New hound

Aug. 29th, 2017 06:40 am
hudebnik: (Default)
New dog slept in crate in bedroom (as opposed to crate in dining room, previous night), and there was minimal whistling and crying. It's a wire crate, and she seemed alarmed looking up at the ceiling fan, so I put a blanket over the top so she couldn't see the ceiling fan, and she seemed happier. She hasn't learned to climb stairs yet (beyond the three or four at the front door of the house), so I had to carry her up to the bedroom.

New hound

Aug. 28th, 2017 08:09 am
hudebnik: (Default)
Yesterday we went to a Greyhound Friends New Jersey adoption event and came home with... Miss Bailey, a beautiful red brindle two-year-old female. The car ride home was uneventful -- no snarling or quarreling between the two hounds in the back -- albeit longer than expected due to traffic. And by and large, Moongrrl has been remarkably patient with this new, young interloper.

When we first started adopting greyhounds, we were advised that they feel most secure in a crate or kennel, and will probably want to retreat there. After six other greyhounds, Bailey is the first one for whom that's been true: as soon as I assembled the Vari-Kennel in the dining room, she walked in and curled up inside. Haven't been able to get her to eat in the kitchen, but if I put the food dish just in front of the crate, she's willing to step outside with her front two feet to eat. At bedtime, I closed the crate door (so she didn't get out in the middle of the night and damage herself or something else), and she was fine until about a bout of crying around 4:30 AM. I came downstairs, opened the crate door, scritched her a bit, and went to sleep on the couch, and she was fine. We'll try to expand her horizons gradually, teach her to climb stairs, and eventually get the Vari-Kennel out of the dining room once she feels secure enough in the house.

Bailey seems jumpy about loud noises. Which could be a problem: we're in a fairly quiet residential neighborhood, but it is New York City, and noises happen. Lo que será, será.


Aug. 19th, 2015 11:22 am
hudebnik: (devil duck)
Shortly after we moved to this house, we found a lady ("A") with a greyhound living a few blocks away, and ours enjoyed meeting and sniffing hers. That greyhound died a few years later and A got another one, a white girl with black ticking named Dottie. Within a month after Dottie's arrival, she was attacked and seriously injured by the dog across the street, leaving her traumatized -- hesitant to meet humans, and hair-trigger hostile towards other dogs.

So imagine my surprise when, walking the dogs this morning, I saw A and Dottie across the street, and Dottie started play-bowing at us! I crossed the street, with our dogs on very short leashes, offered Dottie my hand (she was OK with that), whereupon Sharkboi and Dottie play-bowed at one another for a few seconds. Moongrrl wanted to sniff Dottie's rump, but I know Dottie doesn't like being sniffed, so I kept her at a safe distance, and Moongrrl settled for accepting some scritches from A.
hudebnik: (devil duck)
Cut for pictures )

I hope that was enlightening and entertaining....
hudebnik: (devil duck)
The hounds seem to have enjoyed the SCA business meeting Friday night: there were lots of new people to sniff, most of whom scritched them and told them they were beautiful and well-behaved. And I thought that was that...

Saturday night [ profile] shalmestere was sitting on the couch folding laundry while watching old Saturday Night Live sketches. In one of the sketches, a doorbell rang -- and both hounds jumped off their beds, woofed, and headed for the door. They've never done this before, but the next time a doorbell rang on the TV, they did it again.

I guess we now have watchdogs, who will let us know if a burglar is so considerate as to ring the doorbell before coming in.

dog stuff

Jan. 8th, 2012 09:39 am
hudebnik: (Default)
Yesterday morning I took the Things to the dog run. Since this dog run isn't in convenient walking distance, I think this was the first time I've been there since Next New Thing arrived at the end of August. Sometimes in the past we've been the only ones there, or there have been one or two other dogs, but this time there were half a dozen other dogs, including another (four-year-old) greyhound. I talked to the kid with the greyhound, and he said he had another one at home, then said "Hang on; I'll be back in a minute," as he took the four-year-old home (a few blocks away) and brought back the ten-year-old female.

Here's Thing Two with his new girlfriend.

There were also a couple of pit-bulls and lab-pit-bull-crosses who were young enough and energetic enough to give Next New Thing something to chase:

Of course, the problem with a greyhound chasing a non-greyhound is that the chase doesn't last very long. I tried to explain to Next New Thing that he would have more fun chasing other dogs if he gave them a chance to get away from the fence first....

Snow day

Jan. 27th, 2011 08:18 am
hudebnik: (Default)
So we got about 4" of snow yesterday morning, then it stopped for enough hours that I could shovel the front steps and walk. Then around 8 PM it started again. By 11 PM, when we took the dogs for their bedtime walk, there were a few more inches on the ground and the air was thick with rapidly-falling snow. This morning I measured 11" on the front walk, for a total of 15" in the last 24 hours (which matches the City's report of snowfall in Central Park). [ profile] shalmestere's employer and mine are both closed for the day.

Oh, and it's my birthday.

We had an appointment to take Thing Two to the vet this afternoon, but I don't think that'll happen.

It's a gorgeous day. Maybe we'll go sledding in the park.
hudebnik: (Default)
It's not a lot of snow, but as I was driving to the grocery and the bank this morning, I saw a fair amount of skidding, and there were several occasions that my car came to a stop a foot or more away from where I had planned to come to a stop, and/or not quite pointing in the direction I had planned to be pointing. The van I was following for much of the way (probably rear-wheel-drive, and I suspect unladen) was all over the road. I ♥ anti-lock brakes and all-wheel drive.... On the bright side, both Trader Joe's and the bank were Not Crowded.

Got home without actual mishap and took the Things for a walk. Thing Two pointed out that on a day like this, we should totally go to the park, so we did. It was beautiful, with an inch or two of fresh (and still-falling) snow. I didn't have the camera with me, so the only photos I got are iPhone-quality, but I'll try to post them soon.

Now back to writing a book....
hudebnik: (Default)
Christmas eve lunch: leftover roasted green beans, leftover carrot slaw, leftover creamed spinach, leftover fire-eater chicken, leftover beef-broccoli stir-fry (which in turn had been made with leftover beef tenderloin)

Took the Things for a long walk in the park. Have I mentioned that I really like having a square mile of wooded park, a block and a half from home? Weather was gorgeous, the snow-filled woods are gorgeous, Things and [ profile] shalmestere are gorgeous, etc.

Christmas eve dinner: two-inch-thick venison chops (from the Greenmarket), pan-fried and topped with gin-juniper-balsamic reduction sauce; a side dish of sauteed leeks (from the Greenmarket) and mushrooms (from the Greenmarket) with poudre fort; and a side dish of baby potatoes (from the Greenmarket) roasted in duck fat (left over from last year's Christmas or New Year's dinner).

After dinner, I dug out the car (half of last week's foot of snow had already melted, so this wasn't an enormous job), changed clothes, and we drove to the Cathedral for midnight mass. Got home around 1 AM, walked the Things, went to bed and didn't get up until the next morning...

We made aebleskiver/poffertjes for breakfast, filled variously with chocolate pastilles, jelly, bacon buttercrunch, and chocolate-covered ginger. Yum. Ate these on the couch while opening prezzies, of which a large fraction were various kinds of chocolate: blood-orange dark chocolate bars, chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds, Trinidads from Indiana, chocolate-pecan-bourbon balls from Kentucky, firecracker bars with capsaicin and pop-rocks, sugar-free "Mayan spice" chocolate bars, and I don't remember what else. Perhaps the Kewlest gift (potentially; I haven't actually delved into it yet) was a four-DVD set of family stories, old photographs and videos from my mother's side of the family.

The present-opening part of Christmas is often more fun when there's a small child involved: their excitement is infectious. (Of course, so is their crankiness when they're sleep-deprived and don't get what they want....) Conveniently, Thing Two does an excellent impression of a small child: every time a gift came out from under the tree, he was there on the spot, convinced that it must be for him. We did not give him any of the numerous chocolates, but we do have a photo of him wearing [ profile] shalmestere's scarf and my hat, both knitted by [ profile] marchforth2.

Anyway, after that episode, we took the Things for another long walk in the snow-filled woods. The weather was cloudier than yesterday, but the woods are still beautiful.

Christmas afternoon dinner: a pheasant from the Greenmarket, stuffed with apple and onion, with thyme-sage-chive butter rubbed under the skin of the breast to keep it moist, and roast. Armored turnips: we didn't have enough Cheddar in the house (and Cheddar didn't exist in the 15th century anyway), so I supplemented it with Brie, which made it nice and creamy. Brussels sprouts (from the Greenmarket), halved, caramelized in a frying pan with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then roasted in the oven. Russian Cream topped with strawberry-Grand Marnier puree.
hudebnik: (Default)
I am thankful...

  • for walks in the park on a beautiful November day with [ profile] shalmestere and the Things

  • <arlo>for a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat</arlo>, which we cooked together

  • that [ profile] shalmestere and I, despite countless failures of communication, are still together and still trying to understand one another

  • that both [ profile] shalmestere and I have jobs which

    • we believe in, i.e. the world is better with somebody doing this job than without;

    • pay a livable wage;

    • we're reasonably good at; and

    • we mostly enjoy.

  • that we can afford pretty much everything we need, and a fair number of things we want

  • that among all the centuries I might have been born into, I'm privileged to witness the Information Revolution (and therefore I have easy access to learn about the other centuries too, and email, and LJ, and programming languages, and...)

  • that although all four large mammals in the house have minor health issues, we have nothing serious

  • for friends and family, however eccentric

  • that I live in the US; as much as I kvetch about the way it's being run at the moment, there are many worse places I could be living

  • that I live within fifteen minutes' walk of groceries, non-blockbuster movies, doctor, dentist, vet, bike repair, library, barbers, post offices, banks, restaurants, drugstores, public transit that works, and a square mile of forest

  • (especially on Thanksgiving evening) for automatic dishwashers


Nov. 11th, 2007 07:46 pm
hudebnik: (Default)
Saturday morning [ profile] shalmestere and I headed into the city to the Chocolate Show, which has become an annual ritual for us. About a hundred different chocolatiers, mostly either so high-end or so local that only serious foodies have heard of them... giving free samples of their wares to entice you to buy them... discussing the relative merits of Madagascar Criollo vs. Venezuelan Trinitario or Colombian Forastero, and which would be most appropriate for what sort of confection... expert chefs giving lecture-demonstrations to packed houses of foodies (or just people who wanted to sit down). This year there was a surprise vendor: Mars, with its free samples of M&M's, looked really incongruous between the ultrasophisticate makers pushing lavender-and-sea-salt bonbons, cinnamon-and-chili-spiced chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, etc.

This year, also, they changed the rules and didn't stamp people's hands so they could leave for lunch and come back in. This was an unpleasant surprise to us, who had planned on doing just that. But we had arrived before the 10 AM opening, and by 2 PM we had visited most of the vendors and our eyes were crossing from sugar and theobromine. So we went out to walk off the buzz on the way to Hill Country Barbecue, which we hadn't tried before. We followed the chocolate orgy with a meat orgy, and the combined effect left us with no interest in dinner (in fact, I wasn't really hungry even the next morning).

Sunday was devoted to Home Maintenance. Thing Two had torn up the front lawn doing leash-radius donuts around [ profile] shalmestere, so we tore up, raked, and seeded the rest of it so it would look uniform, rather than like a poorly-executed alien crop circle. [ profile] shalmestere did about ninety-leven loads of laundry and scrubbed some woodwork, I did two grocery-shopping trips, cooked three meals, and washed a bunch of dishes, and we both sorted through the papers and junk that are currently piled on top of the spare bed (in which my mother will be sleeping in about 72 hours). It was a pleasant, if chilly, day, so we took the Things for a walk in the park before dinner.

As we cleared the table and put away leftovers after dinner, we heard a doleful cry from the living room. Thing Two was standing, holding his right hind leg up, and crying in pain. We couldn't see anything wrong; I massaged it and worked the joints, and in about thirty seconds he had stopped crying and was putting weight on it again. Muscle cramp, maybe... but the same thing happened (to the left hind leg, IIRC) a few days ago, and we're having horrified flashbacks to Thing Negative One, who yelped inexplicably whenever he turned over for months before abruptly becoming paraplegic due to an undiagnosed tumor on his spinal column.
hudebnik: (Default)
Oct. 4:
We're in a motel room at Dewey Beach. The weather has been foggy since we arrived at 11:30 last night; one can only see about a hundred feet out to sea, which makes one wonder whether the world actually continues past there. As [ profile] shalmestere put it, it feels like being in a giant snow-globe. But it hasn't been too hot, too cold, too sunny, or too wet to go on several walks on the beach with the Things, or to walk up and down the main street visiting vendors of greyhound-related paraphernalia.

We had take-out cheese steaks for dinner in the motel room and turned on the TV, which afforded us an interesting glimpse of "how the other half lives." There was a local news story with the headline "Two pit bulls attack and kill owner". The anchorwoman, in dialogue with the reporter on the scene, elicited the information that a woman who had raised the two dogs from pups took out the trash, and when her son didn't see her return as soon as he expected, he looked outside and saw her dead body. "What did she die of?" "Being mauled by the dogs, of course -- there were extensive cuts and lacerations all over her upper body." "Had these dogs previously attacked anyone?" "No, the police report no previous complaints about this address, and the neighbors say they've never seen these dogs attack anyone." Which was starting to sound a little odd to me, but never mind.

The anchorwoman then broke away from the reporter on the scene to interview several "expert talking heads". "So, outlawing pit-bull ownership -- good idea?" The first "expert" replied "Absolutely. It isn't just pit bulls attacking people; worse yet, it's pit bulls attacking children. How long will it take, how many children have to be hurt or killed, before we take this obvious step to protect our children and also our people?" The second "expert" said something similar, and (I think) kvetched that the first hadn't gone far enough. The third "expert" said "Well, I've said it before: there are no bad dogs, only bad owners." The anchorwoman got a disgusted, "how stupid IS this guy?" look on her face, and interrupted "So it's the dead woman's fault?" "No, I didn't say it was her fault, but if we outlaw pit bulls, what's next? Outlawing Rottweilers? Doberman pinschers? German shepherds?" As he said this, the anchorwoman's face was replaced with a window of statistics: "pit bulls are responsible for 32% of all dog attacks", and so on. The anchorwoman returned and argued with him for a few sentences, then switched to her fourth "expert", who explained "There's some research that pit bulls have something in common with psychopathic killers..." "Wait a minute. Are you drawing an analogy between pit bulls and serial killers?" "Yes, in a manner of speaking. Many psychopaths are perfectly safe as long as they're the center of attention, but when they're not..." "Thank you, I've always respected you and your opinions -- until today." The anchor then went on to a fifth "expert" to ask "Are there other places that have already outlawed pit bulls?" He listed half a dozen towns and cities around the country that had done so; neither the anchor nor the "expert" said anything about how well it had worked.

Is this really called journalism? There was no time for followup or reasoned discussion, nobody seriously questioned whether the dogs HAD killed this woman, nobody pointed out the difficulty of enforcing such a law (what if you have a pit bull/black labrador cross? Is it half illegal? What about one quarter pit bull, or three quarters pit bull, or a stray mutt who looks sorta like a pit bull but you don't know its ancestry so you can't tell for sure?), nobody drew analogies to humans (if a black man commits a murder, do we outlaw blacks living in our town? After all, blacks are disproportionately involved in violent crimes. If a white man commits stock fraud, do we outlaw whites working in the financial sector? After all, whites are disproportionately involved in financial crimes.) And the one voice that opposed such a law was ridiculed, interrupted, argued with, and made to look like a fuzzy-brained liberal intellectual; of the three or four in favor of such a law, one was insulted (I guess to make the anchor look unbiased) in a way that didn't make any sense, and the others were left to speak their pieces uninterrupted.

Anyway, we changed the channel and watched "Goblet of Fire", which the front desk of the motel was playing from DVD over the in-house channel.

Friday morning's weather was similar, but despite the short range of visibility, we saw dozens of dolphins swimming along the shore, less than a hundred yards out (the beach is quite steep this year, so the water gets deep before one has gone very far). The sun came out, sorta, on Friday afternoon. More walks on the beach with the Things, and we were able to go swimming. The water was warm and pleasant, which I suppose is the up side of a remarkably warm and dry autumn.

Saturday and Sunday were gorgeous: clear blue skies with the occasional puffy white cloud, temperatures in the 80's. Went swimming several more times, walked on the beach a lot with the Things (the limiting factor being Thing One getting tired, although we can't see anything actually wrong with him).


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