Archive for June, 2013

Tooey is putting out enough heat to keep all of northeast Portland warm, even if it weren’t 95 degrees F.

So Russ got out the kiddie pool, and us two girls dipped our tootsies in the cool water.




And here’s one funny note. We were trying to convince Cooper to get into the water too, so we threw a toy into the pool. He stood outside the pool and tried to paw the toy toward himself without actually getting in.

Tooey, who had been taking a break, took one look at that, probably said “hmph!” to herself, got into the pool, picked up the toy, got out, and dropped the toy at Russ’s feet. That’s how it’s done, you silly boy!

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But fortunately, Russ has brought what he learned growing up in the Southwest (USA) to bear.

Tooey has been spending her time, in this 90 degree F weather, lounging in front of a homemade horizontal swamp cooler.


The fan blows over a soaking wet towel and, for extra measure, a big bowl of water. That spot is noticeably cooler than the rest of our un-air conditioned house.

Keep cool girlie! We’ve got at least a week of this 90+ degree weather coming, and Tooey’s puppies are not due for 1-1/2 weeks. Ick!



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When you’re going to have puppies, it is imperative to find the perfect place to whelp them. How about in the window well, under the deck?

excavating a nest

excavating a nest

For the picture above, Russ has lifted the access hatch we built so that, if we had to, we could get to the basement window and its window well. Tooey didn’t use that access hatch, though. She crawled her way under the deck (16″ of clearance) to the window well, and then started digging it out.


Of course, that’s not where we’re planning for Tooey to have her puppies. She’ll be going to the Spa for Hot Girls to whelp. But she doesn’t know that yet, and I’m sure she thinks she needs to take care of the nest issue sooner rather than later.

She’s still got about 3 weeks to go till her due date, but she’s looking big already.



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Many years ago, I consulted a guru I was following at the time about something I very badly wanted. He reminded me that my wanting something was necessary but not sufficient. To get what I wanted, all the people involved, whether consciously or not, had to be aligned with my desire also.

Sometimes the path to that alignment is obscured so that I don’t even see that it’s happening. But sometimes the alignment is a bright line of (what appears to be) chance that leads from my desire to its outcome.

So, how does this relate to Irish Water Spaniels?

I very much want to at least have the opportunity to finish Tooey’s CD title this year. But there are issues.

For one, she’s pregnant. And she’s not completely ready to compete in Obedience, so I know that I need to keep training, and I need to find at least two Obedience trials with the most conducive circumstances.

The most ideal conducive circumstances would include a relatively quiet venue (as quiet as dog shows can be ) where there isn’t too much nearby activity, so Tooey won’t be overly worried about all the strange sights and noises. Indoors, so she won’t be overly distracted by birds and critters and the smells typically in outdoor grass. Better would be on concrete to reduce the smells that often come with indoor horse arenas, and even more ideally, someplace where we’ve practiced or been to a match. A woman judge would be best because some men worry Tooey. And the ideal trials would occur at least 2.5 months after Tooey whelps her puppies in mid-July.

So on last Saturday, when I found out that a local obedience club was holding a small Obedience trial in October, with a woman judge, inside a building where Tooey and I have practiced and gone to matches many times — well, I was as happy as I could be. That would be perfect! I got my entry form and check all filled out and ready to put into the mail. But then I realized that the Saturday mail had already gone out, so it would have to wait until Monday morning.

As luck, or chance, fortune, or Providence would have it, Tooey and I were scheduled to go to an Obedience match at that very building on Sunday. I was getting ready to leave when I got a call on my cell phone from a local number, but one that I didn’t recognize. Usually, I don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t recognize, but this time I did.

It was a fellow club member (FCM), asking me if I could bring an entry form for that same October Obedience trial with me to the match. She said she wanted to give her entry to the trial secretary, who was at the match. So I said, sure, I’ll bring you an entry form, and will you tell the trial secretary that I’m bringing an entry, too?

So on my way out the door to the match, I grabbed my entry off the hallway table, and Tooey and I drove to the match. When I got there, I handed my entry to the trial secretary and the blank form to FCM.

Later that morning, FCM told me that she’d called several people trying to find an entry form, and none of them answered their phones. Someone suggested that she call me, but no one had my phone number. So they called the club president, who gave them my number, and finally she called me.

Still later, the trial secretary confirmed that Tooey and I were successfully entered in the October Obedience trial. She also casually mentioned that FCM and I were the last ones to have our entries accepted because with our two entries, the limit had been reached.


If no one had suggested that FCM call me, if the club president hadn’t been available, if FCM hadn’t actually called me or I hadn’t answered my phone, or if I had already mailed my entry, we would not have made it into the trial.


I hope that the trial itself goes this well. But we’ll have to wait and see for that.

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Tooey is a beautiful bitch, and she produced some beautiful puppies in her litter with Cork (Ch Whistlestop Wayward Wind CD RN JH WC) .

One of them went Winner’s Bitch all four days of the cluster of dog shows in Blackfoot, Idaho this last weekend, earning her Championship title.

So now Sorcha (Ms Yellow) is Ch. Whistlestop Mine To Keep At Tirriki!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t there, so I couldn’t get any pictures myself. I hope some kind soul took one and will send it to me.

Added on 6/24/2013: Apparently these Blackfoot shows were very busy, and getting pictures was tough. Richard very generously sent me a photo, and I’ve cropped it down to show Finnegan (Winners Dog) and Sorcha (Winners Bitch) competing in the Best of Breed ring for Best of Winners.


Finnegan (Winners Dog) and Sorcha (Winners Bitch and Best of Winners)
photo by Richard Liebaert

They both came out of the ring with Major wins, with Sorcha as Best of Winners (even with her tongue just peeking out)!

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Tooey says: I don’t have to go to the Spa for Hot Girls to have puppies. I can stay home to have them. In fact, I found the perfect place: a nice cozy spot under the deck.


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Tooey had her ultrasound today, and the vet saw 6 puppies, more or less. Little beating hearts inside puppies lying on their backs. (Last time, the vet thought he saw 4 puppies, and she ended up having 10.)

Russ put together a video of the ultrasound images:

The sire this time is JJ (aka Ch Whistlestop’s John Jameson). He’s the son of HRCH Ch Whistlestop’s B All You Can B CD SH RN “Joey” x Ch Whistlestop Journey To Freedom CD RN JH “Journey”. Joey is one pass away from an AKC Master Hunter in the retriever world, and Journey is a real performance dog, most recently working in musical freestyle.

Here’s JJ in a photo taken at a dog show in January 2012:

JJ in January 2012

JJ in January 2012

And here’s a still from the ultrasound:

Tooey ultrasound 6-10-2013

Tooey ultrasound 6-10-2013

You can kind of see a little puppy, lying on its back with its head down. The vet tech told Russ that the bigger red area is the heart, and that the other colors were developing organs.

I’m sure that the best part, as far as Tooey is concerned, is that the vet said that she could have free range food. No more watching her weight for that girl until puppies are weaned.

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