Saturday, September 14, 2019

Discipline SUXS! (So sayeth Merida)

So the other night I called Merida because I wanted to play with her. She did not come to me, so after a few calls I went looking, because this isn't like her at all. I found her up on my bed, sleeping on my pillow.

That's a "Nope" right there.

So I pulled her down the the floor and gave her a good "NO!" And in return, she gave me a dirty look and climbed right back up on the bed. Really?

A few seconds later saw her back on the floor with another negative admonition, at which point she went over to her blanket on the floor at the foot end of the bed, lay down and stuck her head under the bed. I went over and tried to coax her out, because I still wanted to play with her, but everything I did caused her to burrow further under the bed. Then it hit me--she was sulking! Poor thing's probably never been corrected before, and definitely not by me yet, and she wasn't liking it. So I left her alone and went on about my business for an hour or so and when I went back in the room she was still on the floor but she got up and came over to me, this time in a little better mood. I gave her some petting and scratching, and then she turned and went back up on the bed again, as if to see if it was ok now. She was removed a third time and hasn't tried it again since. And she seems to have gotten over her little fit of pique and now follows me around everywhere again. I guess someone was trying for the role of Alpha in the house and now that she realized that she didn't get the part she's ok again.

So this morning, since it finally wasn't a million degrees and the dogs all let me sleep in for a bit, we went down to the French Quarter.
It was the first time I took all three of them out together, and Merida preferred to walk with the big dogs rather than ride in her wagon. I let her at first and she did ok for a few blocks but she fatigued pretty quickly and I decided to put her back in it. Again I got challenges, as she really wanted to be with her pack and kept jumping out of the wagon. It was admirable, and the girl's got grit, but she just doesn't have that stamina yet and it was obvious that she was struggling so I repeatedly put her back in the wagon until she finally learned to stay in it. It's looking like she's going to be a bit of a hard-head just like her pal Murphy.

Hell, they drove me to drink this morning and it wasn't even 10AM yet.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wagon Train(ing)

The other night, my friend Paige came over to help me accustom Merida to her wagon.




She apparently liked her ride enough to decide that Paige was ok. She decided on her own to climb up on the couch with Paige afterwards.

What am I going to do with these two?

Sunday, September 08, 2019

And then there were three. So much for the "fostering" idea...

I went and added little Merida to the sidebar today so I guess that makes it official. She's just fitting in too well here. The other dogs have taken to her despite their initial reluctance because she worked so hard at befriending them. Even Belle the diva finally melted. And Murphy may not act like he likes her around the house, but I've started taking all of them out in public together and he very clearly guards her when other people come up and want to pet her. Nothing aggressive but he always seems to put himself very close to her if not in between her and the interested person to the extent that people point out how protective he's being. Belle does to to an extent, but she's still a princess with her own need for attention. Frankly I expected jealousy from her but haven't seen a bit, not even when Merida eats out of her dish, takes a drink when Belle's drinking from the water bowl, or steals Belle's bed.

Everybody's just getting along and they even lay down and sleep by her at night now. I was letting her out my bedroom door into the back yard special to save her the longer walk the other dogs make when I put them out the side door (they have to go the length of the house on gravel to reach the back yard for "dog business") but now she runs out the side door with them, preferring the long walk with her new pack over the easy shortcut with me. She's also learned how to jump up on my bed, which is almost as far off the ground as she is tall, but she hasn't learned how to do it without crashing into me like a 45lb wrecking ball whilst I'm still dozing. Bottom line: She's real cute and everyone loves her and it would be cruel to uproot her again when she's finally feeling secure and happy. So she's staying.

The other night I took all three to the dog park, but when we got there the park was closed. So I took them to the bar instead. (OK, two bars and a gourmet french fry shop...) She's much more confident walking in with her pack then when I took her solo a couple nights prior. And they stuck to her instead of trying to hustle pets and snacks like they usually do.
We got home and she was all tuckered out and went right to sleep, no doubt dreaming dreams of finally finding her forever home.
Sometimes little dogs' dreams do come true.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

A day at the range

I needed this day. It's been too long, and Southern Decadence festivities are inundating the French Quarter this week-end so it was time to go visit real America for a few hours.

Started out on clays with the Ithaca 12. Took me a bit to find my groove and I missed some ridiculously easy ones, but as soon as I started throwing pairs, I cleaned house. Apparently I do better when I don't have time to think and try to plot the clays. When I don't give myself time to over-think it, I hit them fine.


Then it was over to the rifle line.
I'm old enough to remember when I was literally the only one on the firing line with a "black gun" or "assault rifle" and I got snide remarks from other shooters for having an AR-15 20 years ago. But these days I'm often the only one on the line without one. Times have changed...and good luck banning something that most shooters seem to have these days.

But for me, it was a trip in the Wayback Machine.
Bottom one is a Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) #1Mk3* made at Lithgow, Australia. This rifle was the British Commonwealth infantry weapon from World War One until it was supplemented and replaced by the #4 above it starting in 1941, but some of the Commonwealth countries like Australia and India kept manufacturing and using this variant through World War Two, and in the case on India, production continued into the 1960's, and then they changed over to the new NATO 7.62x51 cartridge and continued producing it
into the 1980's. But this particular one was made in Australia in 1941 and undoubtedly saw some service in WW2.

The top rifle is an "upgraded" version, the #4mk1. This one was manufactured at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Maltby in South Yorkshire, Britain. It was also made in 1941, and I bought it back in the late 80's for the sum of $76.00 from Southern Ohio Gun when Century International and others were bringing in the "endless" supplies of military surplus arms at dirt cheap prices. (I wish I'd bought so many more but most of us didn't see them ever running out.)

Both rifles fire the .303 cartridge and as I still had seventy rounds left of South African surplus .303, I took these two out to the range. I have not fired this #4 since the late 1980s or early 90's so it needed to be sighted in. The first two rounds at 25M hit at nine o'clock there and didn't really please me. The third took me a second to find...what the heck?! Look at that keyhole at the left edge of the target where the projectile went through sideways.


That got my attention. I recovered the spent brass and it looked fine. I pulled the bolt and checked the bore. Looked ok. I fired two more and they were centered, just a tick low as they should have been. I eventually chalked it up to a ammo quality control matter. The remaining rounds seemed to have fired fine and most of them hit the 8" steel gong at 100M solidly. (And now I wonder how many of the misses were on target but went sideways like the one above...)


Then it was Thompson time.

I took the 1928 Thompson out to play for a bit. Always fun. Set a target out at 30M and made Swiss Cheese out of it by putting front sight on the target belt buckle and firing short bursts, letting muzzle rise carry the rounds up the target's belly and chest area. Easy peasy.

I heard another rapid-firing weapon down the line and curious to see, I popped down to see this joker rapid-firing an AR with NO SIGHTS ON IT! Yep. No front or rear but he was going to town.
Sigh...public ranges.


Still, a great day indeed, and long overdue.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Off we go!

"A walk would be nice," say the big dogs.


But how do we take out new pack sister with us? Oh yeah...Amazon sells wagons!

To be honest, she didn't take to it at first. It was ok to sit in, but moving? Well there's going to need to be some training here.
And we started the training outside.



And the neighbor kids were right there to give her some needed encouragement, and I think that helped a lot.
More to come on this experiment but if it works, she'll have all the mobility that the other two have for evening walkabouts.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Of dogs and decadence

She went to the vet today. Needed a bath bad. Hadn't had one since who knows when and she was greasy and grimy. They said the water turned black and I believe it because she's noticeably lighter now and much more pleasant to touch. Smells better too. The vet techs could not believe the change in her disposition in just a week, from scared and withdrawn to cheerful and loving. She'd doing great.

Back home, she kept me company outside while I tried (and failed) to fix my flood-damaged lawn mower, which apparently went under water while I was in Mexico. I got it from "won't start" to "almost stays running" but I can't quite knack it. I guess it's into the mower shop. Sigh. But she stayed out with me while the other two went right back in for air conditioning. Loyalty.

Now she's dozing on the sofa. Shame on her...but too cute to kick off.

But lest you think it's been all dog all the time, I did get out to Mid-Summer Mardi Gras uptown this week-end. There was a parade and adult beverages were consumed.
Don't try to understand it. You really had to be there.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

And her name shall be Merida

Sorry for the lack of posting. Been busy here. But little Merida is fitting right in. And that will be her name now, named for the capital city in Mexico's Yucatan state, a beautiful place that I would never have gone to on my own, but once I saw it, I fell in love with it. And that applies to this crazy little 3/4 Pit Bull too. I didn't want another dog and wouldn't have chosen a pibbie but now that I've started to get to know her...
Here she is on one of the two dog beds by the window. She has no problem competing for this prime space with the other two, meaning one of the Shepherds has to sleep elsewhere. But they let her. She's now chasing them around, trying to be everywhere they they are and licking at their faces whenever she can, kind of like that annoying little sibling they wish would go away but who adores them so much. And they put up with all of it, although Murphy does get agitated at times. I think even he's come along though. She's got this sunny disposition that you just can't get mad at. Despite everything that's happened to her, she's downright cheerful.

Yesterday she was outside with me and the other two, and suddenly, like they'd coordinated it all three ran to the back door wanting to get in the house.
So I got up from my lawn chair where I'd been sitting and went over to let them in. I knew that rain was coming but within thirty seconds of us all going inside, a deluge hit and it poured like crazy. They felt it--all three of them. And then they all looked at me smugly when we were inside and they were lying down on their nice dry dog beds as the rain beat on the windows and roof. "Good thing hooman listen to us!"

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Third day

Now she wags her tail when I come in the house. And she's coming out of her crate every now and again, usually to follow me around the house. And today, I got my first licks on my hand.
And this morning, as I was sitting on the couch getting ready for work, she walked over and climbed up to sit next to me, casual as you please.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Day 2

She's doing better this morning. Got her out of the crate--with effort--and took her outside, and as soon as she does her dog business she turns and runs back to the house, up the stairs, down the hall and back to her crate. It's clearly her safe space. Belle is curious and a little maternal and Murph couldn't care less. But he did let her drink her fill from the water bowl as he stood patiently waiting. Good boy.

Belle is starting to warm up, but she still comes to me for attention and validation a lot more than usual. She's not quite sure yet but she's trying.

She's eating and drinking now, and I got the first tail wag from her when I came in from work today, but she's still not coming out of that crate.
That's OK. We've got time.

And I'm leaning towards "Angel".

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Introducing...

Well hell...I don't know what to call her yet. But she's here now as a foster and maybe longer.
Poor girl had a run of bad luck up in Caddo Parish and she needs some healing space and loving.
Obviously, I sympathize. I know what she's going through all too well and understand what she's probably going to need and want. She's got other medical problems too, but we're taking it day by day right now. So far Murphy and Belle aren't messing with her but I don't think it's dawned on them that she's going to be here for a while yet. And that's good, because they just took the leg last Friday and she's on some heavy meds and just wants to sleep right now. I get that.

She doesn't know it yet but she's gonna be ok.

Right now though, she just needs rest. And a name. Something Louisiana-themed perhaps. Any thoughts?