Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

When you can't sleep, you might as well get up and watch the sunrise.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We're Going to Do It!

 Let's hope the apple didn't fall too far from the tree!
So a week after the Jupiter-Tequesta dog show in West Palm Beach I get the following email from my GSD Club president:

Here is a chance to get your feet wet at some fairly close all breed shows .... and I will be honest, we need your help to try and build majors. It only takes 7 dogs to make a Major now, and we need to stick together on this kind of stuff.

I am referring to the Deland shows on Sept 20 - 22 (Fri – Sun). The Sunshine State Herding Group Association (who put on the Junior Jamboree) is the first day.

Please give this some serious thought and get back to me. You need to get them ready at some point, especially if you plan to show at our shows next year. Right now I am planning to have our Fun Match on Sept 14th so we can practice for these shows there. Let me know if you need more info or if I can help!!

And still feeling the high from the show, I said yes. Now I'm full of conflicting emotions. Madam President is right, we have to start sometime. And I'm going to have to get over my stage fright eventually. I told her that "my goal is not to make an ass of myself in the ring, anything else is gravy." Hubby said that's a poor attitude. I think it's a perfectly acceptable, attainable goal. What do you think?

Now I'm trying work the finance/logistics of it. Money is the tightest this time of year. Here's what's going through my head:
  • Do we do all three shows? There is a smaller show Friday (it's just for breeds in the herding group) and then larger shows on Saturday and Sunday (all-breed shows are huge and take all day).
  • Would Jedi be too tired on day three? Or would we be energized and "in the zone" by that point? Skipping the Sunday show would save money on a hotel room, but would it hurt our chances? Do we have any chances?
  • We could save money by going down early on Friday morning (it's a 2-hour drive and the Friday shows start later than the Sat/Sun shows). But Jedi doesn't travel well, so perhaps staying in a hotel Thursday nigh might be best.
  • What am I going to wear? Most of my nicer clothes are black. I was told NOT black because it'll detract from Jedi's topline.
  • And the biggest question: Why do I get so neurotic over things?!
Any thoughts from you? I'm going to have to work all this out soon. Entry deadlines are fast approaching. Anyway, now we're practicing more, though I wish I could honestly say "in earnest." I should probably get off the computer and see if I can get Jedi to walk into a stack or stand still for more than 30 seconds. I'll keep you posted! -- K

Monday, July 29, 2013

Jedi's New Leash

Jedi and me in our favorite place
(not using the new leash in this picture)
One of my favorite parts about the Jupiter-Tequesta dog show was all the vendors. I could have easily spent hundreds of dollars. I didn't (mainly because I didn't have hundreds of dollars). I did buy an awesome leash though. It's a stretch leash by ROK Straps. It's 4 and 1/2 feet long, but the middle has a super-strong rubber strap (much like a bungee jumping strap) with an "extremely chew resistant" covering. A hard pull will temporarily extend it another 4 inches or so. Between the stretchy part and the collar clip is a non-stretch handle/traffic leader for extra control.

I bought this leash with the Arboretum in mind, and I couldn't be happier! We have used it once or twice a week since I came back from West Palm Beach. Jedi has better footing than I do, and the stretchy keeps him from pulling me off balance on the uneven terrain. Also, 4 and 1/2 feet is far enough for him to forge ahead without me tripping over him, but still keep in sight. And I had to use the traffic leader last week. We were on a trail bright and early. It was one of my favorite trails down by the creek. As we came around a corner I saw a little dog that appeared to be alone. It barked at Jedi, who lunged at the little dog. I was able to correct him and pull him in tight before I saw that the dog was attached to a cranky old woman by a 20-foot flexi-lead. The woman backed up about 10 feet and stood in a clear spot so we could go by, but her dog kept barking and pulling on his leash, trying to get at Jedi. She had no control over her dog, and if he weighed more than 20 pounds I'm sure she would have been in trouble. I kept Jedi close and walked past, praising him for NOT being an ass.

My only complaint about the leash: I enjoy it so much that it causes me to "hike just one more trail." I forget that I'm old and out of shape and pay for that extra trail later. BTW, you get no sympathy in this house when your butt muscles hurt from hiking. -- K

Sunday, July 28, 2013

West Palm Beach

The most exciting thing I did while off the grid was take a road trip to West Palm Beach. It was a girls' weekend and it was awesome! I went with Jedi's Breeder, her sister, and their two nieces/granddaughters, plus Jedi's brother, Chili and older half-brother, Trump.

We got to West Palm Beach early on a Thursday afternoon. We relaxed in our adjoining rooms, hung out at the pool, enjoyed a good meal at a dog-friendly restaurant and met up with a few other club members. Not a bad first day! We woke up early the next morning, got the girls and dogs ready, and headed to the fairgrounds. The Sunshine State Herding Group Association hosted a Junior Jamboree. 35 kids aged 9-17 attended a FREE day-long workshop on junior showmanship. Judges, professional dog handlers, groomers and long-time dog fanciers shared the ins and outs of dog showing. I listened in as much as possible and actually learned a few things.

The next day was even more exciting! We went back to the fairgrounds for the Jupiter-Tequesta Dog Club show. It was HUGE! There was an all-breed show and an obedience trail running concurrently. I was overwhelmed by the experience. We had club members showing, and I cheered them on; I watched people that we had met the night before at the hotel; and the girls showed dogs for people they didn't know. I was on the floor and I loved it. I talked to breeders, and handlers, and owners, and vendors. Breeder and Sis are bolder than I am, and talked to everybody. I think their courage rubbed off on me.

We ended the weekend at the Ginger Goat Farm. The owners are friends of Breeder and let us all crash at their place. They are a fun (and kinda funky) couple. Billy and Angie are former City people who moved to the middle of nowhere to live the natural life. They have ducks and chickens and dogs (but amusingly, no goats) and were happy to share it all with us. Under different circumstances, I could have lived Angie's crazy life (instead of my own crazy life.) The best part: she blogs, so I can live it vicariously.

We came home Sunday afternoon educated but worn out. I was so glad that I took the next day off. And I was really happy to see Jedi again. Next time I do that I'll have to find a way to bring him along. -- K

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Techno Woes

Puppy vs. Smart Phone
Wow, it's been over a month since my last post. I have a good excuse, really: technology! Several months ago my computer started acting up. Apparently I inadvertently downloaded a virus, thus bypassing my virus protection. (Yeah, I'm pretty upset by it.) I have an awesome friend who was able to scrub the computer -- for free! -- but I had to work around his busy schedule. In the meantime I was blogging from my incredible smart phone. It wasn't as easy as the computer, but it worked -- then my 8-month old puppy ate my 2-month old smart phone. I thought we had insured the new phones but it turns out I was wrong. Until I can afford to fix/replace it, I'm using it as is. My phone works, but the display is wonky. Thankfully Awesome Friend found time between classes to fix my desktop and I'm back online. Good thing, because I've got lots to say!
First off, look at my phone! The upper left corner is chewed to bits, and the screen is cracked all the way to the other three corners. Fortunately, I had an Otter Box, else I think he would have chewed it in half. I was sooo mad! While I was in the shower Jedi had taken my phone off the nightstand, chewed it up nice and good, and then left it on my bed. When I saw it I said screeched "What did you do?!" and he put himself in the crate. I left him there and went to work (but not before documenting the evidence!) I guess it's not safe to let him have free roam of the house while I'm getting ready for work. Now, if Hubby can't/won't supervise him, he's in the crate. He's so big that sometimes I forget he's still a puppy, prone to stupid puppy behaviors.
Screen aside, the phone works fine. Shortly after the phone incident I found this blog which states that "American pets damage about 8 million electronic devices each year, according to a new survey. Among the most frequent victims: remarkably chewable cellphones." I guess I'm not alone. Unfortunately, that's not comforting.
This techno-silence has been difficult. I had to do the club newsletters using three different computers and a jump drive. I missed blogging. I missed you, my cyber-friends (all five of you). Stay tuned. I've been very busy and am anxious to tell you all about it! Until then, -- K