My Pack Archives

January 10, 2008


by Gerret

chigger barking

Okay, I got this place figured out. The chickens and ducks run at the sight of me, and Sophie the cat has permanently barricaded herself in the bedroom. The only thing that stands between me and total domination is Chigger.

Chigger is my step-sister. She's a sheep herder from some place called Australia. She's really really old. At least 500 years old, and that's not even dog years. All she does is complain about her lumbago, talk about "back in day," and bark at me like a Marine drill instructor: "Don't do that. And don't do that. And don't do that either, meathead."

She's just totally out-of-touch with my generation. She don't tug, she don't fetch, she don't sleep in a crate. Heck, she don't even have any toys. I'm new school, she's ancient school. I try to get her to tussle, but no. She thinks that because she was some sort of pioneer dog blogger that I should just shut up and listen. Ain't gonna happen. I'm the Gerret.

January 12, 2008

gerretChigger, Part 2

by Gerret

See what I'm dealing with here?

January 15, 2008

gerretChigger Redux

by Gerret

chigger and gerret in the woods

So maybe I'm being too harsh on Chigger. She's probably never going to be any fun, but she ain't disrespecting me either. Apparently there was a dog named Woody used to roam these parts and Chigger keeps telling me I got some big-ass paw prints to fill.


So when she's feeling up to it, she takes me around to various places around the farm and in the woods and says, "here's another thing you need to know." It's always a great tree hollow, or an animal crossroads that's needs marking or a territory boundary.


I'm tellin' ya, when I start lifting my leg to pee, I'm gonna have a lot of work to do.


One thing I'm learning is that it's a whole lot easier to tell where you are by smellin' than it is to figure out what these roadside numbers mean.


Oh, and another thing. Did you know that a plastic duck doesn't fart? Really. I checked it out.

January 26, 2008

gerretI Lost My Buddy

by Gerret


So not counting family, I've made one good friend so far. His name is Buddy. I visit him, he visits me. He's really old, older than Chigger. But he still loves to play and play and play. He be wearing out the Gerret! I'm telling ya. He's so cool. And now, all of a sudden, today they tell me he's gone. I don't get it. He was a good dog. Hey Buddy, wherever you are, I want to play some more. I miss you.

February 6, 2008

gerretBite Club

by Gerret


Okay, today I'm going to take you behind the veil of a secret society that few readers have ever experienced. It's a place where you arrive a young, innocent pup, and leave a tough, grizzled canine. Stump and Tweet call it "Puppy Kindergarten." I call it "ultimate fast-and-furious full-contact no-holds barred paw-to-paw combat survival training," or "bite club" for short. (Yes, I know the first rule of bite club is you do not talk about bite club, but someone's got to step up and stop the madness, and it might as well be the Gerret.)

There's maybe ten of us at bite club. We try to socialize but we are all restrained with straps attached to our collars while people practice bizarre psychological and behavioral modifications on us with a combination of cheese, ham and an incessant clicking noise. Oh that clicking noise. But finally, when we've all been brought to a state of extreme agitation, the restraints come off and it's every puppy for him or herself. Here's my recollections.

I head for the middle of the room but without warning I'm blind-sided by NIkita who bangs into my side and licks my mouth. I turn to retaliate but before I can lick him back he bolts and I run in pursuit. Soon I'm joined by Lucy and Corbin. We chase furiously around and around the room. Then Nikita slips trying to make a hard right and we pounce. Corbin grabs a foot and Lucy sucks on an ear, while I sniff Nikita's butt. He wacks my nose with a hind leg. I rear up and pounce on top of the pile using a move I saw on WWF the other night. I think I'm in control but then the pile moves and I find myself on my back with Nikita drooling saliva down my steaming nostrils. The other puppies, sensing my helplessness, all pile on. I gasp for air. The room starts spinning. The sound of barking become distant. I feel a wet tongue on my cheek but I'm powerless to stop it. I see a long tunnel with a light at the end.

Then, suddenly I hear a voice in the distance saying "okay." The barking quiets and the action in the room stops. We all get up and return to our respective areas and sit. They feed us more cheese and ham. I catch my breath and think to myself, "I survived! The Gerret survived!" but my joy is tempered by a deeper and more ominous thought: "There's still seven more weeks of this."


Corbin and Lucy hold down Nikita while Royal and I and others look for a soft place to pile on.

February 17, 2008

gerretGetting Over the Hump

by Gerret


The crazed animal you see me with here is Lucas. He's one of my classmates in Bite Club and sometimes we hang out down at the dog park on the weekends. He's a bit younger than me, maybe a year or so in dog years. I mention that because last week it was my task to teach Lucas how to hump.

What is humping you say? Well, for starters it's a guy dog thing. Chigger claims that back before there were vets and humane societies, humping had a biological purpose, but these days it's used mainly for entertaining at people parties and, of course, for dog fraternity initiation ceremonies, which is where I'm going with this story.

It was only a few weeks ago that I myself met Elmer at the dog park. Elmer was a worldly sort who trotted over, sniffed my butt and said, "You new here?" When I conceded that "yes" this was my first visit, Elmer said, "okay, I got something to show you rookie." From that point on Elmer chased me relentlessly for the rest of the day, and every time he caught me, well, he just started humping me like, well, like whatever something that humps a lot humps like.

About the time this was getting really old, I realized that even though I was much younger than Elmer, I was bigger and stronger than he was, and with that realization and my newly learned skills I turned the tables on the dog. Elmer was soon humped into submission and the two of us retired to the water bowl for a drink.

"Nothing personal, kid," he said. "We all gotta go through it. One of these days we'll call your number and you gotta be ready to pass on the skills you learned here today."

Little did I know how soon that day would come. It was only a week later. I arrived at the dog park and greeted Elmer and the others. We ran and chased a bit, and then things got quiet. There was a new pup arriving. It was Lucas. Elmer called me over and said, "Gerret, this is the moment we've been preparing you for. Don't let us down."

The Hump

I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, yesterday, when Lucas's people ran into my people they thanked them profusely for letting me teach Lucas how to hump and that because of that Lucas was now humping everything in their house all day long. It was a genuine feel-good moment for the Gerret.


Elmer, Lucas and me relaxing after a good hump.

April 5, 2008

gerretHow Bout a Threesome

by Gerret


Notice anything unusual? I'm sure you do. The Gerret is NOT in the picture. A travesty? My thoughts exactly.

I know I'm way behind on my blog here, but it's not like I don't have a ton of stuff to post, I just don't get a chance, what with the recent invasion. Yes, there I said it, INVASION. See those three pups in the picture? They've invaded my once exclusive puppy space around here and The Gerret is not at all pleased. Talk about going from "center of attention" to "where are they now" in heartbeat.

I can't really blame Stump and Tweet. They didn't go looking for trouble. The pups just showed up by the driveway last week. Near as I can understand, Stump says it was some guy named Cretinous Jerk that left the puppies and he'd like to thank Mr. Jerk by giving him a hot sauce enema, whatever that is.

The big problem, according the Tweet, is that the shelters are all full so she's trying to find homes for them. She says they're all girls so I've been calling them Maggie March, Maggie April and Maggie Mae. Judging from their Canadian accents, I'm guessing they might have relatives in Newfoundland or Labrador.

Chigger says it's hard to find homes for BBBB and so shelters often end up youth-and-sizing them, which I guess means they make them smaller so there's more room.

So here's the deal. I need help getting these girls out of here. I don't mind keeping one around here, but the three of them together are really cutting into The Gerret's quality time. Look at the work I have to do.

Here I am having to take on all three of them in a game of tug-of-war:

And here's me teaching them how to run an obstacle course:

And what do I get as thanks. Mauled:

So if you've got a decent bone in your body, I'd probably like to chew on it. And if you have a place in your home for a terribly cute love sponge, then drop me a line.


Maggie Mae and Maggie April


Maggie March

May 29, 2008

gerretAnd Maggie Makes Three

by Gerret

Maggie, Gerret & Chigger

So I know you've all been wondering, as has my good friend Hoonie, how The Gerret survived the dilemma that was the invasion of the black puppies I told you about in the previous post. Well, it's been an epic journey fraught with peril for The Gerret, in that I risked not only life and limb, but the grim specter of those alien pups alienating affections around here I so justly deserve. Maybe it's a story I'll get around to telling some time. (The Gerret does not believe in cutting a good tail short, so better later than shorter. Maybe I'll catch up in installments. Or maybe not. I'm a dog. I waffle on these things.)

As for the three Maggies...

Maggie Mae, the biggest and boldest, eventually went to work at a group home where she and two other dog pals care for a family of three. She says she's been teaching them how to play hide and seek. She hides their stuff, and they try to find it. Guess who she got that from, huh?

Maggie April? Well she learned about this woman named Jean who was orphaned when her Lab died. At first she considered fostering Jean until they could find her a permanent forever dog, but eventually Maggie April decided to change her name to SawsyPaws and just go ahead and adopt Jean. She says that Jean is recovering nicely and they're coming to visit one of these days.

So that leaves Maggie (née Maggie March), who has decided to stay on and help The Gerret keep everyone in line around here. (Personally, I think she's sweet on me. Can't blame her, really.)

What's she like? She's big and getting bigger, which gives me pause. Actually, it's her paws that gives me pause. They're the size of dinner plates. Heck, she weighs almost 280 dog pounds and she's only about four months old. But she gets sensitive when I talk about her weight, so I'll stop now before I get whooped along side the head with one of those giant mitts of hers.

So I have to say that given her potential and good taste in friends, I'm going to give Maggie four-and-a-half Gerrets, and if she quits sitting on me I might even give her that last half-a-Gerret.

Maggie: 4.5 Gerrets

Anyway, once I get done teaching her how to mangle a keyboard with those massive clodhoppers, she'll probably start doing a bit of writing herself.

Oh, and Chigger says "hi."

June 4, 2008

gerretLassie we hardly knew ya

by Gerret

The Snarling Gerret

The Gerret is a bit out of sorts today. I just learned that Lassie, whom I had just written about in my last post, will not be coming home. He apparently was not able to overcome the conditions of his abuse. Am I surprised? I guess not. Disappointed? Certainly. What's really gnawing at me is that Stump keeps trying to convince me that I shouldn't growl at or bite humans, and I'm like "why the heck not?"

On a more positive note, the word out there on the dog-cosmic-consciousness street (Yes, we do communicate telepathically and you don't. It's because we have tails that act as antennas for sending and receiving signals, but that's a science lecture for another time.) is that Lassie is due back soon. Below I've downloaded images from the dog-cosmic-consciousness wiki that show Lassie's previous life, his current life, and his next life. Looks like he'll be kickin' ass and takin' names real soon. I wouldn't want to be the dude that left that dog in the ditch.


July 4, 2008


by Maggie

Maggie Partying

Yes!! Yes!! Yes!! I threw The Gerret an awesome surprise birthday par-tay today!!! Now he's sooooo old!!! Har!!

Gerret Party Boy

Gerret, Maggie, Chigger

So I made like this totally awesome birthday cake!!! It was an organic sausage layer cake frosted with JIF peanut butter! It was sooooo cool!!

Gerret with cake

Here's Chigger being a butt and scarfing up some of Gerret's cake! She's like such a bee-atch! Oooh! Don't you dare tell her I said that! Nah, she's cool, she just thinks she knows more cuz she's older!

Gerret and Chigger eat cake

So here's the Gerret after partying all day!! Har!!! LMAO!!!

Gerret asleep

But I guess we must have made too much noise, cuz now the neighbors are all setting off big explosions!! It's sooo lame!! And like scary! Chigger says it happens every ford of jewel eye around here and it happens like every day in a rock!! Exposions in a rock? I'm so sure!! But I gotta go!!!! Yours truly!!

August 19, 2009

maggieThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Paws

by Maggie


Maggie here! OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! You won't believe what I did! Literally! It was sooooo way too cool! Remember SawsyPaws?!! Yes! My sister!!! We're related! In fact, we always have been! We're like BFF&E!


ANYWAY! We went to visit Sawsy! She has a dog house on a really really REALLY big pond with really cool water and like a really cool boat! It was awesome!

Here we are on the boat, catchin' some rays! OMG we are just soooo cool! I wish that used-cat-litter-for-brains-fool that dumped us on the road last year as puppies could see us now! What a total Loser!


Here's The Gerret on the boat! Ha ha ha ha! Can you say Barf?!


But like actually, The Gerret is pretty cool, he's just not an Aquarius like us! More of a land-lubber! LOL!!!!

Anyway, here's how we roll!!!

March 5, 2010

gerretOn a clear day he can smell forever

by Gerret


The other day was ol' Chigger's 15th birthday. (The Gerret has been instructed not to mention how much that is in dog years. We just say "15" and leave it at that.) Here's Maggie and me with the Chigster in our official portrait from the occasion, all formal and stuff since Chigger doesn't have a lot of patience for monkey business or horse play and the like. I had this really cool idea that involved new tricks, but, well, let's just say that dog don't hunt. And neither does Chigger. But I'll give her this, she may be old, but she sure does smell. With her nose I mean. She doesn't see so good so she gets around by smelling and stuff. That's what I meant. Really.

Anyway, to honor her I thought I'd drag out one of her old blog posts from back in July of aught-three, way before my time. It featured her Master's Thesis on "The Semiotics of French Dog Signs." Apparently it was real popular at the Sore-bones or something. Click the picture for the real goods.


March 16, 2010

gerretSproing Forward!

by Gerret

Gerret sunning on table

Spring has sproinged around here and The Gerret is out relaxing, getting a bit of the old sunshine and experiencing the changes afoot. Birds are making a lot of noise, peepers are peeping, moles are moling, daffodils are daffying.

Then there's Slippers the cat. From a distance you might assume that he is also relaxing in the sun.

Slippers sunning on rock

But appearances, like cats in general, are deceiving. Let's zoom in on that face. Without doubt The Gerret declares that this cat is harboring evil thoughts. I don't know exactly what, but if you're small and kind of rodent-y like, I'd stay alert.

Slippers on rock

Rufus and his mallard harem are doing quite fine. They've managed to fend off a number of uninvited mallard couples that have visited the pond during migration season. He's not much for sharing.

Ducks gaggling

Stump found a hibernating bat in his workshop. Luckily it was right about the time his alarm was scheduled to go off anyway, so he's be fine, if a bit groggy.

bats awakening

Chigger's slowing down. Seems to be checking everything out one more time.

June 10, 2010

gerretGoodbye to The Chigger

by Gerret


Chigger -- my first, best and only mentor -- passed away yesterday. 15 years old. This is her last picture. Notice who she's hanging out with? The Gerret! I'm proud of that. Not bad considering she used to cuss me out on a regular basis. I wasn't too tolerable in the early days. (I wrote about those rough times here, here and here.)

Chigger wasn't a loud dog, but it seems awfully quiet around here today all the same. She used to tell me stories about things I can't even imagine. Like the 20th century, telephones with leashes and a time when dogs didn't have blogs. She was a pioneer in that regard. Of course back then the squirrels were always faster, the holes were always deeper, unwelcome visitors were always scared-er and the garden never lost one single solitary strawberry to a deer on Chigger's watch. I think she might have been the first dog.

But mainly she was a proud working dog and her increasing infirmities embarrassed her. As she used to tell me, "People think we dogs do what we do because we want to. But that's wrong. Dogs do what we do because it's what people want us to do, as best as we can figure out from their poor communications skills. We're here to protect and serve. That's the fun part."

The Gerret's got some big paws to fill.


August 20, 2010

gerretYou be the judge

by Gerret


Just read that the label "free range" doesn't mean what you might think. Whatever. Around here it means chickens go where they want when they want and there are certain restrictions on dogs following them at high speeds. The Gerret considers this unnecessary regulation. I'm arguing that we replace "free range" with "affordable range" just as a way to reduce the deficit around here.

But I ramble.

In case you weren't aware (I'm talking to you, Maggie), there's a universe out there bigger than Frog Pond Farm. It's called Alamance County. It's HUGE! And they have something called a humane society, which sounds like it's about humans, but it's really about animals and the people they care for.

Around here we rely on the Humane Society of Alamance County to keep track of the passage of time, and in order to meet that responsibility they issue a calendar every year. And that calendar features 12 of the hottest adopted/rescued animals in all of Alamance County. Why 12? I dunno. Ask them.

Anyway, this year we entered yours truly, The Gerret, in the contest to appear in the 2011 HSAC calendar. And then, as an afterthought and in order to avoid lots of jealousy and bitterness, we also entered Maggie, Slippers and Sophie. Personally, I look at me, I look at them, I look at me, I look at them, I look at me... and well let's just say I was pretty confident.

But this probably wouldn't be worth writing about if it just turned out that The Gerret got what he deserved.

When the announcement arrived we learned that the HSAC had selected Sophie - SOPHIE - (heck we call her "Soapie") to appear in their la-de-da calendar. I'm stunned.

I can't believe that Sophie would be the choice in a popular election. And so I turn to you, the citizens of the world. Please vote on which of the four of us you would have included in the calendar. To cast your vote, write the name of your first choice [in order below: THE GERRET, Maggie, Slippers, sophie] on a dollar bill and mail it to P.O. Box 68, 27340. Don't worry. I'll get it. And I can count.





September 15, 2011

gerretSwirlin' on the Beach

by Gerret


Well, The Gerret learned two things last weekend. First, I never want to do anything that requires a life jacket, and second, I never want to do anything that requires a parachute.

And that's not weird.

I Googled me and sure enough it said I was a land mammal, emphasis on the "land." That's "LAND" mammal. It doesn't say anything about water and nothing about air except when it comes to drinking and breathing which I can do just fine with all four feet resting on dirt.

You see, Stump and Tweet tricked me and Maggie into the car and hauled us off to a couple of places called Nags Head and Kitty Hawk. What a bummer. One place was all about drowning, and the other was about jumping up and not coming down. This isn't what dogs are paid to do.

There we met up with Irene, Girlfriend, Sassie, Andage, Chap and Bodee.

Andage was all about surfing, which is apparently some variation on taking a big flat stick out into the world's largest water bowl, jumping on top of it for a while and then falling over. If I did that they'd take me to the vet.


We did a lot of this at sunrise for obvious reasons. Who'd want to get caught trying to find a gnarly tubular something-or-other in a giant, over-seasoned water bowl? Plus Stump and Tweet kept picking up our turds and putting 'em in plastic bags. Gross! What are they saving 'em for, Christmas? How weird is that? And they complain about dog breath.


So on the left that's Maggie at sunrise, then Bodee with Girlfriend and Maggie watching Andage with his giant flat stick, and finally The Gerret trying to educate Maggie about riptides.

Speaking of which, Maggie drank the water. Yours truly did not. Now she's cross-eyed. What a putz. With her weight problem she should be avoiding salt big time.


This is me and Maggie with our new housemate Irene. She showed up at our place right around the same time as Hurricane Irene, so we all call her Irene. Stump says she's a foster dog. I don't know who the Fosters are, but I wish they'd pick up their dog because she's cramping my style. You do the math. Pork chop leftovers divided by two dogs vs. pork chop leftovers divided by three dogs. I rest my case.


The problem is Stump and Tweet and Andage can't say enough good things about Irene, so if you really care about The Gerret you'll adopt this dog NOW. Or I'm gonna start sending out resumes.


As for Kitty Hawk, that was even weirder. People sitting on sticks and jumping into the air and not coming down in a timely manner. Sheesh. I know you're with me on this one. Plus it isn't even in Kitty Hawk, it's in Kill Devil Hills. And what is a kitty hawk anyway? Could we get a few around our place? We got kitties.


About My Pack

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Gerret Swirled in the My Pack category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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