Friday, May 29, 2009

Agility warm up?

If you need any ideas on a nice dog/handler agility warm up, check this out :)! Bet that pup has some abs on him/her, that's major core strengthening work going on, not to mention the legs!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Great weekend!

Don't think we could have planned a better Memorial Day weekend if we had actually tried!

We didn't have anything specifically planned, except some hiking, agility and watching the race.

It was hot the first couple of days, so we help Mum with work around the house during the day, like laundry and cleaning. We were able to get in some backyard agility practice later in the evening, and all our neighbors came to watch us and cheer us on. That was fun!!!

You can see I got kinda hot, not used to the humidity yet!

Then on Monday it was cooler and we got in a nice hike and more agility. Video to come later in the week. We grilled out and Gracie and I got some hamburger, lettuce and watermelon, so yummy!!!!

We also helped Mum do some yard work, after she mowed the front, back and our back forty hill. That hill just about kills her it's so difficult to mow, but she's getting in shape, fur sure! Better for our agility huh?

After Mum mowed, she sprayed the lawn with organic fish emulsion, our standard fertilizer. Of course after it dried we had to go and roll around in it. It was like having a full yard of yucky stuff!! Of course Mum loved the fact that we had a sweet aroma of dead fish on us for a few days, BOL!!

Here's Gracie enjoying a good roll...

Gracie and I were sniffing each other all afternoon, so good!!!!

Then I helped Mum gather up all the sticks after she trimmed some dead wood out of our Magnolia...

Gracie enjoyed the sticks too...

Then I had to get in a little bird herding of course! What kinda day would it be without bird herding, don't even want to imagine....

Mum picked a few flowers to enjoy in our office this week. Here are some of our Iris. Gorgeous! Some day we'd like to get more varieties, like our friend Ellen...

And here are some of the peonies she picked, so fragrant!!!

It was just about the best doggone weekend, ever!!!! Thanks Mum, for making my days super fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Honoring the Dogs of War this Memorial Day!

This is USMC Sargeant Stubby, hero and veteran of WWI, and perhaps the most decorated War Dog in history.

In 1916, the United States was deep in a conflict that changed the world. A time of innocence and idealism would collapse in the face of WWI. As areas of sporting events, education and otherwise peaceful intentions were pressed into service by the military, a group of students participated in military training in Yale Field and were joined by a charming, happy Bull Terrier, one we would quickly identify as a Pit Bull today.

Stubby, as he came to be known for his chunky body and good sense of humor, was an endearing mascot and treasured companion, so when the young men were reassigned to Newport News for final training before deployment, they couldn't abandon him.

It is difficult to say how many soldiers returned home due to Stubby's alerts over gas attacks (he could smell the gas in time for the soldiers to get their masks on) or when he identified and captured (by the seat of his pants, no less) a German spy.

In 1926, after a life worthy of several movies, Stubby died. His remains were preserved and are still maintained (along with his "uniform" made by the French ladies and his medals) by the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, DC.

And this is Chips, the most decorated war dog from World War II.

Chips, a German Shepherd, Collie, Husky mix was donated by Edward J. Wren of Pleasantville, New York, was trained at Front Royal, Virginia in 1942, and was among the dogs to be shipped overseas. He was assigned to the 3d Infantry Division and served with that unit in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.

His assignments included sentry duty at the Roosevelt-Churchill conference in Casablanca in January 1943. Although trained as a sentry dog, Chips was reported on one occasion by members of Company I, 30th Infantry Regiment, to have broken away from his handler and attacked a pillbox containing an enemy machine gun crew in Sicily. He seized one man and forced the entire crew to surrender. He was also credited by the units to which he was assigned as having been directly responsible for capture of numerous enemy by alerting to their presence.

In recognition of his service Chips was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, both were sadly later revoked, because of the impression it may give to soldiers. In 1993 Disney produced a TV movie about Chips called "Chips the War Dog".

These are just two of the thousands of dogs that have given their lives to military service over the years. This Memorial Day, we honor our brave brothers and sisters who valiantly served and continue to service our country.

Read and learn more about the wonderful work and lives of military dogs throughout history, through my Squidoo Lens - The Dogs of War.

There are several sites dedicated to our canine military heroes, including:

A Tribute to the War Dogs of the US Military
The United States War Dog Association

And watch this interesting video with rare footage and pictures of War Dogs throughout history.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A little agility practice!

Mum and I got in a little agility practice in the backyard the other day. Dog, the weather has been amazing for agility lately. Cooler, sunny, dry, super nice!!! Even though it's a little warm in the middle of the day, the evenings are amazing!

We wanted to work a little on pinwheels, and keeping me tight and fast in them. Not so sure we accomplished the fast part (although the speed isn't too bad), but we did accomplish the tight part. Mum tried to get in front crosses, one time she couldn't make it and had to improvise. Goofy Mum!!!

Oh, and you can hear our neighbor trying to kill their lawnmower with tall grass, BOL!!!

But the biggest and funnest thing?

It's when I jump in Mum's arms at the end. We've been working a lot on that. It's not the best jump up, but we're getting there! Have to say it took two years for us to get this far with the jump in the arms thing, and working it into a little agility run. Mum's proud of me, I finally got it! Woofs!

Spreading the word - keeping cool dogs out of hot cars!

This morning I reaffirmed my pledge to keep cool dogs out of hot cars! See that's me with my "My Dog Is Cool" certificate!

I've been seeing way to many reports in the news already this summer of folks leaving their dogs in super hot cars, some severely injuring their dogs, others with pups that sadly didn't make it through the ordeal. I just can't fathom what it would be like to suffer in a hot car!!!

Can you help me spread the word?

I updated my Squidoo lens - Keeping cool dogs out of hot cars with new info and links to sites that have great ideas and materials for spreading the word! And while you're there why not take the pledge too, if you'd like!!! It's cool!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's blooming beautiful!

It's major blooming time at our house! Check out the Clematis, this is the best it's looked in three years, probably because last year Gracie didn't try to dig it up, BOL!

And here are our chives from our herb garden. They have cool looking blooms. But Mum's gonna cut the blooms off, so she can have more tender chives for her chicken :)

Here is the CandyTuft that's planted underneath our Forsythia. They look like little balls of snow!

And here's Wiggy's (my kittie bro) Sage. It's in full bloom now. Dog does he love that stuff, just as much as his nip!

This is our Salvia, the purple/blue kind. It's really full this year, since we didn't trample it too much with our zoomies, BOL!

And here's the purple version of our ground Phlox. Mum had to pull a few grass blades out before she took the pic, it's taking over!

This is Gracie and Me, two bloomin' (used as an intensive in British slang :) cuties, Mum likes to call us, BOL!!! (She just wishes the pic was in better focus, but it was nearly night time. Oh well, she likes it just the same, hope you do too!!!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Duck necks RAWK!!!!

Hey, remember that I told ya that Mum was getting me a bunch of duck necks? I just had to show ya how great they are!!!

Here's a pick of the first duck neck we got a week or so ago. For the first one, Mum cut it proportionately to my size and Gracie's size. Don't want to over do it, right?

Here I am enjoying my first neck, nummmoooo!

And here's Gracie enjoying hers!

After having them about every other day for the past week, I'm doing quite well with them. But we're gonna have to cut back on how many Gracie gets in a week. They don't agree with her as much.

Mum kinda believes that if something agrees with ya, you most probably need it. If it doesn't maybe you don't? We'll a good thought anyways.

So I'm getting about 1/3 of a duck neck every other day. And Gracie's now getting 1/2 of one about every four or five days. We gots lots of 'em, since we had to buy them in bulk. It took Mum three hours to separate them and rebag them for our freezer. Now she doesn't have much room for her food, BOL!!! But we sure are glad she got 'em fur us!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fun Games - Leg Weaving!

It's time for more fun games!

Leg weaving is another one of my favorite fun game tricks. In the beginning of the video you'll see me do my 'danger' move (go between Mum's legs, where it's safe :). Then I do the around the legs moves, which always gets me all riled up. Sometimes Mum will do this with me if we have a little delay at the start line before our agility run. Always gets me going!

We hope you enjoy! It's easy to teach, you'll see how!

See all my fun games and trick vids!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Running contacts - progression #4!

We didn't get to do much dog walk in April because of the weather, but we did get a good session in near the end of April. And it looks like we may get some in this coming week, now that I'm feeling better.

After previous sessions here, here and here, we elevated the dog walk another six or so inches for this session. A few bobbles, but we're coming along. Still not sure we like where Gracie is hitting the yellow, so we may have to work on that. But Mum's liking where I'm hitting, except for that first fly off, BOL! Next session we will elevate again with Gracie and see what happens, if she's still hitting in the same spot we may have to alter our plan.

In this session Mum put a tunnel about 10-12 feet from the dog walk; drew us right in.

More highlights from AKC / USA FCI Agility World Team Tryouts!

Eric at has added a new YouTube vid - AKC / USA FCI Agility World Team Tryouts 2009 Highlights for Round 2 Large Dogs, check it out!

And here are more:

Gail Donaldson & April
Geri Hernandez & Focus
Channan Fosty & Icon
Heather Christenson and London rd 1, rd 2, rd 3
Denise Thomas and Zippity
Karen Holik and Sizzle rd 1, rd 2, rd 3
Daneen Fox & Masher rd 1, rd 2, rd 3, rd 4, rd 5

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to my Mum!

Happy Mother's Day Mum!
All year I've been working on my Mum's gift; fertilizing her favorite shrub, to make it the most beautiful today!

This magnificent shrub is the Vanhoutte Spirea (Spiraea x vanhouttei, hardy in zones 3-8). It's just amazing to see.

We've had this shrub for a couple of years now - purchased in a 1 qt pot at about 6 inches. In just these two years it's at 4', and expected to grow to 6 or more feet.

This Spirea is not to be confused with the Bridal Wreath Spirea (Spiraea prunifolia, hardy in zones 5-9), which happens often. They are both quite similar, but the Bridal Wreath is stiffer and doesn't cascade like the Vanhoutte.

Mum's a spirea fan, so we have both in our yard, along with about six Anthony Waterer Spireas which bloom throughout the summer months in a beautiful shade of dark pink, that turns to lighter pink as the blooms are spent. If you trim the Anthony Waterer throughout the summer and it will re-bloom as new growth develops. Oh too cool!

So I wish you a very Happy Mother's Day Mum!!! I'm happy to fertilize your plants anytime :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I did it - AGAIN!!!

Well, I did it again. I strained a muscle.

How? Those birds, they taunt me soooo, I just have to herd 'em.

And that's what I was doing when I strained my muscle, running full out like a crazy pup, herding them dang birds.

The good news is that Mum's been massaging me lots, I got some of that great Traumeel that works so well in relaxing me. I've rested up a day and already am feeling loads better. Maybe I won't need drug rehab after all, since I only had to take a couple of pills, BOL!!

Mum's a bit concerned that I keep doing this, even though we work hard to warm me up, cool me down, stretch me out after a good workout, work on my exercise ball, keep the exercise up daily, and more. So now she's thinking about adding some good foods to my diet that help with my muscle problems.

So she ordered me (and Gracie, will get some too) an entire case of duck necks and 2 lbs. of chicken liver from a local raw dog meat supplier. She's gonna pick 'em up tomorrow or Thursday. The reason she got duck necks instead of turkey or chicken is because they were having a big special - she got 25 lbs. of duck necks for $20.

We'll be keeping them frozen for Gracie, the gobbler. And I'll get the thawed ones. Chicken, turkey and duck necks provide a more quickly absorbing natural source of calcium, chondroitin, collagen and glucosamine, which are believed to help develop healthy joints and connective tissue. And they are gonna be great for my teeth, and oh so yummy!!!

So watch for a pic soon :) For now, it's Better Sleep Month, so I'm off to catch some zzzzzz's!

Monday, May 04, 2009

2009 AKC National Agility Championships DVD preview!

Clean Run has the 2009 AKC Agility Championship DVD available on their website. And they have a nice little preview you can view here!

Most of the preview concentrates on the tunnel/dogwalk discrimination section of the course from the finals run. Interesting stuff. How would you have handled it?

Congrats to the World Team members for September's FCI World Championships!

Big congratulations to the new 2009 USA World Team Members for the FCI World Championships, September 18-20 in Austria!

Photo courtesy American Kennel Club.


The final team has been announced 5-5-2009:

14” Jump Height:
Marcy Mantell – MACH2 Plail’s Few and Far Between CDX PT MXF (Wave) – Shetland Sheepdog (California)
Katie Conn – MACH2 Waldenwood It’s All In The Mix XF (Twix) – Shetland Sheepdog (Pennsylvania)
Dee Anna Gamel – NAC MACH5 Hilltop Kelsi Lee Kinsella OF (Kelsi) – Shetland Sheepdog (Georgia)
Melanie Del Villaggio– MACH4 Crystalove Dare to Tri Chaos NF (Dara) – Shetland Sheepdog (Tennessee)

18” Jump Height: MEDIUM TEAM
Ashley Deacon – NAC MACH2 Luka De La Brise XF (Luka) ‐ Pyrenean Shepherd (California)
Karen Holik – MACH4 Triune’s Feelin Hot Hot Hot (Sizzle) – Shetland Sheepdog (Florida)
Paulette Swartzendruber – NAC MACH Bare Cove Blu Lite Special (Rush) – Shetland Sheepdog (Massachusetts)
Jennifer Crank – MACH8 Trinity Having A Blast RN HT OF (Blaster) – Shetland Sheepdog (Ohio)

26” Jump Height: LARGE TEAM
Channan Fosty – MACH Hob Nob Cult Classic MXF (Icon) – Border Collie (California)
Marcus Topps – MACH2 Peak’s Juice (Juice) – Border Collie (Texas)
Geri Hernandez – NAC MACH2 Hob Nob Sharper Image XF (Focus) – Border Collie (California)
Denise Thomas – MACH Bluefire My Oh My MXF (Zippity) – Border Collie (Pennsylvania)Small - Melanie Del Villaggio and Dara

Here you can see a video of Friday's practice thanks to Eric at Agility Vision!
Here you can see a list of those participating.
Here is the schedule from the weekend - each team ran three standard runs and two jumpers.
Click here to purchase the DVD (50% of the purchase price goes to support the World Team).
Click here to see all the results and course maps.
Eric also has a great list of course maps.

And good luck to everyone in September!
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