Apr 072014

by Doranna


Agility milestones for Connery Beagle!  Now that he’s earned a MACH3, Connery is running in Preferred classes (that is, jumping four inches lower).  He was always the shortest and heaviest dog in his jump height…Beagles are meant to be sturdy little things.  And he likes it Very Much!

He’s qualified in eleven of his twelve runs since then, and taken first place each time.  At ten years old there’s no telling how long he’ll have this much joy in running, but right now we’re having a blast with it!

connery_DSC6958-(ZF-1106-69731-1-002).SM Continue reading »

Mar 252014

by Doranna

On the doing of things…

Sometimes life piles up so fast it’s hard to keep up–and it’s hard to remember why you’re doing what in the first place.

cb.bone..506I started this blog while listening to the grind of merry little hound teeth on a Nylabone, while the hound in question (Connery) happily sprawled over the world’s ugliest hotel carpet.

Not kidding. World’s UGLIEST. Continue reading »

Mar 102014

by Doranna

In the last tracking blog, in the wake of a difficult experience in El Paso, I was getting ready for another tracking test on the 3rd.  I muttered about some of the challenges of getting tracking tests–finding the tests, dealing with the luck factor, maintaining the focus, blah blah blah.

So, on the third, we took the test, along with five other teams.  This is what we all woke up to:

Ooh.  Look.  Clouds caught up on the Sandias.  Cannot bode well for us.

Ooh. Look. Clouds caught up on the Sandias. Cannot bode well for us.

Continue reading »

Feb 262014

by Doranna

yymm.dd.dart.storycover.28.NOT.SMEarlier this month, we headed off to an adventure: our first tracking test away from home.

Tracking tests are hard to find.  In our area, we have one TD, one TDX, and one VST per year.  (Tracking Dog, Tracking Dog Excellent, and Variable Surface Test.)

Those tests are often overfilled, meaning there’s a draw to get in; non-local tests are five to seven hours away.  And with the passing rates (painfully low), most of us have to take the tests more than one time.  Sometimes lots more than one time. Continue reading »

Jan 012014

by Doranna

Dart Beagle–he who can’t manage an open obedience leg to save his life because…STAYS…is also playing around with utility work.

Mind you, obedience people who truly know what they’re doing work in utility foundation pieces right from the start.  But because I’m teaching myself as I teach Dart, I’m not layering quite that thoroughly.  Sure, I’ve tried to include small pieces–and more importantly, not train other pieces in a way that will create conflicts down the road–but it’s sure not like how someone who Truly Knew would do it.

(If I Truly Knew, I probably wouldn’t have a semi-bazillion or so dumbbells for Dart, acquired in the course of looking for the Right One.  Which we still don’t have.)

3dart.utility Continue reading »

Dec 112013

by Doranna & the Blue Hound Beagles
A Dog Agility Blog Event.  Sort of.

dogblogLast week the Dog Agility event went off as scheduled…without me.  Life Chaos came to something of a head last week (if one of many), and I regretfully not only didn’t manage the deadline, I didn’t even get started.

But this past weekend, I attended an agility trial that reminded me just how much the mental game matters.

As in, when your mental game is blown away, it changes everything about how you handle the events of a trial. Continue reading »

Dec 052013

by Doranna

The kitchen, the night before...

The kitchen, the night before…

When we last saw our heroes (AKA Dart & Connery Beagle), they were preparing to take the imminent Variable Surface Tracking test…not much expecting to pass, given our ongoing family crises, training interruptions, and etc (well, even without those things, because this is hard!). Continue reading »

Nov 302013

by Doranna

I almost chickened out.

The VST (Variable Surface Tracking test) is one of those ultimate tests, requiring skill and trust and teamwork (and good weather and good luck!)and still, with all that, the passing percentages wobble around 5-8% of the teams who take the test.

That’s not a lot.

So when things went totally wonky a month ago, I thought hard about withdrawing. (I missed 2/3 of a favorite agility trial when I had an excitingly intractable heart arrhythmia and ended up at the hospital via ambulance, and the next day my family became immersed in an ongoing in-and-out of ICU saga with my dad.) Continue reading »

Jul 232013

by Rena Beagle

Dear People on the Blog:

I have Been Here for another month now.  I have been Busy training the boys and figuring out the new mom, and now I can do the Same Biking that the boys do.  I went to Obedience Practice and an Agility Match and the magic hands lady, and the new mom kisses my head a lot.  If only one of those bunnies would Accidentally come into my yard, things might be Just Completely as I Like Them.

Here are my letters to my Past Mom about these things.  There are Photos and there is even a Video.  It is of Me.  I hope you like it.


Dear Past Mom: It is Quiet here.  The road construction people took a week off.  The new mom’s eyes were Starting to Vibrate so I think this is good.  But the road is in an in between place and we cannot go out with the bike.  I miss that.
We have Done Things this week with Obedience and Agility.  I am showing the new mom more about what I can do, and I am Bouncy and Happy.  I do not have any new pictures to cheer up your arm so here is one of the way things look around here.  I hope your arm is Back Together again now.  Love, Rena
I will leave being on the Big White Creature to the new mom.  She seems to like it.

I will leave being on the Big White Creature to the new mom. She seems to like it.


Dear Past Mom:  I hope your Cast is not Itchy.  Do not Chew it!
Today the new mom took Me (and Dart Beagle, but mostly Me) to obedience Run-Throughs.  I did the Novice parts and I did PERFECT.  I did not do the Stays because Dart Beagle did them so maybe I will do those Next Time.  Dart Beagle did an Open Run-Through but it was his first time ever and he got worried.  So he did things like give up on picking up the dumbbell one time and stand on his head while getting the dumbbell the next time and then he Walked Over the broad jump which was very bad of him.
The new mom says next time maybe I can do Open, too.  We will show Dart Beagle, then!
Remember: No Chewing!  Love, Rena
I know this is not true.

I know this is not true.

Dear Past Mom: It is very hot.  I do not think it should be this hot.  It has been over the one hundreds for days and that is just wrong.  The new mom says, “We will not bike today!”  Or she says, “Wake up early, Rena Beagle, because we are going biking in the Coolth!”  But I know how to be the Most Comfortable.  This is me Being Comfortable because I make the Coolaroo Bed all mine. Love, Rena
I like this spot best.

I like this spot best.


Dear Past Mom: Today I did go to Play Obedience, and I played in Open.  I did not do the Stays because the new mom and I have not worked on those as a Together Thing yet.  But I did everything else and I was Very, Very Good and we did a Celebration and there was a Special Toy!
Here are some pictures of my Goodness.  Love, Rena
The dumbbell cannot escape me!

The dumbbell cannot escape me!

This is the Rena Beagle is Good Dance!

This is the Rena Beagle is Good Dance!

Dear Past Mom: Today I went to an Agility Trial where Dart Beagle was running.  I came out and Met People and I played on the Practice Jump and I was Very Very Good for every part of it.  Dart Beagle was NOT very very good.  This picture is the face he has given the new mom so she won’t notice he was not very very good.  But I did Notice and I will do Better when it is my turn to run in September.  Love, Rena
PS Still no chewing on the cast, even if it gets good and stinky.
Even I have to admit this is a pretty good Face of Innocence.

Even I have to admit this is a pretty good Face of Innocence.

But I guess the Face of Innocence didn't work.

But I guess the Face of Innocence didn’t work.


Dear Past Mom: Happy Loud Day to you!  I hope it is not Loud here.  We had Loud with a big Thunder Night this week and I did Not Approve.  The new mom is very happy about the Rain that came with the Thunder Night because she says it means there is less chance we will All Burn Up.
We have not done Particularly Exciting Things since the agility trial except we play little bits of agility and obedience almost Every Day.  The new mom is spending too much time clearing “Ladder Fuel” from around Our House and trying not to Break her Arm like yours.  We are playing with how I do the Contacts and sometimes I get So Excited I scream just a little bit when I am running.  The new mom pretends she is not laughing but I know she is.  I do not have pictures of me screaming so here is one from before the Thunder Night. Love, Rena
It was wicked of the sky to Not Rain on this day.

It was wicked of the sky to Not Rain on this day.


Dear Past Mom:  This week, we have a week off.  The new mom says it’s because we’ve been training lots of stuff.  I think it’s because she spends too much time clearing trees so we will not Burn Up.  Then she sprawls in all the best Sitting Spots going, “Oh Moan and Whine, I am broken.”  But she does not have a cast like yours so I don’t think she’s really broken.  I think she is just Bent.
The last thing we did was go to obedience run-throughs.  I did Open again and I did Stays this time, too, and I was Totally Perfect about all of it.  Dart Beagle was not Perfect because his brain broke on the Stays for me being beside him.  That is okay, it means I am Important.
Here is a picture of me being cute.  That green thing is a tent stake and it is trying to photobomb me, but my Cuteness is too great.  Love, Rena
This is me being me.

This is me being me.


Dear Past Mom: Today we did Agility!  It was a Fun Match!  It would have been More Fun if you had been there.  The new mom is still learning how I like to run and she made some Mistakes.  That is okay.  She will Learn.  Also I did some of my Happy Feet Dance to show you.
This is Us.  Love, Rena


Also ConneryBeagle ran for the first time in a Year because of his not-well, and this is him.  

After the match ConneryBeagle had smiles and songs to sing.  I am glad I let him take a turn.

After the match ConneryBeagle had smiles and songs to sing. I am glad I let him take a turn.

Singing.  See?

Singing. See?


Dear Past Mom: I  have been Very Busy this week. I started with some Agility Practice at  a new place and it was Very Exciting and I have been Excited about everything  since  then just in case it might be that kind of Practice again.  It  hasn’t been but you never know. Also I have Supervised the Boys  while  the  new  mom worked on the Fire Safety Zone so we do not burn up if a Fire Happens.

In  the  middle of that I went to the Magic Hands Lady. It was just to see  if  I was Perfect. I was Almost Perfect but I had a Vertebrae out of  line  and a rib that went with it. So she Fixed those and now I am standing a little bit straighter but my back end is still ready to run all  the  time.  The  new  mom  says that is a good thing and then she kisses me.

Here is a picture of how I look when it is time to kiss me. Love, Rena


Kiss my head!  Do not look that my eyes are running from dust.  It is not polite to notice.

Kiss my head! Do not look that my eyes are running from dust. It is not polite to notice.

 I hope you have liked my letters and my photos and I will send my wags to you!

Love, Rena