Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Dogs Burp

I have been an animal lover my whole life. I adore animals. Every species, breed, age and colour. My mom reminds me of the long car rides I spent begging my parents for a dog as a kid. Unfortunately, for me and my parents who had to put up with my incessant whining, my little brother is allergic to animals. He’s allergic to the point where he can’t go to houses where cats live. He’s allergic to the fur, dander and saliva of dogs. Hypoallergenic was never an option because of the severity of his allergies. 

Despite my lack of dog ownership as a child I still think I’ve spent more time with animals than without in my lifetime. I’ve done a lot of paid and unpaid dog walking and dog sitting. In University I was a volunteer dog walker at the Veterinary College and walked and socialized hounds in my time between classes. Animals like me and I like them. I also feel that I am fairly knowledgeable about animals. Horses I’d say I’m an expert on. I’m pretty comfortable with my understanding of dogs too. However, when I got my first dog, not my first pet because I’ve had Boomer since 2007, I was in for a few surprises.  

Dogs Burp 

The first time Harley burped it nearly knocked my socks off. Boomer doesn’t burp. Horses have very different digestive systems than we do. But dogs burp. Who knew!

Dogs Do Yoga

I’ve done downward dog for years in yoga. I knew it was inspired by dogs but I didn’t realize to what extent! Every morning when Harley wakes up she does a series of stretches (sun salutations?) including downward dog. 

Dogs Express Themselves in Groans

Horses groan too so this shouldn’t have been a surprise but I often find myself laughing at Harley’s disgruntled groans and moans, particularly when she’s sleepy and doesn’t want to get up. Boomer groans when he’s happy and when he’s annoyed. He also hums happily to himself when we’re on a trail ride which I haven’t seen Harley do… yet.

Dogs Really Want to Understand You

Dogs have a surprisingly large vocabulary.  A quick google search says about 150 words. What I find surprising, and endearing, is the way Harley genuinely tries to understand me. If I make eye contact with her and say something she looks at me with this earnest expression of trying to understand. 

I’d love to hear what your dog does that suprises you and is, in any way, just adorable.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Vintage Finds

We had a girls day on Saturday and went on a vintage road trip. Our destination was a barn & art studio owned by a couple in the country who go picking through old houses and barns and collect some amazing things. There are all of the original wooden shutters, doors, baseboard, hardware, mantles... anything and everything you could want out of an old house. The place was being "house sat" by the owner's friend for the weekend while they were at a wedding so we didn't get as much info. on the place and the items we bought as we maybe could have on a regular visit.  They have most of the stuff neatly organized in the barn in sections where you can go "picking" yourself. However, some of the stuff that is in really excellent shape is in their store in smaller quantities.

Barn Finds: 

The first piece I picked up and decided on was this corner shelf. I wish I knew more about it's origin. We were thinking it would like great in the kitchen with spices on it. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit under our cupboards so its still looking for a home for it. I might incorporate it into my office as that is the space I'm currently "working on" in the house.  I paid $32.00 for this piece. It was one of the few items that had an actual price on it.

I'm kind of obsessed with steel basins. You may have seen the other one I have in my upstairs landing. I bought it off kijiji for around $30.00. I got this one for $2.00. Yes, two bucks. It only has one handle so I'm going to position it in a corner. I wanted a big one for my chickens to have filled with dirt like I mentioned in my post about coop design however this one isn't quite big enough for that purpose. 

I found this in the trim section. I love it. I think I'm going to put it up in our new bathroom to hang a towel on.  

I picked up this old bit for around $2.00 as well. As an equestrian I like the idea of having vintage horse tack in the house. I think I'm going to use this to hang a plant off of. I just need to find a hanging plant basket first. I've been looking at vintage macramé ones on Etsy. 

I got these four vintage hooks for $5.00. I bought some old trim with amazing vintage patina to mount them on. 

My favourite find of the day is a piece of  horse tack mounted on barn board. Its really raw and vintage with nails poking out of the board. My grandfather passed away this summer and he grew up driving horses and continued to do so even in his retirement. This piece is really special to me as it reminds me of him. It has a bracket on the back to hang it already so now I need to find a spot that isn't on top of our fireplace. 
Store Finds: 
I bought these vintage door latches for $5.00. I think I'm going to mount them on a small piece of vintage trim and make a jewellery holder. I love how petite and green they are. 
Garage Sale Finds: 
On our way home we stopped in a cute little town for lunch and hit up a couple garage sales. I love garage sales!
I got this enamel basin for $1.00. I think that's a pretty good deal if you compare it to this Etsy one for $40.00!

I also got this crystal candy dish for $1.00. 

In conclusion I think I got a fantastic haul of vintage goods for shockingly low prices. I can't wait to go back and purchase bigger items like old doors, shutters and a fireplace mantle!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Dog Treats

What treats do you feed your dog?

I am very fussy about what Harley eats. There is so much crap out there for dogs its unbelievable. Pets, actually. Cats... bunnies... they are fed things that would shock their owners if they looked into it. I recently learned that bunnies are actually intolerant to the food pet stores market for them. They are roughage eaters, like horses, yet the pet stores sell nuts and seeds that are better suited to birds for them. What the heck?

In her Kong Harley gets peanut butter and the only treats that I buy her. Freeze dried liver. I either buy the Puresnacks brand or a local company that makes them. They are 100% beef liver so I know that there are no gross ingredients. I would like to find an organic brand but I haven't seen any. I worry that she will get bored eating the same treats!

Last night I gave Harley a "beef bully" to change things up. I didn't know what it was but I liked that it was a one ingredient treat that wasn't a rawhide product. When I got home I googled it. She was already eating it. Apparently, it is a freeze dried steer penis. Excuse me? I just fed my baby girl a penis? A quick google tells me they are extremely high in calories and can carry a TON of bacteria and e coli. I washed my hands but it was too late to take it away from Harley and she was thoroughly enjoying it already.

So.... it seems like there are very few healthy treat options.  She LOVES to chew. She has her and antler which is a never ending chew but its nice to give her something new and exciting every once and while.

Any suggestions? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

DIY In Progress

I’ve done quite a few little DIY’s before but this is my first official real DIY. I’ve wanted to re-finish a piece of furniture for quite a while. I bought a small nightstand for our spare room off a girl who had a garage full of furniture in the spring. She was painting and selling it all as a side project. I realized I could do it myself and pretty easily. Plus, if I didn’t myself it would be more to my taste. (The hardware she chose wasn’t a nice looking as it had been online).  We were given A LOT of furniture when we got the house last fall. Brad’s parents were amazingly generous and actually gave us some of my favourite pieces of furniture that we own. Other pieces we were given by family and friends aren’t so much… to my taste. Basically, a lot of it is stuff people wanted to get rid of. So now we have a basement full of “extra” furniture that I choose see as DIY opportunities waiting to happen. Thanks, Pinterest.

One piece we were given is a solid wood TV stand. This stand, like most TV stands you see for sale on Kijiji, is a nice, and probably expensive, piece of furniture that was built to hold the old boxy style of TVs. We split it in half and put our flat screen on top of the bottom portion and I took other half to paint and refurbish.  Unfortunately, I started this DIY quite a while ago, way before the blog, so there are no “before” pictures. However, I am going to use the bottom as my stand-in “before”.

I started by sanding down the entire stand. Then, I sanded. I sanded by hand which might not be the most effective method but I don’t have hand held sander and this piece has intricate detailing on the front that you need to get into with a regular old piece of sand paper anyway. I did my best to really sand it down well. Whatever that means.
Next I primed it and let it dry. I then promptly forgot all about the project.

When I was shopping in cottage country at my favourite little store I found two emerald green glass knobs that I fell in love with for $9.99/ea. I love small, touristy towns in the summer. They have the best finds. At the same store I got two local, handmade pottery pieces, a soap dish and a cup, for under $20.00 for both. Amazing!

Two weeks ago I decided I would finish the project so I could make use of my emerald green knobs. Emerald is in, after all. I put two coats of antique white paint on and it covered nicely. I attached my knobs and re-drilled the two shelves that I had removed to paint. The last step will be to find a new back to put on as the one that was attached previously was a crappy piece of plywood. Don’t ask me why they wouldn’t finish the entire thing in real wood. I’d like to put some wallpaper at the back to add some visual interest to the interior of the shelf.