Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wringing the life out of a day

It seems that the summer has gone by in a flash. At 56 years of age, it seems that the years are going by faster now too. If I have a philosophy of life, it's to wring as much living as I can from each and every day. There's nothing wrong with having a lazy day now and then, but I tend to think that's what having a cold is for, and the less often I have them, the better. In keeping with this philosophy, Saturday was a busy day. Nothing earthshaking, just pretty normal stuff, but lots of it. I was on my feet most of the day, got a lot done, had some fun, and slept the sleep of the righteous man last night.

As all days should, it started and ended with a brew.

As I puttered around outdoors with myriad
small projects, Clay brewed up a new beer.
This is a Christmas beer, although we'll have
it at Thanksgiving. It will have bourbon and
spices added to it in a later stage.

The green pellets are hops. They are added in a
bag suspended in the pot so the flavor is imparted
to the brew but not the detritus of the dissolved hops.
This beer has a rich, beautiful color already.

Ever helpful, and full of opinions, Maya stopped by to offer Clay brewing advice.

This beer had an exceptionally long brew time, so while Clay was brewing, I took dogs out to the pasture for a run while I mowed. I hadn't cut the pasture all summer because it has been so dry, but it was needing it and I want to get it done before our trip to the UK. I took Max, Ochie, Groot, and Grady out with me. It was Grady's first run and he was hesitant to even go through the gate from the dog yard to the pasture, but he ventured forth eventually and had a good time with the others. 

Grady, enjoying his first open space romp. 

Groot is always in motion.

Ochie is less annoying in large, open spaces.

Grady is a handsome dog, but then, I love the rottie look.

You can't always control your ears or tongue
when you're having fun.

Later in the afternoon, we cleaned up and drove over to Nelson County. Our first stop was our first visit to Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford. Then we went on to Devils Backbone Brewery where we had a couple more beers and dinner. A theatre group called Wolfbane was doing an outdoor production of Macbeth at Devils Backbone in the evening. It wasn't the best 
Macbeth we've ever seen, but it was the best one we've seen outdoors at a brewery.

That was our day. It went from home brew to witches brew. Now it's time to tackle Sunday.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Learning the social graces

I tried to keep Grady confined to the crate or the
small fenced yard off our kitchen for the first two
days after his neuter. This is Grady looking through
the window wondering why he's all alone.
Groot and Grady are both young and pretty wild. They've been coming indoors at night this week to learn about crate training and take at least the first steps towards civility.

Grady and Maya. Today I relented and let
Grady out to the dog yard to play with Groot.
When he fills out, he's going to be a great looking dog.
Grady got neutered on Wednesday. He was bad at the vet and I'm not surprised because he was very scared. Ideally, I would have waited a week at least until he trusted me and then we would have gone in for the exam and vaccines, and then gone back another day to be neutered. But I needed to get this dog neutered as soon as possible since we are going on vacation in another week, so he was dropped off at the vet without me to get everything done at once. To their credit, the folks at Old Dominion Animal Hospital handled it, but he was scared and behaved badly. He's a sweet boy, but he needs confidence-building and socialization that I don't have a lot of time for right now. The trust comes fairly easily, but it takes a bit of effort on the part of the human. I think it will become easier for him as time goes on.

After his neuter he had to be indoors and he was good with the crate, once I shove his butt in there. I brought Groot inside to be in the crate next to his at night. That was new for Groot too and he barked for about 10 minutes the first night but then was quiet and the later nights were pretty easy.

Both boys are lacking in manners. They jump a lot, mostly from excitement. Grady has the habit of running between your legs. Groot is food aggressive with other dogs, but I can take food away from both of them with no problem.

They are both works in progress, but I think they will both be great dogs.

Grady tested positive for Lyme so
he's getting some doxy and canned
food along with a good amount of dry
food twice a day.

Grady in a crate up in my office today.
He learned to do the stairs but what he
really wanted was to go outside to play.
Grady (left) and Groot (right) in their crates.
Grady is good but doesn't want to go in.
Groot fussed a bit the first night but has been
good since then.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Walking, walking, and more walking

I've logged over 110 miles of walking so far for the month of August. I hope it's helping, but I forgot to get on the scale when I was at the vet the other day. The dogs are loving it anyway. I've been taking Maya and Groot mostly, as they need it the most and they walk very well together. Sparky will get more mileage when it cools off this fall, the younger dogs handle the heat better.

I've been walking Groot on the EasyWalk harness, which he's wearing in the pictures shown here. That makes him pretty easy to control. Today, however, I put the regular harness on him that I used on Max. The leash attaches on the back and it's perfect for pulling, which he did.

I wasn't feeling like going out today and may be reaching a point of boredom, but I do enjoy it once I get out there. I ate today though, so I figured I'd better walk.

This is the same Cardinal Flower
plant I showed before, but a new bloom.

This is the smaller of two black snakes
I saw on the trail today. This one was less
than 3' fully stretched out, but the other
one was easily 5' and thick.

Is this cute or what?

Groot is now taller than Maya and
he's growing fast. 

After today's hike. Groot was still full
of energy and played for hours.
Trooper allows him up on the lower
levels of the platform but not up top.
Grady got neutered yesterday so
Groot was without his usual playmate.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Mother's Pug

Tuesday was apparently National Dog Day. Like most people, probably, I learned about it from Facebook. I celebrated by doing what I do most every day, which was taking Maya for a hike. My mother, on the other hand, celebrated by going to her local shelter and adopting a dog.

His name is Jake. He's a pug. She picked him up today and sent these pictures this evening. So far, so good.

He's six years ago, 19 pounds, and was given up by the owner after he was attacked by another dog. Jake may have started it, but he got his little butt kicked and had a pretty nasty wound on his back that you can see in the pictures. It's healing up but he's still on antibiotics. The shelter got him fixed up, and neutered in the process.

I'm glad my mom got another dog and she's excited to have him. He seems like a good match. Wish them luck.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grady Meets Groot

Grady was very happy to get out into the dog
yard where he had room to run.
I took Groot out to the pasture for the first time this afternoon, along with Max and Ochie while I did some mowing. He had a good time running but what he really wants is someone to play with. I took Groot back to the dog yard, leaving Max and Ochie in the pasture, and then brought the new rottie, Grady, into the dog yard through the shed. The two young boys started playing immediately and  they haven't stopped yet.

I was told that the rottie, Grady, has a big play style, and he does, but it's just what you'd expect. Groot loved it. I brought out Trooper a little later but he just ignored the two boys at play and went around re-marking all the spots that Grady had marked in the dog yard. Maya didn't have a problem with him either, but she was mad at me for leaving her in the house when I was out in the pasture with other dogs. She made her point by chewing up my phone case and then taking off on one of her walkabouts and staying away longer than usual. The girl can hold a grudge. I like that.  But it doesn't last too long.

Look at Maya's tail wrapped around Groot's
neck, that is not an accident.
Grady licking Maya's face - smart dog.