Monday, December 29, 2008

Nick Loves Santa!

Especially when Santa and Uncle Stacy are one and the same! Here's the "aww, how cute" photo of my three hooligans with Santa Stacy yesterday. Once we were finished with the group shot of all five corgis (over at Laura's , I brought out Nick to have our family photo with Santa Stacy. Gosh, aren't my dogs all so well-behaved??? haaa

Nick was good with the idea of the photo, and he was really behaving well at first. But then, well, let's just say that he discovered that the man in the funny suit and beard was his favorite Uncle Stacy. And since Nick is 10 years old, but his energy and enthusiasm make him more like 10 months old, chaos ensued! And Kane is all about things being in order, so his expression of exasperation at having HIS photo shoot interrupted is priceless. You just gotta love a dog who will *never* grow up!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Then and Now

It's been a few years since Mel, Laura, Kane, and I have been in the same place at the same time. In fact, I think it was January of 2005. So, nearly 4 years later, we got to spend the day together at Laura's house. And thanks to a nice stranger in the Walmart parking lot, we have the photo to commemorate. :-) Kane objected today just as much as he did in 2005!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays from the Hurrikane Family

Kane, Gizmo, Sydney, Hawk, Savannah, and Nick

A very sleepy Kane, Gizmo, Breezy, Hawk, Savannah, Nick, and Tiggercat

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Catnip Addict

I am the reason for Tigger's new Catnip Habit. I found a cute little cat-mat made by the company that does the "Big Scary Kitties" dog toys. I thought it was cute, and it was at a close-out store for $2.00. Tigger is 13 1/2 years old, and he's never really had an affinity for catnip. I thought this might be a cute mat to put his Snugglesafe under during the winter. The label on the mat said it had catnip inside the mat.
When I put the mat out to see if Tig had any interest, I was amazed. He was definitely interested, and he could not remove his nose from the mat.

Then he started licking the mat, and his ears pointed straight back.

When his tail started to twitch, I took the mat away.

Tigger did not move from this position for at least five minutes, and his pupils were freaking me out. Once he was out of his trance, he dozed off, oblivious to all the dogs playing and barking around him.

I can just see the public service announcement starring Tigger.

"This is your cat. This is your cat on catnip."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Archive Photo- Tagged by Laura

Uh-oh. I knew I was in trouble when the 6th folder in my archives was titled "Scanned Photos." My dad sent me some pictures last year that he found digging through photo albums. I scanned them in, and saved them in my photo archives. So here's picture #6 from folder #6:
Can you find me? I'm the skinny kid in the very middle of the photo. That's my Springer Spaniel, Jake, sitting in perfect a perfect Front, wearing his Santa hat. I guess I was maybe 13 or 14, and Jake and I were very involved with our obedience club, Seminole Dog Fanciers Association. We participated in a community event as kind of a "drill team" with our dogs on a few occasions that I can remember. I think we did pinwheel heeling, group recall, etc.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What will they think of next?

I'm sorry, but this just seems a bit over the top. I bet it takes a lot longer to get the dog into the contraption than it does to do a simple baggie clean up. And in the end, there's still a baggie to deal with, and IMO, it looks like that might be more difficult to deal with and create a bigger mess. ick. I swear.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Especially for Emily, a Maggie smile to help heal your heart...

Cyber Monday

This is the kind of holiday shopping I can handle! No crowds, no fuss, and mostly free shipping. With a bonus of special additional savings every hour for a different store.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Gotcha Day, Savannah!

Savannah Now...

It seems like just yesterday that I picked up the dogs' Aunt Julie and headed out to Topeka, KS. We were "going to see a man about a dog." I'm pretty sure I wanted to cry during the entire drive, several times almost turning around and ditching the whole adventure. I didn't cry, because I almost couldn't let myself think about what we were going to do. {For those who never had the privilege to know her, I said goodbye to my Best Girl, Graycie, at the end of June 2007. When I explain my connection to Graycie, I would say that if Kane is my Heart (because most everyone knows Kane, and just how special he is), Graycie was my Soul. After I had to say goodbye unexpectedly to Graycie in June, I was pretty sure that there would never be another Weimaraner in our home. However, the house seemed incomplete, The Boyz had lost their leader, and nobody seemed comfortable assuming a leadership role. We were all just kind of lost.}
Fast forward to November 2007. Someone in my office wanted to adopt a dog. I directed her to Petfinder, and somehow, a listing got into my inbox. It was a listing for "Weimaraner, Senior, Female." I felt my stomach lurch just reading the header. Why I clicked on the link, I'll never know. But for some reason, I was compelled to see this dog. What I read was a Petfinder listing for a senior Weim, from a shelter in rural Kansas, west of Topeka. The shelter was merely some runs put up at the city water treatment plant. All animals were exposed to the elements, and the city had no budget for a shelter. Volunteers made everything possible for the animals who needed help.
The Weim in this photo, listed with the name "Towanda," was one of the lucky few who had found a family to foster her. She was with a lovely couple and their dogs. During another strange, out of body moment, I found myself emailing the foster family to inquire about the situation of this old Weim. I learned that Towanda was sweet and gentle, but she was pretty gimpy. It seems that she had been injured on her left side, probably years ago, and she had a bad limp in her front left. Her back left was weak, and she did not put her full weight on her back left leg. I started talking with the foster dad, Preston, and his wife Anna about this dog. Preston and Anna loved Towanda, and they had pretty much resigned themselves that nobody would want to adopt an old, crippled Weimaraner. Oh, and she had a giant tumor hanging from her chest, just as a bonus. However, I'll never forget one email when Preston said that as much as they loved Towanda, he and Anna could see in her expression that she was always "searching for something" and they felt like perhaps this dog was destined for something else. Even in this photo that Preston sent me, I can see her expression, and see that she's looking, looking for something or someone. The stories I'm sure this dog could tell.

We talked back and forth for a couple of weeks, and then set a date to meet in Topeka so that I could meet Towanda and see what happened. I was approved to adopt her, and the day to drive to Topeka finally arrived. I took Kane with me, because I knew he would tell me if this dog would be OK in our house. When we met in the parking lot at the Topeka Petsmart, I let Kane out, and he sniffed Towanda, and she gave him a glance, and then ignored him. I walked the two of them over to some grass to get some exercise, and I saw how pronounced Towanda's limp was. She nearly lurched forward with every step, but her tail wagged non-stop and she loved going for a walk. When we walked back over to where Preston, Anna, and Julie were chatting, Julie looked at me and I remember her asking, "Do you want to have a few minutes alone with Towanda so you can see if you think this is the right dog for you?" I don't remember exactly what I said, but I think it was something like, "Nope, let's put her in the van and take her home."
For some reason, I felt like maybe Savannah needed me, and the dogs and I needed her. I have a wonderful vet, and a fantastic acupuncture/chiropractic vet, and I really thought maybe we could get this girl to feeling better. So, after getting to know the foster family a bit better, and making sure they were comfortable with me, I loaded up some dog food donations for their city's foster dogs, along with some toys and collars. When we opened the side door of my van, and Preston saw the big dog crate, I asked if Savannah was good in a crate. He said he had no idea if she'd ever even been in a crate. I guess we were about to find out. I travel lots with the dogs, and I was hoping this girl would like to join the fun. Towanda needed some assistance getting up into the side of the van, but she went right into the crate, and she acted like she'd ridden there all her life. Julie and I talked about it several times on the drive home. I couldn't see the dog, but Julie assured me that Towanda was laying down like a professional crate traveller.
Long story a little less long... Towanda came to live with us late last November, and when I saw her smile for the first time, I was reminded of "Savannah Smiles" and so she became... Savannah. Now she's Savannah, S'Vannah, Th'Vannah, and just plain Vannah. And if all else fails, she'll always come running to "Cookie!" She's likely somewhere between 8 and 10 years old, but she refuses to act like a senior.
When I look at her photos from foster care, and I look at the Diva she is now, I just know it was meant to be. I'd like to think that when Preston said she seemed to have a soulful expression and was "searching for something" that maybe somehow she found it with us.
Happy 1st Gotcha Day, Savannah! We* Love You!

*Sydney would like the record to show that in no uncertain terms, she does not and will never love Savannah. Thank goodness they have a bit of an understanding, though, and can co-exist without too much drama!

There's No Place Like Home

I don't know who is happier that I finally got to come home, me or the dogs. They have a great time at Aunt Jacque's (although Jacque does tell me that Don is their most devoted caretaker!), and they have a giant yard to play in. But, I like to think that they are just happy to see their mom again, and I know I'm so happy to have them back home! Now I wonder how long I can ignore the laundry or the dust that seems to have found a home while we were all gone....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uncle Gizzer

Uncle Gizzer at his akka-punker appointment last week. Thanks to Aunt Jacque for taking him to see Dr. Perkins. Some days, an old dog just needs his needles, especially when winter arrives.
I haven't posted much because I have been away from home (and the dogs) so much in the last month, and I miss my kids. I don't like to see their photos much because it makes me miss them more. However, Jacque took Gizmo for his acupuncture and sent me a photo from her cell phone, and that cheered me up lots! Can I just say again, thank dog for good dog friends!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Devil Wears Grey Velvet

Savannah's First Howl-O-Ween with the Hurrikane Gang!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Motley Crew

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby, uh, I mean Lady, in Red

My little Breezy. Breezy-bree. Brii-Brii Want to Play.
She's really growing up, almost two years old, and today she got to go on a trip with Frankie and Nick. We met Auntie Laura in Columbia, and we took some time to take photos. Thank goodness for golf courses! It's a real treat to take photos of a Cardigan on grass and not lose all the legs! Thanks to Laura for following us around with the camera, crawling around on the ground, and getting me off the fairway before the next round of golfers came through! Breezy almost looks superimposed in the first photo, but she wasn't. It was just a beautiful green, with trees changing color in the background.
So when do I have to stop calling Syd and Bree "The Puppies?" Since I raised them here, I think they'll always be my "puppies."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Laura Wins! Raptor Trivia...

OK, Laura wins! I'll be sending your $1 million prize to you right away.

"Cara" is a Crested Caracara. These birds are also called the Mexican Eagle.

Name That Bird. Hint: They are a national bird, and on a coin in one country. Her species is more closely related to the vultures and falcons than the other birds of prey. hmmmm.
*Maybe Jinnie knows*

They are not found in the Midwest, but this one was flying in my front yard today. She's 32 years old, and was hatched in captivity for a research project about this type of raptor. When she was five years old, this bird was permitted over to a raptor rehabber/educator. My good friend Doris Mager, Florida's Eagle Lady, is travelling through on her way out west to give lectures about birds of prey. I started volunteering with Doris and S.O.A.R. (Save Our American Raptors) when I was just 15. In college, I worked for the organization, and I get to see Doris every once in a while when her path crosses the midwest. She lives in North Carolina when she's not on the road. Believe it or not, Doris is 83!!! She's still going strong, and makes me feel old and tired. She's got this curious creature in her van, plus a Great-horned Owl, a Burrowing Owl, and a beautiful male American Kestrel. I'm hoping to catch some photos of the Kestrel tomorrow.

This funny bird was around when I was a kid volunteering. She always hated the SOAR volunteers, and would "heckle" us when we were cleaning her flight. She's quite the little character. See the orange skin on her face? Well, you can tell when this bird gets upset, because the skin turns yellow. They also have a very interesting call. It's a chatter, and then the throw their head backwards, and touch the top of their head to their back. I'll try to get some video of it tomorrow.

So, what is she? Anyone?

Be Still My Heart

I know I may be biased, but I just can not get over the cute factor in these photos. And I would give anything to have caught this in focus, but the content outweighs the blur for me.

12 years old, 12 weeks old. Best Buddies. Gizmo and Frankie, BFF....................

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

The bees have moved to Kansas. I'm happy to report that they now live at Anthony's in their very own beehive. Tony was going to meet me this afternoon in between my work and his farm, but they had a glitch with the labels for a big order of lip gloss, so I offered to bring the bees out to the farm. When I arrived, I was greeted by these two characters. The red dog was quite insistent that he check out every inch of my van, and within two minutes, he found the agility gear bag and gently removed the treat bag. Tony apologized and returned the bag to me with an appropriate amount of mastiff slobber dripping from it!
Tony gave me a veiled hat and gave me a tour of some of the hives. I was not planning to go to the farm initially, so I did not bring my camera. The cell phone camera had to work in a pinch. It was very interesting to see the hives and learn more about how the bees live and overwinter.
Tony took my bees and got them a frame box of their own, and he put just one piece of an old comb on the bottom. He says that by tomorrow, they will have spread out enough that he can find the queen. There's nothing scientific about the transfer, he just dumped the bees out. Have a good life, little bees. Make lots of honey.
One of the combs from an established hive.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Buzz Around Town...

...or, "I don't want to be a beekeeper when I grow up!"

I was out in the front yard with baby Frankie this evening after work. We walked up and down the driveway practicing walking on a leash. On our last trip up the driveway, I was looking to see if the leaves were starting to turn on my maple. Today is the first real fall-like day here in Kansas City. Rainy, blustery, and about 58 degrees.

I noticed a strange mass on my little maple. I thought maybe it was a clump of oak leaves that had gotten caught in the maple. As I got closer and closer, THIS is what I saw!

WOW! I have my very own swarm of bees in the maple tree! That was my first thought. How fascinating to see this giant mass of bees up close and personal. My second thought was that this could not be right, not with winter approaching. Where was their hive, and why are they not IN it??? I needed to call someone.

My favorite lip gloss is from Anthony's Beehive. If you have never heard of Anthony's Beehive, it's well worth reading his story, here: A true success story, and I'm very happy to buy locally and support Anthony's endeavors.

It was already after 6pm, but I decided to try and call the contact number, expecting to leave a message. Dad Tony answered right away, and I told him I had a strange question. I described what I had in my tree, and he said that it did sound like Honeybees, but this was the *wrong* time of year for them. He went on to tell me that if the bees were swarming like this, their hive must have been uninhabitable for some reason. Tony said that the wild bees are falling victim to a mite that infests their hives. The "kept" bees can be treated for these mites, but the wild populations of bees are declining in the area due to these mites.

So I asked Tony what I should do. He said that these bees obviously don't have a hive, and at this time of year, they would never be able to make it through the winter. I did not want to kill the bees, or write them off as victims of the upcoming winter, because we need them. But I also wanted them to move to someone else's yard and live their lives! It was very interesting to hear about how the beekeeping works. Tony said that beekeepers identify their hives that they think will not make it through the winter, and they'll bring in a new swarm and queen to take over the hive and improve the population of that hive. Tony tells me that beekeepers come out and remove the bees, and they will take them and bolster their own populations with the new bees. Unfortunately, with the distance (about an hour) between Tony and my bees, and his work schedule, he was not able to come to Independence to collect the bees.

Then I lost my mind COMPLETELY, and I asked Tony, "How would one go about getting the bees into some kind of container to bring them out to you? With the 'one' being me?" I think Tony was amused that I was going to play beekeeper, and he gave me some options to get the bees into a container. His first option, to hit the tree with a stick and knock the bees about 7 feet down into a container did NOT appeal to me. Not when Tony told me that I should try to wear a veil. Um, I'm not sure where I last saw my beekeeper's suit! His next idea was to take something like a piece of cardboard and scrape the bees into a container seemed much better to me.

I asked my next door neighbor David if he wanted to help me with a new "adventure." He was also fascinated with this ball of honeybees, and he agreed to help. Another neighbor had some kind of hood, and then another neighbor came over to see because his dad (or was it his uncle?) used to keep bees. So we had quite a crew ready to catch some bees!

Long story a little less long, we were successful at getting the bees into a rubbermaid container, and thankfully, no one was stung. I now have a box o'bees, and tomorrow I'll put that box into another box, into another box, and I'll drive my bees to meet Tony from Anthony's Beehive. So, the next time I buy a new lip balm, it might have been made by my very own bees!

Here is the motley crew, we almost couldn't get started with our bee capturing because we couldn't stop laughing at each other! Please notice that neighbor Ray is in short sleeves, and he mentioned that he's allergic to bee stings. I told him in the friendliest way possible that if he was stung and he passed out, I'd have to drag him back onto his own property before I could call 911!

P.S. Almost three hours later, and I still have the creepy crawlies, and every once in a while I feel like I have a bee crawling on me!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Doggone Pool Is Mine...

Syd just cracks me up. She loves baby Frankie, and she always wants to play with him. Poor little pup, he can't even stop for a potty break without Syd trying to get him to play again!
This morning, I broke out the baby pool. It's going to be in the 80's today, and with winter coming, the dogs won't have much more time to have pool parties!

I wondered if Syd would be possessive of her pool, or get cranky with Frankie. I already knew he would like the pool, he must get that from his mother. His father? Well, Hawk won't even walk in wet grass, so Frankie did NOT inherit his love of water from his dad!

Here's a video I took this morning, and it makes me laugh. Syd was really good with Frankie about the pool, but notice her not-so-subtle possession of the pool. Any time Frankie wants to investigate the pool, WOOPS, Syd's in the pool. So sorry, Frankie, but this pool belongs to the QUEEN of Everything! Maybe another time. :-)

To see the video on YouTube, click on the link below:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's Not to Love?

I mean, how can anyone NOT love Big Nick...