Friday, June 22, 2007

Dog Squad goes to Penang II

8 - 10 June 2007, PAAPP trials, Penang
'Are v there yet? Are v there yet?...'
It’s our 2nd visit to breezy Penang Isle and 6 mutts from d KL Dog Squad will b making d road trip to partake in d PAAPP agility trials. In d back seat of d jeep, Archer & Russell seemed really excited, particularly Russell d Rascal, who attempted an escape act by squeezing over d car seats n between d crates in d booth. Must hv bn watching way too many ‘Spiderman’ movies of late.

Took a detour to Taiping lake nestled in a very pretty n scenic park. But a heavy downpour put a stop to our plans to paint d park red. Once in Penang, our humans overslept n v only made it to d beach close to dusk, just in time to take in d sunset. Several resident mutts made a fuss bout us city dogs taking over deir turf. Dey were bigger den us, so v let them bark all dey want n dey soon ignored us after awhile.
'Skinny dipping at nite isnt such a big deal after all ... v do it all d time, anytime'

Junior enjoyed d swimming lessons whilst Russell seemed less happy learning d doggy paddle. I played with my frisbee which got Angel n Russell into herding mode. Dey kept pacing in circles around me and I got a little dizzy from deir merry-go-round antics. Can understand Angel d Border Collie doing it, but Russell d JRT? Again, he must hv bn watching too many ‘Babe’ movies. Got into a minor scuffle with him ven trying to convince him dat JRTs don’t do d herding stuff, v just cut straight to d chase … he just dun listen.

Next morning, Junior n I sneaked into a Bak Kut Teh stall for breakie with our humans.

Me n d gang, me n Ms Owner, me n Mr Owner, me n speed demon Jr n finally me n myself'

Was at Gurney Drive n d pleasant sea breeze kept things nice n cool ... my kind of vacation. D BKT stall owner was very friendly with every1 including dogs. D way he was rubbing shoulders with d customers, u wld think dat he was running a pub instead of a BKT stall. He also let us hv a sniff of his pampered Shih Tzu which was hiding behind d counter. Very clean n posh mutt, I must say … n a little shy.
'Dog Squad n handlers'
'Angel, putting on her boosters'
Time for d trials n d Dog Squad made up half of d competitors on d day. Since d last trial in Jan where v dominated proceedings, there was an air of anticipation bout d KL dogs as to whether v cn repeat d same performance … d pressure was on. Basic n Elementary classes hd 15 obstacles laid out on a really widespread field. No problems for us, more so for our rather unfit owners who were huffing n puffing towards d finish line.

Still, not to worry … Archer, Russell n I put in good clean runs n Angel, Cami n Junior did enuf to ensure dat d Dog Squad kept up deir winning ways. All 6 of us hd a top 3 finish in different classes n took home kibbles n trophies, sweet. D Penang Labradors hd decent runs to finish 2nd n 3rd after Angel in d maxi class. Mini class was ours for d taking n v didn’t disappoint.

'Russell's trademark kangaroo hop'

Special mention goes to Russell for his 1st successful off-leash clean run which gv him d Basic Agility title. He had a ‘pro-handler’ - my owner, n a slice of roast pork to thank for his fine run. Tried to advice him to ease up on his kangaroo leaps n adopt a more aerodynamic leg-stretch jump to gain more speed n ground, but he just dun listen ... n kept going 'boing', 'boing' 'boing' around d course. U cn always count on a JRT to b d clown in any event.

I too was eager to go n every time d judge whistled to signal an elimination, I thot it was d start of a Recall race n got into sprinting mode, twice pulling along d chair I was leashed to … us JRTs r an impatient lot.

'Cami on d broad jump n Archer thru d tyre jump'

'Kofi d Bear cum Curly Coated Retriever'

Dey also hd a novelty Gamblers course in which teams hd 30-35 secs to score points on any obstacle n 15 secs to complete d gamble sequence comprising 3 jumps n a table, in order to double d points. Pretty exciting event as d gamble sequence required distance control whereby handler hs to remain behind a line bout 7-12 feet away n K9s hv to complete d obstacles on our own.

Event provided some comic relief as d humans turned red n den blue in d face, trying to give out impromptu commands n exaggerated hand signals, to get deir dogs to move away to perform d gamble. But dogs do enjoy sticking to deir owners … n v also enjoy making our owners look foolish, even more so. D more dey tried to command us away, d closer v stuck to dem. It was a little different for me as I particularly enjoy running away from my owners. Was left to me to show how it was done n every1 was cheering me onto d final gamble obstacle, d table … so I cldnt miss, n I didn’t. GAMBLE completed, points doubled n 1st Gambler’s title won, groovy!

With all of us winning something, our cars were filled with dog food n prizes n pleased owners.

Yet another assured performance by d PetnYou Dog Squad. Next Penang trials in Nov will include d more demanding Novice Agility class n d Malaysian Agility Champion (MACH) title is at stake, provided teams cn complete 2 clean runs in d class. MACH title will sound rather cool on any K9 speedster.

Notice dat there's hardly a decent photo of me running at d trials. My owners say dat I move too fast for d camera lens, I say dat dey r too slow as wannabe shutterbugs. Junior, d fast n furious also faces d same predicament, so mayb v shld go hire some pros. Got a couple of shots from d organisers, but v look like v r about to vanish into thin air, freaky eh.
Here's 1 decent shot on d pause table ... well better den nothing, I guess.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Puppy Olympics or Puppy Politics

27 May 2007, ppcom Dog Olympics, BU park
'New Twister game'

PPcom ran deir annual Olympics Day n strangely chose to exclude agility n tricks from an extensive list of 12 doggie games. Duuuhh?? … dat's like d Olympics without d blue riband athletic events, like nasi lemak without d sambal, like KFC without d finger lickin’ good. Instead, dey opted for d Best Dressed, Best Twin, Fastest Eater n Waggiest Tail games … oh dear, our Olympic forefathers will b turning in deir graves if dey knew bout dis.

Pacco hs summed it up very well n despite dem having d best looking agility set in town, it only served as ‘furniture’ & ornament at a corner of d field. Despite deir constant declaration dat d obstacles will b available for public use during such events, hv yet to c anyone actually being encouraged to use dem at all. Must b saving it for a rainy day, I guess … funny people.
'Me mates - Cami & Hero (Black & White)'
'I tried dis weird Musical Chair game where u walk around in circles till u bcom giddy n just hv to sit down ...'
With d lack of an athletic focus, v took part in a number of casual doggie games just for d fun of it. Naturally, v didn’t fair too well in d looks & wardrobe departments & OB ‘stay still’ games.

Still, Pacco n I managed to sweep d Long Jump titles (maxi & mini dog) without much exertion. V were only just warming up n getting into our jumping strides ven dey declared dat v hd already won ... 'no sweat' is an understatement. Pacco went on to win more kibbles in d Best Retriever n Simon Says games. Sweet effort by Pacco at d retriever game n she surprised me by retrieving up to 10 consecutive plastic balls. I cldnt even manage 1 as I cldnt figure out why my owner was throwing dese foreign plastic orbs instead of my fav tennis n rubber balls. Cant help it if I prefer to play with real balls dat bounce.

Special mention goes to Scruffy who won something in almost every game on d day n deserved d Olympic Champion title, nice.

Besides d Long Jump, I defended d Fastest Recall title, heeled away with d Dog Walk title with Cami n ran an impressive 2nd in d Olympic Race with my female owner, beating a number of d male runners in d process. Gave my owner some pull factor in order to drag her across d finish line to register a swift time. Like I said, ‘If it’s movin, it’s groovin …’
'Dats me having to lug some extra weight around'
'I mayb small but I'm swift as d wind ... catch me if u can guys!'

'Oreo practising her Fastest Munching skills'

Day ended with several unsavoury incidents whereby d games committee tampered with my overall results, den tried to conceal d scoresheet from my owners n dey even went as far as conjuring up new unannounced rules after d event to justify deir decision to dilute my scores … wat a shame n embarrassment for every1 concerned.

Really wish dat dese puppy people wld grow up n stop picking on me. If dey only want to c deir own dogs on d podium, den dey shld refrain from advertising deir events as being ‘Open to all dogs’. Perhaps dey shld rename d 'Dog Olympics Day' as ‘Dog Politics Day’, seeing how dey like to play dat particular game so much.

Got to hand it to dem for being really creative ven it comes to making up rules just to prevent me & me mates from winning. Now if only dey wld channel some of dese creative energy into deir training methods n try to produce more adept dogs at agility or any dog sport for dat matter. Den dey wld hv a real chance of challenging d Dog Squad on d field n not hv to resort to such sneaky n silly tactics.
Poor show guys, doggie politics is just so uncool ...

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