Monday, August 29, 2011

Guess the mixed breed - Answer


According to the owners, who witnessed the illicit love affair, this dog is a cross between a Boston terrier (bitch) and Mexican hairless/Xolo (dog).

I'm suspicious. I'd be curious to know if one of their neighbors had an unneutered dachshund, but that's just speculation. What do you think?

Saturday, August 27, 2011



This is the reason I got this lens. This beetle is about an inch long. Look at those gorgeous mouthparts.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Nom nom

On a recent walk in the field near the apartments, I spotted a flash of iridescent green amid the dead cheatgrass.



It was a chunk of what used to be a bird, feathers with a bit of skin and bone attached. I bent down and took a few photographs, planning on picking it up to try to identify the species. Within seconds, Sammie swooped in centimeters from my lens and snatched the delicious morsel and ran a few yards away. She crunched it down like it was the best thing she'd ever tasted, all the while giving me the paranoid "OMG-mom's-gonna-take-it-away-any-second" glances that dogs are so good at.





So. Can anyone use these two photographs to identify the species of bird my dog just ate?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Season of the Mantis

Every day for the past week at least two of these guys greet me on the stairs in the morning.


(Note the black dog hair stuck to her wing).

Guess the mixed breed

Two can play at this game.


According to her owners, who also own the mother, this girl is the result of the "oops" mating of two very different, AKC-registered parents.

What do you think the breeds are?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The trouble with being a three-legged dog


When you've worn through your only front pad due to an over-abundance of hiking, river-splashing, and general romping in the forest, you can't really limp. All you can manage is an incredibly pathetic hop-stumble that makes everyone in camp feel sorry for you.



Luckily, some three-legged dogs have help when this occurs.



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Highway 14: the lesser-used side of the Columbia Gorge

On a recent sojourn to Portland we decided to skip the interstate and take the narrower, windier, generally higher-in-elevation road on the Washington side of the River.



If you're traveling through the area (and if you are, you really only have two choices), consider taking this route. There are many places to easily pull off to enjoy the sweeping vistas, several cute little towns with cute little fruit stands and cafes and you get better close up views of the windmills.

Oh, did I mention there's a life-sized replica of Stonehenge?







Sunday, August 14, 2011

What the heck?


They were hanging out on this cheatgrass stem one evening last week. The next morning there were three, and by that afternoon they were gone.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why You Wouldn't Adopt To Me

July was a stupid-busy month for me, which is why I haven't been around the blog-o-world much lately. I'm a bit late to the party in the talking about the No-Kill Conference that so many awesome people are talking about.

I get jazzed talking/reading about animal rescue. I have a lot to say on the subject, but tonight my eye was caught by one subject in particular. Adopting (or not) to "imperfect" homes.

Yesbiscuit has the best commentary on it, I think. You should go read her blog post. And the comments. Although, I had to stop when I got to this comment:

"But I will be damned if I will knowingly see any of our dogs go to live on a chain. No way ... And perhaps the “adopter” will just go get another dog someplace else. But the “education” that keeps being mentioned here starts with letting the public know that we don’t feel that every situation is OK."

This attitude, this zero-tolerance policy for this thing, or that thing that some (many!) pet owners practice, is a large reason why "backyard breeders"/Walmart puppies/Craigslist rescues are so popular. There are quite a few blogs/forums I've quit reading because of this attitude.

Why You Wouldn't Adopt To Me:
1) I live in an apartment.
2) My husband and I both work full time.
3) I feed my dogs Science Diet Adult dry kibble.

Somehow I manage two border collies (at least one of which of pure working cowdog breeding), two cats, usually a foster dog of some kind, and sometimes some rats. By any measure that any reasonable person could use, my pets are healthy and happy. Furthermore, the cowdog for sure, and probably the other dog and both cats, and some of the rats, would be dead if I hadn't taken them in.

My home isn't good enough to adopt YOUR animals, though.

Why You Wouldn't Adopt To My Parents:
1) They both work full time.
2) They chain their dog in the yard while they're gone.
3) They allow their cat outdoors.

When I was growing up, pets used to only be allowed indoors if they were recovering from injury, or during lightning storms. As we grew, and got more educated as pet owners (from the vet, from friends, from the media) our dogs and cats were then allowed into the kitchen, and now have the run of the house. When I was a kid, the dog was lucky to go to the vet every few years to get shots, and the cat probably not at all; now my parents take their current pets in for all kinds of things that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago (for them): teeth cleanings, cruciate ligament surgery, arthritis evaluations, treatment for skin conditions.

But my parents keep their dog chained in the yard during the day while they're at work. So their home isn't good enough. The end. Many rescuers would tear up their adoption application right then. It's ridiculous. My parents live in the country, on a long private drive away from busy roads or harassing children. All the arguments against chaining don't apply to him. Context? Matters.

Why You Wouldn't Adopt To Most Of My Friends, Co-workers, Bosses, Clients, and Acquaintances:
1) They keep their dogs chained/penned during the day; or they work full time; or they don't allow dogs indoors at all; or they feed cheap food; or they previously gave up a dog for adoption for one reason or another; or they don't have a fenced yard; or they're over 60 years old; or they have small children; or ...

When even Nathan Winograd is rejected from adopting a dog because he didn't have a frickin' doggy door, you know it's bad.

Perspective. Get some.

It cannot be stated enough: the alternative for these pets is DEATH.

If my parents can make chaining their dog during the day work, then others can, too.

If I can make having two high-energy, high-drive dogs in an apartment work, others can, too.

If my friend's dog lives a happy, loved life even though she's never allowed indoors, others can, too.

If another friend can have two small children and two large dogs in the same house, others can, too.

There are a few black and white issues in animal rescue. These are not. And I get more and more peeved when those in the rescue community treat them as such.

Condo Collies out in the wild

Monday, August 1, 2011

Flipper got adopted!

A bit earlier than expected, but he went to a friend who doesn't mind weaning him and potty-training. They live just down the road and used to work at the clinic, so I'll get visits and photos and cuddles without having to do any more work. Which is exactly the way I like my puppy interactions. Everyone wins! Yay, fostering!