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Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Well, it looks like we won't be doing a draft test this year.

At the beginning of the year, I was unsure if we would be ready to enter the DDX test. A couple months ago, I decided that we could be ready. We just needed to tweak our behind-the-cart skills and Bosley needed to get used to wearing the backpack for the backpack portion of the test. I was getting excited to enter.

There is one draft test a year in our province. This year it is being held in conjunction with the Alberta Kennel Club's big summer show at Spruce Meadows. The premium list for the draft test came out a couple weeks ago. There is no DDX being offered. They are only offering the DD test this year. I am not sure why as draft tests usually have small entries, so there should be plenty of time to test the few DDX dogs that would enter. The only reason I can think of is because the location it is being held at. The DDX test is very demanding, both in skill and in the type of terrain that you need to navigate. The backpack portion is usually in heavily treed areas with streams and challenging obstacles. The Spruce Meadows area is very flat and bare.

I guess Bosley will have another year (at least) to get used to wearing that evil backpack.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Something was really wrong with Bosley the other night at agility class.

Bosley is a dog with very low prey/chase drive.  He never pays any attention to gophers when they are running around.  When we are out for a walk and a rabbit runs by, he will watch it run and will maybe make a half-hearted attempt of 5 or 6 steps to chase it, but that is it.

That all changed the other night.  It was our turn in agility and Bosley was on the top of the dogwalk, when a cat (who knows why there was a cat on the agility field) ran by.  The cat was not even close to us, but Bosley saw it and stopped on the dogwalk to watch it.  I didn't think too much of it because Bosley likes cats (well, he is more curious about them than anything).  He ran to the bottom of the dogwalk and then took off like a shot after the cat.  The cat hid in some tall grass and Bosley stuck his nose in there and got a swat.

It all broke loose after that.  Apparently Bosley doesn't take kindly to being swatted across the nose by cat claws.  The cat took off running with Bosley in hot pursuit, howling and carrying on like he was possessed.  The cat climbed up this big log pile and Bosley climbed up right after him.  The cat would swat him and Bosley would jump off the log pile and then climb right back up again. The cat finally ran and jumped over the 6 foot fence that surrounds the field.  I thought that Bosley was actually going to jump the fence - he was trying to climb it and actually got his front paws to the top of the fence but luckily he couldn't pull himself over.

The whole time I was screaming at him and he didn't even look at me - I'm not sure he even knew I was there, he was so focused on getting that cat.  I grabbed him and drug him back to the agility area where everyone was waiting for us to come back (they couldn't see what was happening from where they were).  Everyone looked up shocked as I brought Bosley back, blood pouring from his face.  A couple people thought he killed that cat, that was how much blood there was.  Luckily, Sarah had a first aid kit so we were able to clean him up and disinfect the scratches.  He only had a few claw marks on his nose, but they sure bled like crazy.

I really don't know what was with him.  I thought dogs were supposed to be smart and when a cat swats them, they are supposed to learn their lesson.  Apparently that just makes Bosley really, really angry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MAD Maggie

This past weekend we headed out to the first outdoor agility trial of the year.  On Maggie's very first run of the weekend, she qualified in Masters Standard to finish her Masters Agility Dog of Canada title! 
 To some people this is not a big deal, but for Maggie and I, it is like getting an ATCh - something I was never sure we would achieve.  This will be the last agility title that Maggie and I earn together.  I promised her that once she finished her MADC, she would get to retire from competitive agility.  She will still get to play and do demos and the occasional local trial just for fun but no more trialling.  

Maggie is such a good dog and she really does love to play at agility but I know she doesn't always love the ring and she only does it because I ask her too.  I can really see her slowing down physically and because her poor structure, I do not think it is fair to ask her to keep competing in such a demanding sport.  It is sad to see our competing days coming to an end but Maggie will have fun doing other things. She loves to do agility demos and have people cheering for her so she will keep doing that.  She will get to come out and have fun training but without the pressure of competing, so our fun is not over.