Artemis Archive

RATN

Posted April 25, 2015 By Ruth

Arty officially completed his Barn Hunt Novice Title today, making him officially Artemis RATN were I to bother with paperwork for him.

He was far less impressed with the whole photograph with his ribbons thing than he was with the find the rats thing.

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But thats ok cause I’m still proud of him!

Updates

Posted April 6, 2015 By Ruth

We had a couple of absolutely lovely 60+ degree days last week.  I can finally access the garden again, and the snow in the yard is mostly gone except from a couple really shady spots.

Course, that rapid melt means that every single waterway has burst over its banks with no prior warning.  In many cases by a good 20 feet.  And of course the ground in our yard went from frozen solid to swamp in the same period.  

When I could finally access the garden again I was surprised to see quite a bit of green already.  It looks like the combination of insulating snow and black tires kept the garden warm enough that many of the annual flowers I planted last year (for color) survived the winter (the coldest one the area has ever had) and were getting ready to bloom!  Course, this means that every single weed survived too…..

Current 10 day forecast says we’re not supposed to dip below the freezing mark at all during that time period.  Though we’re going to be getting a fair bit of rain instead.  We don’t need more water at the moment, really.  The downside to that is that every single fruit tree in the region is about to start budding.  If we get a solid frost after this (which is entirely possible since normal last frost isn’t for another month at least for most of the area) its going to play havoc on the orchards.

I’m going to try growing broccoli again.  I’ve got it started in pots inside with an eye towards potentially planting it under row covers in a couple weeks.  Along with the Sugar Snap peas, radishes and some lettuce.  The tomatoes and most of the peppers are out in the greenhouse.

I found a local farm who’ll deliver a pickup load of well aged cow manure for cheap, course, the ground’s so wet she can’t drive the pickup right to the garden like I’d hoped to be able to do.  So we’ll be ferrying the lovely black dirt with hand-carts and the lawn tractor (if the lawn tractor doesn’t bog down in the mud anyway).  But it should do good things for my garden, so its worth it.

Arty’s enjoying the warmer temps, while Apollo is mourning the missing snow.  Arty has now completed 2 of the 3 required Qualifying runs to earn him his Barn Hunt Novice title.  Hopefully he’ll get that last Q later this month at a local trial.  We’ll be running Apollo for his Instinct title at the same trial, so wish me luck!

Snow!

Posted February 24, 2015 By Ruth

This is the first time since I moved to NY that my parents in MA have more snow on the ground than we do.  But that doesn’t mean we’re slacking here.  We’re just over average snowfall, and since we’ve not had a single (normal) thaw since the snowfall started its almost all still on the ground too.

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Looks so pretty and peaceful doesn’t it…..Well, here’s a photo, taken of the same spot, back on 2-2-15:

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Those orange things are the tops of 5gallon Home Depot buckets that mark out my garden patch there (so we can keep the dogs off it in the winter).  Now go back and look at the first picture again.

Yah.

There’s a reason all that snow is unbroken and smooth.  Its pushing 3ft deep.  Might even be over the 3ft mark at this point actually.  Its hard to be sure since the wind scours the surface constantly.  The drifts are insane.

And COLD.  Did I mention COLD??  Syracuse, the closest major city to me, has broken several cold temp records this winter.  Last Saturday morning the temperature between midnight and 1am dropped to -16(F) before windchill.  And oh yes, there was windchill.  Most days the windchill is dropping the “feels like” temperature at least 20 degrees, and we’ve had drops of up to 40 thanks to the “breeze”.  Its so bad that EVERYONE has ice dams and icicles on their houses this winter.  No matter how well its constructed or what its made of.  Even the steepest of metal roofs can’t shed their loads properly when its this cold.  The local stores can’t keep roof rakes and the Roof Melt tablets in stock, and folks are out on ladders with hammers and chisels trying to keep the ice on their roofs down.

Even Apollo thinks thats cold.  He still wants to go out in it mind, but instead of wanting to stay out he doesn’t argue when we tell him its time to come in either.

Which doesn’t stop him from lounging in the snow when we let him:

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Poor Arty disappears completely when he tries to hop into the snow, and I’m pretty sure he frostbit one of his feet last weekend (we’re keeping an eye on it).  I have booties for him, but they don’t fit well and he really doesn’t care for them, kicks them off almost as soon as he’s out the door.

The wildlife is suffering for it too.  Mind, I’m not complaining, to much, since it means that the insect and rodent populations shouldn’t be as bad come spring.  But the local birds are clearing my feeders (2 of which hold about 5lbs of seed apiece) in less than 2 days at this point.  We had an American Tree Sparrow strike a window and not pick up and recover like normal (considering it was barely above zero I’m surprised ANY of them pick up and recover honestly), so I took it down to the local wildlife rehabber, who said that she’s got lots like him that she’s waiting for a warm spell to release.  This winter has been hard on us all.

In slightly more cheerful news my tomatoes and jalapenos have all sprouted though!

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Attention New York Dog Owners

Posted January 6, 2015 By Ruth

Big Brother is considering dictating (Bill# S00473) how you train your dogs.

S 113-A. OBEDIENCE TRAINING; REQUIRED. 1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL BY RULE OR REGULATION ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR BASIC OBEDIENCE COURSES FOR DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS WHICH MUST BE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION. SUCH REQUIREMENTS SHALL INCLUDE INSTRUCTION FOR THE OWNER ON THE PRINCIPLES OF DOG TRAINING, AND INSTRUCTION ON AND PRACTICE OF OBEDIENCE TRAINING BY BOTH THE DOG AND ITS OWNER. FURTHERMORE, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF SUCH BASIC OBEDIENCE COURSES. 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL ESTABLISH REQUIREMENTS FOR DOG OBEDIENCE SCHOOLS WHICH ARE AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE THE BASIC DOG OBEDIENCE COURSES FOR DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS AS REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION. 3. THE OWNER OF ANY DOG REACHING THE AGE OF ONE YEAR SHALL, ON OR BEFORE THE DATE SUCH DOG REACHES ONE YEAR OF AGE OR WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF RECEIVING OWNERSHIP OF SUCH DOG, WHICHEVER SHALL BE LATER, SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE, WITH HIS OR HER DOG, A BASIC OBEDIENCE COURSE.

(text modified only to remove line numbers and make the paragraph work in the blog formatting)

So they want to dictate what and how our dogs are taught basic obedience. And require it of all dog owners.  Which on the surface of things I can see the theory.  But reality doesn’t work that way.  

First off, its yet ANOTHER state dictated expense for dog owning.  Unless they’re going to force trainers to offer the class for free, yah, that’d go over well.  Or maybe they’ll decide to subsidise it.  Like they are the minimum wage.  Yah, lets do that *headdesk*

And lets look at the practical issues:

Working farm dogs, especially Livestock Guardian Dogs, almost never leave the home property, are frequently not house pets, and are unlikely to pass basic obedience (or have an owner who wants them too).  

Hunting hounds are often not house pets, only leave the home property for hunting trips, and their owners are very unlikely to be interested in basic obedience classes.

A dog with dog aggression problems certainly needs training, but squashing one into a crowded “one size fits all” class will do them more harm than good.

Conformation show dogs are frequently taught modified obedience, including “down” or “stand” in place of “sit” because they don’t want the dogs sitting in the show ring.  If the mandated training dictates the use of the command “sit” show dogs are screwed too.

Never mind that not all dogs learn the same way.  What works for your average Lab might not work for your average hunting hound, never mind your average primitive breed.  Oh yes, the primitives.  Like the ones I own.  Both of whom are perfectly safe in public.  And both of whom would be very unlikely to pass your average “basic obedience” class, ESPECIALLY if it was done by the wrong trainer…..

HERE you can find your local Assemblymember and let them know what you think!

Click read more to see the letter I wrote.

Read the remainder of this entry »

2nd Barn Hunt Competition

Posted November 24, 2014 By Ruth

Arty’s 2nd Barn Hunt official trial was this past weekend.  Unfortunately it didn’t go as smoothly as the first.

I had signed him up for 4 Novice runs, two Saturday and two Sunday.  After receiving the run schedule I guesstimated that we’d be in the ring for the first run Sat before 10am, and got us there a little after 9am.  He had diarrhea when he pooped shortly after arriving there but by itself that didn’t mean anything.

I guesstimated wrong.  We didn’t get into the ring till after 11am.  Arty’s not the patient sort, and stresses easily.  So by the time he got into the ring he was too stressed to really look for the rat.  His 2nd run, a bit after 12-noon didn’t go any better.

Got home and he had another bout of diarrhea, and then puked up his lunch, refused supper, and puked up bile.  By 9pm he was still curled up into a miserable ball on the couch and I called off the Sunday runs.

Sunday his tummy was back to normal, keeping down the light meals I gave him, and he didn’t have diarrhea, but he still spent the day curled up in a little ball.  Poor stressed puppy.  Not sure he had a bug, or if it was just stress (which is my bet).  On the other hand I definitely picked up a bug somewhere, cause by the end of the day Sunday I was pretty miserable, though at least mine isn’t based in my tummy!  So maybe it was for the best that we didn’t do the Sunday runs.  

Oh well.  Next local competition is in March, with practices starting back up in January.  So I’ll be working on making sure he’s comfortable on site as much as standard practices……

 

(for everyone who asked: the insane snowfall that hit Buffalo and the northern parts of the state didn’t hit us.  We got a dusting.  Apollo’s disapointed, and I have to admit that it would have been fun to watch him go berserk over snow deeper than I am tall.  But I’m just happy I didn’t have to try to clear 6+ feet of snow…..)

Photo dump

Posted October 27, 2014 By Ruth

Been a while since the last time I posted photos (and even that was mostly garden stuff)….

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Ribbons!

Posted October 26, 2014 By Ruth

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He is the first NGSD to ever hold a Barn Hunt Instinct title!

Barn Hunt

Posted October 26, 2014 By Ruth

At some point in the last year I’d heard about a “new” canine sport called Barn Hunt.  Its basically a simulated rat hunt in a simulated barn setting.  Lots of “simulated” in there, but the idea was to work terriers as if they were barn dogs, charged with keeping the barn free of vermin.  But the sport isn’t just open to terriers, but to any breed of dog.  I thought it sounded like something that Arty would enjoy, and since I’ve been on the lookout for something I can do with him to get him out and about more I looked up local clubs.

No luck, the closest club was 2.5hrs away.  Not to far for competition certainly, but far enough that I wasn’t keen on dragging him out there for practices.

Then over the summer I found out about a new club starting up about 45 minutes north of me.  MUCH more feasible, location wise.  So I signed up Arty for practices.  And he LOVED it.  

So I went to register him with Barn Hunt so he could actually compete.  And that’s where  I ran into a problem.  Barn Hunt doesn’t care if the dog itself is register-able with any kennel club.  But in order for their breed to be listed with Barn Hunt the BREED must be register-able with one of the major kennel clubs (to keep the breed list from becoming a mess of -doodles and the like).

There’s something like barely 300 New Guinea Singing Dogs in the entire world.  Less most likely though I don’t have the current numbers.  And a fairly large number of those are owned by zoos, and research facilities, or in “group” settings.  The number owned by the private person, like me and my Arty is quite small.  Which just isn’t enough to get most KCs to be interested in recognizing them.  And two of the KCs that USED to recognize them no longer do.  I know what happened with one, but no one I’ve talked to knows what happened with the 2nd.

Barn Hunt refused to make an exception.  I was pretty peeved, for all that I understand the reasoning, there was no appeal process or anything.  I could have registered him with them as a “mixed breed”, but frankly the only thing I needed to register him for was actual competition runs.  I could still do practice sessions and “fun hunts” without registration.  So I refused, and so did every other Singer owner I talked to who was interested in Barn Hunt.

Then I discovered the IABCA lists Singers!  And Barn Hunt was willing to accept the IABCA’s listing!  Woohoo!  

That was 3 weeks ago.

Today Arty ran his first official trail.  He got his Instinct Qualification.  And his first (three are required) Novice Qual.  And although he wasn’t the fastest in the ring by any stretch, he did it with time to spare.  

There’s another Barn Hunt trial coming up the end of Nov, I can’t wait!

Updates

Posted July 21, 2014 By Ruth

Turns out I’m one of those rare people who have a delayed reaction to yellow jacket stings.  It still wasn’t a severe reaction, but it was highly disconcerting when suddenly, a full SEVEN days after the original sting, my arm swelled up and started itching like mad……

I’ve now lost two cucumber plants.  I’m blaming the cucumber beetles, as the deterioration looks like bacterial wilt, something that they’re known to spread.  Neem oil/insecticidal soap/hand picking is just NOT CUTTING IT for controlling them and they’re all over the garden.  I’m considering putting down beneficial nematodes in the entire garden to control the larva, and considering an actual pesticide for the adults.  I don’t want to, but they are literally everywhere, and if this IS bacterial wilt I want to stop it NOW.  I’ll probly be putting down the nematodes regardless.

We’ve got a steady dribble of tomatoes, and for all that neither of us is a big fan of raw tomatoes we’re both eating these, they’re good.  Which is good, cause at this rate I’m not going to get enough at one time to actually make sauce with.

Cross your fingers, we’ve got at least two Sugar Baby watermelons ripening, and at least a couple more growing.  At least two white Watermelons (Cream of Saskatuwans) growing.  Three cantaloupes.  The fancy cantaloupe finally has female flowers on it.

Onions and carrots look good. 

Zucchini finally has babies growing. 

I’m actually getting sweet peppers this year!  I can’t wait for them to ripen! 

The jalapeno’s look awesome, going to be a bumper crop there.  Looks like most of the mystery peppers are Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, and they’re all producing madly.  Two look like they may be habanero’s, now to see if they’re whites or chocolates. 

I don’t think we’re going to get any pumpkins this year.  The plants are still less than a foot long.  I think the cold spring just did them in.  I’m on the hunt for a variety thats more cold tolerant.

Potato plants look good, I’ve not tried digging through the straw to check for actual potatoes though. 

One variety of lettuce has sprouted and is growing well, neither of the others appears to have even germinated.

Corn…..well, I’ll be happy if we even get a couple ears, that was a massive failure this year.

Blueberry plants didn’t produce any fruit this year, I didn’t even see a single blossom.  I’m blaming the extreme winter and cold spring.

Golden raspberry plant is producing well.  Boysenberry has produced a few berries, we’re waiting for them to ripen.  There are a couple berries on one of the blackberries.

Fruit trees….well, the one apple that didn’t produce last year (at all) has a good crop of fruit on it.  The rest of the apple trees have one or two apples, or nothing.  And there’s no pears at all.  Again, blaming the winter/spring for that one.  They all bloomed, and I didn’t think we got cold enough after budding to cause problems, but maybe we did.

My cell phone has developed a problem.  Its a Motorola Droid 2, so its not exactly new, but suddenly its developed a mind of its own and is randomly hitting options on the screen without any input from me.  This DID start after I dropped it (again) so I suspect a physical problem rather than a virus, especially since I’d not installed any new apps in the previous couple months.  It’ll be fine for a week or more, and then suddenly do things on its own.  Lotsa fun.

We took Arty to his first Barn Hunt practice last night.  I knew his prey drive was high, and he’s finally figured out how to use his nose, so I was hoping this would turn out to be something that I could take him too, and expose him to more things, that he’d enjoy.  And yup, he did very well.  There’s another practice in a few weeks, we’ll be taking both dogs to that one.  Though I don’t expect Apollo do well at it.  He’ll pass the instinct portion no problem, but for the actual runs the dog needs to go through a small tunnel, and I don’t expect to be able to convince Apollo that its worth his time to crawl through a tunnel.

Photos update

Posted January 27, 2014 By Ruth

Not much has been going on here, but I’ve gotten some photos to share.

This past Saturday I made a trip down to the local buffalo farm to pick up some meat for us and bones for the dogs.  While I was there their youngest calf (she was born in Oct, WAY late) and her momma wandered up to the fence line and they were kinda enough to allow me to go down to the line myself to snatch some photos.

 

 

 

 

 

And I attempted to get some closeups of snowflakes.  I don’t really have the right equipment for this, but they turned out ok anyway.  If you click through to the big version, and then click to zoom in you can see all sorts of detail.

 

 

 

 

And a sunset from a couple weeks ago.

 

 

 

And the dogs enjoying the snow.

 

 

 

A full moon.

 

 

And this juvi Red-tailed hawk was kind enough to soar slowly over so I could get several pictures.

 

 

 

And more birds at the feeders.