Me and Mommy go dancing a lot on Sunday afternoons. Our session for this past Sunday got cancelled, so I asked Mommy to help me show you what we did last week. For anyone who doesn’t know what we do, it’s called Canine Freestyle. Mommy always says, “It’s the only dog sport where the dog and the person are equal partners.” Yep, I get to show Mommy my new ideas when we are working up a dance routine to my our music. Oh, oh, and the music has to match my BPM, which is totally different than BM or BP. My Beats Per Minute run from 140ish to almost 150. I am one of those rare canines who really listens to the music and move to match it!
Our teacher asked us to create three phases using one straight line and one curved line in each.
The first one we did was supposed to show athleticism.
Our teacher liked what we did. And it was quick and easy. You may say, “But you are training for an advanced Level 4, so why are you doing this?” It’s cause we have a new student with her Mom and we are helping them understand stuff!
Next we did something that was supposed to show training. The very first part was just the setup. Of course I had to train Mommy to bend her leg right for me to go under. Then I pretended to not know how I was supposed to stand at the end, so we could say , see, this is how to train a pup to face you! It was supposed to be about training, after all.
Our teacher called us a minimalist, but said it was good.
The last exercise is supposed to show grace. I wanted to show how graceful I could be while sitting and laying down. Then I gave in and did what Mommy wanted, but with my own twist on it.
Do you think I showed grace?
I’m glad we had that fun. Now it’s time to get started for real on my Level 4 performance! We only have until around Halloween, you know!
Lucy: As many of you know, our Mom works as the Office Manager at a Conservative Jewish synagogue. The shul, or synagogue building, is too unstable to use, and it is going to be torn down. Because of that the office has been moved into the basement of our house while they try to figure out a more permanent solution for worship, work, and events. It’s really nice, cause Mom only has to walk downstairs to go to work, and we can go to work with her.
Xena: By the way, I am out of the cone now. I got my stitches removed from my Big Girl surgery, and I’m leaving my incision alone. I really don’t want to have to wear that plastic head band again.
Lucy: So anyhow, back to Mom, I kept hearing her and Dad talk about teaching a dance called the Hustle. Then I got an idea!
“Hey Mom, why are you teaching Hustle at a synagogue? I thought they worshiped and learned there. I didn’t know it was a place to dance!”
Mom: “Purim is coming up, and it’s one of the most fun holidays celebrated by the Jewish people. Purim (held on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar — this year the first week of March) commemorates the day Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jewish people from execution by Haman, the adviser to the Persian king. “
Lucy: “Haman…boo! Um, do they use cats to purr, for Purim? I can’t wait to hear that. Will any of them come to our office?”
Mom: “No, sweet Lucy. It’s pronounced pour-um. And, before you ask, the only thing being poured is some drinks.”
Xena: “Why are you teaching hustle? Maybe I could do my dance routine with you and we could teach Freestyle?”
Mom: “It’s got to be hustle because the theme for the evening is ‘Stayin’ Alive,’ like in the John Travolta movie. It’s right out of the 1960’s, when hustle was big. Because of the problems with the building, and the challenges of keeping the congregation together with hope that we will overcome those challenges, we went with that theme. Last year there was a Talent Contest at the Purim celebration, and your Dad and I dressed up and performed the hustle.
Everyone enjoyed it, and it fit right into this year’s theme. Hence, your Dad and I are teaching hustle.”
Lucy (back to my idea): “Hey Mom, maybe I could try helping to teach dance as a career, like Angel Lexi did. She even created a Video of her doing hustleas a Valentine’s present to Noodle.”
Xena: No! I want to help! Me, me! I want to do a video! I want…
*a few days later*
Lucy: “Mom, aren’t you going to brush your hair before you leave the house?”
Mom: “Nope, I need big hair for our Stayin’ Alive party! See you pups later.”
Lucy: We heard about the party, but didn’t get to go. The Rabbi and our friend Laurie did a skit like in SNL (Saturday Night Live) and different folks read the Megillah in Hebrew, and everyone ate and drank, and then the Hustle class started.
Maybe it’s good that we weren’t there after all. Happy belated Purim, everyone, and may none of your dance teachers look this crazy.
I’m getting ready for my first Freestyle competition. We’ve tweaked our routine and I’ve got my part down. I am having sooo much fun! Mommy is going to take me to work with her in a few weeks and we are going to leave in the middle of the day to drive to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. *bounce bounce bounce* I’m going to get something called a title. I already have the title of Princess Warrior. I wonder what my new one will be. Anyhoo, here is the newest version of our dance!
As most of you know, we are back working on Freestyle. We also call it dancing. I finally got my Freestyle certificate after about 87 weeks of finishing the first class. I love to dance! Sometimes my peeps put on music and dance downstairs where they have a real dance floor. Lucy and I sit off to the side and watch, and sometimes we ask to dance too. Then Mommy will take turns dancing with us.
Anyhoo, this last time going to Freestyle was pretty scary. As we were driving down the highway, the sky got darker and darker and then it started spitting at us. I had on my Thundershirt, which helps me to be brave when I’m riding in the car. I also had on my car harness which keeps me safe. But suddenly the sound of the rain hitting the windshield got super loud, and I wasn’t wearing my super hero cape.I panted and shook most of the rest of the way there. But once there, the sky turned blue and all I could think about was dancing! Mommy is my choreographer, and sometimes I show her new dance steps that I make up. She loves it when I do that and puts them into our routine. This first video is our very first attempt to dance our routine to our new music. I did great, but Mommy, well, just keep in mind it was our first try.
Mommy actually forgot to include the Viennese Waltz move I made up! Ugh! So she tried it again.
Oh well, maybe Mommy will have it learnt before we go back. I’ll keep working with her, cause she’s worth it.
We are joining Brian for the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop.
I AM THANKFUL FOR FREESTYLE! Last Sunday was supposed to be our 6th and final Freestyle lesson in this set. We were asked to demonstrate a short Freestyle routine (more of a phrase, I am told) for the Obedience Club of Chattanooga on the first Friday night of May. It will be during their regular monthly meeting. The class had dwindled to just me, Duke the Dobie , and my new friend Meg the Powder Puff Chinese Crested. This is my buddy Meg:
She was kinda scared of me at first, but now we are happy to see each other. Anyhoo, our teacher asked if we all felt ready to do our demo (NO) and if we wanted to come in again this past Sunday (YES!).
Me and Mommy have been playing working really hard on our dancing. We take time every day to practice our under leg weaves (I go under Mommy’s legs cause she’s too tall to go under mine), and my backs, and our beginning and ending shapes and tons of other stuff and it is so much fun! Last Sunday we got to do our dance for our class and I we I was the best! In fact, I was so much the best that we get to go last at the demo so that we don’t outshine everyone else before they have a chance to do their dance. My teacher said it will all build up from the less experienced students to us. We have to have an intent. I intend to win. Mommy says, no, (yes!) our intent is fun! So here is what we did.
First was our Entrance. Then we Honored the invisible judges. Then we went into Opening Shape (I was supposed to sit, but Mommy miscued me). Then we did a Leg Weave, then a Serpentine across the floor. Then, after another bad cue, we did a Yahtzee turn and a half circle down to the middle of the floor, where we executed our Closing Shape. I bounced a lot to show how much fun I was having.
Mommy said we need a lot more practice. The teacher said come back on Saturday and we will all work on our dances some more. Yay!
I went to my very first ever Freestyle Dance class and I am so psyched! Hey Lucy, come look at the videos of me dancing with Mommy!
That’s my very first time around the floor. Can you tell how excited I was? I wanted to be sure everyone knows that I am really into this.
Lucy: But you…
Xena: I did so good that I got to do a special move called a Serpentine. I don’t think Mommy followed me very well; I had to keep coming back to get her.
Did you hear the teacher talk about the special move that Mommy did to help me switch sides, and hoped she could remember it? No? The recorder must have gone off before that. Well, I’ll ask Mommy to keep watching the recording so that she does it again. The teacher said the move would catch on and even get named after me!
Lucy: But you….
Xena: So now I go to Agility every Monday and to Freestyle every Sunday. Woohoo! Woof! Woof!
Lucy: *sigh* Good job, Xena.
I am Xena the Schnauzer Warrior Princess and almost Freestyle Champion (woohoo!)
Wow, did I ever have an exciting Sunday. Dad drove me and Mom way up to the top of a big mountain, and I was pretty nervous about the whole thing. My ears even popped! Once we got parked and out of the car, I knew it was going to be great. I could hear people, and what’s better than that?! If you remember, Xena got to go last year right after we adopted her, and she got wasted on beer float foam!They didn’t have beer floats this year, so I didn’t get a chance to do that!
We walked to a covered place called a pavilion where the Wurstbraut band was waiting to play. It seemed like Mom and Dad know all of the musicians, and a lot of them came over to pet me. One – I think his name is Ray – let me kiss him on the lips and kept coming back to love on me some more. His wife – Carla – sat next to me and Mom, and I think she is the dog whisperer.Every time I got a little nervous, I scooted between her legs and she helped me to calm down. I didn’t even mind sitting with her while Mom and Dad did the polka.
At first, the loud band really freaked me out, and Mom had to take me far, far away from all that racket. That was ok, ’cause there were lots of people walking around who wanted to pet me. I would look at everyone with my friendliest expression and wag my tail so hard that my whole body wagged. There were other dogs there, too. Some of them gave me a friend request, and I always answered with a yes!
Did you know that my Dad teaches polka? Oh yeah, he’s great at it. Everyone dances and laughs and I can tell they are happy. I wanted to try to help teach like Angel Lexi used to do with the ballroom dancers, but I wasn’t allowed to. I still made friends with one of the students.One lady even came out of the lesson just to meet me!She pet me and we got to be friends.Sunday is sometimes me and Xena’s day to not eat breakfast. Mom calls it fasting, but like Xena is quick to point out, there is nothing fast about those days! So, when Mom bought me my very own basket of Rocktoberfest sauerkraut to eat at lunchtime, she made me promise not to tell my sister. I convinced her to give me some of hers before I promised. But wouldn’t you know, the first thing that little schnauzer did when I got home was smell my breath…and she knew! At least I didn’t break my promise, right?
By the end of the day I was so used to the band that I just chilled with the wonderful Carla. Finally, after an exciting day in the sun with tons of people loving me, it was time to go home. I was too exhausted to even get nervous on the ride back down the mountain. In fact, I went to bed right after supper. I hear Rocktoberfest is every weekend in October. I sure hope the folks take me back!
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:
Ok, so the sign says every Tuesday. It sure does feel like every Tuesday with all the mind-exercise I’ve had from the great questions. Today, however, is the last debate until this fall. Unless we change our minds, of coure. You can find Christmas’ and Arty’s answers on their websites. So here goes.
1-Do you think we can publish some guidelines/rules/mandates on flashy beasts at naptime??
Being realistic, I think we can publish whatever we want, the problem is going to be to get our humans who use those flashy beasts to abide by our rules. Since we are sleeping when they so rudely awaken us with it, there is not much we can do to prevent it other than hide away somewhere they can’t find us during naps.
2-Since you are vertically challenged (like me) we are wondering what your ‘platform’ of choice will be when you are at the podium?
I have already published my platform. It is also called a stage. I have called on some of my fellow thespians to appear on my platform.
3-What is your platform for Mayor?
I believe that all anipals are created equal, which means that All Anipal Lives Matter (with the exception of certain insects and worms).
4-Here is a three part question regarding kitty kats:
4a-What are your opinion on cats? Friends, foes, or supreme masters??
I know that some dogs and cats see each other as enemies.
And I realize that some cats feel they are – or at least should be – supreme masters. However, I believe we can all live at peace and be friends. Here are two of my friends from Canada. This beauty on the left is Kali of The Canadian Cats. Kali just celebrated her 14th Gotcha Day on May 12. Below is Shoko, another beauty who has a lot to say. I am proud to introduce her as an official member of Team Lexi in this Race for Mayor of Blogsville. She is an invaluable asset and will be offered an important post in my cabinet after I win the election.
4b-Are you planning anything to get our hoomans to share more of their food? Specifically of da MEATZ variety, but really anything (eggcept for vegetables which I has heard some peeples ackshually eat).
I have a trick or two up my sleeve. Suffice it to say I sit at the dinner table every night and get portions of my Mom and Dad’s supper. I will share my secrets with you during my Tips from Lexi on Tuesdays when we are not campaigning and after I have recovered from my surgery.
4c-Do you support the idea of offishually changing Saturday to “Caturday?”
Only if we give one day of the week to dogs, and one day to birds, and one day to hamsters and one day to pigs and so on. Since this seems a bit problematic, I think it would be better to leave Caturday an “unofficial” day for the dear kitties to use as they like. This is consistent with my policy, “All anipals are created equal.”
5-What will you do to help ensure international residents feel part of the Blogville community?
In Blogville, there are no geographical boundaries. My guy Noodle is working on a plan for double dates with anyone who would like to have fun with us. We will even play matchmaker if you want. We want everyone to be as happy as us. Check out our latest date. Isn’t he just dreamy?Noodle is also a member of Team Lexi. He will have a prestigious appointment in my cabinet after I am elected mayor.
Introducing, Debate Tuesday!! That’s right, every Tuesday we, the Candy Dates, will answer five questions concerning our platforms and information about Us!!
For the first three Tuesdays we, the Candy Dates, will be asking the questions of each other. After that, we will be answering YOUR questions!! So make sure to ask us questions in the comments, and, no worries, we should be able to all of them in the course of the campaign!! Make sure to visit all the Candy Dates!
Now, On to this Tuesday’s questions, submitted by Christmas!!
1.What is your campaign slogan and why is that your slogan? If you don’t have one, what would your slogan be if you made one? Christmas: My campaign slogan is “death for Vacula” because obviously, Vaculas are the worst thing ever. Arty: My Campaign Slogan is “Keep Blogville Fun”. I love hosting parties, dances and contests (you might be able to tell that from the rest of my answers 😉
Lexi: I haven’t decided yet. Slogans are so limiting. I want options, don’t you? But if I had to chose one right now perhaps Peace Be with You would be fitting.
2. If you become mayor, how will you announce it on your blog? Christmas: I will do a long post about how grateful I am to Blogville for their support and I will give my mommy a big slobbery kiss on the face for being my awesome assistant and always supporting me. Arty: After I thank all of Blogville for their support, I hope to host an Inaugural Ball. In fact, no matter who wins, I will most likely have a big pawty of the winners choice!! Lexi: Fireworks. Definitely, fireworks. The fireworks may even have my face in them. I’ll have to work on that – or work on Dad to work on that.
3. How will you advertise your run for mayor and will you do it alone or recruit others? Christmas: Around my blog, I like to post fun campaign posters. The ladies love my handsome hound dog face! Oh, and I’ve actually recruited my pal Oreo as my campaign manager. Arty: I have a great team I am working with, Mabel (from Idaho Pugs) is my Campaign Manager and my brother Jakey is my Press Secredude! I hope to be on at least one talk show (I hope my running mates will join me, but more info on that later!). Dory has promised me at least 2 days a week of Blog-Air time so anything is possible! Lexi: I have posted my platform and have started posting some of the very best reasons to Vote for Lexi! on my own blog. I wanted Mom to hang posters around our neighborhood but she said that wouldn’t help. It is early in the race, and I am still weighing my options for my team. There are so many good bloggers/friends out there, I must choose wisely.
4. What will you do about the tree rats and Vaculas that are ruining our country? Christmas: I will send out a notice to all tree rats that they must stay in their trees so we won’t have to chase them back up the trees 87 times a day! Oh, and about the Vaculas? I think if our police squad here in Blogville is strong enough, they can help destroy all Vaculas. Arty: If I become Mayor, one of the first groups I will form will be a Tree Rat S.W.A.T. Team. We have a definite Squirrel Cartel problem that needs to be addressed! I agree with Christmas and, as a Junior Police Officer, I can assure Blogville we will keep the Vacula problems to a minimum! Lexi: Tree rats? I don’t think we have any of those around here, unless you are referring to those cute, cuddly squirrels that populate my backwoods area. I will listen to my future constituents about what they want done, if anything. Vaculas? If you are referring to vacuums, just stay out of their way, like on the bed, and they will not harm you. I support vacuums’ rights to come out of the closet. Can’t we all live in harmony?
5. How will you get Blogville members involved? What events/activities would you plan in Blogville? Christmas: Every three months, I think I would do a seasonal post where every Blogville member that wanted to participate could send in a photo of them enjoying that season and we would share it in one big post. Arty: I am very lucky that my Mama can do the Photoshops really good, and my brother Jakey is teaching me lots about Pizap and PicMonkey. I hope to have a few campaign events. Right now, Dory and I are helping Mama organize the B.A.R.. We hope to have a BBQ this summer, and of course, the Summer Olympics are coming up!!
Lexi: I think we could all go on trips together. We have already tried digging tunnels, and that didn’t work really well; instead, we could use big boats to visit across the oceans and do fun cruise things on the way.
That’s what my sweet Noodle and I have today. My crew worked really hard to come up with something special enough for my fantastic guy. Well, most of them did, anyway. I finally decided that anything short of the personal touch would not be enough, so I brought on some so-called experts. They wasted no time checking out different internet sites, did a search on “love” and found that women sometimes dance for their guys… and their guys like it.
After the crew did more research, there was a massive scrubbing of computers. I’m still not sure what happened. So…
I did my own dance for you, honey. Mom helped me dance while Dad recorded it for you. There were times I was dreaming of dancing alone, just for you. I hope you enjoy my personal present to you:. (Be sure to keep watching when the butterflies appear at the end!)
Christmas night wasn’t the best around here. As of last night we have another dog “boarding.” I’ve seen Bogie (actually, I have smelled him) come here from time to time to be groom. This time he didn’t leave. After he got here last night he was so nervous he had “intestinal upset” in the house. Mom got that cleaned up only to find that the groom room was flooding from all the rain. Mom and my brother Adam spent a lot of time with a mop, towels and a shop vac trying to get up all the water. It was coming in as fast as they worked, so Mom finally quit and went to bed.
Today was better. All the water had mysteriously disappeared from the groom room floor, sort of like it had never happened. Weird, huh?And so, with her work space once again usable, Mom groomed Bogie. She was careful to keep her voice soft and sweet so she didn’t upset him. She figured this out this afternoon after she yelled, “Stop!” when he was about to step on a big spider and, as if on cue, liquid poo squirted out of his butt. We have gone through a lot of paper towels so far this weekend.
Here’s the thing though. Gracie does not like Bogie. I actually heard my sweet little friend growl at him – several times. He bounces around like a Tigger dog and just doesn’t know when to quit. Hey, Noodle, you feeling my pain, sweetie?
Mom decided to open Bogie’s new can of tennis balls and try to wear him out a little. The ground is very soggy and muddy, so they played in the house. I even grabbed the ball away from him once!
Bogie won’t eat, not even with meatloaf and other good stuff crumbled up in his food. However, he tried to stick his head in my food bowl and it was my turn to growl. At least he understands what “grrrrrrr” means. OK, so he is probably a nice dog, but he is just so obnoxious. Gracie and I have decided to just stay away from him.
I think that if Bogie keeps refusing to eat all the wonderful food in his bowl, Mom should just give it to me. After all, isn’t wasting food a sin? I know there’s something about poor hungry dogs somewhere in the world, not having enough to eat, who would love to have this food. It only seems right that someone should eat this food, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be me. If you agree, put up your paw! Anyhow, Bogie Wogie is here until New Years Eve…pray for me to survive!
I know everyone has been waiting to find out how my weekend went after all the build-up. On Friday I discovered that the air vent under my kitchen chair tastes really good.
It did rain on Saturday, so we slept in before going to my Auntie Jen’s to visit and help with the yard sale which was now a garage sale. Mom sold enough to cover the gas there and home, but that was all. The day was more about visiting with good friends. I was happy to see my schnauzer cousin Piper, my enthusiasm only dampened when we all got left while Mom and Auntie Jen went wedding dress shopping. Piper is going to have a new Daddy. I tried to tell him how great that is, but he insisted he already loved his Daddy-to-be and didn’t need to be told. I hate it when Piper acts like he knows as much as me.
Mommy couldn’t talk Dad out of helping with the preparations at church on Sunday, but they compromised. The Boy stayed overnight with us, and me and him and Mom met Dad down at the church so we could all go to Rocktoberfest together.
See Dad holding me? He used me for a prop during his first announcements. I get no respect. Hey, maybe this will be the picture for the billboards next year! The weather was perfect – no rain and temperatures in the high sixties and low seventies. I walked the trails and read everybody’s stories. We went really slow so that I didn’t have to miss much. Back at the pavilion I barked at Mom until she picked me up and danced with me. I love to dance, even if it is with Mom holding me in her arms. Lots of people spoke to me and pet me. I was very popular. I decided I didn’t want any beer today, but cleaned up all the food that got dropped on the floor and in the grass and bushes. I got a bit bored toward the end of the day so I decided to sing from the sidelines with the band. I would have joined them up front, except Mom had a good hold on my leash. When the song was done the band members tipped their hats and thanked me for the solo.
Because I had done such a good job singing, several children came over to pet me. One boy who was maybe seven or eight years old seemed hesitant to touch me. So what did I do? I climbed in his lap, pushed him over onto his back and stood on him. When he rolled to the side I climbed back on him. Then he rolled to the other side and I did the same thing. He was smiling and started laughing because he figured out I was playing a game with him. He was no longer afraid. Mission accomplished.
Yep it was a great end to a good day and a fun weekend. Tomorrow I am going to work with Mommy to the church on the hill. After that we are going to a different vet for a consultation. This vet practice does something called holistic medicine, stuff like cold laser therapy and acupuncture. I would be up for a nice massage…
It’s been a busy weekend and I am ready for my night-night treat and bed. Sweet dreams to all.
Me and Mom are home by ourselves, and not much is happening. My Dad plays in a big band called Sweet Georgia Sound. They are playing at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain tonight. It is Daddy’s favorite “gig.” He plays his sax, which Mom says is worth more than our car, but I’m not sure that is saying much. Sometimes he will know one of the ladies in the audience, and she will ask him to dance with her. That’s because he teaches ballroom dance and is a good dancer. I used to help teach too, but no one ever asks me to dance! I really need to get out more. It is all home or work for me.
Dad is in the front next to my friend Cathy (who has moved up North). He is the only one still wearing his tux coat.
Tomorrow Mommy is taking me to my bestest friend Jen’s house to see my schnauzer cousin Piper (and his adopted sister Ella) while she and Auntie Jen have a yard sale. It’s going to be a fun day. Then, if Mom can talk Dad into not going to his church to help the A/V team before he goes to Rock City on Sunday, we are going with him to Rocktober Fest. I love to go to Rocktober Fest. There is music and dancing and my favorite beer. Most of all there are lots of people who drop pieces of bratwurst and potatoes. There are trails to explore and so many smells to smell. Sometimes Mom picks me up and twirls me around the floor. Sometimes people come up and ask to pet me and I pretend that I like it so Mom and Dad will bring me back.
Daddy’s picture was in the promotional material this year. I am going to ask Mommy to take lots of pictures of me at Rocktoberfest and maybe they will use my picture on the billboard next year.
Three years ago my-ex-brother who moved away and deserted us Riley usurped my place at Rocktoberfest. He met a girl whose name was – you guessed it – Riley. Her shirt says Smile and it looks like that’s what they are both doing.
Uh, oh, it just stared storming, so the yard sale may be off (again). They – and my bestest friend Jentry – have been trying to do this for three weeks. I might get to sleep in after all…
I am Lexi, the yard sale, polka dancing schnauzer.
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.
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.
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
Hi friends. Today is….Memory Monday! I have been thinking about my first Freestyle Competition. For those of you who don’t already know, Freestyle is coordinated movement between a person and a dog, set to music selected for the dog’s tempo. In other words, it is doggie dancing! Woohoo! Here we go…
I had spent a grueling six or more months preparing for my first competition. My tempo had to be determined (145 bpm), then music picked out. Mom and I tried out lots of different 145 bpm music until we came upon Dan Landrum’s Split Rail Fences. He plays an instrument called the hammered dulcimer, and the beat and sound of the music made me pick up my feet, lift up my head and prance around the floor. Voila, we had our music. I was starting in Level IIa, where there were standard moves we had to include, such as right and left side heels, face work including backing and different crosses. We worked hard on all that, and being a natural, I quickly perfected the moves.
The next step was putting together a routine using all those moves. Mom and I went to the dance studio and worked on the wooden floors where it wasn’t too hard on our joints, and we had plenty of space to m-o-v-e. After about 40 minutes I would get tired and lose interest, so we kept the workouts down to around a half hour each time. Sometimes we would do what Mommy had sketched out on her writing pad, and sometimes we would do what I thought went best with the music. That’s part of being a team. Combining both our ideas, we finally had a routine. Now to practice, practice, practice that routine until we could both do it without hesitation (and without Mommy looking at her notes).
Finally, the big day arrived. My good friend Pierre is one of the bosses at C.G. Roxanne water bottling company, and he sent over tons of water for the thirsty people. I was the official spokes dog for the company that day.
Mom bought me a new travel kennel so I would have my own private place to rest. It is sort of like a celebrity dressing room. I was very happy and excited and kept popping up to see what was happening next.
I had my music edited to fit our routine and we brought that to be played for My Performance our dance. When I got there I receive my Freestyle medallion. I also got a program with my name and stats in it, along with all the important info about our dance. (I don’t know why they called me a b…ch!) I was number 203, and Mom had to wear a sign rubber banded around her arm so everyone would know it was me.
Mom and I went onto the center of the floor, where we both bowed to the judges (well, at least in my mind I did) and assumed our starting positions. Mom nodded at the minion Jim who was running sound and we started our routine to Split Rail Fences. I was brilliant. I was so brilliant that I got some points deducted. The judges said I wasn’t allowed to do laterals at this level. (Laterals are where Mommy and I both move sideways by facing forward and crossing our legs. I am a natural “leftie” so that’s the direction we moved. It’s lots of fun.) No one had told Mommy that the rules had changed since she ordered the rule book. Even so, the judges wrote that on the bottom of the score sheet. They also wrote,”A delightful and joyful team.” I still won a medal, and we went home tired and happy!
Can you believe I scrunched a whole year into one blog? I wrote this right after I turned seven years old in the year 2010. (Be sure to check out Noodle’s Memory Monday post, too!)
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 another exciting 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 (with Sophie-the-schnauzer) 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, Georgia.
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 remembered 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! I am Lexi, the birthday girl.
Here are pictures showing other highlights of my 6th year:
Then I turned seven, and that’s a whole new story! I hope you enjoyed seeing the year leading up to my seventh birthday.
I barked Mom into posting some pictures of when I last competed in Freestyle in 2012. She was very unclear with her signals, so I did a lot of what I wanted to do. Still, I was very excited about competing and taking third place. (No, Mom, I shouldn’t tell them there was only three dogs competing in that category!)
Here we are taking our opening bows. I am watching Mom for my first cue to get started dancing.
I am so excited!
Moving fast, isn’t my beard beautiful?
Here, I execute the under the leg weave as we keep moving forward.
I just made a turn by twirling around on my hind legs.
We are doing an Electric Slide move here to my left.
Things have been relatively quiet lately. No more frenetic drives to the theater. I didn’t even get to go to the children’s hospital in November because my special day fell on a holiday and the Lois lady wasn’t there to give me treats or to ask the children if they like dogs. The same thing is happening – or not happening, as the case may be – this month. Sigh. I bet the kids miss me.
I have been going to work with Mom more often. It can be tiring. I often sleep a lot, especially at her Tuesday and Thursday job. When I go to her church job on Wednesdays and Fridays there is too much to do for me to sleep. I have to visit with the lady next to Mom’s office. She needs to pet me a lot and always gives me treats. A pup has to stay awake for that, you know. I hear people walking around upstairs so I have to run up the stairs a lot to be sure someone isn’t getting something I’m not there isn’t a burglar. So far, so good. Then comes lunchtime and I have to run up to the secretary’s office and watch her eat. I never get much, but I am certain I will eventually wear her down. I heard Mom tell Dad she was leaving me home today, but he was on my side. He said he was too tired to deal with me today, and asked Mom to pleeeease take me. Thanks, Dad!
Last night I went to a local dance studio and helped teach dance again. I was so excited that I bunny-hopped all around the floor and kept yelling, “Hurray!” Mom finally told me to stop barking. I didn’t recognize her at first, but the student was a girl from when we used to teach dance in Dunlap many years ago. She is all grown up now and was there with her boyfriend. I remembered to watch them very closely and bark when they didn’t do something right and bark again when they did. I know, I used to only bark when something wasn’t right, but I have decided that people need encouragement for a good job. Savannah remembered me, and laughed and smiled and said what a good girl I am. Every time Dad walked off the dance floor, I ran over and stood on my hind legs to dance with Mom. Then the music would stop. It’s no fun to dance without music. I got pretty disgusted with that and laid down in front of the door so that no one could leave until I got to dance, too. Mommy finally scolded Dad and told him to let me dance to the music before he turned it off. I didn’t dance very long because it is harder to stand up on my hind legs than it used to be, but I did a very good job with the Swing. I had so much fun!
I'm Dalton, a Rat terrier mix and I came here in Sept, 2017, I was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. My birthday is 8-20-2016. My Gotcha Day is 8-27-2017. And I am Benji, a terrier mix of unknown origin. MY Birthday is June 6, 2018, and my Gotcha Day is Dec 28, 2018. I also was a rescue from a different part of Texas. We also have Angel MrJackFreckles, (2-5-2018); and also we have Angel Minko, (6-18-2017); and Angel Pipo, (11-3-2020);There are also Angels Groucho, Simba, Suki, & Toki. We meezers used to be known as WeBeesSiameezers. We'e all from Michigan, Dalton and Benji both came here from Texas, as rescues..