Friday, December 31, 2010

Closing Images from 2010

I wanted to leave everyone with some images 
I took today of the magnificence 
of icicles, dogs and cats...

These two images are from our honeysuckle vine right outside our kitchen door. With temperatures in the teens and twenties the last few days, we have an Icicle Waterfall--Amazing isn't it?

Some action shots of the dogs;
to get the best resolution, 
click on the image to enlarge it

  Aspen going in for the kill!

 Pharaoh leaping

 Isabella and Pharaoh playing hard as usual

Isabella racing to catch Pharaoh, 
but he is as fast as the wind!


Here are a few of the cats enjoying their organic catnip:

Cassie, American Shorthair

Merlin, our Maine Coon

 Piper--don't know what is with all the tongues showing, must be getting stuck-- LOL

Romeo, our Seal Point Snowshoe

And one last shot of Merlin, our Golden Girl at 14


 Isabella eating snow

Head Study of Pharaoh

Head study of Isabella, 21 months old

Here's to wishing everyone PEACE & JOY in 2011


The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire, book 1--Five Stars

First of all, I need to explain what steampunk as a genre is. After looking at several definitions on the web, I think that the editors of Wikipedia give the most complete definition:

 "Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, alternate history, and speculative fiction... Specifically, steampunk involves an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century and often Victorian era Britain—that incorporates prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy"

So with that definition in mind, I want to share with you my thoughts on Book 1 of The Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar.

Written by a husband and wife team, Clay and Susan Griffith, this alternative history of a Victorian world not only has vampires, but evil vampires.

So many of the vampire books that have been published in the last 10 years or so show a kinder, gentler vampire--vampires that readers see as friends, lovers and companions. Not only are the vampires enthralling and gorgeous, but benevolent in spite of their diet of (mostly) human blood. Vampires that in a sense strive to be as human as possible.

Not in the Vampire Empire. Vampires in this novel have taken over the Northern Hemisphere and have bred humans to satisfy their diet of human blood. These factory farmed humans have basically lost the will and desire to fight against their masters.

But all is not lost--free humanity has retreated to the Southern Hemisphere where the vampires can't maneuver in the heat and humidity.

Enter Princess Adele, heir to the Empire Equatoria, a vestige of the tropical British Empire. Adele is on a tour of the northern frontier (Marseilles, France) when her convoy is attacked and she is kidnapped by a vampire clan.

We then are introduced to a mysterious, valiant figure: the Greyfriar. Mythic in stories, this famous but reclusive vampire-hunter shows up to liberate the Princess. As Adele and the Greyfriar attempt to escape the vampire clans, Adele is intrigued by this legendary figure who she thought was a fairy tale. Although a vampire clan manages to re-capture Adele, she knows that the Greyfriar will come for her.

Untold horrors await Princess Adele when she is taken deep into vampire territory: bloody orgies and the blank stares of the human slave population.

Can Adele survive her kidnapping until the Greyfriar comes for her? The politics of both vampire and human empires are in flux, as forces strive to change the balance of power.

Who will emerge triumphant?

Stay tuned for book 2 which will be published November 2011.

I can't wait!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

One of the best books I have read this year!

Amazing historical fiction with details incorporating all your senses. Romance, mystery, murder, and deep abiding friendships are all there. 

Characters that are so well developed you feel as if you are in the room with them. I would give this book 10 stars if I could.

 I have loved Jennifer's writing since The Northern Light-- which was the Winner of the Carnegie Medal, the L.A. Times Book Prize, the Borders Original Voices Prize, and a Michael L. Printz Honor award.

If you have not read Jennifer Donnelly before you must open one of her books!

The Tea Rose has a sequel--The Winter Rose which I am impatiently waiting for a copy to be returned to the library so I can get my hands on it.

Evidently Jennifer also just finished a third novel in this series that does not have a publication date yet--The Wild Rose.

Revolution also just came out with 2 starred reviews from Kirkus and SLJ. Can't wait for this one also!


Monday, October 11, 2010

PKCLC October 2, 2010 Lure Coursing--Best in Field!

Recently Isabella and Pharaoh debuted in the sport of lure coursing for sighthounds. It was an AKC trial held by the Pocatello Kennel Club in Blackfoot Idaho.

Both Pharaoh and Isabella passed their Qualifying Coursing trial enabling them both to enter in the actual trial itself.

As the only Irish Wolfhound and the only Afghan Hound competing in this day's event, they both won Best of Breed with scores of 40/50 points (first run) and 40/50 points (second run) for Isabella and 40/50 (first run) and 41/50 points (second run) for Pharaoh!

Since this was Isabella's first event and she had run 3 times already I decided to pull her from the Best in Field run.

Pharaoh still appeared to have plenty of running left, so along with 3 other dogs, I decided to enter him in Best in Field. He ran against a Scottish Deerhound in his run.

When they announced the Best in Field Winner

--the judges chose Pharaoh!!!!

What an amazing day for us! Both Pharaoh and Isabella had a great time and we took home lots of ribbons, toys for the dogs and a huge bed that we barely managed to fit in the car.

I hope you enjoy the pictures!
Isabella Qualifying Courser Run
Isabella running with a Scottish Deerhound
Pharaoh's Qualifying Courser Run

Pharaoh--Running big

Pharaoh's Golden Sunrise--Best in Field PKCLC October 2, 2010

Chaos killing the bunny

Best in Field run--Killing the Bunny

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bella and Me

Just a few late night pictures.

Isabella has such a great face!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cheyenne Specialty 2010

Isabella and I entered the RMIWA Specialty 2010 held at Lyons Park in Cheyenne, WY. It was our first specialty and seeing over 100 Irish Wolfhounds in one place was breathtaking. I met so many welcoming and lovely people who shared tips about grooming, stacking and showing in the conformation ring, even though we did not place, it was a wonderful experience. Randy was a real trooper and took pictures, set up and took down all the equipment you need for showing, and drove most of the time. We spent twelve and a half hours at the show site and it was a very long day. We stayed for the dinner and it was great to hear the judges comments. We did well, but I learned that I need to practice striding out to allow Isabella to show off her lovely movement. So both judges did not see her at her best. Here are a series of pictures from the show.




Monday, August 23, 2010

Recommended Books on Dog Training (Positive Training)

I have been meaning to do this for a while. This past spring, I created a list of dog training books that I have either read myself or have had recommended by positive dog trainers that I work with. It was originally handed out in puppy classes that I had assisted in, and most of the books I had purchased while I was a librarian/book buyer for the Weber County Library. However, most of the books are available for purchase from or from Dogwise

Also please check your local public library. If they don't own a book you want to read, ask them to consider purchasing it, or ask them to order it from another library (Inter-Library Loan).  

I will update it as new books come out that I feel are great books that other dog owners/trainers should be aware of. Hope you enjoy!


Recommended Books on Dog Training

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tug of War

Pharaoh is always ready to play! Isabella grabbed a Pogo Plush and Pharaoh immediately snatched a mouthful.

Who do you think won this round?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

PhotoScape vs. GIMP and we have a winner!

We just purchased a laptop that came with Windows 7, so I needed to find some new photo editing software that works with this platform. After reading some online reviews, I tried GIMP, but I am not ashamed to admit it was way too much for me. Then I downloaded PhotoScape and it was pretty intuitive. Here is a shot of Isabella and Pharaoh playing chase. PhotoScape has some fun features. I am looking forward to playing more with it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Picture of Pharaoh

I recently took some pictures of Pharaoh, and here is a full body shot. Pharaoh is a 2 year old Afghan Hound that we recently adopted. He is a Red Brindle with a Black Mask. Because he came from a rescue, his original American Kennel Club (AKC) papers were canceled, so I have to re-register him with the AKC with a Purebred Alternative Listing. This will allow us to compete in lure coursing and agility. I also think his temperament would be a good fit with therapy, so we are going to try that too! I will keep you posted.
So, I am proud to announce  
Pharaoh's Golden Sunrise

If you want to see a picture of his darling face, look for an earlier posting in April. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"Do Right By Your Dog"

I was really nervous about showing Isabella this past weekend. When I mentioned this to my friend Meredith Acly, dog trainer extraordinaire, she shared her mantra that she uses before running her dog Sully at agility trials: "Do Right by your Dog". In other words, your job as half of the team is to be clear in your communication; to use your body language and cues to set your dog up for success. Keeping this in the forefront of my mind allowed me for the first time in any competition to be calm and focused. We had fun! This is my goal: to have a happy and confident dog who enjoys working with me. Enhancing our bond each and every time we are competing together is what matters the most to me.

Thanks to Meredith for sharing such a wonderful tip. Cheers!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Utah Beehive Cluster--May 8, 2010

Isabella's and my first conformation show. She was 13 months old. We won reserve, beating a 3 year old female! Pretty good for our first show. The judge was kind in her comments recommending that I have a great looking girl and to keep practicing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's All in the Eyes--Window to the Soul...

Doesn't Pharaoh look wise?  I love this shot. What do you think?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mount Ogden Kennel Club Fun Match January 31, 2010

Isabella and I went to our first Fun Match! Hosted by the Mount Ogden Kennel Club on January 31, 2010. Isabella was 10 1/2 months old. Nancy and Dean Laney, my breeders, were there with Isabella's two brothers. It was great to see them! Nancy and Dean gave me some great tips and Randy took a lot of pictures. Here are a few from the match.

Here is one of Isabella's brothers: Rudy

Friday, February 5, 2010

Waiting for Treats!

Isabella, Pharaoh, and Aspen get daily doses of salmon oil. This is a natural source of Omega 3s. Here are all three of them waiting for their capsules. I dole them out and boy are they focused!