*waves* Hi! Remember me? The Food Lady with a bunch of dogs and a really full schedule who has had no time for blogging the last several weeks?
See, tis that time of year again. HOLIDAY PHOTOS.
We did your first session of Santa Photos last weekend, and as always, it was loads of fun.
It was so much fun I brought the Santa suit to work and jollied a coworker into playing Santa, and took photos of the shelter dogs too.
Wouldn’t this photo make you want to adopt Jack, an 18 month old Pug X Chihuahua?
Or Chloe, an 18 month old Keeshond X Golden Retriever?
Or Betty White, a feisty old lady terrier dog?
Man, the light box I built at work makes for beautiful, crystal clear photos with lovely lighting. I want to build one for home, so I can take photos of my own beasts over the dreary winter, and actually, you know, blog.
I also got to take photos of some lovely doggies who required a photo session. And *I* am not fool enough to pass up the opportunity to photograph (read: play with and snuzzle) the world’s most adorable bulldog puppy, Stevie.
But Stevie would rather play with Jessie.
When it comes to playing, I’ve been busy too … I’ve been busy playing some dog sports, and trying some new ones!
Lure coursing is over for the year, which is okay, as it gives me time to put Wootie on a BIG FAT DIET and make him skinny again for next Spring.
Excuse me? A WHAT?
I think he would be really great at lure coursing, if he were not so tubby.
I also think he would be SUPER great at our newest dog sport, which is called Barn Hunt. This is a sport in which your dog (especially if it is a terrier, since they all seem – shockingly, I know – to go mental for this) has to locate a live rat that is housed in a PVC tube with air holes in it. There are other PVC tubes in play as well, that may contain rat bedding, or nothing at all. The dogs have to go through and over a course of hay bales and locate the correct rat-filled PVC tube and indicate (usually through screaming, I gather) that they have found it. As you the human do not know which tube actually contains a rat, you have to have confidence in your dog’s ratting skills and call the correct tube when your dog hits on it. If you and your dog are wrong, you get disqualified. If you are right, in the allotted time, you qualify. If your dog can find the rat the fastest, you win!
We tried Barnhunt at a seminar this weekend – I brought the whipjacks, because I thought they would excel at it. They weren’t quite as superb as I imagined they would be (reminds me of our first experience at lure coursing, actually). After initially being FAR too polite to point out to me that our hostess had – OMG – RATS, Spring eventually figured out the goal was to identify the vermin tube, and then she would delicately sit down beside it and place a paw gentle on the pvc pipe (“I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I think there might be a mouse or something in this ‘objet’ … so sorry to be the bearer of bad news.”) She passed her instinct test with not bad time.
But at least she would go over and under the haybales, something Winter just resolutely would not do, as they were terrifying and itchy. And at first he refused to look at the rat at all, even the one in the see-through box. I suspect he thought he’d get in trouble (a la killing my chickens) if he let on that he wanted to KILL THAT THING. After lots of encouragement, he started muzzle punching the box and trying to dig through it, so I took him through the instinct test as well. His “indicator” is to glance at the correct tube and then avert his eyes and pretend he wanted nothing to do with the rat inside of it, so I had to be pretty aware. But he passed also.
I would NEVER kill a small living thing, nope. I don’t even know what a rat is. Nuh-uh.
The best dogs at the seminar were something that looked like an itty bitty airedale – that thing basically bodily hurled the hay bales out of the way and tried to eat through the PVC – and a Patterdale terrier that located the tube in under 10 seconds.
I do believe Wootie would kick some PVC-Rat-Tube ASS, so I’m enrolling him in the next seminar.
The today we went and played The Agilities. Springaling was trying for her third and final Starters Standard to get her ADC title, and move up to Advanced – and she did! She also got her first Advanced Gamble – she’ll be in Masters Gamble in no time, as she loves to Gamble.
Play agility, hunt rats, stalk my brother until he wrestles with me – it’s all fine with me!
She pooped in the box in Team Relay, after PROMISING me for a good 5 minutes of sniffing outside that she did not need to poop, nope. And she missed one tunnel entry in Jumpers (my fault) so she went 2/4. I had entered her in both Starters Standards (cuz I REALLY wanted that title!) and as she Q’d the first one, I had one to spare.
So I, umm, threw Dexter in in her place.
YES I KNOW I said I was not trialing him anymore. I have been good, haven’t entered him in the last few, but as he was there anyway in the truck, I thought – what the heck! Why waste a perfectly good, already paid for run? So I did. And damn if the sneaky f*cker didn’t Q with a perfect run.
You don’t give crazy enough credit.
Amazingly, that Q was the last one HE needed for his ADC, so both my dogs got their Agility Dog of Canada titles today. How exciting is that? I’m not getting my hopes up or anything ( have, after all, been fooled before!), but maybe this means there is hope for him yet! Of course, it takes him an average of two years to get out of a level, so he’ll be ancient by the time we get to Masters, but there you go.
In other news, Piper turns 11 tomorrow.
She is doing great, motoring around on that repaired ACL leg like nobody’s business. She is also batshit CRAZY these days – I have to keep here away from squeaky toys, as she eats them whenever she can, and if she gets the ball when we are out playing, she runs home with it and stands on the porch in a mild state of panic. Sound of body, but not quite of mind.
The WooTWoo turn eight years old tomorrow as well. Looking pretty FAT for eight!
TWooie will not play ball or anything, so he just ambles about or sits while we play ball before and after work in the dark. Sometimes I think he would be quite happy living with a little old lady who will take him for little walks around the block and feed him bon bons on the couch.
As for me, I turn 41 tomorrow. There is, in my house, 1 dog for every 5 years and 1.5 months of my life (cuz I have Holly, my foster puppy, here as well).
She’s real cute, I’m sure people will be dying to adopt her when I put her up for adoption. More power to them – she is a BUSY BUSY puppy, always into something!
And Tweed is, at 13.5, five hundred kinds of awesome :)
More Santa (and Grinch, and a secret, soon to be unveiled character) photo sessions coming up at various locations around the Lower Mainland. If you’re in the area, keep an eye on the blog and the FB page, as we’ll be announcing them soon!