Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2008 Year End USASA RANKINGS - We've got plenty!

Upper left: Gotcha. Upper right: Spencer.
Lower left: Naya. Lower right: Tonic

Four incredibly talented Ebbtide dogs and their equally talented and dedicated owners/trainers/handlers have made it into the top end of the United States Australian Shepherd Association 2008 Year End Standings in Obedience and Rally! Besides all of them having Ebbtide for a first name, they all share the same dam, Ebbtide Madam President CD "Maddie"! Maddie had three litters in her breeding lifetime (she's now 10.5 yrs old and spayed): One offspring from her first litter (the "E" litter) & second litter (the "F" litter) qualified and two from the last litter (the "G" litter). Maddie, you rock! Here they are:

Ebbtide Effervescent Elixir UDX "Tonic"
Judie Howard, Moraga, CA

3rd Open B Obedience

6th Utility B Obedience

3rd Blue & Gold Award (High Combined Open B & Utility B)

CH. Ebbtide Fine Fellow CD "Spencer" Judie Scherrer & Ann Atkinson, Sebastopol, CA

4th Novice B Obedience

Ebbtide Glamour Girl CD RA "Naya" Ariela Karasov & Ann Atkinson, Madison, WI

Currently in 3rd Place Rally Advanced A Results for Rally are to 10/31/08

Ebbtide Gonna Getcha CD RA "Gotcha" Susan Gore, Trish Maddan & Ann Atkinson, Concord, CA

1st Novice A Obedience

I am so proud of these four dogs and their handlers! Congratulations to Susan, Trish & Gotcha; Judie & Tonic; Ariela & Naya; and Judi & Spencer! I'd also like to thank 3 wonderful men who rightfully deserve a share of the spotlight with their spouses: Gary Howard, Fred Scherrer and Daniel Torres-Rangel.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday, G Litter!

Wow. There is so much to report... I'm behind!
But I HAVE to send Blogging Wishes to that amazing group of dog owners and their dogs...(alphabetically) Athena, Bear, Gotcha, Howdy, Naya, Seele & Zayvee. Proud parents: Mom - Maddie (Ebbtide Madam President CD) and Dad - Baron (CH RaineDance Written In Stone OA AXJ).

Many thanks to Raine Lutz (Baron's owner) for her outstanding photos http://www.raineimages.com/index.html. She has a whole page dedicated to all their achievements http://www.raineimages.com/rainedance/06maddie.html check it out!
This is the most bonded, socializing, fun group of puppy owners EVER....as well as the pups themselves!
And what a bunch of OVER-ACHIEVERS, too. You guys make me look really good. Thanks to all their hard word, this litter probably gets Maddie a ROM...maybe 2.....perhaps I should check that out...

"Gotcha" Ebbtide Gonna Getcha CD RA JSN GSN RSN
I just read in the newest Australian Shepherd JOURNAL, that 2 of the G Litter kids are in the Year End 2008 standings! Gotcha - Ebbtide Gonna Getcha CD RA + all those agility titles - is #1 in their standings for NOVICE A OBEDIENCE!! Lovely blue merle sister Naya - Ebbtide Glamour Girl CD RA JSN is #3 RALLY ADVANCED A !!

"Naya" Ebbtide Glamour Girl CD RA JSN

I can barely keep up with all of Gotcha's titles! That's a little sad - my apologies to uber-owners Susan Gore and Trish Maddan.
Gotcha celebrated her birthday early this weekend by winning Altered Winners Bitch for a 3 point major, finishing her ASCA CD, winning Altered RWB and a 2nd place in Agility! It DID take a village to do all that: Susan handling in obedience and agility, Trish handling her in conformation (Wow!) and me, as ever, giving detailed instructions, grooming and technical support ;-)
But it's not all about dog shows, pretty dogs, national rankings and big awards here (whaatt?)...we are REAL DOGS with REAL DESIRES and WE HAVE FUN: Here is an amazing photo from owners Ken & Linda Brown of thier always-engaging and ultimate party animal, Ebbtide Goodness Gracious ("Seele" aka Zayla..not to confused with Zayvee..)

"Seele" - Ebbtide Goodness Gracious

Ken & Linda - you HAVE to send a pretty picture, in all fairness! But Seele is here to remind you TO HAVE FUN ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!

Happy Birthday, G Litter! Send me your photos to add to this post!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ebbtide Careful What You Wish - wins again!

That would be JJ - My People refer to him as "Prince JJ" (they whisper behind my back - "She thinks he's sooooo perfect". But I hear them)...
Regardless, you naysayers, The J-Man trotted into the AKC show at Vallejo and trotted right back out (3 times!) with a respectable first place in BBX, Winners Dog AND Best of Winners award and two more points. That makes six - only nine more to go ;-)
I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a good story behind this little win...
Shall we start with the Fastest Wardrobe Change Ever Seen At A Dog Show - and, scary, not in the ladies room? Somehow (somehow) , I had it in my head we were showing at 10:45 am after 6 collies. Since #1 assistant wasn't with me - she tends to obsess over dog show schedules - this was never double-checked that morning. My good pal, Pam (Emmi's mom), agreed to go and be my assistant. She assumed I was reliable (!). Note to my other assistants: Always assume Ann "is reliable" and knows what she's doing - but secretly double check all schedules, equipment and maps. Ok. Fine. So we get there at 10 am,our ring is the first one inside the gate - we have time for a leisurely prep on JJ and me to get on my pantyhose, skirt, jacket & show shoes. Possibly makeup. OK. Fine. At 10:34 am, on my way to the ladies room to change, I stop at the ring to pickup my armband. There are no collies in the ring. There are no collies ANYWHERE around. yikes. Red Flag. I look up at the schedule: "10:30am 2 Bouviers 23 Australian Shepherds". YIKES. The first Aussie is entering the ring. JJ is the 3rd dog into the ring - holy wardrobe change! I run back to JJ, hide behind Debbie Pollard (sorry, Deb - she's probably scarred for life). I have my grooming coat on, but no pantyhose. I rip off my jeans - Pam now jumps in front of me - luckily, there was a wall behind us - I somehow (somehow!!) pull on my pantyhose, skirt, shoes, jacket, grab JJ and run to the ring. Dog #2 is in the ring. I take a deep breath, shake my shoulders, smile and say to myself "No problem. Here I am. Cool as a cucumber and waiting for my turn. Like I've been standing ringside ready to go for 20 minutes. Sweet." In I go - then the ring steward realizes it's me and announces in a huge voice "OMIGOD!! THAT WAS THE FASTEST CLOTHES CHANGE THAT I'VE EVER SEEN!" The judge looks a little perplexed. I want to slap the woman upside the head. Really. I smile at the judge and say wistfully "I had my show times a little mixed up."
Happily, it all worked out and we came home with our 2 points. Thanks to Randy Roberts for this colorful photo that forever captures the result of the Fastest Wardrobe Change Ever and a pretty cute JJ at age 13.5 months:
The Adventure doesn't end there. Oh nononononono. On the way home, the happy dogs, handler and assistant are yakking it up and planning our Mr. Pickle sandwich, when the Driver (me) notices a funny (hahaha) sound from the front end of the van. ERrrrr we stop the van and I hop out. Flat tire. ok no problem. We have Pam's AAA card. Three tow trucks later, and loaded onto the big tilting wrecker-truck, we head to the tire shop. Happily, we found one of the best tire businesses ever --- here's a free plug & many thanks to Diane at The Petaluma Tire Source. Two new tires later we head home.
I love dog shows! And thanks, Pam.

Howdy's Obedience Debut

The long-awaited debut of Ebbtide Good Ol' Greetin' - "Howdy" - in Novice B obedience was worth waiting for...congrats to owner-trainer-handler Judie Howard, Moraga, CA!

Day One: First place, score 196.5.

Day Two: First Place, score 199.5


People: THIS is how it's supposed to be done.

The Un-official win photo - Courtesy Trish Maddan:

Howdy is from the "G" Litter sired by CH RaineDance Written In Stone and out of our Ebbtide Madam President CD (Maddie).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spencer's Novice B debut

Here's Spencer (CH Ebbtide Fine Fellow) on his way to his CD in late December at San Mateo. He won the Novice B class with a score of 196.5. It was a nice work - thanks judge Alvin Eng.

That's NOT me in the photo (perhaps you noticed) - that's owner-trainer-handler extraordinaire, Judi Scherrer, Sebastopol, CA. Way to go, Judi!
This was NOT the day of my now-infamous video escapade (see previous post "How I Almost Got Myself Killed At A Dog Show" Jan. 16, 2009).

I like this photo. But I'm not sure what I like MOST about it: Judi's impish grin, Spencer's silly head tilt or the judge's awesome glowing Judge's Name Tag. wow.
Oh wait: I like it best because it's a First Place ;-)

That Lovely Herding Group 4 at Cow Palace

Ch Ebbtide Fine Fellow CD, "Spencer" and judge Keke Kahn and Ann handling. Well done, people!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In which JJ goes herding...and brings home some sheep

With the exit of the registered Montadale sheep (snif) last summer,

My son, Marshall, musician/ex-sheep breeder, and some of his Montadale sheep - last summer

the pasture has had quite a rest and has grown to heights unseen for many years here. See below:

Maddie helping me take photos of the soon-to-be-sold horse corral. March 2009.

The low grass places in the photo above, are the results of my Dryland Pasture Improvement Management program, initiated two winters ago. To make a short story long: I disced up my nice native clovers and grass, spent $140 on seed, risked my son's life as I told him to sit on the back of the disc and crank the hand seeder while I drive the tractor that is older than me, and seemed to be running on just 3 of it's 4 cylinders that day "bababa...BUM...bababa...BUM..babab...BUM", plus the little lurch on the last note -oh - it was safe, alrighty...). Dragging an old fence panel behind the disc covering the seed perfectly (I'm sure). Did I mention it was lightly raining thru all this? Yes - it was time to seed - Oct. 10. The rain stopped the next day and then the sun shone for 10 days straight, reaching 90+ degrees. Needless to say, the seed germinated quickly and then promptly burned up in the heat. I bought MORE seed, scattered it myself on foot. Raked it in by hand (it was just an acre..). Ouch. The Dryland Pasture Mix did not appear. Nor the native clover. Nor the native grass. No nothing. Oh wait - that nasty little sharp stickery weed grew. Basically, I spent lots of time, money (but, for the record, did NOT harm my child) and ruined my pasture.

Moral of story: Farming is one of the biggest gambles in life.
So this fall, I scattered some rye grass and fescue seed (as well as wildflowers). I found a couple varieties of native clovers had returned!
OK - we're back in business. We need sheep...
A call to friend Fiona Hibbard (her first Aussies 20 years ago came from me - and she was one of My People back then) (Oh. She was the ONLY People I had- except for oldest son Emmett, age about 5 ...now there's some stories...). But I digress (again). We bought 4 Katahdin x Dorper yearlings at Fiona's and had a nice herding lesson with JJ - who - of course - did nicely ;-)
And here are the four new sheep:

#4 is loooking over the back of Helga, on far right. They are watching Fern closely - she's with me. Fern is watching them closely, too.

Now, I must (1) remove a 21 foot tower, (2) an old engine, so I can (3) build a round pen. Update: Tower gone! Thanks Pam & Harold (of Emmy fame).

No photos of JJ herding yet...must get the round pen up...stay tuned.