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Defending His Master’s Keep

This one is for Moonshine, who ended up in the emergency vet’s office last night for stitches after taking on an assault gopher.  That’s what most normal people call a groundhog.

If you like this, and want more, check out “Coming Home“.


Water of Fire settled down upon the floor in front of the fireplace. The mistress and her pups had left him inside this day, believing that the ground outside was too wet and sloppy for him to stay in the yard while they were gone to visit neighbors. He did not understand this reasoning, for there were few things in life he enjoyed more than taking a long run at a mud puddle, then slipping and sliding across it. A smile came to his muzzle at the memory of mud dripping from his sides and tail as he lined himself up for another run at the low spot in the corner of the yard.

Other than him, the house was empty. The new dog, whom his humans had christened with the name “Bounder,” was with the Master of Beasts, he of the liver-flavored biscuits and occasional stabs in the rump, for the day. She was a good sort, if a bit too energetic for him, but she was fitting in well with his family. The elder war hound, Turf of Azure, rest her soul, no longer occupied her usual spot in the warmest part of the kitchen, and had gone on to that place where the sunbeams never moved and the bowls never emptied.

The cats, those skulking hunters of mice and filchers of treats, had been banished to the barn so that they could clean out an infestation of mice, which had chewed their way into the grain stores for the coming winter. One of the felines, the tan one with the black face and blue eyes, had cursed in his high, lilting voice the entire time that Water of Fire’s boy had carried him out of the house. That memory caused the hound to chuckle as he lay his head upon his paws.

The warmth of the fireplace and the absolute silence of the house, not even broken by the soft pads of a cat’s paw on the pantry shelves, overwhelmed the hound with bliss. As the sun peeked through the tall windows in the north wall, a broad sunbeam washed over him, infusing his black fur with even more heat and relaxing every muscle in his body. Soon, the silence was broken by his snores and an occasional whimper as he chased a horde of bloodthirsty squonks in his dreams.

Overhead, a flight of geese honked loudly as they cleared the manor’s roof. Their calls to one another caused one of the sleeping dog’s ears to cock up for a moment, swivel as he tried to find the source of the disturbance, then drop as the noise faded. His mahogany eyes never opened, and the incident only intruded momentarily on his dream of small, fuzzy creatures in an open field.

Then, an almost imperceptible breeze swept across the study, which ruffled the fine silver hairs frosting the hound’s black fur and caused some of the papers on his master’s desk to stir. Water of Fire opened his eyes at this, wondering if there was a window open somewhere, when he noticed more movement upon the desk.

Lifting his head, he saw a piece of paper swirl, as if caught in a zephyr, and lift from the desk. He sat up completely and cocked his head to the side, never taking his eyes from the floating piece of vellum. Then, to his surprise, it began to fold inward upon itself, first pulling one side toward the other, then the top to the bottom.

After a few moments, in which the paper fluttered and twisted a few feet in the air above the desk, it took the form of a small paper bat. Flapping its wings, it sailed around the room. Alarmed at such wizardry, Water of Fire stood up and barked at the paper flying mouse, causing it to hover for a moment and turn its face toward him. The hair on the back of the dog’s neck stood up and his ears lay back when he saw that instead of eyes, the apparition had two red, glowing spots, which bored down at him.

A deep growl rose from the hound’s chest, and the war dog leapt at the paper bat, trying to grasp it in his teeth. The bat swooped away, making chattering noises as it flew higher than he could jump. As he watched and snarled at the creature, it flew up to settle on one of the high beams supporting the peaked roof. Water of Fire barked again, filling the study with his high-pitched war cry.

“This is my domain!” he cried out in a way any foe worth having could understand. “I accuse you of being a coward and a fool if you do not come down to face me!”

This caused the bat to squeak loudly in indignation, hurling insults down at the war dog. It launched itself from its perch, pulling its wings back and diving directly at the black hound. Water of Fire jumped up to meet it, barely missing its tail with his teeth. The bat whooped in triumph, and banked hard to avoid crashing into the polished wooden floor.

Water of Fire tracked his foe as it swooped back up toward the rafters, then leapt at it. Two fast strides brought him to his master’s chair, and he reared up on his legs, pushing off from its high back to leap high into the air. Behind him, the chair fell back onto the floor with a thud and a rattle, but he was rewarded with the taste of parchment in his mouth as he caught one of the demon’s wings with his teeth.

The hound landed on his mistress’ writing desk, scattering papers, crystal vials of potions and ink, and a book of poetry, in which she was pressing several flowers from the garden. The bat squealed in pain, tearing at his face with its papery claws, then shrieked as he shook it as if it were a rat. Pieces of paper fell like new snow upon the desk and floor beside it as he tore it to bits. Finally, he chewed up and swallowed the pasty remnants of his foe, triumphant in defending his home.

Water of Fire sniffed the scraps of vellum scattered across the desk, then surveyed the mess around him. Iridescent ink dripped from a vial without a stopper, causing a swirling purple puddle to expand on the floor. Meanwhile, another vial lay in the middle of a sizzling pool of some potion or another, which was slowly eating into the desk’s finish. The vapors from it smelled of rotten eggs and ashes, and made Water of Fire sneeze when he sniffed them.

The book of poetry, most of its pressed flowers scattered across the floor, moved when his paw brushed it as he descended from the desk. The hound pushed at the tome with his nose, curious about the many smells that its contents exuded, then left it behind as he returned to his spot next to the fireplace.

Water of Fire pushed out his front legs, arching his back and tail to stretch after his exertions. As he took the first of his customary three turns before resuming his favorite resting position, he heard something scrape on the floor behind him. He turned in a flash, his ears back and teeth bared, ready to pounce. But instead of another paper bat diving at him, the dog saw the book standing up on its own. As he watched, small arms and legs popped out from the cover, and with the rustle of pages against one another, it sprinted toward the door.

The hound yipped in surprise. His nails skidded on the floor, trying to gain purchase as he pursued the demon in its new form. He skidded into a bookshelf on his way out the door, dislodging a vase of dried flowers, which shattered against the threshold. Bits of glass and flower petals flew in all directions as the war dog righted himself and shot out into the hall.

The book, still running as fast as it could go, vaulted onto the bannister at the top of the stairs. Water of Fire heard its evil laughter echoing from the stairwell’s high ceiling as it slid down, leaving him behind. He sprinted down the stairs, gaining ground by touching only every third step. His teeth crashed together several times as he tried to catch the book, but always missed by not more than the width of a few of the book’s pages.

With a cry of glee, the book sailed off the end of the oaken bannister, flying through the air toward the open door to the kitchen. Water of Fire vaulted off the last step, colliding with the book in mid-air and dragging it down. The two combatants slammed into the wall and ripped down a tapestry depicting a scene from the Eyrisch countryside. The book hopped up and tried to make its escape, but was slammed to the floor by a mighty paw. It screamed as Water of Fire sank his teeth into its pages, then shook it back and forth. The book opened and shut itself forcefully, smacking its cover into the dog’s face in its struggles.

Water of Fire shook the book again as he stumbled into the kitchen, then slammed it back down onto the floor again. He held it down with one paw, ripping at its soft paper underbelly. Finally, the book moaned and ceased its struggles, its pages torn and its spine broken.

Water of Fire panted for air as he lifted his head from the demon’s carcass. His mouth was gummy with ink and the remnants of the dried flowers he had consumed during the fight. One eye was sore where a stiff corner of the cover had caught it in the battle, and one of his ears rang from a blow. He gave the book a final swipe with his foot, then limped over to the water bowl to wash the taste of paper from his mouth.

Lapping up the water, Water of Fire pondered what was to be done about the state of the house. While she was an intelligent creature, his mistress could not understand him when he tried to communicate with her, only catching the occasional vague idea of his meaning. Lifting his head to gaze back toward the hall, he knew that there was no way that she would not notice the mess his battle had created. Perhaps if he were to show her the items the demon had possessed, she would sense the residue of its presence and forgive him.

As he pondered what would happen when the family returned, he heard a noise coming from the other side of the kitchen. A sound, similar to that made by a morsel falling from the table to be scooped up, made his ears perk up and his mouth water. He bent down to look along the floor and sniff, and saw an entire loaf of fresh-baked bread lying in front of the oven.

He approached the bread, sniffing the intoxicating aroma of yeast and wheat deep into his nostrils. The loaf remained inert, even when he poked it with an outstretched paw.

No, he thought, better to leave it. He was not that hungry, and he knew that the mistress would not want to bake more bread, even though this piece was on the floor, which was normally his domain when it came to food.

Water of Fire turned away from the oven and took a few steps toward the door. He just wanted to go back upstairs and sleep until the family returned. Perhaps he could think of a way to deal with their displeasure. His reverie was broken, however, when he heard the sound of small, soft feet padding across the tiles.

The war hound spun around, expecting to see a maniacal cutting board or meat mallet racing toward him, but was surprised to see the loaf of bread, now sporting a set of stubby, crusty legs, running toward the open window. It left a trail of golden crumbs in its wake as it raced across the floor. With a growl of frustration, Water of Fire gave chase once again.

This time, the demon chose to fight, rather than run, when it noticed his pursuit. The bread turned, red eyes glowing in the wall’s shadow, and launched itself at the dog. Surprised, Water of Fire skipped to the side with a yelp as the heavy loaf impacted on his hindquarters, knocking him sideways. The bread jumped upon his back, grabbing at his fur with two stubby hands. More crumbs flew about the kitchen.

Water of Fire whirled around in a desperate attempt to rid himself of his attacker. The bread cackled as it hauled back on his fur, then grasped at his tail. The war dog cried out in pain as he felt the end of his tail pull at an odd angle toward his back.

The hound rolled onto his side, extracting a squeal of anger from the yeasty demon as he crushed it with his weight. He swung his head around, again catching his foe between his teeth, but this time he took no chances. Rather than rip the loaf to bits, as he had done with the book and the paper bat, he swallowed it in three large bites. The demon screamed as it went down his gullet, then fell silent.

Water of Fire collapsed to the cold tile floor. His tail ached badly, and he whined in pain every time he tried to move it. His stomach hurt from being overstuffed with paper and bread, and his back was sore where patches of fur had been ripped out by the savage baguette monster. He limped out of the kitchen, his belly gurgling and his ear ringing, and up the stairs to the study. There, he found that the potion, which had pooled on his mistress’ desk, had stopped smoking and sizzling, although it had eaten a hole about a quarter of a paw’s depth into its thick wooden top. The numerous papers and other things he had knocked to the floor were intermingled with the spilled ink, which was coagulating into a pearlescent purple blob. He almost cut his paws on a few sharp pebbles of glass, but made it to his spot next to the fireplace without injuring himself further.

The war dog, the silver highlights in his fur now muted by dust, crumbs, and bits of his enemy, flopped down onto the floor without any of his customary ceremony. With a final sigh, he closed his eyes. Perhaps the mistress would not be too upset about the damage if he met her at the door and tried to explain.

Besides, he thought as he drifted off to sleep, I did it defending my master’s keep.

Saying Goodbye



Koshka, 1998 to 2016

This Looks Familiar

This is kind of how we ended up with Derby, the little black dog.  But instead of two little girls giving the dog a bath and asking to keep it, the mother in our household was right in there with the kids, giving the father the sad eyes routine.

The Light Upon the Grass

A coat the color of sunshine
A soul the essence
of a glorious sunbeam
A smile the musings
 of a brilliant sunrise

She laughed and played
like a curious sprite
with an everlasting smile
dancing across her face
to make the days bearable
in the best kind of way

She snored peacefully
amidst her fun-filled dreams
Her love coursed our veins
as she stamped her nose
in loving approval

But her smile
finally evolved into a sunset
and the soul
like all sunbeams
had to recede
 as day turned to night
Her sunshine got clocked
in for ever darkness
Our beloved Bluegrass
— Girlie Bear

Saying Goodbye

In 2001, I met a beautiful woman.  We went out to dinner for our first date, and by the time we said good night, I knew that she wanted a yellow lab to go with her new house.  As we began dating, she found a reputable breeder and put down a deposit on a puppy.   She even made the road trip to the wilds of central Kentucky to pick out her puppy a few days after the litter was born.  She picked out a tiny, little white Lab puppy who snuggled up in her arms when picked up.

A couple months later, we packed Girlie Bear and Little Bear and drove out to get the puppy.  I was glad that I only brought enough to pay for the pup Irish Woman had already selected, because there is no better marketing than a playpen full of Labrador puppies and two kids under the age of five.  We brought Bluegrass home that day.

She was fuzzy, and friendly, and photogenic.

She was curious about the world around her.

She was good with the kids.

But, she didn’t stay a fuzzy pup for long.  She grew….

and grew….

and grew.

She ran like a thoroughbred,

and was an excellent watch dog.

For a water dog, she wasn’t very impressed with the lake, but she got into it after a while.

Eventually, she started to show her age, and enjoyed a lot of nights relaxing in front of the fire, with her big brother…

and little.

We had to let go of Blue yesterday.  She’d been struggling to get up and down for a long time, and it was becoming very plain that she was never really comfortable.  She developed a hard, hacking cough on Saturday night, and the vet told us that it was either pneumonia or tumors in her lungs.  We said our goodbyes, then I held her while the doctor ended her pain.

Bluegrass was a sweet, playful, loving, and fun part of our family.  Irish Woman commented last night on how quiet the house was without her snoring or her trips around the house to check that all the doors were closed and that all the kids were in their beds.  We will miss her.

Bluegrass – September 2001 to December 2014  – Mama’s PupPup and Piglet

How to Survive a Household Skunk Attack

By the Irish Woman

  1. Swear until you cry
  2. Bathe your unpopular pets in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and baby shampoo.  Repeat until your pet is once again lovable.
    • Bathe yourself using this process until you feel sociable.
  3. Wash every surface down with vinegar and water.
  4. Start swearing again because your house still smells like burnt rubber.
  5. Febreeze all the furniture.
  6. Stop and drink a bourbon and coke because your house still smells like skunk.
  7. Begin washing all the laundry you had sitting in the room ready to fold because it too smells like skunk.
  8. Drink another bourbon and coke.
  9. Go to bed with the windows open and an ambient temperature of 30 degrees with the hopes that the clean frost-filled air will do the trick.
  10. Wake up and start swearing.
  11. Go talk to the neighbor about setting a trap on their property so you can once again use your backyard without your dog getting sprayed.
  12. Just smile when the neighbor loans you their trap and they ask you to humanely trap and relocate the skunk because they have been feeding the #$$!@@#$! thing every night and they like skunks.
  13. Return to your house where you are hit with a fragrance of fresh skunk and quickly remember that a good skunk is a dead skunk.
  14. Smile at the delivery man who has brought you an expensive ozone generator, complete with $23.00 overnight delivery.
  15. Remove all pets and people from the house.
  16. Turn on the ozone machine and leave the house for two hours to spend another $40.00 on dinner.
  17. Return home to find that your home no longer smells like skunk, but rather has the fresh smell of a new freezer.
  18. Keep washing laundry.
  19. Replace the shower curtain and liner that made first contact with the skunked dogs when they were bathed.
  20. Keep on doing laundry.
  21. Drink another bourbon and coke.

Note – Real skunks were used in this story and not been harmed, yet. Only top shelf bourbon should be consumed during this crisis.  All skunks are guilty until proven innocent.

Play By Play

Bart:  Hello everyone, and welcome to the program.  If you’re just joining us, DaddyBear is trying to defend both his lunch and his title in Food Defense.

Cindy:  That’s right, Bart.  DaddyBear has been the house champion in being able to sit in his chair, eat his lunch, and read a book.  But today he’s got some stiff competition.

Bart:  You bet he does.  Crash McBadKitty has been called up from the basement, and is raring to try his skills against the best.  You’ll remember Crash from the Great Pizza Incident last month, where he was able to get away with one-quarter of a large pepperoni pizza while Girlie Bear’s back was turned.

Cindy:  Bart, that play alone pushed Crash up into the major leagues, but he still has a lot to prove.  I talked to Crash this morning during breakfast warm-ups, and he says that he knows he earns his place in the food chain around here every day.  He really wants to prove he’s stealthier, sneakier, and more ruthless than any food stealer in the house.

Bart:  Thanks, Cindy.  Oh, and there goes the opening beep from the microwave.  DaddyBear is taking his lunch out of the oven.  Cindy, what do we have here?

Cindy:  Bart, DB has warmed himself up some leftovers from the other night.  Boneless pork ribs, with a side of rice pilaf.  Irish Woman really outdid herself with that meal.

Bart:  She sure did!  The whole house smelled of garlic and roast pork all evening.  Cindy, is that DB’s signature jalapeno-tomato jelly he’s slathering on right now?

Cindy:  I think so.  He’s quite fond of that recipe, and he’s taken to putting it on sandwiches as well as roasted meat.  I’m told he even uses it with peanut butter, which just goes to show how versatile a player DaddyBear is.

Bart:  That’s why he’s one of the greats.  OK, he’s retrieved cutlery and is heading to his rocking chair.  Do you think that’s wise?  The arms on that chair are kind of narrow, and it doesn’t look like he’s dragging over a table to hold his plate.

Cindy:  You’re right, Bart.  DB appears to be show-boating a bit here, but then again, he is one of the great eaters in the history of the sport.  OK, he’s down in the chair, has his tablet in one hand and is balancing the plate on his knee.  And here comes Crash!

Bart:  He’s taking a classic Siamese Death Crawl today, trying to get close without being noticed.  DaddyBear is taking the first bite of the pork, and Crash is watching every move.  He must really want that rib.

Cindy:  OK, DB has gone back to reading his book, and Crash has made it to the side of the chair.  This just goes to show that even a rookie can have expert stalking skills and technique.  OK, Crash is going up on his hind legs to see if the direct approach works, and oh, did DaddyBear shut him down.

Bart:  Wow, Cindy, DB didn’t waste any time establishing dominance in the ground game.  A stiff arm to the top of Crash’s head, then a gentle push away.  Classic technique with a successful ending.  Let’s see how the rookie recovers.

Cindy:  DB is taking a bite of the pork with some rice, while Crash is circling around to the other side of the rocking chair.  No, wait, he’s walking away.  Has he given up?

Bart:  I don’t think so, Cindy.  From down here on the playing field, it looks like Crash is going to try an aerial assault.  You know, Siamese are known for their climbing ability, and DaddyBear put himself right next to the bookcase.

Cindy:  You’re right, Bart.  Crash has ascended to the third shelf, where DB keeps his history books, and is pawing at DB’s shoulder.  Is he trying to get DB to just give him his meal?

Bart:  Stranger things have happened, Cindy.  Remember, it still counts as a win if the meal is given over, in whole or in part, willingly.  Remember how Moonshine got extra points for the soulful eyes routine when getting chicken from Girlie Bear the other night?

Cindy:  It looks like that’s just what Crash is doing, and oh, my, what a pitiful look he’s giving DB.  I’m all the way up here in the booth, and I’m ready to get a hot dog from the concessions stand and share it with this poor, starving kitty.

Bart:  Don’t let him fool you.  That cat ate a hearty breakfast, and had a snack of cat food just before coming into the living room.  This is all an act.  Crash is showing an amazing amount of skill for someone so young.

Cindy:  He sure is, Bart, but it doesn’t look like it’s working this time.  DB has picked Crash up off of the bookcase and put him back on the floor.  Yet again, the veteran shows that in this game, it’s the defense that wins everything.  DaddyBear’s about halfway done with his lunch, and Crash better get a move on if he wants to get anything but crumbs.

Bart:  Cindy, there seems to be someone else on the playing field. Oh, wow, it’s Moonshine.  You might remember that Moonshine was voted Rookie of the Year in 2012 when he came into the league, and he’s taken Crash under his paw, so to speak, as a mentor. Moonshine is on the opposite side of the chair from DB’s lunch, but he’s making a lot of noise.

Cindy:  Bart, do you see Crash?  After DB put him on the floor, he seemed to just disappear.

Bart:  That’s one of his better tricks, Cindy.  With his tan and black fur pattern, he can blend in just about anywhere in the house.  I don’t see him, but keep a sharp eye on that plate.  I bet he reappears somewhere near it.  Wait, what is DaddyBear doing?

Cindy:  Bart, it looks like he’s putting his plate down on the bookshelf!  Yes, yes he is!  That’s probably not the smartest thing he could do.

Bart:  It sure isn’t.  DB has turned his back on a plate of food when Crash is on the prowl, and he better hope that his opponent is completely out of position for the interception.  DB’s turning to Moonshine, probably to tell him to go lie down.

Cindy:  Bart, I see Crash!  He’s up on the bookshelf again, and is moving slowly toward the plate.  He’s inching his way forward.  Oh, there’s the butt wiggle.  That’s the universal feline signal for “Say goodbye to your lunch!”

Bart:  Cindy, DB is fully engrossed in telling Moonshine to let him eat his food.  Moonshine has whipped out his trademark big brown eyes, but DB isn’t falling for it this time.

Cindy:  OK, Crash is on the move again.  He’s 10 inches away.  Five.  Two.  And yes!  He has the pork rib!

Bart:   Cindy, did you see DaddyBear jump when the plate went crashing to the floor?  Here, I’ll put it up on the big screen.  There goes the pork, then you see here where Crash tips the plate off the shelf with his back paw.  That’s a classic “Screw you and your rice too!” maneuver.  See how expertly he does this. Not a grain of rice comes off the plate as it falls, but then it flips over onto the hardwood floor at the last moment.  Truly one of the best takeaways I’ve seen all season!

Cindy:  Bart, Crash is moving like his hair was on fire.  DB has completely abandoned his plate, and is trying to trap Crash under the rocking chair.  Wait, Moonshine has done an end-around on DB, and has his head under the chair!  What’s he doing?

Bart:  It looks like he’s getting paid.  Crash took about a third of that rib with him as he ran away, but the rest is under the chair.  And there it goes.  I tell you, nobody can scarf down a piece of meat like a Labrador Retriever.

Cindy:  Bart, if DB isn’t careful, he’s going to get a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.  He’s cussing a blue streak, and he’s already getting a warning look from Irish Woman.

Bart:  It looks like DB won’t have to worry about that, because he’s just given up!  He’s picking up the plate and fork, and is pointing to the pile of rice on the floor.  Yes, Moonshine has pounced on it, and DB is stalking off the field.  Let’s see if we can get him to talk to us.

Bart:  DB, DB, can you give us a few words?

DaddyBear:  Probably nothing you can put on the air, Bart.  I screwed up big time back there.  I hope those fool animals are full, because that was the last treat they’ll be getting for a long time.

Bart:  DB, is there anything you learned from today’s match?

DaddyBear:  You bet there is.  “Man’s best friend” my eye!  Those varmints were working together on this!  I’m going to complain to the league!  Now let me go make a peanut butter sandwich.

Bart:  Thanks DB!  Enjoy that dry, mealy sandwich when you were expecting moist, succulent roast pork.  Cindy, I think that’s all for us here.

Cindy:  You’re right, Bart.  A tested veteran falls to the skills of a rookie and the distractions of man’s best friend.  Let’s take it back to the studio with Ralph and JaQuan for post-game analysis.

A Letter To My Dog

Dear Moonshine,

You’re a good dog, you really are.   You are affectionate, playful, and gentle with the kids.  You bark when people come to the house, but not when squirrels walk across the yard.  You even know how to do a few tricks and do as you’re told, most of the time.

But we have a problem.

You’re addiction to baked goods, especially those that I have prepared from scratch, is getting to me.  This morning, you ate half a 9×13 pan of banana spice bread, even though you’ve been fed and had several treats this morning.  Instead of having banana bread for several days to be used as a side, dessert, or treat, I have enough for tomorrow morning’s breakfast and maybe lunch today.

You took advantage of my soft heart in keeping you indoors today when a hard, cold rain is falling, and my need to keep the baby gate on the kitchen open so that I could go back and forth while doing my weekend housework, to filch over a pound of homemade banana bread, and this isn’t the first time.

If you keep this up, you’re either going to find yourself as a permanent outside dog, regardless of weather, or you’re going to find yourself in a stew pot.  Figure something out and change yourself, or I will change you myself.

We all love you, and want you to be a welcome member of our family, but the rule is that no-one but me touches my wife, my kids, my guns, my booze, or my banana bread.   Learn to live by it.


New Addition

A few days ago, a friend of ours put out the word that he had a stray kitten that needed a permanent home.  The poor thing had been found up a tree, and he and his family had tried for several days asking around their smallish town to see if anyone could claim it.  They had no luck, so he started looking for a place the little furball could call home.

Being a soft touch, I  headed on down there.  The kitten is a Siamese, a breed I’ve always liked, is very affectionate, and is already litter trained.

Meet Crash*:

552702_549917808390658_80882521_nHe’s quite vocal, and talked to me through the airholes in the cat carrier all the way home.  He’s been thoroughly checked out by Moonshine and Bluegrass, and they seem to be OK with him.  Not sure how the kitten liked the two big sniffing things, but they’ll work it out.  Koshka gave him a quick sniff, but after a hiss, sulked her way down to the basement for the night.  Annya hasn’t met him yet, but I expect it will take her quite a while to accept him.

So there we are.  Yet another mammal in our home.


*Yes, we named him after the big event this week.  It seemed fitting.


Quote of the Day

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” — Milan Kundera

In memory of Shadow, my 125 pound lap dog, guardian of my children, and helper in all things great and small, 2001 to 2013.

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