December 11, 2006

Lure Coursing....all it takes is a little prey drive, right?

Our friend, Lynn, found this great lure coursing club in San Diego ( that is an all breed lure coursing club and we arranged to head down this weekend for some fun after a little bit of reading/researching of course. The course is fenced...that was the research...and we were ready to go. I signed us up for four runs and plugged the park's address into the GPS. We loaded up the chosen four in the van: Ice (Mr. Prey Drive), Frosty (Granddaughter of Mr. Prey Drive), Satinka (the Airhead), and Katie (if Grandma's going, I'm going). We headed down to the park where the lure coursing was held to watch the tail end of the morning session to see what the whole thing was about. We got there, found parking and ran into the first "you've GOT to be kidding" moment. Yes, the park is fenced...on three sides (and I think there may have been an unsecured opening up at the far end, I tried not to think about it much)...and along the fourth was that orange, plastic field fencing stuff, about 4' high. GULP

At this point, Grandma has decided that Katie will just watch but I had other ideas. We watched the rest of the morning session with great delight. I tell you, watching those sightounds (and terriers and even a Newfie) run the course, chasing the was amazing.

Now, let me tell you a little bit about this very, very special lure. It's a plastic grocery sack. So, here I am, about to take my Siberian off leash, with a 4' fence along one side of the course, and expect them to chase a stupid little plastic bag...yards away from me...I mean, so far that they're a little speck in the grass. Have I lost my flippin mind? (No need to answer that!)

So, up went Frosty. First off, I'd forgotten NO FLEXIES...and I didn't have any other leashes with me. Ok, we were forgiven that faux pas after I swore NEVER to do it again. Sean took Frosty over to the start and I watched him get ready to release her...FROM HER COLLAR! ACK. No leash, no collar...Siberian? Again, I wondered, had I lost my flippin mind? (Again, no response required). Pat, managing the lure controls, scooted it back and forth to get Frosty's attention..and boy did she. Frosty danced in place in anticipation of capturing that amazing lure. Then, she was off! My heart in my throat, Grandma standing by with a noisy bag of treats...I watched my little girl race around the course...chasing a plastic bag! Her focus was amazing...and she followed the entire course and came back to the start point, got to jump on the bag and was re-leashed by Daddy and given a treat by Grandma.

Now I'm feeling more confident. My first off leash, off collar lure coursing run and I have my dog back, safe and sound in her crate. Of course, we had to buy one of the spiffy, quick release, lure coursing collars so we had the right equipment .

So, after the success with Frosty, we're feeling pretty confident. So, Ice is up next. I cautioned the gal with the Italian Greyhound to hang onto her dog, Ice has a pretty good prey drive and I wanted to be able to come back. She assured me she'd hang on to her dog and as the other small dogs along the course were gone for the day, we were feeling pretty darn good. So, I watch, again with baited breath, as Sean let Ice loose for his run. Now, crated along the course, Ice had been watching, avidly, all morning as dogs were turned loose to chase...something. His bright blue eyes gleamed with anticipation. He wanted to do...whatever it was those other dogs were doing. So, off he went. And he ran...and ran...and chased. At the end of his run, he was collared and treated and went back in his crate to rest. Two down, two to go.

Next it was Satinka's turn. My biggest concern was that she'd get bored 1/2 way around (at the absolute farthest point from me) and go exploring the park. Holy COW. Talk about focused. Satinka ran this course like she was born to it, cornering like a pro, turning and following that lure every foot of the way. I couldn't believe her aptitude for this game. And, quite a game it was for her. When she got to the end, she pounced on the lure (good thing they're cheap) and managed to get a piece of it before Daddy got ready to catch her and crate her up. Oh boy, now for Tink's favorite me! But the rattle of treats in Grandma's hand proved to be too much to resist and Satinka was safely collared and re-crated.

Now it's Katie's turn. Grandma wasn't sure about turning Katie loose, but after seeing Satinka the Brat, I was feeling pretty confident that Katie'd do just fine. Sean took her collar off and the lure took off....but, hey, over here...some loose dirt by the starting spot... We all laughed as Katie let the lure take off while she explored the loose dirt...hey, after all, a pile of dirt v. having to chase a plastic bag? No contest, right? The lure started on it's merry way, unthreatened by a chasing dog. Pat brought it back, ran it back and forth to get Katie's attention again and then they were off! Katie didn't run with the drive of the other three...but she chased that darn lure until she caught it...and then went back to the safety of her crate (I could see Grandma's relief).

So, all four dogs ran and we decided to give Tinks and Ice another go. Tinks was first. Quivering with anticipation...dancing from foot to foot..begging Daddy to let go of her, she waited impatiently. Then it was her turn again. The lure took off...and the black and white blur that was Satinka took off with it...all the way around, although this time she let the lure take some corners and she shortcutted to try and cut it off (no one said she was stupid ). She "caught" the lure at the end and then, again, thought it was time for Tink's favorite game..Chase Me. Pat tried running the lure back and forth to bring her good, she's smart. Finally, she got close enough to me that a flying tackled got her. Lynn said it was a good one . And she went back in her crate, done for the day. I know when to call it good.

Ice was our final run of the day. He'd been watching all afternoon and he WANTED that lure. So, off he went, my 7 1/2 yr old, harness banging, wheel dog. He had a good run...but, somewhere toward the end, the lure got far enough ahead of him that he got distracted...uh oh. No problem...Pat reversed the lure to get it back in front of him...but he's running backwards on the course...after a little feather or something tied on the heck with that plastic bag, he found something smaller to chase... After much laughter (although I'll admit mine was nervous laughter) eventually he targeted the lure again and came on in, happy as could be.

There wasn't a peep out of them on the way home...they slept like logs. We had a great time and I can't wait to take some of the dogs out again. If you'd told me on Friday that I'd be turning one of my Siberians loose, with no collar in a park that I hadn't walked the fence line, that had a temporary 4 foot plastic fence along one side...I'd have told you that you were crazy...but, maybe I'm the crazy one?

December 01, 2006

Ooops, I did it again....

We took the Kaos eKpress out with the cart again last weekend. Sean had done some work to improve the steering (YIPPEE) and we gave it another go.

With Hummee and Ice at wheel, Frosty and Max in lead and Aleska and Katie trotting along in the middle (swing), we were ready to go.

Ok, so, the steering on the cart is fixed...but in order for it to work, one has to actually TURN the handlebar.

Picture this: 6 dogs, running and having a ball. Daddy yelling FROSTY - HAW, MAX - HAW and darling little 36 lb Frosty trying her best to make everyone HAW (that's a left turn, by the way). So, Momma leans to add her weight to the turning cart...except...the cart isn't turning! It's following the dogs!

I had plenty of time, as I flew off the cart, to remember to tuck in my arms, roll my shoulders and tuck my head before I hit the ground...and remind myself to wait until I stopped moving before I tried to get up.

So, we learned a few things:

1 - One lead dog isn't necessarily enough to turn the team, especially the 19 1/2", 36 lb Frosty.
2 - Turn the cart and the wheel dogs respond to the change in direction and help move the whole team.
3 - slow the dogs down before a turn, they can't do a 90 degree turn!
4 - Mom steers and controls the dogs, Dad is Brakeman.

Although maybe #1 should be - train the dogs .

Here are photos taken that day: They do NOT include any pictures of Laura flying off the cart. These were taken AFTER the "big run" with the dogs going out on the scooter with Daddy so I could take some pictures .

Frosty, bless her 36 lb little self, was pissed every time the scooter took off without her. So we sent her out with Aleska, "I'd rather be resting" and Frosty had to pull both the scooter AND Aleska. And yet she still wanted more. I'm betting that while I'm here at work, she's home leading the snow dance so we can take the sled up to Big Bear for some real fun!

November 30, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Well, some of the neighbors have their Christmas lights up, decorations in the yard and the wind is a blowing. Here's my contribution to the Christmas spirit.

November 13, 2006

Weekend Warriors...

Sometimes Sean and I like to pretend that we're actually going to work the dogs in know, with a cart or the sled we have in the garage. Last weekend was one of those times...we met up with the Southern California Snow Dogs group down at Fairview Park in Costa Mesa.

Oh, let me back up a minute...first, on Friday night, I went to pick up a new cart, a Black Ice Wheeled Training Cart. The advantage of this cart is that the passenger area is large enough that we can both ride along, with Sean doing the steering and braking and me just going along for the ride...or so I imagined.

So, Saturday morning we get down there (on time, by the way) and we were the first ones there. (Yes, Kelly, Sparkle time is almost officially dead, the AKC doesn't wait for anyone, even me when ring times are posted.) We unloaded a couple of crates to give everyone their own space and started unloading carts. There's the new Black Ice cart, very nice, with lines to hook up all seven dogs...yep, we took seven untrained dogs out on a new cart, on new trails. Genius, I tell you, simply genius. Then we unloaded the Trail Pup Plus for Maggie to try and the Dirt Dawg scooter for someone else to use. Got everyone harnessed up and proceeded to decide who was going to go where.

Ice and Ryder at wheel, that's an easy one. Mr. Let me RUN (Ice) and Mr. He's Not Going Anywhere without Me (Ryder) at wheel insures that we'll get moving. Humvee and Blaze went at team (in the middle) because, well, wheel and lead were taken and that's what's left. We didn't want Blaze working overly hard, since he's just a baby and really wanted to keep it easy and fun for him. Hummee, although he's only been out once, is just a year old and, again, I wanted him to have fun, but I knew he'd take most of the load off of Blaze. Up front we had "I know what you want, I just don't feel like paying attention right now, Leader Frosty" and "I know what you want me to do, I don't want to do it right now, Leader Max" and "They had to put me somewhere, Miss Satinka".

We got everyone lined out, Max does know line out so that helps. And then the plan was that Sean would start them off easy while I swung myself up on the cart to ride along. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and dog drivers. Sean got them slowed down and I was able to run up to catch them and hop on....then we realized that we were on a trail with a 90° turn to a bridge. Luckily "easy" and "whoa" seemed to work.

It was then that I realized Sean had planned for me to do more than ride along. Someone (read ME) had to go out to the front of the team, walk them around in a WIDE circle and get them facing back the direction we wanted them to go. Gee and Haw didn't seem to be on Frosty's or Max's agenda that day..and Satinka, well, she's never been trained to do anything but "stand, pretty" (which, by the way, she does very well). So, we got them and the cart turned around, Sean hollered "HIKE" and they took off a little slower this time. I was able to swing on and didn't fall ootherwise embarrasssss myself. A couple of runs back and forth in the grass (high rolling resistance = slower dogs) and we were ready for the trails. We took off behind everyone (because, of course 7 dogs are slower than 2? and we didn't know the trails) and followed along. At the first decent downhill we discovered that taking 7 untrained dogs down hill, on a new cart where you're unsure of the braking is, well, an adventure. I ended up walking the dogs down the hill with Sean riding the brake.

We made it, without incident, down the easier hill than everyone else took (stories of Bodie and Arrow dragging Maggie's scooter told us we didn't want to take the "big hill") and met up at the turn around/water spot. The dogs took their break, with most of them deciding to lay down on the cool grass while the people talked and chatted. Then it was time to turn them around again and head back to the car. We accomplished this with a minimum of mounting/dismounting on my part and all arrived back at the car, tired, happy and ready to rest.

Next weekend we're going again, but we're going to try it with a few less dogs...anything to shorten the distance from the back of the cart to the front of the line! I didn't realize being a passenger was going to be so much exercise!

Dear Lord, I hope someone has trained them by the time we have snow to sled in!!!

Things we learned:
  • one gallon of water for the dogs is not enough
  • 3 dogs in lead means much switching of necklines as they decide who's going to be next to whom
  • being a passenger doesn't mean just riding along
  • passengers should wear good running shoes
  • running dogs in harness is exhilarating, addicting and tiring (I napped until 8pm when we got home).

November 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dear Ryder

I can't believe my baby boy is four today. Where does the time go? Is this what it's like to be a parent and look over and realize the young life you've been nurturing is grown up and ready to spread their wings? Well, lucky for me dogs don't have wings, eh?

Many of you will remember that just a few short days ago (at least it seems to me like it was just yesterday) I brought home this fluffy little bundle of Ryderness, who was quickly dubbed the MonsterWonderPuppyFromHeck. When he discovered girls, his name was changed slightly, and he became the MonsterWonderPuppyFromHeckwithHormones.

Ryder got into everything - the dishwasher, the fridge, he even managed to open doors and turn on the stove. His first night in a hotel room at a show he opened the door to let himself out to go potty. Unfortunately for his plans to explore, I'd fastened the security bar, giving him a scant 3" of opening...enough to panic me, not enough to set him loose.

Ryder's a Momma's Boy, through and through and I love his fuzzy little self to pieces. As my first show puppy, I always thought Ryder was perfect. I still do. :-)
Tonight, it's carrot cake for everyone and Ryder gets the corner piece with all the frosting!!

P.S. for those who wonder...somewhere around four, they start growing a brain! I'm seeing signs of it in Ryder.

November 07, 2006

Carting in the Vinyard

Last weekend Sean and I loaded up the van with a few dogs (Max, Ice, Ryder, Hummee, Tinks, Frosty and Blaze) and their harnesses and went up to join the Northern California Siberian Husky Club for their annual fall event "Carting in the Vinyard." It's been a while since we had the dogs out to run...months probably. So, with hotel reservations, a plan to visit a girl friend in Concord and a full tank of gas, we headed out on Saturday morning.

A brief detour past the Santa Fe dam, where the Antelope Valley and San Gabriel Kennel clubs were holding their shows netted us a hitch hiker, an 11 week old Staffordshire named Ridley who needed a ride up north to his new home. (Yes, that now makes eight dogs in the van.)

So we headed north, without incident, and made it up to Barbara's. I finally got to meet Teddy, her Toy Fox Terrier. I tell you, I was afraid I was going to step on the little guy. He's cute, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't last long at Kaos. We ran and fed the dogs, talked and went out to dinner and then strolled over to Half Price Books, a store Sean had never been to, but found much to his liking. After dinner we loaded all the dogs back up, making sure we had all eight of them and hit the road to Santa Rosa, with a brief detour to hand Ridley over to his new folks. We got in at a reasonable hour, checked into the hotel, walked all the dogs and went to bed, counting on Blaze's "wake up call" feature to wake us up (he did, at 4 am and at 6am). Before going to bed, I even remembered to plug in the crockpot with the Lil Smokies and sauce for the next day's potluck (you'll see why this detail is important later).

Saturday morning dawned bright, clear and cool as we walked the dogs and got ready to find the closest Starbucks and hit the road. As we made the turn onto Hwy 12, I felt a warmth on my foot...oh CRAP...a crockpot full of Lil Smokies and sauce was now 1/3 full. The other 2/3d's ended up on my foot, the passenger side of the car and, happily, in the map pocket on the door. We pulled over and cleaned up as much as we could (guess who forgot to replace the empty roll of paper towels in her van?). As Sean reached into the map pocket to clean out the little wieners, I managed to blurt out "they're hot" just as he yanked his hand out of the sauce. Finding a convenient grocery store, we stopped and got paper towels, wet wipes and ingredients to refill the crock pot, did some more clean up and continued on our way. At this point, we're running about 40 minutes late. No big deal, it's a casual thing and we'll get there in about 20 minutes.

Waiting at an intersection, we saw a truck with a great dog box go by, pulling a training rig. I figured we'd probably follow them to the carting fun and we made the my brain processed the fact that no one who was attending had a rig like that. As I glanced down at my directions, to confirm we were going the right way it occured to me that we were supposed to be going to Calistoga...yet the directions to Glen Elen, where we were picking up our new sled later that weekend, were on top. Yep, sure enough, not only did I spill our potluck offering on the way to the potluck, but we weren't even going the right way to the potluck! Traveling with me is such an adventure :-)

So, we got ourselves turned around, called to let the carting group know not to worry, we were running way late and headed back out...this time to Calistoga. We had a great time once we got there.

We had a great time with our Nor Cal friends. In addition to running the dogs, there were great games like "bobbing for hot dogs" (the dogs bobbed, not the people), musical paws and doggie limbo. While we didn't win any prizes, the Kaos Krew sure had fun...especially on that bobbing for hot dog game.

Sean took out our foursome with Max and Frosty at lead and Ryder and Ice at wheel. Now, let me just say that Ryder's not the most motivated of working dogs...unless he's following Max or running with Ice. But with those two in the team with him, he's a pulling machine. Frosty's going to make a great lead dog with some training, she's actually responding to commands already even if she can't make everyone turn with her (she's our Littlest Sled Dog). But she's determined. Ice and Ryder, and later Ice and Hummee ran at wheel.

It was Hummee's first time out in harness. The previous trip down to go scootering he'd been a little too young for me to be entirely comfortable running him. I tell ya, this boy has leg and knows how to use it. He threw himself into his harness and pulled like he'd been doing it his entire life.

It was Satinka's first time out as well, other than a brief foray up in the snow a couple years ago. Unfortunately, we'd put her next to Ryder (see the aforementioned description of Ryder's work ethic) so she didn't really get what was going on...but she ran. I don't know how much pulling she did, but she had fun.

The best fun was taking Blaze out with his brother and sister on the puppy run. He put his shoulder into the harness and he pulled. I tell you, there's nothing cuter than a bunch of puppies in harness. Of course they didn't work hard and they didn't go far, but they sure had fun!

I managed not to run the cart into any of the buildings (but it was close) on my trip out; no one fell or otherwise hurt themselsves and we all made it home in one piece. I've never heard my dogs so quiet (is that possible?). They slept, ate and went right back to sleep.

We made it down to Glen Elen to pick up our sled (from the driver of the truck we saw that clued me into the fact that we were going the wrong way earlier in the weekend) and spent some time with Van and his wife, talking about dogs, racing, equipment and other things dear to Sean's heart :-) and drove home with a sled on the van.

Now, I guess, all we need is snow. And maybe a GPS for better navigational success?

October 27, 2006

Unpacking National Memories

As we unpack my suitcases from the 2006 Siberian Husky Club of America National Specialty, I find that some of the items have memories associated with them.

The red Siberian Husky bag - a much contested item at the Rescue booth raffle, I spent much of my discretionary $$ at the booth buying tickets to stuff the cup for this bag and scare off other interested parties. Well, I didn't scare them off, but the last batch of tickets I bought, that Gerry wasn't going to let me have in case she'd feel some guilt if I didn't win the bag, were lucky! That bag is sitting happily on my dresser now.

Half-eaten bully sticks - in an effort to assuage my guilt at having to crate the dogs in the hotel room so long, I was constantly stuffing bully sticks in their crates. (If you don't really know what a bully stick is, don't worry, you probably don't want to know.) When I cleaned out the crates for the trip home, I found that both Satinka and Hummee had a supply of half-eaten bully sticks tucked away in the backs of their crates.

Everyone needs a new grooming bag, right? I won a new one in the aforementioned Rescue raffle. No, I didn't need a new one and, had I been thinking, I'd have saved it to donate to another raffle...but it's packed and in the van ready for its first outing this weekend.

Black velvet bag containing gold Siberian Husky head silhouette earrings - Satinka wanted me to have these on Sunday when she won Reserve Winners Bitch. I swear, that's what she told me :-) Wonder what she would have wanted me to have if she'd won Winners Bitch? It boggles the mind to consider.

That's the first suitcase down. I can't wait to unpack the memories in the second one, but that'll have to wait until next week. Tonight we're off to Dixon, CA for another shot at a major for Tinks (ok, and Katie and Hummee).

See ya!

October 24, 2006

Where did it go???

Wow, I can't believe we're back already. Hummee and Tinks had big plans to take over the computer and share the whole trip with you, but they must have been tired.

Satinka was tired because on Sunday she won Reserve Winners Bitch (that's like Runner Up to Miss America for you non-dog show people). While we could have been happier, we were thrilled with the win.

Hummee was tired because he had to spend so much time laying around, sleeping. The weather was COLD and it rained off an on. Sunday morning we woke up to mixed rain and snow for our drive back to the airport.

All in all, it was a great week, we met some new friends, connected with some old friends, saw some great (and not-so-great) dogs and had a good time.

October 11, 2006

We're off to see the wizard....

Oh, wait, that was LAST year's National Topeka, Kansas. This year we (Satinka, the Diva, Hummee, the Doofus or Dummee if you're in a rhyming type mood and their erstwhile handler and provider of yummy treats...aka Momma) are headed to Rockford, Illinois for the Siberian Husky Club of America national specialty (think all Siberians, all the time). As an added bonus, the Siberian Husky Club of Greater Chicago is having their annual specialty the Saturday and Sunday before the SHCA specialty begins.

Your intrepid travelers will begin their journey on Friday, October 13th (could we be any less happy to read the date?) from Los Angeles International airport and fly out to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Avoiding the bustle of Chicago's O'Hare, MKE is about the same distance from Rockford and the ticket was cheap. Did you know on Midwest Airlines the dogs accumulate frequent flyer benefits? How cool is that?

Tinks and Hummee have insisted that I bring the laptop so that they can keep you up to date with the happenings in Rockford. So, check in from time to time next week and see how much fun we're having. Did I mention there are SNOW FLURRIES in the forecast? Let me tell you that 1/3 of the traveling team isn't nearly as excited as the other 2/3ds of the team.

Our schedule looks something like this:

Friday night: arrive very very late
Saturday: get up very, very at the Chicago Specialty, Day 1, both Hummee & Tinks
Sunday: get up very, very at the Chicago Specialty, Day 2, both Hummee & Tinks
Monday: sleep in and attend afternoon educational seminars
Tuesday: Hummee shows in 9-12 puppy dog sweepstakes, go visit a friend in the area
Wednesday: Hummee shows in American Bred dog class, order pizza and a movie and relax
Thursday: Satinka shows in Open bitch class
Friday: Hummee shows, with his sister, Roxie, and Dad, Cody, in the Stud Dog class
Saturday: Woohoo!!! No reason to be clean today (unless the amazing happens and Tinks or Hummee takes Winners...but let's be real) so we'll watch the Best of Breed judging (Hummee and I will be sitting ringside, cheering on Big Sister Roxie).
Sunday: get up very, very early and fly home.
Monday: back to work...what a vacation.

So, stay tuned and we'll try and share the fun with you...from the snow to the shortage of grooming space, from sharing a room with two friends and four other dogs, with a mix of puppies, in-season girls and intact'll be a week we won't forget *unless, of course, we find the bar first*

October 02, 2006

More Purple and Gold!!!

And, no I'm not talking about the colors flying when the University of Washington Huskies beat the UCLA Bruins....that was just bonus purple & gold.

Sunday, at the Burbank Kennel Club, Satinka was Winners Bitch, both days, Best of Opposite on Saturday and on Sunday...her first Best of Breed! I was a little surprised (ok, a LOT surprised) and thrilled to receive that award for Tinks. Not so thrilled to stay for groups with rain showers off an on but we stayed and showed (and didn't do anything in group).

So, all three of my current show dogs are pointed...Hummee has 2 points (and 1 BOB), Katie has 2 points (and 2 BOBs) and Tinks has 8 points and now her first BOB!

To make the weekend more exciting, when I called Tink's breeder to let her know how Tinks did, I found out that Cha'tima, Satinka's dam finished her championship this weekend; her sister, Abey, was WB the other two days of the 4 day show and her 1/2 brother, Frosty, was WD. What a great weekend for Apache Run Siberians...and Kaos!

Not to be left out, Hummee won RWD on Sunday...he's got some maturing to do, but he'll get there .

Blaze spent an uneventful weekend at home with Daddy and the other new cute puppy stories for now.

This weekend is our last big California show before the National Specialty in Rockford, Illinois. I'm excited to go. I don't know that Tinks and Hummee share my excitement...or much care :-) I'm not sure where September went...

September 28, 2006

Why we're Kaos Siberians

There's a reason we chose our kennel name. It'll become very clear in the next minute or two of reading.

I received a call on my way home last night from the husband, and he didn't sound particularly happy. "Who left the house last this morning?" "Um, I did, why? What did I do?" "It's not so much what you did, as what you didn't didn't close the dog door."

At that point, oh SH*T was the only thing I had to say. Luckily, there wasn't too much of that!

They had gone through the garbage can in the cabinet under the sink, making sure there was nothing edible being thrown out. They had gone upstairs and gotten MUD all over my bed (someone marked on my pillow too...nice), visited the stamp room and pulled stuff down (like you can really tell!) and marked on some of the iris carts, gone into the blocked off library and pulled a lot of treats out of the dog cabinet to it any wonder that everyone had the runs?, marked all of the plastic sheeting draped on the furniture in there but...the best of all...somehow Blaze got behind the couch (it's not in its usual place, but in front of the empty TV alcove) and got stuck. We suspect the went over the back of the couch or dogs jumping on the couch pushed it back, blocking him in. Other than a little potty spot, no damage there....thankfully he did NOT get bored and chew on Daddy's newly run speaker wires!

Sean says coming home to find 11 Siberians greeting him at the front door was a little disconcerting. I'm just happy he got home first and did all the clean up! Oddly enough, they were all pretty tired and when I decided it was bed time at about 9pm, they were already sacked out all over the floor.

This morning? I double checked all the doors! And all day long I've been fighting a compulsion to drive home and check on them.

September 19, 2006

Purple and Gold!!!

No, not the University of Washington Huskies....but the Kaos Siberians!

Last weekend we drove about 7 1/2 hours up to beautiful Prescott, Arizona. I tell you, if I won the lottery, and had a private plane, I'd consider moving up there. The drive up the side of the mountain is torture for someone with vertigo, a fear of heights...but this year I took the trusty Mom who did all the long driving (thank you, Mom!).

We checked into our hotel around 2am and I decided that Tinks and Hummee were quite happy tucked in their crates in the car for the 5 hours I was going to nap before getting ready to show. Note: 10 mo old puppies should NOT be denied their usual activity for a day prior to showing if one expects them to behave as if they're trained show dogs.

Ok, fast forward past all the boring chit chat about setting up, getting ready, greeting friends....Results dang it, give me results!

Saturday was a bust. Hummee had a good time (see note above) and Tinks went Reserve Winners Bitch (her 8th or 9th) to a lovely bitch. I guess if you have to lose, its not as bad when you lose to a dog you like, right?

Sunday, however, was Kaos' day! Hummee was Winners Dog, for his 2nd point. Satinka was WB for her 4th point. Then, come Best of Breed, Hummee got it! WOOHOO!!! My baby boy has his first BOB win...over a special mind you. That just makes it a little more special, beating a dog who already has his/her championship. And Satinka...she was Best of Opposite...again, over that special :-)

Reality crashed down on us in the group ring (translation: we didn't do anything) but I've still got that purple and gold ribbon for Hummee!

September 13, 2006

The Diary of Blaze

Momma is leaving me home with Daddy this weekend to go to a show...I can't wait till I'm old enough to go to shows. But I think Daddy is going to let me play outside all day long with the big dogs because Hummee won't be home. Sometimes Hummee and I play a little rough and Momma is worried that I'll get hurt 'cause I'm smaller than he is. I think travelling with Momma is going to be fun. She gives me a box up where I can watch out the windows and there's SO much going on. I get tired just thinking about it. Next weekend I get to go to somewhere called Santa Ana...and then Momma said I get to go somewhere called Donner Trail and see my doggie-daddy. That'll be FUN.

I went to my first puppy match last weekend and it was FUN. You wouldn't BELIEVE the amount of treats and toys and oh...the belly rubs and attention from people. And then there are all the other dogs to play was GREAT fun! I can see why Satinka and Hummee like going to shows so much. The only downside was that I had to have a bath I work so hard getting dirty and them Momma and Gramma take it all off. Momma says I have more matches coming up; I'll bet she's got lots of good toys for me there too...and I always get to meet so many fun dogs to play with. Sometimes some of the dogs don't want to play with me, because I'm a puppy....but the ones that do are really fun.

Momma says I'm too little to go to the National this year, but next year I'll get to go. She's taking Satinka and Hummee, so I'll have to play with Katie and Aleska a lot while Hummee's gone. I'll surprise him and GROW while he's gone until I'm as big as he is.

Blaze, The Stepford Puppy (I thought I was a Siberian puppy, but Gramma and Momma say I'm a Stepford puppy)

September 06, 2006

She flies through the air.....

And the flying part didn't hurt, but dang, I gotta work on those landings.

Last weekend was another dog show (shocker, eh?) up in Grass Valley, California. After getting mostly ready to go, I took off from work early on Friday to start the drive. About Stockton I realized I was using WAY too many lanes and pulled over to a safe parking lot to nap. So, I arrived about 3 hours later than planned at my destination. The plan was to toss Blaze into an xpen in Lori's kitchen...he lives in a xpen at my house, no problem, right? WRONG. Blaze didn't like Lori's kitchen. So I took him out to the van to sleep with Tinks and Hummee. Apparently he didn't much care for that plan either....but the guest room is at the back of the house...Blaze, the open window and my hostess' bedroom were at the front. I slept well anyway.

Saturday morning rolls around, way too soon and we head off to the show. I hand Hummee off to his co-owner, Uncle Tony (yes, everyone my dogs come in contact with get cute "relative" names) and settle in to watch until it's time to get Tinks ready. Then our turn comes. We excecute our down and back without any major goofs and then get ready to take our turn around the ring. About halfway around someone moved the ground! I put my foot down and the ground isn't there....then, all of a sudden it is, and I'm on it! Ringside spectators said it was a beautiful, graceful slide. How embarassing. And, not only did I fall, but I didn't even get the sympathy "make the cut" from the judge...which in hindsight doesn't matter much, because it means I didn't have to run around the ring again.

Sunday morning came around, again WAY too soon and we headed back to the show grounds. This time, I didn't show. I handed off Tinks and Hummee because Saturday's "graceful fall" left me feeling quite sore. Hummee took a 4th in a large open class...but the big excitment of the day was that his sister, Roxie, took Best of Breed and a Group 4 placement (that's a Big Deal).

Monday morning, long drive home...sucky traffic over the Grapevine, 3 hour nap at Lake Hughes to get out of traffic...and the long weekend is over.

Boy, I've got one heck of an exciting life. Don't I?

August 25, 2006

What I think of this - By Blaze

Momma Lori,

Tonight Momma put me up on the big counter in the kitchen, which I thought was REALLY, REALLY cool, 'cause Satinka told me there was always good stuff up there to eat that Momma, Daddy and Grandma hide from us. I was very, very excited. Once I got up there, I realized that Satinka doesn't know everything...Hummee had warned me that sometimes the people like to do things they call "practice" and "training" on the counter. This was one of those times. There was nothing on the counter except a towel, and Momma wouldn't even let me eat that!

Then she tried to make me stand still. Lady, I'm a puppy. Still happens when I sleep. So I made this special face to let Momma, Daddy and everyone else know what I thought of this "training" stuff.

Momma did have a good treat up there for me, and when she wouldn't let go, I tried to eat her fingers too. She called me "sharktooth" but I got the treat, so I didn't mind.

See you soon,

Luv, Blazie

August 24, 2006

I wish I had thumbs

Here's one of the pictures that Satinka's breeder, Kathy, sent me from Satinka's puppyhood...a period of time that I think I'm glad I missed based on her current ability to control me with her big, brown eyes.

The scene: a night earlier this week.

It seems, after investigation, that Satinka woke me up to go potty and I stumbled to the door to let her out and then waited upstairs for her to come back in and upstairs and went back to sleep. When I woke up later the light was on, the door was closed and I was confused. I went downstairs, got something to drink, let Satinka out of the crate to come upstairs to sleep and....HUH?

Mom (that's Grandma to the dogs) said she heard something downstairs, my bedroom door was open and the light on, but Satinka was downstairs, eating 3 cups of kibble that a weekend visiting dog had left, as well as over 1lb of cherry tomatoes a co-worker had sent home with me.

Now, either I woke up and let her out...or she turned on the light, opened the door and let herself out. Even money on either option but I'm going with Option A; Option B is too frightening to contemplate.

August 23, 2006

System overload!!!

Having a puppy is so fun. You relearn so many things that faded from memory as they grow up and become well-behaved, mature dogs (I'll let you know when any of mine get there :-)

One of the really, REALLY, important thing one learns when feeding raw is that too much food can provide explosive results. When it's in a puppy who's inside all day, that's not a good thing.

And, just for the record, 2+ pounds of chicken meat for a 12 week old puppy qualifies as "too much food." Nuff said?

Hummee's fast becoming Blaze's best friend, they have similar energy levels (endless) and right now the only major problem is that Hummee is a wee bit bigger (OK, Blaze can walk under Hummee while only crouching down a little bit). But Hummee is learning some self control and we can let them play together under supervision. When Hummee's in a crate and Blaze is out, Blaze will paw at Hummee's crate, roll over or play bow and bark "come out and play with me." And when Blaze is in the Puppy Palace, Hummee will do the same. All together now "awwwww, how cute."

August 18, 2006

Puppy - Day 12

I can't believe that Blaze has only been here 12 seems like he's been here forever! The dogs' reactions to him range from tolerance, to amused tolerance to thinking he's the best thing in interactive squeaky toys (although I do discourage that behavior). Blaze, on the other hand, thinks that the other Kaos residents exist simply to entertain him....his world view is just a smidge Blaze-centric.

Thankfully, that 5:30 am "Momma, I'm hungry" chorus hasn't been repeated. Because I'm not sure that I was so happy with that. We'll see, on Sunday when I get to sleep in, how much I'm going to love the puppy :-)

Speaking of the other dogs, Satinka and Hummee had a show last weekend. Neither of them did anything, but they both showed nicely for me and I'm always a fan of that!

We've got a couple of weeks off before the next show, so we're going to be painting the house and finishing up as much of the remodeling/redecorating project as we can. I can't WAIT to have sinks in the bathroom again! Any any bathroom! Blaze likes to help with demolition (notice it always comes back to the dogs?) and wants to tear drywall down in all of the places where, eventually, we'll have molding back up. It's a constant challenge to get bitter apple on those favorite places before he remembers them.

A couple of weeks ago a terrible tragedy took the lives of some show dogs in Missouri. They were left in the handler's vehicle, with the A/C running and something happened and the A/C died. So did the dogs. I frequently leave my dogs in the van, either with the Ventlock ( if it's cool enough or with the A/C running if it's too warm for the ventlock. I'd done some research on temperature sensors that had a paging feature and found one that was designed for dog show vans ( and put off ordering it. I ordered it yesterday. My theory is that'll it'll work for both situations, letting me know when it's too warm to rely on the ventlock alone and letting me know if something happens with the A/C and the van starts heating up. The temperature sensor will get it's first test over Labor Day, as I travel up to Grass Valley for the Gold Country Kennel Club shows with Hummee, Tinks and Blaze (Blaze is going up to visit his family at Couloir Siberians ( so that Grandma doesn't have to clean up after the little fart while I'm gone...we all know Grandma "doesn't do puppies" and the house will be considerably calmer with the Terrible Twosome gone.

August 15, 2006

Blaze the Brilliant

There are just so many moments to capture with a new puppy, I think it's impossible to capture them all...especially when I'm at work full-time. I keep trying to tell Blaze to save anything cute for the evenings when I get home.

Yesterday I got a call from Grandma. It started out "your puppy" Now what has he done? Any call that starts "your puppy" as I'm certain I've said before, isn't generally a good thing.

Today Mr. Blaze was fussing and bored so Grandma gave up and went down and got him, and took him upstairs to play with Katie and Aleska. Not only did he manage to climb up on Grandma's bed but he was playing with the girls, and making himself cute by laying on Katie's pink beds (I told him that redheads do NOT get pink things, especially boy redheads) and otherwise being cute and engaging. The topper was that when he had to go potty he ran downstairs to use his potty pad downstairs. Passed the one upstairs that Grandma brought up for him to the one the middle of play time.

My baby boy is BRILLIANT, simply BRILLIANT I tell you.

Of course, this morning, all of my opinions were reversed when he started the 5:30 AM "It's breakfast time, Mom" chorus and everyone else joined in. But he did get his breakfast...which of us is in charge?

August 08, 2006

The Puppy Journals

I swear I'm going to do this everytime a puppy moves in, but then I get busy and the moment is lost. I guess until I get it right, I have to keep getting puppies?

The Puppy Report - Day 1.

Blaze came home on Sunday, Aug 6. He had gotten into Allez food that morning, so I wasn't looking forward to an exciting time of it as his system reacted to eating 1 c of a kibble he hadn't been eating. I wasn't let down. He started early in the day and by the time we got home and went to bed about 2am, his system was completely cleared of the food. UGH Luckily, I was smart and he travelled in a wire crate with a pan that slides out easily for rinsing!

We set up a temporary puppy pen Sunday night and Blazie (yes, even Blaze can be made into a cutsie puppy name ) finally settled down to go to sleep. Monday morning dawned early with the "hey, lady, I'm in a strange place and I'm HUNGRY" cry. Having been well trained by Hummee, I went down to rustle up breakfast for him. A pile of chicken and a turkey neck later, the beast was soothed...yep, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, especially at 11 weeks old! He munched on that turkey neck all day long. When I got home, it was a little 3" nub. Since he decided to play "guard the food" with Lacy, he had his first lesson about who owns what in my house...ME and I gave the leftovers to Lacy. I figure it'll take him a little while to get a handle on that concept.

During evening, he spent some time running around the house being cute with his buddy, Rio, who is down here visiting. It's not hard work for either of them to be cute. Then some "waiting for meal service" time in his crate with all the grown ups. I don't really "crate train" puppies....they spend some time in their crates every day, usually around meal times and by the time they've graduated from the puppy pen, they're crate trained. Dinner for Blaze was a big bowl of green tripe...he gave it four paws up and as soon as he finished eating, went to sleep. We took advantage of the quite to eat dinner ourselves AND set up the real puppy palace.

The puppy palace has's a sheet of 6 mil plastic (to protect the new tile which hasn't been sealed yet!) with a sheet of 6' x 9' linoleum over it. Two x-pens are supported, at the bottom, by a PVC frame and voila! it's home. Puppy pads at one end keep the mess to a minimum and you hear "good potty on the paper" anytime we catch the puppy using the paper. I'm proud to say that by this morning, Blaze had already mastered "potty on the paper" and there were no messes anywhere else in his palace. What a smart boy!

After some play time with Momma, Blaze went back in his palace and Mom escaped to work. It's so hard to leave the little cuties, knowing that they grow up so fast.

July 28, 2006

Kaos' newest Hotshot

Speaking of Dixie...her name is now Belle, or Bella...and she's in a wonderful pet home. Hmmm, I'm sensing a theme...girls from these lines do NOT come to live at Kaos. Remember Latte, now Denali living in a wonderful pet home? Now Dixie, aka Bella? What gives?

What gives is that now I'm getting a wonderful little red boy, Artika-Couloir's Into the Fire aka Blaze. I wanted to call him Hotshot, for the elite wild fire fighting crews, but well...Hotshot just seemed so presumptious..and it was already far too easy to change that last vowel out for another...ya know what I'm saying? So, Blaze is moving into Kaos. Ryder and I have had long, long talks about how he's always going to be Momma's baby and her favorite red boy, so I think we'll be OK there. (By the way, Ry's tumor on his testicle was malignant, but with it removed during neutering, there's very little chance anything else will come of it.) Ry's promised to take Blaze under his paw and teach him the ropes at Kaos. "Be afraid, be very afraid" is what comes to mind. And I am. But I'm also very excited. A puppy is so full of potential and watching them grow up and mature is such a learning process and just plain fun!

Speaking of Blaze, here's a picture of the little rascal at about 6 weeks old ...isn't he adorable?

Here he is just last weekend...they grow SO fast!

So, now that we're approaching the end of the flooring project (the tiles are installed, and just waiting for us to seal the grout - of course staining it in the process because we don't like the color we chose) I've got to bump it up a notch so I have somewhere to set up the puppy palace!

Satinka, Hummee and I are on the road next weekend to go pick up their new baby brother and I can't wait.

June 29, 2006

Humvee, the Travelin' Man

It was a fun weekend for the Humvee. Thursday evening saw him being bundled up into a 500 crate (a virtual palace of a crate!) and loaded onto an Alaska Airlines jet for a quick hop up to Portland for the Lower Columbia Siberian Husky Club Specialty and the two days of shows following it.

While Humvee didn't do anything outstanding at the show, his sister, Roxie did get her Championship on Friday. That was pretty exciting since I got to take her into the Winners Bitch class and be handed the purple ribbon!

Humvee got to hang out with his sister and baby brother, Tazo, as well as get 100% of Mom's attention. It's not often that I only travel with one dog. He amazed everyone with his behavior in a soft crate (good) and was Mr. Mellow the entire weekend. We did discover that he does have protective tendencies; anyone knocking on my hotel room got a good growl from Humvee. And he's got a big boy growl!

Upon arrival at LAX and release from his crate, he informed me that he was DONE riding in the crate for a while and rode home on the floor of the van, where I could reach down and pet him. I rarely ever let the dogs ride loose, but he'd been such a good boy all weekend and didn't fuss about the whole flying thing that I bent the rules, just this once.

Now Tinks and Humvee have both successfully flown (Tinks moved to California from Texas, via American Airlines) and I'm ready to take them both to Rockford, IL for the SHCA National Specialty.

Speaking of adorable, here's the next little darling who may come live at Kaos. Dixie, as she's being called, was born 5/17/06 and we're eagerly waiting a few more weeks of growing to learn if she's going to be the newest Kaos resident.

We've got a long weekend at home, a weekend at the shows in Ventura and then I get to fly up to Sacramento to visit Dixie and her brothers, Toby & Trace. I can hardly wait!!!

June 20, 2006

Best Brace in Show

What a fun weekend! In the sweltering, humid heat of Chula Vista, Satinka and Katie played at being a trained brace and...pulled it off! Beating a brace of Golden Retrievers and a brace of Mini Schnauzers, the girls were awared Best Brace in Show on Saturday. What a rush!!! It made staying outside all day and the resultant sunburn more than worth it. And then, on Sunday, Satinka won Winners Bitch for her third point.

What a great weekend!!! This weekend it's off to Canby, Oregon with Humvee for the Lower Columbia Siberian Husky Club specialty. It's also Humvee's first plane flight. Should be entertaining!

June 13, 2006

Welcoming the newest member of the Kaos pack!!!

We all know and love him.....Humvee! Humvee is staying at Kaos. He'll be loved and shown by me, his Momma instead of heading out into the big bad world with his other Mom.

I'm so excited to have him and hope that we make both Tony & Adele and his breeders proud of us in the ring.

And I feel like a huge dark cloud has been lifted. My baby boy is staying home :-)

Welcome home, Dorkboy Jr.

Love, Momma

June 08, 2006

The Case of the Missing Pork Roast

It began like any other evening, getting home from work with a "to do" list longer than the remaining awake hours of the day allowed. But there was a difference; from the kitchen counter the smells of the pork roast in the crock pot wafted through the house, encouraging the residents to get some of the "to do" list deeds accomplished to sit down and eat.

One by one, the residents of the home grabbed some dinner and headed off for bed. The house guest, the first one to go, pronounced the roast "splended" and "perfect for my lunch sandwich tomorrow." Dad, heading to bed early, grabbed his dinner and went upstairs to watch some TV in peace (somehow he doesn't consider 17 Siberians conducive to "peace").
Mom and Grandma continued to toil, one by one crossing off the items on their lists and looking forward, with great delight, to consuming some of the roast that had been tantalizing their senses for hours.

Finally, the time had come. Mom and Grandma pronounced themselves "done for the day." Mom went upstairs to kiss Dad goodnight and Grandma let the canine crew in for some evening quality time.

The peace of the evening was shattered with Grandma's shriek of "RYYYYDDEERRR" echoing through the house. As Mom jumped up to run downstairs she analzyed the vocal qualities of the shreiking. After concluding that it wasn't a dog fight kind of yell, she slowed enough to take the stairs one at a time. By the time she arrived downstairs, all was quiet. There were no tell tail yellow stains indicating Ryder had lifted his leg inappropriately; there were no destroyed pieces of clothing or furniture....what was that shriek for?

Grandma recounted Ryder's offense: He ATE the remaining pork roast! Ryder, the Master Counter Surfer, waited until Grandma was distracted by the 12 other dogs in the house (including the three very accomplished distracting puppies) and snagged three pounds of pork roast off the counter with out making a single sound. His mad dash for the crates gave him away as the primary suspect in the case of the missing dinner.

Grandma and Mom settled down for their dinner of brussel sprouts, the scent of pork roast tantalizing them with their loss. Then Mom uttered those fateful words: "I hope that gives you the sh*ts, Ryder."

P.S. It didn't.

June 05, 2006

Saying Goodbye....

How do you say goodbye to a puppy who's stolen a piece of your heart? Humvee, who I knew from the beginning wasn't a permanent Kaos resident, is going home next week. This little puppy has wrapped my heart around his little paw. We've done a LOT in our 6 months together. Humvee went to his first puppy match with me (he won Best of Opposite Sex!). Humvee won Winners Dog the first time with me (he beat Ryder). Humvee won his first Major Reserve Winners Dog with me handling him. And, last weekend, Humvee won Winners Dog for his very first point with me on the end of the leash. And, the milestone of all puppy boys, Humvee started lifting his leg and peeing like a big dog with me (not on my house!) I've leash trained him, crate trained him, house trained him and given him, I hope, the best possible foundation for his career in the show ring I could. He's confident and happy, well socialized and yet, fairly well behaved. I know that I couldn't have loved him more if he'd been my own dog for more than just the last six months.

In my heart, he'll always be my baby boy. But now it's time for him to leave the nest, move in with his new parents and make his mark in the world. And, I expect, it'll be quite a big mark!

Take good care of my baby.

May 24, 2006

Katie takes back to back Best of Breeds

What a weekend it was for Kaos! Ryder took his third point, winning under Judge Lamar Mathis (ok, all the other entries were puppies, but there were some nice puppies and a point is a point!). But the real fun started when the girls went in. Katie was in a single dog class and Satinka won her Open class (of 2). So the girls went back in for Winners with Grandma taking Katie in. Imagine her surprise (and mine!) when the judge gave Katie Winners Bitch (her FIRST POINT) and Tinks Reserve. The fun continued when Katie was given Best of Breed and Best of Winners. Ryder had to settle for Best of Opposite . So, Saturday afternoon saw our first appearance in the Group rings....where we didn't figure we were going to do anything, so we just tried not to embarass ourselves.

Sunday was another day of the same....Katie opened up her can o' whup ass on Tinks and took WB for her SECOND point, Best of Winners AND Best of Breed...oh, and this was AFTER Humvee slammed Ryder and took off with his first Winners Dog (but, sadly, no points). And Humvee did deserve that win because he really is the better of the two.

Ok, it was a small show, with no specials (that's no dogs who already have their championship and are competing only for Best of Breed) but you know what? We'll take it!

Grandma not only handled Katie to her first two points, but also to her first two Best of Breed wins (the first of many in her life we hope!).

Needless to say, I'm going to crush the competition by simply leaving Katie at home!!! We've got Mission Circuit coming up with 4 days of majors, Pasadena a small show where Tinks and Elvira will get a chance to show in Brace again and then the Camino Real Siberian Husky Club Specialties. After that, I think we're going to need some rest...but no....more shows after that! It's a good thing we have fun doing this!!!

May 16, 2006

Satinka Remembers Mother's Day!!!

Well, I may have looked calm and composed, but inside I was jumping up and down with joy. Satinka won her second point on Mother's Day. She must have known that Momma was ready for another purple ribbon (and the trophy...a beautiful etched glass piece...bonus!).

I'm so proud of Satinka I could burst (and that'd be messy) but she's two years old and really getting ready to hit her stride. Of course, we don't have the picture yet. When it gets here, and if it's good, it'll be over at

The house projects need work. I've got a tile guy coming in to give us an estimate to finish the floors, upstairs and down. A painting guy will come do all the painting (except any faux finishing treatments and the wall paper border I've chosen for the master bedroom). And Sean's task is to ask the neighbors for the number of the guy who did their framing/drywall work so we can get the library closed off. I can't WAIT until these projects are done. Done done done....finished, get my drift :-)

May 03, 2006

Saying Goodbye before Hello ever really happened...

A couple of weeks ago, Mom told me about Kiska. Kiska is a 15 yr old Siberian Husky who, along with her owner, was trapped in an abusive relationship for a number of years. The woman's attempt to leave left Kiska at the mercy of the abuser who starved her for two weeks to manipulate the woman into returning. This happened 9 months ago.

The woman finally made it out, Kiska was relinquished to a private SPCA organization and lived at a veterinary clinic. She has heart, liver and kidney issues and probably won't be around for a lot longer. She's deaf, and her old eyes are cloudy with cataracts. She gets hand fed homecooked meals. They take great care of her at the clinic she lives at; she's become sort of the office mascot.

After an hour visit with Kiska, we had rearranged our lives and hearts to make a space for Kiska at Kaos, for as long as she lived. It was hard, after losing Nikki, Sasha, Tasha, Bo and Shana, to open my heart to the thought of another rescue, one that I knew I'd come to love and lose far too soon. But this girl deserves so much. She deserves a home, she deserves to know life in a pack of Siberians.....I couldn't even fathom that someone would think she was better off living at the veterinary clinic.

But they did. The Board of the private SPCA decided that Kiska was better off at the clinic, in case she needed immediate medical attention. They were worried that the stress of moving to our house would do her in. I couldn't believe it when I heard the decision. I still can't. I'm hurt and I'm angry. I'm still upset, two weeks later.

I've lost her and I never had a chance to tell her how important she'd become in my life. She deserved to be as special to us as Katie Kit Kat or mydarlingRyder or Frostlette or Princess Pointy Nose Aleska or Satinka the Diva, Bubblehead Cheyenne and Bobblehead Lacy, snugglebug Ice or the longsuffering King Max...she deserved a shot at the kind of spoiled life that all of my crew know.

Goodbye, Kiska. I wish you could have been one of the Kaos Girls...even for a short time. Too bad we never really got a chance to say hello.

April 28, 2006

I so suck at blogging...

It's been pointed out to me that I SUCK at last update was what, February? And now it's...almost May? I swear I have more life than this. I do! But sheesh, if an almost single again mom with a toddler can manage to update once a week, while creating beautiful jewelry in her "spare" time, certainly I shouldn't let little things like...oh, 10 dogs, 2 hours of commute to and from work stop me! No way, Jose!

Speaking of the aforementioned friend....I've managed to lose 14 lbs so far. It's not quite her 40, well and the other 180 some pounds of obnoxious fatthead (unlike her, I can't say a bad word in public, I'm a nice girl) I'm well on my way to slenderness. Well, Ok, I've taken one small step on a long road...but I like "well on my way" better. It sounds WAY more positive. And I joined a gym. Well, not a real, sweaty, testosterone and clanking weights or skinny, spandex aerobics class gym...but Curves. It's awesome. I can zip over there on my lunch hour, exercise, freshen up and zip back to work. All without disrupting the important schedule that is my life (ie...getting the dogs fed before they get hungry enough to start gnawing on my arm).

So, what's been going on at Kamp Kaos? Let's see....

Tile project: The "hey, let's tile the entire downstairs of a 3000 sq foot house by ourselves and, hey, let's do a pattern" project continues. I've got the kitchen, dining area and living room mostly done. The tiles around the edges still need to be cut and put in, but that's BORING and there's not much of a sense of accomplishment, so I moved on down into the entry way and "new" dog room, formerly the libary, formerly a dining room. Oh, wait, I did take a break to do the laundry room 'cause the dryer died, so we went and got a pair of those nifty, front loading Whirlpool Duets, and didn't want to have to move them to tile, so I tiled AND grouted the laundry room over a 4 day period. By the way, the Duets..ROCK. How sad is it that I'm excited that I only have to do 2 loads of laundry a week now? Anyway.....the tiling continues.


Humvee, you know, the visiting puppy who was staying through February? Well, he's 6 months old on Sunday and going to his first AKC show. I'm getting attached to the little bugger, despite the fact that he INSISTS on breakfast by 6:30 every morning, including weekends. Humvee went to a puppy match a few weeks ago, his first public appearance and won Best of Opposite..which means that the Best of Breed dog was actually a bitch, so he was the best dog entered...according to that judge who is, in my humble opinion, almost brilliant. So, Sunday he's going to a real AKC show. One thing that really sucks about showing a 6-9 month puppy dog is that you're the very first class of your breed...and the AKC doesn't work well on "Sparkle Time." (I'm trying to upload a picture of the young man, but having technical difficulties, so go check out his pictures on his "real" owner's website Maskarade Siberians)

Katie's also making her debut in the show ring this weekend. Well, she's shown before, but mostly just to enter to help build numbers to build points (it's a system, just trust me) but now she's starting to look good and we may actually win. Of course, there's still Satinka, who's also starting to look good again (with a new coat) so I've got two very competitive girls.

I was hoping to have my new puppy by now...because you know, I don't have enough to do. Latte the Loser, my official name for her, her new family calls her something much nicer, turned out to be the pet of the litter though. Never fear, like any good obsessive/compulsive, there are more puppies in the pipeline and by August, my puppy jones should be satisfied.

And I almost have my very own outdoor, point-of-use hot water heater for dog bathing...since the installation of the new washer and dryer took away my previous plumbing solution (a hose running out the dryer vent from the water spigots of the washer). Tearing the husband away from refurbishing an airplane to install these little luxuries is well worth the effort of thanking him....but we won't go THERE.

Let's see, what else is going on? Did I mention that I'm an Aunt again? My baby brother and his darling wife, Allison, after a few weeks of hospital residential living, brought home Colton. He came early, but he's doing great. I celebrated by buying out the Carter's outlet store on my way home from (imagine this) a dog show and shipping a box of clothes up that weighed more than the baby.

So, I've covered dieting, tiling, dogs, the new baby and the excitment of a new washer/dryer set...that's about all that's going on in the Land of Kaos.

February 22, 2006

Do they shed a lot?

Siberian Husky owners hear this question every time they take a dog out in public. Do they shed? Well, aside from the initial, smartypants answer that comes to mind (well, they're dogs, what do you think?) I do try to be polite and even offer some education about the breed so my reply usually goes something like this: "Yep, every day and then a HUGE coat dump 2 times a year or so." Give up on the fantasy of ever wearing black (or any dark, slimming color) again. Accept that when you open your car windows you'll create some weird weather anomoly...a dry white the hair is sucked out of your vehicle. If you want clean, dog hair free sheets check into a hotel, preferably one that doesn't allow pets, as a Siberian Husky owner may have been there before you.

It's often opined that the coat dump is triggered by seasonal with the winter coat, out with the winter coat...which doesn't really explain why Siberian Huskies in Southern California still dump their coats, does it? My crew starts dumping their coats in October/November...that's pretty much winter in my book, way too late to be growing in the "keep me warm" hairs.

I have a theory; coat dumps are triggered by dog show entries. The more expensive the entry, the more important the show (to the owner of course) the better one's chances of having a "naked" dog are. Take Satinka, for example. She's been rolling her coat out (a gentle shed, where every bath removes a little bit of dead hair, but she's still got a lovely, full coat) all year long. I don't mind, I'm happy she's not a coat dumper. I'm proud she's not a coat dumper and I loudly praise her non-coat dumping qualities to all of my show friends, especially when they have naked dogs. Pride goeth before a fall should be the thought coming to mind about now.

So, we're coming up on the beginning of the spring/summer show season; lots of shows coming up. No major shows, but lots of small, close to home, relatively inexpensive shows. Guess what I did last night? I combed a grocery sack full of hair off of Satinka. Not your little plastic bag...the big, paper bag kind of grocery bag. How does she know show time is starting up? Is there some sort of canine telegraph that we mere humans can't hear?

February 21, 2006

The Joys of Home Ownership

Kaos is in...well...chaos. Somewhere along the line, the lovely light "builder beige" carpet that was installed in our lovely, new home turned "backyard brown." Now, as anyone who's seen dirt knows, it's not the most attractive color on a carpet...nor is it consistently shaded (or I might have just lived with it). So, in a spurt of "we've got to do something" the adults of Kaos (as opposed to the dogs of Kaos) decided to pull up all of the carpet in the living areas and lay down tile. Not hire someone to lay lay the tile...ourselves. Did I mention that our house is roughly 2800 sq. feet? And that we're laying tile in at least 2/3 of it?

Over the weekend we did most of the dining area (that space between the family room and the kitchen that defies naming), most of the kitchen (including pulling out the appliances to tile underneath them as needed) and most of the family room. Grandma's room and new walk in closet are about 1/2 done...we'll go back upstairs later, after the downstairs projects are complete. Did I mention that I'm not a svelte, fitness freak and that tiling is a lot of work? I found muscles I didn't know existed...and I liked them that way.

So, back to that backyard beige carpet. Some areas will get new carpet; the living room, formerly known as the dog room, is going to be the library, with french doors opening into it. That room will be dog free and carpeted. The stairs, upstairs hallway and Sean's den/guestroom will also get new carpet. Sean and I picked a gorgeous "black cherry" carpet. Yes, it'll show dog hair...but everything does. However, the black cherry carpet does NOT work with the merlot walls downstairs...which means the dark merlot walls need to be primed and repainted. "No, Sean, we cannot leave the walls primer gray."

And where were the dogs during all of this weekend fun? Well, they spent parts of the weekend outside...when it wasn't pouring rain or when they weren't opening the new slider (did I mention the 8' slider that took the installers two trips to install according to code? and they still didn't do the interior drywall work? Sean HATES drywall) and tromping through the tile adhesive on the floor. The rest of the weekend they spent hanging out in their crates, sleeping. Even the puppy...he's such a good boy. And getting BIG...but I digress.

So, we're about 1/2 way done with the tile; the entry way and the "new" dog room (which was our library and to normal people is a dining room) both need tiled and there are a few more rows in the family room to do, as well as all of the edge pieces that need cut. Then Sean has to put up the wall and the french door into the libary. All of the new wall needs to be textured, then we need to paint everything that needs painted. When all that messy stuff is done, we go back upstairs. Finish Grandma's suite (tile the other 1/2 of the floor and her bathroom and install her new vanity), paint and tile the master bedroom & bath and then, finally...have the black cherry carpet installed.

Then, I guess, we move do some landscaping in the front. But don't hold your breath for that one...I may hire it done.

The spring dog show season is coming up. I can tell, because Satinka is blowing her coat. One of our new favorite games is "pull the hair off the dog." Ok, maybe it's not her favorite game, but I sure enjoy it. The spring blowing of the coat means I'll have more time at home for fun house projects and less money spent at dog shows. Guess where I'd rather be?

January 16, 2006

The SUV at Kaos

Ok, so he's a puppy. His name is Humvee and he's Katie's new favorite toy. He's hanging out, during the day in the puppy palace (a 6x9 enclosure in the house) and when we're home he hangs out with the rest of the crew...especially Katie, although Frosty is very excited that there's someone smaller than her in the family. I don't think she remembers that both Katie and Satinka were smaller than her at one point.

Hummie, or stinky puppy boy as Grandma calls him, belongs to our friends Tony & Adele. They're in the middle of the "move from hell" (my words) from sunny, southern California to Eastern Washington, a place where they have something called WINTER. They started this move in early November...when WINTER happens. So, while they're living in their motorhome while their house is being built and the rest of the Maskarade crew is living in temporary quarters, Hummie is hanging out at Kamp Kaos, living the life of luxury.

Having a puppy around certainly keeps us all on our toes. It's hard to get out of the house in the morning on time...he's distracting! And, like Dakar, Elvira and's going to be hard to let him go back to his folks when the time comes. Until then, however, we'll continue spoiling him rotten.

And, yes, Hummie is eating raw, like the rest of the crew. His breeder and owners think I'm a little weird that way (ok, so do lots of other people) but when I said it was a condition of him staying at Kamp Kaos, there was a graceful surrender. He *loves* his meal the point of waking the the house on weekends "can we get some service here?" when the staff (that would be me) is trying to sleep in.