Monday, July 16, 2012

Fox News

We've had a little excitement outside of our house lately. It's amazing the things you learn about your yard once you have to walk a dog at 9:00 PM every evening. One evening we found a little toad. Oreo picked the poor little guy up, but I think he ended up being OK. Last Wednesday was not quite so innocuous.

We were watching our friend's dog Piper, who is an 11 year-old corgi. Earlier in the evening I had noticed a small gray animal scoot under our garage. When I took the dogs out for their final walk before bed we found that very same animal in the bushes next to our front steps. Piper sniffed at him, Oreo barked at him, and he "barked" back, as much as a fox is able to bark.

I turned my back on it and took the dogs into the yard. Based on its lower parts that I saw earlier I figured that it was a young fox. Since foxes are supposed to be so sly I figured that it would run for it when it had the chance. Instead it decided to climb up to our porch and curl up on the welcome mat.

I was then presented with a conundrum. I knew Piper could make quick work of this thing if he wanted to, but he doesn't really have a killer instinct. Oreo would just bark at it. My fear was that it would feel cornered on our porch if I let the dogs just run up there. I got a piece of wood from our woodpile and threw it up on the porch in hopes of scaring it with the noise. Instead, the fox grabbed it with his teeth and pulled it closer ("Oh look! A toy! Thanks!")

 I ended up letting the dogs approach it and the fox slinked down the side of the steps and went off into its little den. I haven't seen that fox since.

However, last night as Oreo finished his business he perked up his ears and started barking at something in our neighbor's driveway. That something was a much larger gray fox and it barked back. They exchanged a few barks and I realized that it would be best to take Oreo inside, which made Oreo very upset.

I had picked up some pellets at Wal-Mart on Saturday and it looks like I may have occasion to use them. One is not supposed even to fire an air rifle in Cary, but I am not about to pay for an exterminator to come out and deal with this. I have a small backyard and a shovel.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Home From the Beach

Amanda and the kids got back home today. It's great to have the house alive again. When I was at Lowe's yesterday I found myself being very chatty with the ladies who cut our window shades (I had to go twice). Things are back to how they should be here.

Everyone seemed to have a really good time, though Amanda tells me that Noah kept whining about getting home. It's nice to know that I was missed. Now it's back to real life for them. I think Amanda is looking forward to getting back on a regular sleep schedule. Her friend really needed to talk, but is not a morning person. Consequently, Amanda had some late nights by our standards. She should be fine in a day or two though.

The really good news here is that a cold front is coming through. The heat index this morning was 91 degrees at 6:15. Since I made it out yesterday I decided not to push running in this. It's just brutal. It was particularly brutal at church yesterday when I had to preach with a broken air conditioner. Our folks hung in there well, but it was still pretty rough for all concerned.


It's been an interesting week here. Amanda took the kids to the beach to visit with an old friend of hers from Florida. Oreo and I were alone for a few days and then on Friday we got an 11 year-old corgi named Piper to dogsit for a week. He is a great dog, but he is not too fond of Oreo. He is perhaps too patient with Oreo's overtures for play. He really needs to snap at him once to get his attention, but he won't do that.

One thing Piper loves to do is play ball and tug-o-war. He has a rubber ball that is a mesh he can grab very easily. He may not be a jumper, but he is certainly a puller. He gets pretty animated during this game and does a lot growling, which is fine. The problem is that Oreo gets scared and responds by barking in his ear. He doesn't seem to mind that too much either, but I certainly do.

At any rate, the visit is going well overall. He is a very mellow dog, which stands in sharp contrast with our little furball. Oreo is pretty mellow for a puppy, but he's definitely more energetic than the old man of the house. Hopefully he will learn to relax around Piper. Right now it reminds me of when Lily would spend the night at Brenna's house and Brenna would keep her up all night (not that Lily really minded).