Sunday, June 9, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Sorry to be so long between posts.  I got off duty as scheduled Tuesday morning, and have been keeping myself very busy around the home place.  All of the snow finally melted off, giving me the opportunity to do some serious clean-up around the ol' homestead. 

While I was at work Levi at Steadfast Enterprises delivered two dump truck loads (20 yards) of fill dirt.  With the ground now thawed, some of the dogs spend their free time practicing their excavation skills.  One would think that the dirt they dig out would be sufficient to refill their holes, but it never is.  I sometimes think they fling it so hard as to achieve escape velocity and launch into orbit.  Actually, it just becomes compacted as they trot and run and play in their pens or circles.

Most of Wednesday was spent running errands in town, and Thursday was dedicated to filling in the caverns that were already being created in the dog yard.  Animosh earns the award for creativity, as she had dug a pair of drifts (tunnel) from two different directions that met in the middle, in sort of a "V" shape.  That took two loader buckets to fill. 

Animosh, the winner of the most creative excavation award
I'm pretty sure that Aumaruq was digging an escape tunnel, by way of Australia, as his diggings were the deepest.  His also required two buckets of dirt to refill.

Aumaruq attempting to escape via Australia

 The most difficult part of the job was one of the pens.  It had a very low spot toward one end that filled with muck and standing water.  It took four loads of fill dirt and some grading to (hopefully) provide better drainage and make it a more comfortable place during rainy weather.

Friday practicing "sit" while Nels looks on

Friday and yesterday were spend cleaning up the "upper yard" next to the cabin.  That has been used as the handler's dog yard the past two years.  That task is made more difficult because of the need to thread the tractor in between trees and stumps and other obstructions and frankly, also because my former handler didn't scoop after his dogs with near the diligence I demanded of him when caring for mine.  That is creating some other issues I have to work around, as the presence of large amounts of feces increases the risk of dogs housed in that area being infected with internal parasites (worms) or illnesses.  Since that area has a lot more shade than our main dog yard, I'd like to be able to move some of the more thickly coated dogs up there for summer - but I'm not sure I'll be able to safely do so this year.

I'll be spending much of today doing general cleanup and trying to organize materials being stored for future use.  Some of that includes rolls of fencing wire that are not currently needed, but probably will be in the future.  Fence posts, and spare dog houses also need to be moved to some spot where they are out of the way yet readily accessible. 

Once I've finished the spring cleaning outdoors, I REALLY need to do the same inside the house.  Housekeeping is not my strong suit, but I'm expecting a lot of guests for a big event next weekend, and I don't want my poor housekeeping to become a source of embarrassment.

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