Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26th 22 Years Ago

I married this guy who became just as much a backwoods hillbilly as me. See what I did to him? LOL!

Gonna miss him for the next few days as he visits his parents, but I'm sure all the dogs will help keep me company. It will also give me the chance to work on a couple of things I've been anxious to get started on. Hopefully the weather will cooperate. First up is the outdoor training area, and second up is my deer blind. I'm itching for some venison sausage this year, and I'm sure the dogs will appreciate some bones, hooves and organ stew.

The weather is getting cooler, and I'm hoping it will be cool enough to hook up the team this evening. If not, hopefully I can get in a quick run in the morning before Jim hits the road.

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23rd Quick Update

Ok this has to be my all-time favorite Demon pic. Gotta luv it!

Been terribly busy without much time for updating the Blog. Work has me a bit snowed under for the next couple of months. Too bad it isn't real snow.

Still preparing for the Show Sept 2-6 in Lexington, and spent Saturday searching for suitable attire. Saturday evening I grilled out with Princess who I mistakenly put the loop of her lead over the gear shift on the lawn mower. She pulled it out of gear, and it went for a short trip into the side of the shed.

Fortunately the incline was not steep and the mower was only about five feet away from it. But I learned a valuable lesson out of the deal. Never under-estimate the pulling power of a husky, even just a puppy. So I pulled the mower back about three feet, set the parking brake and found something else to keep Princess from straying too far away. The weather was in the mid 80's, but there was a nice mountain breeze blowing that kept me from melting too much.

Sunday we re-arranged and cleaned out the living room where the boys have been spending a lot of time while in the house. We still have Samantha and Freya in standing heat, Xena has seen the end of her heat, but we are still cautious because this is what happened last time with Freya she was out of heat, still got it from Yukon, and she went right back into heat and was pregnant... So no boys with Xena until a week after all girls are over it. Speaking of which, Ace and Princess have yet to go in to heat. Lordy another month of this...

Moon has completely recovered from her surgery, and I even caught her on tape playing in the yard with Princess. Yup, she even left the porch and was running along the back fence, and I have the proof.

Princess and I practiced her stance yesterday and I taught her how to catch a thrown treat. She did great. It will be fun teaching her more tricks once she's done showing. She catches on so fast. I love that little girl.

G'kar is escorted everywhere by the two girls, Freya and Samantha who both vie for his attentions even though he's fixed. Bless the old man for trying to keep up with them, but I think he's gonna hurt himself. Going on fifteen years and feeling his age. I give him a glucosamine biscuit and a doggy asprin every day which helps, as he's much less cranky afterwards. I still worry about him, and know his time is running short. I keep hoping his digestion deals well with the aspirin because I know it is rough on old dogs. So far he's been doing ok with it, and it really helps him with his arthritis. He does have cataracts though, and I'm always careful to call his name before petting him so he knows it's me. He's not an ornery dog ordinarily, but he doesn't like being harassed by puppies, and it puts him at ease to know it is a person touching him. I know a hard decision is ahead of us, but as long as he still likes to run and play fetch I believe his quality of life is still ok. The day he no longer begs to play with his squeaky ball is the day I will dread.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11th The Show and Other Stuff

This is Princess sporting her new scarf.

That night, I removed her scarf to avoid any hazard, and left it on the end table. I thought maybe I'd throw it out, but didn't. Wednesday morning Princess saw the scarf on the end table by the couch, jumped up beside it and whined at Jim until he put it on. She is apparently rather fond of it.

So last Friday I loaded up Princess, a grooming table, a suitcase that was more full of dogfood than anything else (silly me), the dog backpack, my suit (skirts normally aren't my thing, but with the heatwave I'm having second thoughts), three different leashes, a dog seat belt and lots of coffee and headed down the road towards Marion Illinois.

We checked in to the hotel and swung through the McD's drivethrough for some chicken nuggets which Princess gladly helped me eat. Of course after chicken nuggets who wants dog food?...

Anyway, once we finished eating, I drove us over to the site to check it out. It was a very nice indoor arena, and I was happy that it was air conditioned. The Crab Orchard Kennel Club folks were busy setting up, and it looked to be an exciting time. The inside of the building was huge and was sectioned off into four rings with plenty of room for crating and grooming opposite each ring around the outside of the walkways. Each of the four rings had a rubber mat around the outside and rubber corners so the dogs won't slip while being trotted around. They also had a rubber diagonal mat for whichever pattern the judge had you take.

I chatted a bit with the lady that was setting up the auction table, then made my way back to the hotel. Princess finally peed, but hadn't pooped all day, and I worried about her. We watched a bit of TV (I always am amazed and amused at how Princess actually watches the TV with me) then went to sleep.

Early morning Princess woke me to go outside, and we walked around for a good thirty minutes before she finally peed, but again no poo. I met one of the other Siberian exhibitor and their beautiful carmel colored boy. Immediately it was obvious to me that this dog was a show dog and not bred to race like Princess. Which depending on the judge's opinion of what a Siberian should look like we would be put on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. Princess is obviously built for speed and running, and she does so much of it, no matter how much I feed her, she always seems to be at optimal weight for her build. This boy was stocky with shorter legs and only slightly overweight, but enough to notice. Princess is short coated and he was long coated. He was a happy boy though, very cute and personable, and I thought his exhibitors were great people. It was a pleasure to meet them both.

I showered, dressed, packed the kennel back up and headed over to the hall to set up. With her short coat, Princess really doesn't require a whole lot of grooming with her coat already blown, so I opted not to set up the grooming table, and placed her kennel so that I could easily get her out and around to the ring we were to be in. I chatted with Judy (the other Siberian owner/exhibitor who just happened to have a booth across from where I put Princess' kennel) for some time. She had some lovely dogs, all of them quite friendly and happy. Princess settled in her kennel remarkably well and I left her alone for short periods which she seemed fine with, thank goodness. Usually she fusses when I leave her alone someplace other than home (she fussed at the hotel in the kennel while I unloaded the truck for instance).

(more to come)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4th Princess Goes to the Groomer

Jim took Princess to the groomer yesterday, and she did really well while being washed. She did not, however, like the dryer. She howled and screamed the whole time. There's a reason we call her Princess Squeaker...

Once she was put back on the table though, she was a perfect little Princess. When the groomer was done, she put a brightly colored scarf around her neck, and I guess Princess really took a liking to the scarf. When Jim got her home, she took great exception to any of the other puppies sniffing or nipping her scarf! When I came home, she paraded her scarf in front of me, fighting off any of the other dogs who came for my attention before I acknowledged her prettiness. For her, I guess, it was her badge of honor, and she thought that she deserved the high reward of a colorful scarf having braved the howling terror of the dryer box (cold air dryer) and endured the grinding torture of sanding her nails.

I told her she was a very pretty girl and doted over her for a few minutes which seemed to satisfy her, and she pranced around the room. She is such a silly, wonderful little girl.

She was worn out by the time I took her to class, so I guess her ordeal did help out in that respect. She did marvelously well, and was complimented on her performance. The only thing I need to work on with her is having her keep her feet still after being stacked, and she will be perfect. It's quite obvious she enjoys the attention she gets at show classes, and she loves doing things with me especially if it involves hot dog slices.

So I got home sometime around 9, having found a short cut back, but it always takes me a bit to unwind for the day, plus I was still hungry from rushing home, and rushing to class (barely made it on time). Needless to say it was just after 11 when I got to bed.

At 3am, Bandit decided he needed to see his kissing cousin Xena who was at the gate whining to play with him. So he starts to whine frantically and jump at the gate. Now, Bandit is 70 pounds of boisterous puppy monster, and it doesn't take him long to destroy a galvanized steel fence. He also has a loud voice which he uses to great affect. So he starts howling as well as jumping. This got all the dogs howling, and me out of bed with 4 hours of sleep.

Groggily I stumbled to the gate, knowing I wasn't going to be able to hold back the boys long enough to get Xena safely tucked in James' room. Hoping I could get to her before she ran outside with the rest of the dogs I opened the now dented gate. The stampede nearly was the end of me, but I managed to live through it, snatch a dodging greased puppy (good thing she had a collar on), and escort her past the gate that was just vacated by the mob. Poor Xena doesn't understand why she has to be segregated, but she was followed in by Buck (neuter) and Ace (female), so at least she wasn't alone.

Now I need to explain that Freya wants to have a person go outside with her. She's still scared of the invisible fence monster, so she comes howling up to me in her cute incredibly bass voice low howl. "wooooo." and in case I didn't hear it the first time. "wooooooooooo."

Dressed in only a robe, and very sleepy I stumble to the back door as Jim comes out of his room with his little howler Moon Dancer. She too is howling to go out. "Aroowooowooraroo." Which sounds remarkably like "I want out too" to my tired brain. And of course Demon "Rairoovroo. awwooowooowrowrowroo." which sounds something like "I love you but you better let me out before I pee on you." And Yukon's little "Oh! Oh! Awoh oh oh!" Is something like "Ha ha, me too, hahaha." Getting through the small space left between the dog door and the full opening of the sliding glass door with a robe on and wits befudled by sleeplessness left me with one small bruise on my forehead and scrabbling to keep my robe on.

Which ever dog keeps pooping on the porch in the dark is now on my "Coal for Christmas" list.

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2nd Let the Chaos Begin!

Friday night was starting out ok, but then James came to me with a worried look on his face. "Xena has some yellow stuff coming out of her, is she going in to heat?"

"Yellow and not red?" He nodded in confirmation, and I started to worry that she had bypassed bleeding heat and went in to estrus.

Since she had been loose all day with the boys, all sorts of bad things were going through my head. So I checked her, and sure enough, there was a clear-ish yellow fluid, but only a very tiny spec. It wasn't clear if it was from her vulva or eurethra, so I thought it would be a good idea to take her to the walk-in clinic on Saturday just to be sure she hadn't developed a bladder infection. Those thoughts became unnecessary a few hours later though when she started bleeding. Odd way to start a heat cycle, and over a month and a half early. Freya had a false heat prior to her real heat, so perhaps that is what she is doing, however, we aren't taking any chances.

So the chaos and rotations have begun. I put up the 4' fence barrier between the living room and den, and the Kitchen and living room that cordones off my room and the living room from the rest of the house. This is where Yukon and Bandit will be spending the majority of the time while in the house and Xena is in heat. When Jim takes James to college, the boys will go in my room, the girls and neuters outside except Samantha and G'kar who will remain in the house.

This should prevent any unwanted breedings, and keep Samantha and Freya separate since the pheramones appear to be affecting their demeanor towards one another again.

They had a slight argument Friday night which Jim was able to put a quick end to. Nothing serious again, but it woke me out of a dead sleep. I rolled over to try to get out of bed faster, ended up losing my balance, and flinging my right arm out. I grabbed my robe and ran into the kitchen. By the time I got there, my right thumb was starting to ache abominably, and I realized somehow I had sprained it. It is still black and blue and swollen this morning. :(

Saturday was a revolving carusel of shuffling the boys outside while the girls were confined inside, and vice versa. Jim and I went shopping, spent way too much money, but we got a lot of things that were needed.

Sunday was much of the same. I did get some gardening done in the morning. Bandit was already getting a bit tired of being kept away from the girls, ah well, at least he is quiet with me in the room with him. Guess that means the family will be split up a bit during the heat cycle, but at least this time they all have a stake in it and it is much more a cooperative effort.