Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snowmelt = Mudfest

I am posting this for a particular judge who once told Cheryl that he didn't believe Scout's feet ever actually touched the dirt. No sir, she just cleans up good!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Old Dogs

I have had a nearly useless snow day.  I had all kinds of things I could have done today, but mostly I have piddled around, did a little this, a little that, let Scout out, let Scout in, dry Scout off, let Scout back out.

I will count one accomplishment today.  After checking for the jillionth time, I saw an ad for a magazine I used to subscribe to, The Week.  I wandered over to their website, and there on the homepage was a link to an article I had thought of often lately as friends and family have lost their old dogs.  I also thought of it about a week ago when I discovered a patch of white mixed in with Spencer's brindle.

It was good to read it again, and it touched me just like it did the first time.  Here's the link.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow frapping

I went out with the dogs as soon as I got home - around 3:00 this afternoon.  It has been snowing steadily since then and now we have about 5 inches.  I am watching the local news as I type, and it is a mess out there.  Chattanooga is not used to this - the weather guy just said the last time we had this much snow was in 1996.  The terrain here is lots of ups and downs.  The roads were built to follow goat trails around and among the ridges.  This also took everyone by surprise - we were only supposed to get rain out of this storm.

Please don't make me come in!

The curse is broken!

It's snowing WHERE I AM!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Training Day

I broke down and actually took Spencer to a training class tonight!  We both had a good time.

A little history - for the first two years of his life, Spencer and I were in classes continually, sometimes twice a week.  When Rally became a titling event for AKC, we were ready and we had RN, RA and RE titles within the first six months.  By the time he finished his RAE (on his third birthday at the 2006 CWCCA Specialty) we were both so burnt out that I promised him that if he just double-q'd that day, I would never ask him to go in a Rally ring again. (Of course, I re-neged on that later.)

We took a few months off, and that fall we went to the obedience ring, and 1-2-3, he got his CD.  I was pretty excited with how well we did, so we started working on the Open exercises.  Spencer seemed to learn them all well and practiced very nearly perfect.  I started entering trials, but everytime Spencer walked in the Open ring, he completely shut down.  He moped around the heeling exercises, and sometimes he refused to heel at all.  He completely refused to down on recall, and forget about going to get that dumbbell, or worse, the dreaded broad jump.  The only bright spots were sits and downs (which in Open, are done out of sight of the handler.)  He was rock solid on sits and downs.

Well, up until our last attempt, that is.  We were at a show in South Carolina - Scout was entered in conformation, Spencer in Open A.  Laura and I had traveled together to the show.  Aunt Laura sat outside the ring watching. Spencer and I went in the ring, and it was his WORST exhibition ever.  He refused every exercise.  We went back in for sits and downs, and Laura was seated right behind where we were set up.  Laura says that as soon as I got out of sight, Spencer looked back over his shoulder at her as if to say, "Watch this" and then he just laid down.  This moment has been known ever since as the day that Spencer gave me the paw.

We have not been in an obedience ring since.  After taking several months off, I started entering him every once in a while in Rally again when we were at conformations shows with Scout.  No training, no drilling - just the two of us dropping in a ring every once in a while for fun.  And he did have fun - it was good to look down and see a happy face and wagging tail next to me.    Before long, we accumulated enough double-qs to get an RAE2 and we should be able to finish his RAE3 at the Specialty this year.

As I mentioned the other day, I was considering brushing up on the Open eercises and trying for a CDX as well.  I had forgotten that AKC has added another titling class, Graduate Novice - a step between Novice and Open. The exercises include heeling on leash, figure 8 off leash, drop on recall, recall over the broad jump and panel jump, and the wacky recall with dumbbell.  There is also a 3 minute long down stay. 

So - that brings us to tonight.  I found out that the advanced rally class at our doggie daycare included the GN exercises.  We ran through them tonight and Spencer had no problem with any of them (except the silly recall with dumbbell) and seemed to really enjoy showing off.  We did work on him taking the dumbbell and holding it, so we made progress.  My job is to keep it fun and loose for him so that he will not shut down on me like he did before.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Will we be reading our dog's blogs in the future?

Can it be far behind?  Does this mean Spencer will want his own i-phone?  Maybe Scout will opt for a netbook?

Mattel's "Puppy Tweets" is expected to hit stores in the fall.

NEW YORK ( -- Social networking is going to the dogs.

In its first-ever toy created for the canine community, Mattel is introducing a product called "Puppy Tweets" that meshes the hugely popular Twitter with consumers' love of pets.

Puppy Tweets is a plastic tag with a sound and motion sensor that you attach to your pet's dog collar and connect its USB receiver to your computer. Then you create a Twitter account for your dog and enjoy updates all day from Sparky or whatever its name is on your computer or smartphone.

The tag is set with several pre-recorded tweets that are triggered by the dog's activities. So if he's running around, you might get a tweet that says "I finally caught that tail I've been chasing and...OOUUUCHH!"

If Sparky is napping, he'll tweet "Somedays it feels like my paw is permanently on the snooze button!" If he's making a ruckus, his tweet will let you know that as well, saying"YAHOOOOOOO! Somedays you just gotta get your bark on."

"Puppy Tweets capitalizes on two popular trends - the use of social media and real time communication, as well as peoples' extreme love for their dogs," said Susan Russo, Mattel's director of marketing.

Puppy Tweets is part of the No. 1 toymaker's line-up of new products for 2010 that it showcased to members of the media Thursday ahead of the industry's annual Toy Fair in New York next month.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pickled Paws

Terminally itchy Scout has a yeast infection in her front paws. So
while I clean up the dinner dishes, she gets a foot bath.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Change of Plans!

Spencer and Scout say lets load up and go to the Specialty this year!

As I have mentioned before, the last week in April is typically hell week for me at work, as we generally have a major project deliverable at April 30 every year.  Well - we have been rearranging some processes, and the decision was made today to forego the usual April project!  This means that there is no reason why we can't go spend the week at the Specialty this year!!

Timing is still not perfect, because even though we will be able to be there all week, Scout will likely be in season and therefore will not be able to participate in any performance events.  Spence will get to do Rally (and finish his RAE3) and if I get on the ball, we can brush up on the Open exercises and see if we can get a CDX leg or two and maybe even finish up that AXP. 

And since she may be in season - maybe even have a special "date" with a special boy - whoever he might be!

Friday, January 15, 2010

How about a smile tonight?

After a week of such bleak news, I headed to You Tube for some grins tonight.  I still love to watch the video of the couple who did their wedding entrance to "Forever"  - I am such a softie, I even get a little teary watching it.  Think about how much they must have loved their friends to make such fools of themselves!

I also get a kick out of this version from "The Office."  Hope it makes else someone grin too!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tragedy in Haiti

Last night I was flipping channels when the reports began coming on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.  I think it struck me so much because it is just so close to us - just a few hundred miles south of Florida. Haiti was already the most impoverished country in our hemisphere, and this disaster has just added so much more pain and desparation.

If you would like to make a contribution to help out the people of Haiti and don't have a particular relief agency in mind, I would suggest that you take a look at UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  100% of contributions made to UMCOR go directly to relief efforts - all overhead for UMCOR is paid by United Methodist congregations.  Here is a release of more information on UMCOR.

Calling all Snow Dogs!

Lauri over at The Daily Corgi emailed me that she is looking for pics of cardis in the snow.  Since IT NEVER SNOWS WHERE I AM***, I couldn't help her, but you can make your dogs famous with your fun snow pictures.

*** It used to snow in Chattanooga regularly they tell me - but there has been no measurable snow since I moved here 15 years ago - except of course for the weekend that I was in Winston-Salem in December.  We went to MD the next weekend - it had snowed the week before and then it snowed bigtime the next weekend - BUT NOT WHILE I WAS THERE.  It even snows fairly regularly now in Atlanta, but it never did when I lived there.  I go to Portland, Maine fairly often on business, and everyone know that it always snows in Maine - EXCEPT WHEN I AM THERE. 

So, if any of you are having an event or something and you want to make sure that it does not snow there, JUST INVITE ME.

Pardon the rant.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

Lindsey sent this picture of Avery today with the caption "it's tough being a princess." 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A late note from Cardi Claus

It's a little late, but I just ran across this children's Christmas book, Floyd and the Irresistable Cookie.  Floyd appears to be a mismark blue-eyed tri cardi who is obsessed with a cookie on his Christmas tree.  Sounds like it was written by someone who knows cardis!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Meet Grumpy McGrump

This is the dog formerly known as Spencer.  He wants everyone to know that he is not happy. 

He doesn't like the fact that it is very cold outside - not that he spends all that much time out, but still, a boy gets cold doing his business. 

He doesn't like that January means that the corporate accountant he lives with has to spend so much time at work doing something called "closing out the books."  He doesn't understand why investors make such a big deal out of earnings releases and he certainly does not think that it is important enough to take away his source of petting and entertainment on a Saturday.

But mostly, he misses his sister (who is freezing her butt off in Florida at an outside show this weekend!)  If I say something about Scout or "sister" he looks at me so pitifully.

So, Spencer wants everyone to feel very sorry for him and send him cookies.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Waiting for snow

There is not a loaf of bread left in Chattanooga.  Forecast is for less than an inch of "snow showers" and all are a-twitter. 

Snow supposed to be here by noon so most schools have already announced decisions to close. 

Scout will miss the event - which is a shame because she loves the snow.  She is on her way to FL for a few shows to tune up for the Garden.  I was surprised to see that Westminster filled this year.  Last year it was several hundred short of closing, and I figured that it would be worse this year.  There are fewer cardigans entered this year - 16 (10-6) this year v. 25 last year.

I think we've got a fun group of cardi bloggers headed to NY - so be sure to watch for lots of liveblogging and ringside twittering in 39 days!