Friday, November 8, 2013

Mud dogs!!!

We have had a couple of days of rain here in northeastern Oklahoma. The moisture is very welcome, what with a couple of years of drought and all. It will take a good amount of time and rain for the water tables to refill, even though the past few months have been "wetter" than normal AND the Farmer's Almanac is calling for a wet winter:

          "Winter temperatures will be slightly colder than normal, on average, 
          with precipitation and snowfall a bit above normal in Oklahoma and 
          north of the (D/FW) Metroplex." 

So it's all good, right? Mostly. Rainy weather means the dogs can't (or won't, in Blue's case) spend as much time outside, getting fresh air and exercise. It also means the one who adores the rain (Carson) spends more time in her crate drying off. I was thinking about all that in the morning when I decided the terriers needed some running around time in the yard as I got dressed for work. Moments later, I began to hear the banging noises. Getting closer to the back door, the noise seemed to be shaking the entire sunroom. Open the door, call the dogs. Nothing. Nada. Grab a jacket and head out: There they are, in all their glory. Up to their eyeballs - no exaggeration - in heavy, wet, Oklahoma red clay with a bunch of torn-up grass thrown in for good measure. Trying their best to dig under the lattice surrounding the sunroom. Their goal (prey)? Probably toads or field mice. They tend to ignore the toads who perch on the steps on late summer evenings but maybe the allure of digging for them is just too much to resist.

By afternoon, when these photos were taken,
the sunshine made them a little less "huge."
 Of course, all this happens when I need to leave for work in, oh, say, five minutes!

Race inside, grab a towel and slip into garden clogs. Hope the jacket will somewhat protect my clothes.

Evidence of Marley's participation
in the digging!
Marley is easy. Offer him a treat and he's willing to give up on the digging. I wrap him in a towel and hold him - feet facing out - as far from my clothes as I can. Bonus: let's consider this a workout for my biceps! 

Carson, of course, isn't so easily swayed. Her entire nose is covered in clay. It's hanging from her ears, her furnishings, her tail (how did that happen?). And it's a game. Get within two inches and she takes off at a full run. I remind myself I adore her, keep from looking at my watch to see how late I now am, consider my wet hair will only get more curly standing in the rain, and take a deep breath. Several minutes later, she is mine. Yay! Sorta ... My black and tan terrier is now a definite shade of barn red and smelly - wet dog, wet earth, WET. I carry her the same way as Marley and toss her into her crate, hoping she keeps at least some of the drying clay inside the crate during the day. I close the back door and head to school.

A little aside about Carson: She tends to get distracted and forget what is important (to me, obviously, not to her). When I return home after work, her crate not only has dried clay, is also has a little gift since she forgot to "take care of business" while she was busy digging to the other side of the county. Sigh ...

The next half hour was spent cleaning crates. This is the view from inside Marley's crate, as I was wiping up dirt. On a positive note, dirt doesn't usually "stick" to hard terrier coats; it tends to dry and end up on the floor. I'll spare you a glimpse at Carson's crate, however!

In the afternoon sun, the culprits were happy and playful. I filled in the holes as best I could (what, exactly happens to dirt that there is never as much to put back in a hole? I will never understand that!).
You can see from this photo that Marley is just happy to have me home, to be out in the sun and is secure in the knowledge that the treat wagon will soon visit. The ringleader, on the other hand, wouldn't stay away from her beautiful creations, so she was relegated to "hard time" in the run. I don't know about you, but I honestly don't see one smidgen of remorse on her face!

The next few days are supposed to be dry and sunny, which will give the ground a chance to dry out. I can only hope we won't repeat this scenario too many times during the months ahead. Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend to all.

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