Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Lufthansa Adventure

Yesterday was October 18th and my 3 year old boy Steeler was to be shipped from Philadelphia Int'l Airport to Frankfurt, Germany to his new home at "of Gentle Mind" Whippets. I asked a friend of mine, Gloria, if she'd like to take a ride to the airport with me. Steeler's flight was sceduled for 6:00 pm but I had to have him there by 3:00 pm.

I stopped at Gloria's house to pick her up, had a short "beverage" and we started our journey around 12:30 down the turnpike, for our 1-1/2 hour drive. We left a bit early only cause you never know if there is an accident on the turnpike, you can sit for hours. It was a bit scary though when the Lufthansa Cargo place called me on the cell about what time we were going to be there to ship our CAT. This gave me a bit of cause for concern, but we got it straight that Steeler was indeed a dog, not a cat. This cause for concern made us need another "beverage".

Our actual directions didn't take you to the airport in Philly, but to a business park in Folcroft, which is just outside of Philly. Now being I don't have a GPS, I used Mapquest, and they have never failed to get me to where I needed to go. More than a few times we looked at each other wondering where in the hell we were going, but I kept saying Mapquest always gets me there. We followed the directions explicitly and eventually did make it to the business park by about 2:15 pm. Feeling good about being early, we searched for Lufthansa Cargo. We searched and we searched and we searched. We even called Lufthansa and they said they were off a different road than they had origionally told me.

Panic set in as the time ticked down. If Steeler wasn't at the Lufthansa Cargo area by 3:00 pm, he would be sent home and we'd need to reschedule his flight. Time went on, 2:30 pm, we stopped at a small roadside Crab Shack and it just so happened the nice man was talking to his significant other on the phone and she was home and it just so happened that she was on the computer and on mapquest. What a break. I gave her the new address the Lufthansa lady told me, and she told me exactly where I needed to go.

We thanked the man profusely and off we went. We got right to where we needed to go and were looking for building 48 (they really don't have any signs of what these businesses are). It's now 2:40 and time is ticking. Saturdays, the business park is like a ghost town with no physical activity what-so-ever, so stopping to ask directions was non-existant. We were driving in a deserted business park, or so we thought. Time: 2:45 pm, we saw a guy walking and asked him where the Lufthansa Cargo area was, and we were right behind it, but how did you get inside, is there an office? He said we needed to go around the building and it was right there. Time: 2:50 pm. We drive around the building and wa-la, there is the office door.

Now being we drank all those "beverages", we needed to visit the little girls room badly, so my plan was to go immediately upon arriving at the Cargo office. NOT, time now 2:55 pm and paperwork needed to be done, dog & crated needed to be weighed BEFORE 3:00 pm. I gave them all the paperwork, and ran to the bathroom, ran outside to get Steeler and his crate, Gloria walked Steeler quickly and I took the crate inside. We got him weighed in and the paperwork done by 3:00 pm, just by the skin of our teeth.

With a tear in my eye, I gave Steeler a big hug, told him I loved him and although I would never see him again, I'd always think about him. And he needed to be a good boy for his new owners Joachim and Werner. I left Steeler at 3:10 pm and haven't heard yet if he arrived in Germany. His flight is scheduled to land at 8:15 am this morning, but I'm thinking he may have already landed because of the time change. I'm a nervous wreck not knowing if he's there safely or not. I'm sure he's fine wherever he is, but I'll worry till I know for sure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just Another Day In Paradise

Today started like any other day, getting up, getting Tyler ready for school and myself ready for work. The day was a gorgeous one, so when I got home, I changed clothes, went into the puppy pen to play with the babies for a bit before Tyler got home. Tyler gets home, changes and heads outside while I was powerwashing some stuff.

A few hours later, I go outside to feed the puppies and find that little Boulder is lying down kind of funny looking at me. He tried to stand up but was unsuccessful. As I'm running into the pen, he gets up and squats to pee then on 3 legs he hobbles toward the inside. I scoop him up and take him inside and ask Tyler what happened and he states that he was inside with the puppies rolling around and rolled on Boulders leg. I put in a phone call to the vet and off baby Boulder and I go.

My fears are confirmed, his left rear leg is fractured in like a v-shape. They put on a small splint and he has on a teal green bandage. He ate a little bit of food and drank some water and is now resting comfortably in a crate on some super soft cushy blankets. I'll sleep downstairs with him tonight, but he seems to be doing okay except for not pottying since I got home. He is still trying to figure out how to walk with this thing on his leg, but I'm sure he'll figure it out soon. Say a little prayer for Boulder.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Haley/Steeler & Paige/Collin Puppies

Well, while I was away in Canada on my two week vacation is when my bitches decided to whelp their puppies. The first litter of 10 (5 boys/5 girls) out of HaleyWhippt...aka Eclipse SF Let Freedom Ring by Steeler...aka Eclipse Down at the Blue Moon was born the day we left on July 26th. These puppies were a surprise litter, so I wasn't sure when HaleyWhippet was due, so on Thursday I took her to my friends Shelbi & Louise's house to possibly whelp. She stayed there for 2 days until my niece Melissa could go and pick them up. Saturday night around 7:00 pm she started whelping and delivered her 10 babies in 4 hours. Being mom HaleyWhippet did a bit of traveling while waiting to deliver, I named all the babies after cities. The boys are Salem, Baxter, Austin, Reno and Jackson (sold), and the girls are Cheyenne (sold), Seneca, Fargo, Aurora & Shayla, all in shades of blue fawn, blue brindle, fawn & fawn brindle.

The planned litter between Paige...aka Eclipse Wish Upon a Star and Collin...aka Ch. Eclipse SF Bold Chance was born a week later (actually 4 days before her due date) on Sunday August 3rd. We have 4 gorgeous white & fawn babies, 3 girls named River, Rayne & Lilly and 1 boy named Boulder. They have the nature names that Melissa gave them.

Right now the pups are 6 and 5 weeks old, and all are doing great.

Tyler's Mishap

Sunday August 24th started out as any other day here at Eclipse, playing with the current puppies, cleaning up after the big dogs, and keeping an eye on Tyler. Tyler kept bugging and bugging me to go for a walk so he could ride his Razor Scooter while I walked on the road. About 3:30 pm we headed out for our walk with Tyler riding his scooter (it's one of those you put your one foot on and push with the other, like a skateboard with a handle). Up around the bend we went, and as I got to the top, Tyler was already on the way down and picking up speed. I yelled to him to stop or slow down, but he couldn't hear me. He reached the bottom of the gradual grade and all I saw was Tyler go ass over end and the scooter flying. He crashed pretty bad so I started running to him, but he got right up, grabbed his scooter and started back so I slowed down a bit. I thought he was okay until he got to me for a closer view. The whole right side of his face was scraped badly with a bid knocker on his forehead, his right hand had a small cut on it, along with a scrape on his right forearm. He also had two nasty looking round wounds on his left inside foot where the macadam from the road had scraped it raw, pretty deep too.

As we were walking back to the house, a neighbor passed by in their pickup truck and saw Tyler crying as I was carrying his scooter, so they turned around and loaded us in the back of their pickup and took us home. We went into the house and I gave Tyler some Tylenol with Codeine which I had from when he broke his arm two years ago. He was lying on the sofa, crying and crying and crying, so I put some cold washcloths on all his boo-boo areas. I checked out his head more closely, and saw that it was only a bad scrape (there was just a little blood), but he kept saying he had a headache, so to be on the safe side, I took him to the emergency room. They did xrays of his clavical, shoulder, and collar bone along with a CAT scan of his head. All was clear so they did a thorough cleaning of his wounds.

I am so glad I took him into the emergency room cause they cleaned up his wounds so much better than I could. And with the bad bump on his head, I wanted to make sure all was okay inside his head.

The next day was the first day of school, and all the kids and teachers and bus driver wondered what happened to him. I'm so glad they didn't take school pictures the first day!!! I think Tyler has learned a valuable lesson about wearing a helmut and shoes when he rides his scooter again (although he hasn't ridden it since). Thanks to the emergency staff at the hospital, they were so caring and gentle with him.

Till next time......I hope not like this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 8

Zoey's latest setback....and our aggressive approach.

Zoey's Monatana vacation was a glorious one for her. From what I hear from Jonathan, she loved it, and the pictures he posted throughout the summer proved it. However the last two weeks of her vacation, her right leg, hip actually (which is her dead leg) has been popping out of the socket and has been very painful for Zoey. She even bit Jonathan very hard once when he tried putting it back in. On the way home, Jonathan did his routine stop at the home of David & Regina Howton, and Zoey's leg/hip was so bad it took Regina (who is a vet) a bunch of meds to get it so she could work it back into place.

It is extremely painful for Zoey, and over the past few days Jonathan, Debbie and I discussed many options for her. Our options were to amputate her dead leg (she does only bunny hop on her left leg anyway, the right one is just in the way), or put her down. Those were the two options the vet gave us being it was so painful for her. The three of us discussed this very indepth, and cried alot about it, and none of us are ready to let go yet, so we eventually opted to have her leg amputated and once healed fit her up for a wheelchair.

I know you may all think we are being greedy, but some of you have met Zoey and know her love of life and her silly spirit. She still loves to destuff her stuffies, and roll around in the grass in the back yard, so the decision was made on her spirit alone. August 12th was the surgery and the vet said all went well, exceptional in fact, and Zoey is awake and alert (as one of our major concerns was would she do well under anesthesia?). She spent two nights at the vets cause she wanted her on TOTAL crate rest. Jonathan took in her favorite bed to lay on and her favorite blanket to be covered with. When he went to get her on Thursday evening, she was standing up, had peed and was ready to go home.

Zoey came home from the Vets last Thursday evening and she is doing wonderful. Jonathan says she was sooo excited to see him. Once home, he took her outside, set her down out in the back yard, she stood up, sniffed, peed and took off. That is great news.

Back in March, he had called me to tell me he was worried about her spine cause when she walked (hopped) her spine just went this way and that, and he was very concerned. Back then we had the same discussion, wheelchair or euthanasia. When she took off yesterday in the yard, she went straight and narrow. We now think that the dead leg was hampering her ability to go in a straight line.

It was a tough decision, that included a lot of tears, to come to with Zoey, but now knowing she is feeling good again, has made it all worth while. For how long, we don't know, but because of her fighting spirit we will do everything possible for her, as long as she is happy and pain free.

Just a short note for everyone. It was discussed at the Midwest that there are people going around at the dog shows with spray bottles and spraying the dogs in the faces. This happened to someone with another breed that Amanda was talking to, and her dog came down with the EXACT same symptoms as Zoey, but unfortunately her dog died within 48 hours. That's how fast this poison works. So beware at dog shows. People are evil. Zoey's love & spirit for life is what has kept her alive, I know it. She didn't know she was supposed to die, I'm sure of it!!!

We know a wheelchair is in Zoey's future, so I have been researching them, and have found that Eddie's Wheels look the best. Lightweight and specially fit for the dog, not machine made, but individually made for each special need.

Jonathan and I truly appreciate the financial support given by Zoey's co-owners Dan, Bruno & Debbie. They said they would take care of Zoey's medical situations until the end, and they have kept true to their word. I love Dan, Bruno, Debbie and especially Jonathan, for without them, Zoey surely would not be here today.

I just spoke with Jonathan tonight and he says Zoey is doing wonderfully, gets around great on her three legs and has once again made snow in Florida (destuffing her toys in a frenzy).


A Childs

A little girl asked her Mom, "Mom, may I take the dog for a walk around the block?" Mom replies, "No, because she is in heat." "What's that mean?" asked the child. "Go ask your father. I think he's in the garage."

The little girl goes to the garage and says, "Dad, may I take Belle for a walk around the block? I asked Mom, but she said the dog was in heat, and to come to you." Dad said, "Bring Belle over here." He took a rag, soaked it with gasoline, and scrubbed the dog's backside with it to disguise the scent, and said "OK, you can go now, but keep Belle on the leash and only go one time round the block."

The little girl left and returned a few minutes later with no dog on the leash. Surprised, Dad asked, "Where's Belle?" The little girl said, "She ran out of gas about halfway down the block, so another dog is pushing her home."

If you ain't laffin'... You ain't livin'

Monday, August 11, 2008

Canada Vacation 2008

Two glorious weeks in Canada, out on the lake fishing, back at the cabin drinking and visiting with old friends is just the best vacation one could ask. This Blue Heron was our special visitor just about every morning, and Tyler even took to some "bird-watching". The "pirate ship" came into the bay on the last day we were there. Tyler and Paco enjoyed their time together too.

We didn't have quite the excitement that was had in 2006 (see Canada Vacation 2006), but our cabin neighbor Donny had his boat capsized by 4 big yachts that went through. He said it was like a 6' tidal wave and with his little boat, it just took it right over. Luckily there were some people fishing close by, and they got Donny and the boat pulled to shore. Donny lost the fishing pole that his father gave him right before he passed away last year and his tackle box, he was unharmed but extremely shook up. We too are glad he only lost some material things and not his life.

The fishing was not good at all. Trolling through the water was like dragging a rope. No bites or nibbles at all. We were lucky enough though to catch enough Walleye, Bass & Perch to have several fish frys with my mom & dad and friends Steve & Gloria.

Once again Tyler was barefoot and barechest for the whole 2 weeks. I don't think he even had his shoes in the cabin. He did meet a friend, 9 year old Anna, a cute blondie with which he built sandcastles with, went fishing off the "boat" while it was docked, and just played in general. It was nice for him to have someone to hang with for a week. He was quite bummed the day she went home, he moped around the whole day!!!

Owners of the Perfect Vue Resort, Larry & Joanne are great hosts. They let Tyler do lots of things he might not get to do like hit golf balls into the lake. Along with Gloria who got a small lesson in golfing from Larry, he hit most of the balls into the weeds alongside the lake!!!! Larry & Joanne also let Tyler hang out with them in their house and he even helped tend the store. My mom went over to the store to get some eggs and out comes Tyler and says, "what can I get for you?" Mom says, "eggs", so Tyler rings for Larry in the back room so he can come and ring up the sale. They said he was a joy to have around.

Tyler caught quite a few small perch off the pier ranging in size from 3" to 6". None big enough to keep and eat, but we caught enough for him to get his fill of perch throughout the 2 weeks. None the less, he had a fun time catching these little ones all by himself.

Gloria and I had made plans to have my dad take us out fishing so we could go on the lake where we wanted to go and to catch all the fish, so we could say na na na na naaaa na to the men. But we didn't do well at all. I think I caught a few but nothing impressive, so we had to go in with our heads hung low. We decided then that we would do a bit of socializing and with too much socializing, Gloria felt the need to

Saturday the 2nd was the annual Legends of Perfect Vue Fishing Derby. It's $20.00 per person to get in the derby, and they payout 3 place for the 4 heaviest fish from 14" - 22". First prize is usually around $700.00 on down to about $300.00 for 3rd place. And for the 2nd year in a row we were within ounces of winning 3rd place. Oh well, maybe next year. They cook hamburgers and hotdogs after the derby and there are tables upon tables upon tables of things (wine baskets, beer baskets, personal care baskets, tackle boxes, t-shirts...etc) and every name is put in the hat and everyone gets a prize. It is a well done Derby and one we look forward to every year.

Sunday the 3rd, I was invited by the locals to play Newfy Shoes. This is I am told, the National Game of Newfoundland. I thought it was just something the locals made up, cause it doesn't look like no National Game of Anywhere. There are two square milk crates with a 6" high piece of 4" diameter plastic pipe mounted inside. You toss heavy 2" diameter washers about a distance of 20' and try to get them in the pipe (5 points) or milk crate (3 points). It's kind of like horseshoes, easy huh?, nope, it's a LOT harder than it sounds.
It's $2.00 per person to enter and they draw for teams so there are no two ringers that are paired up, maybe by chance though. There were about 25 teams in this round of Newfy Shoes which came to about $50.00, winner take all. Of course I was a beginner at this, and I was paired up with another beginner that never did it before either. Tammy and I did okay though, we skunked our first opponents 12-0, it was great taking out a couple of locals (men no, talk about an ego buster). We went down to the last 3 teams, but got skunked ourselves in that last game. It was great fun, and I'll be making a set for myself and the drunks that I know (oh did I mention that the more you drink the harder it gets!!!). Thanks to locals Jack & Donna for inviting me to play along, it was at time I'll not soon forget.

For 2 weeks we had thunderstorms on and off, and one night it poured sooooo hard the roof leaked right in my bed. I was getting dripped on my butt while I slept, I thought I peed in the bed. You could sit and watch the thunderstorms come in from afar. It was kind of cool to watch. The weather probably only reached 80 degrees every day, with a few cooler days. It was wonderful weather for this time in Canada.

One of the last days, Tyler was out on the boat in the back cove of Mallory Bay and he had his big boy fishing pole and he was so excited he caught, hooked and reeled in a 3 pound Bass all by himself. It was quite a thrill for him.

It was the first trip to Canada that we took without Emily, but Paco came along and she met a few friends of her own. Steve & Gloria's new Bichon Frise puppy, Samuel Adams, was a playful if not sometimes downright pain in Paco's tail, companion and they played together quite a bit. Paco also got to play with Larry & Joanne's new Labradoodle puppy Irish who would come over to our cabin just about every morning for a romp with Paco. Paco's other companion (well not really) was this DSH cat that had two kittens about 8 weeks old. She was very protective over her babies and when Paco showed an interest in playing with them, momma cat decided to stalk and chase Paco around for a while. We watched in hysterical laughter Paco running with tail tucked between her legs and momma cat chasing her. It was way too funny.
I'm already looking forward to next years trip.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

6 week Jaycie/Riggins pups

Here are the first stacked pics of the Jaycie/Riggins litter. They are one day shy of 6 weeks. These are the remaining two pups and both TC (boy) and TinkerBell (girl) are doing well. TinkerBell looks a lot like her momma and TC looks just like his daddy. Vanna is a good playmate for them as she likes to lie on the floor and play with them. Paco too is a good "momma" as the pups like to chew on her fur and she allows them to do so.
These pups are doubled up on the beautiful International Champion Paris Panther, and carry the very important bloodline of DC Paris Say You Will with the gorgeous Ch. Surrey Hill Smithereens as their grandmother. These dogs have always been favorites of mine, and I'm happy that I was able to incorporate them into my bloodlines.
TC is very outgoing and playful, and likes to pounce on the fuzzy squirrel while TinkerBell likes to look on from the sidelines. She does pounce once in a while. I'm looking forward to seeing how these guys react to the bunny.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Sweetest Memories

This thread will probably be updated from time to time as more Sweet Memories are made, so check back often.


>>February 7, 2001 - The day my son Tyler Clay was born will be THE sweetest memory of all.
>>Tyler catching a big fish (the grin on his face is priceless)
>>Tyler playing soccer and scoring in the wrong goal.
>>Tyler wrestling and winning a match only because the other team had a forfeit at his weight.
>>Tyler playing t-ball and forgetting to run to first base.
>>Tyler running his car in the Pinewood Derby for Scouts.
>>Tyler starting Karate and progressing onto his yellow belt.
>>Watching Tyler shoot his BB gun and hit the targets.
>>Watching Tyler learning to ride his Razor Scooter.


>>February 14, 2006 - Zoey winning the Breed at the "Garden" and onto a Group 4.
>>Zoey's many Best of Breeds, Group Placements.
>>Zoey's 18 All-Breed Best In Shows.
>>Zoey being named 2003 Canada's Hound of the Year.
>>Zoey being an extremely happy "camper" and living out her life at Camp Whippet like the princess she knows she is and deserves to be.
>>May 31, 2008 - Vanna winning Best of Breed from the Open Bitch class at the Eastern Whippet Regional Specialty and on to a Hound Group 3. Before showing I remember standing at the trophy table and looking over the trophies. I came across the Best of Breed trophy where Zoey's name is engraved from when she won it in 2004. With a tear in my eye, I lightly rubbed my fingers over her name and mumbled, "I love you sweet girl". I know that day the Whippet Gods were looking over me and let the judge find Vanna worthy of being awarded Best of Breed.


I have been an active competition trapshooter for the past two decades and I've shot live birds here and abroad. Some sweet memories from shooting are:
>>Winning the Ladies 16-Yard Championship in 1987 (198 x 200), 1988 (198 x 200) & 1999 (197 x 200).
>>Winning the Ladies Handicap Championship in 1988.
>>Winning the Ladies Doubles Championship in 1985, 1990 & 1991.
>>Winning the Ladies All-Around Championship in 1991 & 1995.
>>Breaking my first 100 straight in Handicap in August of 1983.
>>Placing in the Top Ten of the Lehigh Valley Trapshooters League in 2006.
>>Placing 3rd in Portugal while shooting live birds in a field of approximately 500+ shooters. >>First and second places were awarded to Joaquim Morato and Bruno Pardini (two of Europes best shooters).
>>Winning the Ladies World Live Bird Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1989.
>>Winning many live bird trophies in the United States, and several PA Ladies Championships.
>>Winning 5 belt buckles in one weekend of live bird shooting in NC.


I guess that's all for now, but I know there will be more.

How do you get your Whippet in racing condition?

I asked this question on several lists and also in a few Whippet boards and got some great advice. Free running exercise, short sprints, good diet, and keeping your Whippet lean and mean (lighter is faster you know). And I truly appreciate all the great advice and hope to have Vanna, my first Whippet who can actually compete in the race for something other than the TURTLE award, in better race condition for the upcoming CWA National race meet to be held at Nottingham Park in Nottingham, PA the end of August.

I have Vanna off to a great start with her conditioning. She LOVES to chase her tennis balls, this gives her the short sprints of speed she needs, Tyler forgets to close the door behind him when he goes out, this gives her the free running exercise she needs, she eats her dinner every night, which gives her the good diet, and chasing moths from one end of the house to the other keeps her lean, mean and keen.

Although she has this good start for the race meet, we are heading off to our yearly two week Canada fishing trip, and she is going to stay at my cousins house while we are gone. I'm just hoping she doesn't come back like a little pork ball after two weeks with two young girls (ages 6 & 10 I think). I kind of got things under control here with Tyler not feeding the dogs anything, but who knows what may happen.

Right this moment, Vanna is lying down on her doggie bed, eyeing up the homemade cinnamon bun Tyler is eating, and she also has her eye on a moth that's flying around. I'm hoping she makes a mad dash for the moth, as that is a lot less calories than that delicious cinnamon bun!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Should I shave or wax???

Every once in a while I receive an email I know would be enjoyed by many, so I'll be posting some of these emails as I receive them. This one is a riot.

CAUTION: Be prepared to laugh out loud...I laughed till I almost cried as I could just see this happening, especially to me!!!

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair And now...the wax.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, and play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom. It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!)

So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh, hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire. With my next wax strip I move north.

After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my *hoo-hoo* and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself....RRRRIIIPPP!!!! I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!....OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP!!! Another deep breath and RRIIPP!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX??? Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair, the hair that should be on the strip I touch. I am touching wax. CRAP! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. DANG!!!!!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. *Who-Ha*?? sealed shut! Butt?? Sealed shut!

I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to poop. My head may pop off!" What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!!!!! I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit. Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax. So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!!

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!! I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter - "So, my butt and who-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!" There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking cheeks or who-ha?" She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions, I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better then to have your girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!! By now the brain is not workin g, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace.... the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!!!!!! The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. IT WORKS!! It works!! I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair.... THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!! So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color......Now that's funny. Notttttttttt!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Canada Vacation 2006

My Canadian Adventure

For the past 4 years, my hubby, Tyler and I along with my parents, take our annual trip to Ontario, Canada and go Walleye fishing for two weeks on the North Shore of Hay Bay (a fresh water lake) in Nappanee, this year was no exception. Our trip started out on July 29th normal enough, we drove the 6 hours up, got to the cabin and started fishing. There was a beautiful North-easterly breeze all week, the fishing wasn't too bad, and we caught enough fish every day to eat. On Wednesday, hubby, Tyler and I went out about 6 pm to do our evening fishing and the waters were a little wavy, maybe about 1 foot waves (perfect for the walleye to bite).
We were fishing in a little cove off the South Shore about 2 miles SW of our cabin, and it is usually pretty calm in there, but with a storm coming and the waves getting bigger, we knew getting across to our cabin on the North Shore would be a chore. We started for “home” and once out in the open water it was VERY rough, “and our tiny ship was tossed” (Gilligan’s Island theme - sorry, just had to do that), and the waves were now peaking at about 4 foot. We have a pretty sturdy 16’ boat, and we were still taking on some water from the crashing waves. Needless to say, Tyler was hanging on to the front of the boat where we tie the dock lines to, Paco (our new mix breed) was right beside him on the floor, I was aside of them holding on to both Tyler & Paco, Emily (the spoiled princess Whippet) was under the console where hubby was driving the boat.

It’s now about 8 pm, and maneuvering in the water was tough. We were ½ of the way back to “home” and I spied a boat kind of behind me over my left shoulder. I took a glance because #1, I’m nosy and need to see if it’s anyone I might know, and #2 it looked like too small a boat and motor to be on THAT rough water. As I’m looking over my shoulder, I hear hubby say, “Is there someone on that boat”. I said, “I don’t know, but we’d better go have a look”. We drive over to the boat, with 4 foot waves crashing over the side of our boat, lightning in the sky and a HUGE threat of rain hovering over us. We get there, and there is no one in the boat, AND THE MOTOR IS STILL RUNNING!!!!!! My stomach immediately fell to my feet, knowing someone is overboard. I noticed another boat coming by, so I frantically waved them down and they came over, told them there’s a boat with no one in it, and they said that it’s probably a break-away boat (from a dock), and I told them no, the motor was running.

My hubby said that that boat had been docked at our camp all week, and he’s seen a guy fishing in it (always by himself), so the two guys we flag down start heading to our camp with the stray boat. Hubby and I circle a few times to see if we can find anyone bobbing or waving in the water. After a few minutes of looking and hoping, we made a decision to head for camp so they can call 9-1-1. When we get there, I jump out of the boat onto the dock, run over to the office and tell them the situation. They think they know who owns the boat, he is one of three brothers that are in a cabin two doors down from us. Low and behold, it IS one of the brothers.
The coast guard was called, helicopters, water police and land police. Hubby and I both gave statements around 9:00 pm as to where the location of the boat was found, as we had looked to both shores to see where we were at, just in case. We did what we could do, and thought that was the end of it.

It’s now about 11:00 pm and hubby & Tyler are off to bed, Mom & Dad are off to bed, but I stayed up a little, as I was a bit shaken. Around 11:30 pm the police come knocking on the cabin door, and they want me to go to the docks and tell the water police about where the location of the boat was found. Hubby stayed in bed and I told him the water police wanted to talk to me, so off I went to the dock.

Well it ended up I and a local permanent camper, Jack, who knows where the shoals and low spots are in the lake, got on the police boat and we headed off to see if I could find the spot where we found the boat. Now this lake looks so different in the dark, dark night with rain pelting down on us and the water, but with Jacks help with knowing the terrain and shore lines, the police put a marker down where I thought the spot was.

We then were escorted from the police boat to the Cape Hearn, the Coast Guard ship that was called in. Jack and I both got aboard the Cape Hearn, sat and talked with the Coast Guard Captain for about 20 minutes, then back onto the police boat and back to the docks, but instead of going back into camp, we searched the North Shoreline for about 1-1/2 miles past camp, eventually turning around and getting us back to camp at around 1:00 am. While walking back to my cabin, the two brothers are just sitting at their picnic table looking out at the water, both clutching a bible (one of the brothers was a chaplin).

On Thursday, while heading out to fish in the late morning, hubby states that I marked the spot pretty close. A plane was called in that does search & rescue, called the Hercules, and they were flying up and down the lake for ½ the day. They did drop a smoke bomb at a spot, and upon the police checking they found the mans’ white tee shirt amongst a bunch of ripped loose weeds (this was about a mile SE of the spot I marked). They brought in diving teams and more police, but nothing. They searched all night Thursday, again nothing. Again, all day the brothers just sat around looking out over the water.

Friday morning they brought in two helicopters as they can get closer to the water than the Hercules could. The choppers were equipped with some kind of sonar device that can spot a mass of something under the water. There were several spots marked and the divers started diving at these markers. Fortunately and unfortunately, they found the body of the man about 50 yards SW of the spot I had originally marked. He was tangled up in a weed bed 29’ down from the surface. I say fortunate because the remaining two brothers have some closure, but unfortunate because he was not found alive. To look at the man, you’d see a very fit 42 year old, but he did have a heart condition which runs in the family.

This is a trip I will NEVER forget, both fun and sad. Fun because of the experience I had on the Police Boat and the Coast Guard Boat (something I really hope I never have to do again, unless it's just for fun), and sad because of the outcome.

We have since gone up to Canada, and will be leaving again in 2 weeks from today, and we always talk about that day. It is something I will remember for a long time to come.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Disney World 2007

Last year we took a trip to Florida's Disney World. We decided to go over the Christmas vacation that way hubby and I would be off work and we didn't need to take Tyler out of school. It was a nice drive down, although a bit long, but I'd rather drive than fly anyway. That way I have all the things I need with me all the time.

Tyler was really looking forward to it and saved up his money (he got a dollar for every 100% he brought home from school, it ended up being somewhere around $60.00). He had more than enough money as he's been saving for a long time. As the time grew nearer, Tyler became more and more excited, but one day said to me, "Mommy, I don't think I want to go to Florida." I was shocked and asked why. He said he really wants to go, but he really wants to stay home to get his presents from Santa. It nearly broke my heart. I did tell him that there are children all over the world, and every one of them gets presents on Christmas and I really do think Santa goes to Florida too.

In the mean time, an aquaintance of mine from a Whippet board I am on was going to Disney with her hubby, and she asked if she could send Tyler a postcard from Disney. I said sure, knowing Tyler would love that. When the postcard arrived, it was addressed to Tyler and it said something like, 'Hi Tyler, I was just down visiting with Mickey before my big day, and he told me you were coming down to see him. I'll make sure to bring your presents to Florida for you. Love, Santa.' Well, Tyler's eyes lit up, and he had the biggest grin and wanted to know when we were leaving.

We arrived in Disney on the 23rd at around 4 pm. We got all checked in and decided to head out to the park. Tyler wanted to do the Magic Kingdom, so off we went. We had no problem getting to the park, and took the ferry over to the Magic Kingdom. I know why they call it the Magic Kingdom, as it really does have a magical feel about it when you step foot inside. We did a few rides, and saw the gorgeous light parade and the fantabulous fireworks display. There are no other fireworks like it anywhere. We headed back to the hotel and we got lost leaving the parking lot of, but we eventually found the way. Upon arriving back at the hotel, hubby took Tyler to the pool next door, as they had a big pool, a whirlpool and a sliding board into the pool. Tyler was so excited about the slide into the pool, he went right up and came down into the water without even taking off his

Monday was Christmas eve, and we drove to the west side of Florida to visit some old friends of mine that I used to shoot live birds with, Doc & Ruth Coniglio. After getting lost a few times, we arrived at their beautiful house and sat, drank and talked about old times. It was wonderful meeting up with Doc & Ruth again, as I may never see them again. Ruthie went overboard and had gifts for everyone, hubby, Tyler and myself. We had a great time, but eventually had to say goodbye and head back to the hotel.

That night when Tyler fell asleep, I snuck downstairs and brought up the big box of presents I brought along for him. We had a small suite and I put them in the living room on and around the coffee table. Of course the only day Tyler gets up before us is Christmas Day, and this year was no exception. He yelled for us to get up cause Santa left presents in the living room. He was so excited. Tyler opened his presents but couldn't figure out how Santa got into the hotel room, as the window wasn't broken and the door was locked from the inside. To this day he can't figure that out.

We headed off to Animal Kingdom on Christmas Day but we didn't see very much of it as it was soooooo full, it was like being packed in a sardine can with no where to go. Other days we went to MGM Studios, Epcot and Sea World. Tyler decided he wants to be a whale trainer when he grows up. He liked all the wild rides he went on, and we even went back to the Magic Kingdom a second time as that's where Tyler wanted to go, he loved the Magic Kingdom. On the Sunday before we were due to go home, we took Tyler to the beach, where we eventually met up with Jonathan and Zoey. You'll find that story under one of the Life & Times of Zoey stories.

We had a fantastic trip and I'd go again in a heartbeat. It was so beautiful there, and Tyler had such a great time. Till next time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trials and Tribulations of Raising a Litter

As previously posted, the long awaited Jaycie/Riggins puppies arrived on June 11, 2008. Jaycie delivered her pups 4 days early due to a uterine infection she had, and got off to a bad start with 3 dead pups. She finally had her first live pup, and after a few hours, ended with 4 pups. A trip to the vet 2 days later confirmed that the pups were doing well and all were good and healthy. I decided to go to the Canadian National the end of June so mom and the 2-1/2 week old pups went to stay with my niece while I was gone. Melissa called me a few days into my trip to say the one pup, Ty, wasn't doing well and was kind of pale and lethargic, so she took him to the vet where she works, they gave him a dose of wormer and she brought him home. She was supplementing them with Esbilac cause Jaycie didn't have a lot of milk. In the morning when she went in to check on the pups, Ty was gone. I chalked it up to a bad luck, as all the other pups were doing good. The pups came home on Sunday, and all were active and nursing although I was supplementing everyone with Esbilac. A week later, one of the other pups, Taylor, got very pale looking and lethargic, and through the night he passed away also.

This has been the litter from hell, as I've never lost puppies at 2-1/2 and 3-1/2 weeks of age before. It's hard enough when they are born dead or die shortly after birth, but it is extremely hard to see them fail at that late stage. A few days later the little girl, TinkerBell, was looking kind of pale and was just a tad lethargic. I started with a stricter regimen of wormer, Esbilac and gave her a supplement called Nutri-Stat. When I started the Nutri-Stat, her front feet pinked up some, and with my constant nursing her, holding her, snuggling her, and telling her she wasn't going to die, she got better. She is now an active little girl who plays with her brother TC who is twice her size. TinkerBell was only 5 oz. at birth and her brother was about 10 oz., so she is still playing catch-up. She may not be a big bitch as her mother and grandmother are not big, and neither is dad Riggins.

I think we are on the right track, TC and TinkerBell have started drinking water from a bowl and they are trying to chew up some kibble, but they still like their puppy slop (Esbilac, Baby Cereal and Goats Milk mixed with some warm water).
Thanks Karen for being there when I needed someone to talk to about these pups and their situation. Even though there was nothing to be done for these pups, it was nice to know someone was lending an ear.

I'll post updated puppy pics soon.

A Day In The Park

On Tuesday Tyler's Karate school took a day off and everyone went to Knoebels Amusement Park. Tyler's friend Shawn and his mom followed us there. We arrived at 11:00 am when the park opened and got an all day ride pass for the boys. Tyler is quite the daredevil and he LOVES all the crazy rides, and he went on the Phoenix twice and Twister once. Both are wooden roller coasters that go about 100 mph (or so it seems to this 40+ year old mom).

The Fandango is another of Tyler's favorites. It is a big thing that hangs from the middle and seats people all around the outside, and they strap you in electronically, cause when this thing starts to swing back and forth and twist you won't fall out, it fits very tight against you. It swings actually about 100 degrees and when you are up in the air, you actually feel like you are going to fall backwards upsidown. Needless to say, mom didn't go on this one, neither did Tyler's friend Shawn.

The haunted house is another of Tyler's favorites, and we did that twice also. He's been in the HH about 6 times now, and I think these last two times he actually kept his eyes We also went on the Flume ride and the Skloosh where you get 120% soaked and when you get off the boat and stand on the observation deck you get hit with a wall of water that if you didn't get wet enough on the ride, you're done for

It was a great day at the park, one in which I've been going to for about 40 years. The park is very shady with trees all around, it's free to get in just to walk around, unlike many other amusement parks these days, and you can even take your dog along in the park. We are looking forward to the next time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 7

arriving home from Florida with good memories of Zoey and the home she's in, I purchased a pile
of stuffies for Zoey, boxed them up, and proceeded to mail them down to Camp Whippet, just for Zoey's destuffing pleasure. (You need to read the other post about Zoey...the Serial Toy Killer, and you'll know all about it.) She proceeded to destuff the toys in record time. Since then, there have been several people on the lookout for super tough toys that are Zoey proof. So far, there hasn't been a stuffed toy that Zoey can't destuff in under 15-20 seconds.

Zoey has since had her ups and downs, but for the most part is doing great. This brings us to the present. Jonathan is a teacher, and has the good fortune of having the summers off. So he packs up whatever dogs he may have in Camp at the time, and heads NW to the beautiful state of Montana. He has made lots of stops on the way seeing some of his rescue placements, and they always remember him. Zoey has made lots of new friends along the way as well. Some of these people only knew of Zoey from her show wins, but have since gotten to know her wonderful spirit first hand. Zoey even went for her first boat ride this past week, it did take her a while to figure out how she was floating above the water and not actually in it.
Right now, Zoey is taking in the cool mountain breezes of Montana and living the good life of a spoiled princess that she knows she is.

May the story continue...

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 6

Zoey settled in quite well in Florida under the doting care of Jonathan. I had told Jonathan all about her and about her slight incontinence problem, so he went out and purchased a sterilite container (about 27" wide x 36" long x 8" high), put tons of fluffy blankets in it, placed it on his bed and put Zoey in it, just so she could sleep in bed with him. Zoey took to this right away and has since become quite the princess at what lots of people call CampWhippet. Camp Whippet came about because Jonathan does a lot of Whippet & Greyhound rescue and there are anywhere from 4 to 10 dogs in his house at any given time. He truly is a godsend to rescues, and especially to Zoey and myself.

I get monthly updates on Zoey's progress and because of the warm, sunny, sandy beach treks, nice sun bathing area in Jonathan's back yard, and care given by him, Zoey had been steadily improving, so much so that all the medications she was on, she was weaned off of. She even came into season for the 1st time since this dilemna all started. Although this was good news, the heat cycle took it's toll on Zoey and she started in a downhill slide. She is back on some of the meds, but not all, and is now holding her own once again. Her spirit, love of life and will to live is just amazing.

I did call Jonathan in tears one day in November, just cause I was upset that I would probably never see my girl again. I knew I would never see my Zoe-Zoe again, but knowing she is in the right place made everything okay. That was a relapse on my part, and I think I made Jonathan feel bad, but all is better now.

In December over the Christmas vacation, hubby, Tyler and I traveled to Florida to Disney World (that'll be another story), all the while wondering how I was gonna get to Fort Pierce to see Zoey. I called Jonathan one day while we were waiting to get on the bus to go to one of the Disney Parks (it may have been Christmas Day), and I asked Jonathan how things were going, he said, "not good", he had lost a dog and he was driving around right now trying to find her. My heart ended up in my throat as I asked what dog, he said Zoey. Tears came to my eyes, as he explained that she politely let herself out the front door. He said she was contained on the island, and thought she would probably run north on the beach, as that is where they always went, and Zoey does LOVE her beach.

Fort Pierce is a small island and there is only one access road off of it to the main land. He said he'd call me back, and hung up. He called a few minutes later stating that Animal Control just called him and said they had her and he should come get her. Zoey in her "sad condition" had traveled about a mile north on the beach before she was spotted and taken into "custody". Jonathan called me about an hour later to say he had sprung her from the joint, and was on their way home, and that Zoey was just fine, but tired. I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

We did our Disney trips, and on the 30th of December we decided to take Tyler to the beach. We headed east to Cocoa Beach, but did head farther south cause there were dead fish all over the beach there due to a rare Red Tide that came in. I called Jonathan and he said he would meet me at the beach with Zoey. This wonderful man drove Zoey about 2 hours north of his home, just so I could see my baby girl again. It was a joyous reunion as I hugged my girl. To my delight she looked really good. Melbourne Beach is a non-doggy beach and where we were, you couldn't see it, but Zoey stood at the very edge of the tall grass, and with nose in the air was taking in all that glorious sand and salt water she so desparately wanted to get down to. I now know in my heart as I've seen it with my own eyes, Zoey is where SHE needs to be.

To Be Continued...

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 5

In June Zoey had become very shaky on her rear legs, so there were tons more of x-rays, spinal taps, MRI's and more bloodwork done. The only conclusion the vets came to, and we actually thought this from the start, was that she was somehow poisoned. Zoey has always loved life, and dying was not an option in her mind. She is a fighter and has an extreme will to live.

In the ensuing months Zoey steadily got worse, but Debbie and co-owner/backer Dan did everything they could think of to make her comfortable. I went to Sporting Field later that year, and Zoey was a bit wobbly on her rear, but with her zest for life, ran around the farm, chasing the cats, and killing them when she caught them, and sometimes falling down. She was totally unaware she was not right.

I called about once a month inquiring about Zoey's health and it was always the same. When the year 2007 rolled around, the monthly discussions became tearful between Debbie and I cause we came to the realization that if Zoey was ever in pain it was a possibility we'd have to put Zoey down cause she was losing her rear totally, but we nixed that as she was still happy and although wobbly and falling over lots, she still had a bright spirit about her. We contemplated getting a wheelchair for her, but thought that may not be good cause she would lose total use of her rear end, and that would be it. At least while she was galloping around the yard, she was utilizing some muscle she did have back there.

An aquaintance of mine (never met the man, but know of his long standing history with whippets & greyhounds) emailed a few times even while Zoey was in her prime to say that, he knew Zoey wasn't being shown anymore, and he would love to have Zoey in her retirement (you know, once she is done having her babies and all). He would travel to the Florida shows when he could (he does live in Florida) just to see Zoey, he loved her that much.

Come July, discussion on Zoey's outcome was getting more grim and more tearful between Debbie and I. She was on a downhill slide, and sliding fast. I was going away on a 2 week family fishing trip to Canada, and if possible could Debbie please not put her to sleep while I was away, as I wanted to be there to see her one last time, hold her and tell her I love her with all my being and to bring her ashes back to Eclipse where, although she had only spent a few weeks as a baby here, she would spend eternity. It was agreed. Upon arriving home from my vacation, I called Debbie and went to Sporting Fields to see my Zoey. Debbie said she had improved when I was gone, and thinks she may hold steady, but I went anyway. When I saw Zoey, I cried, again along with Debbie, while we hugged each other. Her rear end was totally gone, but she could still pull herself up on her front and bunny hop around the yard, which made me smile wide, and she was turning into such a snob, I couldn't believe it, but she did remember me. (She would always remember my voice when I was near her and she's start her kangaroo hopping until I came over and said hello.) I spent a lot of alone time with my girl, and took a ton of pictures not knowing if those were the last I would get. I said a tearful goodbye to Zoey and Debbie and headed home.

August turned into September, September in October and into November we went. I had called Debbie one day asking about Zoey and she said that she was not doing good at all with the cold settling in and she thought it was time. I hung up and cried. Upon checking my emails that day, there was another email from this certain person that said he was still interested in Zoey, but he wouldn't continue to bug me about her and this would be the last time he'd email me, but to please keep him in mind. I emailed him explaining all about Zoey's "illness" and he said he would definitely love to have her with him. I called Debbie saying that before we put her down, to try this fantastic home in Florida. I told Debbie all about the home and arrangements were made. Debbie got Zoey a ride down to Georgia, and Zoey got a ride down to Florida with this mans Father who was driving in from Montana for the winter. It all worked out and on Zoey's 6th birthday, she arrived at the wonderful home of Jonathan Hart on the sunny, sandy beach of Fort Pierce.

To Be Continued...

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 4

The year 2004 was good, the year 2005 was just mind boggling, so onto the new year...2006.

The first 3 weeks in January saw Zoey and Amanda travel back down to do the Florida circuit, and although not as impressive as last years start, they won 6 BOB, two Group 1, and two Group 2. The following weekend was Missouri winning two more BOB, a Group 1 and a Group 3.

February is the month of the famous Westminster Kennel Club show in New York City, which is around the 14th, but the weekend before Zoey and Amanda were in NJ at the Boardwalk KC shows and they won 2 BOB and two Group 2. Westminster KC came and I was all excited as a bus load of my friends just happen to come in to NY to the show. Judge Dorothy Hutchinson sorted through a bunch of beautiful whippets but finally chose as her Best of Breed, 2005's #1 Whippet Zoey. I just about died on the spot. After many interviews and pictures from the local Morning Call paper, Zoey was resting up for her debut in the famed WKC Groups which are shown live on TV. Zoey put on the performance of a lifetime and made the cut, then was pulled out FIRST, but ended up placing 4th cause the judge picked the dogs 4th to 1st. When she was pulled out first I screamed so loud I think they heard me all the way in February ended with another 3 BOB, a Group 2 and a Group 3.

March was another great month as Zoey won another 11 BOB, 3 Group 1, a Group 3, a Group 4, along with 2 more Best In Shows.

April started off again with a bang, 6 more BOB, a Group 1, two Group 3 and yet another Best In Show. The day of the 15th, Zoey went down with shooting diahrrea at the show. She was never sick a day in her adult life, and the following days she started becoming very lethargic and started running an extremely high fever, 103+. She didn't want to get out of bed or go outside, so she was off to the vets. The vet did all kind of bloodwork, but found nothing. Zoey did eventually get better for the National Specialty which was held the end of April in Boston, MA, and she looked awesome and although she didn't make the cut in the Breed ring, she showed like the star she was. She and Amanda were the most beautiful pair in the ring as the picture above shows.

The first weekend in May were the Bucks & Trenton Shows, and she won both breeds that weekend and another Group 1. This was Zoey's last show where she won anything as her back end was getting very weak.

Over the month of May she kind of held her own, but she'd have her bouts of falling over. Come the Eastern Specialty in June ( I didn't make it that year), she was shown for the very last time.

Zoey's career totals from year 2002 to 6/2006

In The US

18 - All Breed Best In Show

1 - All Breed Puppy Best In Show

3 - Specialty Best In Show

182 - Best of Breed (1 @ 2006 Westminster KC)

10 - Best of Opposite Sex

5 - Award of Merits (1 @ 2005 AWC National)

76 - Group 1

32 - Group 2

18 - Group 3

10 - Group 4 (1 @ 2006 Westminster KC)

In Canada

1 - All Breed Best In Show

1 - All Breed Puppy Best In Show

1 - Specialty Best In Show2003 Hound of the Year

To Be Continued...

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 3

Now we come to the 2nd half of 2005.

The beginning of July she stayed in Maryland and picked up another 3 BOB, a Group 1, Group 2 and another Best In Show. The rest of July was Missouri, Texas and Ohio where she garnered 9 more BOB, five Group 1, one Group 2, a Group 3 and two Group 4. The end of July they flew to the Western Sighthound Combined Specialties where she was awarded two BOB, and a Group 1 over 500 other hounds.

August was a light month as she was only shown 3 weekends. The first weekend in Ohio at the Mid-West weekend garnered 2 BOB, a Group 2 and an Award of Merit at the Specialty. Onto New York with 3 more BOB and a Group 2. The last weekend of August was in Georgia and won 3 BOB, two Group 1, and a Group 2.

September Zoey and Amanda started in New Jersey winning 3 BOB and two Group 1. Next were the NJ/NY shows winning 2 BOB and a Group 2, then onto Ohio winning 2 BOB, two Group 1 and another Best In Show, and the following weekend to the Southern Specialty weekend in Georgia, and what a weekend it was. Three Best of Breeds, 2 Specialty Best In Shows, two Group 1, and an All-Breed Best In Show. And I have it all on DVD thanks to Ralph & Dianne Chiucchi who video taped it especially for me. I thank you both from the bottom of my heart.

October was another light month, but Zoey won 8 more BOB, a Group 1, three Group 2, a Group 3 and a Group 4.

This took us into November which was another full schedule month. Starting in Pennsylvania close to me, Zoey won 3 BOB, three Group 1 and another Best In Show which I went to that day and actually saw her with my own eyes do this. Tyler even got in on the BIS picture. The following weekend was Michigan where she won 3 more BOB, two Group 1 along with a Best In Show, and a Group 2. The next two weekends were Ohio and MD accumulating another 6 BOB, a Group 1, two Group 2 and a Group 3.

December, the last month of this very long yearly campaign. Only shown these two weekends in December, she was in North Carolina on the 9th, 10th and 11th, and in Illinois on the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th. Out of these final 8 shows Zoey was BOB every day, and was Group 1 seven of the 8 days, and won 3 MORE BEST IN SHOWS to complete the year!!!!!!!!!!!

Zoey's record 1/1/05 - 12/31/05 is as follows:

12 – All Breed Best In Shows
2 - Specialty Best In Show
114 – Best of Breeds
4 – Best of Opposite Sex
4 – Award of Merit (1 @ Westminster)
1 – National Select Award of Merit
55 – Group 1
23 – Group 2
8– Group 3
7 – Group 4

The team of Zoey and Amanda ended the year #1 Whippet All Systems, #3 Hound and #25 amongst all breeds in the country!!!!!

What a thrilling ride it was, waiting at home for Amanda's phone calls to see how my baby was doing. I lived every moment with them on the road thanks to Amanda calling me after every show (well sometimes I called her). It was a celebratory Christmas 2005 for sure.

To Be Continued...

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 2

Where were we??? Oh yeah, I remember, 2003. By the end of 2003, Zoey along with new handler Amanda Giles, became a multiple group winner and placer in both the US and Canada.

Onto the year 2004. Zoey was not shown much until June. The Eastern Specialty was being judged by breeder/judge Tracy Hite (Tivio). Zoey and Amanda had now become quite the team, and Amanda was even starting to like Judge Tracy Hite found Zoey amongst all the other beautiful champions, and awarded her Best of Breed. It was a moment I have frozen in time in my memory. Zoey and Amanda went on to amass the following record in 2004 to become #5 Whippet:
3 - All Breed BIS
1 - Specialty BIS
1 - Specialty Award of Merit
29 - BOB
5 - BOS
11 - Group 1
5 - Group 2
2 - Group 3
1 - Group 4

The year 2005 saw Zoey & Amanda win 2 BOB, a Group 1 and a Group 2 in Florida their first weekend out in January, and they never looked back. Continuing on with 7 more BOB's, 2 more Group 1, and 2 more Group 2 took us to the end of January, and #1 Whippet in Breed and All-Breed.

She took a few weeks off until the Westminster Kennel Club on February 15th, and was awarded an Award of Merit. Until the end of February, Zoey was awarded 5 BOB, two Group 1, one Group 2 and two Group 4.

In March, Amanda and Zoey traveled to the shows in Tennessee, Kentucky and Texas accumulating a total of 8 BOB, three Group1, two Group 2 and three Group 3, along with another Award of Merit in KY.

April 2005 was the National Specialty in Arizona, Zoey and Amanda was given another Award of Merit. I was thrilled with this AOM under legendary judge Annie Rogers Clark. Another 6 BOB, three Group 1, one Group 2, one Group 3, and one Group 4 took us to the end of April.

Shown every weekend in May, Amanda and Zoey traveled from Pennsylvania to Mississippi winning 6 BOB, two Group 1, a Group 2 and a Group 3. The following weekend they traveled to Ohio where judges Ralph Lemcke and J. D. Jones found Zoey on back to back days for back to back Best In Shows. On to the New Jersey shows with 5 more BOB, three Group 1 and a Group 2 took us to the end of May.

June was another full month of travel from North Carolina, to Virginia, to Pennsylvania to Indiana where she picked up another BIS and ending in Maryland. Totals include 13 BOB, 9 Group 1 and three Group 3 to go along with her BIS. Half-way through 2005 Zoey was still #1 Whippet All-Systems.

To Be Continued...

The Life & Times of Zoey - Part 1

Zoey was born on November 18, 2001. From day 1 Zoey was a standout in a litter of 10. As soon as her eyes opened at 2-1/2 weeks, she was out of the swimming pool. Even as a baby she always had that "look at me" attitude, was silly as could be, and would do little leapies even as a youngster. She is sired by my beautiful boy Jimmy-George and her mother is my gorgeous girl Penny who is doubled up on Luke, and if anyone knows me knows Luke is my alltime favorite Whippet, so I was extremely excited to get a Luke look-alike.

So on a cool day in late February 2002, I packed up a few of my kids, along with Zoey, and went to Sporting Field kennels in Virginia for a day or two. I got there and put my kids out in a run. I went to find Debbie so I could drag her to the kennel to show off the Luke-alike I was so very proud of. Upon finding Debbie, I think in the cow barn, we mucked some stalls and fed some cows. I was like, "let's go look at my dogs, you have to see my new puppy". Well we started working our way up to the kennel, and got detoured along the way doing other things like switching dogs from kennel to exercise yard, scooping poop and filling water buckets for the dogs out in the yard runs. This was all amongst many phone calls Debbie got on her cell phone.

We were finally up inside the kennel, and I was ushering her out the front door to the one run along the driveway where Zoey was. She got another phone call, and answered it and talked while walking out with me. Upon reaching the outside and turning to look at my dogs, Zoey was trotting back and forth, and Debbie's jaw just dropped. She said to whomever she was talking on the phone to, "Uh, I'll have to call you back". She hung up and looked at me and said, "she is the most beautiful Whippet I've seen since Luke". My heart soared, I knew I had a good one to show, and I got great reviews from my mentor and friend.

After talking about Zoey's bloodlines a bit we went to lunch. We were eating our lunch, discussing dogs, pedigrees and me grinning ear to ear when we talked about Zoey. Debbie asked me if I would consider letting Zoey there at Sporting Fields so she could get her ready for the Eastern Specialty coming in June, as the judge should love her. Then we got into how she was that good that she would be a great Special someday, we'd get some backing, and she would show/special her at the shows. It was gut-wrenching decision I had to make in leaving my gorgeous girl at Sporting Fields, but knew with the amount of shows I'd been making the past year or so, and with a 1 year old son at home knew I wouldn't make a lot of upcoming shows either, so I agreed. I cried on the way home from Debbie's house, as I missed her terribly, and I knew in my heart that she was gonna be something special. It's hard to say how I knew she was special, we all want to think we have the next "great one", but she had that extra something, even as a baby.

I called Debbie for daily updates on Zoey. She was on the road with Trent a lot, but took Zoey along with her to whatever show she went to. This was all part of her training/socializing, but actually Zoey never needed any socializing, she was the ultimate social butterfly since day 1.

Come time for the Eastern Specialty in June, Zoey was 7 months old and was ring ready. She ended up winning a very competitive 6-9 month puppy class, and went all the way to Reserve Winners Bitch under judge Bill Shelton. Dan Black happen to be at the Eastern that year, and saw Zoey in the ring, came up to Debbie and said, "I want to own that bitch". This was the best news ever, as he was the financial backer we needed for her career. I was ecstatic, to say the least!!!!

A few weeks later I traveled back to Virginia for the Shenandoah shows and Zoey was awarded her first point and went onto a Best Puppy in Show. I was over the moon. Zoey finished her championship before her first birthday with a Group 1 along the way and a second Best Puppy in Show, this time in Canada, all shown by Debbie. I was constantly bugging Debbie when she was gonna get her out specialing, but Zoey was kind of put on the back burner cause she was currently showing Trent and you can't special two dogs of the same breed at the same time.

Debbie made her daughter Amanda start showing Zoey. Amanda hated Zoey with a passion as she never listened, or came when called. Zoey was put away for a few months, then went up to Canada in July 2003 for the shows up there. Under the guidance of Amanda, Zoey won her first All-Breed BIS in Canada, the same day she won a SBIS at the Whippet Club of Eastern Canada. The following day she was awarded WB & BOW at the Whippet Club of Canada National Specialty. The 3rd day she won BOB & Group 2 at the All Hound Assn. of Canada show. All this was from the Open bitch class over BIS/SBIS Champions. Zoey went back to Canada the end of the year to show in what the Canadians call the Show of Shows. It is open to any dog that won a BIS in Canada, and she went on to win the breed and a Group 1. Zoey ended the year 2003 being Canada's Hound of the Year.

To Be Continued.....

Dog Showing in Canada

Well, I've just recently returned from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where there were 3 all-breed shows, and the National Whippet Specialty. Vanna had a great time strutting her stuff, although the judges didn't find her worthy of any points, I got tons of nice compliments about her. Rio was only shown on Saturday at the National and the Sweeps. He ended up winning Best Opposite Sex in Sweeps, and I was quite proud of him. It was a stormy kind of day (no rain though) with distant thunder and whipping winds that made the caution tape flap and make tons of noise, which Rio absolutely hates. He was actually quite frightened of this all, but still managed to be good enough for this win.

I got to show a Scottish Deerhound puppy who is just gorgeous, but extremely tough to show. I think her handler should get paid double what she actually gets to show. I also showed her beautiful bitch Feather and she too is such a PITA to show. Lesley makes it look so easy when she shows them that everyone thinks its a

My friend Leila was to stay with me, but she decided to visit friends in Toronto and ended up staying with them for a few nights, so I hung out with my other friends Lesley & Jenny. Jenny lives in Canada, and Lesley lives in NY but was staying at Jenny's house, so I was graciously invited to Jenny's for dinner a few nights. She and her husband have a beautiful home, and her whippets are just as beautiful. We drank enough Bloody Marys, Beer, and Margaritas that my cooler was empty of all alcohol once returning

I had tons of fun, and look forward to my next trip to Canada.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Updated Jaycie/Riggins pups

Here are a few updated pics of the babies. They will be two weeks old on Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tyler gets his yellow belt

After 3 months of hard work, Tyler was able to test for his yellow belt in Karate, actually it's Tae Kwon Do, a Korean form of Karate. He had a little problem with his 6 step sequence as he was adding two extra steps, but the instructor let him do it over (3 times a charm). He needed to do his first two forms Kuk Mu One & Kuk Mu Two which he did very well. He also needed to break a board and unfortunately he got a board with a big knot right in the middle, but after about 20 or 30 kicks, the board broke in half. Instructor Rich was very proud that he didn't get discouraged and kept kicking and kicking and kicking until it broke. So now it's time to watch out, and don't piss off the kid, as he'll kick your butt.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Jaycie/Riggins Puppies - 6/11/08

Well the long awaited Jaycie/Riggins pups made their debut on 6/11/08. She had a v-e-r-y long delivery and after a rough start, we ended up with 4 live puppies, all in 3 different shades of brindle and white. We had 3 beautiful boys, Ty, TC and Taylor, and 1 gorgeous girl, TinkerBell. All pups were named by my son Tyler (see where that theme is going?), and all are doing well. I'm very excited about these pups and look forward to them growing up.