A Year of Classic Vlassic

It came as a shock to me when my calendar popped up that August 1 is our sleek black weenie dog mix, Vlassic’s “birthday!” Only a year ago, Sara saw something strange on her picnic table and called me over to get my new dog.

A year of me? I’m glad!

We never saw any posts looking for him, which is good, since he crawled immediately into our hearts. He’s my faithful companion who travels back and forth between Austin and Cameron every week with me. He sleeps next to (or on) me every night, and spends a lot of his waking time on my lap.

Luckily he spreads his love to other people’s laps, often unannounced. He has caused many beverages to spill. But when he rolls over and stretches out for a belly rub, you can’t be angry.

Let me demo my belly rub face for you.

He loves his canine friends a lot, too, though he has to occasionally remind them he’s small. His little jaw snaps repeatedly when he’s wrestling with Carlton or Harvey. And when Penney joins in, it’s glorious. We humans just have to smile.

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Doggie Doin’s

This weekend so far has been all about my canine buddies. Thursday night we had the quarterly board meeting for the Milam Touch of Love group. Lots more people than I thought were coming were there, which made me wish I’d moved into the sanctuary rather than in the conference room. That made it rather cozy but also amplified the sounds of the folks who wanted to carry on conversations while we were trying to go through the agenda.

I’m officially official.

Though it was really different from most board meetings I’ve attended, we did get to hear from the committees eventually. And wow, a lot of good work has been started, and many new needs identified! The organization will have to be careful to stick to its mission and work with other entities, like law enforcement and other organizations, so we can all work together.

What about Penney?

And to exit my soapbox, Penney became officially ours on Friday. She even came to the office with Lee yesterday. All the noises in Cameron made her a little nervous but she did okay.

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Is Everything Dead Yet?

This time of year, it’s usually looking pretty bleak out here in central Texas. By now, the grass is usually very brown and crunchy, and there are good-sized cracks in the soil. But this year it’s rained a lot more than usual, so how’s it doing?

Checking out the territory. Some green, some not.

It hasn’t rained in a couple of weeks, and that’s about all it takes to turn things back to their typical summer state. Sure enough, the grass is crunchy and the cracks are out. But the tanks (ponds) have lots more water in them than usual and the creek has plenty of water in it.

The Vrazels have made another bunch of hay out of our front pasture, which is also unusual. They are out there baling it right now, making round bales. The dogs enjoyed having a couple of days to look for vermin in the piles of grass as it was drying out. Both Vlassic and Penney like to pounce.

Future hay, full o’ vermin.
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Test Driving a Canine

It’s been hard on us since Brody died. Lee and I finally decided to look into a female dog, thinking we could use some balance. I talked to a couple of people about potential new dog friends. One sweet girl lives in Mexico and looks like a bigger Vlassic. One is a large and beautiful puppy. I don’t think we can do another puppy for a while.

Look at my pug wrinkles and loose skin! And this nice man.

I kept going back to a dog called Izzy I’d been following at the Cameron pound. She isn’t spectacular to look at, just a plain reddish dog. So, no one has adopted her. Apparently her mom is a pug/dachshund mix, but the dad is an unknown Cameron roaming stud. She gets pug wrinkles when she’s concerned.

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Starvey Harvey at Four

When we brought Harvey home from where he was dumped at the Rattlesnake house, the vet said he was about the same age as Brody, so I assigned him the summer solstice as his birthday. Sigh. Brody would be four now.

So dignified

Anyway, Harvey is doing well. Not as porky as he was for a while, thanks to Carlton keeping him moving, but nowhere near the bag of bones he was when Ralph first found him cowering across the street, waiting for his owners to come back.

Weight loss regime

He seems a lot calmer now, and less prone to his growling habit. He only gets testy when Carlton gets too relentless in his play requests. He also enjoys running and playing with Vlassic, which provides us with hours of fun.

I’m not too chubby!

He looks so incredibly happy when I get back from Austin every week that it makes me tear up sometimes. All that love coming barreling at me warms my heart. He and Alfred both just have the most expressive faces.

That dang Carlton grew. His legs are too long!

That’s really all I have to share. I just don’t talk as much about Harvey, it seems, but rest assured he’s always in my heart.

A Dog and His Frog

[Note: that should say “toad,” as you will see later, but I like that the title rhymes.]

Last night, while our merry community members were sitting on our porch watching the weather, we noticed that Vlassic, the little black dachshund mix was looking at something else. He was very intently observing the water trough that the dogs drink from and swim in (one that will soon hold some fish).

Hey, what’s in there! It looks fun! It’s swimming.

We soon realized he had spotted a frog-like creature in the trough, who seemed to be trying to get out, but with little success. Upon further examination, it appears to be a Woodhouse’s toad, but I’m waiting for confirmation on that. We had a long discussion about the difference between frogs and toads, but hey, they all go rivet rivet.

Let me OUT of here. There’s nothing to eat but mosquito larvae. Wait, I like that.

Meanwhile, Vlassic was running up and down, sticking his feet into the tub to try to reach his little buddy. It was really entertaining, so we let it go on.

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Equilibrium: Thanks to Dogs and a Porch

I’m finally feeling a bit better than I was last week. I instituted some processes and revisited some boundaries, which helped so much. Much of the reason I’m back at something like an equilibrium is that I took my own advice and slowed down, took yesterday off to just goof off with Mandi, Lee, and the dogs (separately), and let nature heal me by spending all morning today on the porch.

Carlton is checking for blooms on the sunflower hedge.
The house finch family that has built a nest on our front porch.

Our back porch has grown a nice hedge of sunflowers, which help keep it cool, and today the breeze was making the west side of the porch feel like a tropical paradise. So, I sat there with the dogs coming in and out, and just listened to the birds sing, watched the trees, and breathed. I got so quiet that the barn swallows, finches, and cardinals were flying in and out so close I could hear their wings (above the wasps). I highly recommend the porch sitting with no agenda method of de-stressing to all of you!

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