Happy Tails

It was a very interesting trip for me to New York. It was very fun working with this community of USDAA enthusiasts.

While I was away my home was slammed by fierce winds that knocked down hundreds of trees on our property. We are without electricity even after I’ve returned.

I might spend a minute elaborating on our many dependencies on devices that are powered by electricity. For now I’ll allow you to use your imagination.

Believe it or not, I sat down to read a book since I felt myself deprived of every other conceivable recreation. The book is My Antonia by Willa Cather. I’ll be danged if I wasn’t a full paragraph into the book before I had to drag out my dictionary and look up a word (catafalque). You know, I read that book something like 30 years ago. You’d think I wouldn’t have to look up the words, anymore.

I’d better hurry write & publish this. My battery is only good for about 3 hours.

A Gambler Riddle

I’m reminded that the designer of the gambler’s riddle doesn’t really have to get mean or tricky. What might seem a gimme can be perfectly and appropriately challenging to the field. While this gamble yielded qualifiers at every jump height (and in PIII and Vets) it was anything but a gimme.

It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote that people will fail to direct their dogs in a pinwheel because they don’t understand what direction to face. The handler is conditioned to turn to face as though he’s moving parallel with his dog even when he is not moving. For example, after getting the dog over jump #1 the handler will turn to face jump #4. So a fair number of handlers failed simply because they would not so much as face the approach to the teeter.

Very subtly in this distance challenge the containment line is set at an increasing oblique. On the dismount of the teeter the handler should be able to apply a bit of pressure of movement to keep the dog out to the left side of the pipe tunnel. This distance challenge demands that the handler reserve a bit of real estate to have room to take a step or two and apply that pressure.

What Kind of Moron

… buys an electric chainsaw?


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running.  www.dogagility.org/newstore. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

2 Responses to “Happy Tails”

  1. Linda Knowles Says:

    Bud, You are so funny! I just have to laugh outloud at your chain saw comment! Such entertainment.

  2. Jenn Says:


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