Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brrr! It's cold out there.... (and Wratty Wed!)

Morning all from a frigid Saskatchewan.  I'm dreading going out there.... Temperatures last week hit +6.3 Celsius. This morning: -34 Celsius with a windchill of -46 Celsius. And, that's warmed up since I woke up earlier.  It's a morning I am grateful for dogs who try to go out (and it's tough, but they do it!), warm blankets, a warm house and a good block heater in my car. No matter the temperature, schools do not close here. Kids may not go, buses are not running but school is still open. So, soon I'll head out to warm the car up before I attempt to drive to work.  This too shall pass; after all, I'm reminding myself it could be November after all and already this cold.

And, to also to remind myself of some of the good things in life...

Zander and Giles cozied up in their toasty warm hammock.  There's a tiny little baby boy huddled in there too. I rescued a wee little 3.5 week old male last week. He's a doll- can't wait to get photos of him. (Is that the same photo I used last week?? Sorry! I didn't get anything new this morning....) 

And Murphy, sleeping on top of the doggy blankets in the basket. :)  She knows comfort when she sees it. 

Ah well, stay warm whereever you are and remember, Spring has to come eventually! In the meantime, I'll be spending my free time hunkered down on the couch, knitting my first project, a scarf that is sure to be done in time for the balmy summer weather that will eventually be with us.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It's here! It's here!!

Hey all!

GREAT NEWS!  My website is open for business!!!  Please, check it out, order something and support the "Jen needs a new- non teaching job, hope this works gig" LOL.  Anyway, I am still working on getting a traditional online store set up on there (difficult because I just want to charge actually shipping) and getting more pics up. Please the collars and leashes section needs to be built.... but, the gist of it is there!!

SO, please, check it out!!
Black Dog Design

I am also on Facebook and as soon as I can figure out how to link... oh wait, this might work...

Black Dog Design on Facebook

Please, click LIKE and support me!!

(And, I KNOW I have been strangely quiet on the comments front. I promise I am still out here reading, just have been very consumed with getting this and my rattery off the ground.... but, I'll be back in full force SOON!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Annoucement: Black Dog Designs

It's Monday and I am pretty draggy this morning. But, I'm taking a knitting class this evening that I've been looking forward to for ages.  So, it's motivation to get up and moving. Even Murphy was snoring lightly when the alarm went off; and I KNOW that, as my sleep wasn't great.

But, it's in those sleepless nights sometimes that great ideas are born. Such was the way with this plan, a few weeks ago. It's just taken me a little time, money and shopping to bring it to this point.

As of today, I am proud to announce the opening of my online store:  Black Dog Designs. It's a bit of a journey still to learn how to build my own webpage and online store but I expect it to be up and running within a week.

In the meantime, I want to show off some of the products that I have been working hard on:

Ratty Hammocks. These vary in size and price, depending on what you need. ($7.50-$16.00)

Collars and Leashes of course! There are too many to showcase here.

Belly Bands for our boy dogs who need a little reminder to be good in the house.  ($10.00- custom made to size). These are made out of velcro and flannel with several thicknesses of fabric to ensure protection of our couch corners.

But, the "piece do resistance".... my Alpaca Line.  Dog beds in a variety of sizes, pillows, mattress pads, duvets for our comfort. Alpaca is lovely to sleep on as it's cozy and warm. It's hypoallergenic and great for humans who need a little softness or dogs who have some arthritic bones. My guys have been fighting over their alpaca bed, so clearly I need to make them more!

All pillows, duvets, dog beds are made out of all natural cotton sheeting (muslin).  All human products are lovingly made with handwashed, hand carded alpaca fibre (and let me tell you, it's LOADS of time consuming work! LOL).  But the results are great.... comfort, warmth, lovely sleep. :)

So, stay tuned for the official opening of my online store... I can't wait to see where this goes!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

W-Ratty Wednesday is back

Good morning all, and happy Wratty Wednesday!!  For your amusement, a pic of the boys...

Zander and Giles, hanging out, enjoying their lovely new Christmas present- their hammock.

So, Jean over at My Life with the Critters asked why someone who is so involved in animal rescue would make the decision to breed rats. It's a good question, and I've put loads of thought into it.

There are several reasons, to be honest.  I love the species, they are lovely pets and good breeders are very hard to find in this province. So, part of it is about ensuring I have a continued supply of ratties to live with that I know are healthy and well socialized.  As well, there is only 1 other breeder in this province (my sister rattery) and it's not enough to keep up with  the demand for quality pets.  She doesn't want to expand her rattery to the point of keeping up, preferring quality over quantity. I feel the same. So, between the two of us, we might be able to keep the Saskatoon area supplied with healthy little squeakers (but NOT feeders!).  As well, to perfect colour lines with great health. Like all pets, rats are susceptible to certain diseases, but with good breeding those isues can be eliminated.  For those reasons, I've decided 1-2 litters a year are ok.

Unlike BC, we do not have tons in rescue, and it's difficult to find rats that are socialized enough for pet homes with children (at times).  There is 1 store in Saskatoon that has a decent breeding program, but even he can't keep up with the demand for pets.  The province does not need someone breeding hoards of rats all the time or we will have issues with rats needing rescue (and occasionally it happens), but certainly 3-4 litters a year would not be difficult to place in pet homes.

I think my reasons are similar to why I would consider breeding Labradors in the future- to better lines, to provide a quality animal who is healthy. I will certainly begin this journey and see where it takes me. No promises that my rattery won't be a closed one (meaning what I breed, I keep and the program is VERY small) or that I will continue to breed, but when the right pair comes along, I will likely decide those genetics are worth being passed along.  Besides, we are starting "rat shows" in the Manitoba/Saskatchewan region and I dream of having a competitive Russian Blue Rex (curly) Dumbo Rat to show. Hehe, it's an interesting journey all right!

Anyway, here's to a great Wednesday.... hug your critters, everyone, even if your preference is a little ratty. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A little perspective for the first day back to work after the holidays....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome 2012

I have many goals for this year, none of which I feel like blogging about today. And, I have loads of changes in mind, but none I really want to blog about today either.  You'll just have to come on the journey with me, to learn about these as we go.

But, I did manage this as a gift to myself for 2012. I painted a picture- my first ever on canvass, with real paints. I love art, but I am no painter, that is for sure. But, my friend Allison, over at Polka Dots and Paisley inspired me to give it a whirl.

This is the result...

What can I say? It was a lovely way to start the New Year- calm and relaxing, with a paint brust in hand. And, I'm pleased with the result. Here's to a bright, colourful and artistic new year!