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Not exactly the Animal Whisperer

August 4, 2010

I’m mid-week in housesitting, and am thinking of changing my name to Richard Simmons, for all the stretching I’ve been doing.

Dog #1 is lazy low-energy and will go hide behind the coffee table when I let him in. Good luck dragging a 100 lb dog! So instead, I grab his collar and walk him to his kennel and usually all his feet are touching the floor.

Dog #2, who has a reputation for eating things, got me – grabbed the black crocs I leave here, snuck it into his kennel and enjoyed nibbling on it with all it’s smelliness. So now, when I let him out, or in, the crocs are on my feet. He’s named Shadow but rarely shadows anybody. He is as black as the pitch of night, so maybe that’s where the name comes from. I would have named him Lickety-Split because he tends to grab things and then run away, confiscated items in his mouth, as fast as he can. Which is faster than me.

Dog #3 – Fancy, as we call him, even though that’s a girly name and he’s a boy, but his coat is fancy – Fancy is well-behaved, so he gets freedom, unlike the other two dogs. His name is Scout but really he should have been named Shadow, even though he’s yellow; he’s quite content to follow me all day long. To the bathroom, to the table while I eat, to the side of the bed at night while I sleep. Really, he should have been called Shadow. Or at least Faithful.

Dog #2, Shadow, did I mention that he’s fast as all get out, (in contrast to Dog #1 who is slow as molasses) and yesterday he spied a baby cardinal taking it’s first solo flight while its parents flew overhead. Within thirty seconds I was pulling the baby bird out of Dog #2’s mouth, and he looked at me like, ‘what the heck, I’m retrieving for you!’. It was baby bird’s last flight too. All day long I noticed the parents flying low near where it met it’s end, felt bad for them, wondered how long birds feel bad, do they feel bad, and how does God work out all the ins and outs of nature. Shadow didn’t feel bad at all, by the way, being a dog. So hopefully birds don’t either.

I found out chickens love homemade bread. Taking a loaf out to the barnyard, I felt like Hansel and Gretel sprinkling crumbs that were snatched up before they hit the ground. When it was time to put them ‘up, up, up, up, up’ for the night I carried the rest of the loaf of bread for insurance.

Not needed – followed Sarah’s instructions from the night before and was done in SEVEN minutes. Thanks God, Thanks Sarah.

But I’m keeping the rest of the loaf as insurance tonight.

Went to sew last night and – doesn’t God have a sense of humor? – spied a huge grasshopper sitting right next to my diet coke, which was right next to the sewing machine. It’s all about size with me – I can kill a teensy bug – but the big ones, I can’t even bring myself to whack them. Maybe the crunch is louder…

Since there was nobody here to do CPR if the grasshopper actually jumped on me, I decided to wear big girl panties and looked around for a whacker. No shoe. No fly swatter (which, BTW, every home in Texas should have one in every single room), so I saw a nice, thick children’s encyclopedia sitting on a chair. Grabbed it. Whacked once. Still writhing. Twice. Still writhing. Third time. Mush.

Felt a little like Shadow, making a kill. Scooped it up. Threw it away. Wiped the smudge off the sewing table, took a cleansing breath, and moved on.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2010 11:44 am

    You’re probably gaining a whole new perspective of and appreciation for Sarah’s everyday life. You seem to have a great family!

  2. Mary Huckaby permalink
    August 4, 2010 12:24 pm

    Bev, I am really enjoying your week at Sarah’s. Thanks for so many SMILES! Oh, how I can relate! (I think you’re soooo brave!)

    • August 4, 2010 4:25 pm

      Mary, I’m amused that anything I’m afraid of, or have been afraid of for years and years, God somehow manages to toss into my path – making me face it. So far today we’re good, but the day is still young…

  3. Kristina permalink
    August 4, 2010 2:53 pm

    Do you feel like you’re in a whole different world when you stay at their house? I sure used to until I got married and moved out to Rhome. And as far as the big bugs go, I’m with you there! I cannot deal with the louder crunch. Yikes!

    • August 4, 2010 4:24 pm

      Something about it just completely creeps me out – makes me afraid to smack them. That it took three whacks confirmed my fears…

  4. August 4, 2010 6:37 pm

    I love your grasshopper story. I never knew that killing a bug could be so funny.

    • August 4, 2010 11:36 pm

      Julia, seriously the hair on my arms was standing up, I was so scared to kill him. I imagine he was looking at almost 6 foot tall me, thinking, ‘why are YOU scared?!’ Freaks me out to kill bugs!

  5. August 4, 2010 9:36 pm

    Encyclopedia was a good move. After all, don’t they all just look everything up on-line, now? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Kathy permalink
    August 5, 2010 7:53 am

    Ugh, bugs of just about any size freak me out … but if they’re in the house, they’re dead! If that means I’ve got to put on my “big girl panties” (LOL), then so be it! Most of the time, I’m only having to send houseflies to their doom, so it’s not a major crisis.

    And Fancy … love that name. Since he’s a golden retriever, it’s no surprise that he’s your shadow. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just be careful … our golden loves to be my shadow, too, and even though she’s almost 11 years old, I forget to watch when I get down out of our barstool and almost break my neck trying not to step right on her! LOL

    Glad that you’ve got the chicken routine down (and that you’re keeping that bread … just in case — you never know with those chickens LOL).

    It sounds like you’re having a wonderful time – enjoy!

    • August 5, 2010 8:44 am

      Kathy, our family has had three goldens before and they’re wonderful dogs. I think God put so much hair on them, just to keep the population at something reasonable. If they didn’t shed buckets everyone would have one. This one of Sarah’s like to curl up around the base of the toilet at night while we’re sleeping – has made for some tricky steps for my husband with those middle of the night bathroom trips!

  7. August 5, 2010 2:28 pm

    This is just a little week-long retreat for you – Sarah does this stuff every day!

    The grasshopper would have creeped me out too. I’m with you – it’s the big bugs that you know are going to crunch that make you a little light headed.

    I’m still waiting for you to run into a rat snake in the chicken coop, like the one Sarah recently posted a photo of. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that she actually stood that close to that snake, with a camera.

    I’m with you on the fly swatters too. Even here in western Colorado, I have one handy at all times. Cameron calls it the bug gitter. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • August 5, 2010 5:09 pm

      I couldn’t even stand the thought of him jumping into my diet pepsi, or worse – jumping on me. But the crunch was not great. And every single time I go out to that barn I pray against a big black snake. I can identify copperheads pretty well now so I think I’d know if it was a harmless rat snake, but I’m not sure the chickens find it harmless. And that Caiden stuck his hand under a chicken laying an egg (sheer bravery in my book anyway) and felt a SNAKE under the chicken – would have killed me of heart failure on the spot!

  8. August 5, 2010 3:09 pm

    I feel sad for the birds too! Poor things…

    Good for you though. I would definitely have killed the grasshopper.

    Kind-of a double standard, huh?


    • August 5, 2010 5:08 pm

      I told Dad, as we were eating supper last night, that it is purely coincidental that we’ve eaten chicken almost every meal since we got here – in some form or another. Breakfast – FRESH eggs, but deli chicken for lunch, rotisserie chicken for dinner, grilled chicken breast sandwiches. Wonder if Sarah had cows if we’d have been eating beef all this time?!

  9. August 6, 2010 4:15 pm

    You are woman, hear you roar! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • August 6, 2010 8:27 pm

      Renna, I did think of Helen Reddy when I was running around outside like a crazy person – pretty impressed with my almost 9 year old grandson, he puts them up every single night with no problems. Or roaring!

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