Free-ridin’…….

It’s the end of April and the weather is mighty fine, thank you very much! Both horses (Jack and Izzy) have been out at the trainers since early March and were supposed to return in early May. The trainer, however, injured her back and is not able to work both horses to their fullest potential, so she has offered to keep them another month at no cost. I’m happy with that because they need as much time away from home being exposed to ‘stuff’ as possible. And as a bonus, it gives our pastures another month to grow. The turkeys have been scouting the pastures this year because for once there’s actually grass to pick at and I would assume more bugs and stuff to eat. This morning I came out of the shower and heard a turkey call that sounded like it was right outside the bathroom window. No, but it was in the driveway. A big tom turkey with his flock of girl turkeys pecking and nibbling their way up the driveway. I passed two bobcats in the road on the way down the hill this morning. Wildlife abounds this time of year.

Art the Husband has been taking riding lessons on Jack for the past few weeks. Art is tentative, Jack is, like “Okay, just hold on dude, if you go down, it’s not gunna be my fault”

And when Art is done, it’s my turn. Jack is very fun to ride, he’s easy going and really mellow.

Jack is very helpful, everyone loves him.

Izzy is a good girl, if a little bit of a handful at times. She throws temper tantrums when she gets frustrated or doesn’t want to do what is asked of her. So she will be getting full time training next month instead of the part time she’s been in. A little ‘attitude adjustment’ if you will.

One of my favorite things about living here are the sunsets and wonderful weather. It was about 75 degrees at around 8pm when I took this on my way home from Livermore. Fabulous.

Weekend of… mowing

Mowing, mowing and more mowing. Now that the weather is decent here (for the most part – we’ve still being having frost a couple nites a week and its been ruining some of Lisa’s newly planted vegetables), everything is growing – fast. We have some field grass that is up to 3ft tall. I spent yesterday and today trying to bring some order to the yard, instead of letting it go and looking like a scene from I am Legend. Seriously tho – if humans disappeared tomorrow, I have no doubt in short order, nature would busily take over again.

Unfortunately, its also allergy season – I wish I could mow without wanting to claw my eyes out. Even with Allegra-D, its still pretty bad.

We went riding again yesterday. Was better this time – at least my butt didn’t hurt this time. Jack was his usual mellow self and I thanked him again for not pitching me to the ground.

Student driver

Since Lisa had a dog show this weekend, I went by myself for horse lessons. It was time to actually get on one of ’em and take ’em for a spin. Note that I have not been on a horse for 25+yrs. I really should have gotten a sign on my back that said “Student driver – stay back”. It was ok tho – I chose Jack because he’s been more mellow lately since he’s getting full-time training. I was glad for Lisa’s new saddle tho. Made it more like sitting in a easy chair – albeit it one that poops and tips side-side. I went thru the basics: forward, back, turns, braking, etc. Got the usual lecture about not popping the clutch, don’t ride the brakes, no Jack-rabbit starts. Overall it was fun. Jack wasn’t sure what to make of me tho. He looked back a couple times asking “do you have any clue what you are doing?”.

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After thinking about it a bit…..

I have been inspired, rather than demotivated by Andretti’s performance this weekend in Sacramento. Yes, he passed. Yes he got a title leg. But you know, there’s a lowest passing score for a reason; for my dog to aspire to. So, in a fit of inspiration and encouragement from readers of the previous post, I have decided to create unique Under-Achiever ribbons, to acknowlege the below-average achievements EVERY dog is capable of!

They will be in slightly ‘off’ colors from the standard AKC ribbons:

Death Pallor blue instead of bright royal blue
Dried Blood red instead of bright red
Pus yellow instead of bright yellow
Dirty White instead of bright white

(Can you tell I work in the Veterinary profession?)

They will be inscribed with words of off-handed observation (instead of pride of placement) such as:

‘That’ll Do’
‘Sort of Okay’
‘At Least You Showed Up’
‘Just Squeaked By’

And as an award of non-merit

‘What Were You Thinking’
‘We Didn’t Know the Bar Could Be Set That Low’
‘Almost Impressed’

Perhaps this is a bit harsh, I mean, he did pass. I’m just glad he doesn’t have fingers, because I’m pretty sure both me and the judge would have gotten the double bird from Andretti this weekend.

NOTE: These ribbons aren’t solely for the above mentioned purpose (dog show related crap). You could get creative and hand them out to dates that didn’t quite work out, husbands/wives/significant others who consistently fail to live up to expectations, employees that just don’t cut it, students who need encouragement when they give nothing to encourage. The possibilities are endless!

My dog is an A-1 Underacheiver.

What a waste of a day. I’m beginning to realize how much I don’t like dog shows and all the obsessive compulsive behavior that comes with them. I drove 2 hours to Sacramento last night, stayed in a hotel, then got up at the ass-crack of dawn to get to the fairgrounds by 7am. I spent the morning showing Dee, she did okay, she’s a pretty dog and getting more and more confident every show she goes to. Fine. Neat. That’s great. But standing around for hours waiting for Dretti’s class I had nothing better to do than people watch, people listen and shake my head a whole lot.

Please, please for the love of gawd, if I EVER show up wearing a shirt with my dogs profile fashioned in RHINESTONES on the back with some stupid phrase indicating how much I Love My Rottweiler……fucking motherfucking shoot me. Someone, please just put a bullet in my head. Same thing if you see me wearing ANYTHING that indicates freaky obsession. Nobody, NOBODY needs to be sporting a shirt proclaiming that “on the weekends, my irish terrier and I go barhopping” No shit, I saw this today. Freaky Freaks. Nor does anyone need a custom t-shirt with their dog’s photo screen printed onto the front of it. No rhinestone baseball caps with paw prints glittering across the brim, no denim jacket bedazzled with toy poodles.

Don’t misunderstand, I love my dogs, really I do. I particularly like the breed of dogs I have for a multitude of reasons, but I am not obsessed with collecting everything that has to do with them. NOT. No way, no how. I think I have an antique hood ornament that is a sprinting greyhound (from a 1927 Ford Lincoln Town Car), and, um….a decal on the wing window of the bronco. THAT’S IT.

These people are whack-jobs.

How did Andretti do today? you ask???? Dretti? Well, my dog is a shithead. A complete bung-hole. He competed (and I use that term very loosely) in obedience today and only passed by 6 points. 70 is a passing score (out of 100) Andretti got 76. He routinely gets 97, 98, 99 scores and an adoring horde of spectators. Today he was a complete bastard; wouldn’t heel, took forever to sit, refused to do one entire exercise, flew off covorting after going over the jump, ignored half of my commands (as if, perhaps, they were mere suggestions that he could take or leave). Oh well, when it comes down to it, technically he DID do what I requested, and earned the final leg of his advanced title. He didn’t get the lowest score, and he didn’t get a non-qualify score (he got the SECOND lowest score) so I have officially declared him an Advanced Underachiever.

Little Jerk-Face.

Anyone want a slightly used light brown greyhound with a smidge of an attitude?? I’ll let him go cheap, or trade for ?

I’m exhausted now. After the 2 hour drive home, I went out on the back porch where Art the Husband set up the chaise lounge with my favorite blanket and pillow and collapsed in the early evening sunshine while he rubbed my feet. Life is GOOD around here, lemme tell ya. Until Art’s girlfriend Paul showed up to watch the Detroit/Nashville game. Foot rubbing ceased and yelling at the tv began. Let me just state my opinion: The Predators DO NOT belong in the playoffs. They SUCK.

Now, I’ve made dinner for the two boys and I’m going to bed. With my big brown underacheiver in tow. I still love him. But seriously, make me an offer. My love is most def for sale.

xoxo, L.

Helping those who cannot help themselves (because some asshole locked them in a cage)

Meet Luna Blue.

She’s from Nebraska. A puppy mill in Nebraska, to be exact. Helen and I agreed to spend some of our donated mill rescue skrill getting some dogs out of a puppy mill being closed down in Nebraska. We’ve done 3 rescue runs now since this time last year. The first one got a lot of press, none of them since really have, even though we’ve brought back a multitude of needful dogs (Oprah has opened more eyes though, and for that we’re gratefui)

We got 7 italian greyhounds (per my request on the list of dogs available), 2 maltese and one rather large caviier king charles spaniel. 2 of our italians mistakenly got left in Utah on the drive back, with a rescue group, so that’s cool. The rest showed up in san jose Friday night around midnight-ish. I turned all the italian greyhounds over to a rescue group, except for Luna Blue. She just captured my heart a little bit when she play nibbled at my fingertips thru the wires of the crate, and pawed at the door when I came near. Her feet are flat and her pads are deformed from never walking on solid ground (just wire on the floor of the cage she was housed in for the past 5 years). She has disgusting dental disease, most all of her teeth will need to be pulled. Only half of her right ear remains. And she has a mast cell tumor the size of a ping pong ball behind that same ear.

She gets tired walking more than a hundred feet or so, having never walked so far in a straight line on solid ground before. But when I picked her up she leaned in close to me, looked me in the eye and kissed my cheek. That was all it took. The rest went to rescue groups here in the bay area, Luna Blue came home with me. As I was driving us home around 1:30 last night I looked out the window and saw a perfect crescent moon. I thought how fortunate this little dog was to have come so far in the last 24 hours, and how truly lucky she was to get out. The odds of her feet ever touching grass were so slim, but somehow she got the golden ticket. I named her Luna Blue that very moment, for the one chance in a blue moon that she could get a life she hadn’t been slated for.

She’s a little heavy, but we can fix that. She’s getting spayed and her teeth fixed up and the tumor removed on Tuesday. Yesterday, she visited with a very special lady I know who loves this breed of dog and had begged me to let her know if I had a candidate for her to foster when these dogs arrived. I doubt she will remain a foster dog for long, Luna Blue captures hearts left and right it seems. (Art was soooooo concerned that we’d be keeping Luna Blue, Q was sooooo concerned that we wouldn’t….he spent the night with her in the crate to keep her company)

You know, for the most part I don’t think I make much of a dent in anyone’s existence, but this is different. I have the means to change this creatures life (by using where I work and what I do for a living). In changing her life, some person’s life is altered. It’s the opportunity to introduce someone to a dog that may bring so much joy to their life, smiles and love that weren’t there before. A dog that may just become the center of someone’s world. A dog who didn’t exist in the eyes of anyone until our paths crossed.

It doesn’t seem like much does it? But really, it is.

P.S. you can see the rest of the dogs here:
April 2008 Nebraska mill closure rescue

Weird week

Just a random collection of odd events/scenes this week.

One of the park police officers stopped me on the way to work to see if I had seen anyone ducking up Welch Creek on my way down. Apparently, they were in pursuit of some guy they thought was either poaching or tending to a pot farm. I wouldn’t think the area around us would be good for a pot farm, since the cows, wild pigs, etc would eat it. Hmm… stoner cows.

Stepping out to Starbucks in the the shopping area near work I saw this:

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Yes, people protesting Best Buy. Why you may ask? I was curious, so I asked. Apparently they bought a washing machine at Best Buy and it broke down, so they have tried to get service and have had some issues. So, to make their point, they brought the >whole family< out to protest Best Buy for a day. Just inside the parking lot was the Best Buy security detail. Well, as much security as Best Buy appears to have... some lady in a gold cart, looking sternly at the protestors as if to say "Oh no, y'all aren't getting in on my watch" bestbuysecurity.jpg

Last weekend after hitting the furniture store in Berzerkly for a new dining room table, we went over to Emeryville for dinner. Don’t recall the name of the place, but it was good. Anyway, on the way out of there, we saw this:

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If anyone can identify what this means, I’d like to know. Maybe its a comment on genetic mutations that creates people with multiple heads and how they are subjected to becoming circus freak balancing on some single wheeled thingie. Dunno…

The week finished off with seeing a homeless guy sleeping (dead?) on the side of the road on the way to work. I called 911 to have the CHP come check it out. He was pretty close to the white line, so if he was sleeping, it wasn’t the safest place to chose for a nap.

Weather sampler

April is turning out to be a weather sampler here – a bit of rain, some frost and now this weekend – summer – its supposed to be in the low 80s today. Good for the gardens, but perhaps less good for dealing with the blasted weeds… getting the lawn mower fixed today. We have enormous amount of foxtail that came up this year and its gotta go – not good for the puppies, as they can get it stuck in the noses, throats, etc. Bleah. The chickens are loving the good weather. They’re popping out eggs at a amazing rate. Happy chickens… anyone want fresh eggs?

’tis the season…

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Tax season that is… bleah. I hate this time of year. Fortunately, the nice folks at Intuit make it a bit easier. Tho, progressively, it seems like TurboTax gets more and more buggy. I really wonder if that’s on purpose to help them sell their ‘Audit Defense’ stuff. Hmmm…

Back to trying to figure out how to deduct the loss of 10+ sheep/lambs. I haven’t been able to track down an accountant in the bay area yet that seems to understand farm stuff or be willing to learn.