Jay misses Rain. A lot. So do I, but Jay does especially. So I thought I’d do some Web research and see if a breeder caught my eye. One did — Sweetbay, down in Oregon. They breed Newfs for performance, which means their dogs are healthy,structurally sound, and drivey. That sounded great, so since I needed to go to Portland for a business meeting, I arranged to visit Sweetbay.
The entire trip was wonderful. I got out early and made it to my meeting on time, despite the frost on the roads. My meeting was both productive and short — gotta love that! After my meeting I hooked up with my friend Greta. She had no classes to teach yesterday, so we spent the whole afternoon together playing with her dogs and chatting. Then we grabbed a quick dinner and headed to Sweetbay.
I can’t rave enough about Sweetbay, Judi Adler, and the Sweetbay dogs. On Tuesday nights, Judi holds an informal get-together for owners of her dogs to come and train in her training building. Last night they were working on Rally. Amazing! These weren’t the big, slow Newfs you usually see. These were dogs with real drive. Their responses were snappy and precise, and their attitudes were out of this word.
I was especially impressed with Judi herself. She’s clearly an excellent trainer. The heeling she demonstrated was as good as any I’ve ever seen. She was also an excellent observer and able to tell the difference between a handler error, a dog error, and a dog who wasn’t quite sure what the right answer was. I could learn sooo much from her. I wish I had a group like that to train with!
I had gotten up at o’ dark thirty to make the drive to Portland, so I didn’t stay after the “class” to chat. Greta and I headed back to her place, and I settled to sleep with Bailey, the beautiful show-type Aussie she’s fostering. (He’s an awesome dog!)
This morning we got up and went out to breakfast, and I got on the road about 11:00. I stopped in Olympia on the way home and had lunch with Leslie, Blue’s trainer. She’s great, as always. Love her to death! While there, we dropped off her car at a friend’s place, and I got to meet Henry, a man who has adopted nine special needs horses from Columbia Basin Equine Rescue, the place I adopted Princess and Rowan. Henry is an angel. He has pored tons of money into these horses, just so they can have a happy, healthy, pain-free retirement. Bless you, Henry!
Back on the road at 4:00, and finally home at 6:00. It was a terrific trip, but I’m very glad to be back with my own critters!