K-So Chihuahua


Atlas:  Mozzie, can I ask you something?

Mozzie:  You mean something else?

Atlas:  Yes.

Mozzie:  OK, go on.

Atlas:  Don’t you get to have cheese as a treat when you are training?

Mozzie:  Yes, and I really like it.

Atlas:  So how come I got in trouble trying to have cheese when I was training?

Mozzie:  That isn’t what got you in trouble.

Atlas:  Sure it was.  I was going for some of the K-So Chihuahua.

Mozzie:  Short-stack, it’s Queso Chihuaha, not K-So Chihuahua.

Atlas:  Either way, wasn’t that what I was trying to get as a snack?

Mozzie:  No.  That was an actual Chihuahua.

Atlas:  Isn’t Chihuahua cheese?

Mozzie:  Well, yes, but not always.  That thing you tried to eat was a canine Chihuahua.

Atlas:  You mean that little thing was a DOG?!?

Mozzie:  Yes, didn’t you notice his teeth?

Atlas:  I thought dogs had to be on leashes, not out free where they can confuse me.

Mozzie:  They are supposed to be.

Atlas:  So if they aren’t, are they fair game for snack food?

Mozzie:  Not when Mom is looking.

GRASS Valley


Today was an interesting adventure in my life.  Mom got up early, like for a work day, but then she got my treat cheese out of the fridge and put on the magic shoes, so I figured she wasn’t really going to work.

I followed her to the car and after we stopped at Dutch Brothers for coffee, we headed off to Grass Valley.  I was a concerned because the last time I was in Grass Valley, I had surgery, and I felt awful for several days.  I was not happy with Mom at this point because I figured she had just faked me out, but then we drove by that scary place and kept going.

We arrived at a fairgrounds, and I figured it out.  We were at a dog show in GRASS valley!  Mom said we were going to do Rally, and I like Rally, so I was really relieved.  Mom got us all set up in the building, and I practiced and got some cheese, so I was ready to go.  Mom walked over and looked for the right ring, and she didn’t see it, so she told me she’d be right back.

When she came back, she was shaking her head and muttering something about wasted entry fees.  Apparently the Rally ring was OUTSIDE.  No way!  I was really excited about that!  Outside means I get to SNIFF!  What could be better than being in GRASS Valley for sniffing?  Mom said she would not have entered at all if she knew it was going to be outside, but since we were already there and she had already paid, we’d at least give it a try.

So we went outside to practice, and it was actually sort of raining!  At least I think it was rain.  I haven’t seen it in so long, I wasn’t sure, but it SMELLED like rain.  I love smells.  I live for smells.

Mom wanted to do a little practice outside, at least I think that’s what she said.  I was already busy sniffing, so I couldn’t hear what she said.  I don’t remember much else really.

The next thing I knew it, we were in the outdoor ring.  I looked at Mom and told her I could not possibly do Rally Excellent when there was so much to sniff.  Nevertheless, we started.  The first station was what’s called an off-set figure 8 WITH DISTRACTIONS.  I decided I should sniff the grass and then saw that there were TOYS and FOOD on the ground, too.  I am pretty sure those were supposed to be the distractions, but after I looked at them, I decided to keep sniffing the grass.  I had a great time!

I vaguely recall Mom saying, “heel.”  Once I caught up with her, I realized I was supposed to sit, so I did.  Then Mom started moving again, so I decided to sniff again.  We did this through the whole course.  All 18 stations.  At the end, Mom was still really happy.  I could tell she was because she said, “I love you, Mozzie Bear!”  Then she said something else in a happy voice, but I was already sniffing.  I think she said, “That was really ugly, but I still adore you!”  People outside the ring laughed and seemed surprised Mom was still using her happy voice.  They don’t know Mom.  She loves me whether I sniff and NQ or don’t and get a 97.

Whatever she said, it turns out I didn’t have to go back in the ring to do Rally Advanced.  In fact, Mom said I could sleep late tomorrow and then just do a training session with Atlas and our friend Ozzie instead of going back there.  How great is that?!?



Jumping for Joy


Mozzie:  Did you see what Dad brought home from the hardware store?

Atlas:  Yes.  He bought 4 PVC pipes.  Why do I care?

Rico:  You will see.

Atlas:  Isn’t it for Dad to fix part of the drip system or something?

Mozzie:  Nope.  It’s for a JUMP!

Atlas:  Really?  I don’t really think jumping over a PVC pipe will be much of a challenge.

Rico:  Sigh!  He’s not building a step.  He’s building a JUMP.

Mozzie:  A for real, practice for agility and obedience jump.

Atlas:  But a pipe is only an inch high.  How much practice can you get?  Is he just putting them all together?

Mozzie:  Yes, he’s going to put them together.

Atlas:  So it will be 4″ high?

Mozzie:  No, short-stack.  Remember how we practice with Ozzie?  His dad built that jump we use.  It is made out of PVC, too.

Atlas:  OH!  I see.  So how tall will it be?

Mozzie:  Mom helped Dad find “clip cups,” so we can make the jump whatever height we want.  You’ll need to practice jumping 16″ to be ready for Rally Advanced next month.

Atlas:  I better go rest up.

Reno 2015, Part 2


I’m pretty well rested-up from my trip to Reno.  I had fun with my family there.  I don’t really like being cooped up where people can’t pet me, so traveling in the kennel isn’t much fun.  Even worse, Mozzie is claustrophobic, so he’s not much fun to be trapped in there with me.

Anyway, at the show on Friday, Mom was super busy running back and forth between rings  with Mozzie in Rally and me in obedience.  On Friday morning, I went in to see if I could get my second qualifying score (leg) in Beginner Novice obedience.  Like Mozzie, I don’t really like to heel.  There’s so much to see outside the ring.  I do okay until Mom turns around or stops.  Sometimes I just forget to sit when she stops.  When she turns around, I’m usually busy looking at something outside the ring, so I’m surprised she’s going the opposite direction.

It’s more fun to heel during training when there is food involved.  The good news is that in the ring after each exercise, Mom always pets me and says, “Good job, Short-stack,” or something, and that makes me happy.

I usually wait to sit until we are the second exercise, the figure 8.  If I avoid doing it during heeling and then don’t do it the first time around the figure 8, Mom is thrilled when I sit the second time.

On the first time in the ring on recall, I went straight to Mom, but I was more to her left.  The judge said I was still within reaching distance, so that was good enough!  The second time in the ring, I came straight to Mom and sat down like I was supposed to, and that was good.  I even finished my title that time.

On Saturday Mom told me that she decided to move me up.  I wasn’t sure what that meant, but she said I should just do my best and not worry about it.  Apparently she asked to put me in the next higher level of obedience, Novice.  It is harder because I had to heel without the leash on and do sits and downs for a LONG time with other dogs around.  Even harder, the judge had been doing Rally the day before where Mozzie was, and some really good dogs did not qualify, so Mom figured I didn’t have much chance.  She said something about a snowball’s chance or something.

On the recall, I came back super fast.  Mom said something about a bunny hopping gazelle, but I was FAST.  And I finished straight the way I was supposed to do it.  When we finished with the first part, before the sits and downs, Mom told me I did a good job, but she didn’t think I qualified, so we might not have to do sits/downs.  Then we got called back in, but Mom said that isn’t a guarantee we qualified.  Sometimes you get to go back in just to practice.  That was fine.  I can sit for a whole minute and stay down for three.  No problem.  When all that was over, Mom came back and put my leash on, and the judge came by and said something.  Mom looked at me, and she was very surprised, but confused.  She asked the person next to me if the judge had said, “the Berner qualified,” but the person didn’t know.  Mom walked me over the judge and asked, and the judge said, “of course.”  Mom seemed to think this might have been a mistake, but she was very happy.

I got a 177, and I only needed 170 to qualify, so I think I might have worked a little too hard.  I may have to ease up on my training.  I’ll think about that while I get petted.  And treats.


Reno 2015 Part 1


Atlas:  I’m kind of tired from our time in Reno.

Rico:  Me, too.  I don’t like leaving the house.

Mozzie:  I had to go in the ring six different times and go through six different Rally courses.

Atlas:  I had to go in three times, and I had to do obedience instead of  Rally.

Mozzie:  Those Rally courses were HARD.  There were LOTS of people doing those courses.  Over twenty dogs each time.  One of those courses was so hard that SIX of the dogs did not qualify in Rally Excellent B.  That’s full of people who are already good at Rally.  Even some of the OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion) dogs didn’t get perfect scores.  It was THAT hard.

Rico:  I heard it was tough.

Mozzie:  Everyone knows how much I LOVE jumps.  It was really hard to not go over them every time I saw one.  In two of my runs, I really wanted to go over a jump an extra time instead of doing the other boring stuff (like walking around cones).  I went right over and even had my launch code ready, but Mom read my mind.  I swear.  She called me over right then, and I could tell she was thinking I would NQ if I went over the jump that extra time, so I didn’t do it.  I worked too hard not to get a qualifying score.

Atlas:  What was the story on that sign you’d never even seen before?

Mozzie:  It was hard!  We were walking along, heeling like normal, when Mom told me to down and was going to keep walking.  That doesn’t seem right, so I had to be sure she really meant it, so I did the down slowly.  Then, instead of going straight to Mom’s front like I do in obedience, she called me to “heel” without a front first.  What was that about?  I have never even tried it before.

Atlas:  But you did that part.

Mozzie:  Of course I did.  I like to try new things.  I always watch Mom’s hands, too.  You never know when those new alligator treats will appear there.

Atlas:  I need sleep, so I’ll tell more about my times in the ring tomorrow.

Rico:  Sleep well, Señor Fuzzy Butt.

I’ve Been Collared


For my birthday and to celebrate my finishing my CD (Novice Obedience title), Mom ordered a new collar and a leash that matches from Sexy Beast (http://refs.cc/Bwon9Fgb).  They both have black and purple leather.  My collar even has a fancy silver heart on it.

I don’t wear it around the house or anything because it is super fancy, but I do look even more handsome than usual when I wear it.  I like that Mom got a leash that matches even if I never have to be on a leash in obedience or Rally anymore except to go in and out of the ring.  I guess people can see it then, especially the purple metallic leather on the inside of the handle.

Atlas wondered why I got to have purple in my collar.  That is easy!  Mom’s favorite color is….purple!  Mom’s favorite Berner….ME!  And the heart part is obvious.  Mom loves me lots.  She tells me that all the time.  It’s a little embarrassing, but I kind of like it.

I think I’ll take me new fancy schmancy collar to Reno.  Maybe it will distract the judge so I can sniff a little while in the ring.


Resting Up for Reno


Atlas:  Mozzie, did you know we are going to get to go gamble later this week?

Mozzie:  I wouldn’t bet on that.

Rico:  Good one!

Atlas:  I’m sure Mom said we were going to Reno.  There isn’t anything else to do there.

Mozzie:  There’s a big dog show.  Last year in Reno, I finished my Beginner Novice title.

Rico:  Maybe short-stack can finish his this year.

Atlas:  I only need two more legs, and I have three chances.

Mozzie:  Famous last words, my friend.

Rico:  Mozzie only needed one more leg to finish his title, but he took several tries since he liked to leave the ring.

Atlas:  I don’t leave the ring.  I just go say hi to the ring stewards before I leave.

Mozzie:  You mean on the recall when you are supposed to go sit in front of Mom?

Atlas:  Well, yes, but I can sit in front of Mom any day, but I can only see those stewards right then.

Rico:  Are you doing something in Reno, Mozzie?

Mozzie:  Yes.  Mom has me entered in 6 events over two days.

Atlas:  I’m too tired to even think about that many things.

Rico:  Mozzie’s new title takes 10 legs, and he has to get qualifying scores in Rally Excellent and Rally Advanced at the same trial to count as one leg.  It’s a lot of work to get that many qualifying scores.

Mozzie:  It is hard work.  I already have one leg, but I’m sure I can get nine more if I try.

Atlas:  You don’t think Mom will make ME get that title do you?

Rico:  How about finishing your Beginner Novice obedience title before worrying about that.  Then there’s Rally Advanced, Rally Excellent, and Novice Obedience before you have to worry about Rally Advanced Excellent.

Mozzie:  I think Mom might be thinking about having me try the next level of obedience, Open, some day.  I kind of like getting that dumbbell, but dropping in the middle of nowhere on my way back to her seems dumb.

Atlas:  Can we skip the dumb parts of obedience?

Rico:  No.  The AKC likes having dumb parts.  It shows how willing you are to work with Mom because you’ll do dumb things just because she asked you to do them.

Mozzie:  Just wait until you have to learn to walk backwards for Rally.

Atlas:  Time for a nap.