Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some Photos from Taj MuttHall Yard

SUMMARY: Spring! Sproing!
Momma dove cocks her head at the camera and tripod and oddball human balancing on the side of the hot tub.
Taj MuttYard has this old dying--well, ok, dead--apple tree that these big old bees just love. Bees bigger than the first joint on my thumb. They never sit still, never, buzz buzz buzz bumble bumble bumble. Need to figure out a better way to try to get a clearer shot. There are Big Black Bees--
and Big Yellow Bees. [Note added later in the evening: These appear to be The bees appear to be Xylocopa varipuncta (Valley carpenter bees), and the male is yellow, the female black!
And sproinging around in the yard--Human Mom is on a quest to get an awesome Tika With Favorite Toy shot. Not there yet, but this is kind of getting there.

Boost helps Human Mom figure out camera angles.

Labels: , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Purple Foot

SUMMARY: In honor of Tika's sore toe.
Tika has been wearing a little purple and gray hiking bootie on her sore toe since Wednesday. I've been taking her out on leash into the yard, trying to keep her from running and pouncing, but still playing tug of war pretty enthusiastically, which probably still puts a lot of pressure on that toe.

I've been throwing the purple jolly ball for Boost, who brings it back, then I play tug of war with each dog, then throw it for Boost again, hanging onto Tika's collar. Tika has burst into a run a couple or three times when I'm not expecting it (off leash, pottying, then a squirrel or alien invasion or whatever catches her attention). But I've seen no signs of limping.

Did the same this morning. After our play session, decided to take a purple photo. Came inside to get the camera. Went back out with the dogs not on leash--because this is the boring part--and the tripod and the camera; Tika became very excited, did the sproingy antelope thing with about four leaps in a big circle and came up with her paw in the air looking distressed. Curses, egads, and zounds.

I took her bootie off, put it back on, gave her some treaties, did the photo thing, and she stopped looking so pathetically miserable, but with still a distinct hitch in her giddyup. I'm thinking she's not going to be competing next weekend. Me not happy.

Labels: , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, October 23, 2009

Competitive Dog Sports -- Another Pass-Around Thang

SUMMARY: About me & my dog sports.
Found on Facebook. I'm posting here because I've answered many of these questions before and I'm just going to link to 'em. If you want to do this note on facebook and tag your dog-sport pals, copy & paste these instructions as well as the rest of the content:
Copy and paste the content below, then erase the other person's answers and put in your own. Tag as many Dog Nuts as you can think of, including the person who sent it to you as "first tag." Don't be shy to make your answers long, if need be.

NOTE: This will be a very long read if you also read the links in which I answer some questions at length. Don't you have something better to do with your time?

List the dog sports in which you compete. If you have a particular favorite please tell us, and tell us why!

Is there anyone you'd like to thank or BLAME for getting you into competitive dog activities?
My obedience instructor started taking agility classes and recommended it to me. For my active, eager dog. Who is also clearly to blame.

Please tell the story of how you got started in dog sports. Where/when (year please, don't be shy!)/why/etc.
Remember, you asked. (First competition: January 1996.)

What is your FAVORITE thing about dog sports, and what is your LEAST FAVORITE?
One answer, from June 2009, on "why agility?"
What I hate about agility? Disappointing myself, sometimes; the expense; the amount of time it takes away from everything else in my life.

What breeds or mixes thereof do you/have you owned? Please list their name, their breed (or mix thereof) and then their BEST quality as a sport dog and their WORST quality as a sport dog.
Whoa, can you believe I've never done a post on this? (At least not that I'm finding.) This would make a good future blog post. Summary:
  • Remington, Squirrelhund (Lab/Shepherd probably). Almost never dropped a bar. Loved to learn. Could be pretty fast. Extremely sensitive to my moods and shut down a lot.
  • Jake, Semidachshund (sheltie mix probably, maybe beagle?). Took forever to learn anything new. But once he got it, very reliable.
  • Tika, Craussie (Aussie cross, maybe Husky?). Pretty darned fast, loves doing agility, easily distracted, fights the "rules" every step of the way. 
  • Boost, Border Collie. Extremely fast and driven. Loves to learn. Very focused. Wants to do agility. Light on the concepts of keeping bars up and doing weaves from beginning to end.

How many dog beds do you currently own and what did you pay for the most expensive one?
  • Double-thick bathmats once were primary dog beds. (3 or 4, bought on clearance for about $15 each in the early '90s. Tucked away now or used at trials when sleeping in the van.)
  • Official dog mats, thick pile fleece with blue border. (3, one in kitchen, one in crate in bedroom, one for trials. About $15 each at pet stores through the years.)
  • Raised PVC bed frames with rip-stop "hammock". (3, one in office, two in kitchen. Bought one at giant February AKC dog show at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds. Two bought at USDAA Nationals in Scottsdale. $55 each in 2001. )
  • Big thick dog bed cushion with zippered cover. (2, both in office, one on a PVC bed frame--which the dogs take turns using--one from Costco about $20, one won in agility trial raffle.)
  • Down-filled bed with stuff bag. (1, stored in closet, won in raffle.)
  • Giant fleece/fabric sturdy throw used as dog bed in my bedroom. (1, won in raffle.)
  • Smaller fleece rectangle with raised sides in my bedroom. (1, won in raffle.)
  • Spiffy actual nice plush dog bed, bought for Jake with a Christmas gift certificate to PetSmart (so it was either free or $79.99, depending on your viewpoint, which could make it the most expensive). (Jake died only a month later, but he loved it while he had it. Tucked in the corner of my office, Boost uses it all the time. Tika sometimes uses it.)
(Short post in which this photo originally appeared.)

What is the most you ever paid for a large bag of dog food? Probably $55. Same thing sells at a discount at nearby Pet Club for $35.

What is the most you have ever paid for a dog toy, and what was it?
No clue. Probably in the $20 range from time to time.

List the vehicles you have bought specifically for traveling to and from dog competitions.
MUTT MVR! Read my 2005 post about it in the Quintessential agility car.

What is the furthest you have ever traveled in order to attend a dog event?
Scottsdale, Arizona (USDAA Nationals 2004,05,06,07,08).
Second furthest: Either San Diego, CA (USDAA Nationals, 2000 and 2001), or Eureka, CA (2002, chasing the last gambler's let for Remington's NATCH).

How many dog-related pieces of clothing do you currently own?
As of March 2007.

How many dog toys do you own? Don't forget to include the ones in the car and in various closets and at your in-laws' house.
As of November 2008. (Remember that you can click on a photo to see a larger version of it to make out more details.)

(Read the original post that goes with the photo.)

How many dog-related books do you own?

Remember that you can always click on a photo here to see a larger version of it if you want to browse bowser titles yourself. (Read the post that goes with the photo.) Here's the list of the books as of 2006. (Read the short post that goes with the list.)

Have you ever been bitten by a dog? If so what were the circumstances?
Accidentally when Jake and Remington got into a fight between me, the couch, and the coffee table.

Has your dog ever peed/pooped/barfed someplace that they really shouldn't have? If so, tell us what happened!
Are you kidding? I own dogs! Duh!

Has your dog ever stolen a major item of human food? Tell us!
Not that I recall.

When competing in dog sports, did you ever admire someone else's dog from afar so much that you will always remember that dog? If so, please tell us all about it.
So many dogs! Several Border Collies stood out, including one who would eventually become Boost's mom. Several mixed-breed dogs! I love their distinctive looks and how well they do even against Border Collies.

Of all your friend's dogs, which dog would you like to take home and keep if you had the chance? You can list three, just to be fair...or just one if you're ruthless!
I've had such a wide variety of my own, I now know that there is no perfect dog. Any one will have its issues and its successes. I don't covet others's dogs.

What has been your most embarrassing moment thus far while competing in dog sports?
Probably a tie between:
  • Me and Jake running a beautiful first half of a Pairs Relay course, to have our partner cry, "Where's the baton?!" as I came racing in, empty handed. (That's an automatic disqualification.)
  • Running into the teeter totter. Read about it here.

What has been your most shining moment thus far while competing in dog sports?

Oh, so very many! Jake's MAD (the first I ever earned). Remington's NATCH (my first dog's championship, FINALLY). Winning Full House with zillions of points over and over in CPE trials with Tika and Boost. Boost doing the weave poles correctly! Winning a ribbon at USDAA Nationals with Tika in an individual event. Making Team finals at the USDAA Nationals with Tika. Finally getting Jake's 5th Gamblers Q for his ADCH. Finally qualifying for Grand Prix semifinals with Tika with a smooth and beautiful and aggressive run. Having a Perfect Weekend with Tika. Earning a trophy at CPE Nationals with Tika--one Q away from a perfect 3-day Nationals with 1sts or 2nds in everything (and I mean of everyone competing, not just her class). Remington getting excited about agility again and running like when he first started. Jake jumping into my arms at the end of a run. I dunno--I could go on and on. 220 trials over 14 years--lots going on in there!

What are your goals for the future with your dogs?

Not sure any more. Once upon a time it was to win More First Places and Make It To the Nationals Finals. But now, I dunno, I'm thinking "retire and do a lot of hiking."

If the Dog Fairy could grant you one wish (sky is the limit), what would it be?

I love my dog family the way it is now. Love the dogs, love how they get along together, love how they've come along in their training. Don't want to have to start over again. Keep them around and healthy and active for many many years.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, September 19, 2009


SUMMARY: Random things from the treat jar of dog thoughts and lifestyle issues that have been piling up, gathering dust.
  • The Secrets Inside Your Dog's Mind -- Time magazine article about dogs following pointing fingers, recognizing words, sharing, and altogether acting more human than wolf, and why. Thanks Wishy The Writer for the link.

  • This lady (OK, me) walks into a Postal Annex (no, really!) with the merle girls, tells them to "down" and they do (and stay, I might add), and commences her transaction with the clerk, who, after a couple of minutes of business, says, "Pretty dogs. Are they trained?" Um...

  • Trying to cut back on agility events, and in particular avoid weekends of agility back-to-back... But wait (she says, remembering squillions of Gamblers briefings where everyone has to clarify the terminology--again--)--or is that weekends *in sequence*? Not sure how you'd do weekends back to back-- sat-sun then sun-sat of the same weekend? Nice trick if you can do it, and you should CERTAINLY get double points for it.

  • Johann the dog asked "What is your favorite toy?" Found it hard to answer. Varies from dog to dog. Sheba loved the floppy plastic left over from a beach ball. Amber liked hard plastic things or sticks. Remington liked his plush "flippy" and cardboard boxes. Jake was into nubby plastic squeakies. Boost likes her bone-shaped plush with a squeakie in the middle. Tika prefers nonplush things that we can play tug with, especially her Jolly Ball. Me? Hmm, maybe my Macintosh.

  • New Mac Mini arrived this week! Bought this old one in January 2001 (was a 2000-year model). Looking forward to getting the new one running. Have heard that the tools now for transferring everything are amazingly good. Or so "They" say. And you know how They are.

  • Even though USDAA has made the Performance program more like the regular Championship program--everything now the same for titling, but sometimes they shortchange awards and title names--and despite well-respected competitors' efforts to promote moving *over* to performance instead of *down* to performance, it still felt like I was giving something up to move Tika from 26" Ch to 22" Pf. But, I'll tell you, she is running so much more smoothly and comfortably at 22"--and winning and Qing a lot more, too--grins--that I'm beginning to like the change. Although I still find myself qualifying her successes by saying "in performance, of course."

  • Still haven't decided for sure on a camera. Do I go with the Rebel series (the XS or the new t1i)--or the midrange not-quite-pro series (40D, available only refurbished, or 50D)? Price *is* an object.  So many things going into the decision, though. Almost decided on XS this morning, then almost on 40D. Probably one of those two. Would love the 50D but not sure I can justify the extra, which I'd rather spend on a lens or two.

  •  Hand touches: Taught Boost a hand touch to my palm very thoroughly and then realized to my dismay that this prevented teaching “shake”/”high 5"/”wave” etc. This year I decided to  change the Touch to only the back of my hand when held straight down, and Shake to the palm held level.  Maybe will post on how I converted, if anyone's interested. Taught Tika the new touch, too; she already had the Shake. Now both dogs know the distinction. Although sometimes in the heat of the food moment, Boost touches and shakes simultaneously. Overachiever.

  • OK, I admit it: I go places without my dogs. Lots of places. Hiking. Traveling. I see them all day every day and work or play or walk with them several times a day and I'm often ready to just not do dogs.  If more hiking around here were off-leash legal, I'd probably take them more often. But, unlike so many of my agility friends, I need lots of vacation from my dogs! Perfectly happy leaving them behind. Sorry, merle girls, life's hard.

  • But now, I retire for the night to my king-sized bed. WITH the merle girls. Life's not so hard after all, is it, me pretties!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random Things in April

SUMMARY: The mind wanders. The life wanders.

  • Last week it was so cold that I ran the space heater under my desk on several days. Yesterday we beat the all-time temp record for this date, which was set over100 years ago. Hey, people, this is supposed to be April! Dogs don't much care--still wnat me to Throw The Toy--except that when they fetch it, they run and drop it in the shade and wait for me to come get it. This weekend--when we're doing agility again finally, mind you--it's supposed to be cool and very rainy. Unsettled weather: Unsettling.
  • Last summer I bought a brand new purple Jolly Ball for the back yard. (Well, really, for the dogs, but it lives in the back yard.) The dogs love that toy. Shortly thereafter, it vanished. I looked everwhere, even underneath the miles of shrubbery lining my fence. Nada. Finally gave up and bought a new one.

    Last week I got to work finishing that trimming job I started...uh...a while back. Guess who's been overwintering 6 feet up in the shelter of the shrubbery? Yes! Mr. Jolly Ball!

    Reminds me of the time that Mr. Red Jolly Ball vanished from the yard and I gave up and bought a new one. Came autumn, fruit trees dropped their leaves--and there was Mr.RJB nestling in the branches of the apple tree 15 feet up. (Thought I had a post on this but can't find it. Sorry; know you're disappointed.)

    Now--*I* would notice if I tossed a JB into a tree or a shrub. Renter claims that he'd notice, too. OK, you guys, fess up: Who's been sneaking into my yard and tossing JBs into mysterious places?
  • Huh--this horrible nasty way overgrown privet, once stripped of its branches (my intention was to remove it entirely--maybe there's be more room for another tunnel?), has apparently self-grafted like crazy. He never listened to Mom Privet saying, "If you keep wrapping your branches around each other like that, they'll freeze that way!" Makes me want to stop sticking my elbow in my ear all the time. Fortunately it did not self-graft itself around Mr. JB. The real problem here is that now I think that this is so cool that I don't want to take it out after all. Sigh. The price one pays for one's art.
  • Naming dogs: I take forever to come up with dog names. That's why Jake stayed Jake as he was before i got him, and Remington stayed Remington as he was in his pre-TMH life. Keep threatening to name my next dog Spot or Fido or King or Queenie. ...So...how come no one ever names their dog Kingie or Queen? Is this sexist?
  • Just lounging around in the yard, watching the Graf Agility Zeppelin float by.
  • Painted Ladies recently migrated northward through our area in massive quantities.

  • We're starting agility class again this Thursday, after a 9-week absence for R&R Woo hoo! Dogs will be much happier. We're just starting some practice again in the yard. Boost is still knocking bars. I've been perhaps less than faithful in doing everything that was recommended during our hiatus. But we did have a good time. Mostly.
  • Unemployment rate in Silicon Valley popped up to 11.2%. California overall 11%. Fourth highest in the country among all 50 states. Wasn't high tech supposed to be recession-proof? Agility trial entries are down. Is it the economy, stupid? Or the stupid economy?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, March 30, 2009


SUMMARY: Taxes, earthquake, agility dangers, necks, bugs, computers...

  • There was a 4.3 earthquake not far from here this morning. Wasn't home so don't know whether dogs noticed. But my guess is not. One quick shake and then a little rolling; nothing too disturbing.
  • I finally spent the time to get my papers together for the tax guy. I noticed once again that no agility-related or dog-related expenses seem to be tax deductible. Maybe if I were an agility instructor? Or an agility lecturer?
  • An agility friend and her dog collided this weekend at an agility trial, she fell and hit her head and was knocked unconscious. Scary. Spent the night in the hospital; she doesn't remember a thing about the incident.
  • What are those horrid sort of round bugs that are smaller than the head of a pin that have been infesting my kitchen cupboards now for probably a year? I think they came in in a batch of dog biscuits that weren't sealed up. Maybe 6 months ago, I emptied all the cupboards, threw out several things that had been infested, and put everything else in ziplock bags. But they've beeen increasing with a vengeance. Yesterday I went through the process again. Found 6 things in plastic bags that were infested; two I couldn't tell whether there was an opening in the bags--maybe they were infested when I put them in the bags. The others--they had eaten right through the bags! Another scary thing. Had to toss two supposedly sealed new dog treat things again that they somehow got through the bags.
  • Yet another agility friend apparently has a little cattledog with the same neck issues that Tika has. Apparently vet said it's from all the shaking of toys. Boost still shakes things like a 7.6 earthquake when we're tugging, but Tika doesn't much shake things any more (just pulls). Maybe that's because of her neck? The friend says no more shaking toys for her dog. How do you stop it? Argh.
  • I still haven't blogged my info from last weekend's trial. Tika did pretty good. But I took a few photos and I've been busy and now my computer's down, so I can't do anything with them. SOMEday I'll talk about last weekend. I took good notes!

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Toys

SUMMARY: A selection of fun things for a rainy day.

Tika loved her weasel. It made such great weasely sounds when she squeezed it.
But most of the sound toys have cheap plastic boxes that break as soon as a big dog bites enthusiastically. And Tika loves making those things make those noises! Same thing happened to the weasel and the frog and the monkey I finally found.

Then Johann the Dog posted about the Animal Sounds Babble Ball. I heard the weasel sounds in the video! And the monkey, too! And the frog! And it looked sturdy! So I ordered TWO. (After a mistake where I ordered the TALKING babble ball instead of the animal sounds one.)

Johann suggested putting it in a sock, which sounded like a great idea until I realized that I don't have any old socks lying around.

I had a flash of brilliance when the babble balls arrived. I had some large plush toys with replaceable squeakers stuffed away in the closet waiting for some reason to use them (had them for Remington, who'd play with a toy consistently only if there were food in it). Sure enough, the large chipmunk just barely closed around it. It's perfect! I can actually get a grip to play tug of war, I can throw it w/out the hard plastic damaging anything.

Tika is in 7th heaven! It makes noises all the time and she can chew on it or tug it or chase it. Happy happy dog. She was SO excited that she just about took my hand off (ow!) and you should've seen how frustrated she was when I tried to play with Boost with it for a little bit.

I did a web search for "Noy velcro dog treat" or something similar (Dr. Noy is the manufacturer), and lots of stuff came up. The large chipmunk has apparently been discontinued, but I also have a large squirrel, rat, and playtpus, and at one time had a giant spider or crab or something with a lot of legs, all sturdy and with a velcro fastener, and I think all by the same manufacturer. Very well made.

Next toy: I discovered early on that Boost loves her little bone-shaped plush toys. Not very dense plush, just the size to fit in her mouth. She runs and plays in and out of the house, through the tunnels, and back again, all by herself, carrying and squeaking that little toy. No other squeaky will do.

When the squeaky finally died on the blue one (after a lonnng time--she's gentle with it), I looked forever to find a similar replacement. I found ONE in a pet store. Leopard print. I kept looking, because I knew that one would die eventually, and found ONE more just recently--good, because the old leopardskin one just died. So I got the new red-trimmed leopard-skin one out this morning.

She played with it like it was the the Dog God's gift to her personally--just lying there squeaking it, rolling on her back and squeaking it, running in and out and squeakng it, doing the play bow and squeaking it. I tried to get the camera out after about 20 minutes of this, but she dropped the toy into her empty detergent box and then started going for the box. Which is one of her recent favorite toys.

The other new toy is a rubber milker. Used in milking machines, and I guess when they wear out, they're just trash. Someone discovered that they make great dog toys. I'm sure that eventually someone will start selling them, but I got mine from a friend.

They're the perfect dog toy: Good safe material (you know that, because it's used in our milk supply!), a little bit stretchy, a little bit floppy, soft rubber so easy to grip by human and dog for tug, throws easily and bounces a little when you throw it but not too much. I'm a convert!



Complete list of labels

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Domestic Agility Mom

SUMMARY: In which we learn why it's a bad idea for dogs to play tug of war on your bed on which your bed linens also reside. We then focus on our household trimming and ironing skills.

Tika loves to heave large fabricky things (OK, how do you turn "fabric" into an adjective anyway?) around. I gave up trying to get her to stop heaving my comforter around, and instead got her her very own huge dog-type throw that she does. Throw, that is. Every morning. Sometimes she and Boost play a little tug of war with it.

As dogs are not known for their fine grasp (so to speak) of fabric qualities, sometimes apparently they still accidentally confuse my flannel duvet cover with the big furry upholstered dog throw, as Taj MuttHall discovered the other morning after exiting the shower.

Taj MuttHall just bought these sheets a few months ago and is not going to throw them out. No. We are going to repair the rends. Which requires an emergency visit to the once-ubiquitous-but-now-nearly-extinct fabric store. We benefit from our vague cultural memory that, in this colossus of a warehouse store, we need to look for "Notions." Sometimes that's a great idea. (ha ha? That's your obscure Ken Kesey reference for the morning.)

Found Notions. Found iron-on fabric. Not nearly the selection TMH remembers from our youth, shopping in the cave'o'fabric near where the deer and the mastodons play. But bits of white in the multicolored package. No idea what TMH will ever do with navy blue, black, and deep burgundy iron on fabric, but that's what one gets.

Then one trims them to size, and rounds the corners per instructions. Kitchen shears won't do this. Fortunately I still have my old fabric shears from when--in our pre-TMH days--we occasionally wanted to shear fabric. Now they're in our desk drawer for emergency shearing of printer paper or the occasional carpet snag resulting from dog teeth operating in the incorrect place.

The other handy tool for using iron-on fabric is an actual iron. Remember irons? Mine is practically new because I've only used it twice since I got it when I first moved out on my own a couple of years ago. Or was it 1977? I lose track of these details1.

The instructions also say WARNING! Wash fabric before applying patches! But if you wash it, you know that the frayed edges will fray beyond your wildest nightmares (if you have nightmares about fraying fabric). So what are a few dog hairs among iron-on friends? Now you have to line up the edges to prepare for ironage. This is not so easy as one might suppose, with the stretchable fabric having been stretched a bit during its ordeal. Dang stripes--how can all of them line up except one?

Line up the patches right next to each other so that there are no gaps at all. (You had to use several pieces because the fabric wasn't large enough to do in one full sheet. Don't you like it how I know what you are doing and why?) Now, with the iron plenty preheated to Cotton setting, even though you believe that the sheets aren't exactly completely cotton, you're just following directions, you press for 30 seconds, moving the iron back and forth per instructions.

Learning opportunity #1: when you move the iron back and forth, the tightly aligned patches don't apparently stay that way.
Learning opportunity #2: What's that brown, iron-shaped patch of color that just appeared on my sheet? It'll wash out, won't it?
Won't it?

1(I also lose track of whether we're writing in the first person singular about me the person or third person singular, whether we at TMH are actually singular or plural, whether you're addressing your audience directly, or whether one is referring in general to some third-person entity not directly emotionally involved.)

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, January 05, 2009

Cold and Wet and Buster Cubes

SUMMARY: When it's cold or wet (or both) outside, how to burn off some doggie ergs?

Sunday morning at 9:30, in the back yard, frost and ice still reigned supreme, on grass and ground and forlorn agility tunnels:

The dog's water bowl was not immune, startling thirsty dogs; I enjoyed the beautiful ice patterns:

Hedge trimmings from the previous day took on a delicate new aspect:

Today, it's just plain raining and muddy. Certain human household members don't want to be out in that weather, not to mention recoiling from cleaning dozens of mudded canine tootsies. So how to burn those ergs/joules/calories/enegies/demons? One strategy is Breakfast by Buster Cube.

Tika finds that the nose nudge works well.

The foot fling also comes in handy.

Boost goes for any method that strikes her at the time.

Sometimes it goes under furniture and you just have to make a detour to chase it out of there.

When all else fails--or you're concerned that Tika might encroach on your BusterCubing domain--just pick it up and carry it around. (They're not supposed to be able to do that--are they?) Oh, yeah--and that inside-out ear thang again--

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Dogz Yardz Dragonz Toyz

SUMMARY: A busy afternoon out in the back 4. (Not enough space to be 40.)

Note 1: OK, yes, I am really stupidly going to upload 32 photos to Blogger, 2 at a time. I hate this photo interface except that it conveniently resizes them and makes thumbnails.

The shrubbery has gotten out of hand. And out of feet. And probably arms and legs, too. All 90 feet of it. Here is quite a bit less than all 90 of its feet. There is a fence in there somewhere. I swear it.

This is what I am prepared to do.

This is what Tika really wants me to do.

Boost's darned ear doesn't understand the proper way for an ear to behave in public.

Mr. Rusty Yard Dragon is being overgrown by Mr. out-of-hand shrubbery. However, he remains silent on the matter.

Mr. Triceratops is not, technically, a dragon. He is a token dinosaur-that-might-be-dragon-like-kinda. He sleeps with the gravels that the dogs slide through, pushing them up gradually until they mostly cover Mr. T and then I unbury him. He continues to sleep. Extinction is like that.

I think Tika is gorgeous. Whether or not she's all Aussie. Someday--maybe--the DNA test.

Boost is pretty gorgeous herself.

What Boost likes to do while I am trimming shrubs. Waiiiiiiiting--

until I toss a branch, and then--leap and grab! Leap and grab! ...Leap! and Grab! ...


...and leap and grab!

Tika does not get this game.

This is what Tika really wants me to do.

This is what happens to the nifty yard-waste basket that you can collapse into a flat package and store neatly in the shed, when you leave it uncollapsed and sitting out conveniently in the yard 24/7 for several years where you can get at it at a moment's notice to toss yard clippings into.

Leap and grab!

The shrubbery is looking so much better. Only another--uh--70 feet to go.

Mr. Rusty Yard Dragon is no longer being devoured by overgrown shrubberies. However, he remains silent on the matter.

I like Mr. Rusty Yard Dragon (for short, I fondly call him: Mr. Rusty Yard Dragon) because he looks cool and he's supposed to be rusty so he takes no maintenance. Just hangs around.

Really, Tika wants me to do this.

Boost wouldn't mind some of that, plus agility tunnels would be cool, plus her ear is inside out. Again.

Leap and grab!

This is what I should really be doing, according to Tika.

This is a history of what happens to purple Jolly Balls in our particular back yard.

#1 slowly developed little cracks from all the sharp doggie teeth digging into it to play fetch and/or tug-of-war day after day, week after week, month after month... but it is still throwable, fetchable, and tug-of-warable, and is really floppy so is fun to shake if you're a dog who likes to shake things, so we can't get rid of it yet. #2 unfortunately developed a problem with the handle, as in it is no longer there. Plus it got left on the patio in 100+-degree heat, and that concavity thing is what results. #3 is slowly developing cracks, too. Plus it got left on the patio on another 100+-degree day. It does not roll so well any more. #4 is our current experimental subject. #5 is also apparently experimental, because it vanished about 7 days after it had been put, brand new, into this very back yard. We have had 2 dogs and 2 people looking for it off and on for months. It has experimentally vanished into some odd backyard thin air.

Could the shrubbery have eaten it? The shrubberies are very overgrown-- I CAN take a photo at 1/10 of a second without a tripod, I can I can I can! ...Or maybe only if you squint and look at it in really small resolution so you can't see how fuzzy it is...Does this look like a JollyBall-eating shrub to you?

I am not complaining about tonight's sunset. Over the neatly trimmed 20 feet of shrubbery.

Now I can see the neighbor's tree house against the sky in the leafless winter tree.
Note 2: OK, yes, this photo upload process was astonishingly tedious and time-consuming. Plus reviewing images, moving them to match text--Bleah--Blogger is NOT designed for posting photos. In future, must revert to diverting you-all to my Smugmug for bigger photo collections.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels