Friday, May 31, 2013

First World Dog Problems

So you might have seen these memes on BuzzFeed about "First World Dog Problems" lately. (They have one for cats and!) They are pretty darn funny!

This is so totally LaMesa...and totally adorable!

So that made me think of what Dally and LaMesa's "first world dog problems" would be...

What would your dog's meme be? I can only image what it would be for the Brews Brothers... 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013

LaMesa's (Frustrating) Trip at Hamilton

With Dally, I expect to qualify during a trial with her. It hasn't always been that way, but now she's known as "Dependable Dally". (Though she does keep me grounded at times, don't worry--I can't get cocky with her.)

But with LaMesa, it's a crapshoot if we'll qualify or not. We're still not 100% a team and still trying to figure each other out. That's OK--she's only 3. It just some times gets frustrating when I see other "young" teams very successful. But I know that time will come for us, too....soon....I hope.

Hamilton was a frustrating weekend with LaMesa. We're back to having weave pole issues. Whomp whomp. It's back to weave pole boot camp.

Case in point, our Excellent 12" Jumpers course on Saturday:

(Our Standard run on Saturday I left out about four obstacles. Don't ask me what I was thinking--I had just run that course perfectly with Dally. But I figured out that I was off course by the time we hit the table. Oops. Oh well, it was a good laugh for all of us.)

Sunday's runs with LaMesa were probably the most frustrating I've had in a while. Standard started with another weave pole pop-out, followed by a few missed obstacles. She did nail a tough discrimination that her sister didn't make, so that was a positive.

Finally in Jumpers, just when I was losing all hope, we somehow pulled off that rare Qualifying run. That's right--no "just one thing", no knocked bars, no popped-out weaves.

It felt good to know we actually can put together a full, clean, smooth run. I know we still have a lot to work on--my timing is off with my front crosses with her now that I'm doing those more than rears. I had wanted to throw in a blind with that course like I did with Dally's run, but I wasn't fast enough because I was worried to take my eyes off of her. I need to trust her, and she needs to focus a little more on the obstacles than me.

So now we'll work on weave pole boot camp and a few other things. We will be doing one day at the Derby City Agility Association's trial next weekend, then three days at the Hoosier Kennel Club trial (my dad's trial) the weekend after. We'll also be attempting FAST again for the first time since I first trialled LaMesa at the Hoosier, so that ought to be interesting.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gotta Love Agility at Hamilton

This past weekend, we returned to the Hamilton Dog Training Club's AKC Agility Trial at the Game Time facility. I love this trial. I don't really know why, but I think it's because Dally usually does really well at the facility. Sure there are some negatives to it (it tends to get rather warm in there the later it gets, if it's tall to small the days are long for us), but it's in a nice area and the foot and equipment is wonderful.

Dally racked up another QQ on Saturday with two great runs. I was a little concerned with how she'd do, considering on Friday she started limping pretty badly on our walk. An emergency trip to visit Dr. Forry, her chiropractor, revealed it was more soft tissue than anything else--she was probably a little sore from the longer walks we went on the day before. So she was put on Traumeel (thank you Merinda and Melanie!), and she seemed to be fine the rest of the weekend!

Here's her Masters Standard run from Saturday--the speed demon! We ended up with 26 points on this run.

By the Jumpers, she was a little slower, but we still got 9 points:

On Sunday, she was moving and grooving so fast, I couldn't pull her off of an off-course tunnel. The chute was to the left of the tunnel, and they were supposed to go teeter, jump, turn left to chute. Well, she locked onto that tunnel and took it. (I made the mistake of calling "Tunnel" even though my body was turned towards the chute--my mind was reading that she was going to the tunnel and I was thinking "Not the tunnel!" So I said "Tunnel!" instead of "Chute!" Oops.) Oh well. The rest of the course was fast and she had fun. She made up for it with 6 points in Jumpers later that day.

Dally likes to remind me we can't be perfect all of the time, so I always have to thank her for keeping me grounded. I am loving running her right now--we're having a lot of fun and I don't feel stressed when we're running any more. That's the icing on the cake right there.

LaMesa has some good news to share from her time at Hamilton, but I'll save that for tomorrow's post. ;-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Crossing Paws & Holding Hearts for the Pets of Oklahoma

Not many know that I used to live in Oklahoma City. After completing an internship in Texas, I moved to Oklahoma to work for the National Reining Horse Association. Dally was almost 2 at the time.

Every weekend we'd go over to Lake Hefner, which was just a couple miles from my apartment, and hang out. I wasn't happy in Oklahoma, but I still have many connections there. My thoughts are with the people of Central Oklahoma who are recovering from the tornados last night.

The Stump Kids are crossing their paws that the misplaced animals will find their owners once again, soon.

Dally after a swim in Lake Hefner.
Here is a video of one lucky pup that was reunited with his owner during a television interview (the embed option wasn't working): Oklahoma Tornado Survivor Finds Dog Buried Alive Under Rubble

And you can help out the Central Oklahoma Humane Society by checking out their website:

(I'll be posting a wrap-up from this weekend's agility trial later, I just wanted to send a quick note.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Shopping Stump Kid Style

Going shopping with the Stump Kids is always an adventure.

First Dally starts sniffing for samples. We always start in the dog food aisles because those are the most fun.

Dally finds that it's her job to clean up under the shelves for the humans. She's not picky when it comes to flavor.

Agreeing on what treats to buy is a family ordeal. Both girls have to give their sniff of approval: If they bite at the product, it's going home with us, if they turn nose, it goes back on the shelf. On this day, both bags of Dentley's Chewies went home with us. And the girls love them!

How do you shop with your pets?

(Sorry for the blurry photos--the camera was in Indiana at the time, so the best we could do was the Iphone. The girls are fast shoppers, so they were blurs for most photos.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Herding Dogs Gone Terrier

For a few years now I've heard about all the fun my agility friends have had at the annual Bluegrass Working Terrier Association's Spring Fling Terrier Trial, an event held in Taylorsville, Ky., with lots of different events for terriers and Dachshunds. They've always allowed other breeds to participate, and lately added a "Miscellaneous" category for almost all of the events. Finally this year, I bit the bullet and decided to give it a try.

It was wet. It was chilly. It was dreary. It was LOUD. I've never heard so much barking in all my life--and I live with a Corgi! In fact, my Corgi was the quietest dog on the entire fairgrounds. Yes, for once in Dally's life she was the quietest! Even LaMesa got into the barking act while watching the agility and waiting for the lure coursing.

The Brews Brothers were hoarse by the end of the day from all their barking.
I pre-entered the Stump Kids for a few classes just to have some fun. LaMesa was competing in the Advanced Off-Lead Agility (Misc.), Barn Hunt (Misc.), and the Lure Coursing (Misc.). Dally was in the Barn Hunt (Misc.) and the Lure Coursing (Misc.). I wasn't sure what Dally would do in her events, but I figured I'd never know until we tried it.

First was LaMesa's go in agility--the course was simple with only 6 weave poles, but I figured it was good practice with all the barking and different activities going on. Wouldn't you know it, she was perfect! She even placed 2nd, out of 16, just losing out to a Border Collie. Yay Bitz! (Note: I didn't enter Dally in the agility because I felt as though she didn't need the practice. I was right in that guess because the grass was thick and tall, which wouldn't have been fun for her to run.)

After watching Porter do the Go-to-Ground, we tackled the Barn Hunt. In Barn Hunt, they put one rat in a PVC pipe (with holes screwed so it can breathe) plus three other empty pipes. The pipes are hid in piles of hay in a small area. You have three minutes to let your dog sniff the pipes and let you know which pipe contains the rat. The first minute you let the dog work alone, then after that you can move the pipe around, encourage them, etc. For both girls I had to go through the first minute quiet, then helped them out.

LaMesa was first, then Dally. Both girls weren't too sure of the whole process. It took me concentrating really hard to see if they offered any behavior if they smelled the rat. After a minute, or two, I finally made my decision. I was right both times!

The judge (to my right) and I had to have our backs turned while the rat tube
was being moved around. LaMesa was allowed to watch, though.
It was funny to see Dally's reaction--she seemed so disgusted the entire day, but even more so with the barn hunt. How did I know that she smelled the rat? Well, the one tube that she took a medium-length sniff then backed up, looked at me like "Really?" and then turned around told me that maybe there was a stinky rat in there. Either way, Dally ended up 5th in her division!

Watch LaMesa's Barn Hunt video here:

Finally it was time for the lure coursing. I've done LaMesa on lure coursing before, and would love to get her AKC CAT title, so I wanted to make sure she still had the drive for it. Needless to say she was riled up and ready to go!

Her first run she lost the bag because it got a little too far ahead of her, so she doubled back to me. But the second time, she stayed all over that bag and had a blast.

Now, Dally, on the other hand, had never done lure coursing, but I know she likes to chase things, so I wanted to let her give it a go. At first she was intrigued by the bag, but then it got too far ahead of her and she wasn't sure what to do. After a "badonk shake" she continued on...until she ran into the string and thought it bit her. That was it for her--she was done. Oh well. Maybe next time...

It was an interesting event. LaMesa seemed to have a ball, but Dally not so much. It was so funny to see the look on her face with how much Porter was barking and how disgusted she looked at times (Dally is so opinionated). It was a fun experience I encourage other dog owners to try!

Dally would have her back turned on the action, while LaMesa was barking at the action.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Our Friend Keebler--the Tailed Corgi Wonder!

OK, so I'll admit some times I'm not much of fan of tails (unless they're attached to certain dogs, like Porter and Stout), but I am a fan of one mighty Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a tail--Keebler.

Keebler's owned by Dr. Roger O'Sullivan and his wife, Elissa. I got to know the O'Sullivans very well last year when Roger drove Dally across the country to Reno with five other dogs, including Keebler, for the 2012 AKC Nationals. Keebler is a rescue dog, but she was more like a diamond in the rough. She's so fast, so smart, such a good girl. Roger's been hitting agility trials every weekend in hopes of qualifying her for the AKC Invitational, which is hard for a popular breed like the Pembrokes. Even harder--Keebler jumps 12-inches, while majority of the other Pembrokes jump 8-inches. Yet she's still in the top 4 (the top 4 in each breed is invited to compete as the best of the breed).

Well, now Keebler's been invited to compete in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Eastern Regionals at Spa Beach Park in Tampa, Fla., on May 4.

How awesome is that?? I rarely see any Corgis at these events! She'll be in the weave pole challenge and maybe the agility (I can't remember for sure).

Here's a news article the Columbus, Ohio, meda did on Keebs: Rescue Corgi Entered in Purina Competition in Tampa

The event won't be televised live on national television, but it is being recorded for television for some time in June. I'm sure Elissa will let me know when it'll be on, and until then, her sons are with Roger right now and I'm sure they've been instructed to record every moment of Roger and Keebler's domination.

Go, Keebler, Go!!!

(Photo from Elissa's Facebook, by Calvin Clutter, taken at AKC Nationals 2013.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dally's New Duds

Two weeks ago, Dally debuted a new look at the Queen City Agility Trial.

You see, for the past 5 years, she's been rocking a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon collar that the Small Dog Posse got to support Merinda in her battle against the disease. To go along with that, she had a neon green and hot pink leash, given to me by Melanie and Marty, as her "agility trial attire." So, yes, for 5 years, she's been rocking that look--and it's done us well!

But after earning her PACH, and a second trip to Nationals, I felt like it was time to spice things up a bit and get something new. For months I've been on the lookout for a hot pink, zebra print collar. Dally has a zebra print soft-sided crate for trials, and the print just suits her. And hot pink is her collar--she's a diva.

I finally found the perfect collar on Amazon, thanks to Bella Mode. At first I ordered one in a 1-inch width, but I quickly discovered that was too wide for her neck. The folks at Bella Mode were quick about getting back to me and made a new, custom-made 5/8" collar and sent it to me in time for our trial!

So then, of course, you have to have a new leash to match the new collar, right? Luckily my friend Hillarey, with her company All Leashed Up, was at the trial and was able to make me a custom leash, just like the one she made LaMesa for her collar. Merinda helped me come up with the perfect combination of hot pink, black, and a splash of neon green (to make it bright and to go along with LaMesa's colors). Sunday morning, it was ready!

So, what do you think?

The new look paid off with a QQ on Sunday! (She's gotta have her favorite squeakie tennie in her pic!)

Friends are amazed at how I don't have tons of leashes and tons of collars for the two girls--I like to be minimal with things. Plus, I tend to be a little superstitious--if it's working, why change?

How do you outfit your agility pups?