New tricks

Tomorrow, October 24, Bear will be 12 years old! 12 is definitely senior dog but he has been acting like young dog these last six weeks.

Still, the back end is not working as well as it used to. Early in the summer, it was obvious that he couldn’t get in the motorhome. Part of the problem is he does not have stairs in the house, i.e. no practice. Plus the motorhome has large risers and the metal bottom steps and depending on leveling, the first step is not always the same height from the ground.

I looked at various solutions … some options were not doable “on the road”. I needed an option that I could deal with at rest stops as well as overnight. I had a ramp which we’ve used but Bear does not like it and it was somewhat short making for a steep incline.

Not too long ago, I found this longer ramp. It is 87 inches long – 27 inches longer than the old ramp which makes a big deal in the incline.

Since the prior ramp had bad memories, I decided to start from scratch, take it slow and hopefully make this ramp FUN!!

The new ramp arrived last Wednesday and after a day of just letting Bear walk around and sniff it, I laid it flat at the entrance to the house. Armed with very small pieces of hot dog, I coaxed Bear on the ramp and then walking in and out. As he got comfortable, I got a bit stingier with the treats and also no treat if you step off the ramp. By yesterday, in and out of the house on the flat ramp was a piece of cake.

This morning, I set the ramp up on the side of the porch so it has a very slight incline.

“Have you got the hot dogs? Let’s get started!!”

No problem with the small incline.

No walking off the ramp.

Hot dog!!

Enter Auggie.

One man’s ramp is another man’s tunnel.

Once was enough and Auggie left to do something else.

“I don’t care if he plays on the ramp, but don’t give him any of my hot dogs!”

Hunting season

Today was the start of General Deer and Elk hunting: guns.

In the side yard, just past Beardog Hill…

??? An orange vulture ???

No, a cat.


Auggie hunting from a tall stump turned critter condo.

The area around the stump is home to little rodents: mice and vole. I’ve seen both Bear and Auggie pounce out there. This is the first time I’ve seen Auggie on that stump, although I’ve seen him hunt from smaller stumps in the woods.

Aside from hunting season, it turned into a gorgeous Fall day with the larch at their golden peak.

***As far as I know, Auggie had an unsuccessful hunt. No critters were gifted to me and I saw no remnants. That’s the way it goes for many hunters :)

Mel’s Whole Wheat Quinoa Sandwich Bread

A new recipe appeared on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe today. I’d been thinking I’d like to have some sandwich bread … soft bread as opposed to my crispy-crusted artisanal bread … and today: Mel’s Kitchen Café: Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread

A quick post of the photos (I made 1/3 recipe, i.e. 1 loaf pan):

First rise – I got in the middle of a work meeting and it went 2 3/4 hours … a bit of an overrise.

Shaped to go in the pan.

Second rise – ready to go in the oven.

Out of the oven (325 for 30 minutes convection). ***Next round I might let the second rise go a bit longer and bake 5 more minutes.

Ready to cut.

Yea – perfect texture, soft but hearty, made a good sandwich and good toast.

***Update 10/21. I made a sandwich yesterday (day old) and the bread was soft, but held together for the sandwich. I sliced and froze the remaining half loaf and today thawed two slices – again perfectly soft but stayed whole for a sandwich. This is the best sandwich loaf I’ve every made – so happy with this recipe!