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Horses and Dogs

Monday, June 23, 2008

While we watered the horses and their thirsty riders (Liam was waterboy), we passed the time just watching them interact with Chet and the kids. We're looking forward to their next visit, and hope we'll be here when they suddenly appear in the driveway. Jane and Kim don't mess with the paved roads, riding a defunct extension of our road right through the deep woods between our homes. I have yet to walk that road, but I mean to. I love the thought that there's a woods road connecting us, clear enough to accommodate horses and riders. I want to know what's breeding there, whether there are summer tanagers. I think there might be.Gilly is a very oral horse, nibbling everything like a foal. Walk up to pet him, and he starts in on your clothes, fingers, have to watch him. So we gave him Cuz, a rubber toy Chet has never liked. Chet don't like rubber. Gilly chewed it and then flung it into the weeds. Score zero for Cuz on both the dog and horse front. Notice that Gilly is not wearing a bit. He has never needed one. He'd be chewing on it nonstop, anyway.
Jane showed us how Gilly drinks from a cup. I love how he sticks his lower lip out to catch some of the dribbles. That's got to be hard to do, when you can't see the glass over your long nose. How much cuter could a horse be? Think he knows he's loved? While all this was going on, Phoebe got acquainted with Gonzo, a Chihuahua cross who Jane also got from a rescue outfit. He had multiple issues when he came to live with her, but he's a happy, loving little guy now. (See a pattern here?)
Baker was tolerant of Phoebe's attention to Gonzo, but he wanted Gonzo to understand who was the Boss of Number Two.Hello, little foxy dog. Allow me to dominate you.I am taller and stronger than you are, and have the potential to be much, much meaner if it were to come to a fight or something like that. Not that it would. I'm just sayin'.As a concession to you, I will allow you to sniff my tail. Mether tells me it came from Tennessee. She also tells me I smell like sunshine and fresh-planed wood. I am sure you will agree.

A penny for your thoughts, Gonzo.

Too soon, it was time for the girls to saddle up and go. We hauled out a couple of cinder blocks as makeshift mounting blocks. I had forgotten that dilemma from my days as a teenage bareback rider--if you dismount, you have to figure out how to remount, and when your horse stands 16 hands, that's no joke.
Both Gonzo and Gilly seem to know how lucky they are. Here's to people who rescue animals and give them a life they might never have dared to dream of. Gilly's whole story can be found on Jane's blog. Try her May 2008 archives.
By the time you read this, we'll be on our way to Utah for the American Birding Association convention. I'll be speaking, Bill will be an awardee (hooty hoot!) and we'll both be leading field trips, kids in tow. When we get home, I get to stay home for two whole weeks. I'm giddy at the thought.


Giggled through the whole post. Chet the gentleman and Momma's boy being patient and kind, a very large Chihuahua, and a horse that quenches its thirst on a Tupperware tumbler. I never know what I'll find here. Love it.

Another journey = ten more blog posts. This grasshopper is a little jealous.

Save travels.

Meaning.. "safe travels" :o/

Love the body language evident in these photos. You're in my territory now, Zick. :) The Chet & Gonzo pics: Standing in the "T" position, Chet's body curved toward Gonzo, Gonz's ears slightly back then averting his face while Chettie's are up and forward, him leaning in - All very typical for a subordinate dog (G) greeting a Boss (CB.) Plus, the standard dog "Howdee do," smelling the butt. Classic.

But - look at the two photos above those. Primate behavior, that's for sure. Hugs with arms around the body and over the shoulders is how primates (chimps, humans) meet and greet each other. Pressure over the shoulder area is actually rude in dog language, yet they tolerate it of us, perhaps because they realize we don't know any better. It's like going to a foreign country and making a faux pas by showing the soles of your shoes or making a hand gesture that is considered offensive by another culture. Luckily, dogs forgive.

Dogs and horses - they try so hard to communicate, but they have trouble with the translations. The old predator-prey relationship can be hard to overcome. Horses still think they are Eohippus and dogs just wanna be wolves.

Thanks for these posts - I feel like they were directed at me.


Oh, KatDoc, I love your interpretations. That explains why Chet rolls his eyes and averts his gaze when we pick him up and hug him hard with his forelegs draped over our shoulders. He also hates to be turned on his back and held like a baby--averts his gaze. But he puts up with it, as you say, because he knows we enjoy it.

In Utah, lookin' for moose on the mountainside outside the hotel room.


I visited your friend Jane's blog. Interesting. She is saving House Sparrows, while you...well, let's just say you aren't exactly saving them.

Great blog with Chet and the horses. Lucky for us we have KatDoc reading the post. I loved her explanation of the postures and behavior.

Love, love, love the horsey and dog posts! Yes, rescued animals are the BEST! (present company excepted, of course)

Love how Gilly looks at the camera. Chihuahuas seem to have issues anyways (the whole Napoleon complex), but a rescued one with a bad past--wow, your friend is truly an animal whisperer with Gonzo looking so serene and happy.

Ric, Ric, Ric. Any Canadian worth his salt knows knows that the plural of moose is meese.

Wow--a Chet Baker post, and a couple of horse stories, and a rescued dog.
A trifecta.
These are a few of my favorite things!
Enjoy Utah.

Wow, we are toe-to-toe on the travels. How you do it all - I don't know -- but I will never moan and groan again.

Utah, I've only had a taste - it constantly beckons my return. That's Terry Tempest Williams country - among all that hard scrabble desert is pure poetry.

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