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May 27, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Life out of the box.

German shepherd buried in cardboard box fort (© image. all rights reserved, copyrighted)

“You think you can’t wait until school/camp reopens…” (© image)

  • “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.” (Preferably not your foot)
  • “People generally quarrel because they cannot argue.” (No argument there.)
  • “The word ‘good’ has many meanings. For example if a man was to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.” (The stuff of lawyers and politicians.)
  • “People who make history know nothing about history. You can tell by they history that they make.” (You seen that, right? No need to name names…)
  • “I’ve searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.” (This is an outrage. Congress is probably taking a vote right now to end this travesty.)
  • “Fable is more history than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men.” (Sorry, Fable Baby; you’re out with the bathwater.)
  • “A good novel tells us the truth about its’ hero; but a bad one us tells the truth about its’ author.” (Beware, not all mirrors are glass. Hmmm, if you break a mirror you might get 7 years bad luck, what happens if words break?)
  • Journalism is popular, but it is popular mainly as fiction. Life is one world and the life seen in newspapers is another.” (Good grief. Look at when this author lived. The more things change….)
  • “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he had come to see.” (Rick Steves took this as mantra.)
  • “The perplexity of life arises from there being too many things in it for us to be interested properly in any of them.” (Best most elegant excuse for wandering thoughts and incomplete projects ever written….I’m just totally awestruck right now by the totality.)
  • “I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.” (This is just funny.)
  • “Let a man walk ten miles steady on a hot summer’s day along a dusty English road and he will soon discover why beer was invented.” (Yep)

Quotes by the “Prince of Paradox” Gilbert K. Chesterton.

English literary and social critic, historian, playwright, novelist (1874-1936).

German Shepherd crammed into playhouse. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

“What? I was invited in. Despite your opinion, there’s plenty of room. We were getting along just fine until you showed up…”(© image)

Oh, sneering at the “easy out” by using quotes?

OK. Talk about probable lawyer-ese.

The guard recently shot at Corpus Christi’s Texas Naval Base was saved by “wearing a bullet resistant vest“. Not bullet proof, mind you.

They do make various levels of protective ballistic vests and the Big City’s police generally wear the bullet proof versions. You can actually see the stopped bullet embedded in the vest.

Sure seems to me that the military, given attacks on bases over the past few years, might consider an upgrade.

Still not enough effort for a post?

Well, there’s this.

Sr Staff has a very expensive fancy Samsung phone. As with most, “Baby” is always getting new shoes updates. Recently there was one for “Notes”. “Notes” actually gets used…unlike many of the other fancy programs/apps.

Wary since the last operating system update caused major headaches, he actually started reading the “what this update addresses” information…until he couldn’t stop laughing over the fact that “intelligence” was misspelled…

Do you trust a technology who is really pushy insistent about correcting spelling when you, the human, punch in letters yet can’t/won’t spell information correctly itself?

IA’s version of “Do as I say, not as I do?” (I think we should worry…) 

Short quips and quick slip outta here… (They might be listening….NOTHING to see here….)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Interesting enough, all the home deliveries is leading to a cardboard shortage in some places. Threatens food and medicine distribution. Ordering online may actually endanger the environment/forests. (March 2020).

Odd when you consider in June 2018, just as online shopping increased, cardboard recycling actually dropped. (Story and reasons why here

Probably worse now. Most of shipping cartons used to go to retail who would flatten/bale the boxes and resell it for recycling. But you know what’s happened to retail this year…and then there’s China’s involvement – No, not about COVID – well, read the article.

You see, a perfect example of that 10th quote up there. Hard to be boxed in.

Fort out of Amazon boxes. (© image. copyrighted. NO permissions granted. All rights reserved)

We know why parents are really ordering so much from Amazon: the boxes. Big boxes, a roll of duct tape, and fort building skills = a bit of piece and quiet-ish.(© image.)

May 25, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dusting off. Dusting up. Making a splash.

We may all be dust in the wind, but not looking to crumble yet.

I WILL HAVE SUMMER…of some sort.

Shark leaping out of water. (Shark image seabreacher.com)

Noooo! I used to be the reason everyone was afraid to go into the water or splash at the beach…Oh, cruel hierarchy of predators!”  (seabreacher.com)

Nothing says summer like good little campers…of the human variety…the rolling stock of RVs are in short supply this summer apparently.

(“Darn! I was so looking for whole house meditation time without dog or humans for a week or two – only that. Longer gets to feel too much like abandonment,” muses RC Cat.)

They have been prepared for 100 years – and were ready to celebrate that, but no. Sit around the campfire and catch up with the story.

Boy Scout Troop 11, one of the oldest in Texas, was founded in 1914. During the 1918 Spanish Flu, the troop disbanded when the City of Houston halted public meeting, but it rechartered in 1920.  A two pandemic history! Their anniversary celebrations put back on the back campfire for a bit.

Click over to see some vintage photographs and to listen to the very diverse in age and cultural background scouts talk about why scouting is cool to them and how they are working with scouting traditions during COVID-19. (But..shuffle, shuffle, uh maybe this isn’t the best time to build bat houses considering …)

Video news story ( and the kids are cute) here.

cat mural. (screenshot ABC13news)

“Lady this is great, but couldn’t you’ve done my buddy and I in the garage? Have to admit, I’m a pretty close likeness to your real cat. Four Paws Approval!” (screenshot ABC13news)

Speaking of cute, it takes more than a pandemic to stop a real artist. 

Anat Ronen from Israel, has found herself a home here. This country has encouraged her to bloom.

A professional artist, she had commissions, but obviously funding had to be shifted to fight COVID  and the Stay at Home mandates has kept her away from the giant amazing murals the normally creates.

Art spills out anyway – on her driveway. Not your ordinary chalk drawings. Incredible stuff. Hear her talk and marvel at her talent here in a short video.

Chalk mural of Blue hands An artist on hand. (Screenshot ABC13news)

An artist on hand. (Screenshot ABC13news)

And they say nothing great or important is manufactured in the USA any more.

Now you can actually do what you dreamed of: BE THE SHARK

(and sneak up on a boat, launch yourself into the air, and scare the holiday out of them.)

A high performance, semisubmersible expensive toy watercraft that has all sorts of potential:

Able to do 360 barrel rolls, completely never failing buoyant, and it always self rights (Guess they knew exactly who they were designing this for…), no special license or registration needed and Coast Guard approved for fresh or salt water.

Can it get any better? Oh, you can be a whale, dolphin, eagle, or dream up your own stealth sea monster.

Don’t know about you, but I’m ready to cut loose and make a splash and this might just be the ticket (Are lottery tickets available again?)

Orange Shark watercraft (image seabreacher.com)

“Is this my best side? What do you mean ‘Need to floss’?” (seabreacher)

Red nosed shark watercraft. (screenshot Seabreacher info. video)

Taking a bite out of ennui? (Seabreacher)

Outta the way COVID Cooties. Can’t keep the good old American spirit down.

There’s an art to remembering true.

And just a important to dust off gratitude.

Memorial Day.

“Thank you” hardly seems enough.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Patriotic eagle boat with flag. (Shark image seabreacher.com)

“Over hill. Over dale. Dust off the country’s tale. Long may it wave over the Land of the Free.(Eagle by Seabreacher)

May 21, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Lone Stranger and the Zombies

You can’t turn it off. Altered brain function, the new normal.

This mask’s attempt at humanizing the coverup may be smiling, but it’s more The Shining’s “Here’s Johnny!” grimace than reassuring.

Who is that lone stranger behind that mask?

Man in mask. Mattress Mack adv. screenshot

Mack, this one’s is a bit creepy.(Gallery Furniture ad screenshot)

If you don’t know this guy, you’re probably backing slowly away and looking for a quick exit, but it’s Jim McIngvale, a local hero for many reasons.

  • Started his Gallery Furniture with a pickup truck and $5,000. Desperate and running out of money he filmed really low budget commercials that were shown late at night. Here’s one.(how he became to be called Mattress Mack). He was known for yelling “Saves you moneeeeey!” It was so bad, it was such a joke.
  • “Who is this Mattress Mack and why does he do what he does” (Vegas news) If there’s a disaster or crisis or people in trouble, Mack is the first to step up with help: trucks for rescues and dry beds and buffets during floods, (“Meet the man who turned his furniture stores into shelters for Hurricane Harvey Victims” Time mag.) open invitations holiday dinners in his parking lots, not to mention food for anyone during the Corona virus.
  • “10 things you may not know about Jim McIngvale”
  • He still does commercials…and “Saves you money!” And knows how to laugh at himself.

OK, so Mattress Mack’s commercials are a little intentionally wacky now.

However, what explains the zombies in the AAA auto insurance commercial?

Geesch, watch these people in this commercial: the way they smile vacantly, move like robots.

https://www.ispot.tv/ad/nqWz/aaa-auto-insurance-times-like-these

Shivers. It’s like the Stepford wives! Zombies!

Has COVID-19 fevered so many brains that this is the new normal for humans?

Gone to their heads. The alien cooties ate their brains.

“What does COVID-19 do to your brain”

Or just over-directed? Any dealings with insurance companies is enough to give you shivers, too.

Jules Verne, did you have anything to say about all this?

Hope eating crawfish isn’t adaptive training humans if the species’ next survival mode includes searching for brains.

Searching for brains. Could be like searching for rare truffles.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Two girls holding cards (Adv. Screenshot AAA insurance)

“Don’t worry. We’re fine. Moving oddly, but fine. Come closer…We have a card that says we’re not to be feared.” (Screenshot AAA insurance)

May 19, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Double dare

Gulping doodle bugs was a requirement for acceptance. Exactly how many, unknown.

What’s the kid dare flung now? Dash to the curb and back without getting virus cooties on you?

Hey, bugs are bugs. Double dare.

Sandy letters at beach. (© image copyrighted . All rights reserved. NO permissions granted)

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” More meaningful today than ever before.(© image)

Sand castles are another thing.

Previously only “90 lbs. weaklings” worried about being harassed and getting sand kicked on them by bullies.

Too risky now to stop, scoop, dump, and smooth sand into castles. How dare anyone do anything but genteelly saunter along the waters’ edge? Only on wet sand, people. Wet sand only!

Don’t even think about retrieving that Frisbee trying to escape over the border into dry sand territory.

Dunes off limits, Dunderheads. (The rattlesnakes are probably disappointed. No hot-footed retreats to shake with laughter over.)

Not a grain of scientific logic sometimes.

People at beach. 1953 Charles Atlas Body building ad. (USPD. pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Ah, summer loved. 1953.Charles Atlas body building magazine ad. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Still, the vintage beach stroll is not exactly the “Return to Yesteryear” meant by The Lone Ranger.

The Lone Ranger Creed (by FRAN STRIKER)

“I believe that to have a friend,
a man must be one.

That all men are created equal
and that everyone has within himself
the power to make this a better world.

That God put the firewood there
but that every man
must gather and light it himself…

The Lone Ranger iconic character, “an expert rider, a marksman who never shot to kill, a paragon of virtue” created for radio listeners of the Great Depression Era resonates even today.

Read the rest of the creed in NPR’s “Justice from Outside the Law” which explores his continuing popularity.

  • “In the 1930s, the perception was that there was a failure of capitalism,” Hoppenstand (a Professor of American Studies) explains. “There was a failure of government to protect the American people from … what was, up to that point, was one of the worst financial experiences of American history.”
  • “…some things are always the same: He’s always on horseback. He always wears a mask. He always pursues justice. And he never accepts praise or payment.”
  • It was wonderful escapism entertainment. (Enjoy the strict set of guidelines for script writers created by Trendle and Striker in 1933 to keep the character consistent in actions and dialogue including: “At all times, The Lone Ranger uses perfect grammar and precise speech completely devoid of slang and colloquial phrases.” “When he has to use guns, The Lone Ranger never shoots to kill, but rather only to disarm his opponent as painlessly as possible.” It’s a short list. Check it out.)

Of course that’s all really old stuff: masks, people without jobs, government failure, seeking justice.

two children on boat at beach. 1948 by Frank Royal/Nat. Archives of Canada/Flickr/USPD.pub.date, artist life/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

“Mom, help! The tide went out and we’re surrounded by dry sand. Don’t let them arrest us!” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Many occupied their elementary school years with “The Simpsons”, “SNL, “Bob’s Burgers”, “Family Guy”.

Those, their guiding star.

Better than the locals saddling up and rockin’ their ponies on busy roads, circling, doing donuts, and shooting off fireworks – all to be posted on FaceBook, the radio’s entertainment replacement. (Video of recent illegal car show-off )

Kid World is very different than adults’.

We never did stick tongues on icy flag poles, but doodle bugs? Did roll a few roly-poly bugs in hand like marbles.

And said things like “You’re not the boss of me”.

Ask any kid and you’ll get the universal truth: “It’s not summer without sand castles”

Dampen my toes, but not my life.

Dare not.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

 

 

May 17, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Stadium seats. Stepping up.

GOOFY and Vada Pinson ready to play baseball in 1972 (USPD. pub.date, no cr/Commons.wikimedia.org

That dog may not hunt, but he’s ready to hit some cooties out of the park.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org

Football stadiums are cathedrals – or disaster relief locations – around here. In some ways, all the same.

The game plan has changed yet again.

Jerry Jones has offered the Arlington AT&T Stadium for high school graduation ceremonies.

With the tons of room for social distancing, an open roof and doorways swooshing in breezes as well as people, it’s perfect.

Nice also, since the taxpaying public contributed a hefty amount to get the stadium built. Taxpayers have shelled out all across the country over the last 20 years. Plus the Federal subsidies. (For once people may actually get what they pay for?)

And as one high school girl said, “It’s cool not only because we will get a ceremony after all, but we all go there for games.”

If that helps make up for their crummy senior year, good. (Article and video)

Star studded (self serving?) TV shows, organized car parades, or virtual ceremonies by school districts are at least something, but nothing like gowning up, marching in to fanfare, sitting forever waiting for your name to be called. And the traditional pictures.

Common experiences bind us.

Getting the facilities cleaned up/decontaminated between ceremonies could be tricky: time consuming by hand and costly.

Where there’s will there’s a way.

Woman by window. 1899 Stratton illustration for Anderson's Fairy Tales (USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“I am sooo tired of ZOOM. Need actual human contact.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

There’s new technology designed just for situations like this by EagleHawk, a drone company in Syracuse, NY. 

Originally the company was part of the state’s 2019 Drone Accelerator program and focused on using drones and infrared technology to inspect structures, including roofs for possible leaks. But then everything changed.

Being bunch of engineers and thinkers, they thought, “Why not add disinfectant sprayers on drones instead using of people hazard suited up using spray bottles and hand wipes?”

Off the shelf drones weren’t quite up to the task, but now they are up and flying after working with the FAA and EPA. Their nimble drones have done successful tests indoors (basketball stadiums and arenas) and in large outdoor venues.

People are always a little nervous about sprays. Mosquito sprays are done mainly at night when to avoid contact with people – and still people hate their use.

The disinfectant chemicals EagleHawk is using must stay wet long enough to kill the COVID-19 virus, but dry fast enough to the touch and must not cause any health issues. Their solution is one used effectively against the SARS-CoV-2 virus (approved by the EPA and New York DEC).

Interesting article and video here from local Syracuse News9.

Maybe there is hope of a return to performances and celebrations.

Butterflies. illustration by Charles Perrault for fairy tales, 1922 (USPD.pub.date, artist life/ commons.wikimedia.org)

You saw it happen with COVID-19 masks. Bet It won’t be long before disinfecting ceremonial drones for weddings, birthdays, funerals, and sporting event will be redesigned with costumes to camouflage and enliven their service.(USPD/ commons.wikimedia.org)

Yes, life’s different. Well, good. All sorts of potential and reinvention possible.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

While some amateur inventors are being creative, not all ideas are equal.

  • The Hug Curtain? Close, but no. (Unless you are trying out spread the cooties to deelope herd immunity mindset.) Video and analysis here.
  • Swim noodles on hats to enforce social distancing – now that’s funny! (Video of German cafe) Laughing boosts the immune system, so yeah! (But the blow-up dolls and mannequins in restaurants are a bit creepy – a little too “The Shining” for me.)

How about if things got patched up? The medical community is getting stuck on some new ideas.

The VitalPatch by Vital Connect, which is about the size of a band aid, can be applied by patients themselves over their heart. The device can detect 22-different types of arrhythmia’s, or irregular heartbeats (including atrial fibrillation), plus all of the other major symptoms of COVID-19, then send the information to doctor or caretaker. No wonder the disposable patch has been fast tracked by the FDA and is currently in use at Methodist Hospital here and in recovering COVID-19 patients in their homes. (News article/ video here)

Life Signal also has a new wireless medical biosensor patch which also remotely monitors patients’ vital signs and relays data to Medical staff in who can quickly see which patients (at hospital or home) need the most/immediate attention for intervention without even risking getting infected by entering a patient’s room. Less chance of cross-contamination between patients, too..The disposable patches, which may be good up to five days, can be applied by patients themselves at home where it is more comfortable, and leaves more hospital beds available. (Read more about their remote monitoring patches here.)

Spry Health is just loopy with their new patient monitor. COVID-19 causes respiratory damage, but also does serious damage to the heart. Often cardiac problems do not show up until the patient is recovering at home. Patients can slip on Spry’s The Loop to keep everyone in the loop. a wrist-worn device that remotely tracks heart rates, pulse oximetry, and breathing of patients already is FDA-cleared. Not just for COVID-19 but for any chronically ill patient.

Others like the company with bluetooth enabled thermometers that uses apps to connect patients and doctors are stepping up in this challenging new world.

Graduating to thoughts flying. Ball’s in each’s field.

March on.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Astronauts playing baseball on Space Station (screenshot.USPD. NASA/Space.com)

Talk about the ingenuity and determination to make things happen. Astronauts playing baseball on Space Station. Watch that game here. Astronauts also play soccer on board. You have a front row seat! (USPD. NASA/Space.com)

 

May 15, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Giantess with little in her heart.

Dog in an arm chair. 1857 painting by Alfred de Dreux (USPD. artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Yes, reality is what one perceives it to be.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Dogs often aren’t good at body awareness and size relationships. Defensive or arrogant? Difficult to say.

Molly Malamute is pretty conscious of how solid she is, but like the big kid that befriends the smallest child in school, she’s amazingly gentle with her pocket dog friends.

Squirrels seem to know she is more interested in watching than chomping them. ( but most still have enough sense to keep some distance…her chase instinct is strong and easily triggered….like with skateboards…)

The only time body size awareness is suspended is when she is coming home and is tired for some adventure or has been to the vet. Then she is lap dog size. Seriously, Molly, you can curl up really small, but your weight is not equally diminished. Woe to the one in the car’s front passenger seat on those occasions.

Recently, coyote scents have Molly reverting to hunter wolf mode. 

Much to the distress of the multitude of lizards in the backyard. Good they are fast and there’s lots of cover. Extended games of hide and seek.

Sometimes she manages to flop down like a Sphinx with giant front paws on either side of one Then doesn’t know quite what to make of the little dragons’ stiff stance and threatening wide open mouth. Most of the time they wise up and dart underneath her elbow and escape while she’s pulling up legs trying to figure out which way they went.

On occasion she has stepped on one, nosed one too hard, or freaked it totally out carrying it in her mouth to a flatter patch of grass (less opportunity for a lizard to wiggle into thick ground cover and disappear).

I have to be very careful with lizard rescue attempts as she tends to be looking at me and smash her paw down to block me – sometimes in an unfortunate way.

She’s always crushed if they stop moving. Sometimes she sadly moves them to her special spot and piles leaves on them. (With luck they know to stay still then slip quickly away once she head in another direction.)

Dog dressed for tea. 1895 Magazine shoot. "Come Along, Tea-Time" (USPD. pub,date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Everyone has their own simple pleasures.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

You know how kids have secret places where they hide little treasures? Molly does that.

She has two designated spots under bushes that are “hers”.

Funny thing is while she delights in frantically trying to dig to China by one of the tall Fan Palms, she uses only her nose to  “buries” her treasures in her special hiding spots. Oak leaves are dumped there instead of bought mulch because soft leaves “nose” into mounds better. And she doesn’t come out with sneezes and crusty nose.

We generally stay out…unless one of RC Cat’s mouses is missing which on occasion…( I swear the dog smirks and laughs when I retrieve one of those.)

Her acorns and small sticks collected on walks, an occasional tennis ball, or shredded dog toy sneaked out of the house, all safely stashed there.

This spring we’ve had very strong winds. Goodbye amateur-built bird nests.

One morning there was a great clump of palm fuzz and nesting material on the ground.

The mother squirrel still kept running up and down the Palm and across the fence days later, so we assumed her family was able to hang on braced against the Palm trunk or clutched the frond “elbows” which they often use for beach style sunbathing or patios. Later we saw the squirrel Mom and as couple of squirrel kids scampering around. A relief.

Woman in thicket. Stratton. Andersen Fairy Tales. 1899 (USPD. pubdate, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The back 40 behind the Fan Palm gets a bit overgrown at times…and Molly keeps her stick collection there. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org

Recently Molly was unusually attentive to her stash under the bush at the back fence.

Rushing out from the door and going immediately over to check on it, (“No, we haven’t messed with it, Molly.”). After scrutinizing a moment, she’d carefully nose flip more and more leaves on top of the already rather large leaf pile.

Then she’d trot off to do other things.

It was a little different behavior, so after she went inside, I scrambled through the bushes – being careful of eye attacking branches – and used the shovel to carefully examine the huge leaf mound.

Eventually I found the reason for her diligent efforts.

At the very bottom underneath it all, was the old, rain sodden, remains of a tiny, tiny squirrel. Not chewed or damaged. It must have fallen or been blown down out of the nest and found by Molly who carried it to her special place.

Just softly buried there.

And carefully, gently tended.

Woman with dog. painting by Ansdell. 19th century (USPD artist life, reprod of PD art/commons.wikimedia.org)

“It’s OK mom. I knew you understand.” (USPD/commons.wikimedia.org)

Molly knows I went into her special spot yesterday. Doesn’t seem to be holding any ill will about it.

Saw the smoothed leaf pile, stood around for a second, then, satisfied, went off to roll on her back in the grass kicking all four feet in the air.

Celebrating and happy with life.

Instinct. A little thing.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dog. Bermese Mountain Dog and her pups, 1862, painting by Adam (USPD. artist life, reprod of PD art/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“I know it wasn’t mine, and I have no real experience to fall back on, but it was little and all alone.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 14, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wiley wild

Dark sky in the neighborhood (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Clouded vision. A bad howl rising. (© image)

“Today, everyone is a coyote,” she said.

Eyes narrowed. Scanning. Scanning. Reading the wind.

Scrutinizing the block for details.

There had been an incident. She knew before us.

The ripped open kitchen garbage bag set out early overnight on the curb foreshadowing.

Bags now mandated instead of secure garbage cans.

A welcomed delight for some tired-of-being-at-home-so let’s-go-get-some pick-up diners for the little ones.

(I’d call the city and suggest maybe there was a reason for those trash cans with tight fitting lids and maybe we could put the bags inside the cans on the curb, but you know how that would go…)

No, Molly, you don’t need to go over and sniff the spilled trash”

We should have snapped to why the dog was seriously tracking as we walked on.

Until a totally invisible “call to wild” message on a patch of grass.

Instead of genially trotting on after a sniff, Molly Malamute locked legs and turned into a concrete block.

Moving her was like trying to drag a whale off the shore into the water.

“NO. I. AM. NOT. MOVING. EVER.”

She probably has paw abrasions from being forced off the lawn, across the sidewalk. and into the middle of the street.

There’s not a handle on the back of her harness for just for looks.

If you can’t manhandle a 80+ lb. dog when you need to, don’t get a Malamute. Stubborn is the alternative spelling of the breed.

With a good deal of effort we got moving on a forward path again – until a little sudden lateral lunge to a grassy spot on the other side of the street.

Repeat the above paragraph’s action.

Even high value treats shall not move her. Oh, she’ll fake momentary attention for the treat, gulp it down, then go right back what she wanted to do. It’s a Malamute thing.

Repeat shoving, pushing, and insisting.

It’s spring. With a little cool front, the wind has been very high. So has the call of the wild.

She’s an ancient breed with retained ancestral memory somehow.

Can look and act darn wolf-ish under certain conditions – like around wild animal smells.

Dog in brush. (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, all rights reserved)

“It is so not nothing over there. Gimme a break. Like your nose is even rated.”(© image)

Checked in with the neighbor of the dog magnet patch of grass. A former police chief, he has super high quality security cams everywhere.

Didn’t stop the middle school kids from rollin’ off with their electric car (so silent even when running with the keys that were left under the seat). Did get to watch them slip around the corner for a short joy ride – their golf carts are probably training grounds for that sort of thing, Sure they would have rather had the pickup, but probably didn’t know how to drive stick.

Anyway, the neighbor’s indoor pocket dogs went nuts at 4:30 am. A glance at the monitor showed a coyote pair had chased down a cat.

This is a birding area and cats are not supposed to be running loose, but most don’t call Animal Control if one is out for a night stroll once in a while. That’s a cat thing.

No one recognized the poor little thing. Possibly a new resident who wasn’t aware.

Despite this being a built-out community, we have some of the original residents still around. 

Everyone enjoys the restaurant row’s wide back delivery lanes. Easy to go from marina to lake front across lawns and open fields, to the green corridors down the power easements, through the normally dry, weedy ditches, to pastures and wetlands or a quiet natural wild park.

Not to mention the sprawling golf course not far away.

The landscape of the golf course provides plenty of cover for a clever coyote couple who has been seen there and in our neighborhood several times over the past few years.

Last year early one Spring morning the male came tearing around the corner at a high rate of speed, spotted Molly and I returning from a walk, quickly crossed the street to the other side (Molly looks quite substantial and probably outweighs him by 50 lbs.) and charged right on past -not looking left nor right – without even a “howdy” – obviously on a mission.

We are always wary: coyotes and alligators. And the darn attack Blue Jays.

Since then Molly has been restless. She smells the wild and it triggers some memories stored in DNA.

There’s wolf in her woof.

She runs in her sleep.

Hearts beating wild.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Mountain ridge at dark.(© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Dreams of standing at the top of the ridge. You can hear it, right? Throws back her head joining the howl.(© image)

 

 

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