Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Meet Whitey


Whitey is a shy girl.  She's unsure of strange people... especially men.
Who can blame her, really?

Whitey was supposed to go "to camp" and hang out somewhere else so she could learn that the world is not as scary as she thinks, but they can't take her for a little while yet.  I said I would be happy to have her come hang out with us.  After all, dogs who aren't so sure about the big scary world have come to be my specialty.  I just really like working with them.  It's as good for me as it is for them in many ways.

 So, when we left Minnesota, Whitey came with us.

Whitey got her name because she is registered as "(Kennel Name) Executive Digs".  The whole litter has the word "Executive" in their name.  For Whitey, Executive Digs = White House, hence "Whitey".
Her sister is "(Kennel Name) Executive Action" and goes by Monica.  I'll let you put that one together yourself.  :o)

  At first, when we got home, there was some less than acceptable behavior exhibited by the king of the house.  He and I had a serious "talk" about it.  For some reason, the "talk" didn't really get through to him, though.
Because Bailey is older and I know it is hard for him to accept some aspects of change in his life, I cut him a lot of slack whenever I can.  This is not one of those cases.  
I would never bring an adult male into the house to challenge him, but Whitey is a young submissive female who has not (and will not) posed any challenge to him whatsoever.  It is completely unacceptable for him to be nasty to her.  
So, yesterday morning, when he decided to cross the line again, I grabbed him and put him in the crate while we (Whitey, Lilly, and I) played outside.  He was mad, very mad.  He attempted to throw a fit - we ignored him.  This is not something I would necessarily suggest for every dog (especially for a dog who doesn't like to be crated since it is essentially being used as a sort of punishment) but it was just the ticket for this situation.  It became very clear to King Bailey that if he crosses the line, I will be very angry and he will be put in jail while we play without him.  
It has not happened since. 


Whitey has a very nervous personality.  She has a tendency to get herself worked up and build on her own fear (or at least that's what I've observed so far).  Below, she has heard a noise in the hallway which caused her to stare at the front door, pace, and stare at the door some more.


I have found, just as in other cases like her (including with the king himself), that basic obedience is an essential key to breaking negative focus.  By asking something of her, I can not only break her buildup of nervous energy, but by adding a happy calm voice (and engaging other dogs who are not in any way concerned about the sound she heard) I can show her that there's nothing to be concerned about.   "Watch Me Drills" can be good for this as well, depending on the situation.
 It can be a long process (and one that usually results in treat containers being strategically placed about the house) but it can also be extremely effective.
  By the end of the king's "obedience career" I was actually able to work him though mild thunder storms (which completely terrify him) when we went to obedience class.

Today, we took a trip to the pet food store and to the vet to pick up Bailey's medicine.  She did extremely well at both.  (I decided not to have anybody actually approach her just yet, but she did hold her ground and look at a number of men at the pet food store without any panic, which is wonderful.)

One thing's for sure, this girl is incredibly sweet.  It's going to be hard for me not to fall in love with her.


Meanwhile, Lilly is STILL exhausted from our long weekend at the dog show.  There have been 4 places you can find her since we got home Sunday evening:  Asleep on the couch, outside going potty (or curled up in a hole going right back to sleep instead of going potty), on her mat eating, or asleep on my bed.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun with Dog Show Pictures

We're Back.

We had so much fun!  Lilly was SO good!

I'm so proud of Lilly.  On Saturday we had a structure "class" where my mentor taught a bunch of us about structure and "types" within the Samoyed breed using a couple dogs for demonstration.  Lilly was the "demo dog" for a few of the "how it's not supposed to be" parts because with her being a mutt who was not bred for show nobody's feelings would be hurt.  (It's hard to have a show dog you're investing lots of time and money in showing picked apart and having all their flaws pointed out.)  This meant she was up on a grooming table with strange people feeling her up.  She was such a trooper!

I took LOTS of pictures.
Today, because I don't want to do laundry, or dishes, or vacuum, or anything else constructive, I decided to play with my photo editor.  Here's what I got.

I think they turned out really cool


(This is my mentor's dog.  Remember him from here?)


Annika took Best in Specialty Show on Friday!




This was his first time in the ring.  I just love this picture.

Dusty took Best of Winners on Sunday!
Steve's kennel name, RBD, stands for "Rocco Bad Dog" (for his sassy foundation boy).

I can't remember this bitch's name.  Her owner is really cool, though.
Tracys Dog

I'm not sure of this dog's name either.  The owner wanted some pics and I was happy to give it a go.
Tundra Ice



Puma took the Bred By Bitch class on Sunday!

Morgana took the Open Bitch class on Friday.  Her first Major win!
She also took Reserve Winners Bitch on Sunday.

This picture is from Waukesha, but I thought I'd do one for him as well.

I simply can't help but throw this one in there.
I love purple, but... Wow.


Oh, yeah, and there's another dog in my house sleeping in the bathroom on top of all my dirty laundry.
She came home from the show with me and Lilly.

More on her later.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wrapping up

The dog shows are wrapping up, and Lilly is about ready to sleep for a week.  I'm planning to take some pictures today.  Hopefully I'll get some good ones. 

The other day I mentioned that sometimes Lilly stacks beautifully, and sometimes not so much.
Here's one of those beautiful stacks.
She's hip high and has straight shoulders, but she uses what she has well.

It's really too bad she can't show, she thinks it looks pretty fun.
(And she LOVES to sit ringside and snap up any treats a handler happens to toss her way)


She actually moves better than a lot of dogs I see in in the ring, which is kinda sad.
... but good for her.

June 1 2010

 She's actually got pretty nice timing, and she doesn't really interfere underneath too much. 
(though she's definitely got more power from behind)

June 1 2010

Which is why we'll be sticking to low impact fun agility.  
I don't want to see her front end fall apart from the pounding.  I've already got one dog falling apart because of his poor structure, I don't want to do it again.

And with that, I must go pack and get ready to head to the show.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rally Demo

Lilly and I made some Rally demo videos for a friend who's thinking about trying it out.

We're not doing any Rally at the show this weekend, but I finally got them uploaded and thought I would share.

(sorry they're on Mediashare - it was a nightmare to just get them that far, computer is being a royal pain in my butt)

Enjoy your weekend everybody!  Lilly and I are sitting ringside right now and taking pictures like crazy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting Ready

Tonight (or tomorrow morning, however you look at it) after work, Lilly and I are headed to Lake Elmo, MN for a Samoyed Specialty, Bernese Mountain Dog Specialty, and an all breed show.  I'm super excited because my awesome mentor from the West Coast will be in town with her lovely Miss Dora (who will be showing in the Berner Specialty as a Veteran) and Rico (who you may remember from yesterday), among others.

Bailey had sections of pilled fur on his neck and flanks and was in serious need of grooming.  Since he's going over to Grandma's while we're gone, I figured he should be groomed before we go.  Lilly usually doesn't look obviously in need of grooming, but it's good for her to get up on the table regularly, do a little "training" and get rid of some loose hair.

The mosquitoes outside are simply more than I can take, so I decided it would be worth it to just groom them inside.  Plus, that way, I get to watch Myth Busters on NetFlix while I do it.  :oD    


I swear, this girl can stack herself absolutely beautifully sometimes, and other times I really wonder how her legs can possibly get themselves in that position.

Have a great weekend!  I know we will!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Genealogy My Way

As I have mentioned, my Mom is really into genealogy.  She can tell you all about my ancestor who was a Veterinarian and loved animals just like me.  She can tell you about my ancestor who served for 6 years in the Revolutionary War and had his discharge papers signed by George Washington.  She can tell you so many stories it'll make your head spin.

I... well... I can give you a link to my Mom's blog.  
Or maybe throw out a few of the major ones I've heard about from her, with no guarantees of accuracy.  

  It's not that I don't think it's interesting, I really do, and I am very grateful that she is recording all of this history that I can sit down and look at whenever I want.  It just doesn't captivate me the way it does her.

You know what DOES captivate me?
Don't worry, I'm going to tell you whether you care or not.

This year has been stuffed full of "dog firsts" for me - first CGC tests, watching my first Specialty show, first Rally trial, first Rally title... and I'm currently staring down the barrel of a possible "first show dog" sometime around the beginning of next year.  I've only become seriously interested in Samoyeds (properly pronounced "Sammy - Eds") in the past year, but I have been exceptionally fortunate to have fallen into the lap of some positively awesome mentors. I couldn't possibly be more excited about every last one of my 'firsts'.
I'm a research kind of girl, and "my breed" has been fortunate to have had a number of diligent stewards over time who have ensured the recording of our dogs' histories (much like my Mom has for my family).  Digging into this research has awakened my very own "addiction to genealogy", it's just a little different from my Mom's.

Scenes from my desk:


The thing that most captivates me about the "family tree" of these dogs is that I can trace Rico (the sire of my possibly-maybe-if-everything-works-out future puppy) back about 15 generations, depending on the line you follow, to the very dogs of the Siberian Tundra who were purchased from the native Samoyede people to lead both North and South Pole expeditions.  I think THAT is wicked cool.

I'll tell you about just a few of these amazing dogs.  

If you look back 4 or 5 generations in Rico's pedigree, you will find Wolf River's Drumlin and some of his sisters (whelped 3/19/80, a year and a few days before I was born).  You'll find Drumlin in the pedigree of nearly every Sammy I like.  He's a part of some beautifully moving dogs.  If I'm not mistaken, the last of his frozen semen was used recently to produce a little boy in Oregon who's growing up with some big paws to fill.  


Another 5 or 6 generations behind Drumlin you will find Rex of White Way, whelped in 1946.  Rex was a hero not only for the beautiful dogs he produced, but as a result of multiple rescue operations he participated in.  In 1949 he assisted in a plane crash rescue in Truckee, California and in a 1952 train rescue in the Sierra Mountains.  He set world records in weight pulling by dragging 1,870 pounds through sleet and snow in 1953.  Rex's dam, Whiteway of Kobe was imported in 1939 to establish White Way kennels.


Trace Rex's pedigree back another 5 or 6 generations and you will come across the immortal Kara Sea.  This boy is considered by many to be the holy grail of Samoyeds, whelped Feb 7, 1924.  Kara Sea's son gave rise to Snowland kennels who, along with White Way, is considered to be the most influential Samoyed kennel in the US.  

Have a look at Kara Sea's pedigree.  Where the lines stop, the native dogs begin.
You're looking at the beginning of the Samoyed breed as we know right here.  (Of course, the natives who developed them know much more of the story.)



Once you've come to Kara Sea, you're almost to the very beginning.  Kara Sea's great grand sire was Antarctic Buck, a member of the Borchgrevink South Pole Expedition purchased from the Samoyede natives in Russia.  Another of his great grand sires, Houdin, was a member of the North Pole Abruzzin expedition.  On his Dam's side, the maximum number of recorded generations is only 7, where you will find Musti and Whity Petchora, the beginning of pure white dogs imported from Russia.


It's no revolutionary war story, but I think it's crazy cool!  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Packer Practice

Ok, so it's not really about the dogs, but the reason I decided to go is.

Last week Dad asked me if I wanted to go to a Packer practice with him and my brother.  I love football, but that's not why I agreed to go.  

Packer practice = moving targets.  
Moving targets = good practice for dog show photography.

packers 2005.01.01_09

And... well... there are other good reasons.
Seriously, check out the calves on Donald Lee.

packers 2005.01.01_25

packers 2005.01.01_03

packers 2005.01.01_04

packers 2005.01.01_16

packers 2005.01.01_24

packers 2005.01.01_02

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Lilly is not a "short coated, bat eared, cow hocked Samoyed"... but she plays one on TV.  (not really)

We've already established that she's got a familiar smile, but the similarities don't end there.  The other day I was reading a breed description on K9web.com that mentioned "[Samoyeds] are prone to digging shallow "wallows" in hot weather; they will typically just turn over a layer of dirt to get to the cooler earth just below the surface."  This isn't a trait only held by Sams, but it sure is something Miss Lilly has in common with them.

This "wallow" on the other side of our fire pit is one of her more well established ones.  I've let her keep it for a while because it's not in my walking path and therefor unlikely less likely to cause me to break my neck, ankle, or other important body part.

(pardon the focus, this was taken through the back screen door)

Apparently, a fresh layer of dirt needed to come out of it today.


I thought she was so adorable peeking around the fire pit to see what Bailey was up to that I just had to run and get my camera.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's official - Lilly's an RN!

Today was the very definition of disorganization.

I got up at the very last second this morning so Lilly and I could go to Milwaukee and attempt to get our third Rally Novice leg and a new title.

I drove to a McDonalds for some coffee.  All I found was the frame of a building that was obviously being remodeled.

I was hoping the gas station that has been "going to open" for the last 4 months would finally be open for business so I could get gas before I got on the highway.  It wasn't.

At least the drive was fairly uneventful.  The inevitable construction was fairly minor.

We found the place with no problem, but missed the turn in order to avoid being rear-ended by the car behind us.

At this point we discovered that somebody forgot the crate.  We quickly got over it.

We got there with a reasonable amount of time to check in, do a few watch me drills, and begin to roast in the sun.  Lilly was getting a little annoyed, but she settled down.

I wasn't terribly worried about the crate because of this.  It worked great.

When our turn came, Lilly did her very best to pretend she was having fun even though she just wasn't all that into it.  She discovered that I was in the ring with her and trying to be happy and engaging about halfway through the course.  We still got a 94, and I can't complain about that at all.

I'm so proud of her.

No place ribbons, but we did get a fancy "New Title" ribbon.



It matches her new bag, even.


Well, kinda.

I managed to kill the buzz from doing so well in the ring by backing over my bag chair while pulling out of the parking spot.  (I leaned it against the back of the car to get Lilly in and promptly forgot about it.  This is not a new problem for me.  Forgetting things on top of or behind my car is exactly how this happened.)

This place made everything better.


Lilly completely enjoyed her ice cream.


And I enjoyed my frighteningly enormous burger.

When we got home, a good long nap was had by all.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Exciting things

Yesterday, Bailey and Lilly's CGC ribbons arrived from AKC.

It's a little lame that I ordered two ribbons at $10 a piece, but I thought they would be great for getting some pictures taken.  I'll have to decide where I want to do the pictures.

 Tomorrow morning Lilly and I are headed to Milwaukee for what will hopefully be our 3rd Rally Novice leg and a new title.  Fingers and paws crossed! 

I have an obsession with sewing lately and simply couldn't pass up this pink fabric the other day so I decided to make Lilly her very own bag.  We'll use it for her show stuff when we travel.
I'm considering getting letters for each of her titles and adding them to the bag.


The shoulder strap is still not on it, but I'm thinking I better get to bed since I have lots of driving to do tomorrow morning.  Hopefully, we'll come home with another pretty ribbon!