February 17, 2019
Two Very Different Hounds
They may have the word 'hound' in their breed name but they are all so different, as expected. I always had basset hounds starting in 1987 and didn't buy my first bloodhound until 1997. Having raised all my hounds at the time from 8 week old puppies, I could tell a huge difference between the breeds even at that young age.
Max was a big male puppy and he didn't take long to show me that bloodhounds were a breed much different than any I had experienced. Lets just say he kept me on my toes at all times. A basset hound puppy .. not so much. They like to play for short bursts and then sleep. So it does not surprise me 21 years later I still notice the differences.
Yesterday afternoon was beautiful weather, although pretty cold. I gave both hounds all the chance they needed to roam the yard while I checked the mailbox, and picked up tree limbs in the yard. Heidi peed in the mulch and immediately went back to the door to be let in.
Stella decided to wander a little bit with her nose to the ground. I let her go but watched to see if she would head back to the neighbors yard to the north. I admit I was surprised she stayed within the property line and I never had to say a word to her about walking in my direction. Bloodhounds can be cooperative when they want to be.
It was normal routine the rest of the Saturday. I use to watch as much college basketball as I do college football but over the past few years I don't tune into many games like I use to. Once it started looking more and more like NBA type of play, more one on one instead of teamwork ... I lost interest. That comes from someone that grew up with the game of basketball with a dad that was a high school coach. So yesterday after channel surfing checking what basketball games were on ... I moved into the movie mode.
My Dish Network DVR, which I have had for a year if my memory serves me correctly, has 71% of it's 2Tb hard drive filled with movies, ballgames, tv shows, music or documentaries that I have chosen to keep on file. Seeing I have 192 movies on that hard drive is much better than seeing a new book case half filled with DVDs. Yet like anything else, there is a catch.
Just recently both DVRs for DirecTv and Dish Network has the capability to download what is saved on your DVR to an external hard drive, just like a computer. BUT .... to play back those programs on the external hard drive, they CAN ONLY BE VIEWED on the signal it was recorded. To simplify ... as long as I have a Dish Network account I can view them. Anything else is just a external hard drive filled with nothing, scrambled signals if that and computer code that does not match a different source of tv signals.
Of course to most tv viewers reading this blog that probably means nothing because you have an internet plan of unlimited data, high speed connection possibly twice as fast as my fastest 47Mbps. You stream your programs or games on your tv, tablet or phone.
Here in 'the tropics' living a few miles outside of town, streaming is not possible for the amount of hours per month I watch college football in the fall. Each game or movie roughly uses 2Gb per. When an addict like myself turns on his tv at noon every fall weekend starting at the end of August and does not turn it off until 2am that night ... that's a lot of Gb's being used for 14 hours straight watching college football.
Many times there are too many good games on at once so I use the 4 game split on the tv. I've talked to both AT&T and Verizon. Long story short after many hours of discussions on the phone, a Verizon rep told me based on what I watch and how much (ballgames) ... I had the best service for my area ... Satellite TV and Internet.
How did this discussion drift away from the title of the blog, from hounds to DVRs to tv's?
Walking along the first part of the walk I didn't know if I was ever going to get Stella off the main deer path that borders the brush and field. Deer scat must have been plentiful because she found all if it I think. I'd pull her away from one spot only to see her stop 3' later.
Finally as we rounded the first corner she walked over to get on the path then trotted by me. I could see fresh deer tracks all over the field with the ground still very very soft.
A deer hoof print that had to have been made within hours of our walk.
So back to the DVR discussion. As I opened my "movie" folder on the DVR, since I have everything in it's own folder named by me, I sorted all 192 movies alphabetically and scanned through them to see which one I wanted to watch a second time if not more. Hidden Figures was chosen. What an amazing movie, based on a true story. Not to ruin it for those that have not seen it ... I'll let your research answer your questions. It's one of my favorite movies though.
Stella is addicted to her VetriScience Glyco joint supplements. Every morning after both are fed breakfast kibble and I have walked from the kitchen to my computer with a fresh cup of coffee, Stella is sitting proudly by the bookcase filled with CDs because her small soft piece of GlycoFlex is sitting on top of the case. She likes to grab it by her front teeth instead of a wide open mouth.
At 6pm she gets her second dose of the day but things are different. Even if both hounds are asleep once they hear me open that vacuum sealed zip lock packet Heidi and Stella wake up and come running. Since Heidi doesn't take the supplement I had to figure out something to give her too. So they both walk to the kitchen cabinet right after Stella eats her small piece and wait for me to pull out the zip lock bag of dog bones, grain free but bacon flavored.
The supplement seems to work but it's not like she has the energy of a puppy, nor does she run as fast as she use to with Sadie chasing deer or chasing each other. In fact she doesn't run too much at all, with a fast trot as her max speed anymore. Where Sadie was still sprinting and running through the field over 10 years old up to the day she died, Stella stopped that kind of running a few years ago around the age of 8.
I've taken a lot of photos over the year of this AT&T tower but this was the first time I was able to catch it with the warning lights on. I didn't realize I did that until I downloaded the photo.
When Stella stopped suddenly and stood looking in the field, I was sure there were multiple deer in that field staring back at us. The wind had picked up from the east, blowing right into her face, so the scent of deer would have been strong. I scanned the field from left to right and saw nothing. Maybe we had just missed them.
We usually make the turn for home at the point she is standing but today I let her go to see what she would do. If I had not walked over to get her I have no doubt she would have taken her time exploring that edge of the field all the way to the woods north of us.
Once I had her heading in the right direction she had no problems with that and changed her focus from deer scent to getting home.
With the temps at 31°, a forecast of a rain/snow mix and ground that is still very soft to walk on ... it made me wonder what the plan was for this spring. Will I be mowing my yard every two to three days between rains to keep up or will it ever dry out. So far after 48 days of the new year, our area is almost 3" above normal levels of rain/snow, this time of year.
I'd love to light a match to all that brush and dead leaves area on the right side of that fence but when I did that a few years ago down in the front yard, the fire got out of control to the point I had to call the fire department. So I guess I will continue to pass on that idea when I have it. It's temping.
Many years ago I came home from work to find that over half the field was blackened fire burnt grass. It had burned most of the field north of us and had come within 30' of the yard before they put it out. The owner of the field who lives two houses away still burns his trash in a 55gl barrel inside a concrete blocked area. A spark had blown out of their burn barrel on that hot July morning when the field was really dry and lit it up in a flash.
By the time the fire trucks arrived ... half of the field was gone.
With the flooded lawn from a few weeks ago plus the 7 acre field angling toward my yard with all of it's underground water and underground springs I swear all of that land is 'sliding' towards my house. When I look at photos of the yard from 20 years ago, I see it's not as bad as I imagine.
Still I have a lot of ground damage like this along the bank in the area Stella hang out. It might be time for some landscaping ideas this spring and summer. Any experts out there about soil erosion, speak up, I need some help with ideas. Especially the bank along the driveway.
This morning when I thought the walk was finished, Stella decided I needed to be reminded who is in charge and who decides when we go back inside. It took her a long time to move from that position.
I rarely catch her scratching the outside of her ears or her face but both ears have places where the hair is gone. No signs of fleas ... so today I will start applying Wounded Warrior skin ointment for dogs. It's a great dog first aid used on military dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once Stella decides the walk is finished, then she will always beat me to the door but not until SHE decides it's over. I do it but always wonder if there is any reason to blur out my license plate number.
Fellow Mini Cooper Countryman drivers from the Seattle area were on the forum the other day showing pictures of their cars in the heavy snow with reports that the All4 Countryman was fantastic in the snow just as advertised. It just another reason I chose this car when I downsized from a sports car and the Toyota FJ.
For those that made comments on the last blog post or sent me emails, thanks for putting things back in perspective for me. Your words cleared out the cobwebs that I sometimes find built up in a mind of someone that intentionally stays isolated. Blogging really does make the world smaller and it's way of interaction with people is a good thing.
I'm not sure what the plan for today is. I just heard Heidi's toenails move across the hardwood floor in the bedroom so it's time for lunch time kibble. She is now hydrating herself for the day. I am amazed how long she can drink water without stopping to breath. I'm thinking it will be a day for cutting hound nails and cleaning ears a day earlier than scheduled.
A quiet Sunday in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.