Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Neck-wear Indulgence

A few friends have been posting lately about gorgeous leather collars they're getting, like, have ordered, customized, etc. One friend even ordered from a company I referred, Karma Collars. I make collars, of course, but I don't do leather (at least not yet). Typically I wouldn't be able to indulge in something so extravagant but I've been working really hard lately and I was having a particularly rough and emotional week so...

When Karma had a sale - Get a free leash with any collar purchase - well, who was I to say no? Karma makes absolutely wonderful products. I learned of them a couple years ago when they made a donation to a club raffle I was collecting for. I was so impressed by the creativity, design, and quality that I was all for promoting them. Their prices are actually really good, too, especially for the quality of workmanship - and in comparison to other companies offering the same products. I'm all for Karma!

So then when I made the decision I had to CHOOSE. How do you choose from so many beautiful items - particularly when you can customize? Well, sometimes you just go with your gut. The Stargazer immediately struck me and I went with it. Vegas' was to be 1.5" wide in black leather and I requested pink, purple, and clear rhinestone embellishments. Once the order was placed it was about three weeks out from shipment - YES, they're that popular and in high demand. Anyone who knows me knows I hate waiting. Hate waiting. I'm much more of an "instant gratification" kind of girl. But cest la vie; in such an instance I had no choice so waiting it was.

I got notice on Thursday the collar had shipped. It was sent two day priority mail with the USPS and I couldn't wait. Our schedule was such that we were away from home all day Saturday - leaving just an hour or so before the mail would typically arrive. Imagine my delight when I got home to this!

It fits Vegas perfectly and is so soft and comfortable. They outdid themselves and I love, love, love it! The leash is 4' in 3/4" black, soft, supple leather. It felt already broken in and for those who use leather leashes, you know what a treat that is!

Here's Vegas modeling.

She even wore it hiking on Sunday.
Karma also has a Facebook page where you'll see many happy hounds sporting their fantastic gear.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Hike!

And Vegas' first hike in almost 9 months! Yes, I'm trying to conquer our - my - fear of reinjury. Every limp, off step, or stumble causes me heart palpitations, but she seems to be holding up just fine and was thrilled to get out on a hike.

We headed out about 7:15 am on Sunday out Highway 26 (Oregon) toward the coast range. There was a logging road I hiked with a friend a couple months ago and I figured we'd hit that up again. Well, turned out it was closed because they are logging it again so we were at a dilemma. I decided to keep going up the highway in hopes of finding another logging road that was open. We had success in just a couple of miles and this stop-over had two logging roads from which to choose. One looked like it paralleled the highway at least for a bit but was less traveled if all the grass grown over the road was any indication. The other headed off into the woods and appeared to be all gravel.

We selected the road less traveled (left) and headed out. I had my backpack, plenty of bottles of water, dishes, poop bags, some cherries for a snack, my camera, my 14 year-old son, and all three dogs along.
Vegas running pell-mell to catch up to Mama.  
I wish I remembered what these berries were. They were seriously abundant out there on the left trail.
The left trail, we learned, while beautiful, did parallel the highway for the most part, even while drifting North, and soon ended at a road. We weren't sure where the road would have taken us, but it surely was no longer a forest service road and thus the dogs would have had to go back on leash. So we turned back from where we came with plans to head out on the other (right) trail.

Before we did, though, see what we saw?
So off on the other trail we went. It was graveled all the way with that large-ish gravel designed to support log trucks. Not the greatest for walking on but certainly better than beating our own trail. The good news about this trail, too, is that it was mostly in the shade! The other logging roads I had originally thought about were mostly out in the open and exposed to the sun due to all the clear cuts. The shade is very welcome when highs were going to reach nearly 90 yesterday and even early in the morning, upper 60s and low 70s is a bit much for all of us to do much in the way of lengthy exertion.
Yes, Mama, I'll pose. But just for a minute.
Just keep sniffing, just keep sniffing...  Lots of "scat" out there. Likely coyote. No deer or elk pellets surprisingly despite all the tracks we saw.
Russian Thistle, I believe... ? (Thanks, James.)
I use an awesome app on my Android device called Map My Walk/Hike. It tracked our distance. We went just over 4 miles with varying elevations. You can see the details here. This has been important not only for my own fitness, but to monitor what I put Vegas through. She managed well and this is the farthest we have been thus far since we started back on the road to rehabilitation.

                    Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyHike

Everybody came home and crashed pretty good until mid-afternoon when they all wanted dinner. No ill effects so I'm excited to get her out again to enjoy the great outdoors.

Friday, August 2, 2013



a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real  or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. foreboding, apprehension,consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm. courage,security, calm, intrepidity.

Anyone ever experience this emotion? Fear. Life is really busy right now and I'm having a hard time just fitting in regular walks with the dogs. However, other than this week, they were getting them every other day at a minimum for 1.75-2.5 miles. It was enough to take the edge off and make them happy for a change of scenery and smell some new smells. A couple of times I took Vegas out in the front yard and worked on obedience, too. She is starting to get the concept of a drop on recall and damn if it isn't the cutest thing ever. 

But fear... fear sort of rules my mind when it comes to training - particularly rehabilitating her. Any time I let her off leash, I experience fear. What if she trips? What if she steps in a hole? What if she strains something in her wild and enthusiastic frolicking? What if she steps on one of the littles and hurts them? What if, what if, what if? 

So sometimes I avoid activity with her. If she doesn't do anything she can't get hurt right? I know this train of thought is not exactly well thought out or logical, but fear often doesn't follow those rules does it? 

I'm even afraid of getting her 100% rehabilitated and strong again. Why you may wonder? Well, what if she doesn't like agility any more? What if she still can't do agility? What if I get her strong but she's just not made the way she used to be and her age has caught up to her and she shouldn't be as active? 

I also haven't had time to collect a urine sample and have it retested again, so fear rules there, too. What if something is still wrong? What if another abnormality appears in testing and we have to proceed down another path? 

So fear is ruling our lives right now. I'm trying to work through it and hoped to take steps toward doing so by vocalizing those fears. For all intents and purposes, I have no reason to believe she can't completely recover. Nothing we have done thus far has caused her any setback. She is just as happy to go and be active as ever. She is just as demanding to do something often as she ever was - perhaps more so. She is tired of being cooped up. She wants to go. She is happy to walk, happy to work, demands to romp and play. My living room is a testament usually to her enthusiasm for life what with piles of toys strung out all over. She has not had a moment's lameness. Last week on Wednesday I took her for a walk while it was still quite sunny and warm out. We ventured to the Farmer's Market uptown and she wore her backpack. She carried two bottles of water, my cell phone, and my wallet. She did fine and had no ill effects. She moves well. She is not lame. 

So this, too, will pass, right? The fear. It will recede, dissipate, and slip away into the recesses of memory? I hope so. But for now, fear resides in our lives.