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A nice long scratch!

21 Dec






Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

20 Dec


I know you’ve heard the old adage about letting sleeping dogs lie.  Perhaps, however, you didn’t know why that adage is so true.  This, my friends, is why:


Don’t be messing with the dog, people.  Step back.  Walk away.  Don’t look back. Run, don’t walk. Save yourselves!  Women and children first!


Then she was so embarrassed.


Okay, honestly, she yawned while I was taking the pictures.  I loved that “scary” face.  Too funny.

Ruby Tuesday

9 Dec

Ruby's choice is made

A long absent Ruby wants you to know she’s quite relieved to finally be making an appearance on Ruby Tuesday.   This is her showing her approval of our carpet choice.  I’m sure her selection had nothing to do with heat worship and the warm afternoon sun!  Oh . . . and the intensity?  She thought she saw a squirrel outside the front windows.

Ruby Tuesday – Bird Watcher Extraordinaire

13 Oct

Ms Ruby and I went for a long walk on Saturday evening at sunset in Morro Bay.  Morro Bay is a wonderful place for walking.  It’s lovely and full of spectacular scenery.  Ruby is a delightful walking companion.  Ruby loves to walk.  She’s pretty good about bird watching, too.  My only complaint is that she is tends to pull at just the wrong moment and ruin my photographs.

Of course, if I’d teach her to sit and stay when I tell her to I could probably stop complaining about that little issue.

Ruby having fun walking in Morro Bay

The marina at Morro Bay State Park is so lovely at sunset.  I love the way the light brings it all alive.

Sunset in Morro Bay

This seagull is so wonderful.  He just posed for me and let me find just the right shot.  Such a good bird!

Seagull (Morro Bay)

But the best part was being there as the Egrets and Herons roosted.  These Snowy Egrets were so thoughtful in sitting where I could easily see them.  There were Great Egrets high up in the tops of Eucalyptus trees that I could see but not get pictures of.  But these guys were so thoughtful!  And noisy . . . for such delicate, lovely birds they make amazingly loud creaking noises.

Noisy Egrets (Morro Bay)

After I saw the Egrets from below, I realized that there was a trail that wound its way up around the trees so that I was eye level with the egrets and herons.  This amazing juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron was so breathtaking to me!

Juvenile Night Heron

Pretty much no matter where I looked, I saw amazing scenes and birds and just felt like I was about the happiest birding dogwalker on the planet!

Pelicans in Sunset

Ruby and I will have to go birdwatching more often.  She’s really quite amazing — just gotta work on her sit-stay so she’ll stop ruining my shots!  🙂

Ruby Tuesday

29 Sep

Poor Ruthie er . . . Ruby had a bad old week for bathing.  After the two anti-skunk-stink baths, she was so pristinely clean that I didn’t think she’d need a bath for quite awhile.  But, I hadn’t counted on camping.

Our camping trip was very fun but my goodness the campsite was incrediably dusty.  By the end of the first day, she was no longer pristinely white on her white bits.  She was beige.  It was lovely.  Since the rest of us were also becoming beige, we didn’t worry about it too much.

Still, on the way home, I realized that everytime I pet Ruby, my hand was getting dusty again.  Didn’t stop me from petting her but still . . . I did slow down a little bit when I saw a big ol’ flea on her.

So, first thing I did when we got home was give the poor girl a bath again.  She was really good about it.  I wonder if she’s starting to think that a bath every couple of days is just how we do things here.

Poor little ol’ girl.

Life . . . it’s what happens when you are trying to sleep . . .

25 Sep

So, most people know that being a teacher is a butt-kicking job.  I come home most days absolutely REELING.  Then I have to run my household — cook dinner, check homework, clean something (ha!), keep up with laundry, and all that.  So anything that throws my routine (if you can call it that) off is a serious annoyance.

Yesterday, was an early-out day at our school.  The kids go home around 1pm but we teachers stay and work all afternoon.  These are days when I am very glad my husband works at home (although our on-campus afterschool care program totally steps up and watches my kids for me on those days when he’s otherwise occupied).  Still I honestly thought that I’d be getting home and washing Ruby with the chemical mix I mentioned yesterday before I could cook dinner and all that jazz.

Instead, I came home to excited children tripping over one another to tell me that they had washed the dog.  “We knew you’d be tired after all those meetings, Mom, so we did this for you!”

Talk about a burst of energy.  I’ll say it now — to make it official — I have an awesome husband, an awesome daughter, and an awesome son.

I also still have a stinky dog.  Only a little stinky though so I think I’ll give her one more bath tonight and hopefully we’ll be done with it.  Fingers crossed!

The cold that’s stalking me is waiting for the weekend.  I feel the symptoms coming on a little bit more each day.  Yesterday, it was a sore throat.  The day before, sinus pressure.  We’ll see.  I have decided that if I get really sick, I’m not going camping.  So, I figure it won’t hit until I’m halfway to our campground.  That’s the way life works, right?


24 Sep

What’s that smell? That rancid, stomach-churning stench.   Oh, that would be the smell of Ruby.  Stinky, stinky skunk chasing dog.  Sigh.

I was all snuggled in and half asleep at midnight last night.  Greg came to bed and slumber sank in deeper.  I smelled skunk smell but it often wafts through the neighborhood so I ignored it.  Greg wasn’t as deeply asleep so he did not ignore it.  He got me up and sure enough . . . Ruby STANK.  She was in my daughter’s bedroom, curled up on her beanbag chair (a truly luxurious beanbag chair that was given to us by a designer who works with my husband).  I took Stinky McStinkerson and gave her a bath.  Greg took the beanbag chair out to the deck.

I am a firm believer in the de-skunk solution you can find on the Internet [click].  It really works.  But, I did not have the supplies on hand.  Ruby still stank after the bath but I couldn’t tell that as I crawled back into bed because the entire house stank so badly.  Greg realized it before he came back to bed and locked Ruby into the kids’ bathroom.

When I crawled out of bed at 6:00, he told me that’s where she was.  Only, she wasn’t.  Nope.  Bathroom empty.  Seems my daughter got up to use the bathroom in the wee hours (get it?) and felt badly for Ruby and took her back to her bedroom and closed her in there.  Ruby spent the rest of the night sleeping on my daughter’s bed.  You can’t imagine how much that room stank when I opened it up to get Ruby out this morning. I hope that I can clean her comforter . . . and the 43 million stuffed animals that she sleeps with every night.

Right now, Ruby’s closed into my laundry room which gives her access to the outside (dog door).  When I get home from school today, I will stop at the store and buy some hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  If I were smart, I’d buy 47 bottles of peroxide and a dozen boxes of baking soda to keep on hand.  Maybe I’ll just get a couple extra so that next time, the house won’t stink so badly.

What a stinky way to start the day.  Aren’t you glad the Interwebs don’t have a smell-o-vision feature?

Ruby Toesday — the bath edition

16 Sep

KGMom asked about Ruby’s post-bath-ritual.  After years of bathing Labradors, bathing a 15 lb dog is a delight.  She does not like baths but it’s much easier to deal with 15 lbs of unhappiness than with 70-90 lbs of unhappiness.  Also, bathing a 15 lb dog is much, much faster than those large behemouths with the very thick coats that hold onto soap rather firmly.  So, I don’t mind it at all.

I bathe Ruby in the bathtub — she’s small enough to do it in the kitchen sink but she feels safer with a little room around her.  I think it’s the illusion that she could escape at any time.  🙂  I use the sprayer from the shower.  I get her wet, soap her up with a nice tea tree oil doggy shampoo, and rinse her thoroughly.

All my dogs have been trained to “shake off” when I am finished bathing them.  With the labs, gallons of water would come out of the their coats so teaching them to not shake until they had permission was essential.  Teaching a dog to shake is pretty easy.  When they are soaking wet, you blow in their ears.  I am not making this up!  Seriously, blow a good, firm blast of air in their ear.  It makes them want to shake their head and then well the body follows.  The key is to hold up a towel, blow in their ear, and say, “Shake off!” all at the same time.  Once they shake, remember to praise them up oneside and down the other.  Ruby gives one or two shakes for me and then she’s pretty much dry — there’s not much too her.  🙂

I scoop her up in a towel and carry her to the living room steps.  I then clip her toenails with my own fingernail clipper.  Her nails are teeny-tiny and her toes are impossibly small and delicate.  Most of her toenails are easy to clip — white nails let you see where the quick is so you can’t mess it up.  She has one black toenail however and that’s more touchy.  Thankfully, I had black labs and have a pretty good idea of where you can and can’t clip a dog’s nails.  I’ve never quicked Ruby, thank goodness, so she is pretty calm and trusting about it all.

Once I release her from the towel, she is a wild woman.  She tears around the house and rubs herself on the rug.  “Ick,” she is clearly thinking, “get this bath stink off me!”  Still for the rest of us, it’s a true joy to have her smelling sweet and looking shiny and beautiful again.


Ruby Tuesday — Nature will out

2 Sep

When we were on vacation, we left Ruby with my mother-in-law.  They adore each other.  My MIL keeps a beautiful pottery bowl just for Ruby — it has her name on it.  She saves tidbits all week so that when we come over for dinner on the weekend, she has all sorts of treats for Ruby.  So, it’s a bit of a spa vacation for Ruby.

Still, when she’s on vacation, our yard is unprotected, unguarded, and unsafe.  Squirrels can raid the feeders.  Skunks can clean up the leftover seed under the feeders.  And, raccoons can use the yard as a toilet.


There is a raccoon that likes to poop in my yard.  Well, hey, everyone poops so that’s fine.  But, there is a level of disrepect with this particular raccoon that I find unacceptable.  This raccoon likes to poop on the stump of one of the redwood trees in my yard.  This is a spectacular grove of redwood trees and simply don’t deserve to be used as a toilet.

I knew that Ruby and the raccoon would meet.  We thought it would be sooner but it was this last Wednesday night.  We are used to the sound of Ruby scenting a skunk.  She has a certain bark.

That was not the bark we heard the other night.  The bark we heard was frantic, angry, and a bit overwhelmed.  She chased it off, however.  I went out and by the time I got there, she was coming back to the house and was ready for praise.  She was a bit shaky.  We gave her loads of praise and cookies.  I think a raccoon was a bit more than she was expecting.  Still, my little girl didn’t back down.  She’s such a tough cookie.


A Quick Ruby Tuesday

5 Aug

Ruby entranced by spraying water

What could induce Ruby to get so near the dreaded swimming pool?

Gage spraying the water

Ahhhh.  Her boy playing with the hose.  End of the summer fun!