Tag Archives: pets

Well, I’ll be Dog-Gone

Today’s post comes from Verily Sherrilee

(Part 1 in a Baboon Fantasy Series)

At Blevins Book Club yesterday, tim said if I couldn’t think of anything interesting in my life to write about, I could just make up an interesting life. So here goes.

First and foremost I would like to be dog-free. Not dog-free as in “I never want to see another dog on the planet” but as in “I don’t want to be responsible for a dog in the house”. I adore dogs; I always have. My first dog was a mutt named “Mister” that my family acquired when I was four years old. Unfortunately when I was five we moved to an apartment and Mister moved to another family. When I was six and we were back in a house, Princess the Wonder Dog joined our family. (She wasn’t actually a wonder dog until after her death, when my father’s stories of her exploits became increasingly more epic.)

CIMG2525I talked my family into an Irish Setter in junior high and I’ve had Irish Setters ever since then. I even traveled to California once to get “Tristan” after searching over hill and dale for an Irish Setter locally! My current Irish Setter is 11 and my plan was to not get another dog after she was gone. I have friends in lots of places and I’d like the freedom to be able to visit more often.  I’m not joyfully anticipating her demise, just looking forward to a time when the house is quieter and cleaner.

59Of course, this plan has taken a detour with the arrival of Young Adult’s puppy last year, so now my “plan” seems more like a fantasy. In my fantasy world, I’d wake up hearing the birds singing out the windows, not the barking of a dog that sees another dog out the window. I’d be able to walk to the bathroom without having to avoid stepping on dog toys.  I’d go down the stairs without reminding any four-legged beasts that “I got first” so they don’t barrel into the back of me.

I could let the pizza delivery guy onto the front porch without fear of them jumping all over him. I set out a muffin on the kitchen counter, leave the room and have the muffin still sitting there when I return.  I wouldn’t have big muddy paw prints all over the place when it rains.

Since Young Adult (and her dog, Krakatoa 2) will most likely be living at home a few more years while she finishes school, I don’t see my dog-gone fantasy coming to pass any time soon. But I can keep dreaming!

What would be your perfect pet?






Baboon Redux – Puggi Lives!

Header photo by Christina Nöbauer  

A Repeat Guest Blog from Renee Boomgaarden, originally posted in 2010. 

Recently we discussed our feeling about news stories, and I noted that there was very little in the news that I could tolerate, with the exception, I now must confess, of stories about animal rescue. I don’t mean shows about animal welfare officers rescuing pets from abuse and neglect-those shows just make me angry and upset. I mean stories about helping animals out of predicaments of their own making. You know the kind-goats stranded on bridges or with their heads stuck in fencing, bears who wander into town, get treed and tranquilized, and fall sleepily into the waiting nets of patient rescuers who transport them back to the woods, ducklings retrieved from storm sewers as their mother quacks anxiously nearby.

I think my favorite stories are those told friends and family. The story about the dog who decided it would be a good idea to roll vigorously back and forth over a decomposing porcupine (both smelly and painful) stands out, as does the tale of the poor, bored, Lakeland Terrier who spent hours independently chasing a ball back and forth over a paved parking lot until it had worn the pads off its paws.

My dad and my best friend tell the most memorable rescue stories. My friend grew up on a farm, and one day after checking the cattle she came upon a Great Grey Owl sitting on the ground under a telephone pole. She was able to walk quite close to it and saw that one pupil was quite dilated. It looked kind of stunned and she surmised it had had a head injury. She somehow managed to get it into a tall box in the back of her car and drove three hours to get it to a raptor center at the University of Minnesota. She never heard what happened to it after that.

My father loves dogs and has had his share of trauma with them over the years. He still speaks with sorrow over a favorite dog he had as a boy-a Rat Terrier named Diamond-who went down a badger hole and never came back up. It still bothers him. His all-time favorite dog, however, was Puggi the Pug, a dog he had after he retired. One day in early Spring, Dad and Puggi went to the city park in Luverne, right along the Rock River, to see if the ice had broken up. The river was still frozen over, but barely, and before he could stop her, Puggi ran out on the ice to get to some birds on the other bank.
A portion of the ice gave way and she went through and was pulled under the remaining ice by the strong Spring current.

She was gone.

Dad said he walked down stream about 100 feet and just stared, thinking to himself that he had lost his dog for good. His eye was caught by an old ice fishing hole in the middle of the river, and to his joy, up popped Puggi. She couldn’t scramble out of the hole on her own, so Dad laid out flat and advanced across the ice on his stomach. He grabbed Puggi and slithered back to shore. He figured she saw light coming through the hole as the current took her down stream and she swam toward it. He took her home and put her in a hot shower to warm her up. My mother was appalled at the risk he took, I don’t think he thought twice about going out on that ice.

When have you come to the rescue?

Kittens In Peril

A couple of Manhattan subway lines were halted for a time last week when authorities became aware that two very young felines were last seen heading down one of the tunnels.


You have to be impressed at the power of baby animals to move the hearts of humans. It turns out nobody, not even rough-tough New Yorkers, wanted to be held responsible for mangling kittens beneath the wheels of a subway car. That’s a super-villian level of nastiness that most of us can only aspire to.

The people who decided to stop rail traffic to support the kitten search did so knowing full well they were inconveniencing commuters and costing the transit agency a considerable amount of money. Still, they took the risk expecting to be forgiven. And who can fault them? It looks like everything worked out for the best because the kittens were found and returned to their owner.

When it comes to pets in trouble, we seem to instinctively know the right thing to do.  It does make you wonder what other decisions might be made easier by juicing the narrative with pets in jeopardy. These examples of real news copy have only a few minor word changes.

From the Star Tribune:
A group of metro leaders voted Wednesday to reject a $330 million deep tunnel for the future Southwest Corridor light-rail, citing opposition to cat carnage.

From The Wall Street Journal:
The U.S. economy expanded at a modest to moderate pace in recent months, led by consumer spending on puppy armor, according to the Federal Reserve’s survey of regional economic conditions released Wednesday.

From CBS News:
Former President Bill Clinton, once dubbed America’s “secretary of explaining stuff” by President Obama, laid out a rigorous defense of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, urging supporters and detractors of the health care reform law to work together on its implementation instead of flat-out murdering defenseless kittens.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
For as long as anyone in Marine on St. Croix can remember, dogs have been welcome at the village’s post office. No more. Residents learned last week that a longstanding U.S. Postal Service policy barring all dogs except service dogs in the post office would now be strictly enforced. Blaire, Linda Tibbetts’ West Highland white terrier, was crushed when she learned the news.

Actually that last one was unchanged. How can they get away with crushing terriers at the Marine on St. Croix Post Office?

As we’ve already established here on Trail Baboon, our pets tend to be more likable than most people and are considered to be members of the family.
In addition, they are:

  • True to their own nature, no matter how disgusting.
  • Possessed of distinct personalities.
  • Not inclined to do chores.
  • Allowed to nap as much as they wish.
  • Quickly forgiven for misbehavior.

A person fitting the above description is probably not someone they’d shut down any part of the New York City subway system to protect, should he wander into a tunnel.

I can think of two instances when other people went a little nuts because I might be in jeopardy, and by “other people” I mean my one and only dear departed mother.

One was when I wandered away from the group on a Scout trip to a theme park, and the other was when I decided to walk home alone from an after school program because she was late in picking me up.

When I was finally found, I was roundly (and deservedly) scolded.  Both times.

When have you wandered away from the group?