June 29, 2009

Wow, two days makes all the difference...

Here's my sweet, sweet girl, Mira. I am just amazed how she is recovering and becoming herself after only two days with us. I already have a family interested in her after posting her bio this morning on the rescue site.

I like this "tough chick". She is a little "scary" to the uninitiated of German Shepherds, but really, she's an all bark and no bite kind of girl who has to make sure you are worthy of her trust - and coming from an eat or be eaten kind of world this makes sense.

Show her some love, food, a little discipline and direction, and she is all yours. When she lays at your feet and looks at you with those eyes. Oh my gosh. It's totally worth it.
German Shepherds are amazingly resilient, smart and give their whole heart loving breed of a dog.

Wow! I am humbled.

June 27, 2009

Sauna Update

Last weekend, the sauna stove was put in. Todd spent most of the day building the wall.
He's calling me right now from Paul's a week later, yelling that I haven't uploaded the photos yet.
Here's the photos.

Meet Mira, the 6th foster dog

Here is Mira (Meer'ah) with a little bit of Spanish trilling of the "R" because I can do it.

We are starting to settle in after a few hours of snarling, barking, growling between the dogs. They are now all laying at my feet peaceful. Mira needs a few days to decompress after being in a kennel for two weeks with no access to the outside and the loss of her family. She is actually a very sweet girl who needs a human to bond with in order to show her the way.It's Teiko, who is being his usual selfish little bastard self that doesn't want to share his Mama with anyone.....I like this girl. She really knows her commands, walks great on a leash and loves car rides. I'll give her a few days to settle before I get her in for her spay job. She really has a thing for Todd, being a man and will follow him everywhere.

A rescue story of Momma

It's been a busy week for German Shepherd Rescue Alliance of Wisconsin. Here's a true rescue story that I thought you might enjoy. It expresses exactly why I do what I can for this amazing dogs and a wonderful group of volunteers.

Earlier in the week the Milwaukee police were sent to evict a homeless man from a vacant building. When they got there they found the man had 10 dogs with him. A female German Shepherd Dog and her nine 5mo old pups. The guy hoped on a bicycle and took off calling all the dogs to go with him. It took the police, Madacc (Milwaukee Animal Control) and citizen volunteers some time to round up all ten dogs which finally ended up at Madacc. Reports say the dogs were all in good shape and well groomed.

Now here's the sad part, later in the day, the homeless man showed up at Madacc to see if he could get his dogs back. Now there were fines to the tune of thousands of dollars attached to all the dogs and obviously this man was in no way able to pay, so with little recourse, he surrendered the dogs to Madacc.

Word went out to area rescues, and of course, the pups were all snatched up within 24 hours, but Momma was left behind. See, no one wanted her - she's not very young, very cute or even puppyish.

One of GSRAW's volunteers, Jodie, went to Madacc this week to evaluate a couple dogs and saw what a nice dog Momma was and Rylee has volunteered to foster her. So GSRAW is pulling her on Saturday.

This little story didn't make the newspapers or TV news. In the big picture it probably isn't such a big deal, is it? But in the life of one Momma dog who just lost her pups, her freedom and her best friend, I'm sure it's huge that people cared enough to give her a new life also.

THANK YOU to everybody who has helped with the dogs this week. In addition to Momma, three other female dogs have foster homes thanks to Kyra, Michelle and Jodie. Transports across two states have come together with another big THANK YOU to Bernadette, Ellie, Sonia, Rylee, Gailee and Chris C.

Life is good :)
Thanks, Jo
So Momma, as she's been called for the past 10 days, will be coming to us for a reprieve and a second chance. I'm thinking of changing her name to Mara or Mira, or maybe Moya as all are tied to the name, Mary meaning great mother.

Besides, there can only be one "Mama" in this house.

June 19, 2009

Hopping good time....

Pictured above is a fast-growing Hops plant. This perennial vining plant sends out hundreds of tendrils as it grows. Last weekend, Todd put up a trellis of sorts so the vines can grow vertical instead of just horizontal across the fence. Since I took the photo on Sunday, some of the vines have already grown another 10 inches. Max height should be around 20 ft this year.

Soon it will start flowering and you can drop a bud directly in a beer if you like a hoppy taste.

June 16, 2009

a piece of Madison history

Anyone who grew up in Madison, knows this house and I know you want the color version, but too bad. I'm paying homage to 154 years of its existence.

It's called the Leicht House and is on Gorham Street by James Madison park. Both Todd and I have loved this house since we were little, when every Christmas, the owners used to decorate every window with lights, even the cupola on the top of the roof.

Yesterday, we visited the house, even that cupola. I loved that the stone path from the sidewalk is made from the same quarried stone as the house. While the style of the house is quite Gothic Victorian, I could definitely make it my own.

I loved the three separate staircases, the 13ft ceilings, the fireplaces in every room and the beautiful woodwork. But the reproduction Victorian wall paper in every room would definitely have to go.....

You just watch this will be our house one day!

June 14, 2009

Summer in Madison let the music begin

Yesterday, Saturday, Jun 13th, was the official kick-off the the Madison summer music scene with the Marquette Lakefront Festival. Headed down around 5pm to catch the last show of the day, Rupa and April Fishes from San Fran. - Love the sound - European gypsy, Mediterranean and Bollywood with all songs beautifully sung in french. The we stopped at Ankur and Ashwini's to visit with his wonderfully fun parents who were visiting from India. We then departed en masse for some great music on the Union Terrace belted out by the Lee Boys out of Florida. I loved their rift of Jimi Hendrick's Purple Haze, they hammered out over Lake Mendota. Wow, gotta love the steel guitar. Music on the terrace must end by 11pm so the night was still young! We then headed over to our favorite neighborhood haunt - the Harmony Bar and Grill for an amazing final set of New Orleans' Bryan Lee - the braille blues daddy. Great guitar playing by Mr. Lee and the drums were absolutely smok'n.
Now today, Sunday, if I was feeling up to it, I'd head down to the Chicago Blues Festival to catch me some Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - the hottest Soul Queen in America. Check her out! Just an amazing voice and she is so wonderfully nice.

Todd and I caught her show in Madison last fall - She rocked the Barrymore to the ground and stayed after wards to clean up - she signed records and talked with everyone. Beautiful woman!

Gotta love summer in Madison - the music is so amazing and a joy to the soul.

June 8, 2009

That was a close one...

Seriously loud thunder and lightning brought both Todd and I out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night. We had no idea until this morning how close the lightning really was.

Holy Cow! It totally stripped the bark off of our tree and took a whole branch down. Not sure if the tree can be saved or not.

June 6, 2009

Meeting a new friend today

Meet Gage, a wonderful six year old GSD who found himself surrendered to a local humane society. He will be staying with us for what we hope will be a very short time as there is already a family interested in adopting him. As a rescue organization, we just want to observe, vaccinate, love and de-stress the poor guy before placing him in his forever home.

Not sure if Teiko is going to like the male moving in, so the back-up plan is to have Gage go to Grama's house if needed.

I've had him for about two hours now and I can report the following:

  • Absolutely beautiful - such red highlights in his coat - Beautiful gait - some nice west german bloodlines in him.
  • Nice house manners - no marking
  • Met and greeted Cita the Poodle very nicely - very good doggy manners upon walking into the house
  • A very fast learner! First he learned quickly that sliding glass doors can't be walked through. Secondly, he learned that swimming pools can suck you in. 5 minutes off leash in the backyard he walked right into the deep end of the swimming pool. Found out right away that he's a good swimmer, I called him to me by the stairs and he walked out on his own. He has since decided that swimming pools are fun to look at but not be in..........
  • Loves to play fetch and will keep bringing his football back time and time again. No possession issues Will gladly give the toy to me.
  • Takes food nicely - again no possessive issues seen with water or food bowls either
  • Knows basic commands - sit, come, down. Stay we are working on.
  • Needs some work on leash manners - he's kind of a puller so far - but once he settles in, this should improve
I'm going to take him for a walk in the neighborhood now and see what he does meeting people. He was just neutered and I will schedule him this week for rabies and bordetella. Will also have my vet take a look at his hips - I'm seeing a different gait than I'm used to with shepherds - not sure if it's anything but it looks a bit odd.

This is one very nice dog.

The gardens are blooming

The first round of planting, pruning and bedding the plants is done in this year's gardens. I'm really happy that so many perennials make a comeback including all 10 rosebushes I planted last summer. I took some photos last night with my phone so the images are the greatest, but you can still get a good idea what's happening.... Watch below or click on the slideshow to see bigger photos.

June 1, 2009

Helping out a friend

Spent most of the weekend at Paul's house helping him put siding on his garage. Paul is always the first to offer a helping hand to us at Beatons, so we thought it good to return the favor.
Most of Saturday was spent figuring out the angles, leveling and foundation of the siding project. By Sunday afternoon we had the garage sided almost half way up.
Saturday night, after a great steak dinner, we had a little fire. Paul works for a commercial washing machine manufacturer and these stainless steel tubs make great fire pits. And I'm all about "reduce, reuse, recycle".
And of course, no weekend would be complete without throwing something for Teiko. Here the boy is resting in Paul's backyard. Teiko got to run for hours. Which is good, since it was his first time since surgery over a week ago. The boy was very happy!
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