Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another New Hobby?

Well, perhaps Sydney's schedule is going to have to expand to include tracking... Soccer Moms have *nothing* on me! haa.

This morning, I ventured out of the house for the first time in what seems like forever. Friends were getting together for a tracking session, and Uncle Gizzer really loves going tracking. He doesn't have many opportunities for activities, so I wanted to take him tracking on this lovely, cool morning. I also decided to bring Syd, since we would be in the company of some serious tracking experience, I wanted Syd's first tracking experience to happen in their company so that I could get pointers, or opinions on her potential.

It's been so long since I've been tracking, I didn't even know that you now have a "start article" at the starting flag. Oops. Thank goodness Linda and Nancy had a knotted sock and a bandana to loan out! Gizmo was RIGHT on the tracks, ignoring food drops, just cruising along the track to find his jackpot at the end of the track. He has not forgotten anything about tracking, and even putting on the harness got him fired up!

When we put in a very short track for Syd, I kind of got her started off badly. Since Syd loves to play tug as a reward in agility, I made the mistake of picking up the start article while she was still in the line of vision, and she thought it was time to play. Nancy and I pointed to the ground and got her nose in the vicinity of a food drop, and well, that was all it took. She worked a bit slow, wandering left and right a couple of feet, but finding the article at the end. The second track was much better, high concentration from Syd, and I was able to let her move a bit away from me. By track #3, I was the full 20 feet behind my dog, and she was a dog on a mission. She left several food drops untouched, and from 20 feet, I could hear her seriously snuffling, working her track.

I was very impressed with Syd's start at tracking. Much like Gizmo, she seems to really get it, and I hope they both continue to enjoy working tracks. With Gizmo being 12 1/2 years old, I really would love for him to get to track more, and I owe it to him to get out and get tracking... With two dogs to train, it might make the drive to find a good tracking site a bit better. :-)

Friday, September 5, 2008


There IS another red dog in the Hurrikane crew... She just doesn't make many public appearances. :-)

This is Breezy. She and Syd are littermates. I was drawn to Bree the day the pups were born, and she's the funniest, silliest girl when she wants to be. If I can't find Bree, she's probably zonked out behind the chair in the corner of the living room. But that's *only* if all possibilities for fun and zoomies are exhausted!

Breezy is very helpful with kitchen chores, like helping with the dishes, and organizing the refrigerator.

Breezy comes in very handy when one of the other dogs needs a special buddy. She and Uncle Gizzer are very close. She and Hawk are worthy adversaries when it comes to frapping.

Breezy is an odd little duck. She loves to go for walks, and for car rides, but she is not exactly thrilled about going new places. I call her the HomeChicken because she's a dog who just loves being at home with her buddies.

Breezy is "part Cardigan, part Mountain Goat" according to our friend Norma, who kept Breezy at 'daycare' when she was a younger puppy. I wanted the two girls to spend time apart and have separate lives. So Norma agreed to have Bree come visit her girls a couple of days while I was at work.

Anyway, Bree can be on one piece of furniture, and in the blink of the eye, she's across the room, and she might have gotten there without touching the floor! So, it was no surprise when she was a puppy that her jumps from the back of the sofa (hey, I tried, but she's lightning fast, and impossible to catch) resulted in a growth plate injury. :-( Poor Bree, she had to have surgery to fix her broken leg, and she was homebound for many, many weeks of her puppyhood.

Because she was homebound and not really out much, I think Breezy missed out on discovering the fun in going new places. She LOVES Aunt Julie's house, and the resident Collie is her best bud. She and Jackson can play, and play, and play some more. But in general, Breezy takes a while to warm up to new dogs. When I adopted Savannah, the old-decrepit Weimaraner in November, I thought Breezy would *never* warm up to the old girl. Breezy darted quickly around Savannah, barked at her when the old girl went by the corgi crates, and mostly Bree avoided Vannah at all cost. Um, it's not like she's never seen a Weimaraner before! Graycie was here before the puppies arrived, and definitely let them know to keep clear of her personal space right up until the day she crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Once Savannah arrived, it took a few months, but now Breezy thinks Savannah is just the best-est friend EVER! She's just a nut. A few months ago, I took Bree to our agility building, and tried to lure her through a tiny tunnel. The look on her face explained it all. I'm pretty sure Breezy was telling me that this was, without a doubt, the stupidest thing she'd ever seen. And I think she was looking at her watch to see exactly when we'd be going home!

So, I don't expect that my little HomeChicken will be out and about travelling the country with me, but we love her just the same, and she DOES exist! :-)