Saturday, August 31, 2013

Garden Path

Is in need of cleaning, etc., but I do love my native plants, and the pollinators that they attract.  This afternoon the thistles were visited by green hummingbirds, this morning goldfinches.

Thistles and Bees

Thistles and Bees are just a few of my favorite things!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Angel and Oliver Hanging Out

Taken this past Sunday, hanging out while John chips branches, etc.  They were fascinated by the activity.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oliver and Angel

Chillin on the porch trying to beat the heat!  Notice Ollie has his ears flipped over to cool his head!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer Chores

In spite of the extreme heat and humidity the trees keep growing and need trimming, which means the branches need chipping.  John chipping crabapple and cherry tree branches.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


A wee bit under the weather today, she's thrown up several time since early this morning, still eating, drinking, and everything else like normal and even playing.   I'm not sure what she got into this time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oliver's Run Part Four

Oliver's run all 10x30x6 feet complete with a tree for, ahem, personal use.  I'm on the look out for two more 12x6 panels for a total of 42 feet of running space, I can take it out as far as 46 feet.  He loves fetching his kong, got shots in my knees today so never made it to the store for tennis balls.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Oliver's Run Part Three

No photo's tonight but the run is up and totally usable. It has two doors one of which John will repair this weekend, this door came from the gifted run and looks as if a large tree branch fell upon it at one time.  Total space is 10x30x6 feet all of which he approved of for the 20-30 minutes he spent playing in it with John.

For those that keep emailing me freaking out that I plan to keep Oliver in there full time... what the hell do you really think of me?  I mean seriously??? I'd no sooner leave him in the run unattended than I would a small child! 

Dogs disappear in this community and a fairly regular basis, I could never live with myself if Oliver OR Angel disappeared.  Hell four weeks ago the neighbors little white wonder that was left unattended in their back yard was taken by a red tailed hawk, you should have heard  her scream for someone to call the police because a hawk had her dog.  The only reason I knew about it was because Angel and I were sitting on the porch and watched the whole thing unfold, from four houses away.

This run is soley for the purpose for us, that's me and Oliver, to play in!  John is setting up the pavers tomorrow so I can have a place to put my chair, this area was once a vegetable garden as recently as last weekend, and is quite soft.  Plans are using the Nothing in Life is Free Training with ball fetching, which he adores, as a means to train him for other things.  He rolls over on comand, but won't lay down on command go figure. He's sitting 90% of the time on command, and sorta knows heel. 

More later.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Angel - hanging out on the front porch watching the traffic go by.


Oliver, nine months old last Thursday!

Oliver's Run Part Two

All of the old garden fencing is now gone, everything is mowed and removed save for a few native prairie plants which will be transplanted sometime this week.

Half of the run is up, we will set up the rest of the run tomorrow evening.  I'm just too tired to do so tonight, cleaning up the old garden area also meant trimming back the trees, removing volunteer trees, and the like as well as more mowing which hubs did for me!

Empty Nest

Empty Robins Nest.

Hackberry tree seeds now inhabit the nest.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Oliver's Run Part One

Before, this is my garden that literally went to seed and to the weeds, this summer.  John mowed almost everything down, and now there's room for the new, to Oliver, dog run.  Our neighbor, Praise God, is giving us their dog run to add to our dog run so it'll go from being 12x16x6 feet to that size plus another 12x8x6 feet, I think it may actually be larger than that, we'll know for sure tomorrow once we have it all set up.

After, a few native plants were spared the lawn mower blade. Specifically the milkweed and the two white plastic buckets, which have their bottoms removed, are protecting my prairie dye plants.

Will post more photos tomorrow once we get the dog run up and usable.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day Eight - The Oliver Files

Day Eight with Oliver - Progress. Consistancy in training is the goal here.  And in other news Happy Nine Month Birthday to Oliver!!! He was born on November 15th, 2012

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oliver in My Office Chair

Oliver sitting in my office chair, am wondering if Pepper will actually defend his spot from the dog?

Day Six - Morning Six

Day Six it took less than an hour this morning for Oliver to calm down once he was out of his crate.  Hyper doesn't even begin to describe his energy levels!  If I can get him to sit still long enough I'll take a photo of his face, we trimmed his "bangs" last night so they no longer hang in  his eyes.  He has very pretty eyes!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Oliver and Angel


One dog per side of the drawing table, both snoozing away!


Oliver, Oliver, Oliver - Day Five of Puppy Madness

Sooooooo I locked Angel in her crate, and Oliver is in the kitchen laying on the floor in front of her crate.  Looks like I might be able to get some stuff done today after all!

In other news (ION) Oliver has taking to pushing Angel down the stairs and such and this is not acceptable.  So in a plea for help I brought this up on FB late last night and got tons of suggestions the best of which was to tether him, on his six foot leash, to a very heavy boat anchor! 

So today I will be out and about shopping for a boat anchor!  The second best suggestion was to tether him to a very old very heavy sewing machine.  I will have to test this one because I'm not sure if my sewing machine is heavy enough or not, what it is is large enough, it's in a cabinet, to not make it through my office door.  It is mostly when he's in my office that he feels the need to herd Angel out the door and then push her down the stairs with his paw.

I still feel that this is a dominance issue, everyone else thinks I'm nutz!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Day Four - Evening Four of Oliver's Adventure!

The difference between tonights dinner, for us, and four days ago is 180 degrees!  Four nights ago we had to crate him because of his surfing, tonight he laid on the floor in the kitchen next to us, and Angel, while we ate.  He got up once to give me that look like I'm really cute and you want to feed me right?  Well actually NO! 

He has spent most of today out of his crate and this I definately call success.  He likes his crate enough that he goes in there when he wants to rest, also a success!

We're still having issues with chasing the cats.  I hope that this will work itself out and soon too.  I had a confab with Pepper, our oldest orange tabby, telling him that if he quits running from the grey ghost then it's no longer fun and the ghost will stop chasing him!  Thomas is holding his own and Oliver remembers those claws!

Day Four - Morning Four Please don't Chase the Cats!

Well Oliver has figured out that Pepper is scared of him, this is not a good thing!  So while we are sailing through sit and off, now we need to work on don't chase the cats!  Until we get this sorted out the cats are sequestered in the upstairs part of the house with their food, water, and litter boxes.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Oliver Taking Over

Oliver on my drawing table, a habit we need to break him of ASAP!

Oliver sitting under my drawing table, good boy!

Day Three Morning Three - Don't Eat the Cat!

Thomas just got Oliver on the nose and real good!  Ollie yelped and backed off.  Round one of don't eat the cat is over.

Oliver - Yesterday morning in his crate. 

This morning he didn't want to go back into his crate, can't say that I blame him, and he refused to eat his food in his crate, again can't say that I blame him.  So we brought his food bowl into the kitchen and John gave him a handful of food to show Ollie what it was, ok lets stop here.  I've NEVER had a dog before that didn't care if it ate it's food or not.  Most of our dogs have been of the variety, weimeraner, that inhaled their food and so fast it was blinding!  

The good news is Morning Three his obnoxiousness is down a whole fifty percent, he's jumped on me only once this morning.  We are still working on coordinating potty breaks, and his need to push Angel (fifteen year old twelve pound sheltie) down onto the floor, I'm so afraid he's going to break her back.

I'm sore all over from his sheer strenght and size, and from walking him.  So overall this was a good decision.  Hubs and I are taking turns walking him and are building up for one long walk a day, in addition to his three to five short walks.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Oliver - Video

He was busy with his new chew toy when I shot this short video. 
The squeeking noise is my studio chair.

Day Two Morning Two

This morning Oliver knocked me down when I let him out of the crate he was so excited he then proceeded to walk on Angel three times before I could get his training collar and leash on him.  John and I really need to work on our timing with the dogs in the morning so he has one and I have the other one, Angel will leave a mess in the house if I take Junior outside without her. 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Oliver Day One

Day One: John is in charge of the scary stuff (edited for those with sensitive ears and eyes) Right now Oliver is wandering the house and getting to know his space, actually he's been doing this since about 8:30ish pm. John decided I was being too protective. No collars, no leashes, just pure puppy inquisitiveness that landed me a couple of sessions of pure puppy exhaustion on the sofa. Here's to an even better day tomorrow!

John also took me to the local pet store that has a trainer for me to discuss all of my issues and fears, for day one - this is my first time ever having a puppy even if he DOES weigh 75 pounds.  I now have some new moves to use on Oliver it's one thing reading about the mommy correction pull and another learning how to actually use the mommy correction pull, they met him and LOVED him, and once his training collar was adjusted everything was so much better for the two of us!

How to Keep a Dog Crate from Squeaking

First start by putting a piece of plywood under the crate, over the old uneven wood floor, to create an even surface.

Second cut out a piece of cardboard roughly the size of the pan for the crate.  This cardboard will go between the metal grate bottom of the crate and the pan, NOT inside of the pan.

Insert your cardboard noise buffer!

Insert crate pan and line it with a bed, matt, etc., for your favorite pooch.  And he didn't fight us on going into the crate because it didn't squeak!

He's Here!!!

Introducing Oliver, aka Junior!!! He's a labradoodle and at eight months of age weighs in at 75 pounds.

He is super affectionate, phantom kisses you never see them coming, and he's super excited to be here with us.  Today training began it's crate day.  So far we've been out on two short walks and have had meals, potty breaks (he's done both so I'm no longer worried about him - he got sick, really sick, in the transport crate yesterday on the ride up from Texas) and have had moments to explore the house and then it's back to his crate so he knows where his den is located and that it's all his.

I'm also still puppy proofing the house, turns out he can put his front paws on the fridge and pull food off the top of the fridge!  (eep)  When he sits next to the kitchen table he's tall enough to simply lay his head on the table, and that tongue, it manages to swipe everything within reach.

So I'm spending time cleaning and talking to him and Angel.  The cats want to know who the grey monster is!