It has almost been a year since Pilot was given to me, September 10th, 2013. He and I have been through quite a bit since then. He loved going to work with me while I worked at a local greenhouse, but when the greenhouse quit for the winter, he quickly learned to cope with staying at home all the time. However, he takes any chance available to jump in the vehicle with me and go for a road trip. He loves sticking his head out the window or the back of the pickup while we are driving to let the wind blow in his face.
Pilot is a firecracker full of energy! If I were a jogging/running person, or an agility guru, we would be a match made in heaven! Unfortunately for him, I only walk and hike. He loves to explore, so the time we spend hiking is well spent.
When I stopped working at the greenhouse in October, I had to find another energy and mental outlet for Pilot. So we got into trick training and obedience. This proved to be a real challenge for the both of us. Pilot is whip smart, but he has the greatest of difficulty focusing on any one thing for too long. So, I started using meal time as a time to teach him to calm down, wait, and focus. He quickly picked up on the "all good things come to those who wait" proverb.
He likes playing Frisbee (for about 15 minutes, then his attention span goes *bye-bye*), so I also started using that, along with tasty treats, to reinforce his manners. I would refuse to throw the Frisbee until he sat, laid down or, later, rolled over. Then I would treat him and/or throw the Frisbee. Now he's a pro at "Stay", "Sit", "Down", "Roll Over", and we are currently working on nailing down "Spin".
I did have a teeny-tiny agility course set up for him to run during spring. He LOVED that course until we took it down when the weeds started getting bigger than me. He likes jumping up on things, climbing things, running through things, and learning how to navigate stuff. Honestly, I think he would be a great agility dog star. I posted a short video on YouTube of him doing some of his agility, if you would like to see it.
As far as personality, Pilot gets along with everybody. He has been very well behaved and gentle around the elderly and disabled, and he just adores children. He also gets along well with other dogs, even those that are known to be a bit mean and grumpy. The first thing he wants to do with another dog is play, but he has learned to sit down, wait, and smile at the other dog until it warms up to him.
On the other hand, rabbits and small fuzzy animals are his to chase, bite, and kill. He will tolerate the pet rabbits being outside of their cages, as long as I have my eye on him, but I dare not turn my back to him or the pet bunny will be NO MORE!
Birds tend to be an interesting subject with Pilot. He ignores the chickens, and he watches the adult peacocks from a distance, but littler birds are just a ball with wings for him. He has killed more sparrows than I care to count, and he killed one of our baby peacocks when it was trying to fly. He just snatched it right out of the air (yeah, that was not one of our better days). He also wants to chase cattle and horses. Thankfully, I have been able to drill a very strong recall into him, which has saved us both from a few accidents more than once, but I still keep him on a strong lead whenever I know we are going to be around cattle or horses. Goats and sheep don't seem to bug him too much, but this could be because our little lamb and our goat have whipped his rear and taught him some manners.
So, aside from digging holes in the yard for his bones, and tearing up whatever toys get accidentally left outside, he's a pretty good boy. And he is super cute when he howls with the coyotes at night. He does! He sits in the middle of the yard, raises his head, and howls with the best of them!
“No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.” Jonathan Harker ~ Dracula
I read my first Gothic Horror novel: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.
I personally am not into vampires. I don’t like them; they have gone from creepy and disgusting to just plain annoying in today’s world! So, when my mother suggested I read the old classic “Dracula” I was naturally leery. However, Dracula is now on my “Favorites” shelf and I think that it throws any other vampire stories I have read so far “into the mud”. I also think it was one of the most Christian books I have ever read, next to anything written by Frank Peretti. It surprised me that Bram Stoker actually depicted the vampires as demons, with no heart or mercy or pure thought, inhabiting a human’s body. Try to find that in today’s vampire stories!
However, before I would recommend Dracula for reading I would give a warning: it is a horror genre novel. It has some very gruesome, morbid parts and it does suggest some very mild sensuality in some parts that would be somewhat disturbing to a few readers that I know. But, if you can handle watching the news on TV or if you have read any of Frank Peretti’s books, I can guarantee you will be able to handle Dracula.
So now that I have that said and done, shall we move on?
It took about three chapters of for the story to really get rolling, but I must give the author some leeway because “Dracula” was written in the late 1800’s and does not follow the guidelines of today’s modern fiction: begin with a KAPOW that grips your readers on the very first page! Dracula actually eases mysteriously into the story, which was a nice change from today’s fiction.
Once I got past the first couple of pages, the story became very intriguing. I was amazed at how well the author tinged the story with deep mystery, really arousing my curiosity in the plot. This kept me turning the pages through the first part of the book.
The book is written completely in first person, being a collection of diaries and memoirs from each character involved in the story. I was certain that the first person narrative was going to drive me crazy, as it did in Mobey Dick, but it flowed smoothly in this book and made the characters VERY realistic. Again I was amazed at the author’s skill as he was able to craft each of the characters with such different personalities! I generally pride myself in staying detached from fictional characters in a story, but Bram Stoker’s skill in the first person narrative made it impossible for me to remain indifferent to these characters. In other words, I became attached to the characters of the story very quickly.
One of my favorite characters was Abraham Van Helsing. Caring, gentle, intelligent, crafty, and humorous, Van Helsing has a right to be one of the main heroes in “Dracula”. He is a brilliant Dutch doctor who is in England, trying to help his friends smoke out and destroy Count Dracula. Because he is a Dutchman in England this causes some humor throughout the book as his English is sometimes a little shaky and he gets things a little mixed up.
Midway through the story it became practically impossible to set the book down! The plot grew intense as the characters started making discoveries and finding out their foe, and the story started to roll very quickly as Count Dracula tried to destroy them and they quickly learned how to fight the demon back.
The ending seemed a bit rushed to me, but it ended better than I thought it would. I expected everyone to die and the bad guy to live on, as in many horror novels, but it was not the case and all the mystery and puzzles presented throughout the book were wrapped up very well in the end.
All in all, it was a very good book that I would recommend to most people, and I like it much, much better than any other vampire literature I have come across. Thumbs up for Bram Stoker’s Dracula!
“I saw the Count lying within the box upon the earth, some of which the rude falling from the cart had scattered over him. He was deathly pale, just like a waxen image, and the red eyes glared with the horrible vindictive look which I knew so well.” Mina Harker - Dracula
Author of the fantasy series, Tales of the Wovlen, Kathryn spends a great deal of time in the world of her imagination, having tea with fire breathing dragons, writing books on flying space ships, and practicing her mad scientist laugh with gusto. However, on occasion,she returns to this world just to play with her dog and blog about her fun.
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