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Archive for May, 2014

Hi everyone! We’re here today to tell you about our DNA test results. It took about 4 weeks from the time we mailed the swabs before we could download our report. Like we said in the previous post it took two weeks just to get to their facility. After that it took the advertised 2 weeks to process our samples. It seemed like a long time but we were glad that we did it.

Okay without further ado here are our results. First up is Millie. Here is the summary report of my family tree.

Millie's DNA Certificate

Millie’s DNA Certificate

As always you can click on an image to make it bigger but I will also show you a close up of each half of my heritage. Here is the left side.

Left Side of Millie's DNA Certificate

Left Side of Millie’s DNA Certificate

They don’t specify which side is for your mother and which is for your father. This side comes as no surprise to anyone in this house. As you can see the only specific breed the DNA test found on this half of my family tree is American Staffordshire Terrier (more commonly know as a Pit Bull). Mom and Dad have always suspected that I had a lot of Pit Bull in me. My reaction to having a stick up my nose (only sneezing and never pawing at my face) and some of my physical characteristics (especially of my head) were key indicators.

Okay now on to the next side of my family.

Right Side of Millie's DNA Certificate

Right Side of Millie’s DNA Certificate

I have to say that the German Shepherd Dog was no surprise here but I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’m also related to some pretty cool Blogville pups on this side of my family. Who would have guessed that I could be related to Goose, Easy and Starr?

One last part of the test is the make up of what the mixed breeds might be in my history too. Here is what the Wisdom people say about the mixed breed analysis:

A portion of Millie’s ancestry was predicted to be mixed beyond 3 generations. While it is difficult to identify strong breed signals in this mixed portion, the 5 breeds with the strongest statistical likelihood identified in the analysis of your dog’s DNA are listed below.

The breeds are listed by the relative strength of each result in the analysis with the most likely at the top of the list. One or more of these breeds could have contributed to the genetic makeup of the ancestors indicated by the mixed breed icon. Note that it is highly unlikely that all these breeds are present in Millie’s ancestry.

There could also be a breed or breeds present in the mixed breed component that cannot be detected with the current database of over 200 breeds.

Mixed Breed Ancestry of Millie's DNA Certificate

Mixed Breed Ancestry of Millie’s DNA Certificate

We’re not too sure about that Chinook since there aren’t too many of them around but it sure is interesting. If you are interested you can download a PDF file of the full 12 page report to read more about what they say about me.

Okay enough about Millie now it’s my turn. Here is my summary report.

Walter's DNA Certificate

Walter’s DNA Certificate

Here is the left side of my report.

Left Side of Walter’s DNA Certificate

Left Side of Walter’s DNA Certificate

It was really no surprise that I have a lot of Boxer in my DNA since I have the shape and head of a boxer. As you will see it shows up on both sides. We also weren’t really surprised to see German Shepherd Dog either. My coat is definitely not very boxer like and has a lot of GSD like qualities. What also wasn’t a big surprise was to see another herding breed in the mix. Which brings me to the other side of my family.

Left Side of Walter’s DNA Certificate

Left Side of Walter’s DNA Certificate

This side looks a lot like the other side with a strong link to the Boxer breed and another herding breed in the mix. I don’t know if you remember but I like to stalk and herd Millie sometimes when we are playing outside.

As with Millie’s report here is my mixed breed analysis.

Mixed Breed Ancestry of Millie's DNA Certificate

Mixed Breed Ancestry of Walter’s DNA Certificate

Another interesting mix of breeds that I could be related to. Here is a link to the PDF file of my full DNA report that you can download.

Well there you have it. We think we will call Millie’s breed a Staff-Herd-Aner and Walter can be a Box-Herder. We hope you enjoyed learning more about just what a Millie & a Walter really is.

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Hi everyone it’s Millie & Walter here. First we want to make sure you all have your paws crossed for our good friend Goose.

Crossed Paws for Goose

He is very sick and has spent this whole weekend at the vets.  Please visit Murphy & Stanley’s blog to see how you can help Goose and his Mom out.

Now on to our post for today. You all know that we are both of unknown heritage and every time someone asks our pawrents what kind of dogs we are they shrug their shoulders and say, “We don’t really know”. Well they decided to do something about that and ordered these things called  Wisdom Panel 2.0 from Amazon (there are other places that sell them too).

Wisdom Panel DNA Test Kits

Wisdom Panel DNA Test Kits

Of course mom made us pose with the boxes first.

I'm pretty smart already I don't understand why mom and dad think we need more wisdom.

I’m pretty smart already I don’t understand why mom and dad think we need more wisdom.

Walter I'm a little nervous about this wisdom thing.

Walter I’m a little nervous about this wisdom thing.

There isn’t much inside the box. Just some instructions with stickers and a couple of brushy things.

Inside the Wisdom Panel 2.0 box

Inside the Wisdom Panel 2.0 box

Next thing we know mom has lured us to the bedroom and one by one she tortures us with those brushy things.

Just a little swab between the cheek and gum.

Just a little swab between the cheek and gum.

Mom is pretty good at using a head lock. She stuck that brushy thing between our cheek and gum and had to rub it back and forth for a few seconds.

Millie's turn for the torture.

Millie’s turn for the torture.

We each had to have this done with the two swabs that came with the kits. Okay if we have to tell the truth it really was nothing. Those brush thingys were very soft and we were done before we knew it.

DNA swabs air drying for a few seconds.

DNA swabs air drying for a few seconds.

The box the kits come in are very handy and have these two holes in them to put the swabs in. You let them dry for a few seconds and then put them back in the plastic sleeve they came in. You use the same blue box to seal it all up and put the mailing label on.

Mom had to be very careful not to mix up our kits. She put them in the mail and then she went online to the Wisdom Panel site to register our kits. You can keep track of the progress of your kits on their site. It took about two weeks for the kits to arrive at their facility (we think they were sent by pony express), then about two more weeks before we got our results.

So what do you think we learned about who we really are? You will have to wait another day or two to find out. We will say that there were a couple of surprises but there were some things about each of us that we had already guessed as well so stay tuned.

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Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. Today we are joining Dory with a Flower Friday post. If you don’t already know her you should click on her name or the badge and go say hello.

DorysFlowerFridayBadge

We are well into to our spring blooming season now so here are a few of the earlier blooms we have had in the yard.

Multi-center daffodils

Multi-center daffodils

White daffodil with orange center

White daffodil with orange center

White Daffodils

White Daffodils

Petite Multi-bloom daffodils

Petite Multi-bloom daffodils

Serviceberry tree in Bloom

Serviceberry tree in Bloom

Japanese Maple with fragrant viburnum and serviceberry bush

Japanese Maple with fragrant viburnum and serviceberry bush

Fragrant Viburnum

Fragrant Viburnum

I wish you could smell those viburnum blossoms because it is just heavenly. The shrubs were so full that you didn’t even need to get close to catch a whiff when a gentle breeze blew through the yard. Most of these pictures were taken a little over a week ago. Our azaleas have just started blooming so I will have those to show you next week.

I wanted to let you all know that I haven’t been able to comment much lately. I’ve been having back trouble and not able to sit to read blogs much. I have been reading all of them with my Kindle because I can do that laying down, but it is not easy to comment with that so I keep it to a minimum. I’m hoping with a new treatment I can be on the mend soon. Thanks for understanding.

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Hi everyone it’s Millie & Walter here. We have lots to tell you about our dates today but first we want to let you know that Millie is back to her old self. I, Millie, really was only out of sorts for about a day. After that I forgot all about that dumb stick up my nose. Thanks to everyone for all the thoughts and prayers.

DateDay3

Now on to our dates. Even before Tommy asked Millie to be his date Walter was already thinking of taking Tui on a romantic date to Paris. Tommy said he wouldn’t mind making it a double date and serving as our guide and interpreter too. We picked up Tui and dashed across the big pond in our private jet. Tommy met us at the airport and we were off to the big city.

First stop the Eiffel Tower

Hey Millie, I’ll race you to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
See you at the top Tommy!

We went all the way to the top to enjoy the view and see where we were going next.

Enjoying a leisurely walk along the river Seine.

We’re getting hungry. Can we stop to eat?
Oh Walter you are always hungry.

Next up was a beautiful walk along the river Seine. There are so many bridges to walk under and beautiful buildings to see. Along the way we stopped for a bite to eat at one of the cute cafés. After a while we crossed over one of the bridges to head to our next destination.

Posing at the Louvre

Hey Tommy do you think it’d be okay to leave some pee mail on this statue?
No Walter. In France we are more dignified than that.

We enjoyed some time touring the grounds and even went inside to look at all the beautiful art work too. There was so much to see there. After this visit Walter wanted to take Tui to visit the Pont des Art bridge.

Walter and Tui put a "love lock" on the bridge.

I put your name on that purple lock Tui.
Oh Walter that is so romantic!

This is one of the “love lock” bridges in Paris. For those of you who know what that is, here’s the story. A couple writes their names on a padlock and locks it onto the bridges. They then throw the key into the Seine River as a symbol of their undying love. I hope you don’t think I’m being too forward Tui?

To finish the day we all boarded a barge for a dinner cruise on the Seine.

Thanks for a great day in Paris Tommy. My pleasure Millie. I hope you come back to visit me someday.

Thanks for a great day in Paris Tommy.
My pleasure Millie. I hope you come back to visit me someday.

We all had an amazing day and were sad to have to say goodbye to Tommy. We also got to meet his mother who he calls #1. She was very nice and invited us to her home for another time. We would love to meet the rest of Tommy’s family.

We hopped on our jet and made our way back to Tui’s home before it was past her curfew. Mom and dad were happy to see us and hear all about our big date in Paris too. We were exhausted and told them they will have to wait until tomorrow because all we wanted to do was sleep.

Thanks to Sarge for hosting Date Day. We all had a great time. Make sure if you posted about your date to leave a comment for Sarge to be entered in his contest.

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Walter Millie - in front of fireplace with Rosetta Stone Software

We’re getting ready for date day. Hey Tui there is a hint in this picture for where we are going. You may have to click on the image to make it big to see the hint. Millie is letting us double date with her and Tommy tomorrow.

nolasugar_bwbadge_pm

We are participating in the Black & White Sunday blog hop.

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Hi everyone it’s Millie here. Well do I have a tale to tell. Yesterday Walter and I were having our usual fun time snoopervising dad while he worked in the garden. We were getting ready to come in after a couple of hours outside but decided to get in one last round of zoomies.

Zoomies!

Zoomies!

Next thing dad knows I come running out from the shrubbery sneezing my nose off with blood spewing out too. He calmed me down and called mom out to help him figure out what was going on. Well they couldn’t tell if I just hit my nose on something or if maybe something was stuck up my nose so they decided to call the vet. Of course it was lunch time and all of the vets were on their break but after a couple of phone calls Dr. Cooperman said she would come back early from her lunch to see me. It was less than an hour wait.

By this time I had calmed down and was resting. After all, I had just been playing outside for a couple of hours and was ready for a nap. When I woke up and got ready to go to the vets I started sneezing all over again and was spewing more blood. It wasn’t lots of blood but it was still a bit of a mess. Mom and I hopped in the car for the 2 minute drive to the vet.

scope

 

The first thing the vet tried to do was stick this ↑ thingy up my nose. I didn’t mind much when she was poking around my left nostril, but there was no way she was sticking that thing up the right side. Little did I know that that would land me a trip to the back room. I said goodbye to my mom and when I got in the back they stuck me with a needle and I got very sleepy.  This time I really couldn’t resist when the vet stuck a bigger scope thing up my nose but I’m kind of glad she did because look what she found! OUCH!

Stick found in Millie's nose

Stick found in Millie’s nose

Mom came back and picked me up after about an hour. I was sent home with some pain pills and some antibiotics to make sure that nasty stick didn’t give me any bad bugs. I was still very sleepy from the drugs they gave me so we all decided to take a nap.

Millie with an ice bag pillow

Millie with an ice bag pillow

The vet recommended to ice my nose to keep any swelling down so while we were napping I got to have an ice bag for a pillow. I’m feeling much better after my nap and dinner and haven’t been sneezing any more. Mom and dad have already told us that we won’t be doing much playing for a couple of days to make sure my nose heals okay. Don’t worry Tommy I’ll be fine for our date on Monday.

If you wouldn’t mind I could use some power of the paw just to make sure everything heals okay. Thanks friends.

Killer hydrangea

Killer hydrangea

Notes from mom: It appears that Millie impaled her nose on a piece of hydrangea. Since it is early in the growing season this hydrangea hasn’t leafed out much. It is still kind of woody and we think that when she ran by it she happened to jam a piece up her nose.

Happy Hydrangea

Happy Hydrangea

This is what the hydrangea looks like when it is all leafed out and in bloom. It also isn’t as easy to run through when it is so full.

I’m very glad we decided to take Millie to the vet. Millie is a very stoic dog and never pawed at her nose as most dogs would have done with a foreign object stuck up there. You could tell when you listened to her breathing that it sounded a bit wheezy too so I suspected there might be something stuck in there. The vet said she was lucky to have such a long nose because a dog with a shorter snout might have had the stick go through and poke into her eye (yuck!)

A big thanks to Dr. Cooperman and the staff at Clark Animal Care for getting us in right away and taking great care of our special girl. Hopefully we won’t have this happen again but the way these two like to chase each other through the shrubbery there is no guarantee. Charlie will be going out and trimming back any pieces of the hydrangea that might be hazardous so we can do our best to minimize any future disasters. I know everyone out there will be putting their paws together to help Millie heal and I just want to thank you all now for that too.

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Wild Bird Wednesday

Hi everyone it’s Cindy here. There has been so much bird action around our yard this past week that I had to do a Wild Bird Wednesday post.

I was hoping to be able to tell you about our Eastern Bluebird fledglings by now but sadly the first brood of babies were attacked by a House Sparrow and did not survive. This is not an unusual occurrence for bluebirds and many other cavity nesting birds but it is a first for our property. Prior to this year house sparrow sightings in our yard were very rare but for some reason this year we had a couple try to nest in our spare bluebird box. Usually the other box is inhabited by a House Wren but the sparrow started taking over the box before the wren arrived for the season.

The sparrows also started harassing the bluebirds who, by this time, were feeding their hatchlings. One day last week while Charlie was working in the yard both adult bluebirds were out hunting for food when sadly a sparrow entered the box and killed the babies. We removed both nest boxes immediately and set about looking for ways to prevent this in the future. After a quick search on the internet we found plans for a “Sparrow Spooker” and quickly added it to the box.

Bluebird House with Sparrow Spooker

Bluebird House with Sparrow Spooker

The reports indicated that these funny devices were very effective in deterring the sparrows but didn’t bother the bluebirds. Ours is a simple design of a large diameter dowel with two smaller dowels near the top sticking out at right angles to each other. We stapled strips of Mylar to the smaller dowels and the large dowel is screwed to the back of the house. The renovated house was put up by the end of the tragic day so we hopefully wouldn’t loose our bluebirds. We are happy to report that the bluebirds have stayed, the house sparrows have left, and the bluebirds are working on another brood already. We haven’t seen or heard any house sparrows in our yard since.

Grey Catbird on meal worm feeder

Grey Catbird on meal worm feeder
(Picture taken through window)

In happier news we have had a huge rush of migratory birds to our yard. Some are on their way further north but many are here to stay for the season. The Grey Catbird is always one of my favorite summer residents in our yard. I love listening to their cat like calls and laugh at how they try to mimic other birds.

American Redstart
(Image Source)

We had a huge explosion of warblers in our yard. A few of these such as the Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat Warbler and American Redstart are some that stick around for the summer. The warblers are very difficult to photograph since they move quickly and hang out in thick trees and shrubs. I was able to capture an American Redstart (male pictured above) on video looking for bugs in our Leatherleaf Viburnum.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

Baltimore Oriole
(Image Source)

The second bird that is often heard long before we see it is the Baltimore Oriole. I found ours hanging out in one of the apple trees on our property. Here is a brief video where you can catch a glimpse and hear his piercing call.

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

You can also hear the Common Yellowthroat call in the oriole video (you can find a sample of the call at the link for reference).

Okay I know this post is already a bit long but this is a busy time of year for birds. I have one more thing to tell you about. For years we have heard but never seen a Hermit Thrush on our property. These birds often hang out in dense woods and forage on the ground but this week we have had one regularly visit our perennial garden where he discovered the meal worm feeder!

Hermit Thrush on meal worm feeder

Hermit Thrush on meal worm feeder
(Picture taken through window)

We are thrilled to see him return often to partake of our meal worms and hope to see him much of the summer.

I hope you have enjoyed this edition of Wild Bird Wednesday and will take some time to stop by the blog hop host too.

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