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The Terrier Tattler
Hello friends & fans –
April was extra fun for two reasons. One, we made a trip to Iowa for the Easter weekend. We were there 3 whole days, which mean lots of running and playing (followed by lots of napping). I got absolutely exhausted playing baseball with my cousin Nate. He’s a great ball player, so he’d bat the tennis balls really far and then I’d play fielder. Sometimes I really had to run far to get them, but I always brought them back to him to hit again. Boy was it a blast. The only time I was disappointed was when I was asked to leave the Easter Egg Hunt game. Cousin Ashli’s eggs were scattered in the front yard and even though the people call them ‘eggs’ to me they look like balls. I broke open a couple of Ashlie's eggs and there was candy inside! Very cool! But then I was taken off the field and removed from the competition – there must have been a rule I didn’t understand!
The other reason
April was great is that it’s my brother Wesley’ birthday – and to make
his birthday even more special he gets to share it with Grandma Dorie
(yep, he was born on 4/22/2001). We got a special treat at our house,
and then Wesley got a party thrown in his honor at the nursing home he
visits. His friends at Community Nursing and Rehab Center in Naperville
had a big celebration. There were decorations, a big cake for the
people (it even said Happy Birthday Wesley!) and he got a box of dog
treats. They sang Happy Birthday for him and some of his biggest fans
got their pictures taken with him. Sounds like a ball – unfortunately,
I wasn’t invited! My birthday is coming up on May 13 - let's see what
extravaganza everyone has scheduled for me!
Dog Scouts of America
We’ve all heard about the Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations, but did you know there are Dog Scouts of America (aka DSA)? I just found out about them (http://www.dogscouts.com/index.shtml ). My very favorite summer vacation is to spend 4 days camping at Dog Days of Wisconsin and this year the camp is going to have some DSA events at camp and I can’t wait. Tracy showed me the DSA website and it sounds like they help you learn new things and then they recognize your achievement - right up my alley - you know how I love recognition!
They even have a zillion neat merit badges that dogs can earn for a whole bunch of different accomplishments: Backpacking, Hiking, Lure Coursing, Camping, Tricks and more http://www.dogscouts.com/handbook/ .
But it’s not ALL about the dogs, it’s also about helping the Community – they have a variety of community programs from Salvation Army bell ringing to Meals on Wheels, etc. Any of you out there familiar with this organization? I’d like to learn a little more, because I think I’d look really cool wearing a sash with all my merit badges on it!
Absolutely Fabulous Canine Accomplishments!
Please send your accomplishments to Bianca@2westies.com. Doesn't have to be agility related - maybe you chased a squirrel out of your yard today (or in Tara's case did something nasty to a bunny) - those are all great accomplishments too. Please share them!
Pacey Changes Pace
This month we have an extra special Ab Fab entry. I remember when my classmate Pacey (a really big Sheltie) first came to my agility class. I never thought he’d get it – he wouldn’t climb the A Frame, was afraid of the dog walk and was really slow. What amazed me the most was how determined Pacey and his ‘mom’ Maribel were. They diligently practiced and bit by bit they became agility competitors. I ran into them frequently at both AKC (where they competed at the EXCELLENT level!) and UKC trials.
It’s a good thing Pacey knows how to face a challenge and stay determined to work through it…. Because he’s facing a tough challenger this time. He’s been having epileptic seizures for some time, but over the past several months they have gotten far more severe. He’s on special medicine that is very strong and makes him tired until he gets used to it. But you know what, he never complained – he loves agility and he’s always does as much as he felt he could.
Well, it’s come time for Pacey to retire from agility. His final run was at a favorite UKC trial spot in Odell, IL. To make his farewell tour even more special – he got his final points to receive his U-ACH (UKC Agility Champion) title and the Odell crowd makes the accomplishment even more special by awarding a U-ACH bar! This was a goal for Pacey and Maribel when they first started and it couldn’t be more special for them to get it in their final agility run together.
Big congrats to both Maribel and Pacey and a huge thank you for teaching us that with a little hard work and determination you can achieve some pretty big goals!
Murphy Knows What DQ Means!!!
My buddy Murphy is a real smart Westie. Anyone that knows a Westie knows how much we love food - I mean we really love food and ice cream is right there at the top of our list!
Well, Mr. Murphy had a pretty great day at the recent Paw Power AKC trial in Merrillville, IN. Murphy had 2 perfect runs, giving him what we in the agility world call a DQ (Double Qualifying). Murphy (and Shelley) celebrated by a visit to the DQ - now that's something to really get excited about. By the way, it wasn't just a DQ that Murphy and Shelley were celebrating they were also toasting to TWO NEW TITLES!!! Yes, on the same day they earned an AX and AXJ (Agility Excellent). Big huge congrats and next time, don't hesitate to invite me in on the celebration!
A Few of My Favorite Things
I thought it would be interesting to share some of the toys and treats I love most. This column will appear periodically to do just that. I would really love to hear from you – please share your toy picks (or duds!) at Bianca@2westies.com.
Tracy took me on a very special car ride last weekend. We visited one of my very favorite stores: Two Bostons. They have the best treats (they make some of them there!) and they also have great toys, clothes, supplies, etc. Well, Tracy let me pick out a toy to take home and boy, did I make a great choice!
Many of you know how much I love tennis balls – and the very best tennis ball I ever got was from my friend Pacey – it was an Air Kong tennis ball that squeaked – very cool. Can you imagine – a tennis ball that squeaks. Well, I found something even more fantastic at Two Bostons. It’s called a Q-Tease - a plush duck that has a squeaker in his head and a small air kong squeaker tennis ball in his tummy!!! To make it even more frustrating, he had a rope around his bottom that closes the opening to the ball – it was VERY DIFFICULT to open. I’m usually awesome at getting tennis balls out of things, but this one was a challenge. He was fun to chase, fun to chew on and a real trooper. He looks pretty disgusting now but he’s still fun. An extra ball was even included so I don’t have to take it easy on the one in the duck’s belly! Here's a picture of a brand new one (after 3 days mine is looking pretty scaggy and yesterday I couldn't hold back and ripped open his belly!).
They come in other critters too! I give it 5 paws!
Canine Fashion Do’s & Don’ts
The fashion column dedicated to well-dressed canines out there.
You know I usually say ‘Fashion over Function’ but in the case of sunglasses, they are far more than just a fashion accessory. If you invest in quality eyewear (as Wes DOES here), your big brown eyes are protected from harmful UV rays. Protecting your precious eyesight is a big fashion DO!
Sure I look good in my trendy, heart-shaped sunglasses. But that’s where the benefit ends. Tracy picked these glasses up because they were cute, but they don’t offer the added benefits of Wesley’s specs. Cheap but cute is a big DON’T in this case!