Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Lost Oprah Interview

Despite my humility, I have been asked to share about my media stardom.

Papa & I share work responsbilities at the country music radio station. Yee hah! With work leash on, I walk myself to Papa's truck and we begin our commute to work.

(Enter control room)

Dukie: Woof!

DJ: Dukie!!!

DISCLAIMER: Human-to-dog and dog-to-human captions, interpretations and translation provided by Papa.

Dukie: What do you have for me to do today?

DJ: Here's some e-mail requests . . .

Dukie: Just lay 'em here on my chin rest, thanks.

Dukie: Who are the 2 dogs chewing on my rawhide?

DJ: Introducing your very special guest: Oprah is here with camera crew and her dogs in tow!

Oprah: So, do you mind if we observe America's Radio Ranch dog in action?

Dukie: Please be my guest. Just keep your dogs away from my rawhide chewie, thanks. By the way, love your show, especially the episode with Caesar Millan.

Oprah: Why thank you, Dukie!

Dukie (on Request Line): Yes, uh-uh, got it, "Old dogs, children and watermelon wine by Tom T. Hall. We'll get that on right away. Thanks for callin' . . .

Oprah: How do you manage to juggle your ranch and radio chores?

Dukie: It's a matter of priorities, pacing oneself and enjoying what I do.

Oprah: Do you have any personal music favorites?

Dukie: I confess that while Papa's not looking I always schedule "Ol' Red" by Blake Shelton, and "Ticks" from Brad Paisley--tunes like that.

Oprah: The show really does go to the dogs then.

Dukie: Excuse me, Oprah, your dogs owe me a new rawhide . . . where's Caesar when you need him . . . ?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Baby Invasion

Voila--a couple desert baby barn bunnies! Mama Thumper named them Peter & Bugs. The Ranch is a neverending contrasting life cycle. The bunnies were born in Apache's stall. Apache is our oldest horse--35 years old--the equivalent to a 100 year old human.

I need to be on the lookout for our resident roadrunner and ensure he sticks to his lizard diet. Despite my protective instincts, I still love to give Mama Thumper a good chase every now & then. She runs like the wind, and so do I.

Speaking of babies, here's one that Papa calls, "The Baby." Introducing Dusty:

Introducing Dusty's mother, Jazz. Obviously Dusty favors her father's genetics.

Although Dusty is the now the Ranch's tallest horse, Jazz is the ranch's answer to "Where's the beef?" Try to picture a mare version of Arnold Schwartzenegger--we call her "Big Momma." Above, Big Momma bravely awaits Papa's "Jump" command, on the edge of a cliff.

Dusty and Jazz are Appaloosas and although there is little resemblance, their feisty personalities are identical. You don't want to catch Big Momma or The Baby when they get up on the wrong side of the barn. Just ask me! Dusty literally kicked my face in and used up one of my 9-lives. One day Dusty interpreted my playing--barking and jumping on her--as predatory. She broke my nose and jaw. Papa's car looked like a bloody crime scene after he carried me into Doc's hospital. I learned my lesson. Thank God I am part cat.

Have you ever heard of puppy love? It does exist. Louise has a crush on me. My "chair" is truly a "loveseat." There is no place to hide.

Below, Thelma & Louise sweetly awaiting for Mama & Papa to leave the patio area, so they can resume their wild ways:

Last night Queenie visited my dreams. I followed her tracks through magical warm snow.

I found her smiling, and we quietly sat together in this peaceful place.

In order to get back before sunrise for my ranch responsibilities, I ran in my sleep to get back. Papa nudged me awake, as I softly yelped goodbye to Queenie. She remained behind--waiting for me, Mama, Papa, Thelma & Louise to join her there some day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rattlesnake Alley

10:55 am -- Rattlesnake patrol time again. Last night Papa & I almost stepped on a baby rattler at "Rattlesnake Alley," pictured below. I'll make sure the little guy is gone.

10:20 a.m. Swing by Soapie's and see if the eggs hatched yet.

10:23 a.m. There she goes, off doing her simulated broken wing flappin' and carrying-on to divert my attention away from the nest. Let's take a peek from my overhead dog's eye view dog cam:

Ya-hoooooollll!!! Two of them--snuggled together in opposite directions. Shhhh . . . I'd better not alarm them; also, need to trot out of here so as not to upset Soapie much.

10:28 a.m. Hooking up with Papa. More ranch winged friends to see. Papa is visiting with Mothra, who loves to hang out near the bug zapper and tarp near the hay barn.

10:40 a.m. Checking out the horse stall perimeter; no sign of the tiny rattlesnake baby. So many babies this time of year!

10:50 a.m. Unwrap Thelma & Louise from the terracotta garden hose keeper and put the hose back.

10:55 a.m. Report back to Queenie. Did I tell you? She's back!

11:00 a.m. Take a rest; Queenie watching over. Can you see her?

Here . . . let's get closer . . .

It's good to have her back.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

When dogs cry

I have not eaten for two days--not since papa carried Queenie to the car. She was very sick. The ranch has been operating without our Chief Executive Watchdog.

Until now, Queenie instructed me on what I could and could not do. At 2 1/2 dog years old (about 23 human years), I have much to learn from Queenie's 15 dog years (or 73 human years). (Us canines age 10.5 human years the first 2 years of our life. At 3, we start aging 4 human years per dog year.)

Recently, I heard Queenie's dog tags jingling. I jumped up and ran to welcome her back. But, it was just papa with her collar & tags in his hands.

I've been sleeping in places Queenie used to stay, so I can be ready when she returns. Humans say dogs have short memories, but they are wrong. My memories of Queenie give me courage to face days without her. The love between us cannot be disguised by her bossing me and my teasing her.

That is the way it is with dogs--there must be a leader. For now, I am acting CEW -- watching over the ranch, and Thelma & Louise.

Queenie and I will be together again someday soon; dog time passes quickly.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Oh my Gawd-dah!

Is it safe? There's a life-changing event that may just take away another of my 9-lives. Don't turn on the light! Thelma & Louise may find me.

When we were first introduced, Thelma politely said, "Hello."

"It's a good thing we rescued her," Papa said.

Mama mentioned, "No telling what would have happened to her, because of her deafness."

("Aha! A rescue," I thought.)

Louise, was equally as cordial and proper with her canine etiquette of "Hello; glad to meet you."

"Awwwwe," Mama said. "They're little angels."

"It's amazing how well-behaved they are," Papa agreed.

(I agreed in thought, "They are sweet little thangs.")

Then when when mama & papa left the room:

Please call an exorcist.

Above, Louise stealthily munches on papa's corral cleaning shoes, while Thelma distracts papa with a smile and wagging stub. "OUCH!" Papa exclaims. Louise vaporizes, leaving me the "dog of interest" at the scene of the crime.

Here they add a nice frayed touch to this expensive Navajo rug:

"Yip, yip, squeak, squeak," puppy for "Goo goo, dah dah." I told them, "I am not your father; but your mother is over there..." and point my nose in Queenie's direction. Queenie snarls out the pet door.

Where have all the flowers gone? One flower bed down, nine to go.

So many places to dig; so little time. Below, I sense a ground breaking about to take place:

My indestructible toys became destructible.

This is one of the run-in-my-sleep nightmares. Please wake me up!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rattlesnake Patrol

10 a.m It's rattlesnake curfew time. I'm off on rattlesnake patrol.

I make sure rattlesnakes are tucked away for their daytime siesta. If I see one, my job is to bark until Papa comes with my pooper scooper. He herds the snake into the scooper and we escort it off property.

Rattlers control packrats, ground squirrels, rats, and mice. Our resident roadrunner, hawks, bull & king snakes control the rattlers.

Rattlers hide in the haybarn, where rodents visit for grain. They also visit horse stalls where packrats cruise for morsels dropped by the horses.

I haven't been vaccinated with the rattlesnake vaccine, so I must be careful. Buzz, hiss, and rattle is rattlesnake language for "I'm gonna bite ya', if you don't stay away." I take a hint.

10:17 a.m. Breaktime. Swing by Soapie's.

Soapie is our resident home dove. She found us after a head-on collision with our dining room window. After hearing a "thud," I discovered her unconscious on the front porch, below the window. With my cold wet nose, and a wet slurp, she came around. Soapie decided to stay and made her home in a front porch planter. Look close, you can see her barely peeking up through the top of the foliage.

Soapie has had 6 "litters" since she dropped in. She is sitting on a litter now.

10:24 a.m. Soapie does her broken wing thang.

Soapie will fly away from her nest, drop to the ground and feign a broken wing, when a predator threatens. Predators see a bird with a broken wing as weak prey and easy prospect.

While she's on the ground flappin', let's see how if her latest eggs have hatched...

Nope, not yet.

10:29 a.m. Break over. Resume rattlesnake patrol.

Rattlesnakes don't want to be around us any more than we want to cuddle up to them. Humans think rattlers attack; it seems the opposite to me.

The bull snake looks similar to rattlesnakes. It is harmless, and I have to be careful not to bark a false alarm to Papa. You won't find rattlesnakes where bull snakes live. Bullsnakes love a good rattlesnake meal.

10:42 a.m. All clear of rattlesnakes--time to return home.

10:43 a.m. This red-flowered barrel cactus reminds me of a fire hydrant. I just have to make sure I don't get too close.

11:00 a.m. I need to report back, toy in mouth, to the CEW (Chief Executive Watchdog).

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Introducing Papa's boot bud, Quentin. I call him Hairboy, or Hairy. Too bad the little fella doesn't understand dogspeak.

(Above, Quentin readies for horseback riding)

We all have chores. Quentin is the ranch's CEA--Chief Executive Arachnid. Hairy oversees the herding and humane slaughter of ranch insect populations. Sometimes he gets lazy and hangs out under the bug zapper, hoping for leftovers. (Even though he does prefer his meals rare versus well done.) When Hairy shirks his responsibilities it really bugs me! Hairboy risks losing his position to his assistant (pictured below).

Our resident wolf spider, Wolfy, creeping up to papa's finger for a little lovin' and affection--politiking for Hairy's job. We always know, by mommie's screams, where Wolfy is patrolling.

Here I am doing one of my many important daily duties--monitoring the rain gauge.

It always reads zero point zero inches here. I think it must be broken.

We don't always work the ranch. We have our rest & playtimes. This is my chair, which I outgrew, but still opt to use.

Quentin groomed and on his way to church:

Quentin drags his many feet before helping with coral cleaning (note look of disgust)

I don't mind cleaning corrals with papa. Horse poop is tasty. I need to go and check the rain gauge . . . and grab a corral snack . . .