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Hugh G Joak's blog: "the bruno chronicles"

created on 06/24/2009  |  http://fubar.com/the-bruno-chronicles/b301069  |  2 followers
This morning before I got out of bed I got peed on by two separate cats. A little back story. Our gray cat Beezy thinks that Gidget is out to get her. A noise startled them both one night and in the ensuing carnage of both cats running to hide Beezy got it into her head that Gidget tried to kill her. Gidget is a sweet cat who wants nothing more than to not have any trouble ever. We slowly reintroduced them over the course of months and everything had calmed down. Until a few days ago when Gidget ran into the bedroom while Beezy was eating. Beezy flipped. She is scared but attacks rather than retreats. There was a fight but no one was injured and they are back to segregation and reintroduction. Jezebel the youngest and sweetest cat saw the recent attack and was scared so she went back to living in the house rather than the bedroom. Last night Jez wanted back in the bedroom so I brought her in with me just before I went to sleep. Jez must have been nervous because she didn't use the cat box at night. This morning I woke partially up and called Jezebel to come lie in the crook of my legs where she often does and feels safe. She decided that she was safe enough to pee which she had to but was too nervous to. My legs got peed on by Jez. The act of Jez peeing on the bed set off something in Beezy who jumped on the bed right where my head was a few seconds before I sat up realizing I was peed on. Beezy peed getting my some on the hand I was propping myself on. Ugh. My mattress protector did prove worth it's weight in gold the morning. Back to the long process of trying to be a kitty whisperer and restoring calm. All advice appreciated.

Font is Trebruchet MS on account of Tinker being a nerd.

 

He thought up a plan and he thought it up (not so) quick

 

Bruno and I walk at night.  Most of the year it is cooler at night and when it is not cooler at least the sun isn't burning a hole in your head.  Also, my county has a crazy ordinance against Pitbulls that says basically anything that someone, who may or may not be a dog expert, deems to be a pitbull is one.  The fines start at $500 dollars a day and continue until, ideally in their mind, you have the dog put down.

 

My vet agrees with me that Bruno is a mix of a lot of breeds including boxer and mastiff.  Certainly one of his parents wasn't a pitbull and that is what the law is supposed to preclude.  But then there is that crazy clause that some judge would have final say as to whether of not the dog is half pitbull.

Bruno and my solution is that we walk at night.  No sense inviting trouble even though I am confident I would win and Bruno would be deemed not half pitbull.  Losing is a price higher than I am willing to pay.

The downside of walking at night is that Bruno's sense of smell beats my nighttime vision.  I think I could have a platoon of soldiers all in nighttime vision goggles and he would still have an unfair advantage.

Bruno and I have vastly different definitions of the word "edible."  He takes a much more literal definition of the word.

Quite often he manages to wolf something down before I can stop him or even notice that has eaten something.  This has been going on for 10 years now so I am beginning to trust that his definition of edible hasn't done him any harm.

Still I draw the line on bones.  Especially chicken bones.  I am still not sure who is just tossing bones of any sort onto the lawns and swales but it is surprisingly widespread.  And it isn't just limited to the corners that are auspicious for Voodoo and Santeria rituals.  Just about every square inch of grass on our walk is liable to yield some type of dog "treat."

He can crush chicken bones easily, so a fast paced drama starts the second I hear chicken bones crack.  It involves him trying to swallow at a rate that may have saved the Titanic from sinking and me trying to grab the bones out of his mouth without getting any hand parts inhaled.  Luckily he is very gentle and it hasn't occured to him yet that one bite to my hand and he achieves short term victory. 

He is also very smart.  He will sometimes try to eat his chicken bones very slowly without making any noise.  Pandora has been his friend of late.

The other night we were walking and about 4 blocks from home he picked up a bone.  It was some type of steak bone I think.  I figured I would let him keep it.  But I still wanted to look at it once we got home.  I don't know if he knew that I noticed him grab it as he walked quietly the whole way home without chewing on it.

At the house we go in through the side gate into the back yard.  Then we go to the back door where I take of his leash.  He still had his bone as we entered the back yard.  He also had a plan.  As we turned the corner towards the door, he quickly ran out into the yard to the end of his leash, he never does this.  When he came back I realized what he did.  He stashed his loot in the yard before I had a chance to take it from him.

Outmaneuvered and outsmarted by the dog.

First of all the font is Georgia on account of Witty's relo.

 

A tale of two kitties

 

I have two relatively new additions to my menagerie, both cats.  We got Beezy, who is completely grey in the fall 0f  '09.  It is scary how fast time flies.  Out walking Leo, the dingo dog, there was a bird chirping in the neighbor's hedges along side of their house.

There was much discussion and some animated words on my part that of course it was a bird making that noise.  My girlfriend was just as adamant, albeit wrongly, that is was a kitten making the noise.  Somehow on the way over to investigate the bird  flew off unseen and completely coincidentally there was a kitten in the brush.

Beezy was a right around 2 weeks old.  She had been abandoned by her mother and despite not really being able to walk she crawled out from under the hedge, which was more like a briar.

It is amazing how instinctual the drive is among animals to imitate the adults.  My adult cats all prefer to drink out of the dog bowl which is raised.  In order to get to the bowl they stand up on their back legs and put their front feet either on the rim of the bowl or on the base.   Beezy was much too small to reach the dog water bowl.  But she was bent on imitating how the big cats drank.  She puts her paws up on the edge of any bowl she drinks from.  Which has resulted in getting rid of the smaller bowls as she would upend them and end up getting a shower instead of a drink.

 

Enter Jezebel.  This Fourth of July, Jezebel who was about 4 weeks at the time, was running around scared by all the fireworks like a maniac in the front yard at 2 am.  Miraculously she came to us even though we had never seen her before.  She is all black.  So now we have an all black and and an all grey cat.  I am looking for an all white one to complete the set.

 

While Beezy took her behavioral cues from all the other cats combined, there were three adult cats when we got Beezy, Jezebel thought Beezy was the best thing ever and began to emulate only her as closely as she could.  She does almost the same vocalizations as Beezy and yup she drinks with her front paws perched up on the edge of the water bowls.

 

Just a cute story to brighten what is left of your monday.  Forgive me for the least inspired title ever.


Last night I was reminded of one of Bruno and my favorite games to play together. Most of our games have defined separate roles. For example in fetch I throw things and he either looks at me in disdain or runs excitedly to go retrieve them depending on his mood. And in tug of war he tries to dislocate my shoulder and I try to hang on and get my brand new dress shoe back from him.

 

This game is different. We both have the same objective. The game is called “What are you eating?” He is much better at it than I am. Although he often stumbles on the names. He knows the difference between edamame and tofu but he is as likely to guess one as the other.

 

It really is an unfair game. His sense of smell is much better than mine. Furthermore there is a good chance that I am eating something that would be considered food. Bruno does not thus limit himself.

 

Bruno's guesses often go like this – I guess you are eating rice pilaf with chicken. Furthermore, I guess you burnt the garlic slightly again because you have the attention span of a gnat while you cook and don't realize that the stove has settings other than HI. I will still eat some if you give me some.

 

My guesses are usually more like this – Is that a frog? It better not be a Buffo Toad!

 

We do enjoy our little game.

 

One of my favorite movie scenes/jokes is this Pink Panther one

 

Clouseau: Does your dog bite?
Hotel Clerk: No.
Clouseau: [bowing down to pet the dog] Nice doggie.
[Dog barks and bites Clouseau in the hand]
Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not bite!

Hotel Clerk: That is not my dog.

 

 

I had almost reached home from walking two of my three dogs. My neighbor was casually sweeping her front porch. Laying in wait ready to spring her trap as it turned out. She is a very sweet Cuban woman not yet old enough to be an old lady.

 

She called out in her Cuban accent, a soft one much different than the guttural sounding male one. “I think one of your dogs is in my yard.”

 

I was sure this wasn't the case as I had the leashes of two of them in my hands and could hear the other whining about how unfair life was that she had to wait for her turn for a walk. “Ok. I will come look.”

 

I was curious to what she had in her back yard and am I sucker for animals. I put my dogs inside. Zeta stared daggers into my back as I walked out the door without taking her for her turn. Quickly switching to sad little puppy dog how could you eyes when I turned around to shut the door and made eye contact with her.

 

The neighbor and I walked around to her back yard. There looking tired and frightened was a mangy almost furless dog. Once you got past the the lack of fur, the next most remarkable thing about him was the size of his head and teeth. Teeth which he was perfectly comfortable showing to me. A quick baring of his teeth told me “I can turn you from a lefty to a righty before you have time to blink.” He was not a particularly large dog. He looked like he weighed about 70 pounds through his head and neck had the proportions of a much larger dog.

 

It was clear what I was going to have to do. I was going to have to laugh at my neighbor and ask her exactly which of my dogs she thought this was and then go back and take Zeta for her walk. My dogs all get complements about how good they look. For example it was fairly common for people to completely out of blue strike up a conversation about Zoopie. “My she is a good looking dog,” they would say, “Can you get her to let go of my calf?” Or “That is a good looking dog, if you don't get her out of my car I just might take her home...”

 

I opened my mouth. “Nope he isn't my dog never seen him before” was supposed to come out. Somehow I accidentally said, “I am going to go home and get some food and water and see if I can get him to eat.” My neighbor's face lit up. I just couldn't explain how it was a bizarre accident and what I had meant to say. I was stuck.

 

I stomped muttering all the way back to my house, strangely no matter what horrible thing I wished to mutter whether it was about my neighbor, the stupid dog or myself it came out clearly muttered. I couldn't recreate my earlier oratory malfunction.

 

I brought food and water back and the dog eyed me. I walked closer watching his posture. When he looked like he was starting to think about flight or fight I put the bowls down, a few bites of food and plenty of water and retreated. He came out slowly watching and sniffing. He drank and ate. I went closer. He backed away from the bowls returning to the corner he had been using as shelter. I moved the bowls and added a few more bites of food. After moving his bowls a couple of times adding a little bit of food each time, he was eating at bowl that was close enough to touch him. I reached out and he sniffed my hand and went back to eating.

 

I tentatively patted him. He neither shied away nor growled at me. Still he was wary and it wasn't without a good measure of fear mostly on my part that I put a rope around his neck to lead him from my neighbor's unfenced backyard to my own fenced back yard. I was worried that if he got frightened by the rope around his neck he might attack me in an effort to get free.

 

I tied a small loop passing the rope through it to make a larger noose loop to place around his head. This served the purpose of not having to try to slip his head through a collar or small fixed loop. I also figured maybe I would be able to choke him unconscious before he finished ripping off my arm or face if it came to that. Even though he was mangy and underweight it didn't take a second look to realize that he was still a very powerful animal. The lack of fur and any fat on his body made it clear that he still had plenty of muscle.

 

He accepted the makeshift leash without complaint and followed me towards my yard. He figured whatever I had in store for him was a better fate than the one that had brought him into my neighbor's yard.

 

Though I didn't realize it when she first asked the joke was on me this time, Bruno was indeed my dog.

EvilWhoever said "Let a smile be your umbrella" was unfamili...
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