Today is an idyllic New England Fall day. In central New Hampshire, we’re living the dream of what Southerners call a Tarheel Blue sky and peak foliage. The air is crisp, the humidity low, and damned if I’m not sick with a nasty head cold. Charmingly, cold and flu season has already started.
After I baked my comfort Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies, of which I’ve already eaten several, I decided I needed to take advantage of the gorgeous day and enjoy the weather, sick or not.
Despite the fact that the temperature is 54 degrees, I put on a hat, gloves, and a vest over my sweatshirt, suited up the pooches in their hunter’s reflective gear for safety and headed out into the dreamy day.
We looked like a rag-tag bunches of walking monkeys if ever a group existed.
Me? I was sucking wind walking my dogs, stopping every so often to cross my legs and sneeze. Yes, if you’re my age, have had kids, and are perimenopausal, you cross your legs when you sneeze. It’s just one of the many joys of getting older. Yeah me.
Meet Dixie and Lucy. AKA Psycho and Queen Fat Lucy.
I presuming you can look at how the vests fit to surmise why we lovingly call our Bulldog Queen Fat Lucy. She is a chubby girl, owns her girth, and acts like a Queen about all things in life.
This is an XL vest, the largest they make in this style. She spills out everywhere, and she only makes me laugh when we walk in the Fall. She’s momma’s chubber. We also call her Chunk, Chub Chub, Chunkers… you catch the drift.
And then there’s Dixie.
A completely psychotic Boxer who came to us about a year ago when she was 7 months, even though we didn’t ask for her. She’s so nutty that we desperately tried to get rid of her, but no one wanted her because she was that out of control. She’s our 4th Boxer, so we fully understand how energetic Boxers can be, and after a 2nd failed attempt to make her someone else’s problem, I started to feel badly for the dog. She came to us from an owner that didn’t want her because she was so energetic, didn’t give her any attention, crated her far too much, and didn’t train her.
Ms. Dixie comes from über high-end breeding, and was bred purely for show, not temperament. Our others came from home breeders who bred only for temperament. The high-end breeding explains Dixie’s freakishly high energy levels. Sadly, however, Dixie was born with an underbite, and was slated to be put down at birth for this reason. Welcome to the world of high-end animal breeding.
Fortunately, the son of the woman from whom we acquired Dixie took the dog and had her fixed as soon as possible in an attempt to make her a family dog. But his mom didn’t want a medium-sized spaz attack. She wanted a small, slothy lap dog.
She tolerated Dixie until she found us fools who’d begrudgingly take her.
When I say Dixie was literally dropped off on our door, there is little exaggeration in this statement. Lexi, as she was named when she arrived, walked in the house, and the woman walked out.
I had only said I’d like to meet the dog and then would consider. In less than 5 minutes, I unwittingly acquired a second dog.
Lexi soon became Dixie, because Lexi is a dumbass dog name.
There were massive dog fights, many of which have left our entire family with scars, and left me with massive vet bills because the Bulldog is a sitting duck in an aggressive fight with a spastic Boxer. Everything I knew about training all the other dogs we’ve other, 3 other Boxers included, failed. Only after extensive (and expensive) training with a certified dog trainer this spring did Dixie come around to be a tolerable dog that we all can kinda say we like.
We have lots of inappropriate nicknames for Dixie: dipshit, dingleberry, numnut, dumbass, whackjob, psycho… you get the picture. She wags her tag with each name you call her and wants to give you a kiss for it – like can jump to eye level from a standing position and actually attempt to give you a wet smooch on your lips.
I’m not to worried about doggie psychological damage.
Needless to say, Dixie needs lots of exercise to maintain a decent level of doggie sanity. She loves the walks in the woods because she can run ahead, will actually now come when called, and just gets to chase squirrels, chipmunks, and birds without fear of cars.
We’ve often thought of attaching a pedometer to her collar just to see how many steps in a day the nutbag gets.
We walk on a Class 5 road near us, which is basically the driveway to a few people’s houses. Dixie did not like her hunting vest when she wasn’t bolting around like a Mexican jumping bean; she tried to chew her way out of it at first, but she needs it this time of year because she charges in and out of the woods and would easily be mistaken for a small deer or other small critter worth shooting. Trust me, I’ve thought about it with her.
While it’s not deer hunting season yet, it is bear hunting season, and I’ve told you, we at war with the bears.
One came onto our front porch the other night, finished off the bushel of apples, and took a dump on our front walkway.
Look in the lower left of the photo. Yes. I took a picture of bear shit and showed it to you. Get over it. Look at how close he/she doodled to my front porch!!!
That furry shithead was on our front porch! It ate all our apples! And then it shit on my walkway!!
It’s lucky we think it too expensive to make a bearskin rug. But someone won’t think that, and several people with bear hunting licenses have already approached us and asked to try to shoot him/her because we’re not the only house for whom this bear is a nuisance.
BE. MY. GUEST. HUNTERS.
Now that I’ve continued my rant about Mother Nature’s furry jerks, and you’ve met my dogs, please know, outside of the sneezing constantly from a head cold, we thoroughly enjoyed our walk – more like a lollygag – through the woods.
The foliage was incredible, and these pictures do not do any justice to the spectacular display of pageantry being put on by Mother Nature. I can give her this credit. Just not the furry critter credit right now.
If you ever have the chance to come to New Hampshire in the first few weeks of October, even on a “bad” year, you will be treated to the majesty that is New England Fall Foliage.