Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Holiday

I realized over this holiday, that sometimes there are traditions that we don't realize are traditions, until they aren't there anymore. That realization hit me several times this year.

The first such incidence was at the Candlelight service Christmas Eve at my parent's church, the church I grew up in. It had always been standard that, during the candle lighting ceremony, the congregation would sing "Silent Night". It has been very much a part of my Christmas. This year, the new music director at the casual service decided that he had another song he preferred. A song I didn't recognize. There was much grumbling amongst the congregation, myself included. A Christmas tradition by the way-side.

Another such instance occurred when I arrived at my mother's house. I mentioned the cookies and party mix that she always made for us. Mom greeted me with a suprise look and a comment on how she didn't make cookies or party mix for the kids this year. Needless to say, I didn't believe her. After much whining (and crying and a small temper tantrum that any 3 year old would have been proud of) Mom produced the usual bags of cookies and party mix. However, I realized that this was another one of those unspoken Christmas traditions.

There are other traditions that we know about, that we discuss openly. Virtually every year, once presents are open, Mom looks around, surveys the damage, and then will ask someone if we got a specific present. It is at this point that Mom realizes that she has forgotten to wrap someone's present. This year, it was some Petit Jean bacon, something we can't get locally.

Another such tradition is when Mom watches someone open a gift and utters the phrase, "There's a story behind that". This year, it was Dad's "Mental Memory" gift. Since all of Dad's gifts (or most of them) seemed to pertain to memory of some sort- the computer, blackberry, etc., This was Dad's *mental memory* gift.

One of Mom's *gag* gifts this year, was the present she received from Hemi and Boo. Pictured here, you can tell from Mom's face she was quite pleased with their gift of choice.

There is also the fairly new tradition where Dad "picks" on one of the dogs. This year was Hemi's turn. (But, let's face it. Hemi's a pest and deserves every bit of picking he gets!)

Of course there is always the tradition of placing a bow ontop of one (or more) of the dogs' noggins during the present opening ceremony. Such as these 2 from this year:

One Christmas tradition that I'm sure is common in most families, is the pre-lunch nap.

And then, invariably, someone has a little too much to drink:

In the end, being with family is about renewing old bonds:

No matter how old I get, some things just never change. Kyra will ALWAYS beg for food:

The table will always be festive:

And there will always be that photo that is worth a thousand words:

All in all, it was a lovely Christmas. The dogs are worn out, and haven't moved from the assigned places on the floor since arriving home. There are more photos to share. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed being there and taking them!

Group shot of the puppies:

Hemi's favrotie spot at Grandma's:

Another group shot:

I hope you all had a ver MERRY Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Merry Christmas Massacre

I thought I should blog about a horrible, scary trend I've been seeing around my neighborhood. It seems that people are getting these big blow up lawn ornaments. You've seen them, Santa, a penguin, reindeer. Lots of hot air, and a bulb inside.

Imagine, however, being a small child. You see Santa in your neighbor's yard, all blown up. Then, the next morning, you go outside to catch the bus, and you see this:

Or this:

Or this:

That has got to be traumatic, don't you think? It looks like there has been a Christmas Massacre!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Trolls to youuuuu!

So, over a year ago, I got hooked on something called "Yahoo! Answers"

***WARNING! Signing up for this free website is addicting, humbling, and maddening. The level of maturity shown in the question are enough to drive any normal human insane. Enter at your OWN risk***

This site is full of teenagers (must be 13 to join) and numerous adults that ACT like teenagers. If you hang around for long, the trolls will find you.

Some trolls are sometimes teenagers with nothing better to do during summer break, and ask inflammatory questions like "Is it normal to have sex with my dog" just to see if they can reaction out of you.

The more disturbing type of troll, is one that has disagreed with you because of a piece of advice you have given them, and decide that they will destroy you no matter what. These insane people have been known to create an account with your name and picture on it, and go around pretending they are you. They will also search through questions and answers you have asked or answered, and report them in an attempt to have your account suspended.

I was the target of such a troll today. Actually, it's quite flattering to think that I am that important to someone that they devote so much time to me. I have never before had a stalker. If my stalker/troll should find their way here, please give greet them warmly. For, their life is so sad and meaningless, that they must pick on others in order to make them feel good about themselves.

So, Merry Christmas Trolls!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A day in the life of Hemi

He hasn't been to agility class since 2 weeks before Thanksgiving due to a variety of things. We had BETTER have class Wednesday, or I'm going to cut the lock on the gate, take him up to her door, and beat on her door until she comes out and HAS class with us. Why? Here was a recap of mine and Hemi's morning:

Gene leaves, and Hemi is standing over me. Staring at me. Waiting for me to get up. I get up, and of course all of the dogs are happy. Hemi shows his delight by grabbing Boo's leg and tugging on it. "Hemi, no!" So, He jumps on Hershey. "Hemi, no!" He rolls Kyra "HEMI NO!" He stops and looks at me, his head cocked slightly to the right in a "what did I do" type look. (If you own a dog, you KNOW the look I'm talking about!)

So, I move groggily to the couch and turn on my computer. Hershey is laying on the floor, Kyra on her black pillow, and Boo on the couch next to me. Hemi? He comes out of the bedroom with a sock. His prize. "Hemi, no!" and I take the sock away. He trots into the kitchen, and then into the dining room where the crates are. He make an investigative sweep of both crates, just in case Kyra (the canine hoover) missed any crumbs. (Which, has not happened in the nearly 2 years of his life, not sure WHY he would think it would happen now!). Trots back to the living room, and disappears into the bedroom. Emerges from the bedroom with the partner to the first sock he brought to me. "Hemi, no!" and I take the sock away from him.

Boo begins to beg to go outside, so I let Hershey, Hemi and Boo all outside. Hemi begins to scream and chase the other 2 as they scatter like roaches to get away from him. The older dogs try to find their spot to potty. Every time they stop, Hemi hits them at full speed, pushing them out of the way. My backyard sounds like there is a dogfight going on. I open the door to look out, and what do I see? Hemi is running in circles in the back yard. As fast as his little legs will take him. Around and around and around and around. (reminds me of the last 10 laps of the Daytona 500). The older dogs are trying to position themselves behind trees and the corner of the house in order to protect themselves from the silver bullet.

Once they've had enough, I can see Boo begging me to let him in. I open the back door and he darts for the door, only to receive a body block by Hemi, nearly rolling both of them. They manage to both scramble into the house. Hershey gives me a look of relief, as she wanders off to finish her pottying in peace.

Once inside, Boo curls up on the couch next to me. Home base. He's safe from the PEST. Hemi begins to trot through the kitchen, through the dining room, up the hallway, into the living room, a loop around the coffee table, and then back to the kitchen. I sit on the couch thinking to myself. "Here he comes. There he goes. Here he comes. There he goes". After about 6 or 7 laps (I lost count). He goes to the water bowl, gets a drink of water, and then takes the long way back to the living room and up on the couch. Settling in for a long winter's nap. (FINALLY!)

So..if Pamela tries to cancel classes tomorrow night. I might just cut the lock on the gate and leave Hemi in her yard!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Living with Kyra

For those who know Kyra, you know how she loves her food. She has gotten into more trouble than I could ever have imagined. From Kyra, the things we have learned are:

1.) ant bait of any kind is not toxic to dogs.
2.) aluminum foil does not fluoresce on an x-ray
3.) pot pourri does not change color in the intestinal tract. (It does, however, lose it's fruity smell)
4.) silk flowers also do not lose their color in the digestive tract.
5.) dogs don't digest caramel, or candy wrappers. If a dog swallows a snack-sized snickers bar whole, the peanuts and chocolate will digest, the wrapper and the caramel will be regurgitated some days later. Whole. No teeth marks. No fading of the wrapper.

I came across another dog on the internet that could give Kyra a run for her money! It's one of the funniest stories I have ever read. For those who don't know Kyra, read this story, and imagine this dog being a big brown poodle,and Voila'- you now know what it's like to live with Kyra!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Dog's Life

You always hear about living "A dog's life", like it's a BAD thing. So, I got to thinking about it. How bad, really, IS a dog's life? Let's take a tour of Kyra's normal daily routine, shall we?

Wake up early in the morning to pee. Okay, not a great start. I'll give you that one. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am NOT a morning person! Let's move on, shall we?

Next is breakfast. Granted, it's the same old thing, but it's nutritious, a controlled portion, and the best part, is that you don't have to cook!


After another outdoor run, okay if it's raining or cold, I can see that being bad. However, a bathroom you never have to clean? SCORE!

Back inside, stretch out on the couch and take a LONG nap. (Oh, about 4 or 5 hours) I think that more than makes up for getting up early, don't you?

If the humans are leaving, into a crate, on a soft cushion, to await their return. If not, sleep on the couch all day. Either way, SLEEP. Not a bad deal.

Then, wake up, potty outside again (remember, no cleaning!) and then dinner is served. Of course, it's the same thing served for breakfast, but once again, no cooking.

Spend the rest of the evening stretched out on the couch, sleeping, and then one more trip outside to potty before bedtime.

Occassionally there is the fitness training (aka agility) but that is always followed with yet more food. Good stuff, not the pre-packaged kibble.

Let's not forget the time sitting in Dad's lap!

On the down side- there is this hideous outfit she had to wear to keep her from scratching her incision!

I guess I don't see the hard ships of a dog's life. Eat, Sleep, and do Agility. THAT is my goal in life!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Hemi has 4 official Q's!

Hemi has 1 USDAA Jumpers Q, an ASCA Jumpers Q, an AKC Jumpers Q, and an AKC FAST Q. Unfortunately, I've only got 1 of the Q's on video. I'm sure you see the pattern here! This Video is from Hemi's JWW run with Gene today. He is so much fun to run! I see great things for his future. See if you agree!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Patti Goes Domestic!

Yep, it's scary, I know, but I decided to get domestic. We had a ton of old T-shirts lying around that didn't fit, or we didn't wear anymore. Not wanting to just toss these shirts out, I put on my thinking cap.

Since we are going to an agility trial this weekend, and it's going to be kinda cold, I decided the dogs needed some better crate pads than what we've got. I dug through the closet and pulled out a handful of shits, and started cutting them up.

Next, I went to to youtube and found this video:

An hour later, I was ready to start sewing.

I pieced together squares that were either like in theme, or in color. I used some fleece as a backing.

Here's the final product

Monday, October 13, 2008

How to choose a table in a busy restaraunt

Those of you who know me well, know how much I LOVE children. Especially ill-behaved ones that are seated directly behind me during meal time, screaming and kicking the back of my chair. Because of the fact that too much of a good thing is bad, I must make efforts to limit my exposure to such things.

The first step is to survey the area well, making note of all the available tables. It is also necessary to evaluate the tables that are occupied, not only for the general make-up of the guests seated there, but also to estimate the time remaining on their stay.

Open tables must be examined for their value to mothers, especially of young children. Things to take into account are:
1.) Proximity to the bathroom. (young children, I've noticed, pee a lot!)
2.) Proximity to the soda machine. ***this one can be tricky, as some parents will want to be close to the machines, so they can send the kids up for their own refills. Yet others want to be far away from the machines, to keep the children from demanding Coke, when Mom prefers they drink Sprite. Choosing a table between the two extremes is vital.
3.) Ease of use with a high-chair as well as distance from where the high-chair is kept. Parents tend to prefer ailes where the high-chair will be in the way to servers, rather than in corners where the would be unobtrusive.
4.) Booths or tables- booths tend to have a higher value for the parents' ability to pin the child in between themselves and the wall.

When evaluating the occupied tables, you must take into account whether or not their food has arrived, are the consuming alcohol, and if it's a larger group.

All of these are variables in a complex mathematical equation that produces the probability of being seated next to a screaming child, and must be computed within a matter of seconds and without use of a calculator.

Needless to say, I haven't yet perfected the math!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Things I learned Playing Racquetball

When Gene and I were in college, approximately 3498572683 years ago, we used to play racquetball in the evenings before dinner. Since we recently joined a gym, we decided to give it a shot, since we enjoyed it so much in our younger years.

I realized one thing rather quickly:
We suck!

Among other things I learned:
1.) I don't have to worry about the strings on my racquet breaking, because in order for old strings on a racquet to break- it requires something actually making contact with the strings... (like, oh, say, THE BALL!)
2.) The ball does not come to you. You have to actually move around to get close to it.
3.) The plexi-glass on the wall the door is on is NOT your friend
4.) 10 minutes in a racquetball court for us is more exhausting than an hour on a treadmill
5.) Children will laugh out loud at old people attempting to play racquetball.
6.) *playing* racquetball is all relative. Let's just say that there was no sense in either of us keeping score and leave it at that.
7.) Your own husband WILL laugh at you when you swing and hit dead air.
8.) When the ball hits you in the back of the head, it really hurts! (But, you do NOT see stars like the cartoons say you do!)

Needless to say, we need lots of practice to get back to our college days skill level! (Maybe I'll stick with hanging out in the hot tub! Hard to get injured that way!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

For the first time EVER!

I started wearing glasses at a young age. In my early teens. As I entered High School, Dad and I went to the eye doctor together to get contacts. As I aged, I found my eyes become less tolerant to the contacts.

when I turned 35, I was told I needed bi-focals. This made wearing contacts even more difficult. When we started obedience and agility, my glasses seemed to just get in the way.

On July 12th, I underwent Laser surgery to correct my vision. While the healing process was slow, the results have been amazing.

Sunday night, October 5, 2008, I experienced something I haven't in many, many years. I was able to swim, without worry of being able to see where I was going, and what was around me.

It has been such a liberating experience!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

U. Ch. Tintlet Grab Life By The Horns

U. Ch. Tintlet Grab Life By The Horns, aka "Hemi"

Hemi finished his championship this weekend in GRAND fashion. Beating out a newly finished AKC champion, and taking a group 1, 2, and 3. He showed very well this weekend, and looked GREAT! (Thanks, Wendy!) After coming home from the show, we went out to take a few photos! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Look at that handsome boy! The sunlight just glistens off his silver hair!

Looking at Daddy

I love this one---he looks so studious and smart! And then, what day of photos is complete without the obligatory agility photo?

Yeah, Hemi! I'm so proud of you AND Gene!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's been awhile!

Hemi heads to Denton this weekend in search of his last 2 competition wins for his UKC Championship. In preparation, a friend of Gloria's offered to help get him groomed into a better looking cut than Gene had him in previously. Gene has done wonders in learning so much about poodle grooming in a short period of time, but he will be the first to admit that he is no professional. So, we took her up on that offer.
We let as much hair grow as possible. (Man, I hate growing poodle hair! Almost as much as I hate liver and onions!) Here are some before photos:

Many hours later, Hemi emerges a new man, er, dog. He doesn't even resemble the beast she took in.

I can't help it, I love the Pippi Longstocking look he's sporting here!
So, here's hoping that the haircut will accentuate the positive and get Hemi those last 2 wins over competition so he may join his big brother Boo as a UKC Champion!
Tune in Monday for the results!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hemi's subtle statement about the teeter

Don't let anyone tell you that poodles aren't smart, because I have proof. Hemi has had some issues with the teeter, which is not too surprising since he's just started it. Well, our instructor sent us home with her adjustable teeter to get some extra work in. I don't know why, but I think Hemi is trying to communicate something to us about the teeter. What do you think? I offer up these photos for your consideration:

So, really, what do you think? Do you think he's trying to tell us something?

Man, I love my poodles!

Monday, August 18, 2008

How to Give Boo a pill!

Okay, so rain is FINALLY moving in, and Boo just really stresses out over thunder way too much. When discussing this issue with the vet, she suggested the over the counter stuff first. Great- chewable pills---easy, right? WRONG!

So, I look at the radar this morning and see storms off to the west. To try and make sure that the pills have time to work, I head to the kitchen to give Boo his pills. I try, at first, to hand him the pill- hoping that it will smell like a yummy piece of steak and take it! He sniffs said pill, and turns his head to the side. Shunning the treat offered him. (Which, honestly, I expected.)

So, I dig in the refrigerator for something Boo will eat. He won't touch cheese, or bread, or anything starchy. I finally spy the left over pepperoni. Hooray! Meat! Right up Boo's alley!

I break the pill in half and wrap it in a piece of the pepperoni and hand it to him. He sniffs the pepperoni, and turns his head to the side. Great! Well, he's too smart.

He knows he's being set up. So I decide to take a different tactic. I get a piece of pepperoni without anything to "taint" it and tear off a piece and offer it to him. He pulls his lips back and takes the piece of meat between his teeth and spits it on the floor, sniffs it, then decides it's okay and eats it. To further entrench that it is not a trick, I give him another untainted piece. This piece is gobbled up more readily than the first. Thinking I have him fooled, I hand him the piece with the pill in it. One sniff, and the nose goes in the air.

We stare at each other- me trying to convince him through osmosis that the pill is REALLY good. I can see by the look in his eyes that he is NOT buying it. I do, of course, have 3 other poodles surrounding me that are more than eager to take the meat, the pill or both.

I decide that we've had enough pussy footing around, and decide to go with brute force. I wrenched his mouth open and insert pepperoni wrapped pill onto his tongue and then hold his mouth shut. We lock eyes again- competitors in an epic battle of wills. I pull out all my tricks, rubbing his neck and blowing in his nose. All this is supposedly supposed to make the dog swallow. All it does in this case is make him mad. He appears to swallow, and thinking I had won, I loosen my grip. I am rewarded by the wet and soggy pill landing on the top of my bald foot. The pepperoni, however, found it's way into Boo's gullet.

Another brief session of attempted osmosis gets me nowhere. As a last ditch effort, I put a few pieces of kibble in his bowl and crush the pill into a powder and sprinkle on top of the food. I find some chicken broth and coat the whole mixture.

Giving in to my persistence, Boo nibbles delicately on the mixture, taking frequent breaks to give me that look that says, "don't fall asleep, bitch!"

Now, we can only hope that after all this, the pills will work!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Night Time Agility fun!

Here's some video of night ASCA trial this past weekend. I hope you enjoy the footage. (Warning, I finally figured out how to put MUSIC with my videos! Opens up a WHOLE new set of possibilities!

First up is Kyra. This was a GREAT Jumpers run!

Some of Boo

Hemi got to play- though he was for exhibition only!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Hemi Video

These videos are sort of mixed up, and are from several classes from the last month or so. Enjoy!

Hemi works well with distractions even!

Another good one! Watch this footwork!

More fun sequences!

One more fun one!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Or, would that be, Peek-A-Hemi?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do you know what happens when......

You leave 2 sisters unattended. And bored? Well, I do. And, I'll let you in on it as well. So, it's Saturday afternoon- the shop is quiet, and we're sitting around staring at each other. Gene decides to go out back to take the trash out, and returns with the statement, "I found a dead body out back". He carries in his hands this poor sickly plastic Army man held together with duct tape. My sister and I looked at each other, and it began. So, here's the news story we came up with:

Duct Tape Killer Strikes Again!

by: L. Laine
At approximately 3:15 am, a dead body was found in the alley behind Dirty Dawgz Dogwash in Mansfield, TX. There was a blood trail leading from the body to teh dumpster where the alleged murder weapon was found.
The victim appears to be a homeless man, dressed in surplus army gear, including worn out combat boots and used black gloves. As with the other victims, the torso was wrapped in duct tape.
Police are currently searching for an extra large female who was reported to have been seen smoking a cigarette behind the strip mall around 2:30 this morning.
The CSI department in Arlington are currently running DNA and fingerprint analysis on items found at the scene.
Detective Brass refused to comment on the ongoing investigation, and there are no known suspects at this time. This is the fourth vicitm of the named "Duct Tape killer." The first victim was 45 year old Randall Lycke found at a local dog park. Victim number 2 was identified as 37 year old Tony Smythe of Grand Prairie, Tx, and was found in the dumpster behind Starbucks. The third victim was an unditified black male believed to be in his mid thirties to mid forties. He was found outside the Dallas Zoo, behind the brand new Moose Exhibit, causing a delay in it's grand opening scheduled in May.
Police are asking anyone who may have information about the murders to please call their anonymous tip line at (817) 555-9110.

And, here are the crime scene photos:

So, keep this in mind. I don't care how old youre children are- never leave them unsupervised if they are bored!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Life's A Beach!

My darling husband surprised me with 3 glorious days off at the beach! Not just any beach, but Gulf Shores, Alabama (part of the Redneck Riviera). It's a lesser known beach, but one of the prettiest beaches in the world! See what I mean?

The sand is not only white, but soft. It's a really fine grit, and soft on the feet. (No big chunks of shells to poke you in the feet!) If you've ever been to Destin or Panama City Beach, it's the same beach. (Just less crowded!)
When I landed, since Mom & Dad were driving up, Suzanne picked me up at the airport, and I hung around with her for a few hours. She offered to entertain me until Mom & Dad got there, just in case they were later than my flight. As it turns out, I was the last one in town, but that is a post for another day! :) To see Suzanne and her wonderful dogs, go to Suzanne and Sonic are leaving next week to go to Belgium to represent the USA in International Team Agility- we wish them all the luck in the world! Go Get 'Em Sonic and Suzanne! Also joining her is Suzi with Sonic's older brother Jib, and another local agility team of Elizabeth and her pyrenean shepherd Hemi. 3 Great dogs that will represent the USA well!

The view from the Condo was AWESOME! (Not to mention the glorious sounds of the ocean!)

Monday, we spent all day lounging around in the sun. Here's Mom & Dad chilling on the beach!

Tuesday, Dad & I did some deep sea fishing! We had been with this tour before, and brought home more fish from that trip then we could handle. This trip was to be no different. Here's Dad enjoying the view on the way out to the fishing hole!

Here's our fish on the cleaning table- the fish were not as large as our last trip, and about 1/3 of what we caught had to be released, as red snapper was not yet in season. But, it was just as fun to catch them! The dolphins stayed about 2-3' off of the bow the whole fishing trip. Tried to get photos, but was too busy catching fish!

The catch consisted of vermillion snapper, white snapper (Or, blue nose snapper), and trigger fish. The biggest haul was on the blue nose snapper. Dad caught 2 Luna snapper, but since there are not many of those in the ocean, we let them release those. Also, I caught a nice sized moray eel- about 2' long- made a mess out of the lines before we got him up!

There was also a boat that was named after me- and even spelled the same! Tried to convince the owner it was my boat, but with no luck! (Oh, well!)

Day 3 was once again spent lounging on the beach, watching the gulls. Funny thing is, they've been fed so much by humans (a big no-no, btw!), that you can't eat without one of the little buggers eyeing your. (Or worse, squawking at ya!). I had a small bag of cheetos, and this little guy came begging.

When I didn't give him any, he called in reinforcements!

The sandpipers were cool-they didn't care much for the human grade food, but really enjoyed any dead or dying crabs that floated up in the surf!

Now, back to reality. It was a great 3 days, even if I did get a little sunburned on day 3! Thanks to a great hubby!