Well, the Withun family has been busy during fall, both human and canine.
The humans were busy at work with big projects. Paul hosted a big Security Conference for all of the security folks from all of the US defense distribution centers all over the world, AND spent some time in Japan for work visiting/checking on one of those sites. I hosted Lean experts from Brazil and India for a two-week Lean Continuous Improvement wave. Usually I love these - this one, not so much. But life goes on, even for Quality Managers who would prefer their "help" go ahead and fly back to where they came from.
The dogs were possibly even busier than the two-legged Withuns. If you're one of our dog-person friends, all the details you could ever want are in my training log - link to blog at left. (In fact, in the interest of how well keeping a detailed journal has been for enhancing my training, it is WAY more than anyone would ever want to read about someone else's dogs.) But for everyone else, I'll try to use non-crazy-dog-person-terms...
November 5th, Paul and I competed in a Rally-Obedience trial. In Rally-O, we (handler and dog) go through a course of numbered stations (usually around 20), with the dog heeling between them and doing specific obedience exercises at each station. All 3 dogs did well. Rowdy earned his Level 2 Title, and even had one PERFECT score! He was on fire! This was Seelie's first obedience competition, and she did well too! She is definitely the kind of multi-talented, versatile dog I was looking for. Although she does occasionally bark, as if shocked, by someone/something that's been in the room unchanged for the last half hour - earning her the loving nickname of "freaky-beans."
Brutus and Seelie volunteered with a "Kids Reading To Dogs" program at the library. Several kids had "appointments" to read books aloud to them to practice their reading skills (the dogs don't mind if they make a few mistakes, and it makes reading more fun.)
Paul and I celebrated our "Thanks-I-Versary" - 9 years on November 23rd! But we both worked that day, so we celebrated with a lovely Thanksgiving dinner out, just the two of us. (Yes, those are roasted chestnuts in with the brussells sprouts - so festive!)
Thanksgiving weekend, Paul and I competed in another CPE Agility trial. All 3 dogs earned titles (by accumulating several runs through different agility obstacle courses, while meeting certain standards for completing the obstacles quickly, correctly, and in order.) These were Seelie's first competition titles ever, so she is now officially "Seelie Court Withun, DSA, CGC, TDI, CL1-R, CL1-F." [Dog Scouts of America, AKC Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dogs International certified therapy dog, CPE Level 1 standard agility title, CPE Level 1 agility fun games title.] Here she is at the September trial, before she decided that it was fun to doing a flying leap off of the A-frame like super-woman (which unfortunately disqualifies you.) It's actually nice to have a pursuit that's occasionally very humbling, and also occasionally results in a thrilling victory.
By the way, Rowdy is now "Rowdy Bones Withun, DSA, CGC, TDI, PDX, CL1, RL2, AOE-L2." [Dog Scouts of America, AKC Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dogs International certified therapy dog, DSA Pack Dog Excellent (hiked 100 miles under pack with one 10-mile hike), ALL of the CPE Level 1 agility titles (standard, handler, fun, and strategy), APDT Rally-Obedience Level 2 (includes his completion of the level 1 title as well), and the APDT Rally-Obedience Award of Excellence for level 2 (for earning exceedingly high scores.)]
Paul especially enjoys the fact that our "mutt" is "Brutus Withun, DSA, CGC, TDI, PDX, RL1, CSL1-R, CSL1-F, CSL1-H." [same as above, with the standard, fun, and handler's agility titles for level 1 - as a "specialist," that's the "S," which essentially means that since he's 9 years old and gigantic his jumps are lowered to 16" high instead of 24" which would be his regular height.]