Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weaving In The Rain

This weekend was full of agility. I had a private lesson w/ Mary yesterday, and then went to open practice this morning. Yesterday, I wanted to work on distance and weaves stuff in preparation for the NADAC trial in a few weeks. We did a lot of little skill-building exercises that were really helpful. Cedar is in heat right now, so her brain isn't all there, but she really did well, considering. She's really coming into her own, that girl! She did some awesome distance work for me. I think we're starting to trust each other on course, which is nice.

I also worked a bit on the teeter, just because she's a bit unsure about it and I don't have one at home... so I take any chance I get to work on it. She was awesome. I'm hoping her teeter fears will soon be a thing of the past.

The one thing we're still having trouble with consistently is the weave poles. Cedar understands how to do them, and she likes them, but not as much as running really fast. The weaves take too much time... and she's a girl on the run, ya know? ;) So... needless to say, we still need to perfect that skill. Everyone I've talked to says it takes awhile to get super reliable weaves, so I'm not too worried, I guess :) It'll be nice having three months w/o trials after the NADAC trial in November to work on stuff before starting back up next February. I'd like to have solid teeter and weave pole performance before starting AKC trials.

I just KNOW we're going to be awesome someday :)

Today at practice, being Halloween and all, Mary had a costume contest for everyone that was there. Almost every dog had a costume. This year, Cedar was a cow.

She didn't win the contest, but she sure looked cute! I don't think Cedar was terribly impressed, though ;)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Crab, Zucchini, Herbs and Garlic

I have never made stuffed squash before, but after a successful zucchini stuffing experience a few weeks ago, combined with a sale on acorn squash at my local grocery store, I decided to give it a try.

It was delicious!

This would be a great dish to serve at a dinner party because it's delicious, versatile, impressive looking and--best of all--super easy to make. I'd recommend giving it a try, even if you're wary of squash or stuffed foods. It's a wonderfully rich, complex, and savory blend of flavors.

Doesn't that look good? All creamy and crispy and just... yum!

Another great thing about this recipe is its flexibility. You could technically use almost any combination of vegetables you have on hand. A little onion, bell pepper, or even cauliflower would be delicious in this recipe.

As is, this recipe serves two people (one half of a squash for each person). This is a VERY hearty portion,however, and I think two people with lighter appetites could split a half and be very satisfied. This would be great with a green salad and/or a cup of soup. A perfect fall meal!


1 acorn squash, halfed lengthwise
1 can crab meat (or about 3/4 cup, if you want to use fresh)
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
1 medium-sized yellow squash, diced
1-2 mushrooms, both caps and stems, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Garlic salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons butter
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
A dash of dill
A dash of thyme


1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds to form two "bowls." Place cut side up in a clear baking dish. If you want, you could brush the squash lightly with a mixture of good quality olive oil and sea salt, but it's not necessary.

2) Dice up your zucchini, yellow squash, mushroom and garlic. Make sure to cut them up fairly finely.

3) Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Sautee the veggies in the butter until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add herbs, lemon juice and spices. Remove from heat.

4) Open can of crab, drain, and place meat in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add cream cheese and veggie mixture and stir to combine. Make sure cream cheese is integrated thoroughly. Add grated parmesan and bread crumbs. Mix to combine all ingredients. Add more herbs, salt and pepper, etc. to taste.

5) About now, your oven should be preheated. With a spoon, pile the stuffing mixture into each of the squash "bowls." Really heap it on there; you will have plenty of stuffing, make sure you use it all :)

6) Cover the pan with foil and cook for 45 minutes.

7) Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the squash is tender.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Park It Like It's Hot

Cedar's in heat right now, and while Moss doesn't really seem to know what's going on, he knows that SOMETHING is up and has been wandering around the house whining and softly barking to himself all day.

It was driving me nuts, so I decided to take both dogs to the park near my house to burn off some steam.

Moss looks calm, but he's really just sulking because I yelled at him for circling around the car instead of standing politely by the door to be let in.

Almost ready to remove the leashes...

As soon as I took off his leash, Moss was all business, as usual. I feel like I've taken this same shot about a thousand times now. :-P

Cedar is a little less intense about it, but she was ready to go as well.

Aaaaaaand they're off!

Fetching FAIL. Good job, Moss.

My favorite picture of the day:

Cartoon Moss sez: "Chuckitz have my heart."

Could Cedar be cuter? Seriously. <3

Caption this photo:

Happy Tails!

Wordless Wednesday: The Modern Pastoral

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I just entered Cedar in her/my/our very first agility trial... ever.

We will be running all three days (Nov 12-14) at the BARC NADAC trial in Caldwell, Idaho... 17 runs in all.


I'm excited and nervous, but confident. I know we can do this. We've been training on World Team courses, for goodness sakes :) I know that the trial will present its own set of challenges. I honestly can't wait.

Neither can Cedar :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Blog Hop/ Somebody's In Trouble...

See this face?

This is the face of somebody who has been up to NO GOOD.

Today, at Petco, Moss PEED on a stack of 40 lb bags of Science Diet!!!! AND... he did it when I wasn't looking. While we were walking. That requires some talent I suppose.

Aside from being impressed by his apparently refined palate, I was pretty pissed off.

So to speak.

Bad dog, Moss! I don't know what got into him. He's never done anything like that before. That sucker hasn't given me a reason to doubt his housetrained-ness until now. What a loser. >:O

Also, it's time for the Saturday Pet Blog Hop!

Friday, October 22, 2010

New giveaway soon... details to come!

Check back in the next few days for details on our next giveaway!

Moss thanks you.

A few more outtakes from today :-P

See ya later!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back to the Future... or Blast from the Past?

Sorry I've been MIA this week... I've been really busy with school and life and stuff. But I'm back! Today, I'd like to talk about dog shows. :)

Me, age eleven, at my first 4-H show with my toy poodle, "Raven."

I was going through an awkward phase. Shut up. ;)

This past weekend was my local kennel club's annual fall dog show cluster. I've attended this show every year since I was eleven years old, and it has a special place in my heart. I've also done really well at those shows almost every year. :-P

For those that don't know, dog shows were basically my entire life when I was a teenager. I traveled around the country, showing in junior showmanship and breed competition, handling my own dogs (Brittanys) as well as many other dogs for other people. I had quite a bit of success, and a whole lot of fun. I made many friends, most of which I am still in contact with today.

I didn't start off that successful. My first show dog, "Madison," was a schitzoid Belgian Tervuren that was afraid of her own shadow. Through a lot of hard work and dedication, I finally got to where I could show her, but she still wasn't that into it.

Here's a photo of me as a kid and "Madison," showing at my club's dog shows:

Eventually, after struggling for a few years, I hooked up with the right people that let me get experience showing dogs that weren't afraid of the ring. I did some nice winning and it gave me the confidence to start showing in junior showmanship. Yada yada yada... I ended up with a gorgeous Brittany puppy a few years later. His name is Dante.

I went to quite a few shows as a teenager. My "main man" was Dante. Now, he lives in retirement with my parents, and is spoiled and very happy :). Dante and I were very successful together, becoming the #1 Brittany Junior Handler in the country and the #14 Brittany conformation dog in the country at the same time. Here's a photo of us at a "real" show, winning Best of Breed over more than 30 other Brittanys:

One of us showing at Westminster in NYC:

And a few years later, winning Best Adult Handler at a local match show:

I've been away from conformation showing for the past few years for a couple reasons, but mainly time and money. It's hard to travel to shows when you have real world responsibilities!

But anyways... I digress. Last weekend, I got the opportunity to show two dogs for friends at our local show. I had a great time, and even got the opportunity to show a friend's Norwegian Elkhound in the hound group! It felt great to be back in the group ring again... and we made the cut down to the top 6 one day. Not too shabby for a non-champion female in a group full of professional handlers and top 10 dogs! It was really fun to see all my old friends that I haven't been around in a long time. I'm glad they all remembered my name :)

I guess there's really not much point to this post, other than to reminisce a bit about something that meant... and still means a whole lot to me. Some people might dislike or misunderstand dog shows, but please remember that the vast majority of people involved truly love their dogs.

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