Monday, October 4, 2021

Life with Moana

 It's been almost a year since I adopted Moana.  She's gotten more confident and sadly, less cuddly.  Although I'm not sure that isn't because it's been hot. 

She still wants a lot of attention and interrupts my work.  But she doesn't lay on the couch with her head on my lap hardly at all.   

Like Bogie, she will lay on the floor with me nearby petting her.  But I'd be more comfortable if I could get her onto the couch.  

She has decided it's her job to guard the house. She sits in the upstairs window and watches the street.  Barking at people and dogs going by.  I have managed to get her to stop barking once I acknowledge she is doing her job.  

However, there are a few things that make her bark extra crazy.  A specific German Shepherd she's never met but has taken a dislike to.  Ditto a small dog that is frequently walked by our house by a woman in a wheel chair. 

Recently we had some nasty weather.  More rain that usual.  And Moana particularly objects to people standing on roofs.  At least 4 of the houses in her eye range have been inspected.  And no amount of assurance will calm her down until the people are off the roof.  

She sleeps in the bed with me.  Sometimes I make her move if she takes my spot.  Most often I find alternate open space on the bed.  At least she doesn't kick in her sleep - very often.

Our daily walks are calmer.  She doesn't freak out when she sees unknown people.  But she still barks at them, as she is walking up to be petted.  Everyone we've met has been wonderful with her.  And that has helped build her trust.  

Overall, she's a great companion, pushing me enough to get up and around.  Keeping me company.  

Driving me crazy.  :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

When Bogie died in October 2020, I convinced myself that I was going to wait for the end of that horrible year before getting another dog.  I'd spent the past couple years taking one or both dogs in for weekly vet treatments.  I wasn't ready for another. 

I was still taking my daily walks, but I missed having a companion with me. So after a couple weeks I started looking for rescue Danes. 

The first I chose was pronounced not a good fit since I didn't have any other dog companions.  The second was a "foster fail" and no longer eligible.  For the third I made a 3 1/2 hour round trip to Tucson to meet her.  

And Moana was a sweetheart.  I admit the name concerned me since I'd never seen the movie.  But it took a couple more weeks for the process to wend it's way to completion, and I got used to the name.  And made a point of watching the movie.  (very cute). 

I got Moana the day before the Thanksgiving holiday and had the four day weekend to acclimate her. 

She's a now-3 year old Great Dane who's been marvelous company for me.  Her color is called Piebald and the gray spots you see are her skin, not her hair. 

She's kind of a blend of Angel and Bogie, very cuddly but also a little willful.  Luckily she'd had some training so I didn't have to start from scratch like I did with Bogie. 

It helps that I work from home and don't have to leave her.  She's not happy when I leave her, but she's not been destructive.  

There seems to have been some abuse.  She was terrified of men at first.  Especially men with beards.  But now she is anxious to meet anyone we encounter on our daily walks.  Although she tends to bark at them as she is walking towards them.  "Pet me, but I'm tough"?

I'm lucky to have her.  

Sunday, October 18, 2020

My Bogie Boy

When Angel died in March, I thought I would have a couple years of solo time with Bogie since he was  only 9. He didn't need a lot of attention, which was good because Angel demanded attention. I wanted to make it up to him. 

 But it wasn't to be. What had been noticed a couple years ago as a dragging of his back feet, became more serious. Degenerative myelopathy. He began to not only drag his feet, but have trouble getting up. And standing up. 

 We tried swim therapy. And he seemed to like it.

But getting into and out of the car did more damage than the therapy helped.  

So we muddled on the best that we could.  The final straw was when he couldn't get up.  And I couldn't help him up.  The panic on his face crushed me.  He eventually did get up, but that was a portent of the end. 

On October 17, I took him in to the vet, held him close, and let him go.  

Sweet, smart, stubborn, and stoic, he is sorely missed. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Quail baby rescue

Yesterday afternoon, while I was fixing Bogie's dinner, I looked out the window and saw a quail pair approaching the ground level bird bath.  Sweet.  Wait.  Something else is moving.  At least 20 little puffball babies. 

Bogie was distracted by eating, but I was afraid he would want to go outside afterwards.  I watched the babies go back under the gate.  Whew!.  Wait.  Mom and Dad didn’t leave.  Babies came streaming back into the yard.  Bogie laid down with no plans to go out into the heat.

Babies scurried back under the gate.  Yay!  Again, Mom and Dad didn’t leave and the babies came streaming back.  I opened the patio door, hoping the noise would send them all under the gate.

Mom and Dad flew over the wall.  The babies scurried away – into the yard.  I made sure Bogie couldn’t get outside, then I went out to gather up babies.  I found where some were hiding and herded them to the gate.  Score!  They went under. 

But wait, others went the opposite direction.  I caught one and put it outside the gate.  And it tried to come back into the yard!  I deflected it and put it further outside.

Herded the rest toward the gate.  Caught another and deposited it outside.  Didn’t see any more and went inside to find Bogie completely uninterested in what was happening. 

As I cleaned his bowl at the sink, I saw 3 more babies scurry along the wall and under the gate.  I watched a while longer, but nothing else moved.  All babies safely outside the yard.

Not my photo

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Unexpected spring visitor

I was reading curled up on the living room couch. Bogie was sleeping on the throw rug in front of the open door.  The screen door was shut so he couldn't get out.

Suddenly I see a movement.  A lizard scurried from under the couch!  It saw me as I saw it.  It hurried under the hutch.  Then when I tried to catch it, it scurried under the camelback trunk.  I didn’t even know there was room underneath.

Throughout this, Bogie seemed completely unaware until I moved the trunk a little to see the tip of a tail. For some reason, instead of “helping” he went outside to sleep in peace. Thankfully.

I found some empty plastic storage containers and a cardboard box and surrounded the trunk. But there were gaps.  I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t want to scare it out into the open where Bogie could get it.  So I went next door to get my teenage neighbor, since he has lizards. 

He came over with me.  Said if we pick up the trunk he’ll grab the lizard.  Happily, the trunk was empty.  We lifted it a bit.  The lizard skittered.   My neighbor tried to grab it and missed.  The lizard ran right into one of the storage containers.  Luckily it was pretty deep. 

I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  He suggested out the back gate.  But his mom had wondered if it came in through the gap between front door and screen.  So I thought, out front where he probably came from. 

As we stepped outside, another lizard scurried from the base of a tree to the pile of rocks by the sidewalk.  Spouse?  So I let the one we’d captured go by the rocks.  He didn’t want to leave the container.  I had to dump him out.  And he scurried to safety between the rocks. 


He was about 8” long, half of that tail.  My neighbor said it was probably a whiptail.  It looked very much like this. 

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Angel girl

 Angel was a Belgian Malinois, Great Dane mix.  A real sweetheart of a dog.  She thrived on attention and was always by my side.  Until near the end.  

By the time she was 12, her arthritis got so bad she had trouble getting up and moving around.  She let me know she was done taking walks with me and Bogie by turning around and walking off when I tried to put on her leash.  

We did laser therapy to try to ease the arthritis, but physical therapy wasn't an option.  She'd had cancer in her thigh so there wasn't much muscle to rehab. 

On March 4th I took her into the vet for her final appointment.  I took Bogie too so he could see she wasn't coming back. (That didn't work out at all). 

Letting a beloved dog go is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  I miss my shadow so much.  

Angel in name and demeanor. 

I calculated that I had had Angel for 10 years, 5 months, and 14 days<

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Refurbishing a feathered dream catcher

Many years ago I was given a dream catcher made from an antler and some sort of stone or bone circle. I don't remember the occasion or the giver but it held a place of honor on a wall in my house.

Years later the day came when I rearranged my wall art and noticed the feathers were sickly and covered in dust.  I hanged it outside so the wind could blow the dust off.

And forgot it.

Recently I noticed the feathers had not weathered well. Only the spines remained.

I looked briefly into finding replacement feathers, but what I found wasn't satisfactory.  I had other copper hanging ornaments I had purchased.  So I decided to make copper feathers. 

Finding a good weight copper was tricky.  I ordered a sheet online but it was much too thick. Luckily it arrived bent and I was able to return it.

I visited a metal distributor but their stock was also too thick. Finally I found a web site that advertised copper sheeting the thickness of 1 1/2 sheets of paper.  And it was perfect.

I was able to cut the feathers out with titanium scissors,  The cutting action even flexed the feathers to give them a textures look.

While attaching the replacement feathers to the existing beads, the leather holding the feathers disintegrated.  So I replaced that as well. I didn't have any brown suede on hand, but I think the green looks fine.

Close-up of a copper feather. 

The refurbished dream catcher.