October 2014

October 2014
Day Trip to Oakridge Oct 2014

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy Anniversary Ollie and Jewel

It was exactly one year ago today that two little fur kids came to live with us.  I had seen their picture online and when I called, the owner brought them over to see us.  I wanted a blue merle female and Jewel seemed like the perfect dog for me.  However, the dogs had other ideas!!  Ollie chose me and Jewel chose Russ and that’s just the way it was going to be.
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Russ and Jewel

















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We didn’t realize at 
first how scared they were.  But these are sensitive little souls and all they knew was their Mommy had dropped them off at some strange house with a big scary man and then she disappeared.  Jewel took it pretty much in stride but Ollie was terrified.  Just look at that little face.




We had a few challenges in the beginning and even went so far as to call the breed rescue about re-homing Ollie.  But we were told they wouldn’t take him because of his reactivity and that he should most likely be euthanized.  Well, that’s just NOT the way we do things!  We found a great vet who works with troubled dogs and she recommended a great trainer and we have been working with Ollie ever since.  He will never be a friendly outgoing dog like Jewel, and he will likely be on medication forever,  but he has made remarkable progress.

We have had some wonderful times with the dogs over this past year and they have added a ton of fun to our lives.  Here are some highlights of their first year with us.

February 7, 2014 – found out these dogs LOVE the snow when a very unusual heavy snowstorm hit the area.
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March 2104 – Ollie gets over his fear of Russ and we take some wonderful walks with the dogs.






And that is how the male bonding face licking ritual was born!!P1050761



 I know...EWWWW - YUK but it works for them!  I just try not to look!



 
In April we bought car seats for the dogs so they could see us and enjoy the view in the car.  They loved them right from the start.  They had been riding in a crate in the back and they couldn’t see us or anything else.
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In May 2014, we took the dogs on their first (and last) trip in the RV.  They weren’t bad dogs and are good travelers, but being in new locations and dealing with the unknown was just too much for Ollie.  It was then that we started thinking about selling Therapy.
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We had a great summer with our pups – no trips in the motor home but lots of day trips around the area…and lots of fun in our own backyard!  Jewel worked hard on her squirrel stalking skills.
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And Ollie enjoyed the groomer’s interpretation of a summer “trim.”
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The fall is always our favorite time of year and this year was no exception.  We had a lot of work going on at the house, so we made ourselves scarce as much as possible.  We spent a lot of time at the lake and Ollie and Jewel enjoyed the playground equipment just like a couple of kids.
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No, Ollie didn’t go down the slide but he sure enjoyed climbing around on the rest of the structure.







…and at the beach…
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I never thought I would dress up a dog but these two were just too perfect at Halloween.  I mean, don’t you just know they are Princess Leia and the Ewok?
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Ollie rather liked his costume but Jewel just put up with it.  They didn’t have them on for long!!

And then of course, I had to torture them one more time at Christmas.
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It’s been a year of ups and downs, changes, new directions, but most of all love from these two little critters.  I can see where Ollie might have been put down in a different environment and I admit he can be hard to deal with at times.  But he is so worth it and he has made such progress.  I think of Ollie as I would an autistic child.  He just cannot handle a lot of input and he is terrified of strangers.  That will never go completely away but he is not a “throwaway.”  He has so much love to give and he shows that to us everyday.  Jewel is the clown that keeps us laughing at her antics.  They both have worth and we are so lucky to have them.  It’s not always about finding a dog you love, sometimes it’s loving the dog you find.

They have grown to love us and they feel comfortable in their home.  Just look how relaxed they are now…
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Don’t worry Dad, I’ll keep your place warm.  (She does sleep in her crate at night!)





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Ollie is so relaxed, he sleeps in his crate all night and I never zip him in.  I just love his little foot sticking out here.





So Happy Anniversary Ollie and Jewel – we are so glad you’re home.

Friday, January 30, 2015

DO Fence Me In!!

I know – I’m swimming upstream here with all you “Don’t fence me in” folks haha!!!  But if you have a yard and you have really, really sweet pups that you want to keep safe, then ya gotta keep up with the fences.

First order of business was to haul out the temporary construction fence and run it across the yard to the shop so that the dogs could come outside but still be fenced in while the old fence was being removed and rebuilt.  It is just flimsy plastic but Russ did a great job in stringing it up and the dogs never once tried to breech the fence.
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We have a BIG backyard, for around here anyway.  We can only do one section of fence at a time and it was time to do the south side.  Russ had braced it up with 2X4s a couple of years ago but even those were starting to sag.  SO, 143 ft. of fence later…

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That is the south side fence (next to the school yard) and the short north side with gate.  And NO the school does NOT share in the cost of the fence.

Island Fence (why “Island” – I have no idea) did the work and they did a fine job.  They used 4X6 treated posts and two 2X4s, top and middle for rails.  At the bottom rail, they used a treated 2X6.  They also shored up the concrete on the posts along the back fence as some of those were getting wobbly.  That’s a lot of fence!
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For all his help on the fence, I told Russ he could get a shiny, new red mode of transportation.  After all, the RV shed is empty now!P1000570

See that nice pile of gravel to the left of the shed?  It’s a match made in heaven to go with Russ’s new wheels!




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P1000563Russ has been hauling and I have been helping him spread gravel all along the bottom of the South and West sections of fence.  That stuff is HEAVY!!!  But it will improve the drainage and keep the fence dry and will also fill in the low, uneven places so the dogs can’t get out (or other dogs get in!).
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Is it hard work??  Yeah, I guess it is!!




And what of the pups while we were working so hard?  Well, Jewel was SURE she was going to starve to death.  She just sat and waited for the end, knowing we were never going to take time to ever feed her again!
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And Ollie, well look at his sad little eyes and tell me what you think HE wants?
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We’re not quite done with the gravel, but we learned the hard way to slow down and not try to get it all done in one day.  Now we are limiting ourselves to no more than 2 fence sections per day, when the weather is cooperative.  At least the big gaps are filled and the dogs are secure.  Is it any wonder we took the day off yesterday to enjoy the coast haha!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Perfect Day at the Oregon Coast

We have been having such wonderful weather here that we HAD to get over to the coast and enjoy the day.  Saturday it was 68* in Eugene – a new record!  It has been great weather for over a week and we have been spending a lot of that time working around the house.  Time to play!

Started out early with a blood draw for me and they got me first try!  PERFECT!!

While I was getting poked, Russ went across the street and filled the van up with gas…$1.33 using our Fred Meyer fuel points!! PERFECT!

Next stop, breakfast for two (with coupons), $7.73!  PERFECT!  Well, okay, the food maybe wasn’t perfect but the price was nice.  IT was my very first time having breakfast at Carl’s Jr. but we had some great coupons so we did it.  Not too bad AND they serve REAL butter with their biscuits and REAL half and half with the coffee!

It was foggy and even drizzly here in Eugene when we started out but by the time we got to Florence, the sun was out and it was already up to 55*.  For us, that’s pretty much – PERFECT!

We stopped at Harbor Vista County Park for a nice walk.  Some of you have stayed here, like Paul and Marsha.  It’s a great park – especially mid-winter.  Picture yourself here in this ocean view spot.
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It was shirt-sleeve weather for sure!  There is a stairway down to the beach but we stayed topside and just enjoyed the view.
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We went on to Yachats – always enjoy that rocky coastline.  The air was warm, the sky was blue, the wind was calm – PERFECT!
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Ollie and Jewel were having a great time and Ollie wanted to pose on a large piece of driftwood.

“Come on, Dad, quit messing around and untangle those leashes.”
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“Do you need some help down there?”
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“MOM, make Jewel stop pushing me!”
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“Jeez Jewel, would ya look at the camera already!”
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PERFECT!!

One of the reason for this trip today was to check out a little motel we had read about on Trip Advisor.  It is between Yachats and Waldport and we have driven by it countless times.  Built in 1947, Deana’s is one of those old time charmers that has stood the test of time.  It has been updated but still retains a feeling of stepping back in time.  I’ll save the pictures of the motel for when we go back and spend a few days but we were simply charmed.  The nice lady showed us through several rooms and then invited us to enjoy the grounds and the beach for as long as we wanted to stay.

The property is perched on a low sandstone cliff so there is a stairway down to the beach.  But first there is a vast lawn to enjoy.
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The stairway is in great shape and not too hard to negotiate.  Ollie knows I have trouble with stairs and he slows down and waits for me and never pulls.
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This beach is just south of Tillicum beach, a favorite of Ed and Carol.
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With wide open space and no bushes to conceal critters, the dogs were let off leash .  They won’t venture more than a few feet from us so we separate and play “go find Mommy, go find Daddy.”  Then they will run back and forth between us – the treats at each end of the run help too!!
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What happy dogs!!



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We wore them out and both dogs were content to sleep in the car while we went into the Subway in Waldport for a $6 lunch deal – PERFECT!!  After that it was time to head home.  The dogs slept all the way and we have our memories of a PERFECT Oregon coastal day and plans to spend a few days at Deana’s in the very near future.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thank You All and Here’s a Retro Post

I have to say I am gratified, and not a little surprised, by all the well wishes and comments I received on my last post.  I figured by now I had disappeared from everyone’s sidebar.  It is sure nice to know we still have friends out there.  You know, Blogville is a real place, with real people, and real friendships!!  I read an article just the other day on the benefits of social media.  While a blog is not Face Book or Google+, it is still a social outlet and a way to stay connected with others.  

So having said that – you don’t know what kind of a monster you have created!!  Some of you encouraged me to continue writing and some even said they would read what I wrote!  We’ve had some interesting times and some adventures with the dogs since I last posted a meaningful update in May of 2014.  Since many of you mentioned the dogs, I think I’ll go back and write a few retro posts of what has been going on since May. 

Christmas is not that far past and since I didn’t greet everyone at Christmastime, I’ll catch up on that now!  Merry Christmas, everyone.  Hope it was a good one! 

We wanted to make a Christmas card with our new doggies and so one day I set up shop in the living room and tried to get an appropriate picture.  Ollie is the sweetheart when it comes to posing for pictures so most of his photos look pretty much the same.  I put him in one spot and he stays there – looking pitiful – but he stays put and tries to give me his best pose.  We did get a one outtake though!
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I should never have used gold drapes as a backdrop on Ollie – it seemed to absorb his red/gold color and make him look more silver.
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But he was a good boy and sat patiently and endured his fate.

Jewel on the other hand cannot sit still to save her life!  She is a true wiggledy worm.  Some of her outtakes were pretty funny.
First Russ tried to bribe her with a treat – she laid down.
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He tried again and she sat up straighter – but oh what a look!
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Oh Yum, good treat – where’d they go?
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Here Jewel, let Daddy fix your hat.
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Is this really necessary?
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We finally gave up on the tall hat and traded it for a shorter one.  Jewel gave up on posing.
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Oh, woe is me!!!
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Finally, we gave up on getting a perfect shot and used what we had.  There was NO WAY to get them both in the same picture so I picked the best we had and PhotoShopped them together.
And that was our Christmas Card!
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P.S. They only had to wear their costumes for the photo shoot.  I took them off right after.  Ollie actually likes to wear stuff – Jewel, not so much!!