Monthly Archives: June 2009

Happy Birthday!

Today I want to send out happy birthday wishes to a good friend of mine. I won’t name her, but if she reads this, she’ll know who she is. She’s a quiet, unassuming person with a heart of gold. Although she doesn’t show her dogs (she has two Cockers), she’s always supportive of the local clubs, and is willing to lend a hand or donate something for an auction. She’ll carry your stuff, hold your dogs and even film you while you’re in the ring.

She’s a GREAT mom, a wonderful dog mom, and a superb friend. I hope she has a most excellent birthday today, and that her husband and daughter spoil her rotten!

Agility Fun Match

So, most of you probably don’t know that I live in the middle of nowhere, in Northern Alberta. There are never dog shows, fun matches, trials or anything like that here. Everything is at least 5 hours away, if not further. Fortunately, the lady that I was working for when I taught Rally classes took it upon herself to organize a NADAC fun match today. There was one Standard run, one Touch’n’Go and two Tunnelers runs. I didn’t know about the match soon enough to make all four runs (another appointment), so I only got to do the Tunnelers runs with Grace. She’s been training in agility since the fall, and in the last 8 weeks has only attended two classes (I’ve been away so much for work).

The first tunnelers run was . . . interesting. She started out well, but kept refusing to enter the dark tunnel . . . so I skipped it and continued with the course. It was in a horse barn with loosely packed dirt, and I lost my footing (and was WAY out of breath), so I took a tumble. I did a lovely somersault and hurt absolutely nothing, but got all kinds of applause LOL We finished the course smiling and laughing. It really wasn’t bad for her first agility run EVER.

The second run was better (but tougher). I had to do a front cross, and it went really well. Grace wasn’t super fast, but she was accurate, and we ended up being the second fastest small dog for that run! She even got a prize 😀 Overall I’d say it was pretty successful, and it got me pumped for future agility trials!

The End of an Era

This is going to be repetitive for those of you that read a lot of online blogs, but wow! Michael Jackson has passed away . . . an icon of the 80’s and 90’s, and of pop music in general. I still feel blown away that he has died so young, and right before his planned series of retirement concerts.

Running through my head are several top hits – Thriller being the most predominant one at this point in time. His face will always be irrevocably linked to a single white glove, moonwalking and the pelvic grab, with the high pitched “oh!” It seems surreal that his life just ended, so suddenly.

Everybody, go and hug your loved ones and tell them you love them. This just goes to show that you never know what’s coming, or when the ride we call life will be over.

Lesson Learned

I learned a very important lesson the other night. I want to pass it along so that others don’t suffer like I did.

When training your dog for agility (weave poles in this case), put the other dogs in the house. This could save your life. Or at least the knees of your pants (or capris). I was running Grace through the weave poles the other night, cheering her on because she was nailing them over and over again (not quite straight, but oh so close now!). I guess Jack Jack wanted to get in on the action, because he ran right in front of me. I was full steam ahead, and didn’t see the blonde blur under my feet. Thank goodness the grass is soft, because I did an elbow and knee plant . . . and I’m pretty sure I flew through the air first.

After calling the dog some choice names (I’m sure the neighbors enjoyed that), I rolled onto my back and looked at the sky, simultaneously testing my various body parts to ensure they were attached and functioning as intended. Then I got up, called Jack, apologized for calling him nasty, insulting names, and quit for the night.

Lesson learned. Train one dog and one dog only!

The Jewelry Box

I don’t know about you guys, but when I was little, one of my favourite things to do was to sit with my mom and go through her jewelry box. She always had the best stories about the things in there, and hours would pass by as we took a stroll down memory lane. As I got older, it was something that we did less and less often, usually because either she or I (or both of us) were busy. I didn’t really think about it that much . . . because as you know, when you get older, life changes from being about dreams and fantasies and memories and becomes more about reality and the facts of life (no, not just those facts people – get your minds out of the gutter!).

Anyhow, my mom just got back from visiting her best friend and was telling me about how her best friend’s dad was divvying up her mom’s jewelry (her mom passed away earlier this year). It got my mom and I talking about what to do with various pieces of her jewelry when the time comes for items to be given out. That conversation evolved into a visit to the jewelry box (well, drawers now, as she has many mementos collected). It was very cool to be going through her precious items, just like we’ve done so many times before. It made me feel like a young kid again, and I enjoyed hearing the stories attached to the various items, even though I’ve heard those stories before. They’re the kinds of stories you can never hear enough times.

I’m so thankful to have this wonderful relationship with my mom, where we can sit and fall into old habits and memories and have it feel completely natural. I just wanted to share my appreciation for something that doesn’t get done often enough . . . quality time with the most important person in my life.

Movie Reviews

Movie #1 I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry

A light-hearted movie (as most Adam Sandler movies are), it actually has some good messages embedded in the physical gags and stinging one-liners. I really enjoyed the movie, from the “still in the closet” son to the sexy lawyer’s uber-gay brother. If you’re looking for a movie filled with laughs but a few good moments too, I recommend it. I can’t say the ending will surprise you, though.

Movie #2 He’s Just Not That Into You

Guys, run far, far in the other direction! This movie is NOT for you. It is a chick flick in the truest sense of the word. But, as far as cheesy chick flicks go, it’s not a bad one. The girls get the right guys in the end, the jerks get theirs, and it ends in a feel-good manner. No surprises, again, but good for a night with friends, in fuzzy socks, flannel pajamas and wearing face masks.

Movie #3 Gran Torino

Okay, I had totally prepared myself to not like this movie. I may be the only human on earth that isn’t a huge Clint Eastwood fan, but that’s just how it is. Yes, Clint plays another crusty, old guy that practically screams “Make my day” without actually saying those words. But in this movie we see a hint of the softer side, disguised with sarcasm, growling and grunts. The movie sends a good message, and despite some less-than-stellar acting in the supporting roles, it’s a quality film. And unlike the other movies reviewed, I think the ending will surprise you.

The good part about traveling lots is getting caught up on movies!

Wordless Wednesday – Dog Show Candids

Fun in the Sun

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

I bought the dogs a toy called a “Hurl A Squirrel” which is a fabric and rope frisbee . . . I hadn’t had a chance to play with them with it, because I’ve been away so much. When I took them outside with the toy, I realized one small problem . . . Farley doesn’t share. Every time he gets the frisbee, he takes off with it, to chew it up.

Bit the dogs appeared to have fun anyhow . . . enjoy!

Things To Remember

Have there ever been little quirks about people that you thought you’d remember forever? A particular saying or habit or whatever? I got to thinking about my nieces and nephew, and how quickly they’re growing up, and how easy it would be to forget the little things that were unique to them as smaller kids.

My first niece . . . the first niece or nephew is special. It’s really the first time you feel that kind of love that can only be between your sibling’s child (or children) and you. You get to spoil them excessively and be the fun one. When she was really small, she’d say “hippohommas” instead of hippopotamus. It was too funny! And one night she told everybody we were having roast beast for supper, instead of roast beef. She used to be very quiet and shy, but as she grows up she’s coming out of her shell, and we’re having lots of fun together. She really loves helping me with the dogs, and even picked up the dog poop in the yard last time I was away – without anybody asking her! She’s extremely smart, and math is her favourite subject. How cool is that?

My second niece . . . the first biological niece. Her family came to live with us for a few months just after she was born, so she’s the first baby that I spent any real amount of time with. Her first word was “soup!” and she would grin and laugh like crazy when we said it. She has always said that Farley was her bestest friend, but she does love all of the dogs, and they adore her too. She loves gummies of any kind, and will eat almost anything at least once. She is very closely bonded with my dad (her poppa), but she loves everybody, and always wants to talk on the phone with us. She was a super good baby. Her terrible twos weren’t a lot of fun, but she’s a great kid now.

My third niece . . . . actually the oldest of the group, but she came third. She’s a really neat young lady that is in between being grown up and a kid still. She tries to be cool, but sometimes I catch her playing with lego or watching cartoons and thoroughly enjoying herself. Her love is horses, although she likes dogs and cats and other animals too. We get along well because I treat her like an adult, and I think she appreciates that.

My nephew . . . the only boy (other than my brother), he has his fair share of issues. Legally blind and deaf in one ear, as well as a host of other issues, he’s had to fight to survive. He’s a pretty hearty kid, though, and is catching up quickly. He’s walking now, which we weren’t really sure would ever happen. If you say “Should ‘a had a V8”, he will smack himself in the forehead, just like the commercial. It’s too funny.

My fourth niece . . . the youngest of the crew, she is one of us through and through. Give her some food (or a bottle) and she’s happy. She is a very good baby – she almost never cried the whole time we had her over Christmas. She loves to snuggle and hug, and she has a beautiful smile. She’s always hungry (just like us!) so she often tries to steal her brother’s cookies, so he’s constantly defending himself from her. But it’s okay, because he used to steal her bottle when she was too little to do anything about it.

The kids grow up so fast that I feel like I’m forgetting as much as I’m seeing every day. I don’t know what compelled me to write about them, but I think it’s about preserving memories, so I don’t forget who they were, even as I continually re-learn who they are.

Wordless Wednesday – Birthday Flowers