Saturday, June 28, 2008

Candids from St. Francis....

The candids arrived!!! Here are a couple of shots of Emily and Teller from the Saint Francis shows....

Friday, June 27, 2008

Amber Alert...

You know I really hate to get serious (most of the time), but when the State Police issued Vermont's very first Amber Alert my perception of the small world and peaceful community that I have become accustomed to was initially shaken, but the more I read about the situation the less I worry about what "things are coming to these days". I feel badly for the family of Brooke Bennett, I don't think any family should have to go through what they are dealing with right now. I sincerely hope that they find her safe and sound - and soon.

My take on the story based on what I've read in the newspaper and watched on the news is that it was unlikely a random abduction but another Internet predator story. A MySpace(c) account was created by the girl some time ago, with her parents blessing until her father caught her doing things he didn't approve of, so as punishment, the account was disabled. The daughter's reaction to the "punishment" by creating another account without parental permission or knowledge. This girl is (let's hope she IS) 12 years old. The lie that got her dropped off at the gas station - was apparently an elaborate plan, but honestly what kind of Uncle drops his 12 year old niece off at a gas station and leaves her there without waiting for the "friend" that was supposed to pick her up? Did she sneak off to meet some creep and it ended badly? Did someone pose as another pre-teen and lure her into something sinister? Or did she just run away?

The Internet is a scary place and there are a lot of creepy people online. I distinctly remember the first time I got a web cam (back in college) and launched CUSeeMe to talk to a friend and within 15 minutes of entering a chat room some middle-aged man had his genitals in front of the camera masturbating for the whole chat room to see. It was really funny at the time, but I think that there's really more and more weirdos out there and even more places for them to hide online.

It's a tough time to be a kid, but an unbelievably tough time to be a parent. How do you police your child's Internet usage? How can you police what happens on their friends' computers - there's an element of trusting the other parents - some of whom just don't have the knowledge to limit access to the bad sites, while allowing children to learn about the world through the good sites. I think parents also face a terrible amount of pressure from their children who want to use the Internet to communicate with their peers too. The permissive nature of today's parents, the concept of not wanting to repeat their own parent's mistakes and the desire to avoid raising disappointed children has created this culture where commonsense is rare and a sense of entitlement is epidemic.

Sure makes me glad that I have dogs - Murphy might have a sense of entitlement, but he's not hunting for strangers online to take him for a walk after I gone to bed for the night and he's never had a tantrum in a store. :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Teller's Championship picture

I finally got Teller's championship picture in the mail today - unfortuneatly the photographer didn't send the "candids" I bought of him gaiting and stacked with Emily so I'll have to wait a bit longer for those....

Here's Woo with Emily...Big boy WOO!
As always, click on the picture for a bigger image.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Canine Good Neighbor

Nothing for Teller in the breed ring today - that's OK - it's really just fun to be up there now and he showing BEAUTIFULLY - just BEAUTIFULLY! I couldn't be more pleased with him.

After he finished in the breed ring we rushed over to the Canine Good Neighbor ring to take the test - it's similar to the AKC CGC program, but there are 12 exercises:
  • Greeting a stranger
  • Petting by a stranger
  • Grooming by the evaluator
  • Greeting a person with another dog
  • Reaction to distractions
  • Walking through a crowd
  • Heel pattern
  • Sitting (waiting) and allowing handler to go through a gate/door
  • Sit, down, wait
  • Recall
  • Praise and settle
  • Supervised Separation

    It's interesting - there are two items on the CGN that aren't on the CGC namely the gate/doorway exercise and praise and settle - the latter is really interesting - you have to praise and play with your dog - get them really "up" (for Teller that was some wrestling, "got your butt" and hand-touches) and then you ask them to settle and they have to come down and relax. So I decided to work the "settle" into the game and did a "bang your dead" drop and it paid off beautifully...So Teller is now Can CH SunKissed Light and Magic CGC CGN After we did the test Teller acted as "distraction" dog for a couple other dogs and was COOKED. He did do several out of sight sit and down stays - I know I say it a lot but MAN, this dog is soooo cool. It's shocking to me that he did all of this without any cookies and not only kept working but got better and better as he went on.

    It was 85 degrees and wicked humid up there today - It was pretty miserable out there - my brain is fried. I'm going to watch the rest of the "Vicar of Dibley" and then toddle off to bed! Have to get up at 5am tomorrow morning!
  • Friday, June 13, 2008

    Canadian Champion SunKissed Light and Magic

    I'm THRILLED to report that my Teller finished his Canadian Championship yesterday at the St. Francis Kennel Club show in Brome, QC Canada. He is now Canadian Champion SunKissed Light and Magic CGC. Teller is my first breed dog and my first Champion. This is also Kara's first "bred-by" Champion - it was a good day for both of us. It was SO MUCH FUN to fill out the paperwork to move him up to a Special - what a thrill that was!

    Teller's reward was an extra helping of frozen yogurt and a chunk of filet (which he never even tasted before it went down the hatch)...I saw the proofs from the photographer today and they were GORGEOUS, I'll post them when I get them...

    Here's Woo ready for action:

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Patriotic Portrait...

    Took this photo of Teller at the show this weekend - it's entirely too cute not to share. Teller is now 17 months old - wow how time flies!!!

    Sunday, June 08, 2008

    The Good, the bad and the ugly....

    Just back from a weekend at the Southern Berkshire AKC agility trial - there was some good, some bad and a whole lotta ugly...

    The Ugly:
    Friday was torrential rain, standing water, several tents under water (in fact where we usually set up) and the rings were flooded. I literally ran through pools that were 6" deep...the turf did hold up OK though...I'll take rain anyday - but it wasn't forecasted and I packed for heat not damp rain. Saturday and Sundat were BRUTAL - mid to upper 90's and really high humidity. I just don't function well in that kind of environment and neither does Murphy - which might be a direct causation of..

    The BAD...
    Murphy was so connected to me at the BOTC and TMAC trials and so into playing with me that I thought we had turned the corner- he's been training really well and I had some high hopes for us as a team. This weekend the sniffies were back, the disconnects were back and I'm not sure what to do now. The first run of the weekend we were delayed by lightening which might be part of it - but it's not all of it.

    The Good:
    I love my trial buddies - So much fun to spend time with doggie people who don't think you're weird just because you are (in fact) a dog person ;-)

    I decided to enter Teller in the match on Friday afternoon - he was freakin' awesome. I made some handler mistakes with him and he had some green dog errors - BUT he held his startline with me egging him on from a 2 1/2 jump lead-out, he never considered checking out, he made his weave entry but he had too much speed to hold onto the entry (green dog) - I'm so used to Murph's check-outs I'm so pleased, shocked and awestruck that I have my Woo!

    Here's the video - Auntie Linda got a little distracted watching Woo run and lost him for a second or two...(giggle)

    Also good: Wooie got his quality time with Auntie Linda - whom he absolutely adores and greatly misses when he doesn't get to see her very often. It was absolutely hysterical to watch him climbing all over her trying to show her how much he loves her. I think there was even a little slip of the tongue once or twice :-)

    Monday, June 02, 2008

    Teetering for fun!

    I bought a teeter base last fall at an agility trial in NH - the teeter board didn't fit in my truck (sucky) so I've been somewhat patiently waiting for someone to help me get a board (last month), then painted it, sanded it (literally putting pool filter sand in the paint and making it roughly textured) and I finally talked my Dad into putting the bolts on the board so that we actually had a teeter (Thanks Dad).

    Teller has done a few baby teeters at waggles - the lowest setting and then going down to a table so he was only dropping 2-3 inches... I set up the new teeter tonight and as I was realizing it was higher than what he'd done before and went hunting for some more chain Teller was already up and over riding the teeter board to the ground, standing in a 2 on/2 off and grinning (if dogs could grin). Holy smokes it's not supposed to work that way!!

    Here are Murphy and Teller playing on their brand spanking new teeter!!