Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Enjoying the (partial) sunshine

Things have settled down in the weather department here, after the storm. We have electricity back at the shop (thank goodness!) and things have gone back to normal.

Wait a minute, no they haven't. No class Thursday evening for Tango after a strange day shuttling Packing Slips and other paperwork from home to the powerless shop where orders were packed. Our instructor was out of town at an (what else?) Agility Trial. We made up for it last night, going to a fun match nearby. It's great for the dogs to experience new places and situations. Plus, this was a UKC match! We'd never seen some of the equipment before! A window! And a Sway Bridge! and a hedge?! And an odd number of weave poles... That confused the dogs more than the hoop tunnel!

Everyone did really well. Dax was on fire! Teddy wanted to eat the hedge at first, but then he discovered that it wasn't real. And Tango had problems sitting or lying down in the box. "Sit? OK, I'll sit. Now I'll lie down. Now I'll sit." Arrgh... Just stay put!!! Oh well, we knew we had to work on that. And then on our way home we were stopped at a Security Checkpoint! The Cook County Sheriff's Police were checking drivers licenses and proof of insurance. Many drivers instantly made U-turns when they realized what was happening, but true to form, we said, "Cool! Never been through a Security Checkpoint before!" -Fran

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


A brief but violent storm swept through the Chicago area last night. We were lucky at home - even though quite a few large branches came off the big maple tree in the back yard, none struck the power lines or the house. Below are some pictures we snapped before we hauled the branches to the street for the Village to pick up. We weren't so lucky at the shop - no power. I did make my way to work this morning with Tango, noticing all the storm damage along the way. but since there's no power I came back home to work. (I did a little bit of training with Tango, opening the back door to let the light in!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daxie Tuesday

Tuesdays it's Dax's turn to come to work here at Golly Gear. And as you can see, we really make her slave away at her job! - Hope

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tango's in Big Boy Class

Last night was Tango's first Intermediate Agility Class! He did great! (Better than I did - I got lost a few times...) I've said it before, but there's nothing that Tango loves more than doing "stuff" - put a jump or a Dog Walk in front of him, and that's what he'll do. I'm so grateful for that, because there was a room full of new dogs and new people - all kinds of opportunities for getting into trouble. But even off-lead, and with a handler (me) who was confused with longer courses than we'd been used to, Tango did the obstacles that I pointed him to. There were a few times between runs that Tango looked askance at a nearby Golden Retriever, but when I told him to knock it off, he looked right back at me! What a good boy! I expect that I'll be able to remember the courses more easily in the next few weeks, and Tango will get used to these dogs, but I was very happy with our first Intermediate Class!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One of the very best things about working here at Golly Gear/Dogs In The Ring is bringing our dogs to work with us. Just taking 5 minutes to play with our dogs is really energizing. I wish everyone could!

How can you possibly have a bad day when you've got this face to look at? Ted's even starting to get the whole concept of "stay!"

And of course my darling Daxie-girl is wonderful in practice. Classes and trials may be stressful for her - but she loves playing with me here. Excuse the devil-flash-eyes, please. They looked even creepier when I tried to fix them. It's a wonder we get any work done at all! - Hope

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Given a reprieve

We have this old rose bush at the back of the house. Our mother planted it more than 50 years ago. When we were kids, it was okay - it would climb up its trellis and bloom politely.
Then the years started getting to it - no flowers, lots of suckers, not any branching or climbing. So we tried to kill it. Every year we'd lop off all the bits we saw. And every year it would send up more suckers and drain the life from the rest of the little garden patch it's in.

This year it decided to earn its keep. It's safe - for now. - Hope

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Teddy - novice camper

We stole a great idea from our friend Brutus's blog and decided to take you all along as Teddy explored the campgrounds!

Just when he was sitting pretty to show off the sign and landscape, a big, friendly German Shepherd walked by and Teddy had to get up to say "Hello!" very, very loudly. We don't think the neighborhood really appreciated his greeting - it was about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.

We were charmed by the care and creativity the seasonal and permanent residents show in their landscaping. Ted had to make sure the animals weren't real.

Especially the frogs. There is a weird affinity between French Bulldogs (Frog-dogs) and frogs.

Maybe it's because they wear the same expression.....

Teddy really wanted to check out the lake. Or maybe it was the fisherman's bait bucket.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Tango's better!

I'm thanking the powers that be that Tango's feeling better. We've never had such a pathetic sick dog before. All Tango wanted to do was cling to me. And when there was snot running down his beard he was not really attractive, and I didn't really want him on me. But that's what we caring dog owners do. You suck it up, put a towel on your lap and let your sick dog take a nap on you. Sunday night in the Land Cookie we watched DVDs, and Tango was miserable on my lap. Fortunately he was feeling better on Monday, and on Wednesday we even had our lesson! Tango's here at the shop with me today. And he's been training very well. (I tried to take a short video of our weaves, but ran out of battery juice before I figured out how to work the camera.)
- Fran

Monday, June 06, 2011

Maiden voyage of the Cookie!

Fran and I (and all 5 dogs!) went on a mini-vacation. We took the Land Cookie on its shake-down trip to Fish Lake Beach Campground in Volo, Illinois. Far enough from home to get away, close enough to be (almost) convenient. Since it was our very first campint trip we made it a short one - learn what worked, what didn't, what we need, what we can live without.

Our campsite had all the amenities - fire ring, picnic table, water, power. We got set up in short order and went to check out the neighborhood.

First things first, or course! The dogs were very happy find their "comfort station" - complete with fake fire hydrant!

This is one of the ritzier houses in the neighborhood - can you believe it's a mobile home?

Although there were lots of awfully nice ones!

This was the office where we checked in - can you see the beagle (tied to the bumper) that vociferously objected to our presence?

The campground is huge - like a little city!

Complete with tidy streets and beautiful yards.

Even a pool!
Makes you rethink the whole definition of camping, doesn't it?

Definitely a beautiful place to spend some time.

For me, one of the best things about camping is everyone's so nice. I don't know why - but without exception, everyone we've met has been friendly and helpful. Can't wait to do it again! - Hope

Friday, June 03, 2011

Tango's sick...

Tango has a really bad cold. OK, maybe more than a cold. The vet didn't like the high temperature so she put him on antibiotics and told me under no uncertain terms to keep him home from class last night. We were both bummed about that. It was supposed to be Tango's first night in Intermediate Agility class. I have a great new T-shirt and everything. But Tango was having a hard time breathing, so it was for the best.
And no dog is more pitiful than Tango when he's feeling poorly. Tuesday night he just wanted to be held. Tango doesn't usually like being held. And he cried all night.
Thank goodness he's feeling a little better today, and breathing easier. Hopefully when Intermediate class resumes in a couple of weeks he'll be all better!