Saturday, April 29, 2006

D trickiest sport in town - K9 Musical freestyle

'Sometimes in dis sport, I dun even know whether I'm coming or going.'

'Eh, watch where u r going man ...'

Ever felt like dancing? Now u cn … just put on some music, grab a partner (ur owner) n blend in a few tricks, fancy moves n heelwork n u hv 1 of d most creative activity around, ‘Dancing with Humans’. Fairly new n exciting sport which hs tremendous spectator appeal. Only drawback is dat ur owner will insist on leading all d time, even tho v all know very well who hs d slickest moves.

'd leg weave, d side step n d circle round.'

2 dance categories:
Heelwork 2 Music: dog n handler perform primarily heelwork influenced dance steps n both must stay within 4’-5’ of each other throughout d routine.
Musical Freestyle: more flexible n each routine is only limited by d team’s imagination n repertoire of moves. Basically anything goes as long as it’s entertaining, sweet.

Mutts who enjoy performing tricks will do well. Just need 2 polish up on trying 2 emulate n mirror ur partner’s dance steps, which is easier said den done. Think humans fail 2 recognise dat bsides having 4 legs 2 coordinate, v still hv 2 look 2 deir hands n feet 4 d next cue. Still, I enjoy it coz get 2 twist, spin n run circles round my owner in d pretence of dancing n best of all, d audience really appreciates it.

'Most of d time, I'm doing my best just 2 avoid being stomped on.'

Even got 2 performed a few informal demos at orphanages, old folks home, pet fair n a shopping centre ... c ’Save d Last Dance 4 Me’ clip. Not too bad 4 amateurs but my partner keeps reminding me dat I hop around n bark too much. Hence, I sometimes mix up or even forget d steps. Cant help it if he continuously flashes my trick ball 2 get me all excited during d routine. How am I supposed 2 stay ‘calm n collected’ … dose words arent even in d JRT core curriculum 2 begin with. Bsides its not called freestyle 4 nothing.

Basic steps
Some basic heelwork is an advantage. U’ll also need 2 know how 2 spin, weave, run thru n circle round ur partner’s legs. Preferably, moves cn b performed in both directions, clockwise n anti … n also on all sides ie. 2 d left, right, front n back of ur partner.

Advanced moves n tricks
Advanced moves such as step backwards, sideways, pivots n side switches will add variety n flexibility 2 d routine. Reverse, back up, circling in unison n in opposite directions r nifty moves 2 hv in ur repertoire.

Incorporating tricks will enhance spectator appeal. Sit up, stand on 2, rollover, bow n crawl r handy tricks 2 hv. Jumps thru n over ur partner’s hands, legs or body will also impress.

'Especially enjoy dis 'Monkey on d back' move.'

Song selection
As in any performance, choreography n picking a suitable accompaniment is crucial. Best 2 stay away from really slow numbers n ultra fast beats. Jazz n Latin influenced rhythms work well 4 me. Dese kinda numbers hv sufficient breaks n changes in tempo in between to allow d team 2 synchronize deir individual jumps n tricks. Melodic dance anthems r also suitable as well.

Once music selection is finalised, den practice is paramount in order 2 synchronize ur movements with ur partner 2 gv an impression of coordinated movements on d dance floor. Running circles round ur owner will only work 2 a certain degree.

In dis discipline, it’s a fine line between control n enthusiasm … n in my case, my owner hasn’t much control n I’ve too much enthusiasm, heh heh. Or mayb, it’s time 4 me 2 move on n look 4 a new n more accomplished dance partner. Now, I’ve heard of dis bloke called Fred Stair who’s pretty darn good … mayb dis time, I cn lead. Dey dun call me d groove thing 4 nothing.

'John Travolta, eat ur heart out!'

Thursday, April 20, 2006

D dirtiest activity in town - Jungle trekking

'D K9 Trekkers Gang'

'D marshall'

1 of d finest weekend activities around coz jungle trekking means getting down n dirty in d jungle n mud. Longer haired n furry mutts hv it tough as d dirt n soil will stick 2 deir coats n a thorough bath is d only remedy. JRTs r blessed in dis instance as our coats r fairly coarse, dry off easily n dirt will also fall out very nicely. Perfect 4 d rough n rugged terrains.

'D fugitive'

V normally trek every other Sat mornings at Gasing Hill, just next door. Hv also bn 2 d Bukit Kiara trek but some oddball decided 2 put up a ban against mutts in dat green lung. Pity as it hd a neat choice of routes.

D K9 Trekkers gang gets a fair share of surprised n curious looks from d morning joggers n trekkers. V try 2 maintain some order n discipline ven running in2 other trekkers coz dun wanna upset dem too much 4 fear of getting banned from yet another park.

'U know u've been in d jungle too long if u begin 2 look like dis ...'

3 routes – short (30 min), medium (1 hr) n long (1.5 hrs), inclusive of breaks n playtime thru thick leafy tropical jungle, up n down a fairly steep hill n bypassing a stream. Easy 4 K9s, moderate difficulty 4 humans. Sometimes hv 2 lug my owner around, especially during d uphill sections.

Highlight of d trek is d stream where v get 2 run off leash n soak in d cool shallow waters. Also get 2 fool around with me mates, Hana, Yen Yen, Duchess, Baby n Rakan, running loose n playing chase at dangerous speeds … dis is wat v live 4! Fair bit of mud around dis area as well if u intend 2 masquerade as d Swamp Thing. My ideal playground … mud, dirt, water n splish splash, groovy.

Sometimes bump in2 a couple of elderly gentlemen doing taichi, playing d harmonica n singing in d middle of d jungle. Funny lot dese humans … I cn appreciate d music n song but dunno bout d sloth-like dance steps.

'Yeah, finally back 2 civilisation n all d modern comforts dat comes with it.'

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Confessions of a Ball Addict

My name is Groovy, I’m a ball addict… there I’ve said it, phew. Cant really explain my hopeless fixation 4 dis round rubbery object dat bounces all over d place. Perhaps I dun really hv any 2 call my own (coz neutered) or mayb it just brings out my innate desire 2 gv chase 2 prey, but really dun recall any fox or furry mammal bouncing around in such a frantic manner from my viewings of Animal Planet. Squirrels, mayb?

Bcoz of my compulsion, I’m especially focused on any1 in possession of my ball n will just bout do anything 2 get him/her 2 play fetch with me. As d legal adage goes ‘Possession is 9/10ths ownership’ n in dis instance if u hv d ball, u also get a JRT. Initially, dey seem 2 think its cute but ven dis throw n fetch ritual goes on for >10 min without a break, deir arms will tire n dey soon regret ever picking up my ball in d 1st place. Very persistent n will continue hassling d poor fella 2 throw d ball again n again. Nothing short of an earthquake will divert my attention ven I’m in play mode. Without d ball, it’s a totally different story n I’m more likely 2 just ignore dis people, owners included … very much a Jekyl n Hyde sort of persona.

Here r my collection of balls.

4 d Outdoors
Biggie Ball I – my very 1st ball n 1 of my favs coz d texture is just rite not too soft or hard … perfect 4 prolonged chewing or so I thot. Sadly, it didn’t last very long n hs since been retired 2 d store room as it carries too many puncture wounds from my over enthusiastic gnawing. Owners hd a tough time trying 2 find a replacement n searched high n low at d shopping malls, but 2 no avail. But dey managed 2 find dis…

Biggie Ball II which is now my prized ball. Same texture, slightly smaller with vibrant ring patterns. Hv murdered 1 since n once again owners hd 2 shop frantically 4 a replacement coz without d ball, dey hv no control over me n just cant get me 2 do anything … panic. Lotsa glue was dispensed in trying 2 patch up d holes but dis was only a temporary measure. Nowadays dey r more wary n will not allow me 2 sink my teeth in2 it as b4 …. spoil sports.

Rubber Ball – small, hard, bouncy rubber with a bell inside, my pet trick ball. Extremely chewy n gets me going all d time. Ven I’m overly excited, will den hop around like a demented rabbit … gets on my owners’ nerves ven I’m like dat. Hey, its not my fault dat dogs tend 2 play with unadulterated enthusiasm, blame it on our genes. Nice fit in my mouth n fairly durable. Bell has gone MIA.

Tennis Ball – d good old tennis ball, my owners’ fav coz u cn just bout pick dem up from any nearby tennis courts FOC. No cost, no frantic searching n always readily available. Even d tennis coach provides me with hand me downs every now n den, nice chap with a couple of pooches. Good 4 retrieving exercises n keeps me going 4 awhile but still prefer d other 1s.

4 Indoors
Yellow Ball
– very bouncy n achieves good heights. Good foam layer 4 comfortable catches. My in house tennis ball.

Orange Ball – not really a ball but a squeaky plastic toy in d form of a hedgehog. Great 4 chewing but dun bounce or roll so well due 2 odd shape.

Squeaky Ball – light weight, plasticky n squeaks but hs been fairly quiet of late after I sank my teeth in2 it. Ideal 4 in house play coz potential 4 damage 2 household furniture is limited.

Football – imported item stuffed with cotton, hence d limited useful life. Great if u r in2 unstuffing cushions n couches.

Egg – owners tried 2 pass dis over as a ball 2 me but I wasn’t born yesterday. Hv seen dis item b4 at d pasar malam n its traded like a commodity, so it cant b of much use 2 pooches. Very uneven bounce n gvs me a whiplash every time I lunge 2 catch it.

Babble Ball - so called as dis orb actually talks back 2 u if u handle it. Limited vocabulary tho n keeps yelling out, ‘Hey, stop it, Get outta here, Knock it off, Wat r u doing?’. Needless 2 say, not 1 of my preferred balls n also a pretty hard nut 2 crack due 2 its tough casing.

Ball…oon – not really a ball but a kid’s fav all d same. Nice floating action n hang time in air. Good 4 head butting coz no pain on contact. Also perfect 4 slapping ur own face around…just get a hold of d knotted end n fling it n it’ll bounce wildly off ur face from side 2 side, sweet.

Spare Balls – Think my owners hv bcom a little paranoid n hv begun hoarding extras just in case my existing 1s go MIA or hv 2 b retired due 2 wear n tear. Mayb dey shld consult me b4 buying anymore. Just waiting 4 d day ven I grow even taller so dat I can reach d drawer where dese treasures r being kept.

'Makan bola, minum bola, tidur bola, mimpi pun bola...'

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

D Weather Report

Autumn in KL
Went 4 a stroll at d Tmn Desa Community Park recently n bumped in2 1 of my fav playmates, Snowy. Tiny n rather neat looking gal who also luvs d rough n tumble moves.

D huge trees were changing deir coat, leaves where falling all around n piles of brown leaves smothered d park grounds … reminiscence of autumn in d colder countries (so my owners tell me). D cool n cloudy day was just perfect 4 a picnic but some1 forgot d snacks n treats.

'Trying 2 gain d sympathy vote by feigning injury...'

Hd a blast just rolling on d leaves n hanging bout with me mate. Was beginning 2 feel bit nostalgic bout d setting … or perhaps its just old age catching up with me. But dat was only 4 a brief mo n was soon back 2 my old groove, wrestling n growling with Snowy in d park.

'Snowy attempting camouflage maneuvers.'

Now who says u cn only get 1 season in KL … personally, I prefer d rain n ensuing mud baths.

Rainy days n complimentary mud baths

Always look forward 2 dis kinda weather coz wet rainy days = plenty of inviting muddy patches in d field 2 soak in. N if d mud has hd time 2 settle n dry a little, producing a thick, sticky chocolate mousse sort of setting, even better as u cn den dip ur face in2 it n hey presto ... u get an instant mud facial treatment dat is as natural as dey come, its d best feeling, really! I totally understand why even humans go thru such a procedure at d spa. Therapeutic fun n recommended 4 pooches especially d furry n hairy types …try it n watch ur owners turn a different shade of colour.

Shld c my owners ven dey try 2 stop me from diving in2 dese patches, especially ven I’ve just hd a bath. Dey immediately morph in2 seasoned rugby players n try 2 tackle or herd me away from dese areas. Dey
dun seem 2 mind so much ven its bath day tho. Mud baths r my fav kinda bath.

I sometimes dream of being caught up in a minor flood with d complimentary stream of muddy, brown water 2 wade in. Ducks do it, why cant v.

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