Thursday, February 20, 2014

Understanding Dog People Not Sure I Will Ever!

This is a tough subject to write about because I am crossing over to Human Behavior and I sometimes I truly do not understand it.
At least in the dog world behavior is pretty cut and dry very little grey area but in human behavior, lets face it, crossing over and gray areas there is plenty of it in fact to much sometimes I much prefer the dog world as animals are much more forgiving.

Let me start in the show ring. Dog people! What a complex group of folks who spend there time with the most loving and giving animal in the world. The Dog!
I myself show  my Poodles not in the Breed Ring but in Performance.  Within this time frame of 10 years I have met some wonderful folks mostly people like me starting out and showing in Novice classes but there are those showing in upper classes. Folks trying to achieve there Championship in my venue of Obedience or other performance sports such as Agility and thus making some serious stuff. I guess you can't blame them achieving a championship especially in performance takes a lot of work and team effort from both you and your dog.

One situation stands out in my mind and it was pretty hurtful as well.I decided to drive to Ocala Florida which is considered North Florida.Their was a  AKC Obedience Trial I was not triling my one poodle Jacob but decided to drive to Ocala with Jacob to watch his Father and sister who both were enterd in the trial.
I drove for over 3hours in the cold weather with Jacob finally arriving at the obedience trial whom I met my Aunt who lives in Ocala Thank God she had brought a extra Jacket with her as I was so cold and not prepared for this kind of weather.

I took Jacob out and walked him around but did not bring him inside as I wanted to walk around a bit to get my bearings.
once inside I was over whelmed as there was no place to move around let alone set up crate as you see the facility was a Gym and a small one at that. Handlers were having to place there crates in the locker room  and the rings all three of them were very sung and close together no room at all for my Jacob and I just to close for a novice dog so I thought it was best to leave him on the van. Gosh knows it was cool enough.

Looking for a couple who owned Jacob father found them watching a class I quietly walked over and spoke to the wife. My God you would of thought I was extremely disruptive but I was not! So quiet I was not to disturbed them but it was very clear to me that I had. The Husband would not even acknowledge me. Sitting next to them was a judge he practically jumped out of his chair to move away which I thought was odd. I got the hint so I left them. At first I was ready to go home but. My Aunt said Gee and you have a puppy of the fathers you would think they would be a little bit friendly.
My Aunt said I would not wast my time. Now I totally understand if you are working your dog and getting ready to go into the ring I have enough since not to interrupt as you want a connection with your dog before going into the ring. However, this was not that situation it was watching a class! Seriously!! Too me you should be able to acknowledge the fact that someone has come to wish you luck.Especially  someone who has driven so far!

I then went back outside and  the breeder just happen to be in the parking lot as she recognized Jacob! She was very happy to see the both of us and the meet and greet with Jacob was priceless he remembered her and truly showed his love for her it did bring tears to my eyes.
The breeders dog was being shown as well and I did video her dog and sent her the video. Meeting up with the breeder made a huge difference from the owners that have Jacobs father.

Later, Jacobs father was shown and did very well earned his UDX Title which is very hard to achieve as in  Jacob sister titling and earning her CDX Title. I did not watch there classes as I was watching the breeders dog and filming and it seemed that there class was going the same time as the class that I was watching.
Jacobs fathers owner was so happy with this title and how his dog shown he was on cloud nine and I am sure I would be too. I thought it would be a good time to ask to get their picture but wrong I was he motion for me to move out of his way and muttered something not too sure what it was! So again I was snubbed!
My aunt saw this and said "Lydia! Why are you wasting your time with them"? Truly she was correct. They made no effort to talk with me. Ask about Jacob. Or thank me for driving a distance... At this  point if it was not for the breeder and my Aunt I would of headed home.

Now with this all said it is has been my observation that handlers when getting into the upper classes take it very seriously especially  trying to attain a championship. I totally understand this however, there is no need for rudeness or being caddy.

This was a lesson for me and it was a painful one. I am sure I will run into them at other trials however I will always be polite but next time there will be no effort on my part to extend any type
 of friendship or knowledge on how Jacob is doing.  


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Don't Want To Give It Up!

Evan one of my Three Standard Poodles is in training for AKC Graduate Novice for those who  do not have a understanding of this title it is a prelude to Open Obedience. In Graduate Novice his job is to walk in healing on leash in different directions. Directions that the judge call such as forward left turn right turn about turn and fast slow and normal. Figure eight off leash and drop on recall and recall with dumbbell with final recall over high jump and broad jump.. Sounds and it can be  if not taught correct pretty demanding but to a Standard Poodle like Evan he wants to do his job well and so far we have earned together as a team several titles.

Knowing each of my poodles personalities Evan is the most serious of all three but the most willing to do what the task is as long as he is having fun which in all cases is a standard poodle in their training they better be having fun or they lose interest.

Teaching Evan to hold the Dumbbell and taking it was a challenge teaching this behavior took time and patience but in order for him to be successful it had to be a game. This took 3 months but he finally excepted it now the big challenge was adding movement so It was taught in baby steps. Finally he excepted it and now it was a recall with the dumbbell

We are still working on the dumbbell recall why? Because Evan thinks it is a toy and does not want to give it up so he is poky on the recall and while practicing at my dear friends Jean house he took off running with it and into the van he went!  I went back to the drawing board and now when he brings the dumbbell back to me I take it and he gets a different toy attached to me and we tug. My object with teaching this is to let him understand that the dumbbell is not a toy but a working element and in order for him to get the toy he  has to return the dumbbell to me and by doing so we play with a different tug toy and guess what?  It worked!Evan is so eager to please so positive corrections is a win win situation for both Evan and myself.

So for myself relearning Evans situation and understanding why he was doing what he was doing. Finding the solution  only made for a win win for both Evan and myself and that is my job making My Poodle Boy successful!!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Tea

This Weekend of the Winter Solstice I have planned a Christmas Tea in conjunction of calibrating The Winter Solstice.
I thought what a wonderful way to celebrate with a late afternoon tea merging into a evening of celebration on the eve of the solstice .

Christmas Story Telling, Welcoming the Light and a warm fire are just a few to inspire us on this evening with the tasting of wonderful teas and deserts that will warm are tummy's

A true celebration for all of us!

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Simple but Beautiful Christmas Sugar Cookie

It seems that every year when the Holidays approach I seem to get the desire to bake. Coming from four generations of professional bakers you would think  it is a natural thing for me to do. Yes and No! On something I excel. But on others it is a struggle. For Example The  CHRISTMAS SUGAR COOKIES! Such a simple cookie but a disaster for me. Why?? I seem to ask myself and each year I try. Searching for the best recipe for this cookie wonder and yes this year I am going to try again.

I have found a recipe and I think it will turn out for me. You see my problem is when baking my cookies lose their shape. Forget the Stain Glass Sugar Cookies what a nightmare for me. I have watch countless videos on how to roll out, cut out, prepare the dough and finally decorate and still, it comes out a disaster.

I am not going to give up on the Wonder of this  cookie.  Christmas Sugar Cookie!   I will conquer you! And  you will sit on my Christmas Desert Table with pride!
 I hope your baking holiday time will be as fun as mine Enjoy this time of year and Happy Holidays.

Below are some Pictures of some Christmas Sugar Cookies, I hope mine will  turn out as beautiful as these.

Merry Christmas


Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Trains

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Our Christmas Menu for 2013


This will be a first for me Roasting a Duck I have baked,fried roasted and grilled many differnt foods for Christmas but this is a first in the roasting department for a Duck...
I have looked up several recipes for Duck and have found from the most extreme to the most easiest. Of course I have decided on the easiest however the more I research I think I am going to go halfway.

Duck seems to be a complicated little bird as far as I see it. All that fat you sure need to trim or it can turn out a disaster . However, to much trimming can lead to one tough little guy so with much research I think I have found the best way for me to roast.
Below I have written our Christmas Menu with high hopes of a successful outcome!

 I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a peaceful Holiday Season!

Merry Christmas


                                                               Our Christmas Menu


Fresh Fruit with Goat Cheese


Cream of Leek Soup

Main Course

Roasted Duck with Orange Spice
Wild Rice and  Wild Mushrooms
Roasted Asparagus


Homemade Bourbon Pecan pie

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Many Faces of Santa Claus

Santa Claus has been known to have many faces and is throughout the world speaking all languages and understanding all.
Here are some of the many faces of Santa Claus created by artist throughout the world