Getting there

Oh my!  I’m glad I planned one day per room for packing!  I start at one corner and go around the room picking what I can’t go without for a year plus when I get to the windows I stop and put in those horrible metal storm windows that you have to slide up but they don’t slide up.  I think that takes the longest time of all!  Then I sweep and make it look like nothing is missing to make it a bit easier for hubby and that way he doesn’t have to run around like crazy if someone wants to look at the house.

As advised, when you sell a house you should remove the clutter and make it as light as possible so at least that was all done.  When and if we sell the house at least about 2/3 is boxed and we will be able to put it in storage.  I sure hope it isn’t very soon though because I am beginning to fade, fade, fade….  I want to take everything.  Now I know what happens with downsizing.  We have always upsized!  I’m not quite ready to sell our stuff though.  I had an offer on my desk but I put the price so high they just gawked at me.  How can I sell my favorite things when I haven’t even decided on where I will be?

Hubby, of course stops working when he hears me cursing at the windows since I’m working upstairs now which is very nice of him.  I do have to admit that he has been my star supporter during this even though he is very depressed. (please don’t call the help line for him).

The plumber came over last night and removed all the roots from the pipe to the sewer, which was what was causing the problem.  That guy can do anything!  Except get up on a ladder.

If you are wondering why I have time to write this blog it is because I am now out of boxes and I can’t find my tape.  Grrrr.  I did the spare bedroom, which is what I am taking with me and the closet was horrendous.  Did we really ever use all those coats and single gloves?  And I thought I had just cleaned the house in September.  Does two months really make all that difference?  So, bags to the thrift store, which I hope my daughter will do because sometimes she can fit into my clothes and bags of trash then to sort through the coats.  Going to Maine?  Well I really need my bear coat and my rain coat and my jackets and my mukluks, and my high rain boots and my boots and my spikes and my shoes that are great in snow.  My gloves for riding horses (just in case) my super warm mittens and my regular gloves.  How to pack for a year?  No bikinis though, people would run away from me and I wouldn’t make any friends at all and what would they say at Meeting?  I HAD to pack one wash bowl and pitcher that was from my hubby’s family because the one from my family had too many pieces so you do see I am trying.  Now carry and pack the stuff in the last boxes, sweep the floor and the guest room is done.  If my husband has company he will have to have them sleep on the floor because I also took the futons for when we first arrive.

We are getting a 17′ truck and the manager came today and said if we want to get out of here Saturday then we will have to have three people.  One to pack, two to carry.  Up goes the price.  Actually, I am going to pay to have the manager here because we have a 10 hour (at least) drive ahead of us.  Hubby will get the truck, back it up to the barn, they will load it, move it to the front of the house, then add to the load and off we go.  It is supposed to be good weather, amazingly enough.

My dog just stole my pizza from my hand!

Speaking of dogs, Spider is doing much better.  She was off her food when I started packing.  She is old and doesn’t like new things.  She is the love of my life and leaving her here, although better for her, will be very hard.

I have decided to take my collection of jade flowers with me.  They were easy to pack and were in a corner cupboard that will fit nicely into my office.  I will paint it white and some other color (depending on what the floor is) which will brighten the room up nicely.  I’m not really crazy about knotty pine walls because they darken the rooms and I do like light.  This will, unfortunately be the only collection that I will take although my daughter has offered some red and white enamelware to match the red and white enamelware table that I am going to borrow from her.

Everything seems to be fitting together.  I don’t yet have a new neurologist nor have I selected my veterinarian but that should come in time and am not as frightened as I was.  Actually with all the support I have been getting, I am beginning to think that perhaps the Creator created this crises to make me move on to be happier.  I’m sure I will continue to have ups and downs and will always be angry at my family’s reaction and lack of sympathy for my problems but now perhaps I can start working on the forgiveness part (while I am shoveling the driveway!)

Breeders Choice or Breeders NoChoice…What a Choice!

I have joined a new group on Facebook which is called Breeders Choice. I am interested in anything regarding Australian Terriers (almost) and I already know most of the people that are in the group and also know that they are a wonderful group of people. This is the nice thing about Facebook. If you don’t like a person you can just “zap” them and they no longer exist for you, you don’t have to worry how they are going to take things or hear their opinions. I do worry how my friends take things I say and I do listen to their opinions but luckily, since they are my friends, their opinions are usually quite similar to mine.
If I understand correctly, this group is mostly concerned with being able to show their dogs in AKC events without having to surgically alter their tails or remove their dewclaws. According to the Australian Terrier Club of America you cannot do this without getting penalized. Which means, in effect, that an undocked dog can be as good as a docked dog and lose just because it is docked.
The American Kennel Club consists of many breed clubs. Each breed that is shown and is recognized by the AKC had a club which developed a “standard” for their breed and which had the AKC approve that standard. It actually is quite a hard task and big deal to get a breed accepted into the AKC and to develop a standard that the entire (or at least the majority) of the breed club approves and that is then approved by the AKC. Sometimes it takes years and years because when starting to be recognized by the AKC it is hard to have all the dogs of that breed look alike. For instance, in the southeast they may have broader shoulders and in the north east they may have longer hair and in the Midwest they may have flatter feet, etc. etc. etc. and the people of the club must all come together and decide which characteristic is best for the dogs to be able to perform their reasons for being. Most of these standards were developed years ago when the dogs worked for a living. I’m not saying that there are not any more dogs that work for a living but the standard states what their purpose was/is. I just watched a special on TV about Siberian trappers and they actually rely on their dogs to keep them alive in the wilderness at times.
Most standards, though, are obsolete because of changing times (such as real fox hunting). Still, in order to keep the breeds as close to their purpose as possible, the standard is used by breeders when they or AKC judges evaluate their dogs and their dogs are bred in accordance with and try to get closer to that one perfect dog that absolutely matches the standard. However, in getting a shorter back, for instance, you may breed with a shorter backed dog but that dog has longer legs so you end up with a shorter back but too long legs! Very frustrating.
Now we get to “Breeder’s Choice”. I believe that what the Facebook group wants is just to be able to let their dog’s tails and dewclaws be natural and to not be penalized in the show ring by the judges or their fellow exhibitors that are judging the dogs. This is an excellent start in having the people in the breed club realize that there is nothing wrong with having a natural tail – it is just a deviation from the standard at the moment and MAYBE, our group hopes, will be the standard. The more people that want that to be, the more chance that there will be that the Australian Terrier Club of America will put forth an effort to change their standard and to get the changes approved by the American Kennel Club. After all, docked tails are outlawed in Europe already.
However, where does it stop? Breeders Choice. Does this mean that if some breeders prefer their Australian Terrier’s color to have white in it that they should be able to have white in their coats? I don’t think so but our group really doesn’t specify which choice. Any choice? I, personally, think that the group should be named Breeders Advocating for Natural Tails and Dew Claws because I, for one, would not like to see an Australian Terrier with white spots or five legs or two tails. Although, if one of those things got rid of all the health problems that are in Aussies I would take it.
I am a very literal person and tend to get everything all convoluted because I take things so literally. I qualify everything I say. If asked a question, I answer it with “well if….but then if…, etc” so I’m having a problem with our group’s name I guess. I don’t want Breeder’s Choice. I don’t think that each Breeder should have a choice. I think that a movement should be made to talk with the parent club and discussions should be had with the members and non-members of the parent club and then the whole kit and caboodle should get together and agree. I think it is time for a change on this issue but I’m not going to get into a discussion THIS TIME about the ATCA and the people who control it. I’m sure many Australian Terrier people already know how I feel about the “powers that be”.
My thoughts, convoluted or not do not lie in the hands of PETA or HSUS. They belong in the hands of me and I would much rather see the parent clubs change their thinking than see either of those two groups lobby and make another law for us to follow or what else will come afterward?. Oh dear, Breeder’s Choice? I’m so glad that I’m not a breeder right now.
Have a wonderful 2014!!!

DISTRACTED AKC JUDGES

Today, I feel like ranting and raving about the AKC in general. Now that I have caught up with everything and am ready for Christmas I can concentrate on something that I truly love and that something is dogs. In 1984 I obtained my first pedigree dog (or he obtained me) by me feeling sorry for him and stealing him from the neighbor. I thought he was a large Yorkshire Terrier and kept waiting for his hair to grow but it never did. I then found out he was an Australian Terrier (who ever heard of an Australian Terrier?) while looking through a dog book and finding a picture of Robert and J.F. Kennedy playing with one when they were children. He was the King of the Block until I got him at which time I had him get a vasectomy. Yes, a vasectomy, because I still wanted him to think he was “king of the block” even though he was on the end of the leash after I got him.
I decided he needed company so after doing A LOT of research I found a breeder who was having puppies and purchased a female “not for showing”. Then I started taking her to obedience classes and hey, as long as I was there, conformation and showing classes (much to the Breeders embarrassment). The first show she went to, we walked up to the Judge and she rolled over on her back to have her tummy rubbed. Needless to say, although the Judge was very nice by asking if this was our first show, Lucy didn’t come in first. Eventually, Lucy got her Championships in both conformation (beauty) and obedience but I have to admit that it took a lot of money and time to do it.
Meanwhile another Breeder must have either felt sorry for me (there were some tears when the Judge didn’t even look at her) and said she would get me a good puppy if I wanted. So, I got the pick of a wonderful litter of beautiful puppies. This one had the right attitude for showing. Perhaps he had a little too much of the right attitude because when he would be posing for the win he would also be ripping the ribbons from the Judge’s hand and knocking over the sign and I got blisters on my hand so I hired a handler. But, he was beautiful and he got a Best in Show and was invited to Eukanuba and was in the top 10 and went to Westminster twice. (All stories in themselves).
After obtaining some more females and finishing them (getting their Championships) I decided to become a breeder and did well for several litters but, as usual, disaster struck and I had a litter of puppies that I don’t even want to think about. Two survived but I spayed and placed the females and neutered my male. My last show dog was in 2005 and he obtained his championship when less than one year but had to be euthanized at the age of 2 years. That was it. The gene pool in Australian Terriers was too small and I was not getting any straight answers (or any answers at all) from other Australian Terrier breeders (even those belonging to the Australian Terrier Club of America) so why would I want to repeat my mistakes and go through that again? My thoughts were that perhaps other breeders had had litters like mine and since the malformations were obvious when the pups were born they just disposed of the pups and said they had small litters. Why would they want to give their breeding programs a bad name? Especially when they had been working on them for years and years?
Knowing how wonderful the Australian Terrier breed was I just couldn’t keep away from them and I found a couple of groups on Facebook that had them and kept talking about them and then there were the Breeders on them that were having puppies and people were getting puppies and I was just dying! So I decided on a breeder and told her I would like a show pup in 2015 but would like it to be a pup whose parents were from out of the United States. No problem. Then a Breeder in Sweden had a litter and I couldn’t stand it so I asked for a pup and she said yes! But, I got strong again and cancelled the order and told her I couldn’t get one until 2015. This past July a litter was born that was mostly from out of the US and my Karla is sitting beside me now. See how strong I am?
Now comes the ranting and raving:
When you show a dog you try to show one that is as close to the standard as possible. A standard is a description made by the individual breed clubs of the perfect dog, in this case made by the Australian Terrier Club of America. This standard is to be read by the judges of the American Kennel Club and learned by heart and who are then allowed to judge the Australian Terrier. Our standard has explicit descriptions of all of the dogs parts, how they move, how they are put together and their personalities. Not only do they have descriptions but they specify what deviations from the standard are more important than others. They tell you how the Australian Terrier should be and in that description certain things are to be PENALIZED, such as “in any color, white markings on the chest or feet are to be penalized. In other words, if you take a dog in the ring with other dogs and your dog has white it can still win but the other dogs would have to be much worse than yours.
WORSE than penalized is a FAULT, such as light colored or protruding eyes, cobbiness, too long in loin, straight, loose and loaded shoulders, down on pasters, lack of muscular development or excessive muscularity, all black body coat in the adult dog, tan smut in the blue portion of the coat or dark smut in sandy/red coated dogs, shyness or aggressiveness toward people. A FAULT is worse than a penalization and in my opinion you shouldn’t even embarrass yourself by bringing a dog with a fault into the ring and wasting the Judge’s time with it.
Karla has a tail. A beautiful wagging, just the right length with just the right amount of hair and just the right color of a tail. However, Australian Terrier tails are described as docked. It is not something to be penalized and it is not a fault but it is in the description so if I were to take Karla into the ring against two other dogs and they were all the same, Karla would lose because of her tail. If she was a bit better then she would win regardless of the tail.
In Europe it is illegal to dock the tail of a dog. You cannot show them if they have docked tails I believe (I’m not sure about this). So if I were to purchase a dog from Europe it would have to be at least eight weeks old and would still have a tail when it got over her. At this time I would consider that tail to definitely be a part of the spine and I would NOT dock it and I would look down on any veterinary that would dock it for me. The argument that tails get injured is hogwash. I suppose if a leg got hurt you would amputate it. Same with a tail. But remove it for no reason except that some person thinks it looks better shorter? The same with ears. Actually I like the looks of people with smaller ears so I think they should go to the doctor and get their ears docked please so that I don’t have to look at big ears.
Here we go: In the last Australian Club of America (ATCA) newsletter under “Corresponding & Recording Secretary Reports” it was stated that a letter from a Judge (I assume it was an AKC Judge) was received as follows: I am a newly approved terrier group judge. Like all judges (I certainly hope) I want to do what the parent clubs feel is right for their breed. I recently had an entry of 5 at an all breed show. Several had undocked tails which I found to be a terrible distraction to proper outline. None of these dogs possessed what I would call a “distinct keel” called for in your standard. I also judge dachshunds, and maybe I am expecting too much. However a hollow front is offensive to me in your breed.
I did not place the Aussie in my group simply because of the lack of a “distinct keep”. I felt the lack of a keel impacted the right outline and front assemble. Please help me with both the tail and the keep issues. I would like to have parent club understanding on these issues. I have placed a fine specimen of your breed group 2 at least twice recently. Thank you.

It was reported that the Judge’s Education Chair responded describing again for the Judge the correct front assembly for the Australian Terrier and quoting additional references regarding the same and then requoting the standard that states that the tail should be docked.
Had I been Corresponding Secretary of the ATCA I would have responded to the Judge that perhaps before he/she be allowed to judge, he/she should aquaint him/herself with the breed standards that he/she will be judging. I would ask how this person got a license to judge when he/she could be so distracted by a tail. Does this judge also get distracted by the person holding the lead of the dog? Or, perhaps, what that person is wearing? I know that these things do happen and it is VERY discouraging to the owner of the dog that has put time and money into training and transporting their dog to the show. The dog is in the ring for only a few minutes and receives (we hope) even less time of the judge’s attention. It is unfortunate that that time is spent not looking at the dog but being distracted by a tail, or by a nice leash or by a spectator waving their arm.
However, luckily, I will never be the Corresponding Secretary of the ATCA (more about that later perhaps), because if I were, there would be a mass mailing to all judges stating that they should try to remember that all dogs should have tails, eyes, ears, noses and at the very least….kisses!

Nothing

So many things to think about as to reasons so many people in the North East U.S. are somewhat racial and why my tolerance level is getting lower and lower…like, the longer I am away from Southern California, the less I can tolerate real Mexican food. It’s just too darn hot! The older and less agile I get the less I like rap. Another reason is that I’m the person that if a sales person approaches me without me asking for something, I leave. And because of the bass in this music and because the people who play it assume that everyone likes it they force me to listen to it when they drive by. Even in the winter, with the storm windows on and the wind blowing. I’m becoming less patient as I age and I can’t listen to the complaints people are making about the economy, the weather, the roads and on and on and on are Obama’s fault. What? Is he God now or something? I find myself wanting to slug people saying “Oh! Another dog to show. It must be so nice to have so much money” as they drive by in their new cars with their trailers loaded with toys of all kinds or people saying “well the reason you can’t sell your house is because you over paid for it in the first place”. Why do I have to explain that we are not handy people and this house was in excellent condition and would only have optional projects to spend money on, that the acreage was what we needed for the horses and the barn was in perfect condition.

Good things that other people in my life and I feel? Yes there are some! I LOVE Mexican refried beans, burritos, rice, and guacamole that isn’t hot. I love gospel, blues, alternative and classical music that I choose and play for myself and no one else. There were only two choices for the presidential race and of course, neither of the choices were telling the truth or the wouldn’t have made it that far. At least one had a brain. I ADORE my new puppy whether I show her or not. I know exactly how big she will be when she grows up, the breeder sends me emails when it is time for her shots and you get what you pay for. (FYI I have three rescues also, one of which cost much more in the long run than this one). Our house is perfect for us with the updates we have made. We have lived her for seven years and have not had to fix anything other than the water heater which just went and we don’t have the horses any more so we could divide the lot if we wish.

So, are things bad? No, just exciting as in:

Karla’s first trip to the Vet:

Popped her into the Air Pod dog crate which I used on the plane and converts to a car traveler. No fuss, no muss. She was great all the way to the Vet’s which was about 25 minutes. I love that Air Pod, it flattens down to nothing has pockets and fleece that comes out to wash and has straps for seat belts. I recommend it highly for travel. I wouldn’t use it as a crate in the house though because it’s too small.

When we got there she was great. We went inside and there were cats and people (no dogs) and I’m not worried about her top line any more. She was gorgeous. The ear is a problem and I will tape it but Now that I’ve seen her natural alert pose, I think she is beautiful. Her rear may correct itself but I don’t think that it is so bad that I can’t correct it by grooming. She looked striking but it was kind of funny when you looked at that stance and then the ear flopping. LOL

Same Vet Practice as I took Spider and Cady but a different Vet. Her smug attitude really put me on the defense, also the technician. The Tech came in first and said OK, check up, last of the puppy shots and rabies, right. I said no rabies and no lepto. She said “well, she has to have rabies” and I said “not today with the rest of these shots thank you” and she said the Vet will be with you in a moment with her brows raised. Vet comes in (very matronly younger woman) and said – “So, it’s a 5 way and rabies right”. “We don’t give lepto unless a client asks. I told her “good for the lepto but NO rabies at this time” She started defending her position and I said “NO rabies at this time. This doesn’t mean I won’t get a rabies because I will, but not at this time.” She had a really nasty smile. Then I said that I wanted the shots that didn’t have the mercury in them. Another nice smile and “that would be this one”.

You would have thought Karla had just had her leg cut off. What a wuss! Was she like that with you? Or didn’t the Vet know how to give a shot slow and easy? Yipes, and we had the microchip to go yet. Karla was even worse for that and whined all the way home. I surprised she didn’t try to faint on the table.

Then I asked the Vet if she could tape up the ear for me. And she said (which I already knew) we don’t dock tails or ears in NY state. I told her that was good and neither did I but could she TAPE the ears. She gave me another pained look and said they didn’t have the equipment because they don’t dock. I said “right-o”. Then I asked for a prescription for the heartworm and she said that they sold it cheaper than online and they had online services. So, I said “fine, no prescription”. The other Vet there had given me a prescription for Spider’s thyroid no problem. Then they noticed all the bleeding from Karla from her microchip and were wiping it up like I didn’t see. I’ll be surprised if the thing didn’t come out with the blood. That has NEVER happened to me before.

Then back to the counter but Karla was still wagging her tail (and she has a very nice one by the way. I didn’t notice the way it was set but she has a nice moderate neck. Much longer and nicer than Beamer”s but certainly not as long as ? (Woody).

Up to the counter, mortgaged my car while Karla planted one on their rug naturally. I almost stepped on it and I think she did that on purpose. Luckily, they are solid now.

Going to the car my hands are full of receipt, sample packages, tag, purse and Karla and the plastic snap on Karla’s collar undid. I dropped everything on the pavement and dove for her. Got her, no problem except my heart then went back, got my stuff on the ground, drove home with no problem, went inside, locked door and here I sit hoping not to have to go anywhere for the next month.

Three Days in the Life of Lucy Ricardo

mushroomNine days of quiet, mostly good weather, quilt sewing, and mushroom photography. What more could one ask for? Well, perhaps 10 or 11? Don’t ask…Mushroom photography? Yes, it has finally come to that or carrying a tripod with me everywhere and really, you would be amazed at the beauty of some of them and they change shape so fast! I don’t photograph them when they are squishy brown though. I need to put them all on line so that I can identify them. Now the reason is that I have familial tremor and the older I get, the worse it gets. I do take medication but I’m not sure how much more they can increase the amount. It is most embarrassing when I go out to eat and I can’t get the danged wineglass to the mouth. Well, if I look as beautiful as Katherine Hepburn when she was old I shan’t complain. It’s just so unfair that I inherited all the bad traits of the family. Anyway, with mushrooms you can get down and rest your elbows on the ground and get a clear picture.
The drive home was sort of good and bad. I always stop at the Natural Basket (in Natural Bridge, NY, on Rt. 3 – and there is a plug for you Yvonne!) but I was way too comfy at camp to want to go anywhere so on the way home I told hubby that I needed to talk with Yvonne about antique postcards and by the way, did he have any money. He said we still had 2.5 hours to go and I said “I promise – 15 minutes”
After a quick 1.5 hours browsing as fast as I could (and there really was a long line at the counter) I got back to the car. Yikes! He said, “you didn’t tell me you were going to shop!” Now why would I ask him if he had any money if I wasn’t going to shop? Now this is a man who could teach quantum physics married for over 40 years to a woman who is often referred to as “Lucy Ricardo” and he couldn’t pick up on that? Men just don’t pick up on things that women do.
Paul’s back is bad so I usually drive and we haul a small trailer when we go up North. We switch places when we have to reverse because I can’t figure out the jack-knifing thing and which way the trailer is going to do that.
But, back to picking up things…I can always tell when there is a stop light or sign ahead because his right foot starts pounding the floor. I know when to go back into the non-passing lane after I’ve passed someone because he stops looking into his rear-view mirror and I always hear the disgusted “tsk, tsk” when I turn on the wipers instead of the cruise control. (I can’t help it that it is opposite on the Wrangler and it doesn’t help that the Wrangler is standard either when I’m driving and try to shift into park.
Anyway, a couple of cases of mild road rage and we always make it home safe.
But, I was bushed, and early the next morning I had a Vet appointment for a T4 for Spider at a new Vet. The Vet we saw there was about 10 years old and as he was explaining things to me I was miming him. They WILL learn that I have a lot more knowledge than them but just don’t have the equipment. She was fine and the Vet was much closer in distance to home. When we first moved back here they were too busy to accept new clients and in seven years I have fired four other clinics. This one has been through three owners since I was a child and when I told them I was NOT a new client and that I used to see Dr. First Vet and Dr. Second Vet, it didn’t count. Every office should have “comment cards” for receptionists.
So, today I got back to pulling vines off my siding and trimming grass with the grass trimmer on my hands and knees around the chain link run attached to the house so the dogs can randomly come in when they have to go poo poo and out when then don’t. Of course because of my minor accident with the hedge trimmer, every time Paul hears the grass trimmer he comes out and gives me a lesson on the difference between the guard and the handle. Today there was wild Grape Vines, Virginia Creeper, some weird vine with purple flowers, three leaf clusters and red berries and ivy that I had to rip off the fence and then get down and cut the grass next to the fence which is a pain in the derriere because I want to get the grass but not the wire, which would break the blades.
Then, I looked down and noticed that I was on my hands and knees in a mess of poison ivy. We don’t get along well at all. If I walk by it and the wind blows towards me I get poison ivy and I get it bad. To make things worse, I’m allergic to prednisone. So, the clippers are still out there for Paul to go get tonight and I had two showers today.
Well, I have to go look at the puppy cam at http://www.dunhamlakeaustralianterriers.com so that I can make sure that my new puppy (the yellow collar in the older litter) is getting snuggled.
Noodles