Friday, December 4, 2009

Fighting Over the Computer

[Tyssen] Ty here - I've been dying to t____ get off the .....give ME the keyb..ajo03j23io1k ionf

[Jada] NO! I want to tell about MY trial last weekend. It'll only mks sjfklJFLK;WFJJJJJJJJJJJJJ

[Tyssen] It's just not fair! I was here FIRST! I'm telling!

[no idea at all who this was] @#IVOQI CKQOITYQ

[Jada] Too bad! I'm OLDER! You HAVE to listen to ME! You 4tu2otn nth2OG;WWWWWWWWWWWWWW

Okay. This is Joni. They're all banned from the computer for awhile. I know....I said this is their blog and I've tried to keep it that way. But they're going to have to learn some more manners before they get back on here... and NOBODY gets to use the computer until I say so! Sheer chaos here now...keyboard full of fur....monitor all pawed up....and - oh my - that poor little mouse.....

Tyssen: Future Dock Diving Dog? Or Swan-Lover?

Fine....OKAY, I said FINE! I understand! I get to go first since MY show was 2 weekends ago. That's all I wanted to do in the first place before Miss Bossy tried to shove me aside! phttft!

I got lots and lots to report now that I've got keyboard control here!

First.....As much as I love being a Champion Show Dog and Up and Coming Agility Star, I've found a few other careers I think I'm interested in checking into. After all, I do have alot of time to fill!

I've considered lots of much as I like tracking scents and chasing squirrels, I don't think the life of a hunting dog is what I'm quite thinking of. I suspect it's not really what I want to do for very long. It seems like it'd be rather tiresome to chase down those running piles of fluff - and whatever would I do with it when I got them? Unless someone will play tug-of-war with me with it there's really no purpose to catching it. I've asked around, and so far no one is quite willing to be on the other end of this tugging game with me. And then there's the poor squirrel...I don't want to KILL it, and I just don't think a screaching screaming squirrel is quite the same as a squeaky toy. So scratch that idea.

Herding? Puh-lease. I am DEFINITELY not one of those crazy dogs! No offense to any of those simple minded herding critters, of course, but I'd just go nuts trying to keep sheep or ducks together in one place. It sounds much more fun if they're scattered all over the place and then all the "real" herding dogs would grow to hate me. So nope...that won't happen.

So after lots of thought I've decided that maybe dock diving is the new sport for me! I'd never really thought of it until I was out at Judy's dock recently. WHOA! Check out all that great water! And the birds in it are awesome! Jada's told me about this place and it's NOTHING like she described! It's an amazing place! The only bad thing is that they kept my leash on. !@#$% Somehow they just knew I'd take a running dive into the pond if they didn't!

First, I met Swanson, the Swan. Cool dude! He came right out to meet me and made me feel right at home. He's a bit hurt that Jada won't give him a chance, though. I tried telling him that Jada was just....well, Jada, and once she gets something in her head there's no changing her mind.

Here's a photo of Swanson and me meeting for the first time.
Jada wouldn't come close to the pond and Swanson again. Her loss.....

It was when I was on the dock that it hit me - DOCK DIVING! Now I can't think of anything more fun! Flying down a dock and jumping into the cool fresh water and playing with the swans and ducks! But apparently in the real world of dock diving there are no swans....perhaps this is something they might want to consider, though. I can be pretty persuasive!

Here's some photo's of me trying to jump off the dock. There was some discussion if I was trying to jump off the dock just to get in the water, or to play with Swanson. You know...I'm not even sure of the answer to that myself. I think it was a little of both!

I did manage to jump into the water a bit on the shore before I was pulled back. I don't know what the big deal with me getting wet was - I was getting a bath the next day anyway!

I did get my bath the next day. Joni left me there with Judy for a few days to get a bath and for her to practice with me for the UKC show the next week. I had a great time, but I sure missed my nice warm bed at night! I had to stay out in the kennel for a few nights. It's a nice little bachelor pad....I can be inside where it's warm, or outside. We did lots of practicing for the show since it'd been awhile since I've done this. I don't know why they think I need practice - I never forget what to do in the ring!

A week later, just before the show, I came back for my "BLT" bath (Britches, Legs and Tail bath). I also got my nails done. I'm sort of a big baby for this. I'll let Judy clip up my feet, but boy oh boy, pull out the grinding thing and I start to become a baby. But I can't escape...notice how Judy has me pinned down.

Now I'm getting my BLT bath. Yeah...I know I look pretty goofy.

This is my mom, Lucy, on the left, with Jada, watching me get a bath. fascinating can this be? I think they're just worried THEY will be next!
Bath time is over. Now I'm ready for the big show!

UKC Conformation Weekend

What a fun weekend! I got to spend a few days and a few nights at the dog club - either inside showing everyone how amazing I look, or outside in Judy's motorhome. Jada and Joni were along also.

I did great at the show - won Best of Breed over a few other Keeshonds each show, and placed in Groups each of the four shows. I was in the Best in Show ring twice also. I even got to see Joni in the ring for the first time with another Keeshond. I thought I'd burst out laughing at this, but it wasn't that bad. Of course, we still beat her, so that was cool. She didn't take any photos of me in the ring this time to share since she brought the camcorder this time. If she ever figures out how to get them online, I'll share those!

Here are a few shots of me relaxing in the motorhome......

This is Judy going over the rules with me the night before .....

I thought this was all rather silly, and decided to put my foot down and object to all it all - this is supposed to be FUN!

I got my way, of course. They let me do anything I want sometimes....

This is me taking over Reuben's bed. Cute little thing (the bed, that is). But it was too confining after a little bit, so I let him have it back.

This is pretty much what our ribbons looked like after the weekend. These are actually from the March show, but it looked almost identical this time.

So.....guess that's about it for now. Except for this - I'm making my Agility Trial Debut in a few weeks! I just got my CPE number last night, so it's officially official now! We have a 4-day Trial over New Years. Jada will be running all 4 events each day, and I'll only be running 1 run each day. Joni just agonized over what to put me in, not to mention what part of the day to do it in. She can't figure out if I'll be more crazy in the morning or at the end of the day. She's just silly, though....I can be crazy at ANY time of the day or night! I do like to keep her guessing! She's got me entered in Level 1 Jumpers, Full House and two Standard classes. So.....I'll let you know later how it goes!

I hear we have PLENTY of practicing to do in the next few weeks. Joni hasn't let me jump more than 12" jumps in class, but she realized after she entered me in the trial that I'll have to jump 16". She did set up some jumps last week for me at 16" and I knocked a bunch of them down. Hey, it takes a little getting used to! Those things were at eye level and now they're higher! What, I'm supposed to remember that AND keep my eye on Joni for directions?
But after a few days of this, I was getting it. She took me to a "run-thru" the day before Jada's agility trial last weekend and let me run the course. I had a blast - the course was HUGE - much bigger than the courses at class. I loved it! We ran thru the 17 obstacles two different times and I didn't drop one 16" bar and I did everything in the right order!! This is gonna be fun! I can't wait till New Years now!

Jada's Busy November

Finally! My turn at the computer! Here I thought Ty was just going to go over his UKC show....had no idea he'd start waxing nostalgic about his crazy "career aspirations". [rolling my eyes here]. What can you expect from a swan-lover?

Yes! This was a VERY busy month! First my 3-day AKC Agilty Trial, which I previously wrote about. Then we were at the UKC show for two and a half days and nights...and the very next weekend we were at my CPE trial. But between the AKC and UKC show, while Tyssen was getting his show bath, Joni decided to it was time for ME to get a bath. I couldn't believe it! I wasn't even dirty!
Here's a photo of me being incredulous that I had to go thru this....surely she was just joking and at the last minute she was going to toss Tyssen in there! HE's the one that's always getting baths! Notice the sheer disbelief on my face....

But no...she really really meant it! Before I knew it I was soaking wet! (This is Joni's mom helping with me while Joni takes photos....)

Damn, I'm skinny underneath all that fur! So pathetic looking. This is what I get for laughing at Tyssen during his baths, I guess. (that's not really "Suave" shampoo - just using the bottle for our shampoo mix)

For some reason Joni just thinks it's hysterical to get photos of me when I'm shaking water off of me. Sad.
I'm giving her the evil eye the best I can while shaking.

But not too long before I'm dried and looking like my gorgeous self again.

Tyssen jumped up on the grooming table to reassure me that it was okay. He didn't even laugh at me and instead was very concerned and sweet.

My cousin Beckett (a Shetland Sheepdog) got a bath after me. He's a little ball of fur that looks skinny when he gets watered down also.

He's more pathetic looking than us during baths!

But he sure turns out looking pretty at the end!

Now on to my Agility Trial last weekend.

Jada's Thanksgiving Weekend CPE Trial

We had a really fun Thanksgiving weekend at the CPE Trial! I did 8 runs over the weekend - and got 8 Q's!
I also got a new title - my Level 3 Strategy Games Title (CL3-S when we got our last Level 3 Jackpot Q)
So all I need is one more Level 3 Wildcard leg and we'll be out of Level 3 forever. Everything else we're doing is in Levels 4 and 5.

We camped out in our usual spot in our big blue round crate surrounded by some of our favorite friends. On one side were our Keeshond buddies - Tav and Sky. I really really like Tav...but for some reason he just cringes when he sees me. His owner says he likes his girls to play "hard to get" and I just gush all over him, and that makes him nervous. But in a crate he's okay with me being next to him. On the other side of me was Benny, our big black lab pal. We just love being around him. He likes me a whole lot, but isn't as crazy about Tyssen. I think he'd like Tyssen better if Ty would keep his nose to himself and out of Benny's private parts!

These were our Saturday runs:

Fullhouse, Level 4.
We got 3rd place in this run.
1st place: 43 points in 35.26 seconds (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever)
2nd place: 42 points in 31.19 seconds (Wheaten Terrier - our buddy Tucker!)
3rd place: 42 points in 35.31seconds. (me)
Guess I shouldn't have backed out of that 3-point tunnel when Joni attempted a rear cross behind me. Bummer.

Then we ran two Standards back to back.
Standard, level 4, round 1
We got 3rd place again
1st place: 41.61 seconds (Sheltie)
2nd place: 42.65 seconds (Sheltie)
3rd place: 44.19 seconds (me)
Where are all these fast shelties coming from?

Standard, level 4, round 2

This was a tough one. The 3rd obstacle was to take the A-frame....but on either side of the A-frame was a tunn
el entrance! Wow! Good thing I'm generally a contact-sucker sort here! But Joni was worried that TWO big old gaping tunnel holes might be tempting to me. But she ran it like the tunnels weren't even there - and I could tell exactly what she wanted me to do and I did it - I took the A-frame. Out of 33 dogs running in level 4-5-C here, only 11 Q'd. The rest were sucked into the tunnels and an off course. Tough one! Here's what it looked like on the right here:

1st place was 37.60 seconds (Sheltie)
2nd place run was 39.13 seconds (me)

Jumpers, level 5
This was our last run of the day. We got 2nd place in this one, but not by much!
1st place: 26.63 seconds (Sheltie again!)
2nd place: 27.92
seconds (me!)
3rd place: 28.99
seconds (Border Collie)

Our Sunday Runs:

Jackpot, level 3
Fortunately, this was a non-traditional jackpot. Actually, they called it a "non-traditional traditional jackpot" - but all we cared about was that we didn't have that line down on the ground that Joni couldn't cross! We got 3rd place in this one
1st place: 63 points in 48.43 seconds
2nd place: 62 points in 45.65 seconds
3rd place: 59 points in 44.1 seconds (us)

Wildcard, level 3
We got 2nd place in this, by less than a second.

Snooker, level 4
Joni scared me a bit on this one. I know it was a long weekend and she just zoned out for a little bit on the course! We took the red jump, then the tire, then red jump #2 and into the weaves for 7 points. Then the 3rd red jump and back to the 7point weaves. Halfway thru the weaves Joni sorta lost it and blanked out on if this was the first time for doing the weaves or the second. I KNEW it was the 2nd time, but boy, she worried me for a second! I wasn't sure if she was gong to head back for the red jump again or start the closing! But she pulled it out and headed for the closing part of the game. Whew! Close one! Then she did some clunky front cross as I came out of the tunnel later on instead of the nice blind front cross she usually does, and it really threw me then. Where the hell was her mind at? She sent me over a jump, and I sort of balked at the next jump thinking she was really screwing up. But she insisted I go over and I did after giving her a few quick "wake the hell up" barks, then we finished. I really wonder about her sometimes! But we finished, as ugly as it was. Amazingly, it was also our first 1st place finish of the weekend also. Go figure! We also had the overall second highest point count of 46 points. (51 was the highest)

Colors, level 4
This just goes too fast! Literally! We ran this in 15.09 seconds for our second 1st place finish of the weekend.
1st place: 15.09 seconds (ME!)
2nd: 16.20 seconds (
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever)
3rd: 19.22 seconds (Sheltie)
4th: 24.36 seconds (Border Collie)

Our time was the fastest of all the level 3-4-5-C's that ran the course.
fastest: me at 15.09
2nd fastest: a dog in level 3 with 15.21 seconds
3rd fastest: our lab buddy Benny at 16.05

I'm looking VERY forward to our New Years Trial! Poor Joni will have 5 runs a day to memorize, so I'll have to keep up with those wake up barks now and then. I'm also looking forward to Ty getting out there and running some! This will be fun to watch! Hopefully he does as well as I know he can if he doesn't act like a big ol' fruitloop out there!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jada Gets Her First AKC Agility Title

We just did our first 3-day AKC Agility trial a couple of weeks ago. Lots of fun, but not sure I like this "half day" thing. We're so used to getting there early and staying ALL day long!

We didn't have to be there until noon...which mean Joni had me there at 10am. Not sure what she thinks she's going to miss out on here. I had to stay outside in a crate in a tent with a bunch of loud Shelties. Not sure I liked that part of it. Joni kept checking on me and leaving me in there. I was a little worried she forgot me sometimes, but I could see the car if I looked thru a blowing tent piece...and it never moved, so that made me feel better!

So I went in there the first day, Friday, with a Novice Standard and a Novice Jumpers leg under my.....collar (I never did like belts). I was hoping to knock out this Novice stuff in the first two days. But that was not to be.....

Friday started out with Jumpers, which I did perfect on and got a first place. Two legs down and one to go!
Then we did Standard. Sigh. I guess I'll take a little itty bitty piece of blame for this, but only a VERY little bit. Most of it I'm putting all on Joni! I have a problem with laying down on the pause table....always have. I'll sit...I'll stand....hell, I'll do backflips, but I don't like to lay down. I just never have liked laying down on command ANYWHERE. There just isn't a point to this. Of course, naturally, I'll do it for FOOD! If I'm going to go to all this trouble to lay down there better be a good reward for me in it. So Joni was worried about if the judge was going to make me lay down on the table. She had me practicing this all week. I did it every time for her, but after awhile I was having fun messing with her head. I'd lay down and roll over. Boy, that really got her more worried! No way I'd do that on a table, but I sure had her thinking I might!

So it turns out the table is a "down". Joni was convinced she could fake me out and I'd think she was going to have a treat for me. I heard her tell a few people this. She didn't even try to whisper it so I wouldn't hear - just blurted it out like I was the village idiot that had no idea what she was saying. So I went in this knowing the big fake-out was coming. We started our run.....and I ran perfectly. We got to the table and Joni said "Down" and I sat....and looked at her. She pretended she had something in her hands and said it again. And I just looked at her. It was hard to keep from bursting out laughing at the panic I know she was feeling. Finally I took pity on her and laid down SLOWLY on the 3rd request. The judge counted down....5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1 -- .and Joni took off! What the hell! She's supposed to wait until the judge said "...and GO!" I knew this was bad...but what was I supposed to do? So I followed her. I saw the judge make a motion with her arms out of the corner of my eye and I knew it wasn't good. I was right. Joni screwed up. Uh you think I played with her mind too much on this one? Maybe. That's why I'll only take a teeny tiny bit of the blame for that. She gets 99.9% of that screwup, though! Now Joni claims she doesn't know why she left - she claims her brain wanted to stay but her legs just took off. Rolling my eyes here....whatever. Even "I" have more control than that!

Later that night we did FAST. I blew this the last time since I have to work away from Joni and I jumped over the contact. I confess I was feeling a wee bit sorry for her for her big screwup earlier, so I was determined that I'd make her feel better by astonishing her with doing this correctly. Which I biggie. We only needed 50 points in this 35 second run, and we got 73 points. The send part with the line that Joni couldn't cross was that I had to go over an A-Frame, then into a tunnel, which I did perfectly. We did only get 2nd place since this zippy little Sheltie got 76 points, but he took 7 seconds longer than us also! But that's okay.

Saturday we went over early also so that I could get my two height measurements by two AKC reps that were there. They measured me shorter than I thought I was....16.5". ??? And here I thought I was 17" tall. This will take some getting used to now. I'm trying hard not to get that "short dog" syndrome now.

I got my last Jumpers leg today! And my first AKC agility title - my NAJ title. I got first place - and had the fastest time of all the 23 Novice dogs! Open Jumpers here I come!

Standard was next. I was relieved to see that the table was a "Sit" - Joni certainly doesn't need the pressure on this one. Maybe today we'd get our 2nd leg, and could get our 3rd leg tomorrow - sounds like a plan! And we did it perfectly. I got 1st place (and a perfect score) with a time of 40 seconds! The next fastest time in the entire class of 23 Novice dogs was 50 seconds! Not too shabby! One more leg tomorrow and we can get that Standard title outa the way!

Sunday we did our first Open Jumpers, and I did another great job on it. We got 2nd place in this division - only 8/10 of a second slower than a Sheltie. One open leg down....

Then came what I hoped was our final novice standard leg. No pressure here! We started off great.....I saw the dog ramp and launched myself onto it. Usually I take the dog ramp at a fast speed, with Joni running alongside me. But today I was so excited about my new title - not to mention my impending NEW title - and had SO much energy that I figured I could go faster! I was a few feet ahead of Joni now when I heard her saying something to me. What? Why are you talking to me now - I'm concentrating on running! It was so hard to hear her with the wind rushing thru my fur and my ears (think of hanging your head outside a moving car!). Now we have a disagreement here....I could just swear I heard her say, "Jada! Go faster! And jump over that yellow piece at the end of the dog ramp!!!" - so I did. Now Joni insists that she said "Jada! Slow down! Wait!".
Sigh. I guess after thinking about it there's no earthly reason she'd be telling me to jump over the contact now, is there. Sigh. Fine. I guess I'll take the blame for this one. [hanging my head in shame]. The rest of our run was flawless...Joni didn't even screw up on the table countdown.

So I guess I'll need another weekend to get out of this Novice stuff. Hopefully I don't drag it out too long or Joni will get her wish and we WILL be there all day Excellent Jumpers and in Novice or Open Standard! Ugh!

Overall I guess I like this AKC stuff okay. It's fun....but not as much fun as CPE games are. We decided we like the strategy and thinking that goes into the CPE games more. It's alot of fun to make up a good course for enough points, or to have to make decisions out there - not ONLY just running 17-18 obstacles in a precise order....
But we'll keep doing this AKC stuff (can't let Ty get ALL the AKC titles in the family!).

We've got our CPE trial coming up this weekend! I can't wait!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jada is Mortified

I am mortified. Genuinely humiliated.
Someone...and I'm not naming names....thinks this was worth taking a photo of and worse yet - posting online for the world to see. I never thought when I ripped out the middle of my plush frisbee's that they'd be used against me in such a way.

Maybe I just don't get human humor.Or rather - human ATTEMPTS at humor.

I am not amused.

Tyssen's Mealtime Saga

I think Jada and I eat pretty great around here. I think most dogs would be downright envious of us! Joni feeds us pretty well....but has this unhealthy obsession with making us wait until the big hand of the clock is pointing straight up, and the little hand is pointing straight down for our dinner. Jada and I generally start bugging her a long while before that, but she holds her ground and makes us wait. What a sadist she is.

I get to eat lots more than Jada. No, it's not a sexist thing, but she just tends to get fat and I don't. HA! In fact, I have a hard time keeping the weight normal. Yeah, she balloons out like a blimp and I struggle to maintain my amazing 6-pack set of abs looking their most fabulous. But I move around alot....I keep hearing people say that I have two speeds: standing still and 100 miles an hour. Not much in between. And boy, do you burn alot of calories cranking it up that fast in a seconds time! Now Jada does have a perfect trim figure now, but last winter she was starting to blimp out a bit. Someone told us that when you feel for our ribs, it's supposed to feel like there is a t-shirt between your fingers and our ribs.....and Jada had a "sweatshirt" between their fingers and her ribs. Ha! Fatty fatty fatty! But a good analogy. I know some dogs that have a friggin' comforter between their ribs and their outsides! (some have two comforters! Ha!)

We both usually eat around 8am. Joni gets up a bit earlier...and sometimes as early as 3 or 4am when she's working. I see her getting up at that time and just refuse to get out of bed. I like to stay in bed until I see LIGHT coming in the window! So when she does that ridiculous early thing, she'll let us out to go bathroom, then I head immediately back to bed when I come in and stay there until it's officially morning. Even better - I get the whole bed to myself now!
But even when she gets up early, she makes us wait till 8am to eat. I sure don't get this schedule thing....

I'm a pretty picky eater. It has to be pretty incredible before I make myself eat it. I realize that's not typical for a Keeshond....but I kinda like being different. Jada, on the other hand, should have the middle name of "Hoover". She just inhales anything that looks like food - even some stuff that isn't food. She could clean the floor pretty easily if our vacuum cleaner ever breaks down. Frankly, she's simply embarrassing to be around when there's food out. Jada tells me all the time that it's been at least a month since our last meal and you know, I honestly think she believes that. No matter how many times I tell her to be patient, that it's only been a few hours, she just looks scornfully at me as if I'm so clueless she can't believe I have sense enough to keep breathing from one second to the next. She's never actually said this...but I can read it in her eyes.

We eat some pretty great food for breakfast and dinner. We eat "Wellness" - the chicken formula. Jada is on the "Green Bean" diet - which means she gets green beans with her kibble. I wasn't too crazy about these green things when they were offered to me, but they're sorta growing on me now. I have to be very sure about something before I eat it....if it's suspicious smelling - I want no part of it. Joni has laughed at me recently because for the longest time I refused to eat spaghetti noodles that she offers a few of when she makes it. Jada, naturally, will grab a dangling noodle out of Joni's hands and slurp it up. She takes the laughter as some sort of applause and really seems to ham it up with those wormy looking things. I smelled one that was offered to me and decided it wasn't for me. The next time I did try it, but immediately spit it out as soon as that slimy thing got in my mouth. What the hell was she trying to give me - rubber bands? Blech. But after watching the obvious enjoyment that Jada seemed to get out of them, I recently tried chewing it up...and much to my surprise, it wasn't bad. They're actually kinda fun to slurp up now. Too bad she only gives us a couple of noodles...I think I could eat a whole bowl of them up now! Anyway....I digress.....

Jada only gets 1/3 of a cup of kibble in the morning....and 2/3 cup of green beans. She also gets a tablespoon of cottage cheese on it in the mornings - and then all mixed up. I can live without the cottage cheese. I've had it several times and it's okay, but after a few meals of it I'm ready for a cottage cheese-less meal again! I get a whole cup of kibble, mixed in with a tablespoon of tuna fish and some tuna fish juices. Yeah, real "chicken of the sea" tuna. I've tried several different types of canned dog food, but they pale in comparison to a little tuna fish. By the time Joni is done fiddling around with all these ingredients, we're both a little impatient. Well, Jada is VERY impatient and I'm beginning to wonder if she'll ever be done playing up there. Our favorite stunt is a couple of fast loud furious sounding impatient barks, then immediately fall to the ground with our face between our paws so that when she looks down to tell us to be quiet, it looks as if it was some other dogs making all the racket. We're pretty good at this! We both think she's fooled by this!

When she's finally done, we like to get our morning calisthenics out of the way be jumping up and down furiously like jumping beans. I'm mildly embarrassed at resorting to this behavior so I don't put as much enthusiasm in it as Jada does. I'll jump up once or twice, then just sorta jump - making only my front feet leave the ground an inch or two. More of a cute bunny hop. Jada goes out of her mind jumping up as far as she can over and over. She's perfected the jumping while walking/jumping backwards 10 feet to where she gets her meal. I keep telling her that she'd get her food faster if she just ran in there and waited for it and that this jumping act adds about 10 seconds to receiving her food....but she thinks it works for her.

This is what Jada looks like bouncing up and down:

About 30 seconds after the food is down, Jada is done inhaling her food. I doubt she even tastes it. I like to take my time and savor each and every bite. Partly because it tastes so good, and partly because it drives Jada insane. Usually Joni puts up the dog gate so that I can be protected from Jada when she's done eating. I think she needs to put up a barb wire fence sometimes! But I also hate the gate. For one thing, she can forget I'm in there and if I don't let her know I'm done, I might be in the kitchen by myself for what feels like hours. So as soon as I'm done I immediately DEMAND in my loudest bossiest sounding bark to LET ME OUT OF HERE N O W !!! She used to ignore this bark and make me be quiet for awhile before she let me out, but I kept it up, and have her trained now! Now all it takes is that bossy demanding bark and she immediately jumps up and lets me out! So let that be a lesson to you all....don't let human attempts to change your behavior work ALL the time! You gotta have a few times you win out and control their behavior!

Sometimes Joni doesn't put up the gate. I have to watch out then, because Jada will come in and watch me eat. And boy, does she ever watch me eat. She just glares at that bowl as if she thinks she's got some telepathic ability to make it slide over to her. She watches each and every kibble that I pick up and chew. She really watches every piece of kibble that falls to the floor. She really makes me scared sometimes. Who can eat under these conditions? Sometimes I just move to the other side of the kitchen and lean against the cabinets and bark at her until Joni comes in and rescues my bowl. Now she won't EAT the food when I leave it - she just sits there and looks at it or lays down next to the bowl and looks at it. But she's smart enough to know she's not supposed to be doing this, so she only takes it so far. Sometimes I just get full and leave some food in there and it also drives her crazy. I find it amazing that she can be that frantic over wanting the food, yet restrain herself from actually eating it. She's gonna give herself an ulcer someday! Joni picks up the bowl for me to nibble on for lunch when I do this. She will then let Jada eat any pieces of kibble that have fallen on the floor, though. And this is what Jada lives for in the morning! That she'll get two or three EXTRA pieces of kibble. Sheesh. Sure doesn't take much to make Jada's day! One time she started eating up a few pieces of kibble on the floor before Joni said "okay" and she just froze when Joni said "HEY!". She actually looked up at Joni and spit it out! That's right - she just SPIT IT OUT! Even I was astonished at her self control!

I seem to be digressing alot here tonight.

Dinner time is similar. Same antics by Jada and me, that is. Jada gets another 1/3 cup of kibble and 2/3 cup of green beans - but no cottage cheese this time. I get a cup of kibble only, which is fine by me...but only in the evening. I want my tuna fish in the mornings! Sometimes Joni gives me some green beans in my food in the evening, which I appreciate occasionally. I don't need or want them every single night..but it's a nice surprise sometimes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Two More Trials! Another CPE Trial and our first AKC Trial!

Hey, Jada here again. It's been busy around here......we got a new computer and all that entails with moving stuff over, etc. So Joni hasn't let me get on the new computer for awhile. Yeah yeah....there's an old computer now that works perfectly well for me...but no, she won't let me use that one!

We've had a lots of classes and several agility trials since I last wrote. Our August CPE trial was great - another 3-day trial. Boy, I'm loving those 3-day outings! We did pretty well.....we Q'd in 11 of our 12 runs! The only one was didn't qualify in was......big surprise!.....Jackpot! Yep, Jackpot is becoming our nemesis! What's with these Traditional Jackpots? I just don't like doing stuff that far away from Joni! But she keeps trying to make me! But I really really did try! But this was a hard one! I had to run into a tunnel with Joni way way behind me....then come out and go into weave poles. I don't think so! I came right back to Joni and didn't leave again! But I tried to make up for it by doing everything else really great over the weekend.

Next trial we're in Level 5 Jumpers - and Level 4 for Standard, Full House, Snooker, Colors and we're still in Level 3 for Wildcard and Jackpot.

My official stats are out of my 61 CPE runs, I have 53 Q's! I don't think that's too shabby for 7 weekends!
My 8 NQ's have been three in traditional jackpots, two from our first few Snookers, and two of our wildcards early on. Oh....and that stupid standard that I screwed up badly...but I'd rather not talk about that one!

A few weeks ago we did our first AKC Agility trial! We entered the one-day agility trial for the Chesapeake Bay Retrievers National Specialty. First thing I noticed is that it was not an event we needed to get up in the wee hours of the night to get ready for! We didn't have to be there until almost noon! This is great! Sleeping in - whoo hoo! This was at a different place than I was used to - a club called Queen City Dog Training Club. We visited there a couple of weeks before to do a few run-thru's so I could get used to a different building and equipment. Apparently this could have been some sort of traumatic event for me....but I could really care less! Show me some tunnels and jumps and I'll do it anywhere! Anyway, this place is different for me because they don't have indoor crating. What? You mean I have to stay...outside? Apparently so. I'm told they usually have a tent, but didn't I spent lots of time in the car since it was so crowded inside. That was a bit weird for me!

Once we started, though, it was just another agility trial! First we did FAST - which, unfortunately, is exactly like a Traditional Jackpot except it's only 30 seconds long or so. Great. No pressure here! Joni insists this was a fairly easy section where I had to do it by myself, and I suppose it was....all I had to do was go into a tunnel then over an A-frame - no biggie. Except I blew it. I went over the A-frame and saw that Joni was about 6 feet away and looking like she might bolt suddenly and leave me, so I cut the corner a bit on the bottom contact and ran after her. Why can't I remember that she isn't really going to leave me there? !@#$%.

After that was Standard - which we got first place in and a Q. Cool! Then we did Jumpers with Weaves - another 1st place and a Q. Then that was it. Seriously....that was it! We were done already? Feels like we were just getting started!

So...looks like we're going to keep doing this AKC stuff. I wish we weren't doing FAST again, but Joni has endless faith in me and signed us up for it again. Sigh. Will she ever learn?

Our next AKC trial is in two weeks - a 3-day trial. Looks like it's an afternoon event again since we just started and are in Novice...which may be a good reason to never get into Excellent, right? Shhh....don't tell Joni that!

I hear that Joni is doing this because she wants to take me on a long road trip next spring for a trial. Yep - she wants to take me to the Keeshond National Specialty in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. I haven't a clue what that really means...but it sounds fun! And this is an outdoor trial! Wow - will be very cool to do all this stuff outside in the fresh air.....unless it's raining. That could be bad then! I hate getting rain in my eyes! I can barely walk outside when it rains....everyone laughs at me. I squint my eyes closed really really tight - every time I try opening them I get water in them, so I just squeeze them shut again and walk really really slowly. Now this could make for an interesting run, dontcha think?

November is going to be a busy month for us! We're doing the AKC trial one weekend; Tyssen has 4 UKC shows one weekend, and then a CPE trial another weekend. Then a few short weeks after that there's our 4-day CPE trial! I can't wait!

I'm hoping Joni will get those video's of me up soon! I keep bugging her about this...maybe soon!

Well...guess I'm outa here.....wait...what? Oh, hold on. Ty wants to say a few things!

Hey, Ty here! Yeah, you heard Jada - I have my OWN shows coming up here soon! AND I get to spend 4 days at Judy's (where I was born and where my mom and sister live) being pampered while they're at the AKC trial! She wants to use the time to "work me"...which I think is a good thing. I don't really need the "work" since I'm so damn good, but I'll let her think I do. Makes her feel useful....but that's just our secret, okay?

I keep waiting to be entered into an agility, but so far Joni seems to think I need to wait more. Personally, I think Jada is telling her this. She's afraid I'll show her up maybe? Yeah...that has to be it. What else could it be? Joni thinks I'm getting close, though.....the only thing she keeps working on alot with me is those crazy weave poles. Now what's the purpose of these things? They make no sense. In the real world I can see the purpose needing to jump, or go over a ramp - hell, even going thru a tunnel - but there is absolutely NO reason weaves have a functional reason for existing! But.....I'm beginning to get it. Joni told me she can tell the light bulb has gone off for me...but that I have a dimmer switch. I'm not sure what that really means....but I just nod like I do and that makes her happy.
But I guess I can keep working with them.

She also thinks I am way too social. She doesn't want to pay for an entry only to get me out there and let me try to meet every single dog on the other side of the ring. Hey - since when is being nice and polite a crime! Sheesh. So I get a "fake" trial - a show-n-go coming up here. Supposedly it'll be "good practice" for me. We'll see.

Oh yeah....also have to mention our latest toy for agility trials! Very cool! Joni got tired of coming up with 16 D batteries each day for our two battery operated fans, so she went and got a "power pack". She got a DC splitter so she can plug in both fans - and they both run on high for 12+ hours in our crate. They might go longer, but she unplugged them after 12 hours of testing them, so who knows how long they'll last. Each day after the trial she just takes the power pack home and recharges it all night - and it's good to go all day the next day with the fans. Pretty cool! She's turned our little home-away-from home into a nice cool place!
Here's the view from the inside and top!

Power pack: Schumacher Portable Power PP-2200 , 22 amp hour / 400 watt, Built in inverter and 12 volt outlet

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jada's CPE Agility Trial Weekend

It's been a couple of weeks now, but I'm finally able to tell you about our latest Agility Trial. Joni's been hogging the computer non-stop since then, and it's been tough talking her down from the keyboard to give me a chance here!

Our last CPE Trial was a new one for me - a THREE day trial. Whoa! I thought two days was exhausting! But we had so much fun that it just flew by. Joni bought me a spiffy new crate for the trials. I was SO excited whe
n I saw it - it's huge! No more being cramped up in that wire crate with just enough room to lay down!
Check it out:on the right here (just ignore the pug - no idea who this critter is!)

This thing is so awesome - I can stretch out in the 50"x50" interior! She puts in a couple of portable fans and I'm in hea-ven! Once there, I found out that I don't get this room by myself - I have to share it with Tyssen! TYSSEN!! What's he doing here? He's never been here before at a Trial! I figured he'd ruin the whole weekend with his non-stop talking and whining. Maybe Joni drugged him or something, but he was great! He didn't ruin anything! He was in there rubbing my shoulders down before we ran, giving me encouragement and some last minute tips. Oh,'re not believing that? Okay, he was great, though. He was very happy every time I came back from running, but I strongly suspect that was because he got treats when I did. I'm not all together sure what he did to deserve the same reward I got for all my hard work while he just sat on his ass, but maybe he was off doing something worth rewarding while I was gone.

Let me describe a typical Agility Trial weekend. We get up bright and early on Trial mornings - at 4:30. Joni is insane. That alarm goes off and she stumbles off to get dressed and Tyssen and I just lay there on the bed in utter disbelief."Is she SERIOUSLY getting up at this hour". Yes she is. Not only that, she gets us up and we're out walking around the neighborhood in the dark. Geez.....we just went to sleep a few hours ago! She feeds me when we come in. Sure, I'm tired...but I'll EAT any time anywhere! Then she's off to go get ready herself. We usually left around 6:15am, but now we can leave later since Tyssen is coming with us and we don't have to drop him off first. You'd think she'd figure out this time difference and let me sleep in another half hour, wouldn't you? Maybe next time she'll do that. Are you listening, Joni? I want to sleep in till 5am, not 4:30!!!!!

We get to the Trial and Joni makes us sit in the car for a little bit while she takes some stuff in. That's always fun, though. Just Tyssen and me in the car watching other dogs and people arrive. I made up stories about the dogs and what they're doing there....which Tyssen totally believed. He's wide-eyed back there in his crate and has his eyes glued on what he really believes is the Queen of England and her dog (just one of my many elaborations!). I had him totally believing this guy walking by was the Dog Whisperer dude. Ty's always good for a few early morning chuckles. We get inside and Joni sorta forgets about us for a little while as she's off running around and talking and deciding how we're going to run our first run. She sorta goes a little OCD over these things...just obsesses over them. Me - I just go out and run it perfectly the first time having never SEEN the course before! So I think she just needs to relax, chill out and do what I do!

So our first run of the day is ready to go! It's called "Full House", and it's the last leg of Level 3. If I "Q" - Qualify - in this leg, we can move up to Level 4. In Full House we get to make up our own course, but there is stuff we have to do - a Pair (2 round objects like a tunnel or tire), 3-of-a-kind (3 jumps) and a Joker (a contact). That's 14 points and we have to have 23 total points to Q. So we get to make up the rest of the course myself for these extra points before the horn sounds and we have 5 seconds to make it to the Table, which ends the game! We only got second place in this today, but we'd have done better if Joni was as quick as I was!

Our 2nd run of the day was Level 3 "Standard", which is a course that we have to do in a certain order. We got First Place in that one!
Our next two runs of the day were Level 4 "Jumpers" courses - which is all jumps, tunnels and weaves. Lots of fun and speed here! We got Second Place in both of those. So far we're 4 for 4 on Q's for the weekend!

So - end of the first day, and we go home where Tyssen and I both crashed and slept. Not sure why Tyssen had to crash, but he tries to do everything I do - just less successfully! I go
t a new Title on Friday - our CLF-3 Title.

Saturday morning started out the same, except Joni was a bit nervous about our first run of the day. It was "Jackpot". She said, "no, not just Jackpot - but a Traditional Jackpot!". Whatever. She worries about the silliest things. Jackpot is a little like Full House - we run around and accumulate points under a certain time. Different obstacles have various point amounts, blah, blah, blah. We have something like 30 seconds to do this, then they blow a horn and we have 18 seconds to do the second part of the game, called the "Gamble". The "traditional" part that had Joni quaking in fear was that this Gamble part has to be done in a very specific order...but Joni had to stay behind a line on the floor while I do these obstacles. I'm on my own. By myself. While she's way way way over there. By herself. Waving her arms frantically while I'm confused, shaking my head and saying "you want me to do what?" Now how can I do these things while she's way over there? She's supposed to be right by my side! So until she comes to her senses and comes close to me - I'm just not gonna do these things! What if I fall off? What if she runs off while I'm in the middle of one of them? The possibilities of what can go wrong are endless. So I just choose to look confused and bark at her. I've seen so many Border Collies go in circles and bark crazily at their person that it must work - so it's worth a try. I can't bark too long since some buzzer that hurts my ears goes off and Joni is putting my leash on. ??? Wait....What happened? Don't we get to finish? Apparently this was an "NQ" - a "non qualifying" score. Do I still get a treat?

So...not starting off too terribly well. I'm just devastated, but putting on a brave front. Our next two runs are "Standard" runs, like the day before. Nothing major - we've done these lots of time. I was still quite rattled from that NQ, though, and couldn't keep my mind on the course. I couldn't get that stupid "behind the line" thing out of my head. Halfway thru the course I was running over the dog ramp when I suddenly thought that Joni was leaving me! She was right there next to the ramp, but her shoulder turned just a little bit - but just enough to give me the hint that she was going to leave me high and dry up there! So I bailed! Yes, that's right! Something I NEVER ever in my entire life had ever thought I'd do while way up there on the dog ramp - I jumped right off! I realized I made a serious mistake as soon as I saw the stunned look on Joni's face, though. Oh, !@#$% - now I've done it! Joni bravely continued but I knew something was wrong and couldn't shake the ever growing bad feeli
ng. I was right.....they gave us an NQ for that! WHAT? Nobody ever told me I couldn't jump off an obstacle before! Okay, so I know now and it'll never happen again! Sheesh. So we were 0 for 2 on Saturday and it wasn't looking good......

Our next Standard run came up quickly and I was determined to be perfect this time! And I was! I just flew thru that course! We got First Place and according to our time, we ran thru those 18 obstacles at the speed of 4.6 yards a second! That's 13.8 feet a second! I told you I was flying thru it!

Our last run of the day was Snooker. Joni has had her issues with me in Snooker so this one makes us both a bit nervous. Our first couple attempts at this game were painfully bad, but since then it's been okay, so we really need to relax about this game! I get it now! It's a bit different than any other game, so it took me a few times to figure it out. Snooker has a whole course laid out there - numbered 2 thru 7. But it also had 4 scattered "red jumps" around the course. This game is also in two parts. The first part is to do a red jump, then any other obstacle on the course. Then another red jump (not the same one as before) and another obstacle, then another red jump (again, can only use them once) and another obstacle of your choice....that's the end of the first part. Sounds simple, doesn't it? After that last obstacle you run the numbered course starting with 2. It sounds so simple....but it's not! But I ran it brilliantly! We got First Place with 44 points (I only needed 28) and had a great ending to a day that didn't start out so well! All in all - we're 6 for 8 this weekend in Q's and I got another Title today! With our Snooker Q we finished up our CL2-S Title! Two days - two new titles! Not too shabby.

Last day of the Trial and I feel like it's Day O
ne again! I'm just anxious to get out there and run!

Our first run of the day was Full House again, this time in Level 4. We had 35 seconds to get 25 points and the obstacles seemed VERY far apart. But we flew thru it and managed to get 34 points and a First place finish.

Next up we had Wild Card. Wild Card is another game that requires some thinking out there! It's a numbered course, but there are 3 sets of obstacles out there in the course that are set up right next to each other with the same number, but are an "A" or a "B". For this course you got to pick which of these you wanted, but we had to make sure that out of these three options, we HAD to pick two that were "A's" and one that was a "B". If Joni had it planned out a certain way and I picked the other option, we could fix it at the next option, but that took some fast thinking to do while on the run! Don't tell Joni, but I've taken the wrong obstacle on purpose a few times just to see her scramble and try to fix it further down the course....unsuccessfully both times. So I quit playing that little game so we can finally Q and get out of this Level. I'll spring that little surprise on her another time sometime. We finished it with a Third Place finish, and got the "Q" and finished up our CL2-H Title - and finally finished all the games for our "CL2" Title. Now everything we
're doing is in Levels 3 and 4.

Our next run was "Colors". This is basically a BUNCH of obstacles out there at one time - it's literally two different courses out there at the same time, but are numbered (or colored) differently. We pick a course (color) and run that - ignoring the other course and some of the obstacles we'll be running by and not being part of our course. Pretty simple, really. We got First Place in this and finished up the last leg of Colors for Level 3 with this one.

Our last run of the day was Snooker again. I'm actually looking forward to this game now that I get it! We needed 30 points now that we were in Level 3, but that was easy enough. We got 46 points and a First Place out of it! Great way to finish the weekend! Officially we were 10 for 12 in Q's this weekend, and got a few new Titles!

I can't wait till our next 3-day Trial now at the end of August! I'm trying my best to talk Joni into getting me into some AKC trials, and it looks like my begging has finally worked! She knows we have to do it soon as she wants to take me to the Keeshond Nationals the next couple of years for Agility.

Oh, Joni has all of these runs on video, but she hasn't transferred it yet. Maybe someday she'll quit being lazy and get it loaded up online so I can give you a link to them!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm NOT a "Country Girl

Hey, it's Jada again. We just had an experience recently that made us realize that I just am NOT a "country" sort of gal. I'm more of a "suburban" sort of gal. Now I've never seen a sheep or a cow or a horse, and I'm not sure what I'd think of them. But this fact I do know:

I'm deathly afraid of big birds.

There. I said it. I have to confess this doesn't make me feel any better. Everyone said I'd feel better if I talked about it. But I don't.

I don't have many fears. Oh, I'm afraid of little wisps of hair that blow across the floor when dogs are being brushed or trimmed - but isn't everyone? Hey, they look like bugs when I see them coming at me and my heart stops and I jump away quickly and then sheepishly realize it's just a piece of hair. But then it occurs to me that you just don't know WHERE or from what dog that hair came from. Uh huh. Think of it that way and you'll run from tumbleweed hair wisps also!

So other than hair wisps, I really am pretty fearless. Oh wait....I forgot. I'm sorta deathly afraid of cicada's also. Not the normal cicada's that one seldom see's. No, it's those big bulging red-eyed 17-year cicada bugs. Yes, THOSE!

Check this thing out - what's NOT to be afraid of!

I was sort of willing to give them a chance when I first saw one, but then it SCREAMED this ear-shattering shrill noise at me and that was all I needed to know about them! DANGER! DANGER! DANGER!

What blew me away is that Tyssen just loves them! He EATS them! He picks them up in his mouth and carries them alive for a bit, then lets them go to bat around with his paws (what, he thinks he's a cat now?) and then eventually munches them up for a snack. That's just sick. Joni does
n't help. She thinks they're great fun and picks them up and holds them out for me to see. What's that all about? She knows I hate them! So I just stand back and go to my "happy place" in my mind and pretend I'm in a big cicada-less, bird-less and hair wisp-less meadow all by myself. Joni just laughs at me refusing to look at the cicada that she's letting crawl around her hand, while she fights Tyssen off, who is trembling in anticipation of swooping it out of her hands and tearing it apart in front of me. Sick sick sick. I live with degenerates.

Fortunately the 17-cicada swarms are only around occasionally. Yeah
, I hear there are different broods of them in different years, but it sure makes me happy to know that I'll never EVER meet the descendants of any of those vile creatures I met last year!

So now the big bird thing.

I've seen regular birds my entire life - robins, sparrows, cardinals - normal size birds and I'm fine with them. I leave them alone - they leave me alone. I even tried my best when I was younger to catch them before I realized I'm not a Retriever and it just made me look silly. But the birds I'm talking about are monstrous birds like ducks.....swans....stuff like that. They're just NOT normal birds! These things are freakin' scary! I heard somewhere that they think birds evolved from dinosaurs. Dinosaurs!! I don't need anything with dino DNA near me! They're just deadly looking. They've got these big ol' claw feet and sharp razor-like beak lips and flap these big hairy wings around [shudder]. And they FLY! That's just not right.

I was introduced to some baby "ducks" in the Spring while at a visit to where I was born. Judy had 4 ducks out there and I knew they were trouble from the first whiff of duck breath when I walke
d into the grooming room. I decided that the best tactic to deal with this was to completely ignore their existence - don't even LOOK in their direction. I just kept repeating to myself that if I don't make eye contact with them then they don't really exist....since it worked so well for the cicada's. Well, that only worked as long as someone wasn't picking up the evil pieces of yellow fluff and holding them out for me to see. Naturally - Joni did this again to me, just like with those stupid bugs. What possesses someone to do this is just beyond me. It's like she has a sadistic illness or something. I kept avoiding looking directly at them and they finally put them back into their jail-like cell they were keeping them in. THAT should tell them something, you'd think! They're ferocious enough to be kept in a cell, but safe enough for me to get them shoved in my face?

They were gone the next time I was there, I was relieved to see. Then Joni and Jud
y took me out to "the pond" (whatever that was) out front with my mom, Lucy, and the big black lab, Bash. I chased Lucy around for a little while, then when we stopped I was next to the BIGGEST HUGEST puddle I've ever seen. This was "the pond". WOW! I was thinking this was pretty cool when I saw it - a huge white bird with a long loopy neck. My first thought was that it HAD to have a long necked Brontosaurus ancestor! It was on top of the huge puddle heading directly at me with a murderous glint in it's dead black eyes and a 6-foot wingspan! Then I noticed the 4 ducks! No way!! They were HUGE now and were heading towards me in a flanking maneuver that was sure to entrap me and this time there was NO jail-like enclosure for them around!

Then Bash jumped IN the pond!


At first I thought he was protecting me from them and my heart just warmed at the thought that he loved me so much he was willing to selflessly give up his own life and let them torture and eat him up, thus giving me a chance to escape to freedom. I vowed right there to name my first-born puppy "Bash" in his honor. Then I remembered I was spayed, but I could just make a donation somewhere in his name. But no....all he did was frolic in the pond next to them. That's right...he was a collaborator and a double agent - maybe even a "pod Bash"! This was all just their plan to get me! I quickly backed even further away so that Joni was between me and the puddle. I think she might be able to handle herself....and if they ripped her apart first , well....such is life. Then Bash came out of the puddle looking like the creature from the Black Lagoon and I just KNEW he was coming to get me. I didn't know what would happen next - would an alien-like bird burst out of his stomach? Maybe he'd suddenly sprout wings and a beak and come after me as a horrifyingly huge mutant lab-bird creature. I just kept on moving back even further and further. I hated that Joni and Judy were laughing at me and trying to entice me towards the pond/puddle and the evil birds again, but I'm certainly not stupid enough to come to them and see what would happen. I just kept hoping I'd wake up and this would all just be a horrible nightmare.

Finally, they got tired of laughing at me and we moved on from the pond, but my heart was pounding all the way back to the house. That's when Joni figured out that I am NOT a country girl - I'm really not a "city girl" since that sounds so downtown-ish - so it was decided that I'm a "Suburban girl". Sounds nice, doesn't it? I'd much rather see lawns and cats and tree's and kids around then these nightmarish big bird things.

A slight update:
We visited the pond again today while out on errands and Joni wanted to get some photos of my bird terror. [rolling my eyes at this!] We didn't take Bash with us this time, so he's not in any of the photos. I tried my best once again to avoid looking at those evil birds again. I was also finding duck feathers ALL over the grass. Ewwwww. I had to look very carefully to avoid walking on those.

I sat on the picnic table for a little while, but refused to look at the swan that was quietly stalking me from behind.

For some unknown reason - perhaps she's just a bit dense - Lucy seems to not understand the danger she's in when she's out there. Look at these - she's totally oblivious that she's mere seconds from having her limbs torn off! That swan continually stalked her as she meandered along the pond edge. Notice she's got her back to the murderous bird EVERY TIME! She's clueless!

RUN, Lucy, RUN!!!!

This is me when I decided to get a bit braver and look at the swan, but was pretty jumpy every time it made eye contact with me.

Finally, in sheer terror, I just closed my eyes and went to my "happy place" and kept saying "There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home..."

I was VERY happy to finally leave the pond - best part of the whole visit!

Here's one final photo of our visit today - Tyssen and me hanging out in the yard. Ty's being silly thinking he can climb the tree and get the squirrel he is convinced is up there.