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Missing out, and pouting about it.

So tonight’s blog post brings you a bit of a pity party.  I’m not a happy camper, and I don’t really feel like posting something that’s all nicey nice.  I’m not putting on a happy face, and I’m not going to pretend I feel great about things.  The fact of the matter is, I’m upset and I’m sad, and it’s my damn pity party and I’ll cry if I want to.

With this darn Eustachian Tube Disorder, I’ve been S.O.L. when it comes to driving.  Generally speaking, it tends to be at it’s worst when I’m in a car.  I’m guessing it has to do with the pressure inside the vehicle.  My ears snap crackle and pop a ton, and I find it disorientating and distracting.  I’m also far more likely to hear myself breathing and my heart beating all from within my head.  Driving is just not happening these days – which means I haven’t been hitting the shows.

For those who don’t know me well, I spend my Springs, Summers, and Autumns hitting the shows.  My youngest sister and I pack up my vehicle and we do road trip after road trip, all over the place going to dog shows.  I LOVE handling.  I feel at home in the ring, like I belong there.  I’ve shared here before about how much I love showing, love everything about showing…  and it’s something I sooo look forward to.  It’s chaotic and hectic and filled with WAY too much politics, but I love it.

With this ear issue, I haven’t been to a show since this Spring.  I’m going a little stir crazy.  The one thing that was making it all okay was the Saskatoon show coming up the first weekend of September.  It’s a HOME show.  Which means I don’t have to go road tripping, I don’t have to drive.  It’s a show I can do… and I’ve been clinging to that like a mad-woman.

Today I logged on with the intention of registering Alice, and possibly Marnie too, for the show.  Only, I get to the site to discover entries are closed.  Yep.  They are closed…  and I’m close to tears (the only thing keeping me held together is knowing if I break down and cry the girl is going to ask why, and when I tell her that we can’t go to the dog show she’s going to cry too… because it’s one of only two shows SHE gets to show at every year – and like me, she loves being in the ring).

Why am I so shocked considering the show is fast approaching?  Well, I get a constant influx of emails letting me know when different closing dates are approaching.  That way I don’t miss entering a show that I want to be at.  I never got one for Saskatoon.  If I had?  I’d have damn well got my entries in.

So that’s where we are.  I can’t drive to shows right now.  I can’t even drive around town, no way I can drive for hours to hit the shows.  So the one show I’ve been holding onto attending, the one show left this year that I can still do…  and I missed the entry deadline – by almost a week.  And yes, now that the girl is asleep, I’m in tears.

I wrote to the show secretary, to see if there was ANY way we could still get in.  I explained that I never received the email about the deadline, and how the ETD has made it so I can’t drive to any other shows…  but it’s too late.  Pat was sorry, but there just isn’t anything she can do.  It’s what I expected, but I had to try.

So yeah.  Kind of a lousy day.

I miss my dog shows.

Friendship is Magic and/or Mental Health

I was thinking about the title Friendship is Magic, and while it may not really be magic, it can grant you mental health – which is pretty darn close.  Friends keep you grounded, they kick you in the pants when needed, and provide support when no one else can.  A good friend is like having a mental health provider on your speed dial.  And that, my friends?  That really is magic!

I’ve been stressing out about this whole ear issue of mine (and if you could hear the voice in my head, you’d note I said issue in the very proper British form where you hear the S sound vs the American ishu which is why it appears in italics.  Because while I’m Canadian, and we SHOULD pronounce everything in the proper British way, American English has ended up rather prevalent.  So you KNOW I’m taking pains to bring attention to a word when I pronounce it – even in my head – properly).  I’ve been worrying about the possibility of long term effects, and whether or not I’ll be able to continue with some of my very favourite things.  My health has taken a lot from me over the years, and the idea that something else may be taken away is a whole lot to digest.  When I brought this up with her, she reminded me that while some of my symptoms may be explained by the Eustachian Tube Disorder (and therefore possibly scary and somewhat permanent) that the severity of these same symptoms could be related to other related problems that are just as likely temporary.  Which means while I’m taking a break from one particular favourite activity right now, that things may still get better and I may be able to get back in the saddle (as it were) before too terribly long.  Without a good friend in whom I could confide, I’d still be stressing myself into a tizzy.  I still have a twinge of worry, but I’m definitely feeling better.  Friendship is Magic when it comes to Mental Health!

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Oh!  See http://howjsay.com/index.php?word=issue to hear the difference in pronunciation.  😉

The Dog Show Family

I’m going to keep my thoughts to a minimum tonight.  I’m positively exhausted.  Alice did great her first time out, she loved being in the ring and had a blast (except when she had to be on the table or when the judge blew her dog whistle at her).  LOL  She took Best Puppy in Breed and Best of Winners for her very first point.

One thing you’ll come to notice, after you’ve been showing for a while, is that people at the shows become like part of an extended family.  They are more than friends, they are relatives you see a few times a year at big family gatherings.

There are your dog show parents.  People you can count on no matter what, who always seem to be there with guidance and support.  For me, that would be Kandy and Barry.

There are your dog show Aunts or Uncles.  Those who are always there for a laugh, but whom you know you could count on whenever you need a hand.  That’s how I see Lisa.

Then there are all the cousins.  The folk you love to laugh with, those you can just be silly with.  Share a drink and a story.  But they too will be there through thick and thin.  I’ve got a few of these…

And for us lucky few, we’ve also got real family there too.  Like my Uncle Dan, Auntie Kim, and my sister Jewles.

Dog shows are about the dogs, but once you’ve been there a while, you’ll find there’s a whole lot more to it than that.  😉

Dreams Dashed, Just Like That.

Just like that, a dream I’ve held for the last half a decade have been dashed.  My heart is more than a little broken.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I began dreaming of the day I could take my little one with me traveling to dog shows.  I know so many moms who take their infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, children, and teens with them on the road…  and they all absolutely love it.

When Lily-Ann was born, I knew she wasn’t the type of baby who could go to a dog show.  If she wasn’t being held she’d cry.  And there was no way for her to be the constant focus of attention at a show.

When she was a toddler, nothing had changed.  And I envied those parents who’s little ones would nap in a stroller while they did their “down and back”.  You put Lily in a stroller and even if she was previously tired, she’d pop up alert and ready to go knowing that something must be going on.  She was a baby and toddler who was WORN not put in a stroller or bucket – so if she was in one of those places she knew something interesting had to be happening.  She also had stopped napping at 11 months old, which didn’t help matters.

As a pre-schooler she LOVES dog shows.  She made her debut as a junior handler at the SKOC show last Summer:  https://td365.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/junior-handling-debut/  And was just awesome.  But she’s still a high needs kid, that hasn’t changed.  She needs your focus at least 95% of the time.  She proved that to me tonight.

I knew she couldn’t handle traveling to dog shows when she was little…  but I’d hoped that by the time she was five it would be a very real possibility.  Tonight though?  Tonight was a disaster.  It took everything in me not to completely lose my cool and fall apart.

We were at handling class…  the first time I’d taken her to handling class.  Usually it’s just me, the dog, and sometimes my younger sister Jewles.  With the dog show in Saskatoon this weekend, and Lily having never worked with Alice before, I thought the two of them could stand to have some practice with one another.

Lily-Ann was obnoxious.  She managed to get through about five minutes before she kept announcing that she was bored and thirsty and wanted a treat – over and over again.  She wouldn’t listen to instruction (from myself OR the instructor).  So after she finished one trip around the ring, I set her up on the sidelines with treats and my phone (on which she has nine or ten apps).  And I went back in to practice with Alice.

That didn’t work either.

The kid kept running back and forth in and out of the ring, disrupting everyone.  So after repeated attempts to get her to listen and just sit down for even five minutes, I packed it in.  Not even half way through the class.  I grabbed all of our stuff and we left.  I have never been so embarrassed in my life.  Her behaviour was atrocious.  Not only did she ignore me when I repeatedly told her to stay out of the ring when it wasn’t her turn, she ignored the instructor as well – who told her to “get out” when it was obvious she wouldn’t listen to me.

So yeah.  Embarrassed by how awful she behaved (seriously, she was shockingly awful, I’ve never seen her behave even close to this before…  ever), and brokenhearted to know I will likely never be able to trust her enough to take her with me…  to enjoy something together that I love so much.  Maybe by the time she’s in high school…  but certainly not before.  I’ll probably still let her do junior handling whenever there’s a show in the city – so twice a year.  But she’ll never get the experience to do well when she can only participate so infrequently and when she’s not able to attend classes between shows.

Yep.  It’s just not going to happen.  She loves showing.  Absolutely loves being in the ring, in the spotlight…  which only makes it harder to bear, and harder to understand.

Seriously…  I can’t even express how awful she was tonight.  We’re not talking just silly little kid antics.  I’ve come to expect those.  But constantly ignoring everything anyone said to her???  yeah, that’s not cool.  And yes… I realize that at this point, I’m starting to ramble.  But it really was the WORST parenting experience of my entire life.  Don’t even ask me how the drive home afterwards went.  Good freakin’ grief.

HCKOC Dog Show – Mark your Calendars!

Mark your calendars!  This weekend is one of two dog shows held annually in Saskatoon.  This one happens to be the Hub City Kennel and Obedience Club show, and will be taking place at the Exhibition grounds in Hall E.  And, quite unusual for us, this is our first show of 2012.

This weekend marks the show debut of Alice, one of the pups from my first ever Chihuahua litter.  I’m super excited to be taking a puppy I’ve bred into the ring for the first time ever.  I have high hopes for this little one.  She really is an outstanding pup with a temperament to die for!

If you’re free this weekend, you should come on out.  The show will go from 9 AM until roughly 3 PM each day (except Sunday, which usually shuts down a little earlier so everyone who has to travel can start on their way home).  I highly recommend coming as early as possible though, as shows tend to thin out later in the day.  As people finish up with their dogs for the day, they usually head out rather than sticking around the show site.  So coming in the morning or very early afternoon means you’re more likely to encounter a wider variety of dogs.

Our approximate ring times on each day are as follows:

  • 9:00 on Friday (in ring two)
  • 12:15 on Saturday (in ring one)
  • during the lunch break on Saturday (kid kid will be taking Alice in for Juniors)
  • 9:00 on Sunday (in ring two)
  • during the lunch break on Sunday (for puppy sweeps)

If there’s a particular breed you are interested in seeing, I recommend downloading the official schedule at http://canuckdogs.com/upload/DogShowDocs/2b117948-900c-11e1-bf94-46ab87a4a13a.pdf  It contains a listing of breeds that will be in attendance each day, along with the numbers of each breed and the break down of males, females, and specials.

To figure out an approximate show time for each breed you’re interested in seeing, take the number of dogs in the ring prior to the breed you are interested in watching, and multiply by 2.5.  It takes the judge roughly two and a half minutes to judge each dog.  So, if you want to watch the Irish Setters on Friday you’d multiply the 20 dogs in the ring prior to them by 2.5, giving you 50 minutes.  That group starts at 1:00, so you can estimate that they’d be in at roughly 1:50 on Friday.

So yay!  Dog show season!!!  One of my favourite times of year.  😀

First Class Puppies!

So, yesterday evening was the first drop-in handling class of the year down at the SKOC.  And it was the first ever class for Alice and Deedee, our Chihuahua puppies.  It was a first for me too…  the first time I took puppies of my own breeding out to a class.

You know?  You do your best to prepare them.  To give them a solid foundation.  To help them be confident, brave, outgoing, and friendly little things.  But in a world of giants, you never really know if you’ve done enough.  There is always more you could do.  So that first real test can be a little nervy – for them and you.

My girlz are rockstars!  Clearly I had nothing to worry about.  First time in a new building, surrounded by dogs who were more than ten times their size (some way more than ten times their size), tons of people, noises, smells…  it’s an overwhelming experience for people – forget two little dogs no more than ten and a quarter pounds COMBINED.

Alice and Deedee did great!  Tails up in the ring.  Stood on the table (well, they were a little squirrely, but it was their first time).  We had no pretzel puppy action.  No tangled leads.  Generally confident, happy puppies, all set for this new adventure.  It really got me excited.  These guys are going to be a blast at the shows this year.  I’m SOOO looking forward to it.

I mean…  okay…  I was ALREADY looking forward to it.  I knew they were awesome.  They are smart, sweet, cuddly, typey, good looking, sturdy, generally fabulous pups.  But the experience in class just confirmed everything for me.  It’s not going to take much work at all to have them become little superstars.  It’s going to be a fabulous year!  Yay Deedee!  Yay Alice!  And Yay for me and Em (my co-breeder and fabulous friend)!

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Scrapbooking and Dog Shows

Hmmm…  I guess I should blog tonight.  LOL

Very honestly my brain is a little pile of mushy barley just now.  I’ve been working on a scrapbooking kit that I’ve been in the middle of for months.  I figure I should get it finished up.  It’s just not inspiring me at the moment, so it’s slow going.  But I need to get it finished and get my store launched at the Plum.  I’ve got another kit that’s been done and ready for months (finished it before starting this one) but want to make sure I’ve got a few products ready to go for when I open.  No fun just having one kit sitting there all by it’s lonesome.  😉

Well, I suppose one thing I could blog about tonight is my dog show schedule.  I haven’t decided for sure which shows we’ll be attending, but this is how it’s looking tentatively:

March 2-4, Prince Albert SK

April 13-15, Battleford SK

May 4-6, here at home in Saskatoon

May 19-21, Regina SK

June 1-4, Edmonton AB

July 13-15, Springbank AB

August 3-6, Calgary AB

September 1-3, here at home in Saskatoon

It’s not set in stone yet, but these are the shows we’re considering and will likely be hitting.  More may be added as their information becomes available, or changes made as other things come up.  But if you’ve got someone you’d like to send out with us (we do have a couple spots that may be available for the right Chihuahua, Havanese, Pomeranian, or other small dog) let us know.  🙂  Hmmm…  just realized I haven’t updated my handling site in an embarrassingly long time.  Yikes!  Well.  LOL  The link is in the side bar, just the same.

A Farewell to Karen Pipke

Honestly, I wasn’t going to post about this…  Clearly I wasn’t going to post about this as I’ve already made my post for this evening…  But my word for the year is love…  and I’m determined to be true to myself and allow myself to feel things deeply and fully…  so to choose to NOT share goes against that.  So here it is:

I learned today that a fellow Havanese Fancier, Karen Pipke, has passed away.  Karen and I go back quite a ways together.  I remember helping her out when she was first getting started in the breed.  She’d had Shelties for a number of years, but was just getting started in Havanese.  Sylvia and I made several trips out to her place (one province over) to talk dogs, and help her evaluate puppies.  Karen and I were actually talking about possibly co-owning a pup this year…  As my only Neezer is now into her double digits, and I miss showing them.  They are SOOO easy in the ring compared to Chihuahuas.  The idea that she’s gone feels like someone has played some cruel joke.  I’m just waiting for someone to yell “Ha ha!  I gotcha!”  It’s just too surreal.

I’ve always enjoyed Karen’s company at the many dog shows we attended.  Whether we went together or just happened to run into one another, we always had a good time.  I will miss her company.

My love and condolences to Karen’s family and closest friends.  She will be well remembered, now and always.  I know she has reunited with many companions at the Rainbow Bridge, and I will see her again when I make that journey.

RKOC Dog Show – Day Two

Today, being completely exhausted, I’m going to just share a bunch of photos.  As always, captured by my lovely younger sister, Jewles.  🙂  We’re another point closer to Marnie’s Championship – which is always a nice thing to be able to say after a busy dog show day.

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The Best Thing About Local Dog Shows

Very honestly, the absolutely best thing about local dog shows is being able to have the wee girlie there with me.  I’m not a huge fan of dog shows at home…  they are FAR more work than away shows.  When I’m away at a dog show, the only thing I have to worry about is the dog show.  But at home?  I still have to do everything I’d normally have to do – the show is just added on top of everything else.  But having my little girl get to see me there, watching her have fun playing with the dogs (ours and others), seeing her totally enjoying the experience and taking it all in?  Totally worth it!

Here’s the girlie, sitting in the pen with the Chihuahuas (Marnie and Ned), sharing a few treats:

the girlie sharing a treat with two of the Chihuahuas

Who says kids and Chihuahuas don't mix? 😉

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