September 19, 2005

Ryder goes Winners Dog at the Prescott Arizona Kennel Club

Imagine, if you can, the high you get, going into the show ring knowing that you're taking your darling, favorite, spoiled dog who is the BEST DOG IN THE WORLD to show the judge what a great dog he is. Now, imagine coming out with the third place ribbon, out of three dogs...time after time after time...for the first 2 years of his life.

Now, fast forward past all of those memories; you've learned that you go into the ring with different learn to handle, to work on a specific skill or training item....and it starts to pay off.

A few weekends ago, when Ryder went Winners Dog at the South Bay Kennel Club show, I cried. Not hard, not loud...not even spectacularly enough to get a red nose (we had photos later, a woman's got to have priorities), but I cried.

Sunday, at the Prescott Valley Kennel Club in beautiful Chino Valley, Arizona, Ryder went Winners Dog for his second point (only 13 to go!!!). I didn't cry this time, but thanked him for not losing faith in me when I was ready to give up on him.

My baby boy has grown into a wonderful dog. He's not perfect, he's got his faults...but he loves me unconditionally. He's no Lassie, to go get help when Mommy wakes up at 2am whimpering with a migraine, but he will curl up beside me to try and comfort me. And, whether or not we win that elusive CH in front of his name, he will always be my first place Winner. If he could read, I'd say here "Love ya, Ry" but he can't. But he knows it...oh boy does he know it.

September 02, 2005

Stevee's 12/13/04 letter home

Hi Momma! I was just telling Aunt Laura that I needed to get to the computer to write to you! I've been verrrrry verrrrry good. Aunt Laura says if I'm good, Santa Paws brings treats for Christmas. I don't know what Christmas is, but I know what treats are! So I'm being verrrry verrrry good. I come inside the house by myself now, especially at dinner time. When Aunt Laura says to come in for dinner, if I don't, she just closes the door! She doesn't come out and play chase anymore....that's no fun. So when she opens the door to see if I'm ready to come inside, I come right in and wait for her to put me in a crate for dinner.

I'm being good, but my brother is kinda wound up right now. Frosty is in season too so he's a basket case. He's spending today inside the house in a crate because Grandma Sharon said he wouldn't shut up and was making everyone crazy. Tomorrow he's going to go to work with Aunt Laura...he'll like that, he's kinda spoiled.

Aunt Laura says she's counting the days until I'm out of season (so am I, it's fun to play in the yard with everyone) and then I'm going to be a social butterfly. I'm not sure about that being fun....but I'll give it a try.

I jumped up on Aunt Laura for belly scratches and made her so very happy...and she gives good belly scratches!

Rikki's gonna be a Momma! That's very exciting. And Mysti's gonna have fun at Grandma Sheila's and be a Momma too? That Sarra is noisy, it's about time you and Daddy made her quiet. I'm being very good and Aunt Laura hasn't even once had to tell me to be quiet, unlike Ryder.

Kisses to you and Daddy. I'm being a good girl so you and Daddy can be very proud of me.

Love, Stevee

Stevee's Adventures at Kaos - her 1/3/05 letter home

January 3, 2005

Hey Mom! Aunt Laura told me you hurt your arm, I hope it starts feeling better soon.

I'm having a great time here. I bark loudly every time that man (Uncle Sean) comes in the house, but I've decided that I'm not afraid of him and I don't run outside anymore. My favorite spot is on Grandma Sharon's lap, Aunt Laura said she sent you a picture of me on Grandma's lap.

If it's not raining on Wednesday, I'm going to "handling class" with Grandma and Aunt Laura and Satinka. Mostly, they say, I get to sit with Grandma and meet strangers. I'm not too sure about that idea, but maybe there will be some good treats for me. I might manage it for good treats; maybe Grandma will let me sit in her lap.

Frosty, Ice, Max and the puppies went sledding last weekend. They left me home with Ryder, Aleska, Lacy & Cheyenne...and of course the old man, Bo. Aunt Laura said maybe next time I'd get to go, that might be fun. Frosty said the snow is cold on her butt...I wonder if I can get Aunt Laura to bring Grandma along for me to sit on. I'll bet I can.

It's raining here; we've been practicing making mud pies all day long! I can't wait until Grandma, Aunt Laura and Uncle Sean get home to see us! It's way more fun to play in the mud than to stay in the kennels and dog houses, don't you think?

Stevee's First Letter Home

When Stevee came to visit we were all worried. She was painfully shy and talking Jeni & Tim into letting us take a stab at bringing her out of her shell was a LOOONNNG process. Stevee, however, in the spirit of Kaos, quickly learned how to send little updates home to let Mom and Dad know how she was doing.

November 22, 2004

Hey Mom and Dad, this is a weird place! I rode for a LONG time in the van with a dog named Frosty in the next crate (she's nice, but really spoiled) and we stopped a few times to go potty. Then I went to this house where there are LOTS of dogs. I had dinner inside with Uncle Sean, he held my bowl and I had to be close to him to eat. It was kinda weird, but he just talked to me while I ate and scratched my belly. Then I got to go outside and play.

Did you know my brother, Ryder is here? We played for a little while and he introduced me to all the other dogs. I was so happy to see Ryder.

I slept outside for a little while, Aunt Laura put a bed out for me, but Bo had a bigger bed and I wanted that one, so I was telling him so about midnight and Uncle Sean came outside and brought me in to sleep in a crate for the rest of the night. Bo didn't want me to have his big bed, that's kinda rude since I'm the new girl.

Aunt Laura came outside with a handful of cookies and everyone crowded around her, except me....but she called my name and I went over to her and I got cookies too!

This might not be so bad, but I miss you and Dad. But I'm being good and having lots of fun.


Satinka's First Letter Home

Last fall, September 2004, Satinka came to be one of the Kaos girls. In cleaning out old files on my computer, I see that she sent a note home soon after her arrival.

Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Bruce,

I have had the MOST exciting few days since you let that lady be my new Momma and take me home with her. I rode in her car to a place where BIG birds flew. It was a little scary, but Momma talked to me and told me I was a big girl and kept me close and I did good. Then we sat for a while, something about a ticket mix up, and then Momma took me to a sleeping place that smelled GOOD. She tried to make me sleep in the crate but I fussed enough that she finally let me up on the bed with her, where I slept like a good girl. Then we got up REALLY early and went back to the place where the big birds where. This time we got to RIDE in a bird! It was a little scary, because I didn't get to sit by Momma, but she had lots of fun toys for me in my crate, and everyone that I saw was really nice and talked to me, so I wasn't very scared and I slept a lot.

Finally Momma found me again (I was afraid the bird had eaten her, it was BIG) and she had a nice man with her. He helped me out of my crate and told me how beautiful I am. (Silly man, I KNOW that). They found me some grass to potty (I had to use the potty pad in my crate, but then I buried it under my blanket so I didn't get wet from it) and then I got to ride in their van to a house with LOTS of new dogs to play with! First Katie came to play with me. She's black, like me, so I didn't feel lonely and she's SMALLER than me! She's a LOT of fun to play with. She's kinda bossy, but we have fun. Then I got to meet a bunch of other girls and they're all really nice.

Frosty is a little bigger than me, but she plays like a puppy, so we're going to have fun together. I do what Aunt Lacy, Aunt Cheyenne and Aunt Aleska tell me to do, because they're bigger than me and Frosty and Katie said they think they're the bosses of us. Oh well.

And then I got to meet the boys! Uncle Max and Uncle Ice are a lot of fun and play with me some of the time. But my new big brother, Ryder, is WAY COOL. He runs around like he's a puppy and plays with Katie, Frosty and I. Sometimes he even gets Aunt Aleska to play too...and Aunts Lacy and Aunt Cheyenne.

There's an old man here named Bo. He's kinda grumpy, but he snaps at me and when I kiss his face he lets me lay next to him. I like that because sometimes every one plays really hard and I just want to lay down somewhere safe and watch...and they all leave Bo alone. I think he's getting used to me. I hope so.

I sleep in my crate like a big girl, but the first night I fussed and almost got Grandma Sharon to come get me out. She said that Momma would be upset if she spoiled my crate training the first we're waiting. And I learned how to use the doggie's kinda noisy and I have to push at it with my head, but it lets me go in and out whenever I want! And Momma and Daddy and Grandma are SOOOO happy when I go outside to potty that I've gone potty outside every time! Sometimes Momma has to remind me, because we're having so much fun playing that I start to forget to go outside...but when she reminds me, I run for the door.

Momma says we're taking a road trip this weekend and I have to have a bath on Friday because we're going to a match. I'll be a good girl for my bath...and I'll tell you all about the match when I get home from it. I can't wait for the car ride, because Momma and Grandma always have such yummy things to eat and fun things to play with in the car. Momma says I'm gonna kick some California butt.

I miss you and Abey and the boys and Mom and Dad, but it's really fun here! And there's a swimming pool that is in the backyard just for us! It's kinda small, only a couple of us fit in it at time, but it's great fun to run through and then go make mud pies with Katie. Momma just shakes her head at us. Katie sleeps up with Grandma Sharon on her bed, so she has to get a bath EVERY night to get the mud off of her...YUCK! Maybe Grandma will let Katie sleep with me and we can play all night. I'll have to ask her.

Momma says she'll send pictures of me soon with my new brother and sisters and Aunts and Uncles.

Miss you,
Satinka, your California Girl

August 25, 2005

While I Was Sleeping

Ok, Sandra Bullock I'm not.

First, Last night I got home from handing class, fed the dogs and went to bed, taking Tinks, Ry & Max up to my room. Cheyenne, Aleska, Katie and Lacy went in Mom's room, Dakar in the puppy pen, Ice and Frosty in crates.

This morning, Satinka is gone. No big deal, Sean had a WAY early wakeup time, flying up to SFO out of LAX, so he must have let her out, pottied her and then crated her. Except.....

There are two towels on the living room floor - that's a Satinka trademark. There's a chewed up wooden spoon. The pan on the stove from my stirfry last night is licked clean, but still on the stove...that's a Ryder trademark. There's a magazine on the floor, but it's not shredded. Lacy would have shredded it. And there's a blue ball point pen in I figure find the dog with blue ink all over him/her and I've found the culprit...right? No one has so much as a speck of blue ink on their feet, faces or tongues.

I can't get ahold of Sean, he's in a meeting up there, maybe he'll call at lunch, to find out what happened while I was sleeping.

So I come to work. I walk in and half the lights are out downstairs. No problem...except that the half that's out includes the elevator power. There was a transformer fire and half the building's power is I hike up the stairs in totally inappropriate for stair climbing shoes (thank GOD I wasn't one of the people stuck in the elevator, power won't be back on until after 12) and get into the
office to find that we have no phones or, even worse, INTERNET/NETWORK power. Apparently our suite is powered from both sides of the building!!! Well, the phone room anyway. So I run an extension cord to power up the router and phone I have phones and internet.

It's been an ODD, ODD morning.

August 18, 2005

Eight is Enough...Memories

Wow, I wrote this over 2 years ago...and the memories it brings back.

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2003 10:45:19 -0700

Some of you may remember that last July I BEGGED for a foster home for this amazing Siberian I'd found in the LA pound...and Lori came through with a foster home for him (and I think moved so I couldn't find her so she could keep him...heaven knows even WITH directions I've never been able to drive straight to her place!) and he stayed with Aunt Lori for a few months...long enough to learn his new name, learn to play with the other Sibes and be crate trained...what a bargain! When Max came home, Ice (who had sneaked into my heart on a weekend visit to Max) came home with him. Ice was a hyperactive, loving boy who'd been placed in a pet home but just didn't quite work out there, so he was hanging out back at Lori's waiting for the
perfect home to come along....lucky for ME...because Ice is my darling boy. I can't imagine waking up in the morning without him...he's so much more effective than ANY alarm clock! :-)

In the meantime, 12 Siberians in Northern California needed to be rehomed and again I begged for a foster home for Lacy and my friend (who has boxers) came through for me. Cheyenne had been placed in a foster home that could have been a long term home. Over the intervening months, Cheyenne's foster mom allowed as how Cheyenne would probably be happier with her sister and Lacy and Cheyenne became members of the family. Now, that same day I read about Lacy & Cheyene, Mom saw Sasha's picture online, a pathetic "take me home and love me" look that is, as we all know, irresistible. Ok, that's five...that's plenty. Right? Oh, no...the Siberian Fates have more in store for us! On a trip to Illinois for a rubberstamp convention, a woman wearing a Siberian shirt was at a booth across from us and our 'friend' at that
booth sent her over to talk to Mom (knowing, of course, that I was going to be a harder sell). So, after we tear down the booth, we find ourselves driving out PAST nowhere to her kennels. Tasha was a sweet darling girl, with a leg (and life) saved by Karen's intervention and surgery...but no one wanted the dog with the bum leg....well, except us. Ok, SIX is ENOUGH!!! No more...that's it!

Well, then some friends had some financial setbacks, had to sell their house and needed to find long-term, but temporary homes for their pets. Well, how could I say no to them? Bengal is a shepherd/boxer or great dane type mutt...sweet as can be and HYPER! He'll be with us as long as he needs a home. So, that's enough...that's SEVEN.

Then the rescue transports started. Jenna, a little gal who needed a home, was here for a couple hours after a transport. No CHANCE that she was staying. None. rescue complete and Jenna, now Topanga, has been adopted and is in her new home. Then comes Wolf, now Duke. Now, aside from peeing on my seat the minute I put him in the car, he had potential...he seemed a quite, reserved boy who wasn't overly affectionate, but sweet. I didn't even let him come home...:-) I met his foster people and turned him over (I know my limits). Duke is now in a great home where he's got a family all to himself. Then came the 10-yr old Sibe turned in by owner at the Lancaster shelter. Now, Lancaster isn't quite the trek for me that it
is for Scott and Robbi (I never have those kinds of adventures-thank GOD!) but it's still an hour away. Nicole, from Mal rescue, pulled Athena (now Jojo) and we brought her home. 82lbs of the sweetest dog ever...AND we had a potential forever home for her...and a long-term foster if that didn't work. Well, family health problems crossed the potential forever home off the list, BUT her foster home? They've fallen in love with her and they're keeping her. Phew...Jojo was a sweetheart but EIGHT was TOO many! Do you hear me? Too many!!!

I confidently say "I'm ONLY going to get adult dogs through rescue, their temperaments are (sorta) known and they have learned (hopefully) some manners." (stop laughing)

Then Laura gets a wild hair...sometime next year, she tells Lori, she's thinking she might like to start showing. (Notice the NEXT in there?) Well, a few weeks later, meeting Lori in a parking lot to transfer some dog food (ok, it was some goat) that Lori had picked up for her, Lori mentions that one of DJ & Gypsy's littermates was coming to live with her, a little show prospect....3 months old...well, hook, line AND sinker there goes Laura. Ryder came home a couple of weeks ago.... a little (ok, 30 lbs now) energetic bundle of puppy breath and fuzz. He's amazing, beautiful, smart (house trained in about 3 days!), crate and leash trained (thank you Aunt Lori!) sweet, loving, energetic, rambunctious, curious and well, a PUPPY. But he's OUR puppy (well, ok, ours and Aunt Lori's and Grandma Jeni's...he's co-owned).

Now I'm convinced, eight is enough. Ice is in obedience class (he's amusing, if not reliably obedient) and Ryder starts handling classes and hits the 6 month old mark on May 8, so he'll start in the ring on the 10th of May. My life, my house AND my bed are filled to the brim. Not everyone gets along perfectly ALL the time, but they do for the most part.

Max is top dog, Gandhi and settler of minor squabbles. He's the most amazing boy, Uncle to the puppies and trainer of pack behavior. He supervises whoever is playing with Ryder and lets them know when to back off some. Without him, I don't know that ANY of this would have worked as well (well, him AND mom being home full time for the first 6 months of this melding of mutts).

Tasha is getting better about resource guarding, although if Cheyenne or Lacy look at her cross-eyed, she gets the hairy eyeball out and invites 'em to rumble. She's Mom's sweetheart though...but if she thinks I'm good for some earscratches or a treat, she'll come see me too.

Lacy is the master of manipulation....somehow pushing Tasha JUST far enough to earn Tasha a correction without ever appearing to be anything but the victim of big, mean Tasha (who's one of the sweetest dogs on the planet). But she's also Mom's Princess and she knows it!

Cheyenne is our sweet, bouncy, airheaded blonde, except when the puppies get too close when they're playing...she doesn't care to have her space disturbed.

Sasha still likes to stay outside, despite the fact she's got a warm bed all ready for her inside. She's not the most social girl, but she seems to be happy so we let her do whatever she wants.

Bengal, after a couple of days of "he's not OUR dog, he won't be here forever" is now one of OUR dogs...even though he won't be here forever. He gets all the love and attention that the permanent residents get and it's going to be a sad day (and, in a way, a happy day!) when he goes back home. Bengal (aka Damn Puppy) is a delight...most of the time. He's a bouncy, loving non-Sibe personality in a house of Sibes. He's learning though...when he finally goes home, a rescue Sibe is going to have to go with him or he'll drive his family NUTS.

Ice, well, he's my darling boy. Totally insecure, each new addition has him regressing to the "love me love me I'm your baby" stage. It's hard to compete against a cute, 5 month old puppy...but Ice KNOWS that Mom always has time and love for him....not to mention a spot on the bed. He's my sweet snuggle boy and I can always count on him to want to hang out with me.

Ryder? Well, aside from being unbearably cute, he's Daddy's boy. I may be the one showing him, but Daddy adores him..and has from the minute Ryder wrapped Daddy around his little Sibe muzzle....or is that wrapped his little Sibe muzzle around Daddy? It's been amazing watching how each of the dogs react to and interact with Ryder. We bought a 6x10 run to keep him separated from the big kids, worrying that they'd play too hard or rough with him (especially Ice who's not the best with small dogs). Well, after the first 3 or 4 days, we haven't had a worry. Uncle Ice lets the puppy crawl all over him. Bengal LOVES having a puppy who can keep up with his
energy. Max would like a vacation from training two puppies. Cheyenne says "leave me alone until you've grown up." Lacy plays with the puppy like we've never seen her play before...a real joy to us since she and Cheyenne are both very shy and undersocialized. Tasha lets the puppy crawl on her and talks to him but lets him keep climbing. Sasha just stays outside :-) or inside if he's out. But he's brought a new level of activity to the house, that's for DARN sure...and, oddly enough, the house is MUCH tidier!

Anyway, for some reason I just felt like telling y'all a little more about our pack :-)

Laura A

August 15, 2005

My Purple Ribbon Boy

Once upon a time....

Ok, skip to the good part. Ryder, my darling baby boy, my first show dog, my 2.5 yr old Momma's Boy, took his first point yesterday, under Judge Clay Coady. Going into the ring with a dog who had both majors (including a great win at a regional specialty) I wasn't expecting much...but there's always this little kernel of we go in and we show and have fun (as we always do). After we won our class, we went back in for Winners and Ry decided it was time for a big stretch...the big dork!

About 8 months ago, in the frustration of not having gotten a single point on him, watching his litter mates point and dogs that I don't think are any better than he is point (and finish) I almost neutered him...but I just didn't get around to it.

Now, at almost 3 years old my baby has grown up, he looks GORGEOUS. Yes, he still has faults, and I'm the first to start picking him apart but Saturday he won his first point! I'm still over the moon delirously happy and he doesn't understand why Mom keeps grabbing him close for a big hug.... we worked hard together to develop as a team and waited and waited...and Saturday it paid off.

I love my baby boy, not one smidge more than I did before he won that purple ribbon...but I'm just so darn proud of him and how far we've come together as a team that I could burst!

August 08, 2005

Hi Mom,

I just thought I'd drop you a quick note to tell you how much FUN this place is where I'm staying. Today I learned a new trick. If I climb up on my crate that Aunt Laura so nicely put beside the wall of my palace, I can climb out and play in the house with Lacy.

Grandma says that Uncle Sean will have to rewire a couple of lamps, but those cords were FUN to chew on. I found some magazines too, Grandma says I have a future as a paper shredder, but I really only chewed on the corners...paper isn't very yummy...even though Lacy says shredding paper is great fun (Lacy made me do it, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) I was very careful not to eat Uncle Sean's TV remote control though...I don't think he'd find that very funny at all.

Grandma's pretty smart for an old lady though, she moved my crate away from the wall of the palace so I can't jump up on it to climb out. Lacy was pretty happy to see me go back in, I think I tired her out. But she showed me how to jump up on the furniture and make myself
comfortable. I think I'll need a sofa in my kennel when I come home by the way, they're FUN to jump on!

I was a good boy too, I didn't poop anywhere the whole morning that Grandma could find. I think she's going to make Aunt Laura check tonight. I wonder if I can convince Aunt Laura to let me play with Lacy every day. Somehow, I doubt it...but I'm cute, it's worth a try.


In case anyone thinks I've lost my mind, Dakar is just visiting Kamp Kaos. He'll be going home to his Mom after a bit; he's just here to visit and learn about life in the big city! ~Laura

August 01, 2005

Fun with x-rays

Since Aleska is going to be 4 in November, Ry's going to be 3 in November and Frosty is now 2.5, I figured it was time to experience the joy that is known as "doing hips." (Siberian Huskies have low incidence of hip displaysia because responsible breeders have their hips evaluated prior to using a dog or bitch for breeding.)

Bright and early (way TOO early after a late night sitting at a friend's house talking dogs) we trundled off to Dr. Butchko's to get in line to get hip xrays done. I've never been to Dr. B's on a Saturday morning. I know, now, that it's like waiting in line for tickets for big concert events - go the night before to get in line, and bring your own chair! :-)

After waiting in line to check in, I got up to the counter and started filling out forms only to realize that I'd left my Palm at home (otherwise known as Laura's external brain). Happily, I had recently made copies of registration certificates and health records and put them in the van to have in the event we needed them while travelling. So, leaving all of my paperwork on the counter (I was NOT going to wait in line again) I ran out to the van and returned with the necessary information. Once I finished the paperwork, I let the receptionist know we'd be outside with the dogs and settled in to wait. It was like a tailgate party without the party. We opened the back of the van, draped shade cloths strategically and waited and waited and waited. We moved the chairs to avoid sunburn (didn't work) and then decided it was getting warm enough that it was time to go wait inside, where there is (newly installed) AC. So we went inside, found a corner to wedge ourselves into and waited.

Finally I heard my name. Mom and I made it through the crowd and went back to the corner near the x-ray room - and then the fun started. I was handed a lead apron and gloves and asked the standard "are you pregnant" questions. (That would be NO.) Two VERY LARGE men lifted the dogs onto the table one by one. I rolled them over on their backs (thanks to Sean's "Unusual Attitude Training" they rolled over happily) and gave them tummy rubs while they were strectched out like Silly Putty for their x-rays.

Then the doctor looked at them, said "redo them all, these aren't good enough" and we went through the WHOLE process again. Now, did I mention that there's no AC in the X-ray room and I'm wearing a lead apron? :-) Happily, the second set of xrays were good. Each of the dogs showed me that they knew where the door was and were happy to use it to leave.

Dr. B hung the xrays up, looked at them and made his pronouncements. Now, these are their unofficial results, based on his experience.

Ryder - Hips: excellent, but may get a good from OFA, depending on who is reviewing that day and and how many excellent ratings they've handed out that day.

Aleska - Hips: good

Frosty - Hips: fair, but will probably get a good from OFA, depending on who's looking at them.

Boy, that was fun. I can't wait until Tinks and Katie are 2 and we can do that again! And Frosty, Ry and Aleska let me know that lead gloves decrease the quality of a belly rub. Apparently I owe them each another one.