Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Star's Poem

Haiku to My New Pink Best Friend
by Star

My new pink friend plays
chase with me but when I win
he is a bad sport.

The loser, being a bad sport (aka dead)
We've broken some temperature records here in the Austin area this summer (74+ days in triple digits, including a temp of 112 a few days ago, which tied the all-time highest temp ever recorded in our area).

The heat is taking a toll not only on us poor humans but also on the local wildlife. Some of the smaller critters, like the Mediterranean House Gecko (pictured above), have managed to slip inside to cool off. And Star is waiting for them.

Today's flattened gecko corpse is Number 6 in a pretty steady stream of summertime gecko corpses that I have found in the middle of the bedroom floor.

Star has been busy making friends with them.
"Um... My new best friend isn't moving anymore. Can you please fix it?"
Star is friendly to a fault with her gecko friends. She play-bows to the gecko, flops over and wiggles on her side, licks it, and taps it with her paw. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Star is 60 lbs and the gecko is less than an ounce, Star's playful moves make quick work of the gecko.

After a while, the excitement wears off, and Star lies down beside her mangled friend and nudges it mournfully with her nose. Then she walks off to look for a new friend—preferably one that isn't taking a sudden nap.

Number Six is in the minority, however. Most of the geckos make it out of the house alive; I do a "gecko sweep" before bed every night and carry outside any live geckos that I find. Often I will ask Star to observe while I carefully scoop up the live lizard and place it outside in a potted plant. I hope that through our modeling of appropriate behaviors, eventually she will realize that geckos do not want to play with her and need to be set free outdoors.

"Being older and wiser, I already have learned to just say no to geckos."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food shortage woes

We ran out of Dozer's special rabbit-based, grain-free dog food. So did every single local pet store. So did all the online outlets (except a few who still have the tiny bags for jacked-up prices).

Dozer couldn't be more pleased.

"That rabbit stuff was gross."
The problem is, apparently, a shortage of rabbits.

I know what you're thinking, and I thought it too. "How hard can it be to produce rabbits? They practically produce themselves, don't they?"

We've substituted with another grain-free dog food, but it's not rabbit-based. It only took a few hours for us to regret the substitution.

"Whoo. Who cut the cheese?"
Dozer had an upset stomach all night, leading to 8 full hours of no sleep for anyone. Dozer is very good about expressing his feelings to you, whether you want to hear about it or not.

"Man, I'm beat. Eight hours of nonstop whining and farting really takes it out of a guy."
"Have fun in class. I've gotta catch some zzzs so I can keep you awake tonight too!"