This past week has been nonstop for the Costa Bel clan. There has been a lot going on in terms of planning and getting organized for show season. Karma finally got her last set of shots at the vet’s office on Friday and weighed in at 66 pounds. She has been gaining weight at the rate of 0.44 pounds per day since she came home to us back in July. She’s pretty thin since she is difficult to keep weight on but is a solid female. Karma is also getting ready to go to the home of her handlers, Daniel Sanchez & Vanessa Lanz-Sanchez, starting November 3rd for some much-needed doggie bootcamp! She’s entered in a bunch of shows already, so as soon as they feel she is ready for it, Karma will be in the show ring strutting her stuff diva-style! Cleo is doing great with her handler, Kathi Wisdom, and will also be starting her show career in November out in the southwest circuit before heading to meet us in Orlando in December. It will be awesome to finally get to meet our Cleo and hopefully bring her home! Orso has already been entered in the Miami shows in December to hopefully finish his Rally Novice title. He earned the first and second legs of the required three legs on his very first try, so we are hoping for the same good fortune at the Miami shows! After that, Orso will officially be retired from the show ring – for now, anyway – leaving us free to concentrate on his work as a therapy dog. Speaking of which, Orso had his first interview and evaluation with the Miami VA Medical Center on Saturday and it went quite well. They loved him there, and want him to join their therapy dog team, but it will be some time before he gets to visit the veterans due to lots of required paperwork and additional training for Orso and me. Orso still needs a little more desensitization for him to fit in at the VA hospital, where veterans race down the halls in their high speed wheelchairs and then like to pop wheelies. Niiiiiiiice. Considering that he is pretty indifferent to everything around him, this shouldn’t be a training issue for us. Case in point, at lunch yesterday with Orso, there were several VERY loud and rambunctious teenage girls sitting on a bench behind us holding about 15 balloons that were loudly flapping in the wind and Orso didn’t even notice, see below. I think Orso can totally take on those high speed wheelchairs!
On a less serious note, the weather in south Florida has not been so great lately, forcing me to get pretty creative about finding ways to burn some canine energy. I still manage to get some swimming time in for them, but it’s usually pretty gross out for those swimming sessions. I have snuck some long walks with Orso in when the weather has permitted and I try to take the dogs out with me all the time when I head into town, but these field trips can be a challenge with all the rain. As an alternative, my family room has turned into a romper room and I have allowed the dogs to behave more obnoxious than usual indoors, including playing Frisbee in a 200 square foot room. I put our sectional sofa back together anywhere from 2 to 3 times daily since they LOVE to catapult themselves off the sofa onto one another. It’s like WWF wrestlers with fur. Sigh. On the flipside, by the time they are done playing like monkeys jacked up on caffeine, they crash. They crash beautifully for hours and don’t make a sound, see below:
Today, given the crappy weather conditions, I decided to bust out with some new toys that I had stashed away for a rainy day! I bought these toys when I was in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago. It’s very cool to me that the culture in Phoenix is one that is very philanthropic AND sensitive to the needs of homeless animals. There is a fancy-shmancy shopping mall called the Biltmore Fashion Park that is located a couple of miles from where I stayed that I decided to visit. Within the mall, there was a store called Petique, which is a retail store and adoption center for the Arizona Humane Society. This mall is the equivalent of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, so I was pretty doubtful that the Arizona Humane Society could afford to pay rent there and still raise funds for its charity. After being nosy and asking lots of questions, it turns out that the mall donates the space to the Arizona Humane Society! How cool is that? Also, all the proceeds from items sold in the store go directly to benefit the Arizona Humane Society! We were sold! I picked out some cool toys to bring back home and felt great knowing that I helped homeless animals along the way! Below are a couple of photos of the store front! Helloooooo, Miami, wake up and join the animal welfare philanthropy efforts!
Anyway, back to today. The dogs played like out of control furballs and then, yes, you guessed it, crashed out for hours. Below are lots of photos from today’s indoor insanity. Notice how much bigger Karma is than Luna! She is growing like a weed! Enjoy!
Wow, what a morning! Cleo & Karma, my 2 females, are finally ready to make their debuts in the show ring and it was nonstop today getting everything organized. After countless phone conversations and hours on the internet, they’ve both been entered in their first few dogs shows, so we are very excited to see how their show careers go! Meanwhile, they are all passed out in the family room snoring and farting while I do all the work! It’s a dog’s life around here!
Just like we did for Orso, Cleo and Karma have Winners & Bragging Rights (WABR) pages set up where friends and family can track their show performance and AKC points. Below are the links to their pages, in case you want to visit:
Impero Russo Cleo di Costa Bel aka Cleo – http://www.infodog.com/my/dogpage.htm?akc=WS 38801201
Lionheart Buona Karma di Costa Bel aka Karma – http://www.infodog.com/my/dogpage.htm?akc=WS 37395905
And, of course, it’s only fair to repost Orso’s WABR page – http://www.infodog.com/my/dogpage.htm?akc=WS 34477504
I admit it, I have been a total blog slacker! I have been traveling a little and when we are in town the weather has been too miserable to do anything fun outdoors, which is usually what I blog about. I just snapped this photo with my phone and knew immediately that I needed to share it on the blog! As an update, all the dogs are doing great. Orso is 16 months old and filling out quite nicely. Cleo is 8 months old and is getting ready to start showing soon. Karma is 5 months old and I just submitted the entries for her first few shows with her handlers, Daniel Sanchez and Vanessa Lanz-Sanchez. Mouse and Luna are doing awesome like always. That’s about it! Hopefully the blog entries will pick up again soon! Enjoy the photo!
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