RAT TALES April – May 2020

Inside RAT Tales:
Spotlight on Members
What are you doing during these times?
New Announcements
New Fur Friends
In Memorium

Spotlight on Members

Meet Christie Woolsey with Caylee & Ellie

Christie lives in Des Moines with her Boxers and is a RAT Board Member. She has been a RAT member for six years .

RT: Tell us about your dogs?

Christie: I have 2 Boxers.  Caylee is 8 years old and Ellie is 3 years old.

RT: How did you get interested in dog agility?

Christie When I was interviewing and being interviewed by Caylee’s breeder, she asked me what activities I planned to do with her because she came from a long line of working dogs.  I told her I wanted Caylee as a walking partner, but I thought I might try Agility or something. 

RT: How did you get interested in dog agility?

Chistie: Then after Caylee had completed a series of obedience classes, I asked her trainer what she thought we should try next.  Her first response was, “Agility”. 

Left: Christie at Top Dog with Ellie.

On the right: Ellie with Caylee and Ribons.

So, we enrolled in a class, and here we are. I entered Caylee in her first Agility trial when she was just 2 years old, so we’ve been competing for 6 years now.  I must say, at our first trial, we were a hot mess.  I had no idea what I was doing and Caylee spent most of the trial zooming around the ring.  It took quite a while, a new trainer, and a lot of hard work before things settled down and we learned how to compete together as a team. 

Thanks to Caylee breaking me in, Ellie has had a much easier time learning to do this sport.

RT: What venues to you compete in?

Christie: We compete in AKC, ASCA, CPE, NADAC, UKI and USDAA events.  We were focused on getting Ellie some trial experience and Caylee her C-ATCH, so we did as many CPE trials last year as possible.  Caylee is also working on her PACH in AKC, so we will be doing more AKC trials this year.  Ellie is just starting to compete in USDAA, but she is also moving up the ranks in AKC, ASCA, CPE, NADAC, UKI and USDAA.

RT: What do you like about being a RAT Club member?

Christie:  I just love the community of handlers and dogs that are a part of RAT.  I’ve made so many new friends since I joined RAT.  Many of us meet separately for dog training activities or socialization besides RAT trials and other events.  RAT is blessed to have great group of people as members.

RT: What RAT Activities have you helped with? 

Christie: I’m currently a member of the RAT Board of Directors.  I typically work at trials I’ve entered, and I’ve volunteered to be an all-day worker so I could learn a little bit about the type of trials we host. I’ve also done RAT demos, first with Caylee and now with Ellie.

RT: Do you have any particular interests you would like to share …

Christie: I enjoy walking trails, hiking, swimming, skiing.  

I love music of all kinds and grew up playing classical music on the piano and clarinet.  As a teenager I played with the Seattle Youth Symphony.  I taught myself the guitar so I could accompany the songs we used to sing at Girl Scout Camp, and I still enjoy playing from time to time.  My very first job was as a Girl Scout Camp Counselor and I used to take slightly younger girls on backpacking and canoe trips.  I’ve always loved dogs, cats and horses.  I grew up riding horses in the sagebrush hills of Eastern Washington, and I miss having the opportunity to ride.  I love to read books, but I have to be careful because once I get my nose in a book I can really lose track of time.  I’ve dabbled in different sorts of crafts and needlework, like sewing, crocheting, and other things, but don’t have any projects in work at the moment.

RT: What funny things do your dogs do?

Christie: Boxers are pretty goofy dogs and they can get into all kinds of mischief.  It’s fun to watch them run around at top speed in the yard.  They can get quite a game of chase going and it’s kind of fascinating to watch them respond to each other’s movements at top speed.  They also go to the fence when they see my next door neighbor through her windows and they bark at her to come outside and give them some cheese or hot dogs.  The funny thing is she wanted to meet them and get to know them so they wouldn’t bark at her when she was out working in her yard.  But they love her and now they bark at her to come out and give them treats, so I’d say that plan was a major fail!  Both my dogs want to be right next to me all the time, so if I’m sitting on the couch, the prime spot is on the couch next to me.  Ellie manages to get this spot quite a bit, so Caylee devised a way to get it back.  She goes and gets a toy, brings it over and starts shoving it at Ellie, making encouraging little sounds, until Ellie starts to get interested in playing, which doesn’t take too long.  Then Caylee lures Ellie off the couch with the toy and tugs with her until she’s on the other side of the coffee table.  Then Caylee lets Ellie win the tug, so Ellie runs off with it and Caylee jumps up on the couch to claim the spot.  Ellie is picking up the trick, but it still works better when Caylee does it. One of the things I really love about Boxers is that they’re incredibly loyal.  They’re also quite friendly with people and usually very gentle with children.  Of course they’re silly and rambunctious, so you have to watch them, but they definitely make me laugh!

Ellie Playing

Meet Janey Wilcox with Fender & Nyx

Janey is RAT President and lives near Argus Ranch. Janey has been a RAT member for 16 years.

RT: Tell us about your dogs.

Janey: I have Fender 2 ½, and Nyx 8 months. Both are Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs. And, because I always get asked: No, they’re not hounds, and the breed is generally used for hunting wild hogs and other game, treeing, and driving cattle.  Before the Catahoulas there were four agility boxers and it is strange now not to be known as The Boxer Lady.

RT: How did you get interested in dog agility

Janey: I was taking obedience classes with Judy Bandlow & Melinda Galt with my first boxer puppy, Wally, and Melinda suggested I go watch an agility demo being put on by the Rainier Agility Team at Carco park. I did and got so excited. I contacted the president of RAT, Sandra Katzen, who invited me down to watch a trial at Elma. I was hooked and immediately started taking classes.

Janey with Macy & Tucker In San Francisco

RT: Are you competing? If so for how long?

Janey: Strangely, I am not currently competing. I retired my last agility dog, Macy, a couple of years ago and haven’t yet trained Fender to do agility. However I did compete for many years before now and plan to again in the future.

RT: What venues did you compete in?  i.e. NADAC, AKC, USDAA, CPE

Janey:I competed in NADAC for many years, along with USDAA & ASCA, and finally CPE. I’ve tried UKI but have never gotten around to doing AKC. Maybe this time.

RT: What other activities do you do with your dogs?

Janey: I became very active in nosework in 2015 when my boxer, Tucker, retired from agility.  Macy also did nosework and now the two Catahoulas are also competing/training. We compete in 3 different venues  of nosework (4 if I ever register the dogs with AKC).  I’ve done Rally & lure coursing, but so far no one seems interested in dock diving.

RT: What do you like about being a RAT Club member?

Janey: I like that feeling of belonging to a community that has common interests and aspirations. We are such a hugely diverse group that compete in different venues yet we come together and pull off these extraordinary events. It’s no easy feat to put on an agility trial and it takes many people and much coordination. I believe in giving back to the agility community and RAT does this by offering trials in multiple venues and by putting on demos for the public.

RT: What RAT Activities have you helped with? 

Janey:I’m currently serving as President, but also served on the board several years ago. I’ve been a Trial Chair, Chief Ring Steward, League Coordinator, Demo Committee Chair, Raffle Person, Hospitality Volunteer, Nomination Committee Member, Score Keeper (back in the days when USDAA had those manual accumulator sheets – ugh!), Gate Steward, Timer, Scribe, Pole Setter, and Leash Runner.

RT:Do you have any particular interests you would like to share …

Janey: With my backpacking and dancing days (yes, really) most likely behind me, I still love books, camping, spending time on the beach, theater, ballet, tricks training with the pups, hanging out with friends & family, red wine, dark beer, and music.

RT: What funny things do your dogs do?

Janey: Fender is hilarious. He has a silly fetch which involves a lot of prancing, he lies under his bed instead of on top of it, he does a thing we call Dragon Run which involves running his stuffy up & down the hallway each night, and he seems to have absolutely no control over his tail. Nyx is not as silly as Fender but she IS part goat and stands on the coffee table,  the fireplace mantle, etc, and then woo-woos at you when you ask her to get down. She has this great trick called, “Monkey” where she climbs/jumps into my arms or into my lap. She also steals EVERYTHING, which actually isn’t all that funny.

RT: What do you like best about your dog(s)?

Janey: Each one of my dogs: Wally, Jackson, Tucker, Macy, and now Fender & Nyx, has been/is a precious gift. Each one teaches me something invaluable. With every dog I grow as a trainer and as a human. The thing I like best? The knowledge gained, the trust given, the laughter shared, and the love exchanged.

Brag Board


Bella Turning LEFT at Distance in Regular!

Bella and Annette

Bella Cleared for Take Off in Tunnelers!

Eromit’s Fast And Furious (Bella) has just completed her last needed run in Tunneler’s to complete her NADAC NOVICE VERSATILITY TITLE (6 Titles in Regular, Chances, Jumpers, Weavers, TnGo, and Tunnelers)! We are also only 6 runs away from completing her OPEN VERSATILITY TITLE and we may need to focus more on entering TnGo and Tunnelers in the future! We continue to improve our focus & connection as a TEAM as it’s still more about the ring distractions than it is about the complexity of the courses! We also compete in CPE, USDAA, and she loves to RUN “Send and Go” and the long path lines in UKI!!
Annette and Bella.

Maggie and Doris


Maggie passed Clove, Anise and Birch NACSW Odor Recognition Tests (ORTs) for Nose Work on December 15th in Lacey.

Natty and Susan

Natty’s picture was published in the Aussie Times last month for earning the #2 Open Gamblers Dog Merit Award for 2018-2019. I’m very proud of her gambling ability!

Jet and Eric

Jet and I received both are Intermediate Treibball Standard title and our Novice Treibball Balls in Order title in the last month.
Eric (& Jet I Fly)


The Kocker Krew expanded with the addition of Shalybon Life of the Parti, call name “Karlee”. She is now about 5 months old, and a lot of fun. She loves to run and learn, and loves food! The rest of the Krew is doing well with her. We are looking forward to our journey with Karlee!

Cathy & Teddi

Editor’s Note: This was in February Karlee is probably about 8 months old now!

Announcements – what are you doing now?

Inquiring Minds want to know what you’re doing during these times:


Jill Seward and Cheddar:

Cheddar is living the cone life, and having an ok time sequestering, but we can’t wait to get back to normal sheep tossing times. He had a second knee replacement on April 13th and is now fully bionic on his back end. Thank goodness veterinary services are considered essential, shout out to Dr. Mark Engen at SVS in Kirkland, to Monique Feyrecide CVT, VTS at Mercer Island Vet Clinic, and to their colleagues and anyone else in that industry.

Thank you for supporting our animals in bad times and good!

Sherry Howarth and Rey

Rey - Sherry's new BC

So guess what – Sherry Bodin and I no longer have the same last name and initials. John Howarth and I got married April first.
The other exciting news is we have a new girl. Her name is Rey she is 7 month old border collie. She is so very tiny.
She weighs like 20 pounds. Right now she is learning to not be afraid of the world and to come when called.
She came from Texas and was found running the streets. She has all my boys wrapped a round her cute little paws.
Her favorite things to do is waking up John in the morning and playing with Miss Rita’s Bailey.
She loves to chortle a greeting when she see’s someone she loves.

Lynn Chase and Rumble

Rumble was just (successfully) evaluated for his Intermediate Trick title. We finished Novice with Do More With Your Dog and now Intermediate w/ AKC. Fun. Since I don’t have a teeter at home, had to use a mini clip from a trial. Here is a link to Lynn and Rumble’s performance:

In Loving Memory :

“Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.” John Galsworthy

Editor’s Note: 2018-2019 we lost many of our best friends. This is emotional for me and I’m sure for all of you. It’s nice to have a tribute to our fur babies that have gone on ahead of us.

Cerice and Patches

Susan and Chevy

We lost Chevy, Aquaroo’s Supreme Caprice (May 9, 2004 – December 10, 2019) in December.  Chevy was an awesome girl–she agreed to do agility with me for 10 years and we had a great time! The love of her life, however, was my husband Rich. She adored him and the love was mutual. His heart is broken and we are dealing with the loss. She was ready to go but I don’t think we are ever ready. Hug your pups and your humans. 💞

Cheryl and Cooper

Cooper: Sept. 24, 2005 – Jan. 8, 2020

Today I said goodbye to my bestest friend, and closest confidant. He taught me that despite injury, illness or heartache to live life out loud, take chances and to keep chasing the dream. He never let me be alone or feel alone. My constant companion – I love you Beanie Bean, the Little Brown dog, aka Buffalo Man, my love, my heart. Sleep well and pain free until we meet again.

Tim and Kobe


10/2005 – 1/24/2020

Last Friday, we said good-bye to Kobe, who enriched our lives for almost 14 years.

We always said that Kobe was our “chemo dog”. Karen had just gotten her first chemo treatment in 2006 and afterwards, wanted to go to the animal shelter to look at dogs. Cut to the chase, we ended up with Kobe from that visit. They said he was a border collie and we, not knowing anything about BC’s, brought him home none the wiser. It didn’t take long for us to figure out two things. Because Karen was dealing with her treatments at the time, she was in no position to give him the kind of attention he needed, so he became “my” dog. Also, if we didn’t find something for him to do, he would find something himself, and we may not like what he came up with. In the process of looking for things for him to do, we discovered dog sports – agility, competition obedience, noseworks and more; something that changed our lives. He fit in well with our family as it grew, laying down the line and teaching Halle & Fawn the rules of the house, yet always ready to play with them right up to the end.

Kobe was never one to pay much attention to the vet’s opinions. When he was a year old, he sustained a displaced patella injury and the vet told us that he would never be able to run agility. Despite that, Kobe went on to earn many NADAC & UKC agility titles, including NATCH & UACHX. Similarly, in October 2017, they found tumors on Kobe’s liver and the oncologist told us that he had 2 months to a year left. Kobe responded by going out and completing his NADAC NATCH and AKC Open Obedience titles and enjoying life for more than 2 years after that diagnosis.

We will miss him terribly, but will always be grateful for what he brought to our lives.

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