Course Markers

People ask: what do folks use for cheap course markers?

Any of the following:

  • upside down pails – small ones like for sandboxes
  • upside down flower pots
  • wooden flats held together with a small piano hinge
  • cones from dollar store
  • rounds of PVC cut into 6-8 inch lengths
  • go to a horse shop and buy course markers there
  • 22 oz tumber cups from any dollar store
  • soccer cones
  • Hefty interlocking plates filled with sand. (They are plastic picnic plates with little snap-together edges, so you can use one plate as a cover for another.) and then use a set of stick on numbers at the hardware store — these won’t blow around
  • stackable heavy plastic bowls that won’t tip over
  • large plastic tumblers
  • stick on number sheets can be found at most office supply stores, or use permanent magic markers

As you can see, basically circular or cone shaped that will stand upright that you can think of just might work. See what you can figure. For at home use you certainly don’t need fancy. 🙂

If you have any suggestions just leave them in the comment box. 🙂


Hot dogs

One of the issues that frequently comes up in the summer is how do I keep my dog cool enough that it wants to run?

There is of course the old tried and true….wet down your dog. Wet down your dog particularly on it’s underbelly. The evaporation of the water helps to cool the dog down. You can do this by getting your dog to lay down in a kids pool filled with water, take them to a local watering hole or creek, spraying them down with a hose or water bottle with sprayer and so forth. Just get that dog wet!

Then there are other items a person can use.

Clean Run sells a variety of coats. Note this page also lists warm weather coats, but for the summer you want to look at the chilly coats, cool coats etc. Other companies make them as well. You could get a Saratoga Cooling coat, Myde Cool coats, and so forth. Do a search on-line or ask agility friends where they got theirs! 🙂

Don’t forget an important step of conditioning a dog to work in the heat. If a dog is used to being in air conditioning, and then you take him out to work well… gee…of course the heat will make him/her feel like wilting! Keep your dog out in the heat more often, get him to work…but not so much that he overheats. As one person says:

I would recommend starting by going outside when the temperature is at the edge of his heat tolerance — don’t start at a place where it’s so hot he just shuts down. Instead of working on agility training, work on playing any kind of a game with him that your dog enjoys and/or has a high level of reinforcement. Keep the sessions very short — 5 minutes. Build up to 10 minutes. Then add some agility work. As your dog does better and better with this, increase the heat factor a bit, drop back the working time and slowly build it up again. Keep it short and fun, and remember don’t drill in the heat.

You could attach a fan to their crate, your car etc. Endless breeze makes one you might be able make work for you.

You could make a point of finding shade and lying in it.

Attach solar-reflective panels to your car or tent for added protection from the sun. Use Silver Mesh as a heat reflector.  Consider getting aluminum shade panels to add to your tent.  PetSupplyHouse here in Canada sells them in black.

Cool mats work well too. SherBert Stuff makes one. I assume that CleanRun does as well but I haven’t looked to see. 🙂

Have to admit, I never really see this as a problem with my girl. Partly because I and my hubbie don’t like the heat so we tend to stay out of it and when I’m at a trial she’s either with me or my hubbie (depending if I’m also working the trial). And she’s, in the summer time, very much an outdoor dog. She spends the entire day outside only coming in when I call her to. She adapts quite nicely to the heat then. So she ends up working in weather that she’s used to, and most runs last less than 60 seconds.

COLD…now that shuts me down so that’s not an issue for us. 🙂 But that’s a whole other topic. 🙂

Polar Bear at Play


Animals at Play

Stuart Brown describes Norbert Rosing’s striking images of a wild polar bear playing with sled dogs in the wilds of Canada‘s Hudson Bay.image0011.jpg

The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his huskies when the polar bear materialized out of the blue, as it were:image0022.jpg

Shortly before, the husky was crouched in a bow, tail wagging, ready to play. image0044.jpg





The polar bear returned every night for a week to play with the dogs.

Single Black Female

Although according to Snopes, it is uncertain whether this is true or not, it is funny. Like the writes at snopes, I have a hard time believing that a shelter would do this because of the risk of getting a bad name for themselves.

This has to be one of the best singles ads ever printed. It is reported to have been listed in the Atlanta Journal.

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I’ m a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I’ll be waiting….

Please scroll down ….


“Lucky” a dog story

I have no idea if this story is true or not. Could not locate it on snopes. I’ve read stories before though of some of the amazing and interesting things our pets can do.

A wonderful dog story . .

Anyone who has pets will really like this. You’ll like it even if you don’t and may decide you need one.

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog, Lucky.

Lucky was a real character.

Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy.

Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease, she was just sure it was fatal. She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders.

The night before she was to go to the hospital she cuddled with Lucky. A thought struck her…what would happen to Lucky?

Although the three-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through. If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought.

He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.

The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for over two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully, but the little dog just drooped, whining and miserable.

Finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital. When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap

Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn’t come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed. When Mary woke for a second she couldn’t understand what was wrong. She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. But panic soon gave way to laughter when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, with every treasure Lucky owned!

While she had slept, the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement bringing his beloved mistress all his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love.

Mary forgot about dying. Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every night.

It’s been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free.


He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box but Mary remains his greatest treasure.

Live everyday to the fullest. Remember it is a blessing from God.

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards.

……They’re the ones who care.

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

Live simply. Love generously Care deeply.

Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Teaching the Broadjump

As I trial predominately in AAC style agility, I don’t ever see this obstacle. BUT it comes up in World Class events as well as in other organization. So knowing how to train this obstacle seems like a good idea.
broad jumpbroad jump

This is a broad jump.  🙂  It’s made longer or shorted by addition or removal of sections.

How to train, mix and match as needed. 🙂

1. train it using a different command than jump, or not.  Depends on dog and how well they can generalize commands.

2. lay a towel on the floor and teach your dog to jump over the towel, transition that to boards.

3.  put a section of chicken wire across the broad jump. Apparently the dogs did not like the feel of it and would jump instead of walking over it.

4. teach your dog a command that means JUMP over something not just get over it somehow.  Even if it’s just a piece of rope on the ground.  Teach a JUMP over command (even if they can just walk over it).

5. Turn the first board on it’s edge so it visually looks more like a jump.  Get him to consistently jump over that and then lay it flat again.

Letter to Pets

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door – nose height.   

Dear Dogs and Cats,   

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food.  The other dishes are mine and contain my food. 

Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.    

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Beating me to the bottom is not the object.  Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.   

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed.  I am very sorry about this.  Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. 

Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep.  It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.    

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom.  If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open.  I must exit through the same door I entered.  Also, I have been using the bathroom for years — canine or feline attendance is not required.    

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt.  I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:  


To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:   

1.  They live here.  You don’t. 

2.  If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.  (That’s why they call it “fur”niture.  )

3.  I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.   

4.  To you, it’s an animal.  To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.   Remember: In many ways, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:  

1.  Eat less

2.  Don’t ask for money all the time

3.  Are easier to train

4.  Normally come when called

5.  Never ask to drive the car

6.  Don’t hang out with drug-using friends

7.  Don’t smoke or drink  

8.  Don’t have to buy the latest fashions

9.  Don’t want to wear your clothes

10.  Don’t need a “gazillion” dollars for college.   And finally,  

11.  If they get pregnant, you can sell their children!