Looking Good, Being Good


I took Brady and Camm to a USDAA trial Saturday. I run USDAA maybe once, twice a year?  It was also Camm’s USDAA debut.

It was a fun trial. The people I hang out with often determine for me if it is a fun trial or not. Yesterday was fun because, well, my dogs are usually fun to hang out with, but I also enjoyed hanging out and talking with the people I did. I think that some of the usual pressure cooker vibe at most of the USDAA trials I’ve been at seemed to be missing. It was nice.

Still, there was some of the vibe there. Brady and Camm both walked into the arena in the morning for height measurements and instantly became all googly-eyed.

It was a good day, but glad I’m home today just chillaxing with the dogs.

I ended up taking all four dogs to the trial. Youke and Jasmine just went for moral support. They were extremely supportive of the running around in the fields in the sun and playing ball portions of the day.

Brady and Camm had some great moments, and some not so great moments. Typical agility for us in many ways. I think the trial highlight for me was when the rails came off in Camm’s Steeplechase run and she went THROUGH the triple jump. Yup. That’s right. Not over it. Not around it. Through it. And not a single bar displaced.

That wee girl is amazing.

Another highlight, and a funny moment, at least to me, was when I got complimented on my well-behaved dogs.

Say what??!

I was walking all four back to The Living Room on Wheels after a play session in between runs. I had all four on leash as they have a tendency to race back to their vehicle, mainly to beat each other to the water bowl, and didn’t want them running into someone or another dog that I couldn’t see from my vantage point.

All four were walking with a loose leash, were not tangling each other up and were walking in a calm and relaxed manner. It was kind of an amazeballs moment.

Okay, it happens, but really, I just don’t expect that kind of thing.

A woman getting her dogs out of her vehicle near us shouted out her disbelief and pleasure at the miracle she was observing.

“Your dogs are so well-behaved! I could never do that! The leashes would get all tangled.”

She said some other stuff too, all very nice, but I really can’t remember because I didn’t until that moment quite realize what a beautiful moment it was and became dumbstruck.

I recovered though.

“They’re just being show offs. They’re not usually this good,” I said.

See, the thing about having really low expectations constantly is that you’re humbled and grateful for all the amazingly cool things that do happen, especially when it comes to one’s dogs.

So in addition to being pretty chill and not worrying about stuff like Steeplechase runs and cleaning the messy house, today I did the monthly switch out of the dogs’ collars.

Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s my thing.

In another moment of rare self-realization, I realized this morning when I put the fresh collars on the dogs that I have inadvertently conditioned the monthly collar changing as a super positive and fun thing.

“Time for new necklaces, puppers!” I called out as I swished the fresh ones about, tags jangling.

Dogs come into the kitchen and patiently wait as I remove last month’s collars. As usual, I see the moment of relief in Youke’s eyes as he thinks for a millisecond that he won’t have to wear a necklace at all. Also as usual, I see the flick of panic in Brady’s eyes as he thinks his necklace is being removed permanently. This is the difference between a dog that has always known a stable home that has spoiled him rotten, and a dog that lived an unstable and impermanent life in his early years.

I put Youke’s collar on him and as is my habit, wolf whistled at him and then exclaimed, “Look at that sexy new necklace!” Then I wolf whistled at him again.

Clearly, I’ve created some sort of positive association with the low slung out sexy wolf whistle.

Youke beamed at me and wiggled about. The other three started dancing around, trying to be the next for a “sexy necklace.”

I did the wolf whistle for each one and told them how excellent and sexy they all looked. In return, I got happy faces, wagging tails and jumping on me.


They do look quite sexy though.


  • I swear Brady is not playing with a sex toy in that first picture! It’s his “woofie cushion”and it apparently photographs rather suggestively.






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