Monday, January 30, 2017

Glowing shepherds

Abby and Maya and I did a five mile hike late this afternoon. We didn't get started until after 4:00 p.m., but usable light is getting later and later now, particularly on non-cloudy days.

Maya's white undercoat really catches the light.
That low-angle, late afternoon sun really lights up the girls fur to the point that it glows. Abby looked like hers was on fire in the last few shots.

Abby has a darker top coat, but her undercoat is quite light.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Prospect for Abby

I took Abby to a Promises Animal Rescue adoption event on Saturday. There were actually two potential adopters there who came to meet her and were interested in adopting her. I have hope that she will have a home soon. She needs someone to be working with her and she's smart enough to learn anything. She's very outgoing, sweet, and friendly with people, so she shows well at adoption events.

I took Maya along, of course, but she stayed in a crate in the car. She was just along for the ride.

Maya in crate right behind the front seats, and Abby is loose
in the space behind the crate.

The rest of these pictures are from my hikes on Friday. Maya and I did three miles with Sparky, and later in the day we did another three miles with Theo.

Maya and Sparky walk very well together.
Here they are teaming up to sniff something important.

Sparky never misses an opportunity to roll in the grass.

Theo is easy to walk until he sniffs a deer.

Theo is one of the best looking shepherds ever to
cross my path. He's a little shepherdy, but basically
has a good, solid temperament.

Friday, January 27, 2017

An evening out with Maya

Thursday was Clay's day off. Although I had to work, we had hoped to head down to Scottsville in the afternoon so I could have a chat with the bee lady at Scottsville Supply Company. We didn't get down there in time for that because I had a telephone conference call at 4:00 p.m., concerning my employer's continuing efforts to off-shore my job to the Philippines.

We did go, however, and had a pizza and a couple beers at James River Brewery. Maya hadn't been there in a while, but she knew just where to go. She went right up to the bar and ordered herself a treat.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Another spring day

Beautiful spring-like day. Almost 70 degrees, only a gentle wind, and nothing but blue sky and sunshine. It shouldn't be this way at the end of January, but I'm not going to complain about it. I got out for a 2 mile hike with Maya and Sparky around noon, and another three miles with Maya and Theo late in the afternoon.
Sparky loves a roll in the grass.

In between hikes I went out to the pasture to check on my bees. I finally got a bee hive started last spring but I don't really know what I'm doing so I pretty much left them alone. I wasn't sure if the colony had thrived and built up enough stored food to make it through the winter. I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of activity around the entrance this warm afternoon. I suited up in bee gear and went in to check it out. When I took off the top it was obvious that there were a lot of bees present. The frames were all stuck together but I could see what appeared to be a good amount of filled out comb on them. One consequence of leaving them alone since spring may be that they were not accustomed to having a human invader and they were not too pleased to have me poking around. I was wearing my bee jacket, hood, and gloves, but I had shorts on from the hike. I hadn't fired up my smoker thinking that they wouldn't be too active in this weather, and after getting stung a couple times, I decided to close it back up and leave them alone. I was happy to see them alive and active at least. I'll go visit my bee advisor and ask about putting some supplemental food in the hive for them to help make it through the winter.

Two miles was enough for Sparky today; I need to get him out more
often and get him back in shape. 

Bees don't show up well in photos, but there was
a lot of activity at the entrance to the hive.

Maya and Theo

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Theo the Great

The sun finally emerged today. It didn't do much drying out, but at least things didn't get any wetter today, although I'm not sure that would have been possible anyway. It was warm as well as sunny, so it was a decent day to have some dogs outdoors and they enjoyed it. I didn't let Theo go to the dog yard though, because he gets himself soaked and caked in mud in a matter of minutes. To make up for the indoor day, I took Theo and Maya up to Pleasant Grove this afternoon for a five mile hike.

All three of us enjoyed it, but Theo was especially excited about it. He doesn't pull on the leash, but he was always out front and he showed no signs of slowing down even when we reached the five mile mark.

Theo is one of those dogs, like some people, who just can not take a bad picture. I got the defective battery in my iphone replaced last week so it didn't shut down on me like it has been doing on our hikes. Consequently, I got a lot of pictures, most of them are of Theo.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Foster girls

I've had my current fosters, Abby and Xochi, longer than I should have. They are both young, attractive dogs. The truth is that I've been neglecting them. I take care of them and they've had each other as company, so they aren't really suffering, but I haven't been doing what I should to get them adopted. Partly it's the season (holidays, lousy weather), and partly it's me (preoccupation with the house projects). But that needs to change.

I took Abby to a Promises Adoption event on Sunday. She was actually pretty good there. She loves people, loves attention, and will sit and look very cute if she even thinks you might have a treat. Abby and I don't always get along. She looks cute and sweet, but she can be a real bitch with other dogs. Theo won't go into the dog yard with her any more and I don't ask him to after the way I've seen her go after him. She's not overtly aggressive towards other dogs, but she is very dominant and possessive when it comes to resources, be it food or attention.

She will need an assertive owner who is prepared to do some training and she would be best as an only dog. She will not be a dog park dog. She appears to be a shepherd/hound mix of some sort, but there's no laid back hound personality there. The female shepherd force is strong in this one. She's smart though, and very food motivated, so she should be a faster learner, the problem is that I haven't been teaching her anything.

I didn't take Xochi on Sunday because someone had come to the house on Friday who wanted to adopt her. They came back on Monday afternoon and took her home.

I had been neglecting Xochi's education too, and Abby was taking up the slack, which wasn't really good for Xochi. Xochi is pure puppy, loves everything and everyone. She's good with other dogs but her energy level and enthusiasm wasn't always welcome around some of our older dogs around here.

She went to a home with just one other dog, old enough to teach her but still young enough to play with her. She's a great dog with a lot of potential, but she also needed someone to work with her and I just haven't been doing that. I wish her the best in her new home.

I really need to stick to taking fosters that are a bit older, and I really think I'm going to lay off the shepherds for a while. Even nice ones are rather high maintenance dogs and we have enough of them around here without taking in more. My bad attitude is due in part to the mud and rainy weather, I know, but we won't know how much until spring.