Musings for the New Year …

Tanqueray & Tonic in hand, I wander back to the computer this snowy, cold day.  Granted not really either when compared to friends in Minnesota or Canada but, certainly cold/snowy enough.  A trip to the computer also serves as an excuse to get away from the football blaring from the TV in the front room.  A sometimes fan, today isn’t the day.   A pan of brownies is cooking in the oven to go along with the pork tenderloin, steamed broccoli and stuffing to be fixed later for dinner.  It’s been a reading-by-the-fireplace and dog weekend … Teller got brushed/bathed/trimmed Saturday; Frankers and Dante were brushed out today in anticipation of a trip to the groomer sometime in the coming week.  Hopefully when it’s warmer as I always feel bad when they have a spiffy new short ‘do and then the temps drop and the snow flies.

The time since my last posting has been hectic, to say the least.  A major surgery the third week of November, trying to keep Teller mat free during my recovery with him having a major coat blow and then getting ready for Christmas was, ummm, interesting.  Hubby informed me the surgery was karma for taking so many fosters in to get spayed … I say it was good karma for warding off some more-than-likely major problems in the future.  The three weeks off work has been dubbed my “spaycation” … hmmph, some vacation!

For the second year in a row, one of our adoptive families (Judy and Magoo) made a Christmas donation to rescue.  The only “condition” was that I write a letter to her great-granddaughter telling her what it meant to rescue and how it was used.  The back story … Judy had inquired of her grandson what the baby could use for Christmas.  He replied that the baby had more than she could possibly use and that if Great-Grandma wanted to do something, make a donation and then explain what that donation meant to the receiving organization.  The letters would be kept and read to the child when she was of an age to understand giving and sharing.  Kudos to these parents for instilling empathy and compassion early on in this child’s life … and thanks to Judy for including rescue in her holiday charity.

Best buds ... Sammy & Budha
Best buds … Sammy & Budha

We also heard over the holidays that Bubba (n/k/a Max) was doing fine and that Sammy’s family (f/k/a Wrigley) added a new Tzu named Budha.  Little red Tess in Golden continues to do well and pretty much rules the roost at that house.

Senghe … adopted in 2007 and n/k/a “Peanut” … continues to do well in his new home even with some major changes.  Here’s what his Mom has to say …

I thought you’d like to see Peanut’s big transformation today!  We had been growing him out and while he looked so adorable with his topknot (I took it out for the before photo for dramatic impression), it was obvious he is much happier with his close puppy cut.  As evidence of that he has been a complete ball of happy energy ever since I picked him up from the groomer this afternoon.  He even gets to wear his sweaters which he absolutely loves – weird, huh?  He will follow you all over the place if you have one of his sweaters in your hand and will hound you (no pun intended) until you put it on him.  He wasn’t able to wear them with his longer hair since they had a tendency to mat him up and he really hated the unmatting process!!  He also wasn’t real fond of the topknot so that was a constant battle.  Oh, well, now he will just look like a puppy all the time!

Senghe n/k/a Peanut
Senghe n/k/a Peanut

We got married this summer … Peanut absolutely loves his new dad and pretty much ignores me when Christopher is home Christopher has been awesome for him too – he is very structured and does not let that little darling get away with anything.  Peanut is his first ever dog so I’m quite surprised at his ability to handle him – I’m sure you remember that Peanut is quite the strong willed little thing.  I think Michelle would be shocked and amazed at the different little man Peanut is now.  He has learned so many new commands of which the most amazing is wait.  He will wait for quite a while even with a treat right in front of him on the floor and he waits for his dinner quietly until you tell him he can go eat.  Another cute thing he has started doing all on his own is to put himself away.  He is way too curious for his own good so he has to go into his kennel when we leave the house.  We used to tell him “kennel” and he would go in and sit down.  Now…all I have to do is grab my purse and he runs to his kennel.  I think the treat he gets when the door closes has a lot to do with it!  It is awful cute though – although sometimes I am just grabbing my purse to get something out of it and then you have to convince him you aren’t going anywhere.

Unfortunately, our little ones age right along with us and I got word that Oscar lost his battle with Cushings.  He was such a nice foster with a sweet, sweet face!  I know he is greatly missed by his family.

On the home front, Teller is being shown on a limited basis … and probably even more limited (read that “not”) until his side coat gets longer :::sigh:::.   Dante sired a litter here in Colorado in August and his two daughters (BeBe and Lily) will hit the ring sometime this spring.  Frankers is, well, Frankers and at 13.5-years old, he’s entitled to his off days.  He’s still pretty spry, all things considered, and we’ve had really good results using Dog Gone Pain (DGP) as recommended by my vet.  Definitely something to consider if you have older dogs with arthritis issues.  And while we’re on the issue of older dogs, studies have shown that it is easier to prevent joint problems than fix them after they develop.  For this reason, I start my dogs on glucosamine/chondroitin once they turn 7-years old.  We’ve had really good luck with Glyco-Flex II, a half caplet every Mon-Wed-Fri.   Don’t be put off by the price … a 90-caplet bottle will last you a year+ on a Mon-Wed-Fri schedule.  And, yes, Frankers gets the Glyco-Flex as well as the DGP.  He injured an SI joint several years ago chasing squirrels and this regimen keeps him both comfortable and mobile.

Wishing everyone the best of the coming year!  May the snows fall lightly on your winter … and may you always find a heartbeat at your feet …

You Win Some … You Lose Some!

Hardwood floors, my reading nook, and the usual clutter of dog toys and beds ...

The past three months have been a whirlwind … figuratively and literally.  With the home update finally completed, we moved back into the main floor over Labor Day weekend.  Amazing how much stuff one can accumulate.  And which is not fully appreciated until one has to pack and move it, be it downstairs, out in the garage or across town!  Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity are a regular stop as the clean out continues.  One more room to go (the office) and I think we’ll be back to normal.

In mid October, we traveled to Albuquerque to see the end of the Balloon Fiesta (Fri/Sat) and then spend a week at the American Lhasa Apso Club’s (ALAC) National Specialty.  Having never been to the Balloon Fiesta, it was quite the experience once the event got off the ground for the weekend.  Friday was scratched because of the rain; Saturday because of the winds.  On Sunday, we finally got to see the mass ascension of 385+ balloons … what a sight!  One of the most popular balloons of the weekend was … Spider Pig!

BOB - Cut Down Sweepstakes

On Wednesday, Dante was entered in the first-ever ALAC cut-down sweepstakes, meaning dogs who had been clipped could be shown.  Given than he hadn’t been to a show in well over a year, I was just hoping we could get around the ring with no new behaviors thrown in for interest.  When Dante was being shown and specialed, he was notorious for coming up with heretofore unknown behaviors.  Like barking at clapping … bailing off the exam table … barking at the Dobermans in the ring behind us … asking to be picked up.  Never a dull moment with this boy!  Dante was a sport and did everything I asked of him … and managed to pick up Best of Breed in the cut-down class.  His niece, Lily, was awarded Best of Opposite Sex.  That was our win.

Late October bought the freak snowstorm that dumped ten inches of heavy wet snow overnight.  Given that that majority of the trees in our yard hadn’t lost their leaves yet, they sustained heavy damage from broken branches.  We lost one tree outright and there are two others that we’re not sure will survive their wounds.  Alan spent a weekend cutting broken branches and hauling them out of the yard … just in time for the next snow storm to hit.  Not complaining — well, okay a little — as snow equates to snow pack and snow pack is water on the high arid plains of Colorado.  Our beautiful 12-year old Honey Locust is now a bit lop-sided after the snow took five fairly larges branches down, twisting them off the larger wood.  Given the struggle to get trees to grow in our yard, it was like losing old friends.

Our fav lady bug ... Tootsie!

I got word that a certain little dog was a huge hit at Halloween.  Cute as a bug … a lady bug to be exact … Tootsie took center stage with the visitors.  Here’s what I heard from Jane and Jerry:  “I thought that I would share a couple of pictures of Tootsie at Halloween.  She doesn’t look real happy in her little lady bug costume, but once she realized it was going to get her lots of attention, she was just fine with it, ha!  She is such a little love and I can’t believe we got so lucky that we found her.  She has got such a fun personality, she keeps us laughing.”  I think Tootsie was pretty lucky to have found Jane and Jerry!

Sang-Po was placed just before Thanksgiving … best part of that he’s still in town with friends so I’ll get to see and hear of him often.  He now lives with Don, Kathy and BooBoo.  BooBoo is one of our former fosters, our first out-of-state intake.  Arriving from Oklahoma, we picked him up late one night in Limon under a full moon that left the eastern plains awash in moon glow for the three-hour+ ride home.  BooBoo, who has been in his new home since 2003, is showing Sang-Po the ropes and adjusting to not being an only dog anymore!  Photos to follow as they get taken, in the next week or so.

Winter …

First snow… has arrived in Colorado.  Even though it’s not actually “winter”  yet as December 21st is still a ways off.  Nevertheless, winter is here.  Our first snow dumped 14 inches on the flat and formed drooping cornices where the wind swirled off the back of the garage.  One good snow and I’m ready for spring.  I dread the short days that come with a return to Mountain Standard Time, preferring the long lazy days of summer.  I’d much rather watch the flowers grow and the dogs play in the yard than heavy gray skies and blowing snow.

The dogs don’t seem to share the same sentiment.  First snow and they’re doing their best snowplow impression, kicking up heels as they run to and fro.  Every now and again, a nose is dropped and the plow carves out a long furrow.  A face finally emerges, encrusted with snow crystals … a proper little mountain dog from Tibet!

Image025We added a bit of color to the winter landscape this year … a vertical Tibetan prayer flag.  Lots of prayers going up that day!  You’ll note we have double fencing — wooden privacy and a 24-inch high interior fence.  The short fence was put up for several reasons:  (1) to prevent the boys from fence fighting with the dogs to the east and south, (2) to confine all of them to the grass areas and out of the bark, (3) to keep Frankers from chasing squirrels and re-injuring his SI joint, and (4) to keep Dad’s partially-blind Tzu from getting lost in the vegetation behind the garage.  Success on all accounts and it has definitely cut down on the barking outside.  A  good thing as barking dogs are not tolerated.  It’s rude and neither I — nor the neighbors — want to hear it.

Franker’s favorite part of winter is … when Mom drags out the fleece throw and curls up on the couch.  He’s claimed the spot right behind my knees, settling in for a long evening nap.  Standing beside the couch he waits until I’m settled and then hops up … never fails no matter what season it is.  He eventually gets too warm and starts panting.  At that point, I have to tell him to get down as he won’t leave on his own.  That’s my boy.

May you all have a warm fire and a dog at your feet for the winter.

Addendum:  Since we’re on the subject of winter, a couple photos taken with yet another storm that blew through Nov. 14th …

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One of the birdhouses made by my father … after he retired he enjoyed putzing around in the yard and doing woodwork.  His back fence was lined with houses for the little red finches.

Below, our Green Man sporting a snowy cap along with a nose warmer …

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