Friday, July 27, 2007

Training our dogs brings people together

At training, whether it's obedience, agility, or whatever, we see pretty much the same people every week. And when we recognize the dogs, and then the people, we start to talk with each other before class or after class, or while we're waiting to do something during class. First about the dogs, then other things that we may have in common. And eventually we start to look for those same people at class. And when their lives change, so do ours. A very nice couple trains with their Lab at Agility on Thursdays with Ceilidh and me - well, they started with Ceilidh and me, now they're in the later class. Anyway, we all rejoiced with them when we learned that she became pregnant. We just learned that she lost the baby. And now we're all sad with them.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We played hookie yesterday

And went to see the Lipizzan Horses at Tempel Farms outside Chicago. It's the only place in the world, other than the Spanish Riding School in Austria that is home to Lipizzaners. Just amazing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

More pics!

I've got to figure out how to work this camera! But, this is before work - the kids in typical poses.

Here's Roc, waiting for Hope.

Ceilidh wants to play. Golly and Dax, looking out the window.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

There's all kinds of people in the world

I was talking to a business acquaintance the other day - someone I haven't seen since we closed the bookstore and took Golly Gear out on its own. He was amazed and astonished that we could actually have a store with just dog stuff. And small dog stuff at that.

It made me realize that we're proud members of a global sub-culture: Dog People. There are people in the world who have dogs, then there are us Dog People. We're the people who know that the movie Best In Show had too many glaring errors to be funny. We're the people who know the AKC groups, and that the beauty pageant aspect of dog showing is "conformation" with an "o" not an "i."

We know what "performance events" are and we're the ones who take the online quizzes about "what breed of dog is right for you" and invariably wind up with the ones we already own.

Most of our friends are "dog friends" - people who enjoy spending time with their dogs and the people who "get it." We can talk about disgusting things during cocktail parties and not worry about offending each other. We even have "can you top this" disgusting dog stories.

Dog People are a breed apart, if you'll forgive the expression. We remember your dog's name before yours and we don't mind when you're the same.

So, I'm Roc and Dax's "mom." And I recognize your face from the last match or trial where I saw you. But please remind me of your name, because I only remember your dog's.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The flip side

This is Ceilidh. Ceilidh has two speeds: full and off.
This is off. Enjoy it. Few have seen it in person.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ceilidh was brilliant! and then...

As many of you know, Thursday evening is Agility class for Ceilidh and me. While I've come to the realization that I may never compete with Ceilidh, the class is still fun and it's great for her focus. There weren't many of us in class last night, which was great - more time running the courses and less time waiting. It also allowed us to run the courses more than once. We ran the first course three times, in fact. The first time Ceilidh was hesitant on the equipment, sniffing all the speckles on the floor and not really paying attention. While the other dogs were running, I pulled out Ceilidh's beloved Latex Soccer Ball and we had a tug-fest. (While a 2-inch diameter ball does not have much real estate, my fingers escaped unscathed.) I asked Ceilidh to "drop it" while I unhooked her leash, and she attacked the course! Ceilidh slammed down the teeter! She ran across the dog walk! She flew over the jumps! Ceilidh used centrifugal force in the tunnels! And she zoomed over that last broad jump! Brilliant!

And then we were back to Ceilidh-normal the rest of the class. Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How does he know?

We've been seeing all kinds of commercials lately for the big, summer blockbuster movies. I want to see Harry Potter and Ratatouille (I have a great recipe for ratatouille - wonderful stuff ). I'll definitely put Transformers and Die Hard on my Netflix queue. But Roc's decided there's one movie that surpasses all the others on the "must see" list.
Underdog, of course. I have no idea how he anticipates the commercials. All of a sudden he'll stop and run to the tv to see his hero. Even Dax, who for the last three years has paid no attention to the tv at all, looks up to see what the fuss is about when Roc sees the commercial.
Confidentially, I think he's got a crush on Polly Purebred. The room gets totally quiet when she's on the screen.
It means nothing, of course. His previous fascination was with Bruiser, the chihuahua on Legally Blonde.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Phun with Photographs

Portrait of a French Bulldog
(circa - 7 /9/2007)
It's amazing what you can do with pictures these days, isn't it?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Inadvertent sweet-smelling Ceilidh

It's been kind of warm here. That goodness, not as hot as in the West, but warm and sunny nonetheless. And our little dogs love to sunbathe. Not the best thing for little black dogs, but we don't let them lie in the sun for long. A few weeks ago Hope and I got ambitious and spread cedar mulch around where nothing is planted - one reason for this was so that the dogs would lie on something and not get dirt all over themselves and the house. And it's worked. Dax especially likes to lie near the hostas on the mulch. Yesterday Hope told me she had the dogs out and Ceilidh was rolling on her back in the mulch - she was aiming for something nasty nearby, but she missed! So Ceilidh meant to smell like that nasty bit, but instead she smelled like cedar!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Who's afraid of the big, bad BOOM!

We are very, very, very fortunate. None of our dogs is afraid of thunder or fireworks. Which there were tons of last night - our house is center of a fireworks triangle; the high school to the south, the forest preserve to the west and the country club to the east.

All three venues had wonderful displays last night. We could see some of them from the house, but we got out of the habit to going to any fireworks shows when we had our first dog, who was deathly afraid of things that go "boom" in the night.

And there was a boatload of "booming" last night. Even after the finales of the scheduled shows, we heard fireworks going off for a couple of hours. I spoke to a friend this morning who was speculating that the police detonate all the confiscated fireworks (anything bigger than a sparkler is illegal around here) on the Fourth of July. At their own family barbecues.

I can't prove that she's right, but it sounds about right to me.