Of Yard Guards and Bird Dogs …

Spring has arrived here in Colorado … one day it’s almost 70 degrees and then we have a 50 degree drop in temps and snow falling.  Warmer weather brings to mind getting out in the yard, even if only a tease through February, March and April — typically our major snow months.  Like the human residents of the household, the dogs also enjoy spending more time in the yard, especially when the x-pen “snow fencing” comes down and they have run of the entire grassed area.  High on their “to-do list” is grabbing a Frisbee on the way out the door as one can always coax Dad or Mom to throw it for them.  The fact they actually bring it back and drop it at your feet certainly makes it easy to oblige their happy request.

On duty ...
On duty …

Frankers was our first “retriever” and, in later years, got to where snagging the Frisbee and then laying in the grass playing with it was more fun than having to chase it down again.  You want it … you come get it!!!  Summer days were spent checking out his pee mail and generally being lazy.  Unless you were a bird or squirrel.  Varmint visitors and nuisance birds were cause for a race across the yard to chase them from the premises.  Many years ago, he actually injured his sacroiliac joint bouncing up/down at the base of the ash tree in the corner of the yard and/ or chasing them down the fence line (the vet advised that this is an injury very common to the “treeing” breeds).  One of the reasons we put the x-pen fencing up, keeping the dogs confined to the grass areas only.  While he had a decent recovery from the initial injury with the use of anti-inflammatories and acupuncture, the injury would follow him down the years.

He was my first ever male dog.  He arrived as an 8-month old “home school” project.  I was to work on his house manners and then help find him a home.  Ali, however, had other plans.  She had been with us a year and was completely bored with the human company despite our many activities.  The bond forged between the two of them secured his place in our home.  A sweet boy.  A quirky boy.  A little old man even as a young dog.  My velcro dog, he could always be found just steps from wherever I was located.  Second to being near me, his favorite place was the yard … his self-claimed dogdom.

frankali
Tramping in the Tetons …

His passing on March 14th marks a sad milestone.  He was the last of the original “family” … Boogins, Ali and Frankers.  Memories rush in but cannot replace his quiet presence.  My second shadow.  Sleep well little one … you’ve earned your rest.

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Summertime … and the livin’ is easy

Fresh from the garden …

While this has absolutely nothing to do with Apsos — unless one counts the fact there is always one (or three) underfoot when cooking in the kitchen, making a four-legged furry obstacle course — I thought I’d share a favorite recipe.

We have a small garden by most standards with carefully selected invitees … ‘maters, ‘taters, cukes and basil.  I would also plant dill for the caterpillars and to harvest as an herb.  However, one year’s crop ended up going to seed and hubby has banned me from planting it … probably because he was finding the stuff coming up all over in the landscaping for several years thereafter.  Hmmph.

This year we also have an abundant crop of moss roses planted hither and yon in the garden, the result of buying too many four-packs for the large  pots we fill with annuals.  If one looks closely enough, there are also the damned chokecherry seedlings that come up from the trees in the yard behind us.  Generally they pull up fairly easily unless it’s one that has suckered, which means it is almost impossible to remove short of using Round-Up.  Since we don’t use poisons in the garden, it is a never-ending battle.

While retrieving an errantly-thrown dog frisbee last evening, it came to my attention that we’d have fresh cukes off the vine today.  Ergo the recipe …

Creamy Cucumbers

Enjoy … as will I since they’re bathed in the creamy sauce at this very moment and Hubby is a straight-up vinegar guy!  The pupsters will get a bit of leftover steamed broccoli with their dinners tonight — consumed with gusto!