Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, May 30, 2013.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Maggie is extremely intelligent..........not just dog intelligent........but people type of intelligence. (those who have owned many dogs probably know what I mean by that) Sometimes this is not such a good thing.........as when she hears a pill bottle open and knows it's for her.........or when she flat out refuses to come inside because she wants to stay out and play like a little kid............or when easy child can't even spell the word bye........because Maggie has already caught on to spelling certain words.

    I have a bluejay couple in my backyard. I spotted their nest long before the leaves became full up in the higher branches of my maple tree in my backyard. I'm an odd person. I've talked to them most of the season when I'm outside. I also happen to have a cardinal couple nesting in the pine tree next to that maple..........and that makes for some interesting bird drama. lol

    Seems yesterday mom and dad bluejay decided their chicks were old enough to fly and started booting them out of the nest. Chick 1 Travis saw drop like a rock out of the tree near where he was swing blading some elephant ear plants (I hate those things they take over your yard). He come running in to get me because he was afraid the chick had fallen out of the nest. I came out, looked at it, and explained to him that said chick was ready to fly and mom and dad would be nearby and if he wasn't careful he could find himself attacked by them. I refused to pick up or "help" said chick.......even though Travis thought I was being mean. I have plenty of experience with both wild and domesticated birds. I knew the baby was fine as long and neither the cats or dogs bothered it. Mom and dad would keep encouraging until he got the idea.

    Quite some time later it seemed the chick was no longer in the yard. Dogs had to potty and I had to get supper on the grill. Low and behold said chick was NOT gone and of course Maggie found it immediately. She got the command BABY! and backed off immediately. But would not leave it alone......stayed near although she didn't bother it. Rufus......at 9 wks......of course wanted to see what was going on so up he struts (yes, he literally struts) to check out the chick. He sniffs (chick is not running or flapping to escape either of them) wags his little tail and proceeds to lick it to show it how nice he is. lol Mom and Dad bird are swooping but not attacking as chick is not calling out in alarm. But I return the dogs to the house thinking to keep the chick safe and reduce the anxiety for the parent birds.

    Dogs can't stay in forever, especially not mine. Couple hours later it is playtime in the yard. I check and can't find the chick. So I let the dogs out. Again Maggie finds it immediately. She winds up "herding" it into the fenced garden, but not before midnight the cat comes to check it out. Midnight sniffed the chick, rubbed up against it and walked away. Once the chick was safely in the garden fence Maggie kept an eye on it but went on about playing.

    Dad bluejay came sqwalking up to us more than once as if asking where his chick was. I kept telling him that the chick was in the garden and he needed to keep better track of his babies. I swear he was acting like your typical husband who had lost a child and was fearing the wrath of his wife. :rofl: But he did find the chick in the garden. Turned out there were 2 of them in there. We watched the parents encourage. It was pretty cool to see the chicks get the hang of it.

    So this morning........I'm thinking all is well chicks have learned to fly and are safe. Let the dogs out without thinking much about it. I start hearing the jays again. Rufus cries to come inside and I think Uh, oh! So I bring Rufus in. I can't get Maggie to come inside. (typical) And jays are no longer fussing. I go out a while later...........and well by now I know Maggie's stance when it comes to the baby chicks. She's "guarding one" . Mom and Dad jay are swooping but seem to understand Maggie has no intention of harming the chick........she is trying to protect it and figure out what the heck to do with it. omg (only MY dog)

    It took forever...........and me sitting literally right on top of the chick........to get her to come close enough for me to take her collar so I could bring her inside. She was taking her job to protect the "baby" literally. I told her what a good girl she is and gave her plenty of praise. Not once........not a single time did she put her mouth on the chicks or attempt to harm or play with them.

    Maggie is currently miffed at me because she has to stay in the house. lol

    Don't get me wrong, Maggie loves to flush game..........especially birds. But this was a 'baby" and therefore off limits for such games. Rufus is just a baby himself and was hoping for a new playmate. lol

    I did think it odd that midnight seemed uninterested other than curiosity over the baby birds. Yet she'll attack and kill a snake instantly.
  2. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Oh what a delicious story for my morning! :)

    It's "older kids get heads stuck in stock fence" season here. And it seems like there's always one or two who can't figure out DON'T PUT HEAD THROUGH HOLES IN FENCE. Most of the goatlings figure it out pretty quick. So our Clueless Wether has done it four times in the past week, it means Awful Human sits on him and twists his head so traumatically to maneuver it out through the gap. He screams horribly, then once I have him free he runs to Mama and tries to nurse, and Mama says in no uncertain terms "YOU ARE ALMOST AS TALL AS I AM. GO AWAY."

    Well, yesterday morning Clueless One did it again, this time with the fence we share with our neighbor's burro Coco. She's a sweet, brilliant girl, 17 or so years old and quite happy with her neighbor goats but fairly territorial. I heard the yells, and saw Coco bending her head down at Clueless One's head, and I figured she was giving him "what for" for daring to stick his head on her side of the fence.

    I went to free him, and she backed away a bit, and it turned out she was licking his ear. She may have been trying to comfort him! She didn't try to nip me - her way of saying "No." She just watched, while I maneuvered Clueless one and his now soaking wet ears back through the fence.

    Add to that our lab Marley's weird obsession with grooming and nibbling the fur of baby animals, and Pita the Schnug and her... unnatural obsessions... :flirtysmile3:

    Animals that have been exposed to humans - are they the weird ones or are we? :)
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I view animals as just a different sort of people.

    I know lots of people think I'm more than a bit strange because I'll talk to an insect just as readily as I will any other type of animal. And I talk to them the same way as I would talk to any other people. I don't know if they understand me (especially the insects) but many of them sure act as if they do.

    Heaven knows I sure get a wide variety of them in my yard throughout the year. I'm still trying to figure out why on earth a small deer herd would decide my back yard with it's 6 foot privacy fence......and dogs........was a wonderful place to graze. I'm guessing Travis left the gate open more than he admitted because there is no other way inside.........which means that had to walk up the driveway right at my backdoor to get into the yard. They came to visit often when I lived around the corner two blocks down but at least the yards there were wide open spaces, not fences. (not to mention an apple tree next door) Rowdy nor Molly ever barked at them, chased them, or made any fuss about them at either house.

    I had Mrs. Raccoon who went shopping for breakfast/dinner in my trash. I told her she had permission to do so as long as she kept it neat. She did it for years. This new one........I think I'm going to have to get up at like 4am to have a firm talking to with it. It leaves a major mess and it's ticking me off.

    We had the opossum that adopted us and befriended Minnie the outside cat. (wow, Minnie is getting OLD that was years ago) No clue why on earth it did it. But it stayed around until it was hit by a car in the alley. No clue why Minnie and the other cats never had an issue with it either.

    There is the hawk that has visited me each and every day I've lived in this neighborhood.........and that is a long while, lemme tell you.

    There is the abandoned unweaned kittens that Rowdy "saved" by first barking to get my attention (Rowdy rarely barked and never at "nothing") then when I couldn't figure out what the problem was and let him out of the kennel he ran to the fence and started pawing at it. Turned out on the other side were 3 very teeny abandoned kittens in pretty bad shape. He did that with a stray little elderly house dog that took refuge in the playhouse on the patio in the cold pouring rain too.

    I'm not sure if it is because of human influence or what. But even in nature it's not always a case of predator versus prey. I've seen some of the most unusual friendships over the years.

    I can see your lil clueless goat in my mind's eye with his soggy well kissed ears and it made me laugh. Rufus had issues with the baby gate in the kitchen doorway for a long time, much the same way. Only stopped because his head would no longer fit. lol
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Maggie reacts that way because she knows that you talk to them. Ditto the cat. By rubbing her face on the chick, she marked it with her scent as belonging to the family and thus NOT being prey or a danger or an intruder. Cats do this. They have glands in their faces that give off scent and they mark territory that way. Generally parent birds will NOT take a baby back that a cat has marked EXCEPT if they are in the same 'family' the way all your animals are.

    Those who say dogs and cats are color blind are nuts, in my opinion. My parents have ALWAYS told their animals that the red birds and the blue birds are off limits unless they attack, and ALL of our animals have ALWAYS not hunted them. EVER. The dog we had growing up went so far as to let them eat her food before she had any, and she shared her doghouse with birds and squirrels and now and then an armadillo in cold or wet weather. Freaked me out the first time I came home from college and went to visit her after it was dark. Three sets of eyes looking at me from her house was NOT expected,lol.

    But your animals are family and they know it, so they act like it.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hmmmm. Now that is possible Susie.

    There is only one cat that comes around that I am not particularly fond of, I call him Smokey. I'm not fond of him because he came here all hisses and snarls and thinking he was gonna boss the place. Midnight and Minnie eventually set him straight.......but he thought he was gonna boss Maggie..........and I really fussed at him............and now Maggie will Not tolerate him. She is not mean.........but she does NOT want him in her yard or around HER cats. Know what I mean?? She will chase him every time she sees him. The cats won't let Smokey eat until they've had their fill. lol
  6. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Oh Lisa, Maggie is a keeper. That's for sure. We have a new kitten, difficult child brought her home a few weeks ago, and if Broady had not fallen in love with her, I would not have let her stay. He absolutely loves his baby girl Harley, and she loves him, they sleep snuggled every night together. She is a tuxedo cat with four white feet and a white belly, the rest of her is black. She is the sweetest little thing, I can rub noses with her and give her a little massage and every limb goes numb. Lol, its too funny. difficult child had to bottle feed her for the first few weeks, and we werent sure if she would make it or not, but she did and she's quite healthy. I miss snuggling with my Broady, but he will not settle down until she is next to him. He cleans her and puts his arm over her protectively and makes her go to bed for the night when we go to bed. He lets me know if she climbs something he thinks is too dangerous. He woo, woo woo's at me and gets up and just watches her. He smiles when she does something crazy. You can see it in his face. People might think I am crazy, but i am truly not that much crazy, lol. He has big smiles. people dont always believe my stories about him but when they meet him they understand. Maggie sounds a lot like an amazing dog/friend.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Maggie is unique, no doubt about it. lol

    Now that the kittens have been discovered...........put into the house.........put back outside because Midnight does not clean up after them one little bit and it took less than 24 hrs for my house to literally REEK (not to mention the litter box.......and no kittens were NOT using it, it was Momma)............ Maggie is on hyper protective mode alert or something. She might play, but she is also babysitting / keeping a watchful eye for the potential wandering kitten. Let anyone come within feet of the yard / house she is barking & growling and telling them to stay away. It is something to see....

    Not that I was mean for putting them back outside. Midnight had picked one of the safest spots to house / raise her kittens........Rowdy's old kennel. She has a dog house and she uses it when weather is bad. There is some remaining old straw in there she uses to keep them comfy and warm as needed. The fencing prevents any other animal from getting near them. Now I just feed/water her inside it. Kittens are starting to nibble cat food with her.

    Too many babies around here right now. LOL

    easy child's dog Ammo comes to visit nearly every day. Ammo is about 6 months now but he is enormous. Yet he thinks himself to be only Rufus' size. Comical as heck. He always wants to play with Rufus first....it is hilarious to see what appears to be a grown dog (he's not but is 2 inches taller than Maggie now) flopping all over the place like a tiny pup. Maggie will keep looking at us like "tell him to play with me too!" lol Ammo will as soon as Rufus starts to tire out. Then it's Rufus looking like he's got a serious case of the "too littles" going on. :rofl: