Category Archives: Information and Education
~ Or Banana Squash
I was at the farm stand and saw the humongous banana squash. I was a hmmm moment. Why not go with it instead of the pumpkin. The yield is smaller for the pumpkin, and it requires more work prep. We came home with the squash–sliced it in half both ways–giving us four long quarters. I baked them and then cut them into good-sized chunks, and froze them. Well, we had to have a sample all around–the kids really enjoyed them.
I got three one-gallon bags of pumpkin-chunks. That is probably not enough for us, but my guess is it would be more than enough for you. Slices can be made whatever shape or size you want. I did what was the least work for me.
The same benefits apply to the banana squash as to the pumpkin. By now you might have read about canned pumpkin often being squash–it is nearly impossible to tell them apart once it is processed. What we care about here is the ease of processing.
Retriever At Work
Roxy a returned OwyheeStar who has found her second-chance family is thriving. She and Sage (the recently retired OwyheeStar girl) move to the Spokane area. They are two very different personalities, and each brings their own style to the family. Roxy is the dominant one–the front-and-center; look at me first gal.
Mama Lara has been faithful to keep us posted on the girls and all that happens. There is a lot always. She has a big heart and embraces the antics as they come. We are thankful to have made this incredible Weim-loving connection.
Roxy likes to bring you something. It appears her favorite thing is a shoe. Maybe she is a shoe-diva or just a finder. At least, she is not a finder’s keeper type.
How to take a Mud Bath
Every Weimaraner loves a mud bath more than their regular bath right? Stackhouse is related to Atticus and most certainly shares his love of the mud bath. Even in the dead of winter, if he can find a mud puddle he belly flops in it for the sheer delight.
Greetings From Far Eastern Oregon
~October 7, 2017
Welcome to October! It seems as summer has flown by and that was after a longer than typical wait. None of that might be true; however, there is no denying the last winter saga has cast a shadow forward. Winter-loving sorts are looking forward to the snow and all that goes with it. Others who work in the element, drive a lot or remember the extraordinary Western Treasure Valley snowpack are not so ready. The collapse of buildings is still in our recent memory. Driving through Vale, there is the lot with the collapsed building fenced–it is a sad reminder. Many of these losses have not been replaced, and several are not yet cleaned up. Predictions are for something similar, and we can hope that the loses are not as impacting.
Our hay guy showed up with the John Deere Steamer-Baler sporting the American Flag. I love patriots. The American Farmer has recently gotten a bad wrap. You may not agree with everything that surrounds the farming industry, but we ought never forget America has had the best food supply in the world. Today we salute area farmers who work long hours and raise a variety of crops.
This Week on the Blog
Here are the week’s posts. There was a bit of information. A few updates. One crazy-fun post with Mav’s new hairdo and my post on how to get off to a great start with your Weimaraner pup.
Sunday—October 1 — And There Way (Cypress)
Monday —October 2 — New Hairdo (Mav’s Mohawk)
Tuesday —October 3 — 7 Steps to Success
Wednesday —October 4 — Two Years (With Ringo)
Thursday —October 5 — Living In (Willow’s Shadow)
Friday — October 6 — Apollo
On a very personal note
Cliff finished the small Utility Bath Cabinet (except for the shelving). The rest of work is mine except the shelves and installing the towel rings–on the back of the cabinet. I think he did a great job. It is rock-solid and something of a size you don’t find anywhere–custom. Now, I have to do a little filler and painting. Did I mention I am blessed?
Cliff changed the oil in the Patriot for the first time. That went well. Typically, we had taken it in to get serviced, but he did it himself instead. I had my hair refreshed. Becky (Roots to Boots Salon in Vale, OR) could not get over how long my hair has gotten. I don’t make it to the salon very often these days. Christina and I usually go together as we did this time. She had her hair trimmed but a bit longer for the colder weather that is on its way. The same day as the salon visit we had the church directory photos. We knew that would be challenging for me, but it went better than we expected. I had an episode while waiting for our turn, but when I got in there, all was calm for the few moments it took to capture us. The photographer only snapped four photos, and then he asked if we wanted individual photos, etc. He probably made the right assumption–we were not going to make a purchase. Our goal was to be in the directory.
A fun thing we can add here is that they allowed us to bring Stackhouse. We chose the photo we liked best of him. I would call us true Weimlovers. We won’t get that photo for a while, but I am excited about it. Our life is wound tightly with the OwyheeStar Weimaraner. Last evening we watched the Boise State Football game. Stackhouse is the mojo OwyheeStar cheerleader. Instead of pushups, he plays a little ball when something positive happens. He has become to appreciate the football games and the fun associated with them.
Note: This is a repost of an article we have shared several times. Our pups are ready to acclimate to their new environment upon arrival. We recommend not over-thinking at the early stages.
- Be committed — Commitment to the process is primary. Training your pup will take time. Think of this as a journey (a road trip) with a destination in mind. Don’t set timelines; instead, take this adventure together. It will take as long as it takes for each achievement. Sometimes just when you think, you have arrived; your Weimaraner will hit a snag or transitional phase. There are many of these stages in the first couple of years. As with an adolescent, they can be going along well and suddenly regress. Please take this in stride it is nothing personal. The first occurrence could well be prior to week twelve. Stay calm and move ahead–this is how to avoid ingraining fear or some unwanted behavior.
- Keep your eye on the young puppy at all times—This is vitally important for at least the first 2-3 weeks, or until you have the housebreaking part accomplished. Use a crate, bag, or soft-side crate to confine the pup when you cannot be vigilant. The crate should not be too large. If it is more than they need they may select one end for a potty area.
- Be consistent–Do everything in the same manner! For example, the pup wakes up and stirs. At first, you would pick them up and carry them out to the area where you want them to go potty. Each time you see them circling or rousing from a nap go to the potty-area. If you use the bells hung at the door, then ring them as you go out the door. Soon they will be ringing the bells as a signal for you to open the door.
- Keep it simple — Although your pup can learn amazing things, it is best to do a few simple things and build upon those experiences. The process will unfold naturally if you allow it to do so; start with getting them to come. Although they all follow and come to us, it is different once they start to mature. Do the hallway exercise (5-7 retrieves each night). By using a hallway (with adjoining doors closed) there is nowhere for them to escape with the toy, ball, or dummy. Some people treat them when they bring the item to their hand. It is not necessary. The activity is a reward in and of itself. Have a couple of bumpers or toys (designated for this activity). Make it an event every day until you move to the yard because you have compliance.
- Keep it fun — Weimaraners are brilliant and learn quickly. A trainer might tell you to work for an hour and even a half hour doing one exercise every night, but we suggest ten minutes. Do it for ten minutes and then do something fun. This approach works for us! If your Weim pup loses interest, you lose ground in the training process.
- Remember it is about your relationship — No matter what you are doing it is important to remember that Weims are all about relationship. If they get their feelings hurt, things can go sour quickly. Your bonding experience is vital to the success of this relationship. Take time to think and see things from their perspective. You are the center of their world. They not only want to control you, but they want to own you. Weimaraners are the ultimate Velcro dog and must learn how to stay alone. Your relationship is a double-edged sword. They need a lot of time, attention, and affection. They also need to find ways to cope when you are absent. We recommend starting this process very early, or they will come to expect you will be there 24 X 7. Separation anxiety can be a huge issue in this breed.
- Be patient — When you go out to teach your pup a skill, make sure it is a learn-able task. Plan enough time to accomplish the task–but keep your training focused to ten to twenty minutes maximum. The short bursts of success are more effective than lengthy sessions. Your attitude and demeanor play into the equation too! If you are feeling stressed, forego training your Weimaraner. There are many methods of training. Nevertheless, choose one that enhances your bonding experience and one that creates a respectful environment for all concerned.
The best Weimaraner people are those that are natural leaders. Anytime you feel your relationship is stressed then you are going down the wrong road. The persons that are neither too strict nor too lenient are usually, the ones that excel. Regardless of what happens, it is always best to pro-active than to be reactive. Stay calm. Keep it simple. Get results. Plan little steps of learning and build upon them. Try our 7 steps to Success, and we believe you will be on the right path.
Wishing you fewer puppy bites and more puppy kisses
~ Shela and Cliff
Greetings From Far Eastern Oregon
~September 30, 2017
Harvest continues. We are about to be naked to the north. The second cornfield is seeing action–trucks pulled in early Friday morning. The progress was slow; came to a halt. We don’t know why but later it continued. As Cliff says, he will be glad when we can have a better view. Nevertheless, I will miss the green. The sound of wind singing as it ruffles the corn. The knowing birds are hiding from us just across the road. I won’t miss the dust of harvest–a necessary part of the process. I hear them working on the cornfield again this morning. Yup–the nakedness is in the works–or as I like to say, back to Weimar Gray.
The weather has been pleasant. I overheard someone say that yesterday was the nicest weather day of the year. That might be true at least here in the Treasure Valley. We best bet enjoying and appreciating the warmer fall days. All too soon they are planning to slip away. Nevertheless, this morning we have 57 degrees.
This Week on the Blog
Here are the week’s posts. We had a bit different week on the blog with me writing two posts–but it was information we wanted to share. Of course, Smokey wearing the goggles proved popular. Then too, Lu and Lucy at Priest Lake turned into something extra fun. We began with Waylon who is no longer a baby. There were a few tears, and many could relate to Waylon’s Mama.
Sunday— September 17 — What Happened?
Monday — September 18 — Understanding the Application Process
Tuesday — September 19 — Smokey
Wednesday — September 20 — Chance Encounter
Thursday — September 21 — Our Review
Friday — September 22 —What’s Behind (The Photo Shoot)
On a very personal note
Cliff has been building a small cabinet we need for the utility bath. I have not seen it yet. He says that he is working on the two cabinet doors. I am anxious for it to arrive. In the meantime, many of you are aware that LeRoy (the large frontload washing machine) coughed and needed surgery. The amazing Cliff took him apart and fixed what was wrong–got us going in quick order. I am so very thankful that he knows how to repair things.
Our son came to help us with some of the heavy lifting associated with the washer repair. He also helped us with the storm windows. We didn’t get them perfect, but without help, it would have been impossible to vacate the spiders who had taken up residence. Isn’t it amazing how fast webs come this time of year? (Whew) Anyhow it was a quick lick and a promise of something better in the future. Who knows when? For now, they are much improved.
My health seems to improve but never get me back to something close to what you would hope for. Nonetheless, we move on and do what we can do. Oh, and we continue to enjoy the cyclamen. It is in full bloom.
At Priest Lake
~ August 2017
Lu and Lucy
A fun and unexpected meeting between our Owyhee Star Blue Weim “Lu” and a beautiful dark blue Weim “Lucy” (and her “brother” Max – not shown) at Priest Lake, ID in late August – they weren’t too excited at first about each other, but then got into the lake fun and swimming…. ~Sharyl
When Jeff shared he had met some nice folks who had an OwyheeStar named ‘Lu’ I thought who can it be beside you folks? Of course, we were not sure because you reside in Sisters, OR and have the coastal second home. Nevertheless, we realize people are mobile and explore other parts of the country. It was very fun to hear about the encounter and to see the two swimming in the beautiful North Idaho Lake.
Dear OwyheeStar Applicants
Communication is tricky–no matter whether you are writing, texting or having a discussion. The goal is communicating our idea or thought, or possibly trying to educate someone. I reply to a lot of emails. Then too, there are the application responses. Sometimes this involves a follow-up query to clarify the applicant’s answer or to fill in something left blank. A recent encounter left me feeling cold and licking more than a few wounds; however, I am sure my intent was misunderstood. Maybe I should have added some emojis–honestly, I am not too skilled at using those cute add-ins. That would set a tone rather than leaving the recipient to guess what I mean and the voice behind the ink.
Grammerly.com says, “If there’s controversy around emojis in business communication, then why do we feel compelled to use them? Why not forego them altogether? The simple answer: we want to be better understood. Email communication is notoriously problematic in that it lacks the emotional cues we rely on with face-to-face or phone conversations. Without tone of voice or facial expressions to guide us, there’s a lot of room for misunderstanding when we read an email. Messages meant to be positive are often interpreted as neutral, and neutral messages are interpreted as negative”.
Setting a Positive Tone
Well then, that leaves me being negative sounding a lot. Our application process is an area where I am positive more than a few persons have been miffed by the questions. In fact, someone said they were sick of my interrogation techniques–I was shocked because I was merely asking one question about a two-part question–the second part was left blank. I think the question is valid; they see my asking them as intrusive and are offended. In all honesty, I could have prefaced the question more tactfully–and the addition of emoji may have set a more friendly tone. Would that family have made a good puppy home? We will never know. Of course, I want to avoid these types of scenarios, but when it comes to matters of the heart a lot of things can go sideways. I was scolded and let know their money is good and their character the same. I am sure both things are true; however, that was not what was in question.
A delay may seem like I don’t value you or our application. It is in truth, nothing like that. Rather I am engaged with the must-do and the most pressing things. Some of these cannot wait. Each day I am amazed at the workload for both Cliff and I. At the same time, we give thanks for this opportunity to provide a service so many appreciate.
We Take This Process Serious
The importance of our application process cannot be understated. Asking clear and concise questions to get the information that will clue us about the pup’s future seems valid. Nevertheless, communication issues (being misunderstood) will probably always be an issue. There other factors behind the scene too!
1. Each inquiry has an agenda–sometimes these are hidden (you would be surprised).
2. Everyone has done research; however, no one can guess how deep you are going to be required to dig to get through the Weimaraner puppy phase.
3. Each person comes with experience–this is all too often not going to apply to the Weimaraner. It is hard for a diehard Labrador person to believe this breed is different.
4. Each candidate believes they are ideal. Implying anything less or inquiring about something is offensive. We understand.
5. Dog savvy persons fail with this breed–it happens for a myriad of reasons. Let’s not place blame; instead, let’s agree it happens too often.
6. First-time Weim folks sometimes succeed beyond our wildest expectations. A pattern seems apparent to us. Most of these listen to our advice on how to raise the Weimaraner and do their best to follow it.
7. Honestly, it takes patience and a measure of trust to work with us. We typically have a Wait List. We cannot guess exactly how things will unfold–whether a mating will result in a litter, how many pups will be born, what sex or what coat color they will be. Yes, we sometimes have an all blue litter or an all gray litter; however, most of our litters have mixed coat colors. Some litters will produce a few Longhairs–how many is always in question. There are statistics, but we have learned the hard way that it is an average. The same parents might only produce two Longhair (of eight) pups one year. The next they may yield six of eight. Therefore, when statistically it says you will get 50% or 25% depending on the situation, the percentage can vary more than we expected in a specific litter.
From our side of the Fence
We must consider the pup’s welfare first and foremost. If we don’t have peace about a situation, it might not reflect on you at all. It may mean that we are not the right breeder for you. Sometimes we dare to tell applicants that we feel another breed choice would better suit their needs. Should we ever say that? I think we should. It is our opinion. A person can take it or leave. They can buy the Weimaraner from someone else. If all else fails, they can get one online.
Despite Communication Hiccups
Over time we have forged some beautiful relationships with OwyheeStar clients. If we had passed on the street we might not have given each other more than a nod or a smile; however, our hearts are forever joined. It is amazing how a fur family member can impact our lives in ways we would never have imagined. So, when we delve into the ticky-tacky details we sincerely hope you understand our motive. We are not interested in how much money you have–just that you have enough to give adequate care. Yes, we realize having money means better food and unlimited veterinary care. Nevertheless, even when a person has plenty of money and the desire, it is not a rock-solid guarantee that things will not go sideways.
We thank you for your patience and your understanding. We are honored to think of some many of you are friends. Some of you are more like family. We share things others would never understand.
~ Shela (and Cliff)
Greetings From Far Eastern Oregon
~September 23, 2017
Harvest is taking us back to fundamental Weimar Gray Earth. Last Saturday they were harvesting the corn in the field (across the road and left of the power poles) and now we are left with the beautiful cornfield to the right–east. It is being harvested for shelled corn rather than being chopped.
It is nice to have clear skies–no smoke hanging in the air. Not that we had anything like most of Oregon, but was evident and tough for those with breathing issues.
This Week on the Blog
Here are the week’s posts if you wish you may review or visit them today!
Isn’t it fabulous? Thanks ever so much to each contributor!
Sunday— September 17 —Package
Monday — September 18 —Mesquite
Tuesday — September 19 —Gone Right
Wednesday — September 20 — Friends
Thursday — September 21 —Six-Months-Old
Friday — September 22 —Settling In
On a very personal note
Our recent schedule around the farm and the farmhouse has kept us on the run. There is much to be done with Fall dancing about. We know Mr. Winter is plotting his arrival and wanting to has his way with us again.
I have been in a battle with spiders. Oh, farm life–unless you spray a lot there are bugs. Cliff tries to keep the chemical treatments to a minimum because I seem to be sensitive to everything. This old farmhouse has two front storm windows–spiders like to get between the two panes. I am not a fan of these arthropods. They come in various colors, shapes, and sizes. While I find some of them interesting–they are not pet-worthy in my way of thinking. Some of you love them. In the spirit of removing them away from our home, I have a plan. I am hoping to get Cliff to remove the large storm window so we can clean between the two windows. I did go on spider patrol and knock down webs that had appeared seemingly overnight.
We had visitors this week. Our oldest granddaughter and her two girls came for a visit. What a joy it was to have them here. I had not planned and with us, on our diets, I wondered if I could make them lunch. It worked out fine. I had some grilled chicken and the girls enjoyed that. We had chips, cheerios, cheese, and summer sausage. Oh, and they discovered grandpa’s bananas. So, no one went hungry. Evangeline was missing and I found her tucked under the covers in my bed. She liked my special pillow set up. Best of all, the girls played and petted the puppies. It was fun for all.
I continue to struggle with the health issues. Yes, I am a lot better. Nonetheless, we are into a year of this battle, and the coughing is rare, but we discovered the weird sound (behind it) was spasms. So, now it seems all this coughing and whatnot damaged my nerves in the area of the larynx. These are painful and at times unrelenting. If I can avoid them, the day goes a lot better. I don’t have any control. They are triggered by exertion, aromas, smoke, dust, and stress makes them worse. So, while I am trying to stop doing this horrid thing, they grow in intensity. This situation makes phone calls difficult–often impossible.
Finally, the cyclamen continues to delight and remind me of hope. Miracles happen. Our bodies can heal themselves. We can bloom afresh. After the trauma, we may well flourish and send out a beacon of hope to those who need it the most. I can hope for this to be my portion. Cliff also could use the reprieve.