Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel, frigid air and other unrelated material

I'm in my last week of Finite Mathematics. I can see the light at the end of this particular tunnel. I'd be elated if I wasn't exhausted. The final to take by Sunday and I'm done. Once again I will be thankful to pass the class even it ends up as a C. Now, do I take Statistics or give myself a break? It's not as if there is alot going on in the next 8 weeks, I could probably work through that and then be done with classes related to MATH. I equate the word MATH to the other 4 letter words of SNOW and COLD. Put them in the same category as all other nasty words. We had a foot plus of snow, which led to drifts up to my hips in all sorts of places on the farm. Including the dog runs, which probably won't see the dogs until spring. Now it's turned really really cold and I believe that COLD is worse than SNOW. It will get warmer again but then of course I'll complain because there will be more SNOW.
Let's see, in the unrelated material category I'm still waiting on Spice to come in season. Typical of Spice she is probably waiting until the worst winter weather day known to Iowans in a century to come in. I just keep repeating, "it will be worth it, it will be worth it". Jam is totally into his sabbatical from training. It's so cute to have him "ask" me to work. He'll throw random obedience stuff at me just to get a reaction from me. It's actually making him focus on me more now that I've stopped training.
On another note I have to mention the cows. This years cows seem brighter than the last bunch. The last ones were very sweet and docile and with the exception of the two "jailbreaks" were very good. This batch has something up their collective hooves. First they watch all the time and are very interested in the gates. The back gate was replaced/repaired and I think they gave up on that one. The front gate has been beat to death and back again. They managed to push and bump and rub enough to break two of the four gate bars. They didn't try to escape, but I think it's because they could not figure out how to step over the bottom bar and duck at the same time. Rick fixed the gate but I swear they are still plotting a winter adventure.
Driving to and from work has been dicey more times than I would like this winter and I am grateful beyond words for the Trailblazer, and it's heated seats. Now if only it had a remote starter.
I asked "Santa" (aka, my bank account) for tools this year. A circular saw and drill. I suspect that both Jean and Kim think I'm out of my mind again and worried I'll end up in the ER again. I promise guys, safety goggles and I will actually read the directions on how to use them before I start. Which as a side note, I did not do today while trying to get the postage machine to lick the envelopes for me and no I did not get it to work. Sometimes the old fashioned way is the best. I had visions of building something along the lines of a mini-loafing shed to use as with more kennels, but I'm not sure my methods of duct tape and zip-strips to fix things will hold up an entire building.
And of course the usual feeling of being cooped up is already settling in and my mind is wandering to dog shows and trials. I probably need to get off my rear end and start training again huh? Hmm...maybe after a cup of hot something...

Monday, December 7, 2009

DORA SEEKS ELVIS

Dora is getting a new home! She will be going to live in the Memphis TN area and will no doubt be wanting a tour of Graceland hoping to catch a glimpse of Elvis. Seriously, she will be heading out to live with my sister, her husband and my nephew, Ben. Ben is 5 now and is so excited to be getting a dog. When he was a baby they had a very old Rough Collie that had been a rescue I got from NE. Sam was such a great babysitter and Ben would lay on him and crawl all over him. Ben was asking mom tonight if he was going to be able to give Dora her food and water and if she could sleep in his room. In his room? Try in his bed. I wonder if Ben will share his trains with her? I'll miss her but I have to be practical when it comes to the dogs, that's part of showing and breeding dogs. Otherwise you end up with 25+ dogs of various breeds, alot of them not part of your breeding program and spending their days crated doing nothing. So I've made a committment to keeping only one or two dogs (okay maybe 3) that aren't a part of my breeding program. Of course Dora would stay here forever if I hadn't found such a great home, but I'm tickled that Kim,Scott and Ben will be welcoming her into theirs. As Elvis would say "Thank you, thank you very much".

Sunday, December 6, 2009

AN AHHH MOMENT


Here are Trace and his 1/2 sister, Rumor. When I first brought Rumor home Trace was disgusted. He had just decided to tolerate Bella and in walked Rumor. Bella and Rumor bonded immediately and I believe they plot to annoy Trace. Trace and his Collie buddy Spice are only about 6 weeks apart in age and were raised together so he is a Collie. So these new Cardigan girls are, well, you know, beneath him. (There's a small ha-ha in there somewhere!)
After a long morning playing outside here is what I found in the living room. Trace and Rumor cuddled up together. Please note Rumor also likes to sleep on top of a pile of toys (I think that's a Nemo fish under her). And yes, the living room rug always looks like this, dogs, dog toys, dog bowls (because Maddy brings them all out to the living room after a meal--and no I have no idea why) and of course, dog hair. :-)
So this is my ahhh moment for today, Trace's acceptance Rumor, if he only knew how much fun she will someday be!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

WHY COLLIES AND CARDIS ARE "MEANT TO BE"

I was hauling stuff upstairs and happened to look out the stairway window today and saw this. I ran quickly downstairs to grab the camera and got a couple of halfway decent shots thru the window. That's why the quality is rough. But these pics of Harold and Rumor are the epitome of why Collies and Cardigans go so well together.




Sunday, November 22, 2009

BELLA


I was taking pics today and there was Bella standing there just begging to have her pic taken. She's growing up and looking good right now. She's been doing that puppy thing, one day level, one day high in rear, then level. I just quit looking after a while. She did great at her first show weekend in Sioux Falls and came home with a RWB. Right now she's into growing up, bugging Jam, annoying Trace and perfecting her cardigan wiggle butt maneuver.

SPREADING RUMORS


Introducing "Rumor", Qwaynt's Something To Talk About. Nope, she is not named after the movie with Julia Roberts, she is named after a song by Bonnie Rait. Just a bit of trivia for you all! I have my brindle again-yippee! She is out of Jean's, Danni (Kennebec Qwaynts Miss Danielle) and Webster (Am/Fin Ch. Yardican Cardiridge Weli Welho). This makes her a 1/2 sister to Trace (Ch Qwaynt's Mystery Man) as they share the same mom. Now this should make my Cardigans complete, okay well I could get a red and complete the color palate, but maybe someday Trace and Rumor will produce a red.




With half-bro Trace and "Auntie Maddy" Dang it--this place has a fence!

SIGNS OF THE SEASON

Just a few pictures of the signs of the season. Let's call this one, pre-winter.
KENNELS READY FOR WINTER
These runs go into the garage runs, note new motion detector light
on the corner of the garage--Thanks Don!!

BARE WALNUT TREES IN THE SOUTH YARD
Most of the agility equipment is put away-you can see one
of the weave poles in the bottom right corner, those will be
the last to come in for the year.


BALES OF CORN HUSKS DOT THE LANDSCAPE





THE COWS PLANNING THEIR NEXT WINTER ESCAPE
Grandma Mary and Josh were over yesterday a.m. to rig up
this temporary solution. These are some smart cows, they
have managed to dismantle parts of the gate. Note that the
black cow with the backwards "7" on his head and the one
next to him are 2 that I made friends with this year--I hope they
aren't thinking that if they escape they get to some in the house...




MANURE SPREAD ON A HARVESTED FIELD





HARVESTED BEAN FIELDS












Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PLAYING THE WAITING GAME, AGAIN

Let's just say I am not always a patient person. I do try and have been told that there are times I do show more patience than I should. But there are times that I just am not and get antsy. Spice is supposed to be in season soon and I am antsy. Apparently the old saying, "a watched pot never boils" is true about dogs and heat cycles. A watched Collie never comes in season...sigh. I do feel sorry for Spice. It must be heck having your owner plop you on the grooming table each and every night and look at your backside. And of course, because I want it so badly I'm doing the same to Dora. Spice takes it in stride and couldn't care less. On the other hand Dora always looks offended. And I don't really expect Dora to come in, that's just wishful thinking at this point. But ohhhh...Spice puppies, I really want Spice puppies badly. Of course I did my usual "name the litter" thing and that has been a curse in the past. I was bored at work on day and came up with an entire list of names. It's the "R" litter. Why? Who knows, it just came to me. My first and favorite is Maiwae Rendezvous with a call name of Tryst. That kind of got the ball rolling, reverberate, revolution, resonance, you get the picture. So I have a list of 8 top names and call names to go with them to choose from. I have to confess, if she has a small litter of really, really nice puppies it's going to be hard not to keep them all to show. Of course that would mean more kennels and fencing. I was recruited to answer the phones one day last week and had time to map out additional kennel runs and fencing ideas, what a mistake that was! Now I know with a little work on layout and some free labor (any volunteers??) next spring I could eventually have 7 to 9 indoor/outdoor runs and an additional 8-10 outdoor only runs. Now if can talk the landlord into letting me have the small outbuilding....
And yes, I know, I don't need nor will I ever be able to have as many dogs as I could actually house. Unless Prince Charming arrives with a full size van, a full time job and has some type of wholesale dog food connection! LOL! (Oh and let's not forget he has to have a riding lawn mower too!)
Until next time...

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Long Week and Announcement

It's been one of those long weeks. I've been putting in extra hours on the math class. I will say it is easier than Algebra, but there is alot of work. I'm down to needing to take this weeks test and I'm done for this week. Work has been crazier than usual. This is a bad time of year for our patients on Medicare. Many of them have accumulated the maximum for prescription drug coverage and are now required to pay the full cost for their meds. So I have had a flood of patients looking for assistance. Not to mention we have had more than our usual amount of patients that have insurance but either have huge out of pocket costs for treatment or their insurance won't cover their treatment. The paperwork on my desk quadrupled this week, my phone was nearly constantly busy and Iwas about ready to put up CAUTION tape across my cubicle to keep the nursing staff out. The best part of my week was being able to get a patient with no Medicare prescription drug coverage a very expensive ($1400 for 10 pills) drug for free and turn it around from getting the problem on Monday to delivering the medicine to her door on Wed. It made my week!
The weekend is supposed to be lovely and I can't wait to spend time outside with the kids. I still need to clear out the one side of the garage and move some more stuff around upstairs. Rick is in the bean fields, he was out there most of the evening. It has finally dried up enough around here to get the farmers in the fields. So I expect continual combining this weekend since the farm is surrounded by fields of bean and corn. With harvest season comes the NO OFF LEASH rule. Same as during planting season. But I'm hoping that the weather holds for a few more weekends, because those harvested bean fields make great tracking areas. I've been wanting to work Trace more in tracking if only just for fun.
We have a new arrival coming soon to the gang at Maiwae. Going to try a bit different dog than we have now. Oh and I finalized plans for Spice's breeding to Trigger. Fingers crossed, I'm thinking gorgeous puppies--let's all think Smooooth versus the hairy ones. 2 of those are enough for now! :-)
Until next time...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend

Had a good productive weekend. Since Sat was pretty blustery around the farm the dogs and I spent most of the day inside. They "helped" me take out the air conditioners, I got those pesky bugs that look like ladybugs but aren't all sucked up in the vaccum, the upstairs rooms have all the windows plasticed (probably not a real word), the airbeds are deflated and everything put away for winter dog workouts. Moved a few empty boxes to the upstairs closets as well as some items sitting in that front hallway. This week I need to go and buy some more window plastic and some of the heavy plastic stuff for to seal up the unfinished rooms upstairs. The farmhouse is awesome, but they only finished up 2 bedrooms and a 1/2 bath upstairs. The other 2 rooms are pretty much the same as the day the house was built, so I put heavy duty plastic up on those windows and the doors that lead into the other rooms. The heat vents have all been removed to those areas so no heat gets lost thru them. Which is good because LP bills will make you gag for the winter.

Today was wonderful, the sun was shining, the dogs and I spent most of the a.m. outside. I worked on the kennels, moved a couple of the dog houses inside around and Harold is getting moved to an outside run with Bella in the middle. I found more signs of her damn digging again and at least if she digs in the middle kennel all she gets is either Harold or Spice and not freedom. Trace will go back in with Spice until she comes in season,since that kennel is the bigger one. Put up more tarps for wind breaks. I think we'll be fine until next spring. Then I'm going to have to decide to either expand another set of indoor/outdoor runs out the back or on the other side of the garage for the additional dogs. Or I'll need to just set up outside runs with really good dog houses. I hate to put up more indoor/outdoor runs because the other sides of the garage fast NW. Oh well, all winter to think about that one!

Laundry, laundry, laundry and I put away all the dog show stuff for the year. I still have some things to do in the garage and get the crates re-arranged in the dog room and of course a few more windows to be done for the year.

I hate the fact that it's 8:00 and I'm about ready for bed. My body doesn't get the time change thing, it will be a long week. Although I do love that I'll be driving in to work in daylight, the driving home at night and then having it be dark when I get home will really stink. Oh yea, still need to work out a light system so I can see to scoop the kennels after work.

Started Finite Math this week and it went well. I actually understood it and didn't panic. Still wondering if my brain was high-jacked for the week and the real brain will kick in on week 2 and I'll be confused, but maybe I'll luck out this sudden understanding of math systems will remain with me for the next 7 weeks.

More later!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SIOUX FALLS UPDATE

Yep, you guessed it--more rain, because why? I'm traveling to a show. I have become convinced that my intent to enter a show is taken by Mother Nature as a sign to rain. Okay, so it's just coincidence, but is it really??
Bella did a terrific job this weekend. The Fri. night fun match was well run and we had loads of time to spend just wandering around getting used to all the show sights, smells and sounds. NILIF paid off and she did her table work like a little pro. Although she did seem a bit confused that no dinner bowl was then placed in front of her. The sausage I had cooked up for the weekend appeased her. Gaiting was not a problem. In fact our Sat. judge Dr. Battaglia told me to lengthen my stride because that puppy can move out. Dang it! I had to almost run with Trace when I was showing him and now Bella. I think it might be all that conditioning the dogs get running in the huge fenced area. Which, fingers crossed I can expand to more running areas in the spring. On Sun. Chris Walkowicz was our judge, I like showing to her, she is good with the dogs and always so pleasant. Bella did her stuff and I was perfectly happy with just that. Diana and Mac Mann's "Monkey" went WB and then the judge pointed at Bella for Reserve! It was a big deal for me because we were just there to be there. I didn't expect a thing for this young girl except experience and a happy time in the ring. The RWB was just icing on the cake.
Harold qualified for legs 4 and 5 in rally novice-heeeheee. He has his RN but needs some more ring time before Advanced. He's just a year old and such a happy guy. Both judges were fantastic and agreed with me that it was a good thing not to push on to that upper class too fast.
Jam and I had a great Fri. fun match. Sahra was there to tape it for me which I highly recommend because boy can you see your handling errors and how your dog reacts to them. On Sat. we came close to qualifying--the long sit got us again. So I pulled him on Sun. to keep from inadvertently reinforcing that he can get up on the long sit.
That was our last show for the year. I'm tired, the dogs are tired, the weather is getting cold and icky and I'm ready to hibernate for a few months. Spice is due in season in November and I'll be concentrating on puppies for a few months. Trace goes into agility training this winter and the upstairs bedrooms will once again become training areas. Stays, scent training, dumbell training, all that can be done inside in the winter. And Jam and I might hit a couple of trails when we get nice weekend weather to put some miles on his backpacking title.
Until next time...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NILIF

Bella is going to her first show this weekend and definately has needed table work. This is not her fault, it's all mine. I really hadn't thought about taking her out this year, but dang it she's just so cute! And she learned how to strut on the end of the leash at our last outing, so what the heck, right? I hate training dogs to stand on the table, geez if the judges were better sports about it, couldn't they just judge our short dogs on the ground? ;-)
Well, Bella has learned how to stack on the table using the NILIF method. Nothing In Life Is Free. The past two nights she's had her dinner standing on the table with me picking up feet and moving them and stopping her eating to look at her bite and stack her up, then onto munching her dinner. Voila! We have table manners--heehee! Go Bells!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

RESEARCH DONE!

My research paper for this class is done! Woo-hoo! One last quiz to take and this class is over. I'm hoping to knock the reading and quiz out tomorrow night since I have a lot to do before this next weekend. On the down side my next class starts the 26th and it's Finite Mathematics. Ugh, ugh, ugh. But I have to have that as a pre-requisite for Statistics and I need that as a requirement for my degree.
I am however looking forward to this next weekend. We are off to Sioux Falls and it should be a blast! Amy, Alisa and Sahra will be there with Collies in breed and Sahra and I are hitting the obedience rings. Jean, Diana and Mac are coming with the Cardigan crew and it's my Bella's first show. No ring conflicts--how the heck did that happen? Must be a good sign. There's a fun match and a correction match that we'll be taking advantage of on Friday. Between our group and all the dogs we have entered it's going to be one big ol' Collie-Corgi fest! I love the Sioux Falls show site and always have fun there. This could be the last show for the year depending on breeding Spice and just the general money situation. I also need to plan a visit to my sis in Memphis this fall.
Off to bed to read a good FUN book - the textbooks have been put away for the night!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TRACE ATTEMPTS TO DITCH BELLA

Poor Trace. He like being the only short dog in the house. But then Bella came along. Bella follows Trace around like a little sister. If dogs could talk, "Hey Trace, what'cha doin'? Huh, huh, huh..can I play?" "That bone looks really good Trace, you'll share it with me right? Huh, huh, huh...?" "I will grab your tail and run the other way Trace! Pay attention to me!"
Trace rolls his eyes at me and gives me that "look"--I am so not amused by her mom! What the heck were you thinking when you brought that blue THING home???
Every morning I take Spice, Harold, Trace and Bella out to the kennels. Spice on leash, the others off leash. Every morning they come and run into their kennels for the morning cookie snacks. This morning Trace, with Bella at his heels ran to the barn and proceeded to teach my Bella baby to eat petrified cow poo. I put Spice and Harold up and call for Trace and Bella. Trace is there like a rocket looking sweet and innocent and happy to kennel up and get his cookie. I look for his constant companion Bella. No Bella. Okay Trace where did you leave her?
Sure enough I go around the kennels and there she is wandering near the barn still snacking. She's a good girl though and came when I said, "Hey Bella--cookies!"
I swear, Trace took Bella out there to ditch her hoping I wouldn't notice she was gone. Jeez Trace I can count to 4 ya know!
Boy is Trace gonna be peeved with Cardigan #3 joins the group, not to mention those pesky Collie puppies. I'm pretty sure he's plotting some sort of revenge on me!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What happened to fall???

I'm sorry, but fall should have temps in the 50's, not the 30's and 40's. Of course my sister Kim rubs it in that yesterday it was almost 80 in Memphis. Brat. Of course the trade off is they have huge bugs in Memphis and I'm not a big bug fan.
Of course I have the mole this year. I know, he's after the lawn grubs or whatever. And no, I am not going to treat the entire amount of lawn that I have. I mean really, I don't even like mowing it, can you really see me doing the fertilizer, grub killer, grass seed, perfect lawn attempt thing? Nope, neither can I. I was fine with this mole until he started making a path thru 2 of the kennels. I kept stomping down his tunnels, he kept redigging. Dang it, got a mole as stubborn as I am. So I pounded a 2 x 4 into his tunnel and he finally decided to take a different path, around the kennels. I call that a successful negotiation.
Today's been cool, okay I'm going to call it cold. I hate the cold and it's windy too and of course a wonderful northwest wind. I layered up and went to town, got some groceries and headed home. I hate driving on the weekends. That 100 mile roundtrip each day pretty much kills any joy of driving I ever had. Decided it was time to pitch the baby crib matteress the dogs had been using. They had chewed one end off and it was pretty gross. So I stripped all the outside covers and foam and such off. Put the spring part in the garage, I'll probably do a winter project and repad and cover it, cause it does make a nice doggy bed. I burned the rest of it and let me tell you I was horrified! This stuff went up like, well I don't know what, but it was horrifying. It burned fast and hot and was gone in a poof. I kept thinking about how a house fire could really eat somethnig like that up in a flash. So when I redo the bed for the dogs there will be no foam padding. Scarey stuff.
On a happier note I did the long walk to the mail box this afternoon. I was going to take Harold on leash (!) and Dora off leash. But Jam had an absolute fit and howled at the gate before I got around the corner to head down the lane. I went back for him and put Dora away. She was way too into finding that cow poo stuff to eat. Jam was thrilled and so was Harold. This was Harold's first mail trip. I try to rotate dogs and some I know can go off leash and some, well not so much. I dropped the leash about 1/2 way down and Harold stuck with me. Then I tried a little obedience exercise at the end of the drive (since I have to go across and a bit down the road to get the mail) and put Jam on a sit stay. Talk about making a dog nervous. I left him sitting at the end of the drive and took Harold with me. He almost made it, but stood up right before we got back. I think the stress of knowing I took Harold with me instead of letting him go with was too much for his brain to take. Harold had been so good he got to go back up the drive off leash. So Harold had a successful mail run. I know that I can take Maddy, Jam, Dora or Trace and they are great on mail runs. Harold needs some more of the same, Spice will never get the off leash chance (see previous post on Cow Adventures) and I haven't tried Bella yet. Somehow I think she will only listen if Trace is with her to round her back up. Bella follows Trace around like he is her best pal. I don't think the feeling is mutual.
Back to work on my research paper....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

COW ADVENTURE

Way back in Sept. I promised the telling of the latest ADVENTURES OF COW LAND! Last late winter and into early spring we had a couple of cow jail breaks and the dogs really got an up close and personal as the cows paraded down the driveway and around the dog yard. I had called them all in and the of course I had cows IN the dog yard, but that's another adventure story.
Since that time Spice has become fascinated with the cows. Anytime she was off leash she would go to the barn and lot and run around it in various spots to bark at the cows and of course, eat cow poo. I still don't get the obvious doggy delicacy of cow poo...but I digress. After a couple of long attempts and walks and finally taking the blazer out to round her up I put her on leash restriction to and from the kennels. She had been doing so well that one day after work I let the guys out of the runs and her too, off leash. The rest of the crew headed to the dog yard and Spice went thataway to the cows. I figured I would change my clothes and go out and get her. I was thinking she would be around back of the barn barking and running back and forth at the back gate. Wrong.
I couldn't find her, I could hear her, but I couldn't see her. Just as I was about to get panicked I see this fluffy tail WAAAAYYY down on the south side of the pen. Of course the "S" word came flying out, she's clear on the other side of the fence. Wrong again. I get closer and see she is IN THE PEN WITH THE COWS! The "F" word comes flying out and panic begins to settle in. This dog has no recall, literally none, doesn't remember her name, deaf as a stone when she wants to ignore you, etc. And she's in full work mode. Who knew Spice had a work mode? But she had managed to separate about 50 of the 150 head of cows up against the south side of the barn and was trotting back and forth about 50 feet in front of them occasionally barking at them. I went to the north side, the west side and could not get to her. Finally I sucked it up and crawled into the pen with the cows. Now, I really love cows, I collect cow figurines, etc. and have really gotten into petting them and making friends, from outside the fence. Cows inside the fence, well not so much liking, more like a little scared, they aren't too smart and these cows were worried. I crawled in and you could just see the relief on the faces--oooohhh a human--save us, save us from the fluffy, noisy, "thing"! I did not wish to save 50 cows all coming at me, so I yelled and waved my arms and they moved away. As I walked down to get Spice a couple of the braver ones tried to come forward out of line, Spice turned, stared at them and if cows had the ability, they would have saluted her, apologized and smartly got back into line. Looking worried, again.
You know how cow poo and dirt can look all nice and packed down and dry? Yea, well looks are deceiving. Apparently a 48lb Collie can float on top, not so with a full grown human--one foot in and up to my knee in mud, cow poo and I don't want to know what else. It sucked my shoe off my foot and I had to put my foot back into it to retrieve my shoe, at the same time cursing the dog and trying to keep the cows from leaping into my arms for safety from the dog. Couldn't get the damn dog from that angle, she was "working" and wouldn't stop. Out I go from the pen, walked all the way around the pens and barn and about a 1/4 mile of the bean field, found an opening big enough in the bottom fence area, got her to come to me and drug her fluffy butt outta there. Slapped a leash on her and that's all I have to say about that.
No more off leash for Spice, ever, ever again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

LINCOLN UPDATE

Well, we tanked it this weekend. Can't win 'em all and in the end I was actually very proud of my Jam. I was pretty nervous before Novice obedience, it's been oh let's see, 10 years since I put a CD on a dog?? Ugh, too long out of the ring. I also knew that Jam was iffy on some of the exercises. I just wanted him to stay in the ring with me but totally expected him to lay down on the long sit or come to me. I was so proud of Jam--he did all the exercises so nicely, had a few slow sits, one really long lag that he corrected and a no finish due to some sniffing. But at that point we had qualified. The long sit did us in, as I expected. What I didn't expect was Jam going to visit the Lab next to him and sniff at him. So that was it for us, a NQ.
Then Alisa showed Spice for me in breed since I had a ring conflict and she went Reserve out of 2. I think Alisa was right, she didn't like the overhead heaters kicking on and I wasn't in the ring with her. Oh well, no biggy. That's Spice's last show for this year. She's dropping coat like a mad woman and is due in season. I am looking so forward to getting her bred and having puppies in the house.
On to Harold. I was hoping Harold would redeem the crew for the day, but alas, it was not to be. He got a case of the sniffies and I called the run. I don't want him getting bad habits and learning he can do that. I talked with my obedience guru Sahra and she thinks that it's a sign of his youth. Poor baby he just turned a year old and thinks everything is fun, fun, fun and really doesn't understand in the ring is work time. But oh he had fun, as usual!
Onward to Sioux Falls and a few other trials before the snow flys. I suppose I could keep working and working for perfection but I don't want to be one of those people that says they have obedience dogs but never get them out in the ring to attempt a title. We'll take our hard knocks knowing that at some point we have to get in the ring to get the titles. I'll take this weekend as a learning experience and at least know that Jam is on the edge of that CD. I've promised him he doesn't have to go on to open work if he'll work with me on getting a jumpers agility title. I think that's a fair trade :-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Holy Rainstorm Batman!

You know it's raining. You know it HAD to rain because I entered a dog show this weekend. The last dog show I entered it rained. I am only thankful that we are inside at this one. I sort of downsized after moving to the country and getting stuck in the drive with the mini-van. So I have a cute little Trailblazer with 4WD that is awesome. But of course it doesn't hold as much dog show stuff. So tomorrow a.m., when it's probably going to be raining, I'll be strapping crates to the top. For my next purchase I have my eye on one of those hitch mounted carriers. I found a couple and can't decide on which. One has higher sides which would be nice, but probably not as easy to stack crates on, gotta take the tape measure with me and see what works best. Because I'm not going to keep doing the lift and strap to the top thing. I'm getting too old for that, especially in crappy weather.
Thank goodness I only have one dog entered in breed competition, so only one to keep totally clean. The other two can get a spit and brush out any mud if need be. Bella's going for the ride and she's more gray than white in spots. The joys of the shorty dogs and mud.
Well, gotta get my laundry done so I have something to wear and then give Spice a bath and blow out. Ugh, I just hope she's still holding in her hair!
Updates on the weekend later!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

THE PLANETS MUST BE IN ALIGNMENT

Jam had another wonderful practice session today. He is once again a fully functional obedience dog. All brain cells firing on command. Oh he has a few crooked sits and a bit of a lag on the one part of the figure 8 exercise and he looked a little panicked at the very end of the 3 minute down, but oh what a good boy he was! If he does it good the first time we stop right there. I've learned about the Collies, you do not drill a Collie. They get bored and frustrated and quit. So if they get it right the first time we take it. It'll never be a perfect 200, but if it's a qualifying score I'm totally happy. Better to have a happy dog than a high in trial. Not that I'd turn down a high in trial score, of course :-)
Harold is the first naturally talented dog I've had since Murphy back in the early-mid 90's. He learns everything super fast, works happy all the time and just will not quit. He loves to work. His off leash heeling is better than his on leash, his focus for such a young dog is spot on and he has the fastest sit I've ever seen in a Collie. For such a big guy he is very agile and turns tight and does this almost sliding into a sit. And of course the non stop wagging of the tail. Today he proved he can jump the 20" required in rally advanced/excellent. And in true Harold style he cleared it by a mile.
Jam, Harold and I will be traveling to show next weekend so let's hope that those planets remain in perfect alignment.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Walmart, Saturday and the joys of laundry

When I moved outside the town of Manchester I was pleasantly surprised by a Walmart. Not a big Walmart, it's the baby Walmart, not a Superstore by any stretch of the imagination. But it has a pharmacy, a few groceries for emergencies (since the Fareway is closed on Sundays) and most anything else a person might need from a Walmart. There have been times when I couldn't find what I WANTED at this Walmart, but it serves it's purpose.
What I love about this Walmart is that no matter what time of the day or evening there is always either an open checkout lane or no more than one person in each line. Ahhh...nirvana in the form of shopping checkout. In Cedar Rapids the Walmart's have 40 lanes, at least 30 of which are always closed, and of those open 10, half are usually self serve. It's one of those things about life that I don't understand.

Well it is Sat. and I am lovin' it! Woke up to nearly zero visability with fog, I know it's bad out when I can't see the barn! That's clearing off now and the sun is peeking out here and there. It's about 66 degrees out and that little bit of fall nip is in the air. Love it, love it, love it!! I am definately a sweatshirt and jeans person. Unfortunately the weekend always brings chores and today it's laundry. Ugh. Hate it. I know that it spontaneously generates in the dirty clothes hamper because there is no way I have that many clothes! Oh well it beats doing dishes!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

FOR THOSE OF YOU NEEDING A PUPPY FIX...

Check out my bestest friend Jean's website! http://qwayntcwc.com/
Her new puppy pics are posted here and they are so snuggly and adorable!
Ebbie's black boys are real bubba's--tons of bone and mushy faces--dang it I wish I was in the market for a boy!
Danni's babies are in one word: awwww....
I have at least 3 favs right now and can't wait to squeeze 'em in person.

LAND HO! BRAIN CELL SIGHTING!


Brain cell sighting! Brain cell sighting! Jam and I had a really good work out tonight. He did all of the novice obedience exercises, including a fairly solid long sit for just over a minute and a long down for 2! This is good news as I was convinced we had lost the brain cell capable of doing the figure 8 exercise. That cell miraculously appeared and then his long sit went out the window. Apparently both of these brain cells are on the same circuit and he had system overload. We are entered in Lincoln to give it a whirl in novice obedience in 2 weeks so I'm hoping to re-wire that circuit board in his brain and have all systems on hot standby! There's a match on Friday night before the show so I'm going to use that as a test drive. I figure if he can do heeling outside the cow barn with all the mooing, staring, stamping, slobbery, stinky activity AND pay attention outside the dog yard with the rest of the crew running and barking and generally being obnoxious, he can pay attention to me in a fairly quiet obedience ring. But then, this IS Jam we are talking about.
If we can manage a leg of his CD I'm going to put him back in rally excellent--yes, yes I know my friends, I know what you are thinking, but he can do it. I want that RE on Jam, it earns him the last point he needs for his AWCA Versatility Certificate. I have visions of a CDX but am realistic and just am not sure I won't explode his brain trying that one! :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

TRACE

Poor Trace. He has a pretty rough life.

AT LAST! A NAME!


Poor Bella--she finally has a name! Okay,okay, we all know she is Bella, I knew from the moment I was told I could get a Beli puppy that she would be Bella. Bella also thinks her name is Izzybella, Bell-Bell, BlueBella and Quit Digging. Which she has, sort of, kind of, for about 2 days anyway. As of today she has her full registered name: Cornerstone's Aqua Blew In Town. Kind of a play on her waterdog activities (aqua), her color (blue) and the fact that she's "New In Town" having come the distance from Florida. Anyway, it's unusual and that fits her to a T.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kids

Whew what a night! I was out working the four legged kids when three of my landlord's kids showed up. They really love the dogs and this used to be the house they lived in before they moved to the other farmstead. First to back track a bit I was shocked the first time I saw Josh driving a tractor, the truck and now the gator, because he's like 10 years old. And I think he drives better than I do! He's the oldest and brought his sisters Hailey and Olivia with him. It hink Hailey is around 8 or 9 and Olivia is 5ish. There's another brother at home, but he's around 3ish, so I guess he was with mom. Anyway, they provided much needed distraction work for the "boys". Jam got to practice his stand for exam with the three of them playing judge. For Jam this is hard work! He adores, ADORES, Olivia and the feeling is mutual. So standing still for her to be the judge about killed him. He also did some nice attention work on his heeling and figure 8's with the kids running around and calling his name and such. Then the kids asked if they could take some dogs for a walk. I've let them do it before and it is absolutely the cutest thing. Jam goes with Olivia (of course), Josh loves Trace and Hailey took Dora. She wanted to take Bella because she had spent the whole time playing with her but I explained that Bella wasn't a well behaved walker--understatement! So off they went and I worked Harold. Poor Harold, he had to do his workout in the field with the kids and the other dogs running around. But true to Harold-fashion he was focused on me. Olivia took Harold for a test drive after Jam pooped out on her, but gave up when he wouldn't pay attention to her.
I'm not really a kid kind of person. I actually do like having them around and spending time with them when it involves the dogs, but have had no itch at all to ever raise them. Raising the furry kids is hard enough and no one looks at you funny when you leave them in a crate or put a training collar on them. Funny thing, human services frowns on doing those things to human kids. ;-)
So I had a great time tonight, even though I didn't accomplish everything I wanted to, the extra added distraction work and "judging" was a nice change from how quiet it is to train around here. Usually the most commotion is the barking and running around of the other dogs and the mooing of the cows. Although, I have had much success in using the cows as distraction for long sit and down work.
Well back to the grind, I have another 1000 word essay due on Sunday and will be spending part of the day with my Aunt Judy, so I'd better get at least the outline done, huh?
Until next time...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Those Ugly Brown Dogs...

"Jam" (Ch Oak Knolls Strawberry Jamboree, RA, CGC) and "Spice" (Oak Knolls Pumpkin Spice)

My first Collie was smooth and blue, my second smooth and tri, third-smooth and blue, fourth-smooth and tri. Do you see a pattern? I had never wanted a sable smooth, I just did not like the look. Riley (Am/Can Ch. Wild Wind's After Midnight) changed that as he became my first sable smooth, but I did not want another and if I was going to have a sable it would only be rough and only be a nice dark mahogany shaded sable.
So what do I have in my yard? Sable #1 Jam--smooth and sable and probably the best temperamented Collie I have had, ever. He gets along with any and all dogs (okay, he doesn't really LIKE Bella but at least I never have to worry he will eat her), is the clown of the group, keeps a karma-like balance in the pack and has become my best buddy. I don't think about going places without Jam even though sometimes he has had to stay at home--and let's just say, he hates that! Jam does not appreciate being treated like a dog, he doesn't "DO" outside, the kennels and only barely tolerates the floor. He is a couch and/or bed dog and must be treated with the respect due his position in life. Yea right.... So Jam and I have had our ups and downs in training and showing. I knew he wouldn't be an easy dog to train, I saw him show in the breed ring, but I knew in my heart he was a performance dog at heart and we could come to a working compromise. Which means of course that I compromise and he gets cookies. :-) He's earned his RN and RA and his CGC, and I know that most people think we won't get any further, but I am bound and determined to move forward. I'm stubborn that way. ;-) And now I've just dumped a bunch of bucks into three upcoming shows for more humilitation, uh I mean, competition. Before we go into the ring I may need an adult beverage and/or a tranquilizer and he might need to have cotton stuffed in his ears to keep his brain from floating away.
Onto Ugly Brown Dog #2, Spice. Okay, it's mostly my fault on this one. I wanted a Shortcake puppy and said I would take any color and any coat as long as it was a girl. This was the only girl in the litter so she came home long hair and all. She's not really an ugly brown dog, she's actually an ugly brown spotted dog (sable merle). :-) Now some people, including myself at various times, have stated that Spice doesn't seem all that bright. I have to agree with Amy on this one, I think it's an act. Because she gets what she wants. Of course how do you say No to a dog that is so sweet, so loving and so self absorbed? She still goes to the mirror every day and looks into it, cocks her head and fluffs herself. Not to say that Spice won't get dirty. I will relate the last cow herding adventure in a later post. Needless to say, she has plenty of herding drive and I attribute only about 10% of my current gray hair population to her cow adventures. Can you say-no more off leash for Miss Spice? Spice did me proud a few weekends ago and picked up her first point and her 2nd BOVwin. So as with Jam, I've just dumped a bucket of dog money into a couple of shows for her before the end of the year. She is due to come in season in Nov. and if everything drops into place she'll be having the first litter of Collie puppies that I've had in 6 long years.
Ugly brown dog #3 is Harold. I'll tell Harold's story in another post too. It deserves a whole post in and of itself. He's a special dude. Of course he is actually what I wanted in a sable, he's rough and he is going to be a dark sable. Best of all he loves to work and loves people. He's earned his RN and will be joining Spice, Jam and me on the road the next couple of months working on his rally titles. Do you see the pattern of where my extra money goes? :-)
I have one tri smooth Collie in the house, the rest are all brown. I had to get Cardigan Welsh Corgis to get another tri and another blue in the house! I hope this doesn't mean my next CWC is an ugly brown dog.
Until next time...

Monday, September 14, 2009


I never grow tired of this view. I grow tired of the 1 hour one way daily commute to work, especially the drive from the highway down Mt. Vernon Road to the office--it's the pedal on the right people and it makes your car GO, and I do complain alot about the mowing involved. But after 14 months of living the country life it's definately become part of me. This is the view from Aug. 2008, the landscapes pretty much the same, just add in a few pieces of agility equipment and we had to move the fence in few feet after the semi couldn't make the swing this past spring to pick up the cows. I'm hoping that by next year at this time that far area across the drive will be split into a couple of areas, one for the agility play things, the other for more dog running areas. I was thinking about putting some goats or sheep over there, but found a better spot closer in--although my motto is "either a rider mower or sheep" because I am NOT push mowing all this again next year. But as you can see, it's pretty remote, very peaceful and both the dogs and I are enjoying it immensely. Now if only there was a way to transport myself to work in 60 seconds instead of 60 minutes...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BELLA UPDATE

So here is a picture of Bella, by DC Cornerstone's My Dear Beli, HXAsd, HXBs. HRDIII-s, HTDIII-d out of Cornerstone's Sing A New Song.
First, I'm trying another new blog. I updated the XP version and the Internet Explorer version on the computer last week so I think this will work where before it didn't want to. I'm so bad about keeping up on the computer maintainance (just ask Jean) but was forced into it when St. Leo University moved the e-college classes to a new server and I couldn't access any of the tests for my writing course. For those of you wondering, nope, I doubt that taking this writing course will improve my blogging skills as it's designed for research style papers, but I will strive to at least make somewhat of an attempt at being less wordy. Hahaha!


Okay, onto news about the littlest one at Maiwae, Bella. She is 5 months old now and has firmly placed herself into the pack. Trace tolerates her but really isn't impressed by her. I'm sure that will change once she comes into heat, but for now he finds her less than amusing. Jam can't stand her either, she's very pushy about sucking up to him and unless she's going to offer him a cookie, well you know he could care less. Her favorite "tricks" are dig a hole under the kennel run so she can bounce from one run to the other during the day and my personal un-favorite, curl herself into a ball in the water pan and then lay in the dirt trench she dug along the sidewalk. Perpetual motion and perpetual mud.


I've held off with announcing much more about her for various reasons but figure since I know she's a keeper it's okay to do. She doesn't have a registered name yet because I am having a terrible time figuring out something that truly fits her. Her daddy is the first CWC to earn a DC and has multiple advanced herding titles and when I found out that he was siring this litter I knew I had to have one. My heartfelt thanks to Jean for connecting me to Rita Hellegers and working on my behalf so Bella could come to live in Iowa and to Rita for sending her to me. Bella has loads of prey and play drive and I cannot wait to see what she can teach me.


Bella will likely not make her ring debut until 2010 as the show season for me is winding down, the "Boys" (Jam, Trace and Harold) are all working this fall on obedience and rally and Spice is due in season in the late part of fall with, fingers crossed, puppies in early 2010. More on that later.