Archive for the ‘Pets and Animals’ category

Let’s Hear It For The FURMINATOR

February 28, 2010

I got home last night at about 5pm.  I thought about picking my dog up, but I decided I didn’t feel like it.  So I came home, said hi to Lucy (my cat), and slept until 7am this morning.  For those of you that lack basic math skills, that’s 14 hours of sleep. WHEW.

So I got up this morning, cleaned my apartment, and brushed Lucy.  Usually I use some really crappy brush that I probably got from the dollar store or something, and it doesn’t really do much.  It pulls out maybe 3 hairs, and then 15 seconds later she is wandering around shedding all over everything again.  Today I wisened up and decided to try out my dog’s furminator on her.  And for those of you with dogs that shed a lot but you haven’t heard of the furminator yet, you are missing out on the best invention EVER.  Seriously.

So I don’t know if these wonderful inventions from the heavens are made for cats, but this is what I got before Lucy started gnawing on my fingers, the brush, and my arms.

 

That is a lot of hair.  I even compacted it all in a dense hairball.  Gross.

And when I showed Lucy, of course she grabbed the whole thing between her front paws with a death grip and tried to eat the whole thing.  I actually gave her a little piece of it just to see if she really would follow through and eat the hair, and she did.  I should have known better. It’s like she’s upset that the hair is no longer on her and she needs to eat it so she can grow some more.  Because she needs it.  And I need more of it on my couch.

My Dog Can Behave Itself. Why Can’t Yours?

February 15, 2010

I’ve tried to steer clear from ranting and raving on this blog. It hasn’t really been a conscious effort on my part, there have just been other people that I have been able to talk to before drafting anything to share.  Today there is no such luck. I have no one to complain to right now, and I really need to complain.

I took Prandtl to our local dog park today because if I don’t let her run outside once in awhile, she’ll take it out on my studio apartment.  She’ll run into walls, run into me, and tackle my poor 12 year old cat, Lucy.  She’ll bark at anything that moves.  She’ll bounce around until I pay attention to her… and then she’ll bounce around at me.  And if I don’t pay attention to her when she’s in these squirrely moods, she’ll run up behind me full speed, take a big leap that puts her head shoulder level, and nip at a bit of my shirt as she flies by.  In a nutshell, she is annoying unless she gets enough exercise.  And I’m sure that’s true with any dog — I just happen to have one of those “high energy” types.

Anytime we’re outdoors (or indoors when she’s not amped up on excess energy), she behaves perfectly.  Her recall is fantastic, and she’ll stop on a dime if I call her to come back to me.  If she’s playing chase with another dog and she runs too far away, she will stop in the middle of the game if I call her.  The best part is she typically won’t wander too far away from me in the first place.  I don’t have to keep an eye on her because she keeps an eye on me. 

And let me make this very clear: It Took Training To Get Her That Way.

So today when I took Prandtl to the dog park to play, she found a poodle to run around with.  They played chase for awhile, and then a pitbull joined in the fun.  At this point I got a little uncomfortable because my dog is usually the fastest and therefore the one being chased, and because she’s so small the bigger dogs (like the pitbull and poodle) tend to run her over.  But her tail was still wagging and she still had a stupid, happy look on her face so I let it go.

Fast forward to a few minutes later, and the pitbull and poodle are barking directly into her face and nipping at her.  They’re running around her like they’re going to attack her or something, and when she tries to run away they chase her, trample her, and bite at her.  Prandtl tries to sit on the ground to tell them she doesn’t want to play, but they bark and nip.  And every dog is baring their teeth and poor Prandtl is letting out little high pitched barks and doing her best to defend herself because she’s not much of a fighter. 

When it comes to dogs playing too rough, I do my best to get Prandtl out of the situation.  I will walk away from the owners of the dogs, call her over, and the other dogs’ respective owners will do the same.  All of the dogs will be seperated, and everyone is happy.  But today’s dogs were not well trained and did not listen to their owners, so suddenly there were two dogs that were getting more and more aggressive towards mine, and all kinds of people yelling out names that weren’t really having any kind of effect.  I would call Prandtl’s name, but that would cause her to run for me which would just make things worse – she was just chased, trampled, and bitten some more. 

Prandtl somehow got to me, and I grabbed her collar and sat her down.  The other owners came running over to grab their dogs, but they couldn’t grab a hold of them so I just kind of sat there… hoping to God I wouldn’t get bitten… while nobody else could get control over their animals.  And while I admit that putting my hand on Prandtl’s collar was probably a stupid move from a safety standpoint, I didn’t know what else to do.  Nobody else seemed to be doing anything.

Anyway, this whole situation probably lasted about 5 minutes.  We seperated our dogs and went to different parts of the dog park.  Prandtl and I ended up running into the poodle again, and they played fine for awhile.  I was hoping that it was the pitbull that escalated the first “situation”, but next thing I know the poodle is harassing my dog again.  Since it was only one dog instead of two this time and I was already very cautious regarding that dog, I got that situation under control very quickly, but the woman still couldn’t get her dog to listen or get it onto a leash.  And so I put Prandtl on her leash and left the dog park because I didn’t want to deal with another poorly trained dog.  Then we went home.

I was okay with the dogs picking on Prandtl.  It happens, they are dogs, and I expect it to occur once in awhile at a dog park.  But what drives me crazy is when people bring dogs to the dog park that they don’t have under control.  Every dog park in this area has a requirement stating that dogs must have a reliable recall, and it’s for reasons like this.  This whole thing could have been avoided very easily, but instead I almost got my arm bit off by a pitbull.

The part that really has me fuming is that I have put in the time to have a well behaved dog.  Prandtl did nothing wrong at the dog park and she did exactly as I told her.  She came when I called her and sat when I told her to sit.  And yet we were the ones that had to leave.  I basically punished my dog for being obedient while the other dogs are being rewarded for disobedience.  It’s a terrible cycle that I don’t really know how to stop.  I need to take care of my dog, and letting her stay there in a potentially dangerous situation is not taking care of her.  I certainly told the woman that she should think about not returning to a dog park with a dog that isn’t under her control, but she just gave me some “She’s usually not like this” excuse.  And I wanted to slap her.

Anyway, sorry for this long, frantically written post. 

But the worst part is that even if I were to go to a different dog park, people still bring disobedient dogs.  There’s not much else I can do outside of buying a house with a huge yard for Prandtl to play in… but I don’t really have $100,000 laying around.


**Imagine all of that running… inside… constantly

my animals are too furry

January 10, 2010

After a trip to Minnehaha Falls and after a short grocery shopping trip, I decided to do some cleaning around the apartment today.  Living in a 700 square foot studio means that even the smallest mess can make it look like this whole place has been trashed.  And so I got out the vacuum, turned it on, and started to move it around in order to pick up the salt, dirt, and pet hair that was on the floor of the apartment.

The vacuum looked like it was picking up dirt.  It also sounded like it was picking up the dirt.  The problem?  It wasn’t picking up the dirt.  Usually there is a tiny cyclone that forms inside of the vacuum, but the hair in the vacuum just sat there.  Nothing was going in.  It was time to investigate the situation.

Turns out, the hose was clogged with a huge mass of dog and cat hair.  I probably could have taken a photo of the disgusting pile of hair and dust that came out of there, but I thought it was appalling and didn’t really want to remember.  If we were to bunch it all together into a dense glob, it would probably be about the size of a cantaloupe.  A disgusting, hairy, dusty cantaloupe.  And Prandtl laid next to me, tail wagging and tongue hanging out, looking like she was proud of the havoc she had caused.

Cleaning out the vacuum was disgusting and not the way I wanted to spend part of my Sunday evening, and even though she sat there staring at me in a way that could have been construed as mocking, I was happy to have her.  She may be clingy, high maintenance, annoying, and clog my vacuum, but she’s not afraid to be herself, and I kind of respect that.  And I know it’s silly to say “I really respect my dog for _____”, but I do.  She’s not afraid to be herself.  Every time anyone has ever yelled at me for shedding (I have very thick hair and tend to leave it everywhere), I have been slightly embarrassed.  What does Prandtl do?  Just watch me clean it up.

I am always in awe of dogs because people love them for the way they are and dogs don’t have to pretend to be something that they’re not.  Everyday we work to impress the people around us through our appearance, actions, and way of speaking.  We work to impress people that we don’t know and are polite to people that we don’t even like.  When my dog doesn’t like someone, she barks and growls.  She prances in peoples’ way when we’re taking a walk because she wants to look at them.  If someone wants to pet her and she’s not really into it, she runs away and barks at them under her breath from a distance.  She’s a little bitch to everyone, but everyone still wants to love on her.  Nobody cares because, after all, she is just a dog.

But I suppose she’s also so lovable because she’s so cute.  It’s hard to say “stay away from me” to such a pretty face.  And I hate to admit it, but I love that she will do anything she can to be as close to me as possible at all times .

quickie

December 7, 2009

I got paid today! Woo hoo!! It stunk not having any money these last few weeks, but cashing in three checks at once definitely made me feel good about my bank account.

Also, I’m not going to apologize for that last post (this is my blog and I can do what I want), but I do admit it came across as a lot more melodramatic than I intended. 

I am also trying to think of something for the layout of this beast.  I did like the last one (I was proud of the banner that I had made), but it was too dark.  I like the colors of this one more, but I haven’t figured out how I want to customize it.  And I’m not in any rush.  I’d like to make another banner and throw myself into it somehow so I can feel really cool with my face plastered along the top of the page, but I need some inspiration first.

And finally, my heat hasn’t been working in my apartment, so it has been FREEZING in here.  My dog was shivering out in the cold a few days ago, so I bought her a cute pink coat.  It has been coming in handy these last few days.  I should have gotten myself a snuggie as well. 

pumpkin bread for the soul

October 30, 2009
So let me just start this with “OH MY JEEZUS, THIS PUMPKIN BREAD TASTES AMAZING!” As I said, I bought a pumpkin at the farmers’ market so I could try to make some pumpkin bread.  I have never made pumpkin bread before, but I found what looked like a good recipe given the 2,971 great reviews and 5 stars that it had.  It was called Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread.  You can click the link to see the original recipe, but I made a few changes based on a few of the reviews, and I am going to share the final recipe that I used.

 Ingredients for Bread:

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

 Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour three 7 x 3 inch loaf pans
  2. In large bowl, mix pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, oil, applesauce, water, brown and white sugar until well blended.  In a seperate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.  Pour into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in preheated oven.  Loaves are done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I waited all day for Dan to get home with the cloves and ginger that I needed, but then I realized I had a pumpkin, not pumpkin puree.  

Pumpkin  

  Thanks to the power of the internet, I figured that out pretty quick.  There’s not too much to it.  All you do is cut the pumpkin in half, remove all of the seeds and stringy stuff, and then put each side in a pan with 1 cup of water.  Then you bake it at 350 degrees F for about 90 minutes or until the pumpkin is very melty (not really the term I want, but it’s easy to scoop out with a spoon).  Then you scrape out the insides, stick them in a blender or food processor and puree, and wala!! You have pumpkin puree. 

Pumpkin Halves 

Puree 

 After I made the pumpkin puree, I called in my assistant to help me follow the recipe and mix all of the ingredients together.  She did a great job… watching from the floor… but she was especially helpful during cleanup.

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So all of the ingredients were mixed per the instructions and the batter looked and smelled delicious!  I admit that I had a small taste of it before it was in the oven — I couldn’t help it.  I had to keep the bread in the oven for longer than 50 minutes, but not too much longer and it gave me time to warm up my glaze.

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I made a glaze to put on top of the pumpkin bread.  It consisted of butter, cinnamon, and lots and lots of sugar.  I had a bit of the bread when it was done, and it is 100x better with a glaze than without.  My glaze was pretty crappy since I don’t really know how to make it and I didn’t take the time to look it up, but even though it was chunky, it still did the job.  Next time I’ll probably put a little more effort into it.

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The recipe made three loaves, and a lot of the reviews said that they froze very well.  I plan on sending Dan to U of M with one of the loaves, freezing one of them, and then we will continue picking at the one that we have already eaten over half of.  I’m assuming it will be gone by tomorrow afternoon.

Anyway, in conclusion, this is the best pumpkin bread I have ever had in my life.  It has to be.  I mean, I just stayed up until 2:15am ranting and raving about it.

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the lucy – prandtl showdown

October 19, 2009

Prandtl was egging Lucy on today, and I wanted to see what would happen.  She does it all of the time, and I wanted to see her learn her lesson.  I caught it on video and made this silly movie out of it.  Enjoy.

the best sleep in months

October 14, 2009

I just want to say that the bed that I bought yesterday was fabulous to sleep in. 

Fabulous.

I slept until 10:30am to find that the dog  (Prandtl) was at the end of the bed sleeping by my feet.  I didn’t even know she was up there until she got up and jumped off because I kicked her or something.  She’s not supposed to be on the bed and I probably should have told her “no”, but I was too excited.  With the old bed, she wouldn’t have been able to do it because that *SQUEAK* noise wakes me up.

Maybe her wild night of sleeping-on-the-bed shenanigans was too much for her to handle, because she passed out today with her toys all around her.  What a weirdo. 

Prandtl after what looks like a busy day
Prandtl after what looks like a busy day