Thursday, April 28, 2011

Confessions: Charlie Hoarding

Charlie is a hoarder.  There will soon be an Animal Planet show dedicated to him.  At first it was toys in the corner piled high.  Now it is bones, in a row.  So he may also be OCD.  Is there a 12 step program for Border Collies?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

And so it begins...

I got my week of rest post-National and now we are rolling again.  Monday brought herding lessons.  Bryce and Sahra looked really good and she's started naming the directions.  Beijing and I had focus issues.  I don't want to say which one of us was worse, but he did manage to settle in and do some nice turns.  It's mostly on my part being quick enough to block him so he learns to turn with a more subtle cue, then I can start naming his turns too.  Baby Reid was all go with a nice stop at the end.  We are going to work on WAIT and some kind of distinct signal this week.  If it would stop raining. 
And where are we off to next?  Spice and I are off to a UKC Conformation show to dip our toe into another venue.  Followed by a weekend of herding with Bryce, Beijing and Reid.  Time to finish off those first titles, as Declan re-starts classes next week.  And I still haven't tried Harold yet.  Charlie won't start until August, so that gives me time to get another dog or two on the road for HT's before I start yet another.  I desperately need my own stock. 
The local UKC club is doing a rally/obedience trial the next week but I have some plans and while I hope to enter date of show on one day, I'm disappointed that so much always is on the same weekends!  Ugh, I need to be two or three people LOL!  Good heavens, Key City is after that and I haven't figured out who is doing what.  No breed ring stuff, just some obedience and rally that weekend if I can swing it.  And we haven't even looked at June yet.  Although I have a couple of ideas that could make the month pretty full. 
Now I need a good dependable "kennel" sitter.  There are just some shows I cannot drag all 8 dogs along for.  So the search is on for someone willing to come and do chores twice a day and/or stay at the house especially for Maddy. 
Sahra and I have a breeding planned for late fall, check my webpage for details.  I am so looking forward to more babies.  Of course I already know what I want, a nice tri rough girl to call Nan, or maybe Fran.  Which means I will fall in love with another "ugly brown dog", no doubt white factored and male.  I guess the only plus to that would be the nice brace it would make with Reid.  But then again, showing Reid and a his counterpart might be a bit on the terrifying side.
Until next time...check back for's gonna be a busy year!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


We survived the week at the Collie National Specialty in Tulsa OK!  It was an absolutely wonderful week and I cannot wait to do it again.  This is a photo that John took of our display table showing all the rosettes the dogs won during the week.  There is one missing, John's dog Beijing (GRCH Oak Knolls Olympic Games, RN) was a Versatile Collie qualifier and received a lovely green on green rosette.  The table also included a photo slide show of our training and showing over the past 6 months as well as updated photos from the events of the week.  There are an amazing number of professional quality photographs that John Jola of Allstar Collies took during the week on the Facebook page for Allstar Collies.  The photos are available to see by anyone that is interested.  You don't have to be an Allstar Collies friend to see them.  I encourage you all to go and look. 
We began the week at herding.  The location in Ponca City OK at Linda Holloway's was perfect.  The sun was shining and the wind was typical "sweeping down the plains" type.  The three of us were sun and windburned, alternately too hot and too cool but the dogs had it perfect under the EZUp.  The herding Collie community is so warm and welcoming that I am totally hooked on trialing now.  We had so much success for our first outing with green dogs!  Bryce earned his first PT leg and Beijing earned his first HT leg!  Baby Reid came THIS close to both HT legs.  See Bad Judge on day 1 and Handler Error on day 2 for more info LOL!
After herding we moved 2 hours down the road to Tulsa and unloaded the trailer.  The show site was fab--drive in unloading within 30-40 feet of our set up area.  Which was good because we were already on the tired side.  Day three brought Declan in 12-18 month puppy class.  He showed like an old hand under John and managed to behave and look like a show dog.  I was very impressed with him as usual.  Of course I love him.  Bryce and I did not qualify in agility.  This was my fault, gee who would have thought that??  I also learned that fast at Amherst Junction COULD become faster in Tulsa.  The judge had super courses that allowed for alot of build up of speed and Bryce turned on the SSTs!  The next day while Musca was being prepped to show, Bryce ran agility again and this time I am blaming him.  The bugger missed the first obstacle--well he jumped it, but it was the tire and he jumped thru the side.  So technically I'm sure Bryce feels he fullfilled his part.  :-)  I love that dog!  Musca also showed her heart out.
The next two days were a blur.  Sahra showed Bryce in Open A and Rally Excellent B and q'd in rally for his RE title!  She also showed Musca and Lolli in Rally Novice B and q'd both for their RN's!  Then there was the big rush to get both Reid and Lolli ready for showdog.  Reid was in rough bred by and was the first dog into the ring.  I cannot express how overwhelming it felt to have such a quality dog at such a young age (10 months) showing in bred-by!  Reid put on his work face and made it look easy. 
Good heavens--what day are we on?  I don't know they all blended together after a while.  I kept saying "weekend".  Apparently there was not enough caffeine flowing.  Second obedience/rally day brought more q's with Bryce in Excellent; Musca in Novice, Lolli in Novice with a 4th Place! and baby Reid in Rally Novice with a q and his new RN!  Bryce also earned his CDX with a fourth place!  Woo-hoo!!  I didn't get to see it because I was hurrying to do finish grooming on Beijing so he could go into Best of Variety class.  By now the rosettes are piling up along with the legs and titles!  To put the icing on the cake, Beijing qualifed as a Versatile Collie at the National Specialty showing in Best of Variety, qualifying in Herding Tested and Rally Novice!  He was the ONLY Grand Champion qualifier! 
I am so proud of our dogs and all the hard work that has been put into them to perform so well at the speciality.  On the way home plans have already been made for this year's goals.  We need to finish up some herding titles, get some new dogs started and finish up agility and obedience stuff.  Declan is out of breed showing for a couple of months so I can work on other stuff, Musca needs 3 singles to finish, baby Reid has COAT and will be out showing as well as Lolli until she blows her coat out.  And Spice still has coat, so she is off to find a few minor points and do some other stuff too.  Jam needs one BN leg and 2 RE legs.  Harold needs to get out and do some APDT rally.  Oh my---we have work to do!!! 
Stay tuned for further updates...but first a couple of days of rest...

Friday, April 8, 2011


Another "bright" idea gone horribly awry.  Sometime way back at the end of last summer I said, "Let's go to the Collie Club of America National Specialty show".  I was sure we would all have a great time even though it's a long road trip to Tulsa, OK.  "What should we enter?" I asked.  (This is where Sahra and John should have been smart and run for the hills).  That question quickly snowballed from a couple of dogs in conformation, to several dogs in rally and obedience, to Bryce in agility and finally in one last desperate act to completely separate my brain from my body, herding.  Oh yea, that's right, it will be a totally all week event for the three of us.  I have been reminded frequently that it is all my fault.  Bright ideas and all that.
So I sit here on the computer at what is now 5 a.m. after being up all night doing final packing, checking off lists and tripping over dogs that KNOW I have lost my mind.  My motto--I can sleep when I'm dead, or after the National, whichever comes first.  I am still pretty amazed at how much I can condense into various totes.  By the way, thank you to the inventor of the rubbermaid type tote.  Oh yes, and the inventor of duct tape.  A story for another time.  Oh, did I mention that in order to save on driving, we are all going in the same van with 7 dogs and had to rent a trailer for the mountain of stuff?  I get nauseous when I look at the staging area (otherwise known as the garage).  My prayers are with John who gets to pack it all in. 
All kidding aside, I am totally tickled that we are almost ready to hit the road.  I can't wait to get there and see some people I haven't seen in a very long time.  There are new dogs to look at and a first time try for Sahra and I herding with the Collies.  I am also honored to be running Sahra's Bryce in agility.  So what does a week at the Collie National entail?  Sun/Mon--herding with 3 dogs, move to show site Monday after herding (why is herding always 2 hrs away from the show site?)  Tues--conformation and agility followed by the welcome party and gifts!  Wee ha!  I hope it's something sparkly!  Wed--more conformation and the round of 1 dog in open obeidence, 1 in novice obedience and beginner novice obedience, 1 in rally excellent, 1 in rally advanced and 4 in rally novice.  Lather, rinse, repeat on Thursday, where there is the likely possibility of conflicts.  Which means I may have to show Bryce in rally.  Friday is a fun, easy day with one dog in Best of Variety.  Then a day of watching on Saturday and fingers crossed, at least 2 of the dogs qualifying for Most Versatile Collie at the specialty. 
I'm saying prayers for no more annoying problems and roadblocks, good weather, safe travel, sticky goats, sturdy knee braces, the economy sized bottle of ibuprofen and a few rosettes, ribbons and titles along the way.  My grateful thanks to everyone that was roped into watching the other kids while Spice, Declan, Reid and I head "where the winds come sweeping down the plains"--Jean who has a very pouty Trace, Deb and Scott with Jam (who I hear excels at taking up real estate), Chrisy and Nick with Harold (EGADS! It's a rough!), John who took back one only slightly overspoiled Charlie, and Lance who has fallen for Maddy.  I am particularly happy that Maddy is staying with someone who loves her and not in the kennel for the 10 days. 
Okay, time to do a final checklist sweep and move more stuff to the staging area.  We circle the wagons on Saturday!
Until next time...