Roxy training diary month 27
August 2005


August 28, Jackson, Mississippi (Rosemary).   The Duck arrived in Mississippi last week!  We decided to hurry up and take photos before having to flatten agility equipment (again), this time for Hurricaine Katrina.  So far, the duck has done some cattle herding, gardening and farmwork and learned about being retrieved. (Those photos, courtesy of Chaffin Bozeman, should be up soon on the SOCIÉTÉ DE CANARD DE CHIEN DE TROUPEAU website.) 

The duck had a great time investigating agility, both with Roxy and Dylan and on his own.

Both Roxy and Duck look coy on the duckwalk.

Dylan found himself excited to become one with the duck.

After several just ducky trips over the A-frame,

Dylan and Duck relax.


Having learned the basics, the Duck ventures bravely into the new world of Duck Agility on his own.




August 26, Ogden, Utah (Jim).  Found a bevy of quail in the backyard, so I shot one.  With the camera, silly.
August 21, Jackson, Mississippi (Rosemary).  Roxy, Dylan, and I spent Friday-Sunday doing air-conditioned AKC agility in Hattiesburg, MS.  Dylan got his second AX leg with a 1st place in his class of 6 dogs.  He would have done even better the rest of the weekend if he'd been able to break out of his crate to find a better handler.  Roxy was pretty much overwhelmed by all the people cheering and clapping as well as the noise from hundreds of crated dogs. She was so nervous that she was walking around almost wearing her ears backward.  Roxy finally had a good time once her mom figured out to just grab her feet and tail and play with her right before going in the ring. 

August 15, Ogden, Utah (Jim).  Annie hates her new boots.  Plus, they were the wrong size.  So, we reorder them from Ruffwear.  Otis the cattle dog, who is modeling the boots on the main Ruffwear page, doesn't seem to mind them.  Perhaps, unlike Annie, he's not a foot princess.

Even when we obtained the right size (free replacement, thanks Ruffwear), she still hated them.  Rosemary says she has to wear them to go hiking, but Annie thinks otherwise.



August 10, Jackson, Mississippi (Rosemary). Liz Sykes, an Elkhound breeder from Canada (Nynorsk), was in Jackson and stayed with us overnight.  We seated her in the comfy chair and, surrounded by cattledogs, she was forced to watch Last of the Dogmen.  She just sent some photos of Roxy and Dylan that she took while visiting. 

Liz had never really been around cattledogs before and now feels she has an "appreciation of the breed".  She really enjoyed them but thinks they are too energetic and intelligent for her to ever own, although she had a Corgi for years.  She said the photo at right and a few other blurry ones especially caught her impression of life with Roxy and Dylan.

Life in the fast lane.

No wonder dogs develop shoulder muscles doing agility!




Synchronized (almost) scrambling.


August 14, Ogden, Utah (Jim).  Annie was officially in-duck-ted into the Société de Canard de Chien de Troupeau today.


Perhaps that requires some explanation.  Perhaps you're not familiar with the Société de Canard de Chien de Troupeau and can't be bothered to click on the link.  Well.  It seems that a couple of my cattledog friends, Rebecca Elder VMD and Ingrid Rosenquist Esq., sorta had a contest going to see who could dress their Australian Cattle Dogs in the silliest possible way.  I do know that I was forced to witness the aforesaid Dr. Elder prancing around in a cheap Florida motel room wearing a parrot suit designed for her dog.  Ingrid, on the other hand, is famous for a case which she tried and lost which actually moved on the AP wire.  But I digress. 

Somehow, Rebecca and Susan Phillips decided it would be a good idea to create a traveling duck suit in which our hapless loyal companions would be dressed and photographed.  Naturally, they called it the Société de Canard de Chien de Troupeau.  (That's French for "some crazy people who like to dress their dogs up in a duck suit".)  Last week, Utah was the lucky recipient of this traveling prize. 

Chersti and Diana (aka Greta von Plant) at work helped me brainstorm some ideas for photographing Annie in a uniquely Utah setting.  I wanted some photos with Ben Lomond, particularly.  Then I realized — there's a fountain with duck and geese right nearby.  Lindquist Plaza, on the Weber State campus, is not supposed to have ducks but it does.  Who better to give those ducks a good talking to than an Australian Cattle Dog in a duck suit?  After all, Annie's distant cousins Rainer, Kadi, Dingo, Sally, Tonka, and Bux work as Goose Busters.  Annie figured that with the suit on, and a few quick lessons in Duckish from the MTC, she could maybe talk those ducks and geese into moving somewhere else.

So, after a few quick snaps at home just to get the photographic chemicals flowing, we headed on down to campus. 

There must be somewhere around here I can hide...

The duck looks horrified, or maybe just stressed from all his travels.

Of course, there were a couple of families with small children there who were amused by our antics.  Nothing like a little free entertainment of a Sunday afternoon. 

Those of you with bandwidth to burn can watch a movie of Annie getting in touch with her inner duck.  Luckily, the camera doesn't have sound, so you don't have to listen to her yapping her fool head off.  But you can see it in the violent way she throws her duck head around as she tries in vain to quack louder.  Everyone knows, if you don't speak a language well, shouting and repeating yourself is helpful.

No ducks (or duck suits) were harmed in the making of this motion picture.


Come back here, you stupid ducks.  Can't you see I'm quacking at you?



Ben Lomond (left), Malans Peak (right), a dog and a duck suit on the beautiful Weber State campus.



OK, I can take a joke.

Take the %^*&*^ suit off me now.

One duck, two duck, red duck, blue duck.  My, what a lot of ducks there are.

Official Goose Busters Christmas photo, thanks to Monica Shifflet.


August 13, Ogden and Snow Basin, Utah (Jim).  I got a wild idea to climb Mt. Ogden today, so I did.  It was grueling, to say the least.  I decided to hike the Beus Canyon trail, which travels about 6 miles horizontally and almost a mile vertically (5000 feet).  The Beus canyon trailhead is near our house.  I made lots of pictures of the hike.

I made several mistakes which I will have to try not to repeat.  But, I am here and well.  Sore and tired but happy that I was able to make the summit.  I'm even happier that very few people were there to see how ugly my ascent was. 

When I got home (finally), Annie was ready to play but I was not.  I let her fool around with her new toy, a thing called a Hammerhead that is made by RuffwearOtis the cattle dog, Ruffwear's official spokesdog, must have designed it.  It's a dumbbell-shaped toy with weighted ends so a dog can sling it around and smack herself in the head to her heart's content.  Why do our dogs love to do this?  I have no idea.


August 5-7, Ogden and Denver and everything in between (Jim).  I drove out to Denver on Friday, to attend my 29th high school reunion.  Why did I go to a reunion a year early, you ask?  Well, because the Golden High School Class of 1976 can't be counted on to have a 30th reunion, and because I could.  Julie Woodruff Tinker was nice enough to let me come anyway, so I did — and I took pictures.  There were a lot of middle-aged people there.  I was apparently the youngest, because they all looked 29 years older than me.

The morning after the reunion, Annie and I drove up to Coal Creek Canyon where Annie's human grandparents live.  She was ready to go; when she gets the "little mouth" you know she's not a happy camper (or, in this case, a happy co-pilot).  She was not pleased with how much Black Hawk had changed, but she perked up a little bit when she got to stop in Idaho Springs and have her picture taken at the Steve Canyon monument.  Unfortunately, there are few people who remember either Steve Canyon or Milton Caniff so not many others were there to make a Steve Canyon pilgrimage as Annie and I were. 

Annie got higher than she had ever been before at Berthoud Pass.  It was her first time above timberline.  This trip makes 9 times she's crossed the Continental Divide now.

I had bought a hideous orange pillow at Mall Wart in Lakewood, so Annie had a place to rest her head.  She actually took to it.

Between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs, I had to make a pit stop and had an incredible experience.  This was close to milepost 180 on US 40.  The outhouse was the best I've ever used.  There was a huge exhaust fan which sucked air out of the septic tank and into a chimney.  This meant that when I sat down, I had the not-unpleasant sensation of exposing myself in a 40 mile-per-hour wind.  Then, as I drove away, I saw the moon under the mountains.  That was a first for me, so I circled back and took a surreptitious picture.

Annie says, "Let's just get on with it."

Annie Gets High Annie Watches Near Berthoud Pass
Annie Sleeps on a Hideous Orange Pillow Moon Under Mountains

Top: "Birthplace" of Annie's Great-Grandfather Hoffman

Bottom: Colorado-Utah Border

Pat & Jim

Annie Wonders Why They Call It

"Steve Canyon"

Annie Sees Neither a

Steamboat Nor Springs

August 5, Jackson, MS (Rosemary).  Roxy, Dylan, and I attended a USDAA trial in Hattiesburg the last weekend in July.  We didn't Q, but we had nice runs and we all had fun. Roxy wants everyone to know that she got more points in Snooker than Dylan did.
Erin and Dawna Cox enjoying junk food. Good dog, Galadriel. Darlene Woz, one of our favorite agility judges, was running her new Dalmatian, Wilson.
Back at home, Roxy and Dylan have been testing the "Dog-Proof Guarantee" on their Hurley toys and have chewed a big chunk off one end.  More are on their way to Jackson, though. 

Roxy, mesmerized by her Hurley.


August 3, Ogden UT (Jim).  I drug myself out of bed early this morning and decided to set out on a walk with Annie.  After last night's rains, the air was clear and cool but by no means cold.  Our intention was to take the Mt. Ogden recreation trail, and maybe a bit of the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.  I thought that was a funny name for a trail that runs maybe 15 miles away from the lake shore but it turns out it follows the shoreline of ancient Lake Bonneville, which is a pretty cool story if you click on the link.

So, we skirted the east edge of campus and picked up the Mt. Ogden trail by the water tanks.  I saw a trail sign for the Waterfall Canyon Trail, and thought, "what the heck — I've wanted to go there".  So we did. 

Who knew that Annie would enjoy climbing difficult trail so much?  I was worried about her slipping on the loose rock, or worse, twisting a pastern in between rocks, but she was sure-footed as ever.  I had to lift her up and down rocks in a couple of places, but she was a little champ.  We met a few other dogs and hikers on the trail, and I was back at work in time for my first appointment of the day.

As we traversed Strong's Canyon on the way to Waterfall Canyon, I saw a bunch of really patchy granular snow.  I thought to myself, "Self, it's awfully late in the year to be seeing snow at this low an elevation, even in the shade."  It was only on the trip down that I realized it was actually collections of last night's pea-sized hail that I saw along the trail.

August 1-2, Snowbird UT (Jim).   Another week, another retreat.  There sure are a lot of retreats this time of year; you'd think we'd have all retreated back into the Great Salt Lake by now.  Again, Annie gets to hang at Ruffledale, but she is getting used to it.  When I dropped her off Monday, she just walked in: "I know this place.  I run this place.  Bye, Dad."

As I was driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon, I realized that the last time I had visited Snowbird was when I tore my medial collateral ligament.  One of these photos shows the spot where it happened, but it was 17 years ago and I'm trying to forget it.  Just for old times' sake, I did hike up the mountain a bit Tuesday morning.  It's sobering to realize that I can ski on a lot steeper run than I can hike on.  I took the hike up to the mid-Gad chairlift, using the trail that in winter would be called Miner's Road.  On the way up, I spooked a rabbit and then near the chairlift station, I saw two deer: a buck and a doe.  That was a treat, and it was a nice hike.  There was some misty rain about, but I knew it would be a good day when the first song on the iPod was "Feelin Alright" (this was the Kate Ceberano version, which is almost as good as Joe Cocker's, though completely different).

In these pictures taken from the balcony of my room, you can see Mt. Baldy (the bald one in the bottom picture). 

I picked up Annie and then drove back home.  The lawn was in horrible shape, so I started in on mowing it but right about dark the sky opened up and there was a terrific thunderstorm — the first big one since I've been here.  There was smallish hail and everything.  The lawn really needs the rain to fill in where I haven't yet gotten around to diagnosing and fixing the sprinklers.

Views from My Window


Previous RoxyLogs
RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)