Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Videos of African Wild Dogs

          I thought I would share some videos I took of the African Wild Dogs at one of my recent trips to Brookfield Zoo. Occasionally the keepers will hang a butchered pig up in their habitat, this is the best time to see them active and interacting with one another.

          African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is known by various names - African Hunting Dog, Cape Hunting Dog, African Painted Dog, Painted Wolf, Painted Hunting Dog, Spotted Dog, and Ornate Wolf.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Order Handmade Items Early For All Holidays

          Buying something from a handmade artisan isn't like going to the local big box store. At big box stores items are mass produced and you can take your purchase home right away. However with handmade you often have to wait for your order to be made, depending on what you are buying the wait time will vary. The quality and uniqueness of handmade direct from the artist makes going with them well worth the money and time.

          I want to give you all a little tip whether you order from me or some other handmade artisan -  place your gift orders early! You need to figure on how long the artist will need to make the order and then ship it. Talk to the person you are ordering from and let them know you are giving this as a gift and when you need to have your order. They will then be able to let you know how long it would take and the latest you can place your order for it to arrive on time. Christmas is usually the most busiest time for all made-by-hand artists, not only for them but also for the mail services. Handmade artists can only make a finite number of orders, which means if you don't place your order in time they may not be able to accommodate you until after the holiday.

Here is a list of gift giving times:

Bar/Bat Mitzvah
Bridal shower
Father's/Mother's/Grandparent's Day
First Communion
New Baby
Valentine's day
Weddings (also wedding showers and engagement parties)

Do you know of any other times or holidays that people give or exchange gifts?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fussy's Degenerative Myelopathy

          This video of Fussy was taken back in May. Currently she can't get around much without help, she mostly scoots on her butt but she can make it to her feet for a few steps once in a while. When her mobility issues started it was due to arthritis and old age issue with her hip. As time has passed it is become clear that she in all likelihood also has Degenerative Myelopathy. In a very basic nutshell it ever so slowly paralyzes the dog starting for the back end. However there is a one good thing about this disease is it causes no pain. So even though it makes dogs wobble and lose control over their legs it is completely painless.

          Fussy is currently dependent on her wheelchair when she is outside and is now at a point that she needs one of her legs strapped up in the chair's stirrup. Her bathroom functions are all in working order so far. I'm not looking forward to this disease progressing but for now she is doing just fine.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I Have Birthday Photos!!

          As promised I have taken photos of Fussy eating her birthday cupcake. I had her eat it on the couch sitting at a snack tray so I would have better lighting and a clear view of her to take my photos. At first she was unsure that this was a good idea because she knows she normally isn't allowed up there to eat, but after I told her it was ok and gave her a little bit of encouragement she was all in. (I had the two younger dogs out of the room so they couldn't see, only to keep them from getting bad ideas for later.) I cut Fussy's cupcake up into bite sized pieces to make it easier for her to eat, also hoped it would keep down any mess.

My favorite photo of the bunch. Check out the cupcake hanging in her mouth!
"Fussy you have a little frosting on your nose."
Good to the very last crumb. Yummy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fussy's Idiopathic Head Tremors

          Fussy was never officially diagnosed with Idiopathic Head Tremors / Idiopathic Head Bobbing Syndrome, but it is very unlikely that it is anything but this. Do a Google search on Idiopathic Head tremors or bobbing for more information on what exactly it is. But essentially it is involuntary head shaking that lasts for short intervals, the cause of the tremors is unknown and does no harm to the dog. The cause of these types of head bobbing tremors aren't exactly known. If you think your dog has this please get him diagnosed by a veterinarian because there are other medical problems that can be similar to Idiopathic Head Tremors but require different treatments.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fussy Is 14yrs Old Today, Happy Birthday!

          It is unbelievable how time can pass you by sometimes! Recently it seems to be just slipping by so dang fast recently, I had no idea it had been so long since my last post and not only that it is already time for Fussy's birthday. That's right, Fussy is now officially 14 years old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY FUSSY!!!

          I'm writing this post ahead of time so I don't currently have any B-Day photos of Fussy to post yet, but as this blog post is publishing its self I'll be offline enjoying some quality time with my favorite wheelchair bound gal.

          Wow, I can not believe it has been 14 years. It seems like yesterday I was just watching her be born ..... tumbling around with her litter mates ..... going to her first dog show ..... where does the time go? Sure you understand time is fleeting and precious but once your dog gets up there in years you are just reminded even more how short of a time we have left together. I had worried if she would make it to 14 years old, at times it seemed iffy. But I did my best to focus on the here and now and that is how I plan to continue going into Fussy's 14th year. I hate to make Fussy's birthday sound like such a downer, that isn't my intention. I just want make everyone aware not to waste what ever time they have with their pets (and even people for that matter).

          I swear the older Fussy gets the more "crazy" she is. Those of you who follow me on Google+ have been reading of Fussy's exploits so you know what I'm talking about! For anyone not familiar here is an example of the stuff Fussy does that runs me ragged and nuts. Fussy's new thing is to have me put her on the couch then shortly after will start whimpering. "Fussy you want to get off?" I ask her, she just lays there whimpering and staring at the ground. I get up and grab her lifting towel (when she isn't in her wheelchair I use a towel to help move her around), I get it wrapped around her back end and help her off the couch. "Where to Fussy?" I ask and she starts walking towards the doorway. Just before we get there she turns and starts heading to the loveseat. Before I know it I find myself duck walking behind her and we are just walking in a large circle around the room like four times. By now I'm starting to get annoyed when surprise, surprise, she wants back up on the very couch she had gotten off of and even in the exact same spot. WHAT?! You Got To Be Kidding Me!! I help her back on it....ahhhh, just right! She lays down and goes to sleep. Yeah, I have no idea what that was all about. Maybe she was wondering if I would be dumb enough to do all that, which in that case her experiment was a success. Well played Fussy, well played.

          Everyday with crazy old Fussy is a new adventure, I just never know what to expect. Some days are quite ordinary (but those are few and far between), there are days she'll get into trouble aaaall day long (those are the days I'm pulling out my hair), then there are those "what the" or "well that was different" days when Fussy comes up with new and odd stuff I hadn't had the pleasure of dealing with previously. What can I say....Fussy keeps me on my toes, and despite the trouble she can create I always find myself laughing.

I can not wait to see what new adventures Fussy has in store. I'm ready.....bring it on!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Fussy whooped it up at the block party.

          Over the Labor Day weekend there was a block party I took Fussy to. Fussy though the idea of being able to run around in the street was very awesome. Fussy's strutting around attracted the attention of all the little kids and the flocked over to pet her and Fussy's buddy Beethoven.

          Fussy enjoyed all the petting, but she had hoped that at least one of the kids would have had food. What can I say....she travels on her stomach. After kids went back to playing it was time for Fussy to hit the tables and see if anyone wanted to share some of the tasty food with her. Sadly for Fussy all she got from everyone was a petting.
"Fussy quit begging food from people."
          Then it was time to once again zoom around! Fussy had a ball running this way and that. At one point we found ourselves in the path the kids were traveling with their bikes. Fussy wanted to follow along, who am I to squash her little dreams so follow along we went. The one thing I wouldn't let her do was jump the curbs, she kept trying to jump off and over them but each time I stopped her, I couldn't let her flip her wheelchair on the curbs. We walked this way and that way....Fussy was rolling everywhere, even the basketball game was no deterrent to her.

           The weather that day wasn't to bad thankfully, up to that point it had be hot and very muggy. I had worried if it was going to be cool enough for the dogs but it worked out fine, we even had a decent breeze blow through every now and again. When the dogs weren't wondering around we had them lay down on two big fluffy dog beds. Throughout the day the kids kept coming by to pet the dogs before they took off to go back playing. Everyone had a very nice day.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Splish Splash, It's a Dog Pool Party

Fussy in the pool
          It has been years since the last time we bought a kiddie wading pool for the dogs, so this year we searched around for a nice big deep one. With all that has been going on here I hadn't had the time to put it out and get it filled. This Monday I said nuts to this I'm putting out the pool for the dogs!

          I was so excited, I envisioned all my dogs splashing about in the cool water and running around with their pool toys. Ahhh, they are going to love it! Patio all cleaned up, put down the mat and placed the pool on top of it. At this point all the dogs were showing interest in my odd activity. Now to just pull out the hose and get this baby filled! At this point all three of the girls are just milling about the yard wondering why they haven't gone back into the house. Just you puppies wait and see what I've got for you.

          The pool at this point is now a quarter way filled and a great point to put Fussy my 13 year old disabled dog in. Fussy comes wandering over and goes "Great a drinking fountain!" She starts drinking and I then pick her up (because there is no way she could get in on her own) and put her in the water. Now Fussy when she was younger loved swimming in lakes, real pools, and even in wadding pools. The look on Fussy's face was unsure but she continued on with drinking the water. At this point I'm feeling fairly good about this and grab my camera for some photos. As soon as she spotted the camera it was all over (she hates having her photo taken). Fussy was like "Yup, now I know I really don't like being in here. Get me out!" Not to worry I though, I still had the other two girls who I know is going to have a great time. I pull Fussy out of the pool and she makes a mad dash away, well, in her her own fashion of dashing away which makes her look like a seal as she drags her back legs behind her.

"Get me out!"
          The pool continued to fill. Now it was time for Cahokia and Sunka to get in. Cahokia was the first to wander over, she to started drinking the water. I told her she could get in which peaked her interest. This time I had a dog who looked like she wanted to get in. With a bit of a nudge I got her in. She walked around slurping up the water and then stopped, stood there smiled. Score! We have a happy doggie!

Cahokia enjoying the cool water
          Sunka your are up next! With her sister drinking and splashing around in the pool Sunka felt compelled to see what this pool was all about. Maybe a drinking some pool water will put her more at ease, all the while she kept giving me glances. She even tried to put her foot in the water and then thought better of it. So I helped walk her in one foot at a time. She took a few steps and then looked up at me as to say "Why would you do this to me?" It didn't take much longer after that that she hopped out and wondered away. This is not how I thought my pool party would go. Two dogs out of three didn't want anything to do with the water, not only that but Fussy insisted on going inside. Does that make me a failure? The odds weren't good that was for sure but there was on silver-lining and that was Cahokia.

Sunka came over to see what her sister was up to.

          Cahokia was having a ball digging in the water and chasing all the pool toys. She just kept bring us the toys for us to throw into the water. I had her jumping in and out so many times she started to get tired which was something because it is so hard to tire her out.

Stop by my Google+ pages for more photos and videos of my pool party.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Two New Options Added!

New and improved Bloodhound

          I want to thank everyone for bearing with me and waiting for me to finally get my website back up-to-date. This year has just be insanely crazy but so far things look like they might be getting back to normal (or semi-normal). Anyway there is just a little more tweaking I need to do on my website and then it will be good to go.

          Now to introduce my latest additions! If you love Bloodhounds you will be very happy to know that I have redone my pattern so now it is better then ever. I must admit I'm very pleased with how this one turned out. It took quite a long time to get this new pattern just so, particularly the ear which is my favorite part.

NEW Double Dappled color

          This year I had a lovely Dachshund costumer place an order for some new colors, which I was excited to do. Thanks to her I now have a black/tan dappled and double dappled in the Dachshund Longhaired to offer. I just love it when I get to work with a customer that is knowledgeable in their breed that they can give me feedback on how I can improve my pattern to get it as close to the breed standard as possible. I want to get each breed and color just right so that they pass muster with my customers who are very passionate about their particular breed.

NEW Dappled color
          If you are looking for a particular dog breed or even a coloration just send me an email with your request and I'll do my very best to make it happen.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Fussy Puts On Her Wheelchair & Heads To The Forest

Annnnd she's off!!

          On Thursday, we took Fussy once again to the Fullersburg Woods but this time in her wheelchair. The last time we went she could still walk on her own, nowadays she can't go any where without support. It must have been perfect timing when we went as the weather was optimal for walking outside. The trail for the most part was fairly empty, but we did pass people (mostly bikers) every now and again. The wildlife was even out and about making the walk even more fun and enjoyable. And to top it all off the vegetation was so green and lush with flowers blooming throughout the way.

Fussy was so excited she was running everywhere.

My baby niece went with us.

Pretty much the whole trip all we saw of Fussy was her tail wagging butt.

Every view was lovely.

"Hey Fussy! Did you have a good time?"