Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hope springing eternal ... its like a weed

Bo is entered in two trials the next few weeks.  And the last utility practice we had on monday we was working sharp and flawlessly.  Didn't travel much on his signals, made him get felt up real good for the moving stand, and he did everything ever so nicely that our instructor finished the class with delusions of OTCh-dom...  Well, they wouldn't be delusions if he had another handler!

I am still trying to figure out what I ought to do to best get him mentally prepared to go in the ring.  Though it goes against my grain, I suspect it is a lot of sustained drilling in heeling etc, to get him in a working mind set and help him channel his drive in an appropriate direction.

But whatever happens this coming weekend, I am dead certain about one thing: I have the best dog, and he gives 110% all the time, trying to please me. 

Every judge we have shown under has commented on what fun he must be and how promising (yeah -- those were the ones who had to NQ him).

Monday, June 20, 2011

Papillons go camping

Bo and Tip spent two days camping at Cape Henlopen State Park, in Lewes, Delaware.

For once it was not a blistering 95 degrees but instead pleasantly in the 80s during the days and down to about 70 at night. I still think my next camping trip will be cooler weather.

The portable crate was essential -- it went everywhere (camp, beach), as did the smalls. While Bo usually sleeps on the bed with me, he chose to sleep on the floor of the tent -- I think the big air mattress was making him sea sick. Wherever we took them the smalls got a double take. People don't expect to see small white fluffy dogs camping, hanging out on the beach, or sitting in bike baskets being pedaled around.

Bo and Tip both got in the ocean briefly, then rested in the shaded portacrate on the beach. In the sand.

Beach Beau Tay!

I was rather surprised when we left the beach at how clean both dogs were. However, despite their apparent cleanliness, both each got subjected to the foot wash. They did not appreciate this at all, as it was high pressure and cold. And they still smell rather fishy, but beauty knows no pain.

Bo, Tip, and Paul at breakfast.

Lewes is a very dog-friendly little town, with many nice places to eat with outside tables, and many water bowls for hot dogs. The smalls created pedestrian traffic jams because people had to stop and admire them. Wherever they went, the smalls got cooed over by the adoring public, which Tip appreciated to no end as he knows that fawning adoration is no more than his due.

Bo and Tip enjoying the waterfront park at Lewes.

However, as Tip was getting rather tired after two days of pandering to the adoring masses, he started getting a bit snarky towards any large dogs he saw. The most amusing incident was when we went to the outdoor movies. There was a 2 or 3 year old child on leash (you know the ones for overactive toddlers), and this kids was hurling himself at the end, straining and running and crawling for all he was worth. Tip failed to see that this was a small child (whom he loves) and instead saw a very rambunctious and rude large dog. And he growled at the sight of this horribly behaved "dog" non-stop.

Lesson of the day: how to protect your dog from obnoxious children.
Just before we left town to go home, Paul and I and the smalls stopped in Lewes for some lovely ice cream at Kings. Paul and I were sitting there eating in the benches right by the door to the shop, in the shade. Bo and Tip were mugging everyone passing by or going in and out. I'm still a bit unclear on what they thought they were going to get. A family comes out, just as the dogs are drinking water from the cup Paul got for them. mom, dad, tiny baby, and toddler sitting up on its parent's shoulders. Coming out of the ice cream store, so you may imagine its fretful, sticky, and on a sugar high. It starts shrieking about the small dogs and how it wants to pet them. Up until now, every single person who has wanted to has petted them -- primarily Tip, because he likes it. But this child looks like hell on wheels and it is NOT going to come near my little dogs!

Who could resist him?

In response to the child's shrieks about the little doggies, mom asks if my dogs are friendly with kids. I smile a big shark smile (lots of teeth showing) and assure her they are friendly as long as the child is GENTLE and there is NO PULLING OF FUR. Mom is clearly no idiot and they start walking quickly away while she assures them the doggies are tired.

Yeah -- child-friendly does not mean "will happily be abused by ill-mannered little gits". Even if the dogs take it, I won't.

And Bo was happy, because Bo is always happy.

Happy trails from U-CD Waytogo Fuligin Beau Tay UD RE AX AXJ OF AD SJ