a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: February 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


SUMMARY: The elder statesman.

Bump got short shrift in yesterday's post. So here he is, all 14 years and 1 month of him.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sierras, Goodbye!

SUMMARY: We had a great weekend!

Spent the weekend with my gracious hosts, Dan and Karey, and their three border collies: Styx (compact little girl with prick ears), Dig (whom I think of as a "classic" black and white border collie), and Bump (the graying guy, 2 years older than Tika (retired from his Platinum-lifetime/platinum ADCH agility career)), and all of them handled 2-3 miles of snow hiking per day just fine. The dogs had a blast, and I loved just being there.

Got home at 2 this morning, in bed by 2:30 or so. Slept till 10. Catching up on email and photos and such, doing timecard and status report, moving the 1000 photos from one computer to the other, a little unpacking. Most of the photos I haven't even looked at yet! Now must go work.

Here are a few shots from this weekend. (If you're on facebook, you've likely already seen many of them.)

Saturday morning

Dig, Dig, Styx & Boost, Styx, Tika.

Saturday Afternoon and evening
Karey and my dogs, resting up.
Sunset. (The brilliantly colored one is the same as its preceding photo, but with saturation extremely exaggerated for fun.)

Sunday Morning

Tika, Styx, Boost, Styx

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

Tika with a rainbow, Boost, Bump with a rainbow, sunset, all of us.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dang Jumpers and Super-Qs

SUMMARY: So close, and yet so far, to lifetime glory.

Just counted--Boost is only 13 Qs away from her bronze lifetime (which would be 150 Qs, with a minimum of 15 in each class and the tournaments)! The challenge is that 9 of those have to be Jumpers.

I already knew that Boost is only two Qs away from her ADCH (championship)--and those must be two Snooker Super-Qs.

And only 11 away from her ADCH-bronze (essentially a triple ADCH): Funny, that requires 9 Jumpers and two Snooker Super-Qs.

Do you think that we have a couple of weak spots?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Photographic Record

SUMMARY: Counting JPEGs, plus dogs on chairs.

I have this many mostly unique JPEGs labeled with the following names of my dogs:
Remington37  210

The numbers make some sense, because Amber and Sheba were before I became a photography monster and before digital, so I don't have that many to begin with, and I've scanned only a few of those.

Amber was my first dog and my special pal, whereas Sheba, although an important part of the family, always treated us like a nice place to visit between excursions into the wild, so either I didn't take as many of her or I didn't feel inclined to scan in as many as for Amber.

Remington, as my first agility dog and the first one I really thought about documenting in photos--and probably my main Heart Dog so far--has quite a few more than the earlier dogs in my photo albums, but still many fewer than the later dogs. Somewhere around 2003 I started having my film photos scanned to disk at the same time they were processed, so have a few digitized photos of him, but the rest I scanned in one at a time, and that's time consuming, so haven't done many.

(But...huh...there are a bunch more photos on his assorted web pages, and they don't show up in my disk search that found only 37. Hm. Wonder how I labeled them? Early in my digital photo age, I had a tendency to label photos like "Rem" or "dog" or "R". Aha! Yep, that revealed a lot more than 37.)

Anyway, he died in 2003, a few months before I bought my first digital camera in December of 2003, when Tika was almost 3. My dog photo count started going up faster and faster.

Jake was around just long enough (he died in 2007) for me to also get my first digital SLR in 2006 -- and that's when things really started taking off.

How I've managed to have more of Boost than of Tika, not entirely sure--except that by the time I got the digital camera, the fascination with Tika as a "new dog" was long gone, whereas I've been shooting digital like crazy for Boost's whole life.

Makes me want to go lounge in a chair with my dogs. Or a bed. Oooh, that sounds good.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Agility Tongue Twisters

SUMMARY: Fun with running orders.

Sometimes just noticing patterns in the names in the running orders can be fun.

Sometimes it's the sounds.

While we're waiting to run, I often chant the names of the dogs before us in order so that I remember exactly who we're after. This last weekend, Boost most often ran directly after Kist and Kick, so I chanted "Kist, Kick, Boost!" while tugging with Boost, waiting our turn. I discovered quickly that that makes a fun tongue twister:
  • Say all three names in a row.
  • Say them faster
  • Say them as fast as you can.
  • Now say them as fast as you can, multiple times in a row.
When I speed up, I can't get past a couple of times. Now you try.

P.S. Another fun factoid: In this list, Beck and Bette are Boost littermates; Roulette and Quas are half-siblings from mom Tala; Sweep and J.B. are nephews. In the 26" (not shown), Rowdy and Quik are half siblings; Tonic is full sibling from different litter. Other close relatives were there, too, and maybe even some in this list but I can't keep them all straight. Boost has a squillion more close relatives than I do!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Class with a swollen head

SUMMARY: Well--it only just felt like it.

I've had a cold all week. Entire head has felt like it's full of fluid. Brain doesn't function well like that. Sleeping or at least lying down a lot. Doing completely mindless things and not doing them very well.

Example: Tried to do a quick grocery trip while completely congested and foggy (me, not the traffic or weather). Needed milk, fruit, kleenex (er--facial tissue) since I've emptied 3 boxes this week. Checked for sanitary wipes at the store entrance--container is empty and stuffed with trash. Conscientiously touched everything with my hand in my shirtsleeves instead of my bare hands. Put some frozen foods and fruit into the child seat of the cart. At the self-serve checkout, scanned everything from the child seat and put the bags back into the child seat. The Monitor Person asked, "Do you mind if a put a sticker on your milk so that they don't think you're stealing it?" Milk? Oh, crud, yup, I did put a gallon of milk into the main part of the cart. And I hadn't paid for it. So paid for it, put it back into the main part of the cart. Out to the parking lot, loaded the bags into my car, took the cart to the nearest return point. Got into car. Thinking....thinking... oh, crap, milk. Got out of car, retrieved milk from cart. Home. Sat in car in garage for a few minutes thinking how nice a nap would be right there and now. Thinking maybe back to bed would be good. Realized I hadn't gotten more klee...facial tissue. Had to go back the next day for that.

Anyway. Felt a little better today. Head swimming and thick when I first got up, so took some decongestant. It helped. Still not perfect, but better than yesterday.

So decided to go up to class this evening.

OK, dumb-- a quarter of the way up the mountain, the pressure started building. Halfway up, it was so hard and thick in my head that I pulled over to the side of the road for 5 minutes to see whether it would ease up. Didn't want to bust an eardrum. Didn't hurt, though, just crazy disorienting, like my head was in a bucket of water sort of, so drove the balance of the 1200 feet or so up. Never occurred to me to take another decongestant before heading out there. Head/ears NOT happy--could barely hear anything, and what I could hear whanged on my eardrums like they were 50 times louder than normal, they were stretched so tightly, I guess.

I wanted to share some snacks for Tika's birthday. Lots of other people showed up this week with snacks, too--when it rains, you know--.

So I said there was no way I was going to be running and would anyone consider running Boost for me, because she really wants to run. I wasn't sure whether she would--last couple of tries, no interest, wanted to go back to Mommy. Had three expert volunteers, but one friend ran her all 3 runs. Fun to see my dog working. Kept my fingers in my ears. Funny/odd. Someone said she's not running as fast as she does with me, but she still looked pretty good and ran really nicely. She had a couple of the same problems I have--couple of bars down, needing to really work each jump even when they're straight in front of Boost, but Boost stuck with her and paid attention all through the run. Pretty cool.

After 3 runs, my ears had gradually eased back to normal, but my sinuses were pulsing. So I headed down the mountain, and of course now the pressure reversed itself so my head got all funny by the time I reached the bottom.

Sigh. At least Boost was happy because she got to run; I was happy because she got to run and because she was willing to work with someone else; Tika was happy because she got a bunch of treats; I was happy again because I got a couple of chocolate-covered strawberries (someone else brought those); and now I think I've learned my lesson about going up mountains with a head cold without decongestant.

Now taking my weirded head to bed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Birthday Tika

SUMMARY: My Merle Girl is 12.

For a quick look at some earlier photos of Tika and a list of her achievements, see Tika's own web page.

And indulge me while I revisit some favorite photos from previous blog posts.

Teal tunnel photo by E. Maurer. Chair photo by D. Dobbs. Nosework photo by T. Jensen.  Other agility photos and the shoe photo by assorted other people. The rest are mine.