Beautiful sights

Beautiful sights
Horses at blue water Lake state park

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bird Feeding and/or Bird Watching

Gambel's quail eating my bird seed.
Do you like birds? 

I enjoy watching them, whether they are flying, eating, bathing, raising chicks, or otherwise occupied.  I've been feeding the desert birds with a mixture of black oil sunflower seeds and wild bird seed.  The Gambel's quail are my favorite of the ground birds here in this part of the desert.

The quail seem to live in and under the palo verde trees on the north side of the arroyo.  They leave their hiding place, and come over to my seed which is only about 3 yards from their Palo Verde shelters.  Sometimes they share the seed with doves and white-crowned sparrows.  Sometimes they try to chase the doves and sparrows away.When I walk over to add bird seed, I check the ground and it's fascinating to see their foot prints, and see how the quail have scratched up the ground.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Friend

I got lots of helpful comments on feeding from my last post.  Thanks everyone for the input!

Recently I met a new friend, a beautiful greyhound named IDee.  She is a beautiful brindle senior.  She has apparently never had a home before, but she is a smart girl(a greyhound, naturally smart!), and she has most of it figured out.  She knows that a bed (dog bed) is for napping, sleeping, spying, and digging.  She knows that food is for claiming before someone else steals it!
She knows that a leash means a walk (heavenly)!  She is also a sweet natured girl who got along beautifully with my two greyhounds.  We sat in the yard and all the dogs were free in the yard and each did some chewing on rawhides, and looking each other over.  I have two dog beds in the yard and the dogs took turns using them.  My black greyhound, Power, was more uncomfortable from the sunshine than the others, so he sat in the shade most of the time. ( This is my first black greyhound and I believe the black color makes a big difference in heat tolerance.



Tom and Joyce are IDee's new mom and dad.  They tell me that they almost always adopt a senior greyhound because the seniors are harder to adopt out and need homes just as much as the youngsters.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dog Food

Dogs have to eat. 

 Therefore I need to feed them. 

 I have to buy dog food or buy people food and cook for them. 

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

 I have one friend who cooks for her bassett hound.


 She makes chicken, rice, and vegetables and feeds this combo twice daily.I admire her for being willing to do the food shopping, storing the ingredients, cooking the ingredients, separating the cooked food into individual portions, freezing the meals, and then thawing the meals, warming the meal, feeding the meals, and washing up after the different steps.
Whew............  I get tired just thinking of it!  Her bassett eats about one cup per day.  My dogs eat 6-8 cups per day total.  I cannot imagine the trouble and effort it would be for me to feed my greyhounds the same diet that she feeds her bassett!  I cannot do it.

So I buy commercial dog food.  Then I have to decide which dog food to purchase.  My RV life takes me to more rural areas rather than to urban areas.  
So sometimes I need to determine what to buy according to what is available.

I've had pet owners say that I should feed all raw food, but as a nurse I think of the parasites found in raw foods(ugh), and the storage needed for refrigeration ( I have a small RV fridge).

Other pet owners say they mail order their dog's food! ( heavy food costs a lot in shipping) ( I move around a lot, so different shipping addresses)

Other pet owners say they shop at feed stores, and/or Petco or Petsmart!
(I am seldom within 50 miles of a pet store, and each feed store carries different brands of dog feed.

I found this site to check out ratings of commercial dog foods.  They also have email alerts to advise of recalls for dog foods. What do you think?  I'm happy to hear all ideas.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Doggy Danger ...part 4

Hi everyone!  
I've so missed being able to keep up with you!  I had Internet problems galore and had to get repairs three times since I previously wrote.  

My notes today are about the hazards of dogs with stitches.  I thought I was so smart with the pink pants on Power.  He didn't mind having them on and I was so relaxed and assured that all was well.

Well, of course he didn't mind having them on...he knew that as soon as I turned my back that he could get his long skinny nose and tongue under the edge of the pants, and he could chew the stitches out, pull the pant fabric back into place, take a nap, and Mom would be blissfully unaware!  He ripped those stitches out one day post surgery and had to have everything repeated.

After putting him and my checkbook through the second surgery, I determined to try to outwit him (Power).  I have a Vet who hates the big plastic collars, so I did a bit of research and decided on a large bath towel wrapped snugly around his neck .  The idea was to keep him from being able to bend his neck to lick his hip. 
towel around neck, shoestring to shorts

towel, pink retainer band, shoestring to shorts, grey shorts

 It worked great while he was still somewhat sedated, but as soon as his brain cells reactivated, I saw that his tongue was going after those stitches like a heat-seeking missile!

I decided to sacrifice a pair of my old biking shorts to the cause and so I then cut small holes in the waistband so that a shoestring could be threaded through the waist and tied snugly to keep the shorts up around his waist.  I then tied the shoestring to the bandanna around his neck so that the shorts would not fall off. "Senor Houdini" has tried to get to the stitches but so far he has not succeeded.  He gets a lot of laughs from neighbors but I don't mind that.  I have to remember to take them off when I am letting him go out in the yard for potty breaks, or he will pee in the pants ( not having any other choice).  I learned that too the hard way. The day I forgot them and he wet the shorts, I had to put a different pair on him while I laundered the first pair.  He didn't like the nylon material of the second pair and had them ripped off in short order, along with the neck towel.  When I put the original cotton shorts back on him, he left them alone.

The vet wanted the stitches in place for two weeks, because the thin skin of the greyhound pulls apart easily if not well healed.  As the two weeks progressed, I had to learn ways to distract Power from eating the cotton shorts, chewing out the shoestring, and generally working  on removing the stitches.  The towel was partially effective around his neck to keep him from bending his neck to get to his hip.  He figured out how to pull the safety pins out of the towel and then whipped it off.  So I taped the towel with duct tape, and the next am he had duct tape all over his face and very little on the (now removed) towel!


Power survived all the clothing craziness!

Waiting for hair to grow back.  All is well!