Friday, June 27, 2008

Truly a Princess

Some dispute the fact that Golly is a Princess. However, we have proof. She rule the house with an iron paw, having minions bring her food, treats, toys and bones. Her minions (that would be Hope and me) provide her with soft beds, sofas and chairs to recline upon. Her minions also provide a nice green lawn for her to walk upon. Her home is a constant, comfortable temperature. Sounds like a princess to me.

Last night was the ultimate proof. I had to get up in the middle of the night (it's tough getting older) and found the Princess on my other pillow, next to my face. And Golly seemed to say, "Is this not my right?"

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ugly green monster shows up!

This week we met the new family that moved in on our block - Carleen and her gorgeous Bulldog Thor. Thor is two years old, mostly white and about the sweetest, friendliest and most handsome Bulldog you'd ever want to meet.
We were in the yard, heading back to the house when the dogs spotted Carleen and Thor walking past the house. Naturally they stopped. Dog people are like that - completely unintimidated by four shrieking lunatics yapping away defending their territory. Carleen and Thor waited while we got the three non-Bulldogs in the house so the two snorty-faced creatures could get to know each other.
It's the first time Dax has seen a Bulldog - French like her or otherwise - since she came home at 12 weeks old. She really didn't know what to make of Thor at first. They did all the normal doggy-greeting things - butt sniffing, mouth sniffing, ear sniffing. Lots of sniffing, and since they're bulldogs, lots of snorting, too.
I obviously adore Bulldogs of any variety - it's why I have one. I just couldn't resist giving friendly, sweet, adorable Thor a good scritch.
Dax didn't like that one little bit. She ran over - growled and tried to snap at him! As soon as I reminded her of her manners, she was fine.
It was the first time Dax has ever shown any signs of jealousy. Who could have guessed the ugly green monster lives at our house!
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Natural oddity

Yesterday afternoon we had a hail storm. Which is not all that ususual, we do occasionally get them, especially in the spring. The weird thing was that all the hail stones were cone-shaped!
I'd never seen anything like it before. Hail is usually round, isn't it?
I think you can see, even in the grass - that it's all cone-shaped.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Motorcyclists, be safe out there!

Last night was Agility Class again. To get there we travel less than 10 miles, but saw two motorcyclists driving unsafely and the aftermath of one. The first instance was before we even got on the expressway. We were in a line stopped at a light when a motorcyclist came roaring out of a parking lot across the street to zoom past the line of stopped cars to be first when the light changed. The second was a cyclist was weaving in and out of lanes on the expressway. The third was a crash between a motorcycle and a car on the expressway. Two fire trucks, two Illinois Department of Transportation vehicles and an ambulance were on the scene. There's a lesson. Be careful out there!
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wuss, wuss, wuss

Well - our club's trial is over for another year. Plenty of moaning, but no major problems (few minor ones, either!). But I wussed out. Or came to my senses, depending on your point of view. I didn't bring Dax.
I realized that our first competition shouldn't be the one that I'm working like a (you'll excuse the expression) dog and not able to pay any attention to my dog. She deserves better than that.
So - thank you for the good wishes. I'll hoard them until we actually compete. Then I'll polish them up and share them with Dax.
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Saturday, June 14, 2008


We try not to be judgmental. We really try to see all points of view. But this is just wrong, wrong, wrong! The mayor of Helena-West Helena Arkansas had the dogs in the local animal shelter dumped into the national forest. And he still doesn't get why it was wrong. To read the story click here.

The original story: here.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Burberry, beware!

Hope and I had fun at Agility class last night, but it was quite warm outside. After all the discussion about French Bulldogs and heat sensitivity, Hope was prepared with ice packs, cool cloths, etc. (even though the site is air conditioned), so Dax was just fine!

On the ride home, we got to talking about Frenchies, and training, and breeding, and the Frogdog Blog came up. I really want a Plaidie!!! (The image to the left is copied from the Frogdog Blog. Too cute for words, huh?) I want a pink and purple one, and I'm going to name her "Petunia!" Hope says she wants a boy in the Black Watch tartan and she's going to name him "Monty." (Star Trek fans, pay attention.)
One of our suppliers who does plaids has been having trademark issues with a very large company. This gets me thinking. What can they do to a Frenchie breeder?
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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Warning, Will Robinson! Danger approaching!

Last night at training class I got a good reminder of exactly how little heat tolerance French Bulldogs in general, and Dax in particular, have. We were doing some run-throughs in preparation for the trial this weekend. Dax is usually a happy girl in training - trotting around, busy and interested. Last night she was rather slow and seemed a bit frightened. Something was definitely off-kilter.
It occurred to me that even though the place is air-conditioned, it's been a bit warmer and definitely more humid. I offered Dax some tap water - no response. Looking around, another handler had brought a big bucket of ice water for her Goldens. I know you're not supposed to give ice water to a dog suffering from heat stroke, but I asked if I could wet her down. While I was asking, Dax helped herself! Stuck her big head in the bucket, slurped some ice water and I had a new dog! Happy, revived, active - ready to take on the world.
It's all the evidence I needed - I'll seriously consider the temperature whenever I'm taking Dax out. For the trial this weekend, even though it's in air-conditioning, I'm planning to borrow a friend's ice bed for Dax's crate. I'm not going to take any chances with heat stroke - it kills.
For an excellent rundown on the dangers of heat for dogs - read this post from the FrogDog Blog: It's time to watch out for heatstroke.
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Monday, June 09, 2008

Dress rehearsal - not so great

Saturday I took Dax to a "Fun Match" at For Your Canine, which is where our club is holding its Obedience Trial next Sunday. And I fervently hope that the old saw about "bad rehearsal=good performance" holds true.
A chunk of the problem may have been the temperature. French Bulldogs don't do very well in the heat and the weather on Saturday was in the upper 80s. But I really can't think it's a good excuse - since she went from her air-conditioned home to the air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned training facility. It was only about 78 or 79 inside - I know because we were sitting right by the thermostat!
I really don't know what to expect now - we'll just keep practising and be optimistic. I know she knows the exercises and the venue. No matter how the trial turns out, two things I know are true:
  • We do this for fun, not ribbons
  • No matter the result - I still get to take her home with me!
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Friday, June 06, 2008

Success at Agility Class!

Ceilidh was brilliant last night at Agility class! Well, OK, she was pretty good. She had to be persuaded a couple of times to go in the chute, and cajoled along the teeter, and she spun around after a jump when I didn't want her to, but her weaving was excellent! But, boy it was warm and damp in there, even with the air conditioning blasting. Dax was flat on the floor in between runs. I guess we're just not used to it yet. In Chicago, we go from winter to summer with little if any spring and we always complain about it, even though we knew it would happen! The heat didn't seem to affect Ceilidh - she was just loving playing Agility!
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What's the plural of iris? Iri?

Bearded Iris are one of my two favorite flowers. (Pansies are the other) This week the few that we have bloomed - well worth waiting for!

Dax had to check them out - she's not entirely convinced Iris aren't food.

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