Time flies so fast! Now comes the time when I have to write my yearly Poodle letter, 'Poodle Moments' again. As you can guess, I have been busy all through 1999 as usual.

The Biggest News

Guess what is my biggest poodle news this year?
The answer is PCA! Yes, I went to the Poodle Club of America National Specialty Show this June for the first time.

I arrived at Waldorf on Sunday, June 13 and I stayed there for a week. There were friends to meet and lots of beautiful Poodles to see. Sure, it was a great week. In Japan, Standard Poodles are still rather a rare breed and if we have 5 entries of them from puppy to adult classes in one show, it is the big entry! At PCA, I was happy to be able to see more than 100 Standards.

I did see almost all of PCA shows, from Agility to Conformation and I enjoyed everything. BOB dog was beautiful and very impressive, but the ones impressed me most at PCA were two Corded Poodles. I have seen some of them through pictures but I've never seen the real one until then. I'd like to see if Nanako's coat would cord too.

I'd love to go to PCA again next June, but it would depend on the conditions of my old Toys. Addie will be 18 by the time when the next PCA is held and I don't know if Connie's heart would be OK then. Please cross your fingers for me and for my dear old kids. However, one thing I thought it was too much at PCA was the temperature at show site. To me, it was too cold and I thought I was sitting in a fridge! I'm sure I will wear a sweater next time.

Old dogs and grooming

Addie is doing amazingly well at the age of 17 and a half, but standing on a grooming table for a while for scissors work has become a burden for her. One day, I was trying to do the same job on her as usual but I realized that it was the time I should give up trimming her with scissors. She is just too old to stand straight still on a grooming table patiently now and she was so stressed out then. I took out a clipper and started to clip her body except her head, ears and tail. I love those fluffy coats of Poodles and clipping them off was what I really didn't want to do. As I was clipping Addie, I felt so sad and I had to shed tears. Addie used to be so pretty when she was young but now she looks miserable without her coat. Fortunately Connie can still stand on a table for some time, so she looks nice. However, Connie has another problem.

Connie and her time-bomb heart

Connie's hear is getting worse. I used to take all of my Poodles to my office with me two to three days a week but I had to give up taking Connie with me at last. At office when somebody comes, Connie always runs to the door to bark, then collapses! When she runs as barking, she does it so quickly that I always miss the chance to grab and stop her. I don't think she understands that her heart is so bad.
For the peace of Connie, I decided to let her stay home with Addie. So now, only Nanako comes to my office. Since she has her own job there, she has a reason to come anyway.

A New Fashion - Toys in a sleeve

Since Addie has lost her coat and Connie sometimes collapses when she goes out in the cold weather, I decided to put a sweater on them. Being honest, I don't like to put clothes on dogs, for they are not a dress-up doll. However, to protect them from cold weather, I think I have to do it no matter I like it or not. I cut off the sleeves from my old sweater, cut out two holes for front legs and put it on Addie and Connie. Look at their photos. Aren't they cute? I cried while I was shaving Addie, but now I can enjoy dressing up her with cute clothes! Connie is over sized and she is a little bit fat, the same sleeve fits too tight on her. Christmas presents for my old girls are, of course, NEW dresses!

An Old Dog Behavior

In dark, Addie seems to be almost blind at last. When I take her out for toilet at night, she often bumps into something. At home, sometimes she's stuck in the corner or in some narrow spaces and has a bit hard time to get out from there. Small dogs are easy to handle but because they are SMALL, they can go into small spaces too. I didn't think of it until Addie was stuck under my car one day. Calling her name was useless, for she is completely deaf now and in a dark small space, she seemed she had no idea where to go.

One night when I came back home late, I saw Addie standing beside my computer shelf facing to the wall. I thought she was stuck there again. When I reached out my hands to save her from that situation, I got surprised and upset. She wasn't lost, she was caught and tangled up in telephone cords. I have two phone lines at home and through ISDN router and other phone adapter, there are four telephone cords hanging close to the computer shelf. All of them were twined tight around Addie's neck. I don't know how long she was caught. The cords twined and tangled with her so complicatedly that it took me a while to save Addie from the cord web. When I untwine them, I found her neck had turned red. It was an unfortunate happening to her, but she was rather fortunate to get tangled up in four cords. If it was only one, it might twine around her neck so tight enough to choke her. Anyway, I felt relieved when I knew that Addie was all right and all my phone cords and phone equipments were also all right.
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