Spiders, Beagles, & Moving Heavy Things

   Written by on September 28, 2017 at 11:35 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

Apparently word gets around in the spider world as well as it does around here with people.  I started out with Octavia, an Orb spider who builds her web just behind my chair on the deck. Octavia uses me for mosquito bait and the porch light for attracting other food.  Each night I catch her a bug and carefully put it in her web just in case things don’t go well for her.

At last count she has been joined by four other orb spiders and by two wolf spiders hunting around the light. I guess the word of a good low cost restaurant got around.  Unless you have done this yourself you cannot imagine how difficult it is to catch five bugs every night and carefully put them in a spider web.

Then a large garden spider built her web across my office window.   I have to admit she is nicer than Octavia. Not only is she more attractive, she built a more attractive web AND she isn’t nocturnal which means we are on the same schedule and get to see more of each other.    

The first thing I had to do was let everyone know she is allowed to stay. That means no harassment, no damage to her web and no dangerous chemicals.     

I am learning a lot about spiders and I always embrace a new subject to study.

Yesterday I brought home a teenaged beagle. He is a nice guy but is in that tweener stage between puppy and dog.  With humans that is between child and human. Tweeners, either dog or human, are of no value to either themselves or the rest of the world but occasionally they aren’t too bad.  The fact that any tweener survives to adulthood says something but I don’t know what it is.

I usually like big dogs and avoid any of them below 50 pounds but Beagles have 50 pounds of bark on a twenty pound dog and that counts for something.

The first issue with taking in a half grown dog is the name. Names are important.  They not only have to suit the dog, it must suit the human. This one has a suitable name as long as he doesn’t read a dictionary.

Just as I haven’t called the Grand-brats by name in this column I won’t call him by name either. Besides if he turns out to be permanent it will probably be changed.

Years ago I knew someone who had a dog named Killer. It was kind of cute (both the dog and the name) when it was a puppy. As an adult dog Killer just isn’t a good name.  My last dog was Reilly O. Reilly O’Reilly.  If someone showed up and Reilly was doing her job barking I could call Reilly, Reilly REILL-LEE.

It just doesn’t look good when you are shouting Killer, Kill-er, KILL-HER as the delivery lady is treed on the top of her truck.  Something like that can cause problems.

In any case, his name means to run after something.  If he ever learns this he is in for a nervous breakdown.

Since he can’t hear the capital letter he won’t know if I am calling him by name or giving him a command.

Run, come here. Run, run. Run, sit. Run, down. See what I mean.

I think I’ll change his name to Don’t.  Then I can say Don’t sit, Don’t stay, Don’t come and Don’t don’t do that.  Then, like the G-brats, he will do exactly what I told him not to do and everything will be fine. More importantly it fits me as well. Regarding the accusation that I am a nonconformist and a contrarian- I just have to disagree with that.

Forty years ago I swore on whatever was swearable on at that time that I would never move another sofa bed, particularly upstairs. I had agreed to help a friend who enlisted four weight lifters to help. They showed up in wife beater shirts with muscles on their muscles. However, when it came to sofa-bed  lifting they were useless. Apparently lifting a four hundred pound barbell is different than lifting one fourth of a sofa bed.  I am still convinced that I carried that bed AND four weight lifters by myself.

Over the next thirty years I moved several sofa beds but by then I knew how important it was to have good help. Then my good help (not to mention myself) got older.  I also knew that sub-contracting any sofa-bed moving was a good decision.

This weekend the Godfather and I had to move a sofa-bed. My bride Management wanted it out of her basement.  Whatever Management wants Management should have. We put it on dollies, rolled it onto a trailer and rolled it off.

If it’s final destination involves stairs I am not involved.

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