The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Archive for the ‘On the Job’ Category

Who put Walter Pigeon on a Hit List?

Thursday morning, after Elizabeth let me out of the car at the bookshop, I did my usual security check of the parking lot before heading in to greet customers. Usually this process just involves checking to see if Isabella the bulldog at the Greek restaurant next door left me any messages, and maybe leaving her a message to say I received and understood hers, but this was not the case on Thursday. On Thursday, I found a visitor who was desperately in need of help.

I was about to pick him up and bring him to Elizabeth, but she saw me heading into the corner and knew by the way I was striding that I’d seen something she needed to know about. She’s pretty smart, my scribe is [Scribal note: Thank you, Stella.]. When she saw me lean in to pick our visitor up, she said, “Leave it, Stella!” That means she thinks it’s something she needs to look after, or that it might not be safe for me. So, I backed up.

Elizabeth took me into the shop. Then she went up to the attics and pulled out an empty liquor box. She put a cloth bag in the bottom and ran back outside with it. I could hear her running around and talking to our visitor, who was a little bit frightened of her, I think. She caught the visitor and gently put him in the box. Then she closed the flaps, found some heavier cardboard and a brick to put on top. She left an air hole so the captive could breathe, and carried it all downstairs. Then she washed her hands.

I was very curious to know what was going on. I trust Elizabeth to do the right thing. But her behaviour was very curious. I couldn’t understand why she would put our guest in a closed box. Usually, they are welcome to just come in and walk around the shop!

Elizabeth picked up the phone and made a call to our friend the Lil the Egg Lady. It turns out that Lil the Egg Lady also operates a wildlife rehabilitation centre (Sooo. That’s why she smells so interesting…) “Hi, Lil! It’s Elizabeth. I’m calling because Stella found an injured pigeon in our parking lot. I don’t know what’s wrong with it; it can still run around, and it seems pretty alert, but it’s got a lot of drying blood on it, I think. It was really tacky when I picked it up.”

Lil explained that several pigeons had come in from our that seemed to be poisoned. She thought maybe the tackiness was drying pigeon vomit. Eeeeuw. I went and got a drink of water. I’d had the pigeon in my mouth. I could have told Elizabeth it wasn’t blood that was making the flapper tacky. But she hadn’t asked me. Still, I hadn’t thought it was… you know. Yech!

After the call, The Scribe told me Lil the Egg Lady was coming to get the pigeon soon. It would stay quiet in the box, thinking it was night. If it was injured, then it was safer there than in the parking lot or lane. Big Croaking Black Flappers live there, too, and they like to eat pigeons. Walter (Elizabeth’s idea to call him that) was fortunate that I found him.

Well, Lil the Egg Lady came and took Walter to rehab. The day went on as usual. Later in the afternoon, Elizabeth got in touch with Lil and asked her how Walter was doing. Was he badly hurt? Was he going to be all right? The answer was shocking.

“He has no injuries. He fell victim to the sticky traps people have been setting out for pigeons. Seems poison wasn’t working well enough for them. Stella almost had a permanent pigeon mustache. Even goo gone isn’t cutting it. Poor wee thing.”

Elizabeth responded, “Oh, no! What harm are they doing that people need to do them such cruelty! I wonder who is doing this…. Are you able to help Walter at all? Does the stickiness wear off over time if you can give him a home ’til then? I’ll gladly give you a donation to help look after him if you can. Or does he need to be euthanized? Please let me know whatever, Lil. And if you could take a picture of him, for me, I will put my head together with Stella and we’ll write about this. Thank you.”

“I took some photos and hope to also add to my blog.

“Several stores took wasp and bird sticky traps off the market after the photo of several chickadees stuck to one hit the net. But they still have them in Kenora stores. I tried Goo Gone, dish soap and rubbing and only moved it around. In desperate measures, I coated it with very fine sand to keep him from sticking to things and so he didn’t preen pure goo. His beak was glued shut from preening. I will keep him/it as I love my pidgies. Hopefully he will start a molt and get new ones, but have to figure out how to get a molt started.”

Poor Walter! He would have died a gruesome death if I hadn’t found him when I did. He could have starved or died of thirst or been attacked by a cat or Raven… How could two-leggers do such a horrible thing! Like Elizabeth, I fail to see how these gentle Rock Doves could possibly bother anyone. They live on the downtown rooftops, minding their own business. They frequently fly over a couple of blocks to hang out at their diner along the railway tracks, where they eat grain that has spilled out of the grain cars. They’re pretty friendly chaps, and they make a lovely sort of purring coo noise that travels down the chimneys in the wintertime (they congregate around the chimney openings to get warm in the winter).

Lil said we could share her pictures with you. If you’d like to follow Walter’s progress, she will probably keep us all informed on her blog, Iggy’s Wildlife Revisited. You’ll also learn about other adventures she has helping animals there. Anyway, here’s what Walter looked like while she was examining him:

You can see how Walter’s feathers are stuck together so he can’t fly anymore.

His backside is a real mess, And look at his feet! Poor Walter…

Oh, dear… It looks like I left some of my wool on him.

I feel confident that Lil the Egg Lady will look after him well. We’ll be keeping tabs on his progress when she visits us at the shop, too. And if I catch the two-legger who’s laying traps like this in our neighbourhood, GRRRRR… I might not be able to keep myself from biting him/her! If you know who it is, PLEASE! tell them to STOP!

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Today is my Birthday! I’m eight years old now. That makes me the oldest member of staff at the bookshop in two-legger years. Kay is still has me beat, though…

First Day in my New Home - Big Bed all to Myself!

First Day in my New Home (seven weeks old) – Big Bed all to Myself!

Elizabeth and I want to celebrate the day by doing something special. We can’t have a traditional party at the shop because it’s too full, and the crowds of people would probably overwhelm us. The usual bottlenecks would get all jammed up and two-leggers would get stuck and I’d need to hide because, much as I love my fans, sometimes I just need to take a wee break and be alone for a while, and cake and drinks in a bookshop really aren’t such a great idea and… well, you get the picture. What to do?

I thought up a grrrreat idea! It only works for my local fans, but then, so would a party, so this is what we’re going to do:

  1. Come in and see me at the bookshop today. Wish me happy birthday and I’ll give you half my usual cut (5%) off your book purchase!
  2. Sing me Happy Birthday and I’ll give you my whole commission on your purchase (10%).
  3. If you sing and hold up your book purchase and let the scribe take you picture with me for the blog and a poster of the celebration for the shop, Elizabeth will give you another 5% off your book purchase! Then I’ll have something to remember the day. That’s important to me because I’m getting old now and my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.

My most recent portrait. Not as cute as I once was, but I’m still very cuddlable! (Note the soft focus. We used that option to hide my wrinkles.)

I hope all my Kenora friends and visitors will drop in and wish me a Happy Birthday today. I’m really excited to see you all!

Things That Go Creak in the Night

Last night was terrible. I hardly got any sleep at all. Something was going on outside. Something very noisy. Every few minutes, it would pop, or creak, snap, or crunch.

Let’s be clear. I am not talking about Elizabeth’s knees here. She wasn’t even moving until I woke her up around midnight to make her aware of the situation out there.

Sometimes it sounded like someone was walking out on our balcony. Sometimes they were jumping on the roof, I think. Once it even sounded like someone was tapping loudly on the bedroom window. That last one really startled me.

As the night went on, I grew increasingly agitated. When Elizabeth told me to lie down and go to sleep, I went over to Kay’s room to try to get her to check on what was happening. She just snored back at me.

I pounced on Elizabeth’s bed, which, most of the time, doubles as my own. At first, Elizabeth spent some time trying to make me feel better. By five, though, she was getting a bit rude. I don’t understand why she was so cranky. I was just doing my job. And I was truly unnerved by all the strange snaps and pops. It was kind of like those banging lights the summer people like so much. They drive me round the bend with anxiety. By five o’clock, I was panting constantly and pacing wherever I found a little space. I tried hiding under the bed, but I’m too big for that.

At five, Elizabeth got so fed up with my distress that she told me to go outside and “see for yourself, Stella. There’s nobody there!”

I tore out the door and ran round the house, into the woods and over to Al and Joanne’s. Elizabeth was right. There was nobody anywhere. I was out until almost seven making absolutely sure. Then I was too hungry to care about anything other than eating.

And I was getting cold. Last night when we came home from the bookshop, it was -7 C. By midnight, the temperature had dropped to -22 C. Elizabeth says that the rapid drop in temperature was what was making the house and decking creak and make all those strange noises. I’m not so sure. I think it must have been aliens. I couldn’t check the rooftop, where a lot of activity seemed to occur, for tracks.

We’ve had a very busy day today. We’re both very tired. And now, as we near closing time, it is really beginning to show.

I found the camera and took this picture of Elizabeth this afternoon.Don't drool on the computer, Elizabeth! We need it to write my blog!

I found the camera and took this picture of Elizabeth this afternoon.Don’t drool on the computer, Elizabeth! We need it to write my blog!

She got even when she found my quiet place in the storage cupboard under the stairs...

She got even when she found my quiet place in the storage cupboard under the stairs…

 

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