Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pet Sitting Continued

My dogs and Aurora went for a long walk Sunday morning. It was quite crisp and cold (frost on the grass). Aurora did her 3-legged dog imitation every now and then, but was trotting along effortlessly in no time.

I got a call in the afternoon; a bunch of friends were meeting for a walk at 2 p.m. I packed up all the dogs and off we went. It was a lovely afternoon, warm and comfortable in just a shirt, no jacket. Bobo enjoyed herself immensely. I took the camera along and here's the story in photos:

Aurora and Jenny are ready to get going!

Mike checks on the ducks!

When you're used to walking four dogs, five is no problem.

We were quite a site. We probably turned heads as we walked along the paths.

Back home Aurora snuggles in for a post-walk nap. This only works if you're smart enough to not let the Poodle steal your blanket.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dog Sitting

Aurora is staying with us for the week while Anna is away. I know Anna reads this blog, so this is my Report for Day 1.

An excellent day. We walked for an hour at Masonic Homes. Although it was very windy, we'd walk where the trees formed a natural break. Turning the corner, however, brought the wind full force at us! Aurora handled it well, chasing the leaves that were blown across our path.

She had an excellent dinner and a good night's rest in her crate in our room. At one time in the evening, I had five dogs and me on a love seat--no easy feat! I was able to knit, even with all the dogs near me. I was toasty warm on a windy, cold night.

I'm off to run errands, so I put Aurora in her crate with the green turtle squeak toy. This toy is her favorite, and she can squeak to her heart's content while we're away.

Hope your flight went well yesterday, Anna. Aurora is great, and we're enjoying having her here.

P.S. - Jack won the golf tournament!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

First comes a bountiful feast...

Then come the naps.

=:O)

Hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful one.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Spirit of the Holidays

Once again the holidays are upon us…more quickly than I would like, but here we go. In the spirit of the season, I want to give thanks for the people and dogs in my life that make a difference:

Jack – My love. His steady support and positive outlook are a force in my life. Where I waffle and am indecisive or unsure, he is rock solid. “Play the percentages,” is a lesson I’ve learned from Jack.

Anna—My joy and my dearest confidant. It’s such fun to have her as part of our family—even though it’s part time. My weekends are brighter because Anna is here.

Joy—My sanity buddy at work. With our daily endorphin release through humor, Joy and I keep each other laughing at life’s pitfalls and roadblocks.

Brisco—My champion, my better half, my steady-Eddie dog. We entered agility together and connected with a strong bond through travel and trials. Trust your partner; that’s the lesson I learned from Brisco.

Jenny—My little wonder girl. With her strong personality and intelligence, Jenny is a force to be reckoned with! I often think she is smarter than I and is just waiting for me to catch up to her. Use your intelligence to get what you want; that’s the lesson from Jenny.

Mike—My sensitive soul. Nothing is better than when Mike decides to give you affection. There’s nothing sweeter, nothing more dear than a gentle nudge from Mike. Quite moments can be the best; that’s the lesson from Mike.

Cosi—My wild child! Cosi’s joy is living here and now. Yesterday? Forget about it! Tomorrow? Too far off. NOW. What’s happening right now? Let’s go! This is the lesson from Cosi.

What are you thankful for this season?

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Thoughts

Sorry about the downer yesterday. That article really got to me. I find walking my dogs to be the most relaxing, rejuvenating experience. And to have that tainted by always being on guard--where's the next threat coming from?--really rocks my world.

On to more pleasant thoughts...

This weekend Cosi and I are off to NJ to try for that elusive excellent Q. We had a great class on Wednesday; Coleen had some good challenges for us. We worked on lead outs and pivots--fun stuff.

I did a bit of on-line shopping and found a nice coat for Cosi. I've been thinking of getting him a coat for when he's in these indoor trial sites that are not heated. When he's in a concrete-block building, I think he needs a coat to keep warm. I really like the design of the coat I got him. It doesn't have a belly band; it wraps around his chest and stomach and closes along his back. When I get it next week, we'll take pics and post them.

Next week is Thanksgiving...I'm thankful for my Cosi-Bear Man and the fun we have running together.

Monday, November 16, 2009

T-Shirt Philosophy

I saw these quotes on T-shirts this weekend, and thought I would pass them along:

Animals Don't Abandon People

The Less You Talk, The More Your Dog Listens

A Dirty Dog Is A Happy Dog

Have you seen any good bumper sticker comments lately?

JAG

I went to the Jersey Agility Group trial this weekend. Cosi and I had fabulous standard runs with only an R standing between us and a Q. Here are some stats from his standard run:

No dog in the 16" Excellent A class Q'd. However...Standard Course Time was 70 - Cosi's time 44.5

He beat the next dog by 5 seconds

He was running at 5 yps.

I have the video of his run and will post it ASAP.

His jumpers runs were also good, but the course had a pinwheel at the start (sort of demotivating to a dog who wants to take off). He dropped a bar in the pinwheel. Then some stupid handler talked to him as he was taking a double--crash. But with standard course time at 46, he finished in 29.19. I just have to remember to be patient in the pinwheel and shut up on course. =:O)

We'll be back in NJ next weekend to try again. The judges, courses, and dirt surface were most excellent this weekend.

Click here to see Cosi's video on YouTube.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New Knitting Project

As you may already know, I love to knit. One of my favorite projects is socks. They are easy to knit, work up fast so you see results quickly, and the variety of patterns keeps me interested.

When my friend Roxanne Franklin was going through chemo, I made her a pair of socks. I told her of the legend that when you knit something for someone, you incorporate one of your hairs into the object. This will forever tie this person to you. (Hey, it’s a legend. I didn’t say it’s true!) Well, I sort of modified that legend and told Roxanne that whenever I knit, my dogs are at my side. Thus there is definitely dog hair in the socks that I knit. According to the legend, Roxanne is forever tied to my Shelties. She got the biggest kick out of that. I was glad she was amused.

I got an unusual email this past week. A friend of Roxanne’s contacted me saying, “I heard that you knit socks with dog hair in them.” Apparently her vet’s once-in-a-lifetime dog is seriously ill. She would like to have me knit socks with this dog’s hair in them for the vet as a remembrance gift. I agreed to do it, and in talking to her via email, I found out the vet’s name: Dr. Sue. I know her—she’s Marilyn’s vet! Talk about 6 Degrees of Separation! Amazing.

Could this be my retirement job? Kntting socks with dog hair? Talk about a marketing niche! =;O)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trial Site

I heard from a friend of mine that someone (they suspect an animal rights activist) is trying to ruin the trial site for us agility competitors in NJ. Human feces were spread all over the bathrooms! Now I ask you...how does that help anything?

What makes me nervous is an open crating area. Sometimes animal activists think dogs in crates is cruel and they "free" them. (Yeah, they free them right into a parking lot with moving cars.) I think I may be taking my combination locks along this weekend to protect my dog from being "freed" when I'm walking a course.

*Sigh* I just want to play a game with my dog. Why is this so difficult?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Busy Weekend

Our Canadian Friends!

Anna's two sisters will be here this weekend for a visit. I know that Anna is thrilled to be showing her sisters her Pennsylvania home-away-from-home. The outlet shopping will be through the roof as well as a family dinner here on Sunday and parties with Anna's college mates. It all adds up to a very busy weekend.

The dogs love when the girls visit. The treats, attention, and love flow freely!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preferences

I had to laugh today when I read Susan Garrett's blog about preferring female dogs over male dogs. I really prefer males, and here's why...one mood, all the time. I like the steadiness of the males, the sweetness in their character, and the eagerness to do whatever you're asking of them.

My experience with Jenny is exactly what Susan pointed out: She's a problem solver. Jenny may not do what you asked her to do. Instead she'll find a way (better?) to do it her way. This frustrated the daylights out of me when we did agilty together. Example: I would run Brisco on a short course in the yard with Jenny watching from the enclosed porch. I would bring Brisco in and ask her to come play. She came out, ran past me, and began to run the course without me. *sigh* Isn't agility supposed to be a team sport? Not according to Jenny.

Susan also talked about breed preferences. As I watch conformation dog shows on television, I like to breed shop and play the game of, "If I could have any dog, what would it be?" Or Kathy and I like to choose our "old lady dog"--which breed will suit us when we're in the rockin' chair? The herding group and the terrier group often have the breeds that I find asthetically pleasing: Shelties, Tervs, Pyrenean Shepherds, Norwich terriers, and Scotties. I like a pionted face and fur, fur, fur. Anna and I were talking about this just this past weekend. She likes short-coated dogs, and I like the hair. I enjoy grooming, so it's not an issue to me to spend an hour a week combing, trimming, and detangling my dog's coat. And then there's the look--a coat that flows in the breeze, the ruff on a Sheltie that stands out and frames a face, or the way the coat just makes the look like an Afghan Hound. Here's one of my favorite pictures of the boys on a breezy day:

The opposite is when a dog who should be coated is not there yet. When I first met Cosi he was a year and a half and not quite the beautiful boy he is today. When a dog is that age, he's gangly, not done growing and filling out. And the coat is there, but not full and glorious. To this day, Marilyn teases me about what I said about Cosi. "He's not very pretty, is he?" How wrong I was. Cos is drop-dead gorgeous. I just had to wait for that coat to come in to see it. Mike is the most heavily coated dog I have, and I love it. It's so thick and lovely and flows when he runs.

So for me, it's the boys, the fur, and the pointed face. What's your preference?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Sweater is Finished!

This weekend I finally finished my first sweater. I model it here with Cosi. Since he helped me with all the hours of knitting, I thought it fitting that he would help me show off the end product.

I also knitted the socks I'm wearing. =:O)