At the Ranch / Laurel's Stories



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"Little Howler" and "The M&M Caper"
by Laurel Riegel


"Little Howler"

Photo of Shasta as a pupWhen Shasta was little (ha), I could induce him to howl pretty easily,especially early am and dusk, by howling myself. I'm pretty good at it (asfar as I can tell). He won't fall for that now, except once in a blue moonearly in the am while he and I are lying around in bed tussling and yawningand making those yawning-croaky-whiny sounds you make just as you get up[and don't really want to BE UP yet].

I try a little growly noise that becomes a little yelp, followed by a little howl. He responds the same, without the howl. I howl again and follow with a growly sound. Then he may actually tilt head back (like in your Dunn logo shot) and let out amoderately serious howl.

The best, though, is when sirens go by. We live really close to aninterstate... Lots of sirens, day and night.

If it's close/loud enough (I haven't determined his criteria for this yet),he tilts back, forms a perfect "O" with his lips (a la Garry Larson), andlets loose a long, loud, slow, hooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwlll. To which My blackdog (Cassie) adds her surprisingly baritone shorter howls. To which Pecosadds stacatto bass barks in triplets. To which I add mymezzo-soprano-to-alto slow howls.

What a BLAST!!!

What do other people do to have quality time? I wonder.


The baby photo of Shasta (seen above) was taken when he was 6 weeks old, on the first day in his new home with Laurel. He is now almost 2 years old, and is quite the handsome young wolfdog.



"The M&M Caper"

ShastaI got up around 1:30-2:00am in the morning a couple of days ago to get adrink. Since 115-120 lb Shasta and 45 lb Cassie [dog] always sleep on the bed(actually, they ALLOW me to scrunch in as best as I can...), I had to takethe long way around to the bedroom door.

Just as I reached the end of the bed, I stepped on what seemed to me to bebuttons - dozens of little, slick buttons. I waddled over to the lightswitch and turned it on. Since I became Mac-fluent, I have had to wearbifocals. I can't see great without them, especially in 2am-eyes in thesemi-light. I saw little red and green buttons, all over the rug. And a bigglass jar.....

Oh, sh!t. I had bought 2lb. of Xmas M&Ms and put them in this tall, heavyFrench canning jar (you know, the type with the gadget that "locks" it???).I had [dumbly] shared a couple of the little delicacies with Shasta beforegoing to bed. I do deserve credit for placing the jar high up on a counter,far to the back, where "he could never reach it without waking the dead."

I guess I am writing this now from the Underworld... My Adorable Boyapparently loped into the kitchen when he heard my breathing indicate thatI was in theta if not delta sleep state ... got up onto the counter(!??!?!?) and took the Large French Canning Jar (3lb. all by itself) withthe 2lb. of M&Ms in it into his baby mouth, and silently trode back to thebedroom (so that Mommy would find the remains of The Deed later). Here heproceeded to open the jar and then to dislocate its special gadget, so thatit could not be used quickly to deter his desires in the future. When Ifound The Deed, only a 1/2 cup or so of the M&Ms were left.

My carpet in the same location now reminds me of Joseph and theMulticolored Coat. Mostly, however, it is green and red.

Well, what's a girl to do? I confiscated the goodies, locked them up in abathroom until daybreak, got my drink, and chuckled myself to sleep.[Please, don't anyone admonish me about the dangers of chocolate withcanines - I am MORE than aware of this...] About 3:15-3:30am, Mr. Shaz wasrolling this way and that on the bed. He finally got up, sauntered into theother room for a drink himself, came back, heaved himself onto the rug bythe fireplace, then got up and walked over to me in bed and stoodnose-to-nose, about 10 inches away. I opened one eye and asked if he"Wanted To Go Out?" in my cheeriest voice. He stared at me, as if to say,"HELLO!!!!"

I let him out the back door. He paced around for about two minutes, likehe was checking things out. Then, as if he decided "to do it," he made that"HHHRRUUNNHH" sound about three times, and then hurled a mass of M&Ms. Hemust have heard me gasp and chuckle, because he delighted me with anencore, in just a matter of seconds.

Then he walked around for a minute or so, sniffing other spots. He lookedfor all the world as if he "Needed To See A Man About A Horse." When he wassatisfied with his location, he squatted quickly and emitted --

******* those light of stomach, don't read any further *******

projectile diarrhea. After this was complete, he happily scratched theground with gusto and trotted back to the door with That Wolfy Grin on hisface. We returned to bed without further incident.

Moral of Story: There may be Child-Proof bottles, but NOTHING is Wolf-Proof...




If you'd like to know more about Shasta or Laurel, contact her direct at ( spectre@intex.net ) with 'Shasta' as subject.

Also, check out more photos of Shasta.

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