Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Latest puppy poses

Happy Tails Once Upon a Time RO, (Gypsy) is the dam and her pups are sired by BISS Ch Indus George of Victoria. Joanne Helm claims they are getting ready for a New Year's bash.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The next generation

This is Miro's reaction to yesterday's early morning snow. He went outside, took care of business, went back in. You can take the wisdom of maturity a little too far. Something needs to be done to get him playing more outside.
 I have a solution.

In February, one of these lumps will come home with me from Victoria, B.C. These Airedale puppies were born December 4.  It's nice to have an older dog when you bring in a puppy because the pup will have something to chew on, other than oneself.

Ready to go. Where are we going?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sunrise from the back yard

Later, it rained.
This is post #549. Does that mean I have to think up something smart for the next one?

Meanwhile back at the ranch, we're stealin' and chewin'.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Grooming time

Here's what happened when I set up the grooming table.
Run to the safe house!

Pretend not to see her.

Crud, she saw me.

Now she'll never figure out where I am.
I lured him out with a trail of turkey pieces.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

They went to see a dog about a man

Things are moving along with Petey, who may have found a rescuer at last. Today's post with a mischievous new problem is at The Hailey and Zaphod Chronicles.

And for verbless Vendesday, guess what this is.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Frosty Friday

With fall's first frost, it's good-bye, nasturtiums.
This was yesterday at the first frost.

This was today, the final gasp. They die badly, all limp and shriveled, headed for the compost heap.
Where's Petey? Is his master surviving all those knocks on the head administered by mean writers? Visit The Hailey and Zaphod Chronicles for the latest chapter. And then join in because we need more writers to get these dogs and people out of the woods!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The next adventure of Petey

Follow the adventures of a small dog hunting for his lost master, starting at Rocco's House and hopping to another blog each day. Saturday's adventure is below but be sure to jump to Haiku by Ku for Sunday's complications before returning here. The link to the next chapter is below.

Where was that ravine? I couldn’t smell a thing, my extensive and sensitive sinus passages having been filled with the officer’s Chanel Number 5 perfume. What’s a police officer—or was she a park ranger—doing wearing expensive perfume in the middle of the woods? I stopped to wipe my face in the snow. A dog of perfectly tuned reflexes, Beast stopped, too.

Unfortunately, humans are not so quick on the uptake. They all tripped over Beast and piled on top of each other. Heads to the side in the way that makes humans go “Awwwww,” Beast and I watched the people make snow angels, looking more like snow spiders, as they waved their arms and legs around before struggling back to their feet. I noticed the man-officer helped the woman-officer up, which act explained the perfume. Meanwhile, a snoutful of snow refreshed my snozzle and I lifted my head to sniff the air, ignoring the way the people were muttering the kind of language my human used when stuck in traffic.

Got it! Beast and I turned to the right and trotted off with the people stumbling after us. I was getting tired. Running through snow was harder even than digging holes in the back yard. Speaking of digging under, I remembered a Discovery channel show about the way wombats in Australia get through snow. I decided to try it. I launched myself forward in a mighty leap, landed on all fours, and leaped up again-- leap, whomp, leap, whomp, hence the name wombat. Once I got a rhythm going, it wasn’t too bad.
Until one of those leaps launched me straight out to empty space.

from australiangeographic.com.au

Meanwhile at the bottom of the ravine--

"Where am I?" said the man.

Beast's mom rolled her marvelous green eyes. Couldn't the guy come up with something better than a
cliché? "You're in the snow," she whispered back. "Help is on the way, if that big monster doesn't get us first. I can't believe I thought the countryside would be a good place to write my novel. Cozy cabin away from the distractions of civilization. Ha! Try almost no cell phone reception and a leaky wood stove. No company except for a big, droolly dog. Don't get me wrong--I love Beast more than anything--but sometimes a person needs conversation, a human voice. Know what I mean? Sometimes I go into town and drink the world's worst coffee just to talk with the fleece and flannel-clad unisex lumps in the diner. What this town needs is a decent coffee shop."
"Where am I?" asked the man again. "What town?"
"Oh, it's called Puddledunk. We're sort of in the middle of nowhere."
"Oh my gosh, Petey is locked in the house without his dinner!"
"If he's a little terrier mix, he might be out here in the woods with my dog Beast."
"What?" the man exclaimed, sitting up. Just then an unidentified furry object knocked into his sore head with the force of a baseball, knocking him out again.

Go to Rocco's House for the next chapter!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Canine NaNoWriMo Day 16

 Rocco's House began a story for National Novel Writing Month about a little dog named Petey searching for his lost master. Each day there's a new chapter on a different blog. By now we have all sorts of people and animals wandering the woods, falling down, and struggling through a snowstorm, sort of a Midwinter Night's Dream. You can start the story at Rocco's where you'll find all the previous links. Yesterday's chapter is by Tenacious Little Terrier and tomorrow is Ku by Ku. Miro will be back on Monday the 18th.

Chapter 16
  The coyotes’ eerie yips seemed to come from everywhere. I crouched low into the gathering snow, thankful for once for my small size. I cocked one ear and then the other—my human always called them my radar receivers-- to locate the direction of the noise.  Slowly I crept through the snow to the shelter of a cedar tree where I pressed myself into a space between its massive roots.

  Two coyotes zoomed by, right over the place where I’d been. They paid no attention to any lingering scent from me and it was obvious why. One carried a limp chicken, its head dangling sideways. They were so close that I could almost smell the blood that flecked the hen’s feathers. Chickens—farm—people. Maybe the people would be out searching for their stolen chicken. Maybe they could help!

  Hidden somewhere in the branches high above me an owl hooted, saying—what? “You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.” What’s that about? Who’s Dorothy? Is she another owl or a coyote? I’ve never been to Kansas in the first place. This is the Pacific Northwest.

  I couldn’t help myself. No self-respecting terrier-type can keep quiet when his fur is up. I barked, despite the risk of revealing my whereabouts to predators. Bring ‘em on; I can take ‘em. “What are you talking about?” I shouted.

My question sailed up into the muffling branches and was answered with a laugh that sounded very much like a soft who, who, who. Snow shook down all around me. Though he didn’t make a sound, I knew the owl had moved. I made sure I was pressed against the tree trunk. If he tried to come down and grab me, he’d be met with sharp teeth. I looked up to see a ghostly white face peering down at me.

  “I am a barn owl and you do not look like a mouse; therefore you are not food. Your tail is too short and your face is too long for you to be a cat.” The face bent closer, looking like some weird flattened human. “You are not wild. By process of elimination, I deduce that you must be a small dog, a Dorothy-dog and you are no longer in Kansas.”

 I got so frustrated at this that I barked myself out of my hiding place, turned in a circle, and hopped three times. But one word stuck in my head. Barn. “Where is this barn?” I asked.

   The owl turned his head, looking east. Yes! Just where I needed to go. A barn meant people were somewhere nearby, maybe people who could help. “Can you lead me to your barn?”

The owl studied me for a moment, shrugged and took off.  Surely there was more help to be found. Unless the people thought I was the one who had stolen their chicken.

But I had to try. I leapt forward and was suddenly jerked back so hard that my eyes bulged. The collar, the horrible jingly collar the evil psychic lady had put on me, was caught in the tree bark.

Meanwhile in the ravine, the unconscious man was growing cold despite his Eddie Bauer down jacket and gloves. The woman who had tumbled down in her attempt to rescue him snuggled close to keep both of them warm. The storm had blown itself out and the sky was clearing, giving enough light for her to make out his features. He was--well, ok, he wasn't handsome the way people in these situations were supposed to be, but she wasn't so gorgeous herself. Searching for wounds, she lifted the edge of his cap. Blood. And a receding hairline.
 Here's the
1. Rocco
2. Bongo
3. Haley and Zaphod
4. Easy Rider
5. My Rotten Dogs
6. Sophie Doodle
7. Haiku by Ku
8. Oh My Shih Tzu
9. Sparhawk Scotties
10. Critter Alley
11. Terrier Torent
12. Bark and Lunge
13. Alasandra, the cats & dogs
14. Swami Zoe
15. Tenacious Little Terrier
16. Animalia
17. Ku by Ku
18. ME again!

At last--the stuffie that lived!

For the first time in Miro's nearly five years of life, I have discovered a stuffie that has survived his attentions for a full week. He hasn't yet torn a hole in it. Who knows? It might even last a month. Best of all, he likes it and it was cheap. If you give your dog one of these, remember to first use it in the kitchen or at the grill so that it can absorb the proper bouquet.

Hey, do I smell barbeque?
 Smooth on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

Ah, yes, I can get my teeth into this.

Works as a tug toy.

OK, been there, done that, ready for the next toy.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Black and white Sunday

Well, gray and white. I just can't follow directions.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ruby made me do it!

Ruby's mom wrote about a post-Halloween costume sale. Instead of going to the store, I ordered costumes online, along with dog treats. We went through quite a few treats this afternoon.

She's laughing at me.

Please send help!

I'm coming up with a plan. Just give me a minute.

Beginning to engineer my escape from the Frog of Shame.

Gotcha! I will have my revenge!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Not a good day for a walk

Saturday's wind storm turned out to be worse than expected. I'm amazed there are still leaves left on the trees, especially considering the number of branches that came down in my yard, branches from the neighbors' trees. During a pause in the wind, we went outside to view the new carpet on the patio.

 Just a couple of the many branches.
Back to normal.
Miro watches the work with interest but does not volunteer to help.

Yet to be cleaned.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A lament from the costume-impaired

Miró has been invited to a multitude of Halloween parties. I was invited to be the costume judge at one Sheltie party to which Miró was especially invited.

 For my costume I had the clever idea of wearing a vintage trench coat and fedora and calling myself Sammie Spade. I’d need a toy pistol for my pocket. I’d also need to paint my fingernails 1940’s red. Who has time? I got as far as trench coat removing the trench coat from the closet. I gave up.

 I thought what a great idea if I could find a small trench coat for Miró for the next party. Probably at any other time of year I’d find one at Value Village or Salvation Army. Not now, of course. Costume stores offer sharks, elves, hot dogs, pirates, super heroes, and infinite variations of Harry Potter. You can even disguise your dog as a football. But a private eye? Nope.

I thought of putting Miró in a white shirt and black vest (mine) and pretending he’s—what? Sam Spade’s assistant? Paint him black and declare that he’s the Maltese Falcon? Or do what I did on Sunday and tell everyone he’s a Sheltie dressed up as an Airedale? Except that he wouldn’t behave like a Sheltie for even one second, as the photos below illustrate.

 Shelties stand around obediently, sit to watch the action, or parade when asked. 


They do not head out for the fountain.
Shelties especially do not flash thirty people and their dogs.
Nobody believed me when I said Miro was in a costume.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vote for Charlie!

An Airedale named Charlie is one of six finalists for Pets as Therapy Dog of the Year. That's a therapy dog in the UK. Charlie's rugged good looks and happy smile are sure to make him a favorite, but he needs your vote, too.

You can vote by sending an email to win@yours.co.uk with "Charlie" in the subject line.  Or go to the PAT voting page here, scroll down until you see Charlie's photo and bio. There's a link where you can vote. You'll also be entered in a drawing for pet food, nice if you live in the UK or know someone who does. Visit Crafting with Dogs for Charlie's photo and more information.

Circus dog

Miro and his servant I went to a trick training class a few nights ago. The dogs learned to plant their feet on a marker, stand on a box, jump through a hoop, and turn a tight circle around a traffic cone. Miro has jumped through hoops many times. This time, however, he did not want to jump, walk, or otherwise move through the hoop because I was holding it. He cheerfully trotted around it, not looking at it, pretending it wasn't there.

Feet on the box? Turn in a circle? No problem. And no photos from the evening because I had hands full with treats, clicker, leash, and gestures. Here we have reproduced one of the activities.

Treats incoming!

I do not acknowledge the existence of a hoop.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Inspired by a work of his namesake at the Tate Modern in London which seemed to speak directly to him, Miro tried some work in collage today.
 Notice how he has chosen to repeat the blue and gold/brown tones of the painting by Joan Miro
He believes his work to be a success. And the paper, which had wrapped a bag of Murchie's tea, was tasty.

Editor's note: I may have dogs too much on the brain, but I could form only one conclusion when I saw this particular installation at the same museum. Called "Trap" by Pino Pascali, it's made of braided steel wool and is meant to represent the ropes used to hunt and trap animals. I thought it represented a very different kind of statement made by animals. I do like humor in art.