Thursday, September 9, 2010

Good Catch!

The athletic brown dog in the picture is Puck, a Jonah/Josie son who lives in California. Josie seems to have passed the Frisbee-catching gene on to her kids, and most of them are just as athletic as she is. Puck lives the good life, going to daycare several days a week (rather than sitting home alone), and accompanying his owners when they eat at outdoor restaurants. They even plan vacations around things that Puck likes to do. Definitely is good home and a much-loved dog.

Tess is here now, and she and Argus will be introduced this evening. She's a Watson daughter owned by my friend Paula. I normally see Tess only at dog shows where she generally acts extremely bored (dog shows are not her thing, I guess) but she's got a ton of personality outside the ring. Once Tess is bred she will go home and Paula will whelp and raise the pups, then they will come here at 6 weeks. I wanted to lease Tess and raise the pups, but Paula would rather not have Tess gone, and she loves doing little pups, so this compromise should work fine for all of us. Timing is lousy, as pups will be ready to go about New Years, not the optimum time for placing pups, but we've had winter litters before. It's actually a great time to house train pups because they quickly learn that once they do their business outdoors they can come back inside. We've house-trained many winter pups, so if there is a keeper in the litter we are prepared.

Argus has a vet appointment today and hopefully they will be able to identify the issue that is causing him pain in his right rear leg. Then I will make an acupuncture appointment as well and see if we can figure out what is affecting his topline. Argus looks and acts "fine", and moves "normally" - BUT because I watch him all the time I can tell there is a problem of some sort. He does not limp, but something is not quite right, and I would like to get it fixed/adjusted/healed or whatever.

Two shows this weekend, one point each day - hopefully Charlie can win them and finish his championship. Because there is nothing coming up this fall, Penny will fly home to Virginia next week. She'll be back in the spring to work on her Grand Championship (she finished her regular Championship in Colorado last month). Good time for Jess and me to stay home and save our $$$ and vacation time!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We had a lot of fun with Argus's birthday yesterday. A Facebook announcement, trip to Chuck & Don's to pick out a toy, and a special birthday dinner. Guess that's what happens when you are an empty nester without grandkids! Dogs certainly DO play a variety of roles in one's life. I try very hard not to treat my dogs like people (it puts too heavy an emotional load on the dog) but they do enjoy a bit of spoiling! Ginger suggested that Argus should get a steak dinner for his birthday, so I picked up a small ribeye, grilled it just a bit, and served it with sweet potatoes and cabbage (his favorite veggies). I made him do a sit stay while I took the picture - hence the pleading expression! Wasn't actually sure his sit would be this reliable, but he was perfect.

It's definitely going to be a hectic week. Later today I drive to Mason City to meet Paula and pick up Tess who will be bred to Argus this week. Argus has a vet appointment on Thursday to discuss what might being going on with his stifle and back - can't keep him on aspirin forever and something is not right. Shows this weekend with a chance to finish Charlie's championship. Penny is not entered but will ride along, Argus is entered but I will not show him, and Charlie must be picked up for the weekend - hopefully he remembers everything and does not need to be retrained. He's not entered anywhere else, so if he does not finish this weekend, it will be awhile - assuming we can even find points and competition anywhere else. Then I need to get Tess back to Paula - and can't take her along to the shows with us or poor Charlie would lose his mind. Teenaged boys can NOT travel with bitches in season . . .

Tried to get an appointment with the top local veterinary acupuncturist but she is not taking new clients. Bummer. Hopefully she can provide me with the name of someone else I can try. There is something going on with Argus's back, and perhaps it is related to the stifle injury, but maybe not. Acupuncture might be useful. Chiropractic did not help. Something has changed his topline and I need to get that taken care of. It's not the ideal time to breed a bitch, but we have been waiting all summer for Tess to come in season and I really want to see what this breeding produces. She's a Watson daughter and I would really like a good bitch that combines the best qualities of Argus and Watson. Fingers crossed.

So for now Argus is sitting out. He's comfortable, but not 100% and I don't want to show him again until we get this taken care of. Am concerned that the stifle injury is a cruciate ligament problem that might require enforced rest or surgery. Please cross your fingers! And paws!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy BIrthday Argus!

Seems like only yesterday this silly guy came into my life, but he's 5 years old today. I reserved a Marlin/Olivia pup months before the breeding was done - it just seemed like "the right" combination, and it was. Champions Argus, Andy, Joey & Tsunami proved it. I never thought that I could love a dog as much as I loved Criket (my first Dal) and Rob, but I guess I was wrong. How lucky I am to have owned so many lovely Dalmatian over the years, and especially those three. All dogs are special, but some are extra-special, our Heart Dogs, the ones who occupy a special place in our hearts and minds. Argus will be getting a small steak for dinner, along with a baked sweet potato, and all the dogs will be sharing ice cream. Dogs like Birthday Parties too!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New And Improved Google?

Yeah, right. It did not recognize me this morning. Same User ID, same Password, but it no longer knew me. And the Password was not the problem - it was the User ID which had not changed. Oh well. I finally got in after ten minutes of frustration. Every time something gets improved, it's a real pain to deal with. Same way at work - upgrades over the weekend means problems on Monday. Facebook has been running smoothly for quite awhile, so I imagine they will be making changes (improvements?) again there soon.

Had a great day at the fair - absolutely perfect weather. We went in the morning and beat the crowds, but by the time we left the place was packed, more crowded than I have ever seen it. Didn't try any of the new foods-on-a-stick, just the standard mini-donuts, cheese curds, and the BEST fries. Must be from hanging around with Ron for all these years. I'm losing my spirit of adventure! The Ecco building gets better every year, and the Education building was good as always. We always enjoy the old tractors and did the skyride this year which was fun, As usual, we did the Park & Ride which saves so much time and aggravation.

Have to admit that the one thing I hate about the Fair is seeing all the FAT people, especially all the fat teenagers. What a shame! What kind of future will they have health-wise, and how will it affect our health care system in future years? Shame on their parents, the school system, and all the advertisers, but they also need to take some personal responsibility. Being very curmudgeonly on this issue, I feel that people who insist in living lifestyles proven to be potentially damaging to their health - no seat belts, no helmets for motorcyclists, smoking, alcoholism, drug use and especially obesity, should pay higher premiums. There, I said it! Not a politically correct point of view, but one that I'm sure is shared by many.