Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Work

I have enjoyed the time off from work.  I had high hopes of getting a lot accomplished during this time off, but the weather chose to give us alternate activities, leaving those I had hoped to accomplish for another day.  Yesterday the snow, which began falling on Christmas, finally melted away with the rain and the warmer temperatures.  I am glad to see it go, thank you very much!
Snow Melting, New Year's Eve

Still, the time we spent indoors, keeping warm by the wood stove, was quite delightful.  We took the opportunity to play some games of Scrabble, played some music together and watched some movies on TV.... And in between all of this relaxing, I did manage to get some much needed "clean-up" performed in my eBay store.  I had been wanting to do this for a while, but was too busy doing everything else... so, one more thing has moved from "to-do" to "ta-done!"
Keeping Warm and Playing Scrabble

Joe Gets ALL the Triple Score Words!

Last night the wind blew.  It blew hard and I had visions of the Three Little Pigs... however, no houses blew down, well, except the old dog house, which, this morning, I found had been blown over.  I guess Talice, my daughter's dog, who we are babysitting, knew what she was doing when she opted to sleep in the goat shed. I fixed the dog house, fed Talice and played with her a little.  She is such an easy dog. HOWEVER.....

The first couple of days with Talice were fine.  She refuses the indoor quarters where our other pets hang out in the garage.  She seems obsessed with being outside... the door closing her INSIDE makes her start trembling.  So, she is in the goat pen, on a dog run, since, she does not know the area, and I do not want her to get out and get hurt or lost.   During the days I take Killian out to play with her, and, for the first couple of days, all went well (to be honest, they spent most of the days sleeping in the goat shed).  At night, I bring Killian in and feed Talice.  On day number three, before feeding/bed time, I heard dogs barking.  This is not unusual, as there are plenty of dogs in the area, and when one gets barking, they all chorus in.  Still, I kept thinking I heard Talice's bark.  But that could not be, because it was coming from the neighbor's property.

When I went out to feed Talice that night, the only dog in the goat pen was Killian... on the dog run was Talice's collar, which she had slipped and then, apparently, made her "escape" through the break in the fence.  Killian, still on her dog run, was not Houdini enough to follow suit, so, while Miss Talice pranced around the neighborhood, getting all of the other dogs riled up, Killian waited patiently to return to her quarters in the garage.  I was now officially worried.  I brought Killian in and then Joe and I set about figuring out how to find a dog that really does not know us, and who is happiest running through the woods at night.

I had noticed that Talice would SIT on command, and hoped this meant she had also picked up a few other "good habits" along with her not-so-good-habits of artful escapes.  So I whistled, I called her name, and I listened to the hound dog chorale answer my calls.  I tried again, feeling as if I could not call loud enough or whistle loud enough to be heard, still I tried.  And to my great delight, I heard the sound of approaching dog paws on wet icy snowy gravel.... thankfully, Joe had cleared the roads so I could hear her moving on them.

Then there was the new dilemma... how to catch her so I could re-collar her.  She, my daughter had proudly warned me, would come ONLY to my daughter.... all other humans, she would run away from.  Great, so here she was, six feet away from me and sure enough, she wasn't coming any closer.  She ran off, but returned as soon as I called, but never close enough for me to catch her. After a couple of minutes she took off again, this time running full tilt to the dog house in the goat pen... the dog house where she is fed every day.  "Good," I thought, "I can make this work."

I carried the pail with her food and the jug with fresh water out to the goat pen with me.  Once in the pen, I closed the gate behind me and headed for the dog house.  Talice, free to roam as she pleased at this point, watched me with anticipation, awaiting my stoop to fill her food bowl.  Instead, I took a few grains from the pail, holding them out to her in my hand.  She came over easily and ate from my hand.  I took a few more grains and she came to eat those.  At this point I scooped her up (she is HEAVY) and carried her all the way back to the garage where, once inside, I closed the door behind us.

Talice was VERY patient as I tried to figure out a harness I had on hand.  I decided the collar was ineffective, so wanted to try the harness.  But it took me a few minutes to figure the thing out, and Talice was a model prisoner.  When I told her to pick up this paw or that, she obeyed....and before long, she was sporting the brand new, very fashionable, royal blue harness.  I clipped on the lead and together we returned to the goat pen, where I reestablished her tether on the dog run, this time to the harness rather than to a collar.  Talice could have not cared less.  She was happy to eat, drink and sack out in the goat shed for the night.   And so far, so good... no more escapes for Miss Talice!

Today was a beautiful, blue sky day.  Though it was chillier than the weekend, still, the sun was shining and I suppose Talice decided sleeping outside in the sun was her preference.  She dragged hay out of the goat shed, making herself a comfortable bed to soak up the rays.  Joe caught a pictures of her during her completely comfortable nap time.  Tonight, when I went to feed her and to say good night, she had returned to the warmth of the goat shed.
Talice from the Window in the Garage Apartment

Talice, Snoozing in the Sun

Back in the garage this evening, after securing more wood this afternoon, Joe and I set about sorting through about fifty boxes he will transport to the semi trailer tomorrow.

Got Wood?
In one of the boxes were three LP records.  I have not owned a turn table since 1997, and this December, right before Christmas, I bought one of those units that has a turntable from which I can record to CD.  We decided to give it a try.  Visibly, the record was warped, and yet, the needle rose and fell with the warp, and the sounds of the Eagles soon filled the garage with the familiar, now 40-year-old, tunes.  Joe grabbed his accordion and I grabbed my guitar, and we played along with every song.  While we played, I tested the recording mechanism, and we were pleased with the operation.

And so tomorrow, well, OK, today, I return to work and will have only the evenings to enjoy the relaxation in front of the wood stove in the garage.  And next weekend Jenn and Benoit return from France and my grand-dog Talice will return home.  And, I suppose, we will start tackling the next project... there's always a next project here... trust me!

Sunset from Deck on New Year's Eve


Gorges Smythe said...

Sounds like quite a little adventure there with Talice! As for any work you didn't get done over break, the work never ends and the fun never lasts. All we can do is keep plugging away at the former and treasure the second.

Sharon said...

Good Morning, Judy! I guess the weather gave you a chance to relax, maybe that's what Winter is for. Oh, that Talice, she really gave you the run for your money, huh? A dog that likes to run is not easy to catch! I don't think I could have carried her - even in my good days. So glad it didn't end up in disaster! You do sound less stressed, so staying in was a good thing!

aswesow said...

I spent some time over the holidays stringing an electric fence over the fence that should be adequate for our little mongrel...now she stays home...but I do feel bad for the cat tho...he used to like to walk the fence now he is suffering for the sins of the dog. The holidays sure passed fast...even tho here too we spent alot of time staying warm by the stove!

Anna Robson Gartell said...

loved these tales of Talice. Our now 6 year black Lab was teribble walking on a normal collar and lead when he was a puppy. So first i tried a head collar, he would just sin quickly over leaving me with halter in my hand. I then tried a harness, no problem to Mocha, he just collapsed his shoulders and removed it as if taking off a cardigan. I had to resort to an industrial strength harness in the end. Fortunately he wasn't the kind of dog who'd run off. Our lab Bilbo before that was terrible, even escaping 2 weeks before he died at the age of 18. We thought he'd gone somewhere to die. It was very late in the evening when I decided to phone the police to see if anyone had seen him. The lady police officer said yes he was asleep on her feet. I told her to get him off quick as he wasn't that reliable peeing wise!
I love the Eagles too. We saw them at the O2 when they came to London. It was such a polished performance.

Judy's Corner said...


I completely agree and intend to continue plugging and treasuring!

Judy's Corner said...

Thanks Sharon,

Talice is now back home with her mamma (my daughter) and I have to admit, I miss the sneaky little escape artist!

Judy's Corner said...


Staying warm by the fire is, truly, awesome!

Judy's Corner said...

Gosh, I sure hope Talice doesn't keep Jenn and Ben hunting her as she grows older. She is still really a puppy, maybe two years old? Anyway, she is a sweetie and I enjoyed having her for the past couple of weeks. She is home, safe and sound now.

I never saw the Eagles in concert, but definitely enjoyed their music over the years!