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The Terrier Tattler
September 2005
September has finally arrived and hopefully that will mean some cooler temperatures (outdoor agility is lots more fun when it's below 90 degrees!).  I'm also quite happy to report that Wesley's health concerns seem to be behind us (for now).  Thanks for the many well wishes after his last episode (see Jul/August Tattler).  He has recovered well but didn't seem to learn any lessons - he still swallows his food without chewing (you know how boys can be!).  My only fear is that we may not go to Florida in November.  Due to Wes' vet bills and other stuff going on with the house (new furnace and A/C?), my assistant got the bright idea we should wait until next year.  Ugghh!!  Florida is the BEST and I'll really miss it if we don't go.  There is nothing quite like ocean swimming.  But my assistant did come up with a fantastic alternative - 4 days at dog camp!!!  Yes, she took Wesley and me to Dog Days of Wisconsin.  Oh my goodness, it was a wonderful time.  Check out the first of my two part article on the camp (Dog Days of Wisconsin - Part 1).  I've never had so much fun - lots of beach swimming, fun competitions and I even got to try herding ducks (I refer to this activity as chasing rather than herding!).  We're going to go again next year and I can't wait!! 

There are also tons of great accomplishments by my friends - check out the Ab Fabs section to see all the super stars!One of my super star friends, Pacey, just gave me the best present - you know how I love tennis balls - well he gave me a tennis ball that squeaks!!!  It's awesome!  Have a great September and keep those cards & letters coming!
                                                                                                                                         
      -Bianca

Blue Ribbon Skippy!!
 

My Cairn friend Skippy has been wanting to place at one of the coolest UKC Agility spots: WAG in Spring Grove.  He's had some good runs there, but hasn't placed in the top 4.  Well, his dream came true the end of August - Skippy took 1st place in AG2 (beating out me, Miss Bianca!).  He and his assistant, Shell, were awesome and Skip was running like a rocket.  Skippy is also pretty cool in that he opens up his home to help other Cairns that need a place to stay.  He and Shell are very active in Cairn Rescue and currently have a really cute little foster Cairn living with them -which is really fun for Skippy.  You can read about the rescue and their work at Cairn Rescue USA Chronicles: http://shop.cairnrescueusa.com/CRUSAChroniclesAUG2005.htm 

 

Wow, an agility dog and a big heart too - what a great combination!

Pacey Gets 1st Excellent JWW Leg!

 

I remember when Pacey and his assistant, Maribel, first came to our agility class.  I didn't think he'd make it - he wouldn't climb the A-frame and really had a ways to go.  I guess I forgot that we all started there and that will a little hard work and dedication you can really accomplish great things.  Well, now Pacey is running at the Excellent level in JWW and got a qualifying leg and FIRST PLACE in Glen Carbon, IL in August.  Congratulations, Pacey.  And thanks for reminding me that we all started off not knowing what we were doing and with a little perseverance we can succeed!

 

 

 

Medals for Murray

Murray has been one of my mentors since I started in agility.  Being a Cairn terrier, he knows first hand what a challenge it is for us little terriers to run agility.  Well, Murray not only runs agility, he runs it as well as any dog out there - of any breed.  And now Murray has been recognized for this accomplishment.  He has received the Dr. Cynthia Kargarise Sherman (1950-2002) medallion for achievement in agility by a Cairn terrier.  Dr. Sherman was a biologist whose academic love was the behavior of toads, but her vocation was Cairn Agility.  She absolutely understood what it took for Murray (and Scott) to accomplish this high level of success.  Murray got a really cool medallion with a Cairn giveing a play solicitation bow to a frog.  Gosh, wouldn't it be so great to have a medal!!  Congrats, Murray!

 

 

 

Bianca's Big, Cool Ribbon!!!

 

I got a really big ribbon at the UKC WAG trial in Spring Grove at the end of August.  On Sunday, I received the High Combined award - which goes to the dog that has the highest score for 2 runs combined.  I was thrilled to get it and of course didn't find out until much later (after we left the trial) since my assistant Tracy was in a toot to get on the road and didn't think I had won such a cool award!?!  Anyway, thank heaven classmate Fiona was still there.  She had her assistant, Pam, grab the ribbon and toy prize and bring them to me at school.  Thanks, Fi!  When will Tracy learn that I really am pretty good after all?!

 

Ab Fabs!!
Absolutely Fabulous Accomplishments - submit your Ab Fabs to bianca@2westies.com 
 

 

Shelties Rule!!!

 

This is the third Sheltie photo this newsletter!  And it's no wonder they are such a popular breed, they so smart and really sweet.  My cousins finally added a dog to their household (they've had cats for a long time, so it's a perfect house for a dog  - with built-in, live 'toys' that run!!!).  Laddy is a young Sheltie that is smart as a whip.  Her assistant Alane has already taught her some cool tricks and she's love to get Laddy involved in some agility in the future. 

 

 

 

 

 

Annie's a Perfect Puppy!

 

My Great-Aunt Mary and Great-Uncle Jere brought a darling puppy into their home.  Her name is Annie and she's a Golden Retriever.  She's so lucky - she even gets to go to work with Mary (I would love to go to work with Tracy everyday!).  I can't believe how well behaved she is and she hasn't even had a potty mess in the house!  That's setting a pretty high standard for the rest of the puppies out there!!  Wesley really wants to play with her on our next trip to Iowa!

Pup Pics!!
We LOVE photos of pups!!!  Send yours to bianca@2westies.com 

Dog Days of Wisconsin

Part 1 or 2

Mid August Wesley and I got to spend 4 days at camp in central Wisconsin.  Oh my goodness, it was the best time we've ever had.  There was so much fun stuff to do that some days we couldn't decide how to spend our time!  Since there's so much action to report, I'm breaking this article into two parts (Part 2 will be in next month's Tattler). 

Well, it all started on Friday when we arrived at camp about noon and unpacked the car that was packed to the brim with all kinds of stuff.  We stayed in a dorm cabin that basically was a big room with a bunch of beds.  A few of my agility pals were with us: Breeze the Corgi (and her mom Joan) and Ernie the Golden Retriever (and his mom Gail).  Breezy and Ernie had been to camp before - this was their 4th year so they really showed us the ropes.  We were all in one section of the cabin down at one end and that was nice.  Ernie is great, and Breezy, well what can I say she's a lot like me and we get along but we're not best friends - however Wes and Breezy get along great (hmmm, maybe it's me?!). 

 

 

My favorite thing about camp was the lake.  They even had a special time each day just for small dogs, which was really nice since I had even more water all to myself!  I absolutely adore the water.  Give me a person that will throw a ball into the water and then I'll swim out and retrieve it - heaven!  They even had a dock I could jump off to get to the ball!  Here's some photos of me swimming to the ball and then bringing the ball back in.

 

 

Wes on the other hand has never really cared about the water.  He doesn't mind getting his toes wet, but that doesn't mean he didn't have a good time.  One of his favorite things to do is run and chase with other dogs and he got in lots of that on the beach.  Here he is with pal Breezy have a run on the beach.  

 

 

However Wes did surprise everyone when he got really excited about a special red ball his Bichon friend Kirby had.  All of a sudden Wes was in the water trying to get the ball - before we knew it he was in up to his neck and actually did a little swimming!  I was shocked by the way he was really pushing himself to try something new - and he was actually pretty darn good. 

 

As I'm sure you know, some breeds are made for herding: cows, sheep, reindeer, etc.  Well at camp we got to take our shot at herding..... ducks!  I got to try it but I really didn't get the whole herding thing down - I found it much more effective to chase the ducks.  My buddy Ernie had an interesting technique as well - but then again he's a Golden RETRIEVER, not a Golden HERDER!!!

Breezy was the super star of our group.  She was doing a great job of herding the ducks and still finding time to get in a quick roll in the duck poop! 

 

Tracy went to one session without a dog.  She has never learned how to use a clicker (it's a training aid for my non-dog training friends), so she thought she'd hit the Clicker Training Session.  And since the dogs weren't at this session, guess what kinds of critters Tracy trained using this method....  She trained a chicken.  Her chicken was really big but really nice and within a short period of time she had it pecking a 'target' on the table.  When the chicken pecked the target she got a 'click' and a peck at some chicken grain (Lady Bird was very food motivated -which is a trait I absolutely appreciate!). 

 

 

In next months edition I'll tell you about some of the fun games we played, but the first night was carnival night.  It was loud and exciting.  Both Ernie and I loved the ball bobbing game.  There were a bunch of balls floating in a bin of water and you were supposed to grab one.  I was so excited I jumped right into the bin with the balls.  Ernie was just as excited, but showed a little more class in politely taking a ball from the bin!

Wesley partook in some of the lighter sessions, like the Tellington - Touch session.  Where he got to be the model for the class as the instructor demonstrated the relaxing techniques on him.  It was right up his alley - getting petted or rubbed is just about his favorite activity in the world (second only to butt sniffing!). 

 

 

 

So, it was a huge amount of fun in just a few days.  It was very nice of my assistant Tracy to take us to camp and it's kind of great that she seemed to have a good time too! 

Tune in next month for the rest of the news from camp - I'll tell you all about lure coursing, the doggy olympics and the costume contest!

 

 

The Bunny Hop   

     

Now this is funny!!!  Some very interesting games are starting in Minnesota. 

Check this out: http://www.startribune.com/stories/611/5581917.html .    Rabbits doing agility?!  Wes and I know from experience that bunnies can run really fast, but the ones weíve seen werenít the smartest critters weíve seen.  What will they think of next?  Squirrel agility?!

 

How do you teach a dog to play?       

Biscuit and Tracy (not my assistant) are two super cute Sheltie rescues that have found a great home with one of my friends.  Here's a photo of the happy pups with their new family.  Only concern is that growing up they didn't have many toys to play with (can you imagine?!).  And now after years without toys, they just don't know what to do with all the great new toys they have in their new home.  Their family has tried all kinds of toys (stuffed, noisy, all shapes, etc) to find something that Biscuit and Tracy get excited about.  But to no avail - they just don't know how or seem to want to play with toys.  Any ideas out there?  They are such really great dogs and love to chase the bunnies and squirrels in the yard, but no interest in chasing a toy.  Hmmm.  Really need your ideas as I was a natural born toy-lover.  Email your suggestions to me at bianca@2westies.com .  THANKS!

 

A Dog Alternative        

Iíve run into several folks who really like dogs but donít have one in their household for any one of several reasons: shedding, barking, not home enough, need too much exercise, etc. Well, hereís an alternative, but itís a little pricey!!! And wonít be much fun in agility!  Check out the breeds available at  http://www.maryholstad.com/

 

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