Sunday, March 29, 2009

So I won't be posting for about a week since I'll be out of town and incommunicado. I can't say were I am going- it is a secret. But I will say it is cold. The people in charge keep reminding us to bring our cold weather gear. Oh, you mean the cold weather gear that was so thoughtfully issued to us? No, that doesn't exist. I suppose they mean the cold weather gear that is avaliable for purchase in the local shops. Nope, that doesn't exist either. All the stores in Southern California are selling bikinis. Maybe the cold weather gear avaliable in the location we are going to? There is only one shop, and it is only open certain times, and we were cautioned to pack our cold weather gear because it is highly likely the one shop will sell out. I was issued a knit cap, so perhaps that will keep me warm.

Three of our guys went to this secret location two weeks ago. One came back with frostbite on his lip. FROSTBITE. I manged to work this into a conversation and one of the people in charge said, with an actual wave of his hand, "That was minor." Minor or not, I don't think FROSTBITE should ever be "waved off" as if it is not a concern. I've lived in Southern California for 96% of my life. I had to look up the meaning of the word FROSTBITE. I am very concerned, especially since I may be inadequately dressed, and I will be working the night shift and sitting in a truck for 12 plus hours, and for some of that time, I will not be allowed to have the heater on.

Obviously, one week in the cold is not a hardship compared to year long deployments, living full time in a third world country, or being a POW for any amount (I can't get this to unhighlight) of time. Keeping it in perspective is key. But I promised Fancy I would return and not abandon her, and if I freeze to death in a snowbank, I'll be breaking my promise to her....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pie Loves Her Friend

Bosco lets Pie play rough. I finally got some good pictures. But first, some pictures of playing with a toy.

After many weeks of training, Bosco finally perfected the trick of balancing this toy on his nose.

Bosco lets Pie play rough. He is a very good boy. They both enjoy playing, and they take turns starting it. Their play never escalates into someone getting mad. When Fancy and Pie play, Fancy usually ends up getting mad and ending the games. Bosco and Pie play until they take a break, then they play some more!
Let the games begin!
A funny Pie face.

Another funny Pie face.

It looks like Pie is having a nap, but Boscoe has actually just knocked her down, and she is in the process of getting up....

And getting back at him!

We aren't done playing yet!
A funny Bosco face.

Sometimes Bosco gets the upper hand.

Bosco will sometimes just take off running. And he is fast! They make a loop behind the shed. I think he looks like a champion barrel racer. Notice Pie's ears right behind him.

Add Image
Bosco is so patient, because some times I think Pie's play is excessively rough. Like when she grabs him by the loose skin on the side of his face and shakes back and forth like a terrier. Hard. They also like to chase and he rolls her quite often, which they both seem to enjoy. Some of the photos are grainy. No doubt due to me shooting into the sun.
You may notice neither one has a collar. Two reasons for this. One is Pie grabs Bosco's collar and drags him around by it, and although he puts up with it, it doesn't look like fun. Pie's collar is like a necklace, and under rough play it flips over her head and might get lost.
The second reason is, as Morgan and McDuff taught us, collars on dogs durring play can be dangerous. Morgan got his canine stuck in McDuff's collar, and McDuff was almost killed. I believe he was revived by some mouth to snout heroics from Dad. Good job Dad!

And finally, a picture of Pie and her ribbons from last weekend. The big red ones are title ribbons. You can tell she doesn't mind posing for me since here ears are up. I told her to put her head down, so don't think it's down because she is sad. She is happy to pose for me. Plus, she gets a treat.

Three Miles and Oil Based Paint

On Monday, I ran a 5K for the first time in my adult life. It wasn't in a race, it was just around the base, but it was still the first time in a long time I've run three miles with out stopping. I remember doing a 5 K at Six Flags Magic Mountain when I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure I ran the entire thing, but I haven't run that far since then.

Today, I was scheduled to run three miles again, and I did. But it was hard. Not "near death" hard, but not easy either. Between passing the one mile mark and all the way until just past two mile is the hardest part. After passing two miles it gets easier, somewhat.

Also on Monday I was tasked to to some actual Civil Engineering work, as opposed to secretarial work. I chipped paint, sanded, primed, lightly sanded again, then painted several metal doors on base. It was getting pretty warm, and the physical labor made me less inclined to run during my lunch break, but I did anyway. The oil based paint got on my hands and watch and uniform. It came off my watch with paint thinner. It sort of came off my hands after I used latex gloves and got all sweaty. It is still on my uniform.

The painting brought back my tendinitis in my right elbow. It hurt pretty bad, but it is already better.

I haven't had any pictures for a while, so I will leave you with this. When you think your dog is being bad and digging up the yard, be thankful Pie is not your dog!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

It started off rainy today, but by the time I arrived at my agility trial, it had mostly cleared up. Now it is windy. Pie thinks all the noises that the wind causes are questionable.

At the agility trial, both Pie and Fancy did well. As usual, in order to keep her excited and not bored with agility, Fancy was only entered in Standard both days. She got a fourth place the first day with 14 points, and a Q the second day with 21 points. I had forgotten good treats for her the second day, but sometimes breakfast items are provided for the exhibitors, so I took some cinnamon type bread and she liked that.

Pie was entered in Standard and Jumpers both days. On Saturday, she did a lot of good things in standard, only to jump off half way up the a frame, which was the third to last obstacle. I gave her a horrible angle to it, due to a front cross in a bad place, and it was easier for her to jump. In jumpers, she got a Q and a third place, which completed the requirements (10 qualifying runs) for her Masters Agility jumpers title (MXJ.) Today, Sunday, a horse was watching our standard run, near the weave poles. More on Pie's attitude towards horses in a moment, but for now I will say I wasn't sure if Pie could weave with a horse 15 feet away. Luckily, she could and did. I was very careful because I wanted her to qualify. Pie's contacts were nice and solid. I held her longer than necessary on the table and teeter so I could get to safe places for front crosses and even though it cost us some time, we did qualify and Pie earned her Masters Agility title (MX.) She also got a Double Q. Only 17 to go!

Two ladies I know who have pulki (which is the plural of "puli" a Hungarian herding dog with cords in place of fur) both have new pulki puppies, born 10 days apart and from different breeders. They are very cute. One is white and one is black. They are 10 weeks old, I think. Or was it 17? Either way, they were very small and fluffy. Pie got to play with the white one. It kept biting her on the nose and face with its pointy puppy teeth, but she didn't care. She was unusually gentle. Maybe it had something to do with me holding her in a down.

On Saturday, Pie, Molly, Mom and I went to the Emergency Expo. Lots of emergency vehicles, booths about being prepared, and one booth about installing swimming pools. I would think he was confused about it being the emergency expo and not the home and garden expo, but he was there last year too. Also the same from last year was the lady with her horse who is on the sheriff's volunteer posse. The horse is an Andalusian/ Missouri Foxtrotter cross (or was it Tenn. Walker?) and very pretty. Also very good with dogs. I would say Pie has a fascination with horses, but I think it goes beyond that. She might want to eat them. I let her sniff him and as the lady promised, he was very good. Pie got more and more excited and I was holding her so she would stop standing up on her back legs and then Pie tossed her head and tried to nip him on the nose! Poor horse. Again, as promised, he was very good and didn't mind, and Pie did no damage to him, but her turn was over. If I am every lucky enough to own another horse, Pie and I will have a lot of work to do to help Pie understand proper horse and dog relationships.

Pie got lots of pets, although most people seemed to think Miss Molly was the prettiest. A tiny boy, who had probably just learned to walk, pet her. It was so cute. He took his two little hand and put them on either side of her muzzle. Like he was trying to hold her mouth closed. Maybe he knew he had to ward off the Tongue of Doom. Then he took his pointer finder and kind of poked around her face. Then he went back to hands on the muzzle. Not only does Pie put up with it, but she enjoys it. It is so nice to have a dog that bring happiness to people, just through enjoying their petting so much. And it is even nicer to have a dog I trust to interact with anyone without a problem, no matter what they do. Maybe when she is really old (and therefore calmer) she can be a therapy dog.

After the exciting Emergency Expo, I took a nap outside, and Pie and Bosco played the entire time. Then Rosco thought they were having too much fun and kept breaking it up and his barking woke me up each time I dozed off. Then Bosco fell in the pool while drinking so I gave up and went inside for a nap. After fishing Bosco out of the pool, that is.

After that I took the dogs for a walk on The Road. Since no one else was around Bosco got to be off leash the entire time. He trotted around and sniffed stuff. Not to much exciting to report there.

Today someone I know from dog classes brought her sister and mother to come see Bosco. She would be the perfect home for him! They all thought he was a nice dog and she is going to think about it.

Right now the landlady's husband is putting around outside trying to fix the broken sprinklers. I don't think he is having much luck, sadly.

So that was my weekend, compressed into a blog post. Now it is Sunday afternoon and I have to finish cleaning the house.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two and Three Quarters...

...of a mile that is. And counting. I probably could have gone the entire three miles, but why push it? When I started the Couch 2 5K program at the recommendation of Claire, I followed the program of running for time, rather than distance, since I don't have a track to run on. Plus, running for 60 seconds seemed easier than running for 1/8th of a mile, or however far 60 seconds equates to.

The only problem is now that I have made it around the entire 2 and a half mile perimeter of our base, I know my time is slightly off from my distance. The program says, "Run 2.5 miles or 25 minutes." Well, it takes me just under 28 minutes to run the 2.5 miles. So now I have switched over to distance. Therefore, today I ran for 31 minutes to go the 2.75 miles. My 5K will end up taking about 35 minutes. I am ok with that. My nice slow pace means I can breath the entire time and I am not near death near the end.

The great part about my running area is it is all flat (except for some tiny variations which I do notice) and it is safe because the only traffic is the security patrols.

3 Miles or Bust! Possibly Bust....

The question remains... how long will my knee(s) hold out? It already came out once, right in front of the chaplain (he said a prayer for me.) Luckily I was leaving that knee instead of coming down on it, so it wasn't as bad as it sometimes is. If I was a dog, my poor conformation which leads to my knee problems would ensure I wouldn't pass OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for those who don't know.)


Looking at this spider at the very top of my tall ceiling, right where the wall joins the ceiling (making disposing of the spider difficult, if I am even able to reach it at all) I reflect on the creepy things in my life. To save time, this post will dwell only on the creepy things I have found in my bed. And I do mean creepy.

The first big surprise was a lizard. I decided to take a nap one day after an agility trial but before church in the evening. I laid down on top of the covers, and snuggled up with my pillow. Blissful. Then I felt something move on my neck. I thought it HAD to be Pie giving me the Pie Poke, but I couldn't leave something like that to chance. I filled over and she was having a snooze of her own on her nice, thick, orthopedic pad. Nothing was disturbing HER nap. I felt the something move again and vaulted out of bed, threw the covers back, and found a lizard. What on earth could a lizard want with my bed? I know it is comfortable, but this is a lizard. But maybe a simple lizard yerns for comfort. My mattress is a pillowtop after all. I highly recommend a pillowtop. It has stopped my shoulder being unusable if I sleep on it too long, and it has stopped my back from hurting when I first lay down every night. (What is the name of that Garth Brooks song?- she asked rhetorically.) Back to the lizard. It obviously crawled up there by itself and burrowed under my quilt, because I can't imagine anyone breaking into my house to put a lizard in my bed. It was no longer moving. I think I squished the poor thing to death.

Next, in my new house, I found a rather large spider. In my bed. I am used to finding large spiders other places, but this one was IN MY BED. YUCK. I don't remember the circumstances exactly, blocked from my mind, no doubt, but I do recall that for whatever reason, I was lucky to spot it before I got into bed. Like maybe Pie had left a toy on my bed and as I was reaching to remove it, I spotted it.

I have also found dog toys in my bed that were not there when I fell asleep, but they are not creepy, just strange. And the toys themselves are not strange, it is strange that Pie puts them there while I am asleep and manages not to wake me up.

The final creepy thing I found in my bed is a cricket. Again, I was just about to get into my bed and there it was, crawling all over the place. Crickets are awfully like cockroaches, if you ask me. EWWW. I scooped him up in a cup and threw him out. It is bad luck to kill crickets. Jimminy was the only creepy thing to survive being found in my bed.

Last night I remembered to turn down my sheets before turning the light out, least anything else had taken up residence in my bed while I was away for the weekend.

While I was contemplating creepy things in my bed I remembered a practical joke my dear Dad played on me when I was much younger. Please don't take this to mean I think my dad is creepy, but once he hid under the covers right before I got into bed and then jumped out and scared me just as I was getting ready to get in. I was very surprised and there was shrieking involved. Again, my dad is not creepy, but he did hide in my bed once just like all these creepy critters. So I suppose two beings survived being found in my bed!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Are you allowed to blog about bad stuff? Or is it all supposed to be good?

Here is my list of not-so-good goings ons...

~Pie ate my toothbrush and broke my retainer.

~While doing PT on drill I luxated my patella.

~My debit card was compromised and the bank sent me a new one.

~Other people's failings and oversights at work are looking like my failings and oversights. This has happened three times on big things in the past week.

~Bloom's senility is getting worse.

~Bosco still has not been advertised on the rescue website.

~I can't use my heater or all my office lights at work due to lack of funds to pay the electric bill.

~The heater was not on at all in the building today and I was freezing all day. Even while wearing my jacket which interfered with my typing and mouse using.

~I probably won't get to take Thursday off to go hiking like I wanted to due to the job issues.

~My landlady spies on me knocks on my door right when I come home and I don't want to talk to her right then and I think it would be better for her to call first.

However it isn't all bad...

~I ran 2.5 miles-with out stopping- two days after I injured my knee (it wasn't horribly injured this time) and I wasn't breathing hard at all when I was done. My slow pace probably contributed to that accomplishment, but this week I have to take what I can get.

~Bosco is being good.

~I finally put more songs on my iPod.

~I haven't been fired yet. They might be waiting until after the inspection, though.

~If the cold weather that is making me miserable at work holds, Fancy will run fast this weekend. Ok, I'm stretching it here.

Obviously there are many good things in my life, so I am a lucky person. But when your job isn't going well, it is easy to get caught up in that.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Also known as "Non-Dog Post." AKA "Joseph and the Colorful Raincoat."

Last night Kate invited me (and I accepted) to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. I thought I had seen it before, but all I could remember was Mom singing various songs from it, most notably, Any Dream Will Do. While watching the play I remembered I had seen it at the community theater because I remembered Craig as an Ishmaelite (a hairy, hairy Ishmaelite.)

It was a good production. I thought the narrator had a great belt-it-out Broadway voice. The man sitting next to me kept shouting, "Ay! BRAVO!" Other than that the crowd was not very enthusiastic.

We had really good seats, thanks to Kate's grandmother who gave us the tickets. She couldn't make it, which was too bad for her. We were right in the middle, just a few rows back. I could see the conductors hands shoot up out of the orchestra pit every so often.

In other non-dog news, I have tendonitis in my right elbow. Diagnosed by none other than Dr. V himself. I bought a little Ace bandage brace thingy. I thought it was helping, but then I was using the chuck-it to throw tennis balls for the dogs (maybe this is related to the dogs after all) and I had a sharp burring pain in the elbow. I suppose it is not working as well as I thought. Thereafter I used my left arm for the ball throwing, but that was not nearly as satisfactory for the dogs since the ball usually just ended up a few feet in front of me, except for the time it hit the tree, rebound and almost beaned me in the head. Some people call my injury tennis elbow but since I don't play tennis I call it tugger's elbow. It gets worse when I play tug of war with Pie. I try to use my left arm, but sometimes it doesn't work. The original injury is from moving a mattress back at the end of December when I moved to my new place. It has since gotten worse- due to ball throwing and tugging. Apparently this is not a NDP after all.

Since I've already veered off the NDP path, I will write one more thing about the dogs. I bought Bosco a kong toy and fill it with peanut butter when I leave so he isn't upset. I bought the XXL for extreme chewers. So far (just a few days) it is holding up great. Pie loves to chomp on it as well. No PB for her, although she does stick her tongue in the hole hoping for left overs. She ocassionally whines softy in excitement as she chews. The directions said the dogs may improve jaw strength by chewing on it, so after a while you may need to "size up." If that happens I will be in trouble because they don't come any bigger or tougher. Maybe my next dog will be a tiny little doxie. Or maybe not.

Bosco is staring at himself in the floor mirror. His body language is telling me he thinks the other dog is weird and he doesn't really trust him. He has now slowly approached the mirror and is sniffing his reflection. I find it very interesting that some dogs can see and are interested in two dimensional shapes while others are not. I have heard the ability to recongnize 2D shapes may be linked to intelligence. Now he has laid down in front of the mirror and is still staring. I went over to get in the picture with the "other dog" and Fancy came over also and he sniffed her then sniffed her reflection and maybe got a glimmer of understanding that the reflection isn't really another dog, when when I left he glanced in the mirror again like he still didn't quite understand.

Well, I'm off to do some laundry. (See mom, I told you you can blog about laundry.) I have drill this weekend, then combat Monday after that which is like a third drill day, then two weekends off, then another drill, then we go right into our exercise/ inspection. I am so lucky that I get to leave a whole day ahead of most of the people who are going. Anyone want to babysit some dogs?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Real Quick Post

Head on over to to see pictures of Bosco as a young man. He is still young at only two and a half, but in these pictures I think he was under a year old. Doesn't he look like a baby?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Just a quick post so my loyal readers don't become disappointed and ditch me for different blogs.

I had a three day dog show this past weekend. Maybe I will explain it in more detail later, but for now I will explain that the first day was a team tournament. You team up with two other dogs and handlers and then each teammate runs five courses and each individual score is added to the team total to get an overall score. Then the top three teams are averaged together, which then determines (somehow) if the other teams qualify or not. I decided to enter semi-late and all the people I know who participate in this venue already had teams. I was able to find some last minute teammates though. Fancy was on an experienced team with two fast dogs, a Belgian Tervuren (like the Malinois only with a long coat) and a blue merle border collie. Pie was on a team with two border collies, both right around her same young age of 2 and a 1/2. Fancy's team came in third place and she won a bronze medal! Pie's baby dog team also ended up qualifying and she won a lapel pin.

Fancy's first medal!

Pie's lapel pin but since she doesn't have a lapel, she chooses to wear it here.

The next excitement happened when the team tournament was over and we competed in individual classes. Pie won the first round of 26 inch Steeplechase. She then progressed onto the second round and came in fourth and won $11 in prize money! Wow! Does that make us professionals? Next we will need sponsorships and groupies. For those that don't know, some people in agility really do have sponsorships, but I was just joking in regards to Pie and I!

Pie's loot from the non-team classes on Saturday and Sunday. The fourth place ribbon is missing since I didn't realize we had placed.

Fancy enjoyed swimming in the river between runs. Pie also went in the river, but she was tall enough not to have to swim.

There were several other good and fun things during the weekend, but I won't go into it now.

But before I do go, here is a picture of Bosco drinking out of the pool. I tell him not to, and I show him the nice full dog water dish, but he keeps going back to the pool. And as you can see, he drinks in a very odd manner, as if he WANTS to fall in. How can he balance on his back legs like that with his front legs so far into the pool?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Grass- Not the Illegal Kind

I had the gardener, who is really the landlady's husband, cut my grass for the first time this weekend. Maybe it wasn't quite as tall as I would like, but the weeds were really taking over and stealing all the sun and blocking the grass out. I couldn't pull the weeds without disrupting the grass, so I had the weeds decapitated instead. Perhaps more retaliation than was justified, but hard times call for hard decisions.

First, here are some of the weeds that necessitated the cutting. This was taken a few weeks ago before they got super huge.

And here is a post cutting picture. Weeds are magically gone! Of course they will come back, but for now my grass can enjoy the sun.

But there are still plenty of spots that need to be filled in more. The pictures hide these spots well.

As a reminder, this is a "before" picture, taken when I planted the grass seed on MLK Day in Jan.

The yard is still not established enough for the dogs to play in. Maybe someday we will all enjoy the time and $ spent getting the yard nice and grassy.

PS- Thanks, Mom, for an extra tasty dinner (and for calling me to tell me about it in enough time to enjoy it!) on Sunday. Yummy!

I'm Popular!

I have two new followers and I'm so excited! Welcome to MTGSDRescue and This Little Hen. MTGSDRescue is Montana German Shepherd Dog Rescue and is the super hard working lady who pulled Bosco and his brother Ruger and another brother out of a Washington state shelter when they were near death from pneumonia, worms and who knows what else. She kept Ruger and you can see cute pictures of him on her new blog. Bosco and the other brother went to new homes, only Bosco needed another new home when his new owner couldn't keep him any more. That is how I ended up with him. Just a reminder to anyone reading this blog that he is still looking for a "forever" home.

This Little Hen is well.... I'm not sure who she is. I apologize to her for that. But she also has a blog and you can click on her picture to check it out.

So here I am, feeling popular with four followers (two of them family members) and I go to Claire's blog to research This Little Hen because I have seen her comments on Claire's blog before, and Claire has so many followers, you have to hit "next" to see them all! 26 followers! You go, girl! That's ok- I hold no grudges... I want my sister to have lots of popularity. I think I will create fake profiles and follow myself.

As an aside- does anyone else have a dog that interrupts your typing by laying her head on your keyboard, or possibly even worse since it is usually wet- putting a heavy toy on the keyboard? Just wondering.