Saturday, June 11, 2011


Josie is trying very hard to stay awake!
 Josie had her surgery on Thursday and everything went well.  The bill was even less than anticipated!  She had a small growth removed from her cheek (only because she was being put under anyway) and a large horny growth removed from her foot.  She's got stitches both places but seems to be managing everything well enough.  No scratching or licking (yet, knock on wood) so no need to use an e-collar.  Hardest thing will be keeping her quiet as she really wants to play!

Got a great picture of poor Josie brooding on the dog bed while the other dogs were all outdoors.  Because the incision is on the bottom of her foot, and because footpads tend to heal slowly (according the the Vet Tech) we'll have to be careful for quite awhile.  No walks, no rough playing, no running around the dog yard (or digging holes) with Argus. 
Poor Josie wants to be outdoors with her friends

We need to come up with ideas to keep Josie busy and happy, as she's a very playful athletic dog who spends much of her time wrestling with Argus or playing with toys.  Fortunately she loves treat balls and similar toys that can be stuffed with tasty tidbits, and will spend hours working to get at the food.  Those toys become "bones of contention" however, and we have to supervise, provide an equal toy for each of the other dogs, or have Josie in her crate or out by herself.
One for each, as Coral says all treats are HERS!

The proverbial "pink slip" arrived yesterday, announcing that I, like all other non-essential state employees, would be out of a job on July 1st.  Hopefully this will not last too long, but I completely support Governor Dayton's stand on the budget issue.

Up early tomorrow to pick up Reebok and get her settled in here.  I'll take Argus along with me so he will accept the fact that she is no longer in season, and she will be comfortable with him.  She'll move to the kitchen this time (she was in the basement while she was here for breeding) and we'll run shifts at first until we know for sure that she will get along with Coral and Josie.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Posting Early, Or Is It Late?

Lily Pad is an Argus/Lilly daughter.

Because Josie has her foot surgery on Thursday morning, she has to be dropped off at the vet clinic before I go to work leaving no time for blogging.  Not sure how long she'll stay and whether I'll be picking her up at noon or after work.  She never favors the foot unless she bumps it on something, but it sure looks ugly.  Josie is very stoic so it's hard to know if it causes her any pain.  Hopefully she will not have to wear an e-collar for very long as it will hurt her feelings.  She's such a sweet sensitive soul I hate to see her embarrassed.  Hope this all goes smoothly.

Coral did not eat her breakfast. Coral never misses a meal, but has been eating with less enthusiasm lately. She just sat and looked at her meat, veggies & egg, even when I added some tuna to the mix.  Hopefully it was just an upset stomach, as she ate her chicken back for dinner.  If she skips breakfast again I w'll take her in for blood work.  Her kidney values had changed a bit when she had her last blood work, and chronic kidney failure is common in elderly dogs.  We need to recheck her BUN & creatinine levels, and perhaps her liver enzymes too.  One nice thing about a raw diet is that it is easily adapted to deal with a variety of health issues, and for things like age-related kidney failure high quality protein is important - meat & egg protein is MUCH higher in quality than a grain-based kibble diet.  Of course if the dog won't eat . . .

Argus & Penny are both entered at Chicagoland this weekend, but probably won't get there.  Penny was just bred, and I really can't justify taking Friday off work - just too much to get done.  With Josie having surgery and some questions about Coral, it's probably best that I stay home.  Because I was to retrieve Reebok from Rosie this weekend, I'll have to make other plans for that.  I still have another day to make up my mind.

Thought I'd be dying to get to a dog show by now, but that's not the case and I'm enjoying my weekends at home working around the house and in the yard.  Guess it WAS time for a break.  We'll need to do some shows his fall when Lucy comes back to finish her championship, but until then perhaps I can manage just fine.

Black Or Liver?

Black Lucy & Liver Penny are half-sisters

Puppies this summer.  Reebok is due in July, Penny in early August.  Thank goodness my daughter Jess will be raising Penny's pups.  I once did two litters three days apart and survived, but I was younger then, and Jess still lived at home.  Both litters were mostly liver boys!  Oh my!

Reebok could be liver factored and produce liver pups bred to Argus, but I'm betting she isn't.  There is a DNA test available to test for color (it would also tell me whether or not she might be carrying lemon) but we'll know soon enough about the livers, and lemon is not very common in the breed and not likely to show up in this pedigree.

Liver Penny was bred to liver-factored Cruise.  Because his mother was a liver, we knew Cruise would do both colors when we bred Josie to him 5 (6?) years ago.  Penny has two liver parents, Argus & Nikon.  Nikon also has two liver parents Ed & Coral.

There was a time when liver Dals were relatively uncommon, except at MY house as I have always had at least a couple of liver Dals.  We had lots of livers in the local show rings because the breeders here started with dogs from me - generally livers.  Now livers are very popular in the show ring, and liver companions are quite common in most parts of the country.  I've always had plenty of reservations for liver pups, and never have a problem placing them.   So many people have come to be interviewed certain that they wanted a black female, and ended up with a liver male and been very happy about it.

Brownies are beautiful!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Books & Birthdays

Ah, the fun of selecting a new audiobook.  As a member of I get one credit to use every month and always look forward to that.  I keep a Wish List and watch the just-published lists for interesting additions.  There are many book sales on Audible, but I use the credit to purchase full priced books or at least one of the more expensive ones, and buy the sale-priced books out of pocket.  It's nice to have a backlog of unread books in "My Library" on the Audible website.  Today's purchase was the newest John Sandford mystery featuring Lucas Davenport (Lucas "lives" in my neighborhood), "Buried Prey".  Can't wait to start it.

Journey still enjoys treat toys at 15.
Happy Birthday, Journey!  15 years old today!   Last year there were still 5 littermates alive and well, but at least 3 passed away between the ages of 14 and 15.  We are so fortunate to have such a long-lived and healthy breed!  15 is not unusual for Dalmatians, and a few live even longer than that.

Journey lives in North Carolina and still has a career as a Therapy Dog, and in fact she "went to work" yesterday, but today she gets to stay home and be spoiled.  She is very fortunate to be owned by Pam, who takes excellent care of her dogs.

Monday, June 6, 2011

And Suddenly, It's Summer!

Hostas are lovely in June

An absolutely perfect weekend!  Temps about 80 degrees both Saturday & Sunday, brilliant sunshine, and low humidity.  We got lots of yard work done, cooked on the grill, and I got the dining room & living room thoroughly cleaned.  Even got the webs out of the ceiling corners (while worrying about spiders dropping on my head) and cleaned the hardwood floors on my hands and knees.  Wish I could afford to have them refinished - or had the energy to do them myself, but . . .

Biggest project of the weekend was getting the two window air conditioners installed.  One of these years we will be unable to manage the unwieldy things, but we managed it again this year.  NOT a job for seniors!  Each year I hold by breath when I turn each one of them on, wondering if they will still work.  Both are getting elderly - as I recall, we purchased the large one when Rob was alive.  Actually, Ron purchased the large one because the heat was bothering Rob that summer - and Rob's been gone for 11 years.  The technology has changed a lot, and the newer models are lighter and more energy efficient, but Mr. Frugal (Ron) figures that if they still work, why replace them?  I'm the one who pays the energy bill, but there's no point in arguing.  As long as the house stays cool . . .

Argus blowing bubbles in Lake Como
I promised Argus that when he was done being campaigned we would do Pet Dog things together, things like swimming in the city lakes and the Mississippi River, things we never did when he was being shown.  Because there is always the risk of a cut foot, coat problems related to less than pristine lake water, and ear or eye infections, I kept him out of the water, knowing that he would LOVE to dabble in the water.  I kept my promise.

On Sunday morning after dropping my mother off at church, we stopped to walk around Lake Como in St. Paul.  My folks owned a house a few blocks from the lake, so I had taken that walk many times - but not for at least 30 years.  My, how things have changed as far as city lake management!  Natural vegetation has been re-established along the banks, the walking and biking paths are separate, traffic has been rerouted, the Pavilion has been redone, and the lake looked and smelled so much better.  We walked the lake, stopping to let Argus swim & dabble.  He loved sticking his head under to blow bubbles, and raced up & down the shore, and in & out of the water like a puppy.  We had such a good time, we re-walked the lake in the other direction.  Argus practiced his sit-stays while I took some flower pictures, "talked" to some other friendly dogs, and had a thoroughly good time.  Promise kept!