I took these photos late on Saturday morning, after putting blind Bentley out for mid-day potty break. When he first came here he was kind of timid, and we pretty much carried him from point A to point B. He'd get lost out in the yard, and we'd have to go out and retrieve him. It didn't help that he arrived in the middle of winter, with plenty of snow on the ground, which is probably the first time this boy from Longview, Texas had ever seen the white stuff.
But in just a month, he has developed self-confidence and now likes to explore. We'll find him heading down the hall to the dog wing from the people wing, for no particular reason but to check things out. And in the front yard, he's wandered clear across to the large fir tree at the other end, sniffed around there, then made his way back. The big moment for us was when he learned how to find the ramp on his own one day, and he was waiting at the front door to be let in.
Snow has just become another medium to explore for him, and we're surprised now by how much he likes to get out there. Most of the other dogs don't leave the areas we shoveled out by the bottom of the ramps (with the rare exception of intrepid souls like blind Widget). But now Bentley likes to go cruising through the snow.
This does raise one complication, of course: He's got the kind of dog hair that is a magnet for snowballs, like Sophie the Dachshund. So the first thing he does when we let him back inside is try and lick the snowballs off:
Rather than let him methodically (and slowly) clean them and leave puddles of melted snow everywhere, we grab a towel and dry him off ourselves. That's what I did after taking the photo.
It did occur to us that it would be helpful to get a big wall-mounted forced air dryer, like they use as the last stage in a car wash, and install it by the door so we could instantly blow dry the snow off the dogs as they come through it! Oh, well. Such is our fantasy life. I guess towels will do.
One of our readers asked when Bentley and Scamp were going to the ophthalmologist. I have an appointment for Bentley and possibly Scamp, too, later this week. There may or may not be time for Scamp because Bentley may need an electroretinogram, but our ophthalmologist will try to squeeze both in if the schedule allows. If not, we'll have a follow-up one soon after.
If you've noticed that the paragraph break formatting seems a bit off, you're not imagining things. TypePad, the blogging platform we use, has had a weird bug in their software since last September. The bug randomly converts the HTML code for paragraph breaks into a different code. Because this isn't happening to all TypePad users, just a small number of us, and because it is random, they have not been able to fix it yet. They promise me it is on their list of bug fixes for the second quarter. In the meantime I have to open the HTML editor and hunt around for the wrong tags and convert them to the right tags, which is a real pain. (Thank heavens I took a class in HTML way back in 1995!) This is time-consuming and frustrating, and sometimes the "fix" randomly inserts yet different code! As a result, on occasions like today I just use a simpler work-around to force an exaggerated paragraph break that is too large, but gets the job done quickly. But that's why things don't always look "normal."
New Shelter Challenge Contest -- Please Vote for the Farm!
The latest Shelter Challenge started Monday, January 7 and ends on April 28. Grand prize in this round is $10,000, $3,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** You will find us listed as Rolling Dog Farm. The state is NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.
Thank you for your votes!