Thursday, November 11, 2010

Colorado mountain dog with tiny kitten

(This pic was taken by Wendy Francisco so she has the copyright on it under crackonoon ragdolls...)

This is Caspian, Wendy's dog and my dog's father, with a kitten. The kitten is obviously trying to look as big as she can by sticking all her fur out, putting her tail straight up in the air, and slightly arching her back. Yet, she's holding her ground. But the one to look at here is Caspian. He has a motherly look on his face. Fiona gets this same look when my hamsters crawl across her paws, or go right up to her, nose to nose. Kissy, one of my sweetest and most confident hamsters, sat on her haunches as squirrels do (hamsters are Syrian ground squirrels) and put one hand up on Fiona's nose like a traffic cop, clearly saying, "Back up.". Fiona DID! So cute!

Fiona, and other mountain dogs, has an instinct to protect little helpless animals against big scary predators. These dogs are solving the problems ranchers are having with mountain lions and even wolves, in the case of sheep and goats (supposedly some ranchers of goats and sheep are saying that wolves are taking some of their animals. If it's wolves or wild dogs, either way, Colorado mountain dogs completely solve the problem). They are naturally protective of all the animals of the household and property and naturally aggressive toward predators, even barking at hawks and owls eyeing the chickens!

It's amazing to see such a huge dog be so very gentle with such tiny, vulnerable animals! The only indication Fiona gives that there's a hamster on or between her paws is her tail wags. Now the hamsters are so used to her that when she walks into the hamstery (which is my master bedroom, given over to the care of hamsters), they get out of their nests to greet her and touch noses through the cage bars. She even tries to eat their food, when miss Fiona turns her nose up at the very best of dog foods!

She's the most amazing dog I've ever known or had, and I've had wonderful, wonderful dogs! Fiona is just different - gently protective, super gentle in the house, keeping to her own toys and leaving mine alone.

Sheesh, I sound like a commercial!

Anyway, this picture of Caspian with a tiny ragdoll kitten is just too cute! Wendy is one of the top breeders of ragdoll cats, and they have the run of her house, so they're all indoor cats who are used to a lot of love. If I didn't have hamsters, I'd have one of these fluffy little cloudpuffs. But i digress.

Enjoy the picture!

Yes, I'm working on my next book, but I take a looonngggg time to write a book because there are soo soo many stories to tell and things I want to say, and I start by just writing all of it, which is a LOT of pages, like 1000 pages or so, then I start to whittle it down, almost like sculpting, but w/ words, to say what I think I must say or illustrate through the stories. It takes me a long time, too, possibly because I'm not super experienced as an author. I don't blaze through like some authors. But I am definitely writing the next book, which is one reason I'm no longer online so much.

At some point I will address the issue of the Barn Owl Alliance - I do have plans for it but not the same as I originally thought, because we need more research before we can recommend exactly what should ideally go into a box, and I'm talking w/ owl box makers, rehabbers, and biologists to try to figure it all out in terms of an ideal design.

I do love the branching system that Carlos put up for Molly's babies. Obviously that worked! Also, the one Tom put up for Owlivia's babies also worked quite well. Both of those can serve as very good examples of what is needed for barn owl babies to branch.

I love how the guardians of ga'hoole books emphasize branching and explain in great detail how owlets really learn to fly. That author did her research!

Happy Fall and Happy cooler weather everyone! I wish WE had cooler weather in S. California but's in the 80s again. Believe me, that does get monotonous. It's nice to have a change of seasons and I want that. Hence the desire to move to Colorado. So enjoy your change of seasons!


Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this picture. It fills me with love and puts a smile on my face.

PaulaP said...

Stacey, I just wanted to say that when you talk about how difficult it is for you when it is hot, I can understand to a degree (sorry for the pun.) My daughter has MS and the heat overpowers her and makes her symptoms worse. I feel bad for people having to suffer more under hot conditions. It is bad enough to have to deal with the problems, but to suffer while people around you are enjoying the weather is rough--at least it is for my daughter.

Ter-o-fla said...

What a lovely dog!!

Thanks for the description.

About weather... I am tired of being cold nearly all year. I live in Germany, but my parents are in southern California, and I know how they often get tired of the hot weather!
I suppose change is probably the best thing, if possible!

Maria said...

Great photo! Stacey, last night I finished your book on Wesley, and I have never read a story so beautiful. I cried so hard as you described his passing...but then I know that you consider yourself so blessed to have had him in your life and share The Way of the Owl. Ever since Legends of the Guardians, I have become so intriqued about owls, and your story made me visualize everything you shared. I wish you could come to Albuquerque and share your story-I would love to meet Wesley's momma..:)

Stacey O'Brien said...

Thank you so much for your comments! It means a lot to me when I log in and see that you have written to me! Maria, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! Paula, I'm sorry to hear that your daughter has MS. That is really rough. I don't mean to complain - all of us in the US are lucky to have access to the kind of technology in medicine that we have to help us with our health struggles.. It is odd how the relentless heat or cold can get to a person, isn't it? I think the ideal situation is to have some change of seasons, unless you just happen to adore a certain weather pattern, like the heat here in California. Inevitably, the weather person on TV announces that it's GREAT NEWS when it's hotter. If it's in the 80s, it's "better" than the 70s, which are "better" than the 60s. You'd think we were all heading to the beach for the day or something! Haha.

Speaking of the Guardians of Ga'hoole, I JUST watched it in my hotel room. WOW! I'm going to blog about it right now. They did an amazing job.

Welcome to the blog!

Ruby J. Plank said...

How sweet! My cat douse that to!