Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas - A little late

Ann was out of town visiting her family for the holiday so we didn't have Christmas until this morning when she returned.  The dogs really cleaned up this year!

Moira and Bogey got a brand new tunnel for agility practice.  Sam, Ginny and Moira got a new set of high-density foam steps so they can get on the bed (it's 30" tall).  All the dogs got lots of treats and toys - special thanks to Auntie Lynn who sent the freeze dried beef liver that let me get these shots....

Yes, I nearly lost my fingers after this one.  Freeze dried liver is what you call "high value."

Isn't this the sweetest face ever?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from all of us at D'Paw and Fairway Cardigans.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Snow Day Pics

These were taken in the back yard w/in the last hour.  A few are slightly out of focus and I'm sorry about that.  It's a different, fancy-pants camera that my point and shoot mentality can't seem to use...  I'll post some more photos tomorrow when it has, hopefully, stopped snowing.

The patio table again.  The cooler is there now because we thought we might have to melt snow for water.

Moira and Sam in a face off.

Ginny, dashing through the snow...

Moira and Sam in another face off.  This time, Ra is coming out of Sam's Man Cave under the deck.

Sam has reclaimed his Man Cave.

Enough with the Dreaming of a White Christmas already!

Apparently Mother Nature actually listened to all those folks who profess to want a white Christmas.  It started snowing around 5:30pm yesterday in C'ville.  This was the patio table at 10pm last night....

This is the same view around 10 this morning...

And this is Mr. B enjoying his first real snow.  This week last year we were running up and down Hwy 29 to Dr. Dove's office with Sam so Ruby could get a special UPS delivery.  A year later, the results of that delivery are learning about snow....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Homework? Over the Holidays?

Yes, Moira and I have agility homework over the holidays.  Last night was our last agility class of the year (indoors, I might add.  Ahh, blessed heat!)

As I mentioned before, the beautiful down-stay I had for herding is gone.  Agility is way more fun and she is totally (can I emphasize it more?), obstacle focused.  So, we have to 1) find a new word for wait/stay and 2) proof the heck out of it.  The new word is going to be "hold."  I am supposed to set her up in front of a jump and lead out while asking her to hold....  Of course, we'll proof in other situations too.

Second assignment is beginning distance work by sending the dog out and away around an obstacle.  I can't use the word "out" because somehow, through no fault of mine, she learned the proper herding meaning for out.  Which is to turn your back to the stock and hustle your butt out of there until told to stop.  So I'll be using "away" for this.  We'll be going away around anything that isn't an agility obstacle to start with and then transition from there.

Last assignment is weaves.  I own a set of 12 channel weaves and I need to get serious about using them.  I trained Sam w/channel weaves so I know how they work.  Ra seems to be getting it - she's getting consistent about finding an entrance but not always the entrance :)  But she drives to and through the channel so at least she is enthusiastic.

All this is leading up to the fact that I've filled out her first agility entry.  The trial opens Jan. 6 and the trial dates are March 6-7.  So I basically have 2 months to get her ready.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Strange Dog

This morning I got further proof, as if I needed it, that the sign on Moira's car crate is accurate.

I've always let the dogs taste different people foods and drinks.  They never get much, just a taste.  This morning Ann had a grapefruit with her breakfast.  I don't like grapefruit - never have.  To me, it's too sour.  I thought Sam might like it though - he has a marked preference for sour; he LOVES all things lemon.  So, I offered Sam what was left of Ann's half a grapefruit.  He thought it was ok.  Ginny looked at me like I was nuts but Ra. Oh Miss Ra, after a couple of licks, she tried to snatch the half from my hands and run off with it. 
Someday I'm going to make Ra a fruit salad with her favorites - grapefruit and banana.  Odd little red dog.

Friday, December 11, 2009

How Cold Was It?

I think I've mentioned before that the agility folks in VA are crazy, right?  We had class last night - OUTSIDE!  When I got home from class, the temp was 34 degrees.  Now, having lived in NE for a few years I was appropriately outfitted for those kinds of temps but it was still damned cold.  BTW - last year I found an amazing site for insulated coveralls.  They are cut for women!  The addy is:  I have a pair and LOVE them.  Plenty comfortable and lightweight enough for running agility or herding.

PuPu did her first big sequence!  It was 9 obstacles and included a lowered teeter.  I am proud to say she is the only dog in the class controlling the teeter tip by herself.  For everyone else, the instructor holds the teeter and then drops it.  Pu was awesome - fast, clean and jumping 12" like the bars weren't even there.  The beautiful stay I had for herding is eroding though :(  Apparently, agility is a lot more fun than herding ever was so she sees no reason to wait to do it.  Honestly, I love that but it means we are going to have to spend some serious time on proofing - without de-motivating.

Now to get serious about weaves....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cardi Claus - Opening Night

Opening the package from Cardi Claus nearly caused a riot!  I had to use my best Mom voice to tell the dogs if they couldn't be nice, ALL the toys would be picked up and no one would get to play with them.

First - the adorable ornaments.  Sam thought the red dog was a treat he should eat....

Now for the rest of the pics....

Bogey thought the paper was as much fun as a toy.

Ummm, does anyone know what my address is?

Man, I feel like an idiot.  For the last week or so I've been thinking, did Cardi Claus pass us by?  Has one of the dogs done something so evil that we are permanently on the Naughty list?
Today I checked my PO box....  In my defense, it's the holiday season and I work for a catalog company.  Things get a little crazy around here and I just haven't been able to make it to the PO for several days.  Huh, what do you know?  There's a slip in my box indicating I have a package to pick up.  The package is from Cardi Claus!  Yay!  The Horde and I are not perpetually naughty, I am just temporarily stupid.  I forgot I gave Janet my PO box instead of the street address.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Pearl and Kim!  BTW, we know Topaz down in NC, Casper's sister who lives with Nick and Lisa.

Pictures tonight - Sam LOVES to open presents - after my stylist is done making me a red head again :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eat Mor Chikin

Yesterday I went to Chik-Fil-A for their holiday special - Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake.  YUM!  When I had sucked the cup mostly dry, I let the dogs clean it out for me.  They agree with the Chik Fil A cows - Eat Mor Chikin

PuPu says, "I wish my tongue was as long as Sam's."

Ginny and PuPu.  Note Gin has figured out that it is easier and more effective to actually get the cup in your mouth, rather than your mouth in the cup.

Sammy sucking milkshake and whipped cream out of the straw.  Sorry about the eye reflection - I'm not talented enough to fix that.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


We are getting our first snow of the year here in Virginia!  Ok, it's not like what the folks in the upper Midwest or upstate New York get but, it's still cold, white and pretty.  Ann and I were in hysterics on the way home from work last night.  Predictions are for accumulations of 1-5" today but last night VDOT had already treated the roadways - it was 48 degrees and dry.  No, Virginians are not particularly good at driving in snow.

I took a picture of the front yard with my cell a bit ago.  Sorry for the terrible picture quality.  Ann took the good cameras to work with her today - I'm not sure why.  Later this afternoon we'll try to get some pictures of the Horde playing in the snow.  It will be Bogey's first snow experience.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Looking for Holiday Gifts?

Try Showstopper Gifts.  Valarie and her husband Pat are friends from my days in New England.  They have beautiful Beardies but, Val's artistic gifts are amazing.  I have a couple of pins Val made, one a custom, and have donated her goodies to silent auctions too.  If you don't see exactly what you want on her site, drop her a note and she will work with you to design a custom piece.  No affiliations here, other than Val is a friend whose work I love.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cardi Claus

Cardi Claus stopped at the post office on her lunch hour....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Six Degrees of Sam

Jules over at Molasses Ain't Got Nothin' On Us recently posted that she had started a new agility class with Bug.    Sam and I used to take classes at the same place, with the same instructor so I told Jules to let her know that Bug and Sam are related and that I said Hello.  Which made Jules ask if my Sam was the Sam who got Katrin at  By My Side and Monty's Training Diary hooked on Cardigans.  He is.  But it also made me think of the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"  where most of Hollywood can be connected back to Kevin thru 6 or fewer movies.

So here goes....

Sam is:
Grandfather to Scout at Simple Things and
Grandfather to Grace at Days at Daybreake, Great Grandfather to Grace's daughters, Siren and Peace and he's in Magic's pedigree too, although I'm not sure where.  I think a Grandfather....
Related to everyone at Tails of Visions
Grandfather to Cooper at My Favorite People Are Dogs
Grandfather to Jenna at Shades of Gray
Great Great Great Grandfather to Monty at Monty's Training Diary (link above)
Grandfather and Great Great Grandfather to Bug at Molasses Ain't Got Nothin' On Us (link above)

Those are all the links I can think of off the top of my head. And no, he doesn't really get around all that much.... :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Book Signing

Last Friday night, amidst the drama of picking up Mr. B, I got to go to Barnes & Noble in C'ville for a reading and book signing by one of my favorite authors.

Rita Mae Brown actually lives just down the road in Afton, VA, but I've been reading her books for years - since long before I moved to Virginia.  It started with the Mrs. Murphy mystery series - which were the books responsible for me getting involved with Corgis.  I started out wanting a Pem but there weren't any active Pem breeders in Southern Oregon at the time.  Carolyn from over at C-Myste was the only corgi breeder of any sort in the area.  She graciously invited me to come meet the dogs and the rest is history.  (BTW - if I never thanked you before, Carolyn - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!).

Rita Mae has a new book out (Animal Magnetism) and she was going to be at B&N.  The book is about her life with animals and is a series of short stories about different animals she has known and what she's learned from them.

If you've never read any of the RMB books, I highly recommend them.  Her earlier books don't include animals and may not suit everyone's taste (she is pretty opinionated about a lot of things) but the Mrs. Murphy  mysteries, the Sister Jane series and now this book are all terrific reads - good beach or fireplace books.

Me and RMB - who is shorter than I thought she would be.  I had a mental image of her being 6 ft tall!

Monday, November 23, 2009

How We Spent Sunday

These pictures say it all...

You can see a little bit of irritation from his surgery but, I assure you, he's feeling fine.

The old man, sleeping in front of the couch with a toy.

Notice how Ra and Sam are sleeping in almost the exact same position?  Only Ginny didn't cooperate with letting me take a picture while she slept.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mr. B is Fine!

Ann just got a call from the vet's office and Mr. B came through it all with flying colors.  We'll pick him up this afternoon and then the fun really begins - keeping a super-active 9 month old pup "quiet" for several days.  HA!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Did someone say "SNIP?"

Tomorrow is Mr. B's big day at the vet.  We tried to get this done a couple of months ago but there were some issues with his blood work.  Hopefully, everything will be normal (or close enough) that he can go under the knife tomorrow for a little "tutoring."

I have mixed feelings about doing this.  I know he's not show quality but, I look at his little body and wish he would have testosterone running through it long enough to help that chest drop :)  He looks SO leggy right now.  Oh well, better to get this taken care of before he starts thinking he can do something with those suckers.  Thank goodness all the girls in the house are spayed!  And we all know how Sam feels about living with another intact male.....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Janey Come Lately

That's me - Janey come lately.  I tend to miss things that others find and love for months; then I discover them.  Then I proceed to tell all my friends about them and those friends say, "Oh yeah!  I've known about that for years."  Duh.

So this week I discovered The Pioneer Woman.  I'd seen brief mentions on the blogs of other Cardi friends but this week I actually went to the site and spent, roughly, 4 hours reading the story of how she met and married her husband.  Then, at 1 this morning, I went cruising around the site for other gems of humor.  I found the following story... (Spew Alert - at least for those of us w/a slightly twisted mind and experince in animal husbandry)

Did She Just Say....

Now I'm off to run errands and bake pies - pumpkin and apple today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Ok, this is getting a bit ridiculous.  I haven't felt well for 3 weeks now.  I woke up October 20th feeling like crap; a bad, bad cold.  Managed to get myself healthy enough for a trip to a Cardi herding clinic that weekend but woke up that Saturday with an ear infection.  Broke down and went to the Doc in a Box in Ohio for a prescription of antibiotics and cough syrup.  Since then, the ears won't drain and the cough simply won't go away.  Oh, and before you say, "get some decongestants" you should know that my sinuses have never been the issue.  So for a quick recap of the last 3 weeks of Horde life....

Cardi Herding Clinic
Good friends, good fun, good learning experience. 
Ra got to work both sheep and ducks.  Her speed demon ways have not changed a whit and I realized, rather belatedly, that she doesn't have a good sense of where balance is.  The decision to move her to agility was the right one.
Bogey got to work sheep in the round pen.  He had a brief introduction to sheep at the end of August and didn't care for them.  It's amazing what a difference a couple of months can make.  He did a WONDERFUL job.  Easily moved both directions, yielded to pressure and has a lovely natural sense of balance.  He could be a terrific herding dog.  Ann did a terrific job too - she was quite adept at turning in circles while holding a stock stick in one hand and a long line in the other.  See a picture in my last post.

October 29th and 30th
Sam visited Dr. Dove in Gainesville, VA.  After a quick trip to the UPS office, Sammy's Swimmers were winging their way to NC for a date with some eggs.  Cross your fingers.....

Halloween - Pu Head's Bday
I totally missed posting on the Pu Head's 4th birthday.  She did get special treats and lots of extra love.  Her bday present this year was a new collar - black w/candy corn printed on it.  Belated birthday wishes to Sisters Scout, Grace and Fanny as well as Brother River.  Scout's mom, Janet, posted a great picture of Moira and Scout together on her blog Simple Things.  Personally, I think the look on Scout's face says, "I can't wait for motherhood so I can eat all the cake I want!"

Montpelier Hunt Races
For 75 years, the first Saturday in November means the Montpelier Hunt Races at the estate of James and Dolly Madison in Orange, VA.  Ann and I went for the first time last year and had such a grand time that we knew we would have to go again this year.  The Races were started by Marion DuPont Scott and are a Virginia institution.  There are 7 races run that day; 2 on the flat track and 5 steeplechase races.  We are fortunate enough to have friends with reserved, in-field parking that is right on the rail!  The event is very family friendly, with lots of good food, good beverages and beautiful horses - it's one big tailgating party.  As part of the opening ceremonies, the Keswick Hunt Club does a partial circuit of the steeplechase track w/horses and hounds.  A picture is below.  If life ever hands you the opportunity to visit central Virginia in early November, make plans to attend the races.  BTW, the weather was GORGEOUS!  Low 60s and sunny, we couldn't have asked for better.

Breaking News!
Sam or Ginny may be America's Next Top Model!  The photo producer for one of the catalogs I work for called me today to ask if any of my dogs would be available for a shoot tomorrow.  Seems the dog model they had booked cancelled.  So I told him I would bring Sam and Gin and we'll see which one behaves better :)  Ginny says she's ready for her close up, Mr. DeMille!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Preview

It's the week following month end at work and that means I am up to my neck in reporting but, I will post!  Hopefully, later this evening.  In the meantime, here's a preview....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No Dog Events this Weekend

Yes folks, it's true - there have been no dog-related events this weekend. Saturday we had the carpets and furniture professionally steam cleaned. That basically ate up the entire day.

Today, I spent the day canning apple pie filling. I've done a lot of that sort of thing this year. In August, Ann and I picked nearly 80 lbs of peaches (I know - 80?1?1?). I scalded, peeled, sliced, bagged and froze those. In September, the woman who works for me gave me a grocery bag full of green beans from her garden. I blanched and froze those too. In October, I bought 4 pie pumpkins, baked them down, pureed the flesh and froze that (mmm, pumpkin pie or pumpkin for puppies w/upset tummies). This weekend it was 20 lbs of apples made into pie filling and canned. I borrowed a peeler/corer from one of the women at work. I have GOT to get me one of those do-hickeys! It peeled, cored and sliced all those apples in no time. I expect there will be more food made in bulk and frozen in the next month or two. I have a great recipe for chicken and white bean chili that freezes well. Also, chicken pot pies w/artichoke hearts - delicious recipe and another that freezes well.

Ann downloaded the pictures from the show last weekend but she wasn't happy with any of them. Taryn over at A Tail of Two Cardis got a great shot of Moira and Scout together but I am saving it for the girls' b-day post. The proofs aren't up yet from the professional photog.

So it's a quiet Sunday. There's a fire in the fireplace and I think I'll plant myself in front of that for a while.

PS - For those who are be concerned, Sam recovered from his tumble off the table just fine. He's a tough old guy.


Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Monday Already?

It was a big, and busy, weekend for the Horde.

Saturday was the CCWCC Specialty in West Friendship, MD.  Sam was entered as a veteran - his first time back in the ring in over 3 years.  He place 2nd in the 10+ year old class and had a BIG time doing it.  You would have thought it was his own, personal Mardi Gras parade.  The judge even commented that she wasn't sure he was in the right class because a dog that enthusiastic couldn't possible be a veteran.  We pulled from the regular veteran class though.  In between sweeps and the regular classes, Sam managed to back himself off the table, taking a pretty good tumble.  He's fine but, in the immediate aftermath his back was a little sore and I didn't want to aggravate that with getting on and off the table.

Then Moira got to visit with her sister, Scout.  It wasn't exactly a Southern girls sorority reunion - no screaming or crying.  Moira was much too worried about everything that was going on around her.  Scout was worried that Moira was going to try to take some of the things in her birthday gift basket.  We haven't downloaded pictures yet but you can see some at Janet's blog, Simple Things.

Bogey was along for the ride to the show too.  He had a great time too.  That little dog belies all the talk of Cardis having softer temperaments.  He's never met a stranger - in fact, I've decided that he is obnoxiously social.  He wants to meet everybody, whether it looks like they want to meet him or not.

Gin made a brief appearance at the show too.  She is basically a homebody and doesn't care for all the hoopla associated with dog shows but she did come out and got to see some old friends. 

Sunday, we loaded up the entire crew again and drove up to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA.  If you are in the area, I would highly recommend this park.  It's huge with lots to do and dog friendly as well.  We were going up there to meet up with Christopher Briscoe.  Chris is a photographer from my hometown and he's brilliant.  I've had Chris shoot portraits of me twice - at 21 and 31 years old - and wanted another sitting but thought I would have to make a trip to Oregon to get it.  Imagine how thrilled I was to find out that he has clients on the East coast and flies out here regularly?  So, everyone piled into the Yawt early yesterday afternoon and we made the trip up north to meet Chris.  We spent about 2 hours in the park w/him shooting lots and lots of pictures.  The proofs should be available in 7-10 days.  I can't wait to see what he got.  We couldn't have asked for nicer weather (sunny, upper 60s) and the dogs were relatively well-behaved.

So now it's time to head into work for another week.  The Horde's next big adventure will only involve Bogey and Moira.  We're heading up to Ohio in 2 weeks for a weekend of herding with Dana Hasemeier.  It will be Bogey's first introduction to sheep.  There should be some interesting photo ops there......

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ch Sam ROMb

YAY!  I just checked the CWCCA website and Sam's name is listed under the ROMb stud dogs.  I've been watching his offspring/points for a couple of years, just waiting for him to break the magic point total.  Thanks to a couple of his offspring attaining their own ROM awards, he finally had the points he needed.  Oh, and did I mention he's also been tested normal (or as normal as Sam gets!) for DM.

We did toenails tonight in preparation for the show next weekend.  We all hate doing toenails but, it's a necessary evil.  We'll probably try to do them again one more time before Saturday....


Friday, October 2, 2009

Let's Go to a Show!

The Chesapeake CWC Specialty is a week away and Sam is entered in both veteran sweeps and the regular classes.  It's been over 2 years since Sam has been in the breed ring.  I don't have any expectations, we are going to support the club and because Sam LOVES to go to dog shows.  He will bark his head off to let everyone know he's there, then nearly wag himself off the table.  For a dog that wasn't shown until he was over 7 years old, he sure does love the game.

Tonight I took Sam and Gin to our favorite DIY dog wash in Culpeper.  It's a wonderful set up - raised tubs, steps up to the tub, hydro-surge washing systems and even dryers!  Of course, I take my own shampoo and my own dryer; I want to use a particular shampoo on Sam's coat and my dryer has more horsepower :)  The prices are very reasonable and the allure of not having to clean up after myself makes the drive worthwhile.

Gin is typically a breeze to bathe.  She stares at me with deep, tortured eyes until all the wetting, lathering, rinsing and drying is done.  Tonight was no different and I had her bathed and dried in no time.

Sam, however, is blowing coat right now.  He's really blowing coat.  I mean REALLY.  I brushed him out on Sunday at got at least a plastic shopping bag full of undercoat out of him.  Tonight, I brushed him again and got nearly as much.  While I was drying him, the hair was swirling around me and the wash stall.  I can't recall ever seeing him blow coat like this.  I'm not panicked though because, out of coat Sam has more hair than most dogs do in coat.  Being out of coat basically means that Sam will be easier to groom for the show.

At this point in time, you are probably wondering why I am bathing Sam a full week before the show.  Well, Sam's coat is temperamental.  When he's freshly bathed, he is a big fuzz-ball.  By bathing him a week in advance, the natural oils have a chance to get back into his coat and it ends up looking and feeling just about right.  Now we just need to cross our fingers that there is little or no rain for the next week and that Sam doesn't spend a lot of time in his Man Cave (under the deck in back of the house).  Wednesday evening we are going to visit Cathy O-C for some help polishing his look.

I'm excited about next weekend for another reason.  Moira's sister, Scout, is also entered in the show.  We haven't seen Scout since the 2008 National in KY.  Both girls were still quite young then.  On Halloween, they will turn 4 and, I can honestly say that Ra has matured tremendously in the last 6-9 months.  It will be fun to compare and contrast her and Scout.  I'm hoping we can get some family portraits too - Sam is the girls' grandpa and Ginny and Bogey are their aunt and uncle, respectively.

I have 3 clean (Ra got a bath last weekend) and tired red dogs waiting to go to bed.  Next weekend I will post show results and, maybe, some pictures.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sam's Sweet Stomper - Rest in peace

This evening I received a tearful phone call from my dear friend and mentor, Marla.  She had to help one of her Cardis, Stomper, over the bridge today.

Stomper was Marla's son's dog and he was my Sam's best dog buddy.  The 2 boys were the "Front Yard Dogs" at Mar's for many years; greeting everyone who pulled into the drive in between long naps under the bay window off the kitchen.

Rest in peace, Stomps. I know Big Sam was waiting at the bridge for you.

Sam's Sweet Stomper
December 2, 1994 - September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


That's what we call it now - Ra'gility.  Pu Head loves doing 'gilities.  I had hoped that she would be a herding dog but, she thought herding should be a speed sport and, oddly enough, the judges didn't agree with her. So I've decided to put her need for speed to better use.

We started agility classes this spring - before the National.  I lucked out and found a trainer who teaches classes less than a mile from the house!  Down side?  Classes are outside.  Normally, classes would have gone on hiatus for the summer because it gets too hot here to work outside in the summer (it does?) but an opportunity to rent an indoor facility in C'ville came up so, we've been there for the last 3 months.  When the current session ends (mid-October) we will move back outside.  These VA people are crazy!  Agility outside in the winter and inside in the summer????

Anyway, training Ra for agility has been a completely different experience than training Sam.  When I started training Sam in the winter of 2004, we did very little foundation work.  Sam had to complete an obedience class and then we moved on to agility.  In the agility class we did a little bit of target work and then moved almost immediately to what my current instructor calls "the sexy stuff" - running sequences.  I think I entered Sam in his first trial 10 months after we started classes.  I had a dog who wasn't reliable on weaves and totally couldn't weave on the off-side, wouldn't work ahead of me, knocked bars all the time because he was too busy looking at me while he ran, didn't do rear crosses - basically all the stuff you need to have a really successful agility dog.  Sam and I had a great time with agility though and I credit it with building and strengthening the close bond we share now.

Ra has been doing nothing but foundation work since March.  Just last week we did more than 2 obstacles in a sequence.  She is learning weaves using the 2x2 method - we are working on entries now and haven't done any real weaving yet.  She's barely been on the teeter - we are still working on not being afraid of the bang (a Pu Head issue w/noise).  It's a whole different ball game with a whole different dog.  Ra is much more obstacle focused than Sam ever was - once she knows we are doing 'gilities, there's no stopping her.  My handling is going to have to improve dramatically - along with my physical fitness.  This little dog is a lawn rocket.  I'm either going to have to keep up or learn to handle from a distance - probably a combination of the two.

I'm aiming for our first trials in March 2010; one indoor and a couple weeks later an outdoor trial.  Then it will be the National at the end of April.  It's looking like her sister, Scout, might do agility at the National too.  And a half-sister, Drew, will probably be there too.  What fun!

Ann is taking agility classes with Bogey too.  Not to worry - he's not doing ANY jumping, yet.  Our instructor is very aware of the special needs of Cardis and won't ask him to do anything he shouldn't.  Bogey is already doing very well in class - his job is to clean the tunnel of treats after dogs who aren't confident enough to go through without some incentive.  I think this will be a great experience for both of them.  Obedience was a little too regimented for Mr. B, and Ann too, I think.  They both seem to be enjoying the class so far and it will certainly help build their relationship.

Next Post - Getting Ready for the CCWCC Regional Specialty

Friday, September 11, 2009

Why "The Heathen Horde?"

When you hear it, it sounds bad.  Like I have this swarming mass of undisciplined dogs.  That's not true.....most of the time :)  The name actually came from a neighbor in St. Louis, MO.

It was winter and we were in the midst of a snowstorm.  It was very early in the morning - still dark - when I let Sam, Ginny and, I think it was one of Ginny's daughters (a red), outside.  The 3 dogs ran to the bottom of the yard barking their heads off and refused to be quiet or come back in the house.  So I stomped after them to make my point.  I mentioned it was dark and snowing, right?  There was already 6-8" of snow on the ground and the wind was blowing making the temperature about 26 below w/wind chill.  I was wearing a bathrobe and slippers.  Yes, it was breezy and chilly....

So, I'm chasing the dogs to the bottom of the yard yelling at them when I hear my neighbor call out to me....

"What are you doing with that heathen horde?"
The name stuck and the more I thought about it the more appropriate it seemed.  There are days when Sam makes me think of a marauding Viking (I know, he's Finnish and not Scandinavian).  Gin, despite the genteel manners she learned in her youth, could easily be a Viking priestess or maybe a Valkyrie.  Moira - well, she's a little further removed from her pagan roots.  I would say Moira is the product of a Viking raid on an Irish fishing village :)  Bogey seems to be following in his father's footsteps but he's a smidge more civilized.
Next post - Agility!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Usual Suspects

Ok, I'm a little slow to get started. Living with 4 dogs and working full time can make it difficult to get to something like blogging. So what do I do? Take a break at work to blog!

I think I should probably introduce the Horde first.

The first Horde member was Ginny (CardiRidge Red Ginger 'Spice'). She came to me in 2002, just before her 3rd birthday. Ginny, as you can probably tell from her picture, is an old soul. She has, in my opinion, the perfect red Cardigan bitch temperament and she rules the house with an iron paw in a velvet glove. She thinks 'boys are stupid' but absolutely loves older men (the human variety). She is practically perfect in every way.

Next came Sam (Ch Yardican Roland). Sam came a bare 5 months after Gin and is Ginny's father. Sam is a lot of dog. He's loud, charismatic, funny, smart, manipulative, loving....there's just a lot there. He came to me when he was 4 1/2 years old. He and I have come a long way together. He was my first performance dog (it's great to have a dog with a can-do attitude) and my first show dog (although others handle him for me). I love him dearly and now, at 11 1/2 years old he is an aging frat boy; enters a room believing he is the life of the party, plays too hard and then goes home and crashes while vowing never to do that again - until the next time.

Moira (CardiRidge Sweet Potato Pie HT), Horde member #3. She is Sam's granddaughter and Ginny's niece. She is a lot like her mother, Honey (Yardican CardiRidge Ella Elotuli). Ra is another sweet, funny red girl. Her picture on the blog says it all - Strange Dog. She has some oddities that make life with her interesting. She's a very cautious soul, changes in her environment must be carefully studied before they are accepted. New people must make her list before she will let them touch her. Moira has taken over as my performance dog. First as a herding dog (we have some test level titles) and now as an agility dog. I think agility will be her sport - it's fast and furious, which she loves. Moira has a plethora of nicknames; Ra, Pu, PuPu, PuHead, Red Pu Head, Evil Red Dog, Baby Red Dog.... It goes on and on because I love her so much and one word for love is never enough.

Lastly is Bogey. Bogey actually belongs to my housemate, Ann. He is her first Cardigan and she's getting the full treatment. He is a Sam son and, when all the paperwork is complete his registered name will be All Trade Fairway Xceeds Par. At just 6 months old, Bogey is exactly what you would expect. He's a BOY and we know what Gin says about that :) No, he's wonderful and loads of fun. He starts a foundations agility class next week and will meet sheep for the first time next month. Ann has lots of plans for him.

Next post - Why 'The Heathen Horde?'

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inaugural Blog

Hmmm. Decided to try this blogging thing so various and sundry friends can keep up with the antics of the Heathen Horde - and me too. Although I'd like it known that I typically do not participate in antics.....