Monday, December 30, 2013

Good Grief...Where does the time go?

Wow, I just realized I haven't blogged since October!  Quite a bit has happened since my last blog post.

We kept Marley's kitten.  His name is Mojo and unfortunately, he is a black cat.  I love black cats but he is incredibly difficult to photograph; I have 3 months worth of black blobs in all my photos. He is currently 5 months old and weighs about 6 lbs.  He is incredibly feisty and into everything.  Marley treats him like a puppy.  Bob has serious reservations about the kitten.

Marley and I have spent time enjoying the nice weather.  We've been hiking along the American River.  The river is very low this year and there are a ton of dead Salmon along the edge.  Marley is in heaven!

Rolling in smelly stuff is fun!

Squirrels are very feisty this time of year and Marley is determined to catch one!

I've started working on Marley's calendar for 2014 and there are some fun activities planned for Marley.  Of course, I will be better about sharing them in a timely manner.  I do post often on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

National Feral Cat Day

Marley celebrated the day by rescuing a kitten from the street and insisting I bring him home.  

Bob is not happy! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Agility Workshop

Marley and I recently attended a wonderful Agility Workshop.  It was fantastic!

We attended Novice Day and we started the day by going over basic sequences and equipment. Marley did a great job, she received a Standing Ovation when she completed the weave poles (Ok, this may be a slight exageration, but it totally felt like a standing ovation and I did shed a few tears of joy!). Her contacts were fantastic, even the dog walk.

In the afternoon we completed a few sequences that involved some thought on my part.  Marley had a blast! I had a great time; however, I did notice a few spots where I need some work.  I tend to panic half way through a sequence and forget all about Marley.

It was incredibly amusing to receive feedback in a British accent. She pretty much pointed out the same issues my regular instructor has pointed out in the past.

I was very proud of Marley, she stayed on track and didn't run off.  We were in close proximity to dogs she didn't know and she was calm and focused.  I'm glad I attended and I look forward to the next Agility Workshop.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Faking it!

Do you remember when you were a kid and your parents were taking you someplace fun, like Disneyland.  Do you recall Mom saying, "Go the the bathroom before getting into the car."  Do you recall saying, "I've already gone."  Inevitably within about 10 minutes you needed to go to the bathroom and everybody in the car became upset.  Why am I sharing a crazy childhood memory...Marley has started to do the same thing.

We'll get to class (Agility or Nosework) and I'll take her to potty.  She'll run in and lift her leg (yes, my female lifts her leg) and she tries to run to class.  I'll look at the spot where she fake-peed and it's dry.

I call her back and ask her to "go potty."  She sighs and comes back and picks a spot and actually pees...and she tries to run to class.  I call her back and say, "I don't think you are done."  I get another huge sigh from my dog and she picks a spot and poops.  Finally, we are able to walk into class.

I'm a bit surprised my dog has started faking it during potty time.   It totally reminds me of being a kid on the way to Disneyland.  I'm tickled she loves class as much as I used to love Disneyland.

The fact she goes to the effort of lifting her leg to pretend she's gone is the aspect that just blows my mind.  I would never have expected her to go to that effort to try to fake me out.  Does anybody else's dog try to fake it during potty time?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nose Work Workshop

I just attended a wonderful workshop called Introduction to K9 Nose Work®.  It was fantastic!

The instructors were Amy Herot and Wendy Krehbiel.  Amy is one of the three founders of the sport and she is a fantastic instructor.  I learned about the history and how the sport varies from detection work.  We had a couple of fun activities such as introduction to boxes.

Marley had a wonderful time.  The minute she saw the boxes on the floor she squealed and ran to look inside.  They couldn't hid the treat fast enough for Marley.  On our second try Marley was off leash and the hides were a bit more difficult.  Our third turn, Marley was doing a room search, this is where the treat is hidden in spots that are not boxes or containers. She had some trouble finding treats that were hidden above her nose height.

I was simply amazed at her focus and drive.  We both love this new activity.  I love that it gives us something fun and exhausting to do indoors when the temperatures are awful outside.  Marley loves looking for stuff and the fact that she gets to eat food off the floor is a total plus.

For more information on Nose Work and/or to find an instructor please go to their website.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Surfing Dogs

I grew up by the Ocean.  It was fantastic, I spent most of the summer taking the bus to the beach and hanging out.  Yep, I even had the crazy roommate that watched the weather channel and had elaborate algorithms to calculate the best surf time and location. Whenever I plan a vacation or even a road trip, the beach is my destination.  I'm really happy Marley travels well and loves running on the sand.

There is a cool club that hosts classes in San Diego, SoCal Surf Dogs. I just found out I can enroll Marley in a surfing class.  How cool is that!

I was in the middle of planning a fantastic vacation, geared towards teaching Marley how to surf when I realized...she hates swimming.  I strongly suspect Marley would protest and move out if I tried to teach her how to surf. next dog must like water!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Dog is Crazy

A teeter - not launch pad!

Marley somehow manages to surprise me all the time.  The other day we were working on a simple agility sequence that involved a couple of jumps and the teeter.  Very simple sequences, nothing complex.

Marley managed shock the heck out of me!

We were running the simple sequence and she sees the teeter and runs towards it...jumps into the yellow, hits the pivot point, and touches the edge with her toes as she leaps off the other end...while it is still in the air.  the teeter didn't have enough time to move before she hit the end.  For such a little dog she can do the most amazing things, I just wish they weren't always so dangerous. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I thought it would be fun to try nosework.  It involves doing Marley's favorite thing, finding food.  She was fabulous and she had a great time.

This is what she looked like after class.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just Bob

Bob contemplating smacking Marley
around for laying on him. 
Bob is the weirdest cat I've ever lived with (you never really own a cat), he is so clingy and demanding.  I have trouble leaving him home alone because neighbors have started to comment on how loud he complains.  Can cats have separation anxiety?

It has taken over three years for him to accept the fact that Marley is not a visitor.  He has started to rub his head under Marley's chin and purr while Marley panics and tries to evade.

Bob still tries to smack Marley around but it seems mostly for show not to make a point. He has started to bat at her paws trying to get her to play.

Marley is convinced this is a trick and Bob is just being nice because he wants to steal her bones.

My pets are really weird!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Today is the first Dog Agility Blog Event for 2013 and the topic is Internationalization.  If you love agility or just love running around jumps hoping your dog will take the jump you may enjoy today's posts.  My favorite so far is from Just Another Dog Blog, simply hilarious.

I unfortunately will not be participating, I have a  fantastic article on Internalization.  Yep, I totally skipped some letters when reading the topic; Internationalization.  I have a tons to say on helping Marley find her "inner Border Collie" not so much on international agility.

Please enjoy the Dog Agility Blog Event and feel free to share which article is your favorite.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Marley Day!

Wow it feels like just yesterday when I brought Marley home.  Happy Gotcha Day Marley!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fun Match

We attended our first fun match over the weekend. I signed us up for three runs in jumpers and I was very excited.  I woke up before dawn to get us there with enough time to find a good spot to set-up.  The day was simply beautiful, bright and sunny with a cooling breeze. 

Upon seeing the course I had only one thought, "Easy Peasy!"  We've done more complex course work in practice.  I was totally sure this would be a piece of cake and Marley would be looking for a challenge. I actually started to become concerned it might be too easy.  You can probably see where this is going, right?

Our three fun runs went like this:
  1. Marley got into the ring and thought, "woohoo, dirt!" and she took off running in circles.  She took a few jumps only because they were in her way while she was running around.  
  2. Marley goes over the first jump just fine and starts to sniff the ground in front of the tunnel.  I call her name...nothing.  I call her name again...she smells some straw.  I call her again...she looks like she wants to claim that spot on the course.  I end up picking her up and taking her outside.  
  3. I have a firm talk with Marley before our third run.  I look deep into her eyes and I say, "Girl, you need to find your inner border collie!"  I set her up at the start line and release her, she stops and the fascinating spot in front of the tunnel.  I call her name and she looks at me for a moment and decides it might be best to go into the tunnel.  As soon as she comes out I call her to me and praise her.  I then take off running like a crazy person, hoping my dog is following me along the course.  She did and it was fun!
Yep, three runs and she only actually ran one.  I have to say, she had a fantastic time.  I learned a valuable lesson:  The fun run is not about completing the course, but of letting the dog run a course in a new environment.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spring Already!

Wow, I can't believe its already February.  We have pretty much hibernated all winter;  Marley has enjoyed watching Doctor Who and playing indoor games.  The ground was saturated by huge storms that arrived in December, making outdoor training difficult.  Today was the first day I was able to wander about without  a coat and the ground wasn't squishy.
Marley enjoying a good roll in the warm grass. 

This week was our first week of agility class after our winter (weather) break.  Marley totally rocked the 270 turns, wrapping was smooth and clean.  She followed my cues and was right where I needed her to be, it was awesome!  So incredible...I signed us up for a fun match.  I have high hopes!

I also have high hopes that this is the year we conquer the dog walk.  We have worked on her end behavior and I believe she has finally figured out what I want when I scream TARGET!

I'm very excited about the fun match.  A couple of our agility friends will also be there and hopefully, I can find somebody to video our runs.  I only have two goals for this event the first is for Marley to ignore the distractions and not try to make friends with the pole setters.  The second is for me to plan our strategy and not forget it in the ring.  I'm so excited!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Drag Queen Bingo - Today

If you enjoy Bingo and want to support a good cause try "Drag Queen Bingo!"

Proceeds benefit the Sacramento's Front Street animal shelter. This is the awesome shelter where I found Marley.  The event is today, January 3, 2014 and begins at 7 p.m. at Hamburger Patties, 1630 J St., Sacramento. Admission is $15 for those who want to play bingo.

I have heard nothing but wonderful things about "Drag Queen Bingo."  Everybody who has attended one of their events reports they have never laughed as much as they have at this event.

For more info check out the article in the Sacramento Bee or check out the Drag Queen Bingo Facebook page.