Saturday, January 30, 2010

First Agility Trial with the BC...

So today, my mom and I ventured off to the FREEZING venue of Circle G Arena in Dayton - flashback to Nat's description of the horse barn where Naomi takes riding lessons and there you have it. I had never been there before and set up shop near a door where people took their dogs out. Suffice to say, we moved about 20 min after getting there.

I was a little out of practice in packing for agility - and have never done it for 2 dogs. All went well until we were well over halfway to Dayton when I realized I forgot the chairs. As I had never been to this venue, I had no idea what the seating availability was. We had plenty of time and stopped at a Target and picked up a couple of chairs - thank god, because all they had was wooden bleachers. But I managed to remember everything else...tarp, crates, blankets for the crates (X 4 - one to cover the crate to keep the edge of the cold air out and one for each of them to lay on) 2 water bowls, water, cookies, training treats, leashes...quite the production.

Chelsie LOVED her day out...was gushed over and loved on by all her agility peeps. She was not exactly thrilled when she was "zipped and clipped" in her house - her portable crate has a zipper you can clip so they can't nose the zipper undone...little Houdini has done this more than once, so when we leave her in her crate, it has to be zipped and clipped. Being zipped and clipped meant mom and gramme took the BC (border collie) to run agility and she had to stay in her crate...NOT COOL. I had her out for an hour, and she was very focused on watching the dogs in the std ring. She got to work for food when we came home and was a good girl. She is napping on the bed now, all worn out. She of course, has to rest up for her special day tomorrow...

Now, on to me and the BC. Our std run - obstacles 1-8, terrific. 9-13 - disaster. 14-18 - terrific. I was very encouraged by our start, but misjudged a sequence of A-Frame-jump-tunnel. I took my eye off him long enough for him to run off course - he came back to me, but then the little brat ran behind me into the wrong end of the tunnel - in agility, it is a VERY bad thing to have your dog behind you. We got back on track, then he missed the weave entrance - which he has had trouble with since I started working him. But we went on and finished nice - he became unhappy with me at some point during the run and was very vocal about it. I am not used to having a dog that barks during his run. :) I asked him if I was really that bad or if there was something that kicked his little BC brain out of whack for a few seconds.

On to jumpers...at that point, I just did not want to embarass myself. Now, I must say...this BC and I have been living and training together for only 4 weeks. Agility is team sport, and timing is very critical - and is developed over the time the handler and the dog train and play together. He is a lot faster than Chelsie - I work in front of Chelsie because I can stay ahead of her, but I cannot outrun RIP and work behind him. I watched the other dogs from the class before, walked it according to what I thought best, and just went out and ran. We nailed it. 24.88 seconds - I was where I needed to be at every turn...he was focused on me and kept all the bars up. I was amazed - I actually looked like I knew what I was doing. He wants to please and works so hard for me. His reward was getting to stare at the cat in the basement.

As I type this, a first is going on...both RIP and Chelsie are on the bed, laying down, in harmony, quiet. I have no issue having both of them on the bed..but RIP is usually too hyper to settle, then Chel gets irritated and jumps down. But it has been a long day for both of them, and we get to do it all over again tomorrow.

And finally....tomorrow is a very special day. Tomorrow is Chelsie's birthday...8 years young. I can't believe it...my little puppy is going to be 8 years old. Words cannot express what a wonderful companion my girl is. I am so proud of her and all her accomplishments, and there is no better greeting than a wagging tail and lab laps when I get home from work. To celebrate the impending occassion, she and RIP got empty ice cream cones from Graeter's.

I hope this finds everyone well and staying warm. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Home

This afternoon, as I left Chicago, I thought about how happy I was to be coming home. To my own house, my own car, my own garage, and of course, my puppies. My grandma always used to say "East, west, home is best". No question of that.

So as the plane was packed to the gills (every seat filled) and I could hardly move, I decided it was not worth the effort to try and drag anything out of my computer bag for entertainment. That meant, I HAD TIME TO THINK. Very dangerous...all of you out there who know me well know that when I have time to think, it is generally not a good thing.

Today, I thought about what it meant to be going "home". This house, my home, has been my home for nearly 6 years. It is where Chelsie has spent the majority of her life. I have ripped it apart, put it back together, colored it, beautified it and loved it. Its what I know, its where I feel safe, its where I walk into the house and am greeted by a wagging tail running through the kitchen. Its the biggest investment I have ever made, requires regular love and care and the highest value asset on the balance sheet of my personal net worth. I have shed blood, sweat and tears over it (so have my parents and my brother - a lot of them).

But it is home...it is mine. Its where I retreat to when life hands me lemons, its where I go to make lemonade from those lemons. Its where I celebrate the good things, cook a meal, plant some flowers. Buying a home was the scariest thing I have ever done, yet one of the things I am most proud of. I take great pride in caring for it, making it comfortable for me, my guests and my canines, and walk in it and know it reflects me, the things and people I love and the things and people that are most important to me.

Among the most prized possessions in it are my grandmother's china, the scrapbooks I made for my grandmother and of course, my animals. The china I see in my living room every day was in the house I grew up in and on the table for special occassions. I have yet to eat a meal on that china in my house, but maybe one day that will change.

While I love my house, there are some things I do wish were different about it...and as of late, I have been looking at houses online to see what is out there. Lots of interesting things, but nothing so far that has grabbed my attention. I almost feel like I am cheating on my little beloved home looking for another one. Crazy, I know, but that is the way I feel. When it gets right down to it, I really have all I need here - and am greatful that on cold, blustery nights like tonight, I have a garage to drive into...and puppies waiting for me inside.

So for now...I am happily off to sleep in my cozy castle, in my own bed with a dreaming little labbie running agility in her dreams next to me. I need nothing else.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words of the Day

In our house, those words were poop and puke. This morning, at 4:30 AM, my little precious was standing the doorway, tail wagging. This is a sign that the need to go OUT is VERY URGENT - like, now lady. She stands in the door and makes the faintest of sounds until I hear her. Being as she gets me up once a year for something like this, I got up and let her out. She did not come right back, which is never a good sign. Now, at that hour, it was pitch black and she is a black dog...I just happened to see her coming at me and then make a game time decision at the steps to stop and squat. I knew then we had a problem.

I had warned my parents about what they might find, as they were coming to let the pooches out. They came upon 2 piles of poop and 3 piles of puke. Fortunately, our vet was able to get her in, and she got a shot to help with the vomiting, some pills to help her little tummy and some canned food for a yummy bland diet. All of this seems to have done the trick, as she is wagging her tail and sticking her booty in the air to be scratched...

So sad to see them sick and depressed...and grampie said she was definitely depressed. Hats off again to gammie and gampie...I don't know where I would be without them. I had a meeting after work - it was after 5 when they left the house, and I would be home at 8 - and gampie was just sick about having to leave her (he is definitely the softie of the group) But she made it and is well on her way to recovery...hopefully, tomorrow's words will be a little more fun!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Issues

UGH...this past weekend, I found myself displaying one of my less than stellar qualities. That would be obsessing over something stupid. Examples. I somehow managed to lost the clip to my Garmin - I took it out of the suction cup when we got to Scott's house Thursday night and neither of us could find it anywhere. I was so frustrated at myself for doing something dumb...and couldn't let it go. Fortunately, Scott took me to Best Buy and I got a new one - had to get a whole new suction cup piece thingy, which only made me madder. Tonight, I was fussing with a crate Scott sent for RIP to ride in - it is too wide to fit in my car with Chelsie's crate. I took both crates, tried to get them in and out several times, took down the cargo mat, took out the floor mat..and was rewarded with a broken fingernail. Same with my Ipod...I can't find it, I know exactly where I last had it, and am calmly exhausting all possible locations of it. To no avail and I am just going crazy...

UGH. Why is it that obsess about such stupid meaningless things in life? And know that they are stupid meaningless things and STILL obsess??? UGH.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Random Ramblings....

Bad blogger...I know, I apologize...

What has been up...

1. In Pa for the weekend. Lucked out - Scott was in Chicago and instead of flying back home, he flew to Cbus and rode over to Pa with me. I even managed to get him to drive the entire way on Thursday night!

2. Chelsie continues to heal well. With the sub-arctic temperatures we have been having, I am eternally greatful for the fact I can let her out to do her business on her own. She is also happy to see all crates put away, all doors to bedrooms open and nothing impeding her ability to jump on her couch and beds for a nap.

3. RIP and I have taken 2 agility classes and we are doing well. I have been working with both of them on basic obedience at night - in short, I have been allowing them to work for food! (Only Charlee Bears - so nothing big) This paid off big time with RIP, as he was much more focused on me at class on Wednesday night. RIP and I have a private lesson with my friend Jenn to help make our class time more productive. He is a good boy - seems not to be so obsessed with the cat. He and Chelsie are getting along well.

4. I got an email about a lab litter that will be on the ground on 2/14, ready to go home in the middle of April. It is time for another puppy, but that might be a little earlier than I am ready for. I only plan to keep RIP until I can start running Chelsie again, and I think the timing is just a bit earlier than I am ready for - particularly since my parents will be out of commission begginning on March 10 with my dad's hip replacement. We will see.

5. I had my first appt with the opthamologist last Friday. My eyes are in very good shape. I certainly hope I do not have to endure that every 6 mos - tons of testing, I was there for over 2 hrs and exhausted when I was done. I have to go back again in June - let's just say that when I do it again in 6 mos, I won't be looking at a computer screen with my eyes dilated. I was pretty uncomfortable...some idiot told me that particular day was a good day to have your eyes dilated because the sun was not out. Um, hello, there was about 8 inches of snow on the ground that day????

6. The tiniest bit of evidence that the medication may be working is showing...my rash came back last week, but it did not explode. I am still dealing with hitting the proverbial "wall" - I hit the wall and it is over, like immediately. I have to stop what I am doing and go to bed. Example - last Tuesday, I was working on the computer and at 9 15, I realized I was exhausted. I let the dogs out and went to bed - I did not make my lunch or anything.

7. Work incredibly busy. Very busy. Having 4 direct reports is a lot. :) Maybe that is why i hit the wall so easily....

So that is what has been going on. Not too exciting...what can I say? :) What is new with you?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What is your color palette?

My hair lady, Diane (who I met through agility) is awesome...she absolutely loves to make people look great and feel great about themselves. She regularly fusses over my hair for 2 hrs at a time when she colors it, loves to play with color and just get me looking all jazzy. She is also great to shop with, as she is brutally honest about how things look. She also introduced me to the lady that waxes my eyebrows and provides me skin care products (LaRoche Posay products)

For awhile now, she has been after me to get my colors done - this is where they look at all the hues and undertones of your skin, and determine what colors look best on you. My dad years ago told me I should get this done, but I never did. Anyway, on New Year's eve, I was out shopping with Diane, and she picked this shirt off the rack, held it up to her color chart, determine it was in her palatte, and took it into the dressing room. It looked amazing on her. So I was sold. I made an appt for today...and it was a blast. I haven't done too much for myself as of late in the shopping/beauty dept (other than the necessary items, like haircuts and eyebrow waxing) and it was so much fun. I was actually even motivated to go out an shop when I was done. I did not find anything I loved (and therefore bought nothing) but it was good practice matching my colors to clothes on the rack.

My palatte is SOFT AUTUMN...lots of rich colors, I love it. It palatte grew on my very quickly. I took the option where they give do your colors, give you a sample of your color palatte, give you a make up lesson and then give you a make up palatte in your colors. I can't wait to start playing with my make up! I also got a new mineral make up foundation...I had been using Clinique, but the girl told me there were lots of "impurities" in it and that since I used a good line of skin care products, I should really consider upgrading the powder...whatever...I did, of course. Now its time to go thorough it all and clean out the stuff that does not make me look absolutely amazing!!!

If anyone locally is interested, let me know...I recommend it for everyone! It is a lot of fun and will ensure a lifetime of wearing colors that make you feel great abount yourself!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How Young RIP Spends His Days....

Young RIP is fascinated by the cat. He wakes up and runs out of his crate looking for her...she in turn eggs him on by laying right where he can see her. He gets too close, she starts hissing and he runs away. All of this is OK...unless the cat gets irritated enough that she starts going somewhere other than her box. She will have a short shelf life is she starts that....


video

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

FREEDOM!

This morning, Chelsie saw her beloved Dr. Kennedy for her final surgery check up. She is doing beautifully! Major, major restrictions lifted, most notable as follows:

- She can jump on and off furinture of her own free will. No more closing doors, booby trapping furniture and sleeping in a crate at night. The bedroom crate came down tonight as well.

- She is allowed to relieve out back ON HER OWN. No more standing outside in sub zero temps while waiting for her to "go" (although she is usually very fast)


Dr. Kennedy also assured me today that barring any major unforseen events, she really can't hurt her knee at this point. The thing she is most likely to do is stretch out some scar tissue in her knee that may result in her limping for a day or two, but that is about it. He assured me that a slip on the ice is not super detrimental, but did suggest I be careful. He did confirm I was somewhat paranoid, but we all knew that anyway.

So now, we continue to rehab. She still has a little muscle deficit in her injured leg, but that is to be expected. Weight holding steady at 58 lbs. He suggested we wait to start agility until the May/June time frame. The one thing that is still not the best for her right now is sudden stops and starts - which also means she cannot yet chase her ball. But I now toss her toy a few feet from her and let her go after that...this makes her quite happy, as she has been bringing me her fuzzy wubba quite a bit over the past few days.

It is hard to believe 11 weeks has passed...I still remember those first few days quite vividly, wondering if she would ever be the same. She probably won't, but darn close. She seems very happy to see her surroundings going back to normal...esp both of her toy baskets being returned to the floor. Further evidence that all things shall pass.

Hope this finds everyone staying well and warm.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Highs and Lows of 2009 and what to look forward to in 2010...

Hard to believe another year has come and gone...mind boggling, actually. But is has, and yet again, we are in the throes of winter, as evidenced by the fact it took me an hour to go 10 miles only to come home to a driveway I had to shovel. Wah, I know.

So 2009 was a year of ups and downs...recapped as follows:

- Actually accomplished my New Year's resolution, which was go get more sleep. Thanks to the help of a very cute doctor, I actually sleep soundly for 5-6 hours a night.

- Learned to wakeboard and love it...even after rupturing my ear drum on my first MAJOR spill of the season

- Took amazing trips...Europe, Las Vegas, NYC (even if only for one day!)

- Turned 35

- Finally went to Cedar Point for the first time...and I have lived in Ohio for 11 years!!!

- Got some major house projects finished, mainly my basement. Painted a few walls here and there, got some storage solutions up in the garage, added the flower baskets to my deck and finally got rid of the plants I didn't care for so much (mainly my ever green plants) Had a green yard all summer thanks to my wonderful irrigation system.

- Had an incredible agility year despite the torn ACL of one little lovable labbie

- Met Scott and have done a lot of fun things with him.

- 2009 was an EXPENSIVE YEAR...new water heater, furnace, AC, 2 new tires and some brakes, all in a span of about 2 mos. ACL surgery, rehab and dog biscuits 2 mos later...the bleeding had to stop somewhere!!!Thankfully, 2009 is over and hopefully, the bleeding is over.

- 2009 presented some challenges with my health...carried over into 2010. I have been blessed with good health all my life, and not feeling good sometimes is something new to me. Hopefully sometime in the not too distant future, they will finally be able to figure out what is wrong with me.

Looking on to 2010....

- Chelsie and I are starting some obedience classes on Friday! Called Rally Obedience...don't really know what it is, but I know it will get her OUT of the house. She is bored and ready to do something FUN!

- I am also keeping Scott's Border Collie RIP (aka - Ippy) to run in agility until Chelsie heals. Scott had offered me the option awhile back...and I took him up on it this weekend after helping at my club's agility trial. We start classes this week..hopefully...and may compete in a competition as early as the end of this month. RIP's registered name is "Harvest Moon The Undertaker"...call name RIP. Chelsie and the cat are not sure about this...Scoobi is a great baby sitter for Rip.

- At some point later this year, labbie number 2 will join our household. While I hope Chelsie's agility career is not cut short by this injury, she is nearly 8 yrs old (at the end of the month) and by the time puppy 2 is trained, she will be 10+ yrs old. My goal with her is to finish her MACH and move her to a lower jump height for as long as she wants to do agility. When she says no more, we are done.

- Get within 100 pts of Chelsie's MACH, her health permitting

- Get some air under my wake board...ON PURPOSE!

- Pay off my car!

- Eat better, consistently...and drink less diet coke. Yeah right.

- Spend some time at La Playa y Resort del Monroe. Natalie is currently turning her house into a beach resort, complete with pool. Hopefully it comes with Cabana boys and margaritas...in the middle of central Ohio where is it currently in the single digit temperatures.

- Minimize house projects and work on transitioning to maintenance mode

- Host 2 parties


I am sure there are a host of other things, but these are some of the big things I hope to do in 2010. I am sure it will prove to be incredibly busy, but I am happier when I am busy.

Much health and happiness in 2010. Looking forward to spending time with everyone!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

BUX BEAT DUX!!!

Great way to the start the new year....BUCKS 26 DUCKS 17!!! That's what Lee Corso gets for putting the ridiculous duck on his head!!!!