Monday, August 31, 2009


Senator Kennedy and His Dog, Splash

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 05:43 AM PDT

Good-dog-Miles-with-DrLarry By now we have probably read an account of the life and myriad accomplishments of Senator Ted Kennedy. By any stretch of the imagination he had a full and meaningful life and many of us are indebted to Senator Kennedy for legislation he helped shepherd through the Senate. It would certainly be nice to have him now as we debate meaningful reform for our broken health care system. 

Whether we always agreed with him politically or not one thing we pet lovers share with Senator Kennedy is a love and appreciation for dogs. His gift of a Portuguese Water Dog puppy to the President and his family overshadowed his own story about his relationship with his dog, Splash.
Most politicians like to have their pictures taken with dogs and babies to show how down to earth they really are. I can just imagine some handler rushing in to brush away the dog hair and the dog as soon as possible so the pol can get off to the next photo opp awarding a blue ribbon to some 4H kid at the state fair.
Not so with the Senator. Splash, AKA Champion Amigo's Seventh Wave, was his constant companion.
He and another dog went to work every day at the Senate Office Building with their master. According to reports I've read Splash would sit at the Senator's feet and get up and follow him around where ever he went. Except the Senate floor, of course. According to Senate rules there are no dogs allowed on the floor but Splash had full run of everything else, including conference committee rooms where he sat in as legislation was debated. Personally I don't get that no dogs rule. If James Inhofe is allowed on the Senate floor, why not Splash?
Senator Kennedy spent time each week reading to elementary school kids at a local magnet school. ItMy-senator-and-me seems the kids really enjoyed books about animals but the pickings were kind of slim. That got the Senator thinking about doing a book on his favorite topic; his relationship with Splash. Apparently the first draft was kind of dull and got luke warm reviews from his grand kids.
The rewrite put Splash in the drivers seat and told the tale from his point of view. Much more interesting according to reviews.
My Senator and Me was published in 2006 and according to reports is a delightful children's book with fantastic illustrations by an award winning artist, David Small.
I have no doubt that Splash helped make life tolerable in the Senator's last year. I wrote a post about a cancer patient and his dog a while back. The point was that dogs keep us focused on life and help us stay in the present.
You don't have time to dwell on the negative if your friend needs to go for a walk or needs to have his food or water bowl filled. And these friends won't desert you in a time of need because they don't know how to deal with your illness. 
That is the type of relationship Senator Kennedy had with Splash. We should all be so lucky.  

Lots About Dogs

Lots About Dogs

How to Deal with Whining Dogs – Part 2

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 06:00 AM PDT

Whining in adult dogs Whining is not a natural form of communication between humans and dogs. Most dogs grow out of whining around the six-month age; if your dog is whining after this period, it means she’s either doing it unconsciously, or she’s learned that it’s a useful motivatory tool to get her something that she [...]

Band of Cats

Band of Cats

The Carousel Cats of Centre Island

Posted: 31 Aug 2009 05:00 AM PDT

You may have seen these cats before but this was the first time we saw these big cats. On a visit to Centre Island in Toronto we rode the wonderful Carousel in the park which had all sorts of great animals to ride on including giraffes, rabbits,...

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Band of Cats

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Band of Cats

Today’s Cat Pictures – Spooky Cat – Aug 28

Posted: 29 Aug 2009 06:25 PM PDT

Spooky our big white cat is napping at the back door in the afternoon sun. I showed up and disrupted his slumber. I got a surprised cat stare and then a big yawn. Spooky sat for a bit staring off into space and napped some more. It was a nice quiet...

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Today’s Cat Pictures – Spooky and Dax – Aug 27

Posted: 28 Aug 2009 06:32 PM PDT

A couple of donut cats on the couch snoozing away. Spooky and Dax are always sleeping in the same spot but not always in a mirror image of each other. Later on they snuggled together. I got a 'do you mind' look from Dax our tuedo cat, so I let them...

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The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Days of Johann - an agility dog!

Around the dog agility blog-o-sphere!

Posted: 28 Aug 2009 08:08 PM PDT

Silvia has some updates on how she teaches running contacts. And always good for a little review. Read more...

If you'd like to see the results from the Eastern Regional of the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge held in August in Indianapolis, read on...

Susan Garrett has a few posts about how she exercises her dogs to get in shape for agility. Definitely worth a read, here, here and here.

The debate rages on for the 24" weave pole spacing in USDAA. We've posted about it before, and yes, we are for 24"!!! Would love the opportunity to save my back if I can, fur sure! The latest is a weave poll survey the Susan Garrett posted that we posted about a couple of weeks ago. Here are the results from her survey, as she posted on the USDAA Yahoo Group list:
2658 completed the survey - (The numbers in the bracket beside are the numbers she last reported)

Question one:

1. Do you think USDAA should change their weave pole variance to include the option of having 24" spacing.

Yes 94.7% (94.6) (94.3 in the first 700 respondents)
No 5.4% ( 5.3) (7.7 in the first 700 respondents)

With 428 people leaving a written comment

Question two:
2. Do you think USDAA should eliminate the option for clubs to use weave pole bases that are less than 22" wide?

Yes 87.5% (87.5)
No 12.5 % (12.5)

With 315 written comments

Question 3

3. Do you compete in USDAA agility with your dog?

60.6% (62.5)
Not yet but intend on it
26.2% (24.8)
No but I would if they made the change to 24" weave pole bases.
7.2% (6.7)
No, I do not compete, nor do I have any plans to compete in USDAA
agility 6.8% (6.0) (mostly Canadians that live too far from
the border to compete in the US)

With 388 written comments.
TajMuttHall has a little post about their class experiment with timing 20 vs 24" poles. Interesting info.

Nice little instructional video on "How to build a tire, Part 1" from Gone To the Dogs Agility.

Great little post about how to make homemade dog boots from Agility Adventures.

The FCI World Agility Championships are coming up and will be held September 18-20, 2009 in Dornbirn, Austria.

The US team was chosen through tryouts held in May in Hopkins, Minnesota after qualifying in seven ISC events held throughout the US from May 08 to March 09.

Small Team:
Marcy Mantell, Wave, Shetland Sheepdog, CA
Katie Conn, Twix, Shetland Sheepdog, PA
Dee Anna Gamel, Kelsi, Shetland Sheepdog, GA
Melanie Del Villaggio, Dara, Shetland Sheepdog, TN

Medium Team:
Ashley Deacon, Luka, Pyrenean Shepherd, CA
Karen Holik, Sizzle, Shetland Sheepdog, FL
Paulette Swartzendruber, Rush, Shetland Sheepdog, MA
Jennifer Crank, Blaster, Shetland Sheepdog, OH

Large Team:
Channan Fosty, Icon, Border Collie, CA
Marcus Topps, Juice, Border Collie, TX
Geri Hernandez, Focus, Border Collie, CA
Denise Thomas, Zippity, Border Collie, PA

Team Captain - Andy Hartman
Team Coach - Nancy Gyes
Ast. Coach - Kathie Leggett
Team Mgr - Toni Osojnicki

The US Team will be competing against the likes of Susan Garrett (CAN), Greg Derrett & Bernadette Bay (GBR), Svetlana Tumanova (RUS), Silvia Trkman (SLO), Silas Boogk (GER) and more top world teams.

Here's the schedule:


Competition 09:30-20:00
Team Jumping Large (Judge: Bernd Hüppe)
Team Jumping Medium (Judge: Manuel Alff)
Team Jumping Small (Judge: Bernd Hüppe)
Team Agility Large (Judge: Manuel Alff)


Competition 08:00-19:00
Single Jumping Small (Judge: Manuel Alff)
Single Jumping Medium (judge: Bernd Hüppe)
Single Jumping Large (Judge: Manuel Alff)
Team Agility Medium (Judge: Bernd Hüppe)
Team Agility Small (Judge: Manuel Alff)


Competition 08:00-16:00
Single Agility Small (Judge: Bernd Hüppe)
Single Agility Medium (Judge: Manuel Alff)
Single Agility Large (Judge: Bernd Hüppe)
Final event / award ceremony ca. 16:00 about 16:00

Here's a nice little vid of some running contact training from Ingerid Margrete & her dog Orkan at a clinic with Fanny Gott and Justine Davenport.

Great tutorial about how to teach side legs up, enjoy! Now if I could just get un-maniced and get serious about my back legs, sheesh!

Happy agility!

What's new in the shop!

Posted: 28 Aug 2009 08:28 AM PDT

I love fall, it's one of my favorite times of year. Now only does it get cooler and we get to do more hiking, agility and spend lots more time outside, but it's also the time when lots of new, cool dog stuff starts appearing in stores in time for the holidays.

So we spent the weekend updating both and with uber cool new dogs stuff. And we just had to share some of this new stuff with ya, of course! Here are some of our favs:

This is the new rubber Talk to Me Treatball. Not hard plastic like those other ones. We're in the process of testing it, so stay tuned, but so far we're liking it as a treat dispenser :)

Talk To Me Rubber Treatball Dog Toy

For all you agility fans out there, AgilityVision has put together a DVD of the best of European 2009!

2009 European Open Agility Championships DVD

Clean Run has some Inov-8 Rocklites on sale, great bargain! $99.95, Sale $64.95

Inov-8 Womens Roclite 282

Orvis has a new dog toy out, this looks fun! Orvis Squiggle Ball. has a new product available, a great green and healthier option. Shoo! Tag for Dogs for those nasty fleas and ticks.

A new treat! You know how much I love those sweet potato chews. Dr. Harvey's Sweet Potate'r Chews.

Jax & Bones have come out with an entire line of new toys that have all natural dyes. Here's just one: Jax & Bones - Larry the Lion toy. And they also have a duck, lobster, lamb and many more furry friends. They'd be great for a little tug!

Jax & Bones - Larry the Lion toy
We even got lots of Halloween stuff on the site - from costumes, to treats, to talking toys!

Zelda Cave Dog Costume

Zelda Cave Dog Costume

Talking Pumpkin

Multipet Talking Pumpkin Dog Toy

And some very nice jackets to keep us warm this winter:

West Paw Design CloudBurst Dog Jacket M - Moss

West Paw Design CloudBurst Dog Jacket

Ice-Barker 100% Merino Wool Jacket

Ice-Barker 100% Merino Wool Jacket

That's not even a quarter of the new cool dog stuff, we'll share more later, or if you just can't wait you can visit and to see it all!