Pay Attention – #1LinerWeds

Walking Maddie has been a challenge this summer. The heat and humidity have not been supportive of physical activity. Of course, the other part of the challenge is not weather related, it’s related to the fact that Maddie is at the end of the leash. Maddie isn’t a social creature. She doesn’t like other dogs being walked on her streets, and she’s not particularly fond of people. She can’t stand to have anyone walking behind us, and she doesn’t like the Parks and Recreation crews working in the her park.

Maddie often stares ahead, and sometimes behind, at nothing, and growls or snarls at the nothingness and refuses to walk in that direction. Evil spirits, I guess. She barks at people, despite my asking her to stop and despite my reassurances that the people are nice and that the lady with the walker is no threat – I could totally take her in a fair fight. In light of all this “normal” behavior, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I don’t always pay attention to her signals.

On Labor Day, we left for our walk before 7:00 am, to beat the heat. It was cool enough that I decided to treat Maddie to the long way around the park. As we approached the concession stand, Maddie stopped. I tugged on her harness, but she remained steady. At first, I was worried, because that’s how she acts when she’s having a seizure, but she was much more alert than she is during one of those. I tugged again and suggested that we get moving, and she looked at me as if to say:

“Be quiet dummy! Something is out there!”

Since it was clear that she wasn’t moving. I waited with her for about 15 more seconds before I saw what she had sensed. A turkey vulture swooped into the parking lot from behind the concession stand. It was very low to the ground and angled up to the top of a utility pole at a very steep rate of climb. I didn’t have my camera out, or I would be sharing photos of that homely bird’s amazing wingspan. About 5 seconds later, a second bird flew past and took a spot on one of the light stands on the ball field. I managed a poor picture of it as it was landing.

Maddie remained motionless as I snapped a few photos of the two of them on their respective perches. When we were ready to move, she opted to go back the way we came. All the way out of the park, she kept looking back at Heckle and Jeckle (I know, they were magpies) until we were well beyond the park entrance.


This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

Does today’s gallery include a few shots of Heckle and Jeckle? indubitably, it does. Also, there are a few pics of some of the other birds and critters we share the neighborhood with.

84 thoughts on “Pay Attention – #1LinerWeds

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  1. Those are Huge birds!

    There’s a lot to be learned from dogs but I hadn’t thought of this one. Yes, we need to pay more attention. What we learn or with what depth we experience our lives, all depends on the quality of our attention.

    So good to be back visiting your blog, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to see you at the top of the stack, Damyanti – welcome back!

      Animals have a much keener sense of their surroundings than humans. I wish I could have captured her expression. It was clear that she didn’t understand why I was not on alert like she was.

      Like

  2. Awww…poor Maddie. I had a cat at one time that was the feline version of her. Afraid of everything (except his mom), including his own shadow. I feel much sympathy for your pretty girl because she can’t understand that no one is going to hurt her…she’s too sweet for that. I imagine that you wish you could get inside Maddie’s pretty red head and tell her everything is okay (where’s a Vulcan mind meld when you need one) so that she can relax.

    I don’t blame Maddie for not wanting to mess with the vultures. They’re a bit creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, thanks Mary. I I could get inside her head, I’d be there for a while, The first thing I’d do is check to see where the nerve from her bladder is unplugged. She goes out for the last time around 7:30 pm, and at 5:30 am, she doesn’t have to pee!

      It’s weird walking her. Some people walk right by us and she doesn’t even seem to notice. Others are on the other side of the street, and she goes nuts. I was fine not getting any closer to the vultures.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, I need one of her unplugged nerves as well!

        Dan, my apologies, but I accidentally deleted your comment from my post (fat fingers). When you have time, can you go back and comment again? I promise to be more careful with it this time and, no, it was not in my trash or spam…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can only imagine Maddie’s thoughts. “Damn, Dan, there is a HUGE A$$ BIRD BEHIND THAT THING and you’re making noise like you WANT to meet it up close.” Way to go, Maddie! That’s a girl!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Remind me not to walk with you and Janet – “oooh, maybe there’s dead person over there…” Maddie is keeping me safe – from vultures, evil spirits and the apparent ninja-warrior-walker-lady. Our hearing really does seem inadequate compared to theirs.

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  4. Those are really ugly birds those Turkey Vultures! No wonder Maddie refused to budge. I totally get it. There are times my cats stare into “thin air” “seeing” something and for the life of me I, being only human, don’t see what they see. Have fun with that learning curve with the new camera, Dan. My turn will be soon enough. LOL Loved the pics and totally enjoyed your writing as well. Have a great day today! 🐾🐾🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy – I’m glad we stayed away from the vultures, since their defense when threatened is to hiss and throw-up on you.

      I’m enjoying the camera, but I have to get better at knowing which feature to use when.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have every confidence in you that eventually you will get the hang of this new camera. It takes time with hands on learning. Wait until I fumble and bumble with the new camera that I will be getting soon. I don’t really look forward to it on account I know my camera that I have right now inside and out. And that is a really comfortable feeling. 😁

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  5. “My wife says, if something happens to me, she’s going to have my legs stuffed for Maddie.” Now, that would be a classic one-liner for you!! Still laughing. 😂😂

    Great shots of Maddie, as always. Love the funky clouds and the birds caught in flight. Heckle and Jeckle are very ugly and very big. Rather intimidating!!

    Glad to see granny is still making the rounds, walker be damned!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I forgot……when I was a kid my grandma and her sisters called that pretty yellow flower the Popcorn Flower because it kinda looks like big kernels of popped corn with lots of butter on them!!

      And, because I’m battling zero today, I didn’t acknowledge how nice it was of MuMu to make an appearance and brighten our day!!
      🔹 Ginger 🔹

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    2. Thanks Ginger. Maddie likes to use my legs and my feet as pillows. She will sometimes stand up and use her paws to rearrange me so that she can be comfortable. My wife is too short to provide the support Maddie needs.

      The vultures are intimidating. When the two of them took up positions on either side of us, I was ready to move along.

      There’s something about that woman with the walker. Maddie growls at her from a long distance away. I doubt we’ll ever get much closer to her than this.

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  6. Was Maddie scared? I saw a video of an eagle on YouTube grabbing a giant goat off a cliff and flying away with it. I would not have been able to carry that goat myself for more than 10m without resting. It seemed too heavy, but the eagle just picked it up as if it were nothing. Those birds are amazing. I don’t know if that vulture would have attacked Maddie, seems unlikely. The amazing thing is the way it doesn’t have feathers on its head. The vultures on this side of the world are equally, if not more, bald. I have wondered at that. How all of them worldwide don’t have feathers on their heads. Evolution followers make their points about adaptation and all, which is fine, but sometimes it seems that conscious effort was put in removing those feathers from the vulture’s head, especially considering it has to dig into rotting carcasses with its head. Adaptation alone should have made humans to develop hooves instead of soft feet. How long was it before there were shoes, with all the thorns, rocks and sharp things out there in the wild? Apes live in trees and snakes have scales and tough muscles on their bellies. Why not people? Ha,ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting questions, Peter. There are days I wish I had thicker feet. Maddie wasn’t scared, but she shows a certain amount of respect for birds like this. Even crows. These guys tend to only eat dead things, but I was fine avoiding them.

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  7. We had temporary dog sitting duty this weekend. And just a few moments of what is going through Kia’s brain. So I can relate just a little. No vultures this weekend though. One spring there were a dozen roosting in the trees above the metro park path. The trick is to remain calm and keep walking. What ever you do don’t look dead. Like those little mystery flowers Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dan – well she knows her mind … but am glad her owners are sociable! Amazing shot of the turkey vulture … lovely story about Maddie and her quirks – quite sensible sometimes!! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hilary. Maddie gets easier to deal with, the more we understand her quirks. She often acts as if she hasn’t got a clue, and then she senses something like this and we just have to shake our heads and wonder.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We had a previous Setter that absolutely refused to walk by a certain house. We just labeled it the “Devil House” and avoided that street. I’m guessing she heard these guys coming. Pretty good hearing.

      They are weird looking / acting birds, but I guess somebody has to eat dead things.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, sounds as if Maddie knows what’s around any corner! Dogs can be trusted on smell before sight. My dogs so the same stop, I’m not going that way! Great photos! Always a nice variety! Have a happy week! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Tee-hee! This post is huge fun, Dan. LOL…Heckle and Jeckle… Of course I’m much too young to have any idea what you’re talking about… (Ouch! Darn that lightning striking!)
    Terrific critter shots, and love the ones of the fur kids. MuMu with her whiskers in “happy position.” Have a great rest of the week. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my. Who to feel sorrier for-you or Maddie. Poor dear, all those threats to ruin her outing. It is nice to see the vultures though. We had some amazing ones in CR. BTW, those are absolutely beautiful ‘weeds’.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bird dogs know best! :D
    Heckle and Jeckle are magpies?!? I always thought they were crows! (They advertise Indiana Beach, “There’s more than corrrrn in Indiaaaanaaaa, at Indianaaaa Beach!”) Look at me, learnin on a Wednesday! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I expect Maddie could smell the birds first of all, then saw or heard them. I take notice of our garden birds’ reactions – they are aware of dangers far sooner than we are and I’m sure, also, can perceive things we humans don’t even know about. We don’t have turkey vultures here, but get sparrow hawks (that the small birds ‘tell’ us about) and also Red Kite and buzzards.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Heckle and Jeckle. Boy, does that bring back memories. We have some here, too. They are big! As to paying attention, dogs always know everything. Really. I did not know Maddie has seizures. Our first dog did, too. Makes me love Maddie all the more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jennie. Maddie has epilepsy, and some other neurological issues. Sometimes, she just freezes and then acts very much like she doesn’t know where she is or why she’s there. This was different. She knew something was out there, and she knew we should wait.

      Heckle and Jeckle were one of my favorite cartoons. I’m glad to take you back to that time.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I love your relationship with Maddie and how you love her with all her issues. Our walker coon hound does not like other dogs since she sees them as competition, but she loves people who might give her some food. Maddie is a smart girl.They all have their strengths and peculiarities like people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks JoAnna. We have adapted to having Maddie. It’s been harder than the other three setters, but she really is sweet…most of the time. She seems to have a low threshold for people and other dogs. She usually barks, but not always. One day, a guy stopped his car and motioned to me to come to the passenger side door. I was trying to explain that Maddie would go nuts, but she was very calm. He brought the window down and handed me a dog biscuit. He said he loved dogs but couldn’t have one, so he gave biscuits to the ones he meets. Maddie was quiet the entire time. It seemed that she knew he was OK.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Maddie was right to be wary of those birds. They’re HUGE! If they decided to tag-team her, she’d be dog nuggets! And I don’t know about Dan vs. Lady With Walker. She looks pretty feisty to me. I don’t reckon I’d give you better than even money, if she got to use the walker in the fight.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t trust those birds not to DIY some carrion, if they don’t find any on the shelf. And I agree that Maddie could make the difference. She could always get in amongst the legs of the walker and sow confusion.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I and Sarah are always hunting for insects, birds, reptiles and God knows what not. Sarah has this urge to capture everything on the camera and Iove to research. For me it is a good departure from my hectic writing schedule.

    Liked by 2 people

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