Driving on the way down I got to the base of the Grapevine and saw all these beautiful purple flowers all over the valley. I had to make a stop and take a picture, though it really doesn't do it justice.
I had left at zero-dark-thirty because I wanted to be able to have a lot of daylight to set up the Toy Hauler with all the punkies. I gave Tony a smoochy kiss as he was still asleep, but he did notice the Stuffed Lanas were not on the dresser. He says "Don't tell me you're taking the 'Stuffed Lanas'????"
That was a dumb question. Like they're going to bark and shit and get fur all over our pillows. (They were already in the Toy Hauler.) "Yes honey! It's the Collie National! They want to go too!!" (That and Gayle Kaye's Collie In America book which I was too exhausted to read.)
Off I was, taking my time and about as happy as I could be. Going in my Toy Hauler with all the punkies is just as wonderful as backpacking with the dogs. Simple life. No TV, just eating, sleeping and a whole bunch of collies.
The trip went great until I pulled into the RV section. Somehow I lost my ability to back and had 3 people telling me which way to turn my wheels. I must look like a total idiot because I always get someone to offer to back for me that is a true expert. I always refuse because I figure eventually (after 4 years) I could have the finesse of the best of backers. Not so. Somehow I kinked my plug-in by jack-knifing the ol' trailer and I lost my brakes. Well, they jammed. I couldn't move the van for the life of me. I guess that's what that brake cord is for. I was imagining my transmission blowing up and getting tranny fluid all over me and the dogs because that's what it felt like, but I don't know if diesels have trannies. Anyway, there is always an abundance of helpful men at dog shows and 2 or 3 showed up. One was Dale Heit of Timeless Collies. He offered to hold my plug-in together to give my van the juice back. What a guy. Stand between a big cargo van and a Toy Hauler while some yahoo blonde he doesn't knows tries to back in her RV spot. He eventually asked if I had duct tape (which I do from a year ago when the window seal broke loose) and he taped the line together. I just love guys who are so smart like that.
Here are most of the punkies. Soleil is in a pen by herself. She couldn't wait to come in season just in time for the national.
Just looking at those awning arms makes me want to vomit. They're so violent looking! Imagine that awning rolling up REALLY FAST and your middle finger getting scissored between the metal arms. Gross.
Squishyness. The doggies, most of the time were either in the grooming area or in the trailer when we weren't there. At one point though, Seabiscuit had had enough and escaped to find some bitches to breed. Oh yeah. I heard on the loudspeaker that a sable boy was loose. Lana also went for a walk. Luckily it was a No. Calif. person who seemed fairly lighthearted about having my overly stressed Biscuit try and breed her bitches. At least the litter would be local.
Julie showed up later on in the afternoon. She's a better backer than I am, but she just drives one unit. It was really fun being set up with Julie and seeing all of her collies. We sat at her set-up for a while and I looked under my trailer because I could see Soleil's feet in her pen.
After getting settled, Julie and I decided to breed Soleil. Since the breeder wants to remain anonymous on my blog, she will from now on be referred to the Breeder Who Prefers to Remain Anonymous. Or, BWPRA. More on that later.
On Tuesday, I went to Lancaster Station to visit with one of Pierre's partners, his captain (who is now a commander and retiring this week), and several wives and deputies. I always send flowers to the station on the anniversary of Pierre's death, and this year, I wanted to go to lunch with them, and they had flowers brought to the restaurant for me. I was really touched and didn't expect them to do that. I just wanted to see them on that day. It was a wonderful lunch and I really miss all of these people. Anyway, I had to transport the flowers back to Pomona, so I pride myself in how smart I am! (Except maybe backing my trailer or oh, keeping my finger out of the awning arms.)
On the way back to Pomona I called Teri March who's husband (Dep. David March) was killed almost 8 years ago.( April 29, 2002.) We don't see each other a lot, but when we do (and this was in a Costco parking lot sitting in her car) she always has such insight into this process we're in. Because she's been married now 6 years and has 2 little ones with her husband, she was able to offer some advice I wasn't expecting and really needed at this time. I love you Teri. You are forever in my heart.
From there I stopped at the local repro vet and got a progesterone test on Soleil and some AI kits. I'm kinda a hillbilly when it comes to when it's time to breed. I watch my boy dogs. But, Julie wanted to pay for a test, so pay away Julie. I said Soleil would be ready by Friday and she was. I don't know who uses these AI kits from this particular vet but they look like they might be for very large animals. But, I'm kinda a hillbilly about AI~ing also.....so what do I know?? Anyway, they were tossed in the Toy Hauler until Friday.
Wednesday morning I watched Smooth class dogs but not because I was interested in any of them...
Here is Timeless Rivers Edge ~ Winners Dog at the CCA and littermate to a smooth Julie & I own. Isn't he darling???
Julie was doing agility and later I went over to help Sue Larson a little bit with stuff. I was the "chute fluffer". That was very fun. I felt like I was keeping up my exercise routine for Tevis. Then I helped hand out awards for a couple of classes. After that I went to start grooming our class dogs for the next day.
The next day Ty was entered but I pulled him. He was not going to show in that building, so I concentrated on Cory, his brother who was entered in American Bred. William Holbrook was judging dogs and gave us a 3rd in our class. I was pretty thrilled and Cory showed very well. He's easy, sweet and moves out on the leash.
Here's Tony. He was awesome at the show. He had left at 4 am to be there to see me show everyone. He even was holding a yucky slimy hotdog that Julie feeds her dogs. He used to not even hold the spray bottle for me, but now after holding the 1/2 chewed hotdog that another dog swallowed (and the handler insisted on pulling it out of the stomach of her dog and giving it back to us), a spray bottle must be ok. Just like training a Squishy, make some things hard, then the easy stuff is really easy!! Hehehehe!!!
From that class I was off to groom Soleil. She was in Bred-By Exhibitor and had 15 bitches in there. We didn't do anything, but I was ok with that. For me, just showing at the CCA is meaningful. And, she was very well-behaved! She only barked a few times and moved well.
After Soleil's class, June Bug went into American Bred. Shar, a poodle friend of Julie's showed her. She did a wonderful job. I really love June. She has Punky's coat, it looks like, but she's very cute, sweet and has a gorgeous outline.
That evening Julie, Shar, Tony & I and Dina went to the Host Hotel's bar for drinks and food. It was probably one of the worst $100 meals T & I have ever had. Dina and I had to send our margaritas back and get something else and I don't know what made us order steaks, but I couldn't even cut mine. Normally I'm easy to please and Tony is also. He inhaled his, but not because it was good, he hadn't eaten all day. From then on, we ate at the Toy Hauler.
Anyway, Julie made friends with a couple sitting next to us. They were relocating from Georgia, I think, to the Claremont/Pomona area. Anyway, they stood up to take a picture of all of us and I thought, "How cool is that? They want a picture to remember us by". Another blonde moment. It was Julie's camera.
Friday finally came ~ the day of the scheduled breeding. Our BWPRA & husband were very busy showing til the very end of the day. Then there were pictures. Then they went to the CCA Quarter Century Banquet and BWPRA said she would call or text us when they were done and we'd do the breeding. I wasn't sure how I'd stay up, so T and I went to bed. At 11:05 pm, Julie called me and said our liaison was going to happen now. I crawled out of bed and tried not to fall on top of T and wake him up, or trip down the ladder. Outside Julie is waiting and we mention to each other how crazy we are. Come to find out BWPRA & husband are equally crazy. I think alcohol was involved, but I'd be drinking too if I had to take pictures at the CCA. Anyway, I walk Soleil and we meet up with BWPRA & Handsomely Studly and after a brief interlude in the grass, we are off to BWPRA's RV. She is very funny and tells us she locked her and husband out of the RV and he had to stuff her thru the kitchen window to get inside. She's very talented because not only can she get thru very small RV windows and not do any bodily damage, she is very talented with holding a dog with her legs while she multi-tasks with her hands. This is what I like about the hillbilly way of breeding. You just put them together and then you can have both your hands AND your feet to do other things!
Anyway, Handsomely Studly was very talented also and even though his little guys looked very small (or we lost some on the way to the RV), I really think had the ELEPHANT AI'd in that bag, it would all be relative! BWPRA & husband were very entertaining and I only wished I could have had the camera there. We planned to meet the next night for some more of the same and we were all off to bed (carrying Soleil so none of the guys fell out).
Sat morning came. Juniors were showing at 9am. I sold Layla, Ch. Entais Exquisitely to a great girl named Dannon. Layla unfortunately had to be spayed and Dannon was going to do agility with her, but her 9 yr old daughter Kaitlynn told her "Mommy, I'll take over Layla now and show her". A child with a plan.
Kaitlynn was so adorable and Layla was very cute with her. Kaitlin won her class of 5 (little) juniors and got to go in for Best Junior. She was a crowd pleaser and I think this won't be the last time she'll be in the ring.
After Juniors I was off to start grooming Tirzah and Coley Bear. Julie was off doing some other stuff with him and found out she WASN"T going to win Most Versatile Collie. Apparently, even though he was in second place, winning Best of Breed wouldn't put him up there. The pressure was off of me, but Julie was sad.
Off to trim trim trim brush brush brush!
I called everyone I knew in So. Calif. that cared so I would have more than 2 people clapping for Tirzah and Cole. Pierre's 2 daughters Kristina and Alicia showed up with their boyfriends. They were great cheerleaders!!
Almost ready but a quick run to the bathroom.
I was the first one in my group and when Carl walked up, I was trying to keep Cole's head down. He walked up and said "Move back". So I did and then he says "Oh, I can see why you were standing in front of him". I laughed and said "Are you being mean?". I thought he meant Coley Bear was not so pretty to look at. Carl got all embarrassed and said "Oh no, I mean, because you were keeping him from jumping on you". He apologized several times that that's not what he meant. I just laughed. I really like Carl and also loved watching him judge. To me, he was very easy to follow and knew what he wanted.
Anyway, we got dumped so.....seems I was right. Hehehehe......
Nervous brushing. Licky Licky is so tolerant.
That's it. I know you've probably seen enough photos of our dogs to last a lifetime, but in case you haven't and want to watch videos, go over to Julie's blog at: http://easytospot.blogs.com/easy_to_spot/
After Best of Breed was won (Ch. Fantasy's Rising Dragon ROM) we were off to start packing all of our stuff. Fluffy, dirty, chalky stuff. I hate that part.
Another breeding was done and this time BWPRA came to my Toy Hauler with the Elephant bag and tossed it next to Tony's cheese and salami he was trying to inhale. T is really getting so tolerant of the little things. Handsomely Studly was again amazing and now we just wait. BWPRA was very, very wonderful to deal with and I'm sure she thinks she's involved with the girls from Collie Breeding Hell, but she sure laughed a lot. So, we can only assume she likes us. Hahahaha........
The next morning, of course the finger smashing occurred and then a very, very long drive home. I didn't have rear lights on my Toy Hauler because of the plug-in chomping incident, so Tony stayed behind me the whole way up Interstate 5. It was good because he'd pave the way for me to pass, though he did mention he hopes it's a LONG time before he follows the ol' "Fun Runner". It's like driving into a brick way for 7 hours. After the awning incident, I might be getting closer to trading in the ol' Toy Hauler.
Getting home was good. The goats were picked up by Adam a few days before because there was a goat death at the neighbor's home due to coyotes. We were so glad to see them safe and sound. Thank you Adam and Joanie. The bestest neighbors EVER!!
Now, my life is all about Tevis.