Acadia- more perfect than I was even aware

I still have the 1986 Tri-state SSC catalog where my mom and I wrote a few variations and finally settled on Acadia for my “kennel name”. My first name of course is Cadie- my maiden name is Arvidson, so drop the e and keep the A (cadia) and add my love of nature and of course the first thing a New Englander (me) thinks of is the beautiful National Park in Maine, Acadia- it was a “natural” fit.
It turns out it was even more perfect than I imagined. Last night while watching a PBS program on the US National Parks, I learned that Acadia is a French word meaning “Heaven on Earth”. How perfect! Learning this made me so happy. I have always felt that a life filled with dogs is heaven on earth. The choice of Acadia was even more perfect than I was originally aware.


New Champion: *Ch* Acadia's Bright New Day

Sunday was a Bright New Day! Chip was Winners Dog for a major and Dove was Winners Bitch!
Chip has needed one major to finish for over a year. I have spent a TON of money on entry fees for shows that didn't make a major* and he has been shown at shows that were majors and he has gone Reserve! more than I cared. Well....................... I decided that my problem was that I didn't have Champagne with me.

I had a bottle of Champagne with me when I finished Breckon. I had a bottle of Champagne with me when I finished Genna. Clearly Chip didn't feel I was "prepared"- soooooo this weekend I made sure that before I left for the weekend I got a bottle of Champagne. I said to Chip, "ok buddy- now I am not only ready, I am prepared."- and don't you know- he came through!.

Chip can be difficult to show sometimes. He has a lot of energy and he moves at the end of his lead- always. On bad days he "chases" the dog in front of him in line. This throws off his front and the judge can't see his lovely, flowing side gate when he dose that. Not this weekend. He was PERFECT. I was so proud of the way he showed.

I was on cloud 9 (because Chip had finished) when I went into the ring with Dove. She won her class, but there were only 2. When we went in for Winners I was relaxed and just plain happy. Don't you know- she was Winners Bitch! It was a major in dogs only, so in order for Dove to win the major, she would have to go Best of Winners. Because I had both Winners dog and Winners bitch I needed someone else to handle one of them for Best of Winners. I asked a friend to take Chip in for me. I thought that would give me the best chance of having Dove go Best of Winners.

Winners Dog is always in front of Winners Bitch in the line up, so Chip was ahead of me. Well- he was BAD. He sat, he turned around to look at me, he galloped around the ring- he was just plain a handful- but he STILL went best of winners! so Dove only got 1 point, not a major. Oh well. At least if the judge wasn't going to "cross over" the points, then I am glad it was my bitch. I would have felt very bad if it someone else had not gotten the major.

Chip is Champion #4 for Carrie (Ch. Sunburst Acadia Here I Come). He is sired byPayson (Ch. Acadia's Bright Idea, RA,NA,NAJ)

*the number of points is based on the number of dogs entered. "make a major" is the lingo used when the number of dogs entered (and shown) is at or above the number established for 3 points. This process could be a blog entry all by itself.


What we do for our dogs

Showing and breeding dogs is more than a hobby, it is a way of life. This week Maureen and Michael’s blog -Shelamo Shelties celebrates the anniversary of a move. That’s right- they MOVED to accommodate the dogs. Some people will move so that their children can be in the “right” school district. Some people will move to go where a new job is located. Shelamo shelties had a location they were happy with, until the laws changed- then the location was no longer fine.
If you had a job, friends, a community you were happy with- would you move? If you raise and show dogs, the answer is YOU BET. Our lives revolve around our dogs. We spend all of our “discretionary money” on the dogs. We spend all of our “discretionary time” on our dogs. Our vacations are based on where is the National this year? Our home renovations are about how will the change better our dog management. Of course we have chosen this life, but it is not about “making money” as many of the Animal Rights people are attempting to persuade the public- it is about the DOGS. It’s always all about the dogs!

I too would move for my dogs- but I hope I never have to- I love our current location.


The World's most expensive dog- $582,000

I just read this article today. Here is the link to the story on The dog is a Tibetan Mastiff.

I have been thinking about writing about the Cost of Dogs for a while, but haven't formulated my thoughts yet. In Pennsylvania, the cost of well-bred sheltie is between $800- $1200. Keeping, showing, health testing,breeding, training, loving- it all takes time and money. Recently food and veterinary costs and the cost of showing a dog has really gone up noticeably. The cost of shipping dogs (which I used to do a lot to breed to dogs in other parts of the country) as gone up at an even faster rate.

In preparation to write about costs, I did go through a few "exercises" of accounting. I even started to write a blog entry entitled: Responsible Dog breeders- Simulating the Economy, but never finished it (it is still a draft in my folder) I have been tracking the health testing costs, feeding costs and the cost of breeding a well bred bitch to a well bred stud dog. Again, I started writing an article entitled: But I don't want a SHOW puppy: and other reactions to the price of a well bred puppy. Yup- it is still in draft form too. Seeing this article about the Tibetan Mastiff certainly makes me think about the cost of dogs and makes me feel I need to finalize those draft articles.

To help me to organize my thoughts- I am going to attempt to do a poll on this blog. Seeing your answers will help me think of other questions, and look for other answers. Soooooo................ please help me out by answering the polls I am going to attempt. Thanks.


Safety Tip: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

What is the purpose of a fence? It may seem like a silly question, but when you think about it, the answers do vary- so it is not that silly of a question. One of the first questions a breeder may ask of a prospective home is, “do you have a fenced yard?” If the answer is, “Yes” then a follow up question of, “what type of a fence is it?” needs to be asked- why? Because the answer to that question gets at the true nature of the purpose of the fence.

Fences that surround pools for example are there to provide the pool owner with “liability insurance” – to keep children and animals from “accidently falling in”. Some fences are decorative in nature. Some fences are for privacy so that your neighbors can’t see directly into your living space. Some fences are to protect the neighborhood children-outside the fence- from a large dog which is inside the fence. In the case of sheltie breeders, we want fences that will protect the dog-inside the fence- from the large dogs (and children) that are outside the fence. I consider fences to be a protection of my family member- a kind of “dog insurance”.

I am not a fan of Invisible fences. They do not serve to protect the dog within the fenced area from dangers that may come into the yard. I personally know of 5 people whose SHELTIES were KILLED by attacking dogs. Additionally, one dog that I bred and sold to a pet home was attacked by a large dog. This sheltie survived, but did have extensive damage. It happens a lot. I don’t know what it is about shelties, but they seem to wear a sign that says, “bite me”. I wouldn’t be surprised to have many of you leave comments saying things like, “yeah- a (such and such dog) attacked my sheltie while we were at the (park, agility trial, walking in the neighborhood….)”. Home associations might like invisible fences, but I don’t. They do not protect the dogs within their boundaries.

In my opinion, if the purpose of the fence is to enclose a dog, it must be an actual physical barrier. If it is not, then other dogs (or kids) can enter your yard and cause harm to your dog. This physical barrier must also reach the ground. There should not be spaces where a dog could squeeze out. Dogs can squeeze out of very small spaces.

I don’t always require prospective buyers to have fences. I often feel that people who get young puppies can teach the puppies boundaries, but be forewarned, when someone says to me, “I am always with them when they are outside”- just remember that just because you are out with them, it may not be enough to protect them. It does no good to see them get hit by the car. If you get a dog and you don’t have a fenced yard, you have to work doubly hard to help your dog understand boundaries, and this means that yes, they will test those boundaries, just to make sure you mean it. Hopefully, this will happen in your presence, and at a time when no car is coming, or big dog is chasing. If you do have an invisible fence, you should also never let your dog out unsupervised. It is just too dangerous for your dog.