Monthly Archive for August, 2008

How to find a Dog in Connecticut

When Sharron started her job, we started taking Parker to doggy day care.  I know it sounds silly, but he’s a VERY social dog and he loves interaction.  When Sharron lived in Atlanta, she had to get him a dog to keep him company.  He LOVED doggy day care.  The people there said he was probably their best day care dog.  On a hot day about 6 weeks ago, all of the dogs were inside and they’d let all the big dogs in the with small dogs.  One big dog ended up attacking Parker, even though he submitted, and he ended up needing stitches.  It was pretty bad for us.  We no longer feel we can trust the day care facility as it’s often hot or rainy here so they bring the dogs inside.  Our other solution is to do what Sharron did and get him a dog for some company.  Easier said than done.

We started looking back in January just to see what was out there.  The first place we looked was the Connecticut Humane Society.  We thought we’d at least see 10 dogs and get an idea of what size/type we’d like.  However, they only had 6 dogs.  We thought this was pretty strange.  When we checked again about 6 weeks ago, they had a few more dogs, maybe 12.  They had 2 we were interested in that we’d seen over the Internet.  When we got there though, 1 had been shipped off to “somewhere” (more on this later).  This was pretty mysterious as he was on the Internet as their “Dog of the Week.”  Seemed very strange.  The other dog was very nice and we asked to meet him.  He was a Jack Russel Terrier.  When the attendant came to let us in to his cage, he asked if we’d ever owned a Jack Russel Terrier before.  We haven’t and told him so.  He then told us that we probably shouldn’t meet the dog as they weren’t going to let us adopt him.  Their stance was the Jack Russel’s are highly specialized and require an extraordinary amount of care.  When we told them about our dog and how he’s highly active they just looked at us like we were crazy.  We’ve vowed to not go back to this facility again.

At the same time, Sharron has been researching the different breed rescue groups in the area.  She’s contacted a bunch of them, but many have the same requirement as the humane society:  Breed experience.  A few have been interested in letting us adopt a dog, but when they ask about our house, yard and feeding habits, they get all crazy.  We have a big back yard (.6 acres) that is completely fenced in.  The fence was designed with dogs in mind and to blend in with the forest.  It is not chain link, but instead a vinyl coated metal fence (very similar to chain link).  People don’t seem to like this fence when it’s described and I’m not sure why.  They just can’t seem to wrap their minds around it.  Also, we feed Parker a brand of dog food called Solid Gold.  It is a holistic brand meaning that it doesn’t have any preservatives and is all natural.  The rescue groups also can’t seem to wrap their minds around something that’s not Purina or Alpo and think we’re crazy.  We’ve pretty much given up on them.

This weekend, we went to the Ellington Dog Warden’s (the dog catcher) office to meet a dog named Bella.  She was pretty much perfect for us.  Their only stipulation is that she go to a home with no other dogs.  We brought Parker along just in case and we let the two of them play for awhile.  They got along great.  We filled out an application and we’re hoping that with the attendant’s recommendation we’ll be allowed to adopt her.  However, we’re not holding our breath.

Finally, yesterday we found out that the dog that had been at the Humane Society we’d visited had been shipped to a different Humane Society in southeastern Connecticut.  We called them and they said he was still available, so we jumped into the car with Parker and headed down there.  It took us about 1.5 hours to get there and we were pretty excited to meet him.  When we went inside though, they told us, “Jack?  No, he’s not available for adoption as he’s in quaruntine.”  We told them we’d called and their response was, “You did?  Well, sorry about that.”  That’s it.  We couldn’t even meet him.

We’re pretty much done with dog shelters, humane societies and breed rescue groups in Connecticut.

Mini Florida Vacation

Last Thursday, Sharron and I flew down to Navarre, FL for her brothers wedding.  We’d managed to find this neat little townhouse right on the beach, so even though the wedding was on Saturday, we arrived on Thursday to soak up the sun.  The weather forecast wasn’t looking good, but we lucked out and the only rain we got was right after we got off the plane.  We were LUCKY!  While we didn’t splurge on this trip, we did need to rent a car, so we paid the extra $20 and got a convertible.  We’d been promised a Mustang, but ended up getting a Seabring.  Not quite in the same league, but it was still fun driving around in a convertible.

The real treat of the trip was the townhouse though.  It was pretty skinny, but made up for that by being 2 floors.  The 1st floor was the living area and kitchen while upstairs had the bedroom and master bathroom.  What made it so nice was that the place had recently been remodeled and was really in great condition.  Plus, like I said, it was right on the beach, so we always had a great view of the ocean, and if we wanted to go for a swim, it was right out out back door.  :-)

Sharron already had some snorkeling equipment, so after a quick trip to Walmart, we picked me up a cheap set so we could snorkel together.  The water was pretty perfect for it.  It was pretty shallow for a good ways off the shore and there were plenty of fish around to play with.  At one time we even had a HUGE school of little fish swimming all around us.  It was LOADS of fun!

Saturday was the wedding.  Sharron’s brother Chris married his fiance Janice.  The ceremony was on the beach at a little before sunset.  I would say that it was a nice ceremony, but I think the only people who could hear the preacher were Chris and Janice!  Afterwards they had a nice little reception where we all got to hang out and have cake, so that was nice too.

Sharron had brought along her friend Michelle’s friend Eweness.  We had a good time taking pictures of Eweness the entire trip.  I may put together a silly page for her like I did for Flat Stacey.  We’ll see.  :-)

I’ve never used the wordpress image tool, but I wanted to try it out:

How to Get Lost in the Woods

On Friday, Sharron had asked if we could hike up to Hueblein tower on Saturday morning.  It’s a nice short little hike, so of course I was up for it.  Saturday morning came and we got up to the trail head at around 8:40.  We’d brought Parker along and we really looking forward to it as the tower would be open for us to tour.  The first 1/3 of the hike is the hardest as it’s a pretty steep climb.  After you complete that though, it’s a nice walk along the top of the ridge to the tower.  On our way up that first 1/3, we passed a nice old German lady coming down.  Once we’d reached the next 2/3 on the ridge, we passed her again, still coming down.  She said she was on a loop.  Huh.

We made it to the tower at around 9:40 and had a 20 minute wait for it to open.  It was very nice outside, so we sat and looked out at the Farmington valley and tried to find out house.  It was great.  We got to go in at around 9:55 and I headed up first.  I had a good time and even got some pictures at the top of the tower.  It was a little too hazy, but it was still fun.  Next it was Sharrons turn.  She reported that she liked it too and at around 10:30 we started back down.

At this point, Sharron suggested we try and find the trail that the old German lady had “looped” on.  Sharron doesn’t like to see the same stuff twice, so I figured, “Why not?”  The trial we’d come up on was marked yellow and we found another trailed marked light blue.  We took the light blue trail.  For a good long while, it sure seemed like we were headed in the right direction.  The big difference was that this trail was MUCH harder with more rocks and more of a “hiking” feel to it.  After about an hour, it became clear to us that we were not headed back to our car.  Our options were to keep going down, or to head back up to the tower.  Being out of shape, we did what any good lost hiker would do and headed down.  Another 30 minutes later and we decided we were in trouble.  We got the cell phone out and called our friend John to look up the trail map for us.  He was able to help some, but the there are MANY unmapped trails and we really had no idea where we were headed.

Around this time, we started conserving water.  We’d brought only 1 bottle for us and 1 for Parker.  We figured we needed to drink, but didn’t want to have none left either.  Also, since we were supposed to only be gone 1-2 hours, we had only had a banana each for breakfast.  The plan was to stop for something more hearty on the way home.  As luck would have it though, we found a blackberry bush with a bunch of ripe blackberrys, and made ourselves a nice snack.  :-)

After yet another 30 minutes we finally encountered a trail that looked more used AND a sign that pointed in one direction to Hueblein tower.  We figured the other direction would take us away from the tower and to a parking lot of some kind.  We called our friend John again and told him and his wife Pat where we were and that we’d probably need a ride.  Our hiking had taken us to the reservoir which I had seen from the top of the tower.  It started to sink in how far we had come as it was a LONG way from the tower.  John and Pat knew where the resevoir was and jumped in their car to come get us.  At around 1:00 we finally found the water treatment facility with it’s associated parking lot.  A mountain biker rode by us and we asked him where the main road was.  He said straight ahead and took off again.  As we rounded the corner, of course there was a fork in the road.  Which was straight?

At the fork there was a park bench and a water fountain, so we decided to stay there.  DId I mention that at around 12 or 12:30 that it started thunder storming?  Oh yeah, it was pleasant.  I called Pat and John again to tell them where we were and they said they could find us.  I think they picked us up at about 1:30.

They gave us a ride back to our car.  To give you some perspective, it took us about 15 minutes to drive back to our car.  Ick.  Here’s a map of the area we were in.  The reservoir is not on the map, but if you were to go off the bottom right of it, that’s where it is.  As I said, we started out on yellow and changed to blue.  Not sure what trail we took to get to the reservoir, but here’s a map of the reservoir area.  On the right side of the map is Reservoir 6.  Of the trails coming into the area from the right, I think we were on one of the two to the far right.

When we got home, we stripped off our soaking wet clothing, dried Parker, and went to bed.  We’d picked up a feast at McDonald’s, so we ate that and then pretended the world didn’t exist for the rest of the day.