Go ahead and JUMP!

Today I wanted to get shots of all my dogs leaping over one of the jumps in the backyard.  With a little bit of tennis ball reward, they were quite happy to comply.

OKAY!
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It was a bit challenging at first, because I don’t generally set them up behind a jump and then crouch down and call them from a face-on position with the facebox over my eye.  But dogs are so amazing, they’ll try just about anything!
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Of course, I only got one shot with Wootie before he was bored, and wandered off.  I should have named him Goldfish.  Or perhaps, Carnivorous Goldfish … though that’s a bit of a mouthful.
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I even got Piper to go OUT on command, make her away around the opposite side of the jump, set herself up and then leap over on command.  Make no mistake, this is a HUGE step for Piper.  I spent literally years trying to get Piper to understand what a “go out” command was, and it was just too difficult for her to do, because her default behaviour is to stand on my sneakers.  But she’s worked really hard to understand what I want, and even though it kind of makes her unhappy to do it, she will now comply!

And of course, after all that exciting set up, I didn’t actually even get a halfway decent photo of it.  And because I wanted to leave it on a successful note, I didn’t make her do it again.

Dexter did it though.  And again, for all you worryworts out there ;-) I don’t do anything more than the simplest and shortest of one jump exercises with Dex yet, and very occasional gridwork.  I’m just mostly letting him be a puppy.

Still, he looks so happy when he’s playing agility!
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I even thought I’d try it with TWooie.

*in unison* Say what, crazy Food Lady??
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(look how narrow Dexter is.  He looks like I slammed him between two hardcover books before taking him out to play!)

If I close my eyes, this ridiculous request will go away.
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It was not successful.

I didn’t even try with Maggins.  I’ve done no agility training at all with her, because despite all your pushy comments (*ahem*) she is not making my home her home.  I know, I suck.

Why do you banish me, Food Lady?  I could play this game!
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But I did the next best thing to keeping her … I adopted her to the nice people who have Dexter’s sister Ally!  They met her last night, and just loved her right away.  But then, how could you not?

We met them at something called Fraser Foreshore Park in Burnaby, where I met the cutest thing on earth, coincidentally, ALSO called Maggie:
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This cattledog puppy was so cute, she made EVERYONE play with her.  I mean, EVERYONE.

Another cattledog:
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Another Maggie:
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Even a Mr. Woo, Official Disdainer of Puppies Everywhere:
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And he really liked it!
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But Dexter did not play with her.  He was very very busy:
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So say Au Revoir to Waggie Maggie, who is off to her new home as soon as her new peeps return from Mexico.
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Poor TWooie did not get to come to the park(for obvious reasons) – he had to stay in the van (parked in the shade, doors wide open) where he made Sad Noises for the entire two hours.   To make it up to him, this morning I let him engage in his New Favourite Activity Ever:

*stare stare stare* *bark* *stare stare stare*
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There’s an old trailer on the property that someone used to live in, that is now pretty well empty.  Some barn swallows have built a wee nest under the eaves.
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TWooie would like very much if they would fall out of the nest, and into his mouth.

Food Lady?  A little help here plz?
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In case you’re wondering if “I’m Terrible” I did not actually set that ladder up there to teach TWooie how to help himself to swallow the swallows.  I put it there so I could take photos of the super ugly babies for you.

This was the best I could do.  I feared getting too close, lest the bird lice get me again.
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Get down off that ladder and throw me a Dumbball!…. Thank you!!
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I have to say, I am really enjoying life out here in the sticks!!  The other night I made myself a salad entirely of veggies and fruits grown in my own garden!
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I only wish Tweed liked it out here in the country a little more than he does :(
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heh heh heh.  Fooled you!
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Enjoy your super sunny weekend folks!

Piper makes me so MAD!

Oh wait … maybe I make Piper so MAD!
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Nooo …. that’s not right either.

Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Piper and I made Piper MAD together.
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MAD as in Masters Agility Dog of Canada MAD!  This weekend she got two back-to-back Masters Standard Qs to complete her title!  She did it like a pro too, no hesitation, no problems, great weaves.  We wuz all very impressed.  She also got her very first Advanced Gamble Q, which is like a miracle for Miss P.  She went 3 for 3.

Tweed, otoh, went 1 for 4.  Let’s just say he had some senior moments, which included a face plant into the SIDE of a tunnel.  How do you not see a 20 foot long bright yellow object as tall as yourself?  He did however redeem himself very nicely by getting the last Steeplechase Q he needed for his Masters Steeplechase Dog of Canada!
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It was a nice way to spend a Saturday.

The WooTWoo, who spent the entire day in crates, completely disagree.  But Dexter had a lovely visit with his sister Ginny at the trial.
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It’s nice to see them getting on so well!
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Too bad Ginny and Maggie didn’t get along at all.
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Just kidding!  Maggie and Ginny hit it off right away.
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In fact, Ginny is a little bit in love with Maggie.  I tried to convince Auntie Cathie to adopt Maggie too, but she wasn’t listening because she was busy trying to convince me to keep Maggie.  We canceled each other out.

Maybe this photograph will change her mind.
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Maggie just gets on well with everybody. Nyxie thinks she was the bees knees!
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Which is the opposite of how TWooie feels about Nyxie:
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Bad dog, TWooie!!!  He was probably just pissed off in general at the time, because we waded way out into the surf and made him swim.

I’m SCARED!!!
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Piper said if a blind dog could go way out in the water, so could TWoo.
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So get over yourself!!
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MAD Piper is mad.

Why don’t you ALL get over yourselves?
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My mum went to Editville

and all she brought me back was this lousy walk on our own property.

Harumph.
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It’s true. I neglected my dogs for days, trying to fool them with short games of frisbee on the lawn in between long stretches of editing.  When I finally stumbled out of my Photoshop stupor this morning, we discovered summer had gone AWOL, and I was too tired to drive anywhere for interesting adventures.

But dogs are resourceful.  They know how take advantage of even lame circumstances, like boring surroundings and crummy weather.

Yay!  Let’s have fun anyway!
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I can’t believe we are finally going for a walk!
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The WooTWoo morphed into a Single Hunting Missile and we didn’t see it/them again for like, an hour.
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But Maggie was alert and scouting for them.
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Actually, Maggie was alerting us all to the presence of A Stranger!  Walking their dog!  Within visual range!  Maggins believes in letting everyone know that sees them, and believes they are up to no damn good too.  She gets the other dogs all riled up that way.  I should probably put a stop to it, but she stands like a monkey when she does it, and it amuses me.
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Can you believe nobody has applied for Miss Waggin’ Maggins?  I can’t believe it, she is so pretty and sweet and fun.
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I’m in your Outlook, deleting all your inquiries.  Hai.
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I probably made her profile requirements too rigorous.  It’s a fine line between telling too much, and not telling enough.  If you don’t stress the important things, you get a slew of applicants that are completely inappropriate for the dog’s needs – like with Sprite.  Her profile mentioned casually that our preference was for a performance home, with no small children.  I got 35 applications from families who wanted a pretty girl doggie pet.  So in Maggie’s profile I was pretty heavy handed explaining what homes would be rejected outright, and the result is that nobody wants her.  You can’t win for losing sometimes.

(Sometimes I craft imaginary profiles for TWooie, just for fun:

Tube shaped mystery mix who grunts and snores like an entire hogfarm.  Full of contempt for other dogs, obedience commands and personal boundaries.  Can dismantle garden shed in under 2 days while searching for rats and comes with own collection of burrs. Self-feeding in areas densely populated by well-fed coyotes, but sometimes vomits up coyote shit, usually on a rug.  On the plus side, likes to stick his head in your armpit and make weird groaning sounds – a big hit at parties!  Must also adopt his brother Wootie, or else he is unable to transmorph into super-being with ridiculously flamboyant tail.)

I am the TWoo.  Everything she said is true.
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Or it could just be that I haven’t posted pretty enough photos of Maggie.  She really is a precious looking little thing, but it’s hard to capture because she is dark-faced, and dark-eyed.  All in all, she is so easy to have around it’s like not having another dog at all, unless there are high value items like bones laying around.  Maggie gets really evil with the other dogs over a bone, and the other dogs are all totally confused by this, since bones to them are only high value when they are fresh out of the package.  The stale old ones she keeps digging out of the toy basket and then parading around with are completely uninteresting to them, and they don’t understand her snarly face and general bad manners.

She had a big scrap with TWooie just 10 minutes ago.  He was asleep under my feet and she wandered over with an old bone, decided he was looking at it and started growling at him.  He growled back because he was confused, seeing as how he’d just been asleep and took her sudden rudeness rather personally -  and she launched herself at him.  It was hard for me to get them apart because they were under my feet and on my computer chair legs all at the same time, so Piper did it for me.  Piper says There Is No Fighting Allowed, so she drove her snappers like a wedge between them and backed Maggie off for me.  I *heart* my alpha bitch!

Dexter: Meh, she’s so full of herself.

Piper: Are you dissin’ me son???
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Poor TWooie grunted an entire operetta under my armpit after that, he was so stressed out.  I *did* remind him that he made Maggie’s life a living hell for like 5 days when she first arrived, but I don’t think he heard me, as his ears were tucked under my sweatshirt.  I admit, I find it very charming that his go-to response to Scary Things is to shove his head in my thin layer of Lady Speedstick and tell me how upset he is.

But that’s about the worst side of Maggie anyone’ll ever see.  She shares everything else – yesterday I caught her and Dexter both chewing on opposite ends of a thin twig.  It was so Lady and the Tramp.  Tell your friends about Miss Maggins – she would make a super agility dog for someone who doesn’t have kids, and who knows how to keep bones segregated in a multi-dog household.  Meanwhile I will work on getting better photos of her.  I should have popped her in under the studio lights while we were there, but I totally forgot.  Poor Maggie.

Here are a few client shots from the weekend though.  Sorry about the watermark, but the clients have not yet purchased their photos.  We got oh so many lovely shots, it was hard to pick a few favourites to show you – so I opened the folder and pointed randomly at the screen with my eyes closed, and these are the ones that I selected.

This is Miss Ruby, a street dog from Mexico.  She looks like an itty bitty teeny weeny miniature Saluki dog.  Ruby was among the more challenging subjects, as she did not like to look at the camera, did not like to sit, stand, lie down or stay and preferred to be sitting on or near my lap.  And since I didn’t think anyone wanted photos of my knees in the shots, Jen and I had our work cut out for us with Ruby!  But the results were so charming.
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Here are Barra and Sheena being extremely dignified.  I of course love Barra because she is a border collie, and it’s hard not to like a pretty little sheltie who shares my name.  They were both very good about posing wherever we put them.  It’s almost like they grew up with me!
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This is Kiwi and her brother the Jack Russell whose name now escapes me because I’m brain dead from days of editing.  They are such a nice contrast of dogs, big little, dark light … there’s another photo in the batch of the Jack sitting on a tall stool and Kiwi looking up at him from the floor, but my finger didn’t choose that one when I was pointing with my eyes closed.
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This is Silky, who earns her name by having the softest coast IN THE WORLD.  I wanted to have a nap on her, she was so soft.  I liked Silky especially because even though she shed a whole bunch, her hair was dark and didn’t show up on the background.  Less editing for me.  Yay Silky!
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Here’s another of Ruby.  It’s so much nicer without the big ugly watermark.  It’s one of my favourite photos, actually.
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And last but not least, if you receive or read the Canadian Kennel Club’s Dogs in Canada magazine, this month you’ll see this “Bragvert” for our friend Abies, who is the #1 Agility Poodle in the country.  Photo courtesy of ME! ;-)
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Happy Thursday ya’ll.  I’m going to take a nap before agility class and try not to dream about dog hair and cookie crumbs.