Thursday, September 8, 2011

Charlie's Story: Rally Competition

What a whirlwind couple of weeks!  Up before the roosters and bleary eyed for television interviews, then off to the Lexington Kennel Club dog show for my first ever obedience rally competition.  Sleep was becoming a precious commodity for a busy brown dog on the go.  Bill Bryant, Lee Cruse (who referred to me as a mutt), Stacy Ellisson ( my favorite ) and Kristi Runyon were welcoming and happy to have me and my new four legged friends on the set.  Bonnie was a master spokesperson, giving first rate interviews with each station.

Was it ever hot for the first three days of the competition!  This little brown dog absorbs all the sunlight.  Mom had to keep me iced down to prevent overheating.  My first two days I posted a perfect 100 score on the course!  By day three, I was wearing down and had a minor bobble, posting a 98.  But it was a sweep, winning all three days against the pure breeds.  This completed my novice title!  I am now officially Charlie Chip, RN ( Rally Novice ). 

Day four brought a tough decision.  I could continue to compete at the same level or move up into the advanced level, off leash.  Mom (with prodding from Dad ) decided to move me onward since my performance was stellar.  Boy was she nervous.  Advance adds harder maneuvers, jumping and is off leash. (boy could I have some fun with that! ) I’ll admit we needed work on some of the advance maneuvers and she drilled me hard that night!  “Team Charlie” showed up the next morning ( t-shirts in place ) to give emotional support.  Needless to say, I performed like a pro and posted a 96, thus earning the first rally advanced leg of my title.  Why would they doubt me?

I’m just glad to have the last few days to SLEEP!  I have been blessed to have great friends following me and my story.  I will continue onward toward my advanced, then an excellent rally title.  A huge accomplishment for this little All American dog!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

      I was adjusting to life without a cat better than I expected.  Mo and Tuff died early 2010 about 3 months apart.  It was very quiet in our house without our cats even though we have 3 dogs.  Then one day my husband decided that we needed the cutest little black kitten with no tail.  He was sweet for approximately 3 days then the teeth and claws became his weapons.  He would constantly stalk and attack our feet, toes and bare legs, climbing them whenever possible with screams following from our end.  Anytime we would hold him he would bite us quite hard for such a little guy.  Only Sophie, one of our chihuahuas, could play with him.  She loves him and protects him from the other dogs, but she can't provide the discipline that he needs from another cat.

So the dreaded day came where I had to take my own advice that I so frequently gave out at the clinic.
"What do I do with a kitten that is very play aggressive?" they say
"Get another cat of course, it will help them get the extra energy out" I say so non-chalantly to those clients.

     Upon our research of the surrounding shelters and our daughter's recent adoption of a shelter cat, we chose Woodford Humane Society.  They had a program called 60 cats in 60 days where the cats that had been at the shelter the longest were adopted out to approved homes with the adoption fee waived.  My daughter's cat is a really sweet girl that fit right in to her 2 cat, 1 puppy household.  We thought we'd give it a try.  My husband went in search of one we had seen online.  The shelter worker said unfortunately she would probably not be a good match with a kitten.  She recommended a 4 year old male named Doakes.  He had been at the shelter since April 2010.  He's a large, black cat with beautiful green eyes.  He called me and discussed the recommendation and we settled on him since he would be a better fit.

     When Doakes got to our home he smacked our cattle dog in her face 3 times and glared at her until she walked away.  He settled right in to life in our home in about an hour.  Our kitten was unsure of him the first night, but the next day they were big buddies.  It's still too soon to see if the kitten's attitude will be adjusted but our fingers are crossed.  I think Doakes is enjoying his new home.  He sleeps with us, along with Sophie who is not liking the company.  The cats are such opposite personalities that we have decided on the names - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I think by reading you know which is which.  Wish us luck.  I think we are going to need it.