Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spur Pick Up Day...

Today's the day!!!  We picked up Spur from the breeder!
When we first got to the breeder's house, Spur was out, but very shy.  He wouldn't even come investigate us; he just stayed glued to Jeff.
We arrived at 1:00 pm and I knew we'd be there at least 3 hours.  We had a nice visit with Jeff.  We talked about all sorts of things from when he first started showing Aussies, how he met his mentor and kennel partner J. Frank Bayliss, to what kind of scissors we might need for thinning this guy's abundance of coat.
I was disappointed that Spur wasn't more curious about us.  He found all sorts of hiding places and kept his distance.
So, as I told you before, Spur's dad is the litter brother to my friend's dog Bummy.  (He wasn't home; he'd been shipped off to Italy to show for a few weeks.)  Well, Jeff also has Bummy's litter sister, Kitty.  Kitty was in the house; she had a recent litter that wasn't so easy on Jeff.  She needed an emergency C-section and then her milk dried up, so Jeff had to hand feed all the pups to keep them alive.  I was sitting on the floor, trying to get down to Spur's level so he could get comfortable with me when all of a sudden, I had a lap full of Kitty.  She didn't even introduce herself; just completely filled my lap!
Then it was time to meet Spur's siblings.  There were only 4 pups in Spur's litter.  One of each color.  Of course, Spur is a Blue Merle male.  He has a Red Merle sister who is going to Texas; his Black Tri sister is staying with Jeff and his kennel; He also has a Red-Tri brother who is going to Germany.
Jeff placed the pups on the floor and everyone started running around, jumping up to greet us.  By this time, Spur was among his siblings, feeling much more comfortable and he joined in the greetings.  Once all the pups had run around some, Jeff brought in their momma for us to meet.  This is Rapper:

Jeff had said that, since this letter was born, whenever people come to the house, Rapper would bark at them (to tell them to stay away from her litter.)  She didn't bark at us.  She must have felt we were appropriate to be around her litter.  That's good, because we were going to be leaving with one of them!

Everyone got put back up except Spur and we continued to talk.  Spur was finally interested in us!
When it was time to leave, Jeff put a leash on Spur for his first time ever and showed us how he "moves"... He's going to be amazing in the show ring!
Before we got in the car, Doug made a few more moves to get into Spur's space so that he'd be comfortable with Doug...

Hard to believe he's ours!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Waiting...

The waiting for "Allie" to go back into heat seemed to go on forever.  We wondered if there might be something wrong with her.

In the meantime, we attended dog shows and agility trials. We met a lot of "Aussie" people who have become friends of ours. They offer advice and answer our multitude of questions. Most have told us to be very wary of the breeder we've chosen for our pup. "He's a used car salesman." "Nobody can pick a show quality pup at 3 weeks; what is this guy thinking?" "Can you get your deposit back?" Doug was starting to have concerns.

Denali and I attended agility classes with a woman named Jodie and her dog Bumblebee. Bumblebee is a finished AKC Champion Australian Shepherd. We call her Bummy.
For months she told us that if the deal with that other breeder fell through, she'd help us find the perfect show-quality pup.  She called her breeder-friend Jeff and told him about us.

Doug decided that talking to this breeder couldn't hurt anything.  The first phone call lasted about an hour.

Jodie was so excited for us, "You're on the List!" We weren't so sure about the List. Who was on the list? How long is that list? Who's ahead of us on that list? Was there really even a List?

I tried to "Friend" Jeff on Facebook so I could communicate with him (Doug's not on Facebook.) But my Friend-request went unanswered. I could see the items he posted publicly, but I could not comment. We saw that his partner's mom became very ill. We saw that he had a litter born on March 29 (one day after Doug's birthday, and the same day as my brother.) I messaged him through Facebook congratulating him on the litter (wondering if they'd all been spoken for.) Jodie knew he had another litter due about the same time, but he sort of disappeared from Facebook for a couple of months. He wouldn't even return her phone calls. It all seemed odd. We were getting concerned about this breeder Jodie had introduced to us. I messaged him through Facebook again to let him know I was coming to a dog show in the same state where he lived. I was hoping he would be there and we could meet. Still no answer.

Then, on Mother's Day (5/13,) Doug got an email from him. Jeff had a puppy he thought would be perfect for us. A little blue merle male. Were we interested? The dad to this pup is Bummy's litter brother! So Bummy is this boy's Aunt! Doug responded back that he was, indeed, interested in this pup. And then there was silence again... We were so confused and on edge. Were we getting a puppy, or not? We didn't know for sure.

On May 20, I got a text from Jodie. Jeff had posted 7-week photos of the litter on Facebook. These were the pictures he posted on Facebook:
Because he had yet to accept my friend request, I couldn't see the pictures from my phone. I asked Jodie to tag me in them. NOW I could see the photos, and make comments, too! Jodie and Jeff had been commenting about how this was the one Jeff had picked out for Doug! Just LOOK at that face! We are so excited!!!

Gone to Talk to a Guy about a Horse... Part 2.

Did I leave you hanging? Sorry.

Doug decided he wanted another Aussie! Denali has stolen his heart and he's become so astounded by the Aussie breed. He wants one to call his own!

So, last summer we went to go talk to a guy. About a horse. NAH! Just kidding. We went to a local Australian Shepherd breeder to talk about his breeding program. Well, I thought it was just to "talk." Denali is fixed so we cannot breed her. But this guy had a young red-tri female that looked so much like Denali, Doug was caught. The breeder was considering breeding her depending on when she came into "season." We wouldn't want her to come in too early; her 2nd birthday is in early December. Before we left the breeder's place, Doug handed over a deposit check to have first pick from this girl's first litter.

We were pretty excited when we left there. First pick of a litter is pretty awesome!

I was still pretty stunned about the events of the evening; during our "talk" with the breeder Doug mentioned that he'd want to show this dog in Conformation Shows.  Over the course of the next few months, we attended a few Dog Shows and for Christmas, I gave him a whole mess of Puppy and Dog Show books.  The breeder called us around early December to let us know that "Allie" had gone into heat; he called again closer to Christmas to tell us that she had been bred to "Smokey" and to mark our calendars for 63 days.

Two weeks before the puppies were due, the breeder called to give an update: "Allie" had been to the vet and had an ultrasound.  Either it was a very small litter, or she was not pregnant.  The vet wanted to see her back the following week.  That ultrasound confirmed there were no puppies.  Doug was given some options by the breeder and he chose to leave his deposit in place for first pick of "Allie's" first litter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gone to Talk to a Guy about a Horse...

(I originally began the draft for this post on 6/21/2011.  It's the back story to an upcoming post...)

No. Not a real horse. I posted this as my status on Facebook and I had two people ask me if we were getting a horse. Sigh. Haven't y'all heard the saying? "Gonna go talk to a man about a horse." Their next response was, "Well, is the dog going to be as big as a horse?" No!

My Aussie, Denali, is such a joy! She's beautiful, smart, sweet, loving, loyal, trusting, fast, agile, funny; and did I mention Beautiful???

When I got her from Desert Willow Aussies three years ago, Doug had been working out of town. Ian was home for the summer, but was preparing to leave for his first year at college. When it came time for puppy obedience training, I was it. I was the Alpha. Denali and I bonded. She's my girl! Doug's been home, now, laid off from work for over 6 months. She's been spending a lot of time with Daddy. I feel like he's stealing her from me. He claims she camps by the door all day and waits for me with a heavy sigh. I want to believe she's still my girl. I certainly would be lost without her.

Over the three years she's been with us, and we've completed Obedience training and started into Agility training, Doug's been a little jealous of our bond. He's been wanting his own dog. One that camps by the door and waits for him. He's clearly got the time right now to bond with and train a dog.

When he was younger, he raised and showed English Springer Spaniels. When Doug and I first got together, we had a little Lhasa Apso who was much more Alpha than me. When Ian got older, we got him a mutt; mother was supposed to be Golden Retriever and we could only guess the father was a Border Collie or something (though she looked just like a Belgian Shepherd.) After I got Denali, he's been thinking about what kind of dog he wants to get. He's just a little snooty when it comes to dogs; he refuses to have a mutt or rescue. (I don't know why... it's just him.) He loves the Bernese Mountain dogs. We have a neighbor that walks theirs through the neighborhood. A very large, Valentine's day puppy named Walker. Oh, what a big, lovable teddy bear!!! Oh, but what a BIG dog!!! Once Denali and I started Agility, he considered another Aussie or a Border Collie. Each day, his mind would change. One day Border Collie; the next Aussie... Last week he finally made up his mind.

(oops!  I guess I never finished the post... maybe that's why it was still in my drafts folder.  LOL!)

Short and Sweet

Sometimes, when I read other peoples’ blog posts I’m amazed at how short they are. Just a few sentences about whatever CAD/Revit/BIM-related item or cupcake recipe trial. I wonder how they can keep their thoughts so compact.

I seem to ramble. Leading story included. I mean, if you don’t know how I got to where I am, are you really going to be interested in what I have to say today? Maybe if I kept my posts short and more numerous, you could go backward and figure out for yourself how I got here.

There. Short and sweet. Anybody want a cupcake?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Debut is Complete...

Survived our debut Agility weekend! Denali had a blast. She was wild and crazy, as expected. However, she did have moments of greatness. No qualification ribbons for us this weekend. Though, one of the judges told me, "You have an awesome dog! When you two finally get it together, she's gonna blow it out of the water!"

On our very last run of the weekend, there was a photographer from the Anderson Independent. He snapped this shot of us:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Nervous, Anxious Friday...

That's my day today...

After work tonight, I pack up the car and take my dog 3 hours away. She travels well, so that's not what I'm anxious about.

Tomorrow, however, will be our debut Agility trial. We've been training for two years. She's an Australian Shepherd that just had her 4th barkday two weeks ago. She has tons of energy and loves to run. She LOVES agility! So much so, she barks at me the entire time to tell me how much she loves it and to "Hurry up, mom!"

We'll have three runs tomorrow and two on Sunday. All Novice level runs; Standard, FAST and Jumpers with Weaves. I don't expect to win any ribbons tomorrow, but I know my girl will have a blast, pretending that I've taught her nothing and making me look like we've never seen a tunnel, teeter-totter, A-frame or weave pole!

Pray I don't trip over her! Pray she doesn't take a dump in the ring. Pray her ankles stay strong for the two days of competition (we have had a few injuries in the past two years.) Pray my stomach stays strong through all the nerves I'm feeling.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Proud Momma Moment!

Last week my son had a Skype interview with someone at the Duke T.I.P. (geek-camp) ... yesterday he was offered a 3-week summer position as a Teaching Assistant. The position is absolutely PERFECT for him.

A couple years ago, as we were searching for an occupation for him, we took the Life Colors quiz ( He didn't seem to have any particular Life Color that was dominant, but three were nearly equal. Looking over the suggested occupations for those three colors, "Teacher" was listed in all three. He thought quickly about it and said, "Yeah, I think I'd like to do that!" Surprised the heck out of me!!! He's since talked about getting his degree, and his Master's, working in the field for a while and then returning to school to teach what he's learned.

So, I wasn't too surprised when, last summer, he took a local job at the Charter School where he graduated, as a Summer Camp Counselor. His first week, he came home and excitedly announced, "I'm really liking this job. The kids are cute, too!" By the end of the summer, it was a different story, "These kids don't want to be here! Their parents just need babysitting services! I don't know if I'm doing *that* again!" LOL!

But, this job... well, it's really perfect for him. The kids are tested by Duke University. If they pass the test(s) they are "invited" to attend what we call "smart kid camp." (LOL... before my son's interview we commented that most of these kids will probably be smarter than him!) It's not an inexpensive camp and the kids that attend, ~really~ want to attend! The weekend before his Skype interview, he had a class fieldtrip to the Duke Marine Lab (his major is Marine Sciences and Geology.) So, he's been to the site where this particular session will be held. Plus, his experience last summer as a camp counselor! What more could this employer want? Oh, and he's an Eagle Scout to boot!

Here's a run-down of his duties:

I'm so excited for him!!! :-D