Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mason's Girls at MacLaren

We were happy to hear from Cheryl Pike that her bi-blue Mason daughter, Can. Ch. MacLaren's Courtesan, "Trixie", picked up some more points towards her American title recently and shared this lovely win picture with us! Trixie has a 5 pt. Specialty major as well as other minor points, and a class win at ASSA 2006. We are so pleased that Cheryl is getting her out, herself, in the U.S., it isn't easy and we couldn't be more proud. She is maturing just beautifully. Not only that, but from Trixie's only litter so far Cheryl has a lovely, typey, blue daughter to carry on with. Trixie, a beautiful bitch to show that can produce, on top of it all, so hard to get!!

Trixie's daughter, MacLaren Prima Donna, "Mariska", Best in Sweeps, Detroit Specialty, Judge Amy Langhorst, Starhaven.

Ch. MacLaren's Courtesan - "Trixie" finishing her Canadian Championship. She reminds us of Mason in profile.

Trixie has an equally lovely litter sister, Can. Ch. MacLaren No Doubt, "Gwen" who we're hoping will make it down south of the border as well in the future.

Ch. MacLaren No Doubt - "Gwen", litter sister to Ch. MacLaren's Courtesan. These bi-blue sisters are out of Am./Can. Ch. Penpals Providence At MacLaren, sired by Willow Cove's Prize Patrol - "Mason", bred and owned by Cheryl Pike and Glen Stark.

We are so very grateful to the breeders/owners for their efforts with the Mason kids. We really appreciate it, we love hearing all the news and we hope dreams are fulfilled for all!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Collie Club of Canada Seminar

A few months ago I was surprised to be asked by the Collie Club of Canada to do a grooming and handling seminar as a fundraiser for their National Specialty, which will be held in May 2009. The grooming portion would be open to Collies and Shelties only, the handling would be open to all and then there would be a fun match afterwards, also open to all. (Fun Match judged by Wally Ace of Nationview). Participants could attend one, two or all of the events, which were priced as packages and separately. Although I hadn't done a grooming seminar since our 1998 fundraiser for the Canadian Sheltie National in Toronto, I couldn't say no to my friend Carol Delorme (Gemstone Collies), nor to supporting this worthy cause. The seminar was held this past Saturday, March 21st and I'm thrilled to say it was a huge success, raising more money than expected!

Since it was a five hour drive from here to get to Carol's, then another hour and a half plus to get to the building where the seminar was to be held, I left on Friday and came home on Sunday. We all had a great time and lots of reminiscing about "the good old days". It was pretty much equally attended by Collies and Shelties, with an entry in both breeds that could rival many shows now-a-days. Carol works really hard for her club, this is the third National she's put on. She took care of the many details for this event, from getting the flyers out to making sandwiches to sell just before we fell into bed the night before the seminar. Clubs and their members need to appreciate and nurture their workers, because they are the ones who make things happen and make things nice for everyone else.

It was nice to see some new faces as well as some younger people attending, hopefully they will be encouraged enough to stick with the sport. I was really happy with all the positive comments on the day (and even e-mails afterward!), everyone said they learned new things they will use going forward. Now to get the scruffy gang here at home bathed and groomed.

Product and tools used, explained, demonstrated (and practiced), set out to be perused by attendees.

Participants....we sold out!

Smooth Collie Winners Dog judging

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


You open an e-mail, see this face, and your day is made:

Ravenscourt Sunbriar McDreamy - "Patrick"
Sired by our Willow Cove's Prize Patrol ("Mason") ex Ch. Ravenscourt GrandGables Sachet
Bred by Linda James and Gaye Shepley, owned by Linda James
Pictured at 8 months old

Pictures of Patrick by Bonnie Rector. Thanks Bonnie!

Congratulations ladies! He is a very promising puppy. I'm excited!

Willow Cove's Prize Patrol - "Mason"
Sire of 6 Champions, 1 American, 5 Canadian

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yee-Haw! Dare we say Spring?

What the dogs are doing while I'm picking up poop...

L to R - Sizzle, Sugar, Roxanne (sable)

Sizzle, Sugar (only one who touches the ball - "mine, mine, mine") and Roxy

Sugar on the ball, Sizzle, Roxy and Max

House from the back, no more snow (fingers crossed!), waiting for the green.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Seventh on the Seventh

Tiffany and I headed down to the PVSSC's Specialty shows in Maryland this past weekend, our first shows since her last Specialty win 6 months ago in Detroit. We had a great time, catching up with old friends, meeting new ones and of course saw some really beautiful dogs in this very competitive area. We were absolutely thrilled with Tiffany's seventh BISS win on Saturday, March 7th, under breeder-judge Nancy Tibben!! This was the second time she has won a Specialty from the Veterans class. As always, owner-handled. Tiffany was on her game all weekend and showed great!

I caught a picture of her "star gazing" in the mirror in the hotel room after the show.....

Mirror, mirror, on the wall...........

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Little Town

And once again, Caledon, Ontario is Canada's #1 safest town/region to live in of the top 100 biggest towns and regions in all of Canada, according to Maclean's magazine. Just 45 minutes Northwest of the center of Canada's biggest city, Toronto.

Palgrave pond in January. All equipment, benches etc. (including porta-potty) are left out for the winter and the rinks are maintained by residents. Two hockey rinks side by side, each surrounded by a freestyle skating track.

Also the "Greenest Town in Ontario" winner....we love it here in the Hills of Headwaters.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rep├║blica Dominicana

We killed off February with a much-needed trip to the Dominican Republic. I didn’t actually realize how much-needed until we got there! The air was just sweet on your skin at any time of the day or night, the sun, flowers, water, green…everywhere!! It seems like forever since we’ve seen those things. It was really rejuvenating.

Bavaro Beach - have a seat

We went to the Paradisus Punta Cana which was the same resort we went to last year. We don’t usually repeat but as we searched for something different, we couldn’t find just the right one that met all of our criteria. They all offer some version of basically the same thing so why not go back to the one we loved. It was our 5th trip to the DR and our 4th trip to Punta Cana. Terry loves to play golf and the local Cocotal Golf & Country Club is the best course he’s played in the Caribbean, and unlimited green fees are included for guests of the Paradisus. We were pleased to find it all that we remembered and more.

Part of the pool - swim up bar in the distance

We talked to quite a few people, including many Canadians from all over, and everyone was saying the same thing, “recession, what recession!??” The resorts were all pretty full and the Airbus A330 (appropriately named) that we flew down on seats 345 people and not one seat was empty. When we left, there were no less than three planes headed back to Toronto within 10 minutes of each other and all were full. Not what we expected and no wonder we couldn’t get a deal! There were people there from all over the world, as usual, including people who had travelled from as far away as Moscow and Geneva.

From our balcony - very lush everywhere

A big part of why we enjoy DR so much are the Dominican people, they are the friendliest, most helpful people absolutely anywhere, bar none. I envy the people from Spain who can speak fluently with them. It would be my second language of choice, for sure. We get by with our Spanish words and phrases and a French background is helpful. The Dominicans work very hard for very little and manage to be pleasant to everyone, it’s admirable.

Bavaro Beach

The bluest sky, without a single cloud anywhere, that I've ever seen.

Some of the gorgeous flowers that are everywhere. The grounds were a masterpiece of their own.

A great white egret that I watched fishing in a pond with small fish in it. Notice how it doesn't cast a shadow of any kind. They stalk quite slowly and deliberately like a cat.

As for dogs, we saw many, it was very difficult to get a picture as it was all from the bus to and from the airport and the speed bumps never came at the right time. I must have seen 30 dogs. What was bizarre is that so many of them are the same! They are street dog mutts but 85% of them are houndy looking (drop ears and tail coming off the back, not curled), nondescript tan, most with black smutty muzzles, some with clear. They looked very similar in type to a Ridgeback without the ridge and a more bland colour. I have a picture of one here that I found on the internet which is exactly the type I saw. They are almost always sleeping and it’s always amazing how street-wise they are. Street-wise or dead, I guess. With the exception of one, all the dogs I saw were in pretty good shape (like the one in the picture below). I did see one older looking, very skinny one that was kind of sad. Some are mangy, but not the majority. It’s a poor country and when the people don’t have a lot, the animals don’t either. Where you are born makes a huge difference to your life, whether human or creature. I got the impression that most were doing okay. It might very well be from countries like this that companion animals will come from in the future, if the AR's get their way and wipe them out in North America.

Street (or in this case, beach) dog that are all so alike they could almost be a breed - Dominican Dozing Dog?

As far as purebred dogs, I saw one Rottweiler in someone’s yard, which might have explained the few black and tan dogs I did see. Then at the airport I was surprised to see Security with two drug/explosive sniffing dogs (I don’t know which and I wasn’t going to ask). They walked them down the lines of departing passengers. To my surprise one was an English type Golden Retriever and the other was a pretty chubby Springer Spaniel. Interesting that they had these purebred dogs doing this job when other dogs are a dime a dozen. These were also the only dogs with any kind of longer hair that we saw.

Airport sniffer dog.

The Springer. Notice all the cell phones and texting, etc. A poor country but absolutely everyone has a cell phone or other device, all more up-to-date than my own!

As usual it was great to see our own gang when we got home! We hope our dog/house sitter Sarah has a fabulous time on her own vacation to Cuba this week, she is a godsend to us!

Now to get over this vicious cold I came down with the day after our trip. Very thankful it was after, not before or during.