Abi's New Habit & More Rain

I have to say these two pupsters are the oddest dogs I've ever had. They have odd quirks and develop new habits that baffle me. 

Abi, just this summer, has decided she is going to do her business in my flower pots. She jumps with precision. She is knocking my plants over a bit. But really not as much damage as you'd think from a ten pound dog. 

Still, I don't WANT her doing her business in my flower pots. 

So yesterday I spent rearranging the patio, trying to find a scenario that would give her more pleasing options.

I didn't want to show you Abi's backside right away, first off, so you got a yellow African daisy instead. Now for Abi's new habit...

I figure she's closing her eyes because the ornamental grass is in her face. 

My fear is that she will knock my fairy garden creatures out of the pot and break them.

The thing is, she is very choosy about which pot she uses. So she jumps around from 4-5 different ones until she finds one that pleases her. 

She is an odd duck. I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't start quacking.

Speaking of which, last night I heard the ducks I've heard so much about around here. They must have been in the alley behind my bedroom. I could hear the little group quacking away. 

The story is, when the pool is open, a family of ducks come to stay for the summer. Someone apparently had them for pets, and they come back seasonally when the pool is open. This does not sit well with Volare, since the pool is his job.

I looked over at the dogs to see what havoc this would cause. But they didn't seem all that interested after a long day of running from insects.

Probably no one has cleaned up and used this patio for years. People around here tend to stay inside if they're not outside barbecuing. 

I moved the pots away from what little dirt I have. And cleaned the roots and weeds out of the way. No small chore.

Over where the sun hangs, there is another strip of dirt. I cleaned that one up as well. And planted some plants in both areas, hoping to lead her there by the scent instead of to my flower pots.

And in other news, once I was finished with moving pots around and cleaning up, a loud buzzing fly managed to get in. 

I haven't seen a gnat in a few days, but with the standing water outside, I've no doubt the mosquitoes will follow.

Which somehow led to this...

Two of my four pretty Anthropologie bowls I got on clearance around Christmas time. Broken.

Charlie came careening around the corner of the kitchen running from the fly, knocked into the kitchen island, and sent them flying. So the other two have been put away for safekeeping.

The shattering of bowls frightened him so bad I found him here...

Dog whisperer, where art thou? I need some help here. Charlie is a nervous wreck. Abi heard the fly and promptly threw up. Let's just say it was a busy day. 

I finally got the fly in the bedroom, closed the door, and went chasing after it with my tennis-racket-shaped bug zapper. Hoping I would not trip in my quest to keep my eye on it as I zoomed around the room after it. 

Meanwhile Charlie was in one of the bedroom closets digging, perhaps, to China. Scratching the floor as fast as his little legs would allow him. This is what they both do when overwhelmed.

I wonder if there is irreparable damage to their psyches?

So no, I didn't have time to do Six On Saturday. I was far too busy trying to keep my dogs from having psychotic breaks from the reality of the insect buzzing world they live in.

When I have time, I will, however, go out and try to find fly tape or whatever you all called it. 

Last night Abi preferred to sit in one of the chairs on the patio instead of being inside where the fly was. It was storming, thundering, lightning and raining. Naturally they'd both just had a bath.

I urged her to come in with a new bone. I tried my various tricks to lure her out of the rain. She wouldn't budge.

I finally went out in the rain and brought her in.

At least I did not find Abi cowering in the bath tub. I figure maybe that's progress.


  1. While this won't work on gnats it might keep flies from coming in. I have a screen door curtain at my back door which helps a lot but I recently put several on the back deck & front porch. I haven't seen any flies since!

  2. Oops! I forgot the link on my earlier post!


  3. you have made your small patio into a really nice garden - great job it will give you pleasure filled relaxing days - sorry your dogs are a basket case - are they rescue dogs? they might have had a bad previous owner?

  4. Brenda, I'm green with envy over your beautiful patio/garden. And it's so spacious: all those plants and still plenty of room. Abi in the planter is precious but I can see where that's not desirable! :O) Your pupsters are so sweet and I enjoy following their antics. Have a safe weekend, Bess

  5. I love that your patio area is fenced. Mine is not and my neighbors and I are inches apart. I'm not that comfortable out there I must say. I might buy some lattice and make a small wall if I decide I'm going to stay here more then just one more year. Abi in the plants, interesting. Charlie will pee in the bathtub sometimes, just not sure why and I just clean it up.


  6. Hopefully having some earthy planted ground to piddle on will keep Abi out of your potted plants. I don't blame for wanting to go in an absorbent area.

    Just the other day I read about how if you fill zip-loc baggies with water and several pennies and hang them on the doorway or wherever you don't want flies around. Something about the fact flies have compound eyes and the reflections made by the water and pennies make flies afraid to go there as to them it looks like too much commotion for their safety.

  7. Oh bless little Abi! I love our little animals' habits and quirky ways. She really looked as though she was enjoying her business :-) Your garden looks so lush and colourful, an absolute feast for the eyes. It's a shame about your pot but accidents happen and she was so precious pretending she had disappeared. The one thing I hate about summer is the flies - there's always an elusive one that creates havoc! Give your babies a hug from me x

  8. It sounds to me like Abi is looking for some grass to do her business in. That may explain why she's using your flower pots. Sorry to hear that your cute bowls got broken. Maybe you can find some to replace them.

  9. I read the blog that asked about the flowering tree. I believe its called a fringe tree. There are many kinds to choose from. I hope that helps Have a great day and the furry ones too.

  10. Could you plant some clover in the dirt area along the fence? the dogs might choose to go there and it would be easy to take care of.

  11. Oh my goodness, you did have a busy day. Hopefully the rest of your weekend is quieter.

  12. I think the stress is causing the acting out with inappropriate behavior. Of course I am a people and not a dog counselor. Hopefully if you can get the insect problem under control things will return to normal. On the plus side your patio looks beautiful. xo Laura

  13. Brenda, Could it be that they are afraid of the zapper? You see the fly, go get the zapper and they associate the fly with zapper? This is a puzzler!

  14. I had a cat who Dug like a fiend in my flowerpots. I ended up putting in several layers of rocks, not round. They have bags of it in the home improvement stores for only a couple of dollars. Mine was a brick color which looked good in the flower pots. My "Munchkin" didn't like it as it was too uncomfortable to walk on and it was a solution. PS Your Abi is so cute, despite her issues!!

  15. Be glad it's rain, Brenda. Today we have snow AGAIN and are expecting 24 to 27 inches overnight. Too old for this stuff. Can't wait to list house so we can get out of here!

    Cate in South DUHkota

  16. Brenda, this might help - buy a large size cat litter box, fill it with soil, then grass seed to grow a small plot of grass for Abi to do her business in. I had some friends do this for their little dog on their small apartment balcony and their dog loved it! They wound up using three litter boxes. You can also buy a Potty Patch - try googling it. I have heard good things about it....
    Sounds like an exhausting day at your home today! I have a couple big flies in the house right now driving me crazy, but my little dogs don't care much of anything about them. They just snap at them if they come too close....

    1. We've used the same idea of the cat littler box filled with soil and grass. It worked well for our little Pekingese babies.

    2. That was exactly what I was thinking.

  17. What if you were to plant some grass seed in the dirt area? They all seem to like dirt, that's for sure. I know my dogs will eat the wild blade of grass that is growing in a planter. don't know about clover, maybe that wold be better. I saw the water and penny idea last week too, it's worth a try. We used to have flies so bad because of the horse, but we moved him to a ranch in Jan so I'm hoping this summer will be much better! And yes, those fly strips work great! Abi is adorable. They are both just too cute and the love they give us is priceless. And your patio is fantastic. I feel like I'm walking into a nursery. You are so lucky to have it.

  18. Hearing about the pupsters shenanigans always makes my day. They are so cute, albeit a little psycho, but that's what makes them special ;).

    Your patio looks so lush and welcoming Brenda. It's easy to see you love gardening.

  19. I have seen the baggie with water and pennies placed around the area of an outdoor patio at a resturant. Worth a try.

  20. Well Brenda, my daughter and I just read your post a few minutes ago and we were laughing so hard I almost peed in my pants! My daughter's little Ginger bell is terrified of flies too as well as any thing that sounds like thunder, including airplanes and when my grandson plays his electric guitar. (well to be honest, I'm not too crazy about the electric guitar myself!) Sorry about your pots. Blessings, Carolyn in Florida

  21. Oh Brenda, what a day you and the pups had. You must be worn out. Just wanted to tell you, we have neighbors across the street from us, with a little dog that looks about the size of your pupsters. They have a litter box in the house that their dog uses, and I think they use regular kitty litter in the box. Worth a try, I suppose. Good luck!

  22. Your patio looks beautiful with all of the plants.
    I wonder if that magic mesh as seen on tv would help keep flies out of your house.
    Hope you have a calmer Sunday.

  23. I feel for you...my dogs freak over a lot of things, too. Little Layla likes to crawl into my large pots to sleep!

    Deb from Frugal Little Bungalow gave me a tip to keep squirrels out of my pots...scatter around a few plastic forks, tines side up in the pots. It helped me out right away. Maybe it would make her stay away from the pots.

    Rain here for the next week...ugh!

    Jane x

  24. I have to tell you that I laughed all the way through this. The thought of Abi searching for a pot to poo in :-) I miss my Buddy and all his little quirks.

  25. I love to hear about the pup's escapades!

  26. Your day has busy in a way that doesn't feel at all productive! As I read your post I almost wanted to lUgh but knew that it surely wasn't funny for you to go through it. It reminded me of stories I've heard told by young mother's of busy and non-stop curios toddlers.

    Toddlers get into mischief in one place and while you're busy tidying up one mess, they're busy creating a new catastrophe for the mom to deal with in another. Then there is the wild range of emotions to dwal with. Your two little guys remind me of that. Now that my three kids have grown, my two little fur babies get a whole lot of live and attention (and I wouldn't have it any other way).

    My little Bear had dental surgery yesterday and wasn't able to last through the night on the pain dosage he had been prescribed. I was beside myself to see him whimpering and shaking so. Another trip to the vet solved the pain problem (higher dose more frequently). Bear does has had long standing liver issues so our vet is always cautious of putting extra stress on it lest it causes liver failure. You can believe I've been by his side today making sure he is comfortable!

    We do love our babies, don't we...even when they're up to their tricks!

  27. Hi Brenda, oh the adventures of our fur babies. It's like having toddlers to care for. I just had to smile remembering the episodes when my Miss Beazy was still with us. Never a dull moment.
    Your garden is gorgeous and looks so healthy.

    Wishing you a Happy Mother's Day.
    Hugs, CM

  28. I know exactly how busy how fur babies can keep us! Your patio is wonderful with all those pots full of ... flowers!

  29. Sorry that she is doing this in your herb pots, but the blissful look on her face made me chuckle.


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