Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dogs aren't the only Wild Life around Here

There were a total of 9 does, and one buck in my bottom pasture. The dogs don't even phase them. The buck was either a 4-point or an 8-pointer. I know you count one way here in Utah and another way back in Illinois, I just can't remember which. He had a total of 8 points.

I took these pictures at 3:30. When I went back down around 5:30pm the deer were still in my bottom pasture. I had seen 5 of the does cross the stream and head toward the bluff. They were on the benches above the stream when I went back into the house. While I was gone those 5 must have returned to the orchard along with the buck and the other 4 that never left. That is until my phone ringing startled the buck. They aren't bothered by the dogs, or by me, but the phone spooked them.

And of course, it was a another recording calling me to tell me not to vote for Referendum 1. Oh Please! If we could just have all the money spent on getting me to vote for it plus all the money spent trying to get me to vote against it and give it all to the public schools - we'd have the highest per student money in the country.

Sophie is Crazy About Two Things...

...Getting petted and Daisy!

I can handle the petting, but there is no way I am going to let her chase Daisy around.

Roxy is Our Resident Wild Thing!

Littlest Dog, Biggest Scare!

Daisy got herself run over by the big and crazy dogs the other day.

Daisy has been here almost a week and we have our routine down. She hangs out by her kennel while I let the other dogs out. When I am done, I take a careful look around before I move so that I don't step on her. She spends playtime is the general vicinity of my ankles. I turned around Monday, and she was lying on the ground, belly up and letting the big dogs sniff her. That was so not like her, that I just ran over and snatched her up. It was an instantaneous reaction, that something was wrong with Daisy, that dog is always in motion.

I lock myself and her in her run and immediately started calling the vet - no answer. I start to check her out, no bites, no spots that hurt her - so far so good.

(What did those big idiots do to her, step on her, kick her, bowl her over!)

I call the vet again - no answer. I try to put her down and she can't seem to walk. It is like she can't move her right side. So I am thinking that the dog had a stroke.

(Can dogs have a stroke?!!)

Still no answer at the vet, and no machine that gives out his home number. I call up to my house and have my husband come down, bring the phone book

(I must be calling the wrong number)
(Nope, I have the vet's number memorized correctly)

and please put the other dogs away. I call my friend, she has dogs and she might know the vet's home number - no answer. I call the county animal shelter and they tell me to get the number off the machine - no machine, I say. My husband says to look him up in the phone book. Good idea, there he is - only I get his machine.

My husband points out that Daisy is moving around now. I am still planning on racing her to a vet. So I put her in her bed and have my husband take her up to the house. I have to deal with feeding a couple of dogs before I dash. I try the vet's number one more time on my way back to the house and they are there. The vet's assistant is telling me that dogs can get "knocked silly". They become disoriented and can't move right. He told me if this goes away gradually and the dog should be completely normal is just a few minutes. "If the dogs acts like it never happened, then they are probably fine."

Like It Never Happened

That is what I saw when I got inside the house. Daisy was up on her hind legs jumping up and down. My husband told be that when he put her bed down she immediately made a complete patrol of the down stairs. I kept Daisy with me in the house for the next 3 hours, just to be sure.

But the vet's assistant was right, it was like it never happened. Daisy is still not afraid of the big dogs, however I can do enough worrying for the both of us. I no longer let her down on the ground in the play yard, it is my lap or her run for Daisy.

What I Really Need is More Dogs Like Muffin

Muffin is a sweetheart. He doesn't bark. He doesn't pick fights. Not big into running, chasing or digging. He does, however, want to be loved and there is a lot of him to love on. I'd love to have a kennel full of 'Muffin's but I don't have enough hands to pet them all.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

So Many new Friends...

..To Smell!

Baily and Dusty

Too much fun!

The Big, The Little, The Downright Crazy

I have quite the mix this weekend.

The Little
I have Daisy who is about two and half pounds of all bark. It truly is an amazing amount of noise that comes out of something so small.

The Big
With a name like 'Muffin', I was expecting a dog about the size of Daisy. He is just a really big 'Muffin'. He makes up for Daisy, since he doesn't bark at all. Muffin is the fluffy one of my set of blonds, Shane and Henry are the other two and Beau is our other little one.

The Crazy
This would be Lucinda, who is all energy, no steering, little manners, and can't seem to remember exactly who she is playing with.

This was a Crazy Week

I had this many dogs coming between Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon. As you might know I only have 7 runs, so this was a week of much kennel flipping. I managed to pull it off with only one session of a dog hanging outside for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I knew today was going to be crazy...

just not this crazy!

I was expecting a day of having dogs go home, then rushing to clean the kennel before the next dog arrived. When I woke up I knew I had 4 dogs coming and only 2 open kennels. I was counting on 'Doggie Karma' to save my butt again. I must have used up all of my DK points, because patching and plastering a wall was not on my to-do list for today.

It is amazing the skill set you need to run this place.

For five years, I have known that I should just buy the extra sheet of plastic wall covering and finish this kennel. Yet, for five years no one ever decided to eat it. I am a little worried about Baby Josh's house when he goes home. Maybe he likes eating drywall - this could be very bad indeed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

These Girls are Very Serious about Their Dinner!

These two are the fastest eaters I have ever seen. They inhaled every breakfast and dinner the exact same way, it only about 20 seconds.

Along with breakfast and dinner, the girls get a raw hide chew at mid-day. On Sunday, I made the mistake of giving them their treats before play time. There was no way that they were going to leave that chew behind and risk having their sister get it. Rawhides in the play yard is a 'no-no'. They lead to fights, so I took the chews off them and dropped them back into their run. So much for playtime, those two spent the rest of the time staring into their dog run.

I know why now. As soon as Aspen got into the kennel she got her chew and was trying to get the second one in her mouth when I removed it and gave it to Alexi. Just a bit of competition between these two.

Monday, October 08, 2007

More Star Gazing

It is another clear night and the stars were worth gazing at. The only constellation I really know is Orion and I couldn't find him tonight. So, maybe he is a summer constellation. That made me realize that I am noticing the sky so much now because I wasn't out late enough to see the stars all summer. I had been trying to get to bed at a decent hour all summer, so the dogs all went to bed at sunset. The only nights I was out with the dogs in the complete dark was when we went to the movies. Weird to realize that I haven't looked at the sky for months. Well, I have months to catch up on my star gazing this winter.

Update on Maggie

Maggie does not out weigh me. She weighs only 120 pounds, so I have at least a half a dozen pounds on her.

She also doesn't just have a couple of kids to play with. I counted four that came to pick her up. So I feel a little bad that Maggie had a whole weekend of hug deprivation with only me to love on her.

This is only a test




I just found this post. I had a friend over who wanted to know how to get photos into her blog. I dumped these pictures from last weekend and forgot about deleting the post. The photos are pretty good so I guess I will just leave it.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

That is a lot of Lab to Love

Maggie is a big girl. She is just plain huge. I have never seen a female Lab this big. And she does want to be loved, a lot. Petting on her could easily get me knocked off my feet. She weighs more than I do.

But she is a big love and wants to be petted all over. I can just picture her with the two little girls that just love her to bits. They must just hug on her and lay on her like a giant living teddy bear, because that is what she is.

A Reversal of Roles for Shilo

Shilo is a Chaser not a Chasee, as a rule.

He is a large yellow Lab with tons of energy, power, stamina and not much on manners or steering. When he shows up he loves to chase and chase and chase another dog until I have to run interference to give the chasee a break. Sometimes he can find a match for his energy, like BB and all is good. Mostly, he just wears out and annoys a series of dogs before he gets a bit tired.

Not this weekend, the group dynamic was particularly weird and Shilo was the Chasee, big time.

It seems unusual to me to suddenly have an empty kennel during the week, but that is pretty normal for the fall. It was just such a crazy summer that is seems very suddenly empty all the time. So this week, I had only one dog for a day, and then 2 dogs for a day, and then a full kennel all at once on Friday. Friday's 11am playtime was only two dogs. Friday's 2pm playtime was 9 dogs. At lunchtime, Chaser and Bella, Daisy and Lady, Roxie, and finally Shilo arrived. This is also pretty unusual. Drop off are pretty random, dogs don't all arrive within the same hour. Usually, each playtime on a Friday will introduce a newbie into the pack, not 7 new dogs all at once. And not usually, 7 loud, bouncy, over excited new dogs at once. They were acting like maniacs in the kennel building - jumping, barking, and fence fighting between the two boxers.

I figured if this group didn't knock me down, kill me and eat me, I would live to be a little old lady dog sitter.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about, they all got along fabulously. I almost couldn't believe it.

I know that Shilo couldn't believe it. See Shilo was the last of the new dogs to arrive, and though none of them had been out in the yard together, he was declared NEWEST and was the center of attention. He spent that playtime and dinner's and bedtime's playtime being chased by at least 4 dogs. I don't think he really liked it anymore than the dogs he chases around do.

I so wish I had gotten this on film. I finally remembered my camera for the 11am playtime on Saturday. Only Ellie arrived bright and early on Saturday and messed with my group. She was now the newest and Shilo was all over her. Shilo and Ellie are a good match, but not with the other four still interested in chasing Shilo. I had to give Ellie and Shilo a bit of alone time and I did get footage of that.

Group Dynamics

Since I opened my kennel, I get a daily lesson in group dynamics. It is funny how much one dog can change the whole mood at the kennel.

Have a group that isn't playing together and add BB and then everyone is having fun.

Have a barky kennel and then Tessie goes home and everything quiets down.

Invariably, adding a new dog mean that I missed my photo or film opportunity. I will find myself watching playtime, thinking 'I have got to remember the camera next time.' But by the time the 'next time' comes the dynamic has changed and the photo is lost. This weekend, it was what happened with Shilo. I'm still going to write it up, it just would have been better with some film footage.

I lose a lot of blogging material to this. I have just got to start bringing the camera all the time.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Speaks For Itself

Turn on your volume and learn all about BB's version of Non-Fetch.

Starry, Starry Night

It is a gorgeous night last night. I got home late with my son from his karate class. It was way past his bedtime and I had forgotten to turn on the outside lights. Good thing, we got a treat of seeing the Milky Way and a couple of bazillion stars.

I am out in the dark all the time with bedtime dog duty. This was a particularly pretty night. There was no moon and only the light from my house and the neighbors to mess up my viewing. The stars were so bright, they seemed really close. I even spotted a planet; I just don’t know which one, something to the southwest rising over my bluff.

I know that we only see the Milky Way in the winter, but I didn’t realize that it would be here so soon. It was going across the sky NE to SW generally. I seem to remember it more north-south. Either it moves a lot or my memory is shot. I am going to have to look this one up or wait and watch all winter.

I have seen some fun things hanging out in the dark with the doggies. I saw a meteor crash somewhere up Spring Canyon. To bad there was no way of finding it. And one time I spotted what I thought had to be Air Force One flying overhead. You don’t often see a regular airliner flanked by jets. I googled the President’s schedule and found out that Laura Bush had landed in California that night. So maybe I was right.

Matched Set

Not only does BB have a friend to play with, she practically has herself to play with. I often notice dogs that don't look alike but are virtual twins in personality. BB and Smokey are those kind of twins.

Not only to they play together and wrestle together with a lot of the same moves and maneuvers; they respond to affection and delivery affection in the same manner.

Lovin' on these dogs runs a high risk of bruising on me. Start scratching or rubbing on Smokey and he turns on the wiggles, revs up his tail, and starts bouncing. Petting BB starts her curling around and around you, and she turns on a tail that is more of a fur covered steel cable. Now, make the mistake of thinking that you have two hands and can pet two dogs at the same time and try it with these will be lucky if you can stay on your feet. That is just too much dog to try to pet at the same time.

Getting love from BB usually involves a paw to the heart, "The Flying Leap of Love" as I have dubbed it. Smokey has his own variation of "The Leap"; it is a two pawed affair with now discernible pattern of where it lands except that it lands on me and threatens to knock me over.

I guess it is all good - BB isn't bored anymore, Smokey is having a great time, and I have a few more bruises than normal.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I thought I knew BB....

But I never had her all to myself before.

BB is the only dog in the kennel today. I think she is a bit bored with just me, so I tried to get my dogs to play with her. I think she is bored with them also. Not for long, though, she has a buddy showing up early tomorrow.

I never get to love on BB until she is going into her kennel. BB always gets to be the last one in and she gets an allover rub down before she steps foot in her kennel. She really has done a great job in training me.

I decided it was safe to sit down for a playtime with only one dog and I got more BB lovin' than I have in the past 5 years. This is what I learned about BB.

First, she is a licker. Trying to pet her is an extreme effort in getting your hands washed. It is just a bit too cold for that much dog spit.

Second, she is a bird-dog. I had her out trying to squeeze in one more play time before the rains hit and she was barking straight up into the sky. I thought she was barking at the thunder, but it was a dove on the power lines. She dashed across the play yard chasing a couple of other doves that flew by only to return to barking at the first one. When thunder finally scared that dove up, BB shot after it like she really had a chance at catching it.

Third, BB really is the smartest dog I have ever met. All summer long, BB has been leaving her blankets outside. I have tried to put them back in her inside run, but she takes them right back out to the outside run. Last weekend, we had some rain and when I went down to the kennel after it had ended, I noticed that BB had her blanket inside and perfectly dry. Smart Dog! Well, once might have been a fluke. Seeing her do it again this time, means she knows what she is doing. Very Smart Dog!

Why did Winter Decide to Come Before Halloween?

Utah is known for its crazy weather, but this fall it has clearly lost its mind!

When I tell people about the kennel I say that it is heated and air conditioned, and I add - "sometimes both!"

Until this week that has never been true. This is the first time I had to run the heat at night and the A/C in the afternoon in the almost 5 years that I have been open.

It is also the first time that the heat has been turned on in September. September 23rd to be exact.

We did have to heat the kennel one Memorial Day Weekend when we had a cold snap and that was the latest it was ever on.

Winter coats in September... it is just so wrong.