Leah’s Mexican birthday lunch

We usually have huevos rancheros once a week at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Leah always has a birthday once a year. This year, they coincided, just like they did last year. And, just like last year, Leah got a margarita to go with her huevos rancheros. When we were finished, Gio, the waiter, brought a birthday sopapilla, just like last year.

Leah, contemplating the sopapilla

Leah, contemplating the sopapilla

I think I mentioned last year that the sopapillas here in the Southeast are not like the ones served in New Mexico, but this one was just fine. Leah didn’t want all of it, so she broke it up so I could help her.

And a little for me

And a little for me …

I ate a lot of it. Leah got the cherry on top.

What else can I eat?

Smokey likes to hang around the  dining room table while we eat, hoping we’ll give him something. Monday night Mark had a ground turkey patty and I had a pork chop, but all we had left over was mashed potatoes. I didn’t think he would actually eat them, but he did.

smokey eating mashed potatos


He looked up when Mark took the picture.

smokey over taters

It looked like he was thinking, “What’s the matter with you? There’s nothing to see here.”

The fox and the hound

Something has been eating the outside cats’ food. We suspected that it was a new stray dog that showed up several weeks ago. The dog is so skittish that it runs at the mere hint of a human’s presence. This picture looks like a spy shot, but it was the best I could do through the kitchen window screen.


The dog looks like a cross between a basset hound and some kind of Australian shepherd dog. It has a fairly large body and head, but short legs.

We have been feeding it for about two weeks. We started partly to protect the cat food, but also because the dog was outside and exposed to some pretty harsh weather. I put an old dog house at the end of the driveway, hoping it would get in during the coldest nights, but it didn’t. Neighbor Deb says it seems to be sleeping near or in one of their out buildings.

It turns out that the dog isn’t the cat food eater anyway. The real culprit is a fox. Unlike the stray dog, this fox is not at all skittish. Here he is in the driveway after scouting for food. He, or she, is a real beauty, and healthy looking.


I know the fox has also been eating the dog food we leave for the stray, because he left his calling card one day — poop in the dog food bowl. I have noted that kind of behavior before.

On Saturday the dogs were on the deck making a racket. I went out and saw the fox. He walked casually around in the back yard and then sat down to look at me, Zeke and Lucy.


Zeke was barking, of course, but the fox ignored him. I shouted and waved my arms, but he only stared. Crazy human. I went down off the deck to get a couple of rocks. I threw one in his general direction. He was not impressed. I threw another, trying to land it closer to him. He jumped and ran back about six feet and then stopped to watch again.

I have written about our foxes and my ambiguous feelings about having them so close to the house. I have decided that it’s best for everyone if they stay away, but they seem not to take me seriously.

But the fox is a problem for another day. Our real problem is the stray dog. With us feeding him and Deb providing unintentional shelter, he’s probably OK for the short term. I want to get him to a rescue group so they can find a good home for him, but he is absolutely unapproachable. He sometimes watches from the woods as I pass with the dogs, but if I look at him or otherwise acknowledge him, he immediately retreats.

A trap seems to be the only option. We have live traps but nothing big enough for him. We have been told that we can borrow one from the local humane society or the county animal control. We will eventually set a trap and hope he calms down once he’s restrained. Dogs will sometimes do that.

A local rescue group saves a lot of animals at our pound, so if we can get him there, he stands a chance of finding a home.