Saturday, December 27, 2008

End of the Holiday

Well, here we are on the last night of a 4-day family visit - his and mine!  I think this has gone well.  Everyone has gotten along, and things have been mostly relaxing.  This is partly due to our having decided that something had to give (as I said to my mom: "it was the dusting!"), so that even though things weren't perfect, we were able to enjoy ourselves anyway.

Gibson has been a little more low-key this weekend than when we visited Mom & Dad in MI over Thanksgiving.  Of course, it helps that he is in familiar surroundings.  Also, my brother made it a personal mission to wear Gibson out - took him for at least 3, maybe 4 good walks on Thursday and Friday, plus lots of indoor play, usually involving 2 tennis balls.  Little bro likes dogs but has never been really crazy about the Clumbers (mostly because they slobber, I think).  I guess this is why God invented cats.  

He loves Gibson, though - I think the little Field spaniel reminds him more of our childhood Cocker, Candy, who he adored.  She was much-loved as our family pet, despite being a bit temperamental (my brother would probably tell you all of my run-ins with her teeth were purely my fault, though - probably shouldn't make a Cocker try to pull a sled!).

(Of course, Gibson isn't really cocker-y (and Candy was an ASCOB, not a black, Cocker), but there is somewhat more of a resemblance than with the Clumbers, even though he has a sunnier temperament than Candy.  Also, he doesn't slobber like a Clumber!)

I think Gibson really had fun with his "uncle" too!

Watson re-discovered the pond today during the thaw.  Luckily he was willing to come out without my having to wade in after him!  I have a feeling it is going to be an "attractive nuisance" any time the weather turns a bit warm.  Any amount of slush in the pond is enough to interest the dogs, and especially Watson, who we are really trying to keep CLEAN.  We really need to work on that recall...!  I don't really want the freezing temps back, but it will certainly help in keeping Watson out of the pond! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Recent Events and Random Holiday Thoughts

Thought I'd finally post a small brag from the Rosemont shows, 2 weekends ago in mid-December, where Watson was BOB on Sunday. We had a good time - winning at least one day does make the weekend more fun (even when the entry is small, as here)! I think Watson had a good time except for one thing - the booster baths at the show site had just about the iciest, coldest water I've ever felt. He was not a happy camper at bath time!! We also stocked up on his newest fashion accessory - bibs! Knocking on wood here, I think he may finally be past the stage where he looks at bibs as our thoughtful way of attaching the chew toy to him. Hope springs eternal....

While I've been lazy about posting lately, time has marched on and the holidays are upon us again. I had been feeling a bit scroogy, as I always do, about spending time getting ready for the holiday. Last night we finally got the tree up and, again as usual, that really started to get me in the holiday spirit. I hung up some of the cards we've gotten - mostly with photos of peoples' dogs and children. We also wrapped some presents! We could've spent the night cleaning in anticipation of the arrival of family, but I obviously needed some Christmas cheer, and wrapping is a whole lot more fun than cleaning! Guess that means we will be cleaning tonight...

We got a smaller tree this year and raised it off the floor on a table. (Actually, we used our nifty adjustable-height grooming table - covered with a sheet so it doesn't look so much like a grooming table. One we get the tree skirt on, no one will know the difference.) We're hoping this will make it less interesting to the dogs. I don't think Wooster would bother a tree on the floor, but Watson might decide to mark it as "his" and Gibson would probably attempt to drag it around as he does with any illicit object (random shoes, clothing, boxes, etc.) when he is looking for extra attention! Since this would result in a smelly house and/or broken ornaments, we are trying something different. It looks good, even though we haven't put lights or ornaments on yet.

I also broke down and bought stockings for the dogs. Well, Becki had sent one for Gibson (he likes it so much, he tried to eat it...several times!), then I felt bad the other dogs didn't have them. (Usually, we are at the folks' and they improvise stockings for the dogs.) Anyway, I bought a couple at Lands' End at a good price since they are monogrammed catalog returns. I "simply" removed the monogramming (well, it took several hours of painstaking ripping to get the machine embroidery out even though I picked the ones with the shortest names!!) and - voila! - new stockings for the Clumbers. They don't have names on, but I figure it is unlikely the dogs will notice. Now to keep Gibson from eating these as well...

Michael is home today, hopefully relaxing but getting a few things done, as well. All the folks & my bro arrive tomorrow for a whirlwind Christmas Eve (dinner, church, dessert and decorating - not necessarily in that order - all after 6 pm). The rest of the weekend should be more relaxing (at least for me), although I do have plans for much cooking and baking while the family is here - nothing says love like LOTS of homemade goodies at Christmas time, right?

With all the snow here in South Central Wisconsin, there's no chance we won't have a white Christmas - we just have to hope Santa can find our house through a possible white-out! Hope everyone else has a wonderful, safe and warm holiday, too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

Just had to brag about my wonderful boy, Watson.  Tonight I gave him and Baby Gibson each a tennis ball.  (They can have them only so long we supervise - never unattended!)  Watson chewed on his for quite some time (but didn't destroy it).  Gibson, naturally, chewed his only until he realized there might be an opening to steal Watson's!

Watson, bless his little furry heart, let Gibson take the tennis ball - literally - right from under his nose!  Then he fixed his gaze on the ball Gibson had dropped in order to steal that one.  And watched it - for close to 30 seconds until I picked it up and gave it to him.  I think he was afraid to retaliate!!  I think he's getting the hang of it, though.  Gibson later left his ball unattended, and Watson snuck up - carefully looking both ways! - and grabbed it up while Gibson wasn't looking.  Shades of our Kipper, who is the only dog I've ever seen steal something from Wooster and get away with it!  He used to sneak up just when Woo put a toy down and turned his head!  It was always fun to watch him getting the better of the younger, stronger, faster dog! :)

Watson's been so sweet the whole night, letting Gibson take his tennis ball basically at will.  I'm told Watson may become less tolerant when Baby Gibson grows up.  I certainly hope not, but I somehow doubt it anyway...Good Boy, Watson!

Lansing, MI

This was the weekend of the long-awaited Lansing, MI shows.  I say long-awaited because they were connected to the Thanksgiving holiday - we entered mainly because we were going to be in the area over the holiday weekend.  Over the last week, I have been pondering my blessings and am thankful for my wonderful husband & dogs, a terrific family and many friends.  I am especially grateful for good friends who believe in helping out the dogs as much as Michael & I do!  (Thanks, Sue!!)

I had spent Tuesday evening at a conformation run near Milwaukee in preparation for the weekend.  Michael prepped the truck w/ the car topper while I was gone.

Wednesday evening, after a very long day, we spent dealing with some last-minute issues getting a rescue dog settled before the holiday.  

So it was Thursday - VERY early - before we got on the road.  Luckily, there was no Chicago traffic.  I think I set a new record going through the City: less than half an hour from the Des Plaines toll plaza to the Skyway toll plaza!  This was a pleasant surprise.  We picked up Michael's mom in good time to make it to my folks' in Lansing for the big turkey dinner.  I think we were all a bit surprised my parents hadn't invited any friends to join us this year - much quieter than I'm used to for the holiday, but also relaxing.

We enjoyed a quiet day on Friday, until it was time to head to the puppy match.  First, there was the drama of getting directions to the show site.  Once we made it there, we had to find grooming space.  Since there wasn't any, we ended up "borrowing" someone's reserved space.  (He showed up just as I put Gibson up on the table to comb him out but let us use the space until we went ringside...then he move our table to the side & set up his gear. )  

Then there was much waiting...This was a large puppy match because it was attached to the 3-day weekend, and they judged in alpha order, so "Spaniel, field" was near the end of a good-sized sporting group.  Poor Mom & Patti waited like troopers (at least they had chairs!).  I thought Gibson showed really well, especially for such a little guy who had been waiting at ringside for so long!  He was the only Field spaniel, so he took the Breed, but unfortunately, the judge put up mostly retrievers in her sporting group.  Well, good learning experience for Baby Gibson!

Friday night and Saturday morning were long as we got Watson prepped for the ring, only to be broadsided by a substitute judge who has recently put the competition up for a BIS (not that we had a warm & fuzzy feeling about the scheduled judge, but still...).  We had a good time anyway, though.  I enjoyed showing Roe's girl Tess.  Didn't win in the classes either but really enjoyed the opportunity to show!

Saturday afternoon we toured the Van Andel Research Institute with the family and with Roe and Gordie.  What a fascinating opportunity!  They are doing exciting work that hopefully will benefit the dogs as well as people!! 

Getting dumped again on Sunday provided the chance to get an early start for home.  We would have loved to stay around and enjoy a meal with some friends - it was fun seeing Roe & Gordie, Nancy, Jim & Shirley, Kassie and Monica - but the weather in Lansing presaged an unpleasant drive back to Madison.  Fortunately, it wasn't as bad as it might have been, but it was still good we started out when we did!

We enjoyed our weekend in Lansing and would have loved to stay longer to enjoy more time with family but are also glad to be home.  Madison greeted us with a fresh coat of snow on the ground - and more today.  Hopefully not the start of another winter like last year...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Our Weekend at the FRFSC Specialty

Last weekend was the BIG weekend for the Fox River Field Spaniel Club specialty show in Schiller Park, IL.  We went down early on Saturday morning, after I got the special thrill of re-bathing Gibson after he decided to take a "field" trip into our now half-frozen very mucky pond (Michael drained it for the winter, so it has a tiny bit of water mixed with some rotting leaves...makes a lovely perfume for the inquisitive canine).

We arrived in time for Gibson to get primped for the sweepstakes.  Gibson got to learn more about ear wraps.  With so many dogs to get ready, there was a lot to do, but "Team Calico" (mainly Becki, Kylie, Grace and Aireanna) got all the dogs ready in good order.  Making his sweepstakes debut, Gibson took BOS in the puppy sweeps!!  Way to go Kylie & Gibson!

No points were in the cards for Baby Gibson last weekend, but we did enjoy watching Obie and Beep take WD (on successive days).  I showed Beep in Breed on Sunday after his WD win, and I really had a great time and appreciated the opportunity for some more ring experience!   I also particularly enjoyed seeing owner-handlers win BISS on both days.  Way to go ladies!!

Many of the participants also obtained legs in obedience and rally, with several new titles achieved!  Team Calico, I believe, had 2 HITs and several other ribbons.  Congratulations to them and to all of the performance exhibitors who found success last weekend!

I had a great time petting the dogs and meeting new people.  I also enjoyed watching the show, although I have decided there is more nail biting involved in waiting outside the ring while my dog is being shown than in actually showing him myself.  I've also learned that I focus harder showing someone else's dog than my own - a problem I'll no doubt have to work long and hard to correct!

I did manage to take a few candid shots of the Field Spaniels and their people (well, most of the photos, oddly, seem to involve Gibson).  You can check them out on my Facebook gallery.  Enjoy!

We'll be showing again in a couple of weeks - need to get started grooming those ears and toenails.  There is also a puppy match, so Gibson & I may be making our "team" debut in the ring!  I'll let you know how it goes...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

FRFSC Hunt Tests & GLACSHE Working Dog Test

We played "hooky" last Friday afternoon so that Michael could take Wooster to the GLACSHE working dog test held at Ottawa Field Trial Grounds.  This is a fantastic location for hunting events, because it is "bowl-shaped", so that spectators can stand at the top of the field and watch the action without trailing behind as  a "gallery."  Walking behind the dogs is more educational, because you have a much better view, but being able to watch from a distance allows for more interaction with other spectators (also known as gabbing), since there are no concerns about distracting the dog with loud conversation.

Wooster performed well in the field, bringing two birds to Michael's hand.  At the water, which Michael said was so clear he could see Wooster paddling under the surface, Wooster had a beautiful entry with no hesitation.  Unfortunately, his delivery lacked a certain something.... The judges ended up passing him at the WD level nonetheless, although the "X" did elude him. They'll get it next time!

We didn't have any dogs entered in the weekend's hunt tests, but FRFSC thoughtfully provided Michael's first judging assignment.  Saturday, he judged the Junior & Senior levels.  Sunday, he judged the Master level.  He seemed to have a great time both days.

I enjoyed watching the test, mostly from the top of the hill.  It was fun to see so many rare spaniels entered this weekend (in fact, at Friday's WD test, most of the entries were rare spaniels!).  I believe there were 5 Clumbers entered, out of a total of 35 entries, several Field spaniels and 2 or more Boykin spaniels.  So it was fun to see the different hunting styles in the Field.  I also enjoyed the chance to talk to several people that I don't see often.

One of the best things about the weekend is that I had a chance to get pictures of Gibson with his dad, Bogey.  Check out Gibson's page to see the family picture!

Speaking of photos, anyone interested in seeing TONS of great photos of the event should check out Otto's gallery!  As usual, Otto did a great job documenting the event.  I believe in this case, some of the photos are also courtesy of Kylie Hirschy and/or FRFSC.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Go, Go, Gibson!

So, it turns out that Gibson did, indeed, get his first point yesterday!

Today, we were able to watch as he went BOW for his second point (happily, the bitch points held!).  It was fun seeing him in the ring, and Kylie did a beautiful job showing him.  I also got to meet Gibson's daddy, Bogey, for the first time.  He is beautiful!

Watson went BOB competition.  So we stuck around for group.  We didn't place, although I really enjoyed the judge, and it was fun watching Kylie take a Group 4 with her special, Darcy.  

My brother came with a friend to watch today, and we enjoyed grabbing a bite of lunch (even though it was just dog show food) after the breed judging.  All in all, a very nice-- and pretty low-key-- weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


While we're waiting to hear show results from Gibson's second weekend out in the big bad world of dog shows, I thought I'd catch up on recent events.

We have not done any showing during the month of August. However, Gibson made his debut last weekend in Amana, IA, with Becki & Kylie. He went RWD all 3 days. He shows, I'm told, "like a dream" and was the life of the party at the host's home, inciting approximately 25 other Field spaniels to chase after him as he was running around the yard with a toy. Completely unflappable. That's our boy!

We dropped him off last night so that Kylie could show him today at the Kenosha KC show in Wilmot, WI. Fields showed earlier this afternoon, so we are awaiting results. (I assume we'll hear something after groups finish.) Tomorrow, we'll drive down early. Kylie will show Gibson in BBE. He is the only class dog, and she has to show another dog in BOB, so I am expecting to show him in breed. Should be fun!

Mr. Watson is the only Clumber entry. We show around 11:30 and will likely stay for group, since it'll be good experience for both Watson and me.

Will post again once I have today's results, or tomorrow when we wrap up at the show...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Clumbers in Paradise

Whew!  Clumbers everywhere!!  We just returned from a margarita party chez Sharon H.-- and we had a great time (thanks, Sharon!).  When we first started this little tradition, we had only Kipper; Sharon had Rita, Mr. PJ and Goldie; and Sue R. had Jasmine and Devina (and maybe Pearlie Mae).  We had about 6 dogs between us.  We're now up to 11!!!

11 dogs in one backyard makes for a pretty rowdy time.  Wooster and grand dames Devina and Goldie wisely hang out on the deck with the people (and the food!) most of the time.  The many younger dogs--  Mr. B, Winston, Fanny, Watson, Seamus, Daphne and Gibson-- frolic in the yard.  Pearl Mae splits her time, mainly hanging near the picnic but occasionally heading to the yard to give the young guys "what for."

Sue provided the tunes (what else but Jimmy Buffet) AND an opportunity to try out her new Margaritaville margarita maker.  Loved it-- it even has its own carrying case, so it is pretty portable (albeit rather heavy).  We partook of that great traditional Mexican food, pizza-- Glass Nickel, of course-- which complemented the margaritas perfectly.

How delightful to end our too short weekend hanging out with friends, watching the dogs play and enjoying some casual drinks and conversation.  Even better is the fact that ALL of the dogs are now tired-- and (most importantly) quiet.  Wish we could do this every night!!  Truly, the Clumbers were in paradise, and the humans not far behind.

Thanks Sharon & Sue for a great evening!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Catching Up

Lots of doggie stuff has happened since I blogged last...

Watson earned another BOB at the shows in West Bend, WI at the end of June. The breed judge was WAY behind that day. Coupled with a rain storm around mid-day, we didn't finish the sporting group until around 7 pm or so. This made for a long day, but...Watson made a new friend, a 10-year-old boy who was sitting with his mom next to us at ringside. Watson "introduced" himself immediately, as he always does, and I chatted for about 15 minutes while the little boy was petting Watson, when suddenly the kid said, "I have a great new name for your dog!" I said, "What's that?" and he responded, "MegaWats!" As any of you who know Watson will know, this is, indeed, the perfect nickname for him: "MegaWats" has just about the brightest and most outgoing personality of any dog I have ever met! It also goes perfectly with his "supersuit," which is bright blue with silver stars. Only a kid would come up with this, but it is perfect and it has stuck!

About a week after that, on July 3, Gibson came home! (No, I'm not changing the name of my blog just because he's a Field Spaniel.) He is pretty darn adorable! (Check him out at : Even more pics and info at:

The next day, he had his "well puppy" exam, and everything looked fine. Hours later, we were at the e-vet with a suspected UTI or bladder stone. Still not sure exactly what happened, but suffice it to say that he is fine now AND has been added to our doggie health insurance (I thought surely doing that within a few days would have been fine, but apparently not; next time, I will add the dog before they get to our house!).

Gibson has been fitting in well. He is much quicker than the Clumbers, so Watson has taken to sitting in the middle of the room wating for Gibson to zoom by and then swatting him with one huge paw. Even Wooster has been playing nicely with puppy (closely supervised, of course). The big dogs only get a little cranky when Gibson gets TOO enthusiastic, and sometimes they do have to "tell" him to stop chewing on their ears, or things like that. Overall, however, everyone is getting along well, and we couldn't be happier with the way the "pack" is shaping up!

We have finally worked out the logistics of going to the dog park (with more dogs than leash holders) too, and have been enjoying the occasional trip. I'm impressed that Gibson already has a GREAT recall. Even though the park is completely fenced and he does range a bit further than the Clumbers usually do, it's great that he usually keeps us in sight and comes back at a run when called (well, sometimes we need to call more than once, but not usually).

Gibson is a very enthusiastic little guy, and we're delighted to have him. You can look for him in the show ring soon, shown in BBE by Kylie Hirschy-Sievert of Calico (one of Gibson's co-owners). He is also training for the field and making good progress with retrieves and quartering drills. He is going to be dynamite, just like his daddy, Bogey!

Last weekend, we had a little health scare with Wooster. Doggie health insurance may sound silly, but those e-vet bills add up, folks! Happily, after spending lots of time at the e-vet (Michael stayed there w/ him on Sunday night), our vet advised that there seems to be a GI bug going around, so that's probably what he had (funny how the e-vet didn't mention it...). He seems like his old self again, which is a great relief.

Michael & Woo continue training for Wooster's Master Hunter title. Look for them in the field very soon!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Watson Wins the Breed

I am thrilled to report that our Watson went BOB today at the Badger KC show in Madison, WI for his first breed win (other than 2 group placements in puppy matches). It was an exciting way to cap off our National Specialty week, and I was glad we were home in time to show since I have joined the Badger KC.

We didn't do anything in the Group, though we had a good time showing. I felt Watson showed pretty well, especially considering he is not used to waiting so long (as is the case in a large group). He was a little antsy by the time the judge went over him, but not too bad. I was also pleased with my handling, in that I made several conscious choices in the ring that I might not have had the presence of mind to make a few months ago. So, progress is being made.

Thanks Sue and Sharon for coming out to cheer today (and for the bday cards). A very special thanks to the other member of "Team Watson," Michael, for his help, support and love and for being such wonderful unpaid kennel help! Last, but not least, thanks to Watson, who personifies "happy" during his every waking moment, for such a nice early bday present!

Long Time No Blog-- National Recap

Today seems like a great day to blog... Why? Well, we just returned from a terrific week in the Poconos, on the shore of the Delaware River, at the Clumber Spaniel National Specialty!

We had a VERY enjoyable week. I drove out last Saturday and Sunday, starting out from Wisconsin Saturday, staying at my folks' on Saturday, hooking up with Roe and Gordie in Michigan and driving the rest of the way behind them on Sunday. This made the trip a little easier and meant good company on the rest stops! We arrived late Sunday at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. Monday offered some nice "down time." Tuesday, I showed Wooster for the first time ever in the Veteran Sweeps. We didn't win, but we did have a great time! Wooster was a trooper-- he just kept looking at me as if to say, "I don't know what we're doing, but I'll do whatever you want." Truly, this is a day I had been looking forward to since Wooster came to us in 2003!!

Wednesday I attended the International Symposium, including presentations by Dr. Keller of OFA and Pat Craige Trotter. Dr. Keller was very informative on the subjects of hips and elbows, and both speakers offered a great deal of food for thought. I skipped out on most of the afternoon presentations to help out with blood draws for the DNA Bank and PDP1 testing. Very productive for the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation, as we banked nearly 20 more dogs. Thank you to all who participated-- your participation in this important project not only takes care of health testing that-- hopefully-- you would do anyway, but also can help other Clumbers down the road by making your dogs' DNA available for research purposes.

I picked Michael up at the Allentown airport on Wednesday. We ended up having a very enjoyable dinner with Cindy and Bill. Then Michael started washing dogs. Poor Woo was the first victim on Wednesday night, in preparation for the National Specialty on Thursday.

Thursday, the dog washing (and grooming!) continued. I showed Roe and Gordie's Tess in a large Open Bitch class. We didn't place, but I thought we showed well. Wooster and I again had a good time showing in the Veterans' class, and Watson enjoyed himself in the Breed ring-- apparently, I was just along for the ride.

A particular highlight for me of Thursday night's banquet was watching Michael collect Wooster's award from the club for his Senior Hunter title, earned in Fall 2007. They both worked SO hard for this award and make such a great team that I had really been looking forward to that moment! We enjoyed seeing all of the other new titleholders honored as well. Another highlight was the arrival of Chris Paige, in the guise of the Duke of Newcastle (as seen in Francis Wheatley's painting "Return from Shooting") who toured the banquet hall with two of Patty's Lothian Clumbers.

Friday we enjoyed another day's showing. Unfortunately, we found no more success than earlier in the week but once again had fun trying. While I prepped for the show, Michael earned a new title of his own: "Champion Packer." I had procured 2 additional crates (and crate pads) earlier in the week, and we also had his luggage, which was not in the car for the trip out. He may never let me travel unsupervised again!

We finally left the hotel late Friday afternoon. I can say with confidence that I would highly recommend the Shawnee Inn for a future vacation (or as a dog show site!). It is by far the most beautiful location we've been to yet for one of these events.

Most importantly, we saw many old friends and made some new ones, human and canine, during this week. This is truly a highlight of my year, and I look forward to this one chance to converse face-to-face with so many people that I only "see" via email for the rest of the year. We were told, courtesy of Club stalwart and founding member Bryant Freeman, that this was the largest EVER gathering of Clumber spaniels. I can easily believe it. I filled a great portion of the week meeting and greeting the people and the gorgeous dogs, and I am already looking forward to next year!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What to do on the coldest day of the year?

We've decided to stay in. Does anyone disagree that this is a wise course of action when the mercury is below 0 and the wind chill is even colder? I doubt it...

We had a wonderful dinner out last night to celebrate Michael's birthday. Thanks to Sue, Sharon & Bob for celebrating with us. We now highly recommend Brasserie V. The food was French-themed and awesome. Sampling my Tagliatelle Bolognaise, not only was the pasta NOT overcooked (a frequent problem when I order pasta out), but the sauce was flavored and cooked perfectly. I couldn't have asked for a better meal on a chilly night. Michael reported he enjoyed his Steak Frites very much, and our friends seemed to enjoy their meals (Moules et Frites and Pork Tenderloin) also.

Tonight we'll be supping on some short ribs that I found in the freezer this morning when the "we aren't going anywhere today" mood struck. Thanks again, Mom & Dad, for keeping the freezer stocked with beef that we enjoy throughout the year! Keep it coming! It was especially nice not to have to run out to the store in this weather even though I didn't have anything special planned for dinner in advance.

We are so thankful today for the fenced-in backyard, where we are able to let the dogs out to run. Even with their fur coats, they're not staying out too long!

Stay warm!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Spring (Oh How I Wish) Thaw

Well, maybe it's not THE Spring Thaw, but it's better than no thaw at all. Our gutters have been dripping all day, which is a good sign that some of our ice dams are beginning to thaw. Sure hope it stays warm enough to melt most of them before it gets cold again!

We sure took advantage of the warmer weather. I started off the day with a visit to my honorary nephew (4 mos. yesterday). They have a new pet supply store near them, so we took the baby for a walk up there. (I had been informed via cell phone that we were OUT OF DOG TREATS! A travesty! Hence...) The store, Nutzy Mutz & Crazy Catz, is run by a woman who recently rescued a live chicken from a Wisconsin landfill. (See the original Capital Times story here. As an aside, the chicken, named Consuela May, was treated by one of our favorite veterinarians, who now focuses on Chinese veterinary medicine. You can visit her online here. I recommend her highly, especially for canine acupuncture, which we have used for Wooster.). The shop sells only super-premium dog and cat food, along with high quality dog and cat toys and treats, and an amazing selection of fun collars and leashes. Very nice. And I was able to acquire the necessary bribes-- I mean, treats-- for the boys.

After that, we took a long overdue (due to inclement-- read, COLD-- weather) trip to the dog park. We've all been going stir-crazy in the house. The Clumbers love the cooler weather, even though I'm longing for sunshine and 80-degree days. They frolicked around, sniffing, meeting other dogs and even-- gasp!-- playing with each other. What a joy to watch their antics-- being unable to live in the moment is a common human failing that is completely unknown to dogs. They had a great time, and therefore, so did we. We're all a little worn out! The dogs are resting now. Despite the warm-up, a hot bowl of chili sounds like a grand idea; I think we'll stay in for dinner.

Looking forward to another dog park visit tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy 2008!

2007 ended on a high note, or several. First, we finished Watson's championship (see my last post). Major kudos to Watson!

Although we were busy in December, we managed to take the last several days of the year off, to be with family in Michigan and generally recharge our batteries. Mission accomplished! I can't believe we're back to work tomorrow, but even if the next couple of days are busy, it'll be a short week. Can't complain about that.

We had friends here for the New Year's Celebration. Thanks, David & Craig, for making the drive again this year. We had a fairly low-key evening, with dinner at home, then a brief trip out to the bar for the countdown.

Typical Clumbers, Wooster and Watson rang in the New Year, most likely, by sleeping through it. But they were glad to see us when we returned from our celebration. As always, Wooster did his best to look hungry, even though he had eaten just before we left. Good try, Woo!

I kept pretty busy throughout 2007, and I'm looking keeping up many of the same activities, and also looking forward to learning new things in 2008. I've been enjoying re-connecting with classmates and former colleagues this past year via LinkedIn. I'm looking forward to getting back into the ring with Watson, which should be a great learning experience, and I'll continue working with the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation and the CSCA's legislative sub-committee. I'm also interested in getting back to my flute and using some other skills and taking on activities that I haven't done in a while. Not that these are New Year's Resolutions, by any means-- just things I'm interested in pursuing in 2008. I think it's going to be a busy year!

We are also looking forward to the CSCA's National Specialty, to be held in the Poconos this year. The setting promises to be an unusually beautiful one (this does not generally appear to be among the criteria for choosing a site), and we have enjoyed attending these events the last 5 years or so. Maybe we'll see you there...