Sunday 26 May 2013

Photographing Bet

Apparently some native tribes used to believe that photographs were stealing a piece of ones soul. The legendary Crazy Horse, even on his deathbed, refused to have his photo taken and was never photographed alive.

Now, I've checked Bet's registration papers and I see no native Americans in her ancestry. Her Momma was from Texas and her Daddy from 'Richardland' (aka England). However she is still morally opposed to having her picture taken.

When a friend once tried to take a picture of her riding on the back of my ATV, she leapt off the moving machine and nose planted HARD into the gravel of our driveway. Just because a camera was pointed in her direction.

At her best and most cooperative, she slumps her shoulders and sticks her ample ears out the side of her head when I turn a camera her way. She is, by far, the hardest dog I've ever photographed - and I've photographed a LOT of dogs over the years!

This morning we were puttering around the our land and stopped by the Bench that overlooks our beaver pond. We sat and watched a couple geese paddling around below and enjoyed the recently rain washed landscape.
Bet looked so cute sitting next to me and seemed to be in a pretty agreeable mood, so I scooted a bit down the hill and pointed my camera up at her.

"Don't point that thing at me"

Come on Bet, just one picture.

"How's this?"

Hmmm, yeah - not very good. You look like you have gas

"Don't you remember the last time we were here and those squirrels attacked me"

They didn't attack you. They were chasing each other and didn't NOTICE you till the last minute.

"Either way - they nearly ran me over"

Just look at me, smile, I'll take your picture and we will go.

What the heck is that look??

"Did you hear that??"


"What???? Oh, okay"

NO, you need to smile AT the camera. Come on!!!

Ears forward too!!!

"Oh FINE!!! But I'm not putting my ears all the way forward. A squirrel might sneak up on me"

That'll do Bet, that'll do!

Saturday 25 May 2013

A Dull and Dreary Morning

This morning dawned dull and dreary. That would be good if it was accompanied by rain, but it isn't. It is just dull, dreary, and windy.

We desperately need rain. Not a sprinkle or a shower, but a good hard soaking. The County has a total fire ban in effect and we are reaching the point that every whiff of smoke on the wind makes the hair on the back of my neck jump to attention.

I thought of going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head for a few more hours, but by then the cells in my body were starting to scream for coffee. I bowed to their demands and put on the coffee pot.
I watched a bit of the Today Show - but bored of listening to them 'blaming' an Alberta trucker for causing a bridge collapse in Washington. Seriously??? He didn't even know he had hit the bridge till after and that sent the whole thing into the river??? Sounds like a fat urban seagull could have caused the same issue if he had sat on a support!
The dreariness of the morning was creeping into me!

Finally I grabbed my coffee and my Kindle and moved outside onto the deck. For the first few minutes I debated the intelligence of my move.It really wasn't an 'out on the deck to enjoy the sunshine' kind of morning.
Bet peered questioningly at me from the house, her nose not breaching the pet door leading to the deck. "Get out here", I demanded and she reluctantly consented.

As I propped my feet up on a chair and snuggled my coffee mug I could hear geese honking out travel plans as they took off from the Beaver Pond. That's a nice touch, I thought to myself.
I set my book down for a minute and let the noise from the woods move into the forefront. Chickadees, sparrows, and robins could all be picked out. If I concentrated I could hear the difference in the wind through the pine trees compared to the wind trembling the new popular leaves down in the meadow.

The persistent raven that has been trying to move into the yard all spring (over Cricket's objections) flew over . His wings making that wonderful 'whoop, whoop' as he did so.

Cricket started to stir from her sentry next to the deck. Nothing Cricket does is without groaning and grumbling. She yawned stretched and muttered.

It was too warm to run, but cool enough that the dogs were all up and active. Most of the summer they are active in the evening and mornings, napping in the sun through the heat of the day.

Crunchie worked away at a sleep hole he has been perfecting. Scud, Chewy, Trooper and Squib had a elaborate game of 'tag' in the works.
The bossy little 'mean girls' at the top of the dog yard were bickering and bullying each other to the point that Cricket finally lurched to her feet, stretched and lumbered up that direction to check on things.
Wolvie pinned Charge in a mock battle and then threw himself through the air in a fantastic sideways leap. "Beat that, Old Man". 

Bet had resigned herself to the outdoors and was stalking Mark's Stupid Cat across the front lawn.

The rowdy gang of blue jays that has stalked out our neighborhood appeared. They checked the feeders to see if anything interesting had been tossed in there overnight - and squawked at me in disappointment when discovering it hadn't.

I strolled into the house for a refill of coffee and to boot up Google Earth to see exactly where the Yukon and Klondike rivers join so I could orientate myself in the book I'm reading.

That sorted, it was back outside.  

Funny how the day doesn't seem nearly so dreary and dull anymore!!!

Enjoy your weekend everyone - I'll be on my deck for just a while longer!!!

Monday 20 May 2013

Filling Buckets

I don't mind doing kennel chores at all. Sometimes, when times are busy I mind the time they take, but always when I get out into the dog yard and start the work, I am happy to be outside with the dogs.
If the dogs and I took a vote though, our favorite chore would be scrubbing, rinsing and filling water buckets.

 "Why?", you ask.

Well, although I spend time messing with dogs while picking up bowls, scooping and otherwise meandering through the yard, the length of time varies. When I'm filling buckets each dog knows I am in their area and they have my undivided attention when I'm filling their bucket.

They all have different things they wish to do with their 'Mom Time'.

Some squish under my arm for snuggles...

 ....some want belly rubs....

 ....some want to play silly games.


 A few just want to wash my face...



Then there are the storytellers....
Trooper (I think he is trying to explain that bad hairdo!)

And the ones with grievences to air.


Some prefer ear scratches...


....some want their fur plucked...


Neo just wanted portraits with Mom (which didn't work out so well)!

He ended up just going for a 'selfie'.

...and a bunch just want to 'smoosh'....





...and one was too wrapped up wondering what my silly Border Collie and Mark's Stupid Cat were up to to pay too much attention to me!

Got to admit Vader, I was wondering myself.....

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Ah, Spring!!!

I figured since I was whining so badly at the beginning of the month about the snow and cold, that I better take time to say 'THANKS' for our weather the last week!

Today seemed like a good day to do that!

So I played in the woods with some friends (Cricket, X and Bet)...

...took some pictures of some of the beautiful things starting to 'stir' in the woods....

Not sure what this stuff is called or if there is any use for it - anyone??

Labrador Tea

...lay on my back for a bit listening to the wind and watching the clouds roll by....

... with Bet on top of me...

...and the guard dog beside me....

Took a few more flower pictures...

.....messed around with the Curly Tails....

Trooper helping me with chores!

Singing with Pop!!

Chewie working on his 'wolf look'!


Yup, still a 'Winter Chick' - but how can you not celebrate this time of year too????

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Monday 13 May 2013

A Close Call

Monday night is yoga class. I love my yoga class at Athabasca Yoga taught by my inspiring friend/neighbour/riding partner Gabi Husch. Not only is it a challenge, it is a great workout and good stretching for everything I neglect and abuse during the week!!!

I was just getting ready to leave for class tonight when the dog yard fired up. I speak fluent 'dog yard', so I knew right away that we had a loose dog.
While a loose dog isn't a crisis in of itself - they are all easily catchable - usually I just have to call and they trot over. My biggest panic when a Siberian is loose around the yard is Mark's Stupid Cats - specifically Bait. Tic is clever and runs AWAY from Siberians. Bait, well I think in previous blogs I've explained how crazy and delusional that cat is.

Bait hanging out in a tree on the edge of the dog yard last week. 

The loose dog was Vader. Now that is a true crisis. While Vader is a sweetheart he has a bit of an obsession with the cats.  I posted a cute photo of him last week perched on my shoulder getting a belly rub.Well, I since figured out that he really doesn't care about belly rubs. He sorted out that if he is perched on my shoulder he can get a better view of the yard and what the cats are up to. (Yes, I felt very used when I figured that out.).

He comes by his small-critter obsession honestly; his Dad Crunchie has always been that way.

I knew Tic was in the house, but I frantically scanned for Bait. He was napping in the outside planter. Before he could fully wake up I snatched him up and tossed him in the house, slamming the door shut behind him.
I was about to head out to collect Vader - who was visiting with Wifi and Todd - when I realized I had no pants or shoes on, just a t-shirt (remember - getting ready for yoga).
I slid the door open to go rectify the problem and Mark's Stupid Cat shot out the door. DAMMITTTT!!!

He sprinted into the middle of the lawn with me - pantless and shoeless - in hot pursuit. Running across our 'lawn' without shoes is never a smart move, as the lawn is really just a blanket of old pine needles - and there are some roofing nails close to the house from our late fall roofing project that haven't been found and picked up yet (I work on that pretty much daily). However I was too focused on catching that Damn Cat and keeping track of my cat-crazy yearling to care.
I was running over different scenarios the whole time of what I'd do if I couldn't catch Bait, if Vader lost interest in the dogs and spotted the cat, etc, etc.

Finally the cat decided to attempt to climb a tree and his fat body stalled half way up the truck. I plucked him off, stuffed him under my arm and ran for the house hoping to get there before Vader figured things out.Trust me - holding onto a cat that a dog is trying to get a hold of is kind of like...., me it's bad.
I stuffed Bait back into house, quickly checked on Vader - who was still posturing with the boys, snuck back into the house this time with no escapee, probably 'cause I opened the door making crazy 'get too close to me I'll murder you' noises, put on pants, slipped on flip flops and headed out to catch the thankfully oblivious puppy.
I didn't point out to him that he had just blown the chance he'd been praying for for months - a chance to get that delicious looking cat. I just made a big fuss over him and walked him back to his chain.

I slipped into yoga class with minutes to spare - and thankfully with pants on!

Funny thing I think my favorite part of of the class tonight was the breathing....deep, thankful, relaxing breaths!!!

Saturday 11 May 2013

My Most Fantabulous Dog Park Adventure - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!!

Last weekend the Musher thought that I needed a little break from my duties as the official Pretty Curly Tail herder and scheduled a "date" at the Dog Park for me!!!

I must admit that since I'm the official herdy Border Collie of the Pretty Curly Tails, and it's not appropriate for me to become friends with the Pretty Curly Tails because they have jobs to do, and Cricket is in charge of security and rarely has time to sit down and talk girly dog talk (she works nights, sleeps during the day, and isn't really into painting nails and trying on fashionable ensembles), and the cats... well... they're CATS, so it can be kinda lonely without any doggie friends.

The Musher thought that I would appreciate a whole day of doggie companionship with another girlie working breed that also needed some off time to discuss the trials and tribulations of working and just have a fun day off the clock.

Off we went to the famous Terwilliger Park that has a FABulously huge off leash dog park!  I was very excited to be going, but felt a bit naked without any of my fashionable ensembles.  The Musher assured me that I looked fine with just my stylish purple collar.

When we arrived, there was the very adorable Splash and her woman Lori!

Splash is what is known as a "Golden Retriever", which means she retrieves things!  Apparently her job is to get things and bring them back.  I'm not really sure what the purpose of that is, so I asked her... um... what's up with that?  If they throw something... why can't they just go get it... after all, they threw it!

Splash explained that the whole "throwing things away" part was to keep her in fine peak physical condition for those times when she had to go retrieve things they don't throw... like pesky ducks that fall out of the sky, or tennis balls that fall out of the sky, or a beer from the fridge that fell out of the sky.  Um... I tried to explain to her that beers just don't fall out of the sky and into a fridge, but she is a lot bigger than me, so I didn't push things.

We decided to do some running around.

It was really fun just running around with Splash without having to worry about herding her, and Splash said it was really fun just running without running to go get something to bring back.

When we stopped for a quick breather, I asked her why her name was Splash.  She kinda laughed at me, and at the very moment, her thrower of things tossed a tennis ball and...

Dang!  Seriously?  She just threw herself in that... euw, water!  Dove head first into that stuff and grabbed that seriously mud covered... icky tennis ball thing!!!!  I was both intrigued and repulsed.

Wanna know what happened then....

She wanted her thrower to throw it in the water AGAIN!!!!  It was like the tennis ball was a waffle or maybe even some shrimp and pasta, but seriously... I wouldn't throw myself in water for waffles or shrimp and pasta... SERIOUSLY, I KNOW!!!!

Over and over again Splash went into the water for that icky tennis ball until she was very, very worn out, and I'm all like "um, isn't this suppose to be a day off, why are you working?"

Splash said she couldn't help herself, she LOVED retrieving stuff and if there was water involved, even better.  I said, but how do you get clean after stomping around in all of that mucky water.  Splash laughed and said, oh no, here's how you dry off...

Um... but you're rolling in grass and mud... you don't get a bath????  Splash said she got baths sometimes, but this was the best way to get clean... she also suggested that I try jumping in the water and playing in it, it was fun!

Um... erm....

In the water?  The icky water that has goop on the bottom of it?  There may be fishes and things in there.... look at how shiny and white my coat is... my collar would get dirty....

Ok, fine... ahem... here I go...

Now see, there's really no reason to get your feets all wet because there's this stick bridge thing here that you can just cross over and .... what?  jump in?  Seriously?  sigh... FINE.


There, I did it, I jumped into the water, see!

Splash didn't seem very impressed with my display of water navigation...We agreed to disagree that retrievers like water, and Pretty Curly Tail herdy Border Collies didn't like water.  She was fine with that after I shared my recipe for Shrimp and Pasta, and after sharing a Vanilla Bean Frappacino at the Starbucks™ (MUSHER!!! HOW HAVE YOU NOT TOLD ME ABOUT THESE GLORIOUS TREATS ALL THESE YEARS????)  the Musher and I drove home... it was a very tiring but fun day, so thank you Lori and Splash for a wonderful day out!