Sunday, June 27, 2010

Secret Garden

Look at what Thomas found in our back yard today!

Raspberries!  This is our third summer in our house and the first time we noticed a raspberry bush in the back corner of our yard.  Hey, we never claimed to be master gardeners or landscapers (although I often like to claim the title of Captain Obvious, so I guess I'll have to give that up for a while).

on their way to ripeness?

raspberry buds?

We're not really sure what we're going to do about it.  We had been planning on ripping out all the stuff growing in that corner (mostly weeds right now).  Plus I've got mixed feelings about eating berries from a random bush in what is one of the dogs' favorite corners of the yard ifyouknowwhatImean.  Regardless, it was a fun surprise!

Meet Smiley!

This is Smiley; definitely our oldest foster to date.  He's about 9 years old (we think...) and is a Boxer.  he was found as a stray in the Chicagoland area about a month ago.  He was in another foster home but they're on vacation right now, so Smiley is with us for the foreseeable future.

Smiley (who we've taken to calling Old Man River) is pretty low maintenance.  He's already house trained and is pretty content to just hang out.  He likes being in the yard and going for walks (even if he does move kind of slowly).  He doesn't even mind Dash play bowing at him and then running about like a mad man; he just keeps on keepin' on.  Really, his favorite thing is just to be petted.  He'll come over and shove his head under your hand to remind you what you should be doing.  Our only complaint about him are his epic farts, which come standard with the breed - gag me!

Older dogs like Smiley can be really difficult to adopt out.  Not many people are willing to adopt a senior pet.  Our friend Mary gave me the genius idea of seeing if a retirement home would be interested in adopting him.  In theory it sounds perfect; all he really wants out of life right now is to be petted and loved, and having a pet has a lot of health benefits for people, so everybody wins.  I will be looking into that as an option for Smiley, because this old guy deserves to spend as much time with his forever family as possible!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Branch Down!

This past Friday I spent most of the day outside.  It was hot.  Really hot.  The kind of hot where when you turn the air conditioning on in your car you wonder if it's actually working because it still feels so hot.  The sky was blue and the only clouds to be seen were the really high wispy ones.  I don't remember from my elementary school science classes what they're called, but I know that they don't produce rain.

So when mid-afternoon some friends and the hubs both informed me of some doom and gloom weather forecasting for a huge storm with hurricane force winds, I didn't believe them.  I mean, they hadn't been outside all day in the blistering sun with nary a cloud in sight.  Surely this storm would miss us, especially when what was supposed to be "scattered showers" a few days ago actually mean a full day of rain.  We were due for a rain free day when the weatherman said otherwise!

Well an hour or so after these warnings I noticed the sky suddenly became cloudy.  No big deal, just a few white puffy clouds.  But I still took Dash out for an extra potty break and play time.  You know, just in case.  After half an hour we came back inside.  I was doing a little work on the computer when I realized the room had suddenly gotten darker.  I glanced outside to see the sky full of very dark clouds that had previously looked pretty innocuous.  Uh oh.

Moments later the wind began to blow.  Hard.  I watched as bushes bent over sideways in the wind.  Pouring rain followed shortly.  Thomas has hoped to make it home to get his nice new car into the safety of the garage before the predicted hail would hit.  I was on the phone giving him minute by minute updates on our weather (his office isn't near any windows).  As I described the wind he asked if any trees or branches had fallen.  I told him it didn't look like any had.  And then I heard a loud cracking noise. 

I looked out the window to see an enormous branch laying across our driveway (where my car happened to be parked).  Against my better judgment I dashed outside to check the damage.  Luckily the branch had missed my car but only just barely; some of the leaves were brushing against my car.

pictures of the branches after being cleared from the middle of the driveway

The storm continued for another hour or so and then it was gone as quickly as it came.  We were even able to make it to our 6:30 volleyball game and probably should have worn sunglasses since the sun decided to make an appearance after the storm.

So we (okay, mostly Thomas, but I helped a little!) spent a few hours this afternoon cutting and bundling the branches.  Our very nice neighbors lent us a small chain saw to take care of the biggest parts of the branches.  We ended up with 6 big bundles of branches, one yard waste bag of small stuff, some kindling and a nice big pile of firewood.

Overall, it wasn't really that huge of a deal.  Especially since there are some people who still haven't had power restored (ours only flickered a few times) and a few buildings were actually struck by lightning (scary!).  So I'm definitely not complaining!  But I will brag (?) that we have one of the biggest piles of fallen stuff from the storm in our neighborhood!

our bundles of sticks

the top third of this pile of kindling is new

this entire pile of wood is new (we could have saved more but this seemed like plenty!)

Oh, and of course for all you auto enthusiasts waiting with bated breath to find out if Thomas beat the hail in his car or not, he didn't, but the car sustained no damage from the storm.  So you can rest easy knowing that his baby car is safe and sound and dent-fee.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hancock Update!

It's been a week since Hancock went to his forever home, and I've gotten not one, but two updates on him!  How awesome is that?!

Here's what his new dad has to say (first update):

We are doing very well.  Friday night I didn't get as much sleep as desired because Hancock (now Hudson - nicknamed Sonny) decided he wanted to play with a squeaky toy at 3:00 AM and because I was waking up and listening to see that he was OK.  When I told him to stop playing with the toy he dropped it and came over to give me a kiss.  Friday he got to meet three of my neighbors and they all admired him both for his good looks and for how mellow and well behaved he is. 
Saturday we went to the forest preserve for a nice long walk - about 1 hour and 1/2 with a few water breaks.  He met a few of my human friends and made 5 new doggie friends.  He is so gentle when he meets another dog.  My friends were considerate in not rushing a "first encounter".  We came home and had breakfast and then took a short walk (1 1/2 blocks) to meet the groomer.  She stopped finishing up the dog she was trimming just so she could meet my new roommate.  Again he behaved very well.  We took a few other short car trips to Pet Supplies Plus and to visit another friend - all went well.  One more walk at the nearby bike path after dinner and a last  call for a few blocks before bedtime.  Both of us slept very well.
Sunday back to the forest preserves and a few more new friends.  My little guy is getting plenty of exercise (me too) and takes doggie naps when he gets a chance.

Phew, I'm tired just reading about all that walking!  I certainly won't be worrying about Hancock getting enough exercise!  And I actually laughed out loud when I read about Hancock playing with his squeaky toy in the middle of the night; such a silly little guy!

Second update:

Sonny and I are getting along wonderfully. He gets to meet new doggies every day and I'll be taking him to meet my co-workers later in the week. His incision is healing nicely. He has gotten well acquainted with my loveseat recliner. Last night he brought a toy and placed it next to his head on a pillow and took a nap. He sleeps mostly in the kitchen on the cool slate floor but takes naps wherever he feels comfortable.

It sounds like Hancock knows he's in his forever home and is settling in nicely.  We're so glad that he and his new dad are happy together!  Yippee!

Linked up with:

The Girl Creative

Monday, June 14, 2010

Crew Got Adopted

Crew has had quite the whirlwind over the last month or two!  He was rescued from a high kill shelter, then spent some time in a foster home downtown, then hung out in a retirement community, then back into foster care with us for a week and now he's finally getting settled in to his forever home (for real this time we hope!).

Since Crew didn't like Dash it was a little challenging fostering him, but aside from that we really can't complain about his behavior.  We were able to leave him loose when unattended without having to worry about anything and he walked nicely on a leash.  Thomas had a blast playing fetch with him; Crew does everything with a lot of intensity and enthusiasm.  You could drop a ball from waist high and he would snatch it out of the air before it hit the ground, and when he chased a ball in the yard it sounded like a horse was running by!  He would twist and turn in the air and do whatever it took to catch a ball flying through the air; it was really fun and impressive to watch.

Crew's new dad is going to be taking him for lots of walks, playing fetch in the yard and going on excursions to a lake house in Wisconsin.  We think Crew is going to love his new home and will have a blast going on trips to the lake.  Woohoo, Crew!

Hancock is Home

Just a few days after being listed for adoption we had a few people interested in adopting Hancock.  Not really a surprise; he's so cute and well behaved we knew he wouldn't last long once people knew he was up for adopting!  So we picked our favorite application and arranged for the prospective adopter to come over and meet Hancock to see if they were a match this past Tuesday.  Paul, the prospective adopter, and Hancock really hit it off!  So on Friday Paul came to pick Hancock up to take home for good.

Hancock was a lot of fun to foster, but we're really happy to see him go to an awesome home where he can get settled in forever and be the center of attention.  Paul goes on walks at a forest preserve every day and is signing Hancock up for doggy daycare, so Hancock is going to see lots of fun nature stuff and have time to romp around with other pooches, both of which are activities Hancock loves.  We're sure Paul and Hancock will have a lot of fun together.  Hurray for Hancock!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nova Update!

Looky what I got!

Pictures of Nova (now Baxter) from his mommy.  These are scanned because they got sent via snail mail, but a little while later I got this fabulous e-mail (you all know how much I love updates!):

Baxter is such a joy to me; I can't tell you enough how happy I am to have found him.  We do spend a lot of time at the beach.  At first, he was apprehensive about going in, but once he saw the other dogs venture into the water, away he went and I can't keep him out of it. 

I take him to a dog park everyday to play with other dogs.  In a short time, he has become the park favorite.  Everyone always comments on his beautiful markings and he really gets along with the other dogs.   And he attracts at least one suitor everyday.  I don't know what it is about him, but everytime we go to the beach or at the park, one dog will become enamored with him and follow him around until the owner leaves.

He also comes to my softball games and he just sits there and watches.  He has a very good disposition, as you know, and always attracts people to sit by him and just love on him.

I'll keep you updated.  I just wanted you to know he's in a very good home and gets lots of love.

Isn't that awesome?  I'm cracking up thinking about Nova having his own little entourage at the dog park (I guess Casanova was an appropriate name for him!).  It really does my heart good to know how happy and loved he is, especially because it was so hard to let him go.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Meet Crew!

Crew is a 3 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever that I picked up on Saturday.  He was actually adopted out from our rescue a while ago by a local senior community but was recently returned.  Apparently once in a while he can get a teensy bit mouthy (meaning he likes to grab at things with his mouth) while playing, which isn't a good combination with the fragile skin of seniors.  He's a great dog but needs to run with a crowd with tougher skin (literally) even though he means no harm.  His previous foster mom couldn't take him back since her living situation has changed since she had him, so now he's here with our gang.  He's not a huge fan of Dash's in-you-face playing style, so we're trying to keep them separate for playtime, but otherwise he's fine with the dogs.  He's okay with the cats and overall doing well.  Crew already knows a bunch of tricks like sit, shake, high five, down and wait.  He walks really nicely on a leash (whew!), which makes going on our doggie parades (ie walks) a lot easier!

Even though it's not a terribly common breed, Crew is actually our second Chessie foster.  The hubs is excited because the first one we had was one of his personal favorites.  Chessies look kind of like Chocolate Labs but have a much stronger personality and aren't quite so laid back.  They also have a slightly wavy and oily coat in order to repel water.  They were bred to swim (through ice sometimes) and retrieve things from the Chesapeake Bay, after all!

 Thomas the dog whisperer

 All the dogs love that rubber chicken!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hancock Insisted He Wasn't Broken...

But we got him fixed anyway.  I think the poor little guy knew what was up because he was drooling at the vet's office

Hancock was awake and ready to come home by the afternoon.  He's got some rimadyl to take for the pain, so he was feeling alright.  Still getting used to his cone of shame, though!  The main problem is Hancock likes to pee on trees almost exclusively and the cone throws him off.   In Hancock's mind you need to sniff the tree and then turn and hop up to it to pee on it in one seamless motion or else you're not allowed to pee on it.  Of course, the cone gets caught on the tree, so what ends up happening is he goes up to a tree, sniffs it, flings his head around and then walks away looking dejected.  I know what you're thinking, "but Carolyn, just take his cone off!  You're sooooo mean!".  First of all, I'm not mean!  It's to prevent a yucky infection from licking the incision site!  Secondly, that doesn't work.  I tried taking the cone off and all he does is try to lick himself.  So basically potty breaks for Hancock just take a heck of a lot longer than they used to.

Dash is trying to make Hancock feel better by making out with him.  Seriously, they go nose to nose and just lick each other for a little while.  It's adorable. 

Hancock is already trying to play with toys again, which is a good sign.  It must be frustrating for him, though, because he'll drop a toy and if it falls under the cone or rolls into a corner he can't get it, so he just cries until you help him.

The good news about all of this is that Hancock was finally listed for adoption yesterday since he is now fully vetted!  Woohoo!  He already met some potential adopters at our super favoritest pet store last weekend, so I'm sure he'll be giving kisses to his forever family in no time!