Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BB's Back!

Haven't seen her for ages.

Hee,hee, BB's got back, too.
I think since her cousin dogs went home, she is getting all the snacks.

I have noticed some of my regulars have 'thickened up' once they got out of the puppy years. Booker, Diesel and BB are starting to pick up some pounds. All these dogs are what I call "furless wonders". Their coats are so short it is more like velvet than fur and are no good for hiding extra weight. Very much like skinny jeans on humans, every pound is on display.

Personally, no one is getting me near any kind of mirror that lets me see my rear!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A New An Usually Way to Screw Up Fetch!

Really, I had thought I'd seen them all. Starting with my own dogs, who played a very limited game of fetch. I throw the ball, one dog gets the ball and then proceeds to chase the dog, that didn't get the ball, while continuing to retain the ball in her mouth.

Jasmine has come up with an equally hard way to not play fetch. She will bring the ball back, but she insists on dropping it behind me. Whenever I attempt to move it forward, to a position that I can kick it from, she darts in and grabs it. I was getting worried that my toes would land in her procession and not the tennis ball. GAME OVER!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Large and In Charge

I had Scooter back this week. He is a bit bigger than last visit. I'd put him at about 2 and a HALF pounds these days. He had no trouble getting in and out of his run once I put the logs in for him to climb up and out on.

On of the other moms commented that he didn't seem intimidated by all the big dogs and all their barking. Funny, I was pretty intimidated all week with all the barking and jumping. The crowd I had over Thanksgiving was just draining me dry. So much barking, Tessie jumping straight up and down, Harley jumping straight up and down, only higher, and Maki, Booker, Nuray, and little Maggie and Rosie barking their fool heads off. Being inside the kennel was painful. Outside wasn't much better. But with all that, she was right. Little Scooter wasn't frightened by all the noise and action at all. He wasn't afraid of the big dogs that came up to his run. And when he did get outside with Tessie, Rosie, and Maggie, he chased those dogs away with his attentions.

As I explained to that mom, Shitzus are always 'Large and In Charge', they have no idea of their actual size and seem to be born with the innate knowledge that they rule the universe. How so much confidence can be packed into such a small body, I do not know, but it is true.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Enthusiasm for Dogs Runs in the Family

That high pitch squeal you are hearing is the baby's ultimate sign of approval and delight. All dogs are greeted by this sound. Live or on TV. Even the little yellow lab logo we have on our computer's login screen can bring that sound out of her.

For me, it brings on goose bumps, makes my eyes roll back in my head and makes my skull feel like it is splitting down the middle. The ad for Disney's new Christmas Buddies with all six of its 'cute as can be' yellow labs is particularly painful.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seriously Misread That Situation!

I just got stared down and out of my own kennel. I went out for the dinner shift only to be greeted by my kennel's NEW owner. A rather large hound that was not going to let me anywhere near HIS kennel. Every time I stepped past the chicken house, I was greeted with teeth and growls. I took this warning very seriously and called for 911 for Animal Control to come out.

I got two of Helper's finest in no time. They got a similar greeting from the dog. We settled in to wait for Animal Control.

Once she got here, armed with only a 'dog stick' and a bag of treats she bravely approached the kennel building. She was greeted to a dropped and wagging tail and a licked hand. What the?!!

I was really frightened of that dog and all he did was wait for her to put the leash on.

Ha, ha, I have to laugh at myself, I really misread that dog's body language.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Once Again, Crossing that Fine Line Between Love and Stalking

Let's just say that Goofy has issues. He has a thing for little dogs. His usual technique is to follow them around the play yard barking at them. The little dogs ignore him for the most part and just end up with a spit covered back.

Little Scooter isn't allowed out with the big dogs, yet. Goofy can't leave him alone. Whenever Scooter reaches out to Goofy, he gets a big lick or a little nibble. Goofy is in love. Scooter is either going to be greatly relieved when Goof goes home tonight or he is going to be lonely.

Live Action of the Live Action!

First they run. A few laps to get warmed up. Ellie will join in on the running part.

Then there is the wrestling, which both Ellie and I try to avoid.

Perfect Match!

They might look like they are killing each other, but they have been at this for more than a day and half already. These two should sleep for a week when they go home.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Thought the Whole Concept was that it Kept Your Hands Free for the Remote!

Dog Snuggi!

I saw this at Walmart in Price.

Looking for Gifts...

I have recently seen some really odd dog or dog based gifts this year. I thought I would share.

Dog Mugs! That the handle is the dog's head. This is a tad to close to picking them up by the ears for me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I lost one of my favorite dogs.

Her owner just called to tell me that Dusty won't be arriving 7am on Monday. I am about as upset about her as my own dogs dying. She was my all time favorite. She had been coming here from the very beginning. My husband just told me that she was the very first dog that he had to babysit because I had taken the kids to see my parents. That must have been spring break 2003 or 2004.

Dusty is the yawning dog you see that the top of this blog. The name 'Yawning Dog' came from one of my dogs that yawned so big it was like a lion in the circus: you could put your whole head in there! But my dogs are black and never show up good in a picture. So, Dusty became the model for my blog.

I am going to miss her more than I can say.

Silver Lining to the Recession...

I have had so many new dogs this year! As the regular clients take fewer vacations, I get a crop of newbies each weekend.

This week we have:NEW DOGS!

Skulli and Jack, all bounce and happiness. I am still bruised all over, yet somehow delighted about it.

Winchester in action! If I could only, always have Jack to not play back with him.

Bear! I greeted him with, "Bear!? more like Wolf!" Turns out I was right. He is half wolf.

So new dogs and new breeds, as well, this year.

Bear is a HUGE lovebug in more ways than one.

The picture doesn't do him justice. He has gorgeous slate gray fur and golden brown eyes.

So much for this year.

I give up. Trying to make a 6 foot high inflatable blue dog for the Helper's Annual Light Parade has now come to an end.

I attempted to blow him up yesterday and one blower is just not going to be enough, that plus the fact that he is pretty mutant looking has me giving up. I have wasted enough precious nap time working on him and nothing around the farm or yard got done while it was still warm.

Facing making the signs out in the cold is also another reason why...NEXT YEAR!

Gonna fix my husband's pants, turn my son's broken snaps into button holes and buttons and pack up the sewing machine, empty the dining room of project materials in time for Thanksgiving dinner and spend nap time sorting out the basement.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Play Time!

As you can see, many weeks of many big dogs has turned the play yard into a dust bowl.

Winchester is Playing!

I was so excited to see Winchester playing with another dog without the horrifying noise. Morning came and I realized why there was no noise of protest from Winchester. When he plays with Jack, Jack doesn't play back. Just what Winchester has been looking for in a playmate. One that doesn't even try to win.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maybe it will work!?

I was left this list of instructions for how to house train a puppy. I just read it in slack jawed awe.

Now, I know I did everything wrong with house breaking my puppies, so this isn't a criticism of the program or the effort involved in sticking to it. It is just a reaffirmation that maybe I should not get a puppy again, rather I should adopt a dog that has already been house broken. It is, however, an admission of defeat as I had little or no chance of actually following this plan.

The puppy did better with the plan than I did. Every time I came in, he would come out of his box and pee for me. Now, if I was a bit faster, I might have gotten him to the outside run in time. I still have a chance. He is due back for Thanksgiving and with a whole week, I know he can have me trained up just fine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Puppies Welcome!

I will play ONLY if I get to win!

Winchester has a bit of a problem when it comes to playing with the other dogs. Namely, he just doesn't know how to do it!

He postures for play, perfectly. He wags his tail and seems good to go. Only he is only 'good' when his paws are on the other dog or he is doing the mounting. As soon as the other dog gets anything near 'top', the most godawful sound comes out of this dog and attempts to split your skull down the middle. It is bad on me and the other dogs are just plain confused by it. Stewy and Rocko tried over and over again to play with Winchester, but he just never got the hang of it.

If you happen to be a work, turn the volume down...low.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I have worked it out!

Sally, Cai, and Tinkerbell on one side.
Blocker, Buttons and Tessie on the other.

Everyone seems to be getting along.
Sally can take whatever Tink dishes out.
Call me impressed.

I am finally getting to clean the concrete mess up.
There was no way I was going to bend down and pick stuff up around Tink.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Not a Good Day at the Ranch

I hate days like these. I really dread going down the kennel to let the dogs out. It is just no fun this week. Everyone has been here a bit too long. Sally is going on her second week, as is Cai. Tinkerbell still hasn't gotten the hang of playing well with others. She makes all the right moves to get a dog to play with her, but then she quickly drops the charm and lunges at them. Good start, bad follow through. Cai and Sally and even Blocker have all started growling while playing, so my nerves are shot, reacting to everyone like a fight is about to break out. I end up cutting play time short, whenever it stops looking and sounding like play time and that is probably making matters worse.

Making the mix work even worse, over the weekend, was Tobit. She is a little thing, but usually she is right in the middle of everything, trying to control the other dogs. That would be the Heeler in her, trying to be in charge. This time, she was the new kid and she didn't take well to the position. I even had to keep her by herself for the first day. When she did finally play with the others, she was butting in whenever two of them were wrestling, barking the whole time. That kind of thing just ups the energy level and makes everyone just that much more unstable. The poop didn't even get scooped for a day as I wouldn't take my eyes off them.

Tobit went home and things quieted down for about 30 minutes until Simon showed up. Simon has a one track, ball oriented mind. Everyone else wanted him to wrestle and not play fetch. This was not a match made in heaven. He started to get so nuts about his ball, that he chomped down on my hand, ball inside, as I reach back to throw it. So much for fetch. He also possesses a high pitch bark that you can feel damage your hearing. He went home today, only to be replaced with Tessie.

I couldn't have picked a worser combination. I love Tessie to bits, but her constant barking and jump just makes my life miserable. Especially, when I have a kennel full of newbies that have never been around her. She has Tinkerbell wound so tight that she is all over me from the moment I let her out. Cai and Sally are also jumping all over me. I have more bruises than I want to count. They are kicking the bleep out of me each playtime.

I am holding out hope for Wednesday when Smokey arrives. A big dollop of big, dumb and happy might just pull this group back together.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Name That Just Doesn't Fit!

Too little, this time!

Tinkerbell is a Bull Mastif. Now, you could go for the irony angle, funny to name something that is going to be so big and so lumbering after something so tiny, and dainty that it can fly. But, I believe this falls under the same force of dog naming that brought me, Snoopy, Tiffany, Britney, and Pepper Ann.

They let the kids name the dog.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sorry That I Forgot the Camera, Again!

First, there was Maggie trying to mount Rocky. Now, having a girl mount a boy is not really that unusual. It is more of a dominance play than anything sexual. But, in this case, we have a 120+ black lab trying to mount and equally over weight pug. I had to say to myself,"Girl, where are you going with that?!"

I knew where Rocky was going with it; happily back in his own run.

Then the boys got into it. Booker had Lucky on him, Shane mounted Lucky, and Muffin decided to join in. A four dog, dog train is really quite rare. Now, if Maggie had only tried to do to Muffin that she had tried to do to Rocky AND I had my camera...I know that $10,000 would be mine.

Big, Dumb, and Happy - My Favorite Breed of Dog

I do I ever have a load of them.

Booker, Smokey, Muffin, Lucky...they have been at it for days. I try not to freeze as I dodge their endless wrestling match. Usually, I know that playtime is winding down when the wrestling and running stop and everyone starts to just wander around on their own. Not this group, there is no stopping or even slowing for them. I am frozen through and risking shattering on impact as I have to get into the middle of the dog pile to get anyone back into a kennel.

Smokey went home and has since been replaced with Maggie and Shane. Maggie is a bit too old to handle the kids and has made that perfectly clear. She even got through to Booker to leave her alone, but Shane is putting on his puppy suit and joining in, big time.

It is both nice and odd to see Muffin playing. He has always been a bit of a loner. I think the thyroid supplements have done him a world of good.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I call him, Cory.

I thought about making a big stuffed animal, but cardboard sounded easier. ha, ha.

I am putting together a silent auction item for St. Anthony's Carnival. I have a doggie backpack and what better way to show it off than on a dog. I had planned on leaving him a lovely shade of brown cardboard, but now I have to papermache him to cover up his one side that is showing that he was born of a diaper box.

Whenever I get him done, he will have his back pack, 2 toys, a travel dog dish, and gift certificates from The Ranch and from John McCurdy for dog training.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting Along Much Better This Weekend

I have a threesome of big and bouncy, BB, Amica, and Booker. They are a good match for personality, speed, agility and even color. That is a bit of problem, I almost fed Booker, BB's food. And it is hard to tell who you are yelling at when they speed by.

Booker is still playing too rough, but the girls are more than willing to put him in his place. I think they are going to be a good influence on him.

Booker's owner sent a squirt bottle of water for me to use on him, when he acts up. Funny, I just bought myself one last week to try on the nuisance barkers. The lady that runs the animal shelter recommended it. I still think it seems a bit mean, which probably explains why the bottle is still in its bag in the back of my husband's car. Now, I don't have any problem dumping an entire bucket of water on dogs that are fence fighting, but squirting them still seems too harsh. I haven't even tried it on Booker, I keep forgetting his bottle in the kennel.

Or, maybe, it is just that I love them all the more when they are terrible.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Duke and Laura

I haven't had these two in years now. I was shocked by how old they had gotten. Watching the dogs get old is a bit harder with having lost my two old dogs this summer.

It seems that Laura still likes her tennis balls. She was even willing to chase it a short distance. No more of her high flying leaps to catch the ball on a bounce anymore. Laura has not changed in shape at all as she has aged. I wish I had film of her snatching a ball out of the air, while get that fat butt at least a couple of feet off the ground. She had air time like Michael Jordan.

Now, naps seem more important that tennis balls.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So Sorry to Disturb You!

I headed out for the bedtime shift about 9pm, last night. I went directly into the play yard to let Duke and Laura out. They are my only guests, at this time. They weren't outside, they didn't come outside when I arrived, they didn't come outside when I called, so I stepped into their kennel and looked inside. Too cute, they were asleep piled on each other. Laura, finally, did get up. She walked to the dog door, stuck her head out, and glared at me. I could tell that stepping out into the cold and dark was not something she was going to do.

I ended up giving them their bedtime biscuits and going to bed myself.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not a Paid Endorsement

I guess we all have to say stuff like that these days.

I didn't buy these things and the company didn't send it to me. An owner sent them along with the pills to put inside and the dog to put the whole thing inside.

Over the phone, I was surprised to hear that they were having trouble getting their dog to take his thyroid pills. Funny, they usually just love those little liver flavored thyroid pills. I found out why he was so reluctant to take his pills; these were the regular old, not good tasting, human thyroid pills. They are also so tiny, you would never be able to tell if you got them down or just lost them on the floor.

These pill pockets have been a god send. I am really impressed. I have always used peanut butter on my dogs, but this seems even easier. I will have to check the price, though. Could get expensive if your dog takes them every day. Though I did figure out that you only need to use half of each to get the pill down.

I couldn't get Buddy the dachshund to take his pill at all yesterday and even with all my experience, I couldn't get his mouth open for a stuff it down technique. I decided to borrow one of these pockets and that pill went straight down. I think I am sold. I might just keep some in stock. Definitely beats that empty feeling in your stomach as you are considering prying open a doberman's mouth each morning.

Ha, Ha, Ha - I Solved One Problem and Made Myself a Whole New One

I decided to try again and see if I could come up with a mix of dogs that would play together without any growling.

Tessie, Booker and Rocko on one side. So far so good.
The newbies and the shitzus on my side. Looking good.
Tippy and Tank and Booker, staying in their runs for now. (Much barking out of complaints)

The newbies, Butch, Bella, and Chumbs, seem to be getting used to the place. Bella has stopped giving herself a wedgie and was actually wagging her tail. Buddy, the antisocial dachshund, came out into the play yard for the first time all weekend. I even saw him wag his tail. Rambo and Dorie plus Butch and Bella seem to be a hit. They are having a great time. I get to stop being in Referee mode for the first time in days and get the poop scooped. It really needed to get done.

The play yard is clean, the dogs are having fun, except the guys that haven't had their turn outside yet. Time to switch. Okay, maybe too much fun because I can't get any of the 5 into thier runs. The newbies were easy to put in last night, they were pretty freaked out and ready to go anywhere that had less dogs. Not today. Trying to get 3 dogs, all that don't want to be in, into one run is nothing short of chaos. Especially, when one of them is a lab puppy. (you can't steer puppies)

I finally caught the shitzus and then I got Chumbs in, then grabbed the puppy and Bella just walked in like, "Gee, all you had to do was ask."

I Hate Weekends Like This

I just don't get why the dogs aren't getting along this time. They really should be a good match for each other, but that just doesn't seem to be the case. As of last night, everyone is getting to play only with themselves. Play time is taking twice as long and no one is having any fun - including me.

Tippy can't play with any little dogs, his owner warned me that he will "go after" anything smaller than himself. Good to know, and nice that I didn't have to figure it out on my own.

I was planning on Booker and Tip wearing each other out. They play okay for awhile then suddenly Tippy turns on the aggression and Booker looks worried. I haven't come up with a technique to stop this behavior and I never saw it on The Dog Whisperer. My only choice is separation.

But Ziggy showed up and I figured three in a dog pile should spread the energy out. Nope, Tippy and Booker teamed up on poor Zig. Ziggy gives up and heads for his kennel. We had a bit of peace and fun after that as Lucinda and Booker were whipping around the play yard.

But now the bad behavior has spread. Rocko is tormenting the new guys. Tippy can't be with anyone other than his brother Tank. And Booker has become as aggressive in his play as Tippy, so he is soloing also. Booker and Tessie are barking non stop at each other, so they also have to be separated.

I am actually having to let each dog out alone, like all the other kennels do.

I am starting to dread playtime.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Game of BB Fetch

Turns out that Tippy plays fetch very much the same way as BB does. That is that I throw and they keep the ball. It really does limit the time we get to play fetch unless I can find another tennis ball to throw.

Note the paw pinning the ball to the ground.

Not Exactly Living Up to Their Names

This is Rambo. Not really as scary as his name.

This reminded me of White Fang. A few years ago, I had just had a weekend of dogs not getting along and I look at the calendar for the next weekend and there is a White Fang scheduled to come.

Geez, the last thing I need is another bruiser of a dog.

White Fang, turned out to be small, white, and fluffy and clearly a threat to no one.

I also have a teacup poodle named Spike.

Maybe they will grow into their names?

Not Exactly Traveling Light

These guys are much smaller than the size of their combined 'stuff'.

I have to laugh at the owners sometimes, they are worried about how their dogs are "very spoiled." Like they are the only ones. People who are worried about leaving their dogs tend to over do..the toys, the bedding, or the food. On a rare occasion, I get too much of all three.

Rarely, does the over packing last more than a couple of stays. As soon as the humans are more comfortable with the dogs hanging with me - the less stuff, the less fluff, and the less extensive the food supply.

Rambo and Dory, here, take the record for the most toys. Their kennel looks like a Petsmart threw up in it. Much in the same way, my living room looks like Toys-R-US barfed all over it.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Things are getting worse with Smokey

My attempts to save my own hide and caused her to be even more aggressive in demanding my love and attention. She has no taken to chomping down on my arm to get me to stay. Lucky for me it has been cold enough to wear a jean jacket.

I still can't get her to interact with the other dogs. She has Boudins mounting her and she still is only focused on me.

Two more days of this...ugh. She is not having a good time and I am getting quite the assortment of bruises. So ready for this long weekend to be over.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Something is Up...

With Amica and Teenso. Teenso won't go in the kennel unless she is the first one in the kennel. I am having enough problems with dogs going into the wrong kennels. I don't need the hassle of having to get them to load up in order.

Can One Actually Be Loved to Death?

This will be the weekend to test the theory. Smokey, all 100+ pounds of her, loves me. And it has definitely crossed that fine line between love and stalking.

She is all over me, rubbing up against me, jumping on me, covering me with slobber. She shows absolutely no interest in the other dogs, just me. I am trying all my dog whisperer tricks of pushing her with my thighs like another dog would do to move her. I have tried turning my back on her, which is supposed to mean 'I don't want to play' in dog body language. All that got me was a big strafe down my back. Earlier, I was able to hold her off for awhile by carrying around the pooper scooper and the pan.

Tonight, I just gave up and saved myself. I stuck her and the other big dogs on one side of the gate and hung out with the little dogs.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Eeekkk! Snake!

I managed to get scared brainless by the same snake, twice. I mean once is to be expected, but when you know he is there and you are actively looking for him, to be jumping and squealing like a little girl for a second time is just embarrassing. Sorry, didn't have the camera with me for a picture.

I was headed down for the lunch time playtime and was carrying two buckets of hot water. I was about to step onto the concrete step of my kennel when it moved. There was a 5' gopher snake lying in the grass against the concrete. He started moving about as fast I was jumping and squealing. He headed under the peach tree and I opened the door and headed for the safety of the kennel building.

After carefully checking on my way back out the door, I let Tessie out for her playtime. I quickly went around the corner to make sure the snake hadn't headed into the play yard. I couldn't see him, so I figured he was still in the deep grass under the peach tree.

So, playtime is over and I am headed back into the kennel. I need to clean a couple of runs. I now know there is a snake and I am looking for the snake. Not until he moved again did I see him. He was curled up on the concrete right next to the door. More jumping and squealing from me, more fleeing from him. I think he will be finding a new warm spot to sun in.

I do hope he gets back to work on the mouse population. I spotted a mouse in my kitchen this morning. We got the house sealed up good about 5 years ago, so this is the first mouse in ages. This is a bad sign for the mice to be looking for winter homes this early. Long, cold winter ahead of us? I definitely see mouse traps in my future.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Fires are Giving Us Some Beautiful Sights

We had an orange moon last night, too bad it was just past half full. Should be even better tonight. And this morning, I was treated to a red sun rise. Can't say that I have seen that before.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I have hit the wall.

I can no longer recognize my doggies. I think I know dogs that have never been here or I know I have never seen dogs that I have babysat before.

Somewhere about the 6 year mark, the dogs have all started to run together.

Sad, really, I pride myself on knowing my wards.

Maybe it is just a third kid thing. Like my mom, I can't get my own kid's names right anymore.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Got my facebook link to show up, finally.

Couldn't just paste back in my old version of my blog, the software said it wasn't compiled right.

So, back to old color scheme.

Oh, well, that was ugly

I think I need to check out that "webpage design for dummies" book, again.

I hate that green backgound on the side, but I can't get rid of it at the top. I can't move the picture to the left to save my life, and I have no idea how to get the text where I want it.

Maybe I will just go back to the old version for now.

Wish me luck!

I am going to try to reset my template settings on this blog.

A couple of years after I started, they came up with much easier ways to change how your blog looks; without you having to be a expert in HTML. I was going nuts trying to figure out why I couldn't put a facebook link on my blog. I figured it out. I need to be on the new and easier system.

I have no idea what the page is going to look like after this.

Friday, August 28, 2009

One of My Better Ideas

I don't remember coming up with it, but putting a gate and dividing the play yard was really a great idea.

This week I had 4 little bits and 2 big and wild things. So, big on one side, little on the other. I hung out with the littles.

I could claim that I was just worried about Zig and Ike running over the little guys as they wrestled with complete abandon, but you all know, I was saving myself from a hit and run just as much.

Ike thinks I need to be included in the play. "Really, my feeling are not hurt, I am just fine doing nothing." Ike doesn't like my excuses and doesn't take 'No' for an answer. Zig went home just before dinner last night. Ike with no one to play with was going to be a very bad thing. I lucked out Ike's parent's train was on time. Yeah! for everyone.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

So few dogs and no combination that will work, ugh!

The Back to School slowdown has hit the kennel. I even had two morning with no dogs to get to sleep in all the way to 7am. The baby decided to get up at 6:30 on one of them.

This weekend the kennel is half empty, yet it is going to be more work than normal. I can't get these dogs to get along.

Booker just wants to play, but Chance is afraid of him and reacting aggressively. So, that combo is out. Chance's sister Jasmine, the weiner dog, hates everyone and can't be allowed out with anyone but her brother. Poor little Lucy, new to all of this, is completed freaked out and staying in her run, for now. That leaves Scooter and Harley. Scooter is a Westie and not neutered. He thinks he is in charge and all of my attempts to disavow him of this idea have not worked. He might be playing with Booker, but it looks and sounds like a fulblow assault accompanied with a wagging tail. Talk about mixed messages.

So, poor Booker who can play with anybody, actually can't. It will be just him and me and a tennis ball this weekend. I will stick with just family groups for the rest. That means two separate playtimes for each playtime. Very few dogs, less money, and more work...this weekend is just not working for me. At least they are mostly just here for the weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Empty House

This the first time in years that I have come downstairs and not had a dog to let out.

We had to put our other dog down. This one was even harder to do. She was still getting around, but it was obvious that the pain meds weren't really working.

What is making this so much harder is that I have 3 older dogs in the kennel this weekend. They are gimping around and one keeps falling off her legs, just like my dogs. It is breaking my heart.

I was thinking that if wasn't for our new baby, this house would be very empty when school started next month. I haven't been home alone since 1995.

And before you ask...not looking for a dog right now.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Stop overestimating the inherent value of your own urine.

No one wants it as much as you think they do.

I have two pee-ers here this weekend, Smokey and Sparky.
One big, one little, same volume of pee.

Smokey keeps peeing to his right and hitting Tessie's kennel.
Sparky will pee to either side and is nailing both Smokey and Cleo.

If they just would pee on just each other, I would consider it justice. But why do they need to include the girls.

Walls, I need some, walls. Maybe someday. Meanwhile, got to hose down the kennel, today.

I haven't had to vacuum up spilled Cheerios in about 7 years.

First, because we haven't had a toddler in the house in that many years.

Second, because I have Labradors, the floor cleaning system of the dog world.

Miss you even more, 'Nertia, as I have to waste all these wonderful doggie treats the baby is launching off the high chair.

More than ten years ago, with the first baby in the house, 'Nertia claimed that precious space under the high chair for herself. She was already doing a decent job at training this baby to feed her right off the tray, when we lost her.

My other Lab was born with a thorough "child avoidance" sense. She only patrols after the high chair has been vacated. Her eye sight is now so bad, she is really missing out on all the delicacies that are hitting my dining room rug.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dog Heaven

I have said this one before.

I do believe there is a dog heaven. Where all the squirrels are slow, the tennis balls taste like Filet Mignon, and everyone gets their own couch.

If we are really good humans, I believe we get to visit our dogs there.

And if you are extra special, they will even let you up on the couch.

One of my dogs died last week. My husband asked if there was anything I wanted to bury with her. I had the funnest image come into my head. Our couch in an enormous hole in the ground with my dog in her usual spot with a pillow under her head. To be on the couch was just never enough, she also had to have a pillow.

A Rose By Any Other Name May Smell as Sweet, But Dogs Tend Not to Come When Called By The Wrong Name

I have a bad case of being my own mother lately. My big sister left for college when I was 10 years old and my mom has been calling me by her name ever since. I noticed that I, too, have been calling the baby by her big sister's name, but now it has spread to the dogs.

Poor Booker, I just kept calling him Ziggy. Ziggy was the dog in than kennel before Booker. Now, I try to justify it with the facts that Ziggy and Booker are really pretty much the same dog, personality wise. When trying to stop myself from using Ziggy, I managed to come up with Blocker. He is also big and black like Booker, but I think that was just my feeble attempt to yank a name out of my head that was even somewhat close to what I needed.

Chance has been Rascal for at least half of his stay. Cleo, however, has gotten her name back. Last stay, I called her Chloe all week.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Found a Dog

Well, I did everything I could. Last night, I called the police and had the Helper Police keep an eye out for her. I also attempted to look for her at her house and at her Aunt's house.

This morning I called the Animal Shelter and notified them to call me on any 'found' dog calls.

My next move was to call Barter Bar on Monday so that pretty much everyone in the county would know about Sugar. I wasn't as worried about coyotes or cats getting her as someone finding her and deciding to keep her.

After that, all I get to do is worry. And we all know how good I am at that.

As I wasn't sleeping last night, I was telling myself the she is not wandering around. She may have wandered away from me, but once it was dark, she probably is hunkered down somewhere waiting for morning.

I think I might I have been right about that and not just trying to talk myself into some sleep.

Sugar was found in the parking lot of the building across Main Street from her house. Gee, I almost parked there last night. Her Aunt thinks that since she has been scolded so many times for being in Main Street that she was headed home but afraid to cross the last road.

Yeah, all's well that ends well.

Lost a Dog

Just not what you want to realize just as you are putting the dogs to bed and it is getting to be full dark.

She is just the littlest thing and cute as a button sitting in her dog bed. At dinner, I had just been thinking that I needed to get a picture of her sitting there.

I am just in shock and so upset. As you can imagine, the owners are even more upset. The lady that owners her drove home last night to look for her. Her daughter, who was also out of town, drove back from Wendover to start the search and her actual plans were to head out to Elko today.

After talking to the owner, I got her home address and I tried there for the dog, no luck.
That was about 10pm and at 1:20am, they called and asked me to check their daughter's house as well. Yup, that was me wandering around 4th Avenue in my PJs.

I have contacted Price Dispatch and they let the Helper Police know. I have been trying to call the radio stations, but it is Saturday, crazy early, and there just aren't any real people there.

I don't know what else to try.

If you see a dog so small it could be a kitten...Sugar is a teacup poodle, all black, only 5 months old, won't come if called, no more than 8 inches tall and about 2-3 pounds. Call me, she is missed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Tobits!

I have had 2 Buddies, at the same time. And two Roxies, both Boxers at the same time. And more than one Harley, but two Tobits, that was really unexpected.

The kids liked the grandparent's dog's name so much they used it on their dog.

I understand it is from the Bible.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Not Goofy's MO

Goofy might 'love' me, but he usually isn't that big on dogs. He doesn't play with the other dogs, he doesn't really react to them either. He usual interaction is to latch onto a small dog and follow it around endlessly while barking at it.

Yes, Goofy does often cross that fine line between 'love' and 'stalking'.

For the most part, the little dogs just completely ignore Goofy. They do end up with a Goofy spit covered back but otherwise not put out by Goofy's attention.

For the first time, Goofy has attached himself to a big dog, Shilo. Goofy has never picked on someone his own size before.

And is he ever attached. I have also never seen him so focused. So focused that I was able to comb out all of his underfur off his rear end without him even noticing me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Maybe just too big.

I noticed the other day that Cai has scraped up his back. He must be doing it as he goes in and out his dog door. I tried sanding off some rough spots, but in the end, I just covered the plastic trim with duct tape. I wish I had thought of it sooner.

Really, I thought I bought the perfect doors for the kennel. Then, again, I also thought my dogs were big dogs. I have had to rethink my definitions of both 'big' and 'little' as applied to dogs.

If I ever get to build a new kennel, the doors will be higher and lower. I have a couple of logs that I put under the doors to make ramps for the little bits, so I think closer to the ground is important. And I have more than one of the extra large variety of dogs, so taller is essential.

Everyone is having fun, including me!

Since the girls that were not getting along went home, things have been running pretty smoothly. I have the big guys on one side of the play yard and the little bits on my side.

Maki hasn't completely gotten over being the "little" dog in the pile when playing with Cai, but Diesel is completely unfazed by the size difference. He is just happy whenever a dog will keep playing with him.

I tried and tried to get the money shot of them leaping up at each other, but no luck.

I even got Pug to come out and play with Tiger. Pug had been acting like she was old and pitiful for the first 3 days. Now, I think she was just being wise and staying away from all the craziness over the weekend. She is practically a puppy again, playing with Tiger. Missed the pictures, of course.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Silent Night?!!

Tuesday night was like everyother night before it. I close all the dog doors and then I give a bedtime biscuit to each of the dogs, either one of mine or one their parents sent.

Then I say "Good Night!" to each of them by name.

And when I am about to leave and turn off the lights, I say, "Night, Night doggies! Be good doggies and don't bark, I will see you in the morning!" Then I step out and close the door.

Been saying the same thing for just shy of 7 years now.

When I stepped out that door on Tuesday, I was met with something that hasn't been heard around the kennel in weeks - SILENCE.

It was really lovely.

I know it won't last, there is a Beagle in there, but it was both nice and surprising.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Perfect Storm of Dogs

Really, I can't come up with a worse combination of dogs than the one I have now. If you have any desire to lose your hearing, feel free to stop by, the barking is nothing less than spectacular.

I have Tessie and until yesterday I had Jinx. Neither of these dogs comes with an OFF switch. Jinx barks all the time and when Tessie is not barking, she is jumping straight up and down. Which of course, just makes all the other dogs bark.

Tessie's barking has been a problem from day one. The only time she stops barking at the dogs that are playing is when I throw a toy for her. She doesn't bring them back so I try to load up and keep throwing them. Her constant barking at dogs that are wrestling is like a circle of people yelling, "Fight! Fight!", it just isn't going to lead to anything good.

But Tessie comes here all the time and frankly me and most of the dogs are just plain used to her.

Well this weekend, between Tessie's leaping and Jinx's yipping was Keisha, barking right along with them. Then the Glitter Twins showed up, Jasmine and Jake. Two yellow labs that no one wants to play with because just one of them is too much playing. Tessie's constant motion has the puppies in a frenzy and Keisha is revving up right along with them.

If you watch the Dog Whisperer, he always talks about the 'energy' level of the dogs. Let's just say that this much barking and jumping, the energy level in the kennel is at 11. And high energy in dogs is, frankly, unstable. So I have a full kennel of fur covered wrong touch and this place is going to blow.

When I first let the dogs out into the play yard, the energy is at its highest and worst. Sometimes they shoot out of their gate like madmen. Diesel had a problem with this. He has calmed down since, but at first I would let him out, lock him on the far side of the play yard and let him run it off for 5 or 10 minutes before letting him in with the other dogs. If I just let him out into a crowd he would being playing but at such an intensity that to the other dogs, it would be an attack.

So, the trick to defusing this situation is first, who can play with who, and second, in what order can you let them out.

I have all these nutty dogs and some of them are of the extra large variety. I have to say that I am mostly focused on Cai, the Irish Wolfhound and on Maki, the Mastidor (Mastif-Labrador). Maki is clearly not used to being the SMALL dog in the pile. Maki was really getting picked on fir a while. Keisha on one side, Cai on the other, when Jinx darts in a bites her on the ankle. Now, Maki doesn't even see Jinx, who is the size of a pound of butter. He thinks Keisha did it and growls at her. "Break it up, break it up, everyone back in their own rooms". First things first, Jinx is not coming out anymore.

I was thinking that the puppies, who are a perfect match for Maki might also do well with Cai. Everything just might work out. Nope.

Let out Cai, let Bella out but not Jinx, let out Keisha, get the tennis racket to defend myself, let out the puppies and Maki, let out Tessie last as she HAS to go in everyone kennel if she is let out sooner.

I am so worried about the big and bouncy, that I total missed the girls working themselves into a tizzy. Of all the dogs, it was Keisha and Tessie that went at it. Looked bad, sounded worse, no marks on either of them.

Okay lets try again.

Let out Cai, let Bella out but not Jinx, get the tennis racket to defend myself, let out Jake and leave Jasmine in the kennel obsessing over Tessie, let out Maki and try to keep her off me, let out Tessie last. Stuff them all on the other side while trying to keep Jake and Maki off me.

Latch the divider gate for the play yard and let out Keisha and Jasmine.

Spend playtime throwing balls to get Tessie to stop barking and fencing with a tennis racket to defend my personal space from Keisha and Jasmine.

I just keep asking, when are they all going home?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Eeekkk! Bees!

Really big and fuzzy and just plane weird because they are so darn big, bees.

They seem to love the Locust tree I planted last year. When I bought this half dead, barely a stick of tree, on sale last year, I had NO idea what I was getting. First, it has grown like crazy. The trunk is already more than 2 inches across. Second, who knew about the wild purple flowers? Last year, I got them in the spring and again in the fall. I am getting my shady play yard back, finally. After losing that huge peach tree, we were all baking in the sun out there.

Both the BIGGEST and the LITTLEST!

Cai and Jinx, marvel at the shear range of dogdom.

This weeks visitors

Littlest to Biggest


Jinx's BIG sister, Bella

Tessie, who never lets me get a picture of her.

Ellie-Belly, she no longer requires a belly rub to get back into her kennel.

BB, doesn't she look mean in this picture.

Shadow, who just might be afraid of his own shadow.

Cai, short for Mordecai, short for nothing else. He is the biggest dog, ever, at The Ranch!

Monday, May 25, 2009