Saturday, April 13, 2013

We're Out Of Here

Max hasn't a clue why everyone else is so excited, unless it's just because Jess is here.  She stayed overnight so we could get an early start - which will be soon.  Jess is the master packer here, so I do the basics and she squeezes in and straps down everything else.  Everything fits, just barely.  Good job Jess.

It's snowing lightly, so this will be the first year we've left for the National in snow.  Forecast for St. Louis changes from day to day, but at least part of the week should be warm.  Just so we get some sun.

Off to have fun.  This is probably Argus's last DCA and perhaps his last long trip, as hopefully we will have youngsters to show in the future, and extra dogs take up space.  This is going to be a special week for him, as he loves to travel and schmooze at the shows.  He is SO excited right now, clings to me like velcro to be sure he gets to go too.

We're outta here!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Blogging On The Go

Just testing my new App. If you're reading this, it worked. Good Bye office!


Last day of work before vacation.  Last half day actually, as the afternoon will be spent running last minute errands, finishing up fish chores, grooming Argus and packing.  I am NOT looking forward to coming back to the office after a week away, as there will be no one doing any of my work in my absence.  The only person who can fill in has taken a job with a different agency.  Not very good timing as this is our busiest time of the year, and everyone else has cover the empty position until a new person is hired and trained.  My Boss is already doing her own job and her Supervisor's job (out on medical leave) so there is no one to cover anything while I'm away.  Oh well.  I'll deal with it when I get back and not let it interfere with a much needed vacation.

One last blog post and then it may be awhile unless I figure out how to do posts on my iPhone.

That's Piper in the picture, Sanka was her litter name.  Max's sister.  It will be such fun to see Piper and Melitta again!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Decision Time


Time for some hard decision making.  Who stays, and who goes?  Just to the National, I mean!

Had planned to take and show Fern if she was working OK, and if she was moving correctly.  The puppy classes are large which will be fun, but they will be very competitive and I don't show "just to show".  Many 9-12 month bitches are ready to win.  Fern is not one of them.   Last year our Meribel was Best of Winners from that class, and Adele won the Sweeps and Futurity from that class.  If my dog won't be competitive, it will be far easier to leave her home.  Decided I would take her to handling class last night to help me make the decision.

It's not that she's not beautiful.  When I stacked Fern in front of the mirrors last night I was amazed at how good she looked.  Absolutely gorgeous outline.  Lots of angles, perfect topline, lovely neck.  Her head has matured too, and her face is quite pleasing.  She went through a flaky stage, but we got past that, and she was very happy, wagged on the exams, and tried to introduce herself to everyone.  Just as friendly and outgoing as I could ask.

And then we had to move.  Fern started pacing sometime last winter.  Dogs are supposed to trot in the show ring, not pace - pacing means both legs on the same side are moving at the same time.  It's an easy gait, does not require good foot timing, and is more common in pups and old dogs.  Fern should not have to pace as her structure is very good, but there's something that is "off" when she moves.  Maybe foot timing, maybe some kind of an injury that only shows up this way.  Because she had a very short back, hard topline, and lots of angle, Fern's timing has to be perfect to move properly.  It's not.  She can trot, but not reliably, and especially not when she's excited or distracted - and Fern at 10 months is always excited or distracted!  Last night she developed a new quirk, one we saw in her mother Pauli.  As Fern is trotting along, she gives a little hop, sort of a jumping for joy.  When Pauli did that, she would then resume trotting.  When Fern does that she slips back into a pace.  ARGH!  When she concentrates she does fine, but she's still too silly to concentrate for any length of time.

Sooooo, it looks as if Fernly might be missing DCA this year.  Still thinking, but leaning that way.  I hate to waste the entries, but it would be a lot easier to leave her behind.  There will be lots of other shows for Fern, and I'd rather work this out before we do any serious showing.  If winter ever gives up we will start biking, since I can't walk fast enough to keep her trotting correctly.  That should help a lot.  I'm delighted she has come so far, and very pleased with how she's looking.  But we still need that third piece.  Type and attitude are there, but gaiting - not so much. At least not yet.

If Fern stays behind, I only have to deal with Argus and Max.  Argus is entered just for fun as he has nothing to prove.  He'll really enjoy the trip, and I almost feel as if I "owe" him that for all that he has done in the show ring, and especially at the National.  Retirement was not his choice.  Max can come along for fun, and learn all about dog shows and motels.  He'll make new friends, get to play with his sisters, and his co-breeder Jana will get to see him.  I'll have lots more time to do things, like work in the health clinic, and stand at ringside watching dogs and getting caught up with old friends.  I really need a vacation, and the trip will be a lot easier if Fern stays behind.

I am still arguing with myself about this.  Jess says I probably won't make up my mind until we are ready to leave!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's STILL Only Money

Josie, Max & Fern sharing the sofa

Did the deed, signed the contract to have the house rewired.  Also committed to the home refinancing at a significant drop in interest.  Scary!  I know I won't have the house paid off by the time I am ready to sell, so I might as well get the wiring taken care of now.  There's a significant risk of fire in these old homes with overloaded circuits, brittle old knob & tube wiring, outlets that are not grounded, fixtures that are not in boxes, cracked outlets that are not properly seated, and way too many extension cords.  A new circuit box scheduled for later this month, with the balance of the rewiring to be done probably in May.  It's only money, but it's also peace of mind.  Much of the other work that needs to be done around here can be done by me, or as individual small projects.  Gotta be able to sell this house someday!

Still not sure who is going along with me to DCA, but it's looking more and more as if I am taking three dogs, with Max going along for the ride.  It will be fun to see him with his sisters Piper and Melitta, and I'm still considering a repeat breeding next fall or winter, depending on how these pups look at the time.  Sure can't ask for better dispositions!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Wanted - Spring Weather

The brave little tulips are sure Spring will eventually be here, but Mother Nature is sure stubborn this year.  Yesterday was relatively warm and we had a nice Spring rain last night.  Chance of snow the next couple of days, perhaps three inches.  Or more.

We're heading off for St. Louis (actually Gray Summit, MO.) very early Saturday AM.  It's supposed to be warm down there this week, but cooling off on Friday.  What happens on Saturday?  Snow?  We'll be accused of bringing along the bad weather!  Lots of outdoor activities planned for Specialty week, including the Road Trial, the yearly Whine & Cheese Party (not an official event, but organized by someone every year), and a Pot Luck.  The latter two will be held in the motor home parking area, so good weather will make them a lot more fun - but we'll have them no matter what the weather.  A lot of the socializing at the National is done while walking dogs, and good weather will also make that a lot more fun.

Still debating on whether to take Max along.  He'll be incredibly bored if he stays with Ron, Watson & Josie for the week.  Not sure I can manage three dogs - but I've done it before, and Max is a great traveler.  I could leave Argus behind as he's not likely to come out a winner this year - I wish he was 3 years old instead of 7 1/2.  A couple of Max's sisters will be there, and it would be fun to have Melitta, Piper (was Sanka) and Max together for a little family reunion.  Just wish we had a 4-6 month class so I could show him.

Not sure I will ever be ready to leave - the To  Do List is still far too long!