Friday, September 30, 2011

2012 US IFCS Team Fundraising

I just discovered they have an incredible raffle that will be held at the 2011 Cynosport World Games in Louisville, KY in October. The prizes are simply amazing. I'm hoping to win the Clean Run Magazine Cover for my very own cover girl!

 The Prize Packages are separated out by Region, just pick your region and check out the options.  You do not have to be present to win most of the events.

If you are going to attend the 2011 Cynosport World Games you can participate in the following: participate in the Raffle your raffle form needs to be there before October 5, 2011.

For more information on the 2012 US IFCS Team go to

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beneful Dog Park Makeover Winner

Congratulations to Jennifer and Honey Belle for winning the 2011 Beneful $500,000 Dog Park Makeover for her park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jennifer and Honey Belle's vision is simply marvelous and Marley wants to go to their new park.

Some of the features I really like are:

  • The club house that can be rented for parties which would raise money for park maintenance
  • The self-serve dog wash as a fund raiser for park maintenance
  • Plenty of shade
  • Bone shaped water feature
  • Built in agility course
  • Separate training area
I love that Jennifer thought about how the park was going to remain awesome and incorporated that in her plan.    I'm very excited about the dog park and I can't wait to see it complete.  I believe a cross country road trip is in our future.

I think its time for me to dust off my graph paper and start planning for the 2012 contest.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vet locks dog in hot car

I heard about this at the park this morning and I just found it unbelievable.  Especially this part:  The director of the UC Davis Veterinary School offered his support for Freeman.  Yes, Davis Wilson the Director of the UC Davis Veterinary School offered his support for the veterinarian who endangered the life of her dog. 

This is the article:  
UC Davis vet apologizes for locking her dog in hot car from the Sacramento Bee

Basically the Veterinarian went to the mall, left her young great dane in the car with the windows cracked open.  Mall security tested the temperature inside the car at 108 degrees and called authorities.  Not only did the Veterinarian leave her dog in the car but she was also argued with animal control about this situation.

I'm simply blown away that not only did she behave in a manner that is inconsistent with somebody who cares for animals but that UC Davis Veterinary School condones her behavior.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Biggest Dog Training Mistake

I've spent most of my life reading dog training books and I know how to approach a training session.  I've always made it a point to use a clear and positive tone in my voice when talking to Marley. While training I've worked very hard at not reprimanding her and keeping everything pleasant and fun.

The other day I loaded up the car with agility equipment and drove to the park.  Soccer players were using our favorite field, baseball players were using the remaining fields and after driving around I finally found a spot that met our training criteria (flat, shady, close to parking and not close to a major road).  I unloaded and set up all of our equipment and then I noticed a huge dog lunging on his leash staring at Marley. The woman at the end of the leash wasn't paying attention to her dog.  At this point, I decided it would behoove us to find a new training spot.

I drove around for a little longer and found a reasonable spot.  By now I'm hot and frustrated and a totally envious of everybody with a back yard. I set out our jumps and took a deep breath and called Marley.

Marley looked at me and jumped into the front seat.  I called her and she peered over the seat and refused to move.  I took another deep breath and made sure my tone was totally pleasant and upbeat and called her again.  She peered at me and curled up in the front seat and refused to look in my direction.

At this point I begin to wonder how we were ever going to progress if my dog refused to leave the car.  I packed up all my stuff into the car and cried while driving home.  I started to think Agility was a big waste of time if Marley didn't want to play.

Once I cooled down and reviewed our "training session" I realized my error.  While my voice and words were pleasant and positive my body language was tense and upset.

What Marley saw at the park.

I've made a the following changes to our training routine to ensure this never happens again.

  • I started by scoping out multiple places where I can train that meet my criteria.  
  • I plan our activity and I also plan a back-up activity that doesn't require equipment.  
  • After I set-up I spend five minutes breathing (its too short to call it meditation). 
  • If the session is not going according to plan, I've decided it is perfectly acceptable to stop. 
  • Finally, I end my training journal with a note on Marley's emotional state. 

Since this episode our training sessions have been great and we have actually progressed faster than I expected.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Agility Update - sequencing

I have to admit I tend to fret and watching Marley jump off the top of the A-frame totally made wonder if she was retaining anything from class.  I started to worry our jumps were horrible and we would never learn to weave properly.

Our instructor gave us the following sequence in class:  Tunnel - Jump - Jump - Jump - A-frame - Jump

Well, my silly dog ran into the Tunnel and rolled in the middle.  Yes she plopped down and rolled around like it was grass and refused to come out.  Ugh

Once I finally convinced her to leave the tunnel rest of the sequence went smoothly, so smoothly the entire class stood up and clapped for Marley.

Marley ate it up...I'm thinking there is hope for us!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Funny thing happened during our walk

It was a warm and sunny afternoon in the park and we were walking with a friend and her pit bull.  We were chatting and stopped to observe some other dogs being walked on the other side of the park.

My friend says, "Oh no we have to be careful, there's a Chow and you know they are aggressive."

I have to say, my jaw dropped and I looked at her pit bull and managed to sputter, "WHAT?"

She proceeded to tell me the danger of being around a Chow.  It seems she was totally serious.  I finally pointed out people used those same words to describe her dog.  

Unfortunately, breedism shows up at the oddest times. 

The scary part was the only dogs I saw on the other side of the park were labs and golden retrievers.