Friday, November 26, 2010

A nice, albeit early, start

Nope. I don't do Black Friday. It was not sales that got me up at 4am. It was not pre-Christmas excitement or decorating. It was the normal type day. I wanted badly to sleep, as I had consumed enough turkey to have me in a Tryptophan haze for days. (It was good, what can I say?) It was a sound rarely heard from this particular source...Miss Kate.

Kate is a happy dog, in general, but very obsessive. When she plays, she plays hard. Usually it is with balls. She FRAPS, but that is generally short lived and is followed by her thoroughly cleaning the other two dogs; every inch of them. She sometimes will start to lick me, but it is weird and very rhythmic, and gets creepy and I stop it. This morning was a rather unique sound from her, especially first thing in the morning.

Kate sleeps on my pillows. She and Nugget trade off on that spot. He was at my feet and she at my head. I reached up and gave her a pat, as I do frequently through the night, to whomever has that spot. She returned my pat with a quick nose touch and then I heard it. A very loud thumping coming from above my head. For most of you dog folks this is no big deal, and likely a bit irritating at 4am. To me it was a shocking sound that was music to my ears. She was wagging her tail against the head board of the bed. It is not that she doesn't wag her tail. But her tail wags are usually very gentle sways as she is walking or running. She smiles a lot, but no tail wags as she lays around. This is huge!! I gave her a pat and quick ruffle of the fur on her neck. The thumping began again and this time with greater intensity. No nudges, no licks, no obsessing. Just plain happy dog tail wags.

I have had this dog for half of her life now...18 months (she is just over 3 years)...OK give or take a couple. She is still a work in progress. People on one of the Corgi forums were comparing the two breeds of Corgis and someone mentioned that the Cardigan Corgi REALLY needs human contact; a lot more than the Pemmie. It is difficult not to try to put human emotions on my dogs, and I do know that they process things differently than a human does, but Kate is just beginning to blossom from all of the work that I have done. She was a crate dog, and had never left the property she was born on. I put her in a car and drove for nine hours. I sleep with her on my bed. I take her to parks and subject her to lots of people of all sizes. The smells are not smells she had ever experienced. I live a block from the salt water and the sand. She has taken it all in stride, no matter how confusing and overwhelming it may have been. She is still not reliably house broken. I have become good at making sure she goes out, but she has yet to ask to go out. Since getting Nugg-pup I have come to find out how truly easy this breed should be. It makes me think about the price I have paid for Kate both monetarily and figuratively. From there, of course, I go to that awful place of wondering how to deal with this long term and the whys and what ifs. She is healthy physically and has wonderful bloodlines. Her heart is bigger than big. It has wound itself around mine and the thought of not having her hurts my heart. Realistically, it is the thought of her still living in a crate that breaks my heart. There is still a lot of baggage to work on, at this point.

Just when I think that it is time to think about Prozac (for her, not me!), I get a nice gentle tail thump on my head board. You have no idea how huge this really is!!!

Thanks, Kate.

I think I will head to bed and a nap before the cleaning begins. If you want to join me, and sleep on my pillow, you are much more than welcome.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey Day eve

this year's version of the previous post
We've warmed to a balmy 25 degrees F. The snow that was predicted for tonight has begun. I remembered that my dear neighbor, who is always gone during the worst weather, has a well pump that notoriously freezes, so I decide it is time to go down and make sure the pump house has a small heater plugged in and turned on inside. On the way I take pictures, as she never believes that it is "that bad." As I round the corner I see smoke coming from her chimney. Fearing that she didn't get to the airport I called from her driveway. I wake her up. Uhhhhhhhhh. It seems she flies out on Monday. Oops. "How's the water pump," says I. "I think it is frozen. No water coming out the tap." I go into the shed and find the space heater and plug it in. Hopefully that will take care of it. After she climbs out of bed we can hit the elbow with a hair dryer if she is still frozen.

With the snow falling again the odds of making it to the farm up north are lessening. I would prefer to hang here with my animals over risking having me stuck somewhere with no one to care for them here at home. My other neighbor has invited me to share food with them if I cannot go out. They are not sure that many will make it to the house. I am beginning to think that we are in one of the hardest hit areas. Power is still out to many in the area.

So here I go, should I not be able to get to the farm:

I am thankful for my family, and for their health.

I am thankful for my friends and the closeness I feel to them.

I am thankful for my four legged family and the true and deep love that I have for them, and for the people involved with them.

I am thankful for a sense of humor in the face of adversity. (In the dog show world it is a MUST!)

I am thankful for the technology that allows me to do whatever I want to do. I am also thankful for the medical research that has kept me in remission and has helped friends carry on with lives that were at one time unbearable. I am grateful for the animals that were sacrificed, and sorry that it was necessary.

I am extremely thankful that I awake each day to see the beauty in my life, instead of the ugliness. (Without a little diversity the beauty might be less appreciated.)

I am thankful that I have reached a point in my life where I don't have to pretend to be something that I am not. It is so much simpler to be a "what you see is what you get" person. And that leads to the last:

I am thankful for who I am, and what I have become. The road has been very tough at times, but without all those bumps and turns I would be a different person. I'm pretty much digging where I am, so accept all those tough times with a smile and a nod.

So, as you break your bread, and stuff your bellies with turkey tomorrow, take a little time out from the craziness and have a funny crazy moment. Then give thanks for what we are all gifted with...each other. I know I will.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday, Monday


I know there is a ball in here somewhere.

Yep, it's in there!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good morning, Sunshine

Low thirties this morning with a breeze. BRRRRRRRRRR. It's a good thing I have sunshine, albeit through a bed hog, to warm me from the inside. (No need to wipe your monitors; that is hair on my comforter! Yep, it's still flying here.)

Snow warnings continue, and I choose to pretend that I don't read them. 50 toenails are trimmed (Henry has thumbs) and Nugget is set for the show. He will get his bath on Friday morning after a final run in the muddy field. I will then sing praises, yet again, for the trailer out front.

I'm off and running to stock the pantry and fill the truck with gas. I am also hoping that my order of grooming supplies comes today.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It just got busier

(this was taken two years ago...)
As if pre-show "stuff" isn't enough, the weather service just informed Kitsap County residents (that would be me) that snow is likely coming in this weekend. I noticed the beauty of the snow capped Olympics while driving to Poulsbo on Saturday. I knew it would come, but not on a show weekend!! So now I have more on the plate as I need to drain the pool down to a reasonable depth. We have had an incredible amount of rain and the water level is almost over the skimmer line. This year the pump is working so I can turn it on to avoid freeze damage...if there is power. Kitsap County is known for those wonderful lovers of trees. (I admit, I am smitten myself.) However, trees and power lines often times clash in my area. Snow laden trees take a heavy toll on the over time work crews for the energy company. I'm sure this year will be no different. Add to it the fact that I drive a small pickup truck. No amount of weight in the back seems to be enough to give me the traction needed to get in and out of my driveway if it snows.

This year I do, however, have a snow shovel. Two years ago when we had substantial snow, I used a regular flat nosed shovel to build trails in the snow for the dogs. My dogs had some issues trying to comfortably relieve themselves. They had a blast bunny hopping around, but then would come in with the task at hand undone. So I had trails leading to clearings for them. I also had trails leading to the horse. I found that as the snow began to melt those places that were not cleared and were packed down became ice skating paths. I decided to get a snow shovel. There were none to be found. I take it back, there were some, but they were being hawked on CL and other places for many times a "normal" price. I continued using my heavy, ice encrusted, steel shovel. As Spring arrived that year, so did a shipment of snow shovels. I remember standing in the aisle holding this thing of beauty. Huge plastic blade. Lightweight. Nice short handle with a hand loop. I was in love, and clutched it to me as if I had found hidden treasure. It has been sitting in the garage ever since. Still shiny and new. If I never have to use it, that would be fine. But it is there, along with its can of Pam. Waiting and watching.

And I sit, and look at the lists. This show is a bit of a handler's nightmare. The rings are set up in a horse arena. Packed dirt. Usually it is raining outside. Wet dogs, especially bellies on the corgis. Wet bellies into dirt. Muddy corgis. Nugget will not get to touch the ground from the point of the truck until he enters the ring. I have instructed him that he will be going potty at home, on the grass, before we leave and that will be it until he is done in the ring. So he had better start going today. (He doesn't believe me.) Grooming wise, it is a bit of a nightmare and a blessing. The lights are also marginal. No need to get too crazy about making sure the whites are overly white and blacks overly black. My goal is to be sure that the judge doesn't end up with mud on his/her hand when examining my dog...

So, I built a wood top for my crate. Put some angle iron on the edges to keep it secure. A bit of spongy shelf liner for grip. Voila. A place to perch the Nugg-man for last minute touch up. $6. I will eventually replace the shelf liner with a rubber mat or indoor outdoor carpet. For now it is fine and I am patting myself on the back. We are set, equipment wise. We have our big wheel, adjustable, "four wheel drive" crate dolly. Nice, big, inflatable tires that won't bury themselves in the arena dirt. Both a one dog, and two dog crates, should I bring along Miss Kate (which isn't happening at this show). And now a crate top grooming "table." Life is good!

Today is "run around" day. Appointments, shopping, picking up the cleaning. All that fun pre-show stuff. Soon the house will smell of liver brownies. MMMMMMMMMMM....gag. I am still getting handfuls of hair off of Nugget. I haven't a clue how he is going to look following his bath. He will be wearing his sleezy to the show on Saturday morning. His new big boy hair is not quite long enough to lay flat on its own. His baby hair is still flying around enough that I find it everywhere. Now Henry is beginning to blow his coat. Oh the joy of Corgis!

So I am off to the shower. I'm sure I will have my audience with me. My protectors.

Shoot...I almost forgot, I need to order a new "foot" for my prosthesis. You see IF you don't feel your feet/shoes getting wet, and don't change the socks, and don't have any heat coming from aforementioned foot to dry the sock/shoe, the plastic/rubber/whatever will deteriorate. Yep, I rotted out my foot. Just the cover that allows me to fit into a shoe. It's pretty important. The inner makings of my leg are coming out the bottom of my foot cover. I guess I am also going to Bremerton today to order a new one. It likely won't be here by Saturday. If I fall on my face, could someone ringside run in and turn me over so I don't inhale too much dirt? Thanks in advance!

No rest for the wicked. Did I say it may snow this weekend?...


Friday, November 12, 2010


That is how much Nugget weighs right now. I was so worried he would be over standard, so can breath much easier now. I have been watching his rations a lot more carefully, and he has probably lost some weight in hair as well. He thinks he is starving, but still piles the green beans on the floor by his dish, so I don't think starvation is truly an issue.

It is in the mid thirties when we go out for our first run in the mornings. I rather like it, and the dogs do as well. This whole "set the clocks back" thing has really got us messed up and I try to put them off until at least 8am since they can get rather noisy out there. Wild running and wilder digging goes on each day. I don't know if the rodent critters have gone to earth and they smell the nests, or what it is. I just know that my bellowing is probably as loud as the two tailed ones' barks; another reason to wait until I know all neighbors are up.

Nugget is on the grooming table at least three times a day now; as I try to remove as much blowing hair as possible. This has been going on since Idaho; I don't know how he can have any hair at all left on his body. With shows next week, I am just hoping what is there is somewhat manageable. He loves being on the table as that means a treat afterward. I love that he no longer runs and hides when I grab the brushes, but one of these days he will clock me in the chin as I lean down to pick him up, and we will both go down for the count.

After meals all three dogs like to chew; most often on an old bone. I decided to treat them to cow hooves this week. I forgot how much I hate them. First I smell them prior to purchase. Some just smell nasty. ALL smell nastier after being chewed on for a while. They smell particularly nasty when they are chewed on my pillow. Worse still is to hit one of them as I hop to the bathroom. I have found something as bad, or perhaps even worse, than a lego stuck to the arch of my foot.

So I will let them enjoy cow hooves for another day and then the hooves will disappear. The games I play with these dogs...

but the Nugg-man is going to be well within the standard. I am a happy camper...


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Just thinking about greatness

CH Coedwig's Carbon Blue ROMG, BISS, BIS (borrowed from his web page

His son, Coedwig's Alchemist; who inherited his fantastic temperament (as well as a few other nice things)

Thanks, Kim. (s)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Yes, Virginia

Corgis shed!!

Lately I have been having a few issues. Anyone who spends more than five minutes with me will see it. Thumb and forefinger plucking. Hair from my tongue. Hair from my shirt. Hair from my food. Black hair. Brown hair. White hair.

The Nugget-man is trying hard to get his big boy coat. It is just taking way too long for my tastes...literally (don't ask for buttered anything at my house). He sees me grab the "Furminator" and his tail goes between his legs and ears go down flat on his neck. He then calmly slinks to the grooming table to await his fate. (Such a good boy!)

We have two shows in two weeks. He has crazy hair. It is about half puppy coat and half big dog coat. At nine months old, that is about right. However, his attitude and composure in the ring has made it easy to decide it is time for him to compete with the big boys. He is ready. Except for this hair thing.

I was going to start prepping the inside of the house for fresh paint. Except for this hair thing.

At some point we will reach the point where this will slow to a light dusting of hair everywhere, right?

Why am I the only one coughing up hairballs?


Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Crazy Dog Lady

is alive and well, or so it seems.

Yesterday morning the phone rings and it is from Puerto Rico. "Can you do me a huge favor?" The voice is from a young lady that is the Cub Scout leader in the area. One of the sweetest people I know. She has two young munchkins under five and a big sweet chocolate lab. She was also 22 weeks pregnant. Key word here: "WAS." On a cruise with her husband she began to hemorrhage and had to be flown to Puerto Rico where they managed to transfuse her with nine pints of blood and save her life. Her little baby, at 1 pound, 1 ounce, is clinging to life. Her concern at that moment? The dog. This dog is bullet proof and happy, as a picture book lab always is. He is old enough to also be quiet and gentle. I do adore this dog. He was at the house, alone. They may be gone for days, weeks, or months. He was used to cleaning up after the toddler, and looking after the family. I headed out to get him, wondering how my three, a giant lab, and I, would all manage in this little house.

When I got to the house there was no question that he needed to be with people. His head was down, and his tail low. He wasn't sure who was coming in his driveway, but one quick look told him it was NOT his family. I rolled the window down before I stopped the truck and spoke his name. He knew my voice and began to wiggle. When I got out he began to do a corgi frap! He ran as fast as he could around the house, gently touching me with his nose on each lap. We could figure something out.

I didn't feel he would be completely happy here. My life is pretty boring for him. I have no kids. After a phone call, I found a family with kids his kids' ages that was more than willing to take him in for however long was needed. Their little girl had been begging for a dog. They were not ready. Enter "the test."

I think the dog likely feels he has died and gone to doggy heaven. There is a pond. There are four children to keep his mind occupied. There are chickens that he must learn to "LEAVE IT.!" As I left he was rolling on the grass with the silliest lab grin on his face.

In a couple of hours I will call and make sure the night went well. I will make a date with the little girl and will go over with a bag of goodies and we will teach the dog to "shake hands."

I will also take her one of my (still in the wrapper) pooper scoopers.

I am honored that this new again Mom thought to call me when she was fretting about her dog.

However, this song keeps running through my head now:

If there's something strange in your neighborhood
Who you gonna call?
If there's something weird and it don't look good
Who you gonna call?

Ghostbusters Ray Parker, Jr.

Yeah, change a few words here and there and it does seem to work, doesn't it? sigh

Good thoughts are streaming to Puerto Rico. I hope it is a long time before we see this young family back in town. I will be calling to fill them in on their beloved dog in a bit.

G2 (aka the crazy dog lady)