Wednesday, April 3, 2013
2. A baby sweater being knitted up for Jackie who is in her third trimester with Jackson. Jackie is a huge Denver Broncos football fan, and I am sure she will be ensuring Baby Jackson will be also. This is almost finished:
Stray Cats. The shipping was costly, but where else have you ever seen orange and blue sock yarn? The pattern is Beyond Puerperium, by Kelly Brooker and is an ingenious little knit.
3. An outdoor decades old rocker that needs a re-finish. Sanded and ready for new stain:
The stain mix: an ounce of oil paint, a scant cup of turpentine, a scant quarter cup of boiled linseed oil. Stay tuned. A previous post here explains it all. Also this post gives a true recipe for wood stain.
4. Chicken Tikki Masala for dinner. The hub will grill the chicken and likely make the recipe if I can convince him that I am still refinishing that rocker. (He does NOT like painting.)
Linking up with Tami at Work in Progress Wednesday
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Libby Sweetpea, therapy dog and healer of the mind, had a torn ACL. At six years of age, this is not too uncommon. She took a flying leap off the back step, as usual, but that one leap ten days ago left her in pain with the liklihood of permanent disability if she did not have surgery to repair the tear.
So she underwent a tightrope procedure and spent one night at the animal hospital. She probably did not miss us near as much as we missed her. This was her little shaved leg a few days ago; she was recuperating on the lap of the Mr.
This is how Libby's dad remembers what to do for her and when to do it. I thought it was cute that he wrote it all out. She does not mind doing her range of motion exercises too much, and just whimpers a bit when it hurts.
Libby this morning:
This is a pair of Faceted Rib Socks in progress:
Tomorrow I am heading out to Las Vegas to play in a Scrabble tournament at the Riviera Casino and Hotel. There will be 56 competitors. Can you find me in this listing? Please wish me lotsa luck!
Friday, July 13, 2012
This handsome fellow owns a group of guys having adult beverages outside a cafe in downtown Aspen, Colorado. He posed so beautifully that I just HAD to try and capture him in watercolors. So the picture in the upper portion of the post is my submission to Paint Party Friday.
And this picture is just one showing a proud fellow having cocktails with his family at The Little Nell. The waitress brought him a bowl of water (can you believe it?) and on a tray, no less. I wonder how much was tipped to his server. Since the average cost of a room there is over $600, just the tip given for his bowl of water was probably more than my friend and I paid for beers that afternoon.
I counted five dogs around the Little Nell pool that day. His face is obscured in order to preserve his true identity. (You never know, he might be a celebrity.)
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
This is her previous certificate.
(See video on sidebar for Libby's Work Day)
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
When friends and family ask about therapy dog and owner responsibilites and what we do, the same questions are often asked. Here is a rundown of typical questions and answers:
Q: What are the requirements to have a dog certified as a therapy dog?
A: The dog (and owner) must pass eleven requirements in order to be certified as a "therapy dog".
Q: So what are the steps?
A: see photo below (click on highlighted area to enlarge)
Q: Can all dogs qualify for training?
A: No. The dog must allow petting and be unafraid of strangers, loud noises, and differing situations. One of our dogs was not a good candidate for TDI training, and one pup was willing to be trained.
Q: How do I get started in the process of training my dog?
A: Any obedience training program is the first step in teaching your dog to comply with the requirements.
Q: I have a yappy dog; can she be trained to work for her kibble?
A: Yes, we have a b*tch of a dog when she is at home, loves to bark and jump, etc. (sorry to have to admit this)...but on the job, she is a behaver.
Q: How much time does this take?
A: As much time as you are willling to give. Practically any nursing facility, hospital, hospice, school (Wagging Tails is a separate program tutoring kids in reading), special care housing, assisted living, hospital or medical clinic is willing to entertain the idea of therapy dogs.
Q: What are my responsibilites in visiting with my dog?
A: Be open to the person you are visiting. Remember that the visit is not about your and your dog, it is to meet the needs of the person whom you are visiting. The person you are helping generally does not want to hear about your stories or life history. The dog facilitates conversation and contact with the client, and helps to engage the client with distraction and productive time.
If you have any questions about how you might volunteer with your animal fur friends, feel free to contact Therapy Dogs International via email or call them at (973) 252-9800.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Once the fur was gathered from our two dogs and their home-style groomings over the past 18 months, the obvious next step was what to do with it to get it into shape for spinning. It would need some other fiber to mix in with the fur in order to make a good blend.
Luckily, here in western Colorado, there is a farm with 14 alpacas on it. Shearing time was last week, and new acquaintance Cori Elam saved me enough alpaca fur (all white) for the blending. We rendezvous last night at our first weekly summer Farmers' Market in Grand Junction, and I gave her my bag of saved dog fur. It looked like this, and I had about a pound of it:
This fur will be mixed with Cori Elam's alpaca fiber. Cori's website can be accessed at Cori's Western Colorado Alpacas. She has all kinds of alpaca products for sale. Many of her alpaca fibers are imported from Peru; beautiful products were on display at her booth last night.
Back to the preparation process of the fibers: from the site how to prepare fleece for spinning, easy and concise information was gathered regarding the next steps:
Another website packed with information about using animals' fur is Spinning Straw into Gold. Take a gander at that site if you are interested in reading about one person's vocation with animal fur products. It is amazing.
Step 1 Take a chunk of fleece about the size of a basketball. Fill your sink with hot water and some dish soap. Step 2 Put the fleece in the sink and let it sink. If you are impatient, you can gently push it down. Slowly move it around but do not "agitate." Agitation will cause it to felt, making it useless for spinning. .... further steps .......remove the fibers and you are ready to spin.
But what would a knitted project with dog fur blended with wool look like? Sure enough, that source on the internet Ravelry with over 400,000 members world-wide was my best source for tracking down someone who had pictures AND and an explanation of her process of collecting fur. New friend Avedaggio on Ravelry from Boulder says about her dog Mulan's fur:
My mom has a shih-tzu, whom she keeps long-haired. Mulan’s fur is about 8 inches long. To keep her from becoming a matted mess, mom combs her every day and gives her a bath (complete with blow-dry!) every week. Since Mulan was a puppy, mom had been saving the fur she combed out in little plastic bags, and a couple years back she and my dad took it to the Estes Park Wool Market and got someone to spin it up (this was before I learned how to spin). Then I got 1200 yards of 2-ply Mulan yarn for Christmas! It smelled like Mulan right after the bath. It was so funny when we put a skein on the floor to let Mulan investigate– she sniffed and sniffed, and then picked it up, carried it to her favorite corner and curled around it as if it were a puppy! So cute. I ended up knitting a lap blanket for my mother out of it.
So the next steps of blending the alpaca and dog fur are in process. After the washing, carding, and spinning steps are completed, there should be more than enough yarn to whip up something as special as a Mulan's lap blanket shown above!
(Thanks, Avedaggio, for the use of your picture and your entertaining story.)
Friday, January 2, 2009
Monday, September 15, 2008
A little video from me to you, with music by Iris Dement
this is how we spent our weekend (on the lookout for snakes and toads)...Relating to nature, above is a picture of one of our cosmos plants that is over 60 inches tall! The usual height for a cosmos plant is between 2-4 feet. A bit of information about these plants from Texas A&M says:
Have a nice Monday!
Spanish priests grew cosmos in their mission gardens in Mexico. The evenly placed petals led them to christen the flower "Cosmos," the Greek word for harmony or ordered universe. Cosmos, like many of our warm weather annuals such as marigolds, originated in Mexico and South America.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We two adults and our three pets visited the 32 people receiving highly specialized care in one section at the Center. Most of the people receiving care, although non-verbal, seemed to be highly receptive to the animals, and a few petted the dogs with enthusiasm and gentleness. I was very much impressed with the excellent care provided by the direct patient providers.
Previously, I have written about Therapy Dogs International here in an earlier post and here after Libby received her official Therapy Dog certification.
While on a visit last week to St. Mary's Hospital, Libby and I visited with a woman whose dog had died several years ago.
That conversation brought up the subject of "animals in heaven."
Wanting to check out this line of thinking, here are a few sites I visited:
Do Animals Go to Heaven? and reassurances can be found here.
Both sites give assurances that life with beloved pets are valuable in many ways. This was certainly validated yesterday when I saw the positive interaction our dogs provided those with many special physical needs.
Here is a sweet poem given us upon the death of our older pet several years ago. The office staff of the veterinarian all signed the card that said:
Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they miss someone very special to them; who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent; the eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to break away from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together......."
Thursday, May 1, 2008
We continue training at home (I must admit I am a bit lazy about it as far as the amount of time we spend in collar training). AND, we went to a rehabilitation facility yesterday so that Libby could get used to being around people in wheelchairs, as well as a medical environment. It was a “supervised” visit with Cathy, our local person who performs dog evaluations and certifies dogs for the Therapy Dog Program. (Also see my posting on April 7, Crafting Good Behavior regarding therapy dogs.) Cathy and her two dog assistants showed us the ropes for patient visitation.
I made some calling cards for Libby to leave with her visitors when she goes out in the future. It has her picture on it and says in a GIANT FONT: "Hello, My Name is Libby Sweetpea".
Here is Libby and her dog lover new friend she met yesterday at the rehab facility.
Once Libby Sweetpea is certified, then she and I can go out on our own for other visitations. In the meantime, we will visit this same lady (with Cathy and her dogs) next week.
Here is a good link for all kinds of information you might be interested in regarding dogs: Dog Logic.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
This is an amazing video of one of the homeless in Santa Barbara and his pets. They work State Street every week for donations. The animals are pretty well fed and are mellow. They are a family. The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn't have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along, and so no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and often, on the cat. The dog will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him for a few chin scratches. The mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a Christmas card.
Why can't we all just get along like these guys?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
“Stop Vacuuming and Start Knitting!” Is the Read Bite on the cover of the book.
In the first paragraph of KnittingDogHair, Crolius says
For millions of years, the human race has been living with and benefiting from its relationship with animals. We’ve relied on them for companionship, for transportation, for food - and for our clothing.What a shame that all our dogs’ fur just goes to waste each time they are groomed. Since I knit, and know a couple of women who spin sheep’s wool, I wondered if it were a crazy idea to start saving my pups’ hair for a future knitting project.
After some research, I came up with a LOT of good information about utilizing dog fur. And, I am now collecting our dogs’ fur. Note picture on the left that shows results from last week’s sheering efforts of the Shih Tzu and Maltipoo.
Natalie Kestecher of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a pod cast on www.soundprint.org. Tune in here if you are interested: radio podcast on dogs. It is fascinating and well worth a listen.
The highlights from my listening to Kestecher's show were:
1) a bit of history of how knitters used Great Pyrenees mountain dog hair for Polish and Russian peoples;
2) an Australian speaker regarding dogs, the environment, recycling and other matters pertaining to dogs at International Dog Day where about 20,000 people gathered recently in Sydney, Australia;
3) a woman’s story of Sarah Ben-David, her great grandmother born at the beginning of the 20th century in Poland. She recalls Sarah’s story of farming olive trees in order to get to her end purpose of breeding dogs for the purpose of using their fur for clothing. Her dog hair farms reached all across Europe by the end of Franco’s regime;
4) the psychic relationship of dogs with people
You are likely skeptical at this point. You might think "won’t I smell like a dog if I knit a sweater from dog fur"? The answer is NO. You wear wool sweaters, don’t you? Do you smell like a sheep? NO, of course not. It is all in the cleaning of the fur/wool in preparation of spinning.
This article found on USAToday highlights a couple who speak to the advantages of dog hair made into clothing. They espouse the advantages of dog hair as fodder as being both warm and waterproof.
As for me, I am keeping my dogs happy and groomed, and accumulating their sheerings for a new sweater.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Dog Obedience training can be the beginning of a rewarding, loving relationship between you and your dog. Learn about proper equipment and how it is used, basic commands, and communication. Your dog must be at least four months old; have current distemper, parvo, and rabies vaccinations; Mesa County license, and must be under control at all times. Holly Koch will instruct sessions beginning on Wednesdays and Sundays at Sherwood Park, and Bob Simpleman will instruct the other classes at Canyon View Park.
Our daughter benefited over the years from several Therapy Dogs having visited her during many of her countless hospital stays at Children's Hospital in Denver. I would like to give back some of the joy she received from being able to pet a well mannered dog.
Perhaps Mercy The WonderDog might be able to help others who could benefit from a dog visit while undergoing medical treatment.