Jan 29, 2008

Canine Couture

What is it that makes a normal and sane person (relatively speaking) suddenly start to do things they swore they never, ever would simply because they now own a tiny little dog? I have never been the type of person who has ever given a thought to dressing up an animal since I was about six or seven years old and routinely dressed up my poor cat in baby doll clothes and took her for a ride in my doll carriage, yet now I am doing it all the time (less the doll carriage of course). I even go shopping with the specific purpose of adding new items to my dog's already burgeoning wardrobe. Granted, I have on occasion seen little dogs being walked down the side of the road and have done a double take with an "oh my god that is so cute!" when seeing something outrageously adorable, like two miniscule yorkies being walked in teensy matching tutus made of lavender and pink tulle, but that's the exception. I don't believe I have ever reacted with more than an occasional "nice sweater" when seeing a larger dog strolling by in a hand knit. So why now that I own a small dog am I compelled to dress it to the nines every chance I get? Does this sort of behavior automatically become compulsory when one takes possession of a toy dog?

Don't get me wrong, I don't go for those silly little t-shirts with glittery slogans such as "spoiled rotten" and "#1 pet", the trailer park trash, bar whore outfits of the pet world. No, I'm more a hand knit sweater and ultra suede jacket type of person, with the occasional longing for an expensive Juicy Couture coat. Maybe it's because my dog is a male that I have managed to rein in my new and truly unexpected behavior with more serious clothing. What I need is to add a second dog, a female, to feed my newfound desire to dress a canine in frilly Pollyanna dresses and tutus of my own made of lavender and pink tulle, with maybe the occasional pair of tiny gossamer fairy wings included. Then all I would need to worry about (with the exception of my family riding my ass twice as much as they do now about the supposed indignity of it all) would be more closet space.

Jan 21, 2008

The Great Horned Owl

Even more exciting than the realization that my backyard had been transformed a few weeks ago into a turkey suburbia was the discovery of a Great Horned Owl in one of the trees at the back of the property. She might not be nearly as cute as a turkey (if you even would consider a turkey cute- I do), but she sure is a far rarer sight in this area.

She was there in the early morning when I went out to water my birds and she stayed straight through until dusk. It was amazing to watch all the smaller birds swoop down and dive in regular waves at her tree hour after hour, shouting and calling to drive her away. One little male cardinal was especially driven to scare her away, though he obviously had no luck. Neither did the dozens upon dozens of crows that taunted her and flew at her head for the better part of the day. The noise was extraordinary all day and could be heard clearly and quite loudly even inside the house.

And while there wasn't a single small mammal to be seen anywhere on the ground throughout that entire day, there was one poor, unfortunate little squirrel who was just feet from the owl and who had laid himself flat out on his branch not daring to move so much as a muscle for the full ten hours she was perched there in the tree. Poor thing, caught suddenly in the midst of his morning squirrel business of snacking and burying, he was stranded and paralyzed there for hours. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the terror of that day must have chipped years off of his already brief little life.

Still, the visit from the owl was a simply magnificent gift. I cherish the chance to see such rare and beautiful birds in such close proximity to my home. Nature is a joy. Nature is perfect.
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