Thursday, June 18, 2009

Catching up, some new pics, obedience work, June Musings....

I can't believe that it's already mid-June. It seems like winter is this great dark expanse and summer just flies by - gosh - seems like only a few blinks ago it was the first weekend in May. It hasn't helped that the weather this year has been downright dismal - even on "warm" days we've been lucky to see 70 degrees. I'm not complaining really - just feeling like we should have had a lot more shorts and sun this far into the summer season in Vermont.

A better shade of green
June 12th, 2009
So between the weather and me being so flipping busy this spring that I didn't get the pool opened until last week - which is insane - as it's usually open as soon as the ice goes out in April. So instead I had this incredibly green cesspool that wasn't a simple undertaking to open. The term opening is a relative one as I neither cover or chemically winterize the pool. I basically just unhook the pump (cover with a tarp) and then let the water above the skimmer and return drain. Well, the implications of waiting until JUNE to open the pool is that the remaining water water is green - and by green I mean pea soup - with a degree of viscosity that surprised even me and I gave up any intention of manually skimming during the opening process. The good news is that algae is easy to kill off - we went from pea soup to milk in the course of 12 hours, but for the last week I've been fighting with cloudy water - as in can't see the second pool step cloudy water. Aggravating. I'm pleased to report that as of 15 minutes ago I can see the pool steps, shadows of the debris on the bottom and if I look directly down over the side I can see the liner pattern! That's progress! Still no swimmies for the boys though - they aren't particularly happy with me, but the chemicals need to settle out for them to swim safely.

My garden has had an equally rough start to the season. The frost on June 2nd took out a few cucumbers and a couple of yellow squash plants - This past weekend I replanted the cukes but the garden store was out of squash seedlings - so I need to decide if I go back tomorrow (before the weekend rush) or wait and see if the remaining 4 plants will be able to produce...For whatever reason my tomatoes (which I don't eat and grow only to gift and feed to the boys) and peppers are going like gangbusters. Some mini tomatoes are starting (no not cherry/grape - literally mini tomatoes - growing to be big tomatoes) and I noticed my pepper plants are thinking about fruiting. Perhaps they are doing well BECAUSE they've had a chance to acclimate without getting burned in what amounts to be 15 hours of sun in my plot.

One of the boys after their bath and groomings. Teller (left) and Murphy (right)
June 14th, 2009
This week has also been a killer on-call. I'm averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep a night and I've reached the point where I am just exhausted. The mind-numbing, head-spinning, can't see straight, purple swirlies, lacking physical coordination kind of exhausted. I'll be very pleased when 8am tomorrow rolls around and someone else gets to get woken up several times a night.

Since the boys couldn't swim this weekend I took advantage of some marginally warm temperatures to bath and really brush them out - Murph has been hanging onto some serious clumps of winter undercoat - he probably feels much better now that it's combed out - even if it did mean having an outdoor bath.

June 17th, 2009

Despite the photographic evidence to the contrary...Teller contemplates the balance in his life...the need to keep his nice and the naughty in perfect balance - ying and yang. Absence of naughty leads to unrealistic expectations. Absence of nice leads to an absence of cheese. It's very existential.

In other news I entered three days of obedience at the Scenic Cluster so that gives us four weeks now to be ready for open obedience - not a lot of time for a green dog who's been more or less just playing agility all spring. Fast and distance is pretty much the anti-heeling isn't it :-) So I happened to run into Amanda at Waggles who was kind enough to tape a quick training session for me this week - We've got some more work to do - I'd like to see better halt/sits in the heelwork - he's forging into them and offering me some crooked sites. My footwork is a mess - I'm going to have to suck it up and go practice footwork in the street without my dog. Its somewhat humbling to do so - and my neighbors look at me like I have two heads...It's for the greater good though - I don't want to cost us points in the ring. Over all the forging that plagued us in the fall (in Novice) has improved, his attention has improved as has his animation. I love the fronts he's consistantly giving me now - he's RIGHT there. Too bad his handler hasn't improved!

So what's next? Well two agility trials in July in addition to the obedience weekend. Two of those three weekends are within 5 miles from home so we'll be able to keep things pretty low key I think...Then I'm going to enter a local NADAC trial - the same one where Teller debuted last year - It's a nice chance to get six runs in a day - get some contact work - work some distance and weave entries and then come home, swim in our own pool and sleep in our own beds...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One year ago...

One year ago tomorrow (June 12th) Teller finished his Canadian Championship for his first title at just under 18 months. In the short year since then he's finished his CD and RN (both in three trials) and in the last three months alone he's finished his NA, NAP, NAJ and NJP...Time flies when you're having fun!! What's next? Well some open obedience in July - a bit more agility - though we're really aiming for some time off this summer to enjoy the pool and stay fresh and sharp...

Southern Berkshire Golden Retriever Club Agility Trial

Pardon the lateness of this post - I feel like I'm constantly in catch-up mode lately.

So we're back from another weekend in Westfield - For once in the four years I've gone to this show the weather actually cooperated - no torrential rains, no snow (I think that was 2006) and temperatures under 90 - which helps as there is NO shade at the fairgrounds. We've got some more things to work on (always right?) and we left with a couple of legs and Teller's NA title.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Coming soon to a theatre near you.....

Indiana Bones and the Raiders of the Lost Bark

Brought to you with the help of an extremely patient and photogenic dog, some new fonts and a bit of photoshop wizardry :-)