Wednesday, September 30, 2009

God and Dog

Thanks to my sister-in-law for sending me this link. There is nothing for me to add, it says it all.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another reason to love agility

Of course I love spending time with my dog and the competition of racing against other teams and against the clock. But among competitive sports, both in the dog world and out, I don't know of another sport with better comaraderie and sportsmanship. When one of our fellow handlers enjoys a big success, we all celebrate with them, even though they may be our competition. I suppose that in some circles the competition creates jealousy and ruins the fun, but frankly, I've never seen it in my group of friends/competitors. When someone we know has a success, whether that success is hitting the contacts after a long period of blown contacts, or the biggest success of all, the Master Agility Championship (MACH), we all celebrate with them without reservation. Though they may be the team that you try your hardest to beat, the ones you think about when you train, the ones who's times you keep track of in your head, when they celebrate, you are genuinely happy for their success.

In the last few weeks, we've seen a number of big successes. Debbie and Forest earned their MACH a few weeks ago and were the first team that I've trained with and know personally to get a MACH. I cried when I saw Debbie first hug Forest and then lift that bar for their victory run. Two weeks ago, Mark and Viper were awarded their first MACH and we are all so happy about it that we have been having "congratualations" cakes a couple of times a week! Mark and Viper have (unwittingly) set a goal for Maggie and I to reach. They are a wonderful team with almost flawless runs and fast times- just running in the same class as them is a point we never thought we'd acheive and every trial we try to get a little bit closer to their times. So even though they are "sort of" our competition, we couldn't be happier.

Finally, today, our friends John and Remy got to take that victory run with their MACH bar and we celebrated again. This time with silly string...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Border Collie Heaven

This weekend is the event that I wait for all year.... more than an agility show, even! Once a year, Missouri Kansas Border Collie Rescue has a reunion for all the volunteers from this great organization, and of course, all the dogs that have been adopted through the years. We get to see the dogs that we once pulled from shelters or rescued alongside a road. Once abandoned and hopeless, we get to seem them with their loving families, healthy and happy-often almost unrecognizable from the way they were when we first met them. And if that were not enough, one of our volunteers donates the use of her farm and pond, so the dogs get to spend the day running, swimming, chasing balls and hanging out with one another. You would think that a field with 80 to 100 border collies would be chaos, and in some ways it is, but they all seem to get along and have a blast. We always try a group photo of only dogs, but few of them can sit or down/stay long enough for the humans to get out of the way... not with so much to do.

Maggie gets to visit with her foster family and they are always happy to see her. Jake flirts with all the girls and eats sheep poop (not always in that order). So you can see why we all look forward to this date. We'll back on Sunday... dirty, tired, and counting the day to next year.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Baby of Mine

Baby mine, don't you cry.

Baby mine, dry your eyes.

Rest your head close to my heart,

Never to part, baby of mine.

Little one, when you play,

Don't you mind what they say.

Let those eyes sparkle and shine,

Never a tear, baby of mine.

If they knew sweet little you,

They'd end up loving you too.

All those same people who scold you,

What they'd give just for the right to hold you.

From your head to your toes,

You're not much, goodness knows.

But you're so precious to me,

Cute as can be, baby of mine.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea.

I love you.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What I missed the Triune Trial for...

What a great time we had at Mizzou family day! We started by meeting at Sarah's new apartment for a pre-game party. You would think that twenty or so of us would overwhelm a college apartment, but Sarah has a pretty roomy place, so it wasn't too bad. Even with four (yes FOUR) dogs there as well. Good thing we're all friendly!

Not only was it family weekend at Mizzou, but it was Whiteman day, and we were treated to a B-2 flyover. I would have taken a picture, but honest-to-goodness, that plane blew me away. I expected a normal loud flyby, but that plane is well... stealthy! It was overhead and all we could do was stand with our mouths open. Wow, what an aircraft.

Like the geek that I am, one of my favorite parts of a college football is the marching band. Sorry, I know that the cool kids go for a beer, but I've always stood and watched.

The game started off badly. In fact, by halftime, I was having a difficult time watching. But Sarah left the student side to sit with us, bringing her good ju-ju with her and it turned the game around. Even little Julian seemed to enjoy the game. He was a trooper and made it until it was clear that Mizzou had the game under control in the 4th quarter before he nodded off to sleep. And then even the cannon crew couldn't wake him.
After the game, Sarah took the kids down to the area near the locker rooms to get autographs. By then we were all pretty pooped so we all headed for home.

Monday, September 7, 2009

TMI Warning!

Okay, this may be too much info for some of you, and to be honest, I feel a little bad that I will be leaving town for a few days and probably won't update my blog for a while and I will be leaving this posted. But hey, I've never been known as a shrinking violet. (what the heck IS a shrinking violet anyway?)

Toilets in Turkey left me with some new knowledge and some new questions.

First, all toilets have a built in water spout for rinsing off. I don't know if this technically a bidet. I always thought that bidets were separate fixtures, but this is integrated into the toilet so perhaps it has a different name. But anyway, there is a faucet handle on the wall to turn this little squirter on and it rinses you. You still need the paper to dry.

Next, many of the toilets have a flush "button" instead of a flush handle and it is built into a panel in the wall above the toilet. Also, most of them have two different "buttons" in this panel. I never figured out what the difference was, they both seemed to do the same thing on every one I tried. If anyone can clear that up, I'd be grateful.

Last but not least is the "other" kind of toilet. Many public facilities had these dudes and for the life of me I cannot understand why. This has to be one of the worst toilet ideas of all time. It is actually worse than going behind a tree in the woods because of the splashing. So to use this thing you have to get low enough to prevent splashing, while still holding your handbag AND holding your pant legs or skirt up high enough in case you do splash. And all of them had that little pitcher and faucet.... I have no idea what that is for since this "toilet" does flush...water rushes around the bowl (splashing of course) and then runs down the drain.

Again, my apologies if this was too much info, but hey, I warned you!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back home...

Humble apologies for leaving my blog dangling for so long. However, many things have gotten in the way recently. Among other things, I just got back from 10 days in Turkey and it was completely different than what I expected! I had anticipated "roughing it" and problems with food and toilets. However, I was VERY wrong. In fact, here are a couple of photos from my hotel room near Ephesus. The water is the Aegean sea, and some of the land that you can see on the horizon are actually Greek islands. I expected a Muslim country to be very conservative, but instead, it was very European, with people wearing clothes/swimsuits that even here we would consider risque'. For instance, these two young men in speedos... who had any idea that miniature golf could be so fascinating?

Anyway, I won't bore you with a lot of photos and stories... I just hate it when people make you sit through their vacation pictures. However, there are a few things I want to share. First, almost everyone (at least in touristy places) speaks English. Many signs are in English, and most places accept Euro as well as Turkish Lira. The food is a little different, but anyone can find something- no heavy spices and lots of good cheeses and olives (yumm). All the hotels and many city areas had free Wi-Fi, however, I did not take a laptop so I was stuck using the hotels' "internet cafes." This brings me to one final observation... the computer keyboards in Turkey are totally different. Many of the letters look like they are in the same place, but are slightly different. The lowercase "I/i" does not have a dot, "C's" have a little tail on the bottom and there are a host of funky letters where punctuation belongs. And to make things worse, the @ sign that is in everyone's email address is hidden in some location that I never found. Needless to say, sending an email was almost impossible from there, especially if your login/passwork has one of those letters in it. Your computer doesn't think "oh, I bet she meant the i with the dot over the top".... it just IS the right letter or it's not.

Anyway, if anyone wants to know more about traveling to Turkey, I'd be happy to share. It was a beautiful, friendly country rich in history and I'd love to go back some day.