Saturday, July 26, 2008

"This is my first time eating a banana on a train!"

It has been a while since I have been able to post so this one will cover all sorts of topics!

We took a brief a vacation for a long weekend up near the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We stayed at a very pet friendly campground, which can be hard to find. The Chocorua Camping Village (for some reason blogger keeps putting extra stuff in front of the real address, sorry I can't seem to get it to not put it there!) is located about 30 minutes from Conway, NH. They have a swimming hole just for dogs, as well as a fenced in dog park and offer dog daycare for a reasonable price. There are trails for hiking and mountain biking where the dogs are able to run off leash. If anyone is ever looking for a campground near there, I highly recommend it!

Kyler and Cedar had a good time, although Kyler has slown down so much we had to take it easy for her sake.

The caption for the heading above is a quote from Jaida while we were riding on her first train at the Conway Scenic Railroad. This is pretty much how she spent most of the ride, glued to the window, waving to everyone whenever there were people to wave at. For any of you who have kids....Yes, that is Thomas the Train in the background. It cost twice as much to ride that train, and the ride was half the length.

This is a field we drove by, I wish I had this view everyday!

Here she is with the moose outside the campground office as we were checking out to leave.

Then at the Polar Caves!

Then, the new addition to the family. "Wonka", is a Russian Tortoise. I have wanted a tortoise for a very long time and after a lot of serious thinking and research, the right situation came along and here she is! Thanks Heather!! We love her already!

Then, of course, Kyler. This picture is from today.

We took xrays a couple days ago to see about how many puppies there are. We see 5, I was hoping for a few more, but I am still just as excited! Here is her film:
Now we are preparing for Jaida's birthday party. She turns 3 years old on the 31st, so we are having her party tomorrow. I hope Kyler handles all the commotion well! Once everyone leaves it is time to set up the whelping box! (It should really be set up already, but with the party we would have had to take it down)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


My plan is to try to post pictures here following Kyler pregnancy so that everyone can see how things are progressing. She is getting bigger by the day. She has 3 1/2 weeks to go and her belly is starting to get in the way, especially after a meal. When she sits after eating her knees stick out because her belly pushes them out.

This picture is from about a week ago, for those that don't know her she may not look all that different, but for those who do, you can see her waist has grown considerably. It was a hot day and she was not comfortable, these were the best pictures I could get of her that day.

These next pictures are from Friday, so she had 3 1/2 weeks to go (that is when the most growth takes place)

We have raspberry bushes in our yard in several places. One of the bushes is on the edge of the dogs yard, both dogs enjoy picking their berries when they would like a little snack. We then spent Sunday morning outside enjoying the nice weather. (we had spent all of Saturday painting the house) Cedar loves to pop bubbles so I did my best to snap him biting them.

Then, finally, I have received requests from several friends for a picture of one of our chickens, known as "miracle chicken". Our chickens don't really have names, but this one is special. Miracle chicken has survived several attacks by various creatures. She first became known by that name after being attacked in the middle of the night by what I assume is a weasel. Two of her coop-mates were killed and she was badly injured. We almost put her out of her misery, and then at the last minute I decided to try and save her. I figured either she would live or die, I could at least give it a try. After 2 months of intense care, she pulled through. (yes, perhaps it was a bit crazy for a chicken, but after I started I couldn't stop since she was still alive) She required tube feeding because her head was so swollen she couldn't see to eat, plus her beak was in bad shape, it was cracked all along the bottom. Her beak fell off (she now has what looks like lips) and she is blind in one eye, but other than that she is fine. She looks a bit funny, ut she has become a pet chicken. She follows me everywhere, including to the mailbox, I have to sneak out of the house otherwise she comes with me everywhere in the yard. She has since survived 2 attacks, one by a dog, and another by a fox when I forgot to close the coop at night. The fox actually pinned her down and pulled all the feathers off the back of her neck, leaving a little nick. We got outside just in time to keep her from being carried away. We heard the commotion and ran outside. Phew, close call. The chickens now have a new coop with a fenced in area so I don't have to worry about forgetting to shut it at night anymore!

So, here she is, "Miracle Chicken".

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Field days and fun days!

So, we spent last Sunday down in Connecticut at the Flaherty field trial grounds. It was ridiculously hot, a day that no normal dog handler/bird hunter would ever really hit the field. By noon it was certainly well into the 90's. Kyler was the second brace out in the excellent division, the division for the dogs with a bit more experience. With her being pregnant, I wasn't sure if I should really enter her, but the closing date for the day was before we knew and I decided that she would like to run either way.

She had a decent run, the grass on the side we ran on was so high that it was over my head in many places, and at least up to my waist everwhere. This made both scenting conditions, as well as conditions for seeing her very difficult. I hadn't put her bell on her collar, as I used to do, as it can also hint to a judge if they are moving. After seeing the cover I realized that I should have put the bell on her. Almost right from the begining I had a difficult time keeping track of her, she is a small Vizsla and the heavy air kept me from hearing much of anything subtle.

She didn't listen as well as I would have liked her to, but I was giving her slack considering her "condition". The highlight of the run for me was once we found a bird. She went on point from when I was several hundred feet back with one of the judges. They let me know and I ran up the dirt road to find her. There she was, locked up with her bracemate honoring her. I looked and looked for the bird in the waist high grass but I was having a hard time. During the initial 2 minute or so search she didn't move a muscle! Perfect! The judges wanted me to relocate her, which I did. She went right back to the same area and locked up on point again in the tall brush. I couldn't actually see her from the road. I went in, saw her and began to walk by her to where I hoped the bird would be. I saw some feathers and stepped around for a second. The chukar flushed suddenly without me actually seeing exactly where it was. The gunners shot, the bird went down, I turned to Kyler and she was still rock solid on point! This was the first time in a "real" (meaning, non-training) situation, that she had stayed steady. She didn't move until I released her for the retrieve. After taking a few seconds to find it and pick it up, she brought it to right in front of me and handed it over. At that point the judges had decided that they had seen enough, and it was too hot to continue. They had me collar her up.

Oddly enough, we didn't place, or even get an honorable mention, but the best part of the day for me anyway, was Kyler holding her point as long as she did both before the find and after the fall! I couldn't really have asked anything more of her...Team V-Bronx Chapter, however, has a different ending! Jozsi beat out an impressive bunch of dogs to win the title of Hunting Dog! Congratulations to Jozsi! Andrew and Jozsi are showing people just how great Vizslas, in particular, Widdershins and Upwind lines can be in the field! Check out his write-up and pictures on his blog:

So, we are trying to keep Kyler as active as she can be without overdoing it...We have a short hike 1/4 mile up the road from us that gives us an awesome view. It is only a 10 minute up hike (well, without the kid going slow, that is...) Kyler still seems to be just as agile, although, she is slowing down for sure. She is sleeping harder after any exercise.

Since doing her ultrasound a week ago today she has changed a lot. When she is laying on her back, particularly, you can really tell that she is pregnant.

Jaida is showing more and more of mommies love for animals. These pictures are from last week when we went to a local petting zoo. The chickens and the goats are by far her favorite! We ended the day by making a batch of brownies, which she loves! Whenever we make them there seems to be a common theme...See below...
On one last random bit...I am starting to gather ideas for call names for the puppy we plan to keep from Kyler's litter. We are looking for something different, but not completely wacky and it mush be catchy !....We plan to keep a female, pending that she has at least one girl! Please send any suggestions through the comments section! I would love to hear any ideas that people have! The more the better!!!