Thursday, May 28, 2015

Coursing Craziness

On Memorial Day I took Bourbon and Rookie over to Des Moines for two CATs. It was Rookie's first official run (he did a fun run last year and totally loved it) and he apparently takes after Bourbon. Not quite sure that's a good thing! ;)

Bourbon got his 13th and 14th leg toward his CAX title (he needs 25 total runs so we've to enter 11 more CATs...). Hopefully, we can enter quite a few this summer as I don't know what kind of running shape he'll be in next year!

He's still got his beautiful stride :).
He's never ready for the run to end...
Rookie got his first two legs towards his CA title (he only needs one more to get it!). Sadly, because of his demodex he has super thin skin and his feet are a mess of scar tissue. This doesn't go well with top-speed running :(. His poor feet were bruised and bleeding when he was done (although he is apparently impervious to the pain). I'll probably let him run one more time to get his title (and because he LOVES it) and then unless I can figure out something for his feet we'll just have to find something else exciting to do.

Isn't he quite the little monster :).

Do you think your dog would enjoy chasing the lure?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Foto Fun: Forever Friends

A Cute Cuddling Compilation

A few interesting observations...
*Monday is a common denominator almost all the the time
*Bourbon only cuddles with Vito
*Baron only ever cuddled with Monday <I still miss that boy!>
*Vito never cuddles with Rookie
*Monday and Rookie are so cute it's sick :)

Have a great Holiday Weekend!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Way To Go Bourbon!

Bourbon had quite the busy 'birthday' weekend (hey he doesn't know it's a week late lol!). We drove out to Steven's Point, Wisconsin for 3 CATs (coursing aptitude tests) which are Bourbon's most favorite thing in the world. I'm not sure who is crazier - me for driving him 5 and a half hours to chase a plastic bag for 2 minutes or him for getting SO damn excited to chase a stupid plastic bag :). I guess we are both nutty lol.

Are we there yet?!?
Bourbon really enjoyed his weekend away. He got to chase his baggies bunnies, sleep in his own bed (the hotel gave us a 2 queen room), and have mom all to himself.

He hogs the bed...
I really enjoyed our weekend because it wore him out (which makes him less of an asshole in general), he got a new title (hello RIBBONS! I love ribbons), and I got to talk dogs all weekend with like-minded people :).

Two of his 3 qualifying ribbons and his new title ribbon :)
There was one drawback - Bourbon had some kind of reaction to the gnats that were bothering everything on Saturday. I slightly freaked out and ran through all the possibilities - he pulled something internally causing bruising, he had a tick which caused lyme disease, it was a heat rash, etc. Seriously, I was all over google looking at disgusting skin conditions. Turns out it was just a little contact dermatitis due to the gnat bites. But being so far away from your vet when something weird pops up is scary!!

Sorry about the X-rated shot ;) but doesn't that look weird?
And of course the picture doesn't show how red it really was.
Regardless of the gnat reaction, Bourbon was in full form Sunday morning for his final CAT. Here's a pretty crappy quality video :)

Bourbon can now be known as:

Bourbon Street Saint, CGC, CA, CAA

He's just racking up those letters behind his name :). He's got to have 13 more qualifying runs before he can add CAX though so we have some work to do!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Dogs of Babel {book review}

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

Upon the sudden and mysterious death of his wife, a heartbroken linguistics professor embarks on a mission to teach their dog, Lorelei, the only eye witness, to speak in order to piece together what happened and why. In the days and weeks that follow, Paul Iverson begins to notice strange 'clues' in their home that suggest nothing about Lexy's last afternoon was quite what it seemed. Reeling from grief, Paul is determined to decipher this evidence and unlock the mystery of her death. But he can't do it alone; he needs Lorelei's help. So he begins an impossible endeavor: a series of experiments designed to teach Lorelei to communicate what she knows. Perhaps behind her wise and earnest eyes lies the key to what really happened to the woman he loved. As Paul's investigation leads him in unexpected and even perilous directions, he revisits the pivotal moments of his life with Lexy, the brilliant, enigmatic woman whose sparkling passion for life and dark, troubled past he embraced equally.

My Thoughts
This book wasn't anything I was expecting and not really in the good way. The journey Paul takes to deal with his grief is the central theme and while Lorelei, the dog, is a main character, her involvement is really a sub-plot in the overall novel. Personally, I felt the book got a bit weird and maybe it's because I've never dealt with grief to the extreme of losing a significant other, but I didn't understand/feel/grasp/jive with (whatever you want to call it) the process the author laid out. Not that anyone's process would be the same as another's but it felt too contrived. And seriously, I felt like I was beat over the head with the symbology (apple tree, snakes, death masks, etc.). It was all just too much for me. The final straw was *Spoiler Alert* having Lorelei harmed when she was dognapped. The whole secret society angle was super creepy and the weird 'scientific' experiments were too much for me to think about. I don't need happy-ending dog/animal books by any means but the experiment angle was too much torture for me and really detracted from the book.

As you can probably tell, I didn't really enjoy this book :). I would probably recommend it just to see what someone else thought about it and to have a conversation about differences or agreements, but I can't recommend it on the merits of it's story. In fact, my copy is now making it's way to the secondhand bookstore (which if you've ever seen my in-home library, that says something!).

And yes it really is a national bestseller......

Check out the other books I've reviewed:
Dog is My Co-Pilot
When Elephants Weep
Scent of the Missing
Tell Me Where It Hurts
Little Boy Blue
Pawprints of Katrina
Hit By a Flying Wolf
What the Dog Knows
A Small Furry Prayer
Until Tuesday

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Mite Mania!!

Well...there is no better way to say this then...Rookie's demodex is back. He got scraped last week and they are EVERYWHERE :(. I am speechless...

He is such a great trooper at the vet.
Empty water bottles make great rewards at the vet's office :)
He is back on Ivermectin and we are exploring other treatments as well. This is his fourth year dealing with these damn parasites :(.

Previous Posts on Rookie's Demodex Journey
Damn Those Mites
Rookie's Experiment
PU! A Very Stinky Rookie Update
The Medical Roller Coaster of Life

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy 10th Birthday Bourbon!!

I can't believe it's that time of year already! Today is Bourbon's 10th freaking birthday (it's also my birthday but we like to celebrate his more than mine!). It sounds horrible to say but I can't believe he's lived this long!! :)

He is definitely more gray this year!!
Sadly, we didn't celebrate his birthday today, on his actual day. I'm in Minnesota for a KPA weekend with Rookie, which seems even more traitorous :). But as a birthday present, next weekend I am taking him to Wisconsin for three CATs and then he'll run in two more on Memorial Day weekend. So he's not complaining too much about not celebrating today :). He can't wait to run those CATs!!

Do you celebrate your dog's birthday more than your own? :) Obviously we do....

Monday, May 4, 2015

Introducing...Topp Canine Solutions

While KPA is keeping me busy, I also have something else going on I haven't mentioned yet. Last year I got laid off from my corporate job (I loved what I was doing and my coworkers, but thank dog I don't have to work in a damn cubicle anymore!!!) and decided to start my own dog business :). INTRODUCING...

*drum roll inserted*

Topp Canine Solutions

I'm working on building up a client base and plan to keep this as a full-time business, which needless to say takes up a lot of time. So between KPA homework and working with clients, it can be hard to find time to sit in front of a computer! I do have a Website up (although that is also a work in progress I need to find more time for!) and a Facebook page ready for more fans (Check Me Out), but sadly the blog seems to suffer. I do plan to come back with a vengeance this Fall so hopefully everyone will stick with me for awhile. I have tons of blog post ideas, I just need a free assistant to write and photograph them LOL. Too bad Siri isn't quite that helpful :).

It's been a bit terrifying (and more than a little overwhelming) starting my own business, but even if I fail at being able to make enough to make it worthwhile I am SO glad I've got the chance to try something I've always wanted to do. I do find it hard being my own boss (hello procrastination...) but the satisfaction and happiness of my clients makes it so fulfilling. Personally, I am much happier and less stressed than I was working for a paycheck (although sometimes I dearly miss that paycheck lol). There are certainly sacrifices, but I am very lucky that my husband has a great job and is very supportive of this venture.

I did manage to pay my husband back a little and I supported his softball team this year - I do have to stay the jersey's are a bit badass :). It's so much fun seeing people wearing my logo!

If you could have any career what would it be? Is there anything holding you back from pursuing those dreams?