Thursday, March 1, 2012

Puppies And Packing

Can't wait to see these beautiful babies next week.  When I sold Ch. "Bennett" (Argus/Boji) I retained two stud services, and we used one of them on Crystal (Major/Leica - Leica is a sister to Penny's dam Nikon).  I get a stud fee pup from the litter, and it looks as if I will have trouble picking just one.  Should I take Black (who is actually liver-spotted and looks a lot like Argus did) or should I take one of the girls?  Sure are pretty pups!  Hope to get to Chicago next week to see them.

No Blog tomorrow, as I'll be in St. Louis for the Specialties.  Mother Nature seems to have cooperated and the roads should be OK.  Jess and Meribel will be arriving mid-morning, and we'll pick up Eddie from Lisen along the way.  Argus SO exited!  He knows a bath and packing means a dog show and he has not been to one since October.  He LOVES traveling and dog shows.  Still a few chores to get done around here and packing to finish.  Ron just left for the Laundromat to wash my favorite jeans - can't wait 'til the new washer arrives next Tuesday.  Am NOT looking forward to filling the gas tank this morning.  Way too expensive!

St. Louis has been a good show weekend for us, but this year I will settle for just having a good time.  I really need a vacation, and any wins will just be a bonus.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Manners Please

So glad to have my Letty girl back upstairs.  Really missed her silly antics, though I did not miss her racing through the door, running across the sofa, and leaping on and off the chair when she is excited.  Puppies!  She's actually been a very easy puppy to raise - not the easiest to housetrain, but we got the job done, and everything else came easy.  She's a very good housedog with excellent manners, not destructive at all (except to her toys), perfect in a crate, not a whiner, waits at the door to be let out, doesn't jump on the patio door or over the dog gate, and never steals.   (I HATE Counter Surfing".)  She's very responsive to verbal commands, and like her father Argus, she can read my mind.  At least it seems like she can although I suppose she is picking up visual cues like he does.  Now that she's done with her season it's time to go back to training class. 

Letty is not ready to show yet, and with her sister Weather doing so well in the ring (7 points and a major already), plus Meribel and Amery coming along, and Sparkle who will need to be shown too, there's no hurry to get Letty in the ring.  It's a luxury to have a number of beautiful bitches to pick from.  I want to show Letty in Bred By Exhibitor Class and hate to see pups shown in that class before they are ready, so we'll take our time.    My goal would be to start her in June, but we'll see how she matures.

Argus went to his first class at our new training school and I was most pleased.  The class was exactly what I had hoped for - a small class in a large ring with lots of individualized work.  All positive training with the liberal use of treats, which is appreciated by most Dals!  I learned to reward correct sits rather than correcting crooked ones, something Argus appreciated.  He was pretty distracted last night, but it was his first class in a month and in a totally new environment.  So much to see and hear (they do a lot of clicker work and he kept listening to the clicks!) and he was convinced that he knew (or wanted to know) the handsome Whippet boy in our class.  There was also a red merle Chihuahua named "Paisley".  Argus did his typical Recall, super fast with a terrific front, and was perfect on his Stays.  We need to concentrate on faster straighter Sits, and attention.  It was an very enjoyable class that incorporated lots of praise, treats, and a generous dose of humor, and we both learned a lot.  Most of my training has been done with traditional methods and I find it fascinating how many different ways there are to teach the same exercise.  AND it was nice not to have to smuggle in treats and keep them hidden.

Monday, February 27, 2012

To Honor The Passing Of A Real Fire Dog

Check out this video - An Incredible Tribute To A Real Fire Dog

Things are back to normal in Paisleyland.  Well, not normal normal, but pretty normal for us!   Lucy has gone back to Canada, hopefully pregnant (pups due late April), so no extra dogs here right now.   Letty had her bath, came back upstairs, and Argus agreed that she was indeed out of season.  So much fun to have Letty back as a regular member of the family.  Now, to get her signed up for a training class.

Promises to be a busy week.  Need to get my car in to have the headlights checked out as I have high beams and parking lights, but no regular lights.  It happened on my way home from Nebraska, when I suddenly had no driving lights.  Came home on high beams, praying that I did not blind anyone.

A new washer to pay for too.  Found the one I wanted at Sears, took a day to think it over, and will sign the papers today.  A top loader this time, without an agitator.  A top rated Whirlpool which had better live up to it's billing.  We'll be glad to have a washer again - trips to the Laundromat are NOT fun, and we were amazed at how expensive it is.

Argus begins his new obedience class tonight after missing last week because of all the "girl distractions".  We're both looking forward to this - he says he's bored.  I'm looking forward to learning some new training methods, as I was not happy with the other class we were in.  I can read Argus very well and I could see that he was stressed at times.  I want to train in a more "positive" environment.  Argus is my buddy, and I owe him that.

Need to squeeze in a haircut too, if Denise as any openings.  Why does hair go from "just fine" to "too long and shapeless", seemingly overnight?

AND, I am supposed to be getting ready to leave for St. Louis on Thursday.  First dog shows we've entered since last fall, over $400.00 worth of entries for Argus, Eddie & Meribel.  All winter Jess and I have joked that we'd finally get snow the week we wanted to leave for St. Louis - and that appears to be exactly what will happen.  How many times have I driven to and from shows in heavy snows?  (Many)  How many shows have I missed because the roads were bad?  (Not too many, but St. Louis seems to fall on a snowy weekend.)  We've managed to get there 3 years in a row, after missing several years because of weather.  Fingers crossed as it's been a lucky show for us - BoW with Argus daughters 3 years in a row (Pauli, Penny & Lucy), and 4 out of 6 Specialty Best of Breed wins with Argus himself.  Judges look good for Eddie, and Meribel will be making her debut to get some ring experience before DCA.  She's very "together" for her age, so it's a good time for her to start.

I already have cramps in my fingers from keeping them crossed!