Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Tails of Two Dogs


Meet Hunter. He is the puppy from next door. Hunter is almost a year old, but in a dog's life, he's still a lanky, busy, rambunctious kid. Hunter has funky ears. He can't quite decide if he wants them both up or both down. So sometimes, to avoid the work of having to choose and to nurture his inner Zen, he does one of each and lets the decision go. 

Hunter likes to meander over from time-to-time to say hello and perhaps find a new experience for his daily constitution. Secretly, he always really hopes Dog-Dog will join him for some fun and games while he's visiting. 


This is Blue, aka, Dog-Dog. He's ten and a little grumpy in his old age. (Not that I can blame him. I'm getting kind of cranky in my old age too.) Dog-Dog was adopted when he was five. He had five whole years of multiple owners and a previous covert identity being a dog-in-training for prison convicts before he came to live with us in the mountains.He's an old and grizzled dog. Wise to the world. 

Blue came from the life of hard knocks and never learned how to play. He's mellow (mostly) and likes other dogs (for the most part), but he just isn't "into" other dogs. (Come to think of it, he's an awful lot like me.)


Sometimes Hunter walks to the very edge of his property and sits a spell to stare at Blue. Hunter is a laid-back kind of dude-dog and would never dream of just intruding without an invite. 

Blue doesn't miss a thing. He sees the kid and studies Hunter, nailing him in the spot with his steely eyes. He wants to make sure the new kid on the block understands his place. 

So Hunter sits, waits and stares and occasionally let's his attention wander to meditate on a moth, or an ant on a blade of grass. He switches the position of his ears then remembers why he's there, and begs with his little brown eyes to please, please be allowed to come over and play. 

But Blue is not one to succumb so easily. He remains on his porch, like the unflinching Clint Eastwood of dogs, and steadies his gaze. It's a stare down, a scene right out of the O.K. Corral. The wind blows, kicking up dust, and the dogs, mano-a-mano, lock eyes. Somewhere, a hawk screeches a lonely call. 

Blue cocks an eyebrow, "OK, Dog. C'mere. G'head. Make my day." 


Hunter gulps, screwing his courage to the wind, and makes his move. He stands. Blue stands. They continue... the stare. 


Hunter, sensing an opening in Blue's demeanor, takes a few tentative steps into the yard. 

Suddenly, the strain gets to Blue. He dumps his tough Clint persona and becomes the Archie Bunker of canines. "Do I have to, Mom? Do I have to play with the new kid? He's such a meathead!"



With a sigh, Blue Bunker takes pity on the kid and approaches. Tails wag and panting and mutual sniffing ensue. The skies clear. A friendship is born and all is right in the corral. Miss Kitty can come out. On second thought, perhaps she should stay hidden. Then, in an unexpected softening, miracles happen, and Dog-Dog actually plays a little. Until....

Until he decides he has had enough of this young, over-exuberant whipper-snapper. Then all bets are off. "Get off my property, kid."


"He really, really bugs me, Mom. Make him leave now."

24 comments:

  1. Great photo journalism, Julie! They're both so cute.
    I get the dynamic. We have an old grumpy girl and a wily imp pup.

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    1. I was sitting on my porch one afternoon with my writing notebook and, fortunately, camera, and watched this whole scenario take place. It was cracking me up. Couldn't resist the cheesy post.

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  2. I LOVED THIS!!! Dog stories are always appropriate!!!

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    1. Thanks, Mary Ann. I just sat on my porch, snapping pictures and laughing the other day. I'll probably add a chapter in the future-- the two of them together make me laugh.

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  3. This is so cute, I loved it. I love to watch dogs together. My dog Clancy was in a prison training program too when I adopted him, he was only 11 months old so I don't think he was there long but he definitely learned all his commands there. I always wish he could talk and tell us about his experience there. :)

    Thanks for this adorable post, Julie. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. Poor Blue had a hard time finding his forever home. He's got quirky habits that make him a little more high-maintenance than some dogs, but I sure to love the little beast.

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  4. Oh my, that was great! It sounds like Hunter might have some Tuco (from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) in him.

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    1. Yes, I think you're right! It's good for Clint ...er... I mean Blue. Teaches him patience. ;)

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    1. Thanks. Blue, the old, grizzled one is my baby. The other one is from next door but often makes himself right at home with us.

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  6. Very nice, Julie. I love photo essays on blogs. And the ones I like best are the ones that make me smile. It also made me think how differently Katie Cat reacts when she sees one of the neighbor's outdoor cats coming over the fence into our yard. It isn't pretty.

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    1. Thanks, Pat. Totally different from what I usually write on here, but was watching these two interact one day and couldn't resist the scenario.

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    1. Thanks, Nina. Different from my usual posts, but was fun. Appreciate you stopping by.

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  8. LOL. We had dogs next door growing up, and just about every other animal too, but the dogs howling though the night were the ones that bothered me. I think I still would have liked them if the neighbors hadn't trained them to do their business in our yard. Yup. Not such a dog fan.

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    1. Well, when the wander uninvited it can be a bother. We live out in the mountains with mostly (as you can see from the pictures) acres of sage brush, so it doesn't matter much.

      We get howling coyotes on our hills, and they can't be silenced!

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  9. Damn, Julie, this was a wonderful first page of a book! I wanted to turn the page, but couldn't. Your writing skills shone in this post. You call it cheesy; I call it a humorous, heart-warming, small-town glimpse from the POV of Blue.

    I absolutely loved it. And not just because I'm a dog person. One of your best, IMO.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. Thanks Mike. It was fun. As I said in a couple comments, just sitting on my front porch laughing at these two weirdo dogs with their personalities.It was a hoot.

      I appreciate your feedback and you stopping by. I hope you're feeling better!

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  10. LOL! Perfect! Prinny, aka Yin, is older than Bell, aka Yang, and there are times she gets fed up with the younger whipper snapper Muse.

    I love how animals interact :) And you showcased it perfectly!

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    1. I love to watch these two-- they're a hoot.

      I thought of you actually when I wrote it, with all your animal/muse stories.

      Hope you are making it through your painful move!

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  11. I showed this to my daughter (almost 3) because she loves dogs. She said, "THIS IS SOOOOOO CUTE." I was nervous and hoping it had a good ending. :) So glad when I saw them greet each other.

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    1. Oh that's cute. I'm glad she got a kick out of it. I sure did as I watched it unfold. Thanks for stopping by Margo.

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  12. Blue reminds me of my own grumpy girl, Molly. But she never lets go to play. She doesn't understand the four-legged variety. She is, after all, human.

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    1. That may be Blue's problem too! If only he had opposable thumbs.

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