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Happy Halloween

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Malibu
Quest

Hello, Summer

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It’s official! I am on summer vacation!! After the craziest school year ever, I am ready to relax and decompress with my fur kids. Ideally, late June to September isn’t the best time to be off in terms of weather. If I were in charge of the school calendar and could pick my months, I would choose September and October. Those months have fantastic weather with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Basically, perfect weather for my dogs. But, I’ll take what I can get and make the most of it.

I lucked out this year and my first week of vacation was cooler than average. The fur kids enjoyed many walks and hanging out in the backyard. We even took them to Bass River State Park for a couple of evening walks. That never happens this late in June. Typically, we don’t go there after Memorial Day.

Bass River State Park
Aspen is our front-seat dog. I sit in the backseat to maintain law and order.

Quest loves to peek over the top of the window. When it’s time to exit the park, the windows are raised.

Here’s to hoping New Jersey has a summer full of days in the low 70’s and cool, autumn-like evenings!

Easter 2021

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Christmas 2020

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Bass River State Park on Christmas Eve

No decent group photos with me will be happening today. Typically, it’s Aspen and Malibu arguing. Today it seems that Quest and Malibu cannot tolerate being near each other.
Keeping it real. All I want is a picture with my dogs. 😦

Giving Season

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Today I gathered toys that are in very good condition but ignored by my dogs and put them in a bag to be donated to the animal shelter.

Quest decided to help by taking the toys out of the bag to check for working squeakers. 🙃

I hope these toys bring Christmas joy to dogs waiting for their forever homes. 🐾

Happy 13th Birthday!

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Aspen, Malibu, and Quest turn 13!

Halloween 2020

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National Dog Day

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We haven’t had too many mornings this summer with temperatures cool enough for a walk. It was absolutely gorgeous today though and the girls were excited to take a walk in our neighborhood.

This afternoon we played a couple of the girl’s favorite games.

Around the Bear

Cards

Kongs with frozen peanut butter were a fun surprise.

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Several green bean jackpots and an evening car ride rounded out the day. It may be National Dog Day, but for my crew it was like any other day.  🙂

Time for Pupcakes

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AE865141-FE76-4882-8E1C-1AF9D9B0642ALook who’s celebrating their HALF birthdays!!  Quest, Aspen, and Malibu turned 12 and a half today! 🥳

Gone Sniffin’

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Aspen began competing in agility trials shortly after Malibu. Aspen, my fearless Min Pin, who shows no hesitation on any obstacles and flies over jumps with ease, had potential to do very well in this sport.  Aspen was not stressed at trials like Malibu, but she was very distracted. I soon learned that all she wanted to do was explore the course rather than run it as we were there to do.

 

As in class, Aspen seemed to prefer to go off and sniff. So now I had two dogs who would rather be off doing other things.  I didn’t want to force either of them to compete if they weren’t happy while doing it.  They both enjoyed “playing” agility and running courses in the backyard. Maybe that was enough for them, but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel after only a few months. I decided to give them time to acclimate and hopefully adapt to the trial environment. (Malibu’s initial agility experiences are detailed in Going for the Q).  

 

It got to a point in which I realized that although Aspen was better at agility than Malibu, she had less interest. Finally, I just stopped entering Aspen in trials. All she wanted to do was go and explore these novel environments. This was not avoidance or displacement behavior. Aspen just seemed to prefer investigating the area rather than run the obstacles.

 

It was difficult to end Aspen’s agility “career” before it even got started because she truly showed potential to go very far in this sport. Could I have tried a bit longer, found a new instructor, researched different strategies?  Perhaps, but agility isn’t the only game in town.  At our last trial a friend observed Aspen opting to sniff around the course and commented that we should look into nosework. I had heard of this dog sport before, but did not really know much about it.  Within a week we were attending our first nosework class and Aspen never competed in agility again.

 

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