Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween made easy

Every once in a while I come up with a great idea and congratulate myself for it ad nauseum and forever. But this one is actually timely and useful - so feel free to coopt it for you own. It really has made our lives much easier.

Halloween is a particularly impossible time with the dogs - the doorbell keeps ringing and the furless kids keep coming to the door and wanting us to give them the candy we've been carefully hoarding for ourselves.

To make life much, much easier - I lock the screen door and take out the top window panel. The door doesn't open, the dogs can see the kids, the kids can see the dogs, the dogs can't get out, the kids can't get in and I can hand out all the candy I really shouldn't have in the house and everybody's happy!

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Ever-Eager-to-Please Dogequin

Hope and I have been writing about our real dogs - Golly, of course, and Ceilidh are mine. Roc and Dax are Hope's. But we've neglected to mention one other dog that we could never do without - our Dogequin. He/she resides here at Golly Gear and we depend on him/her to model the new fashions when our real dogs aren't here. Since we went to that big trade show a couple of weeks ago we've been getting in our new merchandise and we've really been putting Dogequin through his/her paces. Why do I keep saying him/her? It depends on the outfit of course!
I think Dogequin is lovely in the
Pink Polka Dot Dress.

But Dogequin loves to watch sports in his Chicago Bears Jersey!

We just have too much fun here!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Know When to Quit

Part of the continuing Ceilidh saga.... Yes, she's the Boston Terrier with the canine equivalent of ADHD who is an Agility fiend. Last night was our Agility class, and Ceilidh did really well for most of the class. She had high energy, had pretty good focus, and her attention was on me.

To rev up the dogs' energy, our instructor always advises the class to play with the dog, tug on their favorite toy, or a special one you pull out just at Agility events, whether it's class, a match or a trial. That usually doesn't work on Ceilidh - she's too focused on the treats! But last night she tugged like only a Boston Terrier can on her beloved Latex Soccer Ball before she ran the courses. And it's a 2 inch diameter ball. I only got a small tooth-scrape last night. I've tried other toys, but nothing else works. A little blood is a small price to pay!

Anyway, last night things were going really well. Even our instructor commented on how well Ceilidh was running! She was jumping the jumps she was supposed to, going through the tunnels the right way, even doing the teeter-totter! Until 15 minutes to the end of class. Poor thing hit her wall. No focus, no attention, lots of sniffing. I should have quit while we were ahead.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

In a Fog

Hope wrote a little bit about the last week at the store. Whew! You know, though, how, when you've had a rough stretch it extends to the rest of your life? Well, that's what happened last night at Agility class. Traffic was a mess as usual and it would have been really easy to just nod off on the highway. And "Sports Central" on the radio was no help, as much as I enjoyed the discussion about our terrific Chicago Bears. I snapped out of it, fortunately, and we made it into the city without incident, and not late, either!

But I could not remember a course if my life depended on it. Which, thank goodness, it didn't! It was, "where do we start?" or "which way do we go after the tunnel?" or "which way are we supposed to go now?" A good thing to remember, as our instructor says many times, is that it's not as important to follow the course as it is that your dog do what you tell it to when training. Even if it's not the printed course, be decisive and upbeat. No wishy washy handling! That will just lose your dog's attention (assuming you had it in the first place!).

A few times last night I made my own course, but my dog was with me!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Would you bail us out?

We're just now recovering from a really exhausting, very strange week. Generally speaking, Fran and I live transparent lives. We're pretty upfront about everything - neither one of us has a good enough memory to be good liars.

So, last week we got a bizarre e-mail from PayPal, saying that if we didn't 'fess up to our current address, kindly members of Homeland Security would be visiting us to bring us into compliance with the Patriot Act. So I logged in to PayPal and tried to follow all the instructions, but it kept telling me I didn't have any unconfirmed addresses to confirm. I called PayPal and found out that our account had, indeed, been flagged for reasons incomprehensible to all, and the nice man at PayPal helped me clear it up because, as he said, "I don't want the 101st Airborne descending on you." Much appreciated, sir! Thank you for the help. I mean that. Really.

Then, we had a three-day trade show to attend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's the biggest show of the year for the pet industry - we go and see all the wonderful new products we can find for Golly Gear. (I had to get a plug in here somewhere.) We canvass the show very methodically, up one aisle and down the next, looking at everything.

We found the booth of a supplier we've been dealing with for more than two years. And we went in to see what was new and exciting. And got attacked. From out of the blue, we're ambushed: "You can't sell our products online. You have three days to take them off. If you do not we will call the FBI."

While we were being flabbergasted, we asked why no one had mentioned this two years ago. And, for that matter, what was wrong with selling their stuff online. The response was equally baffling: "We must protect our products."

From what? Being purchased?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's raining jawbreakers!

Yesterday we had some interesting weather around here - hail the size of ping-pong balls and ferocious thunderstorms. I checked through the evening to see if the rain let up so I could let the dogs out. The first time I checked after it hailed, I found the most fascinating hail stones. I wish I'd thought to take a picture, but I didn't.

Some of the stones had rings - clear, translucent, clear translucent. And they were all over the place. The dogs thought it had snowed - they had no idea what to make of the weird, whitish stuff on the ground.

Thank goodness none of the current pack is afraid of thunder or lightening. Our first dog was terrified of thunderstorms, so I completely sympathize with anyone who has to go through that. This bunch is very nonchalant about storms. They prefer not to go out in the rain, but the thunder doesn't bother them. They look up, see that everything's okay, then go back to sleep.

I'm particularly happy about that because the forecast is for more of the same tonight, despite our blue skies and sunshine of the moment.