a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024

National parks Passport stamps

T-shirt tales—Because every t-shirt tells a story, don't it.
And I have so very many of them. Shirts. And stories. ---- Tell me more. or Read all t-shirt tales

SUMMARY:  I've been traveling a bit

Note: I do have T-shirts for several of the stamps that are currently in my passport book. I might or might not have created a page for them yet here. I will try to remember to put links to them later. Probably very much later. Later later later.

meanwhile: I finally bought a passport book for the national parks in mid-2021. I have added most of the stamps here in a long driving trip that we took in September 2023 and in April 2024. Details And photos, again, might come sooner or later or not. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

"I and my dog could never do agility"

SUMMARY: ...or could we?!
Backfill: From a Facebook discussion May 18, 2024, on video of Nimble, fabulously fast, happy, and accurate purpose-bred mixed-breed border collie/papillon winning westminster agility--astonishing run.

(If this video doesn't work, you can simply search for "Nimble, mixed breed dog wins Westminster dog agility)"

Admit it. Everyone of us dog owners out there, wish our dogs could do that.


MA They can. It’s just a huge investment of time, training and money.


MA Yeah, but you have to live with the dog, which means giving him or her regular training, a job to do, or else you end up with a bored destructive dog that ends up in a shelter. 😉

Ellen Levy Finch

MA That's what I thought the very first time I saw a dog doing agility--wished my dog could do that. Teeter! WEAVE POLES! ALL the things! I just *Knew* that I and my dog could never do those things, but I was willing to try and signed up for classes. HS. At the time, I had the budget for it. I had a dog who was active and eager to learn and I spent time teaching tricks and obedience every day, as well as long walks. It was ssoooooo good for me, too, but agility ended up making me and my dogs healthier and happier. 20 years later, I could look back at my four agility dogs (3 were mixes), each of whom earned at least one championship and two who earned multiple championships in different organization. PS And two of them came from shelters or rescues because they had *too much energy* for multiple failed adoptions. Perfect for me at that time.

SO --YEAH-- I wished my dogs could do that and it turns out that they could. 🙂e

Saturday, May 18, 2024

What is a Rescue Dog anyway?

SUMMARY: It's a very debatable question
Taken from a facebook thread about a mixed breed (purpose-bred border collie/papillon) winning agility at Westminster
I would love to see some sort of championship for rescue dogs

DS -  Mixed breeds and purebred can be rescues. Mixed breed dogs can compete in every venue for championships.

Ellen Levy Finch
DS  Some clubs sometimes offer special prizes at their competitions for specific categories of dogs-- e.g.,highest-scoring mixed breed (not as much any more), highest-scoring shelter dog...
The challenge is in defining "rescue dogs". We've had a lot of discussions about this. Is a rehome a rescue? What if it's from a really bad home? What if it's from a loving home? What if it's facilitated by a rescue group even if they don't handle the dog directly? Is a dog adopted directly from the shelter a rescue dog? What if a rescue group saves the dog from one shelter and places them into a more friendly shelter? What if the dog spends a lot of time in a shelter and then a rescue group pulls them out and finds a new home? Is a dog found in the street (or abandoned in the hills, etc.) and the owner can't be found and is then adopted by the finder who basically served as their own Rescue, is that a rescue dog? Do we have to be sure that the dog was abused, neglected, or abandoned by a previous owner to qualify? Does giving to a shelter count as abandoned? Etc.

rescue dog
in British English
1. a dog trained to assist rescue workers See also search dog
2. a dog that has been placed in a new home after being abused, neglected, or abandoned by its previous owner
Collins English Dictionary

Where do rescue dogs come from?

we like to refer to rescue dogs and cats as Mutt-i-grees: any dog, cat, puppy, or kitten who has been adopted into a responsible loving home, or is still waiting for that perfect family. 
Rescue dogs are homeless due to a variety of reasons.
They may have been surrendered by owners who could not care for them anymore, found on the street, or perhaps they were part of a litter born in a shelter. Animal League America also rescues dogs from puppy mills; these are often animals who would have been euthanized because they were determined no longer viable for breeding. Sometimes dogs are found after a natural disaster, when pets get separated from their owners, who then can’t be found.
What they all have in common is the need for a family of their own.
North Shore Animal League

Sheba -- the only one of my dogs who came directly from a shelter. Remington, Jake, Tika, and Zorro all spent some time in custody of rescue groups, although  Jake was first adopted by my agility instructor and then came to me. I believe that Tika, Zorro, and Remington spent some time in shelters before that.  Chip was a rehome directly from the previous owner. And Boost and Amber came from friends who were their breeders--intentionally in the first case, accidentally in  the 2nd.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Money, money, money…

SUMMARY: As a kid, allowance or wages?
Source:  A friend asked on Facebook April 24, 2024, "Does someone in your family receive an allowance? How about calling it a budget instead? (As I understand it, an allowance is granted to someone from the generosity of the person in charge. Whereas a budget is allocated to a manager to fund vital and important activities. An allowance emphasizes a hierarchy and a budget recognizes the recipient as part of the team. IMHO.)"

This was all a very long time ago. Some parts I remember clearly, some parts are a little vague. 

we siblings received allowances as kids. We were expected to do a pretty minimal amount of work around the house and yard. If we did extra – for example, mowing part of the lawn or washing the dishes – – we got a bit extra. 

We did not buy necessities out of this money; parents paid for our room and board and clothing and any school necessities. And anything for official organizations, such as Girl Scout uniforms. Or camp. Lessons for our chosen instruments. And they paid for our college education as much as they could afford. I think we paid for our own books if we wanted to buy instead of borrow from the library, so thank goodness for the scholastic book club! .25 or $.35 for a whole novel!

Our allowances were not huge. I might have been able to afford one or two comic books a week (at $.10 or $.12 each… I remember being horrified when they went to $.15 each) and maybe a candy bar or two. And, yes, we were expected to buy gifts for people that we wanted to give gifts to. thank goodness for Woolworths back in the day! 

parents helped us to open savings accounts when we first had some quantity of money for some reason (maybe a relative sent a monetary Christmas gift or we earned money babysitting or what not). probably one of our parents showed me how to manage a check register, but I honestly don't remember; I was certainly keeping my own checking account by the time I headed off to college. 

I don't particularly remember discussions about getting jobs, but it was pretty much understood that if we wanted money for more that we would have to earn it ourselves. I was a Mervyn's clerk my senior year in high school, I worked at Gemco doing Basic clerk sort of things. During the holidays my college freshman year; my junior year at college, I worked nearly full-time for the food service at the dorm. And those were all things that I pursued on my own. I think that parents were still buying my college textbooks even when I had a job (they were miserably expensive even back then). I usually tried to buy used versions of the textbooks and then sell them back at the end of the quarter if I weren't intrigued by the book itself--such as, I still have my complete works of Shakespeare from my freshman class at UCLA, and my history of the English language class book from going back to school about the time I got married.

I must confess that, as an adult, with my first "real" job and my first apartment rental and my first need to commute, I managed to find a used version of the model of car that I really wanted but didn't have quite enough to pay for it all on my own and asked parents (read: dad) For a loan--After I had already given the private party a good portion of the price of The car. Dad was not thrilled, but he gave me the loan and I paid it back on a regular basis even though it kept me to baloney sandwichesAnd cheap canned goods for probably four years.?? Things like that.

My parents were basically generous people. But my dad tried to be very cautious and rational about money. I remember – when I was an adult and fully out on my own – – being around when my parents were having a relatively calm discussion about lending my mom's sister's Husband Some money to "consolidate his debts and try to get back on his feet". My dad kept saying various forms of " we will never see that money again if we do this".And mom kept saying various forms of, "but she's my only sister and she is now disabled". They lent them the money. They never saw the money again.

I try to remember both 

I tried to remember their generosity and their caution and their love whenever questions of large money come up. I have loaned relatives money in a quantity that was not insignificant to me, but I was completely certain that I would eventually get paid back. And I was. I have not loaned relatives money if I were pretty certain that I would not get it back. At least one of my Siblings has stepped in to shoulder that responsibility [it was a complicated situation however] and has not yet been repaid yet.

So far, I have mostly done OK. I am retired, I own my own home, I have started a small Social Security Income monthly.To be seen whether I have planned sufficiently or whether I will run out of money in the next two or three years because of Profligate spending on foolish items.Not likely to happen unless there is some major disaster in my life or health. Fingers crossed.

If only I still had someone around to give me a minimal allowance for buying comic books and to pay for my necessities of life. Oh well.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Supper bowl--er, Super Bowl

SUMMARY: much human excitement and dog boredom
Source: My photos from Facebook from this past Sunday, February 11. Text is new though.

At my sister's house for the Super Bowl played at Las Vegas, San Francisco 49ers (my home team I suppose) versus Kansas City. It has been 20 years since the Niners won two out of three Super Bowls. Hard to believe, but yup. Time is flying.

There were just five of us-- me, Seester, my BIL (Her husband)--All rooting for the Niners -- and Zorro and Abby, the latter two rooting primarily for food. 

Note Abby in the chair in the background. Pretty much stayed there the whole time, staring at us.

Not me.

The game was intense and very close, even went into overtime and it came down to the last three seconds, and KC scored. Plus, as we all know, the Super Bowl often has spectacular ads because companies will pay big money to get their bits to so many viewers. So a good time for us to get up and go play with the dogs or get them food or such important things never occurred. Never ever! We even stubbornly and repeatedly refused to share the potato chips (Ruffles have ridges) and M&Ms, even though they were right there at dog face level. And someone even yelled at Zorro when he did the very logical thing and stole a used napkin and began eating it! Humans are so terrible.

Some of us were yelling and moaning and jumping up and down. Some of us were bored out of our little brains.

We were ahead almost the entire game, including the overtime. About 70 minutes of playing time.
Until the last three seconds.
Sportz can be like that.

We mostly ditched the halftime show, even though Usher was supposed to be very good, and my relatives took the dogs for a short walk, and we gave them dinner, and then everyone was completely happy and satisfied--why were we sitting around all day staring at the wall when we could've been giving the dogs food all along? 

This blog is supposed to be about dogs… And Binkies…

SUMMARY: So here come some dog posts, a few from Facebook recently.
But honestly this site has really become more of a diary plus random thoughts.

Zorro does like to keep all of his treasures in one place if he possibly can. I tried to keep his Binkies a various sizes and shapes in different parts of the house. I am so cruel to him. (These are things that he likes to snuggle and nurse on.) His favorite place for this these days is on the small carpet in the living room. It is like his own outline of a room that is just for dog.

Two days ago, I found this: In the back, the two Binkies that are usually in the living room, one on his raised bed, one on his luxurious bed; the red Binkie and the doughnut Binkie Bed that are usually in my bedroom, one on my bed and one on his bed; and even Squeaky Snake, which he sometimes uses in the same manner after he is done playing with him.

The only missing Binkie is the other one that sits on my bed in my bedroom.

Yes, he makes me laugh at least once every day and usually more than that. I am glad that he has his Binkies for friends.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

The important things in life: Binkies

SUMMARY: Sometimes Zorro's bedding needs to be washed. It just does.
Posting link on FB now

So much has been happening in my life. Over the last year. Ear surgery, knee surgery, knock myself unconscious (Which came with a bonus first ever ambulance ride and a first ever helicopter ride), Covid almost inevitably in January 2024, long RV trip through the west, trip to Disneyland, stuff like that. So I choose to talk about: washing Zorro's bedding.

Trying to launder Zorro's Binkies is challenging. As soon as I pick them up from their usual environs and start walking away with them, his eyes open wide and he starts saying, no, these are mine, I had them where I wanted them, don't move them! And he grabs one or more and tugs until I determinedly make him let go. And then as soon as I set them down to get the washing machine prepped, they all start disappearing.

I had picked up three of them this time; and this is where they were when I was ready to put them into the washing machine…  one close (Darker blue with light blue circles) to the washing machine but not where I left it. (where He is standing trying to decide whether to steal back that one also), one (brown with aqua circles) halfway through the doorway into the hallway, and one (Aqua with brown circles) way down the hallway in the living room. 

Update 20 minutes later: I re-collected the three, washed them, and they are now in the dryer. Fortunately they dry quickly.

... they did! Dried quickly! So when I took them out, he selected one to go nurse on for a while in the living room. Happiness restored.

Next I think I will do the red one. And attempt to remove the covers from two of his three cushion beds.
Maybe from all three cushion beds… Except that he typically is lying in one or another of them, so I guess I need to leave one clad for a bit.

Then the big challenge will be figuring out how to stitch back together his favorite Binky bed without a sewing machine. And he will definitely obsess over that one when I pick it up to sew it, and again when I need to wash it afterwards.

BUT after just now trying to vacuum out just one comfy bed and its cushion, I realize that perhaps doing all of this in one day after 10 days of recovering from Covid is not the best choice. So: that's it for today.