Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sweet Memories

We all have our routines. My husband gets up early , takes the dogs out, gets ready for work and heads out before I even think about getting up. It's been this way for years.
When Fiona joined our family 3 years ago, she would quietly watch the early morning preparations, then , when my husband picked up his bag to leave, she would run to the door to say good-bye. So cute.
Now Bonnie is here. It took her a little while to figure things out, as her mind is in a million different places at once. (ah like her great-grandfather)
Always trying to push her way in, or beat the other Beardies to something, she has now decided that she also will be included in the morning "good-bye" .
At first Fiona was not impressed. (but then it takes a lot to impress her) For a few days she would stay hidden, displeased that her little sister was stealing her thunder AND her Daddy's good-bye. She got over it(as she does most things...she is a very reflective soul and obviously had to muddle things through) and now they both wait till they hear that bag being lifted up, and run to the back door to say bye to Dad as he leaves for work.
I am awake most mornings, waiting to drift back to sleep.The house is beginning to settle back in, quiet once again taking over. I can hear my husband as he makes his lunch and collects his things. Then I hear eight Beardie feet running for the kitchen and the back door. It is silent....except for the whispers and the murmurs of my husband, who softly kisses his girls and tells them to be good and take care of Mommy. It is a memory that I will treasure, even though I am not really "there".

It is the small moments, not the big ones that weave our lives together. Grandson Frankie laughing or watching the dogs delight in him being able to touch them( they go nutso, ok, but delight sounded so much nicer) Relaxing with friends, laughing over nothing, finding you have a few moments in the day to just do nothing....

Go forth and appreciate the sweet moments, make some great memories, big and small, and above all else be thankful we have them.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Life in a Clown Car

So ....our club was doing a supported entry at the weekend of shows in Wrenthem, MA this past weekend. We wanted to get puppy Bonnie out more and also entered Traveler, and Fiona. Well Fee just finished her championship at the shows in Scarborough, so I had to move her up from the Open class to the Best of Breed class.(that was fun) Three dogs to get ready- no problem. 10 year old Maddie had to come also, she is NOT good at watching the house while we are gone. She leaves the lights on, eats all the food and sometimes has a party, so that was that.
Did I mention I am working on two trophy orders that have to be shipped last week?And the on-going things that need to be done for the National? No problem.
Work on orders, work on dogs, start sorting out what is going and what is really not needed. Bathe 3 dogs, dry them,repack the grooming supplies, oh yeah, pack my clothes , get show clothes get the idea.I did remember I was making trophies( it was 2 days before we left, but I DID remember) and I had to cook bait(Trav's favorite...sauteed chicken with lemon pepper and garlic)
Friday arrives...load up,everyone in the van. Thankfully traffic was not bad , even through Boston and we made good time. We stopped at the show site to set up our tables and ex-pen and then it was off to the motel.
Pat and I each have 2 dogs, but they all want to walk together and have been cooped up, and they start criss-crossing us and each other and we end up going through the lobby like the circus has arrived. This place has an elevator( and a staircase you can go out of, but not get into to!) so easing all 4 dogs in was a treat. The phrase of the weekend- 'Beardie tails in!".
Maddie took a few hours adjusting to the room, Bonnie not so long. Jumping from bed to bed was her way of adjusting[lol] Everyone settled in early and off to sleep we went-not. Bonnie needed to alert us every time she heard a sound. Finally got her to understand it was fine, fell asleep, woke up a few hours later to Maddie trembling on the bed! I just rubbed her with my foot and tried to get back to sleep.Morning arrived much sooner than I would have liked.
Getting everyone out tot he van, we again looked like the entertainment, but we are used to that. We got to the show, set the rest of the stuff up and I started to groom 3 dogs. OK, not at once, when I can figure that out I will let you know!
Thankfully Lesley Woodcock and Sue Ross arrived to save the day and took Bonnie for her brush out. Everyone ready!Bonnie got distracted by things outside the ring, but managed to do "ok" . Her half sister Willow won WB and did a fabulous job! Then I had to quickly hand Bonnie off and grab Fiona for the BOB class...whew! Made it. Traveler and Fiona entered with the other dogs and off we were again. Fiona took BEST Opposite to her Uncle Roy. Trav did ok, but as I say, got a rock[lol] Now we could visit and hang out for the rest of the day......
We all managed to a good night's sleep back at the motel and after packing and loading(yes the circus made it's way through the lobby again) we were off for the final day of showing. I walked Bonnie around the grounds for a while, letting her get used to all the noise and smells. Back on the table for everyone(and again thanks to Aunties Lesley and Sue who took Trav and did a wonderful job on him) and we all go again. This time Bonnie did better and managed to take Reserve to sister Willow. It was a repeat in the BOB class too, as Fiona got BOS to her uncle Roy and got a start on her Grand Champion points. Don't ask me to explain those, I think I need to go back to school to figure it out.
We packed up the car, loaded the dogs in, hugged our friends and headed home. The traffic was light and we made excellent time getting home. The dogs were so glad to see their yard when they got home. We didn't need to put them on leads to get them in, just opened the crates and out they flew into the yard[LOL]
It's not easy taking all 4 with us, and after a while, Maddie enjoys being out with the whole family. She took up residence on one of the motel beds, and hung at the show like she did it every day. I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but once in a while living in a clown car is ok.....although...I have been looking at those RV'S at the shows-hmmmmmm.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Day To Remember!

Yesterday (Oct 10) there was a an all breed match held by York County Kennel Club in Saco, MAINE.Since this is only 15 minutes or so from the house, we thought it was a great time to get Cash acquainted with showing, and for Fiona , a reminder of ring work. She hasn't been in the ring since the Canadian National in August!
They were also doing Rally in the morning and I have been wanting to try Traveler in Rally. We attended a couple of classes a couple years ago and just haven't been able to get back into it. Karen said she would take him in(since she has more rally time then I do) and I said "why not!"
So...Traveler in Rally in the morning and then 3 month old Cash and big sis Fee in conformation in the afternoon. No problem. Baths for the younger two, and a ..somewhat grooming for Trav. (he has been used as Cash's chew toy, so don't feel too closely -BG) Cash jumped out of the tub after the initial "wetting" but once back in the tub, stood stoically through the rest of the bath.Since he air dried, he was done.
Fee gave me the eye roll during her bath, but made it through without any permanent damage. (she SLEEPS in the tub....but add water to that and it's a punishment)

Sunday was chilly but sunny and we set out with just Traveler, leaving the others chill out at home till needed. He LOVED seeing everyone and couldn't understand why he couldn't just run and play with all the dogs. He knew he wasn't showing, so figured it must be a bounce! He did settle after a while( which was good. And we got to watch the advanced classes) and soon it was his turn in the Rally ring.
I was a bit nervous, watching, hoping he would at least make it through. We have worked a bit at home, but nothing serious. Plus, no bait in the ring! Anyway, he and Karen started off pretty good. He did just about everything she wanted, and it was fun to watch. At the end, he started looking for me, but she got to repeat a sign, and he did better. He made it through, got a score of 87 and Q'ed with a third place! Guess we start trying to save up for Rally classes. He had fun and since he is semi-retired from showing, it gives him a reason to go out. We were thrilled.
Thank you Karen!!
Pat ran Trav home, loaded up Fee and Cash (I guess the next one will have to be "Check" or "Fin") and back to the show site. We had a bit of a wait, so there was plenty of time to get Cash used to everything. Boy does he love people! He and Fee even did some therapy work with an elderly woman in a walker/chair. She couldn't get enough of them. She kept asking for Cash to jump up so she could pat him and when he moved on to the rest of the crowd, Fee would lean against her and she would just stroke Fee's head. I think Fee would make a great therapy dog.Meanwhile Cash was going down the line of people in a mass kissing contest. Both of them had tons of pictures taken[lol]
So, ok, finally ring time. Cash did pretty good moving on the lead(he loves food so that helps) Stacking and holding still?...yeah right. The judge got her share of kisses. Next Fee went in. They were the only Beardies, so it was quick.
Now they both have to wait again, Cash for Puppy Group and Fee for the adult.
Cash did more "people surfing" and had a romp outside.Fee waited like a Princess.
So Puppy Group he has to go in the ring with other dogs. Thankfully, the hot dog kept him busy and helped when he noticed..."hey there's a dog behind me"! Again he didn't hold still much, but Pat got a few really nice free stacks out of him. They had a moment also, when the shepherd in front of him turned and hit the gate by accident. It clanged, and Cash jumped. Pat said he recovered ok, but was worried for a minute. Cash ended up with a Third, and the judge said she just loved him. For him, and excellent adventure.
Now , finally the end of a long day, it's Fee's turn again. We go in when called and start doing our thing. I know the judge teaches handling and also handles herself, so I am doing my best. I get some nice free stacks from Herself, we go around nicely and I try to keep Fee happy while making sure she looks good. I truly have no idea how the other dogs did, as my focus was on her the whole time.
So the final line-up, the judge comes out with the ribbons, and compliments everyone. Then (my favorite part) she says ..."but I HAVE to give it to the Bearded Collie!"
OMG, that was so exciting! I felt like jumping up and down.."WE WON, WE WON" Silly I know, it was only a match, but we have never won one before.
So it was a fantastic day for the Avalon gang

And Fee was the Best Damn Dog There[LOL}

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A little Cash!

Cash has been doing a pretty good job if fitting into the household. This may be a temporary stop on his journey, but I have a feeling he will do well whereever he goes.
Yesterday I was vending at the Leonberger Regional that happened to be held at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport. This is the site of the BCCA National in 2011 that we will be hosting in exactly a year.
It was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, there was a bit of a breeze, and the decor was wonderful, lots of pumpkins and mums and cornstalks-very fall in New England! (later I even took a walk around the hotel and along the road that faces the ocean....what a treat)
We took Cash with us. At 3 months I don't feel he is quite ready to be left to his own devises for the day! So we loaded up my stuff, his crate, expen, toys, bowl, water,'s like taking a baby[lol]. We arrived early, around seven am, and set up our tent and all the little things that Cash would need.So far he has been a great traveler (or like Traveler) and rides just fine. He adapts quickly as well, and once out of the van, wanted to run around and smell everything. He was soon in his little house, with crate and toys and bowl, waiting for his breakfast. He wolfed that down and got to go for a bit of a walk. We need the practice, still getting used to the leash and all that.
Well he fell in love with the big dogs!
The feeling was mutual, as all the Leos thought he was adorable...or lunch, I'm not sure which. He also adored a big Newfie that was there with his Leo brother. Cash was petted and cooed at and talked to and petted, and adored by just about everyone. He always had a wagging tail and a tongue to kiss with. Cash has one of the best personalities I have seen. Traveler and Sadie did another fantastic job with this breeding. At one point a huge trash truck went down the alley right next to us and Cash jumped up and climbed up the expen to get a closer look. Nothing bothers him.
It was a nice day for him, and once we arrived home the three older dogs were SO glad to see him. They all checked him out and each had to have a turn playing with him-it went on all night!
Cash is becoming the little adventurer too. Today he has been trying to leap onto the counter to see what is up there....[sigh]. He is a very smart fellow!
He had a great adventure and made lots of new friends.
Next week we will try another new thing...the match that YCKC is having. Stay tuned for that one!

Monday, September 13, 2010

And So It Goes....

We lost a dear friend this year....our Beardie Mac. Mac was almost 12 and while we had watched him slow down, it was a complete surprise one day when he just decided that he was done here. As a communicator you would think I would be better at that. But I had ignored the gentle taps on my shoulder from those that had gone on before, preferring to think that it was just old memories surfacing. Really, I knew what was going on, I saw my Cher and Mac's sister Mira, and knew they were preparing me.
One day soon I will regale you all with Mac stories, but am not quite ready yet.

Instead, I will announce that we have a new visitor here- 11 week old Cash!Cash is out of Traveler and Sadie and Fiona's little brother. He is here for a bit, to grow up a little and then possibly move on to a show home. In the mean time, we are now in puppy central!
He made the trip here just fine, and is one of the best natured little guys I have ever seen. His tail never stops and he loves to cuddle and kiss.....
Traveler thinks his little boy is wonderful, and rolls all over the place trying to impress him.He is gentl while rough-housing, and it is so sweet to watch.
Fiona just watched him for the first day. She has now decided that he is great as long as he is chasing her and doing what she wants. I may soon have to dress her in overalls and a turtleneck when she goes outside, to prevent hair loss, but we will see. Cash loves to grab onto the hair( it IS enticing, flying around like that)and we will try some Bitter Apple first.
So much to remember with puppies. We go out about every hour,I have to sweep all the time, but he still finds bits of hair under things to eat, there are toys everywhere, but he prefers plastic or cabinets(again-Bitter Apple). Luckily he sleeps good at night and loves his crate.
Cash had his first bath yesterday and did admirably. He likes brushing so far, we will see about the hard stuff later(nails, ears , all the "tidbits")

Cash looks so much like Traveler.....I watch them all playing outside and it amazes me- Trav, Fiona, and now Cash. The ones that have passed leave their mark. I am blessed to have the same line continue, to add new things, to cherish the parts that I love.

So soon we will have lots of Cash stories to tell and add him to the history that we have. Whether he stays here or moves on to another home, the legacy we have created will always be here. Loving, sweet-tempered Beardies...goofy at times, but very intelligent and wonderful companions.....what more could we ask!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What The h@##!

OK, I have dealt with Mother Nature taking her course for the 30 years that we have had dogs. Since we have had , for the most part, females, there has been a lot of Mother Nature going on!We have had females with 1 season a year, some that have regular 6 months cycles until we want to breed them, then they don't come in for a year and a half, ..basically all kinds of different situations.
So enter Fiona. Not wanting to follow in ANYONE'S footsteps, she has decided to come in every 5 months- becuase I don't have enough to do and it never gets interesting around here. Also, she seemed to have very light cycles, and since I am a healer, and commmunicator, I felt things weren't quite "right". Not bad...just not where they should be.
So I contact my nice friend Marina at Natural Rearing, and we put her on a couple of herbs and some Ovarian Compound. I put her on this around her heat cycle, and also do a bit of work on her. She has been on this course for 2 cycles. Well true to form, Fee comes in on her normal 5 month time period. I start the Ovarian compound .
HMMMM something is a little different. She has a better "flow". And she is following the boys around, checking out 'equipment".But the one she keeps after the most is grandpa Mac. Now he was nuetered 4 years ago and hasn't cared about that stuff in quite a while.(He is almost 12) But yesterday, and again to keep things interesting, he found a spot on the floor , sniffed at it, and started chattering like an idiot( for you doggie people, you know what that is)
This morning he has been following her all over the place! he is whining at her, chasing her outside, giving her the "eye" and I just caught him putting his paw on her back! Now Mac was an excellant stud dog in his day, kind of a "wham, bam, thank you Beardie" kind of guy. He was fast, he knew his job and he got it done. So I wouldn't put anything past him!
Now Traveler is NOT AMUSED! HE is supposed to be the manly stud dog!And Fee, who acts like she has no clue what Mac is doing, "make him go away"....well, once Mac settles down, she goes over to him, gives him a "look" and wants him to follow her!!

I have created a monster and obviously fixed whatever the problem was Now Mac is whining after Fee, Trav is whining after Fee and whining at Mac, and not liking what he sees, and Fee is acting like she hates all of it, until nobody is watching , then she tries to get her Grandpa to follow her down the hall...oh and we aren't in the "good " days yet.

I'm wodering if I should start drinking......

Monday, March 29, 2010

Off to the Match!

We had a great time at the match in NH yesterday. Of course the fun part is getting ready(lol)....
After a few grooming sessions with Fiona (and convincing her I DO need to touch her feet) she was ready for her bath. Poor Trav just looked on, wondering why it wasn't all about him. Bath over and out she pops from the tub to get toweled off, and I realize that Traveler is in the hall shaking, like he is trying to get water off of him! He just assumed he had taken a bath, I guess, and was shaking and running around like he just got out of the tub. In between laughs, I put a towel on the floor (I do that for him after his baths) and said "OK Trav, dry off", and started to roll all over the towel to get "dry". Next time big Guy, but thanks for the chuckles.
Later, after Fee is dry, we pack the essentials(and we know how much that can's like traveling with infants-diaper bags, toys, food, blankies...) and get a good night's rest....
Up early, van loaded, kiss the doggies staying home and off we go. We are so excited to be meeting Trav's son Brae for the first time! He is 10 months old and lives in Vermont with Jerry and Lu Bergen. It will be his first time doing anything like this, and great practice for him.
When we get to the match site, the Bergen's are already there. And there he is!!! OMG, he is so handsome! He looks just like Trav at that age. And what a personality....happy, bouncy, nothing is bothering him in the least! (ok maybe his big sister coming into season is "bothering" him just a bit) Since judging is later in the day, we have plenty of time to help wear him out, groom him up and have fun.
Barbara and Don Marshall arrive with Denbigh, who is just a bit older than Brae, but they are both typical bouncy Beardie boys-translation, more walking, more walking, more walking(lol)....
By ring time, the boys seem a bit calmer and do quite well in the ring. Matches are great for getting that "ring " experience without all of the pressure. Brae won Best Beardie Puppy so he has to go in later for Best Puppy in Match.
Fee , who has been patiently waiting(and staying out of way of the boys noses) , wins Breed and 3rd in a very nice Herding Group.
While Brae didn't get Best Puppy in Match(what was the judge thinking?!) he was to us. He did such a good job and was catching on very quickly. We can't wait to see him at the shows in May here in Maine.
I even got a great compliment from hubby Pat. He kept telling Fee what a great job she did, then said" and you did a great job too, do you know how I know? I never noticed you in the ring! I only saw Fee, so you did what a good handler does-make it all about the dog." What do you think of that!

Now we are recovering and there is a lot napping going on by all of the dogs..wonder what the other 3 did while we were away?!