Sunday, January 29, 2006

Right Before My Very Eyes...

She's growing! I swear Dinah's already bigger than she was last week. Sorry to be so slow in posting updates, but this little Dinah-mo has really been keeping us all hopping.

We've had a bit of a warming spell this week, so before long, most of my outdoor shots will feature a black puppy silhouetted against some lovely brown mud. I'd better post these snow shots while I can!

Dinah has already become quite the little social butterfly. She had her very first play date with Tucker, Sampson, and Ecco (though Ecco didn't romp much -- she was very sweet to this rowdy puppy, though). Dale and I didn't get very much knitting done, though we talked about knitting a good deal, and had our lunch picnic-style on the kitchen floor so we could keep the puppies company. Val couldn't resist the oh-so-obvious song cue: "Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah...". No banjos were strummed in the making of that play date, however.

Yesterday, we packed up everyone (except Persephone the cat) and drove down to my friend Linda's for a Beardie Bounce with her Beardies and my friend Jane's Beardie and her miniature Australian Shepherd. Unfortunately, even though we remembered everything else from the 25-foot canvas lead to the roll-up rubber piano, we completely forgot the camera. Jane took plenty of pictures, and I hope there are good ones of the whole pack bouncing in the snow. A good bounce was had by all, and all the Beardies slept until we were almost home.

Here's a shot of Dinah and Charlie romping outside in the snow. Charlie still leaves most of the puppy-play tasks to Seamus when everyone's indoors, but he enjoys a good run with his new little black shadow streaking along behind him.

Dinah loves her Seamus, too...

We've already enrolled in Sue's next puppy class at Reigning Cats and Dogs in February. I can't wait for Auntie Sue to meet the charming Ms. Dinah-mite! Dinah sits on command already and comes when called most of the time, but we don't want to start formal obedience for a while yet.

Gill emailed to tell us that the Kennel Club has picked our registered names for us, and none of them are what we expected... but they're not all that bad. Dinah will probably be Breaksea November Storm. Her litter sister Buffy will probably be Breaksea November Mist. This leaves November Frost for the sister who went to Ireland, and November Gales for the brother still in the UK. Who knows what the KC was thinking, but at least we can now start registering our puppies in our respective countries.

A Little Brag on Seamus

Well, two, actually. Seamus has been an escape artist in the past and has been known to run around taunting me when he's escaped. Yesterday at the Bounce, I put a 25-foot lead on him (the kind we use in herding training), and then dropped it on the ground. Seamus was then free to run with the pack, but I called him back to me and gave him a goodie each time - and he did it! This is a big improvement for him, and I couldn't be prouder!

He does make me prouder, though. Seamus continues to shine in rally class, and the only reason he'd ever be denied a perfect score in a trial is when his dumb handler screws up. We stayed after the regular class today to attempt the Advanced course, and we both enjoyed the off-lead work even more than the on-lead exercises we'll do in the Novice trials. I handle better without the lead filling up my left hand, and Seamus senses that I'm more relaxed and performs even better, I guess we have to get through Novice as quickly as we can so we can start having some real fun out there!

But Wait, We Have Knitting Too This Time

It's true that having Dinah at home means that I've had less free time to knit of late... but I am making progress and will shortly have a second finished pair of socks to show off! These are in the rust-colored Kroy Socks yarn that I mentioned in an earlier posting. The first sock is done, and the second one is very nearly at the toe decrease.

I'd taken the second sock to the UK with me, to work on while sitting on the plane with six-and-a-half hours of pure, unadulterated me-time each way, plus a full iPod's worth of audiobooks and podcasts to catch up on. The airport security people in Boston had no problem at all with my bamboo dpns or my teeny, inoffensive-looking 12" Addi Turbo, so I knitted quite happily all the way across the pond.

However, when I arrived at Gatwick a few days later to take the shuttle to Manchester, I noticed a large sign while standing in line at security: NO KNITTING NEEDLES. Faced with the horror of having my beautiful Addi needles confiscated and thrown who-knows-where, I put on my best mea-culpa face and approached the guard.

"I'm sooooooo awfully sorry," I whimpered, "but I was allowed to take my needles on the plane from Boston, and I really don't want them confiscated. Is there anything I can doooooo?"

The guard asked me to show him my arsenal of weapons of yarn destruction. I handed them to him, still attached to the half-finished sock, and he asked me to continue through the security check while he asked his supervisor what to do. I envisioned myself asking for the yarn back, even if the needles had to be taken from me (read: pried from my fingers).

After I completed the tour through the X-ray machines, the guard came to me and handed me back my needles (and half-finished sock). "Just don't take these out of your carry-on while on the plane, ma'am," he said. "You don't want to upset the other passengers." I promised to read on the shuttle trip instead.

Anyway, I never did finish that sock while in the UK. Things in Wales were just too lively with all the Beardies bouncing around, so I started another sock cuff in Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock on a plastic 11" Balene circular. The first half-finished sock ended up traveling in my checked luggage for the trip home, and I didn't dare take out the plastic needles until I had left Heathrow for home.

It's all good, though. Not only do I now have a mostly-finished second sock, but I'm a good way into the cuff on the first sock of the Lorna's Laces pair. All will be finished in the end.

Gosh, I sure would like to join Lisa's Year of the Sweater knitalong, but I don't know if I can put the socks down long enough to do a sweater -- even a sweater knit in sock yarn!

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Dale Wilde said...

She is getting bigger! We loved having you over for the picnic lunch on the floor. I am sure that Tucker will behave better (and sooner) during the next visit. Seamus looks so happy to have such a lovely play toy!! Let's try to knit agtain soon!

YarnBotanika said...

Oh my gosh! She is SO CUTE! It makes me (almost) want to have another beardie in the house! But my ten year old is still like a ten month old! I wish you could do my sweater KAL too. Use your sock yarn and make a short sleeve t for the summer how about?? Koigu?? YUM! Lisa

Barbara W. Klaser said...

She's so cute, and they look as if they have so much fun together.

I'm glad you didn't lose your Addi Turbo. That was understanding of them.