Sunday, October 29, 2006

Memory Lane with Colors

A few nights ago I went to bed only to find damp bedclothes. I forgot to block off the bedroom door when I left the house without taking the dogs. Apparently Sleek can still get on the bed if she really wants to. I don't know if she takes the bed because it's a lot softer than the dog beds or if she feels comforted by being in a spot saturated with my scent (since I'm a poor housecleaner, the whole house ought to be pretty much saturated). Anyway, she took a nap there and had another bout of incontinence while she was up on the bed. I'm getting much better at not showing irritation when I can't go to bed because I have to change the sheets. Poor Sleek is not doing this deliberately, and she gets upset when I'm angry.

Unfortunately, Sleek nested on top of ALL the bedclothes, so all layers were damp. I didn't want to wait a couple of hours for things to be washed and dried, so I started scrounging for other blankets and such.

The new set of sheets are both current and classic -- red flannel, purchased a few years ago. Next came an afghan I crocheted in 1989. The colors on that one are classic 1980's -- dusty rose, colonial blue, and cream. I remember thinking when I chose the yarn that those were classic colors that I would always love. Guess again, Kabbage! The next layer was a 1998 purchase in Canada. I forgot a dog blanket on a trip and grabbed a Martha Stewart thermal blanket from the Canadian equivalent of Target. Another dusty blue color, probably due to limited color choices. Then I have a small throw with pictures of Australian shepherds woven into it. Last, but not least, another traveling and forgot a sheet for the bed purchase, a T-shirt knit sheet in dark green. I think it matched my 1994 Subaru. Yes, traveling with dogs leads to some weird odds and ends of bedding around the house. I also have a flannel bedspread purchased as a dog bed.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Why I don't get Lasik surgery

I inherited the finest of eyes from my parents -- myopia from my father and astigmatism from my mother. Being an overachiever, though, I had to be sure my vision is worse than either of theirs. I *think* my eyes usually test around 20/400, at best. Off and on I've thought about laser surgery to see if I could improve my test scores. I've decided against it, though.

Sure, there's the usual question of "what if I ended up with halo or starburst effects?" but the real reason is more obtuse. With my current vision, once I take off my glasses, no one can see me. This means I can wear a bathing suit in public or roll down hills in public. I can't see anyone seeing me, so they can't see me. Simple, and effective.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Why I belong to ASCA

(ASCA is the Australian Shepherd Club of America)

I joined ASCA to get the reduced LEP [Limited Exhibition Privilege] registration rate and to see what the organization was like, since AKC was the only thing I knew. I wanted to get the Aussie Times magazine. I think that was back around 1998, when the dog was old enough to compete in agility. I figured she might as well get credit for her breed since I’d be trialing her in NADAC/ASCA trials. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so there is a LOT of ASCA stuff around.

Why did I stay? I stayed because ASCA welcomed me and my little LEP with a tail. Her registration certificate IS a certificate, whereas AKC sent a laser-printed piece of low-grade paper with her number on it and a note that indicated there would be no charge if I wanted to change the ownership on the dog, which I inferred to mean they considered her value-less (they certainly charged when I got my Malinois and wanted her registration put in my name). They (AKC) very much gave me the feeling that my money was okay, but that was about it – the dog and I were essentially throw-away items. I took Fluffy to watch many ASCA confo shows and to watch/participate in obedience. Always, we were welcomed. People asked about her tail sometimes, but no one overtly sneered at us. They petted her and told her what a good little dog she was. I took her to the 1999 Nationals and we were welcomed there, too. A few more people seemed to sneer at her tail there, but many more people just asked about it out of curiosity or to comment on how nicely she carries it. No one made any snide comments about her (lack of known) breeding when she won 24” Open Jumpers and Novice A obedience at that Nationals. I stayed because my dog was treated as an AUSSIE, not a maybe-pretend-sort-of-hold-your-nose-because-those-unknown-parents-dogs-stink-but-they-bring-in-money aussie. I stayed because I was treated well. I stayed because of the ASCA opportunities in my area. I stayed because I wanted to keep getting the Aussie Times. I stayed because I thought (and still think) that ASCA has a chance to save at least a portion of the breed. I know the registry can’t really save the breed, but they can give me a place to look for my next dog.

Why ASCA-l? To help me stay informed on what people in the breed are thinking about. I love, love, love the absence of most show/performance brags. Sometimes the list gets tiresome, when people start dissecting posts below the level of meaning or simply repeat their opinions on issues over and over again, often in the same words. Staying on ASCA-l is part of my way of supporting ASCA. I’m also on OpenForum, Aussie-l, and AussieHerders. All of them have their times of great value and their times of “what is the point of this list’s existence?” (Frankly, for useful information on the breed and almost anything related to health and training, none of them can touch Belg-l which has active moderators who want a peaceful, Belgian shepherd-related list. It’s a fantastic list, IMO.) I want to vote intelligently in ASCA elections.

That’s what comes to mind first off when I think about why I support ASCA.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

More Rolling

Today I recruited the Neighbor Across The Street to walk and roll with me. It was even more fun with two of rolling and laughing our heads off. The dogs reacted much differently. Sleek tried to lick my face as soon as I lay down. Fluffy hooted and hollered and tried to get me to stop. Once or twice she jumped over me as I rolled, and she also tried to grab a rapidly spinning ankle a time or two. If I didn't laugh, she was more restrained. Party police in action!

I think I want to soak in the tub tonight. Incipient sore spots are mentioning themselves.

Rolling down hills

Yesterday evening I took my dogs out for a walk at a local park. While there, I felt the urge to roll down a hill like I did when I was a little kid. First, may I suggest that should you get this urge, take your keys out of your pocket. I was smart enough to take my glasses off, but I forgot about the keys. Heck, the last time I rolled down a hill, I didn’t even have keys. They’re hard, and they poke in odd spots mid-roll.

The rolling felt great, but I was very dizzy at the bottom of the (not very big albeit fairly steep for its size) hill. I don’t think I could’ve gotten up and stayed up until at least 10 seconds after rolling.

Have I just forgotten that it was always this way?
Has my brain shrunk inside my head, leaving it more room to flop around and discombobulate while rolling?
Do I need to roll more to build up a tolerance for the dizziness?
Do you need to go try this for yourself and let me know your experiences with rolling down hills? Yes.

Fluffy tried to ignore the fact that I was lying on the ground, and Sleek took advantage of my lower height to wash my face.