Sunday, February 27, 2005

Patio saves us from invasion of spring MUD

This is our second spring with the extended deck and flagstone patio area. It SURE makes a difference in cutting down the mud that will be brought into the house during the spring rains - which start in about 10 days, I think. There are little bulb shoots coming up around the edges of the garden, mostly in the sunny areas. Can't be long now!
Almost March - Alex is almost a year old. (!!! How did that happen?!!!) Here he is, enjoying a bone in the back yard. I am going to have to buy some grass seed in the next week or so for spring planting!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Judges' Standard - humor

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The first impression of a good judge should be that of
a tough-minded but fair, alert and gentle specimen. Muscular fitness and
nimbleness are desirable but not mandatory as soft living seems unavoidable
in the breed.

The judge should be stamped with a look of nobility and justice --difficult
to define, but always unmistakable after the show. The good judge has a
distinct personality marked by a direct and fearless - but not hostile -
expression of self confidence and that certain aloofness which does not
lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships... or at least does
not admit to such friendships until later back at the motel.

Secondary sex characteristics should be strongly marked least, when the
judge hands you a ribbon, you say "Thank you , sir" to a lady or
vice-versa. The question of monorchids or cryptorchids should be left to
your florist.

COAT: In cold climates the judge should be equipped with a double coat.
Underwear may vary with the season. At no time, however, may a judge shed
in the ring.

PROPORTION : The most desirable proportions for a female judge are
38-23-36; however you may settle for a 23-23-23 or, as I have at times
22-35-48.=A0 The shape of a male judge is less important, but great bulk
and commanding appearance is greatly preferred.

PIGMENT: Let's not get into this again. ALL colors are permissible! I have
not personally seen a blue judge, but there is always a first time.

SIZE: The judge should be neither too tall nor too short. As a rule of
thumb, if he must sink to his knees to pat the dog, he is probably too
tall. On the other hand, if he must jump into the air to test testicles, he
is probably too short. Measurements should be taken from the top of the
head, with the hair parted or pushed down so that it will show only the
actual height of the judge's frame or structure.

A judge of desirable sex and proper flesh should average between 70 and 340
lbs, depending primarily upon sex and how fat he or she is.

GAIT: Judges who tend to motivate on all fours should be avoided, as should
those who stagger and fall down a lot. Forward motion should be achieved by
placing one foot in front of the other... hopping is also permitted and, in
fact, often makes for better showmanship.

STANCE: While viewing the dogs, the judge should stand in the center of the
ring, feet spread as at "parade rest", the right hand held firmly in the
left armpit with the left crossing over under the right armpit... the chin
must be tucked solidly into the chest, eyes squinting. Once the judge has
assumed this position, the steward should count the number of times the
class circles. If that count should exceed 20, he might then unobtrusively
poke the judge in the ribs.

Older, more experienced judges have been known to doze off in this position
while younger specimens, particularly members of the party-going set, might
be still so grassed from the pre-show festivities that they have passed out.

MINOR FAULTS: It is preferred if a judge can speak in audible tones, but
his vocabulary may be limited to phrases such as "Loose leads!", "Walk
them!", "One more time around" and the number one to three must be heard.
If this is impossible, a set of flash cards should be provided. Deafness is
no fault in a judge, in fact slightly impaired hearing faculties are a
distinct advantage as the judge cannot hear the rude comments from the
ringside and will be able to literally turn a deaf ear to whispered
propositions, suggestions, etc., from the handlers.

BLINDNESS: - It is an advantage if the judge has full use of both eyes,
however, some of best-known specimens manage to get by without any apparent
eyesight at all and, as this does not seem to hinder their careers in the
least, perhaps sight requirements are due to be revised and excluded from
the standard.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS: Judges who whoop, holler and point, or who laugh
hysterically at an exhibitor entering the ring with a particularly poor
specimen should be disqualified. Likewise, a judge who delays proceedings
while handlers make cheques out to him in the ring is not permitted to
participate further. Any judge who attacks a handler in the ring is warned
three times in writing after which he must be dismissed.

- copied from Belg-L list

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Freestyle Seminar

Follow up on the Canine Freestyle Seminar: We had a great time! Bev Blanchard was wonderful and the folks of Clermont County were world class hosts for this event. We learned how to teach many "steps" to the dogs and even how to pick out music and create costumes. It was a full day and tons of fun.

We are now adding "trick" practice to our daily routine. I am also keeping a freeshare metronome ( on my desktop so I can check songs on the radio for the right beat to match Alex's pace.

How fast is this certain Terv? About 113 beats per minute.

Should you go? If a seminar comes to a town near you - GO!! Take lots of treats and a hungry dog, you will do fine and have a fun teaming with your dog!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Clean out the hair balls

When we got home from the park today, I had COFFEE. Since I don't drink coffee as a rule, this lead me into rarely traveled territory, including under the fridge. Where does all this hair come from????
Just a reminder to those of you watching from home, better check your fridge for hairballs. Mine quit last year, due to hair blocking the air flow. Not this year!!

This is NOT my fault!! Whatever happens, I had nothing to do with it! All my hair is still on my body!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday morning - the guys are TOO happy to go to the park and have a run. It was only us this morning, so not as CHARGED as it is with Gregor and Finn, but we all had a good time. It was 40 or so by the time we went. The ground is a bit wet from snow-melt, but not too bad. The sun was warm and wonderful.
Friday night watching TV - all in a bundle, me in (just exited) the chair... "the boys" all gathered close by.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The snow has melted, but that doesn't mean there won't be more. It was a good time to get all the dogs out while the ground was still cold, so not too muddy. The weekend promises to be in the 50's. Good time to clean up for spring!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

11 months old

Alex is 11 months old today!! Happy Birthday, Big Guy!

To celebrate, we graduated him to spending the afternoon out of the crate while I am at work. Generally, this will be about two hours a day. All was good when I got home today, except someone did sneak down to the basement and pee. Odds are, it wasn't Carlos or Kit. Guess we will shut the basement door during the afternoon now. He hasn't made a "house" mistake in months!
We are looking forward to the seminar below in a couple of weeks - sounds like great fun!

Dance with your Dog Seminar

"Dance with Your Dog" - A seminar with Bev Blanchard. Sunday, February 20, 2005, 8:00am - 4:00pm.
Are You Ready for Freestyle?
Announcing 'Dance With Your Dog' Seminar - A one-day freestyle workshop. Bev Blanchard is coming to CCDTC on Sunday, Feb. 20 to introduce us to the sport of Canine Musical Freestyle. Musical Freestyle is a choreographed musical program performed by handlers and their dogs. This will be a working seminar including learning some cool moves which will make your dog more motivated for other dog sports, learn how to turn what your dog knows now into freestyle, learn choreography, music selection, preparation for a test and strengthening your bond with your dog while having a great time! If you have taken a tricks class, take those behaviors another step and have even more fun with your dog. Quoting Bev Blanchard: You may be thinking, My dog doesn't know enough moves to put a routine together. This is where most people are wrong. I like to think of each move a dog does as a potential freestyle move. It can be obedience exercises (sit, down, stay, come, heel), tricks (sit up, roll over, shake) or basic freestyle moves (spin, weave, back up, bow). Putting together a freestyle routine can seem like a difficult task. With the positive training methods and tips you will receive from Bev, you will have help to put together a routine whether it is for competition or fun. Bev Blanchard currently helps to oversee approximately 400 puppies and their puppy raisers each year at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester, MI.
Accomplishments: Freestyle judge for WCFO, past USDAA agility judge, current trainer at Camp Gone to the Dogs in Vermont yearly and Bev recently became a writer for Dog & Handler magazine. Bev has Sonic, a 4 year old Border Terrier, who has completed more than 11 freestyle titles, making Sonic the highest titled freestyle dog in the country. Open to ALL levels. No prior experience needed. Dogs must be at least 4 months old.

We will post more when we have completed the seminar.