Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pic of me and Wesley kissing, news of Fiona

Wow! What lovely comments from old friends and new! Right now I'm holed up writing. I tend to hole up away from home in order to stay away from distractions. Some hotels are very doggy friendly and hamster friendly, too. Fiona, however, is with her brother and her "other mom", Cat. Yes a woman named Cat, which I imagine is short for Catherine, but I've never asked her. How odd that two of my close friends are Cat and Cait!

Anyway, Fiona is in heat, and it seems to be her first true heat, even though she's 2 years old almost. Fortunately, brother Drinian is "fixed". But still, he was thrown off by the "new" Fiona and was really upset by her being in heat at first. Now, he seems to think he is supposed to guard her, which is fine with me! Cat tells me that Fiona is starting to howl, though, so I may have to go get her for the sake of Cat and her neighbors. I don't know how bad it is or isn't.

She puts the dogs in at night, because, being instinctive guard dogs, they will run the property all night barking at every coyote or owl that comes near. They are supposed to do that kind of thing, and Colorado Mountain Dogs are working WONDERS in places like Colorado, Wyoming, Montana - places where the wolf and the mountain lion have come back. Ranchers who have Colorado mountain dogs are reporting that they now have zero losses of livestock. The Colorado Mountain Dog is part Great Pyrenees and part Anatolian Shepherd, and both of those breeds have been keeping flocks of sheep and goats safe in Europe for time immemorial. When I read about ranchers in the midwest being upset about wolves going after their goats, I think, "Well for Pete's sake, get yourself a couple of Colorado Mountain Dogs! Or if they're not available, a couple of Great Pyrenees!" The reason the Colorado Mountain Dog is a little better, is that the combination of the two breeds gives you a lithe, wolflike dog that moves like a cat on the big rocks, can turn on a dime, can leap like crazy, runs like the wind, yet has the umph of the heavy great pyrenees. A Perfect dog for those mountains.

Anyway, because Fiona and Drinian think that's what they're supposed to be doing, they are too boistrous outside at night, and Cat lives along a canyon that reaches to the sea (in fact, she can hear the horns of the big ships as they pass out at sea, echoing up the canyon right to her house).

So...they go into their own sleeping area in the garage at night. Cat says, "Go to bed" and they race to their respective beds. Fiona likes to sleep in a big airline crate for extra large dogs. There's no door on it, so she doesn't have to sleep in there but she likes it. Cat has already put a biscuit on each of their pillows. yes! So Fiona goes to her bed and eats her biscuit, and Drinian goes to his pile of blankets right outside the door of Fiona's case and eats his biscuit. Cat was curious about what their routine is when they go to bed so she started spying on them. She has a nightlight on in there for them, so she can see what they're doing.

They each eat their biscuit, then Fiona comes out to check to see what Drinian ate and look for crumbs. Drinian sticks his nose in her mouth to smell what she ate to make sure she got the same thing he did. They're so funny about food when it comes to each other. On her own, Fiona turns her nose up at food and pretends she couldn't care less about it. She doesn't like treats, for example. She will not take them. When I feed her, she doesn't run to her bowl but looks away as if bored. Eventually, she ambles past her bowl, swinging her head down and swiping a mouthful in one movement, so it is hard to tell she even took a bite. She walks away from the bowl, WELL away from it, then you hear the crunch crunch crunch and you know she's eating the bite. Then, a few minutes later, she ambles past the bowl again, swipe, amble...crunch crunch crunch. I have no idea why she is so "cool" about it, so cavalier.

BUT, when she's at Cat's house, Cat has to separate the two dogs into two different yards because they are suddenly fascinated with each other's food. Fiona is suddenly a food maven, a ravenous beast. As soon as they've both eaten, Cat opens the gate between them and they rush to finish any little bits left in each others' bowls. Sigh. silly dogs. She even gains weight when she's at Cat's because of her competition w/ Drinian over food. The grass is always greener on the other side, it's really true that people and animals think that way. It cracks me up.

have a lovely week, everyone!


wess_liana said...

Hi Stacey! I'm glad to see you're back and doing well! Poor little Fiona (ok, not 'little' LOL)... are you going to eventually let her have pups?

We have had similar strange "food behavior" with our girls. I'v ehad Molly since she was 5wks old, and she's always been a very picky eater... the lady I got her from had begun to hand-feed the pups, and Molly refused to start to eat from a dish for weeks - I had to start her off with pieces from my hand and slowly wean her to her dish... then when she was about a year old, she started turning up her nose to the dog food altogether... mostly because whatever we were eating smelled sooooooo much better! LOL! Long story short, I didn't really mind because I had considered changing her food to natural foods anyway because she had a sensitive tummy and horrible tear-stains around her eyes from the wheat filler in commercial dog foods... I started cooking for her and she ate much better, but still very pickily. Jump forward a year and now I've adopted a 7yo Dauschund to keep Miss Molly company while I'm at work. Little Zoey is very submissive and I completely expected Molly to take top-dog status since she's turned into a grown-up, aloof, part-pekingnese, but lo and behold, Molly went all "puppy" again! She watches intently while Zoey gobbles everything in her bowl, then goes over and finishes Zoey's beans and peas (she always leaves those LOL) and then tucks into her own food with gusto! When they play, Molly rolls over on her back and makes these "come-hither" puppy whines and cries until Zoey tackles her and play-bites her arms... it's really a trip to watch this tough little scrappy pekingnese-pomeranian mix dog become so submissive!

Love the dog stories... can ya tell? Oh... and the owl ones, too of course :)

Luv ya Stacey! Glad you're back!

Ter-o-fla said...

What a nice story about the dogs and their eating routines! I love it. :)

I cannot have a dog at present, as our work routines make it impossible to have enough time to care for them as they would deserve.
Someday that will change, I hope.
Until then, I live vicariously through the tales of others's dogs. Thanks. :)