Sunday, February 26, 2012

On the Job

Welcome to Pet Valu!, originally uploaded by mandypug.

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I got a new job. It's pretty nice, I forgot how nice it is to work with other employees. Luckily Izzie gets to come with me still! So here's a little about what Izzie does at work.

One of her favourites is showing people around to the cookie aisle, and recommending a delicious treat for their dog. 

Then during downtime she likes to test out the Bowser Beds for maximum comfort. Izzie knows her stuff on comfort!

Last stop is toys. Izzie is very picky about toys and always knows which ones are the very best.

Finally at the end of the day she gets her pay! This time it's a Megalast ball, she loves it tons and chased it around the whole store.

Izzie says "Step off! This is MY hard earned toy!"

Thus concludes a work day with Izzie the Wonder Pug. She's such a good little girly, best shop dog ever!

Saturday, February 25, 2012


8/52: I Love Your Face, originally uploaded by mandypug.

I've had the week off from school which is nice. It gives me more time to spend with my dog which is heaven to me. It's nice to be able to just be with her. We went for a walkabout on my birthday (it was Monday, yay I'm old now!) and just existed together. It was nice to just connect, not training or working, just being. I think I'll do that more often.

I've also been working with one of the family Pugs on some agility foundation work. I'll likely never compete with her but it's good experience anyway, but jeeze does working with a 4 year old dog with ground in habits and no knowledge of how to think and learn ever make me appreciate Izzie so much more. I used to think Izzie was hard to work with because of the shady methods I used in her puppy-hood and how it's given her some fears and quirks, but she's cake compared to Chai who has only ever been made to sit all the time for everything.

Chai will get there eventually, it's a challenge but I'm not a quitter. Until then I'll be hugging my Izzie lots and showing her how much she means to me. I love her more than anything. My perfect little girl, even with her damaged eye.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pump It Up!

It's tricky sometimes! Especially for especially sedate personalities such as mine. This poses a problem when one runs dogs that need lots of pumping up and encouragement. I try, I really do, I just have a hard time at it. The really excited type thing isn't something I've ever really been good at, I'm more of a chill "right, lets do this shit" kinda gal.

Running K has helped me a lot with this, he likes a lot of encouragement and "yeah budday!" and "good boy!" in warm up and on the course. I'm not used to it but I've got to get used to it right then if I'm going to be running him and want to get him going!

Tonight at class Sarah made us get our dogs up and keep them up and focused on us for a minute. I go into it absolutely dreading it because I know I'm not fun plus we just worked for 45 minutes on the other station before coming to her. However not being one to give up, I tried my best (because secretly I'm sure there'd be some ass kicking happening if I did give up) and it paid off because Izzie was happy to stay engaged with me focused and playing for a whole minute! Go team Wonder Pug! I did manage to accidentally poke her face in one of the following exercises though and had to run carrying a whole box of timbits, if you want to be Izzie's buddy you better have timbits. This was the end of class, after working for a pretty good 45 minutes already and Izzie remained up and bouncy and wanting to work. I love this.

Now I'm not perfect at this, far from it. I have lots of work left to do and i need to constantly pump myself up if I ever want to pump Izzie up too. However the thought of ass kickings and my competitive nature keep me working hard at it, I've tasted the result of the hard work to get myself and Izzie going and I can't possibly give up now. I best get my iPod loaded up with some good tunes to pump myself up so I can in turn get Izzie going too!

Oh and since we're on the subject of pump up jams...

Enjoy that gem (it's not on my iPod... yet... I'm more of a dubstep kinda gal but I'm branching out lol).

Monday, February 13, 2012

All Prettied Up With Nowhere to Go

6/52: I'm Talkin' Pedicure On My Toes, originally uploaded by mandypug.

About the photo: It's become sort of a tradition to have Izzie's nails painted for trials. They must always be a different colour or combination of colours for every trial or I hear about it lol!

Izzie and I travelled with Sarah and Jolayne up to Calgary for the CAA trial this past weekend. Izzie wasn't entered in anything but going to just watch is a very good opportunity to learn for me. I did however get to run Sarah's Kaleb in snooker and we almost Q'd, he stayed with me the whole time and wasn't as frantic about looking for his momma as at Kimberly last year so that's a huge improvement. I love K-man, he's a great dog who despite being a jerk sometimes is just a good ol' boy at heart. Running K made Izzie very jealous too, she was getting very angry as she saw me warming him up and giving him his "slime bag" after his run. Izzie did get to play a little bit in the shop at the place we stay at though, I worked on some distance as well as jump work with her and she had lots of fun! She was also wanting to play with toys too! She was going after a plushy toy in the house with Gyp and mauling my arm whenever I'd get it to throw. It was awesome to see her barking and stomping at me to let her have it or throw it for her to chase. She's definitely coming around to toys i think.

Watching agility and not being able to run it for most of the weekend makes me want it more. Like dangling a steak in front of a hungry tiger, I want it bad. It's nice to give Izzie a little break from running, but now I'm re-energized even more to practise hard in preparation for the trial in March! Can't wait!

Friday, February 10, 2012

When Things Click

Just a little video of a little Pug doing a little weaving. It's always great when things seem to suddenly click, Izzie's entries have been awesome and she's been getting her rhythm down well. This all happened seemingly overnight, but Izzie is one of those types that if you work on something and then leave it alone she'll come back to it better than ever. She's a good little girly and is getting much more confident lately.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One or the Other

Being a science major kind of student there's a lot of categorizing. Okay so I'm a psychology major so it's not so much categorizing acids and bases in chemistry or mammals and what not in biology as it it categorizing deeper things like relationships we have with various things. Which is weird to me as i don't terribly appreciate or share the innate desire to pigeonhole everything into one little category and say that's all it is and it is nothing more. That's not kosher to me, never has been. 

So this semester I'm taking a class on human - animal interactions, it's what I'm interested in and it related to everything i do. Really, i work in the pet industry and i play dog sports. Besides school that's all i do, pretty interesting 20 year old aren't i? Anyways, in class we discussed pets of course and it came up in discussion that animals that are used in competitions cannot be considered pets. The insistence she had that it had to be one or the other and not both really irked me, unfortunately I'm not that kid that shouts out disagreeing with people in class. I'm rather shy, it's unfortunate. I am very sure that there is little chance of anyone besides me in that class having participated on a competitive level in dog sports (horse sports maybe, but that's a whole different kettle of fish that i have never played in). 

Now let's think about this specifically for dog sports as that's what i do and what most who read this do.  Does it have to be pet OR performance? A or B, yes or no, fill in only one circle or the scantron of life will explode?

I don't think they're mutually exclusive. I don't think it's good for them to be that way either especially in the sports i participate in. Dogs are emotionally deeper than we realize, they can tell if people don't like them or are faking it and are just using them. They form attachments to each other but also to us, how could they not? The stronger that bond to us, the better the dogs seem to excel in most of these sports. Sure there are people in dog sports that don't consider their dogs as anything more as tools to bring in ribbons and titles and make themselves look good, i understand that exists despite the fact it doesn't sit right with how i view things. I'd like to think those who just shove their dogs in kennels and ignore them when not doing sport stuff or dump their dogs for not competing to their standard are a very small minority.

However out of the 168 hours there are in a week, my dog is only doing sports related things maybe 6 hours on average. That means the other 162 hours of the week she is sleeping on the couch or bed or in my arms, hanging out with me on my lap while i do homework, waiting for me to come home from school or work, or playing with me. That's about 96.5% of the time, which is an outstanding majority of time in a week that she is doing ordinary pet like stuff. It's the pet stuff that we do and the time we simply spend being together that i think helps our success in sport, pet and performance do not have to be separate. Of course my experience is with my own dog but from chatting with and observing many in my club and even people from elsewhere, the majority of people seem to follow along that it's not pet OR performance but that they go hand in hand.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Change It Up

So as mentioned in Mishmash III, change was going to occur.

I got a new job and quit my old one.

Those that know me are glad to hear my whining about finding a new job end i bet. It's not a forever job but it works for the time being and it's not that bad. More than two people work there so i can get weekends off to do dog stuff which is the best part for me. This gives me more opportunity to go and play as well as learn.

Like this past weekend... I got to tag along with Sarah up to Calgary for the Alberta Kennel Club show to hang out and boxload for the No Nonscents Scenthurdle Racing team. It was super fun! I enjoyed watching Rally, I should be entering Izzie in her first Rally trial in the next couple of months so it's nice to see how things work in person rather than video. Oh and I kicked ass at boxloading for scenthurdle if i do say so myself. 

I also got some good practising with Izzie in an environment she isn't used to, she was a bit weirded out at first by the new place but calmed down pretty quick and enjoyed all the attention she was getting. She's a good little girly.

Even though i didn't go to compete i had a great time. I learned that Metal AND bad 80s rap AND country can all coexist on the same iPod, got slimed by many flat coats that were not Kaleb (though he's still the king of slime), and earned myself two nasty tasting shooters with my boxloading performance.

Can't wait for next time!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Don't Poke the Pug

4/52: Hard Workin' Dog, originally uploaded by mandypug.
Izzie says you gotta be tough as nails to be a [pretend] cow dog. She don't take shit from nobody!

Oh who are we kidding she's a pacifist just like her momma, but she is the better actress and model of us two lol.