Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I got a message from my sister Sunday night. Guess what…now she’s saying I didn’t run hard enough. She explained that if I had that much “speed” left in me to allow me to sprint to the end, I obviously wasn’t working HARD enough throughout the run. WHAT!!!!!

So this morning Duane (from work) came over to talk about the Sunday’s race and to thank ‘us’, Dawn, Meme, Brian and Bill for sticking around for him to get his 2nd place award on Sunday. Then he said how well I did….BUT… could have done better. OH MAN!! HAVE YOU BEEN TALKING TO MY SISTER BEHIND MY BACK!!!

I told him that Dawn had said the same thing on Sunday night. He said he was glad she said something to me and that he “almost” left me an article on my desk talking about running and how you should run hard ALL THROUGH the race. So hard in fact that you have NOTHING at the end. BH!!! But, since this was my first race he was going to “let me off the hook”, so no more MR NICE GUY. OH CRAP!!!

So …. Note to self. Next time NO SMILING AT THE END!! I’m going to practice my look of ANGUISH and PAIN!! I might even start crying just so I don’t get HARASSED next time. Have the ambulance on stand by PLEASE!!!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Another thing that "EATS" Brown Ponies!!!

Yesterday afternoon Julie called to see if I'd want to go for a short ride. SURE!!!! It wasn't horribly windy yet and Rilda didn't have time for a ride today, so what the heck. I'd gotten the transplanting of some sedum and hostas done early, so I saddled up Adam and headed down the road to Julie's.

Julie was feeling brave, so she saddled up her old "retired" barrel racer, Sonic. Sonic is in his early 20's, but you'd NEVER know it. He's ALWAYS ready to go. We decided we'd just ride around her dad's field and of course as we got about 1/2 mile from her house it started to rain. UGH!!! So we headed back to the barn. It was a slow trip back as Sonic is also a bit "barn sour" and would have loved nothing more than to race back home. Of course after we arrive, it's nice as can be. I tell Julie I'm going to head down the gravel and she has some things to get done, so she passes.

Adam and I head West. I thought we'd head down to the Watkins blacktop, which is about 2 miles away. We moving at a pretty nice pace, some cantering, fast trotting. Adam had to test out his NEW SHOES he got on Saturday and I wanted to work on my posting. Everything was great.

When we get to the highway, we turn back East to head home, (the same way we came) past Sara's house (a black lab "real lab" that always barks "hello" and I always promise dog treats to....but always forget). Adam canters along the dirt "B" road, across the old bridge, cross 27th street, past John's house (he's out mowing his yard)...another 1/2 miles and then we heard that terrifying noise!! The noise that makes your hair stand on the back of your neck!! Adam freezes, ears pricked forward, nostrils flaring and he does that snorting nose blowing thing that sounds like some kind of sick air horn gone bad. What could it possibly be you ask??

(Picture by Meme -

Yes, it's true. The Canadian Goose, actually, it was geese. A pair. Poor Adam, he was sure they were NOT honking at each other, but at him. They apparently hadn't eaten brown ponies ALL winter long and they were preparing for a FEAST!

BH!! Now, you try rationalizing with a 1000+ pound frightened pony. I can honestly say that he would have LIKED to have gone by, as we were just little over a mile from home and who doesn't want to go home?? I had a couple choices. Turn around and go back home the LONG way, 4 miles. UGH!! It was getting darker, cold and windy. Get off and lead him by....did that with hogs once and will NEVER do that again. Go back to John and his zero radius mower (insert bitterness HERE!!!) and ask him to take a 4 wheeler out and shoo the Pony eating geese away, resulting in all of Benton County being made aware of the situation. (Not that he didn't notice the "Mexican Stand off" just down the road"...or should I say, "Canadian Stand off". Or .... just tough it out and "MAKE" Adam go by them.

I decided we'd stick it out. Given enough time, I was pretty sure I could "talk" him into it. It took a good 5+ minutes, several spins and some degrading comments regarding "balls" which he does NOT have!! G We finally made it past the frightening creatures. HONESTLY!!! He sees chickens and ducks EVERY DAY!!!! UGH!

So the list of things that eat "Brown Ponies" continues.....
* Sheep
* Hogs
* Canadian Geese

Who knew they were so TASTY??

Run Run Run.....Breath, Breath, Breath....

Well, it's DONE!!! My birthday obligation to my sister has been met! I've completed a 5K with her, although she promptly pointed out that my niece Daphne wasn't along with us, so technically it doesn't really count. WHATEVER!!!! I'm not an "experienced" runner..... HA!!! Now that IS FUNNY!!

The day was an early one, even though the race didn't start until 9am I was up at 5am. Needed my COFFEE and to pre-medicate! G Bill and I picked Meme and Brian (the official race photographers) up at 630 and off we went to Iowa City. Keeping with the "agility" tradition we were the FIRST ones there. Okay, we were ALMOST the first ones there. G The cones were already set up and Brian pointed out that I was NOT suppose to weave in and out of them. UGH!! TOO MANY RULES!!

I picked up my T-Shirt that said, "Run for Bill" on the front. Bill found little humor in this however....I'm not sure he was having very much fun....truth be told. We sat around until Dawn arrived. I was TOTALLY impressed...she was darn near close to ON TIME, which is no small feat for her. I'm sure it helped that she came alone and didn't have to try to hurry 3 other people along. That and this was for a run, something she LOVES to do.

By 8 am things were really hopping. People were arriving and picking up their racing packets. The lobby was full of people in some wonderful running outfits. (Meme said I MUST go shopping before the Marion run. I must admit, I saw some pretty cool shoes!!) People were sitting on the floor stretching and so what the heck, it might be a good idea. It turns out it was, my shins NEVER hurt once!! Maybe I'll have to take a little more time to do that in the future.

People would ask, "What's your goal time." without walking was no longer good enough. I told them 34 minutes (this was kind of a cop-out, since my internal goal was 31).
I just didn't want to miss a realistic goal my first time out.

We finally head out the the start line. There's a "s-load" of people and I know I should really be to the BACK!!! Dawn places up a bit more toward the start, not the VERY front, but more mid front. She said we'd have fewer people to pass this way. Boy, was she being optimistic or what!
So this extremely wimpy air horn sounds and we're OFF!!!

For me personally, the first mile is the hardest. I don't know about others, but during that time I'd be more than happy to STOP!!!! As we begin I see what she means about passing people, it's HARD!! Especially when the course narrows and you can't get around anyone. Well, you can if you want to break an ankle in a POT HOLE!! JL! In one stretch Dawn is passing her people outside the orange cones (which means she's moving into the traffic area) At least at the time there wasn't any traffic and she had her NEON orange shirt on that was her "invincible shirt"....meaning you'd have to be TOTALLY blind to miss it!! OMG!!

Now, before this race we had a few rules. I would set the pace and she would push me. She would talk, I would breath. We did pretty good with rule number one and there were a couple times we had to back off of our pace. Rule number two didn't work out too well for either of us. Oh, she would talk all right! But she'd flipping ask me questions!! HELLO!!! BREATHING!!! I'm honestly pretty sure she never understood why I wasn't answering. GEEZ!! So finally I told her to sing me a song. BAD IDEA!!!!! Her choices were, "I am women here me roar", "I will survive" and the like. All they did is make me laugh and thus had negative impact on my breathing.

We made the first mile in 9 minutes. I was hoping for a 10 minute pace, so this was good. Honestly however, I'd rather NOT know the pace as it just makes me want to let up or STOP!! There were a few people here and their cheering you on, it was kind of funny. (One man was rather large outside with his green bathrobe and a coffee) Dawn would hell back at them and jump in the air thanking them for being there, what a WASTE of oxygen!! She would point some things out, like the ducks in the field. HELLO!!! I have ducks at home, I'm just breathing and keeping my feet moving forward!!

Then she said, Oh no, here's the hill!!! WHAT!!! I told her, "I love hills"....she said "No you don't, no runner likes hills."....I wasn't going to waste my breath explaining that it was purely psychological, trust me, I don't LOVE hills, but I didn't want "my running personality to know this information". The good news was....what must go up, must come down. YIPPEE!!!!!

The down hill was AWESOME!!! I wonder if you can find a race that's ALL DOWN HILL????? It would be so worth it!!

I spent most of my time watching the feet of the other runners. There were some pretty awesome orange shoes out there! I also figured out that I should watch the pot holes, of course not until I'd stumbled in the 3rd one. GEEZ!!

Coming around the last turn was GREAT!!! It was soon going to be over, then I notice this little kid go sprinting by. Dawn said, "Kick it in, are you going to let him beat you?" I didn't answer, but I was thinking "HAIL YEAH"!!!! G I did kick it in and sprint to the end. My finishing time was 29.37. YIPPEE!! I beat my goal, of course now I have a base line in which I need to keep getting better. I guess I should have slowed up a bite. I'm thinking next race I'm going to use my grandma's age of 97 so I'll be in a division by myself!! G

I learned some things about proper running. You are suppose to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. I suppose that's a good breathing strategy if your nose isn't plugged. I had to get water at every post, not to drink, but to moist my dry mouth. Dawn said it was because I was mouth breathing....I told her that it beats the alternative.

The second thing I learned is to pick a person and stay with them. This will help you stay up and focused. Dawn and I had a different philosophy on this. I would pick someone out ahead of me and when they got too far ahead I'd pick out someone else. Dawn said I was suppose to pick someone out ahead of my and PASS THEM, then pick out the NEXT victim to pass. Minor details.

All in all, it was fun. I finished. I have my bench mark and I'll probably do a few more races this year. I'll try to get better and beat my time. I'll try not to "taper" my training off as much as I did in the last couple weeks. You pay for it in the end!! G

I ended up 182/1094 total finishers. 7th in my age division. Here's the results. Some people were AMAZINGLY FAST!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good-Bye Ester!

Sad news to report - Ester passed away over the weekend. Little does she know that she'll live on in "all of us" who know the story behind "FOCUS ESTER".

During agility class and at trials we have told each other to "Focus" many times. It's harder than you think to focus for 30-60 seconds...HONEST!! More times than not we'd make those horrible "pointing" gestures with our two fingers toward our eyes in order to add emphasis to the importance of FOCUSING!!!!

Ester became involved in our "game" totally by accident. Did she run agility? I highly doubt it, she was an elderly avid tennis fan confined to a wheelchair. I'm pretty sure she didn't even own a dog. I'm not sure if she'd even liked dogs as they probably just stole the tennis balls! The total truth is, I've never meet the women, but I now use her name on a daily basis.

Rilda was Ester's evening care giver for many months, until she was moved to a nursing home. Rilda told us a funny story about trying to get Ester ready for bed one evening. There was a tennis match on TV and as Rilda was wheeling Ester down the hall into the bathroom, Ester was leaning back looking over her shoulder as not to loose sight of the TV and the match. As they entered the bathroom Ester was leaning as far back as she could in her chair as to keep the TV in view.

Rilda stated that she was getting rather frustrated, since if Ester would just "focus" they could get her to the bedroom which also had a Television in it. Finally Rilda just broke down and had to say, "Focus Ester" out loud. (She claims NOT to have used the "finger action" - I have my doubts) G

Since that story "Focus Ester" has become common verbiage for many of us. I've even been known to use it at work. In fact, one of my co-workers said it just today!

I sure hope Ester has a sense of humor!!! Now..........


Thursday, April 17, 2008

If you're from Iowa you can go ANYWHERE!!!!!

Today I attended a "Get Motivated" Seminar that had several well known speakers and a few "not so well know" that pretty much just wanted to sell you something. G As usual I picked out the pieces of information I liked and let the rest flow in one ear and out the other. My main reason for going quite honestly was to hear Zig Ziglar speak. He is so motivating and fun to listen to.

I was pleasantly surprised by Rober Schueller's presentation. Did you know he was born in Western Iowa? Orange City to be exact. He is very much into positive thinking and faith (I suppose that's no surprise) G

He discussed about the importance of "Daring to Attempt". Asking everyone to really think about what their "impossible" dream is. Always keeping in mind that NOTHING is impossible. He repeated over and over again, "If you were born in an Iowa Farm, you can go anywhere."

He also spoke of WOWing yourself and others. WOW for him means "Walking on Water". I liked that. Pretty fun. So let's go out and WOW each other, shall we???

One last thing I thought was really important to remember. Whenever you attempt anything you'll NEVER loose. You only loose if you never try. He talked a lot about the importance of "Looking at what you have left and not looking at what you have lost."

He told a joke that I must repeat, because I thought it was rather funny. There was an Englishman, and Irishman and a German (he used Dutchman...but I like German better since I'm married to one) they are at a restaurant and eating soup. They all notice that a fly has landed in their respective bowls.

Now the Englishman (always be the classy ones) used his fork to scoop the fly out and placed it on his napkin and promptly covered it up.

The Irishman took note of the fly and blew into his bowl as hard as he could. This not only removed the fly, but also a great deal of his soup.

Finally it was the German's turn. He picked the fly up carefully by it's wings and shook the fly out over his bowl, making sure every last drop of soup was off of him. (German's being so cheap they don't want to loose one little bit of soup).....finally he looks at the fly sternly in the face and says, 'come on spit it out'. was probably funnier when he said it. G

I'll write about another speaker later...but someone I had not heard of..... Tim Timmons, he was actually a very funny speaker and I really enjoyed him. He had some really great sayings...but one I'll leave you with tonight.

In living you have 2 areas you can chose from.

1 - Disciplined
2 - Regret

So in other words, you're either disciplined to go out and keep trying! Or you can sit back and regret that you never made the attempt.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2008

NOT your TYPICAL Monday!!!

Yes, it's Monday!! My partner (fellow supervisor) is on vacation all this week, so my workload has instantly doubled. No problem, piece of cake!! I have a lot on my plate as far as work goes this week and I have a TOTALLY AWESOME game plan to "GET'her DONE!!!) Isn't there a saying somewhere out there about "best laid plans"?? Yes, my Monday was sabotaged, but not in ANY WAY I would have expected.......HOLY BUCKETS!!

Let's begin with my typical Monday work day. I arrive at 6 with my 32 ounces of coffee in hand...I'm ready to rock and roll!! I sort through my e-mails, send in needed "useforms", update my weekly stats sheets and LOOK!! It's already 9 am!!! I need my breakfast! I head off the kitchen to make my oatmeal. When I return to my desk I have a voice mail.
No big deal.......OMG!!!! Eyes are BULGING!!!

"Hello, this is Cindy from the Benton County Court House..."


"You were to report for jury duty today and we're waiting for you."


"Please call us back immediately at ........"


So I call Cindy, promptly. (I will later realize I should have eaten my oatmeal!)

"Yes they need me, ASAP, they are waiting for YOU!!", She tells me.

No pressure there!!

Um...I need directions I tell her. Thankfully she didn't laugh or I should say, she had the good manners not to laugh at me while I was still on the phone.

I head down to Mo's desk (the only other supervisor in the office today), she doesn't want my OM, but will clean out my bowl (that's a true friend) No, she will not go to the court house in my place (okay, re-thinking this true friend thing)... of course I've just quadrupled her work load, so I'll be buying her lunch SOON!!!

Out to the van I go. I burn rubber all the way to Vinton....breaking all of the speed limits. Of course I'm wearing an ORANGE Sweatshirt. Luckily it's NOT my "State Prison" one. VBG

30 miles later I arrive in Vinton and go to the only tall building with a pointy top. This has "got to be the place." I park in a "County" parking space and hurry up to the 2nd floor. There are about 50 people standing around looking bored, irritated and hungry. I go off to find Cindy and she tells me to have a seat (apparently on the cold tile floor) They will let us know when we can leave. (I'm glad I didn't get there at 8 am!! G)

Some legal we go home with no tonight to see if we have to go back for the same fun and games again tomorrow. I'll be armed tomorrow with food and a book. Hum...maybe armed isn't a GOOD word to use here. Prepared...I'll be a girl scout and come PREPARED. Which means when I call this evening they will NOT need me. Fine by me! It wasn't a very exciting day!!

I head to Casey's for a much deserved soda and Cracker Jacks for the ride home. SH*T!! How do I get home?? I came in from the other direction. I call Bill, he doesn't know either. Find 218 he tells me. BH!! FINE!! I made it home!! Hey, did you know there's a Roy Foods in Vinton? I wonder if Rilda's brother owns that one too?? I'll have to ask.

The funniest thing about this .....I was suppose to go last September, but it was during my Supervisor Conference for work. So, I bumped it back about 6 months. (Okay, Bill did it for me.) I got the paperwork a month ago and I didn't fill it out....I hate that stuff! Bill filled it out for me(again!!!) . I didn't write the dates down (Figured Bill would remind me) and he must have forgotten or was hoping I'd get arrested. OMG!! G

I have to be in Kansas City on Friday. Hopefully it will be something short and simple. What could POSSIBLY happen in BC????? Someone molested a sheep?? G

Off to do some SERIOUS running!! My race is now 13 days away....let the count down begin!

Come on SEEKER!! Wanna go for a run?? HAIL YEAH!! VBG

Sunday, April 13, 2008

You might be a redneck if.........

You hold your fence up with firewood!!! Honestly, who in their RIGHT mind would do that??

Check out this site to find out WHO!!!!! This is totally DEVASTATING!!!

Now for ME to do that would be understandable. Honestly, Bill and I spent our Saturday morning "fixing" our Cattle Yard (which hold the ponies - DON'T ASK!!!) with tube gates and baling twine. But then again, when you look up the words "RedNeck" and "Farmered" in the dictionary....our pictures are present!!! LOL

Friday, April 11, 2008

Meet Fulton and Portman - Rouen Ducks

Fulton (Left) Portman (Right) - yes you WILL be expected to be able to tell them apart!

Tracy's dream in life was to be able to have a duck for Easter. As a child she was able to have chicks, but never allowed the pleasure of owning a duck. So she asked early this year if she got A duck, if I would take it once it got messy. I told her sure and I figured ducky would arrive on day TWO!!! G

When Tracy went to the farm supply to pick up her duck, the "duck trader" told her that they do better in pairs. So of course being a good duck consumer, she brought home two. Apparently thinking that I wouldn't notice. She was able to celebrate Easter with her ducks and her niece named them. (I'm pretty sure this is the same niece that won't let Tracy shave Sidney's bum). Anyway, Fulton and Portman are named after the ducks in the movie "The Mighty Duck". I'm not sure if these are good names or not as I've not had the privilege of watching that movie yet.
I must admit, Tracy did a good job socializing her ducks. She handled them daily and let them watch TV. She became the ULTIMATE in 'duck whisper' standards. She's still unable to determine if they are girls or boys however. I think she missed that day??

What is a Rouen Duck anyway?? Here's the description I found.....(BTW - Tracy didn't even bother to look up their description on the Internet! Talk about a irresponsible duck buyer!!)

The Rouen duck is a heavyweight breed (Means they eat a LOT) raised primarily for decoration (they really aren't that pretty) or as general purpose ducks, (Means for EATING!!) since they are not prolific egg layers. (Means they eat/poop/drink but give NOTHING BACK) The breed originated in France (this answer's a LOT) sometime before the 19th century.

There's your bit of duck history. They will be integrated into our mix of ducks this summer after they've grown up a bit.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Adam and I took a ride this afternoon and when we returned the neighbors had a new lamb. Isn't she cute!!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spring is HERE!!!!

Okay, let's be honest, it's been here for a couple weeks...but it really didn't feel like it until Saturday! WOW! Don't you just love warmer weather??

Saturday was a very busy day. I went running, took the dogs tracking, did some yard work (still a LOT to do!!), went for a 9 mile pony ride, and did more yard work!

It's so nice to see the plants starting to break through the ground. Not that it should be too hard with all the snow and rain we've had this year. I noticed a couple peonies that I planted last year and thought were DEAD are coming up!! YIPPEE!!!!

All the "rescue" plants that Nan and I got last May seem to be coming up as well. It will be fun to see what color the iris are. The "mystery" bulbs are coming up as well. They are the yellow things in the picture above. I have NO idea what they are, but I'm sure I will before long. The Painted Ladies are coming back again as well, after their appearance last Fall.

The orange Iris that Meme got me are coming up too. I was a little concerned about them as they were a bit confused last year and were blooming in November. I suppose that's what you get with orange iris? G

I took the pictures above on Sunday morning. Note: we still have a large section of snow/ice between the house and the chicken coop. It's about 2' deep. Hopefully it will disappear soon as that's the only area that I have left to rake and tidy up.

It's always nice to see the "girlies" (AKA- chickens) outside. Of course Scooter (neighbor's dog that kills them) made 3 appearences today. Fortunately Bill spotted him each time to yell for him to go home. Once he was all the way into their pen. UGH!!!

Cougar, the tan cat is such a ham. He follows you like a dog and just LOVES to be picked up. Cher the black torti HATES him and looks for every opportunity to knock him into next week. The full picture of him above has him looking a little cross, that's because Cher is thinking about making her attack.

I worked the colored pony for 90 minutes this am, I don't think she was terribly impressed! G She'll be 4 soon, so time she earned her keep and learned to do a little work. She of course would prefer to be lazy, feed and watered. Hum...where do I sign up for that job!!

A lot more yard work remains, but it's nice to have made a little progress this weekend. I'm hoping by next weekend the garden will have dried out enough to get some taters in the ground!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Don't Panic!!! 3 weeks and counting....

I took Seeker out running with me this morning. I haven't "run" outside for a LONG time!
We had a game plan - run to the highway and back without walking, 3.5 miles.
We had a plan......and I learned a LOT!!

Seeker and I start up the lane to the road and our little side kick, Cougar, (the kitten) thought he was coming too. We just couldn't deter him, so I had to pick him up and put him in the building and make a RUN for it!! How said that this little cat is more bidable than most dogs I know. G Seeker and I escaped to the road.

So we start off at a moderate pace, heading East. Alan's sheep are out in the pasture and the next thing I know they are trotting over to the fence to see us!! They must have trotted along with us for 100 ft or so, it was rather funny.

Thankfully our start was downhill. Of course what comes UP must go down, so before long the direction was going to change. My determination started to waver, I looked ahead and BOY did that highway seem a LONG way off. So I thought to myself, if I can just make it to the 1st stop sign we can walk a while.

We made it to the stop sign and so I thought to myself ...(I'm just thinking, because I'm too busy worrying about breathing to actually say it out loud) ... If I can just make it to the next cedar tree we can walk awhile. Then if I can make it to the next lane, then the highway and so it continued.

We "ran" the whole 3.5 miles. I learned a couple valuable lessons. I think they can apply to agility as well. One, NEVER look at the whole distance, it looks UNOBTAINABLE!! Trust me! If you break it down into small distances, giving yourself small victories it makes it SO OBTAINABLE!!!

This got me thinking about agility, and actually the same concept applies. If you look at a whole agility course, some times it seems so overwhelming. You may have up to 9 challenges and you can get a mental thought that says, "you just can't do it". But if you break your course down into small segments it doesn't seem difficult at all.

The other thing I learned is it's NOT about the race. It's about being outside, running with Seeker and being able to have some quite time with my own numerous random thoughts. Okay, I must admit, I also spotted several rocks I need to go back and pick up!!! VBG

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

2008 AKC Agility Nationals

They were held in Tulsa, OK this year and HOLY BUCKETS!! What a facility! It was AWESOME!! 3 rings in one building, a solo ring in another building. That single ring was honestly large enough to have had two rings in it. It was similar to Wentzville. The "dirt" in the main arena was a clay mix. FANTASTIC surface! The only down side - if your dog had white feet, they turned orange by the end of the day. I shoulda had a RED DOG!!! G

Another HUGE plus - all the buildings were attached. Plenty of crating, we rented a stall with Mary Beth and it was wonderful! Probably best of all, after last year was the amount of parking. Trust me, there was NO way we could have filled it. All cement! No parking fee and No admission fee! FANTASTIC!!

We arrived Thursday afternoon and it was 83 degrees! Sorry Tulsa, you had to see my white legs!! When we left home (9 hours earlier) it was 33 - we traveled through rain, sleet, ice, fog. We finally go out of it and got into the warm weather! It wasn't meant to last however, as we were only in the 40's the rest of the weekend. That's okay, we were inside.

Friday was the state team competition and since Iowa didn't have enough entries to make a team of our own we were combined with other small entry states to form the "Central States" team. Our Team members numbered 9. With other teams numbering up to 109 we were starting in the red, but we actually did very well. This was the International Class and the course involved a treadle, it was quite fun to execute and you could use your "OLAY" move we learned from Lori in October. I'm happy to report that Kruz was perfect in the state competition. He ran in the 20" class vs. the 26" class which is where his height would actually put him. You were able to show at your AKC height and your time would count toward team points, but would not count for any placements or clean run ribbons.

For the Championship classes the 20" class was the largest of the heights - with 218 dogs. There were some AMAZING and I mean AMAZING dogs! WOW!! It was a lot of fun to watch. We were split into 4-5 walking groups that alternated throughout the weekend. For instance I walked in the 1st/4th/2nd groups on Saturday and Sunday. Each group had 7 minutes to walk before the running began and you never ran in the same order. Our class was so large they they had mandatory breaks for the judge, so you had to watch for those as well when planning to get your dog. In one class I ran 5th, in another 186. It was very fun, but I must admit, I'd rather run early and enjoy the rest of the class then watch and wonder if you should change your plan.
FOCUS ESTER!!!!!!!!!

Kruz ran well all weekend and actually let ME lead on one run. (and Jeff said I can't dance because I couldn't let the man lead!!) Of course it was Sunday's course and he was probably feeling sorry for me by then. NOT!!! The other 4 runs I was "reactive" handling - I hate that! But we got'er done! He was 5 for 5, with 3 - Q's in the actual championship competition and 3 green rosettes. He finished 31 over all in the height division. The top 18 went onto the finals and one from the Challenger round.

The Challenger round! OMG!! Talk about fun to watch! This was made up of those dogs that placed in the 3 classes, but for whatever reason did not get enough accumulation points to make it to the finals. You had to win your height division in order to move to the championships. I would NOT want to be in this situation!! For Several reasons! Too much pressure and you get the last pick of the finalist shirt sizes!! VBG It was AWESOME!!! FUN FUN FUN! There was this most wonderful light built Rott bitch, but she was beaten out by a fraction of a second in the 24" class by what else.... a border collie!

The shirts were baby blue, not my choice of color but I would have worn it! After I'd found some black pants of course! One poor gal got stuck with a HUGE shirt as she was in the challenger round and had last pick. It was funny as she'd cut off the sleeves and the bottom of the shirt. Reminded me of one of Barb's custom jobs!! Wonder if they will make a rule about that next year?

The finals were fun to watch of course and I was pleased that they too ran full tilt. I was surprised how many dog weren't clean however. Not sure how Animal Planet will handle that one! G One "iffy" call by the judge Don Farage (who I think it great!), I couldn't tell where I was sitting, but others said the dog hit it. Everyone was doing running contacts, so it was truly hard to tell. All I know is I would NOT want THAT job! Makes me wonder if AKC will think about having 4 judges for the finals. One watching each bottom of a contact and one for everything else. Makes sense to me.

Ann Braue's Screamer did something funny in the 26" final class. The start was a serpentine with 2 jumps and a teeter. Ann kept running after the teeter and Screamer didn't hear the release word. He stuck his teeter and held it, Ann in the mean time was past the next jump and at the tunnel entrance by the time she noticed her dog wasn't with her. HYSTERICAL! What a well trained dog.

The courses were made up by Don Farage, Rachel Long, Pam Sturtz, Jean Munger, Kera Holms, Laura English and a couple others. They were Wonderful! Fun to run and fair.

We got out of there by 430 or so and the dogs each got a baby cone at the Dairy Queen. We stayed over night in KC, MO and drove the rest of the way home Monday. Bill drove. G

Next year it's in NC, a rather long drive. It would sure be nice to have it back in Tulsa again some day and maybe we could make up our own Iowa team!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pleased to ANNOUNCE!!!

After much discussion, price checking and number crunching we have decided to put up another building. This one will be placed to the West of the "newer" pole barn and will be somewhat attached with an alley way so you can get from one building to the other. We've been toying with this idea for awhile and with this past winter being so cold we decided to JUST DO IT!! Yes, it will have HEAT!!!

We're going with another pole barn and are still debating on flooring. More than likely dirt for now as matting it would cost more than the heating set up. It will be a bit wider, 66' (as wide as you can go without special engineering) and 108' long. The height will remain the same at 14'. We're going with radiant heating elements as they seemed to be the most cost effective. No bathroom, YET....although I'd really like one someday.

Construction will begin as soon as it drys out...which will probably be in July!!!!!