Thursday, October 13, 2011

What Am I Forgetting?

We're leaving in a few hours for Lawrence, KS for our first dog shows since last May.  Argus is beside himself with excitement.  Letty is going along too for the socialization - hope I don't regret it!  Jess will arrive about 9:00 with Lucy, and when we pass through Mason City, IA we'll pick up Eddie from Lisen.  Two Specialty shows tomorrow and two all breed shows on Saturday and Sunday.  Judging panel is pretty decent, and we enjoy the people in the Kansas City club.  Meg and Toni and some of our other friends will be there as well, the weather sounds good, and we anticipate a fun weekend.  A winning weekend would be even better.  We'll see.

Our primary goal is finishing Lucy's championship.  She has her majors, just needs 4 single points.  Because the entry is good-sized winning any of the 4 shows will give Lucy enough points to finish.  She's already a Canadian Champion, but we wanted her American Championship too, since she will be the 5th champion from the Argus/Boji litter.  Lucy's family is looking forward to doing a litter this winter and we're hoping that she produces as well as her sister Nati did.

Argus is basically retired but needs just a few points for his Bronze Level Grand Championship, something that was created after he retired, so we might as well try for it this weekend.  If nothing else, he'll have a good time.

This will be Eddie's first show weekend and fortunately he'll be in the Puppy Class.  He can walk on leash but is NOT show trained, and is just as dog crazy as his father Argus, PLUS he barks when excited.  He's never been to handling class or obedience class, so this will be Dog Show 101 for him.  Jess has a good touch with untrained dogs - better her than me!
This is one of the reasons we have dogs, not the main reason but one of the fun things we can do with dogs.  We're off on adventure with beautiful, happy, silly dogs and will spend the weekend with dear friends.  Both Jess and I really need a vacation, so even though this will be WORK, it will be a nice change for both of us.  It's also something that I can share with my adult daughter, a common interest and a sport that we both enjoy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Living With Dogs

Group Tug
I sometimes think how much easier & less expensive it would be if I did not live with a houseful of dogs.  I could go to bed when I wanted and get up late, there would be no bills for dog food whether kibble or a raw diet.  No vet bills either, and they can be significant.  No need to take young rowdy dogs to obedience class, no boring handling classes for young show dogs.  The patio door would be free of nose prints, the floors & furniture wouldn't always be hairy.  There would be so much less laundry to do too, and dog laundry includes heavy blankets and hairy cushions that are tough on the washer and dryer.  The car would stay cleaner and would last far longer without dog show trips, vet trips, dog park trips, and puppy socialization trips.

I wouldn't have to replace the patio door so often if I didn't have dogs to let in and out a hundred times a day, or dogs that occasionally slammed into the door.  The furniture would last longer, as would the rugs and tile.  There would be no grooves in my deck where the dogs launch after squirrels, no drool on the kitchen floor or puddles of spilled water from messy drinkers.  I could go to work without hair on my clothes, and my office chair and car seats would be hair-free.  It would be cheaper to heat and cool my house if the doors were not opened so often.  May bank account would look a lot better (unless I became obsessively involved in something else) and I could take vacations to interesting spots rather than to auditoriums in Nebraska and fairgrounds in Iowa.

The tendinitis in my left shoulder is directly related to all the young (and not so young) dogs who have attempted to rip my arm off when they saw squirrels, rabbits, cats, blowing leaves, whatever . . .  My back would probably be better too without 40# cases of food, crates, ex pens and puppies to lift, and dogs to bathe.

I ask myself, why do I do this?  And that's a great topic for tomorrow!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Another Weekend Gone

Coral scheduled for surgery this morning to remove a couple of skin growths.  Her bloodwork was good, so she's a suitable candidate for surgery, even though she is 13 1/2.  She's got some small warts that don't bother her, but a larger one on her elbow does, and she licks at it even though it requires a rather awkward position!    The one on her back is more like an abscess that won't heal.  Could have a biopsy done but won't, as it would not affect course of treatment at this age.  How am I going to explain why she will not get breakfast this morning?  I'll go in to work late, dropping her off at the clinic on my way.
Letty went "camping" over the weekend, spending two nights with Charlie and his family.  Charlie and Letty were absolutely wild when I first dropped her off, and I was not sure if she would survive a 55 pound whirlwind, but she's used to playing with Argus and Josie, and knows how to dodge and duck as needed.  Things settled down after the excitement wore off, but Letty requires a lot of supervision as she explores her world, sampling rug corners, furniture throws, drapes, and everything else within mouth level.

Argus went to the Dog Park on Sunday, after missing out last week while I was out of town.  Sure was dry, and the pond that the dogs use for cooling off was totally empty.  I walked through the pond bed and was not surprised to see many forgotten tennis balls mixed in with the leaf mold.  It was getting warm by the time we left and Argus was grateful for the water bowls left by park users.  I'll have to return the favor and bring along a jug of water the next time we go.  Ran into one of our Dog Park friends, so Argus got to run with his Golden/Springer cross friend Allie.  Lots of Labs there as always, and a cute little Shelter/Border Collie cross who is sharing a drink with Argus.

Sure wish we had a local Dog Park!  The city of St. Paul discusses them from time to time, but never manages to find the money, even when a good location is available.  Lots of money for golf courses, but there are a lot more dog owners than golfers!  

Got lots of chores done this weekend, including dusting and vacuuming although it's tough to spend time indoors when the weather is so nice.  One outside chore was dog bathing, perhaps the last time I will be able to do that outdoors this year.  We have a Groom Rite table with a grooming arm,  and the table is water proof, so perfect for dog baths.  The tap water is getting cooler, so it's not quite as pleasant, but so much easier on my back to bathe dogs without having to bend over them.  Coral and Josie really enjoy baths, Watson has never enjoyed them, and Argus thought the water was too cold and complained with groans and moans.  Wimp!  Letty got a towel-down rather than a real bath.

Spent the evening doing fish chores, getting ready for the upcoming fish club auction.  I'll be in town for this auction, and plan to buy some fish for my empty tanks.  Winter is the best season for fish keeping as the heated, well insulated fishroom is sooo pleasant when it's cold outside, and drafty upstairs.  Letty is showing promise as a fishkeeper, and enjoys trying to catch the fish in one of the large bottom tanks - which is now covered with " mouth marks".

Letty continues to look very promising, and either her tail is improving or I am getting used to it.  I kept her knowing that tail carriage often improves, but there is no guarantee of that.  She's really quite stunning otherwise, also very bright - not necessarily a good trait, as the dumb less imaginative pups get into less mischief!