Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Called a "Carriage Dog"

Last week, I saw dogs aboard horse carts, gigs, phaetons, and all sorts of other very quiet vehicles. Ms. Sally aboard her antique green and wicker Country Carriage Cart said I look like a "carriage dog" and "would good in this!," her cart. I and Alice agreed it would suit me.

And here I was thinking the only dogs associated with horses are dalmatians! They are "coach dogs" meant to run on the ground... in the mud spatters.... not aboard with the people as all carriage dogs are.

So! Alice and I watched at a very nice farm called Clay Station Horse Park in the California Central Valley Class 21, Carriage Dog, sponsored by Mandy and Lacey Miner, both dogs. 60% of the class score depends 100% on the dog. It can't be "restrained" in any way. Must stay aboard happily and quietly. Ms. Sally hadn't a dog with her, but here are some pictures of Alice's favorites.

The Corgi puppy in a basket being pulled by a Joel, the big Belgian. It was the puppy's first time ever in a cart! (The puppy did not win... a basket is considered being restrained, I suppose).

This terrier displayed a great sense of fun laying quietly on the bench by the "whip" as the driver is known.

And here is Calliope with Ms. Brenna, her groom, and the tandem ponies Fascination and Peekaboo pulling a Pacific Smart Cart.

I wonder how my pug friend would do in this event? One can't bark in it..... I never heard a dog bark the entire afternoon.... We know that would scare the horses, skittish things they are.

Here are Fascination and Peckaboo jammed in between the horses in the Final for Class 24 Ladies-to-Drive. That squeezing was considered a bit of bad form... but typical for those with "Shetland" in the blood. They can pull twice their weight while those draft horse like the Belgian can only pull half their weight. Don't mess with a Shetland... not ever.... I see the big Clydesdale/Paint Cross who won the class pulling a Spider Phaeton gave them respect while standing next to them.

All and all, a very nice day sitting under the shade trees on my bicycle blanket, snacking on Greenies and seeing what Alice had in her picnic basket. I shall dream of sitting next to Alice behind a pony with fur matching the color of the tips of my ears..... And a basket full of Greenies, water, and chicken sandwiches under our seat.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

St. Francis and Me

I was blessed at St. Albert's last week. Got lots of attention from a gentle man who put water on my head and gave me a St. Francis medal. It was great fun to meet many other dogs, even a few cats, too.

Alice put the medal on my best halter. It's a reminder of how special all animals are, she said.

I never really though about the real Mr. St. Francis before. I often walk by San Francisco Bay named after him. To me it was just the smells of pickle weed, shore birds, mud flats, and lots of wind. My new medal jiggling on my halter makes me know for sure that I am special.