Dog Agility and Puppy Love

Hotel Perico was the site for the Agility Jalisco dog event last weekend in which famed Ian Dunbar was in attendance (he was our neighbour for most of the week!).

Our kids LOVE dogs, and especially puppies.  So to have the hotel grounds littered (!) with canines was a little bit of heaven for our kiddos.  At the same time it was a bit of a challenge for the resident dogs here who naturally wanted to protect their own turf from all those intruders.

Epic, still in major training-mode as we’ve (Maret, really) had her less than 2 months, did amazingly well.  She barked at the new vehicles and new four-legged potential playmates that paraded past our suites, but for the most part we passed the weekend with little incident.  Was helpful, I think, that I parked our big van in front of the patio doors so she could see less…but she still heard and smelled tons of attractive things.  Walks on leash were undoubtedly tiring for Maret as Epic had a kazillion new aromas to sniff out!!

Collage Dog staffBack to the Agility event…..our kiddos joined the Staff and had their ‘jobs’ for the weekend. Danaka and Toveli (along with Colleen {left} and E, another traveling homeschooler) were helping with the drinks/snacks and got to enjoy the shade of the terraza (terrace/patio) for the weekend.  Gaelyn & Toveli made posters to advertise the concession.  Gaelyn was in charge of Missy, a rescued dog we’ve had at the hotel for a month+  and Anders helped her parade Missy amidst the attendees in hopes of being adopted (its sounding like she might have found her fur-ever home!!)  Anders put flyers under the wipers on vehicles.  Maret was to keep an eye on garbage, but alas the visitors are so used to picking up dog poop none of them bothered to litter!!  So Maret visited, showing herself hospitable, and took photos/videos.  Laars also cuddled with puppies….a non-official job.  Me?…..I wandered (no staff shirt!), kept my kids fed, and Epic quiet.

Puppy Love.  One of the pups was adopted by a resident here at Hotel Perico so Gaelyn gets to puppy sit India now.

Puppy Love. One of the pups was adopted by a resident here at Hotel Perico so Gaelyn gets to puppy sit India now.

Spectators.  Missy watching, too.  And Tina.

Spectators. Missy watching, too. And Tina.

The official event was Saturday and Sunday.  Contestants came from all over Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain and the USA.  Some of the dogs were taking in their first agility event ever.  Some were so distracted by other scents in the course they just couldn’t stay focused.  There were handlers that totally lost it, their frustration and anger resulting in their own public temper tantrums!!  Pure entertainment, I would say.  Others pushed thru, trying to regain their dog’s attention and finish the course in good sportsmanship even though they were eliminated early in the course.  And some recognized the futility of asking their dog to respond when there was this fascinating new world out there for them to explore, and the handler quit and walked off the course….not tantrum-like but just in total acceptance of that which was out of their control!

It sounded like most people/dogs had a wonderful time over the weekend, in spite of being under direct sun in the heat of the day.  I heard that one dog said, “Forget it…it’s too hot!!” and laid down in the shade of one of the tunnels mid-course.  Smart doggie!!

Collage Dog Jump Collage Dogs jump

Sure, there were winners!  I think the top prize went to the handler/dog in the video I shared above.  But it’s more about the Experience than about the Outcome.  I’d say, the Experience was pretty awesome for all.  They’ve already booked to come back in the winter!

Collage Dog winnersTina & Maret are talking seriously about making some jumps and getting their own dogs trained….potentially for a competition, but more so for the fun of it.  Maybe they’ll be able to participate when they come back in November??

 

Face Painting and the Sillies of Portland

On their way back to British Columbia to work (so we can continue to live an adventurous life!!) Everette and Mitchell often stop in Portland to see our 2nd eldest daughter Rauchelle and her family….including our 2 little granddaughters (and their daddy, Seth).

Why he does this...nobody knows.

Why he does this…nobody knows.

Sometimes Everette & Mitch fly in late at night and have to head north early in the morning to catch the Black Ball that only sails twice a day between Port Angeles, WA and Victoria, BC.  So sometimes they don’t even get a chance to see any of the girls.

This time they struck it rich….precious times together, hanging out and swinging…

Collage Blue Star Donuts + CoffeeRauchelle, always the artistic one, has gotten serious about face painting, and has been doing her art at the Portland Market on weekends.  She had amples of practice on Mitch, herself, and her darling Marin.

Little Bat Girl, Marin

Little Bat Girl, Marin

Something a Little Fishy

Something a Little Celtic

Rauchelle did her own face.  Good job.

Rauchelle did her own face. Good job.

A break at the food court that Marin enjoys eating at.

A break at the food court that Marin enjoys eating at. Opportunity to sport her art.

But Grampa didn't!!

But Grampa didn’t!!

Another day, ‘nother type of animal….

Kitty Cat

Kitty Cat

Happy Mitch-enstein

Happy Mitch-enstein

Collage Rauchelle narwahl facepainting

There’s a big city park nearby where Rauchelle lives, and she set up ‘shop’ to do a little practicing.  Photos ended because Grampa and Mitchell played with the girls at the playground while Mama worked.

Collage Rauchelle face painting Laurelhurst

Happy Mom Day from our Littlest Heart-Throbs

In my email today I found some photos attached; a wonderful way to brighten my day.  Being a mom of 9 and being separated from all but 2 of them today….its an odd Mother’s Day for me.  So this was extra special.  And knowing their mama is a busy one, who took the time (with help from her awesome partner, dh Seth….Thanks Seth!!) to prep and take these photos.  Wow, thanks Rauchelle.  It means a lot.

First up is Marin, with the Happy Mom Day message on her glowing face.  Beautiful soul, that girl is.  Boisterous, unhindered, embracing all that excites her in life.Happy Mom Day

Next is Elita….with a PRICELESS smile!!  I can’t wait to squeeze (gently) these little girls the next time I get to see them….which isn’t soon enough.  No plans, but hopeful nonetheless.

Elita Heart

Like I said, Rauchelle is a busy mom (those two words are usually in the same sentence!) and sporadically she blogs, too.  If you’re curious about her raising our 2 grans, checkout Simple Life Adventure.

PS  Those must be the face paints you posted about, Chelle.  Good use!!

 

Always Our Baby! Happy Birthday

IMG_1934

That’s one of our babies!  Up in the tree with one of her own babies!!

Rauchelle is our 2nd born.  And she was our baby for 8 1/2 years before she felt she was dethroned by the arrival of Danaka, and the other 6 that followed.  She found it a difficult transition…and asked if she could always be our baby.  Our answer:  You Betcha!!

Today we celebrated another one of her Birthdays…but we weren’t together with her unfortunately, like we were last year.  Second best was to celebrate in spite of her absence!

Rauchelle, I want you to know that your little brothers (the ones that are still shorter than you) were thinking of you all week, anticipating Celebrating YOU!  Anders walked into the suite with a bag of Queso potato chips the other day and said, “These aren’t for tonight.  These are for Rauchelle’s birthday.”  I asked where he got them from and discovered that he spent his own pesos to purchase them himself for the family.  Sweet Jesse!

Laars came in with initials of family members on a list….the invitation list for your party.  I asked what his party ideas were and what he was excited about most was that he had already made popsicles.  When I asked him ‘how many have you made?” he replied confidently, “Two!”  Wow, don’t think that was going to satisfy our crew so I helped him make some fresh lime/orange juice popsicles, enough so each of the kids could have one each…until I discovered that he ate one for breakfast this morning.  So Gaelyn made another orange juice one in hopes it would be frozen enough for Party Time.  It was!!

Collage selfie

Collage M&G

Collage GirlsWe had Aunt Jo and Uncle Kevin (along with Gatsby) come up for a BBQ

Collage Beer

Gatsby2so they could enjoy the expansive grounds, take in the breeze on another hot day thats saturated with the aroma from the Jacarandas…..and eat cake!  Chocolate with cream cheese from Marisa’s.

Collage CakeSo Rauchelle, I know its kind of late to say this on your Birthday, but we wish you a Fantabulous Year full of all your dreams and plenty of delights.  And you can still be Our Baby!!

 

Girls Take-over

Four young girls converged on the hotel reception and took over for the night.  They organized a sleep-over… why it’s called a sleep-over, I have no idea.  I could hear them thru our bedroom wall at 2am!!

These are friendships we had no idea would be discovered and nurtured when we hit the road in 2007.  Language isn’t a barrier.  A challenge, yes, but not a barrier.Collage sleepover