A Dog's Life - Home on the Range Blog at Allrecipes.com - 277372

Home on the Range

A Dog's Life 
Jun. 14, 2012 7:04 am 
Updated: Jul. 9, 2012 10:25 pm

Whoever said “It’s a dog’s life” didn’t know Cider. His enthusiasm for all things gets him in a heap of trouble sometimes. Baby animals are there to be licked, loved on and flea bitten until they fall over, start screaming or someone comes to their rescue.

 All things able to be carried in a mouth are to be delivered for throwing so the process can be repeated over and over, ad nauseum. If you don't partake, he will give you either the 'magnum stare' or a very sad, pitiful face.

All bodies of water, no matter how big or small, are to be laid in, played in and enjoyed. 

Cider was a Christmas gift from my youngest son and a friend, and has been with me for 10 or 11 years now. He has been my therapy against the devastating condition of empty nest and is the Prince of the house.

He is my 24/7, faithful, constant, bosom buddy. No matter how crabby I am, how scary I look, or how bad I screw up, he still loves me with his whole being.
When he was a pup, I did some clicker training with him. The accompanying book warned to only work a dog about 15 minutes a day, to prevent burnout. Well. Cider didn’t burn out. He has ADHD and all he wanted to do all day was play with the clicker. So he learned to crawl on his belly, turn around in the direction my hand indicates, back up, bring me items I request and put his toys away in the toy basket. Most of this was in 2 days time, as he is very smart for a dumb dog.
I used cheese as a reward. Unfortunately, the day after our incredible sessions, he was really sick. He laid on his pillow refusing to get up. Normally he is at my heels everywhere I go. I suddenly realized I had not vaccinated him yet for that year and I panicked that he might have distemper. The lethargy sure did suggest it. I called the vet whose receptionist said there was NO way he could see him until the following day. I told her it was important, I wanted him in first thing in the morning because he was VERY sick and VERY lethargic, which is NOT like Cider.
The next morning, as I was getting ready to take him to the vet, he drug himself out to the back yard and took a 10 pound poop. He suddenly felt worlds better! That’s when I thought about the cheese...I took him anyway, as he had a chipped tooth I wanted looked at. 
We entered the vets office, Cider’s tail wagging like the rotors on a helicopter, as he skidded around the tile floor. The receptionist checked her chart and with a puzzled look over the counter said,
“He’s lethargic??”
To which I replied,
“You should see him when he's feeling GOOD!”
Live and learn. Now he gets cookies for treats at least half of the time.

He still puts his toys away, and if I ask him to bring me a pillow and blanket to the couch where I am sitting, he will promptly bring me the tv changer, a checkbook, random tools, coins and sometimes a candy wrapper. That is to 'prime me'. Then he chooses which toy he wants me to throw. Once I accept the toy, he brings my pillow and blanket and I throw it for him. Yup. That clicker method is really something. It worked great   for me.

Empty nest syndrome is the best way to ruin a perfectly good dog. Cider has his own chair at the dinner table.

 He used to sleep on the bed, until a grumpy Randyman kicked him off, so now he has a bed of his own. 

We wound up buying a crew cab truck so he had his own seat. 

He has a basket of toys. He's very good about sharing them, but he lives in fear of every dog on the ranch stealing and gutting his toys. They are obsessed with taking the stuffing out. Otherwise, they last him years.

His favorites are stuffed animals, but he's not averse to the real thing either.

Which brings to mind the night we slept with the back doors open and he invited a skunk into the house. We even locked his doggy door after that.

Like most Golden Retrievers, he is a great family dog, and loves kids. He's a great babysitter.

Even the Maremma's know Cider is the Prince. They sometimes even pretend to be afraid when he tries to be tough. Most of the time, Cider wants to best Cletus. Cletus is willing to engage him playfully, but Bruno always sneaks up behind and jerks Cletus' legs out from under him, thus protecting Cider without injuring him or his pride.

Cider doesn’t know he is adopted, but he does know he loves water. I had a beautifully landscaped yard when we lived in California. Nothing was sacred. Not the koi pond, not the horse troughs, not mud puddles, not the whiskey barrel waterfall. He thought that had been placed there for his enjoyment, as his own personal spa.

Our surroundings have changed a bit, but not Cider.
He has spent his summers here enjoying his various personalities as the Alvord Alligator, River Rat and Wildly Wet Whiskey Barrel Bad Boy.

Yesterday was the most pitiful thing I have ever seen him do. The waterfall is dry.
Cider climbed in, all ready for a refreshing spa experience but it was still dry. He waited patiently for someone to fill it, to no avail.

He waited patiently.

He was certain help would come.

He tried so hard to believe.

Doesn't ANYONE on this ranch with opposable thumbs have a hose??

As you can see, it’s tough being a dog.

 Good boy Cider.
Jun. 14, 2012 7:41 am
I read a bit about a clicker, then opted for a cheap pop can with a few pennies in it to rattle for bad actions and raw carrots for treats. I find it amazing how dogs, like children will eagerly accept negative attention. I am training this new little fur ball and she has acquired much of my attention. We had a garden weeding session the other day. I forgot how long it takes to weed a garden with pups. I hate to tie her, so the learning and rewarding begins
Jun. 14, 2012 7:48 am
Oh my gosh, what a beautiful blog.. I read every single one you post, don't always comment, but had to on this lovely tribute to a beautiful dog. Thank you!
Jun. 14, 2012 7:48 am
BTW, Cider is gorgeous, I love when you post pics of him. We had to pick between this puffalump and a golden retriever/maremma X. The choice was tough, but the latter were a little older in age, a little more pricey and a farther drive, so the decision was made for us
Jun. 14, 2012 7:53 am
fabulous blog, one of your best. I will share it with dogloving friends. Please keep writing. You missed your calling.
Jun. 14, 2012 7:58 am
Thanks for sharing, Cider sounds like a very special pooch!!
Jun. 14, 2012 8:14 am
What a beautiful blog and beautiful dog! Thank you!
Jun. 14, 2012 9:13 am
Thanks, He has been a good dog and a great companion! :)
Jun. 14, 2012 10:40 am
That was a lovely blog. Poor Cider, just so sure the water will flow just for him :)
Jun. 14, 2012 10:56 am
Sounds like you have a great dog! Wonderful photos :)
Jun. 14, 2012 11:21 am
Oh you made me miss having dogs so much. They truly are so lovable. Cider seems like a wonderful friend. As usual your pictures are beautiful as well. I fell in love with Cider today!
Jun. 14, 2012 11:31 am
Yep, that clicker surely does work....Cider has trained his humans fairly well. He just has to work on that water thing. He is such a beautiful animal, and his heart is as golden as his coat.
Jun. 14, 2012 3:58 pm
he is so cute, you should see my smile.
Jun. 14, 2012 6:25 pm
petey, this would make a great children's book! Cider is quite a character, but your loving portrait is such a tribute. Beautiful photos and a very enjoyable story!
Jun. 14, 2012 6:40 pm
Cider sitting in the dry barrel is hilarious.... What a woeful pose. Thanks for another wonderful blog.
Jun. 14, 2012 6:48 pm
thanks bibi. MarieC-it really cracked me up too! He's a nut!
Jun. 14, 2012 7:08 pm
Petey I love reading your blogs! They bring me to a place of day dreams and wishes! Thank you for sharing!
Jun. 14, 2012 7:12 pm
Kim, I love all your blogs...but this one is so special. Your tribute to Cider is so moving, it made me laugh and even shed a tear, your photos are fantastic as well. It's funny, every time I use your soap at the kitchen sink, I think about you and I even know all of your dogs names! Now, I will have vivid images of Cider while I'm washing up! Give him a big hug and kiss from me!
Jun. 14, 2012 7:13 pm
And I agree with Bibi, this has the makings of a fantastic children's book!
Jun. 14, 2012 7:28 pm
thanks so much for sharing petey! what a character Cider is....reminds me of the love we had for our doggie. thanks for the memories. :-)
Jun. 14, 2012 7:43 pm
Once again, a lovely blog, petey. And, yes, it would be a good children's book!
Jun. 14, 2012 7:51 pm
What a great set of photos, petey! I love Cider. One of the secretaries at one of my schools raised Golden Retrievers, and several of the teachers bought one of the pups from her. They all get together once in a while and remember each other. It's like one of the AR get-togethers. So cute! And, btw, I'm working on the honeysuckle soap right now and love it. We love how the soaps make our house smell so wonderful! Thanks!
Jun. 14, 2012 9:06 pm
Thank you everyone. I am glad to share him. Marianne- I am so glad you enjoy the soaps!
Jun. 14, 2012 9:44 pm
Cider is a beautiful dog-so playful and full of life. The photos tell so much of the story about Cider. Great Blog! I have a golden retriever mix and she has her own tub of toys. I had dogs before, but none of them played with stuffed animals like this dog. My dog is around 10 years old and still young in spirit, loves toys, and taking walks around our neighborhood.
Jun. 15, 2012 6:00 am
We sure love our dogs, and they us. Dogs add a sweetness to Life. Thanks so much for sharing.
Jun. 15, 2012 6:03 am
Cider is truly a special dog. It is obvious no one has told him yet that he is a dog!!I see nothing wrong with that. We have a mini dachsund that does not know either.He surely has his masters trained.Loved the pickle barrel pics.Keep the wonderful blogs coming. I look forward to each and every one of them.
Jun. 15, 2012 8:40 am
I had seen Cider in previous blogs and wondered about his place on the ranch. Being a valued pal seems to be his mission and he is very happy for it.
Jun. 15, 2012 9:42 am
He is a deliriously happy dog all the time!
Jun. 15, 2012 10:48 am
Great blog and it's good to see you have a RocketDog. After all...
Jun. 15, 2012 12:18 pm
Oh my goodness your photos are priceless! Great blog! We have a Golden Retriever as well, she always amazes us with her smarts, Cider is just to cool! Thanks for sharing.
Jun. 15, 2012 1:57 pm
Those pics made me laugh and cry a little. We lost our Golden last year and I almost passed by this blog but I'm glad I didn't. What an adorable nut! I hope somebody filled that tub eventually! :o)
Jun. 16, 2012 4:52 am
Petey, I actually read this last night when I woke up at 2AM and couldn't fall back to sleep. I laid there reading in the dark on the Kindle the kids gave me and admiring that wonderful dog of yours. My eyes filled with tears reminding me of my beloved Shepherd, that has been gone over 2 years now. I've always had a soft spot for Golden's but never had one. Your photos are truly something to behold. Your blogs always touch my heart. Thank you.
Jun. 17, 2012 9:35 am
I love it! He's beautiful and funny and lovable and all those things that a wonderful part of the family should be. I have a bit of my own one here with my chocolate lab, Jay. Thanks for the smile this morning.
Jun. 17, 2012 11:26 am
Thanks you guys. I'm glad he made you smile! He's good at that.
Jun. 17, 2012 11:40 am
Luved Cider. Now 71 and a bit down in the dumps from reading International news Cider cheered me up... I used to have a beautiful male Irish Setter named Erin who was a non-show quality grandson of Big Red who we adored for years although traitor I am to the dog cause as I have a precious black cat and have become a black cat addict. Cider made me again miss Erin though. Think I'll name my next black male cat, I only like the males, Purr Burt Ed Cat. Think about that name for a minute, better yet say it fast or perhaps BlackMale. Black cats have their reputation you know. Hope I cheered you up. From: Black Cat Addict
Jun. 17, 2012 1:24 pm
Jun. 18, 2012 12:28 am
O.K., we all seem to agree that there is a book here with an "old yeller" type of companion. I would buy it or see the movie. You know how to write a story,and yours is a worthy one. I hope you will think about it. Good luck and many thanks.
Jun. 18, 2012 8:16 am
How amazing. He's such a cute and friendly dog!:) Only if my dog lets me take pictures of him. He's very camera shy!
Jun. 18, 2012 4:32 pm
Most beautiful dog and Blog.It warms my heart to see such love.I lost my standard schnauzer Sherlock.He was 13 and a half.That was in January.I have many fond memories of him and at this moment the tears are running down my face
Jun. 19, 2012 7:45 am
I'll read anything with the word "dog" as the subject! You have such beautiful and obviously smart dogs! I have two (rescue) border collie mixes. No matter how bad my day at work was, it's totally forgotten when I walk in the door and am greeted by two of the most excited dogs on earth! They give so much and ask for so little. Wonderful pictures and blog.
Jun. 19, 2012 9:00 am
Awesome blog Petey and a spectacular beauty of a pet. One look in his eyes and I am hooked:)
Jun. 19, 2012 10:01 am
Thank you MaryJ, I will indeed, think about it. :) Hanula, I am so sorry, I know what a huge empty place in our hearts and lives they can leave, but with grace, another can come and make a new spot.
Jun. 19, 2012 7:04 pm
WOW~What a gorgeous dog! Your stories are always so perfect and interesting! How is that book coming along? :)
Jun. 19, 2012 8:29 pm
It's started...but its in a little stall right now, with all the activity going on! LOL
Jun. 20, 2012 5:33 am
Tell Cider next time he needs an afternoon at the spa to call me - I will fill the barrel for him :) So Sweet!
Jun. 20, 2012 10:53 am
I dearly love Cider! Your stories about him are some of my favorites. In fact, the blog about his adventure with the skunk is one I often search out so I can share it with family and friends. I must have read it at least 15 times and I still laugh every time.
Jun. 20, 2012 3:20 pm
thats funny keri! Thanks for sharing that!
Jun. 21, 2012 8:32 pm
Beautiful blog. Cinder could be a sibling of my Lewiston. He is also my very best friend. I understand the bond you have. God bless our four legged family.
Jun. 27, 2012 5:59 am
hi petey-- i always love your writing- and your wonderful life- i can hardly wait for sunday morning to check & see "did petey write this week?"-- i love all your animals-all of them- cider is so neat-- fill that water for the poor baby-- anyway i came hunting you so i could tell you- i have had a bad couple of days-trying to adjust to retirement-- not working so well- got to get something part time- anyway- i checked out the review you were talking about on another blog(pnb & jelly) i cried because i was laughing soooo hard-- thanks petey-- i really needed that:-)-judy-you always make me smile
Jun. 27, 2012 8:44 am
I cried while reading this. You are a wonderful writer & Cider seems extra special. I am also a huge dog lover. I had a golden retriever named Duke. I had Duke before I had my husband. I was single & he was my child. Absolutely the smartest dog I ever had. He also loved the water. He loved going to the lake & playing frisbee in the lake. He lived to be 16. We are also feeling the empty nest and now have 6 month old Australian shepard/heeler mix puppies (Hank & Lucy). They are precious, but no dog will ever take the place of my Duke. Dogs sure know how to steal your heart. Give Cider a big hug for me. Thank you for sharing his stories with us.
Jun. 27, 2012 1:04 pm
I imagine retirement would be near as hard as empty nest, Nanny! I am happy to be overwhelmed here with things to do so I don't have to retire too!! loricooks, thanks, I agree...the world would be an awful place without dogs...
Jun. 28, 2012 2:02 pm
I was soooooo afraid there was going to be something sad in here,,, and was soooooo glad that was not to be!! I still cried anyway. We, too, LOVE our 2 rescued Greyhounds.... they ARE "greyt". Always so happy to see when you post a blog! Never stop!! Please!
Jul. 9, 2012 10:25 pm
Too funny!
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden. forpeteysake.blogspot.com http://throughthedarkestvalleys.blogspot.com/
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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Most things from this site, this has been the best thing the internet has had to offer!
My cooking tragedies
A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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