Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simply The Best!!!

For once, I'm not talking about myself.

I'm referring to Mango and all his Group Judges who put so much time and effort into making Mango Minster 2010 the event of the season. Such excitement, such camaraderie and such generosity with the wonderful prizes.
And let's give some high five paws to Niamh's mom for sponsoring the Train Your Dog Photo Contest. What a wonderful idea and one that encourages excellence and team spirit.

Finally, a shout out to all 2,500 Westminster competitors. My pal Airley won Best of Breed for border collies for the third year in a row! That's like the trifecta, dude. You looked really cool in the ring, too...just gettin' it done like a pro. We love the doberman's performance in the final showdown—actually we really loved the handler.
But my heart went out to Sexy Sadie, the winning Best in Show Scottie.
I just have to wonder how our puppies would look.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowpocalypse

I'm sure by now all my friends around the U.S. and maybe even the world at large have heard about the humongous amount of snow that is hammering my 'hood. Yep, the Nation's Capitol— Washington, DC—is gettin' blizzarded with a predicted 30" of powdery white stuff.

The locals are calling this Snowmagegddon, Blizz-kreig, Snowtorious B.I.G. and my favorite, Snowpocalypse.

It all started yesterday morning. It's mid-afternoon and it's still coming down! Whoopeee for me, cause you all know I love to swim. In fact, my Herding Group entry picture in the awesome Mango Minster contest shows me dock diving on a lovely summer day.

We're months away from even thinking about a swim. But I took one look outside, put on my thinking cap and invented a new sport—snow swimming!

Watch the fun I had at 8 am and see for yourself how much white stuff has blanketed my world. Oh, and that's my long-time girlfriend Caña who came down the street to play.

Like me, she likes it rough!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bigger Than Big!

Bow WOW, y'all!

Ms. Alpha just informed moi that OC zeroed in on my name and chose me for the Herding Group Winner over at Mango Minster's joint!
I do not take this honor for granted. As you know, I have a career in the show ring and am working my paws off in what little free time I have on my agility skills, obedience focus and rally chops. But this honor...well (sniff..sniff) means SO MUCH to me. Better than bones, to put it in perspective. To quote Sally Field, "You like me! You really like me!!!"

I love all the competitions, classes, training session and the like, but blogging is what satisfies my "inner Fenway". Border collies, being so smart, need an outlet for their creativity. I am so happy that I pawed my way into the DWB universe. What a swell bunch...highly amusing, and you always bring a smile to my muzzle.

I am overcome with pride and reflect on all my hard work!
After all, what is a border collie without work?
(Answer: C R A Z Y )

And guess what? My good fortunes got even better and my cup runneth over. It snowed some more last night!!! My favorite. And my good friend, Caña the border collie, came over to call me out for a bxw romp in the new snow.
Are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?

Yep...time to get down.....
.....and play Bitey Face!

Let's see if she can keep up!

I think she's trying to flirt with me!
So I will flirt back!
We got the hots for one another!
And when you're hot, you can always eat the snow!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's Show Time!

The prestigious Annapolis Kennel Club dog show was last Sunday and let me give you one guess how Ms. Alpha mapped out my day.

But more about Moi and my VICTORY another day.

I thought it would be far more interesting to take you back stage at a dog show. Actually, there is no stage as such...there are many rings surrounded by the grooming areas. Here's how it works: about 10 adjacent rings are set up in the middle of a big building. At any one time, many different breeds are being judged simultaneously in their respective rings. Usually, a certain ring will be set aside for a certain group: working, toy, herding, sporting, non-sporting, hound, terrier and the miscellaneous class. Some of those names seem a little odd to me. For instance, do non-sporting dogs just lay about? Why can't I play with a toy dog like it's a stuffie? And are miscellaneous dogs, like, whatever?

It's kind of interesting when we herding types get in the ring together. We must all line up, just like everyone else. And then we have to go around the ring, following the leader. Let me tell you—this is so totally contrary to our nature. Hello! We are herding dogs and want to put anything with a heartbeat in a tight little corner! We have to stride around the ring "with purpose". I guess that means we have to trot like we're on a mission and have an actual job to do. My little trick is to visualize an actual sheep loose in the ring. That makes me trot quickly—not run or gallop—"with an economy of movement", my head down, my tail strung out behind me and looking like I'm all business. And true to Fenway's star quality, I grin from ear-to-ear, just like Mickey Mouse. Ya gotta play up to the judge and crowd, too!

Here's a little photo tour of what goes on before the actual show time. Basically it's hours (about 2 at least!) of washing, combing, fluffing, clipping, filing, blow drying, primping, picking, trimming, spraying and brushing. It was a little more demanding than usual because the weather turned drizzly and the grounds were muddy. Horrors! for the groomers who work to keep us tidy, shiny and glowing.

The lovely Standard Poodle is making her entrance!
Notice how her pom-poms are tightly wound up
in rubber bands, ready to be sprung into shape.

Piece by piece, this poodle's flamboyance
is coaxed into perfection.

I'd say Lady Gaga got nothin' on her!
This poodle is tied, coiled, and wrapped
like a sailboat's rigging.

More from the Poodle Grooming Central—
Since their primping takes like, forever,
the poodles have special chin resting pillows
so they can endure the endless boredom.
This boy looks like he's about to snap.

I just haven NO words for this.
It's beyond my comprehension.
And, get this, the dog doesn't seem to mind!
Would someone please throw him a frisbee?

This poodle didn't move for 15 straight minutes!

The Scottie's beard and chest fur fall like a curtain.

I thought these two shifty looking hounds were conspiring a getaway.

Happy dog, happy owner!
Do you think they kind of look alike?
I'd say they were separated at birth!

Yes, this spaniel's fur is real. No Photoshopping, either!
I think she looks a bit like Pipi Longstocking
with those ear things.

I think I mentioned the endless washing and soaking.
You would not believe the level of detail
for just our paws! Even our pawpads must be sparkling!

The results: perfection after about 2 hours.
It's a confection of bangs, ponytails, and whiskers,
all set off by the cutest little pointy ears.
Could he be mistaken for a stuffie?

I've heard Bedlington's are the hardest dogs to groom.
They must be shaped and brushed out like topiaries.
Our pal Rudy the Bedlington has been through this 
and he's a Champion!

I interviewed this fellow and asked if
he was related to Maggie & Mitch!

This is my friend who is in the Junior Handler's program. It's a really great activity for kids and they learn all the skills and tricks about showing dogs. Some of them are so good that they will be going to Westminster. It's a great way for kids to learn responsibility, a skill, movement, and pride. Just look how good she is with her dog, who obviously adores her. They got first place in their group and finished very well in the final showdown.

That's it, folks. So next time there's a dog show in your area, tell your humans to go watch. They can meet all sorts of dogs, groomers, handlers and even judges. Everyone is super friendly and will gab endlessly about their dogs. It's real looney-tunes, but in a totally good way! Plus there are vendors who sell everything under the sun for and about dogs. Did you know your human can buy socks with dogs on them that look just like you?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feelin' A Little Jumpy

I jump for joy!!!!!

Times are tough, aren't they?

The news is relentlessly grim: jobs, economy, terrorism, wars, and the environment. It's been getting so bad that I grimaced all through December when I heard the words, "tis the season to be jolly".

My peeps are hunkered down, paring down to basics, gettin' real and living simply. I am very proud of them. They hardly complain even though Ms. A. could use a new pair of sneakers and Mr. A. hasn't seen a t-bone in a long while. The cold hard realization of just how much they DOhave makes them forge ahead, face the challenges and look at the bright side—steaks are artery cloggers and the sneakers still have treads.

Luckily for me, there has been no change in Mr. Fenway's lifestyle. That's where they draw the line. I get my fresh meat, liver, oils, special shampoos, conditioners, classes, vet visits and trial entries paid for in full. But the fact of the matter is that just being with them and playing is plenty good enough for me. We have a tight little family in Fenway Land and an endless supply of love.

Isn't that what it's all about anyway?

Ready to launch like an arrow!
I can jump and still keep my eye on Frisbee!
Now that's multi-tasking...
In flight!
I've got clearance!
I'm soaring above the jumps!
This is the best way to have fun!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Groomin'...On A Sunday Afternoon

Baby, it's cold outside!

But before the arctic blast came there was mud, and plenty of it.

That crafty Ms. Alpha monitors the weather reports like buzzard on road kill...just so she can plan my activities in advance. So when the man with the map and pointer inside their telly-box said there were temps high enough to sustain life, Ms. Alpha took me over to the muddy school yard for a blow-out session of Ball Play followed by 'Gility and Jumps.

Oh, we had so much fun! When I got thirsty I could simply help myself to some left over snow piles. But the best part was getting all slathered in gooey mud. I even had earthy dreadlocks hanging from my undercarriage and smelled like dirt. Actually, it was a very healthy smell...just like the Great Outdoors.

Seriously, folks. I may have a part-time career as a show dog, but I can GET DOWN with the best of 'em.

I am now all spiffy and shiny. Ms. Alpha calculates I might stay that way for a while because all the mud is now frozen. I would really like to play a dirty trick on her, so if anyone knows how I can get back to normal, let me know!

(And, since I am a black x white dog, we thought a little bxw photography was in order!)

I really enjoy getting the Fully Monty of Beauty Treatments!
The brush feels like a luxurious belly rub.
My paws get special attention, otherwise I would
look like I was wearing furry bedroom slippers.
Ms. Alpha trims and shapes my
feet into a cute little button shape.

I'm just so kissably clean and don't mind showing off!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Cheer

It's that time of year again! You know—when we precious Furred Ones are even more adored than usual. We get to eat, play and be petted and make merry.

This year, even Mother Nature decided to give me a personal present, and she really outdid herself. I mean, she pulled out all the stops.
I GOT TWO FEET OF SNOW!!!

My favorite thing is making like a bunny rabbit
and bounding through the deep snow.
I even invented a new sport—snow swimming!

Snow is a terrific way to clearly mark your territory, too, if you catch my drift. Humans are just astonished when they see our plentiful yellow artwork. I've always fashioned myself to be a canine Jackson Pollack and have perfected my technique, leaving my pee-mail throughout my 'hood.
The Alpha's put up a Christmas tree and there's even a section dedicated to border collies.
I love my mini-me ornament and hope that I am going to get my very own flock of sheep for Christmas since I've been a Very Good Boy.
I got to choose a Christmas cookie this morning for my Good Boy-ness. These are special cookies from my new friends in Sarasota, FL Wendy, Michael and their lovely border collie Nico. Thanks, guys!!! I am so happy you have joined The Fenway Project, a consortium of humans dedicated to making me happy. Welcome aboard!
These are my beautiful cookies presented
on a silver tray, fit for a prince.
My new friends really know how to delight me!
I am going to savor each and every one!

Yes, I've been a Very Good Boy up to the this morning when I had to become friends with Santa Claus. I really saw no good reason to sit still in a stranger's lap.
Ms. Alpha reminded me that when I behave, there are rewards for being polite. I knew that all along, but I still firmly believe in testing the humans.

The Christmas cookies put me in such a joyous mood that I eventually ended up cooperating with Santa Claus and allowed him to cuddle me!
Don't you think I deserve to get
that flock of sheep?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let's Catch Up!


I know it's been a long while since my last post, and for that I heartily apologize to all my friends, fans and followers. As usual, it's not my fault. I've got all the time in the world to spread my news, but Ms. Alpha's inbox is overflowing. This time I had to nag, howl and whine non-stop to get her to tap out this post. A shrilly bark-scream finally did the trick...

Let me bring you up to speed: I wanted to post on Thanksgiving to wish all my furry friends a great day of eating, outdoor fun and noshing on extra treats and leftovers.

Ms. Alpha tried to make the day a special one for me right from the beginning. She actually dressed me up for breakfast with a festive napkin!
This sort of thing doesn't interest me at
all and I immediately got my frisbee.
Let's go out and play!!!

To tell the truth, I'd rather play frisbee or Green Ball than eat!!! Please don't tell my Mama Dog, though. She's a world class eater and would be ashamed by my choices.

We actually did go out for a few minutes and then it was time for breakfast. My kibble, raw meat, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese and fish oil pill were carefully arranged on a turkey platter to get me in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
I couldn't help a little counter surfing to make sure
everything I was going to be thankful for was included.

And it was!

I played and played hard the whole day.

And then finished off Thanksgiving with a long
snoozilynap in the best snoozing place on earth!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Officially A Good Boy

Yep. Me. Fenway....aka Fenzie or Frenzy .

I've been deemed unruly, disrespectful, having a screw loose and unschooled. But that was a loooong time ago when I was Puppy Fenway and life was all about having fun and being loved.

Well, I still have fun, am loved, but I've got a new attitude, as the song goes.

Ms. Alpha took me to obedience classes and we diligently did our boring homework, week after week, and improved my focus, manners + rules. In class, I have to do a sit/down/stay for an awfully long time.

And get this! I even had to learn Self Control and Sit Like A Good Boy when we greeted other owners and their dogs. Let me tell you, that was painful 'cause Mr. Fen can start a play group as quick as a cricket.

This past weekend, Ms. A. took me to a fun match. I got to strut pretty and look awesome. The judges were duly impressed and not only gave me Best of Breed but a Group 2. That means I came in second in the entire herding group!

Ribbons = Rib Eye for Dinner!

Afterwards, the kennel club held Canine Good Citizenship tests and Ms. A signed me up right on the spot. What a piece of cake that test was. I have a vague memory of failing it in style last spring when I went Cujo on a lady with crutches and a little pug dog. That ugly! But all of that was a distant memory and I was Fenway the Affable, the Model Citizen, the Best Boy.

My official test form proclaims me Officially Good!

But I wasn't good enough to sit still for another photo session. That's when Ms. Alpha called on my stand-in Mini Me to pose with my ribbons.

Hmmm. Let me sniff this little guy and see what's up!
I can't forget to give the hinders a once over!
I think the little guy is trying to own my ribbons!

Now I've got the upper hand. His head's in my mouth!
Mmmm.....tastes like chicken.