Pardon me while I sweep the cobwebs and dust off this blog. At least I'm always telling the truth when I say ,"A lot has happened since the last time I posted."
Brags from Team Shameless and Other Beardie Stuff
A couple of weekends ago, Seamus and I attended our very first APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) rally trial at Gemini Dog Training down in Massachusetts. Although Seamus's and my training has been almost exclusively AKC-oriented, APDT rally is about 95% the same. The signs look different, and APDT has some exercises that AKC doesn't, such as the Front and Forward. In addition, mixed breeds may compete, and you can reward your dog with pats and treats in between exercises. It's a great way to get started in rally.
Another thing I really like about APDT rally is that trials are generally set up so you can (in theory) bring home a new title at the end of a trial weekend. Seamus and I are used to the one-shot AKC competition, so we put our all into the morning trial, and barely had enough left over between us to qualify in the afternoon trial. We did manage to bring home two Qs, and would have done a third on Sunday if we'd entered. We're already signed up to finish off this title at Gemini's October trial. When Seamus gets this one, he will be Sheiling Angelic Ties, HIC, RN, RL1 (though AKC will only recognize the RN).
We already miss our regular rally class, though. Judy had planned to teach through the summer, but her husband's hip replacement surgery was moved up, so she decided to cancel classes so she could stay home with Bob while he recovers. I had hoped to attend classes with Seamus all summer and try for the AKC Advanced in the fall. We can still train, but it looks like we'll be doing more on our own, as well as searching out as many matches as we can find.
Dinah has been a busy little grrrrl, too. Her exploits appear on my other blog, Dog Show Newbie. We've been bringing home lots of pretty ribbons from the dog shows lately -- no points, but we do get bragging rights.
Charlie's had his summer buzz cut, and is feeling very cool (in both senses of the word). He looked so handsome in his long brown coat that I hated to clip him. He's just so happy with the crew cut that any lingering regrets I've had have fallen into one of the canyons he's dug in the backyard. He's also pleased to be able to go hiking with Greg and not bring home half the vegetation on the mountain in his coat. I'll try to get some decent pictures to post.
The pups and I spent Saturday visiting my friend Linda. Her latest litter of baby Beardies is in the process of leaving for new homes, and I was invited to come down and smooch them all before they left. (There's a possibility that one of the brown girls might have to wait a couple of weeks for her new mom to come home from a trip. Since Linda has to depart for the UK in mid-July for a family wedding, Bubbles might be coming to Summer Camp at our house for a little while.)
The puppies are all gorgeous, and many are destined for show homes. The brown puppies all gravitated toward Charlie, who gave them lessons in Dirt Appreciation. I wish I'd had a camera to capture the scene of all of them napping happily in the dirt together, after digging their very own holes to China. It must be a tradition among brown Beardies, handed down from brown to brown. Seamus and Dinah like dirt, and Dinah likes to get muddy, but with Charlie, dirt is sacred. (It's a brown thing. We wouldn't understand.)
Dinah Moe has grown a bit since I brought her home in January, but I hadn't quite grasped how much until I saw her with the other dogs. She's nearly as big as Seamus's half-sister Qi, who turned a year old in May. She's huge compared to the little puppies.
Greg's been working away madly on his Sax Quartet, and just about has the thing finished. He's received some very positive responses from the New Hudson Sax Quartet guys, and he wants to get at least a movement or two off to them as soon as possible. Who knows what might happen if they like it and want to perform it, or even record it?
Hot Weather Knitting
Even though the weather has almost been summer-like in between rainstorms, I've been able to do some knitting even in the heat. I had to frog back my second Trekking sock because I wasn't paying attention when I did the decreases after the heel. Getting that restarted was less than zero fun. I still haven't spent much time with it.
When I need something to do with my hands and don't need to pay strict attention, I start sock cuffs. For that reason, I have yet another first sock in progress. This one's from some cheap-and-cheerful yarn that I liked the look of -- I think it's Moda Dea Sassy Stripes. Maybe I started that because I felt guilty at how much I'd messed up the sock out of the expensive yarn. (Actually, I grabbed it to take along on the plane on the plastic needles when Greg and I went to NYC.)
I finished the Sockotta socks for my sister, and will post a picture of those shortly. (Add this to the list of promised pictures.) They look pretty cool, and I didn't screw anything up. 'Nuff said.
Since I'm on vacation this week, I hope to get in some leisure-time knitting (though I have to get away from the computers to do it). I'd even like to get another sweater started and catch up on the backlog of scarves from yarn my friend Susannah bought for me. (I tried the one in Berroco Suede a couple of times, but ripped it out. I'm working from a pattern, albeit a simple one, and will need to pay some attention to what I'm doing.)
Born on the Fourth -- and Fifth -- of July
Greg and I will probably spend much of the Fourth in the car, on the long trek between here and my brother's house in my home town in Massachusetts. I've just come off a long few weeks of commuting and dog shows, and frankly, I'd skip the drive if I could. However, my twin niece and nephew are having birthdays, and it wouldn't do to just stay home when I haven't seen them since Christmas. I generally loathe all small children except these two and my best girlfriend's daughter. (Sorry. Baby pictures just don't do a thing for me -- they all look more or less like E.T. -- but show me a little puppy and I'll just melt.)
Emmy is the older of the two, having been born just before midnight on the Fourth of July -- so tomorrow really is her birthday. Max was born about half an hour later, on the fifth of July. The two of them share everything, even birthdays, so they've consolidated the whole birthday thing into about a week. The family party is tomorrow. Thanks to the gods, the kid party is some other day.