Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Lion Meets His Match

After I got home from the party I put the two lions in the dog room on the ottoman that holds all the towels etc for the dogs. I thought they'd go best in there since the room since it's already decorated with African stuff.

Mysteriously the smaller of the lions made his way into the living room. Raimi looked rather pleased with himself and proceeded to tell the lion just what he thought of him. I suppose payback's a bitch. Raimi, of course also known as The Brave, chose the smaller of the two lions to show them he meant business. I replaced the lion in the dog room and somehow he ended up back in the livingroom.

Raimi seems to think the tail is removable. I'm quite sure it is. If Halo were here that lion would have seen the end long ago.

Perhaps this means that the Scottish sheep - from the actual place Scotland - is no longer a target. One can hope becuase Toys R Us is just down the road and Scotland is well ... a zillion miles away. Right now the lion is laying low in the middle of the livingroom. His appeal is lost til I put him back in the dog room. Then he'll be stolen goods again.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Halloween Party

I think next time I get invited to a H'ween aParty I'll make sure there are fewer children. Ok, it wasn't awful - it was veeeeery exhausting tho. Especially for the dogs. There was lots of candy tho so it was totally worth it.

We had spent some time earlier in the day, the dogs and I, looking for some sacrificial lions to take to the party as Petal's costume. The idea was to dis-embowel a lion and drape it over Petal - thus making her a lion. I found a rather large lion that I supposed could be the stand in if I didn't find a smaller one. At right he is being used as a pillow by Raimi on the way to the party.

I did find a smaller one but he was so nice I thought he should not get drawn and quartered and just got tied to Petal. At left we see he is attached to Petal. She was awesome - so many people commented on how patient she was, that's my girl. He had a nasty habit of flopping over to one side as she walked but she soldiered on and seemed to enjoy the attention the lion garnered her.

Raimi was a Very Good Boy and he didn't freak out over the balloons too much - it was a very scary heart shaped balloon that really set him off, it sort of floated near the floor and chased him a bit - maybe a little help from me. He got to wear the lion briefly as the spoils of war but he did not look impressed. I'm glad I changed my mind about who the lion was going to be for Halloween. He didn't really wear it well and it seemed to suppress his natural cheer. I took it off him after we all had a good laugh. His moment of glory came when a 2 year old arrived dressed as a cow and kept saying "moo ... moo". Boy was brave and backed carefully away from the moo-ing cow and snuck out of the room. All moms and dads were impressed at Raimi's stoic nature and I was mildly thankful that Halo was not in attendance, she would have been in her glory ... and completely in the way. Raimi was so utterly exhausted by the end of the party he could hardly keep his peepers open but he didn't want to miss anything. He got lots of chips and cupcakes but don't tell Halo.

I of course was the Big Game Hunter and had my trusty Ridgeback with my lion kills. You can see how tired The Boy is. There's Petal as the lion too. The one on the far right is the stand in who was much too large for Petal but I decided to include him anyway. What will we be next year? Maybe I'll switch it up and be the lion and Riami could be the hunter. That would be a total gas.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Swamp Dog

Forgot to mention yesterday that Raimi remembered the swamp at the park. Halo never goes anywhere near the bog because it's stinks and it's wet - two things Halo is not a fan of. However, while Halo is away Raimi is busy perfecting getting into trouble and gaining confidence. So, off he went ... sploosh sploosh sploosh. If you've ever been near a chicken coop in the rain - that's what he smelled like. Gag. After a quick drive home he went straight into the tub. Sad little guy was so depressed. All his fun got washed away. Now he smells like a horse because I used Mane and Tail conditioner on him.

Halo was bred again today with anothwr 20 minute tie. Much easier this time apparently. One more try and she comes home on Wednesday. Then we wait.

I've pretty much decided that I'll be cancelling the Scotland trip altogether and go to the Maritimes instead in 2008 - I weighed a bunch of options, there were a lot of considerations and timing problems. I think I'll go to Scotland in 2009 depending on how the Maritime trip goes. I have a lot of planning to do for the future. But first - puppies!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Raimi's Ridgeback Fix

I hear there's a period of withdrawl when you are addicted to something. Raimi's addiction was his mom's convenience for play. So now he's been without her for more than a week and he's suffering from lack of Ridgeback play. Either he's moping, which means he's sullen and quiet, or he hyper-active and irritating.

So today we met his sister Kenya for a run at the park. He was so beside himself he couldn't start getting beaten up fast enough. They ran and ran and ran and ran ... well, it was fun anyway. Now he slumbers a peaceful Ridgeback sleep.

I've started soaking dog food and putting it in his kong and a cow hoof etc and then freezing it so he has something to keep his little mind occupied while I'm at work earning to pay his keep. He's a lucky boy. He's been whining a bit in the morning and while the neighbours are very patient I don't want The Boy to make a bunch of noise all the time. It's just while Momma's away but it's still something I don't want to become a habit.

We're dressing up this weekend to go to a Halloween party. Petal is dressing up as a lion, I'm going as the Big Game Hunter and Raimi is ... well ... a Ridgeback. There will be a bunch of kids dressed up and I bet Raimi is terrified.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Raimi the Brave

I've decided to change The Boy's aka to The Coward. He's got some pretty sketchy nerves. So far there has been the killer piece of broken wasp nest, the newspaper caught in the grass, a feather, a kite and a leaf. There may have a been what one might call an "over-reaction" to these scary objects.

Last night however, Raimi encountered something called a poorly secured curtain and rod which fell onto his peacefully slumbering body. Well, if he didn't know he had legs before he sure did then. He shot out of the bedroom and smashed into every thing he could on the way out and was careful about making as much noise about it as possible. I can imagine the flailing legs, flying ears, wide eyes and the little bit if pee that eeked out as he made his graceful way out of the bedroom. I sat up and turned on the light to see him peering around the corner. I tried to man handle him back into his bed but me versus a 90 pound scaredy cat was no contest. Not even food could lure him back, in the end he settled for me moving his bed to the other side of the room.

Speaking of cats, she made a much more graceful and silent exit from the room with the incident occured. At least she was quiet about it. Although, she didn't reappear til halfway through the night.

Halo and Travis persevered and acheived a 20 minute tie today. This means 63 days from today is a Boxing Day litter. Oooooh. Christmas babies. Well, we'll see. I have 4 weeks to cancel or move my ticket to Scotland, I may just move it to be on the safe side - 3 1/2 weeks is too early to ultra-sound and 5 weeks is too late to cancel or move the ticket so I'm stuck. Not a bad stuck - just a stuck. I'm okay with that. It is what it is.

Hoping for another breeding Friday and again on Sunday. Momma should be home next week.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sad Boy

The Boy is Sad. Momma is not here. The Boy seems lost without her and he's not sure what to do with himself.

We went to the park today and Raimi grabbed a stick and ran and ran and ran and gleefully looked behind him to make sure the other dogs wanted the stick. But there were no other dogs to chase him and his face fell. Sad Boy. We wandered a bit and he met up with a cute little SC Wheaton and ooooooooooh it was exciting! Except the part when he stepped on it and scared it and it ran away. Boy doesn't have much idea how big he is.

We headed home for dinner and he napped on the couch for quite a long time but now he's chewing a toy and trying to keep himself amused without his momma. It's time Boy grew up!

It was Petal's Birthday yesterday, she is now 12. she got a new toy which Raimi promptly stole and is now chewing, Petal is so generous she gave it up for him. He actually got a bigger treat but Petal's was better apparently. Petal does not seem to care that she is 12.

Haven't heard about Momma yet. Not sure if they have any luck with a breeding. I'm quite sure she's fine and know that she's in good hands.

The cat is voicing her concerns about the weather. The colder weather means she can't stay out as long as she'd like and spent a good portion of the evening meowing at the end of the hallway. It was most irritating because it was during a show I was watching.

So tired, time for bed for all. It's been a long week what with a Flying Momma, a Petal Birthday, a Lost Boy and a Grumpy Cat.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Preparing to Fly

Halo flies tomorrow. I think she's on day 5 of being in heat so we are about 5 days away from a potential first breeding. Step one of getting a dog to California is calling the airline. Taking the first step is always the hardest, never truer than when dealing with Air Canada. It's seriously like pulling teeth to talk to some people there. My mom called me to vent today about trying to get a dog from Calgary to Anchorage - when the person who works for an international air carrier doesn't know where Alaska is you start to worry about what will happen to your dog when it's 30K feet in the air.

My experience was less scary but just as odd. I was told that the temperature in the cargo hold would drop about 5 degrees from the outside temperature of the place the plane took off. That so didn't make any sense to me - what if it was -30 outside??? So I called again and got more clarity. Apparently the temperature in the cargo area drops 2 degrees every hour the flight is in the air but never gets below zero. Well, that's satisfactory. I guess.

I have to get to the vet tomorrow morning before the flight to get Halo's health certificate for Customs. Then off to the airport and into the wide blue yon goes the Momma. I have her crate in the van already and will get the balance of ther paperwork ready tomorrow morning. She will be fiiiiine. I just worry about Air Canada screwing something up. Hope they don't send her to Alaska - never mind, they don't know where that is.

Boy has a little growing up to do. Poor boy. No Momma.

Country Smells

Yesterday was a trip to my parent's house to help put up fascia - something involving ladders, air compressors, nail guns and long peices of metal that act as sails in the wind. The dogs came but were relegated to the dog runs because there's a litter of 3 week old CUTE Puli puppies and the dam of the litter gets tetchy about strange dogs. I would if I was a dog.

Apparently countryside smells a whole lot more interesting than city parks because the dogs couldn't get enough of it. I think sometimes the opportunity to smell different scents is almost more tiring than running - probably because the brain is going a mile a minute and there's so much to take in and process.

At the dog park it's the same dogs, same smells, same grass, same wind ... I can imagine it gets a little repetitive. But in the country there's all kinds of things never encountered at the dog park. Deer poop, coyote smells, gophers, mice, things that have died, horses on the wind, cows nearby, strange dogs, grass in general, the water is different. Well, I can imagine if you're a dog it's like Disneyland.

On the hour long trip home Raimi slept like the dead all the way and Halo spent much of the time in an awkward ball on the passenger seat. When we got home they were fed - which is always a time of great excitement - and went to bed. A sounder sleep was never had. It is so satisfying to know that they've been afforded the opportunity to visit the countryside - it makes them so happy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dog Days of Fall

Today started out slow. Now, the "Rule" is they don't get up unless I get up. Dogs don't decide what time I get out of bed. Usually. However, smart Ridgebacks have figured that the more they do annoying things in their beds the more likely I am to get fed up and just get out of bed. Antics include whine-yawns, licking various body parts, stretching, groaning, sighing and general fussing. Me actually sitting up illicits a tidal wave of joy and general "surprise" that I'm up now.

They head outside and I prepare their food. They know this. Which is why a quick pee and staring hard at the back door is all that happens after patrolling for marauding squirrels. Raimi has happy feet all the way down the hall knowing he's going to be fed. Ever seen 7 month old happy feet on a Ridgeback? It's something like a giant intoxicated marionette.

After moving more things around and creating the "Dog Room" we headed off to the park for a quick romp and then I put Riami and Kenya in the secured expen and went shopping. I got home to both of them out and an expen almost exactly the way I left it. Kenya I can see getting out - she's a slippery little sucker, but the intoxicated marionette? He'd only done it once and I think that was a fluke. However, he had his sister to show him this time. She goes home soon so I'm banking on his short memory.

Apparently a morning of me tripping over them, an afternoon of dog park and prison break and an evening of nothing whatsoever is terribly exhausting because every animal is unconscious.

Momma leaves for CA on Tuesday and I'm counting on Air Canada not to screw it up. The Boy still thinks she smells really interesting but hasn't yet figured out what to do about it. He won't get the chance.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Today Mom Was Sick and Lazy

This is my blog for the dogs and the cat who is almost human. Is it as simple as it sounds. Roll call:

Human - that would be me with the thumbs. Red hair freckles blah blah blah ...

Petal the Precious Puli aka The Gimp orPrecious. Age 12 and still going strong - little incontinence but managed with Rx. Black, cute, loves me and only me. Lame because of a pin in her leg from birth defect. Sleeps lots. Hates the walking thing at the park, prefers me to read and sit while Ridgebacks do laps in the long grass.

Halo the Princess Ridgeback aka Momma. 3 1/2 years. Champion with all the fancy titles. Sweet but a bitch sometimes ... well, all the time but you know ... one word two meanings. Raimi's Momma.

Raimi the Who me? Ridgeback aka The Boy - 7 months on Sunday. Swweeeeeet boy. I lurvs my Mommy(I'm Mommy) Momma is Momma. Momma has become of extra special insterest since coming into heat. No McBeth here Boy.

Ceilidh the Cat aka Bad Kitty! Age 2. Torments dogs by running up and down the hallway. Unhappy with restricted access to outdoors but she kept shitting in a neighbours yard. They complained. The rest is history. Used to bring me live animals to catch and release. Hoo-ray.

On with the show. A friend diagnosed me with the flu. Since that time - almost 24 hours ago - I have decided to feel sorry for myself. Left work early. Thought about taking the dogs to the park but couldn't face it. Moved furniture instead. They thought that was a hoot. Ever tried moving furniture with a cat and 4 dogs underfoot? (I have an extra dog - a littermate to Riami is visiting- Kenya) Oh yes, exciting. Managed half the job. Okay so I'm not THAT sick - but at work I felt pretty damn near death. My tummy hurts still tho. Maybe I'm hungry?

I managed not to crush any dog under any mattress and now they are sleeping. They are still baffled about the whole things-have-moved scenario. The worst is that the water dish has moved and it's like the world has ended for Petal.

I will write more tomorrow when I can see straight. I'm going fuzzy and I think my eyes are going to sink into my brain. Here is a picture of what 3 Ridgebacks at peace looks like: