Saturday, March 27, 2010

Someone's Been Playing With My Camera

While uploading the Guadalupe tee shirt pix from my camera, I noticed that there were some pix on the memory card that I did not take.

Apparently Ariana helped herself to my camera and took this pic of Joe and Kane 2 weeks ago.

Aren't they a nice pair?

Queen of Mexico, Empress of the World

Ariana and I visited the flea market on Clovis Road early this afternoon.

And that's where I found this cool tee shirt of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

It's a great looking tee shirt. But golly, once again I got another black tee shirt.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chasing Tumbleweeds

It was a gorgeous day today with temps in the low 80s.

But with sustained gale-force winds, it was not the best day for throwing a Frisbee.

However, it was a great day for chasing tumbleweeds.

Oh goodie! Finally caught one!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's a Dog Party!

Today was truly a fine day at the athletic complex for Kane.

Suzanne was back with her two golden retrievers, Ruby and Stetson, and her future daughter-in-law's Newfie. Joining her there was her friend Terry, who brought with her a car load of pooches.

With 8 dogs there, we had a dog party at the athletic complex.

Here's Kane with his big Newfie pal and two of his new friends, a portly King Charles Cavalier spaniel and this black cocker spaniel.

Suzanne and Terry are trying to round up the pooches for a group shot.

They may not be all sitting pretty, but at least all the doggies are in the picture.

Minutes later, the dog party expanded to include 3 more dogs. A nice gentleman named Leonard brought his three shelties.

What a party!

What fun for all the dogs!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Romp In the Grass

Yesterday was Saturday. And that meant that the Berl Huffman Athletic Complex was going to be filled with people playing and watching soccer. As such, it was not going to be a good place to take Kane.

So instead, we went to our other favorite place, the Outdoor Learning Center at Mackenzie Park.

It was a sunny day, but because of the snow that we had 2 days earlier, the temps were still a bit on the chilly side.

Of course, chilly temps were no hindrance to Kane.

Because winter was still trying to maintain its grip, the landscape was still in barren shades of brown and grey - that is except for this one grassy spot. Here the grass was tall. And Kane had a blast romping through the grass.

A New Place to Play

Last Monday we had a steady rain all day. And despite the rain, Kane still needed his exercise.

We drove to our usual spot - the Outdoor Learning Center at Mackenzie Park. However, when we got there, it was clearly obvious that this was not going to be a suitable pace for Kane to run around and burn off some of his puppy energy.

The rain that we had all day was enough to turn the park into a lake. Not only that, the causeway was totally submerged. There was no way that I was going to be able to cross it with my low rider 2-door sports coupe. And even if I could cross it, what good would it have done me? I would have been wading in at least knee-deep water.

So, we had to find another place for Kane to run.

I remembered seeing the Berl Huffman Athletic Complex on my last trip to the Lubbock Lake Landmark. It was a large wide open area. Even the parking lot was huge.

So off we went to the athletic complex with its 45 soccer fields and 4 soft ball fields.

Kane had a wonderful time exploring the new grounds, sniffing new smells, and running through puddles. He even managed to go under the barbed wire fence - sticking himself in 2 spots along his back - to explore part of the Lubbock Lake Landmark.

He was a happy dog.

However, my happiness was inversely proportional to his. The weather was cold, wet, and miserable. And after 45 minutes of being soaked through to the bone and chilled by the stiff high plains wind, I decided to call it quits.

But being impressed by all that wide open space, I decided to include the athletic complex in Kane's future romps.

It was a great place for a dog to run loose. Not only was it spacious, it was flat. There were few dubious edibles to get into. It was deserted for the most part. And on a couple of occasions, Kane met other dogs who came out their with their humans with the same intention in mind.

Another thing that made the athletic complex very attractive was that it was a great place to toss a Frisbee.

The Berl Huffman Athletic Complex is now our primary place for doggie fun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fun In the Park

Each day brings new pleasures and new discoveries at the Outdoor Learning Center at Mackenzie park.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this blue heron up in a tree. (I wish I could have gotten a better pic, but all I had was the camera on my phone and not my Nikon.)

There are prairie dog fields throughout the park. And sometimes you can get fairly close to one of those critters as it sticks its head out of its burrow, chattering and twitching its tail away.

(It's the prairie dog holes that made me give up chucking tennis balls for Kane to chase. Whenever a ball landed near a prairie dog hole, Kane would push the ball with his nose into the hole and watch roll down. Because of that, Kane now chases Frisbees. They're too big to fit down prairie dog holes.)

There's also a playground there.

And one thing that Kane likes more than playgrounds is playing with little kids. He is such a love bug that he adores everyone, especially children.

Today was an amazingly glorious day with bright blue, sunny skies and temps in the low 70s.

And no matter how many times we have been to this park, there are always new places to discover

and to explore.

These big wood chip piles were a pile of fun for Kane.

And they certainly made it easier for me to get a decent pic of him.

Look how big Kane has gotten. And just think, he's only 6 months old and still has a lot more growing to do.

With the warmer weather, there have been more people

and more dogs at the park. For the most part, the dogs have been friendly.

Kane hit it off really well with this portly Weimaraner named Chance. They both had fun chasing each other and running after Frisbees.

He's also had fun running through the river mud and emerging with black legs and a black underbelly. And on days when he did that, my car smelled like a ripe old swamp.

Thank God today a "Chance" meeting distracted him from the river mud.

Where There's a Hook, There's a Way

At 6 months of age, weighing over 40 pounds, and filled with boundless bouncing-off-the-wall energy, Kane is a handful. And he's more than a handful in the car.

Driving him to the park each day is an exercise in multi-tasking in trying to keep his wet nose out of the eye that's supposed to be on the road.

And when there is a passenger in the car, Kane is even worse.

It was obvious that Kane is a safety hazard while driving.

The most perfect solution would be to get get a doggie vehicle barrier to make sure that Kane does not distract the driver and cause an accident (or "wreck," as they like to say here in Texas).

I saw just the right barrier on Amazon - the ZooKeeper.

If it weren't for our current financial straits, I would have ordered it in a heartbeat. But with several thousands of dollars of medical bills that still need to be paid, spending $79.99 was out of the question.

Since necessity is the mother of invention, I had to start inventing.

Where to start?

I didn't have the rigid metal tubing to create a doggie vehicle barrier like the ZooKeeper, but I did have a big-ass (another Texas expression) crochet hook, and some cord. So I was going to crochet a dog barrier net.

I started out with parachute cord, which is rather tough and durable. But unfortunately I ran out of it before the barrier net got to the proper size. However, I still had some hemp cord kicking around.

Now hemp cord would not have been a first, or second, choice with me. Sure it doesn't rot when it gets wet, but it sheds like hell. By the time I was done, my black pants were covered with tiny hemp fibers.

I installed the net this afternoon.

To install it, I had to remove the headrests and then insert the posts of the headrests through the holes in the net before inserting them back into the chair. Then taking some spare cord, I looped it through the bottom of the net and attached it to the bottoms of the front seats.

We were ready to roll.

I put the pup in the back seat, and then realized that I left my cell phone back in the apartment. (After all, I can't go anywhere without my cell phone. LOL) In the short time that it took me to get my cell phone, there was Kane, sitting in the driver's seat.

Apparently, the doggie vehicle barrier net was not 100% pooch-proof.

That fact was reaffirmed during the few times that Kane tried to get into the front seat while I was driving to and from the park. (However, it was easier to get him back into the back seat when he tried to come up front.)

Well, it seemed like I was going to have to do some more tweaking on positioning the barrier net.

I had a plan.

After we got home, I uninstalled the net, and then reinstalled it by having the net drape over the front of the seats. With that, I flipped the net over the headrests, and proceeded to tie it down like before.

Using some extra cord, I ran one piece through the top of the barrier to create tension which would help increase the height of the barrier.

The other piece of spare cord was used to close up the hole that Kane chewed in the hemp netting. (Another reason why I would have preferred not to use hemp.)

It's too bad that I did not have black cord, as that would have coordinated better with the color of the car seats instead of sticking out like a glaring neon sign.

Tomorrow the doggie vehicle barrier net goes for another test drive.

Of all the projects I've crocheted, this has got to be the ugliest. But at least it's one of the most practical.

After all, necessity is the mother of invention, and where there's a hook, there's a way.