Saturday, December 30, 2006
Friday, December 29, 2006
The puppies are all fine and being adored by their mothers. It is almost time for the Gabby babies to go outside for a walk. The weather has been glorious.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The puppies keep us busy as they need constant changing and feeding. Gabby's babies are gobbling up the food and Clara's are getting on in size as well. I will have some new photos to post very soon.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
The day after Christmas always seems a little lack luster. Today was no exception for me. I felt as if I needed some time to just think and contemplate gratitude. When things get that way, I head to one of my favorite places: Station 12 at Sullivan's Island. I just walked the beach, sat on the old rusty swing set, visited the very special hammock, and the table rock where I can watch the cargo ships go past. I like to sit with my binoculars and watch the ship traffic into Port Charleston. It's a nice spot, although a bit cold and very windy today. It's nice to spend an hour or two writing in my journal, watching the birds and waves and generally chilling out.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
One of the rowing crew called today to see if I wanted to do a Christmas eve row since her dad was in town and wanted to go out. He is from Wisconsin and the weather here was like summer to him. So we had four for a crew on the gig and took it out on a slick calm afternoon for a row up the Ashley. There were quite a few people on the water, and everyone shouted Row Ho Ho to us since they know the pilot gig from the Christmas Parade of Boats. It was a beautiful afternoon, no wind at all, and a good ebbing tide going with us on our way back to the slip. We then walked around City Marina to look at the many yachts tied up. I've decided that one of my favorites is the Hinckley Picnic yacht which is reasonable at around 30 feet. It has beautiful lines. There were a lot of fiberglas clorox bottles which are the really ugly big yachts with the snubbed stern. No clean lines on those!
The puppies are now eating solid food and enjoying bouncing around the box with their toys. Gabby's babies are now 4 weeks old. Clara's babies are doing well and still eating like little pigs. I must say that this has been a bit overwhelming to have 2 litters so close togetherl. We are definitely done with puppies for a while!
Merry Christmas to all and wishing you a wonderful day of happiness and peace tomorrow.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
The doggy friends also had to have some gifts so I stopped by Doolittle's and bought some doggy cookies for Berta's doggy kids and for Robin's two dogs.
I'm looking forward to a relatively quiet Sunday.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The puppies are doing well and Clara is being very careful with them. I'm going to actually try to sleep in my bed tomorrow night. She seems to be careful about lying down away from the babies and not sitting on them which is always a worry until they become big enough (1 week) for that not to happen.
The wind picked up today so the rowing was hard tonight. There were only four of us which made the going even harder since we were fighting the wind and tide. It felt refreshing to pull on the oars though. A good feeling of being tired at the end of the day.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Last night I noticed that one of the little girls was congested. She seemed to have trouble breathing and was gasping some. That is never a good sign. I kept her warm and tried to give her a little Dextrose. I was up nearly all night with her. She was very weak and didn't want to nurse. She was the smallest at birth and at the time seemed a bit frail. I took her to the vet this morning and they put her on oxygen and gave her some lasix. Unfortunately, I got the call this afternoon that she had died. It is never easy with whelping. I am sad for the lost little one. The other babies seem to be doing very well and are having no difficulty. I just have to watch that Clara doesn't sit or lean on one. New mothers can be very clumsy and often don't pay attention to how they lie down. I hope to get some sleep tonight, although sleeping in the whelping room is very noisy.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Gabby's babies are now eating their gruel. They are eating, stepping in it and generally making a mess. Happily though, Gabby comes in and cleans it up, vacuuming the pad. That will only continue for a few days longer as once the babies are on solid food, the dam will tend to wean herself away from them.
I went back to work today but Charlie was at home with the babies. This afternoon I gave a talk to about 50 middle school students and had fun. It was nice to get out of the whelping room and do something that required thinking about work. Tomorrow I'll be at home for the day.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Here are some photos of the Gabby and Barrett babies at 3 weeks. They are up and about, doing some playing and generally being cute Labrador babies. We are going to start their gruel this evening which means that things will begin to get a bit more messy in the whelping box. Because Clara is due any day, we will be moving these babies to the garage near Tilly and Anna where they will have a larger play area and can be on shavings in another week. Very soon they will be up and about and ready to go outside for their first walk.
Tonight I'm going to go to the symphony to listen to the Christmas special. It should be nice. I have tried to concentrate on the happiness and joy of Christmas today. I haven't heard any news about my cousin but perhaps that is a good sign that things went okay with his surgery.
Friday, December 15, 2006
He is now having a very tough time with this terrible brain tumor. I haven't seen him since the summer but get reports from his wife Nat who gets a nomination for sainthood as she is carrying the whole burden of caring for him. I am planning to go to Virginia in January and am trying to be optimistic in spite of the dismal prognosis for this worst of all brain tumors. Rick is a very smart person who enjoyed life. It is hard for me to imagine him not being the vital person that I have known. My thoughts are with him as he undergoes the surgery today and the recovery in the days to come.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The puppies are getting big and are up and walking about. We will have them started on their gruel this weekend. They are very cute and I will have photos of them up on the web and here tomorrow.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I heard from Anthony in New York that Surry's Division Bell had her puppies yesterday. Unfortunately, she had to have a C-section but Belle and the puppies are doing well. Anthony is pleased that all turned out okay. He had been up for 2 days watching her as she dug and panted. This was her first litter which is always nerve wracking.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I was out shopping this afternoon and got caught in the Mt. Pleasant Christmas parade. So, I parked the car and walked to see the fireworks and watch a few floats go by. The fireworks were great and actually quite spectacular. Near the front of the procession were the Budweiser Clydesdales in full hitch. They were just spectacular! The floats were fun and there were so many happy children watching the parade. I'm sure that most won't be able to sleep for thinking about Christmas. I'm actually starting to get excited as well.
Friday, December 08, 2006
This is also the time of year when requests come in for Christmas puppies. We never sell a puppy at Christmas, simply because there is too much activity and the concept of having a puppy as a "gift" isn't a good one. Puppies become dogs and are a lifetime committment, not a throwaway windup toy. There are many articles about why getting a puppy at Christmas is a bad idea. Here is a link to one: http://www.petrescue.com/library/no-pups.htm
The best thing to do is to give books about Labradors and puppy raising, study them and get the puppy after the holidays are over!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
We rowed last night with all the Christmas lights on the pilot gig. The oars were wrapped in red and green lights and we towed a dinghy with a Christmas tree in it. Lots of people along the Charleston Battery were yelling out that it was a beautiful sight to see. We all yelled back "Merry Christmas".
After rowing, I went to Marion Square to see lights there and the Clydesdales. The lit trees and other beautiful things at Marion Square were wonderful to see. The Clydesdales were in their stalls munching on hay. They will be in the Mt. Pleasant Christmas parade which should be fun to watch, even though the weather is supposed to be cold.
The puppies are warm and snug in their whelping box. I keep the temperature about 72 degrees in there. They are toddling about now and able to crawl around the box. Soon their eyes and ears will open up.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Here are the pictures of two of the babies taken yesterday. They are two weeks old today. They are fat and have great pigment. They scoot around the box and are chowing down like crazy. I enjoy watching them as they sleep. They are adorable and Gabby really dotes on them. She continues to keep everything spotless. I enjoy this phase when they are healthy and big enough to move about, yet still being taken care of by the mother. It is a pleasure to experience that.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
I enjoyed a Christmas party last evening hosted by a group of friends. The candlelight tributes that were made were very touching. I'm beginning to feel a bit in the Christmas spirit, even though I haven't taken down my Thanksgiving decorations yet!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Today was really full. First, there was the dog show. Amelia and Izzy showed well, both getting around the ring without tripping me! They were happy in the ring and Amelia didn't even want to leave the ring. We won our classes which was nice.
After the show, I headed to downtown Savannah, got some lunch and then walked around to look at all the street vendors who were out on River Street. This was the big Savannah Christmas Parade day so there was a lot going on. I got some Christmas presents and had fun seeing the street mimes and musicians. After all of that, I headed back to Tybee to the kayak place and visit the lighthouse. I found out that there would be an open house put on by the Tybee Historical Society starting at 6 PM.
So in the meantime, I took the dogs to the Tybee dog park and played with them. They had a blast playing with a boxer and a Labradoodle. It was havoc!
Then, I went back to the light house, listened to Christmas carols, had some hot chocolate, went up all the 178 steps, took a lot of photos of the beautiful first order Fresnel lens, and then went back down to visit with Santa. I also toured the beautiful lighthouse keeper's quarters that was made great by a member of the historical society who explained a lot about what life was like and how the renovation of the quarters was done. I also went on the horse drawn carriage ride which was really fun and gave gorgeous views of the lighthouse and the quaint homes in the area. It was well worth the trip just to have this tour!
After a full day, it was nice to relax and read some before getting some much needed rest.
Friday, December 01, 2006
I arrived at Tybee and got my room at the Outdoor Inn. It is a neat place located right next to Sea Kayak Georgia. The Inn is basically a big house with lots of individual rooms and a common eating area where there are many charts displayed on the walls. The dogs seem to be enjoying the walk around the property. There is a huge porch off the back of the house that overlooks the marsh and a small creek.
I'm going to eat at a local seafood place tonight. Then, maybe check the Weather Channel to see what the AM brings in terms of the dog show. Hopefully, no rain!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The puppies are doing great. I plan to get more photos up soon. Thankfully, Gabby is a great mother and takes good care of them.
Our row last evening was perfect! There were 8 people as crew and we were power rowing up the Ashley River and back. It was a beautiful night and the water was calm. I just sent out a notice for a New Year's Eve row to Shem Creek that should be fun.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The babies are doing well and are scooting around the box. Gabby is a very careful mother and takes excellent care of the babies. I am glad that the whelping is over and that the babies are doing so well. I like for them to be around a week old and from that age until 3 weeks all is so easy because the mother takes care of everything!
Life is good....
Monday, November 27, 2006
A friend stopped by today to visit and it was a nice diversion from reading and sleeping. I look forward to getting back to work!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I really don't know as there have been times that have been enormously happy, times of enornmous sadness, times of frustration, times of peacefulness, but through it all there has been the idea that we have been friends and that we have respect for each other. I also think that because we have worked together (our offices are on the same hall) ever since we were married, it has been important to have activities that we appreciated but didn't necessarily share. I enjoy excercising of all kinds and, of course, showing the dogs and now judging. Charlie enjoys woodworking, fishing (which I also enjoy) and gardening (which I like too). So there are things that we share together and things that we do separately.
Charlie has always been very supportive of the dogs but doesn't like dog shows and would rather be at home than in a social situation. I enjoy meeting people and feel happy being in crowds or alone in the woods. He is quiet and I'm more outgoing. It's yin and yang for the most part.
I'll share with you the prayer that was written on a plain sheet of paper in the anniversary greeting that Charlie gave to me. It is the prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
After a much needed cat nap, I've settled into the whelping room which is where I'll sleep for a week. The babies are doing well and Gabby loves being a mother. I doze off to the buzzing sound of the babies as they nurse. I've had a couple of hours worth of breaks to get some shopping done during the "tax free" day today. The puppies aren't left alone which is good.
I'm sorry about the ones that didn't make it but there isn't a thing that can be done to bring them back. Sometimes things just don't go as one would like. It's a humbling experience and I'm not sure how many more times I want to go through the stress of having babies.
I'm getting a lot of reading done while I watch the babies. The room is warm and comfortable, as much as one can expect. After a few days though, I'm ready to sleep in a normal bed and have a bigger space to be in.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I'll put up photos as soon as things have calmed down. We had a nice Thanksgiving even though we had no idea that the babies would be arriving today. I know that there are many things to be thankful for. Here's hoping that all the babies and Gabby do well.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The photo shown here is the view from my office out to Charleston Harbor. There was sea smoke, lots of white caps, and the wonderful snow. Now, that has changed to a pounding rain. Unfortunately, there will be lots of beach erosion. How would you like to be at a mooring in a nice sailboat, with a warm heater going, riding out the storm?
Last night, we had the first fire of the season. Sitting by a fire, reading the paper, and enjoying a relaxing evening is a rarity anymore. I'm grateful for those small things and the quiet times.
Gabby is huge but still eating. Her temperature is still normal and hasn't begun to drop or fluctuate. Hopefully, she will wait until AFTER Thanksgiving but who knows???
Stay warm and hug your dogs.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I hope that everyone will be safe with the approaching coastal storm. It is supposed to be a rough few days with high winds and major surf advisories. Safe travels to everyone this Thanksgiving!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I've decided that I need to get my puppies out more and get them accustomed to the noises and other dogs that they will encounter at dog shows. It's hard when the only things that they encounter are a bunch of squirrels! Perhaps on the home weekends, I'll take them to the dog park at the Isle of Palms where it is enclosed and they can run and play. The James Island Park is nicer and beautiful but it isn't fenced. Also there are more dogs there and they really need to not feel overwhelmed.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
I heard from Elizabeth Bowron that Gilmour went BOS on one of the days at the Raleigh-Durham LRC specialty. That was a nice surprise!
Gabby is getting bigger and looks as if she swallowed a watermelon. She is due in another couple of weeks. I'm hoping that all will go well.
What a beautiful day today has been in Charleston! Calm water and blue sky. Wish that the rowing crew wanted to get together but everyone seems to be busy tonight. Hopefully, Wednesday's row will be good.
Friday, November 10, 2006
It was beautiful weather yesterday, too nice to be indoors anywhere. I got out at lunch and enjoyed the warm weather and the beach. The dogs are basking in the sun and seem to be enjoying the nice weather as well.
I'll hopefully hear some more information from Elizabeth on the specialty today. Hope that I get in and out of Logan airport without too much hassle.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Stella looks really bored on the grooming table. Everytime that she would be out running around, she would then go back to the van, put her feet up, and look to be picked up and put in the crate. How indelicate and embarrassing to be dressed in men's underwear!
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Last night, I went to a concert by blues artist Taj Mahal at the Charleston Music Hall. A group from North Carolina, the Chocolate Drops, opened and played some wonderful blue grass and ragtime music. This group is very talented and the strong voice of the female singer is beautiful.
The place was filled when the Taj Mahal Trio came on. They put out some wonderful blues and the show was great. This blues legend knows how to turn on the crowd. I was hoping to hear Leavin' Trunk, Statesboro Blues, or Take a Giant Step. Although those weren't played, the band did Corrina which is another favorite. The Fishing Song was great as usual. Unfortunately, there were a lot of college students in various states of an alcohol haze on the main floor. I was happy to be on the balcony where I had a great view of the band and didn't have to look at the back of anyone's head (or butt).
It was an inspiring evening but being up until midnight during the work week isn't something that I want to do regularly!
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tilly is really a one of a kind girl. She was my first Best in Specialty show winner and has been an outstanding producer. She is funny, possessive of her toys, rules the roost, and in general is our "heart" dog. She hasn't slowed down much at all and I look forward to spending several more years with her in our lives. There is that bit of sadness though to see the ones that you hold so dear get old. Anna, Tilly's daughter, is nearly grey. Stella, another Tilly, daughter is getting on to be nearly 7 years old. Hard to believe that these were the babies that we birthed and cared for.
I've found that one of the hardest things about dog ownership is having them age and become infirm. The loss of a beloved animal friend is so difficult that there are times that I think I can't bear to lose another.
Monday, October 30, 2006
I have finally ended my travel odessey, at least for a couple of weeks. I am thankful to be home for a while, have an opportunity to play with the dogs, and not have to sleep in hotels. The dogs were very glad to see me, although they have been spending nights with Charlie, curled up next to him.
This Saturday is our Labrador Club's Fun Fest at James Island County Park. I'm hoping for good weather and a good turn out.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
I got home around 7 PM last night and did have some time with the dogs. They were very glad to see me and enjoyed pouncing around me and looking for cookies. The cool weather felt good but wasn't nearly as cold as NC where the wind was blowing about 30 kts. Not a good day to be on the water!
Tomorrow I head off again as I'm going to Middleburg, VA to judge Labradors there. The Bare Bones Potomac specialty is tomorrow and the Middleburg shows are the days after the specialty. I'm looking forward to going but here that the forecast isn't good with rain expected. I've got my rain gear packed and warm clothes. I'm looking forward to seeing some nice Labradors. The show grounds at Oatlands Plantation are just beautiful. I can remember showing there myself but never thought that I'd be judging at Middleburg! I may not be posting for a few days as much will depend on the amount of time that I have available.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I uploaded some photos of the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show at www.flickr.com. If you search for people and input BlondeonBlonde, you should see all my photos there. I've included a few here.
I'm at a meeting in North Carolina so Charlie is surviving at home with the dogs. He said that they are loving the cold weather and are jumping about and having a wonderful time.
It is very cold and windy at Atlantic Beach, NC. The wind is biting but I'm loving the cold too.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Today I'm heading to NC for a meeting in Atlantic Beach. I've been out with the dogs to spend the morning and play with them. I am pretty sure that Gabby is pregnant so puppies will be due at the last of November. Yikes--more babies!
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Today was a very full day with a field trip beginning at 8 AM. First, we took the Jet Express from downtown Sandusky (no, I didn't get to see Carol Heidl, although I thought about her). That was a cool ride across to Put-in-Bay. We then took the Water Taxi to Gibraltar Island, toured the Stone Lab and the Castle. After going back to Put-in-Bay, we toured the National Wildlife Refuge and ended up at the Inland Seas Maritime Museum which was one of the best maritime museums I've been to. There were so many things on display, including beautiful fresnel lenses, awesome ships tools, engines, clocks, bridge instruments, etc. There was even a knot display which was great because there were six pins that allowed you to tie various knots. Good practice for me! After touring the museum there was a fish fry and an archaeological talk on several ship wrecks on Lake Erie. It was a long but interesting day.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Tomorrow we have a trip to Old Woman Creek and get to see the Reserve and have meetings there. Unfortunately, it is scheduled to rain tomorrow and we will be out on the boat for most of the day.
I've talked to Charlie and he and the dogs are doing fine. The weather here was a chilly 39 F this AM but it has warmed into the upper 50's today.
I hope to get photos from the field trip tomorrow. The Lodge where I'm staying is spacious and has a lot of dead animals on the walls. There are nice fireplaces though but most have dead animals above them. Not my thing but if you don't look up, it's okay. More later.....
Friday, October 13, 2006
We've always maintained that Labradors long for the home life, being with their owners, and lounging about. Yes, they have active minds and need stimulation of all kinds. But they also just enjoy being part of the household.
We have placed a number of our retired dogs over the years. Some were former show dogs and some just didn't work out for showing or breeding. They are the ones that I think are lucky, because they get to go to great homes, have attention lavished on them, and live out their lives in bliss.
I'm happy for Eugene and for all the dogs who have a nice couch.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I'm often asked how well cats get along with our dogs. Because our dogs are raised around cats, they have definitely learned to respect cats. The three cats that we currently have are all rescue cats that have either been found by us or made their way to our place. Abraham came to us in a very beat up condition. He had been in a bad fight with another male cat and was evidently bitten badly on the neck and clawed on the legs and face. Although at first he wouldn't let us touch him, eventually he came to us to get fed and we were able to pet him. He remained a bit of a tom cat even after he was neutered. He once turned around and clawed Charlie's face! Eventually though he calmed down and is now the sweetest cat who will let us do anything to him.
I found Rachael on Maybank Highway when she was just a tiny kitten. I was heading to an appointment and saw this little creature creeping across the highway. It was so tiny that I thought it was a flying squirrel. I stopped my car, got out in the rain, and went to the little creature. I then saw that it was a tiny kitten. Her eyes were infected with pus, her anal area was infested with maggots, and she was near starvation. I dropped her at the vet's office and told her that if she lived, we would adopt her. Well, she lived and is now a hefty tabby who sleeps with us. Rachael is a true gem and has the best disposition.
Rebecca is another adopted kitty who is very skittish. She basically still has a lot of feral instincts and isn't as friendly as the others. She seems fearful but will allow us to pet her. She doesn't like to be picked up. However, I try to hold her as much as possible. She is a calico with an applehead. I love her but know that it will take a very long time for her to become comfortable with touching.
Abraham is the only cat who goes in and out of the house. He often torments the puppies by sitting and watching them play. When a puppy comes over, he will then swat at them if they become too rough. Generally, we have to put Abraham in the house in order to not have him cause too many distractions with the puppies and other dogs. They seem to love him!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
I heard from the Middleburg Kennel Club this evening and will be going there to judge on October 28. I also have been asked to judge the Harrisburg, PA show next August. It seems that things are filling up with a lot more time traveling which isn't something that I really like. However, as long as I don't have to drive to these places, it should be okay. I just want to get in, judge and get back home without a lot of delays.
I've got to write my critiques for the Denver specialty. I made comments on the first and second placements and have to write those up. It's just been a crazy week and things will continue to be that way as I prepare to leave for 2 weeks of meetings. I leave on Sunday for Ohio where the annual meeting of the National Estuarine Research Reserves is being held. On Oct. 22, I head up to North Carolina for a meeting there. I'll do a couple of talks at both meetings so have been getting those together as well. Consequently, there hasn't been much time to play with the dogs. Hopefully, this weekend....
Monday, October 09, 2006
We do not offer a long-term guarantee in our contract, largely because it isn't possible to determine what problems may develop over time. Nor is it possible to determine what is inherited and what may have occurred because of environmental problems. We do guarantee that the parents have clearances for hips, elbows, and eyes. We also have the puppies checked by a vet the week prior to being placed in their new homes. When dealing with living beings, there can be health issues and these are discussed with regard to the Labrador at the time the puppy is picked up. I explain to potential buyers that genetic disorders can not be eliminated from any breeding program.
Just as with people, there are things that can occur but they usually aren't so debilitating that the animal can't live a life as a companion. After all, we are not dealing with machines. We have imported dogs that haven't worked out. It just happens and isn't anyone's fault. There are phenotypic clearances that can be done and the genetic test for PRA but largely it is still a crap shoot as to what recessives may crop up.
PPM's can occur in Labradors although the mode of inheritance is unknown. Every puppy has pupillary membranes and most go away. For some reason, some will persist and can occlude part of the lens. There is a good article on PPM's at http://www.labbies.com/eye.htm
As far as allergies go, I am baffled as none of the other puppies have an allergy. I have two litter sisters who are in the kennel but who are fine. The Lowcountry is tough on Labradors who can develop staph infections from having damp coats from either swimming or the high humidity. Because our dogs are misted daily, it would seem that allergies would develop or at least staph would occur. We haven't had that except when there has been a flea outbreak. Luckily, with Frontline Plus, we are able to keep the dogs free of fleas.
I'm sorry that the puppy owner is unhappy. I certainly want all the dogs that we breed to be healthy. Unfortunately, there are things that are beyond my control.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
The correct answer for the knot posted yesterday came from Trixie and is a bowline. One of my favorite knots is shown at the left. Which one is this?
I practiced on the knots for the contest today and also did some line throwing. There are actually contests for line throwing, mainly noted for the Tugboat Festival in New York. Lines are thrown from the boat to a bollard. The key is to throw the line straight out as if shoving it away from the body, rather than throwing like a lasso.
The dogs were loving the crisp weather this morning. They spent a few hours outside and I actaully had to wear a flannel shirt tonight. It is a welcome change to have the cool weather. The moon is also beautiful tonight. The harvest moon is occurring now. It actually occurs when the moon rises near sunset and sits low on the horizon. This appears to make the moon appear larger than it actually is. That is called moon illusion. At any rate, it is truly beautiful.
Friday, October 06, 2006
I' ve been practicing nautical knots since I bought a book about knot tying a couple of months ago. There is a fellow at work who is a wizard with knots and who judges a lot of the contests. He is a member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. He has gone over quite a few interesting knots with me and showed me several neat tricks. Anyway, there is a contest with the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show and there will be six knots to tie during a timed event. The knots aren't hard but I'm wondering whether I should enter the contest. I'm not much on being center stage so will likely choke under pressure! Anyway, here is one of the knots to tie. Can you guess it?
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Last night's row on the pilot gig was beautiful. The sunset was wonderful and with the nearly full moon rising we rowed back from near the Battery to the City Marina. The pilot gig will be at the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show on October 21 where we will be giving pubic rows. That is also the day of the Open House at the Marine Resources Center. That event is open to the public and free of charge. There will be lots of exhibits that should appeal to both adults and children.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
We are still painting on the new wing and hope that our cabinet and finish work guy will eventually show up. He's had some tragedies to strike his life recently so I'm sure he will be around when he gets his act together. I'm just hoping that it is before Thanksgiving!
The dogs are doing great and are enjoying life as only dogs can. I'm hoping to enter some shows in November as October is completely taken up with meetings, judging and a lot of travel out of state. November through February should be good for shows as there are some that aren't too far away and the dogs will have coat.
Tonight I'm out on the pilot gig to row. I'm really looking forward to the Oct. 21 Georgetown Wooden Boat show as I'll get to go and help with the public rows on the pilot boat that day. I've been working on my knot tying also. Not sure yet if I'll enter the contest but I might give it a try. Well, off to go row for now....
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Our row last night on the Harbor was a bit tough as the seas were choppy and there were only four of us rowing. We rowed for a good 1.5 hour through the chop. I loved it! I really enjoy the differnt styles of rowing. The Dragon boat "chop" on Mondays and the single oar stroke on Wednesday. Then for fun, there is the traditional single rowing shell that I have. It really is good excercise but sometimes tough on the hands. I have more calluses than ever!
The puppies are really coming along and looking wonderful. Amelia and Aggie are carbon copies of their mother. I am excited about showing them this fall and winter. They should be fun, albeit a bit wild!
Hope that everyone has a good weekend and that my plane trips are uneventful!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
I've had good news with OFA on the dogs since Emily, Lily and Barrett have all come back with OFA Good for hips and normal readings for the elbows. Thank goodness! It is always great when those are over with.
Today was spent painting the walls in the addition and varnishing the walls. I was dead tired after working on that since about 10 AM this morning. The walls look great as do the doors. Tomorrow will be more of the same. We are hoping to get the floors done in a couple of weeks. Another busy Saturday!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Today is the anniversary of Hurricane Hugo who roared into the South Carolina coast in 1989. We had just moved into our house in November 1988. We stayed during Hugo and it was a truly nerve wracked night. We had no idea that it would be such a dangerous storm. We knew that we were in for a long night when all the radio and TV stations went out. The rain poured through the ridge vent in the roof. The wind howled and there was all matter of debris hitting the house and roof. It was night so we couldn't see out (luckily). After a very long night, we finally saw the dawn and went outside to see every leaf stripped from the trees and debris everywhere. Luckily none of the trees were down but it was difficult to tell what was what. The smell of the damaged trees was strong. We had no electricity for 23 days which seemed like forever. We had a kindly neighbor who passed around a generator so that we could keep our freezer and regrigerator going. Finally, we were able to purchase a generator. It took us 3 days to get to Maybank Highway because we had to cut our way out. Nothing looked the same. The landscape was a mass of downed trees, limbs, and debris. I'm very thankful that we were spared a lot of damage. We never lost a shingle and no water came near our yard. We were indeed much more fortunate than our neighbors to the north of Charleston. There people lost their lives due to storm surge. Let's hope that we never see another major storm such as Hugo.
Today is also the autumnal equinox. Fall is definitely in the air. While not as celebrated as the vernal equinox, fall is definitely my favorite season. I'm looking forward to the cool mornings and the crisp days.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
So far so good on the other girls--no one appears to be coming in yet.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sometimes personality of the dog just isn't suitable for active families. We had a junior dog that tended to be tentative and a bit shy. He especially didn't like a lot of loud noises. Because of this untypical Labrador temperament, it was a challenge to find the right home for him. He is doing well in a home without children and where his owner spends a lot of time with him. Being a calm dog who is very smart, he is very attached to his owner and is very good as a house companion. It is always a joy when the right dog is placed with the right owner. It is always worth the wait to find that right home.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Spirit on the water
Darkness on the face of the deep
I keep thinking about you baby
I can't hardly sleep
I'm traveling by land
Traveling through the dawn of day
You're always on my mind
I can't stay away
I'd forgotten about you
Then you turned up again
I always knew
We were meant to be more than friends
When you're near
It's just as plain as it can be
I'm wild about you, gal
You ought to be a fool about me
The sources of this hidden pain
You burned your way into my heart
You got the key to my brain
I've been trampling through mud
Praying to the powers above
I'm sweating blood
You got a face that begs for love
Life without you
Doesn't mean a thing to me
If I can't have you
I'll throw my love into the deep blue sea
Sometimes I wonder
Why you can't treat me right
You do good all day
And then you do wrong all night
When you're with me
I'm a thousand times happier than I could ever say
What does it matter
What price I pay
They brag about your sugar
Brag about it all over town
Put some sugar in my bowl
I feel like laying down
I'm as pale as a ghost
Holding a blossom on a stem
You ever seen a ghost? No
But you have heard of them
I see you there
I'm blinded by the colors I see
I take good care
Of what belongs to me
I hear your name
Ringing up and down the line
I'm saying it plain
These ties are strong enough to bind
Now your sweet voice
Calls out from some old familiar shrine
I got no choice
Can't believe these things would ever fade from your mind
I could live forever
With you perfectly
You don't ever
Have to make a fuss over me
From East to West
Ever since the world began
I only mean it for the best
I want to be with you any way I can
I been in a brawl
Now I'm feeling the wall
I'm going away baby
I won't be back 'til fall
High on the hill
You can carry all my thoughts with you
You've numbed my will
This love could tear me in two
I wanna be with you in paradise
And it seems so unfair
I can't go to paradise no more
I killed a man back there
You think I'm over the hill
You think I'm past my prime
Let me see what you got
We can have a whoppin' good time
Friday, September 15, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
The temperature here is a high of 69 F here today so that is quite a change from Charleston. The topic for this workshop is on marine biodiversity. There are a lot of quite well known scientists here so it is a very stimulating conference. One of my programs, the Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center, is actually a part of the Census of Marine Life's Oceanographic Biogeographic Information System. What's alarming is that with the loss of species and the changes in biodiversity can change the important ecosystem services that we all come to rely upon. That is really the focus here and we will be doing work over the next several days to put our collective minds together to address the ecosystem changes that may occur as biodiversity change.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Charlie and I went to Home Depot after that to order the counter top granite for the vaniities and to pickup some more lights for the bathroom and hallway. We are going to paint some tonight in hopes of getting the rooms ready for the electrician on Monday. I have to leave tomorrow for a meeting in DC and will be back Wednesday night. I'm planning to take my laptop. At least my plane doesn't leave until late afternoon.
I guess that it will be a full day tomorrow.
Friday, September 08, 2006
We are getting close to finishing up on the new wing on our house. This weekend will be one filled with painting--finishing up the master bedroom and the library which is pictured here. The tile work is almost complete in the master bath, the vanities are installed, and the electrician is coming to install fixtures on Monday. I am so ready for this to be done. It hasn't really been an inconvenience at all but it will be nice to have the fireplaces active for winter and have the porch to enjoy this fall. We'll be able to sit and watch the dogs play from the porch and the windows of the library. It is going to be spectacular when completed. Just hope that I live long enough to see it through!
Tonight Charlie and I are going to eat some Thai food at one of our favorite restaurants, Little Thai Two. We like to go there, and then go get coffee and browse the CD's at Millenium Music. It hasn't been a bad week for me but with the days getting shorter, it is going to be harder and harder to play with the dogs in the evening.
Last night was a great row in the rain. It was drizzling as we left City Marina with four of us in the gig. We rowed past the Battery to the end of White Point Gardens and then took a break. People were photographing us and a couple of people stopped to say how beautiful the boat was. We then rowed back in a pretty steady downpour. I love being on the water with my team mates straining on the oars. Our coxswain, George, really knows how to get us right to the slip. It is a lot of fun and I'm excited about having the boat in the Christmas parade when the Battery will be lined with people. Let's just hope that it won't be raining in December! You can read about the history of pilot gigs here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_pilot_gig
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I was sitting in the Atlanta airport after a flight cancellation and waiting to get home when I heard that the Croc dude Steve Irwin had been killed after a stingray barb to the heart. I felt tears come to my eyes as he was such a passionate lover of animals and really enthralled so many people. Having such a zest for life is a remarkable thing.
My thoughts then went to the fact that there are lots of dangerous things in this world and the lowly stingray is not high on the priority list. However, having seen the affects of a couple of ray/human interactions, I can say that it isn't a pretty sight. My husband was pierced through his calf by a ray barb which he indicated was painful beyond belief. Then, one of my biologists was pierced through the top of her foot and had to undergo skin grafting because of severe necrosis to the skin. She was out of work for about 4 months. In spite of all this, rays are pretty docile and generally hang out on the bottom eating crabs, clams and other shellfish. They scoot along the bottom and then settle down partially covered by sediment. That's why it's a good idea to be careful when walking in shallow water of the ocean. Slamming a foot into a ray barb would be a very painful thing. I'm just hoping that the rays don't get a lot of bad hype as being deadly. This was a freak accident, no different than having any sharp object pierce the heart. I had hoped for many more years of the Croc guy. Sadly, that won't be happening.
Monday, September 04, 2006
I appreciated the great hospitality of the club and especially Wendy Gai and her husband. I had the pleasure of attending a dinner at their house. Rich Gai restores classic cars and took me for a drive in a 67 Mustang with a 5 liter engine. It was really neat!
The worst part of the trip was airline travel. My flight was delayed leaving Charleston and was cancelled on the return leg from Atlanta to Charleston. I had taken the "red eye" from Sacramento to Atlanta so was beat when I arrived at 6:30 AM. I then found out that my Charleston flight wouldn't leave until 10:40. In the meantime, I had no mouth wash or hand gel or any liquid of any kind due to the TSA and Homeland Security "we ain't gellin' " rule.
Thankfully, I arrived home around 12 noon and am just now going to get a good night's sleep. No airports, no screaming babies, no angry tourists, no canceled flights.....
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I probably won't be back on line for a couple of days. I have 90 Labradors to judge which is a good entry. I will take a red eye flight to come back to Charleston by 9:30 AM on Monday. I want to have at least a few days of the weekend free.
Hope that every one has a nice Labor Day holiday.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Aggie and Amelia are now separated in the kennel. Aggie looked as if she had swallowed a watermelon on Sunday, so it appears that she was gobbling poor Amelia's food. Aggie is now on a bit of diet and Amelia is getting her normal portion. Both are kenneled next to each other so there isn't a huge amount of separation anxiety. They still play together in the puppy pen. Aggie is definitely the ring leader and more rambunctious of the two. She was one of the two puppies bitten by a copperhead in the spring. She is irrepressible with nothing slowing her down. Must be that Stella gene!
Here's hoping that tropical storm Ernesto decides to stay away. A little rain is okay but let's keep the wind to a minimum. I have to fly out to judge in California and hope that there are no delays on Friday. Here's hoping that everyone and their dogs will be out of harm's way.
Monday, August 28, 2006
With Ernesto churning in the Caribbean, my mind turns back to 1989 when Hurricane Hugo came to town. What an evening that was, and what a mess the days after were!
We didn't have but a few dogs then so all were brought inside the house, put in crates and covered by a blanket. Charlie and I stayed in a closet under the stairs. After we lost all radio and TV and rain began pouring in from the ridge vent, we decided that we were in for a bad event. The wind roared but we stayed dry and safe. Our house had just been built so we were a bit anxious about how it would weather the storm. We didn't lose a shingle! We lost a lot of branches and limbs to trees but all the big trees stood strong. It took us 3 days to cut our way out to Maybank Highway. We had no electricity for 23 days.
So when hurricane season comes around, we think about having many more dogs and the 3 cats. We have a generator that is powerful enough to kick off our well pump and provide some electricity to the house. We have our camping supplies in order. It's best to be prepared and just hope that we escape the wrath of Mother Nature for another year.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The El Bohio restaurant staff were wonderful as usual in hosting the meeting. Many thanks to Alex, owner of the Pour House and El Bohio, for taking care of all of us so well.
If you haven't joined a local Labrador club, it is a great opportunity for you to learn what's going on with your breed and to have fun with other Labrador owners. AKC has a list of clubs and there might be one close by.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Our Coastal South Carolina LRC membership meeting will be held on Saturday from 3-6 at El Bohio Restaurant on Maybank Highway. Dr. William Roumillat will be speaking on canine first aid. It should be a good discussion and the food is great. Hope that those of you who are within driving distance will turn out for this interesting talk.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I received an email from one of our puppy owners indicating that she would like to have the dew claws removed on her girl who is an older puppy. We don't remove dew claws on our puppies for a couple of reasons. First, as you can see in the photo, it requires actually snipping off the joint of a baby puppy. Ideally, this would be done at around 2 days of age. We don't like the idea of cutting off the thumb of a baby, having empathy when it comes to our own thumb. Taking off a dew claw is the equivalent of someone severing your thumb at the knuckle joint. Not a very pleasant experience for a baby puppy. The second reason that we don't remove dew claws is that the dog actually uses the claw like a thumb. Watch your dog sometimes with a chew toy and you'll see how the dew claws are used to hold the toy. We have heard the stories about claws being ripped off in the field. I haven't seen one but in terms of risk, I'm willing to take that chance rather than cut pieces off my puppies.
Monday, August 21, 2006
At the Muncie, Ind. show this past weekend, Susan Otto and I both discussed the fact that it is nice to have other things in our lives besides the dog activities. I think that the exercise activities that I do are a great complement to my dog activity. Although I love specialty shows, I've gotten increasingly tired of showing at all breed shows. The atmosphere isn't as much fun as the specialty shows and the loud noisy conditions with all the other breeds, lugging crates in and out, and all the travel has just gotten tiresome. I would rather send the dogs with good handlers than to spend my weekends driving to dog shows. Judging is one thing but I think that just going to a few all breed shows that are close by in order to socialize puppies makes more sense than traveling great distances.
Maybe it's just my mindset today--just like the lyrics to that rock classic, "Monday, Monday, can't trust that day..."
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Judging was a neat experience. I was totally focused on the dogs which is what judging should be about. It's a way to put aside all other thoughts and just concentrate on the job at hand.
I received some very sad news prior to and during my trip to judge in Indiana. Surry's Sea Smoke had developed a large tumor in her mouth and palate that was causing problems with eating. Also, her breathing had become increasingly laborious. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma about a year ago. The cancer was located in her mouth. However, she had been doing very well until about a couple of weeks ago when she appeared to become uncomfortable.
Berta took her to Drs. Shong and Rockwell who determined that indeed she was failing. So Berta made the very tough decision to have Sea Smoke euthanized on August 18. She went peacefully feeling gentle loving hands on her.
Sea Smoke was born into my hands and was a cutie right from the start. It was Daisy's first litter (sire was Ch. Ashlyn's Don Giovanni) and we were thrilled that there was a lovely black female in the litter. After retirement from showing and motherhood, Sea Smoke went to live with a couple who professed love for her but later at age 10 she became too much trouble so was returned to us. We gladly took her back, although we never understood the psychology of her former owners. At any rate, Berta met her and fell in love. So Sea Smoke moved down the road about 3/4 of a mile to live with my good friend. She had the life of a queen and other Labrador sisters to play with. The last 18 months were probably the most wonderful for Sea Smoke as she was the center of attention and had lots of treats and could sleep on Berta's bed. Bonding was rapid and everlasting for both human and dog.
I say it every time--it isn't fair that our dogs don't live longer. I envision Sea Smoke romping with her mother, Clondike, Haley and all the others who have crossed the bridge.