Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deck Update

The wetlands permit for our deck was approved with surprising ease. Unfortunately, the builder began another project while waiting for the permits to clear.

We are hoping that the deck construction will begin next week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For the Birds

In this hot humid weather, Cooper and Otis are blowing their coats.

I quickly learned that it is wise to brush the dogs outside, as fur flies everywhere. The photo shows 1 days worth of hair.

The dog's undercoats are incredibly soft. Although it is not nesting season, I have put the hair out for the birds. Perhaps the birds will use some of this fur in their nests.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Super Suit

We had a thunderstorm that started at 4:30pm and lasted until 11:00pm. I put Coop's Thundershirt on him and waited to see what happened. The Thundershirt did help to lessen Coop's anxiety. When  the thunder passed directly overhead, Coop still shook. However, he did not try to squeeze under furniture or hide behind doors. Coop even stretched out and napped for a while.

This picture shows Cooper wearing his ThunderShirt when Jeff cut the lawn. After a few minutes in the vest, Cooper hopped up on the bed and stretched out.

While Thundershirt does not completely solve Coop's phobia, it definitely helps Coop be calmer. Two thumbs up for Thundershirt!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Otis!

Otis has been with us for 3 years!  It is hard to believe how quickly time has passed. We think Otis is about 6-7 years old.

This is the photo that started it all - when Linda F. asked if Cooper would like a brother. How could we ever say no to such a beautiful dog?

Otis is 80 lbs of love. His exuberance for life and desire to be close to people never decreases. Otis is a sweet (and rambunctious) dog, who acts as a protector when Jeff is gone.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Annual Exam

Cooper had his annual exam with Dr. Duffy.  Dr Duffy gave Coop a clean bill of health!

Dr Duffy examined some new lumps we had noticed on Cooper and said that they were not cancerous. With Coop turning 11 in Sept, we talked about geriatric testing. I explained that none of our other dogs survived past 11 years of age.

Dr Duffy said that other than some gray on his face, Coop does not act geriatric. He would not recommend additional testing. Dr Duffy asked if Coop really was 11 or could he be younger ? Unfortunately, we have no way to know Coop's true age.

Dr Duffy said he expected to see Coop in July 2013. Let's hope that is true!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Deck Delayed

A few hours after the Deck blog post went out, I received a call from our builder. I knew that we were in trouble, when he said, "We hit a snag with the Wilton Wetlands Commission".

Although we are reducing the size of the deck by 40%, the Wetlands Commission is stating that we need a Wetlands permit, because we are changing the footprint of the deck. This makes absolutely no sense to me. It would be fine to rebuild our mammoth deck, but a smaller deck is cause for concern ?

As you might remember, our last encounter with the Wetlands Commission took months to resolve and was extremely expensive. I am hoping that this experience will be less painful.

For now, deck construction is on hold.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


This is our existing deck. As you can see it is very large and not very attractive.

Even worse, the deck is in bad shape.

We believe a previous owner built this poorly constructed deck. The builder did not dig the footings deep enough. As you can see the footing has shifted and the support beam rests on the dirt.

We are having a new deck built which is much smaller and suits our needs. Construction should begin in the next few days.

Monday, July 09, 2012


Cooper gets very nervous during thunderstorms. Coop's whole body shakes and he tries to get as close to me as possible. Cooper will squeeze between the bathroom door and tub and wait for the event to end. Cooper exhibits the same behavior when the lawn is being mowed or the snow blower is running.

While attending a party at our Wesport family's home, we met a man who rescues Australian Shepherds. He stated that his dog was thunder-phobic and raved about how a Thundershirt helped ease the dogs anxiety.

I visited the Thundershirt website and the testimonials were amazing. Wrapping a dog in a thundershirt, seemed to have an incredibly calming effect. Thundershirt comes with a 45 day money back guarantee.

I ordered a Thundershirt for Cooper. We have not had a thunderstorm since it arrived.  I  put the shirt on Coop, before Jeff mowed the lawn. I cannot say that Cooper was completely relaxed (he was still panting). However, Coop did not shake like he normally does. It seems that Coop's anxiety level was reduced, as you can see in this photo taken while the lawn mower was running.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Of Mice or Voles

I was walking Otis in the back yard on the long lead. Otis was in the woods when suddenly his head ducked down, then came back up with something hanging from his lips. I think Otis grabbed a mouse or a vole.

I yelled at Otis to drop it, but I am not sure he did. The next thing I knew, Otis had nothing in his mouth. I hate to say it, but I think that Otis ate what he caught.

I am wondering if Otis will be able to keep his pre-dinner snack down or if I will get a closer look at what he caught.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Hard Headed

Jeff and I were working on the back deck. When I closed the sliding door which leads into the house , I left  it open a few inches. Otis could stick his nose outside, but that was it.

Imagine my surprise, when a minute later, I saw Otis walking on the back deck.

I thought that I must have left the door open more than I thought. I ushered Otis back inside and again pulled the door mostly shut.

A few seconds later, Otis was back on the deck.

I then realized that Otis stuck his head into the small opening in the door and pushed, until the door was open wide enough to walk through. I never thought that Otis would be smart enough or strong enough to do this.