Saturday, April 25, 2009

How to clean a tunnel... or NOT

A couple weeks ago at agility class, Betty was really having some issues with the tunnel. She didn't want to go into it at all. Plus, I know she's not very comfortable with me rear crossing the tunnel - this is on my list of things we are going to work on this summer. So, I decided to drag the tunnel out from under the deck. It is absolutely filthy. There are leaves and spider nests and all kinds of nasty things stuck to it and in it. I remembered Tammy saying that she and Bill had taken their tunnels to the car wash to clean them. Off to the car wash! Since it's kinda nasty and rainy today, I'll have the place all to myself!! Now, obviously, I am not going to be putting that tunnel in my precious Shorty (yep - my minivan has a name!). In the truck it goes:I get to the car wash and I do, indeed, have the whole place to myself. I pulled the truck through a bay and rolled the tunnel out all ready to wash. I am all ready to deposit a wealth of quarters in this dandy machine - so what setting do YOU wash your tunnel on?? I ended up opting for a high pressure soap (no clear coat protectant thankyouverymuch!!)
Did you know that car washes use WARM water???? Me either!! And thank doG they do, cause it was getting colder and I was getting wetter by the minute! (FYI - they really MEAN high pressure - that water can shred the skin right off your hands!) There has to be a trick to washing a tunnel - I was soaked from head to toe in seconds and the tunnel was not any cleaner! About half way through, I abandoned my glasses to the tailgate of the truck (note to self: do NOT squash your only pair of glasses with that tunnel when you put it back in the truck!!!) Trust me - these jeans are absolutely SOAKED!! However, my feet are nice and toasty warm (and dry!!) thanks to my LL Bean stormchaser clogs! I love these things!!
Doesn't my tunnel look fantastic??? (it's still a bit dirty, but it's a HUGE improvement)
Now, I am soaked to the skin and need to drive back home. I think I saw a towel in the Brian's truck... nope - just a rug and a tiny bit of paper towels. If I had had my van, I would have had multiple blankets, a whole roll of paper towels, at least two towels AND my rain suit! Oh well - it's amazing how much you can dry off with three paper towels and I sat on the rug on the way home!
Ok - I DID consider this for just a minute when I realized that I didn't have a towel!!
Oh yeah... does anyone ever think about those drains and what is down in them???

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Robin!!

Yesterday was Robin's birthday - He turned eleven years old. It seems like only yesterday that I went to pick him up from his breeder in Wisconsin. Time sure flies! So... because it's his birthday, we had to take pictures. Robin tends to "melt" a bit in front of the camera when we set up formal photos, so Betty and Frank were more than willing to play a bit while we got everything set up just right for the birthday boy... One of the things that I have always struggled with is getting my IGs to lay down on the table when we are running agility, so I've had to be a bit creative. I can't get something this nice at a trial from Frank:

So... I taught him to lay on his side: Betty was a little different... and she is NEVER this adorable at a trial!! With a little patience, a clicker and a LOT of food, over the winter we have really been working hard on her down. She is supposed to tuck her front right foot under her chest and this is what I get: About that birthday boy... he was perfect for photos today!!He just gets more handsome the older he gets!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

WARNING!!! (seriously!!)

Ok - this is your official warning - the photos in this post are probably offensive to some folks. I feed raw to my dogs - they love it - I love how they look and act on it. They wolf it down in about ten seconds flat (seriously) and the poops are tiny. Gotta love that. So... there are different types of raw feeding. Personally, I feed a pre made mix from Nature's Variety ( The dogs do fantastic on it and it's easy to find.
My folks were in Florida for the last two months and brought back a bunch (120 pounds!) of raw for their dogs and ours. I got a case and there is some thawing in the refrigerator right now. This is Blue Ridge Beef ( The lean beef is supposed to be a favorite, so that's what the kids will get to try first - not that it really matters to them - I think a ten second meal really doesn't allow for a whole lot of tasting. Another type of raw feeding is whole carcass feeding - use your imagination - it's just what it sounds like.

So... back to the gross part (Brian - stop reading here!!!). I came home from work today and let the dogs out while I changed out of my uniform. I checked on the dogs and noticed that Frank had something hanging from his chin. Now there is never really anything in the yard, so if they think there is something good enough to eat and it's big enough for me to see across the yard, I tend to get a little frantic (I'm paranoid about the thought of something unsafe getting in the yard). I calmly (yep - totally calm) went out to the yard to see what Frank had. It was fuzzy and blowing from his chin like a little goatee. I look at the ground and there is "something" laying in front of Frank - a body part of some sort. A closer look... it's a bunny leg!! Yuck and it's NOT fresh! So now I have three dogs that want the bunny leg and one bunny leg that needs to be disposed of. Ugh - I pick up the bunny leg and take it to the yardy. Whew...

Then I get thinking (I'm not always very good at this!). Bunny legs rarely travel on their own... Ugh. The fuzz, bunny leg and Frank were all in front of the wood racks - we have a fireplace and Brian has a really nice set up in the back yard for the wood - doesn't it look nice? There's a ton of wood under those tarps! So, I decided that a look around for the rest of Mr Bunny was in order... (this is your FINAL warning - Brian - stop reading!!!!)Yep - it was behind the wood racks - the dogs like to race around them and there is just enough room for them to get between the wood racks and the fence. It looks like something (NOT the dogs!!) got the bunny or it died under the wood racks over the winter and the dogs got it out. He had two lucky feet, but they weren't working!!
V8 headslap here... this would explain the bit of bone that Frank threw up a few nights ago... it looked a bit large to have come from the ground mix that I feed. So... I think maybe I have been doing some whole carcass feeding and I just didn't know it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Busy Day...

Well... it's 9:20pm and I'm ready for bed! It's been a busy day for sure. I started out leaving the house at nine this morning to shoot an Easter egg hunt. Ashley (a co-worker) was taking her daughter to the Easter egg hunt and I asked if I could go along to take some photos. Let me tell you, these things are NOT for the faint of heart! Those parents (yep, the parents) are serious! I saw at least a couple moms and dads dragging their kids by the arm pointing out the candy and eggs to their kids. The whole thing took about ten minutes from start to finish. I got lots of great shots of Olivia hunting for the eggs. Then we all came back to our house for Ashley's maternity shoot. She is 7 1/2 months pregnant and perfect for photos right now. We have been planning this for months! (more about that later...). After Ashley left, we put a couple steaks and some spuds on the grill - YUMMY!!!!!!! We decided after gorging ourselves, we ought to burn some calories, so we cleaned out the flower beds. Here's the before:

And the after - this took about an hour - and there are plants under there!!
We even found a couple flowers!
Now... about that maternity shoot... Brian was in charge of lighting and I was the shooter/poser. I am so stinkin' proud of these photos!! Here's one of my favorites. You'll have to go to my website to see the rest: (look under portraits).