Rescue Journal

Unexpected troublemakers

Jean  ·  Oct. 29, 2006

Today I had a little job to finish at Saints - re-installing a small gate between the kitchen area and the rooms at the back of the house. Since Carol's working late, I went over in the late afternoon figuring to take half an hour to do the gate before putting the barn animals to bed.

Now, I should mention that I do not do handyperson chores by instinct. I learned a few basics of carpentry and painting when I was a young girl working alongside my dad, but most of my home repairs have been learned from how-to manuals and trial and error during the many years I was a single mom with no discretionary income to hire fix-it people. So I have to think through every step of every task or I end up with boards cut at the wrong angle, screws in the wrong place, or measurements that don't measure up. But rehanging the gate seemed a simple enough task - I had cut and painted the new support posts yesterday and thoroughly cleaned the gate, and I had the right anchors, screws and tools to do the job.

SAINTS was surprisingly quiet - it must have been a busy day earlier, because the dogs were all snoozing. No woodles out of Copper, no insistent yapping from Phoebe. But within a few minutes I was wishing I had added earplugs to my tool box. The troublemaker? Jack. Little, cute, mechanical dog Jack. Doing her frantic "I'm going to have a heart attack if you don't feed me or pick me up or talk to me or let me out of here" song and dance. Nonstop. And loudly.

So I carefully set out the tools I will need where I will need them - drill, screwdriver, sander, anchors, screws, gate and supporting posts - on the floor where the gate is to be installed, and then take a few minutes to attend to Jack. And just as I am returning her to the living room, I turn around to see Jazz, who I hadn't even noticed was nearby, pee - all over the tools, the gate, and the floor where I am about to work. It was a BIG pee. And her aim was perfect.

So I get the mop and the paper towels and clean everything up. Then I realize I forgot the level, so I pop outside to get it from my car. When I return, Michael has planted himself in the exact spot where the gate is to go. Not just NEAR the spot. IN the spot - crosswise from wall to wall, from where the right hand post will go to where the left hand post will go. Like a gate. And he is NOT moving. I try cookies. I try "Michael - MOVE!". I shove. I get a leash. I cuddle and coerce and coax. I finally put on my really mad voice and he reluctantly budges just far enough that I can get on with the job.

Within minutes, both Michael and Jazz decide they better check that I'm doing it right, and two big furry faces are peering over my shoulder -one from the left, one from the right. And there is no light in that hallway, and dusk is setting in, and they don't understand me when I echo the words my dad said many times: "Move - you're blocking my light!"

Fortunately Jazz can be bribed with cookies, so I tricked her into the entrance area and closed the gate on her. Michael eventually decided I was doing an okay job, and lay down a few inches away to watch, allowing me to get the job done - all to the accompaniment of Jack's continuing drama queen act.

Work done, tools put away, barn animals to bed after a brief game of musical stalls. Toonie had once again turned Carl's stall into her private boudoir and ensuite, so I had to remove the evidence before Carl would consent to come in.

I go home. Usually my Charley is the first to the door and very demanding of attention, and Isaac plods along behind. And usually as soon as I get home from a few hours away, I take both dogs for a romp in the back four acres, with Charley eagerly running ahead and Isaac being coaxed along behind. Today, Isaac was waiting by the door and burst out the second it was open - heading straight for the gate to the back pasture. He does not understand this daylight savings thing - I tell him it's dark and we can't go, but he's insistent. Easy going, never make a fuss, go-with-the-flow Isaac digs in his heels - or his paws - and woofs and scratches at the gate until I finally get the flashlight and take him for a little romp. Charley, meanwhile, just lies in the driveway and looks at us like we're crazy.

Ya just never know who the troublemakers will be.



hey diane,
i will be posting images of the cards tonight, so you can let me know which ones you want after that.


Jean, your story for the day should have won a prize! The description was so funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnny! You are also an indispensible part of SAINTS - sure wish I could do some of that handy work but I will leave it up to "the old man" who thinks hiring is better :(

I give you 100% for your enthusiasm and of course Carol does things I couldn't imagine being able to accomplish myself. Makes me feel soooooooooooooo lazy out here in the prairie. How is Jack doing and most of all, how is PIPPA doing? Is she enjoying this Halloween night? I still think of her often and keep hoping I will be able to come back to SAINTS and spend some quality time with Carol and all the rest. I will bring hip waders as well!! I have been selling stuff on Ebay in the hopes of raising money for SAINTS. Every little bit helps and this is my way of doing what I can from so far away. Hey...are the SAINTS Christmas Cards ready or selling.........I had an e-mail back from "somebody" who said they will let me know when they are - I can't wait! I want to spend this Christmas spreading the word of your Presents from God! I bought a book today Carol when I was in the City where my daughter lives. I know you would enjoy it ~ A story of the many dogs he rescues. I will send it on to you when I am finished. I hope you enjoy it as much as I am. The title is "THE DOGS WHO FOUND ME - WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM PETS WHO WERE LEFT BEHIND"..........does this sound a little like CAROL???? Hmmmmmmmmm.........I thought so! BEST OF LUCK CAROL, JEAN and all the Angels at SAINTS. I miss that place dearly. Love the blogs and read them daily.


Ha ha - I noticed the lifting-the-leg thing. That's why it took me a moment to realize exactly which dog it was whose steady stream of urine was heading straight for the cordless drill! She certainly has better aim than certain men I know.


lol...she originally got that nick name because she used to flood the hallway at the old place and i needed hip waders to get out of bed in the morning. did you notice she lifts her leg and pees like a boy? she is such a tank thru and thru...stubborn, strong minded, determined, and always does exactly whatever it is she wants to do. and she can piss like a racehorse too! i love her. she may be blind and deaf but she has presence!


NOW you tell me about Jazz's nickname!! Ummm...Carol, are there any other nicknames I should know about?

No harm done to the tools - the entertainment value the troublemakers provided more than compensated for the inconvenience of cleaning pee from a few tools - LOL.


and ellen, it was a really nice visit, we are all looking forward to seeing you again.


like everything else up here, nothing is simple or easy or straight forward... AND...there is usually several different reasons why they all have their very special and unique nick names...jazz "the blind tank" is not simply because she will mow you over and flatten you into the mud, it is also because she has a tank sized bladder and when she goes, she really goes. sorry she peed on your tools, but that is jazz for you. she makes sure she is noticed.


Hi Carol and Jean,

I can now vividly imagine the scene of Jean's attempt at fixing the gate with her didicated helpers after spending some time with you both and Mo yesterday afternoon. I'm just howling at the very discriptive picture of Jazz's BIG pee... ohoh, here comes's Toby to see what the giggling is all about.

Thanks again for the enjoyable visit yesterday, I'll pop in again for sure.