Friday, March 28, 2008

The Ultimate Comfort

Hope mentioned that I was sick. I'm better now (OK, not 100% but getting there). A big part of my recovery has been the dogs. No better nurses are on the planet. While they can't bring juice or soup, or tissues, they provide a great service. Here are Dax and Ceilidh against my leg (I'm wearing my super-comfy pasta chef pants) on my bed being adorable and warm! What's amazing about this picture is that Ceilidh is actually touching Dax! (Is she making progress or did Ceilidh just feel so sorry for me that she made the ultimate sacrifice?)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The face of genius!

I've always thought that Roc was one of the cutest, loudest (he barks at the tv), and smartest dogs on the planet. Last night I got proof of his brilliance! We were having a play session after dinner and he was pretty bored with the toys I pulled out of the toy bin. (Toys left out are subject to instantaneous Boston Terrier destruction. We've mentioned Ceilidh before, haven't we?) So I reached into the bin a little deeper and came up with a toy he hadn't seen in a while.
It's a little car-shaped stuffie toy, with a pull-string. When you pull it, the car goes skittering around in circles. I pulled the string and set it down. Roc loved it - batting at it and chasing it. When the string retracted all the way and the car stopped, he brought it back to me and watched, fascinated, while I pulled the string again and set down the toy.
After about three repetitions - Roc did it himself! He held the car with his two front paws and pulled the string with the ring in his teeth. Then he let go and chased it around. And did it again! No fluke! Who says that dogs can't learn by watching?
This weekend I'm going to try to get a video of my boy being brilliant. Of course, he won't ever do it again - but he could if he wanted!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Working like a dog

It seems that just about every other person around here is sick with some cold/flu thing that hangs on forever and completely drains all energy from the infected person. I've been really lucky that I haven't caught it. Fran hasn't been so lucky - she's been suffering for about a week now.
The benefits of having your own family business are countless. Among the numerous advantages is flexibility and being able to cover for each other when life requires your presence elsewhere. The downside is not being able to call in sick - if one of us is down for the count, the other is on duty all the time. For the person on duty it's tiring. For the one who's sick - it's feeling horrible and horribly guilty about making someone else pick up the slack for you.
You can say whatever you want about rejecting guilt, about it not being productive, etc. The reality is that when you've been raised to be self-sufficient, you feel guilty about relying on someone else. And when you've been brought up under the influence (once-removed) of a guilt master (Gramma was the Supreme MucketyMuck of guilt-bringers), you're going to feel it.
So, the upshot is I'm tired and Fran's sick. Total bummer.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

It truly is Spring!

Yesterday was my birthday. And for the first time, ever (that I can remember, now that I'm old and decrepit) I got a blizzard for a present. Thanks to our wonderful friends Dallas and Vicki, I also got this wonderful reminder that Spring truly is here. Thank you!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ceilidh in Agility Without Me!

I'm sick. Not terribly, and not enough to slow me down much, except that I can't talk without starting to cough (what feels like) my lungs out. And it didn't seem like running would be like a good idea. So, Hope asked (because I would start coughing) our great friend Betsy if she would run Ceilidh in Agility class last night, an hour earlier than her class, and she agreed. So Ceilidh got the benefit of a handler who has a Mach 4 dog! Sure, the first few minutes Ceilidh was so happy to see her "Auntie" Betsy that she was dancing on her hind legs around the room! (I wish I could have gotten a picture of that!) She settled down (sort of) and really watched and listened. I held one of Betsy's dogs and watched the expert handler at work - now if I can only get the attention!

A big thank you to Betsy for handling my little lunatic!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Practising the long down

We practised the long down with the dogs in a circle.

And we practised with the dogs in a line.

And Dax watched me the whole time!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How geeky can I get? (very, very!)

Looking out into the "Space Quest Casino" from the Star Trek Experience.
Cool mobiles hanging from the ceiling!
You will run into Borgs, Klingons, and Andorians
And the occasional Salt Vampire.

The reason we stayed at the Las Vegas Hilton was completely and totally because it's home to the Star Trek Experience. (Although I did see Barry Manilow. Not his show. Just him - walking through the lobby.) And it was great fun - hanging out at Quark's Bar, drinking "Bolean Sunsets." The aliens walking around are wonderful - these actors put a lot of work into both their makeup/costumes and their characters. They're not only fun to look at, they're a joy to converse with - they know their stuff!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Everybody needs a theme song!

A friend of ours told us about a musician, Nancy Simmonds who writes songs for dog breeds - really!
We just started exploring her site: Musical Tails
So far we've only listened to the Brussels Griffon song, but it's right on target. So cute!
A couple our dogs actually have their own theme songs, a silly thing we've done from puppyhood.
Roc's is obvious - his registered name is "Wild Thing." Okay, so it doesn't exactly describe the dude, but I was hoping.
Ceilidh's song is from The Sound of Music: "How do you solve a problem like Maria" (Miss Ceilidh)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Home from Las Vegas

It's been a very, very long time since we were in Las Vegas. More than 20 years. It's changed a bit since then. It's still just as much fun as I remembered and next week I will reveal the full extent of my geekitude (photos included) but it was a bit overwhelming because:
The Bellagio wasn't there last time.
Neither was Excalibur.
MGM was - but it didn't look like this.
New York wasn't there.
Nor was the Venetian.
Or Paris.

How'd they do that?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Back to Agility!

I tried new treats at Agility Class last night with Ceilidh. I've tried to be true to my store, but last night I used string cheese in a last-ditch attempt to keep Ceilidh's attention on me and not Hope or anyone else, or anything on the floor. Wouldn't you know - it worked better than anything else I've tried! The sets last night were quite long for our class but Ceilidh only tried one or two half-hearted sniffs. I reminded her that I held the cheese, and she was back at work! I guess the treats I've tried haven't been stinky enough to keep Ceilidh from being distracted by everything else going on. Or, maybe she knew that, no matter how delicious they were, they were still dog treats?

Monday, March 03, 2008

No need to bow before them

I found a fun site that generates "Peculiar Aristocratic Titles."

Roc: Grand Duke Roc the Innocent of Hopton Goosnargh
Dax: Her Grace Lady Dax the Haunted of Old Yarkhillshire
Golly: Venerable Lady Golly the Spurious of Old Yarkhillshire
Ceilidh: Her Most Serene Highness Lady Ceilidh the Sublunary of Frome Valley

Apparently Golly and Dax are related, even in the depths of cyberspace.