Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!  I hope you have a lovely holiday!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Dahlia, CTL1, NTD, CGC

That's right folks!  Dahlia now has even more letters have her name.

I have to admit that I never ever thought I'd care about titles.  I didn't get a dog to get those letters after her name or certificates that say she can do something.  I originally only got her CGC (Canine Good Citizen) because I knew we'd move at some point and I thought it would be a good thing to show to future landlords ("Look!  My dog really is well-behaved!").

So when I got that first agility title, the fact that it thrilled me so much that I wanted to add more letters after her name surprised me.

Recently I was looking at the Trick Dog titles a dog could get and realized that Dahlia had enough tricks to get her the novice title.  So off I sent the paperwork and money and what did we get in the mail earlier this week?  This:



Dahlia officially has her Novice Trick Dog title!

What did she do to get it?  Well, here's the list:

Balance beam (aka the dog walk)

Come
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Down
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Food Refusal/Leave it

Jump over a bar
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Shake hands
Man's best friend

Sit
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Spin circles
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Stay
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Touch my hand/target stick

Tunnel
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Roll over
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Sit pretty/beg
Sit pretty!

 Teeter
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Plus three commands (sit, down, and spin) with only hand signals

Not too shabby!  We only need a handful of tricks to get her Intermediate title so we may be working on those soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

100 things #33: Out of the fog

I set Dahlia up in a sit/stay and walked a couple hundred feet down the hillside to get this photo.

bf23 Sony A580 | Minolta 135mm f/2.8 | f/4 | 1/320 | ISO 400 | 135mm

100 things #32: Dahlia in the dog


It was a foggy morning out in Vermont, so I decided to take advantage of that for some shots of Dahlia up on a hillside.  This was taken on top of a ski jump that I had her climb up and pose on.

bf16 Sony A580 | Minolta 135mm f/2.8 | f/4 | 1/250 | ISO 400 | 135mm

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Backyard agility...with no yard!

[This post was written for the Dog Agility Blog Action Day.  Check out many great posts here!]

I have no yard.

Well, I amend that.  I have a yard.  It's an approximately 10 foot by 10 foot patch of ratty grass full of pine cones, bushes, and one gigantic pine tree.  On top of that, it's my front yard and mere feet from the road.  The backyard is taken up with a large ramp and a garage that looks like it's falling apart. Ah, the beauty of living in a duplex in the city.

For someone like me, doing agility is a slow pain-staking process because practicing at home happens so rarely.  But here are some things I've done to practice backyard agility when I have no yard.

Shortly after I started training in agility, I purchased a single jump from Affordable Agility.  I would take that one jump and my dog down to a tiny corner of the park for training.  This one jump enabled me to practice extension (setting her up far back from it and calling her to me over it or running with her to the jump and past) and collection (standing by the jump and calling her to it so she wraps tightly around it).  Now that we're getting more advanced, I plan to use that one jump to practice sending her to it from further away.  She needs to learn to get further away than the tips of my fingers!

After that, I decided I needed more jumps.  So I purchased a set of travel jumps.  Now I had five jumps!  This enabled me to set up basic jump grids.


Having more than one jump also meant I could practice things we were really struggling with, like serpentines.



And I could even set up small sequences.  Please note this is very early on in our training!  We had only just begun doing sequences when I set this little one up.  We look much better now.


What else can you do with just 5 jumps (or even just 4 jumps)?  You can create simple box patterns to work on various elements.  A box involves just 4 jumps, set up in a box pattern.  This great website gives you a chance to let it design as many small courses as you want!

For instance, if I wanted to work on 270's and wraps (and straights/90s), I could check those boxes off and come up with this as something to try.


This website is a huge resource for those who want to create short courses at home, especially when you have a limited area to work in.  All you need is 4 jumps (6 if you want to do a star box or 7 if you want to do a complete double box) and a little bit of space.

Dahlia and the super cheap eBay tunnel!
In addition to the 5 jumps I own, I also bought a super cheap tunnel off eBay and a set of 6 stick-in-the-ground weave poles (which are sometimes more work than they're worth). The former has enabled me to work on Dahlia's tunnel hesitation.  The latter has enabled me to work a bit on her 2x2 weaves.


Where on earth do I set all this stuff up if not in my own ratty yard?  I find a quiet corner of a park, bring Dahlia and everything down, and then set it up.  It works fairly well, though it's certainly a bit of a chore (hence my not doing it too often and my not videotaping it when we do because that's just one more thing I need to set up!).

It also tends to attract everyone and their brother to find out what this oddball woman is doing down there making her dog go over jumps and through tunnels and through those weird pole things that stick up out of the ground.  Whenever I've gone down to the park and set up I've often become people's entertainment.  In some ways this is good.  If I had my own backyard, I wouldn't have so many distractions.  But down in the park I have kids who are running around, people watching with their dogs at their sides, and a lot of people passing us by.  It's been great for some distraction-proofing.

Now if I could just get those people to run by waving hot dogs to really distraction-proof my dog!  That would truly be a sight to behold, wouldn't it?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dahlia, CTL1

Dahlia and I went to another CPE trial this last weekend.  We ended up just doing one day again and even though I wish I could have gone back the second day I was thankful for the day of rest since I'm still struggling with a back problem and recovering from a rather long bout of respiratory infection and bronchitis.

We did all four runs and that's something that is somewhat new for us.  When I first started going to trials I was afraid that Dahlia wouldn't have it in her to go back out so many times.  So we did two or three runs in a day.  That meant there was a lot of sitting around.  There still has.  Those four runs take all of about four  minutes (plus warm up time), but we're at least not waiting for three hours to do our next run.  As I'm finding out, Dahlia has no trouble doing four runs in a day.  She has time to rest and relax in between things.  So I figured why not?

We had a fairly successful day.  We started off a bit slow, probably due to the stress of the trial atmosphere (it was very crowded indoors!) and ended up NQ'ing in Jackpot despite completing the gamble (we were over time).  The second run was Wildcard and while it was slow, we completed it under SCT (standard course time) and Q'ed.  This was the one and only video I have of us over the weekend.

It's also the first time anyone has gotten a video of one of our qualifying runs!





We had another unsuccessful run with Jumpers.  Dahlia was actually looking really good until she had an itch.  We ultimately ended up going around one jump (the one she stopped to scratch in front of) and went far over course time as I sat there and was unable to stop her from scratching.  Such is life!  At least she was amusing.

The final run of the day was Snooker.  Ah, the dreaded Snooker.  As it turns out I really like the strategy of the game and I think it might be my favourite. Shhh...don't tell anyone!

We tried Snooker twice at our last trial and were almost successful (one time we were too slow; the second time we got whistled off the course after the opening).  I didn't have high hopes for this one because Snooker is really difficult and one part required making sure she didn't go back into the tunnel she just came out of.

Imagine my surprise when she was super excited to get out there, tugging and leaping for treats.  I set her up and she couldn't wait to go.  She came off the line well and completed the opening with no problem.  We got to the closing sequence (labeled 2 through 7) and got ourselves through to 5 before the whistle blew and the game was over.

We ended up with 21 points for the opening and 14 points for the closing, netting us a total of 35.  As we only needed 24, we Q'ed.

That gave Dahlia her fourth mini-title: CTL1-S (Level 1 Enthusiast Strategy title).  The four titles she got meant that she was awarded her full Level 1 title.  It was a very exciting moment and even the judge came out and hugged us.


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Dahlia shows off her title ribbons

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

100 things #31: Upside down!

Another "Dahlia learns a new trick" photo. Or at least, Dahlia sort of learns a new trick. I wanted a photo of her upside down. She knows "roll over" so getting her to actually STOP in the middle of rolling over was hard. But I succeeded. To a degree.

Rather than looking all cute with her paws curled up next to her, I got a dog who stretched out oddly with her paws waving around awkwardly in the air.


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Sony A580 | Tamron 18-200mm | f/3.5 | 1/640 | ISO400 | 18mm

100 things #30: Autumn Dahlia

I really wanted a photo of Dahlia laying with her head cutely buried in some leaves. So out I went with a bunch of hot dogs and my camera and trained her to put her head down and keep it down. I still have work to do if I decide I want to really have her learn it but she picked it up SO quickly. I was super impressed.

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Sony A580 | Tamron 18-200mm | f/3.5 | 1/125 | ISO100 | 18mm

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Pit Bull Awareness Day!

Now as anyone who reads this blog knows, I do not have a pit bull.  I have a 50 pound fluffy mutt of unknown origin.  But both Dahlia and I love pit bulls.

Some of her best friends over the years have been pit bulls and she plays well with them.  Here are a few of her favourite pit bull friends.

Jackson is a Pit Bull/Great Dane mix.  We first met him on walks around our local pond.  He and Dahlia have taught he each other so much.  She's taught him that chase is a fun game and he's taught her to not worry so much when another dog leaps on her.


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Last year we got to meet the wonderful Nellie.  Nellie is an amazing three-legged pit bull mix who is just the goofiest, silliest, bravest dog I know (seriously...she went up against a wild pig and lived!).

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Nellie was a great tugging friend!
Tugging with friends! 


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Nellie even got to meet Jackson this year and they had great fun!  quarry11 


This year we got to meet the gorgeous Molly and went on vacation with her, her person, and their other dog.  Molly is an amazingly muscular and fun dog to be around.
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Molly 


Glen Highland Farm
(Photo by Danielle)

So Happy Pit Bull Awareness Day!  I hope everyone who has a Pit Bull or Pit mix had a wonderful day with their dogs!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

100 things #29: Foxy!

I was playing around with my bounce flash last night (something I haven't done since before I got this new camera!). I bought something to attach to it so I could bounce it off it and even use it outside.

This is Dahlia and her favourite toy: her foxy. I think it's Foxy #6 as after awhile they start to rip and the stuffing all comes out and we get her a new one (she has an old foxy for dog class that has no squeaker and almost no stuffing left, but she still loves that thing).

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Sony A580 | Minolta 28mm f/2.8 | f/4 | 1/200 | ISO400 | 28mm | Bounce flash

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not so Wordless Wednesday

Dahlia and I went to another CPE trial this past weekend.  I decided to do something I don't usually do: go to both days of the trial.  I have a tendency to go to one day, do a few runs, and call it a day.  This means that we never really settle into the trial atmosphere and I miss out on the fun of the second day!  Max 200, where we went this time, tends to be a small trial full of a lot of amazing people.  Plus it was the last outdoor trial of the season so I figured why not?

I'm glad I did!

Over the course of the weekend Dahlia and I did 7 runs.  We Q'ed in four of them.  We figured out how to work together really well by the end of the weekend and came very close to getting our full level 1 title.  But I bobbled and she saw a tunnel she wasn't supposed to take and despite my desperate attempts at calling her off of it, she went in anyway.  GAME OVER.

But besides that bobble, we were very successful at running courses (instead of just trotting them).  Some of that I have to thank a fellow competitor for.  She had a dog much like Dahlia and said she never did start line stays with him.  While I can do them (and do them well!) in class, at trials putting her in a sit means she loses all excitement and so comes off the start line incredibly slow.  In our first couple runs (one Q, one not), I put her in a sit and it wasn't until she got to a tunnel that she picked up speed and started looking like the agility dog she's been becoming.

In the later runs when I just held her until the annoying mechanical thing said "GO" and then took off running, she was much faster right from the get-go.

In fact, we finally got that darned Full House Q that's been eluding us all along.  We've just been too slow to get enough points.  This time we got 2 points more than needed and finished under course time.  The first buzzer didn't even go off!  I was very proud of my girl for getting out there and working in the cold (first day) and rain (second day) and giving me her all the entire time.

We ended up with a new title, so Dahlia is now Dahlia CTL1-H, CTL1-R, CTL1-F (Enthusiast titles: Handler, Standard, and Fun).


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Friday, September 21, 2012

100 things #28: Wipe your paws!

Dahlia says "I wiped MY paws!"

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Sony A580 | Tamron 18-200mm | f/3.5 | 1/100 | ISO 1600 | 18mm

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Just not right..."

Two years, three months ago I started agility classes. We started with crate games and foundation training (mostly shaping) and Dahlia didn't get it.  At all.  I spent most of the class with her staring at me confused.  The other dogs picked it up right away.  That first class I went home from and thought "Maybe I shouldn't do this.  My dog just isn't right for this."  But I had signed up for a "puppy camp" that happened on a couple weekends and so I went back.

Two years ago we were just starting to transition out of our foundations classes.  We began our 2x2 weave training (just 2 poles at this point) and our instructor got out the wobble board, a round flat board with a ball on the bottom that "wobbles" around with the dog on it.  Dahlia was having none of it.  She was too afraid of the noise it made.  She didn't like the movement.  She would daintily put two paws on it and then leap off like she'd touched a hot stove.  I still kept thinking "My dog just isn't right for this."

A year and a half ago we were working on jump grids and pinwheels.  Dahlia was going around all wing jumps and we had to work hard to get her to do even a straight line over a series of wing jumps.  Pinwheels were next to impossible.  She stopped before each jump, looked at me, and waited to make sure I really really wanted her to go over it.  She was slow.  She was worried.  She couldn't weave 4 poles yet no matter how hard I tried.  I remember pulling my hair out in frustration on some days thinking "My dog just isn't right for this."

A year ago we were into our "tweeners" class and starting to do short sequences.  We had just learned crosses.  Dahlia was still going around jumps.  And she was starting to hesitate going into tunnels.  But every once in awhile, she would pick up speed and really just do it.  Our instructor said she would continue to pick up speed as she gained confidence.  I scoffed.  But when our instructor suggested we sign up for a CPE trial in November, despite my having started agility without any intention of ever going to a trial, I did so, though with a lot of trepidation.  I remember thinking "I don't think my dog is ready for this.  I'm afraid we're going to embarrass ourselves."

Six months ago Dahlia had gotten her first fairly minor agility title (CTL1-H), but had still not gotten on a contact at a trial.  She was struggling with the teeter and she could barely weave on my right side.  We were starting to get into harder sequences and Dahlia, while no fast dog, was starting to get them.  She was rocking her A-Frame as we had put a lot of practice into it for an upcoming trial.  All I could think was "I think Dahlia is starting to get this."

Three months ago Dahlia was still struggling with tunnel hesitation. I spent a lot of time in class rewarding her for taking tunnels.  We discovered at this time if I say "GO!" Dahlia is much more likely to take the tunnel.  It had become a sort of cue for it and so I started to use the word at tunnels more often.  For the first time I found myself thinking "She's starting to look like an agility dog."

One month ago Dahlia had received her second CPE agility title (CTL1-R) and had been to her first AKC trial where she successfully did a teeter, weaved, and got a send in a trial situation.  She was moving quickly and not refusing obstacles.  Her tunnel hesitation was almost gone.  She still struggled with weaves on the right side but she could complete them.  She was starting to do rear crosses and starting to work a little bit further away from me.  We were staying connected and she was becoming more accurate and sure of herself. I finally said to myself "Dahlia is a real agility dog."

Last night Dahlia weaved 12 poles on both sides, did brilliant teeter work, rocked her 2on/2off contacts on all contact obstacles, kicked ass on her A-Frame, and just blew me away.

My mellow, sweet, silly mutt really is an agility dog.  Sometimes I look back on this progression and it's hard to believe I walked into an agility class over 2 years ago with no intention of going to a trial and never imagining we would make it this far.  Yet here we are.  Going to trials, having a blast, and I watch Dahlia's confidence and joy continuing to go up each and every week.  She's so smart and just such an amazing dog.  I feel very lucky to have started off my agility career with a dog like this.  I couldn't be happier with her.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pictures from the AKC trial!

When I decided to sign up for the AKC trial I was very hopeful that there would be a photographer there.  I've gotten a handful of decent photos of Dahlia from previous trials but I always want more.  And not only that, but she's looking faster and more excited.  I wanted to see what she looked like.

Lucky for me, the good folks at Pet Proof Photography were there taking photos.  Our first run was in the pouring rain and while I saw them out there, I suspect they didn't take many photos of our runs.  Bad luck for me!

They did, however, take several photos of our second (FAST) run and I was so pleased with them, I bought downloads of three of the photos.

This first two are of Dahlia actually taking the send!  As I mentioned in my last post this was huge for us.  Absolutely huge.  Dahlia is a "Velcro Dog" (she reminds me a bit of Needy Dög) and it amazed me that she got the confidence up to take a jump that I couldn't get within 6 feet or so of.  This may not be a huge deal to most folks, but it sure was for us!

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You can probably figure out exactly where I was by following her gaze!  For the record, she did indeed take the tunnel that followed this but only after heading toward me and then going back out to it.  It was still an impressive feat for my girl!

The last photo is of Dahlia's first time ever taking a panel jump (they have none where we train).  I'll let you look at it for just a moment.  I hope it makes you laugh.

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Just how high did she jump anyway?  Here's the thing: she jumped huge to make it over the jump (compare her jumping in the one above).  Not long ago this dog would have simply gone around it.  The first several times she saw wing jumps she went around them.  So here she was in a trial situation taking a jump she had never seen before and she did it.

It was a beautiful run.  Had I just kept moving forward and taken the last two jumps, we would have gotten our first AKC Q.  But because I'm a green handler (who cannot count) I made a stupid mistake and cost us 6 points in overtime, putting us down to 45, 5 points below what we needed to Q.

It's ok though.  She still looked great!  And these trials are not about winning for me.  They're about having fun with my dog.  And they're an assessment of our training.  Here I learned to trust my dog and to not second guess myself!  I hope it helps at our next outing later this month!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dahlia's first AKC trial

Dahlia and I have been trialing in CPE (Canine Performance Events, Inc.).  We started there for two major reasons: (1) It's really newbie friendly and (2) Level 1 does not require the weaves or the teeter (the two hardest obstacles).  In addition to that, the courses for Level 1 are fairly straight-forward with usually only one or two changes of side.  We really started there for the first reason.  As a green handler with a green low-drive dog and as someone who is in it just for fun and especially as someone who gets really nervous, knowing people would be supportive was very important to me.

Recently my instructor talked us into trying an AKC.  I registered Dahlia with them over a year ago just in case (Dahlia's full AKC name is Spanley's One of the Seven) so we really had no excuse.  I signed up for one day of a four-day trial and decided to do just two runs: JWW (Jumpers with weaves) and FAST (a game where you get to make up your own course and attempt some distance handling).  I decided that Standard was just a bit too much for us this time around.  Two runs seemed like plenty for our first time out.

Now, I have to admit that my impression of the AKC is generally not all that positive.  I once had a nasty run-in online with someone who competed heavily in AKC that nearly scared me out of trialing all together.  And I've always seen AKC as extremely competitive.  In addition to that I...well...I have a mutt.  The AKC only started allowing mixed breeds to compete in non-conformation events two years ago.  And I can assure you that the decision was not likely out of the goodness of their hearts and probably came more from their pocketbook.

So I went into this trial with a bit of trepidation, pretty sure that I would try AKC once and only once and then return to CPE happy to know that I knew my place.

What I found was completely the opposite of what I expected.  Everyone was incredibly nice to me.  Even the judge came up to me after our first run and complimented me on how well it went (despite NQing).  Our NQ was because Dahlia blew past a jump (two in the end) but I made the choice to not take her back to redo them since she had good energy and was moving really well.  This was the first time I was able to make the choice to sacrifice the Q to keep her excitement up.

We didn't Q in either run, but both runs went incredibly well.  She did a good rear cross and weaved in her JWW run.  She did a brilliant teeter, and was able to go out and away from me to take a jump and a tunnel in her FAST run.  We would have had that darned Q if I didn't screw up royally and force us into over time.

Our instructor got a video of our first run.  The part I'm most proud of?  Dahlia's release off her start-line stay.  For Dahlia, this was brilliant!  But I'm also proud of her weaves and that despite blowing past a couple jumps she moved well and didn't once hesitate (except when I suddenly stopped).  She's lovely to watch, in my oh so humble opinion.



We'll definitely be returning to the AKC!  The course was a lot of fun and we had a great time at the trial.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Some updates

I haven't posted much except some photos here lately.  There are multiple reasons, but here's the big one:

I'm now part of a group of dog folks posting on a brand new and truly awesome blog (if I do say so myself).  We call ourselves Team Unruly and the folks who write for the blog do almost everything you could imagine with their dogs: agility, rally, obedience, conformation, dock diving, hiking, camping, Schutzhund, and more!  It's a fairly diverse group of people but we all have a couple things in common: (1) We're all mostly positive reinforcement trainers and (2) We all love our dogs!

So if you'd like to check out Team Unruly, you can find the blog here.

And if you're a Facebook type, you can join us on Facebook here.  We'll occasionally be having contests.  We've had two already: two folks won gorgeous collar charms from NatInDesign and two folks won amazing fleece tugs by Red Dog Tugs.  So if you're interested in the blog, you'll definitely want to "like" the Facebook page so you can get in on all the good stuff going on there!

Besides that, Dahlia and I continue to go to agility classes and trials.  She's making constant progress and is getting faster, more confident, and more joyful in her runs.  She's weaving 6 poles regularly and can weave 12 poles on occasion (we're getting there with those 12 poles!).  We're figuring out how to work well as a team. It's amazing to me when I watch her do these runs.  She's gaining so much confidence and looking so much more independent.  Sometimes I still can't believe this is the same dog I took home all those years ago.  She truly has grown into a lovely and joyful dog and that's so important to me.  I love my girly.  I don't know what I'd do without her!

She has two CPE titles now: CTL1-H (Handler's title) and CTL1-R (Standard title).

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She looks very proud modeling her big fancy ribbons doesn't she?  She may not know what they mean, but I think she knows how proud I am of her.

100 things #27: A raincoat on a sunny day? Torment!

My mother found this raincoat at a garage sale.  It was marked "small" and so she thought it would be perfect for her 18 pound dog.  It was much too large for her, so she gave it to me.  As it turns out it's a bit too small for Dahlia (not that I'd make her wear such a thing on walks anyway!).  But despite not fitting around her chest, it sure did make for some amusing photos!

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EXIF data: Sony A580 | Minolta 28mm | f/5.6 | 1/50 | ISO 100 | 28mm

Saturday, June 23, 2012

100 things #26: Why hello there!

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EXIF data: Sony A580 | Sony 18-55mm | f/4.0 | 1/320 | ISO 400 | 22mm

100 things #25: SQUIRREL!!

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EXIF data: Sony A580 | Tamron 75-300mm | f/5.0 | 1/320 | ISO 1600 | 210mm

Friday, June 22, 2012

Glen Highland Farm's Canine Country Getaway: A Dog's Dream Vacation

Back in February I was perusing Glen Highland Farm's Border Collies that were available for adoption (as I often do) and came across a page I somehow had missed in all my times there: the page for their Canine Country Getaway.  Now, I admit I went over there and started looking at it with the thought of "someday we might be able to afford this."  Because every time I run across something like this sounds awesome, it's a week-long camp that costs $1000-1500 or more.  A bit pricey for folks like us.  And while I dream of being able to go to such a camp (Glen Highland Farm offers one as well), I discovered the Canine Country Getaway was something quite different.  People can book tents, cabins, cottages or RVs for as little as two days or as long as they want to. 

This was affordable!  This was something we could do!  I immediately booked us for three nights into a cabin.  The registration process was simple and very quickly we were all set up.  Each step of the way (upon receiving the registration and down payment, upon receiving our final payment, and upon receiving our dog's rabies vaccination information), a member of the Glen Highland staff was in contact with us.  They were courteous, answered all questions promptly, and kept in contact with us through the entire thing.  They even called us a short while before the trip to make sure we knew that the beds were only 6 feet long and to ask if any of our party was over 6 feet (David is!).  They were very concerned about this, but I was able to reassure them that David would find the accommodations comfortable for sleeping (and he did).

In fact, the place looked so great that two friends immediately decided to share a cabin together the same weekend and join us on our vacation!

We went to Glen Highland Farm on June 9.  We arrived and the staff were immediately there to sign us in and assist us with all our needs.  They helped bring our luggage down to our cabins and cottage (David and I had been upgraded due to construction on our cabin) and then the owner came on a golf cart and showed us around all of the trails.  He was a wonderful guide (though we admit to being a little nervous when he told us "oh here is where I tipped this thing over with 4 people in it before!") and we got to know the place quite well before we ever set off for any adventures the next day.

Everything that is described on the site was even better in person.  There were wonderful trails for the dogs through meadows and woods that often led to places for the dogs to have some water fun.  They even had agility equipment set up (a special treat for us since we do agility!).  Everywhere we went there were places for the humans to relax, water and cups so we always had something to drink and never got dehydrated, and plenty of places for the dogs to sun themselves or relax in the shade.  They also had radios in waterproof things attached at various parts of the trail in case there was an emergency (something hopefully no one needs to make use of).  They upgraded this year and the cottages and cabins now have electricity, mini-fridges and coffee makers and the dining pavilion has WiFi.  We also discovered that we were able to get the WiFi as far away as our cottage, so we didn't even have to haul the laptops to the dining pavilion to check our e-mail or share pictures of our adventures.  Our beds were incredibly comfortable and with the ceiling fan on and several windows, the air was circulated nicely and kept us comfortable both day and night.  The dining pavilion was incredibly well-stocked and we didn't feel like we were lacking for anything when making dinner.  We were also most impressed with the First Aid supplies and their keeping bug spray and sun screen on hand. There was literally nothing these folks did not think of.  Every need we and the dogs had was met.  All of the small touches (for instance, the leash holders at the bathrooms so you could tie your dog up while in the bathroom or shower) were amazingly well thought out.

So that's what we thought of the farm.  The really important question is: What did the dogs think of Glen Highland Farm?  Well, I'll let them answer.


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(Photo by David)



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In the end, they all looked a bit like this:

bullfrog46

Needless to say, the dogs loved it.  It was a wonderful time and we were all sad to leave the Farm. We're already planning on going back next year, perhaps for a longer time.  Two days/three nights was just not enough for us!

Thank you Glen Highland Farm and especially to Lillie (who gave us a lovely tour of their awesome rescue facility, where we got to meet many of their wonderful dogs who are up for adoption), John (who showed us around the place on a tour of the camp that we've come to call "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"), and Jocelyn (who came down to see us specifically to meet us and Dahlia as she's read our blog before -- I hope I spelled your name right!).  We can't wait for next year's vacation!