Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sydney and Breezy!

Happy birthday girls!!! How can you possibly be TWO years old? I just don't believe it. It seems like just yesterday that you silly puppies were raiding the fridge, searching for some snacks.
Sydney went visiting on her birthday, and Auntie Mel took some pictures of her hanging out and looking pretty. I'm so pleased with how the girls are growing up. Not just the physical maturity, but for Sydney, I'm most pleased with her improvement in confidence. She is definitely no angel, but she's come SO far since I started this blog, and I'm very proud of her.

Happy Birthday, girls!

Playin' With Patti Sue

Syd says, "Hey Patti Sue, let's play! It's muddy and wet, and it's fun to play chase in the mud."
Patti Sue says, "No thank you. I'll sit up here and stay clean."

Syd says, "Oh, come on Patti Sue, live a little. Come chase me. Look, I'm the master of the 'Bark N Dash' to motivate dogs to play with me."

Patti Sue says, "No thank you."Syd says," Wee, are you chasing me, Patti Sue?"

Patti Sue says, "Stupid youngster..."

Action caught by Melissa Perry.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sydney's Aunt Lilly

It's so funny that Lilly is an aunt to Syd and Bree, because Lilly is only about 6 months old. But she's a Harry daughter, so she's Syd's aunt. I love these photos, because they SO remind me of Syd. In person, the two girls look nothing alike, but those eyes, and that expression are identical. It cracks me up, and I warned Jacque that Lilly is probably going to be too smart for her own good, just like someone else I know. ;-)
This photo (with her 1/2 brother Henry) was funny. I called Lilly's name to see if she'd turn around for the photo, and the expression was priceless. Camera ham mixed with "excuse me, I was busy stealing my brother's toys."

Monday, December 15, 2008

DM Results

Syd's DM results are back, and she's N/N normal. Another bit of information in her resume.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Some more pix for Emily. :-)
This is Maggie, AKA "Granny." I can't remember the last time I called her Maggie, as her family calls her Granny. And that's Grr-annie with a hint of an Oklahoma accent. :-) She's closing in on her 17th birthday, and I've never known a dog who aged so well. Two months from 17 years old, and Maggie's front is just as pretty as it's ever been. This girl is just so beautiful, in person she looks like she's been sprinkled with pixie dust as she greyed. Granny is Gizmo's mom, and she's grandmother to Syd and Bree.

I am the chief caretaker of the Kingsbury Clan this week, so it's been fun taking photos of all the relatives. Unfortunately, a couple of the dogs are not camera hams like Harry, Maggie, and Syd. Bogey sees me with the camera, and he puts his ears down and he skulks away. It's funny how some dogs are like that. Gizmo does the same, as if he thinks having his picture taken is some form of cruel and unusual punishment!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Especially for Emily, a Maggie smile to help heal your heart...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Syd's Momma as a Baby

This is Josie as a puppy. I always loved her little white ear, and as a puppy, she was too cute for words! Jo's babies are pretty cute too. I think Syd, Bree, Carly, and Angus are proof of that. :-)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ohhh, Coooooper....

Lookie lookie what I got.

Twelve, count 'em, twelve gecko feet...

And they're mine, all mine...
What, mom? What did you say? I thought I just heard you say that Aunti Mel sent the toys for all the dogs. Nah, I'm sure I heard you wrong, because these geckos are clearly meant to be mine. Anyway, I thought you might like to see 'em Coop, na, na, na, na.
"You want the feet? You can't handle the feet."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby, uh, I mean Lady, in Red

My little Breezy. Breezy-bree. Brii-Brii Want to Play.
She's really growing up, almost two years old, and today she got to go on a trip with Frankie and Nick. We met Auntie Laura in Columbia, and we took some time to take photos. Thank goodness for golf courses! It's a real treat to take photos of a Cardigan on grass and not lose all the legs! Thanks to Laura for following us around with the camera, crawling around on the ground, and getting me off the fairway before the next round of golfers came through! Breezy almost looks superimposed in the first photo, but she wasn't. It was just a beautiful green, with trees changing color in the background.
So when do I have to stop calling Syd and Bree "The Puppies?" Since I raised them here, I think they'll always be my "puppies."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hearts and Knees

And everything in between, we hope!

Syd and sister Bree are officially OFA passers in the heart and knee department. :-) The Frenchie National Specialty offered OFA clinics and opened to all breeds. So, since it was local, and close to my office, I took the two girls for the clinics that were available, Cardiac and Patellar Luxation.

Syd thought the little snorting Frenchies were great fun and very curious. Breezy, well, she was pretty sure the Frenchies were some kind of alien life form, and that they should be banished from Earth!

Go figure, the vet was from Texas, and turns out he knows a couple of the Cardigan breeders from the Lone Star State.

I'm pretty sure that we are the prime suspects for the hair left all over the exam table, unless there is some fluffy version of a Frenchie!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Syney in the Big Ring

Syd was entered as a special for the first time this weekend. I was *so* proud of my girl, she behaved, and was not stressed, and she showed really well. Saturday she went BOS, and she looked good. She was not worried at all about the dogs around her, especially the WD who was very close behind her.

Sunday, she went Best of Breed, and I was thrilled. At one point, I had to laugh because Don was feeding the WD, and Syd perked up and could not believe Don was feeding that dog HER treats!

Syd took a nice nap before the group, and then in her first appearance in the Group ring, she was pulled in the cut. I thought she showed so well, without any worries about the Aussie behind her, and she decided she loved the Pem in front of her, so she was very happy.

All in all, a nice weekend for Syd. These were local-ish shows so she could spend the night at home and just do a day trip to the shows, and had a very nice showing in the ring. It was great experience for her, and I am so happy that she seemed to have fun, too!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Baby Mama

This is Josie, Sydney's mom. CH Kipperton's Passione-Adagio
(CH Kingsbury's I'm Harry P x CH Kingsbury's Tribute)
Syd was born December 28, 2006, from Josie's first litter.

Josie was bred to Morgan (Am/UK CH Kerman Strike Up The Band) this spring, and on June 14, 2008, produced "Carly," who now lives at Laura's house.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Doggone Pool Is Mine...

Syd just cracks me up. She loves baby Frankie, and she always wants to play with him. Poor little pup, he can't even stop for a potty break without Syd trying to get him to play again!
This morning, I broke out the baby pool. It's going to be in the 80's today, and with winter coming, the dogs won't have much more time to have pool parties!

I wondered if Syd would be possessive of her pool, or get cranky with Frankie. I already knew he would like the pool, he must get that from his mother. His father? Well, Hawk won't even walk in wet grass, so Frankie did NOT inherit his love of water from his dad!

Here's a video I took this morning, and it makes me laugh. Syd was really good with Frankie about the pool, but notice her not-so-subtle possession of the pool. Any time Frankie wants to investigate the pool, WOOPS, Syd's in the pool. So sorry, Frankie, but this pool belongs to the QUEEN of Everything! Maybe another time. :-)

To see the video on YouTube, click on the link below:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another New Hobby?

Well, perhaps Sydney's schedule is going to have to expand to include tracking... Soccer Moms have *nothing* on me! haa.

This morning, I ventured out of the house for the first time in what seems like forever. Friends were getting together for a tracking session, and Uncle Gizzer really loves going tracking. He doesn't have many opportunities for activities, so I wanted to take him tracking on this lovely, cool morning. I also decided to bring Syd, since we would be in the company of some serious tracking experience, I wanted Syd's first tracking experience to happen in their company so that I could get pointers, or opinions on her potential.

It's been so long since I've been tracking, I didn't even know that you now have a "start article" at the starting flag. Oops. Thank goodness Linda and Nancy had a knotted sock and a bandana to loan out! Gizmo was RIGHT on the tracks, ignoring food drops, just cruising along the track to find his jackpot at the end of the track. He has not forgotten anything about tracking, and even putting on the harness got him fired up!

When we put in a very short track for Syd, I kind of got her started off badly. Since Syd loves to play tug as a reward in agility, I made the mistake of picking up the start article while she was still in the line of vision, and she thought it was time to play. Nancy and I pointed to the ground and got her nose in the vicinity of a food drop, and well, that was all it took. She worked a bit slow, wandering left and right a couple of feet, but finding the article at the end. The second track was much better, high concentration from Syd, and I was able to let her move a bit away from me. By track #3, I was the full 20 feet behind my dog, and she was a dog on a mission. She left several food drops untouched, and from 20 feet, I could hear her seriously snuffling, working her track.

I was very impressed with Syd's start at tracking. Much like Gizmo, she seems to really get it, and I hope they both continue to enjoy working tracks. With Gizmo being 12 1/2 years old, I really would love for him to get to track more, and I owe it to him to get out and get tracking... With two dogs to train, it might make the drive to find a good tracking site a bit better. :-)

Friday, September 5, 2008


There IS another red dog in the Hurrikane crew... She just doesn't make many public appearances. :-)

This is Breezy. She and Syd are littermates. I was drawn to Bree the day the pups were born, and she's the funniest, silliest girl when she wants to be. If I can't find Bree, she's probably zonked out behind the chair in the corner of the living room. But that's *only* if all possibilities for fun and zoomies are exhausted!

Breezy is very helpful with kitchen chores, like helping with the dishes, and organizing the refrigerator.

Breezy comes in very handy when one of the other dogs needs a special buddy. She and Uncle Gizzer are very close. She and Hawk are worthy adversaries when it comes to frapping.

Breezy is an odd little duck. She loves to go for walks, and for car rides, but she is not exactly thrilled about going new places. I call her the HomeChicken because she's a dog who just loves being at home with her buddies.

Breezy is "part Cardigan, part Mountain Goat" according to our friend Norma, who kept Breezy at 'daycare' when she was a younger puppy. I wanted the two girls to spend time apart and have separate lives. So Norma agreed to have Bree come visit her girls a couple of days while I was at work.

Anyway, Bree can be on one piece of furniture, and in the blink of the eye, she's across the room, and she might have gotten there without touching the floor! So, it was no surprise when she was a puppy that her jumps from the back of the sofa (hey, I tried, but she's lightning fast, and impossible to catch) resulted in a growth plate injury. :-( Poor Bree, she had to have surgery to fix her broken leg, and she was homebound for many, many weeks of her puppyhood.

Because she was homebound and not really out much, I think Breezy missed out on discovering the fun in going new places. She LOVES Aunt Julie's house, and the resident Collie is her best bud. She and Jackson can play, and play, and play some more. But in general, Breezy takes a while to warm up to new dogs. When I adopted Savannah, the old-decrepit Weimaraner in November, I thought Breezy would *never* warm up to the old girl. Breezy darted quickly around Savannah, barked at her when the old girl went by the corgi crates, and mostly Bree avoided Vannah at all cost. Um, it's not like she's never seen a Weimaraner before! Graycie was here before the puppies arrived, and definitely let them know to keep clear of her personal space right up until the day she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Once Savannah arrived, it took a few months, but now Breezy thinks Savannah is just the best-est friend EVER! She's just a nut. A few months ago, I took Bree to our agility building, and tried to lure her through a tiny tunnel. The look on her face explained it all. I'm pretty sure Breezy was telling me that this was, without a doubt, the stupidest thing she'd ever seen. And I think she was looking at her watch to see exactly when we'd be going home!

So, I don't expect that my little HomeChicken will be out and about travelling the country with me, but we love her just the same, and she DOES exist! :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sleep Walker

Well, I guess it's actually more like a Sleep Pivot-er! Too bad the photos can't convey the woofing through the lips and little paws just twitching away.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

That's CHAMPION Miss Bossy Britches!

What? Yep, Syd finished her AKC Championship today in Minnesota. She finished with a bang, winning a 4-point major. I was very proud of her, she was much more relaxed than she was the last time I showed her, and she was better around the other dogs ringside, only mildly giving a "talking to" to another dog.

It was a whirlwind trip, driving up Friday late afternoon, and home Saturday by 6pm. But well worth it to come home with a new Champion!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Repeat After Me...

I know I said this early on, but it's definitely worth repeating. A reactive dog is not the same as an "aggressive" dog. I hear lots of people providing labels for Sydney's reactive behavior. She's bossy, she's bitchy, she's aggressive, she hates other dogs. The list goes on and on. It becomes difficult sometimes to smile and try to explain that Sydney is actually afraid and that she's not some monster dog. Given the opportunity, she'd much rather run away than be in whatever situation causes her to be reactive. Sometimes I just want to shout at people to leave us alone, as it gets old fast.

Today I got into the heart of our newest book, Control Unleashed, by Leslie McDevitt. It's mostly geared for agility, but is applicable for any focus work, and reactivity issues. I wanted to quote from the book, something that I might have printed on a T-shirt :

"Reactivity comes from anxiety, which comes from feeling uncertain about something. Reactivity is an information-seeking strategy. A reactive dog will rush toward something or someone that he is uncertain about, barking, lunging, growling, and making a big display. People sometimes perceive reactive behavior as aggression, but a reactive dog is not rushing in to do damage; he is attempting to assess the threat level of a given situation. His assessment strategy is intensified because he is panicking as the adrenaline flows through his body.
...People also sometimes perceive reactive behavior as "dominance" because they view a dog that flies at his triggers as a dog that wants to take charge. This is absoluetly not the case. Reactive dogs are anxious, and their response is intense because they are freaking out."

Thank you Leslie!!! The "public display" as I call it, is just the obvious behavior that gets the attention of everyone in the room. What people don't see is the intense salivating, whining, insecure eyes darting around looking for danger. Seeing Sydney when she's afraid is heartbreaking. I always feel like I've given Syd a reason to be scared, and that I failed to protect her in the past.

Sydney has had great improvement at agility class. When she is on a leash, I am cautious about her personal space. Off-leash, Sydney has decided that Gypsy the Border Collie is lots of fun, and she has had a couple of opportunities to get face to face with Gypsy. Each time, Syd approaches Gypsy with good manners, inquisitive and playful. I firmly believe that Syd feels no threat when she's off-leash. If she needs to run away, she can. On a leash, Syd is afraid that she can not get away from any potentially scary situation.

I hope to have some new agility photos and/or video of our foundation work soon. Syd is doing great with Bounce Jumping, and directional jumping and wrapping. I'm very proud of my girl, and hope that her good work continues.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another 3 point major!

The photo is finally here... Sydney was entered at the Sedalia shows 4th of July weekend. On Friday the 4th, she was WB/BW/BOS over a special and won another 3 point major. Her behavior was OK, although she did act up a bit.

Saturday her behavior was better, but she couldn't get the judge to point to her, even if she had on tap shoes and broke out into a routine. Sunday she behaved VERY well, she was calm, laying down and not worried about all the other dogs. She won her class that day, but our friend Jon and his girl Rika won the points.

We'll try again in Topeka in August, but for now, Syd has gotten to go back to agility classes, and that makes her very happy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Herding - Does a Body (and Mind) Good!

This is Uncle Gizmo. He's 12, and he's the reason I started trekking 128 miles round trip to tromp around in muddy pastures. It's because Gizmo LOVES to go play with sheep. At almost 10 years old, I took Gizzer for an instinct test, and he was a natural. So, when the puppies were young, they started tagging along with Uncle Gizmo to lessons, and Sydney showed a spark for the sheep early on.

Yesterday, for a 12th birthday present for Uncle Gizzer, we drove up to Bridget's for a lesson. Syd went too, to see if she still had the drive.

I was happy with Sydney's behavior, mostly for non-sheep related activities. To avoid the biggest mud puddles, we went through a small yard to get to the sheep pens. Inside the small yard were 4 dogs. Two Italian Greyhounds (I think they were mixes, or the fattest IGs I've ever seen!), an Australian Cattle Dog, and a hairy Tibetan Terrier. Syd was afraid as we brought her through the gate, but she never showed an ugly face, and going through the yard the first time, she simply tried to avoid and get away from the other four dogs. After the lesson, on our way back out of the pens, Syd was calmer and not as worried about the other dogs as we went back through the small yard. It was a huge accomplishment IMO, for her to control her fear and not try to act out to cover over her insecurity.
I think it's safe to say that Syd still has the spark!

Video of Syd and Giz and their herding lessons is at . Listed in the "Videos" section.