Skip to main content

The Tortoise and the...

My morning adventure began before I had my first cup of coffee. It was not the usual caffeine-deprived morning adventure like turning the coffee maker on without putting coffee or water in it. No, this was a rescue mission.

First it must be noted that four dogs now abide in my home. Athena is my black Lab mix. She is purported to be a Labradinger--Lab and Springer Spaniel. I just know that she is smart and sweet but in this pack of dogs she comes off as the bossy big sister.

Then there is Hazzard. He belongs to my second son. He is a black Lab/German Shepherd mix. His ears always look like that. That is part of his charm. He is a great big teddy bear with a bark that is more of a bellow. He is a dog of few words but when he chooses to bark, it reverberates through the trees.

Chewy is my daughter-in-law's miniature Dachshund. Just call him Napoleon. There is nothing that the big dogs do that he does not try to do. He is insulted if you offer him a miniature toy. Somehow, he has convinced all the Labs he is really as big as he thinks he is. He is the alpha dog. When he barks, the Labs obey.

Finally, the star of my morning adventure is Bonnie. She belongs to my oldest son and has also moved in with us since he deployed to Afghanistan. She is a one-year-old Black Lab. She still has a lot of puppy in her. "All mach and no direction" pretty much sums up Bonnie.

The thing about having a pack of dogs in the house is that they function like a pack. There is only one thought per four dogs. If one goes outside, they all go outside. If one is hungry, they all are hungry. If one wants to play with the green and white chew bone, they all want to play with that very same green and white chew bone. It does not matter that there are at least four other green and white chew bones available. Only one specific bone can meet the desires of all four dogs.

This morning the dogs decided they needed to go outside. They thundered through the door as a giant black mass with a dot of brown mixed in. They did not get far. Bonnie caught sight of a box tortoise taking a morning stroll. I know that slow and steady wins the race, but it would have been in this tortoise's best interest to have moved more like a hare. Instead, he pulled into his shell, doing his best imitation of a rock. Alas, Bonnie likes rocks. She scooped up the tortoise and began running super-sonic circles around the yard. Assuming Bonnie had a desirable toy, the other dogs took up the chase. Bonnie's circles now included evasive actions with quick cuts and changes in direction. In the process she periodically launched the tortoise into a wild airborne trajectory only to retrieve him and resume her erratic running.

With the help of my son and a handful of dog treats I was able to convince Bonnie to give up the tortoise and I corralled the dogs inside. The tortoise lay motionless outside my back door. However, after about an hour, I noticed he poked his head out of his shell. A few minutes later, he was out of sight.

Unfortunately, he did not go very far. The next time I let the dogs out, Hazzard spied Mr. Tortoise beneath the wisteria bush. Bonnie was thrilled to rediscover her "toy" and the game began anew. I was quicker about getting her to give up the tortoise this time. I scooped him up and took him to the woods, outside the range of the dogs' wireless containment system. Bonnie was not to be deterred. Her back legs trembled as she withstood the shocks to pick up this most amazing "rock". Once again I was able to rescue the tortoise. This time I deposited him much farther out into the woods. I did not stick around to make sure he once again emerged unharmed from his shell. I am sure he is traumatized. I hope he finds the tortoise equivalent of a good cup of coffee or a shot of Jack Daniels.


Ebeth said…
AAAHAhahahaha, yep, I can so relate! That's funny, I'm loving your pack dog story, they are a wonderful group of dogs. As for the tortoise, Jack Daniels would be a great afternoon calming treat!

Easter Blessings!
Michelle said…
My sister and her 3 dogs (and 2 kids!) came to stay for 2 weeks recently. Yes, definitely a pack thing. One dog barks, "I think someone is at the door!" And all 4 were barking, "Yes! Yes! Someone is at the door!"
Rosemary Bogdan said…
LOL So glad the the tortoise, thanks to you, has a chance now. Good story.
mweber4 said…
Sounds like my house. Thank you for saving the turtle. Sounds like never a dull moment. Would you really want it any different. Many thank to your son for fighting for the freedoms we have today. Bless him and your family.
mweber4 said…
Sounds like my house. Thanks for saving the turtle. Thank you to your son for fighting for our freedom and privileges.

Popular posts from this blog

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

United Breaks Guitars

This guy is really talented and what a creative way to get your message across. I think he captured the "indifferent employee" perfectly. They don't just work for airlines. I think I ran into them at Walmart on Friday!