Thursday, December 16, 2010

All Good Things Must End . . .

Future star Argus at 4 months.
This was to be Argus's last "regular" show weekend, but we'll be sitting this one out for a variety of reasons.  He's not retired from showing, but is retired from active campaigning, and there's a difference.  From now on Argus will do Specialties and an occasional show where the judging panel is particularly appealing but will skip the regular shows.  Argus never got a full year of active campaigning, starting in April the first year, battling a MRSA infection the second, and working around my broken ankle and his own injury this year, but he accomplished all our goals, and them some.  Next year we'll concentrate on finishing up some of the extras, and hopefully add an obedience title or two.

Argus's record at AKC shows includes:
  • 101 Bests of Breed (10 of them being Dalmatian Specialty shows)
  • 21 Group One wins
  • 2 all breed Bests In Show
  • 3 years in the Top 10
  • Grand Championship
  • Dalmatian Club of America National Specialty Best Of Breed (2008)
  • 2 - DCA Awards of Merit (2009 & 2010)
  • 2 - 1st in Stud Dog Class at DCA (2009 & 2010)
  • Register of Merit Sire, with 12 champion kids, so far.
  • A Best In Futurity daughter
  • A Best In Show daughter
  • His CHIC number
  • International Championship with multiple Bests In Show
  • UKC Championship with multiple Bests In Show
  • Canadian Championship - we're going back to Canada next year
Always amateured handled by me (and by Jess for a few shows when I broke my ankle)

Thanks to my best buddy Argus for never letting me down, to the judges who appreciated his soundness, attitude & exceptional breed type, to his breeder Carrie who let him come to Minnesota and always believed in us, to Mark & Ginger who made it all possible, and to friends and family who cheered us on.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Trees

Dog ornament tree in foreground.

We put up the Christmas trees last night, yes tree(s).   Some years I do the artificial one, occasionally I have done the Charlie Brown tree, but most years I buy a real tree.  I found a lovely little 4 foot spruce for this year, but a tree that size does not have room for both traditional and novelty ornaments.  While Ron decorated the "real tree" with regulation ornaments, I set up the top half of the Charlie Brown tree, and decorated it with dog and fish ornaments.  Always such fun to go through the dog ornaments, remembering the people who gave them to me.  I have never purchased a Dalmatian ornament, but have accumulated many of them through the years.  Several of them are from friends who have passed away and it's a nice time to remember them.

Christmas cards finally got ordered too - I love ordering them on-line and picking them up the next morning.  So handy!  Now to find time to send them.  I love getting Christmas cards, and particularly enjoy picture cards and the ones that include letters.  Hope I get a few picture cards of dogs we have sold - those are my very favorites.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What's Wrong With Calling A Snow Day?

Argus/Tess P. pups at 4 weeks.

Got to work yesterday to find that the parking lot was only minimally plowed and the cars were parked every which way. The big piles of snow took up about 1/3 of the lot - which we pay to use.  Hopefully they replowed last night.  The portion of the Sears lot used by customers (if they had any) was plowed perfectly of course.

To make matters worse, Admin had not plowed any sidewalks on the Rice Street side of the DOT building, so we had 4-5 foot drifts to climb through!  Ah, yes.  They had plowed the handicap parking spots but had not bothered with those of us who have to use the regular lot and walk to the building.  We walked in the street in rush hour traffic past the loading dock (yes, that was plowed too) to the end of the building, a mighty cold walk.  I understand that some very loud and ugly phone calls were placed to Facilities Management, and relayed to the Department of Admin (which doesn't give a damn anyway).  An hour later (after everyone was already at work) many of the sidewalks were clear.  Not a very good way to start the day, and a lot of people who couldn't make it in.  

The schools are closed for a second day, but of course the state could not even consider calling yesterday a Snow Day.  If you haven't been plowed, just stay home and take vacation . . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

Digging Out?

A group of neighbors dug out cars.

Well, not exactly.  There seems to be a few glitches in the system this time.  Although the first Snow Emergency started at 8:00 PM on Saturday night, and the second Snow Emergency on Sunday night at 9:00 PM, my street has yet to be plowed.  We got ALL the cars off the street by 8:00 AM Sunday as required, but the plows never showed up.  Not sure what's happening now.  Managing 16-20 inches of snow is difficult in densely populated cities,  but something went wrong here.

Because I wanted to put lights on the Christmas tree last night, I ventured out yesterday afternoon to look for a string of LED lights.  Traffic on the majors streets was moving just fine and the shopping centers were crowded.  It's tough to keep Minnesotans down - what's a little snow?  Clearing the residential streets seems to be one of several majors issues though, and schools are closed in both Minneapolis & St. Paul because the school buses are not operating as they can't negotiated many of the streets.  The other major issue is the collapse of the Metrodome.  I suppose the stadium debate will really heat up now.
Mariah finds the snow a bit deep!

The dogs are managing the weather and even got (very short) walks yesterday.  While the snow was coming down so hard on Saturday, we kept a path shoveled to the dog yard, so Mariah could manage the snow which ended up being over her head.  Argus has packed paths in the yard and is not bothered by the weather, but poor Josie finds it very unpleasant.  Like the late Sidney, she really seems to feel the cold more than the others.

They just reported that we have now had 34.6 inches of snow for the season, 60% of our normal snowfall.  And winter hasn't even begun.  Oh my.