Monday, May 30, 2011

Key Lime Pie, Sad Lens And Why A “Rescue Dog”

See what happens when you get busy with things that hamper ones camera toting? I end up with a mish mash of things I keep meaning to post about and it just never seems to happen all on its own.

The Key Is In the Dessert
Three weekends ago we had a trial after a 7 week or so break. Bella’s weaves were horrible, but in a slightly different way than her normal horrible. Wasn’t acting like she didn’t want to do them at all. She just wanted to do four. Bam, Bam, Bam and out. Entries great, speed great, just not feeling like finishing them. Didn’t do a single set right the first time until the last class of the trial. That happened to be Jacklers. I asked for 2 sets back to back and she did them great.

Oh, now you remember how to weave?

Now that the car is packed and we are ready to skedaddle?

So, the next weekend, another trial. You know what I’m thinking.

I decide to go a different route.

Here is where I separate myself from the real agility people.

Real agility people might go the training route…or…change up their pre-run zen shit…or see a chiropractor…or give their dog some bach flower junk…

Me? I bribe her with Key Lime Pie.

Go ahead. Laugh. That shit worked like a charm!

Day before the trial I was eating a piece and Bella was being the horribly un-mannered dog she is begging and drooling like a fool. I made her a deal. You weave this weekend and you can have some pie. You weave well like you do outside of a trial. All sets and all poles in each set. And, if I give you this now you have to do it because to do otherwise would make you a liar and you know how I feel about liars.

Was a weaving fooling!! It’s magic, I tell ya!

They should sell Key Lime Pie at Clean Run instead of all those training vids.

Mmmmm. Pie!

Booboo Lens

My big lens. The happy fast dog pic taking lens has, as the love to say in New England, Shit The Bed.
Thank you for your concern, Kate.

Why is it never the little cheapo lens? Never the one that’s a few hundred bucks. Always has to be the 4 digit jobbies that go, right? Sigh. The Silent Wave motor not so silent anymore. Sounds like this…


Well, that coupled with a complete lack of ability to actually focus on anything.

Such a bummer! :(

“Rescue dog” as an excuse for off behavior

Of course there are always dogs at trials that have various issues. Maybe a little scared, a little reactive on leash, etc. Most people, being that they are involved enough with their dogs to get to the point of trialing, handle these issues well. And other people are happy to help. That help maybe feeding a dog scared of new people or giving a dog extra room, whatever.

Will smile for cookies
The thing that gets me – and, BTW, this is not just an agility people thing, I hear it all the time, just my example is from a recent trial – is why people have to say their dog is a rescue if it has issues. There is a woman who has a dog that’s nervous around people she doesn’t know. We were waiting to run, she was explaining this to someone. Politely asking for a bit of room. No biggie. On her way into the ring she turns and looks over her shoulder and says, while shrugging, “she’s a rescue.” The woman that was right behind her, who has a dog who is reactive to other dogs and happens to be a papered dog from a breeder that she’s had since he was a puppy says, “well, what’s my excuse?”

This is not a bought vs adopted thing. I just wonder why people bring it up like it means something. I know plenty of bought dogs who have had what many would consider “correct” upbringings who are a fricking mess. Plenty of dogs who have gone through hell and are stable companions. Point being, I don’t know that where you got your dog has a lot to do with it. It certainly has nothing to do with helping your dog past whatever “it” is.

Do you think people say that because they don’t want anyone to think that they are the ones that failed the dog? Is there a tinge of righteousness there? Like, “this dog is broke, but I stuck with her anyway.” It just seems like a weird thing to add to the conversation. My concern is that people get stuck in that train of thought and that gets their dogs stuck, too. Like, people who complain about Gamblers saying their dog doesn’t work at a distance. Well, if that’s your attitude, then, yes, your dog will not work at a distance. Not because it can’t but because you gave up on it. And because you gave up on that idea, you are not training for it.

I’m a weirdo just ‘cause


  1. those expressions are priceless!
    Benny & Lily

  2. Thanks for that - I've been guilty as charged of that particular comment and have recently realized that I need to change my attitude. When my pooch is going loopy-loo over something I've definitely mentioned the rescue background in the past. In my case it comes out of embarrassment that I haven't worked through all his little quirks yet - I guess that ultimately I just don't want people to think that I believe this behavior to be acceptable and that I'm working at it!
    To make it worse I've also started turning into one of those people who talk up her pooch's bad behavior so that if he does act out it seems minimal by comparison.
    Time for a change I think!!!

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  5. Agree with Benny and Lily. priceless expression from one of the cutest puppies I've seen!

  6. I hear that excuse a lot as well. Our dogs are completely quirky, but I kind of figured that's why they fit in with our family so well. If I start making excuses about them, my husband's going to have to start making excuses about me!

    Sorry about your lens, by the way.

  7. Hah! I do the opposite ... if my dogs are behaving well, I tell everyone within earshot that they are ALL RESCUE DOGS. If they are being assholes, I'm quiet as a church mouse ;-) I am so all about promoting the rescue dog as a stellar companion and competitor!

    And speaking of stellar competitors, one of "my" rescues (a dog I placed) just won the 16" division at the AAC Regionals a couple weeks ago. Now THAT is a rescue dog! Woot!

    Unfortunately, a significant segment of the population likes to take on "sad" stories such as fucked up rescue dogs and then excuse away all their bad behaviour by virtue of the dog being a rescue. Quite frankly, the worst dog I ever owned (doG love him though) was the only dog I got from a breeder. He was a real asshole for pretty much his whole life. My rescues, TWooie excepted, are all quite well adjusted, actually!

  8. I'm guilty as charged on that account, but I do everything I can to work with Sissy on her quirks. I'm proud to say we've overcome quite a bit but we've got a ways to go and blaming it on her background is a lousy excuse ;O) Thanks for the reminder of this.

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  10. It is so funny what different dogs will respond to! For example I used to bribe my dog popcorn haha. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  11. Ohh Wow! Good to know. I didn’t know about such things, but I am informed now.
    Thank you and I am excited about what is still going to come!

  12. what beautiful border collies i really enjoy your blog :) thanks for inspireing me to start one with my fur-ever firend!
    Kerri & Wyatt

  13. I think many are quick to mention their troubled dog is a rescue because they want to let you know that THEY didn't mess the dog up.. it "came like that." I know that sounds weird but I'm admittedly guilty of judging when someone tells me their dog doesn't get along well with other dogs, or is aggressive, etc, then they mention they got him as a puppy or from a breeder. It's a bit like.. well.. why didn't you socialize him? Or work on that issue at a young age?

    Love your photos by the way!

  14. I have made the same "rescue" comment as well. But for some reason, people are more likely to take you seriously. I wish I had a nickle for every time I said "please stay back, my dog is reactive to other dogs" and the other handler says "it's okay, my dog is nice!" Ugh! I'm happy your dog is nice. MINE ISN'T! STAY BACK!

  15. Never having owned a "bought" dog, I think of my recycled dogs with pride. My current recycled Border collie is the absolute best dog I've ever owned and is a huge help to me at home and at the barn. If people have strengths, their dogs (adopted or otherwise) will tell. Same probably for inadequacies. Thank you for this great blog!