Monday, June 30, 2008

Dogs on the Mend

(and some actual knitting content!)

Yes, it is Dogs with an "s". Not only was Cooper out-of-commission from his hoo-hoo removal surgery on Friday, Emma was not herself this weekend either. It started Saturday, and she was a little "off". Here she is on Saturday, not really interested in chewing her bone. Her eyes just look so sad.
We thought it might be the heat. The air conditioning was fixed (finally, after three long, hot, humid weeks without it) on Friday, but then we promptly lost electric at 4:00 pm, and it didn't come back on until 9:30 am on Saturday. Oh, the joys of living in the country.

Mom said that part of Emma's trouble could be jealousy over all of the attention everyone was paying to Cooper. That seemed reasonable, so I just lavished more attention on Emma. By Sunday, she would "yelp" when she would jump on or off the sofa, and wasn't really interested in anything at all. When she walked, she wasn't limping, but she was a little hunchbacked, like something hurt inside. Her temperature was normal, and she was still eating and, well, "eliminating" to put it delicately, so we decided to wait until this morning to call the Vee-Eee-Tee. I hate to bother him on the weekend, and it really wasn't an emergency.

Of course, by this morning, Emma was all bright eyes, and no more yelping, and running along the fence when she saw a cat. Still, my sister was off from work today, and took Emma to see Dr. Bill. He didn't see anything really wrong with her, and he gave us some Rimadyl to see if that helps. I think what really did the trick was Emma's usual reward -- a trip to Wendy's! She scarfed down her chicken nuggets, a couple of fries, and even some frosty (vanilla, of course).

Tonight, both Emma and Cooper are doing very well, and Tara is being a little nurse to both of them. Well, she is really just staying out of their way, but that's helpful, too. Here are all three residents of BritKnitterville, waiting for a little tidbit from mommy's dinner plate tonight.

Speaking of helpful, I was taking a picture of my most recent FO - another pair of socks - and Mr. Cooper McCoopey Dog was good enough to help.
Fortunately, he was also on hand while I was shooting my most recent cast-on project, too.

These are going to be called my Swap Socks. The book, yarn and needles are from my most recent Swap Pal Cheryl, and the handy-dandy holder, just perfect for knitting two socks at the same time, is from my Secret Pal 11 swap pal Criquette! Thanks, pals!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss for Dogs on Thursday

Today is day 7 with Cooper, and just look at that smile! That Cooper is one happy dog. Funny, goofy, and oh, so happy!

His Gram and Grampa say, "What's he got to be unhappy about?" That brings me to the title of this post. Does that look like the face of a boy who knows he is getting his "boys", his "pair", his "hoo-hoos" cut off in the morning? I think not! Ignorance is, indeed, bliss!

In honor of Emma, Tara and Cooper's first Dogs on Thursday as a three-some, I worked pretty hard coaxing all three dogs close enough to get them in one picture. How's this?
Not bad, eh? All it took was a little "Who wants breakfastess" and "Who is a hungry girl or boy" and "Who wants to eat" and a rousing chorus of The Breakfast Song. It's a little ditty that goes something like this:

"We love our breakfastess, Oh yes we do,
We don't love any meal, as much as you,
Except for suppertime, maybe,
Oh Breakfastess we love you!"

It's to the tune of a song we would sing at summer camp, but it's been The Breakfast Song for so long that I can't remember the original words. Oh well, Emma, Tara and Cooper like it just the way it is. Or at least the tolerate it as long as they know that I will soon be putting bowls of yummy breakfast on the floor for them.

Right before I left for work, wonder of wonders, all three were close enough to get another picture together! Gotcha! This time all it took was "Who wants cookies" and "Cookie time" and "Time for treats" chanted over and over again until I just about lost my voice. And then going back into the house for a bag of animal crackers and rattling it and calling some more. And then running all over the yard offering samples of the cookies-to-come to any good boy or girl if they would only get their hineys in the house so mommy could go to work.

I was exhausted before I even left for work.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blogiversary Contests!!!

Just a quickie post - two fellow bloggers are having contests! Nancy at Days Go By is celebrating her second blogiversary, and The Knitting Wildflower (the super knitter who recently spoiled me in the Multitasking Swap) is celebrating her first blogiversary! Head on over to their blogs and help them celebrate, and you just might win an awesome prize!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cautiously Optimistic...

Ehh, throw caution to the wind! I'm just plain optimistic! Right now, this bad boy sweet boy, who just needs to learn a few inside-the-house rules suggestions, is as good as mine!

Meet Cooper!

I found out yesterday from the municipal clerk in the town where he was last registered (in 2007) that he escaped has escaped before, and the jerk-wad previous owner had no interest in having him back. The clerk didn't even contact him this time to let him know that his dog has been found, because the last time he told her he didn't want "it" back - it wasn't his dog anymore. I'm sorry, but there aren't enough naughty words in the world to describe this kind of person. There is a special place in hell for him, and Michael Vick, and too many others!

My sister was told that if you find a dog, notify the authorities, keep him for seven days and take him to the vet, that dog is yours. I don't know if it's law (probably not) or just common knowledge (or wishful thinking), but that's what I'm going by. Let's see, we talked to several SPCAs, an animal shelter, two municipal clerks, a police station, Tattoo-a-Pet (great people at tattoo-a-pet: they love animals, and the pet's interest is always their first priority) the breeder and the tattooer. That a whole lot of "authorities." He has already been to the vet, and seven days will be on Thursday. Hey - that's Dogs on Thursday day! Coincidence? I think not. It was meant to be!

At Cooper's Vee-Eee-Tee visit yesterday, Dr. Bill said it is likely he was hit by a car at some point - his right rear leg is crooked, causing him to walk with a limp, and his lower right canine tooth is broken off, almost to the gum-line. Neither seem to cause him any pain, thankfully. He drew blood for Heartworm, Lyme, and some other tests I don't remember now, and gave him his rabies and distemper/parvo cocktail of shots. Dr. Bill said he will, um, "take care of" Cooper's "bits and pieces" on Friday (along with taking a closer look at his leg at that time). Cooper's one amorous overture toward Emma was not well received, to say the least. After Friday, that will not be a problem. Right? Please someone tell me I am right!

I've never had a boy dog, and let me tell you they are a whole 'nother species altogether. I mean, just how many times do they have to pee on every tree, shrub, fencepost, whatever! Emma and Tara will daintily "relieve themselves" once, maybe twice, and then get on about their business. Not Cooper. It seems as though anointing every living (or non-living) thing in the yard is his business! Call me silly, but I giggle a little bit every time he lifts his leg. I don't know why, but that just cracks me up!

I know you are wondering why we are calling him "Cooper" when that wasn't ever on any lists of possible "Jane Austen" related names. Well, Wickham and Willoughby were out of the running right away-- cads, both of them. Wentworth is too much of a mouthful. He just isn't a Mr. Darcy, or a Colonel Brandon. He lacks the necessary dignity to carry off such names. Edward was a possibility, but then I knew he would get "Eddie", and that would always make me think of the little dog from Frazier. Bingley was by far the strongest contender, but mom hated it. She said, "Bingley - What's a Bingley?"

Still, where did Cooper come from? Lots of people have heard the acronym WWJD, but few are aware that one of its meanings is really "What Would Jane (Austen) Drive". If she drove...if they would have had cars. The answer to that, I'm sure, is a car that I just happen to lust after... a Mini Cooper! Can't you just see Jane Austen with a Mini Cooper?

Can't picture it?

How about now?

Cooper! Perfect!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! (And Another Surprise)

Ok, settle in for a long post. With pictures. Lots of pictures...

I took the day off from work yesterday, and mom, my sister and I went to Wegman's and then The Cheesecake Factory for lunch--Yum! We picked up a little something on the way home, but more on that later... When I got home, I found two packages waiting for me--TWO! Turns out, they were both from Cheryl, my Ravelry Multitasking Pal!

One contained a tea set from Adagio teas. It contained a totally brilliant teapot called "IngenuiTEA", and it is fabulous. There is a video of it at this site. I've made several pots of tea already with the various samples of green tea that were included in the set. (Yes, several. It's been a long night, and a long day so far, and it's only 1:00pm. Keep reading.)

The other package contained the most yummy peanuts ever. They are cajun spice gourmet peanuts from Feridies. If you love peanuts, and I do, give these a try. They are the best of the best! (Sounds like I own stock in the company, doesn't it? Nope, I've never heard of them before, but these peanuts are fabulous!)

Just take a look...
What great prezzies from a super swap pal! Thanks Cheryl. But wait, there's more. This package came today. Also from Cheryl.

How did all of this fit into that box?

The box was chock-full of goodies!
  • the book "2 At A Time Socks" by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
  • an Addi Turbo needle to get started on the socks
  • enough yarn for three (Count 'em THREE) pair of socks
  • a water bottle cozy made by Cheryl, plus the pattern so I can make more
  • a pattern for a gorgeous lace shawl
  • the movie "Love Actually" starring the great triumvirate of Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman
  • stitch markers made by Nichole of Lapdog Creations
  • a sock blocker keychain
  • "My Daily Bubble" organizer - which looks very cool, by the way
  • a neat ergonomic pen, with refills (Cheryl thought of everything!)
  • Bath & Body Works hand soap and lotion, in one of my favorites scents - "Sweet Pea"
  • My Little Knitting Book - how did they get so much knitting information into such a tiny book? Who knows, but it'll be great to keep in my knitting bag!
  • a sample of "Soak" from The Loopy Ewe!

Here are some close-ups. The stitch markers - I love Nichole's stitch markers!!! Cheryl picked out the doggie theme ones! Way to go!

Here is a close-up of the water bottle cozy made by Cheryl (being modeled by a bottle of Vitamin Water) and the sock yarn. Oh, my, what yarn! Left to right, it is "Island Jewels" by Zona Blue Designs, "Night Sky" also by Zona Blue Designs, and "Blue Lagoon" by Dream in Color from The Loopy Ewe.

Wow, that's a lot of great stuff, plus the peanuts and the tea set that arrived yesterday! I am not worthy of such riches, but I'm going to keep them anyway! Thanks, Cheryl!

Now for the "little something" that I picked up on the way home...

You can't tell from this picture, but he is scrawny, filthy and covered with ticks.

Here is Edward/Mr. Darcy/Bingley/Colonel Brandon after a bath (a good scrubbing, really).We found him on the road, and asked at the nearest house, but they had never seen him before. We called three local animal shelters, and the police, but no one has reported a missing brittany. We took him to the closest shelter to be scanned for a microchip ID. No luck.

You didn't think I would leave him at the shelter, did you? No way. Not even after he threw up in my car. Multiple times. Apparently he hasn't had much experience in cars. He hasn't had much experience with treats either - he had no idea what they were. Oh, and that extra-special, gourmet, hand-made, all natural, all human-quality ingredients dog food we make? No, thank you. He would rather have a bowl of dry crunchies. Oh, and don't add any warm water or gravy. He won't eat it unless it is just plain old dry crunchies. Bleck!

OK, what do we know about him... He was born in 1999, (but he sure doesn't look 9 years old to me), he knows "come" and "sit" and "stay", he has a limp as though he has been hit by a car in the past, he snores, he is from a reputable (read "expensive") breeder, his owner did not follow through registering his tattoo, and his is intact. Not altered. How can I put this delicately? Packing heat? No... He considers himself a stud. Let me tell you, that is not gonna fly around here. Emma and Tara will have no parts of that. Well, Mr. Studley-No-Name, you have an appointment at the Vee-Eee-Tee on Monday, and if you have not found your new owner before then, we're going make an appointment to say bye-bye to your hoo-hoos. The next available appointment!

Until then, just rest easy, and know that you have a good home here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Special Guest for Dogs on Thursday

For this week's DOT post, the spotlight is, unfortunately, on Flynn (aka Flynny, Mr. Flynny McFlynn). I (sadly) don't have a picture of him, but here he is on a poster hanging by our Office Manager's desk.

Flynn is our unofficial official mascot here at work. He is a big ol' bear of a Golden Retriever who is just 6 years young. He is a perfect, well-behaved gentleman, but still very much a puppy. He even still pees a little bit when he is excited about seeing you. I can't tell you how many times this sweet boy has "anointed" my shoes. He even "christened" the carpet in the library at work. (Shhh, don't tell my boss.) He hangs out during the day in the pottery studio with his daddy. He is loved by everyone who works here.

I found out this morning that Sweet Flynny has bone cancer. It is in an advanced stage. He has been given six months to live. Needless to say we are all in shock. How could this happen? Not Flynny! Not now. He's too young.

Unfortunately, I know exactly what his mom and dad are going through. If anyone has any spare happy thoughts or healing vibes, please send them his way. His mom and dad are going to have a rough couple of months ahead. Fortunately, they will guard against his suffering, and make the hardest decision in the world when it is Flynn's time. His mom asked me this morning, "How do you know..."?

I just told her that she will know.

Flynn will tell her.

She will know.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Give the People what they Want!

I started this blog thinking it would be a knitting-themed blog. Well, knitting and dogs. Knitting and dogs and stray cats and turtles. Ok, knitting, dogs, misc. critters, work, family, and anything else, really, that pops into my mind.

It has recently come to my attention :cough, cough, from my dad, cough, cough: that perhaps my faithful, loyal, and much treasured blog readers are not that interested in knitting. Or dogs. Or anything, really, except for one certain topic. Let's see, what could that be? How do I narrow it down? Well, the number of comments on individual posts would be a good indicator, don't you think? It just so happens that this post received the most comments ever. EVER! More than 5...more than 10, more than 15, even! What was that topic about? Let's see...knitting, dogs, and, oh yeah, my dad.

If one did not delve any deeper, one would assume that my readers are equally interested in all three topics. However, as someone :cough, cough, dad again, cough, cough: recently pointed out to me, that is not so. The comments ranged from "What a dad!" to an inquiry about whether or not he is interested in adoption. There were several "awesome's", a "brilliant" and even a "SQUEE-WORTHY!" in the comments, all relating to my dad. Clearly, the commenters have spoken, and this blog should be all-dad-all-the-time.

Not gonna happen. But since it is Father's Day, I really should throw him a bone, so to speak, and say publicly that I do, indeed, have a brilliant, awesome, and squee-worthy dad. He is the best in the whole world, he is my hero, my rock, and my go-to-guy for anything and everything! He is the original Mr. Fix-it, whose motto is "I'll fix it if it takes every cent you've got."

For your viewing pleasure, here is a series of photos from a few years back. Ok, 34 years ago. Where does the time go? Dad and I were hanging a hammock between two apple trees in the backyard.

1. "Just let me tie a nice and secure knot. You should never underestimate the value of a good, secure knot."
2. "Go ahead, swing it as hard as you like. That is one secure knot!"

3. "Ahh, I can rest easy knowing that the knot is secure! Who says only boy scouts know how to tie knots? I was never a boy scout, and look at the great job I did on the knots."

Do you see where this is headed?
Love you, dad!

Friday, June 13, 2008

What Have We Here?

What is it Emma?

What's in there?
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you....Turtle Number Five!
Myrtle the Turtle was treated to kisses from Tara...

...and sent off sporting a shiny new coat of Maybelline Express Finish Nail Polish in the lovely shade "Red Caviar"!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Dogs (from Atlanta) on Thursday

Well, I heard from Atlanta Pet Rescue, and they do not do out-of-state adoptions. Maybe they would have made an exception if I were a little closer to Georgia, but New Jersey is, I don't know... a whole bunch of states away. It looks like I won't have to worry about what to name little Mr. Darcy/Bingley/Rhett/Gable. As my Swap Pal said in the comments, I guess I'll have to think of his as my own Thomas Lefroy. That's it, I'll call him Tom.

Anyway, here is a picture of little Tom at Atlanta Pet Rescue, a no-kill shelter. I called there for permission to use his picture in the blog, and they said he is happy and healthy and running around with the other dogs. Of course I made a fool of myself by crying on the phone, so maybe that is why they were going on and on about how happy he is and how well he is getting along with his buddies. The poor girl who answered the phone was so kind and reassuring. She said it's not like a typical shelter there, it's more like a doggy day care, and that he is doing great and is very happy. She must have felt like talking to me was like talking a jumper down from a ledge.
So, if anyone out there lives in Georgia, and would like to give a loving home to a sweet boy, little Tom is available. Just click on this page and scroll down until you see his picture. They're calling him "Murray" but clearly he is much more "Tom"-like.

Back to my girls, now. Emma and Tara had a Day of Beauty this week. With the infernal heat and humidity here in New Jersey, and the fact that the central air is still broken [pant, pant, pant] they shed (or more accurately were clipped from) their winter coats. Here is a "before" picture from April:

And here is what was cut off:
I weighed it, and it is 130 grams...more than enough for a pair of socks! No, I won't be spinning their hair into yarn. I'm not that good spinning with wool, let alone dog hair.

Here is the lovely Tara sporting her new look:

And here is the lovely Emma:

Why won't she turn around and look at me so I can get a proper picture? Because she is fixated on this:
Joanie-the-Stray-Cat. Do you know how hard it is to get Emma inside when there is a cat in the garden? HARD! I usually have to take the "leash of shame" outside and threaten her with it show it to her.

More on Joanie another day. For now, I have to get ready to go to work. Happy Dogs on Thursday, everyone.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sweltering Heat...

...and no air conditioning. Hot, hot, hot. I feel like my brain is being fried. Yesterday, we called the guy who installed the unit. He came out today (on a Sunday, God bless him!) and the unit is broken. Out of commission. In a heat wave. It's the coil or evaporator or some such thing. (Come on, by brains are fried!) It's after 8:00 pm, and the air conditioning man just left. He installed two window units (God bless him, again!) to get us through the worst of the heat until the part for the big unit arrives.

Anyway, not much to update on Bingley/Mr. Darcy/Willoughby. I did find out that he is in a no-kill shelter in Atlanta, and I filled out an on-line adoption application. I don't have too much hope that he will end up as a little brother to Emma and Tara. The rescue organization requires an in-person interview, and they do not hold dogs for a particular adopter. First come, first serve. It's a good policy for the dogs - that way they don't miss out on a home while waiting for another. Hey, as long as the little guy has a good home, that's fine. I just really, really felt a connection with him. Although, if things do work out, I think I'll have to switch from the "Jane Austen" theme of names back to the "Gone with the Wind" theme. How does Rhett sound? Butler? Gable?

Friday, June 6, 2008

No word yet...

I'm waiting for the contact information of the rescue organization that pulled this little guy from the shelter in Georgia. Yes, I said no more dogs, but just look at his little face:

I know there are many, many dogs needing homes, and I've said for 14 months now that I'm not ready to add another dog, (even though I think three is the perfect number of dogs in a home), but something about this little guy is speaking to me...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Turtle Hunters Dogs on Thursday

This was a big week for turtles in BritKnitter-ville. First my two Turtle Hunters found something interesting on the other side of the fence.
Yep. A turtle. I wasn't going to crawl through the brush & weeds & such to get paint a nail-polish number on his back, so you'll have to trust me that he is number 3. Actually, the reason I'm doing the numbers is to see if they come back again. Before the nail polish wears off, that is. This guy was pretty distinctive, so I think I would know even without a number. I call him "Ol' Yeller".
I have never seen more yellow on a turtle in my life. Maybe someone already got to him before me and painted him with acrylics?
Last night, Tara was digging in the dirt (not unusual) and started barking at it (very unusual). She found this little guy:Yep, another turtle. I didn't want to paint a number on him, either. He is soooo tiny, plus it was raining... But this guy is number 4. For scale, here he is next to Joanie while she is eating her supper. Have I written about Joanie? No, but that's a story for another post.
Tiny Tim the Turtle was set free in a soft mulchy spot, with some strawberries as a little surprise for when he gets brave enough to stick his head out of his shell.
Now this next turtle wasn't in the yard, so I'm not adding him to the number count, but he is the biggest snapper turtle I have ever seen, so I just had to get some pictures of him.
We saw him about three feet into the road, trying to get across. He was big, and boy was he mean! Luckily this nice guy stopped to help. He covered the turtle with a t-shirt so he wouldn't be afraid...or so he wouldn't be able to bite any fingers off, more likely.
That was one unhappy snapper turtle. Did you know turtles can hiss? They can jump, too. We had quite a few cars stopped in both directions, but hey, turtles need love, too. Even ones that would bite your toes off quicker that you can say "lickety-split".
Oh, and about that boy dog from yesterday? I am not considering adopting him. Things are very peaceful with just Emma and Tara right now. Both girls are happy and healthy, and a new dog would really shake things up, don't you think? Especially a boy dog. No more dogs. No way.
But just in case, last night I faxed an adoption application to the shelter.

Update @ 9:15 AM
I heard from the shelter that the boy dog was saved by a local rescue group. What a relief! Of course, he may just be going to a foster home, and still be available for adoption... Not that I'm ready for another dog. Not at all. Emma and Tara are enough to handle. No more dogs.

But just in case, I emailed the shelter and asked for the contact information of the rescue that saved the boy dog. How do you like the name Edward? Mr. Darcy? Bingley?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Nothin' but Knittin'

It has been so long since I posted anything knitting-related on this blog, I decided to dedicate the whole post to knitting.

Here is a pair of recently finished socks made from Trekking:

And another pair of socks made from Sirdar Town & Country:
And a Clapotis made for a co-worker's birthday:

She's a purple person. This is made from Knit Picks Gossamer in "Sweet Pea". I knit this double-stranded, and love how the colors pooled. Here's a close-up.

OK, that's it. Nothing today about Emma and Tara... or the boy dog that is in a shelter in Georgia that my niece Jen emailed me about... the one that Jen (thanks-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot) sent a picture of that looks a little like Tara... the one that is a Cocker-Aussie mix... did I mention he is a boy?... did I mention I've never had a boy dog? Nope, I'm not even going to think about him. He is out of the question.

Oh, by the way, I just sent an email to the shelter...