Loading Dock Sniffing

Yesterday I got to go back to my nosework class.  My friend Barb teaches Mom how to not trip over the leash, and I go find fun smells.  My friend Seamus comes with his dad, Mike, too.  There’s also a little dog in our class named Abby.  She’s cute but what Atlas calls snack size.  Only three of us were there last night, and it wasn’t raining (finally), so we went to a loading dock to practice.  I like field trips, and sniffing outside is extra fun!

My friend Seamus is really good at nosework.  I think he’s an auditor or something because he’s very, very thorough.  He finds all the hidden odors in no time at all.

On our first run last night, there were seven different places to find odor and three different odors (birch, clove, and anise).  Barb is very sneaky about where she hides the odor so that we get to really work.  I like that because it’s a lot like solving a puzzle.  For example, if  I smell something on one side of the fence but I can’t find it, I know it means I need to go to the other side to find it.  Last night the hides were high (above my head), low (on the ground), and in the middle (below my nose, but not on the ground).

I had 17 different hides to find last night.  I found all of them, of course.  Toward the end of the evening, there was a hide near a tree in a divider near the loading dock.  When I got up there, I thought I might need to do some extra sniffing for fun before I got back to looking for the odor.  Luckily, Mom knows me REALLY well because I faked out everyone else.  I was sniffing a tree as a short break, and Barb was thinking I was going to send pee-mail, but Mom told her, nope, that I was on a short break and would get back to work.  I figured I probably should, so then I went straight to the odor.  Barb was surprised, but she shouldn’t have been.  Mom and I can practically read each other’s minds.

I know Mom knew I was having a great time, so she made arrangements with Barb so that I don’t have to miss class when I am super busy with agility in March and April.  It’s good that Mom is looking out for me.  I don’t want to miss the chance to use my super sniffer just because I’m busy defeating the teeter.



I’m a very busy guy with all my activities including agility, walks, nosework, obedience, Rally, being handsome, and so on.  Usually by the end of the day, I’m ready for a great night’s sleep.  The best thing is that usually when Mom is ready for bed, Dad isn’t, so I get to get on the bed and hang out with Mom.

Some nights, I really like it when she pets me for a few minutes.  She tells me I’m handsome and super special.  That’s a good thing to hear before I fall asleep.  It gives me good dreams.

Other nights, I really want her to just let me go to sleep.  On those nights, if Mom tries to pet me, I have to actually get up and move.  I try to make it really clear by sighing loudly and then plopping down just out of her reach.

Either way, I get to drift off to sleep and dream about happy things like bully sticks and time with Mom when we are outside and I can sniff.  Unfortunately, Dad usually shows up then and expects to get under the covers.  This usually involves Dad making me move out of my nice cozy spot.  I understand that he wants sleep too, but it doesn’t really seem fair that if I’m already there and asleep I should have to move.  I mean, we have a big bed, so it seems like Dad could just kind of squeeze in and scoot around me instead of making me wake up and move.  After all, I need my handsome sleep to maintain my stunning good looks.


Tree Down

Mozzie:  It was nice to get a break from the crazy weather today.

Rico:  I know.  I didn’t even have to take my medication today to deal with thunderstorms.

Atlas:  I got to go to Dutch Brothers and keep my head out in line since it wasn’t raining.

Mozzie:  It’s too bad that so many people had storm damage.  We were lucky.  On the upside of things, I got to pee on the very top of a tree instead of just on the trunk!

Rico:  Was it a sapling?

Atlas:  Are you using #alternativefacts?

Mozzie:  No, it really was the top of the tree.  It had blown down during the storms.

Rico:  Is that you in the photo near the middle of the tree?

Atlas:  Did you check for possums?

Mozzie:  Yes, that’s me in the photo with the tree.  Sorry, Atlas, no possums.  I’ll check again next time Mom and I walk by there.  You’ll have to stick with biscuits from Dutch Brothers for a bit longer.


Fully Excellent!

Today was another fun day of agility.  We had the same order of things we had yesterday.  Up early, Dutch Brothers, map review, Open FAST, Excellent Jumpers with Weaves (JWW), and Excellent Standard (STD).

When Mom saw the Open FAST map, she showed me and said, “OK, Mozzie Bear, you can do this.  It’s easy peasy, only two jumps.”  Now my friends will remember that in FAST, I have to go do things away from Mom which I really don’t like.  On the other hand, Mom has been telling me that I only needed one more Q (qualifying score) in FAST to move up out of Open into the next level, Excellent.  Since I’m already in Excellent in STD and JWW, I thought maybe today was the day to move up so I could be fully excellent.

In FAST, I got to start with a tunnel, my favorite obstacle.  When I came out, Mom asked me to go far away over a jump and then told me to keep going to another jump, so I did.  Then I just did a few more jumps, went over the A-Frame, and then did another jump.  In Open FAST, we had to have 55 points (plus get the send part with the two jumps) in 35 seconds or less.  I might have overshot that because I got 60 points in 24 seconds.  Because I did that, I finished my title.  I don’t care about the ribbons (even the big new title ones), but I do care about those homemade liver treats and bully stick bites!  Jackpot!

Next was JWW.  It was a fun course.  Mom did a couple of silly things that I found confusing, so I got two refusals (that’s an NQ), but I didn’t go into the tunnel when I wasn’t supposed to even though I had to go by it THREE times.  I did all of my weave poles and a complicated end of that course with 20 obstacles.  Jackpot for me.  Schedule a handling lesson for Mom.

Last was STD.  I went through that course like a warm knife through butter.  Well, mostly.  I did stop on the pause table like I was supposed to, and I was flying through the first 14 obstacles, and then there it was….the teeter!  I conquered it yesterday, but again today it wasn’t bolted down when Mom did the walk through.  Even though they fixed that, I was super suspicious and would not get on it today.  No way.  Mom asked me four times, but I told her it was clearly even more dangerous today than usual, so NO WAY was I getting on.  She let me go ahead and do the last three obstacles instead.  I know the judge won’t allow you to Q if you refuse to do one of the obstacles, but I don’t care.  If he thought it was such a good idea, HE should have walked across it.

Anyway, we got home before the next round of storms, and it was a great weekend with Mom as always.  For my next agility trial, I’m in Excellent classes only, and Mom said something about cutting work…or maybe that was having our work cut out for us.  It will be fun no matter what.  A day with Mom is like a day with a bully stick.


18 in a Row!


This morning, it was windy, rainy, cold, and dark, but Mom still made me get up and get in the car to go back to Rancho Murieta for another day of agility.

Of course we stopped at Dutch Brothers on the way so Mom could get her coffee for the day to help keep her warm since she doesn’t wear fur like I do.

We were entered in three things.  We did FAST first.  That’s the one where I have to go do things far away from Mom.  I don’t really like doing that, but I was feeling pretty frisky.  Mom started me with a few jumps and then the A-frame.  Next was the “send” part, so Mom had to stay far away from where I needed to go.  She told me to go over a jump (which I did) and then go tunnel (which I did).  She might have forgotten to note that I was supposed to go to the far side of the tunnel, but that’s okay.  No human is perfect.  Or maybe I wasn’t sure which side she meant, but either way, I did the tunnel, and we wrapped up with a few more jumps and then treats!

We had Jumpers with Weaves (JWW) next.  It was so windy that one of the jumps blew over on someone else’s run.  When it was my turn, I was ready!  I jumped and jumped and flew around the course.  I even whipped through those weave poles like the wind!  I had a great time.  Mom said I didn’t q because I didn’t do all 12 weave poles, but we had a big party anyway.  She said that because I did all 18 obstacles without stopping, I got a jackpot!  There was a bully stick bite AND hotdog AND liver to celebrate.

Mom always says that her number one job is to make sure I’m safe and happy, and when she went to walk the Standard course, she saw that the evil teeter wasn’t bolted down.  There weren’t sand bags holding it down either.  Mom went and told someone important that the teeter needed to be bolted down because she was not about to ask me to go across it otherwise.  We all know those teeters are evil, and I think if they aren’t bolted down they could really attack.  I was so relieved that Mom was looking out for me to make sure I was safe.  She really does love me lots.  Several people thanked her for noticing that and for getting it corrected.

Next it was my turn to run Standard.  Now I have to be honest, I haven’t done a whole standard course since we moved up to Excellent.  Something always seems to get in the way; frequently, it’s the evil teeter.  I was thinking about those yummy treats, so we got off to a great start!  I was running fast and everything.  Mom did say something about a tunnel, but her arm was up, so I thought maybe she had asked me to go check behind it, so I did, THEN I did the tunnel.  I didn’t really stop on the pause table the first time, but I did the second time, and then it was teeter time.  I won!  I beat that evil teeter.  I walked all the way across and did the whole rest of the course.  I even did all 12 weave poles (and all 18 obstacles).  We had another big jackpot party to celebrate.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow!  Watch out teeter; I’ve got your number (and my Mom will help)!


Odyssey Recall

Mozzie:  Did you hear that Mom’s Odyssey has been recalled and has to go back to the dealership for repairs?

Rico:  I’ve been telling you that getting in the car is dangerous.

Atlas:  Is it being recalled because it’s so hard for people at drive-thoughs to reach in the back and give me biscuits?

Mozzie:  No.  Mom said it was something about a bracket that holds in the second row seats being defective.

Rico:  That’s really bad.  I try to hide under there.  It’s not safe anywhere outside the house!

Atlas:  Do you know if they have dog biscuits at the dealership where the repairs will be done?

Mozzie:  I don’t know.

Rico:  No biscuit is worth endangering your life.

Atlas:  I’m not going if there aren’t biscuits or at least people to pet me.

Mozzie:  I think people will be too busy to pet you.

Rico:  You’re annoying, but I don’t want you injured, so you should stay home.

Atlas:  I guess I’ll stay home and rest up.  I need to be ready for my next run to Dutch Brothers.  THEY have biscuits and petters.




Mozzie:  Wow!  It is super windy out there tonight!

Atlas:  Is that what that whistling sound is?

Rico:  Is it safe to come out yet?

Mozzie:  Yes, Mom said that the wind is blowing at 50 miles per hour according to the local news.

Atlas:  I better stay inside.  I don’t want my fur to fly off.

Rico:  That must be why we lost power.  That is so scary.  I’m minding my own business, and suddenly the lights went off, and there was no sound inside to cover up the sound of the scary wind.

Mozzie:  The power is back on now, so you are all set Rico.

Atlas:  Just to be safe though, I’m not going out there unless I hear a possum that needs my attention.

Rico:  Remember the rules!  You can’t ever bring a possum into the house again.

Mozzie:  That’s right!  Once was enough.

Atlas:  But we wouldn’t want one to blow away when I could get him instead.

Rico:  Mom might boycott petting you for a whole day if you bring in another possum.

Mozzie: Don’t do it!

Atlas:  I can’t risk losing petting time.  I’ll stay inside until the wind dies down.

Rico:  You can join me hiding in the bathroom.

Mozzie:  Or just take a nap.

Atlas:  I’ll take a nap.  And dream of possums.

What’s in a Name?

Rico:  Did you see that Mom posted  our pictures on Facebook along with how she picked our names?

Atlas:  Yes.  That was cool!  I didn’t know you were named after a cough drop.

Mozzie:  Mom thought that would be funny calling you back…Ri-co-la.  Dad thought it was too silly, so he wanted Rico.  Apparently Dad sang that Barry Manilow song, “His name was Rico….” and Mom agreed to call you Rico, but have your actual name be Ricola.

Rico:  There are worse things.  Apparently Dad wanted to call me Englebert, so Rico is a great name compared to what I could have been called.

Atlas:  I came pre-named by Amy, but I think my name suits me.

Mozzie:  I agree.  You are a sturdy guy.

Rico:  At least no one mispronounces our names.

Atlas:  I heard they often mispronounce Mozzie.

Mozzie:  It’s not good either.  At agility trials, they sometimes call me Mosey.  Mom said it’s not good to call me Mosey when I’m supposed to move fast, so she corrects them.

Rico:  If they call you Mozzie instead, do you actually move faster?

Atlas:  I think he moves fastest when he hears the bully stick bag open, regardless of what you call him.

Mozzie:  Call me anything but late for dinner!


Back to the Vet

Even though I had that big scary visit to the vet last week, I have to go AGAIN!  Even worse, I won’t have access to go out the doggie door again tonight.

Apparently my blood test showed some odd values for my kidney function and my thyroid was low, but the urine test showed extra white blood cells, so the doctor thinks I might have some sort of infection.  The lab was going to run a culture on it, but I guess it was too old, so I have to go back so they have a new sample.

I don’t feel bad, but Mom and Dad are concerned about any abnormal test results, so off I go again.

Apparently I may also have to get a prescription to take, depending on what the results are.  Hopefully I won’t have to go back again soon.  I really like it at home, and I already know I have to leave in April to go out of state, so I need to rest up to deal with that.


Hot Dogs!


At the last agility trial, they had some very scary teeters.  I don’t just mean the one they tried to fix with zip ties.  I mean both of those teeters were scary.  I was not going to risk my safety by getting on one, so I avoided both of them.

Mom didn’t ask me to get on the one they used zip ties to “fix,” so that was good, but even the other one was giving me the creeps, so we didn’t go near it.  I do mean that.  When there was one on the course, I told Mom I wasn’t going to do it, and I didn’t even want to look at it.  As a result, I made her run next to it with me on the other side of her so I could pretend it wasn’t there.  At least I knew if it went into attack mode, Mom would protect me.  She’s great that way.

Today we got to go down to Lodi to train with Jessica.  I really like her, almost always.  There was that time that Jessica told Mom not to give me ANY treats if I didn’t do ALL the obstacles on the course, and I thought that was pretty mean, but mostly, I really like Jessica.  Anyway, we had a fun course to run, but there was a teeter right there.  RIGHT.  THERE!  Mom asked me to do it, and I wasn’t going to go near it, but then Mom showed me that she had HOT DOGS.  That is pretty sneaky because I will do anything other than pull a cart for a hot dog.  I got on it, and I got a hot dog bite, so I figured, what the heck, I might as well go all the way across, then I got 3 hot dog bites!  YUM!

Every time after that, I just got right on that teeter, so I got lots of hot dogs, and that made today great!

I also did some amazing weave polls.  I wanted Mom to know that I do know how to go through them fast, even if at trials, I sometimes don’t really feel a need for speed.

Last we worked on “sends.”  I don’t really like sends because it means Mom is trying to get me to go far away from her and do stuff.  I am kind of getting the idea of what she’s saying she wants me to do, but I  don’t like it.  I did show her I could do it by going over a jump, wrapping around it and then going to the far end of a tunnel.  I can do complex stuff, but I really like doing it more when Mom is close.  You never know when she’s going to have another bite of hot dog, and it’s good to be close, just in case.