Memory Monday: Agility

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As was the way with most things we did together, Lexi loved training and running Agility courses. No matter where we were, if she saw agility obstacles, she would go and run them. When we were learning the weave poles, the instructor told us to lead our dogs through the first pole, then to let them run straight along the side to get used to the poles. Lexi, being the precocious pup that she was, did a perfect weave first time out (with no previous training).

When we were practicing, she was very patient with me (thank you, Lexi) when I would get confused about which obstacle was next. She would simply go to her favorite – the V ramp – and run it over and over until I got my bearings.

Today, while going through a box of Valentine decorations we will use for our  Dance Class Valentine Party, I came across a forgotten memory. These are our certificates of completion for Agility 1: Foundation; Agility 2: Obstacles; and Agility 3: Sequences.

Toward the end of the Sequences Course, our turn had come at the starting line. The instructor, with timer in hand, asked if we were ready. Looking down, I said, “Are you ready, Lexi?” In answer, Lexi shot toward the first obstacle, with me a split second behind her. I faintly heard the instructor call, “I guess she was ready!” I think, if Lexi hadn’t been totally focused on her task, her reply would have been, “I was born ready.”

 

Gifts from the Heart

 

I want to showcase the beautiful sampler that Sidney, Shelby and Sophie’s Mom, Susan, made in honor of Lexi:

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I just love this, not just because it is lovely and commemorates my girl, but also because of the heart and thoughtfulness that went into it. It is sitting on display with my other “Lexi things.”

As you may already know, Piper and Shelby have started up a bit of a romance. In case you missed their second date, you can go here to learn all about it. Ms. Susan also made a cross stitch for Piper and his Mom:

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So what do you think? Is this a bit of a bribe to ensure Piper’s Mom lets him continue to court her daughter? Or a thank you to Piper for staying with me for two weeks to comfort me after Lexi crossed the rainbow bridge?  Whatever the reason, you can see the love stitched into these works of art. Piper’s Mom sends her huge thanks and appreciation to Susan as well.

In any case, Piper will be showing up at the Valentine’s Party with Shelby. ❤

Memory Monday: Angels on Earth

Lexi was two years old when I snapped this photo in 2005. I didn’t realize until later that she already had her wings! See them? Well, maybe not. But this I know: there were so many things she knew, understood and did that I could never explain. Don't I look like I have wings?
For instance, she would single out a dance student who was practicing the step  incorrectly and draw my attention to it so I could help them. And she was always right about it. How did she know?

Also, when I had her attention and visualized the sun rising and setting, she understood how many days until something was going to happen. On that morning she would get extra-excited. For instance, on Thursday night I might tell her that we were going to the opening of Rocktoberfest on Saturday, then visualize the sun rising, setting, rising. No reaction Thursday night or Friday morning, but Saturday morning she would do the really excited dog thing. How did she know?

What does your dog or cat or pig or bird do that you can’t explain?

Birthday Boy

Hi. guess what day this is. Oh, I gave it away, didn’t I? I had a great day with my Daddy. He made me scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Wow, were they good. What Dad, do I have something stuck in my beard again? Next, my dad took me to the pet store and let me pick out a new toy.

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Aunt Amy said I look like a Scottie in this picture and wondered if I had been hanging around Sophie too much. Uncle Jeff, who knows all about picture taking and stuff, said, no, it was just the angle, that I am still a schnauzer.

I heard I am getting a box of presents in the mail from Aunt Amy and Uncle Jeff, but it won’t be here until tomorrow. That means I can have birthday fun for two whole days. It’s my bedtime now, and I think I will give Mom and Dad the puppy eyes so they will let me sleep with them tonight. After all, it is my birthday! *tail wags*

Memory Monday – First Boating Blog

from June 30, 2005 originally posted on Dogster when Lexi was 2 years old.

Me on my boat in the horrid yellow vest. Don't I look like a bumblebee?

Me on my boat in the horrid yellow vest. Don’t I look like a bumblebee?

Today I swam eleven laps around my pontoon boat – a personal best – perhaps because no one was watching when I wanted back in after the fourth lap.  When we were done at the lake we went to Dairy Queen, a place that has the most wonderful treats. Brrr!  The ice cream made me very cold and I started to shake uncontrollably. I knew Mom would take my ice cream away if she saw me shivering so I gobbled my pup cup of vanilla ice cream (my favorite flavor).  It was worth it! To warm me up, Mom had to sit in the hot car with me until the shakes went away. I’ll make up for it tonight by puking on Mom’s bed.  Won’t she be surprised?!

Memory Monday – Beginnings

miss-greenI believe that for most of us, our lives are like a novel that can be broken down into chapters. A new love can produce a new chapter: romance, marriage, the birth or adoption of a child or of a pet. I clearly remember the Saturday in June of 2003 when that new chapter began for me – the day I fell in love with Lexi. While her 4 littermates were sleeping, Lexi was trying to bite the cool air coming out of the floor vent in her breeder’s home. Two weeks later, on the Fourth of July, I made the three hour trip back to pick up my spirited, eight-week-old puppy. Thus began a glorious new chapter of love in my life. My Angel Lexi, forever my heart dog.

 

 

Piper’s Big Date

I knew Shelby had been stuck in the house with her brother and sister for 87 weeks after her surgery and was needing some peace and quiet. I thought about the beach, but Shelby was concerned about sand and bacteria getting in her incision, even if it was completely healed. So for our first date all alone, I took Shelby to a lovely little cabin in the mountains. Heck, I can hang out just about anywhere and be ok, but I wanted my girl to have some comfort and pretty surroundings. She isgirl after all, and I learned from my Mom that girls like those things.

I thought we could start with a little stroll leading up to the cabin.

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We arrived just before the sun started to drop behind the trees. I was a little nervous about the cabin being nice enough.

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Shelby, do you like the cabin?

Once inside, we thought we would rest in front of the TV for a while.

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We watched a show, but all I could see on the TV was Shelby.. so I tried to look at some books, but again, all I could see was Shelby!

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By now we were both hungry. I heard that Shelby loves mangoes, so I made sure to get some. I didn’t know if she liked her steak cooked or raw, so I had Mom pack both.

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We had a big day, and with our tummies full, we started to nod off. We each went to our own bedrooms, ’cause we are good pups. However, someon started hearing things and got scared.

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I might have awakened Shelby, but I felt safe I knew she was safe, and we I slept well the rest of the night.

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We got up early the next morning to do a bit of fishing, then watched the sun rise over the lake. What a beautiful finish to a perfect date. I sure hope Shelby felt the same way.

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Note: the graphics in this post were made possible through the help of Noodle’s Mom, Samantha.

What is Rocktoberfest?

If you have ever been on I-75 in Tennessee or Georgia, you have no doubt seen the billboards for Rock City, and maybe even seen the barn roofs or sides painted with the Rock City ad. The Rock City bird houses are famous around here.

Life-size birdhouse in which tourists can have their pictures taken

For thousands of visitors from all over the world each October, Rocktoberfest is a fun tourist destination where, once they make the drive to the top of Lookout Mountain, they can enjoy nature amongst huge rock formations, dizzying heights and natural flora. They also get to enjoy polka bands and dancing, and locally brewed beer, the best of which (IMHO) is the Octoberfest beer.

For Jeff and me, it means much more. This was the first year that Rocktoberfest has been in existence that Lexi did not attend. Sometimes she was frustrated by not being allowed to help teach polka with Jeff, and sometimes humiliated by being used as a prop when Jeff MC’ed and announced she was the “German dog helping out today”. She was recognized by the bands for singing with them from the sidelines and pet by many children of all nationalities. She often saw friends whom she always recognized from year to year, such as her beloved Dorothy from her first Wizard of Oz, as well as some band members. She loved walking the trails and smelling the pee mail. This year, Jeff worked there every Saturday and Sunday as usual, and I went every weekend to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and try to heal from her loss.

There is a different band each weekend , although sometimes a band will perform two weekends when there are five weekends, like this year. Last Saturday, a boy about 5 years old walked up to the band with his fingers in his ears, removing one long enough to try to grab the instruments. He managed to snag the slide on the trombone while it was being played as well as one of the bells. We were sitting on the bench just to the left of this picture, and when Jeff jumped up to rescue the bell, the kid’s Mom stopped laughing and ran up and grabbed the kid. Since I keep this a “G rated” blog, I won’t voice my feelings on the entire episode. Moving on. At least two of the bands had alphorns, the instrument used to play the famous “Ri-co-la.” I hear there’s even a ringtone with that three note cough drop tune.

Oompah band from Alabama

Oompah band from Birmingham, Alabama. Notice the alphorn lying in the front. 

The Birds of Prey show with different species of owls, a comical vulture, several falcons. and an American bald eagle is quite impressive, with the birds release to fly just above the heads of the seated audience. This all happens within an enclosed space. All these birds have been rescued, either from being raised in captivity or found with injuries too severe to treat and release back into the wild. The eagle, for example, only has one wing due to illegal poaching. No photography allowed during the show. 😦 And no dogs allowed anywhere near it. They are, after all, birds of prey, and some are quite large. If one should escape, well, there might be one less chihuahua or yorkie in the world.

Here is the overlook where you can see 7 states – Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia and South Carolina. It helps to put a quarter in the telescopic viewers.

See 7 states with an American and state flag for each one

See 7 states. Each has an American and state flag in a rock base with important stats for each state.

There is one large waterfall as well as a small one very close to the overlook. I took all these pictures the last day of Rocktoberfest (last Sunday) and was too lazy to walk to the big falls again. So here is the smaller one. falls

ikSince Rock City strives to be child-friendly, there are some fun costumed characters. One of the most famous is Ik, King of the Trolls. This guy has been playing Ik at different venues for 20 years, and comes across as bigger than life. He says that he doesn’t eat children for three reasons:

  1. Children are not fully ripe.
  2. Children are not even a mouthful.
  3. Children are full of toxins such as sugar, GMO’s, and high-fructose corn syrup.

He will make an exception for free-range children that contain no antibiotics or growth hormones.

 

 

 

 

Rock City picsWhile at Rock City, there are plenty of souvenirs to buy. We have some very large beer mugs and steins that we take back every year, since the beer refill is only $2!

Jeff uses his special floor mat to stand on to keep his back from hurting. Come back tomorrow to find out who wins in Jeff’s battle with Rocky the Gnome for the mat. Also tomorrow I will highlight the dogs of Rocktoberfest. Well, at least all the dogs that were there last Sunday – and did’t get eaten by a bird of prey, bwahaha!