Monday, January 21, 2008

Dog-related goals for 2008..

I never had time to really sit back and reflect on 2007 and formulate my goals for 2008. I did, just a moment ago, look over my 2006/2007 goals and well, the best laid plans of mice and men - some successes and some not so much...

Murphy:

  • Has had and continues to have a lot of time off from showing - ultimately this is going to be a good thing for him - he hasn't been in the obedience ring since the first weekend of November when we had some really nice moments and some crappy mistakes. His last agility trial was in October and he was so on then - I hope that momentum carries through when we trial again in March.

  • A year ago we were hunting for our first CDX leg, now we're sitting on two hunting that third. I think the five months off is going to help in this respect - and we'll go for that last leg at a breed specialty - the same place we got our first CDX leg a year ago...
  • In agility I'd like Murphy to continue having fun - we going to do fewer trials this year so we can save our money for nationals in Rhode Island...
  • I'd like Murph to go for a TD (and his VCD1) at the national, with any luck he'll have gotten that last leg and I know he won't be ready for utility at that point so we'll shoot for agility, tracking and team obedience for Murphy's first national specialty...

    Teller:

  • Oh the places you'll go! With two dogs trialing I'm entering shows carefully with an eye on shows that both dogs can be entered. Yes, more running around for me - but the same gas and hotels - double the bang for the buck...

  • Teller will hit the spring circuit in the breed ring, a few shows in NY in March and then we'll go to Canada for a couple of shows - those are sleep in our own bed shows and Murph can go along and do some obedience up there as well...
  • If Woo is still standing at zero points after those shows I'm taking him out of the breed ring at least for a while and starting his obedience and agility career...
  • Teller's plans at the national...He'll be entered in breed, rally, agility (probably his debut), the CCA and the WC. If he manages to qualify in rally and agility AND pass his CCA/place in conformation AND passes his WC he'll take a triathlon award...that's our goal anyway - to train for it, to condition for it....whether or not we'll be able to pull it off - I'm not sure - I do know that if any dog can do it - it's Teller, just a matter of how much experience he can get on birds this summer and if he can get into the CCA (it's really limited) and whether or not the judges are going to like him in regular classes....
  • Friday, January 11, 2008

    Teller *might* be growing up...

    Teller, the ultimate puppy... Teller who can be described with multiple adjectives: capricious, exuberant, charismatic, energetic, and mostly relentless...his humor is one of his best qualities - his ability to make me laugh is his very best skill. His ability to surprise me is a close second.

    It's become our morning routine for the two boys to stay outside and romp while I get dressed for work - correction: Teller romps, Murphy tries to avoid getting romped on. With the recent thaw the yard is a mess so I've been letting them inside before I shower and dress. Teller spends the time harassing Murphy in the den. When I finished my shower this morning the house was silent...those with puppies in their homes know that silence is generally bad - really bad. I threw the towel on my head and threw open the bathroom door - trying to prepare myself for the mess that Teller had created...what was it this time? A phonebook? Bills? A disemboweled woobie? Had he finally done Murphy in once and for all?

    To my shock, when I open the door there's Teller, sitting at the bathroom door looking a bit shocked that I flung it open in a quasi-panic and at the same time pleased with himself. There wasn't a mess, Murphy was still in one piece (as was the rest of the house) and there sat Teller, with a ball at his feet. Then I put it together: we have been playing ball (with fast drops in the mix too) in the mornings as I get dressed because it's been too cold (or now too mushy) for them to romp at length. Teller didn't want to miss out on a moment of the game and was patiently waiting (with his ball) for me to be ready to join the game...

    Now I know he's really smart - maybe clever is the better word - but to see him make the decision to be ready for our morning game rather than harass Murphy...I was so proud of the little bugger...making good choices all by his furry self.

    Who'd have thunk it?

    Sunday, January 06, 2008

    Happy Birthday Teller-Woo....

    One year ago I drove down to meet Kara and a very pregnant Emmie, who waddled into the vet's office for her scheduled c-section. We took some good natured "bets" on how many of what was inside her womb. I had dreamed - weeks before that there would be 4 boys and 2 girls - six babies total - this was even before the first ultrasound predicted 3 puppies and the xray the day before revealed six little spines...

    Poor Em got shaved from stem to stern exposing an even bigger belly than we could have thought possible with little masses inside ping-ponging around rippling the skin on her tummy.

    Teller was the fourth puppy to come out, the third boy and when he came out he made his arrival known - screaming loudly demanding that someone feed him immediately. As he was placed in the incubator to be rubbed dry and warm he wanted no part of it, grabbing the towels with his gummy mouth and moving them out of his way..."Mark that one Kara, he gets to go live with someone else" I said. Kara smiled and said - "oh no, I'm pretty sure screamer is going to be yours"....Screamer - great, that's JUST the quality I'm looking for in my next performance dog and my first breed dog prospect....
    Teller at 4 weeks As his first 8 weeks flew by, it became more and more apparent that Screamer was pretty much destined to come home with me. His temperament, personality, charisma and conformation made it so. And after several evaluations and quickly considering another one of his littermates, Screamer became Teller and the rest...ah-hem has been history....

    Reflecting back on the last year, I got everything I wanted in a puppy - and more. I got the drive I was looking for, a balanced temperament and a dog with an unbelievable sense of humor and joy in life. Teller greets each and every new day knowing that the sun is shining somewhere (if not in Vermont) and the day was created for his pleasure - what can he learn and do today? Sometimes in spite of my own mood I always cave and catch some of his Joie de vie. Teller still greets absolutely everyone as an old friend and his enthusiasm for life continues to be contagious - even to Murphy.

    Teller meets Murphy - March 5th, 2007




    Teller meets Q - March 5th, 2007





    He loves his Q.




    He loves his Murphy.




    And he loves his toys





    Truly comes to visit and the duo learn about easy cheese..."Sista Truly, you taste like cheese".





    And the fun begins....





    Murphy used to have the upper jaw...I mean upper hand...





    Woo used to sleep a lot...





    Even the snow was good according to Teller.







    He started his obedience and agility lessons right away...





    Practicing his show stack





    Teller's first match - best puppy in breed/sporting group 2nd





    Freestacking has always been one of his best skills










    Teller on his first birthday






    And lastly a little video treat - Teller playing some baby agility:


    Here's to many more years of all that makes you my Wooie! Happy 1st Birthday Teller, Truly, Diva, Laser, Robbie and Buddy - may 2008 bring even more smiles and joy...