Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 30

Still debating going in for a tetanus shot, but was able to bear the shower, so decided to go in to work. The skin is flapped over, so not too bad a shape.
The temp was cool again and I spent a bit of time with the fuzzy kids before leaving. It is supposed to be even cooler tomorrow... Maybe I should take the day off and go carting? heh....
Ron tells me there is a Renn Fair not too far away, so I'm thinking of going to check it out. Jim and I have dediced that this weekend is really not a good time to go down to NC, even though the extra day would help. So we are thinking of taking Demon and Yukon in to update their shots instead of in two more weeks. With that in mind, we may go to a party Saturday night as well. Meet more of the locals and all. Sounds like a good time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

June 29

Nice and cool this morning! Why is it always perfect carting weather when I have to work?
Temp was 58 degrees and 30% humidity... sigh.
Dogs were all happy and playful this morning, so I went outside with them and played 'chase me' for a bit with them.
Samantha has gotten very playful and even played with Freya over the weekend.

Over the weekend, I watched Bolt on the wall screen with the dogs. I'm not sure what Demon and Yukon were thinking, but every time the dog barked or made dog noises, they would get up and run in to Jim's room (behind the TV on the wall) trying to find Bolt. It was sooo funny I couldn't help but laugh my guts out every time they jumped up to run in to Jim's room.
Played with the dogs a bit after work then helped Jim take a small fridge down to the barn to store. While pulling the door shut, a piece of metal caught my heel and ripped it open down to the pad.. owie! The dogs all clustered around me, making sure I was going to be ok, and with G'Kar in the lead, Jim and James helped me back up the hill as I left a trail of red behind me. The dogs spread around me as if to guard me from any other attack, and we all made our way back to the porch. It was painful, but heartening to see how much my dogs care about my well being. They all kept coming to me, and wanting to reassure me, even old Valkrys stuck close to my side as I cleaned up the wound and bandaged it. Did I mention soap in the wound? Ow! And the Bactine to ensure no absess... That stuff hurts worse than soap. I was more than ready to turn in when I was done.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Short training run

<-Samantha enjoys a nap in the air Conditioning

Took a short training run yesterday before dawn when it was 63 degrees. As soon as I put the harnesses on them they were whining and running to the gate and back eager to go. Two of the tires were low on the cart, so we had to pause to pump them up first.

This time I rode in the cart and had James keep up as best he can. I had to hold the brake to keep them from running too fast. All went great up until we rounded the corner after the bridge, then Yukon realized we were further than he had gone before and wasn't sure what to do, so he stopped and started sniffing around. The other dogs tried to follow, so I set the park break and untangled the lines. Trying to instill in the dogs not to chase squirrels while in harness is a challenge, but they are slowly getting the idea.

On the way back I had to stop twice to get the dogs re-focused, but once they figured it out, they went well and we got all the way back without another incident. Demon, my boy though, thought he would try to visit with me while running, so kept looking back to me with his tug line slack. Ah well, they were good dogs and did great, so I made sure they had a rub down even though we didn't work them hard, it has been a couple of weeks since it was cool enough to run.

The dogs were so excited and exuberant about being able to run, after getting a good long drink of water, a treat and a rubdown, they began chasing eachother across the yard.

Samantha now thinks she owns my couch. She sat for a couple of movies between Jim and I after I finished mowing the grass in the back and side yard down to the bridge. It got pretty hot in the afternoon, so all the dogs were in the house. Demon has gotten it in his head that his place is at my feet and no other dog belongs there. He growls at the other dogs when they try to sit near me on the floor. Though I'm glad he has gotten some courage back from his ordeal, I've had to chastise him several times for growling. He has not snapped at any of the other dogs, but without correction it could get worse, so nipping this one in the bud.

Friday, June 26, 2009

June 26

Woke up to the sound of thunder at 3am, an electric storm was still a few miles out, but it was already lighting up the night. Went and got the boys indoors just as lightning started striking everywhere. Power was fluctuating wildly and thunder shook the house almost constantly. I thought I could bring the boys in to my room, but no sooner had I done so than Yukon marks my chair... :(
James was awake, so I got him up and asked him to clean the floor in my room after I soaked up the musk and watched the boys while they were in the dining room. Guess I will need to train them one at a time to be in my room without marking. G'kar, Freya and Samantha normally sleep in my room sometimes with Valkrys, so I guess the smell of the other dogs was a bit much on their instincts.
The storm was over in about thirty minutes, so I packed the girls back in my room and let the boys back outside and both James and I went back to sleep.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 25

<- Samantha enjoys a good bellyrub
Haven't had an incident with Samantha in almost a month. Though she still growls at G'kar and occasionally Freya, there haven't been any tussels at all. They all seem to be adjusting well to their new life with us, and they all enjoy the air conditioning. The boys have been very good indoors and not even an attempt to sniff corners in the last couple days.
I did have to keep Yukon from chewing up Valkrys' bed. It is an extra-large dog pillow, and Yukon had begun to pull the trim off it. Instead I let him chew on the Kong ball, which he really enjoyed playing with. Today I have half a day off, so I intend to get in a bit of commands training with him or Samantha.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 24

<-Couch potato dog
Was nice and cool this morning at 65 degrees. Man I wish I didn't have to work. It would have been perfect weather for a training run.... sigh. Ah well, have to pay the bills...
At least the dogs were having fun and playful in the cooler weather as they romped about the yard while I got ready for work. As I put my shoes on outside and came inside, they all followed me in, so I got my son up to watch them and tried to convince him that he and dad could hook up the dogs today with the weather cooperative enough. not sure how that panned out, but probably didn't happen.

June 23

<-Freya the couch potato
Long frustrating day at work, but it was worth it to come home to the fuzzies. Freya loved her being allowed on the couch when the blanket was there as you can see by the large grin on her face.
All the pups were in watching TV with dad.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22

bleary-eyed tired. It's going to be a long day. Valkrys had a mishap (at 18 years old, it's bound to happen), so I had to put down some paper towels to soak it up before cleaning it up. Hot and muggy, humidity guage is showing 80% though the temp is only around 78. They boys are more than eager to get inside and out of the humidity, even Demon. Freya tries to come back in before doing her business outside, so I make sure she goes off the porch and relieves herself first. Since it is already hot and humid with the dogs inside, and I have to go to work, I wake up James to watch the dogs to make sure they don't mark.

While I go get them some toys from my room for the dogs to play with, Yukon marks a box we have as a barrier to keep them in the dining area. James was with him...sigh... So, he gets to clean it up.

All the dogs come in to the den when I was putting my shoes on. Jim woke up and came to sit across from me on the corner. All the dogs clustered between us and they all licked Jim, even shy Demon and Freya. Jim was very happy the dogs came to him. Freya kept poking him with her nose to keep him petting her.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 21

<-Samantha and Demon sadly watch me leave for work.
up at 6:30... groan... Dogs need to go out though, so I let them out and wake my son up to socialize with them and make sure they are fed, then back to sleep. Awake again at 9:30...sigh. Sometimes being a morning person is a bad thing. Though I desperately need a couple more hours of sleep, I know it is futile to try.
The dogs are overjoyed to see me, and smother me with husky kisses. It is already eighty-seven degrees and the humidity is close to seventy five, so I coax them all indoors (Demon is still a bit unsure of being inside, but the rest trot in gratefully) and shut the door behind them. This time Demon doesn't seem to mind that I shut the door and happily lays down with his chin on my knee as I pet him. The others jostle each other around, vying for their turn at petting, even G'kar and Valkrys dive in to the press of furry bodies. I get the feeling they missed me yesterday, and I feel well loved. Unfortunately though, I have to leave to head back in to work. One of our servers is down, and though it is still running on the active, our redundancy is lost which is a potentially bad situation. So after an hour of socializing and eating my breakfast, I packed off and left for work.
Long day in the frigid data center! I swear I had hypothermia! Got home at 10pm and socialized with the pups before crashing.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

June 20

Tornado touched down in Frankfort at 0530, and I got up and got the dogs inside just before the storm hit. Downdraft wreaked havoc and lightning was everywhere, but no damage on my land, thank goodness. Yukon kept finding things to chew on, and I kept taking them away and giving him more appropriate things to chew on. Yukon did not want to play with dog toys, he wanted to play with people toys and kept taking my map printout to the campus I was to take my son to later on. While I was retrieving my map from him for the third time, Demon snuck around behind me and managed to hijack one of my socks and rip the heel out of it... Ah well... I got the socks back and the map, and finally decided that the storm had passed long enough to let them back out before they got in to more trouble.

Spent 5 hours with my son looking at the campus, talking to some students and a ciriculum planner. Tuition is very high there, so not sure about that one.

Spent a couple hours playing with the dogs, petting and grooming them. I've combed enough husky hair to make a cashmere sweater. Their undercoat fur is so soft, it is a wonder it isn't a prized wool. Often I'm tempted to bag it all up and take it to a friend who makes their own yarn. Maybe next year? The thought of having a husky wool cap for the winter intrigues me. The good news is that both Demon and Yukon are in their much cooler summer coats now, and they both look much happier. They have both learned that air conditioning is the best thing since sliced meat, and both eagerly wait at the door to come in when the temps start to go up. Freya has decided she is now an indoor dog, and has come one hundred eighty degrees from the shy feral pup she was when we got her. She now cozies up to all of us, begging for pettins whenever possible. Jim is very happy that she even comes to him for petting. What a great bunch of dogs!

Though Samantha occasionally growls and puts her ruff up when they play near her now, there have been no further incidents since the tussle with Freya. All the fuzzy kids seem to have adjusted in to their new home.

Didn't make it home until close to 3am from work... very tired. Spent half an hour with the fuzzies to make sure they felt loved and that mommy had indeed returned. Then went to bed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19

Hot and muggy already this morning, so let Demon and Yukon in for some relief in the cool AC. Yukon laid down and dozed in the middle of the dining room. Demon followed me around looking for handouts as I made my breakfast after feeding them their biscuits. Dog days are upon us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

June 18

<- G'kar poses for a photo

Jim was up this morning, not feeling well, so he laid down in the dining room near the door to the porch. The boys came in past him, Demon seeming much less intimidated while Jim was lying down.
Freya was still eating her biscuit, so Demon went back out, laid down next to her then tried to roll over her to get her to leave him the biscuit. Freya would have none of that, kept growling at him. I could just hear her saying "Cut it out, Demon! It's not going to work so just stop it!" She kept grabbing the biscuit and turning her back to him as she growled. Goofball Demon still kept trying to roll over her, but kept getting stuck upside down, and rolling his head around trying to see where Freya was hiding the biscuit. He looked so silly! When Freya finally finished her biscuit, she jumped on him and nipped his face, and they began to play. Samantha thought that was cool, and tried to entice Yukon in to playing with her, but Yukon was busy getting his belly rubbed. G'kar kept nudging me on my right to get his petting, much less growling at the other dogs, more indignant snorts when Freya bit his nose playfully. Seeing that G'kar was not being any fun at all, she went back outside and played with Demon.

Went to the drug store after work to pick up Jim's perscriptions and they didn't have one of the three, but had the two he needed. Got my alergy meds, then drove down to the Kroger to pick up beer and dinner (we live in a dry county, so have to pick it up on the way home or make a special trip in to Lexington if I want any alcohol. While packing my stuff in the car, I hear a bunch of honks, look up in time to see a fender bender... So was delayed from going home about an hour and a half. The pups were mighty glad to see me though, and I spent time with them after changing out of my work clothes. Yukon Demon and Freya sat in the den with me watching a movie until just before bed-time when I let them out after Freya started sniffing around the door. When Freya and Samantha had done their business it was off to bed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 17

<-Samantha and Jim (Early April photo)
Samantha played with me this morning. Not just paws, but dancing around, and regular doggie play! This is the first time I've seen her do it, and it makes me happy she is lightening up. However, she did get annoyed at Freya when she joined in the play and Samantha put her chin firmly on the puppy's back growling with her ruff up. I chastized her before Freya got annoyed, and Samantha gave me the sorry puppy eyes.
After breakfast she stayed indoors with me and followed me back to my room. Freya decided to stay outdoors this morning.
On the way to work, I came upon a loose bull about the same time the owner came by, so I helped try to get the bull back in the pasture he was supposed to be in, which made me barely scrape in on time at work. Fortunately half the guys I work with are ranchers and cattlemen, so they have no issue with taking time out to help a neighbor recover a lost cow.
It was 92 degrees, and the pups were inside when I got home. Yukon and Freya seem to enjoy the cool airconditioning, but Demon is still skittish indoors. He's getting better though. Samantha seems to be getting over her adjustment/insecurity and has begun playing with Yukon regularly, and though she and G'kar still growl at each other occasionally it doesn't seem as serious as it was before. They are just annoy growls instead of full throat threats. It has been too hot to run them the last couple of weeks, and looks to be a really hot Friday, but supposed to cool off on Saturday. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

June 16

<- The brothers, Yukon and Demon
Freya again this morning, insisted on coming back inside after doing her business and while I was back on the computer for a bit after feeding them and myself. I thought I had payed enough attention to her prior to booting up, but apparently Freya didn't think so, and started up with the low howl. She has a surprisingly deep voice.
All the dogs came in last night for a visit, just in time as another severe thunderstorm rolled through. Yukon is getting quite comfortable in the house, but I did have to stop him from marking my vacuum cleaner. Demon is fine if Jim and James aren't moving around near him, and Freya is beginning to think she owns the place. Yukon will now come in the door and flop down in the middle of the dining room and just watch everything.
When the storms came through, we lost internet and sattelite tv, so we decided to watch a movie. Yukon came in to the den with us and sat at my feet fascinated by the moving pictures on the wall. My philosopher. I wonder what he was thinking? He sat for a good twenty minutes just watching before he decided he wanted to lay in the dining room and left us to the movie.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 15

<-This is my favorite pic of Freya, so typical of her.
After letting the dogs out and sitting with them, Freya decided she wanted to come inside, sitting at the door and begging to come in. My son was up using our 'free download' time on the satellite (2am-7am we don't get hit with bandwidth restrictions... satellite internet is lame in the extreme) and let her in. She promptly trotted her way to my room and laid down behind me while I was perusing the internet.
When I didn't pay enough attention to her, she started a low soft howl.... woooo. Wooooooo. A little more persistent until I couldn't stand the cuteness factor and went over to pet her. She sighed happily and started gnawing on the nylabone after a good long bellyrub. She is the cutest thing, and knows just how to tweak the 'aww isn't she sweet' reaction. She will be spoiled, of that there is no doubt.
When I got home, the dogs were muddy muddy muddy, and it was still raining. So, I changed in to my 'mud clothes' and went out to pet them and spend some time with them. Samantha and Yukon promptly gave me pawprints to remember, even before I sat down. Heh, going to have to get them not to jump on people. The boys kept shoving each other out of the way to get their pettings until Samantha got up and shoved them both out of the way, trying to stand on me like the queen of the hill. Gently, but firmly placing her paws back on the ground, I told her 'down', then pet her. She is a persistent cuss, but after the fifth time being told 'down', she finally relented and stopped stepping on me as a perch.
Jim had fixed me up a burrito, so I went inside to wash up and eat. The dogs were all sad-faced, but with all the mud on them, I was not about to let them trapse around the house. When I finished dinner, I went outside and played a bit with Freya, Demon and Yukon, and even Samantha played 'paws' with me. (This is where I grab her paw, and she slides it out and puts it on top of my hand. Kind of like doggy patty-cake, but the object is not to have your paw on the bottom.) It was the first time she seemed happy to play a game! I'm hoping that she is finally adjusting to her new home.
After a couple hours with the dogs, I went back inside, but Samantha and Freya insisted on coming in. Freya I convinced to wait outside, while I picked up Samantha and brought her to the bathroom for a bath. Unhappy puppy! But she sat through it without complaint, merely trying her best to circumnavigate my grip on her. When she was toweled as dry as a towel could get her, it was Freya's turn. Samantha was happy to be inside, and she looked so pretty with her white fur all white and not brownish mud colored. Freya was scared when we put her in the tub, and even though we reassured her and pet her, it was slightly traumatic for her. Toweling her dry, though, she began to feel better about the whole thing, and finally ate some treats.
Samantha was funny, she kept trying her hardest to crawl up on the couch, I mean really insistent! I finally hit on the idea she hated wet fur on her belly and wanted to be someplace warm and dry, so I got a dry towel, sat with her and wrapped her in it, rubbing her belly with the towel. This made Samantha happy, and she curled up next to me on the floor wrapped in the towel. What an odd dog. lol. Freya too seemed to not like wet belly fur, so I wrapped her in a towel and she sighed happily and fell asleep. How much like little kids they are sometimes.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14 Some dogs are born knowing how to beg.

<- Samantha gives Jim the puppy eyes. Who can resist that face?

Muggy day today, and it even started out too warm to run the dogs. Around 11 we brought them in for a bit of relief from the heat and for a bit of ice cream. Around 1pm it started to cloud over and cool off a bit, so I let them back out.

Around 5pm, a very nasty storm began to roll through, so we brought them in again. We were under another storm warning and tornado watch, so I gathered the pups and sat with them while the storm blew over and we listened to the weather radio.

June 13th

Took Freya in for her full exam and shots. She weighed 47.1 pounds! Seven months! She's going to be a bigun like her father when she's finished growing. She was a very good puppy, not complaining once, but she was scared the whole time. I held her and the vet was very gentle and good with her. I like this vet. Having a bad experience with one in Maryland, I'm very careful and picky about who I let handle my dogs, but was well pleased with the way these folks handled Freya knowing she was very skittish.

Of course, having her shots, Freya was not feeling very well the rest of the day, so I sat with her for the majority of it, while I fixed the ropes. My hands and arms were cramped from re-working the ends, but I'm pretty sure these fixed ends will last for the lifetime of the rope.

I did a little bit of lawn mowing while my son sat with Freya, man it was hot and humid. I was soaked in sweat by the time I finished the front yard. Tired, hot and thirsty, I came in for a rest and to finish the ropes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12th

Still cloudy, but really neat to watch the steam rise up from the mountain forest. It looks like the trees are breathing. There's more rain in the forecast. I really need to finish my stone path before the whole back yard becomes a mud pit.
Samantha and Freya are starting to have some sort of rivalry going, sort of the way Samantha acts with G'kar, ruffs up and growls when they come face to face. A quick reprimand stops the demonstration, but it is worrisome. Samantha wants to be in charge of everything, including me, and the boys and Valkrys let her. Freya, on the other hand, won't put up with it any more, and G'kar has been king for far too long to let some young upstart rule his house. I'm hoping it will remain as just small demonstrations of dominance and never come to really bloody fights. I curtail the growling and posturing when I'm around, but not sure how much the dogs will listen to James or Jim if they really feel cranky. I'm hoping I won't have to separate out Samantha, but it is a distinct possibility. All the other dogs get along very well now. She seems to be the only one still making waves. I try to give her lots of attention, knowing that she was cooped up away from people for so long breaks my heart and makes me think this is a lot of the reason why she is acting up. She wants all my love and attention to herself. She's hoarding me, so to speak. She's fine with the other dogs when I am petting her, but growls at them when I'm not. I hope this phase won't last long, and when she realizes we are not going to leave her, that she will settle down and enjoy life again. Right now, she doesn't play with the other dogs, though she will occasionally gnaw on the nylabones.
Even G'kar plays with the young dogs now, but Samantha gets annoyed if they play near her. We do have to separate Samantha from the other dogs when they are playful, and it is kind of sad, but she doesn't mind if she gets to spend time with the people. I just wish she would play nicely with the others.
She is a very hard worker though, and my strongest puller. She is our current lead dog who is training Yukon. They make a great leader team, and they get along very well. Demon and Freya run together very well and seem very happy to be running side by side, so it is very likely that they will stay a mid or wheel team, although I'd like to train Freya up to be able to take lead every once in a while. She has the stuff and makings of a real leader and has a LOT of heart! I am very pleased with the high quality of dogs we have so far!
Weather was great for a training run, so I burned some comp time and headed home. Grabbed a bite to eat and hooked up the team. The dogs and my son were rearing to go, so I told him to let them go, and keep going, no turning at the bridge, we would go up and around down the side street as far as it goes. The dogs were ecstatic to be allowed to run, but my son was unprepared for their speed. He made it almost to the bridge before he nearly crashed the cart, thank goodness we use flexible nylon rope, but the ends were not up to the challenge, and two of the metal ends came undone.... sigh...
The dogs were good and stopped immediately, but as soon as Yukon and Freya figured out they were free, off they flew!... Good thing we live way out in the country... Handing the disconnected leads for Samantha and Demon to James, I ran after our wayward explorers. The land they decided to explore is mostly vacant. There is about a hundred acres of woodlands with a couple of deer-clover coveys planted by the owner who only comes there to tend his feeders and hunt during hunting season. It is full of wildlife and especially the deer Yukon has been hankering to chase, so off he chased. Freya, bless her little heart, followed her lead dog. So I followed them, albeit much more slowly.
I tracked them up the side of the mountain, and was able to call Freya to me. She was a very good puppy and came when I called. I petted and praised her, and led her back to where James was coming back down the road. Handing her to him, I hiked back up the mountain calling out for Yukon. I tracked him to the top of a rocky clearing, and lost his trail, but there were only two ways to go once he hit the river on the other side of the ridge. Calling for him, and figuring he would head towards what was more familiar than less so, I turned right and followed the ridgeline so I could see down both sides. It was beautiful countryside, thick forest rich in the scent of decaying leaves, strewn by moss covered rocks.
As I suspected, Yukon had turned right as well, and ran all the way back to the hunter's cabin, then up the dirt road. Hearing me calling, he ran up the mountainside to me off from the dirt road. What a good boy! Again I praised and petted him for coming to me, then led him down to the road and trotted with him back to the house.
The rest of the day I spent re-engineering the rope connections to the swivel snaps. Looping the rope ends around the snap end, I then wrapped sinew around them to keep the end tight, then wrapped them in leather strips and sewed it all together. If that comes undone, I'll buy something different to work with...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

June 11

<- Freya and her biscuit
Got home very late last night from work (11pm), so didn't get much socializing in before bed, but I did have to see my new family members before going to sleep.

Somtime after 4:30am, lightning lit up my whole room and thunder shook the house almost simultaneously. I woke up like a shot, thinking "OMG, the boys are out in this!" I threw on my sweats and went to the door, both boys were waiting for me and came in immediately. They completely ignore the igloo dog house and the wood shelter, preferring the rugs on the covered porch where they can be close to the door and still sheltered from the wind, rain and lightning.

The storm wakes even my son up, heh, and I swore it would take an atomic bomb to wake him. We both sit with the dogs while the worst of the storm blows over, then go out on the porch to get their morning treats of biscuits and a dental treat each. All except for picky Valkrys who won't touch either. Samantha gobbles up hers and comes over and promptly steals Freya's who was licking her back paw instead of eating her biscuit. I checked her paw, and in-between her toes, but there didn't seem to be any reason for her licking. My son gave her another biscuit, which she promptly dropped and laid on it. Freya is a funny little pup. She won't eat her biscuit until all the other dogs are finished and gathered around her, then she will eat it very slowly, as if teasing them.
The boys like being indoors when it is storming, and Demon cuddles very close so I can rub his belly and he can lick my face. Yukon nudges me to get his morning hug and luvins, then flops down for a belly rub. He smiles so widely, and it is so noticeable when he is smiling. When the rain dies down and the lightning seems to have gone far away, they slowly trickle out the back door to go do their business. With a sigh I realize it is already time to get ready for work.
Got home and Jim had dinner ready. :) I like the salad he makes with chopped up chicken nuggets, ranch dressing, romaine lettuce, carrots, cabbage and bacon bits. It ain't fancy, but it's good. It is especially good when he soaks the nuggets in tobasco sauce first. After eating, James and I take the four pack for a long walk as we watch the gathering of a very nasty looking storm.
True to its looks, the sky begins to turn green. For anyone who has lived in tornado prone areas, this is a major red flag warning! I try to get all the dogs inside, and they all gather close except skittish Demon. He shys away from the door and almost runs off the porch when it starts to hail stones about two inches across. I close the door so the other dogs stay inside and go get him, picking him up and carrying him inside as fast as possible. Man he has put on weight! This is great news to me, but not for my ability to carry him. When I got him, he was maybe twenty to twenty-five pounds... I kid you not! He was nearly starved to death, all bones, but he must have been close to fifty pounds when I carried him in last night. I'll find out next week when I take him in for his shots.
The wind howls outside like a banshee, and the trees are bent double, there is a roaring in the sky and I hunker down with the dogs in case it is a funnel cloud. Demon cuddles very close, shaking at first, but then begins to relax as I pet him and hug him back. All the dogs are clustered very tightly to me, sensing the bad weather and wanting to be safe where mommy is. After about twenty minutes the hail stops, and the lightning has moved on. The winds have all but vanished, and we emerge unscathed from whatever near miss that was.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 10

<- Samantha lays down by my socks.

It's cloudy when I get up, and when I go sit with the dogs I can hear thunder in the distance. Freya insists on laying on my lap, and Samantha cuddles up to my right and Demon on my left. Yukon puts his head between me and Freya for his hug and pettin's. I'm very happy with Samantha's clean bill of health. There is much relief, and I'm guessing her stuffed up nose is either just a reaction to all the pollen in the air or a doggy cold. Freya will get her turn at the vet's Saturday for her 6 month boosters. Next paycheck will be Yukon and Demon. In another month, we will probably get Demon neutered. He will make a great pet as well as a pulling dog, but due to his shaggy fur, heavy bone structure, semi-floppy ears and extreme skittishness, he is not a good breeding prospect. Once he's recovered, though, I may want to weight pull train him. With his heavily muscled and thick bone structure, he would probably do very well.

<-Demon's floppy ears actually makes for great expressiveness and an inherantly 'cute and cuddly' look.

Demon is also shedding very heavily and petting his back, you can tell his summer coat is much much thinner than his winter coat was. All that soft, fuzzy, downy fur covers the rug and the porch, almost like snow. Demon is a silly dog, and jumps and bites at the motes of flying fur. He bites and tries to eat the clumps if I comb them off him or any of the other dogs. Silly, silly goofball! He is such a happy go-lucky dog when he isn't being scared of something. In fact, I'm almost convinced his 'shyness' is only an act, or a game he plays. He is so different from his stoic brother Yukon the philosopher. Yukon has his bit of fun once in a while, but for the most part sits and thinks. Most of the time I wish he could speak to tell me what he's thinking about. He's a very smart dog and learns things incredibly quickly. I think he will be one awesome lead dog.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

June 9th

Up early hearing Yukon bark and Demon howl outside at 4:30am. I get dressed and go see what's up. The boys are back on the porch as soon as I open the door, but I can still hear some hound dogs up the hill baying at something. Evidently it was not nearly as important as giving me a face washing, so I shrug and sit down on the carpet with the fuzzy kids. Freya lays on my right this morning, and Yukon on my left. Demon tries to stick his nose between me and both of them, alternating sides, and Samantha lays down front and center, pawing at me to get my attention. G'kar runs to do his business, then circles around trying to get in his petting.

Valkrys just avoids the morass of living fur, and stays down in the yard for a time. When the boys are satisfied with their morning luvin's I ask them if it is 'Bone time'. Ears perk up, eyes shine and the dance ensues. I walk over to the storage bin, and pull out the biscuits one by one. First is Samantha, she won't get out of the way until she gets hers, and growls at all comers. But once she has her bone, she drops to the rear and ravenously devours it. Next is Yukon, who takes off with his to the outer porch, then G'kar who takes his back in to the house, then Demon, who flops down immediately and begins munching, and then Freya, who mouthes hers a bit, then drops it and flops down next to it until she spies G'kar's bone just inside the door and unattended. Sneakily as possible for a forty pound puppy, she reaches inside the door and snatches G'Kar's biscuit. I give her biscuit to G'kar, who walks inside the door and drops it again. Freya the sneak-thief snags it when G'kar goes to see if Yukon is done. Meanwhile, Samantha has lapped up all her crumbs and is scavenging. She sees Freya's now unattended bone while Freya is busy gnawing on G'kar's. Triumphantly Samantha snatches up the biscuit and obsconds with it.

While they are all munching, I give Valkrys her peanut treats, since she won't eat a biscuit. Too many of the other dogs see me give her the peanut treats, so I have to give each of them one, and a couple extra to Valkrys.

With the dogs taken care of, I try to get in a bit more sleep to no avail. Once I'm up, I'm up for the day... It is only a rare occasion that I can get any more sleep. At least I tried. So, I get up, get on the computer for a bit, get ready then go off to work.

I took Jim's car in today as he is taking Samantha to the vet, then getting an oil change for my truck. Samantha will get a full exam, heartworm test and shots up to date, Freya will get hers in the next day or two. Next paycheck it will be Demon and Yukon. Valkrys and G'kar were up to date before we left North Carolina. This is the last month to pay on the fence, and three more months on the truck left. We should be in good shape by the end of the summer and better shape in the fall.

Word from the vet is good. Samantha is still in excellent shape and thankfully is not pregnant from before we picked her up (she was in heat when we got her). Her filling in is probably too many snacks (tap the ground looking at Jim who is more of a sucker for a pretty face and puppy eyes than me). Being ornery, the vet seems to think it may be the warm temperatures and the fact she hasn't blown her winter coat yet. That's a definite relief, and might be a pointer to getting her more involved in training indoors to take her mind off dominating the other dogs. Agility training might do her a world of good, but the re-training of her mushing commands comes first. Thankfully there are some wonderful articles out there that have provided some very useful training ideas.
Samantha is a bit clingy when I get home, but who can blame her? A full regimen of shots would make me want some comfort too. The boys are happy to see me and greet me at the gate, then eagerly wait while I change out of my work clothes and go sit with them. It is pretty hot, near 87 degrees, so after sitting with them, I try to coax them indoors. Yukon and Freya come in, but Demon won't, so after a few minutes I close the door and sit with Yukon, Freya and Samantha. G'kar and Valkrys come by for the occasional petting. The humidity is high and my elbow aches. There will be rain.

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 8th

The fab 4 (G'kar, Valkrys, Freya, and Samantha) spent the night in my room peacefully last night. There was only a short time where Samantha sounded like she was stuffed up, but there were no growls or any ruffs up. G'kar, Samantha and Freya greeted me with howllo's when I shut off the alarm and dressed at 5am. It's very peaceful in the morning, with the last sounds of night and the first sounds of the day changing shift. The boys greet me with wet tongues, and Freya takes her usual place at my left. Samantha joins in the dog spit bath, and it's all I can do to keep them from getting my glasses and making me blind. It is a game of sorts, I think, and secretly Samantha waits until I lower my face just so she can get that lick in on my lenses. The boys just keep licking regardless of whether I tilt my head away.

They are good dogs though, and I already love them a whole lot after only a couple of short months. Their training is a bit slow though, since the cart has been broken for the last two weeks, and with the heat of summer settling in. I am very leary of overheating them since it is pretty obvious Demon and Yukon are northern bred huskies with very thick fur. Samantha has a much thinner coat and could probably deal well with the heat, much like G'kar who is obviously a southern born husky and has never shown signs of heat distress, even in ninety degree plus weather in NC, but he stayed indoors most of his life anyway.

Demon has blown most of the top half of his winter coat, but Yukon has barely started. I know I'd feel quite miserable in 80 plus weather in a winter coat! I've combed enough hair out of Demon to make three adult size dogs. His undercoat fur is so soft and downy, I sometimes think of curing it and currying it to make husky wool. I've never felt so soft an undercoat as his. He is so cuddly and soft, yeah I'm talking about the dog named Demon... heh... I didn't give him the name, and I really don't like changing a dog's name in the middle of his life either. But anyway, mischief is his middle name, so it kind of fits in a round-about way. Out of the corner of my eye I see him sneak in to the dining room, locate a dryer sheet sticking part-way out of the folded laundry, snag it and run out the door. All the while I can just hear the theme song from "Mission Impossible" running through his head.

He shakes it and brandishes his prize in front of his buddy Freya who promptly tries to take it from him. A game of 'Chase Me' ensues that even crusty old G'kar gets caught up in and they race back and forth across the yard yipping and growling and jumping over each other. It is so good to see them all getting along!

Work calls, though, so I turn away from the fun antics and get myself ready for the workweek.

Home and the pups all eagerly paw at the fence that keep them from me, and I go over and say hello to them before going inside. Shedding my hat, computer, water bottle, coffee cup and pack, I go out the back door to pet them. Coming back inside, I change into some clothes I don't mind getting all hairy and dirty, and go back outside to sit with them a while, then take them for a walk down to the bridge, back around by the sycamore, then back to the bridge and back to the house. The dogs love these little jaunts as they are allowed to sniff and run around, dig and play, which they aren't allowed to do in harness.

When we got back, the dogs rested for a bit, then it was chasing squirrels and general playtime in the back yard. Demon and Freya get in a play wrestling match which, being lighter, Freya loses, but not for long. Demon lets her up after pinning her, she nips his ear then runs like hell. Demon gives chase and the game is afoot. Round and round they race between the three trees and the small patch of woods, luring Yukon and G'kar into the game. They were all having great fun until Samantha decides to put a stop to all this noise-making and fun stuff. When Yukon pins Freya, Samantha stands on her stiff legged and snarls at her and the boys. Freya is not happy, and is about to fight back when I yell at Samantha. Pouting she lets the puppy up and Freya's hackles are raised. I tell her No. With a sigh and pinned back ears, Freya runs up the porch to me, and I pet her, letting her know I'm not mad at her. Samantha gets a squirt of water in the face for being bad, and she pouts some more. I wait for a time before petting her to let her know she did a bad thing.

Samantha comes in after dinner to sit with us while watching tv, and I pet her. She sighs in contentment and lays at my feet as I rub her ears. After about an hour, she asks to go out with a whine and a step or two towards the door. I oblige and let her out, hoping she won't mess with Freya again.

Getting ready for bed, I open the door for Samantha to come in, but she refuses. Is she still mad about the water in the face? She seems to be acting oddly these last few days and I'm wondering if she is either pregnant or sick. I shrug and go get Freya, pick her up and bring her in the house. Samantha follows me in and we all head to my room for the night.

June 7 Hot day

<- Demon and Samantha

Freya was supposed to have slept in Jim's room so she could socialize with him and get used to him. She apparently woke him up very early and he let her out. She was outside when I let Samantha, G'kar and Valkrys out at 5:40am. I sat with them for some time, enjoying the weather as it was still rather cool, but warming fast.

I started working on the path that will run from the west side of the porch to the east side of the enclosure where the trees are, and where the dogs like to hang out when not on or under the porch. The birds were singing, and I could identify the song of a red-wing blackbird, several different types of woodpecker, a finch, and a bird I wasn't sure of. There are three black walnut trees in my fenced yard middle that cover most of the back with a bit of shade, two of them look like they have been previously ravaged by lightning and woodpeckers. The third looks in decent condition, but it was the late bloomer, so not sure if it is as good as it looks. On the east side of the lawn, however, is a dense clump of woods with lots of shade. It is there that the dogs lie in wait for squirrels that have the misfortune of not seeing them.

Sometime around 8am, there was some critter running through the woods that I didn't see, but I could hear it. Samantha and the boys streaked to the fence like four ground cruise missiles. Samantha, my escape artist tried the fence here and there, and finally found another place where she could wriggle through... sigh... So, it was off to chase the dog again. Samantha is a special case and needed to recovered fast. She is a quick and vicious hunter, and the way she has been acting towards our other dogs, I wasn't sure how friendly she would be with some of the free-roaming neighbor dogs. But she was nice to the dog that used to live at our house (he was left by his previous owners long before we came to Kentucky and the people across the street took pity on him and kept him). He is what looks like a Chihuaua and pit bull/possibly boxer mix if you can imagine that. When she got out last time, she just sniffed noses with him. So, my biggest worry was chickens... Lord knows she'd probably get in to them if she could find them.

Fortunately she seemed more interested in stretching her legs than in hunting. She ran up and back, down the hill, up the hill, around the fence, back down the fence, out to the woods, back through the woods, around the fence, up the hill, down the hill, into the woods and finally came to me wagging her tail, tongue lolling and happy as could be. I praised her for coming when she was called, trotted with her back around the fence, up the hill, in to the gate, up on to the porch where she drank her fill, and my husband shut the porch gate to keep her up there and under the shade until I could fix the fence so she couldn't get out again.

Picking up seven rebar rods and the sledge, I hiked around the fence, reinforcing a couple of areas she may have been able to wriggle out given enough time, and then got to the place where she had wormed her way under the fence. Demon was busy trying to duplicate her effort, but couldn't figure out how she had wriggled through. Thanking him for showing me the spot, I put in the last two rebar there.

No sooner had I come back in the fence and let her off the porch, did she run down to the same spot and tried to wriggle out again to no avail. Thank goodness jumping the fence never occurred to her... She got a bit frustrated and began digging at the spot, so I picked up a large flat stone (about a 70lb rock) nearby, and put it on the spot she was digging. After ensuring she couldn't push it with her nose, she gave me this hurt look and stalked off.

Some time around noon, the temperature got above 85, it was time to bring in the dogs to the air conditioned home. Yukon was easy to coax in, Demon hid under the stairs, so I got Freya next, then finally got a hold of him, picked him up and carried him in. Neither of the boys was thrilled to wear a diaper... How can you blame them? I wouldn't want to wear one either... it was embarrassing, but Yukon bore it with dignity, Demon just shuddered by the back door not wanting to show his face. (Really though, it was the idea of being indoors. He and his brother had never been kept indoors, so he was considerably ill-at-ease in the house.)

A bowl of ice cream made them all feel better about being inside, and Demon, Freya and Samantha laid down by me where I sat with my back propped against the back door. Yukon, however, wanted to explore this strange new land (even though he'd been indoors before).

For four hours I sat and comforted Demon by the door, while he lay his shaggy head on my lap. He finally felt calm enough to sleep for a bit with his chin on my knee. He is so soft and cuddly, I find his name and his temperment quite the oxymoron. There were some good movies on, so other than being on the floor it wasn't really a hardship. By the time five o'clock rolled around, it began to cool off a bit and the humidity had gone from 70 down to 35%, so we let the dogs back out after removing the diapers. Both boys felt really good having been out of the heat for some time and they played for close to half an hour before hiding under the porch from the last rays of the sun. We live in a shallow mountain valley near the peaks, so the sun goes behind the hills around 8, but it is still light until close to 9:30. Samantha, G'kar, Valkrys and Freya curled up in my room and we all went to sleep around 10.

June 6 Heavenly Hill Top Railroad

<- Yep, 2 steam trains at a full 1/4 scale! Too Cool! And all within a mile of my house! I love this place!

So after the hike and long drive back, my husband thought it was his turn for some time out and about. Tired but in a good mood, I agreed, and we both decided to check out the Heavenly Hilltop Railroad. They put a sign on the lawn every weekend there is nice weather. It is a cool yellow sign with a steam train on it, and our neighbors told us about the mini-trains.

It was a long winding drive seeming to nowhere, and when we got there, we passed by the workshop. Amazed, we looked in to see three engines being put together. They build them right there! Real steam power with firebox, valves, gauges and all! They were very cool!

<-If you can make out this pic, you will see an engine that represents one of the very first steam powered engines with the kettle boiler and all. Attached is one of the cars.

On the other side of the shop (not in the pic) was the front end of a late model steam train with a cow-catcher grill, and another one in the works.

As you can see from the first pic, you can actually ride on these small trains. The owner of the property has a very large expanse of land set up with tracks with switcher gates, a trestle, a tunnel and everything! Next time we go will be with the nice digital camera for some better pics!

<-You can see the firebox and guages in this pic and all the little valves the engineer actually uses while driving the train.

We went for a ride, but I forgot my cell takes pics until we stopped back at the station, so didn't get any pictures of the track. It was still a gorgeous day and the area was way up on top of the mountain with awe inspiring views of the valleys surrounding it.
Stopping back by the workshop to marvel at the works in progress, we then got back in the truck and headed down to Lexington for some shopping.
We ate at an I-Ching, not too bad, but I've had better, then we went by Best Buys and picked up Eight Below and Nightmare Before Christmas (we only had this on tape) on Blu Ray. After that, we went by PetSmart and picked up some doggie diapers for Yukon and Demon because we knew it was going to get really hot on Sunday and we wanted to bring them indoors to keep them from getting overheated. We also picked up a storage bin for the dog biscuits and a bag of dental treats.
We got home around seven thirty, and Jim put in the movie Eight Below. It was a great movie, but being a dog person it was hard to watch. For those who haven't seen it, be prepared to cry. I spent a couple hours with the dogs after that more to comfort me than them, I think. But it was a peaceful end to a fun and eventful day, and I slept like a rock when I went to bed.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

June 6 Skelter for the Shelter

The Day started out a bit rough. As we tried to get Samantha and Freya out for a walk before the long ride, Valkrys and G'kar snuck out and took off running down the road. The two old dogs on the loose is not a good thing, as neither of them has had to deal with traffic. So, I gave James the leash for Samantha and went off after them. No sooner had I gone a hundred feet from them then Samantha and Freya got in to it. Instead of chasing G'kar and Valkrys I was forced to turn and deal with the fight. Not having a lot of time, I took a risk and grabbed Samantha by the collar and pulled her back from Freya keeping her on two feet and not four. A very risky move, and something that should never be done by those that do not know where a dog can turn and bite you thinking you are another dog. I cannot stress enough that this is something most people should never attempt to do to break up a dog fight, and very risky. The best method is water, a hose, or a bucket would do fine. The only reason I attempted it was one, my son was at risk, being in the middle with both leashes and not knowing what to do, and two, I had to break it up fast and get the two loose dogs. Fortunately Freya cooperated and did not lunge back at Samantha, and I was able to put an end to the fight immediately and prevent more than minor scratches to both dogs.

Hearing the commotion, my husband came out and I handed him Samantha's leash with instructions to take her inside as she would not be going with us. Annoyed at her for starting the fight, I was not about to take her and risk not only another fight with Freya, but with a strange dog. I'm not sure what got in to her, but decided it wasn't worth the risk.

With that crisis averted, I ran after the old dogs. Fortunately being old dogs, they quickly tired of running, and lazily trotted down the road, just happy to be free for a short time. I caught up with them at the bridge and was able to get Valkrys to come to me and G'kar turned around and trotting back towards the house. James intercepted G'kar and we were able to put both dogs in to the back yard. Then I went and got Yukon. He's a big sweetheart, and in all the time my boy G'kar was being mean and growling at him, he never once growled back, simply wagged his tail and stood still. He has also been friendly with the neighbor dogs, and didn't have any issues socializing. So, he became the new choice to go.

<-Yukon drinks from the collapsible bowl after a long hike. With the choices made, James walked Yukon and Freya while I loaded the truck with the things we were taking, 2.5 gallons of water, backpack with people and dog snacks, 2 frozen powerade drinks, baggies for poop, collapsible bowl, and directions to the event. It took us about fifty minutes to reach Nicholasville, and we had hoped there would be signs to the event when we got there as the directions weren't very specific. No signs... We drove towards the shelter and the dog park, couldn't find the shelter, but did find the dog park. Since it had been a long ride, we walked the dogs in the park so they could relieve themselves, then went looking again. We stopped a nice lady on the street walking a chin (the dog, not the facial feature, although that would have been an odd sight) and asked if she knew where the event was. Drawing a blank, I asked if she knew where Camp Nelson was. That she seemed to know was south of town, so we headed back to the highway south. We reached the event about twenty minutes late, seeing only a "Caution Runners on Road" sign as our only clue. Creeping down the road, not wanting to come up on any runners or dogs on the road, we got to the event and found a parking spot. Since it was a bit late for the race, we donated to the event and decided to go hiking around the trails. In appreciation of our donation, James got a 2XL and I got an XL shirt and we each got a packet with information and greenie treats for the dogs. For ease of control, James connected his leash to Freya's harness and I took the 10' horse lead and connected it to Yukon's harness and the other end to my backpack. I then connected my leash to his collar, and we hiked back through the monuments. <- The old fort <- Camp Nelson Graveyard marker.

<- Freya chews a greenie snack

It was about a 2 mile hike through the green fields of horse country. Very pretty, and it was about seventy-three degrees, the dogs were loving it. We had a great time, and decided to rest in the shade of a building, water the dogs and take turns at the port a john.

We got a lot of nice compliments, for our pups and they behaved themselves quite well. On the way back, we stopped by McDonalds and picked up forty nuggets which we shared with our good dogs. They were well content and sleeping contentedly for most of the way home.

Later my huband wanted to go for a drive, so more to come for Saturday once I get the photos, as you won't want to miss them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

June 5

Need to dry out the carpet by the back door. It is still too damp to sit on, so I greeted the boys while I sat in the chair. Jim woke up and we talked a bit before I headed off to work. One of the things we discussed was building a mud-free run-way for the dogs. Since they love to run back and forth across the same track, they have worn away all the growing things, and created a mud-slick. This is dangerous for those with two wheel drive, and a source of unwanted mud. So, it will be off to the hardware store to get some landscaping ties, gravel and sand to create a walk/runway. To this I will add stairs going down the hill so Jim can get down to the barn and back with his partially disabled leg. Making the track centerpieces will be large flat stones I can gather from the river/stream behind our house.

It will be my major project for the next week or so until it is finished.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 4

Raining this morning, like most of the day yesterday. Wet muddy paw prints cover the porch and the carpet, but the boys stayed otherwise dry. They cuddle up to me, licking my face, and trying to lay on my lap which is far too small to accomodate six dogs that are over 40lbs each. I hug them each in turn and pet them, trying to make them all as happy as possible for a creature with only two arms. I whistled a tune which seemed to intrigue Samantha up until G'kar started howling. Either he hates whistling or he loves to sing. It may be a little of both. He'll sing with me sometimes, and other times just bark until I stop making any noise.

I'm kind of excited about going to the event this weekend, and hoping that both Samantha and Freya are going to be on their best behavior. I worry though, as Samantha has started to be a bit more cranky towards Freya at times. This morning she jumped on Freya as she came in the door because Freya was trying to play with me and G'kar. She doesn't like dogs playing near her, and she never seems to play herself. I wonder why? We've only had her just over two months now, so I'm hoping it is only an insecurity thing, and that she will become more relaxed as time goes on. She certainly has been less confrontational with G'kar, even letting him walk by her without raising her hackles half the time. This is some small progress, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

I've been looking in to sending James and Freya to obedience classes so that he can learn better how to train the dogs. It is all well and good for me to teach him, but half the time he doesn't really listen to me, or doesn't take what I tell him to heart. Hopefully learning it from someone else will cement it in his mind. I really would like him to get Freya, Samantha and Yukon certified as CGC (canine good citizens) at the very least, and get a conformation report for them. I'm not sure James is dedicated enough to the dogs to handle them in the show ring, but I'd at least like to see him try. His allergies make him miserable though, and he contributes to his misery by constantly rubbing his eyes. This makes him not want to be outside at all, and makes it difficult to get him to care for the dogs. Ah well, the difficulties of unfuzzy kids...

Picked up a padded backpack for the event and found the collapsible water bowl we used when we moved.

The rug by the back door was wet, so sat in the chair on the porch instead after returning home. Freya seemed a bit put-off by this, but the boys didn't care, and snuggled up to me as much as possible anyway. Due to the mud, I ended up giving Samantha a quick bath in warm water just to get the dirt off from her. She wasn't too thrilled, but suffered through it. Freya on the other hand, was not happy at all. She kept shaking and trying to escape, but I held her firmly and petted her, encouraging her verbally. By the end of the bath, she had stopped struggling, and had relaxed a little, which was a good sign. Bathing the two dogs used up four bathsheets, heh, but the dogs, though not happy about being wet, did like the rub-down drying process.

Samantha has a very pungent wet-dog smell though. Freya didn't smell much at all, but whew, my whole room smells like wet husky musk. Need to run the steamvac.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

June 3rd

<-Samantha, Demon and Yukon
5am, up with the dogs for a morning howllo session. Freya has such a deep voice, which is surprising because she is currently the smallest of them all, but she loves to howl and show off her deep voice. She also has a very deep growl which she only uses to warn off Samantha and Demon from her bone/biscuit. I've never heard her growl any other time, and she's been socialized to the point where though she watches with sad puppy eyes if I take her bone, she won't complain. Of course she gets it back, which I'm sure contributes to her faith and confidence that I have nothing but her best interests at heart.

Samantha I'm still working on. She will let me pet her while she eats, but still has issues letting me touch her food. The boys simply look hurt and walk off until I give them back their bone/biscuit.

A line of sad but hopeful faces looks out the gate at me every morning as I get in my truck to leave. Half the time I can't just drive away, and have to go pet them one more time before going. Every day I see them, I'm happy we were able to provide them a loving and caring home. They seem very happy to be with us as well. My husband commented last night as Samantha sighed contentedly at my feet that she loves me so much. I was oddly pleased, as I know she loves me, but to have it so obvious to one who isn't a dog person makes me realize how happy Samantha must be.

So, planning a trip to support a local animal shelter with my son, and two of our dogs.

The forecast is partly cloudy high around 80, so the list includes backpack with water and water dish, treats, and drinks for James and I. For this trip, we will probably take Samantha and Freya simply because Samantha is the outgoing love everyone dog and Freya so that she can get used to lots of other dogs and people. Hopefully she will learn some good manners from Samantha and none of her bad habits. Hopefully Samantha will behave and not jump on anyone to lick their face. Thank goodness she's not much of a butt sniffer...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2nd

June 2nd,

Remember when I said Huskies had a VERY strong hunting instinct? Well today that proved again to be true. While I was at work, a hapless squirrel was spied on the ground by Samantha. She chased it up the tree, but jumped after it, scaring it to take a daring jump... that it missed... and fell to the ground by Yukon. Yukon promptly snatched it up, but the squirrel was not so easily vanquished, and clawed and bit Yukon, making him drop it. In the confusion, the squirrel got away, but Yukon had a scar to remember it by. A bit of antiseptic and a spray of the liquid bandage for dogs, and he was almost good as new. I really love that spray on bandage stuff... works for humans too.

With their rabies shots due this month, I have added incentive to get him to the vet for his boosters. That is top of the bill priority list for next payday. The fence and the new yard equipment have put a dent in the budget, but I've reserved enough for the dogs.

It was hot again, but I had asked my son to lure the dogs into the sprinkler in the afternoon, without much success. The fans had been on for them all day, but the boys like to lie down under the porch instead of on it under the fans. Samantha and Freya though, enjoyed the cool mechanical induced breeze. My husband and I spent some time discussing how to ease the heat stress from the dogs in the upcoming summer. Our best option so far has been trying to locate some doggy diapers to keep them from marking in the house while they could be inside and out of the heat. Eventually, I want to build them an insulated shed with a window AC unit, but that will be some time in the future when our funds recover from the move.

Jun 1st

June 1st,

Started with the usual routine, up at 5am, sit with the dogs, but this time, I left the sliding door open to see what they would do while I made my breakfast and ate it. Yukon and Demon were intrigued and kept coming in to explore. Only once did Demon attempt to mark, something, but a quick "no!" as soon as he lifted his leg prevented that occurance. The boys were uncertain about being in the house. Having never been allowed indoors in their old place. Yukon was curious as ever, and was the explorer while Demon followed his lead, equally curious, but not nearly as brave. Freya came in and stayed by me for the most part, but while Yukon was exploring by G'Kar's food dish and the uncertainty of a scuffle kept em occupied, Freya decided that she could slip around back in the livingroom and watch her pee delightfully being absorbed by the carpet... :(

Work was hectic, so no time for the blog.

Got home and saw the boys were showing signs of heat distress, so put on my shorts, grabbed up the treats and hooked up the sprinkler. It wasn't easy luring them in to the water, but Freya, Demon, G'Kar and Valkrys were finally liberally doused, Yukon, not so much. Me, I was soaked, but in the heat, it felt good.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May 31st

May 31st,

Great weather for a run with the dogs! The inner tube we bought for the tire ended up having been changed out of the box! So the tube in the box was not what was labeled... sigh... So the tire is still flat and James is running beside the cart instead of sitting in it.

Freya didn't think this was nearly fast enough, and kept whining and jumping forward in the harness, trying her hardest to speed things up. She is so cute, and her and Demon work together VERY well. I only wish Yukon and Samantha were as eager to run beside each other. They both love running up front, but each of them wants to go their own way. We have a tie line that will put them together and I've been hesitant to use it, but might end up having to in order to keep them together. Yukon again, has been the best at listening to directions, and I think he will end up the lead dog if we get the dogs to the point of running for fun runs or competition.

He is a very smart boy, our Yukon. I began training him to sit and to stay, and it only took four times for him to get the idea to stay until I called him. I will begin training him with a longer lead for our next session.

Valkrys seemed ok most of the day, so maybe her leg just fell asleep? Her right leg has not been functioning well for some time due to arthritis, but she was able to lay down and get up several times, so I breathed a sigh of relief and hope for many more happy days with my old girl.