Archive for the 'gone to the dogs' Category

23rd Jul 2009

The Invisible Dog

Every now and again, Rogie does something that utterly cracks me up. Okay, he often does things that crack me up but, every now and again, he outdoes even himself. Most recently was him picking apricots by standing on his hind legs and jumping up to pull them off the branch with his teeth but one Rogie incident that remains in my memory occurred on the big road trip.

Yes, Rogie became invisible.

The Great Invisible Rogie

While we were still in Atlanta, we had an email from a friend in Texas, wondering if we would be passing near her home on our return journey and, if so, if we’d like to stop in for the night. We had originally planned on taking I-10 across Texas, through El Paso, Las Cruces, etc., but the thought of a good visit with friends (and the chance to avoid SoCal traffic) had us revising our travel plans.

And so we found ourselves in Poetry, Texas, visiting with Marilyn. The dogs had a great time running around her property, swimming in the pond, and making new friends. We spent the day just hanging out relaxing and, as evening approached, decided we’d head to Trevino’s for some TexMex food. All we had to do was gather up the dogs, put them in their crates in the van, and load ourselves into Marilyn’s car.

I guess Rogie thought he was going to have leave his newfound Nirvana and was desperate to do anything to avoid this…he took off down the driveway. Even from a distance, I could hear the tiny little cogs and wheels in his brain turning, searching for a solution to his predicament.

Hang out with the Texas longhorn? No, too big and she had scary looking horns.

Hide out with the mule? No way…she bites!

The gate? Closed. No escape there.

Finally, the little doggy lightbulb went on in his little doggy brain. He’d turn himself invisible.

To achieve this feat, he paused for the appropriate amount of time behind a shrubbery. (It might have just been a tall bit of grass.) After what must have been two, or maybe even three, seconds, Rogie emerged from behind the greenery like a superhero emerges from his phonebooth, utterly confident in his invisibility.

Knowing his presence was now imperceptible, Rogie moved swiftly to put his plan into action. Keeping his head down nonetheless, he trotted across the open space between his shrubbery and the house, edged along the side of the house to the stairwell, and zoomed up it to the door.


(Alas, there was still the pesky problem of the door handle and a woeful lack of opposable thumbs and poor Rogie suffered the humiliation of scooped up like a bag of groceries, tucked under my arm, and unceremoniously deposited in his crate.)

Wondering where the incredible invisible dog is in the picture? Click here.

Posted by Posted by jen under Filed under gone to the dogs, travel Comments No Comments »

18th Jul 2009

It’s a Hard Knock Life (when you’re a knitwear model)

I’ve been on a “yarn diet” for quite some time now and, as a result, have been using up a fair amount of my stash. Part of that stash includes some very cheap (and some might say “nasty”) yarn I bought because I was convinced I was going to knit a whole bunch of dog sweaters. Some of the sweaters I’d hoped would replace the sweaters and jackets the dogs were wearing for the great Skunk Wars of 2009. (Six months on and they still reek of skunk.) I’d hoped the others might help finance a trip next spring.

Of course, I hadn’t done a thing about making the damn things. Finally, I picked up some of the yarn and cast on for a sweater. It didn’t get too far when I decided that it wasn’t going to work and so I ripped it out. I cast on again, this time using a real pattern for a greyhound sweater. Work on that sweater was motoring along nicely until I looked at the project page for the pattern on Ravelry. None of the completed projects looked at all flattering on the greyhounds modelling them. Sweater #2 ripped out.

Finally, I came up with something I thought might work and work progressed relatively smoothly on it. It’s much bigger than what I had planned and so, instead of a sweater for Streaka, I’ve got a sweater for Tighe. That’s okay…he has the biggest need for new winter clothing as he tore a hole in his jacket last year.

There are a few changes I want to make to the pattern and to the method by which it was knit but, on the whole, I’m quite pleased with the result:

Tighe's new sweater

So why is it a hard-knock life when you’re a knitwear model? Because you have to wear a fur coat AND a knit sweater in this:


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17th Jul 2009

Streaka’s Stroke

It started with a loud and clumsy-sounding thud from the patio where the dogs’ kennels are located. I could see the boys from where I sat but no Streaka. Kathleen got up to investigate and worriedly called out to me: There’s something wrong with Streaka!

Out we went…

Streaka stumbled across the patio unsteadily, one of her rear legs giving out on her. Kathleen scooped her up and brought her inside, where she immediately collapsed onto her bed. Of course, given her age, my first thought was that she had had a stroke.

Being Streaka, she didn’t want me fussing over her and really just wanted to lie down. I did give her a quick exam before letting her rest. Her rear end was hunched under, her left rear leg did not hold her weight, and she walked with a distinct lean to the left.

Streaka's recovery

So, I let her be and went to write her breeder an email, asking for advice. Just before hitting the send button, I decided to give Streaka another once-over, evaluating her gait and also checking the neurological response in her hind limbs.

Hmmm. When she gaited out, she wasn’t limping any more. What could possibly cause her leg to be completely unresponsive one minute and completely normal the next?


Yes, her leg had fallen asleep.

(I hope she doesn’t start faking strokes just so she can come in and nap away from the boys. I don’t think my heart could handle it!)

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14th Oct 2008

Streaka’s Old Lady Whippet Sweater

Yippee! I can cross one item off my list of October goals…Streaka’s “Old Lady Whippet Sweater” is finished.

Streaka's Old Lady Whippet Sweater

I’ll probably end up having to move the buttons; once I’d sewed them on and then let her try on the sweater again, I could see that they were in the wrong place.

Here’s the pattern for the sweater:


Worsted weight; US 7 needles

Chest Piece

Cast on 54 stitches.

Garter stitch for 4 rows.

Knit 4. Cast off 2. Knit to 5 from end. Cast off 2. Knit to end.

Knit 4. Cast on 2. Knit to 4 from end. Cast on 2. Knit to end.

Garter stitch for 4 rows.

Bind off 9. Knit 36. Bind off 9.

K1, P1 for 12 inches.

SSK, K1, P1 until 2 stitches left on needle. K2tog.

Repeat until one stitch left on the needle. Bind off.


Cast on 70 stitches.

Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 1 inch.

Work stocking stitch for 6 inches.

Work 10 rows in garter stitch.

Work in stocking stitch for 13 inches.

Work in K1, P1 ribbing for 1 inch. Bind off in pattern. (Note: this ribbing will form the neck.)


Weave in ends and block.

Sew neck ribbing together, then sew point of underpiece to back where neck ribbing joins.

Sew buttons to back in appropriate places.

Posted by Posted by jen under Filed under Knitting, gone to the dogs, my designs Comments 1 Comment »

27th Jun 2008

How to: Make a Dog Bed in Less than an Hour

And it won’t cost a lot either!

Oh, and it doesn’t involve sewing…

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 yard of 58″ wide fleece
1 20″ x 28″ x 2″ pillow

Start by cutting the fleece in half along the fold. This will give you two pieces of fleece measuring 29″ x 36″.

Create a fringe along all four sides of each piece of fleece by cutting 3″ long cuts, 1″ apart. You will end up removing a 3″ square piece of fleece from each corner. Once completed, your fleece pieces will look like this:

Fleece fringe

Next, put your fleece pieces on top of one another, lining up the corner cutouts. Form knots along one short and the two long edges using a single fringe piece from each side. Leave one short edge unknotted for now.

Knotted fringe

Insert the pillow into the fleece and knot the remaining fringe pieces together.

Voila! Dog bed…

Streaka's new bed

Posted by Posted by jen under Filed under gone to the dogs, how to Comments Comments Off