Thursday, September 22, 2011

TMT #10

Going forward over the next six months, what are your goals?

1.  Finish Norton's UD title.  I need two more legs and prayers from everyone in order to get them!
2.  Qualify in utility with Secret, Olive, and Victor 4 times each with scores > 190.
3.  Train wonderful lovely perfect 2o2o contacts with Victor, Secret, and Olive.
4.  Train to-die-for weave poles with Victor, Secret, and Olive.
6.  Train drop-dead-gorgeous rear crosses with Victor, Secret and Olive.
7.  Enter an agility trial with Victor, Secret and Olive...maybe just JWW.

I wanted to explain from last week what article bags are.  In the obedience utility class, there is an exercise called Scent Discrimination.  The dog has to choose from a set of nine little metal and leather objects the single object that has your scent on it.  These objects are called "articles" and you store them in a sacred spot, the "article bag", where air can circulate around them. 

Utility handlers are extremely paranoid and superstitious about their articles because they possess magical powers.  Sometimes the dogs can easily choose the correct article and sometimes, mysteriously, they can not.  So there are many rituals that surround the articles.  These are obedience secrets that only known by the 30 people who are currently showing their dogs in utility.  The same 30 people that succeed in beating me each and every weekend because, frankly, I suck.

Anywho, since no one reads this blog, not even my parents and husband, I feel quite comfortable in sharing these secrets with you, my non-existent public. 

Behold the Utility Handler Article Commandments:

Thou shalt not wash thy hands for 16 hours before showing in Utility.
Thou shalt not take any new medication (except for Valium) for fear that thy scent might change and confuse thy dog.
Thou shalt not let stewards place a hand on thine scented article.
Thou shalt rip a new asshole in the steward who mixeth thine scented and unscented articles together.
Thou shalt not leave thine articles unattended les "she who shall not be named" dumpeth a cup of coffee on them when thou ist distracted.
Thou shalt engage in strange article cleansing rituals one week prior to showing.
Thou shalt not make fun of other handlers who insist that their articles be placed in the article box "just so".

And here is a wee video of  Secret doing articles this past weekend:


  1. You forgot, thou must not pump gas on the way to the trial, nor indulge in strong smelling foods (such as fajitas with yummy onions) the night before, or thy dog will curl their lip at your offensive articles and decline to retrieve them. BTW, Cory is no longer allowed to read your blog. He took the "wrong is wonderful" to heart and proceeded to flunk almost every exercise at our last trial, except the stays. I am now trying to convince him that RIGHT can be wonderful too, and is more likely to result in pizza as his reward.

  2. We are reading. :) Thanks for the explanation - that makes a lot of sense. I'd be all kinds of superstitious and OCD about it. Very cool - thank you!!