Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Watson is introducing himself to his daughter Cloud. She had seemed kind of depressed when she came home from Sedalia with us, and a comfy crate in the living room plus lots of walks didn't seem to cheer her up. Then it occurred to me that she had always lived with a houseful of dogs at Janey's and was lonely. I took her out to the dog yard with Watson, then added Argus to the mix, and Cloud was almost immediately her happy self again. Even though she loves people, she missed being with dogs.
Ken was scheduled to pick Cloud up at 5:00 PM and as I expected he was waiting in front of the house when I arrived. Ken has a liver boy from us, and has wanted a second dog for a long time. We think this should be a good match but told him that if for some reason Cloud did not work out, that she was to come right back to me. Cloud fits in well here, and I almost always have someone on my list looking for a good natured adoptable adult from a known background. I had assured Janey that if there were any problems, I would take responsibility for Cloud.
Although it's hard to place beloved adult dogs, when really good homes come along it's sometimes best to let one of the resident dogs go. There is a limit to how many dogs we can give proper time and attention to, and my feeling has always been that I OWE my dogs the best possible situation. Although I have had at many as 8 dogs at one time, I know that I really can't do a good job with more than 5, and that's only because Ron helps out. If I were a single person I would never try to keep more than 3, no matter how much room I had. My feeling has always been that if you do not not have time to do something with each individual dog every single day, then you have too many dogs.
As breeder-exhibitors, if we want to keep new dogs to show or breed, we may need to consider letting one the retired dogs go to a carefully selected home. Of course some of our dogs will stay forever, but not every dog can be our #1 favorite. I've placed quite a few adult dogs in the past with most satisfactory results, although it's a lot easier to make that decision before you get too attached (and sometimes that happens very quickly).
And no, Coral, Watson, Josie and Argus are NOT available!
Monday, July 12, 2010
Well, most of them are still on my camera. Note to self, "Self, download pictures tonight!". Do need to take a new picture of Audrey, the giant cup plant, as she is now more than 8 feet tall and getting ready to flower - of course you would have to be at least 8 feet tall to actually appreciate those flowers! This picture is Victory, an Argus puppy who is being shown in Texas by Becky his novice owner. Got some real nice feedback on this pup and we're hoping that Becky stays committed to showing him. Sure is a pretty boy. He was my pick pup (from pictures) but unfortunately the breeder would not let him come up here, but that's another story.
Up early to walk Cloud who came home from Sedalia with Argus and me. She's a retired champion show dog who is going to a new home with a gentleman who has one of my dogs and was ready for a second dog. She's a Watson daughter, so is "family". Because she's had one litter and her breeder did not have plans to breed her again, this seemed a good solution for everyone. Cloud is very sweet and will love being one of two dogs rather than one of many. Hope I can get a picture of her with her dad before she leaves, as she is unmistakeably a Watson daughter!
Very nice weekend in Sedalia, even the weather. Warm and sunny, but not nearly as humid as I would have expected and the show buildings were air conditioned - actually a bit TOO cold! Argus was a knothead on Friday, as he figured out that his daughter Echo (needs two points to finish) was in season, and he tried to spot her while gaiting - tough to do a decent down and back while looking over your shoulder. Because the ring was WAY TOO SMALL it was not easy to deal with this, and Argus lost - and deserved to lose! Dogs will be dogs.
On Saturday he had his act together and showed quite well in breed. He got it together by Group and gave me a good performance, showing like he can and moving particularly well. Tough tough group full of handlers with excellent dogs, and the Standard Poodle bitch is standing season. (The handler was nice enough to let me know that at ringside - thanks Sharon! I've sure had great experiences with pro handlers this year - most are truly class acts, at least the genuine professionals.) Argus won the Group, his 20th Group One win. Good boy, Argus!
Had a great time outside the show ring too, and a nice dinner with Dal friends Donna, Kelly & Becky on Friday. Somehow we missed Kathy who I had hoped could join us too - hard to get the connections worked out sometimes. Janey arrived from Florida on Saturday afternoon, and must have brought us luck. It was nice to have one more person cheering ringside - thanks everyone! We enjoyed a nice dinner at Patricia's (how's that for a name for a Mexican restaurant?) and the fish tacos were really good. The Margarita was just as good as it had been the previous evening. While we were eating, Argus was cooling down in my motel room, so I retrieved him and we introduced him to Sugar. Wham! He was ready (he's always ready), she was ready too, and after very minimal introductions we they were bred. About as easy as it gets.
We did a repeat the following morning just as a precaution, and then we both headed for home, Cloud joining Argus and me for the trip home. Sunday judging was late, the judge was not really very good for us, the group was super tough, and I had a 10 hour trip and a bad weather forecast. Hit some scary storms in Kansas City and was fortunate to be able to exit the freeway safely and wait it out in a Denny's parking lot.
It was nice to see Hollie Scott and her parents, and to see Watson's brother Peter who finished his Rally title on Friday. Like Watson, Pete looks really good at 10. He's such a cool dog, and so much loved by Hollie and her family.
Ken comes to retrieve Cloud later today - she'llhave a great home and he'll have another wonderful Dalmatian. Hopefully his liver Coral son Magoo won't be too jealous if his new roomie!