So: 3-day Guinness celebration

Let Guinness eat cake -- it's his birthday!

Let Guinness eat cake — it’s his birthday!

(WARNING: this post is pretty much all gratuitous dog photos with a little bit of garden and DIY commentary thrown in just for good measure. If you’re not a fan of my dog discussions, you may want to skip this one. It’s been very canine-focused around here for the past week.)

St. Patrick’s Day is a rather big deal in North America, so it’s only fitting that we gave Guinness, a great big black lab, a day of massive celebration for his made-up birthday. Guinness was a stray so we don’t really know what he thinks of the name we gave him, but we know he’s appreciated the three days of celebration he’s had in 2014.

First, on Saturday, the Gs all got a delicious buffalo shin each for their chewing delight.

We were hoping to distract them from being a little sad since their new pal Lacey went to her real foster situation on Saturday afternoon. We all really enjoyed having Lacey around. She was a wonderful houseguest and a super sweet dog that will make her new family very happy.

Once she warmed up to having four larger dogs sniffing her and trying to get her to play, Lacey enjoyed being around everyone. She was great on the leash too, which was surprising for a street dog. She tried really hard to fit in and even slept next to the Gs when we all were watching tv in the office. She loved her crate and went in it on her own (probably to escape Gidget).

Guinness especially enjoyed having a new lady friend. He was quite smitten with her.

A few photos of Lacey during her stay at the Mortroski Midcentury Doggie Bed & Breakfast:

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pre-bath: Lacey was a real trooper and once she got in the shower seemed to enjoy soap and hot water, but she loved the fluffy towels the best. Her new family will be thrilled with her bath time manners and fast drying time.

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We weren’t sure how Lacey would get along with fellow former street dog Gidget, but once they got to know each other, the girls enjoyed each other’s company

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being too big to be a lap dog didn’t stop Lacey from wanting to be held — or wanting to sit in chairs with people before they had their coffee

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Lacey was great in the car and was pretty chilled out as we headed to Take Me Home Pet Rescue, the group that found her foster

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Carpool buddies

At Take Me Home Pet Rescue, we took a last photo with Lacey (we are in our Duck Team 6 shirts):

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We all had fun together and while we were a little sad to see Lacey go, we know she’s going to be an awesome addition to another family. 

Well, with Lacey gone to her new life, the Gs have had to deal with going back to “normal” at the Mortroski Midcentury. Weekends are made for DIY projects! And digging in the dirt!

This past weekend we did a bit of both. Gidget the garden dog was very curious about the dirt digging (a favorite activity of hers).

Guinness spent his time rolling in the not yet green grass (and in the part of the yard which is being turned into a patio this week):

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Guinness, post rolling (he got up covered with little bits of dead grass and dust)

So far for Urban Farm spring 2014, we’ve got sprouting mixed greens, kale, swiss chard and spinach in Raised Bed #4, radish sprouts in Stock Tank #3, three kinds of beets, green beans, and two kinds of bok choi seeds in Raised Bed #3, red velvet lettuce seeds in Stock Tank #2. I replenished the kitchen herb garden this morning (yesterday was too cold for transplants) and have my fingers crossed that we will have lovely weather from now on. This weekend I’m going to get bell pepper and jalapeño transplants in the ground. I promise food pictures as soon as there’s something more to show.

Our DIY project is to get the office/tv room and attached bathroom finished up. We have a cool panel treatment that we’re going to continue throughout the office/tv room and a wall treatment that we need to install in the bathroom. We purchased the wood and metal tracks yesterday, then cut the panels tonight. We’ll install them tomorrow and then Bruce can paint them while I’m traveling for work on Wednesday and Thursday.

In the meantime, we have some outdoor work going on and will have an expanded patio in the near future. I’m excited about adding some flowering plants in planters and maybe some fun lighting. We love being outside.

After Sunday’s wood getting and seed planting, Guinness’ second birthday treat was an extravaganza for the entire family, 4-leggeds and 2-leggeds: steak eating! Yes, it was the people’s dinner and the very spoiled Gs all got meat juice and a fair portion of meat along with a bit of their usual kibble. We don’t have red meat that often around here anymore so it was a real treat.

After we cut the panels for the office tonight (table saw! lots of saw dust! minimal cursing!), Guinness had his third treat: Peanut Mutter Bars from Three Dog Bakery. Yes, it’s a bakery for dogs. You could eat the “cake” if you wanted, but it is not sweet, even though it’s made with all sorts of good ingredients like yogurt, carob, peanut butter, whole wheat flour, etc. Guinness shared with Godiva, George and Gidget but our old man would have loved to have all the treats for himself.

We figure Guinness is now about 10 since we got him 4 years ago in January. At the time the vet figured he was 4-6 years old. We really have no idea. His chin is getting whiter and he’s got more sparkly hairs on his face, but Gidget has brought out the puppy in him and he plays like a maniac with her. Hopefully he gets to enjoy many more St. Patrick’s Day birthday parties.

 

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So: temporary houseguest

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Bruce getting ready to transport Lacey to the Mortroski Midcentury

Since yesterday there’s been a four-legged houseguest at the Mortroski Midcentury. Her name is Lacey and she’s around 2 years old. One of the families that Bruce knew through his Duck Team 6 outreach work  fell on hard times and was forced to move to a different place. Unfortunately, the place didn’t allow dogs and the family had to make a tough decision to leave Lacey behind and have Duck Team 6 find her a new home. 

So Bruce picked Lacey up last night after work. She was a little confused about the whole thing, but went willingly.

First, they went to the vet for vaccinations and a check up:

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Lacey is pretty laid back and not too worried about being at the vet and getting her shots. Guinness, Godiva, and George are like this at the vet too.

Then, when they got  to the Mortroski Midcentury, the Gs were a little overly enthusiastic and after getting poked and prodded at the vet, Lacey wanted the peace and quiet of a private crate in our laundry room. She really liked Bruce’s truck although she doesn’t have a drivers’ license.

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Lacey may look a little sad, but she’s tired from all the excitement

We humans got lots of doggie kisses and tail wags last night. She got a good night’s sleep in the borrowed crate, but was still very subdued (but hungry) this morning.

The Gs’ pal Tracy reported that Lacey was very sweet at lunch time. At that point, she was still being sequestered from the Gs.

But tonight, she greeted Bruce at the back door along with Godiva, Guinness, and George. It appears that she’s a crate escape artist and maybe spent the afternoon acquainting herself with her new friends. Or maybe the Gs felt she needed to be freed. (NOTE: Gidget is currently being crated for her own safety since she’s a naughty chewer. We are confident that she will outgrow the naughtiness soon.)

Everyone enjoyed dinner time together, except for our sensitive Godiva, who was too busy being a good hostess to eat her dinner:

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Lacey’s gotten 3 good meals and she really likes the Gs’ food.

And before everyone asks if we’re changing her name to Gracie, we’re not. We’re not upgrading to 5G because she’s an awesome dog and she’ll be perfectly adoptable. She’s sweet and gets along well with lots of dog personalities which makes her super adoptable. She’s going to be a nice addition to another family and a good friend to any pets they have. She’s about 55 lbs., 10 lbs smaller than Godiva and she’s not skinny. Bruce says she’s good on the leash since they went on a short walk this evening. She’s not food aggressive nor bothered by squirrels. And she’s got a spotted tongue like Godiva.

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what a difference 24 hours makes!

After dinner tonight, Lacey continued to make herself at home. While she spent a lot of her time outside, she’s far too comfortable inside to have never been a house dog. The Gs are all enjoying her company although everyone has gotten a little too fresh with the bum-smelling. There have been a few growls, but everyone has kept their teeth to themselves.

Since everyone is getting along and Lacey is getting well-rested, she’ll be having a bath tomorrow morning. If it’s like everything else, she’s going to be easy going and enjoy the whole process from the warm water to the fluffy towels. She’s already gone into the bathroom and checked out the shower where the bath will take place. No sweat.

Knowing the Gs, they’ll all come into the bathroom and hang out while she’s getting her bath. Gidget could already use another bath, although she had one on Sunday (white dog’s curse).

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everyone’s getting very comfortable

As an emergency foster family, we simply are a safe place for Lacey to crash on her way to another rescue group that can find her a good home. In this case, it’s Take Me Home Pet Rescue. She’s going to be with us for the next few days. But I think she might miss Bruce when she leaves:

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Lacey likes to snuggle

Lacey hopped up on her own to enjoy the comforts of the sofa with the rest of the Gs. I hope her new family is ok with dogs on the furniture.

So: good karma

I woke up on the wrong side of bed today. Bruce let me sleep in slightly so I missed the morning dog walk/bunny hunt/coyote sighting. I went off schedule. Perhaps that’s what started my not-so-great mood. Usually I’m a pretty upbeat kind of gal. Usually I can banish the blues in a minute of mind shifting. Usually listening to one of my favorite dance tunes chases away the grumpies.

But not today.

I had to bust out my serious mood fighting force: improving my karma. You see, when I’m miserably miserable and I can’t shake the disease, I make myself perform good deeds, random acts of kindness, and various little tasks that can make a big difference when they’re all done and grouped together.

First, while I was eating my salad I  wrote my love letters for the second half of March: a birthday card, a note for a kid who is having a tough time at school, a card for a man celebrating his 7 month of sobriety, a letter for a chiropractor who has recently changed careers to teaching due to MS taking away her strength. Hard to stay grumpy when you’re sending love and good vibes to four deserving people, right?

Wrong.

Today it didn’t work like it usually does.

Next, I decided that some fresh air and a change of scenery might help. So I grabbed my letters and headed out to the post office down the street. I had a small pile of things that needed to be mailed. Two birthday gifts. The letters. A package of old greeting cards to be recycled. Why would anyone want my old cards? Well, the kids at St. Jude’s Ranch want them—they make new ones out of them. You can learn all about it here. I also cheerfully made small talk with the nice postie who helped me mail all my stuff.

Again, spreading good vibes and happiness. Well, it lasted for about 10 minutes.

So back to work I went.

And finally, I decided to bring out the big guns: cleaning and decluttering. The process sucks, but once it’s done, I’m usually guaranteed a more cheerful disposition. I recycled a bunch of old paper. Filed some piles. Vanquished dust bunnies. Wiped down my desk. Put some clutter away.

It kind of worked.

I finished out my workday and headed home. The Gs were their usually tail-wagging happy selves and it’s hard to be grumbling and grouchy around them.

Still, it’s good that tomorrow is another day.

The gratuitous dog photo of the day is the subject of tomorrow’s blog:

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Lacey’s going to be staying at the Mortroski Midcentury for a little while