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DogTipper

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The boys

Poet (whippet) and Streamer (saluki/tazi) out mafficking about on a sunny November Afternoon.

poet streamer 1

poet stremer 5

poet streamer 4

poet streamer 2

poet streamer 6

popo 1

popo

 

 

Natural History

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The Hound and the Wild Bitch

plott hound

He bought the young Plott and named her Crockett, and he trained to hunt rac oons and gray foxes in the overgrown coverts that stretched out behind his house.

He was a school administrator by trade, but the demands of the job meant he could slip in and out when the cold nights of November came slipping down upon the hills.

He had run Walkers on red foxes as a boy, and he’d always had a beagle or two, but when his last beagle passed on to that Valhalla of cottontail chases, he went looking for a big hound to run.

When he saw the ad in the farm classified, he rushed off and plunked down the $ 250 for a little long-eared brindle pup and began the process of turning her into a first-rate varmint dog.

Crockett came from a long-line of hard driving bear dogs, but in these hills, the bears rarely graced the overgrown woods, and the law strictly forbade anyone from running bears with hounds.

So Crockett’s education was to run the raccoon and the gray fox until they took to the trees, where the man would come and blast them out of the trees with his .17 HMR.

Their fur would be sold at auction in the coming spring. It would sell for a pittance, but man and dog were united in their common cause, the cause of pursuit, the cause of the hunt.

She learned that tracking deer would make her neck burn with electricity, and she learned the same when she struck off after rabbits.

She learned that the gray fox scent and that of the raccoon were the great ones to follow, and like all proper trail hounds, she let loose the cries of the ecstasy of the pursuit while her nose breathed in the spoor and enlivened her very being.

One clear night in early December, Crockett was let loose from her dog yard, and she began casting her way through the coverts, casting her nose over the brush and briers and mud and rocks for the scent of the brier fox and the ring-tail.

She caught scent of a gray fox and began a baying run down its track. She was hot-blooded and alive, as only a scenthound can be when it’s on the trail of its quarry.

The fox heard her the banshee baying into the night and began his escape, running long hand hard down little ‘coon trails that course their way through heavy thickets of autumn olive. But the hound knew her trade, her passion, and she kept coming, screaming hard on the fox’s long tail.

So the fox changed his tactics and ran hard until he hit the big sycamore where he would sometimes spend long afternoons sleeping out out the day. Night was his time to prowl, and the tree was the perfect shelter until that sweet veil of darkness surrounded the land. It was along a remote little creek, where the thorny thickets drew in close, and no idle man would be willing to approach it, and any many with gumption would make enough noise on his approach to alert the fox’s ears and black quivering nose.

To get to the tree the fox began to double back on his track, trying to throw the hound’s questing run, and for a few minutes, he succeeded, and he used those few minutes to bolt fort the sycamore.

He raced up the tree as if he were a barn cat and not particularly canine. The gray fox is unique among North American canids in that it can climb trees, readily does so, especially when it wants to escape a predator.

The fox rested his form hard against a big branch and waited for the coming dog.  Crockett hit the tree hard about five minutes later, and she began singing the song of a hound that has finally treed. The man would be there soon,  the strap on his rifle would creak along with the cadence of his boots in the leaf litter. It would be the orchestra of death, the baying treed hound and the creaking rifle strap and the shuffling of boots, and then would come the loud boom. The fox would fall from the tree, and the hound would sent casting the woods once again.

But this time, another creature heard the whole song. It was a bitch coyote. 31 pounds of snapping, snarling fury, she had come to work the creek for any hidden vole or deer mouse trails, and now, she heard this other coyote screaming like it owned the place. It more than piqued her interest. It brought up her territorial spirit, and she came rushing down toward the sycamore, incensed at the interloper.

Crockett had never met the coyote before.  She’d smelled her track a time or two, and she sometimes smelled coyote’s mate’s tracks a well, but they mostly stayed far from the gray fox and raccoon haunts, preferring to stay so far from man’s dwellings that they would never meet a dog.

The coyote came with jaws open in a gape threat, and the hound turned from the tree.  She raised her tail and all her hackles. She let loose a few growling barks.

But the coyote tucked her tail between her legs and hackled up and began her intimidating circling of the dog.  A tail between the legs and jaws wide open are the war stance of the coyote, and a dog with its tail up and crooked forward is making its war stance.

And so the two stared each other down beneath sycamore, but this would not be solved without a fight.

31 pounds of coyote and 52 pounds of Plott hound collided with each other in a fury of fangs and fur. The coyote was an experienced scrapper, and her long canines cut deep into the Plott ears.

But Crockett came from a line of bear dogs. In her blood, coursed the veins of the German forester’s hound remodified over the centuries in the Appalachians into the gritty bear hound. Rumors and lore persisted that the Plotts had a bit of wolf crossed into them, and if it were true, then it would just add a bit more grit and fighting spirit to the hound.

Two or three good bites from the coyote was all it took to release the fighting fury of the big game hound. Her greater mass and thick muscle were more than the coyote bitch had reckon for.

And soon the coyote was down. The Plott’s jaws were on her neck, pumping hard for the kill, and the coyote slipped into death beneath the sycamore.

The gray fox stared down at the hole scene. He didn’t move, for he had not expected such a thing to develop.

The man began calling for Crockett as he came down into the creekbed.  He had heard the wild fighting the blackness of night, and he feared what might have happened to her.

Crockett ran to her master’s voice. He knelt to stroke her and talk the sweet lovings of a man greeting his dog. He was shocked to find the blood dripping from her right ear.

It was a big gash, and he wondered what could have done such a thing. Almost as if she read his mind, Crockett dashed off towards the sycamore. The man followed, casting his head lamp before him on its highest setting.

Its beams finally cast down into the thicket that led to the sycamore and then caught the Plott hound eye-shine. He plodded through the thorns to where he saw the dog standing, and then came upon her standing with her tail wagging.

The dead coyote bitch lay below her, and at first the man had no idea he was looking at. Had his dog killed a husky or a Norwegian elkhound. But one good look at narrow muzzle and long fangs told him otherwise. Crockett had killed a coyote.

He had never heard of a dog doing such a thing before, but his gritty little bear dog had done it.

He leashed Crockett and stroked her bloody ears. He told her what a good girl she was, and then he grabbed the coyote up by the hind legs with his other hand and began working his way back home.

He had bragging rights and a good dog, one that had taken out a wild bitch in the woods.

And as man and hound and quarry left the scene, the gray fox watched from his treetop vantage. He waited and waited until the hound and human feet no longer made a scratch on the leaves.

He shimmied down the tree, smelled the coyote and dog blood. All his hackles were raised at that hot scent, and his black tail hackle stripe rose up like a spiky flag.

If he could reason, he would have bet his life of that hard coyote bitch coming hard to fight the dog, but he’d spent much of his life keeping as far from their jaws as much as the hunter’s gun.

The night haunt of the gray fox was not ruined now, and after sniffing the blood for a bit, he slunk down the trail that he knew would lead him to a quiet lane of tram road where many cottontails sat out on cold December nights.

And so the hound and man left their mark of savagery upon the land.  Organic beings made of nature, but now wholly contrived into the modern era of varmint and raccoon hunts. they were but reenactors of the old hunter-gatherer men and their wolfish dogs that went questing out for big game for survival. Two beasts of prey working in confederacy, man and what became dogs were the apex predators of yore.

But modern man has long since abandoned this life, but a few souls participate in the hunt of game and use their dogs and perhaps feel that old partnership rekindled in the darkness. Yes, it is ersatz, but it echoes pretty loudly in their psyches.

And it is the echoes that drive them and their hounds into the cold crisp darkness in search of game.

And so the hound will go into the brush in search of quarry and man will be following after.

 

 

 

Natural History

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Anka makes a discovery

I see her sniffing along the trail:

anka sees something

It makes the leaves rustle, and she leaps back.

it leaps

I come to look, and it’s a very late season garter snake probably out looking for a hibernaculum.

garter snake

Natural History

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Exploring the ruins of Gretchen’s Lock

This site is supposed to be haunted.  It’s a good thing I brought my hell hound.

top of lock anka

top of lock sniff

 

Natural History

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Win A Christmas Dog Pin!

I can’t believe it’s already November–and we’re sliding into the holiday season! Maybe it’s because it was nearly 90 degrees earlier this week, but it has taken me by…



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DogTipper

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It’s Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

This post is in partnership with Atlantic Natural Foods. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make Bubby and Bean possible. 

Every Tuesday, without fail, my almost 5 year old daughter makes sure (multiple times) that we know it’s Taco Tuesday. And every Taco Tuesday, we make and eat tacos together as a family.

The entire process from cooking to eating the tacos is fun for all of us, but there are a couple of “challenges.” One is that we admittedly don’t have a lot of time on Tuesdays after work, school, and activities end. The other is that we have one vegetarian (me), one meat eater (my husband), and two littles ones who, like most young kids, have picky eating habits. That means that in order to make Taco Tuesday a success, we had to come up with tacos we’d all love that also don’t take an excessive amount of time or effort to prepare. Thankfully, after some trial and error, we did just that. And since it is officially Taco Tuesday, it seemed like the perfect time to share our winning recipe with you!

Taco Tuesday! The Best Vegan Tacos Ever

The Best Vegan Tacos Ever
Serves 4

8 corn tortillas
1 package Loma Linda® Taco Filling
1 can black beans, drained
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced
1 can black olives, sliced
1 small can green chilis
lime wedges
cilantro (optional)
hot sauce (optional)

Heat Loma Linda® Taco Filling in the microwave according to directions. (It’s ready in 60 seconds, right from the bag!) Heat black beans in a sauce pan over low heat or in microwave for 2 minutes. Once fillings are heated, heat tortillas either in a hot frying pan for about 30 seconds on each side, or in the microwave for 20 seconds between damp paper towels. Fill tortillas with Loma Linda® Taco Filling and black beans, then top with tomatoes, avocado slices, black olives, green chilis, cilantro, and hot sauce (or any combination of those things), and squeeze a lime over the tip. Less than 10 minutes and you’re done!

These tacos are incredibly delicious, and the different toppings allow for different family members to customize their tacos to their liking. I use all of the ingredients (with very light cilantro), my husband leaves out the tomatoes, my daughter prefers just the Taco Filling, black beans, and avocado, and my son likes the Taco Filling, black beans, avocado, and black olives. We all get exactly what we want. But that best part of these tacos (tied with the easiness and yumminess factors, of course) is that they are completely plant-based. There is no meat, no dairy, and no egg. They’re packed with protein and so much better for you than the average taco.

What makes these tacos so satisfying and delicious, in my opinion, is the Loma Linda® Taco Filling. I was recently introduced to it and instantly fell in love. I’m pretty picky when it comes to meat alternatives, but this stuff is the real deal. The texture and flavor are perfection, the seasoning is just right, and it could not be easier. I mean, you make a tiny tear in the bag, pop it in the microwave, hit 60 seconds, and it’s done. It’s completely shelf stable, so there’s no refrigeration or freezing required. My husband loves his taco meat, and says that Loma Linda Taco Filling is just as tasty, if not better. And it’s vegan, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO. 

The Taco Filling is just one of several Loma Linda® Plant-Based Protein Meal Starters, a new line from Atlantic Natural Foods (a leading maker of better-for-you, shelf stable foods). The line features 10 different varieties of shelf-stable, plant-based versions of all the best comfort foods, from sloppy joes to chorizo. The Loma Linda line also offers Plant-Based Protein Meal Solutions – full meals including Spicy Pad Thai, Thai Green Curry, Tikka Masala, Mediterranean Tomato & Olive, Chipotle Bowl, Hearty Stew, and more. They’re all super easy to prepare in just 60 seconds, are packed full of 100% plant-based protein, and are incredibly affordable ($ 2.99 to $ 4.49).  Better for you foods that take almost no time to prepare = my dream come true, guys.

If you try this taco recipe, I’d love to hear what you think. Happy Taco Tuesday!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Halloween Safety: Costumes & Your Dog

Are you planning to enjoy some Halloween fun with your dog? Make sure it’s a treat for him by observing these Halloween costume safety tips. Whether that fun means an afternoon of costumed…



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DogTipper

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Active Fun for Indoor Cats

Just because your indoor cat doesn’t prowl the neighborhood, chase birds, or get daily walks or trips to the dog park, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be a cat potato. It’s easy to create a virtual playground for your cat inside the walls of your home.

  • String theory — Sad that the string came out of your hoodie in the wash, but now you have a perfect cat toy. Or the ribbon off a gift, an old shoe lace. Amazing how swirling in the air or in the ground can send your cat scampering after it.
  • Roly poly — Cats may not be built for games of fetch, but roll a tennis ball or sock ball to them and watch them bat it around, and maybe even chase after it if they knock it across the floor.
  • Free climb — Like toddlers, cat see the world based on how they can climb it. If your home allows, give them safe, sturdy levels to climb freely—like stools, window seats or ledges, or secure shelves—without you worrying about them knocking important things down.
  • Kibble on the move — Cats are natural predators so one way to keep the brain and their body active is finding new spots to put their kibble. Try dividing the food you’d give your cat for one meal into three different bowls and put them in different spots where your cat can hunt them down.

In addition to the physical activity, make sure your cat’s diet matches his or her lifestyle. Indoor cat food is formulated with fewer calories, knowing that indoor cats aren’t quite as active as outdoor, plus it has fatty acids to keep their skin and coat shiny, even for life with an HVAC system that could dry them out. And if you think your cat may already need to lighten up a little, try a nutritious healthy weight cat food that helps them feel full but has fewer calories than regular cat food.

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De-stressing with Dogs

Reggie Campus Corgi

Any dog lover can testify to the restorative powers of petting their pupper. Even the sight of a happy tail, a wiggly butt, or a cocked head can turn a frown upside down. But more than just dog bias, studies show that dogs can reduce our stress—instantly. Petting a dog has been proven to make us relax, mentally and even physically—slowing down our heart rate, decreasing our blood pressure, and making our breathing more regular, with positive effects lasting up to 10 hours.

In the last few decades, with the creation of therapy dog programs, we see dogs doing good for humans in all sorts of stressful environments, like hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, hospices, and disaster recovery areas. Most recently, therapy dogs have been showing up on college campuses across the country.

One of their earliest appearances was in 2010, when “Therapy Flufflies” visited campuses in the University of California system. Today, Reggie the Campus Corgi is a local celebrity on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. While Reggie is actually a service dog who’s trained to help his owner should he have a cardiac problem, the corgi spends lots of time on campus soothing students during the tenseness of midterms or other stressful aspects of college life.

While it’s true that our dogs depend on us for pretty-much everything, we believe that animals help us as much—or sometimes more—than we help them. That belief impacts not just how we feel about them, but how we feed them with unconditional love, using a dog food that pursues a different notion of animal husbandry, one where all animals are respected for the role they play in improving our well-being.

My friends in the Glee club!

A post shared by Reggie Campus Corgi (@reggiecampuscorgi) on

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