Sunday, February 26, 2012

By the Numbers

307 Days
91 Companies
4 In-Person Interviews
Innumerable on line applications and hours spent filling them out - repeatedly.

The only number that counts?  One.
One job offer.

Late Friday afternoon I finally got the call.  I received an offer from a company in Nashville, TN, that I am accepting.  There are, of course, details to be worked out but, I will once again be employed.

Many thanks to all of you who have expressed your support over the last several months.  While I didn't write a lot, the blog and your comments were part of what helped keep me marginally sane.

More details to come....  You just gotta know that moving The Horde to Nashville will be an adventure.....

Monday, February 13, 2012


So apparently all my dog show friends are a bunch of weenies since not one of you sent me a less than flattering win picture.  Or maybe it's that none of you have ever taken a less than flattering win picture?  Because if that is the case, I'm screwed.

Now, to take the post title another direction...  This morning I was thinking about owning a stud dog and what that has meant to me personally.  In the world of dogs, there are people who prefer to own dogs and those who prefer to own bitches.  In most respects, it doesn't really matter to me - I have both - but owning a stud dog seems, to me, to be a little different.

When Sam came to live with me, nearly 10 years ago, it was supposed to be a temporary situation.  As a novice Cardigan owner I had no intention of becoming involved in the conformation or breeding side of owning dogs.  Ginny had come to live with me about 5 months earlier and I had originally thought I would pursue competitive obedience with her (the only dog sport I was aware of at the time) but that wasn't panning out.  Sam came along and things began to change.

I acknowledge that every stud dog is different and what I've experienced with Sam may not be the norm but, here's what I've found:

- Some stud dogs don't like other intact males.  In my first group of Cardigan friends, there were a bunch of intact males.  Some had stood at stud, others hadn't.  None of them liked each other.  We all socialized at agility events but we had to do it from a 6-10 foot distance if we had the dogs with us.

- Intact males can be wonderfully polite around girls in season or real idiots.  Early on, Sam was very polite when his girlfriends would come to stay with us.  As he's aged, he's gotten less polite and more of an idiot.  The whining and tap dancing that accompanied Georgia's last season were ridiculous.

- When you own a stud dog, you sometimes have to take matters into your own hands.  Enough said.

- Taking your stud dog to a good looking, male repro vet to be collected on can seriously impair your sang froid.

- Owning a stud dog causes you to have what most people would think of as completely inappropriate public conversations about testicles, penises, semen, sperm counts, motility and virility.  It also causes the guy at the UPS store to ask if you were the one who shipped a 'whole bucket' of sperm to England.  I was not.

- Owning a stud dog means you don't have to be married or have a boyfriend to experience having a man in your bed who hogs the bed, steals the covers, throws the pillows on the floor, snores, farts and kicks you when he's dreaming.

-Owning a stud dog means you can have lovely friendships all over the country and world with people you've never met because their dog has your stud in its pedigree.  I'm always thrilled to see pictures of members of the Samily and hear about their exploits.

What about the rest of you who own stud dogs?  Anything to add to the list?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another Dog Show Take Away

I've been meaning to post since the first weekend in February but, I've had a cold and just haven't had the energy.  On February 4, Miss Georgia went Best of Breed at a show in Doswell, VA.  It was a small Cardigan entry, no specials, but I'm still super proud of the little girl who is growing into such a lovely show dog.

In the past I've talked about all the crap you need to show a dog; grooming table, dryer, special shampoo, brushes, combs, chalk, etc.  Then there's the wardrobe considerations for the handler; color coordinating with your dog, making sure the skirt is long enough to cover your lady bits if you bend over, pockets, etc.  Of course there's teaching your dog to be a show dog; hand stacking, free stacking, gaiting, baiting, etc.  Then you go in the ring and hope for a win.  When it happens, it's exhilarating!  And then you get to the win photo....

Traditionally, you have a win photo taken for your first point(s), both majors and when your dog completes its championship.  There is a photographer at the show who will take the picture with or without the judge (with the judge is preferable), in the ring or at a designated photo area.  The photo is mailed to you, in a sealed plastic sleeve, within a week or two of the show.  You can usually see enough of the photo through the printing on the sleeve to determine if you want to keep it.  If not, you send it back and pay nothing.  If you open the sleeve and keep the photo, you have to pay for it.

Sounds pretty simple I mean, we take pictures all the time.  If you have dogs, chances are good you have literally hundreds of pictures of them - candids as well as stacked shots (if they are show dogs).  You've probably been in lots of pictures yourself too.  No big deal, right?  WRONG!

What they don't teach you in handling classes, or anywhere else for that matter, is that the win photo should be practiced as well.  Getting your dog appropriately stacked shouldn't be an issue - you've practiced the hell out of that.  Getting YOURSELF properly posed is an entirely different issue.  Which brings me to Georgia's recent win photo.
Click to biggify.

You'll notice that my face is obscured.  That's because I was so focused on getting G set up properly, making sure the collar didn't make her hair do weird things, making sure the lead wasn't dangling in an odd place, etc. that when the photo was snapped my face was NOT prepared.  I look like a turtle that has been goosed.  My expression is literally so distracting that you don't see the dog.

I'm willing to post an un-retouched photo if my dog show friends out there will share with me their less than flattering win photos too.  Send them to me at dina.delsman *@* and I will do a whole post of win photos gone wrong.  I need to know that others have felt my pain.