Thursday, August 23, 2012

Look! Up in the's a bird... it's a's Super---?

Last night, our dog Fox woke us up several times with his incessant barking. We know his barks, just as you would know what is wrong with a child by his whimpering or his tone of voice.   It was not the "Beware, strange person around" bark - it was more of a "something's invading my territory" bark.  So other than being annoyed, we were not too concerned and tried to sleep through it.  After a while, hubby got up and turned the porch light on and he stopped barking.  He just wanted us to know that there was a little something out of the ordinary going on.

This morning when we stepped out the door, Fox started back up again.  He was barking up a tree - not a "wrong tree", mind you - just a tree in our yard.  We looked up and this is what we saw:
If you'll enlarge the photo, you'll see that one raccoon has his arm around the other.  They were kits - Mama Raccoon was most likely nearby.  Baby raccoons (kits) are totally dependant on their mother until the age of about 16 weeks - then they start wandering around on their own and usually become pretty independent at about 9 months.  These looked to be about four or five months old.  A mother raccoon can have up to eight babies at a time but usually only has between three and five.

Fox was ever vigilant - just daring them to come down.

Oops, Fox fell down on the job.  I walked back out a little later and both raccoons were almost down the tree.  Fox saw them and made sure they scooted back up.

 Hang on baby!  This old tree was a hard one to climb.  He kept slipping backwards a little, but hung on for dear life and slowly made progress.

"Maybe if I hold my ears just so, I'll navigate a little faster".
Fox was very proud of himself.  Well done, old boy!  Maybe we'll start taking you 'coon huntin'!
Fox is a Finnish Spitz breed.  As you can see, he looks like a fox, so his name fits!  He's the most wonderful dog we've ever owned.   Read below if you want to know a little more about this breed.
  Here's an excerpt from the American Kennel Club Website.
Resembling a red fox, the Finnish Spitz is a northern breed with erect ears, a dense double coat and a plumed bushy tail. He is a lively animal, with a keen, intelligent expression and brisk, quick movement. Medium-sized, the Finnish Spitz comes across as an agile, workmanlike dog with no exaggerated or showy features except for his lustrous golden-red coat, which ranges from pale honey to deep auburn.

And from

Description: The Finnish Spitz, or Finsk Spets, is the national dog of Finland. They are an independent, reserved, cautious and sometimes aloof breed. This does not, however, overshadow their friendly and loyal nature towards their family. As they were bred to be hunters, they need to be kept in a secure fenced yard or else they may go off on a hunting expedition. Finnish Spitzes are sensitive and strong minded, but also loyal to their human family. They especially love being with children. They are intelligent, sturdy, and easy to care for. They have often been described as "catlike" in cleanliness. They have a happy temperament, and are still used today for hunting in Finland. Finnish Spitz have been described as showing "devotion and self-sacrificing faithfulness." They are said to be courageous and selfless, but at the same time demand reward at a job well done. They do very well under poor circumstances with their owner, but alone in a kennel they become depressed and unhealthy. Finnish Spitz are largely used for hunting birds, especially the capercaillie, a large bird of Finland. They are a small to medium sized dog, making up for size with their loud bark. They are reddish brown and gold in color, and have prick ears that are a trademark of the Spitz. Their tails curl over their backs, touching the outer thigh of one side. A favorite hunting dog of the Finns, the Finnish Spitz is very popular as a companion in other countries.