Friday, November 30, 2012

Bedtime Serenade

With very little instigation, the boys are happy to sing a duet before bed. One little OooooOooo from me and off they go!

Have a restful weekend, Everyone!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The View From Up Here

I guess for a height-challenged dog like a Corgi, even the small boost of a bench improves the view. Jimmy was trying to keep his eye on some Canada geese that were paddling out of his sight line on the big lake in my neighborhood. He is after all an honorary member of the Geese Police, or so he thinks.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A-Hiking We Will Go!

So last friday, Black Friday , I had no intention of going shopping! There's plenty of time to get my Christmas shopping done, so I didn't have to do it on a day of extra crowded, extra frenzied shopping. I decided to take the boys to a regional park I had not visited before. It is only a few miles away, but first I had to get past the traffic backup going to the outlet mall near my house. Fortunately, I knew a side road to cut around the worst of it.

The park was situated along the Potomac River, but several miles further north than our usual park where we take the jetski and the boys to swim. As a result, the park was on a bluff overlooking the river. It had many well-marked hiking trails. The parking lot was no where near the river, but the second Wilson was out of the car, he tried bee-lining for the water. He was positive we had come to swim! So what if it was November! We started walking and he kept up a very swift pace, pretty much dragging me, first up to the bluff and then rapidly downhill to the river. He's never been to this park before, but he sure knew what trail to take to reach his preferred destination! Smart boy and a good nose, I guess.

Both boys were straining on their leashes to get in that water! Silly boys! The park had a good many hikers wondering around, probably people wanting to counteract their large Thanksgiving dinners, so there was  no chance of letting the boys off-leash. But mainly, without leashes, I would have lost them to the river and had to come home with mud-balls. That wasn't going to happen!

Here are a few miscellaneous shots from the day....

The terrain was quite hilly, and it was a good climb to get back up from the river. Despite my usual two to three mile walks each day with the boys, I was actually a bit stiff the next day from this hike! I think I'll try going there more often to see if I can get in better shape!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Curiosity Killed The.....

......Cardigan....? Well, hopefully not, but the boys sure where curious about the large hole presented to them at the end of this tree. If you remember my Hurricane Sandy post , my neighborhood association finally cleared the path and cut up that huge tree. They didn't haul it away, just left it for posterity. It will take many years for this big trunk to return to the earth. It's lovely oak wood so maybe someone will come along and take it for firewood. I already saw one man hauling away a slab he planned to make into a coffee table.

We just know there's a squirrel in here somewhere!

Jimmy, working on earning himself a Darwin Award .

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Book Review: Rin Tin Tin

I just finished reading Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean. I can say I enjoyed the book and read through it quickly. It bogged down a bit describing some of the inner workings of Hollywood but overall was an interesting and informative read. Now I have to say I am just young enough that I missed watching the black and white series on TV. It went off the air the same year I was born, but I do remember seeing it in re-runs as a kid. I have to say, that show was pretty much all I knew about the legendary dog. I did not realize his origins were in World War I and the original Rin Tin Tin was a star of the silent movie era. This book tells the full tale, starting with finding the pup who was to become a world-wide sensation, his many movies, the ups and downs of his owner Lee Duncan's life, the line of dogs that would all carry the Rin Tin Tin name forward, the Hollywood years, and the legal battles in the name of this dog's fame. This dog pretty much single handedly started a national craze for German Shepherd Dogs. Everyone wanted a Rin Tin Tin of his/her own!

Armed with all this new Rin Tin Tin knowledge, I realized something. The very first dog I had as a child was a German Shepherd. My parents bought him when I was just two. Some of my earliest memories are of that dog, who we named Storm. I imagine my parents' desire to get that particular breed of dog was probably fueled by a lifetime of Rin Tin Tin exposure. They had grown up during the peek of his glory days. My sister was born while the The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin was still in its first run. It is definitely a question I would love to ask them....but alas I can't.

I love to pass along books that I enjoy. If anyone would like my copy of this book, please email me at taryn(dot)tipton(at)gmail(dot)com. If more than one person responds, I will pull a name from the hat!

Monday, November 19, 2012

In a Blaze of Glory!

Most of the trees in my area have given up their leaves. I know because I've been raking them up out of my yard fairly often. But there is one variety of maple that still has all of it's leaves intact and it is putting on a glorious show and one last hoorah for the fall season!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Why So Serious?

I took this photo a few weeks back on one of our morning walks. I guess the boys weren't in the mood for posing and gave me their most serious faces.....

It immediately made me think of American Gothic. All they need is a pitchfork and they would look like these two characters.......

Artist: Grant Wood
Anyway, that's my interpretation......

But, speaking of serious things....I just learned that Jimmy's litter mate brother, Bobby, is having back issues due to IVDD . He could use some serious healing vibes from the dog world....I know I am sending all the Good Karma I can! Hang in there Claire and Bobby!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Not Gonna Budge!

A little while back, on a gorgeous fall day, I was out in the backyard, raking the leaves into little piles. Of course, the boys were out there with me, supervising. They plopped down and I raked. Eventually I would rake too near to them, they would get offended, and move to a new spot that had not yet been raked. This happened several times. Eventually, as my chore wound to an end, the boys clung to the last un-raked spot! Here they are, trying to hold onto the last little patch.....

We claim this spot in the name of dogs everywhere!

We won't budge!................Wait! What's that about a biscuit in the kitchen?!

Currently, my yard looks like I never even raked it clean, so this little scene will be repeated in the near future. Dog vs Rake II....coming to a blog near you soon!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Bedtime Snack

So last Friday evening, I decide to get the boys out for their last walk of the evening. We were getting ready to watch a movie and I knew I would not feel like taking that walk after it was over. It was of course dark outside, but I live in a typical suburban neighborhood with sidewalks and streetlights. The community also has common areas, here and there, to build in a bit of spacing between the homes. Through these areas run paved paths as well, but no streetlights, so it's dark. The boys have a preferred route they like to take for the last walk of the night. It meanders through one of these common areas that is a large grassy field. It's not uncommon to see wildlife back there and I think that's what the boys like about it. So we wander around, sniffing, peeing, sniffing, peeing...the dogs of course! Not me!  Jimmy decides he's done and turns to beeline for home. Wilson was still enjoying the night, but gave in when I tugged on the leash. Jimmy had a nice little trot going and wasted no time getting back to the house. We go around back to come in through the back door. I busy myself getting the leashes/collars off and put away. Wilson runs for the cookie jar (a post-walk routine) and Jimmy plops down on the nearby dog bed. I come in from hanging the leashes in the garage and John is all upset. Something's wrong with Jimmy! He's throwing up! Oh, no! I fly over to have a look.....and burst out laughing! He hadn't thrown up. Jimmy had very covertly carried an entire mouthful of deer poop for three blocks and upon getting in the house, emptied it onto the bed. He was now picking through it for the tastiest morsels! No wonder he hadn't accompanied Wilson to the cookie jar...He had brought home his own bedtime snack!

John did not find the humor in the situation as I did. He was angry and in a hurry to get it out of the house so I have no pictures of Jimmy's big pile-o-poop. You'll just have to take my word for it!

Here's an unrelated photo of the poop-eater himself......

Do NOT, under any circumstances, accept kisses from this dog!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Weekend Report - Oh, The Irony!

This weekend was our last agility trial of the year. It was held by the Capital City Cocker Club. They are a very fun bunch and put on a great trial. It was held at an equestrian center so the footing was great. Last year the place was a bit dark and too dusty, but the club had them water it down better this time. The place also made sure all the ceiling lights were working properly. It was quite improved this year!

On Saturday, I have to say Karma was having her fun with me. As you know from previous agility posts, Jimmy doesn't like the table. But it seems to be improving. If I can fit in a front-cross, he seems to pop right on. Well, Saturday's course really didn't need a front-cross, but I tried to throw one in any way. It was so poorly planted, I blocked Jimmy's approach to the table and nearly made him miss the table. He just about broke the back refusal plane and hesitated about getting on. A stricter judge would have called me with a refusal, but this sweet judge let it slide, and we ran the rest clean for a Q!

A bit later, it was time for Jumpers. It wasn't too difficult and of course I had my fingers crossed for another Q. I led out and released Jimmy. He made it one jump before a Doberman in the Standard ring SLAMMED the teeter so hard, it sounded like a shotgun blast. I didn't even know what the noise, it was that loud. It even echoed. Well, Jimmy is quite scared of fireworks and gunfire, and he just plain froze. He kept waiting for more of the same. He of course got called with a refusal for stopping. With much coaxing, I was able to get him moving again. We ran clean but over time......I guess Karma decided the first judge was just a bit too nice and decided to prevent a Double Q :-(

The club offered the optional Time 2 Beat, so we had signed up for that. It was in the same ring as the Jumpers had been, and I was happy to see Jimmy had let go of his fear. We ran cleanly and earned another leg and 7 more points.

Sunday started with Standard again. It was chute to the table this time and absolutely no way to fit in a front-cross. I just had to go with it. Jimmy slowed noticeably before getting on, and it looked like he was getting ready to sass me. But he did hop on, I praised him, and off we went to another Q! Yay!

Jumpers was a tricky course and all was going well until a double jump about 3/4s through the course. Jimmy nicked the top bar and down it came.....Heavy Sigh...

After such a long struggle with Qing in Standard, it is so ironic that now we are having difficulties getting a Jumpers Q! But I am very thankful that we have made such great progress on the table. This was the 6th Standard Q in a row! That means success on the table as well as success on the dogwalk contact.

Jimmy had a professional massage before going home. Anne said he definitely had some tightness in his iliopsoas muscles and spent a lot of time trying to work it out. She said it was time for Jimmy to take a break. Good thing the season is over for us! I guess Wilson will be filling in for class again for a bit! And speaking of Wilson, he got to run a Jumpers course on Saturday. He was quite happy to play and even did his weaves! Alas, he took one bar so we did not Q, but it was fun none the less!

Here's Saturday's Standard run with my messy table handling front and center:

Tracking Jimmy's MACH progress:
Excellent B JWW legs: 24  Now he's working on his MXJ3!
Excellent B STD legs: 13. We earned our MX and are working on MX2 now.
Double Q's: 8 (out of 20 double-Q's needed for a MACH.... 40 Percent!)
MACH Points: 561 (out of 750 speed points needed for a MACH...... 75 Percent!)

Time 2 Beat legs: 6 (out of 15 needed for his T2B) 48 points (out of 100 needed) 

Friday, November 9, 2012

We Know What To Do!

Wilson and Jimmy are so used to me lugging my camera around everywhere we go, that they pretty much just strike up a pose whenever I ask for a sit. It has absolutely nothing to do with the treat bag that's always attached to one of the leashes.

Here are the last couple of photographs from the farm last weekend. I can really drag out my posts, can't I?

And as I often do, I saved my favorite for last. I absolutely love how Jimmy looks like he sat up extra straight, puffing out his little chest, in order to be seen behind Wilson.

Click to enlarge Jimmy's cuteness!

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hay There!

The farm where the agility trial was held last weekend had a whole LOT of hay stacked up to get them through the winter.....

Just tiny dots on a wall of hay! Love the boys' pointy shadows!

The view was great from up there!

What was holding their interest... A field of llamas.

Jimmy: Llama! It's what's for dinner!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Weekend Report - A Table for the 4th Time in a Row!

Yesterday was another fun day of agility. This trial was an outdoor trial held at a farm over on Eastern Shore, Maryland. I was worried the place would be a muddy mess after the passing of Hurricane Sandy, but it was really quite dry. The forecast was for a chilly, but sunny day. Well, the weatherman was right about the chilly, but there was very little sun. It came out for the last run of the day.

The first run was Standard. It was a tight course (the judge runs Corgis!) but not too difficult. It was Aframe to the Table, which seems to be working for Jimmy recently. I front-crossed in between and he hopped right on! Good boy! We ran the rest cleanly and it was a Q! We weren't quite fast enough to place in the ribbons, coming in 5th.

Next, Jumpers. Again, not too tough. A big circle that eventually led to a triple in a corner. Unfortunately Jimmy took this jump out, knocking the top bar. Being an outdoor trial, the ground is not level everywhere, and this jump caused the dogs to jump slightly uphill. It was just enough that a lot of dogs didn't get over cleanly. There was lots of grumbling :-) This was our only mistake but as such no Q and no Double-Q for the day. While I was a bit disappointed, I was stilled thrilled at getting the table yet again in my first run. Success on the table is much more important in the long run!

This trial offered the optional course called Time to Beat (T2B). It was a nice flowing course (as they should be, but some judges seem to forget that) and Jimmy cruised around cleanly and quickly. Now with T2B only the fastest dog get a placement ribbon, and our butt was kicked by a very speedy King Charles Cavalier. Jimmy was the next speediest so he did get 9 points toward his title and of course another leg.

I forgot my video camera so I am afraid there's no agility clips to share. This trial was about an hour and a half ride from home. To get there, I needed to cross the huge Chesapeake Bay Bridge . Well, as it usually is with agility trials, you are driving at the crack of dawn in order to arrive in plenty of time to settle in. Fortunately the clocks going back an hour eased the pain of getting up so early.  I got to the bridge just as the sun was beginning to color the sky. I didn't catch quite the picture I wanted but it gives a hint of how pretty it was to cross the bridge so early. Another reward for arising early!

And at mid-span, I liked the abstract quality of the support structure.....

I've got more pictures from the farm, but I will save them for later. I've got to conserve my blog fodder, don't cha know :-)

Tracking Jimmy's MACH progress:
Excellent B JWW legs: 24  Now he's working on his MXJ3!
Excellent B STD legs: 11 We earned our MX and are working on MX2 now.
Double Q's: 8 (out of 20 double-Q's needed for a MACH.... 40 Percent!)
MACH Points: 520 (out of 750 speed points needed for a MACH...... 69 Percent!)

Time 2 Beat legs: 5 (out of 15 needed for his T2B) 41 points (out of 100 needed) 

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Large Roadblock

My area here in the DC suburbs was truly lucky to have escaped the wrath of Hurricane Sandy. I grew up in southern New Jersey and visited the Jersey shore a lot as a kid. It's hard to imagine the Atlantic City boardwalk washed away!

When I went for my first walk after the storm had passed, there really wasn't much to see except lots more leaves on the ground. Around the corner from my house, maybe a one minute walk, I saw the only downed tree. It was blocking my usual walking path....I think this one will be a bit of a challenge for the tree removal folks......

Thursday, November 1, 2012

So Freakin' Cute!

Now I know I am a wee bit biased.....but this picture just melts my heart! Wilson was out in the yard soaking up a few rays and got sleepy. Being the creature of comfort he is, he used the tree mound as a pillow. I saw this from an upstairs window and just had to snap a picture! Can I get a big Awwwww!!! from everyone?!

Click to enlarge for full cuteness!

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