Pet Pics, 101416 edition

two dogs fighting over a box

dog chewing box
Abbey loves boxes. If one is opened, she runs in and looks up eagerly. They usually are awarded to her. [Aug. 22, 2016]
Abbey is unlike any dog we’ve ever had. She’s a mix, for one – half Labrador retriever, half golden retriever. You wouldn’t know it to look at her, but her parents’ colors are fox and black.

She also has personality quirks that are new to us on this fourth dog we’ve had. None of our other dogs, for example, showed any inclination to lie on the arms or backs of furniture. And while they liked food and food containers and food wrappers, cardboard boxes were of no interest unless they, well, smelled like food.

Not this one. Sure, that box she has in the top photo might smell ever so slightly of the rice and spices that were wrapped in plastic within. But she is equally happy to bound off with a Kleenex box.

And it’s infectious, apparently. Maggie never showed any interest in boxes until Abbey had to have them. Curious, she started investigating, and now they fight over them.

Daryl? Well, as a friend of mine once noted, you could put a postage stamp in the middle of a sports stadium and a cat would find it and sit on it. Box = cardboard = paper = approved.

two dogs fighting over a box
The beginnings of a box fight. Yes, I removed the tear-off strip from the Reynolds Wrap box first. [Sept. 30, 2016]
two dogs fighting over a box
Mid-fight. [Sept. 30, 2016]
dog chewing a box




To the victor go the spoils. [Sept. 30, 2016]









dog chewing a box
Look at that happy face. Could you deny her? [Oct. 6, 2016]
cat lying on a box
Mine. [Oct. 9, 2016]

Watcher Watched

dog in window

dog in window

On September 12 I had time to kill in Depot Town in Ypsilanti, Michigan, while my kids had job interviews. The sun was beating down so I moved to a wide shaded alley with benches and historic signs. From there I could watch people in both the main street and the alley, and after a while I looked up and saw that I wasn’t the only one people watching.


The Lab assistant

The Lab assistant

The Lab assistant

Growing up, I often wanted a dog. I’m not sure why, other than we didn’t have one and, well, didn’t all kids want dogs? I don’t recall the reason given for not having one, but I’m sure a) it was BS and b) it did me no lasting damage.
I remember being around dogs. There was Lucy, my grandmother’s beagle mix. There was Ringo, my grandfather’s beagle, who was the subject of a very bad poem that ended with “poor dead Ringo.” There was my friend’s arthritic Chihuahua that screamed shrilly every time it took a wrong step at the end of the driveway.
At my house, no such luck. We had a chameleon and later a turtle. These are both about the lamest pets imaginable.
Sometime as a young adult I got the idea that I preferred cats, and as a newlywed I acquired two of them. When we bought a house, my Brittany-loving husband got one of those, and I became convinced that I didn’t like dogs. They had to be let in and out all the time and Lord, were they needy. And hyper? Don’t get me started.
Then my son announced that he wanted a black Lab. We protested that we didn’t need a loveseat-sized animal whose care surely would fall to us, but eventually we relented and I learned two things: My son really could and would take care of his dog. And I could and would love her.
Turns out, it’s not dogs I dislike. IT’S BRITTANIES. We are on our second one and I try to calm her by greeting and petting her most days, but I don’t think her temperament and mine ever will meld that well.
The Lab, on the other hand, is the picture of contentment. She is the ultimate companion animal, happy to hang alongside as I attend to … whatever. Outside this is unfortunate sometimes, as I have swung a trowel in my hand into her head more than once; she seems not to notice.
More often, she is encamped next to me on the couch. Sometimes her head slops onto the laptop and she has to be nudged aside; sometimes my foot falls asleep beneath her and has to be dislodged. Sometimes, though, the head or the foot stays right where it is.
Maybe I’ve become a companion animal, too.