Monday, October 29, 2012

Dude is the Captain of the Row Boat

People have told me that this photo looks like Dude is giving me directions from the stern deck while I work the oars. It's not exactly that way. We're more like a team. He enjoys the ride, and I enjoy taking him for a ride. It's an adventure for both of us.

He's all decked out in his pink life jacket. It's not a very manly color, but neither one of us care. It's a handy piece of gear. When Dude gets a bit hot from sitting in the sun, I grab the handle on the back of the life jacket and hoist him overboard into the water for a quick dip, then lift him back into the boat. He's cooled off and stops panting, and we both like that. Like I said, we're a team.

Rowing is a favorite activity of mine and like all of my favorite activities, I like to have my favorite dog tag along, so off we go for a leisurely stroll around the lake.

Life at the lake is good, it's better with the Dude.

By the way, the wheels on the row boat are permanently mounted on the "Dude platform" so I can turn the boat over and easily wheel it up and down the driveway. Here's more information on this easy project:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh no! You did not slap me upside the head with that fish!

What's the point in having a dog if you can't have a little fun? Fishing is fun, I know that.

Licking, pawing and nipping at fish is fun, Dude knows that.

And, getting slapped upside the head with a fresh fish is lots of fun for my little buddy, especially if it means he gets a chance to grab it and hold on every now and then.

And, I get a kick out of it too! Duh! It's my double dose of fun when I've hauled in a fish, or we're getting ready to clean them on shore.

Okay, so it means that my dog wears catfish snot on his head for the rest of the day. He doesn't seem to mind, and we both have a lot of fun putting it there. Whap, whap, whap! It's a good sound, and lots of fun to watch Humper try to grab the fish tail as it slaps him about the head.

The funniest part is that at first he thinks I'm trying to get the fish positioned to where he can grab it in his mouth, but it's apparently wiggling too much to hold still. I think he's largely caught on that I'm just messing with him. In any event, we both enjoy this ritual after catching a nice fish and getting ready to clean them. It's my way of letting him get his fill of the fish so perhaps he'll lose a little bit of enthusiasm for interfering with the fisherman and his duties.

If you ever run into a lovable, obedient and well-behaved Boston that looks buff and smells like fish, that would be my dog. Please send him home at your earliest convenience - after you've washed his face, please.

Dude, seahound first class

Whether it's the car or the boat, all you have to do is say, "saddle up" and my Boston Terrier companion hops aboard in anticipation of a ride. When it comes to boats, he anticipates a bit more, perhaps some fish brought on board for him to lick and nip at, or a live box full of fish that he can investigate and watch as they splash around in there. He's been known to lift the live box lid on his own and peek in.

Oddly enough, I don't know if he swims, but he seems to know enough to stay out of the water and in the boat. Hes' perched himself up on the gunwale once when the excitement of a fish breaking the water was more than he could handle, but so far he hasn't jumped in. If he ever takes the plunge, you can be sure I'll be hopping overboard to retrieve him.

To get Humper accustomed to being in a boat, I first took him out in a canoe just a few feet from shore for just a few moments and then brought him back to shore. A short while later I took him out again in the canoe and paddled much farther from shore and spent a couple minutes on the water before returning to shore. Each time I gave him the command, "saddle up" to he knew I wanted him to board, and when we returned to shore, "go on" was his clue to jump out. When on the water, I used the ever popular "stay" command just to let him know that his place was exactly where he was, whether seated or standing or perched on the gunwale to get a better look.

By now, Dude knows the drill, we get him on board, I untie the boat, and we shove off for adventure on the water. He's a seagoing pup, but he isn't worth a damn when it comes to landing fish, steering the boat or messing with the anchors. Perhaps I'm expecting too much. Then again, it may be that I haven't yet found his natural aptitude when on the water.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dude has a hard life at the hardware store...yeah, right!

I spend time in Winnsboro, Texas when I get the urge to go fishing. Of course, the Dude goes with me because he likes fishing too. His job is to lick the fish and give them a nip every now and then too. He knows there are creatures in the water, and he wants to play with them. His middle name isn't "Go-play" for nothing!

Invariably, there is something that needs maintenance, repair or improvement at "Camp Clair," so I blend this in with my fishing time. On my most recent trip, the need for my handyman services included plumbing repair and improvement, so off to the hardware store we went.

Yep, the Dude goes shopping too. What could be easier than shopping when you have your own personal shopper to assist you in the selection of the proper parts, materials and supplies?

Our favorite hardware store in Winnsboro is Poultry Plus. It's a funny name for a hardware store, but it's a fine place with great people and reasonable prices. And, they usually have what I need. Best of all, I don't have to drag off 30 miles to shop at a "big box" store to find what I need. I like the idea of spending my money at a local store, and Humper likes the idea of spending time with local folks as well - especially those with a little treat for well behaved four-legged companions like my buddy, Mr. Lickerson.

Meet Kacy Morris, expert in customer service and a certified dog lover. Fellow employees have referred to her as a "dog nut" but let's not go there. According to Dude, she's the official "snack lady" at Poultry Plus who is always at the ready when it comes to healthy dog treats for pooches in dire need of a snack and a little attention.

A snack you say? This is something that my four footed friend isn't going to miss out on, come hell or high water. If there is a treat in the house, he's going to do his best to sniff it out, beg for it, and as a last resort, simply sit there looking cute until someone gives in. When he's not helping me shop, he's looking for a treat or entertaining other customers with his friendly antics.

So, what more could a couple of guys ask for - good service, convenient location, reasonable prices, a great feeling of being welcome, and a healthy snack. Dude comes back for the dog treats and petting. I come back because these folks have what I need, and they're very helpful in making certain I'm getting what's necessary to complete the job.

Oh, I almost forgot, returns aren't a problem either. In fact, Dude is always trying to coax me into buying too much just so we have something to return. Do you think he's just trying to get more time with the snack lady? I think so.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Cool Dude is Patient Too

As you are aware, I really like my dog. He's a good companion and game for just about anything because he trusts me. All I have to do is tell him "hold still" and he can be adorned with just about anything you'd like.

On a recent fishing trip, the Dude takes time out to don a pair of stylish sunglasses. They're a little too big, but just the right style for my black and white and reverse brindle buddy.

He's quite patient as we fit them on and get him posed for a picture. I suppose he'll need a ball cap next.

This is good practice for him since I intend to get my motorcycles outfitted with a dog bed and harness so he can scoot around with me. He'll be outfitted with a pair of Doggles so he won't have to contend with the wind while he rides on the back seat. This experience with eye wear will come in handy.

Perhaps he has a modeling career ahead of him. Wow, he would love that. Just think of all the people that he'd meet.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Well-Behaved Dude, Indeed

I don't know anyone who doesn't like the insights of Texas Bix Bender. He has plenty to say about dogs as well as cowboys. He points out for those of us who think we're "...a person of some influence, try orderin' someone else's dog around."

Ain't it the truth! Well, mostly it is, but not with the Dude. He's a dog that is perfectly happy to please whomever he's with.

Photo left shows my mother on her way back from a lengthy walk with Mr. Lickerson, down at the lake. He'll lead, follow or walk alongside, whatever you'd prefer.

And, like always, my Humper Dude is never on a leash because he's controlled by voice command, and he doesn't much care whose voice, as long as he knows that he's been handed off to another temporary pack leader.

This makes life with Dude so much easier. When I give him to my neighbor for a few hours or a day or so, I know that he's no trouble because he recognizes who's boss for the time being, and gladly follows commands.

Once I demonstrated this at a friend's house in Colorado. I told my friend to say his real name (Humper) sharply to get his attention and then tell him K-E-N-N-E-L. I had to spell it out because he was standing right there. After a moment, she did exactly what I suggested, and Dude turned around and immediately went into his kennel and sat there waiting for her next command.

Perhaps I don't deserve such a great dog, but I'm always thankful that I have him. I think he feels much the same way.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Visit from Wiggler

If there's one thing that Dude is good at, it's visiting with others. It doesn't matter what or who, he'll spend good quality time and enjoy every minute of it. Once I caught him frolicking along a barbed wire fence and on the other side was a young calf frolicking too.

Visiting with others is big fun simply because it's someone or something paying attention to my "attention hound."

Enter, a rather large guest, Wiggler.

Brad and Barb, our friends in Cheyenne have their share of dogs, and Wiggler is one of them. She's a nice dog with a great temperament. Her and Dude could have been litter mates - neither had such a bright future before they were rescued, neither are inclined to bark, both love to play, both get along well with others, and both are attention hounds.

If Wiggler wasn't playing with Dude, she was under the table nudging me for a little clandestine petting. Sorry, I just can't keep a secret.

Anyway, it was a nice evening with friends and loyal four-footed companions. It was fun to watch Wiggler run through the house with Dude chasing after her. It was like a small white horse being chased by a regular size dog. (It's a perspective thing.) And, it gave both Ellen and I a chance to spend time with a breed of dog that has always interested us. If we didn't have a Boston Terrier, we'd likely have a Boxer.