Tag Archive | Bauer the Dog

Expression of Smugness

While Staying with the Dogs, Bauer, a beagle and blue heeler mix that belongs to my son, seemed upset when I went outside without him one night. During that day, we got about an inch of snow – the feathery kind that floats away on a breeze. I kept the front door open, so we could peak through the storm window at each other. Bauer usually doesn’t like to be left alone but has been known to wander around the house by himself. Ever since we found him on top of the dining room table pawing at a tray of Christmas cookies one year, we make sure to keep an eye on him.

I waved and talked to him between each shovel of snow. When I looked up without seeing him there, it caused a flutter in my gut. By the time I dumped my next shovelful of snow, he reappeared with paws up against the window, his eyes pointed my way. Could it be that Bauer had a smug look on his face? It was as if he was happy with himself for some reason. After I finished clearing the snow, I went back into the house. Next, I got my boots, coat, hat, and mittens off and went into the family room.

Since we’ve always had female dogs, I was shocked to see a big wet spot on the table cloth where it falls down the side of the table. A little puddle was underneath. There was no way Lila, our lab, could have accomplished that feat. She’s too reserved and not equipped to do such a thing.

I wondered what Bauer was trying to tell me with his expression of smugness. I let him out the back just before I started shoveling. Perhaps he was upset because I didn’t let him join me out front. I thought I was doing him a favor by letting him stay in the warm house, since he’s not one that enjoys being out in the snow.

What could I do but throw the table cloth in the wash and clean up the mess? Maybe it’ll be best to have him join me in the snow piles next time.

There are as many ways of expression as there are moments in a day. ~Rose Wilder Lane

Staying with the Dogs

Whenever I see the little torn patch in the blue and white comforter, it makes me think of my grand dog, Bauer. Bauer is a beagle and blue heeler mix and lives with my son. I watched Bauer for five days during one of the coldest Januarys about seven years ago while my husband and son went on a trip to Florida. After the rush of the holidays, I didn’t think I would mind staying with the dogs. I took a lot of time off for Christmas and felt guilty about taking off more, so I stayed in Minnesota.

While at work, I thought about how I wouldn’t have to cook when I got home, because no humans would be there. I went to one of my favorite downtown lunch spots, which makes homemade Italian food. I rarely ordered the lasagna, because it’s quite large, but I thought how great it would be to eat half for lunch and go home and eat the rest for dinner. When I arrived home, two dog tails wagged wide while they jumped up to greet me. After I took off my outer layers, I carefully pulled out the white styrofoam container from my work bag and put it on the kitchen counter. The dogs took a quick trip outside, and I fed them both at the same time, in opposite corners of the kitchen. They have learned to respect each other’s space, so long as they get their food or treats at the same time, or more so when Bauer gets his food or treats first. Even though Lila, our lab, outweighs Bauer by at least 50 pounds, Bauer has a stance that lets others know who’s in charge.

As they munched away at their food, while eyeing each other closely, I opened up and looked through the mail. While walking over to the kitchen counter, where the delicious lasagna sat, Bauer raced ahead of me, jumped up, clawed the container, which caused it to fall to the floor. Since it fell so far, the container couldn’t help but open, and Bauer stood over the scrumptious feast, slurping up every last bite. ☹️ I stood there in awe and wondered how a little dog could jump so high and what would I get to eat for dinner.

Any other dog would have chucked it all back up, but Bauer has an iron gut. He’s gotten into my son’s refrigerator and eaten raw steak without any problems arising afterwards. Bauer likes to sleep in people beds, so I knew we’d be bunking together. I prayed he wouldn’t get sick. I slept pretty good even though I worried Bauer would suffocate since he likes to be under all the blankets. As far as I could tell, Bauer’s nose didn’t pop out once to get a good whiff of air. Lila was the smart one; she slept in the family room. Thankfully, the rest of the night went well, with only a few tears to the comforter, which happened when Bauer tried to get comfortable.

Staying with the dogs is a fun memory, but next time, I’m going along on the trip!

The dog wags his tail, not for you, but for your bread. ~Portuguese Proverb

Kept Me on My Toes

Bauer 11-20-15
Bauer

Bauer’s nose was causing trouble when he stayed with us a few weeks ago. That nose was pointed up high in the air and steered him to a couple of adventures. Bauer has stayed with us before while his master was away, and those times went pretty well, but this time, Bauer seemed more hyper than usual. I just thought he was hungry, but I later found out that wasn’t the case.

We’ve known Bauer for about three and a half years now. The first time my husband and I met Bauer, we were visiting our son Matt at his apartment. Our son found Bauer at an animal shelter in a small town in northern Minnesota. Bauer was very happy to meet us. He wagged his tail and jumped up to greet us, but there were times when he growled at us too. The first time he growled at me was during our visit when he was sitting on my lap. I tried to change the way he was sitting because it was getting uncomfortable. He growled when I held his front legs and put them in a different position. I growled back, but that didn’t scare him like his growl scared me!

As the years passed, we’ve found that the more Bauer gets used to us, the less he growls. Now, Bauer only growls at our dog Lila when Lila gets too close to Matt or me. I guess he likes to have us to himself. Lila has slowly gotten more used to Bauer too. Lila just moseys along like she didn’t hear anything. She doesn’t hide in other rooms when Bauer’s around anymore and doesn’t lose lots of fur like she did when Bauer first started visiting us.

Bauer is very attentive when I cook. As I worked to get things ready during this last visit, he patiently sat close just waiting for some morsel to drop. When dinner was over and the dishes removed from the table, Bauer hopped up on a chair and onto the table to help make sure no messes were left behind. While the dishes were being cleaned off and placed into the dishwasher, Bauer watched carefully to see if anything fell where it shouldn’t. Just as everything was cleaned up and I thought I could sit down to relax, I heard Bauer clawing away at the cupboards where the garbage can is stored. That’s when I figured out that Bauer could break the rubber bands that held the cupboard closed and that the chopstick that I placed in between the handles didn’t work too well either.  The next day, I bought a childproof lock that worked so well I didn’t want to bother with it every time I had to throw something away. Instead, I used a temporary garbage can in the garage, and Bauer found out how to get into the Tupperware cupboard instead.

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Bauer is a Beagle and Blue Heeler mix.

One night, Bauer was going crazy after our daughter Katie came home from work. Katie brings home lots of bags with papers and books and things to help her prepare for her next day as a teacher. Bauer kept sniffing at one of those bags. Katie said there wasn’t any food there, so I believed her. When I was getting ready for bed, I looked to see if Bauer was where I last saw him.  He wasn’t, and I heard funny noises coming from the dining room.  When I found Bauer, he was clawing and chewing away at a granola bar. Half of the granola bar was gone by the time I got there, and I sat and watched him enjoy the rest of it. I learned from previous experience not to get in the way of a dog and his food – especially Bauer’s.

Thankfully there was no chocolate in the granola bar, and Bauer seemed so happy to go to bed after he found that treat. Except his stomach told a different story the next morning when I found a puddle of something dark had soaked into my comforter. (No other dog has been allowed to sleep in our bed, except this one!)  Bauer threw up the following morning too, right on the sheets. All the bedding got a good washing those two days. I think the second mishap occurred because I fed him too much the day before. I thought with his nose going 60 miles an hour everyday trying to find more food meant he was hungry, but I was wrong. Too many treats from me caused that last unexpected outburst.

After those two unfortunate incidents, Bauer wasn’t so hyper any more. I was happy about that because if he was going to keep up those shenanigans, it was going to drive me crazy with the way he kept me on my toes all the time. It seemed like we were getting used to each other until the next day in the kitchen. Bauer gave me another surprise when he jumped up and grabbed onto a white container with his paws. The container dropped to the floor. Inside was a piece of lasagna that was supposed to be my dinner. I watched as he gobbled it down, licking the container clean. I wondered if lasagna would cause another upset stomach, but it didn’t. The only one who was upset was me because I didn’t get to enjoy the lasagna.

We’ll never know why Bauer seemed so out of sorts at the beginning of his visit, but it might have been because he had a little separation anxiety.  When Matt came back from his trip, and I told him about our adventures, Matt just said, “He’s smart.” Matt and Bauer spent another day with us, and the next day, the two of them got ready to head back to their home.  I watched the car back out of the driveway like I always do. Matt waved good-bye, and Bauer stood on the front passenger’s seat with his front paws leaning by the bottom of the window. He waved his farewell by swinging his tail back and forth while looking my way, and I thanked God we all survived!

Even though that little creature and his nose kept me on my toes, I think it’s funny how I can’t wait for both of them to come back for another visit. I hope it’s soon.  🙂

The Love I Gave Stayed…

 

I’d like to think those other dogs are around my family because of me.  I was the first dog they had.  My biological father was a black lab, and my biological mother was a cocker spaniel.  When I first joined my family, I was three years old, and the kids were 11, eight and six.  I cuddled with them, let them brush my fur, and happily ate the dog food they put in front of me.  I was happy to protect them when they went for walks and played games whenever they wanted.  Sometimes I ended up in their beds when they were sleeping, and they didn’t seem to mind.  I was used to being a part of a family like theirs, and it didn’t take me long to get used to them after they adopted me from the Animal Humane Society, a wonderful place that helps pets find new homes.

After I passed away, my family thought they were doing me a favor by waiting a respectable amount of time of six months before getting another dog.  The kids thought Mom and Dad needed a dog because Laura, the oldest kid, was going to go off to college and the other two weren’t far from being really grown up too.  The kids didn’t want Mom and Dad to get lonely!  I didn’t mind when they decided to adopt Lila, a two-year old, beautiful black lab retriever mix.  I knew they wanted another dog because they missed me and my love.  Someone found Lila wandering around in the northern woods of Minnesota covered with 17 wood ticks.  My family found her at the same Animal Humane Society where they found me.

It took a long time for Lila to soften up to the whole family because she was used to living on her own.  We don’t know if she got lost or was abandoned.  I didn’t blame her for wanting to stay away from everyone.  After moving in with her new family, she enjoyed digging holes underneath bushes and hiding from the sun.  Lila seemed so brave when she stayed outside during storms.  After being stuck in the house over winter, she finally softened up to the family.  It took about a year before she fell in love with them, realized she found her home and wasn’t going to have to go anywhere else.  She got comfortable and figured out to stay inside during storms and watch over the family.

When Matt, the youngest kid, went off to college and got an apartment, it wasn’t long before he found Bauer, a beagle and blue heeler mix, and adopted him.  Bauer was around three years old when he moved in with Matt.  When Mom and Dad went to visit them, Bauer was friendly and seemed like he knew the visitors were Matt’s Mom and Dad.  Later that night, when Dad walked by Matt’s bedroom, Bauer growled and Mom and Dad were worried Bauer was mean.  The next day, when Mom held Bauer in her lap and moved his legs because his paws were digging into her shirt, Bauer growled.  Mom growled back.

A few months later, when Matt and Bauer came home for a visit, Bauer acted like he was king of the castle.  Bauer scared Lila, a dog three times his size.  Bauer growled at Lila every time she got close to Matt.  That growl caused Lila’s fur to fall to the floor.  If it was possible for the floor to make a sound each time a piece of fur fell, it would have sounded like a steady drum beating.  Mom tried to keep up with the fur piles, but they bunched up and rolled along like dust bunnies.  By the time Matt and Bauer’s visit was over, Mom was thankful Lila hadn’t gone completely bald.  Now that Bauer has been in the family for a few years, and when he comes to visit, there isn’t as much growling.  Either Bauer got used to them or it could be because Lila stood up for herself a few times by growling back and showing her teeth.

Just as the two of them were getting used to each other, Laura and her hubby got Kona, a German shepherd puppy.  Kona and Lila got along from the start even though Lila tends to keep a respectful distance when she doesn’t want to play.  Thankfully, Kona is learning how to adjust to Lila’s moods.  The first time Kona and Bauer met, they got along very well.  Bauer played with Kona like they were long lost friends.  They wrestled, ran around the sofa and stood staring at each other in puppy play fashion with their legs pointing towards each other.  It seemed like Bauer was happy to be with a dog his size.  The next time they met, Kona wasn’t Bauer’s size, and Bauer wasn’t interested in playing with Kona any more.

Sometimes Mom thinks back to the time when I first started to live with them.  It was a few years after they moved into their house with the white tile kitchen floor.  Mom sweeps the broom, then uses a Swiffer, if the broom didn’t do the job.  She wonders if it was dumb to get two black dogs when they live in a house with a white floor.  Now when Kona and Bauer stop by, brown and gray furs fall waiting to get swept up as well.  Mom can get frustrated and thinks about getting a different floor but sometimes realizes it’s practical to see where the dogs leave dirt.

Mom must not mind the mess too much.  If she did, these other dogs wouldn’t be around the white tile floor.  I like to think Lila, Bauer and Kona are there because I did a good job of training my family.  It looks like the love I gave stayed and it’s being handed down every day.

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras