Sometimes it isn't easy being a greyhound. The creek looks so inviting on a hot summer's day, and the kids of the pack are clearly having enormous amounts of noisy fun, so she wades in to join them.
For fifteen glorious minutes, she splashes and frolics and leaps about in chest deep water, chasing the children, and seriously impeding their frog hunting efforts, but generally having a grand time of it. And then, like a thunderclap, the awful realization dawns: "I'm...... WET!"
She races for shore and commences to shake, twitch, wiggle, and worry in a vain effort to rid herself of the awful stuff.
Finally, she gives up - a shivering, deeply reproachful bundle of misery.
Of course, being a warm day, it's less than 10 minutes before she's dry and comfy again, and looking wistfully at the happy antics still taking place in the water.
just go together, don't they? As much as it annoys me to play into gender stereotypes, the girl child is the preferred choice for sleepy cuddles, while the boy has a knack for getting the pace and intensity of playtime exactly right.
As for me, I'm dividing my day between making jewellery, and pulling yarn for dyeing from the eleventy billion boxes stacked floor-to-ceiling at the foot of our bed, with a bit of FLS knitting to reward myself and give the thumbs/wrists/lower back a break. I'll put some WIPs in another post.
There was also a family trip to the library (strategically timed to precede the ice-cream) and some excellent doggie adventures, but as I am the designated photographer AND primary dog walker/trainer, the two roles are rarely simultaneously compatible. You know, in case you wondered why the puppy is only ever pictured napping....
No, we're not techno crazy - the far laptop is a an ancient "refurbished" one that will consent to load a couple of older quest-type games, and the near one is a suprisingly affordable HP notebook for keeping website stock levels updated while at shows and markets. (Though Rob appears to have discovered an alternate use!) The last few issues we've had with the our primary (desktop) computer have also brought to light the fact that the industry now operates on the assumption that everyone has more than one means of internet access. We were repeatedly told to get online and fill out forms to get our broken computer sorted out (how exactly??) and then discovered that internet cafes seem to have vanished in the last year or so. I still remember when a single PC was a big deal - does everyone really have multiple computers these days?
You know that saying (I do, because I said it to patients for 15 years) "lift with your knees, not your back"? I can personally attest to it being true. This spring, we finally won permission from the strata to do our own thing with this strip of garden space - only accessible from our patio, and completely neglected by the hired gardeners for the last 8 years or so, but nevertheless the sky would have fallen if we'd done anything non-contractual with it.
The new gardening company promised back in May to clear out the weeds and overgrown shrubs for us, and since we left all our larger gardening implements behind when we moved, it seemed like a good offer. Except for the part where it never actually happened. Consequently, I've recently been working at it myself, armed only with hedge trimmers and a trowel, and significantly encouraged in my efforts by the puppy, who thinks that digging and tossing branches around is the most fun ever. This morning, I tackled a particularly stubborn shrub by prying at the base of it with the trowel, followed by bending awkwardly at the waist, grabbing the lowest branches and pulling with all my might. Now I'm no fun at all (much to puppy's chagrin), and ibuprofen is my new best friend.
All is not lost though - I can still work at the computer, and knit - standing up again is the tricky bit. Not sure how Market's going to go tomorrow...
I think gratuitous puppy cuteness may become a fixture here for the foreseeable future - any objections?
I've been working today.... really! Twenty-two custom orders sorted, catalogued and photographed... now working on invoices & emails. See:
We did take a break this afternoon for a wee puppy adventure. Eowyn did some excellent Heel and Sit work on the trail out to the ski hill and then a little free explore time there and in the adjacent forest. Not ready for off-leash, of course, just checking out all the new sights and sounds.
After 20 minutes or so, she pointed out that she was tired, and a little overwhelmed by all the strangers at the base of the hill, so she got a ride home in daddy's arms. She's so graceful and clever, she seems like a much older dog at times, but she's still just a baby!
Now, lest anyone's worried that I've given up knitting for an all-puppy blog:
Remember my "no-brainer" project? You'd think it would be hard to screw up a top-down, knit-to-fit raglan garter stitch cape.... but I did. Third try, and the fit was still completely wrong, so I grabbed some seconds from the most recent Dark Water batch (more blows to my mojo - too many gold highlights - looks lovely, but won't rinse perfectly clear) for a confidence-rebuilding February Lady. I figure if 6000+ knitters can make this successfully, odds are I can too, right?
I did finish a puppy sweater in Blooming Heather merino this morning.... just in time for the return of hot weather. Hopefully it still fits her by the time it is cool enough to model!
It is becoming clear that aside from getting paid-for orders shipped on time (which is non-negotiable), holding myself to an arbitrary work schedule over summer is just going to make both me and the family miserable. I'm still planning to blog Lupin, and there's another colourway waiting to be reskeined and photographed... but not today. I'm going to try to get the invoices done for the reserved custom yarn tomorrow (realizing somewhat guiltily that I've been trying to do that all week), and until September, the web updates will happen when they happen (the email will still go out to those on the update list immediately afterwards, as usual.)
I did organize my task lists today, and got a decent bit of other work done, but nothing really worth photographing, so you get more baby pictures:
(Yes, I know her collar's on upside down - it's not her forever one, anyway - just somewhere to hang her tag at the moment during the day.)
It is becoming abundantly clear that she is by far the smartest dog we've ever owned - already very attuned to simple verbal commands, and quick to learn and obey without being anxious or grovelly. Which is exciting, and also comes with a heightened sense of responsibility - I'm pretty sure she's going to need more challenging things to do than Sit/Stay/Heel/Come.
So, a little background... We always knew we would get another dog eventually. Paradoxically (at least to non-dog people and most of our extended family), our small and somewhat chaotic household functions much better with the addition of canine companionship. Sibling rivalry diffuses with a puppy to cuddle and care for, and the grown-ups find that stroking that silky-soft fur is a sure balm for quick tempers and frayed nerves. The cat does his part, but he was finding the workload of doing all the family cuddles to be a bit much.
Our years with Winnie sold us on the sighthound temperment - homebodies who are intensely attached to their family and aloof with strangers, gentle with children, quiet, undemanding companions at home, yet lovers of intense exercise at the appointed time, not to mention their athletic beauty, grace and dignity. While our condo was fine for an older wolfhound, it just isn't up to the task of raising a pup, and after some research, we concluded that the issues would be the same for a Scottish deerhound. The more we read about greyhounds, though, the more the breed seemed like an ideal fit. We were sympathetic to the needs of rescue dogs, but with kids and cat and close quarters, not to mention unlimited wilderness full of both large predators and small chase-ables, we thought it best for all concerned to be able to teach and condition our dog from puppyhood.
Now here comes the cool part. We took stock of what we wanted: a purebred greyhound puppy from impeccably hearty, healthy parents and a loving home, a breeder within driving distance whom we could get to know, and (the real kicker) a price we could afford. What were the odds of that? We found two breeders in the Lower Mainland, one with a litter born April 2nd. Stunningly lovely show dogs, but at 3 months, I guessed they were likely all spoken for, and certainly out of our price range. I assumed we'd have to wait and keep searching, but it couldn't hurt to enquire...
It turns out that they had a few high-priced show pups left, and one very special one. It was a litter of 11, and her mom accidentally stepped on her when she was just a week old, fracturing one rear tibia and the tip of her tail. The leg healed perfectly (and no, it was nowhere near the growth plates, we've got full vet records, the leg is clearly developing exactly symmetrically with the other and her strength and gait are perfect), the tail stayed crooked, and she became a little extra dear to them because of that early trauma and her feisty can-do personality. They weren't concerned about more than a fairly nominal price for her, but they really wanted her to have a special home - relatively local, experienced with sighthounds, willing to stay in touch so they could monitor her development and see her every so often.
So yesterday we made the 3 hour trip to Maple Ridge, and spent several hours chatting and hanging out. The facilities are impeccable, the couple is lovely and obviously deeply attached to their dogs (they only breed a litter every seven years or so), the mother is beautiful, gentle, and wonderfully firm with her brood.
And Eowyn came home with us. (For those who aren't LOTR geeks like us, it is pronounced Eh - Oh - Win, with the accent on the first syllable, though when you say it fast as a call name, it becomes more like 2 syllables: Eh-Win.)
In the newborn puppy video, she's the one with a pink splint (she only wore it for a week), in later videos, you can pick her out as the one with the crooked tail tip. She's also the cover shot for the middle video, and the one who takes a flying leap into the breeder's arms.
Since coming home yesterday, she has been super cuddly, spent a quiet night in her crate, and appears to be essentially fully housebroken, whimpering gently at the door when she needs to relieve herself. She's not real keen on the cold, wet weather though, so I may have to whip up a puppy sweater.