SAUDADE - A longing for something you already have......

Pronounced "sow-dahd-jee" this word is hard to define.

It's being in a moment so wonderful that all you can do is

mourn it's passing, even as it is happening.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

German Shepherd Day

Had fun at German Shepherd Day over at our trainers today.

 Love this pic

Can you find REX?

He is the only one sitting on the top row........handsome boy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Shine!

Celebrating Seven Years with a Sporting Sussex Spaniel

June 18 is Shine’s 7th Birthday!  I can’t believe it’s been 7 years, which means my journey in Sussex Spaniels has spanned a decade.  After I met Shine’s handsome and super cool Dad, Spirit, I had to have a little Spirit baby of my own.  I waited 3 years for the pups to arrive, and finally got my Sussex! 

I’d been told repeatedly about how unusual Sussex Spaniels are, but really, until you’ve lived with one, it’s hard to understand.  They just move to the beat of their own little drum, no matter what.  It is a contradiction to see such a funny personality in that sad-sack, green-eyed, droopy face.

Why get up and turn around, when it’s so much easier to just scoot around on your bottom?  Why stay clean, when you can be wet and dirty?  Why listen to your owner when it’s so much more fun to ignore them completely?  Why give a high-five when it’s easier to just flop on your back and wave your 3 inch long legs in the air?  Why drink politely when you can dunk your whole face in the water bucket?  Why look at your owner adoringly, when you can squint your eyes and wrinkle your nose and “smile” while making snorting noises?  

 See the world famous "Sussex Smile"...okay maybe not world famous, but certainly well-known to Sussex owners!

ALL Sussex make this face, but it is just about impossible to actually get a photo of it.  She bobs and weaves and snorts and wags her tail while she is doing it. It may look like she is growling, but NOPE she's being a goof.

Why hang out and chill in the backyard when you can HUNT all day long?! 

   When Shine is outside, she is hunting constantly.  If she is not “trailing” something, she will sit very still, scanning the horizon for “any” moving object – birds being #1, closely followed by falling/blowing leaves.  She can get exhausted being outside on a windy day in the Fall!  See video evidence!  I titled this video – ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT A SPORTING DOG?  Because it really shows that these dogs were bred to hunt.  It’s in their genes, and nothing you say or do will change that.  When Shine is in hunting mode, she is completely deaf and blind to anything else. 

 Look at that tail wagging!

One thing you can say about Sussex Spaniels, as a breed, they have remained the same today as they were when the breed was developed.  A rare thing in today's world.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHINEY SHINE!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Advanced Obedience Class

Some fun pictures from class Wednesday night.  Taken with my iPhone and not a bad zoom when you see how far away the dogs were.  We were working on down-stay's at a distance.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's June already?!

How is it June already?

Whoops, May slipped away without a blog post.  Although I didn’t get around to posting, I did do some fun dog-related activities.  We were lucky enough to have two National events for German Shepherds held right here in Indianapolis.

On May 11, we headed over to see the American Working Dog Federation’s 2012 National competition.
We got to watch some top notch working dogs show their stuff in obedience and protection.  We stayed about 4 hours and saw several German Shepherds, Malinois and even an American Bulldog.  Most of the German Shepherds were “working lines”.  There were mostly black, bi-color and sable dogs with a lot of drive and enthusiastic workers, despite the increasing heat of the day.  It was very exciting, educational and something we’d love to get involved with “someday” when we have more free time.

On May 18, we attended the 2012 USA Sieger show.
This was an all German Shepherd show, most of them being “show lines”.  Most are red and black, have a lot of coat, beautiful heads, a sloping topline and a lot of rear angulation.

This was quite an interesting experience and a totally different world than the AKC shows I am used to.  A few of the things we saw, that you wouldn’t see at an AKC show:

A “racetrack” around the perimeter of the ring, specially for the owners of the dogs being shown.  Double-handling is the norm, and as the handlers are moving the dogs around the ring, a huge mass of owners are running just ahead of the dogs.  Each one has their own method of trying to get their dog’s attention.  Yelling the dogs name, blowing whistles, squeaky toys, balls on ropes, cow bells, smacking the ground with a whip, and clacking two sticks together to name a few!  The goal is to have the dog straining to the end of the leash to get to it’s owner.

Check out my video and for full effect, make sure you have your sound on!

Casual clothing, and the kennel name of the owners/handlers all over the clothing.  Many people on the same kennel “team” would have matching shirts.

Classes for pups 4-6 months old.  Interesting to see the small 4 month old babies out there in the ring.

Judge commentary over a loudspeaker system after each class, explaining his placement of the dogs and why, while the handlers stacked the dogs.  (wish they would do this in AKC!!)

A separate ring for dogs and bitches, and they would change rings with each class.  Made for a lot of “chair moving” for the spectators!

 I have to admit I prefer the much more formal AKC style of showing, but it was very fun to see the world of Sieger Shows.

And here are a few fun pictures of Rex, trying to climb the ladder of my daughter’s playground/fort because I was up there and he did not like it!  (I think he was trying to “save” me.)

And this is just a fun picture I took this week.  I am sitting in the shade, and Jamie is sitting on my lap (literally), Rex is on guard and Samantha is playing on her playground.