How to confuse a chicken

What the f*ck kind of flower is this?

I love the bargain bin section of the vegetable market, as it provides an endless array of new and confusing fruit and vegetables for the chickens.

Another way to confuse the chickens … add a new chicken.

This lady is another Animal Control acquisition, this time from my own working district.  She’s been on the lam for about 6 weeks, leading the animal control officers on a merry chase through town.  One of them finally caught her yesterday, sitting on a clutch of eggs.  Since you aren’t allowed to have chickens in North Vancouver, even if someone were to try and claim her they wouldn’t be permitted to have her back, so I took her home.  Any ideas of what sort of chicken she might be?  She has almost no comb, but a lot of extra mop-top feathers atop her head.  She lays white eggs.  The farm manager said she was a “low grade” chicken, whatever that means, but failed to expand on the concept.  The other chickens feel she is pretty “low grade” too as they are kicking the hell out of her.

TWooie thinks he would like to eat her, since he missed his chance to eat the other chickens he was chasing a couple mornings ago.  I let the dogs out for a pee and went back in to make coffee, and heard panicked chicken sounds – turns out some of my hens had busted loose from their enclosure and were being relentlessly pursued by TWoo, who was trying with all his might to sprout wings and fly, since this was clearly the only way he was going to catch them.

It wasn’t me.  It was that other dog beside me that looks a lot like me.

Say … is that a loose chicken??

Fortunately, my hens trust me and they came running to me to protect them from TWoowolf.

Just another Sunday at Food Lady Farm.

Ah, but it was NOT just another Sunday!  It was Regionals Sunday, so after saving the chickens, I drove out to Abbotsford to cheer on my friends.  I admit I experienced some waffling in the morning about going out there … I was so depressed about missing my first Regionals in like 8 years that I thought maybe going out there would just be too tough to bear.

I didn’t tell Tweed where I was going.  He never would have forgiven me if he knew that we weren’t doing Regionals this year.

I remember being on the podium like it was just last year.

And I didn’t bother telling Piper, the dog with the 3-second-memory-retention, because she would have had no idea what I was talking about anyway.  As it is, she seems to forget how to do agility from week to week, so I’m sure the concept of “Regionals” retains no space in her limited little bean anyway.

I could’ve mentioned it to Woo, who would likely have been ambivalent about the whole thing; while Wootie shows promise at the sport, he can mostly take it or leave it.  In class last week we were doing Regionals prep (*sob*) and after two runs of mostly stepping on and/or kicking Piper AKA “Underfoot” I brought Wootie out in her place to do the Jumpers run.  Damn if he didn’t whip through the whole course like a pro.  How does he do that, when he gets almost no training at all?  And why won’t he do it consistently?


Anyway, I kinda had to go on Sunday to visit and see the closing ceremonies / final placements.  I didn’t have much choice, because a little birdie let it slip on Saturday that Rogue AKA Poguey AKA Angry Coho, the Something-Jack adopted from TDBCR, was sitting in 1st place and was a futhermucking contender!  Had to go see how she fared.

And am I ever glad I did.

Meet TDBCR Rogue, the 2011 AAC BC-Yukon Regional 16″ Regular Division CHAMPION!!

They smoked everyone in their division of about 40 dogs, with a final score of 567 points.  Last year they were 2nd place, so I guess this year they had nowhere to go but up ;-)  What’s truly amazing is that in November, Rogue tore her ACL while tearing through the forest and has undergone surgery and months of rehab, and has only been easing back into the game of agility for a month.  Now that, my friends, is called coming back!

Plus she kicked some sheltie ass …. shelties being the bane of every other breed in the 16″ regular division.  But mostly I am so happy, because RESCUE DOGS ROCK!  No snooty papered sport bred puppy here … just a little abandoned mystery mix puppy from Yakima, Washington who is kicking ass and taking names!  It’s a banner day for rescue :) I am so very proud of Poguey and her mum Fiona.

I have not had a chance to see what other TDBCR dogs qualified for Nationals this year, but there was at least one other TDBCR dog on the podium.  TDBCR Kali placed 5th in the 22″ Regular division … 22″ regular is one of the toughest classes, being it is where most of the border collies play, and this was Kali’s very first Regionals, so it was a huge accomplishment!  Huge congrats to Kali and handler Marian!

So congrats to all the TDBCR dogs who did well this year.  And to all the competitors, who toughed out what I understand was torrential rains and wind throughout most of Saturday and Sunday morning.  (The sun of course came out when I arrived, because that’s the Universe trying to bestow my annual Regionals sunburn on me ;-)) The heart of the game is the spirit of its competitors, and you should all be very proud.

Someone said Regionals is like Christmas – there’s a lot of hype leading up to it, you spend a short amount of time with a lot of family and friends in an emotionally charged environment, and when it’s over, you are exhausted.  I remember that feeling well and think it’s a perfect analogy.  This year though, after it was over, I felt … lonely.  I was so excited while I was there, and so happy for my friends who did well, but when I got home I felt sad.  It’s silly – it’s just a game, after all, but it’s *my* game.  And I feel so cheated, not being able to play because some kid plowed into the back of my car when I went to get groceries :(

On the plus side, my physiotherapist says next week I’m ready to start some running.  It’s been 4 months since I’ve been allowed to bust out my treadmill, so I take this as a good sign that things are getting better!

And I guess I always have next year to look forward to, when I will get to run Deter “Long Stride” Morgan the giraffe, who even as a baby dog is showing every indication of being totally AWESOME.

What is a “next year?”  Can I eat it? Or jump over it?  Or fetch it?

Hopefully I will be able to run Tweed too … he will be 12 then, which is pretty old, but the border collie that won what would have been his division this year is 14, so there’s still hope for him yet!

Piper, however, will be staying home.

Why is there a stick in my mouth?  Was I going somewhere?

Hell, maybe I’ll even run Woo!

No .. Woo … WOO!  Jump FORWARD!  Not straight up and down!  I said FORWARD!

Hmmm … maybe not.

Until next time, friends. And remember:

Your next Regional Champion could be waiting in a shelter somewhere near you!


  1. I really do enjoy reading your blog, and love seeing your pictures.

    And I get that you do rescue work, really I do. And I can go one about how responsible breeding doesn’t put dogs into shelters, but whatever. I’m tired of the argument.

    And one more thing – I have two dogs. One from a breeder, one from a shelter. Too bad I’ll have to tell Kip that, because he is a “snooty papered” dog, he doesn’t deserve to do well if we ever get back into agility.


  2. Aw, that would be tough. 8 years and many podiums to bystander. I bet I would’ve taken myself off for a little cry. Stupid Universe.

    Glad to hear you are doing better though.

    And loving all the greenery, and fleurs!

    I’ll bet next year Dex kicks some major — um, you know! :-) What height division will he be jumping? The organizations you run under seems to break it down a little differently than the ones we run under down here.

  3. Evie Douglas says:

    I fed our chickens leftover cheesecake one year (so I wouldn’t eat it!) & it was hilarious! They were ecstatic~glassy eyed with cheesecake oozing out the side of their little beaks. Happy, stupid chickies.

  4. The Food Lady says:

    “Too bad I’ll have to tell Kip that, because he is a “snooty papered” dog, he doesn’t deserve to do well if we ever get back into agility.


    Really? ZOMG, you need to get over yourself, or your purchased dog guilt or whatever it is that’s eating at you. You took that WAY too personal.

    I have NEVER made it a secret that as a working border collie fancier and a rescuer, I have a problem with the concept of breeding dogs for sport. It’s one of my life’s goals to help people to understand that the working border collie can do anything a person needs, and breeding them for sports is just adding to the already saturated border collie market. No patience for sport bred dogs here, and no shame about saying it to anyone who’ll listen. It’s my blog, and I’ll pontificate if I want!

    No snooty papered SPORT BRED puppy here, I says … and you hear “your dog doesn’t deserve to do well in anything if you bought him, and by the way people who breed dogs are killing dogs in shelters.” That’s crazy, and it’s all on you babe. I never said it, YOU did.

    Lord have mercy, the things people get their panties in a wad about. Especially when they are imagined conversations!

  5. The Food Lady says:

    “What height division will he be jumping? The organizations you run under seems to break it down a little differently than the ones we run under down here.”

    Dex’ll be jumping 26″ – he’s over 21″ at the shoulder, where the cut-off is. In fact, he is just over 22″ :)

    Tweed jumped 22″ in his prime, as he is 20.5″ at the shoulder. Then I dropped him one height to 16″ Specials. Then I dropped him to 10″ Veterans, so he’s a “double drop vet.” The lowest Dex could ever go would be 16″ Vets, but that’s a lot of years away yet. He jumps 26″ like a dream!

  6. That sounds like some amazing fun.

    You should get rabbits to add to your chickens, as they are about as cute at eating things as any animal can be. My favorite so far is watching a rabbit eat a strawberry.

  7. Go ahead and argue about it, but what you two really need to do is redirect your venom at people like ME. Rescue or snooty papered dog, it’s a much bigger sin to have a very promising dog and not do agility. Mine (a rescue) is even faster than a whippet, too :) :

  8. I think your chicken is a Polish cross.

  9. Pshhhh I have a sheltieee and he would certainly be the bane of no one’s existence…unless they stood between him and food. :|

    Seriously. This dog…he…he HATES to run. Seriously. Hates it. He’s in pretty good shape due to daily walks and correct feeding and hiding human food from him…but he HATES running. A /lot/. He hates chasing his toys. He’ll jog around a bit if he /absolutely must/. I even tried combining his insane love of food with trying to motivate him to run a little with me, to see if we could get better at it together…nope. Refused. He will literally come to a dead stop, turn around, and stare pointedly back in the opposite direction. No agility champ here.

    Also you manage to make chickens look so fiercly cute how oh my goodness.

  10. Twoowolf in the daisies! Rogue on the podium! And a bumper sticker I need. Thanks for all the news.

    KB, I don’t want to get between you two, but where in this post did you read anything about what snooty papered sport-bred dogs “deserve”? I only see a celebration of the accomplishments of a dog of unknown parentage and her human teammate. Congratulating someone on a win does not normally imply that the other competitors deserved to lose, does it?

  11. I’m with Cait. It’s a frizzle of some sort… but definitely Polish. This guy here has a great chicken chart. And holy cow, it is raining chickens for you! I can’t find two for the life of me! Our coop is so close to done and I think it will be vacant for a while. :)

  12. Congrats to Rogue and Kali and all the rescued dogs out there running agility (or any canine sport). Rescue dogs are the best. Too often smart, drivey dogs end up in rescue because they were bought by morons who ‘thought’ they wanted a smart dog. And sadly, not enough ‘performance homes’ are even willing to look at rescue for their next champion. Love me them rescues!!!!

  13. OMG, I love all the doggie portraits in the yellow flowers. Especially blissed-out Tweed!

  14. andrea,
    That venom should be directed to you and me both. Although to be fair, I would LOVE to be able to play agility with my dogs. Problem is my older rescue mutt, who is INSANELY smart and RIDICULOUSLY fearless got to the point where agility was just OMIGOD SO FUN that at the end of every run she got overexcited and redirected her enthusiasm at whatever furry creatur was standing closest. After trying to eat almost every dog in class at least once we decided to give up on group classes. Stupid terrier brains.

    And then there is Seamus – the gorgeous and enormous border collie of unknown origins that I rescued as a wee pup specifically thinking that he would be a great agility dog. And maybe he will be some day – if he can ever get over his fear of just about everything in the world.

  15. The Food Lady says:

    “Problem is my older rescue mutt, who is INSANELY smart and RIDICULOUSLY fearless got to the point where agility was just OMIGOD SO FUN that at the end of every run she got overexcited and redirected her enthusiasm at whatever furry creatur was standing closest. After trying to eat almost every dog in class at least once we decided to give up on group classes. ”

    Control Unleashed, my friend – get yourself a copy!! :)

    “And sadly, not enough ‘performance homes’ are even willing to look at rescue for their next champion. Love me them rescues!!!!”

    Yes! That’s why I just love it when rescues kick ass and take names, baby! Having rescues up on the podium is awesome for rescues everywhere. When I think of all the stellar dogs I have placed in sport homes who are doing well, but the pervasive attitude is that rescues can’t play competitively, it makes me sad … but when they do well, I’m over the moon!!

  16. I just wanted to say that seeing a new Wootube post always brightens my day. I love your photos, your commentary and, of course, your dogs!

  17. Well because of this site, and having the chance to participate in a rescue operation, my husband and I have decided to be foster/temp home/transport/whatever they need for the New Spirit 4 Aussie rescue. I am so excited to be a part of connecting wonderful dogs with wonderful people. Keep up the great job! As I will be the first rep in this side of the state, I need any pointers into how to get the word out in the area I live

  18. So we have YOU to thank for the sun on Sunday afternoon??? I am so very glad you decided to come out, then! I’ll take my burnt, peeling nose over running in the rain any day of the year, thank you very much. And if you decide to run The Woo in any sort of trial I think you should charge admission, because you’re going to have quite the crowd out to watch and cheer! :D

  19. suzanne says:

    Since I’m not an agility person, I’m wondering why Shelties would be the bane of the 16″ division?

  20. The Food Lady says:

    Shelties are the border collies of the 16″ class – they’re fast, they’re drivey and they tend to dominate that division. It always seems to be kelpies and Malinios in 26″ (and the occasional border collie), border collies in 22″, shelties in 16″ :)

  21. Definitely different height breaks, there is no such thing as 10″ down here! 4″, 8″, 12″, 16″, 20″ and either 22″ or 24″ depending on the organization. It gets hazy for me after 16″. When the bars are hight enough for my dogs to walk under with their heads up and not have their ears brush I sort of stop paying attention. ;-)

    Down here Shelties are split between the 12″ and the 16″. Emma jumps 12″ and at such point as I compete with Pippin I think he will jump 16″. Yay.

    Emma is a rescue and we do just fine thanks! (That’s for any awful folks who think rescues don’t do well.) We could be alot further along if we did more than an hour’s training a week and ran more than one day a month, tops, in competition. As it is we went from reactive, basket case dog (Control Unleashed baby!) to Jumpers Elite. If we can get the darn teeter fixed we will be able to actually compete in Elite Standard. Teacup teeters, BTW are a really good way to ruin your dog’s teeter performance. They really have to be trained as a whole ‘nother obstacle, not merely introduced once in a trial familiarization.

    In our last several trial I was completely stoked to find that her average yps is 5.2 or so in the Jumpers classes. That’s pretty decent for a 12″ jump height!

  22. Ah, love me my sheltie! While I love training her, I don’t think we could ever to agility outside of pleasure, which is on the list o’ things to do. Her sister, though, is an outgoing, people loving pooch who I hope some day makes it to a competition for agility, if my brother (and her owner/human dad) gets more serious about the sport. And, seeing as the border collies get the 22″ group, stop bemoaning us shelties the 16″; we deserve our own height to dominate and showcase our awesomeness! Herdy dogs unite! :)

  23. I’m agreeing with Cait. Your hen looks like a Polish cross. Watch out for your other hens picking on her and plucking out her top knot. If they start in (because she looks different- trust me, chickens can be racist), you’ll need to separate her out.

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