Max Strikes Again

Max –
There I was, right in front of Dad. Taking one of my high leaps across the fence and into the woods. It was just a bit of mischief. OK, I was a bit frustrated that he didn’t get up when the kitty and I started serenading early this morning. But what’s the word kitty taught me the other day? Futility… yea, the look of futility on his face…wow! There I was, running in the woods. Remarkable!

Dad –
You little @#$$^& #$%^Y&(, You )(&^^% duped me! It’ll be a cold day in hell before you get trusted again. You drifty s$%t piece of R%%^&( I’ll teach you a lesson Q!!!!##$$%$#^$%&(&)*()(()++
and then no treats!

Max –
I’ll hunker down by the fire and get warm. I sure hope he doesn’t mean it about the treats. A dog gets hungry after a good run around.
I sure hope he’s not mad at me.`


I’m innocent I tell you! It’s all their fault. They were the ones who watched the Great Escape on Netflix. I just thought those motorcycle scenes were hot. Soooooo now they have a lead on me and are calling me things lie “Cooler King”, and threatening to put me in the “Cooler” which they say is the little downstairs bathroom.

I ask you! is this fair? All I did was take a run through the woods. OK, it was the third time this week, but I was pretty good most of the rest of the week! Except for the trash can, grabbing the cream cheese and licking the butter. Maybe a few other things.

The cat has agreed to join the Escape Committee. Funny? I didn’t think she liked me. But she agreed to direct the tunneling activity. She says her computer skills are good enough that she can forge documents that should see me on my way to Canadian border. I asked if I can go there and get back in time for dinner. She made some funny noises that sounded a lot like those dad makes when he thinks something is funny.

The cat told me that she won’t go “under the wire” with me. She says she’ll stay and make a diversion to keep them occupied while I escape. I really made a mistake in not realizing what a great sister she was.

The sun is still shining and the cat says I should wait till it goes down. I start digging tonight.

Diggity dog strikes again

Max does shame real well. ” I’m sooooooo sorry I dug in the garden, dad…I promise…doggy pinky promise…that I’ll never do it again.” But the shaming does not last. The crush of tasks for a dog to do in the yard and garden daily is overwhelming! Something has to give.

“What is that? A mouse borrowing in the garden?Farther will be so proud of me if I get it!” {dig,dig,dig}

Father ( brave dog chest swelling with pride)! The garden is safe! I scared that mouse away! The hole? What hole? Oh…that hole…I’m sooooooo sorry I dug in the garden, dad…I promise…doggy pinky promise…that I’ll never do it again.”


Toby was a large shepherd collie cross who had perfected looking innocent while doing many things he should not. At seven years of age, he had come to us from a local animal shelter where he was a known recidivist.
He had been surrendered from his original home for reasons unknown and had lasted only a few days at his second. A violent encounter with a peacock saw him return to his cage, from which he promptly escaped.

The day the Carreras kids walked in was his lucky day. They found out that the big dog loved little as much as a hug, and four kids who admired him. Tobey’s record said he loved cats, having been raised by one. It also mentioned that he should never be allowed near a peacock. So he came home to get paraded in front of our black cat Smidgen, who decided that he’d do. No barking, no lunging, just a big doggy smile, a mutual nose sniffing, and he was home.

Over the following weeks, we discovered that he was a masterful food thief. A bagel was in your hand one second and the dog’s stomach almost by teleportation in the next. Escape artist? You bet! Toby discovered a lovely lady elkhound down the block who became his inamorata. He could shimmy that large frame through minor cracks in a fence, and latches were no challenge to his skills. After visiting his girlfriend, Toby would bark loudly at the front door to be allowed in.

Like many dogs, he reveled in going on trips. However, one day, we were at a local farm market that also had an attached zoo. He took great interest in the sheep, looked penetratingly at the bison, and then went berserk when the peacock came around. It took three of us to get him back in that car. The peacock decided to investigate which further upset Toby. Finally, we got asked to leave.

Toby lived to the ripe old age of fifteen years, helped the family raise a pair of kittens, supervised the garden, and terrorized neighborhood rodents. But it was his “secret” trips to be with his girlfriend always made us laugh the most. His barking to be let in the front door signaled he had pulled another one over on the humans.

National Dog Day

The incredibly handsome hound in this photo is Samuel Tiberius (named for Captain Kirk!) Carreras; Sam reminded me that today was National Dog Day. Being that the cat gets so much attention in this blog, Sam has requested some time. 

Sam is an Australian cattle dog/ German shorthaired pointer mix. In terms of behavior, his cattle dog heritage is dominant. He acts as the Palace Guard and protector of his sister Xenia, Empress of all she surveys.

Like most herd dogs, he likes his herd, human and feline, to be where they belong. His ongoing frustrations get caused by the herd’s complete lack of understanding that he is the boss.

Biographical Notes:

Age- 15

Born – Virginia Beach, Virginia

Favorite treats – dad’s sea biscuits, vanilla ice cream

Turn-ons – chasing chipmunks and squirrels

Sworn duties – Herding the cat and his humans

Turnoffs- getting wet – dad may go for all this water stuff, but a good cattle dog likes dry land!

Sam won’t tell you that the chipmunks refer to him as “Killer” for his murderous behavior towards them. The cat hates it that he always snitches to me when she is about to do something terrible, which is at least twice a day.

At Last

Xenia, Warrior Princess, Imperial Majesty of all see surveys patrols the area around the pond every morning. Unlike many cats, she is unconcerned about wet and damp weather, and will happily conduct her morning patrol in anything less than a full downpour. The yard and surrounding woods are stocked with small and not so small rodents. But the pond patrol is for the wiliest of prey: Lithobates clamitans – the green frog.
Capable of eluding her sharp vision and smell, they leap away from her at the last moment. They bob in the water, confident that they are safe. Until the second they see twelve pounds of black and white feline leaping into the pond after them. I am carefully watching and force open her mouth because the frog hunt is strictly catch and release. Standing beside Xenia is her faithful hunting companion Sam ( AKA Killer – scrouge of the chip monks). Most of the time, Sam’s job is to walk the pond’s perimeter and flush the prey into the open.
Right now, though, Sam runs towards the stacked cordwood barking at something in the woodpile. For an instant, I am distracted. Sam’s doggie grin alert’s me that I have just missed something. Turning, I see Xenia nonchalantly sauntering towards the open door. Wait a minute Xenia never walks casually anywhere! What’s that poking out of her mouth. Is that a frog leg? Sam starts barking. Xenia starts the final dash for the door, as I run to catch up. Sam runs between my legs and bolts into the door after Xenia. Xenia drops the frog. It promptly hops further into the house as both cat and dog begin wildly chasing it – for hours and hours.
It was not the first time the plan to stock the house with live prey was attempted. It was just the ultimate victory of feline cunning and canine persistence winning out over human idiocy. Finally!

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