Monday, May 31, 2010

A Swimmingly Good Day

Cosi cools down in the pond at camp.


I finally had time to clean the glassed-in porch. I take all the windows apart and clean them. I don't know what's worse--the tree dirt, the spider nests, or the bird dirt. After working in the morning, I took the dogs for a lovely walk. Then I decided to take Cosi swimming. It was fabulous! He's not big on swimming, but he'll do it for me. But now it's gotten to the point where he'll go down the ramp with me and take that last step off going from standing on solid ground to swimming. It was the best. We raced back to the ramp from the end of the pool. I think the key was getting warm from a walk and then going swimming. He does cool himself down at camp by going into the pond up to his belly. I call it his ABS (all but swimming) way of cooling down.

I watched the Indy 500 race yesterday. What a great event. Today's the last day of the long weekend...I think I'll just be a lazy, knitting bum. =:O)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day weekend and the official start of summer. With the 90 degrees and 80 percent humidity here, it sure feels like summer.

Our small town really celebrates Memorial Day. The VFW and the local organizations sponsor a flea market, parade, and memorial ceremony on the square on Monday. It's quite a slice of Americana and patriotism.

The pups and I will be practicing agility, weeding the garden, and doing other home-bound chores. There's a trial in NJ this weekend, but I didn't enter. Wisely so, I think. I'm glad to have some down time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unscheduled Baths

Rain, rain, go away. It's been raining for about three million days in a row. Ok. Ok. Maybe not that many, but it feels like it! Last night after dinner I saw a break in the clouds. I checked the weather channel, and the green radar had turned from a solid blob into little blobs breaking up. Awesome. I bundled the shelties and Miss Jenny the Poodle into the van, and off we went for a walk at the local retirement community.

About 20 minutes into the walk, I felt some drops. I thought it was from the trees we were walking under at the time. Then more drops. More drops. I looked up, and this huge black cloud was moving in quickly. I was about 5 minutes from the parking lot. We began to trot. The heavens opened up and a torrential downpour blasted us. As we reached the van in a full-out run, I was soaked through to the bone, the shelties where drenched (it takes a lot of water to soak that double coat), and Jenny was pissed. She was looking daggers at me. She looked like a drowned rat, not like her usual glamorous Poodly Girl persona. I can just imagine she was saying, "Daddy would never let me get this wet!" I squished into the front seat, and we headed home.

I got out my Hair Force One doggie hair dryer. As I dried the boys, I could see their coats actually got a cleaning. Thanks, Mother Nature. Miss Jenny was less than thrilled with the drying process. Even though everyone got peanut butter cruncher biscuits as a reward for standing while I ran the dryer, Jenny took her cookie to her crate where she could eat it away from that awful Mommy. =:O)

She finally got over her snit as we cuddled on the couch later on. Either that or she was cold and wanted my warmth as she snoozed...

On another note, I got an email from Karen about Riot's successful surgery yesterday. He had one fourth of his jaw removed and will be coming home today. Continue to keep Karen and Riot in your prayers; she's going to need all the strength we can send her.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Update: Riot

The surgery went well. Riot is going to be OK.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Riot

Cosi's sire, RyLadd Relentless "Riot", has to undergo surgery tomorrow for a tumor on his jaw. He may have to have part of his jaw removed. His owner, Karen, is the person who recommended to the breeder that she consider matching me with Cosi, and for that I am forever grateful. I don't know what I ever did in my life to deserve such an amazing dog, but I am trying to live up to the challenge, grateful for the opportunity.

Please keep Riot and Karen in your prayers tomorrow. She wrote in her email that he may not be as beautiful when we next see him. I replied that he will always be beatiful. They would love us if we had part of our jaw removed, right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Transition

Today "our" Anna flies back home to Edmonton for her summer break. I will truly miss her this summer. I always looked forward to Friday afternoons when I knew Anna and Aurora would be coming for a visit. We would chat and catch up with the week's events, followed by hanging out or doing something as simple as going to the mall. Just having Anna around has changed our home for the better.

Here's hoping your internship this summer is a success. Safe journey...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The only thing constant is change.

On May 10 the AKC Board approved changes to the agility regulations. The AgileDog List was burning up the track yesterday with emails flying left and right, voicing opinions regarding the changes. Here are some highlights of the changes going into effect this September:

No position table - The count will start as soon as all four paws are on the table. No sit or down is required. The obedience folks are angry about this. They like to see that you have your dog "under control" on course. The large dogs and the dogs with deep chests (IG's and some other hounds) are glad because a down on the table is so difficult.

You get only 3 attempts at the weave poles and then you must move on. Thank goodness, I say!

The tire will be set at one jump height lower than the dog normally jumps. I can't get on board with this one. If your dog already has his jumping arc, why have an obstacle that's lower? Cosi will be jumping through a 12" high tire. I can see him (and other dogs) hitting the tire because it's so low. Hmmm...

No up contact on the dog walk will be judged. That's good news for those courses where a straight-on entrance to the dog walk is difficult.

A lower A-frame (down to 5 feet from 5 feet, 4 inches) for the 4- and 8-inch class dogs. Good news for those small dogs, I'm sure.

These are not all the changes, just some that I wanted to note. You can never please everyone, but it's good to know that the rules can "improve" and change as our sport evolves.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ourdoor Trials

We agility competitors are spoiled with our indoor trials. We had a lovely weekend--weather-wise--and yet people were grumbling ring side about too much sun, too much wind, too much, too much. Geez.

On Saturday I spent a beautiful day with my Cosi, hanging out at an agility trial in a lovely Delaware park. We'd take walks in the park and check out the boaters on the pond. Cosi didn't care for the paddleboats for some reason. They got a growl.

We had a fun weekend. It doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FAST Leg

I was so fortunate this week to be able to spend two days with my Cosi at a trial on Monday and Tuesday. How's that for a great way to start the week? It was a small, one-ring trial on dirt. I am so there! My favorite combination! I was able to volunteer for a lot of classes (always fun) and run Cosi in standard, jumpers, and FAST. On Monday we completed the Send in Excellent A FAST; and it was a tough one! However, we didn't accumulate enough points. Tuesday started with FAST, and boy, oh boy!, did we get points. We Q'd with 75 points in 31.75 seconds and took first place. F. U. N.

We were close in standard both days. It was a difficult opening today with a 180 degree jump combination at numbers 3 and 4. I was SO proud of my Cosi; we did the 180 and kept up all the bars in a looooong course. We got an R at the teeter, and he jumped off the table in anticipation of the count. But it was an otherwise fabulous run. Good weaves, great contacts, good teamwork.

I've been working with more fun, focus games before we run and making sure I have eye contact before I do my lead out. My goal is to Be Together. Together We Can Do This. (my mantra!) I love running this dog.

Friday we're off to Gail's to a trial in Delaware. It's outdoors, so that will be a change for us. I pray my leg will hold up (running on uneven ground is difficult for me). I'm hoping the weather will take a turn for the better; warm would be nice. =:O)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Recommendation

I just finished the most fabulous book today. (Note: I "read" my books via my iPod. I download audiobooks from iTunes and listen to them while I drive. The actor who read this book is fabulous. Sometimes the story is good, but the telling is awful. This was a combination of a perfect story, and the person read it flawlessly.)

LOVE it!

I highly recommend The Art of Racining in the Rain by Garth Stein. It's a dog's life story told from the dog's point of view. His master is a race car driver. Since my husband follows racing, I "got" a lot of the racing references--the names of the drivers, the tracks, the major races and their importance. Even if you don't like racing, the story is such a great one; it's the story of a family and the changes they go through.

Read it and let me know what you think. It is definitely on my books-to-read-more-than-once list.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Personal Space

Having been in the workforce for a very long time, I've come to appreciate having a personal space at work. I've worked as a teacher in the public school system where I did not have a room assigned to me for a number of school years. I would hump my materials from room to room, trying to find a shelf, a corner of a desk, or a countertop to make my own.

Yesterday was a mile-marker day for me. I got an office. A real, honest-to-goodness office. I have a door. I have a window.

I have s-p-a-c-e.

I'm so thrilled.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Maytown's 250th Celebration

It was scripted from above. The weather--perfect. The programs and activities--specatular. The response from the townspeople--fabulous. Maytown celebrated it's 250th anniversary with style.

One of the vendors on the square rented period costumes. Anna took the opportunity to dress up as a civil war widow. Here she is posing with Aurora:

On Saturday the good folks from Canine Compaions (my agility class classmates) came and put on an agility and flyball demo for the Maytown Youth Organization baseball and softball teams. It was a huge success. Here's a photo of Cosi and me during the 18 weave pole race:

The MC for the entire event was Jack. I was so proud of him. He really came through for his town. Here's my Jack: