Monday, March 28, 2011


Suka's not perimeter-defensive, but she sure lets folks know when someone's coming! And she has opinions about people, too. Dakota, rather less so - Unless someone actually knocks, rings a doorbell, or enters the back yard.

Yesterday, new washer and dryer were being delivered, and poor Suka about lost her mind.

Being the only one home at the time, I crated The Girls, and set about opening up the house for the delivery guys to work. Suka announced the arrival of the truck. She announced the first delivery guy - vigorously. Then the second - not so vigorously - I guess he was more acceptable to her. Then she announced the door I'd popped off the hinges to make space - with extra alertness in her eyes and carriage - Clearly, disassembling bits of the house did not meet her approval.

The delivery guys were commented upon again as they went out to the truck. They got a special emphasis when they brought the dryer in. She's not barking the whole time, no - only as things and people passed through the front door.

Then, the guys removed the old dryer... I thought Suka would turn herself inside out from sheer frustration - Strangers were REMOVING stuff! Our stuff! HER STUFF!! (dunno when she got so possesive of the laundry, but apparently it's very important to her)

Dakota, meanwhile, sat quietly and watched the goings-on.

In with the new washer - announced. Out with the old washer - denounced. Back in with the workers, as the made connections and tested the appliances - announced! Workers departing - announced again.

Dakota still had nothing to say. She just sat there and patiently watched the action.

Even though everyone keeps a wary eye on Dakota, Suka is the one to which they should be paying attention. Dakota doesn't take strange folks all that seriously. As big as she is, she doesn't need to, I s'pose. Suka, though..? She's got opinions about strange folks, strange goings-on, and especially about what comes and goes(!!) in her domain.

She spent the rest of the evening suspiciously eyeballing the new washer and drier. Not sure what nefarious activity she expected from them, but it's clear she thought they were up to something!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Been a while - not been peaceful

So, I've been absent more than a bit - Preoccupied with things in my world, much of which I frankly don't care to share in detail. In this day and these times, there's no need to go on about more people losing jobs, nor about the pressures that puts on those of us who whom are fortunate to manage to retain theirs - There's already enough of that out there already. So, yeah, times, they be tough, but I still have a paycheck.
Enough of that already.

I did manage to find a very little time to help at the farm, but nothing at all compared to what those awesome kids from the Alternative Spring Break program did. I hucked a few felled trees, and convinced a recalcitrant chain saw to function. Oh, and transported down some of my wife's excellent lasagna for the kids to eat. But compared to the labors of the kids, the other volunteers, and Sarah, I'm a serious piker this year.
No excuses.

Sarah tells the tale better than I ever could:

Not everything has been peaceful on the homefront, nor has it been as happy as the ASB crew.

Suka took a run at Dakota, and paid for her rude behavior in blood. It's to Dakota's everlasting credit that it ended as well as it did, because she had Suka utterly at her mercy before I could take even one step out of the shower.

The tale runs something like this - Early AM, and I'm in the shower. The dogs have been walked and fed, and would normally be engaged in their favorite activities - Dakota watching birds out of the back door, and Suka stealing a few minutes on the couch whilst no one is watching. But, for some reason, Suka chose to do a lap of the house with a high-value toy that had been somehow overlooked and left in-reach. At some point, Dakota either got too close, or maybe expressed some interest in the toy - Not sure, but my first warning of trouble was the sound of Suka's distinctive snarl-snap, followed by a general uproar as Dakota responded in-kind.

I was all of ten feet and one door (plus shower curtain) away, and it took me only seconds to get to the scene, flinging water everywhere as I came. By then, the fiight was already over; Dakota had Suka's head gripped firmly in her jaws, and had bodily crushed her to the ground onto her belly. Suka was still making chainsaw noises, but it was clear that she had no recourse and was entirely at Dakota's mercy. And when I say 'mercy,' I mean it. I commonly watch Dakota crush cattle bones in her jaws; Suka's head would've been no challenge. Or she could've whipped her head to the side, breaking Suka's neck and shredding her throat. But instead, all she did was grip Suka firmly and pin her decisively, ending the fight almost instantly. Better and more gentle manners, frankly, than Suka sometimes deserves. Despite her great size and intimidating power, Dakota is, at heart, a gentle soul.

Suka came away with a superficial abrasion and a minor puncture/laceration to the crown of her skull, and a rather more bloody puncture to her lower jaw - none more than 1/2 the depth of Dakota's incisors. They healed cleanly and well, and if you don't know what you're looking for, you can't find any of them.

So... That's what happened. Who is at fault..? Me, of course. I don't know how it is that the squeaky pig was down and in-reach, but I do know that Suka is highly defensive of it, and that it should be up out of reach whenever there's not responsible supervision immediately present. I don't *think* I left it down, but in the liklihood that one of the kids had taken it down for Suka, I've clearly failed to drive home the importance of having it put away properly. Well, they've get that NOW, but I didn't do my job well enough previously. Fortunately, it all ended with painful but ultimately minor consequences.

Minor abrasion

Fairly minor laceration

1 cm deep pocket - no stitches (to allow for drainage), no penetration into muscle.

More serious (and bloody)

1 cm deep puncture, some pocketing, bled freely for quite a while - No stitches (to allow for drainage), some penetration into muscle.

Scalp scar

If you don't know it's there, you won't find it.

Jaw scar

Even if you DO know it's there, good luck finding it!