Catching Up

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Time is flying by–can you even believe it is May 2010? I can’t. But, it is. No stopping time, is there?

Spring is certainly here and the past several days have felt more like summer than spring. It was very, very warm–mid-80s. That is very warm for my blood! I wanted with all of me to turn on the air conditioners, but I did not. And, I am still alive. In an effort to do my part to save the o-zone and to try to greatly reduce my outrageous electric bill, I am really really trying to do without the a/c for as long as possible.  I didn’t used to need this “luxury” and I am trying to not need it now. I did dig out a fan, though! And, I intend on finding out where all of the other fans I have are and put them to use as well. Where could a fan hide? I am also hanging more laundry out on the line to dry, instead of using the voltage-sucking clothes dryer. I’ll bet my neighbors just love me, eh? Wish I had a windmill and solar panels… but, that’s another subject.

In other news, I’ve had a great few days working on some projects. I actually took several days off work-work to do this. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got the materials picked up for some building projects–like a new gate for the deck, grooming/training tables, dog box project stuff, and items to fix all sorts of broken things around here.  That took up pretty much most of the afternoon Friday and the rest of it was spent looking for my cordless drill/screwdriver which mysteriously took legs and walked off to parts unknown. grrr… it must have gone on vacation with the fans… I worked dogs in the evening.

Saturday was company day. We had lovely visitors and fun with the puppies and dogs. After company left, I got busy-busy with one normal Saturday chore of scrubbing out all the kennels–not just hosing them out like everyday, but I scrub them out with bleach, let it stand for 20 minutes, then rinse well every Saturday (or Sunday). Most of our kennels have side panels that are solid about 3-feet high. The boys pee on them and they start to really stain and smell if not scrubbed with bleach at least weekly.

Our Llewellin Setter, Luke, liking his new rubber mat

The other thing I got accomplished while cleaning the kennels is that I finally got the rubber mats installed in the kennels! Yahoo! There is Luke, above, acting as though he is loving his. 🙂  I have wanted to get the mats for the kennels forever. I only got four so far to try it and will get the rest little by little. I can’t believe how heavy a 4 x 6′ rubber mat can be!!! Oh my gosh, I could barely wrestle one out of the truck, through the gates and into a kennel myself. After doing just one, I was exhausted and barely could budge the second. Feeling old, out of shape, and defeated, I had to wake Scott from his nap (he just loved me for that one, let me tell you), and beg him to help me with the other three. The hard part was getting one around the gates and through tight spots, otherwise, I may have been able to do it. But, anyway, we got the mats in four of the kennels and I love them! I think the dogs do, too. The surface will be so much better for their joints and bones. I wonder if the bleach will eat the rubber of the mats? Will I need to remove the mats first? Hmmmm… I may need to find an alternative cleaner/disinfectant.

Waking to heavy rain this morning but a damper on the projects planned, but we still got some things done.  Since it was raining too hard for any real dog-work, I decided at least I could take some dogs for a ride. It is important to me to keep the dogs used to not only riding in the dog trailer or a crate, but I like to make sure they are comfortable with riding up front and can behave themselves, as well. So, I loaded up Kohl and took him for a ride, then came back and switched and took Citori, then Cheyenne, then Ranger. My neighbors across the street must think I am insane. I don’t know this particular neighbor–they are some-what new in the neighborhood. But, I noticed them sitting on their front porch for the 2-hours I was doing this in the pouring-down rain. I would take a dog out and leave, come back 1/2 hour later and switch dogs. Do you think they thought I was taking advantage of the rain and using it as a training opportunity? Na, I doubt it. Who knows what they thought I was doing. I’m sure they’ve given up on trying to figure it out (like last week when I went to leave and stood in the driveway with all this stuff in my arms and wrangling two dogs on leashes looking for my truck that I had forgotten wasn’t there). They probably say, let’s go sit on the front porch and watch the crazy lady across the street with the dogs! Entertaining to them, I’m sure!

After it quit pouring and tapered to a slight drizzle, my darling husband took to building our training/grooming table! Hooray! Oh my gosh, I am so excited. I’ve used all sorts of things over the years and could hardly wait to have this built. I really had planned on doing it myself, but hubby took to doing it now that I had all the wood piled up on the front porch (and he found the lost cordless drill–do you think he hid it from me?) I tried not to be too nosy and put my two-cents in (after all, I really wanted to know how to do this because I want 2 of these–not just one!) and just let him do his thing while I cleaned the pigeon loft and worked with a few dogs using a few pigeons. Oh my, you should have seen Cheyenne, Citori, Santana, and Kohl going insane watching the pigeons fly around, land on the other side of the fence or on the roof, then make some more loops circling the property–the dogs go absolutely crazy when I toss out some birds. Too bad it was too wet out to have the camera.

Laurel Mt. Llewellins Pigeon Loft
Pigeons on top of the loft

We used to free-fly our pigeons and they could come and go as they please and the dogs were always having a ball, but we had to stop doing that. First, one neighbor was getting mad because the pigeons would eat all of the bird food from her bird feeders, then sit on her roof and make a mess all over her deck. Second, we lost too many pigeons to hawks, the neighbor-lady’s son (and his brand-new bb-gun), and cars. The pigeons would sit on the road and get run-over! So, we no longer let them free-fly all the time. It is really neat though to watch a huge flock of pigeons making loops around the neighborhood in unison. It is really beautiful to watch and a lot of our neighbors miss seeing them. Now, we just do this a few times a week and just a short time before feeding them (and they will all quickly return to the loft). That exercise was fun, then I actually cooked dinner (a rare occasion anymore) and did the afternoon feeding and exercise and admired my new rubber mats!

Scott finished the table and it took us about an hour to get it where we wanted it! This 8-foot long table with 3-foot legs was not only big, but really, really heavy. We have tight spaces around the kennels (where I wanted the table),  and on one side are the kennels and on the other side is the steep hill. So, we had to lift high and low, go around this pole, and that gate, turn it this way and that and finally got it into place! As it turns out I am told the latest issue of Pointing Dog Journal has an article about building a table just like this.

My new training/grooming table!

We spent a lot of time with the inside dogs this evening, as I felt they were being a little neglected because they haven’t been able to be downstairs in the evenings and such since Jenna had the pups. I just love our Llewellins. They are each so different and loving and funny! We had a nice evening and even took Cheyenne down-stairs with us. Jenna was wonderful and didn’t mind her too much. Cheyenne was excellent with the puppies and would just lay on the floor and play so gently and allowed the puppies to bite and crawl all over her.

Cheyenne and Scott

Cheyenne is a wee-bit lonely without her pal, Ben and we felt bad for her. It was so strange without him here, today. We did receive a great report that he had a good trip to his new home, was a good boy with the other dogs there, slept in his crate without a hitch, and all was going well. We miss you, Ben!

Bee, a female tri-color Llewellin Setter puppy out of Jenna and Steele

I got a few new puppy photos and they should be showing up via the link to the web albums in the upper left sidebar.  The puppies are really something and so stinking cute. They are beginning to show dominance behavior, and are stalking, pointing, and pouncing each other. I have to really concentrate on the paper training and begin introducing them to the outside this week. I left the door open as much as possible the past few days and several would go to the door and look and sniff, sniff, sniff–but none went out very far.  A few are using the paper to do their business, but most are not and I must get on that. They learn incredibly fast at this age and it won’t take but a few times and they’ll understand. Hopefully, we can really just skip the paper thing and get them going outside as soon as possible.

Okay, that’s all for tonight, folks. Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!