Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hey! The pansies made it!

We had something like six inches of mushy snow ( it was pretty - and it melted fast). I was sure the planters would be toast, but they seem to have pulled through. Of course, the chairs I pulled out to paint didn't get painted and they are really hoosier-ing up the back yard, but maybe the two roos and the turk in the yard have that covered anyway, right? It will be a while before I get more planting done so, I really should do the painting. My friend Ellen found some really cool wrought iron in her woods and with a little paint I will have a free trellis. So , pictures of that will be ready for the next blog. There. I said it, now I have to do it!

I took some pictures today that I really like. Moses, ( the skinniest dog in the whole world), is always looking for someone to play ball with so I couldn't resist showing off how healthy and happy he is. He is really smart, too. I have been taking him off to the side to teach him some basic commands when I have time and he learns 'em in about 30 seconds. I just need to do that all over the house and in the yard to generalize his responses and, Presto! I will have a well trained pet. ;o) I don't usually have time to train the dogs around here so it is a relief when they are smart and learn a few things fast.

I also finally got a few good pictures of Nanabelle the Great Pyranees from our local pound. She is a beautiful dog - but hard to photograph because when ever you point a camera at her she wants to come right over and see, "whacha got there?". She did it today even though I was on the deck and she was out by the barn. I finally got this picture of her smooching Wendell on the deck. Isn't she sweet?

I got some new pictures of Hazel Rose through the always dog-smudged back door.

As embarrasing as it is to show my filthy back door, it is worth it to show you this adorable face. She is so cute and I am going to miss her when she goes to her new home. But that is just what rescue is all about, right?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Coonhounds are in the house and Winston has left the building

Coonhounds evoke mixed feelings in me. I fall for the sweet face and serious expression every time, I LOVE the sound of their voices, and the way they try so hard to make you understand what they want. And therein lies the source of the mixed feelings. These dogs are often called dumb or stupid, but they are anything BUT! When a coonhound drops its nose and picks up a scent, that enormous olfactory center in the coonhound brain turns on and the rest of the brain functions less efficiently. It is easy for me to relate to, because when I am involved in a good book with an enthralling story, I am dead to the rest of the world. Or, when you turn the music in the car down if you are lost and trying to figure out a map or written directions. Zeke Two, over there on the left is a beautiful Black and Tan Coonhound who came here emaciated and full of every kind of worm imaginable, including heartworms. Now that he is healthy, worm free and has gained some much needed weight, he has also found his VOICE! It's a big voice. Really big. Zeke loves his crate because when he first got here that was the only place I would give him food. He was desperate for food and would fight over any little piece of dropped kibble. Well, he has decided that the crate means food so when he wants to be fed, which is all the time ( coonhounds are pigs, and easily bored), he thinks that going to the crate door and sounding off is the way to 1) get fed and 2) have something to do. My normal training method for this would be to let him bawl and bawl and figure out that he is not getting what he wants that way, then reward him as soon as he is quiet. Well, since the master of the house works nights, that just won't work. It took me until this morning to realize that I needed to activate the nose. Long story short: I won several hours of silence by scattering and hiding pieces of kibble all over the basement. While the nose was working, the mouth was quiet. I am not sure how long that will work, but as soon as the weather gets better, I will begin to hide food outside for Zeke to find. I wish I knew how to train a dog to track/trail. This summer I can see me getting my little neighbor boys to lay track for me n' Zeke. They would love that! Our newest house guest is a return. Her name is Bella and she is a Redbone Coonhound. Redbones are cold nosed hounds, meaning they can pick up and run an older (cold) trail. Their trailing talents are similar to the Bloodhound, but they are a lot faster. I have an acquaintance in Kansas City who uses Redbone Coonhounds to trail folks with Alzheimer's. At least that was how she started out. Her dogs are so talented and reliable that she is now the "go to" tracker for the local police departments. Needless to say, she and her dogs lead an exciting life. I wish she would write a book! Bella was returned to us because she dug holes in the back yard. there were some other comments that I didn't understand about her being aloof and not fitting in. I suspect she was bored and spent a bit to much time in the yard, because here, she is leaping about and play bowing to all of the dogs trying to get them all to play. Bella also loves to eat, but she doesn't fixate on it the way Zeke does, and she doesn't howl and bawl for food the way Zeke does either.

Lets hope she doesn't learn any bad habits from her foster brother!

And lastly, Winston the French Bulldog terrible has left the building. When my friend Lisa lost her dear Michael Mcgee, she needed Winston more than I needed him. Lisa has a quiet household where Winston will have fewer opportunities to bite people. I suspected that Pinkie, the Toy Manchester Terrier that Lisa adopted from me was a bit lonely and shur 'nuff! That little girl is following her new boyfriend where ever he goes. This is going to be a very good move for everyone!

I will miss my Winston boy but I know he has a very important job to do at Lisa's house.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just a quick note for you horse lovers

I realized today that one of my favorite blogs is not on my list of "Blogs I Follow". So I added it. It is called the "Life of Lynz".

I "met" this incredible girl at a dinner auction fundraiser for Ride On St. Louis, the therapeutic horsemanship center where my daughter rides. I "met" her because she had two incredible photographs in the auction, and I purchased one. She wasn't really there, but from the pictures she donated, I knew I wanted to get to know her.

Luckily her grandmother was present at the auction and came over to congratulate me on my purchase. I gave my email addy to the grandmother and hoped that Lindsey would contact me. She did!

Now you can read all about this fabulous girl and the horses she loves.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring! ( thank gawd)

Temps are warming up and I am desperate for spring to be here all the way. So, I broke one of my gardening rules and planted pansies this year. I used to figure: "why plant flowers that are guaranteed to fry when hot weather arrives?" But, I am especially sick of winter this year so, the deck "ice bucket" planters got pansied! The stuff in the middle is curly ornamental grass and I have two whole justifications for buying it. One: when the pansies bite the dust, I can put some petunias around it and it can live on the deck all summer long. Two: when summer is over it will live in the garden for the rest of it's perennial, ornamental, grassy life. So - it is a bargain!

Notice Henri Roo in the yard behind the deck post. He and Sirkhan were living in the bathroom for a while as they both needed a bit of doctoring, but now that the weather is warmer the "sick bay" is in the garden, where it belongs. Yay for getting my bathroom back to myself, it is really really hard to share a bathroom with two roos, they lack sphincter muscles, you know, so there is no way to get them to use the toilet even though they are living in the bathroom. Eventually, I gave in and got chicken diapers for them. Yep, chicken diapers exist and you can read about 'em here: if you are so inclined!

Hazel Rose, my little Frenchie foster girl, had a tail amputation. She came from a puppy mill auction and her inverted tail was sort of rotting inside of her skin folds. It was a truly horrific situation with the tail growing straight down and pushing into her rectum. Our vet, Dr. Ivan did her usual magic and amputated the tail bone, but saved a little skin flap so our little girl looks like she still has a tail! Hazel is going home after her spay surgery in two weeks and I am going to miss her like crazy, but I know she will be the Queen of Everything at her new home.

The little Toy Fox Terrier that lived loose in the wilds of Jefferson County and that I was finally able to trap, is now a permanent resident at our house. She is a tiny thing and I marvel everyday that she was able to survive on her own for seven whole months, including a freezing spring and a blistering summer. Although she is still shy as can be, she loves cranky old Heywood, my twenty year old farm collie. Here they are together on the deck. She had to have him with her to venture outside and will eventually gain enough independence to leave his side. Heywood growls when any of the other dogs bother him, but he can be seen sleeping on the rugs in the hallway with his tiny girlfriend curled up next to him. Go figure. At night she curls up on the pillow next to my head and I fall asleep to the sound of her tiny heart beating away against my ear.

And speaking of new dogs, we did get few more fosters. I saw Salty dog on a shelter rescue site, and it was love at first sight. I showed the picture to my husband and got the "go ahead" to pull Salty from the shelter. Actually the "go ahead" was more like a shove out the door, but bless his heart he worries about dogs in pounds and once the decision is made to save one, I don't think he can sleep until they are safe. Salty was listed as a girl because his "boy parts" were hidden behind folds and folds of fat. We found out he was a boy and all had a good laugh about that. However, the general state of Salty's health is no laughing matter. He is at least thirty pounds overweight and at his age, it is hard on his joints to carry all of that excess poundage around. Since he has been here, he has already lost four pounds. I think his weight loss because he likes to walk around and smell things. As you can see, he wants back inside and on the bed once he is finished with his perambulations, and if the door doesn't get opened fast enough, we are treated to the coonhound song. Salty's voice is very deep with lots of soft "airy" bass in it. Very Pretty Indeed! Unfortunately, we just found out that Salty has heartworms and because of his advanced age and his physical condition, our vet does not want to treat him. We are hoping that some weight loss, 21 days of doxycycline and Heartgard will make him a better risk for treatment down the line. Keep your fingers crossed as we were not counting on having another permadog!

I will leave you with the image of Gabe with his bottom feet on the rung of the ladder to the hay loft. I was climbing up to get flakes of hay to feed the goats and sheep and I guess I was not doing it fast enough. Gabe was trying to cllimb up to help!

You can see my leg and barn boot on the ladder and both of his front feet are on the bottom rung. Look at that impatient look on his face - I can almost hear him calling, "hey hhhuurrry up, mom, we are all hungry down here!".

The fields are all greening up nicely but my lazy boys don't want to walk out for fifty feet to get the new green stuff. After all, why walk when mama throws alfalfa/grass mix from the loft. Sigh. Hope you all are having a good time in the fabulous weather we are having - I'll be back soon with more news of the great goings on at Dogrush.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm A Fan

Back again. Winter is not over yet but the sun is out a little more so I am (more or less) arising from the dead. Yep, I am a victim of the winter blues. I really need to get one of those sunlight lamps.

I was doing dog/housecleaning/volunteer stuff around the house tonight and had American Idol on in the background. DH and I used to watch it together, but DH is working nights (ah, yes, employment has arrived. More on that later.) Anyway, I kept hearing the judges say: " you know, I'm a fan of yours..." REALLY ? Oh C'mon. Surely everyone can hear the problem with that. If J'Lo or Stephen Tyler is a fan of yours, you already have a recording contract, right?

Even though I am not the judge of anything I wanted to share some things that I really do consider my self a fan of - and I can't get nuttin' fer nobody! But still, here are some of the things/blogs/stuff that I enjoy enough to share:


The Picture is of Widget, the blind beagle. The place has won numerous awards, the blog is pretty well known, and the guy that writes it has such a knack for writing about - well, read the blog and you will get it. It is one of those blogs that makes you laugh out loud, or cry, or sometimes stand up and cheer.

You might be familiar with my friend Tammy the Shepherdess at Fairlight Farm. Tammy does her best to help strays (against all odds), and her little farm is a delight to read about. Try it, you'll like it!

At Tammy's place I discovered this lovely place:

and the matching blog:

I have to confess that the Bluff Country Shepherdess has me drooling over her chickens.
Maybe I can get some hatching eggs and have a few of these Calico Cochins gracing my garden. Not to eat , but who could resist these lovely ladies? I am hoping to get some hatching eggs before spring is over and we will just have to see what the incubator can do with them!

By the way -if you visit the blog: whatever Dream says, it is probably really important, so you don't want to miss it. While you are there, look for the source of the ringling dingling sound.....

And last, but not least is the Queen of the STL SDP Bloggers: Kim and JTK (AKA Joey the Kid) Kim's blog is an inspiration to me. I suwannee, Kim takes pictures everywhere she roams. Her blog is full of really cute pictures, lots of thoughts on rescue from the perspective of a busy single mom ( again, I don't know how some people do it all!) , stuff about local St. Louis events, since busy Kim finds a way to participate in just about every thing with JTK and her various fosters. Her latest blog had pictures of the Mardi Gras Parade at Soulard. You can see it here:

Something that I am a huge fan of , but have not spent much time with since the move to Jefferson County: My bike. It looked like the slick racing machine over there on the right when I first started riding it. But, a few hundred miles and a couple of wrecks later and it has been modified to more of an old lady's ride. I'm talkin' a padded seat, a really long stem and mountain bike grips. It is still a great ride, tho and I will put it, and me, through our paces this summer. For my birthday, I am taking on the Katy Trail. I figure a week long meander with lots of stops along the way should be a nice trip - unless it rains the whole time;o) Anyone care to join me? Really. I am looking for some riding partners so let me know if you are up for a ride - even part of the way? Hopefully between now and the summer I can figure out how to blog from my phone so I can keep everyone posted during my great adventure across Missouri!