weirds the birds out and they "can't" land. It's a cheap enough solution that if it gets knocked down by wind, you can string it back up pretty quick and easy, and in it's harmless non-grid form, birds CAN use it for nesting material, bonus :)

Only other suggestion is battery operated bugs for Donut to play with when she's inside, to help tire out her hunting instinct? Best of luck on that front!

And I suggest another dog for photogenic qualities...Great Danes. I have two Danes and wish I had half your talent cuz I know there are some killer photos just there waiting to be snapped.

Anonymous said...

The dog I had growing up .... would eat any berry off the vine. Twice a day during strawberry season - he'd be nose down into the patch looking for the ripe ones and ONLY the ripe ones. Hikes... where's the dog? Oh, eating salmon berries and black berries off the vine over there... Raspberry and blue berry patches... yum. Apple trees where he'd guard the fallen apples until he could eat his fill.

If he couldn't reach a particularly good patch or apple... he'd bark at it until someone picked it for him. Who had whom trained?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the beautiful blackbetter, my Slimey-Dog (AussieThing) just finished instructing young Molly (Aussie) in the fine art of eating blackberries off the brier.

So now, when in the yard they are now invisible as it is very hard to find black-dog bums against a blackberry background!

Lovely pics as always. I just adore Tweed. Bastardog or not. ;)

Knatolee said...

Yes, my dogs LOVE blackberries. We have them growing wild along the old stone fence on our farm, and they help themselves whenever we walk past!

Your photos are beautiful! :)

SFKelly said...

I had a bird-eating cat who would systematically crush the bells on his collar against a rock and carry on with his reign of tyranny. I eventually found a tiny but very sturdy brass bell in one of those Tibetan shops that he was unable to crush.

Unknown said...

First post here - I LOVE that little Sportman. Lots of love to him and each of his old bones. Glad he survived the fall.

Perhaps you could spray all the birds in your area with BitterApple.... :) Or put a kitty e-collar on her to handicap her mad hunting skillz.