Wednesday, October 28, 2009


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


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


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


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


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


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!