Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sandee Escapes!

First an update on the earthquake yesterday, which everyone was talking about today because, "It was a pretty big one for around here." It measured 6.28 and was located 6 miles deep about 17 miles SE of Mt. Cleveland. Mt. Cleveland is located on the second island to the west of here, and is considered an active volcano. People were amazed at how long it lasted, the strength of the quake, and the fact that it was absolutely noise-free. No Tsunami warning (which I'd forgotten to even consider in our ocean front house!) By tomorrow nobody will be talking about it.

Marley has been getting most of the press in this blog, but Sandee can also provide humor and excitement, so I'll give you a bit of information about him. He has some interesting habits, such as preferring to lay down when he eats.

He also does a wonderful trick. When he wants to come in, which is always, and he thinks someone might actually open the door, he jumps straight up in the air--all four paws--to a level of about 24 inches off the floor! Puts him looking almost eye level with me--and he always has a happy, hopeful expression on his face.

However, he is a master of opportunistic escape. He has seized the moment, when the gate is opened just a bit too wide, to dash out of the yard. The most recent example, however, was pretty funny.

We have a lawn mower (the two-legged 12-year-old male variety named Harley) who pushes a lawnmower (the noisy gas-driven kind) to cut the parsonage lawn. Harley came to cut the grass, and when he does the back yard we have to either take the dogs for a walk or lock them on the sun porch. This day Harley said he would only do the front, and would come back next week to do the back. So we left the house and went to the store.

Harley changed his mind and decided to mow the back yard. He calculated that he could ease the lawn mower through the gate by standing close to it, and the dogs would just get out of his way when he mowed.

Unfortunately, Sandee saw this as his big chance. Just as Harley and the lawnmower were coming though the gate, Sandee rushed the gate, scaled the lawnmower and knocked the lawn mower (Harley) flat! (Harley has not yet started to put on his teenage growth spurt, so he is not a very intimidating figure--shorter than I am by quite a bit.) Then Sandee was off to freedom.

He ran over by the church, a distance of about 3 blocks as the crow flies, or the dog runs. Harley pursued him, and when we returned from the store, we found Harley grasping Sandee by the collar and struggling with him about 2 blocks from home. It was unclear whether Sandee was leading Harley around, or whether Harley was leading Sandee home. George helped get Sandee home an in the back yard.

But the dog trials and tribulations were not over yet. The next morning, George walked the dogs as usual, and Marley did his usual stopping of and chasing after cars. The animal control people along during the walk came and said they'd gotten so many complaints, that Marley would have to be on a leash now if he was going to be walked on the road. Busted!!

So after some consideration, we are now walking both dogs on leashes. George seems to be able to manage Marley if he does not also have Sandee to contend with, and I can (barely) manage Sandee. We have to keep them way apart so they don't get the leashes tangled up--we looked like the keystone cops until we figured that one out! After I leave, George will walk the dogs sequentially. Since they're on leashes, we're also able to use a new walking route that has less traffic, which is somewhat helpful.

How could such appealing animals be so much trouble!!

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