Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Edge

Some days being outside with the dogs is exhilarating. Despite the cold.

While Raimi and Leeloo partook of the late afternoon light and empty field Halo and I ...

... stood and shivered. I had to let the coat out 2 inches from the last time she wore it to allow for almost 3 weeks of puppy growth.

Leeloo does not brake well,or corner well, or accelerate well ... but she's all heart.

This is her turning at the last second to avoid a run-in with The Boy. This was a near miss on her part ... no one wants to run into that great maw.

Here's where they buzz Halo who supervises their antics. She believes the coat I put on her is woefully inadequate and shivered like a leaf to prove it.

And this is the happy result of an evening's romp at the park ... comatose Ridgebacks in a pile. Check out those legs ...

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Queen

Must be nice to be worshipped at your feet. Halo has the patience of a saint. She is so ridiculously tolerant of everything it boggles my mind. Currently Halo is squashed into a most awkward postition on the couch because everyone wants to be nice and close for warmth.

Oh wait - not quite the angel every moment - today a dog approached Raimi to size him up but I didn't interfere as it resolved harmlessly and both boys went their seperate ways. Halo, who must have caught the eyeballing, wandered over nonchalantly, (she might have been whistling to feign indifference) circled the dog and then turned on the major bitch eyeballs to which the other dog went 'Oooooh shiiiiit', tucked tail and started to move away from her whereupon she started the grumbly growl. Whereupon *I* started the grumbly growl and asked her just WHAT she thought she was doing? She halted, looked up at me and I swear her expression was 'Oh, you caught that huh?' She then raced sheepishly to my side and asked for a cookie. Good. Grief.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nine Months (actually it's 9 weeks)

It’s official. Halo is with puppy. Really – I knew this 2 ½ weeks ago but you don’t like to say for sure and get everyone’s hopes up only to have them dashed when no puppies arrive.

She has thankfully gone from clinically depressed to clingy which is much easier to live with. The bottom is dropping out of her abdomen so soon she will arrive at that oh so unattractive state of pregnancy where her waist sucks in and her tummy bulges out so that she appears to have a bowling ball in her stomach. I’ll update with pictures of a 5 week in whelp Halo once the weather warms up and I can get a decent photo of her outside.

The week of March 23rd should see the safe arrival of some Ridgeback puppies if all goes well. Halo is traditionally an easy whelper so things should go pretty smoothly. Famous last words right?

If I haven’t contacted you and you are interested in a puppy let me know – I’m still suffering from the after effects of computer email merging from a couple months ago …

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Missing

Despite my pronouncement about how perfect Leeloo is obviously that's not entirely true. Raimi is not a mystery to figure out. Halo is pretty direct in her intent much of the time. Leeloo is a conundrum.

Leeloo and her siblings were raised on cedar chips, not newspaper which is what I use. Cedar chips mean that when they 'go' it soaks in right away, there is little odor and they don't learn to pee away from their beds. Leeloo doesn't care about her own 'deposits', she can sit in her own pee and crap all day and not mind one bit.

So Leeloo came to me not paper trained and no inclination to go away from her bed. I spent several weeks paper training her but she continued to pee whenever I was out regardless of where she was kept, crate or expen. She house trained pretty fast but knew when I was gone she didn't get into trouble for peeing in the dog room or crate.

We deduced that another part of the problem was an allergy to her food which effectively caused a food induced diabetes. She would drink unusually high amounts of water which made holding her pee during the day doubly hard.

So paper training her helped a bit in that I could direct the pee, changing her food reduced the amount of pee but holding it while I'm out ... still working on it. Crating her just results in a crate of pee plus a puppy covered in it. Not something I want to return to after work. I tried to put her in an expen in the kitchen and that resulted in barking all day (because she was away from the other dogs) plus copious amounts of shit and a puddle of pee.

Today, I had to be out for longer than usual but decided to live with the consequences anyway so back into the kitchen she went.

When I got home there was no pee, no shit and no Leeloo. The kitchen expen was empty and almost exactly as I'd left it 9 hours earlier. I was not greeted in the hall by a naughty puppy. Heart in throat I went to check on the other dogs.

Times three.

Looking out at me from behind the baby gate across the dog room door. There was Leeloo, thrilled as always to see me. Raimi and Halo bounced around with joy as well. I was never so happy to see a naughty puppy.

She had spent the first part of day getting out of the expen, going down the hallway to the dog room and jumping over the baby gate into the room. The latter part of the day was spent ripping a foam dog bed into a zillion little bits.

Did she pee or poop? No chance. Too busy with the dog bed one presumes.

I think it's a one off thing, it could also be that I freaked out at her yesterday for the pee and poop thing in the kitchen (something 'they' tell you doesn't help train dogs but it felt good to vent) and she's terrified to either stay in the kitchen or 'go' anywhere in the house. Could be neither ... could be both.

Only time will tell ...

Monday, February 23, 2009


As Ridgebacks grow they go through a lot of changes both physically and mentally.
When Raimi was about 6 months old I was sure I had made a huge mistake in keeping him as a show dog. He was a disaster; he moved and looked like an intoxicated marionette for a lot of his puppyhood. Thankfully he outgrew that!

Leeloo has a little more dignity. I see her as a giraffe - nothing on the planet moves like a giraffe. Like a giraffe Leeloo seems to be made almost entirely of legs which gives her a similar type of movement. Long and graceful with lean and flat muscles ... she really doesn't move like a baby puppy at all.
She's still not as fast as Halo and Raimi tho, even with those long legs, but she tries to keep up as best she can - one day she'll be able to give Boy a run for his money.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cover Girl

Leeloo and Halo like to be covered by a blanket when they sleep, Raimi does too but he gets hot really fast so I don't usually cover him completely. Often they settle for just their heads jammed into a small space if there isn't a blanket available but the other night the temperature was low and I felt sorry for them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

8 Legged Freaks

Usually on the couch there is a mish mash of dogs which makes it hard to tell which part belongs to which dog.

Occassionally, when a foot is jabbing you in the kidney, you have to feel your way up the leg to figure out who owns the toes bruising your internal organs. If the foot is white it's a matter of simple deduction.

They also seem to be made of rubber ... or perhaps while you're sleeping they practice with Cirque du Soliel to keep their skills honed. If only I could take this show on the road ... but who would want to watch the contented slumber of a Ridgeback? Besides me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mr. Nice Guy

Some days all you want to do is come home, put your feet up and relax in your easy chair. But remember school days when you tried to lounge in your desk and the teacher would make you sit properly?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mansfield Park

More park pictures from yesterday since the weather finally warmed up enough to go out for nice romps.

There has been a boobie explosion so I'm guessing she's cooking up something in there. She still looks faaaaaab.

You can never have too many pictures of the handsome boy looking handsome. Even if he is squinting ...

And of course Leeloo who was thinking very hard about a magpie on the ground - dangerous place for magpies when puppies are around.

The three of them - two behaving like asses and one supervising. This part of the park is Raimi's favorite, he turns on the after burners and races around like an idiot.

Halo always looks so dignified ... or disdainful. I'm never really sure which. Thankfully her mood in the last week has elevated from suicidal to indifferent.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

City Of Angels

I’ve figured out who Leeloo is. She’s the head turning blonde. The one who makes the room fall silent. Legs that go for miles, expressive eyes, intelligent and witty, fun loving, thin, lithe, athletic with enough softness to retain femininity. She is unconsciously beautiful. You know … the girl everyone hates.

Until you get to know her. Then you realize she is like an angel who walks without vanity, speaks without judgment, and offers friendship unconditionally. You can’t help but fall for the simple truth. She’s a Venus de Milo. She is simply love and beauty.

Leeloo, like any girl compared to a Goddess, believes without a doubt, that everyone wants her involved in their life, in the moment. And if there is no room she makes room. How many times has she lain on top of me, or Raimi, or Halo … just because she can’t quite understand that when there is no space for a blonde babydoll … there’s always space for a blonde babydoll.

And like any Goddess cum Element … she needs love to survive. In my house …. in spades.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Montana must love movie stars because in the space of 200 miles I saw three signs which seem to indicate a theme. I didn't get a chance to photograph Vaughn Junction (where I was shorted $4 at the gas station) but I did get the other two signs. It's definitely something to ponder ...

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Family Stone

With Halo home all is right with the world once again. Last Tuesday we made our first foray to the park with Halo since getting her back. It was snowing and quite nice however Halo got a coat because it was a bit chilly and I'm a sucker.

The Boy flies by while Halo looks for a good spot to poop.

Leeloo was walking under this tree sniffing each of the branches. She is so odd.

The three bums heading away. Leeloo's is the one in the air.

The Boy having a gallop in the snow. He kind of looks like a horse ... sometimes he sounds like a horse actually.

Leeloo annoying Halo. Leeloo doesn't get why Halo doesn't play like Raimi. She 's not a quitter though.

Raimi deciding if he wants to run after the dogs he sees playing in the distance or if just looking is good enough. In the end he chose to go and hassle Halo.

Leeloo chewing on the smallest little twig she could find sticking out of the ground.

Leeloo doing the silly run of joy. I love the silly run of joy.

Halo is a thinker and is probably thinking about the rabbit potential on the other side of the fence.

A parting thought from Halo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What About Bob?

Halo's arrival home has Leeloo delighted there's an extra dog to follow around, snuggle with and generally annoy.
This picture speaks volumes about Leeloo's total disregard for anyone's comfort but her own ... and Halo's enduring patience.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Shakespeare in Love

Since it's Valentine's Day I thought I'd post some picture of the dogs and cats disturbing love for each other ...

Raimi and his kitten Weasley. Weasley likes to head bump Raimi on the chest or the stifle as he walks by.

Ceilidh and Weasley in a loving embrace. Weasley adores Ceilidh but thankfully the love has waned since he was neutered.

Raimi's love for his Mommy endures to this day. Some days it's disturbing, some days it's really sweet.

Mallaig and Ceilidh are less love bugs and more play bugs but occassionally I find them snuggling together.

And of course Raimi and Leeloo sunshine cuddles. I've used a version of this photo before but really ... what's not to love?

And what is a blog about love without Petal? Not possible. (And yes, that is me with long hair about 6 or 7 years ago)

Friday, February 13, 2009


I thought for the longest time that I owned the couches. Boy was I wrong.

I also thought that people who told me they sat on the floor and the dogs sat on the couch were nuts.

So I brought a dog bed into the livingroom and put it in front of the couch. Sometimes I sit on it, sometimes a dog lies on it, sometimes a cat lies on it. This morning I spilt coffee on it. It's there anyway ... if I need it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seven Year Itch

Often I've mentioned the face Halo makes.

It's the face she has pretty much all the time now. I really do not know what I'm going to do if she's not pregnant and this is just ... her.

Tanja visited yesterday and as an outside opinion of someone who has also known Halo since she was a puppy, and lived with her, she said Halo does seem low. I do really hope she is in whelp so that I can just spay her ... no more heat hormones and moodiness, no more pregnancy, no more angst for Halo.

On the plus side the change in food has made such a marked difference it's amazing. I can't recall what Erin was feeding Halo but she definitely smelled weird. Her breath stank even tho her teeth are sparkling white, her ears were red inside and irritated, she was very itchy, her feet smelled very strongly. Now, she smells of nothing. Not even doggy. The itching is gradually abating. How bizarre.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Vanilla Sky

Montana. Big Sky Country. Home of the famous Moose Drool beer. Possibly the only place in the US of A I'd consider living based on the scenery alone.
I can't imagine taking a drive in the middle of winter through a mountain range is a good idea at the best of times but this year it was a simple pleasure. Clear roads, bright sun, good music and a truck full of dogs. Good times.

Here's little Cedric, he's got his suitcase and is navigating the way home. He's been my little travelling buddy this past year or so, he had some Raimi snot on his hat for some time but it's cleaned off now.

The Gates of the Mountains. Not sure what they look like. Possibly some Lord of the Rings Kings of Old statues that have stood guard for a millenia. Or it's just a turn of phrase that makes you think grandios but are disappointed when you realize they're just rocks.

A tree all effed up from the weather or fire or whatever. If you can't tell at this point I was taking photos as I drove. Yes I was alone. Make of that what you will. No time to stop. Gotta get home. Precious cargo and all that.

A twisty bit. One of the twisty bits. It got really twisty shortly after this part. The speed limit is 75 miles per hour but when they say slow to 45 for a bendy part ... they're not just being conservatively cautious. There were no 'Don't take pictures of the bendy bits as you drive" signs so I figured I was a-okay.

This is my favorite and most anticipated part of the drive. Even though I name my dogs after movies, one day, when I get to 'L', I'm going to name a puppy "Little Prickly Pear Creek". How cute is that? It's hard to see the sign but it names the creek 100 feet below the bridge.

I think this is the Missouri River. I saw a sign. What the Missouri is doing meandering through Montana is beyond me ... perhaps it got lost. It looks to be a slow sort of river so maybe it was having trouble learning the States.

Montana of the movies looks just like Montana in real life. Weird that. Scrubland, prairie, mountians ... coolness. You can see the prairies coming up in the distance. Suffice it to say I did not photograph a lot of the boring flatness.

As much as I complain about humanity's ability to screw up pretty much anything it touches, sometimes the mark of man results in a visual delight. It looks like someone heated up a butter knife and cut out a space for the road right through a hill. Destructive ... but effective.

Speaking of butterknives ... someone chopped off the top of this mountain. Definitely this is something to do with glaciers and time and a whole lot of dirt and rocks ending up somewhere far far away.
So that is part one of Montana. There's more boring brown pictures on the way and I'll add in the mix a few of Miss Misery herself since she is the star of the show until proven otherwise.