Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spencer's Honest Scrap

Dawn tagged me to do Honest Scrap - she did it from Magic's point of view because she had been tagged by Rah, so it only seemed right for me to post from Spencer (Caduceus Spencer Batrille CD HT RAE2 OAP NJP):

1. I was the first born in my litter.
2. My owner is not nearly as smart as I am, but I put up with her (she seems to an adequate hunter-gatherer) and I work on training her daily.
3. I love my adopted sister Scout more than anything in the world. She is a great pillow for my head.
4. I could sit up prairie dog style by the time I was 8 weeks old and learned quickly that the hoomans think it is so cute and it often pays off with treats.
5. As smart as I am, I am often confused by concrete "yard art" animals and have embarrassed myself more than once by barking at them.
6. After I finished my CD, I thought she would let me off the hook on doing boring boring boring obedience. When she continued to take me into the obedience ring in Open, I gave her the paw in every way I could until she finally threw up her hands and stopped entering me in trials.
7. On my third birthday, she told me that if I would go out that day and Double Q in Rally to finish my RAE, she would never ask me to do rally again. She lied. I forgave her.
8. I am a couch potato.
9. I do not trust German Shepherds.
10. If I had thumbs, I could rule the world.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ATTS Temperament Testing Opportunity

The Great Danes are having their Specialty here at the Chattanooga Choo Choo in October and are doing ATTS Temperament Testing on October 21 and they are opening it up to all breeds. To sign up, go here.

This is an event I can highly, highly recommend. It gives you such a great insight into your dog’s reactions under stress. It’s fun, it’s easy (no training involved!), and if your dog passes, you’ll get to put a TT Temperament Tested) after their name. I had Spencer tested, and it was very interesting. I hope I can test Scout at this event.

For more information on the test, go to the American Temperament Test Society web site:

For more information on the Great Dane Specialty in October, go to their web site:

I can't remember if I have every blogged about this before and since I'm not one who tags her posts, I can't go back and check easily. Spencer passed the test and the test administrator was very impressed. His first words to me after the test was, "Now that's a dog I would want with me in a dark alley!"

My friend Bev wrote the following about her experience with her Belgian Tervuren Cris. It gives a good sense of the test and is doggone funny to read too!

A while back, a snooty woman at the Delta Society suggested that a temperament test may be required in addition to the CGC in order to get my potentially ferocious Belgian Tervuren into their pet therapy program. Aside from being extremely annoyed with her obvious prejudice against any dog that weighed over 20 pounds, I was intrigued by the description on the ATTS (American Temperament Test Society) web site. The test evaluates a dog's reaction to a variety of stimuli, but the scoring is specific to the dog's breed. For example, a Rottweiler would be expected to react differently to a threatening stranger than, say, a Poodle. This was good news to me, since my dog's complete disregard of anything other than the sheep that were penned 20 feet away would hopefully be construed as appropriate for his breed. And so it was!

At the orientation, we were told to be walking posts. Any form of interaction with the dog - direction, encouragement, praise - was forbidden. The test was not about obedience or manners. It was designed to monitor the dog's reactions absent of human intervention. We were told about the history of the test, and about the European version, wherein all dogs of some breeds are required to be tested, and are euthanized right there at the end if they do not pass!

So the first test was the neutral stranger. Cool. We've done this before. Only not with sheep 20 feet away. Cris didn't even notice the woman until she was about to leave, upon which he zoomed over and ran around me three times, effectively pinning my arms to my sides and hobbling my legs with the leash. Then he looked at her expectantly as if to say, "There, she's out of the way. How about you and me taking a crack at those sheep?!" The woman grinned and walked off, and the Chief Tester said, "Untangle yourself and move on."

And so we walked to the next station, which was the friendly stranger. This was supposed to simulate your typical dog nut gushing "Oh, what a pretty doggie!", bending over the dog and getting all in his face while ignoring me, the supposed leader of our 2-Pack. Cris immediately leaned into her and rolled her his best patented forlorn look. Roughly translated, it said, "You look like an intelligent human. Let's ditch this loser and go get us some sheep, ok?"

The third station is supposed to test alertness and curiosity. A stranger behind a blind loudly rattles some chains in a metal bucket, then steps out and puts the bucket directly in our path. Most of the dogs prior to Cris weren't wild about this one, and either ignored or avoided the bucket. Cris went right up and stuck his head into it. Note to self: check all containers for poison, sharp objects, rattlesnakes, etc., before the dopey, but appropriately curious Terv buys himself some big trouble!

Chuck, my Rottweiler friend, had the next station. He was supposed to fire three shots out of a 22 caliber pistol, but local ordinances prohibited the wanton discharge of firearms, so he just slammed two pieces of wood together three times. Cris was the only dog up to that point that actively went to investigate the source of the racket. Extra points!

Next, a supposedly rude lady opens an umbrella pretty much right in the dog's face as we stroll by. Cris reacted by going behind the umbrella and drooling on the lady. To my mind, he was just trying to con another human into getting him at those sheep, but the station evaluator seemed to think he was avoiding the umbrella. I had to talk to the umbrella, stroke the umbrella, do everything but French kiss the umbrella until Cris came over to see what all the sudden umbrella obsession was about. It was a strange moment.

Then we had to walk over a 12-foot metal grate and a 12-foot piece of plastic. Cris never noticed the change in footing because a butterfly had crossed our path and needed to be chased. Happily, the test wasn't about obedience, so we were allowed to proceed to the final 3 stations.

Here was the crux of the biscuit. A strangely dressed man with a horsewhip comes reeling and howling from behind a blind about 40 feet away. Then he approaches aggressively to within 30 feet. Then he comes to within 20 feet and whacks the whip against the ground 6 times. Then he reels off, but turns around once more and bangs the whip against the ground one last time before staggering off to the blind. I had no earthly idea how Cris would react, but most of the dogs that went before him had acted worried, and even cringed behind their handlers. The Chief Tester had said that this was grounds for failure -- showing fear was the #3 reason for failure, behind handler error and inappropriate aggression. Cris surprised me by putting himself at the end of the 6-foot leash between me and the man, then just standing there at full attention. He didn't bark or lunge, just stood there, making it crystal clear that he wasn't going to take any guff from this swine. He didn't even flinch when the man started banging that whip on the ground, although I'm pretty sure I did. When the man reeled off, Cris just stood there, and stood there, and would probably be standing there still if the Chief Tester hadn't said, "That's it. Praise your dog."

So we waited around, watching the sheep and the butterflies while the 4 testers conferred at length in ominous tones. Then the Chief came over to congratulate us on passing! Whew! Cris's breeder, Steph, was there with his two sisters, along with another Terv friend with her dog. We all had a quiet little party, subdued because the owner of the Pitt Bull was in a foul mood, as were the owners of the Rottie & Swissie. The Pitt Bull had actually tried to get at the threatening stranger AFTER he turned to leave (never a good sign), the Swissie couldn't be coaxed to investigate the bucket, and the Rottie wouldn't walk over the grate.

All in all, it was a very interesting, if strange, experience. But I was happy we went, and I'll be even happier in 8-12 weeks when I get that paper in the mail so I can tell that snooty Delta Society woman that Cris the Terv is every bit as likely to be a good therapy dog as her treasured Fluffy or Pooky or Muffin or whatever. So there!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Back Home

We rolled into Chattanooga this afternoon after our trip to the National Specialty. We drove from Topeka to Paducah last night and spent an interesting (kindly put) few hours in a Motel 6.

We left Paducah at 6:30 this morning, had a fabulous breakfast (Eggs Benedict for Laura, Eggs Viennese for Janet) in Nashville at a little Greek place we found last year near a show site there. Jeri met us at Laura's house to pick up the hopefully Mom-to-be Lizzie and to play with the puppies.

Now Spencer, Scout and I are at home - Spencer surveying his domain from his window seat and Scout playing her favorite game of "let me out, let me in, let me out, let me in."

We had a short but fun trip to the National - putting faces to many of our blogger friends names, meeting new folks and enjoying all the dogs. Congratulations to all the winners and safe travels to everyone as they head home - we will see you again down the road!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Over the Rainbow

Kudos to the show committee on the very imaginative and fun ring decorations. The dogs come into the ring on "the yellow brick road (rug)" through the rainbow arch, with the proverbial pot of gold on one side and Toto's doghouse on the other. All around the ring are painted images from the Wizard of Oz story.

Best Herding Titled Bitch!

And we recovered from our 12 hour drive (we got to the hotel @ 3:30 am) enough to enjoy it!
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Scout wins Cadno Award - Runner Up to Best Cardigan!

Lisa Philips' bitch won the Megan - not sure of her name. Vivian Moran's Ethan was BOS.
Thanks to Sarah for texting during the finals!

Best Red Bitch in the Megan!

Huge thanks to Laura M who called and gave me the play by play. Someone else ringside called Marla (she couldn't watch because she is judging sweeps tomorrow) and Marla called me right after.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Are you going to the Megan?

I am going to be pacing the floor next Tuesday afternoon/evening, wondering what's going on at the Megan, particularly what's going on during judging of the red girls. If anyone can help me out with a call or text during the competition, I would oh so much greatly appreciate it!!

Drop me a line to my gmail account (liveswithcorgi) and I will send my cell phone number. In return for your kind favor, I hope you will let me buy you a cocktail Thursday night.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Got money to spend at the Specialty?

My good friend and Scout's handler, Cheryl, is going to be a vendor at the specialty selling embroidered polo shirts, sweatshirts and aprons with this:

EXCEPT the writing at the top will say "Cardigan Welsh Corgi" instead of the Welsh words shown. (There was some confusion on whether this was the name of the breed in Welsh or not, so they opted to go with the English instead.) Also - the red dog does have a nose - it just doesn't show up well on the black background for the test sew.

I have no idea what she is charging, but if you are skipping the specialty this year but interested in a shirt or an apron, let me know and I will hook you up.

I am getting excited about going to the show. Scout and Cheryl will be there in time for the Megan. Laura and I are heading out after work Wednesday, driving to somewhere mid-Missouri that night, finding a place to sleep a few hours and rolling in Thursday morning in time to see Scout in Herding Titled.

I'm really looking forward to seeing old and new friends!