Thursday, November 18, 2010

ASCA Nationals Photos

Hill Country ASC, judge David Clayton

All-Around ASC, judge Denise Creelman

ASC of Washington, judge Claire Thomas
Nationals Puppy Sweeps, judge Clarissa Shank
ASCA Nationals, judge Jasa Hatcher

Well the dog-and-handler-with-judge-holding-ribbon photos arrived today. Thumper won his class of 9-12 month puppies 4 of 5 times in the ring. Alas the most sought-after class win , in Nationals themselves, eluded us. Judge I believe preferred a bigger dog or simply couldn't adequately evaluate Thumper well due to his uncooperative behavior on his 9th time in the ring in less than a week. It was a lot for a puppy so I am happy with our take from the week. The bonus was, he won a little cash in Sweeps so he bought ice cream all around for the co-travelers on the trip.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Endless cycles of play, play, play....

Thumper in flight with Newt

Newt the genius

And racing...
What a strenuous and demanding life all these dogs lead....Over a period of 2 days Thumper and Ziva had 3 sets of visits and/or visitors. First off was my dear frind Lyna nd her BC Newt (truly the smartest dog evah). Thumper and Ziva had serious playtime with him for part of a day and he showed them some of his tricks like 'wave', 'flip the toy off your nose', and a few others. Neither of mine have learned any of these actions yet, but the challenge has been made. Look out next year, Newt!

Tache and Ziva racing Thumper

Tache walks upright!

3 Musketeers

Ziva's looking a little high in the rear, no?

A little kiss from a brother.

Tache's sweet face

The day Newt left Tache and Jane arrived for a quick visit; Tache is Thumper and Ziva's littermate from coastal Virginia and they picked up right where they left off with their play.
Tache is marked much like Thumper but is a bit taller with a bit longer coat. He has the perfect home and I couldn't be happier. His sis and bro were thrilled to have him visit.

After these three played for hours we decided to go visiting their sister Lila who lives just down the road with Teddy from Ribbon's fist litter. THAT was a rollicking session too, leaving everyone pretty much spent for the rest of the day.

Teddy and the ever-glamorous Ziva

Lila, Thumper and Tache


Tache and Ted

Lila and Thumper

All of 'em


Thumper in a hurry

Thumper still in a hurry

Tache getting to know, um, someone new.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back from Nationals!

Well Thumper and I went to Waco Texas on October 18 to participate in the Australian Shepherd Club of America National Specialty and had a great time.   Entered in 9-12 month puppy class all week Thumper took first place in his class in all 3 'pre-shows'  (Hill Country ASC, All-Around ASC, and ASC of Washington shows) in increasingly large classes. In the National show Thumper also won his class in 9-12 month puppy sweeps, winning a bit of cash and another blue ribbon. In regular class competition in the National Thumper placed 4th in a large class. He showed well all weak but definitely became weary after so many times in the ring on consecutive days along with being confined far more than at home. He did get some good playtime with his traveling companions and even celebrated his birthday and the completion of his week of showing by buying me ice cream with his winnings. (He turned a year old this last week). Overall he traveled like a pro and made many new acquaintances. I will post some win photos for his shows when they are sent to me in a few weeks. Meanwhile here he is runinng and playing with his travel mates at a play stop en route to Texas.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Family avisitin' and other stuff.

Had a visit from Gracie the other day, the golden girl from the first litter. Much play ensued, though their mother could have been more lenient. (That is, I believe, why they are called bitches). But Gracie got some much-enjoyed exercise with brother Uno and half-siblings Ziva and Thumper.

Also in other news....Lila has moved back to Maryland!  We decided she was not going to be a star in the conformation ring and so the decision was made to place her in a home not looking for a show/breeding prospect. It happened that Teddy's home had room for a little sister and so she is now living with her half-brother just down the road from me, interacting safely with Mary's free-range chickens, and having a grand time.

And last but hardly least, Painter (Inkwell's Paintbrush of Milwin), belonging to Bev McWhirter, won more points towards his AKC championship last weekend in Pennsylvania, going BOB/Group 3 one day and Winner's Dog/Best Opp the other, all under the expert hand of Amanda Giles. Congratulations to Bev and Amanda! Hope to be able to post a Group placing photo soon!  Until then here he is from a recent portrait session.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New family portrait...

Smaller than the last one, and not because I am not in it. The household is down to 4 dogs with Emma gone. Not any quieter, but definitely different. Miss you Mems.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rest in Peace my sweet Ems

I had to let my Emma go last week, as every day she was becoming less and less comfortable with her arthritis and other age-related creakiness; unable to lie down and get comfortable, unsteady on her feet, and without appetite for even the best treats. She was 15 years, 4 months, and hopefully she is playing with her brother Bobby, her housemate Ziggy, and all others that went before. I miss her, the house is much emptier, but there was no question that it was time to do her a last kindness. This is one of her last pictures, taken a week or so before her death. She looks in the prime of life here. What a good girl.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family Portrait!

In conjunction with a little feature being done about my artwork for the Bay Weekly, a regional newspaper distributed free to businesses around the Delaware/Maryland/Virgina region, I was asked to provide a photo of me with my dogs. Ha! Well, mission accomplished this morning with the help of a good photographer and friend. So here we are!  L-R:  Emma (15 yo), me (age undetermined), Ribbon (6 yo), Thumper (9 months old), Ziva (9 months old), and lying down is Flash (9 yo). Thumper and Ziva are out of Ribbon's litter of late last year.  I should add that the feature is part of the Weekly's 'pet issue'. No idea how the writer found me, must ask her next time we speak!).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

9 months

Puppies are growing up. Got nice new photos from Virginia Beach of Tache running the beach with his buds, and Thumper spent the weekend at the Brandywine ASC shows in PA (at one of the most beautiful homes of any I have seen).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

First Win!

Thumper spent last weekend with me in Weyer's Cave Virginia at the Blue Ridge Australian Shepherd Club's set of summer shows, the Summer Sizzler. It was as advertised, a blast furnace there as everywhere in the Mid-Atlantic region. Fortunately the show site has a wonderful A/C unit and the manager allows the club a lot of privileges in using the building for our 3 days. Had a good turn out and saw Majors in bitches and dogs for all shows. I am happy to report that Thumper was Winner Dog for a 4-point Major on Saturday afternoon on his last day of eligibility for the 6-9 month puppy class. What a GOOD puppy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy belated Birthday Ms. Ems!

Somehow I forgot to mark the milestone here of Year 15 for my old girl Emma aka ELF Ms. Emma Peel aka The Magnificent Hound aka Queen Emteepha. Emma turned 15 on June 16 and while she is increasingly deaf, vision is failing and her arthritis challenges her ability to get up, she is still engaged and gregarious, and still has her appetite (most days, at least). Happy birthday my little sweetheart!!

Points happen!

Congratulations to Bev McWhirter on her recent wins with Ribbon son 'Painter'  aka Inkwell Paintbrush of Milwin. Over a year ago he got his first points with Bev but has been concentrating on performance training since that time. Well his first weekend back out since that time he went WD on Saturday and WD/BOW for a major on Sunday in North Carolina, beautifully presented by Amanda Butts. Half way there Bev, way to go!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back from camp!

Well we and the dogs had a splendid time at Camp again this year; cool weather made it comfortable though the second half of the week was rainy or threatening to rain much of the time, but certainly manageable and the fact that a blanket was appreciated at night was a welcome one indeed.

I mostly concentrated on various aspects of Obedience training with Ribbon and Thumper. Thumper learned a lot about dealing with distraction and temptation and also revealed to me  the areas I neglected to work on as a younger puppy, such as the insecurity he demonstrated when a dog and stranger would first appear on the walkways. Worked on that with copious tasty treats and a clicker, and by choosing not to walk him with Ribbon since they would back one another up in an annoying show of defensive barking when together. (On her own with me Ribbon basically ignored the same things). Got to go in with sheep though I must say Thumper was not a ball of fire with them, following them around at a lazy walk... Worked on Really Reliable Recall with Thumper as well, and he started some real target training and shaping. He is starting to do well with the dumb bell retrieve and was video'd by Bonnie demonstrating  a portion of the dumbbell retrieve  to be included (possibly) in an instructional video by Bonnie and Leslie Nelson (Tails U Win! training center) . My little star.He also mastered 'chin', a very amusing (in a n understated way, for sure!) 'trick' whereby he would purposefully place his muzzle onto my cupped hand and leave it there in anticipation of a click-treat.  Just funny how a dog doing 'chin' just suddenly goes very still in your palm while waiting the release, reward, or both.

Here is a picture of Teddy doing 'chin' in the dorm room.

Ribbon started some scent discrimination and continued target and shaping as well as specific Obedience exercises.

The other Ribbon sons had a good time as well with their people. Teddy learned a lot of shaped and targeting behaviors so he was quite well-versed in great tricks. He and the other boys all tried herding some sheep and he did well; also showed great interest in agility, as shown here.

Banner was a whirlwind of activity with his dad Nick, who sampled almost every single activity camp offers including, but not limited to: agility, frisbee, flyball, herding, obedience, Really Reliable Recall, Obedience, trieball, and I am sure I left something out! Here he is sitting with agility instructor Jenn, who took him in for tunnel games the last day.

Tache had a good week as well doing sheep (in a BIG way: still waters run deep I guess, since he seems the most low-key of the puppies but was insane in the sheep pen, absolutely predatory! (No injuries to hoofed stock were reported). He worked on Recall, some target and shaping, agility, and a variety of other activities.

We'd have liked to let everyone off lead together for some rough play but there is a limited amount of real good off-lead space at camp (250+ dogs on a small campus) and the boys showed signs of fast escalation of excitement that didn't bode well for safe play so in the end, a couple at a time would get some time together in an isolated corner of the campus. But all got plenty of exercise and oddly, none really showed much interest in playing with their mother after the first couple of attempts. (She is the epitome of 'bitchy' with all of them, it happens).

Anyway that was our camp, good friends and good dogs and great teachers and excellent food. Will return next year for more!