Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rough start

It's not going well with the new neighbor. She jumped us. Yes, she. And, yes, she jumped us on Day One.
Oh, there was a fence in the way, but she made her intentions very clear. We were returning from surveillance in the park when this flash of brown fur and white teeth headed our direction. "Whoa!" yelled Boscoe, "It's Cujo in a dress!"
She's a tall drink of water, that's for sure. She probably should be wearing a saddle.
We responded with our best mad dog imitations, barking and snarling and bouncing around like a hyena on Red Bull. We may not have been as impressive as I'd hoped: I heard the natives snickering from their nests.

Anyway, no welcome wagon for this new neighbor. Instead, we've ordered a few things from the Sears catalogue: an electric fence, with the optional Christmas lights; and a speed bag. I admit I'm a little out of shape. Tomorrow, a glass of raw eggs and some road work...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New neighbor coming

Not that anybody would tell me directly -- I'm just supposed to stumble across this one day, I guess -- but we have new neighbors coming next week. The house next door has been empty for a while. The backyard has become popular with the natives and their various floppy eared guests.
All that ends next week. The border collie sneaked a peak at the housemate email and learned that the new inhabitants will include a boxer.
No, not that kind of boxer.

This kind of boxer. Well, needless to say this doesn't make me very happy. I've heard all about how pushy those self-important boxers can be. Swaggering around like they own the place... My fur is up... Bring it!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tough one

So, one of the housemates spends a surprising amount of time following a football team that doesn't win many games. We just sort of keep our distance. He posts a flag in the back 40 every Saturday and glumly retrieves it the next day, mumbling something about how he needs a better hobby.

The South Dakota State Jackrabbit

Saturday, the game was more distracting for me than usual. I couldn't get the mascots out of my mind.... I'm not sure why....

The Minnesota Gopher

...the whole thing made me very hungry....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


After a rowdy Sunday, it was very quiet around here Monday. Too quiet. The border collie suggested the natives were exhausted from their winter prep. I wasn't convinced. I took a stroll around the front 40 and found this guy, clueless to the world, mumbling something about somebody named Favre. Turns out the natives are rabid Packer fans. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The border collie and me, we're neutral. Been that way since that trip to the vet when we were puppies...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Wow. I feel this one. I'm 8 this week. We don't know actually what day. All I remember is a pair of speckled legs. Didn't get a lot of time with my momma dog or my brothers and sisters. I had a tough start. It's better now, but I still get blue now and then. On top of that, it's gray and rainy. The border collie pretended not to know what was up, but he's been busy...

...this morning I found this cake under the kitchen table. We're keeping it quiet until the house mates leave. The border collie's on a restricted diet. Maybe I'll leave a couple pieces for the natives. You gotta stick together when it's gray and rainy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How cold is it?

Something happened way up in the sky and it got cold. And it snowed. The snow is sticking around.

It's very early for all this. The border collie spotted splotches in the yard and dispatched me to investigate. I thought they were socks, but turns out to be dozens of miniature snowmobile suits. Must be the natives. Unlike the geese and ducks who taunt us on their way south, the natives are stuck here with us all winter. At least someone is prepared...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The World According to Hal

This is all I knew about coyotes when I got the call from Hal, who offered up some expert advice on dealing with our latest nemesis -- moles. Little did I know there was more to the coyote than a series of unfortunate mishaps...

Hal met us at the bus -- yes, a Greyhound bus. The border collie brought a satchel of Economist magazines and jars of salted almonds. "You guys are the muscle; I'm the looks. And the brains." Hal shrugged him off and took me out in the field.

Well, I'll spare you the details. Not pretty. There was snarling and screaming and blood and knock knock jokes. I could stomach the blood, but not the knock knock jokes. Anyway, after taking in all of Hal's useful insights and tips, I realized his aggressive approach wasn't for us. Too messy.
So....We've deviced to take the advice of our Canadian friends and try some chewing gum. Only we're going for bubble gum. We're thinking the moles will get carried away, blow bubbles and trap themselves out of sight. That's as good as out of mind. We'd rather everybody go their separate ways.
Call us softies.

Hal had a different word.
I won't repeat it here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well, it took a few days and a lot of -- er -- trial and error, but we think we've finished our mission as far as those mole holes go. I haven't seen any mass exodus or anything, but the border collie advises it takes a few days. Seems to me somebody tosses their business through your front window you're up and out in a hurry, but what do I know?
In any event, we got an email from a distant relative inviting us up north for a few days to talk about other ways to handle the problem...

...this is Hal. And he has some definite ideas on a Plan B. If nothing else, we'll bone up on our howling. We'll be out of pocket for a while...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mole in one

If we look a little stressed, we have good reason. Since the moles showed up -- yes, there's more than one -- we've been scrambling to research ways to see them on their way. The border collie has been surfing the IntraWeb -- you can tell he's surfing when he has that white stuff on his nose. Anyway, he's found some options but they've all got drawbacks...

You can buy smokebombs that you light and stuff down the holes. The border collie thinks the housmates wouldn't like bombs going off in the yard. I think it would look like a Rolling Stones concert. Jot it on the grocery list and we're on our way... But I was overrruled...

Another site recommends stuffing dryer sheets down the holes. Apparently, moles like their clothes wrinkled. The border collie says he thinks they don't like the smell. We think getting our paws on dryer sheets is too difficult. Tough enough around here making off with a cookie.
Some of the more radical sites suggest a touch of gasoline. Again, something about the smell. Seems like we may get rid of the moles and everything else on the property if things went wrong.

That leaves us with a fourth option that is more practical but very challenging. It has us up all hours practicing...

Turns out that another effective remedy for moles is something we have a lot of -- how do you put it? Oh yes, dog droppings. Depositing a few choice nuggets in one of their holes is an effective way to invite the moles to move on. No lugging dryer sheets, smokebombs or gas cans across the lawn.

But there's the challenge of accuracy. We have little experience in precision pooping. Close enough has been, well, good enough for us. That's why we're heading over to Como Golf Course this morning for an 18-hole practice round.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Something wicked this way digs

So where have I been? No marriages in my world. It's been all business and, well, the business ain't been good. Turns out I've been spending too much time pursuing the natives and their long-eared kin. A whole new nemesis has worked its way into my back 40. The border collie pointed it out a couple weeks back. "See those bumps all over the sideyard?" he asked, flipping the pages of Granta and popping a Saltine into his mouth. "Moles. Better study up, bud. It's showtime."

Well, I ain't much for book learnin'. My first cram session about moles didn't work out too well. Spent all day worrying we all had skin cancer. The border collie sighed and rummaged around on the IntraWeb and put me straight.

Turns out these are ugly varmits who can turn the countryside into swiss cheese. Oh sure, cartoons try to make anything cuddly and harmless. But these things dig and dig and pretty soon you've got an 18-hole golf course right up your backside. And they kill shrubs. Not good for my job security with the newfangled plants the house mates had installed last year.

My mission is simple. Turn these things into slippers or I get sacked. The pressure is on...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Not amused

Must be slow time for news. Everybody around these parts chattering about the native who popped up in this self portrait taken in Canada. National Geographic, one of the border collie's favorite magazines, is featuring the photo. How cute. Cute? Take a good look. The native is flashing gang signs. And they aren't friendly gang signs. Wake up, people!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The border collie advises that squirrels lose all sense of judgment when pursuing food. We can identify with that. There has to be a way to use this to our advantage.

Monday, July 20, 2009


So, the border collie has been on the injured reserve list again. Pinched nerve, we're told. Like Neil Young said, the powers that be left me here to do the thinking. How could I keep the natives in line by myself? The border collie is all woozy on meds, so all he could come up with was "try fly paper."

After trying to come up with something myself, that fly paper idea just kept popping back into my springer brain...

Maybe it's worth a shot...

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The border collie was the first to spot it: a glazed hockey puck hanging from a string on the back porch. I went out to investigate. Oh, did it smell good. I couldn't stop staring at it. I drew closer to investigate and the sugary medallion rose ever so slightly out of reach. I heard giggling. I returned to the kitchen to fetch a stool...

...when I returned, the object of my affection had a bite taken out of it. I heard more giggling, this time muffled by chewing. I ducked back into the house to fetch the border collie to help assess the situation...

..."I think the scoundrels are having a little fun at our expense," the border collie said as the giggling turned to guffaws. "And I think it's time to plot our revenge."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Holiday hangover

Ouch. Tough weekend in the basement. A lot of pop pop pop and fizzle sizzle thwarp and boom! I'm sleeping it off on the landing. Thunderstorms expected this week -- that means cloud water and booms and more time in the basement. The natives are chattering away like never before. And the border collie wonders why I prefer February.

Friday, July 3, 2009


It's that time of year again. And I'm missing most of it. Quite unfortunate, too, since it's the border collie's birthday on top of Indepedence Day and all that.

The natives get in the swing of things, but you won't find me out there admiring the stars and stripes.

You see, for some reason many folks like to celebrate the holiday by setting off all sorts of munitions. Some glow, some sizzle, some soar and whistle and others just go pop pop pop pop pop...

So, for the next few days I'll be huddling in the basement. All of this is great fun until someone loses an eye....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Them Days

Yes, it's been hot. Everything slowed down, sort of like in the South. Only without the sweet tea. The border collie prefers Gatorade and a lemon. We stayed indoors most of the week watching The Avengers on DVD. I've been keeping watch, but things were pretty quiet. Until this morning, that is. The humidity broke overnight and now it's Canada all over again. I suspected that the natives who've been splayed out on branches much of the week would be out running their traps...

...I was right. And I was right on their heels up the side of this tree. So close I could see their little hind leg muscles quivering. If I had only been wearing my spikes, I would be flossing my teeth with squirrel tail.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sheriff is back in town

You are up there somewhere, counting your blessings. I was on you and you know it. I saw the white of your rat-like body when I flipped you. I want you to know I let you make it to the tree. I had no choice because one of the housemates was telling me to back off.

I'm back, natives. My white teeth flashing. I'm back. It's going to hit 100 degrees today. I'm as hot as the weather and you'd better not stray far from the nearest tree.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Analog dog days

The border collie wanted to catch the Twins-Cubs game, so we flicked on the TV. Nothing. Well, nothing besides a bunch of confetti. "What the???" the border collie mumbled as he futzed with the rabbit ears. Still nothing. "Check the aerial," he told me.

Well, we shouldn't have been surprised. One of the natives was doing a song and dance up there, chittering like a madman. "Get away from there or I'm coming up," I barked. Behind me, I heard snickering. I'm hearing more of that lately than I'd care to admit.

I wheeled around and caught an earful from Mitch, The Pizza Eating Native. "He's not the problem. You analog guys are outta luck," he mumbled, gnawing slice of pepperoni. "Time to start stealing cable."