Thursday, September 28, 2017

10 years!

10 years.  YES.  10 years. Shawn and I have been married 10 years and we celebrated by going on an AMAZING cruise.  Just us.  We renewed our vows, which I have to tell you made me more nervous then the first time!  It was magical and wonderful and it renewed my mental state.  I have been going 100mph for the last year and this cruise forced me to stop and think.  Take it all in and realize what I want for my future. 

Shawn and I recently bought a new to us RV.  So of course we will be renovating it for our needs (ok, the dog's needs) and I will be blogging all about that.  I still work full time, still teach agility, still show the dogs and still have Shawn as my constant cheerleader.  The days are slow but the weeks fast and I never have time to take a deep breath and take it all in.  The cruise let me do that and I did it with Shawn.  Not alone on a long trip to a dog show, not on the bus ride home from work, not in the short showers I take…I took it all in for a week with my husband in paradise.  And it was worth every second.

 Many times I see on facebook my friends wishing their husband or wife a happy anniversary and almost always it says something like, “We have been through good and bad” or “Through the ups and downs…”  I always think to myself that everyone goes through tough times in a marriage and Shawn and I are no different.  We have been through the very worst of it.  But we came out on the other side happy and stronger and this summer while making the last minute plans for the trip I asked him, "Would you marry me again?"  He actually thought about it.  Really thought.  And then he turned to me and said, "Yep.  I would marry you again."  I was so perfectly Shawn.  So we did.  We renewed our vows. 

I have returned back to NJ with a new sense of self and what my goals are.  I want that MACh on Hype.  I want to continue to show the chin and be successful.  I want happiness and more free time and more days of loving life.  I will make that happen...all with Shawn.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Camping World
 Memorial day is upon us and I must say we are getting excited for our 4 day breed show close to home!  We have been diligently working on the RV to get it ready for this weekends shows.  My blog has pretty much turned into a blog all about our RV renovations but that is great!  It is something I am really enjoying with my husband!  It may even become a true side business for him,
So for now, keep watching the RV renovations pages to the Right ----------> for all our fun updates!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Holidays and the Dizzy Dogs

With Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas upon us, I always find myself wanting to hibernate at home with my hubby and dogs.  I want to decorate and eat.  So, I tend to drag myself out to throw a ball or go for a run because I know I need it even though I don't want to.  But, I have never regretted it after I have gone...only if I haven't so get off the couch....

Draven celebrating Thanksgiving at work
For Thanksgiving this year we went to my parent's house as usual but different this year was that we were NOT in the RV and NOT going to the T-Cluster in Massachusetts as we have done in years past.  The cluster fell onto the weekend before Thanksgiving this year and I was just coming home from my business trip from China that week.  So, no T-cluster.  But, I did have lots of days of eating and running (yes, I went running) and snuggling with the pups and shopping... 
Right now we are gearing up for the Eukanuba cup in Orlando, Fl next week.  I have been planning this trip all year and Shawn is coming with too!  I will be showing Jr Mint in 2 days of the competition. 
Minty and I

I am not running a dog in agility but two Dizzy Dogs will be there representin' as well!  First is my co-owned, bred by Japanese chin, Ch. Dizzy Flyin' Desperado MX MXJ "Desi" owned and handled by Rebecca McCorry.  Desi is a Kazi kid and is starting to close in on his MACh with Rebecca.  I am so proud of this team.  Second is my bred by shepherd, MACh6 Dizzy Park and Spark, "Spark", owned and handled by Gordon Simmions-Moake.  This Tang baby finished #1 this year.  I cannot wait to watch them run!


On another happy note...I just received my 1st box from Pet Gift Box!  This thing is pretty awesome.  NOW, I only share paid for stuff when it truly is worth the price and this box delivers!  Lots of toys and fun stuff.  Came packed full and I love that I can turn it on and off each month.  It makes a great gift as well.  I urge you to check out their website!  You can customize your box to the size of your dog and everything.  LOVE!
Pet gift box!

Draven feeling pretty stoked with all his new stuff!
Lastly, I received my conformation last evening that Tang and I are entered in the Westminster Agility Championship in February!  We didn't get in last year because it was random draw but luckily we got in this year.  I am super excited to show her there.  It is set up invitational style where the top 3 in each height will go to the finals and then it will go by breeds so there is diversity in the final.  I know Tangy still has the juice so if she and I can put 2 clean runs together, she will probably make finals.  And then we get to be on TV!  I would be thrilled so showcase my Tangarooo!!!!

Hug your dogs!  The holidays are upon us and they are the BEST GIFTS!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spring is here and new adventures await!

It has been quite a while since I have updated my blog.  Work, life, dogs, hubby, all have gotten in the way.  BUT....since I have been on pinterest daily looking for RV ideas, (yes, RV ideas) and everything seems to be on blogs, I though tI should update mine and keep it going. So, here is my first of many blog posts for 2014!

We got a new RV!  ok...not new new, new to us.  she is a 1997 Gulfstream Conquest.  She has everything I had wanted, including the living room slide!  YEAH!

Because she was parked for quite a while, (4 years) she needed a good cleaning (How many stink bugs can fit in a wet/dry vac before you have to empty it?) and some very needed updates.  Why did everything in the 90s have to be sea foam green and mauve?  YUCK.  So I have embarked on the RV renovation/redecoration.  It has been fun and interesting.  So many ideas!  LOVE Pinterest now.

Here are some old pics:
So I have done the bedroom valances and started to look for a new bedspread and pillowcases....all in due time.  I have also done the living room valances and covered the couch.  Hubby ripped apart the top bunk which had a leak (don't all class C's have that?), re-sealed it and reinforced it for the pups.  New plywood and carpet.  In the before pics we had already taken out the chair (behind the driver's seat) and now we have large Varikennels there.  See After:

Still a total work in progress.....going to add to my blog about all of this with more before's and afters...and the dogs...well...let's say they kind of like it!

More to come!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sugar Plum Fairies and Chin Babies

Sugar Plum Fairies and Chin Babies
This Saturday I went with my hubby and family to see The Nutcracker Ballet for the 100th (ok, maybe not that many but ALOT) time.  It never gets old for me.  The music, the dancing and the Sugar Plum Fairy.  Her crown and wand, I just love it....even though this year I thought the dew drop outshined her....

All the while, Aijou decided to go into labor.  These babies were anxiously awaited as this is Aijou's last litter and her owner (I co-own her) and I didn't have a girl out of her.  Luckily, my very good friend who has delivered many babies for me, was on hand to deliver the first boy.  I came home and then the 2nd boy and lastly the girl we were waiting for.  I am so thrilled.  They babies are just gorgeous and nice and healthy.  My heart was set on keeping that girl but alas, it is not meant to be, at least not in my home.  Her owner has decided to keep the girl with her in NC and I will keep the first boy in my home.  Am I upset, YES.  Aijou is one very special dog.  First off, she is a breeders dream, consistently produces herself (which is awesome) and better then herself (even awesom-er).  She is a fabulous mother and whelper.  More then all of that, she walked into our lives and changed them.  She touches everyone she meets with her kind and nurturing nature.  She took over as guardian of Draven (my 14yr old shepherd).  She barks when he gets stuck on the bathroom floor, she cleans his face and eyes each night and follows him around the house.  When she was gone being bred, he just moped, looking for her.  More then once he tried to squeeze into her tiny dog bed.  She has a way of making everything ok in the world.  The Jou is very special....very very special.  Am I mad, NO!  If I were in the owner's shoes, I would be doing the same.  (keep in mind, the owner is my "family", one of my very closest friends and mentor in the breed).  It is just a bit sad and disappointing for me.  But I will enjoy every minute I have with these babies.  The first boy will stay with me and grow out....I am hoping he will be the group winning special I have been breeding for. 

Aijou and her newborns, boy 2, girl and boy1
I bring all this up because we truly should be thankful for all we have.  As breeders we are always striving for the perfect dog, although one has never been made.  We can get so caught up in the competition and gossip that goes with it that we don't stop and look around at the ones doing the competition, THE DOGS!  At first I was so upset about not getting the little girl but then thought, "She could have no babies!  She could have had a complication and lost the babies or worse, we could have lost her!"  I am getting so upset because I am not getting the girl, but yet I have so much to be thankful for, even The Jou!  She was a gift.  She was graciously given to me by the owner to co own.  And now I have her son.  This boy who will bring wonderful things to my breeding program.  STOP and be happy Marisa....lots to be thankful for!

Merry Christmas to you my friends.  Hug your family (and I mean your human and dog family).  Give them extra special stuff and thank them for always listening when you need an ear, giving you a paw to hold and excelling in whatever competition you choose.  For them, they don't care about ribbons or group placements or national finals.  They care about you, their owner.  They just want to make you happy every day.  That is truly something to be thankful for.
Kazi at work today with me
 oh, and cute costumes to dress them in.  I will forever be thankful for that.  I just can never get enough of it.  Never gets old....

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Be careful, your attitude is showing....even when you don't know it!

Alright, it has been a year since the last blog and you know what?  After this week's realization, There will be many more blogs, even if just to remind myself what I stand for in life and in the lives of my friends. 
Which brings me to the subject of this blog entry; attitude.  This word encumbers so much, not just your feelings on things, but the way other people perceive you and the way you treat others.  I once posted on my facebook:
"As an dog training instructor (agility and breed handling currently), whenever my students ask about other classes with other instructors I ALWAYS encourage them. I NEVER bash another instructor. Even if I do not like the person personally, I can always find something good to say about their instruction. And on the other hand, if I get a new student that has some issue (contacts, weaves, etc......) I NEVER tell them they had horrible instruction and now we have to fix it. Since when did it become okay to bad mouth others? I am really tired (and a bit hurt) to hear these stories. Instructors, please watch what you say about each other. It gets back to us and it makes us ALL look bad. (ok, stepping off my soap box.)"
It seems this post hit home with some people as I got comments like:
"That is a great reminder"
"I totally agree with this!"
"Well said.  I couldn't agree more."
You see, just a simple comment of, "Where did you learn THAT?" or "Who taught you how to weave?  Oh, that explains it,"  not only indirectly bashes the instructor, it makes the student feel that they have not only chose the wrong instructor but now may have ruined their entire agility career with that dog unless they work with this new instructor.  Even if they have had wonderful instruction or "breakthroughs" with their previous instructor, they may be hesitant to return to them in fear they will "piss off" the new instructor.  And then there is the "clicks".  A certain group of people go to a certain instructor and a relatively "new" students wants to fit in, therefore, now stays with this instructor in order to be in the "click" and fears going to a previous instructor because they do not want to lose "status" in the group.  And this isn't just agility, it is in all dog sports or any sport.
Let me approach this a different way.  I am going to use agility as this is where most of my experience lies.  There are the "big wigs" in the sport.  National Champions or World Team Members, local heroes that always seem to win the class, recent up and comers that seem to be taking the sport by storm or seasoned veterans that seem to always have a great dog and a new one coming up that seems to be equally or even better then their current dog.  We look up to them, we try in get into their seminars or classes.  We go to 3 day camps with their instruction.  Then we go to a show where they are and they couldn't be even bothered to say hello.  Or they are in an unapproachable bubble and their "devoted followers" are hanging on every word.  Maybe you are able to say, "great run!" and they give you a half hearted smile and say something like, "Well, of course." and walk away.  (btw, I speak from example.  these have all happened to me, and if they haven't to you, GREAT!)
Why, why, WHY?  I cannot understand that even as adults we feel this need to make people feel small and insignificant.  In high school kids can be cruel.  But adults?  It seems we have not outgrown this righteous attitude and it will show whenever given the chance.  It even happens at a local level.  How many times have you been sitting at a local trial and hear two people next to you commenting on every negative thing about a team as they run?  How many times was it YOU doing the commenting?  (yep, I am guilty, I admit it.)  Or there is the person who ONLY talks about HER dogs (his or her) and HER runs and how amazing HER dogs are and everyone else's dogs SUCK and that HER breeder is the ONLY one to go to and every other breeder and line has problems and oh yeah, her 18mo old dog IS going to be a world team member.  um, ok.....
People, due to it being Christmas Season and all, can we PLEASE make a pact to stop this malicious behavior?  Can we be kind?  Make an effort to stop making people feel small and try to build up everyone? 
Because of this behavior, I have may have lost something I truly love doing, teaching.  Am I the BEST?  NOPE.  Do I try to bring the best out of every team I instruct?  YEP.  Will you LOVE my instruction and never go to ANYONE ELSE?  maybe not.  I might not fit for you.  Does that mean I need to make you feel bad for leaving?  no.  And should your new instructor make you feel bad for your past?  NO NO NO. 
And then there are trials...can we try to clap for everyone?  Can we find one great thing in a run and tell a fellow compeitior how great it was?  "Awesome front cross between 4 &5!" 
And remember, this goes for all things....I teach agility and show handling, and it happens in the breed ring MORE THEN TOU KNOW.  So sad....
But, to show you the humanity in the world, there are some people who are gracious and kind.  Who are always smiling and there to offer a kind word or a gracious thank you.  There are local heroes and world team members and yes, even national champions who will tell you how awesome your weave pole entry was at some local trial.  I love that.  Yep, I love to be told how great my weave entry was.  Sorry, I am human.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It has been a while.....but...

I know, been a few months since I fault.  But...i write when I feel inspired, and this weekend I felt inspired. 
Tangy has been diagnosed with immune mediated poly arthritis.  Basically, her joints are being attacked by her body.  Without pred she is swollen and has trouble walking.  I am doing everything I can for her, and now bringing her to an autoimmune specialist vet.  I miss running her.  I miss training her.  There are so many things I now can say I take for granted.  I would give anything for a smooth run with a knocked bar now.  To watch her in pain and not be able to do what she loves the most kills me. 
Was at the springfield cluster this weekend where Rev (Tang's daughter) earned her NA with all firsts.  I am so proud.  She has been such a work in progress, nothing like her mother in work ethic.  Fast and a much betetr jumper but not serious.  She put her working cap on this weekend and got it done.  After 1 of my runs someone came up to me and said, "that is a Tang daughter, correct??"  Love that.  Another person asked where I got her from.  That is what people used to say when I ran Tang.  Yeah....Rev is looking like the dog I know she can be!
Then there is Kazi.  SHe came out of retirement to run as she is going to the agility invitational in 2 weeks.  She went 3 for 6 with most minor mistakes.  I am so proud of her at 9 years old to run like this.  She was diagnosed with her heart murmur over 3 years ago and is still running strong.  No, I don't run her much lately but she is happy to do whatever is asked of her.  As long as it is her idea...she is a chin first and foremost.  Here she is in the motorhome with Aijou waiting for her dinner.
And baby Hype!  He has a blast meeting his family.  Daddy Rush and brothers Bolt and Frisco.  What a crue.  And after watching all of them run, we have lots of training to do, and I am so excited to do it with him.  That pup makes me smile everyday.
Hype with Bolt

Daddy Rush and his sons, Fresco, Hype and Bolt

 and another
So that was my thanksgiving weekend.  Shawn came to cheer us on and we had a wonderful weekend.  I am thankful I have lots of dogs (12!) to love and be loved by.  I have been blessed to be able to run them in agility and have wonderful wins and just as wonderful misses.  Life is good.  I have my home and my friends.  what more can I ask for....maybe the 500million megga millions tonight?