Archive for July, 2014

Tooey was hot. She’s going through a false pregnancy, it’s hot this summer in Portland, and she wanted the show coat off. IWSCOPS Specialty (coming up in late August) be damned. Get the coat off, please, and get it off now.

But you’re so beautiful with your long show coat, I thought.

Get the coat off now, she panted. I’m hot.

Okay, okay. I’ll clip you down, but first we have to have a portait, captured specially by Russ.

So this past Friday night, Russ captured this photo of the girl. It was tough because it was hot and humid, even in the cool of the evening, and especially even more hot under the studio lights. So for many of the shots, she was panting, her tongue was lolling out, dripping saliva. Just looking at her made us all hot.

But finally, we got a good one of our beautiful girl, her last time in a long show coat.

Tooey, 5-1/2 years

Tooey, 5-1/2 years

Then, of course, Cooper, our camera hound, had to get into the action. He’s pretty easy to take pictures of — he loves the camera and will sit for quite a while during a shoot. Lights, cameras, all part of the action.

Cooper, 7-1/2 years

Cooper, 7-1/2 years

This whole time, Carlin had been hanging out, wondering about all this stuff that suddenly appeared in the living room — lights, reflectors, cables going everywhere, sandbags — all kinds of new things. So we thought we should give him the opportunity to practice sit-stay in a new location with a whole bunch of new distractions.

It took longer to get his portrait because, unlike Cooper and Tooey, he doesn’t have this camera thing down, his sit-stay is shaky, and he doesn’t appear to enjoy being photographed just for it’s own sake like Cooper does. But finally, we got this of happy Carlin Baby.

Carlin, 21 weeks

Carlin, 21 weeks

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At the Stumptown show today, Carlin hopped, jumped, paced, ran, and for about 4 seconds, actually gaited around the conformation ring.

Yes, at 4 months and 3 weeks, he’s too young to officially compete for points in conformation, but the Portland Kennel Club put together a Beginner Puppy event for puppiea 4-6 months old, and I entered Carlin in that.

Being the only IWS to enter, he took Best of Breed by default and so then went into the beginner puppy group ring for sporting breeds under the same judge.

Where he also ran, hopped, jumped, paced, and occasionally gaited well enough that the judge gave him a 4th place in the sporting group.


The best part was that be enjoyed himself. His tail wagged constantly (except when the judge went to feel his balls — and at that he whipped around faster than the speed of light to see what the heck she was doing back there), and he seemed happy to be there and see what all was going on.

He greeted people politely, invited a few of the other puppies to play, navigated the hubbub with aplomb, was happy to work on “Leave It”, “Stand”, and “High 5”. And he only barked once and remembered to potty only outside.

Good puppy!

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Russ took 18-week-old Carlin out to the field practice with the NW English Springer Spaniel Club today. They spent the morning getting used to hunt test activities, shotguns, and dogs. They practiced “Steady” on the place board interspersed with relaxing in the shade. (It’s in the high 90’s F in western Oregon today.)

Then it was time to cool off, and hopefully get a water retrieve. Take a look at the results in the video below.

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I love days off from work, especially if they’re sunny and not too warm. And this July 4th morning, we had the sunny part, and it wasn’t yet too warm.

We figured that our favorite training grounds would get crowded, so we packed up the dogs and training gear early, and headed out.

Perhaps mistakenly, we decided to play first. We don’t get a lot of opportunities where we’re all together and can go somewhere uncrowded and let the dogs off-leash. So we started the day exploring each of the ponds, running through the grass, and generally just enjoying ourselves.

Tooey, unsurprisingly, was first into every pond, but both Cooper and Carlin jumped in, too.

Then we decided to work. Cooper got a couple of double retrieves, Tooey got several single retrieves and some blind drills. And Carlin got some practice running to and staying on the Place board. Then Russ took both boys out into the field and practiced Sit-Stay.


You’ll notice that the field above is grassy. It also held some sort of sticky vine-ish plant that leaves sticky seed balls in the coat.


So this is what we spent the afternoon doing — combing out seeds from three IWS, and then giving baths.


It was a family affair, so the brushing, bathing, drying, and nail filing got done fairly quickly.

Then Russ and I shared a well-earned beer, while the dogs chewed on raw chicken wings.

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