We made some good progress on the window last week. The cars for the Ferris wheel are ready for the candy. A couple of them have pull ‘n’ peel licorice on the back and bottom of the cars. I also got 6 of the 16 figures shaped and ready for paint. That feels really good. Bill also got the spokes of one side of the Ferris Wheel welded. That was super exciting to see happen. We put in a lot of hours on Saturday so it was good to see such progress. Our new puppy, Fable handled all the noise of cutting metal and welding like she’d be around it all her life. She is amazing.
Fable is trying her hand at writing fables this week. Her biggest challenge is coming up with the moral to the story. If she didn’t have to come up with that there would be a lot more fables to tell. I’m wondering if she should just write her stories and see if someone else can help her with what the fable teaches?
The Ice Cube and the X-pen – by Fable
I was so hot and panting this afternoon after a fun romp in the big grassy place. My new mom put me in my x-pen and then gave me a special treat. A rectangular toy with almost no color and it was so cold! She called it an ice cube. I loved the way it shot across the wood floor every time I punched it with my paws. It is the best feeling watching it sail across the floor. I hit is so hard that it broke in two and then I had two toys. Double joy! But oh the anguish when both my ice cubes got stuck behind the back of the x-pen. I couldn’t help but cry out in my disappointment. Then joy of joy, mom crawled into my x-pen and saved my ice cubes. I had so much fun playing with them. Then I realized that my new toys kept getting smaller and small and first one disappeared and then the other. But it wasn’t as painful as when I could see them but not reach them. So all pups and dogs out there, enjoy your toys while you can. You never know when they might disappear, like my ice cubes did today.
I learned to go up the stair within 24 hours of being in my new home. That was way easy. I watch my big sister Emma and used my natural jumping ability. It only took a few tries to master that direction. But down, that was getting me. I couldn’t even bring myself to go to the edge of the first step. I tried but something always stopped me about a foot back. No amount of self talk would get me to move. My mom would pick me up and carry me to the bottom step and set me down so I could practice. That wasn’t bad. Then we progressed to two steps up and that took lots of positive self talk to get my feet to move. I wished big sister Emma was here so I could watch the way she went down stairs. I didn’t pay close enough attention before she left for Doggy College.
This morning my papa decided to help me with the stairs. He put me on the top step (not the way mom did) and helped me put my front feet on the step below. My back feet naturally followed. He did it again and again until we got to the bottom of the stairs. After I took care of my business outside, we went back upstairs so I could eat. Then Papa went outside to water the grass. I wanted to go with him, so while he was gone, I took a deep breath and walked to the top of the stairs. Then I put my front paws down on the step below. It was kind of scary but I tried not to think about it too much. I’d just practiced this stair thing after all. I could do it. So I tried again and again and when Papa came back inside he was so surprised and pleased to see me waiting for him at the bottom of the stairs.
Next time you have to do something hard, remember what I learned on the stairs today. If you take a big obstacle one small step at a time you can do more than you think you can.
Emma: No word yet other than that she made it to San Rafael. At this point no news is good news. The initial evals for breeding takes about two weeks. Banta is our only dog who made it passed the first two weeks of breeder evals. Dune was the shortest with only two days.
I like soup year round but maybe your thoughts turn to a big pot of soup simmering on the stove as the weather starts to cool. Do you have memories of eating warm and comforting soup, stew or chowder? How about sharing those stories with your extended family along with the fixings for soup all packaged up neatly in a jar. Here are some ideas to get you started.
This week I got to meet with my Dad twice to talk about his memories of Key West and the Underwater Swimmers School. On Monday we went through some letters and documents, making sure I understood what they were about. I recorded most of that meeting for future reference. At one point we were talking about a TAD (temporary additional duty) and he asked me to turn the recording off. Then he told me some details about that assignment that was very surprising and very off the official record. Not sure how we are going to handle that story. I’m pretty sure all the people who might be adversely effected have died and it is a story that I really want to include so I hope we can figure out a good way to include it. I’m not sharing any detail here in respect for my Dad.
We got together again today and worked on getting things in chronological order, if we end up writing it that way. I put together some hanging files in a file box to organize it. I’ve got most things organized on my computer but that doesn’t help when working with my Dad. He wants and needs to see the things and seeing it on the computer just doesn’t seem to work for him. I’m really glad about how much he is involved in this project. I’m learning more about him and the interesting things he did when he was in the Navy.
While the leaves in the valley are still green, the trees in the mountains are starting to change colors. The weather can’t make up its mind yet weather it is summer or fall, but I’m sure that autumn colors are just a few more weeks away. Does your family have a special tree? One with a tree house or just a favorite spot it sit in the shade and enjoy the summer? This idea would be a great way to share the memories and stories of a tree with special significance in your life. If you have a tree like that, how about gathering some leaves from it this fall and make a batch of these beautiful candle holders. I can imagine a family gathering (large or small), have a bunch of these candle holders gathered on a table or scattered around the room or even on a deck or patio. Light them and then turn out the lights. What a great atmosphere to share a family story with a connection to that tree or let others share their memories connected to that special tree. It would be a memorable event. Then let everyone take home one of the candle holders.
This week we made good progress on the cars. Besides painting the cars, half of them have the hardware for attaching to the Ferris wheel welded in place. There is some touch up painting to do because I knocked one of the cars off the table and it cracked on the sides by the foot rest, so Bill reinforced all the cars there. Plus where the hardware attached needs some painting too.
We made some progress on the trees. The third tree is about half done. I need to get some more apple fruit slices to finish it and the fourth tree has some of the lights candy on it. The fifth tree is getting closer to being ready to glue together with most of the green gel material hole punched to let light through.
For me the part that feels the best to get done last week has to do with the figures. I decided on the scale of all the figures and sketched rough outlines to scale of paper. There are 16 figures, more than I’ve done and a different size than I’ve done before. The next step on the figures is to get Styrofoam rough cut to size for them. That is my big goal for this coming week.
I’m off in post schedule this week. I blame it all on these puppies. I’ve decided I don’t much like the two-day overlap. I’m sure it will be good but it is emotionally much harder. The key is to remember that next time I end up with 5 or 6 months with two dogs. I think two months would be perfect but with wanting a certain letter that makes it difficult to pull off. Maybe one of these times. Anyway, we put Emma on the puppy truck to San Rafael, California today. The way I was feeling this week I thought I might get really emotional when the time came to do it. But today, I came to terms with it and saw that some things would be easier in training Fable with just one dog in the house. We had a busy morning with other commitments but I got in a quick walk with Emma before we left to meet the truck. I think that helped too.
As expected Emma was super excited to be there and see the other dogs. There were a couple of dogs transferred from Colorado for the High School program and four dogs recalled for training, I think. By the luck of the draw Emma was the first one to go on the truck but she got the upper kennel right behind the driver’s seat. She will like that, because Emma will be able to see more of what is going on. Emma was more interested in the dog treats she got for being in the kennel than saying good-bye to us. She is off on her big adventure. I think they drive to Elko today and stop for the night. Then finish the trip to San Rafael tomorrow. They are probably picking up more recall dogs along I-80 as they go.
The house is quiet without her here. It is always that way when a puppy leaves. But she is close to my heart and I’m excited to see what path her life takes from here. We won’t hear anything until it is decided that she won’t be a breeder or that she has passed all the preliminary tests for breeding and they are awaiting final tests to decide. I’ll update here when we get some news on Emma.