Category Archives: My Dogs

Flamingos and Firsts

Wow, super fun weekend in W. Springfield, MA!  This was my first road-trip with Melanie Hersom and Kristle Dougherty, and it was a blast.  I’m not sure how much sleep we got Saturday night, but we had a lot of laughs.  We even got Cheryl Black in on the fun via Facebook.

Melanie’s girl Jewel (Jule?) is super cute, especially with her new friend, George:

Jule and George

I told Mel I expected lots of Facebook posts about The Adventures of Jewel and George.  *tap tap tap*  I’m still waiting, Mel…

The weekend also featured another first for me:  A Group placement!!  Lexi took Best of Breed out of a large entry and then floored me by earning the first Group placement I’ve had, a Group 4.  (This was NOT Lexi’s first Group placement.)  On Sunday, she was very distracted and did not help herself out at all.  The judge really liked her and I think would have given her the breed if she had only behaved a little better.  She ended up with Select instead, which at least allowed me to get home in time for the Super Bowl.  Lexi is a hell of a mover, and once I’ve had the opportunity to work with her a little more I think she could be a ton of fun to show; unfortunately, I think she should be in season before the next set of shows.  Alas, the duties of motherhood call.

Saphira continued to show well, but played bridesmaid to her sister, Merida, this time around.  These judges were looking for a larger bitch, and Saphira looks like a tiny thing next to her siblings, so it is what it is.  Maybe next time.  🙂

Kristle showed Calvin, a litter brother to Panda, whom she finished last month in January.  A very promising youngster, Calvin was WD and BOS on Saturday for his second major at just 10 months of age.  It sounds like Calvin will soon be making his home with Melanie.  I’m delighted to have him living just an hour and a half away or so; he has a TON of bone and a head-piece to die for, two things I’ll be looking for down the line.  He is also dripping in breed type.  I can definitely foresee using him on one of my girls in the future.

The next set of shows will likely be in April.  Darn these cold, slow, dog-show-deprived winter months!

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Happy New Year!

The two winners (and half-siblings), sacked out

The two winners (and half-siblings), sacked out

 

I had hoped to pepper this post with lots of fun candid photos from the show, but apparently that little flashing SD card symbol on my camera DID mean something.  Who knew?

Do y’all remember that iPod commercial where the guy is walking casually down the street listening to tunes, but his reflection in the windows behind him is dancing madly?  That’s me at work this morning.

This weekend was one of those that is like premium crack to us dog show junkies, the kind that keeps us riding high and filling out entry forms right and left for months.  Saphira went into the weekend with 4 single points; she came out of it with 12 points and both majors.  And she’s only been shown six times!

Even better than the result (yes, there are things that are better than winning) is the joy of taking this dog into the ring.  She is a natural showgirl.  She free-stacks like a beast, she wags her tail, gives ears, plays cutely during the “down time,” and absolutely dares the judge not to pick her.  You can’t train that kind of charisma into a dog;  either they have it or they don’t.  And this girl has it — in spades!  If the wonderful comments I received from folks outside the ring are any indication, she gathered quite a fan club for herself.

I am so, SO grateful to Cheryl Black for giving me this opportunity to co-own and show this lovely bitch.  Her future is looking mighty bright!

Congratulations as well to:

  • Kristle Dougherty, for finishing Saphira’s half-brother Panda this weekend.  He is her first Cardigan bred-by Champion out of her first Cardigan litter, and I expect we’ll see him back out in the Specials ring once he’s finished growing up.  Meanwhile, he gets to relax at home while his litter brother comes out to play.
  • Liz Lewis on Collin’s two Best of Breeds over the weekend.
  • Eliza Denoux on going Winners Dog on Sunday with Filbert.
  • and finally, to Cheryl Black, for breeding or co-breeding all of the final winning line-up (Breed, Opposite, BOWs and Selects) both days.

What a terrific way to usher in 2013, guys!

Magnum, Immortalized

Most, if not all, of you have probably seen this on the far-too-modest and very talented Kate‘s Facebook page, but in case you haven’t, she’s been doing these wonderful Cardigan sculptures, and Magnum served as her first model:

I love how she is able to capture the nuances of personality.  That’s Magnum’s patented “ready to woo-woo and spring into action” look — lips pursed, ears at attention, and giving the ‘Manson lamps’.  If you’ve met Magnum and seen him in action, chances are you’ve seen this look.

Once Kate posted this photo, some other folks expressed interest in having her sculpt their dogs.  Here’s her first commissioned piece:

 

And her second, which is as yet unpainted:

 

Ella, ever jealous of other dogs absorbing Kate’s attention, even if they are made of clay, demanded her own homage, also as yet unpainted:

 

Trust me, if you’ve met Ella, the resemblance is UNCANNY, even without the paint.

I am so tickled and impressed to watch these little clay dogs taking shape.  The whole process is kind of a wondrous wee mystery to me, because I have, like, Z-E-R-O artistic talent or ability myself.  I can stitch and follow a cross-stitch pattern, but when it comes to taking paper or clay and forming it into something, nada.  Seriously, I need a ruler to draw a stick-person.  And if I were trying to sculpt a dog, it would end up looking pretty much like this:

...or maybe a turtle...?

So, yeah.  I’m wicked impressed!

I’m waiting for some enterprising Trophy Chairman to pounce on Kate for the possibility of Specialty trophies.  She did say that she’s willing to do other breeds besides Cardigans, too.

I’m just hoping the requests hold off until Ian, Elli and Whiskey find their way into clay!

And now we wait. Also: 0_0

After being cute and charming at my house for a week, Eva went home with Sarah on Sunday, hopefully with some proto-puppies on board.  And now we wait.  Why is it we can put men in orbit around the Earth, but can’t come up with an accurate EPT for dogs?

Assuming one or more of the AIs took, Eva should have babies end of April/first of May.  If there are puppy buyers looking for blacks or blues, be sure to contact Sarah.    I believe she may have one or two pet-puppy spaces open on her list, if she hasn’t gotten more since we talked.  I did try to impress upon Magnum that we’d really like to see a lot of blue girls, but he’s a boy.  He doesn’t always listen so well.

Hey, speaking of Magnum, did y’all know that sometimes as a result of breeding or of collecting a male for an AI, some of the blood vessels in the penis can rupture, leading to days of occasional blood drippage?  I didn’t!  But apparently that’s the case.  No fever, pus-like discharge, or any other indication of infection.  And Magnum acts completely like himself, running around and ready for fun.  In fact, his reaction was pretty much nil.  Mine, on the other hand, went something like this:

 

OMG MY DOG’S PENIS IS BLEEEEEEEDING!!!!!!!!!!!!  OMG WTF?!!!!!!!!  ACKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*ahem*

The IMs I sent out seeking counsel on this issue were a little less panicked-sounding, as were the assurances I gave my mother (who had Magnum at her house by then), but I assure you, that’s basically what was going on on the inside.  I’ve since been assured that it is not unheard of and is not that big a deal, just watch for any signs of brewing infection etc., so I’ve relaxed a bit, but DAMN.

Dog breeding.  Isn’t it romantic?

Apparently Waldoboro is a dry town. Oh, they have ALCOHOL, but…

I grew up with dogs, and spent a lot of time at dog shows growing up, but my mom was strictly a performance person.  All of her girls were spayed before 6 months of age, and the earth is statistically slightly more likely to be swallowed by a giant gummy bear than my mother is to ever breed a litter of puppies.  The earth is even more statistically likely to be swallowed by a giant gummy bear than I am to have anything to do with giving birth to one of those weird human baby things myself.

So, unsurprisingly, I have absolutely NO CLUE when it comes to breeding a dog to a bitch, or to the inevitable outcome of said breeding, the whelping of puppies.  Yes, yes, I understand the Tab A/Slot B thing, but when it comes to the practicalities of GETTING Tab A to slot B?  Yeah, no clue.

All of which is a very longwinded and uncomfortably self-referential way of saying:  OH MY THANK THE SUN AND STARS FOR KATE!!!!!!!!!!!

Kate picked Eva up from Sarah yesterday and brought her up to Maine for her rendezvous with Magnum.  Sarah had told me on the phone that Eva had started flagging a little Saturday night, so I knew that it was probably going to be pretty much Go Time when she arrived and through the next day or two.  Easy, right?  Hi Eva.  Hi Magnum.  Now have sex.  (Hey, kinda like frat parties in college!  *ahem*)

Anyway, Eva came into the house and we let her acclimate and eat some dinner, then brought Magnum out to say his hellos.  Sure enough, Eva started flagging almost immediately.  Magnum was interested almost immediately.  Cue the chase around the kitchen island.

Practicality Number One:  Linoleum is slippery.  You know that old joke about the cowboy who left his boots on during an encounter with a lady friend, and when asked, explained that it was for traction?  Well, Magnum doesn’t have any boots.  Cue the conversation, shouted down the basement stairs to my poor, embarrassed, beleaguered husband:

Me:  “Honey, we need a sex rug!”

Husband:  *crickets*

Me:  “You know, for traction!”  beat.  “I mean for the dogs.”

Husband:  beat.  “THIS is why I’m in the basement.”

So anyway, I went down and retrieved the old rolled up area rug that was down there to put on the kitchen floor, and Kate and I resumed watching the courtship play out.  Magnum made several passes and would mount briefly, but never seemed to, erm, get anywhere.

Practicality Number Two:  Certain things need to be of sufficient stature to reach certain other things.  Look, I don’t want to be too terribly graphic here, and I don’t want to call the poor guy out and give him a complex and shit, but… let’s just say that “Magnum” might not quite be an instance of truth in advertising.

Me:  “Did Sarah pick up tubing and a syringe?”

Kate:  “Yeah.  Do you have any lube?”

Me:  OMGsoembarrassingisitagoodthingorbadthingthatIdon’t?  “Um, no.”

Kate:  “I don’t want to AI her without it.”

Me:  “Okay.”  beat.  “I probably shouldn’t ask the husband to go get it.”

Husband, who is not deaf:  silently thanks whatever deities are listening

So, at 7:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening, out I go to the smallish local supermarket.  No lubricant.  I hunted in all the obvious places, and then the not-so-obvious places.  Nada.  And no, I did not ask.  But I did end up buying a cheese danish.  Shut up.

Then I figured, the gas station sells condoms, they must sell KY too, right?  No.  No, they do not.  They have lubricated condoms, but that seemed like a pretty impractical delivery system for our purposes, all things told.  So I went to the next gas station.  Same story.  Aaaaaaand the same story at the convenience store on the corner.

Me:  You have got to be #@$%ing kidding me!

Town of Waldoboro:  No no, it’s right there in our charter.  You can have sex, but you’re not going to be comfortable about it!

Thus ill-equipped, I returned home, where we agreed it was best to quit for the night and resume in the morning after Kate had a chance to go to a pharmacy for the necessaries.  She has since reported (in graphic detail) that, while Magnum has still not quite gotten a handle in it on it, he IS getting a little closer to figuring out the deal, but because we don’t want to take a chance on her not getting bred, Kate did an AI while I’m here at work.

We’ll continue to let them try and get things done the natural way, but will AI a couple more times to be on the safe side.  I’ll be present and accounted for during the next one, because much as it is decidedly UNGLAMOROUS to breed dogs, I really need to know how to do this myself.

Good thing the husband is comfortable hanging out in the basement.

You know how they say…

…that the reward for a job well-done is another job?  Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

I’ve been showing Magnum for the last 18 months, off and on.  He free-stacks like nobody’s business, he (most of the time) gaits well on lead, and he’s even gotten so that he’s not completely impossible on the table.  We know each other’s body language, and I only need to move a knee a little, or signal with a finger to get him to adjust whichever foot I want.  It has been so long now that I forget that there was once a time when he was bouncing around like a super-ball, spazzing on the table, and jumping all over me when I got the bait out.

Last night, I took Whiskey to her first handling class.  Unlike my other puppies, she has not gone through a session of puppy kindergarten, for reasons that are probably best left to their own blog post.  I have had her out and around town for socialization, and I took her to the Fitchburg shows to walk around a bit and soak up the atmosphere, but I wasn’t really sure what to expect from her when venturing into a class environment, and her at only 4.5 months old.

Whiskey did look a little bit intimidated — for all of about 90 seconds.  But by the time I had taken my coat off and filled out the class form, she had come out from hiding behind my legs and was looking around curiously at the other dogs in class:  an Aussie, a Tervuren, another Cardigan, and a Chow Chow puppy.  Pretty soon, we formed a line and started working on free-stacking and…

You guys… OMG, I love this puppy!!  She just gets it, you know?  Seriously, she was picking up on body cues and moving herself into position as fast as you could snap your fingers.  Five minutes of class and boom!  She could hit a reasonable facsimile of a stack.  I don’t know how much of it is that she’s just a calmer, more focused puppy than my others have been, and how much is the fact that I’ve got the experience of handling three other dogs of my own plus miscellaneous others along the way, but she just seemed to catch on so, so quickly.

It’s not always easy to look at your own dog’s movement, especially while you’re holding the leash, but I was able to give Whiskey a little lead and watch her side gait, and I’m really happy with what I’m seeing so far.  I know she’s only 4.5 months old, and she has a lot of growing and developing to do, but I’m crossing my fingers and getting kind of excited, even though I’m telling myself not to yet.

My only disappointment with the class was that the instructor had forgotten to bring the table, so we were not able to do any table work.  Since I am in close contention for the title of Worst Table Trainer In The World, I really want to focus a lot on that between now and Whiskey’s ring debut in April.  In hindsight, though, I almost think it might have been better this way; Whiskey got the first class to settle in and build some confidence without us having to face the dreaded table, and I will be more relaxed next week after seeing her adapt so well to the new situation this week.

I plan to whine and plead with Kate to come with me to the next class and bring her camera; if I can talk her into it, I’ll hopefully have some photos to share next week.  ‘Til then, I’ll be here, determinedly squelching the little “squee!” that’s trying to escape, lest I anger the Fates and they cast some hideous aspersion on this very promising puppy.

 

Whiskey at 4 1/2 months

You know how you take about a bajillion and one photos of a puppy, and maybe two of them come out good?  Yeah, it was kind of like that.  Between the wind issues and the mom’s-been-lax-on-training issues, the impromptu photo shoot wasn’t quite what I had hoped.  Suffice it to say we stopped for lumber to build a stacking stand on the way home!

On the move

 

What passes for a free-stack in our untrained state

 

Will bait for terrier mixes

 

Could I POSSIBLY suck any more at table training?!

 

Wherein Whiskey entertains delusions of being a German Shepherd

 

My kingdom for handling classes!!

 

Photos from Fitchburg

Kate snagged a bunch of awesome photos of Magnum down at the Fitchburg shows.  Thankfully, she managed to keep me out of them for the most part, making her the bestest in-house photographer EVER.

What a Weekend!

I know I’ve complained long and hard about the show venue in Fitchburg, MA, and my feelings about the building itself remain the same, but we sure had a good weekend there!  Magnum finished his championship (pending AKC confirmation) with a 5-point major and a BOB over 6 Specials; then, he followed that up with another BOB in his first appearance as a Special and earned a 5-point major toward his Grand Championship.  Way to gain some momentum, blue dog!

Unlike some show weekends, the success was spread around over the four days.  Complete results were as follows:

Friday:

  • WD:  Telltail Jeweltone Paws for Cause, owned by Cheryl Black (4-point Major)
  • Reserve WD: Sunkissed Tricks or Treats, owned by Sarah Davis
  • WB/BOS:  Kingscourt An Element of Summer, bred/owned by Linda Fowler and co-owned by Dave Stacco (4-point Major)
  • Reserve WB/BOS: Jeweltone Telltail Cross Your Paws, owned by Cheryl Black
  • Best of Breed:  CH Blue Wagn Dragnet’s Joe Friday, bred/owned by Lucybell Roessiger
  • Select Male:  CH Danzig Draig Dyson of Kingscourt, owned by Linda Fowler
This finished Grand Championships for both Dyson and Friday.  Way to go, guys!!
Saturday:
  • WD:  Hagaren Regent Black Star (“Ollie“), bred by Kate Roberson and co-owned by her and Brian Kazakoff (4-point Major)
  • Reserve WD:  Telltail Jeweltone Paws for Cause
  • WB:  Hagaren My Funny Valentine, bred by Kate Roberson and co-owned by Jim & Kathy Kazakoff (4-point Major)
  • Reserve WB/BOS:  Jeweltone Telltail Cross Your Paws
  • Best of Breed:  CH Cornerstone’s It’s All About Me At Burhill, owned by Dave Stacco
  • Select Male:  GCH Blackdales Kiss of the Dragon, bred by Cheryl Black and co-owned by her and Liz Lewis
  • Select Bitch:  CH Benever’s Waitin On A Woman, bred/owned by Carol Kasabian
Sunday:
  • WD/Best of Breed:  Magnum (5-point Major)
  • Reserve WD:  Ollie
  • WB/BOS:  Blackdale’s Mayhem at Midnight, bred by Cheryl Black and co-owned by her and Logan Davis
  • Reserve WB:  Xtacee Fade to Black @ Winddancer, bred by Kathy Schwabe and owned by Mary DeToma
  • Select Male:  GCH Blackdales Kiss of the Dragon
  • Select Bitch:  CH Benever’s Waitin On A Woman
Monday:
  • WD:  Kingscourt Robo Dragon, bred by Linda Fowler and co-owned by her and Annie Henshaw
  • Reserve WD:  Ollie
  • WB/BOS:  Jeweltone Telltail Cross Your Paws
  • Reserve WB:  Soper’s Amy at Benmore, owned by Gary & Susan Gilmore
  • Best of Breed:  Magnum
  • Select Male:  GCH Blackdales Kiss of the Dragon

Congratulations to everyone!!  It was a good weekend, spent in good company.

A Winter Day in Camden, Maine

I took a break from the work I brought home from the office to take Whiskey and Ian on an outing with Kate and Ella.  Camden, which is practically unapproachable during the height of tourist season, was a virtual ghost town.  How novel to be able to find a place to park!  Kate worked her photographic magic: