SNOW DAY

Yesterday was a nice snow day for Tippy and I. There was already some snow on the ground and it continued to fall throughout the day.  As much as Tippy loves to play in it, I decided to let her off leash on our morning walk. She did GREAT!

She waited patiently while I closed the gate so the cows wouldn’t escape.

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Hurry up. I want to run!

Well, maybe impatiently.  Then she was off exploring all of the sights, sounds, and smells.  I’m pretty sure she appreciated the fact that she didn’t have to go at my pace.

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She stayed fairly close and came every time I called her.  The fact that she knew she got a treat might have helped slightly.

One of my favorite things about playing in the snow is how cute she looks with a white nose.

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Thanks for letting me play!

Later, while Tippy was taking a nap, I read some of the blogs that I follow.  I was inspired by Becoming a Wild Family to stop procrastinating on a quilting project.  It was originally supposed to be a Christmas present for my nephew eight years ago. I had gotten the quilt top put together, but had barely started on the quilting process.

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Log Cabin quilt top

I worked on it periodically for a couple of years and then just put it in the closet. My main problem was the time it took to even get it out and start quilting.  If I didn’t have at least half of a day to work on it, it didn’t seem worth the effort.  I purchased a small quilting frame so I could keep it set up and work on it when I only had 30 minutes or so to quilt.  That might have worked, but, two years later, it was still in the box.  Not now!  Yesterday, I put it together, put the quilt on it, and quilted for a couple of hours!

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In the frame

My goal is to get it finished by June so I can give it to my nephew and his wife on their 5th wedding anniversary. Yes, I am the Queen of Procrastination, but I am going to do this!

Tippy and I hope all of your snow days are full of fun and productivity!

 

 

 

HOW DOES SHE KNOW?

Note:  There is only one picture in this post.  You’ll thank me later.

Tippy doesn’t get sick very often.  When she does, it is because she has either gotten into something rotten she has found or has eaten too much, too quickly.

Back in the summer, we had taken a walk in the back field.  I saw her run up the hill toward the gap in the fence.  When I got there, she was sniffing what appeared to be where something had gotten sick.  I made her get away from it and come in the house.  A few minutes later, she started whining, wanting to go outside.  I thought she was wanting to go do what dogs do, eat the pile of yuck, so I wouldn’t let her out.  A couple of minutes later, I heard her gagging and had a mess to clean up!  I told her I would listen to her from then on.  As she had never gotten sick in the house before, I wonder how she knew that it was something that she should do outside and not in the house?

Fast forward a couple of months and she got sick again.  But, this time, it was more than a one or two time thing.  I had listened and taken her out when she wanted to, so no mess to clean up.   But, again, she showed recognition that she was sick and that she might have to go outside quickly.  How do I know?  She slept beside me, on the floor in the bedroom.  She had never spent the night in the bedroom before and hasn’t since.  That night, she woke me up about every two hours to go outside.  I took her to the doctor the next day.  She didn’t have a fever, so she thought she might have gotten into something that upset her stomach.

If you read my last post, you know that Tippy has had restricted freedom for the last three weeks.  Today, she ran out the door when I was trying to put a box out to be recycled.  Usually she will wait on me, but I think the call of freedom was too great for her today!  I watched, and she took off at full speed under the fence.  It reminded me of a prison break.

She ran in the opposite direction from where the cows are fed in the winter, so I just let her be, planning to go find her if she wasn’t back in 15 minutes.  She returned in fewer than 5.  Since she came back quickly, I decided to let her have a little of her normal freedom back, and left her out for over an hour, checking on her periodically.   She did great, but must have found something to eat while she was out and about because, after we came in for the night, she asked to go back outside and promptly threw up twice.  She has been fine since, so I think getting it out of her stomach was all that was needed.   She is sleeping on the couch now, but, you can rest assured that if she wants to go back outside, I will take her!

20180115_183918 (2)_01Do your dogs know when they are sick and ask to go outside?  I’m curious to know if it is a normal behavior or not.

RUNNING WITH THE WRONG CROWD

As with people, dogs can get into trouble when they run with the wrong crowd, or should I say, the wrong pack.  Tippy found this out a couple of weeks ago.  We had gone for our walk in the neighbor’s field and she disappeared before we got back.  She does this sometimes, but always comes back within 10 to 15 minutes.  I figure she can’t get into too much trouble in that short period of time.  However, on that day, the neighbor called to let me know that he had seen Tippy and the neighbor’s two Pit Bulls barking at his cows. Uh oh!

He was actually very nice about it and said he didn’t think they would do any harm, but he had three new calves and they were aggravating the mom’s to death.  He asked me to keep Tippy up for a couple of weeks, until the calves are better able to take care of themselves.  He also told me that he has had problems with those Pit Bulls for over two years.  I have since learned that they run the horses that belong to their owner.  That’s not good.

So, for over a week now, Tippy has either been inside, tied out, or on leash.  She’s not happy.  I feel bad for her and wish I could make her understand why she isn’t allowed to run free.  If I could, I’m sure she would chose freedom over hanging out with the other dogs.

Yesterday, I’m convinced the Pit Bulls came by for a visit and she really wanted to go out to play.  Here is what I saw and heard.

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I think I see my friends. Can I go out to play?
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Please, mom. I really want to go out.
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In case you didn’t hear me, I REALLY WANT TO GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!!!!
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Fine! I guess I’ll just have to take a nap!
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Naps over. Maybe the stare down will work.

When that didn’t work, so she made one last ditch effort.

I did eventually take her out for a nice walk, but only after I was sure that the Pit Bulls had moved on.  I have figured out a way to let her get some running in with little potential for “escape.”  I drop the leash, throw a treat, which she will run to retrieve and devour, then run back to me and sit down to wait on the next treat to be thrown.  This has the added bonus of working on her recall.  Sure wish I had made that a priority when she was a puppy.

Just a few more days and I will let her have more freedom.   Living on a farm, I hate to have to keep her restrained – especially since she’s used to being able to run free and she has so much energy.  But, having grown up on a farm, I also understand that she can’t be allowed to aggravate the cows.  For a long term solution, I am researching GPS dog collars that will allow me to keep track of her when she is out of my sight. Maybe that will keep us both from getting into trouble in the future.

Tippy and I wish you all a very happy and trouble free 2018!

 

GOING WITH THE FLOW

If you have ever had a room painted, you know what a disruption that is to, well, just about everything.  So, when I scheduled a painter to paint my great room, I was worried about how Tippy would handle all of the changes.  My original plan was to have her stay with our trainer, but she was out of town.  I had no choice but to keep her here and hope for the best.

I put her crate and the furniture that could easily be moved in another room.  Once the painter got here, the rest of the furniture was moved to the middle of the room where it, and the floor was covered with drop clothes.

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Checking out the new location of her crate.
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Furniture all covered up.

When Tippy came inside, I just let her explore at her own pace.  To my pleasant surprise, she walked right in, not worrying about all of the different textures on the floor or the fact that the furniture was out of place.

She got along well with the painter too.  She did bark at him when he came, but quickly warmed up.  By the 3rd day, she just ran to the door when he got here, excited to see him.

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Supervising from the bedroom.

At the end of each work day, we would clean up the biggest part of the mess and I would take the drop cloth off of the couch.  We had it set up so that I could still watch TV from there in the evening.  I wasn’t sure where Tippy would want to sleep, since she normally goes from the couch to the loveseat during the night. I expected her to sleep in the bedroom with me, but this is where I found her every morning.

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The couch was her spot of normalcy.

It turned out I had no reason to worry, as Tippy just went with the flow.  However, I think we were both glad when the project was complete.

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Back on the loveseat.
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Awwww! Glad that is over.

 

 

SISTERS REUNITE

When I found out that Tippy and Huckleberry were finally going to meet for the first time since they were puppies, over 4 years ago, I pictured in my mind what the reunion would be like.  You know, the slow motion running to each other, giving doggie hugs and kisses, and immediately playing.  Of course, real life never quite works out that way.

The initial greeting was tentative.  There were lots of polite sniffing and a little bit of low growling.  To get that under control, we took them for a walk together and then came back for the event.  I wonder if our expectations about the meeting produced some unintentional nervous energy?  We were just so excited for them to meet and for us to meet also.

Even though they probably didn’t remember each other, they sure did act like sisters, the kind that have a love/hate relationship.

They initially refused to be near one another.

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Not going to sit by her. Nope. Not going to happen.
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I’m not even going to look at her.

As Jane and I talked, we did realize just how much alike they are.  They both lay with their paws crossed, dislike most men, hate large tucks, love peanut butter (they placed 1st and 2nd in the peanut butter eating contest), love their back to be scratched at the same place, have allergies, and have similar mannerisms, have a cow lick in the same place, and prefer Frisbees over balls.  Without jealousy, each one loved on the other’s furmom – like we were one happy family of 4.

Eventually, we were able to get them to sit together, even if it was just for the judging of the Biggest Dog competition and a quick picture. Of course, the Great Dane won and Huckleberry came in second, as she is just a little bit taller than Tippy.

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Ok. This is close enough. Hurry up with the picture, please!

Everything considered, I think the meeting went well.  We are planning to get together again next month, when they can just play, without all of the distractions, and when Huckleberry isn’t tired from a trip to the beach and riding all morning.

These two pictures show how much alike they are.  What do you think?

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Huckleberry looking away_01_01

We did manage to get one good picture of them before they had to leave.

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Great picture of the two right before they left.

We hope all of your holiday family reunions go as well as this one did…with a lot of love for everyone to spread around, lots of tail wags, some polite sniffing, and only a small amount of growling, if any at all.

BARK FOR LIFE

Our Bark For Life went really well yesterday!  We didn’t have as big of a turn out as I had hoped, but everyone who was there had a great time and the day was perfect for being outside with your pet.

Huckleberry and her mom, Jane, had been at the beach with some friends and stopped by the event on their way home.  She commandeered her friend Brittany and furbaby Tucker to come with her.  They all had a really good time and Brittany posted, “Tucker never knew fundraisers could be so fun!”

We had all types and sizes of dogs, ranging from a Great Dane to a tiny Yorkie. Everyone had fun with the Strut Your Mutt parade, and the dogs seemed to love showing off their best tricks, giving vocal performances, smiling, wagging their tails, and participating in a peanut butter eating contest, among other things.

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The regional news was there and ran a short story at 11 o’clock.

Tippy got second place in Happiest Dog and Best Trick.  She also got first place in fundraising, so her picture will be the largest on the poster calendar we are putting together.  Here she is with all of her prizes.

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Tippy and her prizes.

I had intended to include in this post how the reunion with Tippy and Huckleberry went.  However, my internet was acting up today and it literally took me all afternoon and evening to get these pictures up and the post written to this point.  I will do my very best to post about the reunion tomorrow.  Sorry to all of my followers who were looking forward to hearing about it today.

 

 

SISTERS

I found out a couple of days ago that the lady who adopted Tippy’s sister is planning to come to our Bark For Life event on Sunday, so they will get to meet for the first time since they were just puppies!

It all started on a Saturday in late June of 2014.  Someone had posted pictures on Facebook of two adorable puppies that they had found in the ditch in front of their house.  They were going to give them to anyone who wanted them.  Since I had decided it was time for me to get a dog, I called to ask about them.  By that time, they were on their way to drop them off at the Humane Society, so I told her just to go ahead since I wasn’t 100% sure I would want one of them.  I showed up at the Humane Society early on Monday to have a look and try to make up my mind.  Here are the Humane Society pictures of Cartwheel and Pinwheel, aka Tippy and Huckleberry.

It doesn’t surprise me that Pinwheel’s picture was blurry as she was very active and  Cartwheel was the more mellow of the two.  That, and the two different eyes were what drew me to Cartwheel and not her sister.  See my posts The Beginning:  Prissy and The Search Is On for details on my adoption of Tippy and just why she was initially “sluggish.”

I was thinking today how Cartwheel would have been a good name for Tippy when she was a puppy.  She would take off running as fast as she could, try to cut a quick corner, and her momentum would carry her on, causing her to do somersaults across the yard.  She finally figured out that cattle herding talent and no longer goes tumbling.

When I decided to find Tippy’s sister’s owner, hoping they could get together, I connected with the lady who initially adopted her.  Unfortunately, their current dog and Pinwheel did not get along, so they had given her to a friend who lived in Chattanooga, about 3 hours away.  I was able to connected with her on Facebook.  She is a Tennessee State Park Ranger and got transferred to a park that is only an hour away a couple of years ago.  We have been wanting to get them together ever since she moved, but haven’t been successful.

We are both excited about them meeting on Sunday, and are really hopeful that they get along.  Maybe, in some deep seated memory, they will remember each other and be glad to be reunited.

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Tippy
Huckleberry
Huckleberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIPPY’S TV DEBUT

This past Monday, Tippy and I were invited to be on the local news, with my friend Kelly and her dog Kimura, to promote Bark For Life, an American Cancer Society fundraiser that she and I are putting together.

Tippy was excited until she found out she had to take a bath in order to look her best.  Since it was for a good cause, she tolerated the dreaded water torture.

We had to be at the studio at 9am.  It’s a little over an hour drive, so we got up early on Monday morning and took off.  I don’t know if Tippy knew what she was in for, but she was definitely more relaxed than I was on the drive.

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Loving the ride.

Once we got there, we walked around a little bit to burn off some of Tippy’s energy.  Fortunately, the rain they were calling for hadn’t started yet.

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Mom, what are all of those big round things?

The doors to the studio are locked, so you have to ring the doorbell and wait to be let in.  I’m pretty sure the receptionist was not expecting to see a dog and, from her reaction, or lack thereof, she is NOT a dog person.  Tippy couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to pet her and didn’t react positively when she put her paws on her desk.  Some people!

We were told to go to the waiting area and she would let them know we were there. Kelly and Kimura came in a couple of minutes later.  That’s when things went downhill.  Tippy went to greet her. At first, all was good.  But then, Kimura gave a little growl and Tippy was NOT going to back down like Kimura’s sister does.  I had Tippy walk away, but she started her full blown barking that she does when a perceived intruder is in the area.  This is not looking good and we were just hoping that the newsroom had great sound attenuation.

I got her to calm down, but if Kimura moved toward her, she would start barking again.  So, we tried “walking together” up and down the hallway.  For the most part, that went well, with only a little growling as they passed each other.  We went back in to the room and they had a few moments of tolerating each other.

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Okay mom. This is close enough.

Two young ladies came in to wait for their segment.  Kimura hid under the table.  Tippy went over to greet them, but, when they reached out to pet her, she gave a low growl and walked away.  The ladies were dog people, so that didn’t bother them at all.  We all thought it was funny that she went over “to be petted” and then growled when they tried.

She laid down for a few minutes and then got up and laid her head on my lap.  I was petting her when Kimura inched her way toward us.  Tippy went into full blown protective mode with the really mean bark that she has.  Geeze.  Really?  When I realized that she thought she was needing to protect me, or claiming me as hers, I had her to lie down beside of me.  That calmed the situation and they were good until it was our turn to be interviewed.

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I’ll just lay right here and wait.
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Is it time to go yet?

Kelly and I were very worried that we were going to have a real news story with headlines reading something like, “Dog Fight Breaks Out On The Morning News.”

They calmly walked into the studio.  We only had about 30 seconds to get them situated before the interview began.  Tippy decided to lay with her back to the camera.  With everything that had happened between these two in the waiting room, I decided I wasn’t going to try to get her to turn around.  As long as they were calm, we were happy.  Here is the link to video of our segment.    If you listen all the way to the end, you can hear the news lady talking to Tippy.  As soon as the camera was turned off, she had gotten up and turned around to get some lovin’ from her.

There were no more intolerant moments between the two.  We are going to try to walk them together some at one of our local trails and see if that helps them get along better.

Apparently, keeping yourself off camera as much as possible is very hard work.

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Mom, that was exhausting!

Bark For Life was originally scheduled for tomorrow.  The weather is supposed to be awful – raining and a high of 43° F (6.1° C), so we postponed it a week.  I’ll be sure to create another blog post afterwards and let you know how she and Kimura gets along.

 

 

 

 

 

IT’S FALL Y’ALL

Today is a nice, cool, sunny, early fall day here in East Tennessee.  Having some things I wanted to do on my computer, I decided to take advantage and sit outside to “work.”  Tippy decided to join me.  At first, she was very respectful of the fact that I had things to do.

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She’s laying nicely beside of me while I check e-mails.
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Don’t worry mom. I won’t let that crow bother you while you are working.

That was, however, short lived as she decided that I had been gone too much this week and needed to be paying more attention to her.  Of course, I was happy to oblige.

She did finally have enough and went to lay in the sunshine.

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Okay, I’ll leave you alone for a few minutes.

She came back and jumped up on my lap, looking over the computer, as I was commenting on a blog post.  She may have just  been wanting me to tell Choppy hi for her.

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What’s Choppy up to now?

Tippy and I hope the weather where you are is as great as it is here and that you have a wonderful weekend!