Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pineapple Express

Being no stranger to the PNW and its wet weather patterns, I was unsurprised (but unimpressed) to awake a couple of days ago to relentless, pounding, whipping, freezing and CONSTANT punishing rain that lasted for days and days. I don't *like it* but I wasn't shocked or anything.

I wasn't even surprised when late afternoon yesterday my power went out during the worst of the windy rain. What did surprise me was that it wasn't the weather that caused the power outage - it was some guy up the road in an excavator who backed into a power pole. How he did that on 25 acres of flat farmland is a mystery to me, but then again, I've never driven an excavator.

Anyway, the pole went down across the road, and with it went our power. And my freedom! As I am at the end of a dead-end road, and there was a pole down across that road, I was trapped on my property, with no way to escape to, say Starbucks for a latte and some wifi, or the drugstore for candles! It was a long, and cold, 6 hours of pitch black silence, let me tell you.

Poor Wootie was freezing cold too, as we had been outside playing just before the power went out, and he'd been splashing about merrily in a ditch. I wrapped up the sad little orange sack of cold-wet in a blanket and sat him on my lap while he shivered. You never saw anything that pathetic in your life.

phhllbbb on crummy weather.

The finer points of living in the stix continue to elude me.
I'm making real efforts to adapt, and yesterday somehow convinced my stepdad to drive all the way out here in the pouring rain to help me build a temporary fence. There are no photos of this fence for two reasons.

1) it's invisible.
Not really. What it it's made of is deer netting, which is a thin black plastic mesh material that is supposed to keep hundreds of lbs of deer off your property. After lots of painstaking research, I chose deer netting because the temporary fence was going in a place where a fence would look stupid, so being almost invisible was a bonus. Also, it's super inexpensive, and since this is just a temporary potty area, I didn't want to sink any money into it. Real fencing goes in next Spring.

The other reason there are no photos of it:

2) Because it's already gone! How the hell this stuff is supposed to keep a 400lb deer out of anything is a mystery to me, because 40lbs of Tweed didn't see it (cuz, you know, it's invisible), ran into it and split it right down the center. WTF?

The whole reason for putting up the temporary fencing was so that I had a semi-secure potty area to put the dogs in where they wouldn't wander off. Because Wootie has a habit of just ... leaving. And lately, he has started taking Dexter with him.

Who, me?

Yes, you, you little rat! In fact, if Dexter were grown up, the scene would probably look a little like this:

Wootie's not leaving because he doesn't like it here - on the contrary, he is in love. It's just that since we settled in, he has adopted the entire neighborhood as HIS. He must pee on all the neighboring properties, chase other dogs down the road, hide bones in the horse paddock and generally make sure everyone in a 3 mile radius knows that Woo is in da hood.

He loves to go outside and patrol the perimeter of the property.

I'm your friendly neighborhood security patrol. Get that camera out of my face.

And Dexter has no qualms at all about strolling off when the mood strikes him. He is one brave little puppy.

Oh hai, I'm in your horse paddock, pretending I'm deaf.

His enormous ears give him away though! Those things don't want to stand up, but they don't want to lay flat either. They both point forward and fold in half. It makes him the absolute cutest puppy on the face of this earth! Although I might be biased.

No you're not. I am really, really cute.

I thought *I* was the cutest puppy on earth?

Oh gosh, but you ARE Piper! Even with that divot of skin missing from your nose, where you ripped it off trying to "bury" your elk bone in the linoleum.

But also, Miss Piper is no puppy. Why tomorrow (or some time this month) she will be 7 years old! And Mr. Woo (ditto) will be 4 years old! Where on earth does the time go?


Ha ha. You guys are getting older! I'm still 9.

I will assume you have some good reason for never celebrating my birthday.


Anonymous said...

Run, don't walk, back to civilizaion, City Girl.

There is actual weather headed your way, and 6 hours will have been but a quiet interlude, comparatively.


PoochesForPeace said...

Oh my gosh i forgot all about donut! I love that pic of woo and piper running, beautiful!

StellaStar said...

I will grudgingly admit there are some benefits to living in the stix, but...(run away!!! while you still can!)

..and I can haz puppy, plz?

MalaysianFan said...

Since the fence did not work to keep the deer out of your yard, do you have a large chest freezer in which you might keep them? I'm sure your neighbors could loan you a rifle, and with 3 woofs, a Woo, and an Angry Donut, some venison might come in handy. Especially for birthday parties!

Susan said...

I laughed so hard at this post I had tears in my eyes...it was Tweed barrelling through the fence and Dexter following...thanks for the laughs!

Susan and Sadie

Ktbug Ladydid said...

DONUT KITTY!!!!! LOVED this post. :) Made my day.

Tristan and Braun said...

Awwwww.. poor Ms Piper!!! Hope the nose bits heal fast and well soon! I ever had that happened to one of my dogs before. I dunno. The raw bits just makes me think of my raw skin and I'm guessing it hurts?!?! (though I must say Ms Piper doesn't look so with her forever-tennis-balls-face :))

Wow gal! You seem to be having the adventure of your life! I'm not gloating or anything like that ok? Just that it all sounds so...... surreal? Or maybe sigh. I'm just a city gal and there is NO stix in this city to move to. Even even if I really want to. And I'm sure I'll have 8 paws solidly raised up to second that. The dogs so so hate the "noise" of civilisation or the sad resemblance what we call a park in the city. Oh hai. Spoiled dogs! ;)

blagger said...

Woo's eyes are too beautiful to be of this earth! Is it weird that I want a glass replica that I can use as a keychain and gaze at when I'm feeling blue?

About the fence--maybe try some more deer netting, but place some (unfortunately ugly) X's made of tape on it. It's not the invisibility you wanted, but maybe then Tweed won't barrel his handsome head through anymore.

Benny and Lily said...

What cute pictures strolling along like best friends
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

You are too intrepid to run back to the city without giving the country a real chance.

Emma Rose said...

This post was hysterical! Thanks for a good laugh. As for the stix - stay put , grow roots, breathe deep!

Amy said...

welcome to the stix Food Lady. I also have a pup that goes for 'walks' around the neighborhood and will on occasion take his little sister with him. /grumble gotta check up on the neighbors cows and make sure the neighborhood coyotes know that every blade of grass is his...

Best of luck! :)

Anonymous said...

the missing fence made me laugh.
here a relatively secure, pain free, but somewhat costly suggestion for you...when i first opened saints, the dog fencing couldn't go in for a month or more...so i rented a fence....they will deliver and set up and take away when you are done...it worked out to $138 a month to fence the back yard...well worth it from my point of view...safe, easy, (someone else did all the work) and it kept them all in where they should be...all i did was pay for it and it was worth it to me.

cathy che and Jeepers said...

Hopefully, your power outage was just a fluke. An Eliminator Power Box bought from Canadian Tire for a modest cost will light up your life during those cold black hours of electrical failure. You can at least have light and run a computer or a TV.

We love Dexter. You may need sheep.

Paul Anderson said...

Instead of using netting try weld wire. 50' is about $45 and the poles run about $3-4 a piece. Will hold up against anything.
By the way, I would say the Mister Woo is a sable English Shepherd. Looks just like my female english shepherd
Paul Anderson

The Border Collies said...

By the way, I would say the Mister Woo is a sable English Shepherd.

I can say with confidence that Mr. Woo is NOT sable - he's orange. He has no sable colouring. He is also a very small ES, being he weighs less than 30lbs. I'm fairly sure he is a mini Aussie mix, actually.

nickelsmum said...

Why it's less likely Woo is an Aussie (mini or otherwise) mix: He is genetically black (BB or Bb) so has black leather. His hair color therefore must be e-locus yellow (ee) which is recessive and must be inherited from both parents. Recessive e is illegal in the Aussie show ring and very very unusual (though not nonexistent) in Aussies. Whatever he is, he got that e gene from both parents, so concentrate on breeds where it's common. I also do not think he's got the temperament of a mini Aussie, but that is another essay.

The Border Collies said...

Why it's less likely Woo is an Aussie (mini or otherwise) mix:

Yes, I've heard this argument before, but I have also met several "red" (what some call lemon) Aussies with black nose leather, so it obviously happens. As for the genetics, we took in a litter of English Shepherd pups where 2 were brindle, 3 were lemon and 4 were black and white. That's not supposed to be possible either, and yet happen it did. And as for mini Aussie temperaments - well, as far as I'm concerned they aren't even an actual breed, and I have fostered a few dozen over the last ten years, with none of them looking like the other, and temperaments running the entire gambit! Whatever he is, he is definitely no border collie ;-)

nickelsmum said...

I agree he's no Border. I have Aussies and done Aussie rescue for a decade, and have a mini Aussie, so I consider myself pretty darn familiar with temperament. But anyway... you've seen more yellow Aussies than I have -- maybe there's a cluster of them up there. As for brindle and yellow and b/w... I know that both brindle and yellow are controlled on the e locus. Gotta look that up. For the litter, it could be two sires, so that doesn't tell you that something is possible in a single pup.

The thing is, with Woo, you'd still have to be getting that rare e from BOTH sides. Getting it from one side, maybe, but both? Very, very, very statistically unlikely. OTOH, it's what Goldens are all about -- ee. And there are a lot of 'em. So I would actually be looking at Golden/X despite the size. Golden/Sheltie?

Anonymous said...

Ha. If you want some real fun with this weather, pack your hip waders and come walk with Sonic, Tess and me down in Burns Bog. Of course, it would be over the little guy's head, but the big guys have so much fun swimming down the middle of the trail. LOL

The Border Collies said...

So I would actually be looking at Golden/X despite the size. Golden/Sheltie?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I shared this with my girlfriend whose mum raised Goldens for 25 years and she laughed until she tee-teed in her track pants.

"Mr. Woo," she said with conviction, "is no Golden." Then she told everyone else at class and the whole barn erupted in laughter. So I think it's more than safe to say Mr. Woo is NOT a Golden Retriever Cross.

His paperwork, incidentally, says he is an Australian Shepherd Cross, and a Sheltie Cross.

nickelsmum said...

Well, FWIW, I think it's just as hilarious to think Woo is an Aussie mix as it is for your friend to think he's a Golden mix. You're a lot more likely to find atypical temperament in a Golden than e-locus yellow in an Aussie.

He's probably something utterly bizarre that would make everyone scratch their heads.

The Border Collies said...

Well, FWIW, I think it's just as hilarious to think Woo is an Aussie mix as it is for your friend to think he's a Golden mix. You're a lot more likely to find atypical temperament in a Golden than e-locus yellow in an Aussie.

Holy cow - temperament aside, not a single thing about him resembles a Golden (size, shape, structure, gait etc etc etc). But yellow is a fairly common nonstandard colour in Aussies. Maybe not where you are, but it is! You're probably the only "Aussie person" who has ever looked at Woo and said he doesn't have Aussie in him. Every other Aussie person says "oh yeah, he could definitely be Aussie." Especially when they see him jump and hear him talk.

He more than likely came from a puppymill in the interior where they breed little crossbreeds for colour. We know they are up there.

riosmom said...

I am amazed that Woo weighs less than 30 pounds - he looks so big! I definitely see Aussie but wouldn't have guessed Mini Aussie - their bodies so *pointy* to me. And *pointy* Woo ain't. I thought when you got him, you were thinking he was a BC/Papillon mix. Maybe you were just trying to justify keeping him in your BC family - I remember you fell in love with him at first sight.

Anonymous said...

I know absolutely nothing about mini-aussies, e-locus yellow or any of those things... but having lived with them for several decades I can tell you that I truly believe the Flamboyance (tm) is pure Sheltie.

nickelsmum said...

Hmmmmm.... because two other Aussie friends who read 3WAAW wrote to me privately agreeing they do not see much Aussie in Woo.

I do not actually think he looks like he has much Golden, either. I was just pointing out it was more statistically plausible that a yellow dog would have Golden than Aussie.

I don't know WTF Woo is, but Sheltie comes up for me often, and will continue to do so.... Size, pointy nose, flamboyance, ribcage, and color are all reasonably consistent.

The Border Collies said...

Ooooh private emails. Oh well then, I stand corrected! LOL! This is almost as funny as reading CL or something.

Woo may be several things, don't forget - but since you are quoting genetics, keep in mind that in for example border collies, ee dogs (yellow, black nose) do not infrequently occur from matings of dogs that are genetically bb (red/liver, with brown noses). And theoretically shouldn't, but if happens all the time.

Oh if only it were cut and dry huh?

Incidentally, I have had two ES breeders insist Woo is an ES, even though he is half the size of any of their dogs. Sheltie breeders routinely tell me he is not a sheltie mix (though I think he is). I have even had an American Eskimo breeder tell me that he is without a doubt an Eskie mix.

And then of course there was the Fox Terrier breeder who wrote me a scathing email about a dog that was clearly a FT and I was trying to pass it off as a borderjack. Since I knew both parents of the dog in question (one was a border collie, and one was a Jack) I could guarantee he was no Fox Terrier. It's very amusing to me, the authorities that make these assertions.

The only thing we can say for sure about Wootie is that he is FAT. Several people pointed this out to me yesterday, as if I didn't notice every time the heavy Sack-O-Woo hopped up on my lap and made the chair creak.

Jill said...

Woo is wonderful no matter what he is. Try the welded wire and metal 4 ft. stakes. I get the green vinyl coated and it is about 45 dollars for 50ft. Just bought more the other day. It holds border collies very very well. Have used it many times when I needed to separate the yard for various reasons. I love the stuff.