Tag Archives: #AKCdogs

Goodbye 2016, It’s been an adventure

31 Dec

2016 has been an exciting year for Clancy!

From our first real TV appearance, to qualifying for the RAE Class at the AKC Rally Nationals, achieving our Rally Advanced Excellent obedience title at the Keeshond Club of America National in Colorado, finishing as the top Keeshond in AKC Rally, to doing trick shows, creating lots of smiles through therapy dog visits, and having fun with dock diving, Clancy and I had a great 2016.

We will share pics of how our year went soon.   We’ve been so busy, so apologies for not being able to blog much this year.  We’ll see what 2017 brings!

For now, we’d like to wish everyone a happy, successful and healthy New Year!

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Happy Birthday, Clancy, the Fluffy Trick Dog!

30 Apr

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Fancy Chief Clancy!!!  So hard to believe that he is already 5 years old!

Clancy 5th Birthday 2

Clancy has already brought so much fun and joy to thousands…  (yes, thousands!) of people during the 5 years of his existence.  We, and I hope you, look forward to the adventures, fun and joy yet to come for the next 10+ years.

I’ve had the blessing of knowing Clancy since he was just 10 days old…  when I met his breeder for the first time.  I had the treasured opportunity of visiting him on almost a weekly basis as he grew up to be old enough to take home.

Please enjoy this brief photo album on Clancy’s Facebook page of Clancy growing up to be the wonderful, talented and handsome Keeshond that he is today by clicking on this link:   “Clancy Growing Up” photo album on his Facebook page

Clancy and I have a lot of things coming up that we have been training for.  We will be active on this blog again once things calm down.  We have some big trials coming up and are hoping to achieve new titles in Obedience and in Rally before the end of May.  In the meantime, please follow Clancy on his Facebook page to see regular updates including the fun pics/videos on #TrickTuesday and #ThrowbackThursday. 

Here’s a quick slideshow of how Clancy spent his birthday…  at a Keeshond club meeting, going swimming, going for a walk in the park by the lake, playing at the dog park, having special treats and dinner, opening presents and playing with some favorite toys.  Happy 5th birthday, ALCH RO3 UJJ Beasley’s Fancy Chief Clancy CDX RE CGCA DJ THD    ❤

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Share Your Best Friend, make someone’s day with Pet Therapy

30 Nov

Clancy head down

Please consider volunteering even a little bit of time with your wonderful pet as a pet therapy team.

Therapy dog work is so rewarding and anyone with a social and well-behaved pet can become involved. There are a large variety of establishments that are in need of pet therapy to help calm nerves, help with a mental or physical disability, or to brighten up someone’s day. Many times, when Clancy and I do a therapy dog visit, we are not just brightening up someone’s day; we have been the one happy moment of that troubled person’s week, month, or sadly, the remainder of their life. It means so much to people to have their minds taken off of their troubles as your pet greets them, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

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Clancy cheering up a patient at the hospital, giving her a mental break from her pain.

As much as people appreciate our visits, it’s just as rewarding to us. Watching people take joy in petting Clancy, the laughter his doggie kisses brings, and the applause he gets from delighting everyone with his trick performances, makes me and everyone who witnesses it feel good. Even those that don’t care for dogs, have to smile when Clancy waves at them or does another cute dog trick, like playing the “piano”. If you have a Keeshond, then you know that even just the mere sight of your fluff ball triggers smiles and gasps of awe.

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Clancy showing off his basketball trick to long-term patients in a hospital.

Clancy and I volunteer with a local pet therapy program and have visited nursing homes, dementia care facilities, Hospices, elementary schools, colleges, hospitals, public libraries and more. Lonely elders are reminded of good times with their own pets which triggers them to have conversations with others long after you leave.

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Clancy giving some love at a nursing home.

It’s especially special to get a reaction from someone that has been trapped in their own mental state, not acknowledging the outside world. Clancy did just that with an elderly lady at a special adult care live-in facility. As Clancy performed his tricks for her, she pointed at him and started muttering with a smile on her face. A nearby caretaker exclaimed that she had not heard this lady make a sound in the weeks that she had been there. We were all thrilled when she began clapping as Clancy showed off more of his tricks.

Here is a video of one of the favorite tricks that Clancy does at the medical facilities we visit:  Clancy’s “Achoo” Trick …

However, your pet doesn’t have to know tricks to help those in need. Any well-behaved, trustworthy, social, sweet, and well-groomed pet that has been conditioned to a variety of distractions will make a good therapy animal. If your dog is able to pass the (AKC) Canine Good Citizen test, your dog would likely be able to pass the temperament screening test that most therapy dog organizations require.

Clancy dr. visit

“Dr. Clancy” dressed up as a doctor for Halloween, visiting a patient in the hospital.

Keeshonden are especially well-suited for therapy work, for they have naturally sweet temperaments and are great family dogs. They have a natural affinity for people and especially children. They are such a happy and social breed that has more tolerance than most for children’s antics and do not seem to mind hugs. Good thing, too, for of course the Keeshond has a huggable factor off the charts… people just can’t resist wrapping their arms around them and burying their head in all that fluff. Kees are also very trainable, making it easy to teach them manners, obedience and tricks. It does take some time from the owner to do the training, but it’s worth it.

Clancy school lesson

Mr. Clancy is ready to start today’s lesson at school.

From when he was a young puppy and continuing through the present, I brought Clancy everywhere to socialize him with all types of people and to get used to all kinds of environments. We took classes, then enforced manners and practiced obedience in a variety of places such as pet-friendly stores, on sidewalks of store fronts, near playgrounds of screaming children, dog parks (which was the most challenging for us) and unfamiliar places. With some training and patience, you can also train older dogs to be good therapy dogs. Even a couple of keeshonden rescued from puppy mills, who had a very different start to life than Clancy, were socialized and trained and have recently passed their therapy dog screenings (one of them being Reggie, who was one of the lucky ones that was rescued from Marjorie’s Kennel and went on to become a Trick Dog Champion just like Clancy).

Kallie and Reggie therapy dogs

Kallie (left) and Reggie (right) recently became therapy dogs after being rehabilitated after being rescued from a puppy mill.

I didn’t know at the time I got a puppy that I would one day be involved in therapy dog work. Clancy brought me so much joy every day and any time we were out in public, he was a natural with the attention he drew. I couldn’t keep Clancy just to myself when we could use the power of his cuteness, personality and intelligence to make a difference in people’s lives. Clancy took the therapy dog temperament test when he was a little over 2 years old and had completed over 50 different therapy visits to earn his AKC Therapy Dog title shortly before his 4th birthday.

Clancy elementary school visit

Clancy spreading the importance of therapy dog work at an elementary school on Career Day.

Clancy and I have so many heart-warming memories of visits that I know made a real difference in that person’s life, already too many to share on a blog post. Many of those visits occurred in Hospice and in the ICU at the hospital. To make someone in those situations smile, to entertain them with something that likely they never have seen before (such as a dog playing the bongos, basketball, or getting a drink out of a cooler), are priceless moments. I even had someone in Hospice profusely thank me because they felt they have now seen everything after seeing Clancy’s performance.

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Clancy happily listening to a child read during The Paws to Read therapy dog program at a local library.

Dog tricks do add to the special memory of having been visited by a therapy dog. A few useful ones for any type of therapy visit is to train your dog “Paws up”, so they may get closer to those that are bed-ridden, “kisses” to get a giggle out of the real animal lovers, “head down” to have your dog lay their head down on people’s laps, and “wave” for those that want to only admire your dog from a distance.  If your dog is up for a full out private performance, everyone gets a kick out of uncommon or more complicated tricks. In an upcoming blog post, I will cover dog tricks more in depth. Just be mindful of wearing out your dog and keeping them a safe distance from the spectators when the dog is in motion so to not even risk a scratch. I have Clancy put his paws up on my arm rather than on the patient or on their bed when we’re trying to get him closer to those that have limited mobility. Though you should be covered by the therapy dog organization’s insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, know your dog and if you sense that he/she needs a break or indicating any change in behavior, politely end the visit.

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Clancy lending his fuzzy ears to children brushing up on their reading skills.

Therapy pets are high in demand and more volunteers are needed to step up with their capable pets, even if it’s just an hour a month. Pet therapy benefits those in hospitals, therapy, nursing homes, educational programs in schools, children’s reading programs, colleges during stressful exam time, even courtrooms. There are many local pet therapy organizations out there to get you and your pet started in therapy work. Each has their own set of requirements, so check out and compare a few to see what you think will work out best for your situation. To find one, just do a web search for pet therapy organizations in your state.   Want to learn more about what therapy dog work is, how it benefits others, and typical requirements or other things to expect? This website has a lot of useful information, www.TherapyDogInfo.net , but always be sure to check with your local therapy dog organizations for specifics.

Clancy POW

Dogs sense when people really need their companionship… sometimes the best medicine is a warm fuzzy friendly animal to pet.

Share your best friend with others that might need him/her. It will make everyone’s day better, especially if you could find the time during the holiday season when it’s even lonelier for the lonely. Thank you to all those that already volunteer. ❤

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Clancy helped college kids take a mental break from exams at University of Maryland. There’s all kinds of needs for pet therapy volunteers. Now get out there with your pet and make the world a better place!

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Clancy wishes everyone a Happy and safe HOWLoween!!!

31 Oct

Here’s a couple of fun Halloween-oriented pics which offer a preview of the theme of our next couple of blog posts.

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Paging “Dr. Clancy”… Potty break is over, time to get back to work cheering up patients!

Trick FOR A Treat! Clancy will gladly exchange doing a trick for a treat!

Trick FOR A Treat! Clancy will gladly exchange doing a trick for a treat!

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!  Remember to keep the chocolate out of reach of the pets.

Be your dog’s best friend!  ~ SSB

Happy National Dog Day

26 Aug
Clancy, the Keeshond, wishes his fellow doggie friends a Happy National Dog Day!

Clancy, the Keeshond, wishes his fellow doggie friends a Happy National Dog Day!

From Clancy and family, to you and your fur-baby family…  HAPPY NATIONAL DOG DAY!

Did anyone do something a little extra special for their furry best friend today?

Clancy’s wish is for all the dog lovers out there to please help give his neglected Keeshond friends in a Harpursville, New York puppy mill, a chance to celebrate next year’s National Dog Day with a loving family by taking a moment to sign the petition at www.KeesRescue.com  

We thank you kindly!

“Be your dog’s best friend”… SSB

Continue reading

Dog Trick of the Day – Clancy Wants To Go For a Walk (and remember others can’t)

10 Jun

We’re only a few days away from the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium at the Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, New Jersey and today’s Dog Trick video of the Day is Clancy doing a useful trick in order to just go out and do a common dog thing.   Please watch his video below.

Thought of the day:  Please remember how the Keeshonden and other dogs stuck in puppy mills like Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, New York never have the chance to take a walk (as well as never getting the chance of being petted and loved, not getting vet care, proper nutrition, etc. etc.).  Learn how you can help #FreeTheKees at www.KeesRescue.com Do NOT support puppy mills…  ALWAYS find out where your puppy/dog is coming from and make sure their parents are being well cared for (and health tested, conform to breed standards, etc.) or rescue.  Here is good advice to help you make sure you are not inadvertently supporting a puppy mill (which is likely the case if you buy from a pet store or the Internet) –  Finding a Good Dog Breeder

P.S.  Sorry that the video isn’t the best quality, I’m still suffering technical difficulties and am resorting to using my cell phone to record new videos.

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Clancy does do normal dog activities like going for a walk too! He just gets his own leash and harness for you!

Keeshond Karnival and Symposium (and Clancy trick show!) on Saturday, June 13

5 Jun

Love Keeshonden?  Interested in a Keeshond?  Want to know what a Keeshond is?  Want to have some fun with your Keeshond among dozens of other Keeshonden?  Come on out to the Keeshond Karnival and Symposium on Saturday, June 13, 2015 from 10 am – 3 pm and join in the Keeshond games!

Clancy holding paws with Christian, a lucky

Clancy holding paws with Christian, a lucky “NY 101” rescue from Marjorie’s Kennel #FreeTheKees

This annual event is sponsored by the Keeshond Club of Delaware Valley and they need your support to make it a success to keep it going in the future!  There will be fun events and contests that range from Best Dutchman’s Grin to Smelly Dog Treat Hunts to Recall Competitions to Best Dutchman’s Trousers and more!  Learn about agility, proper grooming and pointers on presenting your Kees to the public through educational demonstrations.  Be entertained by a fun dog trick show starring you know who…  the first Keeshond Champion Trick Dog, Fancy Chief Clancy!  We’ll even demonstrate how to teach your dog a trick or two!  Clancy talent win

The event is conveniently located off of Interstate 95 at the historical Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville, New Jersey, on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey…  where George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Day, 1776.  The Greene Grove has been reserved for this event.  See the map in the pdf link below.

Bring your family, friends, Keeshonden, a picnic lunch and meet lots of other Keeshond lovers, breeders, Kees and even get a high five from Clancy!  Admission is $5 and free for Keeshond Club of Delaware Valley members.  Click on this link to the pdf for more details!   KCDVSymposiumJune2015   Please share this to all Kees lovers everywhere!

Leading up to the big day, each day here on the Kees Of Dog’s Delight blog I will post a quick video of Clancy doing a trick that you’ll get to see in person if you come to the event!  (Unfortunately, I’m still having technical difficulties and can’t make any fancy trick videos right now…  I owe everyone quite a few of them for all the milestones we’ve met in the #FreeTheKees petition on www.KeesRescue.com site!)  Here’s the first one!

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Focusing on Dog Obedience

8 Mar

Hi all …

I just have so much I still want to blog about and want to share more of Clancy’s talents, but I’ve been focusing on Dog Obedience as of late.  We’re going to try for our first leg of our CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) title next weekend (for the second time) at a trial in York, PA, so much of our free time has been spent preparing for it.  Here is a video of Clancy and I’s last attempt almost two months ago:

After we achieve this, we will refocus on dog tricks.  Of course, dog obedience will be a topic of a future blog post as well, since it’s a great way to enhance you and your dog’s life!  Wish us luck and touch base with you soon!

HapKee New Year !!! and P.S.

31 Dec

As we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in 2015, Clancy and I want to thank all of our followers and those that stop by because they are interested in enhancing their life with their own dog, or love Keeshonden or are a fan of Clancy’s.

Here's a toast to all that love their dog!  Happy New Year!

Here’s a toast to all that love their dog! Happy New Year!

2014 has been a busy busy year for us…  It’s been fun, educational, and productive despite some of the limitations a nagging neck injury from a car accident a few years ago still imposes upon me.

Clancy’s achievements we celebrated in 2014, beginning with the most recent accomplishments include:

  • First leg of his Rally Advance Excellent title – American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • United Kennel Club (UKC) Rally Obedience 3 (RO3) title
  • Breaking his own dock diving record for Keeshonden with a 13 foot 2 inches jump
  • Becoming the AKC (and North America Diving Dogs) first dock diving titled Keeshond -Dock Junior jumper (DJ) title
  • AKC Companion Dog (CD) obedience title
  • AKC Rally Excellent (RE) title
  • Trick Dog Champion (TDCH) title (Do More With Your Dog!)
  • 1st Place in Maryland DogFest Dog Talent Contest
  • Trick Shows at numerous nursing homes, schools, and community events
  • Featured in the Maryland Gazette for our trick videos to bring awareness to the neglected Keeshonden in Marjorie’s Kennel (New York Puppy Mill)  (FOR EVERY 5OOO SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION AT WWW.KEESRESCUE.COM we will create and post a unique and fun dog trick video on YouTube.)
  • Had a blast being with so many Keeshonden at the Keeshond Club of America National Specialty in Asheville, NC
  • Earning numerous First Place ribbons in the competitions we’ve been in
  • Creating THOUSANDS of smiles all year long with the dozens of Therapy Dog visits we do and just being out and about together

We look forward to what 2015 will bring and hope to keep motivating dog owners to bring out the best in their furry companions.  Dogs are capable of so much more than we give them credit for.  It’s up to you to encourage them and show them their potential!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

P.S.  I am so sorry about the delay in posting Clancy’s trick videos.  I have recently accepted a full-time promotion at my “day job” that does offer me the flexibility to grow FUNanimal Pet Services, however those combined with my continued devotion to doing things with Clancy, has not allowed me the time to complete the videos or contribute much to my blog as of late.  Clancy and I owe TWO awesome trick videos now as the petition to Free The Kees in New York has reached over 25,000 signatures!  With the holiday season coming to an end, I hope to get out the much anticipated “Clancy Steals Checkbook and Goes Shopping” video out on YouTube within the next week.  After that video gets out, Clancy will perform another unique fun trick routine!  (You will find a hint of what’s to come in the picture above. 😉 )  Keep spreading the word to tell the state of New York to enforce their own Puppy Mill laws to close down Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursville, New York where 60+ neglected Keeshonden and a few other Spitz breeds are trying to survive the brutal New York winter outside…  learn more and sign the petition at www.KeesRescue.com.

Merry KeesMas!

Merry KeesMas!

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Clancy plays the Bongos! (with a piano encore!) – 10K Signatures reached to #FreeTheKees

3 Aug

Finally, what you have been waiting for…  it’s Clancy playing the Bongos with a finale of him playing both the bongos and the “piano”!  This is just the beginning of what we have in store for everyone!  When we have time, OR when the #FreeTheKees petition on www.KeesRescue.com reaches 15,000 signatures, we will post a new trick video!  Once 20,000 signatures have been reached, you’ll get to see Clancy do something really unique and cool!  (Hint, this video is a preview of what’s to come!)

We have surpassed 10,000 signatures on the petition to help put an end to the suffering of the Keeshonden at Marjorie’s Kennel, a large puppy mill in upstate New York, who had promised to turn over her dogs to Keeshond rescue, and now is going back on that promise to continue to breed her unhealthy and neglected dogs.  Thank you to everyone that have already signed.  As promised, here is that video of Clancy playing the bongos in return for the petition reaching 10,000 signatures!  Keep spreading the word!  Clancy wants to keep showing off his tricks!

PLEASE do not support puppy mills by purchasing a puppy from a pet store or unknown person from the Internet…  you will be dooming that puppy’s parents to a horrible life.  Either adopt, rescue, foster OR buy from a reputable breeder.  Please do your research before taking that cute puppy home.  You will be happier and the poor dogs suffering at places like Marjorie’s Kennel will be happier that there may be a day that puppy mills are put out of business.

Interested in trick training or booking Clancy for a trick show?  Contact us at FUNanimal Pet Services!  Thanks!

Please Cheer Clancy Up… Shut Down Marjorie’s Kennel Puppy Mill #FreeTheKees

12 Jul

Clancy displaying how sad he feels for the poor dogs suffering in Marjorie’s Kennel and other Puppy Mills:

 

Hi everyone, Clancy and I are asking a favor of every animal lover out there…  just a moment of your time which could change the lives of dozens and dozens of Clancy’s kind.  It’s the #FreeTheKees movement to rescue the 40+ remaining Keeshonden from Marjorie’s Kennel, a large and disgusting Puppy Mill, in Harpursville, NY.

The Kees there are trapped in small crowded cages and do not get any socialization, or any kind of care beyond a meal… they are matted with parasites and with their own urine and feces.  These poor dogs live in the extreme heat of summer and the extreme cold of winter and only exist to be “breeding machines”.  Please take a moment to read about the Keeshond communities efforts to free these dogs and give them a life they deserve by visiting www.KeesRescue.com.   There you will also find ways you can help the cause such as the contact information for the Governor of New York and other state officials.  At the very least, please sign this petition to convince Governor Cuomo to force this Puppy Mill to shut down by enforcing Charlemagne’s Law, which imposes higher living standards of animals owned by licensed pet dealers.  Marjorie Ingraham is in violation of this law.  With her attempts to comply by reducing the amount of dogs she had (200+ !!!) and with thoughts of just retiring and getting rid of all of her dogs, many of Marjorie’s Kees were sadly euthanized due to their exceedingly poor condition.  Some were sent to auction to continue to live horrible lives in other Puppy Mills.  She had agreed to give up the rest of her Keeshonden to Keeshond Rescue.  In late 2013, early 2014, a group of dedicated Keeshond rescuers saved and found foster homes for the 60 Kees they were able to pull out of Marjorie’s Kennel, which many have already been adopted.  Now she is refusing to let her 40 + remaining Keeshonden go to Keeshond Rescue as she had promised.  Here is an inspiring video from the rescue efforts of Marjorie’s Kennel from this past winter. 

I have personally met a few of the Kees that were saved earlier this year from Marjorie’s Kennel, including Sapphire, the one that you see in the petition’s picture.  It just broke my heart to see how scared and in poor condition they were. However, now they are transforming into the wonderful breed that they are… in their loving new homes, they have their beautiful coat and are happy and learning to trust people.  Here is the story of one of those Keeshonden, just a puppy, rescued from Marjorie’s Kennel… 

PLEASE sign this petition and even send a letter if you can to ‪#‎FreeTheKees‬.  Keep updated on the progress and see more before and after pictures on Facebook through the “Free the Kees” Community Page.

Fax, email, or mail a letter to Governer Cuomo:

Governor Cuomo’s Contact Information:
Fax: 518.474.1513 (may be the best method because it’s the most direct)
Email: gov.cuomo@chamber.state.ny.us
Mail: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor, State of New York
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224 

Clancy and all Kees everywhere would appreciate your efforts to help their kind.   We thank you for anything you do to help put a stop to Puppy Mills.  If you are looking for a Keeshond puppy or any kind of dog, please read my article on “Where to Find Your New Best Friend” (at the bottom of the August 2013 blog post in that link).

I do hope you take a moment to read about a movement that is near and dear to Clancy and I’s heart. Clancy would give you a high five and many Keesie kisses!  021

Closing up February, Opening up to March

28 Feb

My Keeshond, Clancy, loves a challenge.  “Silly humans”, he thinks to himself, “you think this child/pet gate will prevent me from going where I want to?”

Since I wanted to have some sort of post in February, I thought I would share this fun (well, not so fun when I really want the gate to restrain Clancy) video and slideshow of how Clancy feels about not being able to be where he wants to be (and that’s either with me or eating cat food.)

Please forgive me, I’m going to be a little late publishing a “real post” for February (hey, it’s a short month!)  I did finally get my photos off of my old laptop and can now finish up my article on Rally Obedience, so look forward to that in the coming weeks!  Clancy and I actually qualified and are entered into the 2014 AKC Rally Nationals coming up at the end of March.  Prior to that, we’re hoping to get our 3rd leg to get our Rally Advanced title in York, Pennsylvania.  We’re also entered into Obedience Novice in York to try to get our 2nd leg of our Companion Dog title.

Another fun March event we will be doing is the Maryland Dog Fest, where Clancy is entered into the Dog’s Got Talent show!  I know I haven’t showed off how truly talented he is yet on here, but I promise to post videos soon of his large variety of tricks, many of which are very unique!

Here’s a sneak preview:

Clancy bongos 12.13

In the meantime, could you help vote Clancy as the “Cutest Dog of Maryland DogFest”?  (Because you know he likely will be, but the dog with the most Facebook votes wins the title!)  Just go to this link https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maryland-DogFest/369879699699485?sk=app_292725327421649&app_data (you’ll have to “like” Maryland DogFest’s page…  which is likeable!) and then go to “Photos”.  Look for Clancy’s pic of him when he was a 5 month old puppy in his life jacket…  the pic is titled “Ready for Summer & swimming!”.  Thanks so much!

It’s all in a Dog’s Life … in August! Including “Where To Find Your New Best Friend”

31 Aug

Clancy and I enjoyed so many activities together throughout the month of August and we hope to encourage you to go try something new with your dog!   “Part 2” of Dock Diving with the Flying Fluff-ball blog post is still in progress pending more information that I’m gathering from various resources.  So in the meantime …  enjoy!

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Clancy brought a friend to dock diving practice with him.  One of his best friends, “Annie”, a Cattle Dog Mix, made her first baby step towards the introduction of the sport of dock diving by getting a swimming lesson…  or more like a “getting used to the water lesson”.  (Pictured above.)

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Since Clancy brings smiles to so many people’s face when we’re out and about, I wanted to share him with those that could really use a smile by becoming a Pets On Wheels volunteer.  We had our first visit with a senior assisted living facility in early August and just had another visit recently with another facility targeting the dementia guests.  Clancy was such a champ as he happily greeted dozens and dozens of elders.  He even performed some tricks that earned him rounds of applause.  Clancy was tuckered out after his hour and a half visit (pictured above) and we look forward to returning there in a couple of weeks.  *More on Therapy Dog work in a future blog post!

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Despite being late to compete in an AKC Rally Obedience trial due to an absurd amount of traffic which caused us to literally run straight from the car to walking into the Rally course blind, Clancy and I earned our 2nd leg towards his AKC Rally Novice title.  I was concentrating so much on making sure Clancy was only paying attention to me and not to all of the new distractions we just walked into that I didn’t perform the first station, a figure 8, correctly.  I crossed the center point 4 times instead of 3 resulting in a 10 point deduction, but at least it was our only deduction.  We still managed placing 2nd with 90 points and hope to finish up his RN title within a few weeks.  *More on Rally Obedience in a future blog post!

My dad with Clancy at the State Fair while I was checking out the bees.  Clancy seemed to be one of the most popular "walking exhibits" throughout the day.

Clancy, with my dad, at the State Fair while I was checking out the bee exhibit. Clancy seemed to be one of the most popular “walking exhibits” throughout the day.

Last weekend was “Volunteer Appreciation Day” at the Maryland State Fair.  Normally dogs are not permitted at the State Fair, but Clancy was welcomed because he is a volunteer as a therapy dog with Pets On Wheels.  Fortunately, the weather was just tolerable for him to join me with a high of 80 degrees F.  We actually didn’t make it to all the things we were hoping to see, but it was still a lot of fun.  Imagine you were walking at a highly attended public event with a celebrity, or in this case, with a beautiful creature that no one has seen before…  that’s what it was like for us while we were there.

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Pets On Wheels volunteer, Clancy, admiring an agricultural exhibit at the State Fair on Volunteer Appreciation Day.

We never made it more than 20 or so feet without being stopped by what would start out as a couple of people, but then quickly multiplied into a dozen amazed and curious people.  Now only if the Keeshond Club of America paid me a dime for every time I answered “What kind of dog IS THAT?”  I would have been able to take off work this week!  I do love it when people know what kind of dog Clancy is, even if they pronounce it wrong (see my “What is a Keeshond” page).  Several families tracked us down (they said they saw us through the crowd and just had to catch up to us) that used to have a Keeshond in their lives.  It was heartwarming to hear their stories.

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Clancy and I with the honorable UKC Judge Rolando Mata whom awarded Clancy Best in Show Altered in Show 2 on September 1, 2013.  Clancy won 2 BIS and 1 RBIS out of the 4 altered shows this weekend!

Clancy and I with the honorable UKC Judge Rolando Mata whom awarded Clancy Best in Show Altered in Show 2 on September 1, 2013. Clancy won 2 BIS and 1 RBIS out of the 4 altered shows this weekend!

To close up the month of August and to begin September, Clancy is competing in United Kennel Club dog shows this weekend again.  Today we took Best In Show (Altered) in the morning show and Reserve Best in Show (Altered) in the afternoon show!  We hope we can have similar accomplishments tomorrow.  Clancy is an “Altered Champion” with the UKC and now we’re working towards earning his Grand Championship title.  (Picture above is Clancy with his ribbons he earned today and his best feline friend.)   **UPDATE**  Clancy took Best In Show Altered in Sunday, 9/1, afternoon’s show!  😀

* More on how to exhibit your altered dog here:  Do You Have a Neutered or Spayed Pure-Bred Dog?  You Can Still Show Them!

 

ImageWith Clancy and I accomplishing all this in one month (plus our weekly dog training club activities), we hope to inspire you to go out and do an activity with your dog!  Don’t have one yet?  Perhaps my first physical print article (another August milestone for me that will be showing up in a local publication next week) can help you with that!  It is titled “Where to Find Your New Best Friend” (the picture above was taken of Clancy at 6 weeks old when it was decided that we were going to be best friends!)  I fine-tuned it below by generalizing some things to make it more useful for the general public.  Please keep in mind that I was limited on how many words I could have in my article…  if I had more space, I would have liked to have been more detailed!

“Where to Find Your New Best Friend” by Stacie B.

Did you know that the secret to living a longer and healthier life may be who you choose to be your best friend?  Where can you find a best friend that lowers your blood pressure just by being close to you, who will love you no matter what and never argue with you?

The answer may be right in your own town.  Your county shelter has a wide variety of furry, scaly or feathery friends to choose from!  Take a peek right now online at www.petharbor.com to see the large variety of animals near you that need homes right now.  There are so many kittens, cats, puppies and dogs (mixed and pure-breeds!) hoping for the opportunity to be your companion.  You could even find “Other” animal types such as gerbils, rabbits, birds, reptiles or even farm animals there too!

So, you have your heart set on a certain dog breed?  Have the animal shelter contact you if your ideal pet comes in!  To make sure you and your breed of choice will be happy together, visit www.akc.org/breeds to do your research ahead of time.  Too many dogs are given up because their owner wasn’t prepared for their breed specific traits!  If you are interested in a mixed-breed, be sure to research all the breeds that are part of that mix.  You will also find the contact information in that link for the “AKC parent club” of each breed to help you find your breed’s rescue or to help you find a responsible and legitimate breeder (see “Breeder Referral” in the above link).  Please be sure to do your research on the breeder, ask them lots of questions and talk to their references.  Be prepared to walk away if something doesn’t seem right.

Where do you NOT want to buy a puppy?  At a pet store or through the Internet without visiting the source!  You would likely be supporting the inhumane puppy mill industry and odds are you’ll end up being heartbroken with a pup that has health, socialization and/or behavior problems.  An Internet search for “puppy mills” will yield much information on this inhumane trade.

So what are you waiting for?  Your Best Friend is out there waiting for you!

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Do you have a Neutered or Spayed Pure-bred dog? You can still show them!

15 Jan

While the point of Conformation events (Dog Shows) is to define the best breeding stock of pure-bred dogs, many responsible dog owners would like to compete in the show ring with their pet dog whom they had altered.

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The United Kennel Club offers “Altered Conformation Classes”. Here, my neutered 1 and a half year old keeshond, Clancy, proudly stands in front of his earned ribbons.

When I got my keeshond puppy, Clancy, I decided I wanted to try every dog sport I could with my dog.

Clancy as a 2 month old keeshond puppy

Clancy as a 2 month old keeshond puppy

When he reached about 6 months of age, it was about time to think about neutering my dog to make him a better pet and to ensure I didn’t accidentally contribute to the pet overpopulation problem. However, if I neutered my pup, I knew I would not be able to experience the AKC show ring. So, I decided to hastily enter him into an American Kennel Club (AKC) show that was just a couple of weeks away to see how we would like it. I learned a lot while I was there… including that I shouldn’t have been there in the first place because I had a “Limited Rights AKC Registration” which was part of my breeder’s contract to prevent people from breeding then registering their puppies. I did not know this rule until it was almost showtime, so to gain the experience, I went ahead and showed Clancy anyway since the judges wouldn’t know it until after the event. Clancy and I ended up winning a couple of ribbons, but I did get a letter from the AKC in the mail a few weeks later saying that my wins and prizes were forfeited due to his “Limited Registration.”

Stacking 6 month old Clancy at his first dog show (AKC)

Stacking 6 month old Clancy at his first dog show (AKC)

Though I had little interest in breeding Clancy, I did want to continue to show him. I enjoyed the excitement of being in the show ring and admiring all the other beautiful dogs. Most of all, I enjoyed talking to and learning from the other keeshond owners. So I contacted Clancy’s breeder to discuss obtaining a “Full Rights” AKC registration and was given the option to do so because she believed in us. Responsible dog breeders try their best to prevent people who buy their puppies from irresponsibly breeding them, so I appreciated the trust that my breeder had in me to give me that option. While I thought about the decision (full rights cost more money), I unfortunately discovered that Clancy had a health concern so I decided to get him neutered. There were many other things we could compete in besides Conformation… but here I had such a beautiful dog and I wanted the show ring experience. Then someone introduced me to the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Getting Clancy ready for the show ring to compete against other altered dogs

Getting Clancy ready for the show ring to compete against other altered dogs

In conformation events, the judge inspects each dog to compare it to what the breed standard is. The dog that most closely compares physically and characteristically to what it is supposed to be, wins. Only those dogs that best represent their breed and have had various health testing should be allowed to breed to produce future generations that uphold those standards. (Breeding should ONLY be done with health-tested dogs that closely adhere to the breed standards with the goal to improve the specific breed of dog.  It ends up costing more money than what’s made selling the puppies. It should only be done by knowledgeable breed enthusiasts.) So, that is essentially the reason to show dogs. However, there’s people like me that want to “do it for fun” or to practice for a future show dog career, so it’s wonderful that the United Kennel Club provides an avenue to do that.

Keeshond Speciality at an AKC Dog Show ...

Keeshond Speciality at an AKC Dog Show …

You can easily register any dog to the United Kennel Club (after meeting a few requirements) and participate in all of their events. While “All-American” dogs (aka mixed-breeds) do not have a breed standard to compete against, therefore they can not participate in Conformation, there are so many other sports they can participate in! If you have a pure-bred dog, you can cross-register them with the UKC and participate in Conformation. Clancy is registered with the AKC, CKC and now the UKC. We have participated in two UKC Altered Conformation events and won two Reserve Best in Show’s. (Had to throw in a quick brag!) 🙂 Depending on your area, there may not be very much competition amongst your breed… so spread the word for everyone to show their neutered or spayed dog for even more fun! For more information on UKC Altered Conformation events, go to: http://www.ukcdogs.com/Web.nsf/WebPages/DogEvents/Conformation

Clancy competing in the UKC Best in Show Altered.

Clancy competing in the UKC Best in Show Altered.


Best friends do everything together! Be your dog’s best friend!
~SSB

UPDATE (MAY 2013): Clancy and I recently did 4 UKC events in one day and did great! We got our first 2 legs of our Rally Obedience 1 title and got a Best in Show (Altered) and another Reserve Best in Show Altered! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Here he is in progress of winning Best in Show and then with most of his ribbons he earned in one day:

Clancy rocked the ring and won Best in Show (UKC - Altered)!  He also earned two legs towards his UKC Rally 1 title on the same day!

Clancy rocked the ring and won Best in Show (UKC – Altered)! He also earned two legs towards his UKC Rally 1 title on the same day!

Clancy and I did 4 UKC events on the same day!  Here's the results:  In the morning we earned 2nd place in Rally O1, and Best in Show (altered class)!  In the afternoon, we earned 1st place in Rally O1 and Reserve Best in Show (altered)!  A good day!

Clancy and I did 4 UKC events on the same day! Here’s the results: In the morning we earned 2nd place in Rally O1, and Best in Show (altered class)! In the afternoon, we earned 1st place in Rally O1 and Reserve Best in Show (altered)! A good day!

UPDATE (JUNE 2013): Clancy just received his ALTERED CHAMPION certificate in the mail! Woohoo! He now has ALT CH in front of his UKC registered name.

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