Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Time

I have heard so much about "parades" lately, and our APS drill team met for practices downtown to prepare...and I admit I didn't always behave well...anyway, I didn't get to be in the parades after all. Sandi took me to one parade to train. I couldn't believe all the people and marching bands and horses! Such noise and chaos! The other dogs in the drill team seemed calm. I guess I have a lot to learn.

It turns out that our drill team director Barbara (my friend Niamh's special person) was named "Grand Marshall" of our local Holiday Parade. Sandi called the parade moves for the drill team while Barbara got to ride in a fancy car. And Niamh and I had to stay home. Maybe next year ~

The holiday time was fun though. We had a tree in our house and it seemed that new dog toys were turning up everywhere! The cats even got toys - I don't know why because they will play with crumpled up paper - why get them toys?

Sandi had some photographs taken of me this autumn. My "big sister" Ruby was in some of them. I've been wanting to share photos of my family members, so here is a photo of us girls (dogs - no cats!) Ruby is an Australian Shepherd and has lived with Sandi for 9 years. She's done a lot of fun things - drill team, herding sheep, Rally obedience, agility, visiting with children in the hospital Pediatric Psychiatry unit, Ronald McDonald House, children in the county schools exceptional child program and in a neuropsychiatry clinic. She even has her portrait and story in a book! However, she does not track!

I hope to have more fun news about my dog's life soon - people have this funny way of getting excited about when the year changes. I just think that life goes on....Chris (Trotter's person) has a bumper sticker "Wag More, Bark Less" I think that is a good thing ~

Friday, November 2, 2007

I have been after my special person Sandi to put up photos of my family members (Ruby, Rose, Belle, Annie and Willy) and she has been really busy and hasn't gotten to it. But today is a very special day for me and for Sandi, and so I want to write about that.

I really love to track. We took instruction from Gretchen and Marge at Bon-Clyde (their classes were fun!) Tracking has helped me learn how to concentrate, discriminating one scent from another (and there are millions of scents out there!)

Today we had a training session in Vass, NC with Ed Presnall (tracking trainer, judge & author, from Pawmark & TCoW in Wisconsin). He laid several tracks for us, and one was a regulation TD track, and I worked very hard getting to the final article. We had to stop several times to pick sand burrs. Sandi said she was very proud of me.

Ed said that he would certify my track for ASCA TD. Sandi is very happy and excited, and again told me how proud she is of me. She knew how hard my track was, and that even though I had to track through sand burrs, I kept working hard to find the final article. Ed said I was a great tracking dog and he liked me a lot....and he had never seen an English Shepherd work tracks.

What I really liked was that I got an egg and cheese biscuit at the end of each track.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Dog's Life - my first blog

I am such a lucky dog, and now I have my own blog!

My name is Ayla - I have had several names, but this is the one I like best. "Ayla" is the main character in Jean M. Auel's Clan of the Cave Bear series. The character Ayla lost her home several times, by accident and by rejection, but in spite of this she becomes a powerful figure, and my special person Sandi thought that I deserved the name. "Ayla" also means "circle of light around the Moon" in Turkish, and I like that.

I remember being taken to an animal shelter in Durham and being left there . I was pretty scared and I didn't feel well - and I was really hungry. After a few days Sandi and her friend Carolyn came and visited me. Then one day they came back and put me in a car. I hadn't ridden in cars much and I remember I threw up. They thought I had found a home, but that didn't work out, so I came back to Sandi's house. I've been there ever since. Sandi, Herman and Ruby decided to keep me in their family in January 2006. I am a lucky dog.

People tell me I'm an English Shepherd. I wasn't sure what that meant until this past Saturday. Sandi took me to a farm where they were having an English Shepherd Gathering. There were around 25 people and almost as many dogs, and they (the dogs) looked like me! (but most were smaller!) Not only that, but I was supposed to do a tracking demo. I love tracking and I think I'm pretty good. Sandi said that she was very proud of me. I hope we get to go to the Gathering again next year.