Friday, May 13, 2011

Busy again

Sometimes it seems like several days can go by with little to do except sit back and read. Wait a minute....that's a lie. I could spend a whole month cleaning out my garage, but that's another thing.

Anyway, readers of my blog know that I've been working on my motorhome, replacing the shocks. It became a little more complicated when at the end of the job, two of the levelers would not retract. I opened the valves manually and still they would not retract and I was worried that I would have to remove them and send them to HWH for work. Instead, I ordered a complete set of replacement springs and installed them a few days later. It was not too difficult a job. I was able to stretch the springs using my trusty bumper jack that I've had for years. Upside down pulling the spring down to where I could tap it into position. A little more than half an hour to do the eight springs. Then I got out a can of silicon spray and liberally coated the levelers and carefully wiped them all clean. When I set the control to return, all the levelers returned in a short time. The old springs were quite rusted and I noticed that the new ones are considerably heavier. Oh, getting the old ones off was a snap. I used my floor jack to hold the base of the leveler, then cut all the springs of with an air powered cutting wheel.

I've also been working on the trees in the front of our property. I think I explained before how the electric company will come out and trim the trees back so a tree service or owner can work on the trees without danger of hitting a power line. The crew was there one afternoon while I was trying to do something on the RV and they quit for the day leaving more than half the work to go. They didn't return the next day as promised or the day after. It turns out that they were part of the Progress Energy brigade heading to Alabama to help with the damage done by the tornadoes.

Above is the "before" picture. You can see how much of the trees have grown over the wires.

This is the "after " picture and I have a lot of room to work now.

There has been considerable work involved in cleaning up the debris. While much of the country is flooding, we are in a drought. Legally I can burn because there has not been a "Do Not Burn"issue from the state or local government. But the woods are SO dry that one ember could cause a major problem. I don't want my name in the paper as some old fool who insisted on burning during such a dry spell. Consequently, I'm taking the refuse out back where I'm running the small branches through my chipper and stacking the heavy wood up until I can resume burning. I'll have to post a picture of that someday.

Then, Wednesday I got an email from one of my contacts in Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida. The were looking for someone to transport three labs from a shelter in Perry, Fl to Crystal River, a round trip of about 250 miles. We can't say no to a Lab in need. Thursday morning Helen headed off to her volunteer work at the hospital and I headed north to Perry. Just before I got there I bought a cup of coffee, but it was too hot to drink. That was a mistake.

This is Belle, a beautiful, energetic, and playful 11 month old sweetie.

The last half of the trip home she laid her paws and head on my lap. Like I said, a real sweetie.

This is another LRROF volunteer, Linda Mao, holding a four month old male puppy. He was another dear dog.

This black male was somewhat stressed by the relocation and travel.

He didn't complain or howl, but he wasn't happy

And this is Belle again, as we were saying good bye!

The story with the black male is that he has been in the shelter for several weeks and was supposed to be "put down" a couple of weeks ago. Someone working on behalf of the dogs persuaded the shelter to hold him a little longer. Then the male puppy came in and finally Belle came in on Wednesday. She was an owner-surrender while the males were strays.

At any rate, the animal shelter is not a great place to be with a lot of dogs and barking and such and the male had been in his cage for sometime. He did not want to come out. He did not want to come to the car, and he did not want to get inside. We lifted him in and he gave us no trouble.

Now Belle, on the other hand, jumped right in the back of the Jeep, over the fence that separates the front from the rear and put her foot in my coffee. I was a full cup, but I'm sure it cooled while we were getting the dogs ready. I had coffee all over the seats, splashed on the dashboard, my GPS, and even the windshield. I was a bit miffed for a second, but Belle was so excited about riding in the car that I couldn't be mad. Half way home she laid across the center console and put her paws in my lap, then put her head on her paws and she rode the last hour just like that.

When I turned the dogs over to Linda in Crystal River, Belle and the pup were eager to get moving. The black male would not leave the back of the Jeep. He couldn't be coaxed out or lured out with treats. We finally pulled the beds out and he had to move, but he wouldn't walk to Linda's car. With no other option, I tried to carry him, hoping that he wouldn't get aggressive and he didn't. In another cage in the back of Linda's big SUV, he finally wagged his tail. SUCCESS!!!

A year and a half ago, Helen and I went to the same shelter to pick up Molly and her puppies. They would have been euthanized the next day. The policy at that time was that it was animal CONTROL. They pick up an animal and if it's not claimed in time it's put down. One of the girls working there told me that except for groups like LRROF, no dogs are adopted. She was not even allowed to adopt a dog from there. Apparently there has been a change in management. The shelter is much cleaner than it was the last time. More important, adoption is now an active part of animal control. I noticed a white board on the wall listing the different animals and when they could be adopted. It was a very nice change.

I got back to the house around 2:30 PM. Helen was already home from the hospital. She asked if I had a good time and I said "yes" and told her about my adventure. "Good" she said, the air conditioning in the Lincoln doesn't work. So I'm off and running again!



  1. Paul, another good deed done, I am sure Belle and the two males will enjoy a long life thanks to you help. Also all the work on the MH that is getting done, maybe a trip in the making, Eh. Donna is doing a lot better, I swear I am still scared to death. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  2. Wow you are the fix it pro.... good for you ☺☺☺ My sister in law loves labs and has rescued 4 of them.... Yoou're a GREAT person!

    Have fun & Travel safe

  3. Annie thanks you for what you do for her bread..