Friday, May 3, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

Writer's block and a lack of time . . .

Excuses, excuses.  The posting that I started several days ago remains unfinished.  I need to buckle down and write, but there are always other things to be done, and I try to keep writing from becoming a chore.  Good thing I've never attempted to write as a career - life on the streets would be tough!

I'll be so glad when Fern is out of season.  Argus has been "good", no howling or frantic behavior, no digging at doors or destructive behavior of any kind, but he's not my dog right now and I want my dog back.  He walks around with a mournful expression, sometimes shaking, often talking to himself.  He KNOWS it is time to breed Fern, and he can't understand why I am being so stubborn.  Explaining that she is his granddaughter, and too young to breed anyway, is meaningless to him.  He only knows what his instincts tell him - that it's time to make puppies.  Sorry buddy.  Yesterday he went on a hunger strike, something he rarely does.  He nibbled a bit of chicken, and took a few treats, but would not eat his meals.  This morning I lost my patience and force fed him ground beef, rice & cooked kale.  It's a little messy, but only took a couple of minutes, and Watson was more than willing to clean up the crumbs.

Sunday is Coursing, and Argus, Josie and Meribel need to qualify just once more to get their coursing titles.  It will be cold and muddy, but I'm sure the girls won't mind and will run well despite the conditions.  Not so sure about Argus.  Will he run, or will he stop and sniff, looking for girls?  He ran well last time out, but was not distracted by "more important matters".  Wish I'd had a place to board Fern for the past week, but it was not to be.  So we'll hope once he gets away from home, he will forget about Fern for awhile.  In a few more days she will be going out of season, but of course it will take a few extra days to convince Argus of that.

Snowing, yet again.  Will it never end?

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's THAT Time Again

I'll have to be more organized in the mornings if I want to Blog before going to work.  Fern Louise is finally in season (almost 11 months old) and moved to the basement on Sunday when Argus informed me that she needed to be bred, and SOON.  (No, I don't plan to breed her, despite Argus's suggestion!)  Good dog Argus, very sensible until day 11 - then he lost it and walks around moaning softly (no howling yet, thank goodness).  I really should have moved her down the previous day.   It's easier here if girls in season move to the basement and get hand walked, as it's the smell when they pee that really triggers the strong responses from the boys.  So now she gets 3 or 4 walks and 1 bike trip a day, for the next week or so.  Takes a big chunk out of my mornings, but I love the early morning walks.  I've been biking Fern for a mile every evening and it's already helping a lot with her gaiting as she much more likely to trot than to pace when we do our walks.  Goal is to start showing her in June.

Busy weekend with Horse Expo on Saturday - I have no particular interest in horses, except that I like to watch them, and study the differences between the breeds.  I also enjoy evaluating their structure, and trying to decide why they move the way they do.  Couldn't believe the crowds, all the concession stands and all the food stands.  Did people go to look at horses, shop, or eat?  From the look of them, many must have come strictly to eat.

Later in the day Argus and Max went to Hidden Falls Park, where I discovered that Max loved the water, and particularly enjoyed retrieving sticks.  He was fanatic about doing that, even though is tennis ball retrieving is rather hit and miss.  Water and sticks seems to be the thing for him.  Poor Argus got his leash attached to a tree so he couldn't sneak off to say Hi to other dogs and passersby.

I made it up to Argus on Sunday, when I took him went to the Dog Park where he ran hard and sniffed even more.  I had worried that his obsessed frame of mind would lead to mounting behavior with other dogs, but he was his perfect gentlemanly self there, and minded his manners.  He really seemed to enjoy having some special time without being harassed by his granddaughter and son who try to make his life miserable.

A picnic on the deck with Ron and my mom was a great way to finish up a lovely weekend.  Weather could hardly have been better, and hamburgers, potato salad and 3-bean salad (actually 5-bean with my recipe) were even better eaten in the sunshine, on the deck, with family.