Friday, June 22, 2012

A Sign Of A Healthy Pond

This morning one of the water hypanthis in our pond flowered.  This may appear to just be a flower, but these plants flower incredibly quickly so to be able to take a picture like this one is quite rare.  This plant will go from no bud at all to a full bloom to no petals left in less than 10 hours.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stairs to the Observation Deck

After a day of contemplation, I decided to move forward on building an egress for the dogs to use so that they could get onto the observation deck without assistance.  I briefly considered creating a ramp since Maddie is not exactly a young pup, but I eliminated that from consideration when I took into account the length of the ramp that would be needed.  Instead I opted for stairs with 10 inch treads.

Back to the Home Depot for another $40 in lumber, and another few hours in the back yard later I was ready for the dogs to give them a try.

Mosby was the first dog to run up the stairs and seemed very comfortable up there.  He was curious about the water in the hot tub, but he only focused his attention there for a couple seconds.

Maddie soon joined him and she was less interested in the water than Mosby was.  This definitely continues to look like a successful venture so far.  Below is a video that I took of both dogs on the new structure and you can see how easily they are able to walk down the steps.

The last component to add will be some sort of weather/water resistant cushion to put on the top of the structure so that the dogs will have something comfortable to sit, stand or lay on.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making An Observation Deck

For the last few months Mosby has made it challenging for both of us to get in our hot tub at the same time.  He doesn't have “separation anxiety” per se, but it’s more like “distant proximity anxiety.”  When he knows that we are just outside the back door he would whimper like crazy inside, then when we would let him run in the back yard he would just cry at the base of the tub because he could hear us but not see us.  Keep in mind that Maddie was fine with either arrangement, but even she was bothered by Mosby’s cries.

So, Barbie and I both came up with the same vision to resolve the issue…a platform that the dogs could get on to be close to us, without getting into the water.  Today I built that platform, which we now playfully refer to as “the observation deck.”

This was a very simple project to create.  A $40 run to Home Depot for pressure treated lumber and screws, and a couple hours with measuring tape and a circular saw and it was done.

I will work on creating a ramp or stairs that are easy enough for Maddie to navigate over the next few days.  However, we decided to put the dogs on it to give them a chance to explore it and verify they wouldn’t be scared of the water or the tub jets.

Mission accomplished.  Both dogs seem quite comfortable on the new observation deck.  I think I may want to look into getting some sort of pillow that they can lay on to be sure that they are comfortable.  Other than the pillow and the stairs I think that this is shaping up to be quite a successful venture.

On a related note, I am quite proud of the fact that I built this without the use of a speed square.  Considering that this structure is nothing but right angles, this is quite a feat.  Only a circular saw, a measuring tape, a pencil and a drill were used.  I am confident that if either of my grandfathers could see it they would both smile and after checking the stability they would both say that they like my craftsmanship.