Archives for posts with tag: snakes

FullSizeRender… so long as the snake makes no move towards them.

We are boating with dogs once again. The boat has been in the water for almost 2 weeks now. Probably the latest we have ever put the boat in the water. The lateness of the launch did have one compensation; we didn’t have to put up with the fish f..king along the side of the boat. I know some people find this noise quite endearing; I find it ruins my sleep.

The first week (Monday-Wednesday) the weather improved and was quite pleasant when we came home. Since then it has gone downhill rapidly. This past week, Monday-Wednesday again, it was downright cold. And windy. And eventually wet.

1H6A1716The dogs are acclimatizing to being back on the boat for the most part. Still working on trying to get them to pee and poop on the boat. No luck so far. Am open to suggestions. Bella is such a grass snob though. She will whine and dance about, almost plaiting her legs because she needs to pee so urgently but the damn bugger won’t go on the boat or even the dock, no matter how much coaxing we give her. However, say “Go pee-pee” and head down the dock towards shore and she is off like a rocket ahead of you. As soon as her paws touch the grass onshore, there she squats and pees. And pees. And pees. When she is finished, she about-faces and charges back to the boat, all happy and wiggy-waggy again. Ugh!

IMG_5322Wednesday did warm up a little and in the warmth, the water snakes become active. They also love to sun themselves on the swim platform at the back of the boat.

Paul and I were crawling around in lockers (whatever floats your boat, right?). (Ha! no pun intended.) The dogs were going crazy, barking on the back deck. It got so bad I had to go and investigate (fortunately during the week the marina is almost deserted.) This is what I found.

Two dogs almost falling overboard to try to get at the snake on the corner of the swim platform.

I tried to think of how to get the dogs down onto the platform so that they could chase it away because it was totally indifferent to their barking and evilly mad stares. I thought about trying to get Ebba to jump across the 2′ 6″ of open water from the dock to the platform but decided that was a no-go. But then, I had a good idea. (I have them occasionally.)

I got Ebba off the boat, took the dogs’ gangplank and laid it across the gap from the dock to the platform. At first Ebba wasn’t too fussed about crossing the abyss, but the more Bella barked and climbed over the gunwale, the more agitated Ebba became. Eventually she hesitantly made her way across the gap and squirmed her way across the width of the boat. Of course, by the time she got to the other side, the snake had disappeared. I honestly thought Bella was going in after it. But fortunately she didn’t.

They very nearly caught a seagull though. On one of our walks, both dogs ended up in the marina, swimming as fast as they could after a seagull that was also swimming. I do think it was injured because all the other birds flew away. Though it could have been that this one drew the short straw to act as a decoy to attract the dogs away from the nests, I’m not sure. Fortunately though, again, they came when I whistled. They were quite happy with treats.

IMG_5328What made it even better, the whole trip worthwhile, when we got home there was a Bark Box waiting on the doorstep. IMG_5327

Happy Boating with Dogs!

Thanks for reading.  Joanna


I have been trying for the last few weeks to actually find this account and my page. Thanks to Google search I was able to find the necessary links to get back to it. Scrolling down through my previous posts brought back many good memories and also made me think my mind works in weird ways. But it’s all good.

The reason I decided I wanted to get back into my blog was that we have started boating with dogs. For all of you who have done this/are doing this, I am absolutely sure you will be able to relate and think, “Ha, been there done that!” These posts probably won’t be on a regular, say weekly, basis, but as and when I have something to share, believe me, I will.

This first blog in this series is from last week. Over the next few blogs, I will probably reminisce to previous occasions.


Captain and his dog with Cedar Point in the background

We spent a few days up on Lake Erie last week and cruised over to Kelley’s Island for Wednesday night. Before we got there and whilst there, this happened.

Bella, the black one and younger one, won’t go to the toilet on the boat (we are working on that) so when she needs to go one of us has to take her all the way ashore (almost 300m) just for her to go pee. Ebba will go potty on the dock; she’s not comfortable going on the boat but will if really necessary. So in the middle of the night, fortunately it wasn’t raining, Bella decided she needed to go so both dogs and I traipse (sp?) in my skinny PJ’s to the shore. Both do the necessary and we are half way back to the boat (it’s a very dark night) and Ebba decides to start play fighting with Bella. Bella backs up, straight over the edge of the dock. Dark night dark water dark dog. Not a good combination. The dock is 2′ above the water and I wasn’t going swimming. Though by the time I eventually got Bella out I might as well have done because I was soaked. 💦💦😤 Needless to say I was not happy with Ebba.

There’s more. Thought that with the midnight swim they might sleep just a little later. Haha no such luck so this put me in a really foul mood. 😡 We were about to leave for Kelleys Island so went ashore with the dogs one last time. Climbing back onboard Ebba gets up the gang plank and onboard. Bella’s on her way up so I climbed onboard and went into the cabin. 2 min later Paul asks where’s Bella? I don’t know, on the boat somewhere. No she isn’t. Oh oh panic. We find her wedged under the dock in the metal structure that holds it all in place. All we can surmise is that she didn’t quite make it on to the deck, over balanced and fell in. Again. But now our problem was that we had to pull her back out of her refuge, into the water and back on to more terra firma. Have you any idea how strong and inflexible a scared dog can be? It took the two of us a good 5 min to pry her out. All the while we are trying not to hold her around her belly where her operation scar was trying to heal. 😱 And we are working upside down with our heads almost in the water. I was wet again. (Functional fitness.)

Eventually made it to Kelleys and tied up and had a good afternoon. Thursday morning I took them for a walk and got coffee (they have something right on the island) and on the way back both dogs took off into the water swimming after a big flock of geese. When the dogs were about 150m offshore I decided that they might need reminding to come back. Bella came but not Ebba. She had the bit between her teeth and was going to catch a goose if it killed her. The dog whistle didn’t seem to have any effect ( normally it is instantaneous ) – selective hearing. And she decided to be impervious to the shock collar for once. I had almost given up when I saw her turn and start making her way back (400m offshore). But then she disappeared again. Aaaggghhh!  😤 3-4 min later the little shit came running out of the bushes on the shore looking like the cat who got the cream even though she didn’t catch a goose. 😳 They both slept all afternoon and night. 😴💤 Sorry this is so long but had to set the scene. 😊

And then there was the snake. Bella had just taken herself off the boat onto the dock and was just smoozing, sniffing etc when she went on point. Stood stock-still. I realised she was pointing at a snake. Very cautiously, one tiny step at a time – took probably 5 min- she inched her way towards the snake. It raised its head very slowly and looked at her. Just as she was about to stick her nose in its coils, it slithered off the dock into the water. Bella leapt high and backwards fortunately not too far though, maintaining her foothold on the dock. After this encounter though, every coiled rope was a potential snake so getting ashore for a pee took for e-v-e-r  🐉😕  It was just a black water snake. I’m told they are not poisonous but will bite if cornered.


Bella not feeling the joy of boating; was a little rough out on the lake


Duck watching at sunset

Have a great and safe 4th July.



ImageWhen I started my 2013 challenge, my intention was not for it to be a photo record but when my sister suggested I write a blog instead of sending an email, it was easier to insert photos to supplement my thoughts and observations.

I set out on today’s ride with a different mindset to my usual one. Normally it is to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. Today, however, I decided that I would take the time to enjoy what I saw on my way around. All those things that I promised myself I would photo next time.

The ‘Bike Cheer Zone’ followed the marathon route from last weekend. This one was near the Birmingham bridge. I thought it was cool that not only were the runners guided around the course (obviously), their supporters, the most important people to runners, also had their course laid out for them.


Looking up the Monongahela River from the Fort Pitt bridge.


Looking down the Monongahela River from the Fort Pitt bridge.

A friend of mine texted me that she was feeling down as I was cycling over the Fort Pitt bridge so I sent her these pictures and “wished she was here”. I hope it cheered her a little. I also got to thinking about river taxis. If the city really wants to start river/water taxis, they should start further up the rivers. I was thinking about Rte 28. Why not have the taxi start in Sharpsburg, just below the dam, and run, say at 6am, 7am, 8am and then 4pm, 5pm, 6pm on the way back. It could make stops on the way down river at Millvale, Washington’s Landing, the Cork Factory. What do you think? Is it worth me writing to the city?

Saw quite a bit of wildlife today. Wasn’t quick enough for the bunnies but did get these.ImageImage Was a little nervous cycling past mama goose. Image Have you seen this sculpture? It is also near the Birmingham bridge. I love it. It is so ‘Pittsburgh’.

Down the trail near Sandcastle, I got to ride with an old guy who had been talking to the construction crew who were laying the black top on the new bit of the trail. The crew were complaining about the fact that ‘they’ were spending $1.5m on a BIKE path! The old guy made a very good point. It is because of the bike path that this crew has a job to get up to each morning. The guy was out on a bike ride to pass the time whilst his wife, whom he had dropped off at the casino, played the slots.

ImageHad to check out the ‘green lane’ so I made sure my route took me along it. As I rejoined the road, a car came zooming across it to go up to the right. If I had been 30 seconds earlier, …. who knows?

I called the bike shop to check on my triathlon bike to see if it was ready for collection. The guy put me on hold while he went to look. He was gone so long/I was on hold so long that someone else picked up the phone and asked if he could help. I explained why I was on the phone when I heard the 2nd guy ask the 1st guy, “Have you found it?” OMG, they’ve lost my bike!!!! Fortunately, crisis averted. A 3rd guy came back into the shop, apparently test-riding my bike. He had taken the repair tag with him so it looked as though it was missing. Oh phew.

ImageAnd what is a girl to do, when after a swim/bike/run she walks into Barnes & Noble and the smell from the cafe is of oatmeal raisin cookies just coming out of the oven? I only buy these when I am injured and/or feeling really down, or when they are hot, coming out of the oven. Bad timing on my part today. It was sooo good.

Treat yourself.         Joanna

ImageImageImageGot fairly up close and personal with two rabbits, a goose and a snake today while out biking. Fortunately, no children. Think I might have just squeezed the snake’s tail but it wiggled away so I guess it was OK. Thought for the day – I just happened to notice how when attorneys advertise, it says “Attorney at law”. At what else might they be an attorney? A farm? A dog? I thought attorneys were by definition, attorneys at law.

The government trying to make it more difficult to own certain types of guns, in part, because of the shooting in CT before Christmas. Today a student at a Texas college went on a rampage stabbing other students. I sincerely hope that the injured students recovery quickly. What will the government do now? Ban all knives, etc? Cheery thought.

A couple of more days of warm weather and then it takes a turn for the worst again. Going to be cold on Friday for boat launch. Spring weather in the midwest. Relish the sun.   Joanna