Saturday, August 14, 2010

Airstream Bambi and Agility Trials

Happy to report that my little Airstream Bambi travel trailer hit the road again this summer. The photo above was taken during early morning hours at the MADCO USDAA agility trial near Charlottesville, where Flake and I competed in July. Much fun!! Many thanks to my dear friends Ed and Joanne for helping me get the trailer roadworthy again --- and many thanks to the nice folks at Safford RV for fixing all the things we discovered that still need fixing. Alas, there were quite a few of them, although isn't that always the case with RV's? Sigh. Bambi and Flake and I will be heading to New Jersey and North Carolina for more agility trials and competition soon, so wish us luck!!

Below are some adorable pictures of dogs belonging to friends. Of course I forgot to take any pictures of my own dog, so I will try to remedy that soon. These images were taken at the Ruff Riders USDAA agility trial in Fredericksburg, which I attended sans the Airstream. The facility there (Fredricksburg Field House) was lovely and big and air-conditioned (which made it even more lovely in the 100+ degree heat). Flake was very well behaved and managed to earn her Performance Dog I and Performance Dog I Standard titles!! :-)

Fawkes and "E"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


One of my favorite projects this summer was caring for the litter of kittens that stayed at my house for a few weeks in May/June. Little "Spring", "Summer", "Winter" and "Fall" were apparently ditched at my house with their mother "Persephone" in late May. Grrr. There ARE better ways to surrender animals, but that's another subject I suppose. Through the Richmond SPCA's Foster to Surrender program, I fostered these kittens and their mother in an upstairs bathroom until they were big enough to spay/neuter (i.e., when they reached about 2 lbs each). What fun!! They were (as you can see) ADORABLE and very entertaining --- and Persephone was the perfect mother, so I had very little to do beyond feeding and cleaning the litter boxes. Happy to report that the kittens were adopted within 24 hours of being placed on the adoption floor --- and I feel certain that Mom will go soon too. Interested in becoming a foster parent? Just ask me how. :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tricks are for Kids

I took several of my dogs (Flake, Gadget and Daisy) to the Children's Museum of Richmond to do some tricks this weekend. We must have seen over 200 kids and adults during the two shows we did --- and the dogs were (mostly) great. I think Gadget (above) delights in adding a little comedy to our routines, rolling over when I say SIT, sitting when I say DOWN and so forth. Sigh. I suppose there are worse things she could do --- and she usually finishes with a flourish. All of the kids seemed to enjoy the fun --- and Phyllis/Kaitlyn did a great job managing the traffic between shows. Many thanks!! Their young dog "Miley" made her demonstration debut and was very impressive. She seems oh-so-very-smart, happy to be petted and hugged, and unrattled by all the activity and noise. I see great things (and many demonstrations) in her future. :-)
The videographer from the Richmond Times Dispatch captured some of the tricks here:

Hot Vegetables

This summer has been brutal in terms of gardens and vegetable crops. I watered and watered and watered and watered --- and eventually gave up because even twice a day didn't seem sufficient in the 100+ degree heat. Sigh. Maybe next year will be cooler. We can certainly hope. :-)
By way of a report though, I planted a bunch of earthboxes (as in prior years) and did have a beautiful crop of squash almost immediately. See results above. These were definitely labeled as yellow squash when I planted them, but the results look a whole lot like gourds to me --- and they are still hard as rocks (alas). Pretty to look at, but not too tasty. I also had plenty of delicious tomatoes for a few weeks and basil seems to be coming up everywhere still. I also had about three weeks of strawberries, three weeks of eggplants, a bunch of cucumbers, some very bitter yellow and green peppers, and some baby watermelons that look almost ripe now and are still going strong. I may try raised beds (as opposed to earthboxes) the next time around, to see if perhaps they can be watered more and will therefore wilt less. Fingers crossed. For an explanation of earthboxes, please see my earlier posts (and better photographs) here:

Go Fish!

Once again, I am making up for lost time on this blog. Will try to post several times during the week ahead to include all the fun events of June and July --- and then maybe start posting more regularly. Fingers crossed.
For starters (and as you can see above), I now have a fish tank sitting in my kitchen, which makes me very happy. Fish tank maintenance has apparently become a lot more complicated since my childhood guppy-raising days though --- and I now know all about "cycling" a tank and testing weekly for pH, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels. It took over 6 weeks for my tank levels to stabilize --- but my little 10-gallon aquarium is now the happy home of quite a few fish and one dwarf amazon frog. Looks like my red platy is pregnant too, so there may be fish fry to photograph in the days ahead. I will continue to add pictures as I take them.
1 Red Platy
3 Zebra Danios
2 Neon Tetras
2 Xray/Pristella Tetras
1 Dwarf Amazon Frog