Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Monday, July 24, 2006

Just another Saturday morning

Some days we're lucky enough to have a group of dogs that are so copacetic that there is really nothing we have to do in terms of keeping the peace. And today is just my lucky day! So I decided to grab a notebook and pen to see if I couldn't eek out a blog entry out of it.

(excuse me while I yell at Dakota to quit chewing the tree!)

I started out this morning as we often do - Ginger takes the dogs out for their morning potty break, and I prepare breakfasts and put bowls in their kennels. That way brining them in evern after a relatively short play session is quite easy since they mostly are all interested in breakfast. Though they can be pretty wound up after all night in their kennels!

Our one and only checkin was due 9:30-10, so we went in for our own breakfast and chatted about the weekend to come. Tomorrow is our 2 year anniversary of moving to the ranch! Incredible in so many ways. We decided to go out to celebrate.

(excuse me again because Savanna keeps coming over to chew on the end of my pen WHILE I'm writing.)

I remember that then that it was the second to last stage in the Tour de France, so I tuned into the website that posts minute-by-minute updates of the race. I at there refreshing and relating highlights AS FLOYD LANDIS CAME BACK TO EARN THE YELLOW!!! to David and Ginger while they ignored me and finished eating. They just don't appreciate real drama when they hear it I guess, haha.

As it was 9:30, I headed back out to the kennel and busied myself with computer odds and ends until Brody arrived, around 10.

Brody is a cutie-pie! 6 month old Shepard cross rescued dog. Yesteray was his evaluation day -- actually Dave had a record 7 evaluation dogs in yesterday! That is a huge handfull, and he didn't have a helper after Ginger left to do camp until Patrick came in the afternoon. But, as I didn't get a big dramatic update, I guess things went OK with that.

So far this morning Brody seems the ideal daycare dog. Plays well, obeys verbal commands, etc. We look forward to having him with us regularly.

Dakota, unbelieveably, is my problem child today. And that is saying a lot when this 2 year old big, loveable golden retriever is the biggest problem in the group. He is just a ball of fun-loving (and water-loving) fluff. You absolutely cannot turn on a hose without him showing up to stick his head into the stream! Bites it, jumps at it, you name it. Consequently he always shows up at our place beautifully clean and fluffy -- and leaves as a dirty muddy mess! We warn people that their dogs will likely show the after effects of a long hard day at play when they take them home... but Dakota is unique in the degree that he takes that to.

But he is also has a non-stop curiosity: whether it is chewing on the tree or pawing at the gate that David just left through, he can be a handfull. David affectionately calls him Duuh-kota.

Josh and Misty have stayed with us a number of times. Josh is a big black boarder collie type. Very acive and excitable -- but today after his 30 minutes of rough and tumble he has settled down nicely now. he's a good dog - just hates to be in his kennel more than about an hour at a time. One of our barkers. I swear he seems nearly capable of jumping straight up and over his 6 foot kennel, but not quite. 4 feet at least.

Misty is nothing like Josh - a Korelian Bear Dog and incredibly cute. Well, I'm partial to the spitz type dogs! Mostly black with white legs, belly and tip of her tail. She is not socialable at all with the other dogs, but she usually manages to stick to herself peaceably. I try and get her alone away from the crowd and love on her there because otherwise she just wont relax.

Shasta - is huge! We'd forgotten how big she was from when she stayed in our basement over Christmas. Shes a Shepard mix too -- but with a lot more German Shepard in her than Brody. And a big one too. She belongs to a coworker of mine.

I was worried about her at first because it was my shift where she would be introduced to the other dogs. I did so slowly, as always, but she seemed very agitated around them. Since it actually was starting to thunder outside and that worried her, I eventually put her back in to get all the others out. Since none of them wanted to stay out any longer than necessary, we ended up going indoors to play. So I tried to bring Shasta out again, but she still was very concerned about the other dogs. I put her away again and warned Ginger and David about that.

Well, it seems someone switched out dogs on us over night because come Friday she had no concerns over the other dogs and is working out great! Who knows -- maybe the thunderstorm had more to do with her nerves than I thought.

Jerico is another repeat boarder. VERY sweet Great Pyraneese mix -- though you'd know that only from his double dew claws on his hind feet. Can't say enough about how gentle and sociable he is. he has lovely deep brown eyes with a thick application of bleck 'eye liner' around them, and he love to just gaze at you silently.

Daisy is a lab mix of some sort. Very shy dog. She cam for eval earlier this week and is back now for 6 days. Nice, but even after her eval and then first day of boarding David was unable to get her into the kennel. Not as in her individual kennel -- into the building! First dog that's been this difficult. Dave, Patrick and I went out to try and herd her back in, but fortunately Ginger showed up and Daisy ran to her at the fence and Ginger managed to grab her through the fence. Once caught she's fine working with anyone. But allowing herself to be caught - entirely different matter. This morning Ginger held her while I introduced myself, and now in the yard she comes over freely to be petted -- as long as I'm sitting down. Huum.

And this brings us to Kayodee (KOD) and Savannah. My, aren't they just a couple pieces of work!

You may recall my post about the email we received some time ago addressed to us from -- the dogs. Their parents were going to Europe, so they were looking for a place to stay for a month. Welp, they've been with us since the end of June and go home next weekend. Actually, I'll be quite sad to see them leave.

They are Basenjis. Never having met one before, I have to say they are unique! Dave saw a saying that they are cats trapped in dog's bodies, and YEAH, seems about right. They are small - about 14-16 inches at the sholder. Very short, coards hair, and have heads just like the dogs you see in egyptian paintings. They also have corkscrew tails, which actually screw in the opposite directions from each other.

They are an egypitan breed of hunting dogs. So they are feisty little things. But good natured and friendly too. They don't bark, per se, but they are far from mute. They hiss, growl, snap, and another sounds that I can't really describe.

The other night when we were playing indoors, I was sitting on the floor and KOD was standing next to my leg enjoying a thorough head, neck and shoulder scratch. Jerico was also laying with us - head on my thigh. (did I mention he's such a sweet dog?!) When I moved my hand to pet Jerico instead of KOD, he let out this.. YEEEEEOOOOOWL! What the hell? I was totally taken aback because I had no idea what that sound meant. Was he jealous and wanted more pets to himself? I petted him again, then turned back to Jerico again, YEEEEOOOOWWL! I was dying laughing -- truely the strangest sound I've ever heard a dog make. Make that 'dog'.

I told Dave about that and he cracked a smile and said "Yeah, he does that sometimes."

Savannah, Ginger has taken to calling our little social director. She always has to visit every other dog in their kennel when she is on her way in or out of the kennel -- usually driving them crazy in the mean time. She orchestrates play in the yard, generally putting herself in the middle of it. When she invites a dog to play, instead of doing a typical play-bow, she stands up on her tiny hind feet and waves her front legs around like for a hug. The bigger dogs she'll run up and bite the rough on their neck, then hang on for dear life. And Chase -- they are both very fast and again are alwasy in the middle of the pack regardless of what is going on.

(excuse me one last time - our neighbor is out stacking the hay bales from the adjoining pasture, so all of the dogs have run down there to bark their heads off. We really have little problems with the dogs barking while in the yard -- except when something happens OUTside of the yard that captures their attention. Unfortunately this something can be as silly as a cow walking across it's pasture. The days are very long when we have those dogs as part of the crew. Fortunately, that is not the case today. Yelled at them once -- because I'm too lazy to get out of this lounge chair if I don't have to -- and I guess they've decided Tom isn't all that interesting after all. LOVE this crew!)

Well, it's now after noon and it's time for the dog's nap. Wish me luck getting Daisy in!


Ok, problem not yet solved, Daisy would not come in for me, but Ginger came out just then and caught her. I've since gotten Daisy in on my own -- but just now Dave came in for lunch and had to leave her out. Poor thing, has some real fear issues, looks to be worse with men then women.



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