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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Counting eagles: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Six Bald Eagles!!

Christmas eve, 2008.  I glance out the office window and see two bald eagles, one adult and one juvenile, perched on a bare tree on the breakwater island a couple hundred feet away, in the middle of the Fox River.

After a couple minutes, I realize that there are 3 more in another tree.  And another one in that tree.  Total:  2 adults and 4 juveniles.  Some days, this apartment is the greatest.  This was one of them.

These shots actually are in color, but I was shooting from inside a dirty window, through driving snow.

 

_LWA0849_DXO  _LWA1157_DXO

_LWA1124_DXO  _LWA1146_DXO

_LWA1112_DXO  _LWA0922_DXO

_LWA0953_DXO  _LWA0881_DXO

_LWA0927_DXO  _LWA0842_DXO

_LWA0841_DXO  _LWA0782_DXO

_LWA0941_DXO

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

R.I.P. – Fire, a dog 1993-2008

A good dog, with a long goofy name, “Private Stoc’s Fire Dancer”, bestowed by Pam, the very nice and responsible breeder.  Her sister is “Private Stoc’s Red Skye at Morning”, but they just got called Fire and Skye.  Occasionally, rarely, they’d both be named Dammit!

A natural herder, she’d go from room to room trying to get everyone together so she could keep an eye on them.  I’m guessing that, to her, we were particularly clever sheep with the keys to the food cabinet.  She convinced the neighborhood cats that hunting our ducks was a bad, bad idea.

She didn’t like it, but you could balance a french fry on her nose until she got permission to eat it.  She didn’t like cats, but never, ever, not even once was aggressive toward any other animals, including our flock of Indian Runner ducks.  Given that she was almost 18 months old when she came to live with us, it’s pretty amazing that she didn’t view them as prey.  She acted as though they were her babies, and the same with parrots, cockatiels, sugar gliders, rabbits, and very small children.

It goes with saying that I hate cancer.  It killed my dad, went after my mom, got me, and has killed at least one rabbit and one koi.  Then it got Fire.  She developed some kind of brain cancer that manifested itself as a bump on the head, and when the vet opened it up to see what it was, it was clear that she was not long for this world.

 

She hated getting her feet wet, or any kind of messiness.  More like a cat than a dog.

IMG_2782

 

Make the rabbit stop touching me.”

IMG_2679

 

Just because I am their guardian does not mean I have to like them

IMG_2691

 

Shepherds obey better than any dogs I’ve ever known. They weren’t allowed inside until they were standing politely.IMG_3123

 

This sums it up, the twin kami Goofball and Cautious Concern.

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The black sofa eventually developed a dog-shaped depression.

IMG_2522

 

She took her guard duties very seriously, and was very happy when at some point we put a folded futon next to the window.

IMG_2846

 

DSC01127

 

The wet, inside-out ear means they’ve just finished a comprehensive and mutual ear-cleaning session.

_DSC0013

 

This look actually meant, “I’m reasonably sure that your sandwich will prove to be too large for you.

_DSC0173

 

Good bye, good dog.