Friday, July 23, 2010

Recue Resources

A posting appeared on one of our Dal lists about a Dal who needed help, or rather the rescue group needed help to pay for the proposed surgeries for this unfortunate dog, something like $10,000.00. Serious invasive surgeries, with no guarantee of success and quite likely a significant rehab required. The dog in question is a homeless 7-year old liver boy. I always check out such postings, and sometimes donate money if the cause seems reasonable. There are lots of fine dogs in bad situations through no fault of their own, and sometimes a reasonable amount of vet work makes these dogs more adoptable.

I decided not to donate money this time, and wondered if this was a wise use of limited rescue resources. $10,000.00 is a lot of money to spend on a middle-aged ownerless dog. It's money that could be used in other, possibly more appropriate, ways. $10,000.00 could help a lot of dogs. On the other hand, this is not an existing pot of money, but a request for "new" money, and there are always people willing to give to help such unfortunate animals. But give THIS MUCH?

One of the sore points between rescuers and non-rescuers is the insistence that ALL dogs should be rescued. Dalmatian rescue dollars often get spent on obvious mixed breeds (freckles do not a Dalmatian make), dogs with very poor dispositions who should NOT be re-homed, deaf dogs (but that's a topic for another day), and dogs with extremely serious medical conditions. Where do you draw the line?

If you would like to donate money to help this dog, I am including the link so you can check things out. We all approach these issues from our own point of view, and I know that some of you probably do not share my feelings on this subject.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Wheels

No car today, so Ron is playing chauffeur. I hate not having wheels. The mini van went in last night for new tires as the old ones were getting a bit low on tread and felt like they were hydroplaning on wet roads. Considering that they had 76,700 miles, I guess I can't complain! Hope the new ones serve me as well. Also asked to have the brakes checked. Although I had a brake job last summer, things don't feel quite right. Hopefully they just need adjusting, not something expensive! Tires are enough of an investment for now.

Entries and reservations are in for the Colorado Specialty in August, as we'll do Colorado rather than Ohio (can't do both). Only sticking point is the vehicle. My mini will not hold 3 people and 3 dogs (at least not comfortably) so we are looking into renting something a little larger. A cargo van looks like the best idea, but the mileage charge really adds to the cost. Passenger vans and large SUVs are more expensive still, with no break on the mileage. 750 "free" miles but $.20 - $.25 per mile after that adds up quickly on a trip of that length. May add two extra people and another dog or two to our group which would help. We shall see.

The giant tomato bush continues to grow in the dog pen. Over 7 feet long and over 3 feet wide, and covered with green tomatoes. Amazing it can grow in the rock that has been in the dog yard for a million years. Must be a lot of organic matter mixed in, and certainly a lot of nitrogen! Whatever, it looks amazingly prosperous.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Good Bye

An email from John to tell us that Brie had passed at the age of 16 1/2. Brie was one of our favorite dogs, so like her Aunt Marla, with an incredibly disposition & personality. She was a daughter of my handsome liver Ch. "Morris" and out of Carol Chase's wonderful Ch. "Paris" - Paris was one of my all-time favorite Dals, and one that I would gladly have stolen and kept! Brie finished with a fine show record, produced a nice litter of pups, but mostly lived the life of a beloved pet & companion with John and his family.

He writes, "I wanted to let you know we had Brie put to sleep today. I don’t know how you go through this so many times with so many dogs. Perhaps that is the trick. So hard to let go, she was such a major part of our family. Brie made it to an amazing 16 ½ years of age. What an amazing and absolutely beautiful dog and companion she was. Thank you again so much for entrusting and blessing us with Brie 16 ½ years ago. Throughout her entire life everyone was so complimentary on her demeanor and what a great dog she is. She really made our home and family better. We will miss our Brie – Brie tremendously, but will always be grateful we had her bless our lives for so long.

Thanks again, take care."

It never gets easier and I still miss Rob, Eloise, Marla, Morris, Sidney and all of Brie's close relatives who passed before her, and I shed tears over the passing of every wonderful dog who did not actually share my home for more than the first few months of their lives. I've received many calls and emails over the years to tell me of the passing of special dogs, and I appreciate knowing how much those dogs were loved, and what important family members they were.

It DOES help to have multiple dogs though. I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be to lose your only Dal, or your only dog of any breed. Yes, I CAN imagine that. I remember when I lost Criket my first Dal, and lost her to veterinary negligence. The pain was incredible. Not a day passes that I don't still miss Rob, but take comfort in how fortunate I was to have had him for 12 years. John and his family were even more fortunate to have had Brie for so long.

Thank you John!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Prosperous Plants

Ummm, fresh berries on my cereal, BOTH raspberries and blueberries. Seems almost decadent. I asked Ron to pick up one or the other and he picked up both, so I am taking advantage of the summer bounty.

Audrey looks quite lovely this morning with her crown of golden blossoms. Maybe tomorrow I will take the stepladder out so I can get some close ups of her flowers. Haven't had a chance to measure her recently, but she doesn't appear too much taller than her previous 8'8". I did measure the giant tomato growing in the dog yard though and it spans 7'4" x 3'2". Has dozens of green tomatoes now, some almost tennis ball sized. New picture tomorrow - I need to get one with a dog sitting beside it to put the size in perspective.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Everything Is Fine

Here I am, still fine. Sorry for my absence. No real excuse except for having Writer's Block - but I guess that's not really an excuse either. It wasn't as if nothing was happening, I just didn't manage to write it down!

A note from Ken to say that Cloud (the Watson daughter from Florida) is doing great. It sounds as if she has already shown Ken & Magee (his other Dal) that Bitches Rule, at least in this breed. I took this picture of Argus & Cloud when she was at the house. Blue eyes are perfectly acceptable for Dals, but Argus appears to be laughing about it.

Did a lot of driving, and had a successful weekend without doing anything great. Started off on Thursday in Duluth, and quickly saw that the shows were top heavy in professional handlers as I had anticipated might be a problem. Judges were OK for Argus, but MUCH better for Giselle's handler Phil than they were for me. I show against handlers all the time, but under some judges there is just no point. Argus showed well but went Best Of Opposite and we hit the road again, stopped at home for my suitcase and drove to Illinois! Quite a few miles, but I enjoy driving and Argus is a great traveler. Anticipated having a fun weekend in Rockford. Oh well.

Argus went Best Of Breed on Friday and finished his Grand Championship, a new title offered at AKC shows for Champions who continue showing and winning. Nothing exciting, but nice to add. I found out that Meg was going to shows in Nebraska, and Laura was riding along - so much for getting together with them. Boring. Groups were incredibly tough and the temperatures were in the 90s - outdoor shows on a fairgrounds. I'm not a big fan of outdoor shows, and do not handle heat well, but we've got a number of them coming up so it was good to get the practice. Argus showed well in breed, but I showed him badly in group. Made the decision to show in breed on Saturday, and then win or lose head for home. Argus won again, and showed well, and my handling felt good. We hit the road and were home by 6:00. Not a great weekend, but we got a chance to show on grass, and Argus worked well for me in breed all three days. Hopefully we are a team again.

My cell phone was both lost and found, and I learned that Verizon will do NOTHING for you in a pinch. I'll remember that, Verizon. I now own a nice little pre-paid T-Mobile phone from Radio Shack which will be perfect for sticking in my pocket when I got walking or biking, so I can leave the good phone home. Didn't realize you could get a nice little phone with half an hour of air time that is good for 90 days for only $30.00. And the guys at RS were MUCH nicer than the ones at the Verizon store . . .

Got home on Saturday before the storm hit, and we just got an inch of rain. No damage other than a few tree branches down in the neighborhood. Jess, Don & the Shepherds were camping when a horrific storm went through the area. Wind, rain, and sirens, and they sat out the storm in the men's bathroom at the campground, 20+ people and the two Shepherds. Jess & I were texting back and forth and I could tell she was scared. Trees down and a lot of water on the ground, but no damage to the trailer, and they went home Sunday morning to check out their property. Again they were lucky and had nothing more than a tipped pine tree and a lot of rubbish in the yard. Thanks Mother Nature for sparing us all again. It's sure been a violent summer already though!

Ron & I went to the Farmer's Market on Sunday morning and probably bought far more stuff than we can eat, but I shared the bounty with mom, and the dogs will enjoy some of it too. The flowers were absolutely incredible, especially the bouquets of lilies. Took mom out for pie at Perkins and had a nice visit. She loved the fresh produce.

Audrey has a dozen flowers now, and they are quite attractive daisy-like blossoms. Cup plants are obviously grown for the Wow Value rather than their flowers, but it is a great looking plant.

The hanging tomato plant suffered a setback on Saturday night when the neighbor's fence fell apart! Not sure if the tomato was a contributing factor, but it IS heavy so I moved it for now - but don't have a good spot for it otherwise. The fence is fixed and Ron wants to put it back on the fence post. I'm not so sure.

My 35 gallon daphnia pond is producing well and ALL the fish feasted on live daphnia yesterday. Really a bumper crop. I am feeding them a mixture of soy flour and yeast, and they are doing really well on it. I've raised daphnia in tanks and buckets before, but never in such a large container. It's astonishing how rapidly they reproduce. Live food is the best for most fish (except the vegetarians) and it's nice to have a ready source, and one that is not nearly as disgusting as keeping live blackworms in the fridge, or as bothersome as raising baby brine shrimp.