Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Grandpa Axl and Bessie, this morning

My little helper was distracted this morning while I was putting Mom's shoes on. Old man Axl was laying right next to me, still half asleep, and Bess thought it was more important to wake him up with some kisses than help me tie shoe laces. Which was okay with me.

So, off to fetch the trusty camera. I haven't posted new pictures in awhile and I always welcome the excuse to do so.

I am always amazed at watching the interaction between Bess and Ruff and Bess and Axl. Ruff and I did most of the raising of the little girl (if you can call it that) while Grumpy Grandpa Axl quickly set the rules he did not want to be bothered. In the end Grandpa Axl turned out to be a big sweetheart and wound up being treated by Bessie with total respect, which later turned into puppy love, and Ruff became the boy-toy for the bigger and faster growing little girl.

Once in awhile Bess even tries to get Axl to play with her which leads me to some concern because he is not too steady on his feet. But I still see Bess trying to push one of her Kong toys into his mouth to initiate a game of tugs like she does with Ruff. I have to remind her that the old man is very delicate and she has to be careful around him.

Bess does not take instructions very well. I am no expert on how they get to learn new things but Bess seems to always try and push the envelope all the time. Like walking out on the pool cover.
The way things were going last Summer it became obvious that the in-ground swimming pool was not getting much use. The joke around here was it cost me $50 every time I jumped in the water. It was also a terrible waste of time maintaining the chemical levels and the frequent vacuuming. So last Fall when I closed up the pool for the Winter I made plans not to open the pool at all this year. I bought an extra large, heavy duty cover to lay on top of the safety cover and secured it all around with covered trays filled with water to weigh it down. 
Ruff has always been allowed to go out back and knows not to walk too close to the pool edge and when the water trays were put in place it created a defined path that was not to be crossed. Of course it wasn't like that when he was very little.
And when he got bigger he and Axl used to run across the cover and through the snow playing. This picture was taken 5 years ago when Axl was a spry, young 9-year old boy and that's the pool diving board behind them.
 I did not allow Bess to go out back until I was sure she understood what the water trays were for. I kept reminding her not to step over them. Only this past month has she and Ruff been allowed out back without supervision. So once in awhile I would look out the kitchen window and see the little explorer trying to test the strength of the cover. The safety cover is anchored with springs at the end of the support straps and it works just like a trampoline but not for that purpose. The springs allow flexing to bear the load weight of snow and rain water. 
We all know how much kids enjoy trampolines and Bess seems to be no different. But the collected rain water has to be pumped off or it gets too heavy, and sometimes frogs and birds come out and swim in it just like they would in any pond which is what attracts Bess's attention. And it scares me to death sometimes when I catch her walking out on the cover. Hopefully, some day she will learn.
So now there's one more thing I have to yell at her for. The little girl has eagle-eye vision and can spot the smallest movement a hundred feet away. When we go out front I need to see what she sees before she sees it, and if I do I'll tell her, BESSIE, NO SQUIRRELS! otherwise she'll be dashing across the street. And our next door neighbor has an oak tree in his front yard that is always dropping acorns so you know what that does. Now when she's out back I'll open the door or the kitchen window and yell, BESSIE, LEAVE THE FROGS ALONE.


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