Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mike's Mid-Life Crisis

Mike and Jenny have always been tight. They play together, sleep together (see above photo), and he looks to her for security when he's unsure. I always say that Jenny--not me--raised Mike.

This week when Mike turned 7, Mom said, "That makes him 49 in human years. Is he having a mid-life crisis?" I laughed and said, "Yes, he's talking about getting a Corvette and dating a younger Poodle."

Our friend, Debbie, had the best ending to this story. She maintains that Jenny (11 dog years old) is a couger and will be driving Mike around town, showing off her "younger man"!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sheltie? Or Leprechan?

I came home tonight to find my green-pawed Sheltie. Had Cosi turned into a Leprechan? Or had he just been in the fresh-cut grass too long? If he's a Leprechan, I hope our luck holds long enough for the trial this weekend. Perhaps with a bit o' the luck of the Irish, we can get a Q.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mike

Today my Mike is 7. Here are pictures of the sweetest Sheltie on the planet:

Mike at 5 months...all ears and sweet expression

Mike after a bath...all fluff.

How can you resist that dear face?

Mike in his fully glory. His coat has always been spectacular.

Happy birthday, sweetie.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Success With One Jump

Have you seen the Success With One Jump DVD by Susan Garrett? It is chock full of great practice exercises. When I watched our trial videos, I noticed Cosi is head checking me again. So I went back to basics and got out my SWOJ DVD. Yesterday we practiced the "check" (which means wrap and come back to me) and the "go" (which means send). Nothing is "fixed" (I hate that word with regards to a dog's behavior) in one practice, but we had a great time and he was performing the behaviors 85% of the time.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Importance of Greenery

This whole house rennovation has been a huge learning experience for me. With the furniture and lights in place, I thought we were done. Not so. Yesterday Margie took us to a warehouse chock full of greenery and faux flowers. We chose a six foot palm tree for the living room, ferns and ivy for various planters, and flowers for the arrangements on the living room coffee table and the dining room table.

When we came home and placed the palm tree in the living room, I was amazed at the difference. Here's a before picture:

Now here is the same corner of the living room with the new light and palm tree:


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Evolution of a Dog Name

How many names does your dog respond to? Here's the evolution of my dogs' names:

Jenny The Jett

Jett Jett



Miss Puss

Princess Puss



Brisconater (like Terminator)

The Nater


Mike N Ike

Mike A Mike

Mick Da Mike

Mikey Mike




Cosi Bear (like Fosi Bear)

Cos Man


Bear Bear

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Curse Continues

Every year Dauphin has a four-day trial in the spring and a three-day trial in the fall. And every year the weather is absurd. I remember one year there was a hurricane! After all these years outdoors, Dauphin finally moved indoors. However, the curse continued. We had 40 mph winds and wild rain today. Just bizzare.

Cosi has been doing well, keeping his head in the game for three days. We had a glorious Excellent FAST run this morning, snagging 79 of 80 points. I hadn't done that since Novice FAST. We came in third behind two top dogs, each of which had 80 points. I was very pleased with his run.

It continued in Excellent Standard. (see video below). I did my lead out, and he stood up (for the first time in a long time), testing the criteria. I gave him the hand signal for sit, and he did. I immediately released him and we were off. His stride was off, so he hit the double. But the rest of the run was fabulous! We were connected, he read my body commands (opposite arm to indicate *not* to take an obstacle), and we had a fast time. It's runs like this that keep me wanting to play.

Monday, April 11, 2011

So Much Going On

I haven't written for a while because I haven't been in front of a computer long enough to write a blog entry.

Here are some highlights:

When Janice was here visiting, we were driving down a 4-lane divided highway when overhead we saw this massive bird. As it neared the ground, we saw it was a bald eagle. What an experience to see such a beautiful bird. The white head and tail feathers were quite striking.

Margie continued to work her magic on the rennovation of the house. She delivered some re-framed art work and decorative pillows. The furniture arrived, and she was on hand to help place everything. What a change! I'm overwhelmed. It turned out even better than I imagined. Everett helped to hang the artwork and curtains. He's been such a blessing. We couldn't have done it without him.

Our agility club co-hosted a huge trial that brought a lot of big name handlers to the event. One of those people was Susan Garrett. To say I was star struck is an understatement. There, in the flesh and blood, was the person I've been reading, seeing on the web, and following for the past three years. How exciting. I got to talk briefly with her ringside; it was the highlight of the weekend for me. Cosi and I Q'd in Gamblers and ran very well in standard and jumpers. If not for knocked bar (one in each class), we would have had a banner weekend. I watched my videos; he's head checking to see where I am. Looks like I have to get out the Success With One Jump video and get some practice exercises...from Susan Garrett, of course!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Great Spring Walks

As the dogs and I walked this evening, I noticed all the signs of spring. The crocus plants are up and blooming, the daffodils are nodding in the breeze, and even the dogwood trees are starting to bud. These portents of warmer weather are a joy as we walk.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Last night our educators group (7 retired teachers/administrators and me) got together for our quarterly dinner and activity. Since there are four couples, we each take a turn organizing an activity and dinner for the group. This means the difficult decision of where to eat and what would engage this fun-loving, competitive group.

Last night we played laser tag. What a hoot! We were among four other groups that played. We were divided into a Red team and a Blue team. There were all age ranges and levels of experience. We were all on the Blue team and were hammered by the Red team, which, apparently, had experienced and *young* players.

Afterwards we went to a unique restaurant. It's theme is Robin Hood. They even have a tree house with a real tree growing right through the center where you can dine in privacy, overlooking the countryside. I'm sure in warmer weather, it would be lovely. The menu is pub fare, quite good. Then when the bill comes, you get to choose from three non-profit charities. Five percent of your bill goes to the charity--take from the rich and give to the poor. See? How cool is that!