Friday, May 29, 2015

Anika update and other news

This is a quick update as I'm rushing around doing a thousand different things and trying to finish the work week. 
Anika's condition is improving. She still has some flaky skin but the sores are healing up and she's re-growing hair where it was missing. The thyroid test came back normal. She continues on the meds for Cushings. The improvement is good. We'll probably see the vet again the week after next to assess the progress and talk about what's next.
I can't say thank you enough to everyone who has donated and otherwise supported this effort.

I went down to the Fluvanna District Court clerk's office today to pre-pay the ticket that I received over Memorial Day weekend for canoeing without a life jacket. The officer hadn't sent in the paperwork yet so they had no record of it.  I certainly hope the river cop didn't capsize his motorized kayak in the 2' depth of the mighty Rivanna and lose all the paperwork. The very helpful court clerk entered the information from my copy of the summons and let me pre-pay it so I don't have to show up in court. 

And with that, I'm signing off for the next week to 10 days or so.  I just need to set this aside for a little while and concentrate on other things.  For those who read regularly and want to know, it will probably be the week of June 8th before I'm back to blogging again. There might be a new foster boxer on the horizon.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rottweilers Resting in Peace

It's been a tough week on Rottweilers in my world.

I got news yesterday that Bear, the rottie that we fostered temporarily for The HOWS Project had died. HOWS had saved Bear from life on a chain. We had him just a short time. Bear was a great dog, got along with everyone, and had remarkably good house manners for a dog who had been living outdoors on a chain. Bear also had a case of heartworms, however, and although he was undergoing treatment, that may have been what claimed him.

As I said, we had Bear only for a couple weeks and he got neutered and groomed while he was here. He left a happy and sweet smelling boy, smiling that big rottie smile and that's the way I will always remember him. He didn't make it out of foster care, but he knew love and care at the end and sometimes that's the most we can do.

The other rottie that we lost recently belonged to a friend of mine. I never met Cash, but I feel like I knew him and I share a bit of my friend's sorrow in losing him.

Cash was a rescue and was already a senior when my friend adopted him several years ago. Cash moved into a household with multiple dogs, cats, a rescue/rehab raven, and even a desert tortoise who stayed with them for several months. In typical rottweiler style, Cash took it all in stride, assuming the role of protector of his realm as only a rottie can do.

Nothing quite compares to the rottweiler's combination of power and tenderness.

Losing any dog is rough. Losing a rottweiler leaves a really big hole in a home. They are a big dog, with a big presence, a big smile, and big wag even if they have a little tail. There is much to miss.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Spring chores

Maya and Sparky on a Memorial Day hike.
I've been very busy around here lately. I don't have much to show for it really unless you could see all the items crossed off my daily "to do" lists. The rain has held off so the grass has slowed down and I've had a chance to get a few other things done around here. I'm not walking as much as I'd like, or rather, not as much as Maya and Max and Sparky would like, but at this time of year there's just a lot of chores to be done around here.

The container garden is coming along.

I discovered one more big pot that I hadn't
planted until today. You can see how badly
the boxwood hedge needs to be cut back.
That's Vince checking out the new planting.

That bed behind Gigi has been planted with
various types of sunflowers. It should be very
pretty later this summer.

I can take Vince and Gigi out in the front
yard with me because they don't run off.
Vince and Gigi

I set up a crate on the front porch so Maya
can hang out with me when I'm working in
the garden or the front yard. She's satisfied if
she's with me and I'm satisfied that she's safe.

The mower I got last year is a grass cutting
monster. It has cut mowing time in half, or less.
Barkley and Roo came out to the pasture with me this
afternoon while I did some mowing.

Roo is putting on some weight, I think, and is really looking good.

He's a great dog and is going to make some lucky person a very fine companion.

Barkley and Roo are a good play pair.
Barkley is rottweiler happy.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Busted while boating

I got out in my canoe Saturday morning for the first time this year. We left off my van at the Palmyra bridge boat ramp and then Clay dropped me off seven miles upstream at the Crofton Bridge on his way into work.

It wasn't an early start, there were several vehicles parked at both ramps from people who were on the river before me, so I wasn't sure how much wildlife I'd see. I wasn't very far downstream when I spotted a bald eagle sitting on a high tree branch that stretched out across the river. That's a fairly common sight but they usually fly off before I get can get a picture. This guy didn't budge, even when I floated directly underneath him. I made some noise when I got close hoping for a picture in flight, but he never did move.

Based on the number of vehicles we had seen parked at the boat ramps I was expecting to encounter other people on my float. There were two canoes and a kayak putting in where I did, loaded with a lot of fishing gear. I floated along in solitude however, spotting a hawk or two, an owl, and assorted ducks and geese.

When I was well past the half way point,I heard a motor up ahead, which surprised me. I don't think I've ever seen or heard a motorized boat on the Rivanna, it's just not deep enough for anything other than the smallest outboard motor on a fishing boat. What I saw was an odd looking kayak, in dull army green, with sort of a flattened out rear end. It held a badge-wearing and presumably gun-toting officer of the Virginia Department of Natural Resources. He was doing a Memorial Day weekend safety patrol in a motorized kayak, which I can only assume was an military hand-me-down. Apparently the militarization of American's police forces has spread to the park system as well.

He asked if I had a life preserver on board and then proceeded to issue me a citation when all I could produce was a flotation seat cushion. Apparently your seat cushion functioning as flotation device only applies to aircraft. I used to canoe with absolutely no flotation device at all. I picked up the seat cushion after my one and only experience on the James River, which made me think about the need for one. I knew it wasn't really adequate, but I also didn't really plan to float the James again unless I got a pontoon raft (which I'd still like to have).

I don't have a problem with safety regulations although I really didn't know if any applied to me in a canoe on the Rivanna. Mostly I found it rather funny, because the Rivanna is about two feet deep and much less in many places. Plus, if I was going to run afoul of the law, this isn't how I expected it to happen. I wasn't liberating a chained up dog. I wasn't protesting outside the Republican National Convention or some other right-wing hate group. I was floating peacefully down the slow-moving Rivanna River on the prettiest day we've had this year.

I had cheaped out and bought the flotation cushion because the cost of a life jacket had put me off and I didn't really plan to use it anyway. Now I've got a citation that will probably cost me $100 and I still needed to buy a proper life preserver. I plan to float again this weekend, so I went to Dick's last night and found all their boating equipment was 50% off. I'm now river-legal for the first time ever, and I also picked up a cup holder to replace one that I had somehow lost yesterday. I'm not sure which one is more essential, but I have a pretty good idea about which will get the most use.

 When I got back from the river I spent the rest of the afternoon mowing and puttering around outdoors. I set up this fountain (left) in a bird bath in my container garden, a gift from my sister's family in Montana. In the evening, after my trip to Dick's for the life jacket, I went out for a Guinness to celebrate the results of the referendum on gay marriage in Ireland. How nice that the majority of people in that country were able to throw off the yoke of centuries of religious oppression, ignorance, and fear to do what is right. I wish our primitive nation could do the same.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Roo gets a clue, and Gigi goes to town

Roo is loving the combination of Satin Balls and dry food. Better yet, he's pooping normally now and I think he's beginning to put on some more weight.

He's fitting in very well around here, getting along with everyone and sleeping in the bedroom like one of our own. And he's finally given up hopes of getting Gigi to play with him. Instead, he's now engaging in play with Maya and Barkley, who will actually reciprocate his play overtures. Barkley will play with anyone, any time, and Maya will play with him when she feels like it.

I finished work early afternoon on Friday and got out to the trails with Sparky and Maya for a good seven mile hike. It was a beautiful day and they both enjoyed it. 

The new bar in the beer garden at James River Brewery.
Since Maya had been out for a long walk, I decided to try taking Gigi to James River Brewery in Scottsville Friday evening. 

Gigi is pretty much a homebody, but I dressed her up in some of her new jewelry and we went out. She was a bit anxious, but was better than the first time I took her. Everyone wanted to meet her, of course, and I told them all to tell her she's a pretty girl and she would like them.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Out and about again

Maya and Max out on the trail today.
Maya in the lead.
I finally got out for a hike again today with Maya and Max. The yard work and gardening has needed to be my priority lately, and once I stop an exercise habit, it is hard to start up again. I've needed it though. It's the best stress reliever I've found, and the best sleep aid. The dogs have been needing it too.
We had a good one today, almost 5.5 miles, and it made me realize how much I have been missing  and needing the exercise, so I'm going to try to get back to it on a consistent basis. After the hike I took Barkley, Toquima, and Roo out to the pasture for a romp while I mowed the dog yard and part of the pasture. A good time was had by all. 
Lady slippers

Pretty yellow pasture flower, I don't know it's name.

Roo didn't need to burn off any excess calories, but
he does need some muscle development, and he really
enjoyed running in the pasture, but he still stuck near me.
Roo and Barkley ran together most of the time.

Skinny little Roo posing near some clover
in bloom in our pasture.

Toquima went off by himself while we were out in the pasture,
engaged in important dog business, I'm sure.