Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Update from the Romance Dept

Actually, not too much to report just yet. Ellen has done a couple of AI's between Rocky and Lauren. Won't get too graphic or descriptive, but Lauren is not that receptive and Rocky is not that enamored of her just yet. I e-mailed Ellen the rather sketchy info (I fell down in the record keeping department) I had from her breeding last year and it's probably not just time yet. The new year should bring the results we want!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Does Not Play Well With Others

Our blue merle, Mosby, has not been behaving himself this week-end and poor Twister is bearing the brunt of it. Generally, I can let all the boys play together, just need to be careful when I introduce new toys. That went well on Friday and Saturday I decided to give out an extra round of treats. Perhaps the boys were too crowded by the gate when I gave Twister his cookie, but Mosby went after him and had him on the ground in a flash. Cyclone would not tolerate his brother being bullied and promptly joined in the fray. Tucker wisely ran to the other end of the yard!
I got everyone separated and except for some tufts of fur wafting in the breeze, no injuries. I put Mosby back in his kennel, thinking some time apart would make everyone friends again. This morning, I let all the boys out and once again Mosby went after Twister. No toys or cookies involved this time, so I'm wondering if one of the girls might be coming into season. The puppies are maturing although they don't always act like it or realize it sometimes. I saw Tucker cock his leg for the first time and he seemed as surprised as I was!
Mosby is spending another day in his kennel and seems glad to do so. Twister is such a gentle, loving guy without a mean bone in his body, but he is probably the biggest and strongest of the puppies, he just doesn't know it. He was always the whipping boy of the litter, even little Fiona would bully him around. I think Twister may have unintentionally banged up Mosby during today's melee and Mosby needs to rest his body and his feelings!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Joy

New toys, treats and a long week-end of playing in the yards makes for a perfect Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Lauren is in season! Ellen and I have made breeding plans and I think Lauren will go to Ellen's this week-end. We are going to breed Lauren back to her father, CH Bo-Dandy's Rock Solid, ROM. A litter of puppies should brighten the late winter doldrums!
I had been teaching Lauren a few tricks for a possible library program. We've been working on her walking between my legs, then jumping up against my chest for a kiss on the nose. She likes to jump up, but has been quite stubborn about consistently doing the leg portion of the trick. Looks like we'll have to postpone that part of her training as her belly will hopefully be swelling! We can still work on another trick, sitting and "waving". My friend at work and I had been devising a very elaborate routine to use for storytime programs in February but now we'll have to wait until we get back into our remodeled library in early summer--plenty of time for Lauren to get her figure back and learn all her tricks!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fiona Update

Pat recently sent a picture and update on Fiona:
"She is filling out nicely and looking like a beautiful girl. She is a wonderfully intelligent and spunky girl and she is now able to sleep up in our bedroom at night (with a gate at the stairs). She likes being treated as an adult very much. We recently put up our artificial Christmas tree and we knew that the lure of ornaments would be too much of a temptation for her (but not Duncan), so we decorated only the top half of the tree. It works for us. Duncan, who just turned three, loves her companionship and they play together very well."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Wannabe

Thanksgiving has started with our local tradition, Loudoun Hunt riding along our property! It's always a stirring site, as the riders are in more formal attire, "pink" coats and top hats, quite a few junior riders on ponies and guests following the hunt in cars. A few families had parked at the top of our drive, waiting for the horses to come up the utility line and the kids spent time with the dogs, who are out in their big play yard. For the first time in the 11 years we have lived here, we saw a fox run ahead of the horses and hounds. It had been hiding out in the woods near the kennel, then decided to get ahead of the chase. It bounded across the field and a couple of the hounds soon picked up the scent. The riders had already started up the utility line so they continued up to the road. More foxhounds came into our field, but then saw the collies and ran up to the kennels. The whipper in quickly rounded the hounds up and reminded them of their job at hand. Meanwhile, the fox had run through the woods, dashed across the road and was bounding across the horses' field towards safety in more woods further up the road. There were cries of "Tally Ho!" and off everyone went, save for one shy hound who headed back for home and an old hound who wanted to stay for a play date with the collies. Our dogs were spent from all the excitement and barking at all the unexpected company in their yard. That is, all but one! Twister tried every which way he could to join in the hunt. He was confident he could be a foxhound for the day and was ready to join the pack! We're calling him Foxhound Wannabe!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sadie the Show Girl!

Sadie has been with Ellen the last few weeks, learning how to be a show dog and competing in seven shows. She's often been first in her puppy class, was Reserve Winners Bitch on Nov 14 at the Northeastern Maryland Kennel Club show (yeah!!) and always had fun! She's home now, back with best bud, Mosby and having fun with her siblings.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Congratulations, Grandpa!

This handsome fellow is the grandfather of the puppies, Jordan's father!

see ColliesOnline ad

Sunday, November 9, 2008


He's still waiting to go home!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lauren's Halloween Costume

Lauren the Parade Dog

For many years, the library has participated in the Leesburg Halloween Parade. A few years back, I taught one of our other dogs, Ben, to pull a wagon for the parade. This led to other parades and a special program one month with Outreach Services where he visited several senior sites with his wagon loaded with books. Ben's almost ten now and starting with arthritis in his shoulder and has had to retire from wagon pulling. We decided to train Lauren to take over the parade duties and the video shows her progression. She wasn't enthused at all in the beginning, but once she pulled her wagon in public and got lots of attention, she enjoyed it. Lauren had a blast at the Halloween parade, stopping for every camera and wagging her tail the entire time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuckered Tucker

During Sunday's lunch, all the excitement of first show, special treats and lots of attention hit Tucker all at once and he fell sound asleep! He was oblivious to everything--this was before he got into my beer--but after a short power nap, was revved up once more!


After Sunday's show, we took the pups to Hamburg Doner for an Oktoberfest lunch. The babies had a wonderful time, had special treats to enjoy, a crowd to make over them and even enjoyed the German band. While my back was turned, Tucker got into my beer! I thought he had only knocked it over and drank what spilled on the table. After I finished my stein, not noticing how low the amount was inside, the man across the table said" your dog has the perfect snout for that! He just stuck his nose in there and had a good drink"! By that time, we noticed Tucker's ears were at an odd angle and he was standing sightly cow hocked. We decided to take our little drunk home, hoping he would keep his rich treats down and not get sick in the car. Tucker weaved a bit down the sidewalk but seemed none the worse for the experience.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jewel & Tucker's First Show

Jewel & Tucker made their show debuts at the Middleburg Kennel Club show on Sunday. They were entered for Saturday, too, but the weather was too bad for their first experience. Jewel did great, moved nicely and stood pretty well for the judge to go over her. It was apparent that she had spent some time with Ellen and that my work with Tucker in the back yard was not enough! He had fun though! The judge was understanding that he is just a baby and he behaved better when he was back in the ring for Winners. He was very good on his grooming table, did fairly well for some head trimming and let me dremmel his nails. All in all, we couldn't ask more for a debut but still, he's going to stay home for awhile to mature.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Show Time!

Actually, not quite, but all three puppies have been entered in their first show. We took the trio to Ellen's house last week for her to see them, make show plans and drop off Jewel. She will be in two shows in NJ next week-end, then come home for a bit as she's not as "together" as she looks in pictures. Sadie, however, is very ready--although, of course, still a puppy so we're not expecting group wins, although a point or two would be a nice surprise. Ellen pronounced her "too cute" and said I need to get some pictures up on the blog (will do later this week). Tucker also needs more maturing before going out with Ellen, but since we like to support local shows, he and Jewel will be at the Middleburg shows on Oct 25 & 26 and then we'll see where/if they go from there.
In preparation for her ring debut, Sadie got the "treatment" today. She had a quick stop this morning at the vet, went to the library with me for a staff meeting, then to PetSmart to see new dogs and pick out toys for the gang, stayed in her crate in the car (with her new chew toy) while I did several errands, then finally home, ready to go out in the big play yard for a bit with her buds. I was very pleased with her good reactions to all her new experiences and eagerness to meet people. I think she will have a blast in the show ring!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Jewel at the Library

David and I spent a wonderful week in St Thomas and it's been hard to get back in the groove since we've been home! We've not done much in dog activities in the past week, but Jewel was the special guest for the Rust Library's Dawggone It! program last Thursday. We had about 20 people total for the talk and dog care tips that I did, but most of those attendees just wanted to pet Jewel and I didn't get to do my prepared program!
Since Jewel spent the work day in a crate in my tiny, shared office, she was the surprise visitor for the morning preschool storytime. She loved interacting with the little ones and they loved her! Jewel was the perfect office mate, very quiet but enjoyed the individual attention and extra treats everyone gave her.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

VA Scottish Festival

We went to the Virginia Scottish Festival today as part of the Northern Virginia Collie Club. Despite being an unbearably hot and humid day, Jewel and Sadie represented their breed well. Unfortunately, we did not get to the festival in time to enter the girls in the "terrier wanna-be" races and haven't told Sadie yet that she missed the race--she's been training all week!
The girls enjoyed meeting all the different people, especially the children, but ran out of steam shortly after the Scottish dog parade. I was able to get these pictures as they decided they had had enough! Jewel took a power nap right after I snapped her in front of the lady spinner. The third picture is a Scottish milita being a good sport in letting us pose the girls with him. Poor guy, he's wearing suede boots and leggings. He had his kilt hiked up so high, I thought we would find out what they wear (or don't!) under there!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Handsome Boys

These guys are still looking for a home!



Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ears the Thing

I've become pretty adept at bracing ears using the tape--it's so much quicker! Doing ears is how we end our week-ends as even the tape is not lasting very long on these active guys. Now that our pups are kenneled with adults, we like to have them all play together in the big yards on the week-ends. That's the demise of any ear braces! But, recent games of chase spelled the end of our latest ear efforts! I wonder if anything can survive a hard game of tag??


Looking for Trouble

Getting Into Trouble

Causing Trouble

But Always Happy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Girl

Pat and Rich sent an e-mail letting us know that Torie had settled in nicely, with pictures to prove it! Torie is now Fiona--one of my favorite names for a collie, but one that David never wanted to use. But now, he thinks it's the perfect name for this little girl! Fiona and Duncan became great friends after a small hiccup her first morning in her new home. From the picture, it looks like Duncan's new buddy has worn him out!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Waiting for Home

The smooth boys are waiting for their families to find them to take them home and still puzzling out the changes from the last week. Sadie, Tucker and Jewel are in the kennel with the big dogs and a new routine, their other brother and sister went home last week and it's the just the two of them in the puppy yard. They each have a food bowl now, but still prefer to share bowls together although they will start their meals individually. Their favorite game of annoying old girl Sophie has lost its luster now that there are not so many pups to join in on the fun. I'm off work today and the weather is beautiful so this would be a perfect day to let the boys play in the big yard with their siblings and the adults. Maybe there's even enough time for a romp through their pool!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jewel Houdini

David and I were working in the vegetable garden last night when movement outside the fence caught my eye. It was Jewel, happily dancing across the field, exploring and enjoying new smells. She immediately came to me, ecstatic about her adventure and that we were together. We went back to the kennel, me thinking that a gate must not have been latched tight, she had pushed it open and Phoebe must be wandering about, too . But no, Phoebe was dozing on her cot, the gates were latched and the outside gate was locked. I put Jewel back in the her kennel and wondered out loud how she had managed to get out. Jewel looked at me, wiggled her little happy dance, then immediately zipped under the outer gate and popped up at my feet! I then swapped Jewel and Tucker's kennel assignments and he thought he'd try to explore, too. But, he wasn't sure how his sister got out and ended up almost getting his head stuck. Some fast modifications under the gate solved the problem and of course, it's temporary as these puppies grow as fast as the weeds in the garden!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What are We Thinking???

While you're reading this post, hum a version of Crazy (Patsy Cline, Gnarls Barkley or anyone who sings a song about people losing their common sense!)
When we bred the three girls this spring, we thought we would add one puppy from each litter to our kennel. I was so adamant that I would only keep one puppy from Lauren and that was going to be Tucker. Well, then of course Claire wasn't pregnant and Jewel was just what we wanted from that breeding, so it made sense to keep her. O.K., we had planned on adding three and had added two, so it's not like we're loading ourselves down with dogs. When we learned Phoebe was only having one puppy, we were disappointed and played the what if game--what if she had had more than one, wouldn't it be nice if she had a good tri? A week after losing the puppy, we started to really notice Dot. Of course, people have said she's striking, she's beautiful, she has a good head and is she available? We really wanted her in a show home but then started to get picky. Not a show home like we were ten years ago--if she finished good, but she was really a pet so it wouldn't matter. No, we wanted her in a home where she could make her mark, the type of home we'd give her--if we were keeping a third pup from the litter. So guess what's happened? Her name is now Sadie, Ellen has given us good suggestions for her registered name and she made her first trip to Hamburg Doner! Picture to follow later this week!

Goin' Home

A great week-end for two of the puppies! (bittersweet for us when this day comes). Rem and Puppy Girl/Torie went home!! Brian and Denise picked up Rem (now named John Paul) on Saturday and Pat and Rich chose Torie (who will get a new name later) on Sunday. It was a perfect fit for both pups and just like we always like to see, both pups seemed to know their new families had arrived and happily left without a backward glance or a farewell lick.
We especially enjoyed seeing Torie with Pat and Rich as they had bought a young adult, Duncan, from us this past January. We think she's a special girl and were happy they thought so, too. And, we got to see Duncan again! He also seemed to be satisfied with the new family member, bonding almost immediately.
We also got to see Dylan! Susan brought him over to play with his buddies while she and I tested some dog treat recipes we might use for a library program in September. Everybody got to try out the results--Duncan gave a paws down to both treats, Lauren and the old dogs liked them, and the rest preferred the pumpkin treats over the other one. Back to the internet for more recipes, luckily we have lots of time and lots of willing tasters before the program!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our New Girl!!

Meet Hillcroft Two Carat Rock--Jewel!
We were hoping that the breeding of Claire and Rocky would give us a Jewel-like puppy. After we learned that Claire was not pregnant, we thought how silly, wishing for something we already had! Jewel will join Tucker this fall in the show ring and carrying our hopes and plans forward. She is our first smooth, normal eyed and as sweet as can be!

Puppy Spa Week-End

I've spent the week-end giving most of the babies their first bath, nail trims and new ear braces. They took the bath well, still not crazy about nail trimming and one set of ear braces didn't even last 24 hours. I'm experimenting with the Japanese tape on our "keeper" pups (next post will have an announcement!) I had bought this tape almost 7 years ago but had had no luck with it. Now, thanks to clear cut instructions from the internet, I got two sets of ears done in minutes and so far, so good. We'll see if this method lasts longer than the back plaster and yarn.
We advertised the smooth pups in the paper, but only got one call and that person decided he would rather have a rough. We've decided the puppies need better names than their distinguishing characteristics and since I refer to them as mini-tornadoes, Puppy Girl is now Torie (short for Tornando) Puppy Boy is Twister and Spot is Cyclone (or probably just Cy). Still working on names for the others...suggestions welcome!
Ellen decided that Goose was the pup for her and he has the much better name of Macallan. I met Ellen this past Tuesday for the transfer and our two "keepers" have been in the kennel with the big dogs for the past week. The puppy yard seems very empty!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Phoebe's c-section was on Tuesday, but her puppy didn't make it. I'm even more grateful for Lauren's easy pregnancy and delivery. Her puppies had their latest vet visit yesterday and were mini-tornadoes, happily trying to destroy everything.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Happy, tired puppies=2 destroyed toys, 3 new holes in the yard, dumped water buckets, muddy dirty puppies, one swimming pool with a hole in the bottom, no ears glued over.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

More Puppies!!

Or, probably, just puppy. We took Phoebe and Claire in for ultra-sounds on Thursday evening. Claire is not expecting (so disappointing!) but Phoebe is pregnant!! However, only one puppy could be seen on the screen. We thought Phoebe was having a small litter but thought surely she'd have at least two and wanted her to have four puppies. We're hoping that another puppy kept moving out of ultra sound range and we'll have a surprise pop out in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I've started Phoebe's puppy blog (there's a link here from Lauren's blog).
So now, over this long holiday week-end, we've been re-thinking our plans for adding puppies and future breedings. We've decided to keep a second puppy from this litter--hmmm, who will it be???