Took the hounds out for a walk on Thursday morning – out into the countryside. It way a beautiful morning. Immediately I regretted leaving my DSLR camera at home. These photos are from my iPhone.
And oh did they run. Won’t forget my big camera next time 😉
Friday was the 13th of May. Friday the 13th. The day passed and nothing terrible happened. That hasn’t always been the case.
The last time the 13th of May fell on a Friday, Sterling, my first Greyhound died. It was horrible.
Years later, when reading Dr. Patricia McConnell’s book, For the Love of a Dog, I read this quote about her Border Collie, Luke, and immediately thought of my sweet red dog:
He took my heart and ran with it, and I hope he’s running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with his forever.
Now as I type this, the quote makes me smile. Like many important losses, the pain isn’t as sharp as it once was. I still think of Sterling. Instead of sadness, I feel more thankful. To have known him. To have learned so much from him.
Aren’t dogs awesome?
Dog training & gardening. Two things I wish I could do better.
I picture my backyard rich with lush green plants. Carefully chosen flowers blooming in succession. A pleasant courtyard with a sculpture garden. My backyard looks nothing like this.
And as for the dog training… My hounds are easy to live with. They are housebroken. They walk on the leash. They sit when asked. They are polite at meals and don’t charge out of open doors. But if we go deeper… not so much.
The reason both these things aren’t further along? Me. Time. Effort.
Especially with the dogs. They are smart, eager to learn and easy to train. It’s me that is the big, tired push-over. But there are “Things We Must Learn.” So I made a list.
One of the things on the list is “Annie must learn to settle in her crate”. So I set up the crate, began feeding her in the crate, and dispensing treats for being settled in her crate. It took no time and soon we began seeing this:
Hurray! We’re working on duration (with the door closed) now.
She’s a smartie, my girl! She’s figured out another use for the crate:
You know when your dog is doing something inappropriate, but instead of correcting him, you laugh?
No? Just me then? Okay…
I’ll attribute it to the blizzard conditions and being cooped up in the house. Or that sometimes he’s so darn cute.
The weather was beautiful today. The sun is shining and the snow is melting. I thought we’d try the dog park. Didn’t really go as planned. Going to be awhile. Lots of snow out there. In the photo above Sage hasn’t sunk to the bottom. It is belly deep for him in most places. Wish we could use the dog park…
I have mixed feelings about February. On one hand, I would like it to be over so that we will be closer to Spring. On the other, the deadline for the DSU exhibition is at the end of February. The 25th to be exact.
I’m shooting for 24 pieces finished and ready to exhibit. Some of those are not fired yet. Ulp.
I’m worked on four pieces today – putting the finishes on them. Several are going to need wooden bases, so that’s sanding, staining, more sanding, and then finishing. I want to start them now so that they have time to dry thoroughly. That’s #1 on the To Do list for tomorrow.
I’ll fire the unfired work on Monday. The kiln is loaded but I’m not *quite* sure everything is dry – especially the trooper’s hat piece. That piece along with the new Prey Drive piece, the rabid rabbit, and the Faith In My Lucky Rabbit’s Foot are all in the same kiln load.
The wall pieces need their hanging devices. Not quite sure how I want to do this yet. This is also on the list for tomorrow. No weekends off until all the work is complete. All the work will have to be photographed before it’s packed to go to the gallery.
Also, I’m fairly sure that all of the work will not fit in my vehicle for one trip to Dickinson. Going to have to make two trips – that’s 180 miles round trip for one trip. I’ll all work out. Need to get to work.
As I watched the Greyhounds lope around the backyard this morning, I thought, “Sure has been a long time since they’ve had a real workout.”
They’ve taken the lack of exercise really well.
And then I brought three garbage bags of shredded paper into the house. I use it for packing. For transporting sculptures. Etc.
Then I did a few more chores, thinking nothing of the bags of paper. Came upstairs to this.
LOL! Yes, Sage, it’s been a very long winter!
Let it snow!
The furnace just kicked on blasting warm, dry air. It’s Cold outside. Currently -16 F and dropping. It’s hibernation time.
Hard to believe I took this photo a couple of weeks ago – most of the snow had melted off the deck behind the house and Frank dog sculpture needed his -her?- photo taken. Nearly impossible to get a resident Greyhound to sit like Frank for the photo. We got close…
Also during those weeks I began a nasty rabbit sculpture. Grumpy and it comes out in the art. Hard to find photos of snarling rabbits even with Google images. Not pictured is the nice, but overly eager Greyhound she’s snarling at.
The past weeks have been dog park-less and the hounds have had to be satisfied with occasional leash walks and romps in the backyard. I’ve tried to capture them in the snow in the yard with the camera, but the results have been less than satisfying. Dogs probably feel that way about the quality of the exercise. So much snow, but nothing like last year… yet.
Also worked on a new piece tentatively titled, Faith in my Lucky Rabbit’s Foot. This is a piece that I’ve wanted to make for a long while. I’ll find those original sketches in an old sketchbook and post them. This is another piece I hope will be ready for the exhibition at Dickinson State University in March. Going to be close.
Sage waits for the weather to break. He is a tough dog and tolerates the weather more than any other Greyhound I’ve owned.
But we all want the weather to warm up.
What wonderful hounds they have grown up into.
After days of cold and snow, the weather warmed enough for a trip to the dog park. By warmed, I mean around 28 degrees F.
20 degrees seems to be the tipping point as far as weather warm enough for the dog park – if we get weather warmer than that with NO wind – whoo hoo! Dog park we go.
The Greyhounds love to run. They know where there going as soon as we turn north on the road to the dog park.
Sage, especially, loves the snow. Winchester and Annie pretend it doesn’t exist, but Sage rolls and rubs himself in it.
The snow doesn’t hamper their running and playing as long as it is soft and powdery. When it thaws a bit, then freezes again it gets a coat of ice on the top. The ice, not the temperature, will hamper our dog park trips. Ice slices Greyhound feet.
But till then, they run.
Until they are panting.
Then play some more.
Best part of the day!
Winter has descended on North Dakota. Most of October and most of November were beautiful, fall-filled. The more fall, the less winter. Hurray!
Sunday morning was frosty as ever. The Greyhounds are getting used to the cold again and Annie was happy to be outside as I unloaded the smoke firing cans. The air is crisp and cold. I was happy to get this photo of her sniffing the slight breeze.
Everything was covered with frost and the sky was foggy and cold… till the sun came out. Sunday was a beautiful winter day.
Winchester, on the other hand, is happy to stay inside. Sage had the choice sunbeam next to the glass door, but Winchester found an able substitute.
Here’s one of the smoke-fired small sculptures from this weekend’s firing. More photos on Facebook.