Senin, 30 Agustus 2010

Brew at his 1st Outdoor Obed Competition

All I can say is BREW IS AWESOME! He did great for his 1st outdoor show. We entered two events Beginner Obedience Novice and Rally Novice.

Brew at Marymoor Beginner Obedience Novice B
The Beginner Obed Novice is a new optional titling class. There are only a couple of parts that are off leash - the sit stay (well the leash is still on him but no one is holding it) and the recall and there are no other dogs in the ring. Our score was 192.5 out of 200 and we got 2nd place. 1st thru 4th place was very close (Scores were 1st-194, 2nd-192.5, 3rd-192, 4th-192). We lost 4 points in the heel on leash exercise and 3.5 points on the figure eight exercise which I'm assuming was either because of Brew lagging or a tight leash due to the lagging. But he did great on the sit for exam and the sit stay exercises which were the two I was most concerned about especially at an outdoor event.

Brew at Marymoor in Rally Novice B
The course was more challenge than past AKC courses but was very cramped. I'm not sure the spiral left or serpentine weave cones were the appropriate distance apart but luckily I have a smaller dog.

So the judge dinged us twice for incorrectly performing a station (10 point deduction x 2). On sign 1, apparently I didn't pause long enough after circling my dog (give me a break, I completed 99.9% of the sign correctly) and the second one was on the the last sign which was a Slow (truth be told I actually didn't see this sign - it was placed out of the way) which I didn't go slow on. So if the handler (me) hadn't made so many errors, we would have gotten a 100 (well I can always dream). Our final score was an 80 out of 100.

Here is the Rally course:

Minggu, 22 Agustus 2010

Hooray for Team Beagle- A 1st Place & New Title

Another day at the dog show but it was a great one. Brew got a 98 and 1st place just beating the 2nd place dog (a rottie) by 1/4 second. And Bob got his third leg with an 88 and now he has his Rally Novice title.

Here is Brew's run (We are so proud of him). May have to move him up to Advanced.

And I think Bob will be staying in Novice for a little while longer or at least until he gets his nose off the ground. Additionally, Jo may have to leave the room as you can tell he is looking for her throughout the course.

Here was the course:

Sabtu, 21 Agustus 2010

Brew & Bob Enumclaw Rally Novice runs on Aug 21

Brew's run. He got a 96 and fourth place. Even though Brew has his title, I decided to show him in the novice class until I feel comfortable that he can do this off leash.

Bob's run. He got a 95 and his 2nd leg towards his Rally Novice Title

Here is the Rally Course for Aug 21

Rabu, 18 Agustus 2010

There's Always Room for Joy

Oh, I have Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, Deep In My  Heart, Deep In My Heart...There are days when the life of a volunteer seems to hold little promise. One step forward two steps back. You' ve been there, done that, doing it again kinds of stuff.
Today was different.
Thanks to a generous friend, Joy, seen in this post, was able to go to a local vet for a spa treatment where she enjoyed a couple of night's rest, a bath and combout, and trimmed nails. She won the hearts of all who met her.

I picked her up and off we went to a special adoption event at the Illinois State Fair. I won't drag this out. Joy has met a woman who wants her and has completed the adoption forms so she can give her a home which will be shared with two other dogs. There are 4 doggie swimming pools and a good fenced yard.
Joy arrived at the shelter with her litter of pups. They were easily adopted out. She's been good-natured and friendly and she has dog friends and human fans galore.

Joy is 8 years and some months old.

This is her first real home.

Do I hear an AMEN?

You don't need to say it...I know deep in your heart, you have JOY!

Senin, 16 Agustus 2010

That Time of Year

This year you will not find me posting photos of the State Fair. Ask to see the movie - it's an oldie but you'll get the feel of a fair as it should be. It's not that I am not going for I am, 2 or 3 days. And the weather is terrific finally. The camera is just not going with me. How many photos of inappropriate eating should I really have? How many piglets and chicks will hold still and be in good lighting? How many cranky and tired babies have parents willing to let their photos be taken and posted? (Smart to say no) All the same, the Fair is fun!

My husband tells me this year's taste delights include a hamburger which has glazed donuts in place of the bun. Then there is the returning chocolate coated bacon. I assume the bacon is cooked then dipped in chocolate. I think bananas dipped in chocolate are fine but bacon? Really? All sorts of words and phrases come to mind. Since this is a pubic format, let's go with "How's that workin' for you?" and "I'm just sayin'." Use your imagination for any others.

Of course Capitol City rolls out the red carpet for the length of the Fair. It extends way beyond what the public gets to see - there's a lot of getting ready for the Fair. Plenty of the animals arrive early and get settled in so they are comfy (they bring their huge fans) and in familiar settings when judging takes place. Vendors start to pull in with their wagons of lemons for shake-ups, salt water taffy in take-home tubs, elephant ears which I think have gone PC and are now a version of funnel cakes, and are annual caloric chartbusters. The butter cow moooooves in along with extremely expensive ice cream. Frankly last year's cow was not up to Illinois standards. Hopefully it's all about the cow this year.

My point is that the Fair raises the level of activity and excitement which provides an additional level of entertainment for us locals.

If you've never been to a State Fair you're missing a really grand experience. Whether it is to see the ornamental/exotic chickens or the ornamental/exotic "chicks", the tractor pull or the tractor drivers...get there. It's true - something for everyone is at the Fair!

Jumat, 06 Agustus 2010

Volunteering is a Roller Coaster Ride

Yesterday at the shelter was a banner day for us volunteers. We finished a project that had taken us away from the dogs and cats for a couple of weeks and were able to return to loving on them!

There were mini-celebrations all around as we learned three of the bigger, older dogs, each who had been there far too long, were adopted. We'd walked them and others, groomed and socialized several so were pleased they had out into the world of loving homes. Now we could devote time to still others looking to move away from the shelter and into a place of their own.

Consider adopting a dog from a shelter who has been overlooked.

Sadly, we lost a puppy to Parvo. It was unfortunate that the little guy and his sister came in, both afflicted no doubt as it is highly contagious and if one has it the other does too. Treatment was too late for him but we're hopeful his sister will recover. This is a miserable disease which drains a pup. If you have a dog keep everyone away from any dog with Parvo. Learn what the signals out - no appetite for anything, lethargic, obvious weight loss, bad diarrhea, etc. Medical attention - serious medical attention - is needed immediately.

Skip a couple of dinners out and make certain your pet gets proper vet examinations or help.

Next a young person came in to apply for work and was telling us of a friend whose pit bull had 14 puppies. The dad is pit also. I LOVE PITS, have a mixed one now and she's the smartest dog we have in many ways and tremendously affectionate. Unfortunately the world does not need 14 puppies, especially pit bulls as many people still do not see them or treat them favorably.

Find a spay/neuter clinic or go to your vet to have your pets spayed and neutered.

There are many animals transported to new homes by plenty of volunteer forces and this saves lives. Most of these run on volunteer help. Drivers are needed; organizers are angels, caregivers are gems, and receiving people are cherished for taking those who would otherwise be euthanized, mostly due to the economy but sometimes owners just don't want to be bothered anymore. Bothered? Yes. Having a pet is a blessing which comes with needs: feed, exercise, love, play, to name a few. Sure, the schedule has to accommodate the pet. Absolutely the pet wants to do what makes you happy but you have to make that possible. Those of us who drive the pets and deliver them into loving arms see mile-wide smiles and tears of uncontrolled joy.

Get involved.

It does not take a lot to help. I hear so often that people cannot afford a pet and frequently they are saying this while spending money thoughtlessly.
Not eating out at a mid-range establishment, just 1 time a month, could buy a nice sized bag of food for cats or dogs, to be donated.
The price of a tee shirt at a chain store or online can be $12 to $35. A donation of that amount to a shelter will buy medicine.
Manicures and pedicures are how much? $$$ which can pay for a spay or neuter or go towards keeping a shelter cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Repeat tickets to a sporting event and the expense of getting there and being there could buy fuel for transporting 30-50 animals on one weekend.

It isn't the economy alone. It is OUR decision making. We - and I include myself - focus on ourselves, here, now, right away. Our satisfaction is fleeting though. The feeling we can each have from doing something good for those who cannot help themselves is beyond description. But people will see it in your step and on your face, and you will feel it in your heart for a long, long time.

Do good things.
Choose to help regularly.
Take a friend along.
Feel the joy!

Selasa, 03 Agustus 2010

Don't Touch! That's Hot!

Several years in a row we were pleased not to turn on the A/C. This is not one of those years. It's been on most days in July and now we enter August with it running.

Sometimes we're not sure it actually is working though. We don't keep it cranked up. It runs on an auto-thermometer unless we fiddle with it. I try, truly I do, not to fiddle with it because, well, I skipped class the day "adjusting a programmable thermometer" was taught. The point is, if ever there is one, it's intensely hot this summer and it's hot in the house.

We do keep at a higher temperature than most people would appreciate. But there is still work going on in the kitchen "makeover" so why waste the energy by lowering the temperature and having it woosh out the door as the fellas go in and out or leave it propped open. Flies buzz in but by evening the air does cool and they become lethargic enough they are easy targets. I'm easily entertained and darned good at hitting them flat on the first time.

The dogs are sprawled wherever there's a cool spot on the floor in whichever room they occupy. They've little reason to spend much time outside. Even the dry grass is so brittle they high-step to get to a destination. It's as if the blades of grass, along with the rocked in area, are warning them "Don't Touch". It's too darned hot.

Seeing them stretched out, siesta style, - well, search for nothing more than acceptance that global warming right now is no more than the Dog Days of Summer.

And here's some history about it (courtesy of an online search):

But where does the term come from? Why do we call the hot, sultry days of summer “dog days?”
In ancient times, when the night sky was unobscured by artificial lights and smog, different groups of peoples in different parts of the world drew images in the sky by “connecting the dots” of stars. The images drawn were dependent upon the culture: The Chinese saw different images than the Native Americans, who saw different pictures than the Europeans. These star pictures are now called constellations, and the constellations that are now mapped out in the sky come from our European ancestors.
They saw images of bears, (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), twins, (Gemini), a bull, (Taurus), and others, including dogs, (Canis Major and Canis Minor).
The brightest of the stars in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, which also happens to be the brightest star in the night sky. In fact, it is so bright that the ancient Romans thought that the earth received heat from it. Look for it in the southern sky (viewed from northern latitudes) during January.
In the summer, however, Sirius, the “dog star,” rises and sets with the sun. During late July Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star.
The conjunction of Sirius with the sun varies somewhat with latitude. And the “precession of the equinoxes” (a gradual drifting of the constellations over time) means that the constellations today are not in exactly the same place in the sky as they were in ancient Rome. Today, dog days occur during the period between July 3 and August 11. Although it is certainly the warmest period of the summer, the heat is not due to the added radiation from a far-away star, regardless of its brightness. No, the heat of summer is a direct result of the earth's tilt.

Senin, 02 Agustus 2010

UKC - MVDT Rally Competition (Bob & Brew)

Bob (1009) and Brew (1053)
competed in a UKC Rally competition. First off, the UKC courses are much more difficult than the AKC courses at least the ones I've competed in. This was good as I felt challenged. Saturday's performance was not so good - Bob got a 77 (his nose on the ground and all over the place) and Brew NQ'd because of handler error (that's because of me). On Sunday, they both did much much better - Bob got a 94 and Brew got a 96. They both watched me throughout the course with only an occasional sniff here and there.

So Bob has 2 legs and Brew has 1 leg towards their UKC RO1 title.

This is the course

Brew's Run

Bob's Run