Wednesday, October 31, 2007

USDAA Nationals news!

News...

Eric Larson (the videographer) won't be filming at the USDAA Nationals, like he did at the FCI World Championships. We're hoping to pull some vids from YouTube as folks upload them.

In the meantime, to get you in the mood, here is a team to watch...

Nancy Gyes and Ace

Unusual gift idea!

Here is an unusual gift idea for the dog lover this holiday season! - Well it's not a pup in the pic, but you get the idea, right?

Put your pup on a customized Shower Curtain, a Pillow, a Photo Pillowcase, even a Duvet! Yep that's right, keep those pups close to you at all times and take 'em with you to snuggle with when your away.

They are completely machine washable works of art. You can upload your image and in 2-4 weeks they ship you the finished product free! And you can order a duplicate at half price. Photos of 3 megapixels will work or larger - so you can use pretty much any digital photo. Could be interesting!

USDAA Championships get underway!

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Grand Prix of Dog Agility at the USDAA Championships being held this week in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In honor of this milestone, the Cynosport World Games Dog Agility Championships will open today with the running of the original course from the 1st Grand Prix in 1988. That year only 79 dogs competed in the three-day weekend tournament event in Houston, Texas. The course was simple by in comparison to today's courses and it only included 17 obstacles.

Today over 700 dogs will be competing, beginning at 2:00 MST.

Click here for more info and see the course map - look no table! Nasty weave entrance, but it's gonna be a fast one...

We're gonna try this week to gather updates for you from throughout the Blog-o-sphere and Internet, bringing them to you as fast as possible. So, stay tuned!

Going mobile!

In the past having a mobile phone with Internet access gave you a very uninspired view of the Internet and all the Web has to offer. But now things seem to be changing.

I looked the other day at my blog on an iPhone. Not bad! It was easy to view, easy to understand, easy to read and easy to navigate. But my website was a bit of another matter. It needs some help to look the best on a mobile device. Having a wap site is going to become increasingly important in the future!

With the iPhone, and other devices hitting the market, mobile marketing is becoming a much more pleasant experience - bringing efficiency, access, and enjoyment to millions of users. Having a mobile website is the way to go.

We're pretty sure that the mobile Internet is going to become bigger and bigger in the future - just as cell phones and other mobile devices grew. But there is a little work to be done - device improvements, website formatting, access and speed improvements, and more.

It's not mainstream by any means, but we think this form of Internet access will grow and grow. I do have to admit, however, that with all this mobile-ness, will we always be working? Always be looking at our devices? Hope not, we need some two-legger and four-legger one-on-one, don't we!

Happy Halloween!




We hope all of you have a safe and happy Howl-o-ween. And for some safety tips, be sure and check out my post about Halloween Safety. The ASPCA has put together great safety tips we wanted to share with you to keep your pets safe on the big goblin day. And don't eat any four-legger candy, K?

Cosmetic surgery for dogs!

Bet you didn't know that cosmetic surgery is going to the dogs (and cats, and other animals). Do a quick search in Google on 'pet cosmetic surgery' and you will be shocked!

The term "Cosmetic Surgery" means medically unnecessary surgical procedures, usually, but not limited to, plastic surgery directed toward preserving beauty.

Pups are getting eyelifts, chin lifts, botox and even lipsuction. There is even a vet in Brazil that specializes in these procedures.

Now I'm not one to point fingers by any means, but I really like pups (and two-leggers) for that matter just the way they are. Even this little guy here has a uniqueness about him. But I would certainly understand if someone wanted a cosmetic surgeon to help them recover more fully from any kind of injury or illness. How about you? How do you feel about cosmetic surgery?

My blog has been hatched!

My good blogging friend, Chris, over at The Dog Log bestowed upon a great award - My Blog has been Hatched!

Thanks Chris, we love your blog and love that you bring such valuable health info to us pups! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Woofs, Johann

A reflection on blogging!

I don't know about you two or four-leggers, but I love blogging. Not only do I get to write down my life for posterity sake, but I get to meet some really cool pups and folks, and sniff some great butts. And I learn a lot too!

I learn great tips for agility, wonderful info to keep me healthy and happy, and I also get to learn about two-leggers - how they think, what makes them tick, and what motivates them. It's an interesting study of human behavior from perspectives all over the world.

Fascinating, yes! I read a lot of blogs - ASPCA about issues facing us pups, Rescue me helps pups find homes, many write about making money, Frog writes for the little two-leggers, Neil about everything, FastCompany blogs on business, and the list goes on and on.

That's what I like about blogging, variety! You can find information and perspectives on just about anything you would ever what to read about. What do you like about blogging?

Time for learning!

My best blogging friend Tish tagged me for the Blue Tea Meme. Here are the rules:

“Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. It’s more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you’d also like to take. Tag five.”

Here’s my course schedule:

Sheep Herding - Sheep herding is in my blood - I'm a Shetland Sheepdog, you know! I think two-leggers and four-leggers need to do what's in their blood, don't you?

Home Maintenance - I feel for Mum sometimes, always having to fix stuff around the house; and sometimes it's stuff she doesn't know and has to learn on the spot. I sure would like to help her out some, maybe a course in home maintenance would take some of the stress away.

Geese Herding - Mum thinks I need to earn my keep, so why not do it having fun, right? If I did some geese herding here around the golf course, I just may earn enough for my agility!

Dancing - Mum thinks that I may be good at that dog dancing stuff. While I would definitely not go for the foo foo outfits, I could really get into something more tough or manly in our routine - like maybe saving a damsel in distress? Anytime I can do stuff with my Mum it improves my life.

Computer stuff - I wouldn't mind learning a little more about the computer to take the load off Mum; it sure would be nice to redo my website!

If you want to participate, I tag: Cassidy (the new kid on the block, and new kids always have a lot to learn, right?), Spencer (cause I know he always likes learning new stuff) and Gomer and Opie (cause they always are up for an adventure).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happenings around the Dog Blog-o-sphere!

We've been catching up today with some of our blogging buddies and wanted to share some great bytes of info!

Our friend Spencer has his likeness on an original art card by his friend Robin from Art for Critters. The card is in their Ebay auction of original art cards to raise money to help the displaced animals in the California fires, near where Spencer lives. If you’d like to help out a good cause you can bid on the cards.

The ASPCA has launched a brand new ASPCA Online Community for discussion boards, and it's loaded with lots of other amazing features! You can do all sorts of things there, create a pup page, participate in live chats with experts, post pics, butt sniff in the forum and loads more.

The new film MINE : Taken By Katrina explores how tragedy intensifies the bond between human and animal and is told from the perspective of original guardians, rescuers, and adoptive parents of the voiceless victims of Katrina. These individuals are all connected by two things, the tragic aftermath of Katrina and their love of animals.

For updated information on pet evacuations, donation needs, shelter updates, pet friendly hotel and other info related to the devastating California wild fires, check out Petfinder.com's disaster information page for the latest. And if you have funds and/or supplies to spare donate to help, K?

If you are into dog sports and are looking for a new car, be sure and stop by DogCars.com. They have great reviews on all types of cars that may or may not work if you have pups and travel like we do! And if you're in the market and live in the San Diego area, try out Honda of San Diego to see if they have what you are looking for.

I'm sweet!

My new friend Lacy LuLu tagged me the other day and said I was sweet! Thanks Lacy LuLu, you are sweet to say that!

Mum thinks I'm kind of sweet too, and she likes to give me sweets when I run agility, or do tricks for her, or be a good boy. Which I always am of course, BOL!!!!

We know some pretty sweet pups and people too, and think they deserve this great honor:

Casper
Cassidy and
Tish

Our little dream!

Mum has been thinking a lot about a new place to live. Our house is great and we love it here, but we sure would like a little more land - a place to have an outdoor agility ring, maybe even an agility barn, some woods, a stream, pond, maybe a place for sheep - you know get back to nature!

We found a great website that has loads of house plans, from English Cottage House Plans and Small Ranch House Plans to our favorite - Log Cabin House Plans. Yep that's what we would like a little cabin in the woods. A little two story, 'cause we like to sleep with some fresh air, room for an office downstairs, and a great room for all our toys, with a nice fireplace.

We'd like one a little more updated that this one of course, but you get the idea! What's your dream home?

Monday, October 29, 2007

We're a PR4!

This was a very exciting weekend. Not only did we get 6 Q's, but Google updated their Page Rank and we got our first rating.

We're now officially a PR4! Much better than we expected for our first rating, fur sure!

Google PageRank  Checker - Page Rank Calculator

Drip, drip, drip!

After the trial this weekend, Mum rewarded me with a good ole snooze on her bed. I know it sounds funny, but I don't always get to sleep on her bed, 'cause the kitties get all upset, then I get upset, then they get upset. And well, needless to say Mum doesn't get any sleep.

But last night (and Mum promised tonight too!) I get to sleep in the human bed. But after last night, I'm not so sure I want to, why? Because of the drip, drip, drip coming from the bath. Mum needs a new Moen faucet, or we all may just go bonkers.

Agility from a dog's point of view - prepare to get dizzy!

Oh wow! This is so cool. Many of my Mum's friends have talked a lot about this - what if someone put a camera on a pup while he/she's running, so everyone could all see what us pup's see!

Well someone finally did it! Or at least we finally found it! Check this out:



Need a barf bag?

Treats!

Mum's been thinking about making a really, really big batch of doggie cookies to give out as Christmas presents to our buds. Many of our pup friends just loves these cookies, we thought you would like them too!

We found this great recipe and wanted to give it a try. We sure would like to have a Hamilton Beach® Mixer to make it easier. A Hamilton Beach® Stand Mixer would work great to get things done fast, doing it by hand is gonna take a little more time, fur sure! Until then...

Doggie Cookies

2 cups of a mixture of rolled oats, brown and rice flours
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (organic is best!)
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
2 eggs
2 dashes of warm water, or better yet, some Grizzly Salmon Oil

Mix everything together, using your Eclectrics® Mixer until it forms a nice dough, adding water or oil to get the right consistency. You can press onto a cookie sheet and back at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Or even better, roll it out and use a doggie themed cookie cutter to make individual biscuits - make them big and small for all types of occasions. Bake as needed.

Voila! You have a very tasty, healthy treat for your pup and pup pals!

AKC and timer malfunctions!

After the timer malfunction during my Standard run yesterday, I really wanted to know what the rule is for how this is handled.

The judge told me that if I decided to rerun, if I nq'd, I basically nq'd, and he was basically right. But lots of my buds told me - no that's not right! You just run for time. There were other AKC judge friends there, so we asked them and really got what seemed like different answers from all three. I'm sure it's because the rules are written a bit vaguely.

What happens if I run and knock a bar, or miss a contact, or, heaven forbid, pop out of the weaves, or go off course? We wanted to know, so we looked it up on the AKC website.

Now if it ever happens to you, we can all make a much more informed decision. Mum certainly doesn't regret that we didn't run for time by any means. Because no matter what the rules she wouldn't have had me run again since I was sore from the face plant during the run. But, for next time here are the rules, directly from the AKC Rule Book:
Stopwatch/E-timer Malfunctions:

Sometimes a stopwatch/e-timer or a timer’s thumb will malfunction. The timer should be instructed to make sure the watch/console is running by looking at it each time a dog crosses the start line.

• If the watch/e-timer is not running, the timer shall blow the whistle or press the horn button if the handler has not completed the first 3 obstacles. Any faults incurred by the dog in the first three obstacles remain in place. Judging of the performance on the restarted course would begin on the obstacle beyond those obstacles completed when the malfunction was signaled.

• If the malfunction is discovered after the third obstacle, the timer shall not blow the whistle nor press the horn button and shall allow the dog to compete the run, notifying the judge at the end of the run. If the dog had a qualifying score based on course faults the first time through, the dog shall be rerun for time only. The handler will have the option of restarting the course immediately, at the end of the jump height, or at the end of the class (if the dog is already at the end of its jump height.) If there is a videotape that shows the start and end clearly and the handler wishes to
use it for determination of the dog’s time, the judge may time the dog’s performance on the tape, thus avoiding a rerun.

Prior to a rerun for time, the handler must be briefed that:

• The dog had a qualifying score and any course faults that may have been incurred remain in place for the dog’s final score.

• The judge must determine ahead of time whether the dog clearly completed the course under standard course time. If it was clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the dog was under time, the judge shall instruct the handler that the dog’s time will be the lesser of the actual rerun time or standard course time. If it was unclear to the judge as to whether the dog completed the course under standard course time, then the judge shall instruct the handler that the rerun time will be used regardless of
whether is was close to the dog’s original time or not.

• In the event that it is clear to the judge that the dog had made course time, beyond a shadow of a doubt, on its first time through the course, the judge may assign standard course time if the exhibitor does not wish to rerun.

• In a rerun, the dog must perform all obstacles completely (including all weave poles, the entire 5 second table count in the standard class, and ascending and descending each contact obstacle). The 4-paw rule is not in effect on a rerun since the dog must perform all obstacles.

• Dogs shall not be faulted for any course faults while they are on a rerun. The dog’s original score remains in place and the new time is added to the scribe sheet.

• Handlers and dog should perform the rerun in a safe manner.

A dog that does not complete all obstacles in a rerun, or a handler who runs his or her dog in an unsafe manner solely trying to get a better time, shall be given an “E” and excused.

A dog shall be eliminated for fouling the ring during a re-run
So, there you have it!

What I think this means is that if I did run again, I would have to complete all the obstacles - so if I popped out of the weaves, I could go back and do them again (it would take up time, but...); I'd need to get my contacts; and I think(?) I could knock a bar, and I could go off course and still Q. Any thoughts out there?

Note to self: Tape all my runs, it may help in a situation like this! I also have to note that I thought it was funny that a timer's thumb would malfunction, didn't you? I had a toe malfunction once - it was dislocated! BOL!

Tatoos honoring us pups!

When I go to an agility trial and look at a few of the two-leggers, I see some really unique stuff. Like the other day I saw one of my bud's Mums with little paw prints on her ankle. I tried to lick them off, but they weren't budgin'.

What's this all about - a new fad? Two-leggers getting tatoos to honor us pups? Well, heck yeah! It's not my Mum's kind of thing, but we think it's pretty cool when folks are brave enough to do it, especially when it's in honor of their four-legger.

We've seen lots of tatoos; from paw prints, to the names of their pups, cross tatoos, and even nice tatoos of photos of the pups. We're curious, who out there has a two-legger with a tatoo honoring you - the pup?

November is Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month!

On my Rescue Me blog the other day we featured a beautiful Golden Retriever who is looking for his forever home.

Meet Tobey - an 8-year-old, red-gold Golden who loves being with people and has a seemingly unlimited capacity for being petted. Tobey loves attention and recently graduated from a beginning obedience course.

All across the US there are hundreds and hundreds of active, healthy and happy senior pets that are looking for their forever homes. The ASPCA and Petfinder.com are joining rescues and shelters throughout the country during the month of November to help these wonderful (but often neglected) pets find equally wonderful homes.

From sources Senior Mutt Match, The Sanctuary for Old Dogs, The Senior Dogs Project, and Best Friends Network here are some great reasons for adopting a senior dog into your family!

1. Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty!
Chances are good that by adopting a senior mutt, you have rescued a wonderful, loving canine from an untimely, unfortunate and unwarranted death. A senior mutt can sense that he or she was saved and will be eternally loyal to his or her new “forever” family.

2. Ease Of Guardianship
Senior mutts are mellow, relaxed and ready for a new home. They are past the puppy chewing and destruction stage and usually come with basic training. Most senior mutts are happiest sitting at your feet or curled up in their bed next to yours.

3. No Huge Lifestyle Change
You don't need to worry about puppy proofing your house and constant training. And older dogs let you get a good night's sleep!

4. Stress Reliever
Life today can be very hectic. Studies have shown that animal guardianship can decrease blood pressure levels and reduce stress. Senior mutts enjoy leisurely walks, which will encourage you to exercise for even a few minutes on your busiest days.

5. WYSIWYG (“What you see is what you get.”)
Senior mutts are full grown and their personalities are completely developed. When you meet with your senior dog, you will know what kind of wonderful, loving canine he or she is and will always be.

6. Doggie Wisdom
Senior canines have learned many of life's lessons. They know, for example, that shoes are for walking and bones are for chewing.

7. Calm, Cool & Collected
Most senior dogs do not demand the time and attention that a younger dog does and are satisfied with casual walks and cuddling. Many senior mutts snooze the day away inside while you are busy at work and are waiting calmly at the door for you when you return home.

8. Old Dog, New Tricks
Senior dogs can learn new tricks and be valuable family and community members. They also make excellent therapy dogs.

9. Companionship For All
Senior dogs make wonderful companions for everyone, especially senior people and busy professionals.

10. Save A Life
Senior dogs are often the first to be euthanized in area shelters. Passed over for cute and cuddly puppies, they often have little chance to be adopted.

To find out more information on senior pets, visit the terrific websites listed above - they have loads of info on caring for your senior pet. And we encourage you to stop by these sites if you are looking for your next best friend:

Being unique!

With my unusual sheltie appearance I sometimes get remarks - Where's your coat? How come your nose isn't longer? Aren't you supposed to have more white on your head? But always when folks see me and how I act, they say, yep, sheltie! I know I wouldn't hold up to breed standard by any means, but that's OK, agility is my game and I'm sticking with it.

I'm sure two-leggers go through the same thing. But just like me when you get to know them, you find they are just two-leggers like everyone else, right?

Some folks want to alter there appearance to look like the masses, even going as far as seeking out places like Miami plastic surgery of Florida. Me? I'm sticking with me, just the way I am, just the way I look. 'Cause I like being unique.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

6 out of 6!

What an unbelievable weekend! Not only did Mum and I get 6 Q's out of 6 runs this weekend - with three DQ's - but the Colts won again (hey, I do have a little more than a one track sports mind)!

We drove back and forth each day, Friday through today, to Lewisville, Ohio, about 20 minutes this side of Dayton for the Dayton Dog Training Club agility trial at Circle G Ranch. That meant getting up way before the crack of dawn and driving about 1.5 hours each way. It's wasn't so bad because we were able to get home by around 4:00 PM, take a quick nap and then some relaxing zooming. And there were absolutely no car accidents, whew!

But I have to tell ya, maybe just the best part of the weekend were the smells! Mum says she can still smell the smells. There was horse doo everywhere, along with the really cool horses, and birds were flying all around my crate where I stayed until it was time to run my runs. You guys know how much I just love herding birds. So the minute I got out of my crate I was raring to go!

The running surface was truly great; this soft, yet firm dirt floor. Inside the arena it was about 60 or so degrees all weekend - a real nice running environment.

We started with Standard. Mum knew after not having training this past week that I would be really ready to run. So she prepared for it. She walked the course planning for handling me at a distance as much as possible and planning for the rear crosses we have been working hard on at training. All of it really paid off.

Our run was smooth, Mum had great distance with me, drove me (but not so much as to freak me out), I was speedy and accurate. It was one of those - I'll always remember - runs. Mum and I just clicked and it felt really, really good.

The course was very flowing, potentially really speedy for many size dogs. There were some off courses for some, mostly - 13 after 2, 3 after 12, and 7 after 19 if folks ran on the inside, instead of the outside.

I really liked how Mum handled me on this. She led out past 2 facing the tunnel (also blocking 13). Once I took off and committed to 2 she then sent me to three and layered 2 out to the teeter. Then she did a front cross fairly near 5 and I took 5-7 as a straight line; she reared 7 and I shot out to the weaves on my own. Then she caught up to me in the middle, gave me some big go, go's and we were off to 9 through 12. She did a front cross after 13 and then just turned me over 14 and up 15. I did a quick down on the table and she stayed on my left sending me to the tunnel. Then she ran with me on the outside of 18-20. What a sweet ride it was - we ended up with one of our fastest Standard runs ever!

We sure didn't have a spot at first place though, 'cause the FCI World Championship Individual Bronze Medal holder was running in our class a couple of days this weekend. Sure was great to see them run! What a wonderful team they are.

Our next run was JWW. After our great showing in Standard, we were pretty jerky in our JWW run. But it was clean and good enough for some nice MACH points.

During Saturday's Standard walk through there was a lot of discussion going on. It was all about 4-5. Doesn't look that bad on the map, but turned out that 4 was even with 5 and nearly lateral in placement. There were questions of safety. But the course didn't change.

Mum decided to keep me safe and out of the tunnel, of course, she was going to shape me in an arc by doing a front cross after 4 - turn me, get my attention and then tell me to walk - worked like a charm. We saw many dogs take the walk at a really bad angle. Luckily no dogs ended up on the tunnel and none fell off the walk. For the most part I think everyone kept there pup safe. Some ran on the right of the tunnel; and many, many dogs went in the tunnel. Surprisingly (at first) a lot of dogs took the walk after 6 instead of 7. Not surprisingly there was also a lot of dog/human bumping, as well as, dog spinning going on out of 11.

The rest of our run was good - not as speedy as the day before, but real good (guess our standards are higher now!). Good enough for 6th place.

Our JWW on Saturday was real good - again one of our best times ever. Mum had been leading out with me all weekend, but on this one she decided to run with me. She gave me the 1, 2, 3, GO! and we were off.

At first, she will admit, she thought she was going to be sorry for not leading out, but she ran her little(?) butt off and got a rear cross command out on 5 very well. She also made sure to stay with me and keep her hand down for 7-9 (there were tons of off courses to 2). My weaves were good. Then Mum went for the front cross after 11, and I nearly took the tunnel instead. She gave me a really, really big HERE! and, whew, no NQ. So we bolted for the finish. Mum made sure to turn in a bit for me on 18 (there were a lot of missed 18's), then rear crossed 19.

We drove home with really big smiles - two DQ's in two days.

Left early this morning - we were both surprisingly energetic. Mum thought that I would be pretty tired by today and may not run in fifth or even fourth gear. So she revved me up and ran with me on the Standard run. I ran pretty well, until we got past the triple. I took a jump before the Frame and my front legs collapsed under me - I face planted, didn't drop the bar, took the frame and the last jump. Another Q!

But wait - the timer didn't work! The judge came over and gave us a couple of choices - either run again and risk an NQ or take SCT. Mum didn't want me to have to run any more than I needed. And after the face plant, she decided to take SCT. No MACH points but another Q.

Our great vet was there - Aunt Bonnie. So Mum took me to see her real quick after my face plant. I was OK, didn't need any adjustments, but my muscles were a little sore and real tight. So Mum walked me out, rubbed some Traumeel on me and I was much better. I took some rest before our JWW run.

Mum walked the course and liked it. I ran the jumps pretty darn well for the sixth run of the weekend, but didn't really want to do the weaves. But I did after Mum gave me some Go, Go's. Not the best time, by any means, but a Q, nonetheless. I was still pretty sore.

Then we packed up, got all our goodies (did you see those 6 Q ribbons, 3 DQ ribbons and 6 toys!) and drove the 1.5 hours home. Mum iced and heated my shoulders, upper back and upper front legs. We took a quick nap and then Mum gave me a great rub down. We all pretty tired but have to say that we kind of on a high.

What a great weekend! Hope you all had a nice one too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vote for me!

Help keep me on the front page of the Bloggers Choice Awards Best Animal Bloggers, vote for me!

My site was nominated for Best Animal Blogger!

Thank you in advance for your vote! We sure appreciate it! Woofs, Johann

A new table for practice?

During the winter months and the heat of the summer when it's just too hot or cold to get in some practice, Mum has been working with us inside. One of the things we love to work on the most is the table.

As many of you know in USDAA it's a down on the table and in AKC it's either a down or a sit, depending on the judges choice for the run.

Mum has always taught me and Gracie to go directly down on the table. Just makes things faster and easier.

When we practice inside, we practice the table on our ottoman. Looks kind of like this one, but this one is even cooler, 'cause it could double as a toy box, don't ya think? The site that has this ottoman, also has all kinds of home furnishings including bar stools.

Mum also uses the clicker with us, clicking the minute we go down on the table. And she sends us from all angles and all distances she can muster in the living room. We just love it and get really wild and fast at it. 'Cause you all know what comes after the click, don't ya! Yep, a big 'ole treat! Yeah!

Oh and BTW - when we don't use it for a table, Mum uses it to put her feet up after training us - we wear her out!

Gearing up the USDAA Nationals!

Loads of my friends are starting to pack their bags to travel to Scottsdale, Arizona for next weeks start of the Cynosport World Games '07 - October 31-November 4! We are really psyched for them.

Here's a quick vid from last year - to get you in the mood!


We wish all our friends great performances! Mum and I were super excited to qualify for the quarterfinals in Steeplechase and Grand Prix, but decided not to go this year because of my young age. Mum and I have more to do before we ready - heck, we just feel like we're starting to work like a team!

Good luck to all who are competing in Flyball, Disc Dog, Dock Dog, and Agility - you are already winners in my book!

The manicure!

I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate getting my nails trimmed. Mum says we have to do it tomorrow, 'cause they are a bit long for me running three days at this weekends agility trial. She tries ever so hard to make it a pleasant experience with the clicker and treats - and I have to admit, I'm getting better about it all the time.

Because I don't like it so much, Mum did some research. What are the best ways to trim a pups nails? What are the different ways? How do you help a pup like nail trimming? And what are the best tools?

She found out a lot of cool stuff, that you may or may not know. And she put all the info into our Squidoo Lens - Trimming your dogs nails!

Be sure and check it out. There's a cool instructional video, all kinds of tools available, resource and information articles about trimming a pups nails, and a terrific vid on helping a dog to like nail trimming - from my very first obedience trainer, Laura! She's awesome and taught me all about the clicker, being a better pup in public and helped me and Mum be a great team.

Check it out - and here's to happy nail trimming!

Blogging for friendship!

My good blogging friend Tish at ChattieKat tagged me the other day with the Blogging For Friendship tag! How cool is that! Tish is one of my top buds. She has pups of her own and totally gets me. Thank you Tish!!!!

I have to say I've made a lot of really good friends from blogging - lots of two-leggers and four-leggers.

One of my best buds is Therese from PetSitUSA. Not only does she give me advice when I need it, but she's totally real with me - that's what a friend is for! And she's very kind, goes out of her way for others and is totally devoted to animals. You just couldn't ask for more than that in my doggie book!

Another one of my good friends is Cyn from TipTail. She's a pup rescuer and foster Mum. She's always going out of her way to help a pup in need. And she's a sports nut, just like me - well dog sports that is. We have loads in common.

And I would be totally remiss if I didn't mention all my friends at Dogs With Blogs. There are so many! They welcomed me with open arms, they are so friendly and helpful on the forum (what a nice forum, you say?), they visit me regularly and I love hearing about their lives, loves and adventures.

Last, but certainly not least, is my sis Gracie. She is my bestest friend ever! She laughs with me, plays with me, gets in tiffs with me, eats and sleeps with me - she is always by my side and I hers. We just wouldn't have it any other way.

I could just go on forever, but sadly there just isn't enough bytes in cyberspace for me to mention all my buds. And if I didn't mention you please forgive the pup in me - I certainly consider all my readers my friends!

I want this!

Mum was looking around for some stuff for our Disco, stuff that she can add to it to carry more of our stuff! 'Cause not that there are two pups and two kitties in the family and we are travelling more to trials, we need places for our stuff.

We came across this site that has all kinds of add ons for your truck, car, SUV and van. They have racks for the tops, step ups for the sides, cargo liners for those 'little spills', pet barriers and loads more. They even have big 'ole lights for setting up those courses in the dark.

We wouldn't mind having a van rack for the top of our Disco, then we could stash some stuff on top and have more room for more pups, BOL!

A new sport for us pups?

There's a new dog sport coming out of Germany? Well, maybe! It's called Treibball. Looks like it would be fun for us herding breeds. Maybe for those that are getting on in years, or don't have sheepies to work. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Animals, pets and humans face threat in Southern California!

We've been thinking a lot in the past couple of days about our friends out in Southern California. We hope they are safe!

The fires are raging there. Many, many people, homes, pets, animals and wildlife are being threatened. More than a quarter-million people have been ordered to evacuate from the path of these dangers wildfires.

Hot, dry winds off the desert are fueling these deadly fires, and authorities say there's little they can do to stop the flames until the winds die down possibly today at the earliest.

The San Diego Humane Society's Animal Rescue Reserve (ARR) is on the scene, helping many of these animals in need. They are a team of highly trained volunteers dedicated to assisting people during disasters, by safely evacuating horses, livestock and household pets.

Here is more info from the San Diego Humane Society website:
The San Diego Humane Society is diligently working with them (ARR) to help all the animals needing help during this disaster. Under the supervision of the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, Humane Society staff and Animal Rescue Reserve volunteers helped rescue and evacuate more than 200 pets and large animals on Monday. The Humane Society is also currently helping to care for several hundred pets at the Mira Mesa High School shelter witch creek goose2location.

Residents that need to evacuate their homes are asked to take all companion animals with them. If possible, place your pet in a crate or carrier and bring any necessary supplies including leashes, food, water, and medications as supplies at evacuation centers may be limited. More tips on evacuating with your pets.

Most Red Cross evacuation centers are accepting pets in carriers. If you do not have or were unable to pet your pet in a carrier or need pet supplies, bring your pet to one of the following Red Cross evacuation centers:

*Qualcomm Stadium- 9449 Friars Rd (small pets only)
*Mira Mesa High School-10510 Reagan Rd. FULL

The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services and San Diego Humane Society staff will be on hand at these sites to distribute pet supplies have been donated by PETCO for pet owners in need.

*Lakeside Rodeo Grounds located at Hwy 67 & Mapleview St. (Accepting large animals only)
*Fiesta Island (Accepting both large and small animals)
*Del Mar Fairgrounds FULL

If you have a stable or other areas that can house a number of large animals and livestock that need to be evacuated, please call the San Diego Humane Society at (619) 299-7012. The Humane Society is also in need of portable livestock panels for temporary corrals. If you have these available for use, please call (619) 299-7012.

If you have animals or livestock that you cannot evacuate yourself or that need to be rescued, call (619) 236-4250 and press "1" for emergency services.

Volunteers and supplies are not needed at this time, but the San Diego Humane Society is keeping a list of names for people interested in helping. If you would like to help, you can donate online or call (619) 299-7012.
For more information on preparing your pet for emergencies, visit our Squidoo lens for some great tips.

Be safe out there!

Investing for my future!

I don't know about you but just thinking about how to invest my bones (money to you two-leggers) gives me the shivers. I soooo rather be out running agility, hiking with my Mum, or blogging and talking with all my friends in cyberspace.

There is just way too too much information out there, and even loads more folks giving you advice. Making financial decisions on where to invest my bones is incredibly overwhelming.

We did come across some new resources that look kind of interesting - on the Internet, of course! One of these place is MyWallSt.net - a investment learning center with social networking built right in.

They say that MyWallSt.net is a one-of-a-kind financial social network that allows members to create unique personal and professional online profiles in order to find and communicate with other like-minded individuals. You can blog, talk with friends about the latest hot stock tips, listen to leading experts, track company performances, and even enter investing contests.

There is just too much to learn about this stuff and it’s way too important to leave to someone else’s devices. Being a new business owner, I definitely need to take the time to learn more about this stuff. This could be a good place to start.

Howl-o-ween safety!

Halloween, is a great time to celebrate - fun, food, gatherings with friends, pawties, trick or treating, yum! But it's also a time to be careful.

The ASPCA has put out a pretty doggone good set of safety tips we wanted to share with you to keep your pets safe on the big goblin day.

Check it out, have a doggone good time and be sure and be safe out there, K?

Muddy paws!

After just about the driest summer on record, we are getting some rain. And dog, it's a lot of rain! Mum didn't used to have to worry too much about my muddy paws, 'cause they are kind of little. But now with Gracie's big 'ole mitts, we've got lots of muddy paws to clean up.

And Mum's been cleaning us and the floor a lot the last day or so - with much more to come.

Here's a cool idea that may just help - it's a personalized doormat. One that soaks in all the wet and goo. We could even have our names put on it! Maybe Santa will bring me one, if I'm a good boy.

This site also has other neat personalized items like a custom address plaque, and address signs. And they have really cool personalized slates with all kinds of dog breeds. Would make a nice plaque for the front door.

And whata ya know they have cute bird houses. Maybe I can talk Mum into getting one of those to feed my bird herding habit. Hmmmm.....

Well we are off to get dirty, wet, and slimmy - just so Mum can clean us up again in about 10 minutes. It's gonna be a long day!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Handicapped pups - can live a healthier, happier life!

Thousands of two-leggers are caring for elderly and disabled pets with special needs; senior, geriatric, disabled, injured, recovering from surgery, and handicapped pets.

There are organizations out there ready to help! Check out this vid from Handicappedpets.com. They are doing great work to help pups (and other four-leggers) live a longer, happier life. And when you get a chance, stop by my Squidoo lens for all kinds of info and resources for handicapped pups.

Working, spending, borowing from a pups perspective!

Humans talk a lot about money - spending, borrowing, working for it and then using it to buy stuff like food, shelter, toys and the like. As a pup, I've been trying to understand this.

A whole lotta humans get a Loan to buy themselves a nice place to live (and a place for us pups to live in with them, BTW). And they get loans for transports to get from one place to another. Some even borrow money for fun stuff like vacations, and in tough times, for basic necessities. Then they go out, day after day, working at their jobs to pay for those loans, leaving us behind.

I got to thinking, how do us pups fit into this equation?

As a general rule, we don't earn money. We may 'own' a few things like our toys, our bowls, our yard, our humans, our food. Well, many of us think we do anyway. And we definitely need things - food, shelter, love, play and many pups need work to do to keep sane.

If we want or need something, like a nice home, a new toy, or food we really have to rely on the humans. For the most part we can't get homeowner loans - what would we put down for collateral? It's my bet that we couldn't even get unsecured loans approved?

So what's a pup to do? Do we start becoming humanized and go out and get jobs? Do we put up our toys for collateral and get a loan for our necessities? For those of us who do have jobs, do we keep it for ourselves or do we hand it over to the humans to manage for us? Or do we start trading for the things we need? "Hey Charlie, I'll trade my sheepie tug for your bone!"

Mum admits, she's pretty grateful for the money I earn through my website and blog - it sure does help with our agility, and basic need expenses. We're happy, too, that we have some left over that we can donate to help pups in need. And Mum, Gracie and I love the fact that we all get to 'work' together, we love our work.

If all us pups did go to work, I'm sure there would still be unemployment troubles, and homelessness, just like in the human world. But maybe, just maybe, we could get a few pups off the street and into good homes if we did start working for our living?

What do you think pups? Do we start working for our living, or do we keep the 'status quo' and let the humans worry about this stuff? And all you working dogs out there, what do you think? Are you getting a fair shake? Do you like your work?

Why some folks have pups in NY?

We got an email the other day from the folks at IntoTheBox.tv, telling us about a new video on their site discussing NY pups and their owners, the effects the pups have on their owners' relationships, and why men have pups vs. why women have pups.

Do women really have pups as a substitute for men, and do men really only have pups to use as chick magnets? Well, not anyone that I know, that's fur sure!

We were really glad, however, to see our new friend, J.E. Englert, author of A Dog About Town, in the vid. He got a great plug for his book! Nice job Master Englert!

Techie stuff!

Oh, I want one of these! For us blogging pups that like to get on the computer when our humans are sleeping here's a great tool - a lighted keyboard.

And I think my Mum would like it too for when she gets up super early to start work. She always has trouble seeing the keyboard.

This site has all kinds of cool gadgets for us techies, from the soon to be ubiquitous HDMI Cable, and iPod accessories, to speakers, headsets, peripherals, adapters and much more.

They even have remote controls. We sure need one of those, 'cause Gracie got to ours the other day. Now it's a big old chewed up mess, and Mum has to put the little red button back in when it falls out to turn our TV on and off. Someday she's gonna loose that little red button, and she's not gonna be very happy that her remote doesn't work.

One of those IR/RF Remote controls would be a great replacement remote. They give the added benefit of not needing to point the remote at your device. With the correct set up you can control lighting, audio, video, all from one remote, even if the equipment is in another room. Now that's cool!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thank you DWB!

Just recently Dogs With Blogs reprinted my article on keeping your pup safe in the car! Check this out!

They did such a nice job.

Thank you DWB for sharing this important info. I hope it helps every pup!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Knowing what your job is!

We were reading our good buddy Cynthia's blog recently and found something I just have to pass along. It's a great story about the importance of us pups knowing what our job is for a healthier and happier life with the two-leggers.

Us pups need a job. Just ask my Mum. When she got me at 12 weeks old, I was the sweetest, gentlest, most uninvolved pup in the world. Then five days went by and I got comfy. I became a wild, manic, energetic, young pup - just like most pups out there get. Luckily Mum had the foresight to give me a job pretty young - sits, stays, downs, and more. I am my Mum's first dog ever, but she had trained my kittie brothers to do some stuff, and thought she needed to do it with me.

Boy am I ever glad she did. I was more focused, more well behaved, knew what was expected of me and was much happier not having to decide what was right and wrong all the time. And I didn't destroy things anymore. What a relief!

Then she took me out in public and I lost my brain, again. Another pretty common thing for us pups. She signed me up for an obedience class where I could work around others - other pups and other two-leggers. It worked! And the best part is that someone in the class told us about agility, we started a class the next month and haven't looked back since. It changed both of our lives for the better.

We know you will love the story. So head on over, K? You won't be disappointed.

And if you need ideas for getting your pup involved in activities, or 'jobs', or just structuring their life and giving them purpose for better behavior and a better life - check out my Squidoo Lens on Fun Things To Do With Your Dog!

Fun stuff - Unforgettable Animal Actors!

There are many, many TV and movie animal actors who have entertained us over the years - cats, dogs, wild animals, birds, and more. All types of animals have been on the big (and little) screen and either tugged at our hearts, made us laugh, or made a lasting impression for one reason or another.

The cool folks at PetsitUSA started this Link Love Project so we could make a list of some of our favorites! Let’s see how many unforgettable animal actors we can name!

————— Copy and paste this line and below ——————

List your favorite animal actor and let’s share some link love in the process!

Here’s what to do:

1.) Copy and paste the matrix of “Unforgettable Animal Actors” below, courtesy of PetsitUSA.com!

2.) Substitute the Host Tag and one of the “Animal Actors” in the matrix with the name of your favorite animal actor and the URL of your blog, just like I did.

3.) When you get a ping back from someone that has your link in one of their “Animal Actors”, practice good paw by copying his/her Host Tag’s anchor text (automatically the associated link will also be copied) and paste it over one of your “Animal Actors” below.

5.) Encourage and invite your readers to do the same and soon we will have a list of unforgettable animal actors!

Host Tag: Buddy (from Air Bud) - JohannTheDog

1. Mr. Ed - PetsitUSA.com
2. Buddy (from Air Bud) - JohannTheDog
3. Benji (he was a rescue!)- RescueMe
4. Flipper - PawsibleMarketing
5. Pete (from the Little Rascals) - Fuzzy Logic
6. Enzo (from My Dog Skip) - Raise A Green Dog!
7. The Taco Bell Chihuahua - The Poodle (and dog) blog
8. Old "Yeller" - For the Love of Labradors
9. Animal Actor
10. Animal Actor
11. Animal Actor
12. Animal Actor
13. Animal Actor
14. Animal Actor
15. Animal Actor
16. Animal Actor
17. Animal Actor
18. Animal Actor
19. Animal Actor
20. Animal Actor

Important: Once I get a ping back from you, I will add your anchor text and the associated link you designate as “Host Tag” here, and add your favorite animal actor to the list here. As more and more doggie bloggers copy and paste this matrix, the more backlinks you will have with your anchor text. If everybody who copies and pastes from your blog does the same, pretty soon this will spread and go viral. (And we don’t have to stop at 20!) So, the sooner you participate, the more links with anchor text you will receive.

There it is folks. This should help you improve your Technorati ranking, SERP and Google PR and get you noticed with more blogs - we all like making friends, right? Please leave a comment here if you have copied from this matrix so that I can add you just in case your ping-back didn’t reach me.

————— Copy and paste this line and above ——————

(Thanks to Johann the Dog for the basic matrix!)

I hit the mark!

My good friend Tish at ChattieKat presented me with a wonderful award the other day, thank you sooo much Tish!

She thinks that my blog hits the mark. That's a pawsome compliment.

I want to pass this award on to some super cool blogs I visit daily - check these out! And congrats to the winners!

Pet Connection
Dogster For the Love of Dog Blog
Dolittler

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cesar answered my Q!

We got an exciting email today from ABCNews. It said that our video submission aired on Good Morning America NOW's interview with "The Dog Whisperer," Cesar Millan.

Click here for the video!

Thanks Cesar for the great tips. Now I just have to get Mum off the computer and hiking and swimming with me!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Love your Vet Tech - It's National Veterinary Technician Week!

Throughout my life, I have been blessed with wonderful care from some equally wonderful vets, vet techs, and holistic practitioners.

From my dog attack, dislocated toe and broken foot to my general overall care, these kind and caring individuals have gone to great lengths to get and keep me well, and up to my best performance possible in agility. And they have been my friends!

This week is National Veterinary Technician Week, and I am honoring the vet techs in my life. I want to thank them for the great care and love they have shown me throughout my life.

I remember it was just about a year ago when I got my broken foot. There was an amazingly caring individual who was the vet tech for my ortho. She was incredibly knowledgeable, patient with my Mum through all of her countless questions and requests, had a great working relationship with her boss, and beyond that she always had a smile on her face. She liked me and I liked her. And I trusted her when she had to take me back to the post op to change my cast without my Mum.

Veterinary technicians are responsible for nursing animals, administering medications, assisting in surgery, taking radiographs, inducing and monitoring anesthesia, managing the hospital, performing laboratory duties and much more. These are all the behind the scenes jobs that are so important, but too often unrecognized.

So take a moment the next time you see your vet tech and thank them for the great work they do, K? I know they will be happy you did.

Happy Blog Action Day!

Today is a special day - it's Blog Action Day!

This day, October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind. In its inaugural year, Blog Action Day will be coordinating bloggers to tackle the issue of the environment. Over 15,000 blogs, reaching nearly 13 million subscribers will be blogging about the environment today and we are one of them.

There are so many ways us pups can help to make the environment a better place to romp. One of them is by going Green! From using a Doggie Dooley and wearing earth-friendly collars made of hemp to eating all natural, organic, and healthy foods and treats and even having your humans make you some pawsome tug toys out of old socks - there are numerous ways we can lesson our paw prints on the environment and live healthier, happier lives.

Visit my Green Dog Squidoo lens and get loads of ideas! And don't forget to join in the cause!

USDAA, cool is cool, and moments of greatness!

We're back from our USDAA trial this past weekend, and catching up on all our emails. We're moving kind of slow today, it was a long, but fun, weekend!

I was entered in Standard, Snooker and Gambles on Saturday; Gracie in Standard and Gamblers. On Sunday I did Pairs, Jumpers and Standard, Gracie did Standard and Jumpers. So Mum was pretty busy running from ring to ring. And she tried volunteering some in between. Being that she's pushing the top numbers in age (don't tell her I said that, K?) she's not moving too fast today.

The weather this weekend was amazing - between 55 and 65 both days with mostly to partly cloudy. Just my kind of weather, I'm tellin' ya!

My Gamblers run was first for the weekend. At that time it was about 50 some degrees. Mum had a good plan - jump, walk, jump, frame, out jump then a right to the teeter, jump and teeter again, jump then up the frame - and then play around the jumps until the buzzer went off. The buzzer went off just as I was taking the jump after the frame. Mum was on my right and led me right into the first jump of the gamble. It was a great angle to the tunnel entrance (right). Because I was flying through the course (probably faster than I have ever run in competition), she was able to send me into jump and the tunnel of the gamble, so she had just enough time to run around the gamble box and pull me through the 3 jump, then turn me for jump 4.

We both have to say it was just beautiful!!!! One of our best runs ever. I was running wide in the opening and took a couple of extra jumps that Mum hadn't planned. That really paid off for this run 'cause it got us the one extra point we needed for 1st place! Woo Hoo!!!!! That was our second Gamble Q in Masters and to get a first was just so exciting!

Next up was Standard. We need two Standard Q's for our MAD title (Masters Agility Dog), so we really wanted this one. But it wasn't to be.

The opening 1-3 seemed a lot easier for big and small dogs than we had all expected. Mum led out a little, then front crossed after 2 to shoot me into the tunnel. The weave entrance after 5 (double) looks tough, but many mastered it well. Mum then did a rear cross over the jump to the walk. We've been working on rear crosses and her timing was good on this one. 9-12 went smoothly. I do running contacts so Mum decided to rear cross the jump before the chute. Her timing was really bad on that one and I got a refusal.

The rest of the course ran great. I've been slow on the teeter, so after my two in gamblers, Mum was pretty confident and ran past the teeter as I was on it to get a front cross in after the tire. That worked well. Her other plan if I was really fast on the teeter was to stay on the inside of jumps 18-19 and jump pull/push me through. It wasn't needed for us, but worked for many. Mum has taught me a great 'around', and it worked great for 18-19. But no Q, grrrrrr! So that also meant no possibility of the MAD title this weekend.

Next up was snooker. The course was great! With loads of Super Q potential for us anyway, no weaves to slow us down, and no teeters too. So we decided to go for the four reds. Mum watched a few others run and many were doing well, some not so well. But to get the Super Q, we definitely needed speed and tightness. So Mum worked me tight, so tight in fact that I back jumped into our second color. But I was speedy and we were both happy with that.

Sunday I started with Pairs. We were paired with a very energetic Jack Russell. And they went first. The only thing I have to say is if you want to get me to run fast, have me watch a fast JRT run before my run. Their run was clean and I was wantin' to herd that little guy. My turn came and I took off like a 'bat out of h@!!'. Took the first two jumps, and then the tunnel (oops I was supposed to take the frame). So Mum turned me around to get up the frame and I took two off course jumps in the process. Then was too psyched to do my weaves, tied again, nope no weaves. So, Mum just ran me through the rest of the course.

I was as wild as they can be, and Mum says it was my worst run ever!!! But I had loads of fun, and Mum was really glad to see the wild/fastness in me (she never discourages that, since I'm so meticulous anyway). Thank goodness we had an understanding partner!

Next up was Standard. We really wanted this one, 'cause it's just too much pressure to have to try to get two in a weekend. There was much discussion in the walk through about how to handle 4-9. Mum decided since I had been making my dogwalk contacts well in competition (although not in practice, lately) she would front cross after 4, treat 5-8 like a pinwheel, then front cross after 8 to get me into the correct tunnel entrance. She knew it was risky and that I may go for the weaves, but she hung back a bit and even though I looked at the weaves I made the correct tunnel.


The next real challenge was for Mum to get to the end of the tunnel (or at least give me a clue) to take the jump after. The tunnel was a bit straighter on the course than it looks on the map. So some pups had a bit of trouble getting that jump in. We made it. Mum did a post turn at the jump and sent me up the walk. After my nasty Pairs run and seemingly love for tunnels during that run, she paid particular attention to get me up the frame. For me at 16" the chute wasn't a problem, and big dogs didn't seem to have too much trouble, even though the entrance to the chute looks a bit nasty.

Mum held back for me to come out of the chute and sent me over 16 with a rear cross. Her timing was good this time and my teeter seemed faster, so she ran past it to get a front cross in before 18-20. She did make sure that the front cross wasn't right in front of the teeter, 'cause that's one of the things that we think is slowing me down. Worked well enough for a Q and a fourth place. Whew - now we don't have to get two in a weekend for the MAD, yeah!

Jumpers was the last run of the day. A potentially very speedy course. We ran well, but as is my past - I'm definitely not as speedy on my last run as my first. But it was fast enough for a second place Q. Jumpers is definitely my best event.

Now for Gracie!!!!!!

Mum has to say that from trial to trial this year she is definitely seeing improvement in Gracie's runs. She is still running off in the ring, but this weekend Gracie did an amazing thing. She came back to Mum - not once, not twice, but many times. And she had some real moments of greatness; as one of our friends that has watched many of our runs this year noted.

Mum was incredibly grateful to the judge in the starters ring this weekend. He was very kind in letting Mum and Gracie work through a few things, even to the point of getting Gracie back three times in one run.

We did notice a few new things that may give clues as to Gracie's state of mind at trials. One of the things Mum observed is her skittishness before her runs. If someone walks up behind her she actually jumps in the air. So Mum worked away from folks this weekend before the runs, playing with Gracie and having her 'work/play' for treats. Mum also talked very calmly to Gracie and rubbed on her belly, gave her lots of butt scratches, helping to calm Gracie (and Mum) down a bit. We think some of those things worked.

She is so incredibly awesome at practice, paying loads of attention to Mum and conquering courses like a pro. But she just looses it at competition. Many folks tell Mum she shouldn't be running Gracie at trials, but a few folks (including the judge this past weekend) says enter her in as many competitions and runs as possible to help her get used to it. Mum agrees with the later and will keep taking Gracie wherever we go.

There was a time when we thought Gracie was massively stressed at trials. And I think she was in the beginning. But now that Mum and Gracie have been working more as a 'team', observations point more toward Gracie just having loads of fun and wanting to play, play, play - running around the rings looking for whatever and whomever will play with her

So Mum has been working more and more playing with Gracie in the ring at practice. But making sure that Gracie plays with her, not anything or anyone else! So it's more of a team game.

Gracie had four runs this weekend. Her best 'moment of greatness' was in her final run of the weekend - Jumpers.

Many folks ask why Mum leads out with Gracie. Why doesn't she just run with her from the start. Well, Mum says that every time she has run with Gracie from the start she runs around the first jump and takes off. So Mum has been leading out, sometimes one, sometimes two and even sometimes past two jumps with Gracie. It just works and she has an amazing start line stay (Good Girl!). So Mum led out past the second jump on this Jumpers run.

Gracie ran around the first jump, but then took the second, third, fourth and fifth. Mum did a quickie front cross, and Gracie took 6 and 7. She almost blew past the chute, but at the last minute decided to take it, yeah!!!! She then took 10 and 11, and then Mum lost her, despite the fact she was yelling tunnel to Gracie before she even went over 10. Gracie ran behind the tunnel, came back around and took the opposite tunnel entrance, and then Mum totally lost her. She started zooming and landed at a smelly spot where Mum picked her up, gave her some kisses, thanked the judge and ran to the exit, carrying Gracie as Gracie licked Mum's face silly.

Funny thing- as Gracie was running for the smelly spot, Mum overheard several folks yelling - GUARD THE GATE, GUARD THE GATE!!!!! Mum is soooo grateful to all those cool folks who watch out for Gracie when she runs. She's getting pretty famous and well-known as the 'gotta guard the gate, dog'. Someday it won't be, fur sure!

Mum was really happy with Gracie's last run (and her performance overall this weekend), and thinks that since it was a more difficult jumpers course - which Gracie is more used to - it helped Gracie to focus on Mum loads more. So we're gonna set up courses that are big round wide circles, to get Gracie a little more used to what we see in trials. And hope that it helps her more!

Hope you all had a good weekend!!!!!!

Cool new camera!

Mum always lusts after digital cameras and video cameras, 'cause she loves to take pics and vids of us and the kitties. It's one of her hobbies! For the most part we are pretty cooperative, especially when she has treats!

There are some new digital cameras coming out soon. One of them is the new Nikon D300. And wowser, does it look like a good one. A dream camera if you will. It's a 12+ megapixel, and they say it will take up to 8 frames per second, just perfect for those speedy agility runs. Whew! Sounds soooo cool.

Right now Mum is using a little Olympus Camedia 6 megapixel. Sure would be great to get a new one. Maybe Christmas time, huh Mum?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mum's marketing for pet businesses!

Mum has been real busy this week. What's she been working on now? She has kept it pretty hidden from me and Gracie, but unveiled it to us this afternoon.

Here it is! And we are super excited. Mum has decided to begin helping pet businesses with their marketing needs. That means we can get to know loads of folks and other 'fur kid's' that have pet businesses like online shops and boutiques, pet sitting and photography businesses, doggy daycares and bakeries, spas and grooming shops, and loads more. And we get to help them with their marketing. Well, Mum will anyway, as it should be, BOL!

If you have a pet business and need some marketing help, be sure and contact my Mum, K? She knows lots about marketing and has been doing it for way longer than I've known her - nearly 20 years she says. For the past 5 years she's been a freelance marketer to technology companies.

Since she loves animals and has experience with my sites and in retail, she decided to branch out to help other pet businesses. Other folks had mentioned she should do this and it seemed like a natural fit to me. Now she can help pet lovers who have businesses with online and viral marketing, marketing materials, planning and marketing direction, blogging, websites, advertising, events and even more.

Send her an email if you have questions or to set up a time to talk with her, 'cause she says that the first conversation is free! In the meantime, stop by the new website - Pawsible Marketing to get some good ideas on how she may be able to help you.

Thinking about my Chistmas list!

Yep, the holidays are getting close. So I've been working on my list for Santa.

Here's my list so far....
  • I definitely want a new bed, one of the Jax and Bones or WestPaw beds. They are sooo cool. Not that I don't love my Orvis bed, but I need some fleece for the winter. Mum keeps it cold in the house, even for us! And I want a cool fleece sleeper for my travel crate, I'm getting tired of my old blankie in there.
  • For toys, I'm putting on my list the AKC Lamb toy, the large one that makes hooting sounds. 'Cause if I can't have real sheep, guess this will be the next best thing.
  • And it wouldn't be the holidays without treats, right? My list includes Grizzly NuTreats, and the Lakse Kronch Salmon treats, and if I'm good maybe Mum will throw in some Zukes Salmon minis. Guess I'm on a salmon kick, huh? But they are sooooo yummy!
  • And if budget allows I'd sure like my own real tunnel, dogwalk and aframe - but that may be out of the question unless Santa brings us a larger yard too. Now that would be real cool!
I'm gonna be sure and tell Mum to check out some Only Natural Pet Store deals for some treats, Duncraft coupons to keep the bird feeder full for my herding fetish, and this site for all kinds of coupon codes to help with our shopping.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

No chase! It's Squirrel Awareness Week!

Calling all dogs, you are not allowed to chase squirrels this week. 'What,' you say? Why, not?

Because it's Squirrel Awareness Week and they need a break!

As most dogs out there, I love a good squirrel chase. There aren't too many squirrels around our house, since it's a newer neighborhood. But, now and then I see one, or two, and can't believe their tenacity. You really have to admire their work ethic. Kind of BC like, if you BC's will forgive me.

I remember my first encounter with one of the brown , fluffy tailed things. It was a nice Autumn day, kind of like today. Cool, crisp, and with a certain smoky smell in the air. Just as I was patrolling the yard, I saw a flash in my peripheral...something I hadn't seen before. (I'm young, you know, and haven't seen a whole lot).

First, I was a bit startled and barked, then it was as if something had possessed me. I had to have it!!!! Being a herding breed, such that I am, it's in my nature and it's in my blood to either get them out of my yard or round 'em up. I tried both. All to no avail.

Firstly, the little thing was outside the fence and I was obstructed. And secondly, it was fast as the speed of light (well, almost, anyway). Sneaky little thing was uncatchable. For the next month, or maybe more, I tried in vane to corral that little guy. I was successful in one thing, he went away from my yard for the Winter, and didn't return the next Spring.

I sometimes wonder what happened to him. And I sometimes mistake the bunny that bravely visits our yard for the fluffy tailed squirrel, and promptly give chase. But, for the past year, I haven't seen hide, nor hair, of him.

So in honor of my missing squirrel, we salute Squirrel Awareness Week, and swear off the chase, at least until he either comes back, or Squirrel Awareness Week has subsided.

We did a little research for this post honoring squirrels and Squirrel Awareness Week. We Googled and found out some interesting stuff:
And there are some talented squirrels - check out these vids:



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