Sunday, August 23, 2009

On Vacation

We are off to Long Beach, WA for vacation. We rent the same house every year, dog friendly, secluded on the oceanfront.

Five kids (10, 13, 15, 17, 22 y/o - feel my pain). Four dogs, one truck, one SUV, ear plugs and lots of Tylenol.

Doggie Heaven

Chuck-it Paradise

Frisbee Nirvana

Katie's favorite place. We haven't been back since she crossed the bridge. I am bringing her ashes and will be spreading in the surf tomorrow morning.

It is time to let her go...rejoin the earth where her paws were warmed by the sand. Where I remember her smiling in peace in heaven.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Black and White Tornado

Ever been inside a black and white tornado?

Tornado they come!

There they go! Whew, that was close...

Eleven border collies...count 'em. (click on any picture for a larger view)

Eleven border collies swimming

Eleven border collies chasing a ball

Egads, they are coming right at us...

Ever have this many border collies staring at you?

Kinda creepy huh?

We get rid of them by throwing the ball

Then they are back. Below are five of Vicki's border collies. I was hoping to catch five of them in one nice shot.

Grrr...Brynn the photobomb

I thought it was about time I formally introduced Vicki's border collies

First we have Bug the youngest of the group

Brynn and Bug have been growing up together. They are only a couple weeks apart in age.

Bug loves the water!

Next is Blitz. Blitz has been running open with Sue MacDonald. Blitz and Ranger are good buddies. It suits them because they are both a couple of goobers.

Blitz never fails to make us laugh!

Next up is Bess. Bess's name is going to be changed to Zoe. Zoe's mom is Deltabluez Tess. Her father is Scott Glen's Pleat. Due to a couple of rough handlers that 'ruined' her she is looking forward to nice long life as a pet.

Zoe loves to come to the river and play with everyone. She has come leaps and bounds since her first time.

She is growing in confidence & coming out of her shell. She is now swimming and diving after the ball too.

We have to work on the 'fetch' portion. Beth usually brings the ball all the way back when Zoe drops it. They have a nice system going.

Skye is another one of Vicki's open dogs that have been trained by Sue MacDonald. Skye's eyes are incredible. She is such a love too.

That brings us to Gryff. Emma Rose's Dream Boat. Shortly after this was taken Gryff had an accident. 30 + sutures later Gryff is on extended confinement while healing from a run in with a stick in the pasture. We won't see Gryff at the river for the next month. Vicki had to withdraw him from the trail next week where she was going to run him in Novice. Say a few prayers for Gryff.

The third boy in the group is Milo. Milo started the border collie madness for Vicki. Milo used to be Vicki's agility dog, but now his knees have issues. Milo is such a character. He is one of the 'satellite' dogs. He runs around the outside of the pack - keeping tabs on everyone.

Wrapping up the boys is Jess. Jess was found wandering the streets. He was very ill when Vicki first met him but she fell in love with him. He later came to Vicki as a foster and he stayed. Sucked into the black hole. He has also been training with Sue MacDonald.

The senior dog in the group is Doodle. Even Beth respects Doodle. They both have one single minded purpose...the ball. Or sheep if they are present.

Wherever Doodle is, you can find Brandy...plastered right to her behind. Brandy's purpose in life it to watch Doodles butt, where ever she may roam. It makes it very easy to take nice pictures of Brandy - but she is always staring at...Doodles butt.

As you can see, there is Brandy...staring at Doodles butt. Doodle is staring at the ball under Vicki's foot.
Vicki has mastered the art of rapid ball retrieval. We have both experienced what happens to fingers if you are slow to get it out of reach of teeth. We don't bring the chuck-it on our walks because they will attack it as you are walking - endlessly harassing you to throw the ball.

This is how I get decent shots of the dogs. The ones where it looks like they are staring at something. They are usually staring at Vicki holding the ball over her head...while I say "hold it, this shot is gorgeous...keep holding it...don't throw it yet, keep holding it...blah blah blah".

That is how I can get shots like this one (note Doodle in the back ground and Brandy staring at her butt)

The sunlight is just perfect in Beth's eyes.

Ranger has his lip stuck in his teeth. Doodle is behind him.

Then there are the action shots. Look Brynn can levitate.

Brynn walks on water too.

I couldn't get any of these shots if Vicki wasn't throwing the ball over and over again (I cant wait to get my new camera so I can take decent action shots).

The only problem with sitting on the ground near a mob of affectionate wet border collies is you end up with a disproportionate amount of sand in your hair, ears, eyes & disturbingly enough...your bra...from being jumped on and shaken next too.

Oops....Tennis ball FAIL

We love our walks with Vicki and her dogs. One time she even brought her mom. She enjoyed the black and white tornado too.

Last but not least, we cannot forget Scarlett the golden retriever who is an honorary border collie by default. She has earned this title simply by surviving living with 10 border collies, one Newfie Lab mix and approx 90 foster dogs over the past several years.

Amazingly, she is oblivious to it all.

Vicki, you are my hero.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


This evening our dear friend Vicki said goodbye to her sweet Annie.

Vicki, this is for you...Annie is joyfully dancing on clouds, thankful for every minute of the wonderful life you gave her.

I live among God's creatures now
In the heavens of your mind
So do not grieve for me, my friend
As I am with my kind

My collar is a rainbow's hue
My leash is a shooting star.
My boundaries are the Milky Way
Where I sparkle from afar

I nap the day on a snowy cloud
Gentle breezes rocking me,
And dream the dream of earthlings,
And how it used to be

The trees are full of liver treats
And tennis balls abound
And milkbones line the walkways
Just waiting to be found

I drink from waters laced with gold
My world a beauty to behold
And wise old dogs do form my pride
To amble at my very side

At night I sleep in angel's arms
Her wings protecting me,
And moonbeams dance about us
As stardust falls on thee

So when your life on Earth is spent
And you stand at Heaven's gate,
Have no fear of loneliness...
For here, you know, I wait