Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cold Week

 Our first really cold winter days arrived this week - well, it is almost February after all and that seems to be our coldest but shortest month.

The waters of Lake Huron are actually warmer than the air so, in front of the background clouds over Canada, mist is rising from the lake. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

This is our first real snow this winter and it actually is picture perfect. The roads are mostly clear because dairy farmers have to get the milk down to the big cities regardless.

Even so, the Icelandic Sheepdogs love this kind of weather - though none of my dogs has been to Iceland, there seems to be some innate connection to the cold and snow and ice. They can't seem to get enough of it. The only way to take a snap shot of the outdoors without them stealing the show is to have them inside while I'm outside. And why would I do that? Deprive them of what they love? Uh uh. Nope!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Weekend Rally Trial

 My gang of Icelandic Sheepdogs went to a two day weekend Rally Trial hosted by the Companion Dog Training Club of Flint. There were two trials, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, on Saturday and two more on Sunday. Winter trials are always risky because the weather in Michigan can change in a heartbeat but dawn rose rose beautifully both days so I was very happy about that.

Gas prices at my usual gas station stop were great on Saturday and even three cents cheaper on Sunday. (I mean honestly it seems like bottled water is more expensive than gas - perhaps I'm exaggerating.) 

On Saturday the afternoon trial lasted until dark; the drive home was problematic - I was concerned about driving in the dark in deer country. I've never hit a deer; but one hit the side of my car and I've had a few very near misses - so I am concerned about driving at night or early in the morning. I decided that on Sunday I would not go to the afternoon trial. I warned the four footed fur kids that they'd better do OK in the morning on Sunday. And they did. Do good. Actually much better than good. They weren't the problem, I was. Ha!

Kit, Tryggur, and Watson were all entered in the four trials. In Rally a score of 70 or above qualifies you toward the title. You need three qualifying scores to earn a title. The novice title is the first rally title. All three dogs qualified in all three trials we entered and actually showed in. We earned three fourth places, two third places, and one second place with our scores, They each earned their Rally Novice title and that, the RN, will now appear along with their names on their AKC  records. Tryggur did very good on Sunday morning - I think he might have had a perfect score on Sunday but his handler, yep - me, missed a sign and lost points. He is never going to let me forget that.

Kit was very proud of how her fur family did.

Saturday's two trials were judged by Amedee DeCruydt Jr. who offered me some great advice; Sunday morning's trial was judged by Elizabeth Wells.

Amedee DeCruydt Jr. (right)

Instructor Terry (r) with the Rally Guide Book

Instructor Terry

I clung to Terry and Anna, my two instructors where I train at All Dogs Can in Lapeer, Michigan for their much appreciated advice and help. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Icelandic Sheepdog Litter 2015

 These Icelandic Sheepdog "pups" are from my litter in 2015 and will turn eight years old soon.

In alphabetical order - and I'm limiting myself to just two photos each, very hard to do. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.



Lizzie (Elisabeth)




Kippa Jane

Kippa Jane

Tully Lulu

Tully Lulu

Vinlands Bangsi

 I just heard from "my" Icelandic Sheepdog Vinlands Bangsi living now with Courtney & Jeff  who also sent along some great photos of him. I love hearing from Kit's siblings and Totty's pups. 

That was a great litter! Bangsi's littermates are Elisabeth, Gunnar, Kippa Jane, Kit, and Tully Lulu. The "pups" will turn eight on February 15.  Their parents are Kross Gola Kelinn and Vinlands Totty.

Good morning,

It has been quite a while since I sent Bangsi updates. I saw that you have had a couple of litters of Icelandics in the last few years. It was nice to see pictures of Bangsi's nieces and nephews! 
Bangsi is still super energetic, loving, smart, and, of course, just a bit sassy. He likes to camp, hike, play frisbee, and chase squirrels. He does not care for delivery trucks or car rides. He is gentle with our friends' children and also glad to see them go home at the end of visits. He seems to have an internal clock because he sits by the back door waiting for play time at the same time every day and gets fussy when it rains because he doesn't like to play in the wet. 
Here are some photos of our little trouble maker. Hoping you are well and enjoying your Michigan winter!

Courtney, Jeff, and Bangsi

Here are recent photos: -
(Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

And three additional favorites of mine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Last Days of December 2022

 It has been wonderful to hear from the families where "my" dogs live. The short daylight days are over; from now on the days will get longer for which I am grateful. That, in my opinion, is most likely why our distant ancestors celebrated the winter solstice to comfort them during the long winters ahead with the future arrival of better days.

Here are some recent photos. My lone Christmas tree, some special outdoor Christmas trees after three days of gale force winds and blowing snow that are decorated by nature. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

For the first time a Pine Siskin arrived at my feeders. Normally they remain sequestered inside pine forests. I hope it's OK and will survive the winter in the exposed yard. I have always known that prey birds like hawks have fed on the smaller birds that come to my feeders. The circle of life. The other day I say a swiftly flying bird, artfully navigating the twists and turns of my yard trying to get a smaller bird. I did not see the result - until later. The dogs brought back the remains of a mourning (morning?) dove - just its skeleton and wings. I rescued the remains from my dogs - I know when they actually manage successfully to devour the remains of other birds because in the middle of the night they throw up the feathers and some bones - on my bed. That used to upset me. Now I wait until morning to clean things up. Easier to do when things have dried out a bit. Yucky, maybe, but truthful.

The different shades of blue in the waters of Lake Huron after the recent storm - 

I have tons of flowers outside in my yards in the spring, summer, and fall, even the late fall. To compensate for the lack of the same in the winter I try to find orchids that flower in the winter, are small enough to sit in front of the windows, and smell lovely. It often takes them a couple of years to fit into my home and feel comfortable enough to flower. I've lost the name tag for the first one below (the first three photos). Regardless, it's still very nice. The second one (the last photo) is very old, has been divided many times and some of the new ones have been shared with friends (and they have flowered for them too). It's supposed to flower in the winter but here it flowers all year. What luck!!

The orchids come from Logee's Greenhouses.