Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sh#t, the Iris are in full bloom

Warning: last post was funny. This one  - not.  Hey, it's my blog and I can whine while I drink wine if I want to.

A friend was feeling down and low about the loss of her wonderful dog two years ago. So what did I do? Sent her a message to try to get her to smile and feel better,  and in less than a minute   I could barely see .  Tears were streaming down my face.  We both had to blow our noses. Ya, I was the big help.

I am feeling blue about Charlee. Big time. All the time. It has been over a year and I am not, nor will I ever be over it.  Don't want to be and don't have  to be.    I got to thinking about Charlee when I tried to get a photo of Beck in front of my Iris that are in full bloom. I used to love them. Cherish them. Now I dread them .Ya, tough middle age lady dreads gorgeous purple flowers.

You know why? This is why. Every year I posed my dogs in front of the Iris and from that I got this wonderful painting . I bartered a  fantastic barter with a talented client.  This painting..I LOVE it.

Yesterday I posed  Beck in front of the flowers. I was going to do Finney to and then both of them together.  But I  didn't make it past Beck. It just made me sad. Sadder than sad.  I think Beck picked up on it. Look at the sweet dog's face.

Thinking about the loss of a pet or a person you loved often takes you down a sad pathway to other  losses.  If there is a way to avoid that, I am not aware so oh goody, I brought more sad to my sad party.

As my Dad has been heard quoting from a piece in the  Boston Globe many moons ago, that he cut out and lovingly  added to my wonderful  Golden Ginger's scrap book ---.  "She was only a dog,  but she was my dog."

Before I need a straight jacket. I am going to bed.  Night all.

Oh wait..I just remembered, I saw the peonies have started to bloom...

Dog in the garden in a blue rubber wig.

Who wouldn't miss this dog?!?!  :))


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Attention Richard Gere - have I got a Haiku for you

Looks like Finney has some competition!

I went on line and did a web search for an upload I did of Finney  looking very  Richard Gere-ish.
See --

and I found this one!  BOL!!!!


One could even go so far as to say that Richard Gere was rough when he was younger and gets smoother as he ages no?

This incredible turn of events has inspired me to write a Haiku.

Oh Holyshit Richard Gere
You must know that you 
Look just like a Collie Dog


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Qs to me

Heather and Finn did amazing at their first trial in March. 
This post is intended to be more than a brag. But I get bragging rights for taking my reactive rescue dog and getting him his APDT Rally RL1 AOE title.  Even better, or at least in dead heat tie position, is my 10 year old daughter getting her third Q with our Collie Finney  --and  also titling!!!


 Mother's Day.

Woot --- or should I say WOOF!

No this post is one of those lessons I taught my kid posts.  Take one basically nice kid and give her a super nice professionally trained Collie. Take that kid who already loves dogs and is pretty much a natural with them, and well....getting a title should be a piece of cake. Turns out Mr Sensitive  Collie Man likes working for the kiddo better than me. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Big smile goes here.)

 A few months ago Heather and I both entered our first APDT Rally Trial in Saco at Finish Forward.  Heather was entered in Juniors and also in Level 1. There were only 2 Junior classes, but there was a total of 4 adult level 1 classes. You need three qualifying scores of over 170 to title.   Heather did  well both Friday and Saturday and got 2 great junior scores and scored high in the  2 adult Level 1 classes . Leaving the total at 2 juniors Qs and 2 Level 1 Qs.  She needed one  more Q for both.

 I put my Mom hat and decided not to let her take Finn in the Sunday trial.

All my Momness and dog trainerness told me that my kid hadn't  earned it.  She asked and Finn did. She could be sloppy, or tense, or pull on the leash or just about anything, and my super school pony Collie was going to give her what she wanted.  He loves working with her and together they are a team. Not every person and every dog are going to have that magic that everyone looks for in a canine partner. But Finn and Heather have it.  The more they worked together, the clearer it was to me that Finn is Heather's dog.  My Mom brain also told me that  she didn't "WANT" it bad enough. And so I decided that fateful weekend, --  no more Rally for you.

I took her to more classes with Jill and they started to gel even more. I was liking what I was seeing.  I could get misty and turn to mush watching them work together.  Heather picked up better handling skills and stopped hauling him around.  My Sensitive Collie Man can work on a silken thread of a leash and that is how he likes it. We had fake trials in class and Heather beat us all. She was ready.

Tight squeeze in the Fiat Rental

So we decided to go for it this weekend and head to Bo-Gee in Raymond NH..  They had two days of trials and silly me, I  thought we could bolt down there yesterday and knock out our  titles. Like my friend Kathy pointed out to me "careful what you wish for." Finney and Heather TANKED yesterday. Finn was the dog that I got to know so well. The one that stares at you like you have a few heads and one may just be made of cheese.  My daughter  had not experienced  that side of him and  NQed. My run was directly after hers and while Beck did fine, I missed a sign.  I am chocking that up to Mommie brain. It is hard for Moms to keep the Mom stuff from invading the rest of what little gray matter we have left that, the children haven't already sucked dry.  Ask any Mom, she will agree.  Kids are like brain eating zombies.

My wish was granted. My kid was humbled by a dog. I spent my childhood humbled by horses and I was no stranger to how awful that feels.  But you know what? It makes you a better trainer. It makes you want it more, and it was that much sweeter when we went back today and both nailed it.  I was tempted to not go back today but what kind of lesson would that have been for my kiddo?  She wanted it so bad she cried this morning. Real tears.  They worked on me.  I explained  ( a LOT of times) , that Finney needs to go in the ring cold. The mistake we made  Saturday was hanging around with him. Too much warm up.  He was done for by the time his turn came around. Today, we timed his peak much better and a wee tear  rolled down my cheek as  they exited the ring.   I am proud of both my two and four legged kids.

As for Beck...the dog was a nut job and now he not. He lived in a shelter for close to 9 months, and now he does not.  He could not be near any dogs, and now he can.  You know that training stuff? There really is something to that.  For me, better than Beck's title, was seeing him at  the trial just doing nothing. My dog can just  BE. Hang around. Do nothing-- be near other dogs! A dog can walk in a room, or by and and he can chill and --Not flip out!   It was awesome.  We earned it.  We spend a lot of time training.  Like I say to my students with tough dogs often,  "that dog sure didn't train himself".

Heather will spend more time in level 1 in the B section, and enter  Junior division  the next time it is offered.  Beck and I are moving on to level 2. Off leash. We are hooked.  

Finn has knocked off an entry off my bucket list.

 I am pleased to announce that after 2 months of working at it. A lot.
 He can fetch!!

Happy Mother's Day!

A big  special thanks to Jill at Poetic Gold Farm. Heather loves you and we appreciate all that you have helped us with.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Speck and Beck Wednesday

Meet Speck. This photo kills me. Hilarious.  It was taken in New Orleans. He was on his way from Mississippi to a GSP breed rescue in Maryland.  If you look close you will see that he has chewed the bra.  Speck is a breast man and he unpacked a suitcase to get to it.  HA! Speck is heartworm positive and is available for adoption.

And here is my best boy Beck walking on sunshine and water at Higgins Beach.  Dog hours are in effect and we can't go off leash anymore unless it is between 7-9 AM.  Higgins is my happy place and one of the best places to take dogs in the universe.  With 3 kids, wonder how long it will be before I get there in the morning? Stay tuned.

I promise to try to blog more.  My middle kid, the one in highschool with all the homework, was home sick for 2 months. She plopped herself down on my computer and I got out of my groove.  Hoping I got my groove back.