Country Living Series

Friday, March 9, 2012

Major update

Several readers have asked about our dog Major after his appointment with the vet to be put down, and his sudden reprieve of last week.

I'm pleased to report he's doing excellently well. Now that the antibiotics have kicked in and cleared the infection on his head, he's back to his usual duties of sleeping on the couch.

But you know what? That's fine with us. He's a senior citizen and has earned his retirement. But he's also active in the yard, joining Lydia to bark against strange vehicles and nearby deer. We're just so glad to have him healthy again!

And for your Chuckle du Jour, a friend sent me the following and advised that this should be placed very low on your refrigerator door:

Rules for Dogs

Dear Dogs:

• The dishes on the floor with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate does not mean that it is suddenly your food, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
• The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the top of the stairs is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.
• I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It IS NOT necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space that you are taking up, is nothing but sarcasm.
• For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, growl, whine, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years – canine attendance is not required.
• The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog's butt. I cannot stress this enough.
• Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners who Visit and Complain About our Pets:
• They live here... you don't.
• If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it "fur"-niture.
• I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
• To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs are better than kids because they:
• Eat less
• Don't ask for money all the time
• Are easier to train
• Normally come when called
• Never ask to drive the car
• Don't hang out with drug-using people
• Don't smoke or drink
• Don't want to wear your clothes
• Don't have to buy the latest fashions
• Don't need a gazillion dollars for college; and
• If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.


  1. So happy to hear Major is recovering. Our Golden, only 9 years old, recently died of cancer - very difficult. His older sister (same parents) is 14 and still acts like a puppy. I love all the Rules for Dogs. You've probably heard that people with dogs consider dog hair a condiment!

    1. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children. <-- made me LOL! :D

  2. Patrice, As my husband always states, dogs are better than people. I'm happy to hear Major is recovering and enjoying some rest on the couch. Spoil him, he deserves it! I love the Rules for Dogs, I would post it on my refrigerator :-)

  3. I'm glad Major is doing better. That list to post on the frig is sooo funny! Some non pet lovers might be offended by it, but that is what it is intended to do , right? HAHA! If you don't like animals, stay away.

  4. Begging your pardon, this is not about Major, it's about yogurt. I've been making yogurt for years, and my culture died when I was in hospital for two weeks. (Surgery. I didn't. Die, I mean.) I'd kept that culture going for over ten years without a loss. But it was no big deal: lots of yogurt at the supermarket to start more, right? Wrong. I have dependably long experience making yogurt, with 100% success -- but every brand of plain, no additives yogurt I buy for starter produces a product with the consistency of snot. I was stressing and puzzling about it: there's a certain amount of yogurt-pride involved. This morning I spooned out another dish of snot, from another brand of commercial yogurt -- and it doesn't matter what consistency the store brand is, it all comes out thick, sticky snot on the first and every successive generation of homemade with whatever brand of plain starter yogurt I buy, all advertised containing no additives like gelatin or agar -- and an angry, incredulous suspician came into my mind.

    --They've genetically modified the commercial bacteria so that it doesn't 'breed' true, like hybrid seeds.

    Can this be true? Does anyone else have this problem? Where can I get a clean culture that produces a 'crisp', tangy yogurt that breaks cleanly with a spoon and doesn't stick like snot, or ooze when stirred, like equally snotty syrup?

    If it *is* true -- that invidious 'they' -- the implications are frightening.

    1. I don't bother with store-bought yogurts when I culture homemade yogurt. Instead, I buy a powdered Bulgarian yogurt starter from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company (the starter is here: ) because it can be recultured indefinitely. It produces a thick yogurt which I enjoy very much.

      - Patrice

  5. Some years ago, I made the mistake of letting some parasitic and demanding relatives stay for a while(a mistake I will not make again)-they insisted I get rid of my "nasty old cat". Well, the cat kept the mice and crickets down, and served as a pretty good guard(well, alert system)and general things that a pet should do,and was pretty quiet about it(usually).
    Said relatives were loud and whiny, stunk up the bathroom(how can a living human create such a stench?),ate everything that didn't move out of the way,and begged money/stole things. I much preferred that cat's company over them. They went, cat stayed.

  6. Well, as a non-pet person, I did not appreciate that attitude of "our pets live here, you don't" which we got when we tried to visit my husband's aunt and uncle who were childless, but had a HUGE expensive Italian hound. The thing was taller than my 2 year old and she was terrified of it, especially when her 6'4" father was standing, holding her on his shoulders and the hound put his paws on my husband's shoulders to investigate. Needless to say, we stopped visiting. No loss to either side.

  7. No, I don't like people very much but since we got our Boxer puppy I realize I don't like dogs much either. I certainly love my children much better. They listen to me and bring unending joy. The dog, well, she jumps on people, jumps over our 5 foot fence and terrorizes the neighbor children. I am at my wits end. I would give her away if I knew she would end up in a good home and my children would forgive me. The new rule in our home is animals belong in the barn and people in houses. Of course I would not go to your home and tell you that. Your home, your rules. That is apart of respecting friends!

  8. I've now copied and pasted the Rules into a Word document and will be printing it up. I am so happy to hear that Major is doing well...I lost 2 of my "babies" last year and I still grieve terribly.

  9. We have our own rules around here with our Newfoundland. If its full of water, its mine to slobber in, around and through the house. If I look at it, its mine. If it smells remotely sweet, its a donut and its mine.

    Dogs are so much fun no matter what breed they are, glad Major is feeling better!

  10. i had a family staying with me for three months after hurrican katrina. two adults, two big dogs and one cat........i have two mediium sized dogs of the purebred sharpei variety...needless to say, i sided with my dogs-they know people and other animals better than me. one adult visiting was extremely whiney and needy, the other was just plain mentally ill without meds...their dogs were less trouble than the people were, but my dogs did not like them much either. never again! if the shtf, we are not taking anyone in but we might let them all share the barn.

  11. This whole post and the comments have been entertaining. Major is a senior and you are doing well by him. The picture shows him doing what I wish I could. I may have a little more grey and a lot less hair,but seniors rule.

    Speaking of rules, there is a subset for doxies. I could list them but suffice it to say they own it all. We lost our sweet dox after 18 years last year. Y'all are blessed.

  12. We're cat people with one dog and boy oh boy, you should hear all the fuss when people hear we've adopted yet another cat (4 indoor and 4 outdoor cats). Apparently we are friends with all the allergic-to-cats people! Before company comes, we always sweep and tidy up, change out the sheets on the couch and easy chairs, and wipe down the kitchen and bathrooms, put out fresh towels... People know we have cats, if you're allergic, you come over at your own risk, but don't tell me not to adopt any more cats. I'm the one that wants them and we take care of them, not you.

  13. To the better than kids part ,I would like to add that they don't talk back.

  14. The article on the rules for your dog. I see my dog in those rules. I admit he has us pretty well trained.