Monday, August 20, 2018

My first AKC “real” title

I was tracking to get my certification from Judge Deb

Selene’s diary: Ever since I came to live with mom, I have been learning new things. I passed the Canine good citizen and the Trick Dog Novice titles last fall. But mom said I am supposed to have a good nose, and I need to work harder. When the weather started to cool off after we came back from the German Shepherd Club Nationals last year, mom took me tracking a lot. We went to different places, and when I get to the end, I would sit and mom would give me a treat. Afterwards, mom would take me to McDonald’s for breakfast. 

Aunt Roxanna came for Christmas, and this was the first time I met her. One morning, mom, Aunt Roxanna and I got into the car, and mom told me we are going to see Judge Deb. Mom said I need to behave and pass my certification. 

We got there, and Judge Deb was very friendly and I jumped on her and wanted hugs and kisses, and mom told me to stop that. Well, I started to sniff and pretty soon, I got to the end and found the glove. Deb’s place is full of scent, it was really a nose opener for me. 

We stopped for food on the way home and I was very happy. Mom and I continued to practice tracking for the next 1 1/2 months. February came, and mom and dad went on vacation to see Aunt Roxanna. I came in heat for the first time. I did not know what to do so I kept licking. 

Mom came home and she made me wear a diaper panty. I took it off as soon as she went to work.

The day of the test came, mom and I woke up early, she cooked me breakfast and we went to the test site. I had tracked there several times before, but I really wanted to take my panties off. When it was my turn to track, mom took my panties off, and I had to lick myself clean. I saw a bunch of people looking at me, so I barked at them.  Mom said don’t bark at the judges, so I continued to lick. I could not help it but lick, and mom said if I don’t get my act together, we are going to fail, and no McDonald’s! 

What do you mean no McDonald’s? I heard right. Mom just positioned me and told me to go find it. She already knew where the direction is, I just have to keep going. So I started to sniff and it was pretty easy,  it I had to check things out, when I got to the turns I double sniff to make sure. Mom kept saying “find it”. I heard her! We got to the last turn and it had a big puddle of rainwater and I stopped to get a drink. All the judges and people were looking at us. Mom kept asking me where is it, so I was like, calm down, let me finish my drink first. I then went straight to the glove and sat. Mom came over and picked the glove up. Mom kept telling me good girl and the judges came over. I jumped up reminding mom that we need to go to McDonald’s. I am only interested in food, so off we went. 

So I earned my first AKC title: Tracking Dog. I thought, not bad for a 9 month old. I know mom is proud of me. 

My passing TD picture. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

The German Shepherd Dog Club of America Nationals

Sophie's diary: Mom packed the car full and we left on a Sunday morning to Missouri. We have not taken a trip that far, but mom promised we will have lots of food and McDonald's. We stopped for lunch at McDonald's and we got to pee and got gas. Then we stopped again before we went on the Oklahoma turnpike. Mom said if we needed to pee we got to go. There we were going on the turnpike, we got to stop to pay, and Spencer thought it was a drive thru window and thought we were getting food again, he cracked me up. He was so disappointed. I had gone on the turnpike before going to Tulsa 3 times for the TDX test. Anyways, we got to St. Clair, Missouri that Sunday night and mom unloaded all our luggage and food. We had pork chops and veggies and rice for dinner.

Monday and Tuesday Spencer competed in agility, he only got one Q. We got to walk around a bit, and run a little in the fenced in area at the hotel.

Spencer doing the weaves
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was obedience, Spencer did not Q but mom said he got a lot of ring experience. We got lots of food, and snacks from McDonald's. Selene is a good traveler, no matter if it is 2 miles or 200 miles, she naps as soon as mom started driving. She sits in the front with mom and once we get to McDonald's she wakes up.
Spencer doing Utility A exercise: directed retrieve 
Spencer and I also got the German Shepherd Club of America Performance Award of Merir. We got very nice ribbons and plaques.

Spencer and I with the ribbons
We stopped by Chris' parents in Oklahoma on our way back and we had some nice good runs in the yard. We were all tired and ready to get back. Selene is still a baby at 5 months old and she learned a lot from this trip. She got to pee and poop while she is on a leash, she knows what a hotel is now, she likes to sleep with mom on the bed. I am glad to be home after a week.

Me, Spencer and Selene at almost 5 months old. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Our new sister

Our new sister Selene
Sophie's diary: A year flew by, Sunny had been gone for a year. I miss Sunny since he was a good house watcher. Mom told us that our new sister will be here soon, and there she was, on July 8. She is a spunky little girl, she screams when she is hungry, and she pees all over. Mom warned me that if she sees me pee inside the house, I will not be getting any food. I really do not mean to pee inside, sometimes I am afraid of the thunder, and of course, the mosquito zapper outside. Oh well, she also warned me that I cannot be blocking the dog door, so Selene can go out. How do I watch the house if I do not sit by the door?

The first few meals we had, Selene tried to get our food, and Spencer growled at her, and she screamed and ran to mom. She is learning that we all eat the same food. She is a fast learner, mom said if we do not sit, she is not putting our food bowl down. I really want to growl at her when she goes after my food, but mom said no growling, so now Selene eats with a leash on her collar so mom does not have to keep running and picking her up
Spencer, Selene and me

Selene figures things around the house pretty quickly, she learned how to run inside the house through the dog door because she does not like the heat. She figured how to go up the stairs by the third day, she does not like to be carried upstairs when we are ready to go night night. It took her another 2 days to figure how to go downstairs. And of course she figured out Spencer's toy box. She takes everything out and scatter all over the kitchen. Also, all she does is chew. She chews Spencer's toys and mom's leg.

She is learning some basic obedience commands, but we both have to do it with her. Mom said I have to set a good example. She also bites our ankles a lot, and everytime she does that, I quickly run back into my room.

Mom is on half day vacations since she came, and we all have lunch when mom comes home. It reminded me of last summer when mom worked from home and we all had nice lunches. It is so
Selene the day she came, she is a happy pup 
hot outside, but since Selene is non stop action, it is hard for Spencer and I to take a nap. We have been so tired and we cannot wait to go to bed at night, Selene screams at 4 am since she has to pee, and we all will wake up. But Spencer and I are so tired we cannot even get up, mom has to drag us downstairs, telling us to hurry up if we want our breakfast and our walk.

When Spencer was little, mom would give him a cookie, and Sidney, Sunny and I would run with mom to the door, quickly go out before Spencer finish his cookie. Well, we are doing it all over again. Mom said go, go, go, and Spencer and I run to the door, and we all try to get out before Selene finish her cookie. Sometimes Spencer stayed there looking at mom since he wants the cookie too, and I told him,  let's go go go. We did that to you when you were
little. Hahaha.

Selene is getting bigger, and she wants to play with us all the time. Mom keep yelling don't trample her. Sometimes she runs under my belly I do not even see her. Well, I cannot wait for her to grow up and play with us. Spencer thinks she is great,  because he is getting another leftover dinner bowl. All Spencer thinks about is food. I think she is great because now I am riding in the back row of the car where I used to be. Sharing a row with Spencer in the car means he can take up a lot of room when he is tired. So it is nice to have my little spot.

Selene at 7 weeks old

Friday, July 21, 2017

The VCD2 and TDX titles: My journey

My agility ribbons including the Open standard title to fulfill VCD2
Spencer's diary: The teeter has always been my problem, mom said. Last year, when I fell off the table when the table tilted, I never made it back on the table, the dog walk, the A-frame, and of course the teeter. That was a year ago in February. Mom always reminded me because my birthday is in February.

I got my open level title in obedience last summer and mom kept saying that I need my open level title in standard agility in order to get my VCD2 title. Sidney and Sophie both got VCD1 and mom was hoping that I would get to level 2. Dad bought me a competition teeter last summer and mom and  I spent countless hours training on the teeter, sometimes I do not get dinner unless I do the teeter. 

I was feeling more confident in the winter, but sometimes I was not sure and mom said I have to do it right the first time. She said at the open level, I can only pause one time on one obstacle, if not I
Me coming down the A-frame
would not qualify. I really try very hard. Mom also reminded me that if I try my best, we would go to McDonald's after the show. Since Sophie is retired, all the burden is on me to get the ribbons, if not, Sophie would be disappointed too.

My birthday came and gone, and mom reminded me that I am now 4 years old. Time to get my act together, so on February 25, I got my last Q in open standard agility and got my title, and fulfilled the requirements of Versatile Companion Dog title 2 (VCD2). Mom was really happy.

The day after my agility success, I was in for a tracking test. Of course I did not know it at the time. Sophie and I went with mom and I thought it was just a regular training session. I have not tracked in a month because of all the agility trials and I could not wait to get out, it was a cold and windy Sunday, and my second attempt at the TDX test. It was an interesting track since I have to go into all the bushes and trees. Mom and I have been practicing that since I was 6 months old. I really did not like it because the branches get into my eyes, but mom told me to close
My TDX glove and ribbon
my eyes since all I need is my nose. Well, it worked great. It really was an uneventful event except I could not find my 3rd article, it turned
out it was blown away 100 feet away, mom said the judges gave me credit, but it sure took me back and forth sniffing for it.

I knew it was a test when the judges came up and congratulated us. Also, I got a McDonald's sausage mcmufin and later got another hamburger at lunch. I normally only get one food item. Since Sophie was there with me, she got to eat all that with me too. She was very happy. Mom said there are so many things that I now need to work on. But for now, I need a break and a good nap!

My TDX picture 

I am retired

Me doing the weaves
Sophie's diary: I am officially retired from competition in January. I ring into the new year with 2 spanking new titles and 2 double Qs in the same weekend. My last official competition was on January 22, 2017 and I finished my Masters standard agility and my Masters jumpers. Mom said I will still be going to the shows with Spencer, and eat all the McDonald's I can eat plus stay in a hotel. Mom is really proud of me. She also said that I had fulfilled all the requirements of the Performance Award Merit (PAM) required by the German Shepherd Club of America. She said we will be taking a week of vacation in October and we will be going to Missouri to get the award.

Me going over a triple jump
Mom said I will still be going to agility class with Spencer since I need to exercise my body and my mind. I am very glad because we usually get to go get ice cream after agility class and I really do not want to miss out on that. 

Mom also started teaching me new obedience stuff, she said I need to think sometimes and not run wild barking outside, I thought I am just guarding the house. 

I am still going to obedience class with Spencer because mom does not want me at home alone, and since it is difficult to guard both the outside of the house and the inside, a lot of times when I am outside barking, my feline siblings would go outside and mom has to go look for them outside when she comes home. I told her that I cannot be watching all that. I miss Sunny since he usually guards the inside. I cannot believe Sunny had gone to heaven for more than 6 months, mom said I will get to be a big sister again this year, I wonder what this year will bring. 

My ribbons along with Spencer's from my retirement weekend

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2016 : That's a wrap!

Spencer and me
Sophie's diary: 2016 was a whirlwind year. We started off the year with a bunch of agility Qs. Spencer went on the teeter 3 times and got his novice agility title as well as his VCD1 (Versatile Companion Dog 1). But then he fell off the table when the table tilted and he was scared of anything that is wood. I tried to help him as much as possible and he was just a whiner baby. Mom was very upset. But I could tell he truly was scared. Not long after that, mom had a knee injury and we were not doing well in the summer trials.

Spencer going over the triple
Spencer continued to move on in his obedience and got his open level obedience title in June.

Mom worked from home in the summer for 2 months because of her knee injury. At the same time, my older brother Sunny was not doing well. He turned 18 years old on May 15, and about a month of so before that, he could not get up on his own. Mom was very worried and she stayed home a lot. Sunny passed away on June 28th and mom was very sad. It was just me and Spencer and Sunny no longer sat by the pet door and watch the house. I worked harder in watching the house but I could not watch the house and our feline siblings at the same time. Without Sunny watching, they like to go outside. I was tired all the time and was ready for bed before the sun set. I also lost 3 pounds.

Mom had knee surgery 2 weeks after Sunny passed away and we did not do anything for 2 weeks. We were very bored and we could not wait for mom to get well.
Sunny a month before his 18th birthday

We also started back on our morning walk a couple weeks after mom's surgery. It was fun and although it was early in the morning, it was still hot. Mom went back to work the beginning of August and the lunches were over. Spencer and I looked forward to mom coming home in the evenings. Classes continued and we all missed Sunny. Storm had always been a big fan of Sunny and he used to lean on Sunny and rubbed him. He was sad too. Storm had been hanging out with us more and more, he got braver and finally went out the dog door on his own. Mom always tell me that I got to watch out for him, and I got to use my herding skills, a lot of times I had to run him back into the house.

Our agility trials continued in the fall and I got half of what is needed for me to get my Master agility standard and jumpers titles. Mom was a little disappointed when I had a great run one time and got out
Me going over a triple
of the ring, and although I came back in when she called me, the judge had already disqualified me. She was crushed. I finished this year without an agility title. She told me that I have to work harder since I am getting older and will not be able to jump regular height for very long.

In the mean time, mom was trying to make sure that I can qualify for the German Shepherd Dog Club of America Performance Award Merit. I had already fulfilled all the qualifications but that was before she became a member, so they told her I had to get another title no matter what. She was worried that I will not be able to get my Master agility titles so we went to Louisiana in November so I could get my Beginner's novice title. Spencer also picked up one Graduate Open Q. We had a good time eating all the food mom brought and we got to stay in a hotel for 2 nights.
Spencer and mom performing the
 heel free exercise

Spencer and I continued to enjoy each other's company. Mom brought us wherever she went. We had a few fun trips to the dog park and we also went to a couple water park closeouts. We did went to the lake a couple times this year and all in all, I miss the lake and the water. Mom said she would make it up to us.

Thanksgiving came and we had turkey and we went to  an agility trial that weekend. It was a new venue and we had to stay at a hotel. Spencer was still scared o the teeter but he did well on the dogwalk and the A-frame. Our agility trials were finally over by December and I could not wait for the holidays.

Aunt Roxanna came a few days before christmas and Mom packed our bags and we thought we were going to another dog show. But I was surprised that Aunt Roxanna came along and it turned out that we were all going on vacation.
Me and Spencer along the
Padre Island National

We stopped in Austin and we went to this dog park with trails that lead to a lake. It was a cold day and I just wanted to swim so bad. I went on a large piece of rock and I just jumped into the water. Spencer followed me after and we had a blast.

We then stopped in San Antonio at the Alamo since Aunt Roxanna wants to see it. She was there about 25 years ago and she did not remember what was inside. We then went on the Riverwalk and had lunch. The people were very nice, they even brought us 2 buckets of ice cold water.

We continued our adventure onto Corpus Christi and arrived in North Padre Island early afternoon. Mom said that we are only stopping briefly because it was late and the sun was going to set. I had never seen the ocean and Spencer and I had a blast.

Spencer and I along the shore of
the Gulf of Mexico
We spent the next day going to different beaches along the Padre Island National Seashore. Since I had never seen the ocean, I did not know that the water was salty, and so did Spencer. We drank like we did in the lake. And one night, Spencer woke mom up at 2 am while we were sleeping, and he had to pee. Mom got me up too and when we were done, we went back to our room and Spencer had to go again. I was so tired of all the swimming and running I went back to bed and mom had to take him out again. We were both so tired on our way back home and it took us a few days for us to recuperate. That's a wrap for 2016, and I look forward to all the adventures with Spencer in 2017.

Our agility ribbons in 2016
Our obedience ribbons
in 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The AKC Champion Tracker title : My journey

Sophie's diary : I was 9 1/2 months old when mom picked me up from my foster mom. My tracking training started the following morning. I really like it and I got to go to McDonald's for breakfast afterwards. I got to practice 2 to 3 times a week, and I was getting pretty good at it very quickly. Mom took me to judge Deb and I passed my certification a couple months later. I passed my first tracking test a week after my first birthday on my first attempt. I was very proud and so was mom. 

Me tracking at the TD test
Mom continued to train me and we practiced at least once a week no matter what the weather condition was. I was also going to obedience classes and agility classes at the same time. I was scared of obedience judges so mom said I would not be in the obedience ring anytime soon. So mom said I needed to concentrate on tracking at that time.

Mom started to enter me in TDX and VST tests about a year later. She said I needed to get the experience. I got to go to Houston and Tulsa and we stayed in a hotel overnight and I got KFC for dinner. I failed quite a few tests but I seem to get more experienced and my horizon was broadened. I was able to sniff in different conditions. I was 3 years old when my older brother Shadow got sick. Mom could not afford to enter tracking tests because she had to pay for Shadow's medical bills. We also stopped tracking at the test site because mom could no longer afford the gas to go. So I tracked close to home, at the school, a park, and a business park close by. I was happy because I still got to go to McDonald's.

My TD picture, I looked confident, I was just a puppy.
Shadow passed away a year or so later in the summer of 2012. He was almost 15. Mom started to enter me in tracking test that fall, and I passed the VST in Houston that November. Mom was very happy and so was I. I got lots of food and mom told me I was a very good girl. I also got my rally novice title the following month. I really do not like obedience very much but I do it for all the chicken nuggets.

Mom then changed my training to field only. She said I needed to concentrate and not sniff for rabbits and coyotes. It was hard. I love finding rabbit's nests and I love to dive my nose in the ground. I also love drains, just like my older sister Sidney. Got to check out the drains. Mom said I got to stop that.
My VST picture at the University of Houston.

In the mean time, mom entered me in agility trials and I started to concentrate and was doing well. I was either going to tracking tests or agility trials. I failed quite a few TDX tests by the spring of 2014. Mom said I needed to get my act together. I had already got my novice titles in agility and was in open level. Mom said we were going to take a break from tracking tests and I needed to get my CD.

By then, my baby brother Spencer was over a year old and we started going to obedience trials. He was better than me, and I was glad I had company.

Mom said my CD tour started in Fort Worth, then Abilene, Longview, Belton, Dallas, Glen Rose, Azle and finally ended in Mesquite. That was my Texas tour. I finally got my CD spring of 2015.
Me at a TDX test.

Don't get me wrong, my tracking training never stopped. I was tracking once a week in addition to going to obedience and agility trials. By then, I had already got my excellent level agility titles. Spencer also got his TD by then so mom said I would be in a tracking boot camp.

After Easter, we started going out to the test site on Thursday nights in addition to our regular Saturday training. Mom would come home from work and we have dinner and be out in the fields. Mom would lay me a short track and I was to concentrate finding the start direction, that was interesting since I got the same ice cream as Spencer but he has to do a full track. Mine is usually only one or two turns. If I did not concentrate, mom would remind me my ice cream is on the line.

Mom entered me in a first tracking test in over a year and a half. Mom had a talk with me the night before. She said I need to get my nose together, if not I would be going back to obedience class. I heard that right. That Sunday morning, I was confident and the weather was good that day. It was cold enough and wet enough for my nose, just some wind. I found all the articles and passed the test. Mom was happy and relieved. I am now a Champion Tracker. My foster mom Kathleen was also proud of me.
My Winning ribbon and glove

My TDX and Champion Tracker picture

My Champion Tracker certificate
Abbreviations : 
TD : Tracking Dog
CD : Companion Dog
TDX : Tracking Dog Excellent
VST : Variable Surface Tracking

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I am "Scentsational" !

Spencer's diary : I started tracking when I was about 14 weeks old. Mom waited until I had all the puppy shots before she took me out in the fields. It was fun and I love going sniffing. The best part, of course, is getting a McMuffin for breakfast. Pretty soon, it was getting hot in the summer, but I was pretty good already before I turned a year old. Mom said I could not compete in any AKC events until I got neutered at 14 months old. So my first winter went by, and I continued to go tracking with Sophie and mom last summer and fall.

The holidays came, and mom stayed home for 2 weeks. Aunt Roxanna was also here to spend the holidays. One day, Aunt Roxanna and mom took me to Judge Deb and mom said I had to track for Judge Deb so I could enter a tracking test. Judge Deb was very nice, and my track was very smelly. After that we went to McD's and I fell asleep during the long ride home.
Me tracking for Judge Deb

We continued to practice tracking and mom said I really needed to work hard and pass this winter or early spring. If not, it would be almost another year before I can try again. 

February came, and mom told me one morning that that day was my tracking test. It was cloudy and rainy that day. I got to the first turn and I lost my scent. Mom was very upset, but I really did not understand, since after the judge blew the whistle, I still got to the end and found the glove. 

We then started to track in the rain. Mom said that I needed to learn how to track in all weather situations. It was not all that bad, just got a little wet, but still the same McMuffin after practice. Mom
said that I will have another tracking test on Easter Sunday. I was kind of disappointed. I thought we were going on Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday!

Well, Easter morning came and mom told me that I should get ready and not run around crazy with Sophie. It was another rainy and cloudy day. I hoped all the practice in the rain would pay off.

I got to the first turn and told mom a couple times that I needed to turn right, but she wasn't sure, so I told her a couple more times and she followed along. Then the second turn, the third turn, no problem. I started to get tired because there were a lot of wildflowers in the field, and you know, you got to stop and smell the flowers. I was also wet because I was not allowed to wear a raincoat during the test. So, when I got to the fourth turn. I told mom, here, turn right, and came to sit in front of her. She kept telling me to go find it, but I thought she could go get the glove herself.

She said that quite a few times, and I saw the judges behind her looking at us. I really would like my McMuffin then. That was when mom said go find it and we go to McD's. Oh that I heard right, so I
got up right away and head towards the glove.

But then, I got to stop and smell some more flowers. The flowers smelled really good, and mom kept reminding me that I needed to look for the glove. I know, I know. I needed my breakfast too. And finally, there it was, the glove, glorious glove. Mom bent down to pick it up and everybody cheered. I did not know I had an audience, but I was very hungry.

The judges told mom that I passed the test and we walked back to the car and off we went to get my McMuffin.

Instead of going home, mom said we needed to go back so I could get my ribbon. I was wet and tired. I fell asleep in the car. Mom woke me up later so I could get my ribbon and pose with the judges for a picture. I could tell mom was happy. A few people gave me some treats so I was happy too.

My surprise came when I thought we were heading home, mom stopped to eat lunch with everybody who entered the test. So I decided that I would take a nap. Mom then came out with a burger. I could
My ribbon and glove, along with a hat for
Mom, a prize that I won 
not believe it. I was so happy. A burger and a McMuffin on the same day? Afterall, I am officially "Scentsational" !    

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The AKC Versatile Companion Dog title : My journey

Sophie's diary : My name is Sophie. I am, of course, a German Shepherd Dog. Mom found me on Thanksgivng 2008 when I was about 10 months old. I was very scared of people. I did not remember how I ended up in a shelter, but Kathleen, my foster mom rescued me and I lived with her for almost 3 months before mom found me. I do not know who my real mom and dad is. But mom loves me very much. She enrolled me in obedience class and agility class right away. I was fascinated and learned a lot of new things, getting a lot of treats along the way.

She also turned in an application for me to the American Kennel Club (AKC) so I can get a
Me tracking on my passing TD track
A week after my first birthday. 
Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) number. With that number, I can compete in any AKC performance sports just like a pedigree dog. Wow, I was excited. Mom also got to pick out a unique name for me, and she said since I am so silver in color, she named me after Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night.

There were quite a few things that were difficult for me to learn, like going on the dog walk and the teeter, doing a stand for exam in obedience since I was really scared of people, and staying, since I do not want mom to leave me. But one thing that I found out that I am really good at is tracking. Mom took me out to the fields the day after she came and got me from Kathleen, and she showed me how to sniff (well, I kind of knew how, you know what I mean!), and find things and she taught me how to follow a scent. That was a lot of fun for me, and the best part of the training is I get a McMuffin for breakfast afterwards. What's not to like? I passed my first AKC tracking dog test (TD) at first attempt in less than 3 months, a week after my first birthday. I found a dead bird along the track too. Mom had to take it from my mouth, but I was still a puppy then. Obedience class continued, and I passed the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test shortly thereafter.

Mom and I continued to track and enter tracking tests, along with weekly obedience and agility classes. I passed the AKC Variable Service Tracking (VST) test in Houston when I was 4 1/2 years old at the Universiy of Houston.
Me tracking on my passing VST track
At the University of Houston
Did I mention all the KFC chicken that I get to eat every time we stay at a hotel? This is an advance level tracking test, so mom is very proud of me that I had achieved an advance level title.

Mom then told me that since I had been in obedience class for almost 4 years, it was time for me to get into the obedience ring. So I got my rally novice (RN) title the following month.

Then mom told me since I had been taking agility classes for 4 years, I need to pay attention and start earning ribbons. So here I was, I got my novice, open titles in agility and jumpers in about 9 months time, and my excellent level title (AXP, AJP) in another year or so. I like jumping, and I like to run, but sometimes I run like crazy, and mom told me that I am not crazy, and I need to pay more attention. I get to go to McDonald's when I have a good run. Mom either gets me an ice cream cone or a McChicken. I also get salmon in between runs. So I have been enjoying going to agility trials.

When I turned 6 last year, mom said I need to get my act together and get my obedience title, because that is the last thing I need for the Versatile Companion Dog 1 (VDC1) title. I was still scared of some people, especially when they have big hair or a big beard. My baby brother Spencer had been coming
Me clearing a triple jump
along to the obedience shows with me, and he acts like he had been doing it all his life. He told me being petted by the judge is really no biggie, and he told me to think about McDonald's afterwards. It took me a number of times before I got my first qualifying score (Q). But then there were quite a few scary looking judges, and I either did not want to get petted by them or did not stay when I was told.

Mom put me in a sit stay down stay boot camp since I needed 2 more Qs. She said this is not all about the titles, but about being a better dog. She also said when I get my 2 Qs, I will never have to go to obedience class again. I heard that right. So I got a second Q when I saw a nice looking man and I thought hmmm I could be petted by him. And sure, nothing bad happened. But then the next day, it was a lady with big hair, and I was scared and won't let her touch me. I knew mom was upset, but she should know that I do not like big hair. So on the last day of the trial, mom told me that the judge is normal looking, so I need to pay attention. I completed my individual exercises and I Qed up to that point.

Then came the group exercises where I had to sit stay and down stay with a group of dogs that I do not know. Well, the judge was not scary so I thought it was no biggie. But then the Doberman next to me got up while we were supposed to be lying down, and went over to the bloodhound. I thought about mom's boot camp and I decided not to move, no matter what happens. So I got my last Q.

Me and mom performing the off leash heel
Exercise at an obedience trial
Now that I finally have my Companion Dog (CD) title, mom kept her word and sure enough I do not have to go to obedience class anymore. I also fulfilled the requirements of a Versatile Companion Dog 1 (VCD1), which requires at least novice titles in obedience, tracking, agility and jumpers.

I still look forward to the next hotel stay, next KFC meals, and the next dog show. I guess I will have to tag along when Spencer goes to the next obedience trial. I am glad I am a smart and multi-talented GSD, and I had lots of fun along the way.

My AKC certificates for my CD and VCD1 
For more information on the American Kennel Club Purebred Alternative Lisitng program, please visit

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Me reading the news on the iPad with mom
Sunrise's diary : I am a 6 year old orange tabby. I was a kitten, hungry and looking for food when I came upon this house. Mom fed me every morning for about 6 months, and one day she opened the front door, put my food down inside and I walked right in. I was very scared at first, I had no where to go, and she continued to feed me, and I snuggled up in bed with her every night. It sure beats sleeping outside by far.

I soon found out that I had two older feline siblings, Sammy and Sweet Tea. They both really do not want to play with me. Sammy and I hang outside the house a bit, and we watch out for each other, but other than that, Sammy does not want anything to do with me. Sweet Tea sleeps all the time, when she does not sleep, she likes to look out the window. Last year, my canine sibling Sophie got her wish, she got a baby brother! I looked down from my perch and see them play outside all the time and how much  do I wish I have a little brother. 

Storm 10 days old.
Well, my wish was granted a few weeks ago. Sophie found a kitten along her walk with mom one morning. His eyes were still closed and mom had to feed him with a bottle for more than 2 weeks. He was very wriggly and he screams for his real mom a lot. He sleeps inside a carrier on the bed next to mom every night and I look and look at him. He just sleeps and sleeps. He does not do anything and screams when he is hungry. Mom let me meet him and he thinks I am his mom. He sucks my tummy and I wonder when he is going to grow up so we can play like Sophie and Spencer.

Mom named him Storm. His eyes opened two days after Sophie found him, but his ears are still closed. I guess that is why he does not hear anything, I sneak up to him and he still sleeps and sleeps. Mom has to wake him up every time for his feeding. 

Storm and me

I really cannot believe how little Storm is. I mean, how can I play with him? But in the last few weeks, he had grown a lot. He doubled in length and his legs started to grow longer. He learned how to jump. He can now get onto the dresser where mom put my food. I have to eat it quickly. The last two weeks, mom let him out of the crate a lot, and we started playing quite a bit. It sure makes my day. I used to go outside during the day and come back in time for dinner. But now he keeps me company.

Last weekend, Storm turned eight weeks old. Mom disassembled his crate, so he is running around the house all the time. He is so silly, he hides behind pillows and when he pees, he closes his eyes. I think that is too funny. He also made his first official trip to the vet. Mom actually took him there one time already to see if he was a boy or a girl. I really do not care if I get a brother or sister, as long as I have someone to play with.

Storm 2 1/2 weeks old.
So I guess this Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a little brother, he loves me and loves to play with me. Although he wants to eat my food all the time, I am okay with it. I am thankful that mom saved his life, so I can have a little brother. I told him that living in this house, you will never go hungry. But since he never lived on the streets, he does not know what hungry is like. I am thankful for all the bottomless food bowl. I am also thankful that I have four canine siblings to protect the house while mom is not at the house. Most of all, I am thankful that I always have a warm fluffy bed and mom to snuggle with.

I do not really like turkey that much, but my canine siblings have been watching the two turkeys that mom had in the smoker. Happy Thanksgiving to you and hope your turkey
is as good as mom's.

Storm 4 1/2 weeks old.

Storm 8 weeks old