Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Lazy Day in Maine

This is kind of a lazy day around here. The sun is shining and the temperatures have reached into the upper 40s around this part of Southern Maine. From what we hear on the TV, it would appear we’re going to have another half decent day tomorrow and then Monday some snow might hit the area.

It’s been a while now since we’ve had snow. Our last storm was a week and a half ago after what seemed like one every other day in December. Snow, of course, is not unusual in Maine, but after several days with temperatures in the 50s and one record setting day over 60, a storm Monday could be unpleasant.

I like days like today. Our daughter brought her dog over to play with ours. The dogs are sisters, but I suspect they have no clue about that. They sure do love to play together, though, and they can amuse all of us for quite a time. We have a fairly decent sized yard which is bounded by an Invisible Fence and both dogs have been trained to respect the boundaries so they have good running and romping room.

If you’re not familiar with an Invisible Fence (capitalized here because it’s also the name of the company that installs them), it is a wire which is embedded in the ground and emits a radio signal which a collar on the dog can receive if the dog is within 3 feet. It beeps for three seconds giving the dog time to back out of the zone. If she doesn’t, well it gets a shocking surprise. We have our entire yard wired with separate wires around several gardens, flower and veggie, we have. The company representatives came here several times when it was first installed teaching my wife and me how to train the dogs. After each session we spent time with the animals performing the new tasks. About three weeks after it all started, all training materials had been removed and the dogs were on their own. Both dogs have great respect for the fence and neither has left our yard while the collar was on.

It is rather entertaining to watch our Golden chase a squirrel. She’ll run full speed the length of the yard only to screech to a halt 4 feet from the wire. Last summer there was a bird that learned the boundary and would fly from one side of the yard to the other and then land just on the other side of the wire. Of course the dog would race after the bird but never cross the line. There’s a neighborhood cat that knows the dogs boundary, too, and will saunter past the house just on the other side. There are times that our little Golden is truly tormented.

The daughter and her dog have left for home and here it is mid afternoon. Our retriever is sound asleep.

And now I’m waiting patiently for the afternoon to pass. The Patriots are on the tube tonight.


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