Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Don't steal my sanity

First the background. I'm not walking all that well these days and sure enough have to 'count' my steps. Sanity lost her public working privileges several months ago. The snow is just the pits on so many levels I've lost count. They are calling for yet another 5+ inches later this week. GAG.

I had an appointment for a hair cut this afternoon. What with one thing and another I had Jesse (son) drive me and Sanity rode along. Just because she lost some public privileges doesn't mean she can't carry the shoulder pack and ride along. Still saves me from having to struggle with a purse.

Rather than making Jesse wait, not a thing very many men are fond of doing, he dropped me at the hair salon and then with Sanity riding shotgun went off to run some much needed errands. One of those errands called for a stop at the post office on Main Street. When he got there because of the lack of parking (a snow related problem) he had to park around on the side of the building and some distance from the street.

As he was returning to the car he passed a local LEO on foot who was talking to a county Sheriff. The Sheriff's car was completely blocking the entrance to the Post Office parking lot. They looked at Jesse, Jesse looked at them and continued on toward the car. Nothing different or exciting so far, eh?

Then the car came into view. The back door was standing wide open and this strange man was leaning into the car with his arm outstretched. On the far side of the back seat sat Sanity. Silent as an old movie, she was in full ugly face display and managing to stay just out of reach.

Well, Jesse dropped the boxes he was carrying and taking off at a run, yelled, 'what the f ck do you think you are doing?'

For starters it sure did get the full attention of both LEO's. It also caused the want't'be thief to leap back, take a frantic look around and then start to run towards the LEO's yelling, 'he stol my dawg'.

The city LEO moves up to where Jesse is now standing and the creep gets snagged by the Sheriff. Identification is called for and Jesse gets out his driver's license, then moves over to the car and gets out the registration. City LEO says, 'Mother's car?' Jesse says 'yes'.

Next City LEO looks in the back seat and sees not just a dog, but a dog wearing a shoulder pack that says "Service Dog" on the side. Easy enough to see since Sanity has now moved over to the open door, the better to see what is going on. City LEO says, 'Service dog. Your mother's?' Jesse says yes as he closes the back door and after putting the registration away closes the front door.

The very next second, the Sheriff has the creep whipped around, bent over the hood of his car and it cuffing him. At the same time he is hearing the 'you have the right to remain silent' stuff and they are charging him with a host of crimes that had not a single thing to do with dog napping or even attempted dog napping. As it turned out, this was someone they had been searching for for a couple of days for burglary, and several other crimes.

I am so pleased with Sanity. She did exactly what I want my dogs to do in situations like that. Stay out of reach. Keep quiet. Do what threatening needs to be done without making a sound. Of course, it goes without saying that off leash training meant she didn't leave the car just because the doors were standing open. She didn't run away because no one was there to restrain her. Yes, oh my yes, she did a very good job.

Sometimes I wonder if all my dogs have some sort of flashing sign over their heads that says, 'steal me'. I've had 6 Dobermans over the years and at some point in each of their lives some creepy fool has tried to steal every single one of them. Bless them, one and all. They all handled the event exactly like Sanity did. No way can they be charged with dangerous behavior.

Like I said, 'Don't steal my Sanity'.

Just a little bit ago, she came in the living room and headed for her bed. AKKK! There was an Ellie, aka: mini-me curled up in the exact middle. So just where was she supposed to relax? Big, soulful eyes stare at me and she started to pace back and forth. Many sighs and even some moan's. Mini-me pretends she doesn't know about the trespass.

Finally I take some pity on the poor misunderstood thing. Even so, I have no intention in getting up just to solve what is actually a very simple problem.

"Sanity, fetch the blanket." Sanity walks over and picks up one corner and starts to tug. It's heavy rather than light. Seems it currently weighs 9 pounds. She drops the corner and comes back toward me with this truly pitiful look on her face.

"Sanity, if you want your bed, you are going to have to fetch that blanket." She turns around and moves back to the bed and picks up the corner again. Holding it in her mouth she stares at me.

"Well, don't just stand there, fetch the thing." With that she gives a mighty heave and sends Mini-me flying and in the process gains position of her bed once again.

Post script: We don't lock the car because a few years ago it was stolen. The thieves broke the locks and a window and the ignition. It just didn't seem worth it to pay a ton of money to get the locks fixed just so it could be forced again. So we just make very sure there is nothing left in it that can be stolen and that includes large, well trained Dobermans.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

After blizzards 2010

This is what it looked like yesterday at about 2 p.m. As you can see, the snow is still piled high and deep. Neither the driveway, parking lot or paved training area had see shovel or plow. I was really getting pretty worried since it just seemed I continued to get pushed further and further back on every one's list. A little bit after I took this picture our local snowplow good guy came by and took one look and said there was NO WAY what remained his still working equipment could handle the job.

A little bit after that, Allen, tree care extraordinaire showed up. Took one looked at the mess and said, "Its too late in the day for me to try and start this without risking damage to my bobcat. See you tomorrow, late morning when it will be easier. Oh, and by the way, good thing you didn't let anyone else try to move this stuff with a plow."

Seems if I had it would only have made the job more difficult, more expensive and there would have been a chance he wouldn't have been able to do anything for me at all!

Look closely. What you are seeing are dog footprints INSIDE the flower garden. The snow is so deep they are able to simply walk over the top of the fence and right up to the side of the house.

About 10:30 this morning he showed up with big truck, trailer, bobcat and oldest son as a helper. They started moving the snow. They moved snow. They moved some more snow. Son shoveled in select places to give what looked like an outline for the bobcat to follow.

Alle pushed snow. He picked up snow and dropped it somewhere else. He piled snow on top of more snow.

By the time he was finished some of the piles of snow were more than seven feet high and there was more than one of them. Best part, we can now see pavement and in a few places actual ground! This will help to speed up the melt. Even so, I have this awful feeling I'm going to be looking at piles of nasty, dirty snow/ice until the Fourth of July.

At least we will be able to get people and dogs in and out of here once again. The cost? To date more than $400 and a big plate of fresh, warm brownies. My big tree? A loss. Once the snow is gone and it is possible for him to get back in here and work that tree is going to have to come down. It has been damaged past all hope of salvage. One of the problems is exactly what I thought it would be. Because almost all the lower limbs have been stripped brutally off the main trunk, it is now top heavy. Lacking the necessary close protection and support of other big trees beside it the next heavy wind storm we have will deal the final death blow and that very well could put it straight into the middle of my living room. Not a pleasant though, no matter how much I love my big trees.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzard 2.1a

In response to one readers comments about having to shovel more snow here over the past few days than she ever did in Russia, I submit this is the reason for the difference.

What you are watching is the snow clean-up of a runway after a snow storm. Gee, seems like a splendid idea to me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blizzard Part 2.1

A former student of mine sent this picture to me. I wish I knew who built the snowman and took the picture. I'm quite sure this is actually me.

Blizzard Part 2

Over the past weekend we had a blizzard and you have seen pictures of what it looked like. It also left more than 30 inches of snow in our backyard and made a mess of some of my wonderful trees.

This morning I got up to blizzard number 2. Yet, it's official this is yet another blizzard in an area of the country that sometimes doesn't see enough snow to measure. Here are a few pictures of what it looked like at 11:00 this morning.

Looking out the office door towards the big tree on the other side of the paved training area.
The gate you can just barely see in the middle, right-hand side of this picture is 48 inches tall. This is an area where there are no drifts, or at least no drifts yet. You can also see the double gates, keep in mind they are 84 inches tall.

This next one was taken looking out the office door towards the back yard. The fence in the foreground, what you can see of it, is 48 inches tall. Looking out to the back and you are looking at 84 inch high fencing. Yes, that one tree is slowly being sucked to the ground.

This picture is taken looking out the window in the little room off the kitchen. You are looking at the roof of the shed and Jesse's truck.

Now, to help you with the perspective here is the same view as it looked last Friday morning.
While I worry about my trees and the lines that keep me in contact with the outside world, others are having to worry about the integrity of their roofs, how to stay warm because they are without heat and have been for days and days. Guess I shouldn't be whining so much, but I still HATE SNOW.
Where, oh, where is that global warming the algoreites keep bleating about?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Blizzard aftermath 2010

Here's what it looked like just after it stopped snowing.

Here's what it looks like today. What you are seeing are all the dogs here right now. Ellie and Bliss (here for training) are bold enough to at least run out to the big tree and back several times. Meanwhile, in the lower left hand corner is all you will ever see of Sanity. The entire business is just as terrible to her as it is to me. She won't even try to leave the tiny shoveled area.

My once beautiful pine tree is now pretty much a party toothpick. All the limbs are in the driveway and parking area.

This shot shows just how tenuous our connection with the outside world really is. Notice the one thin strand of wire that is all the connection we currently have. One more even mild blow and poof, no more Internet, no more telephone.

My poor cane was crying in fear. Fear of my leaving it behind as I struggled back into the house. It got stuck there while I took the pictures.

Meanwhile, my son just walked to announce they are calling for 20, yes that is twenty additional inches. Most of the counties are all but done in and lacking salt, sand, trucks, manpower will be giving up sometime very soon. Have I remembered to tell all of you just how much I HATE SNOW. I HATE IT... I HATE IT.
Pray we don't lose our power because our power line is just a hanging by a thread on the other side of the house.
Will we be able to get out before April? And most of all, just where in the hell is global warming when you need it the most?