Archive for February, 2009

We spent Sunday at the Linn County fairgrounds in Albany, Oregon, competing in yet another dog show. It was a small show, and Cooper won 2 points. But those points are really beside the point, so to speak.

What I want to celebrate is the generosity of Tammy, my friend, fellow IWS owner, and owner of the late, great Balloo, Cooper’s father. Without her, Cooper wouldn’t have gotten those points.

First, in this era of high gas prices, Tammy and her husband Steve drove all the way down from Snohomish, Washington to compete in this show.

At the show, Tammy showed Mowgli and Cameo. Without Mowgli, Cooper would have had no dog to compete against in Open Dogs, and so couldn’t have won the point he won for Winner’s Dog. And then Cooper beat Cameo, who had won Winner’s Bitch, for Best of Winners and another point.

On top of that, Tammy had groomed Cooper for me. Grooming an IWS to show standards is not easy (as I’m reminded every time I try to do it). Basically, Tammy did a lovely job of grooming the dog who beat her own dog and bitch in the ring.

And then, knowing that I’m a relative novice to showing dogs, have stage fright, and can barely breathe in the ring, Tammy pointed out to me a couple of the judge’s quirks ahead of time, so I could prepare myself.

In the video below, you can see only some of this. The first part, with Cooper and I walking around in circles, is really me trying to catch my breath and relax. You can see Cooper thinking — OK, so why are we going in circles?

I am so grateful. Tammy, thank you. And thanks also to those others who have helped and encouraged me — Rosemary, Colleen, Stacy, Jayme, Rebecca, Colleen, and my sweet husband, Russ.

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Valentine’s Day and Cooper’s 2nd birthday


How better to celebrate than with a birthday party? The skating rink is out, as is the pizza place and the movie theater. Instead, our party was a flyball tryout.

We found the X-Fidos flyball club (whose motto is “The ball is out there” and whose teams are called “Aliens,” “Agents,” and “the 51’s” — if you’re a fan of the X-Files, you get this.) I don’t remember where I saw the group’s ad, but I do remember it saying that dogs who qualify “Must love tennis balls.”

The tryout went reasonably well, considering we (Cooper and I) were two rank beginners. Russ came along for the ride with his camera, took the photo above (Cooper streaking by with tennis ball in mouth), and made this video:

To learn more about flyball, see the North American Flyball Association website.

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