Category Archives: life

What we’ve been up to

No dog news lately…just waiting for one last show or two before the end of the year. Nash has gone full monty for the most part so I’m not feeling too hopeful LOL! But it will be nice to get away and visit with friends, and isn’t that half the fun anyway?

Since I haven’t been busy with dog shows, we’ve taken the opportunity this fall to take a couple of family trips to enjoy our new home state. Most recently, we went to Durango this past weekend when the kids had a couple of days off school for teacher work days…what a lovely area. I had been there many years ago but didn’t remember much about it. The San Juan mountains are incredibly beautiful! We were blessed with mostly good weather and took as much advantage of it as we could. Saturday we rode the narrow gauge railway from Durango to Silverton (historic mining town).

The original (1923) steam locomotive that pulled our train
Jack (and Charlie too) really enjoyed looking out the window
Engine rounding a curve

It’s about a 3 hour ride each way and really takes you through some amazing scenery in the San Juan National Forest. It was raining when we got to Silverton, but the clouds broke up right as we were leaving for the return trip and blessed us with some pretty awesome views:

Clouds still lingering around the peaks with a little fresh snow
Hanging out the window

On Sunday the weather was perfect…about 73 degrees and sunny. We had hoped to go horseback riding but the trails were too muddy, so we decided to take a hike instead. Our destination:

Spud Lake - 9,800 feet elev.

Overall, a most perfect weekend really. Yes, we did hit a deer on Saturday night while driving back to our rental cabin. Dinged up the car pretty well but thankfully it’s still drivable, and doubly thankful that it didn’t cause a larger wreck and/or injuries. Deer basically ran headlong into the side of our car near the passenger-side front wheel. Big dent in the fender, scratches and dents on the bar going up the windshield and on both passenger-side doors. C’est la vie.

The collar’s the thing

Brady is our first dog…we got him a few months after we got married, and moved to Denver soon after that.  Being a pet, he naturally wore a collar at all times.  He was also a very energetic and playful puppy, and when we were in Ohio we lived in an apartment complex he had many “doggie friends” that we would arrange playdates with LOL.  So after a bit we decided to get another Cardi to keep him company, and Molly entered the scene…a pretty little tri girl from Carolyn at C-Myste.  They would wrestle pretty endlessly, sometimes loudly, but one time…very scarily.  You see, Brady’s teeth got caught on Molly’s collar.  He panicked, she panicked, we did eventually get them apart but not before Dave got bit accidentally.  Thankfully, they were both OK, but collar accidents are real and from that point on I swore off of collars altogether except for trips.  Naturally most show dogs don’t wear collars anyway because we’re trying to keep their fur looking nice.

Fast forward to when we moved BACK to Denver, and Nash gets lost for most of a day.  We’re living in a densely packed neighborhood, and a loose dog is most likely to either get hit by a car, or picked up by someone else.  If they end up at a vet or shelter, then the microchip will be handy, but a random person picking them up has no way of locating their owners without collar/tag.  In Nash’s case, he was picked up by people and wasn’t that far away but things would have likely been so much easier if he had a collar with a name/phone number.  It would have saved us time and much worry.  So…we are now a collar house again.  I found these cool tags:

They slide right onto the collar so don’t dangle/jingle or discolor the fur.  They also fit onto rolled leather collars, by sliding on near the buckle (so collar has to be big enough that you don’t need to use the two tightest holes).  Up at the Eagle shows I found some nice rolled leather collars that came in different colors, so I got pink, tan, and red.  Now hopefully…if anyone ever happens to get lost again, they can be found quickly.

As a quick aside, sweet Nash will no longer step foot off our front porch unless we’re going for a walk.  We hang out on there and will let the dogs go in/out as long as we are there to watch them…the porch entry is from the side so it’s actually a really nice little area.  Nash used to occasionally go to the foot of the stairs to look at things, but now even if his toy falls down the stairs he won’t go down them.  I guess he doesn’t want to take a chance at being lost again.

Another belated birthday post

During my extended blog vacation, we celebrated another notable canine birthday in our house…Brady, a.k.a. The Old Man, turned 13 on June 28.  I can hardly believe he’s that old!  Or that I’ve been at least somewhat involved in the breed for that many years, LOL.  Which makes me….yeah no, not going to go into my own age.

Brady has always been a very active dog, but this past year his age has definitely started to catch up to him.  He has also clearly begun suffering from either IVDD or DM.  I know he has calcifications on his spine, from an x-ray a couple years ago when he had an incident.  But the past several months he has gotten less and less able to use his rear legs and more wobbly.  He has a lot of trouble getting up stairs now, and just more recently I have started to notice that when he gets up from sleeping (which is most of the time LOL) he’s often not able to use one leg for a little while and the foot turns under and drags.  Now that we’re settled, I need to get on with the business of finding a good vet in the area and see what they have to say.

Despite all that, Brady still likes to play (for about 5 minutes).  He and Nash will usually gently romp each day for a few minutes.  I’m finding myself rather thankful, however, that he has gone a good bit deaf…4th of July was not annoying for once!  Always the barkiest dog in our house, a little deafness goes a long way towards curbing that.  :)

The Big Announcement

I work with my husband.  I know some people are amazed by that and/or think we’re crazy, but it works out pretty well for us really.  He’s actually my boss!  Anyway, the point of talking about that is because he’s a partial owner of the company we work for.  And said company is based in Denver.  Up until now, it has worked out OK to have the rest of the executives in Denver, while Dave, me, and most of the other developers are here in Huntsville.  But times, they are a-changin.  As the company grows the pressure for us to relocate the development center there has grown also.  We’ve resisted the pressure for a while, but with several things happening this year, it has become too much.  Dave also wants to be there to help the company grow and be a part of its (hopeful) success!

So the upshot of all that is that WE ARE MOVING BACK TO DENVER!  It’s bittersweet, of course…we leave a lot of wonderful family and friends behind in Huntsville, and move further away from the rest of Dave’s family and my own family.  Now that the shock has worn off, however, I’m trying to focus on the positive and am getting excited about moving near some of our old friends again.  Oh and did I mention…we bought a house?

Now, we just have to sell our house in Alabama.  The plan is to move this summer so that the kids have some time to get settled before school starts.  Obviously this announcement isn’t a huge surprise for some of my Facebook friends, as I made a comment about it on there a few weeks ago.  I then had to delete the comment, because I realized (well, was reminded) that some of the other developers for our company were my FB friends, and the company was still deciding what to do with the office here so wanted to keep it quiet until all the decisions had been made.  WHOOPS.

A little about the house – it’s a wonderful, fully restored 20’s bungalow about 5 minutes west of downtown.  We’re a little tired of suburban living (which is, to be fair, safe but fairly boring) and are going to try a more urban environment.  Of course that means smaller house, smaller yard, closer neighbors, etc.  Those are the downfalls…the plus side is that we’re just a few blocks away from Highland Square, a cute little neighborhood shopping/eating area.  And a few blocks walk from Charlie’s new elementary school, which we visited and were very pleased about.  And a nice park in the other direction.  You get the picture…it’s right in the middle of everything.  A HUGE change!  Oh, and we have to sell off about 1600 sq feet worth of furniture in order to fit into the new house.  So if you’re looking for something, let me know…

No, I’m not dead

Just immersed in a busy, busy hell of sorts.  :)  I’ll post more updates later this week!  Unfortunately I was so sad to miss the puppy party yesterday at Janet’s house!

For today, though, we actually had a day to just enjoy.  Beautiful weather…65 & sunny.  A reminder that spring here will come early (as does summer) and be wonderous.  Also, sneezy.  :)    We were playing in the front yard with the kids and since Nash is a great listener, he got to come out and hang out with us.  So proud and happy with who this puppy is becoming as he grows up!

Future soccer star?
Handsome, very dirty boy. And he had a bath this morning before rolling around in the grass!
Happy boy
I included this just because I couldn't believe how much dead grass he picked up LOL. Also, he loves Dave ;-).
Playing fetch with Charlie
See? Handsome.
His flashy side.

Updates and things

Happy Holidays to everyone!  We’ve been VERY busy here…I went back to work more full-time in October and with Christmas shopping etc, it’s been a little crazy!  I love Christmas though, and it’s been fun this year trying to come up with great gifts for the kids and family.  Probably the best idea we’ve had came from Dave, for our 3 year old Jack:

2010 Hess Truck with motion-activated Jet

I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a HUGE HIT with Jack LOL.  He loves cars AND planes, and I can so see him zooming around with it.  Can’t wait!

In dog news, I haven’t posted an official congratulations yet to Leslie Reed!  I keep meaning to.  Miss Junie B finished her AKC Championship in November at our local shows…and I was there to see it!  The delight on Leslie’s face was just so good to see.  That makes Junebug the first champion to be bred here at Allegro, formally known as AKC/UKC Ch Allegro Celestial Charm.  I think they’re out working on trying to grab a few more Grand Ch points this weekend in Jackson MS…good luck girls.

Leslie also got DNA results back that June is fluff-free.  Nash is also fluff-free, and Piper is a carrier.  I plan to have Nash’s hips x-rayed soon for Penn-Hip…I’d like to start him in agility next year and would like a baseline x-ray for that anyway.

And Lizard is due in season any day now!  I guess I should go ahead and revisit and finalize that stud choice, huh.  😀

Remembering back…

All of these adorable new cousin puppies, at Elyan (by Uncle Chase), at Storm Ridge (out of Aunt Clem)…are making me seriously start longing for puppies again.  I was reminiscing back through blog posts from my litter last year and laughing.

When I saw this picture today on Penni’s blog of her little red-haired girl Reba:

I knew it reminded me of someone else who used to rule the whelping box (Maddie):

Then I came across this beautiful picture of June:

I was struck by how much she has always been so consistent.  Here she is when she came back to my house at 11 months:

Pupdate – Vegas, and Paws It Forward

I realized a ways back that I have never posted this win photo of Vegas that Joyce so kindly sent to me!  Still obviously has a lot of growing up to do, but MAN am I jealous of that gorgeous coat and color!  LOL  From all reports, Vegas is a big lovable goofball (I wouldn’t expect anything else!).  He is about halfway to his championship with 8 points and one major…hopefully he can finish it up next year after he grows up some more.  One thing that struck me about this picture…he and Nash look a lot alike in the head especially!

We also got a Paws it Forward package from the Fwuffy Biscuit Boy!  Man, the dogs enjoyed opening this one LOL.  Brady immediately snagged the tastiest chewie for himself, naturally, but everyone has been enjoying the tasty treats.  Thanks Biscuit!  If there are two other people who would love to participate in Paws it Forward, just leave me a comment!

Our (Non) Labor Day, and a small pupdate

Last week, after checking the weather forecasts, we decided to take a somewhat last-minute trip to Cincinnati OH for some family fun over Labor Day weekend.  I know some people are probably saying, “Cincinnati?  Really?” but the truth is that there is a WONDERFUL smaller kid area in King’s Island amusement park, and the Cincinnati Zoo is very, very good.  There are other things to do there as well but since we only had two days to fill with activities, those were it…and that was plenty.  :)  We kept the trip a surprise from the kids, and Charlie was nearly bursting with anticipation by the time we got to King’s Island.

Let me just start out and say…the weather was so great.  I honestly hate living in the South in the summer.  It’s too hot to do many things outside if they don’t involve swimming, and the heat lasts FOREVER.  We had 2 straight months in a row of days with temperature highs over 95….Two.  Months.  It’s always bad, but this year has been horrible.  Little rain, lots of heat and humidity.  So we were almost giddy when looking at the forecast for Cinci over the weekend.  The high on Saturday was around 72 degrees.  PANTS WEATHER, PEOPLE!  It was breezy, mostly sunny, occasionally chilly, and wonderful.  I can’t express what a joy it was to be outside all day long doing stuff and not sweating LOL.

We hit King’s Island on Saturday, and the zoo on Sunday.  King’s Island has a large children’s area called Planet Snoopy.  They have rides for just about every age of kid, including roller coasters for various heights.  Charlie is a roller coaster fiend, she rode two of them even though one of them was “kind of scary” LOL.  I wouldn’t classify her as a particularly brave kid, so it’s been fun to discover how much she likes rides.  We had hoped to carve out some time for Dave and I to occasionally ride a big coaster or two, but there was so much for the kids to do that we never really left Planet Snoopy.  The lone exception was as we were walking over there as the park opened, and Dave hopped onto The Vortex while there was no line.   I posted this photo on Facebook but I thought it was cute…Jack having a snack and “watching the roller coaster for Daddy”.

Watching for Daddy

So excited!
Really, do we have to take another picture?
"Boo Blasters" ride...a little scary for Jack (and Charlie as she was tired by the time we went), but fun. You shoot the ghosts for points as you ride through!
Jack getting into the kid bumper cars. He was delighted until he got stuck going in a circle backwards, and which point he cried the whole time because it wouldn't go where he wanted it to. LOL!
Also posted on Facebook, Charlie's face painting.

On Sunday we went to the zoo (with half of Cincinnati).  They have an awesome exhibit called the “Cheetah Encounter” where they actually lure course cheetahs during a show…talk about amazing.  They bring out the male cheetah first so you can say “oh wow yeah, he’s fast”, and then they bring out the female cheetah and she totally puts him to shame LOL.  My sister and her family came down from Columbus to meet us for the day!  Especially nice as the cousins don’t get to see each other that often so it was fun for them to have a day together.  Charlie has 7 cousins total on both sides of the family, but only ONE girl cousin…my niece Ashley (9).

The girls conferring about girl things. Or snacks, whichever. :)
Cheetah gets a drink
Petting zoo, of course

Jack being a ham while we wait for the "4D" movie experience. He had everyone there laughing at him. BTW, don't recommend the movie LOL.
Yeah, he's a cute little ham.
The obligatory "you all sit on a log and try to look at the camera at the same time" photo. Umm yeah, that's my child scowling at me in the middle LOL.

Also, I was thrilled to get an update from Wall-E’s (litter name Miles) owners this weekend!  He went home with them on Labor Day weekend last year with their other cardi Cosmo.  No photos, but got this nice note:

Just want to let you know he’s (still) doing great, and a very happy pup! He still acts very much like a puppy… I think the boys of this litter may take a while to grow up… LOL. We love him very much and we’re so happy he’s part of our little family. His happiness and zest for life are infectious! For example, his ‘brother’ Cosmo (our other Cardi) is content to hang out in the back seat during a car ride and just relax—oh, not Wall-E. He likes to be up looking out the window, letting the wind run through his (giant) ears, and making all the other drivers smile and laugh at him! It makes me so happy when I see children in the cars next to us point and smile at our little guy… he is such a happy dog, you can’t help but smile when he’s around.

I’m so glad to hear how he’s doing!

Happy kids, happy dogs, happy birthday!

Little Jack turned 3 on Friday!  I can hardly believe my little boy is getting so big.  We had a small party for him yesterday and despite some disagreements with him about WHEN we would open presents, I think he had a pretty good time.  :)  I KNOW he has enjoyed his gifts, because he and Charlie have been Very Busy playing with them all day yesterday and today LOL.

This morning I was making a grocery list and Nash brought me a really beat up, sad looking toy to play with.  I looked around and realized that just about all of the dog toys were chewed up, ragged, or otherwise rather yucky LOL.  So I went on a bit of a shopping spree at Petsmart today and brought home new bones for everyone and several brand new toys.  I think Nash is in heaven!  On a somewhat related note, I DID put together my fabulous new whelping box, and took pictures….but unfortunately, they are stuck on my camera.  *cry*  My DSLR’s USB connection has been broken for some time, meaning that I have to take the flash card out and use a reader to get photos off the camera.  No big deal, but my card reader has bitten the dust and the new one I bought to replace it doesn’t seem to be working.  Grrrr.  So until I get these technical difficulties worked out, there shall be no whelping box photos.  😛

Big boy 3 year old!