Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday night after class

So, what do Breeder/Caretakers do in their spare time, you might wonder?? Well, they go visit other Breeder/Caretakers litters just to remind themselves how cute those little devils are ~ especially when they are at someone else's house. Although you can't tell from the photos, there are ten of these darling babies - in all shades of gold.
These babies are members of the "C" litter, born to Rowina and Alijah. I think Alijah is a Kittredge pup so that makes these pups somehow related... Hal is a Kittredge pup, but I'm too lazy to figure out how, tho!
Rowina's puppy raiser from North Carolina and Randy's breeder/caretaker from the Santa Rosa area were both in town to visit the litter so Rachel and Holt brought them to puppy class and then took me to their house to see the babies.
This was a great visit and the pups are about 3 weeks old - very cute and getting very busy! Izzy had to stay in the car, so she has no clue what's coming our way.
This next week, we'll go for x-rays to get an idea of how many pups to expect.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Guess Who??

While we Californians were reveling in our great weather with beautiful sunny blue skies a few months (probably even a few days) ago, Debbie and Ike were snowed in and freezing. Now, we can't see across the street due to the soot and ash particles in the air and Ike is posing with beautiful flowers in puppy raiser Lois's garden. Summer has finally happened in Minnesota! The family resemblance is amazing ~ a lot of Irish, Izzy, and Ira in that beautiful face.
Thanks, Debbie, for sending an update!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Santa Cruz, California

Our son, Chris, went off to UCSC as a freshman this year and has pointed out that we never visited him once. He's right - but then, it's not like we didn't see him here at home. I tried to be there his last week of school to help him move home, but my schedule just didn't permit it. Now, we did get there the week after he moved back home - he doesn't quite think that counts.

My parents advised me that they were going to have their house in Santa Cruz thoroughly cleaned (including carpets) before a vacation renter moved in July 1. What better time than to take our FOUR dogs to the beach? Dennis loaded up the girls in one car and I met him down there after a half day of work.

The beach near the house is perfect for dogs - water on one side - cliffs on all three other sides except for one outlet to the street. There is a great expanse of sand between the road and the water, so it's particularly safe. Dogs are required to be on leash when the beach is open - but we have always bent those rules just a tad by heading for the sand either very early or close to sunset - so far so good. These photos were taken at about 6:15 - 6:45 am this past week.

This was Izzy's first trip to the beach since she had to miss the Coronado trip. In order, we have Izzy, Sable, Piniella, and Halor. We don't know how many times Sable has been to the beach, so we were prepared with the extend-0-leash, just in case. Obviously, she didn't need it - she loved the beach, sand, water, and chasing the other girls.

Izzy, Piniella, Halor, and Sable...

Clockwise from Izzy - Sable, Piniella (hidden), and Halor. This might have been Hal's last real romp for a while - she's really looking HUGE!!

There's Sable on the right - definitely at home in the surf.

This gal does pretty well for 12 1/2 years old.

I will tell you that walking four dogs on "hurry" breaks is a bit challenging. We managed OK, but it was pretty challenging. Otherwise - four dogs seems about like having three. Sable seems to have brought with her some finely tuned skills that the other three were lacking. This morning, I'm sure she taught her team how to open the dog food bin and help themselves to breakfast, before breakfast... last week, it was a 10 lb bag of low residue puppy food that got devoured. BTW, when it's consumed in one day ~ there's no "low residue" about it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The gang has grown....

Introducing SABLE II

Sable has moved in with us this week after retiring from a very long and dedicated career as a CCI Service dog for our friend Skip. Sable is a female LGX who normally looks just like a Golden Retriever, but she is sporting her "summer-do" right now, so only her ears and tail reflect her Golden attributes. Sable turned 12 1/2 on June 7 so she clearly deserved to retire. For those of you who are interested, Sable's parents are Twister and Ulrica, making her 3/4 Golden, 1/4 Lab, I think.

Sable has fit right in with the gang ~ and it's probably a good thing we have a gang, because Sable is pretty hard of hearing. She keeps track of where I am and where we're going by following the others. This is Sable with Halor.

It appears that Sable is having a good time with the gang - she is often exhibiting spontaneous friskiness, followed by some more careful and slower steps. I don't thing she's lived with stairs (makes sense since Skip uses a wheelchair full time) so she forgets that she's 12 1/2 and tries to go flying up and down the steps. This is Sable with Izzy and Hal.

For those of you familiar with Izzy's beautiful singing voice (hardly!), you'll be interested to know that Sable performs just as beautifully - with a bone in her mouth they can do quite a nice duet. Here are all four - Piniella (8yrs), Sable, Izzy (8 months) and Halor (almost 4).

And as if these four plus 2 1/2 cats isn't enough ~
I got chicks and a hen house for Mothers' Day. The babies are now a week old and still living in a box in the bathroom...

We have two black Austrolorps, two American Plymouth Rocks, and two Golden (of course) laced Wyandottes (all girls). They are growing like weeds and getting pretty fast on their feet!

Washington DC

So, I left the wild and fun dog oriented weekend in San Diego and flew to Washington DC for a conference on Unmanned Aerial Systems - which are remote controlled aircraft ranging from hand-held surveillance units to Globalhawks, single engine jets that have the wingspan of a B737. The military, the FAA, and the civilians are trying to figure out how these aircraft can fit into the National Airspace System along with all of the "manned aircraft." It turned out to be not as boring as I expected.

In order to have some fun on the trip, Rick, Ardy, and I decided to try a City Segway Tour on Wednesday evening after dinner at Old Ebbets Grill. First they wrapped us in saran wrap since the weathermen were forecasting severe thunderstorms during that time, then we learned to ride/drive our Segways. I was a little shaky at first, but after a few laps around the alley, I got the hang of it and our group was ready to hit the road (or sidewalk, really).

We toured around the mall area, hitting the high points ~ the Washington Monument, the White House, the Capital, and all of the museums and federal buildings in between.

For most of the three hour tour, the weather was pretty good - it rained off and on, but our saran wrap ponchos were keeping us pretty dry. We saw some spectacular lightening - up close, and heard some roaring thunder - up close, but most of the time it was just rain...
until, we got to the Capital. It was getting a bit dark, but the Capital policeman came out and warned us that we might want to take cover, since he had heard that penny size hail was coming our way.
We segged around until we found this overhang;

where Ardy checked the Doppler weather map on her Blackberry. She determined that it appeared the storm had passed our position and we hopped back on our Segways and headed back to the shop. I bought a clean, dry t-shirt so that I wouldn't win the wet t-shirt contest on the Metro on the way back to our hotel in Arlington. I HIGHLY recommend the Segway experience..... too fun!

Monday, June 9, 2008

sixth in a series ~ Typical Backyard BBQ?

Piniella and great granddaughter, Izzy - it looks like Piniella is whispering in Izzy's ear that it's OK to go swimming in the pool.

Fred is the nicest guy in the world - he cleaned the pool just so 16 dogs could go swimming in it...

Piniella figured out how to get the ball without jumping inoff the side of the pool. She patiently waited as the ball slowly floated towards her and then she demonstrated how flexible she is...

Hallie looks smart enough to stay out this scrum of activity. In that mess are Dory, Naya, Izzy, Calendar, and Prairie.

Izzy's brother Irish has not decided that it's OK to go swimming in the big pool. Fred gave him a very slow and easy swimming lesson but he was happiest clinging tightly to Fred above the water line.

Most of the pups were "on the run" up and down the hillside and around and around the pool. This is Hennessy in action.

Baby Adriana had one quick swimming lesson and then sacked out for the entire affair. Adree is the Flynn's new baby - a total bundle of enerty. I believe she is Shasta and Paolo's daughter - clearly not related to the rest of the pack at the party.

Dory likes to stand watch from the bench on the far side of the pool. She is always perched over there ~ taking in all of the action.

The bigger dogs are checking out the puppies going full force on the far side of the pool... I believe those pups on the run are Amaya (Chandra x Kittredge, making her Piniella's granddaughter), Irish, and Bill.

Izzy staked out this little spot in the sun with a little shade from a palm tree. She retreated to this spot often to ensure she could hold onto the tennis ball. I think Hal is thinking about taking the ball away from her daughter.

When Piniella had her first litter, we met Paula and Christine - seen here with Kathy. Paula, Paul, and Christine raised Kismet (shown below), while we raised Kiltie, Sandy raised Kittredge, Pat raised Keeler, Eileen raised Kirin, and the first of our "family reunions" was born. Paula, Christine and Paul hosted the very first reunion in their home in Newport Beach. Judy and Pat came out from Boston for our first event with them. We had a fabulous time and have been great friends ever since! Pat and Judy were unable to attend and were sorely missed!!

Kismet escaped a career with CCI by having some grass allergies.

This was another terrific BBQ with, of course, more dogs than people. We were especially well fed by Fred and Lynn and we got to meet even more dog loving CCI friends.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

News Flash (we interrupt this series)

To announce that Halor's pregnancy has been confirmed. Dennis took her to our vet for her ultrasound and puppies were indeed seen in-utero - sorry, no scanned ultrasound photo to provide for your viewing pleasure. Hal's due date is July 9. She is indeed showing some signs of pregnancy - bigger nipples and eating quite a bit slower - much to Piniella's chagrin, she'd like to help out with Hal's meals, but we closely supervise mealtime!

technical difficulties

You'll see in the next entry that I've had some technical difficulties with the location of the type. I can't figure out how to change it without deleting everything and redoing it, so sorry, you'll have to read the entries letter by letter... I'm blaming it on Skippy.

fifth in a series ~ Coronado dog beach

Well, this photo pretty much sums up Hallie and Prairie's weekend.... Wherever Hallie went, Prairie was about two feet intrail. It was very easy to keep track of Prairie!

These five retreivers had a fabulous morning at the beach. Note Prairie's location in relation to Hallie.... Izzy stayed home because of her feet. I'm sure she'll get another chance at a fenced beach sometime soon.

Naya certainly looks like her mother's daughter in this photo - there's a ball lover's streak in all of them!

Looks like the old girl's still got it... Piniella had a terrific time chasing the ball - luckily there were lots of them so she didn't have to compete with Naya and Hallie.

Looks like the old girl's still got it (oh, sorry Eileen, I couldn't resist!). Seriously, notice how Hallie has one ball in her mouth and is waiting to chase another... and notice Prairie's position in relation to Hallie's.

I love the look of total concentration on Hal's face. And, not much can be said about Prairie - except that his concentration is complete - but not on the ball...

It's tempting to just stare at the fun loving retrievers in this photo - but look in the background at the two wet-suited people, a surfboard and a Golden... check out the perfect "point" on Prairie... he's got his target in sight!

We watched this Golden get a couple of great rides. At the end, he/she just turns around backwards and steps off. Quite a trick!

Besides watching our dogs have a great time - this beach was fabulous for dog-watching....
~a swimming bulldog?

Frolicking Great Danes?

my absolute favorite photo of the day...
~ very high hopes!

a bigger, fatter, water-avoiding (intact) bulldog...

I think this gal knows where the treats are...

It doesn't seem like you usually see Dobies in the surf...

A much more typical site at the beach. This pup was flying to catch his frisbee, but I wasn't able to snap a good photo of that...