Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Favorite Kind of Phone Call

Ellen called this afternoon with the news we always love--Dixie won!  She earned a four point major at the Cincinnati Kennel Club show in Ohio.  She only needs two more points before she has her championship title!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

First Points!

What a great week-end we had last week!  We entered Gibson and Jewel in the Mattaponi Kennel Club shows in Manassas.  Gibson did much better in the ring than his last show in the fall.  Saturday's judge, Houston Clark, was very encouraging, telling me Gibson is "a decent enough dog" but he likes to see the temperament and movement of a herding dog.  When I told him that Gibson was 100% better than his last show, that his preference then was to collapse in a puddle, especially if the judge was male, Mr Clark said I must be on the right track and to keep working with Gibson.  When I took Jewel in the ring, Mr Clark said, "that's more like it"! Jewel was Winners and Best of Winners for her first point! 

Sunday's judge was not as fun to show under.  Gibson was more relaxed and confident than on Saturday, but was still startled by a sudden movement by the judge shortly after we entered the ring.  Gibson gave a quick growl, which of course did not please the judge, but was fine after that.  I was thankful he didn't disqualify us, but felt he then had us stack our dogs in Winners in a way that he knew Gibson wouldn't be comfortable.  Except for the final stack, Gibson moved so well and showed so much better than the day before that it was almost like the old Gibson was back!  Jewel was Winners, Best of Winners and Best of Variety for her second point!  She lost her composure during pictures--it was her first time, after all--and the judge grew impatient with us.  He didn't act like he enjoyed his assignment at all!  I knew he wouldn't give her any consideration in the Group judging, plus my handling skills are not up to that kind of pressure, so we packed up and headed home.

Besides earning points, the best part of showing is catching up with friends and making new friends.  We had a fun group back at our house Saturday night for a very informal supper.  David cooked chicken on the grill and everyone brought something to go with it.  We toasted those who had won that day, especially Michelle's malamute who won his championship on Saturday!  Her lucky dogs got a special treat for their accomplishments--a steak!  We had our own special treats--sinful desserts from Pastries by Randolph.

As if points, good friends and good food were not enough, Ellen took one look at Sadie and said "of course she's pregnant, look at her"!  We had started to think Sadie was expecting as she had expanded a bit and her behavior had changed that week.  She had been getting into all the show things, something she had never touched before.  She's chewed the tops to almost every spray bottle I have and ate the remnants of a jar of first aide cream that I didn't even know was in her room.  Fortunately, she threw that right back up and it's obviously not affected the puppies as she's growing on a daily basis.  She found the heat the last couple of days to be unbearable.  Poor Sadie, how will she be able to endure another month?  We're going to take her to Casanel this afternoon for some pampering and showers of attention, that should perk her up!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Exciting News!

  I have been too caught up in dogs and gardens to post!  I have many pictures to post of Gibson and Jewel, from a couple fun things we've done this spring, but this is an update about Sadie and Dixie.
  Sadie came into season in early April and after much thought, we bred her to Wyndlair Avalanche, who is at stud at Southland Collies in Tennessee.  I made the 11 hour trip to take Sadie to Southland--I had never done a trip like that by myself before!  While it was a lot of driving, Sadie was a good passenger, the countryside was pretty and it was a rather easy drive (plus I had a good book on cd to listen to!).  The destination was well worth the trip!  The mistress of Southland, Mike Cheatham, is a wonderful person, very welcoming and I knew Sadie would be well cared for while away from home.  Mike gave me a tour of her beautiful kennels and I was able to spend a bit of time with her stunning collies.  I left Southland with a severe case of kennel envy and wondering how quickly I could return to incorporate her other studs into our breeding program.  So many thoughts whirling about in my head--it was hard to settle down to sleep in the motel that night!
  David made the return trip last week-end to bring Sadie home.  He arrived shortly before that terrible storm did and he only stayed long enough to exchange pleasantries before crating Sadie for the start of home.  They got caught in the heavy rain for about 3 hours, then drove for a couple more before finding a nice motel for the night.  Sadie had her first ride in an elevator!  David said she was a quiet and model room-mate but he was so exhausted from the drive through the storm that he probably didn't hear her!
  Now, we're just waiting for signs that puppies are on the way.  While I occupy myself with puppy names and thoughts of kennel improvements after seeing Southland--with David ignoring my proposals--we are basking in Dixie's latest accomplishment.  She was Winners Bitch and Best of Winners at the Baltimore Kennel Club for her first major!!!  The day before, she was Reserve Winners at the Old Dominion Kennel Club show.  I was really hoping that would be her first major, as her mom, Phoebe, had her first major at that show in 2005.  Dixie will be going to Ohio in late May for a week-end of major shows--could she come home a champion?  Let's hope early summer brings us a champion and puppies!!!!