Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “Beau”

In the Middle of the Night, She Asked Me

I try to not disturb my wife’s sleep.   Sometimes, despite my best efforts, others disturb Sugar’s rest.  For example, last night our 90 lb. puppy, Gus, who just celebrated his first birthday, came up to Sugar’s side of the bed and awakened her by sniffing at her lovely face.

However, it is my job to let Gus out, as he good and well knows, so next he came to my side of the bed and softly barked.  I awakened from a deep sleep, obediently sat on the side of the bed, waited for my consciousness to emerge, and started for the bedroom door in the utter darkness.

Before I got there, I stepped on Beau, one of our other Labrador Retrievers, who was sleeping soundly at the end of the bed.  I tried to lift my foot from Beau, out of kindness, I suppose, sacrificing my extraordinary balance to protect Beau, and landing on my bum knee and then my extended right hand, which did not support my lithe frame, which resulted in my laying on the floor at the foot of the bed, where Gus eagerly jumped on my prone form.

“Get off me,” I said from the floor, which disturbed Sugar, who reminded me that he is just a puppy.  I already knew Gus is just a puppy, yet I felt it would be easier to get up off the floor without a puppy on my chest.

Gus and I walked down the hall, across the balcony, down the steps, through the front room, and out the front door, onto the front porch, then down the steps.  Gus was happy to be out at 2:00 a.m.  I was hobbling on my bum knee, which was much more painful than it had been a few moments earlier.

Gus proved that it was worthwhile to go outside, as from a young age he had been taught to potty outside.  See post entitled, “We slept together the very first night.”

I returned to the bedroom by the same painfully difficult route of going up two flights of steps.  I stealthily slipped under the covers.  Sleepy Sugar hugged me and, with genuine concern, asked, “Did he poop?”

Apparently, she felt it unnecessary to inquire about my health after my fall.  That makes sense because she knows how tough I am.

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Cross Creek Ranch Swim Team

closeswimGus, who used to be our baby puppy, is now eight months old.  He has reached the age to try out for the swim team.  So he did.

We have a river running through the ranch, only 100 feet or so from the house.  Beau is an expert swimmer.  In fact, in another post I wrote awhile back, I described him swimming across a lake in order to help some fishermen who were, well, fishing from a boat.  Beau disturbed their attempt to sneak up on fish.  Later, he went to the dock and located the fish that had been caught and took one.  Theft is a wrongful taking with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property.  Maybe Beau intended to bring the fish back, except he did not.

Gus idolizes Beau.  When Beau went swimming, Gus tried to emulate him.  At first Gus stayed in the shallow water and pretended to swim.  He kept his back legs on the bottom and slapped the water with his front paws.  After awhile, Miss Sugar threw a stick into the channel.  That action presented a dilemma.  Gus loves to fetch but he did not know how to swim.  He whined like a baby as the stick drifted past him.  Then instinct kicked in.  He is, after all, a Labrador Retriever.

So, he swam.  He had a reason to swim.  He swam to the stick.  He even had to stick his muzzle in the water to bite on the stick.  He swam back to shore.   He brought the stick to Sugar.  Just like in the yard but with the extra twist of swimming out, fetching, and swimming back, then climbing ashore and bringing the stick to Sugar.  Wow!  A feat worthy of a Labrador.

So, since that fateful day, Gus heads for the river every chance he gets.  He swims his favorite stroke, Dog Paddle.

Just like a big boy.  A proud member of the swim team.

 

 

 

 

 

Where Did Our Puppy Go?

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The dog on the right is our six month old puppy, Gus.  He is sitting with Beau, who weighs 90 lbs.  I don’t know how much Gus weighs.  We miss our baby puppy, pictured below.

Gus at 8 weeks

He adores Beau and copies everything Beau does.

twins (2)beau and gus

MineMe

playmatesMutt and JdffBuds

He grew fast.

twin beds

Beau as Pet of the Year

Readers of this blog who are familiar with numerous posts about our Yellow Labrador Retriever named Beau have an impression of him as an amusing trouble-maker.  Today, I want to amend that view of Beau.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not taking it all back.  The stories about him are all true.  He is indeed a character with a funny personality.  You might recall that many of Beau’s activities have involved “collecting.”  He has robbed both a UPS truck and a FedEx truck.  He has brought me tools from workers.  He has “found” a hat of one of our guests.  He has borrowed towels intended for hot tub occupants.  He has helped himself to breakfasts of persons who negligently got up from the table to get coffee.

But Beau has revealed a selfless side recently.  For acts of kindness, I nominate Beau as our Pet of the Year, an honor that has eluded him for the first six years of his life.

What changed?  Beau has accepted responsibility as the babysitter of our new puppy, Gus.  Beau patiently plays with the exuberant puppy.  He is careful not to hurt Gus.  He allows Gus to climb all over him.  He seems to realize that it would not be a fair fight, so he tolerates the puppy taking Beau’s toys.  He even coaches Gus about fetching and pottying outside.  It is heart-warming to watch the two together.

Today, I witnessed something else that warmed my heart and inspired me to write this post.  Besides Beau and Gus, we also have a female Lab, Sadie, who has tried futilely to teach him how to live his life.  She comes when she is called, for example.

Sadie has always been the first to eat.  No matter which bowl I put down first, that one is hers.  Today, Sadie did not go to her bowl.  Beau finished his meal and stood, waiting for Sadie to eat.  I had to lead her to her food.  Sadie is fourteen, almost.  Her eyesight is going, I suppose, but not her appetite.   I was amazed that Beau did not take Sadies’s food.  He just stood and waited for me to lead Sadie to her food bowl and patiently watched her finish her breakfast.

And for that act of respect  and selflessness, I nominate Beau as our Pet of the Year.

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Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

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Beau, pictured on the right, has taken under his tutelage young Gus, pictured on the left.  Gus emulates many aspects of Beau’s behavior.

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playmates

Double trouble.  Me and Mini Me.

What were we thinking?

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

baby bone

playmates

Beau has been fairly tolerant of the puppy, Gus.  And Gus idolizes Beau, imitating him and trying to play with him.

Stair steps

Beau draws the line at sharing bones.  When I give them each their own chew toys, Beau’s morality does not prevent him from taking the puppy’s from him.

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They are still pals, but someday the roles might be reversed.  Gus is going to be a big’un.

 

Masculine Behavior

beau and gus

“In me you see a relic from a long-lamented age, when masculine behavior wrote a grand romantic page….”    With a Sword and a Rose and a Cape song from the musical Carnival

I pride myself on masculine behavior.  It troubles me when a male fails to display such behavior.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love our new puppy, Gus.  However, it disturbs me that Beau and I are so utterly masculine while Gus, (well, how can I say this delicately?), pees like a girl.  That, my friends, is where Beau and I draw the line.

As shown in the photo above, Beau has been mentoring the puppy about bones and life in general.  I have been hoping that Beau’s example of lifting his leg during urination would teach Gus how it is done in the male dog world.

Since that has not worked so far, I guess I will have to take a stab at it.  Perhaps I am viewed as more of a leader.  I will let you know.  Good thing we have no neighbors within view.

We Slept Together the Very First Night

sleepy gus

So my wife and I picked up our new puppy yesterday.  His name is Gus.  He is a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He joins Sadie, who is almost 14 years old, and Beau, who is 6 years old.  They were not too enthused about the idea of bringing in an 8 week old baby to change their lives.  Three is a crowd perhaps.

We spent the day as an orientation period.  Gus seems smart and curious.  He is pretty brave.  He likes following the older dogs.  He wants to make friends.  They are usually tolerant, but Beau snapped at Gus when he got too close to his personal bone.  Sadie left the living room at bedtime and, instead of sleeping there as usual, showed up in our bedroom.  Turns out that was a smart idea.

It was a smart idea because Gus cried and cried from his crate, which I had placed in the living room, thinking he would be comforted by having the other dogs around him.  Not so much.

I remember my father sleeping on our screened porch when we got a new puppy years ago.  He did it so as to take the puppy out to potty during the night.  Also, I suppose, to keep it company.

So I copied my Dad in a modified fashion.  I found the puppy shut up as long as I laid down in front of the crate.  I stayed until he fell asleep.  Then I sneaked away to join Sugar.  An hour later, I was awakened by pitiful crying from the crate in the living room.   I took Gus outside to see about peeing or pooping.  Then I put him back in the crate.  Then he cried again.  Then I laid down in front again.

We repeated the process every hour or so.  We went out four times.

The successful part is that there have been absolutely zero accidents in the house.

Gus feels that I am learning quickly how to sleep in front of the wire door to the crate so he can watch over me.  It only took a few times for me to catch on.

I am sure gonna miss my wife.  I really prefer sleeping with her.

 

Gus at 8 weeks

Beau and Cujo Go Camping

Some loyal readers have asked how Beau, our Yellow Labrador Retriever, is doing. I have some news to report.
Beau, who has extraordinary self-esteem, and consequently expects that everyone, all creatures great and small, will like him, discovered, sadly, that is not true. It was not true when he met a Mastiff at a campground last week.
As Miss Sugar told the story to me, the Mastiff, apparently irritated by Beau’s exuberant attitude, barked at him. Beau, delighted to have his presence acknowledged by another dog, pulled on the cable to which he was tied so hard that it broke. Beau happily ran to the campsite across the road, dragging the cable, expecting to play.

When Beau arrived, the Mastiff, whom we shall call Cujo, knocked Beau onto his back and went for Beau’s jugular.
Miss Sugar and Cujo’s owner watched in horror. Beau realized that Cujo was not playing nicely and managed to bite Cujo’s face. That move allowed Beau to get up and try to leave the adversarial situation. Unfortunately, Cujo was not finished. He bit Beau’s left hind leg. He bit all the way through the leg.
Miss Sugar called for Beau to retreat. He did.  It is rare for Beau to come when called.
Cujo’s owner owner was embarrassed. She stated the obvious, “He does not get along with other animals. That is why we take him out for walks at 4:00 a.m.” It seems the dog has a history. Beau was not Cujo’s first victim.
She kindly offered to help with Beau’s anticipated vet bills. Then she added. “Our dog’s face is bleeding.”
Sugar did not offer any sympathy.

Sugar did take Beau to a vet she found in the area.  (I was not there to help.  I was at work, scheduled to join the family later.)  The vet treated the puncture wounds from the bite and prescribed antibiotics.  She said Beau might need a shunt to drain infection if that sets in.  He had to wear a cone to keep him from licking his leg.

When I arrived at the campsite, Beau was not the happy camper I am used to seeing.  He was depressed.  He was in pain.  He did not want to walk on his swollen limb.  He hated wearing the cone.  We were sad to see Beau so very sad.  I think part of his depression came from the realization that  Cujo did not like him.  That fact did not Beau’s worldview that everyone likes him.  He seemed to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

But don’t worry, Beau fans, he has bounced back.  He did not need a shunt.  He no longer limps.  The cone is off.  He has re-captured his gift of enthusiasm.  Beaurunning

Beau’s Hot Tub Etiquette

bunkhouse

We have a log bunkhouse on our ranch.  It was the original homestead cabin, but has been refurbished except for the logs themselves.  The roof, electrical, plumbing, and storm windows are all new.  It has a bathroom.  It has a sauna.  We advertise it on Air B&B.  Our guests seem to like it.  My wife, Sugar, goes overboard in the hospitality department.  She is a wonderful cook.  It is more than “bed and breakfast.”

This past weekend we had guests from another state.  They were recently married.  Both husband and wife are engineers.  Smart couple.  Supposedly.

For engineers, they failed to foresee obvious dangers.  They failed to account for our dog, Beau.  Big mistake!

Beau is, as loyal readers recall, a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  He retrieves items whether or not he has been requested to do so.  Hence the problem.

The young couple took advantage of the opportunity to relax in our hot tub located in the courtyard.  Beau took advantage of them.

They wore robes and sandals.  They carried towels.  Beau watched.

He watched more carefully than they did.  They placed their towels and robes over the cantina bar next to the hot tub.  They put their sandals on the step up into the hot tub.

Beau waited from them to get into the tub.  He waited for them to relax.  He waited for an opportune moment.  He caught them unaware.

Then he grabbed a robe and ran.  When the husband got out to fetch it from Beau, holding a towel around his waist, Beau circled back and grabbed the remaining towel, having left the robe 50 feet from the tub.  Faster than the man, Beau got a sandal before he got back.

Sugar looked out a window, observed the chaos, and intervened.  She retrieved the items for the couple.  They decided that they had relaxed enough and returned to the bunkhouse.

Beau had a wonderful time.  He hopes they come back to visit.  Fat chance.

Beaurunning

 

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