August 31, 2015

My Love Of Hounds ... Wins

I know ...  Really I know.

Something just felt right about giving this bloodhound a new home, a request from her owner that was trying to re-home her for the hound's safety. I went back and forth for a couple of weeks. I even canceled the trip to pick her up once. Still it felt like the right thing to do. There was excitement the night before I was to leave and I am thrilled with my decision this morning as I type this.

I thought long and hard about the consequences of adding a bloodhound to the house. Would she be big and obnoxious with Sadie? Would two bloodhounds turn this house into a romping playground? Or would she be mellow like Sadie. Was she destructive? Plus what would happen to my traveling plans? Traveling with 4 hounds would not be easy to do, although I know of one person that does with additional cats.

It might even be impossible to do with one person and four hounds ... but I found out my love of hounds made other decisions not a priority.

To be honest, as long as Heidi is going through her skin rash issues ... I have no plans to travel. She is improving based on where hair is growing back. The vet said last February to never expect hair to grow again on her rear shoulder ... but it continues to grow. I am seeing a weekly bath is giving her relief and making her feel better ... it would be hard to find a tub for her bathe in while camping in the middle of nowhere, unless I would rent a motel room once per week.

I plan to travel to a vet in Illinois a couple of hours away that specializes in dog dermatology.

She felt better Saturday night after her weekly bath, only this time she was soaking in Epsom Salts. By Sunday night those bright red spots had calmed down and all of her sore looking skin was soft to the touch.  Still comparing to last weeks post bath photos, there was little change ... except she looks like she is starting to gain weight.

She did okay on the trip in June but came back with her skin going downhill and a little problem with her stools. I just feel it's best for her to stay at home in a normal routine. With that in mind, adopting this bloodhound was a 'no brainer'. This picture is from her owner that use to dress her up when taking her into work on "casual" Friday. I mean how could anyone resist a face like this?

From the ad she had some separation anxiety and was afraid of thunder. She also has the ability of opening doors as long as they have a lever handle. I have only one door like that going outside, but it's locked when we are not using it. She has nudged that door lever with her nose and even nudged the bedroom door handle but found it out was round. She doesn't bolt if she sees the door is opening but is still leashed at this time whenever we are going outside.

The owner hated giving her up. She had plenty of land, living in the beautiful horse country of Kentucky. She had to be crated when she was at work. Photos showed that some how this bloodhound got the bottom of those big black wire crates you are familiar with, open ... then pried herself out of the crate. She then opened the door to inside the house, which let the 2 year old boxer out of the house into the garage. The bloodhound then opened the door to go outside. They were off for a day of fun and excitement. No one was home.

So when the owner came home after work a little after 5pm, the dogs she thought were locked in her house were near the highway before turning into her house. The highway is a country highway and not as busy as the US highway I live on ... but any road can kill a loose dog. She was wanting to find a home for her possibly with someone that had or knew about the bloodhound breed. Only bloodhound owners can understand what she is talking about.

She also suggested it might help if the new owner would be working at home or home all day, so crating would not be a requirement. There had to be something else ... but after almost 24 hours I haven't seen it. There is still a chance for her bad side to come out, but she sure seems like a good bloodhound just like the ad stated.

She was great traveling the 4 hour drive home. Half of it was freeway, driving through a city and across a large bridge over water ... but nothing bothered her. I did catch her in the mirror trying to nudge the rear window open with her nose ... that would have been impossible to open since only using a key from the outside does the trick. She stopped at the word "no".

The interesting thing was, with all the room in the back of the Toyota FJ and blankets strewn about ... at times she liked to climb into the passenger see up front. She made numerous trips back and forth. She loved looking out the windows and one time propping her one foot up on the dashboard. So that Toyota I cleaned last week now has a fresh supply of bloodhound drool in different sniffing spots. By the time we were inside the stateline of Indiana, she slept in the back. It's great to have a 4th hound added to the herd.

When I got home, just me and the new bloodhound roamed the field, letting her sniff away on a 20' lead. I then brought out Winston, Sadie and Heidi to meet her. Since I had her on a leash, I didn't have the camera for the welcome home party. The basset's loved her from the start, wagging their tails and getting low, if that's possible for them, to show her they wanted to play. My big 100lb baby Sadie hid behind me, not sure who that was or what she was doing here. They finally touched noses last night so Sadie is coming to terms with a new bloodhound in the house.

Winston was close behind tracking her trip through the field for the first time.

That tether pictured below is attached to a livestock anchor in the ground. The last time it was pulled up, a tractor scoop had to be used, so it's not going anywhere.

Hard To Tell Apart

Later Sunday afternoon to avoid the temps, Winston Sadie and I took her on the afternoon walk. She is what they call a "tracker" because her nose instantly went to the ground and she followed the path we take with occasional trips 20' away to lock into a different smells.

These next two photos show like any bloodhound, she is curious.

She then came back and did what all the hounds normally do, picked a spot on the floor and went to sleep. She tried one spot but Heidi let her know by barking that spot was taken. So the new hound moved to a spot that has never been used since I have lived here 18 years. She napped there last night and this morning. Winston decided to see if she minded being a pillow and plopped his 62lbs right next to her as close as possible for an afternoon nap. The new bloodhound didn't move and slept as long as he did.

Seems To Be Her Declared Sleeping Spot

It was a good first night and all the hounds were mellow. She frowned when she heard the camera beep when the auto focus locked in. For some reason the photos make her look the same size as Sadie but she is definitely smaller in bulk than Sadie is. She is the same height and a year younger. She is the one in front. Of course Sadie is protecting her favorite bone.

I was hoping the sleeping arrangement was as the owner had told me .. the bedroom floor. That proved to be true, as she slept through the night without any whining. She is smaller than Sadie but has a longer tongue. She is as laidback as Winston is, which is hard to believe. She has not barked nor howled yet, doesn't pull on the leash or lead, loves to sniff the field in back along with all of the house and not showing any instincts of being a runner.

The highway noise is new to her so that makes her curious, but she will never be in the front yard even leashed. I have a feeling that moving to a house with a little less "energy" will help her. Before she roomed with a 15 year old chihuahua that did what all do ... barked a lot. Her partner in crime was a nice black and white boxer that was well mannered, around 2-3 years old but had that boxer energy. So the new bloodhound might enjoy a quieter house with 3 hounds that have a lot less energy.

I am sure not spending days in a crate will help her. It did help Sadie. When Sadie or Winston were puppies and I had a job to do I had no choice but to crate all them all day during their younger years. I remember how much better Sadie acted when she didn't have to spend all day in her crate. I have a feeling it will be the same with the new hound.

So there will be more photos posted as usual. A new hound will be added to the Hounds page along with her photo on the right sidebar.

Her name??  It will have to be changed and I hope to have the name reveal itself this week. Her name is Dipstick!!  There are a couple of stories behind that name. As a puppy the bottom half of her tail was all black but she was a red bloodhound. Now her tail is a black and tan on the bottom half ... she must have had a black and tan parent.

About the time the owner I got her from was going to change her name ... she got loose in the garage one day while they were at work and her tail found some engine oil. Later when everyone was home, she was spreading oil on the walls with her tail ... so the name stuck.

I've always had human names for my hounds so we will see what turns up.

She turned 6 on August 9. No history of health issues, beautiful coat and very very quiet. She is a great bloodhound, still I am aware that "something" could happen later on. I can tell she is really smart just like Sadie. The training to stay with the other hounds in the bedroom while I am gone will start later this week. Right now I just want her to roam the house and field and get use to all the new smells.

Well ... Winston is letting me know that he wants to go out ... so they all will go out.

I couldn't resist adopting this great hound. This blog has been moving for a while toward a retirement life with hounds instead of rv traveling like other blogs ... my love of hounds is just hard to resist at times.

August 27, 2015

Car Washing Day

This past few days I've been staying up after letting the hounds outside for their first time of the day. That is usually between 6:15-7:00 am. This morning was cool with a light fog and the high temps today were not going to get out of the 70's. That will soon change with the local weather predicting normal August weather to return this weekend with the temps coming back to the high 80's and of course possibly some rain since I washed both vehicles today.

If I need rain ... I just have to wash a car.

Since I missed doing it yesterday, I wanted to get both vehicles washed and vacuumed today. They now both look clean enough to put up for sale. That won't happen, I like both vehicles and they are breaking records for time of possession. For example last year I only had the Kia Sorrento for 4 months before selling it. I was never planning on keeping the car when I traded the H3 Hummer in but that is a long story that I'll not get into. It is an interesting story though.

The Mini Cooper S is pretty easy to clean because the hounds never ride in it. It is rare that it is driven in bad weather unless a storm blows in unexpectedly while I am out driving it somewhere. The Toyota FJ was a different story.

The FJ had all the dirt, dog hair, dog nose candy on the inside of the windows, dropped cup of coffee by me and one large DQ Blizzard that melted before I could get home, only 3 miles away. So I knew from the beginning the FJ would take a little longer. My side mirrors and the front of the FJ had a ton of bugs covering each of them. All of these things were from the trip in June we took to Colorado and Utah, except the ice cream which dripped into and down the side of the console.

I was going to just leave the FJ as it was since it would be our traveling vehicle and it will get messed up again. Yet, there is just something I like about a clean vehicle. The Toyota paint job is great quality and really shined up after the wash, no waxing was involved. There are a few dog hairs still attached to the seats or the material in between them but it's not bad since there are just a few of them.

The coffee and ice cream all came off easy as did the dog nose candy from the windows and dash. It's amazing the places you find dried bloodhound drool after a week of traveling. The rear cargo area mat and the two front floor mats were taken out, scrubbed and hosed off. Of course I had to have my two on site inspectors look at them, sniff them and walk on them, just to make sure I had cleaned them up to their standards. There was no advance notice they were going to do this.

After that, there wasn't much more I wanted to do. Heidi has been having an 'off' day today, so she had slept most of the day. The other two hounds gave me the look that they wanted to get back inside for their daily siesta. They were fast asleep within minutes of getting inside the house.

The Look To Go Inside

Life's Rough

Excuse Me? ... A Photo While I'm Trying to Sleep????

I mentioned above I've been staying up this week after letting the hounds outside to start the day. One reason is I've been getting a full night of solid sleep. A minor change to my nightly routine has made all the difference in the world.

What changed? No matter what time I go to bed, it's usually after midnight ... I'll turn off the computer. Instead of heading to bed and then tossing and turning trying to get to sleep, I've been reading a book that I pulled off my shelf. It's called Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. This is a scientific view of the dog species and will hopefully give me a new perspective on what my hounds really see, smell and know. I'll keep you posted on any information that is different than what most dog owners think is happening.

By reading that book late at night, it makes me sleepy, thus a good night of sleep. I had been reading books during the day and that also led to taking siestas.

Although I kind of fell off the diet wagon last Monday with the trip to 5Guys Burgers, I am still losing weight, losing fat and still not having any acid reflux issues like I did last spring. I do all my measurements the 1st of each month. I did glance at my weight today out of curiosity and I've lost 20 pounds since May 1.

I hope to lose a lot more than that but I am right on schedule.

A little side note about blog traffic during the 5 days of writing about my weed pulling project. I find it interesting that two different sites show my traffic was almost double those 5 days compared to normal posting like tonight and this past week. The subject for that 100% increase in traffic was WEEDS!!!!

I'm not sure how to take that ... I am laughing as I type this last sentence.

August 26, 2015

A Heidi Semi-Update & Many Hound Photos

I would have posted this sooner but like usual, I get distracted in the middle of something and end up going a different direction. In this case it was downloading only a couple of photos from my iPhone when I noticed just how little memory I had left in my 16Gb iPhone 5S.

I don't watch movies or play games on my iPhone so I never really considered buying one with more memory and will probably not upgrade next year from this iPhone 5S. It does everything I need, even with only 16Gb.

So after seeing just a few Gb's left of memory, I've spent the past couple of hours playing around in iTunes deleting apps, deleting all of my photos since they are backed up on my iMac plus an external hard drive and then synching the phone with the computer backup.

So this may end up being a pretty long post as I am in kind of a "rambling" mood. I have a lot of photos from today's walk and a few from Heidi's latest skin condition which seems to be getting better since her bath a few days ago with a different shampoo.

We will get to Heidi first. As you can see from the photos there seems to be some healing going on. There is also hair growing back in places where a vet told me in March not to expect it. It's hard to tell when a basset hound is energetic but she has been doing something different than the past 7-9 months of not feeling so well. A lot of these spots were red and raw just last month. These photos were taken after her bath on Sunday.

That starts with her going outside in the morning between 6 - 6:30am with Winston and Sadie. She has done that the past three days. She also goes outside with them mid day and has been laying in the sun in the backyard. I've been checking her skin after that to see if the grass is the cause of her skin rashes, so far it isn't. Her appetite has never been a problem.

With the change of shampoo and over 30 days of eating the Earthborn No Grain Great Plains Feast I have seen a change in the texture of her skin, less redness now 3 days in a row and she seems to less inclined to chew at her paws and rear legs. Since I wanted to check just these two options of the shampoo and food, I have not applied any kind of K9 Klear Up cream, no liquid Zinc Oxide from the vet, no diaper rash cream with zinc oxide that babies love, no benadryl spray ... just nothing but bare skin.

As of Wednesday night as I write this she does not need a bath since her last bath 3 days ago. Nails were trimmed back a lot or as far as possible without having them bleed. Winston rolled on his back to have his toenails done. Sadie and I are still in negotiations about cutting her nails but at least she getting her aerobics in by sprinting around inside the house just at the sight of those nail clippers.

After this bag of Plains Feast is finished, I am changing to a different Earthborn blend with Lamb Meal as the #1 ingredient instead of Bison. I am also making a dog food change for Winston and Sadie. In the past I have always fed the "large breed" blend of foods the whole time. I decided to move to a Senior Blend by Fromm. This has great ingredients with less fat and less protein.

Sadie needs to lose more weight which will be better for her joints as she gets older. Winston is in good shape weight wise but I wanted to treat him to some different protein sources in his older years as he moves to 12 years old next May. It will have Duck as the #1 ingredient, with chicken and chicken meal, some lamb lower down the list along with menhaden fish meal at #6.

Heidi barked yesterday when I asked if she wanted to go for a walk. She led the pack but I didn't have my camera with me. Today when I asked if she wanted to go on the walk, she thumped her tail in the curled up position saying she was going to take a siesta. I had the camera on the walk today as both hounds were off the leash the whole time. I did carry their retractable leashes just in case they wanted to run off on me.

Winston goes at his own pace. At times will fall way behind and then will come charging in a short burst of speed to catch up with us. It might be a game to him, I'm not sure. I'll list the photos with some captions.

On a side note for the past few weeks, 3-4 weeks in fact, I've been fighting off one of my demons .... rescuing dogs.

Shocked eh? Why on earth would I need or want a 4th hound. Especially since it would have been a large bloodhound. I will not go into the story why she is available but she looks just like Sadie and is a couple of years younger. I did a LOT of thinking on that, plus had a few sleepless nights. A few weeks ago it was a 6 month old male bloodhound that I wanted to help. A few weeks ago I was thinking of a basset hound from the GABR that is listed in the upper left of this blog.

I never know why I get into these moods to get another hound. I've been reminded more than once that "you cannot help every dog in need". I also knew or was pretty sure that if a 4th hound would be added, the chances of traveling would be decreased. I wouldn't want to travel with 4 hounds. It would be doable like anything else but very very hard to manage. Even at home it would be hard to manage.

This past weekend it was a 5yr fixed red female bloodhound. I have no doubt that her and Sadie would have made a great pair. But then again, Sadie knows she is the leader of the current pack so it might have been a problem with an additional bloodhound. So I went from telling the owner I was on the way to pick her up the next day, to having a sleepless night and a lot of 2nd thoughts the next morning .. so I knew it was not a good move. I let them know that I would not be taking their bloodhound off their hands.

Many people find out the hard and sad way that bloodhounds are great as small puppies. During their growth periods they get more funny (obnoxious), stronger than ever, and can out eat a horse. Then they want to get rid of them. I guess it's like any other breed though ... thousands all over the country needing a new home.

So anyway ... 3 hounds is what I have and will stay with. It's temping to help a hound out but in my case you can say a 100 rescued hounds is not enough and 4 of them is too many.

Here are photos from our walk today.

A Slow Steady Pace

Waiting For Winston

A Slower Pace

Waiting For Winston AGAIN!!

No Doubt A Deer Sleeping Spot

Just Cruzin'

Out Front On Her Own

Not Half Way Yet And Getting Slower

No Worries - I Caught Ya

Hold It - Something's Been Here

Go Ahead I'll Meet You Later

Full Out Basset Sprint - Ears Up All The Way

Sprint Is Over

Another Daily Walk Comes To An End
Here are a few photos of the trees starting to change color only in August.

I thought this photo was neat because with all the green, that orange highway warning sign to stop ahead stood out from a distance. They are rebuilding a bridge just south of that sign.

Another day of great weather is ending here in "the tropics".

After my dental appointment on Monday for full X-rays and cleaning where I had a report of no cavities ... I treated myself to one of these at 5guys Burgers.

August 23, 2015

A Lazy Weekend

With the winds between 15-20mph from the west, Winston decided the best sleeping spot of the day was outside behind the Mini Cooper. That is one of his favorite spots and one he uses when he is waiting for me to let him inside. He also likes to sit in the sun on that corner and watch the highway traffic.

He looks about the way the weekend felt. Not a lot going on. I've watched some NFL preseason football but never a full game yet. My Reds have finally dropped to last place in the Central Division as expected with a starting pitching rotation of all rookies now. Plus with trades or injuries they are playing 4-5 position players off the bench.

Today though I added the IRL Pocono500 to my viewing pleasure. So as you see it's been pretty anti-climatic once all those weeds were pulled last week. I have had a few sprouts start to come back. So far I can pull any new weed starts as I walk to and from the mailbox down the driveway. The ones like the one pictured have been pulled at the flat top of the drive while the dogs are outside and I am outside to get some fresh air and some sunshine. Whether I can keep up with those new wanna be weeds is yet to be seen.

For Heidi's bath yesterday I decided to pull an old shampoo off the shelf, bought from the vet last fall. It not only has Aloe Vera in it, but oatmeal. So why shampoo her with "grain" if I am not going to feed her grains in her dog food? That's a good question. I've read in some places that Oatmeal in dog food or in this case shampoo may help in spreading a yeast infection ... if that is what she has.

I just wanted a shampoo that was less intense compared to the medicated shampoo that seems to increase her skin rash after it's applied. Surprisingly today, after the bath on Saturday, her skin really looks good. There is softness to it instead of hard crusty and/or red and raw. There is little to no redness anywhere on her skin today. She chewed and itched her skin today a lot less than she normally does. I am going to wait a few days to see  if there continues to be improvement before I post any photos ... but I am encouraged by what I saw today.

Something I should have done a long time ago since I have a spreadsheet for everything else, I made one up for her. I listed the date, skin condition on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being the best and dog food name with ingredients. I've gone back through photos and vet bills to fill in past activity onto the sheet.

I also found out this all started in July 2014, not October as I thought. I found an old Word Doc that I had started as her health journal in July 2014 when I started using the food supplement named Dinovite. This sheet will give me and the vet some sort of reference for future trips to the vet. I had taken notes before or made a point of remembering thing in my head but this spreadsheet will be much better to see when needed.

While I was sitting outside with Sadie, I noticed along the wall of tall trees there was a patch of leaves very high that had already turned yellow. They stood out among all the green colors. You might be able to tell from looking at the leaves that the wind is a strong wind.

The yellow leaves I speak about are towards the upper right corner, halfway between Sadie and the right edge of the photo.

Yellow leaves toward the upper right hand corner

Just barely left of center ... Bad editing by the photographer

As usual in late August things get pretty comfortable here in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana. The temperatures start falling, the humidity decreases to levels that are livable and the thought of travel starts disappearing ... until ... you read a blog or blogs where people have broke camp and are heading for a different location or some people are making plans to head to their winter locations. It's readings like that make the fire still glow in the pit of my stomach.

The inner urge to wander takes over. The spreadsheet of options is opened again to look at the pros and cons. The thought process moves in between living comfortable or make and adapt to changes. Yet it's also hard to think of moving 3 hounds when you see them sleeping in their favorite spots on a floor, couch or bed that doesn't include dirt or sand.

Yet the urge to shut everything down and hit the road increases the excitement level ... more than staying comfortable watching football (my addiction), which starts in a couple of weeks.

I'm not sure what will happen.