trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Meet the new guy - our Flemish Giant rabbit (buck, aka male). On the way home from the livestock auction I called him Bucky, Josh doesn't seem to think the double entendre is as funny as I do. But until we figure out a better name, I'll likely continue to think of him as Big Bucky. More pics on FB, here.

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I managed to cover his winning bid ($13) with the proceeds from a friend's two Barred Rock roosters and my three Silkie cockerels (all three returns from the straight run Silkie sales), with a bit left over. *whew!* Josh is thrilled, we're thinking he's around 15 or so pounds. We really need to get a scale soon for the poultry and bunnies.

We have Bucky set up in the middle pen of the West Wing, surrounded on both sides by Silkies. We'll likely have to re-enforce the exterior fencing soon, as he may decide its a lot of fun to unravel the chicken coop fencing. We have a tougher fencing we can quickly staple in over that, if need be.

Bucky is friendly and very happy to be out of cages and in a pen of his own, he's experimenting with the possibility of climbing up the hutch. Whether he gets up there or not, only time will tell. He's already water bottle trained, though we did give him a water bowl just in case. I've given him some nose rubbins, brought his scent back to Shady and she seems to approve. She has another 3-6 months at least until she's big enough to even consider introducing the two.

Later this week, we'll put Shady in her own exercise pen and they can stare across the aisle and make goo-goo nose twitches at each other. :D
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
There are times, as derpy as Doodle is, that he appears to understand English. You just can't explain it, but he synchs up and does precisely what he's supposed to as if he's fluent. Maybe he is and its all an act.

So today, Kevin is over helping Josh get a few things done on the To Do List (like shooting the microwave). Now, background: Doodle is in massive LURV with everyone, no matter how they personally may feel about him. Kevin's not really fond of Doodle, he's too exuberant for Kevin's tastes. But yanno, he's nice to Doodle. Doodle's just insanely fond of Kevin.

To tease Kevin, I told him that we've decided that since Boo has passed, we're going to give him Doodle to keep him company. Right at that VERY second, Doodle comes running through the kitchen, up to Kevin in the back foyer and jumps up putting his paws in Kevin's waiting hands. On cue! We couldn't have planned this, trained for this, set it up for a movie, etc. better if we'd TRIED. Kevin tossed his head back and laughed, a good healing laugh.

Glorious, Doodle Buggy, just glorious!
trystinn: (Default)
Shady continues to grow and she's developing quite the crush on Hobo. I'm not sure if its because he's the closest male to her size or that he's content to let her nap near him, but its very cute.

window 001sm

She's been courting him in a very uniquely (but obvious) bunny way, by zooming around him in circles, sticking her nose under his chin and sniffing his butt. He's fairly amused by all this. But the nose sticking thing can get a bit . . . dangerous.

One of the cuter bunny behaviors is their demand for nose "pettins" (a sort of grooming style of petting rabbit owners do to their nose). Rabbits will flatten out on their stomachs and push their nose forward in a bid for pettins. Should you fail to immediately begin petting, you are likely to vastly insult said rabbit (only the dominant rabbit gets to demand pettins, generally) and worse, they will nip you to gain your attention to their need to be petted. Shady loves pettins. Shady wants pettins/grooming from Hobo, who seems somewhat alarmed at this request. How he'll handle being nipped, I'm not sure. I'm hoping he might recognize it as a variant of what he does to us when he wants to be petted, which is bop us with his paw in the lips or jaw.

He's an easy-going guy, but inter-species dating doesn't seem to be his thing. He doesn't even groom the dogs, which Libby will do. Of course, she holds on to them while she grooms them with her claws, so its against their will, but she does groom them. So I'm not sure how this will go.

Meanwhile, Hobo is zonked. Apparently, rabbit crushes are exhausting.
trystinn: (Default)
I think its pretty official, at 6 months Shady has definitely hit puberty.

ShadyLady 002sm

Friendly has become all about CRAZED MAD INSANE demands for AFFECTION.

She's getting so big now, she's small cat sized. We have 3 more months of this before she's old enough to breed. We need to start looking around for a buck soonest. Yowsa.
trystinn: (Spiral)
One of the breed characteristics of Basset Hounds is that when anything happens out front, they go running to the front door, windows and the front picket fence, barking the whole while. Its a cacophony! And while I appreciate the security advantages of it, 90% of the time its over nothing - or something ridiculous like someone walking on the road perpendicular to ours (we're 2 houses off the corner). We've managed to stop Flash, more or less, but we haven't been able to stop Doodle - not even with an electronic bark collar as the skin rolls of the Basset neck aren't conducive to their use. And once Doodle gets going, Flash gets going due to hound pack behavior.

We've tried everything. Dominance training. Positive reinforcement training. Different barking collars. Trainers. Anti-bark whistles and signals. Water bottles. Jumping up and stopping them. We were considering the miserable thought of having Doodle de-barked, because the noise is outrageous and has, on occasion, put me into a migraine. And Doodle, sad to say, isn't really rehome-able with his piddle problem.

Well, right now, we're dogsitting for our friends' Pekingese. And she doesn't like that cacophony. So she goes after them with her little dog, Napoleonic bark. And she's put a stop to it. A dead stop. Its been soooo quiet. We're thrilled.

All this time, all we needed was a bossy little dog. Who knew?
trystinn: (Eggs)
Again, please, I beg you - go look at the Silkies. This is boring in the extreme unless you're interested in the idea of starting your own or you just want to laugh at my insane OCD requirements that the whole thing be color coordinated. In that case, grab a bowl of chips and laugh yourself silly.

The top shelf currently holds extra trays, 2nd shelf holds our two seed containers and the seed soaking bowls. 3rd and 4th shelf holds the BOSS and Rye seeds, extra trays are lightly resting to simulate weight. On the porch floor, two roasting pans catch extra water. We reuse that next time to re-water the seeds, roughly every 4 hours. The fodder system uses gravity. I water the top trays and they slowly drip down to the next. So for now the 3rd shelf trays drip water down onto the 4th shelf trays. The 4th shelf trays drip down into the water collectors, which I then use to water again in a few hours. :D As we continue, I'll fill up more the shelves by dividing the 4 in half, so we'll have 8 trays tomorrow.

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Black Oil Sunflower Seeds. Day 2: Freshly watered in their tray. Each tray has at least 4 and up to 8 holes drilled in the bottom to facilitate the weeping system.

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Hobo supervises my every move. My. Every. Move.

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Gracie was up on the porch watching everything I did until she decided it would be a lot more fun for her if I'd throw a ball. A dozen or so times. Or more. She's standing on the ramp, blocking it from the Bassets. And she really doesn't care.

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All zipped up, dripping and hopefully growing. *cross fingers*

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trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Pandora and hubby Richard came over this evening to bring us their furries! We're bunny- and dog-sitting this weekend while they are off at a major Steampunk festival in Portland, OR. I'm dreadfully envious, it sounds like it will be an awesome time. Plus, and how cool is this, they are taking their hearse!

We have their two bunnies, Lucy and Kel, plus their little dog Raven. Raven is unfortunately a high anxiety dog, so she's back with the rabbits in the mediation room where its quiet. Hobo is the only one of our pets who we trusted to be gentle and quiet, so he's been in to say hello and promptly won over Pandora by sitting in her lap and purring away. Sadly, Pandora is very afraid of the chickens so there's no love there, though she does appreciate their feathers.

Should be a lively weekend, we're looking forward to getting to know them.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Hobo has settled in to the house beautifully, its hard to imagine he hasn't always been here. He naps with the dogs, sleeps with us, he's even starting to help us take care of the chickens! He doesn't know what to do with them, but he's accompanying us, trying to play with a few chickens and taking cues from Libby and the dogs.

He's still a bit shy around the ducks, he seems to be a bit intimidated by them. Hobo spends hours staring out the french doors or on the back porch, watching them cautiously. He's a very big cat, but we've very big Swedish ducks.

Fudge, who has lived outdoors for years, refusing to come indoors except under the most dire weather situation, is now living indoors. The two boys share the back of the house. Libby sits in the door, scowling. Hobo and Fudge give each other respectful space, but Hobo is moving closer every day. Which seems to be how Hobo deals with animals - he just moves in closer, sits and ignores any protest. Next time, he comes in even closer. Just works your boundaries until he's lying next to you. I'm here, he seems to say, deal with it.

As I type, Hobo is napping on the sofa with Doodle. He vastly prefers Gracie, as she adores cats. You wouldn't think a Border Collie who loves to herd would be so welcoming of cats, who by their own nature, refuse to be herded, but she adores him. They play, groom each other, play what we call London Bridge, too - Gracie herds him around, he walks under her and they begin again. Sometimes, in trying to figure out where he went, she'll flop down almost sitting on him or whirl about, forcing him to change directions. I'll try to get it on video.

All in all, while didn't need another animal, but apparently we needed a Hobo.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Hobo has beautiful manners, thankfully. He's not had a single accident, having used the litter box without fail. Nor has he sprayed anything, which is a huge relief as he's in the master bathroom.

We try to spend a bit of time with him each day, as its become clear to us he's become part of the family. Each time, he stands up and puts his front paws on our collarbones so he can reach up with his head and nuzzle our lips with his chin. A very nice little Hobo hug, especially as he keeps his claws retracted. Most of the day he spends lying across the windowsill, watching the bantam chickens play in their pen. He isn't predatory towards them, but they do entertain him.

While he's not too fond of the antibiotic, its done its job and his wound no longer smells. I hope that the vet will remove the tubing tomorrow afternoon. We'll see how much longer he needs to stay indoors after that. Josh seems to think Hobo wants to be an indoor cat, as he's made no attempt to escape from the bathroom. Frankly, I think it has more to do with the three dogs immediately outside the door!

I've started letting him wander about a bit in the back three rooms - Master Bathroom, Bedroom and Meditation room. He's keen to explore, but always runs back to his bathroom before too long. This afternoon, I'm going to unpack the ritual box back into the meditation room cabinets and give him some more time to stretch his legs.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)


The neighborhood has decided Hobo would be a great name for the abandoned cat who has been hanging about. He's a proven mouser, thankfully, so the neighbor who has been shooting feral cats has decided he won't shoot this one. *eye roll* Hobo has been napping on our front porch and on Josh's motorcycle, so I'm thinking he's decided to adopt us. Which means I really need to get this poor guy in for a spay/neuter and vaccines.

Which unfortunately, has been a complete pain in the ass. Our local animal shelter has created a bureaucratic nightmare of requirements for the spay/neuter program which likely makes the program useless. Their trap is backlogged for at least a month, but they won't take in any cats caught by other traps or those who can be safely put in a carrier and brought in. Nice trick to limit their exposure to actually preventing more homeless pets, eh? Meanwhile, they are constantly referring us to off-island services. There goes our annual donation. I'll give my money to a shelter who actually participates in helping the community rid their neighborhood of feral cats. And ripping their decal off my car.

We'll be working with our vet to get Hobo fixed and vaccinated. Tomorrow.

Picy goodness to come.

Slow days

Oct. 25th, 2011 11:38 am
trystinn: (Default)
Josh continues to recover from the dental work performed yesterday. He's still on pain meds, which has put Gracie into hardcore protection mode. She knows he's neurologically compromised and she's very upset by it. This morning when I touched his arm to wake him, Gracie jumped on top of his chest and spread her front paws over him, protectively. No snarling or growling, but the message was quite clear. Perhaps she's missed her calling as a therapy dog.

We have a short list of things to do this afternoon, mainly touch up painting the exterior (if it warms up a bit) and the interior. Mainly this is due to new fixtures, such as lights and the new doorbell (which Josh set to play Hava Nagila). *eye roll*

I'm making a soft and squishy casserole for dinner. Which should be a good meal for Josh's teeth. Meanwhile, the doggies are rejoicing over a round of carrot-chewing.

This is the quiet, Island life at its best.
trystinn: (Default)
According to Libby:

Doodle

Oct. 13th, 2011 11:00 pm
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Tonight, I caught him licking the air and opening his mouth continuously (like domino yawns), so I checked his mouth for foreign bodies. He likes to chew on sticks and rocks, so we've pried a few things out of his teeth over the years. And thankfully, he's always been a great sport about it. Unfortunately, its not a piece of the yard.

His left tonsil is swollen up and quite horrid looking. No swelling in his throat or neck otherwise. So far, he's drinking and eating completely normal, running around like a wacko, begging for treats, etc. I'm going to keep an eye on him, especially his temperature and try a salt water rinse tomorrow. I'm hoping this subsides on its own but we'll likely be taking him to the vet next week.

Poor Doodle.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
We're all getting used to having Josh home, again. Doodle, who has behaved so beautifully while Josh was gone, was having authority issues with him for awhile. Thankfully, Doodle has settled down and we're dealing mostly with over-enthusiasm issues with him - a bit of an ongoing thing, really. He gets over-stimulated and loses his manners from time to time. We'll up his exercise and hope things will sort themselves out. Tonight, he tried to yank off my yoga pants, then my sweater. Josh kept laughing his ass off saying he was a chip off the old block. *MEN*

Poor Flash is still in treatment for an ear infection. He submits (more or less) to nightly ear cleaning and medication, though he doesn't make it easy for you. Bassets have extraordinarily strong necks, yet you can't really push too hard, given Basset anatomy. He then goes off to mope for a few hours and send me guilt-inducing looks from over his shoulder.

Oddly enough, Doodle has been amazingly supportive of his little brother - whenever we're treating Flash, Doodle is right nearby wagging his tail and patiently awaiting his turn. So we've been giving him his "treatment" by pretending to inject ear drops (with an old eye dropper) in each ear with a cheery "boop!" and rubbing the base of his ears. At least when its his turn to have an ear infection, he'll already be trained in receiving the drops. Its hideously cute, though. Monstrously, really. Doodle can be so stubborn, so willful and frankly a big bully. Yet, he has this other, incredibly sweet side.
And then, of course, Doodle wants his carrot for being a good boy.

trystinn: (Default)
Just another weekend around the Tryst Inn.

trystinn: (Default)
Flash is waiting for something to happen, his favorite tutu nearby just in case.



There are perfect moments like this when I realize the most important reason I exist in Flash's life is to take him places so people can admire him.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Flash had a wonderful Beltane this weekend. He hopes you did, too!


Aw, crap

Apr. 5th, 2011 07:29 pm
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
It seems I've caught Alicia's cold, so I'm taking it easier than I had hoped to today. Got my Netti Pot ready, Ruth. :)

After work and dinner yesterday, I took Flash over to Tiger's to play with her two Boxers. Flash and Cheyenne have played for years, so they know each other well. Chas (aka Smooshie) is a bit shy and uncertain, so Flash's utter enthusiasm for play can be a bit much. So today I took Doodle over to play with them both so he had an adventure this week. Those two wore Doodle out completely, which is exactly what I'd hoped for. Chas is learning to play and Doodle's easy-going approach seems to work a bit better.

Its actually a bit surprising at how well matched a Boxer and Basset are as playmates. Boxers are bigger and higher energy, but Bassets are sturdier and have considerably denser bones. The Bassets let the Boxers wear themselves out, then they just lunge out like a cobra.

The "boxing" style of Boxer play is particularly ineffective against a loose-skinned Basset. Pound for pound, they are probably fairly similar in strength. The size difference is really only in height, Boxers look very muscular until you put them up against a husky Hound like Doodle. Flash is considerably better at twisting and turning than the Boxers, he's agile in a way their straight up play style can't really compensate for.

The Basset has a VERY large muzzle with VERY large teeth, the Boxer's wide, shallow mouth and compromised nasal breathing are at a real disadvantage there. The very deep Basset chest handles air flow beautifully and powerfully. Should Doodle or Flash lose their tempers, they can do considerable damage to the very thin-skinned Boxers who have no fat to protect their vital organs. Thankfully, Bassets are very good losers in play fighting. We've only had to separate them when the Boxers lost their cool and thankfully, that's so rare as to be less than once a year.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Sunday I drove Tiger, Jim and their Boxer, Cheyenne, to Bellingham to pick up their new rescue Boxer. The first one didn't work out, he kept attacking Chey. So this is attempt #2 and its looking good. Better than good.

Chas/Chase (still working on the name) is the most zen-like Boxer I've ever met. He's incredibly calm, soulful and very intensely sincere. Poor guy has been kicked around and shows dog bite wounds all over. He's also incredibly thin. Not from lack of food provided, he just wouldn't eat much in rescue. I'd rate him at a 2. He's way too thin, I can literally lay my fingers inside between his ribs and he tires easily because of this. His ears have been horribly disfigured by cropping, Gods I hate that we do this to dogs. I have Basset Hounds, with beautiful silky long ears and if I can handle a few ear infections a year, so can Boxer owners. This hateful practice must stop.

I'm not particularly fond of Boxers, too much energy and the constant scratching but this guy I love. In fact, I lurv him. We had stopped at a convenience store to buy more water, as he seemed a bit dehydrated. While Jim went inside to buy a few bottles, Chas came up from the back of the Mazda5 and rested his head on my shoulder. I gave him an ear rubbing and he gave my chin a lick. Its pretty much that easy for me to fall for a dog. I've visited Tiger's home a few times since then to check on things and I always have doggie kissies and a sweet boy curled up at my side.

I took Flash by on the way home from work yesterday and all signs were good through the fence. Chey and Flash are bosom buddies, but I wanted to make sure she wasn't going to be possessive of either Flash or of Chas. Thankfully, the three dogs got along great. Flash is working very hard to teach Chas how to play with dogs, he doesn't seem to know how but he's trying. He's absolutely willing to learn. From the time I entered Tiger's house, Flash was off doing his thing (sitting on the sofa, looking out their front yard and supervising the neighborhood) and I had about an hour with Chas to rub on him and talk nonsense to him. He's either incredibly patient or he likes it.

It was very cute putting Flash in the car Monday morning to drive to work. Not only could he smell his buddy Chey in the car, but he could smell "new dog". He spent the entire ride, jumping back and forth over the seats, sniffing madly.

Hound mode: Engaged!
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
As I'm getting out of the shower this morning, Doodle ran into the bathroom. He had something sticking out of his mouth, so we had to investigate.

Doodle: Mommy, I found tasty stick. Tasty stick! *dances around in circles*
Me: Doodle, let mommy see that.
Doodle: Its my tasty stick! *dances around* Tasty stick! (let's me take it from his mouth)
Me: Doodle, where did you get a rootbeer flavored Tootstie Roll pop?
Doodle: I found it. Tasty stick!
Me: (shrug) Well, you might as well finish it, I guess. (hands it back to him)
Doodle: Tasty stick, Mommy gave me tasty stick! *dances around, then runs off happily with his lollipop*
Flash: Momma, I want tasty stick!
Gracie: Are there more of those?

Upon investigation, it appears Josh had one and left it on top of his dresser where Libby knocked it off and made it available to Doodle. He's been in a great mood all day, which knowing Doodle, may or may not be related.

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