Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mason Neck State Park

Since we were faced with a few rainy days we wanted to take the opportunity for a nice outing yesterday, because the next couple of days I'll be walking around the neighborhood. (Looking out the window today confirms my fears.)Are you ready ?

First we encountered this heron on a fishing trip. Very successful it seems.Following the sandy trail . . .
. . . we came upon this sandy beach
As you can see, Tessa really loves the sand !Mr. Budelheimer wasn't all that convinced of the water . . .
. . . while Mrs. Budelheimer made sure she stayed away from it.

Here some more impressions from the first part of our walk:

Time to move on !

Bridge across the swamp. . .. . . and here we are looking at the swamp.
After the swamp bridge we went up through an alley of mountain laurels and after walking another hour along the trail, we reached the car. It was a really nice walk and the scenery was just beautiful.

*clicking on the images will let you view them in their original size*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My new Adobe Photoshop

Oh boy - I really don't do well with change. I've been using Adobe Photoshop Elements for years now and it felt to me like a real old, comfortable shoe. You know - the ones you don't want to part from ? Unfortunately, it happened: The old Photoshop developed some glitch and became unreliable and since I am about as computer savy as a shoe, I decided to purchase the follow-up program, which is Photoshop Elements 8. The principle is pretty much the same as its predecessor's, however, it's supposed improvements are not as user friendly as the basic program.Nonetheless - I'm trying to battle progress and wanted to share some results (clicking on the images will allow you to view them in their original size):

Levin at the Petting Zoo
Do you see the ghost ?
(This picture was taken at a hotel in Bavaria, where we stayed at on our last trip to Germany.)
The Budelheimers in Color

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quality Time With Hu-Man

I have to admit that I used a stuntman for this drawing to replace Rui. He would NEVER let them suffer like this ! On the contrary: I believe, that at the end the Budelheimers eat more cookies than he does. (Now I'm in trouble, because it's not true..........)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fountainhead Regional Park, VA

Today's Sunday outing lead us to Fountainhead Regional Park which is situated along the Occoquan Water Reservoir. Once we got there, we tried to find a trail map for hikers but the only thing we found was a map for mountain bikers and one for horses. We figured that we would rather meet a horse than a mountain bike and so we headed on out on the horse trail. The drawback: This trail was 17,5 miles long and the only way to get back to the parking lot was to turn around and head on back hence we came from. Apparently there is also a 2 mile long roundtrip, which we haven't found yet. It's a short distance, but for a summer walk in the heat it would be perfect.Now here are a few impressions from our walk:If that doesn't have "horse" written all over it, than I don't know. :)
Walking past an old cemetery.

Well groomed trails everywhere.
Tessa was a bit scared of that wobbly bridge, but Rodney confidently lead the way.
We came past a spot where the rocks all looked like quartz.

Once back from the horse trails, we went down to the reservoir and enjoyed the view.
Bica wasn't so sure if she liked that huge puddle. It scared her a little bit....
Tessa in the meantime was contemplating if she should rent a boat.

Then we met that goose that wasn't as fond of meeting us as we were of meeting her.

One last look, and back home we went.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh the Joys of Invisible Fencing...

Not to worry - I am being sarcastic. On our walk through the neighborhood today we encountered at least five different dogs being contained behind what is called "invisible fencing". I know that the HSUS is after eliminating pet dogs from American households and endorsing remote controlled torture devices like this electric fencing system is yet another testament of their hatred for pets. (Looking at their annual financial statements would be another, but that's a different story.)

Back to the fencing: Here I'm peacefully walking down the street with my three well-behaved canines. They walk on leash just beautifully and nobody pulls. The dachsies go on my left side with Rodney leading the way and Bicalina right behind my foot, and on the other side you'll find Madame Tessa walking either by my side or a few feet out front at the most. Everything's honky-dory and as we come around the corner we all in a sudden find ourselves under attack from a severely distraught golden retriever with an impressive display of aggression. I always am under the impression that goldens are these all around sweet guys - at least the ones I know. (And I do know a few real nice ones !) I managed to quickly pull my threesome away from the battle scene, which was not exactly an easy task, given that Rodney immediately assumed the role of knight in shining armor, switching over to attack mode should anyone want to mess with HIS girls. Me included, I guess.
Here I'm thinking: Let's assume, an unsuspecting dog gets across this electric line and the frustrated yard dweller attacks from out of nowhere ? What, if that electrically frustrated dog gets a hold of the unsuspecting mailman ? Heaven forbid, some playful children run through that yard and become victims of that frustrated animal ?

I guess I am not the only one who feels this way. If I got your interest, please read on:
(Not about electric fences, but shock color training in general)

Those are only a few findings on the topic and to me they make perfect sense.
They're "just dogs"........... but when you ask their owners who put those electric devices around their necks, they will all tell you that they love them. Or do they ?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Doggy Psychology

Yeah - the Budelheimers are right. Hu-woman spent the weekend (three days actually) at an Ian Dunbar dog seminar. ( )
One of Dr. Dunbar's suggestions to test your dogs' understanding of commands and human language was to lay on the floor with your arms crossed on your chest and give some simple commands to your dog. (i.e. "sit", "down", "stand"). The expression on the furgang's faces was priceless when I plopped down on the floor to test this newly aquired knowledge. Let's all face it: Who trains their dogs lying down ?
The result: Utter disbelief followed by "let's lick mom to death and jump up and down on her belly". My advice: Don't do this exercise after lunch ! ! !

Now let's get serious again. If you want some really helpful information and training tips from "Master Dunbar" himself, look up his website
It's the next best thing to taking "Rover" to doggy class. You will find lots and lots of helpful hints and information about dog training done right and how to train your dog to be a reliable canine.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Re-Birthday, Misses Budelheimer !

Okay - let's call her by her real name today. She has so many, that it's kind of hard to remember, which one she listens to the best. If at all. :) Bica, Bicalina, Pickle, Bebe, Meislein (German for "little chickadee) and many more. Neither here nor there - four years ago today she moved into our house and into our hearts. It all started when my almost 16 year old "souldog" Purzi went over the rainbow bridge and life without a dachshund seemed dull. Those of you who have been exposed to that breed know what I am talking about. There is never a dull day in your life, if you are the servant of a dachshund, I swear !

So here I was........ dachshundless. I could have been happy. There were still Daytona, our magnificent and wonderful great dane, and then there was young Tessa, the sweetest and calmest dog you can imagine. Life was good...............and soooooooo predictable ! No chewed up furniture, no excessive barking, no marked corners in the house, etc.etc. I wanted to give a needy wirehair dachshund a new home and my poor hubby (I love him dearly and he does put up with a lot !) thought I was kidding when I announced that we needed a dachshund again in our lives. Last time I made a similar announcement, I showed up with an almost blind poodle puppy. Have you ever been on ? It's a tough website to go to and not be tempted to adopt one of the thousands and thousands of pets in need of a home.
It's there where I found a dachshund in need by the name of "Scout". She even looked a bit like my beloved Purzi and so I started filling out the application............ Didn't work out with Scout. Someone else was faster and so I thought we should take a chance with the one, that really didn't suit our lifestyle.

Bica's name back then was "Maisie" and even though I thought she was awfully cute, it said she was petrified of big dogs and with a dane and a shiloh in the house she didn't sound right. Turned out later that she was afraid of her own shadow and stress was her middle name, no matter who or what she was exposed to.

To make a long story short: On May 6th, 2006 we went to the Reston Pet Fiesta, had her meet Daytona and Tessa and the rest is history as they say. The first thing she did: Bit me in the finger and peed all over my clothes. I was christened in a dachsie manner. Bica still has lots of fear issues and it is more than obvious that she was severely abused during the first years of her life. But what can we say: Rui, who couldn't even come near her the first year we had her, is seen snuggling on the sofa with her and Mr. Budelheimer (a.k.a. Rodney) and Tessa are standing in attention when Madame Bica waltzes in. :))

We promised her that she will never in her life be abused again and we stick to our word !

If you are looking for a dachshund in need of a forever home, please check out Dachshund Rescue of North America: