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Apr. 27th, 2016

Haiku



Nothing to see here
Move along folks, keep moving
Did you hear something?

Jul. 2nd, 2015

I Am a Potty Mouth

I confess. I am a potty mouth. It gets worse every day.

Stress and frustration drive my creativity with expletives.



I take profanity seriously. I embrace it.

I recently wove a tapestry of profanity from Salt Lake City all the way to Portland.

Fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck. 

May. 26th, 2015

Where is everyone?

It's freakishly quiet out there.

Apr. 23rd, 2015

Keeping Forrest Happy

Forrest had his last agility class a couple of months ago. He is, basically, retired from agility, although there wasn’t an official retirement run.

I think that might be the way to do it. No fanfare, no crying, no hoopla. Just a little unbroken dog that I love.

But since taking him out of agility class, he’s seemed a bit sad. Not a huge change, but just not his usual bouncy, happy self.

So about a month ago I started leaving him loose in the house when I go to work. I though it would be mentall stimulating for him. Each day he sends me off to work from the arm of the sofa where he has a birds-eye view of the neighborhood. When I come home, he’s sound asleep on the green bed by the sliding glass door, doing a poor job of keeping watch on the back yard.

This morning when I was leaving for work, I reached my hand into the cookie jar, and as usual, all three dogs scattered to their crates in different locations.

Even Forrest... creature of habit that he is.

For some reason, I absent-mindedly closed and latched Forrest’s crate door when I gave him his cookie, and then went to get Bender into his x-pen.

And then I realized Forrest wasn’t there with me as he usually is. So I walked back to my office to see where he was, and as I started heading down the hall I heard the saddest, quietest little cry/howl I’ve ever heard. I found Forrest curled up in a ball in his crate, completely despondent about his confined state.

So I let him out, and he was SOOOO HAPPY! And as I drove away, there he was, perched on the arm of the sofa keeping watch over the neighbors.

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing nose work with Forrest for a while now. He is a natural and constant hunter, and I thought nose work might be a way for him to use his natural talent.

...And, I thought it might help cheer him up.

Boy, was I right! Forrest had his second nose work class tonight with our friend and very good person Tracey. He was amazing! Happy… focused… on task… it did my heart well to see him with that little bounce in his step, bright sparkly eyes, and wagging tail.

Here’s a video of one of his sessions from tonight’s class.

Just be warned that there’s a lot of cute and happy in this video!

Apr. 13th, 2015

Getting Older...

Forrest will be 12 in May.  I hate seeing signs of him getting older.

Several weeks ago I came home after a day of work and made my way to the back bedroom where Forrest's crate is. I saw him curled up in a ball, not moving.

My heart leapt into my throat as I stood there trying to see if he was breathing. I softly said "Forrest", and he lifted his head, jumped up, and then looked embarassed, and even concerned, that I was able to sneak up on him.

For the last couple of weeks I've been leaving Forrest loose in the house when I go to work, thinking that the extra stimulation during the day would be good for him emotionally.


How do I ever force myself to go to work?

I put his comfy green kitchen bed in front of the sliding glass door, and I think he spends most of the day there.


Dog TV all day long

Since that first day when I caught him fast asleep, I've come home many times to find him out cold... not disturbed by the sound of the garage door going up and down, by the sound of the back door opening and closing, and the sound of me walking through the house. Twice, he's been curled up asleep on the sofa and I've sat down right next to him and have failed to disturb him.


Didn't hear the garage door open

Forrest has been not listening to me for years! But now I think he's really not hearing me. It used to be that when I called his name in the back yard he'd at least look at me before ignoring me, but now, he doesn't look when I call his name. I almost have to hope to catch his eye with some crazy movement to get his attention.

Forrest has always been a good sleeper, but now... now he's nearly unconscious when he sleeps.

Listen very carefully... see if you can hear it.


Snoring like a buzz saw

Forrest has planted himself on my pillow as I get ready for bed every night for many years. Recently, I've had to almost physically remove him in order to claim the pillow for myself.


He does know all the comfy places to curl up

Forrest had his last agility class several weeks ago. I miscalculated the last day of the class session, so didn't realize we were having his last class as it was happening. I was sort of relieved when I found out the next week that his last class had already happened, because I know it would have been emotional for me if I'd realized it.

He seems to be a little sad since he's not been in class. That's one of the reasons I've been leaving him loose in the house during the day.

But I've got him entered in a nosework class which starts this week. I'm really looking forward to it. I think if he can focus, he could be really good at it. He is constantly hunting in the back yard. He has a strong nose. And I think he will really like getting to be the one who gets to go.


Just imagine what that magnificent nose could accomplish

I just love this dog. I mean, I'm really head over heels in love with him. It breaks my heart to see him getting older.

Here's a lot of cute to look at as you join me in contemplating how wonderful Forrest is...


Honestly. How do I live with this much cute?


Look at those fantastic eye brows


Seriously. Look at him!


I know you want him!


Centerfold model


Mister Personality

Nearly perfect in every way.



 

Apr. 8th, 2015

Bender is Two!

April 9, 2013. Two years. How can two years have gone past already?

Two years ago I was glued to Facebook, my phone, and email, waiting for news of the second boy puppy to be born. Only then would I be able to relax and know that MY puppy had been born.


And finally, he was here...

The pretty one. The handsome one. The day they were born I didn't picture him being mine. But he's all mine now!


And he just kept getting more and more handsome


One month old fluff ball

He's sweet. He's dorky. He's enthusiastic. He's athletic. He never says no. He's always game to go.


The decision was made -- the first time I knew THIS DOG was Bender!


Rosie gave her approval. Afterall, they share a birthday. Happy Birthday Rosie!!!


And then it was good-bye to his brothers and sisters.... R to L: Z-Rox, Mars, Bender, Amp and Tolt


He was a good dog from day one. Here he is relaxing on the way home to Oregon.


When we finally made it home, Bender settled right in.


I think Skeeter was sure I brought Bender home just for her


The first of many amazing photos by Heather. This was taken two days after I brought him home to Oregon


He met Tracey


He met Tammy


And had adventures at Poodletopia


He met chickens!


Our agility journey together began


And he was blissfully exhausted


And then the ear-venture began!


That right ear knew what it was doing from the very beginning


The left ear finally got with the program!


And Bender grew...


And he grew...


And he grew...


And he grew some more...


And he was part of our lives


And then there was an OCD diagnosis at 6 months, and surgery


And recovery and rehab


And then he was one!


He played in fields


He played in Lake Christenson


He played in the snow


He played in the mud


He played at the ocean


He reunited with family in Oregon


And posed for awkward family photos in Utah


He had TWO agility debuts!


Yes! Two!


And he carved a Bender-shaped hole in my heart.

Mar. 19th, 2015

flying dog?

A couple of weeks ago I was heading back to work after lunch and noticed a friend of mine walking down the street with his young corgi, Briar, who I just love.

So I waved, and we stood at the end of my driveway for a few minutes talking and playing with the puppy.

Before long I heard a car driving by from behind me, and all the sudden a dog came flying through the air at about my shoulder height, flew right past me and slammed into my friend.



The dog had jumped out the back window of the passing car!

The dog bounced off my friend and landed on the ground and came right back, going after the corgi. It was a decent sized dog... probably a BC pit bull mix. Colored like Bender, but with a short coat and that tell tale head and neck of a pit mix.

My friend was trying to protect his puppy, and I was trying to keep the flying dog from getting at Briar.

Just when I was sure I was going to get bit, the guy from the car yelled the dogs name, and the dog turned on a dime and ran back to the car.

Luckily, everyone was ok. The driver was very apologetic and concerned.

In hindsight I think the flying dog might have wanted to play with Briar as he didn't seem as vicious as he should have. He wanted to get to Briar, but didn't ack like he wanted to kill her. I live with Skeeter.... I've seen a vicious dog and what they look like when they want to kill another dog. This dog did not look like that.

It was a very odd thing. Sure makes me glad my dogs are contained in the car.

Mar. 15th, 2015

...

I have nothing to say.

Feb. 4th, 2015

Middle Age Waddler

When I got Bender I told myself that I didn't want to be a middle aged fat woman waddling around the agility course with a fast border collie.

I was lounging on the couch on Sunday night feeling sluggish, and a thought came to me: I'm going to die in my fifties if I don't get my ass up off the couch.

So I grabbed my laptop, went online and bought a Fitbit -- I even signed up for the 30-day preview on Amazon Prime so I could get free two-day delivery. Although that action gave me a great sense of accomplishment, it was somewhat incomplete.

The Fitbit came yesterday and I grabbed it off my porch when I came home for lunch and plugged it in to charge.

I played enough with it last night to get it set up so that it would monitor my sleep last night. I pretty much knew what it would tell me.
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Those little blueish/greenish lines indicate when Bender poked me in the eye with his nose.

Did it really only take me one minute to fall asleep?  I usually fall asleep very quickly, but that seems crazy.

So this morning I set off for may day thinking I'd just have a normal day and see how active (INACTIVE) I typically am. But I've been under a lot of stress at work, and after a morning of meetings, the sun came out and I thought a short walk sounded nice. My office is located right on the Willamette River and there are miles of scenic walking paths right outside my building.

It was a very short walk, but it contributed to the 5400 steps I had taken by the time I got home from work at 5:30.

A very busy time at work starts for me at 6 am Thursday, so I thought a nice evening walk with the dogs was a good idea to get me, and them, ready for an early night. Walk is actually WALKS. It's too much for me to handle all three dogs on one walk... especially when one is reactive. If she goes off, all hell breaks loose.

So I took Forrest and Skeeter out first and we walked about 1.25 miles. Not bad for being exhausted and stressed, and it was dark and raining. So we went home and got Bender, and we walked another nearly two miles, for a total of just over 3.13 miles, bringing our day's total to 6.07 miles... which makes me wonder how accurate this thing is. I have a hard time believing I put in as many miles going about my day as I did on our walk.
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This was our walk around the neighborhood -- the seemingly crazed path of a drunken lunatic

I once had a pedometer that counted 98 steps when I went to the ladies room. How the hell do you rack up 98 steps in a  stall? Maybe I was struggling to get my jeans up over my fat ass.

The Fitbit is really cool. it syncs with your computer and your phone. I carried the phone with me on my evening walk and it let me know when I completed each mile and how long it took me. And it vibrated like hell at one point in time. I'm not sure what this meant, but I'm thinking it was when I went over my daily goal of 10,000 steps. It gives you little pats on the back as you go about your day. You can also track your calorie intake.

According to my activity today, how many calories I've consumed and how many I've burned, i should lose 14 lbs by 5 am.
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Such cheerful little illustrations provided by my new friend

I'm not sure how long I'll keep this up, but I'm hoping this little piece of tech will keep me from passing away before 2020.

Dec. 9th, 2014

Useless Damned Terriers…. Seriously

I have a cupboard in my kitchen where I keep the dog food, safely sealed in plastic containers.

bins

The last few days I’ve noticed some little shards of plastic in with the dogs’ kibble. Tiny little shredded pieces of plastic.

Closer inspection of the plastic containers showed what looked like tiny little chew marks around the upper edges, and around the lid hinges on the back.

I became suspicious that I had a mouse in the cupboard. But I couldn’t figure out how a mouse could get up on one of the containers to do the chewing on the top edge. I thought it was pretty unlikely they could just scale the sides. So I checked out the inter webs to see how high mice can jump:



Well, the little bastards can really jump… about 20 times their own height, to be precise. But I think the actual landing on the top of the container might have been pure luck.

At this point I feel like I need to remind you that I have two terriers living in my house, and one of them climbs into this very cupboard every time I’m preparing their meals.

IMG_0380

You’d think that a serious hunting terrier like Forrest would know that a critter had been in that cupboard and take great interest. At the very least he should hear the little bastard flinging his body around the cupboard, hoping to get lucky and land on the container. But no… useless damned terriers. Seriously. They had absolutely no clue what was going on in there!

I tend to keep mousetraps on hand because it’s not unusual to get mice in the house when the temps get cold. So, last night I got out a trap, smeared some chunky peanut butter on the landing pad, and set the trap.

I learned a trick years ago… you put the trap on top of a couple of layers of newspaper, and once you catch a mouse, you can just pick up the newspaper, mouse and trap all in one nice package and put it in the garbage.

(At this point, I have to tell you that my mother was very frugal and would re-use mouse traps. She would pull up the spring and remove the mouse, wash off the trap, and use it again. I do not subscribe to this method. Little wooden mousetraps are damned cheap. I’m not willing to get that intimate with a mouse whose neck was just snapped.)

This morning, I was anxious to check the trap and see if I’d caught one of the furry little buggers. WTF? The landing pad on the trap had been licked completely clean of the peanut butter, and the trap had NOT gone off!

mousetrap

How the hell does a mouse lick the trap clean of peanut butter and not set off the trap? I’ve actually seen this happen before, and am pretty amazed since I nearly snap off two fingers every time I try to set one.

So, tonight after I got home from work I got out another trap, some Q-tips, latex gloves, paper towels, the peanut butter, and some spray cheese. Since the mouse had obviously been on the trap in the cupboard, I used great precautions to maintain good anti-mouse sanitation in the process.

hazmat_aust02

I thought it might be a good idea to give the mouse the choice of cheese and peanut butter. I used the Q-tips to really press the food items nicely into the little holes on the landing pad. I set the traps, put them back in the cupboard, and loaded up the dogs and headed off to agility class.

When I got home I checked the cupboard and voila! The mousetrap with the peanut butter was again licked clean. But the cheese flavored trap contained one furry little quite dead mouse with a neck snapped like a twig.

mouse-in-trap

Mouse and trap were disposed of quickly and easily, and I set another trap. I wonder if I’ll catch another one.

Edited to add: the traps were empty when I checked them first thing this morning. But after my shower, when I opened the cupboard to fix the dogs' breakfast, one of the traps had tripped, was sitting upside down, and there was a dead mouse about 10 inches away -- with no visible signs of trauma. What the hell happened there? Maybe the trap scared him to death!

Edited again to add: I heard the trap go off for the third time as I was heading back to work after lunch. I couldn't bring myself to deal with it then, so I get to deal with it when I get home from work!

One piece of advice: be careful when you check the inter webs for pictures of “mouse in a trap.”
 

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