Monday, July 27, 2009

Recent DEMO at Animal Farm Foundation

Recently, Thelma and I were invited to show the interns at Animal Farm Foundation what young Thelma can do and introduce them to the wonderful world of canine disc. Attached to this post is the video taken by Hanna Fushihara. It was Thelma's first time playing indoors on loose dirt (sand mix?) and as you can see it did not deter her from JUMPING!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A funny thing happened at the pond

We have a pond about 100 yards from our back door.
Thelma started swimming a couple of weeks after we adopted her. She was scared at first but now she swims with reckless abandon.
Thelma found a 6" bounce-n-play (jolly) ball and took it with her to the pond the other day. It's very easy for dogs to grab and hold in their mouths without puncturing it. The soft rubber material has just enough give. I threw it for her about 20 feet into the pond. HMMMM.... It's very easy for dogs to grab when the ball is against an object of resistance such as the ground. So after a few minutes, Thelma managed to herd the ball back to shore. I use that term very loosely since the other dogs in the pack, most of whom are herding dogs were offended at the spectacle of Thelma bringing the ball back to shore. It looked like awesome exercise to the dog handlers. Swimming is a great form of conditioning and the longer we can keep the dogs in the water, the better.
The second time was the best form of conditioning I've ever imagined, though fear of drowning dog crept onto me. I reminded Kara, 10 minutes into Thelma's herding ;) exercise that she was O.K., she was headed towards shore. But flashbacks to the only dog I've ever jumped into a pond to rescue came back to me. It was 2006 and it was a pit bull.
However, just shy of my removing my shoes and going in after her, Thelma showed her tenacity and her almighty strength. After 15 minutes, she was not only on shore, she was ready to go again. That-l-do, Thelm, that-l-do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thelma LOVES kids

Thelma is apparently very attracted to children. Annie (15 years old) has been visiting from N.C. for the last few days and Thelma is totally attached:
Zachary (8 years old) is a frequent visitor to Hooked On Dogs, and Thelma is totally in love with him as well. We think the feeling is mutual. Zachary's family is owned by Frenchies, but he adapts well to the difference in size ;)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thelma's Big Adventure

On July 10, after only about 2 months of training, Thelma ventured out to her first disc dog competition. It would be a big one- The Ohio Cup, over 700 miles away. There were many firsts on this trip: Thelma's first time out of the state of NY, Thelma's first time in a hotel, Thelma's first road trip...
My little frog was such a delight to travel with; she was focused on the field, she was friendly to all my friends and their dogs...she made me so happy and proud and it seemed like she had fun as well. She was complimented numerous times on her good looks, her incredible physique and her performance on & off the field.
She was invited to go out for the ceremonial first toss of the competition, what an honor at her first event!
So when the competition began, she was fifth in the running order, behind Wee-la and probably more importantly behind Wallace. Wallace and Roo inspired us to seriously consider a pibble as our next disc dog and after fostering Thelma for a few weeks, we knew she was the pibble we had been waiting to find. Out on the field Thelma was drivey and fast, focused and eager. She may have missed some but her potential was obvious. Our friends complimented her immediately as she came off the field and the judges soon followed with very impressive scores. She finished in 11th place in the Super Open Division (highest division).
Overall it was an amazing adventure! On the drive home (around 12 hours), Thelma showed little signs of exhaustion and yet was calm and adapted well to the long trip.
I am so proud of this girl and her performance. I am so happy about our decision to keep her, to give her a good life, to show the rest of the country that pitbulls can be amazing disc dogs as well as any other dog. I so look forward to our future together as a team, on the field and beyond.
Thank You Animal Farm Foundation for plucking this little girl out of the unfortunate circumstances that she found herself in as a young pup and entrusting her to us!
Stay tuned, Team Thelma is well on its way...