Every morning we go for a walk before it gets too hot. We live in Texas, so hot comes early and often when you’re a Furry Beastie. For Diana, the best part of the walk is the section of the park filled with squirrels.
Diana ❤️ Squirrels.
Daisy likes squirrels and all other creatures too. But when Daisy is walking, she’s got places to go, things to sniff. Not much time for squirrels really.
Diana zones in on squirrels.
She’s a big fan.
Diana is convinced that if she could only meet a squirrel up close, they would be friends. Daisy and I are not so sure that would be a great idea.
Diana would love it if I would install a squirrel table in our backyard. A place for friends to hang out. Get to know each other. Something like this.
Diana, that looks like a trap! Sorry, that’s definitely not a good idea.
Diana wonders if there is any chance she’ll get a squirrel picnic table for Christmas. Maybe if she asks Santa Paws…
Living with Furry Beasties means living with dog fur. Everywhere. Vacuuming and sweeping helps of course, but inevitably there is fur on my clothes, in my food, and definitely on my floors. It’s worth it for the sweetness of my Furry friends.
Wandering through the internet one day, I came across an article on chiengora. Chiengora is yarn made from dog fur. Similar to angora, chiengora is soft and warm with a sort of furry halo around it, but it is made with dog fur instead of fur from Angora rabbits. Immediately I pictured myself wearing a warm chiengora Furry Beastie hat. After all, I certainly have enough raw material!
I started saving the fur that I brushed out of Furry Beasties with the theory of one day sending it off somewhere to be spun. Clippings aren’t great for spinning but Newfies shed hair pretty much constantly. They also blow their coats a few times a year which means daily brushing and lots of loose fur. Each time I brushed my Furry friends, I shoved a few handfuls of dog fur in a bag and stuck the bag in a drawer. Before I knew it, I had overflowing bags and the drawer was stuffed full. It was time to go a little further in my plan towards a Furry Beastie hat.
Turns out many people who spin dog fur have a backlog of clients. Since I’ve had some spare time at home the past several months due to Covid restrictions, I decided to try doing it myself! Full disclosure – I am in no way a textile artist. I read some blogs, watched some videos, thumbed through a few books and then just gave it a go.
Okay, so when I say I’m not a textile artist, the truth is I didn’t even know how to knit. That seemed like the place to start. I started teaching myself and made some scarves, hats, and dishcloths. Turns out, knitting is pretty fun. And soothing too!
Next step was ordering a drop spindle and some wool top and learning to spin wool into yarn. Dog fur can be tricky to work with and starting out with wool seemed like good practice. Spinning feels like meditation. Creating a bit of order out of chaos. I liked it immediately. I learned how to pinch, spin, draft. I got better at keeping my yarn thickness consistent and dropped the spindle less often. There are a few steps after that to set the twist and so on, but in the end, I created my first ball of spun yarn.
It was time to get out the bags of dog fur. I washed and air-dried several ounces of prime Newfie fur. Diana was fascinated by this part. She thinks all future washing of dog fur should happen after the fur is off the dog. She’s not a fan of bath-time!
Then I bought myself a pair of carders and used those to create a batt of dog fur/wool mix (80% dog fur and 20% wool). Next, came the spindle again and in no time at all, I had spun some chiengora yarn.
Okay, so the whole process is a little time consuming. I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would! There will be lots more washing, carding, and spinning to do before I have enough chiengora to start knitting my lovely warm Furry Beastie hat, but I am definitely getting closer to my goal.
What will the dogs think when they see me wearing Chiengora? I’m not sure if they will be thrilled that I have embraced their Newfie-ness or if they will be creeped out by the whole thing. Updates to come.
Favorite Toy – Hedgehog. Daisy used to have a pillow pet she would carry around so that she was prepared to nap anywhere at any time. Diana stole it. Daisy got a new one. Diana stole that too. Hedgehog is sacred. Even Diana knows better than to try to steal Hedgehog. Most of the time.
Walks or Car Rides – Car Rides. All day long. Short walks are okay. Anything longer and Daisy has been known to lay down on the sidewalk and request that we go home and get the car to pick her up.
Pet Peeves – People making noise during nap time. Diana stealing her toys.
Favorite Foods – Cheese. Watermelon. Fish. And French fries. Always french fries.
Hobbies – Daisy is a certified Therapy Dog. She loves going to schools to help kids practice reading. Her favorite books are Biscuit books. Woof! Woof!
Embarrassing Puppyhood Story – Daisy is a water dog. She loves to swim. Without an indoor pool, she once resorted to splashing her front paws and head in a toilet. Water all over the bathroom! Thank goodness it had just been cleaned. Silly Daisy Bear. Good news for Daisy, we did not take any photos! Now that would be embarrassing.
Hooray, it’s the weekend! A hot sunny summer day cries out for a pool party. First step, you have to fill the pool.
It’s so hard to wait. Feels like it takes fur-ever. Daisy spends some time napping in preparation. Diana waits impatiently by the door.
Finally, the pool is filled and the fun begins!
Diana is always eager to hone her attack skills. She fights on, undeterred by water up her nose or the threat of soggy ears. She is determined to come out on top. Perhaps Darling Diana needs a sprinkler?
Daisy would never be so undignified. Little siblings act like lunatics sometimes. Inside the house, Mr Snowy snorts in agreement.
Daisy waits patiently for Diana to leave the pool area. Will it ever be her turn?
If this pool had any salmon swimming about, Daisy would be ready to scoop them up. Daisy is always prepared to go fishing. Or eat fish. Either way.
Diana wonders, “What’s this about Salmon?” Never mind Diana, you had your pool time already.
In only six or eight short hours, Daisy will be dry again. Until then she will happily rock her new ‘do. Even majestic beasties like to get a little wild.
After lots of fun playing and splashing in the pool, it’s time for Diana to go roll in the dirt. What, what was that last bit?
Diana is thrilled. She is now a Wet Dirty Wild Beastie. Just the way she likes it.
Mr Snowy and Ms Betty Bunny are not free-range bunnies. This is an unfortunate side effect to living with two… ahem… slightly larger Furry Sisters. Daisy and Diana have always been gentle with their smaller siblings, but no one wants to risk disaster brought on by an over-zealous paw or extra-enthusiastic snuggle.
Mr Snowy and Ms Betty Bunny share a home on our main floor where they can be a part of the daily action of the house. Often, they visit upstairs where they can get a good stretch of their legs and check out a change of scenery. During upstairs adventures, Big Furry Sisters are not invited.
Once the bunnies make their way upstairs, they get a little curious. Mr Snowy enjoys checking out his surroundings. Was this here last time? Yes it was, silly bunny.
Occasionally, Mr Snowy gets a little too close to the edge when sitting on furniture and he requires rescue. Mr Snowy is an elder rabbit and we think he has gone a little blind. He is closely supervised anytime he is off solid ground.
Ms Betty Bunny is often a bit of a blur during upstairs time. She hops here, she hops there, she hops and changes direction in mid-air. After all her hipping and hopping, she looks for a quiet spot to lay down for a rest.
If she’s lucky, she might even have a little music to listen to during her down time. Ms Betty Bunny loves music. She does not, however, love wrong notes. Ms Betty Bunny thinks the young musician needs more practice!
After all the fun is done, Mr Snowy and Ms Betty Bunny are happy to return home. Their home is cleaned during their upstairs adventures and often there is a delicious treat waiting for them. Possibly some carrot peelings or a bit of kale. After all, adventuring works up an appetite!
Three years ago, this small sweetheart came into the world. A short time later, Darling Diana became a part of our family. We loved her from the moment we saw her.
Today we celebrated our sweet furry girl as Darling Diana turned three! She had a fabulous day. We planned a pool party with her bestie, but rain and Covid-19 changed our plans a little. No worries, we still had lots of playtime and cuddles. Diana even enjoyed a virtual visit through Zoom with some dear friends!
And of course, there had to be cake. Who doesn’t love cake?
After cake, it was time for presents!
Diana loves her new Birthday Loofa Toy. Stuffies are her very favorites. She loves to cuddle them, shake them, and gum on them. A new stuffy was just perfect for her.
Eventually even the best of Birthdays come to an end. Diana had a lovely day with her family and friends. All that partying wears a puppy out.
Sunday afternoons are just meant for nap time, especially when you live with two lazy sleepy Newfies. Newfies are not the most high energy dogs on the planet. They tend to move at a slightly slower speed.
Diana’s pillow reads “Whatever you are, be a good one.” She takes this to heart. She wants to be the best napper she possibly can. She likes a pillow to lay her head on, and preferably someone to rub her paws as she falls asleep. She’s a bit of a princess sometimes.
If Diana is the princess, Daisy truly is the Nap Queen.
For Daisy, nap time is sacred and she has been known to get a little grumbly with anyone who interrupts her afternoon nap. She’s not really mad at you, but she would like you to go away and come back later.
Daisy prefers cozy places to sleep. She wouldn’t say no to being tucked her in with a bit of blanket. Daisy likes to hide herself away under the table or under the piano, anywhere she can get a bit of privacy.
These days, peace and quiet can be hard to find!
Some days, Daisy and Diana sleep best when they are wrapped up in a puppy pile.