For all of you that are not going to be going to the Australian Terrier Club of America’s National Specialty tomorrow, I am going to miss you. Karla is going to miss you. The more people there – the less I will notice. Of course, no one could help not noticing regal-looking Karla but as for me, me is going to hide! Karla looks so regal that I can’t hope but what she will grow into regalness. As for now, lets not talk about the way she acts except that she is pushing here to become boss woman of the pack. But, she has such a funny way of doing it. If someone (human or otherwise) is getting attention to me she very happily knocks them over so that they can’t get close to me. If someone (dog) has something the wants, she runs over and bites them and then starts screaming like SHE is the one being killed and rolls up in a ball. I think the other dog is so surprised or disgusted (in Spider’s case) they just leave the room and let her have the bone. If she wants something from me she just starts barking (loudly) so I pity Theresa Shreader at the hotel when we get there. Perhaps we can get a padded, soundproof basement room if we ask.
Back to you who are not going to the specialty…I have a hint for you. This is important so listen up. Pretend that you are going. I want you to get out your suitcases and go through the motions because this is what happened to me! I must have slept in the correct feng shu position last night because I got out my suitcase and opened it. I usually hide my money everywhere because I once got my wallet stolen at Chicago with checkbook, cash and credit cards in it. I went to put some case in my hidden compartment in my suitcase and wahlah!!!! There was $52 in there! Stupid me told hubby so he took back some of the money he gave me.
I packed my suitcase and since I can only have two items on the plane I went to put some cash in the outside of Karla’s bag but wahlah!!!! There was $71 in there! I didn’t tell hubby. Then I put on my outfit I was wearing (and it’s cold here so I’ll boil there) but there was no pockets. I remember I had a little cash and ID folder that hangs around my neck and went and got that. It was pretty dusty – last used on the Mississippi River Boat Cruise (by the way, wonderful cruise) and wahlah!!!! There was $57 dusty dollars in there! So pack everyone, pack! No wonder Hubby says I spend too much money and I say that I don’t. I just don’t remember where I put it! At least I have my priorities straight for the path that I am on :)
It is now 10:43 and I am beginning to really get nervous. I will be nervous until I get home and then be so relieved that I will forget all my money. All the dogs know something is up and are stuck to my leg. I had to get something out of my already stuffed suitcase, naturally, and Sam grabbed Karla’s treats and swallowed them so poor Karla will have to share my hard-boiled eggs with me on the plane. Last trip from here to Wisconsin all the passengers had to split three peanuts so I brought my lunch this time. I’ll probably be mobbed. Since they are in the outside pocket of Karla’s bag and, of course, smell like sulfur, I will just blame it on her. “Whew! This dog has gas!!!” The pocket also has three miniature Jim Beams in it because I refuse to pay $5 each and can now only pay $1 for a glass of ice water.
Since my feet are still paining me (it may be plantar fasciitis) I will go to the counter and ask for a wheelchair and they can take me to where I have to go and I get on first! HAHA!
Well, my husband just asked me when we should leave so it is time to panic. Remember to pack everyone!!!
Am I rambling here?
Well, I guess Karla and I are down to the wire here. This is the last day before flying off into the “wild blue yonder”. Please don’t be wild, yonder. Yesterday I kept myself busy by trimming the grass around the trees on my hands and knees until the battery died on my clippers (about two hours, which is good for two year old clipper batteries) and which gave me hives from something. I was happy to see that my huge decapitated dead tree had toad hiding in the holes between the roots and behind the grass. I don’t want to scare them so I always say “I don’t see you Toady but it’s going to rain so go inside. Usually when I peek into the holes there are 2 – 4 eyes peeking back at me. What I love are those teeny tiny toad that you see jumping around.
I clip the grass with hand clippers because I believe that weed whackers hurt the trees and cut the bark off. And yes, I hug them. (The trees, not the toads) I was in agony because FIVE (that’s 5) times the people in hard hats and baskets in the air came and amputated limbs (and a body!) in one year. These are very old and huge trees. The house was built in 1886. Wish I knew when the trees were planted.
Anyway, I picked out my outfits which I’m going to change today and then we went to get the Subaru which had gleaming new brakes. On to Walmart where I don’t usually shop but I really needed a one stop for everything this time. For six items, at the end I wished I had used one of those carts. I DO have to get my footsies fixed. (after I get back). Home again by 6 pm with the dogs thinking they had been deserted and were going to starve to death (I do hope Paul feeds them while we are gone). Then two short movies while I sorted through historical things that were in the vault at the Old Town Hall. Ewwww. Compost in the making.
Now today….what today? Some of my friends on Facebook are on their way to the show in Colorado and sending cheerful messages about their journeys. Do they have “cheerful” pills or something? Not sedatives to relax you but…I KNOW! When my older sister and I were little there was a patch of rhubarb by the swing set. We would pick some, take a bite and laugh ourselves off the swings! She lives at the homestead. I’ll have to call and see if she has some.
Karla is as calm as ever (pretty weird for a puppy less than one year old) and is sitting like a lion next to me. Perhaps it’s her tail but I’ve never seen an Aussie sit like that. Do you think perhaps she is part collie?
Can’t put it off any longer. I must get a-goin’ and start worrying and changing my outfits and getting out my list! Adios Amigos! When something goes over your heads you can look up and say “It’s a bird!”, “It’s a plane”, “NO! – It’s Superdog!!!”
So here we go again. Everything is under control but only because I am following along by hanging onto it.
Three day ago the six of us (Paul and I, Spider, Sam, HarryIt, Karla) got all groomed and (except Karla) , packed up the car and trailer with plastic buckets filled with clean towels, rugs and linens and other sundries that we would use this summer and headed up north to Camp. Halfway there the brakes started groaning and grinding and the tarp started unraveling but we made it. Everything was in good shape except for a small hole in the corner of the Camper Trailer which meant that all lines that were there had to be taken home to be dried and that next trip up will be spent sealing the roof. Our fault as our daughter had been ragging at us to do that every year.
This was Karla’s first VACATION and all dogs knew that word except her. She didn’t even get excited when the suitcases were bring brought out. Once in the car she decided that she was to have the space between and behind the front buckets and sat and watched the scenery for 2.5 hours while all the others were asleep in their normal places. It was a learning experience for her completely so Paul and I never left them to go into town once we got there. We just ran over and borrowed our daughters stuff that we had forgotten. This was a good thing because even though we call Karla “Goofy” she ain’t so dumb. Just kind of klutzy. The first thing she did was push out one of the screens as I was walking by but she learned that that was a “no no” and I could use some suggestions as to how to keep that from happening again. Next she learned how to walk (while very excited about the new smells) in the woods. What fun to run around a tree with me running around calling her to come back so we could unwind. Then she learned that you poop when you are on a leash outside. At home I just open the door to the dog yard. This was all good practice for the Colorado Specialty coming up. She learned each of those things within an hour. Oh yes, she learned how six can sleep in a queen sized bed during a thunder storm in a tin can.
The way home the brakes were a bit louder but no one seemed to mine except us. It’s amazing how long 2.5 hours feels with grinding brakes. Luckily the camp is in the foothills of the Adirondacks and not the middle or other side and on the return the trailer was mostly full of laundry and not eaten food. There were more birds up there than I had ever heard. More bugs maybe? There sure were a lot of mosquitos! I even heard a thrush – my very favorite bird.
Everyone was happy to be home and attacked each other going through the door. My new insoles which help with the footsie pain a bit arrived in the mail and I started grooming Karla for the show. Not too hard because I had kept her up and I got everything done but her legs. I am NOT happy with her tail set. Of course you can’t see it because unless she is really excited about seeing Mr. Wabbit outside you can’t tell. It was amazing how much hair came out when I had stripped her down to nothing before. And as for her nails – I swear to you that I drew no blood but she screamed and acted like I was amputating her foot off.
Today I was lucky and got an appointment with my orthopedist who liked my insoles and took several standing xrays of my footsies and told me that my feet were built correctly, there were no broken bones any more and he couldn’t find one thing wrong and referred me to a podiatrist when I get back to the show. This is good news, but it is bad news. Then we went on to the Vets (Paul had to drive because it hurts to drive standard and I wasn’t going to drive that brakeless thing, and Karla was very brave and wagged her tail at all the other small and big dogs and wanted to play. She got her health certificate and clearance for heartworm and lyme and then slept on my lap all the way home. She’s still sleeping so I won’t tell her she has another grooming session tonight.
Meanwhile, I’m going to take a nap.
Reading my favorite Facebook posts which are “Down East Portuguese Water Dogs”, “Dunham Lake Australian Terriers” and “Australian Terrier International”, I am realizing that each page really represents the the owner of the page more than the group. All three pages love dogs, have good information on them and are involved in the showing of American Kennel Club registered dogs. But yet, all three are so very different.
DownEast Portuguese Water Dogs is mostly involved with breeding and showing of their dogs in many different categories. Obedience, rally, conformation and many things that I know nothing about. I joined this group because I love both the managers of the group. They are experienced, they love their dogs, they are careful about where they place their puppies and they work with them in all sorts of ways. I don’t have a Portuguese Water Dog so I’m somewhat confused as to why anyone would want to go out on a boat and throw orange things at the dogs. Actually, I can’t even swim. Perhaps they could start a life saving training program for them. Maybe there is one already! However, what I do notice is that everyone in this group is totally involved with their dogs. None are chained to doghouses and all are worked with and loved and watch TV on the couch with their owners. These are people that love their dogs and want them to excel in what they were bred for. The people that are involved and communicate with each other in this group are not Presidents that bought a PWD just to be a family member taken care of by an employee. This is a group that is serious about their dogs and I applaud them.
Dunham Lake Australian Terriers is a group that is more social. Although there are many “show” people that contribute, there are more “pet” people. The pictures are more from proud parents and if you are in the group you better darn well “like” the pictures of some of the homeliest Australian Terriers that you have ever seen. Since many of the people don’t know everything about the health and care of dogs and many of the people actually DO know much about the care and health of the dogs intelligent questions are asked and people that have been through the same problems or have read something about the problems are more than willing to share the information that they have so that the answer seeker can have some help in solving the problems. Not all people know that their Vet is trying to help but does not know everything and hints and suggestions from the group that are passed to their Vets can help a great deal. There is a lot of love in this group also. When someone’s dog passes that we have seen pictures and heard stories about for years passes, it hurts us all. When someone is having personal problems and shares them with the group, again we give advice and encouragement. When someone shares that they are having a litter or going to a dog show we all share the excitement and thrill of new puppies or a nice win. (or even a “no” win but a great effort and performance).
Australian Terrier International is a group that has been needed for years. I do have and love the Australian Terrier because I think they like all four feet on the ground (or in the ground) just as I do my two feet. None of this diving off piers into ice cold water to pick up an orange thing. Because the Australian Terrier is not one of the very popular dogs there is a small gene pool. Combining this gene pool CAREFULLY with European, Russian, Australian, etc. gene pools perhaps we can get back to healthier dogs. When I bred Aussies 25 years ago, no one was willing to fess up to the problems in their lines (what, start over?) and artificial insemination was not common and was very expensive. 25 years later I come back to the breed with the thought of breeding again and I see HUGE Aussies with the same problems only with a bit more confessing going on. The question is whether we are going to combine the gene pools and have the world’s Aussies have health problems or are we going to combine the gene pool and cull out the health problems. I pray that it is the later. There are some absolutely gorgeous Aussies out there (with health problems) and unfortunately, because people want to win at dog shows, the don’t care as long as they get the ribbon.
Australian Terrier International (ATI) is a way to get in touch with people worldwide and listen to their stories and the health problems with their pet dogs so that you can avoid those breeders that have the health problems. Again, unfortunately, you rarely hear of health problems in the show dogs. Although we need the judges to tell us whether we are “kennel blind”, the judges can be persuaded just as politicians to choose an unhealthy (or just plain ugly) dog and can also just not know of the health problems of the dog they choose.
At the moment, I have an Australian Terrier bitch that is way over the standard size but she is healthy, she has the best head I have ever seen, the largest ears, the best front and rear and her tail has not been docked. I have had other Aussies that were beautiful and then had a nightmare litter. So who do I choose? The one I have and breed her to a smaller, healthy dog. It has always been a rule of mine to have a Championship on any dog I breed so that I know that a third party has looked at them and approved them. I now believe that it is frosting on the cake to have a Championship. I just want them healthy. To me, at this time, this is the most important issue because I love the breed.
So, going back to Facebook, I truly believe that the groups that are on Facebook are what the owners want. I give credit to all three of those owners. They keep in touch and read the postings so that they can keep troublemakers out of the groups, they join in with their knowledge, and for whatever reasons, they are the ones responsible for making those groups successful and my hat is off to them. Thank you, you three!