The Gang

The Gang
Ain't We Got Fun?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Club Campout

Wow! What a weekend! We started out Saturday with a small groupof 10 and while we waited for the rest to show up, Tubby Miller and his Newfoundland dog, Lexi, entertained the group with events from the Carting Olympics! Amazing control as Lexi had to turn the cart without moving the inside wheel outside of a one foot square. Five events, all difficult to execute, and befitting of the name, Olympic carting.

As the day progressed, so did the fun. The pairs combined Rally / Agility was hysterical as members swung hula hoops and bowled soccer balls and followed signs that gave directions and distractions that truly tested the pairs' ability to remained focused on course. The competition was fierce and Judge Bob Hutton was badgered more than once to 'blow the bloody whistle'.... or NOT.

Nose best , our air scent game, was really interesting as the wind kept shifting, but the little dachshund and the German shorthairs did really well finding the liver-laced bowls in the grass.

The egg 'n spoon race was a huge hit and Russell, Judi and Tubby won easily against Deb, Mary Ellen, and Cheryl. Racers had to put their dogs through a curved tunnel and over a jump, tie them to the fence, leave them and rush to the egg bowl to grab an egg and a spoon. The spoon was placed in the person's mouth and held between the teeth while the racer negotiated a course of six weave poles and a jump, after which, the egg and spoon were discarded in a basket. Then the racer rushed over the jump, through the weaves, to the dog to free it, and then back to the beginning and the next dog/handler team ran. "Wow," Cheryl yelled, as Tubby tore through the weave poles smoothly with his egg and spoon, "look at Tubby go. Gosh, he even jumped the jump. " This should have been a clue to the fact that someone was cheating. Tubby had pushed the spoon handle right through the egg!! Russell had found some double-backed tape in the garage so he had no trouble tearing up the course either. The only one on the team who had a problem was Judi, who didn't cheat and dropped the egg when Cheryl scared it out of the spoon when the two racers met face to face in the weave poles. All in all, it was a much harder event thatnpeople thought it would be.

The costumes for the breeds were terrific with Little Bo Peep, a shepherd, a blind lady, a hunter dude and a greaser showing up! Tubby Miller did his Greased Lightining routine with Lexi in the "Ford" cart and then entertained everyone with his dancing Newf puppet. Darryl entertained everyone by trying to roast a marshmellow on the table top propane barbecue only to drop the entire marshmellow into the coals ..... after telling everyone to be careful NOT to do exactly that. And we caught it all on film.

Sunday morning, Judi laid a bear scent track for one of the Karelian beardogs and a couple of hours later, Koda and her handler, John Clarke, showed up to do an air scent search for the paw. Less than five minutes to cover a 20 acre plot of land with poplars and high grass, willows and deer trails, and find the paw on a rock outcrop near Highway 3! Very impressive work.

John had brought a cougar carcass with him and he planted it in some bushes. One by one, we took our dogs for a 'walk in the bush'. and one by one, the dogs indicated in different ways that there was something wierd up ahead. MoJo, the bichon shih tsu, knew 30 feet from the cat that it was there and that he would rather not be! It was quite the experience to see how the dogs' past experiences or lack thereof affected that way they responded. John gave an excellent presentation on cougar and bear encounters and what to do when a person or group meets these creatures. This was timely in that John's beardog tracked and chased a cougar in Pincher Creek just across the creek from community pool playground last week!! And two adolescent male grizzlies killed 8 sheep at Livingstone Colony just five kilometres north of our place last week as well. Our group went away well-informed and armed with information that will hold us in good stead should we come upon one of these creatures.

We did an introduction to flyball but used the original flyball box design with an arm that forces the dog to actually "catch" the ball. We had three dogs that caught on right away and three more that were very interested in the entire affair. If we can entice them to turn on, we will be able to put on demo's at community events for everyone to enjoy.

I have to mention the meals. They were super. Everyone brought favorite dishes and we had a pot luck on Saturday evening and then Darryl barbecued hamburgers and we added salads for lunches and we always had muffins and fruit dishes for breakfast. And fantastic dips! And homemade apple pie with real apples.... made from scratch. YUM! The last guests left around
five and the executive hit the hotub! The dogs are all fed and cool and quiet for the night so I think I'll hit the sack and worry about downloading pictures and clips tomorrow. Thank you to everyone for making the campout an event to remember!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

SAWHDA Spring Fling

Well, everyone, our first camper has arrived for the weekend and a party bus it is, all the way from Oliver, BC!! "Uncle" Bob has brought boxes of  all kinds of apples for us to enjoy and, who knows?  We just might be able to convince Mary Ellen to bake some fresh apple pies!!! Hint, hint.  Darryl is making special ribs from Cheryl's amazing rib recipe. We are working on the 'unique' rally/agility signs for the Pairs Rally. Not like anything we've seen in either sport but an interesting variation. John's Karelian beardog, Kuma, tracked and chased  a 140 pound cougar away from the pool area in Pincher Creek Sunday so his demo should go well this weekend. The weather is supposed to be wonderful, unlike last weekend, so it's full speed ahead!  See you soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


 Couldn't believe the amount of traffic headed into the Crowsnest Pass this weekend.  We live at the junction of Highways 3 & 22 and the traffic was backed up for over a kilometre from the junction north.  Ridiculous.  On my way home, I counted 8 Fish & Wildlife Trucks headed to the Pass to help patrol the camping areas in their attempt to make the weekend a safe one for all.
 No wonder we decided to hold our SAWHDA campout weekend NEXT weekend, the 22nd to 24th at Shadowbar Shepherds.
We have been working on some fun events to try over the weekend and we are sure everyone will have a good time. Friday is set-up time with everyone on his own for supper.  Snacks and drinks will be provided for our evening gathering from 8:00 - ?
Saturday will feature a pot-luck supper at 6:00 p.m. following a day filled with fun & laughter! Sunday, we are treated to a visit from the Karelian beardogs who will give us a demonstration of their detection ability.
A schedule of events will be posted here and will also be sent to members via email this weekend.
Talk later.  I have to go clean the garage, organize the agility shed, put out some equipment, spread some gravel, move the trailer and do the spring cleaning thing, etc.