Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa-Bell

This is not my house. This is not my dog...and I'm quite thankful for that.


This one looks like Bell a little bit but thankfully it's not my dog either.

However that is not to say that Bell hasn't been a bad girl this Christmas...she certainly has! No presents were left under our tree. No stockings were placed out to be filled by Santa. Bell was not to be trusted!

What did Bell do that was so bad? Well she dragged the tree skirt out and chewed on the middle of it. I found it on the bookcase where someone had taken it away from her. A few days later she did it again. Now it had a jagged hole chewed through the center so into the garbage it goes.

A day or so later she chewed the heck out of a plastic squeaky toy and tried to pin it on Nicki. Later that same day she somehow got a stick in the house and left that chewed up in pieces all over the dining room floor.

But the grand finale was when I carefully placed a soft stuffed kitten in the center part of the Christmas tree for Kaylee to find...only to see that toy being used as the center of a tug of war between the two dogs not 5 minutes later!!

The scream that came out of my mouth was ear splitting but only Nicki let go and ran for her pen. Bell stood there with the toy in her mouth like everything was just fine! What could possibly be wrong?? Now there's proof that Bell is dumb as a rock because I never stopped screaming and still she just stood there wagging her tail! It wasn't until I took the toy from her while yelling NO NO NO and BAD DOG over and over again that the light finally went on in Bells head. Luckily for her she got to her pen real quick and I just locked her inside...still yelling BAD DOG over and over again.

I honestly don't think that dog will ever figure out the rules. *sigh* She's a dumb-bell for sure.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Freeloaders

In the past couple of weeks I've found three (yes, three!) ticks on Nicki. The first on an ear...the second on her belly...and the third on her back. I've found nothing on Bell.....nothing at all. Apparently Nick tastes better than Bell and she doesn't object to freeloaders!

So the dogs have both been dosed with Advantix...something I don't like to use but these days it seems to be impossible to live without it. I used to just worry about ticks when we hike but now they seem to be everywhere all the time!

I had been using an organic spray on the dogs when I took them hiking with me. That worked fine for them but I forgot to use it on myself. I ended up with a deer tick embedded in my neck; an allergic reaction to the bite; an extremely swollen and painful neck and a trip to the ambulatory center on a Sunday. I'm looking forward to a really good snow fall.

Meanwhile I've found a different kind of freeloader in my house. Ladybugs. A few seem to show up every year but there have been some years when I've had a bumper crop in the house. I don't mind them really. They don't seem to hurt anything and I do find it interesting to see where they'll turn up. This guy was boldly hanging on to the kitchen curtain..


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Whacha doing??


Whacha doing??


Nothing... and don't tell Mom!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Nick's Day Out





I finally did what I've been saying I was going to do for a long time. I took ONE dog (Nicki) hiking with me and left the other one home. I felt terrible doing it, especially because I'm told Bell made sad crying noises for a half hour after we left. But I had to do it. I'm not getting anywhere taking them both with me. They are unruly when together and really very nice dogs when apart.
So instead of yanking them back and ordering them to behave all day, Nick and I had a good time.

She met other dogs and acted like a lady with them. They liked her (except for one little dude with an attitude but Nick took it in stride and ignored him) and she liked them. A little sniffing, a little happy bouncing and it was all good. When I've taken them together they tend to gang up on other dogs and really come across as bullies...which is not their normal personality at all. I don't want to encourage that 'pack' mentality so I had to separate them. Besides that it's just so much easier to handle one young dog than it is to handle two.

So Nick and I ended up at Northwest Park in Windsor. She met a horse for the first time and promptly sat down and howled at her. The horse wasn't impressed..she looked at her; snorted and walked away. Nick didn't know how to take that but it made me laugh.


The ducks were a little leery of Nick but all she did was sniff them through the fencing and wag her tail. I'm pretty sure if they were loose it would have been a free for all however. Both my dogs have a strong prey drive. Anything that runs is in trouble with them around. Our cat Lily can vouch for that!


We tried a couple of the trails but they were still such a mess from storm Alfred that it wasn't possible to walk them. So instead we walked around the huge field that rings the trail heads and I took pictures while Nick sniffed everything in sight.


There were several old barns on the property...one of my favorite things. Some seemed to be used for storage but most of them were in very questionable shape and I don't think they are used for anything. Don't you just love the look of old barns?






And the pond on the property is still as I remember it....murky and yucky looking. But it does make a beautiful mirror image of the red barn where functions are held.


I think I may go back there in the spring for the maple syrup making demonstrations. I went once but I got there right after they finished the demonstration...just my luck! I'll take Bell there too. It is her turn after all. But I will make a point of trying to get back there in the Spring when the sap is running too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Look What I Can Do


I came home yesterday to this....stuffing strewn all over the living room....and Bell running back and forth overly excited (butt one inch from the floor); stopping only to pounce with her butt up in the air or to make a tight little turn for the return trip. Nick was prancing back and forth looking nervously at me. At least SHE knew my yelling was real and this was NOT a game. Bell never got it. She refused to look remorseful and didn't realize the game was definitely over until I put her in her pen. Hmmmm game over?? What's with THAT Mom??!!

*sigh*...and that my friends is why you still go into the pens when we go to work.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Cold Dogs

The girls knew enough to huddle together to stay warm. Five days and nights we were without power after the freak snow storm. But it didn't stop them from playing their usual rowdy games...probably helped them warm up!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Trails


Bell found something that smells good.


Nick joined her for a sniff.


Bell just wouldn't give it up. I didn't see a thing there!


Beautiful walking near the stream with the girls.


Looks very inviting doesn't it?


Bell thought so too! She jumped right in and Nick followed
but Nick jumped right back out and Bell stayed to try
rubbing her gentle leader off her face on the moss.
What a little sneak!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tennis Anyone?

Every now and again I take the girls to 'play tennis'. This is how they do that. No equipment needed.







And this is pretty much how I know when the game is over. :)




Bell decided since she's got the ball and she's tired, it's time to go home!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Why Bell?

Bell's idea of real comfort is to drag her bedding out of her pen and 'arrange' it to suit her wherever she decides she want's to sleep. Only Bell does this. Nick will simply throw herself down in any old likely spot.
However that does not mean that Nick is without her own oddities. Nick likes to 'steal' any and all chew toys from Bell's pen every morning. She insists that Bell's chewies taste better than her own.

Perhaps in retaliation....every once in awhile Bell will steal the tennis ball (often while in mid-air) from Nick while her and I are playing fetch. Nick is an avid fetch player....never tires of it (much to my dismay sometimes). Nick will then stand over Bell and stare at her while she has Nick's ball. She never attempts to take it from her even when Bell loses interest and goes to sleep. Nick will continue to stare at Bell as if that will somehow miraculously make Bell decide to give back the ball. I've never seen that happen yet.

This is not to imply that the girls don't ever get along. They formed a different type of game with the tennis ball a long time ago. They don't always play this game but often enough. It starts with Nick bringing the ball to me and spitting it in my lap. That means 'I want you to throw this for me until your arm falls off, ok?' I will throw it (because I am the best trained one of all of us I suppose) and Nick will go get it. On her way back with the ball, (this is the tricky part) Bell will intercept her and Nick will actually do a 'hand off' of the ball to Bell who will then bring the ball to me. The ball is transferred from fuzzy mouth to fuzzy mouth without dropping it. It's really quite amazing since they developed this form of sharing the game on their own.
I'm still trying to get a picture of them doing that. Sometimes I wish I had a hidden camera to capture some of the crazy stuff these two do.

Monday, September 5, 2011

After Our Bath






The girls are drying off on the porch after their bath.

It's incredible how long they stay wet. I think their type of coat holds water longer than other dogs that I've had...that is once it actually GETS wet. The water just rolls off them at first too which makes it very hard to work up a good lather.

I've been told that hounds tend to have more oils in their skin because they've been bred for hunting which often ends up being in mucky wet areas. I suppose the oils protect them from getting wet in much the same way ducks repel water.

So basically I've got a couple of very large ducks here. But they are very shiny ducks!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Behind The Couch

Well the question of why Nicki kept going nuts trying to get behind the couch....and repeatedly knocking over the small side table and lamp is finally answered. Kaylee didn't like her dinner and figured this was the best way to get rid of it. Of course! Just throw it behind the couch.
What? You got a problem with that??!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hogging The Toys

Bell somehow ends up with all of the toys around her and for some reason Nicki won't go near her to take them back. Bell has never been possessive with toys so I have no idea where Nick got the idea she can't take them back. Nicki is obviously being a wimp today. :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Swimming....kinda

Brave dog going right in the water with Kaylee.

Nick came out to me when I called her.

And Kaylee had a blast with them too!
It was great to find that my two dogs aren't afraid of water. Every other dog I had (Irish Setters too!) were water shy. This is going to be fun!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Anyone For A Swim?

I bought a small dog pool for the girls because it's been so hot lately. I ended up using it to give them a bath outside. THAT was interesting! Then Kaylee used it a few days later to get some relief from the heat. She barely fit in it....it's that small.
The girls have shown no real interest in this pool. I think a trip to the lake may be in order. I need to know if they are going to be a couple of fun swimming companions or a couple of dead weights that insure a close look at the bottom of the lake!

Friday, July 22, 2011

If It Isn't One Thing It's Another




We had a little visit to the vet this week. And by we I mean Bell...although I did drive her to her appointment.

Bell and Nicki have both been having excessive shedding issues for some time now. But what really prompted me to bring her to the vet was a bright red inner ear, with scratching and a bad smell. I did what I could with her ears at home but it just wasn't really getting much better for more than a day or so.

When we got there Bell didn't seem very nervous. She's used to being there with Nicki so I thought she was doing very well being on her own. She still weighed 60 lbs....same as last time. And we didn't have to wait very long before being brought into the exam room. We barely waited 5 mins and Dr Aronson was coming through the door.

To my surprise, as soon as he walked through the door Bell's face took on that 'statue look' and she started peeing all over the floor. Was this fear peeing? Bell always acts odd when she's not sure of her situation but I've never known her to be a nervous pee-er before...and I hope it's not sometime she's going to continue doing.
Well, long story short Bell has an ear infection. Ear drops and some ear wash were dispensed and we were on our way. She's already showing great improvement in the ear.

And just between you and me? After I saw the bill for that visit I was really glad Bell peed all over the floor. Makes me feel like I got my money's worth for a change. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who Me?

Nicki's being a good girl.....

Bell's a good girl too!

Then somehow THIS happens....

And THIS......

Then it's back to this...like it never happened at all! Much like my sister Bunny and I used to be when we were kids too. :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Zena

We all finally met Zena this weekend, Stacey's newest addition to the family. She is so sweet and very intelligent!


Gotta love those ears!! I ended up making noises just to get her to cock her head. She's adorable!