Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Detour for Petey

Earlier this week John and Petey came to pick me up at work as usual these days, when we ran into bad traffic. Rather than sit and idle, John decided to try cutting through some neighborhood streets to get around the trouble spot. I enjoyed it because I like looking at houses and yards.

I enjoyed it, that is briefly. Petey got quite distressed as soon as we turned of the street we usually take to get home. He assumed the navigator position of standing with his back paws in my lap and his front paws on the dashboard. When this didn't help he began vocalizing. John was undeterred by the stance and whining, even when Petey increased the volume. We tried to explain that everything was fine and we were actually getting closer to our house even if it was a different route. That didn't matter to Petey.

He jumped in John's lap. Perhaps he was thinking the view was different over there, but we think he was trying to take the steering wheel. He was trying to get his paws on it when I grabbed him back in to my lap. He struggled the rest of the way home trying to get back over there. We made it home without incident, but we are going to have to stick to the same path from now on, unless we are willing to teach Pete how to drive.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Bird in the House...

On Tuesday morning I was ready to leave the house for work, and I went in to the kitchen on my way to the laundry room to get Petey's morning treat. John was brushing his teeth. Upon entering the kitchen I was distracted by something on the window. The window itself was open about 6 inches, and the shade was down to just above where the window was open. I pulled the shade to see what was going on, only to learn that what I thought was outside was actually between the inside glass window and the outside screen. The screen had a very small tear up near the top and a baby bird had gotten between the two windows.

Quick as a wink, the bird, probably already fearful and then further startled by the moving shade, slipped down to the open window and flew in to the house. I screamed. I didn't wait for Petey to alert John of the very serious situation in the kitchen. I had no idea if this baby bird had already learned the famous bird defense mechanism of pecking on the head. I could take no chances and assume that that is one of the first lessons baby birds learned and that this one aced the lessons.

John very calmly said it was OK that the bird was in the house and that he would get it out. He even finished brushing his teeth before he strolled over to the front door and calmly opened it and propped it open. During this time, I kept John apprised of the bird's exact location in the house. I used my very loud outside voice for this so that there would be no miscommunication, all the while assuming my own defense against the pecking on the head attack that might come at any second.

John finally sauntered in to the laundry room with a broom. He held the broom up and gently led the bird towards the front of the house. Once the bird flew through the kitchen it saw the open front door and flew to freedom. I was able to relax again, with no pecking on the head threat in sight. I got Petey's treat, so as to proceed with the day as planned, but Petey was no where to be found.

John thought he'd gotten in his box, with all of the screaming & defense against pecking on the head going on. Before I got out of the room to check, John opened the back door and there was Pete. He was calmly standing there looking at the back door, waiting for someone to open it.

John and I each have our own theory as to why Petey made a hasty exit from the house during all the drama. He thinks that Petey couldn't take all the screaming & defense against pecking on the head and left. I think Petey was leading the way for the bird to exit, and circled back around to throw the bird off his trail. He, I'm sure, was trying to save me from getting pecked on the head.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Petey's Car Ride

John and I have been sharing a car most of the summer while his is getting some long awaited and much needed body restoration work. In recent weeks, it has worked it that John has taken me to work each morning and then goes about his day. Classes aren't in session right now, so he doesn't have to keep a set schedule. Generally, he goes to his office until early afternoon and then home. He and Petey have a couple of hours of male bonding time until it is time to come pick me up from work. Petey always accompanies him. The scenario goes something like this: When it is time to leave John asks if Petey wants to come get me. Petey affirms his desire to accompany John by racing to the door and getting there first. Petey calmly rides in the passenger seat, not wandering around the car or trying to get in John's lap at all. Once I come out, Petey allows me to sit in the passenger seat and he rides in my lap. He often needs to sniff my purse or any other article I have brought along with me, but other than that, he's quite content to sit in my lap and enjoy the ride home. It is a lovely picture of domestic tranquility. It has worked well for the three of us. The only problem was one day last week when the car needed gas. The gas station is not on the same path we travel to and from the office each day. We failed to inform Petey of this minor detail. The moment we turned a different direction. Petey popped up out of my lap like a rocket. He put is paws on the dashboard and looked out. He immediately sensed danger and began to alert us. He paced around the car alternating between whining and growling. We realized our serious error and told Petey we were just going a few blocks down this road to the gas station. He would not be deterred. He ratcheted up the vocalization when John got out of the car to pump the gas, and did not stop until John returned to the relative safety of the car. He resumed his position with his back paws in my lap and his front paws on the dashboard until he was able to navigate us back to our usual path. Once we returned to the street we usually take to get home. He laid back down and enjoyed the rest of the ride.