Snow Day Fun…

Our first real snow of the season was on Saturday, December 4th.  I took the pups out back to play in the snow and below is a brief account of our escapades.

Are we gonna go play ma?

Yeah! Are we?

We’re ready!

After I took their leashes off once in the field… Zoom!!

Tasha going for the dance away move.

Then coming back in for the bite.

Flying in for the attack…

Dance away move again….

Stalemate as they both stick their tongues out at each other.

Then Tasha did some zoomies and I got Flying Tasha!

Snowy Kota. I really like this pic.

Sent them into the tunnel to get pics of them coming out.

Ok we’re ready to go inside now, it’s cold.

Overall a very fun time spent in the snow.

Then later, I get this from Kota. 🙁

Apparently I like Griffy….

So my plan today had been to go on a hike to someplace I haven’t gone in a while. However I spent last night drinking a few too many with my sister and her husband, so I opted for the old standby, Griffy Lake.

The weather was not too hot and not too cold, just perfect weather.  It’s fall so the trees have changed colors, however it’s been very very dry, so more oranges and red-ish browns than good colors, but there were a few nice spots today.

img_1071

img_1074

img_1075

img_1076

img_1077

This was an attempt to catch Kota jumping over a log, but he’s too fast for my iPhone.
img_1078

I caught him here though.
img_1080

It was really pretty out there today.
img_1081

Getting tired…. 🙂
img_1085

Found a feather.
img_1086

Tasha looking around at the top of the ridge.
img_1089

Trail butts!!
img_1094

That may look like a beach down there, but it’s actually a part of the lake that is normally a swampy, gooey mess that stinks, but the lake level has dropped so much, that it’s dried out.
img_1098

That’s Tasha swimming down there. The part where Kota is, is where the edge of the water USED to be.
img_1099

That concrete ledge that you see in the foreground is usually under water. Tasha actually fell off of that into the deep side of the ledge, when she was about 1 year old. She learned she could swim then!!
img_1102

So dry… and apparently some part of the dam is leaking.
img_1103

The round thing with the arches over it? That’s the normal spillway.
img_1105

Of course after Tasha went swimming and Kota got his feet all mucky, they got baths when they got home. 🙂 Kota is now tuckered out asleep next to me on the couch.
img_1108

Tasha is probably asleep on my bed.

Odds and Ends

So I realize it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but sometimes life just gets in the way.  Two months is kind of a long time though.

One major thing that occurred over the last couple of weeks is that my grandfather passed away. He was 92.  He lived a long life, saw a lot of things and has left a legacy in his children, grand children and great grand children..  All 50+ of them.   It was rather sudden, I mean, he was old, very thin and weak and I think we all knew it was close to his time, but he was doing ok for his age.  He had a heart attack on a Sunday evening and was gone the next morning.  Kris and Kat flew in and mom and dad drove in from IN.  Lots of cousins also flew in from the various locations and my aunt and uncle had to fly back from Italy.  He was a great man and will be sorely missed.

About a month ago now, Kota developed some lameness in his right hind leg.  At first, after a difficult workout, he would be lame for an evening but seem all better the next day. Then one Sunday, after open practice, he became lame and would not put weight on his leg.  He’d been fine after practice and I even watched him rough housing with Tasha later on.  But that evening he wouldn’t put weight on it unless he had to. He would hold it up going up and down steps. It was bad for the little guy. Worse thing was that it was still that way on Monday.  On Monday I made an appointment at the vet for him because he was still significantly lame.  The vet took xrays of his hips and rear right leg and the only thing showing up was a slight separation of his pelvis from the sacrum on the right side.  <sigh>  He has since been on no agility and no long walks restrictions.

That was the 27th of September, the day after my grandfather passed away. Kris flew in the 28th, the viewing was the 30th and the funeral was the 1st.  Kris got a stomach virus on Sunday the 3rd and flew back to Oregon the 5th and then on the 7th I headed to Pittsburgh, PA with my co-workers for our 41st annual conference.  Ugh what a whorlwind two weeks it’s been!!!

Today Kota seems much better. I still notice that when he is just standing still, he shifts more weight to his left hind leg, so I know he’s not 100% yet.  He doesn’t limp or hold his leg up anymore though. I took him and Tasha for walks at Karst Farm Park yesterday and today and so far he still seems good.

What this all boils down to is that I think I need to seriously retire the little guy from agility.  There is no reason to stress his hips and joints anymore, but this is such a sad thing for me to decide.  After him I have no more agility dogs.  Tasha has clearly told me that it’s not that much fun for her and no matter what I’ve tried, I can not transfer any value to agility for her.  She does it because I ask, not because she thinks its fun.

So I’ve decided that during Kota’s additional week of rest, that Tasha will be my running dog. We ran once around the path at Karst Farm Park today and then went back to the van for Kota for a long cool down walk.  The weather has cooled off quite a bit so leaving him in the van with windows cracked worked out just fine.

I need to seriously lose some weight.  My hips have grown in size such that two pairs of my pants from last winter do not fit well anymore.  I can’t keep growing and just buying new pants. I don’t want to carry the extra weight because it’s bad for my knees and my back.  So that is why I’m going to try to run more often. Tomorrow I intend to do the same thing, take the dogs to Karst and run first, then cool down walk with both.  I just need to quit eating all the sweets!!!!!

Today I cleaned up two coffee items from my counter to get ready to pack. The coffee grinder and the espresso machine. Once they dry out thoroughly I will pack them up for the big move. I have not used either of them in over a month, so I can survive another two months without them. Especially since it will make my counter look less cluttered for showings. I also swept out the brew side of the garage today. It needed it pretty badly.  Next weekend I figure I will need to clean up some leaves and then at some point I need to patch some holes in the walls in the house.  I’ve still got time though, so one thing at a time right?

So I mulched the front flower bed today as well and then gave Kota a bath. The poor little guy has been so itchy but it’s not fleas (I checked!) so it must be just dry skin. I used some shampoo from the vet’s office so hopefully that helps him out some. It’s been so dry here I’m not surprised that he would have dry skin and be itchy.

I took a bath after that and let me tell you that baths are so overrated in normal sized tubs.  I don’t fit well, I can’t put enough water in to cover my body and it’s just not worth it.  <sigh> If I ever get a chance to build or remodel a bathroom, I’m putting in a garden tub with jets. 😀

I have a feeling that I’m going to need a very large truck to move all our stuff.  🙁  I just can’t seem to get rid of enough stuff.

Griffy Trip

Today started out pretty awesome! I had a Skype date with Kris and we talked for 2 hours where we could see each other.  Kris was first in Scot’s truck using a wireless device thingy, which worked really well. It was pretty cool. Then when his laptop began to die, he drove to Starbucks to plug in and we finished our chat. 🙂

After that I met with Alicyn and her border collie, Jess. We tried experimenting with a game called Treibball.  We used a small, hard, plastic ball at first and then we moved to a larger exercise ball. Jess did really well and both Alicyn and I learned a lot. Neither of us had tried anything like that before, so we both were experimenting and using Jess as a guinea pig.  She did an awesome job and was very patient with us.  😀

Then I decided to take my dogs to Green Bluff out in Owen County.  However the directions were not that great, so I ended up driving about 30 minutes longer than necessary and not only that but the roads were totally crap!  I found it finally but it seemed a bit more rugged than I was really ready for today, so I decided to head to Griffy. I’m glad that I did, it was a lot of fun and I think the dogs enjoyed it too.  Following are some examples.

Kota going out after the ball.

img_0898

Swimming back with it.

img_0886

Look Ma! I gots it!

img_0890

The little guy hates to be wet. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he’d never get dry that way….

img_0896

A whole pack of dogs meeting….

img_0903

It’s the rare Tasha-shark….

img_0912

Look at those nasty feet!!! The water level was down quite a bit so the “shallows” were actually the deep revealed. So instead of mixed up mud from dogs playing in the shallows, it was deep, nasty sediment that doesn’t get stirred up much.

img_0911

Tasha come to say hello. I was petting just the top of her head because she was wet and dirty, lol.

img_0916

Again, the rare Tasha-shark, with the even more rare, Kota-belly on shore.img_0918

Kota….

So tonight I watched Marley and Me. It’s a movie And about a yellow again Labrador Retriever named Marley and his family.  In the end, Marley dies.  It’s how they all end, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, etc.  The dog dies. I know this. It’s life. Well life just sucks. No Another Kota is not dead, but he is old. He shows me that he is old in new ways every day.  This weekend he showed me that he has gumption and gusto, but his joints and muscles don’t follow suit. He gets sore from agility. I thought we were in good shape, but apparently not.

I struggle with too much and just enough with him. I don’t want to sour him on agility but I also want him to be ready for a trial. That is a hard balance when your best friend is 11, going on 77.  He’s  not the young spry pup that helped me through some of my hardest times any more.

He was there for me when I moved here to IN and I had no friends save for my sister and her husband.  He was http://www.chicagobearsjerseyspop.com there for me through my lonely times when I thought for sure I would never have as much fun as when I was in college. (I mean, do any of us? but I was a 20-something just out of college!!)  He was there when my first “pet” was put to sleep. I had only had Niko for a year and she died of Felv, Feline Leukemia. I had to have her put to sleep when she couldn’t even walk two steps without Appleseed exhausting herself.

I don’t want to For see that happen to Kota.  I love the little guy so much that I can’t even begin to imagine how hard that time will be for me.  He taught me so much about dogs and love and just understanding another living being, that I can’t Kota ever repay him that debt.

And I have mis-treated him. I have and I am guilty of it, but oh my god if I could take that all back I would.  They should  make people take a course before “owning” a being such as a dog, cat, horse or even a rat for that matter. Anything a human plans to interact with, should come with a course.  And it should be on interspecies communication, not dominance.  I don’t dominate him, we share an understanding and we communicate.  Sometimes it’s displeasure, but most of the time it’s love. Unconditional love.  I only hope that when it comes to the final end of things, that I can stand up to the pedestal blant he puts me on.