Rack’s Six Month Anniversary – Picture

Six months ago today, we made the long trek up the spine of Florida.  Past the nearby cities, through the Citrus Groves, into the splat that is the Theme Park ridden area of Orlando, and finally to Deltona.

In Deltona we met Gisele and entered her home to adopt Rack.   Rack was named Les Paul when he was with The Dog Liberator, he needed a name, and they chose that musical one.   It didn’t quite fit us, and we were trying to come up with one that did.  Since we were recovering from the loss of our Dog Of A Lifetime, Lettie, we settled in on a name that she suggested. 


When we stood in our large kitchen in Philadelphia shortly after we adopted Lettie back in 2002, I asked Kevin for a little help. I needed a baking rack.  When I said that word, Lettie snapped to as if being ordered around.   We never found out why, but when it came time to name our boy, it stuck.

Like many other, or even most other highly intelligent dogs, those surrendered to a shelter may shut down.  Rack was one of the most severely shut down dogs I had ever seen.   But like Gisele said “He’s in Deltona, He needs you”.  Our heart strings were pulled, Kevin said “She’s good, lets get him!”.  

So we did. 

Lettie was shut down when we got her, but in a much better frame of mind then.  She did give us the experience we needed to work with dogs like Rack.  

In the six months that we’ve had him, we’ve watched him grow.   He’s gone through three different de-worming treatments, and missteps with dog foods that held him back.  He’s put on another 10 pounds, grew about 4 inches in height, and has a coat so shiny that when you pet him your hand comes back with lanolin.  Robust is what we’d call him.  Thanks to a suggestion by a neighbor, we got him on Orijen dog food.  No Chinese sourced ingredients for this one.  I don’t want to go through the syringe feeding that I did with Lettie near her end.

He’s still showing signs of his trauma.  Loud sounds are triggers to him and make him turn and try to hide.  Twice a day we walk out to Wilton Drive and have a sit down on the benches.  At 6AM it’s quite quiet, but at 9AM it’s an experience.  He is getting immersed in the buzz of the city.  The 50 bus is bad enough, but in the morning when the trash trucks pick up the bottles from the bars, he notices it even a block away.

On the other hand, he’s one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met.  He’s a McNab, a not very well known breed outside of the ranches of California and nearby states.  Incredibly intelligent, eager to please, he’ll simply do what you ask as long as you don’t drop something that makes a noise.  A similar breed to the Border Collie, but definitely not one.  The BC’s are a bit more high strung, my McNab has a mellowness to his personality that you have to experience, but once you do you will understand.  There’s a sweetness and a subtlety to him that is hard to put to phrase.  The ranchers will say the difference between a BC and a McNab is the way they work.  Perhaps that is the best way to say it.  They’re both great breeds, but the McNab is it’s own.

It’s not all sweetness, having a Herding dog means that you absolutely must exercise them.  Fortunately he’s good with the 4 miles a day that we walk, and everyone in our society could use that.  Anything less and you are in for a strange experience.  The ranchers and breeders in California can’t understand how Their Dogs can live in an Urban Environment, but we are proof that they can adapt and adapt well.

Intelligent Dogs aren’t for everyone, nor are active dogs.  Some people should only have a dog from a toy store filled with polyester fluff – a stuffed animal.  I’m doing my best by him and as a result my dog is growing every day. 

He’s still the “Yellow Footed Collie” as he learns how to properly water a rock or a hedge, but that gives me the excuse to work with him more so that he doesn’t get fearful.  That hose in front of the house gets a workout frequently and will until he grows into a better aim.  Once he learns that particular “trick” I may just let him on the furniture.  That picture was taken when he invited himself on the chair.  First a wet nose on the elbow, then he pulled himself up bit by bit until he was on Kevin’s lap.  He didn’t want to leave the chair when Kevin did so he stayed behind.

Smart dog, huh?

So six months on my rescue and I are continuing our journey.  He rescued me when Lettie left us.  Now we can grow together.

La-Z-Boy Design Tool Review

In short, its a great planning tool and it is free.   Of course Lazyboy wants you to go to their site, see their furniture, and buy.  Some of their furniture is truly wonderful and well built.   Before we moved here to South Florida, we had a room full of the stuff that was 20 years old or more.   I could have repaired the furniture, but we decided it was time and bought more when we got here recently (see earlier post).

When the tool was put in at La-Z-Boy, they could have locked you into their own furniture only and in doing so gutted the utility of it.   That decision wasn’t made and it made it much more useable.   On the other hand, if you are considering new furniture, and La-Z-Boy is a possibility, I’d say go for it, and look at their offerings. 

All of Lazyboy’s current models are in the program, and you can pick and choose the ones you want to put in your room.   You define the size of the room, find the type of piece in pull down (Chairs, Tables, Couches and Sofas and so forth) then the piece you are looking for and their furniture is already defined.  Double click on the piece and it plops it down in your virtual room.   You can spin it around and place it where you would want it without even buying a stick of furniture or moving a piece in your own room.  Just take measurements of the room.

The next step would be to find all the pieces you have that are going to remain in the room, find similar pieces and size them to fit by dragging the edges so that your dimensions (Inches or Metric) fit.   Everything is drawn to scale, and all the particulars are saved for you so that at the end when you print out your plan if you like, you get basically a Pick List of items with the models and names intact.   

The fun starts when you have all the pieces in your room and want to try out alternate layouts.  Why move that big TV across the room when you can do it virtually on your PC?   I ended up spending about a day on the site after I had measured my existing pieces and laid them out just so I could place them in the room before we bought anything.   It saved me from making some very costly mistakes of buying furniture that wouldn’t have fit.   When I got it in the room, after delivery, I knew exactly where everything was to go and what the alternate layouts were.   

After I used the site, registered, saved my plans and printed them out, we got our furniture set up by the shippers and they’re laid out just like I had planned.   It made for a much easier design and layout and didn’t require the services of an interior designer.

Thanks, La-z-boy, you were a great help!

Ikea Poang vs La-z-boy Barnett Reclina-rocker review

We finally got to the point here where we hit the wall with living like frat boys with cobbled together furniture and finished getting the Comfy Chairs for the house. Now that all is a rather loaded statement because put two opinionated people together trying to figure out what is comfortable, looks good together, and is appropriate for our lifestyle and you may find yourself surprised.

When we lived in Philly, we had a living room full of old La-z-boy furniture. Specifically a Blue Couch and Recliner. They were fine, and by the time we moved here to Florida, they were 20 years old plus. They did however hold up well and were well built pieces. The couch and recliner had eventually worn to fit whoever sat in the same position every day and you could tell which was preferred by who. By the time we moved, they were too worn out to be moved so we left them behind on the curb and in our rear-view mirrors.

When we got here we muddled through with a Futon, replaced the mattress, and a couple chairs that weren’t quite fitting the bill. So we started looking. I insisted on a rocker and didn’t care much about the brand so we went looking at La-z-boy and it was fine, not perfect, just fine. On a whim we went to Ikea and I went to sit on that iconic chair they have there called the Poang. Only now they have a rocker. I was in heaven because in all my years I had never fit in a chair that was form fit to me so perfectly. Unfortunately it would mean that the living room would have a La-z-boy couch, La-z-boy chair, and the Ikea Poang chair, Mismatched. It reminded me of the Bunkers in All In The Family with Edith’s little chair next to Archie’s ugly wingback.

So after we went back to the La-z-boy show room in Wellington FL, sat on every chair they had, and found that the line we had in Philly was just closed out but they did have four “Barnett” Rockers in South Florida of that line on discount I was swayed. We went back to the showroom in Ft Lauderdale on Federal Highway, spoke with them and they told us that we could have the matching chairs at the Palm Beach County Price which was a discount, and wrote us up. That left me scratching my head wondering why Wellington was in a different sales district but since we got that price I didn’t care.

Still a couple weeks later I was left with a La-z-boy chair that wasn’t quite as comfortable as the Poang and I couldn’t sit in it more than an hour or so without shifting around. My partner was still happy. We wandered into the local thrift store and someone had dropped off a Poang in a particularly odd beige and green floral pattern that had seen better days, but when I sat in it I was home. It fit me like a glove. We ended up with that chair in my living room and I’m happy. I can sit in it with my laptop for 3 hour stretches, and still bounce when the music moves me. I have the La-z-boy which is comfortable and perfect for TV Viewing Positions. My partner can’t sit in the Poang for 10 minutes, or so he says, and heads for the La-z-boy.

The Moral of all of that is To Each His Own.

Oh and P.S… The Poang with the Leather upholstery is firmer than the one with the fabric and more comfortable, but I’m still happy and sitting in the fabric upholstered chair and now writing to you.