RAT Tales March 2019

Agility is like climbing a Mountain – take time to enjoy the view.

This Month in RAT Tales in Spotlight on Members we talk to Debbie and Mike Mason and new member Linda Hall.

We also have BRAGS!!!

Spotlight on Members

Meet RAT members: Debbie and Mike Mason

Deb and Wazzu

I first met Debbie and Mike Mason when we first started out in agility about 2000, at the time they had Wazzu and I had Mac. Since then they have accumulated more dogs and more NADAC Awards.

RT: Tell me about your dogs.

Mike & Debbie: We have Boogie an 11 year old Border Terrier. He is a 4 time Champion at the NADAC Championships.

Boogie 4 time NADAC Champ and cook.

We have 2iggie a 10 yr IG/Border Collie Mix ( so we’ve been told ) 2Iggie is a 2 time Champion at the NADAC Championships

Boogie and 2iggie at Champs

We have Crackerjack a 6 year old Border Terrier

Crackerjack Diving

Our youngest dog – Vito is a 2 yr old Whippet.


Gone but remembered numerous times every single day are Wazzu, Sparkie & Slugger

Wazzu, Sparkie , Boogie & Slugger
Sparkie & Mike Mason

RT: How did you get interested in dog agility ?

We rescued Wazzu who had a rough start in life and had no confidence.  Looked into several activities and agility seemed like it would help her the most.  As it turns out, she was happy doing anything as long as she was with Debbie.  They gave each other confidence.

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

Yes, I (Mike) have been competing since 2000.  Debbie & Wazzu had only been doing agility about 8 months when Wazzu qualified for NADAC Champs.  Just a few days prior to the event, Debbie broke her foot.  My first agility run was at Champs.  I had never stepped foot on a course…in fact, I didn’t even know you got to walk the course before running.  I had no clue what to do….Wazzu and I  had 245 faults that first run.  Fast forward-  the dogs and I have now been to Champs many times and quite often have gone the entire event without one fault.  What a change!

RT: What venues do you compete in? 

We compete strictly in NADAC.  That was mainly due to the fact that when we started, that was the venue that would allow mixed breeds….which all our dogs were at the time.

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

You name it our dogs love it.  Nosework, Barnhunt, Lure Coursing, Earthdog, swimming, hiking…..

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

It’s a great way to help out the agility community in general and it’s a really great group of like-minded people.

RT: What RAT Activities have you helped with? 

In addition to working in the ring at every trial I attend, ,for quite a few years now  I’ve been the guy in charge of the timing equipment at the NADAC  trials. We also host meetings and fun runs at our house.  Debbie was trial chair for a number of trials and was the RAT Tales editor for a number of years.

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

Between playing with the dogs and running our dog food business – WAzzuOR Raw there is no time for other interests – though I do enjoy reading every night.

RT: What funny things do your dogs do?

Crackerjack takes every toy in the house (and there are lots) and hides them all under the bed, then she sleeps there with them.  We have to clean it out weekly. Vito carries the dog bowls around (both inside and outside) so we have to play hide and seek before each meal.

RT: What do you like best about your dog(s)? They are my best friends.

Meet Linda Hall and her Keeshonds

“Happiness is running with your dog” Artie and Linda

RT: Tell me about your dogs.

I have four Keeshonden: Artie who is 9, Sherman who is 6 or 7 and was rescued from a puppy mill, Monty who is 2 and Murphy who is 9 months.

RT: How did you get interested in dog agility ?

I messed around with agility training about 15 years ago with my kees before Artie, his name was Skeeter.  We took lessons from Melinda Galt but never expected I would ever compete in the sport.

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

I started training with Artie about seven years ago and he has competed for roughly six years.  I say that he has because I did not run him for the first time until maybe three or four years ago.  Sarah Baker convinced me that I could, indeed, remember the courses and run Artie myself.  That said, I counted up one time and came up with about 14 different people who have ran Artie.  I love it that he will run with so many people, as long as he comes home with me.


RT: What venues do you compete in? 

We do NADAC, CPE, AKC, UKC& plan to get back into ASCA.

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

Artie does obedience, rally, agility & was a therapy dog with TDI until a couple month ago.  Sherman still is a therapy dog, Monty does obedience, rally, agility and herding.  Murphy has his eyes on obedience, rally & agility as well.  We don’t know  as yet if he has the instinct for herding.

Sherman reading with his friend

RT: What do you like about being a RAT Club member and what RAT activities do you participate in?

I am proud to be a member and wonder why I didn’t check into joining a long time ago. So far my contribution to the club is helping with the grunt work to set up before and working during the trials.

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

I paint, sculpt, needle felt, punch needle, hand embroidery and meddle in woodworking.  In addition to RAT,  am a board member of the Pacific Crest Keeshond Club, and belong to the Puget Sound K9s.

Murphy at PCKC Fun Day

RT: What funny things do your dogs do?

That is hard to answer, there isn’t a day goes by that they do not bring joy to our lives in some way or another. They make us laugh every day in one way or another.


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

They are dogs, what’s not to like? But seriously, I love that they are so smart and cuddly and try so hard to please.  It is interesting to me how most people have an affinity for one particular breed.  I grew up with chihuahuas, have had mixed breeds & two Shelties, all of whom I loved with all my heart but discovered the Kees in 1989 and never looked back.

Brag Board!!

See Brags Here!!
Cheryl and Sammie Mae – earned their C-ATCH 2 at Top Dog CPE trial March 2019
Sammie Mae at Top Dog March 2019 Catch2
Leanna and Sagan – NATCH!!!
Kari Hammagren with Sagan and Leanna

Steed and Sally

NADAC Chances has always been Steed and my nemesis, despite the fact that he loves to run at distance. He was almost nine when he finally earned his first NATCH last September with his first Chances Q in over 6 months. Well, we’ve been back on that dry wagon since September – no Chances Qs until last weekend at the NADAC trial in Mt Vernon, where he blew me out of the water with Four (4!) Chances Qs in one trial! He’ll probably be 14 years old before we ever earn another NATCH, but for now we’re celebrating!

Mike Vorkapich

First: The Rainier Agility Team, Sno-King Agility Club, A Savvy Dog Training and Four Paw Fun got together on March 9th and 10th to help out at the Seattle Kennel Club show. We helped with the “My Dog Can Do That” introductory agility course, where we helped over 200 dogs and handlers experience agility for the first time. We also put on a Trick Dog demo once on Saturday and twice on Sunday.

Second: My dog D’Argo was selected to be in a commercial for Starbucks Coffee. The commercial will be airing somewhere around the end of March, beginning of April. Out of all the dogs on set, and there were quite a few, he was the only one that seemed unaffected by all the lights, noise and action of a film studio environment. He was able to perform all tasks asked of him without a problem.

Mike, Amanda and Eric at “My Dog Can Do That!” March 2019

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