Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stroll Down Memory Lane

Yeppers...it's been me and my dog since I was a toddler.  The first pic is a terrier that I have no idea what his name was.  The second pic was when I was about 3, I think.  This was Duchess, the first dog we had that I can remember.  She was a GSD mix from the local humane society.  I was about 12 when she died.  Grandpa and Grandma didn't want me to come home to an empty house after school, so I came home to another humane society baby.   

This is Polly.  She was a terrier mix and a wonderful companion for many years.  I got to name her and she was the first dog that I ever took an obedience class with.  She would also let me dress her up and put her in a stroller.  And she considering her terrier roots, she never, ever left the yard.  After Polly died Grandpa said no more dogs.  He caved, of course, see next picture.
Grandpa finally gave in and said yes to another dog.  But he wanted a male this time around.  Probably thought he could balance out all the females that way. :-)  This was my first trip to the humane society to get a dog.  I walked in and fell in love with the first dog I saw.  It was a girl.  Grandma said we were getting the beagle mix boy.  I wanted to take them all and cried hysterically all the way out the door and home.  This dog is Charlie.  I named him too and he became one of the best dogs we ever had.  Charlie did have beagle in him.  His legs were shorter like a beagle but his body screamed labarador.  I believe grandpa said he was built like a brick shit house.  Thank Grandpa.  He diligently protected the neighborhood, the home, his people and especially me on our long walks.  During the latter part of Charlie's life I got a wild hair and we got a 2nd dog.  This was a first in our household and it took a while to bring everyone around to the thought of a 2nd dog. 

This is Sophie.  A Wire Fox Terrier, she was my first AKC registered dog.  Bought from a pet store.  Oh well, live and learn.  She was an expensive dog, having Leggs-Calves-Perthes disease requiring major surgery.  She was obedience trained and I was hoping to make an attempt at trials, but she was never completely solid in movement after her surgery--some days she was fine, some days she limped.  Eventually as she aged she became my grandma's dog, then my mom's and finally came home to be with me in her final years.  She ruled the house until the day she died at age 14.

 MURPHY.  This is the dog that changed my life in so many ways.  He was a humane society puppy of cocker spaniel and brittany mix that my boss had gotten and then realized the time commitment to a puppy was not his thing.  It was mine and Murphy and I became inseparable.  Murphy earned 17 titles in his lifetime thru UKC, MBDCA, NAFA (flyball), etc.  He did everything I ever asked of him.  He learned to fetch, do scent articles, track,  play flyball wlith a 3 year old handler, visit elderly patients at the nursing home, be patient and only bark a few times at me when we did agility and in general be my best friend for 14 years.  He was the first mixed breed dog to really show in obedience and agility in the area.  One gentleman would see him and always ask "How is the little miniature Golden doing today?"  He was a wonderful ambassador for mixed breed dogs and I regret that he isn't around to compete now in AKC.  He would have loved rally.  When he left me there was a huge hole even though I had other dogs at the time.  There will never be another Murphy and in some ways that makes me very sad.

Murphy, age 10 with some of his many awards.

For the last street on this memory walk, this is the only picture I have of the flyball team that Murphy ran on for several years called the Speedy Desperados.  We weren't speedy but we were a bit desperate. :-)  After all we were running with Murphy, Chip- hound mix, Zeke- terrier, Molly-bichon frise and Kazan-siberian husky.  This was a far cry from today's flyball teams that are heavy into the border collies.  We had fun that tournament long ago and that 4th place win was hard fought for! 

Did Someone Say Thunderstorm?

Rain?? Thunderstorms?? Not uncommon in Iowa, if it's spring or summer.  "Hellooo...Mother Nature?...it's WINTER...oh, I see...early April Fool's joke is it??...Does this mean for April Fool's we will have 2 feet of snowfall?...no, no, I wasn't suggesting that you do THAT!"

(Excerpt from early a.m. conversation with the weather.  Names have been changed to protect the insane...uh I mean innocent)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nearly the end of 2010

Holy cow!  2011 is rapidly approaching and I'm still trying to figure out what happened to 2010.  My grandma would tell me that as she got older the years went by more quickly.  Once again, grandma was right.  As I age I find that time zips by and I'm left wondering how I'm going to squeeze in tasks, chores, training and showing and not feel I've missed out on some little thing.  I did a pretty good job this year of squeezing it all in and with the last part of 2010 coming to a close I feel good about the year.  Yes, I do believe I will put 2010 down in the books as a good year.  I didn't want to say a great year because that puts too much pressure on 2011 to top it.
I continue to be blessed with my family--Kim is still healthy, Scott and she are happy and living in a wonderful TN community, Ben is 6, healthy, happy, full of the joy of life and not too old for a good snuggly hug (just don't try to kiss him!), Aunt Judy is doing good and her family is healthy and happy as well.  I have truly amazing friends who continue to plug along and alternately forgive my weirdness and kick me in the rear to get me back on track, especially dear Jean who continues to put up with me at least once a day.  And where would I be without my dogs?  Jam is my rock and best buddy even tho he hogs the bed, steals Ben's Christmas stocking candy and eats prune cakes off of the counter.  I love them all, except right now Declan has discovered that the Christmas tree has ornaments above his line of vision and has buried his nose inside of it to figure out what's what. 
What will 2011 bring?  Besides several feet of snow and the obligatory April tax return, I truly have no idea.  Plans have begun for the usual training classes and shows and heaven knows that "Wanted" list of titles continues to grow. 
Until next time...

Maiwae's Allstar Singular Sensation - "Reid"

(UKC/Int Ch. Anstett's Allstar Is Bryce, CD, RA, TT x Int. Ch. Oak Knolls Pumpkin Spice, RN, TT)
Here's a sneak peak of Baby Reid taken from his International show pic in Nov. and he's changed since then!
Co-Bred and Co-Owned with Sahra Jola/Allstar Collies in La Crosse, WI - Reid lives with Sahra and her family, but will return to Iowa for an extended visit in April so I can enjoy him, spoil him and in general probably wreck all of Sahra's work

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oak Knolls Riverton

Oak Knolls Riverton
(Am/Int. Ch. Oak Knolls Streams of Silver x Oak Knolls Anstett Ms. Demeanor)
Winners Dog and Best of Opposite Sex under j. Jon Cole for his first point.
Shown by handler John Jola of Allstar Collies, La Crosse, WI
Photography by Susan & Lennah

Int. Ch. Oak Knolls Lollipop

(Ch. Oak Knolls Beau Ideal, ROM x Ch. Oak Knolls Strawberry Shortcake, ROM)
Lolly at her first AKC show to earn her first point.under j. Jon Cole
Shown by co-owner and her best friend Sahra Jola/Allstar Collies of La Crosse, WI
Photograph by Susan & Lennah

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Yes, yes I know I am horribly behind in blogging our activities.  Since we are snowed in until Rick comes tomorrow to plow us out I got busy with some paperwork and then got bored with that--so here I am, blogging.  Here's the updates since the International shows.
Internationl Shows/Hutchinson MN:  Spice, Lolly and Trace all earned 4 V-1 ratings to receive their Int. Championships.  Trace also had one BOB.  Baby Reid went on a winning spree and sucked up a bunch of medals and rosettes from the Babyklasse (3-6 mo. olds) with 4 SG-1 ratings to earn both his National and Puppy International Championships and along the way had a Bred By Puppy Group 1 followed by a Bred By Puppy Reserve Best In Show for one show, and...2 Bred By Puppy Group 2's, one Bred By Puppy Group 3 and 4 Puppy Group 2's! 
The following weekend we all headed up to the Minneapolis KC shows (I don't even want to discuss the ICE issue, let's just say I was grumpy and irritated most of Sunday because of it), Declan earned his first major Reserve to Amy's Gideon and as usual Declan had a blast.  Everything he does is with total joy.  We then took a break and Aunt Judy and I took a trip to Memphis to visit Kim and family for Thanksgiving.  More on that to follow.
Back from TN and off to show again.  By this time I am totally sick of driving and wish at least one dog had opposable thumbs and a driver's license.  We were off like a herd of turtles to the great north, again, this time for obedience and rally.  My non-ending thanks to Peppi for housing us for so many visits this year and for her moral support.  (Not to mention her babysitting Harold and Declan during the TN trip).  This trip was worth it as Spice finished her RN and Jam earned two BN legs.  And we got to be there to watch Amy's return to the obedience ring and her marvelous performance with Zander for his first BN leg! 
This weekend we let everyone else have fun and on Friday I swapped out Declan and Lolly for Bejing and Reid while Sahra and John took the trip to St Cloud.  Again, a worthwhile trip but frankly I'm happy I'm missing the driving.  Declan was WD today for his first point!  And Lolly was WB in roughs today (at her 2nd AKC show--yesterday she was RWB) for her first point!  I could not be happier and know that Sahra is lighter than air now--she loves her Lolly girl.
That's it for 2010, options for 2011 remain open although the push is on to get more points on Spice and Declan and continue our training.  I was going to throw in an agility class but now I'm worried the weather will be uncooperative. 
Until next time....