Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Yesterday I spent some time in Collinsville after church and as I walked into the garage I was shocked to see most of the old baseboards and other long pieces of lumber which we had stored in the rafters, all piled up on the floor. And, half the items we had on the shelf along one wall had either fallen onto the floor or were tipped over.
All this meant to me was: "We've got more raccoons." A squirrel could not have done all this. Then, standing on the deck looking at the backyard I suddenly noticed the biggest, fattest, furriest groundhog I've ever seen sitting in the back lilly leaves. He just sat there looking around and then waddled slowly into what must be a big hole in the ground.
Every October we go through this! I guess we have to call Critter Control again. I'd not worry about the groundhog, but raccoons have got to go. They are destructive and will maul a dog if given half a chance.
Ferdie took part in the Scottish breed dog show at the Games in Forest Park today. One of our neighbors came with Ferdie's pal Lola who is a Bearded Collie. Each breed paraded around the ring while the announcer gave a description of that particular dog. Kind of like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show only in groups and there were no winners or losers.
There's Sharalyn and me with our doggies.
While there Sharalyn ran into the woman who bred Lola, the other Beardies are Lola's nieces and nephews.
There's Kirt in the blue shirt. He works at the seminary and is also one of the chairmen of the Scottish Games. He brought his Cairn Terrier and his Scottie.
Kirt's grandson gave his pups water. It was quite warm for dogs out there in the sun today.
Ferd got greeted.
Some of the food being sold was out of the ordinary.
No idea what neeps and tatties are. Tatties may be tators but it's a guess. Annnndd...the line was long to get one of these pasties.
A large crowd comes out to see the dogs, the people completely circle the area.
As Ferdie and I did our Golden Retriever walk around the inner circle, we had to keep stopping because so many adults and kids wanted to pet him. He was very happy to let them.
This is Kirt's wife, Doreen. She's the chairman of the Scottish dog breed show and also does all the announcing and dog biographies. Since she is originally from Scotland, her accent is charming and made for a day like today.
And lastly, the Scotch tasting booth. Very popular.
What a wet day this has been...Waking up to drizzle after an overnight storm, watching the campus kids get soaked by the Clayton Fire Department and then watching Ferdie enjoy an afternoon swim at the Maplewood Dog Swim. By mid afternoon I was soaked through and so was Ferdie.
There was some doubt as to whether the fire departmen would want to spray the kids since the temperatures were in the 60's this morning. But they did! And the kids were so excited.
This even got some of our sem students up from the sand volley ball court. Let 'er rip!
Lots of adults and other grown ups watching
Even Ferdie. But he was watching me.
It was even fun to splash through the water ponding on the road.
Or sit in puddles
Noah, one of the offical Comfort Dogs came by.
Fun for all the onlookers too
We just can't say enough about how congenial the firemen were. They seemed to have as good a time as we all did.
Then. From there Ferdie and I headed over to the Maplewood pool for the annual dog swim. He loves this. There is no fooling around for Ferdie, he has no interest in playing with the other dogs, all he wants to do is swim. This is the only time he likes to chase a ball. I throw the ball out into the pool and he swims to get it. Brings it back and waits to have it thrown again.
On the way home I took a picture of him in the back seat.
A Great Dane in Oregon somehow managed to chew up and swallow 43 pairs of socks. Actually, 43 and 1/2 pairs as there was one extra single sock added to the total. By the time the last few pairs landed in his stomach he was very sick and it was then the socks were discovered by x-ray. Surgery took care of the massive blockage and the dog is ok now.
Dogs are known to love socks and many owners have had a swallowed sock incident but, wow, 43 pairs! This number had me doing a mental count of how many pairs of socks we own and it's no where near 43 pairs. That's a lot of socks laying around.
"I used to think raccoons were cute. That was before I started working nights. Now I honestly believe that raccoons are genuinely sadistic creatures that take pleasure in trying to kill dogs and cats."
Since we had several years of raccoons making our Collinsville property and had dozens trapped and taken away by Critter Control, this story stopped me in my tracks. Now I really worry.
This is one of our trapped raccoons. They are huge animals, not the cute, chubby creatures you see in movies or in commercials.
"Although raccoons sometimes kill cats for sport, cats generally have the good sense to steer clear of the masked animal bandits. Dogs, on the other hand, often relish a fight with a raccoon. It's a fight they almost always lose. Here is a raccoon's modus operandi when it attacks a dog: The raccoon attempts to scratch out the dog's eyes. The raccoon rolls the dog onto its back and attempts to eviscerate it. Raccoons bite and scratch with amazing speed and ferocity. Their bites often penetrate the chest wall, leading to collapsed lungs. They may penetrate the abdomen, leading to septic peritonitis. They also have a knack for lacerating the urethra, causing urine to accumulate underneath the skin, resulting in terrible scalding and possible secondary kidney failure. They are fond of knocking dogs into the canals in order to try to drown them."
We haven't seen or have been told of raccoon sightings by our neighbors this summer, but all the same, letting Ferdie out in the dark yard at night to have his last bathroom break will be kind of unnerving. I wish I hadn't read this.
Not a Dog Day of Summer, but it is that too. Yesterday 100 degrees, today looks like it may reach that. Today is National Dog Day and the official website lists 20 ways to celebrate this with/for your dog. I do know that I will not be doing number 3: "Organize a peaceful demonstration in front of your community pet store that sells puppies." Nor will we order an adorable dog shaped flower arrangement as cute as that might be. Ferdie would not be interested.
I will possibly get him a new toy, brush him and take his picture. The past few days this is how he feels about being out in the high heat.
Maybe the best way to celebrate with him is to just keep him cool.