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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bow and the Dogs

Today is too cold out again, but yesterday was relatively warm and sunny. Bow went outside to play with the dogs.

Brownie is not as willing to play with Bow, but Leo, who is full of puppy spunk, really does seem to enjoy it.

Leo sometimes seems more committed to the game than Bow.

Both Bow and Leo get a lot of exercise out of the interaction, but Leo jumps higher.

As you can see in the video, the game is entirely consensual, and anyone can stop at any time, In this case, Leo lost interest first. It seems Brownie found a boulder sized rock and was carrying it in his mouth, and Leo decided to join him.

It's nice to have friends to play with. And it's good that every party to the game can decide for himself when the game is over!

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Friday, December 27, 2013

What Can We Do to Save the Exotic Animals in Ohio?

So far, Bow and I have been lucky. Year after year they have tried to pass legislation that would make it impossible for us to stay together in this state, and year after year that legislation has been defeated. The people in the state of Ohio have not been so lucky. On January 1, 2014, a law goes into effect that will allow the state to confiscate exotic animals, seal them up in a high security prison, and if they find no sanctuary or zoo that wants them, these animals will be executed by the state.

The sanctuaries and zoos don't want them. They have already said that they are full to capacity.

There are many animals and their owners who are about to suffer this fate. Here is a video appeal that some of them have made to try to sway the public to spare them.

I have shared this video on Facebook and explained that these animals have been condemned to death because they are exotic and in Ohio. Many people said it was sad or even tragic. But nobody said: "I won't let this happen. I will stop it!" And as long as this is our attitude, nothing will stop it. 

Somebody did say, before this legislation was passed: "These people have exotic animals. That is terrible! I'm going to stop it!" And that someone got his way. Who was it? Why did they do it? Why are they so powerful? Why is everyone else so helpless?

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is behind the legislation in Ohio, as well as in every other state in which such a law is being pushed through. They think it is better for exotic animals to die than to be owned by the people who love them.

Do you support the HSUS?  What would you be willing to do to help these animals and the people who love them?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Five Christmas Presents

Today for Christmas, Bow only had five presents, but he enjoyed each and every one. Actually, I did not think he would have more than four, but it seems before he left, Lawrence left Bow an extra present under the tree. That was after he had already given Bow two other gifts, including that marvelous Christmas sock.

Here is what the gifts looked like before any of them were opened.

Bow looked out at his gifts, surveyed the loot, and then said he wanted the green one. I was a little confused. I didn't actually remember there being a green one. Sure enough, it was a surprise gift from Lawrence.

Here is a close up of the gift from Lawrence, in case you could not clearly see what it was in the video.

When Bow was done playing with the present from Lawrence, he handed the toy back to me and asked for the small present. The small present was a collector's snow globe that I was handed as a free gift at JC Penney's when we went shopping there on Black Friday.

I would never have actually bought Bow a snow globe, but since I had one, I thought I would give it to him. He handed it back to me when he was done. He was not nearly as impressed with it as one might have thought. Here is a close up of the snow globe.

Next Bow asked for the big blue present. That means, in his parlance, the biggest present that was blue remaining.

Bow really liked the rug I got him. He did not hand it back to me right away. Instead, he made himself right at home on the rug and did not ask for another present to open for a long time.

He got very relaxed on the rug.

He was so relaxed he actually closed his eyes. But eventually he did stir himself and decided to ask for another present. He did not, however, hand me back the rug. He said he wanted the blue present. At this point, there was only one blue present left.

The blanket was an even bigger success than the rug. Bow stayed wrapped in that blanket for a very long time, snuggled up on the rug.

More than an hour later, Bow started to take an interest in the remaining present: the gift basket from his uncle.

There was quite a selection of goodies.

Bow said he wanted a pear. I wonder if that was because only the pear was uncovered and easy to recognize.

The pear was very juicy and Bow enjoyed it thoroughly.

That pretty much sums up Christmas morning 2013 at Project Bow. We hope you are all having a very merry day!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Freezing Cold

We have no more snow and ice on the ground, but it is freezing cold outside. Yesterday afternoon, Bow went out and spent some time in the outer pen despite the cold.

He stayed there a good long while and looked very contemplative, before he chose to go back in.

This morning patterns in frost adorned the glass in our front door. 

But the back door that leads to the outer pen was clear and transparent. Bow asked to go outside. I put on my heavy boots and jacket. When I opened the door to the outer pen, Bow gestured that I should go first. I thought this would be a nice opportunity to film him going out from a different angle. But then he hesitated. "Are you coming out?" I asked him and started to film. Bow shut the glass door in reply!

Needless to say, we went right back inside.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Early Christmas Gifts

Yesterday was Wednesday. Lawrence brought some Christmas gifts for Bow. Next Wednesday is Christmas, and Lawrence will not come. He will be at home, celebrating Christmas with his own family. But he did not want to miss a chance to give Bow his gifts.

Usually, we put Lawrence's Christmas gifts to Bow under the tree, and then he opens them along with all his other gifts. But this year I decided it would be best to let Lawrence give his gifts to Bow early, so they could enjoy them together.

There were two gifts. The first was a red stuffed pull toy. It was shaped like a bone, with a handle on one side so one person could hold it while another person tugged at it with his mouth. I think this was a toy that was designed with a dog in mind, but Bow liked it well enough at first.

The second was a sock. Lawrence had to admit Bow liked the sock better!

This morning, Bow asked for both presents. He played with them both for a while, wearing the sock and brandishing the toy.

But he soon tired of the toy, whereas the sock kept him happy for a long, long time. He loved putting the sock on.

He loved adjusting the sock.

He loved walking around in the sock, and sitting and thinking with the sock still on.

And when he felt a little sleepy, he laid himself down on the floor and napped -- with the sock still on.

Which just goes to show that it's the simple gifts that give the most pleasure.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ice Melts But Water Is Still Wet

After the big snow, there was one day of school, and then school was canceled again on account of ice. The whole world became an icy paradise, beautiful, fragile and deadly.

All along the fence line of the pasture, little trees and shrubs stood covered with icing.

The mailbox was capped with ice.

The last remaining miniature rose was encased and preserved on ice.

Red berries also were coated with a shiny, transparent veneer.

Bow wanted to go outside, but it was too cold to venture out. Then slowly the ice began to melt. Today, it is melting in torrents.

Bow asked to go out. This time it was not too cold for him. Now it was only too wet! He faced another dilemma: how to step outside without getting his feet wet. The dogs were eager to play with him, and the swing and the bench were beckoning, but all Bow could do was stand on the ledge and display very carefully, lest he slip and his feet come into contact with water!

When he was done, he was done. We went inside, and Bow asked to watch the video of his exploits out of doors, which he found very interesting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Second Outing

It seems warmer outside, and the icicles hanging off the sides of the house at least indicate that some degree of melting is taking place.

I went for a walk after lunch, and there was still plenty of snow on the ground, though the sun was shining brightly.

In the woods, crows were cawing.

The pasture was still covered with a blanket of snow, but the air did not feel all that cold.

When I got back, Bow said he wanted to go outside, too. I was skeptical, but I took my camera along, just in case. This time Bow readily went out. The dogs were both there, too, Brownie digging up a storm and Leo trying to get our attention. Bow leapt onto the rim of the bench. The seat of the bench was still covered in snow. I was preoccupied with the dogs. Bow gestured to me. At first, I thought he was inviting me to join him on the bench. Then I realized he wanted me to move out of the way, so that he could go back inside.

Maybe tomorrow Bow will stay out even longer.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Braving the Snow

Bow has wanted to go outside right from the start of the snowy weather, but something kept him from asking to go out until yesterday. Yesterday, he almost went out.  First, he told me he wanted to go outside, and then when I took him there and opened the door, he looked out on the snow for a good long moment.

The bench was covered in snow.

But the ledge and a small portion of the concrete right next to it were bare.

Nevertheless, Bow decided not to step out at all.

But that was yesterday. Today, Bow was much braver. He went out on the ledge, looked around, shook himself a couple of times, then opted to go back in.

Maybe tomorrow will be even better!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bow Finds a New Way to Protest the Weather

It started snowing yesterday. By the evening this is how the front yard looked:

It wasn't really that much snow. You could see the fallen leaves on the ground. But it kept snowing throughout the night, and now it looks quite different. There is a soft white blanket of snow covering the ground and no more sign of the leaves.

You cannot even see the step down that you have to take from the front porch to the walkway. For that matter, you cannot see the walkway at all. It is just all an unbroken blanket of white.

In the outer pen, the bench is covered with snow and the grid has some snow enmeshed.

Bow's swing is also covered with snow.

I came back inside after taking these pictures and started gushing about how much snow there was. I glanced briefly at Bow and had to do a double take. His face was hidden by his play sport shirt. He was not  going to even look at the snow!

He was sitting there in the southwest corner of the inner pen, where the living room can be seen on one side and the backyard on the other. But he was not looking. He did not think there was anything good to see.

Only gradually, as I drew closer, did he start to uncover his face.

There's just not that much to do on a day like today, except curl up with a good book. I think maybe later I will read to Bow from The Corsair.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bow Gets a Catalog in the Mail

With Thanksgiving behind us, the next big holiday is Christmas. As an inevitable part of the Christmas shopping season, there is the junk mail for ordering seasonal gifts. Today, Bow was the only member of our family to get any mail. It was a Harry & David Catalog addressed to Mr. Bow Katz.

I don't receive any mail at this address. For one thing, there is a bullet hole in my mailbox and rain seeps into the box and soaks anything that has been left sitting there.

However, Bow has been receiving fruit baskets from his uncle for years now, on Christmas and on his birthday, delivered to our door. Seeing how much he enjoys fruit, Harry & David decided to send him a catalog, in case he wants to order some directly. When I told Bow about the catalog, he said he wanted to read it.

Bow found the catalog quite engrossing, but in the end he decided not to order anything.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Tupperware Problem and the Thanksgiving Snake

Thanksgiving is a time of abundance. We prepare more than enough food, but it's okay, because the leftovers last for several days.

There is the turkey and the pumpkin pie, the stuffing and the yams, and the cranberry sauce.

We eat until we are stuffed, and still there is plenty left over. This year, even Bow realized he did not need to finish it all in one sitting. He did not really work that hard on the turkey and the stuffing, focusing more on the cranberry sauce and the sparkling red grape juice.

When everybody has had their fill and they are just too sleepy and tuckered out for any more digestive effort, that is when we break out the Tupperware. I have to dig deep to try to find the covers to all the containers, so that everything is properly put away, ready to be eaten slowly over the next week. 

Invariably, some containers are found for which there are no covers, and some covers are found for which there is no container. Nevertheless, I managed to put everything away last night, with only a few mismatched items of Tupperware remaining, when I spotted that ribbon in the hallway that seemed out of place. 

I think I actually walked over it first, then did a double take. Not a ribbon. A snake!

Of course, what I normally do when I find a snake I need to transport from one location to another is to break out the Tupperware. I usually look for a container that will easily accommodate that particular snake. But this was Thanksgiving! All my really good Tupperware was in use and filled to the brim with goodies. I had just put everything away in the refrigerator! The only thing left were the badly mismatched containers and lids. And here was this snake!

By the time I grabbed the best container and lid I could find, the Thanksgiving snake was already making plans to escape my clutches. But I had my mother and daughter to think of, neither of whom are particularly fond of snakes.

I had to capture the snake and transport him outside before he hid somewhere in the house, only to emerge at the worst possible moment. So I pushed him with my badly chosen rectangular lid into the the circcular opening of the container I had and gingerly held the lid over the container.

I don't have pictures of this, but at one point the snake's tail was hanging outside the container while the head and majority of his body were inside. Luckily, he decided to cooperate and tucked his tail into the container, accommodating himself to its shape, so that I could press the mismatched lid firmly onto the container.

Then I transported him outside and a little way from the house. When I removed the lid, he seemed happy to escape into the night.

Any other time of the year, I have plenty of Tupperware for snakes. But on Thanksgiving day, there is only that mismatched Tupperware left. Luckily, the snake was understanding, and he cooperated even when my containers were not absolutely right for the task. That is something to be thankful for!