First of all, thank you to all of you who have been concerned because I haven't posted for such a long time. Let me assure you, I'm okay - just needed a bit of a sabbatical from everything. Unfortunately there were some things I just couldn't get away from and had to deal with so I had to pick my priorities to try to keep my sanity. I'm sorry, but Tales from Frostbite Falls didn't make the top of the list. I just want all of you to know that I truly appreciate your concern.
Let's see now - I think last time you heard from me the "Waters" were receding and my car was acting up and being naughty. Both of those problems have been fixed, or are in the process.
We've just gotten started on cleaning up the mess left from the flood. Ole and I have spent many days hauling junk, raking cornstalks, wheat chaff and river reeds into piles and burning them, removing logs, dead trees, railroad ties, oil drums and fuel oil barrels. And that's what's on the outside. The river is finally completely back in its banks, but the ground is still pretty squishy so all the cleanup has had to be done manually because the ground is too soft to drive a tractor on. You'd get stuck in a heartbeat. What remains now is to get the river silt and muck cleaned out of the storage building and out of Ole's shop. And it stinks. Bad. Like rotten vegetation on a warm day. Yuck. But we will survive and it will get done. I just say thanks on a daily basis that our house didn't go under like so many others in our area.
My car issue is also solved. My van has been replaced by a Ford Expedition - a full-sized SUV. Metallic gray with lots of bells and whistles on it. Yes, I know it has a reputation as a gas guzzler, but according to the computer it gets 20 mph on the highway and 16 in town. That's better than the van did so I consider it a step up in many ways - comfort and economy.
Then, along came a dog issue. This is very unpleasant to write about and has disturbed Ole and I to no end. As many of you know Lovely Daughter had to leave her doggers behind when she and hubby moved into town. Beau and Daisy were used to being with us most of the time anyway. We took them with us this winter when we traveled and we were so proud of the way they behaved. A lady and a gentleman in every way. Neither of these dogs has ever bit anyone - ever. Daisy is 8 and Beau is 6. That is - until two days ago.
Ole and I were out in the back yard with both dogs and we were expecting an old buddy of Ole's to arrive. The doggers of course heard him drive up and went barreling around the corner to the front yard barking with Ole after them. Now this old friend has been around both of these dogs before many times, wasn't scared of them, and has big dogs of his own. Beau went charging toward him, jumped at him and grabbed his upper arm but fortunately didn't get through his jacket or break the skin. Ole went flying after Beau, pulled him by the collar off of the friend, took his cap off and started swatting Beau across the behind with the cap. That's the only thing these dogs have ever been hit with is Ole's cap - more humiliating than painful. That's when Beau turned around, grabbed Ole's calf just below the knee through the blue jeans and bit him hard enough to leave scratches and a large black and blue mark. Then he twisted somehow and got ahold of Ole's right hand, the one holding the cap, and left four very deep puncture wounds above his thumb. The blood was running fast and furiously by the time Ole let go of his collar. We cleaned up the wound as best we could, soaked his hand in Epsom salts and then went immediately to the clinic where he received treatment. There was talk of stitches, but after further conversation the doctor decided not to stitch in case it became infected.
Lovely Daughter and Lars were in a town about 100 miles away helping a friend move so they weren't available when all this was going on. I called her and told her that Beau couldn't live at our house anymore and that she would have to pick him up when she returned home. It's unfortunate that they are leaving on a week's vacation tonight and had to find a place for the dog on such short notice, but neither Ole nor I felt we could keep the dog for that long if we couldn't trust him. So they took him home on Saturday night and this afternoon when Lars was going to run some errands and was going to put Beau in the crate, Beau turned around and bit Lars, too. Didn't break the skin but definitely left marks.
Now what do you suppose would cause a dog to turn like that? It's almost as if a switch in his brain has been flipped. I have noticed that since we got home from our winter trip that he has become more aggressive and more difficult to control, but Ole is the last person I thought he would ever get after.
So Beau doesn't live here anymore, and yes, there is a big empty spot for both of us as we're used to having two dogs around. But Daisy is the one that's suffering the most at this point. She's truly missing her buddy and having someone to boss around. We can tell she's very insecure so we're trying to give her lots of extra attention. I suppose it will take a bit of time before she adapts.
Let this be a lesson to all of you - NEVER bite the hand that feeds you!!