The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

SoHo Places

My day started at 4am, which was really 3am, because California is an hour behind Heber City, Utah. Had I known what was in store, I would have been too excited to sleep at all. As it was I beat Mark to our meeting place by 15 minutes. That was providence, though, as I desperately needed fuel for me and diesel for the truck. Mark drives really fast, which I didn't know until I followed him to SLC via twisting Parleys Canyon at 70 miles per hour. I chided him about needing seatbelts for the sheep he was towing. Our first stop was an affiliated morning show interview in a local park with a questionable host whose personality fluctuated greatly between on camera and off. No matter, I jumped Price out of the truck and put on the dog, a demonstration while Mark gave color commentary. Price is still my go-to dog when things go all hooki-lau, and his day had only just begun. He didn't let me down and sure looked good doing it, even if at 6,000 feet altitude, where he can. not. breathe.

Do you remember Lamb Chop and Sherry Lewis? Mallory, Sherry's daughter, is shown with Price in the picture below carrying on the family tradition. Mally is appearing at SoHo this year, and was on hand for the morning show as well. I should have had her do my makeup, because she is really good at it and after all these years, it surely was good to see LambChop again. She hasn't aged a bit.

Price with LambChop and her handler, Mallory Lewis

Clearly a dog-themed show, a K-9 unit from the SLC Police Department was on hand with some pretty darned kewl drug-sniffing Malinois. The show passed on the bite suit demo, and I was really dissappointed. The officers were so nice, took one look at little Jed and immediately took him into  custody. Even the leutenant had to stop by for a puppy snuggle. Jed, by the way, is becoming quite the traveler. He went from almost getting heaved out the window in Las Vegas to being my bestest buddy on our many walks. He's OK and has become pretty popular around handler's camp.

Jed in protective custody with 2 officer from the SLC K-9 unit

After the morning show we took our show to the kids. The kids of the orthopedic Shriners hospital hobbled, rolled, walked with their braced legs, and were otherwise transported out to the deck where I again pulled out reliable, Price, my go-to guy. Together we did our best to bring some of our life to kids who would not be able to participate in any other way. Did I mention that it was very emotional?

We took the sheepdog trial to kids who were not able to attend

Lamb Chop did a show in the auditorium, and 2 beautiful ladies named Colleen and Robin put on a brilliant duck demo with Kelpies that were beyond impressive. Nice dogs those. No kidding, I liked 'em. Speaking of impressive, Dexter earned his keep today as well. That little dog loves everybody, and I passed him around to the kids for a pat and a kiss, but it was Keely who stole my heart. That's her in the picture below and I learned afterward that her tentative brush across Dexter's head with the good part of her arm was the first time she had ever touched a dog.  Seriously, Dexter is golden for a good long while now.

Keely, Dexter and Dad

Shown below are some of the staff and kids in front of the hospital. There were 8 kids who couldn't come watch. In a 40-bed hospital, 8 children were in surgery. It's that kind of a place. What a blessing for SLC to have it in their midst. In an interview at the hospital, I was asked what it was like for me to be there with my dogs. I answered that if I don't win the dog trial, or place well, that it will be the highlight of my trip.

The audience at Shriners Hospital

Back at camp, I was exhausted from emotion and lack of sleep, but I took one more swipe at the practice field with Mirk and Star. Mirky will run tomorrow in the heat of the day, and is as tuned as I can make him. Old friends, Peter and Pam Gonnett were practicing too, and made some nice comments about him. I, in turn, tried to persuade Peter to load one of his dogs into my truck. I sure hope they're right about Mirk, and we'll find out soon enough.

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