Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Lion Killer

Today lets start off with a little history lesson about Rhodesian Ridge Backs.  This is a breed that was created to chase and kill lions on the savannas of Eastern Africa (i.e. Rhodesia or modern day Zimbabwe). Their combination of speed, strength, and desire to please man made them the perfect hunting/protection dog for the cattlemen of the African plains.  That's enough history.  
This story begins 30 years ago in a far off land known as the North Texas Panhandle.  It involves a very handsome, intelligent, debonair, verile, romantic, polite, devoted, ( I could go on and on)  young cowboy and beautiful, tan, slender, brown headed city girl who made a little black bikini look darn gooooood (please cover your children's eyes when reading the bikini thing).  They fell in love and were married.  They discussed many things as newlyweds do.  Things such as how many children they want, where do they want to live, what will their house look like, where will the kids go to school, what's the best brand of fishing poles, who makes the best shot gun, what's the best breed of roping horse.  You know, all the normal newlywed stuff.  One thing the young bride asked of her new husband was if they ever bought a home in the country she could have all the cats and kittens her heart desired and he lovingly agreed.
Now flash forward 30 years.  This young married couple is older now and just moved to a new community purchasing a home on the edge of town.  They have 3 acres of land and a couple of small barns on the property and depending on where they are standing, they can be inside or outside the city limits in seconds.  They are surrounded by beautiful homes but still inside the city limits.  Apparently "home in the country" means the same thing as "home on the edge of town" in female jargon.  So to make a very long story a little shorter, here is "the rest of the story" as Paul Harvey used to say.  
We (or at least one of us) are the proud owners of 15-25 cats depending on the number of pregnant females and this is where this Red Dog adventure begins. 
When Red Dog came to live with us I thought it was so cool that his  ancestors were trained to be lion killers.  I thought to myself "Now that's a mans dog if I ever heard of one", so taking in Red Dog was an easy decision.  He likes to sit at the back door looking out into the yard scanning for threats.  If one was spotted he would snarl and growl to get my attention.  I would open the door and zoom, he was gone to confront the potential threat.  I was like a kid with a new toy, excitingly waiting for the next growl and do it all over again.  He would fly through the door like Secretariat breaking out of the starting gate at the Kentucky Derby.  It was even cooler at night because he would disappear in the dark like a starship hitting warp speed toward a distant planet.  In my mind he was after skunks, raccoons, possums, and other assorted varmints but according to my wife I was wrong.  He was waiting for a few of her gazillion cats to come to their food bowl so he could chase them.  I thought it was cool but once again I was wrong according to you know who.  So now Red Dog and I are in deep doo doo with the wife for our little chasathons.  "He's a lion killer", I thought to myself but would always say "yes dear" in response.  Every time he would leap into action my mind would wander off to Africa, imagining he was after the king of the jungle saving his owner and his cattle from certain misfortune (see, I'm really a kid at heart).  But here comes Debbie yanking me back to reality saying, "Quit that, he's scaring all my cats away".  I knew she was right but I just couldn't help myself.  Cats belong in the barn chasing mice or providing coyotes with a quick meal or at least the slow ones do...Don't let Debbie read that lovingly agreed to pay closer attention to why he wanted in the back yard.  But she had a plan.  A plan that would break the heart of his forefathers.  

To counter his critter chasing training Debbie has decided to start her own indoctrination program for Red Dog.  She has a new litter of kittens and has brought them into the house to be raised around Red Dog.  So instead of chasing them, he has been brain washed to lick them.  The transformation was very quick and terrifying.  You girls will get a warm fuzzy feeling looking at these pictures but it saddens me to see how effectively he was turned.  Water board the poor dog but not this.  Submitting him to such feminine mind games of sugar, spices and little pink butterflies is heart breaking.  The horror of it all was too much.  Red Dog finally broke.  He went from a blood line of trained killers of the most feared felines in the world and now he's Mary Poppins in a dog collar.  Poor Red Dog, I certainly hope he can reclaim his proud heritage one of these days but until those cotton pick'in cats quit having babies it looks very

                       Until the next adventure.  God bless you all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Stake Out

One of Red Dogs daily patrols is to the window that over looks the front yard where he keeps an eye out for gang activity.  Yes, gang activity on Arledge Drive.  This gang is not well know to the community due to their stealth like tactics.  I'm not sure that our neighbors are aware of their covert activities but Red Dog is.  He is watching them on a daily basis learning their habits so he can successfully protect the neighborhood.  You may be asking who is this notorious gang and where did they come from?  Well they are known as the Grey Diablos (i.e. 5 Eastern Grey Tree Squirrels), a dangerous little gang that routinely steals acorns from our unsuspecting neighbors.  They live in the trees high above the street leaping from branch to branch stuffing themselves full of delicious acorns.  They speak in a coded language of squeaks and clicks only understood by the gang members themselves.  They flash gang signs with their little squirrely hands as they taunt Red Dog through the window.  He watches them intently, growling and snarling ready to pounce on them the first chance he gets.  They increase their taunting by jumping to the ground then back to the tree and back to the ground again.  Red Dogs blood starts to boil.  His growling and snarling starts to get louder and louder until he can't take it anymore and breaks out into that loud WOOOFFFF WOOOOOFFFFFF WOOF WOOOFF WOOFFFF.  Once again it startles me but this time it only gives me a small heart attack because of the pre-bark growling. I rush to the door with Red Dog close behind.  Red Dog bolts into the front yard ready to teach this gangsters a lesson.  The Diablos dart up the tree with their stolen goods.  Red Dog lets go with another barrage of WOOOOFFF WOOOOFF WOOOOOOOFFF WOOOFF.  The squirrels run even higher  leaping from branch to branch then from tree to tree until they were several trees away.  It was an impressive display of high flying acrobatics that even Tarzan would have been proud of.  Even Red Dog paused (or should I say pawsed) tilting his head to the side watching this amazing feat.  Then as quickly as the gang appeared they magically disappeared like a Ninja. Red Dog knows that they will be back and he must rethink his plan of attack.  But for now they are gone and the neighborhood is safe once again from these fuzzy tailed marauders.  Red Dogs tail flies into the air and he prances around the  front yard claiming his victory.  He is now the neighborhood "Super Hero".  Suddenly he stops and then he drops.  Oh no I thought. Not there, not on Debbie's flowers but it was too late.  He did it.  He pooped in the flower bed.  I once again ran toward the front door (but for an entirely different reason this time) frantically calling Red Dog to quickly follow.  We darted into the house, our eyes rapidly scanning the room for Debbie's presence.  Luckily she wasn't there and couldn't have seen anything.  So I sat down in my recliner with Red Dog at my side looking at me with those huge brown eyes as to say "What are you going to tell Debbie".  Suddenly it hit me, so  I leaned over to him and whispered " We'll blame it on the neighbors dog".  Red Dog smiled as to say "That's a great idea".  We both were in agreement that's our story and were sticking to it.  So Red Dog and I are trusting that you our loyal readers won't say a thing to Debbie and keep us in the clear.  I think the moral of this story is that chasing squirrels can wear the poop out of ya and if that happens pray that one of your neighbors own a large dog.  Until the next adventure, God bless you all.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Red Dog the Multitasker

I found out Saturday morning that Red Dog is a multitasker.  As you can see in the picture (well as you can kind of see in the picture) Red Dog is standing over one of Debbie's momma cats feeding her new kittens.  He sat over these guys for several minutes just to make sure that those babies got their morning breakfast.  Red Dog must have read somewhere ( I'm assuming in news pawper, barkazine, or sniffing the web) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and apparently guarding nursing kittens is quit exhausting because he took a nap as soon as the meal was over.  After about an hour I walked in to the dining room and found him lying in the floor, eyes wide with this desperate look on his face like you have to help me.  The kitten must have woke up before Red Dog and were ready to burn off some of those recently consumed calories and Mount Red Dog was just the place to start.  Those kittens were climbing over him, on top of him, biting his tail and sitting on his head.  It looked like a soft fuzzy kitty version of piranhas attacking their prey with poor ole Red Dog patiently lying there putting up with it all.  He looked up at me with those big brown eyes and I swear I heard him say in a soft desperate voice "Heeelllllpppp Meeeee".   I just had to laugh.  
Later in the day Debbie let some of her chickens out to free range graze (now doesn't that sound stupid to say free range grazing for chickens.  It makes it sound like wild chickens roamed the prairie along side the buffalo eating hoards of bugs from the land.).....Sorry about that.  Another story for another day.  But anyway, Debbie went out to put up the chickens with Red Dog at her side and to her surprise she found out that he has yet another hidden talent.  Not only is he a top notch sleeper, eater, pooper and extremely loud barker, he is a Rhodesian Chicken Shepard (the Australians can't have complete ownership of the Shepard name).  Yes, Chicken Shepard.  He was out there giving it his all circling the herd and driving them back into their pen.  Not once did he attempt to make one of those chickens his next meal and when it was all finished, he proudly trotted back to the house with tail high in the air indicating that the job was done and done well.  It was a feat that any herdsman would have been proud of (lol).  
So now to top off the day and to show just how quickly Red Dog can get back into his normal duty mode of home security he made his way to the living room and posted up at one of the windows looking into the front yard with his head sticking through the curtains (which my wife really appreciates) carefully scanning for any new threats that might be a danger to those he has vowed to protect.  I felt such an over whelming since of peace that I sat down in my comfortable recliner and promptly drifted off to Nap Land.  Just as I reached the edge of complete unconsciousness, I was abruptly and loudly woken by this WOOOFFF WOOOFFF WOOOOFFFF WOOFFFFF.  Holy heart attack, I jumped so high I felt a ceiling fan blade whiz past my left ear.  What in the world set off Red Dogs security alarm.  As I gathered my wits and my wet britches I carefully made my way to the front door wondering what evil lurked on the other side.  I slowly opened the door expecting the worst and praying that whatever evil lied behind that door ran away at the sound of that sonic boom like bark.  As the door came wide open, I stood face to face with the evil that Red Dog was so desperately trying to scare away.  It was a four foot five inch temptress Girl Scout with boxes and boxes of devilish mega calorie cookies.  She overwhelmed me with her innocent like charm and before I knew it she had me.  While in a trance like state I handed her dollar after dollar just to get my hands on those bright shiny boxes of cookies.  I was defenseless.  I needed help.  There was a small portion of my brain that wasn't under her spell and I was thinking "where is Red Dog, I need him to chase this evil away".  But it was too late, he was caught up in her evil spell as well.  He was just sitting at her feet mesmerized by the stroke of her hand on his head.  As I handed her my last dollar the spell was broken with Red Dog and I standing there watching my money skip off into the sunset.  I guess it goes to show you that both of us have no skills against charming women with food and so it's something we need to work our next adventure, God bless you all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Introducing Red Dog

Red Dog on a security break!!!!
I want to introduce everyone to Red Dog.  He is an eighty five pound 18 month old Rhodesian Ridge Back that became a part of our family almost a year ago and he is a mess.  He was graciously given to us last year by a co-worker right before our last child moved out for college.  As "empty nesters" we first thought having a dog around would be more trouble than it was worth but we would give it a try and see where it would lead.  "MY" plan was to keep him an outside dog especially given the fact that he came to us from the farm and was used to having the whole outdoors as his play ground but my wife had her own top secret plan to make him an indoor dog. I protested at first, but as many husbands know there is not much you can do once the wife makes up her mind what she wants to do.  Inside dog won! So I licked my wounds and collapsed to the idea like a old broken down lawn chair.  Red Dog's previous owners called him Red but after watching him make a Transformer like adjustment to indoor living  we decided on Red Dog after the dog character "Yellow Dog" in the 1988 Chevy Chase movie "Funny Farm".  Red Dog left the dangers of farm living to indoor plumbing and air conditioning.  It didn't take him long to realize he had stumbled into a pretty sweet deal judging by his unwillingness to get more than twenty feet from the back door when forced to go outside for potty breaks.  So now he lives a life of dog luxury and I fully expect him to start asking for grey poupon on his food any day now. 
He entertains my wife and I almost daily with his antics and over sized juvenile charm.  He is one of the most well mannered dogs I have ever had but he is like an over grown puppy always getting into mischief and making us laugh.  He has been the inspiration for the "Red Dog Adventure" stories that I have been writing about on Facebook for the past year.  Many of my friends tell me I should write a children's book about our adventures and maybe some day I will but for now I am going to blog about him and see where it goes.  
This is my first blog  ever and I want to thank my wife for taking me by the hand leading me through blogger world. It is my hope that you will at least get a little chuckle out of our little mishaps.  So please come along and enjoy Texas Red Dog Adventures.