neige

We managed to make it up to one of our favourite places to frolic in the last snow of the season, bask in the sunshine, take 1000s of photos of our dogs running, and enjoy each other’s company. We hiked for probably 11km and stopped at the town nearby for kebabs on the way home. Lumen didn’t run off once, Mal wasn’t too tired, Loki didn’t smash himself to pieces trying to go very fast. It was lovely.

Here are my favourites:

Ready, set, go!!!

Ready, set, go!!!

I love the trees up here. Some are burnt and are just white trunks... some still have splodges of colour and are all twisted and cool shapes.

I love the trees up here. Some are burnt and are just white trunks… some still have splodges of colour and are all twisted and cool shapes.

She's just so beautiful and so photogenic...

She’s just so beautiful and so photogenic…

Sometimes she even poses majestically...

Sometimes she even poses majestically…

Mal is, as usual, yelling at everyone. Loki's trying to round up Lu, and Lu is just having the best time because snow.

Mal is, as usual, yelling at everyone. Loki’s trying to round up Lu, and Lu is just having the best time because snow.

Badgers are pointy and handsome...

Badgers are pointy and handsome…

And you can race fast dogs across nice scenery and backgrounds...

And you can race fast dogs across nice scenery and backgrounds…

And Mal, even at nearly 12, still walked the 11km without pulling up lame or being too sad.

And Mal, even at nearly 12, still walked the 11km without pulling up lame or being too sad.

I <3 these guys

I

Loki can do it better than his biggerer brother. ;)

Loki can do it better than his biggerer brother. 😉

3 proud dogs on a rock

3 proud dogs on a rock

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hike!

“Hike!” is Loki’s “go fast” word for the DW… but actually on this hike they spent not much time going fast and most of the 11km being sensible and restrained. It was amazing.

Penny’s brother & his girlfriend took some lovely photos, and since I didn’t bring my camera, I’m glad they did.

It was actually a lovely walk – Lumen only disappeared on us twice and came back pretty well. Mal stayed behind my legs most of the way huffing and puffing ( I actually suspect he has bronchitis but need to take him to the vet with that suggestion), and Loki was way way out front most of the time, or off on his own side adventures, as he has a habit of doing. It was a great little track though with some up hill bits, some cool rock bits and some awesome views.

I have this same one less "bright", too, if you're not a fan of effects

family photos 2

I wanted to learn how to take photos into the sun like fancy people do so I taught myself.

Here are some more photos to choose from, one of which I might blow up big and put on my wall.

Which do you like most:

DSC09817 DSC09828

I have this same one less "bright", too, if you're not a fan of effects

I have this same one less “bright”, too, if you’re not a fan of effects

DSC09855

family photos

I’ve been on a bit of a photo-spree in our house, as we had some frames lying around that we hadn’t put up yet, and some with just Lu & Mal, etc. So I took some nice family photos today and these were the best of them. Do you like #1 or #2 the best? Or maybe you don’t like my “artistic effects” as Dad calls them, so maybe you like neither.

Very nice family portrait #1

Very nice family portrait #1

Very nice family portrait #2

Very nice family portrait #2

Here is the original of that 2nd one.

posibility2

And here is a nice one of Lumen because she’s very pretty. I can’t get that one to quite cooperate how I want it to.

A very lovely photo of a lovely dog.

A very lovely photo of a lovely dog.

Also, Lumen would like you to know that kangaroos have been visiting next door. Yes, kangaroos. We’ve seen at least 4 of them, but apparently there were 30. When we were doing photos this morning the kangaroos weren’t there but Lumen could do nothing beside stare and stare and stare into the paddock where they were.

All of Lumen's dreams have come true.

All of Lumen’s dreams have come true (taken with a zoom lens, but probably only 300m away, I guess)

"Please. Please stop making noises, stop singing, stop trying to bribe me with squeaky toys. I KNOW there are roos over there..." (there weren't) "so please just shut up and let me go hunt them. I don't want to be doing your stupid photos, I want to be checking for kangaroos. Why is this so hard to understand?"

Lumen: “Please. Please stop making noises, stop singing, stop trying to bribe me with squeaky toys. I KNOW there are roos over there…” (there weren’t) “so please just shut up and let me go hunt them. I don’t want to be doing your stupid photos, I want to be checking for kangaroos. Why is this so hard to understand?”

Mal: Yes, yes. We’ve been doing this camera thing for 11 years. Can we just get it over and done with please?

Loki: Ok, sit very still, be a very good border collie, does she have a toy?! Maybe, maybe she does. Be very good, look very nice, maybe you will get the toy. But if you don’t, Lumen will, and that’s ok, you can go very fast, yes, very very fast… but not yet! First you have to be very good and look very nice.

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ready, set, go

I borrowed Badger today and took him to the beach.

Incase I’ve neglected to mention it on here somewhere, Badger is Loki’s 1/2 brother, to the same mum.

He is very fun and he likes to go very fast. It’s been so interesting to watch the shift in dynamics of our little pack over the last few trips to the beach (this will be the 3rd trip with Badger over the last 2 weeks). For one, Badger usually watches Penny’s other dog Pan. But since Pan isn’t there Badger chooses an equally orange dog to watch, and so spends most of the time trying to make Mal move. This works at first but Mal is 11 so is tired after about 45 minutes and can’t be bothered chasing Badger any more.

Loki usually watches Lumen, body-slams Lumen, tugs on Lumen’s neck, bites Lumen’s tail, chases Lumen, is chased by Lumen, wrestles Lumen, pounces Lumen… you get the idea. But Lumen is actually quite boring at the beach. She just trots along and does her own thing and rolls in dead fish. Boring. The other day at the beach Loki had been trying to get Lu to play with no luck. Then he noticed that Badger would run away very fast every so often as part of his imaginary game with Mal. You could literally see the little cogs turn in Loki’s head. Wait on… that… that sort of looks like fun… like, maybe more fun than relentlessly annoying Lumen! And from then, it’s been many long sprints up and down the beach between the brothers. Badger… isn’t that happy about having his little dweeby tag-along brother, particularly as Loki occasionally forgets he’s not and Aussie and tries to Aussie Shepherd shoulder bump him, and gets in his way, and tries to make him play, when all Badger wants to do is watch Mal, but at least he does a whole lot more running and a whole lot less body slamming on the beach now (which MUST be better for his poor little bones).

But today I tested something. I remembered on one of Silvia’s DVDs (or possibly more than one) she says that a way to get them fit and get them to practise sprinting, is to play the ready, set, go, crazy BC game. Which I was like: uh, that doesn’t happen. Clearly just Silvia’s dogs. No normal dog would just run away for no reason.

But… yep. Apparently BCs do.

….oh. And 11 year old Aussies, too. Poor Mal. 15kg of full speed BC coming at you is no fun.

Note Lumen trotting in the back going “what? why???”. It’s funny, she’s so mellow on the beach.

This was probably already 45 minutes or so into the walk so they were pretty tired. 😉

pearry funny

I haven’t photo-dumped here in a while so here’s some nice shots I took of the dogs running around yesterday. Please enjoy the multiple pear-related puns within.

Yesterday we went for a nice bushwalk and the dogs sniffed a writhing mass of ants. Loki got a bit distressed about his back leg so I figured he’d been stung but when we got home Lu went crazy. Even though he’d hiked 7km, up and down hills, she wouldn’t settle, was scratching/digging the carpet, couldn’t lie down… she looked super happy though so I just thought she was being weird… but then I found bumps on her legs and so I reckon she got bitten even worse than Loki. Seems better now.

Loki’s DW is giving me nightmares. One minute it’ll be good, it’ll be great if I start him with his paws at the beginning of the up-ramp but add speed and it all falls apart. So, rather than tear my hair out, I’m putting our progress in someone else’s hands, and I’ve signed up for RC class with Silvia. I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks but finding myself sitting on the ground in tears (I’m blaming PMS because I’m tearing up right now and that’s just dumb) over a really awful DW session just isn’t good for me OR for little Loki. It’s not fair. So I need Silvia to say things like: “just keep going this” even though it doesn’t work because I have such a strong need to change things if they don’t work that I’m really, really bad at being consistent. Isn’t there a quote about only a fool trying something again when it failed the first time? Oh, not even a fool, the insane. Apparently that’s an Einstein quote. So I try and avoid being insane and change things around to try and get better results, as any good scientist would, when in fact he might just need to figure things out before the picture changes, I’m just not very good at knowing when it’s a matter of holding out and waiting for improvement, vs. changing something (whether it’s height, carpet, apex, starting spot, starting thing (eg. tunnel, wrap, jump etc), reward placement, etc). So I’m hoping Silvia can help. If SHE can’t help us, nobody can and we’re going to do 2o2o. Yuck.

Only a week and a half of school holidays left. Which is horrible.

Oh! And I’m up to 80,000 words in my novel, 130 pages. Not sure if I’ll finish it by the end of holidays. I’m AWFUL at solving the problems I write. This is where I get really stuck. Blergh.

birfday

Guess what!?

Mal turned 11 today! Happy birthday Mal!

As you can see he’s still pretty sprightly and happy about life. He gets pretty tired at about the 1 hour mark of a walk but then, he’s done that since he was like, 2. Nothing new there. He tries to run around with the young kids but can’t really keep up so just barks and barks. I’d enter him in agility again but the courses we’d have to run are way above what he was trained for and if his hips are getting sore as I suspect they might be, then it’s probably best not to push it.

Guess what else? I started writing a book (I used to write fantasy stories all the time as a teenager. ALL the time) and I just hit 25,000 words. Apparently if you’re writing fantasy, that’s about the 1/4 point. That’s a lot of words. I’m really scared of losing momentum but there’s so much of this story that I’m excited about getting to that I don’t see momentum loss happening for a little while but then I’m only on holidays for another 3 weeks so we’ll see what happens after that. (I don’t think I’ll finish it before then, even at the rate I’m going.) It’s fun. I’m enjoying it. I might be getting RSI.