"I'm legitimate now!"
So, I am going to try and recap the summer. Doppelbock and Mackenzie were super excited to be going on longer walks and they also got to shed the cumbersome sweaters that kept them warm. We also found out some quirky personality traits. Since we kept them mostly indoors during the winter, they got their first real outside time in the spring. We were completely surprised when we began to take them out more. You know that one dog in the neighborhood, the little jerk that immediately begins to bark when the door opens and doesn't stop barking until they go back inside?
We have tried EVERYTHING to get them to stop barking when they go outside, from positive reinforcement to negative reinforcement to ignoring them... The only time that they behave is when they are apart. However, behave is a relative term; the one that is with us behaves and the one that is left behind howls like he is being slowly tortured to death. Usually, we can only take Kenzie places because Doppelbock is typically the aggressor.
"I have a few screws loose..."
Unfortunately, until we figure out a solution, Doppelbock needs to stay home. Kenzie has no problems socializing without Doppelbock. She actually enjoys all the attention and will go up to strangers and strange dogs and make friends with them. We were so encouraged by her solo behavior that we entered her into Germanfest wiener dog race! There was also a costume contest that we could enter her into, so I was really excited about that!
"Just wake me up when it is time for me to race."
We were not really sure how she would do. Our training regiment consisted of me standing on one side of the backyard and my husband standing on the other side. One of us held Kenzie, and the other called for her. We were never sure if she would run to one of us or just take off.... But the few times she tried it she actually ran where she was supposed to, so we were encouraged. I also had a brain freeze as to what her costume should be. I was leaning towards making a German themed costume, but in the previous years the German themed costumes never really won. I decided to go with making her a belly dance costume, and I finished it the night before the race. Why a belly dance costume, you ask?
"Because I am sexy, that's why!"
Kenzie really liked walking around Germanfest, and she made friends with so many dogs! This eased our fears even more. Both my husband and I were really nervous when the race was about to begin, and I think Kenzie could sense it because she began to shake. We had eight dogs in our heat and we were pretty sure Kenzie had no shot in even placing. They told us to take our places and before we knew it the announcer shouted "go!" I let Kenzie go and to my surprise she took off running... after the dog who came in first... and since no other dogs ran that meant she came in second!
"Default! Default! Default!"
Now, this is where it gets a little dodgy. Usually, the racers are grouped together by age. If there are more than eight dogs, the race organizers will have heats. The winner and second place of each heat would then race each other. When they had gone through all the age groups, the winner of each age group would then race for the ultimate winner. The race people had changed the rules for this year, and it left everyone confused. This year they only had a race-off between the first place finisher from each heat and they did not race the winners of the different age groups at the very end. Had Kenzie had another opportunity to race I think she would have won!
"I would have just spent the race romancing the ladies!"
I was a little disappointed with the way the race was ran, but even more disappointed in how the costume contest was conducted. The costume contest was supposed to take place at three, but they started an hour early without letting anyone know about it. Had my husband not checked, we would have missed it entirely. I had to race to get Kenzie into her costume and when we arrived at the stage, they rushed us on. The judges didn't even look at her as they had already chosen their winners. Unbeknownst to me and most of the other competitors, the rules had been changed so that ONLY German costumes could win. This left twenty-five of us with no chance of winning, and three dogs who had very poorly made German costumes as the winners. I thought my costume was awesome, but some of the overlooked competitors blew me out of the water! So this year, I am working on an authentic dress for Kenzie to wear, complete with wig. Hopefully they don't change the rules on us again.
"I did good, right?"
There was one other interesting thing that happened this summer, and we don't quite know what to make of it. Kenzie has developed this creepy habit, and in all of my years owning animals have never seen. Kenzie has always been a weird sleeper...
"I have no backbone!"
But what she has begun to do is nothing like the above picture. She doesn't do this frequently, maybe once or twice every couple of weeks. But this is her, dead asleep:
In this picture, she is snoring but her eyes are open. If you talk to her, she will turn in your direction and look at you or past you. She will try to stand up, but usually only make it up onto her front paws before she lays back down and closes her eyes. Her tail wags, her head will cock but she is snoring away and will often close her eyes only to open them again. My husband got so creeped out by her the first time that he had to shake her awake. When she woke up, she went back to being her normal self. I tell you, this dog ain't right!
"Me? I just let it all hang out!"
Well, I hope this has been a good catch up post! I promise I will write more frequently. The dogs are changing so fast, and it almost make me a little sad to see them grow up so quickly!