Every time I walk the dog someone stops us and asks what kind of dog he is. I’ve even had people driving by slow down and shout from their car window. We still have no idea what breeds were combined to make him and the more people ask, the more I want to know myself. Regardless of what he is, he’s incredibly handsome with an excellent disposition. He’s also incredibly photogenic, and here’s some proof.
The top photo is about a year late. We bought the sweater shortly after adopting Dempsey, but I never bothered to put it on him until about two weeks ago.
Here he is on the front porch, keeping an eye on local squirrel activity and the neighbour’s cat.
This is how he notifies me he’s ready to return to the cosy warmth of his bed. Door yawns. In fact, he pretty much yawns whenever he wants anything.
This is him looking majestic as fuck. Patiently freezing while I shovel.
Readers of the chronicles are likely already aware of Holly’s love of Pinterest, and likely also my disinterest in it. It’s not for a lack of good ideas, but rather the opposite. Too many good ideas, all of which are now on my ‘Honey Do’ list. Unfortunately most of these items on my list are things I personally don’t care about, but there are a few that seem like fun projects. Which brings us to the purpose of this post: Garbage turned dog bed.
Our neighbour has a lame junk removal service he operates via Kijiji and other such sites. He preys on the ignorant inhabitants of Niagara who are unaware that just about anything can be disposed of at your regular curbside pick up, as long as you call the city and inform them. He charges people to go over in his truck, load up their junk and bring it back to sit on his front lawn until Thursday morning when it’s hauled away with everything else. Once or twice we have found usable items in his pile, in fact the shelves on our wall in the den were crates he was tossing that I salvaged. A month ago, he had a baby crib out there waiting for pick up. Knowing things don’t last long on the roadside in our neighbourhood, Holly dragged it over to our house the minute she saw it. Two days later I began work on turning one crib into two dog beds.
Since our dog is rather large I decided to just chop the crib in half vertically, so it could still fit a crib mattress, and he’d have plenty of room to rotate over and over before settling in. I made a new frame out of 2″ x 2″s, reinforced the bottom panel, then added some trim to hide where the headboard and footboard connect to the frame. The first one turned out great and even before it had a mattress or coat of paint, Dempsey was curled up and breaking it in.
It took about five times as long to paint as it did to make, but it looked ten times better. I bought a used mattress from a local second hand store, and it fit perfectly. He still prefers our bed, and I don’t blames him, but he does use his bed all the time. The second bed is still awaiting a bottom and some decorative accessories, but it’s already painted and won’t be getting a mattress. He is indifferent to the mattress and at $20 each it’s a waste. He’ll prefer a pile of blankets he can fluff up and spin endless circles in.
I’m considering making more of these and selling them on Kijiji, but I need to get some more free cribs, or perhaps I can find some dirt cheap ones once garage sale season starts.
One good thing that came out of going back to work was being forced to keep up with the rest of society and finally get a cell phone. I haven’t had one since the early days of this blog, when Jon had outfitted me with an old Motorola Pebble with pay-as-you-go service. I am now equipped with more pocket processing power than any human should need. I’m not complaining at all, in fact I quite enjoy having it. When this blog started I was travelling a lot and had no fixed address. I carried a backpack full of things at all times; camera, calculator, phone, computer, notepads, mp3 player, PSP. Now I have all that plus a GPS system and so much more, and it fits in my pocket.
It may seem as though I’m regretting waiting so long to become a smart phone user, but that’s not so. I’m glad I waited. All those awesome things my phone does seamlessly, have come a long way since the early days of the smart phone. The camera on my phone is so much nicer than some of the digital handhelds I have paid four and five hundred dollars for in the past. And that might be the thing I am most excited about with this. Just look at that photo above (and below). Lovely HD pet photos for everyone!
With pets this handsome, high resolution is a must. Click the images for a large resolution version of each.
Pretty much the minute I walked in the door after getting home from the marquetry society meeting I picked up a knife and started cutting out a Dumpster head. Unfortunately we had no scotch tape at the time, so I wasn’t able to do a proper inlay, but I think I can. Holly brought us home some tape the other night, so one day soon I’m going to give it another go. I’m thinking this will be my first belt buckle design when, and if, I get buckles and skills. I think this wood represents his brindle-y stripes pretty good,so hopefully I can pull it off.
Ever since the Cobra Canine came into the picture I’ve wanted to take him down into the gorge for some mutually beneficial exercise. When we got him last August he wasn’t a very good listener, and I wouldn’t have trusted him to not rip my arm off the first time a squirrel ran past. Then the winter came, and I wasn’t going anywhere near the gorge. Finally the nice weather has returned, and the Tank has come a long way as far as obedience goes (still a long way to go however), so last week I took him down for our first time.
If you’ve ever been to the gorge (Niagara Glenn) you’re probably aware that there is only two ways down (and back up for that matter); the metal stairs and the wooden stairs. The former is probably the easiest or humans. Each step is the exact same height, making it much nicer on your legs. The latter, are literally logs embedded into sloped dirt trails creating a set of tiers, each a unique width and height. If given the choice, I’m going metal every time. Unfortunately the metal stairs are actually corrugated steel (like you see on subway grates in big cities), which makes it difficult for dogs, so we opted for the wooden stairs.
We made it down with no problems at all, and immediately he found a dead fish washed up on the beach. After a few sniffs we headed off on a trail which followed the riverbank. I was hoping to try letting him off his leash for a short time, but there was a bunch of other people with dogs there at that time. He was still content, and I’m actually really glad I didn’t let him off, because on our way back up the riverbank he spotted a couple ducks floating atop the currents and took off after them. I pulled him back before he was swept away by the current, then he stood on the water’s edge and barked at them while the gave zero shits and twirled around taunting his lack of buoyancy.
After an hour or so I was ready (not really) to head back up. I almost died and vomited a few times, but we made it. I’m going to attempt to take him down the metal stairs next time, but I suspect it won’t go over well.
Holly regularly reminds me of my initial discontent with her decision to bring home not only another cat, but a black one nonetheless. Why? Because I fucking love this cat, and we spend a large part of the day ‘bumpin’ beards’ like gay lovers, to the point where it probably starts to annoy her. I don’t even care. This cat shows me more love than most of my past partners have ever been capable of. He constantly licks my beard, then rubs his face against my chin as hard as he can. Sometimes he gets carried away and bites me hard enough that it actually hurts, but I believe that’s a sign of affection with cats. Or perhaps it’s a sign that I have food in my beard.
Last night, Holly had a meeting and the boys went with their ‘step mother’ (the quotes imply that I don’t know what other term to use…. she is now divorced from the boys father, but maintains a parental role, and ex-stepmother doesn’t sound right; she’s not divorced from them…) for dinner, so I was on my own. I ate pizza and cruised the internet for a while, until Mr. Squirrel started rubbing against my face and being super cute. I got my camera out to try and get a video of how she rubs on me and the dog, but instead she chose to freeze in this incredibly regal pose once the focus light came on.
I decided to make good use of my alone time, and started goofing around with Gimp.
Now I need a t-shirt with this printed HUGE on it.
The other day I spent a few minutes turning a photo of Dempsey into a wood burning template. Originally I thought of making a sign for the new kitty litter box with a big red ‘X’ over this logo. Unfortunately the shape of his big dumb head, and his even bigger dumber ears, made that a lot harder than I expected. So I changed my mind and decided to just make him a nameplate for his sleepy-crate.
I don’t think he cares, but I like it. I might even have to get this on one of my knuckles.
As I mentioned in a previous post, we no longer go to the dog park on a daily basis. Instead we take Dempsey to my friend’s house where there is a huge yard and a couple playmates for him to go nuts with. The other day we were visiting and I decided to try and get a picture of all three chumming around. It proved more difficult than I expected, everything turned out blurred. I figured the only way it was going to work was to get them all to sit. This was the best I could do. Dempsey and Mario got it right, but Quint was a little distracted by Egyptian sausage.
As I’m sure most people are already aware, dogs like to eat shit. Figuratively and literally. Recently we’ve had an issue with Dempsey treating the litter boxes in the basement like an all you can eat buffet, since starting construction on Gage’s room. Normally a cat-door is how the kitties access their poo-palace, but I had to tear out a wall in order to frame and run wires, which left plenty of access for the Dump Truck to dine on dumps (gross). Something had to be done.
Last week, Holly brought home two lids from cremation containers she had, hoping I could use the wood to make her a window seat in the living room. I looked at them and immediately had a different idea. I had already modelled a concept for a solution to our litter box problem (below), and this seemed like someone just did half the work and handed it to me for free. All I had to do was cut two edges off each lid that would have prevented me from adding hinges and having it close flush, and it would be essentially what I conceived minus all the framing.
I cut an arched opening at one end with my jigsaw, and decided while I had it out to add some handles which would make moving and opening it much easier. I used hinges I salvaged off things that were getting burned or thrown out at work. I still need to add a divider insert when I get some appropriate material so the cats don’t tear open the reserve supply of litter and start using it as another poo-box (as they have been known to do), but so far this project cost us $0.00 and I’d like to keep it that way.
Holly was sceptical about whether or not the cats would be willing to go in there at all, let alone want to go to the bathroom in there, but soon after it was finished Shakespeare was in there checking it out (as you can see above). For the first day I left the lid open so the cats would be able to find their newly relocated facilities. The second day I shut the box and so far there hasn’t been any complaints. It also seems to help keep the smell down pretty good, but that may change if I add vents / skylights to it (which I’m not sure about yet).