Monday, July 29, 2013

decals and feetsies

Last weekend was our "relaxing" tournament of the year, one held up in Maple Ridge BC as part of a country fair.  It's a small tournament, typically only about 15 teams show up, and it's run outside on grass in the sunshine while we park the RV's a short walk away in a gravel lot.  This year we had five RV's in our group, so we parked them in two columns with one crossways at the "head" to form a nice private courtyard, and it was lovely.  Previous years have held everything from searing 95-100F heat to surprise thunderstorms with heavy downpours, but this year it was just about perfect with temps in the mid-upper 70F range and beautiful sunshine.  We were the only attendees from Unorthodogs, so I ran Ezri on an Open class team with friends from JCJ and Dogwood Pacesetters, and we had a great time and took home first place in Open on both days.  Ezri had a lot of fun, running a 4.001 in start and a 4.018 in third - not bad for racing on grass!

I took the opportunity to put up some of the new decals I've ordered in recent weeks.  First up are the set of customized border collie silhouettes that I ordered from Blakdogs on Etsy.  I put them up on the side of the RV right by the door, so that I can see them every time I come in or out of the rig.

In the closeup shot below you can see that each silhouette has a heart and the dog's name cut out of the center, and each one is done in the appropriate color we've assigned to each dog.  The wonderful artist even custom-made me one with wings and a halo for my gone but never forgotten Curzon.  I put them up from right to left in order of their appearance in their lives, with Jadzia first and Martok last, of course.  No JRT stickers available, so no Phoebe, but she's still represented in the pawprint stickers on the back windows.

I added the pawprint name sticker for Martok to the back window of the RV, and now it looks severely unbalanced to my eyes.  Clearly I need to get another dog sooner rather than later, purely for aesthetics reasons of course!

We caravaned home with our friends from JCJ, including one family that was on their maiden voyage with their brand new fifth wheel trailer.  We brought up the rear for most of the trip, and the photo below was taken as we were all about to cross the Golden Ears Bridge across the Fraser River to head back to the US/Canada border.

And of course, what flyball weekend would be complete without tired border collies?  I loved how Ezri and Martok slept snuggled, with a little pile of feetsies all squished together, so I had to take a photo.  His feet aren't quite as big as hers...yet!

Martok turned five months old on Saturday, and he's just a bouncing ball of energy, love, and play.  I pulled his last two baby molars this weekend, and after a serious chew session with a bully stick both of the adult teeth have crowned through his gums and are on their way up to join the others.  All he has left to lose are his two upper canines, and given how his gums are swollen next to those baby canines it probably won't be much longer until they come out too.  I weighed him this morning and he was 22.9lbs, which is still tracking right in between Ezri and Curzon's growth rates, so I'm still holding to my guess that he'll be 38lbs as an adult.

We shall see, of course.  Bigger surprises have happened in the past, after all!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

puppy uncorked

Last weekend Chris' parents visited us for the weekend, which was a nice change for them as it's currently right around 100F and humid in their home in New Jersey, whereas we had beautiful 80F and sunny weather all weekend.  We did quite a few activities while they were here, including a boat tour of Lake Washington, some excellent dinners out, and of course two activities that included the dogs.  On Saturday afternoon we went to Kirkland Uncorked, a wine tasting, food, boat, and art festival right on the waterfront in downtown Kirkland, and we took Martok with us.  He did really well, especially given that he's only four months old, and won all kinds of fans with his good behavior and adorable puppy antics and looks.

Waiting on the bench to go to the first wine tasting tent at the beginning of our afternoon.  It was still cloudy at this point!

Here he is not sure why I put a glass of something sweet smelling (it was blackberry mead) next to him and then wouldn't let him drink it!

The sun was fully out at this point, and he was a little hot and tired by now as we went out to the dock to look at the boats.  This was a whole new experience for him, as the floating docks move around and creak and squeak, so there was a lot of hopping back and forth for dried chicken shreds to get used to it.  He didn't want to jump onto the two boats we put him on, but he was more than happy to jump OFF of them and back onto the dock!

I sat out with him while Chris and his parents got some ice cream for us, and he even put his head down on my foot and snoozed a little bit.  Even though we were only out for about three hours, it was a lot of work and stimulation for the little guy!

On Sunday we went out to the Ballard Locks for a walk in the afternoon, and this time we took Jadzia with us as she doesn't practice flyball anymore like the other two had done earlier in the morning.  She did very well with the crowds and the people, including nice greetings to children who wanted to say hi to her.

Watching a HUGE yacht go through the small lock from the lake to the sound, it filled up the whole thing all by itself!  Jadzia was not terribly impressed, however.

She much preferred the twenty minutes we spent sitting on the grass in the shade while the others went inside the visitors center to learn more about the locks.  The last time Chris and I were here, Curzon was a puppy, so it's been at least nine years since we were here...ah, memories.

And the other big thing this week is that I got a hammock for the back deck.  It's a simple thing, just a fabric sling with a stand, but it's comfortable and it's a hammock, so I'm pretty happy with it.  This is my view if I'm in it when the dogs are outside, however...

Ezri is not much for relaxing, you see.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

summer vacation at the beach!

Last week was the summer shutdown for my place of work, and so we took off for the Oregon beach as we have done for several years now.  This year we went almost to California and spent the week in Gold Beach, OR at the Turtle Rock RV Resort which is on Hunter Creek.  It was a nice place, with an easy walk under the 101 out to the beach, and the "creek" is more like a small river that's more than wide and deep (and calm!) enough for swimming, even when it was windy and the waves in the ocean were crazy.  Lots of pictures were taken as you might is a selection in no particular order.

I always have to have a posed photo, and the large rockpile between the creek and the beach worked out nicely for that purpose this year.

Our friends who have Martok's littermate Sirius came to join us for our last day/night, and the little boys had a great time wrestling and playing biteyface for hours.  I particularly like this lucky shot I got of them chewing on each others faces!

On July 4 we went for a long (5.5 mile) hike up Humbug Mountain, as it was so windy that going to the beach was not fun for anyone.  Martok did really well, although he was definitely tired by the time we were done!  I managed to get this shot of all three of them while we were on our way back down - I didn't move them into this pose or anything, just caught their attention and took a few frames quickly.

While we were on the hike up the mountain, we passed by a small stream which Jadzia promptly used as a cooling bath for her hot self.

Jadzia swimming in the creek by the beach.

Martok running about to fetch his ball right on the edge of the waves.  He didn't have any problem with them, and almost swam a bit during the first day or two, but after the wind picked up on our third day and the waves got bigger he wasn't too interested.  That's fine, he's still rather little after all!

Cold, wet, and freshly bathed puppies are awfully pathetic unless you turn them into a burrito with a towel and snuggle them.  The girls weren't pleased at being left out, though, as you can see in the background of the photo.

We took a great jetboat trip up the Rogue River one day, where we saw all kinds of birds (cormorants, vultures, bald eagles, and more!) and had a lot of fun swirling in the rapids.  I took one of my spindles with me to spin while waiting to reboard after a bathroom break.

Very can see Ezri's coat blowing in the wind!  Martok's short little puppy coat is pretty much unaffected, though.

As always, Ezri loved swimming in the ocean and had a great time even when she had to fight the waves.  Such a strong and smart girl!


Of course, there was a small thread of sadness throughout the week as we took our first vacation without Curzon.  Going to the beach was one of his very favorite things, and he would stick his head out the window as soon as he smelled the salt air and would start dancing around in the backseat until we were there and he could race into the ocean.  I couldn't quite bear to leave him behind, so we took the small cherry box that holds his cremains along with his collar and brought them with us, where they rested in the niche in the wall for the duration of our trip.  I considered taking them out to the beach to take a photo, but ultimately decided against doing so as I don't really want photos of that, I'd rather remember him as he was on the beach himself last year - full of life and cheer after healing from that surgery.  One of my favorite photos of him from the beach last year is below to round off this entry on a happy note.

Such a happy boy to be playing in the cold ocean!  The temperature and waves never bothered him, he was more than willing to fling himself into the ocean after a ball or the suggestion of the slightest provocation (or excuse), really!