Monday, May 31, 2010


Today is Memorial Day and although it is nice to have a three day weekend (I'm working so only 2 for me), it is a time for us to think about the men and women who have fought in wars for our country and our freedom. (Although the whole fighting thing is pretty controversial, I still think we need to be thankful of the men and woman who everyday put their lives on the line in the name of our country). Now the people in power who send them there...that is another conversation for another blog.
My dad was in the army. He entered when he was 16 and fought in 3 wars. He was a good man with a heart of gold. I think I get my, "let's have a good time" attitude from him. Also my bad conformation and arthritis.

I know that his experiences in the wars he served shaped who he was. I know that the scars that he carried (both inside and out) impacted his behavior and how he responded to stress. He is no longer with us, but his legacy of what he did is still there.
A big shout out this weekend. To the family and friends who have lost family members as well as have family members serving today.

I am taking time today to remember and be thankful.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another little remodel project...

"Where's the carpet? I want carpet!" Fin whines from the sofa.
I do like remodeling. I especially like the results. After finishing the downstairs bathroom (which looks lovely), we went ahead with the living room/dining room floors. This had been the plan since I did the hallway about 11 years ago...just never got around to it.
One of the reasons we hadn't gotten around to it was because it is freak'n hard work. I simply don't want to give up my nights and weekends to lay hardwood anymore. Now that I have dog agility, my free time is limited. So our buddy Greg (who most recently did the bathroom), came in and saved the day. If he hadn't showed up, we'd still have the wood piled up in the entry way.

Before he came, my friend and I thought we'd save some time and pull up the carpets ourselves (THANKS LAURA and KELVIN!!). While they were here, I said, "Let's pull the paneling off the fireplace. I hate it!
Ok, I know it sounds crazy now, but at the time... so we did. What we found was that under the paneling was old barn siding. It looked like there was good drywall under the old barn siding so...we started to pulling the barnsiding off. Unfortunately we didn't realize that the barn siding was sorta BEHIND the fireplace so we broke the bricks getting the barn siding off.
Now the truth about home improvement rears it's ugly head. "Nothing is ever as simple as it first seemed."

In the end we refaced the fireplace...well ok, Greg refaced it after he fixed the bricks that Laura and I broke and secured the fireplace to the wall.
I have to say, it looks really nice. We still need a mantel, but wowza! what a difference.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh, those hills, so much fun!

Today we again headed to Harvey Bear to tackle some more hills, Fin and I. She is on her "flexi" due to Dr.s orders. She is supposed to use the freedom to trot back and forth on the hills. Here's the truth. Even with all the freedom, she walks or paces up hills right next to me or in front of me. She hates the uphill almost as much as me.

As we got going today there was a couple walkers with their dog walking slow in front of me and as I passed them they started yelling for me to stop. I'm like, "huh?" They pointed and I looked. What I saw was a big ass rattlesnake curled up with his head sitting on his coiled body and his rattles sticking up in the middle and every once in a while he gave his tail a little shake.

Hmmm. Now this is a quandary. I guess I'll stand still. Fortunately we were on an uphill and Fin was by my side. We waited and he eventually slithered off into the grass. By then there was quite a few of us standing around including a number of walkers, 3 dogs, 2 horses, and 4 bikers. No one wanted to go first. I'm like, heck, the trail is 4-5 feet wide, he's off in the grass, I think I'm safe and off I went, followed by the bikers then the horses and finally the rest of the walkers. Of course, then I get to the gate and have to hold it open for all the bikers and the horses.....but it was better to have them in front of me anyway. It is pretty steep going from the gate to the top.

Once on the flat or down hill, Fin is a wandering fool. Trots all over the place, newest game, trot out to the end of the Flexi and trot back for a cookie. Rinse and repeat. But once we hit an uphill, all trotting stops. It never occurred to me that uphill could be as hard on the dogs as it is on me. My job is watching for more snakes...after our earlier encounter, I kept my head up and watched the trail ahead so she would be safe.
There was alot of green, but evil foxtails lurked everywhere. Really bad this season. If Fin even thought of wandering off the trail she'd have something sticky in her feet and we'd have to stop and pull thorns and foxtails outta her hair and feet.
There was also some flowers still blooming in all that dried grass.
I didn't see any cows and I wonder if there is so much overgrowth and foxtails due to the lack of cows. They must be on other parts of the park as we usually run into alot of them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Day I woke up and My Baby Dog Was No Longer a Baby Dog

Happy Birthday Fin. Little Fish Fry. You are 3 years old.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Golden Bra

In 2004 a little merl pup came to Morgan Hill to live. She was feisty from the get go. Anytime an agility handler brings home a pup, we have stars in our eyes for the promise of potential that the pups give us.
Tazzie got a new best friend. My buddy Laura got what we now refer to as "The Golden Bra."
Contact Point's In Your Face "Brazen" just got ADCH Gold. She is 5 years young.
Who would have thought way back when the dog that stalked pumpkins would turn into a Q'ing machine.
The journey hasn't all been easy for this wonderful team. But Laura has persevered to be an amazing agility handler giving Brazen the edge she needed to turn Gold.
Way back when, Tazzie's BFF and he would run and play chase.
Today, they still have each other's back and are partners in crime.
Congrats to Laura and Brazen!

Monday, May 17, 2010

When the elevation makes me park the car on a rock...

Went to the sierras this last weekend for agility. Had a great time. After a long day of agility, then a hike at 8000 feet, came back down to 5000 feet for dinner. Parked the car, had a WONDERFUL meal and then came out to find this. Neither of us felt a thing when I parked the car! All we could do was laugh.
Although agility was amazing, we also had some great hikes. Fortunately I purchased an inexpensive digital to replace my broken one and the results were fabulous.
Just a little snow, here and there. But enough to make it extra fun.

We were throwing snow balls and letting the dogs run up and down the snow banks. Fin did not have as much fun, as she was attached to me the entire time.

Snow ball tossing fun. Until, Laura discovered the fresh bear tracks. Then Vici wanted to keep walking.

Fin, watching the fun.

Going up hill is easier with a little help from my friends.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You know it is summer when I start talking about my shearing techniques...

Tazzie's beauty is undeniable. He has one hecka good looks. However, he swims. Fabio hair doesn't much help a 21 pound sheltie when it starts to work against him in the pool. Also, no matter what anyone says about hair keeping him cooler as well as warmer, Tazzie is just happier during the summer with the buzz cut.
In the past, me cutting Tazzie has been somewhat of a joke amongst my friends. Ok, well maybe my "mad skills" haven't really been up to snuff. This year however, I think I'm getting somewhere.

Ok, well maybe I have a ways to go, but I will say, he is looking rather "cute" these days.
And what did my husband say upon seeing Tazzies buzz cut this year? "Well, I see that since I won't let you have a puppy, you are making one."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A big adventure that results in a happy ending and me sitting on the ground crying

I NEVER leave the dogs outside when I go places. I'm paranoid. I know. Friends make fun of me.

I have two layers of fence. One inner fence to keep the dogs out of the agility area and an outer fence made of redwood that is relatively new.

Most people leave their dogs out all the time.

Today I left for 2 hours. I took Fin. Rocky has been bothered by the hammering that is going on in my living room (Greg Leal installing wood floors). While the construction is going on, I work in my office with the door closed and Rocky has been very happy sitting outside my office on the deck.

I thought to myself. I'll leave my office door open. Rocks likes to sleep on the deck out there away from the banging. Nothing is going to happen, he is not going anywhere. Everyone had been exercised and I figured they'd sleep while I was gone.

I get home and Rocky is NO WHERE to be found. Tazzie is here. Maddie is here. Fin was with me, so no worries there. Where is Rocks?

I run out to the front asking Greg if he has seen Rocky. He (of course) is concerned and says he only had the gate open for a few minutes to toss trash in the back and never touched the inner fence. Somehow, Rocky found a way to get through the inner fence and took the opportunity while Greg was tossing trash to sneek out. No way did I ever think that any of the dogs would be out in the yard so I didn't even think to tell the guys to be careful with the gate.

I take off up the hill (our usual walk) and Greg jumps in his truck and takes off in the other direction.

The good news, Greg found him. He was behind a fence (someone must have found him and put him there). He must have been out a while as he was covered in fox tails.

Poor guy is exhausted. He was really stressed when Greg found him and did not want Greg picking him up, but Greg was NOT going to let Rocky walk home. Poor Greg has scratches all over his arms, but I know he is happy too. THANK YOU GREG!!!

After Rocky was safe home, I burst out crying....I guess the stress caught up with me.

I am so happy that everyone is safe. I will NEVER leave that back door open for them when I am not home AGAIN! Learned my lesson for sure.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I wanted an ADCH but what I got was an OUCH

Logically I know that I can not plan out my agility future. For me agility is for the fun not the titles. Always has been.

But running Fin this past year has given me hope that we will be able to get titles that I once thought would be out of my grasp. I know I'll get those titles.

As she and I begin our getting back in shape for agility training:
  • recalls (to side and to front)
  • heeling
  • fast walking circle work
  • etc.

I think about how lucky I am. Fin is a one in a million and it is my job to take care of her.

Tazzie is also one in a million. He makes me laugh, makes me feel loved above all others, and is loyal to a fault. He might not be the fastest dog out there (ok, he probably more like one of the slowest) but he is all mine.

Maddie is the sweetest dog ever. As she moves to 11 years old, she is totally deaf. She lives in her own little world and lots of times doesn't seem aware of what's happening around her. Then there are moments during the day that she is there 100% and it is joyful.

Rocks is my loyal companion. My big guy who sticks with me no matter what. The joy radiates from him when I bring out the "orange" ball. It is contagious.

Yes, Fin is gonna turn 3 and I haven't gotten my ADCH yet. But I have so much more.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Four weeks and counting or "can I run yet?"

Works been real busy. Big deadline looming. Work'n hard.
Visit with Dr. Sam's at 28 days. Very good news. Fin is progressing. She is not well yet. However, her soreness is significantly reduced and she is clear for some additional therapy. This week I get to slowly introduce boxes (she walks from one to the other). This will provide her with the opportunity to use her leg. Still no specific work on the leg, no running, no free play. Just her walks.

Next week we get to start trot work. In addition I need to start hiking up hills again. They want me to continue my 2 mile on the flat, but add hill work to the mix (maybe a mile to start). They suggested that she be on a flexi so she can walk back and forth on the hill and even trot a little. Laura has offered to jog with her (on the flat - no one is stepping up to volunteer running up hill yet!).
Still can't play with the other dogs. Too soon. Could re injure herself.

I'm very optimistic. Things are looking good.
Next check in five weeks. June 10. If all goes well, she'll be able to be re-introduced to agility equipment then.