Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meet Pipsqueak!

Finally, the long overdue introduction to my Pipsqueak. Her mother is Ch. Dusty, her father is Grand Ch. Trace. She is some sort of great-niece or first or second cousin to my beautiful Pupgirl. Born Nov. 2, 2012, came home Jan. 8, 2013. She is growing like a weed--she had her 20-week teeth at 17 weeks. She pummels TallBoy constantly, chewing on his ears, his feet, his muzzle, whatever body part is handy. Mr. Big was ailing pretty badly when she arrived, and TallBoy really was GoldenBoy, running interference to keep her from pestering Biggie. He'd grab a toy and dangle it from his mouth to distract her. That DoodleBug is one amazing dog.

Mr. Big is feeling better, and she's doing all the appropriate puppy things now--licking his muzzle, laying down in front of him, stomach up. Of course, she also runs like crazy past him and will knock him off his feet. His balance and strength are improving, but a 32-lb puppy missile is still just a bit too much for him. Biggie has resumed his dog park cop job, barking at Pipsqueak and DoodleBug when they play too rough, which is nearly all they do, all day long, which means there is a lot of barking going on in my house right now. A lot. So much that I want to howl "Does no one have any consideration for my poor nerves?!?" Pipsqueak's bark is that high-pitched, eardrum-shattering, glass-breaking puppy bark that can drive strong men to drink. Pupgirl had that and it quieted a bit, as did she, with maturity, so I'm hoping Pipsqueak does, too.

Pipsqueak on the right, her sister, Brown Girl, on the left

"What have I gotten myself into?"


Doing what dogs do

Talented sideways dogs

"Human work is boring, and being a puppy is exhausting. I'm taking a nap."

Pipsqueak meets rain.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Perks of Field Science

A lot of times, fieldwork has its less-than-fun side:
  • when the portable toilet people never deliver your order, for 5 weeks
  • when it's so cold, the water meter is frozen
  • when it's so hot, people are cooking lunches atop the truck
  • when it rains, and you have to keep surveying, as water sloshes back and forth in your boot.
But then, sometimes, fieldwork has its spectacular side. To whit, the following. We are working in an area that has 8 nesting pairs of crested caracara.  While those online photos are far superior to mine, I'm tickled pink to have been able to take these myself.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Yesterday I completed my 13th Race for the Cure. My walking buddies from previous races have all decided that they prefer not to return as supporters after last year's debacle. However, my cousin's wife was just diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks ago, and one of my two oldest friends is only in year 2 of her cancer-free life, and the organization provides money to poor communities in my state that are not just underserved--they barely make it on the map. So, with about half of the pre-2012 racers, I returned.

Since I wasn't walking with a group, I was able to walk faster that I would have. As DoodleBug and I have been interval running and walking, I decided to try that technique for as long as I could. I ran the first half-mile flat out, thought my heart would explode, then did a few blocks at walking/running, then just walked as fast as I could. Hey, the most Doodle and I have run/walked was 0.7 miles, and recently it's only been about 0.3 miles of running, so 0.5 without any walking is a miracle!

But that push got me off to a good start, so I finished the race at 41 minutes, 22 seconds--about 25 minutes behind the female runner who came in first (18 minutes, and she was 16 or 18 years old--I could almost be her grandmother!), which I think is not too shabby. And that means I walked, on average, a 13 minute, 29 second mile! I haven't walked that fast in years! My fastest time ever was just over 11 minutes/mile, but I was about 24 years younger then. And this was pretty much without any training whatsoever. Woo hoo!!

So, M & M, this one was for you. And your daughters.