Tag Archives: Elkhounds

Puppy Posts! My furry pups keep me laughing aloud and I love to share.

Puppy Periodical?

It is confession time… we let our puppies sleep on the bed, both of them. In fact we encourage them to come up and cuddle with us. They have joyfully engaged in this activity for quite some time too. They are starting to grow up a bit. Soon they will be one year old. Maybe that is the equivalent of teenage in dog years?

All of a sudden our boy dog had decided that he’d rather be under the bed, not on top where we can pet him and he can interact with us. His little sister still claims her spot, squarely in the middle where she can stretch out and poke either or both of us simultaneously, with her warm little paws.  Each evening, we coax and call but sadly, we were not able to induce him up onto the bed. My Hubby is troubled by this perceived snub, but I said “what can he be doing down there anyway?”

Our Puppy Manners trainers both stated that dogs are “den animals” and staying in crates actually was comforting to them. We’d both snorted with laughter when she was not looking. If she could see the cavernous holes our pups have been digging in the back yard, Ms. Puppy Manners would be shocked! I have literally gone out and seen nothing but the curly tip of my 50 pound Elk hound boy’s tail sticking up from a recent excavation project. Our female has burrowed so far under the deck on the lower yard; I thought she’d somehow managed to escape over the fence!  Only after hearing her brother’s worried yelps as he paced back and forth, did she poke her little nose out from her lair under the deck.

“He’s probably down there with a flash light and some issues of Playboy.” Hubby seemed to know what teen boys would engage in when they were feeling a need for some privacy and this translated well to our adolescent canine.

I laughed aloud! I was amused and then even more intrigued.  “What would those magazines be called?” I challenged him to come up with some magazine names to fit the scenario.

Puppy Porno? No, too easy and a bit trite” he said ” How about Bad Dog?”  I just giggled… I could see we were not going to go to sleep any time soon!

“Or here is one with a double entendre: Doggie Style!” We were on a roll. Laughing with hilarity he said ” How about Haunch! … or Rub My Belly (till my leg starts twitching) as the byline”.  I scrambled out of bed to find my trusty writers notebook and a pen. Some of these were gems and I didn’t want to drift off to sleep without committing them to paper.

“Would In Heat be too tasteless?” Or “Come”? I was rolling on the floor, sobbing with at this point..”How about BITCHES IN HEAT?” I gasped. “His little sister could be the centerfold”. Our female Elk Hound, like most of her sister pooches, loves to lie on her back, displaying her crotch to the whole world! She had developed a tan line this summer; she’d exposed her tummy so often. We joke that she wants to be a Nurse when she grows up. She tends to home in on any of our wounds and licks them until they are properly healed, in her opinion anyway. It is the only treatment she subscribes to. A vision popped into my head of “Nurse Elkie” the featured Bitch of the Month in one of her brother’s magazines.  The quote under her photo spread would be “Hi I’m Elkie.  I’d like to lick you all over!” Here is our Hottie, all wrapped up and ready to be your holiday hound!

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OK, no more big bowls of chocolate chip espresso gelato before bed time! This magazine naming collaborative was going “to the dogs” if you’ll pardon the pun.

Both of us are huge fans of Mel Brooks classic “Young Frankenstein. Hubby recalled the “Voof!” comment made by Inga. This truly would be a great title too, we both agreed.

So you won’t have to leave this site to go and look it up…here is the context:

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.

Inga: In other vords: his veins, his feet, his hands, and his organs vould all have to be increased in size.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Exactly.

Inga: He vould have an enormous schwanzstucker.

Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: That goes without saying.

Inga: Voof!

Readers, if you are still on the blog after all of this crazy and tasteless commentary.. feel free to add your own suggestions for the magazine name!

I am going to try and get some sleep.

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Vivid imagination…my entertainment!

As I rounded the corner I saw an ominous sign- a black dress on a hanger in the back window of an unfamiliar vehicle.  I looked up to the deck at the back of the house; a fluffy down comforter was hanging over the railing.  This was an odd time of year, I thought, to be airing out the bedding.

I have a vivid imagination. I love to tell stories, to anyone who will listen. If another set of ears is not available, I will entertain myself with a possible tale. I take a single clue and weave an entire story around that one little bit. A sound I hear or the sight of an object that seems a bit unusual will pique my imagination and off I go. The trajectory of that flight of fancy soars into the blue for miles.  Return to Earth happens when the reality of facts, unknown to me at the take off, pull me back into its atmosphere.

My latest story was sparked by the observation of a vegetable garden in obvious need of tending. Vegetables that I’d observed being planted and tended all spring and summer, were begging to be harvested!  I had my eye on this patch of ground for several months while walking my Norwegian elkhound.  He was a bit older and our walks were more leisurely strolls with many pauses to sniff and for me to take in the scene.  Norwegians are scent hounds. They relish every opportunity to engage their olfactory equipment, to the detriment of either one of us getting any real exercise.

That spring I strolled down that particular street, past that house on many occasions. I’d seen an elderly woman, grey hair pulled back into a bun, crouched on her knees, working in the soil of her garden.  If I spoke in greeting she’d nod and then be back to her work.

Each time I passed that corner, I would check the progress of the plantings, seeing seedlings start push through the earth.  On occasion the old woman would be bent over the rows, pulling out a weed or two that threatened to take away nourishment from the tender new plants was so intent that she did not see me or respond to my greetings.

Nor did she express any interest in my canine companion, which was rare since Norwegian Elkhounds usually garner lost of attention as we walk.  “What kind of dog is that?” is a very common question. Many a person will fondly reminisce; “Our family owned a Norwegian Elkhound when I was a kid. I loved that dog”. This comment usually followed by lots of petting and a wagging tail accompanied by joyful yips from our dog. My husband and I jokingly wonder why so many adults have such great memories but seem to have no interest in owning a Norwegian Elkhounds at the present time.

As the growing season progressed, I was  able to distinguish the feather tops of carrots, green straight tips of new onions, tendrils of what would be snap peas climbing up the stakes she’d put into the ground. A frustrated gardener myself, due to lack of space to plant on our own small property, I envied her the variety produce that I supposed she would be harvesting later in the summer.

Now on my latest walk, I saw abundance! A garden full of the fruit of the old woman’s labors appeared untouched since my last visit. Peas ready to be picked.  Rows of little baby lettuce and other greens crowded together and needing thinning out so that mature plants would have the room and nutrients needed.

What was wrong here? Looking around I saw no one at the house, or in the yard. Several cars were parked along the edge of the yard, not vehicles that I recognized either. The usual vehicles were in the driveway.  I remembered especially the Prius, since I owned a similar vintage. Mine was Salsa red; their Prius was the Cobalt blue. Maybe the old woman truly was ill, or worse had died! Maybe, the black dress hanging in the car was worn at  her funeral service!  The bedding was being air as a prelude to being packed away, never again to warm the older woman on a cold night.

What could have happened to the old woman to bring about her demise so suddenly?   Certainly nothing in her manor on the occasions I’d seen her out in the garden indicated poor health.     I had admired her agility at her older age, to be able to stay down on her knees, bent into the work, without seeming to be uncomfortable at all. I envied her this too, along with the abundant space available to till and plant! I have bad knees and if I did have the luxury of soil to be planted, I’d need that to be in raised beds, preferably hip height.

No one in the household seemed to be aware of ripe, ready to pick vegetables.  Should I offer to help out?  Intrude into the routine of caregivers busy with the tasks to help this sick woman?  A family who may be in the midst of grieving the loss of this old woman might welcome the assistance of a prepared meal arriving at the door. Receiving freshly harvested raw vegetables, needing to be cleaned and prepared might not be welcomed at all.

During a recent time of grief in my own life, I relished the distraction of preparing food for my family. A long standing family tradition, Pork and Sauerkraut served on New Year’s Eve, just after midnight, had morphed into a New Year’s Day event, but still was well attended by everyone in the clan. The most recent gathering was for my own mother’s memorial service. Though she died in the late fall, the majority of the family had already made plans for the usual New Year’s Day feast and so our memorial for Mom was scheduled to coincide.

I considered harvesting the biggest of the peas, some of the larger greens, leaving them at the front porch with a note. What should I say in my note?  I had not yet confirmed any of the possibilities that my imagination supposed. Could I knock at the door?  Maybe later without my canine companion I’d return and catch someone coming or going from the house. I decided this was a less intrusive course of action.  I certainly was not prepared to do any harvesting at that very moment anyway… the dog was whining, anxious to continue our walk. I went off, looking back over my shoulder, to see if more evidence would present itself to help me solve the riddle of the untended garden.

Back at home common sense prevailed over my impulse to harvest.  I convinced myself that any intrusion into this situation would be unwelcome. I did not actually know this family. We certainly were not on speaking terms beyond the friendly hello and nod when I passed by admiring the garden on my walks.

The next day my courage returned.  I went back up the block to the brick red Master Craft home. Reader, I did not mention this before, but this house was one of the old style homes probably build back at the heyday of the catalog homes. There were several in our community. I enjoyed seeing this one in such wonderful condition.

Seated on the front porch steps was a woman dressed in modest running gear.  She was a very fit person, several years younger than I.  Her body benefitted from regular vigorous exercise.

“Hi there, I am an envious neighbor who wishes she had as much success as you do with your garden plot.” She looked up at me but did not comment, just continued to lace her athletic running shoes.

“I am curious about the older woman I’ve seen on many occasions working out here in the yard, is she doing well? I notice that lettuce is beginning to bolt and the peas will become a bit tough if they grow much larger. They need to be picked soon.”  “I offer my assistance if that would be welcome. Or you are here today do the harvesting already?”

She chuckled, “The woman you saw is my Mom. She doesn’t live here but has enjoyed helping out in my garden. We’ve been very lazy of late. My husband and I need to get out there and cut some lettuce at the next opportunity.”

Still uncertain about the older woman I pressed on. I sheepishly explained without giving too much detail of my fantasy story; “I’d assumed your mother was the owner of the home, given its age especially.  I’d supposed that the lack of harvest had to do with her inability to complete the task and I would be happy to help out.”

“No, my Mom is just fine”. The younger woman, obviously the owner of this home, was looking at me a bit more closely; I thought to myself maybe even a bit suspiciously. Maybe she wondered that I paid too much attention to her garden!  She stood and I felt I was being dismissed. “When you walked up, I was preparing to go for a run. I need to get going now.  Thank you for your concern about my Mom and your interest in my garden.”

“We usually have more produce than we can use and often put out baskets on the curb to share with others. Please feel free to help yourself when the occasions arise.”  There was no more conversation or opportunity for me to learn more about the family.

I started to think about the fluffy goose down quilt that covered my king-sized bed and decided upon my return to home that I would air it out a bit.  It was a nice sunny day with a gentle breeze, perfect to do the job.

More strolls later in the season revealed the generosity of this errant gardener. I delighted in the occasional offerings in baskets of greens and even the occasional bouquets of flowers.  My old canine companion succumbed to the arthritis plaguing his rear legs. Most days I loaded him into the car and we drove to the local beach with a flat level boardwalk that better suited his gait than the hilly terrain of our residential neighborhood. Our neighborhood strolls curtailed, so was the opportunity to see and possibly chat with the older woman again.

I never discovered who owned the black dress hanging in that strange car. Perhaps a visitor who’d later be attending a formal gathering and needed a change of attire?  The bedding hanging over the railing was another mystery to remain unsolved. Perhaps this would be fodder for a future mystery novel.

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Tabasco is the new orange

Tabasco: the new accent color at our house.

Readers if you do not have dogs… just stop reading now. Prospective dog owners please do the visual equivalent of sticking your fingers in your easy and shouting “nah, nah, nah” to keep from reading a story that will make you question why you would ever think of owning a dog. 

Only the dedicated dog owners will truly understand and appreciate this post. Dedicated, Unconditional Love type owners like the couple we met at a local dog park when our puppies were very young.  They own two German Sheppard dogs that were about a year old. My husband mentioned that our puppies were beginning to chew a bit and we were troubled about this aspect since we’d not had that experience with previous pets. The husband laughed and stated that their dogs had a project going in the basement of their home that was keeping them very busy. Basically they had sacrificed the carpet on that floor to the dogs. They figured it would take a year or two before the floor was down to the cement, but seemed like a bargain if they’d stay away from other parts of the home.

Our puppies chew… everything! We purchased a rather expensive, “guaranteed to work”, bottle of Fooey™. This is a bitter apple mixture that our puppy trainer swore was the best. “Be careful to not get this stuff on your hands” she cautioned.  And she was right, because of course we had to taste it ourselves. Made my hubby pucker up like I hadn’t seen since our first date! Great! This was the answer to saving the woodwork. Our dogs licked the surfaces we’d sprayed and smacked their lips for more!

  We’d already tried vinegar. Our house smelled like the salad bar at Sweet Tomatoes. We had tons of chew toys and read the articles on how to get training going by redirecting the pups away from the undesirable item and over to their toy box to find a fun new item that is good to chew. This was accompanied by chirpy enthusiastic reinforcement type statements that made us sound like the 9th grade cheer squad.

A friend said she’d tried many recommended methods too.  She found that Tabasco sauce, straight out of the bottle was the only thing that stopped her Golden Doodle in his tracks.  She painted it on every surface that her pup was attacking. “Great! We’ll try that too”. What did we have to lose? I didn’t take into account that we have all white trim and carpet in our home but stopping them from chewing the trim, right down to the wall board, it was worth a shot.  Orange is a great color for fall, right?

We have bright orange trim now throughout our home. I have developed a slight cough, due to inhaling the fumes of Tabasco as I slathered the walls and trim. It is a good thing that COSTCO sells industrial sized bottles because purchasing such a large quantity of the grocery store 5oz. size would have been even more costly than the Fooey™ .

How is this working you ask? Well I had not found any new shreds of carpet at the bottom of the stairs yet.  I checked other spots in the house for new damage and gouges. We were looking good.

Just as I was feeling like we’d won this battle, our little girl pup seems to have developed a slight cough. 

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