Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Introducing Sophie & Fletcher

23 Apr '07 8:50 am
I thought it only fair to share the dogs that walk me almost everyday. You may recognize Sophie who seems drawn by the camera from garden pictures I've shown. She thinks most of my pictures would be improved by her moving into the frame. However you will almost never see Fletcher. He shrinks from the camera as though he were going to his death. Today I opened the tailgate and called them for a walk. That was good for a couple of shots.

Both of them shadow me in the garden while work.
F. No Cameras! JPG.JPG
"Could we please get this over with?"
Sophie ready to go JPG.JPG
"Sure, I want to go."
Fletcher close up JPG.JPG
The eyes Lia can't resist.
Sophie past ready to go JPG.JPG
"Okay already lets go!"
Fletcher  JPG.JPG
Fletcher was just buzz cut so I can find and deal with fox tail. Doesn't he look a bit like an adolescent boy in long sleeve pajamas?
1-Waiting JPG.JPG
In the back of the truck suspecting a ruse.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Oops

23 Apr '07 9:08 am
I forgot to say that Sophie will be 13 in December. Fletcher will be 8 in June.

We got Fletcher when Lia's aunt and uncle died. We had put them up to getting another dog in their late 70's, when we noticed they hadn't replace their last dog. They hadn't gotten another because they were afraid they wouldn't be around long enough. They got this active, herding breed as they were having knee replacement surgeries. They were both in and out of the hospital through his puppyhood so he has some abandonment issues. He is an odd character, as I was recently telling Gordon. (I realized then that it was time to include them here.) We've always avoided dogs with a lot of hair to deal with but we'll definitely get another one of these. He is what we call an Australian Shepard even though the breed was developed here and no one in Australia seemed to have heard of them.

We got Sophie as a puppy. She has always been a bit fearful by nature and that manifests as aggression. She was here first and is the boss of Fletcher. She is has a strongly internalized sense of propriety and inforces those rules. For instance Fletcher is not allowed to barge down the stairs ahead of me. She has become more short tempered with age and still attacks him now and again to remind him. He recognizes that she has issues and goes out of the way not to ruffle her fur. At the dog park if her hackles go up he'll get between her and other dogs. Well, enough for now.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

moosey
head gardener
User avatar

Big Hugs to Sophie and Fletcher

23 Apr '07 9:59 am
Mark it's great to meet your dogs. Sophie sounds like a good strong * role model - oops, that doesn't look so right, apologies, but she is a dog... bossing that other dog Fletcher around! You go girl!
Dog personalities are most interesting - sometimes in puppy-hood you can see exactly what the old dog will be. Dogs are a bit like teenagers, too, often their behaviour needs translating! Am off now to bike with my dog around the big country block. Cheers, and big hugs and something yummy (toast crusts? roadkill?) for Sophie and Fletcher.
Head Gardener
mooseyscountrygarden.com
http://www.mooseyscountrygarden.com

teejay8
honoured member
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Your dogs

23 Apr '07 10:36 am
So interesting to read about your dogs and their differing tempremantse. Our dog also likes to get into every shot and I often don't realise she has been in shot until I download the photos.
She is a border collie (supposedly)but think they are other genes in her makeup and called Zinzan, Zinny for short. We have had her from 7 or 8 weeks old and she is now coming up 9 years old.
She grew up with cats so her and our two Burmese cats rub along pretty well. But if the cats smooch her for too long she gives a resinned little growl and gets up and lies down elsewhere.
Have never had a camera handy when the cats are rubbing themselves around her but it does look very cute!
Zomzan 30th March 2006 002.jpg
tess

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

23 Apr '07 4:18 pm
Moosey I have given the dogs your hugs. They were appreciative. I didn't offer them road kill, though Sophie would have been appreciative. She'll eat almost anything. She swells up when the figs become ripe. She has also discovered that if you chew up the mussels along the bay there is food inside.

Teejay I really miss the interaction between dogs and cats when I hear about yours. Zinzan is an interesting name. I wonder where that came from.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Liza
gardening consultant
User avatar
Waterloo, Belgium

Animal stories and tender experience...

23 Apr '07 6:53 pm
Mark, and Teejay, I loved your descriptions, photos, and stories of your dear pets!! I think cats and dogs are so precious animals, with such a varying temperament and character!! And they have SO many things to teach us-humans...
"..So,perhaps, it is easiest, through awareness of flowers in particular, of their radiant beauty and purity, their vibrant colour, to come to the excellence of the One and be uplifted beyond thought to our divine selves".Dorothy Maclean

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Yes they do

24 Apr '07 2:19 am
starting with the realization that we're not alone. That the earth isn't only our plaything. I always think we're lucky that there are any animals that will hang with us. Cats and Dogs actually seem to like us, well at least dogs do. I've never been sure whether cats actually like us or if they just like our liking them. Reminds me of something I read somewhere:

"Dogs look at how we feed them and take them places and see to all their needs and think - they must be gods!
Cats see all the same things we do for them and thing - I must be a god!"

Both have their appeal. Dogs really, really like you but compared to cats are more likely to be sycophants. Cats can be very affectionate but on their schedule. Their respect is harder won but then you feel more validated by it somehow.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

Faith S
Perpetually learning gardener
User avatar
Alabama, USA

Cats and dogs

28 Apr '07 2:48 am
Well Mark, I am making up for lost ground. I have just read your post about Sophie and Fletcher. They are both beautiful and sound so interesting. I have also enjoyed everyones discussion of the relationship between dogs and cats that are raised together. Our own dog Willie and our cat Emmy are very good friends. At least Emmy seems to enjoy Willies grooming efforts until he decided to open his mouth wide and take a playful bite. This gets her riled up and she will cry as if he is killing her before going on the attack herself. I know she instigates these mock battles herself sometimes, so I don't get too worried by them. I think some of your comments about dogs and cats are very true; however, I think Emmy is very attached to me. She loves to sleep on my and whenever she catches me sitting down, she is in my lap. She also loves to sleep either on me or right next to me in the bed. It makes for very crowded sleeping when she and Willie both curl up around me.
Faith at Bide-a-Wee Farm, Alabama, USA

Come abide with me a wee while.

JuliaR
valued member
User avatar
Eastern Pennsylvania

Beatiful dogs

28 Apr '07 3:55 am
Mark - your dogs are wonderful. I want to kiss them both right on the noses. There is nothing sweeter than a good old dog...and you are right, cats mainly wish to be admired - or maybe they just want it to look that way.

And thank you for your remark about the earth not being our plaything - I wish more people had the same sentiment.

Mark
Home gardener & plant fetishist
User avatar
Berkeley, California, USA

Thanks Julia

28 Apr '07 8:07 am
If you were here, Fletcher would no doubt be in your lap. Sophie would be nearby weighing the likelyhood that you really intended to do her in. She's "curious but yellow", hoping the world will be good to her but fearing the worst. I only wish I could have a cat around here too because I do admire them. Will we get to see some pictures of your four legged friends and/or garden? Please do feel welcome, I'm newish but have always felt welcome here.
Mark in California

Q: "Do you ever sit down?"
A: "All the time until the urge to 'play' some more becomes too strong."

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