Friday, March 11, 2011

It Takes More Than Good Fences To Make Good Neighbors

Spring forward, Fall back.  What a drag.  What's the point?  Daylight Savings might have been useful back when we were all farmers (?) but it sure seems pointless to me now.  Just an inconvenience, as we adjust our internal clocks to twice a year.  Because dogs are such creatures of habit, and have such a good sense of time, it's interesting to watch their reaction to the changes.  Am sure they don't mind eating an hour earlier, but I know the oldsters will wonder about getting up earlier.

The days are getting longer, the sun in getting warmer, the buds are popping, the dogs are shedding, and the Cardinals are shouting, "What cheer, what cheer!"  Won't be long until mud season.  And neighbor season.  Sigh . . .

Winters are pretty peaceful around here neighbor-wise.  The Bitchy One next door is not the outdoorsy type, so we rarely see her except when she's coming and going to her car.  She never helps her creaky husband with the shoveling, and is not a dog walker, so our paths never cross.  Thank goodness.  As the weather gets better, she will spend time on her deck, and working in the yard, and we have to work around her. 

I feel very strongly that people who own dogs may have some rights, but their neighbors do too, and my dogs are never allowed to disturb the neighbors.  They are walked on leash, we always clean up after them, they are never left in the yard to bark, and even pups are taught "no barking" when they are outside.  Anyone who fusses comes in immediately.  My lawn is well maintained and I have beautiful flowers.  My dog yard is kept picked up and is de-odorized if needed, and I keep my property up.  My dogs are licensed, I'm on good terms with animal control, and I get along with the rest of my neighbors.

So what's to complain about?  Bitchy Neighbor once admitted that No, the dogs did not disturb her with their barking, and No she didn't notice any odor.  It just bothered her knowing I had them.   Not much I can do to fight that!  Her current complaint is that I have rock in my dog yard and she can see it from her second floor bedroom window.  Not much I can do about that either except suggest that she quit spying on me!

I keep my numbers to a minimum, but with three retirees taking up space, that doesn't leave me with much wiggle room.  So maybe I should just kill the retired dogs?  She'd probably approve of that!  Three retirees and Argus, so I figure I have room for one more dog which is currently Mariah.   More than five is difficult living where I do, especially since we have to be so careful about numbers, and because they can never be left outdoors unsupervised where they might annoy a neighbor.  Mariah fits well and is not a barker, something I really appreciate in a young dog.

When Bitchy Neighbor is working in her yard we normally keep the dogs in.  Although they don't bark at her, and normally play quietly or doze in the sun, I try to keep them out of her sight range.  When I come and go I never make eye contact or engage her in conversation and try to keep a very low profile.  It galls me to have to act this way about my own yard, but you never know what will set her off.  After being harassed and threatened for years, I've found avoidance to be the best technique.

I would find all this less of an issue if the neighbor did not have a dog.  A yappy Westie who is left outside to bark endlessly at nothing.    And I am the one who has to watch my back.   At least the current Westie doesn't charge the fence every time I take my own dogs out . . .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

OK, Who Stole It?

This picture says it all.

A playdate for Mariah!  Thanks Alana!  Miss Mariah gets to meet her cousin Brody, perhaps this weekend.  She's showing the effects of a tough winter and really needs to get out and do things.  Although Mariah is very friendly with people, she's a bit cautious about strange situations, and especially needs to meet more dogs of other breeds.  Being attacked from behind on one of her walks has left her understandably a bit leery about new dogs coming up on her.  We've got some work to do. She's looking much better now but will not hit the show ring until I feel she is both emotionally & physically ready to show.  I HATE seeing timid dogs in the ring and get very angry with people who try to show dogs that are obviously not ready for prime time.  The training & socialization should NOT be done in the showring.  It should be done beforehand.

No word on when/if Jingles & Bella will be arriving.  Their breeder has a much better set up for pups than I have, so hopefully not, but as their "other grandmother" I will take responsibility if necessary.  This is not a good time of the year to have pups to sell as most people are waiting for better weather, not realising that it is actually easier to housetrain pups in bad weather!  Because they know how to use a doggy door, these two are pretty much housetrained.   Unfortunately I don't have a doggy door and Ron is not keen on playing doorman to two pups again.  It IS amazing what he puts up with though.  Fortunately he loves Mariah and really enjoyed Eddie when he was here.

OK, who stole the iPOD cable?  The little Nano has "issues" (more issues) and I want to restore it to its original settings.  For some reason it won't stay on, and as soon as the display goes dark, the whole thing turns off.  Hopefully restoring it will help.  I'm tired of having to constantly tap it to keep it on.   I was ready to give restore a try last night, but after half an hour of searching I've concluded that "someone" stole the little cable.  I just used it a couple of days ago and SHOULD have put it back in the basket where I keep all the miscellaneous cords and cables, but it's not there.  OK guys, where did you hide it???

No clue why the background is missing in part of this posting.   Whatever.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Never A Dull Moment In Paisleyland!

Eddie is doing well in Canada

Eddie is having a wonderful time in Canada.

Patti writes, "Eddie is perfect and very sweet and has captured our hearts! He is very polite and extremely smart. We stayed over at the hotel and he was awesome, he's been out playing at the barn and has made friends with the horses and Kobe. He played with about 15 kids today like it was nothing....he is snuggled on Grace's bed right now having a deep sleep after great days in the snow! thanks for letting us take care of him, it makes missing Lucy much easier!!!"

Eddie will be back when Lucy goes home.  He's sort of "on loan"!  Then it will be time for him to go to his forever home. In the meantime, we will have two other pups to entertain and place.  Not exactly sure how I am ending up with both of them, but it is happening that way.  Two cute little black-spotted Argus kids are arriving from Oregon some time this week and will be interviewing for new homes.  The people on my current puppy list are more interested in summer pups (I may be leasing Reebok from my friend Rosie, and breeding her to Argus) so Jingles & Bella are not yet promised.

Things are always lively here but will get more so when Lucy comes here - she's currently at Jessica's getting conditioned and learning to work with Jess in the show ring, but when Penny arrives for the summer (hopefully not for a couple of weeks) Lucy will move in here and I will have one more adult Dal.  Because I need to have time to work with Mariah and get her ready to show, it's gonna be busy! 

Never a dull moment in Paisleyland!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Everything Falls Into Place!

Sue & Argus waiting their turn.
 Amazingly enough, everything fell into place this weekend!  Argus got collected on Thursday morning, Jess was ready to leave by 2:00 PM and the roads were perfect.    We got to our motel near St. Louis an hour earlier than expected - the stimulus money sure improved roads in both Iowa & Missouri!  Our motel was old but affordable, and an easy trip to the new Purina Event Center in Gray Summit, MO.  I was glad to hear that the Dal National will be held there in 2013 - a great facility.  I borrowed some nice shots from Kara, one of the St. Louis Club members, to add to this blog.

Jess & Lucy earned a 5-point major.
We often do well at St. Louis and this year was no exception, as Argus went Best of Breed at the 1st Specialty handled by me, and Lucy went Best Of Winners at the 2nd  Specialty handled by Jess.  Pauli was also Best of Opposite at the 2nd Specialty handled by Laura.

This was the 3rd consecutive year that Argus has picked up at least one Specialty win there, and the 3rd consecutive year that Jess has gone Best of Winners with an Argus daughter!  (Pauli, Penny & now Lucy.)
A nice ringside shot of Pauli.

The two Friday Specialties were followed by a very pleasant dinner hosted by the St. Louis Club.  We had a terrific time, and the food was even good - something that is not always true of specialty dinners.  I've been attending the St. Louis shows for about 30 years and have some wonderful memories and nice wins, good friends and great times.

At the Saturday All Breed show Lucy was 2nd in her class and lost the class on being a bit too silly - that's OK, we'd rather have them happy.  It was Lucy's first show weekend with us and did a great job and Jess really enjoyed showing her.  Argus showed well enough but was just a bit distracted by all the girls in season, although he was still awarded Select.   It was another excellent day for us though as Pauli went Best of Breed over the large entry.  Good dog, Pauli!

Although we had mid-afternoon judging on Saturday, we were loaded and on our way home by 4:15.  Wasn't sure if we could make the whole trip Saturday night but we got home shortly after 2:00 AM.   After a few hours of sleep, we were off to the vet clinic for an 8:30 appointment - Argus was collected again and the shipment went out counter to counter.  If everything falls into place and the airline gets it right, there will be a second breeding this evening.  Amazing!

One hectic week successfully completed, but next week Jingles and Bella arrive from Oregon.  Anyone need a puppy?