Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I need the whole day off

Only having a half day off on most Tuesdays just doesn't cut it. I had so many things I would have liked to get done today but I just didn't get very far.

Afrer work I had to go get the chip in my windshield fixed-I got hit with a rock yesterday. Then I stopped a few places to get some new plants and gardening supplies. Then I started on my overwhelming yard work. I really let the landscaping and gardens get away from me last year so I'm going to try and do better this summer. My bulb garden has a mat of dead weeds in it so I just took the easy way out and covered the dead weeds with mulch. My plan is to try and keep up with the weeding as they come through the mulch. Then I started on the garden near the house. It seems my creeping phlox were very unhealthy looking so I ripped up most of those along with the weeds and I have some replacements to plant but I need to put in a few more inches of dirt and then mulch on top of that. I also got some pansies to put in my front porch tub. Also, all of my decorative rings around my trees need weeded and remulched and my berry garden needs cleared out and trimmed. I don't have a lot of success with the raspberries which has been really disappointing. They keep coming up from the base but the existing vines often die so they never get any bigger. I just get another stick every year-they won't grow into bushes.

I have also been wanting to plant something along the embankment along the barn for awhile to spruce it ip but nothing ever lives there and it just keeps growing over with weeds. This time I'm going to try Lily of the Valley. I wanted something taller but those grow well in the shade and multiply so I'll give them a shot. We'll see if they even come up.

So I have a lot of work to do!

This evening Leslie, Becky, and I delivered a rocking chair as a surprise to a special new mom and baby:)

And this is Icy on the refrigerator-just for fun!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Make Mine Chocolate

This year Dogs on Thursday is having a contest that encourages everyone to make a donation to a pet related charity. In the past I have donated various items and time to MOKAN BC rescue but since this contest is falling so close to Easter I decided to donate to the House Rabbit Society this time.

I wanted to do this to remember both Holly and Wiggles (Wiggles was adopted from the HRS) and to make people aware of the overwhelming problem of parents buying baby bunnies for Easter presents. Most people do not realize that rabbits are high maintenance pets who require lots of special care and exercise. Many of these poor rabbits are no longer wanted in a few months when they grow up, become destructive, and the kids find out that most rabbits don't like to be carried around and cuddled. Uneducated decisions like purchasing live Easter bunnies makes rabbits the third most common pet turned into rescues and shelters.

So this year be sure to make your bunny chocolate and spread the word to others!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mostly pictures

We spent most of the day driving around doing some shopping and don't have anything new or interesting to report so I'll just share some random photos.

I call this one "Nice stop." Granted I was blocking her path to take the picture but she really did come to a nice stop on her contact after running the dogwalk at a good clip. And she held her contact very nicely while I finished taking the photo and then released her.

Farmer Barney

As promised here is my framed artwork. We hung it in the bedroom but for the photo it's on the couch. The couch provided good contrast.

Just Being Cute

I think this photo is cool because it doesn't look real. You would think one of those dogs was photoshopped in but they weren't. It just happened that I threw a ball and Oreo stood stock still and watched it while Legend went into motion and ran after it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I put my cat on Prozac

If you have been reading long enough you know we have had an ongoing and escalating problem with Jelly urinating on things that are soft (dog beds, laundry, carpet, furniture...) and multiple failed attempts to prevent this led to her being relocated to the garage and laundry room (where we do not store laundry-too small). Limited to that area she has consistently peed on a puppy pad placed over a folded up blanket in an oversized litter box. But she seems bored and Jerry misses her in the house so we decided to try her on drugs and slowly allow her some limited access to the house and see what happens. We're gonna keep her on the meds 2 weeks before letting her in so it has time to reach efficacious levels. We have not tried drugs before because she's so hard to handle we were not sure (and are still not sure) if we can medicate her every day. Also drugs have a low success rate with cats who have a true substrate preference but my hope is that some of her behavioral issue is stress induced and the Prozac will help. I'm still gonna cover my couch is she stays overnight until I'm really sure she's doing better. We'll see.

Our plans to go to the NADAC trial in Oklahoma got cancelled at the last minute. Seems Cheri's entry got lost in the mail and the trial is more than full so they could not get her in. Since the weather was calling for possible blizzard we took it as a sign we should cancel our trip and I pulled Legend's entry for the weekend. We are bummed out a little but it quite possibly could have been a miserable trip and now I have some unexpected time to relax.

Of course it's chilly and rainy and muddy here so we will just be relaxing around the house for today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm really tired of...

...seeing people with poor personal hygeine. Seriously, it's not that hard to just put on deodorant. Even if you're just going to the vet for that rabies shot animal control made you get, put on deodorant. There's nothing quite like the combination scent of dirty dog, stale ciggarette smoke, and B.O. to make your day special!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Before the storm...

This is what the sky looked like when I got up this morning. I decided to try and get some of my errands run prior to the rain coming. I was partially successful but the rain came sooner than expected to I ended up going home and getting some stuff done around the house for a few hours.
One of the things I was going to get done was to sort through and organize some of the photos on my phone but the software that removes pictures from my phone to my computer so I could sort them was not working. So after messing with that for awhile I ended up uninstalling it and redownloading it. I finally got what I wanted done but it wasted a lot of time. Fortunately I have more to waste now because...are you ready for this?...we hired a maid service. Yeah-less housework for me! We decided an every other week schedule fit best into our budget and should be a big help so I can do more important/fun things with Jerry, dogs, horses, friends, yardwork, gardening, whatever.

So after it rained and got nice and sunny I went out and finished the rest of the shopping. Now it's beautiful out, but muddy. Go figure.

Legend is excited because agility class starts tomorrow. And I'm excited that obedience class ends Thursday. Of course now that I have decided to take some time off from teaching we are getting tons of requests. Oh well-I'm clearing my schedule for some time to do what I want. Jerry and I have a list of things in the area and around the house we want to do and it's not getting a whole lot shorter these days. I think those pesky things called jobs keep getting in the way...

And the blanket winner is...

Sue from the Portuguese Water Blog! Which was really not all that surprising given all the bonus entries she had! Looks like Samba will get her birthday blanket. Sue-you can pick up your prize at the clinic-I'll bring it tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for all the entries!

Monday, March 23, 2009


I have nothing to post about today. It was back to work as usual. I hate Mondays. They are always busy and I'm always tired! But tomorrow I have the whole day off-of course there is a 90% chance of rain and thunderstorms but maybe I can get some errands run before it starts. And then I can just hang out and do stuff around the house and play with the dogs.
Don't forget tomorrow I will be drawing for the blanket winner so if you still want to enter this is your last shot!

Here are some weird pictures I took of Squirt the other day since I don't have anything else to post.

Oh-mom and baby are at home now, doing well but tired!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday visit

Today started out a little cool and cloudy as we headed off to visit my grandparents for the day. But it ended up turning into a nice warm sunny day so after a great lunch we headed over to the outdoor mall at Osage Beach for some shopping. Then back to the house for dessert before the drive back home. If the Amish neighbors had spread turkey manure yesterday it would have been a pretty perfect day!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

From circus to gloom

Jerry gets free tickets to the circus every year because his office allows the circus to use their parking lot for the circus goers to park in. So last night Becky, Rob, Jerry and I headed off to see the circus. It's worth the price of free but I don't think I would pay to get in. It's a smaller circus and I always worry about the use of animals in these kind of shows. The white ponies had poop stains on them, the tigers looked unhappy and one of the dogs was limping. I have a classmate from vet school who work for Ringling Brothers and that makes me feel that their animals are taken care of but I'm not sure about these. Then we headed out for a late dinner which made me and Becky very tired for work this morning.

Plus it was raining and dreary all day. We had plans in Branson with Leslie and Tony but due to rain and unexpected work conflicts with Tony we decided to reschedule. And we found out Kristen (Baby Kennedy's momma) is having some complications and not feeling well. So she had to stay in the hospital and get tests run and more medications instead of going home today. Hopefully she will know more about her test results tomorrow so please keep her in your thoughts. I did stop by the hospital on the way home to check on them and of course hold the baby-she slept the whole time like a little sweetie and then I went on home so they could get some more rest.

The dogs are bummed because we are actually home but it's too rainy and muddy to go out and play. Maybe they can have a special treat later tonight.

These are pictues from the other day at the hospital taken with a camera that has a flash so they are much better than the ones from my phone the other day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

At least it looks good

I picked up my overpriced frame job today. It turned out nice but I never would have paid full price for it. I'll try to post a picture later. I was having a hard time getting a good one with my phone that I could use without cropping (I'm at work still waiting for my obedience students to arrive so I don't have the benefit of my computer yet).

I am excited that I only have two more weeks of class and then I'm going to take a hiatus from teaching for a while so I have more time at home (to train my dogs). I know I've said this a lot before but I really want to try for a UD on Zodiac. If I don't make a pretty serious commitment soon I may lose my chance. He's not getting younger (I'm sad to see more gray hair all the time it seems) and I want him to have a retirement to enjoy!

Speaking of Zodiac, these pics are after his bath today. He's such a handsome boy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome Kennedy Cora!

This sweet baby girl joined the world just before 9:00 this morning via emergency c-section. Mom, Dad, and Baby are all doing well-happy and healthy. Kennedy weighed 8lbs 2 oz and was 21.5 inches long (I think I got that right). Mom and Dad are very proud parents but very tired! The "Aunts"-Leslie, Becky, and I visited the hospital after work and Kennedy was so good-quiet and sweet during the whole visit!

Showing off her hair!

Kennedy and "Auntie" Leslie

Kennedy and "Auntie" Nicki

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

To the salon...

Our friend Cheri nicely agreed to cut Legend's crazy ear hairs today so she doesn't look quite so much like a Papillion-here are her before and after photos. I know they are not great but you can sort of see she doesn't have ear fluff flapping in the breeze anymore.

When we leave in the morning we have been spreading this green blanket on our bed to keep the do hair off the comforter. I do not think it's working-this is usually how it looks when we get home.
And I found out some good news today-our neighbor is moving back to Nevada and so all the barking dogs will soon be gone from our yard. Yeah!
Don't forget-if you have not yet entered for the blanket (but would like to) scroll on down and leave your comment!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Evening Flowers

These photos didn't seem to fit in with my last post so I put them on their very own post. I took these tonight as I was enjoying the beautiful springlike weather.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the blanket contest so far. And thanks to Sue for all the promotion-she's got a lot of extra chances coming her way!

Welcome Facebook Readers

So, a very good friend talked me into joining Facebook as an easy way to keep in touch. Since it's free and easy and we live thousands (well at least one thousand for sure) of miles apart that seemed like a reasonable idea. After both Jerry and I signed up it became apparent that you could spend a lot of time messing around on there. It doesn't help that Facebook automatically searches your email to look for "friends" and then suggests you as a "friend" to anyone it thinks may know you and before long you are hearing about the lives of everyone you ever knew. I guess I could have not invited people but that seemed kind of rude? Cyberspace rudeness-who knew?

Anyway, since I already spend more than enough time writing and reading blogs I think I will need to be careful to limit my Facebook time. I like the blogging better. It's not so busy as the Facebook wall. So Kelly, if you're reading this, I'm doing Facebook mostly for you! Feel special (he-he)? As a bonus both Kelly and I are iPhone junkies and Facebook has a free app so we can use it anytime without plopping down in front of the computer. (I can blog from my phone too but it takes a little more effort to post on blogger than on FB using my phone). However, I was able to import my blog posts to Facebook so those of you that read Facebook but refuse to read blogs now have the best of both worlds. I do suggest clicking over to my actual blog page to get the full effect and see the rest of my photos, fun links and list of other cool blogs!

Technology is so time consuming! Happy reading!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Carthage Day 2

Well, our standard run was pretty wild but after we blew the weave poles I decided to just take off running and let open up and have fun. Naturally she forgot about her contacts and took some off course adventures but seemed to have fun. So I decided to try the same thing in Jumpers. I just ran as fast as I could and the only thing I said the whole course was "weave." She did great but pulled to the inside of one jump. So my strategy for now is to just run the course like I expect her to be fast and trust that 1) catching up to me will be a big motivating factor and 2) she'll go out and do obstacles at a distance while I'm moving away from her, otherwise I"ll never get far enough ahead of her to make her want to catch me. I figure is she goes off course or messes up an obstacle it's probably my fault and a training issue and we can correct those things at home and avoid stressing her out at a trial-where it should be all about having fun and running fast. I mean we could struggle through a course and finish right at course time but that really doesn't do much good if your long term goal is to get a MACH. You need speed and points. Also I'm having her "Aunt" Cheri run her in some of her NADAC runs so she sees it's not all about doing something right for mom but getting to have fun with someone who only spoils her and never works her. I think we're on the right track but I'm just too impatient. I want it all fixed and fixed now-but dogs don't work that way so we'll just keep practicing and experimenting. The good news is that there is always another weekend.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

300th Post

Obviously (if you can infer from the title) this is my 300th post. To celebrate and to thank all my loyal readers for showing in interest in my life, dogs, rants, whatever, I am giving away this fleece blanket. Here's how it works. Leave a comment on this post and I will enter your name in a raffle. As a bonus if you refer a friend and they leave a comment mentioning your name I will enter your name again for everyone you refer. Of course I will enter their name too so you can figure out for yourself if you want a smaller pool or more chances! Good luck and thanks for reading!
Oh, I guess I should mention I'll pick a winner in 10 days.

Carthage Trial Day 1

Legend and I got up extra early to head out to the agility in Carthage today. Although I consider it a "local" trial it actually takes almost an hour and a half to get there. All relative I guess.

Anyway, we started out in Standard. The run was solid I guess-not pokey, but not blazing. I didn't have to call her twice to get started which was a good sign. But she missed her weave entry and blitzed past the teeter. I did call her back and make her do it because I wanted to make sure it was not because she was scared of it. Sometimes she finds the teeters at a trial unacceptable and bails off. But she went over it fine and finished up the course well.

After looking at the Jumpers course I was pretty excited because it was very open and flowing and looked like it would be a good course for having fun and building confidence. I figured that even if we didn't Q it would be a good experience for her. Well about 5 minutes before we were going to run the spectators (who I'm sure were other handlers and owners) thought it would be a good idea to stomp their feet and make a huge ruckus at the end of someone's run. People actually had to yell up to them to stop because it was spooking the dogs. I didn't think much of it because Legend is not usually afraid of noises but when I went to get her from her crate she was hiding in the back and I had to pull her out. Then she wouldn't even play with her toys. Not a good sign. She settled down some and was taking treats and more focused when we got to the ring but on the start line she was stressed and hard to get going. We started out slow and eventually picked up speed but ultimately NQ'd with an off course towards the end (probably my fault for trying to keep her out of the tunnel-guess my plan worked too well, I turned her the wrong way entirely!). Now I'm not trying to make excuses for her, dogs need to be able to work through distractions and unexpected circumstances but it is generally considered common courtesy to not do things that might scare or distract the dogs. In this case it wasn't just the dog in the ring or the dog getting ready to run but that whole end of the building was affected. Lots of dogs were crated right under the loft and could have been spooked if they were sound sensitive or maybe just not expecting it.

Sometimes you just get some bad luck to work through but I was kind of bummed that it was not the positive experience I was hoping for. Although she did seem fine by the time we finished so maybe tomorrow will be better. Lately, I just never know, although the general trend has been toward improvement.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Jelly's day at the vet

Jelly made her annual trip (ok, so it's been more like a year and 4 months) to the clinic today. Since she has been historically hard to handle for blood draws, nail trims, etc. I elected to do everything on one day this year since she has to be sedated for bloodwork anyway. So she got a quick exam then an IV injection to put her almost all the way out. I trimmed her nails, drew her blood, placed and IV catheter and hooked her up to the anesthesia machine, monitoring system, and IV fluids and then we did routine dental radiographs (all good) and a thorough dental cleaning. Here she is getting her dental rads.

Before she woke up from her dental I have her a quick bath (she gets kind of dingy in the garage) and updated her vaccines. Here you can see she is unimpressed with the whole episode.
Normally we like to see the bloodwork before the surgery or dental but for pets that need anesthesia for blood draws it doesn't always work that way. These pets are usually cats. Sadly, mine included. But, she is home now, clean and happy. Her blood tests will be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It's cold again here so I'll share some "Spring" pictures with you. She's really starting to enjoy hanging out in the living room and having a chance to really stretch her legs and run. All of the dogs are doing well with leaving her along although Icy slapped her on the head once.

And here is a picture from the "outside spring" that I took the other day when it was still warm.

And finally, remember Peyton? Here's a recent picture her mom sent me. She's grown a lot and is apparently very spoiled and the perfect puppy!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Big baby. My boss takes a zillion supplements a day, claims he never gets sick and will live forever. Guess who showed up crying about how sick he was and took off work before lunch to go the doctor and abandoned me with a bunch of sick animals and a packed afternoon of appointments? Now if you will recall I was sick for 3 out of 4 weeks about a month ago and never missed any work. Not only that but when we were slow guess who left early and guess who stayed until close? I'll bet you can guess.

Little baby. Remember that baby shower? Our little girl will be arriving sometime next week. Don't know what day yet but they are going to induce her due to pre-eclampsia. I don't know much about that stuff but I know everyone is very excited!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Great weekend

The weather here continued to be lovely and after a brief shower this morning it was warm and sunny all day. We ran a few errands in Springfield before heading down to Branson for the rest of the day. We visited the Home Show at the convention center which was not all that impressive and then did some shopping at the Branson Landing. I had coupons for a few stores and was able to get them all used up. We also ate at the Mexican Restaurant-Jerry's pick since his birthday is Tuesday. Then we walked along the river before making our customary stop at Kohl's before heading back home. Legend worked on agility and then we wore out all the dogs playing in the yard since we had extra daylight!

Our other big announcement is that Jerry make it onto a semi-pro (which I think really means amateur since they are not getting paid but whatever...) football team which is forming in Springfield and will be playing games throughout the Midwest. He's pretty excited-I think it will be fun for him to play and for me to watch some of the games and maybe travel a little.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A little more spring

It's balmy again today-about 70 degrees, but cloudy. So after work (stupid Saturday hours) I was able to get all the dogs out and run them silly. First I took Legend out alone and worked some agility. She's really starting to understand the difference in body language/arm position in terms of whether she should stay out and find the next jump or turn and come in to me. I have been able to start staying further away from her while doing this. So far I have not changed the arrangement of the jumps but eventually I will have to test her by moving them around. I have also been making her do the weave poles ahead of me-this has helped tremendously with her popping out at the last few poles. I guess it's because she doesn't see me right there getting ready to throw the toy? I have also started a little discrimination practice with the tunnel since she is having a problem sucking to the off course tunnels at trials. After we were done practicing everyone came out to play-even Barney!

Here's a cute shot of Zodiac from today. If you have been reading long enough, you know he hates posing for the camera so these good photos are always a treat (for me anyway, the rest of you may not care!)

Here are some cute shots I got of Sport today, he's still not sure what to do with all those other dogs running around. But at least he looks happier in these photos than the ones we took at the clinic when he was too scared to even move!

Snooters and Tongues

I was inspired by Sue's post to try this with my dogs. But since I tried after playing in the yard for an hour they all had their tongues hanging out and I thought the pictures looked cuter with the tongues included. So here they are...

Oreo-who had been clearly nosing around in the dirt before the "snoot shoot"

Zodiac-I though his snoot shot was too cute for words. But notice he's getting so gray that from this angle he looks a lot like Oreo. Why do dogs have to get old :(

And Legend-who was not too impressed with this process as it interrupted ball playing time. Notice how pink her mouth is-her blood was really pumping!

Also notice my hand in every photo holding all the noses steady!

Friday, March 6, 2009

A little bit of spring

Today was almost 80 degrees here (or maybe it was 80-since I was inside most of the day I don't really know). Anyway, it was so nice to go outside and not get hit with frosty air. It was actually warmer outside out house than inside when we got home. Here is a picture of some of my crocus coming up. I never got my bulb garden weeded out so now everything has to come up through yucky old grass. I hate weeding.

Sport has pretty much quit coughing so tonight I let him play with the rest of the dogs in the back yard. He was pretty excited about it but a little overwhelmed. My guys didn't care that he was there. Legend was too busy playing, Zodiac was too busy herding Legend, and Oreo was too busy either playing or just wandering around the yard being an old dog. But the good news he's about to be adopted by someone Jerry works with and a client at our clinic. So, he gets a good home and we get to keep seeing him.

And speaking of Spring-this time the rabbit-the pet supply magazine had rabbit stuff on sale so I ordered her a bunch of chew toys and treats and she was pretty happy about that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This one's just for Becky

I didn't have anything interesting to post about today but I know Becky (she's one of those that lurks and never leaves comments) will be silently cursing me if I don't post so...

Here are some old pics of the boys I dug up off the computer. This is one of the first pictures I took when we got Zodiac. You can see his coat is not all the way grown in yet. When we got him he had been shaved and looked so awful I refused to take pictures. Now I wish I had so we could compare how handsome he turned out to be.
And here is a picture of Oreo from back in his agility days. I like this picture because he actually looked like he was weaving kind of fast-and he was never a fast weaver, ever. By the time he got to preferred he had mellowed out enough to be a really easy dog to run-I just had to run and point and he would go wherever. He was never really fast, put pretty reliable.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Crackhead of the week

Two weeks ago there was an appointment on the schedule for a dog whose owner reported "masses of ear mites crawling out of the dog's ears and burrowing under the skin." Ok-several problems here. 1-ear mites are microscopic. 2-they don't generally crawl out of the ears in droves. 3-they don't burrow under this skin. So this was shaping up to be an interesting appointment.

The dog arrives, has no mites, but does have a yeast infection in her ears. The owner is not impressed with this diagnosis as he was pointing out "mites" running all over the dog and burrowing into the skin during the whole exam. We tried to ignore this behavior as he was clearly under the influence of some illegal substance and informed him that the medication we were sending home would kill any mites as well as the yeast she did have. That was not the end of it.

He continued to call and complain that the dog still had mites, they were everywhere and she was just infested with bugs. He claimed if he poured alcohol on her then the mites would just go crazy and run everywhere. We suggested he bring in some of the mites for us to see. So in comes a baggie with some sort of skin flakes or scabs he has picked off the dog, but no mites.

So he comes in for a recheck appointment (with another baggie of whatever he has recently picked off the dog) and insists now that the dog has "sex crabs" and they are all over him and the house as well. Dog still has no bugs of any kind on her and I also tried to explain that "sex crabs" don't live on dogs or carpets. We let him pour alcohol on the dog so he could show us the bugs (mites, sex crabs, whatever they may be...) running around. All we saw was dead skin flakes turn into wet dead skin flakes. I informed him that all we were seeing was dry skin which was probably dry because he kept pouring alcohol on her. He insisted that he was a)not on drugs b)not hallucinating and c)even though they look like skin they are bugs he was just sure. So we took some to look at under the microscope and sure enough-skin flakes. We finally told him we could do one of two things. Treat the dog with a broad spectrum drug for common ectoparasites (mites, lice, etc) and have him call an exterminator for the house or refer him to a dermatologist. He decided to treat the dog and leave it to be boarded while he went to the hospital. I'm not sure what he was going for but hopefully for some mental help or detox (did I mention the sores on his arm he has from picking bugs off himself?). Oh, and on the way to the hospital he dropped off another baggie with something he picked up off the carpet-still not a bug.

The dog, who did not itch or shake her head the whole time she was with us was probably glad to have a break from all the alcohol pouring and picking.

We have not heard from him this week but I think it will soon be time for him to seek a second opinion.

Back to Sunday

Just now getting to post about the rest of the trial. Sunday-Standard run was really nice, about the best she's done except for the off course tunnel (again). Jumpers started out a little slow but then started to pick up but she missed the weave pole entrance and then we kind of got out of sorts and the rest of the course was a bit of a mess. Overall the weekend was way better than last weekend but still no Qs. Off to Carthage in 2 weeks. We'll see what happens there....