Hi all -- Dianne here. Famous last words: "We don't need three animals in a motor home." Well, my friends and family won't be surprised (because they already know I'm dog-crazy), but we have already added a new furry baby to our family.
Meet Bandido (Spanish for bandit). Those of you who have read our blog for a while might remember the dog parade last winter that was a fund raiser for Cinderella Pet Rescue here in Mission, Texas. Cinderella is a no-kill shelter (see link).
Lots of RV'ers from the RV park next door as well as here in Retama have volunteered at Cinderella for several years, and foster dogs often come to play at our dog park.
We adopted Bandido this morning, and he has settled right in. First up: Meet Chaplin. The tails were wagging and noses sniffing, so that went really well. (We knew it would; Chaplin would get along with ANY dog).
Next was Charlie the cat. We weren't so sure about that one, but no problems there, either. Noses sniffing and Bandido's tail wagging. Charlie isn't the least bit afraid of anything, and Bandido is no exception.
We walked Chaplin and Bandido over to the dog park to play. Since there were quite a few dogs there at the time (all of them interested in the new pup in town), we took Bandido into the agility section where it was quieter. He was a bit overwhelmed at all the doggie attention. He'll be running and playing with the other dogs before we know it.
Here's the story behind Bandido:
A local bed and breakfast was burglarized and ransacked. When the owner and police were inspecting the damage, they heard something and found a small, dirty, black puppy hiding in one of the cabinets. When the pup was cleaned up at Cinderella, they discovered he wasn't black at all, but is mainly a blue heeler mix. They named him "Bandido" in honor of his heritage. It is not known whether Bandido found an open door and was looking for shelter inside, or whether the real bandits left him behind. At any rate, he's six months old and is very affectionate, calm, and smart.
He loves to give kisses to both Roger and I.
Since blue heelers are known to be intelligent and "need a job," we plan to use the agility course next door and try our hand at agility training. He seems very calm, though, so we're not sure what the rest of his "mix" is. He will be a great hiking buddy when we hit the road again next April. Can't you just picture him in a red bandana? I've already got one ready for him.
By no means does this mean I don't still ache for Jasper. I look at his picture and think about him every day. We thought we'd get another whippet, but decided it would be nice to rescue a dog-in-need this time.
Note to my cousin Charles: No, you can't have Bandido to herd your cattle, even though blue heelers are also called Australian cattle dogs. He does look longingly through the fence at the brahman cattle at the dog park. I'm sure he'd like to nip at their heels, given a chance.
Earlier this week I rode my bike over to the bird park next door (Bentsen Palm State Park). It received quite a bit of flood damage last June from Hurricane Alex, and parts of it are still under reconstruction. Sadly, most of the javelinas we made so much fun of last winter were lost in the flooding, so my only photos this time are birds.
At the green jay blind there was a lot of bickering with a squirrel who was hogging the bird feeder.
The birds finally won out, though.
I also saw a kiskadee this trip, plus an Altamira oriole, and a golden-fronted woodpecker.
Birders are flocking (pardon the pun) down here to the bird park to see a rare black-vented oriole that has taken up residence this winter. (My photo is of an Altamira oriole; I haven't seen the black-vented oriole yet). Problem is, the rare bird doesn't realize he's supposed to stay in the bird park, so he has been hanging out in the RV park and here at Retama. That means the birders who have flown in from around the country have also been wandering through our neighborhoods! Makes me feel smug, though, that I can sit in my backyard and see birds that they have flown across the country to see.
Left is a photo of a golden-fronted woodpecker at the bird blind in the park.
One of the interesting birds that hangs out near our back yard is a white-tailed kite. I'll try to get a photo of it. It is interesting because it is a pretty large bird, but it hovers in the air like a hummingbird, which makes it fun to watch. I also saw a loggerhead shrike this morning on our fence. So many birds, so little time....
I'll not rub it in about our 80-degree, sunny days down here, because I know my friends in Indiana are about to get hammered with a monster winter storm. I will tell you that this same storm that is headed your way is expected to drop our daytime highs from 84 to 39 on Wednesday! At least no ice here, so I won't complain.
Here's the whippet photo of the day that I took after our latest trip to the dog park with Chaplin and Bandito. For those of you wondering how Chaplin is doing, he ran and played with Bandito this last time like he hasn't run and played for MONTHS, since way before Jasper got sick. Bandito learned to fetch a ball on the second try. He's a keeper!!