Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pug Nationals - Day 6

Six days into our adventure, and we've FINALLY reached the reason we even went in the first place.

The Pug Dog Club of America's Agility Trial!

Yup, I get to compete in an agility trial with ONLY PUGS in attendance.

I've only been one other time, and I wasn't even training in agility yet (mom and dad had just adopted me). Arnie showed (it was his first time in the ring. Let's just say, things didn't go quite as planned).

This year, mom was the co-chair, and her partner in crime, Donna, had everything ready to go. They have a deal worked out - Donna handles everything up to the day of the trial, and mom handles everything on the actual day. This is their 4th time handling it this way, and it's working out so well, they're doing it again next year.

The morning of the trial, we pulled up to a beautiful facility. It was an indoor soccer facility, and the AKC World Team practiced there. The footing was perfect (soft and flat), the lighting was great, and the set up area was right near the rings. There were even bleachers for spectators.

The worker bee's unloaded the trailer, the trophies were put out on display, the courses were set, the camera guys were in place. And we were off and running.

Ribbons and awards, waiting to be handed out

I won one of these cute stuffed pugs

4 Legged Flix was there to tape our runs

Here's my Excellent Standard run

Here's my Excellent Jumpers with Weaves run

Here's my FAST run

Here's my Time 2 Beat run

There were 16 pugs running 52 runs this year. They ranged from beginner pugs, on a course for the first time, to experienced pugs that knew the ropes. Everyone did great, and our owners and fans cheered and laughed the whole day long.

Getting the crowd excited

I even got to see a pug, Enzo, get his MACH 2 - that's an agility championship TIMES 2! It's a special achievement, and it was so cool that it happened at the Nationals. We all cheered and hollered as they ran around the ring for their victory lap.

After we all ran our runs, we had awards. I got a first place ribbon in FAST (where you have to do obstacles at a distance - that seminar must have helped) and the cutest little stuffed pug as a price. My roomie, Izzie, and her mom Tracey, got "team having the most fun". It's a special award that the judge hands out. They sure deserved it. You could see the big smile on both of their faces as they ran really fast on the course.

After awards, we had a group photo taken. 4 Legged Flix captured the hilarity of getting all the pugs in a row. Check it out here.

After we loaded all the equipment back into the trailer, packed up our loot, and unpacked our gear, we relaxed a little with friends, in the beautiful courtyard of the hotel. Good thing we're resting. Tomorrow is MORE excitement.

Day 7 tomorrow.....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pug Nationals - Day 5

The next morning we got up early. Really early. But that's OK, because the fun was about to begin.

First on the schedule was an obedience seminar. It was given by a really great dog trainer, Lori Droin, and lots of treats were involved.

We learned to find heel position, sit quickly, and watch mom. I'm pretty good at most of those, but I'm even better now. It was fun watching all the other pugs strut their stuff, and practice their obedience.

After we finished, we had lunch. And by "we", I mean mom. No "we" involved in lunch. Something about eating too many treats while practicing obedience.

Then, to my DELIGHT, we got to do agility! We had a world-famous trainer giving the seminar, and he was awesome. It was Jim Basic, agility legend, in the flesh. He was a great guy, and really seemed to enjoy teaching us to work on distance. That means we had to leave our moms and dads and do equipment far away.

That's me, waiting to run into the yellow tunnel. Look how far away it is.

Spectators watching Jim, watching Ashley and Stanley

Waiting in line to try the next exercise

Jim giving Denise and Emmy some tips

I'm pretty good at working away from mom alongside her, but when she stops and I'm supposed to keep going? Well, I pretty much suck at that. Mom says we just have to work on it a little, and we'll be good to go.

There was a crazy contest at the end of the seminar, that had to end in a tie. The 2 pugs involved would STILL be there, running, if a tie hadn't been called.

Jim officiating the competition

That night, after dinner, we walked around the hotel grounds, visiting a bit. Then mom left me to attend a reception for the humans. She finally got to drink some beer (none for me, sadly), then it was off to bed. Yup, tomorrow is the biggest day yet.

Day 6 tomorrow.....

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pug Nationals - Day 4

Still no pugs to be seen, but I that was about to change.

First, mom and dad went off to breakfast in Placerville. They met more friends, and ate lots of yummy food. I stayed home with grandma, since they weren't sure if the patio was open.

After breakfast, we left for another really long drive. This time, we went to Muir Woods. In all the years mom lived in California, she never went there. We drove through lots of trees, then came to a beach. I'm not a big water pug (unlike my brother, Arnie), but I walked around a little.

Then I spotted some other pugs. We were there to meet mom's friends, that were going to drive her to the Nationals. Their pugs, Izzie, Wilson and Chirp were there too.

Before we drove back, we all had lunch on the patio of a pizza restaurant.

After lunch, we switched out suitcases into their car, and dad drove back with him mom to visit more with her. I went with mom to the Nationals.

When we got to the hotel, we hung out a little, explored a little and ate a little. Then it was off to bed, since tomorrow was another busy day.

Day 5 tomorrow.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pug Nationals - Day 3

Shawn, dad's nephew, slept over, and the next morning we walked to the park by the river with Mickey. He needs to walk a LOT to burn off his energy, but I pretty much sat on dad's lap watching him run and play.

Me, staying safe

I did walk around a little

That's Mickey, playing in the American River

We went back to the house, and the grownups and the nephew played Monopoly. Lots of laughing and yelling, for sure. Grandma won, then mom and dad had to leave to go to a barbecue.

The barbecue was at Aunt Kathie's house. Lots of mom and dad's friends were there, and there were lots of hugs and catching up all night. I got LOTS of snacks, and the shelties and border collie that live there didn't bother me too much. Dad took me home kind of early, but mom stayed to visit with her friends. She told me they talked and talked for hours. Just like old times.

Day 4 on Monday......

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pug Nationals - Day 2

We got up bright and early the next morning, because my grandma and aunt Dina were picking us up. They called when they arrived, and we loaded up the car with our suitcases and drove back to Lotus, where they live.

On the way, we stopped at a Petco for dog food, then had lunch at Panero Bread, where I got to eat on the patio.

We drove up to their house, and the smells started getting familiar. We drove near our old house (mom and dad didn't want to drive by it), and past mom and dad's old work. When we stopped the car, it all was familiar. We'd lived in Lotus for a few months before we moved to Texas.

I met the new dogs that live there. Ruby is a 7 year old German Shepherd, who didn't really like me much (we were kept far apart from each other). But grandma has a 9 month old German Shepherd named Mickey, and he really liked me. So much, that he couldn't be around me much, because he was so wiggly he might have hurt me.

That's Mickey and me, taking an evening stroll

We ate dinner (20/30 Club Tacos - yum!), then hung out talking.

Day 3 tomorrow.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pug Nationals - Day 1

I had a HUGE adventure last week. It's so big, I'm going to have to break up the recap by day. Yup, that's how much happened.

Pug Nationals are a Pug-only competition that lasts for a whole week. It's held in a different city every year, always in September or October. There are competitions for show pugs, agility pugs, obedience pugs and rally pugs. There are also banquets, a showcase and lots of seminars. Folks come from all over the world, just to get together with pug friends.

This year, it was in San Jose, California. We used to live in Sacramento, so mom and dad combined the show with a trip to visit family and friends.

Day 1. It was really half a day, because we didn't get rolling until afternoon. We rode in an airplane, and I got to ride in the cabin, under the seat. I've been practicing for a long time. Mom taught me to get into my Sherpa bag quickly, to stay inside when the front was unzipped until I was given the "OK", and to sit quietly when the top was unzipped.

We got to the airport, and after the chaos of security (I got carried through the scanner), we hung out at the airport, drinking Jamba Juice and relaxing at the gate. We flew nonstop, and landed in San Francisco, then had to take a taxi to our hotel. Yup, lots of firsts on Day 1. A plane ride and a taxi ride. We hit the hay right away, because tomorrow was going to be a long day.

Day 2 tomorrow.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's a mystery

Why did mom get this out of the dog cupboard?

Ignore the "pitiful" look. It's how I always look when my photo is being taken.