Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Okay, so here's what has been going on in La Casa de las Chihuahuas.  First of all, I would like to say that the weather has been way too hot, and I don't like that.  Mom told me that during some summers the weather gets even hotter, but in my opinion, it's already much hotter than it needs to be.

Next, I will tell you that Mom continues to feed us twice a day, which is a good thing, because that way we don't starve to death.  Marius and I are the biggest members of the pack because we weigh over six pounds each.  Tristan and Daphne are little shrimps who only weigh between five and six pounds.  I would be perfectly happy if Mom gave us more food, but she thinks fat chihuahuas are gross, so she wants us to stay in shape.

Marius has to wear a belly band to keep him from peeing in the house.  On the package, it's called a "male wrap," but we know what it really is.  It's like diapers or Depends.  If Marius wasn't all the time marking everything in the house, he wouldn't have to wear the thing.  Tristan also likes to mark stuff in the house, but he doesn't do it as much when Marius isn't doing it.  Mom wouldn't mind putting a belly band on Tristan, too, but she thinks he would growl at her and try to bite her, which is what he does when she just tries to put a sweater on him.

Several times a day, we go outside in the yard.  Daphne and I are pretty good about peeing in the yard, and sometimes we poop there, too.  Other times, we pee and poop in the house.  Sometimes we even use the pee pads, like we are supposed to.

I think I look pretty sitting in the green grass.
Maybe green is "my color"!

The boys also pee and poop in the yard UNLESS Henry is out in his yard nextdoor.  If he's out there, Tristan and Marius run over to the fence, and they all bark furiously at each other.  This is called "fence fighting," even though they are not really fighting with the fence.  Marius particularly likes fence fighting, so he will sit outside on the patio or by the fence for a long time, just waiting for Henry to come out of his house.  Then Mom has to go out and carry him inside.  Anyway, when the boys are busy fence fighting with Henry, they forget to pee and poop, so they have to do it after they come inside.

Daphne is starting to feel right at home here now.  She plays with Tristan and Marius, and with me if I decide I'm in a playful mood.  She goes out in the yard, which she was too scared to do the first week she was here.  Unfortunately, Daphne has also started barking at the cats, especially Latifa and Anderson.  Sometimes she even chases Latifa.  Mom hates it when Daphne does this because Mom thought she had finally found a nice, quiet girl like me who would not bother the cats.    Which just goes to show that you never know what you're going to get when you adopt a dog.

Oh, and we found out there is a name for dogs that are chihuahua-dachshund mixes.  They are called "chiweenies."  So maybe that's what Daphe is, but we won't know for sure unless we get a DNA test done.

So that's pretty much all the exciting news about us dogs.  Now I will tell you about the cats.  When it's hot weather, the cats like to lie around a lot and not do much.  Latifa sits on top the refrigerator sometimes.  She looks like a little panther getting ready to pounce.  But what she's really doing is checking out the food that Mom is fixing down below on the counter.

Anderson likes to hang out on top the fridge, too, but he doesn't look like a panther.  He looks more like a piece of Spanish moss drooping down out of a tree.

Our poor little Jason has a bad ear infection.  Mom took him to the vet's office yesterday, and Dr. Vodraska looked in his ears and then made a slide out of ear gunk to look at under the microscope.  It turned out that Jason has two different kinds of bacteria, and they are making his ears all itchy and smelly.  Mom thought he had a yeast infection, but she was wrong.  Anyway, now Jason has to take Prednisone to keep from itching so much, and Clavamox to kill off the bacteria.

This is Jason's left ear.  It's worse than his right ear,
but the right one is also infected.

Okay, well that's all of the most urgent news.  The only other thing of importance is that last week when she was assigned to work in Coat Check at the gallery, Mom was sharpening pencils, and she was shocked to learn that she had been spelling "ornge" wrong all these years.  Hahahaha!

Sunday, August 24, 2014


A long time ago, in 1789, a horse named Figure was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts.  He turned out to be the founding sire of the Morgan horse breed.  The way this happened was that in 1792, Figure was given to a man named Justin Morgan to pay a debt.  After a while, Figure got to be known as "the Justin Morgan horse," and the breed of horses that came from him were called Morgans.

Photo:  Ken Martin
No one knows exactly who the parents of Figure were, even though a lot of people have tried to trace his history.  One of his parents may have been a thoroughbred, but as I said, nobody knows for sure.  Anyway, we think that Figure was about 14 hands (56 inches) tall, and that he weighed around 1,000 pounds.  He was a good-looking, athletic horse with a fine temperament, and he passed these qualities on to the horses he sired.  Sadly, Figure was kicked by another horse in 1821 and later died of his injuries.  He was buried in Tunbridge, Vermont.


Black Hawk, who was sired by Figure in 1849, was used as a foundation sire for the Standardbred, American Saddlebred, and Tennessee Walking Horse breeds.  He was known for his unbeaten harness racing record.  One of Black Hawk's colts, Ethan Allen, was born in 1849 and was also very fast in trotting races.  He went on to be another important sire in the Morgan breed.

Photo by Dave and Andy

The main uses of Morgans in the 19th century were for pulling coaches and for harness racing.  They were also good for general riding and for light driving.  During the California Gold Rush, miners often used Morgan horses, and they were the horse of choice for the U.S. Cavalry during the Civil War and afterwards.

In 1907, the USDA established the U.S. Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury, Vermont.  The reason they did this was so that the breed could be carried on and improved.  Later, the farm was transferred to the University of Vermont.  The Morgan is the state animal of Vermont and the state horse of Massachusetts.

The Morgan Horse Club was founded in 1909.  Later it changed its name to the American Morgan Horse Association.  By 2012, about 179,000 horses had been registered since the organization began.  More than 3,000 foals are registered every year.  There are probably between 175,000 and 180,000 now worldwide.  The breed is most popular in the U.S., but there are also Morgan horses in Great Britain, Canada, Sweden, and other countries.

Photo by Dave and Andy

Registered Morgans are usually bay, black, or chestnut.  They can also be gray, roan, dun, silver dapple, palomino, buckskin, or pinto.  They are compact and refined in build.  The height standard is 14.1 to 15.2 hands (57 to 62 inches).  Morgans are known for their intelligence, courage, and good dispositions.

Combined Driving

Horse owners use Morgans in a lot of different ways.  Of course, they are good for just general pleasure riding or as stock horses.   However, they can also be shown in both English and Western events, including dressage, show jumping, Western pleasure, cutting, and endurance riding.  In driving competitions, they might be in combined driving or carriage driving.  Also, they are so gentle and steady that they are good horses for kids to ride, or for use in therapeutic riding programs.

Photo by Dave and Andy
So that's the story of how America made its first home-grown horse breed.  And I think that for a first effort, it was pretty darned good!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


As I already mentioned, Mom has been wasting a lot of time and money going antiquing.  This means that she has not had a lot of time to help me write my blog, but at least she took some photos for me to use.

One shop Mom went into in Westport had lots of religious things, such as statues of Mary.  Also, there were all these religious clothes called "vestments."

If you are like a priest or minister or altar boy or whatever, you might want to buy one of these to wear to church.  At least, I guess that's what you would do.  I don't know much about such things because I am a dog, and I don't go to church.

In that same store, there was a nice horse.  The photo makes it look like the horse is eating a lampshade, but it just looks that way because of Mom's bad photography skills.

When we see the horse from behind, it turns out that he is wearing a saddle.

Here are two much smaller horses, a mare and foal.

I thought maybe Mom should have bought the mare and foal until I found out there were some paintings of dogs in the shop.  Sadly, none of them were chihuahuas.  I think the Boston and the brown-and-white spaniel head are the best.  The white dog, which might be a poodle, looks like he is about to assume a pooping position.

In that same shop, there was a wooden bucket full of various things made out of wood, including a crucifix.  This seems like a strange and not very reverent place to put a crucifix, but like I said, I don't know much about religion and stuff like that.

Okay, so on another topic, if you are wondering what to do with your old bed springs, I can tell you:  make a light fixture out of them.  Then you can hang the lights over your bed and hope that the springs won't fall down while you are sleeping and kill you.  People are making all sorts of things out of bedsprings these days.  I guess you could call this "creative repurposing,"but I think that someday people will get tired of looking at bedsprings hanging from their ceiling, and they will take them down and send them to the landfill anyway.

The bedsprings picture and the next two are from an antiques mall in the West Bottoms.  The buildings down there used to be warehouses, built in the late 1800s, but now they are being repurposed to make galleries and places to buy antiques.  The sad part about this is that these places are only open one weekend a month.

Another thing it turns out that you can be creative with is parts of a piano.  Here's a lampshade made out of piano keys and hammers.

And this is a table with a glass top and a keyboard under the glass.  The wood is what you call "shabby chic," which is a popular style, but Mom says it mostly looks like somebody was too lazy to strip the piece and repaint it.

 Now here are a few photos taken outside an antique shop in Greenwood, MO.

Mom also went to a town called Pleasant Hill.  It turned out to be bigger than she expected, and she couldn't find any places that sold antiques.  Next time, she will have to take a map.

Anyway, Mom did find the old downtown area and the railroad station.

Also, she found this interesting repurposing of an old truck into a park bench.  Which just goes to prove that if you are creative enough, you can find a new use for almost any old thing.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Today I'm going to show you some old pictures that Mom bought in antique shops.  I don't know why Mom buys these things.  The people in the photos aren't ancestors of hers, plus most of the pictures don't even have dogs in them.  But sometimes when I'm writing my blog, I just have to work with whatever material is available.

Okay, so here's a photo of a smiling young woman.  Usually, in these old photos, people did not smile because they had to hold their pose for a while, like maybe an hour, and it's hard to do that if you're smiling.  Also, it was a big, serious deal to have your photo taken, and that was another reason not to smile about it.  But Mom bought this picture because the subject is actually smiling, and she's very pretty, too.  On the back of the photo, someone wrote "Sophie L. Roberts, Age 17 Years."  On the front of the photo, there is the name of the studio, which was located in South Omaha.

The photo might have been taken in the early 1900s, just judging from the hairstyle and clothes.  Also, we can see that Sophie liked to wear jewelry, including one of those watches that you could pin to your bosom.  The rings she is wearing don't exactly look like wedding rings, but it's hard to be sure.

Here's a woman who looks much less happy than Sophie.  In fact, she might be in mourning, because she is wearing all black, and she is holding a handkerchief.  But women also wore black dresses for special occasions, such as going to church or getting married.  On the back of the photo it says "Francesce."  Mom says she has always seen this name spelled with an "a" at the end, so we don't know which languages would spell it with an "e."  The studio where the photo was taken was in Indianola, IA.

Francesce is wearing wire-rimmed glasses, a brooch, a chain that may be attached to a watch, a bracelet, and a wedding ring.  Mom is no expert on dress styles, but she thinks maybe this type of dress was worn in the late 1800s.

The woman in this photo may be wearing some type of ethnic outfit.  Or maybe not.  She looks to me like a young woman who came over on the boat and worked as a servant in someone's house, or maybe she worked in a factory.  She may be wearing her only nice dress for this photo.  As you can see from the photography studio address, she lived in Brooklyn, or at least somewhere in New York City.  On the back, someone wrote "old pictures mom had (Mapleyt Weaver Archer)."  I can't be totally sure the first name is spelled "Mapleyt," but the writing is pretty clear, and that's what the name looks like.  I did at least ten minutes of in-depth research, trying to find the name "Maypleyt" online to see if it had some special ethnic origin, but I couldn't find it.

This picture shows a baby wearing a big, white coat with a feathered collar, and some kind of dorky hat.  But in spite of having to wear these strange clothes, the baby is trying to smile, or at least he is not screaming and crying.  Usually, when you see babies in old studio photos, they are in christening gowns or some kind of little dresses.  It looks like this boy may have a dress on under his coat, but the coat seems to have been what the parents wanted to show off in the photo.  Well, the coat and the hat, both of which may have an ethnic origin of some sort.

Of course, you may be wondering where Sabetha, Kansas is, so I will tell you.  It's up in the northeast corner of the state, almost in Nebraska.  It might have got its name because the man who founded it arrived there on the Sabbath.  But that may just be a legend.

Here are four people sitting out in front of their house.  To the right, a farm wagon is parked in front of a barn.  The land looks very flat and boring.  The house looks very small.  Probably, the picture was taken by a traveling photographer who stopped by and asked if the people wanted to have their photo taken.  They decided they did, so they put on their best clothes and they brought out a couple of chairs to sit on.  The family dogs are also in the photo, but they are hard to see.  One of them is behind the woman on the left, and you can see the head of the other one beside the seated man on the right.

Mom and I puzzled over this photo for some time, trying to figure out how the people are related to each other.  The woman is probably married to the man that she's standing beside.  The boy on the right might be their son, but the man sitting beside the boy seems too old to be her son.  So maybe he is from the husband's previous marriage.  Or maybe he is a brother of the husband or wife.  It's sort of like the photographer was taking a census and just got a snapshot of the four people who happened to be living there at the time he came along.

Another thing that's interesting in this photo is that there are two front doors to the house.  Mom says she does not understand why people used to build houses in this way.  The only reason she can think of is that one door was for guests, and it went into the nice parlor.  The other door was for the family, and it went into a bedroom or the kitchen or some other part of the house that wasn't meant for entertaining guests.

This photo does not have a single bit of useful information written on it, such as who was in it, where it was taken, or when.  I really wish there had been some sort of law that required people to label their photos.  It would make my job as a blogger so much easier!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Well, you, my faithful blog readers, have probably noticed that I have not faithfully written very many entries lately.  And the reason for that is because my Chief Research Assistant (whom I sometimes call "Mom") claims that she has been too busy to help me do my research.  So because of her not-doing of her job, I have not been able to do my job either.

I would have just tried to find a new research assistant, but Mom begged me not to fire her, and she promised she would do better in the future, so I ended up keeping her in the position.  Call me an old softie, but I guess that's just the way I am!

Anyway, Mom's most recent excuse for not having time to help me with my blog was that the annual cactus show and sale happened all last weekend.  Mom spent a lot of time Thursday night getting her plants ready to show, and then she had to spend all day Friday helping set up the show.  On Saturday and Sunday, she was at the show and sale most of the day.  After that, she brought all her plants back home again.  In my opinion, this is a lot of work for just a few silly ribbons that Mom doesn't even bring home for us dogs to chew up.  But nobody asked my opinion, of course.

Mom only bought four plants, but one of them was big and expensive.  It's called Pachypodium gracilis.  We think gracilis means "small," but it is not a very small plant, so we don't know why it is called that.  Maybe it stays small in its native habitat, as compared to other Pachypodiums that get big like trees.  Anyway, here's a picture of it:

The reason the plant has that big, round lump is because it's what is called a "monstrose" variety.  Monstrose plants grow in a different way than normal plants do, and they usually look kind of weird.

On Saturday afternoon, Mom left the show early.  She came home and took a nap.  Then she fed us animals, and after that, she went to a party for the Divapets people who rescue cats.  The party was at a house way out on the west edge of town.  It was not quite rural, but it almost was.  The people who lived there were named Missy and her husband.  (Mom never learned what the husband's name was.)  Anyway, they had some chickens, and everybody who came to the party got to meet the chickens.

Every day, the chickens go out of their pen for a few hours to eat bugs and stuff in the grass.  Then at night, they stay inside their pen, where they are safe from foxes and coyotes and hawks.

There is a chicken coop inside the fence.  The coop is where the hens can go to lay eggs.  One of the hens lays green eggs!  The others lay either white or brown eggs.  Aunt Missy does not have a rooster, but her neighbors have several of them.  Here's one of the neighbor roosters visiting the hens.

And here's a picture of Aunt Missy and Aunt Ingrid with a chicken.   I wish I had been there, because I would like to eat a chicken, or at least an egg.

At the end of the party, everybody got to take home half a dozen eggs.  Here are Mom's six eggs.  She chose one of the green eggs.  Aunt Missy said the green eggs don't taste any different, they just look different on the outside.

Mom already already made hard-boiled eggs out of her eggs plus another 6 eggs she had in the refrigerator.  So far, she has eaten two of them, but not the green one.  And she has given zero eggs to us dogs and cats, which doesn't seem fair at all.

Friday, August 1, 2014


If you have been reading all my blog posts (which you should be doing), you will remember that we recently had to give Jane the rat terrier back to New Beginnings rescue because she was fighting with Jason and chasing some of the other cats.  And you may also remember that Aunt Ginny asked Mom if she wanted to adopt Daphne instead, but Mom said no.

Daphne looking cute on our bed

Well, after that, Mom kept thinking about Daphne for a long time, like two whole days, and then she called Aunt Ginny and said she wanted to adopt Daphne after all.  So on Saturday, Mom went and adopted her.  But first she took our "tea" kittens to the Petsmart in Shawnee so that they could stay there another week.  After that, they are supposed to go live at the Humane Society.  Or at least Aunt Tania said she thought she would have room for them there.  We really hope she does, because it's so much calmer here without those two crazy kittens around.

But anyway, now we have Daphne.  She is a very timid girl, but she gets a little braver every day.  She likes to sleep in the dog beds on the living room sofa, and at night, she sleeps in bed with the rest of us, all snuggled up to Mom.  Marius didn't growl and bark at her, like he did with Jane when she first came.  Tristan keeps trying to play with Daphne, but so far she hasn't wanted to play.

Tristan and me and Daphne.
I was taking a nice, morning stretch.

The cats just sniffed her and then went on about their business.  None of them hissed or growled, not even Jason.  This is the same way the cats acted with me when I first arrived, and I think it means the cats do not feel threatened by me or by Daphne.

The only thing Daphne hasn't been doing is eating.  She seemed way too nervous and scared to eat during the first few days she was there.  Mom has tried different ways and places to feed her, and finally got Daphne to eat all her food a couple times by putting her in a cat carrier with her dish.  I told Mom that I would be happy to eat Daphne's food, and I'm sure my brothers would also be glad to help out, but Mom said, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Daphne and Marius

Daphne is about 3 years old, but that might be just a guess.  She has kind of a long body and short legs and a long neck, so Mom thought Daphne might be part dachshund.  But Aunt Ginny said Daphne came "from a breeder," so she couldn't have any dachshund in her.  Mom asked what kind of breeder, because if it was a backyard breeder or a puppy mill breeder, there could be some other genes mixed in with the chihuahua genes.  Mom did not get a very clear answer to this question, so she will have to ask again sometime.

Daphne's Petfinder picture

Okay, that's all I know right now.  I will tell you more about Daphne some other time.