Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Escargot Breakfast



Miro of the large feet decided to sample the local escargot this morning while the creatures made off for the ivy as quickly as they could. He decided they didn't taste so great without the butter and garlic.

So I asked the chickens what they thought.

Breakfast having begun on a French theme, I gave the hens some brioche I over-baked the other day. They definitely preferred bread to snails.


Where's the butter?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Enough said

Overheard from two teenage girls in a store: "I feel so sorry for him. He's only allowed fifty texts a day."

Overheard from my kitchen: "Nobody's peeing on the floor, right?"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Miro starts school

It's a busy spring with me at my desk all day between bouts of letting dogs out and putting dogs back in confinement. Alanis and Miro spend most of their outdoor time racing around the yard, playing biteyface and, in Miro's case, getting rolled on the ground. He bites her beard; she holds him down by the neck; when I can't stand it any more, I make them stop.

Checking the new leaves.

Typical biteyface.

The few seconds' delay between pressing the button and the camera and the time it gets around to taking the photo makes it impossible to get good action shots. I know, I need a fancier camera (maybe in a couple of years!).


This plastic bottle with rocks in it was a favorite new toy for a couple of days.

Miro started obedience school last week. In our class there are a Samoyed who squeals constantly, a Newfoundland, a Bernese Mountain dog, a Basenji, a little ball of fluff with a squished-in face, and a JRT cross. Apparently the Samoyed squealing and keening is typical of the breed. We had to move across the room from them so that I could hear the teachers.

Miro already knew "sit" and "down" as well as a bit of walking beside me on the leash, so Day One was a snap. Also a snap were Miro's jaws--he's a typical mouthy, bitey Airedale who wants to keep busy all the time. There are all kinds of ways to teach bite inhibition. The one that worked best was the instructor's holding Miro's muzzle closed until he stopped struggling, then giving LOTS of BIG praise. After that, all he needed was one "uh uh" reminder when he tried biting again. The instructor was very impressed by how quickly he learned.

I want him to learn to have my hand in his mouth while he's gentle with his teeth. We're working on it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Miro's first Seder

The family Passover Seder was a week ago. I forgot to bring my camera but I did bring Miro. My sister-in-law had incautiously invited me to bring him. Because they have a year old cockapoo, I was glad of the opportunity for Miro to meet more dogs. He reacted the same way he had with Alanis, cautious at first, approaching, then running away, approaching again. Soon they were running all over the yard (and through the flower beds), slamming into each other, wrestling. Sammy the cockapoo did some humping to show who was boss while Miro went, "Okay, okay already; you're the boss." In a few weeks, Miro will be bigger than Sammy and then we'll see.

When we were ready to sit down at the table, I crated Miro at one end of the house; Sammy was put behind a gate at the other. More than 24 people sat down to take turns reading the service in voices raised over the doggie opera. First Sammy barked, then Miro bark-howled, then they quieted to catch their breath. Again the barking and gnashing of teeth from one direction set off the yowling from the other. Miro quieted down; Sammy set him off again. I didn't keep score but even my sister-in-law admitted her dog had made the most noise.

I don't know if the non-family guests were too polite to allow disapproving expressions on their faces or if nobody really minded. The Seder is meant to vary year by year. I'd say last night was one of our more various.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Indoor hen & chicks

Miro killed the lawn bunny

We keep finding treasures in the ivy.

But Airedales regard rabbits as prey.

The rabbit kicked the bucket and Miro ran off, quick as a bunny.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The remodeling begins



Miro decided to begin his home remodeling project by bringing a lamp crashing to the floor. Fortunately, the noise of the breaking bulb startled him into jumping back as I crossed the room in a single bound to keep dogs away from the glass. I don't know what he had against the lamp--my late husband's childhood bedside lamp--sitting quietly on a desk. (The photo shows what's left of the broken bulb. The paper shade suffered dents.)

Outside he conducted a Big Dig in the gravel, scratching his way into cement-hard dirt. Being broad but shallow, the excavation doesn't really show in the photo but here it is anyway.



He checked the dishwasher for necessary repairs.


Then he re-arranged the living room.
It's too bad the photo can't convey the true obstacle-course feeling.


Miro is quite proud of his work



but Alanis is ashamed to be seen in such a mess.

the most awful April Fool's Day ever

In which I lost five months of work (manuscript pages I don't even want to think about) and photos, including all the photos of my trip to Calgary to get Alanis, photos of my son, and all photos from my trip to Boston/Cambridge before picking up Miro in Ohio. Computer was acting up, possibly due to a storm the previous day. From 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, all I did was computer wrestling and taking the puppy out on a regular basis. No walk for Alanis, especially with sleet pouring down all day. In April! What an insult.

Under the "helpful" direction of tech support from HP, I made a backup disk before doing a computer restore. Only the backup disk didn't back up. It's like losing part of your life in a fire and having to be grateful that you didn't lose everything.