Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Boy and His Dog

Last week Winston and Bogey had their first meeting with Baby Henry.

Bogey and Henry. Meh...

Winston and Henry, love at first sight.

A Boy and His Dog. Book and movie rights currently being negotiated.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Time's a-Wastin'!

If there's one thing I have really mastered since retirement, it's wasting time.

If I'm not adopting a new puppy, I'm orchestrating a brand new home remodeling project or browsing at the mall because it's so much better to be there when everyone else is at work. Not to mention how frequently the car is pointed to my daughter's house so Grandma can have a little cuddle time with Baby Henry.

As if all that wasn't enough, I broke down and bought myself another time waster.

Yes, I have a coloring book. The drawings are beautifully intricate, microscopically tiny, and take an eon or so to color. I've spent hours on the first page and still have most of the second page to go.

I do try to keep this new diversion as something to piddle with only when I'm sitting in front of the television, so it's extra slow going. In fact, at the rate I'm coloring, all the pages won't be finished until I'm at least 237 years dog years.

Speaking of dogs, I have not forgotten about Winston. Here's another acquisition designed to keep him from diving off the bed like a Labrador after a duck.

Winston has developed some gimpyness in his little bow-legged front legs, so we're keeping an eye on him. Hopefully the stairs will help prevent any further stress.

Tic-tock goes the clock.

Have you been wasting time, too?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gone Waterloggy

I love all things artsy. About a week ago I broke down and bought myself a coloring book. The book is intricate and has fulfilled the main reason I resisted getting one...i.e. it's time consuming. I'll show you my efforts another day.

Here's something that's much faster to do and a lot of fun. I bought an app called Waterlogue. It takes any picture and turns it into a water color painting. In about 5 seconds! Wouldn't Monet be jealous?

I think it does best with landscapes and still life settings but I can't resist using it on critters and people. Here are some samples.

Winston on the day I adopted him.

Winston after his first groom.

As you know, I have an adorable new baby grandson, Henry. He has the sweetest smile.

No need for plastic surgery when you have Waterlogue. Here's my blog photo after a quick beauty treatment. Farewell lines, sags and wrinkles!

As you can see, I've been having fun with this app. What would you like to Waterlogue?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Geese Herder

There's a lake behind our house. Geese love lakes. Therefore, we've been having a few problems with some large feathered birds at our house.

Apparently some of the flock decided it would be a swell idea to hang out in the far end our yard. No, nope, uh-uh. For one thing, this means poo everywhere, since geese do their duty approximately once every 60 seconds. For another thing, Winston believes goose poo is a delicious delicacy arranged for his personal enjoyment. Yuck.

To make matters worse, two of the birds actually came strolling up to the back door and rooted around in plantings right next to the house. Apparently this signifies their readiness to move in, build a nest, and have a plethora of little geese. Geese become quite aggressive and will attack anyone if they have babies to protect. Not to be uncharitable, but I refuse to be held hostage by birds in my own yard. After all, this isn't a Hitchcock story.

So first I tried going out and shooing them away. The birds would casually waddle out of range and then return the second I went inside. Next I tried making loud noises. No dice. Then I swished cellophane paper in the air. Same result. We were obviously at war, and the geese were winning.

I consulted the internet for suggestions. Apparently the best method to keep geese away is by using a herding dog such as a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd. I had a talk with Winston and we decided to try the goose herding business. He runs to the end of his lead and the geese stroll away. Since Winston stayed outside longer than I could do, the geese apparently decided to avoid further annoyance by moving into a yard three houses away.

Winston may be smaller than even the tiniest goose, but in my book he's an honorary border collie.

After all, it's not the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's a Weekend of Firsts!

What fun to have a weekend of firsts!

Tomorrow will be our new baby grandson's first Easter! Today Henry had a visit with the Easter bunny. He wasn't a bit upset at being held by a gigantic rabbit with scary looking deep-set eyes.

Of course, he is only five weeks old, and his vision isn't as strong yet as it will be when he's a bit older. I suspect next year's visit with the Easter bunny may not run quite so smoothly.

Speaking of scary looking bunnies, take a look at a few old photos I found. No wonder the children are petrified.

Of course, it's Winston's first Easter, too, but no bunny pictures for him. Hey, I'm still trying to help him realize every man he sees is not a potential ax murderer. If a giant rabbit got hold of him it might set his training back for months.

However you celebrate the day, we hope you avoid the scary bunnies and have a wonderful Easter!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Has Sprung (Sort of)

What happened to Spring?

The flowers have pushed from the earth, blossoms bedeck the trees, and we've got snow on the ground. Yes, snowflakes big as silver dollars are back to say hello. Winston is confused, but then again he's only five months old and still learning about the strange world he lives in.

Welcome to Missouri, Winston. You've been born into one of the few states where it's routine to wear a tank top and a down-filled parka within the same week.

Since today is Sunday, I'd suggest sipping a cup of hot chocolate while you read a book, work on a project, or watch that movie you've been thinking about. Our snowy day won't last long.

On Tuesday, the temperature is predicted to be over 70 degrees.

Happy first day of Spring!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Game Designer

Winston has created a new game. He should probably patent it since playing never gets old. In case your dog is bored and looking for something to do, here are the rules:

  • Give the dog a tennis ball
  • Let him push it as far as it will go under any piece of furniture
  • Next he will bark hysterically without stopping until someone gets it out 
  • Repeat
  • Repeat
  • Repeat, etc.

The only thing that stops Winston from playing this game is when a mysterious force causes the tennis ball to completely disappear.

From my experience, the only ones who truly enjoy playing are dogs. Thus I fear there would be some issues with marketing to a canine target audience for one important reason.

Dogs don't carry credit cards (thank goodness!).

Friday, March 4, 2016


Okay, I can't help myself. Here's a picture of my brand new, beautiful grandson at 6 days old!

Lucky me got to be there for Henry's newborn pictures, a very interesting process. The photographer reminded me of a Baby Whisperer. At any sign of fussing, she'd touch his face and make a breathy, whistling sound. Suddenly he'd become cooperative as could be.

As you may guess, Henry's Mama and Daddy like golf just the tiniest little bit.

Winston met Henry last week. Winston enthusiastically licked the top of Henry's head, but Henry didn't even open an eye. Perhaps someday they'll become the best of pals.

I like Henry. And snow. I also like snow.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Forgetful Mom

Last week was quite eventful for Winston. He had his "tutor" appointment with the vet, started puppy kindergarten, and went to puppy day care.

Yes, puppy day care. I dropped him off to the deafening barks that I'm sure greet any newcomer. The other pups were merely extending generous and helpful doggy greetings. At least that's what I hoped. 

Miss Puppy Day Care Attendant took Winston to an area reserved for the tiniest students. 

He met two of his fellow classmates and introductory sniffs abounded. Winston was not amused. 

Me hanging around wasn't helping the situation, so I took one final, pitiful picture and left.

Hey Mom, wait! Please come back. You forgot me! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Meet Henrik!

This has been a week to remember. After nine long months and 24+ hours of labor, we finally got to meet our very first grand-baby.

This is Henrik (AKA Henry)! At 8 pounds, 4 ounces, he wasn't as small as the doctor predicted, and came about a week earlier than Daughter's due date. I see this as a good thing. After all, delivering a 9 pound baby would have been a tad more difficult. 

This is such a hopeful, happy time for our family. There's been a parade of grandparents, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, cousins, and friends coming by to admire him. We are all ecstatic. 

Let the spoiling begin.