Sunday, March 15, 2009

Life as the Serenity Prayer

Hello Friends!

We send you muddy greetings from the mountain where spring has not quite made an appearance. We have warmer temperatures and so the snow is slowly turning to mud, which is quite the mess but I choose to see all that mud as a hopeful sign that better weather is around the corner! Thank heavens for our old 4 wheel drive truck – Trusty Rusty.

There is much to report. First, great job to Molly (age 13) and her Kaibab dog, Fiona, who recently completed two agility titles and also won a competitive juniors class yesterday! We send good wishes to Riley (from the A Litter) who has to have surgery for a torn cruciate later this week, and also to Luna (from the B Litter) who is on the mend from pneumonia.

My Dear Husband, Kim, spent over a week here recently. He came two days early, bursting through the front door to surprise me and almost gave me a heart attack! It was great to have him here, and we have made an offer on a house! Please think good thoughts for us – you know how many things can go wrong in that process. If all looks promising, I will share pictures and details but I do not want to jinx it too early – let me just say I LOVE it.

And so yes, that means I am settled on staying here in Montana. I love my job and the people I work with, and I love Montana and so while I will miss Utah, I do not have to give up my friends and the other things that make Utah so special to me.

The dogs are all well. We are really working hard to get ready for the Specialty, and I am happy with our progress. One thing that has helped me is to concentrate on what I can do given the limitations I have (i.e., mud, ice, no flat training area). This is a terrible place to train for obedience and agility, although I do my best, but it is a great place to train for tracking. And so I have four dogs that are actively getting ready for spring tracking tests, and I have lowered my expectations for obedience.

This ability to accept what is and adapt to it is not always easy for me, but I appreciate the opportunity to practice this important life skill. In Utah I could not reasonably train for the Tracking Dog Excellent tests because it requires large amounts of open space and aging tracks for 2 – 3 hours. That meant driving far away and sitting in the car twiddling my thumbs while the tracks aged. On the other hand, in Montana I just lay tracks around where I live and so waiting the few hours before they can be run is easy – I just do other stuff at home. My life has had so much upheaval lately and so this tracking lesson helps me in other ways – accepting limitations, maximizing strengths, and not trying to make things happen that just can’t (like driving the van to the house, for example ;).

And now for pictures! Noah is helping to raise his fourth generation of puppies -- he started with Abra, and then Maize, and then Cadi and now Sydney...

These are pictures that I took this morning. We had a light dusting of snow and so when I walked Maize, Sydney, Zoey and Faith I took the camera to get some pictures. We start with Sydney -- you can see she is growing some legs!

Zoey suddenly decided to do the teeter, even though she has not ever done it! In a split second I had to decide whether to race over and save her or take a picture -- I took the picture :)

This is Zoey, not bothered at all from her first teeter experience. Isn't she pretty?

This is also Zoey.

And here is a series of pictures of Zoey with a toy -- she loves to run and be chased and used the toy to lure the other girls to chase after her.

And here we have two pictures of Mrs. Maize...

Finally, here is Faith running at me and looking rather possessed! She continues to be a sweet, good natured girl in spite of how she looks in this picture.

Thanks for checking in with us. I hope you are mud free but that if not, you will also see it as a sign of good things to come.


  1. It must be such a HGE relief to have come to a decision about where you'll be living!!! I'm so glad for you, and all fingers crossed.

    The dogs look wonderful -- I look forward to seeing them in Portland.

    Just to make you feel better, here in the Pacific Northwest where we are supposed to be having daffodils, in fact it is now snowing -- big harmless flakes, but snowing nevertheless.

    Spring WILL come.

    Susan and Djinn

  2. So good to hear from you! Mrs. Maize looks very regal sitting there, looking over her prodigy. :D

    Look forward to hearing how things turned out regarding "the" house. Fingers & Paws Crossed!