Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Titles? What are titles? Thanks Joy!

My friend Joy passed this along and it seemed blog worthy.....

" What Is A Title Really?"

Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher Title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores.

A Title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in the record and in the memory for about as long as anything in this world can remain. Few humans will do as well or better in that regard. And though the dog himself doesn't know or care that his achievements have been noted, a Title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.
A Title says your dog was intelligent, and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed. And a Title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with him because he was a good dog, and that you believed in him enough to give him yet another chance when he failed, and that in the end your faith was justified.
A Title proves that your dog inspired you to have the special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a Title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return. And when that dear short life is over, the Title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of praise in one small set of initials before or after the name.

A Title is nothing less than love and respect, given and received permanently.

The author is Sandy Mowery,a columnist for Front and Finish Obedience periodical.

My dog's titles? I'll list the highest ones only -

MACH Colby CD, RA, AAD (one pairs leg from her MAD)
APD Roscoe CD, RE, FA, MX, MXJ, PX, PXJ (do you put APD at the front of their name?)
Spur NA, NJ, AD

**I don't even know their titles in CPE and I think that Roscoe has a title in APDT Rally because he is in level 2. I'm not so good at keeping track of some of the titles, I guess. Does that mean I don't care about titles? NO!! I care, I am HUGELY proud of Colby's MACH and Roscoe's APD and Spur's three little titles. HUGELY PROUD! But, I am more proud of things like Roscoe managing to handle an Ex. Rally course without me walking it and without any warm up of any kind. Hugely proud! And SO proud of The Spur Man that I think I have watched his videos from the weekend like 12 times each? Maybe 20 times each. And I have a few minutes this morning before my first walks, so I will watch them again right now. I am SO proud of his NQ (not qualifying) runs and will watch those a gazillion times, too. HUGELY PROUD! Titles are great and I am proud and they show accomplishment, but my dog's attitude in the ring makes me even more proud. That The Spur Man can handle a course and not freak out about the teeter and not worry when the course builders are tossing jump bars over the fence and not worry when some stupid person let's their stupid little dog lunge and snark at him as we walk to the ring. HUGELY PROUD! That Roscoe can walk into an obedience ring and remember his work even though we haven't practiced in nearly two months and look sharp and well trained and happy, makes me HUGELY PROUD!
I love my dogs and their titles show it, but I also love my dogs......just cuz.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend AKC trial report!

Wow, The Spurminator was a ROCK STAR!!!! He got more and more comfortable as the trial went on. We both did. I started to relax and feel like it wasn't such a worry for either of us. He NAILED his contacts, until his last Open standard run where it was down hill and he hit it with his back feet only. Funny, that's the only contact I worried about all the others I simply ran with confidence and he ran all the way down. Good little Monkey Pants!!!!

We set up ring side and he could watch me run Roscoe and Colby and he SCREAMED each time. I think that was good for him......sorry neighbors......he watched it all, all weekend.

Roscoe he was pretty good for outdoors, I have to say. Not great, but pretty good. I took him off only one time for being shut down. The other runs were OK. He actually placed second in two runs, so he wasn't THAT down. Colby had a GREAT time, her first time running since I decided to retire her. The sun was high enough in the sky and the lighting obviously OK for her and she was happy to run. We just did jumpers and she placed second each time.

Spur won every class he qualified in, except for Nov. FAST one day where Mo the freakin' awesome terrier got more points. He NQ'd on one Nov. FAST with the wrong tunnel opening and he NQ'd on his first Open Jumpers run with an off course tunnel. HE didn't know he was wrong on that one and ran like a champ, good little "cutest dog ever!!". The judge LOVED him and commented during his measuring about how cute he is. Then his first run we get to the start line and the she says....."OH, here comes that CUTE dog!!!". Then his last run on Sunday, as we finished she yells out......."If that puppy goes missing, don't look in MY suitcase!!!!" :D I think my heart swelled and was about to burst out of my chest right there!!! What a great feeling, especially since Spur was one of only two mix breed dogs at this AKC trial.

Spur's Novice Standard -

Spur Open Jumpers -

Spur Novice Standard -

Spur Open Standard, back feet only in that contact...yikes! -

Roscoe Excellent Rally routine that we RAN to do and barely made it. They had JUST finished the last Excellent dog and I had to do the course by just reading the map. I couldn't walk it and barely knew where I was going. Roscoe did GREAT!! We got a 96 and the 4 points off were for crocked sits and I think, two double commands? It was our worst performance to date, but I have to give him extra credit. We haven't practiced in...what?...over a month and went in without me walking the course or knowing my way. Good little obedience dog did GREAT, regardless!!! Poor guy he had just run his standard and not very well and I pulled him out of the ring because he was looking down. He simply isn't doing well at outdoor agility trials, but obedience on dirt seems to be his thing!! Go figure? -

Colby's Excellent Jumpers. Second place and one of only 4 dogs in her jump height to run clean. Good little girlie!!! She's so consistent and easy to run. Not at all complicated. -

It was a very fun weekend, really. Roscoe had some pretty good runs, which unfortunately we didn't get filmed. The weather was great, the company was awesome, it ran well for an AKC trial. No dreadful long walk throughs or hold ups like AKC can sometimes have. It was a nice trial. And the Spur Man ROCKED!! I am SO happy with him, he is getting more and more confident!!! YAY!!!! His teeter was awesome. He put his big boy pants on and was a STAR!!! He is always a big hit walking around the grounds, everyone wants to know what kind of dog he is and we get so many comments......"What a CUTE dog". He has a HUGE fan club!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three days of AKC agility starting tomorrow!!!!

So, you may not see me here over the weekend. All three dogs are running athe Cumberland Fairgrounds AKC trial!!!! Colby is only doing two jumpers runs, but I think the sun should be good for her to see well and she will enjoy that! She always loved jumpers!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I think I am pretty aware of things around me

Roscoe has taught me that. That awesome peripheral vision so necessary when you have a reactive (aggressive) dog. I am always on the look out for incoming dogs or folks reaching to pat him. It's something one learns quickly with dogs like Roscoe. I am VERY quick to say......."NOT friendly"......and if that doesn't work......."He will BITE you!!". He has never bitten anyone. I simply do not let it happen. OK, OK, he bit my friend Cindy when she was giving him a treat. He snatches treats, little shark! She now tosses him treats! OK, then there was the time he bit me for pulling a tick off his asshole. Yeah, yeah, next time he gets muzzled if he has a tick on his asshole. What WAS I thinking???? He is TOTALLY adorable and that makes it hard. Folks reach for him without asking, which is so not cool, but people don't think a small, cute dog might not WANT to be patted. And that's just how it is, so I have to be really good at watching my surroundings. I don't let people pat him. Plain and simple, I am really aware of my surroundings and have awesome peripheral vision!! Thanks Roscoe!!!

The other day, ..........not so good. It happened in a FLASH. Like a lightening bolt that takes you buy surprised, it's over in seconds, and done.

*No, Roscoe didn't bite anyone. Remember I said I don't let it happen?*

I ran over a chipmunk on my scooter!!!! Dead. Dead by scooter. And believe me I am VERY in tune with my surroundings on my scooter. I am always watchful for dogs, cats, wild turkeys, dumb bicycle riders (seriously THEY are my worse road danger!! "Share the road"....Um...OK....if the stooooooopid idiot bicyclers would only be mindful of THEIR surroundings I would be happy to share!!!! Dumb idiots!!!), other vehicles, old ladies who forget to stop at the stop sign, or dumb ass chicks in their SUV who think just because I am turning left at the green light they can make the other turn without stopping and give me a HEART ATTACK then wave at me as if THAT will make me feel better - dumb ass chick you had a RED LIGHT!!!!! >:/

OK, so even with all that awesome awareness and heightened peripheral vision.............dead by scooter little chippie. Just a bump in the road......................

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Doing my newsletter

And I need to have photos on the net for that. Trying to decide on a top photo?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What a lovely day!!

We had a private with Lo Baker today. It was LOVELY! Hot, but not too, too hot. Always awesome to get a private with Lo. Rare, we have to drive to Alton NH to do that and I rarely have the time. But, I try to fit it in a couple time/year. I often share with someone, but this time was all me and it was really nice. Roscoe was a ROCK star!! He was all pumped after being Captain Roscoe last night and being the only dog along on our evening boat ride. I try to make sure he gets special time and he loves the boat WAY more than the other two. They get kind of nervous, but Roscoe, he LOVES it!! It fascinates him, the water, the bouyes, the birds, the seaweed. We forgot the camera, unfortunately, because it was a BEAUTIFUL night. We watched a seal find a rock outcrop in the water and balance on it as the tide lowered and exposed it. Very cool, magical evening on the water!!

Spur got his turn and Lo seemed pretty pleased with out work. After the lesson I took the dogs to her lovely pond and let Colby hunt frogs (she never catches them, but she "works" that pond relentlessly!!!) and chippies while Spur swam. Roscoe hung out hoping for some treats, HE doesn't swim. Spur hasn't been the most confident swimmer, but TODAY he SWAM!!! He leaped into the water, swam to the middle of the pond and had a GREAT time!!! -You can barely see his tiny head, he's that far out!! Good little retriever......Then he had to have a good roll!!
Hmmm, when he is wet those EARS look even BIGGER!!

We then headed into the woods for a nice hike!! I put on their orange vests so I can see them when they head off to chase chippies!!

Colby also almost caught a baby chippie!!! YIKES!! It got away, but she nearly got it!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Miss Colby Carlson!!!!

I can't believe my girl is ELEVEN today!! Born at "Love My Puppy" puppymill in MI, sold through a pet store in RI to a college kid. He couldn't handle her energy and thankfully gave her to MinPin rescue. I asked for a LARGE MinPin. They gave me Colby who was all of 9lbs at 5 months old -She seemed like the tiniest, most precious little thing!! She grew to be a whopping 11lbs!! Oh yeah, BIG girl??? OK, by breed standards, yes, but since then I have seen some BIG MinPins!! 20+ pounders!!!

She was obviously not mistreated and is the nicest girl. Well adjusted, happy go lucky, afraid of only a few things. Feathers, egg shells and racing dogs that might plow into her (which happened one day during a chase me game and ever since she worries about being T-boned, with good reason!!). The feathers and egg shell issue is strange, but she is afraid of them!! Unless, of course, the feathers are attached to a live bird -

This photo was after the boys flushed a mamma turkey and two babies, of which Colby killed one! :( She is all about hunting and killing things! Mostly rodents, but so far one baby wild turkey! -

One year we modeled for Ripple Effect's Velvet, a fund raiser event that included a live model fashion show, silent auction and entertainment. I modeled an outfit from Helene M and Colby modeled an outfit from Fetch. The trouble - this benefit was in memory of Frannie Peabody, who LOVED boas, so the models were all carrying boas. Of course, I didn't, but still that meant there were feathers from the boas all over the runway. Rich tried to sweep them off quickly before my walk, but just ONE and Colby freaks! Poor little thing had to be carried and looked SO miserable!! Darn!!

Her MACH photo! Never thought Colby would get a MACH, but she did!! Just in time before her eyes started to fail. We still run some jumpers courses, but seeing and judging the teeter and dog walk are not safe any more. She still sees well enough and we hardly notice her going blind. It's a slow process and she does quite well even now, just squints a lot in bright sun.

Hiking Sugarloaf last summer! She LOVES to hike! -

The puddle jump -

Hunting frogs, one of her VERY favorite pasttimes!! -

Hunting chipmunks, almost as fun as frogs -

Doing agility, something she and I did well and were a great team before her eyes failed!! -

She is still in tip top shape, incredibly well muscled and conditioned. This was taken last summer. She is a beautiful girl!! My best girl! Happy Birthday Miss Colby Carlson!!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Can I just tell you how hard it is sometimes?

I brought home Spur because I knew Colby would HATE a girl. We tried once.........well........sort of. See, this super, fabulous, experienced, incredible dog trainer trained this super, fabulous, wonderful, INCREDIBLY fast papillon a few years ago. She then decided her body could not keep with the dog and ANY agility for that matter and was going to focus on herding with her border collies. So, she retired her older paps and needed to find an agility home for her youngster, the super fast, super fabulous NINA!! I wasn't looking for a dog at the time, but had planned on one at some point. My friends all pressured me to think about Nina, so I did, for ONE FREAKIN', GROWLY, NASTY, BITCHY, CRAZY second.

We were at a trial and one of my friends insists I consider Nina. My biggest issue was home harmony, so she had to pass the Colby-test. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! THAT was funny!! We got about 3 feet from Nina and BOTH dog's eyes dilated and the fur raised on their backs and in the quickest second you could imagine a bitch fight would have erupted had they not be leashed. OH - MY!!

It was kill-at-first-sight.

Jan just smiled and turned around looking for another home for Nina. She would find one, Nina was a fabulous dog. She wasn't coming to Colby's house, however.

So, I knew I was best off bringing in a male dog if I wanted home harmony. OK, so perhaps that has been the case. Spur has been here for 2 1/2 years now and we have relative harmony. The trouble is as he is maturing he has gotten a little sick of being bullied by Roscoe. And on occasion he has challenged Roscoe. Which now puts home harmony a little in jeopardy. And it puts Roscoe in a bit of an emotional turmoil. He's out of sorts. He takes it out on Colby at times. Poor thing never, EVER challenges Roscoe. She doesn't like home harmony to be in jeopardy. She likes peace. She works hard to keep peace. Maybe she would have been OK with a female coming here. NOT Nina, but maybe another one. I don't know. Because now I have this male-male issue going on.

I hate to see Roscoe's mental state teeter. We have worked so hard for his mental sanity. But, there isn't much I can do. We live together, all of us and he has to deal. It is what it is. I try to make sure he feels special. It's hard because he isn't sweet like Spur. He's an asshole. But, home harmony is important to ME, too, so I do what I need to do. And I do feel bad for him, no matter how much of an asshole he is, he is "special". He isn't right. He's messed up chemically and I would not want to BE him.

I am looking forward to BARK camp. He LOVES BARK camp and it makes him feel special. We do that next month. Sigh...............

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The field daisies are in full bloom and SO pretty!

These first two pictures of Leta are funny. The camera focused on the daisies, not her! Still, kind of cool photos!! She sure has that feral kitty look in her eye, doesn't she? She is quite savvy, I think. I hope. With beavers or otters and coyotes and foxes I sure worry about our feral kitties. Juno hardly ever leaves the barn, but Leta is a busy girl. Luckily, she doesn't go far and is ever on alert.

The girls are getting an hour or so out back and so far, lovin' it!! The deer flies are not out in force, yet, the mosquitoes are JUST starting to come out, so it's pretty nice out there and they run out there at TOP speed. So fun to watch and listen to their thundering hooves!!!

This picture cracks me up!! Are they about to crash???? Playing "chicken"??? And I think this one is really cool!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I don't have one of those cell phones with a camera in it

I showed up today to a livingroom full of what I thought was bloody vomit!! Poor Baxter, the golden, is sick. I FREAKED! I wanted a camera to document it for the vet because it seemed very much like vomit, but he had been having diarrhea. Turns out it was most likely from his rear end because at the vet's they did an exam then had him outside and it was like a hose got turned out from his butt. Poor guy!! So, it was probably diarrhea. His blood work was fine, thank goodness, so they are tentatively calling it severe colitis. They aren't sure why, but I am thankful it isn't something worse.

Over the weekend I took some nice photos on the farm. The fog made for sparkling dew on the oats!! -

The recent rains have filled up the irrigation pond. The culvert was blocked, so the water would fill up. It's full and ready, if needed. This morning we saw either an otter or a beaver swimming along the stream that lets out into this pond!! :O Of course, no camera this morning!!! It went too fast anyway, I don't think I would have had time to take it's picture. That's a FIRST for the farm streams/ponds!! George, the farm terrier, would be NUTS if he saw that thing!!!

The ferns along our woods path are SO pretty right now!! All different shapes and sizes.................

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Remember I said I would start training Leta, my feral kitty?

Well, we started. She is more and more comfortable around the agility equipment, so I decided to see if she would do the A-frame. She did it several times!! She is still a little nervous, but gaining confidence each time! Contacts? Um, those are a work in progress, but we know those take time.
She is about as cute as they get!!! She is VERY shy with strangers, but totally getting comfortable with me. Sweet little thing! She is a hard worker, too. Rich said the other day she killed four rodents by noon!! :O After Metis died last spring the rodents were taking OVER around here!! We had some HUGE thing in our house all winter. It would wake us up in the middle of the night, galloping through the walls!! And was active during the day, which is why we think squirrel or chipmunk. Even tried to hire a guy to come trap it. We don't hear that thing any more!! :D

Kitty agility training -

Friday, June 11, 2010

To trade or not to trade

I have a job this weekend for a couple of my favorite kitties. Cleo and Daisy. Daisy is about 18? 20? with irritable bowel syndrome. Poor sweet girl eats, then has to run to her box. Then eat and run back to the box. She gets fed three time/day. Last time I did this job I traded for a massage. Laura is THE best!! It was by far the greatest massage I have ever had. Just luxurious! I felt re-energized! Here's the deal - she offered a trade again and I am hesitating. Trial season is upon us and this weekend's paycheck could cover my next entries, almost. I am definitely feeling the pinch and entries are NOT cheap. I also just booked a private with Lo Baker, of which I am SO excited!! Lo is my all time favorite agility instructor, but again - not cheap and she is in Alton, NH, so there is the added gas on top! But, I try to get a private with her twice in the summer, if I can. And this year especially because she has mentioned they are moving to NC if they can sell their property. Bummer, man!

I am feeling unfit at the moment and in bad need of a boost to my exercise regimen. I totally dropped the ball on my running. Haven't run half hour on the treadmill back March? What a LOSER!! I have been "running", though, since I DO have to run with everything I have when I am training Spur's running contacts, but it isn't sustained, and it sure isn't three miles of running. I MUST get back to that!! It SO helped me last year. After that calf injury the running was the only thing that really helped fully heal that. It was healed, but the running strengthened and secured it, I guess. It was the first time I had not felt that calf after running agility, so the running is a good thing if I am going to be sprinting around an agility course!!! MUST get back to that!!!

So, more than a massage I need to start my running again. Next time I'll trade for a massage.

Our bird population is ever expanding. The blue birds are considering a nest in the yellow house again this year. Activity is high there lately. We even saw what looked like a scuffle between males? You can't tell this is a blue bird, but it is................

The phoebe's have hatched on the side of the barn. The chickadees are almost gone from the red house. Busy birds this time of year!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Could it be any prettier???

I have had some trouble with bugs and moles in my gardens this year. The aphids nearly did in my sedum (looking MUCH better now with some good rains), the spider mites are attacking my phlox again, the scale is all over my pieris, the moles are destroying my tiny vegetable garden, but LOOK at the foxglove and delphinium!!!!! -
And I know many of my flowers will be brilliant, the lilies look awesome, the monkshood fantastic and many of my other plants are thriving and will be in full bloom soon, but I am at a loss with the moles.

I don't usually have such bug problems, but I think the strange weather has brought out many of our nasty insects and I am not one to use may pesticides. I try to just let things go and work it out, but I do use some pyrethrins on occasion and soapy water for the spider mites. The moles, um......I really haven't a clue. Colby just isn't that good at getting them. I am thinking they will leave eventually when they realise there isn't that much of interest and the yard provides more grubs. I tried the Milky Spore one year, but it doesn't seem to have worked?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yesterday was perfect, except if you are making hay!

It was warm enough for shorts, but cool enough for plenty of outdoor activities. I mowed my yard, I moved agility equipment and weedwacked around stuff, I weedwacked the fence line - until I used up my string! I did some gardening, wondering WHAT to do about the moles??? ACK.

My afternoon walk, however, brought soaking rain! YIKES!! I heard them baling the straw. Didn't think I should check the radar before heading out, but once I got out there the sky darkened and as I was on my way home we all got SOAKED!! Including the freshly baled straw. :(

The recent rains have made everything SO green and our road to the farm is LOVELY!! It is no longer used as a farm road since old lady Gladys died and her nieces sold her land to a land rapist, but we use it, the horses use it and it is LOVELY!!
This is heading out......
We keep it mowed. This is heading back. Our neighbors call it "The Road To Rich's". :P

This is the view as we round the corner into the back pasture. I wondered why the horses didn't want to stay out there yesterday. I guess the mowing machine made them nervous?

Colby was "on the clock" all day yesterday. I would love to say she keeps the moles in check, but nope, that's not so. They are all through my garden and I am bumming out!!!!

I got a better teeter photo with Spur doing his "end behavior". Not sure if the end hits the ground before he leaves, but close enough. What I like about this is he looks confident and happy!! Happy enough, anyway! Tail up, ears forward, MUCH nicer look than his look on the teeter last year. Another feather in my cap! Got The Spur Man over his teeter concerns! YAY!!!! How long did it take? Over a year? Yep, but who cares, look at him now!!!!