Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 31

Cauliflower had already been named by the whitewater raft guides when my daughter rescued her and her tumble of newborn kittens (which were all later adopted, thank you) from the wilds of the NC mountains. Due to unforeseen allergies, she now belongs to me and has become better known as The White Ninja, given that she will race up the back stairs and then, scant moments later, calmly emerge from inside one of the kitchen cabinets.

Here she is trying to perfect her teleportation skills on a poor unsuspecting squirrel:



Cauliflower



( Since when you said "one" picture, I know you meant one of each family pet . . .)

This is my daughter's dog, Jenny, named after Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, WY. Like all black lab puppies, she is just one happy thought away from achieving levitation:
 



Jenny


 And this is my son's golden retriever puppy, Sawyer, who is seen here in a rare still moment, practicing her formidable invisibility skills:

 
 I just realized, in addition to their common trait of possessing super-powers, we seem to have a theme going on here of monochrome family pets. Hmmm.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 30




Cat, Nickel, Mercury, and Cowgirl.
 The two mares in the picture are Scharbauer mares we bought as fillies. The Scharbauers are old money ranchers and oil men in West Texas. Elmer Kelton was born on one of their ranches called Five Wells or Horse Camp. The first Scharbauer came to Texas in 1880 from New York with $2,000. When he died, his ranches sprawled across four Texas counties and into New Mexico. He was heavily invested into oil, real estate, several corporations, cattle, sheep, and they always had good horses. They furnished horses to the cavalry which wanted a better grade of horse so they furnished Thoroughbred stallions to improve the stock.

Anyway, The Scharbauers were always fond of good horses and fast horses. Alysheba was theirs. When horses finished on the track they often found their way back to the ranches. They were good friends with the King ranch people so a lot of their champion bloodlines are crossed in the Scharbauer horses.

They don't even break mares. If they aren't planning on breeding them, they sell the fillies as yearlings. My middle son, Cody was working for them when he was in high school, so they asked him if we'd be interested in buying some of the fillies. We jumped on it and bought five of them. Four of them were granddaughters of a champion cutting horse and one was a granddaughter of Dash For Cash, one of the most famous Quarter running horses in history. Their pedigrees top and bottom are royal with cutting and race champions.

We, in turn, bred the mares to complement their strengths and hopefully come up with a good all around arena horse.

The babies were imprinted at birth so they were always used to being handled. That's usually a good thing except when you're trying to do something and you've got a dozen curious heads in the way, trying to see what you're doing or stealing tools, gloves, instructions, what have you.

In the picture is Cat, Nickel, Mercury, and Cowgirl.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The blog is going to the dogs, Day 29

 
Sooty



Sooty likes boxes, shoe boxes preferred, but anything half her size will do. This is last year's pic. I used the box for transporting surplus tomatoes from my garden to the church where they were free for the taking.

Not sure if my cat has a secret desire to be a Black Krim or is desperate to get out of the family. Either way, she has her 'tude on.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 28

Tundra



 This is Tundra.  He's our rescued wolf-dog but is all dog in temperament, so we're very lucky in that regard.  Very intelligent and destructive at times but not skittish, nervous, or prone to snapping like some wolf-dogs are.  Instead he's sweet tempered and loves kids, cuddles, and kisses.

This is our favorite expression he makes, his 'I'm listening, and I'm hearing, but I'm definitely not understanding' face.  He tries so hard to understand when we talk to him, but he sometimes gives up and just howls back.  Exactly how I feel sometimes.  :)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 27

I attached two photos--one of each pet--for your August pet photo project/blog hiatus. Although these two are BFFs (and I have photos to prove it), I wanted to showcase each individually pursuing their favorite activities.

Conner
Conner is a real renaissance dog. I debated sending a photo of him hiking, hanging out a brewery with his friends, resting his eyes while reading the Wall Street Journal, or a snap from his thirteenth birthday just a few weeks ago. Instead, I opted for a photo from one of his favorite activities: walking on the beach. This photo was taken last February, and he's continued to drink from the dog bowl of youth. He still likes to go for sprints on the sand, and age hasn't dulled his desire to sniff seaweed and explore logs that have been brought in by the surf.

Side note, immediately after taking this photo, we saw a monk and a county sheriff walking on the beach together. It sounds like the start of a bad joke or cozy mystery, but nothing funny or tragic happened, so that must just be life on the Oregon coast.




Conner


Arabella
Arabella is more of a homebody. Her interests include books, dryer sheets, and sunbeams. She loves Conner and occasionally knocks "treats" off of the kitchen counter for him (baguettes, turkey cutlets, etc). Sometimes, when Conner is feeling generous, he gives her baths. Specifically, tongue baths. She seems to love it. Here, she's enjoying a good book


Arabella

Friday, August 26, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 26

 We're doubling down today! I'm posting these in chrono-order and these kitties arrived almost together! I love the synchronicity of the stories!



 
Layla



I've attached a pic of Layla. We had to euthanize her on June 27th--only a month ago. She was 12 years old and had only been sick for a few weeks, but she wasn't going to get better, so... I'm finally at the point where I don't cry every time I think about her--I'm at every other time now. :-(

I don't think we're going to get another pet for the foreseeable future. Maybe a Rental Cat!



Lucy

See attached for a picture of my cat Lucy, inside a bag with her name on it. We got her three days after my other Maine Coon cat, Amazon, a former stray, passed from kidney failure. We went to Pet Smart (not smart) and when I saw little kitten Lucy, I had to take her home, even though we swore we would wait, get an adult cat, etc.






Thursday, August 25, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 25


Barley Shea


Here’s a photo of my wonder dog, Barley Shea. She’s taking a hammock hiatus while waiting for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 24

"Mom! There's a shark on the lawn!"


Your torture continues. I struggled mightily to narrow down my vast cache of favorite feline photos, finally reducing it to seven. I've attached one, but would need only the slightest crook of your royal finger to send you the other six! I'm captioning the attached photo as thus: Mom! I think there's a shark on our lawn...

I have four cats. Ol' man Otis is often called "Pappy Otis" as he cheerfully adopted the tiny kittens we rescued two years ago. We'd hoped Lady, the Queen of the Kingdom, would become a surrogate mama, but she wanted nothing to do with such base creatures. The Wonder Twins, Luna and Lily, are identical beyond a minuscule variance in the white stripe down each grey nose. We have no children, so my cats are truly my fur babies.

Thank you again for running the 100-word contests on your blog. I truly feel they've helped me refine my prose. I already write in a tight fashion - both my thrillers capped at 73,000 words - but your contests require exquisite attention to form and word choice, which is particularly vital for short stories. I was notified last week that a 750-word crime story I wrote for the WOW blog (WomenonWriting.com) is in the finals for their quarterly contest. If I win, it will be my first contest win, my first short story published, and my first monies ($350.00.) Small potatoes, I know, but one has to start somewhere! Since I would retain all rights, I plan to expand it to 1500 words and try submitting it to Ellery Queen Magazine. (hardly small potatoes! VERY nice potatoes!!!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 23

Frankie
  
 
I wish you a fruitful August of enchanted adventures between pages. We at the Reef will try to behave. Ok, that is overstating it a bit. We will, however, make every effort to keep the blog from spinning off into Carkoon to be overtaken by kale and mushy peas. Probably. It'll be fine.

Attached is a picture of my pug, Frankie, at my favorite pub trying to steal my beer which she does sometimes. There really is little better than a pug at a pub.

Monday, August 22, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 22

Tasha


This past March, our cat, Tasha, had to have an operation on her paw due to an ingrown claw. This was her expression, not long after she got home.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 21




 Took this photo especially this arvo (US translation: this afternoon). This is Biggles, my 10yr old schnoodle (schnauzer/poodle cross). And yes, named after the literary Biggles =) The photo is taken at Australia's Defence headquarters in front of the Australian-American Memorial, the tall column behind Biggles. Sadly you can't see the top of it - a sculpture of an American eagle.

Would have liked to send an action shot, but hard to get good photos with a black dog.

Tempted to send the one of him on an esky (US translation: Coleman cooler), but the "dog on the tuckerbox" reference would probably be lost on a mostly US audience. (Dog on the Tuckerbox reference here)

More than you probably wanted to know but you did say you were taking a break to read. Just helping with that *grin*.

Enjoy your sabbatical and thanks from the bottom of the Earth for being one of the good people on this planet. To put it the Aussie way: Fair dinkum you're a bonza sheila (US translation: fierce  shark who gnaws hapless writers!)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 20

Ooee
  

This is Ooee

She has 7 lives after falling from a couple of apartment balconies (6th storey and 3rd storey), before coming to live with us.

She’s not always this irascible - she just didn’t appreciate having her catnap interrupted by the paparazzi.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 18

Isis


 



I love the idea of pet pictures on your blog for August, so attachinga picture of one of my four cats, my beautiful Isis, who was killed by a car a few weeks ago. 

She was a very independent cat, a former stray and because of that a very successful hunter. I first met her six years ago when I stayed with a friend who looks after the stray cats around her house. (I live in Spain; unfortunately there are a lot of stray cats here) I sat down on the sofa and shortly after, Isis jumped on my lap and settled down. My friend said she was surprised because Isis didn't really like people that much, but from that moment on, Isis slept on my bed and was waiting for me every time we came home to my friend's house. She continued doing that when I adopted her. Every afternoon she'd be waiting for me to come home from work to greet me with a special, excited meow, but as soon as greetings were over, she'd go back to her delicate, reserved self and act like a real goddess. Everything was on her terms. She was an incredible cat.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 17



 So I said I was going to pore over my pictures, but really, this is my favorite picture of Elka. It makes me happy every time I see it, and is probably the best photograph I will take in my entire life.

I took it through sheer luck. She isn't always pleased to have the camera (or cell phone) in her face, especially if we're on a walk and there's just! so! much! to! see! I forget why I had the camera out; We were at a new park, and I must have seen the merit in something she was doing, or I was going to ask her for a behavior, but instead I waited.

See, Elka likes looking at things that fly. She dances around with stray moths in the house, she looks up for an airplane or a helicopter if she hears them (but they're just too fast), and birds....well, when I took this picture, she'd just watched a bird hop across an expanse of grass and take wing, and then whipped around and looked at me as if to say "Did you just see that?" Sheer joy and wonder.

I thought about sending you the picture of her in bunny ears, but I guess I'll save that 'til I query you next (or for the next Chum Bucket?)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Bonus content! T-time!

T.A.R.D.I.S.



Meet T.A.R.D.I.S., the Russian tortoise. His hobbies include lounging in his food dish, glaring at humanity, and sleeping. (And, yes, ladies: he's single!)

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 15

Luca Brasi
 This is Luca Brasi.  Contrary to public belief, he doesn't always sleep with the fishes!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bonus content!





 All the best in your new literary home! I'll bet you're already looking at paint colors for your new office.

I know it's late for the pet photos, that's all right I have none to speak of. Hubby has hinted over and over about getting a dog. I told him with our lifestyle (traveling, apartment living in a big city, etc.) that was the last thing we needed, so I got him a cactus instead. Not a big one as you can see in the photo. Lol.

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 14

Sam, ShelfPortrait


As you know, we are in the process of packing to move to some house we haven’t found yet. We came home from looking at houses today to find Sam the Cat taking advantage of an empty shelf. As you can see, he is quite at home.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

This Blog is going to the dogs, Day 13

This is Little Girl Dog, ten pounds of solid energy. At nine years old, people still think she's a puppy, though she's starting to feel the humidity in her little joints. She loves nothing better than to run - chasing, being chased, or just running in ever-increasing circles. I decided to try to harness some of that energy by taking her to agility classes. She loved them.

The last day of class, the dogs had a chance to run through the course a few times. Now, one way to get a dog to run through those agility tunnels is to throw a treat in. I never had to do that with LGD. She just loved the running. But after a couple runs through the course, she may have been getting bored with it. She ran into the tunnel - and didn't come out. Where was she? I got down on my hands and knees to see, and there she was, sitting just out of reach, chawing on a treat that someone had thrown in there. Her teeth aren't exactly even, and she has a small mouth, so she tends to chew on one side, which makes her chewing look particularly forceful. The other participants looked at me as though I were nuts, while I'm laughing and calling her. Of course, she goes looking through the folds of the tunnel for more treats. I had to crawl into the tunnel to extract her so the other students could have their turn.

My dearly departed Koko had a similar last day of agility classes. Now, Koko was a bit OCD, and everything had to work the way he expected it to, or he would repeat that action until it did work. He surprised me the first run through by doing everything perfectly. Now, we're supposed to give them a treat every few obstacles. Well, on his third run-through, I guess I was remiss. I didn't give him a treat after a few obstacles. So instead of running to the next obstacle, he ran back a few obstacles, to the tunnel, and ran through it. Then he paused, looking at me. Then he ran through it again and paused, looking at me. And I realized that that obstacle was where I had last given him a treat. He ran through it over and over again, then just started running. I knew then I wouldn't get his concentration back to the course. We had to cut our run short then, too.

Friday, August 12, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 12

Storm and Breeze




Storm, the Aussie, has anointed herself Admiral of the Castle. Tasked with defending it at all costs, she keeps a watchful eye atop her perch.  She questions all that dare to pass.

Breeze, the Toller, is more of a...Joker. She assists in the Castle's defense by eating flies, gathering *all* the socks, and chewing any offensive sticks found in the vicinity.  Her perch is underfoot.

Together they defend the Castle in my stead.

But some days, I'd rather just dig a mote.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 11

Missy Kay


Given the temps predicted for NYC today (and the humidity) I'd like to be in that pool with Miss Missy Kay!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 10


 
Juno, QOTF!

This is Juno, QOTF (Queen of the Fetchers). She's about to launch herself after that elusive quarry, the tennis ball!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Monday, August 08, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 8




My husband is not a dog person, but he's grudgingly tolerated my dogs so far.  We've had Ginger for 7 of her 13 years.

My husband frequently teases me.  For example I'll say "I'll be home late tonight.  Take care of my dog for me."  He'll answer "Sure, I'll take care of her."  With a wicked gleam in his eye.

Despite that, Ginger is very attached to my husband and prefers him over anyone else in my family.

About two months ago, the vet called and informed me that Ginger has kidney problems.  She now has different food and daily medication.  The vet tells us she probably has no more than a year left.

When I told my husband that news, along with a little tease like "You finally get your wish", he stared at Ginger for a minute, rubbed her ears, then looked at me with sad eyes and said "I'm not ready for her to leave."

Sunday, August 07, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 7




These horses aren't really pets, but I respect the work that is being done at the PProud Spirit Horse Sanctuary so much that I kind of insisted that Melanie Sue Bowles send us some photos.

And boy howdy did she!



Saturday, August 06, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 6

Arlo


 Arlo, who thinks outside the box but inside the bag, is a deconstructivist feline artisticat who works with paper disassemblages. An interview with  Arlo and pictures of his work can be found here



Friday, August 05, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 5




This is Max.
She lives on the ranch with Kari Dell and Kari's family.
Max doesn't read much but if she did, she'd love Kari's new book Reckless in Texas.




Thursday, August 04, 2016

This blog is going to dogs, Day 4



My two curly coated retriever boys, Pax and River. This was a sweet moment of tolerance between a tired older dog and an exuberant puppy.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

The blog is going to the dogs, Day 3




I'd like to introduce you to one of my two Westies, Chloe. This is her first ride ever on a boat, and my first since I inherited my grandpa's pontoon after his passing in February. Due to his health issues, the 'toon hadn't run for a few years, but a little love and a couple YouTube videos remedied that. Now, the family and I can enjoy some warm sun and cold brews in his memory.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

This blog is going to the dogs, Day 2



The little brown ShihTzu is named Whiskey. When we picked him up, my ten-year-old and I were singing "whiskey for my men and beer for my horses" along with Toby Keith and driving through whiskey country in Kentucky. The ten-year-old chose the name. I never anticipated any problems until the six-year-old's teacher commented that she always talked about how much she loved her whiskey.

The little white guy is Gotti, and he's a sweetie!

Here are their favorite things to say:

Whiskey:
"I didn't do it."
"I have no idea who pulled that out of the garbage can."
"Oops"

"That was not me dancing on the dining room table."
"Don't worry. I'll be back as soon as I have a quick zoom around the neighborhood."
"Gotti did it."

"Come on. We can play throw at least 200 more times. Come on, come on."
"Was that your food?"
"But I love dirty laundry."

"I thought that was my toy. See, you can still use them."
"You walked away. I thought you were finished."
"Sure, I'll take you out for a walk, but keep up, will you?"
"Gotti did it."

"How was I supposed to know you just paid $75 to clean that bedspread?"
"I didn't know that leather showed dig scratches."
"That squirrel wanted to play."

"He was holding our pizzas. Of course I had to jump all over him. He knew I meant thank you. Anyway, you gave him a nice tip."
"The mailman invited me to ride with him."
"Gotti did it."


Gotti:
"May I just cuddle on your lap? Please and thank you?"