Saturday, January 9, 2010


Briefly... shortly after that last post, things got a little nutty ;0)

More updates to come, but we're SO very pleased to have set up Greenhill Humane Society as our most recent retail location. We happily donated a few beautiful custom collars, so if you're out there adopting your newest best friend, consider shelling out a few extra bucks for a handsome lifetime collar to bring him home in. Every penny of the purchase price stays with Greenhill!

We hope your holidays were wonderful, we stayed busy from just after Halloween until dropping the tools and collapsing in an exhausted puddle 'round about the 22nd. That's a little dramatic, but I do have to offer a note of thanks for the patience of everyone hanging on to the edge of their seat right at the end there, and am still hoping desperately that everything made it out the door in time. In the chaos I'd forgotten to post a "last call for holiday orders" and wound up taking a few more than I probably should have for comfy shipping times... but to the best of my knowledge everything arrived in fine order, and thank you all.

We spent a lovely Christmas with my family in Northern California, stopping for an AMAZING and tragically brief visit with Jenny P. and her mama in Redding on the way home. Am hoping to sneak away for a visit with the fam again in April for my Pop's black belt test (my dad's a ninja!), and hopefully will be able to squeeze in a slumber party in Redding on the way down.

Hawking season is creeping along, we really haven't caught much of anything this year, and I'm beginning to think we're not going to get much of anything accomplished without a canine cohort. The blackberry thickets are just too handy and options for hunting ground slim. The falconry community has been hunting the same bits and corners of land in this valley for generations, and though we occasionally stumble across the right opportunity, it's hard for me to be of much service to her as a game flusher. I'd really like to add a clumber spaniel to the team, but the economy, et. al. means that may have to wait for next season, too. Meanwhile we'll keep plugging along and I'll report back when and if there's anything to tell.

On the upside of that, I did finish my apprenticeship in late September of 2009. That was right around the time we lost Jack, and I didn't announce it because I was having a hard time being stoked about much of anything. I did finish though with a very kind recommendation from my sponsor. I didn't feel like we'd gotten much done, having a very limited game count for the year, two bunnies and a half-score of tree-dwelling rodentia, but my sponsor later told me that most apprentices here never catch anything with their apprentice birds. The terrain sucks and since most of us persist in choosing to spend our apprenticeships with an RTH over ground quarry, few ever do much with their apprentice birds beyond basic husbandry and management before moving on to flying a pere or gos. So, I guess there is that to be proud about, in retrospect.

The Raw Dog (El Simon) turns six today, so Happiest of Birthdays to the canine love of my life <3

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MSIR wallet auctions are LIVE!

The sweet little one-of-a-kind card keepers are now up for auction with MSIR! Inspired by three of my very favorite shiba-folk, I'm hoping these fun little side projects will result in a few bucks to help the fine folks of Midwest Shiba Inu Rescue with their good work.

All auctions are up and running at Ebay, at the following links:

Sweet Deshi
Grinning Yuki
Smiling Winnie

Or searchable with terms MSIR wallet

Cheers, and happy bidding!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I'm not in much of a state right now to really say anything eloquent on the topic, but last night my mom and dad cried our old friend, Jack, to sleep.

My dad sent me this letter, today, that he wrote to our local newspaper. Its a small town, and everybody there knew our golden friend.

Dear Editor: Today, I put to sleep my golden retriever "Jack". I am writing this to hopefully help people understand the agonizing decisions we must deal with when ending an animals life. I have been a veterinarian for 25 years and have euthanized countless numbers of animals. I have consoled many people over this and have at times been frustrated with the inability to effect a cure or treatment for someone's pet. But this was the first time I have ever personally put to sleep an animal that I was this close to. I obtained Jack 15 years ago from his breeder who wanted to put him to sleep as a 10 week old puppy. It was Christmas Eve 1994 and Jack and a litter mate were brought to me because they had parvovirus. I refused to euthanize these dogs because, after all it was Christmas, and I couldn't do that to a puppy on Christmas. I told the breeder that if he didn't want to pay, then I would treat the dogs and he owed me pick of the litter for it. That is how our family got Jack. Jack went everywhere with us. We took him to work, school, and on vacations. Jack went camping in the snow up to Butte Meadows, summer camping at Letts lake, and weekend trips to Ft. Bragg and Mendocino. Once, we bought him an ice cream cone in Mendocino. We sat in the warm sun and held the cone while Jack licked it clean. He wouldn't just bite it and swallow it whole, he savored every bit of that ice cream. That is how Jack approached life. He loved everyone and every animal he ever came across.

Jack had no enemies. When my son raised chickens in the backyard for the FFA, Jack slept with them, keeping them warm and let them pick through his fur. Jack didn't like water. When we put in a pool in the backyard, he barked at us when we went into the pool, not understanding why we would do that when life to him was perfectly good on dry land.

He was not a complainer nor was he ever grumpy. About two years ago we noticed Jack had suddenly become deaf. I did a complete exam on him and consulted with a neurologist. Though there was no explanation, it did not seem to stop him, he compensated well and as was typical, went on acting happy as always. Last year, I noticed a lump on his right hind quarter. Since throughout his life he had many lipomas, I didn't worry too much about it, but decided to biopsy it anyway. This time, it was not good news. The tumor was a soft tissue sarcoma and was highly metastatic. I x-rayed him and found the tumor had already spread to his lungs. We kept him comfortable for a whole year after that and though I knew the tumor was slowly growing inside of him, he never complained, never showed us that he was in pain. The tumor was taking its toll however, because as the days passed, he became a little slower, a little less eager to bark and run. In January of this year, Jack had a seizure and developed a problem called vestibular syndrome. I thought that this was the end, but he didn't quit. He slowly improved his gait and got to the point where he could walk on his own and take care of himself. Eventually, the combination of the cancer and age took Jack. In the last few weeks, he couldn't get up on his own, was losing weight rapidly and got to the point where he wouldn't eat. My wife Terri and I agonized over this and came to the conclusion that he was miserable. It became clear to me that I had to take the responsibility of ending his life. I knew the task would be extremely hard, but I wanted to do this for him, because he was so close to us, I did not want him to know that I passed his life off to someone else’s hands. Terri held him and talked to him. We told him how much we loved him and reminded him of our trips and memories. I inserted the needle with the euthanasia solution into his vein and he slowly and quietly slipped into his endless sleep.

In the end, he met death with the same dignity that he lived his life. I am a richer person for knowing Jack, through example he taught me so much. He never complained, he always accepted life as it came to him. I knew that he loved us and we loved him and I pray to God that some day, I will see him again.

Christopher R. Impinna, DVM

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Heads up, hikers!

Local folks: please be careful to keep your dogs away from the area of Elk Creek at the Umpqua River/Elkton. Five dogs have now died suddenly, apparently due to exposure to some kind of violent toxin. Police are investigating but have not found any likely substance in the area.

Douglas County Media Release

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Exclusive for Shiba rescue... one-of-a-kind Shiba wallets!

Roomy enough for a back pocket's worth of essentials, these sweet little card-keepers are one-of-a-kind creations. They measure approximately 3 X 5" and are made with the very finest of materials. I am a professional scrap-rat to a ridiculous degree, and these fun side-projects demonstrate why... even the tiniest bits and pieces might be the perfect shape for a nose, an ear, or a distinctive curly tail =). Modeled after three of my very favorite shiba-folk, these wallets are individually designed and intimately handcrafted.

They are destined for regional Shiba rescue fundraising auctions. If you'd like to get your paws on one, keep an eye out for them there, and please fork over the bucks to help them with their good work!!! =D

Friday, August 21, 2009

Back at it!

Back at work and veeeeery nearly caught up. A couple big custom pieces will keep me pretty heavily occupied this next week, but after that things should be running pretty smoothly again.
I most sincerely appreciate everyone's patience. We had a wonderful visit with our families, and got to see some absolutely spectacular bits of Oregon while we were at it. When I get a few spare moments, I'll post some photos.
Until then, here's some reading to keep you occupied: 10 Awesome things: What the health care reform will REALLY do for you

On behalf of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and my future employees... thumbs up for public-option health care!

Cheers ;0)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feature spots, stuff

We were honored with two nice features this past week, with the fabulous Yuki packs making a cameo in an Etsy treasury listing and a featured spot in a very nice handcrafting blog, Dig Under Rocks
Thanks to both ladies for the features! Those packs are getting some attention out in the world.

We'll be continuing to run a bit slow in the next couple weeks. Currently our dockets are full to the point of bursting, and with family on the way for a good, extended visit. We haven't seen Mr. Armadillo's parents in years, so will be taking the next week mostly off from business. We'll be accepting orders for custom work, but with the caveat that wait times are likely to run 3-4 weeks for heavily custom gear as of today. Basic stuff should move a bit faster!

Cheers, and hope you all are enjoying the best of summers.