It’s Dogs on Thursday and unfortunately Roscoe and Mosby have no tales to tell although I do have doggie content farther down in this post. But, I’ll start by telling you about the crazy bird that has been batting her brains out on my sunroom windows for the past several weeks. It’s gotten so annoying that instead of barking at it, both dogs now prefer to just get up and leave the room whenever the bird starts her window attack.
At first I thought the female cardinal suffered from some type of birdie psychological problem or feathered form of dementia. For five days straight, from sunup to sundown, I’d hear a constant “thwack” or “thump” against the lower windows of my sunroom which are about 12 to 15 feet above the ground. There’s a sofa in front of the windows so it was a little hard at first to tell what was going on behind it, but eventually I saw that the strange bird was jumping from the window ledge, smacking her head into the glass, falling back onto the ledge, and then starting the whole process over again. And again. And again.
With only a few short breaks that I’m sure were due to sheer exhaustion, this feathered maniac kept it up from Monday through Friday the first week. I was successful at repeatedly chasing her away one afternoon when I was using the room, but she responded by attacking one of the windows in the garage, below. I finally thought she was gone when the thumping sounds seemed to stop, but then I pulled into the driveway one afternoon and saw her on top of Daddy Dawg’s Toyota Highlander jumping up and down in a full scale assault on the vehicle’s sunroof.
I did a little Internet research and it seems that this is a behavior most often exhibited by male cardinals in an attempt to protect their territory. Apparently they see their reflection in the window and think it’s another cardinal and they attack in an effort to scare it away. Their daffy little bird brains can’t process the fact that it’s really their own reflection. To get an idea of what our bird was doing, here’s a video I found of a cardinal launching a similar attack on a car mirror.
The Duncraft bird supply catalog lists a few solutions and they sell window decals that are supposed to either scare the bird away or remove the reflection. I ordered a set of cat decals and I’m also going to add curtains on the lower windows which I hope will cut down on the reflections.
I was amused the other day when a more normal little bird decided to take a bath in Roscoe and Mosby’s outdoor water bowl. I try to get Daddy Dawg to dump out the water when the dogs come in the house so that the bowl won’t become a mosquito breeding ground, but sometimes he forgets. The birdie had a wonderful time splashing and preening, but since I didn’t want this to become a daily habit, we bought it a bath of its own. So far we’ve seen several birds taking a dip despite the rainy conditions the past few days.
We actually owe some thanks to the little bird for giving us the idea of adding a birdbath to the garden that struggles to take hold in our front yard. We work on it a little each spring until the hot weather comes, and then we’re lucky to do more than pull an occasional weed the rest of the year. About a third of the plants die, thanks I’m sure to the fact that our two boys race directly to them to give them their own version of a little “water” almost every day.
Daddy Dawg spent part of this past weekend adding more plants for me and we still have about six or eight more to buy before I’m satisfied for this year. We also hope that this will be the year we finally add a rock border. If only the rainy, cool weather holds out we might get it done. Here’s what it looks like so far.
We also added a line of day lilies along the fence near the driveway. We purchased the smallest, cheapest lilies at the local hardware store and a day after we planted them the rain gave them a hefty beating. But, it’s surprising how much they perk up the appearance of the fence.
I just wish more stores would sell the traditional orange lily like the ones that grow so many places along the highway. They’re my favorites, but I seldom see them for sale. Instead, the yellow Stella D’Oro lilies will have to do. For the past several years we’ve added mulch along the fence row, but this year I think we’re going to try river stones.
A friend called last week to tell me that an old business friend of mine had died. I have many fond memories of this gentleman who was one of two mentors when I first began my newspaper and freelance writing/photography career. Many years ago he was the editor of a local sporting publication where I made my first attempt to sell photos for publication. He rejected them, but he was kind enough to offer some helpful comments, and I went on to sell him many photos and a number of articles over the next few years.
My other mentor was my first newspaper editor. Eventually he retired from the newspaper where we worked and then I moved to the next county. We kept in touch for a while but I soon grew lax in my efforts to keep up the friendship. Before I knew it, years had gone by, and he died before I ever thanked him for all he’d done for me.
That weighed heavily on me so a short time later I took the time to write to my magazine editor friend to thank him for helping jump start one of my early careers. I think he appreciated it because I received a very gracious letter from him in response. Now that he’s passed away, I’m glad that I took the time to write him that letter.
Do you have a mentor you’ve forgotten to thank? Take a few minutes now to write him or her a letter before it’s too late.
Friends come in all shapes and sizes and some of my best friends have been four-legged. One of my blogging buddies wrote last week about the struggle she’d been having to keep one of her dogs off the furniture. A few years ago I would have agreed with her. We seldom let Riley on the furniture and he rarely ever got on a bed because all of the bedrooms were upstairs and he wasn’t allowed up there. Then in the short span of one week we learned he had cancer and it deteriorated so quickly that he was gone.
Suddenly dogs climbing on furniture or sleeping on our beds no longer seemed like such a big issue. (The bunny ears on the shelf behind Roscoe are one of Mosby’s seasonal therapy dog costumes. He’s not trying out to be doggie playmate of the year.)
We only get to keep our four-legged friends for a short time. They give us constant love and ask little in return. Sheets and bedcovers can be washed and so can the dogs themselves. If you don’t like pets directly on your furniture, just throw a microfleece cover on top. They’ll love it and the covers can be washed easily.
After all, who could resist such a sweet little scene as this? I wasn’t crazy about Mosby using my pillow, but it made him happy. Unfortunately, sometimes it makes him so happy that it’s a little hard to evict him.
We also get a lot of laughs out of some of their crazy positions. Riley was the king of doggie sprawl, but Roscoe manages to contort himself into all sorts of positions in various chairs and sofas almost as well.
So, next time you find a doggie curled up someplace where he or she probably doesn’t belong, think about all of the joy they’ve brought into your life before deciding whether or not the furniture is off limits. A little Febreze and a couple of fluffs to a chair or sofa cushion or backrest is a small price to pay for a happy little doggie face like this.