Wednesday, May 27, 2009

English Bulldogs And Other Thoughts

I've been keeping my daughters English Bulldog Opal, they have 3 other English Bulldogs but she is the "baby" of the family so she got special care. Have you ever tried to take a bulldogs picture who knows when the flash is going to go off? This is the best picture I got.

Then I decided to hold her still, bulldogs are rather stout but I did it. Those are my feet BTW.
The next morning it was slightly foggy, I've always wanted to take a picture of the red Persian cat who accompanies the bichon on his morning rounds. Well since we have the bulldog she is part of the group. BTW the cats name is Paris after Paris Hilton cuz when she was a kitten she thought she was just SO cute. Paris is now a tomcat. Paris thinks the male Bichon is his mother, for some reason the Bichon puts up with it though he's not fond of cats and would love to chase them if I let him. All but the red Persian?
I know this one is terribly blurry but the mama cat Meanie has decided the lab is "her" dog and goes with him on his morning rounds. She's there rubbing under his chest.So Opal the bulldog was walking down the sidewalk when I was washing out an old dog crate and watering my houseplants that I sat outside. So I tried to get her to sit by the flowers because she looked so cute. No dice, so I got the bichon, he will usually sit and stay but if the bulldog is going to follow me so is he so this is all I got.

This is Opal in all her glory, mama, daddy and her human brothers and sister are within 20 miles now, we've been getting regular updates and they even had to "talk" to her on the phone. It's been a good visit. I know she misses them because every time I come back to the house in the car she has to go out and see if maybe they might be a little slow and getting out of the car too since they've NEVER left her anywhere and certainly not for this long. Well they are home and Opal is gone, they said once again I'd fed their dog too much and she'd gained weight (that happened the last time I kept a bulldog for them), I don't understand my dogs aren't fat. Mugsey and Dispatch are wandering around like they are lost. I don't know if they really miss her, I know she was so very glad to see her family. I saw a commercial from Oregon about people without pets and how having pets mellows people out and puts a whole new aspect in their lives. I know this is true. I sort of miss Opal myself and all the snuffing and slobbering and running like banshees are after her. I swear the bichon was trying how to teach her how to do the bichon blitz but maybe that was my imagination?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Two Kittens Who Went On a Ride

I got home from work the other day, my daughter and granddaughter were @ my house because I'm watching Opal the English Bulldog for her while they are on a trip. We were sitting there talking in the family room and I park my car on what used to be the driveway for the garage which is now a family room. All of a sudden we hear a bunch of mewing and then the kdddrrrrmm of the mama cat calling kittens. Mama cat was on my tire on my car looking around. I had had a cat go through the engine last summer and thought OH NO!! My daughter volunteered to go look, I'm not squeamish but she was here and she did volunteer. So she did, I stayed inside and she opened the hood as I watched through the window. She's a nurse she can take it, she looked around and there were two kittens @ the top of the fender sort of wedged in behind a support or dividing wall. I went out and it probably took 5 minutes of pushing and pulling gently of course, there was some sort of hot plastic tank close by, my daughter said don't pull the hose off it will scald them, I'm like what about ME, I'm here too and about as stuck. The gray one had it's head stuck and we finally got it out then the reddish one came out easily.

I'd seen the dogs looking under the car when I left for work but thought it was a wild animal like a mouse as the cats avoid the car like the plague when it's running and it had been idling a bit. I never thought about kittens, in fact I didn't know I had kittens, I knew Meanie had a kitten as in one kitten in the log cabin but I'd never seen it except once from about 100 ft and it was on the second story. This is a picture of the mama and the red one after the incident, the gray one was hiding under the red one.

The kittens were not to impressed with humans after that. Evidently they had stayed under the hood all day, I park close to a fairly busy road and the noise kept them under the hood or they were stuck all day. They are now living in the hedges by the cat shelf, sort of under the bar b que grill. They are still not impressed with humans. I can't say as I blame them. I have no idea if there were more than two, I told everyone where I work that if there were kittens in the parking lot they were mine but old enough to go live somewhere else. Not being cold or callus but we have 6 cats and two kittens now. These new kittens have no names other than grey survivor and red survivor. Mama looks like she couldn't kill a mouse but I've seen her take mice to them, she also told Opal the bulldog which end was up when she went toward the kittens hiding place. Opal had never been around cats before so now she's dealing with mean hissing attacking cats and a bichon that really doesn't want to share his mommy. Plus other dogs who really aren't into sharing but Opal is a sweetie. This is a picture of the bichon, bulldog, schnauzer, lab, and the terrier under the chair.

So that is the tale of the kittens ride.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Most Wonderful Favorite Award

This award is based on friendship. My friend MizzLily passed it on to me on her blahwg! blog. Thank you very much Mizz Lily I am honored. I would like to change the rules and pass it back to who gave it to me but that's not the idea!
These are the rules in accepting this award:

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who then must choose and deliver the award to eight more and include the following text into the award.

"These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers."

I would like to honor the following bloggers. As noted in the text above, my aim is to find them as friends. These are blogs that I hope everyone will visit and follow.

Oranmental, by Nina.

aMusings Blog, by aMusing.

Drawing and Painting
, by Poet.

Hypnotic Visualization, by Monaliza.

Checkers The Peek A Poo, by Checkers.

A Majority of Two, by Jo.

Eduardo The Snuggle Puggle, by Eduardo.

My Fire Hydrant, by Bev and Bailey.

Once again thanks MizzLily and for those who saw the unfinished version of this blame it on my 4 year old 64 bit computer that has it's own parallel universe going on behind the scenes, I swear it does!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Home Grooming A Bichon Frise

I home groom my Bichon Frise Dispatch, Bichons are some of the most labor intensive dogs to groom but the results are well worth it. If you prefer you can use a trimmer and go for a more all over shorter cut for your Bichon Frise but my husband likes Dispatch to be fluffier. I compromise during the summer and since I've found this marvelous link on this forum I decided to try scissoring myself (it has illustrations, a lifesaver). I use a simple pin brush I got from petsmart, a little slicker brush I found on sale @ Wal Mart, a detangling comb and ouchless brush I think I got from petsmart also. And a pair of generic scissors, they turned out to work better than my good ones that were specifically to trim dogs. Bichons have LOTS of curves so a pair of curved scissors would be a good investment also but I did this without them. Dispatch is not good when I groom him but he's getting better. For absolute before pictures see the previous post, he hadn't been thouroughly trimmed for 2 or more months and was rather shaggy. I hate to break my tone of this post by saying something funny but I know why bichons are small dogs! If they were bigger they would be shaved and they aren't pretty shaved. Seriously though, grooming a bichon is a time consuming process but actually all this probably only took me a 2-3 hours and that included brushing, trimming, brushing again, trimming, bathing, brushing again and final trim and brushing once more. If I had kept up with the brushing and bathing better and not let his hair get so long I probably could have gotten it down to a little over an hour.

This is him after the first brushing and trim. You might not see any difference between him in the video and him now but trust me there is about an inch or so of hair off of his back and I've started to shape his legs.

It was getting late and I decided we needed a good nights sleep to continue. As you can see my grooming table is the all purpose patio table when the weather is warm.
This is him this morning after further leg shaping and face shaping, his eyes are squinted because he thinks the flash is going to go off, fooled him! His hair on his legs is probably over 1 inch long, that on his back toward his rear is 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. You aren't supposed to give a bichon a tuck on his belly like poodles have but Dispatch is so sensitive about being trimmed near his man parts I'm like doing it while holding him so he has a slight tuck.
Now the bath which you can see he is SO very happy about, I used mild flea shampoo and then whitening shampoo, I ususally use conditioner to make brushing easier but he hates getting rinsed so much I decided to use no more tangles on his legs, his head and back are easy to brush, his head becuase it's fairly straight and his back because it's so short and he doesn't mind having it brushed. I did use the pedipaws on his nails too.
This is him all clean and white, first I towel dried him and then after a bit we went outside for the brushing and final trim. He is probably/maybe part poodle so he is really curly, you have to brush a bichon while they are wet to get the fluffy straight look. If you really want to know more about bichons and what owning one involves the best source for information is once again the forum I think. You can see a few of my pitiful grooming tools on the table along with the sheets of drawings I have printed out for reference. The dog continuously faces me hoping beyond hope I will take him off the table so that's why he's not quite sideways. The biggest mistake I found myself making or overlooking is trimming under his round head hair on his neck to give his head shape. That and the ledge above the eyes make up the typical bichon "look" plus of course the plume of a tail and the cylindrical legs. And them walking around on their hind legs because they want to be picked up, or fed, or entertained?
This is the wild groomed bichon in the wind. I see a couple points on his rear that need smoothed and a couple more on his front leg and chin but that could have been the wind.
And here are the three amigos, Dispatch, Skeeter, and Mugsey who is really alive, just goes into chill mode quickly. And that is how you groom a bichon. Trust me my previous trims have NOT turned out so well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Dog Talking To His Food

My Bichon talks, does yours? I really wish I could figure out what this talking dog was saying so I knew whether he needed psychological help or not or he's just spoiled? Ok, he's probably talking to me telling me just exactly WHY he can't eat out of this bowl he's eaten out of for years. We did have a time last winter when I had to put the food on a cookie sheet. Bichons can come up with some odd little habits for sure. The second video he's pawing @ his food, he does that when he can't eat it because it's hot or it's "scared" him for some reason. The dog is eating now quite happily and has scattered about half the bowl on the floor. There are two short videos because I forgot you had to charge new camera batteries before I used them. Duhhhh on me.

Also these pictures will be a before example for his grooming post, yes I groom my bichon @ home. For one thing he's not good @ the groomers, for another it's supposed to promote closeness between the owner and dog for the owner to groom his pet. Thirdly we live in the sticks, if I took him to the groomer and then went to pick him up later the time and money invested would be MUCH more than my time @ home so I will spend my days off mowing the lawn and grooming the dog. I haven't trimmed him fully for months and his brushing has been more miss than hit lately plus its rained every third day for weeks and he likes to spend time outside being a dog. We are planning a trip to go see his Daddy (my husband) the end of the month (more on that later on Florenceview blog). So my next post will be on giving the squirmy white puffball a haircut and bath, that part isn't bad as bad as the brushing out!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dog Hero Guards His Mother After Accident

The link on CNN.
A Labrador Retriever was hit in traffic in New York (thankfully she just had a broken leg), in the video you see a German Shepherd guarding her, lunging against the oncoming cars to protect her as she was lying injured on the pavement in the middle of rush hour traffic. When police arrived it took several officers to get the Lab onto a stretcher and into a police car because the German Shepherd was still guarding her. Once he saw she was out of his hands the Shepherd proceeded to lope home. When the story was all pieced together the German Shepherd was a mix and the Lab was his mother who is nine years old, they still live together in the same house.

These are my dogs, well two of them.

I don't know if my dogs, Bichon Frise and Golden Lab, have bonded like that but I do know the Bichon whines if the Lab wants in.

I know scientists and others have said things like dogs can't see colors (explain the newfoundland that only chased yellow vans and trucks then?) and dogs can't feel jealousy. Maybe it's not jealousy as we know it but they want the attention. The easiest way to get my bichon to come is to call the Lab or call kitty kitty and he will come running, his name works too but those are sure fire ways. I swear he will go sit on my husbands lap and get petted and stare @ me like he's saying "aren't you jealous? Don't you want a nice dog to pet, look @ me, I bet you can't stand it." The bichon hates to be brushed but if I brush the lab he will come to me. He also hates to have his hair cut but if I cut my husbands hair he wants his turn!

I also know of course the dogs can understand certain words but I think they can also understand sentences, we thought it was only the bichon but my husband was getting ready to go to his mom and dads in his semi, first he went down and got some tools in the pickup and then came back up to the house, the labrador was with him. The labrador had never been in the big truck, we didn't think he could get up there, the steps are fairly steep and far apart. My husband said to the Lab "OK, if you want to go with me you have to get up in the truck by yourself" as he was opening the door to the semi. He said the Lab bounced up there like he'd been doing it all his life!

Some say dogs have the intelligence of a human child between 2-6 years old. I believe it. Some are further down on the scale but as this video proves some like the Shepherd can reason and react appropriately. It's a lovely story, I hope the Shepherd got a steak or some nice roast for supper!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mockingbird @ The Guest Bedroom Window

Sorry the picture is blurry he was moving and I was too.

The title says it all (see previous two posts). I went in to clean a bit and I heard a knock on the window. He said "Miss Me?" OK, I'm kidding about that part but there he was knocking on the window. Problem is we're having company this weekend that probably doesn't want to wake up when the mockingbird does. Maybe I should show the cats the bird, I doubt they would catch it but maybe he would stay away? Maybe the mockingbird just thinks since he's a star on the blog he should give me further material?

Maybe Mr. Mockingbird thinks he's saving my life by making me sit @ the computer, since I've started this cleaning binge because of company coming. In the last two weeks I've broken my toe (got it caught on the king sized bedspread while carrying a wicker basket full of photos, didn't fall but toe still hurts, bedspread was on the floor because I was changing the sheets) ran into several bumblebees in the flowerbed while weedeating, tried to pick a dead paper wasp off of a lawn chair that had been stored for the winter and then realized wasp wasn't dead (I'm allergic, I don't go into shock but I swell up horribly from any sting and get sick), and I've killed 3 snakes outside while cleaning up. Two were far away from the house and they were all ringnecks but I do NOT like snakes, sorry.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Obsessive Mockingbird

This Mockingbird has been trying to get in the picture window since Saturday (see previous post). He's persistent if nothing else. The cats are all on the other side of the house, in fact they (6 cats) met me @ the door this morning when I let the dogs out to tell me their giant food dish was empty. Not that I'd want the cats to get the mockingbird but the bird has to QUIT @ some point?
Now I'm obsessive about my day off nap even though it's a gorgeous day in the mid 60s. Still nap time!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I Can't Get No Satisfaction or Tale Of the Mockingbird

Do you see the Bichon on the table (he hasn't quite learned this isn't a normal dog thing), do you see the mockingbird in the four o'clock bush?

Do you see the bird now?
I know it's blurry but it was moving obviously and had to turn my flash off. We have big picture windows in the living room, birds accidentally fly into them all the time. This one wasn't an accident, I thought he was trying to get in the house, my husband said the mockingbird saw his reflection? I don't know whether he wanted to mate or fight his reflection but what he wanted was an illusion.

What we humans want are often illusions also. The neighbors perfect life, their loving spouse, their great job, then you find out they have a mental illness or cancer, their loving spouse has been loving on everyone else and their job is not what it looks like. Then you just merely go onto your next victim of envy instead of taking stock in what you do have and should be grateful for.

The mockingbird reminded me of this. It's been a difficult day in many ways. A broken door glass, a dirty house and company coming, chores undone, too many have to other chores, people gone.

But then I'm reminded of what I do have, a loving family and husband, a few good friends and many casual ones, great health basically, skinnier than I've been in years, and right now an opportunity to actually be able to pay our bills and retire when my husband can still enjoy it.

So I need to quit writing on this and go take the trash out, surely the bird will give up when it gets dark?