27 October 2011

40

This year I turned 40.  A few days ago in fact.  To be honest it rather feels the same as 39 although it has a different weight if you think about it too long.  No longer a kid.  I am doing what I am going to do as an adult.  There used to be so many options and questions in front of me.  Not that I would change a single thing.  I love the town we live in, our home, our friends and family (not that you can really change that), I love what I do for work and that we volunteer.
We worked pretty hard in our thirties.  We owned our business and it was my primary job for the entire decade.  That seems a little odd when written down.  Makes one wonder if it will be another decade?  Time does seem to be accelerating, so another decade could pass in no time at all.  I still think we are in a good industry and provide a product and service that is helpful.  It is an alternative energy, but more than that it is a local energy that provides local jobs and supports the communities around us.
We have spent almost 9 years in our little farm house.  We have been renovating it since the day we moved in.  A process that is not likely to end any time soon.  This year we took the front part of the greenhouse that was falling down (and by we I mean our contractor friend :-/) and put in a concrete pad and a higher roof so that it can be used to park our tractors and bobcat.  Inside I spruced up a bathroom that had an ugly beam in it, Ody-bird chewed wood trim, and some dilapidated drywall.  I also updated the countertop and sink in the bar.  Little things but it is nice to have many of the big projects out of the way.
It is my third or fourth year with chickens.  I need to go back through my blog history to find out for sure.  We still have Abbie and Dorrie, two chickens from our first group.  They no longer lay but they are both very sweet and have a forever home here.  Mama (Cuddles) has been busily sitting on three eggs for almost three weeks now.  It is really late in the season but for many reasons she never was able to hatch a chick this year.  I am hoping for one for her at least.  If not, that would probably be o.k.  We are supposed to receive our first snow today.
It is amazing to me how I adapted to New England weather.  When we first moved here I was always cold!  I couldn't imagine what the crazy people who were running around without a coat were doing in the rain or on (what I thought) was a cold day of 60 degrees or less.  Each year I wear my coat less and less, turn the stove on later and later, and get grumpy when it is hot.
We stayed locally this year, both due to cost and because we have a wonderful new puppy that we were training and wanted to have around.  We did take what is becoming our annual ski trip with our friends.  The guys and kids ski while us girls go shop or snowshoe.  We enjoy the friends we have made in our town.  It makes it a home.  We also rented a beach house with my sister and brother in law.  That was fabulous since it was so close.  Hubby's folks could come by and other family members and even a visit from our friends.  This coming year we have a few more ventures in store.  Our fifteenth wedding anniversary was last year and we have yet to take our trip for that.
One of the most memorable trips I will have from this year is the surprise trip my wonderful husband took me on to celebrate my birthday.  He has been so busy at the store this fall that I don't get to see him much.  He has been working seven days a week.  Even when my folks were here for almost two weeks he was only able to take a couple of half days and one full day off.  I was a little disappointed but glad my folks understood.  We have just come off of a few really lean years at the shop and this was our first opportunity to pay off some of the costs incurred from our move and property purchase.  So the trip was very unexpected.  He held the secret until the Saturday before when we were on the way to the Bruins game.  He had actually planned to take me to Quebec City as I had missed a trip a few years back and have always wanted to go.  But once I knew that it was really just for a day I wanted to go closer to home.  I didn't want to drive twelve hours to enjoy a day when we could drive two and enjoy two half days and a full day.  So we searched around and settled on Portland, Maine.  Neither of us had spent time there exploring the city.  I liked going somewhere new and so did hubby.  We picked a hotel down in the heart of the city on the waterfront.  It was a couple hour drive and then we were checking in.  We immediately headed out and walked around and around and around.   Up and down the waterfront and some cozy streets with cobbled stone.  What a great little city.  We stopped at a floating restaurant for a drink then went off to find some dinner.  We ended up at Bull Feeney's which is a little Irish pub and restaurant.  They actually had a really great menu.  I ended up with a lamb-hamburger which was incredible.  Hubby had fried Camembert cheese which is a favorite of his at a German restaurant we like in Massachusetts.  We walked around more before heading back to turn in.  We started the next morning at a spot called Breakfast in Paris then spent the day exploring Portland more.  We also took an excursion North to my absolute favorite LL Bean.  The real one with five different stores.  So much more selection that the outlets around us.  Such fun.  We then did a couples massage in the afternoon.  Hubby's first massage.  It was very relaxing and decadent.  We shopped around a little bit and finished the night talking with a couple visiting from the UK and Scotland at a cozy little place called the Chocolate Bar.  The next day we took a leisurely morning walking around a bit more but heading home before noon.  Hubby was back in work mode, on the phone and stopping at the distributor.  I ended up with a flu so it was a bit of a long ride home for me.  At the end of it all a wonderful trip and fabulous memories with my love.  So thoughtful of him.

17 October 2011

Visitors

I am not the only sad one in the house this afternoon.  Blizzie is on the bed in the guest bedroom and will not leave.  Zdeno looks at me with sad eyes and sighs.  Then he goes to the back bedroom and back to me to whine and sigh again.  So quiet.  My parents just left after their annual fall visit.  This is a visit I always look forward to with great anticipation and a visit that saddens me when they have to go.
They flew in last Friday night and we hit the ground running.  We had the family over on Saturday for our annual fall get together.  Food, family, and fun.  It is also a last time we can all get together before Art's folks head South for the winter.  Art's sister, four of our nieces and one nieces boyfriend stayed the night and we took a great hike over Pack Monadnock the next day.  A six mile trek with great vistas of the changing leaves.  It was a spectacular day.  It must have been 70 degrees out and was sunny and beautiful.
Monday we headed down to Boston to see our first hockey game of the year.  They weren't in our mini season package but they were playing the CO Avalanche so I thought we would all enjoy it since my parents still live in Colorado.  The Avalanche won 1-0 so Art and I were a little disappointed, but my Mom was pleased as punch.  It was another gorgeous day so we walked around for a while and saw some sights and went to Durgin Park for lunch.
Tuesday we didn't slow down but Art did have to go back to work as he had already taken off more time than he probably should have.  Fall is such a busy time, and especially this year for some reason.  My folks and I headed up North.  We hit the outlet stores in Tilton, then had lunch at one of my favorites the Yankee Smokehouse.  Best barbecue in my memory.  Then we did a little more shopping in North Conway before heading to our condo in Bartlett. 
Wednesday- the one day I had my camera :-\ we drove to the top of Mount Washington.  This is a mountain with 4000 foot rise in elevation.  It has some of the worst weather recorded, including a top wind speed of over 230 mph.  It was, again, a beautiful day though.  It is a mountain that is frequently enveloped in the clouds yet it was 54 and mostly sunny.  The clouds that were there were down below in one valley creating a stunning vista.
Thursday we shopped a little more and took our time heading home.  We then headed out again to ManchVegas to have dinner with Karyn and Ralph.  We went to Firefly Bistro.  A cozy little place in downtown Manchester.  It was good to catch up with them.
Friday we took a bit of a down day and walked Zdeno up to the Ledges here in Temple.  He was such a good dog.  We took him off leash once we left the road and he stuck right by us.  It does crack me up how he dashed up and down the marble ledge with ease yet he won't go up or down stairs.
Saturday was a rainy day so went to see a movie.  Footloose.  I hadn't seen the original with Kevin Bacon so I enjoyed getting the opportunity to see this one.  It doesn't strike me as a movie Art would see with me but we all had fun.  My Mom then made enchiladas for dinner- YUM!  Then we taught them the hand and (in?) foot card game.  Good day.
Sunday was the last full day and we had ambitious plans to go to Maine for the day.  However, it was a little windy and we were pretty tired from over a week of busy activity.  So we hung out in the morning and watched a movie on tv, played angry birds on the ipad and iphone, then headed over to Karyn and Ralph's for dinner.  We picked up some $4.99/lb. lobster at Market Basket on the way.  We had a great dinner and enjoyed sitting outside by their fire pit.  My Mom also picked up a cake from Frederick's Pastries for my impending birthday next week.  Great day again.
This morning we went to one of my Mom's favorites- Parker's Maple Barn for pumpkin pancakes before heading out.  Now, it's just me and sad little Z and Blizzie again.  I cleaned out the coop for a distraction and will get to work making up for all that I didn't accomplish last week but I did want to take a moment to secure my memories from a wonderful visit!  I can't wait for the next one :-)
Of course, all week, Zdeno got to play ball with his Grandma and Grandpa.  They brought him a bag full of tennis balls and he was in heaven.  Inside ball, outside ball, nonstop ball.  He is going to miss then most I think!

06 October 2011

Newport 2011

video

Each year we go down to Newport to visit Art's parents during their timeshare week.  We really look forward to the trip.  Our favorite activities are often done over and over again and we look forward to revisiting our favorites.  This year we spent both days out on Breton Point flying kites.  Art got a new kite this year in hopes that he would be able to go out there to fly kites with his Dad.  They both have stunt kites but Dad also brought a fun airplane kite.  It didn't seem air-worthy but on the second day they got the flappy little guy up no problem.  We had a great lunch at Flo's Clam Shack the first day.  The gals had fish and chips while the boys had fried clams.  Delicious!  We also walked up and down Thames street for a little sightseeing and window shopping.  We did get Art's Dad some fudge for later on.  We also were able to catch up on our card playing.  Art has been so busy this fall at the store that we haven't been able to go over to their house as much as we'd like.  Hand and foot is our game du jour.  We have a great time playing.  We also made a stop at the Brick Alley for burgers on the way out of town.  It was a short visit but one that I am so glad we were able to make!

30 September 2011

The Unexpected Guest

I have always had a soft spot in my heart for four legged fur-balls.  We have had a little black kitty visiting our yard all summer but he was always very elusive.  Until Irene swept into town.  Three days before she arrived he came running to me when I called him, let me pick him up, and purred as I brought him into our house. 
Boy was he scruffy!  He was so thin and although he was a black kitty with white socks and frock he had these weird brown patches of dried out matted fur all over him and even beyond the un-neutered male smell he had a pretty foul odor about him.  But he was being so sweet!  After I let him wolf down a bowl of food and get a drink of water he rolled on his back so I could pat his belly while he purred non-stop.
 
He ate three bowls of food that night and Art even gave him a bowl of cream.  He continued to eat up to two bowls a day and had wet food, tuna, and treats of course.  His ugly brown fur was slowly fading into a shiny black again :-)
We have had three cats before- Once.  Three cats is way too many cats.  It's a quantum scale with cats.  One is not enough unless you like tattered curtains and someone sitting on your face at two am.  Two is just right.  They can torture each other and occasionally let you pat them.  Three cats is like Armageddon.  Two will team up on the third for a constant cat battle for territory, they will all want to sit on your lap at the same time and are willing to fight for it, and you will need something on the order of eight litter boxes to contain their battle continence.  So, adorable and sweet as he was we knew we could not keep him.
We took him to the groomer the next day since Zdeno had an appointment anyway.  We also made a vet appointment for the following week.  Then we hunkered down for the storm which really was not much more than a big rainstorm for us although our neighbors to the West in Vermont and NY were hit pretty hard.
We brought him to the vet the next week and got him up to date on his shots, treated ear mites, de-wormed him, got flea control, and made a next appointment for him to be neutered.  Unfortunately the next time we could get in was three weeks down the road.  Three weeks with a stinky male cat.  Such a good thing he was so darn sweet!  Art named him Guy.  Guy got along with Blizzie and Z and just loved people.  He would seek you out to be patted if you didn't come to him first. Calista was spending a shocking amount of time outside though so we were resolute in our decision to find him a home.
I started to look for a home.  I went through a few potentials before I was sitting at my desk on day and a lady I know a little bit from town came over and asked if I had a kitty looking for a home.  Instantly I knew Guy had a home, a good home.  So a few days after he was fixed she picked him up.
We will miss the little purr-box but know he is in a good place!

04 September 2011

31 August 2011

Feeling Knitty

I taught myself how to knit a few years ago. I got a beginner's knitting book some yarn and a couple of big needles. My first attempt was an odd shaped polygon as I seemed to add a stitch with each row that I knit. My sister-in-law/craft guru Sue suggested that I start by knitting a hat in the round. That way I could get a feel for knitting stitches without the bother of turning corners. I stumbled my way through my first hat with only a few pull-outs and interventions. Then I was off. I knit a few hats that year then I progressed to scarves. What is a hat without a matching scarf after all?This last year I knit a couple of sets for myself, one neutral that would go with many of my coats, and one in Bruins colors so I could wear the team colors to the games :-) I also knit an ear flap hat but I think I need a different pattern because I couldn't keep the ear flaps from curling?? It looks cute though. I knit a few scarves and hats for gifts this year as well. I also knit a foot guard for our chaise on the couch. Simple but took longer than I thought it would.Even though we live in a remote area there is a fabulous little yarn shop not ten minutes from my house. My SIL and I took a sock knitting class there last year. It was a cram two day course which extended to another Saturday to finish up but we did learn a great deal about socks. We did a two sock method where you complete both socks at the same rate on the same round needle. This was a little more complicated but we appreciated the logic behind getting both done at once. Yet I still prefer the little bamboo needles one at a time. I finished one pair and started on another. We did several X-mas stockings in the sock class. Most were packed up but here is one that Zdeno adopted.I was feeling pretty ambitious over the winter and thought I would try to challenge myself with a sweater. I found what I thought was a pretty simple pattern and saved up my coupons for Michael's to get the yarn and off I knit. I went around and around and around. I was feeling good. I liked the ribbing at the bottom and the yarn was beautiful. Then as I started to get a little higher I noticed how far around I was going each time. I thought it must be me so I kept going. After about eight to ten inches up it was undeniable. I had made it extra large instead of medium. I don't know anyone this size and it would swim on me so I pulled the plug. I yanked the needle out but didn't have the heart to unravel it. I still have it intact as if I will have an epiphany about how to save it without losing all that work... At some point I will hopefully come to my senses, pull it out, and start again.When we were in Ireland a few years ago we went to a woolery in the heart of the country. Art picked out some yarn and I was charged with making a sweater for him. No pressure. I spent the first year finding a pattern and picking out needles. I did start knitting last Thanksgiving but really haven't put much time into it. I generally get a few rows done at a time here and there. I am hoping to pick up speed soon so that Sue can help me when I get up to doing the arms. Thanksgiving is my goal for that.My other ambition for this year is to add gloves to my repertoire. I have a pattern for fingerless gloves that looks like an easy place to start. I am sure I will need a hat and gloves to go with it as well so hopefully I will have a full set by spring or earlier!

26 August 2011

Guy

From time to time over the summer we have seen a rogue cat or two in the yard. So shy and skittish we would usually just get a glimpse before they went off into the brush. Until three days ago. I heard meowing in the front yard and thought it was Calista wanting in, although that was strange since it was the time she likes to go out- not come in. I opened the door to see the rogue little black and white kitty meowing at me. He walked right up to me and wrapped around my legs. I scooped up his skinny little body and brought him in as it was raining.
I took him upstairs and set him in front of the food bowl. He ate the whole thing without pause. The whole time I was petting him and trying to get a good look at him. He was scruffy! Matted hair with a huge clump on his back. He had brownish dry hair weaving between his black and white hair. His eyes were dull and his fur lackluster. He was strong and hard as a rock albeit very very skinny.
He was also as sweet as could be. After he ate the dry food I scooped out a half a can of wet food for him, and gave the other half to Blizzie who was now glowering at me and the visitor. He alternated between purring and getting pets and gulping the food.
After he ate and got some water I spent some time patting him. He hopped right up on my lap and rubbed and purred as I patted him. He would get antsy and move next to me to spin onto his back so I could rub his belly. I did this for about a half an hour then he hopped back down to see if he could have more food. I let him have another bowl then we went back to the patting routine.
Art came up later with a bowl of cream and informed me that three cats was a lot of cats. I had to agree. We had three cats once and it was a LOT of cats. For some reason it is at least twice as many as two even though that is not mathematically possible. We discussed trying to have him live in the greenhouse since he seemed semi-feral and we could use a barn cat.
He slept upstairs with us, waking up Art at five am for more food then I shuttled him out to the greenhouse the next morning. He did not like it. I let the chickens out and they just rushed at him like they wanted to eat him. He hid behind me for a bit then he went right up into the rafters. I had to go to work so I put up a ladder with some treats and told him I would be back asap. At the store and at my Town job I started asking if anyone wanted a kitty since three cats is just too many cats for us. I got two leads and was thrilled.
I came home after a couple of hours and he was gone. I looked everywhere. Just. Gone. I was so sad. I texted Art to let him know. Of course at this point I was feeling guilty that I stuck him out in such a scary place and now he's going to be stuck outside when Hurricane Irene blows through this weekend. :-(
Later that evening we heard meows from the yard. I opened the front door and the kitty breezed right upstairs and stuffed his head in the food bowl like he had been doing it every day of his life. He paused to let me rub him and pat him. I was taking Blizz and Zdeno to the groomer the next day so I decided to take this guy, too.
Oh, by the way, Art named him. Guy. Short and sweet.
We took him to the groomer today and he was very well behaved. He is still a little ratty but it's probably because he's malnourished and has clearly lead a rough life. The groomer guessed that he's about five to seven years old. He has not been neutered yet. Luckily, he had no fleas or mites or other parasites.We brought Guy, Blizz, and Z home and fed them all dinner. Z got a cute Bruin bow for being so sweet to Toni and for giving her kisses while he was getting his bath. Blizzie was simply informed that she was no lady and needs to work on her manners. :-\
We will all hunker down over the weekend while Irene blows through and will reassess on Monday. I imagine the vet is next. We just paid off Zdeno's surgery and now we get another vet bill for Guy. It will be worth it. I hope we find him a good home, but worst case scenario he has already found one :-)

25 August 2011

Remembrance

Sweet Polar. We adopted him within a few months of moving into our first home in NH. He was the runt of the litter but he was so sweet. He loved to go for walks and catch frogs in the pond. He loved the snow! The colder it was outside the less likely he would be to come in. He died suddenly on this day last summer from liver failure. He will always have a place in our hearts.
(1998-2010)
Two years ago tomorrow we lost our sweet Zoicite. She came home with us to the first house we bought in Denver after we were married. She was a sweet kitten from the start. I don't think I appreciated enough just how snuggly she was, how much she loved to be on our laps, be stretched, and most of all be loved! (1996-2009)





21 August 2011

Are corporations people?

Are Corporations People? When I first heard this story it was on an ultra-hippy liberal facebook friend's wall. My first (and lasting) reaction was, "Of course corporations are people." Since that point I have read many articles on the matter and have seen several snappy retorts attempting to discredit Mr. Romney for his opinion/observation. Most people are staunch in their declaration that corporations are not people. But then they continue on about the evil corporations and how they aren't doing their part blah, blah, blah...
So, armed with my laptop and good old Google I went on an information hunt. Looking at Webster's definition(s) I found that by definition corporations are in fact a group of people or a "person":
1:a : a group of merchants or traders united in a trade guild b : the municipal authorities of a town or city
2: a body formed and authorized by law to act as a single person although constituted by one or more persons and legally endowed with various rights and duties including the capacity of succession
3: an association of employers and employees in a basic industry or of members of a profession organized as an organ of political representation in a corporative state
Reference http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corporation
All of that aside I used my personal and business experience to come to the conclusion that corporations are people. When we started our business we were a C-corporation. This is probably the least 'people' oriented business I can imagine. The corporation is treated as it's own entity (person) and it is taxed, then taxes are paid on dividends and payroll through shareholders personal taxes. You get to tax the business separately with a C-corp. However, these corporations are becoming a dying breed. We were participant to that process.
We own two corporations currently. One is our retail store which is an S-corporation and the other is a real estate holding company which is an LLC. When we upgraded our accountant we upgraded our corporate structure to an S-corp. The biggest benefit to the S-corp is that the business income flows through our personal taxes eliminating the dual taxation. Our LLC company also flows through our individual (personal) tax return.
I could make a philosophical argument about how my business could not survive without me, my husband, or our employees (all people). I could say that all of the people in the company benefit from the business (are employed, get paid, IRA's, insurance, holidays, etc.) and that if the business paid more taxes (a la Obama) we would (and do) have fewer employees and the people that remain will have to settle for less if big brother takes more. This is the type of argument that seems to degrade most quickly, such as I am biased because I am the evil corporate owner, I just don't want to do my share, I'm the greedy one... never mind that it isn't just our livelihood on the line, it's also all of our employees. But, it is my house that is on the line as well as all of my other savings. My husband and I are the last to take a bonus in good years and the first to not get a paycheck if need be... but I'll stick to the simple tax facts.
I read that S-corporations are the largest growing corporation type and that much of this growth occurred in the 2000's by companies that converted (like we did). By 2006 over 66% of corporations were S-corporations. After five more years I'll be willing to bet that number has grown even higher. This means that those corporations are taxed through the shareholders personal tax returns. LLC's and C-corporations make up the remaining and LLC's are also taxed through personal tax returns of the owner's.
The bottom line is that both philosophically and with regard to taxation WE are our businesses. Unless you would like to try to make the argument that we are not people...

20 August 2011

Bird's Eye View

A long time friend of ours recently got his pilots license. He was kind enough to take us on a flight around Southern NH and over to Vermont one beautiful spring morning. The only turbulence we experienced was when we flew through our own air on a turn. Here are some of the shots I got to take.Our friend and Art with his new toy! It was a perfect day for a ride.
Our first view was of Mt. Monadnock. This mountain defines our region. The name means mountain that stands alone. It does and is so beautiful especially in the fall. It has many hiking trails. It is more challenging than you would think. We once did a midnight hike that was unforgettable!This is Temple's downtown! You can't see the Fire Department/Town Offices though. They are just off screen to the left. To get to our house you head down the road to the left of the house on the bottom of the picture.This pic is coming around on our property. You can also see the pond across the street, the little cottage by the pond, and our little trailer parked next to the greenhouse!
Here we are honed in our our little patch of land. It is early spring and we had been doing a little work behind the pond so it looks a little scratchy in places. You can also see the fields where Damon grew his yummy veggies! We miss him so! The long rectangle at the bottom left is our glorified chicken coop, the back half at least. We are redoing the front for tractor parking.
Above is a shot heading on the back side of Temple Mountain. It is a part of the Wapack range. The Wapack trail is a great interstate hiking route that we have not done in full but we do frequent the portion around us. Some day it would be nice to hike the whole trail!

18 August 2011

Lake Umbagog

At the Northern tip of NH on the border of Maine there is a beautiful body of water where three rivers converge. It is remote and there are few power boats. Just go to Errol and turn right. It is a small town but an important land mark. Most people access the remote camp sites by canoe or kayak. It is a unique mix of state park and private property with both scattered along the rocky shores and islands.
My husband has done a previous adventure down the Magalloway River into the lake and to the camp site. He is very good at coordinating an annual camping and hiking/kayak trip. All are welcome and he will adjust the plan accordingly. This year it ended up just being three of us and Zdeno which was nice. We went with an old and dear friend of Art's and a friend of mine as well.
We had a nice easy 4.5 mile paddle to our campsite. We arrived much sooner than we thought.We had a great time playing cards, swimming and kayaking/canoeing. Ted was firemaster and we all enjoyed our stay. Our camp site was half in NH and half in Maine. Always fun!Zdeno loves swimming but he had never been in a canoe, much less for 4.5 miles! We were also camping right on the shore so I had concern that his puppy brains might get him in a little trouble so we got him a life jacket. He just thought he was the bees knees when we put that on him. He ended up being very good in the canoe dipping down to get drinks but mostly sitting in the front sniffing the breeze.
He is a bit of a sloppy swimmer in general. He doesn't like to get his face wet so he has a very splashy paddle to keep his head high. With the life jacket he is buoyed an extra few inches and it smoothed out his paddle. He just loved it! I am sure whenever that comes out his excitement meter will spike!

17 August 2011

The Power of the Ball

When I was growing up we had a black lab next door, Rowdy, who would play ball with you any time. I used to love it when he would come over. He would settle for a rock if he couldn't find a ball. I didn't understand the obsession. Our own dog had a soccer ball that he would chase around but he did not share or play well with others.
So when Z showed an affinity for playing ball I was pretty happy. From day one he had a great time chasing after the ball and he was pretty good at bringing it back.
Of course, being new to the puppy/ball game it took me a minute to learn that I had to teach him to drop the ball and wait for me to pick it up. For a while it was a game of keep away which he was much better at than I was.
He would play ball inside or out. His green nubbly ball was his favorite for his first couple of months. It was a soft ball so he could play inside or out with it. This was a good fetch ball but hard to catch.
I would be remiss if I didn't say that not everyone in the house was quite so happy about all the ball playing... Blizz is skeptical about the dog (even today) but she has been more accepting than Calista.
Zdeno is the luckiest pup on earth. My parents are avid tennis players. What could a ball lover love more than a non-stop stream of tennis balls to play catch with? This, and most mornings, his first task is to empty his toybox out onto the floor. We now separate 'inside' and 'outside' balls so that he can't mix them up.
His new soft soccer ball became a hit when he learned that he could catch it when we threw it up in the air for him. Who knew you could have so much fun with balls!
We were a little worried when the snow started to fly. We were able to play for a bit while the snow was still shallow. Art also plowed a path with the Bobcat for playing. Toward the end of winter we ended up playing ball with snowballs. This way he would get his exercise running through the snow but we wouldn't have to worry about tracking down lost balls.
Of course, if there were no ball to be found Zdeno could usually find a stick (or branch) to fill in.In the spring he started swimming in the local ponds again. Chasing a ball or stick into the water and rescuing it was a new way to enjoy his favorite activity.
He isn't proud. He will let anyone play ball with him. There is a little girl who helps pet sit while we are gone. She will do her homework down where Z stays at their house. She will throw the ball, get a little work done, throw the ball...for hours. Doggie heaven!
At this point Z has countless balls. Outside we stick to tennis balls as we have a launcher that can throw them the length of the field. Our skinny mini pup probably runs 5-10 miles a day! Maybe a little less when it is really hot as he splits his time between sitting in the pond to cool down and running after the ball.
The ball is the training tool we have used with Zdeno. He is not a foodie so we bribe him with ball. If you want him to come you better have the ball. If you wanted him to sit, lay down, stay you better have a ball! There is something for everyone and for Zdeno there is a ball for every occasion!