Saturday, August 27, 2011

Storm Prep

  Fortunately, it looks like Hurricane Irene will not affect our area that much.  Still, we should be getting some heavy rains today and high winds.  Our trees have been stressed so much this summer with several severe storms that it doesn't take much now to lose limbs plus we've had some problems with water running through the kennel after a hard rain since we had trees taken down last fall.  I decided to try to correct the water problems before the week-ends rains and see if I could find a temporary fix.  I think ultimately we will need to take down the fencing, grade the property and replace the runs.  In anticipation of this costly endeavor, I'm scrimping and saving!
  In the meantime, I spent a morning this past week moving gravel, not a favorite activity, but a good workout!  The dogs have run off the grass in the play yard across from the west side of the kennel so I started to spread the gravel there.  I put more gravel in Jackson's kennel and attempted to pack it down.  The ground is hard as rock, so that wasn't very successful.
  My one theory as to why we've had so much water in the kennel since last fall is that the trees, though mainly dead, had had enough leaves that with the limbs provided enough diffusion of the falling rain during heavy storms.  I remembered yesterday that we had a kennel sun shade in the shed.  I spread that across the tops of two of the runs that had the biggest trees.  I'm hoping it will provide some of the diffusion that the trees did.
  What a difficult task to do alone!  Jackson was rather scared of the cover so he stayed inside, making his run almost easy to manage.  Phoebe, Claire and Lauren were so happy that I was inside their run that they were underfoot, trying to get my attention, knocking into me as they pushed against each other to get to me.  Ref and Treasure thought they were getting a great, new toy!  As I was trying to tie the cover onto their kennel fence, they were trying to pull the end down into their yard and nipping my fingers as they tried to catch the string I was using.  I had my doubts my work would last long, but the cover is still there today!  The dogs ignore it and the girls seem to like the extra shade.
  Now we just wait to see what the weather will do.   So, pass on through, Irene!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


  Poor Jackson has had a rather rough month.  His kennel mate, Dixie, came into season in early July, which necessitated changing rooming assignments.  Jackson was by himself for a little bit, then Gemma moved in with him.  He had to get used to a new roomie, at the same time figure out all those wonderful smells in the other kennels as all the girls have taken turns coming into season.  His 13 month old body (and brain!) must have lots of conflicting urges.  Sometimes when I'm in his kennel, he just jumps up against me, wraps his paws around my waist and buries his head in my chest!
  Gemma is now showing signs of coming into heat and has a great reluctance to share a kennel with Jackson.  This morning, I switched Gemma and Dixie, now that her season is finished.  Dixie was so happy to be back in her kennel!  She can watch the house easier (a favorite pastime of all the dogs) and can relax on her favorite tree stump.  I don't know why that is her favorite bed, although it does give her a good view of the house, but it was the first place she went.
  Dixie was not so happy to have Jackson's welcome home.  He can be quite over-enthusiastic under normal circumstances, but after being apart, he pestered her unmercifully.  Dixie generally enjoys being kenneled with Jackson, but has no patience when he bothers her.  She barely gave him a warning growl before snapping at him when he jumped on her.  Undaunted, Jackson went to her other side and tried again.  Again, she snapped at him, then used her body to shove him away.  He bothered her so much that Dixie gave up her place on her stump and went inside.  Jackson tried to follow her and Dixie just exploded.  I heard a ruckus and then it looked like she bodily threw Jackson out the door!  After that, he must have decided that she was serious.  It's been quiet the rest of the morning!