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Make your own Addy Fountain just in time for summer!

How to communicate your feelings clearly and effectively.

Get your beach body ready with this easy workout!

And how to make yourself stand out in a crowd!

Our neighbour, Mr. Campbell, sold his acreage and moved away.  The new owners haven’t taken possession yet, so we’ve been playing over at his place for a change of scenery.  I like it better for photos, because the property is level, rather than sloped, and there aren’t a jillion cottonwoods behind the field, so I can get the blue sky in the photos.  Which is prettier.  Mr. Campbell still comes and mows the lawn and doesn’t mind if we play beneath his plum trees.

It really showcases the weirdness that is my dog Dexter.

And it has shade.  Because it’s been SO HOT here the last week!  Redonkulously hot.  We can sit under the willow trees and be naughty without boiling to death.

Speaking of naughty, I am *very* proud of TWooie this week.  Because although he was – as usual – naughty, he was also an abbreviated sort of naughty.  A few days ago we were playing on Mr. Campbell’s property when this guy in the neighbourhood with a rottweiler came strolling down the street.  I don’t like this guy OR his rottweiler, because he lets it off the leash on our dead end road … which is fine, as long as it stays on the road.  But why people think those of us who live on the farms on this road want their dogs loping on and off our properties, trying to get at our chickens and pooping in our grass, is a mystery to me.  Twice I have caught his rottweiler trying to find its way through my fence to get at my ducks, while the owner keeps walking down the road completely out of sight until I yell at him to get his damn dog.  I finally told him I’d call animal control on him if he didn’t leash his dog.  So this time he had his dog on a leash while he walked down the road, and TWooie spotted him and of course went running over to be an asshole.  But you know what he did?  He STOPPED ON THE PROPERTY LINE and barked from the property, but didn’t step paw one on the road itself.  And then he came back when I called him, all chuffed with himself.

And then this morning a neighbour with a border collie we have met before stopped to say hi and TWooie ran up to the dog, barked and snarled at it from about two feet away about three times to assert his presence in the universe, and then decided to ignore him altogether while we chatted.  For TWooie, this is remarkably restrained.  Of course the border collie is used to TWooie and knows he is all spittle and ugly face and no follow through so he didn’t pay him any mind, but still.  I am proud of the little fatso.  I just want to hug his weird and grouchy little self.

Of course I can’t as he’s hiding from me right now because he tore off most of his dewclaw and I had to cut the rest of it away and then clean it up and wrap it in vet wrap.  As we know from previous entries, TWooie doesn’t handle pain well and he’s pretty sure I was trying to kill him, even though he’d only been a partial monster this week rather than his usual full on monster self.

I did create a monster though, that goes by the name of Peetie.

As I mentioned previously, all the toys are belong to Peetie.  Every throw of a ball or frisbee is for Peetie, obviously.  I finally found a Wootie Toy at a pet store today and Wootie didn’t even get a chance to play with it, because Peetie wouldn’t stop beating him (and everyone else) to the Wootie Toy.  She’s FAST.  I now have teach Peetie to turn it on AND off, rather than turn it on and leave it on ALL THE TIME.

She likes to share though – when she gets the ball she wants DoDo to chase her and try and take it.  It’s her favourite thing.

And when she has the Wootie Toy she actively shoves it at DoDo so she’ll grab it and they can play tug.  She’s become such an interactive little critter, and a very busy one.  It’s very charming.

But it encourages bad behaviour in DoDo, who can’t always tell the black-n-whites apart.  Which could, you know, lead to her untimely demise.

One thing I would really like Peetie to do is leave me alone.  She is a super touchy-feely dog and doesn’t understand “go away” signals (or orders, or shoving, or yelling obscenities).  If I sit on the ground, she tries to get in my lap 400 times, in eight thousand degree heat.  When I’m at the computer, she hooks a paw around my calf and tries to worm her way chest first onto my lap.  If I pet another dog, she’s in there like a dirty shirt (and tries to climb into my lap to boot.  Are you seeing a pattern here?).  If I get annoyed with her, she gets sucky and extra clingy.  If I try to reward her when she backs off, she backs right in again!  It’s driving me a bit nuts.  Any ideas?

It’s a couple of days early, but I’m going to take this opportunity to wish Dexter a happy SEVENTH BIRTHDAY.  Seven!

I love this dog.  I don’t love trying to play agility with him, but I do love him.  He’s the best spontaneous hugger, and so gregarious and full of enthusiasm for everything.  He might not be the dog I wanted, but he’s the dog I got, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything.  There’s no dog like him!

Well, except for this dog, who looks an awful lot like him.

How To Be Addy (a pictorial step-by-step instructional guide)

1. Do something naughty, like digging holes in the agility practice area

2. When The Food Lady tells you off, blow her a raspberry

3. Immediately regret your impulsive sassiness

4. Decide to laugh the whole thing off

Bonus 5. If concerned that you are the only one laughing, distract The Food Lady by tackling her at top speed with wet and muddy paws

No matter how naughty she is (and Addy is VERY VERY naughty) she never fails to make me laugh.  There are times when I have to turn my head away and giggle into my sleeve when I am giving her shit for something lest she see me.  I am so very happy she is no worse for wear after the rat poison incident.

And speaking of shit, riddle me this: yesterday the dogs and I spent pretty much the entire day outside.  I built a small brooder house and pen for my week old mistral gris (them’s For-Eatin’ Chickens for you city folk) which took me all day as I am not much of a handywoman/carpenter.  Then around dinner time we played ball for an hour.  Then we came inside and we all had dinner.  Then I spent about a half hour outside locking up all the chickens and ducks for the night.  Came back inside the house and found three little piles of poop on the floor.  WHY???  Was 7 hours outside insufficient time for pooping?  Harumph.

Then later that evening, PEETIE pooped on the living floor right in front of me.  Srsly, these dogs, I swear.

In other Peetie news, I found her “on” switch and now I can’t turn it off!

As it happens, I *can* build drive in a dog (not Italian greyhounds though).  Maybe too well.  Now ALL THE TOYS ARE BELONG TO PEETIE.

She chases every ball or frisbee, no matter for whom the toy is thrown.  She’ll take dogs out and send them ass over tea kettle in her quest to get there first.  Most dogs have figured out to keep one eye on the ball, and one eye on her and get out of the way quick.  But not everydog. Poor DoDo.


I love the new and improved Peetie, though the carsickness had failed to get any better.  I am not sure if the other dogs like the new and improved toy-crazy Peetie though.

It’s like looking in a mirror, isn’t it Dexter?  A younger, svelter, less weird mirror.

Although to be fair, everyone harasses Dexter at play time.  Probably because he just takes it.

Except for the terriers, who prefer to bother one another in weird and physics-bending ways.

And Wootie, who has eyes only for bothering Piper.

DoDo likes to play ball / frisbee and likes to hang off Dexter’s ruff too, whichever is available.

She is an interesting puppy.  Much like Peetie, she has all this untapped drive – but unlike Peetie she is not shut down, but rather obnoxious about it.  Today whilst letting the dogs outside one by one through the babygate (to prevent free form chaos) she bit me in the toe when I used my leg to body block her from running through when it wasn’t her turn.  Little turd!  When she first arrived she came with the following “issues”:

  • barked in crate at 5AM, demanding a walk. Fixed that.  Grouchy Food Lady is grouchy in the morning.  Now she stays quietly in her crate until I let her out.
  • Played keep away when called.  Fixed that.  Hard to play keep away on a long line, when The Food Lady will reel you in like a swordfish.  She doesn’t even have to wear the long line now and comes running at top speed when called.
  • Fussy about her food/anorexic.  Fixed that.  Lots of daily exercise builds a good appetite.
  • Wasn’t food motivated / refused to eat kibble.  Fixed that.  Now she’d eat sticks or cardboard as cookies if I offered her one.  Loves to perform for food now.

I think sometimes people underestimate poodles’ capacity for having boundless energy (Gemma not included in this statement).  Maybe little toy poodles are lazy things, I dunno, but DoDo is a Moyen poodle and she is bouncing off the walls energetic and needs somewhere to put it.  Running with a pack of collies every day is a good place to put it.  And she really just needs some boundaries and some manners, which she is quickly developing here.  In her first couple of days she chased the chickens, and the rooster chased her right back and she ran SCREECHING from the hen yard, while I laughed and laughed.  She has also learned to pick blackberries off the plant rather than stand around pathetically whining while everyone else feasts.  I think she’s just not had very many rules in her life.  Her owner says he bikes to work with her every day (she’s in a trailer) and she barks the whole way.  She tried barking in my car for like 30 seconds and I turned around, gave her the stink eye, and told her in no uncertain terms how lovely an orange poodle mat would look in my kitchen and she’s been quiet ever since.  She’s not stupid!

This is pretty stupid.

Kidding, kidding!  You know I love me some Dexter, crappy agility dog though he may be.  He’s a special blend of .. special.  And he will be seven years old in 12 days.  SEVEN!!  I don’t even know how that happened!

Then there’s Winter.  He actually is kinda stupid ;-)

In other completely unrelated news, I am thinking of getting/raising some turkeys.  I don’t have any yet, so there are no photos of them.  Instead, here’s a photo of her royal tiny highness FaeFae, contemplating ways to murder dogs who get the ball before she does (buh bye Peetie and DoDo!).

The Red Puppy

I got tired of waiting for a red border collie puppy.  So I got a red poodle puppy instead.

She’s ten months old and came with the name Deirdre, but ’round these here parts, we refer to her as Dodo.  It was going to be Deedee, but Dexter thinks his name is Dee a lot of the time.

She’s bigger than Fae but smaller than Spring, so a nice size.

Her Royal Highness Fae’s nose is pretty out of joint about the new addition.

But that’s just too darn bad for her!  Isn’t Dodo just the cutest thing?  I’ve pretty much decided to get nothing but poodles from now on.

Ha!  Did you believe me?  You’re silly.  This is not my puppy, she’s just a temporary puppy.  She is boarding with me for a few months while her real family, who loves her very much, isn’t able to care for her.  She’s a very nice dog with just a couple of little habits we need to fix, like barking in her crate and being a fussy snottypants about her food and not always coming when called.  We can work on that.  After all, I did manage to turn no-drive Peetie into a ball maniac!

She even brings the ball about 85% of the way back about 90% of the time, so we’re getting somewhere!

She has also become a holy terror of shrieking and trying to claw her way out of her crate in agility class when it’s someone else’s turn.  This is a completely different dog from the one who just curled up in the back of her crate and tried to pretend she wasn’t there.  Time to bust out the Manners Minder in class, I think!

But she is much nicer to Dodo than TWooie is.

I mean sure, he LOOKS happy here, but really he is a) trying to rub off the Hannibal Lecter mask residue AKA basket muzzle he wore for the first half an hour of meeting (and by meeting I mean muzzle punching) Dodo and b) doing it in something dead and stinky to get back at me.  He is always such a dick for the first little while.

Addy’s already had a good play with her, because Addy is awesome like that.  I am so very grateful for my Addypants.

I am extra grateful that I still have my Addypants, because about ten days ago Addy ate a big ole block of RAT POISON and I was so afraid she was going to die.  We don’t put out poison here (because pets) but in the process of tearing down the old trailer on the property, one of the guys working on it tossed a full, unopened package of poison on the burn pile.  Which Addy of course found and helped herself to.  She had just previous to that stolen an egg from the chicken coop, and I thought that’s what she was eating while I played ball with the other dogs, until I decided she’d been eating the egg for a little too long and went to check what she was doing.  I. LOST. MY. SHIT.  Started screaming and freaking out, picked her and the package up and tossed them in the car, chucked the other dogs in the yard and drove to the vet as fast as I could.  Whereupon I lost my composure (haha) and burst into hysterical tears.

Fortunately she was at the vet and puking within a half hour of ingesting the stuff, and I had the package so they knew what we were dealing with, and after much vomiting, Vitamin K and big scared saucer eyeballs, Addy was just fine, if a little mystified about what was going on.  We went back for a clotting test 72 hours later – all good.  She is on Vitamin K daily for a while as a precautionary thing, but is in no danger.  So I still have my Addypants …  and a big ole vet bill.  I was super irritated with my landlords because we *talked* about the possibility of there being poison in the trailer, because I had seen poison pellets when it was still intact and I asked them to be careful when dismantling the stupid thing.  And they weren’t.  And my dog ate rat poison.  Nor are they inclined to pay the vet bill because Old Skool Farm Boys who don’t really understand spending good money on a sick dog when you could just get another dog.

*grumble*  This farm is trying to destroy everything I love.  Two nights ago a weasel got into one of my hen houses and slaughtered a bunch of my hens too.  Srsly.

But in GOOD news, I have had a lot of fun with my camera lately.

I got to photograph 16(!!) year old Josie at the lake.

She was awesome!

And I got to photograph a bunch of dogs at an agility trial.

The trial was so much fun!  FaeFae made her debut-debut, and got some Qs, and some other very nice only-5-fault runs too.  She is so adorable, I can’t stand her sometimes.  I just wanna squish her and make squealy noises.

Spring did awesome too!  She got a bunch of Qs as well and she was FAST – as in, the OPPOSITE of running her at Thunderbird.  She was so fast that I messed up her first run because I was expecting her to be slow and I was in all the wrong places.  She was so HAPPY.  Which leads me to believe that her days of running Regionals are done, because they are at Thunderbird next year too, and she really really hates it there.  So all hopes will now rest on The Fae Face.

Dexter was … ridiculous.  He managed one Q and a bunch of disasters.  He is a very special boy.

I also got to photograph a whole bunch of agility students doing candids, action and portrait type shots in 20 minute mini-sessions in a private agility yard, which was super fun!  You can take the same shot over and over again on the equipment to get the one you like the best, and set the dogs up in places where the light is nicest.  Here’s a random sampling of some of the shots from the day – I just closed my eyes and pointed at the screen to pick a few, because there were so many good ones I couldn’t choose to post them all.

Detour the Jack Russell Terrier

Juno the Papillon

Dulce the Havanese

Zappa the border collie

Dixie the poodle

And so many others!  It was an excellent day, and I hope to be able to do another one.  I like doing private outdoor sessions a lot, but these mini sessions were really awesome too, and a challenge to capture their personalities in such a short time frame.

But all the photographing and editing means not a lot of time to photograph my own doggies (and also a numb ass from sitting in the editing chair for so many hours, and also all the money going straight to Addy’s vet bills, le sigh).  I did manage to sneak in a few though because my dogs is purdy ;-)

This is not mine.  Why isn’t it mine?

(Also the font on my new watermark makes it look like it says bigairphotography.CORN which is bothering me.  I’m going to have to fix that.  You can’t unsee it now, can you?  mwa ha ha ha)