Wednesday, August 19, 2009

*Bleeping* show superintendents!!

I realize that having just a small, core group of club members who are willing to do the work it takes to put on a show and obedience/rally trial makes having a show superintendent a necessary evil, but Jesus-H, Mother-Loving, Tap-Dancing Christ! Do they need to be this frigging incompetent about it?

It's not bad enough that they can't, you know, COUNT the total number of dogs in a class.

On just ONE DAY'S judging schedule:
"4 -Utility "B" UB306-307, 309" -- So that's armbands 306, 307, 309 and... huh. Looks like only 3 to me.

"8 - Novice "B" NB73-75, 78-79, 82, 85-87" -- bands 73, 74, 75, 78, 79, 82, 85, 86... OH! And 87! Guess that's 9.

"5 - Novice "A" 6-10, 14" -- bands 6, 7, 8, 9, 10... and 14! 6 Novice A dogs!

And, my personal favorite:
"3 - Advanced "B" 600, 604-607, 611-613" Gee, kinda looks like 8 dogs to me!

No, all that's not bad enough. They also chose to give us just ONE RING for obedience AND rally.

This goes beyond "point-and-laugh-at-the-idiots-who-can't-count-on-their-fingers" territory. This means that what should have been overwith by 1:00 or 1:30 p.m. is now likely to go into the evening.

So I called the company. I was told that gee, they were just following what we did last year. Um, no. We had two rings last year (and the year before etc. etc.), one for obedience and one for rally. They didn't think so. Lady, I was Chair last year and was freaking there! We had two rings.

But we didn't put in our instructions that we wanted two rings. Um, no, we didn't, because we've always had two rings and sorta figured we didn't have to, you know, tell them to do the same thing we've always done.

Well, the other club said they only wanted one ring. Okay. Did WE say we only wanted one? No, but you didn't say you wanted two.


And so on. And of course half the judging schedules have already left the facility on the way to the post office, so it's too late to do anything about it now. Guess we could have saved some money and only hired one judge each day instead of two, huh?

Gah! Why does a necessary evil have to be, you know, evil?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Dog Days of Summer

Mighty Hunter of the Marrow Bone

Tag, you're it!!

Mighty corgi of the Serengeti

I... will... *pant*... run... you *pant*... down... *pant pant*

I was framed!!

Freestacked. Now, if I can just bring the neighbors with their weedwacker to a show so she'll bait in the ring...

End results of all the playing

Monday, August 17, 2009

Poolside at Casa Smalltyme

Okay, so it's not much of a pool. But with temps over 90 degrees, the corgis liked it! What more can you ask for out of $7.00 at Walmart? Let's just pretend there aren't big clumps of grass all over the place from my husband's tendency to procrastinate mowing the lawn, 'kay?


Salt & Pepper shakers?

The Ying and Yang of Kong Bobbing

We have you surrounded!

This rocks!!!


Kong bobbing

Say cheese!!!!!!

Freestacking in the pool.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trials (preferably without the tribulations)

Happy, happy dance!!! Ian is home from Grammy's. :-D

This summer has wreaked havoc with my training schedule. First I missed three weeks of classes due to ME training for my part-time job. I got one class in after my training ended, then my instructor was away at agility trials. I got one week in after that, and THEN Elli went into heat; we went to one class but Ian's brain was lodged firmly in his penis. Then we missed another class altogether while Ian spent time at Grammy's house. Goal of entering Ian in Open at the Saccarappa obedience trials in September? That's a big ole kiss goodbye.

Or is it?

I picked Ian up after work yesterday, and we went to class an hour later. I figured we were going back to the drawing board for a lot of stuff -- rust, plus him getting reacquainted with his doggy friends. Sure enough, first exercise, he went down on his sit-stay. I -- AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUGH!!

*Ahem* Ian here. Now, while Mom is picking up what's left of that box of tissues (little sisters are SO handy to blame things on), I would like to point out, in my own defense, that Thom went WELL over the three minute mark. I mean, *I* know how long the sit-stay is supposed to last. Is it my fault if the guy WITH THE WATCH can't tell time?

Bad dog! *grabs keyboard and wipes the drool off of it* Now, where was I? We did the stays first, then -- *reads above* Ian! It does not matter how long the exercise lasts! You're supposed to stay until I release you!!

ANYway, he did the down-stay just fine. Then we broke out the jumps and the dumbbell. Retrieving has never been Ian's favorite thing, so my expectations weren't very high. First we did the retrieve on the flat. Perfect the first time!! I always stop the exercise once he does it right; I've found that if I try to drill it after he's done it correctly, he starts to overthink it, figuring he must have done something wrong, because surely the stupid human wouldn't want him to just repeat himself. Ah, the curse of the thinking dog...

So on to the retrieve over the high jump. Perfect!! This time with a ruler-straight front and finish to boot! Woo-hoo!

On to the broad jump. This is still iffy -- he tends to want to cut the corner. And when the jump is only 20 inches wide to begin with, that's cutting off most of the jump. But anyway, I set him up and sent him over. Hat trick!! He did that jump correctly the first time too!!

Dare I hope that we'll be ready for Saccarappa after all?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Elli had a little lamb, a little beef, a little yam...

Reviewing Week One of the dinner time raw diet:

Last week I started feeding Elli a raw dinner. Ian too, but he's been staying at Grammy's house for the last week during Elli's fertile time (both to prevent an Oops! and to keep his brain from seeping completely out of his penis), so I don't know how he has done with it. Mom hasn't reported any mishaps, so I'm assuming no news is good news.

So far Elli's had boneless chicken thigh (lightly seared on the outside but not cooked through), beef ribs with meat, lamb with some bone in, and stew beef. She's also had some brown rice cooked in chicken broth, sweet potato, peas, yogurt, blueberries, apples and cottage cheese.

Elli certainly seems to be enjoying the new meal plan, especially the lamb: my husband had cut the lamb steak up into about six pieces for her, then went into the living room. She trotted in with a piece, ate it, then went back into the kitchen for another, and brought that into the living room. After about the third piece, she started to bring the chunks in and "hunt" them -- she'd set it down, pounce at it, bark a couple of times, pick it up and throw it in the air, pounce on it again, and then finally eat it. She did the same with chunks 5 and 6. Elli Mae, Mighty Hunter of (already dead) Lamb!!! If only my husband had thought to grab the camera!

The only down side I've seen so far was a little diarrhea Saturday morning, but that cleared up by midday when she had a normal stool. Then at about 3:30 this morning I heard her whining, which is unusual, so I got up and took her out and she had some diarrhea again. She is otherwise fine though, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and full of the devil, so I'm going to attribute it to an adjustment period and not go into a panic or anything.

I always have plenty of bones around the house and the dogs are pretty voracious chewers, but having the ribs to gnaw on has kept Elli chewing for much of the past few days, so she's got some gorgeous pearly whites going. Another benefit to the new diet: I don't need to do any teeth-brushing. Not that the corgis are bad about it -- they just sort of look at me when I'm done like, "Huh. That was weird." But it's nice not to have to do it!

So in review, I'd say the results are mainly positive. If I have many more nights of getting up at 3:30 I may revise that opinion, but so far so good.

And, plus: Lamb Hunter!!

I hope this doesn't bode ill for any potential herding career. o_O


Would it be wrong to buy this T-shirt for Ian?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sometimes, you just have to rant

I know this blog is supposed to be about the dogs, with a little smattering of TV fandom and adventures with vermin thrown in, but every once in a great while I read something in the paper or see something on the news that sends me flying right up onto my soapbox at roughly the speed of light. Since my friends and family now run for the hills when they see the sudsy podium come out, I'm left to rant about it on my blog. So if you're looking for the usual corgi-related content, this post doesn't have any.

Most of the time, I'm tempted to think that here in New England, we tend to be a bit more practical than other places about allowing people to do their own thing, most especially here in Maine. We've got a reputation for being rugged, independent, no-nonsense kind of people. We're stubborn, and proud, and largely unimpressed with wealth or education or "social standing" as a measure of personal worth. Because of that, it always surprises me -- though perhaps it shouldn't -- when I read something like this:

I mean, really, Maine? More than 100,000 signatures to force a referendum to repeal Maine's new same-sex marriage law? And in only five weeks?

I will absolutely NEVER understand why the people of Group A assume that they are so morally superior to the people of Group B that they are entitled to decide how Group B gets to live their lives. Especially when Group B's choice of lifestyle LITERALLY has absolutely nothing to do with Group A!!!!!!!!!

How on earth does one member of Group B marrying another member of Group B in any way affect Group A? Group A members are still free to marry one another; no one has taken that -- or anything else -- away from them. And yet, they run around like Chicken Little, proclaiming that the sky is falling, that their marriages are somehow denigrated, and acting as though THEY are the aggrieved parties here!

"But marriage is sacred!" Yeah? Sorry, but -- in a word -- BULLSHIT. No institution that can be entered into based on a reality show is "sacred." No institution that is mined for TV ratings is "sacred." No institution that can be officiated over by an Elvis impersonator or ended with two signatures on a piece of paper is "sacred." Yet somehow, as far as Group A is concerned, it's okay for any old reprehensible reality show contestant to marry any other reprehensible reality show contestant. It's okay to stumble drunk to an altar in Vegas, or get a divorce three days after the wedding, or to join into a legal union for any number of stupid-ass reasons. Hey, just as long as they're not both dudes!

So, to Group A: It is None. Of your. Business. It does not affect your ability to marry. It does not take away any of the rights you enjoy under that union. It does not render your marriage null and void. It literally has NOTHING to do with you.

It's very simple. Seriously. Don't agree with same-sex marriage? Then don't marry someone of the same sex. See? Easy!

*stepping down off soapbox*

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cart WAY before the horse

So, in addition to obsessing over -- and by "obsessing" I mean pouring over every photo I can find, searching out online pedigrees, checking the OFA website for health testing, etc. -- Cardigan breeder websites in search of the perfect future stud dog for my only-nine-months-old puppy, I've also been looking over various sample puppy contracts. One thing that I would like to do when the time comes for me to sell puppies is to include a "Pay for Performance" program. I want to reward my future puppy buyers for putting in the work and devotion that it takes to earn those titles in conformation, agility, obedience, herding, tracking and Rally by sending them a check upon proof of title.

I'd love to find out how others go about doing this. Does anyone know of any breeders who have this type of program?

Bed Mice - Updated

Nathan managed to catch the offending vermin Friday evening. I may rest in peace.

Er, sleep in peace.