Thursday, October 10, 2013

As Ready As We'll Ever Be

Two wild and crazy young dogs bathed, trimmed, nails done, whiskers done, and ready to go.  Both got long walks and training sessions last night, where we worked on gaiting and stacking.  Their weights are just right, their coats are perfect, they are working well, and both look very good right now, but . . .

But they're high energy Teen-Dals, very happy, very energetic, very enthusiastic, and very distractable.  Hopefully they will show well this weekend.  Fern has some show experience, Max has almost none.  Jess was supposed to show Max in Sweeps which would have given me a chance to watch him in the ring, but that is not to be.  I'm on my own, and both dogs are entered in Bred By Exhibitor.  I am Fern's sole owner, so only I can show her in Bred By even though she was bred by Wendy, Jess and me.  Max was bred by Jana, Jess and me, and the three of us own him, so either of them could show him in Bred By.  But only I will be at the dog shows, so I will be busy!  I have not shown two class dogs in years and YEARS.  What was I thinking?

Because I am currently working Max in obedience, he needs some show ring experience too, so he will understand the difference.  Dogs can do both at the same time, but it takes a bit of extra work.  Because there is so little competition in Dals in the immediate area, Max hasn't had the ring experience our pups normally have by 11 months, so we'll be doing a few shows this fall before I concentrate on obedience over the winter.

It's been a lot of work raising two youngster so close in age (5 months apart).  Two high energy, very enthusiastic, exceptionally happy youngsters.  They've gotten lots of individual attention and training, and I THINK we're ready.  As ready as we'll ever be!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Bump In The Road

Max & half-sister Nena

This weekend was to be our last Specialty show weekend of the year.  Jess and I were scheduled to head out on Thursday to attend the Kansas Specialty on Friday, showing to one of our favorite judges.  Because so many wonderful senior judges have passed away during the past five years, we figured we'd show to him just because this might just be the last opportunity.  Win or lose, we generally like his judging, the way he runs his ring, and the way he treats exhibitors and dogs.  I'll be showing Fern and Max, Jess was going to show Gemma, and we really thought he would appreciate her.  We've done very few such trips this year, and this would have been the last for this year.  I'll be doing a few more shows this year, but this would have been the last show weekend for Jess and Gemma.

Unfortunately, Jess's vacation was rescinded and she can't have the time off, plus she will be working overtime this week.  Small company, under-staffed, busy week.  Kick in the head.  Jess's boss refunded what she had paid in entries.  Nice, but will she reimburse me for the portion of motel room and gas that Jess would have paid?  Money that will all be coming out of my pocket.  No, I don't suppose she will so this will be an expensive weekend for me.  It's safer, easier, more affordable and a lot more fun to share a dog show trip, but so be it. 

I plan to have fun anyway, hoping that I survive a trip with my two wild and crazy spotted friends.  They are SO enthusiastic and energetic, and there's rain in the forecast - hopefully not so much that they don't get their walks.  When I showed Argus who was the same way at this age, I found that looonnngggg walks before showing helped to settle him down.  At least a little!  Max has only been shown one day at AKC shows, as I've been waiting for him to "grow up" a bit.  He went through some gawky stages, but is looking quite handsome now, at 11 months.  I'll be showing both Max and Fern in the Bred By Exhibitor class.  Fern has both her major, Max needs to start working on his.

That's Max in the picture, with his half-sister Nena who has pups due later this month.  More on that next week.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dalmatian PR

Tom Demma took this shot of Nena

How to use my time more effectively. . .  

Since I haven't been blogging in the mornings recently, I've gotten into the habit of spending more time on Facebook, or playing with the dogs.  Need to change my morning routine to include time for blogging, or better yet do my blog posts the night before.  I could have done that last night instead of watching reruns of "Law & Order" on ION!

I was so proud of the dogs the past two weekends as they attended Fire Station Open Houses in Columbia Heights and Fridley, Mn.  We took Max & Josie, Stephanie brought Nena & Tate (Josie son), Tom brought Sam, plus we had Abby & Willow.  Max, Nena & Sam are all Argus kids, so even though he had to stay home this year he was well represented.  The dogs were wonderful with all the kids, noise and activity.  I considered bringing Argus too, but decided that I wanted to concentrate on Max this year.  I have lots of plans for Max and this was a good time to work on the basics.

Watson has always been the Go To Guy for doggy events, as he particularly likes kids.  He's done a variety of events including Toddler Tuesday at Mall of America and always did the Fire Station events.  Because Watson has "aged out", I need a new dog for such things.  Argus is OK with kids, but doesn't enjoy them the way Watson did and much prefers interacting with adults, as does Josie.  Max on the other hand loves everyone, and is particularly fond of kids.

I've always felt that early socialization makes a lot of difference in this area.  Argus had minimal exposure to children, and Josie was raised in a kennel situation and unfortunately never saw a child before I bought her, but the litter Max is from had a great deal of exposure to children of all ages.  It shows!

Because Dals have gotten so much bad press over the years, especially during the fallout from over-popularity after the Disney movies, it's important that Dal owners get their dogs out to mingle with the public and offset some of the bad publicity.  No, they are not all hyper.  Yes, they are smart and trainable.  Yes, they are good family dogs.  Yes, they are good with kids.


Sunday, October 6, 2013


Max and me

Yes, indeed!  Nena is pregnant and we're anticipating pups in about three weeks. 

Regular blogging will resume tomorrow.  Vacation over!