Friday, January 29, 2010

service dog???

"This" is my service puppy's way of telling me that he has had ENOUGH!!! He is so "subtle" with his "clues" , that it's hard for me to tell!!! Silly boy... actually, he only pulled his "meltdown" after we had been at the mall most of the afternoon.

It's been a bitter cold day. Ed was away at a "firefighters training" and I have caught up with most of the the jobs that I can do at the house. So, it was either just sit around at home, or go and do something constructive. I vote for constructive.

Kas had the afternoon off from work, so I told her I would meet her at the mall and we could sit and have some coffee together. I then took the time, and brought Chester along to do some "public" work with him. There's "lots" for him to do at the mall, sliding doors, slippery floors, all kinds of "things" with wheels.. walking in and out of the stores, and then sitting quietly while Kas and I visited.

We are also beginning to work him on the "gentle leader".. which is the equipment of choice via NEADS. This is a nice piece of training equipment, but it usually takes the dog some time to get the feel of it and be comfortable with it. Chester is doing OK.. basically I need to have him wear it more. He wasn't very excited when I put it on him before we went into the mall, but then the "things" around him kept him pretty distracted and he did OK. He's a funny boy, though, and when he is done... he is DONE.. course he is only five months old.. so, that is to be expected.

After the mall, I did run into the grocery store with him. I needed just a couple of items for supper and it was a quick trip, he walked along.. but I could tell that he was ready just to get in the truck and head for home. We didn't hear a peep out of him the whole ride back!!!

And, when it was time to hop out of the truck, he still had that very sleepy look about him. When we got inside, he took a long drink, checked out the cats to see what they had been up to, and went to bed!!! He had a nice snooze before his supper, and afterwards, right back to sleep. Long day for a little puppy dog!!!

The full moon tonite is amazing, I saw on the "news" that it's called "the wolf moon", as the wolves are likely to sing under it on a cold winter night. I guess too, from what I read, that the moon is close in it's orbit to the earth and being a "full" moon it will look bigger and brighter.

It certainly lit the farm up tonite when we were bedding the horses down. And if the wolves aren't howling, the wind is!!! As I previous stated, it's been a bitter cold day, the winds have been "huge" and I feel like they are shaking the house tonite. The fact that we still have power is quite amazing.. but I wouldn't be one bit surprised if it went out sometime in the night. So, on that note, I will close this blog and get it saved.. just in case..

and the snoring sound in the background... yup.. that's "my" service dog!!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


"Poor" Ed, just as soon as he is finished with "his" part of the housework, I am chasing right behind with either primer or paint. Because for me, this house stuff is now beginning to be fun!!! Once the mudroom had been painted, I began thinking about the dinning room. I had gone to the house of a client to work with her dog, and "fell in love" with the color she had chosen for her kitchen. After the lesson, I asked her if she could remember the name of the color... she wasn't exactly sure, but I knew I had found the color for our house.

When Ed asked what color I was thinking of.. I told him... BROWN!!! after the color of the mudroom, I don't know if he knows what to think of me right now.. Brown?? was his only comment. I went and looked at all the brown shades.. (there are LOTS of them) and came up with one that I thought would suit the bill. But, I must confess that when I opened that paint can and poured the paint out... putting "brownie batter" on the walls wasn't exactly what I was going for. Still.. it's only paint and if I "hate" it.. I'll just do it again....

Thing is... once I had it up and it began to dry.. I didn't hate... I love it!! There's a room at the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg that was wallpapered in leather (of all things) and actually this reminds me of that room. Because of the big windows and openness of this room, it carries this dark color quite well.

After the dining room, I was onto priming in the pantry. This room is just going to be a "white" color... it's small and it will end up having a lot of shelves in it.. so, white will be the way to go here.
I'm getting used to painting over my head and standing on a ladder... I can even go up two steps on the ladder without even thinking... (that's huge for me!!!)

And here is it.. all ready for "real paint"...

Ed took a "little break" from mud and tape and went back to electrical work. Now that I have some color on the walls, I want light to show it off. And if we can get the plugs working, we can coil up all the extension cords that we have been working with.
Today, he got most of the downstairs up and running, and so, after we did barn chores this evening and it was getting dark outside, we ran down to the house to see "what it looks like" at night. The dining room looked grand.. I like even better than I did before....

But almost even better... outside lights with a soft inside glow thru the windows...
OH.... HOME!!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New story is up on "Moxie's Gift"... Chester's blog is up and running, so be sure to pop over after you are done here, and see what we have been up to. I'll be keeping track of his training and growth, and there's sure to be some fun stories for you to read!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

grand dog weekend

This past weekend, we had a couple of extra dogs in the house (nothing new about that) and especially the fact that it was the "grand dogs".. Kas and Nate had a little trip they had to take, but more on that later.
Abbie has a new "toy".. a "jump-a-roo", it's theme is a farm and it's quite the thing. (where was all this stuff when I had babies??) It's a seat that Abbie can bounce in, to build up muscle tone and condition, and then it sings, and has "activities" and all sort of colors, numbers and the like. She loves to sit in it (for a short time anyways) and being at dog level.. she certainly has company when she is in it. Here we have Tatter, (ever watchful over Abbie) Banjo, Kas and Charlie all playing with Abbie and the jump-a-roo!!!!
Now, about Kas and Nate's "trip"... Nate has a friend that he served with in the Marine corps.. when Nate's term was done.. "Brady" still had a tour to do and was shipped to Afghanistan. Two weeks ago, Brady stepped on an "ied" and was badly hurt. He was shipped to Germany, where he had some surgery on his right leg, and then to the US. He is currently in Maryland, and this past week had to make a decision to loose his leg. I guess he could have tried to keep it, but the experts felt he would have a better recovery if he "let it go" ... I can't even imagine trying to make a decision like that. Brady decided to listen to the advise and his leg was "taken" last week. Well, since he is "so close" to home, you know that Nate just had to go and see his buddy.

Kas wanted to do something special for Brady and thought that a nice "fleece" would be a good gift. So, Friday evening when they brought the dogs up, she and I did a "marathon" fleece. We actually finished it in record time - two hands make fast work.

And the finished project~~~~

"don't get too comfy under that, it's not yours"

They headed out bright and early Saturday morning, and arrived in Maryland late in the day. They were able to spend the evening with Brady, who.. for all that has happened.. was in good spirits and doing well. Kas called off and on all weekend, they spent a lot of time with Brady, and overall, both Kas and Nate feel that he is doing very well, and has kept his spirits high. He has a long road ahead of him. There will be more surgeries to prepare his leg for a prosiest, and of course, endless therapy. His home is in Mass. so the "kids" will be able to keep good tabs on him and have already planned several visits back and forth.. Brady has already talked of coming to visit them.

I know that there is so much going on the world right now.. Haiti and the like, but please, in your thoughts and prayers.. don't forget our military.. even though the news doesn't give them "front row billing" they are still hard at work and we need to remember them!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

playin' in the snow...

Last Saturday, friends - Kelli and Rick brought their little niece to the farm to see the horses. They had brought her here before, and I promised that when she came again - and if the weather was nice, we would either saddle or hitch Mocha for her.

Since the weather was so pretty, I decided to hitch Mocha to her cart and give them a ride.

I was pretty pleased with Mocha.. I haven't had her in cart since the Christmas parade last month. Actually I haven't done anything with her, and it was great to be able to throw the harness on her and just have her go.

I drove first and then asked Rick if he would like to take the rein.. course.. you know what he said to that offer!!!

I don't know if Rick thinks unhitching a mini or a draft is "worse". With the drafts, it's heavy harness being tossed over your head.. with mini's - it's sitting on the floor to be able to reach down... guess it could be a toss up....

Yesterday, the day was just as nice. When I got out of work and went to the farm, Sadie was there. She wanted to get Tonka out and take him for a little ride thru the snow. We haven't been on Tonka since last fall - though we were driving him - so it's been awhile since he was last under saddle.

but, he trodded right along and seemed pretty happy with all the attention!! Maybe it's the fact that these horses are finally at a "mature" age.. Tonka will be 12 (I think) this year and it seems like their "foolishness" is getting behind them.

Course, I wasn't about to let Sadie have all the fun, so I made her jump off - before Tonka got too hot - and took him around myself. I wasn't quite as brave at first, and chose to take him up and down the driveway at first (aren't we lucky to have such a nice long drive??)

But, I did venture out into the deep snow as well. It was fun.. we stayed at just the walk, because I don't know exactly what the "footing" was underneath... and working in that deep snow was a "work out" for the ol' boy.

Then, Ed pulled the tractor out and extended the "riding area" around the round pen. The footing there is great, and Tonka walked along as nice as could be.

What a fun afternoon... clear blue skies, temps in the thirty's and soft powder snow.. though from what we are hearing we are in for big changes tomorrow.. so this might be a "short" riding season just now...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

yup..go BOLD!!!

Now that we are at a stage where we can begin to chose paint colors.. I feel like all I do is look at painted walls. Every where I go, I take a few moments and check out the "color" that is around me. There are SO many choices out there, and I have gotten quite brave about asking people "what" is the color they have chosen (like when I go and do a private lesson with a dog student) I have decided that I want to be "different - brave - daring" with this house. It's only paint afterall, and if I decide I don't like my choice, I can just go over it. This is the "mudroom".. it's a nice room, but can be a bit dark (though with the white primer.. it doesn't look dark).. but with just one window and the small front porch, after the morning sun has moved.. the room is dark. So.. a nice bright, welcoming color is needed here.

Kas painted her bedroom this wonderful yellow/pumpkin color. I just love it, and upon making that comment she told me that she had a whole gallon of it left over. She didn't know how much paint to buy when she was doing the room and bought too much.... she told me I could take the gallon if I wanted.

I jumped on her offer!!! Now the pictures really aren't showing the true color here, but it's what I was looking for.. bright, welcoming, warm... perfect.

I am going to run a stencil around it.. I'm thinking a nice soft green "vine" might just dress the top up enough.

And once the closet doors are on, trim done around the window and the entry doors.. a nice bench to sit on and take your boots off.. and a floor, the room will take on another look again. I have big beautiful clock that will go on this wall to the right, and I don't know what the floor will be just yet, but I'll find the right thing if I look enough...

so, here it is.. the first "bit of color" in the house... yup.. let's go Bold!!!!

Happy B day....

My Ed celebrated his birthday this past week. Sp. we pulled the fam together and went out to dinner to celebrate. Any time we can have everyone together is such a special treat...

I am thinking that Abbie would have liked to try that dessert that her Grandpa had!!!!

And here's my sweetie.... Happy Birthday babe!!! I love you!!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

that makes three!!!!

It's hard to believe that Abbie is celebrating her three month birthday!!! She is growing in leaps and bounds and you can see the changes on a daily basis.

And keeping with in "her theme".. here are the annual shots of Abbie and Tatter......

They are best buds.. Tatter is so good with her!!!

"Hey - what's going on over there??"

Happy three... grandbaby!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

NEVER kiss a porcupine

Well, sadly... Camille has found one animal that does not appreciate her "mothering" ways.. last night, I sent the dogs out for "last call".. they can all go loose because there isn't anyone "here" to bother. And being cold these winter nights, no one ever stays out very long.

On this evening, I happened to be out there too, with a dog that is here for boarding, as I was walking with him, the others were just out and about. I was heading back in, I thought I heard a yelp...

so, I called everyone in - all the dogs came running, as did Camille, but she was the last one.. a bit unusual... as she approached me, I saw her drop her head and cry again. I ran to her and scooped her up.. only to find this horrifying picture!!! We dashed into the house, I yelled to Sadie to take care of the boarding dog, and for Ed to run to the truck.. we were heading to the ER....

Poor Camille, she sat on lap and never moved the entire ride to the ER. I kept hold of her paws so she wouldn't break any of the quills off, she knew we were getting her help, but this must have hurt like crazy!!! Fortunately the ER was quiet, and they took us right in, they gave Cam a shot for pain (and I took these photos after she got her shot) and then the decided to sedate her to pull the quills... there were 18 in all.

The "good part" is, she ran across an adult .. so the quills were hard and "easy" to pull.. quills of a baby are generally soft and can bend, making them difficult to pull - and to find. The other good part is, she is a "woos".. so after she got hit, she came running, some dogs will attack a porcupine and then end up with a mouthful of quills or legs and feet full of them.

Needless to say, there will be no more loose dogs at night, especially if we get a mild evening. I don't know exactly where Mr. Porky lives, but he's close by and I would rather not go thru this event again. I would like to think that Camille would remember the next time she saw one, but I won't take that chance either....

Thursday, January 14, 2010

puppy night

Friday night, the Maine Chapter of NEADS had "Puppy night" at the mall. They try to meet fairly often and had actually met back in December, but I was too sick to attend.

This month, however, Chester and I were there.. and it was great fun. Chester got to meet Logan.. a "REAL" service dog!!! Maybe one day, that will be Chester in a "graduation" vest...

Logan is an amazing dog, and so dedicated to his owner Suzan. we had such a nice time talking together.

And this is Freedom.. another service puppy - course being "babies" you just know that you have to have play time!!!!

Here, Suzan is showing her scooter to Chester.. but I think he was more interested in the treats she had in her pocket. Nothing "bothers" this puppy, and he thought it was just fine walking beside the scooter. When we go to Walmart or the like, the carts don't bother him.. Abbie's stroller doesn't bother him.. so I think if he is a service dog that "deals with wheels".. he's going to be great.

I would have liked to have more photos, but.. I guess there is a policy in the mall now that says "no picture or video taking".. security reasons.. and I do appreciate that, but pictures of puppies?? Any who, I snuck in a few photos.. but certainly didn't get as many as I would have wanted. Can't wait for our next puppy meeting!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a blog spot

Here are some "random" photos of happenings around the farm...

To start with, Rick brings us a nice big load of wood for the furnace!!! You have no idea how thrilled I was to see him pull up with this load!! No more lugging wood from the camp (one truck load at a time!!!)

On top of that, these pieces were "designed" for this big stove. So, I think we will get even "better burns" than we have been. The smaller wood is fine, but it takes so much more to feed the fire, and really this furnace is designed to take a sizable log.

Ed taking a much deserved lunch break while working at the house!!!

Camille shows Hunter how "dog friendly" the windows are!!! Just the perfect height for looking out and checking on the farm!!!

"miss Chicken" doing what she does best....

A nice little "treasure" for breakfast.....