Monday, March 08, 2010


SUMMARY: Musings between agilities.

Tika's fur is SO thick that her feet and legs are like sponges, and particularly the thick hairy bits on her behind. I'm thinkin' that makes her Sponge-dog Hairpants. Am I right?

My not-too inspired-photo for week 9 of 52 Weeks for Dogs:

When we go for a walk, and we encounter grassy areas, I play tug of war with Boost and her leash and allow her to run run run a bit with the handle of the leash in her mouth. She runs 20 feet ahead and then comes back for more tug. (She has never ever ever run out into the street, but I'm very careful anyway.) She now gets very excited when we get to grassland! Because we all get to run and play! And so, singing to her as we go, with apologies to Paul Simon:

We're going to grassland
In southern San Jose
We're going to grassland.
Doggies and walkers with leashies
and we are going to grassland!
My walking companion is five years old
She is so bored with simply smells
But soon we'll tug and play
And pretend to run away
in grassland!

(Original lyrics here.)

We've had no class for two weeks; been rained out. Rented the field with a friend and her 3 border collies Saturday afternoon and went up and practiced for a couple of hours. Mostly ran Tika just to run Tika. Tried to set up things with Boost where she's ahead of me or I have to push her out or I have to serp her. Bars were knocked. Speed occurred. Progress might have been made. I think just DOING things like that over and over until we get them right is probably good.

At home, have done some desultory threadles and serps. Today took a different approach: Worked on sending them into gambles where they had to keep going straight ahead of me. Not too bad on just jump jump tunnel, but stick a teeter instead of the 2nd jump and things went all to pot. This was good. Good practice at keeping their focus straight ahead.

Then the skies burst into a sudden downpour, although the sun continued to shine brightly. I retreated to the back porch, but continued to send the dogs down to the lawn area to do obstacles for a thrown reward. Rain didn't bother either of them! And revealed again that Boost doesn't know her left from right except in certain very circumscribed situations. I think this was actually an excellent exercise, because now the dogs do not have my body language (good and/or bad) to guide them, just my commands! So they have to listen! AND pay attention!

Again, I think progress occurred and I think I'll try more of that. That continued until I looked up across my back fence--and had to abandon the dogs to race for my camera:

Meanwhile, I am STILL liking the idea of not doing agility. Of course, after our 4-day mega-event Apr 15-18, in rapid succession there are my own home clubs' USDAA trials April 24-25 and May 1-2. See, this is the problem with trying to spread my agility out over the year: The convenient ones and the highest ROI ones are all glopped exceedingly tightly in just a couple of spots during the year, and the rest of the year is empy (that's empty without the hard-to-pronounce t in the middle).

Sigh. I will be VERY tired after those two and a half weeks are over! And probably ready for no more agility for a very long time.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Music from Taj MuttHall

SUMMARY: Only the best hijacked and misused lyrics from KTMH.

I needn't burst into "Bark us all bow-wows of folly," as Pogo already did that many years ago.

Instead, while shaking and rattling our lovely jolly ball in the yard and listening to the dogs' collar tags jingle, we came up with:

Jingle tags, jingle tags, jingle all the day,
Oh what fun it is to play at tug-of-war this way,
Jingle tags, jingle tags, jingle all the day,
Oh what fun it is to play at tug-of-war this way!

Dashing through the yard with our fav'rite jolly ball,
Running very hard, trying not to fall.
Our bods are lean and lank, have great mobility.
You know what we have to thank--it's dog agility!

Oh, jingle tags (etc.)

OK, back to the drawing board--

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And Another Day Bites the Dust

SUMMARY: Rainbows, shopping, cameras, walkies, parks, bad lyrics--

Don't you love finding that your magical rainbow is just beyond your kitchen door? Do you dare open the door to look for your pot of gold?

Don't you love going for a long walk through the park and both your dogs put up with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old giving them attention?

Don't you love talking to adults wherever you go and explaining what "blue merle" is and that yes Boost is an actual Border Collie?

Don't you love trying to find a word that rhymes with "leashie" so you can post the lyrics to another badly abused song? As in (think Yankee Doodle for this one):
Boostie doggie used her teeth to pull upon her leashie,
Glad we're in the U.S.A 'cause that won't wash in Vichy.
Don't you love wondering about little idioms and wondering how nonnative speakers of English will ever figure them out? "That won't wash--" "That won't float--" "That won't fly--" "That won't go--" ?

Don't you decide to completely rearrange the lyrics to find something that's easier to rhyme with?
Boostie grabbed and tugged her leash while going on a walkie--
...mumble... walkie...bawkie..cawkie...dawkie...fawkie...gawky (maybe)--...hawkie...jawkie (jockey? sort of)...  mumble...

Don't you like taking your little crappy point and shoot and the dogs up to the 4th floor of the local shopping center and taking photos of the sunset in combination with various man-made shopping center attractions?

Don't you love finding a friend for your dogs at the shopping center? Do you suppose he does agility?

This cute skinny little guy looks very agile and like he wants go go home with you!

Don't you love posting the rest of your photos from your shopping center trip on your regular photo site, with captions?

Labels: , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Favorite Dog Lyrics Redux: The Happy Suburban Wanderer

SUMMARY: From K-TMEH, only the finest in hijacked lyrics.
As I listen to the growing roar of the wind presaging a tremendous incoming storm, my thoughts meander back to one fine August day a couple of months back on which, as I perambulated for my 2-mile morning constitutional with the Merle Girls, I reconstructed an old favorite song to be apropos to my life (yes, and sang it aloud as I went):

(Semiapologies to Friedrich-Wilhelm Möller)

I love to go a-wandering
among the sidewalk cracks
And as I go, I love to sing;
my dogs don't sing, alack!
Valderi, valdera, valderi, valdera-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha,
Valderi, valdera, my dogs don't sing, alack!

I love to wander by the streets
that carry cars along.
So joyously they call to me,
"Come join my busy throng."
Valderi, etc.

I wave my hand to all I meet,
the children wave to me.
The house finch calls so loud and sweet,
from every street-side tree.
Valderi, etc.

High overhead the jet planes wing
To distant lands unknown
And just like me, their engines sing
As o'er the world we roam.
Valderi, etc.

Oh, may I go a-wandering
Until the day I die!
Oh may I always laugh and sing
My doggies at my side!
Valderi, etc.

(Do you know this song? Have you been out camping & hiking enough? Here are the original lyrics and music, oh, and check out this video, sung where it should be, in the gorgeous high mountains! Or, OK, the muppets disaster version. )

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Titles, tongues, trekking, tunes, with photos

SUMMARY: Still practicing terseness with assorted updates.


This arrived today. Woot! 50 Tournament legs at Championship level, highest possible tournament title. Never thought we'd never get there. But now already have 8 at Performance level after 10 tries.


Exercise the beasts in warm weather and see what hangs out.

How does such a small face contain such a gigantic tongue?

In case you always wondered: The inside of a panting dog.

Tika has a natural paw-tuck when lying down. Usually when I try a photo, she leaps up to check me out.


Left the Merle Girls at home and took myself for another 6-7 mile Sierra club hike with ~500 feet elevation gain at Rancho San Antonio. The hills were richly colored with this brilliant red foliage. Yeah, well, poison oak.

We don't often see horses on these trails, but this one passed us twice, trotting past the ubiquitous brilliant red foliage.

Air was a bit hazy/smoggy, but still had a nice view of the blimp hangar and wind tunnels at Moffett Field and of the south end of San Francisco Bay.

Looking down towards a section of trail on the dry hillside, probably the one on which we came up. And the requisite rich red foliage in the foreground.


Bad enough I make up bad lyrics when I'm awake. Last night dreamed I was in agility class and we were discussing the bad traffic coming home from the trial. (This is the only relationship that this topic has to dogs. It's a stretch but it's what I've got.) I said I had no trouble. Friend said it was awful just trying to get onto the freeway, how did you get around the on-ramp? I burst into song (to the tune of I'm Getting Married In The Morning):
We're stuck in traffic on the on ramp.
We're stuck in traffic going slow!
Pull out the stops! But let's watch for cops!
'Cause we're passing traffic going slow.
She looked at me blankly. I said, "Haven't you ever seen Mary Poppins?" which woke me up immediately, because of course it wasn't Mary Poppins, it was My Fair Lady. And it stunned me that the lyrics actually worked in real life, too, not just Dreamworld.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Heart My Dog Heads and Fruit

SUMMARY: All the misappropriated lyrics you could want at K-TMH, plus fruit news.

Remember when you used to see "I heart my dog head" on everything? Yeah, like this notepad, which I got because at the time I had a Siberian Husky a long long time ago, like, she's been dead for 12 years, which shows you how long a fad pad can last: Even today, when I'm expressing affection for my dogs, I say "I heart my dog heads!" It's such a catchy phrase.

And with that comes today's song, developed after many long seconds out in the yard playing tunnel/fetch, sung to the tune of "Fish Heads":
Dog heads, dog heads, Fluffy woofy dog heads,
Dog heads, dog heads, I heart them!

In the morning, happy waggy dog heads.
In the evening, dog hair in my soup!

Dog heads, dog heads [etc.]

Ask your dog head anything you want to
When they answer, they will bark!

Dog heads, dog heads [etc.]

Sent my dog heads out to do a tunnel
Didn't have to yell to get them in!

Dog heads, dog heads [etc.]

OK, but enough of operatic tension; it's time for a non sequitur, so let's talk about fruit. Jake was the consummate fruit dog, if I may make a tiny pun; would do anything to get a banana; ate figs until he'd put on about 15-20% of additional weight within a few short weeks; pigged out on apples faster than I could pick up the fallen ones daily; even ate oranges from time to time. He particularly used to eat plums until he had pretty much a steady stream going in one end and out the other, if you know what I mean. Wish Tika would eat more plums, because her anal glands have gone bad a couple of times (May 2007, July 2008), and one simple advice was to feed her 3 prunes a couple of times a week or daily or whenever I remember. Have been doing that--she likes prunes--and so far, so good.

Neither of my current dogs seem interested in oranges, apples, or plums, but they are apparently into pears. I have been finding pear stems lying in the oddest places in the house; apparently, they are not an edible part. Here's the culprit, nibbling off the last minuscule portions of actual fruit:
Tika apparently likes them enough to not merely wait for some to fall to the ground (or disdains those because they're now soiled--after all, who knows what those other dogs have been doing on the ground around that tree), but leaps at the tree to pull fresh ones off. Sadly I have not been able to get to a camera fast enough to record this.
This year, the usually profuse plums were small and nonprofuse; usually we make at least a couple of batches of plum sorbet, but not this year. We rescued barely enough to eat a few a day for a couple of weeks, and that's it. Hardly any went into the compost pile.

The blackberries were disappointing, too. Again, normally I haul in a quart or two a day during the time that they're ripe, but this year the beast depredation was awful, the berries were small and sparse, and a lot of them ripened oddly--half ripe and the other half not ripe, staying red and hard and tart. Very disappointing; I think I had enough for about 4 bowls of morning cereal, and that was it. No blackberry ice cream or sorbet this year, either. Sighhhh

However, the lemon tree, which last year had few, teeny, dry lemons, this year is back to its profusity, as are the orange trees. But check out this orange: Looks like someone neatly sliced a quarter out of it and grafted in part of a lemon, which grew right into place. I wonder if it's possible for a quarter of an orange blossom to be pollinated with lemon-tree pollen and produce this oddity? (I didn't cut it open to see what it was like inside.)

Meanwhile, I've been practicing the "find the obstacle" game. Play tug, take toy away, point body in general direction of the agility obstacle I want them to take, say name of obstacle, praise if they take the correct one. It seems to be very true that, for my dogs, "any noun will do" for whatever the nearest obstacle is. I need to do much much more of training by obstacle name.

And for now, farewell.

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, February 20, 2009

Favorite Dog Lyrics Part 6

SUMMARY: From KTMH (K-TajMuttHall), only the finest in foolish repurposed dog lyrics.

Who's featured today. [yeah yeah repeat after me: Guess Who's featured next time.]

Lyrics spring up spontaneously whilst laving post-muddy-yard-play dog feets.

Well, who's muddy? (Who's muddy? Who, who, who, who?)
I gotta take a seat (Who's filthy? Who, who, who, who?)
Tell me, who's muddy? (Who's dirty? Who, who, who, who?)
'Cause I gotta wipe your feet (You're muddy! You, you, you, you!)

Original lyrics here.

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Favorite Dog Lyrics Part 5

SUMMARY: From K-TMH (K-TajMuttHall), only the finest in dog-related music and hijacked lyrics!

Wow, just found this one in K-TMH's email archives, a big hit from November, 1994 when Sheba and Remington were the resident canines! Enjoy as you sing along to this oldie but goldie (and I mean retriever).

49th St. Walk Song

by Sheban and Remfinkle

Hurry up, you move too slow.
We've still got a ways to go
Just walking 'round the neighborhood
Lookin' for shrubs and feelin' hyper.

(Woof-woff-ooff-urf, feelin' hyper.)

Hello, hydrant, what'cha knowin?
Let me sniff, then I'll be goin'.
Ain't ya got no smells for me?
Woof-woff-ooff-urf, feelin' hyper.

I've got twelve bones to put in holes so deep,
I'm rowdy and active, not ready for sleep.
Let the squirrels get down here and play some with me;
Walks, I love you, feelin' hyper.

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Favorite Dog Agility Lyrics

SUMMARY: From K-TMH (K-TajMuttHall), only the finest in dog-related music and hijacked lyrics!

Once again we bend your eardrums in ways they would not necessarily like to bend, in The Yellow Contact Zone (original lyrics freely borrowed from).

In the town where I compete,
Lived a man whose dogs were known
For their skill at getting paws
In the yellow contact zone,

So we asked him for his help,
So we didn't have to train alone,
'Cause our dogs all leap and run
past the yellow contact zone,

We all leap past the yellow contact zone,
yellow contact zone, yellow contact zone,
We all leap past the yellow contact zone,
yellow contact zone, yellow contact zone.

Now we live a life of ease
Every one of us has dogs who've grown
To love getting all their paws
in the yellow contact zone. ( Hahaha! )

We all hit in the yellow contact zone,
yellow contact zone, yellow contact zone,
We all hit in the yellow contact zone,
yellow contact zone, yellow contact zone.

(Thanks to the inspiring cooperation of my fellow score-table workers.)

Bonus musical link for your actual listening pleasure: Dixie the Tiny Dog.

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Favorite Dog Lyrics Part 4

SUMMARY: From K-TMH (K-TajMuttHall), only the finest in dog-related music and hijacked lyrics!

Just something that (probably unfortunately) came out of my mouth while we were out for a lovely walk this sunny morning.

The Wonderful Wagger of Dog

We're here to pet the wagger,
The wonderful waggerly dog!
And here he wags, the waggerly Wag
A cheerfully waggerly dog
If ever oh ever a Wag there was
The waggerly dog's a Wag because
Because because because because because
Because of his waggerly tails and paws.
We're here to pet the wagger,
The wonderful waggerly dog.

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Favorite Dog Lyrics Part 3

SUMMARY: From K-TMH (K-TajMuttHall), only the finest in dog-related music and hijacked lyrics!

There Is Nothin' Like A Dog:

There is nothin' like a dog,
Nothin' in the world.
There is nothin' you can blog
That is anything like a dog!

Don't Fence Me In:
"Oh, give me air, lots of air, on the freeway that I love, don't fence me in;
Let me ride with the wide open window that I love, don't fence me in!"
- by the Andrews Setters

I Left My Mark--
"I left my mark in San Francisco,
High on a hill, I raised my leg..."
- by Bony Bennett

Bonus--Famous quotations: When Samuel Morse saw that his terrier had dug up his vegetable garden: "What hath dog wrought?"

Previous related posts

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

There Is Nothing Like A Frame

SUMMARY: Today's song lyrics

Update March 19: See end of post!
Sometimes I wander around the house singing to myself and to my dogs. This is what came out this morning (from the famous musical, South Pacific Dog Agility):

Apparently not doing 2-on/2-off today.
Photo by Sarah Hitzeman

Teddy the Beagle demonstrates the viewing potential of an elevated structure.
We miss contacts on our teeter,
We miss contacts on our 'walk,
We got weavepoles that are iffy,
We got bars that we can knock,
We got rules that can confuse us
In the tricky Snooker game.
What is the worst?
The darn A Frame!

We get runouts and refusals,
We get broken start-line stays,
We get lost on Jumpers courses
That are set up like a maze,
We get caught in chutes and tires,
Visit judges for a spell.
What is the worst?
You know darn well!

There is nothin' you can fly off so wide from...
There is nothin' else you can't really hide from...

There is nothin' like A Frame,
Nothin' in the ring,
There is nothin' you can blame
That is anything like A Frame!

[verses omitted to get to the grand finale--]

There are no flyoffs like A Frame,
And no creeping like A Frame.
You can perch on A Frame
And look around from A Frame,
Run around an A Frame,
Bail right off an A Frame.
There ain't a thing that's wrong with any obstacle
That can't be worse when you have to pull
To a big wide, steep-sided, slatted, faultable Frame!

NOTE: If anyone can successfully fill in the missing dadadas with an appropriate line, I'll add it here with credit! Update March 19: Thanks, Wishy the Writer, for this suggestion: We get caught in chutes and tires, Visit judges for a spell. (Read lyrics to original "There is Nothing Like a Dame." Oh, cool, YouTube has the scene with the song from the movie, so you can see and hear the original, too! Don't they look like a bunch of handlers walking a course? Sure they do!)

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Favorite Dog Lyrics

SUMMARY: Songs I like to sing to my dogs.

Through the years, I've found myself singing to my dogs, and although they seem unimpressed, I'm surprised at how many top-ten hits are actually dog related. Some snippits:
  • "Smellin' Something Good" by Shake-a Khan
    (smell it, smell it, smell it)...smell it like ya love it-- - Original lyrics
  • "Dogs Just Want To Play Tug" by Cyndi Leaper
    Even better than eating a bug, ohh, dogs just wanna play tu-ug, yes, dogs just want to play tug - Original lyrics
  • "Dirty Dogs" by AKC/DC
    Dirty dogs and I've done their feet-- (For when wiping off muddy-footed canines) - Original lyrics
Surely you know some others?

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels