Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going To Westminster?

Do I really want to take this knothead to NYC?
Oh my, do I really want to go?  I've gone as a spectator many times in the past, but not for quite awhile.  The logistics of staying in NYC and getting around are over-whelming, especially if I take Argus to show.   He was one of the Top Five dogs in the breed for 2010, so receives an automatic invitation - still have to pay the entry fee, but is assured of a "spot", so to speak.  Westminster entries are limited at 2500 dogs, and in many past years top dogs missed the entry.  With the top ranked 5 dogs in each breed assured a spot, things go a lot more smoothly.  But do I really want to take the vacation time and spend the money?  And do I really want to fly Argus out there?  Too chancy to drive in February, and takes too many vacation days I don't have.  Because Westminster is on a Monday and Tuesday, it's bad enough if you fly.  Gotta get the decision made pretty soon . . .

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Show Plans

Dog shows this weekend, although we will probably only show on Saturday since Mariah is scheduled to arrive on Sunday morning.  Judging panel really sucks, which is typical of the MKC shows.  Not sure how they pick their judges but they traditionally have a panel of very elderly, exceedingly incompetent judges.  How do they do that every year?  It's a rather fun venue though, at the racetrack in Shakopee - yes, rings & grooming ARE indoors, which is fortunate as the weather is generally cold and windy.  It's pretty drafty, and the grooming area is cramped and grungy, but the layout is interesting.  Just two Specials, so nothing much for breed points.  Not the kind of show I mind missing!  Was double-entered in CB where the panel was equally bad.  Ugh.  At least I don't have to face that drive.  Where are the decent judging panels???  Why the same old re-cycled hacks?

Three show weekends scheduled for December, but weather is often an issue for those.  We can generally get to St. Cloud, but Chicago and Kankakee are another story, and Pauli is also in at Kankakee and the judges are better for her than for Argus.  Oh well.  This show year didn't go quite as planned, with me laid up with a broken ankle and Argus with his mysterious injury - which thankfully seems to be healed now.  He "plays" on the Fitness Ball in the evening, then runs on the treadmill.  He still gets his evening walk, but once it gets slippery on the sidewalks & roads he will be getting more treadmill time and less walking time.  I used to laugh off slipping on the ice - no longer!

Plans are falling into place for Lucy to come down from Canada for the spring shows.  She should fit in fine here as Coral and Josie are good about visitors, and the boys will be delighted to have a beautiful black-spotted girl as a house guest - and it won't bother Argus that she is his daughter.  He'll still lust after her for the first day or two!  Have to check out the judging panels to figure out when we will want to show her - weather permitting of course.  She'll be entered at the January shows, and probably shown by her young handler, but not sure she will stay.  We may wait until February and TRY to get to the spring specialties - we were lucky weather-wise last year, and got to Indy, Chicago and St. Louis, but there is no guarantee we can do that again.  Most years I enter the shows and miss most of them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day To Watch

OK, what do I do with 3 (that's, THREE) new watches.   Yesterday I received my 30 year watch from MNDOT (a nice Bulova) and this time they sent the right one, engraved properly.  Now, to get into the habit of wearing it.  Because my hands are in and out of fish tanks so often I normally do not wear watches (or use hand cream during the day).  Right now the watch is sitting on a table in the basement where I left it while doing fish chores.  At least I remember exactly where I put it, something I can't always do. 

When I checked the mail last night I had an envelope from the AARP shipping department - what did I order from AARP?  Nothing, but the envelope contained a box with 2 watches - yes, 2 of them.  Made in China, with shiny black plastic straps.  Why did I get them?  What should I do with them?  For now they are sitting on the table, but I think they will eventually be added to the collection box for Holiday items that goes to one of the small Food Shelfs near where I work.  (Hmmm, I suppose the plural of Food Shelf is Food Shelves, but that looks wrong too.)   Anyway, for a person who never wears a watch (that's why we carry cell phones) it's a bit much to get three new watches all in one day.

Argus selected a new squeaky toy when we went to the pet store last weekend, a small round vinyl ball that looks sort of like a chicken's head.  I figured that it would last an hour or so, but the dogs have played with it pretty much non-stop for two days.  I have to take it away when I can't stand the squeaking any longer, and then Josie stands and whines and stares at the spot where I placed it.  Josie, Argus & Watson are all crazy about it, although I have to grab it from Argus as he goes outside to bury it (to protect it from the others).

Tess and her day old pups.
 Paula reports that Tess P. and her pups are doing well.  Everyone will enjoy them, although I know Paula will have a tough time when I go down to retrieve them near Christmas.  I am thinking positive that the liver boy will be show quality, so we have something to show from this litter.  I don't need a liver boy and will most likely place him eventually, but if he shows potential he may go up to Canada to stay with Lucy's family when she comes down here to be shown.

So I may STILL need a really good bitch, unless Mariah is star quality.  Although I have two beauties in Penny and Pauli, they will be career girls for awhile.  Lots of interesting litters planned, so perhaps I will consider buying one.  Or perhaps I will start looking for "the right" girl to lease.  Am still disappointed about Tess P's litter of 2.  I had such high hopes for a girl from that litter.

Speaking of Mariah, she arrives next Sunday.  So much for peace & quiet, or rather relative peace & quiet, since it's always a bit lively around here with Argus & Josie in the mix. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gloom & Doom

@#$%&^* et al.

Honest to gosh, I must be jinxed!  We were so eagerly awaiting Tess P.'s litter by Argus.  It finally arrived, all two pups, both males, one patched.  Now to figure out where to send all the wonderful people who were waiting for a puppy.  The only definite pet will be a patched black-spotted boy.  Perhaps the liver boy will be show quality, but a liver boy is not what I wanted from this litter, even though liver boys are my favorite.  What I really want/need is a good puppy bitch, and from the time I purchased Argus, I've wanted a puppy girl from a Watson daughter or granddaughter bred to Argus.  I seem to be running out of options here, as Watson sired very few litters.  His daughter Carina produced 5 champions in her only litter, including the #1 Dal Daisy, but Carina was spayed after that litter.  Daughter Lilly who was RWB at the National one year was bred to Argus, but both Meg & I let the best bitch get away - Carol was the lucky one there!  Echo finished her championship and has a number of performance titles, so it all worked out fine, and perhaps someday I will end up with one of Echo's pups, but that doesn't help right now.

Small litters are fun to raise, and Paula will enjoy these two boys - she promises pictures soon.  Sometime around Christmas I will drive down and pick them up from her.  Fingers crossed that both are healthy, will have normal hearing, and that the liver boy is a good one.  Sigh.  Sorry everyone.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Too Early For Snow

The elderly Christmas Cactus is in flower again.

I am so not ready for snow yet.  Didn't even get my hose drained or the grill covered.  Why did I think I still had time for those things?

It snowed all Friday night and Saturday, and at one time the snow depth was 7.5 inches, but with the temperature hovering around 33 degrees, and occasional light rain mixed in with the snow, there is currently about 6 inches in the yard.  Streets have melted a lot, although the cities have both declared Snow Emergencies.  Wish they would ticket or (better yet) tow the cars of the neighbors who couldn't be bothered with moving them.

Waiting for an update on Tess P. who went into labor earlier this morning.  Hope everything is going smoothly!