Friday, March 29, 2013

Bart's Burying Bent

I've mentioned Bart's burying skills before and have been promising to write more about it...but the more I think about it, the more perplexed I get! No two ways about it, Mr. Barticus Farticus is one weird little dude!

Note the rock between his paws!

How else do you explain a dog who thinks this rock is sufficiently hidden ...

...yes, he dug a hole, place the rock... nudged dirt around and yet... it's hidden in plain sight! And yet this same dog is fully capable of burying an entire loaf of bread!

Yes, that's an ENTIRE new loaf of Orowheat... and we had to dig it up partially to take the photo! 

I really don't know what to make of his....skills! Mabel has said it here and I will too... he has been hit in the head with more than a few rocks! But I swear, he was like this when he came to live with the bestie!

About the rocks: When Bart's mom first started hiking with us, she was recovering from knee surgery and couldn't travel very far. This was NOT a good walk for Bart! He likes to run. That was not an option. And he had no interest in balls... mainly because a certain bossy friend of his whose name may or may not rhyme with Schmabel Poo, never lets him play with balls...or sticks...or small trees. What was a bored boy to do???
Throw me something Sister!

His mom quickly found that he loved to chase rocks. And the closer they were, the bigger splash they made, the happier he was. Can you say "Dangerous Game???" Bart does catch a few rocks but he loves to put his whole head under water...

and come up with a larger rock (often one that wasn't even thrown) and take it into the brush for a good gnawing!

He will sit there and chew and chew on that rock!

Sometimes, he will give it to his mom to toss again...

But mostly he chews until we tell him we have to leave or until he's ready to hide the rock.

Then he makes his good-hearted, yet ultimately feeble attempt at burial:

But contrast that with Bart at home whose burial skills have been the source of much amusement in the last several months. We first noticed it at Christmas. Bart's two-legged brother loves these homemade Hungarian cookies called Kex (or probably Keczs) for the holidays. His mom bought the "digestive crackers" she uses for the base and made a few batches. She was going to make another but couldn't find the third pack of crackers! She looked and looked and decided it was left in the store.

She buys bread for the hubby when he's in town but could not find a loaf she was certain she purchased. Odd things like this kept happening.

A few weeks ago, Mabel and I went over with some Kona cookies from Trader Joe's for morning coffee in her garden. While there, Bart got concerned and tried to place some dirt next to where I was sitting. The humans were talking and ignored it. But not Mabel Lou! She went over and started digging! There were the digestive crackers, still in their packaging! Bart had buried them completely and if not for Mabel, we would have never known!

Bart's mom started to notice that whenever Bart was left alone at night, food from the lower pantry would disappear! One night she and her hubby were out to dinner and came in and went into her office. Bart's dad nearly tripped over a box of those Kona cookies, left right in the doorway!  They had apparently caught Bart in the act!


Now that they know what triggers the stealing, they block the pantry but...that still does not explain how he can bury an entire loaf of bread so well but can't bury a rock!

This is the bread before we uncovered it...all that is visible is a bit of plastic!
 Barty Boy, you are a mystery!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Did It Get So Gray?

I thought Mabel had mud on her tail, but then I realized it's gray now.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sometimes She Needs Her Mom

I know this post won't do much for Mabel Lou's (or any rottweiler's) image as a bad arsed dog, but I get the biggest kick out of what a big ole baby my girl is. There are times she wakes up in the middle of the night (bad dreams??), drapes her body across mine and  digs my hand out of the covers. It just kills me!

I can't believe I was lucky enough to have my phone close by when she did this in daylight. 

I once heard Martha Stewart say that one of things she liked about chows is that they are not very needy when it comes to humans. Well, put me down on record as saying that one of the things I love about rottweilers (and all the German dogs I have loved: shepherds and dobermans), is that they thrive with MORE attention. I love a dog that loves to be petted. And if they like to rough house and yet can play a (gentle) game of bitey face with a human, even better!
But I will never cease to be amused by what needy little love bugs they can be... if you don't mind being awakened by 100 pounds of fur on top of you!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Handicapped Bathrooms

Still on my soapbox...Yesterday's post was a bit too long so I decided to finish up my other pet peeve of design for handicapped today. This one really gets my dander up!

Have you ever noticed the placement of toilet tissue in the restrooms today??? Never mind that the stalls are so small, you cannot turn around in some and to close the door you have to straddle the toilet! Or that there is never anywhere hang your purse. Or if, like me, you travel with a wallet and phone and there's no where to lay them and you have to do your business one handed... Yes all that alone is enough to make you pull your hair out but then... you can't get to the toilet paper!

 I'm sure it's cheapness on the part of most businesses but it's bad enough that a) the toilet paper will not roll and b) is so thin you have to stand there pulling more and more and more out to feel you have a piece thick enough to take care of things. And that's all while bending over and reaching backwards and UP! I don't know about you but my arm doesn't work that way!

If you are a man, maybe this isn't an issue for you. But put yourself in a woman's place, hang a 20 pound sack that costs primo bucks around your neck and for fun, wrap a 30 pound child around your waist. Now pull down your pants and "hover" for about a minute in a bent knee position over the porcelain throne. Realize you need some toilet paper and notice that it's placed below the handicapped rail, shift child to other hip while reaching down, back and up only to tear off a thin strip of paper that would take 19 more to do the job. Repeat 19 times! And don't forget, you're doing this in HEELS!

When did it become de rigueur to place toilet paper holders so low to the floor? Honestly, even a toddler able to use the restroom by themselves would have to reach down and up to get the contents out! What would be so wrong with placing it ABOVE the handicapped rail? Presumably those who require the handicapped rail are still SITTING. Why not have them reach UP? Placed just above the rail, it would still be accessible to the handicapped and children and be a completely natural thing to the human body!

To that end, I share with you the photo I took in January at my favorite pizza place in Louisiana, Mr. Gatti's:  

Finally, someone put some thought into where the toilet paper should be!

O.K., stepping of the soapbox!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Designing for the Handicapped

Allow me a few moments on the soapbox, will you? As someone who has been mobility challenged, spending a chunk of time in a wheelchair, followed by a walker and cane, I know a thing or two about trying to get around in the world.  Never mind the fact that people don't even SEE you sitting in a wheelchair, struggling to open a door. No the thing that pisses me off the most is architects and designers who have no clue how to design for the mobility challenged.

For designers, people seem to fall into two categories: the able bodied and those they must make accommodations for by law. There is no in between. And they never seem to take into consideration those that have some mobility but need the shortest distance between two points to keep from hurting so much!

It was during my recovery that I noticed women's bathrooms were always at the end of the hall, with men's rooms in front. The the safety issue puzzled me - a further distance from public areas makes it harder for the public to hear you screaming in the event of an emergency. As most women I know are on their feet more, having to work outside the home, take care of the house and kids, etc and the fact that every step I took felt like nails exploding into my feet, I grew angry with every trip to a public restroom. One day, I was muttering about this on the way to a Macy's bathroom when the building designer heard me. He explained that "Men are dumb and will wander into the first door they see." They often put the women's room last because they feel it's no big deal if a woman wanders into the men's room but it gives the men two chances to figure out the lay of the land.

So that solved one mystery but bad design seemed to pop out at me from everywhere. I was taking some college courses because of my disability. They first sent me to a college near my home...built into the side of a mountain! I took one look at all those stairs and told them, "No, thank you!"

They sent me next to Los Angeles Valley College, a flatter campus but, I almost quit while dealing with registration!

Check out this map of the campus:

They have torn a building down since I was there but you'll get the drift. The arrow on the left is visitor and handicapped parking. The middle arrow is a steep flight of about 10 stairs. And the arrow on the right was the registrar's office. Never mind that the distance was about 2 blocks I had to go on my walker but just look at how far I had to "walk!" The red lines depict the path of the handicapped ramp!

I've never been one to turn left when I need to go right! As I stood there at the top of the stairs, I started crying. In frustration, I shoved my walker down that flight of stairs, dropped to my bottom and "scooched" my way down the stairs to my walker. A young man realized what was happening, picked up my walker and helped me up. For my return, I stood at the bottom of the stairs until I saw a group of boys and asked them to take my walker up and escort me up the stairs. But that is huge for someone longing for independence. I HATE to ask for help! And with a better design, I wouldn't have to.

I wish designers would realize what it's like for people who simply can't take the long way home. Don't assume every handicapped person is in a motorized wheelchair - something my Blue Crappy insurance would never pay for!

I wish every would-be designer and architect had to spend 24 hours in a non-motorized wheelchair and 24 on a walker or crutches, imagining that every push of the wheel, every aided step sent explosions of pain through their bodies. Maybe then they would get it.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tires for Lunch?

I was driving home midday last week and found a neighbor pecking at tires during lunch time.... Very odd. While I didn't have any fruit to share, he was so handsome, I did have to take his photo a few times!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Old Girl and Her Sqeaky Tennie Ball

Mabel Lou has always adored her "tennie" balls but, she doesn't play that much anymore. But a few days ago, she found one at the creek and put it in the car... Par for the course. When we got home, she realized her newest treasure squeaked! It made the old girl want a good play session!

I Need Surgery

Mabel Lou here. I went to the vet yesterday for my senior wellness check. This is me in the exam office: 

I just KNOW there's a kitteh out there! I had to get lots of shots. [Mom here: four shots.] Even my vet questioned Mom's sanity reasoning for getting some of them! But she has her reasons for making them stab me so many times!

[Mom again: Mabel HAS to hike in our local mountains daily where there are deer (and deer ticks) and rattlesnakes. She rarely lets me off the hook. And she also drinks water from the creek every day. So in addition to the "normal" shots the average pup gets, Mabel also gets Lyme, Giardia and a rattlesnake vaccine. Please note that the rattlesnake vaccine does NOT imply that you don't have to take a snake bitten dog to the vet! It only buys you time to get TO the vet!]

Well either way, I think you can see the panic on my face. I do my best to make my mom feel guilty for letting them stab me. I cry and howl and dance about. But my doc is onto my antics! They make Mom leave the room now. There's no point in putting on a show if there's no one to see the show!

But we did find out I need eye surgery... it turns out all those "eye boogers" I've been having are the result of a wart under my left top eyelid! The doc informed Mom that all the eye rubbing I've been doing is because I'm in PAIN!  Mom is a bit freaked out cause she's had almost no sales since my auntie died and she hasn't felt like making new I can't get the surgery until we pay the credit card bill down. And that's OK, cause the whole idea kinda scares both of us! I don't do all that well on anesthesia and Mom doesn't do well without me.

Anyway, you can see my eye booger in this favorite photo of Mom's from last summer. My left eye is on your right BTW! BOL!  Please keep us in your prayers!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Manipulating the Human in Eight Easy Steps

Mabel Lou here. I thought I would share my expert skills at getting your human to allow you up on the sofa in eight easy steps!

1)  State with your eyes what you desire. DON'T ask!

2) Take a step closer and state your objective again!

3) Another step, still staing your intentions with your eyes. I want a cuddle nappy on the sofa.

4) Place your paw where you want to be. This really impresses the humans!

5) Use the paw for leverage!

6) Voila! Now you're in! Get situated...

7) Turn to thank your gullible generous human for their kindness.

8) Zzzzzzzzz...See? Easy peasy!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Run In With the Rhodies

We love when we run into our Rhodesian friends, Hand & Sue,  on a hike!

This is Susie, comin' in to say howdy to her auntie Creekhiker:

This is Hank enjoying some roughage:

This is the final part of Sue's "Hello!" I always get kisses!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Car Door Was Left Open

This is what happens when you tell Bart and Mabel to "Go play" but leave the car door open. I swear Bart is telling Mabel, "The keys are right there... Can't you get us to the creek???"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pip And Puddles Appreciation Day

Today is a very special day! All of Blogville has declared today to be Pip and Puddles Appreciation Day! What a perfect way to thank our furiends for all the smiles and making us laugh so much!
For this special occaision, Pip has been  bestowed the title of "Blogville King of Cheeseburgers"  and Puddles has been titled "Blogville Queen of Merriment and Mayhem" - very fitting eh???

Well, it's good thing they didn't let their pals here in La La Land christen them with new titles... We were all thinking "Pot Pups" might be more appropriate! 

Whatever title these two hold, they will always be King and Queen of our hearts! We love you Pip and Puddles!