Tag Archives: Dogs

Funny Little Fig

By: Mary

Two summers ago Patrick brought home a tiny squirming Australian Shepherd puppy from Iowa that quickly won my affection and became the perfect canine companion for me. In my eyes he could do no wrong, and I told him so on a daily basis. Right before Christmas, my dog was hit by a car and died of internal injuries.

After he died, I vowed that I would never get another dog again. Even the sight of dogs bothered me. I was well aware that the family dog, Bounder, was expecting his offspring.

But I was convinced that having another dog would be too hard. While I was away in New York, Bounder disappeared under the porch into a little den like space that nobody could get to. It was evident that she had given birth judging from the sounds of a yelping puppy. A month went by with her hidden in her hole, only coming out for food and water. I came back home still adamant that I had no interest in whatever was business going on under the porch. Finally the yelping stopped and we wondered if she had died. Indeed, this was not hard too imagine as she is 11 years old in dog years which means about 70 in people years. Last Sunday morning I took the time to investigate and checked the doghouse that my brother, Robert had procured out of an old broken freezer.

As you can see, it’s a pretty hard scramble house with a camping mat draped over the top for extra insulation. Personally, I call it the dog trailer house. Although I disdain it, Bounder must not, for I discovered that she was contentedly sprawled in it with just one lone puppy. For all we know, she may have had more, please do remember though that she is 70-something in dog years. 70 year old animals and people have every right to eat their new offspring I suppose. So if she did pack in a bit of extra puppy protein, please don’t judge her.

After collective communal agreement, the puppy is now named Fig. Fig is a funny little guy, and has a curved spine. My brother, Patrick took him to the local vets house and found out that he has scoliosis. Patrick said that when he was at the vets house Fig was yapping away with bravado at the vet’s big dogs. That’s just what his dad would have done too.

Scoliosis doesn’t stop him from scampering about though!

I still think about Fig’s dad a lot. Sometimes I dream about him dying, and once in awhile thoughts of him still make me cry. But when I see Fig I forget about never wanting a dog again. He makes me squeal with delight, and I am thinking that maybe eventually we are going to be friends….

For more of Sweet Ridge dog tales, check out:

No, Bub, No!

Bub the Biter

It’s the Thought that Counts

Goodbye Baby

Bub the Biter

by Mary

A month or two ago, Colleen wrote a blog about one of the dogs here that she calls Bub. Her description of my lovable australian shepherd is way off as is the name that she calls him. Being that the name of the dog is still a issue of contention and a long story, I’ll gloss over it, and cover a different matter of subject on this sweet dog that I covet
Unfortunately, there is a negative verdict around Sweet Ridge Farm about this particular dog of whom I shall address as B in this post.
B is still going through the puppy phase. So he has certain tendencies such as compulsive barking and growling at strangers (and pretty much anyone he sees), chewing up shoes, chewing at Robert’s wedding gifts that arrived by UPS while we were away, and um, nipping at people. These actions have not resonated well with my family, neighbors and the general public.
Over the last 10 months that we have had B, I must say that I have not had a single problem with him, with the exception that he dislikes riding around with me in my car. Over the winter I would put on carharts and go outside to sit on the step with him at night. I would feed him dog biscuits slathered in butter and tell him about how much I hate the cold weather and how happy I am that he’s such a tough dog and can hack it. Now that the sun is out B is always at my heels. He helps me in my flower garden, is out their in Dad’s fields with me, follows me to the clothes line, chases after my kite when I fly it, and loves to sit on the porch with me. Just like a perfect gentleman, he also always walks me to my car.
Now that I have finished gushing over B, I will confess that though he is the perfect dog for me, he did make me righteously uncomfortable the other day after the epiphany hit that he does have some very rude behaviors.
Pulling into the driveway with a trunkload full of flower transplants, I was met by the sweet grandmotherly neighbor 2 miles down from my parents place. She greeted me with the explanation that she was so glad to see me pulling in because she wanted to come snoop on us about our well ( which by the way, is in need of 100 ft of digging TLC), but didn’t want to walk up to the house because of “that biting dog”.
Hearing a woman in her 70’s expressing discomfort over “that biting dog”, made me in turn uncomfortable. Up til then, the only critters here that I take issue with are the chickens. They scratch and peck at new flower transplants and seeds, which in turn makes me loose my mild nature as I throw clods of dirt at them and squawk like I am one of their own very upset species.
The merit of the neighbor lady’s visit is that it made me conscience of the tendencies that B has that need to be rectified. Blessedly our well snooping neighbor told me that she once had an australian shepherd too, but had to give it away due to biting issues. Before she did this though, she bought a shock color in an attempt to curb the biting. This color has been offered to me. Yay! Though I can start a horse to saddle, I am not sure how the heck to train a dog that has my heart but nobody else’s.
Hopefully, with the service of a few helpful sessions of electrocution, B will shape up, stop barking and biting, and prove to all that he really is a sensitive gentle dog. I think that the job of dog whisperer/shocker will go to James. Applying shock therapy to B seems like the perfect summer job for him. It’s much more productive than playing computer games and crashing cars.
Readers, please mark my words that if any of you ever do stop on by in the future, you’ll be greeted by a fine freshly reformed gentleman of a dog. Just don’t call him Bub or Bob or anything else that my family calls him, and if you think of it, bring along a dog biscuit covered in Wisco butter.

“No, Bub, No!”


He came to us a cute, slobbering puppy, bleary eyed from a long car ride, fluffy black and white tail wagging in a hopeful manner. His name is Bub, and oh how well does that name suit. Let me first say that I am a dog person. There is no competition, Cats are aloof, cats are smug, and cats are boring. I will not apologize for my dislike of the things. But dogs, puppies especially, now there is an animal that I can tolerate. In most cases.

Bub would be the exception. From the very moment he set paw upon our hardwood floor, trouble arose. First of all, there was the never-ending debate over what to name this bundle of Australian Shepard fur. That puppy was at one time called Henry, Abe, Bob, Mate, and most repulsively of all, Baby. The debate could only be ended by a good family friend of ours, an Australian priest, who, when asked to approve the name of Bob for the dog, said, “Oh yeah, Bob’s a great name for the dog,”. Only, he said this in his delightful Australian accent, pronouncing Bob, Bub. The name was set. (Although Mary to this day insists on calling him Baby, and Clare stubbornly holds out for Mate.)

As I said before, I am a dog person, but I am most definitely not a Bub person. Mary spoiled the thing in it’s formative months, fawning over him, and letting him come along on runs with her, oblivious to the dangers of semi trucks blasting by both of them. Soon even she gave up on that venture, but Bub did not get the hint.

I run everyday after school when not in a sport, out in the cold, out in the gray, out with the semis (but respectfully far, far onto the shoulder of the road, unlike some). And Bub decided that if Mary let him run with her, why not with me? This began all the trouble with Bub, who at this time was not cute anymore, having somehow morphed into a squat ball of haphazard, scruffy fur and chub. He’d sneak up behind me when I least expected it and follow behind me on the road, little claws clicking along on the road. No amount of very, very stern, “No, Bub, no!”‘s or “Go home!”‘s could change his tiny mind.

I could forgive this idiot dog if he wasn’t, well, such an idiot. He has an odd fascination with the cars barreling towards him at 55 mph. Instead of running away like any normal dog, he must run towards these death machines. I’ve quite given up on that dog, and find myself chanting, “Hit the dog, hit the dog,” under my breath whenever the sound of his little paws tapping the cold pavement behind me reaches my ears on a run. But, I digress, I really am a dog person……