Memory Monday: Agility

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As was the way with most things we did together, Lexi loved training and running Agility courses. No matter where we were, if she saw agility obstacles, she would go and run them. When we were learning the weave poles, the instructor told us to lead our dogs through the first pole, then to let them run straight along the side to get used to the poles. Lexi, being the precocious pup that she was, did a perfect weave first time out (with no previous training).

When we were practicing, she was very patient with me (thank you, Lexi) when I would get confused about which obstacle was next. She would simply go to her favorite – the V ramp – and run it over and over until I got my bearings.

Today, while going through a box of Valentine decorations we will use for our  Dance Class Valentine Party, I came across a forgotten memory. These are our certificates of completion for Agility 1: Foundation; Agility 2: Obstacles; and Agility 3: Sequences.

Toward the end of the Sequences Course, our turn had come at the starting line. The instructor, with timer in hand, asked if we were ready. Looking down, I said, “Are you ready, Lexi?” In answer, Lexi shot toward the first obstacle, with me a split second behind her. I faintly heard the instructor call, “I guess she was ready!” I think, if Lexi hadn’t been totally focused on her task, her reply would have been, “I was born ready.”

 

Lexi’s Memorial Service – Recorded

For those of you who were unable to watch live this morning, here is the link to the recorded service. The sound levels are not great on this raw footage, so please bear with it. They improve a bit into it. Later, when my dear, over-worked husband has a bit of time to work on the sound, I will repost it. But for those who don’t want to wait, here it is on Vimeo:

Lexi’s Memorial Service at St. Luke UMC

 

 

Continuing the 8 Photos of Happiness Challenge

Noodle nominated me to participate in the 8 Photos of Happiness Challenge created by Ariel’s Little Corner of the Internet. How fun! In no particular order…

My all-time favorite thing…the stage. And this is a montage, so it counts as one picture, as Noodle said!

My all-time favorite thing…the stage. And this is a montage, so it counts as one picture, as Noodle said!

I love to go to Rock City with Mom and Dad for Rocktober Fest. I always see some of my peeps friends there and there is good German food for a good German dog, too!

I love to go to Rock City with Mom and Dad for Rocktober Fest. I always see some of my peeps friends there and there is good German food for a good German dog, too!

This picture is from my 10-year-old birthday party. I had a Healthy Choice meal with my Mom and Dad and then my very own cake shaped like a dog. I know, kinda’ weird, but Mom meant well. Can you see the happy all over my face?

This picture is from my 10-year-old birthday party. I had a Healthy Choice meal with my Mom and Dad and then my very own cake shaped like a dog. I know, kinda’ weird, but Mom meant well. Can you see the happy all over my face?

This one is from my last Freestyle competition. I love Freestyle!

This one is from my last Freestyle competition. I love Freestyle!

Another  birthday pic, this one from this past May. I love birthdays and I love MickyD's!!

Another birthday pic, this one from this past May. I love birthdays and I love Micky D’s!!

I love boating on my Sammy Joe, feeling the wind in my face.

I love boating on my Sammy Joe, feeling the wind in my face.

I love to help Mom in the kitchen.

I love to help Mom in the kitchen.

There are so many more pictures of things that make me happy, it is hard to choose the last one. Should it be of me at work at the church on the mountain? Or rolling in the ivy? Or taking a trip?

It's hard to stay awake when it is bedtime, but sacri- fices have to be made.

This is one of my nite-nite rituals with my Dad. Happy endings to happy days.

It’s now time for me to nominate the following blogs/friends:

One of my new friends Kona, at Mister Baloney Head

Sammy at, well, Saving Sammie

My friend who I wish would stay out of the street, Cupcake, at Cupcake Speaks

Sophie, who knows what a real terrier attitude should be, at corkscot (OK, Shelby and Sidney too)

I do not wish to be responsible for anyone’s unhappiness because I inadvertently omitted them, so If you want to join the challenge, just JOIN!

Rules and explanation of this tag:

  • Thank your nominator/s and link them in your post.
  • Link the creator (Ariel’s little corner of the internet)
  • Post your 8 photos of happiness;
  • The photos can be anything that represents a moment, object, place or feeling that makes you happy.
  •  Pop in a brief description of the photo, why you chose it or let the photos do the talking!
  • Spread the happiness and tag up to ten other bloggers!

Memory Monday: The Triple i

It’s Memory Monday time again and I wanted to try once again to explain why  I am not BFF’s with Riley . He is an imposter, an imposer and an imposition. (I am practicing my i words today.) He wants to do everything I do. Here are two examples. (No Mom, I don’t think I am obsessing over Riley.)Memory Monday:

June 18, 2012

Riley’s Diary: I am an agility AND a freestyle dog.

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Me and Andrew at Agility!

Hi friends. I completed my first agility course with my people brother Andrew and got a nice piece of paper for it. Not edible. Andrew is going to keep it because it is his first time doing anything like this. Well, it is my first time too, but I love Andrew so I guess I will let him keep it. We are now in Agility II and doing stuff called teeters and weaves. I am slowly getting used to stepping on a training board that moves around. It is a bit scary, but I am getting braver every week. The other dogs are all running across the real teeter. I need to think about it a bit longer before I trust it. Agility is really great though, cause I get tons and tons of treats while I am there, really good stuff I never get any other time. The best part, though is that Andrew has a new toy he plays with me only when we are there. I want to play with the other dogs, too, but I have to understand that this is not the time for it.

Me and Milo practicing our Freestyle.

Me and Milo practicing our Freestyle.

I have also been going with Mom and Lexi and Milo to Freestyle training. I have to sit in a crate a lot, but boy do I ever love it when I get to go on the floor and strut my stuff. Everyone says how very beautiful I look with my long legs, just like a Tennessee Walking Horse. Now I don’t know what that is, but it must be really pretty.

I am so happy to get to do the things my talented little sis does! She’s the best!  Riley

Now here is a Memory Monday from my best guy, Noodle. Noodle 2

More News from our BFF’s

Mom and I have had a busy few days at our BFF’s. Remember Claud the c-a-t?

Claudia, aka Claud, aka the c-a-t

Claudia, aka Claud, aka the c-a-t

She now looks like this:

Claud the naked cat

Claud the naked cat

Yep, Mom brought her grooming tools from Tennessee and shaved the c-a-t. I saw the clippers come out and I know a look of panic crossed my face. Then I saw Mom carry Claud to her make-shift grooming table and watched as Claud promptly flew off the table, not to be seen again for hours. When Mom finally found Claud and got her back on the table, Mom “scruffed” her during the entire groom. She said it was the only way she could shave her. Claud was not amuzed. (I was.) In the picture above she is hiding in the closet.

Monday was our BFF’s birthday and there were people coming and going all day. I was worn out from greeting everyone with hearty barks. Tuesday was the same way. Thankfully, only one couple came by today, and they brought food. They liked me and I got some of the food. It was good eye talian food.

Mom left the house for a while yesterday and said she had a reunion with her whole family. She was gone a couple of hours. Here are the pictures she took of the reunion.

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he Family in Oakwood Cemetery

The Family in Oakwood Cemetery

When Mommy came back to our BFF’s, her eyes were red. Her eyelids were all red, too. Apparently, the poison ivy had come back with a vengeance and had traveled to her face.

Poison Ivy by nose and on eyelids. It itches.

Poison Ivy by nose and on eyelids. It itches.

It took three days for Mom’s doctor’s office to call in a prescription to the pharmacy and the pharmacy to get the medicine in stock. The rash wasn’t bad when Mom first called the doctor on Monday. By today – Wednesday – it is on it’s way to real bad. Mom is not amused.

Today we weeded and watered our BFF’s garden. She has flowers and tomato plants.  I adopted the St. Francis of Assisi statue. Did you know he is the patron saint of animals? I will leave it for our BFF to take care of it when we go home.

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My daddy can’t be here, so I have adopted our BFF’s husband to be my temporary daddy. He thinks it’s great that I go to him now to ask to go out and to be fed and to get treats. 🙂 I wonder why my daddy at home doesn’t appreciate all the attention…

I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

I won an award (again)

liebster-award

My new bestest  blog friend Noodle nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I won! Yea! You can check out Noodles blog at Noodle4President: The Adventures of Noodle the Schnoodle.

Along with the award, I am required to answer some questions. Noodle also added questions for me to answer, so here goes:

With the nomination comes the duty of having to answer 11 questions.

1) What do you consider to be the best time of day: When I first wake up in the morning. Dad feeds me my breakfast with special toppings, then I get to go to work with Mom. I hardly ever get a bath in the morning.

2) Name your icon: LexiToto. It is my headshot from playing Toto in the Wizard of Oz. It is in the playbills and on posters.

3) Do you have a nemesis, if so who / what? Nope, everyone loves me.

4) If you could have a super power what would it be? X-ray vision. That way, I wouldn’t have to jump up and check out if someone was eating in another room.

5) Postman, love them or hate them? The only postman I ever met was at work at St. Paul’s. I used to bark at him, and he would just smile and pet me. So I guess I love them. They can’t be intimidated, and they are good petters.

6) What is your earliest memory ? Coming to my new home when I was 8 weeks old. The big German Shepherd Ara wanted to play and he was trying to run me down. I had to dive under chairs really fast to avoid being splattered.

7) How did you start writing a blog ? My Mom found Dogster and she started posting all the interesting things I was doing on it, beginning when I was two years old. Then Dogster got bought by someone else and they threatened to close all the blogs, so Mom made me a new blog just my own.

8) Social media, pleasure or bane of your life ? Pleasure. It makes me more famous, which might mean more treats.

9) What is the one thing you treasure above anything else ? That’s tough. I want to say steak, but that sounds self-serving. (I would love to self-serve some steak right now!) So I guess I would say bedtime when I crawl under the covers long enough to lick Mom’s stinky feet before surfacing for air.  That’s when I have to jump out of bed and wash my mouth out with the fresh water in my bathroom water dish – no not the toilet!

10) Do you have a nickname if so what is it and why? Dad calls me Little One. Mom calls me Gorgeous Worgeous. My friend Gail calls me Lexipro and Lexicon. Sometimes I am referred to as The Lexter. I don’t know why, but I have learned to answer to them all in case someone is calling me to give me a treat.

11) What is your favourite past time? Acting on stage, then competitive dancing, also called Freestyle.

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6 Random Facts About Me:

1) I am 11. That’s not old.That’s 60 in people years.  I bark at people who call me old.

2) I am big breasted. It is caused by a fatty tumor covering my entire chest area. I hear breasts are mostly fat anyhow.

3) I love to ride in the car and go boating on my pontoon.

4) I love to go the the children’s hospital to therapize the kids, parents and staff.

5) My new Kindle edition book just got published. It is called The Life and Times of a Thespian Schnauzer. It is about me.

6) I hate bananas. And most chips. I like pickles and most any other people food.

Now, here are Noodle’s questions and my answers:

1) What would you do if your parents brought home a new puppy?
I would wonder if they needed their heads examined. If they wanted to clean up pee and poop all over the house and listen to a lot of whining, they should have just told me so. I can be very accommodating.

2) If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Back on the stage at the Theatre Centre. It is where I am happiest.

3) What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
Well, I had to set up an email account when I started my blog, and I hear you can get attachments on e-mail. I am hoping to get lots of treats attached…

4) If you went to the pet store, what is one thing you couldn’t leave without buying?
I saw a ferret I really wanted, but mom wouldn’t buy it for me. I heard her say something about me being a ratter.

5) What do you want to be when you grow up? If you are already a grown up, did you do what you wanted to do?
I didn’t know I wanted to be a therapy dog until I got to go into the kid’s hospital and make them smile. Now I smile the whole time I am there doing therapy, and they smile too. It’s my best trick. I am an actor, a therapy dog, an agility dog and a freestyle dog. Yep, I did what I wanted to do, and am still doing most of it.

6) What is your favorite animal? Me

7) How would you describe your personality? My motto is “Mine, now.” Even though I can be pretty self-serving, I really am sensitive to how people feel and try to make them feel better when they are sad. I am busy, as in, “Why walk when you can trot?” I am focused on whatever I do. I like to bark but understand when Mom tells me to be sweet.

8) If you could change one thing about your parents, what would you change? They would feed me more often and with their food.

9) Do you sleep in the bed with your parents, a crate, couch, or a doggy bed? I start out in my kennel. Then I get in bed with my folks. Then I sleep on the big ortho dog bed that used to belong to my sister Lily, who went to the rainbow bridge. Then I get back in bed with Mom and Dad. Sometimes I get back out and sleep on the rug. I move around a lot. I have homemade wooden doggie stairs right next to the bed, so it is easy to do. (I hope this wasn’t supposed to be a one-word answer. If so, the answer is crate-parents-doggiebed-rug.)

10) Do you play fetch? No, I play catch. I make up the rules, of course. Playing catch with the ball is good training for catching food, and that’s what’s important. Actually, once in a great while I will play fetch, but I only do it to make my Mom happy. If she throws the stick or ball more than once, I quit. I can only make her so happy, then her happiness is her own responsibility.

11) If you answered ‘yes’ to #10: Why would you play that silly game?! I just don’t understand it! If you answered ‘no’, is it because it makes no sense to you, too???

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Third place at Freestyle

April 20, 2012
Mom and I competed in Freestyle again. I got third place in my division. Mom said it didn’t count, since it was also last place. Hmmmm. I think she has a bad attitude about it. She wouldn’t even let me wear my ribbon. I decided to change the routine, and is it my fault she couldn’t follow along? She was not happy with me for a whole week. Geesh. You would think I had done my business on the floor in front of everyone, or something else as mortifying. I think she is looking for different music, as though that will help! Ha! Mom just needs to follow better. You would think that all this dancing with Dad would have taught her to do that. Or maybe next time I will follow her! Won’t Mom be surprised!

Lexi the leader

May birthday – Year recapped

May 9, 2010

It’s been such a busy year!

My birthday was Friday, and I went to St. Paul’ Episcopal Church – where Mom works – to spend the day. We had a party – cupcakes and doggie ice cream for me, people ice cream for everyone else. How many schnauzers do you know who get to have a birthday party at church! I have been there more lately, since our house is up for sale and I go with mom when there is going to be a showing. Everyone loves me (of course) as I play my magic on them. If Mom can’t find me, she just has to look for who has food at their desk. I will be sitting there staring at them. Not long ago I greeted one of my bestest friends, Gail, at the back door, and made her understand I wanted her to follow me. I led her into the work room where I had detected bagels on the table, but couldn’t reach them. I had been sitting staring up at the table until I heard Gail come in and ran to ask for some help. Unfortunately, Gail didn’t give me one.

It has been anotherexciting year for me! Mom and I graduated from three agility classes; then mom put it down for a while. I was doing fine. Mom was having trouble keeping her bearings on the course. So then we moved on to Freestyle with a different group. Pam Moore (with Sophie) was in agility with us, and went on to Freestyle. Sophie has really blossomed with this special attention. She even won some events her first time out at an agility competition! Anyhow, it was mostly just me and Sophie in the Freestyle training with a couple of good teachers (and mom and Pam). They were starting to prepare us to compete in the April event here in Chattanooga. Then another opportunity opened that I couldn’t resist – I was asked to play Toto again at the Colonnade in Ringgold, GA. We had six weeks of rehearsals and two weekends of performance, and it knocked us out of Freestyle training. I figured we could get back into Freestyle, but this opportunity wouldn’t wait. Anyhow, I bonded with my new Dorothy, who Mom couldn’t call Dorothy, because every time she did, I went running off looking for Kim, who played my first Dorothy. So mom just called her by her name, Kandis. The wicked witch, Jan, used to train dogs, so we spent some time at her house with Kandis, too, during which time I also bonded with her…not such a good thing. Read on… The second weekend of the play, during the scene where Miss Gulch (also played by Jan) has lost “that dratted dog” and gone back to the farm looking for me, I got away from a distracted Kandis (who was probably texting, but definitely not watching me) and ran back out on stage to Jan, where I stop and look up at her. Jan looks down at me and cracks up. At that point “Uncle Henry” points at me and says, “There’s that dratted dog!” and, as if on cue, I run back off the stage to Mom. Everyone in the audience roared with laughter. I do love to make people laugh!

I remember my role from 2 1/2 years ago. I picked up old habits, like how I followed the foursome down the yellow brick road. My agility and freestyle training had honed my responsiveness to their movements. And yes, in the opening scene where I run out onto stage at the end of the Rainbow song, ending up in Dorothy’s arms, a collective “awwwwww” still resounded from the audience.

Jennefer (Piper’s mom) and my mom are still good friends. So she came the first night the play opened and sat in the second row. Yeah, not a good idea. Halfway through the second act, I peeped out from behind the curtain, spotted her, and tore across the stage, and down the stairs, leaping into her lap! Jennefer said she felt like such a proud aunt. People started asking her if I was her dog, and she said, no, I am her niece. Now we call her “Auntie Jen.”

The same doggie bakery who made all my healthy treats and “hot dogs” (really dog biscuits) donated them for the play. They remembered me. Who wouldn’t?

A couple of weeks after the play ended, Mom and Dad and I attended the cast party. They played the video of one of the performances, and at the end of the opening credits, it said, in great big letters, “Introducing Lexi as Toto”. Not quite accurate, but pretty neat, nonetheless. I mingled and when dinner was served I sat at the head of one of the tables and ate my salmon and asparagus off a fork (of course Mom cut it up and helped me with the fork). I never, ever, put my head down into the plate when sitting at a table. I to know that would be extremely bad manners.

I go once a month to T.C. Thompson Children’s hospital. Among all my tricks, the best one is putting a big smile on a sick kid’s face. I sit quietly on the bed next to a child to let him/her pet me. I don’t move around the bed or ever step on the child, which is pretty important since many have had surgery. We would both love to go more often, but there are too many dogs who love to do the same thing. Mom is certainly blessed to have a boss who sees the importance in what we do, that she can take off work every month to do this.

I am scheduled to go to an elementary school next week. The children have been reading about service dogs, and they want me to come so they can see a real, live, therapy dog. Mom says I will probably spend the time sniffing under their desks for crumbs!

It’s been such a busy year! I am looking forward to lots more fun in the year ahead.

Ya’ll be good, and if you can’t be good, don’t get caught!

Lexi, the birthday girl

Running around plungers for treats

September 4, 2009

Hi fellow canines and my people friends, too.  I think Mom has officially lost her mind. She has me running around toilet plungers she has set up in the living room. Mom got this idea from my agility class. Yeah, there are a bunch of these plunger thingies set up in a row right down the middle of the living room. She puts a treat in her hand and weaves it through the plungers for me to follow, while she keeps saying, “weave, weave, weave.” I think she is trying to teach me something, but I am concentrating so hard on the hand that has the treat, that is all I can think about.

OK, you may say I am the one who has lost my mind for actually doing it, but what you don’t know is that I follow the treat. Yes, always follow the treat.

Lexi, the plunger dog (gahhhh!)

Therapy and Agility

August 25, 2009

Hi friends, especially all my new friends at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital. I got to visit with some cool teens yesterday. You guys really know how to pet a dog and scratch the best places. I wanted to stay and visit longer, but Mom only had an hour, so we had to leave. Although I want to come back soon, I have to wait until September 24. I really like Fifi, too. She is the person in charge of the pet therapy department. I bet she got that job because of her name! Fifi gives me good treats. I saw where she got them, so I jumped on the chair next to the treat jar to try to save her the trouble of getting me more. I stretched as high as I could, but couldn’t quite reach it. She saw me trying and helped me out. She’s a good one, that gal. I like her, too.

I went to my agility class last night. I keep my eyes on where the treats are so I can skip the table and jumps and stuff and go right to the treat. Mom says I am not supposed to do that, so I try to do all the obstacles in between. Sometimes, though, I just can’t help myself!

Next Monday is my final class in this series, and my dad is going to come watch me run the course and get my certificate. I hope this time I get something better than a tasteless piece of paper! It’s pretty boring around here tonight, so I think I will go to bed and wait for my night-night treat.

Lexi the sleepy dog

Agility II

August 11, 2009

I just finished my third Agility II class. I ran faster than anyone and did everything right. I LOVE my agility class. I love jumping and running through tunnels and up and down boards. I especially love all the treats. Wow, it is sooooo much fun. People are starting to watch me, and I love that too. Mom says I am her superstar.

Mom took off my leash and said, “Are you ready?” In answer, I shot forward, leaped over the hurdle and on to the next obstacle, with Mom trying to catch up. (he, he, he). In the distance, we could hear the trainer saying, “I guess she was ready!”

Lexi the agility dog

Agility II

August 11, 2009

I just finished my third Agility II class. I ran faster than anyone and did everything right. I LOVE my agility class. I love jumping and running through tunnels and up and down boards. I especially love all the treats. Wow, it is sooooo much fun. People are starting to watch me, and I love that too. Mom says I am her superstar.

Mom took off my leash and said, “Are you ready?” In answer, I shot forward, leaped over the hurdle and on to the next obstacle, with Mom trying to catch up. (he, he, he). In the distance, we could hear the trainer saying, “I guess she was ready!”

Lexi the agility dog

Graduated!

July 14, 2009

I passed my agility test yesterday and got a paper certificate. It wasn’t a big deal like my Annie Award. I love my Annie Award. Mom seemed really happy, though, and gave me and Lily and Ivy doggie ice cream when we got home. Now she says we are going for the advanced class. I want to go dance, and she says we can do that too.

I love being busy and doing stuff with my Mom. 🙂

Lexi, the Graduate

Agility Classes

July 11, 2009

Hi friends. Last time we met, I was wondering about this agility class my Mom signed me up for. Now I am going to my last class (class #6) this Monday. It has been a blast! I get more treats there than anywhere. It’s been wonderful!  I only have to do is stuff that is fun to get a treat. I run through tunnels, sit, stay, walk, jump over sticks, run up and down boards, and always, at the end, there is a treat. Sometimes I get treats just because people like me. Treats, treats, treats!

Mom says I am precocious. Dad says I am an over-achiever.

I knew I was supposed to weave through those sticks and did it. Why did they want me to just run down the middle the first time? That was stupid. Mom gave me a treat anyhow, cause she says I still did it right, the way it is supposed to be done, even if it wasn’t what they wanted.

Then there is the thing of following Mom’s hand around her in circles. She had a treat in each hand. She told me to walk, so I stood up on my hind legs and walked, just like she had taught me to do at home. And I waved my front paws while I walked, because it helps me keep my balance and everyone thinks it is cute. Cute wins treats. That also puts me closer to the treats. I made her happy. I know I did because she laughed and gave me treats.

I expect to pass my test on Monday and get lots more treats. I wonder what Mom will have for me to do next to get lots of treats…

Lexi, The Agility Dog

 

P.S. I see my schnauzer friend, Sophie, at class too.