Monday, April 20

Popper And his Insatiable Hot Dog Cravings

On Saturday, I took Popper to the BRAG Agility Demo at the OSU Vet School. It was his first time he'd been outside in an unsecured area off-leash, and I was pretty nervous. I had a TON of dog treats on me to try to keep him with me. But he was very good! We did several demos with no problems at all. It was good practice for our first outdoor USDAA trial in June.

That is, until they hauled out the grills and started cooking hamburgers and hot dogs right next to where we were. That beagle nose flipped up into the air, and he started licking his chops and looking around feverishly for the source. The first incident happened when we were practicing between demos - Popper heard a man sitting right on the edge of the grass open a bag of cookies - and off he went to beg.

The second time, Popper ran off and followed his beagle nose all the way to the nearest grill, where he promptly sat down and gave all the folks in line big puppy dog eyes like he's never had a meal in his life.

The third time didn't actually happen for a long while... we were doing relay races, with big dogs versus small, and he never ran off. He did consistently lose it for the small dog team, though, because he's not good yet with weave pole entry from another obstacle so we had to keep starting over. He's a green dog so I'm not terribly worried about it at this point. :) I should note that on the next demo, he entered and did the poles perfectly! LOL!

So at the next demo, I took Popper over to the teeter, which was kind of far out and right next to the crowd - big mistake. Everyone was sitting on the ground around the edge, with their hot dogs and hamburgers... You can imagine what happened. Bye bye, Pop pop! I yelled to everyone to cover their plates but not everyone was fast enough (or listening). At that point Popper became out of control so I snapped his leash on and that was the end of Popper's agility day.

He was so exhausted on the way home his head was hanging off the seat. And his extremely full tummy looked like it was going to explode.

Yes, it was altogether a very eventful day!

Shaved Roofus Yesterday....

It was a bit overdue, but I kept him shaggy as long as I could because I ADORE fluffy dogs... but yesterday I broke down and shaved him :( He was extremely happy, because anything above 65 degrees (assuming the dog is not doing anything like running) is just too hot for a full coated Old English Sheepdog. I always leave his ears full-length whether he is shaved or not, which gives him a rather odd appearance... I'm usually quite happy to get rid of his beard and part of his mustache, because they always smell like sewer, as he's always dunking his entire muzzle in the water bowl.

This is the first year I didn't shave him down to the skin, though, because I now work at home I had the time required to keep his coat extremely well-groomed and mat-free, so it wasn't a big deal to slip on a blade attachment and go at it that way. This year is the first year where I wasn't shaving his coat because I couldn't keep up with it. That makes me pretty happy. :) I will miss my fluffy roobear, but it will grow back this winter!

Also - this is the first year I did NOT shave him into a funny hairstyle before shaving him for real. ;)

Wednesday, April 15

AKC Announces new Program for Mixed Breed Dogs

Well, folks who own mixed breed dogs and participate in dog agility, rally-o, obedience, and other dog sports will be pleased to know the AKC has decided to allow mixed breeds to compete.

Or will they be pleased after all?

AKC's proposal leaves many a bit dry in the mouth, a tad sick in the stomach, with its comparison to the racial integration of schools back in the 1960s.

Or particular note, from the AKC Program details:

2. Mixed Breed classes can only be held at standalone AKC Agility, Obedience, and Rally Events. The class could not be offered at All Breed Shows, Group Shows, or independent specialties, even if Agility, Obedience, or Rally events are being held.
a. The definition of standalone AKC Companion event is an AKC Agility, Obedience, or Rally event that is not held on the same date AND show site as an AKC all-breed show or independent specialty.

Heaven forbid our mutts are REMOTELY near a purebred dog show. We can only showcase purebred dogs, folks - mutts are shameful things we must keep swept under the rug.

3. Mixed breed dogs will compete in separate class divisions from AKC purebred dogs.
a. The club is not required to hold the classes in separate rings under separate Judges. The purebred classes can be held in the same ring, under the same Judge, as the mixed breed classes. Placements and titles will be scored and awarded separately.
b. For example, in Agility in the Regular class, all purebred dogs entered in the Regular 16 inch class will run, followed in the same ring by the mixed breed dogs entered in the Regular 16 inch class

My favorite part in this bit is that they will "allow" purebreds and mutts to have classes in the same ring (quite generous) but not at the same time. We don't want our precious purebreds getting any of those nasty mutt germs, after all.

5. Mixed breed dogs will earn different titles from purebred dogs.
a. Mixed breed dogs will earn titles with a Mixed Breed suffix (i.e. NAM-Novice Agility Mixed Breed)

I am just at a loss for words on this one. Now, in CPE agility, for example, which allows both purebreds and mutts to compete against each other (gasp!), dogs at a lower jump height that they measure into do get a slightly different title. That makes sense, because they aren't doing the same amount of work/effort as the other dogs who are in their proper jump heights. But why, oh WHY do mutts get different titles? Didn't they do the exact same thing as a purebred? Give 'em their yellow star of David! They must be singled out and kept separate from the purebreds.

And we can't have mutts competing against purebreds - because what would happen if a muggle born totally showed up the pure blood, I'm sorry, Harry Potter slip of the tongue there - what would happen if a mixed breed showed up a purebred? GASP!! Folks might go to shelters and ADOPT MUTTS to compete with!!

6. Dogs competing in the class will be eligible to earn similar (but separate) titles as purebreds, including MACH-M (Master Agility Champion Mixed Breed), OTCH-M, and RAE-M.

Again, if a dog earned a MACH, it shouldn't matter if it's a mixed breed or a $5,000 purebred. A MACH is a MACH is a MACH.

On a group I'm in, one of the members sarcastically raised the question if, at these new AKC events, the mixed breed dogs were going to have a separate bathroom area from the purebreds.

I think it's a legitimate question.

And for the record, I own two purebred dogs and three mixes. One mix does agility, as does one purebred. I had never considered doing AKC agility before (higher jump heights than CPE) and now I wouldn't touch them with a twenty foot pole.