Tag Archives: dog events

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

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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

Bring Your Dog to Work Day! Friday, June 20th

19 Jun

It’s that time of year again when everyone in your workplace has an extra big smile and perhaps a little extra furry accessories on their work clothes.

The first Friday after Father’s Day is the annual “Bring Your Dog to Work Day”!   This year it’s Friday, June 20th.  How much joy a well-behaved dog brings to everyone they encounter in the workplace!  Also think about the fun your dog will have spending extra time with you on a “field trip”!

Check out http://www.takeyourdog.com/About/ for more information and details about this wonderful initiative to have your furry best friend spend a day at the office with you!  If you can’t bring your dog, at least bring a picture of him/her and place it at your workstation for the day.  Get people talking about how wonderful man’s best friend is which should brighten up the day even if your pet wasn’t there.  Then perhaps if enough people talk about it, next year your workplace will participate!  (It’s actually encouraged to bring you pet to work WEEK leading up to the Friday where the actual event is celebrated.)

Check out Clancy visiting the Signature Properties, LLC office in Washington, DC (my part-time job when I’m not doing FUNanimal Pet Services) below.  Do keep in mind, you should have your dog trained to be calm, quiet, and completely house-broken before they hang out with you all day in your workplace.  You want your pup to leave a lasting positive impression for more opportunities to bring your dog with you to places!  (If you need help training your dog to be well-behaved, contact me!)

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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”!!!

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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!

Let Your Dog Enjoy the World!

3 Apr

There are so many things to do with your dog happening every week around town!  Here Clancy is enjoying "Playtime" at a local pet store.

There are so many things to do with your dog happening every week around town! Here Clancy is enjoying “Playtime” at a local pet store.


Clancy and friends having a great time at "Playtime" which is held weekly at a local pet store.

Clancy and friends having a great time at “Playtime” which is held weekly at a local pet store.


Depending on where you live, there are many opportunities to go out and about with your dog! You and your dog may enjoy a visit to a pet-friendly store, or could participate in a pet-related fundraiser, or go to one of the various functions designed for an outing with your pup such as a Pet Expo or “Yappy Hour” at a dog-friendly cafè. Or you could just go to a sporting event or ask your family or friends if it’s okay to bring your pooch over with you. One way or another, just let your dog enjoy the world outside of your home.

Dogs can enjoy going with you to parties, too!  If you're planning on attending an outdoor event at a friend's house, just ask to see if it's okay if you bring your dog...  you may be pleasantly surprised!

Dogs can enjoy going with you to parties, too! If you’re planning on attending an outdoor event at a friend’s house, just ask to see if it’s okay if you bring your dog… you may be pleasantly surprised!


Most weekends beginning in the Spring offer some kind of event that you can bring your dog to. Next week I should have more time to share Clancy and I’s experiences and offer some more insight on how to enjoy outings with your furry best friend.
Clancy loves the water, loves other dogs and loves people.  He couldn't be happier that I took him to the SPCA's "Puppy Plunge" fundraiser!

Clancy loves the water, loves other dogs and loves people. He couldn’t be happier that I took him to the SPCA’s “Puppy Plunge” fundraiser!


In the meantime, to find an event to enjoy with your dog, try visiting http://www.bringfido.com/event/ or just doing a web search for your city’s dog events. Visit your local humane society’s website or your local pet store and ask them if they know of anything fun to bring your dog to. Clancy and I will be going to one this weekend and will share our experience next time!

Dogs showing off in a costume contest at a local dog rescue fundraiser.

Dogs showing off in a costume contest at a local dog rescue fundraiser.

Lots of dog lovers watch a disc dog demo at an SPCA fundraiser event.

Lots of dog lovers watch a disc dog demo at an SPCA fundraiser event.

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