"Finn and Charlee's Excellent Adventure"
"International dogs of mystery"
"Charlee looks on with interest as Finn's snout points the way to Camp Buster"
"No matter where you go, there you are"
Tarameg's Angel Bymyside "Logan"
To those of you in the local Portland doggie community, Suzan Morris and Logan are a familiar sight. I met Suzan well before her pup was even born, manning booths, raising awareness, and fundraising for My Wonderful Dog. Suzan raised the money herself for a service dog to help with her Multiple Sclerosis.
Last year's successful fund raising freestyle training clinic with Carolyn Scott, was all Suzan's doing, and I don't think I could count how many times I have seen her working tirelessly to support My Wonderful Dog. Suzan is always quick to chime in with encouraging words both in person and on this blog, and honestly she is one of the loveliest people I know. Logan is sugar and spice and everything nice with brains and beauty to boot.
Seeing the two of them working as partners at the Dog Days event last weekend, made my heart swell.
Join My Wonderful Dog this Sunday September 30th from 1-3 and see Suzan Morris and Logan graduate! There will be service demo's, food and fun.
The final pairing of a service dog with their human partner is a culmination of 2 years of hard work. As it says on the website. BYOK-bring your own Kleenex.
Suzan knows that I am sorry that I can't attend due to a scheduling conflict with Camp Buster this weekend, but that if I could I would have brought a whole box of tissues to share.
A judge ruled that the 259 dog seized from the raid on J'Aime Kennel in Buxton are property of the state after John and Heidi Frasca were no shows in court yesterday. They have three weeks to appeal.
Click here to read the entire Portland Press Herald Story, to include new details of the dog's health at the time when they were seized.
Photo by camper Robyn from Camp Buster 06
Due to some last minute medical and personal challenges, there are several spaces suddenly available for Camp Buster this weekend. Located at Camp Susan Curtis, money raised by the dogs, helps to send underprivileged kids to camp for no fee.
Can't wait for Friday when I will return for my fourth year as staff along with Charlee and Finney, and once again get to resume my job as Barks 'n Crafts Director, teach Canine Musical Freestyle, and offer CGC testing.
Camp Buster is located in Stoneham Maine, just 1 1/2 hours from Portland.
Brenda, you better have your famous baked blueberry french toast on the menu again or else.
Saturday's Dog Day event found my 10 year old daughter with camera in hand. She took a lot of great pictures, like this one of
our good friends Dixie and Cider.
She also took a lot of less traditional photos that I dismissed at first, but after viewing them for a while I think they just may have merit. Art even maybe.
What do you all think? Are they cool, or am I just being a Mom?
Now be objective and let yourself imagine that they were shot by a famous photographer...not a 10 year old with her Mom's automatic digital camera.
Saturday marked Skyline Farm's first and hopefully annual Dog Day. With me was Charlee, Finney and my 10 year old daughter, who by the way is today's guest photographer.
My Freestyle demo to the song Locomotion at 12:30 was more than a bit sketchy in parts, but considering that Charlee has been out of work since mid July with a neck injury, and a badly cut ped,
she was more focused than I probably deserved. It was a lesson for fellow trainer Jenny Yasi and I on how to work our dogs under less than perfect conditions.
The very small ring was surrounded by dogs in very close proximity (always a challenge for my reactive dog) , and there were tons of treats littered on the ground where training sessions had been going on throughout the morning. Oh and did I mention the two horses that were ridden through the field that set off all the dogs barking mid way through my performance? Charlee kept her cool, but she was far from her peak. Me, I just had to laugh. What else could I do?
Recently I have begun to look at my Smooth Collie Finney in a new light. Some of you may know that I never thought the dog was very bright. Ok, I admit it, we all called him Forest Gump. Well I would like to amend that and offer a public apology to Finney. It was Jenny Yasi who pointed out to me that Finney is very much like a chemistry professor. He is methodical and maybe even a bit odd, but
there are lots of smarts under the nerdy exterior. Finney got his first 15 seconds of fame in the demo ring yesterday, where he was surprisingly flawless in a very short "How to get started in Freestyle demo". He breezed through target heeling, and several types of spins, and he even managed a bow at the end while offering total attention the entire time. Good boy Finney! Until very recently I didn't see him as a Freestyle prospect, but he is a gorgeous mover and his happy springy step makes him look like he is floating above the ground. Of course he is a much slower thinker than Charlee but I am (slowly) learning to adjust to that. He has a calm and cool disposition and is a very likable dog both with people and other dogs. Finn started his life with me very fearful, but we seem to have worked through most of that.
My dogs are like the tortoise and the hare and we all know that slow and steady won that race.
There were quite a few dogs who got to try agility for the very first time and I think a new crop of agility fanatics was born yesterday at Starline Farm.
Cudo's to Diana Logan CPDT for putting it all together.
H. Smith photos
"Carry a Big Stick," by Karen Pettengill
Fun for Dogs and their People
Saturday, September 22, 10-3,
Skyline Farm and Carriage Museum
On Sept. 22, join fellow dog enthusiasts at lovely Skyline Farm, 95
The Lane, North Yarmouth, Maine for a special "Dog Day" from 10-3.
Handlers and their canines strut their stuff in a variety of dog
hobbies, including agility, fly-ball, doggie dancing ("freestyle")
and service dog work. There will be numerous "clinics" where you and
your dog will have a chance to learn cool new stuff, including
a "Walkin' Clinic" where you can learn how to teach your dog to walk
nicely on leash, an "Attention! Clinic" where you can learn how to
get your dog's attention more easily, a "Targeting Clinic" so you
can gain better control over your dog and do really amazing things,
among others. Attending dogs will be invited to try their paws out
with the agility equipment and learn how we teach our dogs to love
it through the use of positive-reinforcement training. You can also
visit the "Trainer is In" table for professional advice!
Service dog Demos by My Wonderful Dog
Flyball with Paula O'Brien of Goodog Pet Care and Training.
Canine Muscial Freestyle with Nancy Freedman-Smith of Gooddogz Training
and Jenny Yasi of Whole Dog Camp .
Agilty with Sherry Dietrich and her team of 4-Hers.
Draft Dog Carting with Debbie King of the Collie Club of Maine and The American Working Collie Association.
Diana Logan CPDT of Pet Connection Dog Training and
Mallory Hattie CPDT of Raising Canine, Buxton, organizers of this
event, will be on hand to educate the public about the power of
positive-reinforcement training. This modern, dog-friendly approach to training will be displayed throughout the day through demos and participatory activities.
A few other activities will include:
HUMAN AGILITY TEAMS
Pairs of human 'dog-handler' teams will thrill spectators with their
creative choreography in negotiating some of the agility obstacles
(jumps and weaves). Freestyle and obedience moves are encouraged
during each team's 1 minute-only fiasco. Or, rather, "fiesta."
DUNKIN' FOR DOGS
How fast can YOUR dog find and gobble up 5 pieces of hotdog in a
puppy (a.k.a. "kiddie") pool? You may discover that your dog has
some special skills... or not... Maximum time allowed is 2 minutes.
BRING YOUR OWN DOG!
BYOD! The public is welcome to bring well-behaved dogs to this
event - it's all about celebrating dog with other dog-lovers!
Attending dogs must be well-socialized and on-leash. Please leave
reactive and aggressive dogs at home.
DOG SAFETY. Respect the personal space of dogs and keep your own dog
close to you and on-leash. If you want to pet someone's dog, ask
first! Be safe and refrain from allowing your dog to interact with
strange dogs; leashed dogs will often display aggression towards
dogs who enter their space - it's always best to meet off-leash, but
Dog Day isn't the appropriate venue.
No flexie leashes!
Return to Skyline another day to explore the fields and trails with
your well-behaved dog off-leash (beware that horses, both ridden and
driven, frequent Skyline Farm).
BRINGING YOUR DOG? DON'T FORGET THE TREATS!
Events like this can present a very distracting environment for your
dog, so bring lots of high value treats and patience - there's so
much to learn!
The event starts at 10:00 with an introduction of Skyline Farm
followed by agility, flyball at 10:30, more agility, general
activities, canine musical freestyle at 12:30, service dog demos in
the museum at 1:30, and yet more agility! At 2:30 there will be a
demonstration of Skyline's Wheelchair-Accessible Cart, driven by
Donna Thurston of Winterberry Farm in North Yarmouth. If your dog
has never seen a horse pulling a cart, be ready for a reaction!
Lunch will be available midday for purchase. Clinics and agility
demonstrations will be scattered throughout the day.
THERE'S LOTS TO SEE AT SKYLINE!
Skyline Farm's Carriage Museum will be open from 12-3 and its second
annual national art exhibit, "A Dog and Pony Show," will be on
display among the horse-drawn vehicles.
Click this link to read more about the Dog and Pony Show art exhibition.
Admission will be $5 per car, proceeds to benefit Skyline Farm, a
NEED MORE INFO?
For more information, please contact Diana Logan CPDT, 207-829-3187 or
Several years ago, I perused the pages of Dog Heaven in a book store. It is a lovely child's book and at that time I made a mental note to myself that it would be a great gift to give a child to help ease the loss of their dog.
Yesterday was my daughter's 6th birthday party and my sister came up for a visit. We both did fine all day, and didn't mention Belmont once. When I walked her to her car to say goodbye, it was there that I saw of a copy of Dog Heaven sitting on her front seat. The book was a gift from her good friend and my sister had only just received it on her way to the party.
Neither one of us could look at the book, and in turn we could not even look at each other. We said a hasty goodbye and went on our respective teary ways.
My sister was comforted by the lovely gift from her friend and in turn her friend is ok with the fact that it may take my sister a very long time to open the cover, let alone read it.
"In heaven, dogs run free in endless fields, nap on fluffy clouds, are given treats by passing angels".
Busy Busy busy. I am up to my eyeballs in work, both business related and personal. Getting my three little munchkins back to school was no easy task. Hopefully by next week we should all be back in fall mode. The transition from summer to September gets me every time.
All my blogging energies have been sucked dry by a very serious summer long health scare with my Mom, and the death of my sister's dog.
Sweet and wonderful Belmont seen here and here in past blogs lost a ridiculously quick battle to lymphoma at only 5 years old. Born in my sister's kitchen, he was a very special boy and at this time, my sister and I can't even talk to each other on the phone. It just hurts too much.
In just weeks, he was gone.
Gratefully my Mom's issues have finally gotten under control, but Belmont's illness and death has zapped all my creativity and left a hole in the universe.
That's Bell in front with his Mom Tess, and Charlee