Friday, June 26, 2009

Camera Critters # 64

See My Previous Post in honor of Barry. And..... "Go hug your dog today!"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For All Good Dogs

I'm going to dedicate my blog today to a very recently departed friend.

We have all felt the pain of losing someone who has loved us.
I'm not sure that we have all been lucky enough
to have experienced the love of a family dog.
For those of you who haven't had that privilege,
I am sorry for your loss.

Close friends had to say good bye
to one of their best friends yesterday.
He was a big, happy, black, lop-eared Shepherd
named Barry.
He was unusual.
He was one of those dogs
that seemed like he was always going to be a puppy.
Not the kind of dog for everybody, he had special needs.
He had found the perfect family.
He was very lucky.

To my good friends , who I know will read this blog,
here's how I remember your big friend Barry.
I know your sorrow.

May he rest in peace.

And, if anyone else happens to read this blog,
go hug your dog.
You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Monsoon season is HERE

Our day started out as usual for this time of year with just a cloud or two in the sky. This afternoon the dog headed for the tiny dark space under my work table, and I knew, here comes Monsoon season. It's strange how fast these storms roll through our little valley. One minute it's dry and dusty, and then in seconds everything is soaking wet and muddy.
Lighting, thunder, heavy rain and me with my camera standing out there trying to take a picture of it all. I couldn't get Maggie out of the house for anything in the world. She, being the smart dog that she is, preferred the dark space under the table. Even the horse and mule wouldn't come out of the barn to see why the heck I was out in their corral standing in the rain.
The storm is still rumbling, the dog is still in her safe spot, the horses have been fed and are contently eating hay in their dry barn, and then there's me. What can I say...
Here are the photos
that I risked my life to take. Who ever said that we humans are the thinking, superior species? :o)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Hike

The old dog took her old dad for a hike for father's day..... And a good time was had by all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Mule

step for me yesterday.
About a year ago I learned that I have bone degeneration in my back. At times it can be very painful, and although I have always been able to do just about anything that I physically wanted to, this past year has been quite a wake up call for me. To make a long story short, I haven't had the strength or the courage to get on my mule in almost 11 months. I've missed it more than words can describe.
Yesterday, I was puttering around in the yard, and as usual my back began to hurt a bit. Now I sometimes slow down or totally quit what I'm doing, and rest the back for awhile. Then, if I feel better, I go on with what I need to get done. Not yesterday. Yesterday, as my back pain eased, I decided that it was time that the mule and I had a little exercise...together. Not just the round pen for her and not just weeding or garden work for me. I got the brushes out. Nothing different about that, but you should have seen her eyes when, low and behold, out came the dusty saddle and blanket. She remembered exactly what they were for, and if ever eyes talked, boy did her eyes shout happy, happy, happy! I think maybe she thought that we would never do the "riding thing" again. I think that she actually misses it more than I do!
Wednesday's ride was a step by step experiment to see just how much exercise we could both endure. Well, I'm happy to say that we haven't lost it! We (emphasis on we) had a great time, even though it didn't last very long. As I mentioned to a friend and fellow blogger recently, 'it's the process and not the end product that should keep you happy". If you rely too much on the end result for gratification, then what do you do after that? Now I'm hopeful that this is just the beginning of a whole new process and something to look forward to.
Can you see Polly smiling?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Here's to All Good Dogs

When I began to blog I promised to post photos of dogs that I knew briefly when I volunteered at an animal shelter in central Arizona. These dogs are very typical of the many dogs that are picked up every day by animal control all over the United States. Sadly for them they often spend their last days in these shelters, as many of them are never rescued or adopted.
My husband and I spent one day a week, every week, photographing each new adoptable dog, placing the photos on the petfinder website, and hoping that some of these guys would find new homes. Some actually did. Many did not, and of those that did not I observed that many were black, adult dogs. For some reason, unknown to me, if a dog were a rather plain black dog, it would go ignored by the public. Maybe it was because there are more black dogs than any other color, maybe it was because this was Arizona and folks didn't want to deal with a black dog and the hot weather. But for whatever reasons, many very nice dogs were not able to find what they wanted the most, somebody to bond with and love.
As I went through my huge file of shelter dog photos it was very hard to pick and choose which dogs to post, but here is the small sampling of those plain old black pups. I do not know how many of these actually found homes, so I would like to honor those that didn't with this posting. Maybe it's wishful thinking but I hope that one day all good dogs have a loving home!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So Much For Green Pastures

Here we are in Southern Colorado, it's late Spring, we've had lots of good snow runoff and plenty of water for irrigation, but guess what? Both my critters are now on dry lot, and they are not very happy about it. Because they are comfortably into their senior years, they seem to be more prone to hoof problems, particularly laminitis. So here they are in their pens, looking a little forlorn and wondering, "Where's the grass?"

My small garden is growing.....our grass is really growing.....and I'm needing to find someone now to cut and bale our grass for hay!. This valley produces good grass hay, and there are a few ranchers here that make a fairly good living producing quality, weed-free feed for the Four Corners area.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Smile and the world smiles with you!
Have a happy day everyone...

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Bear Project

Here's a little project that I've been putting off for a while now.
One of our neighbors is a wood carver. We traded him a bit of tractor work and some tree stumps for some carving. He used a chainsaw to do the rough carving, and turned a couple of our old tree stumps into great big bears. Since much of the time he spends on these carvings
is sanding and the finish work, he left them roughsawn and told me to finish them. So, I've been working on them for several weeks now. It's was a very messy, dirty job with all the sawdust ending up in you eyes and your ears...basically all over you! Well, here we are...the 3 bears and I... (I'm the one on the right with the stain and brush).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What You Don't Know......

We purchased my mule Polly back in 1988. I had been talking “mule” for many years, ever since my teens when I rode on an organized trail ride with a severely crippled woman, who rode a mule. She had been told to give up riding, but instead bought a young mule, had it trained to lie down so she could get on, and fooled all the skeptics that thought she would never ride again. That was, as I remember, one of the nicest, calmest animals I’d ever been around. That’s where my story with mules began, and it has been one huge learning experience ever since.

Good or bad, I have managed to do many things with my mule because I simply didn’t know any better. At 40-something I decided that I wanted to learn to ride English. So, .I took her for lessons at a schooling barn that specialized in training Dutch Warmbloods, English riding and jumping. Nobody told me that mules weren’t supposed to do that sort of thing. Looking back on it all, I was very lucky, because my mule enjoyed every minute of it. Actually, in those early days, I think that she may have thought she was a horse, and not a mule. We participated in schooling shows where she was the only long-eared critter. We got a few chuckles in the beginning, but those folks soon realized they had to take her a little more seriously as she got harder to beat. After all, who would want to admit that they lost a class to a mule! The important thing was that we enjoyed what we were doing, and we didn’t really care what anyone else thought.

Today, many years after the schooling ring, I still would rather hit a good old mountain trail with my mule-friend Polly, but we both have our memories of the challenges in the arena. As a matter of fact, I found that those old lessons could make an otherwise dull trail a little more interesting. We always kept ourselves motivated with leg pressure, bending and flexing…. out there in the woods it can be a lot more important than in a box with four sides.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Arizona ...Home for Six Years

Here are a few photographic takes on our time spent living in the state of Arizona. Our home was in the small town of Camp Verde in central Arizona. We were the perfect distance from water, the mountains, and red rock county. Everything was within an easy drive....even the BIG city, if you could handle the crowds of people, crazy drivers and the higher summer temperatures.

We lived in Arizona for six years, while my husband worked from a home office for a company based out of Portland, Oregon.

Arizona has year around horseback riding, hiking, and bicycling. We were lucky enough, at that time, to be able enjoy all three recreations. For those of you who have never been to the state of Arizona, it has such a diverse landscape and offers the outdoor person a wide range of activities. (sorry if this sounds too much like a travel brochure)