Friday, June 11, 2010

Nothing to see here...

I know I've been quiet as of late, but there's not much dog-related news to report here. Elli continues with agility classes and may be ready to start trialing in CPE soon. Magnum is attending his first set of "big boy" obedience classes and is rocking it, except for that pesky stay exercise, because how on earth can I give him delicious cheese if he's over HERE and I'm over THERE? Herding lessons are still on the agenda but are somewhat on the back burner until more funding frees up.

The raw feeding is going swimmingly. I squeed out loud at the grocery store earlier this week when I found four packages of fresh, sliced beef heart -- AND chicken thighs were also on sale. Yahtzee!! When you realize that this is the highlight of your week, you probably need to talk with yourself about some things. Thom spoke a little bit at class the other night about nutrition, and I offered to talk with anyone and everyone interested in switching to raw. No zealot so fiery as a recent convert, huh?

In the competitive arena, I opted not to enter the shows in Cumberland on the 26th and 27th. Elli is naked -- NAKED!!! -- and I can't have her running around in public in her underwear. The scandal!! Britches? Nuh-uh. Two hairs, maybe three, tops. No neck frill or ruff whatsoever. Absolutely no plushiness to her coat, just topcoat with nada underneath it. As if she doesn't look small enough next to everybody else when she has a FULL coat! SO not taking her in the ring in two weeks. I'm not even sure I'm going to enter her at the Yankee Classic. That's only a couple weeks after Cumberland. How much coat can she grow between now and then?

And Ian... I think Ian is now retired from the conformation ring.

I've thought about this a lot the past three weeks. Argued back and forth with myself, with my mom, with my hubby, with my checkbook... What it ultimately comes down to is this: I will not be breeding Ian. I have no girl to breed to him, I'm not sure I'd use him even if I did, and there is no one else who wants to use him. While I would really like to have that title on the front end to balance the one on the back, I don't see it happening. It's mucho grande frustrating to leave him at 13 points, especially when he has three majors, but seriously, people.

It's been over a year since he's earned a point. In that time he had a back injury, and his movement, which was not stellar to begin with, is even less stellar now. I may briefly dominate, but will never win, the battle with his curls. His ears are too small and are set too high. He has a stuffy neck. And he's pushing four years old. If he couldn't finish in an embarassing 33 shows, then why continue to pursue it?

Still, it's been a learning process, and I picked up a whole lot of valuable knowledge along the way, knowledge that will help as I move forward with Elli and with Magnum. As training models go, Ian: You were awesome.

So what's next? I'll be swinging by the shows in Cumberland to watch and probably lend a hand holding leashes and whatnot, as anyone with a free hand at ringside is likely to find themselves doing. Magnum will go with me to continue his introduction to All Things Dog Show. I'll be going to Springfield for the Saturday and Sunday shows in July, whether or not I end up entering Elli. Magnum will go there as well for his first look at the Big E.

Later in July, there is a match in Bucksport that I plan to enter Magnum in, for ring practice and to provide lots of laughs for the folks ringside. I may also take Ian and work him in Open obedience (which I pray won't be quite as entertaining as Magnum's first time in the conformation ring. *gulp*) Hopefully we WILL finish up the CDX title on him, eventually.

In August, Magnum will make his ring debut in Keene, NH, hopefully with his sister Juno, and again to the likely hilarity of spectators. The next weekend, there is a 3-day set of shows in Fitchburg, MA. I've been invited by Cheryl, Brady's mother, to stay with her for the weekend, which would be terrific in that I'd get to work some with Brady and show him for BOB. Have I mentioned how much I like that boy? And also, hey! No hotel room!

Once Elli turns two in October, I will whisk her away for her hip x-rays. Fingers crossed that the results are favorable, and I can finalize my choice of suitors for her winter heat cycle.

Then there are the Thanksgiving shows to look forward to, but hey, let's not get TOO far ahead of ourselves.

So that's pretty much it right now at Casa Smalltyme. Exciting, huh?

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