Taking Chances

When one becomes so involved with their own dogs, it is very easy to become involved in your local dog community. Where we are there is an amazing group of VOLUNTEERS who run a facebook page called Pet FBI Ohio. This page shares people’s posts about found and lost dogs in order to alert the local community. They calm people down and give tips and tricks that may help find their pet or the owner. (On a side note– it makes me totally sick when people complain that they weren’t helped by Pet FBI Ohio. It’s a volunteer site and they help more people than you would ever imagine. It’s hard to keep up and they want to ensure accurate information is being shared at all times!) There are also a bunch of local groups that cross post the dogs for the local communities but they typically are always pulling from this Pet FBI Ohio page. Summary– the social media community for pets is amazing.

I always try to cross post, tag and be aware of the local dogs and cats missing in my area. If I see a lost pet poster in my neighborhood or park, I personally call them to ensure that they have posted on Pet FBI Ohio and the Pet FBI database. Recently I was tagged in a post about a missing Jack Russell mix that was literally adopted the day before he went missing. When dogs are first adopted it is common for them to run and it is super unfortunate. This missing JRTM was within 5-10 minutes from my house so we jumped in the car and went searching in the area about 2 hours after he had run. We did our best to tell everyone and anyone who was outside to keep an eye out and not to chase the dog that is on the run.

Before we left our house, and when we decided to call it quits, we asked the same question “Don’t you think there are probably a bunch of people out there looking right now? Do you think we should go? Do you think we should stop”. Take a chance. You may be the one that sees the pet, tells the person that sees the pet or makes the huge difference in this animal’s safety. Now I am not suggesting to go out with a mission to be a hero (although I always say I want to be the hero). I am saying that you never know if you will make a difference. The more involved the better chance of a positive outcome. When we finally called it quits that first night, we did feel a bit of guilt and mentioned that if it was our dog we wouldn’t sleep, but we told as many people as we possibly could and really felt like we made a difference.

The next day I had off, so I drove around again, tracing steps, following the map of places there had been possible sightings. I had no luck of course. We had a softball game that night and as we drove home I decided to check facebook for any updates on the dog because dusk and dawn are popular times for dogs to come out from their hiding spot. As we pulling in our driveway ready to eat, someone posted that they had found the dog but was in need of help. The post was 3 minutes prior to me looking. I stopped and thought to myself “I’m sure somebody has responded”. She then posted again saying she really needed help so I didn’t ignore it this time. I called–went to voicemail. I called again–went to voicemail. I thought well third times the charm–went to voicemail. So I thought okay one more time–and an answer. She said no one has come and they did not have a slip lead, or treats or enough bodies to corner the dog. We rushed out with a slip leash and treats in hand to go help. I called to owner to make sure he was on his way, and thankfully he was!

So as the story goes– This lady was driving home and caught a glimpse of dog in her neighborhood that she didn’t recognize standing in a yard. She hopped out of her car just to check that the dog belonged and noticed her vet walking by. She asked if she knew the dog considering she a local vet in the area and she realized who this little white dog was. They were able to corner the dog against a fence in someone’s yard. The owner of the house came out and instead of asking them to leave he jumped in to help too. Just that day he pulled out some wood from storage so he grabbed the wood and started making a barricade so the dog could not run. The dad arrived shortly before us and managed to get him out of the bushes. One of the women took him and held him tight, and seemed to be about the most calming individual ever (turns out shes really into yoga and motivational speaking so that makes complete sense.). The local vet turned out to be the pup’s original vet when he was rescued from a hoarding situation and was diagnosed with parvo.

All these amazing people who just cared so much for a little white dog came together at the perfect timing in order save him. He had been on the run for over two days and that no easy task especially down the busy roads he traveled. Take a chance with strangers. Take a chance with online communities. Reach out and help wherever you can. I was glad to have helped in the small ways that I did and was glad to be able to watch as others saved them. We all hugged, and hugging strangers isn’t my thing but it just felt right. It’s amazing what an online community can do. All of us had no connection to the dog other than the fact that we are animal lovers and were in the right place at the right time.

But seriously, what are the chances that  one woman noticed the dog wasn’t a normal neighborhood dog, her own vet crossed her path(and the vet personally cared for the dog), the owner of the home just getting wood out that day? But the best part, what are the chances that this dog’s name is Chance?13237831_1023890357646258_2178454962790253621_n.jpg

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Second CPE Trial

This past weekend we attended our second CPE Trial. The amazing thing about trials are that there are so many good people around that all love their dogs as much as you do! The people there are almost better than seeing all the types of dogs!

In their first trial, I ran Standard, Full House in Snooker. So in this trial I added another game. We did Standard, Snooker, Full House and Jumpers. We have had a recent problem with Benny, however, where he chooses to always jump out of the ring and run to find his dad. So, we had to hide his dad this trial and not let him know he was present at all. Ben did stay in the ring, but he forgot what a tunnel was I think. Hopefully he grows past this need to find his dad because it would be nice to sit together!

So what I’ve learned for CPE agility is that there is standard and then four categories of games:

  • Handler Games(AKA PASS because I am so bad)
    • Colors and Wildcard
  • Strategy Games
    • Snooker and Jackpot
  • Fun Games
    • Full House
    • Jumper

So here are my interpretations of the games thus far:

Standard is pretty simple. It’s a numbered course meaning you must go in a certain order, and based on your level you can only have so many faults (errors). It is timed.

Snooker is said to be the hardest game but I like it. It’s a two part game, meaning you have to finish part one before you can do the second part. So there are 4 obstacles that are marked as “Red”. All the other obstacles out there are “white” obstacles. You must complete a Red obstacle and then a white, then a red, then a white, then a red and then a white–so three times. The thing is if you do R W W they blow a whistle and you’re done. If you do R R same thing. The other important thing is you can use each red only once. The white obstacles can be repeated. There are 4 red obstacles in case you knock a bar on one of the red obstacles…it’s a safety net. So once you complete your RW,RW,RW you then have to do part two. Most obstacles are also numbered regardless if they are red or white(some reds won’t be a number because they are not part of part two). the numbers are 2-7 and that specific obstacle is worth that many points so obstacle 2 is 2 pts 3 is 3 pts and so on. you must complete this series in order. A buzzer will sound and you have to get to the table within 5 seconds. You will qualify if you get the right amount of points for your level.If you don’t get enough points you can still place as long as you don’t disqualify yourself. The one thing  I didn’t mention above is that during your RW,RW,RW series the R are worth 1 pt and the W are worth whatever numbered obstacle it is. What I learned this trial is that sometimes an obstacle can be a red BUT ALSO a white because it has a number because it’s part of part two. MIND BLOWN. So I guess they let you take that jump as a RW combo. Then that jump can only be used as a white again in part 1. Confusing, i guess.

Full house is typically the first run of the day it’s offered (I’m told at least) because it lets the dogs run around and get some of their energy out. There is no set course, you are just trying to earn enough points based on what level you are in. Contacts are worth 5 points, circles (tunnels and tire) 3 and jumps 1. You need get at least 1 contact, 2 circles and 3 jumps(14 points total). It’s just a lot of fun and just lets you get used to running around out there too. I like it because it lets the dogs sniff the place. You have a certain number of seconds based on the dog’s height and then a buzzer will go off. Once you hear the buzzer you have to get to the table within 5 seconds or they will deduct 1 point per second from your total. If you get enough points for your level and you got the required obstacles then you get a Q(qualify). If you don’t get enough points and/or required obstacles you can still get a placement ribbon like Ben did!

Jumpers is a course that only has circles and jumps. It is numbered meaning you have to go in a specific order. You also have to know what a tunnel is (BEN). It is timed and if you run out of time you will get a NT(no time). This means no ribbons. If you get too many faults (IE point deductions) then you may get a NQ(not qualified) but can still get a placement ribbon.

So Woody Qed in Standard level 1 (2cnd leg), Standard level 2, Jumpers level 1, Full house level 2, Snooker level 1 which was all he competed in so he had a perfect weekend!

Benny Qed in Standard level 1 (1st leg). He NT Standard level 1(ran out of the ring), Jumpers level 1(ran out of time), Full house level 1(didn’t get the right obstacles and didn’t get enough points), Snooker level 2( refused to go in the #3 on 2-7 and thus didn’t get enough points)

It was a super fun weekend. The best thing was that I brought their cages. Ben never goes in a cage and the cage is new for Woody. Ben will now go in the cage as long as the door remains open, it’s actually his bed of choice! So I was able to work with Ben on cage training and shut the door for a few minutes at a time which was really huge for him!

I had one person tell me “yeah you know, agility is addicting” and it’s very easy to lose site of that when all you do are classes and your dog gets a little bored. My suggestion is to try to trial because it really revitalized my energy for agility.  I want to trial again soon! It’s fun to get to actually work your dog with a reason!!