It's June and things are growing beautifully in our garden. I didn't realise how much I'd enjoy walking around the yard and checking the status of all our plants, taking photos of unusual flowers or bugs, pinching weeds here and there... Leia has even noticed because when she wanted attention today, she started frolicing on the snow peas.... She loves to steal any plant markers (she noticed them pretty quickly since I'm using white ones) and tease me by prancing around the yard, marker in her little teeth.
This year I started tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and some herbs from seeds indoors. Here they are in May, below:
Vegetable garden boxes on May 6, 2012 - before planting
Vegetable garden boxes on June 9, 2012 - most seeds and seedlings planted and growing, some herbs are flowering, and the garlic is huge!
Here's what I'm growing this year:
- Tomatoes: Patio cherry, chocolate cherry, blue cherry, yellow grape, borghese principe, and Cherokee purple
- Bell peppers, Calwonder
- Lettuce, Black Seeded Simpson and Prizehead (kind of reddish-green leaves)
- Snow peas, Oregon Sugar
- Bush beans, Yellow Pencil and Blue Lake green - and a handful of old scarlet runner beans
- Nasturtiums, Dwarf Jewel mix
- Marketmore cucumbers & lemon cucumbers
Herbs: basil, oregano, chives, thyme, tarragon, lemon balm, cilantro, lavender (& last year's rosemary died off I think)
In a pot: peppermint, chocolate mint, and curled cress
Sadly the ground cherries didn't sprout at all! I tried them in seedling soil mix and in damp paper towel... maybe later I'll try a few in the ground. I haven't planted the chard or kale yet.
I love how many pretty flowers are in the herb garden. I had to drag Leroy away from eating a busy bumblebee. Above are sage flowers - apparently you can eat these?
Some notes about my week with Leia. Lots of fun!
Sometimes when I play with Leia, I'll see if I can train her at all yet. I haven't been able to get her to sit, but she picks up the Touch command pretty fast!
Chewing on something? Distract her with an elk antler (especially smeared with a bit of sugar-free peanut butter), or a bully stick. She likes dehydrated liver treats.
We take Leia and Leroy for an evening walk. First time she's walked around the entire block without being carried! Exhausted pup.
She wakes up and cries a lot at 2am; she doesn't want to go outside as much as play piranha.
Leia meets our vet! Microchipped her: we have a RFID-enabled puppy.
(Have your pets microchipped, my friends: our puppy was only about $50-60.)
By the end of the day we notice Leia is starting to sit by the door when she wants to come in, imitating Leroy.
Vet points out Leia's bellybutton. Much smaller than I thought: it looks like a little mole.
At the vet's suggestion, we move Leia's crate out of our bedroom into another bedroom on the same floor, so we can sleep a bit easier when she cries. This helps a lot! She sleeps well from 1045pm-5:30am, with a bit of crying at the start. She pops up at the sunrise and waits quietly to be let out.
We have found a good match for Leroy's energy. Whenever Leroy has a moment where he's not playing with the pup, he looks like he's about to pass out sleeping.
Geez she's talkative. She barks at the ferrets, at Leroy, at the Kong Genius. She whines a lot to be let up. She has this cute punctuating squeak when she yawns.
Chi gets her first good chomp on Leia that makes her yelp. Leia doesn't seem discouraged yet.
Leia is learning Sit! You don't realise how useful Sit is, until you have a dog that doesn't. She'll sit for a treat, though she takes a bit longer and she doesn't have good eye contact. Guess I'll teach her Watch next. So working on Touch, Sit, and Watch. Soon, we shall take over the WORLD!
Did she just run to the door when I said "Outside"? Is she picking up on the word or body language from Leroy and me?
How did Friday come so fast? I am going to miss being on vacation with the dogs.
*IF* I can reach the door in time (big if) after Leia wakes up, all by herself she'll go to the door, descend the stairs, pee, climb back up the stairs, and hop inside again. Sometimes she's so fast I'm still getting on my flipflops! However, she doesn't wait for #2, so I still have to watch her carefully. Three accidents today - one stealth poop and twice I don't get to the door fast enough after she wakes.
Before the storm comes, Leroy, Leia and I chill outside. I read Game of Thrones in the grass while the dogs tussle. I'm really thankful for Leroy. This last day or so he's been initiating play with Leia and keeping her busy & happy.
Inconveniently Leia has to go during the thunderstorm. We start outside optimistically, but the rain increases and we're both miserable and soaked in seconds despite an umbrella. She's making sad puppy squeaks.
Beautiful morning! Lots of photos today.
Leroy is chewing on an antler and Leia is jumping all over his head. Though, Leroy elected to chew on one of Leia's fav antler bits.
We walk Leroy around the neighbourhood and greet the local dog lovers - by 9pm she's been passed around to 6+ people and is asleep in Sean's arms.
She's becoming quite bold. She doesn't always tag at our heels and come when we call.
Puppy Kindergarten! It's good to see our old instructor again. There's at least 7 other puppies in the class and all bigger than Leia: Leia is a chicken and hides most of the class. Too many puppies & smells!
There's a chocolate lab and a Chesapeake Bay retreiver... beautiful puppies. Another clever & happy puppy knows how to come & sit already. Several good tips given. Leia falls asleep in the car ride home.
Leroy has started asking to climb into my lap when Leia is asleep, for extra cuddles. Awwww.
Leia is trying out her BT-500s in the house with Leroy. Another good way to tire her out is to toss her on the bed with Leroy, and they'll happily wrestle for 20 minutes.
Psh, how did it reach 9pm already?
Have a good week!
Whew, I can type now that the puppy is recharging!
This weekend we picked up our 8 week Boston Terrier puppy, Leia - she is equal parts sweetheart and spitfire, and we're so excited to have her. We named her after Princess Leia in Star Wars. She's darker than a typical Boston, being nearly all black with all black paws, a white patch on her chest and a white stripe up her forehead. Some of her toe tips have the tiniest feathering of white.
We're all a bit groggy (including Leroy) from Puppy Time Zone lag: Leia is up as soon as the sun is up, or sooner! I get to see the sunrise at 5am. We're working on crate training her, and wearing her out enough so she falls asleep by 9pm and doesn't cry in the crate. The first night she passed out after all the excitement, the second night she screamed at the crate every hour or so. When we tried to calm her to sleep in a quiet moment at 2am, she'd wake, jump on your head happily and nibble at you like a teasing piranha. Last night, third night we worked hard to exhaust her, and she slept 7 hours steadily!
She is really bonding with us and Leroy. She'll follow us around, sometimes steadily, other times sprinting ahead like mad whilst trying to scratch her ear and nearly falling headfirst into your legs. The other day she walked around the full block!
Leroy was a bit shy of her at first - what is this bitey, noisy creature? But I think they'll make fast friends. Already they love to play together several times a day. Leroy is quite gentle. Leia leaps like a little lion at him and hangs off his collar.
More updates to come!
This year my personal photography project is to post (at least) one photo a week of each of our pets. A project like this really has has me using my camera on a regular basis, and trying new settings. I hope you can see a slight improvment in my photos.
It started when I was invited to the Flickr group 52 Weeks of Ferrets. It's wonderful to have comments from other photographers, and to see photos of other delightful ferret characters.
This week was too long, and I mostly procrastinated until today to take photos of our creatures. Thanks to a post on 52 Weeks of Ferrets, I came up with the idea to photograph each fuzzmonster with their favourite toy.
Leroy's favourite toy: red Bucky ball. (photo at top)
Leroy has a close tie for #1. Here's what I call his red Bucky ball. I've forgotten who made it. It's one of his favourite tug-o-war toys. He'll chase it, or you'll hang on for dear life while he shakes it viciously. Just watch your fingers.
It was originally a dog toy we bought for the ferrets. We thought they would push it around, but hilariously Chi likes to crawl half-inside and roll around in it!
Leroy's other well-loved toys are his super-durable Kong Tails and his Kong Genius. One day I'll record a video of how he interacts with the Kong Genius.
Chi's favourite toy: green starfish.
The starfish is nearly the size of Chi, yet if you bring it out she will grab it from you and determinedly hoist it to the nearest safe place. Here's a video of her doing exactly that. So funny!
Spunkmeyer also loved Starfish - he's the one that affectionately gnawed his eyes.
Horatio's favourite toy: Mr. Ducky.
Horatio has had Mr. Ducky a long, long time. Mr. Ducky is nearly as old as Horatio. Sean & I found Mr. Ducky at Shopper's Drug Mart at Easter. I had to send his companion, Mr Bunny, ... um, on vacation, but I haven't had the heart to take Mr. Ducky away too. Look at Horatio's expression.
Horatio is very diligent about checking on his toys every day. Mr. Ducky has regular baths in the water dish too. Despite appearances.
It's hard to come up with a new photo each week. I have tons of photos of the ferrets lying on our hardwood floor. Or sleeping. Just because a pancaking or sleeping ferret is relatively easy photo subject!
If you have any requests of what you'd like to see the pets doing - maybe you've heard me mention they have this peculiar habit or the other, or are curious about a facet of caring for them - let me know, and I'll try to take a photo of it!