I Am Excellent!


My return to Gridley was amazing!  My readers may recall that last year, I had a small lapse on a recall in Beginner Novice, and I left the ring and knocked down a woman who had just had hip replacement.

The world is a very small place.  As it turns out today, I FINISHED my Novice Obedience title under the judge who is married to the woman I ran over last year.  And I still qualified.  Not just that, but I got FIRST PLACE.  A BLUE RIBBON.  Me.  Yes, me.  I did it!

Yesterday, I had to do some sniffing because that ring smelled so good!  I did not qualify, but it was totally worth it because I got to sniff.  I did, however, finish my Rally Excellent title.  That means the AKC officially recognized that I AM EXCELLENT!

Today I got my Novice title which means I am officially a companion dog (CD).  I know I have been Mom’s companion dog for a long time, but I guess not sniffing and walking with her means the AKC thinks so, too.

I’m pretty sure that when the judge gave out ribbons and said that first place went to #7, Mom was shocked….then I’m pretty sure she almost cried.  Like last year.  But she says it wasn’t for the same reason.  I think leaving the ring over and over made her especially happy that not only do I not leave, I stay and do a good job.

On top of all of that, I also got a qualifying score in Rally Advanced AND Excellent today, so I got my first (of ten) leg(s) in Rally Advanced Excellent.  That’s the highest level of Rally.  Last year, I didn’t even get my first leg in Advanced.

2015 has been a good year for me.  I’ve finished three titles this year already!  To celebrate, Mom gave me a giant bone — all for me!  It was so yummy.  She opened a really nice bottle of pinot, and she drank it all.  I think the bone was a better deal.

Anyway, now I’m officially Starkenhund Humming Along with Mozart BN CD RE.  Now I think I should go rest up.  Who knows how many more letters I’ll accumulate.


Why Does Mom Swim?


On Monday when we went to school with Mom, Atlas and I had to hang out with her all day.  Because Monday is a swimming day for Mom, we went to the pool with her, and we hung out near the bleachers and waited.

I’ve heard Mom talk about swimming, and I know she goes three times each week, but I’d never actually SEEN it.  When we’ve gone to the ocean or the lake, I’ve gotten in the water, but Mom hasn’t, so I had no idea what was involved.

I watched as she put some funny hat on her head, put on goggles, and then put her underwater iPod on with those earbuds.  I wasn’t sure how she’d hear Atlas whining, but then I realized maybe that was the plan.

Anyway, Mom got into the pool and she swam to the far end.  Then she swam back.  She swam to the far end again.  And back again.  she did this for over an hour.  At least I think she did.  I was so bored I had to take a nap.

She said she was doing the crawl, and it did look pretty slow, but I don’t understand why she did this.  I think it might even be more boring that obedience.  At least in obedience, we do several different activities, and it doesn’t last over an hour.  That would really be torture.

I was thinking if Mom was doing this for exercise, maybe instead of just taking me to agility and pointing to where I’m supposed to go, she should DO agility.  Jumping over 16 inch hurdles, running through tunnels, zipping across the high walk and the A-frame, trying to keep balance on the teeter, and learning how to do those weave poles (not to mention the hoop and chute) would really be GREAT exercise.  And it’s actually fun, not boring.

Of course doing agility requires coordination, and Mom is a little short on that, so it could be really dangerous.  I can just imagine her falling off the A-frame.  Ouch!  As I think about it, maybe she should just stick with her really boring swimming and keep taking me to agility.  I just hope she doesn’t expect me to swim.  I have a very low threshold for boring stuff.



De-Stressing Students


Mozzie:  You seem a little tired today, Atlas.

Atlas:  What did you say?  I was sleeping.

Mozzie:  You seem REALLY tired.

Atlas:  Yesterday was exhausting.

Mozzie:  How could you be exhausted?  All you did was sit around.

Atlas:  That’s not true; I stood up part of the time.

Mozzie:  You weren’t as extraverted with those students as I thought you would be.

Atlas:  I like getting petted, but there were HUNDREDS of students.

Mozzie:  I know!  Wasn’t it great?

Atlas:  They were stressed out because of finals, and helping them relax is just a lot of work.

Mozzie:  You made some of them lean over to pet you.  I was trying to show you how to do it.  When they come over, you go up to them, sit on their feet, at look up at them.

Atlas:  But it was work being so cute.

Mozzie:  Some people didn’t even see you because you were sleeping.

Atlas:  Did I mention that having to stand and pose for all those pictures takes a lot of energy?

Mozzie:  Yesterday was my second day in a week to do all of this stuff.

Atlas:  I’m tired just thinking about it.

Mozzie:  I hope we get to do that again during finals’ week next semester!

Atlas:  I better start resting now.

Mother’s Day


Today was a pretty good day.  Since it was Mother’s Day, I figured I should get up on the bed and let Mom pet me before she got up for the day.  Of course Atlas had to horn in on that, but he left when he realized Mom wasn’t going to let him interfere with MY time.

Once I had my quality time, Mom got up, and Dad gave her the cards and present we got her.  Mom really liked the cards, and she was really excited about the present we got her.  As soon as she went to open it, I could *smell* how yummy it was.  Of course Rico and Atlas came running in, too.  No way was Mom going to share.  We got her dark chocolates from DeBrand Chocolate in Indiana.  Mostly she doesn’t miss Indiana, but she really likes their chocolate.

I looked extra cute, so Mom gave us all the yummy bacon dog treats.  They aren’t just bacon flavored.  They have BACON in them.  Yum!  I could drool again just thinking about it.  I’m okay with Mom keeping the chocolate as long as she gives me bacon treats.

Mom worked on sorting out her jewelry.  At first I thought it was pretty boring, but she told me she was just trying to be sure she could find her Berner jewelry more easily for dog show days.  That makes sense to me.  She also gave me my stuffed goose toy.  It makes real goose sounds, so Atlas took it.  I am a lover not a fighter, so I didn’t say anything, but when Mom saw him, she took it back and told him that stealing was bad.

She said we probably all needed to get groomed, but as a gift to us for Mother’s Day, she told us we could wait until next week.

It’s been a great Mother’s Day.  Too bad Mom has to go to work tomorrow.


Gridley, Here We Come!


Atlas:  Rico, did you hear that Mozzie and I are going to Gridley at the end of May?

Rico:  Why are you going?

Mozzie:  We are going to the dog show.

Atlas:  I’m entered in Beginner Novice obedience, and Mozzie’s entered in obedience and Rally.

Rico:  They let Mozzie come back to Gridley?

Mozzie:  Of course!  And I’m hoping to finish my Novice obedience title (CD) and my Rally Excellent (RE) title and, if all goes well, start my Rally Advanced Excellent title.

Atlas: Will I get any titles?

Rico:  No titles for you.

Mozzie:  You have to get three legs to get a title, remember.

Atlas:  But I have four already.

Rico:  A qualifying score leg, not a furry appendage.

Mozzie:  How do you keep forgetting that?

Atlas:  I have important things to remember, so I can’t remember every little thing.

Rico:  Do you remember what happened when Mozzie went to Gridley last year?

Mozzie:  It is not necessary to revisit that.

Atlas:  Is Gridley where Mozzie mowed down that old lady who had just had hip replacement?

Rico:  Yes!

Mozzie:  Sure…THAT you remember.

Agility Updates


I’ve been busy practicing agility.  It’s not boring like obedience, and it’s much faster-paced than Rally, so I like it!  A lot.  Even when Mom is really tired after work on Thursdays, we still go to class.  I get to see my friends Luna, Brody, and Onyx.  Luna is an Australian Shepherd, and the other two are Borderline Collies.  Usually when people think about agility, they think about Aussies and BCs, not Berners.  They should think again!

I had my best week ever at agility!  I did all the obstacles the way Mom asked, and my only mistakes all evening were when I accidentally missed the first pole for the weaves.  I am getting really good at those weaves.  Even if I miss the first pole, I just keep going through them, no matter where Mom is.

There were some challenges this week, but I ruled!  During the first half of class, I had to do this pattern:  jump, switch tunnel, switch jump, out jump, out jump, jump, tunnel, walk it (high walk), out tunnel, jump, weaves, jump, weaves, switch tunnel, walk it, out tunnel, jump.  I did it.  All of it!

On the second side, the first obstacle was a hoop, but once I got through that, I could see the scram (A-frame) with a tunnel sticking out on either side of it.  THREE CHOICES!  Even so, I did the right thing!  I did hoop, tunnel (on the right side), jump, teeter (with some help), switch jump, tunnel, scram, out tunnel, hoop.  Besides being great at the course, I was doing a good job paying attention to Mom.

Some of my friends aren’t so good at waiting until they are told to start.  Their parents tell them to stay, but they ignore them.  At the end of class, the instructor said, “Some, but not all, of you are having issues with your dogs ignoring you at the starting line.”  She explained how important it is to be good at that.  She told Mom we didn’t have to stay because I was already good at that.  She asked if I had obedience titles.  Me.  Obedience titles.  Yes!  I was THAT good.

I can’t wait until next week!