Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Two At A Time

Max is so very glad to have his "sister" Fern back, and I KNOW the adult dogs are glad she's back too.  Max & Fern spend many hours a day playing, and while she was in season and separated from the "pack", Max just about drove the adults (especially his dad Argus) crazy.  "Play with me! Please, someone play with me!"  Now that Fern is back he has a ready made playmate, although even she gets tired of his antics at times.

I wasn't sure if I could manage two Dal Kids less than six months apart in age, but it's working OK.  Because the other dogs range in age from seven to almost thirteen, it was time to add a couple of permanent members to the household.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to be dogless!  And I love watching the interaction between dogs.  I call it My Family Pack, and they are endlessly entertaining.

The main problem with raising two pups is the tendency to let them entertain one another, rather than putting the appropriate amount of work into each pup as an individual.  I've tried very hard not to do that, and both pups get individual time and attention and TRAINING every single day.  It may be just a walk, or a five minute training session in the basement, but each pup gets to be the special pup for awhile each day, and each pup spends some crate time every day while the other pup gets to be out with the adults.  Each attended a puppy class too, which was so helpful.

It seems to be working well so far, and although it takes a lot of effort on my part and patience on Ron's part, both pups are turning out to be good family members.   Their personalities are so very different, but each is a really nice dog and a good addition to my household.  Hopefully both will be successful show dogs too, but as companions they are already stars, and we live with our dogs far more than we show them.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer At Last

Max in camo, and soaking wet

We knew it would happen this way of course, that we would go from Endless Winter to Sultry Summer.  Temperature is supposed to be in the 90s today - ARGH!  At least the house will have it's residual coolness, for awhile at least.  Suspect I will spend the evening in the basement with the fishes, as the basement will stay cool until the soil around it warms up.  I anticipate coming home at noon to water the grass seed - the lawn is coming back nicely from all the Japanese Beetle grub damage, but 90+ degrees of sunshine will be tough on all the tender new grass plants.

What I SHOULD do this evening is take Max to handling class.  If I want to start showing him in June we have to work on his stacks.  He stacks well if there are no distractions, but if a dog or person gets within his "kissing zone" it's a lost cause.  Like his father Argus, Max is distractable, very friendly, and way too happy for his own good.  He'll make a fine show dog some day, but no doubt I'm in for my share of embarrassment as he learns the ropes.

If all goes well, Max, Fernly & Gemma go to the Chicagoland Specialties next month.  LOTS of training needed before then!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mother's Day to me.  It was a lovely day, and a real goof off weekend.  I couldn't sleep and got up too early, but the rest of the day was perfect.  Brunch with my mother, sister, and Ron, and a good brunch too.  The Chianti Grill (our favorite) was all booked up when I finally thought to make reservations, but Green Mill Shoreview did an outstanding job, and it was one of the best brunches I've had.  I don't need a fancy brunch menu, I just want really tasty egg and potato dishes, and good sausages.  Wish I skipped all the other interesting and tasty dishes, and just concentrated on the 4-Cheese Scrambled Eggs, Parmesan Hash Browns, and exceptional Sausage!  The cheesecakes looked good, but I'm not a cheesecake fan (lucky me, lots of calories there) and the brownie was outstanding.  Chocolate is always the best for dessert.

Although my mother is growing increasingly feeble and is losing her vision, she loves going out to eat, and she made a large dent in all the food my sister helped dish up for her.  Because we're never sure how many Holidays we have left, my sister and I try to share holidays with mom whenever we can.

The rest of the day was devoted to being a good Dog Mom.  The sun felt good and Argus, Max and Fernly all got individual and interesting runs.  Max went down to Hidden Falls where he remembered the pond he had played in several weeks ago.  Still plenty of water in it, and lots of sticks to retrieve.  He smelled a bit funky from the pond water but a quick bath took care of that.  He's such a fun dog, always enthusiastic and entertaining, and continues to be good off leash.

Argus has never been very good off leash, so his walk was entirely on leash, but it was a long and interesting one at Crosby Park, where we walked around the lake and hunted for wild flowers.  Because Argus does a good Sit Stay, it's easy to take flower pictures when he comes along, and I found the Marsh Marigolds I wanted to photograph.  Love these wetland flowers.

Fern's run was on the college campus later in the afternoon.  Not very many dogs or people, so she too got to run off leash.  It was good to see that she's trotting more and pacing less, so hopefully she will make it to the show ring eventually.

Nothing like good food, family, hiking, fresh air and sunshine to tire you out and I slept like a rock. 

Happy Mother's Day to me too!