I'm finally here!  And since I know you've been dying to know my Friday Favorites for last week – I'll post them here as  Magnificent things I love on Mondays….

Movie:  BraveheartI know this movie is heart-wrenching but it is so good.  My favorite movie moment is at the end – when he sees Murin (his wife) through the crowd and they smile at each other – like "finally – we can be together."  SOB. Sob. Sob.  I watched this movie with Russell last week and it never fails to suck me in and make me cry. 

Song:  Bottom of the Barrel by Amos LeeI heard this song on the radio several months ago on our local college radio station.  There is a cool broadcast every Sunday afternoon called Acoustic Cafe that plays up- and-comer acoustic players and covers of other songs.  I love listening to this station because I always hear something new and something that I like.  Anyway, this song is a pick-me-up, great feeling, I'm gonna move on and be a happy, better person type of song.

Book:  What else?  Of course it's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.  I'm already on page 270 and just started reading last night!  I am  a fast reader but also have a very hard time putting a book down once I've started.  I'm so anxious to finish it but then sad that the seventh book won't come out for a LONG TIME and then the series will be over….

In other new and exciting news, we had an eventful weekend!  Colin had to go to the podiatrist on Friday because he had an in-grown toenail and had to have part of the toenail surgically removed.  This was not  a good thing in his book and after screaming bloody-murder when they had to give him three  shots in the toe (OUCH OUCH OUCH) he actually did pretty well.  I, on the other had, was sweating and lightheaded after trying to calm him and help him.  He is bounding around the house today after being cared for by my mom all weekend.  She is a good nurse and he is doing great.

Now, the reason she was taking care of him this weekend is because Russell and I and our dog Harry were going to compete in an AKC Obedience Trial.  At first we thought that Russell would stay home and take care of Colin while I went to the Civic Center here in town to compete.  But since Colin would be watching a lot of movies and otherwise resting and since we had been planning on him going out there, that's what he did.

I've been taking Harry to my local obedience center since he was about ten weeks old.  He is such a smart dog and really seems to like going to classes and learning.  (He really, really likes the treats involved, too!)    My teachers have always said that he is a great dog and about two months ago, some of them suggested we try and compete with him in the upcoming trial.  I was nervous – he was only about 6 months old at the time and very puppyish still.  But Russell and I thought "what the heck" and have been training him consistently ever since.  For the past several weeks, I've been taking him somewhere different every single day (or night) and training him in a new location.  This helps to "proof" the dog in different daily distractions.  They learn that stay means stay regardless of where you are or what time it is or what's going on around them etc.


We went up to the Civic Center on Friday to take his crate (as many people had suggested) and everyone was rolling out the mats and setting up the rings.  People were stressed and Russell and I tried to pitch in and help until that was finished. 

Saturday we went up there and there were so many more dogs and people (even though this was a very small event).  There was a tension in the air!  Some people travel all over the country with their dogs and make this their "thing" if you know what I mean.  If you've ever seen the movie Best in Show then you'll know what I'm talking about.  (although that is a different type of show than what we did….)


Anyway, our turn came up.  Everyone was wondering how we would do since Harry was the youngest dog competing by about a year.  He is only 8 months old and still "flighty" and sometimes unpredictable.  I had never been in the ring before this (unless you count being on the STAGE) and was a bit nervous….Well…..Harry WON his class.  First Place.  Score of 190 out of 200.  So happy that all that work paid off and all the people who helped me with him were proud.  Here is the blue ribbon dog….