Friday, April 29, 2011

Departure . . Soon

If we can get the rest of the stuff in the car, we'll be leaving shortly.  What was I thinking when I thought we could carry four dogs plus stuff.  Three dogs plus stuff barely fits.  No way could I fly to the National.  I need my stuff!  If we bring Reebok home with us, someone will have to ride on top.

See you later.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Countdown Begins

Just resting

Argus is going to miss motel room beds!  My dogs all sleep in the family room when we are home, but Argus always sleeps on the bed when we travel - on a sheet brought from home, so he doesn't get the comforter dirty.  He'll get a whole week of this at the National, and then "mostly retired" begins, at least for him.  I'm not so lucky, and it promises to be a very stressful summer at work, with the many retirees leaving along with their skills and knowledge, and a new accounting system to learn.  We're supposed to "go live" after the 4th of July.  We'll see . . .  The last 6 weeks of the fiscal year will be spent doing my job, doing JoAnn's job as she is leaving, doing part of Rich's job (they didn't fill his position LAST year), attending 16 (so far) training sessions that vary from two hours to two days in length, plus testing and conversion.  We shall see who survives!  Obviously, I need to purchase more lottery tickets!

Had my property surveyed yesterday and learned that the fence on one side of my yard is actually on the neighbor's property, so in addition to replacing the alley fence, we will be replacing the side fence as well.  That means moving all the dirt and rock along that side of the dog yard.  Major project, and a tough one, but it's gotta be done.  This would be why the city requires the identification of property lines before fences can be installed.  Obviously that was not a requirement when the first fences were put in over 40 years ago, and the fence we put in 25 years ago just followed the original fence lines.  Means I will have to transplant my rhubarb, and take down the vine that climbs on that fence.

Reebok still not in season, but puppies are still in the plan for summer/fall.  Just means we will have a very busy summer!  Pups are an enormous amount of work, but we're all ready for babies.

Checking out training schools is also on my list of things to do, as Argus & I need to get started on that as I want to add some performance titles.  He knows all the basic commands, but needs to learn concentrate on me rather than trying to make friends with all his classmates!

My computer is not coming along with me to the National.  Takes up space and time I will not have.  Hope to check in here from time to time though.  When I get my smart phone this summer, I'll be able to keep my blog updated when (IF?) I travel.   Jess is planning a "travelogue" with pictures on Facebook.  We had a lot of fun doing that on the way to Greeley last summer.

Just 24 hours from now we will be doing the final loading, and heading off to the National in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.  I attended my first National in 1973 and have only missed three since then!  They're held in various places and we've gone to New England, Texas, southern California, northern California, and many places in between.  Next year is Tulsa, the following year St. Louis.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Running Out Of Time

Don't miss a chance to bid on the wonderful Decorated Dogs, a fundraiser for DCAF, the Dalmatian Club of America Foundation.  There is a collection of 41 Dalmatian figurines, all intriguingly decorated by our amazingly talented club members.  You can place an email bid with the committee chair (just read over the instructions) so you don't even have to be present to win.  There will be a silent auction at the National next week, and the bidders will not know the amounts of the emailed bids, so feel free to bid on any that appeal to you.  You might just be a lucky winner!   If you do not collect Dal items, at least take a look - you'll be amazed!  Deadline for emailed bids in Midnight Friday, so don't delay.

Decorated Dals

So much to do before I can leave, and now I have a sore foot to contend with too. Gave up last night and went to bed with an ice pack. Thought I had my foot issues managed, so am NOT pleased with a flare up. Hopefully Ibuprofen will do the trick as I do not have time for a cortisone shot OR rest. I've decided that the 3rd van seat will stay in the van from now on. Taking it out gives me more room for crates, but whoever decided these things were easy to remove must have assumed that all owners were young and muscle bound. They are NOT easy to remove. After DCA I will put the seat back in (perhaps asking for younger stronger help) and leave it there. I need three seats so we can take mom out to dinner, as Ron does not care for sitting on the carpet in back, collecting dog hair.

Packing is about half done, but I still need to do an oil change, pick up the pants I had hemmed, bathe and trim Argus, make lists for Ron, decide what clothes to pack, get some yard work accomplished, do some aquarium water changes, and (unfortunately) go to work. Hoping to leave at the crack of dawn on Friday.

We're just taking Argus, Penny & Lucy, as Pauli came in season last weekend and will stay with her handler and do some all breed shows.  Just too hard to travel with a bitch in season.  Lucy and Penny had better hold off for another week or two!  Reebok is going along to DCA with Rosie, and if she comes in season during the trip she will come home with us to be bred to Argus.  Laurie will be flying in from Virginia and sharing our room, so we will have three dogs and three dog walkers - MUCH easier.  It would have been fun to have Pauli show in the Top Twenty, along with her dad Argus, but it will be a whole lot easier to just carry three dogs.

Lots of fun stuff happens at the National, some official, much of it impromptu.  With so many motor homes there, the bar is always open of course.  The Whine & Cheese Party is not an official DCA event, but always well attended out in the motor home area.  This year they have added "local beers" to the local or favorite wines.  Need to pick up something . . .  Do they still make Pigs Eye?  Summit is good beer, but lacks the catchy name!

Forgot to mention that Penny picked up a UKC Best in Show last weekend, and Lucy got another point.  Penny is now a UKC Champion, and Lucy needs but 4 single points to finish her AKC Championship.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No Time To Post

Oops.  Someone took offense at my comment on Rally.  It IS easier than obedience, and was meant to be that way.  I've shown many dogs in obedience in the past, and to me Rally IS dumbed-down obedience. I did not say it was easy, and for some dogs and some handlers, it isn't. 

Hope to post this noon.  Am out of time this morning.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some Kind Of Wonderful!

Argus & Lucy in my motel room.

Thank you, weather people!  Sounds like we have another perfect day.  Can't remember when we actually had nice weather on Easter, but yesterday was a stunner.

A reasonably fun and successful weekend in Waterloo, although nothing for the record books.    A bitter-sweet weekend too, as it marked the end of Argus's regular dog shows . . .  We hit some spring shows to keep him in form and so my handling would not be too rusty, but after DCA we will be doing very few shows other than Specialty weekends.  Argus is a joy to travel with and so much fun to show, and I'll miss this more than I can say, but all good things must end . . .

This will be a very stressful summer with all the training required for the new accounting system at work.  Lots that needs to be done around the house and yard too.  The last three years have involved a lot of traveling, and I've been gone on weekends when I should have been working on projects around here.  Time to play catch up on that!

The only remaining goal I have for Argus is a Canadian Best In Show.  He has multiple Bests in three other venues, but only went to Canada as a pup.  Maybe we'll get back there for a few weekends if the judging panels look promising.

Time to raise a litter of pups too.  If Reebok Branaman ever comes in season, she'll be bred to Argus and the litter will be born here.  Penny may be bred this summer too.  The last litter I have had here was the litter Penny is from - has it really been two years?

Argus needs a few titles at the end of his name too.  Not sure I can dumb down to Rally, but a CD in obedience would be nice.  He'll need a new job to do.

And maybe I can sleep in on Saturdays, take my mother to church on Sundays, and have time for a few picnics.  Sounds good to me.  Hope Argus agrees, and makes a good adjustment to life style changes - but dogs are so adaptable, and he is always happy to do whatever I ask of him.  I'm sure retirement will be OK too . . .  So why am I just a little teary?