Lucky

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The people who owned the house before us did such a lovely job on the yard.  The gardens are coming up wonderfully and it seems she focused on relatively easy care perennials which is just my style.  They seemed to prefer a sparser garden with lots of mulch and plants poking through it here and there, while I prefer a more English country garden where larger plantings merge into one another throughout.  But that can be worked on as I figure out what’s in there.  Many of the plants seem well established so I can see about dividing them and filling in over time to create a more seemless look.  I think it must be a little warmer here than where we used to live in Michigan as it seems like things are further along that I remember them being at this time of year.  Lots of beautiful colors sprouting up everywhere.  There are many heuchera, not sure if they are all the same or a mix yet, but they do look pretty healthy!

Heuchera

And a few of these itty bitty hyacinth…although most of them appear to have spread to the lawn so I might try to dig them up and replant them back in the garden.

Hyacinth

We also discovered that a robin has made her next right outside our front door.  Very cool!  Luckily we usually go in and out of the garage so we can leave her in a peace for the most part….except I’m sure I won’t be able to resist the lure of taking more pictures!

Nest

I guess I don’t need to figure out what to plant in there just yet.

Super Cool

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One of my flyball friends from Florida has a number of very similar sized dogs each of which has a cool coat.  She wanted to be able to label them, but being mesh they won’t take embroidery well.  So I came up with a solution like the Julius K9 and Dean and Tyler harnesses I got for the dogs to do nosework in.  Here my favorite canine model shows what I ended up with.  He’s such a good boy and sits for hours if I need him to.

Cool coat label

Embiggened:

Cool coat label

The name is embroidered on some special fabric and then sewn onto the fuzzy side of velcro, while the scratchy side of the velcro is sewn onto the collar of the coat.

Cool coat label

What I like about it is that you could pretty easily swap out names or nicknames and totally customize it to your little fuzzball.  Plus since this is a beta test if the fabric I chose doesn’t wear well or something I can try something new until I find what works best.  What I don’t like is that 1″ is as wide as I can go because that is how wide the edging is.  What do y’all think?  Suggestions welcome!

Here and back again

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Lisa finally got to meet her puppy.  You know, the one I’m calling Don’tBiteMe.
475129_4459825905039_1041434276_o

She and Jaimie arrived late on Sunday night and left very early this morning.  While it was wonderful to get to see them, I’m feeling pretty lonely now that they’ve gone.

Toys and the dogs who love them

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You know what this day needs?  MOAR PUPPY PICTURES!  I have changed Pucker’s name to Don’tBiteMe as that’s what she hears the most right now anyhow.  We got out some toys to play with in the backyard and she has no trouble with them being too big for her.

Toy as big as your head!

She loves to tug, the trick is getting her to put her mouth on the toy and not your hand!
Hates tugging, this one
Even Bleys got in on the action and gave this Jolly Ball all kinds of whatfor.
Bleys likes the jolly ball
Meanwhile Wixer is struggling with the puppy taking some of his well deserved attention and spent most of the time wiggling his way into my lap.
Lap dog

Sprung

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Now that I’ve got the gardens cleared out of fall leaves I’m starting to assess whats in them and enjoying all the growth and general springitude going on around here.  I want to put in a little raised bed action for some veggies and I’m moving a few things to make room for it.  Its slow going, but hopefully it’ll be worth it in the end.  So far I’ve moved a plant I have no idea what it is except very large/heavy/healthy, hopefully it stays that way!  And some of the lilies I identified earlier.  I still have another set of lilies to move, but we’re making progress.  As I was wandering around I took a few pictures of some of the fun things growing.

This one looks like astilbe to me:
Spring

And these iris:
Spring

Lots of large hostas in various places, might need to think about dividing soon:
Spring

Not sure what this one is, anyone have a guess:
Spring

All in all its just so nice to be outside I don’t want to come in.  Its still tends to be just a little on the chilly side, but a little manual labor in the gardens takes care of that pretty quick.  I also mowed part of the lawn using the riding mower we bought from the previous homeowner.  Its definitely different and I wouldn’t describe it as easy, but given how much yard we have (what was I thinking again?!?) its the best option.

Puppies!

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I am currently in temporary possession of a 10 week old lurcher puppy.  She is a Border Collie/Whippet mix currently named Pucker (although that will be changing as soon as her new owner gets here).  She comes from Wixer’s breeder and I’m just a way station to her new home in Florida.  But for the next day or so its puppy central all up in here.  So lets just get to the pictures already, lots of them, feel free to peruse flickr for the rest of them. I wish the running pictures had turned out better, the grass is in perfect focus though!

your bone

can I hump her yet

run1

feetsies

seriously handsome

This is not the bone you’re chewing on

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One of the myriad awesome things that Wixer has done since coming into our lives is to encourage Bleys to chew bones more.  He used so a little bit, especially in Frankentoy form. Which is a perfect segue to show you an adorable picture of Bleys when he was a youngster.  He was about 6 months old here, having just recently come to live with us, running around the yard with his Frankentoy having a grand ol’ time.

Baroo?

But he didn’t spend a lot of time really getting his chew on until Wixer upended his very comfortable life as an only dog.  Now he uses his Jedi mind powers to try to get Wixer to leave so he can steal his bone (and I swear sometimes Wixer goes to get a drink of water just so he can).

Jedi Mind Tricks

Here he is a polite distance from Wixer, but usually he’s about 5 cm from Wixer’s face and just lays there staring at him.  But of course once the opportunity arises…BAM he’s right there to steal the bone!

Bone Party

I realize we’ve gone to larger bones since Titanium Teeth came home, but is this really necessary?

Maw

Soaking up my Vitamin D

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It was absolutely gorgeous out again today so after taking Wixer to the rehab pool we spent the rest of the afternoon outside in the yard.  We had the fence put in last fall right before the ground froze and now I have the unenviable task of to moving that dirt around.

Wixer is helping!

"Helping"

And by helping I mean trying to bite the shovel.

So far its coming out even where I can take it away from the posts and add it along the edges where the fence is a little higher off the ground than I’d like.  I’m not quite half way done with making sure the inside looks level and its exhausting as our soil is pretty heavy on the clay.  After I finish I’ll have to check the outside of the fence to see if there is any out there I need to move.  I’m kind of scared to look.

I also found more plants I would love to know what they are.  Its been a challenge to do spring cleanup without knowing what they are!  I think I’m going to end up moving this guy and it would be great to know what it is before I decide on where to replant.

What am I?

Really healthy weed or perennial?  I already pulled on of these bad boys out where it was choking out a vining rose.

What am I?

Obsess…I mean focused

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Since we are swimming at the rehab pool quite a bit I decided we should use that time to learn something as well.  So he is learning how to blow bubbles with his nose underwater (we’re not quite ready for a cue on that one yet).  And I decided to address something that isn’t really a problem.  Wixer is very aware of what is his and what isn’t.  He will retrieve a toy until the end of time, but only HIS toy.  Throw in another toy and he’ll just stare at you like you’re an absolute idiot for throwing the wrong toy.  Down in Florida it would have been helpful sometimes if I could send him out to retrieve another dog’s toy that got too far out for that dog to go get.  I could usually send him out and he would often even swim right up to the toy, check that it wasn’t his and then swim back in.  Oh Wixer.

So we’ve been working on bringing back other toys as a job, with his Frisbee as the reward.  Its been going well, but he just wishes I would forget it and throw his toy exclusively.

Are we there yet?

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He’s just so cute when he does this, the slippers, the pink paw pads, the little nose all pushed out through the bars.  I just can’t resist.

Slipper Sleeper

He’s such a good traveller and even got to play a little flyball today!