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Zia McCorgi by Cooner

"Spill it, Short Legs!"

The Journal of Zia McCorgi

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Momo shows her Mettle
Zia McCorgi by Cooner
Yesterday was a large fund raising party my mother had been planning for months. It almost did not happen due to a confluence of events. One of them was the problem that our backyard porch/deck was woefully rotted and needed to be remade. The entire thing had been patched over so many times but the very basic structure was rotting. The Albuquerque sun's direct sunlight had not helped.

So Pa and Greg decided to tear the thing out in February and see what could be salvaged. Nothing in the end. And so began the massive project of creating an entirely new deck and improving upon it. I had been helping out with it intermittently. Digging holes, mixing concrete moving wood, but this was primarily Dad and Greg's work. Greg did a lot of the planning and they chose the materials and did set up.

Still with Greg away from a wedding and the big party approaching it fell to me to help finish the deck tot he backyard could at least be used. This involved a lot of drilling, board laying and varnishing. As well as a massive clean up session of the backyard.

Momo during this time has gotten a bit dirty. Without the deck to sun herself on she does lay in the dirt and she likes to be near us enough that while the deck has been constructed she often walked outside and watched us work. Greg or Dad, who got a few small injuries such as hitting a thumb with a hammer found a little muzzle pressing against their legs to check on them.

As well as some humorous moments when Momo and Greg took a nap in the grassy section of the yard.

So Momo was filthy and so I was ordered before the party to give the little Shiba a bath. Momo still hates her bath time with a passion. When I began carrying towels into the bathroom she got up from her nap position and attempted to make an escape. She spent much of the bath sitting in the water licking her snout in that way that says "This is deeply stressful" and quivering in my hands out right shaking in the warm water.

Needless to say once she was out of the tub and dried off well enough that she could leave the bathroom she ran away from me and refused to get near me. I cleaned up the bathroom, clearing up puddles and getting some very wet towels into the wash room. I changed my clothes as well and did some dusting around the house, which was needed, and Momo got up from her resting spot and continued to avoid me.

It normally takes her more then a few hours before she's forgiven me enough to let me near her.

Which was why it was a surprise when she came running into my room as I was chatting online (I took a break from cleaning to A) have a break and B) let her dry enough that I could let her outside while I vacuumed.)

So Momo came into my room not really running but she came in and gave me a single solitary bark and then looked over her shoulder. When I obviously was too dense to understand this very clear and concise message she walked over to me and nipped at my shorts pulling on the pants a bit and then walked out. Now Momo is a very good communicator and she has warned us of trouble in the past, such as a break in across the street, but I ignored her. Which proceeded to irk her enough that she game in again looked over her shoulder then looked at me and grabbed my shorts in her little jaws and tugged again.

Finally getting the message I followed the little damsel. I got to the door she always goes out of and made her sit and opened it to let her out. After all this was great she'd be outside so I could vacuum. But Momo trotted back inside before I could shut the door and then she stepped back out looked up at me and walked out again. Very odd behavior for the shiba. So I followed her outside and as soon as I walked outside she rocketed off the porch to the backyard proper. I followed her and discovered something horrible and the reason she had been so insistent for my attention.

You see the rags we had used to soak up the varnish had spontaneously combusted in the hot Albuquerque sun. I had piled them up out of the way against the stone wall and on concrete but the flames were already licking the hedge that peaked over the wall six feet above. Momo ran towards the flames and looked at me. Then she ran ran to the other side of the yard.

I immediately went looking for a fire extinguisher. Which I could not find. This piece of information will infuriate Aunt Mary and Aunt Nora who have made it very clear I should always know where a fire extinguisher is located. I know this was an oil/grease fire and using a hose or water could make the fire worse or at least be dangerous. That is when I called Dad and with some panic asked where the extinguisher was. He didn't know either and he told me to use some towels to smother the flame.

Well towels I was worried about using. Dry ones at least so thank goodness I had just bathed Momo, again that dog, and the towels were still very damp. Getting the two wettest I could find I ran outside and began smothering the flames as best I could. Hitting them with wet towel. I wish I had not been wearing shorts but thankfully besides hot air nothing hit my legs. I got lucky.

About this time Ron and Marie from next door came running over with their fire extinguishers as well as Emily who had been trying on her wedding dress. We have a part of the backyard with a gate joining the two properties. We put that in because they are such good friends. Ron and I quickly began spraying down the fire with the extinguisher.

Mom and Dad arrived home soon afterward. Momo had stayed away from the fire and people during this event but seeing Momo her little tail wagged and she zoomed over to greet her and Dad.

We spent about and hour spraying the area down and cleaning up. This could have been a lot worse the Fence for instance is wood after four feet of stone. Very dry cracked old wood.

The party was successful in the end. The house got cleaned and food ready and the guests came. Money was raised and momo was a very well behaved dog. She didn't bark or jump or mug for attention. She brought toys once in a while and happily accepted petting but she was sedate and sweet.

Honestly though if we hadn't had Momo I don't know what would have happened. When we first had Momo we chided her for barking at the fireplace when a fire was in there. She didn't bark this time but she had the sense to realize this fire in the backyard was wrong. I would have never seen the fire until it was much worse and the winds started picking up during clean up so I am worried the fire could have been whipped up in a nasty way. At the very least she saved our backyard and the new porch. She's a wonderful little dog and a wonderful Shiba. If all Shiba Inus are as good as her I can see why they are the most popular dogs in Japan. Truly this was a mark of the best qualities of a dog. Defending us from raccoons, dealing with the snail and mouse population, alerting us to burglary and strange happenstance is all part of the job of a dog. This seemed a bit more important then that and yet just so quintessentially Momo. Our Doughty Defender really earned her kibble yesterday. I'm never going to make fun of that one time Mom fed her smoked pheasant again.

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For more Shiba awesomeness, see Sword of the Stranger.

I'll check it out at some point.

Good girl, Momo! I hope she got lots of lovin and treats for a job well done! =)

Now... c'mon girl, go find Timmy, did he fall down the well again? ;)

Well she got some ham on her kibble does that count?

that and a lot of hugs.

Sweet little savior dog hehe^^. Blargh shes' so adorable. The cute melts my face off!

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