Monday, August 20, 2007

The Dog Daze of Summer

This weekend we had a visitor. Having never left his part of the world before, he braved the endless hour-long trip across the city, secured in his crate. His arrival was announced by the alarming sounds of his tiny body flinging itself against the the walls of his carrier. As it turned out, the rackety disturbance was a frenzied mere tail-wagging. He had energy to burn, and it appeared he might spontaneously combust if he couldn't explore his new surroundings RIGHT AWAY!

Benny is a six month old Jack Russel
Terror Terrier. To human feline eyes, he's kind of like a large gerbil on speed. My cats are familiar with, and tolerant of the neighbourhood dogs when one or another of them come to visit. They each deal with canine intrusion curiosity in their own way.

Zephyr, who is a
yellow-bellied timid cat, tends to steer clear, and hide strategically place himself just beyond view - up on the fridge, or on a chair neatly tucked under the table. For the most part, with Benny about, he stayed out of reach except when a bit of bird activity drew him to look out the back door. By then Benny was mildly less energetic exhausted and only had to be restrained and muzzled told to sit and stay.

Skittles, on the other paw, is
a shit-disturber more adventurous, so he tended to be rather in-your-face visible and responsive to our interloper guest. He loved nothing better than to punctuate Benny's incessant playful barking with an occasional hiss-lunge glance, which would send Benny yelping and running for his life. It was as if the very teeth that Skitty bared to him were actually buried deep within his flesh. He was most yappy brave until the object of his terror showed signs of life.

  • Benny: WOOF (I'm so intimidating)! WOOF WOOF (You're terrified)! WOOF WOOF WOOF (I am SO the boss of you). Arf (Why are you looking at me?). Whimper (Make the bad cat stop glaring at me).
  • Skitty: Hisssss
  • Benny: YELP (I've been hit*. I'm a goner)!
  • Skitty: (leaving the room): Mrrrow (Time to pick on Zephyr).
  • Benny: (chasing after him): WOOF!!! (I win! I am puppy, hear me roar!)

Poor Benny. He didn't really want to
intimidate upset the cats, he only wanted to play, so he was happy when later that day, we lifted my neighbour's dog, Raven over the fence and into our yard. Together they frolicked and played, and sniffed each others' rear ends got to know each other quite well. They ran pretty much non-stop for a half-hour.

This workout, combined with catnip for Skitty made for a relaxing afternoon. He and Benny
almost tolerated each other became quite content in each others' presence.

Like most
hyper-active toddlers energetic babies, Benny slept well that night. I'm sure that in his dreams he was successful at either permanently banishing a frightened Skitty, or winning him over as his friend. I'm thinking that the latter might not be impossible one day, when Benny matures some, and settles down.

Until then, Skitty will remain top dog at our house.

ADD (Attention Deficit Doggies) JRT's (Jack Russel Terriers) are very difficult to photograph, since they rarely stay still for a decent shot. Benny's ability to scamper just outside of camera-range places him in the company of other hard-to-capture creatures such as Leprechauns, Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster.

On my front deck, Benny watches birds, squirrels and planes go by.

He has an endearing habit of running around the back yard with his bowl. Every now and then he drops it upside down and provides much amusement as he nudges it along with his nose, trying to right it again.

His nemesis, Skitty. Does he look like he would harm a demonic an innocent puppy?

Zephyr keeps a watchful pair of eyes from a safe distance.

Benny and Raven (a.k.a. Raisin because she's small, black and sweet, and a.k.a. Velcro because everything sticks to her scruffy fur) are quite smitten with one another.

"Kibbles 'n Bits, Kibbles 'n Bits. I'm gonna get me some Kibbles 'n Bits!"

Skittles and Zeph are noticeably more relaxed since Benny headed home on Sunday. As for me, I miss the little fart.

*No creatures were harmed in the making of this weekend. All scars currently present on individual animals pre-existed at the start of this event. Neither cat has their front claws, and any contact that their paws made with barking puppy faces was received with a soft-padded "whap."


Frank Baron said...

Cats are evil. When they get tired of stealing the breath from babies, they torment sweet, placid little puppies.


awannabe said...

I loved all the pics. Cute stuff :-)

Hilary said...


Perhaps we can check that out sometime... if we ever happen upon a sweet, placid little puppy. Till then, give Benny a scratch behind the ears for me. :)


Thanks for stopping by. Please return soon. I'm quite taken with your autobiography and am keeping up with it regularly.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Dammit, will you people with cute animals please stop making me want more pets! Those are the sweetest pictures--both canines and felines look totally adorable.

In all fairness you should also take pictures of dog poop and hairballs and expensive pairs of shoes chewed up into little slobbery bits of leather.

Okay, so maybe not. But you can even make a mustard bottle look pretty, so you could probably carry off a hairball montage too.

Hilary said...


The fur balls and chewed up belongings don't bother me too much. It's the regurgitated grass and spider legs that get me... first thing in the morning... when I'm still barefoot. I'll snap a picture next time. Just for you!