Saturday, November 28, 2009

Another dog?

Well, it waddles like a Corgi and sits up like one too! ;)

I love the social aspects of prairie dogs. They're so incredble to watch. I wish I'd brought my longer lens with me, they were just having a great time out there. It's funny, I walked out and then they were chirping and yipping that I was close and all of them scooted off and then slowly, they all started coming back, watching me. In like ten minutes the chirping changed to a peep, peep, peep...

One of them was like a total poser. ;) He wasn't scared at all, he was just sitting and watching me silently. Apparently that's the one who knew all about cameras, haha!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Career changes...

This is going to be an interesting blog to write, I think... I might ramble a little - it's nice to bounce thoughts off of people, so to speak.

Simon was our first show prospect. Like many show prospects he looked fantastic as a pup, at six months, at nine, and then the year hit and -- well, that's why they're called prospects.

(Now, Simon's breeder is wonderful, absolutely wonderful, keeps in constant contact, has great dogs, and I wouldn't hesitate to get another dog from her in a heartbeat. Si's full brother is a lovely dog, his sister too. They're doing nicely out in the ring, looking great!)

Simon's hips pre-lim'ed clear, and he can out work, out leap, out gallop, out think all my other dogs. When everyone else is tired, or disgusted with the mud and the cold and the heat or wanting to take a nap, Simon's still throwing himself gleefully forward, delightedly singing to himself. He's healthy as a pony. Heck, he's healthier THAN one of my ponies... we won't talk about my creaky old Arab. He's got more drive than a Ferrari. Everyone comments on his temperament; he's not got a mean bone in him, he's not fearful. He's rock solid and kind.

I can admit that I am truly, honestly a bit disappointed that his career talents sure seem to lie in an opposite direction from the show ring. I adore merles. I've wanted a merle dog since I was a little kid. (Of course, this merle dog promptly dumped me for my husband, which reminds me so much of Magnus... but that's a story for another time. ;) )

Of course, it doesn't mean I don't adore Simon any less. However, in a horribly fickle way I have to admit that there are times I've wished that Si had ended up with Caleb's structure and flair and "look at me!!!!" qualities with that lovely merle color and hard-working, gentle personality. ;)

However, I've been showing cats since I was five. I had good mentors in Shepherds and Korats that warned me not to be blinded what you produce or own, to accept your dog/cat's worst physical and mental points and to look really hard at your crew - to be overcritical, I guess.

So then you sit and debate each animal structurally and mentally. What can you live with, what can you accept? What can you not? I have always been drawn to work-ethic in dogs. I LOVE a thinking, working dog. Caleb is a lot of things, but thinking - well, not so much quite yet.

Honestly, you tell Caleb to connect the dots and he's off drawing glittery pictures of kitties in the corners. I keep telling myself that the Stripey Chompy will grow himself a brain one of these days, or at least get out of the Barbie Fun Wagon and graduate to a nice sedan. ;)

Sometimes, though, you just sit yourself down and realize that things happen for a reason. Without the loss of Ali, I wouldn't have found myself finally ready to try another show dog and get back into it again - something different - and thus I have Simon. And with the loss of Gabriel, I wouldn't have Caleb. I have two awesome Cardis, who have obvious, wonderful talent in totally different directions and who have caused me to go head over heels for the breed.

These dogs are the dogs I want to spend the rest of my life with. They had some big paws to fill, and they've stepped into them and shrunk them to fit. The people are lovely in this breed; it's so nice to see people greeting each other happily in the ring and wishing a dog well. It's great to see people whistling for the dog in group that don't own him or her. And it's fantastic that people are willing to be honest about your dog; they don't candy coat, but they're wonderfully polite, and I appreciate that.

The thing is... I need to sit and do some thinking. Where does Simon go from here? Agility? Obedience? Rally? Herding? Therapy dog? Poke him in the eye, hug him, he'll lick your face. Simon shoots fantastic photos and models well for photography - and I don't think it would be hard at all to start training him to really hold a pose when the lens clicks, like Riley. William Wegman has his crew, maybe mine will be Corgis. With less silly wigs.

Or maybe... just maybe he's got another calling, and maybe I'm just trying to avoid really accepting it for some strange reason. The other night I came home and he wanted to play ball. I was tired, had a long day at work, and had more work to do. I didn't want to play ball. Simon wanted to play ball - he always wants to play ball. I tossed it a few times down the hall and then hid it under a sofa cushion. Fooled you! I think.

A few minutes later I hear him rushing back and forth in the living room, nose up, intent. He's air-scenting, you see him touch down on things. The TV stand, the toy box full of dog toys. The dog baskets. A blanket. And then he finds the ball hidden under that cushion and pulls it out, and brings it to me to throw.

I forget about making myself a cup of tea and sitting down with the laptop for a few. I hide the ball again. Simon finds it. I lock him in the bathroom, hide the ball again in the living room. This time he stares at me, confused, and I say, "Hey, find it." He looks at me, and then you see the light turn on, and the nose start to go. This time it takes longer, but he finds it. He's all proud of himself. I'm proud of him. His tail is doing helicopters, and I totally forget the rough day I've had. We goof around with hiding the ball and finding it faster and faster, we start to change rooms. Is the ball in the kitchen? Is it in the bedroom? My tea water gets cold.

Caleb watches from the kitchen but doesn't bother to leave the teakettle - hot water means dinner. Who wants a silly slimy ball, seriously. Can't eat the stupid ball. Hmm, maybe he is a lot smarter after all... ;)

You know... my regular SAR group meets at the end of the month.

(And with that, we're off tomorrow morning to Denver for Thanksgiving. This month has just been crazy, wow.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Show weekends...

My hand is finally feeling like an actual hand as of today, thank goodness. So behind on art, argh. I'm still debating what to do with Tristan the Terrible. So far my choices have not been appreciated; as in I need a winter hat and a set of earmuffs. But it's healing nicely - it's weird - I've been bit a LOT by cats and never had this problem before, but guess I was due.

(I better turn into a were cat or something for all this trouble. By day, I'm a mild mannered dog food retailer, by night, a furniture destroying, Corgi pouncing ball of furry evil.)

Met a bunch of new wonderful people at the show today -- aw, hi everyone I didn't get to say hi to for too long (I saw a whisk of Kim, I did, and drooled over her wonderful jacket but didn't get to say it.) Caleb says he totally appreciated the snuggles and the scratchies from his admirers who know exactly how to skritch a Cardi!

Kim and Yolanda already wrote it better than me on their blogs (Including Dash's amazing Conformationagility combo moment, wow!) so I'll just say that Dayl called me yesterday to say Caleb won BOW on Sat, and I was floored. In fact, I think I squealed and went running through the shop for a few minutes. At least I own a pet supply store; dog people can sort of relate to you doing that. Actually, I'm pretty sure I was frapping. <3 A major!

However... I know I make a lot of fun of him (since the Stripey Chompy Spazoid Noodlehead is my dog, I can do that) but there's nothing sweeter then coming home Sunday night and him creeping into my lap on the ferry and giving me the "I adore you and I missed you so much" face. I even accept that for that half a minute, he might have really meant it, and not because I had a peach scone in my hand that I was wolfing down on the way home.

No worries, we all shared. <3

Simon says he liked the eggnog one better, himself.

However, we're home... and Caleb has ensconced himself onto the sofa once again.

Once again, Dayl and Yolanda have been so gracious as to handle my boys, and it's so appreciated.

Edit: Sorry for the lack of photos guys... my poor Nikon is in for repairs. I miss it so. :( I'm limping along another cheapo camera. I may have to buy myself a little pocket digital for these moments.

Edit2: I really need a king sized bed. This is ridiculous. Warm, but ridiculous.

Monday, November 2, 2009


My cats ended up getting a bout of URI this week from somewhere, ugh. Of course, with his immune system on the fritz like it has since he was a kitten, D. had a bout with his herpes cycle this week culminating in a fever and blowing snot on Thursday night. Lovely. So, we were in the vet on Friday for him since he was already showing ulceration signs in his eye again. This time we were given the warning that if we can't get it under control, it might be in his best interests to remove the bad eye... which would be fine, except both his eyes are bad, so there's a good chance at some point the second one would have to go. I'd prefer not to even go down that road, so we're loaded up with antibiotics and antivirals and so far, so good. :) It's looking way better today.

However, while D is a dream to pill and medicate, easy as pie, I had to get some antibiotics for Tristan's eye. Yeahhhh, that's really fun. Darn nasty mean cat, man, at times I have to agree with my vet of all people - there are a lot of winding dark roads in our area where I could put him and no one would notice. ;)

I kid, mostly because he'd find his way back to our house and we'd be liable for all the children he killed for sustenance on the way home. So needless to say, Friday I made the mistake of not wrapping him in a towel because I thought Tris was fine... and oh boy, not so smart. My hand is finally not hurting from the gouges and the chomp.

So, I settle down to clean house and draw today, and what do I promptly do? I'm trying to be nice to Matt and clean the kitchen since that's his domain, and I wash the knives... and promptly drop one right into the palm of my hand. Yeah, so much for drawing for a day or two again, ow. I joked with myself that I should have done it right after Tristan bit me to draw out the venom if I'd had any sense.

Luckily, one of us had the right idea on how to take the day off... I really should have just flopped and done what Dusty's doing today. I am so glad he's feeling so much better.