Thursday, May 24, 2012

Krispy Kreme's Third Anniversary

Lest there's any confusion, Krispy is seven years young, but she's only been with me for the past three.

She made a big impression on her first day by bolting under my brother's yard gate within the first half hour I had her. More on that in our first post at this sporadic blog.

Thankfully my spry long dog no longer expresses interest in making a fast getaway. She loves her garden time and is an avid sunbather.

You can see in these pics how much her coat has improved too over the years. The shot of her in the sidebar at right was taken less than a week after I got her. And I knew her coat would get much richer (and ears looking longer) with a much better diet than she'd been eating.

I had just finished snapping a series of pics of those nice irises when my four-legged sweetie stepped into the frame for her share of the attention. Given the difficulty at times of getting good shots (what with all that walking up to the lens and sticking her nose in it from time to time), I was happy she'd learned to pose like a pro.

It's true that she runs off to the backyard from time to time to bark loudly (her version of loud) at the neighbor's dogs on the other side of the fence. But most of the time she likes to stick fairly close by in the front yard. Nothing like a patch of warm concrete to get a dachshund to stretch out on it.

She wanted to make sure I got all the requisite profile shots. Yes, yes, turn to the left, Miss Kreme!

Of course, for an angle at her level it requires a bit of contortionist bending to get the lens down to a foot off the ground. (That's what CrossFit class is for with all those low squats!)

And what would it be like without the need for a bit of stretching and scratching with those stretchy back legs?

Happy Third Anniversary, Krispy Kreme, for being the most awesome Wine Country Dachshund!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Birthday Girl Hits 7!

If some of the words come out funny, it's because Krispy Kreme is draped over my left hand as I type. My long, little girl is seven years old today!

With the continuing downpour (okay, heavy dew) she's not too keen on much outdoor time. She stares at it in a bit of surprise that we actually have some rain. (Left hand now released from pillow duties!...only momentarily -- just long enough to type that sentence!)

Emily is much the same. She stares at the rain coming down as if she's on another planet. And then it's, "Let me out!" and "Let me in!" Rinse. Repeat.

Today I shall miss Krispy's usual exuberance for the out of doors. Yesterday when we went out she demonstrated her tremendous acrobatic skills by leaping from the top of the stoop to the patio and repeating this with the steps to the driveway, circling a fast-as-ever lap around the sideyard garden. "Take me out! Take me out!"

You'd think with all that enthusiasm she would be tugging at the leash for a long walk. But, noooooooooooo! Like a girl, she's all hurry up and wait! Walk fast and then sit the butt down not to budge an inch! (Sigh.)

If I want a serious walk, I generally have to carry her to the furthest point, and then she's willing to walk/trot the return. But not in the other direction....

A week or so ago Miss Krispy Kreme gave the neighbors (and myself) quite a fright. Evidently I'd forgotten to lock one of the doors when I went to meet a client. Krispy, not understanding the size of the world, managed to spring the door open, leap the fence, and went looking for me on the Streets of Napa.

Fortunately, my very kind neighbors, David, Patty and Yvette, took to the streets to chase her down (or rather, coax her home). But as they all mentioned, Krispy is quite the speed demon. Thankfully, they managed to steer her back up the street and into the house before I even knew she'd had an adventure. (I got home within another fifteen minutes.)

She was rather subdued for the next several days likely mulling over the sagacity of surfing the Streets of Napa. And I, being completely mortified at such a negligent error in forgetting to lock the door, have been diligently checking the deadbolt every time I leave the house.

There will be some special treat a bit later today. I think she's earned it! And she'll have plenty more lap-time opportunity as I crank away at my desk.

Happy Birthday, Miss Kreme!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Krispy - The Outdoor Girl

Krispy’s first summer was fraught with concern last year about her desire to “bust loose.” That was then, this is now. Having gotten the Krispized fence in place (and clearly doing its job), we are both decidedly more comfortable with her outdoor time. If she had her way she’d be outside from dawn to midnight. But that’s a little too extensive for me. Can you tell from her expression?
Then there’s that look she gets when she suspects I’m going to pick her up to bring her inside. See:
It turns into an expression of “I think I’ll move away so you can’t reach me.”

And if she does wiggle away too far, she has excellent hiding spots that are exceedingly difficult for me to reach her. But it’s rare she actually hides from me. Ninety-nine percent of the time when I call her outside she comes running like she’s running the Preakness at top speed. It’s quite impressive to watch. One day I’ll get a picture of it, but it’ll be a complete blur without a stop-motion camera!

As soon as the neighbor boy gets out his basketball, Krispy is off on a barking jag. This isn’t too bad for anyone since her vocal chords were clipped by the breeder, but I always worry, so I bring her in the house when they’re shooting hoops.

She’s also learned to jump up on my swiveling armchair in front of the living room window to view what’s outside (usually me!). During these times when she wants out or is waiting for me to come in the house she does a lovely job of adding doggie nose marks to the living room window and the glass in my French doors. You know a dachshund lives here because all the marks on the glass are no higher than 12” to 18” off the floor!

While Mr. Quincy was here visiting recently there was a rare moment when he didn’t object to sharing the sofa space with Emily. Amazingly they maintained the lion lying down with the lambs pose for quite some time, allowing me to slip off the couch for my camera.

You may be wondering where there was room for me, but they did a nice job of squashing together so there was room for me. Quincy is a bit hard to see here since it was so dark, but he’s on the left.

I suspect Mr. Q introduced Krispy to yet another fine tradition in dachshund-dom: the dig. She wasn’t a digger when I got her, but it’s sure in their genes, no doubt. It started at first with hiding under foliage without too much actual earth digging. Quincy, on the other hand, can be fond of the dig as entertainment.

Krispy graduated to minor digs in the garden, which didn’t bother me too much, as I could easily fill in. She seemed to like the holes as cool spaces to lie down in on hot days. She didn’t dig up or destroy plants or flowers, so I gave her lots of leeway.

Recently, during another Quincy visit, she found a new place at the bottom of one of my olive trees to put her paws and claws to work. Quincy helped a bit, but it was mainly her effort. Take a look:

You can see how deep it is from her completely submerged rear end as she dug out the front of the hole.
Then she had to get a better working angle.
And finally…rest. So much work digging these holes!

I have since refilled this hole twice. I suspect I’ll have to do the same at least twice more before the rains put a halt to her efforts! The neighboring Euonymus and Kapphir lily plants can’t be too happy. But their roots should recover over the winter.

Unfortunately, during the winter a certain sunbather will have to give up her warm spot out front. It will be much too cold for this activity:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy (Belated) Anniversary, Krispy Kreme!

It’s been a bit more than a year now, Memorial Day Weekend 2009, since Krispy joined the family. And what a transformation! She loves the outdoors, and I no longer feel the panic that she might disappear…permanently…when she’s playing in the yard. Oh, yes, she still loves to search out the cat poop, that much is clear on her breath sometimes when she returns to see me. She’s a total sweetheart, though. Completely affectionate.

There are new quirks that have turned up more recently: Given her dis-ease with all manner of artificial noises (commercial vehicle ‘back up’ beeping; Clint Eastwood’s spurs dinging when he walks in Two Mules for Sister Sara; cell phone beeps indicating the battery needs re-charging), I was a bit surprised to discover she’s equally freaked out by the sound of the dishwasher running. This is more evident if I forget and accidentally run it on delayed timer so that it starts running at 2 a.m. Krispy proceeds to wake up and then run up and down her ramp and across the bed at a fast pace until the cycle is over and quiet. Nothing I can do will calm her. (Note to self: No delayed time runs on the D/W!)

Krispy has taken Good Manners class three times now, but she’s still quite uncomfortable around all other dogs except Quincy. Guess we’ll be going back for more sessions in the future….

And, of course, right now we’re fully into ‘burr’ season. With her coat now completely grown out since she’s been on a much healthier diet this past year, she is a magnet for all manner of dead vegetation in the neighborhood. Fortunately, she’s rather patient about allowing me to pick out the twigs, grass bits and burrs from her tail, leg ‘feathers’ and ear fur.

Her days are filled with fun and enjoyment since the weather is so nice. She’s able to spend most days out in the yard, snoozing on the patio, on the grass or in her outdoor crate while I watch her from my desk. One of her favorite yard activities is racing around the house at top speed along the paths, showing off her lightning speed.

There are many more stories, but I think it’s pretty clear from my posts that finding time for frequent blog entries is few and far inbetween. I’ll save other stories for another day. But it goes without saying (though I will), Krispy Kreme has been the most delightful addition to the family this past year and brings immeasurable joy to my days!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Cat that (Almost) Swallowed the Housefinch

On this lovely, beautiful day Emily decided to show off her triumph and waltzed in through the open French doors to show me. She had a housefinch in her jaws. Still alive, unharmed, but caught.

I admonished Emily for bringing the bird into the house. (She was taking it off to the bedrooms. Great, just what I need: a panicked bird flitting around my bedroom!) She didn't hear me.

She returned a minute or so later with the bird still in her jaws, and I asked her to take it outside. (I was trying to get some work done!) She opened her mouth to say something and the bird flew out...into my office. Feathers everywhere!

The bird thrashed around the room while I tried to subdue Emily. At first the bird in its diminished capacity flit around low to the floor, allowing Emily within close proximity. Then she found the rail with the halogen lights and had a private perch. Then she spotted a window and promptly flew right into it. More feathers exploded around the room. Emily jumped across surfaces she doesn't ordinarily attempt to use, while I attempted to detour her away from the increasingly panicked bird.

I came to the rapid conclusion that I wasn't going to be able to direct the bird out the open doorway until I had Emily out of the way, so I hauled her off to the pantry and closed the door. She wasn't happy.

The bird, on the other hand, had taken sanctuary on the floor, behind a cabinet and partially behind my portfolio case leaning against the wall. I retrieved oven mitts in the event the bird thrashed in my hands (and I've heard it's healthier for the bird so it won't pick up pathogens on my hands). I tucked hands in and around the feet of the cabinetry she was hiding behind.

Surprisingly she was subdued and presumable exhausted and disoriented. I picked her up and carried her out into the sun, placing her on my fence by a hummingbird feeder. After I stepped away to decrease her panic, I realized I should probably have chosen someplace under a bush. But I had thought as soon as I got her outside she would fly away. But she remained shell-shocked (or rather, Emily-shocked) for several minutes. When I stepped outside to check on her, still sitting on the fence, she immediately flew off. Good for her!

That Darn Cat! Now I have feathers everywhere!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Raining! It's Pouring! Why Do I Have to Wear This Coat?

I had thought I'd already posted these pics here, but I forgot after I posted them on Facebook a week ago. Here is Miss Krispy Kreme in her lovely Burberry Coat for the rain:
This photo was not taken today as it poured and poured today. I got Miss KK to model her hand-me-down (from Quincy) coat on a nice, sunny day a few weeks ago. Here's another view:

At first she found the coat a bit awkward. It's a bit large and the portion around her shoulders hangs low hitting her legs. She thought it made it difficult to go up and down steps, but she's since decided she can maneuver without help up and down the stairs while wearing the coat. And since dachshunds really don't seem too fond of rain, this is a big help when it's coming down by the bucket-load.

Today we discovered a new Krispy Idiosyncrasy. (There are so many!) With pouring rain from dawn until after 4pm, we had no choice but to take care of business while the water streamed down from the sky. As we walked out and got closer and closer to the street where she prefers to explore, roll in the grass and do her business, she stopped in her tracks to study the new sight in front of her that was perplexing:
Our neighbor had attached purple balloons, which were waving wildly in the wind and rain, to the street sign post for their engagement party. The balloons were batting about in the winter weather which Krispy found to be most confusing. She couldn't tell if they were animate or inanimate objects. She kept pacing side to side trying to make out this curious vision. It was a bit like the vacuum cleaner or lawn mower effect: Were they friend or foe? Ultimately I convinced her to walk the other way down the sidewalk as we were getting drenched and I wasn't seeing any action on the purpose for our walk.

Who knew balloons would provoke such a reaction?! Thankfully, on balloonless days that are dry, she gets to enjoy the yard a bit more. Here is one of her favorite spots:

This corner is closest to the neighbor who plays basketball and other people action, so she's frequently running back and forth barking, trying to create quite a row from her post. Thus, she's managed to displace a large portion of the mulch, exposing the irrigation line. But she loves it there, so I let it be. When it's quiet, she'll nap there, all well with the world.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Krispy!

Do you like my Snuggie? Do you really like my Snuggie?
Krispy did really well at Good Manners class today. We even got a couple of "downs" today (with assists). And she didn't completely freak out at the windshield wipers on the way there (as the storm was fierce!).

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!