December 10, 2008

Christmas Wishes. Sort of.

I loved Tamzin's idea of a portrait by the Christmas tree. The last time I did this, Seth was just a little puppy and Sage was with him. Depending on your definition of success, this session was okay. Dogs were bored, but at least they stayed still. Seth was not impressed with having his nap interrupted, and Rory is about ready for bed.

I put the flash on to see what difference it would make. Seth had a flash of inspiration and saw this as an opportunity to check for crumbs, and Rory wasn't going to be left out if anything was found.

Having completely given up hope on errant crumbs, Rory has resigned himself to his photo-fate. Really not what I was looking for.

My best "Old Man". Ever.

Rory. Half Asleep. Handsome nonetheless.

November 29, 2008

Heat Hound

Ahhhh....the smell of toasty dog fur. Apparently, it doesn't bother Rory. In this shot he's roasting his left side, but he has since turned around to warm up his right side and watch the hockey game (seriously). I do know that it's a really, really good thing there is a guard over the heating element, otherwise Rory's near-embraces with this machine would leave his fur darker than we're accustomed to. We've had the heater since last year - for those evenings when the firewood outside on the deck is just too far away - but Rory has only just discovered it in the last week or so. In his book, it's the best invention ever. I suggest that it's time to go outside for a pee break and all I get in return is the baleful, red-rimmed stare that says "No thanks, I can wait." I was wondering when he was going to turn into a real Ridgeback.


October 26, 2008

Take off, eh?

Lots of pictures taken today (this one courtesy of Tamzin), and many Ridgebacks at the park.

Here are Ramsay (L) and Rory...I just want to know if any of my boy's feet are actually on the ground? Doesn't look like it.

October 25, 2008

Fall Pics

"Okay, Rory, you go that way...yeah, way over through those trees. Don't worry, we'll wait here for you...really, we will...uh huh...."

Seth still has lots to teach Rory. Especially when he's having such a good day. Sometimes, walks with Rory are too much for Seth's old bones, but this was a beautiful, warm fall day and he was feelin' fine.

"When ya sniff, make sure you get your nose right down into it."

This is Rory doing his impression of a gremlin. Check out those pointy ears!

Pretty boy.

Again with those ears. And that tongue.

October 10, 2008

Bathroom Reading

Bathroom reading at our house is a jumble of golf and I/T magazines. I'll note here that I dabble in both, however, the magazines are not mine. But when in Rome...
There was a simply stupendous article in one of the I/T mags written by somebody whose sole purpose must have been to purge himself of every hyphenated buzzphrase (should that be hyphenated?) he has ever come across. It included (and this is not an exhaustive list) delightful gems like: next-generation in-memory (double whammy I guess); policy-driven; latency-agile; low-latency analytics; premised-based business intelligence; distributed-caching infrastructure; event-stream processing; real-time business intelligence; changed-data capture; data-warehouse strategy; and dynamic task-brokering. Three of these were actually one after the other in the same sentence. I'm not sure I gleaned anything from the reading except that it's pretty amazing Norm and I actually speak the same language.
My personal favourite from the article is: trickle-feed extract transform load. I don't know about other dogs, but Ridgebacks would never be happy with trickle-feed anything. They need it all at once, right now, just dump it all in the bowl, hurry, oh please, and make sure he didn't get more than me. As for transforming it, well, they don't have a problem with that. Ask Norm. He mows the lawn

September 28, 2008

Brotherly Love

Today we ran into Ramsey and his pugs and peeps at the park. This made Rory SOOOO happy! We had come across another Ridgeback already, but he was on a halti and his owner wasn't letting him off. Other dogs are okay, but Rory much prefers a bit of Ridgeback wrestling and chasing games. Us too. It means he has been tuckered right out since we got back home. Of course, getting back was a bit problematic...for the first time ever Rory ignored my call to come, and instead went in search of his brother. He just wasn't done playing yet, even though his tongue was practically dragging on the ground. He wasn't hard to find. A visit to the butcher for knuckle bones and Rory's day was made perfect. Seth's too, since he got to stay home and rest his weary self AND he still got a bone.

September 11, 2008

Creature Comforts and Malodorous Mayhem

Yesterday was one of those days where the only thing I could think of on the way home from work was climbing straight into bed – so my arrival involved a quick greeting to the happy hound crew (“What? No walk?”) and then a beeline straight for my room. PJ’s, blinds closed, under covers. Ahhhh…..bliss….quiet., click, click went the sound of toenails on tile floor, and a shadow outside the bedroom door. Up, out, take Rory back to the kitchen, reassemble admittedly poorly designed gate/box/chair mechanism to keep Rory from roaming the house unattended. Back to bed. Whine, scrape, click, click, sniff, nudge door… Right, up, out, back to kitchen. Rebuild blockade, add another chair. “Stay!” Yeah, not so much. I finally resorted to the “zones” gadget. Handy little collar warns and then zaps little canine buddy when he comes too close to the white disk thingy placed on top of the blockade (by the way, Seth is watching all of this with great interest, as he is quite content to stay in the kitchen and hog all the blankets to himself). “Oh” says Rory, “you want me to stay in here, okay, I get it now.” Sure he does. Until I go back to bed. There was nothing to be done for it, so I grabbed some dog blankets and invited the dogs to join me in the bedroom. Well NOW they’re happy! And I’m happily anticipating a nice little nap. Just as I’m drifting off, Keelan gets home. I don’t know what it is, but kids absolutely must knock on the bedroom door every five minutes if their mother is in bed. He’s a teenager and we could go all day without more than a few (quality, of course) verbal exchanges, and now he is a veritable fountain of information, insight and probing questions. Fabulous. And the dogs are farting. Well, Rory is anyway. There’s another of life’s mysteries. How is it that Rory and Seth can eat the same food but Rory’s farts are borderline fatal while Seth’s are merely unpleasant? There must be a way to use this to my advantage. The farting, I mean. There is yet another knock at the door. “Release The Noxious Hound Gas!” I yell to nobody in particular, then: “Come in.” Keelan opens the door and is immediately bowled over by the aroma. Funny how fast previously pressing matters can be set aside.

August 31, 2008

Marshmallows, anyone?

August 31 - probably a new record for the earliest lighting of our fireplace. It's chilly and wet here and if the drive back from B.C.on Friday is any indication the rain is here to stay for a while. After spending the day canning B.C. peaches, and making pickles, and walking dogs in the drizzle, this is a good way to kick back. But first, Rory had to watch America's Funniest Animals. He actually watches it, especially the birds - it's the strangest thing to watch him watch the TV. Of course, he also stares intently at his own reflection in the glass cabinet doors. He growls at himself. Not in a " are SO handsome" way, more like "Grrrrr....uh, growl, uh, WHO are you and what are you doing in my house???" thing.

August 22, 2008

Lights! Camera! Oh, s#%t, STAND STILL!!!

Not that it needed to be confirmed, but a photo shoot is about the best place to figure out that Ridgebacks are not Border Collies. Or Golden Retrievers. Check out Tamzin's blog for today's details on the adventures of the boys (and a girl) in the high-stakes world of print advertising. When he was photographing Kika who is an absolutely adorable, mellow, docile little female RR, the photographer was so impressed he said that he would rather take pictures of puppies than children, any day. Hmmmm...thinks I. Wonder if he knows what he's facing next? He soon found out. But first, Seth. Mellow enough. Certainly obedient enough - he knows what 'stay' means. But old. And the lights were hot. And the sheet they had him sitting didn't provide any traction. Poor fellow. One of the guys in the studio said his favourite shot was the one where Seth's eyes were closed tight, tongue hanging out - he looked like he was laughing! Anyway, there were a few good shots, and more later on. I don't know if Seth will do Raimi justice, since the dogs are all supposed to be the same dog at different life stages and Seth is not quite as impressive looking as Raimi. Beautiful enough in his own right though.

Tamzin described the moron mayhem accurately, and her show collar idea was our saving grace. Also, putting a rubber mat under the sheet provided more traction. There ended up being some absolutely gorgeous shots of Rory and Raimi. Seth came back in and things went much better for him too.

I brought my camera to take pictures of the dogs having their pictures taken. Weird, I know. So, I got pictures of Kika in the spotlight, which I'll send to Tamzin to post and forward to Barb. Tamzin used my camera to take pictures of Seth during his turn in the lights. Somehow, we managed not to get any shots of Rory or Raimi having their pictures taken. Probably because we were pretty focused on climbing ladders, throwing toys, coordinating dogs, treats... There are a couple of pictures of the boys checking out the lunch fixin's. Of course.

August 20, 2008

Bad, bad, bad

Yah, I'm bad for not having posted to the blog for over a month - there is more to come, really.

And Rory's bad for eating one of our outdoor chairs. And my new Merrell water sandals. And he has this obsession with a throw-pillow that I keep on my favourite chair in the living room. My brother gave me the pillow, which is embroidered with "My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am." I don't know what kind of person Rory thought I was last night when I got home, but it probably isn't good. I was prepared for the cushion and the chair, since Norm had called me already (conversations that begin with "YOUR puppy..." are never good). Norm then came to pick me up downtown, and by the time we got home Keelan had managed to rescue what was left of my new sandals (non-salvagable in any event) and the throw-pillow had once again been stolen from the living room. Rory is now an eight-month old puppy in a very large body, intent on sniffing, poking (and if nobody is looking, chewing) EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong, he absolutely oozes charm, and is completely adorable if you happen to be in the same room with him. I'm off to the store tonight to look at a collar and sensor/deterent device that I saw there a while back, since the baby-gate intended to keep Rory in the kitchen while we are out is no longer a challenge for him.

July 20, 2008

Rory on the River

Ahoy! Spin 'er round boys, let's go this way!

So, here's the rules: Lifejacket, check. Wait a
sec, where's yours? Sniff, sniff... hey.... is THAT PIZZA!????

Rory. Captain of His Own Destiny. And cute too.

Hi! Oh? Were you trying to take a picture
of my momma? How 'bout just her hat?

Zzzzz.....zz.....z.... (this is Rory and me at the
two-hour mark, almost there. ....Kathryn)

Pretty Calgary. We'll put in under that bridge.
Rory's still sleeping.

This is me walkin' with Norm. And a million other
people. It was SO crowded! And everybody was
trying different kinds of salsas, and there was
music, and it was hot. Real hot. Lots of people
said hello to me and some even wanted to pat me.
I love gettin' loved. ...Rory

July 19, 2008

Rory. Dog of Adventure

Full day today. We have been planning a rafting trip down the Bow tomorrow with some friends. After researching brands and features during the week, today's adventure involved fitting Rory for a doggy life vest. We brought Seth along too as a 'model' version of a bigger Rory. We bought one by Ruff Gear and then later ended up getting another one by Outward Hound because it fit better. Luckily, we were able to return the Ruff Gear one. The best part was telling Rory 'stand' during the fitting process and having him impress the heck out of the staff with his good behaviour. All that stacking practice paid off.

This afternoon Norm inflated the raft on the front deck so we could get Rory used to it. Two big people and one little person (our two-year-old nephew is spending the night ) got in the raft to test it out. A little RollOver enticement and Rory clambered aboard. The humans wiggled and bounced in the raft so Rory could find his sea legs. Within ten minutes he was asleep with his head in my lap. I guess we'll see what tomorrow brings when the raft isn't sitting on a stable surface and Rory has to walk through water to get to it :) but he's generally game for anything.

The only drawback to the day was Seth's behaviour when we came home with the dogs this morning after shopping. I'm not sure if he just doesn't like Rory wearing the life vest or (forgive me for anthropomorphizing) if he's upset we didn't buy him one too, but he was just plain mean to Rory. There's Rory ripping around the yard testing out the new vest - I wanted to make sure he wouldn't get too hot wearing it - when Seth tried to take a round out of him. I separated them for a couple of hours but it happened again even without the vest. Norm reminded me that when Seth was 'growing up' Sage started a couple of scraps with him and it always took a day or so for the jitters to wear off. Mine and theirs. So Seth is in the guest room with the entire purple bed to himself, and Rory is in the loft with us, and they both seem quite content with this arrangement. Surprising for Rory, because he often wants to be wherever Seth is. ...Kathryn


July 17, 2008

Close Company

Rory is a snuggle bug. And a bit of a pest. And like most dogs, has an uncanny memory about 'good' things. Training a Ridgeback to do anything that doesn't involve food or creature comforts is a challenge. But let that same dog on the couch with you, just once, and you have a sofa-companion for life. Last night, we were all up in the loft and Rory had hogged the entire purple bed. Actually he was hogging the middle rectangle part, since the donut ring that the middle part sits in was eaten last week. I assume by a large, creepy, gooey alien. In any event, not wanting to see the rest of the bed doomed to the same fate, we brought it upstairs where it can only be used under supervision. So there's Rory, sprawled across the entire thing. And there's Seth, looking at me, actually drilling his eyes right through me hoping that I'll see there is a problem. Finally I can't handle the guilt any more and I tell Seth he needs to just kick Rory outta that bed. Which, surprisingly, he does. He lays down, shoves Rory off and then proceeds to claim the bed as his own. Rory immediately comes over to the couch to tell me all about the terrible fate that has just befallen him. I of course console him ("yeah, listen pal, if you hadn't eaten half the bed, there'd be room for the both of you"). He puts his head in my lap. I stroke those amazingly silky Ridgeback ears. He puts his front paws up on me and his head on my shoulder. Awe, this is nice, he's givin' me a hug. Meanwhile, Norm is at the other end of the couch engrossed in whatever was on TV and entirely unaware of my plight. Up comes one hind leg. Up comes the other. Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you I was surprised. It's just that I'm a sucker for affection. Such a sucker in fact that I put up with about 10 minutes of a 66 pound dog laying across my body and essentially cutting off the circulation to my extremities. But I loved every minute of it. Then the commercial came on. Which was when Norm realized there was a rather large puppy on the couch with us. Off goes Rory. Tonight we came up and Rory bypassed the bed entirely (I swear the look on Seth's face said "huh?") and came straight for the couch. Same routine, but Norm was on to him this time. So before the back legs joined the rest of Rory on the couch, he was sent to find some space on the purple bed with Seth. And yah, I sent him. But first I made Norm admit that Rory is entirely adorable. ... Kathryn

July 13, 2008

Gone to the Dogs

Well hello. Ahem, I mean, Well Hello. Whaddaya think? Do I sound more "matchoor"? I ought to. My first show was this weekend and I picked up a few token ribbons (can you imagine, I beat the other boy puppy, then lost best puppy to my very own sister on the first day!) but most of all I had fun. I got to take in all the sights and smells of the show grounds, and valuable practice doing show-stuff.

Tamzin makes it look so easy to make me look good. Now my job will be to fill out a bit before our next show in August. And more practice trotting and stacking, 'cause you can never be too good at that!

Thisth isth me when the judge wasth checking my teesth.

July 11, 2008

Grumpy Old Man

It's official. Seth is a grumpy old man. You wouldn't know it from the picture of Seth and my nephew taken a couple of years ago. Seth is now more than 10 years old and my gentle constant companion has gone from being a reasonable if somewhat reactive 'fun-police' older dog to being a proactive 'nobody gets near Rory' grumphead at the park.
I brought him out for a Ridgeback walk today - the first time I've let him join Tamzin's crew since Seth and Halo took a round out of each other a few weeks ago. Seth is entirely fine offleash running around with Rory and any other dogs who might come sniffing along. But again today, as soon as Tamzin arrived at the park with Raimi and Kenya, Seth had his hackles up and immediately lunged for Raimi. Poor Raimi had done absolutely nothing but look forward to a good time bouncing around with Rory. Seth was taken back to the truck where he had stayed while the other Ridgebacks wrestled and chased. It doesn't always take me three strikes to figure something out, and this is one of those times. Two times is enough to convince me that walks with Seth will be limited to those that don't involve any Ridgeback group antics. It is a sad day for me since that is one of my favourite things to watch, but it's obviously too stressful for him and certainly not fair to the other dogs. ...Kathryn

June 30, 2008

More Stacking. No Pancakes.

Another practice trot and stack session in the park with Tamzin. I was the official photographer :) Gosh, but he's pretty. ...Kathryn

June 29, 2008

Raimi Visits

If you've been reading Tamzin's blog, you'll know a couple of things. One is that she was away at a dog show in Montana last weekend. The other is that Raimi came for a visit yesterday. While she was in Montana, we were near Blaine, Washington for my eldest daughter's wedding. I've promised certain people some photos, so here they are:
I absolutely LOVE the drive out to Vancouver, and I do it anytime I can - and visiting Brianne is about as good an excuse as any. She just moved out there last year and has no plans to come back. What's a mom to do? If I could make a living out there it's where I'd be. I'm particularly fond of Crown Isle near Comox. Yeah, I'd still have to drive for an hour and then take a ferry to visit Brianne, but it's closer...

As for Raimi's visit, he was an absolute doll. I think Norm had visions of a 107 pound dog pounding through the house (like that's a bad thing?) but it turned out that Raimi did Tamzin proud. The only downside to the visit was that we had to put Seth in the guest room as he wasn't keen on canine fun in his domain, especially if it involved Rory and a dog who isn't Seth. Seth was actually fine having a bed all to himself, and the only time we heard from him was when Rory pulled the puppy-card and yelped when the roughhousnding (dog housing?) with Raimi was more than he could handle. Rory and Raimi spent the entire evening with the run of the yard and house, playing, sniffing, poking and generally behaving like Ridgebacks.

"Uhm, hi. Have you seen my mother?"

"..and this is my yard, and my deck, and my grass, and my toys, and and my flowers, and my water dish, and my... hey, are you listening???"

"Is that your tongue?"

"Snork. Slurp. Y'know, your ears don't taste as good as your Momma's."

"'k guys, it's HOT out here. I vote for Dairy Queen."

By the end of the evening, the two 'boys' had settled down with us in the loft. I was dozing off on the couch and Norm left to go downstairs. Hearing the bathroom door close Raimi took that as the all clear and joined me on the couch, comfy as could be. And there we stayed until Tamzin came to take him away. Kinda like a slumber party without very much slumbering.

June 17, 2008

Watch Me Go!

Hiya, it's me. Rory. Tamzin took some really good pictures of me on the hike. Y'know, the walk where my momma couldn't keep me in the frame? Well, here I am. Look at me bounce! Pretty impressive, huh? I had so much fun and then I slept for two days. ...Rory

June 14, 2008

Let's Prey

The long grass brings out something in Rory. Something that makes him zig zag through the grass at crazy speed like a dog possessed. A lot of today's pics are actually just grass, since his speed and erratic movement precluded actually keeping him in the frame long enough to catch the shot. I'm calling those the 'invisible dog' shots.

I only recognize two of the butts - the bigger one is Raimi, and the one to his right is Rory. The nature of photography during a dog walk is that many of the shots are from 'behind'.

Raimi posing. "Hey, Mungo, get outta the're blocking my limelight!"

Mungo "Periscope Ear"

"Don't come any closer or the little guy gets it!" Rory and his hostage, Ramsay.

Tally "I'm Actually Amphibian"

Seriously, this dog would not come out of the water. Obviously, not a Ridgeback, but she was so much fun I'm not going to hold that against her.

All around the mulber..., uh, the whatever bush.

June 1, 2008

The Satsuma Strikes Back

The "new" ortho-foam bed has made its last stand. Luckily, I had already ordered a couple of other beds and was waiting on their imminent delivery. This one was destined for the loft but, for obvious reasons, was put to use in the kitchen. It was also supposed to be 'wine' coloured. If I'd wanted purple, I would have looked for 'purple' (or heck, maybe even 'eggplant') in the colour list - they weren't there. The only thing wine about it is that I whined when the box was opened. Oh well, soon enough it will be covered with red dog hair. The other bed is a big rectangular job, waterproof camouflage cover to put out on the deck. Speaking of the deck, it was a great weekend for hanging outside, so we did. Spring planting and cleaning was all finished and we were sitting on the lounge swing. Norm had just finished peeling a Satsuma - one of those tiny Japanese mandarins - and of course Rory had his nose everywhere. Norm gave him a little piece of peel and Rory took off with it, throwing it in the air and then pouncing on it. Batting at it and growling (complete with his butt in the air). That was funny enough, but then things took a turn to riotous when the peel got stuck to the bottom of his front paw. He could smell it near his foot somewhere, and kept backing up and going around in circles with his nose on the deck trying to find it. All in a day's work for Rory, and he proved just how taxing his ordeal was by promptly passing out when we went inside. And just WHERE did my puppy go? Good thing I ordered the XL. gets five stars in Rory's book. Until he eats it.