Thursday, July 31, 2008
There are a couple breeds that are very unfamiliar to me in as far as body shape and the Dachshund tops the list. It’s an interesting little dog and has the most detailed standard which is very helpful. It includes leg angles, measurements and some pretty finite requirements of the breed – don’t even get me started on their three coat types.
Some standards are very sparse, the Greyhound and the Saluki leave a lot of room for interpretation however these breeds have changed little in thousands of years – a remarkable feat what with humans and our penchant for screwing things up.
I will say that because of researching illustrated and ellaborated standards I now want a Scottish Deerhound. They sound lovely. They look like big fuzzy charcoal greyhounds.
Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be fine, I just have to trust myself and I know I have a good eye for a dog … but I’ve never had to say yes or no to a stranger’s baby puppy! I just hope there are no classes with 5 dogs - that means one dog gets nothing. But I get to pet lots of puppies!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Halo has NEVER liked water. It's an extreme distaste that borders on the pathological. While I think it's definitely a breed trait, Halo's genetics scream "Water is evil." So whenever a Halo baby encounters water it's an interesting juxtaposition between a puppy's natural curiousity and an inherited disdain for getting wet.
So here's Kona. Photos that capture precious moments like these really tickle me. The expression on his face seems to be that if a picture could say a thousand words they are probably not words you'd want to see in a bubble above his head - or they'd look something like this: *&^*#$%#!!! Ah Halo ... your boy done you proud.
He is giving it the college try I guess and a photo of him going out into the river is promising in the perception that it's likely voluntary. I can't imagine he was trying to retrieve that ball but hey ... a Ridgeback who goes into water AND retrieves would make him a real trail-blazer in the world of Ridgebacks.
This photo had me laughing out loud. LOL for those of you no longer accustomed to reading entire sentence structures. Apparently he got in a little deep and had to actually use swimmy type motions and this resulted. So ... er ... maybe not so much the water dog then. This photo was called "I am Drounding' which presumably he didn't.
So there we have it. Kona hits the rivers and shows Labs they don't have a monopoly on the waterways, however; with examples like this last photo I bet they're not that worried.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Shane has one ear that is oddly cock-eyed. It sort of sticks up and flips forward a bit so it makes his head look crooked. He's got a beautiful head tho, a nice masculine Halo head with more bone and a more pronounced stop. And can he move or what? He is one of those effortless puppies who, like Halo, never moves like his body parts don't fit each other. He trots along in that ground covering gait and never seems to expend energy doing it. A true working gait.
He and Raimi blasted around at the park yesterday afternoon in ridiculous heat and then again today. Raimi had to show off how fast he was and while Shane never could catch him on a straight run he sure has his mother's knack for ambush and quick turns. There were a couple close calls and narrowly avoided collisions. They both especially enjoy the tall grass now at the park and delight in ga-boinging their way through it.
The cats are fascinating to Shane and while they don't much care about the dogs they sure know when they are being stalked. Weasley knows too but he encourages the game of chase and I caught Shane with a little too intense look on his face and told him to back off. Of course the cat knows no better and still insisted on teasing the heck out of him anyway.
Now they are both curled up fast asleep exhausted after their morning's romp, a half hour of avoiding the lawn mower and watching me weed. Such a hard life for a dogs.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Ridgebacks can't resist the couch and Halo is no exception. Luckily there is just enough room for her and Tanja's children Annika & Sofia ... I'm not sure exactly where Tanja would find to sit ... however from conversations with her I suspect sitting is not a part of her day.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Alarms were triggered yesterday while Raimi was deep in a sniff of long grass and a cyclist rode over a wooden bridge that was about 15 feet away. The rumbling of the tires on 2 x 6 planks caused Mr Tough Guy Guard Dog to leap up and shoot in the opposite direction for about 10 feet before he righted himself and stopped to look at me for guidance. The expression on my face must have told a thousand tales of exasperation. He puffed himself up and nonchalantly walked out of the grass to my side as if it had never happened.
I’m not really sure what he’d do if he thought I was threatened; however, the odds of me being threatened while in his company are slim to nil. Who on earth would be dumb enough to approach a single woman walking a 110 pound dog with anything but an eyeball for their own safety. He is nothing if not intimidating. I must confess … I do like the effect.
He has shown that anyone or thing that tries to get into my house without my say would be sorrier for it. Strange noises, unexpected knocks and odd shadows falling across the windows usually get a cursory growl if not a soft warning bark. He has an incredibly intimidating and deep woof and no one hearing it could mistake that the dog was itself quite large. In fact the first time I heard his Big Boy Bark I thought ‘Who was that?”
This dog is the rock against which I sleep. He is the sighing, smiling, happily snoozing and languidly stretching Boy in the morning. I have no doubt that he would protect me from all comers as fiercely as I would protect him.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
He’s got nothing on the damage Halo did to the couch I used to have, she destroyed it in stages and I tried to use bitter apple etc but it didn’t make any difference. Petal must have been watching her with a ‘I don’t think you should be doing that’ expression. She didn’t try to stop her though, I’d come home to a livingroom full of fluff with Petal greeting me innocently and Halo greeting me guiltily. At the time I didn’t have a digital camera to record the carnage.
This time I don’t have a digital camera to record the carnage either. Why? The camera was the carnage. My cute little Canon Powershot is no more. The lens took the brunt of attention and it still turns on to the tune of a cracked screen and sad beeping noises. I thought I might be able to download the images but it pooped out when I connected it to the computer. I took out the memory card and batteries and set the camera aside as a reminder of my carelessness.
I thought about replacing it with a similar model but since I was planning on getting a digital SLR anyway I may as well just upgrade now. I have a Canon EOS A3 which is a film camera that takes pretty gorgeous photos however digital SLRs are finally approaching what I’d consider comparable to film at an affordable price. (As an aside I am a film purist)
This camera Raimi won’t get near … except when I’m taking his picture.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Rifka won best puppy her very first time in the ring and she has so much potential as Taryn's foundation bitch.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Shoes, prints, movies, art, clothes, jewellery … if it’s not on Ebay it probably doesn’t exist. I bought a red wool coat that fits like it was tailored to me. I paid $16 for a tungsten carbide ring (the hardest metal in the world) that retails for over $100. I have a gorgeous limited edition Harry Potter watch that I love to bits which was $70. I have lost count of the number of Ridgeback goodies I’ve bought on Ebay – some are as nice as I expected ... some not so much. One year I bought 90% of my Christmas gifts on Ebay.
Ebay is the world of the anonymous war – when you really want something you have to choose a price you’d pay and stick to it. A limit. I’ve let things go when they got too high. I've paid too much for something. I’ve been in bidding wars and won. I’ve tasted defeat. No fear … something equally enticing or better always comes along. The wheel keeps turning.
So the lastest purchase I made was something I gave myself a limit on. I bid to my limit and was outbit. Hmmm. How much do I want this? I want it. A lot. Why? Well … take a look.
The dog looks … I mean it really looks like Raimi – knees out, cow hocked, giant head, goofy look and even a patch of white on the chest. And the girl … short red hair, snotty look on her face, wearing my favorite color. I think I was last that thin when I was about 14 years old. The artist who created this print is Lynne Watson, she specializes in Afghan hounds and the sighthounds in general but will do other breeds. She has such an amazing line in her art – I am thinking Christmas already …
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Mallaig is less inclined to play with Weasley but he still occasionally manages to convince her that playing with him is 9 parts wicked fun and only 1 part annoying. She does play with Ceilidh sometimes too but since I created the outdoor pen she spends most of her time out there.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
There are a few reasons for this; first and foremost Tanja is a lot softer on her than I am. I know how devious and manipulative Halo is and I don’t like it. Tanja thinks those aspects of her temperament are amusing. Also, there are children present pretty much 24/7 which to Halo is a dream assignment. Food hits the floor at every meal so we know that appeals as well, added to which children generally smell and taste of food much of the time. Tanja has a sunroom which Halo loves. She gets to sleep on the bed. She gets to ride in the front seat of the van (my old Caravan in fact) instead of in the back. She gets to sneak cat food and doesn't really get into trouble. Plus Tanja is home all day everyday and takes Halo on most errands so she has company pretty much all the time.
Tanja said that for the first few days Halo shadowed her all the time which ultimately meant that one day Tanja turned to find Halo asleep on her feet in the kitchen. Any insistence that she go lie down was met with ear cupping and head hung low. And so she stood. After a couple weeks though she seems to have decided she can leave Tanja for parts of the day to nap.
Halo has also weasled her way onto the bed and I know exactly how it happened. She puts her head up, then slides her neck along the mattress, then a shoulder, then a foot and then, because it’s so silly and sweet, you relent, she leaps up, settles into a tiny ball and sighs. She then stays put the entire night.
Tanja has also discovered the benefits of having a large dog in the van while she pops out to run short errands with the kids waiting in the van. Who ever would enter a vehicle with a dog that size sitting in the front seat looking at you with a baleful eye? Tanja says she is also an amusing backseat driver since sharp corners will get you a glance that says “Ahem. Excuuuuuuse me?” I know that glance.
The children have adjusted admirably to the dog addition. Sofia, who is 3, calls her ‘Hello’ and while not much in charge of the dog she does enjoy her company just the same. Annika at 6 years is more like me, she says "Halo, come here” and if the command is not completed post haste it turns into ‘HALO! Come HERE!” A girl after my own heart.
Halo is smothered in treats and hugs and admiration … and if the house is willing she will be made a new home there after her last litter and a spay. I can’t think of a better retirement for a more deserving dog. She has done such an incredible job for me and I cannot deny her the very best forever home.
Some people ask if I'd miss her and the answer is yes and no. Halo and I have never seen eye to eye - there are just some relationships that don't work out personality-wise. I love the dog and want the very best for her and know that what she needs is not something I can give her. I can 'use' her to further my breeding plans but ultimately it wouldn't be fair to her or me to be constantly at odds. She has given me some stellar puppies and ultimately that is the point of a foundation bitch. Soon it will be time for her to step aside and let the youngters prove their mettle and she can retire in comfort with a family that can give her what I can't.
Now Raimi … he's never going anywhere ... my heart stops to even think it.