Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Holly Collie Christmas

Collie noses are so hard to photograph in front of the Christmas tree, but we tried! My mom did the photos, I did the Collie wrangling.
Oddly enough, Flynn the Wiggler is the easiest to pose. Too bad we've still got one ear in training . . .
Bella will only pose for food - as you can see by the focused, starved-to-death look.

 Riley, the most mature and obedient, is the most difficult. Wacky.
 I am so pleased with this last shot. All of that hard work on "stay" has paid off!

Now I'm off to continue my reading in Kristina Marshall's book on the Sunnybank Dogs. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

So, we've been busy . . .

My mother pointed out to me that it's been almost two months since I posted . . . so I thought I'd post.

We had a FABULOUS time at the shows in November. I love it! I'm addicted!

Primping! Flynn hates primping, but he got better after the first weekend of it.

Flynn loves sleeping on the bed in hotel rooms - he never gets to be on furniture at home.

 After being tortured with girly-ness all weekend, it was only fair that I let him be a mud-monster Monday morning . . .

He stands so purty!
And the next day we moved on to SNOW! Puppy's first snow, and, boy howdy, did he love it!

And, to finish it all up, it's Christmas time and time for Christmas pictures!

There. We're all caught up. My Flynn is taking a break from shows to grow a bigger coat - too bad most of our hard-earned undercoat came out with the Christmas bath . . . :(

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Handling Class

The time draws near, but the Flynn grows wigglier. Last week at class he was completely awesome (the video clip at the end of this post is from that night), but at tonight's class he had the attention span of a more-than-usually ADD gnat. Either I need tastier bait or he needs to be exercised more thoroughly beforehand. Probably both. 

The breed counts from the specialty have come in; Flynn is one of 20 rough dogs (a five-point major) the first day - which means he has a 1 in 20 chance of taking WD. Naturally, this will not happen, as he's still an immature baby. The odds of winning his class are slightly better - 1 in 3. We'll see. It'll be a really good experience, ribbons or no ribbons, and always with the knowledge that it's not the same as any other competition - it's about quality of breeding stock. But, ribbons are fun. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Belfair The Swashbuckler

It's official! Flynn is AKC registered as of last night. I stayed up way too late last night filling out and double-checking entry forms for the Pacific Northwest specialties and workshop and the Whidbey Island Kennel Club show. And then I stayed awake in bed way too late with my brain running a bazillion miles a minute until it finally wore itself out and let me sleep. Today, after standing in line for more than 20 minutes at one of the only post offices open on Saturday, all three forms went out into the great unknown (a.k.a. USPS vortex of doom). Hopefully, all three envelopes will arrive in their appropriate locations before the due date.

It's hard to believe my fluffy baby has turned into a big, bad, beautiful teenager!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rickreall, Here We Come!

The DNA tests results have arrived! My wild, furry baby is soon to be Belfair the Swashbuckler (Belfair Chief of State x Belfair My Blue Heaven).

Merriam-Webster online gives this definition for "swashbuckler" - "a swaggering or daring soldier or adventurer." Wikipedia, ever the reliable and scholarly source, says the term "generally describes a fearless romantic archetype, a fictional, adventurous, sword-wielding, male character who seeks to win the heart of a beautiful lady while rescuing society from the clutches of a dastardly villain." I don't know that Flynn qualifies as a romantic archetype, and we've yet to see him save society from a dastardly villain - unless you count fending off the raccoons in the yard. Apart from that, he is quite suited to the name picked out for him years before he was whelped. He especially qualifies for swaggering. As Mom put it today at the Marymoor dog park, "He walks like he owns the place."

With the return of the DNA results comes the almost-certainty that we'll make it in time for the Pacific Northwest Collie Club specialties in a few weeks. I cannot even say how excited I am! I'm sending in registration for the awesome pre-show workshop in the next day or two - I'm so looking forward to Flynn and I having the opportunity to work with Nancy McDonald of Barksdale, whose dogs I've admired since I was a little girl.

Now that it's a reality, I've really got to step up my handling skills!

Photos from our trip to the park, complete with Flynn "owning the place."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Dog is Crazy

Well, I knew I had a picky eater when I brought home an eight-week-old puppy that wandered away from his food dish 49 times each meal and flatly refused to eat a midday meal. It's taken me five months to realize what the problem is (to be confirmed upon further experimentation). I've added canned food, yogurt, a few treats, and salmon oil and always added warm water to it. He's out there in his little ex-pen right now with his usual food, this time with salmon oil on it right next to a dish of plain kibble. He is scarfing the plain kibble. What kind of dog prefers plain kibble over tasty things? I mean, it's good kibble, but surely not that good.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So, turns out . . .

 . . . I'm dreadful at blogging. At least, I'm dreadful at blogging about therapy work. Making a blog post interesting while at the same time protecting patients' privacy is ever so tricky. So we're switching to something that might be doable: the show dog. Or, rather, the potential show dog. And potential obedience and agility and who-knows-what-else dog.

He's not yet officially The Swashbuckler - we're still waiting on the DNA test to come back for the dual-sired breeding. I called up AKC DNA Operations this morning and spoke with a remarkably un-cheerful individual who told me that, yes, they had received Flynn's sample, and, no, the results hadn't been sent back, yet, but maybe they'd be mailed by the end of the week. Here's hoping.

Theoretically, the bit that comes after the receipt of DNA will be quick - which is good, since we'd like to get him down to Oregon for the regional specialty. We even have a suite booked; Flynn and I plan to take full advantage of the 32" LCD, the fridge, and the microwave. Oh, and the king-sized bed. Flynn never gets to sleep in the bed, but I think we'll make an exception this time around.

Here's one of the rooms, but I don't think mine will have a hot tub - though I certainly wouldn't complain if there were one:

I think if I were a room designer, I would choose some other color scheme. Oh, wait, no. I know if I were a room designer I would choose other colors.