Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who's loveseat is it anyway?

Life has been a tad stressful & chaotic lately.
No sooner had my brother & his family departed for their cruise but my Mom arrived with her dog, Champ. We introduced Champ & Linus to each other in our backyard. The intros seemed to go fine. Linus was intimidated a bit but he didn't run off in terror either. He even let Mom pet him.
The 3 dogs seem to be cohabitating nicely. Einstein & Champ have always gotten along (unless there are chewies involved). They love to play & run. At my Mom's house there's enough space for them to get up to a good speed as they tear down the hallway & see if they can turn instead of slamming into the door. We don't have very good running space at home but they certainly do try to make the most of it. Linus just hunkered down on the loveseat & tried to ignore the crazed dogs barking & running around having a great time.
The biggest source of contention is the loveseat. This piece of furniture doesn't really get used by Chris & I. Usually it's the dumping spot for pillows or afghans while we use the couch. So, when my Mom comes down to visit, she clears it off & sets up there. She can see the TV, have access to a lamp, put her feet up, and sit and chat & knit with me over on the couch. Well, Linus decided that the loveseat was his. Now that he's feeling more confident instead of running for his cave, he'll run for the loveseat. He was unamused when my Mom plopped down there. She was less amused when he jumped up after she left & sat on her yarn. I have a feeling it's going to be a source of contention until we leave on vacation. At that point, Mom will probably move over to the couch & let Linus have the loveseat. He's a silly dog.
Mom's been taking him for walks & taking him into the backyard on the 12 foot lead. He's starting to used to her. Tonight we'll have her let Linus in the backyard without the lead & then see if he'll come inside for her or if he hides in the photinas. She walks Einstein & Champ together & them comes home and takes Linus out by himself. She says he does a lot better when walked on his own instead of tandem with Einstein. I'm sure that's true. She's also getting Einstein back into shape. We'd gotten fairly sloppy about his walking habits. When Mom walks, she power walks & expects the dogs to keep up. No sniffing or snuffling or marking everything just walking at a good clip. Einstein's not happy but he's learning to keep up. He's also being reminded that pulling is a bad thing.
Heck, Chris & I are hoping that when we get home Mom will have both dogs leash trained & Linus won't cry all night. ;-)
Actually I am going to sign up Linus for beginning obedience when we get back. If Chris's schedule allows, we're also going to take Einstein for a refresher course. Needless to say, Chris & I both need refresher courses too. We're both very committed to helping Linus become a well behaved & happy dog. He'll never be the people dog that Einstein is but that's OK. Heck, I've been shy all of my life & I'm pretty happy so I think Linus can be happy even though he's got some social fears. He'll get there.
We're starting to see glimpses of his personality. He got one of the branches that Chris trimmed off the tree, hauled across the yard, and then sat down and started chewing on it. That's not anything that Einstein or Darwin have done. He steals socks and my wrist braces, again unique to Linus. He's a sweetie.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Chris and I finally had time to unpack the bag with Panda. We'd put the cards we'd received in there. They'll be put in her photo album. There was also a votive candle but it's scented so Mom will get it.

The box is very nice. It has nice simple lines with a photo area on the front. I'm not sure if I'll put her photo there or just leave the sunset one it came with there. It has her name on a brass plaque on the front. Unlike Darwin's (which has a lock & keys), Panda's box is sealed. We don't plan on ever opening either one so that's a plus in our book.

She and Darwin are up on the mantle. I never thought I'd do something like that. However, the mantel (along with some "pretties" that rotate) has a framed copy of our wedding invitation, a Waterford cat & a cross, along with a Tibetan singing bowl so I think they fit in.

We have a print of St. Francis surrounded by animals done by Lucy A. Synk (picture is shown is this article)hanging on the wall upstairs. I saw it at her booth at the KC Ren Faire years ago and knew exactly where to put it. I used it as the center of a shrine to my cat, Ches, who died way too young. We're planning on adding photos of Panda & Darwin - along with the cast of his pawprint - beside the print.

Visitors are scary

My brother (Ray), his wife, & their daughter E (my niece) stopped by for the night. They're on their way to a cruise farther south in TX. We had a nice dinner & then E got to run around in the playground for awhile.
The playground is in a park within walking distance of her house. Unfortunately, too many people think that a park means they can let their dogs poop everywhere & not pick it up. We had to keep E on the sidewalks because of all of the piles. She'd been in the car all day & needed to run and play.
She seemed to like the enclosed slides the best. The short one was a straight slide down. The taller one had twists in it and wasn't very slippery. She came down the first couple of times dragging herself forward with her feet. The last time she somehow walked/crouched down the slide.

We had a problem with the dogs. They don't have pets so she's not used to them. Einstein was inside when we got home so I grabbed his collar to put him outside. He loves people so he wanted to wait for the new people to come in so he could say hi. I thought I had him out the door but he got away & ran for the entryway and the front door. E had just been sat on the ground & she saw a 55 lb basset hound charging toward her. Needless to say she was scared. Einstein didn't touch her and I got him outside. Linus shot from his crate to his cave. E actually went through his cave a couple of times and never noticed him. Linus just looked at her with huge eyes and tried to make himself into an even smaller ball.

Chris & my brother took both boys for a quick spin to wear them out a little. Chris said Linus was hard to deal with because he was so scared of the new person walking with him. He retreated back to his cave & didn't move until bedtime. When we let Einstein in, we left him on the leash.

Ray likes dogs so Einstein did get some attention after E went to bed. He wasn't totally neglected.

Happily Linus decided not to cry last night. I wonder if leaving a radio playing downstairs (music or talk?) would help him. Ideas?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cleaning is tiring

Especially when your new dog decides to cry most of the night.

Who needs sleep anyway?

Linus' foster mom warned us that he always woke up at 4:30 am. We haven't been having that problem until 2 nights ago. I think it hasn't been a problem before due to Chris' rotten hours. He wasn't getting home until almost midnight. He'd let the dogs out & even take them on a walk before he'd go to sleep.
Yesterday he woke Chris up at 4:30. He went down & let them outside to do their business and then left them loose inside. Imagine my surprise when I walked out of the bedroom (containing a sleeping husband) and saw Einstein waiting for me in the hall.

Last night, Linus decided to get an early start. He started crying as soon as we went to bed. He even started to get a bit hysterical. We shut the bedroom door & tried to ignore it. Any response, negative or positive, would just reinforced the behavior so we worked at ignoring it. Surprisingly we did get to sleep.
Linus went off a couple of more times during the night and way too early in the morning.
Who needs sleep anyway?

This is all part of having a new dog. We'd love to say it's because of his background but Darwin & Einstein both did this. Darwin couldn't be in his crate at all so we wound up blocking off our tiny kitchen in the apartment & letting him sleep there (with lots of newspapers for accidents). Einstein had massive separation anxiety and would cry almost all night. Shouldn't dogs get hoarse after awhile?
So, we just have to hang in for a few more days until Mom arrives & we run away on vacation.

Linus is showing himself to be a fairly needy dog. If I'm in the computer room (which is out of sight for him from the love seat), I hear pitiful crying. If I talk to him, he'll eventually calm down. It never seems to occur to him that he can come looking for me. I'm sure that will come with time. The up side to this is a dog who lays down on the couch next to you and puts his head in your lap. Or one who wants to snuggle with Chris so much that he wriggles onto the remaining loveseat space & depends on Chris to keep him from falling off. Or one who is bouncy with joy when you come downstairs in the morning. He's worth it.
Last night he did cruise around the downstairs. I asked him if he needed to go potty & he headed for the back door. He took care of his business outside. He did wander around the house some more after he came back in. He rang the bells earlier in the day when he needed to pee. This time he needed to poop & he didn't ring the bells. Something to remember.

Well, time for breakfast & cleaning.

Friday, May 18, 2007


The light in the refrigerator just burned out. We don't really need to see our food do we?
Good! I didn't think so.
On to the yarn!

We walked

It was very scary. There was the mother & her daughter sitting in their yard with their big barking (but staying on his side of the street) dog. There were the (big?) scary sounding dogs on the other side of the fence. They apparently smelled good since Einstein wanted to stop & sniff while Linus wanted to run. Then there were the 2 couples leaving a house. That was very stressful. For me! Linus was bucking & trying to run while Einstein was trying to drag me back so he could say hi. We survived that. We eventually ran into 2 girls who were on our side of the street & were Einstein groupies. Linus hid behind me while Einstein did his happy wriggle dance of joy for the girls. We eventually made it the last 3 houses to ours & staggered inside. OK. I was the one staggering. Linus was running. Einstein was dragging his heels.

The head collar is a big help. I was able to keep Linus at my side most of the walk. I now understand why horses rear after watching Linus doing a pretty good imitation several times. The song about "Walking in the Light of God" popped into my head. So the last half of the walk I was singing that. I'm sure I was butchering both the tune & the lyrics but it helped me stay calm while Linus was pitching a fit & falling in it and dragging Einstein along behind me. Einstein needs some leash walking refreshers too.
Let's see we did lots of:
We are walking in the Light of God...
We are waiting in the Light of God.....
then there was We are turning in the Light of God.....
or We are stopping in the Light of God.....
I'm sure people thought I was a tone deaf Christian nut job who couldn't control her dogs. Everything but the Christian and the nut job part aren't true, of course. (I didn't say I could carry a tune. I said it was true that I wasn't tone deaf.)

We are home now. Linus has pawed at his head (I took the leash & collar off when we came inside.) & rubbed it furiously against the floor & the loveseat. He's laying in front of the loveseat panting very very hard. Einstein is probably off laying on the cool tile.

I should be cleaning. Instead I'm going to do some knitting, weigh some yarn, and watch Stargate Atlantis. Then I'll clean some more.


Linus just rang the bells to go out. I hooked him up to his lead (the whole walking over to him & grabbing the lead made him cringe a bit) & let him out. I let him walk out on his own. He did have a 12 lead dragging behind him to help me drag him out of the photinas if needed. Einstein followed. I waited on the patio. Linus walked around, peed, missed the lead, walked back over when I called him, & went inside. Yay! Progress!

OK. This was his 2nd try. He'd rung the bells a little earlier but when I walked over to grabbed the lead he ducked & ran over to the loveseat & jumped up. He got it on the 2nd try though!

I faxed over Linus' medical record that I had stupidly left at home yesterday. Dr. Slough called & confirmed that Linus was indeed up to date on everything.
Linus has been a real sweetie about his ears. He lets me put the medicine without any problems. Even wash his ears. I'm sure as he gets less scared that this will change but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.

I don't know if it's just Linus' nature or if it's because he's still timid & shy. He's a very low energy basset. As in, he sleeps on the furniture all day. OK, you say, he's a basset! Einstein is 4 years older & has way more energy. I'm sure that in a flat out run that Linus would beat him. Other than that, he's pretty much a snail to Einstein's turtle.

Just another day

I got home & dumped some groceries in the entryway along with my books & bag. Linus shot out of his crate as per usual. He actually sat at the back door & let me put the lead on him instead of cringing away. Einstein shot inside while Linus & I headed out. I kept thinking that I had forgotten something. Linus finished his business & we came back in. I heard something in the entryway & remembered the groceries. I ran in & discovered Einstein with his head buried in my bag of potato chips. I had Darwin flashbacks & almost started laughing. :-) No pictures I'm afraid.

One thing I've noticed about bassets is their need to make trails. Our beagle, Darwin, never made any trails. They only started to appear after Einstein arrived. Linus saw the trails & is following along.

Linus received a card in the mail. It was from his Granny McCann welcoming him into the family.

Well, enough fun & photos. Time to get to cleaning the house for the relatives that will be swarming in soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life has been eventful

Yesterday was Flying Night.

The plan had been to leave Linus at home. Going out to the field would be a big much for him plus it would give my joints & Einstein a break. Unfortunately I didn’t get home until ½ hour before we had to leave. So, Linus came with us.

I had stopped at Petsmart on the way home & bought a Gentle Leader head collar. I LOVE THIS COLLAR!!!!!! Linus can’t drag & pull on the leash all the time. (see photo)

It’s easier for me to correct his behavior through the leash. My joints love this collar too.

He got in the car easily by jumping up once he saw Einstein get in. He was fine during the drive. He was not happy when we got to the field & we met our 3 friends. The noise of the electric motors didn’t seem to bother him as much as the people.
We went on a short walk while Chris unloaded the car (Sneaky of me.). He tried to lunge & discovered the new collar. He did not like it. He would walk & pull, get a tug on the leash, and then shake his head or paw at the collar or try to rub it off in the grass. He did get the nose loop pushed up over his eyes. The fitting video said to keep it loose enough that it could reach the fleshy part of his nose. Basset hounds have a very long nose so evidently it needed to be tightened a bit.
The collar itself doesn’t bother him. He was good as gold while I fitted it on him. He ate some food & got something to drink while he was wearing it. He just doesn’t like it pulling on him.
We got to the relaxed stage of the walk a lot quicker. Einstein was on his flexi. He seemed to enjoy zooming out past Linus. Linus didn’t seem to like it as much. After a short spin we were back at the field.
Linus let everyone pet him. Bruce made sure that Einstein didn’t feel slighted by petting him first. Einstein pretty much has everyone trained that they have to come over & pet him. Glen liked the fact that Linus didn’t try to give him kisses like Einstein does.
Linus was pretty scared so I pulled him up onto my lap. Einstein showed his superiority by jumping up on the table & hanging over my shoulder.

I’m sure that violates all kinds of things in Cesar’s book but I don’t really care. Einstein is not a domineering dog. We call him our Zeta dog. Since he’s been showing Linus that he’s the top dog, we started calling him our Alpha Zeta dog.

A guy came by to talk & fussed over Einstein for several minutes. Einstein was thrilled. Linus thought about jumping off my lap & hiding under the table.

I even got to fly. Chris got my plane in the air.

Then I handed him Linus’ leash & he handed me the transmitter. I had a great flight. Chris sat on the ground with Linus. He wound up pulling him into his lap. Linus’ poor little heart was beating really fast. He did great though. A lot better than I thought he would.

He conked out on Einstein’s back for the trip back. Einstein didn’t seem to mind.

Hopefully that will continue to be the case. With Einstein & Darwin, Darwin didn’t like Einstein to be that close to him. We joked that Darwin was saying “Mom! Dad! He’s touching me! Make him stop! He’s touching me!” like a little kid. We had to make room for Einstein on the back seat & then make a place for Darwin to crawl onto in the back to get away from him.

On to today.
Chris got up first this morning. When I came downstairs, Linus was on the couch. I heard whining & looked to see Linus hopping up to catch sight of me over the back of the couch. He’d whine when he saw me. It was really cute. I went & sat next to him and he shoved his head into my lap. He’s such a sweetie dog.

The morning walk went so much better with the head collar. He’s starting to get more used to it. He also is walking with his head up more. A neighbor & his dog scared him but his reaction is getting less & less extreme.

This afternoon was his first appt at Angel Vet. Like a complete doofus, I left the sheet with all of the detailed list of medical care that he had received from the Flower Mound Humane Society on the coffee table. Duh! I’ll fax it to them tomorrow. He was pretty scared. I kept him on my lap while we waited. When he had to be weighed he curled up in the corner of the big scale trying to hide. Everyone at the vet thought he was sweet & cute. They’re always so nice and understanding. Almost everyone asked how I was doing since Panda had died. They’re great people. If you need a vet, this is the best place!

Dr. Slough (Panda’s vet) saw Linus. He said that Linus was in great shape. He did have a yeast infection in his ears (Yes Mom - he needs ear drops twice a day! Aren't you thrilled?) but that’s common to bassets. I clean Einstein’s every week to prevent that. He had lost 7 lbs since the FMHS had weighed him. Dr. Slough was surprised at that & had him reweighed but it was still 40 lbs. He said that Linus was at a good weight so he doesn’t need that much fattening up. He encouraged me to bring Linus’ food out where he is to encourage him to eat. I probably don’t need to shove it under his nose like I have been but within sight would be good. Dr Slough was kind enough to visit with me about Panda and we had a nice chat about the medical advances for renal failure in cats & dogs. I checked out & paid & started to leave. I had another Duh! Moment and turned around to get him microchipped. That was the #1 reason I had taken him in today. Duh! The #2 reason was so that he would have been seen at Angel Vet in case Mom needed to take him in while we were gone. So, he’s microchipped. (They checked to see if he already had one but he didn’t.) After all of the money I dropped there (6 months of Interceptor & Frontline plus the ear infection medicine & the chip), he’s officially a Vanderbilt. He’s stuck with us now.
He kept climbing into this little alcove by the checkout desk that held 3 safety cones for when they mop the floor. He was so cute. I know he was really scared though but that was the last thing before we left.

Once we get the rabies certificate, I’ll get his city license so he’ll be a legal resident.

He’s crashed on the love seat resting up from his stressful day.

No time for detailed posting

It's that annoying work thing. :-)

Check out the link to the .mac photo page. Once there click on "Flying Night" at the top of the page & look at sweet puppy photos.
Posting later.


PS: The flickr badge will go away sometime after vacation & all photos will be on the .mac site.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Help from Mom

I sent my mom a pitiful e-mail:
I'm tired & I'm sore. I fell of the Dog Whisperer band wagon big time. In my defense, it's hard to think straight at 1 am. If he does the crying all night thing again tonight, I'm just shutting the door. I was responding to "oh the poor scared sweet puppy" instead of to the dog that was keep Chris & I awake. I shall not do that again.
I lost my temper on the walk. -see blog

Mom replied:
New mommies are allowed even after reading all the technical manuals. He's trying to bamboozle you and it worked. Closed doors and ear plugs help also. xoxoo

Moms are great!

Survived another walk

The first half was very nice. A nice cool breeze. Linus wasn't constantly pulling on the leash & he was sniffing around with Einstein. This is going to be a nice relaxing walk, I thought to myself.

About halfway around we came across some people taking tools out of a pickup. Very scary. Then someone in the front yard talking on a cell phone. Even scarier.

When I'd let him walk, Linus would take off in a run. Not kidding. A full out run. For the first time, I lost my temper. He hit the end of the leash in a dead run again and I stepped back & pulled. His front legs came off the ground & he spun around. I used to be able to completely flip Darwin when he was pulling too hard too often on the leash. I didn't pull that hard on Linus. I didn't want to terrify him just try to break that cycle in his brain: wait (because I have to), yay! Run!, nuts! I'll wait again, run, wait, run, wait, ... I was going for wait, run, yank! Wha' happened?

I love Linus. I love Einstein. This is killing my joints.

Ooops! Go look here for photos

My flickr account has an upload limit unless I upgrade to a paid account. Like that's going to happen.
So, I was able to set up a separate site on .Mac with iWeb. so, go here for the cute puppy photos. It's a really long URL & it'll probably change each time I upload to it so I'll keep the link in the sidebar up to date.
Let me know if this works or not.

Fun with the camera

We took a few staged photos last nights. Here are a couple. Go check the flickr site for more.

Last night

I had a nice talk with Linus' foster mom and he's ours! Yay!

Sooooooo, around midnight last night both Chris & I were wondering if maybe we should change our mind. (we wouldn't but it sounded good at midnight, 2 am, ...)
Linus was crying. Chris got up & took him out. He cried again. I got up & took him out. He cried again. I went back down & managed to stay awake for almost an hour. Linus was almost hyper (for him). He was sniffing around the living room. I called him back down from halfway up the stairs. He'd want attention & then go back to sniffing. He settled down eventually. I put them to bed. He started crying again. At Chris' suggestion, I closed the bedroom door which muffled the whining so we could get to sleep.
I have no idea why. I refilled his bowl last night & he polished it off so maybe his tummy hurt? I don't think he pooped but he doesn't always. His evening walk was 1 short walk. He doesn't like his crate? I don't know.
Sooo, I pushed my alarm back from 6:30 but I'm still tired. Chris let him out in the yard without hooking him to the lead & he came in on his own. That's good.
I just came downstairs & Einstein was waiting at the bottom of the stairs. I sat down & started petting him when Linus came running up & shoved his head at me. I petted him while being surprised & then he ran back to the couch. So, maybe he's starting to feel better about us & the house. I don't know.
I love the little guy but I need sleep! So, does Chris!
Longer walk tonight. Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's becoming official

I left a message with Linus' foster parents yesterday saying that we had decided to keep him. He's a sweetie. Einstein agreed to let him stay since Linus hasn't tried to steal Einstein's papa san. ;-)

Linus has an appt with Angel Vet. He's neutered & his shots are all up to date so it's mostly just to let them meet Linus, get his heartworm & anti-flea meds, and get him microchipped. As soon as we get his rabies certificate, we'll get his Flower Mound city tag. Then he'll be all legal and all ours.

Welcome to the family Linus! You'll never have to worry about finding a new one ever again. We keep our kidz, we take care of our kidz, and we love our kidz. Your a Vanderbilt!

Monday, May 14, 2007

One paw on the brake, One paw on the gas

That seems to be the way that Linus "walks". It's all stop (when I've made him stop) or full out until I make him stop again. After trying to get him to "Hold" unsuccessfully, I decided to take a page out of Linus' book. When he steps on his leash, he stops. He doesn't understand what's happened.
Sooooo, when he sped up, I slowed down and the leash tightened. He'd strain and I'd slow even more. Einstein loved this. He got to sniff & mosey & generally take his time. When Linus would stop pulling and slow down, I'd speed up a little and we'd all walk along. Until Linus would decide to speed up again. I didn't yell "hold" or "wait". I didn't jerk or tug on the leash. Linus looked back a couple of times but must have decided it wasn't me because he stopped looking. Which was the idea. I don't want to turn our walks into a bad thing in his mind. If his little puppy brain starts to associate straining on the leash (& gagging himself) with something he's doing and stops, then that's the whole idea.
The almost sea-sickness inducing lurching (fast, slow, fast, slow) reminded me of flying my R/C plane. I'm still getting the hang of it so sometimes I'll start porpoising. I'll start to dive a little, over correct & nose up too much, over correct & I'll dive a live. Get the idea?
Same thing with Linus. Surge up in speed, slow down in speed, surge up, surge down. Eventually he started to figure things out, get a little tired, and his speed leveled out some. We had a nice stroll after that. We heard some birds (Yes, I heard them. I need my full attention on Linus so the iPod stays at home.), they sniffed some bushes, everybody had a nice time.
No scary things happened until almost the end of the walk. We had a jogger on the other side of the road. A cat yowling. Each time he looked up, slowed down, and then went on.
Right now he's sacked out on the love seat resting up for bedtime. ;-)

Uh Oh! Does Linus like yarn too much?

I sat down next to Linus on the couch & pulled out my yarn for my scribble lace scarf. I got up to get something & came back to find Linus licking my lace weight baby alpaca yarn. I took it away & sat down and he started shoving his nose into my project bag.
I'm assuming that he was just checking out a new smell & taste. Hopefully he's not taking a page from Maggie's book.
I'm not too worried about it. Especially since he's chewing away on his pig ear & ignoring the yarn. But I had to take the staged photo below.

Linus was bad

I sent his foster mom an e-mail and then came back in the living room. Linus was up on the couch next to a tissue box that I'd left there. He'd pulled a sheet out and was tearing it up very cautiously and quietly. It was cute!
I just took the tissue & the tissue box away from him. He must be feeling at home if he's willing to start pushing a little.


It finally happened. Linus knocked me off my feet.
We were going for a "quick" walk this morning. Linus did his business so I decided to turn around & head back the way we came.
I'm not 100% sure how it happened but the next thing I knew I was falling over Linus & heading for the sidewalk. Somehow I managed to drop & miss landing on the newly filled Dispoz-A-Scoop bag. I hit the sidewalk & rolled to grab a hold of the leashes that I'd dropped.
Link Linus was cringing and not moving while Einstein was checking out the scenery.
No injuries. Linus did try a few more times on the way back to the house for a repeat performance but failed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Meeting of the Pack

The newest pack member, Linus, finally got to meet the oldest (& smallest) pack member, Kyanos.
Kyanos came down to see where I was. She announced herself and Linus woke up. She strolled up and Linus lifted his head & they spotted each other. Kyanos looked straight at him and then proceeded to ignore him. Linus kept looking at her & then looking away. Kyanos hopped up on the couch & eventually left.
Nothing exciting.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Walking & other stressful activities

Linus is afraid of lawn mowers. How did I figure this out? We left for our walk ( I even tried going out the door first.) & Linus went absolutely berserk when he heard our neighbor mowing his lawn. He flailed around like a 47 lb fish at the end of a line. He tried to run into the house, away from the house, into the wall, back into the house. I managed to finally get the door closed & locked with all 3 of us on the outside. It was a lot easier to focus on Linus then. I headed off down the street away from the noise. He was freaking out, yanking hard on the leash, and running as much as I would let him. I yanked him to a stop "Wait" and fought him until he stopped moving with the collar loose. He was breathing really hard & fast & shivering. I waited until he stopped shaking & then we started walking again. It was hard to resist the urge to pet & fuss over him, kneel down & give him a hug but Cesar says that sort of thing just reinforces the panic reflex. So on we went.

A car pulled into a driveway & 3 people got out. Nutso time again. I kept pulling him over beside me. No orders to Wait or Sit, just using the leash to tell him to get back beside me. Again I resisted the comforting urge. I stayed there until they'd gone into their house. Linus relaxed and off we went again. Turning onto the next street I heard another lawn mower in the distance. Guess what? Everybody and their uncle mows their lawn at dusk. It made for a stressful but productive walk.

Throughout all of this Einstein walked behind me. Usually he charges ahead but I guess he wanted some distance between himself & a panicked Linus. Can't say as I blamed him. I made Linus "Wait" whenever Einstein wanted to smell something. Linus was still tense & breathing hard.

Another car with people & another mower came & went with less anxiety than before. I guess Cesar knows what he's talking about.

Surprisingly the 2 motorcycles that went by didn't even faze him. Having been an outside dog, I would have thought that he'd heard mowers all the time. I guess not. It'll be interesting the first time Chris had to mow or I have to vacuum.

During this, I told Linus to Wait twice when he was making for the street & he actually stopped! I was impressed.

We got to another house with a couple & a little boy getting out of their truck. Linus started freaking. Then he noticed the 2 girls riding their bikes in the street & freaked some more. I stopped & started reigning Linus in like I had been doing the rest of the walk. I looked back & saw that Einstein was at the end of his leash wagging his tail at the little boy who clearly wanted to pet him. I thought for a moment & said that it was OK if he wanted to pet Einstein and then started to get a better hold so that he wouldn't knock the kid over. All this time Linus is going nuts on the end of the leash. He ran every which way including between my legs at one point. The lady commented that I had my hands full. I told her were Linus had come from and that he was afraid of people so he really shouldn't be petted but that Einstein loved it. Einstein put on his charming cutie routine & received pets from the adults and squeals of joy from the boy. The girls stopped so I repeated what I had told the woman. You know, about don't pet the freaking out terrified dog but you can pet the happy nice one? sigh. Linus had started to wear himself out and was leaning up against the back of my legs. I saw something & turned around just in time to see one of the girls petting him and darting back. I was too tired to be mad but she's lucky that Linus isn't the type to bite when scared. She may not be so lucky the next time an owner says no & she doesn't listen. I had my hands too full to talk to her about it. The little boy finally screwed up his courage and petted Einstein. He and Einstein were both thrilled. A minivan stopped in the middle of the street and a guy I recognized from our walks asked about the second basset hound. Linus was almost beyond additional freaking by now but he did feel honor bound to try a little.

On we went. I was ready to agree with Linus and head for home. Unfortunately, he hadn't done his business yet. Plus this was good for him. The rest of the walk was fairly downhill, terrorizingly speaking. He actually started walking with some slack in the leash (I'd given up on that and had focused on keeping him calm.). He did both of his jobs & even decided that he needed a brief lay down under a tree. He got up readily when I asked him. The girls came back around on the sidewalk this time (I still don't get that. Bikes are for the street. Sidewalks are for walking. But then I don't get people walking down the middle of the street pushing a baby stroller either.) and I pulled the guys out of the way. Linus didn't put up a fuss. He even stopped to wait at the next street corner even though I'd forgotten to tell him. He tensed up when we got back to the house but the mower had been put away so we made it inside without any problems.

He's plopped in his cave but I think he earned it.

Well, I think I'm going to go look for some yarn to try some Scribble Lace with. I think we all earned a break. Guess I'm not such a bad pack leader after all.

Who's really the pack leader in this house?

I got to the section in Cesar's Way called "Who's Top Dog in Your House".
Here are the questions:

Does Einstein jump on us when we come home?
Sometimes. Ummm.... OK he usually does if he's been left inside the house. Not so much if we left him outside. But yes, he does that to both of us.

Does Einstein go out of the door first when going on walks? (Or anywhere else that involves a leash & a door)
Yes. Always, with both of us. You mean it's not because he's so excited about his walks?

Does Einstein bark at you to get something and then you do it?
Walk? Ummm... Generally yes, not every time though!
Play? Yes

Does Einstein wake you up early in the morning because...
He needs a drink? Yes
He needs to go potty? Yes
Just plain wants out? Yes
Do you let him...
Drink? yes, we're already awake, why not?
Potty? definitely - who wants to clean up accidents in the crate?
Wants out? Once we realize that, No. He goes back in the crate.

Anything else he makes you do?
Ummm... Does leaving the papa san in the living even though it's in our way but he likes it so we left it count? Yeah, I guess it would.
Ummm... Oh, does buying a dog pillow for every room where we tend to spend time in because he won't hang out with us otherwise count? He just doesn't like laying on non-cushy stuff. Oops! I think that counts.

Not looking good for us.
It looks like Einstein wins.
He's surprised that there's any doubt.

For the record, Panda could beat him up with 1 declawed paw tied behind her back.

He's getting more comfortable

I woke up from my nap to see Linus on the love seat. He must have jumped up sometime during my nap on his own. He wagged his tail when he saw I was awake & came down to the end of the love seat nearest me & stuck his head out. I already had one hand scratching Einstein's chin but I reached out to scratch Linus' too. He preferred licking my hand. Then he stretched back out.
I just got up and on the computer. Linus jumped down from the love seat and up onto the couch. I even looked at him and he still stayed.
I think he's starting to settle in.

Looks like I'll be calling Monday to tell them that we'll keep him.
Not that I had any doubt. I'm a marshmallow.

The ever changing cave

I've been modifying Linus' "cave".
This was how it started out. Well, I gave him the blue pillow so it's not technically exactly the same. He used to curl up where the pillow is but this was taken after he was attacked by my PDA cables so he decided to hide more.

I removed the video game chairs so he would have less to hide behind. He still kept hiding behind the post. As you can see, we've decided the "no food when you're in your cave" rule is just leading to a basset that doesn't eat more often than a basset who comes out and eats.
So now, he doesn't get treats in his cave. We're such harsh parents.

This is how it looks now.
I removed the cat stand after having to drag him out from behind it one too many times. (Yes Mom, you can put it & the lamp back when you come down. Or you could just sit on the couch & use that lamp.)
I was considering placing our large rectangular laundry basket (upside down of course) in there. It would almost completely fill the space.
3 reasons why that probably won't happen:
1) I'd have to fold all of the laundry that's in it. Who wants to do that?
2) He discovered the kitchen table & chairs. Pulling him out from under that twice was a royal pain in the putauski. His cave is much more accessible.
3) Everyone needs a safe place to retreat to. I just make it a point to drag him out (No Chris, I'm not picking him up anymore) & force him to be with his new pack.

Well, time for me to join the napping dogs.

Next blog post: Who's really the pack leader in this house? Or maybe the toe-up sock KAL

Catching up

I think Linus is starting to adjust to us. I had him on the lead in the backyard yesterday when Chris came home. When he stepped out into the yard, Einstein (of course) ran straight over with his usual excitement. No surprise there. But! Linus looked at him, started wagging his tail, and walked over to see Chris!
After the greetings were over, I let Linus off the lead since we now had 2 people to retrieve him from the photinias. When we brought him in an hour or so later, he ran in on his own. We'd been trying †o catch him but finally he decided to run for the door instead of back into the photinias. He went in & hid on the far side of the couch.
We had enforced pack time yesterday. Linus was drug out of his cave & forced to lie on the couch next to me. I didn't mess with him & he didn't mess with me when I ate my lunch there. Surprisingly no dog fights broke out either. I gave them both Busy Bones and then headed over to the computer.
Small steps.

Friday, May 11, 2007

He wagged his tail!!!!

I let Linus out of his crate first &, as usual, he ran for his cave. When I went to hook him up to the lead, he sat up, pushed his head toward me, AND STARTED WAGGING HIS TAIL!!!!!!!!!
I petted him, praised him, and then hooked him up & the 3 of us headed outside. Linus moved out into the yard without the hesitation that he's previously shown. He went & did his business. Then walked back to me with his tail straight out & WAGGING!!!!! I fussed over him some more.

Back inside we went. Time to get breakfast for the dogs ready. Linus jumped up and followed me into the kitchen! He stood by his water & food bowl with his tail wagging while I poured food into his bowl. I put a handful of Linus' food into Einstein's food. Everything was going so well until our "Alpha" "Zeta" dog decided to assert himself and chased Linus out of the kitchen. Linus is now in his "cave". I know that it's a dog thing & that Einstein was probably fairly jealous this morning but still...

One thing I picked up from Cesar's book is that I was misinterpreting Linus' body language on the walk. Head erect, tail straight up, walking tall & proud is typical alpha dog behaviour which is how Einstein is on a walk. Head down, tail down (though it can still wag) is typical submissive/pack follower behaviour. When he was wagging his tail at me in the backyard it was straight out, not up. Interesting.

Here's Chris' dog story for the morning. I had left for work and he was still here.

I was lazing around in bed and heard the far off sounds of a dog fight. Not too vicious, but yelping/whining/etc. This is really a good thing as it means Linus is feeling more comfortable and pushing some boundaries a little.

I also saw a little bit of Linus flippy tail when I first said hello to him this morning. Three obvious flips.

I went to get him from the cave for a walk this morning (easier to get potties done that way than the back yard) and didn't have to drag him for 3 feet before he started walking. The walk in full daylight was a little scarier for him than last nights walk in the dark.

Same thing happened with going to bed. Just had to drag him to get him started then trotted along while I held his collar.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Note to self:

Don't let Linus run loose in the backyard unless Chris is home. You can't catch him yourself. Not even with Einstein's "help". You have lots of scratches & mud to remind you about this.

Linus is now in the house. He had some required pack time on the pillow for awhile. When we left, he ran into his crate & then turned around and ran back into his cave.

Sniper dogs in the bushes!

OK. He's not a sniper but he is keeping the door under surveillance.

Yeah, it's a bad photo but keep in mind that it was taken from inside the house to the bushes. The lighting change made me surprised that it came out at all. I'm not at all surprised that the nose & eyes that I see keeping watch on the door are a fuzzy brown blob. Hence the addition of the arrow.
I thought about labeling everything else in the photo but that would have just been too silly.

Time to leave the computer so he doesn't think that I'm watching him!


'Fraidy dogs & sleepy Moms

I let Linus out without a leash into the backyard. He cruised around the yard with Einstein, actually checking things out instead of slinking along on the lead. In other words, he was being a dog.

After leaving the door open, he has come in a few times. The first time he went to his cave & then shot out the door when I was closing it so I shut it on him. He booked for the photinias and I felt bad.
Later, I had laid down on the couch & was talking on the phone to Chris. A basset walked in front of the couch so I reached out and ran my hand down his back. There was a startled jump & then fast movement. When I sat up, Einstein was nowhere around & Linus was running for the photinias. Pretty funny.

Now I just need to get him inside so his very sleepy new "mom" can take a nap or I won't be up to walks later.

Addition about 2 hours later:
I tried the leash in the photinia's but he would just run around outside the bushes. So I gave up. I grabbed the foam we had, the big red round labyrinth pillow, and the downstairs nap pillow & took a nap on the bench outside. I slept for about 2 hours. Yay! I'm not even achy which is a pleasant surprise.
I left the door open. I just saw his head trying to see over the arm of the couch. Then I heard very quiet whines. I called him inside but I don't think he came. Poor little guy.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Are you sure I have to stay here?

Well, after the great afternoon walk, both dogs fell asleep. Einstein in his papa san & Linus in his cave. After the naps, we made a successful potty excursion (I really wish I didn't know this much about their wast elimination.).
After coming inside, Linus made a dash for his cave & curled around the post. I stared down at him. I remembered waiting all day yesterday & letting him explore at his own pace. I told myself that it was time to let that repeat itself. The heck with it! He was going to hang out with his pack whether he wanted to or not, gosh darn it!

I pulled him out of his cave & carried him around in front of the couch. I sat on the floor & kept blocking him from running back in. He could have gone any other direction. Even running around the coffee table, behind the couch, & back into his cave but he kept trying to run through the gap & I kept blocking him. I just stuck my leg out in front of him. No yelling. No shoving. Just the leg blocking the opening. He finally crouched down so I reached past him & grabbed the pillow & pushed the front half of him onto the pillow.

He eventually gave up & fell asleep. Cute photos over on flickr.

I gave both guys a Greenie when they woke up again. Watching Linus struggle to eat it & thinking about the way that he is on walks, I realized that lack of people socialization meant more than just being afraid of people. He didn't know how to hold the Greenie with his paws like Einstein did. He kept shoving the Greenie against the love seat & shoving it with his nose until it wound up in his mouth. It was fairly pitiful to watch but I also saw him working at figuring out how to do it. Instead of giving up in frustration like I probably would have, he just kept working at it until he finished it. Einstein had long since inhaled his & was hanging out in the front window watching the world go by.
Linus also keeps stepping on his leash. He'll stop & look at me, I'll make approving noises and he'll keep walking. If he's stepped on it with his front paw, then he's stuck because he doesn't realize that it's his paw keeping him firmly in place. All he needs to do is pick up his foot but he doesn't know that & freezes in places out of confusion.

Einstein learned these because he got lots of walks & lots of treats when he was a very young scamp. All of this helped bond us together & make him happy to see people, treats, & leashes. I do the happy bounce up & down squealing thing with Einstein because he's happy to see me. He jumps & dances & barks & sometimes runs and grabs a chewie to show me because he's happy to see me. While we were exchanging this rite of completely happy silliness, Linus (who had been in the front of his crate when I opened the door) retreated to the back of his crate & didn't want to come out when I opened the door. If I hadn't reacted that way, Einstein would have reacted negatively. Linus reacted negatively because I did that.

These are very different boys we have. That's OK. There's a lot of love & happy silliness in the Vanderbilt household & we're more than happy to teach new pack members. Hopefully without scaring the crud out of him.

Today feels like a two steps forward & one step back kinda day. :-)

Walking before work

Walking before work
Originally uploaded by cavande2.
There are a few more photos over in flickr from this morning's walk. It went fairly easy. No people were out & about. We just went to the end of the street & back.

After work, I hitched up both dogs & took off to burn off some of Linus' anxious energy. I think I did all 3 of us in.

We came across small children & people mowing. If they were on the other side of the street, he'd balk & duck around nervously. If they were on our side of the street, he'd try to run backward, out into the street, anywhere but forward. I'm soooo glad that I left my wrist brace on. I just kept on walking, pulling him back over beside me but otherwise not acknowledging his freak out.

We worked very hard on "Wait" which I decided didn't just mean "wait before crossing the street" but "stop moving & stop straining against the collar". We practiced this a lot, much to Einstein's confusion. If I have any energy left, I should take poor Einstein on one of his normal walks.

We also worked on "Hold" as in "Hold Up you're pulling too hard on the freaking leash!" 2/3 of the way into the walk he got tired enough that we had stretches of him walking beside me or just in front of me (not way out on the end of the leash) without any pulling.

He likes to make sudden changes in direction without checking with me or Einstein. This resulted in lots of tripping but no falling. Einstein kept looking at him like "what's up with you?" It was a stressful walk but one I need to keep repeating. I refuse to make grand oaths like "Walk before work everyday" or "Walk 3 times a day". What my goal is: short walks, more than once a day. I'm also going to dig out the shorter leash for him. Einstein was on a regular leash this afternoon instead of his flexi, which he wasn't too thrilled about, but I was going for the whole Dog Whisperer "unstable dog picks up cues from stable dog walking beside him" thing. Since Linus doesn't seem to see Einstein when he turns abruptly & runs into him, I'll let you guess how well that went today. However, it took 11 months for him to get this way. It'll take more than a few days to undo it.

The foster dad said that "In 6 months, he'll be a great dog."
Prayers for my patience & Linus in general would be appreciated as I look back on that & collapse at that 6 month thing.


When I went upstairs last night, I discovered what one of the things that Linus had been doing while checking out the house. I obviously didn't take him out enough. He's Einstein's size so I keep forgetting that he's only a year old.

We had another setback this morning. Chris was letting the boys out of their crates. Linus always takes off like a shot running for his cave. Einstein thought he was playing (Einstein loves to play chase.) and took off after him, barking as he ran. Needless to say, that scared Linus a lot.

He's pretty jumpy. Abrupt volume changes on the TV (fights, gunfire, etc)
make him jump.

One step forward, two steps back. This is going to take awhile. I knew that going in. I have to fight the urge to scoop him up (hey! I've been having to do that anyway to get him to move.), hug him, and pet him, and squeeze him, and call him Linus (will someone please tell me where that phrase comes from?). However, I know that's the wrong thing to do. Yesterday showed that the best thing seems to be to leave him alone & let him come out on his own. We may have to remove the kitty stand he's hiding behind though.

It is good that he's picked his cave in the living room. It would be much harder if he was under the kitchen table, for instance. He's got a space that he feels safe in but is still part of where the most activity in the house takes place. Einstein, however, is unamused by his choice. That cut through between the furniture to the back door has been Einstein's favorite shortcut. If stuff gets piled in front of it, he sits there & glares until we clear the space. He went to use it last night & discovered Linus. Better that than his papa san though.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

And the day goes on

I put the throw rugs & mats down around the door. I filled up the new dog bowl with a mixture of his food & some puppy Beneful. I put that & the water bowl on the rug. He has to come out of his "cave" to eat & drink but he doesn't have to go all the way into the kitchen. I can hear him lapping up water now. I poured some of the puppy Beneful into Einstein's bowl too so he doesn't feel slighted. Ah, I can hear him scarfing away. I didn't give him a lot. I just wanted to make sure he ate some. I'll fill it back up & put it over by the water. He'll have to go there to get more.
He was wandering nervously around the house before I ran errands so he's starting to get used to the place. He just came over to me & let me pet him. Now he's checking the place out & he just jumped up on the couch. :-)

I didn't have any trouble getting him into his crate. Well, other than dead lifting 47 lbs of basset hound & carrying him over to his crate. Once there he shot into it. When I got back, I let Einstein inside first. I didn't want him to feel slighted & I didn't want Linus sneaking out the door while Einstein was coming in. When I let Linus out, he shot out & ran for his cave. I put the perishables away & then took him out on the lunge line. Einstein sat next to me in the middle of the yard & got fussed over. Linus eventually wandered over & let me pet him too. There was some mutual dog sniffing. Then we wandered around some more & came inside. Much fun had by all.


I just got back from walking with the boys. We've got a long leash for Linus but not a flexi. Einstein was on his flexi. I started talking "Let's go for a walk" & Einstein started his happy dance, luckily he didn't do any barking. I hooked Einstein up & then went to get Linus. I got him hooked up & chatting about going on a walk started pulling. Well, he's a 47 lb stubborn basset hound so you can imagine how that worked out. All the while, Einstein was going nuts dragging his leash around. I picked him up and carried him to the door. Once the door was open he ran for it.
He pretty much walks in a run, kinda crouched down, tail down, and looking from side to side. He's still scared which will take quite awhile to work on. He did come inside the house easily
but wasn't happy when I left him on the leash & took him over to his water dish. We're going to have to watch the front door. I think he would take off & run given half a chance. Poor little guy.
As soon as he was off the leash he ran for his hidey spot which was wet from him spilling his water. I had to shove hard to get him out to mop out the water. I put a blue pillow there for him to lay on. He's not really sure that he likes it. He did eat quite a bit this morning. Before the walk, he turned himself around and had his head sticking out between the furniture watching me.
He rang the bell to go outside so I walked over at which point he ran back on his pillow. I hooked him up to a 12 foot lunge line and opened the back door. Interestingly enough if I was standing outside he would come out the door when I would move to shut the door he'd throw it in reverse. He ran off the back deck & hit the end of the lunge line & looked back at me. I let him wander back & forth on the line for awhile and then brought the guys back inside.

Right now he's on the blue pillow with his back turned. I'm going to hang out with him a bit & knit. Then make a Target run for additional dog supplies.

The Linus Files

This seems like a good place to keep anyone who's interested in how Linus is adapting to our household up to date.

Here's his "ad" from the Flower Mound Humane Society


  • Age: 11 months
  • Breed: Basset Hound
  • Coat: Short
  • Color: Tri Color
  • Housebroken: Yes
  • Kids: Unsure
  • Cats: Unsure
  • Dogs: Yes
Linus came to us with his sister, Lucy. In their previous life, they were kept as outside dogs, and didn't get much socialization. They were shy at first, but after a few weeks in foster care, they have made a lot of progress. They will now gladly come in the house, and are anxious to be part of the family. Linus loves to be showered with love. He's a bit shy with the other foster dogs, however once he knows they won't hurt him, he enjoys their attention. Linus even likes to sneak toys away from the other dogs and play with them on his own. Bassets may be low-riders, but that doesn't keep them from trying to counter-surf, and grab any edibles they can find! Linus is housebroken and knows how to use a dog door. He's also learning to walk on a leash. Whoever is lucky enough to adopt Linus should have patience with him. He's needs extra TLC & reassurance that he'll be OK; once he warms up to you, he'll be your best friend!

I'm not too crazy about the name Linus but he responds to it so we'll keep it. Plus there's Linus Pauling, who was a great scientist, so it fits with Darwin & Einstein.

If you're looking for a basset hound to add to your family, his sister Lucy is still awaiting adoption.


His foster family brought him by last night at 6pm. He's so afraid of people that he hid in the corner behind his foster dad. Einstein was his usual self & made the foster parents feel less nervous about leaving Linus with us. We're "fostering to adopt" which means we have 2 weeks to see if he & Einstein can get along. Einstein was here first.

So, I had to take off for a church meeting right after Linus arrived so he was left with Chris. Chris sat on the floor with him while reading The Dog Whisperer's book that I had bought on the way home. He took the dogs outside & Linus discovered that the photinia bushes are the best hiding place ever. Chris had to pull him out from under them but he didn't fight or snap or growl.

Chris then hooked both of the boys up to their leashes & they went for a walk. His foster mom had told us that he was still learning to walk on the leash. He did pretty good until he saw people. When Chris took them out there weren't a lot of people on the street. They did come across a couple of people & he freaked. Otherwise, he walked just fine.
When Chris saw me get home they swung back by the house to pick me up. When I threw open the front door, Linus freaked out & ran as far away as his leash would take him. Einstein came trotting in & was happy to see me. So, I took Einstein's leash and off we went. We just walked up & down the street. Linus did really well. He's a bit of a klutz which just proves that he's a Vanderbilt. He & I tried to walk in the same place unsuccessfully but no injuries occurred. He seemed to enjoy sniffing around & tended to walk right beside Chris like dogs are "supposed" to. We stopped a few times and he did let me pet him & even leaned up against my legs at one point. The Dog Whisperer recommends 90 minute daily walks. These are basset hounds in the early TX summer so I'm going to focus on 2 or more walks of short duration.

He didn't eat anything (which his foster mom said to expect) but he did drink when I brought him some water to the corner he was hiding in.

He was thrilled to run into his crate. We had to carry him over to it but he liked being in his little den. I'm going to put some food in water in his crate when I leave today.

This morning Chris couldn't get the leash on him so he let him out into the backyard without one. He ran into the photinias again. When I woke up, I pulled some old clothes and went back behind the photinias to fetch him. It's a great place for dogs - shaded, muddy, places to hide & to bury chewies. After a couple of missed tries, I finally did get ahold of him. Chris passed me the leash & he came inside with us. He was very good & let us clean his paws & belly off. I was almost as muddy as he was.

He stayed in his corner while I went upstairs & got ready for work. He stuck his head out briefly when I came back down but ducked back into "his" corner. I'm going to get a blanket to put there for him. He feels safe but he's in the room where I spend most of my time, he's even right next to the end of the couch where I usually sit & knit. I can reach over and pet him. It seems like a good place to let him be.

I'll put him in his crate when I leave for work. He seems to like it there. I have a list of things to buy on the way home.

I'll set up a Flicker group to post pictures too. That way the blog entries won't be weighed down with too many photos.
Here are a couple from yesterday until then:

Einstein & Linus in the entryway shortly after his arrival.

Linus checking out the backyard.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Panda says good-bye

Panda went to sleep shortly before 9 am at Angel Vet with Chris and I.

She's been a huge part of our lives. She was the first pet that Chris & I picked out together.

Thank you all for your love, support, & prayers.

She's at peace now.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Dogs & Cats Oh My!

The Old Geezer cat is still doing ok.

We're adopting a buddy for Einstein from the Flower Mound Humane Society. I've been a member for several years now so it just seems right to find our new family member there.
His name is Linus. Which continues our tradition of scientist dogs.

Chris is thrilled since this means I have to clean up everything off of the floor.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Golden Compass Daemon

I found this over on the Knitty blog. And I came out as a feline! How cool is that.
Now, of course, I'll need to read the books.

Added 5/6: Well my husband answered this & turned me into a spider. Some kind soul turned me into a bird. I miss my cat but it's better than a spider.
Happy note: The local library actually has the first book in this series. Yay! It's for young adults but who really cares about that. ;-)

Added 5/8: And I'm a spider again. Chris is trying to convince that's a good thing. ;-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The most wonderful old geezer cat around!

Panda is 17!!

And there goes my gauge!

I got to another measuring point in the pattern so I pinned it down & did some more measuring.
My row gauge should be 7.25 rows/inch. It's actually 7.7. My stitch gauge should be 5.75 sts/inch. Depending on where I measure (not good in and of itself), my stitch gauge is 5.25 - 5.38 sts/inch.
Measuring from the picot fold line, it's 10.5 inches long. The pattern says it should be 12 inches long. It then says to knit for anther inch & then start armhole shaping. The diagram for the pattern differs from this.
So, on Mom's suggestion, I got DH (darling husband) to measure from my armhole to where I want the bottom to hang. I'll knit until this point & then start armhole shaping.
I've been keeping really good records & marking each increase & decrease row with a coiless safety pin so I'm hoping that matching the front will be fairly simple.

I'm resisting the urge to drag out my Sahara or Fern Wrap sweater pattern & start them. I have the yarn that these call for so there isn't any substituting yarns mess.