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Malibu’s agility class experience was problematic almost from the very beginning. In my article, Bad Dog, I detailed our first class and instructor. When I look back at that time, I always feel a sense of “if I knew then what I know now”.  As soon as I began to have doubts about Cindy (our instructor), I should have left that class. Instead, I allowed Cindy to bully Malibu for months.

About six months after Malibu began taking agility classes with Cindy, I registered Aspen for her first class at the same facility, but with a different instructor.  Ann was a kind and patient teacher. She did not favor certain dogs or grab dogs and alpha roll them in an attempt to dominate them. I instantly wished that she had been Malibu’s first instructor.

From a very young age Aspen was an ideal agility dog. Fast and fearless, she had no issues with any obstacles on an agility course. “She’s very athletic”, commented Ann as Aspen flew over the jumps with ease.

Unlike Malibu, Aspen was not reactive in class which kept my stress at bay. Although I did not have to micromanage Aspen as I did Malibu, I did have to deal with a different issue. Aspen seemed to enjoy running agility courses, but she also showed great interest in going off sniffing and exploring the building. At times, I became frustrated. Here I had a dog with huge potential, but she would sometimes prefer to sniff. I was familiar with displacement/avoidance behaviors that dogs may exhibit when they are stressed, but it truly appeared that Aspen took great pleasure in the joy of sniffing. Unless I was able to get Aspen to remain focused on agility we weren’t going to get very far.

During this time, Malibu was still taking classes with Cindy. Things had not yet come to a head. By now, Malibu and I had been taking classes for almost a year and thoughts of entering our first competition began to enter my mind. A CPE (Canine Performance Event) trial was coming up in a few months and I decided to enter. About a month before the trial, I severed ties with Cindy. She had finally gone too far and I was finished with her and her delusions of dominance.

The day of the CPE trial arrived and I was both excited and nervous. No longer taking classes with Cindy, I was a bit on edge when I spotted her at the trial. She was not competing, but present to support another student from my former class. We did not speak to one another which was probably for the best.

After the judge’s briefing, I walked the novice agility course with my fellow competitors. It was a simple beginner course that appeared easy since our practice courses were typically on the challenging side. Not wanting to miss my turn, I kept a close eye on the running order as I anxiously waited to run the course with Malibu. Watching the dogs before us run the course I was confident that Malibu could successfully complete the course. Then, something happened that changed my mind. The dog running one or two places ahead of us stopped and urinated on the course. I had a feeling that this would be trouble for us, and it was.

It was finally our turn to enter the ring. Malibu began the course and was doing a fantastic job until she got near the spot where the dog had urinated. (Ring crew had diluted the grassy area with water as is customary when a dog eliminates). Malibu became distracted, and like a magnet was drawn to the area. Ugh! I couldn’t believe it and was so disappointed. Since Malibu stopped running and went “off course” we had officially NQ’d (did not qualify).

Unfortunately, this was to be the first NQ in a long list of agility NQs for Team Malibu. Not a quitter, I knew we needed a fresh start and planned to enroll Malibu in one of Ann’s classes.  Her personality and teaching style would be a better fit for us.

Although our first competition was not a success, I enjoyed the trial atmosphere and looked forward to competing again. But which dog would be ready, Malibu? Aspen? Or, both?

Easter 2019

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Happy Birthday, Twinkie

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Happy Birthday, Twinkie.  Twinkie was my first dog and the center of my universe. Because of her, I fell in love with this amazing breed. Although she has been gone for almost twelve years, I still think about her every day.❤️

‘Twas the night before Christmas

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Happy Birthday!

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My Min Pins turned 11 years old today.  I cannot believe how quickly the years have gone by.


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Quest waited patiently for her cake.

 

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Aspen waited patiently for her cake.

 

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Malibu was not patient and grabbed her cake before the plate reached the floor. Fortunately, the candles were not eaten.😳

 

Happy Howloween

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Snow White and her tiny super heroes

Full of Crap

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IMG_2749My dogs are full of crap. Literally. All three of them are totally full of it. And guess who gets to clean it up? Yep, that would be mostly me. My husband is definitely a part timer when it comes to scooping poop. How such tiny dogs can create so much poop astounds me. Where does it even come from? Well, I know where it comes from, but how do they stockpile so much of it?

Since puppyhood my Min Pin crew has kept me ever vigilant whenever they are outside in our backyard. It seems like one of them is always about to poop, is pooping, or has just pooped. Therefore, I am on a constant state of poop patrol. Poop must be dealt with immediately, or else. (If inquiring minds want to learn why this is an urgent matter, read my post, Dirty Little Secret.) Luckily, we live on a wooded lot and can just toss poop on the other side of our fence. It is much more convenient than bagging all of their poop.

Speaking of bagging poop, on walks I carry plenty of poop bags. I can’t just simply leave my house with a couple of poop bags in my pocket like a normal person out walking their dogs. If I am taking just two of my dogs out for a thirty minute stroll I can easily return with seven (yes, that is 7) poop bags. To be fair, some of the bags may only hold the tiniest piece of poop, but I am a follower of our township ordinance and pick up anything that can be picked up. Of course, some poop just can’t be picked up if you know what I mean. That does happen frequently and I always feel guilty about it. If I could carry my garden hose on walks with me, I would.

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One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when fellow dog walkers do not pick up after their dog. How difficult is it to bend over and pick up your dog’s crap? And I don’t want to hear excuses about not having a bag or that poop bags are too expensive. In a pinch, I have used an empty Starbucks cup (My apologies for that visual 😳). My point is that you do not have to spend any money in order to pick up poop. Be creative and find something that works for you.

Myself, I like a sturdy poop bag. I don’t want anything too thin or flimsy. I usually buy a ten or twelve pack of bags and they last for awhile. The latest bags are even scented. Honeysuckle, I believe. That may come in handy for a random bag of poop that gets left in my car overnight. That happens at least once a month because our local state park has a “carry trash out” policy. So being the law abiding citizens that we are, after a nice walk my husband and I pack up the dogs and their poop into the vehicle. Once home, bagged poop is sometimes forgotten about and left in the back of my SUV. The next day, upon opening my vehicle’s door a noxious odor hits me, and I immediately remember the forgotten poop. Ugh!

With our dogs being such avid poopers it is not easy to take them places that are populated with many people. Due to their reactive behavior we try to walk in areas that are desolate anyway so it works out for the best.

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Cheesequake State Park – April 2017

 

If you happen to see me while I am walking my dogs you will easily recognize me because I am the one with leashed Min Pins in one hand and multiple bags of poop in the other hand. Feel free to say, “Hello!”

 

 

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