Hogan

A Weekend Gone to the Dogs

Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada, and after two busy weekends (one spent out of town without the dogs and the other at home but with too little dog time), I decided to ensure that my long weekend was a dog-focused one.

To that end, Cora, Dusty, and Hogan played, snuggled, walked, explored, hunted bunnies, and learned all weekend long, with walks by the lake and at the conservation area, an agility lesson for Dusty and a tricks lesson for Hogan, plenty of cuddle time on my new library chaise (with a street view that offers endless amusement), two separate doggy play dates with their friends Jake and Misha, and some quality time with their BFF, Nick (all interrupted by only one emergency, but that’s another story).

I didn’t have my camera with me as much as I should have, but here are a few pictures from our weekend!

IMGA0204 (1280x960)

Cutie-pie Hogan

IMGA0211 (1280x960)

Pretty girl Cora

IMGA0212 (1280x960)

Handsome Dusty

While Dusty and Cora adventured into the brush as much as their long leads allowed, Hogan, never one to get his feet wet or dirty, tried to stick to the paved trail whenever we emerged from the woods.

While Dusty and Cora adventured into the brush as far as their long leads allowed, Hogan, never one to get his feet wet or dirty, stuck to the paved trail whenever we emerged from the woods.

Hogan learning to go in the box.

Hogan learning to go in the box.

Prissy boy Hogan

Prissy boy Hogan (see caption above).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to top it all off, here’s footage from Sunday’s late-night rabbit hunt:

 

Our Last Outdoor Trial of the Season

We spent today at the last outdoor agility trial of the season in Pickering. What a great day!

Hogan's favourite part of an agility trial is the belly rubs. Lori was his first belly rubber of the day.

Hogan’s favourite part of an agility trial is the belly rubs. Lori was his first belly rubber of the day.

Since my husband was out of town and my usual agility buddy, Mary Ann (mom of Dusty’s and Hogan’s “girlfriends”), was working, I enlisted the help of great friends Chris and Lori, who’ve been out to a couple of trials before and enjoyed them. Hogan’s and Dusty’s first event was scheduled for 10:41 a.m. Since the venue was close to home, I brought my easy-up gazebo thingie, the dogs’ pen, crate, beds, etc. to the park and went back home for the dogs. I was hoping this would mean extra rest for Hogan (he needs his rest!).

Nick dropped by to watch and got some Dusty cuddle time!

Our dog-sitter Nick dropped by to watch and got some Dusty cuddle time!

Back at the park, we had a bit of time to settle in before our Snooker run—my first time ever trying it! The course was challenging because obstacle #6 was 12 weave poles, and Dusty doesn’t yet know how to weave, and Hogan weaves VERY slowly. This meant I had to earn 23 points in the first half (we needed a total of 37). I decided to do obstacle #7 (tunnel and two jumps) twice, obstacle #5 (tunnel and two jumps), and obstacle #3 (jump). Hogan didn’t get very far before running out of time, so he got just 16 points. Dusty did pretty well, but I screwed up by sending him over a red jump when he needed to go over #3 in the second half, so he finished with 27 points, I think. (I can’t post the video because I shouted out an obscenity when I screwed up–oops!) His missed ribbons do tend to be my fault time and time again. Oh, well. We’re both getting better with practice!

Hogan resting between events.

Hogan resting between events.

Our second event was Starter Jumpers (again). We’ve tried this event probably seven or eight times this summer with no ribbons. But today was different!

Dusty chewing a stick to ease his excitement (Cora being curious)

Dusty chewing a stick to ease his excitement (Cora being curious).

First, Hogan ran. He actually did the whole course, although he was slow, sniffed a lot, and missed one jump. (It took him 53 seconds to do it, and 43 seconds were allotted). Then Dusty flew through the course, with a time of 27.60 seconds! I thought he had knocked a bar on one of the jumps, but apparently he didn’t. That means Dusty got his first Q! Yay!

Dusty and his very first ribbon for qualifying!

Dusty and his very first ribbon for qualifying!

I’ve had a great summer of attending trials with my dogs, and I would keep doing this regardless of earning Q’s and ribbons. We’re in agility purely for the fun of it. I’m not a very good handler (still working on it), but we have a great time out there. But I must admit, getting that ribbon today sure as hell felt good!

Below are some more pictures from today, and to see the video of Dusty’s qualifying run, click here!

Wes eventually made it to the park. Here he is watching Steeplechase with Dusty

Wes eventually made it to the park. Here he is watching Steeplechase with Dusty.

 

Chris volunteering as a bar setter in Steeplechase (on my behalf)

Chris volunteering as a bar setter in Steeplechase (on my behalf).

 

Possibly my new favourite picture of Cora (she was watching garbage men taking the nice-smelling garbage away)

Possibly my new favourite picture of Cora (she was watching garbage men taking the nice-smelling garbage away).

It was tough to get Dusty to lie down!

It was tough to get Dusty to lie down!

My three sweetie pies.

My three sweetie pies automatically sitting for a treat when they see the camera’s on them.

Dusty’s First (and Hogan’s Fourth) Agility Trial

Back in March, Hogan won his first qualifying agility ribbon—his first “Q.” He’s been to three trials since then, the most recent this past weekend, but he has yet to repeat that prize-winning performance. (His trainer and others have convinced me he did that first perfect run to get me hooked on agility. It worked!)

Hogan at an agility trial in May.

Hogan at an agility trial in May.

Unfortunately, at this weekend’s trial, not only did Hogan not win a prize; he just didn’t seem at all interested in running the course. Most of the time in class, Hogan seems to have fun. He tires out after his first two or three runs, but he seems to have fun up to that point. This weekend, however, that wasn’t the case. I’m not certain what was going through his head, but I can’t help but wonder if having Dusty and Cora at the trial with him is either distracting or disheartening. Do dogs think that way? Could he be disappointed that it’s no longer just me, him, and his dad?

Anyway, Hogan did provide some entertainment during his Starter Standard run on Saturday. He refused to go into the tunnels, instead jumping on top and walking the length of all three. Even the judge was laughing!

We returned on Sunday despite the rain, and Hogan made a half-hearted attempt at the Starter Standard course again. He won’t even go outside to pee in the rain, so I knew it was hardly worth trying, but I figured we’d paid for it, so we’d make an attempt. As expected, it was a no-go. He actually walked out of the ring by himself halfway through! (He’s a funny little guy!)

Dusty mid-jump

Dusty making a jump

That afternoon, the sun came out, and Dusty had his first chance at a Starter Jumpers Q. Having just attempted to run Hogan (who again refused to do anything—I ended up carrying him off the course), I was a little frazzled, and I lost focus on who I was running, instead navigating the course as I’d do it with Hogan. Dusty and Hogan are very different dogs, and I have to adjust my style accordingly. Dusty can outrun me by a mile, whereas I generally have to slow my pace for Hogan, who’s a trotter. And I can “send” Dusty to an obstacle but have to be right beside Hogan to get him to where he’s supposed to go. Anyway, I ended up taking the long way around one section with Dusty when I should have done a rear cross (cross behind him). I can’t rear-cross Hogan because he changes direction when I do. That error, I think, had Dusty trusting me less or something, and he ended up running beyond a couple jumps that followed.

Nevertheless, for his first agility trial, I think he did really, really well. And I know he had a whole lot of fun! More fun than Hogan had, to be sure. So for now, Hogan’s agility career is on hold. I may try something else with him to continue building the bonding experience that agility training has provided us. We’ll see.

As for Dusty, I can just tell that he’s looking forward to his next agility trial in July!

Photographic Interlude

I haven’t had time to write a blog post or edit a pending guest post recently, so here are some pictures in the meantime!

Dusty's latest favourite hangout spot is the arm of the loveseat in our office so he can look out the window

Dusty’s latest favourite hangout spot is the arm of the loveseat in our office so he can look out the window

Hogan loves to sleep in the sun on a warm spring day.

Hogan loves to sleep in the sun on a warm spring day.

Cora was very interested in the bird's nest under the deck and tried everything she could think of to get at the eggs and, later, the baby birds. Unfortunately, she did catch two of the babies once they had left the nest. :(

Cora was very interested in the bird’s nest under the deck and tried everything she could think of to get at the eggs and, later, the baby birds. Unfortunately, she did catch two of the babies once they had left the nest. :(

We've had a lot of fun weekend walks by the waterfront and in unfamiliar neighbourhoods, just to change things up!

We’ve had a lot of fun weekend walks by the waterfront and in unfamiliar neighbourhoods, just to change things up!

Dusty's friend Mumford has come to visit a few times this spring. Dusty likes to climb on people so he can try to get face to face with Mr. Mumford!

Dusty’s friend Mumford has come to visit a few times this spring. Dusty likes to climb on people so he can try to get face to face with Mr. Mumford! (I love that Dusty looks as though he’s smiling! He wags his tail nonstop when Mumford is here. It’s very cute!)

I just love this picture of Mumford sitting on his mom's lap!

I just love this picture of Mumford sitting on his mom’s lap!

When we have company and Cora feels nervous but wants to be outside anyway, she hangs out in the rock garden and pretends she's a flower (and she sure is pretty enough to be one!).

When we have company and Cora feels nervous but wants to be outside anyway, she hangs out in the rock garden and pretends she’s a flower (and she sure is pretty enough to be one!).

This past weekend, we built and painted agility equipment, including three jumps, two sets of six weave poles, a teeter, and a pause table!

This past weekend, we built and painted agility equipment, including three jumps, two sets of six weave poles, a teeter, and a pause table (not all pictured)!

It’s Hogan’s Fourth, Fifth, or Maybe Sixth Birthday–Kind Of!

Today, we celebrate Hogan’s second birthday with us. Since he’s a rescue, we don’t know his real birthday or his real age, but he was guessed to be two or three when we adopted him (although, judging by his energy level, he’s always seemed much older), and we decided, in honour of his Mexican homeland, his birthday would be Cinco de Mayo. (See last year’s celebration here.)

So to celebrate our littlest one’s special day, we went for a very long walk by the beautiful Pickering waterfront, where Hogan encountered many other dogs and yet was on his best behaviour ever. Normally reactive on-leash, Hogan did almost no growling, instead looking up to his dad for treats, the behaviour we’ve been encouraging since we first adopted him and hired an animal behaviourist to help us deal with his reactivity. It’s taken some time, but he’s finally mastered this behaviour!

Hogan thought that since it's his birthday, he should be allowed to drive today.

Hogan thought that since it’s his birthday, he should be allowed to drive today.

 

034

We stopped for pictures in a field of dandelions

060

Of course, the doggies got lots of treats.

And we had to have water breaks, too.

And we had to have water breaks, too.

One last picture of the birthday boy before leaving the lake

One last picture of the birthday boy before leaving the lake

Tired doggies ready to go home for the birthday treat.

Tired doggies ready to go home for the birthday treat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back at home for their afternoon snack, I treated the dogs to tacos (unseasoned beef, cheese, lettuce, and a dab of sour cream inside tiny flour tortilla shells) in exchange for pictures in sombreros. They all really enjoyed this treat (the sombreros, less so)!

 

Cora was having a particularly tough time waiting to enjoy the birthday treat.

Cora was having a particularly tough time waiting to enjoy the birthday treat.

Whereas curious Dusty opened his taco, sniffed and then ate the bits separately, Hogan opted to put the entire thing in his mouth. Our little Mexican boy knows how it's done!

Whereas curious Dusty opened his taco, sniffed and then ate the bits separately, Hogan opted to put the entire thing in his mouth. Our little Mexican boy knows how it’s done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And to top off Hogan’s birthday, we will end the day with a family agility lesson this evening! In the meantime, Hogan’s engaging in his favourite afternoon activity—napping.

All in all, I think Hogan is finding today to be the best birthday ever!