Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “Sadie”

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.


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 Gets a Friend


Duke is not a puppy.  He is a six year old German Shorthair Pointer.  Miss Sugar, my kind-hearted wife, saw on Craigslist that Duke needed a new home.  (I do not understand why she was looking at pet ads on Craigslist.)  As an historical note, we previously were owned by another German Shorthair Pointer, Rover, who was a wonderful dog.  Rover and Max, pictured above, got along well.  Sadly, both have passed on.

German Shorthair Pointers like to run.  They probably need to run.  The family that posted the ad had decided that their living situation was not meeting Duke’s needs for lots of room to run.  We have lots of room to run so Sugar said we would take him.  That happened yesterday.

Duke adjusted well to our family and home immediately.  We introduced him to Beau and Sadie, Yellow Labs, and the horses, and even a cat.

We took all the dogs for a long walk in the pasture, with Duke on a leash, to show him the place.  We took a chance letting him off the leash, hoping he would stay by the other dogs, and he did stay by them, sort of.  He runs circles around the rest of us.  Literally.  He runs in big circles.  But he came back.  That was yesterday.

Today, we took the crowd out for another “walk.”  Even the cat came.  Beau spotted some Pronghorns (antelope) and Duke was glad.  They chased the fastest land animals in North America.  Beau gave up after awhile.  Duke did not.  The Pronghorns and Duke all disappeared from sight.  Sugar and I worried that we had made a mistake letting Duke off the leash.

To our relief, he eventually returned.  Sugar met him with joy.  The prodigal son returned.

In the house, Duke is a gentleman.  He has accepted us.  And we have accepted him.

Beau seems glad to have another buddy.  They are both “sporting dogs.”  So they have that in common.  They are supposed to be bird dogs, of course.  That is what the antelopes would like them to be.  The rabbits in the vicinity also feel strongly in favor of these dogs sticking with retrieving birds.

Beau’s Purpose in Life


Today, as usual, Beau, pictured above, went with me to the barn when I fed the horses.  Then I returned to the house.  Alone.

Sugar, my wise and discerning wife, commented, “Did you call Beau and he did not come?”

“Yes.  You are correct.  No, he did not come.  He is busy eating horse manure.  He looked right at me when I called him, but ignored my invitation.  He seemed to be laughing at me.”

Miss Sugar, usually so sweet, made a statement about our beloved Yellow Labrador Retriever, and also mentioned Beau too.  It should be noted that we got Beau from an animal shelter shortly after Max died.  We did so because Sadie, another Yellow Lab, was depressed and not eating as she mourned Max.  Beau is also a Yellow Lab, but he ain’t no Max.  He did, however, help Sadie by distracting her with his antics, of which she constantly disapproves.

Sugar sighed and said, “I think Beau’s purpose on earth is to remind us of what a wonderful dog Max was.”

The better we get to know Beau, as we have been doing for over two years now, the more we appreciate and miss Max.


Max – look at his sincere expression and contrast it to Beau’s smirk above.

Old Yeller, New Yeller

This is about when we first got Beau from the shelter, as a companion for Sadie, who was grieving. Here ends the Beau marathon, at the beginning.

Shootin' the Breeze

All Americans of a certain age, as well as others around the world, cried when watching the Disney movie, Old Yeller.  For those of you above that certain age, you will recall that after Old Yeller’s sad, sad, sad demise, a neighbor girl brought over a yellow puppy, apparently sired by Old Yeller, but her well-intended gift was initially rebuffed by the boy mourning the loss of his Old Yeller, who was, as the movie theme song stated, “Best doggone dog in the West.”


I know the feeling.  When our Old Yeller, named Max, died, I was not ready to try to replace him.  It somehow seemed disloyal.  Nevertheless, out of concern for Sadie, as described in
we adopted another yellow dog from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter for lonely Sadie to have company.  His name is Beau.

Beau Tie

Unlike Old Yeller and Max, Beau is not yet worthy of the…

View original post 215 more words

Stinky Fish

Beau marathon continues. This is another story of no repentance.

Shootin' the Breeze

swimmingbeauSugar had a great idea.  It was to take the dogs up to Red Feather Lakes, by the Roosevelt National Forest, which is just a few miles up the road from us.  It was a beautiful day on Saturday.  Sugar packed a lunch and we took off with Sadie and Beau.

We selected a spot that any sporting dog would appreciate.  Sadie and Beau are Yellow Labs.  They qualify as sporting dogs and indeed they do like lakes.  I am the one who might not.  I used to enjoy such recreational experiences until Beau came into our lives.

We did not have the place to ourselves.  There were two fishermen who had the gall to fish where we were bringing our dogs.  They had arrived before us even.  How rude.

Sugar and I politely put our dogs on leashes.  We put them on leashes but I did not keep Beau…

View original post 269 more words

Puppyback Ride

Yesterday, I wrote about experiences with eagles and a dog.  Another day, another story.  This one involves two dogs and a cat.

Beau, the subject of many stories, disappeared for awhile.  We have trained him to come when called.  Usually he does.  Today, he did not.  The Yellow Lab was missing.  Sugar was worried.  I was worried too and mad.  Sugar thought someone stole him.  I thought that a far-fetched theory.  For one thing, we have very little traffic.   For another, who would want him?

We called and whistled.  Sadie was home.  Beau was out of sight.

He had been with me when I fed the horses at the barn earlier.  I had fed the dogs and cats too.  Then I went inside to shave and shower.  Sugar interrupted my tasks.  So I went outside with shaving cream on my face.  I hiked along the irrigation ditch.  I saw paw prints, but I am not a good tracker.  I failed to locate Beau.  Sugar was successful.

She had called a neighbor.  The neighbor is half a mile away.  He had seen Beau heading up the road, then into a cow pasture.  Sugar got into her car.  She met the dog as he headed home.

He was glad to see her.  He had no guilt.  He is unrepentant.  He always thinks that he is funny.  What was not funny is that he seriously delayed my departure to the office.  He did not care.

That was this morning.  You won’t guess what happened this afternoon.  Sugar was outside with the untrustworthy dogs.  She came into the kitchen laughing.  Here is what she told me:

“I was walking with the dogs when something jumped out of the tall grass and landed on Sadie’s back.  It was our cat, Jiggsy, and he rode Sadie for at least eight feet.  Sadie did not do anything to get the cat off except to trot and then the cat fell off.  I think he has ridden her before.”

We have all heard of piggyback rides.  Maybe the cat has too.  Should we get him a pig?

Keeping Me in Line


It has come to my attention that I am bossed around by animals.  I am reminded to do my chores and scolded when I am too slow.

Beau, our Yellow Lab, tells us when it is his supper time.  He stands on the deck and barks.  Then either Sugar or I dutifully fill his bowl and Sadie’s.  Sadie lets Beau do the advocating for the two of them.  Beau sometimes brings his bowl in his mouth if we are too slow to get the hint.

Scamp, our trick horse, has remarkable vision.  If I go out on our back porch, which is screened in, he notices, and whinnies.  I would be complimented that he is greeting me because he loves me, but I know better.  He wants me to go to the barn and feed him and the herd.  None of the other horses scold me like Scamp does.  He can be out in the pasture, half a mile away, but if he sees me walking toward the barn, he moseys towards it too.  Then the other horses notice that Scamp is heading in and the pace picks up.  Eventually, all are running to the barn. 

I just wish these animals would pitch in with the chores.  They are happy to eat the hay, but I don’t get any help from them when I stack it.  I need to tell them the story of The Little Red Hen. 


I Hate It When That Happens

We have all had the experience that I had this morning.

You know how it is when you step out on your deck and trip on an antelope skull?  I hate it when that happens!

It happened to me this morning.


Beau finds things.  He brings the things that he finds to the deck off the kitchen, where we feed him and Sadie.  He collects bones primarily.  He loves his possessions.  He often tries to bring them inside.  If prevented from that, he leaves them by the door.  That way, when he is next let in, perhaps when it is dark outside, a quick grab might be successful.  Sometimes it is.

His collection includes that one antelope (aka pronghorn) skull, the partial spine of a cow, a deer skull with one antler, and the leg of a cow, including the hoof.  (I can’t tell you where the other three legs are stored. Coyotes likely know.)

Beau and I have similar taste.  Personally, I use antlers in all of my decorating.  Miss Sugar, my trophy wife, is just a girl.  Girls are not the same as us guys.  You can look it up in the medical literature.  However, we live in harmony.  She allows me to hang antlers and cowhides and longhorns, and guns on the wall.  In a spirit of reciprocity, I allow her to hang up paintings and photos and stuff like that.  She has a collection of crosses, to counteract the guns and knives, I suppose.  Anyway, Sugar and I cooperate.  We have to do so.  We are married.  We live in the same house.


Beau is on his own as a decorator.  He is limited to decorating the deck and the courtyard.  Sadie, like Sugar, is a girl.  She is welcome to decorate the front porch, yet she does not.   She might be less artistic than the rest of us.

Rover, may he rest in peace, employed a larger venue to display his artistic creations.  The entire yard was his canvas.

Plumbing Assistance

We decided that we might enjoy heat during the up-coming winter.  We have a hot water radiant heat system.  When the thermostats were turned up, we could hear the boiler clicking to kick in, but it never did.  So we called a plumber with expertise with boilers.

I know what you are thinking — why didn’t Sugar fix it?  Those of you who read my post called Do It Herself Plumbing ( are aware of Sugar’s handyman talents.  Well, she tried before calling the plumber out of frustration.  She went on-line and found the brand of boiler that we have and looked at the owner’s manual.  She diagnosed the problem as stemming from some by-pass thing-a-ma-bob.  She was fixin to order the part when I intervened by doing my own on-line research of plumbers who specialize in hot water radiant heat systems.  So I called the plumber, whose name is Jim, and he came out yesterday.

No disrespect to Sugar, but it turned out to not be the bypass valve.  Rather, the zone valves for the zones needed replacing as well as some corroded re-fill pipe.  Just as I thought!

I know what you are thinking — why didn’t Beau fix it?  Those of you who read my posts called The Usual Suspect ( and Beau Helps Sugar ( are aware of Beau’s handyman talents.  Well, Beau did help.  Sort of.  Or not.  He did accompany us into the crawl space wherein the boiler resides.  So did Sadie, our other Yellow Labrador Retriever.  So did the cat.

Jim didn’t complain, but I’m not sure he appreciated their advice.  I could see it in his eyes.

Now we have heat.  Thanks, Jim!  Thanks, Sugar!  Thanks, Beau!  Thanks, Sadie!  Thanks, Simba!

Beau and pipe

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