Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday X Games

Ok, I have to admit that this snow event wasn't nearly as bad as the last.  We ended up with a total of 7" and that's actually a perfect amount for lots of things.  It's not too much to shovel off the deck and driveway, the dogs don't struggle to get through it and if you have a backyard with a fairly steep hill, you can sled on it....

After the chores were done today, Ann and I decided to pull out the Snow Saucer and do some sliding in the backyard.  Of course, we had plenty of assistance.  So much so that Sam and Gin had to go back in the house because they decided that the saucer was a tug toy.  It now looks like a boogie board that has been shark bit - by small sharks :)

Below are some the of the pictures from our afternoon of sledding...

By the way, you can also see Bogey on today's Daily Corgi Snow Dogs post.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Live....

SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon line!  We are not supposed to get 2 major snow events in one winter - barely a month apart.  We've got 5-6" on the ground now and it's still snowing.  It's very pretty but how am I supposed to practice agility in this???

So how do I spend a snowy Saturday afternoon?  I could sit in front of the fire, toasting marshmallows.  Or maybe curl up in a chair with a good book.  Maybe even take a nap!  Wouldn't that be decadent?  That's not what I've been doing though.  No, I've been doing that most dreaded of all dog chores.....grinding toenails.

I am ashamed to admit that I don't quite remember the last time I did this.  However, judging by the talons all my dogs were sporting, it was in the last decade. Around noon I gave Moira a sedative because that's the only way I can get her toenails done.  Even with assistance and a muzzle, she fights like I am planning to amputate her feet.  So she gets a few milligrams of Ace about an hour and a half before the event.

Gin is the easy one and, with Ann's help, she was done in no time.  Then Moira, who was a fairly limp rag by the time she became our next victim.  Lastly was Sam. Sam, Sam, Sam.....  Sam too fights having his feet messed with but will usually give in with fairly good grace.  Today was one of those days when he didn't think he should give in.  We ended up sitting in the living room window seat, Sam on his back, Ann at his head and me, mid-body.  Sam was wedged between me and Ann and the front window.  I can only imagine what the neighbors would have thought had any glanced out their windows or walked down the street.  Dog under glass, or rather, on glass.

Now everyone's nails are shorter and the clicking as they follow me up and down the hall isn't quite as annoying - imagine having six little kids wearing tap shoes following you everywhere.  Maybe I'll go get that book now.....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Practically Perfect in Every Way

I was actually thinking about this post earlier today and then I went to Taryn's blog "A Tail of Two Cardis" where she asked us to describe our dogs in 6 words.  My words for Ginny are - Practically perfect in every way. Tolerant.

Mary Poppins fans out there will recognize the first part of it :)  I frequently say that Ginny is the Mary Poppins of Cardigans.  I know she doesn't get much exposure in my blog.  More often I tell stories about Sam or Moira because those two have such big, suck all the atmosphere out of a room personalities.  Ginny is a quieter sort but, she's my rock.  Tolerant doesn't even begin to describe her.

Gin deals with her father - Sam - like any woman with an aging parent.  She worries about him, keeps an eye on him and gives him hell when she thinks he needs it.  She treats Moira like a college-age daughter.  She is patient when Moira tries on the crown of Queen Bitch but makes sure she knows that abdication of the throne is not in the near future.  Gin treats Bogey like the tween or teen boy that he is - she doesn't take any crap off the youngster but when he acts appropriately, she will give him the time of day.

Gin doesn't generally demand attention from anyone.  She loves to be petted and cuddle but she doesn't insert herself into every situation like some dogs I know.  She knows that her time with me is on the bed at night.  She's the only one who spends all night, every night on the bed and she lays close to the head of the bed with me.  Frankly, she's a bit of a bed hog but I let it go because she doesn't ask for much of anything else.

Gin is the dog that makes all the other dogs possible.  Without her, I would probably go insane.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Agility Fun Thrus

Yesterday I got together with 2 other gals, and their dogs, for some agility run thrus at the training facility near my house.  We set up 2 different courses, a jumpers course and a standard course - both included a set of 6 weaves (channel wide open).

I was really pleased with how Ra did overall.  For a novice dog she did a great job of reading my handling on novice courses.  This was only the second time she ran something approaching a full course and she stayed focused and with me.  I was super pleased with how she found the weaves on the jumpers course.  Even when I got off-line, she made a bee-line for them.  She's jumping 12" and doing it with ease!  At one point, there were a couple of jumps set at 16" (we forgot to lower them after another dog ran) and, even in the midst of a full run, she gathered herself, launched and cleared those with a good 6" to spare - WOW!

Now for the couple of things I wasn't so pleased with.  The start line stay is still not there.  I've got to start proofing her with agility equipment.  She's rock solid with food, going outside or watching the big dogs go outside but, you put a jump in front of her and all bets are off.  Also, her down on the table has eroded.  I think she was so amped up with running the course that, like a lot of dogs, she doesn't want that slow down at the table.  And, of course, we need to get the weaves.  Lastly, she's starting to get very vocal when other dogs run.  She barks and lunges - like any good herding dog who sees another animal running.  I'll need to work on some attention games with her so we can be closer to the rings and gates when trialing starts.

Overall, it was a great 2 hours of practice and maybe the best part was how soundly she slept when we got home :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Agility Trial Entry Confirmation

I received an email this morning from the C'ville Kennel Club's trial secretary - we are in.  I've had some late days at work this week and some crappy weather so Ra and I haven't been outside to work weaves for a couple of days.  However, there is a plan afoot for the weekend!  Myself and some of the other agility die hards from my agility class (currently on hiatus) are going to get together for what I'm calling "fun-thrus."  If everyone can make it, it will be Ra, a couple of BCs, a couple of Aussies and a Shepherd/Husky Mix.  Guess we will be changing jump heights a lot :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

National Specialty - Here We Come!

All the premiums are up on the CWCCA website for the 2010 National Specialty in Gettysburg, PA.  I printed off agility and conformation entries and filled everything out yesterday.  The agility trials don't open until Feb. 17th so I won't need to get those in the mail for a bit.  The conformation entries can go any time until March 31st.

Moira and Conner will be entered in agility this year.  No, I haven't run Conner in agility before but he's a sweet boy and generally very biddable so I don't think that will be an issue.  The bigger question will be if he's ready for his first trial.  I'll have to rely on Karen to continue working with him until the National.

Sam will be entered in Veteran Sweeps 11 years old + and the regular Veteran class for 11+ dogs.  Sam's entry will be dependent on how he is feeling come April.  This winter has been a little harder on the old man.  We've had colder temps and all the times he sacrificed his body for a good time are coming back to haunt him a bit.  He's on supplements and I hope to get him back into a schedule for acupuncture and maybe even get him doing some swimming to help with his conditioning.

Now to put aside all the $$ I'll need to finance this week long extravaganza.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Tonight there is a new champion on the "Sam-ily Tree" - pending AKC confirmation of course. 

I am talking about Associate Horde Member, Conner.  Who is also known as Ch Woodrose All Things Considered PT.  Conner was bred by Karen Lyons of Woodrose Cardigans.  He is by Sam and out of Tess (Ch Merrymoon Noblestar A Little Night Music) and I have had the joy of loving and working with him for the last 2 years or so.  It's been a long road to Conner's championship.  I was there for his first point, in the spring of 2007, and I'm so damned happy that I could be there for the last points too.  He went WD and BOWs for the cross-over points today in Fredericksburg, VA.

I started Conner on his herding training and put an HT on him at the 2008 National.  This fall, Karen put the PT on him and is working toward his Started title.  I hope to handle Conner at this year's CWCCA National agility trials since Karen has also been training him for agility. 

With any luck, Con will be become a full Horde member sometime in the next couple of years.  It is my fondest wish that he come live with me and the rest of the gang.

Below is a picture of me, Conner and Moira that was taken a little over a year ago at a herding match.  When I get a copy of his win picture from today, I will post that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As is always the case, entering a trial means actually getting to work on the skill set that is lacking.  As I posted earlier, I've mailed Moira's first agility trial entry.  It's a random draw trial so there's no guarantee that we'll get in but, I am working on the premise that we will.

The weather has warmed up enough that I'm not worried about either Ra or I getting frostbite while we work on weaves.  Actually, given that I am keep the training sessions very short that wasn't really a worry anyway but I like the drama of the idea :)

Over the weekend we worked 2 or 3 times a day for 5-10 minutes each.  Since the work week started, it's once a day for the same amount of time - usually when I get home from work.  I think we are making some progress.  She's certainly excited about going outside to "do 'gilities."  Right now, I'm not worrying too much about entries and focusing on getting her to be consistent running all the way through the channel.  I've already closed it down quite a bit so she does have to "weave" a little.  I experiment with opening and closing the channel in different places to see if she understands the job - so far I've left the entrance open.  Most of the time she gets it but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades so we have to keep working.

51 days and counting.....

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'd Like to Report a Robbery

Officer, I'd like to report a robbery.  I was having pizza for dinner tonight and I left a piece of crust on my plate while I was putting another piece of wood on the fire.  When I returned to the plate, the crust was gone and I heard a chomping noise from the floor.  Did I get a look at the suspect?  Yes.  The suspect was between 10 and 12" at the shoulder, red hair, mostly white ears and had pizza sauce on her chin.  I believe she goes by the name of Moira, aka Ra, aka PuPu, aka Pu Head, aka Stinkerbell.  I tried to pursue the suspect but the evidence was swallowed before I could catch her.

Will you put out a BOLO on her?  Please advise officers to proceed with caution.  She is agility trained and may attempt to elude capture by jumping, running through tunnels or climbing the A frame.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Maybe I Overcommitted

I mailed Moira's first agility trial entry today.  The trial is March 6-7, in C'ville so it's a "home" game.  Here's the thing - I have agility tomorrow night and then my class is taking a break until Feb. 3!

I don't have weaves yet and I don't have a full-height teeter.  Think I can get the weaves in the time I have?  I have a set of channel weaves at home but the weather has not been cooperative lately.  Nearly 2 feet of snow last month and super cold temps since make the idea of working outside unappealing.  I can't exactly haul the weaves inside.....

What was I thinking??

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Twigs on the "Sam-ily" Tree

With thanks to Dawn at Smalltyme Cardigans for coining "Sam-ily."  Not sure if I got all 6 pups in these pics, I chose the ones that were in focus.  Hopefully, there will be more pictures soon.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ringing in the New Year

Yesterday Ann and I had our 2nd annual New Year's Day Open House.  We had about 30 people over for an afternoon of food, conversation and cocktails.  The menu included Black Eyed Peas (for luck), Coleslaw (for money) and Ham (for health).  We also had German Potato Salad, Peach Cobbler, Smoked Turkey Breast and all kinds of snackin' foods.  Sam and Gin joined in the socializing while the baby dogs (Moira and Bogey) stayed in crates in my room.  Moira doesn't do well with strangers in the house and 30 of them would have meant months or years of therapy for her.  Bogey, at 10 months, hasn't hosted a shindig yet and knowing there would be lots of people coming and going we didn't want to lose track of him.  I have to say how proud I am of Sam and Gin.  There were several children at the party who hugged, hung on and petted the dogs almost constantly and my two senior citizens took it all in stride.  It probably helped that they were fed nearly half a bag of tortilla chips by those same children!

Today I got the news that Sam is a baby daddy again.  Ch. Aberdovey's Infatuation, Lucy, delivered 6 puppies yesterday via c-section.  There are 4 girls and 2 boys, all are reds or sables.  Liz Hillebrand, Lucy's mom, says the pups are huge!  Everyone is doing well and I hope to have pictures to post soon.

Hope you all had as wonderful a New Year as we did.  I'm looking forward to everything that the new year, and new decade, has in store for us.