27 June 2008

"...and sometimes you're the hydrant."

Day 2 at the dog show wasn't too spectacular. In fact, let's not talk about it. We also won't talk about Tuchuck's having to go to a local vet for an x-ray because he appeared to have eaten a battery and a chapstick... Which, luckily, he did not. But, yeah, let's not talk about that.

We had thought to cut out of the dog show early and hit a trail today, but, given the unexpected turn of events, we didn't think we'd make it. Even if hours had allowed, the human did not seem to be in the mood to enjoy the outdoors with us. BUT, as we all know, he's a big softie, and he decided to squeeze some hours out of the day.

We eventually got out onto the Tin Cup Creek Trail just southwest of Darby, MT, passing into the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness. The late spring thaw has all the rivers around here running super high and strong, and Tin Cup was no exception. We didn't figure to hike that much of the 20-mile (out and back) trail that leads to what we hear are the astounding peaks of El Capitan and the Lonesome Bachelor, plus the Como Peaks. Instead, we only went as far as the first river crossing (of three), just three miles out. The guide book warned about the river crossings this time of year, and it was correct! That was one raging creek! Glad we didn't have to cross it. But it was nice to clean our muddy paws in the cold, clear water... Plus it was pretty. :)

22 June 2008

A Good Day

We've had a pretty good day--in spite of the human. :) We'll cut him a break, he did bring us out here afterall. Well, today was day 1 of the big dog show here in Missoula, and we arrived late, of course, an embarrassment the human constantly subjects us to. Turns out, Narra was supposed to have been first in the ring, but we missed her turn. The judge was kind enough to take her, but she had to go in right away, no warm up or anything. What does she do? Perform like a champ! No choking, no second-guessing, no anxieties of any sort, "only" a third place in a very competitive Open B obedience class! Not bad. :)

Our big news, though, is Tuchuck--he finished his Rally Novice title in three shows!!! Who woulda thunk it?! The human was exhausted and humiliated (he deserved it) but so relieved! Tuchuck will need to train a lot more before he goes back into the ring again! In the meantime... paging Dr. Ethel, Tuchuck RN is ready to assist you...

So what's the pictures you ask? Our celebration! We got to go to the dog park!!! We made more cool friends as usual and had a super time. Our human really liked Xray, an 11-year old aussie-lab (far left in the above picture) that reminded him a lot of Rousseau (more about him to come!). Much better than a stupid dog show, if you ask us.

Here's Tuchuck's new little friend Button. She's only 4-months old.
And here's Narra with Button's brother Gus.
And here's us on the University of Montana campus that adjoins the dog park. We walked around a bit just to dry off from the river. Did we mention we love it here?!

21 June 2008

Bittersweet in the Bitterroot

We'll miss you, Boone--have a great life!!! Even though we weren't there to say goodbye in person, we were there in spirit (and have been since we left on our roadtrip). Boone's adopters drove all the way from Florida to come pick him up! We think that's a great start. Actually, we heard from them already, and things are going great. Boone is already being spoiled, feeling quite at home, and even his new sister Sadie thinks he's okay. It'll be hard to get home and not have him there, but we know he's moved on to a great new home with people who love him. We love you, too, Boone!

12 June 2008


We love Montana's Crazy Mountains--the "Crazies," just like us! But this year's trip has had its "adventures." Well, the cold and rain persisted, and our time at the national forest Ibex Cabin, was pretty much a washout. We got out on the Cottonwood Creek trail the first day, but the trail was really muddy, and the rain continued. You think it was better back at the cabin? Nope.

Adventure #1: as soon as we arrived, the van got stuck about a foot deep in mud. Aaargh! We were trapped; no forest ranger, no people, no cell phone, nothing--no way out. Long story short: we finally got towed out of the forest, but it was late at night, and we were well behind schedule by then. Oh, and did we mention the unexpected 10 inches of snow?!
Adventure #2: a little "road rock" incident was apparently aggravated by the weather. What started as a little chip in the middle of the windshield grew into two huge fissures. The cracks grew so quickly that they now almost reach the opposite edges of the windshield. Our internet access tonight is due only to the fact that we're having the windshield replaced in the morning, so are spending the night in town at a hotel. (That's okay, the human could use the warmth and a good shower.)

Adventure #3: We saved the "best" for last... Tuchuck was almost swept away by the Blackfoot River!!! On our way north (to Glacier NP), we stopped at a little riverside campground to run around. As far as we know, Tuchuck had never experienced a raging river before. He tried to emulate big sis Narra but went in too deep. The current quickly swept him up and started to carry him away. The human FREAKED OUT. He jumped into the river quickly enough to grab Tuchuck by the collar and pull him back to land. Luckily, the river hadn't taken Tuchuck too far out or too deep (though it may have taken a few years of the human's life away). Whew.

We can only hope that the rest of our adventures aren't so adventuresome.

08 June 2008

Bridger Bowl

Have we mentioned that it's been raining since we got to Montana? Have we also mentioned that it's COLD?! (We wish we could share these temps with our friends back East who are sweltering... sorry, guys.) Even the locals out here aren't too pleased by spring's late arrival. We experienced an unexpected benefit of the season, however: snow!!!

After the agility trial, the human took us up to the Bridger Bowl ski area to get our yayas out. (He knows we go nuts if we don't get to run every day--and he doesn't like us nuts.) We were very excited to discover that we didn't have to go very high up before we reached snow. Lots and lots of snow! It was sleeting, though, and the human got kinda soaked. Still, we got to run, and that's all that matters, isn't it?

We got ribbons!

Okay, okay, we're not ones to brag, but we do have to let everyone know how proud the human is of our performance this weekend. :) What you need to note in our picture is the proliferation of ribbons! To be exact: Narra added two blues and one white, while Tuchuck got his very first green ribbon (actually, he earned one at his first show, but the human doubted him so didn't pick it up). If you're wondering what green means, in AKC shows, it signifies a "Q," a qualifying (or passing) score. Three Qs, and you earn a title. This Q for Tuchuck means he only needs one more for his first title: Rally Novice (RN after his name--are you ready, Ethel?!)

We really enjoy this annual trial held by the Gallatin Dog Club, and not just because we do well. :) It's a really fun time with lots of nice people. Oh, yeah, the mountains aren't so bad either.

Here's our friend Kody whom we met last year. He's already 18mos old and participating in his first trial.

And here's our tent by the ring. You can see that Narra is well behaved, but do you see that little white face in the closed crate? Hm, wonder who that is secured in there?! :)

Dogs gone wild

We're always finding things to like about Montana! Bozeman's great; it's beautiful, the people are nice, and there's lots of outdoors stuff to do. BUT we discovered something new: a dog park!!! We were directed there by a nice woman at Barkenhowell's pet supply and bakery; she said it was fun, and she was right! While there weren't tons of dogs to run around and play with, there was tons of room to run--which is what we needed. Not to mention beautiful views. The offleash park is on Peets Hill and overlooks Bozeman. Pretty nice.

We should mention, however, that the weather has kinda sucked since we've been here: thunderstorms when we arrived, and rain on and off since then. We've also had moments of slushy rain/sleet, too, punctuated with fleeting sunshine. Crazy. It's raining as we speak, and the human decided to excuse us from the agility trial today. Hopefully, the weather will let up, and we can still get out there and do something fun.

BTW, we should also mention that we drop off the power grid tomorrow! Kinda cool, right? We check out of civilization in the morning and head up to a cabin in the Crazy Mountains (our fave!). Then we head up the north fork of the Flathead River to Glacier National Park. We're going to climb Tuchuck (the mountain, not the border collie)! Anyway, for the next few weeks we'll be without electricity, cell signal, and internet! Yikes. How will we survive?!

Where are we???

We actually have an excuse for the human's blogging slacker-ness: after all his work (finally) got done, we had to hit the road! We spent three days driving to make it to Bozeman, MT on time for an agility/obedience trial. This year is our third in a row to come out here. This time, though, we're only Narra and Tuchuck. Jacks has stayed home to rest his bones, and the human's parental units were super great to take care of both him and Boone.

Side note: Boone is getting adopted!!! He's moving to a wonderful new home in Florida, and his new family is driving all the way up to Philly to get him! How cool is that? While the human did think it was cool, we said a sad goodbye before leaving home. Boone will be leaving before we get back (otherwise he woulda come along). :( Have a great life, Boone--we'll miss you!!!

Anyway, the drive out here wasn't so bad. We had some rest stop fun... :)

02 June 2008


Wow, two posts within minutes... we're on a roll. (Actually, it seems the human can't stop procrastinating...)

We had a houseguest recently that we feared might become a permanent fixture. You may or may not know that our boy can be a little "easy" when it comes to dogs in need. As it turned out, a very handsome, 11-month old, black German Shepherd Dog named Onyx showed up at the SPCA last week. Initially, the shelter folks thought Onyx would be a problem (aggression), but that turned out to be completely unfounded. He did, however, seem to have a high grade heart murmur. Enter our hero: yes, our lovely human brought Onyx home, scheduled with the cardiologist for the next morning, and generally opened up his heart (and our house!) to the youngster. To make a long story short, the cardiologist found no heart murmur, nothing wrong with the heart whatsoever, and decreed that Onyx was healthy enough to be neutered (!) and to be adopted out.

Looked like we had a houseguest for the weekend at least--but now he's gone to someone else's house... :)

Time to fly

Okay, yes, it has been a looooong time since we've posted--we'd apologize for the human, but he's sorta constantly sorry regardless, so what would be the point? Anyway, lots going on, hard to keep track of it all. We think we'll do this in little spurts so as not confuse our boy. (Incidentally, he is procrastinating as we speak, so we figured we'd make him update the blog while he's at it.)

The first news we'd like to share is that Narra finished an AKC agility title a couple weeks back. (We're not terribly thrilled by it because we think it was long overdue... but we'll take the ribbon. :) She came in second that day, btw.) So she continues to add letters after her name. This particular title comes in a class called Novice Preferred, so the letters are NAP (Novice Agility - Preferred). Um, we'd like to know if she can really call herself a novice after doing this for almost three years? Hee hee. Okay, okay, we know the human is a terrible handicap. :)

More to come in our next procrastination break...