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Sunday, April 4, 2010



It feels good to have a day of clear sky, sun all day, daffodils of the scrambled eggs variety open reflecting the sun. The door open, the wind chimes play spontaneous percussion tunes on hanging vibes. I think of Milt Jackson of Modern Jazz Quartet. His touch on the vibraphone was similar to a wind chime. The cats stand at the screen door and look at the dogs. Sometimes the dogs stand at the screen door and look at the cats.

This morning while I was talking on the phone with Carole, Martha wiggled in through the crack in the door and slithered like a salamander over the floor to my feet. She knew it's against the rules for dog to come in the house, but she needed to feel my hand on her head so bad she'd beg and crawl for it, squealing all the while. She wiggled her nose at the side of my knee. Tapo was on my lap hissing in Martha's face showing fangs. Martha paid her no mind. I touched her and she went completely out of control, squealing, rolling on her back, farting, unable to sit up or stand up so carried away in her frenzy of adoration. I can't help but think our souls have some kind of connection. This morning I had a momentary glimpse of her as a mature dog and she looked good. She had a slow start growing, but she's catching up fast. Regular dog food at home and cat food here looks like it agrees with her.

The dogs drag bones of every kind of thing here to gnaw on, jawbones of several sizes, deer hide, deer legs. They carry their finds here to the chewing ground. They lay about chewing deer legs. For awhile they had a deer skull. Not much left of it now. It looks like outside the opening of a cartoon caveman's cave outside the door. Jolene looks like she'd be a fierce hunting dog in the Indian way of hunting. I saw a picture once of an Indian hunter holding his bow in one hand and the leash to his dog in the other. The dog had packs tied to its back, and was giving the man with the camera a look that said if the Indian let go of the leash, the cameraman couldn't get up a tree fast enough. Fierce looking dog. Jolene has that look in her eyes. When she's looking at me with adoration in her eyes, they still look a little bit threatening.
The eyes in the picture above are her friendly eyes, her I-love-you eyes. You can see the smile on her lips. Yet when I look at those eyes up close while petting her, talking to her, I get a feeling that says don't trust her too much. It's like looking at a shark's eyes sometimes. At the same time, I know she could never attack me. We're friends. She looks to have a little bit of huskie in her, a good bit of blue healer. She's covered with patches of everything in her linage. Like somebody cursed by his parents to carry all the family names, all of them last names, 5 of them. I can see at least 5 different kinds of dogs in her. Her eyes look like a bear's. They look like wildness that doesn't understand anything of the human mind.
Jolene's relationship with her sister Martha has gone from frolicking sisters out romping all the time to domination. She keeps Martha understanding Jolene is boss, no two ways about it. Martha has become apprehensive of Jolene. I saw Jolene a few minutes ago through the window walk up and lie down next to Martha. Before, Martha would have felt good about it, yawned and relaxed. Today she was uneasy and before long she got up and moved a little bit away from Jolene. Jolene paid it no mind, like that's what she intended for Martha to do. I'll see Martha start to run and jump on Jolene and check herself, turn away and remind herself Jolene isn't fun anymore. Jolene is twice Martha's size, so Martha doesn't stand a chance in a fight. She knows it very well by now. Still, they're close friends and play together. It's just that Jolene is dominant dog.
Jolene has become good at dodging me when I walk to the car. She has to be directly in front of me, Martha too. I walk at my regular pace and they've learned that when they're in my way they get bumped, not hard, just to say get out of the way--I don't care how much you jump, just stay off me when I'm walking. She jumps in front of me and makes a kind of dance out of managing not to touch me after jumping like she was going to jump on me. She's good at it. She'll jump around in front of me just out of range of my legs. I'll make a lunge at her like I'm going to bump her and she'll dance around it. It's acrobatic jumping that she gets a kick out of. They're still puppies that want to be running and jumping all the time.
When Mike brings some calves to graze the meadow around the house, I'll need to spend some time with the dogs to train them to leave the calves alone. There will come a time when the dogs know not to chase the calves; then they'll probably start wanting to play. They'll have some new friends if they're not so rowdy they keep the calves afraid. It'll be all right. I'll talk to Mike about letting me feed them so the dogs will see that they're my friends not to be harassed. I'll need to explain to Mike that the dogs are really ok, they're just incredibly out of control, yet they obey. It's not that they're dangerous, they just want to play. I'm gaining a little control with them. I can call their names in a certain tone of voice and they cut out whatever's the problem. We're getting there. I don't want to be rough with them. Firmness is all they need. I keep them knowing that though I scold them I still love them. The scolding is only for a moment. The love is for all time.

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