Sunday, December 29, 2013

Farewell, 2013. Onward to 2014!

2013 was a Pretty Good Year.

Pongu, my crazy fearful little pound puppy, finally became a Real Competition Dog (kinda-sorta). In 2013, he finished his RL2 and RL3 titles, both with Awards of Excellence for high scores (making him three for three on those). He earned his ARCH, ARCHX, and ARCHEX, along with a couple of variations on the RL1X/RL2X/RL3X level championships, making him one of the 50 most accomplished mixed-breed dogs in the history of our dorky little sport. We ended the year with 1188 Championship points (or something reasonably close to that, I hope...), which should be sufficient for a pretty solid divisional ranking and possibly a break into the Top 20 Overall.

On top of that, Pongu finished all the titles in the Trick Dog progression, from Novice to Champion, over the course of 13 days in March. He earned his Novice title in CDSP obedience with all three qualifying scores of 190 or better.

Less formally, Dog Mob put together a couple of goofy tricks this year:

...and they took a couple of nice vacations: Lake Placid (winter), Nantucket (summer), Nantucket (fall), and assorted day trips.

 And we hit our goal of fostering and placing five dogs this year, with considerable help from Crookytail in his role as Guidance Counselor to Homeless Mutts:

Foster Dog 18: Penny Lane (later renamed Skunky Mushmellon)

A St. Bernard/Golden Retriever mix, Skunky was a stray on the streets of North Carolina. A kind-hearted woman in the neighborhood had been feeding her for several months, but when the woman was faced with undergoing a medical procedure that would likely require lengthy hospitalization, she reached out to a local rescue to take Skunky. That rescue in turn sent her to Wags, and I agreed to foster her for the group.

Skunky was adopted by an art gallery manager who met her in our neighborhood dog park while dog-sitting her employer's poodle. A couple of months later, in one of life's minor coincidences, she moved back to North Carolina when her owner relocated to that state.

Foster Dog 19: Foozie (later renamed Lolly)

This little dog wound up in Robeson County Animal Shelter after an area woman spotted her trying to get into the backyard trash cans and called Animal Control to take the "fox" out of her yard. I pulled Foozie and brought her up here, where her cute looks, sparkling personality, and small size drew a lot of attention immediately. Foozie had a number of great homes to choose from; because she seemed to enjoy and do well with children, I placed her with a nice professional couple that had two young sons and had trained their previous dog at my old club.

Foster Dog 20: Serenity

Another pull from Robeson County, Serenity (whose shelter name was Serendipity) was a sweet little mystery mix who ended up going farther afield than any other foster dog of ours this year. She was adopted sight unseen by a friend-of-friends: the couple who adopted our foster dog April had a friend who was looking for a dog of her own, and she clicked with Serenity from afar.

And so we packed this little dog up in an airline crate and mailed her to Minneapolis, where she lives happily ever after.

Foster Dog 21: Florence (later renamed Dori)

Found scavenging on an illegal garbage dump in Robeson County, Florence was a clever, affectionate dog who had only been here for two days before she got an adoption offer from a young professional couple who happened to see her walking around town wearing the Homeless Dog Vest of Shame. I kept her for another couple of weeks to do a complete evaluation and get started on some basic training (where she showed some real potential), and then she went on to her wonderful forever home.

Foster Dog 22: Ashling

This little Yorkie/Wheaten Terrier mix was confiscated along with three siblings from an unfit owner. Because of their history of neglect, all the dogs quickly became sick in the shelter. Ashling pulled through, but not all of her brothers were as fortunate.

Miraculously, her unlucky history left no scars on her personality. Ashling was a happy, bubbly, gentle dog who loved children, and that combined with her small size and (above all) low-shedding coat made her a very high-demand dog. This little Cinderella dog had her choice of fairy tale endings, and went home to one just before Christmas.

So much for 2013! We'll see what 2014 brings.

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