Monthly Archives: June 2010

My Niece

Today’s entry is not diet-related at all. It’s a post of memories.

Today my niece graduates from kindergarten. Now, when I went through school (and it wasn’t that long ago!) we didn’t graduate from kindergarten. We had a Grade 8 graduation, because after that we were in high school, and then we had a Grade 12 graduation. Kids these days have all kinds of graduation ceremonies to celebrate their passage into the next stage of their education.

I really, honestly can’t believe my niece is even old enough to be graduating from kindergarten! I still remember when her mom was pregnant with her, and seeing that first ultrasound picture. I remember having no real idea of what I was looking at, but feeling something swell up inside of me nonetheless. I remember the day she was born – holding this brand new life, that somehow already looked like her grandma, my mom. I remember the first time I babysat her, and being totally freaked out about looking after such a young child. I remember the time I was looking after her and she rolled off the couch – I almost had a heart attach right then and there.

So many memories, it’s amazing that my heart and mind can hold them all. She used to love the word “soup!” – it would always make her smile. She has loved dogs since before she could talk, and they have loved her back equally as much. Her Poppa (my dad) is the light of her life. She thinks and feels everything passionately – there’s no holding back for her. She’s smart, funny and she loves to sing. She lacks pretension or falseness, because it just isn’t a part of her life.

I guess that this post is about time passing more quickly than I’d like. But mostly I’m writing it to dedicate some time thinking about and loving my niece. I wish I could be there for her graduation today, but I have to work. Today will be her day to be the center of my thoughts, though

Dog Show Weekend Report

This is a dog show weekend report, in layman’s terms (hopefully). The weekend consisted of four all-breed dog shows (Friday through Monday) and two Specialties. A Specialty is a limited breed dog show – usually limited to a single breed. In our case, we had the American Cocker Spaniel Club of Canada National specialty (the premiere show for our breed in Canada for 2010) and the Midwest Cocker Spaniel Club specialty.

I had hired a handler to show Jack for me, so that I could concentrate on showing Grace in obedience and rally obedience. My handler ended up not showing Jack in the end (it was a mutual agreement), so on Friday I showed him in conformation (beauty pageant) and showed Grace in two Rally trials. I was running around like crazy! In between the trips into the ring, I had to groom Jack and get other stuff done too.

Saturday I showed Grace in Rally and obedience, then showed Jack in the Specialty show. Jackie showed him in the regular show, and I helped show some other dogs. Saturday night I was totally wiped. Saturday was the National specialty, which took most of the day. My 5 year old niece came and showed my old dog Farley in Junior Handling (a special class for kids, non-competitive). Everybody enjoyed that – they made a very cute team.

Sunday I groomed Jack and showed him in the Specialty. I showed Grace in two obedience trials, but skipped the regular show. I was just too tired.

Monday I skipped the show altogether and drove home. Smartest move I ever made, since it rained at the dog show, and I got home a day early.

Jack Jack won his class every time he was shown, but got no points. Those darned teeth aren’t helping things at all L He showed well and had fun, even though he wasn’t feeling well. I noticed that his mouth smelled bad, but never thought to check it. Turns out his lower lip folds are infected (especially on one side). I feel so bad for not noticing sooner, poor guy. I went to wipe his mouth on Tuesday night and he cried. I’ve been cleaning it and it seems to be improving a bit, but I’m taking him to the vet today in case he needs antibiotics. Poor little dude.

Grace was a superstar. She passed two out of three rally trials. She would have passed the third one (and earned a new title), but her stupid handler (me!) missed a station, so we failed. In obedience, she passed all three trials with awesome scores (equal to around 90% if you look at it that way) and won two High in Trials. That means that out of all of the Cockers that competed, she had the best scores. I was so proud of her – you have NO idea! I never expected that we’d have such an awesome result. She got some really large ribbons and some lovely prizes, so that was nice.

Overall it was a good weekend, but very exhausting. Lots of grooming and tons of prep work for the cookies and goody bags for each exhibitor and stuff. I am still pretty tired, but a few more nights of good sleep will help with that.