CPE Nationals – a personal perspective

June 9, 2010

DogSport Magazine asked me to write about the CPE nationals for their online magazine.  I wrote at the end of each of the 3 days of competition. 

To read about my exploits, go to:



Agility Mini Camp July 30th

June 9, 2010

I’ve added a mini camp to be held the Friday before my summer agility camp, on July 30th.

Presenters will be:

Trisha Stall and Melinda Schneider – agility handling
Tracy Sklenar – “Sniffaholics Anonymous”, agility trouble shooting and building drive/enthusiasm
Lisa Norris – Canine Water Sports, working with your dog around and swimming in water and the basics of this new sport/activity

Go to www.agiledogs.net/2010camp.htm for more details and the registration form.

AgileDogs 2010 Camp

April 27, 2010
I wanted to give you a heads up that there are still a few openings in this year’s camp, to be held July 31-August 1 at Sugar Bush Farm, so if you plan on attending this year you should get your registration form in soon.
This year’s instructors are:
Ray Wheeler
Elise Paffrath
Tracy Sklenar
Dr. Lisa Wiggins, DVM
In addition, we’ll have some special presenters on topics such as chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture.
For this year we’ll be adding a pre-camp day on Friday, July 30th.  We’re still working on this additional day’s schedule and presenters, but it’s an optional day, separate from camp, and will include agility and some other offerings (one thing we’re working on is a tricks/games workshop!).
Go to www.agiledogs.net/2010camp.htm to read the bios for this year’s presenters and download the registration form.
Email me if you have any questions.

Demos July 10th

April 27, 2010
Anyone interested in doing demos for a dog fair on Saturday, July 10, for the Wags and Whiskers Family Fun Fair in Schenectady, sponsored by the Schenectady County SPCA?
There will be plenty of chances to practice with your dog and work them in an exciting, trial-like environment.  Your dog will have to be ok with kids as they are sure to be in attendance, but does not have to be trial-ready! 
We will have an enclosed ring and most agility obstacles (will likely not be bringing dogwalk or Aframe due to their size).
The website for the event is http://www.schenectadyspca.org/
Please contact me if you’re interested in attending.

Fairs – Demos Season!

September 7, 2009

I just finished my usual Labor Day Weekend fair “tour“.  Every year for the past 6 years I have done dog agility demos at the Scottish Games (www.scotgames.com) at the Altamont Fairgrounds.  This year Steve Capporizzo, the Channel 10 weatherman and local rescue dog champion, was back to emcee.  Last year he was notably absent, and it just wasn’t the same without him.  This is always a big event, there’s a big crowd there to watch agility; but also in general there are tons of vendor booths, food, drink, and clans/societies, and of course the bagpipe bands.  The weather was wonderful, and we had Border Collies, Shelties, Cairn Terrier, Golden Retriever, and even Scottish Deerhound to perform agility during the dog show.  We also had an unofficial show earlier in the day (a warm up, really, without announcing to the crowd, and open to non-Scottish breeds of dogs).  Any time you start running a dog over the agility course crowds form!

On Thursday, for the 5th year in a row (if my memory serves) I also held demos at Kids Day at the Columbia County Fair in Chatham (www.columbiafair.com).  This is a great local event, and we have 2 45 minutes shows each year.  The crowds were, as usual, large and appreciative, and other than the scary ferris wheel just 20′ from the ring that unnerved a couple of dogs and a brief outing by one dog to get some food a spectator had about 25′ away, all the dogs did very well and really entertained the crowd.

Thanks to all who helped me with both shows.  These are a lot of work for me to organize, get participants for, and haul/setup/takedown equipment for.  I really appreciate all of my friends and students to come out to help me put on a good show every year!

Power Your Paws Seminar!

June 11, 2009

Oh, wow…  I had a blast on Monday doing the “Power Your Paws” seminar for filming by Agility Vision in Sandgate, VT.  What a lovely facility!  I was nervous; thank goodness it wasn’t presented live, so that they can edit out my pauses to look at my notes, and the times people were walking the courses and sequences.

I’m not a public speaker by nature; the first time I taught an agility class 10 years ago I was so scared I could hardly talk.  But I got through it, and realized the students were getting a lot out of my classes and hardly noticed I was nervous.  Then, by the time I started presenting seminars and hosting agility trials (try talking to 100+ people at once!), I was more used to public speaking.

But, speaking before a camera for all posterity brings a whole new level of nervousness out, or at least it did in me.  It also did for the 7 people taking the seminar (we kept the size small for filming purposes), as witnessed by their first course run.  After that run, we all loosened up and got to business. 

It was 6 hours of fun, lots of motivation and getting every bit of speed and fun out of each team.  I just found out the video will be available for purchase in a week or so (they’re working fast!), and they’ve just completed the trailer.  You’ve gotta see it – here’s the link:


Let me know what you think after you’ve purchased and watched it, I’d love to hear your comments.


Not enough hours…

May 19, 2009

I know, I know, I haven’t posted a blog in – what is it, 2 weeks??  Yikes!

I just cannot seem to get the “necessary” things done (you know, confirmation emails for my camp, courses designed for future judging assignments, entries into the computer for the CPE trial in 3 weeks), let alone find time for this blog, which I love the idea of but at least for the moment isn’t at the top of my priority list.

Anyone out there have ideas for time management?  Or, even, ideas for what they’d like to see me write about that doesn’t take me an inordinant amount of time. 

For instance, I’d love to post more courses/sequences to critique how I look at and handle them these days using APHS.   I’d love to give updates about Lucy (who’s started some agility training, but is still having problems being left alone in a crate, which is the only safe spot where she won’t ingest something bad again).  I’d love to talk about my schedule of judging, trialing my own dogs, and hosting trials and camps.  But, oh, there isn’t any time…

Ok, enough poor me, I’ve managed to write quite a bit in just 5 minutes, haven’t I?

What that being said, I must get back to work at my non-agility day job…