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Friday, November 20, 2009

Canine see, Canine do...

Having four dogs in the pack is sooo much fun....and sooooooooo much work. I am typing that with a huge smile on my face for I in no way mean that as a complaint, although...there are such moments... every now and again.

Today happened to be bath day for two lucky pups. A "younger" me would have had them groomed and bathed all within an I brushed all four and bathed two.
I dragged the booster bath out into the driveway. For those of you with bad backs....or just tired of bending this doggie bath tub is very much worth the money. Once the tub was set up I brought out a little stool, set up the drier, placed several towels on the stool...rolled up my selves...ready for the first dog....Niki.

She is so easy...once the final rinse is over she is ready to run around...shaking...shaking and more shaking. Then her most favorite....being towel dried....she loves it.

Rocky....oh my...he has soooo much coat. It takes a long time to do a good rinsing on him....and the drying, well my hands will be sore for a few days. His favorite part is the bath itself. He would prefer to air dry however he has so much coat he would never dry, best to use the pet dryer for him.

Once the dogs are almost completely dry we headed out back for some late afternoon fun.
There is a distraction in our yard this fall... lots of pine cones and acorns have been scattered about.
Pine cones are fun for the dogs....though I go around picking the majority will get passed me and they will chew, play with it....taking turns....I oversee making sure no one is ingesting....they are distracted and it is tossed if I notice someone trying to eat it....usually Bailey....Niki.
There of course are dangers in allowing your dogs to eat pine cones as they can cause obstruction in the intestines.

The acorns found under the oak tree is of much concern for these are indeed can they also cause obstructions in the intestines. The toxins can cause vomiting, diarrhea to more serious... kidney failure. Also....if like me you have an oak tree in your yard, make sure that oak leaves do not get in your dogs water dish as this can cause oak poisoning. Not the tree of choice for a yard with dogs....mine came with the house.

It started with one dog...Gemma finds these little morsels tasty...then Niki showed an interest....and now all feel the need to have a taste. Canine see, Canine do!
I have my work cut out for me....thankfully, I have noticed less of them falling.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Dogs...

Upon my arrival home this afternoon the dogs were so quiet/ calm as I made my way through the house...letting each dog out of the crates, one at a time. They know if they fuss a bit they will have to wait to be released....and they soooo want to go have some fun. Such a wonderful way to teach them to be calm when you arrive home....all about timing and when to open the crate door....just wait for them to be calm, they catch on very quickly.
Excitement was in the air....Play time.

Before we actually got to have fun...Poor Rocky has been dealing with ear problems since being down here, last few days they had gotten so bad, especially one. He was one miserable pup yesterday....following me around, tail tucked under, head cocked a interest in play. I whipped up a batch of the Blue Ear Solution and after 24 hours....using it twice a day he is once again wagging that tail, showed some interest in playing with Bailey this afternoon. Keeping a close eye on this for it can go into the inner ear will I have to continue cleaning them out twice daily for a little longer.

When cleaning their ears you should never spray, or pour ear solution into the ear canal....easier method is soaking a cotton ball, lifting the ear flap, gently lay the cotton ball there, lowering the flap and again, gently massaging. Then wiping out all of the crevices with the cotton ball, then allowing the dog to shake before gently drying the flaps with a clean, soft dry cloth.

After they had several good romps....a game or two of chase, Frisbee, ball then just wandering about...taking in all of the scents in the yard....then finally....all joined me in the shade where we sat and just enjoyed the reminder of the afternoon....very happy dogs.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Orangutan and the Hound

Watch more National Geographic Channel videos on AOL Video


Early Morning Romp...

I am not a morning person...never was. living with RA has made that even more so for when you are very much like the tin man. Stiff, your movements are awkward...but, with four dogs....movement is a must. I call it the morning shuffle. The good thing, it does improve as the day progresses.

This morning as I was letting the dogs out in the yard they were so very excited, another day. I so admire how they embrace each and every day, this morning they had to check all scents out to see what critters visited their yard during the night. Not sure about who visited but there were several new pine cones scattered much fun can be had with pine cones...they make great chew toys (do not allow your dogs to ingest these for they can cause obstructions)...toss and shake is always fun with a pine cone, oh and parading it around in their mouths in front of the others...makes the others jealous and usually a game of chase will ensue. you can see is pretty darn fast and has a good bit of herding drive...notice the pine cone is long gone at this point, now just chasing and being chased.

I know your wondering what I am doing while all this fun is taking place...walking around with popper scooper in hand cleaning up after was then I spied this lovely spider web. I stopped and looked, no spider....the morning dew just glistening off the web strands. I thought that the light would have been so much better earlier, who knows, maybe I will get a second chance tomorrow morning!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cheeeeeese Cake....

The Holiday season is here...ready or not here it comes.
This year I will be hosting Thanksgiving...I am indeed a smart host!
I know there is no way I can cook and make all guests happy so I tell them to bring their most favorite dish, one in which they just cannot do without. Me, I am in charge of the Turkey/ stuffing, whipped potatoes and two being Pumpkin Cheesecake.

I find cheesecake to be one of the simplest deserts to make....yes, you can purchase one, but homemade is really the best. Over the last twenty some odd years I have cooked with a gas stove, now I have electric...not liking it too much. I much prefer gas. Due to the series of little accidents that ocured a few weeks back when making a cheese cake for my sister I thought I best to do a test run on the pumpkin cheesecake.

Several things to remember when making a cheesecake....ingredients are best at room temperature....moisture, one of the most important things to consider. I place a pie dish on the bottom shelf of the oven and fill with hot water. The cake bakes on the middle shelf at about 350 for about 30 minutes, then I turn it down to 325. This cheesecake I did a sour cream topping...when the cheesecake was almost done baking, I remove to pour on the sour cream mixture and bake a few more minutes to set. it is removed...the center should be a bit jiggly, if not it is overcooked. Letting it cool with aluminum foil resting on the top of the pan (keeping the moisture in).Once cool cover and place in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or so.

I was the taste tester this morning...yes...what a burden ;-)
Since there was no one here to join me, the remainder of the cake was frozen....cheese cake freezes well for up to a month.

A very off day...

We all have those know, you over sleep...and then from there things just are a bit off. So too do our dogs have an off day every now and again....of course it could very well be that we set the tone for their day.

So, my video shows the pack and I just not on the same page...dogs forgetting commands, not really wanting to play....just a bit off. Those are the days you just simply smile...tomorrow is another day ;-)
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heart Of Courage - Veterans Day Remembrance Day

Because of You...
by Roger Robicheau

You put it on the line for us
We won’t forget, you are A-Plus

This country stands because of you
Your service seals red white, and blue

No better troops embrace this earth
Thank God for you, our greatest worth

We pray for you both night and day
God be with you along your way

You wear your uniform with pride
And use your skills, so well applied

The rank you hold does mean one thing
You’re a GI and you are first-string

Be well assured we back you strong
How proud we say ‘that you belong’

Without your will - to walk the walk
We’d have no right - to talk the talk

©2003Roger J. Robicheau

Monday, November 9, 2009

Comfort Food...

We were all raised with foods that to this day we love to prepare for our families. Those foods that take us back to when we were kids. I remember as a young girl coming home from school, doing my homework and taking a nap curled up in a chair in the living room, Mom fixing dinner. The smells...the sounds from the kitchen...comfort food.

One of those meals for me is Pot Roast with whipped potatoes and carrots.
I love it....though do not really eat it that often. For that reason I do not feel bad that I do not follow a "low fat" recipe. yes, you can indeed cut the fat and it would still be very good....however...if you do not have all that often...splurge.

Pot Roasts is just one of those meats that is so easy to prepare...and so many methods to cook it. For this pot roast I used my dutch oven pot on the stove top, heated it up while I placed the meat on a paper towel making sure it was dry on both sides. I then cut up two med. sized onions, removed the peel on four med. sized garlic pieces....I peeled about six carrots and cut in half. I salted and peppered the meat...drizzled a little olive oil on it and placed in the heated pot...while in the pot I salted and peppered the other side, drizzled a small amount of oil of it. Once it was nice and browned I turned it over and browned. Then time to de-glaze....I pour a good bit of red wine in...simmer for a few minutes then add beef broth. I place the cut up onions in the pot, garlic goes in, and place the carrots on top of the meat....not in the broth and wine. they actually steam rather then becoming mushy when placed in the liquid. Cover and simmer until the meat is so very tender and juicy.

Whipped potatoes...peel and cut up potatoes...add to salted water boil 'til tender, drain add to your mixing bowl...butter, and whole milk...beat until creamy and lump free.

Fudge Brownies, and not the boxed version. I know, so many of you love the boxed me they are a little too sweet so when I want something like brownies, I want homemade. Again, this is something I do not make too often, truth be told I had not made these in several years.
the best ingredients are used:
Ghirardelli Chocolate Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, unsweetened chocolate,unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract, sugar,eggs, instant coffee, flour, baking powder, kosher salt, walnuts, peanut butter.
My batch I did half with peanut butter swirl.
Topped with Purely decadent Vanilla Bean ice cream (it is made with coconut milk is is so very tasty and found in your local grocery).

My image of the brownies...after giving most away to guests, I was left with less then perfect pieces for my photograph...matters very little what it looks was very good. this piece happened to have some of the peanut butter....yummmmmy ;-)

The image below of the Goldens, just a moment captured this afternoon after a good play, then all got to rest in the grass...I took the opportunity to catch up on a little reading.

Remember, when photographing your furry friends, wonderful to get images when your dog is looking directly at you and the camera, don't forget that those moments when your pets are just doing their thing make some of the best photographs ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dog Chatter....

Before veiwing the video please turn the music to the web site off. To the right scroll down to Dee's Playlist on the right side of the page.

Finally, several days of cooler temps. Air turned opened and fresh air in....lovely. It was so nice that the dogs and I took several me, they so enjoy the cooler temps.

As I put this little video together I smiled....I often chat with my dogs. Since it is just the dogs and I a good part of the day...well it helps me. I no doubt outsiders roll their eyes and think it is time to call the funny farm...but I am not at all crazy...well in other areas of my life no doubt ;-), not when it comes to the dogs.

It is how we communicate, and realize that our furry friends do indeed have a clue. As the human/canine relationship grows and the bond strengthens the level of communication improves. Think about it....your furry friends are very good at getting what they need, want from you....just by way of a certain look, whimper, bark....whine, meow. So too does our furry friends learn to hear the tone of our voice...they learn the meaning of certain words...and of course they are masters at reading our body language!!
I so love to crank the radio up and dogs love, to my dogs singing is like an human ears...finger nails on a chalk board... I promise to NEVER video tape my singing...cross my heart ;-)

So...wondering, just how many of you talk to your furry friends??
Thursday, November 5, 2009

No Petting the Armadillo...

It Is the little things In life that seem to most Intrigue me and hold my Interest....
My alter ego Is an Individual that Is Indeed fearless and an out doorsy gal...In real life, not so much.
However, when behind the lens of my camera....I am Indeed fearless....ok, maybe not so much fearless...more like my camera Indeed comes between subject, object....It Is my talisman...warding off evil.

During a walk out to the mail box with NIkI a while back I noticed a hole dug In the garden out front, right next to the foundation....hmmmmm
What could It be....I start researching online and guessed It to be an Armadillo. Made so much sense for I also had been finding areas of the lawn, dirt dug up....pretty decent holes.

Now, I have been told these could also be found where I used to live, however...In all the years I never saw one. Have seen pictures, have seen them on TV, never up close and personal.
So...after I read about them I thought It might be best to get a professional to catch and release him/her. Further research stated that often times you will Indeed have more then one...they are not very easy to catch If using traps which Is how the professional wild life wranglers catch them. Having contacted a few local professionals, well just way to expensive. Of course If this continues....possibly to prevent further damage I will just have to hire someone...though not at all sure If that would work, add to the fact that there Is acres of woods behind my house I am sure the woods has a great supply of armadillos and more will find there way under the fencing....may just have to put a donate button here on the blog, call It the Catch and Release Program with a picture of the Armadillo ;-)

The hole found In the front of the house was filled In only, of course to once again be dug out. These are nocturnal critters....a few days later another hole/ burrow found next to the air conditioner foundation...major problem. The borrows which they dig are harmless, that Is If not near your home. They can cause major destruction to the foundation of your home. The holes In which they create In your grass and dirt can be pretty damaging as well....not too much of a concern, however I noticed the holes around the base of the trees. Hmmmmm, If they can cause the type of damage to your foundation, house I can only Imagine with trees such as pines. Lots of damage this critter Is causing.

My research suggested using moth balls....hmmmm did you all know just how very toxic mouth balls were. I did not either until a box was purchased...nope, not gonna do that. Pepper, and anything with a strong odor for they apparently have sensitive sense of smell. I again went hmmmmm....for It would seem to me this would cause them to move a few feet away...thus moving their burrow....I can only Imagine this would cause more damage....In more locations.
I also cannot figure out how many there are for one can dig numerous though to throw you off their track ;-)

After a few weeks I still had not caught sight of them....not for lack of trying.
Realizing my best strategy will be to spray my yard....sadly, I must be careful for I do not want my dogs getting Ill from all the toxic chemicals...then one thinks might as well just use the moth balls....there just has to be a better resolution. My yard does not have to be the prettiest and greenest, especially at my dogs and the environments expense. I am still researching for I have read about a few repellents.....just need to make sure that they will not harm the dogs. Meanwhile locals are telling me to kill them.....hmmmmm, maybe a big pot of armadillo stew, how about armadillo BBQ, dillo-dog (like corn-dog)... probably tastes like chicken.

It was not until a couple of weeks or so ago while brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed I noticed Rocky standing at the front door growling....I looked out and of course did not notice anything, however he was pretty convincing that I should Investigate.
I looked out my bathroom window which faces the front and low and behold....running here, there....digging...very fast diggers, on to the next spot....munching away...was my very first armadillo sighting.
Toothbrush goes flying....quick spit and rinse....reach for the camera and out I go....jammIes and all. I grabbed the camera realizing I would have to be pretty close due to the lens on the camera. As I approached he did not notice me until I was very close and It seemed he sensed, heard...smelled me first. I am guessing vision to not be the best. I followed him up to his borrow and watched how he retreated into his den.

After the first sighting for a couple of nights the dogs and I went out and did not realize he was In the yard, they chased him/her out...boy they are indeed fast when digging out of the fence.
'til finally late one evening I was turning over In bed when I noticed the back security light go ready with better lens I ran out back...leaving the dogs to watch out the door. I was being oh so quiet as I approached....until I bumped Into the dogs empty water bowl on the patio....too much noise and my presence now known. The armadillo did not retreat at first....frantically digging up here and following, him turning In my direction. I did manage a few shots, sadly like the armadillo my vision Is not great at night ;-)

Since I have been In the company of the armadillo a few times they are Indeed non aggressive critters. I have gotten up close and personal....harmless....that Is until I read that a small percent of the armadillo population carries leprosy. petting the armadillo!!!!

Having for a few nights followed him/her around I was thinking with a good cage close by... sporting a really good pair of thick long gloves, looking through my lens...up close and personal would seem to be so very easy to reach out, grab and trap....but then that would require me putting down my talisman....the camera.

Please know that no critters were harmed while photographing them...neither did any of my neighbors seem to be bothered by my roaming my property in my pj's, or the flash going off between the hours of 1 and 4am.


Gone but Never Forgotten

Gone but Never Forgotten
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