Thursday, January 08, 2009

I would like to introduce you to a dear friend of mine. Not only is she a talented artist who specializes in cats and dogs but she is a fellow Carolina ACD R&R founding member. I met Janet Broome when I was desperately searching for some training information so that I could handle my new rambunctious puppy Jake. Janet came to MY rescue since she has a blue female named Pepper who is much like my Jake. Not long after meeting, Janet asked permission to paint some of my photographs of my Oriental Shorthairs Oberon and Willow. I was completely flattered that she liked my photographs enough to want to paint them. I love unpacking her portraits of my cats painted on porcelain for her art booth at dog shows – each time I notice something new and special about them.

Not long after starting our own Australian Cattle Dog Rescue, Janet began painting the faces of our foster dogs. She began with Curry, our first red male foster. Curry’s eyes draw you to look over your own shoulder to see what he’s watching. His eyes look alive and moist.

Since Janet still had red paints on her palette, she next tackled painting Piper, a red female we rescued from a shelter in Georgia. Piper’s smiling face reaches out to grab you from her portrait, a reflection of her happiness in her Forever Home. I’m tempted to reach out to pet her whenever I see it.

With so many fosters as subject matter, Janet decided to go back to the beginning and paint one of our first male fosters, Jack. Jack’s easy-going nature is appearing out of the canvas as Janet paints not only the dog but the personality. Jack is a work in progress but I wanted to share his painting halfway completed anyway.

Janet took a break from painting the foster dogs to paint a commission for friends of ours. Indy’s portrait is so realistic that my first impression was that I was viewing the photo Janet uses for her reference.

Janet is not only an artist of the heart but she is self-taught. I am in awe of her portraits and look forward to each and every one. I’d love to buy them all myself and have my walls be covered floor to ceiling in cattle dogs. If you’ve ever wanted to capture that something special about your pet, Janet can do it. From just a few photos, this talented lady can produce a timeless gift that you’ll treasure always. You’ll also be helping our rescue because Janet will be donating a percentage of the commission to Carolina ACD R&R. Feel free to contact me at or Janet at for her current pricing list.

You can view more of her art on her website:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Recipe for making one ticked off cattle dog:

One muddy, rain-soaked yard
One bright red poinsettia
One fairly clean agility jump
Bait bag full of tasty turkey treats
Piles of slick dead leaves
One set of doggy reindeer antlers

Set up plant and jump in back yard trying desperately not to fall down or allow your dog to nose dive in the piles of leaves or roll in the tempting mud. Entice your dog to sit in front of said plant and jump. Use your WAIT command. Treat. Pull out antlers and slip on dog's head. Quickly take picture.

Treat and take second picture. Ignore husband as he pulls up in the driveway and mutters, "That poor dog!" Treat.

Decide your dog looks way too unhappy and take the antlers off. Treat. Treat again just because you owe him big time.

Keep taking pictures and doling out treats until your dog waves at you to stop.

Treat and then practice some agility on the jumps so you didn't drag them out for just pictures. It's makes your dog happier and dumps you in the mud and leaves on your butt which makes your hubby laugh hysterically and your dog feel like justice has been served.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jake’s agility run was a disaster of Olympian proportions. I don’t even know where to begin. We began the day early by getting there at 7:30 AM to get Jake measured and confirm that he is indeed that short of a cattle dog. We headed home since we don’t live that far away and I spent some time playing ball and practicing his contacts on his practice board at home. I did laundry, answered rescue e-mails, and knitted more on a baby blanket – anything to try NOT to be nervous. My hubby Joe and I headed back to the agility trial at 2 PM so I could watch some of the other folks run and in case the trial was running ahead of schedule. The trial was running ahead of schedule so I set up Jake’s crate, mapped out a game plan for the Novice A Fast course with my teacher Mary, and practiced on the warm-up jump. Jake was fairly calm with none of his usual goose-honking I’m-cuckoo-for-agility singing. I should have known he was just saving up for his public exhibition.
I walked the course with my teacher at my side and felt fairly confident that I could handle the route we chose (you can choose your own route in FAST to accumulate the most points).

I grabbed Jake and we stood in line to run. We were fifth, jumping in the 12” height. I took Jake out to his starting spot, placed him in a beautiful sit/stay, and walked out to past the second jump. Jake began looking over his shoulder at anyone but me. When I caught his eye I yelled “Jump” racing for the third and fourth jumps as fast as my little legs would carry me. Jake nailed those first two jumps, blew on by me and began zooming and zooming and zooming. I can normally get him into the tunnels and finally did get him in the yellow tunnel which is followed by the dogwalk. Jake chose to run beside me instead of taking the dogwalk. Halfway down the length of the dogwalk and at the portion that is as high as my shoulders, Jake thought, “Oh, bleep, Mom told me to get on the dogwalk” and he leaped straight up in the air. All I can say is thank goodness he didn’t make it because I wouldn’t have wanted to see that injury. About this time, the judge blows two whistles (code for Get your dog and get the heck off the course). I would have loved to have grabbed Jake but he was again zooming around the course AND out the gate to go buzz some other innocent canine bystanders. Nothing is better than hearing “Will someone grab that dog?” over the intercom and it’s YOUR dog behaving like you’ve never put a lick of training on him. I’m not really sure if I’m the one who caught him but I wasn’t breathing real well at that point so there wasn’t enough oxygen in my brain to recall that part of it with any certainty. My classmates and my teachers all came out to hug me and try to get some blood back in my face. I'd like to thank them immensely for not running and hiding and for being seen in public with me. Jake got some water and some crate time until my teacher was done running her dogs. She called me over to see Jake’s score of an 8. Wow. An 8. The only dogs that got lower than Jake were the dogs that didn’t show up.

My teacher Mary asked me to work with Jake on the practice jumps again so we could work together instead of it being the Jake Circus Hour. Our goal was to work some randomness into practicing the jump by my treating him with the hotdog pieces at random points in running and jumping. Random is right. Randomly, Jake takes off at a dead run straight for some Shelties playing frisbee. The owner of the two very well-trained Shelties called her dogs to her. Jake took a wide loop run around them and headed back to me. I had to hand Captain Insano over to my husband at this point because I knew the next intercom announcement was going to be “Will someone grab that lady and make HER leave the area?” After delivering some tugs to folks who had ordered them, I got in my car with my wet, muddy lunatic boy (did I mention he ran through the sprinkler and stopped, dropped and rolled?) and headed home. There are no pictures and no video of this historic occasion because everyone was too busy trying to catch Jake and he was too fast anyways. The only proof I have of the day is the armband and some red clay pawprints on my jeans. I’m not angry at Jake but I so was NOT expecting that thrilling of show for the audience since he’s been doing so well in class and rarely zooms anymore. I’ve gotta go give him a bath and get that red clay out before he rubs it all over the couch….

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Lending a Paw to TVCDR

On Sunday, two friends and I headed to Tennessee Valley Cattle Dog Rescue ( to lend a hand with their foster dogs. I got there first and spent a good thirty minutes getting licked by Shadow before someone came looking for me.

I love Shadow's delicate head and sweet disposition:

First up on the agenda for the day was vaccinating and dosing with Frontline and Ivermectin. We began with Katie, the girl that Michael pulled on Saturday from the Ringgold shelter. Despite her nasty-looking spay incision, she was a cuddler from the moment we got her out of her crate. All she wanted to do was climb in Kristina's lap (and try to sneak in licking her incision since the e-collar was off temporarily).


Some of the dogs needed their claws trimmed as well and we all know how much ACDs love to have their claws trimmed! Here's Taz and his team of wranglers trimming his front paws:

Many of the dogs needed pictures for their Petfinder listings so I got busy trying to get their ears up and make them ignore the camera:


Jack (adopted while we were there!):

Skip (surprised us all by begging):

Roscoe (shy and dirty from playing with Star):

Scrappy (starting to lose some weight):

After a yummy steak lunch thanks to our friend with the portable grill, all hands were on deck to put up some new kennel runs in the barn (I have kennel envy -- those were such lovely kennels). Meanwhile, potential adopters that had already had their home visit came to pick out a dog with their toddler girl. Jack grabbed their hearts and Jack went home a happy boy! We ended the evening by walking all of dogs and loving on them all.

Oh, where's Jake, you ask? He was at Crowder's Mountain (near Gastonia) hiking with his daddy! He's still very glad to have his mommy back home!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jake's New Friend

I wasn't planning on giving Jake one of my ACDRA stuffed cattle dogs but he spotted it and he HAD to have it. He jumped clear off the floor and got it from my shoulder where I stuck it for safe keeping. Luckily, I ordered four so I guess Jake can have one.

Introducing Jake's new buddy:

Let's go for a walk:

Don't worry, buddy, I'll make sure no one hurts you:

Let's rest in the pretty, non-poisonous weeds for a bit:

This is a great fundraiser for ACDRA (Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association). I've been wanting these stuffed ACDs but didn't want to pay some toy store $13 for one. Paying $9.99 AND it benefits ACDRA is awesome! You can visit their website at and order some for yourself!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Knitting: A New Source of Humiliation for Jake

Taking our winter break from agility was too much empty time so my friend Elizabeth and I took knitting classes for fun. Fun. Hmmm, once we stop crying and pulling our hair out, I'm sure we can label it as fun. Until then, our Type A personalities are trying to figure out this whole knitting thing and not giving up easily! We've got scarves downpat and are branching out into wraps and baby blankets. I've even bought yarn to attempt my first sweater! I needed a model for my red scarf and Jake's the only animal in our house that would hold still for modeling.