• It’s not just about the dog itself, but the relationship you have with it!

  • Dedicated to Bart, who had the Most Beautiful Tail

    It's very simple. Dogs and cats and other talented animals have tails; their tails, with their thousands of flourishes, provide them with a wonderfully complex language of arabesques, not only for what they think and feel and suffer, but for every mood and vibration in their feeling tone. We have no tails, and since the more lively among us need some form of expression, we make ourselves paintbrushes and pianos and violins..." _Hermann Hesse
  • Denali – Queen of our Pack

    C-Myste Denali RAE3,CGC (a.k.a. Wild Woman!)

  • Kenai – Our First Cardi

    Trust 'n Luck Keep an Eye Out (The Funniest Dog in the World)

  • Elbee – Our Teeny Pembroke Princess 1998-2010

    Bridgecreeks Little Bit, CGC

  • Sage – Our Perpetual Puppy!

    C-Myste Baledwr Redwood Sunrise RN

  • Quimby-Sweet Spirit

    Toreth Spirit in the Sky BN, CD, RAE, CGC

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Whee…it’s an RAE3!!

Two days

Four Trials

One Blue Ribbon

One Perfect Score!

One new RAE3 Title!

One incredibly beautiful working dog!

Congratulations C-Myste Denali RAE3

Check out those scores. This is how it went ALL weekend. An amazing field of dogs performing wonderfully well. A real pleasure to watch! The downside – no margin for error. If you didn’t score 98 or better, no chance for a placement in many cases.

Denali was as focused and consistent as I’ve ever seen her. She did an awesome job, but should have traded me in on a better handler. I did things I’ve never done before – walked through a sign (would have been a second place) and didn’t notice that the judge swapped a Pivot Right for a Pivot Left between the Advanced and Excellent Classes (would have been a third place finish).

Redemption came with the award of a perfect score in the Advanced Class of our Title Leg! The clapping at the end said we looked good out there. I was hoping for a 99. When I saw the 100 I was thrilled! Must be an audience. Last time we got a perfect score Denali’s Gramma Carolyn and her family were there to see it! This time we had some new cardigan friends who were anxious to see how Denali looked in the ring. She didn’t disappoint! Thanks to Lynn and Peter for sticking around to watch!

The final result…one tired girl. Have a nice nap Denali – you earned it!


A Weekend of Firsts!

Last Thursday Denali and I set off for the Lost Coast (Ferndale, CA), home of the splendid giant redwood forests and site of the Lost Coast Kennel Club Dog Show. Other members of our Cardigan Family were there too, camping at the show site fairgrounds. Denali showed in Rally while her “relatives” were there for conformation. This was the first time Denali and I have been able to do a “Family Meet Up” and it was a lot of fun!

Denali’s “Gramma Carolyn” brought Uncle Huxley – we LOVE the Hux!

And the two Wild Young Things, Kady and Audrey!

Sage’s beautiful blue brother, Cappy, came with his people, Trenton and Denise. As did his look-alike brother, Hiro, from the second Hannah/Wally litter. Hiro was accompanied by his “parents,” Jamie & Catherine, and his canine grandma, Phoebe.

Cappy, ready to go into the show ring.

The Rally experience:

Generally I don’t enter my black, fluff-coated dog in outdoor events in the summer time. Within seconds she melts like the Wicked Witch of the West when she’s in direct sun. But Ferndale is far north and only five miles from the coast. Typically at this time of year the dense cloud cover hangs in, keeping temps in the high 50’s and low 60’s – perfect Rally weather! Plus, Rally is always early in the morning – oops, not at this show. Show times both days 1:00PM…ugg!

The first day, Friday, proved to be an abnormally sunny day – sigh. My black dog melted, her performances were uninspired, to put it mildly. She did qualify, getting her RAE3, leg #2, but it wasn’t pretty and she didn’t have a good time at all.

Fortunately, Saturday was a better day! Amidst  cloudy, cool and windy conditions she was back to being the Rally Dog I recognized. As her Fan Club (Carolyn, Tom, Jamie & Catherine) shivered in the gallery, she not only qualified for leg #3, but she laid down the gauntlet!  The first dog to run the course in Adv-B, she scored her First Perfect 100 and the First Place finish! As we passed the Finish station our adoring fans burst into loud applause that could be heard clear across the ring!

Denali goes Blue! Nice job Rally Dog!

As you can see by visiting Carolyn’s FB page, Kady had her own Good Day on Saturday, which made things even better! Congratulations Kady!

Topped off with a late afternoon visit to the Loleta Cheese Factory, a score of freshly-picked garden greens from a local stand, and the efforts of our grill masters, our excellent campsite dinner was just the thing to complete the day. (Thank you again to all the chefs! And sign me up for the lemon-infused olive oil!)

After the cardigans showed on Sunday we headed for home.

Carolyn with Kady

Catherine with Audrey

On the way we experienced another first as we traveled the entire 31-mile distance of the Avenue of the Giants, home to some of the most spectacular redwood forests imaginable.

Although dogs are not allowed on the official trails, we had no trouble finding a beautiful cove to explore.

Denali was fascinated!

And dwarfed!

Oh look, this one is short, like me. What’s this green stuff?

Not a first, but always exciting when the San Francisco Bay is clear and you can see to the top of the majestic towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Last, but certainly not least…as we were driving down fwy 280 in Woodside I looked up and saw a small plane heading right toward us, only about 100 feet off the ground. It was pretty obvious that the plane was planning to land on the freeway! Had I been thirty seconds slower, I’d have been in the wrong place at the wrong time! I kept looking in my rear view mirror for signs of a crash, but saw none.

In the end, the plane managed to land safely on the other side of the freeway. Here is the news report: 

This is a video that someone took just after the landing. This definitely qualifies as a first, and I hope the last, time a plane buzzes quite so closely over my head!

We’re happy to be home for the 4th. Someone really missed us!

Happy Fireworks everyone!

RN Title – I Earned my Nap!

Sage got his Rally Novice Title today. He was up against some good competition and got his best score ever, a 97. There were two 98s and three 97s. Sadly, we had to settle for 5th place in the order – by seconds. Nonetheless, he did a great job. I am so proud of my handsome pink boy!

Now we’re home and it is time to catch up on some Zzzzz.

A Valuable Prize

To the victor…

go the spoils…

Sage’s Mother’s Day Gift

For Mother’s Day my “son” Sage took me to the park. It was cool, quite windy, and threatening rain when we arrived.

Not put off in the least by the weather, or more significantly the presence of all the other dogs, Sage went right to work. Even the buffeting tape around the ring perimeter was no issue for him. My new little Rally Dog certainly showed what he could do! Minus a handler error on my part, our 96 would have been a 99! Nevertheless, our color for the day was BLUE for RN Leg #2!

When he got home Sage showed his cache to Denali, who of course recognized the booty right away.

Yep, my puppy boy is growing up. When the judge handed us the ribbons, of course Sage had to say hello. The judge remarked on what a sweet, friendly dog he is and gave him a nice pet and ear scratch. Sage was all smiles!

He has made SUCH a lot of developmental progress. Now that he’s not so worried about the other dogs, I am seeing that he’s got an incredible work ethic. I am really excited about what his obedience future holds!

Great Mother’s Day gift Sage!  Thank you so much. Lotsa Love, Mom!

Sage – In the Rally Ring!

Whoo Hooo… I am SO excited. Today was Sage’s debut in the Rally Ring! It has been a long time coming, as he’s been struggling with his intense fear of other dogs for awhile. But today at the Regional Shoreline Park in Martinez, he did an awesome job in his first Rally competition, finishing in 4th place in Novice-B.

His biggest foible in the ring came on a Call Front when, with typical Sage-like exuberance, he jumped up and hit my leg during the finish, causing us to repeat the exercise. For his first time, I will take our 92 quite happily! For his part, he’s much more interested in the stuffed leopard that he won.

While the ribbons are nice, the real “win” was his ability to be in the show environment with other dogs and to understand that they were not a threat. He surpassed my expectations in this area, allowing his setup to be in a group with other dogs and not worrying about it at all! Thinking back to a year ago, there is no way he could have done what he did today. He didn’t have the confidence or the focus. I couldn’t be more proud.

He’s pretty proud too – check that smile!  Great job Sage! You’ve come such a long way!

Denali’s Easter Colors

At 6:30AM Denali was very excited about going to today’s Rally competition in Vallejo. We hit the road, got there just in time to set up and see the rain start. Yes, it was an outdoor course on very long, very wet/muddy grass. Little miss FancyPants was NOT happy about having to “sit” and “down” in those conditions. Her motivation/scores definitely suffered, but she persevered.

Here is her “nice face” in front of her plastic-wrapped campsite.

And here’s how she REALLY feels about this whole deal!

In spite of the ongoing showers…

she did manage to bring home some nice Easter Colors! Good job Rally Girl!