Thursday, October 30, 2014

Maya and Music

If you are tired of reading about my walks, you are not alone. Although I am still enjoying it, I've been hitting the trails pretty consistently and am beginning to fear the onset of boredom. I know pretty much every inch of the trail system by heart now, and although I start at different locations and always vary my route, it's getting to be very familiar territory. I thought that music might distract my mind while my legs are moving, so I picked up some headphones for Clay's Ipod and off we went.

I haven't yet learned how to put music on it yet, but there was a pretty good selection already loaded. I found the soundtrack from Hedwig and that got us through about five miles by the time I figured out how to work it. I played "Wig in a Box" back to back a few times.

Then I found Springsteen's "O Mary, Don't You Weep" and decided to go another mile. I think most of the Seeger Sessions album will be good walking music.

Walking with music is a very different experience, less nature, more exercise oriented. We'll see how it goes, but at least it will give me an option when I'm feeling bored.
My shadow is tall and thin anyway.
Maya loves me, fat or thin.

6.33 miles, I stayed on one end of the
trail system so there was a lot of
double tracking today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Four dogs, four walks

Maya always gets the first walk because she will
wreak havoc in the house if I take another dog first.
Another beautiful day, four more dog walks. The fact that I can walk four dogs for three miles each, yet barely scratch the surface of the dog walking needs around here says something, I'm sure. I'm not sure I want to know what it says about me, however. It was a great day and I enjoyed it, but I'm going to need a rainy day soon to catch up with work.

Sparky is still my most enthusiastic
hiking companion.

The river is fairly low right now, but it's very clear and pretty.
I want to get out in the canoe this fall, but walking is better exercise for me and the dogs.

Groot comes close to matching Sparky's
enthusiasm for the trails.

Toquima was with us for an extra
day so I took him out for the last leg
of today's hike. He walks very nicely.
Today's four walks totaled over 13 miles.
Each dog got at least three miles.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Toquima's Visit

Groot is always happy to meet a potential
new playmate.
Toquima's back, but only for one night while his folks are out of town. He's a familiar around here so he settled in quickly and easily.

It was a beautiful day, so I had everyone out in the
dog yard when he arrived.

Trooper (standing), Toquima, Groot, Maya, and Max.
What's notable here is Max acting like a dog instead of a maniac.

This is an almost perfect nose to butt circle of dogs.

Maya always puts herself in the center of
most any situation.
Trooper and Maya

Even Gigi was outside this morning.

Trooper, Toquima, and Maya
Gigi in a warm, sunny spot.

I'm not sure how this happened, but this is Trooper alone on the Playstation.
All the other dogs were probably around me.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Glory Days

Groot enjoyed all the people and other dogs.
The days just don't get any nicer than this.

Groot and Max and I went to a Promises Animal Rescue adoption event in Gainesville on Saturday. Nothing came of it but Groot had a great time. I did too, really. I saw many of the shepherd people I like but without any of the drama. It's the way rescue should be. Just people trying to help dogs.

Fonzi was there too. I had him for a week after he was transported before he went to his intended foster home. That is such an awesome dog, the best shepherd I've seen come down the pike in a long time. Good, solid temperament, mature beyond his years.

Fonzi was happy to see Groot, me, and Max.

Sunday morning broke as the most beautiful day of the season, picture perfect, absolutely gorgeous. I started out with a hike with Maya. We did four miles and then I came back home and dropped her off and pick up Groot for another four. I saved Sparky for last because I knew I might be getting tired but he would keep me going. And he did. We did another four miles, giving me 12 miles for the day.

Groot introducing himself to a turtle we met on the trail.
I am Groot.

We covered all sections of the park today except the area around the dog park and sandy beach.
It was a perfect day for walking with dogs.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tag team hiking

I weighed myself at the vet yesterday and the number on the scale was not what I was hoping to see. I've strayed a bit from my eating plan this past week and that may account for it. I don't seem to be able to eat less so I guess I have to exercise more. That's good news for the dogs anyway, and for me too. Today I took the tag team approach.  I stated with Maya and we did about 3.5 miles. I paused the MapMyWalk app and drove her home and brought out Sparky in her place. We did another 3.5 miles at a good Sparky pace. We came home and I did a couple hours of work and then went back out with Groot for three more miles.
Maya and I encountered this black
snake sunning himself on the trail.

Sparky was moving fast today.

Sparky will always pause to roll in the grass.

I am Groot.
Groot was good out there today. 

Today's combined route, 10.05 miles

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dolly and Dancer

Dolly weighed 68 pounds today.
I wish I could give her about 10 of mine.
I've had Dolly in the house for most of the past week, but mostly at night and mostly in her crate. The last couple days I've kept her in more and given her more freedom around the house. She's well-behaved, no problems, but she's just so excited that she can hardly stand still unless someone is petting her. She's happy to be a house dog again. Today we went to the vet.

She sought out the treats but wouldn't eat them.
She was interested in the corner of a cabinet
where some boy dog must have marked.
Although Dolly loves people and is pretty easy to handle, you never know how a new dog will react and the vet's office to being handled, poked, prodded, and stuck with needles.

Dolly handled it very well. She squirmed a lot but just from excitement. She was fine with all the procedures. No one thought she looked or acted 10 years old. She tested negative for heartworm (yay!) but positive for Lyme; I got doxycycline to treat her. She had a grade 3 heart murmur, and one rear leg that didn't like being manipulated. The vet took two xrays. They showed no enlargement of the heart so I think we'll assume that's just been a long standing condition and at her age it's not likely to affect her longevity. One hip showed some displasia, and there's some arthritis in her spine, neither condition too unusual for her age, size, and breed, and they don't seem to be affecting her clinically.

All things considered, a pretty good report, particularly given the fact that she's been living outdoors for years and probably last saw a vet when she was spayed as a pup. 
She was very much inclined to opt for the prize
behind door #2.

The meet and greet
Dancer is HUGE compared to Dolly.
Dancer's mom does face painting
and body art. She had given him
some temporary designs before a
therapy session with children the
other day. Completely safe,
non-toxic, and removable.
A few days ago I had an email from a former adopter. This woman has adopted at least two rottweilers from me in the past and still has one, Dancer. She had written to tell me that she and Dancer were now doing therapy work, which social rotties are wonderfully suited for since they love nothing better than human contact. I knew she was down to one dog now although she had usually had at least two in the past so I mentioned Dolly. Arrangements were made for us to meet after Dolly's vet appointment on Thursday afternoon.

Dancer ran around, excited to have her and
wanting to play. She was more interested in
checking out smells in the house and the yard
but they got along fine and she will play with
him when she's ready.
We met. The dogs got along well as I knew they would. She liked Dolly as I knew she would. I came back home to get a crate to lend her and Dolly stayed with her and Dancer. There are cats in the household, but they have trained Dancer and the adopter seemed confident that they could work things out. Dolly was interested in the cats, but not aggressive, so there is every reason to hope that things will work out.