Monday, September 26, 2016

Canine Flight

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. Update: The East German judge, who was contacted now living in Munich, still wasn't impressed, giving her a 6. (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!

Who's there?

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 bred 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.)

The two paints on an intercept course hoping for a little extra grain.  Success in that endeavor will depend on whether they make it to the barn before I get Grace's stall door open.  If they do, their presence in front of the door will require me to distract them with...grain.  These horses aren't stupid.  I've taught them well.

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!


  1. Good stuff Juvat. What would a ranch be without a few dogs around.

    Let me know on that other post. The "whys" are unknowable in this life.

    1. Thanks. Yeah, each, in their own way, brings a little bit of joy into our lives.

      That other post is probably not going to see the light of day. I'd need some serious help from people like Lex or Brigid to put that into words. "The "whys" are unknowable in this life" probably sums it up best.

  2. You need a dog gun:

    1. Hmmmm... Tempting, but that first review only said it shot 41 feet or so. I have to whack the ball hard in order to get her to go after it. If I don't, Coop just sits there with a "Really? That all you got, Pops?" look on her face then nonchalantly, walks over picks up the ball, walks back and drops it at my feet with a sigh and a look of disdain.

      Who said Dogs can't talk?

  3. Or a dog cannon:

  4. It was always the East German judge who was toughest on Americans. Figure is clear that up 😝😎

    1. Finally tracked that SOB down, he's living high on the hog in Munich, but much like one of our candidates, once a communist, always a communist, still gave the poor dog a 6. :-)

  5. I may never write (who am I kidding) another post about the cat.
    Hes a drudge compared to canine flight.

    As for the 'other'

    It may never see the it all the way through, but the therapeutic value of the exercise can do wonders

    1. Please continue with cat posts, I find them "Highly Entertaining".

  6. Looks like you have a fine pack of wieners and other dogs! Miss our dog(s), but we're resisting the desire to get another. Our Jack Russell "Mickey" was great fun when a ball was in hand. He'd run himself ragged if we let him, but usually we tired out before he did.

    1. Yeah, when I saw the pictures of Mickey, I thought they were of Corky the resemblance is pretty good. Unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of the same symptoms you described in her. More's the pity. All of our current pack we got after our previous dog went to the big dog park in the sky. The kids were in their HS years, and we were doing a lot of this and that, and a dog wouldn't have gotten the care and attention it deserved. Once the kids moved out and things settled down, we started inheriting them until we got back up to a full house.

  7. For some reason I can't log onto my Wordpress account here so I will be "Mr X"

    Like Tuna I have resisted the temptation to get another dog after my last one, Toby - an American Eskimo - died last year. First time in 25 years I can go somewhere and not worry about the dog. But then I miss their company.

    Have you had trouble with - what shall I call them - scumbags who just dump their pets on yourr property and then leave?

    My uncle had a farm and that happened on a regular basis.

    BTW I toss and turn a lot - my last dog used to like to sleep on the bed with me but sometime during the night I heard a snort and he jumped off, never to return on the bed.

    1. Welcome, Mr X, (whomever you are)
      Since my sister lives on the property with her three dogs, we've been able to take some vacations without having to board them (Expensive!). So, that's a benefit. Between her three, our GrandDog, and any dogs that stay with guests in the guest house, we've had up to 11 dogs on the property. Suffice it to say, we're not likely to get snuck up on.
      Yes, but I am not as gentlemanly as you. Our latest addition is a sweet young kitty that the vet thinks was thrown out of the car at a fair rate of speed. She's recovered now, and as friendly as can be. And if I ever find the SOB....Well, I've got a lot of land to plow.
      I've got to be careful when I toss and turn given my proximity to Corky. She gets cranky when her beauty rest is disturbed.

  8. Canines DO become family, albeit replacing the 'children' you had with 'problem children' you have to live with... :-) And I'd recommend one of these-,store:15239304963315669800,lsfqd:0&prds=oid:3480562769020513290&q=Chuckit!+Ball+Launcher+Dog+Toy,+Multi-Color&hl=en&ei=cYDpV6TNCcLEjwOPiau4Dg&lsft=utm_source:GOOGLE,utm_term:,utm_medium:cpc,utm_content:GSC+-+NonBrand+-+Hard+Goods+-+Dog+%7C+Supplies+&lsft=gclid:CNuokqjrrc8CFUGTaQod-vECiQ

    1. Not as versatile as a tennis ball bazooka, suggested above, but I've actually seen and used one of those last year at our family reunion. You can get a fair amount of distance on them.

  9. Our border collies were born and raised outside and refuse to ever sleep in the house. Even in the coldest weather they prefer to live outside. They'll come inside but usually only for a very brief visit. My dog Nona will come in the house in an attempt to flee thunder -- which she's got a doggie phobia about -- but she'll only cower for a bit and then want to go back outside. She's a real ball player too, but lacks any interest in working cattle. Her dad and sister, on the other hand, seem to live to work cattle. Endlessly fascinating.

    Have your dogs ever tangled with a porcupine? Every 3-4 years ours seem to have to relearn the painful lesson.

    Hang in there on the other stuff. Thoughts and prayers.

    1. No on the porcupines. We've got them in the area, see their carcasses on the road. Previous dog had a run-in when we first moved out here. I remember the quills being difficult to get out, then getting told by the vet the secret. (Which I have forgotten, which means Canine Flight will encounter a porcupine tonight)


  10. Thanks for a great post juvat.

    Paul L. Quandt


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