Sunday, January 25, 2009

Doggone It!

Last week, I visited my cousin and good friend, Marcy for dinner. Sadly, someone in her family is a kleptomaniac.

Marcy and I had our usual evening of chatting, laughing, eating and drinking - enjoyable as always. Her daughter was out for the evening so it was just the two of us and her three critters.

Ziggy, the oldest, is a cat who is a tad ornery, and has been known to hiss at company for no apparent reason. He's never treated me with anything better or worse than bored disinterest. Mostly he keeps to himself.

JJ is her large, goofy English Pointer. That's his photo up above. He's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier (his dimmer switch is perpetually set to low-lighting) but he loves everyone and everything on two legs or four. And he loves attention. JJ can sit in front of me for hours trading off paws. When I'm doing anything other than giving him my undivided attention, he'll lift a large, clumsy paw and rest it heavily on my forearm. Once this gets to be tiring (after 3 seconds), I'll remove his paw and plant it securely on the floor. He'll immediately lift his other paw and replace the first one with that. He can go on like this for as long as I can endure it, never tiring of this activity before I do. Eventually, he'll realize that I've had enough (when I'm curled up in the fetal position in the corner), and he'll wander off to chase Waffle.

Waffle is the newest member of the household - a fluffy orange kitten who thinks she owns the joint. Playful and rambunctious, as a feline should be, she torments Ziggy and keeps in step with JJ. It's a tad chaotic when JJ gallops through the house in hot pursuit of this little fur ball, but it's fun and endearing to see them play, while Ziggy watches from beneath the table, hoping that they'll just leave him alone.

At one point in the evening, I asked Marcy for a particular phone number and she wrote it down for me on a small slip of paper. I have a tendency to misplace small items like that, so I decided I'd best put it in my wallet immediately. We continued chatting and enjoying our Cuzzie time for a while, but eventually it was time to go. I grabbed my purse and found it to be unusually lightweight. Hmmm. a quick look inside confirmed that I didn't appear to have replaced my wallet. I began looking for it in the kitchen, which was where I accepted that phone number. It wasn't there. Marcy has an average-sized home. It's neat and uncluttered, and I hadn't been in too many rooms, so my wallet shouldn't have been hard to find. A first, second and third check of the dining room, living room, kitchen and bathroom did not reveal my misplaced wallet.

I began to wonder if I had even brought it with me. Perhaps I'd left it out at home, and I never even put that phone number into it. I didn't actually recall handling it, and neither did my cousin remember seeing it. In that case, the phone number would mostly likely be in one of my pockets, but they were empty. No, I had my wallet - it was just missing. Eventually, it occurred to Marcy that however unlikely, maybe JJ stuck his nose into my purse and took it. As a last resort, we went upstairs to where she keeps his crate and looked inside. There, along with a tissue and a small stuffed animal, was my missing wallet.

It turns out that JJ is a lot smarter than I thought, and Marcy has him trained well. Imagine what she could do with a pet monkey.

Below are a few photos taken from the last couple of weeks. Please remember to click on them to enlarge.

Mid-morning, the sun was hazy as it peeked through the branches of the trees. The surrounding grey-blue sky gave it an eerie glow. (please click to enlarge)

I was having a bit of fun with the macro setting. I found this string of dried out seed pods beside the pond and thought it made an interesting shot. (please click to enlarge)

There's a lovely old willow tree which grows across the dock and suspends over the pond. A few of its branches are in the foreground of this image which shows some unusual crack-like shapes on the surface of the snow-covered pond. (please click to enlarge)

A hanging willow branch as seen from directly below. (please click to enlarge)

This wayward branch reaches out over the lake and away from its surrounding brush to find sunlight. (please click to enlarge)

Cardinals and Sumac seem to add a splash of natural red to the winter landscape. Last week I posted Cardinals. Today the Sumac proudly flashes its colour against the backdrop of the icy pond. (please click to enlarge)

That hazy orb of golden sunlight rays reflects in the duck pond. (please click to enlarge)

Zoomed in a little closer, you can see one of the ducks having a good wing-flap in the water. (please click to enlarge)

Back on the macro setting, you can see the little barbs at the end of these spiky burrs. No wonder they stick to clothes like Velcro. (please click to enlarge)


Phyllis E said...

Déjà entendu!!!!!!!

Marcy told us that story yesterday as we lounged on the beach. Just goes to show that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

BTW, did you mislay a pair of sunglasses? Marcy found an extra pair. :o)

We just sent Cuzzie M back to you today. Better keep your purse zipped next time you visit. Now that JJ knows where you keep things, there's no telling what he'll abscond with.


Cuzzies MP&Q

Susan English Mason said...

JJ must have thought that was a very fetching wallet.

The title "Doggone It!" is extremely clever. My compliments to the author.

The color red is a challenge for me. You definitely have mastered it.

Tabor said...

I remember you mentioned a missing wallet. The dog loves you and want to keep something of your to remind himself of you when you are gone.

Country Girl said...

Beautiful photos, as always, Hilary!

And your post was great. The story about JJ the klepto made me remember my own story.

I'd left my purse in the car while visiting a friend. My sons and I were in the house for about an hour when someone else pulled up and said there's a bunch of stuff all over the yard outside.

I went outside to see my wallet and some cosmetics and then eventually, the entire contents of my purse scattered on her lawn.

Her idiot dog (who nobody really loved) had jumped into my car THROUGH THE SUNROOF, stolen my purse and dragged it out through the roof and proceeded to chew on the bits he liked. He mangled the edges all around my wallet but luckily all my credit cards and my drivers license went unharmed.

Good grief!

Frank Baron said...

So, if I'm getting the gist of this correct -- JJ only pretended to love you for your money?


Cute story, well told. :)

Love the burr shot with its gaping maw.

the Bag Lady said...

Great story, Hilary, and well-told.
And wonderful photos, too. Only you could make weeds look attractive!!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

JJ stole your wallet????????
Missus went out for lunch one day with her friends and wondered why her lunch bag was so light, containing only an apple. Back home there was a slip of wax paper on the floor, which HAD contained a sandwich....

Travis Erwin said...

I love your photos and I once had a kleptomaniac bird dog. He used to go to the neighbors and steal the clothes from their line.

An I'm late in saying so, but thank you for the kindness you've shown for my family and me after the firs. The support from so many has really helped get us through this tough time and I appreciate your role in that.

JC said...

Wonderful story. I couldn't help but picture the scene. Beautiful pictures as always. Thanks for sharing.

Lyn said...

Hilary, stunning shots. I could just feel the crispy damp cold. Don't you love when remnants of fall poke through the snow? Thanks for sharing.

SK Waller said...

I need to start training our cat...

Beautiful photos -- natural sepia!

Mental P Mama said...

That is one funny dog. JJ can come to my house any time! And I love that last shot of the sumac. Just beautiful.

Leenie said...

Superb photos. Hope your didn't freeze your fingers. Loved the dog story.

david mcmahon said...

Praise be to dog almighty.

(Sorry, I know I shouldn't have said that!)

photowannabe said...

That will teach you to get tired of his paw game. Too funny Hilary.
Love the wintery pictures and the one of the macro burrs is especially terrific.

steviewren said...

It sounds like JJ has the heart of a magpie. Funny dog.

ds said...

Dogs do the darndest things ;)
Love the way you've told that story (but your photo makes JJ look so..."innocent").

Enjoyed the other pictures, too. What is it about winter that is so inspiring?

ds said...

P.S. Oh, and the hazy sun; that's great!

Maggie May said...

Glad you got the wallet back after JJ took it to her bed! Could have been worse....... she might have chewed it all up!
Your cousin's pets sound lovely, especially the fluffy orange kitten!

Lovely pictures as usual.

Dave said...

I enjoyed your story Hilary. You are an interesting teller of such.
Your macro photos were interesting to see too. Its fun using these setting huh? - Dave

NJ said...

Love the story! What an amazing dog! How smart of him to make you think he was dumb! I especially love the haze on the first picture. It looks so calm.

Zuzana said...

Hilary, although at this point familiar with the purse snatching story, it still made me laugh out loud this morning! Animals are great, without them our lives would be som much more boring.;)
Your pictures are stunning; I agree with the fact that the cardinals and the red plants give the winter landscape a wonderful contrast.;)

Oman said...

i love the shots. great job.

kung hei fat choi. (happy new year in chinese)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Always such wonderful pictures here, in words and photo. Love the closeup of the burr.

Suldog said...

Stickaburrs! That's what we called them when I was a kid, anyway. They especially liked to cling onto corduroy pants, as I remember.

Indrani said...

Interesting incident, the title is apt. :)
And as usual your lovely series of shots!

Hilary said...

• Hi Cuzzies MP&Q! JJ probably stole them right off of some poor unsuspecting face. I heard you guys had a nice time. Thanks for looking after our Cuzzie! :)

• Ha, Susan - "a fetching wallet." That's a good one! :) Thanks for the compliment - it would seem we both like wordplay. ;) Thanks for the kind words.

• You're probably right, Tabor but I wouldn't have minded the tissue or something else of a lesser value than my wallet! He was very gentle with it though. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Yikes, Kate! That's one determined doggie. I guess the answer is in "nobody really loved" him. How else is he supposed to get attention? I'm glad your important cards were intact. That's pretty destructive. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Frank, I blame Marcy. She's running this con on all visitors. She distracts by having them try to make nice with the grumpy cat, entertains them with the antics of the kitten, annoys them with the persistence of doggie paws and when you walk away in critter overload, she gets him to steal. It's quite the scam. I'll bet you're missing a few things too.. screws perhaps. :P ;)

• Thanks kindly, Baggie. But you're the master of close-up cow nose photos! Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Gary, you must have been hungry to steal Maude's lunch right out of the bag like that. Bad potter! ;)

• Travis, were they at least stylish and in your size? Travis, you're more than welcome for my small part in the support system your friends set up. I'm glad it helped you and your family get through your nightmare and that you're all up and running and able to move on. Thanks for stopping by. :)

•Thanks very much, JC. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Lyn. You're right of course about autumn showing through the snow, but I get much more excited to see signs of spring happening .. with or without snow. Preferably without. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Steph. Cat's are very trainable .. for themselves. For our benefit - not so much. Gotta love them. :)

• Thanks very kindly, MPM. Yes he's a great big goof. I'll tell Marcy you offered. ;) Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Thanks, Leenie. My fingers stayed mostly warm. I have fingerless gloves with a mitten-like covering which I use when I have my camera with me. They stay warm until I need to snap a shot. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Too funny, David. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Sue. I'm glad you liked them. :)

• Yes, Steviewren. He does indeed have a thieving heart. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks kindly, DS. "Innocent" is one way to describe him. There's also "vacant and obtuse." and oh yes, "lovable." ;) Thanks for the kind words.

• Thanks Maggie. They are all lovely animals, and JJ was very gentle with the wallet. Not a tooth mark to be found. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Dave. Much appreciated. Yes, I have a lot of fun with the macro setting. So many subtle features show up that are otherwise missed. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks for the kind words, NJ. He is kind of dumb in a clever, endearing way. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Protege. I agree about animals enriching our lives. I just couldn't be happy without at least one of them sharing my days. Thanks for the kind words about the photos. :)

• Thanks very much, Lawstude. And Happy New Year to you too! :)

• Thanks so much, Angie. I'm glad you enjoy them. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Stickaburr has a familiar ring to it, Sully. And yes, they especially stick to corduroy, mittens and little Jack Russell Terriers. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you for the kind words, Indrani. Much appreciated. :)

Daryl said...

Love it .. especially the way you told it .. delightful ..

And those photos .. oh wow!

Cedar said...

Check to make sure your Credit Cards are in your Wallet. JJ could be on the computer right now ordering a truckload of Kibble and squeaky toys from PetSmart. RUT-OH.

steviewren said...

Hilary, I ran across this site and thought you might be interested.

Dianne said...

I love JJ - don't tell Benny

that face! looks like a needy nudgy old guy with a criminal tendency lol

love the wayward branch

Anonymous said...

Love stories about the wonderful ways of our domestic friends. And those pictures are terrific. I think I have a macro setting on my camera, must check it out.
POTD congratulations.

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

OMG! What a hilarious story. JJ may have everyone fooled about not being the brightest bulb. It's all a ruse. Perhaps he trained the cats as his accomplice - it would give new meaning to 'cat burglar'.

Jinksy said...

Although this took a day to reach me, it was worth the wait! x

Merisi said...

Good morning!
Thank you for alerting me to the POTD award and congratulations to you for winning one two!
That dog is a real deep one, incredibly resouceful. There you are, thinking he wants your love and attention, and all he wants is your wallet. Hm, almost human behavior, certain individuals at least. ;-)

The pictures are balsam for the eyes, as always. I love the golden glow over the pond!

Sandi McBride said...

This post made me laugh out loud. Sorry, no LOL will do for that belly laugh I got over JJ the Pickpocket...and his sidekick...and the pictures just remind me why I love winter. I love winter best of all in summer, when I'm melting with the heat and winter is a tantalizing glimmer of future...lovely shots...your camera loves you!
opps, ps
congrats on the Post of the Day mention!

Unknown said...

that is hilarious! it's always the ones that are underestimated that surprise us!

Your title is fantastic! that photo of JJ looks like a kitschy painting that I'd hang in my house!

Tink said...

Oooo, I really like the spiky bur picture! Our little male dog was a bit of a Klepto when he was a puppy. We'd routinely find dollar bills (as well as socks, underwear and shoes) in his cage. Which always made it look like there'd been a puppy burlesque while we were gone.

Reb said...

He is so cute. The perfect face for a criminal! Lovely photos, I really like the hazy sun and the sumac.

Louise said...

Great story! That is a pretty clever dog--at least stealthy if not clever!

Love ALL your photos, but the first one with the branches "holding" the sun is very intriguing.

Anonymous said...

Those ducks are bathing in liquid gold!
Frank's comment made me laugh. :)

Dr.John said...

Now our dog would never take the wallet but would love to tear up the note.
Great pictures.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I had to laugh at this. Still laughing as i think about the words, "Imagine if she had a monkey!" Too funny!

Here I was thinking, Hilary is right, the dog looks cute and a bit dopey sweet.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I laughed through the wallet fiasco-- I can't tell you how many times I've convinced myself that I wasn't just holding the item, I must've lost it at... which tells me I'd suck in a criminal trial: "I saw him take it!... I think I saw him take it... You know, I may have dreamt I saw him take it..." ;-)

lime said...

well i am glad someone thought to ask jj if he had taken it.

i just LOVE the macro shots. i so very much want to get a camera with a macro lens!

Anonymous said...

I must confess that I like JJ and he sounds like the perfect pooch to me. I am not sure about the cat though.

abb said...

Nothing better than an ornery dog! Loved that story!

Tawcan said...

Great pics, I really like the last one.

Jennifer S said...

That story made me laugh! The paw thing as much as the lifted wallet.

Love your photos, as always, especially the sumac.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Daryl. I'm glad you did. :)

• Cedar, of course! That would explain the huge bill from the local deli. Thanks for the alert. ;)

• Thanks very much, Steviewren. I'll check it out. :)

• Thanks, Dianne. You described him perfectly! And not to worry about Benny. They're both social beings and would like each other just fine. :)

• Thanks, Moannie. Yes, do play around with your macro setting. I promise you'll have a lot of fun with it. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Good one, Debra! I'm glad you enjoyed the story of JJ's antics. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Jinsky. I should have stamped it Air Mail. ;)

• Thanks so much for the very kind words, Merisi. And yes, there's a bit of JJ's characteristics in a lot of people. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sandi, thanks so much for your very kind words. You feel about winter as I do about summer. That's my season, and I'm longing for it right now. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Chessa. I'm inclined to agree about JJ's look. I think he should learn how to play poker. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, Tink. You cracked me up with the mental image of a puppy burlesque show. :)

• Thanks very much, Reb. JJ has quite the face for a mug shot, eh? :)

• Thank you, Louise. I guess it's no coincidence that the word "steal" appears in "stealthy." ;) Thanks for the kind words. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks, KC. And that Frank thinks he's so funny.. he is. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks, Dr. J. You just can't trust those canines, eh? ;)

• I'm glad you enjoyed the post, MT. He is a bit goofy, but a lot lovable too. Thanks for the visit. :)

• IBHH, that's exactly the thought process! I go though motions so blindly at times. At least I'm in good company. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks very much, Lime. The macro setting on my camera is a lot of fun. I was lucky in that it came equipped as such. Still, I often forget to use it, then I go nuts and photograph everything in macro. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Abe, he's a pretty good dog for a big goof. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks, TSannie. JJ hasn't an ornery bone in his body.. but that cat.. ;)

• Thanks kindly, Tawcan. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks very much, Jennifer. That paw thing goes on, and on, and on. He'd gladly keep it up for hours. He's an exhausting goof. Thanks for the kind words. :)

SandraRee said...

What a delightful story, Hilary! :) Love the picture of JJ, and thank you for sharing your beautiful photography! xo

SandyCarlson said...

Love those shots of the snow on the water near the willow. And the pup is a love.

God bless.

Chica, Cienna, and Cali said...

:) he just didn't want you to leave, perhaps??!!! :)

the macros are beautiful, Hilary!!! I am tempted to play around with that setting on my camera now.......particularly love the first macro.....

Russell said...

Okay ... checking in at #54 - both my age AND the year I was born! Heh!

Hmmm.... JJ is the perfect criminal! What an act! Glad you found your wallet though! I wonder how he planned to spend the money?!?!

Your winter looks about the same as ours down here -- and like everyone else north of Florida I am saying I can't wait for spring.

My brother and his wife are going to Florida in a week - so maybe that is the way to deal with this never ending winter!

Take care.

Nita said...

Aw, I like JJ. And your story seems to confirm Frank's theory, dogs are like men. In this case, JJ saw what he wanted, and took it. Men aren't quite that obvious, but if they want something, the find a way to get it. Double glad I remembered to check out your blog, not only did I get a good story, but some very cool pictures. Which reminds me, tomorrow when I'm STILL stuck here I can go out and take some pictures. That'll be fun. Thanks.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Sneaky pup!

My mom had a dog that kept stealing and chewing her purse--so she gave the dog a purse of her own. She'd carry the purse around the house and finally left my mom's purses alone.

Kappa no He said...

Once the klepto learns a snack will be given for the return of stolen item....everything changes.


Unknown said...

very good :D

Cheffie-Mom said...

What a fun post and I love the title. JJ is too cute! And as always, beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Okay Hilary, that dog portrait with his serious expression just melts my heart! Talk about cute.

Sandra said...

Love the story about JJ, Hilary. Gunny and his family have two great danes, so I can picture exactly how it looked when he galloped through the house!

And, of course, I always LOVE your photos.

A great post.

Anonymous said...

love your cardinal pic and the one with the cracks in the ice - so poetic! keep warm! jeannette

Aly @ Lip Zip said...

They need to hit the big city with that routine! Purses, wallets, money clips. Who knows how much they could "fetch."

Hilary said...

• Thanks kindly, Sandra. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks so much, Sandy. Much appreciated. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Moi. You absolutely should play around with your macro setting. I have no doubt you'll love it and get some fun shots. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Hi, Russell.. Mr. 54. I think JJ was planning to spend the cash on that pet monkey. He'd be trained for the more sophisticated scams. :) I hope you manage to enjoy the rest of the winter. Perhaps a trip to Vancouver... ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much for the kind words, Nita. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And yes, JJ does seem to fall right into Franks dogs/men - cats/women theory. Thanks for the visit. :)

• That's too funny, Crabby. Marcy's previous dog used to have an oversized pacifier that she would walk around with in her mouth. She looked ridiculously cute. Dogs are so goofy. Cats would never lower themselves to those antics. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• I agree, Kappa. That's when the stealing accelerates so that they can return it quickly and often for a treat. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Everson. :)

• Thanks very much, Cheffie. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Much appreciated. :)

• Mama Geek, he is very cute in a goofy sort of way. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, Sandra. I can't imagine sharing a home with two Great Danes. I feel a bit over-crowded with just two cats and little Benny sometimes! Thanks for visiting with your always-kind words. :)

• Thanks very kindly, Jeannette. Much appreciated. :)

• Too funny, Aly. I hear it's a ruff business. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

Nancy said...

JJ's story was hilarious! The pictures beautiful, as ever.

Unknown said...

I really enjoy your photos. The seed pods are on a burdock plant, which in fact was the inspiration for Velcro. Click on my name and search my blog for "burdock" for more on this interesting plant.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Lover of Life. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks you, David. I did that search for Burdock on your blog and found that I knew very little about this plant. Thanks for the information, and for your very kind words. :)