WE’RE HOME AND IT COULDN’T BE WORSE

The dog show is over and Karla and I are back from Colorado almost safe and sound.  My brain seems to be functioning again after two weeks and Karla now thinks she is Queen of the pack (but she still takes a wide berth around Sam who is REALLY cranky lately). 

We met new friends and old friends and only one really stupid person (which I brought to her attention).  I was sure I wouldn’t recognize anyone after so many years but guess what?  They didn’t recognize me!!!  Am I that much older looking?  Everything went as per usual.  Since my feet hurt, we took the easy way and asked for a wheelchair.  Why doesn’t everyone do that I wonder?  For a tip they zip you right to your gate thank goodness.  It has been so long since I have flown from a large airport I just couldn’t believe that you had to take a train to a plane! 

I had sedatives for Karla thank goodness!  I put her into her Airpod which slides over the handle of the suitcase.  The wheelchair pusher parked us at the gate.  I let go of the handle.  Karla wiggled.  The case and Karla fell over.  I grabbed for her.  The wheelchair fell over.  The entire terminal ran over to stare at the poor disabled lady on the floor who was helped up by the stewardess who stood beside me until I was on the plane.  I then gave Karla a sedative and ate my portion of the three peanuts shared by all the passengers.  At Chicago where I changed planes I noticed that Karla had her head stuck between the metal bar in her bag and the mesh and was just hanging there.  The company has yet to answer my letter.

Theresa and Chris came to get me which was very nice of them because I forgot the time change which made it at 10:30 pm and everyone had to get up early in the morning.  They were even nice enough to drive through McDonalds so I could eat.  I shared my burger with Karla and that was the end of her eating kibble…still.  (By the way, I absolutely love Chris and his son!) 

Monica was my chauffeur.  I think she wanted to put a tag on me with my name and address because I was so exhausted that I could never remember where her car was or make any decisions.  The only decision I made was that I WANT ARCHER!  He is absolutely adorable and could do one of Beamer’s tricks.  That was jumping back and forth from bed to bed.  I was in stitches.  I think though that he was as nervous as I.  Archer’s arrows go straight to Monica’s heart so I doubt she will let me have him.

Karla turned into this thing.  Here is this shy dog that I was worried about even taking into the hotel that saw a Great Dane and tried to attack it!  Good grief!!!  She was even patient when it took me about five tries to get my door open and pretended not to hear what I said when I broke my coffeepot.  The maid left a nice note:  1.  Turn on power, 2. put thingee in thing.  Leave thingee in thing because the hole you made is not to pour the coffee into the where the water goes, 3. pour water into water hole (they could label them) and press “brew”.

One of the shows Karla and the other undocked Aussie were dismissed from the ring.  I was so angry that I cried because I could see that yes, having a tail is not in the standard but I guess having feet pointing in all directions and a head on backwards is just fine.  Pamela saw that I was about to go in and kill the judge so she made me sit down and talked me into just asking the judge if they were dismissed because of their tails.  Of course the answer was “OH NO!”.  I actually smiled, shook her hand and left.  None of the tailed Aussies did as well as I expected.  Karla won her class but that was about it.  Karla felt like she had to ride in the back of the bus and drink out of a special water fountain just because her spine wasn’t amputated.

We had a wonderful party with the dogs and people running together at a beautiful house hosted by Katrina and David.  The next door neighbor came out of his door with a black lab, saw all these Aussies coming around the corner one by one non stop, turned around and went back in his door.  It really was hysterical.

Finally sad goodbyes and I go up to the desk to pay and they charge me over $100 per night!  I still have to straighten that one out.  Luck was with me again with Pamela walking up at the same time to tell them it should be just $80 something.  Of course the manager wasn’t there.  So later.

Got home smoothly due to wheelchair pushers and crashed.  In the middle of the night I wake up screaming because my back hurt so much.  I stood up and my feet didn’t hurt at all.  You figure that out.  I gulped one of  Hubby’s back pills and went to the foot doctor as scheduled and found that I had plantar fasciitis (sp).  So, he molded little ballerina shoes with COLD water and I will get the insoles in the mail.  I set up an appointment for the back.  Next day I thought I had the Camel flu but half-way through the day realized that I forgot to take my pills.

I’m not even going to mention what happened with my wonderful historian job and hubby and I decided to go up North tomorrow for the rest of the week so something else could happen bad to me (aside from the fact that we are having a difficult time selling our house and now they are putting a machine shop next to us).  This is in an agricultural zone.

Well, now that you all know that things have been normal with me I bid you adieu and warn you that you should probably stay as far away from me as you can!

Facebook Groups

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!