Tag Archives: dock diving

Clancy’s Busy Dog Days of Summer – Winery, Tricks, NYC & more!

30 Sep

From the winery to “taking the plunge” in the Chesapeake Bay to being at the library listening to children read books to dock diving to obedience trials to visiting New York City to visiting patients at the hospital  to winning a dog trick contest to spending time with beloved family from near and far, Clancy the Keeshond (and I) have had a very busy past couple of months.  Check out some “snapshots” of Clancy’s summer below!  Then, please remember to check back in a couple of weeks when we share our experiences and encouragement of doing therapy dog work in a new blog post!

Clancy through the grape vine! Clancy enjoyed the K9s in the Vines wine tasting animal rescue fundraiser event this summer.

Clancy through the grape vine! Clancy enjoyed the K9s in the Vines wine tasting animal rescue fundraiser event this late summer.

“Bang-Bang!” Clancy won the Dog Trick contest at the K9s in the Vines dog fundraiser event, followed by fellow trick dog friends Aria and Amelia.

Clancy in his therapy dog role at the library. He provided a friendly, furry and non-judgmental ear to children helping them with their reading skills.

Clancy in his therapy dog role at the library. He provided a friendly, furry and non-judgmental ear to children helping them with their reading skills.

Clancy in the Big Apple! Clancy traveled to New York City for the day.

Clancy in the Big Apple! Clancy traveled to New York City for the day.

We tried for our second leg of our CDX Obedience title, but NQ'd due to a failure to drop on recall. (We try again this coming weekend!)

Last month, we tried for our second leg of our CDX Obedience title, but NQ’d (didn’t qualify) due to a failure to drop on recall. That’s okay, we try again this coming weekend and hope to achieve our title the following weekend!

Who do you think was the fluffiest dog in the Chesapeake Bay doing the SPCA

Who do you think was the fluffiest dog in the Chesapeake Bay doing the SPCA “Puppy Plunge” fundraiser event held in August?

Clancy created many smiles with his trick performances during his therapy dog visits and at a child's birthday party over the late summer.

Clancy created many smiles with his trick performances during therapy dog visits and also recently at a child’s birthday party .

In August, Clancy qualified for more legs towards his next dock diving title!

In August, Clancy qualified for more legs towards his next dock diving title!

We look forward to sharing many of these experiences more in detail in future blog posts to hopefully encourage others to seek out and do more activities with their dog.  Coming soon:  A new blog post to share our experiences and encouragement of doing therapy dog work!  We’re also working on a new blog post on dog tricks!  

Be your dog’s best friend! ~ SSB

Dog Days of Summer FUN and Tips for Your Keeshond or Other Cold-Weather Breeds

1 Aug
Clancy is looking forward to cooling off in the lake.

Clancy is looking forward to cooling off in the lake.

Okay, it’s hot for us 98 degree F blooded humans this time of year…  now imagine being a 101 degree F blooded canine and having a fur coat…  and if you’re a Keeshond, having a double fur coat on!

For many dogs, including the Kees, it’s not a favorite time of year (nor mine…  I much prefer the cold over the heat.)  Clancy hardly even wants to go outside to do his business…  Funny how many times he barks to go out when it’s below 60 degrees outside and how little he seems to need to relieve himself when it’s above 85 degrees out.

A dog shouldn’t be cooped up inside all summer long though…  (and they certainly shouldn’t live their lives outdoors either!)  There are some things you can do to make life more enjoyable for your furry friend during these dog days of summer and have a little fun together.

Clancy is always first in the water.

Clancy is always first in the water.

Clancy entices a Keesie friend to jump in to cool off, too!

Clancy entices a Keesie friend to jump in to cool off, too!

  • Fill a baby pool up in the backyard and go splashing around with your pup.  C’mon, make-believe that you’re 5 years old again and sit in the center of the pool…  pat the water and encourage your dog to hop in.  If they’re hesitant or don’t seem to like water, start off with an empty pool and let them get used to it.  Make it a game to hop in and out of the empty pool.  Eventually add just a little bit of water and gradually work your way to a full pool.  Make up fun games such as bobbing for hot dog pieces.  Be sure to empty it when you’re through and not leave a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Don’t have a baby pool?  How about just laying out a tarp and have a running hose on it for your dog to roll around or a soaked towel just to stand on?  Dogs sweat through the pads of their feet so it feels good for them to stand in/on something cool.  I know Clancy is hot when he digs in the water dish splashing water all around…  then he just stands in it.

    Clancy in a dock diving competition.

    Clancy in a dock diving competition.

  • Our fun summer dog sport is dock diving (many of you know this already)!  As I mentioned in a previous post on dock diving (I hope to add a second post about the topic in the near future), practically ANY dog can learn how to participate.
    Clancy loves jumping off docks for fun!  Try it yourself at the amazing 24 acre Orion Oaks Dog Park in Lake Orion, Michigan, which offers a large dock with ramps into a lake for the dogs.

    Clancy loves jumping off docks for fun! Try it yourself at the amazing 24 acre Orion Oaks Dog Park in Lake Orion, Michigan, which offers a large dock with ramps into a lake for the dogs.

    There’s even a new offering of various water sports games for your dog.

    One of Clancy's first swims at 9 weeks old

    One of Clancy’s first swims at 9 weeks old

    Many dock diving facilities offer lessons and it’s a great way to have summer fun with your dog.

    6 month old Clancy retrieving a stick

    6 month old Clancy retrieving a stick

    If there is a dock diving competition happening near you, they usually allow you to give it a try during their practice hours.  Usually mornings and Sundays have less competitors trying to practice, so you may end up getting extra pool time. Of course all you really need is a body of water and a dock.

  • Look for fun dog water activities in your area or just enjoy a game of fetch at a dog friendly pool or the beach.
    Clancy cooling off with other dogs at a pet fundraiser.

    Clancy cooling off with other dogs at a pet fundraiser.

    There are often fun dog events and fundraisers that non-profit organizations or clubs put on throughout the summer.  For example, Clancy looks forward to the SPCA Puppy Plunge each August, a fun and wet dog fundraiser event at a local YMCA summer camp on the river.   Below is a video of Clancy enjoying the event last year where we helped to raise over $200 in pledges for that local SPCA. 

Search online for events in your area or check with your local humane society. 675 There are also often “end of summer dog pool days” or “dog waterpark days”

Doggie pool party!

Doggie pool party!

at many local community pools and waterparks on their final days before closing for the season.

Clancy enjoying the dog days of summer in style.

Clancy enjoying the dog days of summer in style.

Be sure to rinse out the chlorine or river water off of your dog when you’re finished.

Little puppy Clancy keeping cool at his first hockey game.

Little puppy Clancy keeping cool at his first hockey game.

  • Take your dog to a summer ice hockey game at the local ice rink (if allowed.)  Often there are recreational late night games and many ice rinks don’t mind you bringing your well-behaved dog in with you to watch the game.  Dogs will likely enjoy climbing the mountains of snow the Zamboni dumps behind the building, too.
    Young Clancy trying to be like his goalie

    Young Clancy trying to be like his goalie “dad”.

    Clancy became the “unofficial mascot” for my husband’s hockey team since he never missed a chance tagging along to the cool confines of the ice rink.

  • Take field trips to air conditioned places…  dogs love to go anywhere with you, so just load them up and take them to a pet supplies store or a family member’s home just because…
  • Physically and mentally exercise your dog inside in the air conditioning.  Teach your dog a new trick or build on manners and obedience skills by requiring them to wait longer to be released, etc.  Use interactive toys, a treat dispensing toy, puzzle toys, drag toys on a rope or use a laser to get them moving.  Buy a dog treadmill.  You can sometimes find a deal on Craigslist.  Clancy walks on his treadmill indoors in the AC and with a fan blowing on him.  He definitely prefers this over taking walks in the 90+ degree summer heat.  Watch the video below of Clancy and his treadmill tips.

Some Summer Common-sense:

I likely don’t have to tell you these known facts because you probably already know, but just in case: IMG_3800_1

  • Be sure to bring plenty of cool water for your dog when you are spending time outside in hot weather and offer it to your dog often.
  • Be aware of the pavement temperatures…  if it is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot on your dog’s feet, too! dogs-hot-asphalt-chart Walk them early in the morning, choose the shady side of the street, walk them in the grass, carry them over hot asphalt if possible or have them wear doggie booties if they will be walking on hot pavement.
  • NEVER leave your dog in a car, even with the windows open.  Try sitting in a car on a summer day with the windows just cracked and see how long you last before you can’t take it anymore…  it’s literally just seconds. IMG_5114
  • Provide shade with a canopy, umbrella, or something that your dog can use to get out of the sun when you’re at a picnic or other event.  Dogs can get sunburnt too, not to mention how much hotter it is to be in the sun versus the shade.
  • Bring a couple of powerful battery operated fans to blow on your dog.

    Clancy keeping cool by being wet, laying in a ventilated beach tent with a portable fan.

    Clancy keeping cool by being wet, laying in a ventilated beach tent with a portable fan and his water.

  • You may want to try cooling mats/beds and or cooling jackets.  I personally haven’t had success with these on my Keeshond, but they may be good for other dogs.
  • Know the signs of heat stress.

    Clancy, like all Kees, have a beautiful double coat.  When it's hot, should you shave a Keeshond?  No. No. No.  Use the tips in this blog post to make your dog comfortable.

    Clancy, like all Kees, have a beautiful double coat. When it’s hot, should you shave a Keeshond? No. No. No. Use the tips in this blog post to make your dog comfortable.

  • Keep your dog properly groomed, especially if it is a double-coated breed, such as the Keeshond.  Line-brushing your Kees to ensure the fur is combed through all the way to the skin will allow air to circulate keeping your Kees comfortable.  Please see my comments below about shaving Keeshonden.

Finally, I know this may be a controversial subject for some, but as much as you think you are doing a favor by shaving them, please do not shave your double-coated breed, particularly the Keeshond.

During the summer, the 2nd most common question I’m asked when I’m out with Clancy (first most common is always “What kind of dog IS that?!”) is “aren’t you going to shave him?”  Well, I’m sure the inquirer is expecting a yes or no answer, most likely a yes answer.  However, I feel I have to accompany an explanation with my answer of “no”.

Clancy prefers the air conditioning vent over his bed during the summer...  the cat is happy about that!

Clancy prefers the air conditioning vent over his bed during the summer… the cat is happy about that!

I explain how the double coat insulates him from the cold AND the heat, how fair their skin is and how easily they would get sun-burnt and their coat would not grow back the same way it’s meant to be.   Just brush your Kees a little more regularly during the hot months to encourage air flow and your Kees will be fine, especially with the tips I listed above.

This has always been Clancy's favorite way to cool down.  What's your dog's fave way to beat the heat?

This has always been Clancy’s favorite way to cool down. What’s your dog’s fave way to beat the heat?

Please feel free to share your own suggestions on having fun with your dog when it’s hot and enjoy the rest of summer with your pup!

“Be your dog’s best friend!” ~ SSB

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!

Coming soon… Really! In the meantime…

22 Oct
My new trick video is still in production!  Not much longer now...

My new trick video is still in production! Not much longer now…

My apologies to everyone waiting on Clancy’s newest trick video!  It really is coming soon…

I haven’t had any spare time lately, but I have not forgotten my promise of a new unique dog trick routine video for every 5000 signatures received on the http://www.KeesRescue.com petition to #FreeTheKees.

At a Capital Keeshond Club meeting, here's Clancy enjoying spending time with "Christian", one of the lucky Kees rescued from Marjorie's Kennel (Puppy Mill)

At a Capital Keeshond Club meeting, here’s Clancy enjoying spending time with “Christian”, one of the lucky Kees rescued from Marjorie’s Kennel (Puppy Mill)

At the time of this writing, we’re at about 17K signatures…  please keep sharing and encouraging others to sign.  It’s getting cold in New York…  let’s save the remaining Keeshonden from Marjorie’s Kennel before we have more cases of frost bite and heat lamp burns.

Clancy and I achieved our UKC Rally Obedience 3 title last weekend!  With some great scores of 97, 95 and 97, too!

Clancy and I achieved our UKC Rally Obedience 3 title last weekend! With some great scores of 97, 95 and 97, too! Pictured with Judge Robert Wolfe.

Clancy and I have been busy doing so many things!

Clancy has been bringing smiles to hospitals, nursing homes & more with his therapy dog work...  he has completed over 40 therapy dog visits and will soon earn his AKC Therapy Dog title!

Clancy has been bringing smiles to hospitals, nursing homes & more with his therapy dog work… he has completed over 40 therapy dog visits and will soon earn his AKC Therapy Dog title!

Now I just need to fulfill the purpose of my Kees Of Dog’s Delight blog and write about it so we may inspire others to go out there and do things with their dog!  So please keep checking back in, we have so much to share!  For a preview, you can get an idea how busy Clancy has been over the last several weeks in these photos.

Clancy received his AKC Dock Diving title (1st titled dock diving Keeshond!)  Last year Clancy received his UKC Dock Diving title.

Clancy received his AKC Dock Diving title (1st titled dock diving Keeshond!) Last year Clancy received his UKC Dock Diving title.

(We’ll also be in a dock diving competition this weekend!)

In the meantime, enjoy some teaser pictures of Clancy’s “steal checkbook and go shopping video”.  As an extra bonus for everyone’s patience, we are actually adding much more to this fun trick skit!

Clancy competed in AKC Obedience Novice B at the Capital Keeshond Club Specialty on Oct. 12 and earned his highest score yet, 185 1/2 (Clancy has much more fun in the other dog sports, so he's better at those than competition obedience)

Clancy competed in AKC Obedience Novice B at the Capital Keeshond Club Specialty on Oct. 12 and earned his highest score yet, 185 1/2 (Clancy has much more fun in the other dog sports, so he’s better at those than competition obedience)

We loved seeing all the Keesies and socializing with folks at the Capital Keeshond Club Speciality on Oct. 11.  Puppies make it extra fun!

We loved seeing all the Keesies and socializing with folks at the Capital Keeshond Club Speciality on Oct. 11. Puppies make it extra fun!

Clancy going shopping --  a scene from the trick video we're working on!

Clancy going shopping — a scene from the trick video we’re working on!

Clancy shopping 2

Clancy going shopping with cashier Petra, the Vizla

Clancy going shopping with cashier Petra, the Vizla

Clancy’s Next Trick Video — You Choose! #FreeTheKees petition closing in on 15K signatures!

17 Aug

Keep spreading the word to help the turn over of neglected Keeshonden in Marjorie’s Kennel to Keeshond Rescue, for we are closing in on 15,000 signatures on the #FreeTheKees petition on www.KeesRescue.com.  That means it’s time to start thinking about which of Clancy’s tricks to feature in his next trick video.

With so many tricks up Clancy’s furry sleeves (he knows well over 100 commands so far), it’s hard to decide which one(s) to show off next!  (I do already have something fun and unique planned when we reach 20,000 signatures.)  So, I’m going to let the Clancy fans decide!

Which trick would you like to see next???  Whichever trick below has the most votes on the day that the petition reaches 15,000 signatures, will be the next video we make and post!  You may vote once each day.  (P.S.  The “Other” field is for fun and to hear what ideas you might have.  No promises!)

 

Here’s the link to the primary YouTube channel to see videos of Clancy, including his “Playing the Bongos with Piano Encore” video which was posted to celebrate 10,000 signatures.  Here’s another link to our original YouTube channel that features other Clancy videos, such as his dock diving videos.  (Oh, by the way!  Clancy completed his NADD/AKC Dock Diving title in the Junior division last weekend!  More on that, soon!)

Clancy giving piano lessons at a local event

Clancy giving piano lessons at a local event

Clancy achieved his North America Diving Dogs title in the Junior Division!

Clancy achieved his North America Diving Dogs title in the Junior Division!

Video

Dog Tricks Tips and Clancy, the Trick Dog Champion video

2 May

Trick training is one of the best things you can do with your dog.  It stimulates their mind, builds a stronger bond between the two of you, and gives them a “job” to do (not to mention how much fun it is to hear the “oohs and ahhs” from spectators).  Trick training should always be a fun time with your dog!  You must never get frustrated (just quit that session if you start to feel any change in your demeanor) and always set realistic goals in a training session.  It does take patience, a lot of positive reinforcement and time.  However, before you know it, your dog will catch on and be happy to have learned something that pleases you.  Soon, I will write a full article on dog tricks, the benefits of training, some tips and more videos of other tricks that Clancy knows.  For now, enjoy seeing some of the things that your dog may be capable of!

I’d like to share with you the video I submitted as part of Clancy’s Trick Dog Champion   title application… I had to keep to a certain format for the application’s sake, so Clancy does have many more tricks up his furry sleeve!  Before you watch, please keep this in mind:

Clancy had to demonstrate in this lengthy video that he could perform the foundation of many dog tricks:  Coordination, Mouth Targets, Paw Targets, Finding the Scent (this section is kind of long because you had to do this multiple times in a row without being edited), Being able to work at a Distance from you, using only Silent cues, and then you finally get to the really fun tricks…  demonstrating a behavior Chain and Expert level Tricks (which some were also performed to demonstrate other categories of the application.)  I will eventually compose highlight videos of Clancy’s best tricks…  many of which didn’t fit in this trick dog champion title application video.  Check out our FUNanimal Twitter and/or Facebook page to be alerted when one is posted on YouTube!

While I am proud to brag that Clancy is the first titled “Trick Dog Champion” Keeshond (and was the first Intermediate, Advanced and Expert titled Kees 😉 ), I’d like to give a shout out to A*Starz Through the Looking Glass, aka “Allison”, for being the first ever titled Trick Dog (novice) Keeshond.  Thank you, Donna Stekli, for introducing me to the sport of dog tricks.  Congrats to the other titled Keeshond Trick Dogs out there and everyone that “does more with their dog”.

Keeshonden are super smart and may test your patience with their bad behavior they are capable of when they are bored…  teaching them tricks is the perfect way to stimulate them and to distract them while having FUN (Keesies are all about FUN!)

So please have fun watching (I hope to get some “oohs and ahhs” out of you) and check back here occasionally for more information and to see more videos and posts of Clancy’s tricks and other going on’s.  Please be sure to watch the last few minutes of the video for the best tricks.  Enjoy!

(I do offer trick training classes in my new pet services business, FUNanimal Pet Services, LLC.  If you’re interested and in the DC area, please let me know!  Clancy and I are also available to do trick shows…  so if you want to liven up your party, get-together, workplace or any event with the fluffiest, cutest (IMO), and smartest dog around, let me know!)

 

Video

Clancy wins 1st place in the talent show at Maryland DogFest (dog tricks video)

9 Mar

Finally!!!  Here is a video of some of my Keeshond, Clancy’s tricks!  Clancy and I had a blast meeting new people, visiting exhibits, watching demonstrations and participating in the Dog Talent Show at Maryland DogFest yesterday!  (Unfortunately due to the unpredictable climate in early March in Maryland, the Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competitions were cancelled.)  😦

Clancy wins 1st place at the 2014 Maryland DogFest talent show...  that's two years in a row! Here he is holding a gift bag with his 1st Place certificate next to two of his famous trick props.

Clancy wins 1st place at the 2014 Maryland DogFest talent show… that’s two years in a row!
Here he is holding a gift bag with his 1st Place certificate next to two of his famous trick props.

We had Rally Obedience run-thrus in the morning, so I wasn’t sure what Clancy had left in the tank for his talent show performance here.  I also have been so busy, that I didn’t figure out what I was going to do until 5 minutes before the show.

There were many dogs in the contest and Clancy and I were called up last.  After watching other competitors, I decided not to duplicate the other dog’s tricks (I didn’t want Clancy to entirely steal the show 😉 ).  Though Clancy has many more tricks up his sleeve, we’ll save them to share with everyone another day.  (I also had a time limit to try to stay within at the talent show.)  Next time we do a routine, we will be more polished and show off even more tricks!

For now, enjoy!  The theme of our performance is sharing some of the traits of the Keeshond with the audience.  (Oh, and we did win 1st place by a unanimous vote from the judges.)  😀

P.S.  We have a Rally Obedience trial and Obedience Novice trial later this week.  Then we have the 2014 AKC Rally Nationals later this month!  (Wish us luck!)  That Rally blog WILL be posted by the end of March.  🙂

P.S.S.  I do plan on writing a dog tricks blog in the near future, too!  Trick training is a great way to have fun, strengthen your bond and challenge your dog!

P.S.S.S. I am just starting up a pet services business where I also offer dog trick training!  Visit www.FUNanimalPet.com to learn more about it!

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.

IMG_6731

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.

IMG_6785

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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Dock Diving with “The Flying Fluff-ball” (and your dog can do it too!) Part 1

30 Jul
Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competitions...   On left:  Clancy waiting his turn to dock dive at "The Andersons" in Ohio. On right:  Clancy dock diving at Maryland Dogfest.

Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competitions…
On left: Clancy waiting his turn to dock dive at “The Andersons” in Ohio.
On right: Clancy dock diving at Maryland Dogfest.

“Here is a treat that you never see in the sport of dock diving… a Keeshond!” exclaimed Milt Wilcox, the founder of Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving, to the audience as I lead Clancy onto the dock platform leading to the approximately 40 foot long pool.

Clancy watching a Lab jump in the Extreme Vertical dock jumping competition

Clancy watching a Lab jump in the Extreme Vertical dock jumping competition

While you will see a lot of Labs and lately the Belgian Malinois dominating the dog dock diving sports, the dynamics of the professional dock diving leagues encourages any water loving dog to join in the fun. Every kind of dog has a chance to not only enjoy just participating in the sport, but also there is ample opportunity to actually compete for recognition and prizes (in some cases), because of the jumping distance divisions. This allows Sheepdogs, Dachshunds, Great Danes and even the Yorkie to enjoy the cheers of an audience as they fly weightless through the air before submerging themselves in a cool body of water.

Two years ago, while cleaning up the spilled water around Clancy’s water bowl, I questioned myself “why did I choose the puppy that was digging the water out of the water dish?” (Which when given the opportunity, he still does to this day!) Perhaps it was a sign of destiny. Just one week after bringing our new Keeshond puppy home, we headed to the lake house my husband grew up at in Michigan. Our 9 week old Kees puppy took to the lake immediately and he went for his first swim.

Clancy has always loved the water...  any dog who who enjoys the water can enjoy dock diving!

Clancy has always loved the water… any dog who who enjoys the water can enjoy dock diving!

At nearly 6 months old, Clancy loved swimming and retrieving, but couldn't be convinced to jump off of the dock yet.

At nearly 6 months old, Clancy loved swimming and retrieving, but couldn’t be convinced to jump off of the dock yet.

Several months later, we vacationed on another lake and Clancy immediately was eager to get in the water. We did get him a life jacket to give him more stamina in the water. All that fur can weigh a Kees down! We tried to encourage him to jump off the dock into the water, but instead he would run back to shore and then swim out to retrieve his stick.

The following summer, we returned to my mother-in-law’s lake house in Michigan and wanted to see if we could get Clancy to jump off the dock into the lake. We ran down the dock with Clancy at our feet and jumped in ourselves. Clancy put on the brakes and bowed at the end of the dock, barking ecstatically at us in the water just ahead of him. I slapped the water and encouraged him to jump in. The “Velcro dog’s” (one of a few nick-names for a Keeshond) desire to re-attach himself to us took over, so Clancy stopped barking and took the leap of faith!

One of Clancy's first dock jumps....  July 2012

One of Clancy’s first dock jumps…. July 2012

As I talked about our vacation to a local dog lover, they encouraged me to try the sport of dock diving and told me about a facility that had the regulation size dock and pool that had open practices not too far from where we lived. Just for fun, I headed there with Clancy, not even considering competition. After all, I thought a Keeshond could never be in the same league as the Labs, Retrievers and other “sporting dogs”. Well, Clancy didn’t know he was a “non-sporting” breed and leapt off the dock with just as much enthusiasm!
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As Keeshond owners know, we get all kinds of attention when we’re out in public with our unique smiling fluff-balls. Seeing a Keeshond take part in dock diving makes everyone do a double-take! “That fluffy dog can’t swim, can it?” Yes, he can swim very well! “You can’t let that coat get wet, it will take days to dry!” Actually, it dries quite quickly and as long as you groom him before getting wet, it’s not difficult to turn him back into a big fluff-ball. Everyone enjoys seeing the transformation of the dry Kees versus the wet Kees too! It’s almost like one dog goes in and a different dog climbs out… with gallons of water pouring off the coat. Probably the biggest workout of it all for Clancy is the climb out of the pool with his saturated coat adding all that extra weight.

Clancy's  transformation of being a  dry Keeshond to wet to mostly dry again in less than a half hour!

Clancy’s transformation of being a dry Keeshond to wet to mostly dry again in less than a half hour!

Socializing with the dock dog enthusiasts, they encouraged me to compete with Clancy. I learned there are a few different dock diving organizations in the United States which are Ultimate Air Dogs (UAD) (www.ultimateairdogs.com), Dock Dogs (www.dockdogs.com) and Splash Dogs (www.splashdogs.com). While there are some differences in the rules and other logistics, they all offer multiple divisions in order to allow dogs to be competitive at the level they jump. This encourages any dog to be able to participate. For the “Novice level” jumpers range from 1″ (yes, I said one inch!) to 9’11”, “Junior division” jumpers are in the 10′ to 14’11” range, “Senior division” is from 15′ to 19’11” and so on. There’s even a “lap dog” league for the small dogs to not get their egos hurt, though some of those lil’ guys can fly! The top 5 dogs from each division at the end of each weekend event then get to compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in a divisional finals. Clancy recently won 2nd place in the Junior division at the Ultimate Air Dogs Maryland Dogfest event!
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During the Maryland Dogfest event a few weeks ago, Clancy was acknowledged by the owners of Ultimate Air Dogs for having the longest jump on record for a Keeshond, at 12 feet and 10 inches! While there have only been a sprinkling of Keeshond appearances in the professional dock diving world, it is still a fun record to have!

Another fun recognition feature offered in professional dock diving are titles. There are varying qualifications within the different dock diving entities, but a benefit of competing for titles in UAD is if you are registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC), then you also earn titles and points towards dock diving championships in the UKC. Clancy just earned his Ultimate Air Dogs and United Kennel Club Junior Division dock diving title in July 2013 in Maumee, Ohio. (Someone actually caught Clancy on video jumping over 12 feet and put it on YouTube!) UAD founder/owner (and ex-Detroit Tiger’s World Series winning pitcher), Milt Wilcox, confirmed that Clancy is the first Keeshond to get a dock diving title with UAD! (He’s the judge and emcee in these UAD videos too!)
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On a future blog post, I will dive a little deeper (pun not intended, but it is funny) into comparing the different dock diving organizations and will offer some insight on how you can give your pup the opportunity to fly!  If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the warm weather with your dog, or perhaps a little out of the ordinary competition, consider dock diving with your fur-pal. If you have a Kees or other long-haired breed, just be prepared for at least a 6 foot splash and shake zone!

Dock diving – Another fun thing for Best Friends to do together! Be your dog’s Best Friend! ~ SSB

Clancy, "The Flying Fluff-ball"!!!

Clancy, “The Flying Fluff-ball”!!!

“The Flying Fluff-Ball” !!! – Dock diving blog post on it’s way!

21 Jul

Clancy has the record for the longest jump by a Keeshond and he also became the first Keeshond to get a Dock Diving title in Ultimate Air Dogs!

Any dog can have fun jumping into a pool of water! Later this week, look for my new blog post on the subject!

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Dog Days of Summer are here… new post coming soon!

30 Jun

Dog Days of Summer are here...  new post coming soon!

“It’s getting hot in here… so hot… so take off all your…” fur? There are many dogs that are getting their summer hair cut out there. Not Clancy… for in general, you shouldn’t shave a Keeshond. So how do you have summer fun with a Kees or ANY type of dog this time of year? You’ll see in my next blog post coming soon! 🙂 (Okay, so this pic is a major hint!)

Have a great Independence Day!

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Get a Caricature of your Dog! Great Gift Idea ALERT!

29 Apr

During a recent humane society fundraiser event, I got this caricature done of Clancy! They had hired a professional caricature artist and it was well worth the $30 donation to the local humane society to have this adorable piece of art forever in my life.

Clancy was a superb model, sitting still for the 15 minutes it took for the artist to create it. I had no idea what he was drawing, for I was sitting in front of the easel with Clancy… I just mentioned a little about the history of the keeshond breed and how Clancy enjoys “dock diving”.

Get a Caricature of your Dog!

He captured the keesie smile quite well along with his mischieveous “sideways glance” that he often gives.

With the convenience of the Internet, you can easily do a search for a caricature artist in your area to have a portrait of your dog to cherish forever!

There’s lots of events going on with Spring in full swing! Clancy and I’s weekends are full of activities for the foreseeable future and we hope that you are on the lookout for fun outings to enjoy with your dog!

We’ll be back soon!

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