Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Lately i've been toying with the idea of going overseas to work for a few years. Don't know why as there are so many things that I wouldn't like about it, but I just seem to want to go abroad to work.... The problem is where, as what and HOW! LOL. Mum should never have taken me to PEI *vbg* - It is really weird, but I want to go back.... NOW! LOL - I liked what I saw of the lifestyle there - obviously not on PEI itself, but I'd love to live 'somewhere' in Canada - probably in the Maritimes.... but I don't know how I could ever do it.
I guess coz if I went o/s i'd want to go over as an 'animal trainer' and I don't feel qualified enough for that yet, not to mention I can't see how it would be easy to find a job.. Then there is the concern for getting a green card etc,etc. But I just have this desire to go and live in another country for a while - a country that has cold weather and 4 seasons, beautiful countryside that would be different to Australia (haha - yes i'm crazy I know - I want to go somewhere where there is SNOW!).
The other problem is that if I went overseas I'd *have* to take the dogs. There is no question about it - I couldn't leave them here with the parents while I went globe trotting - i'd go half mad with the idea of it! Imagine someone moving to a different country with no contacts and try and find accomodation for not only herself but her two dogs aswell!!! Not to mention the cost of it all! Still, in spite of it all, my brain still insists on giving me 'itchy feet' and I desperately want to 'play' with the idea of working overseas for a while.... someone please talk some sense into me!
On the other hand - I do also have plans of what I want to do in Australia. LOL. After my big spending of buying a car (still yet to happen), i'm going to start madly saving for a deposit on a house... hence why I want to buy a good, economical and servicable car... so that I *hopefully* won't have to replace it for a while! My idea is to buy a property somewhere (probably south eastern) and slowly build up a training centre on it..... sorta expand my business to private clients, obedience classes, agility and tricks etc.... sorta use the knowledge of the stuff I do with my two and incorporate it into a training centre for dogs. Of course i'd do all of this slowly - you know, build up the business while I slow down working.... I really like the idea and i'd love to do it, but don't know if I can! LOL - confident aren't I!? I'm probably more likely to follow through with the latter idea, because I can make it as flexible/ inflexible as I would like (idealistically) and it would be a lot more 'realistic' than the working overseas one! I wouldn't be able to do both though ;).
LOL - i'm just pondering away here - what is it - building 'castles in the air'? I really do think that i'd want to set up my own small, but feesible business, but I wonder if it could ever work?? Am I really suited to carry through and run it :-o! The thought of it!!!
Since i'm talking about travelling - here are some of my fave pics from our trip (see... itchy feet!)
Monday, March 26, 2007
I have had yet another busy weekend and am geared up for a VERY busy week! We have a family friend down from Syd at the moment so who loooves dogs and wanted to go with me to my 'doggy ventures' so Saturday I took Chris to watch the Dog Show at KCC. The Aussie entry was small with only Ana's crew there. I can't get over how similar Brock is to Leo in looks, mannerisms and temperament. I got to see Marli pup again, along with Hondo and Jezza - her brothers - boy they have all grown LEGS! LOL! Tiana (Kinta's Mother) was also there and Ana & Ben are campaining her and all I can say is.... like mother, like daughter - the two of them are so similar in looks, style and temp also - such sweet girls (and busy!) - it was nice that they could have a bit of a play together ;).
Luckily the show was at KCC and that we could use the shed otherwise we would have got absolutely DRENCHED with the terrential rain! Either way it was great fun ;)
Sunday I went to the Knox Obedience Trial, which I had entered before Leo got his CCD title so we were in CCD again. Suprisingly, despite the fact it didn't matter, I was still nervous! Leo worked really nicely albeit a few mistakes and a 'tough terrain' as the where the start post was situated meant that I was heeling in a slight ditch with some very wonky walking! LOL! My handling was messy, but Leo was really good in spite of that. I found the heeling pattern hard as the judge had us change direction quickly and stand/sit/drop our dogs quick (right about turn and halt!!!). Either way - we still did VERY well and I couldn't believe it when I looked at the scores to see I had passed with a score of 97/100 and FIRST PLACE!!!! I didn't think that we would have done THAT well!!!! The Judge was really good and came up to me after presentation to say that we should go far (I'm not sure if he was looking at the right dog!) and loved Leo's work ethic. Also said that I need to work on hand signals as they are too flashy and I am not giving Leo the best opportunity to respond to them.... so basically the only errors were handler errors!! LOL! I already knew that, but what he said about the signals is true as I can never seem to get them right!
We went from the trial into Fed Square to the food and wine festival. It was really nice although I hate crowded scenes with a passion! This was however, a small price to pay when we went in to the chocolate stalls where there were decadent samples of chocolate for us to enjoy either at a small fee or for free. All the premium brands of chocolate to indulge in - Belgian chocolate on crisp waffles (melted choc of course!), thick and rich hot chocolate, rich chocolate buttons.... need I go on!!! I was in heaven!!!! mmmm!!!
Then went on to the swimming at Rod Laver - WHAT I don't understand is why they turned a tennis court into a pool AND built a new 'warm up pool' (in one of the outside tennis courts!) when they have a perfectly good olympic pool AND warm up pool in Albert park - and the one the built for the comm games!!! WHAT A waste of money, time and WATER! Drought peoples! LOL! Anyway the swimming was fantastic (yep Kylie, much better to watch than swim!). I will be going again to cheer on the Aussies on Tue night, Fri night and Sun night, so i'll be soo bushed next week!
We are also going to see MISS SAIGON on SATURDAY - I am sooo excited I can barely sit still!!!!!! I looove this show (i've never seen it before but love the music).
Now for the 'wicked overload' - I found out that there is speculation they are making this into a movie (like they did with RENT) with the original broadway cast (yay - coz I loove Idina Menzel's voice!)... release in 2008 I believe.... Anyway - I found these clips - some good, some not so good - of my fave songs from Wicked. Happy viewing!
"The wizard and I"
"What is this feeling"
"Popular" - Kylie you will love this one!
"I'm not that girl"
"Defying Gravity" (My Fave)
"As long as you're mine"
"No Good Deed"
Monday, March 19, 2007
Well, we finally did it, we finally got there and I am absolutely over the moon! Ladies and gents, can we please have a round of applause for Leo aka "Ellagant Full O Mischief CCD" (and please take note of those three letters at the end *vbg*!!!).
Ok, it is very seldom that I like piccies with ME in it, but I just *love* this one of Leo and myself. It is one for the memory book ;). I am sure everyone that reads this has already heard the story coz, lets face it, I am VERY excited and have pretty much been shouting it off from the rooftops (hey, it isn't often that I brag!). But just for a basic re-cap, Leo and I gained our title in 5 trials, something I am proud of considering he is my first trialling dog and the only reason we failed the 2 others were due to the stays. A summary of our results:
5th August, 2006
VCA State Obedience Trial,
52 Entries CCD (approx 17 in each ring).
Judge: MR M KLECKA
Qualifying Score: 88 (out of total of 100).
29th October, 2006
Eastern Suburbs Obedience Trial (13 in the ring)
Judge: MRS L KLECKA
Qualifying Score: 92
17th March, 2007
Southern Obedience Dog Club (18 in ring ) AM Trial
Judge: MR R CARLSON
Qualifying Score: 89
Place: Equal 2nd, 3rd on countback.
PM Trial (18 in ring)
Judge: MR R CARLSON
Qualifying Score: 92
Place: Equal 1st, 2nd on countback
So each trial, we have placed, and passed well! I have another CCD trial on Sunday and one of our friends from Syd wants to watch so i'll still enter. Then we start Novice in April, and I think/ hope we are pretty much ready for that. At least Leo has shown me that he is confident once again in his stays (holding them while a dog sniffs his butt is no mean feat!) not to mention the relaxed demeanour he had while in the stay while his Mum was standing at the other end, heart pounding and madly trying to recite the words in her head to "Way back into love" from 'Music and Lyrics'! LOL!.
So, does Leo's great weekend end there? Nope! We went to the All Creatures Day for the RSPCA yesterday where Leo was to do an Agility Demo. He did this in fine style and was very confident and speedy through our very basic course. I was happy with this as you can imagine that it could be hard for a dog to concentrate when there is mounds of people standing around the arena making lots of noise and holding goodness knows what type of hot food in their hands :P. Since I was there with the flyball team, they invited me to also do a demo for flyball (again, we haven't really done this before). I agreed and we started with Leo doing a recall over the jumps to me.... no problemo Mum! Try placing a ball at the other end and recalling to me - 1st time - yep, but he dropped the ball, 2nd time - like a pro! Howz that! I was later told that they would love to have me on their team :P. I'm soo proud of my boy!
I had a bit of 'fun' if you could call it that as we also had to direct the 'celebrities' and thier dogs over the course. But of course, celebrities being celebrities don't really want to listen to you and were trying to force their dogs through things or you tell them to 'hold their dog by the collar/chest' so that it won't fall off and they don't listen - dog falls off :(. One guy told me to F*%$ off coz I wasn't helping ..... Grrr.... HATE celebs!
I also found out some interesting news from someone there... a worker at the RSPCA who had.... in the nicest way possible, a 'big mouth'..... LOL. I don't mean that in a bad way either. She saw Leo and came running up saying..."oooh Aussies".... oh I just love Aussies! She was patting him and commenting on how much he is like one of the Aussies they have in the centre. "WHAT" I say - you have an Aussie here?? She said yes, but it is an 'inspector's case. Well, all I said to her was - look I know you can't tell me anything coz it is an inspectors case and all, but if you ever need any assistance with fostering/re-homing etc,etc, please don't hesitate to contact the ASCV. She was quite pleased to hear that, but at the same time, probably thinking "oops, I hope I haven't said too much". She then called her friend over to show him "Leo" and said.... "doesn't he look like ANGEL"..... then all of a sudden it clicked. I *knew* the dog that was in there, and I *knew* why she was there.... I felt sick to the stomach. I don't want this dog to go back to her rightful owner by any means, but I just wish she didn't have to spend an extended amount of time in the shelter.... this is a dog that was with her owner pretty much 24/7, and is now stuck in the shelter.... but not only that - it brought memories to why she was there..... and i've tried sooo hard to block those memories OUT! What also amazed me was that NOBODY knows what an Aussie is.... I don't mind general public (but quite a few of them knew what aussies were), but people working for the RSPCA had NO IDEA!!! "Oh is that a Kelpie x"..... "Now I know that one (pointing to Kinta) is a BC"..... even an INSPECTOR had no idea what breed they were, which I think is disgusting.... no wonder so many dogs go through that are not properly identified.... not to mention, how many of these dogs are going to their new homes, where the new owners know absolutely nothing about the breed? Shouldnt' the workers/ inspectors do a little reading on the breeds first?? I mean really?!
Then of course there were those that claimed "oh your poor babies had their tails docked".... I got sick of saying "No, they are NOT docked but a natural bobbed breed".... to which most people replied "Thank God for that"! Ok, so i'm not the biggest advocate for Tail docking, but I am dead-set against puppy farming and BYB. I would rather breeders be allowed to dock/remove dew claws if BYB and puppy farmers were banned. Yet, I can't help this inkling feeling that despite all of RSPCA's publicity, they don't really care about those matters.... they don't care how the dog was produced... all they care about is that they are able to keep their tails? What makes me even more frustrated is the fact that breeders of other traditionally docked breeds are coming out and saying that their breeds are 'naturally bobbed' also. Which makes people skeptical to believe Aussies are. I mean, I was just reading in Dogs Life that the boxer, in the late 1990s was crossed to the natural bobbed CORGI to pass on the NBT gene. They then went o on to say that through that 1 cross they have been able to get NBT boxers..... I mean... really!? Firstly a Corgi x Boxer is NOT going to look like a p/b BOXER and secondly, they would never be allowed to be shown (not being pedigree).... 3rdly, ONE cross is producing a whole multitude of NBT's..... sorry, but I just don't buy it! Also, you can't have a NBT with all bob and all tail - there has to be in-betweens, like in the aussies - 1/2 tails 1/4 tails etc... I mean, sure not all in the one litter - thats genetics, but across t he board.... Maybe i've been spending too much time in the 'pedigree dog world' but I don't feel the way I once did to shelters any more.... I don't feel that they *are* out there for the benefits of the individual dogs etc, etc. They don't care where they go to once they leave the shelter.... they *still* don't provide education in regards to the breeds that are offered.... in some instances, people going to a shelter are going in just as blind as those buying from a BYB or pet shop..... Maybe it is Leo's Story that has brought this out for me? I dunno, but I just feel that there is an underlying 'what we don't know won't hurt us' attitude with the shelters. Having said that, I do feel that the VAAT is probably the best shelter out there as they have been on task with Monash organising a suitable re-homing system, whereby they actually spend individual time with the dogs to make them better pets and more likely to be re-homed. They actually have a very low return rate (99% of the dogs are kept, once re-homed).
On another sad note, as most of you know, I am a frequent (perhaps too frequent *g*!) visitor of Dogzonline. Well, over the past few months there has been a really touching thread about a Poodle breeder who gave one of her pups to a family in
Sorry about the twisted blog, but there have just been so many weird stories and things that have been happening this week!!! LOL!
On a nicer note..... I am running a "cutest dog" contest.... which got a much bigger response than I thought....so here are the "Finalists' and let me just say, some of them are pretty darned cute!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
"lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog."
They don't understand the distance traveled,
the time spent, or the costs involved for
"just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with
"just a dog."
Many hours have passed and my only company was
"just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by
"just a dog,"
and in those days of darkness,
the gentle touch of "just a dog"
gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog,"
then you will probably understand phases
like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or
"just a promise."
"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence
of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and
patience that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early,
take long walks and look longingly to the future.
So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog"
but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams
of the future, the fond memories of the past,
and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and
diverts my thoughts away from myself and the
worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that
it's not "just a dog"
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps
me from being "just a person."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog."
just smile, because they "just don't understand."
On that positive note - shall I perhaps tell you what I came home to find after work yesterday???
We have these old kitchen benches (with cupboards!) on the deck that I use to put all of my doggy goodies in there. Well little miss here pulled off one of the boards and got into the cupboards, probably thinking all of her christmases had come at once! She pulled out ALL of her toys, training gear, blankets, balls, you name it - she grabbed it!
Thank goodness i'm a neat freak and all of their leads/ treats are in containers so she didn't get into those.
BUT she did get into my brand spanking new bike helmet which was yet to be worn. WHOOPS! It is now chewed to oblivion
Of course, that wasn't enough damage. She then had to knock over the barriers we have around Mum's prized plants and get into her Irises and Hipiastrums (sp?).... poor Mum has already put up with a lot and now has her prized plants destroyed! I feel soo bad!!!!!
Needless to say Kinta thought she had done a brilliant job.
So she is going FTGH..... she is well behaved...... really she is....
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Rang up my training clients on Friday night and they 'cancelled' so I then (making sure I hung up the phone before screaming "yess!") went to hire some DVD's, came home and flopped infrond of the TV as I felt I really needed just some 'me' time (Parentals were out). Saturday consisted of me going to Lilydale to check out 'PetStock' (a little dissapointed as I heard a lot of hype about it), and then impulsively went into Holden to have a look at the Viva and Astra. I liked both cars, both had something to like and to not like about them.
Viva - storage compartments (good place to hide doggy stuff), cargo barrier friendly, nice and roomy, reasonably nice to drive although the clutch felt a little 'loose' (mind you my clutch is VERY short!). Nice amount of room in the boot and the most important... the price is nice :P.
Astra - more sporty feel, Larger boot, not cargo barrier friendly (but can be... just costs more), nice look, price not as friendly :).
Both had pretty much the same safety features (I will go next model up for Viva), and I think i'm leaning more toward the Viva, even though it is a fraction smaller. Will go back with Dad again when we have time :).
Today, after a last minute email, the dogs and I went to the ASCV herding training. Started off really good and I was impressed with both dogs. Kinta recieved a huge compliment when I was putting her back in the car - one *very experienced* herder said she saw Kinta and thought that she is one of the best dogs she has seen (she does a lot with Kelpies and herding)...... even told me to give up everything else with her and concentrate on herding :-O! Howz that for a compliment! Kinta was very controlled and immediately went to driving the sheep after a bit of guidance... It was tonns of fun.
Leo was weird - first time he was interested and keen (albeit a bit of pooper scooping)... but methinks he just wants to play and chase them. When he went in again and we asked him to actually *do* something he switched off and got a little stressed. He ended up not even responding to the sheep. I want to give him another go, but perhaps he doesn't have the drive? I found this dissapointing on a variety of scales....
1. I want my dogs to be good at what they were originally bred to do and since Leo has shown initial instinct (he has his HIC), I want to continue with him
2. What can I say, I want my dogs to be good at everything :P.
I want to persue it with him as I am wondering whether I switched him into obedience mode by doing a bit of obed while we were waiting our turn.... but that could be making excuses.. Either way, I'll persue a little longer and see what we get.... otherwise, Kinta could be our herding star! But I kinda want them both to be.... I guess coz Leo is only 'average' at everything, not spectaular, that I want him to be able to do this...... I dunno.
Some piccies from Ruffey Park on Sat. I took the camera coz I wanted to snap some shots of the dogs doing this 'cutesy' kong sharing thing whereby Leo retrieves it and then Kinta grabs the rope and they both bring it back to me. It is hillarious as they both walk back in complete unison! But of course, camera in tow and they don't do it!!! Got some nice shots anyway:
(Ok, now I don't wonder why I can never get a shot of Kinta - she either doesn't stop moving or LEO gets in the WAY!!!)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
Leo and I had our first (finally!) agility trial. We were entered into both Jumpers and Agility, with Jumpers first off the ranks. I was glad I only entered the morning trial as the predicted temp was to be 36deg C! Our first jumping course was good - well set out and relatively easy, with only a few difficult areas (for me) which needed me to really focus on the right control with Leo to get him to follow what I wanted him to do. 15 mins was plenty of time to really work out how you wanted to run the course. Doubt i'll be able to explain the course properly, but Leo ran really well and I was able to call him off after the broad to pull away from the jump directly infront and follow me to the 'correct' jump. After he came out of the tunnel and over the next jump, I was a little late in calling him over to me again, and ended up going the reverse way over the broad as that was the next jump in line *sigh*.... after that he did the rest of the course faultlessly, until again I got a bit slack at the end and the last obstacle was the tyre - told him "tyre" but he ran underneath it :-(. On the whole, I was pleased with his whole run.
Agility was a hoot - the course was difficult, but not terribly so. I was worried about the entry to the tunnel as they had to go to the far entry, and it was a tight U shape (tunnel MAD dog here). Also didn't know how he would go on the dog walk and I was also going to have to call him directly off the A frame! He did all of that perfectly and then we came to a jump were I failed to run far enough out with him so he missed it (refused to jump)... after a couple of tries we moved on (he knocked the jump) and when we got to the weavers he did the correct entry and then exited after two *sigh*.... Did the weavers again, but s-l-o-w-l-y! Missed the Table, Got on the table and then jumped off again..... stayed on the table... continued through course until hander realised that she was doing it out of sequence :-O! Eneded up finishing..... eventually! Either way he and I had fun!
It did point out a few things we need to work on... Leo didn't seem that razzed about it and I realised that in training I always have the rewards on me - so am going to work on that, like for obedience - working for the rewards that are *away* from me. He really is a great dog as an introduction to agility as he is speedy enough, but likes to work at your speed. Should I want to - I could speed him up if I wanted to (and knew how!), but for the moment, I like his speed as it gives me time to work out my course more.... but I am sure once he and I get more confident he will be quite a good dog to trial with!
Had obedience on Sunday and Leo did really well. His heeling is a little off, but still pretty good- i'm not overly concerned about it as I am pretty sure it is the whole lead thing as both he and I hate it! So once we are out of CCD we can refine the off-lead heeling.... which is much neater! He held his stays really well and seemed to know that the rewards were there for him out of the ring!
Kinta is going well also in her training, but due to the general 'busyness' lately that has been going on, I have been a little slack with her training, which is showing as she is being a little miscievious and OTT, as well as being more manic on her morning walks (spinning circles infront of you like a OCD BC, while you are trying to walk!). She has also taken up pulling on the lead when I walk the two of them together, which is really hard to stop as Leo will back off and she will a little, but I can't train her too much as Leo starts to switch to training mode! I have to decide whether I want to live with it and accept it, or really train it.... Jury is out on that still :).
I also have *still* not recieved Kinta's papers from the VCA which means that to enter her in shows is a lot of fooling around and going through other people (namely Ana & Ben). I found out last night that Ana didn't realise/ forgot what shows I wanted Kinta entered into for March, so have missed the boat for those! So we have *another* month off showing and will be back in April *sobs quietly in a corner*! I didn't realise how much I would miss it! I LOVE showing!!!
I went car shopping on Saturday as I have decided that due to increased finances, the money already sitting in my account and the good re-sale I should get for current car, I want to upgrade. I am looking for a mid-sized wagon type car that has reasonable boot space to take the two mutts around, yet I can also fit all my show gear (namely a trolley!) and take passengers! The Echo is great, but I can only *just* take the dogs, myself and all the gear, which means that if anyone wants to come, they have to go seperate. I also wouldn't mind the extra space. It would also make long trips more enjoyable and comfortable (and I want to take more of those, going on holidays with the dogs!). The car I had in mind was the Toyota Carolla wagon which seems perfect, yet they DONT MAKE IT ANYMORE!!! When I look at the price for a reasonably new, low kms 2nd hand one, I wonder if it is worth it.... for a few thousand more, I can buy a new mid sized car... but as a hatchback.... so I don't know what I want to do. We did go and have a look at Mazda, but the only cars that would seem to suit are the Mazda 3 which doesn't have much room in the boot (less than current), or the Mazda 6 which is ideal, but only oh.. about $10k out of my price range!!! Ford was better, with the Ford Focus, which has a nice boot size and feels really nice to drive, but I think by it being a hatch, as opposed to a wagon, you loose a lot of room space. I was just thinking about Holden today, wondering if the Vectra came in a wagon... and came across the Holden Viva (Rrp $19490) which looks pretty nice, but not too big also! So I may go and have a look at this ;). Here is a comparison of the Focus and Viva.
Just found that the Holden Astra also comes in a wagon! For some reason it is more expensive than the Viva but smaller (?!). Here is the comparison between the two, and also between the focus. So at least that give me a few to look into... but now the question is when!
This was also the 'redbooks' est. re-sale for my car, which seems a little under what most people are selling it for. But I guess it depends on the kms the car has done.
as a reward for reading through all of that:
and the new age Aussie: