December 12, 2007

The Official First Picture

Well, it's that time...we finally have a picture of the first Kaos puppy. See that little + sign at the left? That's near the head. And the one on the right? That's near the opposite end :-) The little bugger is 2.85 cm long and about 32 days old. Due date for the trio (there are at least two more in there) is Jan 11. I can't wait! There's so much to do to get ready.

November 19, 2007

Kaos' Kamping WeeKend

Daddy and Grandma took 7 of the crew (Katie, Aleska and Abby went with Grandma; Ice, Frosty, Arwen and Blaze went with Daddy) off to the SCWSD camping weekend somewhere where there's no running water or electricity (hence the reason you don't see MY name on the list of attendees!).

Grandma got a few shots of Kamp Kaos, where Katie, Aleska, Abby and Grandma reside when they camp as well as a shot of Nichole's team and a couple of Sean's Krew. In Sean's team, that's Frosty and her Grandpa Ice up in lead and Arwen (the loaner aka Satinka's stunt double) and Blaze at wheel. Arwen ran lead the other two short runs of the weekend and did great.

Sean said it was great fun having four dogs who actually work the whole time (not to mention any Ryder or Satinka names). It was Blaze's first real run and I'm proud to say that Daddy's not cutting him from the team yet (unlike Ryder who will be out to create symmetry in the team hookup, not do any actual work).

October 25, 2007

Did somebody say Dog Show?

Knowing he's got a big week coming up, Blaze spends a little extra time on facials and pedicure. And I suppose this also answers the age old question...what do they do while we're at work all day?

October 23, 2007

Someone's going to pay for this!

Says Robin...aka The Red Headed Demon Child who was forced to wear Katie's hand-me-down, puppy sized costume.

October 12, 2007

Where's my shoe?

Puppies chew shoes and anything else they can find, right? I mean, it's a known fact. We've never had much of a problem with shoes and puppies...well, other than the time that puppy Katie took off with my shoe and dunked it in the water outside.

But Robin? She adores shoes. LOVES them. CRAVES them. And she's sneaky good!

Grandma had (note the past tense) a pair of Crocs. You know, those ugly, clog like rubber sandal things? She took them away from Robin once and put them on the sofa table. End of story, right? Nope. Robin got up on the sofa, took the shoe and settled down for a good chew. She was a fair way through the shoe before I heard a funny noise (funny noises and quiet are two things that we worry about) and found her curled up with the remains of the Croc.

Sean was laying on the sofa one night, having removed his shoes and put them under the coffee table right in front of him. Enter Robin, exit shoe.

And it doesn't stop there. I took off my loafers and put them under the coffee table and was playing with the dogs and reading (it is possible to do both). Next thing I knew, I looked down and there was only one shoe. ROBIN!!!! Sure enough, she's outside, curled up working her way through the leather loafer. You'd think, by now, we'd know to keep our shoes safe, right?

Last weekend Katie's boy, Zach, and his mom spent the night. I think we forgot to warn them about the Shoe Monster. You see Robin streaking out the door and say "everyone check your shoes" as you follow to see what she's stolen. Not only had she stolen one of Zach's shoes, but taking a page out of Katie's book, dunked it in the water bowl. So I put it in the dryer on that special rack that's not supposed to rotate..THUMP THUMP THUMP. I grabbed the door open and pulled the rack out before it killed my dryer and the shoe fell to the floor. I put the rack away and turned to pick up the was GONE! GONE! ROBIN!!!!! The shoe was retrieved, unharmed.

This morning, as I was talking to Grandma, reviewing our plans for the day I felt something on my foot. I looked down. Now she's not even waiting for me to take them OFF! ROBIN, that's my SHOE! She looks up at me with that gleam in her golden eyes.....Yeah, Mom, I know. But you're not paying attention to it.

August 08, 2007

Passing the Torch

It happens, when you have new dogs move in. Inevitably one habit, one you were happy to see extinguished in a current dog, will raise its head in a new dog. Or, sometimes a characteristic behavior in a dog you've loved and lost will echo in the behavior of a new dog. We've got both going on at Kaos right now.

Remember Blaze, the Demolition Man who felt it was his sworn duty to help Daddy remove drywall, even the new drywall? Blaze, after some serious drywall removal, gave up that habit. Whether it was the gallons of Bitter Apple we sprayed around the edges of the exposed drywall (and, by the way, in a 2800 sq ft house, with NO baseboards reinstalled after the Great Re-Tiling Caper of 2006 there are a LOT of exposed drywall edges) or the hours of "Blaze, QUIT" that did the trick, we'll never know...but he stopped.

Yesterday Grandma reported that Robin found a tasty piece of drywall. The odd noise got Grandma's attention immediately and little damage was done. This morning, as I stepped out of the shower, I heard a noise I'd hoped never to hear again...sort of a scraping the front teeth of a dog scraping at drywall. I glanced in the bedroom to see Satinka, Frosty, Max and Lacy lazing, innocently, on the bed. Another step into the room and I saw Robin, over in the corner, busying herself. "That'd better be a nylabone" I said in my most impressive Mean Mom voice. I should have saved it. She didn't care. She looked up from her demolition project as if she didn't have a care in the world. I found a nylabone, handed it to her, showed her the inside of the crate and shut the door to continue my morning. Great, another Demolition Dog. This time Sean says if she destroys drywall, I'm going to learn to repair it myself. Might be easier to train the puppy.

And then there are the echos of dogs loved and lost. Tasha, whom some of you may remember, was a Grumbly Guss. At first we thought she was simply aggressive and were, quite rightly, cautious. As we got to know her, we realized she was simply a talker...a street-wise trash talker to be more specific. Walk by my crate? Grumble, grumble..oh, you're not impressed, fine. Get in my face? Grumble, grumble. Ok, let's go play. She was all noise. I can't recall that she ever even snapped at another dog or person. Of course, time may have dulled those memories, leaving only the good ones...but that's time's job, right?

Enter Abby. A couple of months ago she was a "save this dog" rescue post. Neglected by her owners, she had maggot infested open wounds. Knowing that Kaos wasn't a good place for her at that time, I forwarded the e-mails to some other folks who might be able to help her and put her out of my mind. Thinking about all the dogs you can't help will make you crazy. But Grandma's don't forget. Then she found out that she was with Chris, a local rescuer who got her out of the shelter, got her the needed vet care and was fostering her, looking for the right home. The right home wasn't a "we have one dog and it needs company" home, because Abby (well, she was Sheena then) wasn't super fond of having another dog roughhousing with her. She'd been separated from Chris' dogs for a few weeks, becoming accustomed to them by the separation and safe space of her own run. But she never, really, left Grandma's mind I don't think. I didn't think Kaos would be her place. We have a lot of dogs...a lot of active dogs who I knew wouldn't leave her alone. But Grandma wanted to try.

Enter Abby. Oh, I said that already, didn't I. But, no, really...Abby entered. She met Katie and didn't hate her on sight. Then she came to visit at Kaos. It's temporary, we'll see how she works out. She was a grumbly girl, not really timid, but not accustomed to the rough and tumble of Kaos. She'd perch up on the couch and growl at every dog who walked by, letting them know they were invading her space. I had my doubts she'd settle in, that we were going to be a happy home for her. Grandma had her doubts. Sean had his. We must have talked to Chris a million times the first few days "Abby's doing this, is this normal?" We expected a lot from Abby, too soon, was the consensus. We gave her space, she got the double run to herself while we were gone, getting used to the rest of the dogs in a safe space, where Blaze couldn't chase her into the dog house to play, where Katie couldn't play bow and leap at her to instigate a game of chase...where Robin couldn't simply pester her in an attempt to wear down her defenses.

But there was something, so we kept watching .... and then Satinka walked by and somehow her face ended up in Abby's mouth. That was Abby's last free pass from me. She didn't bite, she just held and released, much to my relief (and probably Satinka's too). She was sweet, engaging and made me smile, but my first responsibility is to the dogs who live with me...tough talk, eh? In the 10 days she's been her, Abby has won my carefully guarded, I don't want any more rescues 'cause they break my heart when they get sick so soon, heart.

She's got issues, she's not fond of having her space invaded. She guards the couch a little too much, so she's not allowed up there. You try to tell one dog why they can't be on the couch and everyone else's TOUGH. Blaze drove her crazy, with his insistance that she play with him...he wore her down. Abby learned it was easier to play with Blaze for a couple of minutes than to tell him to go away. She has her snarky moments, but so do the rest of us at Kaos, two and four legged. She's learning that our hands on her body won't cause pain. Whether its remembered pain from the open sores or some other pain that hands caused her in her past, she's slowly forgetting that and welcoming the scratches and belly rubs.

She's got cataracts, so her field of vision is a little fuzzy. I guess that means we won't rearrange the furniture often, so that when her vision goes, she knows where things are.

Every time she grumbles I think of Tasha, my summer girl, her big blue eyes and mangled foot. Every time she cocks her head, looks up at me with those laughing eyes, I melt a little bit more.

Passing the Torch or Echos of the Past? I see a little bit of the dogs who've been through Kaos in each of the dogs who are here. Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me cry. Sometimes it makes me wonder how to hide the drywall damage from the husband. But each time it makes me realize how vulnerable I am to those furry faces, those smiles, those sweet doggie kisses and hugs.

July 10, 2007

Blaze The Magnificent

Last night we took Robin (aka the Red Headed Screaming Demon Child) to PetSmart, to work on some issues (namely screaming when told to do something she doesn't want to do) and we put all the dogs outside.

Sean pulled up as we were getting in the car, he opened the door and came back out quickly "Why is Blaze loose in the house?" Oh no, not soon after having accidentally left Robin inside, I couldn't believe I'd done it again...and this time with a boy who a) marks and b) CAN reach the counter tops. But wait, I distinctly remember walking him to the door and closing it, because he wanted his own, special invitation from Mom. I decided to think about it later, then it hit me. The windows were open in the living room, and one of 'em doesn't have a screen. Blaze considers that his own, personal, doggie door.

Sure enough, as I went back in the house to tell Sean I hadn't completely lost my mind, Blaze excited the same way he came in...through the window. Good thing we don't wash the windows! I'd hate to see him plastered against one like a bird!

July 06, 2007

Robin's Great Adventure

Yesterday, the husband called me while I was driving home "What is the puppy doing in the house?" Um...hello? Puppy in the house all day long...several horrible disasters loomed in my mind. "What did she destroy?" I asked carefully, not really wanting to know the answer. "Well, I haven't found anything yet, other than a lot of toys strewn all over." I breathed a thankful sigh of relief.

"So, how many times did she go potty in the house?" I then asked, wondering if the clean up would be left for me when I got home, she is, after all, my puppy, even if she's a suck-up to Daddy girl. "I can't find anything, but I'm not going in your craft room, I wouldn't know if anything was out of place there." Ok...I can live with that.

So, it appears, at about 4 1/2 months old, Robin is potty trained. We didn't find any puppy messes and she was darn eager to get outside.

But there's still the mystery of how she got INTO the house...everyone else was outside and the doors and windows were all locked and closed. I'm trying hard not to think too much about that.

June 28, 2007

Fireworks and security

First, let me say that I LOVE fireworks. The huge, orchestrated displays that you can go watch (or see from your backyard) that many municipalities put on are fantastic. I despise the noisy, bang bang fireworks that you can light off in the street putting life, limb and property at risk. It's fireworks season and given that July 4 is mid-week this year, I expect we'll have them both the weekend before and the weekend after in no small quantity, despite that fact that they're illegal in Riverside County. We'll stock up on the Rescue Remedy for Lacy and Cheyenne, who are scared senseless of the noise and put them in a bedroom to hide.

Satinka loves watching things in the air, whether it's a fly that she's going to catch or an airplane overhead; things flying around fascinate her. Last summer Satinka and Humvee sat on the picnic table and watched airplanes for hours, their pointy little noses aimed skyward and moving back and forth, as if watching some sort of aerial tennis match.

When the fireworks start, Satinka runs outside and scans the sky, looking for that tale tail stream of light heading skyward. Once she spots it she freezes, like a well-trained pointer when game is present. The delight in her face when she sees the explosion of light is priceless.

Satinka, a veteran of fireworks displays, went running outside after the first bang, watching for the explosion of color (she doesn't get the physics of the speed of light v. the speed of sound, but what she does know is there's always more coming if she's patient). While the older dogs (and Blaze, who couldn't be bothered) just settled in for another evening of noise, Robin had to go investigate the new noise. I followed, not certain how the puppy was going to handle the noise, wondering if I was going to be needed to provide comfort. Well, Robin's a pretty confident little miss and not much worries her. The first bang startled her, and she looked to Satinka to see how she should react. Then, I had two girls watching the sky. When the first explosion of light came Robin jumped for it, to catch that bit of brightness for herself. After missing the catch, she watched Satinka carefully again tracking the flare of the rising pyrotechnic device (Satinka uses those big words, she may not understand physics, but she's smart). Robin followed her gaze, not wanting to miss anything. Since the day she moved in she hasn't wanted to miss anything...and she doesn't. The explosion in the sky fascinated her...she didn't jump for it this time, she'd already figured out that it was out of reach, she just stood, like her big sister, steady and solid, enjoying the nighttime display.

It's what I want for my puppy, the fearlessness that lets her face life head on when confronted with new and potentially scary events; the confidence that lets her jump into new experiences knowing that I will never let anything harm her.

It's what I want for Lacy and Cheyenne too but, having missed the formative years of their life, I may just have to be content with knowing that when they're scared they know that I'll provide them a safe hiding place.

June 17, 2007 and improved

You know it's going to be "A Weekend" when you come downstairs on Saturday morning and find Frosty, who was safely tucked into her "escape proof" crate on the sofa. A quick inspection revealed that she's managed to break the cable/zipties holding the crate together, allowing her to push the door open about 4", more than enough room to squeeze out of. Ok, fixed that, went on with the day.

On Sunday, I came downstairs to find that Frosty wasn't feeling well. For those of you without dogs just trust me, you know. Frosty, in the Sky Kennel (with ventilation holes in the back of the crate) managed to deposit all of the evidence of her upset stomach (the final remains of yesterday's escape and counter surfing episode) outside of her crate, leaving her crate and herself clean. Not bad, a little vinegar, a little hydrogen peroxide, a couple of towels and every thing's good. Did I mention that she managed to break two more cable ties...almost lifting the top off of the crate? In case you didn't know, dogs have a den instinct and no dogs wants to soil its den. Frosty is no exception.'s going to be one of *those* weekends.

Now, on to Robin.
Every time we create The Puppy Palace, we make a few changes. This time, I dubbed the area "Puppytopia." When Robin's brothers and sister were here visiting, it was where we put the four little monsters when we needed to contain them. Now that it's just Robin, it's her daytime hang out she's not quite old enough to go out in the yard with the big dogs all day. We've created a pretty good (if we do say so ourselves) containment area.

I have this little ritual when I come home - I unlock and open the door and say "oh, no Robin" and look over in the puppy pen and say "there she is!" Ok, it's silly, but it's what I do. Today, I unlocked the door, said "no Robin!" and then said "Oh #$%&*"- she just didn't have time to get down the stairs when she heard the door. Puppytopia looked like this:

You'll notice a few small changes from the Puppytopia pictured on our website, namely that the puppy pen doesn't seem to be centered on that lovely piece of vinyl. It seems Robin was tired of that flooring and wanted to use some tile. I could have lived with that...if there'd been a Robin still IN Puppytopia.

So, now we have Puppytopia, PCS v2.0 (that's Puppy Containment System, vers. 2). It looks like this:

You'll notice there appears to be a lid on Puppytopia, hopefully ending any more escapes by the clever little puppy.

I'm sure Robin will come up with something new to entertain, amuse and surprise me. But if she learns to undo the clips keeping Puppytopia together, I'm going to seriously consider sending her back to her breeder!!! Ok, maybe not. But I'm going to unseriously consider it!

June 12, 2007

All About Robin

Kaos has a new face...I know I've talked about her, but she's finally here. Maskarade's What Dreams May Come, aka Robin, Rotten Robin, Robin Bo Bobbin... the nicknames are endless.

Last weekend we went to another puppy match. Now, I'll admit to being somewhat remiss in our training, but I thought she did pretty well. Before we started, we had a LONG heart to heart talk about how things were going to go.

It went went like this:Me: Robin, we're going to trot around this ring when I say "let's go."
Robin: We are? Why?
Me: Because I say so.
Robin: Hey, Mom, there's something on your nose, let me get it!

Me: Robin, you're cute, and I love you...but we're going to work now.
Robin: Mom, work this...

May 17, 2007

They just don't appreciate me.

Take, for instance, Lacy. I bought her a $60 dog bed (yes, I know...but it matches my bedroom so nicely). What happens? She stays on the ratty, lumpy rectangular bed that we got years ago, probably at Big Lots (when the dogs eat things, you learn to train 'em not to eat things with the cheap versions) and Max takes the new bed. OK, fine. So I buy TWO more round beds, they don't match the $60 bed, but hey, they coordinate :-) I move the "good" bed over to Lacy's spot where the ratty, old bed usually ends up, put the two new beds at the foot of the bed where Max sleeps and I move the ratty old bed over to a spot near my bed where no one usually sleeps.

Oh, did I mention that at some point, I added an older pillow to Lacy's new bed to make it more comfortable? Max thought the pillow was a great addition.

The other night I woke up...Max was in one of the new beds, Ry was on a pile of pillows (all the decorative pillows that end up in a pile in the corner, covered by a sheet in case a dog decides to sleep on them), Frosty was on the bed with me and Satinka was in Lacy's "good" bed. Where was Lacy? Not in the 2nd new bed...not even on the ratty old bed...she was sprawled on the tile floor, happy as could be.

Does she not understand what I went through to find her a bed? And to make sure there were enough beds that there would always be a bed for her? I suppose that doesn't really require an answer, does it.

May 15, 2007

The Baby becomes The Boy

I have a friend, who shall remain nameless, who calls her young male dogs "The Boy" in conversation. I laugh about it, because it doesn't matter which boy she's talking about, he's "The Boy."

As many of you know, Blaze has been "The Baby." Yesterday The Baby became The Boy. How did this happen? How did my darling little puppy grow up without me noticing?

Katie is in season. The boys are all far too interested in her and we've instituted the Separation of the Sexes for playtime. That mean's that Grandma's Girls (which includes Katie) spend a lot more time in Grandma's suite of rooms. The gate on the stairs remains closed at all times (unless I forget!) and no one gets let inside, outside, upstairs or downstairs without checking "where are the boys?" or "where's Katie?"

All month I've been pleased that The Baby didn't seem to be overly interested in her or really quite "get it." But the signs have been there. He's constantly annoying the other girls, you know, in an irritating pull on her hair to show her you like her, elementary school kind of way. But yesterday he took another step in moving away from being The Baby and becoming The Boy. I came home to find Ryder had some scratches on his nose. The scratches are remarkably similar to the scratches that Max and Ice sported when Ryder reached that stage in his development. Head wrestling will do that to you...when one of the parties gets a little out of control. The Boy is more assertive, standing over the other males to say "I'm a BOY" now.

Yep, he's The Boy. He's figured out what girls are...and he's figured out that he can throw his weight around with the boys.

I think The Baby is growing up.

May 09, 2007

Mushing Boot Camp 2007 - Pictures!!!

When I realized that Sean had forgotten the camera, I was both distressed and, I'll admit, somewhat relieved. I knew that he was going to be focused on the dogs, working with the dogs and learning...I was kind of afraid the camera would suffer. But, on the flip side, it meant I wasn't going to get any pictures...and that was distressing. I love watching the dogs work.

Happily Twila and her husband, from Quinalt Siberians, came to the rescue and took some great pictures. I've snagged the pictures that have shots of Sean and the team in them and uploaded them to our picturetrail album.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I especially like that I got to enjoy Boot Camp without having to get up at 5:30 am to water the dogs and grab breakfast!

Laura, the Lazy

May 07, 2007

We survived Mushing Boot Camp 2007

Well, we're finally on our way home. We learned a lot this week and worked hard for Daddy.

Some of the things we learned?

1. Don't stop to go potty when working. Daddy will let the other dogs run you over.
2. Don't throw temper tantrums if you don't want to work. Daddy doesn't care and will make you do it anyway.
3. Daddy can be just as mean as Momma and we have to listen to him too when he tells us to do something.
4. Daddy IS the boss of us.

I had SO much fun. Daddy put me in back for a little while, but then moved me back up front with Grandpa Ice. I swear, if those two lazy butts behind us (Ryder and Satinka) had done some of the work, Grandpa and I wouldn't have gotten so tired!

After I tried to get out of the funny box thing the first night, Daddy put us in our crates to sleep. That's OK, I guess. I'd rather have been on the bed with him, but at least I'm used to my crate and it has a crate pad, not that funny straw stuff.

Oh, one more thing I learned - pulling a cart and Daddy through mud is HARD WORK. And when I get tired and sit down, Daddy makes me go again. I love running, but really...

We practiced "on by" a lot. I mean a LOT. Apparently it's very important for us to know "on by" and we do. Momma taught us that already. Apparently she didn't tell Daddy we already knew that.

And Satinka and I think that the really neat cart that Daddy tried looks MUCH better behind us than the black one. It's sleek and pretty...just like us. We'll have to talk to Momma about getting one of those. I know Daddy will help us.

We'll be home tonight...I hope Momma's planning on us sleeping on the big bed with her. We're ready for a soft bed!

Frosty, the Littlest Lead Dog

May 04, 2007

Mushing Boot Camp, 2nd Report

Hey Mom!

Ry figured out how to work this cell phone, so while Daddy's inside talking with all those people, we thought we'd call you and tell you what's really going on up here.

I'm running lead, with Tinks. It's pretty cool; she doesn't work quite as hard as I do but she's pretty good. Daddy's teaching us to line out...he said we were really good, especially Tinks and I when we stayed while he took Ry & Frosty off to their tie outs. Tinks was the last one off and she stood there like a real sled dog, waiting her turn. The folks here said since I'm the best worker, I should run up front and man is it cool! There's so much more to see up here. I like it up front. Ryder keeps trying to catch up with me, but he can't.

We were trying to help Daddy, by coming back to the cart to get our water, but he wanted us to stay in our spots. So, I guess we'll just let him wait on us. We were just trying to help.

We've been practicing on by. It's like you make us do when we can't stop to check stuff out, so it's no big deal but some of these dogs are BIG! Now I have to figure out how to mark without stopping, 'cause Daddy's decided I don't need to stop and mark every little thing. Doesn't he know that's one of my main jobs?

And, Momma, Daddy feeds us TWICE a day. The meals are a little smaller, but we get fed TWICE. We need to talk when we get home.

This afternoon Daddy says we're doing a "wet" run...that means we get to go play in the MUD! I can't wait. We've been teaching Daddy to get off the cart and run beside it, so we'll have more energy for playing in the mud.

Ry, Tinks and Frosty are already asleep, so I'd better figure out how to put this phone back where Ry found it and catch some shut eye myself. We've got MUD to play in this afternoon.

Ice, Lead Dog

Ch. Apache Run's Satinka of Kaos and AB1634

Man, that looks cool, seeing that CH in front of Satinka's name. Don't you agree?

I keep thinking it was a long time coming, but really it wasn't. In August she took her first reserve to a major. In October was that FANTASTIC reserve at a huge specialty in Chicago. In November was her third reserve to a major (never mind that there were 9 other RWB awards...they were when she was younger and still not mature). In January she took her first major, in April her second to finish. Nope, that doesn't seem like such a long time at all.

Looking back, I can't believe the cute little puppy that I brought home from Texas finished her championship with me, her novice owner/handler on the other end of the leash. I can't believe that a breeder who didn't really no me from Adam agreed to let me take this pick of the litter girl and bring her out to California.

You know what's worse? I can't believe that under the proposed AB1634, California's mandatory sterilization bill Satinka wouldn't be finished now because she wouldn't have qualified for an intact permit under the proposed law.

(2) The owner sufficiently demonstrates, as determined in the discretion of the local jurisdiction or its authorized animal control agency, all of the following:
(A) His or her cat or dog is used to show or compete and has competed in at least one legitimate show or sporting competition, hosted by, or under the approval of, a recognized purebred registry or association in existence since at least October 1, 2007, within the last two years, or by whatever proof is requested by the authorized local animal control agency that the cat or dog is being trained to show or compete and is too young to have yet competed.
(B) His or her cat or dog is a valid breed that is recognized by an approved purebred registry or association in existence since at least October 1, 2007.
(C) The cat or dog has earned, or if under two years old, is in the process of earning, a conformation, obedience, agility, carting,herding, protection, rally, sporting, working, or other title from an approved purebred registry or association.

Yep, I'd have to have met ALL of those qualifiers. And, guess what? She finished 1 day after her THIRD birthday.

Kinda takes the shine off of her Championship, knowing that if this bill passes, it'll be my last one if they don't finish before they're two.

May 03, 2007

Is this any way to treat a Princess? or...I WANT my Lawyer!!!

Last weekend I finished my championship, mom made a big deal about it, kept picking me up and spinning me around (OK, she finally got over that, I didn't have to barf on her) and in general, treated me with the attention and adoration which is my due. After all, I'm the only champion at Kaos. I'm special.

Then, Wednesday morning Daddy woke me up at THREE AM. That's MORNING...before Momma has hit her buzzer two or three times even. The sunshine isn't even up at THREE AM...and here's Daddy, waking me up. Then he took me out to the van. Oh, goodie...a ride. I love my crate in the van, it's got all sorts of toys in it and I can watch out the back window and make faces at people. Uh...hold on here...this isn't MY van or MY crate...Daddy? What's going on? Hey, Mister, why am I in a 300 sized crate on the FLOOR. I can't see down here. Hello? Daddy? Oh for crying out loud, Mom's not coming...we're in Daddy's van. This can't be good...or can it? Daddy doesn't know all of Momma's travel rules....this could be fun.

So, I'm stuck in a 300 sized crate, the size Momma puts babies in for heaven's sake and down where I can't see. That's the first complaint for my attorney...accommodations unfitting to my station in life.

Then Daddy drove all day and took us to some place called OrEgon. It's WET up here and there's MUD everywhere! Um, hello, this better not mean an extra bath Mister. Ok, so we can play in the mud, that's cool. Daddy put us on these chains to keep us from running in the woods...kinda weird...Momma uses crates. But I can live with that.

Then came bedtime. Daddy didn't put us back in our crates, we can work with this! Frosty and I did our darnedest to eat these boxes apart...I got the wire off the door...Frosty almost got hers open. I tell ya, another hour and we'd have been busted outta these boxes. Daddy calls them "dog boxes" and we are on a trailer thing...but sheesh, any self-respecting Siberian Husky should be able to get out of these. I can't believe those lazy boys didn't do a single thing to help. Lazy bums.

And then...Daddy put us on our tie outs...and it's wet and muddy again. There's grass and stuff, it didn't take me long to show him that wasn't a suitable bedding material for a Siberian of my stature. And then? Oh, we got to go run with the that's fun. I let Frosty do most of the work, 'cause she really likes it, but I sure look pretty running like that.

He must have called Mom at that point, because I'm stuck in my crate now. How come when Momma talks about wireless it's a good thing, but when Frosty and I try to go wireless it's not? HUH? That's not FAIR. Now I'm stuck in this dinky little crate, and I can't see out the window and I don't have my toys.

I want my lawyer. And my union rep. I have a union rep, right? I didn't ask to go camping...Momma says girls don't have to camp, that's what hotels are for.

Miss. Ch. Satinka

March 19, 2007

A Crisis of Procrastination

So, about 18 mos ago, I started tiling the downstairs of our house...having lived on bare concrete for 4-8 months, I figured it was time. Mom's room was 1/2 done after all, it was time to start another project.

About 800 sq feet into the project I realized...I HATED THE TILE. Hated, as in "would pay someone to tear it up" hated it. So we did, pay someone to tear it up that is. Then, having learned that lesson, we paid someone else to lay down the tile we selected as replacement. This tile covers almost all of the downstairs; the library will, at some point, be re-carpeted, along with the stairs and upstairs hall and the spare/Sean's/den room. And we have no molding, either at floor level or around the doors, because that all came down to repaint everything AND to switch it to something nicer than "builder's bulk purchase" molding. (Please, don't ask about dogs chewing on exposed drywall may send Sean, well, over the edge. He's getting REALLY good at drywall repair.)

The soft, butter creme color of the walls had to go, between the new lighting fixtures with their energy saving fluorescent bulbs and the new floor was HIDEOUS. So now we have Mesa Tumbleweed (aka chocolate milk brown) walls and a couple of walls that are Japanese Maple - one downstairs and one in the master bedroom. (Actually, I think it might be Plum Raisin, but doesn't Japanese Maple sound prettier?...anyway, it's a deep, dark, burgundy color that I shall call Japanese Maple...except when I have the paint chip in hand and need to match it to something...but I digress.

The Japanese Maple was picked upstairs because it was perfect with the wallpaper border that Sean and I had agreed on for our bedroom on our FIRST trip to look at wallpaper books (what are the odds of that?). So, we have the border ordered (sometime early last year) the painting done (sometime early THIS year) and a couple weekends ago we put up the wall paper border.

But some bimbo can't measure correctly and she was 3 rolls short (that's 15 yards). No problem, right? Go back to the website, order 3 more rolls, don't think about the lot numbers, it won't be THAT obvious...well, no, it won't, because the ding dang pattern has been DISCONTINUED. As in not available. As in..can't get it anymore.

After a couple hours of frantic googling, I *think* I found some in stock. I ordered it and now I'm waiting to hear back. If it's not in stock, I HOPE I can find another pattern from the same company, in the same shades so I don't have to repaint that Japanese Maple wall upstairs.

Of course, if I'd done the painting and wall paper border a year ago when I ordered the stuff I could have ordered more border before it was discontinued...but where's the fun in that?

Oh, did I mention that we didn't care for how the grout color came out? And "staining/sealing grout" is still on my list of things to finish. But I've got the stain! I ordered that last year.

March 14, 2007

The pitterpatter of little feet...

...won't be heard at Kaos for a while yet, but our first co-bred litter is safely on the ground and healthy. Elvira, one of the "not really mine, but...." girls at Maskarade Siberians presented us with five healthy puppies a few weeks ago. 2 girls, 3 boys (although which was which seemed to be a little bit of a mystery to Tony, who's only been doing this for 25 years or so).

You can wander over there to see the puppies. I'm not sure who Tony & Adele are going to keep and I'm kinda bummed that I'm only getting to watch them grow up in pictures, but what can you do? I mean...who wants to live in Yakima for heaven's sake? The puppies will probably be down her for a visit later this spring, I can't wait! As I told friends, this is the EASY way to breed a litter...find someone else to do all the work.

In other news: Blaze was Reserve Winners Dog on Sunday, March 11th at the Apple Valley Kennel Club. His very first RWD...and hopefully not the first of many . We'd much rather go straight for the points! But we did take a picture so look for that on his web page in a week or so. Our little boy is growing up and I think we're going to be very, very happy with him.

Sean's heading up to the Klamath Falls, Oregon area for Mushing Boot Camp in early May. He's taking Frosty, Ryder, Satinka and Ice and I'm looking forward to lots of good stories and getting back some trained sled dogs! Since MBC mornings start at 5 am or some ridiculous hour, his mom is going along with him...not me!

While he's gone, I'll be taking Blaze to his first United Kennel Club show, if all goes as planned. I've heard lots of good things about UKC shows, including fun, relaxed attitude and well, fun. I can't wait to see how it goes.

We took some of the gang up to Truckee, CA (near the Nevada border in the Sierra Mountains) for a fun weekend of sledding with the Northern California Siberian Husky Club. Little did we know that it was going to be the start of a HUGE snowstorm! While we were making our 1.5 hour drive down the mountain in 10 hours, we had fun reliving Sean's runs with the dogs...a longer run on Saturday and a short run on Sunday. If we'd known we were going to be on the freeway until 10pm or so just getting to Sacramento, we'd probably have stayed longer on Sunday!

Blaze wasn't old enough to run with the team, although he did get a chance to go 100 yards or so with them, so we let him play in the snow and have fun. And he did!

Isn't he the CUTEST?

While we were up playing in the snow that weekend, Ice was with Grandma at the Southern California Malamute Club's weight pull event, where he earned his 3rd leg toward his weight pull title. Little does he know he's going to have to do it all over again for his UKC weight pull title. Somehow, I don't think he's going to mind. How cool does he look?

I think that's it for new news at Kaos. We're doing some yard work this weekend, and then a couple weekends of shows, with some specialties and Mission Circuit coming up. I keep whispering "grow your new coat" in Satinka's ear while she's sleeping....I hope it works! In the meantime, I'm taking extreme measures to keep Frosty OFF of the kitchen counter. I've caught her up there three times in the last three days...bring on the scat mat!

February 07, 2007

PETA shows its true colors

It's not all fun and games at Kaos. One of our passions is fighting against the animal rights movement as it encroaches on our ability to own our animals and make our own decisions about their lives. Here's one of our more serious moments:

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Last week's trial of PETA employees ended in at least a partial vindication of the defendants, who were convicted only of littering, not animal cruelty. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was revealed as a dishonest and misleading organization, which raises millions of dollars for its campaign to place all animals on the same plane as humans. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk's infamous comparison, "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," establishes the group's radical philosophy.

PETA has campaigned against "factory farms," against eating meat, against wearing fur and against "exploiting" animals as beasts of burden or household pets. The term "pet" is forbidden, by the way; the preferred term is "companion animal."

In 2005, PETA raised more than $25 million in tax-deductible contributions.

Testimony at last week's trial in Winton, however, painted a different picture of the organization. Two PETA employees had been caught dumping the carcasses of dogs and cats into a supermarket Dumpster. The animals had been "rescued" from animal shelters in Hertford and Bertie counties.

Shelter workers and other witnesses said that the PETA employees promised to find good homes for the animals. The defendants denied that charge, insisting that everyone knew the animals would be euthanized.

The judge in the case dropped the animal cruelty charges because the prosecution could present no evidence that the defendants had been intentionally cruel. What they had done was execute the collected animals in the back of a PETA van. When the stench of decaying flesh became too much, the defendants pulled over the van and dumped the carcasses into a trash bin. They were found guilty of littering.

Although PETA officials insisted they had done nothing wrong, what they had done was to reveal PETA's true nature. If "a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy," as the organization's theology claims, these workers had committed murder.

This glimpse of PETA's true colors should serve as a warning to the many Wilson County residents who are frustrated by the county's Animal Control problems. Some have been heard hreatening to get PETA involved. Spare us. Wilson County Animal Control has many shortcomings, which we hope are being solved. But PETA, the two-faced, puppy-killing organization, will not help Wilson County's Animal Control procedures or "rescue" its abandoned animals."

February 01, 2007

Why I'll never have "trained" Siberians.

I don't doubt that someone who knows what they're doing (both with a clicker and a Siberian ) could probably get wonderful results from my dogs... I also don't doubt that I'm NOT that person. I use a marker "good" with my "happy mom" voice when they've done something I've told them to do or they're doing something good (I'm not the only person that tells them what good dogs they are for lounging around, doing nothing, right?). And I've got my ACK or UH UH and NO with the appropriate voices too.

Last night Ryder and I had an entire conversational went like this:

Ry: Hey, Mom, you're not going to eat all that pizza are you?
Me: Ryder, you should get OFF of me
Ry: OK, I got off, what do I get?
Me: "Good boy"
Ry: That's IT? How about some pizza?
Me: How about you get OFF? good
Ry: You suck.
Me. I don't care.
Ry: Are you sure I can't have some pizza? Maybe just some crust?
Me: Good sit!
Ry: Well, crap, if you'd wanted a sit, why didn't you just say so?

January 31, 2007

How come it wasn't a holiday?

Monday should have been a holiday. We all should have had the day off.

I woke up to the realization that one of the more important events in my dog-show life was passing without the world stopping to acknowledge it. Satinka won her first major!!! (For you non-dog show people, this is a Big Deal.)

I've been whining for months that Satinka was becoming my Reserve Queen. She's won 12 RWB awards...12! If I bought 12 cups of coffee, I'd be working on my second punch card! But, then I looked a little deeper...

She finished winning minor points in July, and went Best of Breed at the Burbank Kennel Club show. In August, she got her first RWB to a major. Since then, she had that big one at the Siberian Husky Club of Greater Chicago, another at Sacramento Valley Kennel Club, and the fourth at the Golden Valley Kennel Club. Not too shabby. She's been in the ribbons more than she's been out...and here I am complaining? Sheesh!

But, anyway, she hit the jackpot last Sunday, at the Orange Empire Dog Club show. Winning the Open class is no guarantee that Winners Bitch is yours (see above results from the Sacramento Valley show )...but it's a good omen. Walking out, to the applause from friends who've been watching me since I first started showing 4 1/2 years ago, who've watched and advised as Satinka and I grew as a team...I tell ya, there's NOTHING like that feeling. Well, at least not yet. I'll let you know how it feels when the picture placard reads "New Champion." 'Cause, baby, we're almost there!

January 09, 2007

These Dogs were made for Workin'

Last weekend Sean had the chance to take some of the crew up to Lancaster to go carting out in the desert with our friend Nicole.

Here's a photo of the four that went up to Nicole's last weekend while Blaze, Satinka, Grandma and I did the show thing. There are 4 dogs in front of them (Nicole's Siberian and her 3mals...dogs who are acually trained...seems a good idea to put them infront, doesn't it?) and three foster Jindo's behind them.

Nicole's never run an 11 dog team before (nor has Sean ever driven one!). They're going out again next Monday (I have to work) and Ryder the Lazy will probably be left home and Satinka and Katie will join the outing. And it looks like they'll be going out most every Sunday until it's too warm to run. I know Sean can't wait for snow to take the sled out....and I'm thinking Ryder and I will make a great ski-jouring team...I don't like to go too fast and he doesn't like to pull too hard.

Since not everyone knows each of our dogs by sight , the little gray girl is Frosty (aka The Littlest Sled Dog and Sean's lead dog in training). The red boy beside her is Max, our Los Angeles Pound Puppy who also runs lead with Frosty, or wheel with Ry or Ice and, happily, has 1/2 a clue about what he's doing in harness. The black boy behind him is Ice, aka Born to Pull who runs wheel (when the run kicks in, the ears stop working). Beside Ice is Ryder "I'd rather be Resting" The Lazy, who despite having no "drive in his head" (thank you Karen for that very accurate description of what Ryder doesn't have) won't let Ice or Max out run him - out pull him, maybe, but not out run him.

Momma brought home more dogs.....

.....and we couldn't find them!

Last night, Momma and Daddy settled down on the sofa and turned on the funny window thing. Imagine how happy we were to find out that Momma and Daddy brought home a whole bunch of new dogs for us to play with!

We couldn't find them though. I checked the boxes beside the window where the noise comes in, up and down the boxes and behind them and couldn't find those dogs. I know better than to paw at that window, 'cause Daddy would get REALLY REALLY I settled down to watch
the dogs play out the window. But then they started calling us to come play. And there were a LOT of them.

We all started looking for those dogs. Katie was the first to think they might be outside, behind the window and ran out, but she came back inside and said she couldn't see them anywhere in the yard...but we could still hear them. Ice stayed on the love seat to watch them out the window, to make sure they didn't leave before we found them.

Aleska stayed near the sound box by the window, to make sure she could still hear them.

The rest of us kept watch in the back yard, coming in to see if they'd come in the house yet...we could SEE them in the window and HEAR them in the boxes next to the window but we couldn't find those dogs. And they were having FUN.

Ice got pretty excited when he saw them being harnessed up to go for a run and we tried to get in line with them when we saw them running...but we couldn't find them. I finally settled down next to Momma to make sure that when they came in the house, they'd know she was MY Momma. And those dogs got to run a LOT.

Finally the dogs went home, Momma and Daddy closed the window and went to bed....we'll have to be alert for the next visit by these new dogs. I know they want to play with us...but where are they?


Mom's translation helper:
Funny window thing = TV
Boxes where noise comes in = speakers
New dogs = Pretty Sled Dogs DVD from

January 04, 2007

Pedicure time at Kaos

When you've got 10 dogs, someone always needs their nails done, especially when about 1/2 of them have dewclaws (which may be where the retractable thumbs hide, except that Ry doesn't even have dewclaws and if any of 'em have thumbs, it's him :-)

Anyway...over the years, the dogs have caused me to develop different techniques.

Max, Lacy, Ryder, Aleska and Cheyenne will just lay on the floor and let me trim. They're the ones who most often get their nails trimmed, because it's easy.

Frosty requires that I position her so that she can't see the clippers. Unfortunately for her, she jerks her foot, so she's been quicked more than anyone else...resulting in a reluctance to have her nails done. Also, unfortunately for her, her nails grow freakishly fast, needing trimmed at least once a week.

Satinka requires that I work as quickly as possible, only do her dewclaws (she keeps the rest pretty short) or dremel her on the grooming table with someone else holding food. Very rarely does she need more than an evening up of some edges, and her dew claws.

Ice is my nightmare. The pads of his feet are SO ticklish that if I brush against them, nail time is over. It's HARD to do nails without actually holding the foot, but holding the pastern. Last night, however, he let me roll him on his back in my lap and trim his rear nails (fronts were short enough).

Katie hasn't needed her nails trimmed more than once or twice in 2 1/2years...actually most of them don't, given that their yard is gravel and concrete, but when I do dewclaws on the showing dogs, I'm reminded that I need to do them on the stay at homes too, which results in a pedicure session for everyone.

But the most fun is The Baby. He was sleeping on the kitchen floor and I figured since he was getting a bath on Friday I'd do his dews last night. I clipped the first one while he was lying there and he opened an eye, looked at me and said "can you hurry up, I'm trying to sleep here." I quickly trimmed the 2nd one and let him resume his nap. Yep, I can tell he's going to be a handful.