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Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 2016

One morning after letting the dogs out for their first run of the day, I caught Indigo coming in with half a young squirrel in her mouth.  Later I came in the front door and spotted an unfamiliar toy on the antique couch.  Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be an entire young squirrel, quite dead. So that totals approximately one and one-half dead squirrels in the house.  I disposed of them quickly, but several questions were immediately raised.  1.  Where was the other half squirrel?  Living half-squirrels are rare in nature.  2.  Who killed these juvenile squirrels?  While the Sisters of Chaos are very fond of barking at and chasing our backyard squirrels, they have never caught one, and do not display sufficient aggression and prey drive needed to kill one.

The answer to #1 may have been revealed, as Indigo refused to eat for 24 hours, then produced a nasty, runny poo out back. Her appetite has rebounded, fortunately.

Around the same time period, I saw Indigo stalking something around the edge of the prairie.  I went in for a closer look, and saw one of our resident garter snakes.  She seemed interested when it was on the other side of the fence, but afraid when it got too close.  Isabel was similarly interested.  I know these snakes are criss-crossing the yard all the time, yet I've never seen the dogs attack one.  In fact, they ignored the last one I saw, though it was right in front of their noses.  Now that I've moved the chainlink fence around, the dogs can't jump into the prairie, and it will have a chance to grow back.  A couple of weeks later I rescued a snake that they had at bay in front of the willow tree.  It was holding them back by gaping and striking.

I finished off the Doggie Cam project.  I kept it on Isabel for a walk that we all took on the Canton North Levee.  It worked well, except that the sisters were yoked, and the yoke would catch the camera when they crossed each other.

I spent one weekend working on our rental property.  Though it's sold, it did not pass FHA inspection.  While replacing some electrical outlets with the GFCI type, I learned that a year of college physics provides the illusion that one understands electricity, but it is no subsitute for the training of an electrician.  I didn't shock myself, but much cursing was required to complete the project.  I also had to scrape, prime and paint the soffits.  It wasn't that bad a job, but it happened to be quite windy out, which added to the challenge.  It would be worth it when it sold.  We closed on it April 18.

The 19th was the 25th anniversary of our wedding.  We went to a concert in Quincy on the Sunday before.  We bought very expensive steaks for a nice dinner at home, and we went to see the Mariachi Band at the local Mexican restaurant later in the week.  We are still discussing getting matching tattoos.  It was a low-key but well savored anniversary.

Stacey's Dad and his wife Rhonda came out to visit one weekend.  We showed them around a bit, and picked up our niece Shilo at the train station in Quincy so they could haul her back to Indiana.  We hadn't seen her in a couple of years.

We camped out at the State Park again.  We took some nice walks with the dogs and I did a long training ride.  While we were gone, a rabbit made a nest in the back yard and moved her young into it.  This is the same yard where four schnauzers play.  The dogs found it immediately upon our return.  Savannah saved one of them, but I think one of the neighborhood cats got it overnight.

I did the Dogwood Parade in Quincy with my kennel club.  I had made costumes for the dogs but ended up not using them because it rained almost the entire time.  We just walked it and got wet.  It was still kind of fun to do.  Isabel was well behaved, and Indigo was a friend to all the kids.

The web site ran a contest for the month of April.  Those submitting 4 featured instructables during the month would be entered to win a GoPro.  I had one done about midway through the month, and that was a start.  I wrote 4 more because one was not featured (they have to be pretty good for that) and just made it on the 29th. They were all dog-related, the last being Ride 'em Cowboy Dog Costumes  I figure my odds are pretty good because it's not that easy to get even one featured.

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