Puppy Reunion

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Almost all the dogs!

We had a meeting of most of Hobbit's brothers and sisters yesterday. The breeder organized a nice walk through the fields near her home and then we had dinner at a nice restaurant.

Some of the nice landscape

We arrived to see most everyone outside of the breeder's home. We then proceeded on the walk and after we were off the street and in a place with some room everyone let their dog off the leash. The dogs were all so excited to see each other and their was so much running around and activity. I could not do it just to describe the all Beardie fur flowing as they gracefully played and ran around. Two of Hobbit's sisters weren't able to attend but puppies came from as far away as Switzerland and Munich! They had all grown so much since we had seen them all that last time.

Taking a short break

The fields contains corn, wheat, and some vineyards, a very nice landscape. There was plenty of room for the dogs to run around and play. We ran accross several people that were out walking, most of whom looked surprised to see all these dogs! There was also a wedding that had taken place and we saw bride and groom walk by. I overheard someone mention Mia and Benny's wedding picture (the puppies' parents). I thought that it would have made a nice picture to have the bride with all the dogs, but who knows, maybe she didn't like dogs. At any rate, I imgaine that she had something else on her mind!

Before going to the restuarant, we returned to our vehicles, and after the dogs had a chance to drink some water, we headed off. Because we parked in a different place than everyone else, we weren't with the main group when they came in. I'm sure that there were some rather surprised faces of people, seeing all these dogs come in. Those of you in America that don't know this already, it is very common over here for people to take dogs into restuarants and shops. Shops will have signs on the door when dogs aren't allowed inside. We had one room of the restuarant all to ourselves. On the walk and now in the restuarant there was the conversations that you would expect, comparing the dogs' development and swapping of stories. Throughout the walk and in the restuarant I was surprised at how little noise the dogs made, you would have thought that all those dogs would be barking like crazy, but I only heard a little growling when Hobbit and his brother were rough-housing, and even that was not very loud.

Hobbit and his family had a lot of fun. I know that the whole thing was a treat for Christine and I. I don't know when there will be another one of these things, but I know that we'll try to attend. If you like the blog, feel free to add us to your rss feed or subscribe via email. We welcome your comments.

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Progress from the fire

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My apologies for not posting anything in a little while on DC Heron Family Blog. The family and I have been very busy. At the moment we're enjoying a visit from my dad and Aunt Betty. Aunt Betty will be here till Wednesday and my dad will be here for Anna's first day of school on August 5th and will be leaving shortly after that. In addition I've been very busy working on my project at work and went to Amsterdam for a week of training. I thought that I'd like to give an update on progress made since the fire. Almost every weekend since the fire I have been very busy doing clean up and getting the yard back in order.

All the debris was packed up and removed. This was a lot of work. I gathered up all the metal and other non-bio-degradeable rubbish that was in the shed and around it and hauled it away. I had to cut away burned and destroyed vegetation and pull some trees out of the ground. I had to take the wooden support that was under the old shed out and cut it up so that it could be removed. I had to make several trips to a local waste site. Many thanks to my neighbor, Gerhart, for allowing me to use his trailer and hauling it all off with me!

Our new fence was designed and built. Christine and I thought and discussed the fence for a while and decided upon another wood one. After the yard was open for a while and not really being able to let Hobbit loose we decided that we wanted the fence up as soon as possible, so we would have time to decide upon what shed we would finally get. We thought about putting up a metal fence but found that the gates for that type of fence was too expensive. Gerhart helped us design fence and went with me to the local building store to pick up the needed items. Because the posts and boards did not come in the exact sizes that we needed, I cut them to the right size with a hand saw (was I ever wishing for a power saw before I was done!). We applied two coats of stain before putting the posts up and putting the boards on them. With all of the initial fence up except for the gate, I applied several more coats of stain. One of the neighbor boys, Nick, did a lot of painting along with me.

Another weekend later the gate was stained and built. I needed to apply several coats of stain so that it was at a similar level to the rest of the fence. After getting the gate up, we realized that Hobbit was able to squeeze through the boards. Christine bought some bambo type material and I tacked it to the fence. It didn't take long to discover that the material didn't do the job and it looked like Hobbit would be squeezing out between the boards again. I decided to add two more boards between each post, to fill in the gaps. After measuring the boards lengths needed, I went to a local building store and this time I had them cut the boards to the sizes that I wanted. After applying a couple of coats of stain, I nailed the new boards into the fence. Then I applied several more coats of stain so that the new boards were at a similar level to the rest of the fence.

We finally decided on a new shed and Christine ordered it. With the shed on the way, I needed to prepare the ground and foundation for it. I did an awful lot of digging. Gerhard and I went to a local building store to buy the necessary items. Gerhard and my neighbor, Frank, helped me put the concrete pillars in and pour the concrete. We mixed an awful lot of concrete so that we could secure the pillars. After the concrete had time to dry overnight, I proceeded to separate stones from all the dirt around the foundation and put it between the pillars for drainage purposes. I received help on this from Nick, and from another neighbor, Mathias.

I made sure that the foundation was set up so that we would be ready for the shed if it arrived when I was off at training. Since we weren't sure when the shed would arrive and I was afraid that it would arrive while I was out of town, we ordered construction of the shed at the building store where we bought it. I was really hoping that it would have arrived and be stood up while I was off in Amsterdam and that I could come home and start putting stain on it. The shed is now scheduled to be built next week. I'm really looking forward to having it up.

All of this has been a lot of work. I'm really grateful for the help of my neighbors, especially all that Gehard has done for us. While our fence might not win any awards for craftsmanship or design, I'm very proud of it. Certainly ten or twenty years ago, I never would have thought that I would build my own fence. Now, I'm looking forward to seeing the shed.If you like the blog, feel free to add us to your rss feed or subscribe via email. We welcome your comments.

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