Birthdays, bees and bumbles

Howdy blogaroos. Squirmy here with the latest updates from the asylum.

First off, the Coyote had a good birthday. We all had a treat hangover the next day. He shared his special treats with us – but I did note that he had some “extra edible concoction” on his dinner which the Boss and I did not get. Whatever it was, he liked it and didn’t leave so much as a single lick in his bowl. Lucky guy.

In other news, I had some drama in dog class. On Friday I went to class and was performing at my typical above mediocre level. All was plodding along and if I actually demonstrated a moment of brilliance, I was rewarded greatly. Treats were occasionally tossed – but I still haven’t mastered the treat catch yet. Try as I might, my accuracy is less than 50%. But I certainly try. At one point, I spied what I THOUGHT was a treat on the floor( from one of my missed catches) – and I quickly grabbed it. BIG MISTAKE. The Warden looked at me as I spit out a large morsel. And it was moving. It was a big fat bumblebee. I shook my head several times and made a yucky face. The Warden was worried I might have been stung – but within 15 seconds I was fine. The Bumblebee was shown the door.

On Sunday, the Warden took me to a training match. It was to try a new type of rally obedience that has not been offered in our area before. It’s put on by CARO – the Canadian Association of Rally Obedience. It’s similar to and also different from CKC and AKC Rally. At the higher levels one can do things like tunnels and weave poles – which are more like agility exercises than typical rally. CARO also has a “Working” track – where you perform exercises like those seen in CKC obedience- things like a retrieve over a jump, drop on recall, directed jumping…

Anyway, the Warden thought it would be good for me to try – partly because CARO allows you to give treats on the course for certain exercises. So THAT’S cool. As a result, it can be a nice way to “transition” to training with no treats. Plus it’s good practice and fun.

If you want more info about CARO, here is the website:

So on Sunday we went to the match- and she entered me in two tracks – the Working and Rally Novice. We only selected 4 exercises to try in Working – and miracle of miracles, I did them all. AFTER I visited with the “judge.”

And then a while later, it was my turn in Novice rally. Now keep in mind, I already have a CKC Rally Novice title. And this wasn’t that different. But holy moly, I walked in that ring and the Warden wondered who took her dog. She took her first step at the start line and yours truly sat there. Like a stuffed toy. She encouraged me along but it was like I was in the Twilight Zone. By the third sign she turned to the judge and asked to be excused. She was sooooo disappointed- because I’ve been doing well in training – but this was like going back to square one. Thankfully, Saint Jane – our trainer was there – and encouraged the Warden to take me back in the ring after everyone else was done. And so we did. And guess what? I was great. Someone snapped this shot of us going around the course – and it’s clear I was back in the game.

Professional athletes frequently seek the services of sport psychologists. I think we need one. At least the Warden does. She gets nervous- and then I say “whoa- this must be scary. Count me out.” At least that’s the way I see it. She gets scared because I’m still a wildcard. And it goes zippo like lightning down that leash. We’ll eventually work it out – we just need LOTS more matches. And LOTS more practice. Maybe I’ll be in a trial when I’m 12.

Ohhhhh – but one more thing about Rally. So the CKC stats for 2022 came out for the Top Rally Dogs in Canada. And WHO do you think was the Top Polish Lowland Sheepdog in Rally for 2022? The Boss!!!! And who was Number 3? Me!!! OK. So there were probably only three of us competing. But still. All three of us got there with good scores. So we’re happy to take the prize money. JUST KIDDING. We paid for that honor. And the ribbons. But you can’t put a price on the fun and bonding – and really – that’s why we do it!

So those are the major updates from the asylum. Oh – plus Happy National Sea Monkey Day. I can’t believe I almost forgot. Did you know the sea monkey-as-a-pet craze started in the early 1960s? Every comic book had an ad for the interesting little creatures- which were actually brine shrimp. The Warden always wanted them – but given a rather unsuccessful run with goldfish – which literally jumped out of the bowl, the Warden’s mother said “no sea monkeys.” You can apparently still get sea monkeys. I’d like some. But now it’s the Warden saying “no.” She said “I have three canine monkeys – I don’t need sea monkeys.” Spoil sport.

OK. Going to see the Borzoi Babes this morning. I’d better go put on some good smelling stuff so I don’t reek of woodland adventures. Gotta swoon the girls…

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe. JBJ.

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