I've gotten to thinking about various aspects of my life recently. And looking through my attempts at blogging over the last couple of years, I realized there is one portion of it that I haven't written about.
Therefore, let me introduce you to Canine Flight, the finest group of wingmen an ex-fighter pilot could have.
Canine Lead, callsign "Cooper" is a Transylvanian Hound. She joined the flight on recommendation from my Beautiful Daughter (MBD), who thought having a dog in College would be just what she needed. After realizing that the logic of paternal arguments to the contrary was not going to be heeded, I implored her to get a small dog.
Apparently the concept that a small puppy is not the same thing as a small dog was lost in translation.
|Is it time to play ball yet, Dad?|
Cooper had several TDY's to the Juvat compound as MBD progressed through her edumacation. Finally, she PCS'd here when MBD completed her degree with an extended stay in Senegal.
Anyhow, Cooper brings considerable talent to the fight. She is able to provide physical proof of Newtonian physics, specifically the theory that Force=Mass x Velocity 2. Ask me how I know.
It quickly became apparent that my throwing ability was insufficient to adequately propel a ball far and fast enough to challenge her "need for speed". On advice of my (multi-large dog owning) sister, I substituted a tennis racket for my shoulder and both my shoulder and Cooper thank her.
Cooper has mastered the vertical leap with full spin and catch in such a manner that the Czechoslovakian judge has given her a 9. (If you don't get that one, whippersnapper, get off my lawn.)
Cooper's favorite sleeping position is at the foot of the bed, precisely 9 inches to the right of the edge of the bed. I sleep in that 9 inches.
Canine 2, callsign "Corky", is a 15 year old Jack Russell. Corky is our only "planned" addition to the flight. Corky was introduced to the flight after the commander's (notice the lower case, that's intentional, nothing about my circumstances reflects command of anything) resistance was lowered by a day of planting grapevines at our friend's winery. Step, bend down, dig, plant, attach drip spigot, tie off vine, straighten. Repeat. Every 4' for 5 acres. It was at that point, I learned the proper term for growing grapes is .....Farming!
In exchange for that effort, we were offered Corky (along with medicinal doses of tylenol and wine).
Corky, as she get's on in years, has developed a new game. We call it "Marco Polo". And just like the game played by kids in every swimming pool on earth, there's not much strategy, just call out "Marco" and the other players respond "Polo".
Only, in Corky's version, it's "Bark", which sets the rest of the fourship into a rage of Barking. Great fun! Kids do not try this at home.
Oscar's preferred sleeping spot is 18 inches from the right edge of the bed, head high. Given that she twitches when having dreams of chasing rabbits, I tend to sleep in the 12 inches to the left.
Canine 3, call sign Oscar, is a Dachshund Rat Terrier mix. Oscar joined the flight about 6 years ago on Mother's Day.
Oscar's lineage is somewhat mysterious in its origins. The neighbor to the north has registered pure bred Black Angus cattle. Now, I'm not sure exactly what that entails, but since he has been known to correct me if I don't use those exact words to describe his cattle, it must be something.
|No, those are not Registered Pure Bred Black Angus. Those are a herd of Mouflon Sheep that live in our area and our transiting his property and then mine.|
On the east side of our property is another cattle ranch which raises cows. However, they also raised Pure Bred Dachshunds.
Well, seems one dark and stormy night the bull from the eastern ranch jumped the fence of the northern ranch and had his ways with the registered pure bread Black Angus heifers.
At some point later, again on a dark and stormy night the mixed breed although primarily Rat Terrier male from the northern ranch found its way into the padlocked fenced in kennel of the eastern ranch and had his way with the Pure Bred Dachshund females.
That Mother's Day, the wife and I are coming home from Church and notice some cars parked at the confluence of the three properties gates. Our eastern neighbors were there chatting. Being neighborly, we stopped and rolled down the window on my wife's side. Up walks the rancher and he's holding a Dachshund-Rat Terrier pup.
I should have floored the car at that point. I didn't.
He hands the pup to Mrs. Juvat and the deal is sealed. (I think the Northern Rancher got the best end of the deal, I mean Brisket is Brisket.)
Oscar is a sweet heart. His role in the flight is to accompany me to feed the horses and to guard the truck while I'm doing that.
|Target Area in Sight! Full speed ahead!|
He's very professional in that role, he will bark to let me know it's time to go feed them and then once again when it's time to let Grace out of the barn. (She's on a special diet having lost a few teeth and so not as able to digest hay, I have to feed her more grain than the other two younger horses. If I don't close her stall though, the others will come in and eat it for her. This necessitates two trips to the barn for one feeding.)
Of course, his internal clock is augmented by the alarm on my watch for both events.
Oscar's preferred sleeping spot is in the small of Mrs. Juvat's back. Given that he's a very warm dog, she tends to sleep with the blankets and sheet thrown onto my side of the bed.
|What? I'm just keeping Mom's side warm until she gets home.|
Yes, Oscar's last name IS Mike, Alpha, Yankee, Echo, Romeo. I know you're singing that song in your head now.
Finally, our newest addition, Canine 4, callsign "Annie". Annie was assigned to the flight Christmas Eve four years ago. Mrs Juvat was leaving the store and heading home when she saw something by the dumpster. Stopping for a closer look, she see's Annie shivering in the cold. Bringing her home, she presents her to me as an early "Christmas Present." Her official name is, of course, Little Orphan Annie.
A blend of Chihuahua and Rat Terrier, she brings the nervous enthusiasm endemic to both breeds to the fight.
|Dad, can't a girl get a little sleep? That 0300 call out this morning has me worn out|
She handles the early warning responsibility for the 4 ship. She's on every unexpected noise with a ferocious enthusiasm. This, of course, sets off another round of Canine "Marco Polo" from Canine 2, forcing action on the part of Canines 1 and 2. Said action usually being a commit call and deploying forces out the back door and into the dog pen.
Annie also is very affectionate. She will climb up into your chair and then onto your chest and plop her face right across you face, holding it there until you give her a kiss, the louder the better.
|The four ship is fully formed and in action during a post-prandial Maker's Mark consumption exercise.|
|Came upon this sight after working in the woodshop for about an hour on Saturday. The bed WAS made when I left!|
Canine flight has actually committed into combat a few times. Right now their kill ratio against evil skunks is about even. They have taken a few hits though.
So, it's been a pretty crummy week and a half. I may or may not write about it. Suffice it to say a pair of tragedies occurred to people I work with. No way to answer the whys, they and us just have to drive on through.
My family, with both the two and four legged members, is what keeps me going and grounded. I wish the same for all. God Bless!