Tuesday, July 3, 2012

More stuff to obsess about

Confession is good for the soul.

Yes. I — the bag lady —  am also the same person who at one time had 18 crates and 2 dogs. Although I feel this is perfectly normal, rational behavior since we all know how easy it is to accumulate crates. You need one for the van, the house, the motel, the show-site and the training building, at a minimum. Multiply that by multiple dogs and it can add up in a hurry. That explains why one of the empty bedrooms at our house is called “the dog crate room.”

I DID downsize crates several years ago. But I held on to most of my sheltie-sized crates because you never know. If my next dog is not a 24 or 26” Belgian, I would hate to have to go out and buy all new crates again. I may be crazy but I’m not stupid.

And Molly, I know your dilemma. I am entirely too familiar with thirtyone.com. One of my co-workers is also a Thirty-one salesperson. She knows I have an addictive personality when it comes to cute and adorable bags. She casually drops catalogs on my desk and walks away. She is an enabler. I love her.

Leashes. I love leashes. I love leather. I love latigo leather, fancy braided leather, bridle leather . . . oh here we go again. The only thing that’s keeping me from going off the deep end on buying expensive, fancy leashes is Phoenix. Leashes tend to end up in Phoenix’s mouth in the course of training. His mouth is full of teeth and this frequently does not end well for the leash.

Dumbbells. Oh Graydogz, do not get me started. Dumbbell-collecting trumps crates, leashes and bags. I agonized over finding the right size of dumbbell for my shelties, then went through it all again with Jamie. It was nothing short of a freakin’ miracle that one of Jamie’s many rejects (which I had carefully squirreled away) fit Phoenix perfectly. I called up J&J and had them make me another one with those measurements immediately, knowing that this perfectly sized dumbbell would somehow get lost or destroyed. That was 4 years ago. We’re still using the same one and the back-up dumbbell is in safe keeping.

So, have I found the perfect dog bag? That's such a philosophical question. Does such an item exist? At one time, I had the perfect dog bag. I wore it out. The zippers jammed, the fabric frayed, it looked like it had been through the wars. When I tried to replace it, they no longer made that style any more. Story of my life - I like something, they quit making it. 

My current dog bag is a microlite tote bag from LL Bean. It’s roomy, has excellent pocket distribution, good posture (doesn’t flop over when you set it down), nice long shoulder straps, is a dirt-resistant brown color and - this is so cool - has light blue interior lining so I can actually SEE what’s in the bag. I hate bags with black interiors. Sure, they don’t show dirt but I can never find anything unless it’s white. Which means I can always find Phoenix’s dumbbell and maybe an errant glove but nothing else.

In other news, we are apparently living in one of the seven rings of hell. We’re under an excessive heat warning until Saturday, when a “cool down” will bring temps below 90 and heat indices will only be in the mid to upper 90s, not the triple digit heat we’re looking at for the next 4 days. The humidity is stuck on "equatorial" with no change in sight.

I’ve switched training time to 6 a.m. and even at that, we only work for 10 minutes or less. Sometimes we train late in the evening, too, for 5 to 10 minutes. The heat is a blessing, in one respect, because it’s making me condense my training plans down to the very essence of what I want to achieve in a given session — no dawdling or messing around. 

Since 98% of my training is done outdoors, I could use the heat as an excuse not to train but the National Weather Service is calling for above normal temps for the entire month and I don't want to take that much time off. Besides, Phoenix and I are making progress on using play to build focus and drive, plus an understanding of jackpots, and I don't want to lose that momentum.


  1. Hahaha, I'm so glad it's not just me :) I have the crate fetish too. Two beardies and I must own 14 different crates. You've gotta have a crate for every occasion, right?

  2. ok, i officially hate you for mentioning 31.com. i had to google it. now i hate you. ;)

    and you and your crates? Mr. Wild Dingo used to go ballistic over the collars i always ordered and beds. OMG, BEDS. I hate really hard to clean beds so in CA, I finally got into just simple lambswool square mats that i could move around the house and clean by vaccume or by wash machine. then for the bed room at night, I got really nice "Buddy beds" that have really high thick therapeutic foam (they're at least 10" high/thick) and they have a water proof liner and the cover is super easy to wash or vaccume. I love those beds and they work great in the bedroom for sleeping at night. And that system worked GREAT for California. But now that I'm living here in CH, where the wash machine won't wash a lambswool dog bed (seriously breaks the machine) I needed to find a non-pourous bed i could wipe down after feeding raw bones in the winter when i feed them bones inside. So i found these awesome Rigi-beds. they made a "flat matt" and then some sort of bed with head rest. Mr. Wild dingo didn't even bother arguing. He's given up. They were Mega bucks too, worse than the Buddy Beds. i think they're leather or not. can't quite tell. but neither dog will eat them. so probably not. anyway, really easy to clean both for vaccuming hair or wiping down slobber or raw bone material. and if you have a dog that likes "soft" material, you can just buy a blanket and lay it in there. i bought both the types of beds (flat mat for bone eating and then the thicker one with head rest for lounging in my office). Loki loves his. Juno still prefers hard floor. but i bought these AFTER i had bought 2 MORE other flatish types of beds that I thought could be easy to clean by vaccume (at least for the hair, if not by wipe down). rolling eyes. only one of them is ok to vaccume, the other is impossible because the hair im-beds itself into the material of the cover. so those beds are useless. So to tally this is what I have in beds for TWO dogs:
    IN USE:
    2 Buddy Beds (mega huge not cheap)
    2 Rigi Beds leatherish with big head rests
    2 Rigi Matts which I only pull out for bone eating because neither dog really likes those beds
    2 regular down stuffed fleece beds in the livingroom, easy to vaccume because i can't use our machine to wash them.

    Not in use:
    2 black flat mat beds that I thought would be easy to vaccume. they're not.
    2 White Lambswool beds with old raw bone schmeg on them because I can't wash them in this machine.
    4 fleece flat beds with not much padding and got too schmegged with food/hair and can't be washed in this machine.
    2 more crate beds that are used in the crates when we travel in airplanes. do they count?

    Sigh. I miss my days of just being a 4-dog-bed house for just 2 dogs.

    OMG, i'm rambling about dog beds. save me.

  3. I'm a sucker for nice collars. Lyric's newest one cost $40. A fact my husband regularly points out since you can barely see it under her fur.

  4. Ha ha ha ha! I just came home from an agility trial a couple weeks ago with that little square tan bag with the white polka dots. Because it was NECESSSARY to have that bag to bring Bo's treats and water and little dish to the ringside area for easy access before and after his run. As the crating area is always in a different part of the building. And yes, I got complemented on it by several other dog people who thought it a clever idea and are probably going out and getting the very same sort of thing.

    But dog beds are my biggest weakness.