Friday, October 31, 2014

Zodiac Fall 2014

Such a handsome fellow.  But so gray!  I hardly recognize pictures from when he was young and black!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Legend Fall 2014

I guess we will continue with a ladies first theme...

Yes, it was warm enough this weekend to fill the pool.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lyric Fall 2014

Got some good shots of the dogs and horses the other day while finishing the deck.  Lyric is first!

There is just no way to decide on a favorite!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DIY: Deck edition

Our deck was in significant need of some kind of work.  It was really beyond the point of any of those wood restore options, and we also didn't want to have to do any maintenance, so we opted to leave the base/foundation as is, but replace everything else with composite and metal.  Here are the before pictures.  You can see the obvious issues, in addition to its unpleasant appearance.

And here is an in progress picture you so you can see the surfaces side by side. 

Now, at long last (we started in July, finished this weekend) are the after pictures.  Complete with new furniture that arrived before we even started on the deck!

 Our deck is not that big, and the pathway for the dogs to get from the door to the stairs is diagonal across the deck to having a table and seating make it kind of crowded.  To make up for this we made this railing extra wide so it can hold places, cups, whatever.  Next year we will get a few bar stools to match the existing furniture and, ta-da, build in table!

 And here is our baby deck off the master bedroom.

Finished just in time for cold weather.  Guess we will have to enjoy it more next year!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trial photo

This is from the Nosework trial earlier this month.  NW pics are not as fun as agility pics, especially if you don't know what is going on, but here is one of Legend after her alert in containers, waiting on her cookie.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Human Health Care

I had to have a stomach endoscopy last week.  I was amazed at how big an ordeal they make out of what was apparently a 3 minute procedure (I can't verify the time, I was too sleepy).  Anyway, let's start with scheduling.  You can't just call and schedule this.  You must talk to the scheduler at your regular doctor's office.  She will call the endoscopy center to tell them what is needed.  Then the endoscopy center call you back.  If you are also a doctor/veterinarian this will almost always be at time when you are unavailable.  The time offered will conflict with work forcing you to take an unpaid day off but since you are tired of being sick you don't wait for a more convenient day.

Fasting.  The instructions stated nothing to eat after midnight.  But this seems to a blanket statement regardless of when you appointment is.  So if your appointment is 8AM, great, if your appointment is 3:15....guess which one I got?

So we arrive at the center an hour early as directed.  I was already the appropriate level of cranky for someone who has not eaten in 15 hours and about to have a medical procedure.  When you check in they give you a pager-like at a RESTAURANT-and have you sit down to wait.  Insult to injury we thought.  When they page you they then send you to the insurance/financial person which led to Jerry and I having a discussion of whether or not that high deductible insurance plan was really worth it.  Anyway, up to the patient waiting floor.  Here is where they apparently have one person assigned to one task and only one task.

The first person took our paperwork and took us to a room, gave me a gown and requested a urine sample.  Since I was cranky, and not in a friendly mood I almost said something, but I was torn between "what for" and "are you kidding"-this would have been good to know ahead of time since  the only thing I consumed in the last 15 hours was a glass of water mid-morning, and I just used the bathroom before we arrived.  I managed though, and found out later they use to make sure you aren't pregnant before they give sedatives because they are afraid of being sued.  Never mind they didn't even ask if this was a possibility, apparently they don't believe you.

The next person came and took my vitals and asked what I wanted to drink after my procedure.  The next person asked a few questions and had my sign a few forms.  Another person put in an IV catheter.  Yet another person wheeled my down to the second floor.  He handed my off to yet another nurse who took me to the procedure room.  There she was joined by an endoscopy tech and the doctor.  Can people not multitask?  Every single person asked my name and DOB.  I appreciate the double checking but are they really that afraid they will get it wrong?  Maybe if there were less people involved...

After the sedative I don't remember anything until I was back in my room and Jerry asked if I wanted juice.  I was glad I asked for pictures ahead of time because I don't remember seeing anything on the screen during.  I also don't remember telling Jerry the same four things over and over again between naps.  I remember eating, but it wasn't nearly as satisfying as I had hoped. And apparently there is nothing seriously wrong with me.

This was much more of a production than when I had oral surgery to remove my wisdom teeth.  There was basically just one nurse (she did everything) and a doctor, maybe someone who had me sign forms, and they must have been unconcerned about a possible unborn child since they didn't ask for urine.  So who knew something far less invasive would be such a huge deal.  And also, apparently more expensive than the oral surgery, which actually involved cutting and blood.

I would post the pictures but they were boring, which of course, is good.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Herding dog

We has Shea instinct tested this weekend. She passed! I thought that she would pass but she didn't do as well as I thought she might. I think she just needs more time and exposure to build confidence. Becuase she sure likes herding the dogs and cats! The evaluator seemed to think the same thing. Anyway, here are some pics-looks like a pro right?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Get wet. Get dirty. Run Dogwood.

This was the t-shirt theme for this year's Dogwood Canyon Trail Run and we did all three! 

It was a beautiful fall morning in the woods, a bit on the chilly side to start but overall pretty lucky weather wise. The water crossings this year were deeper and wider thanks to recent rain which was very...refreshing?

This year the 15k or 9.3 mile course ended up 9.8 miles long, I guess that was to make up for last year only being 8.5 miles long. Apparently it's very difficult to get a trail run to come out to the advertised distance. None of the ones I've been to yet have been close!

But, despite not having run longer than 7 miles since June I was able to maintain a pace close to what I did last year, even over this years longer distance so I was pretty happy with that. And other than one bloody toe and lots of sore muscles we all survived!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Camo cat

Twist was playing in the brush pile while I was waiting for the horse shoer yesterday.  She blends in quite well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


We were not really looking for another rabbit.  We were also not opposed to another rabbit.  The thing was, I didn't want rabbits with a significant age difference, I didn't want to litter train right now, and I didn't want to deal with a prolonged, months-long bonding period.  I also didn't want to actively seek out a rabbit.  All this criteria make the odds of a second rabbit at this point in time slim.

But then two separate people contacted me (one via Facebook, the other text) about a local rabbit needing a new home.  He was also around Summer's age, neutered, and litter trained.  I figured it might be a sign and agreed to try him out with the stipulation that if they don't bond in a few weeks-he would need alternative accommodations.

Also, he is a mini-lop, which most people find adorable, but is not really my style.  But this was more for the bunnies than for me.  And, really, he is cute.

The first night went well.  We put them in the kitchen-neutral territory, slick floor, and there were no incidents.  They actually seemed moderately interested in each other in a positive way.

The next day there were skirmishes, but no blood so we let them carry on and they spent most of their "date" sitting about 3 feet from each other looking irritated.

Unfortunately for rabbits, even unfamiliar or hostile rabbits tend to seek comfort in each other during stressful events.  Thus, the process of bonding two rabbits often involves scary or stressful situations like car rides or slick surfaces.  After yesterday's squabbles I decided to up the fear factor for them to get a positive experience.  Car rides fall into the category of too much trouble for me so I opted for super slick bathtub.  It worked-they huddled together most of the time. After a break back to their separate cages they are in bathroom on the tile floor sitting a few feet away from each other but looking a little less irritated than yesterday.

Oh, and he came with the name Archibald, which we hate.  New name will be coming pending the success of this relationship.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

First nosework trial!

This was Legend's big weekend.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon volunteering for the NW2 dogs so I would have an idea of what trials and procedures were like.  This was really helpful and I also learned a lot.  I got to video and time so it was also really interesting seeing all the dogs work.

Today was our turn.  The first search for our group was vehicles.  We haven't done a lot of vehicle searches but I felt ok about it since there are really only so many places it can be.  My plan was to walk all the way around each vehicle-there were three-then go back to any place she paid attention to.  So the only place she stopped was at the back of the truck (the first vehicle we looked at).  After we went around the others I went back to the back of the truck and let her work that again.  She seemed interested, but didn't really give a strong alert or zero in on any particular location.  The longer we stayed the less she wanted to work.  Like an idiot I thought she was overwhelmed, stressed or not confident.  What she was really saying was its not here, move on!  But I called it at the truck and obviously was wrong.  So no chance at a title, but a good learning experience.

Next up was containers.  My plan was to walk her around a specific path to make sure she checked all the boxes and so I could make a note of any she showed interest in.  About 1/3 of the way through she pulled me off my path, over to the odor box, gave it a big nudge and looked at me like "see mom, I know what to do!"  Lesson learned.  Trust my dog!!

Next we did exteriors which was the one I would have been most worried about because there is so much to look at and get distracted by and there is a 3 minute time limit.  But she worked well and tracked down the odor in 43 seconds and gave me that very confident where's my cookie look.  Interiors was super fun because here she got to be off lead as it was confined to a large classroom.  She blasted across the start line, gave the room a running search and then zeroed in on the odor under the seat of a chair in 35 seconds.  FYI containers only took her 16 seconds.  She was not one of the 3 fastest dogs in any division but I think her times were still pretty good given her experience level.  Our instructor was proud of her and so was I.  

I wasn't sure if she was really ready to trial but she showed me that she was.  We had a lot of fun and are really looking forward to another trial. But, NW is not a hugely popular sport yet so, bummer, there are no trials nearby anytime soon.  In fact even the "close" trials will require a bit of travel so looks like it might be spring before we have another chance.  But we will keep practicing and get back to tracking.  

Tomorrow we are having a NW seminar so I will get a chance to learn more and have even more fun!

Friday, October 10, 2014


So I was kind of a bad mom and forgot about Lyric's birthday (which was yesterday) until late last night. To make matters worse, she had to skip breakfast this morning and go have bloodwork, a dental cleaning, and three teeth pulled. She probably thinks I'm the most uncool mom ever right now. But, happy eighth birthday anyway powder puff! I'll make it up to you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More Shea

Our friend Lori took these pics a few weeks ago at an agility trial.  Shea was very good and sweet at the trial-but still no adopters!  Come on, look at that face!