Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Howlidays Everyone!

Wishing everyone a great howliday and a happy new year!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Monthly Diary for November, 2012

This was a busy month.  We finished off as much of the hiking challenge as we could do.  I had a bad three weeks between my treatments so I wasn't really into hiking and we ended up with two hikes undone.  You can read about the two hikes we did do here (this one features a really big big bunny) and here.  Mommy didn't let me write up the third hike, our Thanksgiving Eve hike, because I was such a whiner pain log-on-a-rope tired old man during that hike, that it was very short and so was Mommy's temper.  I guess if Mommy drives you to the state park for a hike you are not supposed to get all mulish and stop and refuse to walk as soon as you can't see the car, and then practically RUN back to the car when Mommy gives up and turns around after a half mile.  I also peed and pooped in the house this month.  The pooping part isn't odd, but the peeing part is.  I wrote that up for the Bad Dogs so you can read about it here.

Anyway, when I went for my laser treatment this month Mommy told the vet about all my setbacks between treatments.  Mommy was concerned that the treatments maybe just stop working, but the vet said that she thought it was probably the way the weather had been rapidly shifting between really warm and really cold in those weeks (we had days where it was nearly 70 followed by days where it was 30, nights that got down to 15 followed by days that got up to the mid 60s).  We know I have trouble with weather shifts, so this last treatment the vet kicked up the power on the laser and gave me more time around my spine and hips to see if it helps.  It sure seems to have because I've been feeling much better since the treatment.

This month Mommy got a bad dog owner in trouble in the park.  Mommy and I had entered the park at its southeast entrance and walked across it planning to leave at its northwest entrance, but when we got there there was a woman running her shepherd off leash.  Now at this park dogs are NOT supposed to be off leash AND the woman was running the dog in the picnic and playground area as well as blocking the exit!  Mommy called out, "Please leash your dog so we can get past you and leave the park." The woman looked at Mommy and went on throwing her ball through the playground to the picnic area.  Mommy called out again, and the woman moved closer to the exit and threw the ball through the picnic area into the playground.  Mommy called out a third time and the woman ignored us.  What the woman didn't know was that Mommy and I had passed a police officer having his morning break on the other side of a clump of trees, so we walked back to his car and Mommy told him that we wanted to leave the park but couldn't due to the off leash dog.  She explained that I have been jumped multiple times by off leash shepherds in this park and we didn't want to risk having it happen again.  The officer said, "No problem." and drove his car onto the bike path and up to the playground area.  We walked along the path after him. When we got to the other side of the trees he was driving back.  He stopped and said, "I told her to leash the dog and leave the park, or I'd write her a ticket.  She has chosen to leave."  If the woman had been polite and leashed her dog when Mommy called out she could have gone back to playing with him after we left with nobody the wiser, but she had to be rude, oh well.  We wish the police would hang out in this particular park more often.

Finally, ,this month had Thanksgiving.  I like Thanksgiving because I get some turkey and mashed potatoes and roll.  Mommy and I went to Grandma and Grandpa's house and I wore my camera and took some pictures.  Grandpa's friend with Alzheimers was there with his wife and I hung out with him a lot because when I leaned on him he would pet me.

I wanted the cheese and nuts that was on that table, but I was told no.

 Everyone is eating dinner and I am being polite and quiet by Mommy's chair.
This is the best way to get turkey and rolls

 Time to go home.  
Mommy got to take some turkey home for her and all the leftover mashed potatoes for me!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Not a Hiking Challenge, but a Challenging Hike

It was supposed to be rainy all day, which is why Mommy took me hiking yesterday afternoon, but then today Mommy finished her chores at noon and it still hadn't rained so she asked me if I wanted to go for a hike.  I said yes and when she asked me if I wanted to go hike Yellow Trail I started barking and following her around telling her to hurry up.  So, Mommy got everything together and we got in the car and drove the half hour to Yellow Trail.  I got out of the car and whined at Mommy to hurry up and when we got to the trail head, I suddenly announced that I didn't want to hike Yellow Trail, I wanted to hike Pink Trail.  Pink trail is a half mile long and you never are out of sight of the parking lot.  It was an add-on trail that Mommy would let me do when we did longer hikes down to this preserve.  Mommy said, "No, we can do Blue Trail to Yellow." I insisted on Pink. Mommy said, "Okay, let's do Red to Yellow instead and then we can do Pink after." I walked up Red because it leads to Pink and when we got to Pink I insisted on turning onto Pink. Mommy gave in and said, "Fine, we'll do Pink to White and White to Yellow."

 Pink Trail looking at the parking lot

 Pink trail goes around a lake. These rocks really show low the water level is because of the drought.

When we got to White Trail Mommy went up it and I did this:

Mommy calls this my stubborn mule pose. I have the brakes on and you are not going to move me.  If you pull on my leash any more I will lie down.

So Mommy gave in and we did the whole Pick loop then Mommy cut through the parking lot and took me to where Red and Blue meet and said, "Which way? Red to Yellow or Blue to Yellow?" and I said I wanted to go back to the car.  Mommy said, "We are not going home after only walking Pink.  Red Loop or Blue Loop?" I said car.  Mommy said, "Fine. Blue Loop." and DRAGGED me down the start of Blue Loop.  This was dog abuse if you ask me.  After it became clear that the car was not an option I hiked along just fine.

Blue is a nice hike through the woods.

I took a picture too

We hiked Blue to where it merges with Yellow where I met up with a French bulldog puppy who could smell that Mommy had treats and kept jumping on her begging for one.  Mommy asked if it was alright to give him one and his daddy said yes, so he got a bit of milkbone.  When we left him I told Mommy I needed a treat too so she reached in her bag and pulled out a piece of kibble.  I gave her my "you must be joking" look and refused to take it.  She got me a bit of milkbone out of the bag and I ate that right up.  We then followed Yellow to where it connects to Red and then we took Red back to the car.

 Hooray the car!

The hike only came out to 1.7 miles even though we walked on every trail except one (White) in the park, so it was too short to count for our wild card in the County Hiking Challenge.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

County Hikiing Challenge 11/15 or Maybe Not

Today it got up into the mid 60s, which is really weird for around here at this time of year.  Mommy and I took our morning walk and I pretended to come up lame when I didn't want to leave the lake, but Mommy wasn't fooled.  Then she cut down the last of her gardens and mowed and raked up more leaves for the big sucker truck to come get.  I made sure the squirrels stayed up in the trees and the feral cats stayed out of my yard, and then Mommy said, "Let's go hiking."  When she went in to see what the last two hikes were she realized that we might not have enough time to do either of them in, so we went to the preserve that I could walk to when I was younger and did some of that instead.  We have a "Wild Card" option on our hiking challenge so we may count this hike, although I really want to do the yellow trail Mommy wouldn't let me do on the river hike too, so Mommy isn't writing down today's hike as our wild card, just in case we get to the yellow trail.

So here's the hike.
There were a lot of dogs on the trail today, so there was a lot of pee mail to check.  You can see that the plants have gone dormant for fall.
This trail is the savanna with prairie, swamps, ponds, a creek, and little patches of trees.  Mommy and I had planned to walk to the creek, but when we got to the preserve there was a sign saying the creek walk was going to be closed until late December for improvements. Mommy and I decided to walk to the patch of trees in the background there instead.

Mommy stopped suddenly while I was doing some sniffing and got out her camera, so I figured she was going to be taking boring pictures of birds like she does at this preserve and I took advantage of her being distracted to grab a big mouthful of treats out of her bag. I was so happy eating my stolen treats that I didn't notice that Mommy was taking a picture of

A great big bunny!  He was very close to us and I didn't have a clue.  He was downwind of me so I couldn't smell him and I think that is a good excuse and I'm sticking with it.  He could smell me and he started coming towards us.  Mommy got a little worried that he might become nasty since the deer are going into rut right now and a big buck like that might not think twice about trying to stomp a dog like me, but that didn't stop her form taking pictures of him when he stopped to get a better look at us.

But then he turned and decided to cross the trail about 15 feet in front of us.  I STILL DIDN'T SEE HIM because I was sniffing pee mail and stuff.

Once he was past the trail he ran off towards that old barn and Mommy lost sight of him.

When he headed toward the barn he got upwind of me and that was when I realized there was a big bunny out there somewhere.  I searched and searched but couldn't find him.  Mommy laughed at me and called me a "big old idiot", which I don't think was very nice.

We got to the clump of trees and turned around and the wind picked up and the sky started to look threatening.

We took the boardwalk through the swamp on the way back and stopped at the dock where the muskrats live.  Remember last time we were here the water was very low and I wondered what muskrats did when the water got so low.  Well, now there is NO WATER in the swamp!  I took a picture

and Mommy did too.  Poor Musky the Rat.  I hope he made it over to the creek and the construction isn't upsetting him too much.

It started to rain a bit towards the end of the hike, but not bad enough to make me get mad at Mommy, and then it stopped as quickly as it started.

Mommy liked the way the sun beams came out thought this crack in the clouds after the rain let up.

Total miles:  2.7

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Monthly Diary for October, 2012

Well, let's see. I posted quite a few Hiking Challenge "sub-posts" this month. You can read them here here and here. I also showed off my treat tins in this previous post if you want to see them.

Other than hiking this month I had another laser treatment. I was very good for the vet. When I got into the laser room I lay right down and barked at the vet to get started already. Then when she had done my left side and started to try to do the parts of my right side she can reach when I'm lying on it, I got up and turned over without her asking.  She told Mommy that she was very impressed by this. Mommy said she knew I'd pick up the pattern eventually.  I love those laser treatments and they make me feel so much better. I actually asked to play ball four times this last week. Mommy played some quiet catch games with me, but she didn't want me to play full out fetch because I always regret that for days, but she finally gave in on Halloween and threw the ball for me twice. I will admit, I've been a little sore since then, but Mommy says I have my next treatment on Tuesday so I should feel better then. 

Speaking of Halloween I helped answer the door again this year. If you check my previous "sub-post" you will see my costume. I got bored after about ten kids though and went to bed instead of answering the door. Mommy says Boo used to do that when he got older too.

I've taken some really long morning walks this month too. I did a 7 1/2 mile morning walk one day! It kind of became a morning/afternoon walk and we got caught in the rain, but I did the whole thing and was very happy the whole time. Mommy lets me choose my weekend walks and that was the one I chose. I've also gotten some of my speed back and can now grab and eat dead things that I find on the side of the road before Mommy can react again. My tummy doesn't think that is the best thing to do, but what does it know? I've also gone back to sleeping on the couch and counter surfing as well. The funny thing is that Mommy now says, "Wow! Look at you! You got that off the counter!" instead of "Bad dog! Get down!" She says sometimes she wonders why she's letting me have those laser treatments. I'm also chasing squirrels again. Mommy has been working in the yard a lot, cutting down flowers and raking leaves, which means I get to spend hours outside in the yard. The squirrels assume I am still the slow dog I was before the treatments and so they forget to look out for me before coming down from the trees. Then I get to chase them back up, which is lots of fun.  Well, I guess that's it for the month of October.  Sorry this is a rather boring update, but be sure to read the more exciting "sub-posts" if you didn't catch them when I posted them.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

According to Mommy, I am a bat. Seriously, try harder in the future, Mommy.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

County Hiking Challenge 2012--Hike 10/14

Mommy and I did a hike today that we only do when it is on the hiking challenge and only after our friend who also does The Challenge has done this one.  This is because Mommy considers this hike "unfriendly".  This hike is in one of the richest parts of the county and is full of warning signs that normal human beings don't seem to need because we don't see them at the other preserves.

 This sign shows up about every 1/2 mile. 
(Mommy erased the phone number if you were wondering.)

There is even a sign with a picture of an endangered turtle on it that tells you these very special turtles are very rare and are in the preserve and then tells you you mustn't bother the turtle if you see it. Mommy thinks that rich people need these signs because they just assume they own everything they see and it is theirs to play with or take. We saw a mom letting her child climb all over construction equipment that was parked at the trail head today. We have never seen this in other areas. We have seen parents walking around equipment with their kids and pointing out parts, but they've never let them touch it, much less climb on it like it was playground equipment.

Anyway, at this preserve a lot of the trails have "NO DOGS ALLOWED" signs on them too, and I'm not allowed to walk on ANY mowed trails, which, as you know, are my favorites.  In the past, even though the Challenge trail is not marked "no dogs allowed" it has gone onto a "NO DOGS ALLOWED" trail and Mommy and I have had to turn around, so that is why we wait for our friend to tell us if it is worth us driving to the preserve. I didn't wear my camera today because the temperatures were in the low 40s and the Merlin Cam tends to malfunction below 50 degrees, so you will have to put up with Mommy's photos only.

First off, when you hike here you want to look WEST because if you look east what you see are houses that are bigger than some hotels we've seen. Why does anyone need a house that big? How many dog beds do they have to have so their dog can have one in each room?

  Great big houses.
If you want to see this photo bigified, click here.

Me eating treats I stole from Mommy's bag while she was taking the previous picture

On the west side you see a river. It is a very small river and has been artificially straightened in sections too

Mommy was standing on this bridge to take the previous picture. That is another strange thing about this preserve. It has very fancy bridges. Most of the trail bridges in other preserves are just wooden spans with handrails. The ones here have fancy posts and wrought iron rails...

..or are all fancy concrete made to look like carved stone

Anyway, after you cross the river you get to a more wild area with ponds and woods. You can still see the houses to the east, but there is a small scrubby buffer between the trails and the homes.

 Small lake

Is this is the same heron that ate all my frogs at the froggy trail?

 Heading back to the trail head and looking at the west side of the trail.

We aren't sure why, but there is a giant bunny bench at the trail head. 
I just wanted to get back to the car and was not cooperating with Mommy on this photo shoot.

This hike was 2.9 miles long.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Show Us Your Treat Jar

Cibersibes have asked other blogging doggies to show them their treat jar. 


I don't get the concept of "treat jar" singular.  Here are my treat TINS plural. Oh, and I'd like to repeat that am NOT spoiled.

The tins belonged to Mommy's grandmother, and although they look a little washed out in the photo, the roosters and flowers are pink and green.  The tins usually sit on the kitchen counter and I have a bed right below them, which is convenient.  I would also like to point out that it took a lot of control to sit nicely while Mommy took the picture.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

County Hiking Challenge 2012--Hike 9/12

Mommy worked in the yard most of the day yesterday and all this morning after our walk.  When she finished working in the yard she came into the house and got everything ready for a hike.  She had planned to do a 2.6 mile hike down at the far end of the county, but when she said, "Okay! Let's go!" I ran to my bed and lay down. Mommy said, "Don't you want to go for a hike?" and I said no I did not.  Mommy then said, "It is too nice a day for you to be moping around the house and not hiking. How about we do the last really short one on the list? You like that hike. It's the froggy hike." I thought about it a bit and got up and agreed to go because I like the froggy hike. 

We hiked at this preserve a lot when I was recovering from having my toe amputated because this preserve is just two short loops, one inside the other, around a lake. Depending on how you string the loops together you can hike 1 mile, 1.2 miles, 1.3 miles, 1.5 miles, 1.8 miles or 2 miles so it was a perfect recuperation hiking spot.  The official hike was the 1.3 mile hike.

When we got out of the car we could see that the lake was full of Canada geese. This is only about a quarter of the goose flock. There were a lot of dogs on the trails today because the weather was so nice, and they were all on leashes.  Mommy thinks maybe seeing all those geese right off made people realize they needed to leash their dogs.

I lagged behind from the very start of the hike.  Mommy is trying to figure out how I took this picture of her because the leash is going in the wrong direction to be attached to me, but we know it was attached to me and not some other dog.

Hiking down to the fishing pier wasn't on the official hike, but I insisted on going down there to look for frogs.  There were none. When we got to what used to be a farmer's field with a sign that said, "NO TRESPASSING" we found a different sign that said, "DO NOT ENTER. TRAILS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. AREA NOT SAFE FOR GENERAL PUBLIC" This is very exciting because it means that the forest preserves bought out the farmer's field next door and, hopefully that also means the woods, two other little lakes, and the creek next to the field so this preserve will have even more trails soon and some developer won't be able to put big ugly houses up right next to the current trails.  When we got to the spot where the big loop connects with the little loop I insisted on going down the little loop so that I could get to the second fishing pier to look for frogs. There were no frogs there either! In fact, I didn't see a single frog on the entire hike, at the froggy hike no less!

When we were about two thirds of the way through the hike Mommy started singing "One of these things is not like the others." because she spotted that heron out with the geese. That is almost as embarrassing as polkaing to her car. Anyway, maybe he is why I didn't see any froggies today.

Mommy really liked this art shot I took of the fall leaves on the ground.  She is thinking of printing it out and framing it.

Here is a shot Mommy took from the lookout spot. If you bigify it you can see some people on the grassy part by the shore. They are about 30 feet from the parking lot. They arrived and gathered there a few minutes after we started our hike and they all got into their cars and drove off a few minutes before we finished our hike. Mommy and I don't understand people who come to a preserve and never go farther than 30 feet from their cars, but a lot of people seem to do that.

Anyway, with the added in side trips to the piers the hike totaled 1.8 miles.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

County Hiking Challenge 2012--Hike 8/11

This hike was along the river trail that Mommy and I like to hike.  We haven't done this particular stretch of it for about two years because I can't hike to it anymore from the trail heads where Mommy likes to park.  Mommy doesn't like this section's parking lot because it is off a very busy road and you can only get to it from one direction.  Also, there is no turn lane so if the drivers behind you aren't paying attention you risk getting rear ended when you slow down to make the turn.

The beginning of this hike goes behind shopping malls and apartments. This whole area is mostly shopping malls with some apartments added in, so it is nice that the people who live in those apartments can get to a nice bit of nature easily. But as far as hikes go, it isn't very exiting in the beginning.

See, not so great.

We did get to see some color

But don't give up on the hike because after you cross the river...

 you are in the woods

 The woods are nice and full of good smells and sometimes you'll see a deer.

The hike ended where the river trail merges with one of my favorite non-river trails.  I wanted to take the other trail, but Mommy said no because that hike is even longer than the one we were doing and we would never had made it back to the car, but she said since the challenge has a "wild card" entry we could maybe do the trail she wouldn't let me take as our wild card.  Total hike, 2.3 miles.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Monthly Diary for September, 2012

Well, this wasn't the most exciting of months.  Mommy and I took a bunch of hikes for the county hiking challenge. If you haven't done so already, you can read about them here, here, here and here.  I had more laser treatments and they have done me a lot of good.  I can now get up on the couch, although I don't do it as much as I used to, and I'm taking Mommy for longer morning walks.  We did a 6 1/2 mile morning walk this month and a few 5 mile walks too.  My treatments are farther apart now.  I'm going every other week and the vet thinks maybe I can cut down to once a month after my next treatment.  Mommy was happy to hear that since they are running up a bit of a bill.

The biggest part of the month was that Mommy and I went up to the house in Wisconsin to help Grandma and Grandpa get things ready for winter.  Mommy's youngest brother came too which was good. Grandma and Grandpa got a new boat!  It is a pontoon boat so the good news is that it is much easier for me to get on and off of, but the bad news is I'm not allowed on the seats, but as you can see from the photos below, I can still see what's happening if I stand up.


 Mommy liked this picture I took of the boat's anchor

Since it is fall the colors were very nice.  Mommy and I both took some pictures of the color.

Mommy, Grandma, Grandpa and Mommy's youngest brother all went to see Beef-A-Rama.  I've gone in the past, but Mommy thought it might be too much for me with the crowds.  She was nervous someone might step on my foot or accidentally knock me over, so I stayed home this year.  This meant that Mommy got to take the shuttle bus in instead of walking in on the bike trail, which was new for her.  I let her use my blog to write a guest post about the event if you want to read it.  That night Mommy's niece and nephew-in-law came for dinner.  They are the reason we went to Minnesota this summer for a wedding.  Mommy's brother, niece and nephew-in-law all played slow motion chase with me, which was a lot of fun. 

I really like the nephew-in-law. I actually handed him Mommy's shoe when he arrived.  Everyone was shocked because I don't give things to ANYBODY.  Then when he knelt on the floor to talk to me I walked around behind him, sat on his leg and did my singularity impersonation, in which I become infinitely dense in both matter and mind, so that he couldn't get up.  Mommy took a picture of him trying to get his leg out from under me.  I think it is a fun game to play with unsuspecting humans.

So, even though it wasn't the most eventful  of Septembers, it was a fun one.