Monday, January 26, 2009

Help with the dog hair I wear

I was at Publix yesterday and made a find at the checkout stand. This cute little wallet is filled with 40 super sticky sheets that really work!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Cardis' Personalities

I enjoyed reading Jeri's and Kristine's descriptions of their cardis, and couldn't resist chiming in. It also gave me an excuse for making "Obamaicons" for them.

Spencer is my first cardigan. He came to me at 8 weeks old and it was quickly evident that he was going to be a handful. Scary smart, he could get into trouble quicker than I could think. He started obedience training at 10 weeks so that I could learn how to handle him. I think that this early basis in training has really cemented our relationship - he's still a handful, but we communicate well. I chose "Opportunity" as his motto on his poster, because he is always looking for a way to charm his way into getting what he wants.

Spence is both dog's dog and a people dog. He has more charisma than should be legal and he knows how to use it. At our doggie daycare, the owners often use him to greet and "interview" new dogs. The only issue I have ever seen him have with other dogs are when he meets GSDs on leash. This stems from an unfortunate instance at an obedience class when a woman could not handle her nutty GSD and the dog came after me for some reason. Spencer would have tried to take his face off if I had not been able to get control of the situation, and to this day, he does not trust a GSD on a leash.

He excels as a therapy dog. Everyone who meets him in the hospital seems to think that he loves them more than anyone else - he has a way of pulling people in. He is amazing with non-verbal patients - there is a line of communication there that has brought me, caregivers and health professionals to tears on more than one occasion.

On the other hand, he can be a real stinker when he sets his mind to it. One morning when Carlton decided he didn't want Spencer in the bed with him, he moved the stool that the dogs use to get up on the bed away. When Carlton woke up, Spencer was lying on the floor looking at him, and Carlton's glasses, which had been one of several items on the nightstand, lay next to Spencer, chewed and mangled beyond repair. (You think he got his point across?)

In the obedience ring, Spencer can be a golden retriever corgi when he wants to, or completely give me the paw. Spencer has already been rock solid on sits and downs, but once in Open Obedience (where he just gave a dreadful performance in the exercises which he practiced perfectly just days before), after I left the ring during sit, Laura says Spencer found her in the crowd and gave her a look like "watch this." He then looked right at the judge, and laid down.

Spencer often looks at me as if he pities me because I am just not smart as he is, but he is the dog of my heart and I cherish the opportunity to share life with him.

Scout came to me at 4 months old, after living with her breeder and several other dogs. I was skeptical at adding another dog to our pack, but Spencer fell instantly in love with her. She is such a girl - sugar and spice.

Speaking of spice, around other girls, her Red Bitch side comes out. This was something I (obviously) never had to deal with when it came to Spencer. Spencer gets along with just about all dogs, except for the above-mentioned GSD on leash thing. Scout, on the other hand, thinks that she should always be recognized as the top bitch, and I often have to remind her of her place. She also likes to play rough and tumble, so sometimes even when she is not intending to show her redness, she can be overwhelming to other girls.

Her red-headedness also shows up in her outlook on life. Every day is party. She'll do anything in the world as long as it's fun. She loves being outside, regardless of the weather. She, like her sisters, has strong herding instincts, and I hope we get to put these instincts to work in the coming years. In the meantime, she is perfectly happy to herd squirrels, or more recently, Cheryl's herd of Brittanies.

On the sweet side, she is the best snuggler, and I am really missing her while she is getting ready for the big show. She is always so excited to see me when I walk in the door at the end of the day.

Scout has spent way more time than I intended being a show dog. While she has picked up Rally and Herding titles, as well as an agility leg (after only about 3 weeks of training!), I am looking forward to working with her more in the performance rings.

Friday, January 23, 2009


"Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge". - Winston Churchill

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Headwear

I watched the Inauguration today at work. Our Governmental Affairs office served cake and coffee and put the show up on the big screens for everyone to watch. It was standing room only and many couldn't even get in the door. I was glad they turned the lights off because I shed a few tears, and it's hard to show emotion when you are among co-workers.

There were cheers and applause from the assembled group at all the appropriate times - which was a pleasant surprise to me. I live in a very red state and generally most of the people I work with tend to be a very conservative lot. It's great to see that so many are putting partisanship aside and are hopeful for the new administration.

I loved the message of hope and virtue, and of the promise and price of citizenship.

The poem painted a vivid picture for me. I enjoyed reading it afterwards as much as I did hearing it the first time. If you missed it, you can read it here. Be sure to see the cute cardi nose in the blog's header.

But I also loved the hats. Right off the bat - there was Aretha with the big rhinestone studded bow. Then I saw Bush 41 looking like Nanuck of the North. Babs wore sensible ear muffs. Darth Vader looked as evil as ever. Jay Z had a more sophisticated Nanuck look.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Can you stand another YouTube?

I'm hoping this breaks out at Penn Station when we are in NY next month!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the road again

Looks like Scout has worked the corgi-mind-meld on Cheryl and charmed her way into the bunk bed.

Excuse the blurry blackberry pic - I was just happy to see her.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

So long, Scout and Showfrog

Scout and Showfrog left tonight for a few weeks on the road with Cheryl, to condition and train for Westminster. Spencer is already enjoying being an only dog, getting to ride shotgun on the way home.

I'm already counting down the days til we see her again in Atlanta, which I hope is shaping up to be a fun girls weekend with Laura, Heidi and Jeri.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

No reason to post this picture . .

. . . . except that I like it. Spence was just too cute. And it was an opportunity to photoshop out the Christmas bow that is still under the coffee table, because I wouldn't want anyone to know that it was there - oops!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Whew - a wrap up on a busy holiday season

The holidays are officially over now - back to work tomorrow. The tree is still up and the Lenox Country Holly is still in the kitchen, but I figure I have until Epiphany (Jan 6) to get that cleared out. Tonight is the first time since December 23 that I have not had company in the house and I am enjoying the quiet. Spencer and Scout are enjoying their spots on the sofa and chair again too.

It was fun spending time with loved ones this year in my house for a change. I have the smallest house in the family (and the most dog hair!) so my house is generally not the first pick for get-togethers. My kitchen has had a workout - and I have enjoyed cooking for a crowd.

Life is moving in a little different direction again. On the day after Christmas, Mom moved back to Athens to an assisted living situation. She says she is happier than than she ever would have imagined she could be. She enjoys being back in the same town with her friends who visit often. She already knew several of the residents at Morning Pointe, and she has already made new friends and is enjoying the activities.

While I no longer have daily visits with her, I find that I am worrying twice as much. There are the stresses of dealing with her finances, continued therapy, doctor visits and other necessities of living from fifty miles away. I'm sure in time we will acclimate to the adjustments.

Our next big event to get ready for is Westminster. Scout will probably go out on the road with Cheryl again for a few weeks to get into shape and prepare to show her best at the big show. (didn't I say I would never do that again??) There is a huge entry of Cardigans - twenty! There are only 11 Pems and 8 GSDs - and the only herding breed with more entered are Australian Shepherds with 35.

Happy New Year to everyone - I, for one, am happy to see 2008 in my rearview mirror!