Sigh...what a way to start the daySo I went out on our deck to reinstall our birdfeeders (we take them in every night to discourage foraging raccoons), and I saw a mass of moss/soft stuff that looked suspiciously like the bird's nest under our deck...upon further inspection, I saw a sad little pile of bird feathers nearby, and could only conclude that some Big Meanie (the biggest meaniest!) ate our little bird friends who were not quite (but almost) big enough to fly away to safety. Sigh.
I have all kinds of fun things to tell, but I couldn't write about the fun stuff until I gave my bird friends a little eulogy--they were only a few weeks old and had grown so big that they were standing on each other to get some space in their little nest. Poor Momma Bird! She wasn't roosting with the babies because they were so big; I wonder if she saw it all happen, or if she came this morning to find that her nest and her little ones had been destroyed.
I wonder if this will keep another bird from choosing our previously just-right location for its nest. In a way, I hope it won't, but then I think I wouldn't want to have another nest there...I would only worry about what might happen to the babies.
And to think, Henry barked at 2am and I looked at the deck to see what had caused the ruckus and saw nothing. The bird-killer must have been exploring down below (the deck is on the 2nd floor), and I didn't see it. Henry knew, though--I guess, considering we think the hunter was a raccoon, I'm glad Henry wasn't out there to duke it out with the big meanie.
I know this is the way Nature works, but it's no fun. We provided a nice, safe haven for the nest, and then it turned into an open invitation for marauding predators. Hmph.
So, the rest of my day has been colored by my first-thing-in-the-morning sadness.
But I don't want to forget that I had a really nice weekend (which included showing off the little ones in their nest just Sunday!).
I took the pooch to the dog park on Friday and he had a great time meeting and greeting the other pooches. He's such a funny guy--he was wandering around, sniffing and kind of whimpering, and I finally asked him if he wanted to "get dressed" (doggy-human code for "put your harness on and go somewhere"), and he ran over to me, practically begging to go home. This is particularly unusual because he will not come to me at all when he's in the dog park (it's something akin to a child pretending a parent is a complete stranger when out in public), but when I asked about getting dressed, he was more than happy to admit he knew me. We were there for 90 minutes or so, which I guess is Henry's limit for play before he's panting to leave.
On Saturday, my knitting friend, E, came over for some fun chatting and knitting. We haven't seen each other since E got married almost 2 months ago, so we had a lot of catching up to do. She's so great--I'm glad we live so close (5 miles, tops).
Nerdy Hubby and I had a nice dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, which is always nice (and almost always happens on a weekly basis...but don't tell my nutritionist!).
And then, much to my surprise, my friend, C, called on Sunday to ask if she could "stop by" for a little visit. Reminder: we live in the country...anyone coming from the City is making a serious effort to see us. C lives in the City. She thought she'd arrive in an hour or so...right when Nerdy Hubby was planning to watch the final World Cup match. No problem, I told him, we'll sit outside on the deck. (Hint: foreshadowing here...). Kaboom! Splash! Sprinkle. Pitter-Patter. Get it? You guessed it...just before my visitor arrived, the skies opened up and it poured down on our little house. So, we all sat together, C and I chatting softly, Nerdy Hubby ignoring us while he watched the match. It worked out well because then we (C and I) were able to get into the excitement of the last bit (for those who haven't heard, it was a tedious 2 overtimes, and penalty kick series before someone broke the tie).
And I took the Beast for a walk Sunday and today; today was a bit of a trial because we saw a baby bunny (very exciting for a pooch on a leash, let me tell you!), and deerios (Someone--guess who--didn't even see them, just heard them crashing around in the woods as they ran in the opposite direction). Phew! That's a lot of excitement for a little 2-mile walk. That amount of excitement is so huge that Someone (guess...just you try) had to wear his I'm-being-naughty-on-the-leash harness to give Nerdy Mommy some control over his pulling.
Sadly, I've been letting the Leash Beast pull a teeny bit too much and have hurt my knee-related muscles. So, I'm forced to be firm with Mr. Pully-McPully-Pants. The head harness we've found is similar to a Gentle Leader, but it doesn't have any adjustible parts; it comes in S, M, and L (probably even more), and that's it. Nothing for a frantic dog to loosen when he scratches with his paws/claws. Nothing to give a feeling of victory when the clawing doesn't produce any results. The Gentle Leader was an easy target for our temperamental pooch--he scratched at it enough that he eventually learned he could get it off. This was bad, people--he dragged his little pink/purple/brown nose along the road until he ripped off the top layer of skin and bled! He clawed at it so much that the inside of his mouth bled! This was more than one Nerdy Mommy could stand, so the Gentle Leader went away. I can't remember the name of the new leader, but it's working much better because he has learned that he cannot get it off. Ha ha to him! And he doesn't fight it anywhere near as much as he did the Gentle Leader. So, we can walk every morning, which does us both a lot of good.
I need to give an endorsement to the Gentle Leader, though--we used it to help keep Henry calm in the car, and it really changed his demeanor; if it hadn't had the adjustible qualities mentioned above, it would have been perfect for our pooch.
We're leaving in 1 1/2 short days to drive to NY State for my parents' 40th anniversary party...10 hours in the car with the Beast...start sending positive vibes now. We need them. Honest. Trust me.