July 31, 2020

Walter's Game Of Cow Hoof

Walter got a little overconfident tonight while I was watching the Reds game. He had a cow hoof and started tormenting a sleeping Stella by laying the hoof on her foot then picking it up when she woke up and raised her head. This went to for a while until Stella decided she might be able to get that favorite toy of hers if she stood up. Of course Stella had not chewed any bone, antler or hoof for years ... until Walter showed up. So Walter kept dropping it on her foot, then picking it up when Stella reached for it. I think you will like some of Walter's expressions in these photos.

A fine example of bulldog puppy quickness, not only picked it off of Stella's nose but was able to move it out of reach inside his mouth.

Walter swung his head so hard to keep the hoof away from Stella that he lost control of it as it slid across the tile floor. Stella didn't move ... she had a plan.

Much like a batter waiting for his pitch to knock the ball out of the park, Stella waited for her move. She had observed Walter's overconfidence and knew when in a split second she could steal the hoof.

Just as Stella raised her head, moving the hoof that is too small for her to chew, to the back of her mouth where her strongest teeth are ... Walter seems to be looking at me for some help, maybe I could come to the rescue and take it from Stella and give it back to him. I just sat on the watch watching the "hoof game" as well as the Reds game.

So it was Stella's turn to torment Walter. She would lay her mouth on top of Walter's face or head while she chewed the hoof. Walter was now on the offense determined to get his hoof back.

A gallant effort using his jumping ability, bulldog quickness and body control. Stella would just raise her mouth a little higher just out of reach of the leaping bulldog puppy.

They stopped like Sadie and Stella use to, for thinking and analyzing what the next move would be of their opponent. I could still hear Stella's teeth mashing the hoof in back of her mouth. Her jaws are strong enough that she can break these hooves into pieces depending what the brand name is. When that happens, all those pieces are thrown in the trash.

Is that a little begging I see from Walter? The pup that is always in control and running the show.

After Stella let him know he wasn't getting the cow hoof back, Walter walked slowly toward the kitchen, turned to take one last look at Stella and literally plopped down on the cold tile and was out within seconds. He never just lays down anywhere ... he just falls into the spot he wants to sleep.

I was back on my bike this morning early for as short easy 20 mile ride with a route that is fairly flat but really nothing is flat around here when it comes to bicycling. It was good to get back riding. I have gained some weight from not riding. My pulse rate was much higher of course with this easy pace ride. That will go down the more miles I get under me. I returned a little before 9am and that 87° felt like a 100°. So the plan for tomorrow is to leave around 6:15am, an hour earlier than this morning.

Nothing much after that. A load of laundry and then three hours in different calls with Directv in my attempt to get my payment for MLB Extra Innings refunded back to me as per their letter April 24th. I finally found someone that understand what I was asking and that MLB Extra Innings was NOT a *&#($&*@ MOVIE !!!!! I have never been a fan of outsourced customer service half way around the world.

By that time it was time for baseball and a nice fresh skinless chicken breast I bought at the butcher counter instead of the packaged chicken I normally buy. So much more taste in those meats, chicken, shrimp and salmon from the meat counter wrapped fresh instead of packaged.

Heidi was very active today but I didn't get any photos. It's always good to see her running around the house or laying outside and enjoying the sun and heat.

A light short rain late this afternoon here in the "Wild West" ... unexpected showers.

I see that Blogger is still making changes to their new version. It's an entirely different process adding more than one label. When I checked the photo sizes via the HTML screen I saw there was no way of changing that size from s600 to s1600 because all the photos were automatically loaded at s1280. So you should see some sharper images on any blogs you read that are on the Blogger platform. They will eventually get it sorted out but I swear not one of those programmers have a blog on blogger, or anywhere for that matter.

July 29, 2020

A Trip To See The Puppies

I had reserved a time for this morning to drive over to Old West Bassets and see the litter of 10 puppies a few days shy of 4 weeks old. There are five males and five females. I had decided before I sent in my deposit I was looking for a mahogany and white male. With hopes of one having a laidback attitude and not the 'king' of the litter. It took about an hour and a half to make the trip and the morning weather was perfect to drive with all the windows down.

The bassets are living on a ranch about 6 miles off the paved road. Beautiful country and a place you'd think you could camp but this is all privately owned land. I had looked at the route on the satellite map last weekend to get a good idea where I was going. My maps on my iPhone were pretty accurate if I were to follow the verbal directions. Out of all the puppies I have brought home at 8 weeks old over the years, this is one of the few times I was able to see, pickup and hold, talk to and look into the eyes of the puppy I thought I wanted. But there were a few things that would have to fall in place for me to get that. I was #5 in line to choose out of the 10 buyers and am #2 in line for those of us that wanted males.

Before entering the area of the puppies and their parents I scrubbed the bottom of my shoes on a rubber mat that had a disinfectant and water. This would prevent any chance of me bringing parvo to the litter from the ground I had been walking on back at home. Most were sleeping as I accepted the invite to sit in the box with all ten pups if I wanted. The male I wanted is that mahogany and white straight ahead in the photo at the bottom of the picture with a little black on his tail. In the upper photo he is the mahogany and white in the middle. I thought I had taken a lot of photos of him today but when I got home I found out this was the only one ... instead I had a lot of hands on time with him.

One of the people that wanted a female had changed their mind and chose a male. They had chosen the male that the person before me wanted. So I figured my chances just got better. If they wanted a tri-color (black and whites at this age) then most likely they would want that one on the far left against the little boy's hand. That would leave me next in line to choose and I'd have the pup I wanted since the first day I saw photos of the litter.

1 week old -- since they don't have names, they are called "color of their collar male or female" Tan Male was my guy. They were a laid back group of puppies. Not fighting, no yelping but all of that might come next week as they get older. As I sat down on the wooden ledge 'tan male' walked right over to me, I picked him up and our eyes met. All of the puppies had beautiful markings. All of them have all the attributes they are suppose to have, even long ears at 3.5 weeks old. When I held him with his back against my hand he didn't fight to get away or move. He just laid there relaxed. While talking to Michelle he fell asleep in my hands. He reminded me of a basset hound I had once before. Some of you know who that is.

1 week old face

Two weeks old -- I still wanted to look at the other males and even the females. I wanted to see how they reacted when held, or petted. Would they stay around or try to get away. ALL of them stayed around and enjoyed the attention they got. I saw again that I could never be breeder because I could never sell the puppies ... I'd want to keep all of them.

2 weeks old face. Looking directly in the camera for the 2nd week in a row is a plus with me. It's not for blogging purposes although I bet he will love getting his picture taken in the future. He didn't seem shy and that is another plus with me. He wasn't the litter bully which I saw in a bloodhound litter once. Yet he was active while a lot of the others were still sleeping.

3 weeks old. The camera setting were a little off in that weeks photos. He was not that light of mahogany and after a half week most of the black you see was gone. That is normal for mahogany colored bassets.  All bassets should have a white tip on their tails. It is to see them better in a field when they are tracking rabbits and you cannot see them through the tall grass. It is the correct asset for a basset, the white tail tip.

3 week old face. Again not quite that light but looking directly into the camera again, something that a lot of the ten puppies did not do.

While I sat watching and touching different puppies I had two of the females lay next to my shoe to sleep. One put her head in the dog dish filled with kibble and slept. Would I have a 3rd dog in the house with the same shade of red/tan/mahogany? I would if I decided to chose "Tan Male".

Well I was 100% positive of the pup I wanted. It was the real reason I made the trip today. THEN she said "I have something that might confuse you a little in making a decision. I have a female from another litter of 4 that was born a week before. One person chose this female and then decided to wait until the next litter."

As you can see, she is beautiful. Her dad is all black like that. Some of that black on her hips will turn the same color as her head. As soon as I picked her up and she didn't fight to get away ... I thought I as holding a "mini Heidi". I began to wonder if I wanted her instead of the tan male. It was a good thing that Walter was at home, not that he would have not liked being here ... but if I did not have Walter I have no doubt that I would have taken this female and the Tan Male I came to see.

About the time I was getting ready to leave one of their 'pet' basset hounds was barking at the cows to stay in the shade and give me room to turn around.  As I drove slowly past the basset after making a looping turn, I saw the basset hound walk away from the cows toward the house ... he/she had done their job I guess of controlling the cows.

The person on the list before me had not chosen yet but Michelle had left a message for them. She also thought they would chose the black collar male. I told her I had some things to think about on my drive home .. which pup to choose when I thought for sure I knew which one I wanted, until I saw that female. I already knew which one I should choose. I had already picked a name even before the litter was born. I wanted him the first time I saw that 1 week old picture. Plus the way he walked right over to me when I sat down inside the box. All the signs and energy were there to make the choice pretty obvious.

Of course when I got home after being around a total of 14 puppies, 6 adult basset hounds and their one spaniel all three of mine attacked at my shoes, ankles and hands with their noses trying to identify all of those hound smells left on me. Water was trying to wag his tail but he doesn't really have one to wag so Heidi and Stella made it up for him. Their tails were going a mile a minute as their noses were pressed against my shoes, or ankles.  After things settled down, Stella decided it was perfect time and temperature for an afternoon siesta. Too hot for Walter so he didn't last long.

I'm not sure for how long but all of us fell asleep on the floor in the computer room. I sat on the floor with all of them because I had to explain to them where I had been and what was going to happen at the end of August. While I was "passed out" on the floor, Michelle had sent me an email telling me the person in front of me had chosen the pup we thought they would, the "Black Collar Male". So "Tan Male" was mine if I wanted him. She said I could have a couple of days to think about it since the female from the other litter had come into play.

While the hounds slept, I spent another hour looking through photos of both the female pup and the tan male. Would two males in the house get alone? I have had three males in the house once and they all got a long and they did not have contest marking their spot all over the house like I expected they might. I doubt that Walter cares what the pup is just as long as it can keep up the pace when playing. Walter will be a few days shy of 7 months old with the 2 month old basset walks into the house.

What will Heidi's reaction be? Will being the same breed make a difference to her or is she just a 100% loner? I still knew which pup I should and wanted to choose. About an hour after she had emailed me I replied back to her that I wanted the Tan Male.

I forgot to mention that during our one hour visit, she mentioned that both of her breeding females came from a basset hound breeder in Indiana. I had never heard of the town she mentioned so I looked it up when I got home. It is in northern Indiana, small rural town. I lived in the southern part of Indiana. The mom and dad of Tan Male were laid back and friendly bassets. They were also LARGE size bassets, bigger than Heidi and Winston. When she let them out to visit me they came right up to me to get petted and get some attention.

Walter spent the rest of his day chewing the last small piece of his cow hoof. It's almost too small and I am going to have to throw it away before swallows it. Yes that small piece is hidden in his mouth in all of his photos.

So it turned out to be a good day. I got to see a LOT of basset hound puppies, met the breeder and a couple of her kids that gave all the puppies as much attention as they wanted. Stella got to sleep under the sun, Walter got to chew his hoof in private and Heidi got to sleep all afternoon in the air conditioned bedroom besides having lunch. My Reds finally hit a baseball and won a game. I had a big thick steak and enjoyed the fairly strong wind out on the patio.

I will say I was impressed when I stopped for gas at the intersection of Hwy 90 and I-10. It's a good size gas/mini mart and busy. EVERYONE that was out of their cars either filling their vehicles up with gas or going inside to shop WERE WEARING A MASK. Maybe that is why Arizona is seeing a decrease in positive cases and hospitalizations. Whereas my friend went to Sam's Club in Indiana which started their state wide mandate this past Monday and NOBODY was wearing a mask.

I tried the downsizing and minimal living a few years ago. It felt good to get ride of a lot of stuff I had stopped using. But when it comes to dogs, bicycles and cars/trucks it's never been that way. I didn't last more than 10 months with just one vehicle in 2018. I think the last time I had only one hound was in 1990 when Harry and I roamed the PNW and Colorado before moving back to Indiana. Soon after I had a 2nd basset hound and a bloodhound, living with 3-4 hounds  since 1995. 

I guess our dog walks next fall when it's cooler and the two pups are big enough to go with Heidi and Stella will be very interesting and I'm sure there will be a few people that will want to stop us and meet all of them. I am not sure what my 'plan of attack' is to walking 3 hounds and a dog with retractable leashes. Ha Ha

A great sunny day today but I hear thunder now and an alert just told me that lightning is 10 miles away ... all is good in the 'Wild West'.

July 28, 2020

Walter Keeping Us Active

Walter still fits under the coffee table but just barely. He seems to think that is the best place to cool off after playing with Stella or I. He does like the cool tile floor but I guess there is just something about sleeping on wooden slats that feels better. It wasn't soon after I took this picture that his snoring became stronger and louder. It shows again there wasn't much going on around here. Some baseball on tv and reading books ... plus a lot of time sitting outside enjoying the view behind my house.

I can feel my blogging moving a little later in the day compared to the past week where I was posting something around 8pm or so Eastern time. As the weather becomes nicer I am finding a opening a little after 7pm local time, where I feel like putting something together. Look for the posts to be about this same time of night on the days I post.

Walter is a big talker. More than any bloodhound or basset hound I've had in over 30 years. He likes to growl and bark at himself and many times when I look to see what he is barking at ... he is laying down about to go to sleep. He has learned to let Stella sleep after breakfast which means he heads to the bedroom and drags every one of his chew bones and blankets out into a pile and plays with that stack of things. He will run back and forth in the empty dog crates during this time. I can no longer keep the kitchen towel on the dishwasher handle otherwise he will drag that out to the middle of the backyard.

Heidi has seemed confused this week. She will make a million trips from her bed in the bedroom out to the living room, not staying long in either place before she turnes and goes back in the opposite direction she came from. If she didn't start her day barking and hopping in the air, I'd think something might be wrong with her. Appeitie is normal.

I shot this from inside the bedroom through the screen window this morning. This view never gets old.

While Heidi and Walter started their day I had a text from my friend in Indiana with some computer problems. It's weird because I had a strange thing happen to my iMac yesterday that made me wonder what had snuck it's way into my hard drive. For my compouter I ran Bitdefender to check for any malware and it found nothing. I run that program weekly just to make sure. Her desktop is a Windows PC and will probably need replaced based on what she told me it was doing. She could buy it online but had to make an appointment to pick it up locally at Best Buy.

Walter still is cracking me up when he has to smell something because he will tilt his face so he can press his nose flush with whatever he might be smelling. I have noticed his right front foot is starting to turn a little outward. No signs of any kind of skin allergies so I guess he does not mind his protein being chicken. He looks very healthy. He didn't mind having his ears cleaned with baby wipes the other day.

We are past the periods of rain for a while. I see nothing but sunshine icons on my iPhone weather for the next 10 days. When I say it's perfect weather, that's an accurate description. I like the hot afternoons and cool evenings where I can sleep with the window open.

Is that a litte rain I see down on the border? ... Bisbee to the left.

Last night after Walter and Stella had played for over any hour, wrestling with some chases from the living room to the computer room, Walter was trying to cool off. For a second I thought he was going to sleep on his back as he kept kicking Stella in the head as he tried to find the perfect spot. Once again it wasn't long after I took the picture the loud snoring began.

My friend and I finished talking about her computer problems and moved into diets. She was born a vegetarian and has been one all her life. The interesting thing is the book about Blood Type Diets says that is the correct way for her to eat based on her blood type. As I mentioned the book this morning she said she and her friend in San Diego was talking about the same book last night. A few years ago when I followed that diet I made a spreadsheet of course..

I listed in categories all the food it suggested I eat and colored the food highly recommended in blue. On the other side of the spreadsheet I listed in alphabetical order every food that I could remember buying at the store. It was a long list but I color coded the foods that give me indigestion. Then as I went through the book at that time, I greyed out those foods it told me not to eat. Guess what? It named over 90% of the foods I had already color coded that I had trouble with.

Did I need anymore proof than that?

There is no reason to shove a diet down your mouth if it gives you problems the majority of time. That does not mean I will be eating every meal at The Diner in town or at Sunny D's in Huachuca City, although I'd like to, but it does mean I can add lean beef, skinless chicken and fish back in my diet. Dairy is not a good idea for me and I can attest to that and agree with what the book says. I ate like this a few years ago and felt great with no digestion problems. I'll write about any updates I find in the next month as the way of eating goes into action. I guess I'll find out in 4 months when I have another bloodwork done and I can compare the numbers to last December.

Tomorrow morning I will be leaving early for a roadtrip of an hour and a half. It is out off the grid to a ranch that has the 10 basset hound puppies I am choosing from They will be 4 weeks old this weekend. Since its a reasonable distance I'd like to meet them in person, talk to the breeder and see what kind of reactions the two or three that I have picked out.

I might have mentioned in the past, when I did that with Sadie, I took Winston with me to see what he thought of a bloodhound puppy and what the one I had in mind thought of him. He was only 4 years old at the time. I didn't know it at the time but what I read as a good sign was not what it really meant. A professional bloodhound breeder told me a few years later why I was having problems with Sadie as a puppy.

I thought when she followed me and Winston everywhere we walked, that it was a good sign. The professional breeder told me that meant she was a tracker and would have been adopted out to search and rescue if it was her puppy. And she was a tracker as she explored that whole 7 acre field behind the house daily for the next 10 years. When I was at work, she would get bored and destroy things. She could bend those thick black wires on the largest dog crate like nothing ... I could not even bend them back with a set of pliers. When she was old enough to be left in the house, anytime I was gone over an hour I would return to a house that looked like it had been burglerized.

Another time I read things wrong looking at a young basset hound. He was always away from his littermates. I took that as 'independence' being a good thing. He would not be clinging to me all the time for attention. Little did I know that it meant for the next 13 years he would wander miles away before someone would call me and say that Harry was in their house sleeping. He would bark at the door until the strangers would let him in. LOL Luckily his dog tag was still attached with his name and my phone number.

The Out West Bassets breeder has told all ten of us that she will be able to tell us the puppy's  temperaments and personalities this week. Hard to believe there could be that much difference between littermates but there is. I'll post about my trip with some photos tomorrow.

My zip code is showing the number of active positive COVID cases has decreased a lot the past one to two weeks. We are back down to 47 active cases where it was 81 just a few weeks ago. The mask mandate must be working and at the same time there have been "testing blitzes" for an increase in tests done.

The hounds, the dog and I are fine in the "Wild West".

July 26, 2020

A Roadrunner Visits The Hounds !!!

While I was on the computer this morning looking at the latest photos of the basset hound puppies, a little over 3 weeks old, I heard my vertical blinds moving in the living room. It wasn't windy, it was sunny and the window was just opened enough where Stella would not see a passing dog or person and want to jump out through the screen. Walter can stand on his back legs to look out the window so I figured he had seen something where he was going nuts and was up into the blinds making all that flapping noise.
I turned the corner into the living room and was scared. The hounds were standing by the door but were looking at this mysterious creature trying to escape and making all the noise. Walter was in so much shock he was not even barking and Stella was only observing. It is one of the disadvantages of keeping the back door open so the dogs can come and go as they please. (No I am not going to install a doggie door into the wall). I have had smaller birds fly into the house but nothing this size. I grabbed my broom trying to swat him out of the blinds and away from that screened window I feared he would rip through ... I also opened the front door.

He flew over the couch when he saw me or the broom and headed back under the loveseat. I saw no sign of him under the couch or the love seat and figured he must have existed out the front door so fast that I didn't see him leave. I walked around the love seat toward the window and there he was ... sitting on the lower shelf of the end table. I moved back around the other side of the couch keeping him in front of me, as I slide the broom handle through the small space between the couch and loveseat .... he sprinted out the front door, running down the driveway like any good roadrunner would do.

Before all that excitement it looked like it was just going to be another normal day here in the southwest. Sunny skies would lead to afternoon dark gray clouds with possible rain. I caught Walter sunbathing alone this morning when I couldn't find him inside. Glancing up I saw the smaller lizard was back on the fence.

Walter looked right at it but didn't move, didn't bark and acted as if he had zero interest in the lizard. He did not even walk in that direction to get a closer look ...  he studied for a while then just looked away after he saw what it was.

He was back in deep thought trying to put his plan of the day together. He is pretty independent like I have mentioned before but he likes structure in his life with few impulse decisions.

The Aerostat was flying high this morning but that didn't mean it was going to be a day of great weather. They would pull it back down before this afternoon. My hourly weather this morning was showing storms this afternoon but they never showed up here. It just shows how fast the weather can change in this area. Yet a lot of the rain in the forecast is in those mountains and we never get a drop. I can say I have only had one day of a normal monsoon these past few weeks, where it was short and hard rain, enough to flood the streets but didn't last longer than 10 minutes.

Just like I do or did with cars, I always look at houses for sale on Zillow, not that I am in the market for a house. Very few if any have a view like this. There is a house down the street for sale so I guess that would be one with the same view. With all the rain we've had, it's nice and green at 4,650 ft elevation.

It was another 'wasted' day for me. Lack of energy, lack of motivation, hungry but for nothing I have in the kitchen, or thoughts of a drive but no idea where I want to go. It's gone on for most of the week and is never a fun time to go through. Consequently I spent most of the day catching up on my sleep since most of my nights have a majority of 'disrupted' sleep as the app calls it. As I stepped outside this afternoon around 5pm I caught this rainbow down in Mexico. The radar showed there had been some pretty severe storms in that area and on the back side of the Huachuca Mountains.

Looking toward the Southwest towards Coronado NF and Miller Peak ...

This is nothing new and something Walter started within his first couple of week here. He's a digger but not what I would call a big or obsessive digger. He found this Mesquite tree root weeks ago. It's not going anywhere, they are that strong. But he likes to see if he can pull it out to use as a chew toy and I keep filling it back in because I like my rock yard without holes and red Arizona dirt.

He knew I had found what he had been doing most of the day when I was awake. Every time that I am taking a siesta the hounds also sleep in the same spots they do at night. Maybe I don't know it and am actually adapting to the hound lifestyle during this 'stay at home' stuff. There is a fine line between the hounds lifestyle and that of a retiree.

Saturday was so exciting I can't remember what we did. It was early evening when they were sleeping head to head and Walter snoring at different times. He is really getting heavy and hard to pick up any more. He has 12 more months of growing before he will be full grown. He will not be much taller but wider and his head will finally grow in a proportionate size. I think he enjoys the company of Stella and she enjoys him the majority of time. At times he wants to play, she wants to sleep so I have to come to her rescue.

Not sure what the plans are for the rest of the night. When a bloodhound wakes you up before dawn, these nights for doing something don't last long.

Hope everybody is staying well like we are here in the "Wild West".