Friday, March 20, 2009


Excuse the blurriness of this photo, I was teetering on the edge of the deck to obtain it.. This is Buster. The family dog. The family dog who thinks he is not a dog. The same dog who is miffed if he doesn't get a grape when they come out of the fridge. His attitude is the same if he's not given watermelon when you have some. Don't even mention bacon of he'll sit in the kitchen doorway expectantly until he gets the trimmings and grease. 
This is a dog's home dog. He didn't come cheap. In fact I think we paid as much for him as most people pay for a purebred dog. So, when we get stopped, because we always do, on our walks and people demand to know what breed he is, I respond with one of two options. "Pure Bred Mutt." Which takes them a few minutes to comprehend what I just said, they blame the accent. Or I say, "Dog's Home Breed!" That one always gets laughs right off the bat.
Buster obtained his silly name, which was better then Ronald (he came with that one and the girl was so embarrassed it took us five minutes to convince her to tell us..), in a very unusual way. We had just taken him home and decided he needed a bath because he stunk to high heaven. Buster, we were told, only had one problem-- cats. We didn't own a cat, we weren't worried. No one in our neighborhood appeared to have cats.
What they didn't tell us was the Buster was a sheep herder, either by nature or by past experience. Our neighbors had sheep. The dog jumped out of the car, sniffed and ran. He didn't make it over the pond because the ducks distracted him. The problem was, we were still debating a name and no one knew what to shout to ask him to come back. So out of pure desperation Lawrence shouted, "HEY BUSTER! Get back here!" The dog returned. The dog was named. 
Now, as happens with all dogs, they keep some habits and lose others. Buster still likes to chase cats. It's his lot in life, his passion. We like to encourage passion around here, but we've yet to buy him a cat to chase. Instead we hold on for dear life when walking him if a cat crosses his path. Buster is still not fond of horses, but he no longer barks at them, or cows, as if they are unheard of beasts. He does, however, still enjoy herding sheep. Our neighbors still have sheep. Unless you live smack dab in the middle of the city (and even then..) it's quite possible your Aussie neighbors will have sheep. Ours do. It's a simple fact of life.
Our neighbor's sheep are spread in several fields, and Buster does not bug them, except when we walk past to take him to the beach. Then he slows down, and has been been known to crawl, hunched low to the ground. His ears are up, he's ready. He paces from one side of the pile of sheep to the other. All from the outside of their paddock. Funny thing is, the person who gave up on him, probably gave up one day too son. Buster takes herding very seriously and gives us dejected, put out, I'll get even with you later, type glares. What we get is nothing compared to the glares the sheep get though..
I've decided that the best way to lure Buster into the bathtub is with sheep, but until I can obtain a few sheep for a few minutes from the neighbor, I suppose Lawrence will just keep carrying him in. Have I mentioned our tub is very deep with two steps up? I'm not kidding around here!
Late Sunday afternoon the dog was doomed for a bath. He stunk. He was itchy. We'd had enough. I deemed it "doggie bath day" and told Jayden he could help Daddy bathe the dog. Jayden thought this sounded like great fun. After all Jayden loves baths, and why wouldn't the dog? Poor Jayden.. Poor Buster..

Daddy locked Jayden out of the bathroom, which brought on tears and sulking. I was in the schoolroom and Jayden informed me that he was suppose to be helping, but Daddy forgot. I told him Daddy didn't forget, but that Buster isn't as keen on baths as Jayden is. I pointed out that once Buster was securely in the tub and three full size elephants were sitting on him Daddy would open up the door. I forgot Jayden was 5. He was expectantly waiting to see an elephant trunk, and wondering if the elephant sprays would be scary. 

In the end, Jayden had a fine time, but Buster.. well:

Yes, he was impressed he could wear undies in the tub, Buster didn't give a hoot..

he was equally excited to know he could wash himself with undies on..

The funny thing about Buster is that we have a big round blob of a "thing". We bought it for $2 before we obtained our $2 chairs. We thought it looked like a giant comfy stool for our feet. Buster had better ideas, and no matter how often the thing is flung out of the house (it stinks and needs to go..) Buster has his own way of making sure no one can take off with it..

Yes, that's a scooter under his bed, don't ask, we are both probably better off not knowing. My guess? They tried to teach the dog to skateboard again, and when it failed they put his bed on it because they knew he'd get on that stinky old thing. Right now they are busy trying to teach him to hop up on kitchen style chairs so they can play Snowdogs with him. Heaven help us if they teach the poor thing to mush! 

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