most improved

Greetings and salutations, everyone; yes, once again it is I, Mani the somewhat small, though not completely miniature, and most improved purebred border collie, filling in for the guy I live with, and here to bring you up to date on the very latest news from our garden. You may remember me from such posts as “My Walk At Dusk”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristic pose.16011002I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but that’s because it snowed again, and almost nothing has been happening. The sun goes down later every day; I guess that’s something.

My walks are pretty icy and you should hear the complaining at the other end of the leash. We even go a different way, which is weird, but I do get to look at different stuff.

Oh, well, I did get Most Improved on my Day Care report card last time, and I thought that was pretty impressive. It is, you know. 16011001The guy I live with said I couldn’t do a whole post just about that; there had to be something else “to draw the readers’ interest”, but, really, what could be more interesting than being Most Improved? I couldn’t think of anything, but the guy I live with said that I ought to. So I did.

The guy I live with then pointed out that if I was at zero, and advanced to one, that that could be considered Most Improved even if the goal was a hundred. I had to admit that was true, but that it could have been left unsaid. Like so many things.

But, being all improved and everything, I felt that I should return to my duties as squirrel watcher. There are numerous things to being guarded against and patrolled for, and squirrels are just one of many. The fence, which the guy I live with says is “hideous”, was put up because I kept standing on the troughs there. It was so I could get closer to the squirrels, of course. 16011004Sometimes I try to fool the squirrels by looking at them from a different place in the garden.16011005You can see here that another bird feeder was put up today. It was just sitting in the shed, being un-put-up and unfilled, and so today both those conditions changed. That’s a dove there, on the new, well, not really new, but newly put-up, feeder. 16011003As you may surmise, the one with just the baffle can still be easily sat on, by sliding down the hanger deal, and then just sort of sitting on top of the baffle (I mean if you were a squirrel, which I know you aren’t, but try to picture it), and kind of shaking the baffle. The feeder swings a bit, and tilts and all, and seed falls out, and then the squirrels can get the seed. Which is reprehensible.

That’s where the need for a guard dog, preferably of course a purebred border collie, comes in. I’m not sure why I have to remind the guy I live with how lucky he is to have someone as alert as I am just sitting there looking at stuff, but he is. 16011006


Until next time, then.



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22 Responses to most improved

  1. Congratulations on being most improved, Mani even if it is a little vague what that means. The first picture of you is so handsome that I think TGYLW should have it printed out and framed.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I do think Most Improved means, well, Most Improved. I was trying to look all exceptional and noble and things like that, for my picture.

  2. Tracey says:

    Congratulations! I hope that you can continue to work your way up higher levels of doggie day care. Your squirrel watching skills are obviously exceptional, as are your looks.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I try to match appearance and skill, for a fairly impressive combination. Day Care is really fun, and I heard that I get to go for as long as I want, instead of until I stop being a puppy, which I guess I have now. Just think, next month, I will have been here a whole year.

  3. Hi Mani,
    Congrats on being Most Improved. Now that you have reached a civilized level of dog deportment, and your squirrel watching skills appera finely honed, I wonder if you might like to take an overseas sabbatical in wallably chasing. I could do with a hand at the moment.

    Cheers, Marcus from Down Under

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I had to look up “wallaby”. Chasing them sounds like an awful lot of fun to me, but I see that they hop, which is kind of cheating. I mean I hop too, but not like that. And, not to be insensitive to the plight of one with a wallaby problem by any means, but the guy I live with says that here in the States, when people hear of a “wallaby problem”, the first inclination is to kind of snicker, or even let out a hearty guffaw. “They’re a dangerous breed, mate, so watch me wallabies feed.”

      • Aren’t they the words from an old Charlie Drake song? OMG! One wouldn’t get away with the likes of that these days. Very non-PC.

        Wallabies per se are not killers but they could drive one to fits of extremism resulting in mayhem and possibly death. OK, we don’t have any dangerous mega fauna. Well that’s because the earlier residents ate them all!

        Cheers, M

      • paridevita says:

        No; the guy I live with says they come from a song which was very, very popular in the US in the 1960s. According to Wikipedia, Number 3 on Billboard in 1963. “Tie me kangaroo down, sport”. And then Elvis Costello sang it on “Friends”.

    • vivianswift says:

      OMG. I would gladly volunteer to help you chase wallabies. And when I say “chase”, I mean “limp in the general direction of a wallaby laughing so hard that I dribble my martini-to-go all over my crocs”.

      • paridevita says:

        Yes, well, the guy I live with has a number of gardening friends Down Under, and he says that even though he does understand the anguish of having a garden savaged by marauding animals, he admits that when someone says they “have a problem with kangaroos”, it somehow resonates differently from “having a problem with deer”. To Americans, anyway.

  4. It seems the guy you live with talks to you quite a bit, even if in complaint, grumbles and in “pointing out.” Not all dogs are so lucky, Mani. Some hear only commands and the occasional “who’s a good dog.” You, on the other hand, are treated to the sharing of philosophy and to whole conversations on the state of world and manor. You are fortunate to have things to watch too. Nothing much for a dog to watch around the island here. Oh, maybe a bird splashing in the bath, possibly a mouse skittering — but you have squirrels and owls and snakes! This is all written as encouragement to Keep Up Improvement. As far as I’m concerned, you’re pretty close to 100 now.
    A most distinguished pose, Mani, and you yet so young.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I do my best to look distinguished, even in the least promising situations. I do occasionally learn stuff when the guy I live talks to me, but at the same time, I must confess that I don’t listen as much as he thinks I should.

  5. Congratulations on the ‘Most Improved’ report. What is the next standard to aim for? We have your grey squirrels here in the UK (they were imported in the 1800s). We also have a native red squirrel, but the grey ones are bigger, more aggressive, and carry a virus that kills of the red ones. I think you would be very welcome over here, getting rid of the grey ones for us,

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with says that “Almost Superior” might be the next rank. The squirrels we have here are Eastern Fox squirrel. Now, your Eastern Fox, according to the guy I live with, did not originally live here, because in the old days there were no trees at all from about here to the middle of Kansas, which is a large area for there to be no trees in. But as people planted trees here, the squirrels moved west. The native squirrel here, which you find mostly in the mountains, is the Abert’s, which is dark gray and has “these funny tufted ears”. (I think he’s just jealous.) The Peterson Field Guide says an average of 1.5 squirrels per acre, so we’re, as you might have guessed, above average.

  6. Betty says:

    Oh Mani, Mani! Yes, you have become very handsome and to the daycare folk ‘most improved’ but you are a little squirrel chaser. This is the constant issue my four-legged friend and I have. She does not have a large area like you, she sees them on our walks. The world is just so full of excitement–creatures and smells. It is hard to balance the wonderful curiosity of a smart dog and keeping you safe. Glad you get to continue at Doggie Daycare. I’m sure you have friends there to play with and discuss the state of the doggie world.

    It’s been a year since I met you. What a wonderful, exciting life you have and how you have grown to become a ‘most improved’ dog, attentive guard dog and good companion.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; I do like to think of myself as an excellent companion, and, of course as fierce and guarding as all get-out. Day Care is very excellent indeed. When I get my report card it shows who I played with, and it turns out I can go there for as long as I like it. There was one time when I went to Thursday Day Care, and that was really different. It may seem like the guy I live with takes me there to get rid of me for a day, but in fact, he takes me there because I love it, and sometimes learn stuff. (In fact I’ve heard that sometimes he misses me a lot when I’m away.) But he can also vacuum the carpet, without interference.

  7. Nice to see you enjoying the snow while on patrol. Congratulations on your good report.

  8. vivianswift says:

    Just wondering…is this Mani the most beautiful pure bred border collie whot has ever roamed upon the backyard prairie? Granted that ALL pure bred border collies are the most excellent of all DoGs and that all Those Who Came Before were most excellent in their ways too numerous to mention, still…that Mani is one gorgeous D – O – G. I would give him a gold star just for showing up (he’s that cute).

    • paridevita says:

      Well, not to sound biased or anything, but you could very well be right. Thanks. My coloring is pretty great. I am, if you wanted to know, half tricolor, and half saddleback (because the black doesn’t go all the way around my tummy). There is even a border collie museum, online, which shows all the different colors we can be. Black and white is of course most common. Except that I guess I should say that I had a brother who looked just like me, except he had a bar of white on his back, near his tail. So there are two of us.

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