Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer's here...

The grass is thick, and growing too fast. Rain, rain, more rain, then sun... Muddy paws on my trousers, wet dog to greet me, chores, gardening, and maintenance to distract me... My days are full.

Soon, the children will be out of school - Lin isn't old enough, quite, to leave home all day. I actually trust her, and she's certainly mature enough, but Qestions Would Be Asked, and I really don't want to deal with that drama. So, I'm pawning her off on my music-teaching psuedo-sister. Whom also happens to be Lin's voice and piano coach. Pricy, but more than worth it! The girl needs a bit of social polish anyway, and my sister is just the one to gently help her down that path. :-) That leaves Ian, and he'll be easy - The Child Development Center here at work runs a full-day summer camp.

OK, kids handled. What about Suka? I'm changing my hours to stagger my wife's schedule a bit with mine, that'll keep Suka from being alone too long. I've found that she's no fear whatsoever of the lawn equipment, though she's not terribly fond of the noise. So, I let her supervise my yard work, which she's content to do at a distance. The front yard not being fenced, she watches from the porch on a 30' lead, and is happy, though she does on occasion rearrange the slate border of the center island with the lead. In the back yard, she normally hangs out in the garage, and observes from the shade of the doorway. I'll need a child's wading pool for later, when things get hot - Some place in which for her to lay down, get wet, and cool off.

We're continuing our trips downtown, and she's really shaping up - her winter or more-or-less isolation is sloughing off, and her 'public' face is coming out to shine.

I've plugged the gaps in the fences where Suka has managed to slip through, and no longer need to watch her quite so closely. Likewise, I've sealed off the undersides of the shed, so the skunks are less likely to camp in our yard, though there's always the off chance of one wandering through. Now, if I could only stop the squirrels from chewing up the roof of the shed...

Gonna be a busy summer. I'll try and get some more photos, when I've got the initial rush of tasks handled.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Highland Games

Took Suka & Lin to the Fair Hill Highland Games this weekend past - It was fine spring weather, and I've missed the games the last few years.

Didn't have a whole lot of time to spend - Lin was due for a chorale performance later in the afternoon - but I wanted to give Suka some more social time, and she did us proud! She doesn't mind bagpipes, but LOUD is not her friend, and Highland Gatherings are pretty much, by definition, loud! That not withstanding, she was quite the little lady, and I'm very pleased with her.

She actually barked a couple times as we were getting close - unusual for her; highly excited! Once parked, she was charmingly well-behaved, excepting that she was prone to forgetting the tension on the lead, and had to be corrected a couple of times to remind her not to pull. Other than that, she was perfect - Good dog manners with the other dogs, good people manners, and most especially, good 'strange child' manners!

It helps that the vast majority of people at the gathering had good manners themselves, and behaved well. Only once did I have to instruct a kid on the proper approach in an unfamiliar dog, and she got the lesson right away, and happily complied. I think, because this is a dog-friendly event, that we had a crowd more clued-in to the proper and expected behaviors.

Whilst there, she again stuck her nose into every interesting scent she could find, and showed the most signs of stress when the wind shifted, and a new wave of scent would waft over us. When that happened, she was all over impatient to get moving along and investigate the news scents. As soon as we started moving again, the pressure came off, and she was happy again.

Going back and forth through the venue, Suka made many new friends, canine and human both. I gathered up a large quantity of buinsess contacts in regards to merchandise for my wife whom couldn't be there, and generally enjoyed the walk. After about an hour and a half, Suka began to burn out, and made "looking for shelter" motions, so we went ahead and departed. As usual, she was just as happy to bounce into the car on leaving as she was to bounce out on arrival... I think she simply likes getting in and out of cars. :p

Lin was also spot-on for behavior. This was the first time I've turned her loose at a gathering to investigate on her own, and she was perfect - Didn't give me a single new grey hair! She was also very popular with the kids that wanted to pet Suka, and one particularly charming little girl latched on to Lin and was ready to take her home! Yeah, I'm exceedingly proud of my child, but ya know? She makes it easy. :-)

No, no pictures - I was too busy and torn too many different ways to take snaps.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mud Puppy!

It's been raining.
Much, much rain. Seattle weather, to be honest. :-p

Jenn was out at one of her Chorale's performances this evening, in the pounding rain. I left Lin in charge of herself and Suka whilst I took Ian with me to deliver Jenn to her car pool to the performance. I come back to find that Lin and Suka have taken the opportunity to play in the rain (They're a matched set of lunatics, IMO). Anyway: dog; outside; pouring rain... I'm sure y'all know where this is headed...

This is what happens when it rains...

OK, so this was all just an excuse to post a cute picture of a repentantly muddy beast... ;-)

Anyway, mad scramble to clean up the dog before Ian and I headed off to collect Jenn again. She wears formal black when performing, and I was quite sure she'd have been less-than-charmed to have been greeted by the ambulatory mud-clod on her return.

Needless to say, when we returned, guess who was outside and playing in the rain and mud again..? Teenagers... Not only not quite bright enough to come in out of the rain, but also crazy enough to go right back out into it as soon as your back is turned. :-p Fortunately, I saw what was up before we opened the front door, and was able to intercept Suka before she splashed Jenn, whom made an inspired sneak-n-dash upstairs before the dog could enthusiastically greet her in a very muddy fashion.

And just so you know; This is what Suka looks like after being cleaned. The second time.
All better now - Time to nap.

That's all. :-p