Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Special

Does every dog have a Special? You know, like a Precious? My Precious - said Gollum! Colby does! It's SO precious I save it for special occasions. Like Christmas. Trouble is she then obsesses about it. Like to the point of not letting us play Bananagrams because she is whining at us to bring back out her Special. It gets put away so it stays "Special". However, this year I was getting fed up with the whining, the staring, the obsession!! I asked my friend Cin about it and what the heck, man?? She has border collies, this sort of obsession isn't even on her "radar". Like it's just part of the day, it happens, it's normal every day dog behavior in her house. Oh MY! She suggested I leave it out to let it's specialty wear off some. I tried, she then held it in her mouth and whined at us to play with her. What the heck, man????...........

So, this morning I decided to try leaving it out again since I would be in and out all morning I wouldn't be around to hear her whine and even if she did, so what, who would hear it??? I think it worked!!!!! I did get this photo journal of her obsession, though, before I headed out. The purple ball is my attempt to find another Special. Nothing has ever trumped the blue Special and neither did the purple ball. It's different. I even bought two red ones, but they just are not Special enough. She does like the other attempts at replicating the Special, but they are not the same thing...............
She gave a look at the purple, but nope, not her Special by any means.......
Spur wants her Special. He isn't obsessed about it, but since SHE is he wants it. Like he doesn't have enough, he even has his own. I gave him the red one and it's been his ball ever since. It's so worn now it doesn't squeak, it's all icky and about to fall apart from slime and drool. He wants the Special.........
She will stare at the Special.........In a flash, she grabbed the Special and dropped it into the other bed???..... and then Roscoe managed to plop down on the other one. Oops, faux pax...........that means Roscoe guards his bed. He doesn't guard the Special, he could care less about the Special, but his bed........he guards...........
Spur made the mistake of trying for the Special. Roscoe........in for the kill.........(notice Colby's ears? Canine body language for "Spur you dumb ass!!!!")...........

So, now we have a stand off. The Special is being guarded by Roscoe, sort of. Colby knows Spur might try again to head in and grab it, so she has positioned herself between Spur and the Special. Spur is on his side appeasing her. Roscoe is staring her straight in the eye..........

She makes her way ever so slowly closer, Spur does more appeasing behavior - finds something to scratch on his leg.........Roscoe is allowing Colby closer by turning way from her and not directly looking at her, she is focused on her Special.............

Here she has managed to inch closer, which also brought Spur closer. Roscoe is figuring it isn't necessary to guard his bed any more, she is obviously interested in the Special and not his bed.............

Success!!!!! You can barely tell, but Roscoe is still there in his bed and not making a fuss. Spur is about to make a full yawn - canine appeasing behavior and he isn't looking directly at Colby. I think she is looking directly at Spur, though............
She heads out with the Special, but Spur has to make one last attempt/mistake - and checks out the bed to see if the Special is still there. Notice Roscoe? He just launched at Spur and has retreated after his "attack"!!! Spur just doesn't learn.........or doesn't care?
Now they are BOTH staring at the Special!!!!............
ACK, obsession!!! I don't know that leaving it out is working. Sigh.
Moral of this story??? Um, nothin'. Just fun story. I always wonder what my pack order is when I do these photo journals or video my dogs. You know Cesar Milan would say there is a leader and a low man in every pack. Who's the leader and who's the low man in my pack? Cesar would say that I am the leader. Really? Who ended up with the Special? Doesn't the leader have access to all the resources? Um............sure.........like I really even want that Special????? I am NOT a dog, I do NOT want that slimy thing!! Colby can have it!!!! So, is Roscoe the leader? He did get the best bed, right? He guarded the other bed, but then Colby got it. Is Spur the low man? Probably. He does seem to be lowest ranking, but at times he challenges Roscoe and wins. When Spur has his ball or any other toy and doesn't want Roscoe to have it he WILL fight for his rights. Roscoe will submit to Spur at those times. Who is lower ranking??? I dunno.........However, most of the time Spur is submitting to Roscoe. Roscoe can simply look at him at times and he is flat on his back, belly up. So, who's the leader????? Don't ask Cesar. He doesn't know. It's my house and I don't know. And really, does anyone really care who is leader? I mean, if we are talking president or lead singer in a band, maybe, but leader of the pack in my household? Who cares?
My take on it all is there is no leader, no one leader. Dodman would tell me to never let Spur challenge Roscoe. Roscoe will be old some day and unable to defend himself against Spur. Age before youth. So, I agree and honor that statement. Spur is not allowed to challenge Roscoe. Not much, anyway, I put a stop to it and Roscoe is protected. I must! Roscoe needs to feel safe. Spur could kick his ass if he wanted. I see the ranks in my pack change depending on the situation. Colby gets the best spot in the car and in the bed, but she isn't allowed to be bitchy towards the others. She isn't leader and doesn't get ALL the best resources. She gets some. Spur gets some. Roscoe gets some. No leader. No pack order. It just isn't so and does anyone really care??? But, when it comes to the blue Special, that's ALL Colby's!!!!

One last photo for the day, just cuz it's WICKED CUTE. Spur with the HUGE bear toy they got for Christmas!!! Does it get any cuter than that???? Is there anything cuter than Spur?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The coolest gift!!!

Heehee, what the heck IS it??? It's obviously a bowl, but shaped like...... what? A horse? A dog? A dragon? What?

It's just SO cool and is my favorite Christmas gift this year! Trumps even the boxes and boxes of chocolate and we got some GOOD chocolates! Like $15 for EIGHT tiny chocolates - that kind of good chocolate. That was GOOD chocolate! Seriously, the best chocolate I ever had. Or is that all in my head? It tasted that good because it cost that much? What if I didn't know how much it cost? Would it taste as good? The price was still on it. It was GOOD chocolate! It was topped with sea salt. I haven't had chocolate like that before. It really was GOOD chocolate.
The barn girls got a new toy, that's hanging and Leta LOVES, but would not play while I was stalking her with my camera. She's too busy eating the Kitty Caviar. Yum! The catnip cigar wasn't the hit it has been in previous years. Must be stale. Those are usually the GREATEST catnip toys.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kitties, kitties and more kitties.

It seems Christmas was dominated by kitties this year. My new feral barn kitties, my jobs are all kitties, it's all about the kitties.

Here's a photo for the records, A? Donna's Beau, doing the crazy kitty yawn. I LOVE It when they do that. He's very sweet, not the crazy, psycho, screaming, monkey cat he looks like here. All you cat lovers know, he's just yawning. That's all, nothing cynical, just a kitty yawn. I should probably put it on http://icanhascheezburger.com/ but I won't. I did that once. I got a million emails from them. It was wierd. Like they cyberstalked me. Here's my crazy new youngster, Leta, in the barn. She is NUTS! I could sit and watch her play all night. She takes a twig of hay and plays with it for HOURS! She MAULS me when I go out to the barn to feed and visit. She is VERY skittish, but she LOVES me. She is so cute and SO active, doing back flips in the hay bales, rolling around her kitty tunnel with the little pom pom that I got at Goodwill. She LOVES that thing! I think she is Ellen Degeneres in a cat body. She is NUTS! Hyper, hyesterical, silly, NUTS. She's NUTS! I mean, really, look at those eyes. The halicinations going on inside that head would make Mick Jagger's head spin!

Here is their little kitty condo set up. Zeus usually takes the red round bed, Leta is not in the tent and the green cave has been unused so far. Juno, who you can see under the saddle about to come up for chow, sleeps in the big dog crate just outside the photo, with two other snuggle beds inside of it. She likes that big cave, separate from Zeus and Leta. They all seem to get along really well and Zeus isn't bothered by his new roomies.
I think Juno thinks Leta is just a silly Tween.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

More Christmas photos, but it wasn't easy..........

Here's what Colby thought of another photo session. We actually started outside and I made the DUMB ASS mistake of bringing out her "special" ball to squeak to get her attention. She would not STAY, she was the biggest PITA!!!! The poor boys had to put up with me yelling at her. No one was happy. You can see Spur's ears are half mast, showing his discomfort that I might have to yell at Colby again. She is ONE BAD little MACh dog! What happened to all those classes and all those competition obedience stays???? Miss Colby Carlson????

It may look nice and warm and sunny.................NOT!!! It was about 20 degrees and the wind was picking up, we were all miserable!!! The photos came out pretty good except that we didn't notice the big knot on top of my head???? What's up with that? I paid Lesley Mettuchio big bucks for photos at the Fort a few years ago only to have a lighthouse coming out of my head. ACK!!! Today, I pay nothing and STILL have a knot on my head! What is up with things coming out of my head?????

So, we moved. But, the cold was really starting to bore into us like an ice pick and besides the farm was calling, a walk was to be had before the sun went down!!!

If this photo doesn't show how cold it is, I don't know what would. I guess it really wasn't THAT cold, but it was cold enough. The dogs enjoyed themselves, but we kept moving at a good clip. They are all busy searching for cache. The rodents and crows bury their winter supply and the dogs find it. Or they could just be eating deer dung snacks. Or the shih tzus could just be eating any shit. They eat shit. ANY shit. Their own shit!!! It's amazing, really. I have never seen anything like it. Stella mentally records where she shits, pretends we didn't notice, then on our return she B-Lines to her tasty morsel. WHAT???

We were celebrating yesterday. Yesterday was the start of winter. And that means the first day of days that slowly get longer. Monday was the Winter Solstice and the longest day of the year. So, we celebrated the days getting longer...........
*This photo shows the Pin Heads making their way back home. The sun is just to the left of the trail head and not far up in the sky, about to make it's way down below the tree line soon. It was only 3:30!!!! This is what December in Maine looks like at 3:30! We got home and started up the woodstove!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Trimming the tree and the high heeled slipper!!!

What does a little buggar of a boy dog MinPin do while helping me trim the tree?.............. He looks so innocent...................(what's that two legged blurr behind him???).......I really do need to figure out this damn camera!! Rich just offered me his new pocket one to try, so I'll have to give that one a go and see if it's any better. I don't get it!! With winter well upon us my photos are now mostly indoor shots and this blurring is DRIVING ME NUTS!!! This is Roscoe playing with a high heeled shoe Lisa gave Colby for Christmas! They all LOVED it!!! You can tell it's Roscoe because his ears are natural. Can't you tell??? Not........damn camera! >:/

OK, so this one's kind of cool. What's with the line eyes? Kind of like a cartoon? But, Spur is a cartoon character anyway, right?..........

She finally got her toy back.................(now why is this photo clear???)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm just busy!!! That's all!

I know, very slim blogging, but it seems like our family has to come visit every other day? Why can't they all come on the SAME day. One party, one visit, it's done! Noooooooooo.........this holiday season seems to have dragged on and on, but I do not mean that in a bad way, really. I LOVE Christmas and it has been GREAT fun, but I do feel a little behind on shopping and have to head out TODAY to get it done! Oh MY!

For now, enjoy this VERY cute website -

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fart Buster? Really?

I was ordering some supplies and came across these treats!!! - OH. MY. GOD.

I paid $7.95 for these! I was thinking if the bag was big enough (hard to tell online), I might order them as fun gifts for the holiday. Um..............NOT! There were, like, a handful of treats in there! Yes, the packaging is cute and silly, but REALLY..........nearly $8.00?????

I am SO behind on my holiday "list". What did I do today after my mid-days? Wrap presents and organize my list and tidy up the house, trim the tree and hang the garland? No......ooooo.....oooooooo......ooooooo...........I ran some agility. The weather was nice enough, the conditions not so bad. We had fun - the dogs ran great. We didn't get anything done on the list. THE List. It is now nearly 10:00 and I am posting a photo of fart busting treats. ???? What has happened to me???? I used to be a very organized person. I am just saying.............

Monday, December 14, 2009

The delivery that made me smile! And a Pit Bull, for Christmas?

Yesterday Rich's friend stopped by. I was in the barn doing chores, playing with the new feral kitties. Leta is SO cute and SO kittenish!! My sucky-blurry-crappy-nearly-useless-at-indoor-photos camera hasn't been able to get good enough photos. She hides during the day, if there is ANY activity, so evening/night is my time to visit with her and this camera just sucks. Anyway, as I was watching Leta do back flips around the hay bales I heard someone stop at the door. As he left I heard him say....."Let me know how it was!!". His friend and our neighbor brought him some baked beans!!! I LOVE baked beans, but there wasn't really enough for two and it was piled with bacon (ick - not a bacon fan). I thought it was a strange gift? Rich said he brought him baked beans last year, too. As I thought about it, I thought, WOW GREAT gift!!! I want someone to bring ME baked beans!!!! It seemed like such a "guy gift", but also so very sweet and thoughtful. This friend is a hunter, very much a GUY, who we allow to bow hunt on our land, he lives a few houses down and is very much into preserving farm land around here and he and Rich have long discussions about that. He has labs he sometimes hunts with and just brought home a coon hound. The dog was left at a hunting lodge by previous hunters. He recently told Rich he can't believe he did that and now has this crazy, active coon hound who can not be let off leash, coon hounds hunt........and go off hunting. :O Rich said it's a beautiful dog!!

Now for the Pit Bull for Christmas! Meet SHILO!!! My nephew just adopted her two weeks ago. She is VERY sweet! But,........ he was to go to Nana's for Christmas. NOT with Shilo! Her petfinder bio had a "no cats" icon on it. YIKES! My Mom has a BUNCH of cats. His Mom has an old cat and tenants with cats. :O What WAS he thinking? Oh wait, he is 21, thinking isn't one's strongest suit at 21. I remember my last year of college sending Sasha, the husky, home to Rich. What WAS I THINKING??? It all worked out, in the end, but at that age our animal acquisitions are not always well thought out.
Today we have an appointment with Shannan from www.finishforwarddogs.com to give him a lecture on Pit Bulls. Shannan specializes in bully breeds, has five bully type dogs herself, so hopefully she can give him some good advice. The rescue he got her from gave him nothing.
In a way, this is all good. It means Eric and his family (my sister) will be here for Christmas (Shilo will probably have to stay at his house when he visits home, but that's only one town over), which we always like! But, poor Eric will have to deal with Shilo and her issue with cats, for her life time, I think. We'll see what Shannan says. It's one thing to be iffy with cats and be Roscoe's size and another thing to be iffy with cats and be Shilo, a put bull. She's big. She's a pit bull. It's different. Very, very sweet, just a precious girlie, but it said "no cats" for a reason, I think.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fun, local, farm, crafts, food!

Do I sound like I am married to a marketing guy? Sorry!!! But, listen, today the William Jordan farm in Cape Elizabeth is opening one last time this year today and it sounds like a great fun place to shop today! Buy some fresh, local produce like lettuce, kale, brussel sprouts, and other stuff. Craft and artsy folks will be there, too. Buy Local Buy Fresh!!!!
Click here for more info -


And then, not far from that farm my friend Lydia Webber is having an Open House at her studio. LOVE her stuff, painted glass, but lots of other fun, crafty items. Click here -


Happy shopping! I have no doggie events scheduled until January 2nd, the BARK trial in NH. Can't wait! Hoping for GOOD, or at least half way decent, weather!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stupid, silly, wack o Christmas photos, my poor doggies

I remember Kathy, at Fetch on commercial street, telling me one year some idiot complained about her Howlaween costume contest. Saying it was "disrespectful" to the dogs and dogs should not have to dress up in silly costumes and be make fun of. HUH???? She asked me what I thought. HUH????? Roscoe has been a constant in her contest. His Howlaween photos are legendary. Remember him dressed as the sheriff and sitting in the saddle on Gabe? Remember the Harley Dude sitting on my scooter??? I told Kathy to not let that person get to her. Very few dogs are disrespected when dressed up. To ME, it's all about teaching Roscoe to stay and to stay no matter what I ask. Stays are essential for a dog like Roscoe. He needs as much self-control work as possible. He's a dog with very little natural, innate, genetic, predisposition to STAY and have ANY self-control. Self control work has been his life saver. I credit competition obedience "stand-for-exam" work with his success handling strangers getting near him. Seriously, that work alone helped him perhaps more than anything I did.

The other side to this "disrespect" deal that makes me a little crazy..........check out some rescue websites during Christmas or Halloween. You will see tons of photos of dogs dressed up. Those are dogs who needed homes. Whose new homes dress them up. Not because they disrespect them. Not because they are making fun of them. They do that because they LOVE them. If I were one of those dogs, I would say please dress me up and give him a cookie for holding still for the camera. I would MUCH rather that than left alone, unwanted, in some cold cage at the shelter, or facing the silver needle. DRESS ME UP PLEASE!!! That's what I would say.

Roscoe's modeling work for Pet Edge? Same thing, it was invaluable! His costume dress ups? Invaluable. He knows, sit-down-stay-hold still-do not move-let some judge touch you lightly-control yer urges-these are all things that have helped him to be the successful canine good citizen. Well, he did flunk that test many times, but eventually he passed. Yes, Roscoe has a CGC to his name. Hahahahaha, Roscoe - Canine Good Citizen!!! But, he is, he will have self control, I have worked VERY hard for it and when I ask him to dress up for Christmas photos or Howlaween photos or Pet Edge modeling photos, he WILL stay. He knows - lots of cookies will arrive if he stays. He stays.

Hard to see in this photos, but maybe you can click on it and enlarge it, both Colby and Spur are sticking out their tongues. Statement? Probably! Roscoe.....waiting for his cookie.
Honestly, I don't know that these are a whole lot better than the others, but at least their eyes are not blue and sparkly and obsessed looking. My camera simply isn't great indoors, I guess. Did I mention I wanted a good one for Christmas? Rich asked yesterday. I think we are getting a new wiring set up for our stereo. I want that, too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More trial report, this trial really got me thinking, didn't it?

I know, all you non-agility friends are wondering, what the heck? She is obsessing about this trial! Well, it taught me a lot, so it's worth obsessing, I think.
I am posting the standard course from Sunday here. I think you can click on it and it will come up larger.

Here's my take on it -

The course. The trouble. Was 13, 14, 15. Little dogs were ending up jumping big and landing behind the handlers after 14. Folks were sending into the tunnel and quickly getting themselves to the landing side of 14. It caused the dogs to come out of the tunnel WAY wide, then taking 14 too big and wide, even though the handlers were facing the dogs and feet were facing 15, whatever..........., the dogs were taking 14 without collection and landing behind the handlers regardless. Colby NQ'ed because she missed 15 all together. She came SHOOTING out of the tunnel, then came too fast at 14 landing behind me and I never got her head in time for 15 so we just ran past it and kept going. Those who picked up dogs from the tunnel and ran with them, then front crossed after 14 somewhere between 14 and 15 giving the dogs the room they needed were fine, but very few little dog handlers did that and I think only 3 Q'ed out of 20+ dogs in 12". Most of the big dog people did that and the dogs did land wide after 14, but it was simply not a big deal. They then set themselves up just fine for 15. It was SO interesting! Plenty of big dogs Q'ed.

Mary and Bug were perhaps the only ones who did that section really well and tight, but Mary did give Bug plenty of room after 14, but Bug just handled it fine and turned really tight. It was lovely!! I think Bug jumps 16".

Helen basically leaned over 14, faced off Diva and MADE her collect over 14, jumping essentially into Helen, but it did work - OK. Not pretty, but it worked. As we saw later, she really didn't have to do that, plenty of big dogs, given the space they needed after 14 handled it just fine. Go figure?

I think what happened at 14, 15, 16 was us little dog people thought our small dogs should be able to turn really tight over 14, I mean, really they SHOULD, right? But, coming out of that tunnel, seeing a WHOLE ROOM full of options, they were not making a sharp right turn out of it and going wide, then that made them wide over 14. And really, there was no reason to assume they should take all that tight. Had we just let them do it and not worried about tightening it up, they would have been fine. The big dog people knew they HAD to allow their dogs the room to land over 14 and gave them the room they needed and off they went, no biggie. So interesting!

The opening was a buggar for many, but not as interesting. Typical tire issues, then discrimination from 6 to 7 some dogs were taking the tunnel. SOME folks turned away, back crossed 6 and had the dogs turn right towards the wall, but really that didn't work well for many. Kept them off the tunnel if they did it right, but some flicked to the off course tunnel (13).

It was really a fascinating course! Roscoe ran it clean, but he was down that day, slow and accurate, which really isn't what I want. He was having a melt-down run and it may have been clean, but it wasn't what I want from him. At this point I am happier with an NQ, but fast and happy, than a Q with down and slow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ever wonder about that mirroring everyone talks about?

I have even heard it used as a training term. "Mirror method training". Actually, I only heard it once when I watched that really COOL video of the dogs on the beach. Did I ever post that here? Check it out again, in case I didn't post it before - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkPNa4DBFHI It is SO cool!

Anyway, my dogs seem to have the Mirror Method Training style going on! I mean, check this out.........Roscoe is totally taking notes and has decided to mirror the eyes on the Nutcracker Man...............even Spur is doing his mirror work..........

See, - they took notes, saw the Nutcracker Man has crazy blue eyes that sparkle and look REALLY weird, so they had to look that way, too!!!! (click on the photo to see what I mean) -

Hmmm, notice who needs a little more help learning stays? He's eyeing the cookies I have in my hand, bad little good dog! Notice who is staying like a good little bad dog? Roscoe knows, sit that butt down and DO NOT MOVE or no cookies will be had! Spur's only two, he's still learning about silly stays dressed in silly Christmas neck thingies will result in cookies. I placed him back, THEN gave them all a cookie for their awesome Mirror Method Training Silly Christmas Photo Session.

I think I am going to have to try again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More weekend trial report

I got a headache from this trial. I know yesterday's post made it sound so fun, but really it was a very tiresome and difficult weekend. Packed up five dogs and the three of us in Lisa's Rav-4. Lisa, me, her mom, the two shihtzu's, the two Pin Heads and Spur. It was PACKED!! Lisa has a whole duffle bag just for her make up. I bring a tiny over-night bag, but always my travel comforter. She brings her's, too. We both have dogs who sleep in bed with us, so we simply remove the hotel's bedding, sans sheets, and use our own. That way, no complaints from the hotels about dog hair on the bedding. I feel better that way, plus some of these hotels are icky and my own bedding feels better to me and I sleep better.

The trial was very full for a one-ring trial. It was the old Boston agility that was always SO much fun at the Boston Expo. They quit that venue when the Expo was going to be taken down and condos built. Bummer man, that was SUCH a great trial!! I did so much Christmas shopping there and always had a great time!! Not so much this weekend. It was in Manchester at All Dog's Gym. A place we do USDAA trials regularly, but this was the very first AKC trial at this site. Oh dear, AKC has so many rules and is so picky about things that part way into the first day we had a one hour delay to find a different chute. :O

OH. MY. GOD. I was about to explode!! It was quickly obvious that the AKC competitors were complaining about every little thing at this site. I mean, it was NUTS. Complain, complain, bitch, bitch, my dog doesn't like the Snoopy on the dog-house chute, my dog doesn't like the four foot jumps, I don't like the tire, the table is a box and looks like a panel jump to my dog.........it went on and on and ON!!! Come on, people!!!! This is supposed to be fun, an enjoyable time with our friends and our dogs. Not a tea party given by Gramma the day after a royal wedding, with tiny sugar cubes that must be lifted and plopped into your tea with ONLY the tiny sugar cube tongs, and the napkins folded just right that you would NEVER use except to gently dab the corners of your mouth as you smile politely at Gramma's best friend, who is watching your every move to make sure you rest the napkins back just right on the tiny napkin rests.

It is DOG AGILITY!!!!!

I could feel my blood pressure rise. We didn't run our Jumpers course until 7:30 and that still meant Open and Novice had to run. We packed up our dogs as fast as we could and made it to our hotel and collapsed with our wine and take out Olive Garden dinner. The poor dogs had been in their crates in the crate room all day. They were fried, we were fried.

It snowed that night to make matters a little more fun. Roscoe was NOT pleased. The poop buckets were full to over flowing at the trial site, the yellow snow was turning ORANGE, the trial wasn't going any faster, the complaints flowed even quicker, just maybe under everyone's breath with teeth gritted. I tried like heck not to join the complains, but my mouth got away from me. I started to get really catty and bitchy and actually listening for things to complain about. I bitched about the Weeble (top competitor I really, really dislike), who NQ'd in her first run because she thought the tire was too high and came back to the crate room and SLAMMED her wire crates shut as she packed up and left in a huff. The poor resting dogs in the room had to listen to THAT. How RUDE!!!!! I bitched about the competitor who was at the out gate and walked up to her "friend" and said........."Well, that went better than I thought it would!!" :O Is THAT a compliment??? I shot a glance to my friend sitting next to me and whispered..........."Did I just hear that?"..........she slowly nodded and bugged her eyes like mine in amazement. Whoa! This is DOG AGILITY people, not Gramma's tea party!

Remember the weeble? My friend next to me told me she heard the Weeble the day before coming out of the ring after a wicked nice clean run, not once praising her awesome dog, saying.........."I guess I can't get mad at him for that, can I?"......HUH???? She runs border collies. She choses only those border collies willing to work for her with NO PRAISE/SLAMMING WIRE CRATES/GRUMPY GROSS FACE/BOBBING WEEBLE/you get the picture, right? She choses those types of dogs and they put up with those types of things. YIKES!!!! Spur would surely melt into a shivering mass of beautiful papillon fur and be swept out her door with one sweep of her witche's broom and quick clap of her hands! As would many other dogs, man other border collies, too. Her dogs - they put up with it. I haven't a clue why, except that she choses only dogs who don't care that she weebles or slams crates or yells - you should hear her YELL. She's gross. I'm bitching - and being catty.

I am starting to wonder what happened to me? What happened to the person who trialed happily and with no worries or bitches? Who didn't notice the Weeble, or didn't hear those strange words said by dumb ass competitors to their "friends" as they left the ring. What happened to me? Am I looking for these things? Are my ears searching to hear this kind of stuff?

I don't know, but it made me weary. It made me sad that agility is like this and not the fun, happy go lucky, totally awesome have a great time no matter what and no obsessing about courses and worrying about equipment and full poop buckets and who is in charge and why is it running so slow and just because I spent hundreds of dollars training and entering and staying at hotels and buying the gear, does it all really matter???? I hope I can say no. I hope I can get back that person I once was. I hope I can shut out the Weeble and the "friends" at the outgate.

I learned so much at this trial. The courses were fun and challenging and presented things I hadn't dealt with before. It had some GREAT moments! Colby ran well, Roscoe ran well one day, Spur did AWESOME and made more fans! My friend Lisa and her Douce had a great time and placed fourth in their very first Ex. B class. It was FUN!!! Right???

Monday, December 7, 2009

We relaxed and had a BALL!

Now that Colby's MACH is out of the way, we can run agility like we used to. That's the thing about going for a MACH. I felt the pressure. I felt concerned and cautious. I tried like heck to run clean. Did I not try to run clean this weekend? No, of course not, I ran fast and worry free, though. So what if she didn't nail that contact? Well, sure that wouldn't be good, per say, but really I just wasn't giving it the same consideration as before. You know what? She ran her fastest indoor run ever!!!! :D She placed 2nd among some really nice competition. A big class, too, 20 dogs in the 12" class! That's a big class! She ran clean in her jumpers, too, for a lovely double Q! Good little MACH dog!!

Roscoe ran his heart out on Saturday with two awesome NQ runs!! I was very pleased. He looked great and seemed happy and easy going! Sunday, not so much. In fact, Sunday he looked really down. He double Q'ed, but he was not his happy, awesome self.

Gotta head off to obedience run-throughs with Spur. More trial report later. I have a LOT to say, too!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Wild Lupine Farm!!

Great fun open studio to check out!! My friend Lydia Webber on Fowler Rd. in Cape Elizabeth!! Her house and studio are amazing! Her painted glass is so fun and cheerful!


She is having Open Studio days tomorrow, Dec. 5th and the following Saturday, Dec. 12th. Go check it out and do some holiday shopping!!!! GREAT stuff!!

Or are you all craft showed out? I am not, yet, but getting there. I have been to more craft shows then ever this year, for some reason. I think I have most of my shopping done!! Is that nuts??? I have, however, not done ONE THING about Christmas cards. May just be that this year......no cards. How have I managed to do cards so well every year? Or is that an image in my head that really isn't real? Last year, did you all get cards? NO????? Yeah, no, probably not. I am slacking. I am a slacker. Am I a slacker??? NO, I just don't think I have that drive to be SO good about cards, gifts, decorating. What happened to me??? I used to send everyone cards, had nice photos done of me and the dogs, send gifts, made gifts...........I once made the cutest napkin holders that looked like tiny poinsettias. Out of simple bits of felt. SO creative and cute and crafty. What happened to that person. The other day I thought about ordering a bunch of the same silly item on line and giving that to everyone. How tacky???? That's not me?

Oi, I can only say I promise not to do that. I do promise to .......maybe next weekend......have some cards done, make some gifts, decorate the house. Do you believe my promise? Remember the delphinium photo? I promised that. Days later all you got was a sideways photo? How lame is that???? Oi...............

Roscoe's does a jig and eats some turkey

Well, in a way. I think I mentioned a while back Drs. Dodman and Ogata suggestion a tryptophan supplement for him. Tried it, situationally, no noticeable change. However, there has been a change. Obviously, the crazy little man just got his "Championship". He ROCKED that day!! Back was my nutty, super fun, really happy agility dog! Meds? No, at least not really. He is still on his buspirone, but that day no performance enhancing meds. Nothin', nada, zip, just his crazy, super nutty great agility self. :D

Sent in my report to the good Doctors. They suggested I try the tryptophan at a daily dose for two weeks and the clonidine for situational events. The clonidine can be very short acting, like maybe four hours. Yesterday he was all shaky and wierd about the crazy wind and rain in the morning. He doesn't like storms AT ALL, so I gave him a clonidine. He seems MAYBE a little better?

Last night at Rally class Judy thought he seemed a lot better and was all pleased with Roscoe's tryptophan state of mind. Not sure I agree. I think he was better, yes, but better only because Rally class is now a weekly thing? We have been there for four weeks? Five weeks? I can't remember, but I do think his first week back he was SO high and SO pumped he just couldn't contain himself. Last night he was more settled, but more whiney. Megan asked about the whine. I think it is just part of his thing. He gets SO pumped doing Rally!! I mean PUMPED!!! Rock on Rally Roscoe!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lovely beach day! First of December!

Is it really December, already??? So often the first week/weekend of December is SO cold and even snowy. Yesterday was LOVELY. Cold, but no wind, bright sun, awesome low tide in the afternoon so Kathy and I headed to the beach. Here she is....Pez Dispenser Extraordinaire! Notice which pushy bitch is first in line? Oh, wait, there is only ONE pushy bitch. The rest are boys! (That would be Colby........ in the purple!) George and Spur love to race!

Roscoe loves to race...........back to me for his cookie! Notice one particular border terrier finds peeing on things more important than a plain cookie? He is stuck at the "portapotty".
The "portapotty" was a popular destination spot.
This photo just doesn't show the pretty red glow of the seaweed. Maybe if you click on it you can see that. It had the nicest glow from the low angle of the sun yesterday. Just about iridescent! Really pretty!

This is the best part about winter. Our awesome beach walks!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

OMG, this is TOO funny!

Check out Horse Agility!!!!-

OK, finally loaded the delphinium photo. Oh dear, forgot to turn it. Well, it's nothing really worth changing, so check it out as is. I am just curious why the plant thinks November is a good time to blossom.............

Umm, trying to bloom NOW?????? I am not even sure what to do with it?

Here is my November garden. We are still eating yummy Kale, beets and swish chard! YUM! Nothing like sauteed Kale with bits of apple.