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Robyn's Pond Newsletter November 2001

Last Updated: 2/17/14

Introduction and Miscellaneous:

Welcome to my fifth newsletter. This month, it's as big as a book! I hope you'll find something useful or amusing in it! The newsletter has developed into a sort of casual story telling of whatever happens that month.

There are some interesting stories relating to animals near the WTC. The story of love and loyalty of a blind man who let his seeing eye dog loose to give him a chance in the WTC and the dog who returned to lead him to safety can be found at http://www.care2.com/go/redirect/2/2465. The story of a Persian cat who spent 18 days in her apartment near the WTC before being rescued can be found at http://catsinthenews.com/issues/0110/articles/011004a.htm.

If you have something pond-related that you want to share (information, jokes, web sites, something pond-related for sale), let me know, and I will add it to the next newsletter. What topics would you like me to cover? I would love some feedback. I've been finding lately that my web site information is being referred to and even used in print by many people. While I have no problem with that, I would enjoy knowing if my web site URL or information is printed in magazines, newsletters, etc. So, if you see anything anywhere, please e-mail me so I can check it out! Also, if anyone wants me to write an article or add to something, let me know. Thanks!

My brother found someone who links to my site who says that I have nothing original on it, that I steal everything. I partly agree as my site was supposed to put lots of information from all over into one spot. There is not much original on my site except all the problems I had and stuff about my ponds and pictures of my ponds and my opinions.

My brother thinks this newsletter is stupid. I think it's too long (I wouldn't read it all!). I had intended to make it shorter but had lots of things to recount this month. Now that Fall is almost over, the size of the newsletter should definitely go way down. What do you think about my newsletter's length and content?

I was recently notified that the Yahoo webrings are being discontinued. I filled out the forms to move my Pond Critters Ring to the new Webring site. I put the new code on my pond page. Anyone who belongs to any Yahoo webring needs to transfer their site as well. You can do so by going to http://edit.webring.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/migrate.

Significantly Altered or New Pond Web Pages (explanations below, numbers match):

1. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/winter.htm
2. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/myponds.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
3. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/myponds.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
4. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/myfish/pictures.htm (URL changed to a new directory in 2014)
5. http://www.fishpondinfo.com/health.htm

Additions or Changes to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:

1. I added a few winterizing links.

2. As I moved tropical plants into the basement, prepared for winter, and cleaned out some ponds, I made a few additions to my pond descriptions. There's actually more in-depth information on the newsletter though.

3. I made a few minor additions and changes to this page to update it.

4. I added 13 new pond pictures! These include the first three photos under Summer 2001, the only photo under arachnids, the two photos under other ponds for Fall 2001, the first photo under winter and fall pond photos, the first four photos under fish for Fall 2001, and the two photos under other animals for mammals. The photos are cyprio.jpg (my Cyprio filter and flowering blue and white pickerel), falls2.jpg (the waterfall with flowering impatiens), filter.jpg (the top of my biofilter which some people wanted to see), spider.jpg (an orb weaver spider on its web living at my big pond), hibiscus.jpg (my tropical water hibiscus flower), basepond.jpg (the basement pond), net.jpg (the big pond with the net over it, but hard to see), hurtgf1.jpg (an injured goldfish, see my health page for information on it and #11 under happenings at my pond below), hurtgf2.jpg (same fish, other side), big.jpg (a dead goldfish, see my health page for information on it and #5 under happenings at my pond below), big2.jpg (the same goldfish from a different view), coon.jpg (our raccoon on the back porch, looking at the camera), and coon2.jpg (the same raccoon, side view).

5. I added a new section of photos of sick and injured fish I have had. So far, it basically just includes the basketball goldfish and torn-up goldfish mentioned in this newsletter.

Potential Future Additions to Robyn's Pond Web Pages:

1. My site is getting too big! I'm running out of room (unless I move the site and pay hundreds of dollars a year) so maybe I should stop adding stuff!

2. My brother did a link check on my site. The results show a few hundred bad URL's. People keep moving their sites! I will slowly fix them. If you know that one of my links has moved and where it went, let me know. Thanks.

3. I still have to expand the pond setups page. Hopefully I'll do it soon. I've been super busy at work and home.

4. My computer-programming brother has written code for me to have a new and better way for people to search my site. He also made a form sign-up for the newsletter which I added this week. I hope to put the search on-line soon.

5. I'm going to move the back issues of newsletters to a separate page from the main newsletter page.

6. My fish health page is too big! I need to divide it up. One day....

Happenings at Robyn's Ponds:

1. On 10/7/01, I pulled out the green taro, dwarf papyrus, and tropical canna from my 20 gallon tub pond. They were all huge! I put the taro in a 2 gallon pot in the basement and keep it wet. The other two are in one gallon pots inside the 20 gallon indoor "pond." I don't know how they'll fare. The tropical hibiscus has dropped about 70% of its leaves and most of the flower buds (before opening) by 11/2/01.

2. We had an early killing frost on 10/9/01. The huge lotus leaves in my 50 gallon lotus tub pond all shriveled up, darkened, and became brittle.

3. On 10/14/01, I used a shop vacuum to empty the 18 gallon back pond and refilled it with fresh water. This year, the only thing that I'd put in there was some water from the local park pond which had tadpoles and daphnia in it. Over the summer, I netted out daphnia occasionally to feed to the fish. The pond was down to about five gallons and thick as sludge and smelled horrible. There was no obvious life in it. I usually clean the pond after all the leaves fall but didn't want the deer drinking from the sludge. With the two largest ponds covered in netting, this is their main source of water. There is a good reason pond keepers are advised not to put their pond too far from the house. It was a super pain to spend 20 some minutes unraveling a 50 foot extension cord and 30 foot hose (to attach to another 30 foot hose) to get power and water back there. No matter how well I put up the cords and hoses when done, they get a million knots when I bring them out again! I spend almost no time on the pond because it's too far away, too small, and in the shade. Since it's basically a drinking hole, it doesn't matter much. So make your ponds close, big, and in the sun!

4. On 10/14/01, I also dismantled, squirted out, and let dry my Cyprio planter filter from my 1800 gallon pond. It was put up for the winter. Only the main waterfall on that pond remains. My 153 gallon pond still has the PondMaster filter until the first sign of pond freeze-over.

5. The same day, 10/14/01, while rooting around under the main pond net to collect rocks the koi dumped in the deep end and to remove yellow lily leaves and other dying vegetation, I found my 8-inch basketball goldfish upside down. He/she was finally dead after growing larger and larger over about two years. Photos can be seen on my pond pictures page (see the notes above under altered pages) or on the health page under pictures. I asked a number of people about his condition but no one really could help. The fish did not have dropsy or tuberculosis because those conditions kill within months, not years. This goldfish never had raised scales until the body ruptured at the time of death. The fish just got bigger and bigger and was like a basketball-sized bowl full of jelly when removed. My best guess was a kidney disorder that prevented the fish from removing excess water from its body. Other people suggested a swim bladder disorder or a tumor.

6. If you don't think I did enough work on 10/14/01, I also bailed out my 20 gallon tropical tub pond. While the tropicals were all gone with only a few sprigs of hardy dwarf cattail, water lily, and tons of duckweed, the pond was full of green frog tadpoles. They hatched from eggs from the previous spring. I have to move them to the two biggest ponds because the other ponds all freeze solid. I poured the bailed dirty water through an aquarium net to capture the tadpoles who ranged in size from about half an inch to two inches. Most of the 200-300 (yes, that many) were about an inch long and half went into my 1800 gallon and half into the 153 gallon pond. Many of those will be eaten but had they been born in the big ponds, they would have been eaten way back then. The addition of a tub pond near a large fish pond like this can allow your pond to support breeding populations of amphibians that the fish would otherwise eat. My frogs prefer the tiny tub ponds for laying eggs. Each fall, the tadpoles are easy enough to move to the big ponds when they are large enough to not be eaten by most fish. The larger fish still eat some of the smaller ones, and predators like raccoons eat a few as well but in my case, I've got a ton!

7. On 10/21/01, I finally patched a hole in the leaf net on my 1800 gallon pond. I used fishing line, a needle, and a few pieces of old leaf net to sew the patch over a couple of holes that were created last fall when a male fawn fell into the pond. The story is on my pond anecdotes page (http://www.fishpondinfo.com/story.htm). It never seemed to fail that the leaves found the holes in the net to get into the pond!

8. On 10/28/01, I finally moved some of my Momo Botan lotus tubers for winter. I have that lotus in a 20 gallon tub that freezes solid in winter. So, I have to move some tubers into the big pond so some make it for next year. This year, the tubers were really deep in the pot, and the water was frigid. Unlike last year, most of the pieces I tried to get broke. Lotus tubers are notorious for being fragile which is why repotting should be done in the early spring. I put about half a dozen small pieces in a 2 gallon pot of wet dirt, topped with pea gravel, and put in my 1800 gallon pond for winter. Somehow, I remember the tubers being larger last year. None of the lotus flowers anywhere produced fertile seeds. There were no tadpoles in this tub pond this year unlike past years.

9. On 10/28/01, I also brought out my pink/white tropical night-blooming lily. The thing was heavy with leaves and even early flower buds still all over despite a water temperature of 48 degrees F (I checked!). I had to use a utility knife to cut off the five gallon Lerio pot it was in. Then, to get to the tubers, I had to jump up and down on a full-size shovel so of course, I accidently chopped one of the tubers in half. I ended up saving two walnut-like tubers which are the ones that you really want to get and two growing tubers (the big chunk of alien-looking things from whence the lily pads came). Last year, the growing tubers turned to mush but they contained some walnut-like tubers within them. So, I'll have to check them in about a month to remove the rotted parts. I put the two kinds in separate ziploc bags of damp sand. I set the bags into a 2 gallon pot, left the bags OPEN, and put a paper towel on top to block out any light. The tubers are stored in my basement which is in the low 60's most of the time. This is how I successfully (for the first time) overwintered a tropical lily (the same one) last year. My aquatic plant pages ( http://www.fishpondinfo.com/plants/overwinter.htm) tell the story from last year in depth.

10. I put up the two gallon pot "pond" for the winter. It had hardy canna and pennywort in it. The 2 gallon Lerio pot was sitting in a goldfish-motif planter. I won't do that again! The canna is an aggressive grower, it warped the pot, and it was very hard to get it out! My father had to help me and run a screw driver around it, almost impaling me a few times. I popped the 2 gallon pot with canna and pennywort into the shallow area of my 1800 gallon pond for winter. I'll probably repot it in the spring and leave it there! Hardy canna, cattails, iris, water lilies, and sweetflag are all "pot-busters" that warp pots in my ponds in a single summer as their rhizomes and tubers ring the edge of the pot, trying to find a way out. I have to cut their pots off with a utility knife.

11. The previous week, I noticed a goldfish in my 1800 gallon pond in bad shape. So, on 10/28/01, I netted it out. The poor fish looks like someone ran a cheese grater over both its sides and cut off half its tail. One deep wound (below the scales, into real flesh) had a three-inch long mass of gray fungus on it that fell off the day before I took the fish out. The pond has a leaf net so I doubt the fish was attacked by a raccoon or heron. More likely, the fish went into one of two shallow areas of my pond where an 8-inch goldfish shouldn't go. Both those areas have rocks all over them and water only a few inches deep. I could imagine a fish getting up there and thrashing itself into the rocks. Anyway, I put the fish in a 5 gallon tank (the largest spare real aquarium I have) with 50% pond water & 50% fresh water and added the following at recommended dosages: Aquarium salt, MelaFix by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (AP), MarOxy by Mardel (kills fungus), Maracyn by Mardel (kills bacteria), Stress-Zyme by AP, and Stress-Coat by AP. There's a air-driven corner filter with just floss and rocks in it to provide aeration and mechanical filtration. After 24 hours, the ammonia test kit read about 1 ppm which was already high enough to bother the fish so I also added Ammo-Lock by AP. The next three days, ammonia was again 1 ppm when checked. I've been doing 40% water changes daily too. The fish is doing better but the water is white with a bacterial bloom. While the pond is in the low 50's right now, we're due for a heat wave. In Maryland, if you don't like the weather, wait a day. Temperatures can swing from 30 to 80 in just days and even a few times, in less than a day! From 10/24/01 to 10/27/01, we had a front come in with 30 mph winds. Everything was coated in leaves. I had to collect leaves daily off the net so the fish could get light, and the net wouldn't go into the water. Hopefully, the sick fish will recover while the pond is at a higher temperature so she can go back. I really don't want to keep her overwinter since she's so big (8 inches; I have some foot-long goldfish in the pond too.).

12. After doing all the work on 10/28/01, I got rashes on my lower arms, just like before when the saddleback caterpillars got me. I didn't feel it when it happened but I guess they got me again! I used gloves to clean the filter floss but my bare hands to collect debris in the shallows as the gloves don't allow me to feel what I'm doing. The gloves are great for when it's too cold to stand putting my hands and arms in though. Mine came from AquaMart but Pet Warehouse sells them too.

13. You're probably wondering what I'm doing about feeding right now. It was 48 degrees F in the pond on 10/28/01. The high air temperature on 11/2/01 will be 75 degrees F! The pond will probably be in the 60's. So, I'm deciding on feeding day by day. If the air is below about 55 degrees, I never feed. Of course, the water temperature can be 10 degrees higher or lower than the air at any time. Unfortunately, to check my pond thermometer, I have to pull up the net and try to read through all the algae on the two thermometers in there. I don't have a set rule for determining whether to feed or not. It's something I just feel. The last few weeks, I've been feeding small evening meals about 70% of the time, skipping some on cooler days. On 10/28/01, I was in gloves and hip waders. If I got in on 11/2/01, I could practically wear a swim suit!

14. Well, after all this work, I didn't do everything I should have! I never cleaned out the 153 gallon pond this fall and now it's too late. Disturbing the frogs now that they're hibernating could kill them. So, the pond will have to wait until spring for a good cleaning. In fall, I normally just do a 40% water change and run the net all around trying to get debris. Of course, I catch fish, frogs, anacharis, hornwort, hair algae, tadpoles, and snails too! Then, I waste time picking through it. At least I never try to do this to my 1800 gallon pond! I also never got to remove the tadpoles and snails from my 50 gallon lotus tub. There's so much anacharis, hornwort, and lotus stems in there, that I have no way of netting the tadpoles out. Bailing the water would just leave them stranded in said mess. Any ideas? I have tons of tadpoles in my 153 and 1800 gallon ponds where they're safe for winter already.

Interesting Animal Sightings:

1. I have not seen the shot deer since the time I wrote about in the last newsletter. She is presumed dead. I was hoping she might make it like Three-leg. She was a doe that was shot by our neighbor as he stood on the land adjacent to ours (not his land so he was trespassing) and fired onto our land where the doe stood. I watched it happen. The doe stumbled but kept running. Our unfriendly neighbor contemplated crossing the fence onto our land but changed his mind. It was not hunting season. Three-leg was shot in the knee cap. After about a month, her front leg fell off but never became infected. She survived her first winter like that with help from the food we put out. Unbelievably, I believe she even raised a fawn the spring after the shooting. She vanished the second winter, perhaps starving, getting an infection finally, getting hit by a car, or finished off my another bullet. While she could run pretty fast, when spooked, she would always seem to forget she was missing a leg and would stumble when she tried to put weight on her ghost leg. She remained skittish for the rest of her life.

2. While not related to ponds, our house has been overtaken by little black millipedes! I don't know where they came from but the house has hundreds. I can't walk without hearing crackling noises. They're so many inside that the cats don't even try to play with them anymore. They're perfectly harmless, slow predators, but we'd rather not have them all over. When I say everywhere, I mean EVERY room from basement to upstairs. They're also all over outside.

3. On netting the bottom of my big pond on 10/21/01, I pulled up a big frog! It was dead. I could tell because frogs that die in my pond always have their tongues hanging out and often wrapped around their heads. Plus, my brother almost fell over when he got a whiff of it. The frog was large so it may have been a bullfrog. It's hard to tell because frog colors fade when it's cool and especially in dead frogs. In winter, hibernating frogs take on the color of rotting vegetation. There are still frogs active in my ponds on warm days but discolored as the highs are in the 70's on some days.

Web Sites of Interest:

1. If you haven't yet joined the other two pond newsletter that I know of, you should. One is at http://www.pondmarket.com and is short but frequent. The other is from http://watergarden.com and is much longer. I don't always agree with everything in them but they do give us ponders ideas. The October issue of the Watergarden newsletter includes an article on winterizing that I thought was very good. The Pondmarket site has some neat pond stuff including pond e-cards. If you know of other pond e-mail newsletters, let me know as I'd like to join them and let others know too.

2. The British Dragonfly Society at http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk has a large site on dragonflies and damselflies. Included is a moderately long article entitled "Dig a Pond for Dragonflies" at http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/dap1.htm. While geared for the UK, it provides some interesting tips for ponders who live anywhere. Another dragonfly and damselfly web site that I checked out was http://www.afn.org/~iori/ which is the Odonata Information Network. Both of these were in the Fall issue of Aquascape Lifestyles magazine (see under the humor section for more information) as were the forums below.

3. There are two pond forums that you might check out. One is the Water Gardening Magazine discussion at http://watergardening/infopop.net/3/OpenTopic, and the other is the Garden Web pond forum at http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/ponds/.

4. I mentioned before that BZT, which is perhaps the same or similar to CSA (bacteria and enzymes) which helps keep ponds clear, can be purchased now since CSA has vanished. The site I gave you no longer works either! You can order BZT Aquaculture directly from http://www.united-tech.com/ and not have to pay any mark up.

What's your favorite pond-related web site(s)?

Pond Tidbits:

1. A number of people have asked about why their new fish in their new pond won't come to eat and hide all the time. My fish were the same way when my pond was new. The fish are scared because they are in a new place with little cover and not too many other fish around. Once a pond grows lots of plants and has more cover and other animals, the fish usually come to eat and visit the pond owner. Now, at least for my fish, they can tell me apart from the other people I live with and from strangers! If I show up, they all rush over to where I feed them. If my parents or brother shows up, they sometimes come to where the food is but generally don't respond. When strangers visit, they often hide. Our deer act the same way. To help new fish adapt to their new pond faster, put in lots of plants and add artificial places to hide like PVC pipes, clay pots, or something non-toxic that floats (driftwood, styrofoam, hard plastic sheets, etc.) or creates a micro-habitat in the pond so that it's not just a big open space. If new fish are added to a pond with adapted, adult fish, the old fish seem to "teach" the new fish what to do much faster than in a new pond. My goldfish and koi not only come to eat with rigor but actually suck on my legs when I get into the pond for maintenance. I even sometimes can't help but pick up a goldfish here and there out of the water with my bare hands to look at close. I have goldfish from fry up to over a foot but usually pick up ones in the 8-10 inch range. It's not good to do that too much as it wears off their slime layer but I can't resist doing it a few times a year to a few fish!

2. If you use a pond net and have frogs, it is best to elevate the net above the rocks surrounding the pond so the frogs can come out to sunbathe on warm days. I use remaining tall marginal plants mostly to hold the net up like a canopy. The green frogs sit all around the rocks under the net. The frogs are more obvious in fall but daytime predators would have problems eating them with the net on. I also use rocks and bricks on top of the edging in certain places to raise the net at least in some areas above the edge rocks where the frogs sit. By the time the marginals are totally yellow and ready for cutting, the frogs are usually hibernating, and I can lower the net right to the edging. Maryland weather fluctuates probably as much as any place does. One day it can be below freezing and the next day in the 80's. The frogs adapt pretty quickly and often pop out of hibernation even in January on warm days. My pond nets come off once the trees are bare in December before any snow arrives. I don't think it would be a great idea to keep nets on once it snows or the pond freezes over because the net can get frozen into the pond where it would be stuck until thawing. My pond freezes temporarily into the pond a few times before removal, mostly when it rains and the water on the net freezes if stiff and partially into the pond. Also, almost the only time we get great blue herons coming to our pond, it's in the fall when the net is on, and the fish are obvious but safe. The herons can't quite figure out what to do but just stare.

3. There is an article on using oyster shell and baking soda to raise the alkalinity and hardness of ponds in the October issue of the Mid-Atlantic Koi Club magazine. Their site is http://www.makc.com. I thought I would tell you what I do. My well water is VERY soft. It comes out of the tap at about a pH of 6.5 and with aeration (driving off the carbon dioxide dissolved as carbonic acid) goes to a pH of about 7.2. In the pond, the pH stays at about 7.5 as it actually goes up. Ponds normally experience a drop in pH as the nitrifying bacteria naturally lower the pH through their actions. The bacteria also need bicarbonate (HCO3-) to do their "work." My well water is low in hardness (low calcium, magnesium, etc.) and alkalinity (low carbonates). Alkalinity provides buffering of the water so that the pH does not fluctuate as much with changes in the time of day (from bacteria, algae, and plant activities). The pH in my pond without anything added would shift quite a lot from about a pH of 6 in the morning to 8 in the evening. To help stabilize the pond, I began adding oyster shells (which have calcium carbonate, to increase the hardness) and baking soda (which is sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3 to increase the alkalinity). I buy the oyster shells sold for chickens (we also give them to our chickens) and put them in a mesh laundry bag which goes in the top of my upflow biological filter (on top of lava rock which are on top of hundreds of bioballs). The bag is maybe 10 pounds. I change it twice a year in spring and fall when it's very compacted and filthy. While the whole point is for them to dissolve over time to add calcium carbonate to the water, they really don't seem to diminish in size all that much. As for baking soda, I add about half a cup once a week but surely could (and maybe should) add a lot more. Both poultry oyster shell and big boxes of baking soda are very cheap. My water chemistry page has a calculation to tell how much baking soda to add if you want to do so. Even though I'm an analytical chemist, I've forgotten more than I remember! Water parameters usually don't have to be as exact as others say they do. It's best to work with the kind of water you have and go from there. After doing these things, the hardness and alkalinity in my pond go from being super low to only being low. I'm not worried too much about raising the levels to recommended levels as my plants and fish thrive as is.

4. Ted, who saw my mention of using a shop vacuum to remove leaves from a pond net, suggested that a powerful leaf blower directed across the net might be of some help in moving leaves to one spot for removal. We don't have one so I don't know how well it would work. I've been mostly using my long net to pull the leaves into a pile where I bucket and move them. The main reasons for removing leaves from the net often are to allow sunlight into the pond (sometimes there are so many leaves, the pond is blacked out after a windy day), to prevent the leaves from dripping/rotting/falling into the pond through the net's holes, and to prevent the net from sagging into the water (where fish, frogs, etc. may become entangled, and the rotting leaves are directly exposed to the water). I remove leaves weekly except after a windy day when I remove as many as I can without getting in to shake the net.

5. Peggy has an idea to help clean out small hoses and spitters (those fake animals that squirt water). She used an air compressor to force out lots of gunk. I used to put the hose in my mouth and blow but it tasted bad! Some ponders find their spitters or fountains slowing down and clean the pump and any pre-filter or filter but the water flow's still slow. Often, this is due to clogged tubing and not a bad pump. The metal tubes within the spitter itself are especially hard to clean due to the hard bends in the piping. An air compressor may help. There are some brushes out there that help for short pieces of tubing but long brushes are hard to come by (and to control), and I've yet to find one that will take a 90 degree turn.

Pond Humor:

1. There's a recent story in the Aquascape Lifestyles magazine (I recommend it; http://www.aquascapedesigns.com) that's reprinted from elsewhere about a woman who accidently let some pump oil leak into the pond. This is why you should avoid submerged pumps with oil. Anyway, she threw a match on the oil to burn it off. It worked but also burned a hole in her liner and burnt down their bridge! She was hoping her hubby wouldn't find out! If oil ends up in your pond, please use rags, towels, etc. to soak it up instead of igniting it!

2. On 10/21/01, I worked on my pond as every Sunday, and my brother came over, as on most Sundays. I was in hip waders even though it was 75 degrees F (the water was about 60) and had a t-shirt on. I had him help me pull up the filter basket that the submerged pump sits in so I could clean it. It always has some anacharis and hornwort stuck in it that the fish dislodged. We throw it back in. Well, my brother threw some right at me. It went splat. I felt the cold hit my upper arm. The anacharis he threw at me was covered in what I call black gold. That's the really stinky black sludge/slime that ponds have. It was all over my shirt sleeve and back. My brother started to cackle and continued for like five minutes! He's a great help! Later I made him hold the leaf net up so I could duck/walk under it. He kept saying, "Can I put it down now!" And I was the one trying not to fall in and collect rotting vegetation and cut down the lizard tail which was dropping its leaves! I can't forget the time I did fall in when he was there (at least I was in my swim suit); he cackled for an hour!

3. I got the idea for the following joke from the 10/23/01 issue of The Publicity Hound's Tips of the Week (see http://www.PublicityHound.com). This was the "Hound Joke of the Week" except it was for "How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?" I changed and altered it into the joke below. I added the basset hound, shih tzu, and German shephard.

How many dogs does it take to change a pond filter?

Border Collie: Just me. I'll also upgrade your filter and put in new plumbing.

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you want to clean a pond filter?

Basset Hound: Did you say something?

Poodle: I'll just blow in the border collie's ear, and he'll do it. By the time he finishes with the plumbing, my grooming will be complete.

Shih Tzu: (Fails to respond, continues to bark at squirrels.)

German Shepard: Five. One to hold the filter in place, one to turn the plumbing valves, one to remove the filter, one to clean the filter, and one to bark orders.

Rottweiler: Make me.

4. Do you have some better pond jokes? E-mail them to me, and I will put the best ones in the next newsletter.

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