Friday, May 4, 2012

And We're Off!

In about 10 minutes that is.  Master Packer Jess is putting the final touches on the car.  Will there be room for everything?  See you next week, unless I find a computer somewhere so I can add an update.

Dalmatian Club Of America here we come!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

And The Countdown Begins

By this time tomorrow we will be just a few hours from departure.  IF I get everything done that needs to be done before I can leave!  And IF I can get everything in the car!

  • Two women
  • Four dogs
  • Four wire crates (one collapsed with the two youngsters riding together)
  • Two large suitcases
  • Two packed garment bags
  • Two soft crates - folded down.
  • A large cooler full of frozen food for three of the dogs
  • A bag of Pro Plan kibble for Pauli
  • 4 water jugs
  • The Toy Bag - motel room toys
  • A large sun tarp and magnets (to keep the car cooler when parked)
  • People food
  • Dog supply bag
  • Dog tack bag
  • Jackets and raincoats
  • Sheets (to put over the motel room beds) and towels (dog towels)
  • An assortment of smaller items

OK, what am I forgetting???

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Too Much To Do

How will I get everything finished in time to leave in two days?  It's going to be a madhouse around here!  If I were not working for the next two days it might be manageable, but things are way too busy to take any additional time.  Hope I can avoid getting impatient and snarly!

Car to pack, clothes to pack, dog supplies to pack, dog food to prepare, freeze and pack, fish care lists to prepare, dogs to bathe, nails to cut, and Argus & Pauli still need their long walks in the evening. What to wear for Top Twenty event - still undecided - go shopping?  When?  Clothes to drop off and pick up at cleaners, snacks to buy and pack, laundry to do.  How many pairs of shoes will I take?  You can never have too many shoes!  Shall I iron anything before I pack?  Hardly worth it.  Do I have time for dinner with my mother tonight, or maybe lunch tomorrow?  And a haircut appointment to keep - some scraggly ends from the new perm.

I've done water changes on all of the aquariums  (somewhere between 35 and 40 with fish in them).  Now to decide which fish can go unfed for a week, and which ones need to be fed daily, or just a couple of times while I am gone.  Flake?  Algae wafers?  Need to label all the tanks for Ron and make it easy and understandable. And warn him again that it is better to not feed than to overfeed.  Hah!

To Do Lists for Ron, but will he do them?  Probably not the way I would, but everything will probably survive my absence - things do tend to work out.  Will Ron and Mom stay healthy?  And Coral?   Will Sue continue to walk Letty every day so Ron can just deal with the old dogs?  Old guy, old dogs.  Works good.

Time to get ready for work.  No going in late and using up vacation time.  I've got plenty, but using 6 days for DCA, and with puppies coming in June I need to start being careful. 

Wonder if I will have a chance to post to my blog while I'm gone?  I could do it on my phone, but that's way too time consuming.  Those tiny little imaginary keys are such a pain!

Time for more coffee!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Paul's Back!

Pauli arrived with Jess yesterday noon, and was swapped for Amery.  Musical Dogs continues!  Amery was here so that she and I could bond, since I will be showing her at the National.  Amery is back with Jess & Don this week so that Jess can put the final touches on her show training, and so Don can enjoy her for awhile before she goes back to Laurie in Virginia after the National.  Pauli is going along to the National too, and will hopefully be having a litter here this summer, but she normally lives with Wendy.

I raised Pauli, and Jess finished her championship, but then she moved to Wendy's house to continue her show career.  Pauli is a multiple Group winner, an all breed Best In Show Winner, and placed in the Top 10 Dals for a couple of years.  She's 4 years old now and it's time for her to have her first litter.  After a year of considering dozens (hundreds?) of dogs, we finally decided on Louie - who had actually been one of our first choices!  Puppies due in June.

Pauli is high energy, very outgoing and super friendly.  She gets along with all dogs, all people, and is very fond of children.  Louie is a mild mannered, sweet tempered, gentle dog, very much the gentleman.  It will be interesting to see who the pups take after in personality. Probably a mixture of personalities and activity levels, as is typical of Dalmatian litters.  It's my job as a breeder to identify the various personalities, and evaluate each pup's potential, and to place them in the appropriate homes.  Some as show prospects, perhaps some to performance homes, and some to live simply as beloved companions - although most show and performance dogs are also companions when they are not performing!

Pauli playing submissive for Letty, who really just wants to play.  Pauli flung herself on her back for each of the other dogs, wiggled and squirmed and kissed their faces, placating and submissive behavior appropriate for dogs who are coming into "territory" occupied by other dogs, and very wolf-like behavior.  Everyone here said, "Whatever" and accepted her immediately, even though Pauli has been gone for several years.  I was so proud of all the dogs and love the fact that they have such terrific "social skills" when dealing with other dogs.

Blogger is having formatting problems again this morning.  Aggravating.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mission Accomplished

A very nice weekend with daughter Jess, Argus and Argie's granddaughters Merible & Amery.  Weather was crappy but could have been worse, and it only rained Friday night, just cool and gray otherwise.  Show facility was a fairgrounds building, and OK other than being dark and rather cold (an unheated building on concrete).  Motel was outstanding - a Super 8 that actually wanted dog show folks, which is always nice.  Great room with lots of grass for dog walking, and a better than average breakfast that included eggs and sausage.

Amery & I won both days and I think we both learned a lot.  It was her first show weekend, and my first weekend working with her other than one night at dog class - which is always MUCH different than a real show.  Jess selected that weekend for the girls because both judges are extremely nice to dogs (and exhibitors) and we wanted this to be a positive first experience for Amery.  Both judges were terrific with the pups, gave us time to get them stacked, thorough but gentle exams and plenty of gaiting experience.  Meribel was a bit scatty on Saturday but showed exceptionally well on Sunday, much like she did when winning her 5-point Specialty major in March.   Amery stacked well on Saturday, and gaited "well enough", but on Sunday gaited much better.  She was a little scatty on the stacking but her circuits were a bit overloaded as there was a big crowd of dogs at the ring entrance.  Not at all afraid though, just kind of overwhelmed.  Both girls wagged at the judges both days, used their ears, and Meribel got in a kiss or two on Sunday.  Good dogs!  On to DCA.

Lucy and pups seem to be doing well.  The picture is a bit out of focus, but you can see how much the pups have grown!  Patti says they have doubled their weight in the first week.  Two liver boys, one black boy, one black girl.  Trim is coming in fast.  Next hurdle will be hearing.  Pups start to hear at around two weeks of age, but well bred pups are BAER tested (Brainstem evoked auditory response) at 6 - 8 weeks of age.  Patti will probably know their hearing status by 4 or 5 weeks of age (maybe earlier) but the pups will come down here for testing and evaluation. 

So much to get done this week before we can leave for DCA!  At least the car is washed and vacuumed.  Crates get scrubbed tonight, and then I'll start packing.  We don't leave under Friday, but I'll be planning and packing all week - and I will STILL forget important items!