Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tell Me Thursday #2

Crooks and Crazies

Today I would like to know two things.

#1. What is your most embarrassing trial moment to date?
#2. What do you prefer to whistle with and why?

#1. What is your most embarrassing trial moment to date?

My first embarrassing trial moment would have to be my very first trial with none other than miss Junia Petunia. This was back when Dr. Ben was still running Novice-Novice at his trials. I was SO nervous. I was afraid June would be yahoo! and it would all go very badly. Turns out I wasn't far from right.

She did a lovely outrun and lift, and then proceeded to let the sheep sort of bullet their way to the exhaust. She sort of halfassedly made an attempt to look like she was attempting to cover (get that?) and then moseyed over as only June can mosey to scoop them off of the exhaust.

However, before she could get there one of her ewes (June wasn't even in the same zip code) elected to go jump into the fence. That ewe (it was a dark colored one) managed to get all four feet hung in the fence and was hanging upside down in mid air. Obviously I excused myself to go extract our sheep from the fence. June, on the other hand, was busy bringing the others quite nicely. We never ever did manage to get the sheep to my feet at her big whopping two trials.

At any rate, Open handlers always tell novices that they don't remember these novice wrecks. However, at my first lesson with Robin, she looked at me and said, "Oh yeah, I remember you." I could have died on the spot.

(I'm not sure which part is more horrifying - how scared June looks or how huge my rear end looks in that picture. Just posting this picture might actually be my most embarrassing trial moment.)

#2. What do you prefer to whistle with and why?

I prefer an aluminum A1 whistle. I've tried bunches of different ones - brass mini blasters, stainless steel half moons, stainless steel montana lites, and most of them blow clean out of my mouth. I can use a montana lite when I need to, but I so totally LOVE this A1.

You can get this at Love.

I REALLY want to finger whistle, but so far I'm failing miserably at learning. I can get out exactly one note, and it's not very pretty.

So, like last week:
Tere's a little button up top with the Noodle and Ginger with code underneath it. Copy the code. Go to your blog - start a new post. Go into "edit html" and paste the code. Then you can go back into Compose mode.

Make your post. Publish. Copy the link to your post, and come back here.

Down at the bottom in Mr. Linky's Magical Widgets put your name, and then link to your post. Done!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pia and Jade Reunion

Last weekend I took Pia over to visit with her littermate, Denise Wall's Jade. Denise got some lovely photos, and I thought I'd share them with you all. They were about 10.5 weeks at the time of the photos - are 11.5 weeks now. Pia is growing SO fast.

Clearly I belong to Pia.

Jade disagrees. A little.

I can eat ur face.

I'm such a sucker for this puppy.

Love. Major love.

She's learning to come when called right now (she was already pretty good at that). She sits on command, and is learning to lie down. She shakes, by the way. I noticed that she was very paw oriented, and all it took was a couple (literally) of "good girl" praises from me and she picked it up. She's connecting the command to it too.

She's also learning to wait to come in the back door until her name is called. Boy was that a tough lesson for her yesterday. That's my version of gate sorting dogs at the door, by the way. They're expected to wait to come through until their name is called - that way I can let in or out only the ones I want (though just as often they go in or out together if the doggie door is open).

Plus she got promoted to the big girl crate today. Why, you ask? Because yesterday she chewed another Pia-mouth sized hole into my drywall. She also managed to pry the plate that covers the motor off of the freezer. All of this she did from inside of the ex-pen. So the ex-pen will only now be for playing when I'm home, and she'll go in a big-girl crate next to June when I'm gone.

So that's the Pia update for today! Happy Friday, everyone.

Photos are courtesy of Denise Wall. Please do not use without permission from her.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tell Me Thursday

Crooks and Crazies

I thought it might be fun to start up a little link party. So I've been learning a little about buttons and codes, and link widgets. If this goes over I'd like to also start a "Working Wednesday" post - but lets start with one and see how it goes.

Here are the rules:

1. Copy the code under the button at the top of this post.
2. Comment. We all love comments!
3. Go to your blog and make your post. Include the code from my button in your post (you can paste the code that you copied in the "Edit HTML" area). Come back here, add yourself to the links list directing us back to your post (the Mr. Linky widget at the bottom of this post). Voila!

Today's Tell Me Thursday Question:

If you were a sheep what breed would you be, and why? If you don't know much about sheep feel free to choose another animal.

If I were a sheep I'd be a Karakul. They're very interesting sheep - very different, and kind of funny.

photo from

Noodleman working some of Julie P's karakul lambs (and my old hair sheep crosses) back when he was just learning to drive:

They have wild wool, are tall and run funny, have fat tails, and are just a little bit strange in general. They don't really work like other sheep, and they don't really act like other sheep. Did I mention they have fat tails? I have fat tail. They have fat tail. We are alike. See? Fat tails (see if you can pick out the karakul lambs).

I'd also be a Karakul because they have cute curly headed babies. If I was going to have babies I'd want them to be cute and curly headed. I SO wish I could be a cheviot because they're cute, small, and have great ears. Darn.

So, I want to know about you - what would you be? If you haven't posted in a while this will be a good way to start getting back in the groove.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WWTK Wednesday - Joining in on the Fun


We Want to Know Wednesday is Hosted by Mamarrazi, Impulsive Addict , Janette, and Seriously Shawn, go give them a visit and link up! Here we go:

Here are this week's questions, from Mamarazzi:

{1} Which activities make you lose track of time?
{2} Is there such a thing as perfect?
{3} When do you feel most like yourself?
{4} Describe your life in a 6 word sentence.
{5} Share one of your most beloved childhood memory.

{1} Which activities make you lose track of time?

Uh... that would be pretty much anything you can think of lately. Drinking coffee, blogging, Facebook, and Facebook's games come to mind. Lets add taking pictures of my puppy too. Oh, and just simply trying to get out the door. It seems like lately any time I try to go anywhere I just get sucked into some bizarro bermuda triangle and the next thing I know it's an hour or two later. Used to be I lost track of time playing Ultima Online with the Ex-Husband. Talk about a time suck.

{2} Is there such a thing as perfect?

I don't think there is an absolute perfect, aside from God and Jesus Christ. That being said I think there are situational perfects. Like... I think Nick has been the perfect first dog for me (first dog I've trained from puppy to Open). I'm pretty sure Pia could be the perfect puppy, except that she somehow managed to eat a hole into my wall yesterday through her expen wires. I'm pretty sure there's the perfect mate for me out there. He has sheep and/or cattle, and uses border collies to manage his operation. He's hot and taller than me, too. He would love for me to quit my day job and come farm for a living. What? Some perfects are loosely defined. That's how they manage to be perfect, I think.

Almost perfect puppy:

{3} When do you feel most like yourself?

I'm going to take this in a somewhat different direction and say that I've finally started feeling like myself again just recently. It's more of a when on the continuum thing for me - because typically in my life I'm myself whenever. But the divorce really was a hard hit for me, and then when followed up by losing my job (which was, lets face it, like losing the ex-husband, his family, and my work family right on top of it)... and lets not even talk about my current situation. Yeah, I've not really been myself. But I am more right now than I have been in a while.

{4} Describe your life in a 6 word sentence.

Just another one will not hurt.

{5} Share one of your most beloved childhood memor[ies].

Probably my most beloved childhood memories involve me and my BFF, Vicky, at the beach. It was good times for our family (we were all still together) and Vicky and I had some of the greatest times. My strongest memory is probably of my Dad playing his guitar there. With Vicky there was the digging of the big hole in the sand, the meeting of guys at the deck, the throwing our bathing suits up into the ceiling fans (don't ask)... all sorts of things. She and I have different lives now, but I'll always cherish those memories and she has had (and always will) a very special place in my heart. So will the beach and those memories.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Confessional


I Confess...

I baked a pan of brownies this week. I ate them all. By myself.

I Confess...

The brownies not only had chocolate chunks in the mix but I added milk chocolate pieces too.

Hey, if you're going to blow it out, blow it out with style.

I Confess...

That I can't confess how long I went without a shower while on staycation. What can I say? The dogs love stinky things. Boy do they love me.

I Confess...

I didn't leave the house for almost five days.

I Confess...

I took seven videos with my cell phone yesterday of the puppy playing with the big dogs.

That's not counting the two from last week of puppy zoomies.

I Confess...

I almost posted them to Facebook but managed to grab a thread of control at the last minute.

I Confess...

I've watched two and a half seasons of "Lost" this week. By the time Staycation is over I'll have probably finished the series.

I Confess...

hooooo boy. Yum.

photo from

Did I mention, YUM?

I Confess...

I'm already dreading going back to work next week. I haven't really ever been able to fully let the dread go this week. But I've come close. Maybe it won't be so bad. My boss will be *crosses fingers* out of town next week. That should make easing back in a little better.

How about you? This is hosted by Mamarazzi. Click on the link at the top to join in!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Just Can't Help Myself

I am pathetic and I know it. I'm on stay-cation and all I can do is squeeze my puppy and take endlessly boringly bad pictures. Well, that and watch old-people aerobics on channel 13. For thirty minutes. That's almost as special as watching the genie bra infomercials.

But hey... they don't stay this small for long.

Pia looks pretty tiny next to Nick. She's not really quite THAT small. I just find this sort of comparison amusing. As a side note... notice the Noodleman leeeeeeaaaaning...

In case you were wondering, Linc is not about to take a dump on the porch. I caught him mid sit. He wasn't even part of the photo shoot but he just Wouldn't. Go. Away.

She is SO going to have really great ears.

He likes her - though not in a BFF sort of way. It's more of an, "Oh. Hi. You don't completely suck for a puppy" sort of way. He actually lowered himself to playing with her last night. I was pleasantly surprised. But in the light of day...

He thinks maybe if he yawns really big that she'll go away when he's finished. Nope, not a chance.

But really, do you see how she looks at me?

He's already teaching her to vulture appropriately.

Ginger, on the other hand, is so grateful that I brought her home a new puppy.

Oh wait! That's not Ginger. It's a wookie. This is what the wookie and Princess P do sometimes:

For those of you who don't know, why yes that is indeed cream colored carpet. Don't judge me - I only had Ginger when I bought my house. I'd been living in this tiny little house with knotty pine paneling on the walls and ceilings and hardwood floors. It was like a cave in there, and I wanted something bright and airy. Whatever.

Just to be fair, here is that first photo uncropped for a better size comparison. Ginger is about 24 lbs. Pia clocked in yesterday at about 8 with my very scientific way of measuring it.

Ginger knows all about these photo shoots. I make them do this pretty much every time I get a new puppy. She is clearly not amused.

For reference, lets review the "Troublemakers" photo from long ago. Here is Nick, Ginger, and Zippy from... oh... almost five years ago now. See? Noodleman was once quite tiny:

Whew. Thus endeth public patheticness for today.

Insert the not a photographer disclaimer here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pia Maria Anna Lucia Monday

My apologies to my Facebook peeps who've already seen these, but I wanted to post a couple of my favorite pictures of Pia from yesterday. She's just turned nine weeks old. She's SO sweet, still feisty, and I adore her. She's being such a good puppy - and took her first overnight trip to Robin's like a champ. The big dogs like her, though surprisingly the one who likes to play with her is Zippy. Go figure. The Old Guy is on a roll these days.

Hey! It's another fuzzy running shot! I can't help it though - she's so enthusiastic.

This one is my favorite. I love the way the light worked out. I was fooling around with the camera's manual settings (I have a 4 year old Kodak easyshare Z710... not nearly as exciting as the equipment most blogging folks have) and managed to get this. I started to edit it but preferred the raw image:

They set the fireworks off right up the street from my house last night. Pia laid on the couch next to me fully and happily sacked out propped up against my leg. There's something about her that makes me silly, but then she's my first female border collie puppy (I don't count the BC Mix, Bree, that my ex-husband took with him).

She swam at Robin's this weekend. She was down at the pond messing around, and next thing I knew she was out there just tooling around. Too bad we didn't have a camera ready. When she got out she looked like a chihuahua with her body wet and those ears up like they are right now. She then proceeded to barrel roll her way down the hill to dry off. She makes me laugh all the time.

And no, she's not sleeping on the bed. Yet.

Until next time...

PS - next time may be soon since I'm on staycation this week

PS2 - I just realized it's not Monday. Oh well.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Zippy's Excellent Adventure

For the holiday weekend I loaded up dogs and went down to cook out, work dogs, and spend the night with Robin, Julie, and Victoria. This was Pia's first road trip, and she did really well. I was pleasantly surprised.

Yesterday afternoon Robin, Julie, Victoria and I all took the bigger dogs down to the pond to hang out for a while. We sat under the trees while the dogs frolicked in the pond. Much fun was had - Ginger waded, and the border collies swam. Zippy inched up towards the pond, and then suddenly (I thought) he fell in!

I ran down there to find him just standing in the water. It was up to about his shoulders. Let me stop here to say that while Zippy has waded into a creek up to his brisket, he has never offered to get into a pond, and he's never gone in past his bread basket. Anyway, he appeared to be just standing there looking around. From the bank we could just see his ears swiveling back and forth.

Assuming he might be in distress, I walked down to the bank, got in his line of sight, and waved him to me. He crawled out, so I sat back down. Not thirty seconds later there he was in the pond again... standing... ears swiveling. The other dogs were splashing around him, and he just stood there.

I sighed, and went down to wave him out again. This time I encouraged him on up the hill... planning to go pick him up and move him away from the pond. That's when the little blighter took off running down the shore line towards the brush. He did an end run around me, and took off around the pond.

I just shrugged and went back to my chair. Fine. If he's that determined to play around who am I to argue with a 17 year old tiny dog?

A minute or two later he made his way back to the pond and quite intentionally went in. He was up to his withers in the water... just standing and looking. I'd say he stood there maybe 10 minutes that way until...

He started swimming. Yes, really. There was Zippy, out there tooling around the pond.


He could not get his face out of the water. He has some arthritis in his neck, so he was tooling around with his ears sticking out, but his face was under water.

So out into the pond I went. Fully clothed. I could see his little eyeballs, and I could see the air bubbles coming out of his nose. I grabbed him, and the second his little face cleared the water he started shrieking at me. Obviously he hadn't taken in any water. To add insult to my already soaked injury I got bogged down in the mud at the bottom of the pond and was having trouble getting out. My boots got sucked down in there, so I grabbed at the grass along the edge to try to help me get some purchase (all the while having a vocalizing Zippy under my arm).

Julie left the peanut gallery (which incidentally was practically falling on the ground laughing - I would have been) and helped pull ME out of the pond. I had to set Zippy down... and the minute his feet hit the ground the blighter took off running again.

Fortunately for me he got caught in the brush again, and Julie yelled "Quick! Grab him while he's stuck!"

I squished my way over there, snatched him up, and carried him back to the van. He yowled at me the whole way. While I toweled him off he yowled and flopped like a fish, and continued to voice his displeasure.

Clearly he was not finished having fun. But my heart couldn't take any more action, and I was out of clothes. He spent the rest of the day in his crate where he couldn't get into any more trouble.