Friday, May 25, 2012

Absolutely Nothing Comes To Mind

Indie/Lucy pups after a busy day.

Although I normally have an idea for a topic when I sit down to do my blog entry, absolutely nothing comes to mind this morning.  Perhaps my mind is in Vacation Mode, thinking of the 3-day weekend ahead, and wondering if I should take 4 hours of vacation today and get a head start on my weekend.

Decided yesterday that I needed to free up tank space for the new Knight Gobies.  They arrived a few days ago and were not the young fish I was expecting, but magnificent mature adults.  Their quarantine tank was only 5 gallons, not nearly large enough for four 3-inch fish.  They required a lot more room and were not happy in the small tank with few hiding places.

So where to put them?  I had an empty 40-gallon tank that I need to clean up for some cichlids who are outgrowing their smaller tanks, but that's the only uninhabited large tank.  Ah, move out the S. petricola.  Four 4-year old fish I had already spawned and raised youngsters from, sitting in a 20 gallon tank in the front side of the basement.  I set a price and posted them to Minnesota Fishkeeper List.  Within 5 minutes I had an inquiry from Milwaukee - "would I ship?".  Not for that price.  Way too much hassle to ship fish I was selling so affordably.  10 minutes later I had a local inquiry, called him back, and he promised to pick them up in half an hour.  Perfect!  I packed them up, he picked them up, paid what I was asking, and I had an empty tank.  In less than an hour!

I drained the tank, put the filter in a bucket of water so the "good bacteria" would not die off, scrubbed the tank, painted the back & sides so the new fish would feel more secure, washed and added gravel and some caves, scrubbed the top & light fixture, and filled the tank from one of my aged water barrels.  The water I used contains tap water, Epsom salt, marine salt mix, and baking soda, a mixture I use for many of my cichlids and livebearers (my tap water is soft).  Then I added additional marine salt mix since these fish are brackish water fishes.  I left it to run for the night, and today I will acclimate the fish, and add them to their new tank.  Because the sponge filter came from an established tank, this new tank should not suffer from "new tank syndrome".  Good job, Sue.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mission Accomplished

At last, I finally put together a puppy brochure to send out with responses to puppy inquiries, AND I contacted all the people on my puppy list and sent them a copy.  Amazing how many inquiries I had in that folder, and most responded quickly when I inquired as to whether they were still interested in a puppy.   Some of the people already had pups, several had changed their minds, a few decided to wait, one was having second thoughts as a new baby was on the way.  Just need to line up a definite home for one more Lucy puppy, then wait to see what Pauli produces.  Lots of show inquiries, but there will probably not be enough available girls for the available show homes.

Why do so many people think they only want a female pup?  That's understandable if you are a show person looking for a foundation for a breeding program, but if you just want a dog to show, or a companion or performance dog, why limit your options?  Males are generally much showier, enjoy working, are great fun to own, often stay puppyish forever, and are wonderful companions.  Given my druthers, I'd take a boy any day, preferably a Brownie Boy.

Have a good inquiry for Letty, and I need to act on it, but keep putting that off . . .   I really don't want to place her of course, but it's the sensible alternative.  I don't plan to show or breed her, and she's a wonderful dog who deserves a special home.  My friend Sue will miss her terribly, as Sue and Letty have had a lot of fun together, going places and doing things, but she can't keep a dog in her apartment, and I can't keep an extra dog.   That is a problem living in the city, it limits my options - but it does keep me from "collecting" dogs. 

I don't believe a person should keep more dogs than they can give individual attention to.  (Oops, bad sentence structure, but it's MY blog!)  It's more than just feeding, bathing and exercising a dog.  Dogs need individual companionship and attention too, the proverbial "quality time".  They thrive on that.  Too many show people keep too many dogs.  If a dog is not being kept to show or breed, it probably needs a home of it's own, where it can be a special dog, not just one of the dogs.  BUT if I were not a city person, I'd probably keep Letty anyway, just because she's such a cool dog!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blog Maintenance

As you've probably noticed, my blog loads very slowly.  I presume that's because of all the pictures it contains.  Although only a fraction of the posts load at one time, it seems as if all the pictures along the left side of the blog load when the blog comes up.  Can't think of anything else that would bog it down so much.  Blogspot keeps changing, and I have not kept up with it, so everything takes a long time to figure out or accomplish.  Time, that's always the issue.  Taking the time to sit down and work through something.

Last night I was supposed to finish a puppy flyer, but instead I spent an hour taking pictures off this blog.  Amazing how many pictures I've loaded over the years.  I kept stopping to look at pictures and think about the dogs, fish, and events they portrayed.  Memories! 

Remember when we used our Instamatics and little Brownie Hawkeyes and all the little point-and-shoots that came out over the years?  And how expensive it was to take pictures, to buy the film and have the roll developed?  And how often the roll of 24 might contain only 3 or 4 good shots - if we were lucky.  Pictures were fun, but we took them sparingly, and when we came back from vacation, it cost us a ton to get the pictures developed so we could see what we had.

And now we know immediately what we have.  Everyone has a digital camera or two, and probably a cell phone camera too.  My current digital camera is my 5th, yet I still remember finding a digital camera years ago and being so disappointed when the owner showed up to claim it.  They were expensive back then.  Now you can take digital pictures for a few dollars. 

My current camera is the best one I've had, and even came with a wonderful zoom, something I always wanted on a digital camera.  And what do I do?  I take the vast majority of my pictures with my cell phone.  It's always with me, and takes great pictures.  I never print the pictures, although I do add a few to Facebook or my blog, but my pictures are always with me, rather than in an album, or a box or in my computer, and I like that.

About 100 pictures got deleted off the blog last night, and I'll remove a few more tonight.  Hopefully it loads faster now, and hopefully I get my puppy flyer finished tonight too!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fish Today!

Although I normally include dogs in my Blog, my other passion is tropical fish - all kinds of tropical fish.  Some fishkeepers are content with a single tank of fish, while others of us crave LOTS of fish.  Some keep many tanks of cichlids, or livebearers, or just angelfish or swordtails.  Others of us are fish generalists - we like all kinds of fish.

One of my favorites are Desert Gobies.  Small strange looking fish who hop around the bottom of their tank, the handsome males showing off for the drab females or displaying for one another.  Their aggression is mostly for show, but displaying males are incredibly beautiful - in a strange way.   I've kept and bred them in the past, and decided that I needed them again.

Gobies are one of the largest fish families, with thousands of species living in fresh, brackish or salt water.  Many are very comical looking fish, like the Desert Gobies.  I've kept a number of different Goby species but my favorites are the Desert Gobies because they are so comical to watch and easy to keep & breed.

My Gobies will arrive today, USPS willing, and I'll pick them up at the Post Office rather than having them delivered to my home.  Just a bit easier on the fish, and I'll be able to get the acclimation process started this noon.  Fish ship well, and these are coming from an experienced dealer, so hopefully they arrive safely.  And hopefully there will be both males and females.  These will be very young fish, a bit too young to sex reliably.

Arriving with the 4 Desert Gobies will be 4 young Knight Gobies, a very handsome species that has rarely been bred in captivity.  This will be my challenge for next winter, trying to get the Knight Gobies to spawn.  The harder part will probably be keeping the tiny fry alive.

I'm also getting 3 Panda Garras.  Cute striped loach-like fish.  I currently have one of them, and he's such a neat little guy I decided to purchase more.  I originally owned 3 of these cute little rascals, but learned the hard way that they are jumpers, and quickly throw themselves out of an uncovered tank, only to dry up on the floor . . .

Monday, May 21, 2012


Patti has been sending me wonderful pictures of Lucy's puppies.  Not as good as seeing them in person, but it allows me to share their cuteness!  Am really looking forward to meeting them in person - sure hope one of these brownie boys is a keeper.  Am assuming the Pellas will keep the black-spotted girl who looks like Lucy, but Patti is committed to keeping the best pup, whichever one that might be.  Looks as if there may be several "best" puppies.  So far, so good.

This litter may be the most socialized ever!  They're already making car trips to visit Patti's elderly family members - baby Therapy Dogs in the making.  Patti understands the importance of doing as much as possible with these pups, to insure they have the best chance to grow up as outgoing, secure, adaptable adult companions.  This is one of the major difference between puppies raised by responsible breeders, as opposed to pups that are commercially raised in bleak surroundings.  As with children, early experiences (or lack of same) make an enormous difference.

 Patti says -

They remind me of kids, the things they most like to play with are empty water bottles and boxes!!! When we got home we changed up the puppy room, Sue suggested moving a crate into the room to get the puppies used to it. We will bring a wire crate in too so that they get used to that too. We got them little collars as well, won't have them on when we aren't with them but Grace was anxious to get them and they do make them look so grown up!

 As you can see from the pictures, the puppies did amazingly well, they loved meeting our family, snuggled right into the laps of everyone and they really brought smiles to the faces of our family on a grey, rainy day....GOOD PUPPIES!!!!

 They are just so good! We are spending time with them one on one as well, it seems three sleep and one wakes up so whomever that is plays with the big dogs....tonight Christopher was exploring the dining room and the bedroom we are building for our boys! He loves to be snuggled but also demonstrated a lot of curiosity and confidence away from his littermates.

 Captain Rex is gorgeous, eye and nose trim coming really nicely and moves like a dream, he is kind and sweet and loves to snuggle and play, he comes when you call his name and thinks puppy food is the best!!! and he poops on the paper....good, good puppy...then there is the saucy Miss Jordyn....gosh she's pretty and the first to start the play by biting someone's ears or toes, she loves the toys and was the first to try out the new tunnel and crate...definitely a leader in that girl! Then there is Magic...what a guy, he loves to hang out with Uncle Kobe and chase balls, he is spunky and funny and very, very sweet....and what a face!!!