Loki’s Back!


Loki at the Linda Meier seminar spring 2014 (Jaderbug Photography)

After a severe shoulder injury at 18 months Loki spent 8 months recovering and another year working up to full activity.  Last weekend he showed everyone that he was fully recovered when he ran at a herding trial.  We have been taking herding lessons again and Loki has been patient with me while I learned.  Despite my novice handler skills and our lack of regular herding lessons (darn weather) we had a great deal of fun.  I spent two days volunteering at the trial and learned quite a bit.  Loki earned his HTAD I-s and brought home some placement ribbons.   

Let the Gardening Begin!


As a Iowan my small yard is utilized to grow food during the summer months.  This summer my garden promises to be larger and more productive due to all the research and thought I’ve put into it.  My strawberry bed and blackberry bushes should continue to produce high quality fruit.  I’m also planning to have a container garden on my deck starring tomatoes, peppers, and salad fixings.  This will be my second year container gardening and hopefully I have learned from last year’s mistakes.  😉  I will also be hand-digging a couple plots behind the house to grow my green beans, watermelons, cucumbers, onions, and carrots. 

To get a jumpstart bell pepper (multiple colors) and tomato (Burpee’s Beefeater/Big Boy) seeds were started indoors last weekend.  I was suprised to discover that my tomato plants have already germinated and are several days ahead of schedule (per the seed packet).  The plants are being grown from seed in coconut-fiber mix (an environmentally friendly option to peat) in a plastic green house.  My office’s desk has turned into a plant nursery as it sits right in front of a nice south-facing window.  It is going to be wonderful to see something green growing after such a long winter.

She’s Back!


After a month of rest and recuperation Ms. Rose is back to her old tricks.  Her illopsosas muscle still has to finish healing as she slowly returns to full activity but her spinal issues seem to be back under control.  The vets suspect that she may have run into a tree several hours before her collapse.  Unfortunately, running into trees is simply part of Rose’s life since her she has impaired vision.  Next month we’ll celebrate her 7th birthday.  🙂

Suddenly Ataxic

Sunday was a slow day here in Iowa due to subzero temperatures.  I took the dogs on a short hike and then spent the rest of the day curled up in bed with a book.  In the midafternoon Rose suddenly got up from her dog bed and went into “kitty stalk” mode.  Suprisingly her front legs started paddling and then she couldn’t control her back end either.  Although I knew the issue was most likely neurogical I quickly checked her for injuries and other potential issues.  Rose was dosed with an NSAID and monitored until I could get her into see her veterinary chiropractor on Monday.

Monday Rose was able to walk but was still ataxic.  She couldn’t seem to bear weight on one side of her body and listed sideways.  Her veterinary chiropractor, Dr. King DVM, squeezed her into her schedule. Dr. King adjusted her and said that she had some nerves pinched at her atlas (C1). Once Rose had been adjusted she immediately began walking better but was still ataxic in her rear.  As of today Rose is still ataxic in her rear but seems to be in good spirits.  She is being monitored and will hopefully improve.  If she does not then she will probably be referred to a neurologist.

Rose’s neurological issues are nothing new.  She was limping at 9 months when I visited her in the shelter (advertised as an agility prospect).  The shelter staff were unaware of her limp and suprised when I asked about it.  The vet tentatively diagnosed her with panosteitis but that was finally disproven.  Finally at age 2 yrs we discovered that chiropractic care would help her live a more normal life.  Several specialists wondered if she had been hit by a car before I had adopted her.  Although we trained in agility Rose was not allowed to perform weave poles, high jumps (she jumped 16″ instead of 24″), and did not perform the teeter.  Rose and I remained active in agility until she began going blind a year ago. 

Hopefully Rose will return to full force soon and can continue to enjoy her early retirement. Of course, she’s still my hiking partner. 🙂

Week 1 of 52 Weeks Outside My Comfort Zone Photography Project


Over the past 3 years I’ve learned a lot about photography with my secondhand Canon Rebel EOS and realized I have a great deal more to learn.  So this year I’m going to begin pushing myself out of my comfort zone with a photography project.  My project is going to be more difficult due to the fact that my camera is suffering from old age.  It now takes several minutes for it to store a photo to memory, randomly decides it can no longer auto focus, occasionally all photo files are corrupted within the camera, and is in general trying to drive me mad.  Today I took quite a few photos and mentally swore quite a bit as the camera refused to allow me to get the shots I wanted.  I just remind myself that external limitations will help me learn to be a better photographer and to save a bit at a time for a new camera.

Today I decided to use take photos in the snow which I absolutely dread because of issues with white balance.  My older camera doesn’t have a snow setting and good white balance can be hard to achieve even in the best of scenarios.  In an attempt to combat the white balance issue I tried a warming filter and shot on daylight WB settings (sadly the first few photos were shot in fluorescent light WB settings- oops!).  I have never used a filter before and haven’t been brave enough to try out the filter in the year since I bought it.  Plus I discovered it wasn’t the correct warming filter for my application but what the heck.  Clearly, now is the time to give it a go.  In an attempt to avoid houses, etc. in the background I went to a large soccer field.  Sadly cars and houses still managed to clutter the background.  Lighting was tricky due to the trees, sun setting, and minimize background clutter.

I have decided that I need a different warming filter and the search for better winter white balance continues. . . But, I did get a photo showing Rose’s spirit which is quite hard to do.  🙂