Monday, November 26, 2012

SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND A BIG MOVE

We at the Cult home have been rather busy getting ready for a move on Wednesday. The challenges of packing with 4 dogs in a tiny house are significant and I am blessed to have friends who have been watching the dogs for a day here and there.


I’ve noticed each dog handles the activity differently. And it seems the concern exhibited by each dog for my moving around more than normal and doing vastly different things than on a typical day, increases in direct proportion to how long the dog has been part of the Cult household. However, after much thought while packing the books from the bookshelf, I don’t believe there is an empirical way for me to test my hypothesis. There are too many variables, including some behaviors may be a result of age. I am sure there are many other variables I am not even considering, due in part to sleep deprivation associated to packing panic (we’re not close to done and the movers come on Wednesday, yet here I am posting to the blog. Hmmmm.)

Willow, whom I’ve had since January, 2008, doesn’t even lift her head as I walk by; she just follows my many laps around the house with her eyes. Sometimes. Most of the time she is asleep. Willow is turning 9 (!) in April so it may have a bit to do with age, though she is still spry at playdates.

I’ve been Breezes officially since April, 2009, though she came to live with me as a foster in December of 2008. She also follows me with her eyes, hardly lifting her head as I carry another rock to put into the many boxes lining the dining room floor. However, some of her lack of movement may be attributed to her injured paw. Breeze will celebrate her 7th birthday in May.
Dru is typically at alert stage but stays on her dog bed most of the time. She does come in ever hour or so to check on what I am doing, especially if I have remained out of sight for too long. Dru is the same age as Breeze, since they are sisters (literally) and came to live with me July 2009.

Now the boy; he follows me everywhere. Any time I move he is at my side. I can shift my chair and he will spring up from whichever bed or patch of bare floor he has found that is closest to me, curious as to what is going to happen next. There are many variables to consider here: age, time with me, sex, etc. Angel was bounced around a bit before settling in with me (three trips to various foster homes and one almost forever home) and still seems to be a bit unsure if this place is officially his permanently. It could also have something to do with him being a boy. He seems to be a bit needier than the girls. Though this could also be a function of the time I have had him or his age. However, most of the greyhound owners I know seem to feel, on the whole, the boys are needier than the girls.  His gotcha date was May 1, 2012 and he coming up on his third birthday on January 15th.

The observed behavior patterns were shattered when I was packing stuff in the garage; I got visits from all of them. Consistently. The first afternoon I was truly packing, I decided to start in the garage and all of them were helping me out. It was a constant greyhound parade snaking through the myriad of boxes. I finally moved all the empty boxes to the side and brought in 4 dog beds. The dogs were then quite content to spend the remainder of the afternoon in the garage with me and I was able to finish packing a total of 6 boxes. Not bad for 4 hours of work.

Their current behavior is pretty typical of everyday behavior, but ratcheted up a notch (or two, or three). I’m curious how much of the anxiety is a reflection of my emotions (this whole house selling/finding/cleaning out, etc process has left me a touch stressed) and how much as the result of my unusually physical activity around the house.

Alas, I will be unable to answer my questions and develop a working theory; it is all pure speculation surrounding a few observations.

Here is one aspect that can be put to the test:

Question: Will the Cult blog be affected by the move of the Cult household?

Observations: The Cult blog has already been affected with less posts the past few weeks, while packing is afoot. Posting to the blog will be considerably hampered due to the lack of internet access and (another theory – based on past moves) misplacement of vital equipment for posting to said internet.

Hypothesis: The Cult blog will be down for a few days due to a move of said Cult household.

Analyzing the data: Will only be possible after internet access is again granted by company who unknowingly holds the fate of the blog in their corporate hands and the finding of all boxes containing tools (i.e. computer, cords, etc) relating to said connection.

Final conclusion: yet to be officially determined as it occurs at a future date, however we confident that posts will be non-existent for the next week or so.

Have a good week all, posts will resume once we get settled in our new digs. For now, I leave you with an image of the dogs helping me pack the garage.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May your day be filled with all things that bring you joy. I know I am thankful my life is filled with family, friends, and more dogs that I can count. We have 3 guest hounds, one of them, RJ, has some T-day advice: "Grab the bird and run." I think he means; "Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal."

May you eat until you can't fit in another bite, drink until you slosh when you walk, and may you enter your food coma surrounded by greyhounds napping with you on the couch.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A MOST HANDSOME BOY

My friend, Cindy, snapped this shot of the new, and apparently very handsome, boy when she was here visiting our fair city. It is hands down the best photo of him yet. I didn't realize he could look so dashing; he usually has a string of drool hanging from his mouth.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

GREYHOUND INJURIES

This has been quite the busy week for us at the Cult. Aside from a big Astronomy event for work, (I was a guest speaker on a meteorite panel, I don’t know when I became a specialist, but apparently if you are in an unusual field long enough it can happen.) we have had some dog drama. Again. Sigh.

Miss Breeze cut her webbing again. Different toe, same result; stitches. Gah. We have been an all dog injury free house since the last time she cut her foot open in May (I’ve finally deduced it was from jumping up on the door and catching it on the molding around the window).

Actually the week previous I had found a lump on Breeze’s chest (yup, another one), but I hadn’t had a break in my schedule to bring her in. The toe luckily came at a time when I finally had a day off. So it was a two-fer. Actually it was a three-fer. She was also having problems with her gums and teeth, even though we had them cleaned a year ago. So in we went two weeks ago. The Doc took one look at her toe and said “Yup, stitches. Wrap that back up.” When I mentioned the lump, he felt around until he found it, then gave me a concerned look. “This one feels weird, it definitely needs to come out and be sent to pathology.” As for the gums “The teeth need to be cleaned again.” So they took her for the day.

I noticed this visit; I have been upgraded from the standard manila file folder to an expansive 3-ring binder that houses all the dogs records. (hmmm, dogs in a binder…) I’m not sure whether to be honored or mortified that we have been there so often we rated a binder.

Last week, the toe seemed to be doing well on the bandage changes, but I was pretty anxious about the results of the lump. Then they came back. “They don’t know what it is and need to run more tests.” My panic level instantly ratcheted up a few notches, until he said, “The good news is that they do know it is not cancer.” Whew! Dodged that bullet again.

On Monday we went in for our follow up exam. When he unwrapped the bandage, there was a bit of fresh blood. She blew out a couple of stitches. Rather than put her under, the Doc numbed her foot and fixed it up right there in the exam room. Her skin looked like hamburger, and though he didn’t want to, because of the location on the foot, he had to put staples in. It was the only way to really get the skin together.

So Miss Thing has been grounded for an additional 3 weeks. She’s already tired of being cooped up in the house after 10 days. To help her restlessness a little, I’ve been taking her for car rides around the neighborhood. Otherwise, she is making herself quite comfortable on the couch.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Been working so hard
I'm punching my card
Eight hours, for what?
Oh, tell me what I got
I've got this feeling
That time's just holding me down
I'll hit the ceiling or else I'll tear up this town
Tonight I gotta cut loose, footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

RAINBOW BRIDGE: SPIKE

We lost one of our playdate group hounds yesterday. Spike, a young boy, was hit by a car. (which didn't slow, swerve or stop) Our hearts go out to his Mom and Dad. Spike was the instigator for most of the runs at playdate. Getting all the other dogs going, trying to catch up with him. As I was going through photos for this post, I realized there were no images of him just hanging out staring at the camera. Then I realized it was because he never once slowed down. My mental images of him is being let loose from the leash and tearing off across the field in a balls out run with the rest of the dogs trailing after. Run free, Spike, in a place with no fences and endless fields of grass.

Monday, November 5, 2012

ALL SOULS PROCESSION

I would like to thank www.wooddogcrate.com for making this post possible.


Last night I attended our annual local Tucson event, the local All Souls Procession. It is a way for those still living to remember and celebrate the lives of those that have passed. It is a unique event; a mix of revered processional, street party, and artistic production all wrapped up in one. Many of the participants carry photos of people they are walking for; people they have lost. In previous years, our sign included photos of my grandmother, uncle, and my sister's grandmother-in-law, among others.

This year, however, I decided rather than participate, as I have done in past years, I would watch and enjoy. I did end up walking in the procession with my sister at one point and helping my other sister out at one of the booths at another point. But for the most part, it was just me and my camera enjoying the event. And enjoy it I did, I found a spot on the second level of a parking garage and had a bird's-eye view of the mass of people walking by. The processional is so long, that, as the beginning; two lone musicians followed by the urn and its attendants, is crossing into the lot where the finale is held, the end of the processional has just left the starting point. The route is about a mile and a half in length.

Now I know you are wondering what in the world something like the All Souls Processional has to do with a dog blog. And here is the answer to your posed question. There were a bunch of dogs there. Not only with bystanders on the sidewalks - but actually in the parade. I guess since this is the first year I've just watched, it is the first year I noticed the dogs.

I, personally, can't imagine bringing one of my dogs to the event. Way to much noise, drums, people (in face paint), floats, other dogs (apparently). They would have a freak out and a melt down all at once, lock up and decline to proceed one step further.

I was so impressed with the casual and relaxed attitude of the dogs that were there had to have to be in such a large group of people (it is estimated that as many as 35,000 participated or watched - that's a third of Tucson). I did get a few photos of the dogs during the event. Unfortunately, not many, there were way too many people moving about and it was dark.

I did manage to get photos of the dog float, both before the Processional and from my above-the-event-vantage point as it went cruising by. From what I heard, the float was for pit bulls lost and a reminder that the breed is unjustly villainized. (I could be way off there)

One of the aspects of the Procession, for the humans, is to dress up, sugar skull face paint, gowns, etc. What amazed me is that the owners painted the dogs as well. I am sitting here, imagining me trying to paint my dogs. None of the variations end up with my success. Most end up with a half painted greyhound reclining on the couch while I clean paint off me and the rest of the house.


*for more photos of the event, you can head on over to my other blog Backcountry Photography. I'll be posting photos all week. (I took a lot of photos, not that you're the least bit surprised)






Friday, November 2, 2012

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

Surveying her domain.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

PHOTO FOR THE DAY

I was going for the perfect shot of Willow rooing. Head tilted back, muzzle pursed, sunlight shining through the thin skin around her mouth, eyes unfocused and directed skyward.  I was close until Dillon, Willow's singing partner, decided to join her on stage. He seems to photo bomb a number of my pictures.