Thursday, September 04, 2008

1st title on my 5th birthday at most scenic grounds

Last weekend, we headed to Ms Owner’s hometown in Ipoh to participate in the combined Ipoh Schutzhund and PAA Agility trials. Venue for the trials was the Iskandar Polo Club grounds near Tambun town. Resident horses in the paddocks and stables stared at us as we drove in. The field was huge with a healthy carpet of grass. At the far end, a serene lake and rolling limestone hills formed a charming backdrop. I was impressed and already looking forward to running in such a sublime setting!

Huge grounds to explore and plenty of smells to figure out. First stop was the paddocks where several horses were sunning themselves. When you are standing next to Mr Horse, you feel really small. After awhile, you’ll develop a stiff neck from staring at him for too long. Wished I had legs like that … long, lean and muscular. Then I’ll be able to take part in the greyhound races at the track. Mr Owner mentioned that he was born in the Year of the Horse but he doesn’t look anything like these handsome fellas.
You can always count on Russell the JRT to create some ruckus … he broke free from his master, headed straight for the paddocks and went into play mode with the horses. Had our owners worried sick as he was weaving and hanging around Mr Horse’s hind legs. I told them not to sweat as the worst thing that could happen is for Mr Horse to kick some sense into him. Fortunately, the horses were well trained and conditioned, even in the presence of dogs, and didn’t pay much attention to him.
The lake and limestone hills area was a real treat. We sat on the park bench and posed for mandatory holiday photos … it seemed like one of those farmstay resorts (dog friendly) you see in the Travel & Adventure channel, nice. Lake was very inviting and I dragged my owner to have a dip at the lake edge. The water babies, Scruffy and Ginger the Mixy, couldn’t wait anymore and jumped in for a short doggie paddle. How we wished we had such an environment in the big city … it would be the perfect playground.
Time to earn some kibble at the agility ring. For once, we didn’t have to put up with crammed and stuffy indoor halls or smallish outdoor rings. With no restrictions to size, the courses were well spread out which is suited for fast and large dogs as well. No worries bout having to slam on the brake pads too much. Mr Owner only had to watch my inconsistent contacts at the dogwalk, which was a 50-50 thingy.
Needed 1 more clean run in Novice class to gain the Malaysian Agility Champion title from PAA, hence Mr Owner and I played it safe by running the more conservative line so as not to miss any entry or obstacle. Made the contacts, only just, got the clean run and now I get to add the following abbreviation to my dog tag:
Groovy, M.A.CH. … cool eh.
My training mate, Kimi the JRT, also did well by coming in 2nd in his first Novice agility trial … and he is just a year old! Congrats to Ginger on her 1st ever win at Jumpers. Pacco gave us a near heart attack in her first run in Jumpers by zooming out of the ring just to say hi to me and my owners. She did much better in the second run and took 3rd spot. Seems like her run is more controlled and focused this time around, so her short rehab stint must be working.

Schutzhund trials were on at the same time and there was the customary fireworks as part of the stay with distraction exercise. I don’t enjoy sudden loud noises and fretted for the Schutzhund dogs. But all is well once my ball is in sight as I tend to block out and forget all the commotion when in play mode. Ran a good qualifying Gamblers course with a score of 40 points, which made it 2 wins out of 2.Time to celebrate and we headed downtown to a crowded coffee shop serving ‘snowflake beer’ for humans, which happens to be the closest thing to freezing ice cold beer … ideal for our hot tropical weather. Shared the same birthday as Mr Chan on 31 August, which also happens to be Merdeka (Independence) Day. Regular cake shops were already closed, so we had to make do with a moon cake and 1 candle. Was a little anxious when Mr Chan lifted me up so that we could blow off the candle and cut the cake together. Dogs don’t really know how to blow so I stuck out my tongue just to please him.
Night ended up with Merdeka Day fireworks ... how appropriate, a number of milestones were achieved on that day.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Making waves at Kpg Pertak

Half day trip to d cool n chilly Kampung Pertak stream, which ranks high on our all time list of fav hangouts n places to be seen at. Max d Lab joined us n he happens to be 1 of my best buddies cause he is a big fella n shows no interest in my toys (reminds me a lot of Bank the GR). Hence, I feel pretty comfortable with him around. He just lumbers around n does his own thing at his own pace, sweet.
Piper n Dookie, mother n son team, also tagged along. Typical JRTs who r obsessed with balls, sticks n enjoy d splish splash.
Here's Pacco who prefers to keep her paws dry. Has found a way to maneuver around d stream without getting wet by jumping from boulder to boulder. I tried out some of her moves with varying degree of success, but I need longer legs ... in the meantime, will hv to stick to my trusty lifevest for added buoyancy.
Lifevests were d order of d day. Venus wore a pink polka dotted one .. I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those but I guess it works for the ladies. MinPins, Lotus n Empress hd yellow n blue spacesuits.
Pacco obviously didn't read d washing instructions n put d vest to clean in d washing machine, hence why she looks like a stuffed dumpling in d above pic ... u can tell she isnt impressed with d post-wash fit. Russell d JRT also hd a similar blue vest. Has a strange obsession for my toys. Here he is chewing up my ball n enjoying every second of it ... if he continues in this manner, I will soon be chewing on his ass!Here's Max d Lab scaring d living daylights out of Ginger d Mixy! Ginger's reaction appears a little overdramatic ... I did mention that Max is a big fella.

Meanwhile Piper n Dookie r busy chasing sticks. Dookie has a new interpretation of the popular human pastime of 'pole dancing'. I'm impressed but would hv personally preferred to see the ladies handling the 'pole'.
My ball is finally free from Russell's grasp n it is time to make waves. In the jungle, I'm a hunter ... ball + water = 1 happy dog!

We tried our paws at d surfboard but our owners got carried away by attempting to fit way too many dogs onto it. Ever get that sinking feeling ... Dog overboard!

'Okay, who's d smarty pants who put our balls there?'

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