L in the Southeast

L in the Southeast
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
November 04
Retired PR Director
I am a retired Public Relations professional who now writes purely for fun and catharsis. I covered most of my memoir-type pieces in the first three years here. Lately I have dabbled in politics, current affairs, pop culture and movie reviews. Life is my muse.


L in the Southeast's Links

MARCH 23, 2012 10:58AM

Coquette to the Rescue

Rate: 25 Flag

Coquette "Coqui" B., the Bichon Frise who allows me to share her townhouse, is now officially worthy of the moniker humanitarian...or is it animalitarian (yes, it IS a word -- look it up?)

Since I'm not (yet) bothered by the spring pollen in Atlanta, my patio door stayed open all day yesterday.  I have been consistently fascinated by the behavior of Xylocopa virginica, commonly known as the carpenter bee. Carpenter-Bees   During the day they hover and buzz outside the patio door, but they never enter the room.  It's as if they can see a boundary, unlike most other flying insects.

Last night around the time American Idol came on, a male carpenter bee came careening through the door, scaring the life out of me.  Coqui, on the other hand, behaved as if the bee had rung the doorbell -- tail awagging, ears pulled back, spinning in circles.  Her natural instinct is to leap into the air and attempt to grab the bee in her mouth.  Thankfully, it is usually a male  that hovers around the nest, and our doorway, while the female is out gathering nectar.  The male is not capable of biting or stinging, thank Mother.

The bee found a haven in the big Tiffany-style lamp by the fireplace. In that confined space, his buzz sounded a lot like a pair of hair clippers on crack.  Round and round and round.  Rest.  Round and round and round. Rest.

Coqui was beside herself.  She stood beneath that lamp for 30 minutes, waiting for her new friend to rejoin us in the living room.   I was far more interested in getting that thing out of my house.  The bee won, though.  Coqui and I went up to bed while the bee continued to literally knock itself out in the lampshade.

This morning when we came downstairs, Coqui made a beeline (sorry) for the lamp.  Hearing no sounds, she began to look around for signs of the twilight intruder.  I busied myself with cooking breakfast, filling water and food bowls, taking my daily medicine and such.  After a while I realized Coqui was not in her usual spot on the couch.  After a quick look around, this is what I found:


Coqui with Carpenter Bee
I should have used the video button on my camera.  I never seem to remember it's there until the photo op is over with.  The bee was gasping, weak and dying.  Coqui kept a version of this posture for about 20 minutes.  She circled the chair above and pawed the floor, trying to get the bee to move.  At first, her efforts were met with a brief fluttering of wings and a comparatively weak serenade of buzzes.  But about 10 minutes into it, the bee was spent.  Not dead yet, but on life support.  I scooped him up and put him outside to complete his natural cycle of life.
This dog of mine is pretty cool.  A year or two ago I posted about a similar episode involving a baby squirrel who had apparently fallen from its nest in the towering oak above the spot we found it.  She watched over that tiny animal until it hid itself under a bush.  The next morning, Coqui ran to the spot she last saw "Squiggy" and found his lifeless corpse.  The evil cat owned by a neighbor must have toyed the poor thing to death.  I swear that dog went into mourning.
Who says a dog has no feelings?


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Dog is god spelled backwards.
I discovered that my evil cat, Ginger Pie, is good at cathing flies that get in the house. I may just have to keep her. Cute story, awesome dog.
The little nurse. I love your dog!! Caring and compassion rule.
Of course dogs have feelings. Their behavior screams it loud and clear!
Bea: You are rockin' that hoodie, lady.
Wanted a playmate
your dog is pretty special. i wish humans would take more cues from our animal friends...
You *know* what a pair of hair clippers on crack sounds like???

Those bichon frise dogs are so smart and they are just the cutest things...sound like excellent companions too : )
JT: LOL! I have a vivid imagination, I guess. Yes, Coqui is very smart. People marvel all the time at the way I speak to her in complete sentences and she understands.
First, that hoodie is Federal, L, too cool. Of course they have feelings; they are sensitive too, I am a big dog and I have feelings! R
L spelled backwards is L. Oh, sorry I was reading jmac's comment. I don't know what Sadie would do, she's scared of her shadow and any noise and her siren goes off. You can hear it for miles, I swear!
This was a lovely story to read whilst having my brekky down here, Lezlie ... smiling at that lovely picture of Coqui concerned for the friend she hoped to make.
My daughter in Atlanta's last dog was a bichon & my favorite - the new one...not so much. I'm sure yours shows daily signs of kindness when you're not even looking! R
Adorable story. I'm afraid my dogs - both bred as bird dogs - have no animalatarian leanings. They would just try to eat it!
My dog would lick it...then spit it out....then lick it again....then spit it out again...and eventually would cry!
Dumb dog!
Thanks for all your cute comments. I love observing animal behavior and I do know how intelligence seems to vary from breed to breed. I have had collies, German shepherds, a dachsund, and a chocolate Lab, but Coqui has been the most intelligent and non-aggressive by far. J.D., your comment cracked me up! :D
Another thing we have in common animal lover. I have dogs too but mine are Jack Russels and they don't watch over baby anythings if they are rodents or in that family and land in this yard they leave in plastic bags. Wish they knew the difference between birds, rats, possums, and squirrels. Love your pup. They do entertain don't they?
Thatès sweet (excuse, on French keyboard for today). Yesterday my dog was after a big fly-like thing that came thru my open door - but I think he had other things in mind.
Guess this is why they are our best friends. Sweet story.
I think dogs and cats have wellsprings of feeling my tabby Ms Miriam Gumdrops is naughty but a very sensitive soul, too

Tender nurse dog, or waiting patiently for a fresh sushi bee snack?
Darling story, darling dog, amazing bees. I didn't know they were called "carpenter bees." We've had several playing outside the kitchen door the past few days, teasing the cats and peeking in our windows, but, as with yours, too polite to enter. I've been calling them bumblebees. Our wasps have been awakening, too. They must have a nest in the ductwork get into the house thru a vent. Then they alight on the windows and practically beg to get out. I scoop them into a jar and release them off the deck. One of them yesterday grew impatient, buzzed past my ear and alit on my laptop screen. He is now swooping around outdoors in the woods, most likely, telling tall tales of how he trained the "old geezer who lives in the house on the hill."
Oh they do....had two labs for 9yrs together. Had to put one down and after about 3 days the other began to howl each day for about a half an hour. Took him about a month to stop. Poor guy felt as bad as I maybe worse.r
What a sweetheart!
the "awww" escaped from my lips before I could stop it. I'm at a coffee shop and trying to be invisible.
Bee here now and you certainly are. Your beeutiful for this one.
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TIL (but before I forget): From Matt's comment -- "I didn't know they were called carpenter bees; I've been calling them bumblebees". KAZOW! Thanks, Lezlie for a lovely lovely post. Been reading you for ?"y'ars"?; don't post or comment very often. And thanks to Matt now at least I know something more about what to call those sort of oversized buzzing critters I've always loved.

["TIL" is the new screen name I'll never get around to changing to but it stands for "tuning in late" ;-)]

Carpenter bees look very similar to bumble bees -- the big difference is in the abdomen, and who wants to get close enough to make the comparison? lol Carpenters actually bore perfect round holes into wood for nests, which is why they tend to be found around the eaves on houses.