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All Hail the Chief

Cochise BigDog, also known as Cochise the Amazing Talking Dog passed away on Thursday, May 3rd around 9:30 PM at the age of ten years.

Cochise was a great companion to us for six of those years, an amazing mentor to 63 foster dogs, an effective Guardian of the Realm, and a great ambassador for rescue dogs everywhere, for he too started out abandoned in a shelter, heartworm positive and scheduled for destruction. We saved him then, now it’s time to let him go. Farewell my Bestest Boy, you will be missed.

Bed Check

Callie is a sweet, gentle, lovable gal. She is a Staffie mix after all. She gives us almost no trouble at all and so she has earned the right to be a full-time, free-range house dog — except when we leave the property for an extended period of time. But that’s not Callie’s fault.

Josephine likes to play rowdy. If I’m here I can monitor that and shut it down before anything gets torn up. When I’m not here, she and Blondie sometimes knock into things, moving furniture around a bit, but rarely tear anything up. If Callie gets into the mix, Callie likes to play tug-o-war. Dog beds are handy tug toys because all three can pull on it at once. That leads to tearing. Tearing leads to stuffing poking out. Stuffing poking out gets everyone excited about pulling out all the stuffing. We’ll arrive home again to find an “exploded” dog bed. Not good!

So when Marie and I are both going to be gone a while, Callie gets crated. But she doesn’t mind.

Cochise vs the Dump Truck

Today we had some driveway work done. The driveway up to my workshop is a MESS! All washed out and badly rutted. I bent a rim on Marie’s Subaru by taking it up this driveway. It’s time to dig deep into the pockets and get repairs done or it will just keep getting worse.

Cochise insisted on going out to chase the tractor and the dump truck and hurl heinous threats at everyone. He stayed on his side of the fencing, they stayed on theirs. He got so worked up early on that he leapt up against the fencing, bounced back, and did a back flip!

After a half hour of these intense aerobics, I went out with a lead to bring him back to the house. He offered no resistance at all. His tongue was hanging so low he was tripping on it!

We got half way up the hill to the house and he just flopped over on his side and panted, “I can’t go any farther, carry me!”

Callie Complies

Cochise, Callie conforms
Cochise tells the tale

Callie was sleeping on the cushy quilt-topped dog bed HairyFace made for her in the den. She follows him around like a shadow, so he accommodates her when he’s “at work”. I came in and looked at her bed and said, “That looks pretty comfy, Callie. I’d like to try that out.”

No response.

“I’m the Big Dog here, you need to move.”

Comfy Dog Bed for Christmas

Cochise, on the new dog bed
Cochise tells the tale

HairyFace’s sister sent our family a Christmas card that included a Petco gift card and instruction to get us doggies something nice for Christmas. Hairy went shopping. He found himself looking at snuggle beds and decided to use the funds to get me a really nice orthopedic dog bed (figuring that, like each dog bed in this place, it would get shared and used by all four house dogs). He explained to NiceLady that he chose that one because I am 8 years old and my joints are getting cranky, especially in this cold, damp weather. A feeling he understands all too well! This bed is built to relieve stress on my joints.

dog bedThe new dog bed arrived in a box SO big there was no reasonable way to set it aside for Christmas morning, so he unpacked it and set it out in my place in the sleeping room. He then moved my old bed to Josephine’s spot as an upgrade for her – which she appreciates – and moved her old dog bed out to the picture-box watching room for sun snoozing, which all of us appreciate.

Cochise Goes to the Vet

Cochise, on bacon
Cochise tells the tale

After NiceLady left us to go off on her daily all-day-long-car-ride, HairyFace put my harness on me.

Blondie Bear and I got excited because that means we’re going off-property.  I don’t need to wear the harness when I’m in my yard, just to go out on a leash.  My muscular neck is bigger around than my head, so no collar will keep me securely on a leash if I want to get off.  The harness does.  Looks cool too: like a biker-dog.

Blondie Bear got upset when Hairy told her she needed to stay home.  She huffed and harrfed at us while Hairy and I went out and loaded into the truck.

When we got to the end of our driveway, we turned right, not left: we were not going to the trash place … where were we going?  The drive-through cookie store?

Blondie Joins the Fun

Cochise, on DST
Cochise tells the tale

Blondie Bear has been feeling poorly for the past few months: she has the itchies real bad.  She’s gone to see Dr. Sandra a couple of times.  Dr. Sandra gave HairyFace some medicine for Blondie: that helped the itchies but made her sleepy.  Now that the problem is clearing up and Blondie isn’t spending all her time either scratching or sleeping, she is getting to be her spunky self again.  And that means she can be trouble for me sometimes.

The Gatorgate Incident

Mom’s house

I was working on a plumbing problem at Mom’s house (which is on a corner of our property) and needed a tool from my shop. Blondie, Cochise and Gator were out in the play yard. As I walked up the shop driveway Gator was shadowing me inside the fence. I got the tool and went back to Mom’s house. When done under her sink I looked out her kitchen window in time to see Gator scampering up the hill toward my house OUTSIDE the play yard fence.

I ran outside and called Gator, who ran back down toward me — until he caught sight of Blondie standing at the end of the Judge’s driveway across the road. Then he took off to join her and they skipped merrily up that driveway together.

Cochise’s Bedtime Dilemma

Last night Cochise had a bedtime dilemma.

Cochise and Blondie Bear are permanent residents. Tinker, Jasmine and Gator are foster dogs. We offer multiple dog beds but who sleeps on what can be kind of fluid during the day and evening. Everyone is okay with that.

bedtime dilemma, blondie on futonIn the living room are a pair of beds made from a donated futon pad. These are favored when Marie and I are in the living room or kitchen, and are big enough that they can be shared when necessary.

bedtime dilemma, blondie Gator share abed

At bedtime, however, each dog has a definite preference.

Cochise’s Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Rotten Day

Cochise, on DST
Cochise tells the tale

Blondie strolled in and looked over my shoulder as I pecked out the title of my story on the keyboard. “Are you sure you want to call it that?”

“Yes.”

“I mean, it wasn’t even the whole day: just a couple of hours.”

“It’s my story, and I like the title. I think it’s catchy. I think my readers will like it too. So, how about you go chew a hoofie or something.”

“Hmph!” Blondie wheeled around and sauntered out the door, headed for the picture-box watching room and the basket of toys and chewies.

Actually, she does have a point: my ordeal did not last all day, and it ended well. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Now, where to start?

It was an average Friday…