Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Superb Sweater

Look at JOE'S sweater. I think it is superb in every detail.

2 comments:

mad angel said...

It really is a fantastic sweater, Colin, and doesn't Joe look nice in it! I'm glad you linked to this -- I had lost track of him, and am glad to have his blog in my reading list again. Years ago, I sold some ramie fiber to a fella who called himself EarthaKnits, or something like that, and he gave some of the fiber to Joe, and one day I looked at Joe's blog, and there was a hat on his head, made from the ramie I had sold to his friend. I think Joe spun the ramie, though I don't remember for sure. I was very excited to see something I sold worked up and on a person!

The puppies are beautiful as always.

Y'know, I must confess that I didn't get it about breeding for many years. It used to be, when I was growing up, that you got a dog at a pet shop, or through an ad in the newspaper. My first dog, a toy fox terrier, bought for me at age 3, came from a pet store. He made a career out of biting me, and finally my dad got rid of him when I was 10 or so. He had come after me (the dog) while I was sitting on the floor, knocked me over, and tried to rip my ear off. This was after years of him trying to bite me in the face and sometimes succeeding. If they had got rid of him when I was much younger and less likely to remember, it would have been less traumatic. I was convinced it was all my fault. Tippy wasn't really a bad dog. I must have done something, and he was having an off night. Fact is, he was a nasty, ill-bred little animal who might have been fine as some childless couple's baby, but should never have been sold to a family with a toddler.

Next dog was an English Springer from a back-yard breeder. My father did not believe in neutering a male animal, so this dog was a leg-humping maniac. He was not allowed to wander, so never added any over-sexed mutts to the canine population. (Thank goodness!) He was not a biter, either, just...really, really stupid.

My next 2 dogs were chows, and they came from BYBs, too, because there was no internet at the time. I relied on the newspaper. In the first case, the man had a passion for the breed, but had turned out a litter of two who were strictly pet quality. He made me promise to have Kali fixed, and I did. I was in college at the time, and I knew I didn't have the vaguest notion about how to deal with a dog in heat. Tasha, too, was pet quality and the runt of the litter to boot. I had her fixed, too, but mainly because I had a new baby of my own and knew I would not want to deal with a litter of pups at the same time.

It wasn't until I got into Corgis that I began to be educated about breeding, and breed standards, and what most good breeders are really like. The two I got from a breeder came to me already fixed, because the breeder did not want them bred. They are lovely companions, but they are by no means up to show standards. That's OK with me, and having them come to me already altered was a plus. I paid the price for the animals, and didn't have to worry about scheduling -- or affording -- their surgeries. My rescue, too, came to me already fixed. And she -- well, it is much better that she make no contribution to the gene pool. She is a mix, for one -- probably Corgi and Australian Cattle Dog -- and she has a congenital eye deformity, is blind, and kind of psycho. She doesn't see well, so she makes up for this deficiency by barking. Loudly. Almost constantly. And she runs so much and so fast she has worn a track in our back yard and is skinny as a greyhound. Occasionally, I wonder if I ought to consider having her de-barked, and then I feel guilty. They do that in puppy mills. Does an animal-loving civilian ever undertake that? Is it horrible for me to even think of such a thing?

Since I have gotten to know breeders in recent years, yourself among them, I understand a lot better. Your blog entries about your precious babies ought to be required reading for those who don't get it! If nothing else, if they just look at the pictures of you holding any of the dog, and the smile on your face, they will understand. and see that your dogs are meticulously cared for. (God, the coat on Whitney in some of those recent pics --!!!)

I suppose it's only a matter of time before those PETA folks start demonstrating at wool festivals, too. Grrrrrr...do they think that "Shrek" was HAPPY with six years worth of wool growing down over his eyes???? Me, I think he was probably very glad to lose all that excess bulk and be able to move again!

Kathleen Valentine said...

Fabulous design and great color too!