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December 1, 2011: This Dog's Life

At the Iowa State Fair four or five years ago my husband Mark and I happened upon an agility exhibition sponsored by Des Moines Area Dog Obedience Club. We watched, amazed, as handlers directed dogs large and small, purebred and mutt, through obstacles on the arena floor. Responding to minimal hand signals, the dogs, some barking joyfully, jumped fence sections, scampered up a teeter totter, ran in and out of tubing, and shimmied through weave poles.

We started studying breeds and talking about a dog but waited several years, until our work loads diminished, to acquire a puppy. A miniature golden doodle, "Scrabble" came home with us from her birthplace in eastern Iowa July 7, 2010, at twelve weeks of age.

Scrabble's extreme cuteness helped us endure her chewing phase, her digging phase, and the ups and downs of house breaking. We lucked out on personality—our dog is more interested in people than her food dish, loves road trips to Washington Island and Chicago, and will fetch for a tiny piece of kibble.

I visited Des Moines Area Dog Obedience Club headquarters this past spring, shortly after Scrabble's first birthday, and enrolled her in a beginning class that started in June. Being around other dogs, wearing a training collar, and learning basic commands were stimulating and exhausting for my young dog, and me.

One evening after class I stuck around chatting with DMOTC dog-fancying volunteers. The owner of a standard poodle was a quilter too and recognized me from TV. As the two women answered my questions about agility trials I realized that participating in such competitions involves purchasing a camper, staying in campgrounds, and finding dinner in campground areas.

Scrabble now has her basic obedience training certificate, and we're currently enrolled in intermediate level. She's beginning to understand heel position, and her sit/stay has been praised by our instructor. A class called "Tricks" is coming up early next year.

No matter how well she does, though, there is no camper in Scrabble's future.

 

 

Today's Fortune Cookie Fortune:

 You will spend time with your pet.

 

 

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Registered CommenterMarianne Fons | Comments1 Comment | References19 References

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Reader Comments (1)

Glad to see that you are writing again. I enjoy reading your blog.
Jan

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan

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