Sunday, June 3, 2012

Oliver in his nautical sweater! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Oliver On Mothers Day!

He's finally home! The most beautiful little creature I've ever seen! My baby: Ollie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Furry Angel!

We’re going to be parents! Okay not people parent more like fuzz ball parents! On May 11th we will be bring home little Oliver, an eight week old American cocker spaniel.  We have been reading puppy books and gathering all the supplies we will need.  We also meet with our future trainer who helped us puppy proof our apartment and come up with a “puppy plan” which entails a detailed schedule that monitors his potty time so we can make sure he has as few accidents as possible.   

This is Oliver at 7.5 weeks old
Side view

Oliver comes from a breeder and we visited both his parent and him two weeks after he was born.  His parents are petite american cocker spaniels.  His mother is black, white, and tan.  His father is brown, white and tan.  We have been discussing getting a puppy for a long time now, and I can't believe we finally did.  Hopefully all our research will pay off and we will be good parents who can train Oliver well so he can live a happy stress free life. 

This is Olie at 5 weeks old (before his haircut) 

Olie between two of his brothers

Olie eating his first solid meal! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dog Bed from a Wine Barrel

My boyfriend got me a puppy for my birthday! We had been planning on getting one for a while and he went and finally did it! Clearly, I immediately wanted the finest and most unique of items for my soon to be sweet baby! While looking for dog bed ideas that would fit in nicely with our apartment d├ęcor I fell in love with a $250 one made from the bottom section of a whiskey barrel. However, no way in hell were we going to pay that much for a dog bed! I knew you could find barrels like that already cut, normally used as planters, we got ours at Blain’s Farm and Fleet for $22 (also saw them at Home Depot). Then the work really started! How to make your own dog bed:

Bolts (measure the width of your staves to find out how long you need; staves are the wooden pieces that are bound together with metal rings to make a wine barrel)
Nuts (Buy ones that are the same width as your bolts)
Drill bits (for metal and wood in the same size as your bolts)
Sharpie or pencil
Jigsaw blades for both metal and wood
Sealer (sprayable or paintable)
Sand Paper
Palm Sander (Optional)
Belt Sander (Optional)
Plastic Dip (Optional)
Wood Stain (Optional)

Step 1: Sand/scrap the inside of the barrel. Ours came burnt on the inside, so we had to scrape the black char out. We used a chisel and then a palm sander to smooth it out. Eye protection and facemask recommended. *** After scraping is done, spray (or paint) with a sealer; we used Bulls eye spray Shellac. If you don’t do this step the char will continue to transfer black onto anything that touches it.

Step 2: Buy nuts and bolts. We got carriage bolts because we liked the stud look. Use a drill bit that goes through metal, which is the same size as your bolts, to drill holes in every stave (you can do every other, but we just wanted to be sure the barrel wouldn’t fall apart when we started cutting it) Drill through the top metal ring. Hammer bolts in and secure the nuts tightly on the inside of barrel.

Step 3: Cut the excess wood off the top of barrel right above the upper metal ring, we used a hand held jigsaw. We left about .5” of wood above the metal ring for sanding down later.

Step 4: Sand down rough edges. You can do this by hand or use a belt sander/palm sander. The barrels are made of oak and it’s hard to get them to sand down smooth.

Step 5: Now decide how large you want the opening for the dog to climb in to be. We did 14” wide and decided to keep it above the second metal ring. Draw on the shape you want.

Step 6: Drill in holes for bolts and nuts into the second metal ring on the entryway boards. The purpose of this is to make sure the staves have extra support since part of the top metal ring is going to be cut off.
Step 7: Using a metal cutting blade on your jigsaw and cut the entrance for the dog bed.

Step 8: Sand the entrance so edges are smooth.

Step 9: (Optional) Stain rim of barrel to match the rest.

Step 10: Our bolts were a tad longer than we wanted and we really wanted to make sure our puppy never hurt himself getting in or out of this bed so we covered the nuts and excess bolt with liquid plastic. You can buy this stuff at hardware stores in the painting aisle in a container labeled “Plastic Dip”.

Step 11: (Optional) Seal barrel using a wood sealer like polyurethane.

Step 12: Buy or make a rounded doggy cushion to go in your new dog bed! (We’re thinking plaid!)