Gulag Country Dream

I have a rather late flight out of Denver this morning. So it’ll be all day waiting in airports or being on a plane. I’ll get home I reckon about midnight. It’s been a long stretch for me having been away from home over half the month on various commitments. I know my chores have stacked up on me.

July is a more laid back month. We usually don’t plan much in the most intense heat of the summer. But I do have scheduled in the month a work/study camp. I think I have only three or four people scheduled to come. So the format will be four hours of work in the morning and four hours of agility play and training in the evening. We might actually run this visa reversa just so we can do our agility work when it’s cooler. We’ll see how that goes.

We came up with this idea as a response to a worsening economy in which a lot of agility people have been hurting. And we wanted to make available an option that lets them come out and play. Trust me I place a high value on the work because it’s entirely more than I can do anyhow.

I’m looking at all the work I have to do to get ready for a “work camp”. It’s kinda like how you tidy and straighten up things in your house before the cleaning lady comes in. With the tough work I have scheduled I have to get supplies and tools all ready, tractors and trailers cleaned up and ready. Yah… I have about a week’s worth of work to do just to have things ready for my agility crew.

Marsha has been marketing this camp. Here’s what she writes:

WHO:  Bud Houston’s offering a work-study agility camp, all levels.  KIDS are welcome !!!!

WHAT:  Help us out with chores (painting, string trimming, sweeping, etc.) and earn agility training. Four hours of work earns you 3 hours of training plus unlimited use of the equipment during evening hours. Accommodations included for free, on-site cottage with complete kitchen and dog yard.

WHEN:  July 12-16, 2010

WHERE:  Southeastern Ohio, 20 minutes from Marietta and Parkersburg, 40 minutes from Athens, an hour from Zanesville, an easy drive from Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Morgantown.

WHY:  We need help with chores, folks need help with agility. What could be simpler?

Contact Marsha at for details … flexible arrival / departure dates available, you may commit to 1 day, or all 5 days!!


The TDAA trial at Rocky Mountain Agility was a boatload of fun. What a nice bunch of competitors and enthusiasts. There were a number of very nice dogs. As a community they showed quite a bit of growth in terms of their handling skills and the training foundation for their dogs. I’ve been watching agility competitors in the Denver area for about 20 years now. I was after a couple of them to make the trip to the TDAA Petit Prix this year. Colorado should be represented!

We ended our TDAA trial yesterday with an FEO run. One of the exhibitors wanted to see me run her dog, a ripping fast little pug bitch named Oreo. So I got to provide that last bit of entertainment. I hadn’t actually walked the course. But then, I’d judged every dog at the trial on the course having a critical eye for the handling… and I designed it. So…

Oreo and I turned in a clean round with the fastest time of the day (just a nudge over 19 seconds). It was very fun and literally no time for thoughtful or slow movement. Somebody remarked to me after that after my verbal release at the start line I didn’t say another word to the dog. It was all handler pressure with a bit of help from a dog that didn’t really need the micromanagement of “naming” all the pieces of the work.

Somebody said they video taped it and promised to send me a copy. Maybe I’ll figure out how to put it up on YouTube so I can share with you all.

I did a couple things different on this course than anybody else. The opening curve of five jumps is a complete illusion of course… It’s really two distinct lines comprised of the first three jumps and joined to the last two. So I led out dog-on-left past jump #3 and did a quick Blind Cross in the turn to jump #4. I knew the Blind Cross was risky but I was going for the quick kill (rather than survival). And it worked out.

In the 10-11-12 pinwheel I sent Oreo out to pick up #11 while I faded to the landing side of #12 for a layered Front Cross. I’d observed that handler’s (who weren’t doing gratuitous fast dog handling) would put pressure towards the collapsed chute while stepping in to do a Front Cross between #11 and #12. So I just avoided it altogether. And by layering for the Cross I put ample pressure on Oreo to turn back.

Man that was a lot of fun.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

What is name of the restaurant chain started by this fellow?

First correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the June Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – June 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special05” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


4 Responses to “Gulag Country Dream”

  1. katie Says:

    Bob Evans?

    I’m looking forward to seeing that video!!

  2. Paula Price Says:

    Did Dan Blocker start the Ponderosa? Just a wild guess . . .

  3. Ronni Says:


  4. Angel Says:

    Dan Blocker had partial (I believe) ownership of the Ponderosa Steakhouse and the Bonanza Steakhouse.

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