*New Champion* Acadia Independence Day

I got a wonderful text from Mason's handler informing me that he was Winners Dog today for that final major and the Championship.   I always like to show the dogs myself, but I don't like to go to shows in the winter, and Florida has 2 solid weeks of shows.  Lots of full-time handlers go to Florida to take advantage of good weather and multiple shows in one location.



Mason- what's that in your mouth?
Mason was being handled by a friend who professionally handles shelties for a living, and has the advantage of living in Florida.  I am so thankful that happened quickly- she only showed him in 3 shows.Mason is the son of GCh. Acadia Serenity and is her first champion, from her first litter.  These are pictures of him growing up.

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When everything feels like gambling

We didn’t win the anything in the Powerball, but I knew that money was spent gambling.  These past few weeks the stock market has been falling, but we know that investing is a gamble.  Mason is at shows in Florida this weekend competing to win that last major for his championship, and sometime dogs shows just feel like gambling.  Cassia was bred and had a litter of 1 in December and Claire was bred and is due now.  She is not pregnant.  Liza was just bred this week and wow, now breeding just feels like gambling.

There are always methods and ways to increase the odds, but at the moment I am just feeling beaten.  If I had all of the money I am spending on the gamble, I would be ahead, but it is not just about money.  All of these risks that we take- all of the gambling is really about hope and excitement.  It is really about the excitement of the future; about the possibilities of what is to come.  

I think I have done everything I could to increase the odds that Liza has conceived.  I think I am doing what I can to increase the odds that Mason will finish this month.  I think I am doing what I can to increase the odds that Cassia’s single puppy will be a future star- but time will tell.  For all of it (especially the money parts), I have heard it’s better to be lucky than good. 

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Did you buy a ticket?

It's all the talk- the record PowerBall prize. Yesterday it was $800million and I heard that today it is over that.  The drawing is tonight.

A few years ago my friend Ellen and I drove to Florida in December to show at Eukanuba.  On the way home, I found out the PowerBall prize was some huge amount.  I bought a ticket when we stopped to get gas in Georgia.  Ellen and I spent hours on our drive home talking about what we would do if it was a winning ticket.  We had a great time- and I felt that fun was well worth $2.00. Someone did win and when I heard, "the winning ticket was sold in Georgia" I didn't want to hear any more.  I knew I didn't win, but, I had bought a ticket in GEORGIA and that was as close as I had gotten.

I bought a ticket for this drawing.  I know I won't win, but I have enjoyed listening to everyone talk about what they would do if they won, and I have enjoyed the excitement and anticipation.  I think it is worth the price of a ticket.

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New Year's resolutions for your pets

Did you make a new year’s resolution this year?    I have a few “self-improvement” projects I am going to work on this year, and today, the 3nd day of the new year, I have gotten started.  According to a 2002 study, statistics are not on my side; only 46% of people are still on track 6 months later.  It is hard to change bad habits.  Speaking of bad habits, do your new year’s resolutions include your pets?  

  More dogs and cats are abandoned because of their bad habits. 
Housebreaking, barking, chewing and destructive behavior are the primary reasons people abandon their pets.  If your pet could use a “self-improvement project”, then make it a new year’s resolution to help them make the changes.   Enroll in a class, increase their exercise, discover what triggers the undesirable behaviors and you will discover more about your pet.   Training and discovery is fun with your furry friend. We can all use a bit of “fine-tuning” and now is the time of year to start.

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Welcome 2016!

I hope that for everyone reading this that 2016 is a Happy, Prosperous and Successful year.   I see that it has been a few years since I have done a year in review.  That is too bad because these past few years have been very successful if success is measured in wins and accolades.  This year Liza reached 100 Best of Breeds, which earns her a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Shetland Sheepdog Association (ASSA).    That is an achievement I had never dreamed I would reach.  Liza made it easy- and a lot of fun. 

2015 was not quite as successful if measured in puppies.  It was an expensive and disappointing year as each breeding brings anticipation, excitement, and hopes and dreams of the future, and is expensive.  Despite the small litters and misses, we did end up with two boys, Porter and Staten, and two girls, Cheer and Desi, that we are excited about.  I sure hope that 2016 has more puppies for us to share and be excited about.   







Puppies always bring a smile, so I will fill the new year’s 1st post with puppies. 

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The National Dog Show- one of the few remaining Benched shows

Yesterday was the National Dog Show, held in Philadelphia.  It is a "Benched" show. There are only a few benched shows left in the country- Westminster being another one.  Historically there was an actual "bench" and each entered dog was assigned a specific space on the bench.  At this show, there is no actual bench, but dogs are still assigned a specific space and much be crated in those assigned spaces.  Benched shows are really for the public to come and see the different breeds and learn what makes them unique.  I think of them as an all day "Meet the Breeds".  Breeds are assigned spaces together so that people coming to see shelties, for example, will find them all in one place.  The dogs must be in the assigned spaces all day, 11:00-5:00 were the required time, but once a dog was in the building it is not allowed to leave, and are only allowed to be absent from their assigned space, during their ring tine (when they are being judged) and for short potty brakes.  Yesterday our ring time was 9:00 am, so we were in the building at 7:45am and couldn't leave until 5:00.  The goal is that no matter when the public arrives, they will still be able to see all of the breeds entered that day.  This is different from "un-benched" shows in which the dogs can arrive and depart the show site at will.

As a competitor in these benched shows it is a long day, and it is important to enter a dog that can be available to meet the public and be an ambassador for the breed.  Not all dogs are up for that challenge.  Luckily for me, Luke, Ch. Acadia's Crown Prince, is one of those dogs.  He was a trooper and greeted people almost all day- usually with a tail wag, and occasionally with a kiss.  I was thankful to see so many people coming to see the dogs.

Last year, Liza won Best of Breed at this show and then went on to win a Herding Group 3rd place. This show is televised on Thanksgiving Day- and it was fun to relive the positive experience while surrounded by family and enjoying a good meal.

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Devyn- Amy's next Agility Prospect

Devyn lives with her 1/2 sister (same mother), Teagan, and their person, Amy.  Teagan is small, like Devyn and the two are very cute together, although they don't look alike yet.  Teagan is dark like mom, Cassia, and Devyn is red like her dad, Darren.  I know that these girls will become best friends and I hope that Amy really enjoys the interactions with the two of them.

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