Saturday, July 31, 2010

Go Dog Go

You know you're not photography-minded when you go to a dog event and don't even think about bringing a camera. Miro and I volunteered as traffic directors and raffle ticket sellers last week at Go Dog Go, a fundraising festival for the Kirkland off-leash dog park project. Kept busy working, we missed the costume contest, the agility games, the food and treat give-aways at booths. We missed pretty much everything except for being able to meet and greet people and their dogs as they arrived. Alanis stayed home because she already has excellent manners (even when she is being bossy) and Miro needed practice.

We met a 12-year-old Siberian Husky who was still so agile and playful that she acted like a five-year-old. We met Jack Russell terriers, a Wheaten and an Irish terrier. We saw a white Poodle who wore a red saddle and had feet trimmed to resemble a Clydesdale horse. The fur around her feet was dyed pink, something I still feel dubious about. There was even a Bloodhound pulling his person all around the grounds. We said hello to a Border Collie who seemed to be deciding whether or not to herd Miro. And, of course, there were lots and lots of mixed breeds.

When we were selling raffle tickets for fabulous baskets filled with treats and adventures for dogs and people (sigh, we didn't win anything), Miro discovered he could inch under the table to touch noses with approaching dogs. All the dogs we met seemed to be on best behavior all day. When the lady in the neighboring booth sat eating lunch, Miro sat beside her so politely that you'd think he was having tea with the Queen. Of course, he was hoping for hand-outs but he didn't ask or even try to perform an Airedale Mind-Meld by staring at her.

I was happy to be able to help but next year I'll ask to enjoy the festival first and volunteer later. I might even remember to bring a camera.
More being very good.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another fledgling visits

This one was in the front yard near the wood ants.The front yard seems a little safer because there are lots more bushes and no dogs.
I got a little too close so he decided to retreat up the hill and into more shelter.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Airedale Party

Last week Miro and I went to Megen's house to visit lots of Airedales who had gathered there for grooming day with Sheila. Sheila brought her dogs Kimi and Rummy; they're the ones who are stripped to perfection and are wearing brown collars. First everybody milled around saying hi.
Then some jumping.

That's Kimi or Rummy trying to show who's boss.

Miro says, "You're not the boss."

See the short tail of the dog on the right (below)? She is a rescue. Megen fosters lots of dogs for Airedale rescue and finds them good homes. This dog came to Megen very overweight and with so little muscle tone that she couldn't play the way she does now. Lots of dogs in rescue come from the same breeder and you can always recognize them by their badly docked tails. This breeder has been ruining Airedale tails for at least twenty years and his dogs have been finding their way into Pacific Northwest Rescue for that long, too.

All bushes must be investigated.

Tails wave good-bye.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dart-Mouth's existential debate

Is there a reason to move forward? What would it be? What is right? There are other chickens behind me in the coop, awaiting my choice. Is it right to exit now? What is my purpose? Am I the leader? Do I have responsibilities as leader? Into what will my actions lead us? O.M.G. I see fresh worms. Forward!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tree worries

Normally I write about animals but am posting my tree worries in the hope that someone who knows more about tree care than I (which is pretty much everyone) might offer helpful suggestions.

Yesterday’s rain brought down little fringy leaves from the tree whose trunk looks like the Whomping Willow at Hogwarts. I’ve seen leaves dry up and drop prematurely due to drought but this tree is neither dry nor drowned, so I don’t know what’s going on. Maybe somebody else knows why leaves would suddenly fall off in the middle of July? Could this be due to the sudden temperature change last week from 60 to a few days of over 90 degrees F?

In the same section of the yard, my droopy pine, which has been growing mightily, is turning brown. This began before last week. Last winter MirĂ³ dug one hole near the base of this tree but it was such a shallow hole that he didn’t even expose any roots. There has been no spraying or any other change around these trees.

The hydrangea isn’t too happy, either, but that problem looks like drought. The hydrangea is on a side of the house partly sheltered from this summer’s ample rainfall, so I watered it and will hope it isn’t protesting my having trimmed it back last winter.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Spain to win World Cup?

Using Graph Theory, some mathematicians have predicted that Spain will beat the Netherlands in Sunday's World Cup final. Better yet, Paul the German octopus who has an incredible 80% accuracy rate has also predicted a Spanish win. Apparently, some Germans were so angry that Paul predicted their loss that they not only insulted him and threatened his life but they also insulted his mother.

Mathematics may be based on a more solid method but there's no doubt about who's cooler. And cuter.

Friday, July 9, 2010


A 50-lb Airedale’s bark has the depth and volume you’d associate with a 150-lb dog. Once they get going, they’re really into it: LOOK LOOK SOMEBODY HERE SOMEBODY HERE SOMEBODY WALKING BY just in case you missed the fleeting glimpse of a passer-by while standing beside your dog looking out the window. A few people on my Airedale list recommended a device that responds to barking with a high-pitched sound that irritates dogs’ ears so much that they stop barking.

My friend Nelda Moore of Kentucky writes: "I bought one hoping to curb Hannah's enthusiastic barking. The noise [of the device] was ear splitting and we all cringed when it went off. I set it to go off at 3 barks. Hannah quickly learned to bark twice, pause, bark twice, pause, bark twice.... How can they be so smart about what works for them and so dumb to 'learn' what works for us?"

Maybe I won’t buy that Bark Breaker I was considering.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The bobble-heads

You need a quick camera to get a photo of a Polish chicken and my camera isn't quick. Dart-Mouth, especially, is always busy bobbing her head as she pecks the ground.

Some people might think she's not very bright because she runs in the wrong direction when all the other chickens gallop into the pen but those who know her realize it's just that she can't see through all those feathers.