Sunday, August 12, 2012

I am here in Bigfork, MT, , and my senses are so overwhelmed that it is hard to be anywhere but here.  And by here, I mean my own back porch with the scent of Douglas firs (you know them as balsam) wafting past my nose, while I'm buzzed by barn swallows, humming birds and . . .hornets.  The hornets are fine as long as I don't move fast, and don't worry, I won't. But just so you know how dedicated I am to my readers, it's hard tuning in to the keyboard.  But good for me to keep writing.

My backyard

Our sideyard

Do- do-do, looking out my backdoor.
My back porch. . . I am so happy to sit on it, no conversations (and no TV here, I have not watched one minute of the Olympics, I read about the highlights the next day in the newspaper). . . just the sounds of nature. The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees.  It occurs to me that new house designs are sadly lacking in that feature that allows a person to sit and survey the outdoors, wherever that may be, and that is the back porch.  So the top picture is the view of what I get from the bottom picture.

I have much to tell you, so I'll have to update daily now.  When I got here, a two or three year old bear was tromping back and forth from the woods in back of me to the spring at the bottom of the hill.  I felt a little creeped out about not having a dog to warn me when a bear might be right around the shed corner, so what did I do?  I mean, yes, I have Yoko, the Shitzu Princess, but she is no good in the regard.

I went to the Flathead County Dog Rescue, and looked at the dozens of dogs they have there, really overcrowded, with owners surrendering dogs as I looked.  People cannot afford to keep their pets. People are moving, and renting new digs, and cannot bring their animals. People are upset. Pets are upset.

I asked if I could "foster" a dog that needed to get out of jail.  They gave me an old dog to take home, he reminds me of Old Yeller.  He is a lab/retriever mix, and very very very happy to be living in my back yard for the time I am here. My job:  find a loving forever home so he does not have to go back to the pound.  Tucker has a sad story.  His owner died, and the neighbor brought him into the rescue.  He has a great disposition and a cold.  I got the medicine from the rescue to dose him with, twice a day.  He seems to be improving.

He is deaf.  He loves playing ball. His sniffer works great, he tracks like a bloodhound.  I don't dare let him off the long leash when we are out of the fenced yard because I know he'd go hunting.  Why is Tucker so happy?  The rescue vet told me he had spent most of his life on a chain.  I can't imagine ten years on a chain. No wonder he is happy.

He needs:  a guy or gal who loves dogs. Who might have a heated shed, porch or garage. . because he is an outside dog. In the house, like a bull in a china shop, I don't think he had ever seen a couch, and I know he had never seen a mirror, because he ran right into the full length mirror in my bedroom trying to say hi to the dog coming towards him, and then he swiped his nose back and forth on the mirror, trying to sniff the dog there. He is funny.  He scratches his back like a bear along the wire mesh fence.  He rolls in the grass on his tennis ball. He loves to go on a walk on the long leash, and is learning that when he gets to the end he's gotta not pull me. So he doesn't.  He stands next to my lawn chair for half and hour to get his back and neck scratched.  He looks deep into my eyes. He has many funny expressions. He barks when he sees a strange animal or person.  He stops if the strange person is friendly.  He just can't hear, so he sleeps like a stone, dead to the world till you actually touch him.  Or he smells something.  He'd like to chase the feral cat that lives on the property.  But he does not bug little Princess Yoko at all, in fact, he lets her eat out of his bowl.  That's amazing.

Part of my fostering is to put him out there, so that's what I'm doing!  I can't drive him back to Cape Cod, because. . . I am a tenant there, and can only have one tiny dog. There is no way I could hide this dog, and there's no way he'd like eastern suburbia.  He's pure Montana. And both he and I like just sitting in the back yard, observing all the things that nature presents.

Like these mama turkeys and their chicks who come to glean from the lawn. And eat our raspberries. Good thing turkeys can fly, and the chicks, too.

So what does Tucker the Foster Dog look like:

Tucker, our foster dog
Loves his tennis ball
Tucker hanging out with princess Yoko.

If you are Tucker's  new person,  let me know!  Oh, I have not seen the bear since we got Tucker.  I think it's because he's marked every rock and tree trunk on the property.  Whatever works!