Friday, August 25, 2006

It's fun to make new friends....

Getting to know you,
Getting know all about you.
Getting like you,
Getting to hope you like me.

Getting to know you,

Getting to feel free and easy
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say

Haven't you noticed

Suddenly I'm bright and breezy?
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you
Day by day.

Maybe this is not what Rogers and Hammerstein had in mind with that song.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Can I go home now?

Regardless of what you have heard...the grass is greener on the other side of the gate.

And if I stand here long enough, my parents will come back for me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yes, there really is such a thing as TOO MUCH LOVE.

Thanks boys, but I am a big girl and I can wash my own ears.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Does this stuff happen to Superman?

That is it! I tried to be the hero and what thanks do I get? Peed on by my Dachshund-In-Distress.

Little Toby was getting a WEE bit too much attention from Yanni (I call him Yawny, but Yippy would be more acturate) and Flip. This behavior crossed the fine line of play and domination well into the relm of doggie sexual harassment; so I had to step in.

Oh I stepped in it alright.

There I am, valently trying to defend Toby's virture. I scoop up the Dachshund and try to head to his kennel. Toby once again decides that he is SO HAPPY to see me, that he just has to give me a little something. (Really, Toby anymore thanks from you and I will run out of uniform shirts) Flip thinks I look good with my new accessory and latches onto my leg. Now, I am still trying to cross the play yard to Toby's gate - one wiggly football in my arms and on horney pit bull on my left leg. (A video of this might win that $10,000) I make it, I am there, I get the gate open (He has to have the one kennel that really locks tight) and I put him in. Safe, safe at last.

Nope. Toby shot right back out before I could close the gate and ran straight back to Flip.

Okay, so I am trying not to judge Toby's definition of fun. It certainly not fun for me. I have plenty of bruises to show Flip's affection.

So, without actually doing the math...since I only charge ten bucks a night, I think my shin is working at the two-bit pay scale.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Infinite Varieties of Fetch

Your basic game of fetch should include a dog, a ball and a person. A perfect game of fetch includes a dog that brings the ball back to the person and gives the ball back to the person.

That is an amazing rare combination. I had a perfect game of fetch going with Bella, a black lab. A nice change of pace for me.

I have dogs that bring the ball but won’t give it back. That really shortens the time spent playing fetch – one throw and the game is over.

There are the dogs that get the ball and run off with it. They just want to be chased. Usually the dog that was SO interested in fetch can not find the ball once it is in the mouth of the dog that wants to be chased. This means no fetch, and no chase, and nobody is happy. My dogs have a spin on this game. Only Inertia will go after a ball, Vector doesn’t seem to see the point. Once Inertia has the ball, she proceeds to chase Vector while carrying the ball in her mouth. (Hey, I never said my dogs were normal)

Then there are the games of fetch where I get a workout as well as the dog. Returned to the General Vicinity of You. Mica is one of these, if she drops the ball within 10 feet of you, that is a successful return. So I get almost the same exercise as the dogs. And then there is Flip, he is very excited about the chase and grabbing the ball, but then he immediately drops the ball back where it landed. I don’t run across the play yard, stroll is my top speed, but this is still more involvement in the game of fetch than I signed up for.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Dog Days of Summer

I know this time is called The Dog Days of Summer because of the appearance of the Dog Star, Sirius, in the night sky. But I always thought the phrase was a pretty apt description for how I spend my hot summer afternoons on the couch, usually with a dog, watching old movies.

But this summer's Dog Days has a new spin. Call it testosterone poisoning if you will, but the boys at the kennel are out of control. None of the male dogs will play anymore. No running, no chasing, no wrestling, no fetch - it is all humping or being humped and getting mad about it.

I would blame it on the heat, but we have actually cooled off here in Utah.

I just want the HOUND Dog Days of Summer to come to an end.

Friday, August 11, 2006

EEEK! A Snake!

That "EEEK!" that had to be heard all across the west side of Helper yesterday morning was me. We have Gopher Snakes around here. They are harmless unless you are a mouse. In the past I only would see them on Wednesdays. We used to get our irrigation water on Tuesdays and the flooded lower pasture is just no place for a snake. So must Wednesdays during the summer I would find one, most likely just as I was about to step on or over it.

I am not actually afraid of snakes (spiders, heights, and wind - yes, snakes - no). But it is the surprise factor of not having seen the thing until I am on top of it that causes me to screech like a little girl and do the 'ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod' dance.

Two days ago, my husband tried to stop me as I walked into the play yard. "EEEK!" There was a gopher snake headed the same direction sliding between the gate and its frame. He didn't take long to figure out that in front of a herd of barking dogs is no place for a snake and he headed back out through the fence. My husband was able to round up the kids for a look at the snake before he headed off into the orchard.

Yesterday, I was just finished cleaning up a couple of kennels and I opened the door to go out, I stoppped to pick up some dirty dishes to take them to the house. As I walked out the door I pushed the door shut behind me and something stopped the door. When I turned to give the door a good shove, I saw the snake. I had shut the door on him. Of course, having a door slammed on your stomach made the snake move very fast and into the kennel building.

"EEEK" and 'ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod' dance.

What am I going to do! I know, I'll get all the dogs out of the building by taking them out into the playyard - that will keep them safe!

Okay, calm down the dogs are not the ones that are in danger of the snake - leave the door open and the snake will leave.

Oh, yeah, that is a better idea.

Boy was that snake moving when he got outside the door.

And as he left, I yelled get back out in that field and deal with the mouse population! I hope he heard me.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


In the course of running this kennel, I have been hit by dogs in the chest, the forehead, the cheek bone, the temple, the nose, my teeth, and a number of kidney and heart punchs. Just yesterday, I got that entire range from just Gunther. Gunther even came up with a new one, a dog nose punch to the boobie. At least I can say that my job does not suffer from 'the same old thing' every day.

Trying to pet Gunther is clearly a contact sport and giving ear-nuggies to his sister, Daisy, is almost as bad. Lucky for me, she happens to be a lot smaller, lighter and blessed with a bit more steering ability than Gunther.

Good thing I got that Workmen's Comp policy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Are you sure it isn't September already?

Besides the emptiness of the kennel building, it has gotten pretty cold here in the mornings and evenings. I have had to break out my jean jacket at least a month earlier than normal.

Good thing though, jean jackets make excellent body armour against over excited, extra jumpy Labradors.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh, I remember those days...

Shadow is back for a visit. Her owners didn't want her to be alone with her puppies due just next week.

One look at that big belly on such a little dog and I just had to say, "Oh, I remember those days."

I moved to this farm when I seven months pregnant with my son and feeling just as huge as this house. Now, I think Shadow looks a bit like a pot-bellied goat whereas I looked more like Winnie the Pooh.

When out in the play yard, Shadow stops about every five feet to pee.

I remember that part, too.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Where have all the doggies gone?

Back home to their Moms and Dads!

I have an almost empty kennel today. I only have two sets of two dogs, and 5 empty runs. It looks like a ghost town down there. I have not had this many empty kennels since May and I thought I would have to wait until September to see an easy dog day again.

Not going to take it easy though, this is an excellent chance to clean the whole place, all at once.

Maybe I will take it easy tomorrow.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Trying too hard to impress your dog.

I have another exotic meal dog this week. An exotic meal is anything you feed your dog that has more than 2 ingrediants or 3 steps to prepare it.

Max gets a scoop of dry dog food that has to be wetted and then set aside to soften.

This step always kills me - how long exactly? The owners never tell me that part and it does take quite a while from wetted to totally soggy cereal. Or does the dog what something in between crunchy and smoosh?

Then, I am to add a quarter of a can of wet food, and mix.

So wet into soggy, I got it.

And then top with a sprinkle of chopped up ham.

Ah, a garnish, just what every dog wants.

I want to tell people who spoil their dogs with elaborate meals, that their dog sees cat poo on a hot sidewalk as a delicacy - Stop trying so hard!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Surprised that I can still be surprised.

Really, I thought by now I had seen it all, but I just had a dog bite a chunk of my hair off.

I think he was as surprised as I was. Gunther looked shocked as he stood there with a bunch of long blonde hairs hanging out of his mouth.

I quickly curled my hair up into my hat - a dog that size chould snatch you bald in no time.