Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blogging, American Politics, Margaret and Helen

What exactly is this, blogging? It's kind of like an open door journal....or not. If you choose to share it, it's there for anyone and everyone to read. Kind of a mini website/journal/scrapbook/soapbox.

So now, I've been looking at, and reading, some other blogs (a lot are photo intensive, I like those too). If you look up above here (dark blue strip), and click on next blog, and next blog, well, you don't know what you might find. Some are on a particular topic. Some are a cyber-chronicle of a family. Or even on one facet of a person or one single topic. Some are anonymous, and some, the authors are totally public. Many are really beautifully set up. Some are *really* well written, and I do appreciate and envy that! So with that last thought in mind, check out http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/ . Particularly if you have Democratic leanings!! This blog is allegedly written by two female friends (really one to the other) in their 80's, one in Texas and one in Maine, about the current U.S. Presidential race. Supposedly the blog was set up by Helen's grandson.......but see what you think! Whoever is behind this blog, and wouldn't it be wonderful if it really *IS* the old girls, I've really enjoyed it and have been reading it since the beginning. Don't forget to read the older posts first! I mean it. Really.

I found another blog I really like through a link on the Margaret and Helen blog. http://yeswecanholdbabies.wordpress.com/ Many pages of some absolutely fantastic photos! These will make you smile!!

Enjoy looking at blogs? Try blogsurfing at http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/ . Check out the winner in the Best Blog of All Time category - a talented pair of wedding photographers right here in Toronto!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lost!

Ever lose a dog, even for a little while? There is nothing worse! My neighbour called today, two of her Collies were gone, a tri Rough male and a tri Smooth girl. I headed over there pronto, first combing the road beside her place, where I braked for a large black and white Border Collie, but that's all I saw! You see nothing and everything all at once when you're looking, and it all seems so vast and hopeless. When I got to her house, she was of course frantic! She lives on a VERY busy highway, intersected by another quite busy highway (the one we live on). We spent the afternoon looking for her two. I've lived here 10 years and discovered places I've never seen! She had printed off some flyers, I suggested page protectors and tape, and we were off taping up notices and looking for the two! She was so concerned about the roads; me being a Sheltie person, I was saying they won't try to cross the highways (fingers crossed behind my back)....she knowing they probably would! Her saying they would follow anyone they managed to find, me thinking few Shelties would do that! Getting so worried as it got later and dark would come soon. I drove, we both looked, stuffed mailboxes, put up flyers. Then, on the ground, walking, calling, listening. No Collies. Back into the house to make up more flyers...BINGO...the local vet clinic called (and we had missed flyering them!) .... someone close to me had found the two Collies (still together!) and these wonderful people were SMART enough to put both dogs in their garage, call the vet clinic who said they would try the closest Collie breeder they knew.....and it was over! The dogs HAD crossed Highway 50 in rush hour traffic...! But were also quite happy to do whatever was asked of them by the people who found them. My friend was beside herself with joy and I was thrilled with the happy ending!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fat Rain and Old Girls

One week and one day after the weekend of shorts and t-shirts and it's snowing!! Well, it's not staying on the ground, but it's visible, definitely fat rain and then some! And cold, wet and windy...BLAH...! Never ready for this...

Today we received the nicest and most complimentary note from Barbara Linden in the mail. We had sent her a picture of Tiffany's win and she wrote to thank us. In her note, one of the things she said was "I have to say that her movement and soundness is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive I've seen in this special breed of ours." How very nice of her and such an uplifting note to receive on a really dreary day!

Now a little bit about the "girls" that share everything with us! We have the four oldest girls with us in the house. Netta (far right), her two daughters, Holly and Brooke (the blues), and Tiffany, the orange sable amid all the bi's. They're all getting on in years and they're most definitely set in their ways! Dinner time (5:00 p.m.) is the big event of their day. So big, they start getting ready for it at 2:30 p.m. Any movement around the house, particularly around the kitchen, is closely supervised by all. The closer to d-i-n-n-e-r-t-i-m-e it gets, the better my chances of being tripped by one of them, as my every move is closely monitored. Daylight savings time requires extreme patience for all of us as we try to wait that extra hour! For all those hours of anticipation, the noise level and excitement while dinner is actually prepared, to the 2 minutes it takes to eat it, to the mad scramble afterwards to lick someone else's empty bowl....it's all over until the next day.

Tiffany is the newest addition to the "house girls" ...much to their disgust. They put up with her, but they are the same family and she isn't, and it's very evident in everything that happens! Different things set them off, so that the three relatives will all react to the same thing while Tiffany lies there looking at them like they've lost their minds, the things Tiffany reacts to draws no response from the other three. Tiffany is a "close talker".....when she's excited she will bark, bark, bark inches from the the face of the other dog, follow them, close-talking the whole way. She does this almost exclusively to Netta, because they're both dominant and if Netta gives in to it, then it's an excuse to maybe scuffle a bit. If they do, Tiffany always ends up giving in to Netta.....but she just can't resist pushing her buttons!

Now the sleeping arrangements....there are 4 dog beds in our bedroom (crates?!! these girls have no idea.....oh wait, only for Holly and only during a thunderstorm so we don't end up wearing her all night). They pretty much stick to the same spot....although it is a bit of a musical chairs "scramble" over Brooke's bed...just a mat, really, but everyone seems to like that spot, especially Tiffany, who pretends she doesn't see Brooke standing there hang-dog if she doesn't get her mat. Miss Tiffany, who has her own "matching" couch in the kitchen in front of the fireplace. She arranges herself on a pillow she won at a dog show. If you want to sit there you definitely have to ask more than once! I guess Tiffany really is the stick that stirs the pot with these house girls! We do love each and every one of them dearly even with their sometimes neurotic little old lady habits.....the oldies have always been my favourites!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Turkey Day!


What an amazing Thanksgiving weekend!! I can't ever remember sitting out on the porch in shorts and a t-shirt on Thanksgiving Day and being hot!! It got up to 26 C today! The weather all weekend was incredible!

Great news, on Saturday I *finally* saw the turkeys, with baby! again. It had been almost two weeks since I'd seen them, so I was getting a little concerned. However, for several years now they've "disappeared" just before Thanksgiving ....and usually not seen again until winter. I happened to see them going through the yard, just as I was taking the turkey out of the oven (oops!). Going in a different direction than usual for that time of day and moving quite quickly through. The baby is still small, but definitely growing, noticeably bigger! They did stop at this small crab apple type tree we have and to my amazement one of the turkeys jumped up into it, the whole tree was moving and the ones underneath were pecking away at what I later found to be really small apples, the size of the tip of your finger. My first thought was the turkey was purposely helping out the ones below, but really, I don't think they have that kind of sense of community! Then the baby flew up into the tree and was helping himself. Some of the adults were jumping straight up and down about 3-4 feet in the air to try to grab the lower branches, quite comical to watch! For some reason, although they fly quite well, it never seems to be their first or even second choice to use their wings.

We had Mum and Dad over for turkey dinner with all the trimmings on Saturday. Of course the talk of the night was politics and more politics, what with the Canadian elections tomorrow and the U.S. elections coming up as well. I don't think I've ever been more involved and certainly shook my head to find myself flicking back and forth between the Canadian leaders' debate and the U.S. Vice Presidential debate, live on T.V. at the same time the previous week!

Sunday we drove out to visit Joan. She's been quite down in the dumps since her friend Mary's death in the summer, as they were very close. We found her in good spirits though, and it was so nice out we sat outside for a while. She's not as happy there since losing her friend, which we can all relate to, as truly good friends are a rare find. We have a few ideas to try to make things better for her going forward. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whitegates Who Me


As far as I know, this is the only existing picture of Whitegates Who Me. She is pictured in May, 1983 at the age of 10 months, RWB at a Specialty show, shown by Debbie (Moore) Vandyk of Fairfax Shelties. "Peggy" is behind many of the AOC Macdega Shelties, and some of the sables, through her daughter, Am. Ch. Candray Vanessa - dam of 3 Macdega Am. Champions - Am. Ch. Macdega Montana (Sultana, ROM), Am. Ch. Macdega Candray Cartel (Evergreen) and Am. Ch. Macdega Risque (Rendezvous, ROM). It would figure that one of your worst registered names ever gets into thousands of pedigrees....so remember that when naming each and every pup!!! Who Me? Who knew? (ggg) "Peggy" was sold shortly after this picture was taken to Jan Wanamaker of Candray Collies (and back then, Shelties). Again, during the afore-mentioned "getting out of dogs" phase. She is by Am./Can. Ch. Macdega Mainstay ROM/C ex Whitegates Vanity Fair ROMC, two tri-factored sables, and obviously by their titles, both producers. "Peggy" left Canada as a puppy with 9 pts. towards her Can. Ch. It was unfortunate that she didn't have a chance to get that last one point, as she was very worthy. However, her real strength was her producing ability and being able to pass her producing ability on, especially through the girls coming down from her. "Peggy" herself was the dam of 4 American Champions: Am. Ch. Candray Mirror Image, Am. Ch. Candray Vanessa, Am. Ch. Candray Who's Who (all sired by Banchory Reflection ROM/C) and Am. Ch. Macdega Bandolero (sired by her grandson, Candray Volition - littermate to Am. Ch. Macdega Montana).

Debbie and I reminisced about how disappointed we were when Peggy was sold, but in fact, she ended up in the right place to make her lasting contribution to the breed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Billy!



I said I'd cover each one of our current dogs on their birthdays, and Max is first! Five years old already!! I found that we had no pictures of him except for his finishing picture when he was nine months old! (Not surprising for us..!) So....this one was taken yesterday afternoon with not even a brush run through him. Max wasn't originally intended to stay, but through many different circumstances and twists of fate he did stay, and it was soon evident that we couldn't be without him! He was a lot of fun to show. In my mind's eye I see him standing on the grooming table with his butt towel on, almost wagging it off, his face looking up at me "wow, this is great!!". He loves being groomed, the brushing especially. In fact, Max loves everyone and everything. He's probably the most even-tempered Sheltie I've ever had, the same happy boy in a loud, crowded, strange place as he is right here with us. Happy 5th, Billy-boy! May you have many, many more!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mushrooms!

For days now Holly has been skulking off to a remote area of the property and NOT coming back when called! Having to search for her we finally caught her in the area she is disappearing to. We figured the draw HAS to be either mushrooms or a carcass. Last night Terry and I checked the whole area and found no carcass and no mushrooms. This morning once again NO Holly while all the other old girls are on the back porch waiting for me. Call, call and call...nothing. So, in my nightie in the cold I go to the spot, and there she is, under some of the pine trees, head down on something. I yell sharply "HOLLY" and she jumps a mile, didn't hear me coming and her guilt is evident..! She backs off to expose all that's left, a HUGE white stem of an obviously HUGE mushroom....aaahhhh...these must be growing overnight, it wasn't there yesterday. I am thinking these are probably okay because she's been doing this for about a week on and off and no symptoms. I'll have to treat the whole area today. She is my worst for this, she knows she shouldn't do it but just can't seem to help herself. Netta (her dam) has been going with her sometimes too. Holly also has an iron gut, I have to give her SO much hydrogen peroxide to get her to bring them up. But good thing, as it turns out she's eaten about a half a pound of these giant mushrooms....!! We'll have to stand out there when she goes out now, to catch her before she can wander off. I had just yesterday checked the "usual" mushroom areas and was pleasantly surprised that they weren't bad at all for this time of year. All fingers crossed that whatever is out there is just food and not poison, although of course we have to "assume" all are poison. We never want to lose another like her half brother or like Bernadette Bay's special girl http://www.obayshelties.blogspot.com/ Be aware of the dangers of mushrooms, they are everywhere! We don't have any special or different types here, we just have (some!) dogs that like to eat them!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Can. Ch. Ridgeside Star Wars, ROMC - "Porky"


Porky at 3 mths - first 2 shots and at 4 mths, last shot

I've heard some comments lately, "we don't want to go back to the past, do we?" or even that the past doesn't matter. And while we can't go back to the past, and maybe it doesn't much matter, I think it's interesting and maybe even important to look at some of the dogs that have influenced the breed. Some of these dogs would be quite welcomed "back to the future" if it were possible!

Porky at 3 years
Porky at 10 months

Can. Ch. Ridgeside Star Wars, ROMC - "Porky" was a blue merle male born June 29, 1977 (31 years ago!!). Sired by Am. Ch. Chenterra Thunderation ROM/ROMC and out of Pixie Dell Indigo Melody, he was bred by Alfred W. Edlin, M.D. Joan Pavey and Terry Pavey acquired him from Steve Barger as a young adult, so most of his career was spent in Canada. His location probably prevented him from having even more of an influence than he did. He was a very moderate male, who stood at about 14 1/2". However, he does carry on in many pedigrees through several influential offspring. He is the sire of: Am. Ch. Macdega Proof Positive, ROM/ROMC; Am./Can. Ch. Cameo Farms Purple Rain; Am. Ch. Someday's Space Odyssey; Am. Ch. Whitegates Last Starfighter; Am. Ch. Whitegates Silver Frost; Can. Ch. Candega Reverie; Can. Ch. Cavatina Champagne Celebration, Can. C.D.; Can. Ch. Har-Mitch Shooting Star; Can. Ch./O.T. Ch. Harcourt's Empire Thumper; Can. Ch. Terobshe Tradition (ASSA Class Winner); Can. Ch. Whitegates Blue Horizon; Can. Ch. Whitegates On A Clear Day (dam of an ASSA Futurity Winner); Can Ch. Whitegates Once In A Blue Moon; Can. Ch. Whitegates Partial Eclipse, Can. C.D. and Can. Ch. Whitegates Rough Rider.
One of the several times Joan and Terry got out of Shelties (gg), a now older Porky retired and went to live permanently with one of his biggest fans, the photographer Gulie Krook. With Gulie he lived the best life possible! All the photos of him above were taken by Gulie. Many thanks to my friend, Bob Miller, http://www.barloshelties.com/ for his help with the Champions list!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Cool Bird

Thanks to my bench buddy, Ethel in B.C., for this clip!