RAT Tales October 2022 Part 2

Mom, tell us Another Bedtime Story


Bridget Speaks –

Zombies at Agility Trials

Jill Seward’s Cheddar and Money

RAT Brag Board

Annette Kuhls & Bella


Bella is turning 7 on October 18, 2022! 

She is sweet, friendly, and absolutely loves her new puppy Vibe!

Wrestle, Wrangle, and Bitey-Face is a daily occurrence and I am so glad that they enjoy each other’s company so much!

Bella has recently completed her Elite Touch and Go Title in NADAC with 2 beautiful runs a few months back!  She will now be focusing on Jumpers, Chances, Regular, and finishing out her Elite Versatility Award.

She has also finished her Beginners International Dog (BID) and Beginner Speedstakes (SSB) Title’s in UKI (UK Agility International)!

We are really enjoying both of these agility venues as she really gets to RUN along with practicing her distance skills!

Cathy & Teddi with the Kocker Krew

The Kocker Krew had a great time at the NADAC Pre- Champs and Championships in Gillette, WY September 20 -25. There were several other RAT members and teams from the PNW there. Pre-Champs was like a huge regular trial offering Gamblers, Touch N Go and Chances. All three Kockers ran Pre-Champs, but it was Karlee’s “Champs”. She handled the travel, environment and long days like a champ, and earned a Gambler’s Q. During Champs (consisting of 6 Regular runs), Kleo and Kwip ran beautifully. Kwip was outstanding, taking first place in all 6 runs. Both Team Kleo and Team Kwip made the Finals (one Regular run), where Kleo finished 5th in her division, and Kwip took 1st in his division. We are very proud of the Krew!

Chris Edmark and Sherry Bodin

Sherry and I got our Catch’s Badger Catch 6, Ziggy Catch 4.

Debra Sweat and Scout

Scout did this over the weekend at the Mudpack CPE Trial-he rocked the courses and I think my baby boy is growing up-two jumpers Q’s, a Q in standard, a Q in jackpot and a Q in wildcard!!!

Katie Togesen & Ripley

Ripley border collie/heeler went to her first trial this Saturday.

She will compete in 3 classes at the ZAP Argus Trial

Laura Robbers & Basie

Guess we need to bragg because it took six years to do it! Basie and I finally got our CS-ATE! Not bad for a 11 year old boy who has never been fired up about competing but he loves hanging with his mama.

Sally Nickelson with Steed & April

On Saturday, less than a month before Steed turned 13, he did 4 runs at the NADAC trial. Three were Q1 at or over 5 yards per second! The 4th was a Q3 because he felt the need to scold me before about half of the jumps in a jumpers run. All 4 were soooo Steed! Love him to death.

April managed a perfect tunnelers run at 6.2 yards per second. Of course her next run included 4 off-courses, but she did have a lovely regular run with great contacts and weaves and only 1 dropped bar.

Susan Cole and Calamity

Calamity placed 6th of 58 dogs with one High in Class. We are off to Nationals next week.

Barn Hunt with acceptance to Nationals in Missouri the end of October. Little girl has been on fire: two clear Crazy 8 runs (all 8 rats in under 2 minutes), one high in class in Master’s B beating 39 other dogs of all sizes with a run of 1 minute 37 seconds (her first ever), and achieving her Crazy 8 platinum silver 2nd (5000 points), RATX (elite Master’s with 10 runs under 2.5 minutes), and RATCH2 the last 2 months.

At the CPE trial, she Q’d in 7 of 13 regular and in all of her Speedway runs including the 2nd fastest team time. I was rather sick with a sinus infection and really couldn’t run her like I wanted to as I was barely functioning from lack of sleep thanks to caring for my Dad. She wouldn’t weave on Saturday and started out with the zoomies like a little puppy which was good entertainment as she went up on the teeter and barked at it. She also found a pole setter to jump onto her chest to give out kisses (after her run at least!)

Story Time –

Bridget Speaks: On Zombies at Agility Trials

My name is Raven’s Run Watcher On the Bridge (Bridget), NADAC #19-12634, and I LOVE agility! However, lately I am very concerned about the appearance of zombies in our agility trials. Oddly, I seem to be the only one who is noticing this dangerous problem. That may be because I became an agility dog in a different way than most of the dogs who trial with us.

I joined the Raven’s Run pack more than three years ago, when I was a very young dog. Boss and Goldi were just going to let me live in their house for a little while. I was going to be a fostering dog. Before that, when I was a puppy, I lived with my Owner/breeder and LOTS of other Shelties. Owner/breeder was just starting to teach me about leashes and grooming and obedience when she got really sick and went into the Can’t Come Back. When she was gone, the man who came to take care of us didn’t want us. He chased all the Shelties out into the pasture and wouldn’t let us back in the house. Sometimes he threw us some food, but the bigger Shelties got all of it and my sister, Lady Bug, and I were always hungry. At night, predators came to hunt Shelties. It was a very terrible time. At last, the man catched all the Shelties that were still alive and took us to a building full of dogs. The people there gave us food, but they were always doing strange things like poking us with needles and pointing flashing, clicking boxes at us. It was pretty scarifying. After a few days, the Sheltie Club lady came and got Lady Bug and me and the other Shelties and took us all to different fostering homes. I ended up with Boss and Goldi and their two Shelties. I was worn out from being scared and I missed Lady Bug. I just hid in the corner of an x-pen all the time and wouldn’t do anything or look at anyone. Boss and Goldi said I was a Messed Up Dog who would probably never recover. They decided I would just live with them forever because I would never be able to be a normal dog.

Raven was the queen of the Raven’s Run pack and Bella Blue is her sister. They didn’t pay any attention to me, but I saw how they weren’t worried about anything. It helped me a lot. After a long, long time, I began to come out of my x-pen (’cause Goldi always left it open for me) and look around the house at night when the humans were sleeping. I began to remember how to bark and sometimes I felt so happy I would wag. It felt good when Goldi scratched my ears and, after an even longer time, I learned how to take treats out of her hand. At Boss and Goldi’s house, dogs did not get locked outside with no food. I found I could go outside with Raven and Bella and I always got to come back in. There is a BIG tree in the back yard. It made me feel safe to trot round and round it. I wore a path in the grass. Boss calls it Bridgie’s race track.

Goldi said I was not going to spend my life trotting around the white pine. She said that I am a thinking dog who can overcome the bad ‘speriences of my past. I don’t know what that means, but Goldi and Raven began teaching me about leashes and riding in the car. We went on adventures to the dog biscuit store and the Soggy Doggy Dogwash and the nursery where Goldi works and the bank and all sorts of places. At first I was SO scared of all these strange places that I would act like a panicked dog. Raven said I had to stop it. “You are ‘barrassing Goldi and I,” she said. “Even if you are afraid, you must stay calm and follow commands. It is the Sheltie way. Goldi will not let anything hurt you.” It was SO hard, but I just kept reminding myself that Goldi is a strong pack leader. She will not let anything hurt me. I got better and better at adventures. One day, Raven and I even did sit/stays in a busy Wilco farm store.

Sometimes Goldi and Raven practiced agility in our meadow. Goldi would give commands and Raven would jump over jumps and run through tunnels and weave through the poles. It was SO exciting. As I began to be brave enough to leave my race track and go out into the meadow, sometimes I sniffed the jumps and poles and things. One day, Goldi and Raven were running some agility. It looked like so much fun that I began to run with them. Goldi would shout, “Jump!” and Raven would run to it and jump over it. I ran right along with her, but I just jumped up in the air beside the jump. When Goldi said, “Tunnel!”, Raven would run into the tunnel and come out the other end — like MAGIC! I just ran alongside the tunnel — in case I didn’t do the magic right and I came out somewhere far away. When Raven weaved, I just DANCED alongside because it was just so wonderful. Agility! I LOVE it!

Goldi began taking me along to Raven’s agility classes. At first, I sat in my crate and watched all the dogs running and obeying. After class, Goldi and I would walk around the course and she would help me do jumps and hoops. Sometimes we even weaved! I wore my leash and Goldi sort of dragged me in and out between the poles, but pretty soon I could do it myself — ALL by myself! Raven said I was making good improvement. Another time, our agility instructor, Aunt Cathy, crunched a tunnel up short and taught me that I could go through it without any problems at all. What a wonderful day! I have tunneled like crazy ever since!

About a year and a half ago, Goldi let me go along when she and Raven went to a trial in Mt. Vernon. I thought it would be really scary. Goldi thought we would just do a little piece of each course and stop. We were both surprised! The trial barn at Fun Fur Paws was big and there seemed to be no people in it. When we went out on the course, all I saw was AGILITY STUFF! I had so much fun that we did the whole course. I made mistakes. So, there were no ribbons, but I could see that it wasn’t scary — just SO much fun. Goldi and I ran some more runs and I made NO mistakes! I won ribbons and Goldi was so amazed and happy that it made her cry. I was so amazed and happy that, on my last run, I just had to stop on the course to jump up in the air and dance. The judge liked it so much that she gave me a special award for “Most Inspiring Qualifying Run”. What a WONDERFUL day!

Since then, I have gone to lots of trials. It is my favorite thing to do — but it changed after Raven got sick and went into the Can’t Come Back last spring. Agility is still the most fun thing a dog can do, but now when something unusual or scary happens, I can’t talk to Raven about it. So, sometimes I feel nervous. It is hard for me to concentrate on running when we trial at Argus Ranch or SchaSam Farm and there are SO many people and dogs all around the course. Sometimes I have to stop and carefully observe them. That’s how I noticed the zombie problem that some other dogs might have missed.

I know about zombies because at night, when Goldi is worn out, she watches TV. Sometimes there are commercials about zombie shows. The zombies are creepy scary people whose heads are twisted in weird directions or they hang their heads down and look at the ground. I haven’t been able to study them closely because Goldi changes the channel. She said we are just not a zombie watching household. (She thinks they’re awful.) So, you can understand that I was very surprised when we were running a good Jumpers course one day and there, in the corner, was a lady all scrunched up on her chair with her head hanging down. ???!! What was wrong with her? She was turned away from us like a dog who is very sick. Did she need a veterinary? I stopped and pointed her out to Goldi, but Goldi only tried to get me back on the course. I didn’t know what to think.

Another time, I was having a good agility run, but when I came out of a tunnel so that I was facing the spectator section, the sight of all those people made me stop in surprise. Then another spooky thing happened. Some of the ones closest to me flopped their heads forward and closed their eyes — just like zombies on TV! WHAT was happening?! It was so scary that I couldn’t go any closer to the spectator section. Goldi sort of made up her own course for us to finish and there were no ribbons. I have seen similar things happen during several of our most recent trials. The worst time was when it happened with a whole lot of humans all at the same time. Goldi and I were having a good run, but the end of the course ran very close to the scribe table. As I came down to the last few obstacles, I began to slow down because of the humans at the scribe table and the judge and leash runner standing nearby. Yes, I was getting kind of nervous. So, Goldi moved to get between me and the scribe table people and protect me from them. She blocked my view of them for a minute. When I could see them clearly again, I saw a TERRIBLE thing! The scribe’s head was twisted far to one side. The timer’s head was at a different, but equally unnatural angle. The judge’s head was twisted to one side and down. The leash runner’s head was twisted up and far, far back as if her neck was broken. WHAT HAPPENED HERE?! I stopped right in my tracks and just stared. Were they dead? Were they zombified? WHAT was going on?!

Goldi called and called to me, but I couldn’t move. Finally Goldi walked beside me and blocked my view of the zombies as we did the last two jumps and left the course — but my heart was pounding. This sort of thing continued throughout the rest of the trial. In every run I made, ring crew people and leash runners and even, sometimes, the judge went into strange, unnatural poses of extreme distress when I came near them. I could hardly enjoy my reward treats after each run because I was so unsettled. I told Bella Blue about it when we got home.

“Well,” said Bella, “this IS Halloween season. Perhaps they were not real zombies. Perhaps they were just pretending to be zombies in hopes that you would give them treats.”

I thought that was a very strange explanation — but I couldn’t think of any other. I HOPE this was, as Bella suggested, just a seasonal thing. It would be terrible if NADAC trials began to permanently feature zombies. I hope the humans of RAT Agility club will take a good look at who their trial helpers, judges, and ring crew people are. Don’t allow any zombies! I don’t understand exactly what zombies do, but I know that it is really, really bad — worse than agility dogs who snarl at humans or other dogs. RAT would never allow that! I am hoping they will make rules against zombies also. Meanwhile, Goldi and I are practicing our agility signals and I am doing lots of trotting around the white pine. I need to stay in shape in case I have to run from zombies at our next trial.

Stay safe Hug your family and your friends and your dogs!!!

RT Editor

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