Posts tagged ‘dog’

A boy just needs to run

Rufus is showing up more and more in my blog. Hmm.

This weekend was absolutely beautiful – mid to high 70s on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday, we took the dogs to a huge open field to run. I don’t know who enjoyed the games of fetch more – my dog or my husband.

My favorite shot of the day - stick high in the air, Rufus mid gallop, Matt following through.

Such handsome men in my life

The girlies

April 13, 2010 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

Trying to capture the elusive Golden Doodle

I attempted, briefly to capture Rufus on camera the other day. These were the results.

April 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

Homes that are truly for the birds: how to

So the daily blogging thing comes and goes on here, as you may have noticed. Work has been crazy, life has been crazy, the house is a mess, the computer was under repair …. and to be honest, what I really needed for awhile was to disconnect from the world a bit. I love being connected. I love people. But sometimes, between Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, news feeds, Google Reader, work emails … the amount of information is overwhelming. Sometimes, I just need to disconnect for a bit and recharge.

What better timing and chance than this beautiful Easter weekend? Two full days of sun, warm temperatures, warm soil and a relatively free schedule. I buried myself in the garden, and enjoyed alfresco lunch with my long lost husband who has been overwhelmed with work and grad school. Weeding, pruning, planting herb seeds (slow bolt cilantro, three kinds of basil, dill, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, oregano, lavander), green onion bulbs and wildflowers. Building a partial fence around our back garden so the dogs can’t destroy it now that our backyard is fenced in. Where they previously ran rampant and destroyed, is now a beautiful black iron fence and even better, green things are returning to the garden! (Still much work is needed, so please only look at the fence :))

One dog was particularly glad to accompany me with so much time spent outside:

Back to the main theme, though: birdhouses. I was inspired when reading the April 2010 edition of Country Living and looking at the stunning gardens that were featured. One included four birdhouses, of different shapes, painted the same color and installed on stilts amidst the garden. It was beautiful. I decided I had to have birdhouses, and then about fell over when I saw the price (especially as I was wanting 5 of them).

So, I was determined to semi-make my own. Sure, you could make your own entirely from scratch, but this is much easier.

What you will need:

4 unfinished wooden birdhouses, similar sizes, with different shapes. I found mine at Michaels, where there were about 8 designs to choose from, and all sold for $4.99 regular price. (Though they were on sale for $3.99 when we bought them)

1 can Rustoleum (or similar brand) primer

1 can Rustoleum paint (I used 2 cans because I wanted 2 different colors)

1 can Rustoleum clear gloss sealer paint

1 tube water resistant epoxy glue

2 packages 72-120 inch adjustable closet rods (we found some at Home Depot. For $13, you get 2 6-foot-long poles that can be easily driven into the ground. This was much cheaper than the $15 birdhouse poles we found at WalMart, and saved us about $19 per birdhouse)

Large black trashbags

Layout large black trash bags, forming a safe place to spray paint. Put birdhouses on top of trashbag. Spray first with 1-2 coats of primer paint, thoroughly covering bare wood. Let dry for 45 minutes. Then, spray 2 coats of desired paint color, with 2 minutes of drying time between coats. Then, let houses dry an additional 30 minutes, and spray 2 coats of clear coat, with 2 minutes in between each coat. Let dry for an additional 1-2 hours.

Position poles where you would like your birdhouses to be, with the open end driven into the ground, and the plastic-capped top facing the sky. Your soil and location will depend on how far you want to push down your poles. Mine are implanted 1 foot into the ground, leaving 5 feet of pole out of the ground. With bird houses, the structures measure about 5-feet 8-inches.

After you have your poles positioned where you want them, mix water-resistant epoxy and apply to the plastic capped end of the closet rod, and to the underneath of your birdhouse where it will be attached to the pole. Attach to the pole. It can take up to 5 minutes to set, so stay near the pole for 5 minutes to make sure the house affixes. Repeat with all houses, and voila! You are finished!

(Pardon the terrible lighting in these photos)

April 6, 2010 at 7:49 pm 1 comment

Poor puppy

So usually on Sundays, I preschedule my blog posts for the remaining week, ensuring something is posted no matter how crazy the work week gets.

However, sometimes this backfires. My previous post, my tribute to sweet Anna, actually posted 1 day after she passed away. She passed away peacefully, in her sleep, while under the vet’s care. We were actually away for vacation/my step brother’s wedding at the time, and got the call early Friday morning. It was a heartbreaking start to a vacation, but probably the best. It was nice to be away from our house when starting to deal with the thought of the loss of one of my best friends.

Now we are home, and it’s strange to be here without her following me from room to room, hearing the click clack of her nails on the hardwood floors.

I am so thankful to know she is somewhere where she is not in pain, terrorizing our Scottish Terrier, Maggie. I am thankful she passed peacefully, and we did not have to make a tough decision. I am most of all thankful for our happy 15/16 years together, for the thousands of hugs, licks, walks, naps, pets, road trips and numerous other happy memories. She leaves a very noticeable 40 pound hole in our life, and will be so sorely, sorely missed.

Rest in peace, sweet Anna. We sure love you.

March 28, 2010 at 7:45 pm 3 comments

Friends for life

My Anna Banana, my best (canine) friend for the past 15 (or 16 … so old we have lost track) years, is getting old. Well, who am I kidding – she’s been old for at least 5 years now. But recently, well, the age is showing in more than just the gray muzzle on her face.

Arthritis has taken over her legs, and some days she can hardly walk. Her legs give out on her. She doesn’t even attempt to get up with out much prodding. She is not very interested in food. And, as much as it absolutely pains me to say so … I am afraid the end is near.

As a result, there has been a concentrated effort to take more photos of her recently. We’ve taken photos throughout her life, but as the end of life nears the necessity of capturing her sweet face is top of the mind.

You may have noticed, if you have been to my blog before … that calling me a dog person would be an understatement. Our dogs are our kids (for now) and loved to pieces. And although I vow to not choose favorites among our kids, when the time comes, Anna is my favorite. The other dogs can move into this position when they have been in my life for as long. My mom and I brought home Anna in 3rd (or was it 4th?) grade. Anna cried the whole ride home, with the stressful cry that only new puppies have as they are separated from their moms. In my infinite wisdom as a 3rd grader, I was convinced I knew the cure – singing her songs from the Lion King. Mom drove us home, me in the backseat holding the 8 pound puppy, rocking her like a baby and singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.”

Anna was such a chicken when we first brought her home, hiding in terror from our Scottish Terrier, Maggie. (This changed quickly as soon as she realized, a few months later, that she was much larger than Maggie.) My parents let me take the day off school to stay home with the puppy. She had cried all night and no one had slept much, but it was heaven – a whole day off school and a brand new puppy to play with. She hid under my robe at the slightest interest demonstrated by Maggie. It was a day of cuddles and laughs and puppy kisses/breath … heaven.

Anna is truly an outstanding family dog. In her younger years, she was always up to playing out in the snow with me, long walks in the woods, tolerated my uneducated attempt at agility training, happily slept on my bed since I was 10, was there for me through my parents’ divorce and breakups with boyfriends and fights with friends. Anna is a dog who loves all but has a favorite – and it’s me. I thought she would never forgive me when I went to college, and the thing that made me most homesick in college was leaving her behind. When I would visit home, she would immediately jump on my lap and refuse to move, as if she were forcing me to stay put and not return. I would whisper in her ear that as soon as I could find an apartment that let me have her, she could come and live with me. I was worried, as she was old even then, that she wouldn’t make it until that became true.

Alas, it’s hard to find an apartment that lets you have a dog that weighs more than 40 pounds. So in September of 2007, just a bit over 4 years after leaving for college, I bought my first house. Right around Halloween of that year, Anna came to live with me. All was right with the world.

You know dogs that just understand how you are feeling? That’s Anna. If you’re having a rough day, or tearful, she comes running to your side, climbs in your lap, licks your face.

Anna is the dog by which all future dogs will be judged. A sweet, gentle, protective soul. An amazing family dog. Tolerant of all people and puppies brought into her life. My best friend for more than half of my life. My constant companion when I was young, the anchor through my teenage years, the beacon calling me home through college, and the grounding force in our household.

Even Rufus is worried about Anna, and has been making it a point to lay near Anna more often.

Thanks, Anna, for being one of the best dogs and friends a girl could ask for.

March 27, 2010 at 10:06 am 4 comments

Loyal friends

There are two animals in this house that are quite happy I have been feeling under the weather.

Netta, the Cairn, has been permanently encamped at my feet on the couch.

And Anna, the Springer Spaniel, permanently encamped on the floor right by the head of the couch.

Are there any better friends than dogs?

March 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm 1 comment

Rufus in the snow

Rufus, our just over one-year-old Goldendoodle, lives for the snow. He is never happier to be outside than when it is snowing – something I only wish I could relate to.

This weekend I decided to capture the hilariousness in the snow. Check it out.

Do I have something on my face?

Trying to eat the camera

Pounce!

Oh, hello there.

Anna and Netta are not so enthusiastic about the snow. I couldn’t get Netta to get off her dog bed to go outside.

Anna went outside, but was horrified

February 23, 2010 at 8:23 pm 1 comment

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About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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