Elicia Calhoun, an agility trainer, competitor and speaker, rolled her car while traveling through the Arizona desert last week.
All six dogs aboard were thrown from the vehicle.
What happened next — and you can read the full details at Petweekly.com – is equal parts sad and inspiring.
In the immediate aftermath, other motorists stopped and helped a bruised and battered Calhoun find three of the dogs, all alive – BreeSea and Iceman, both border collies, and Destiny, an Australian shepherd.
Three more were missing, including her 13-week-old Kelpi puppy named Tsunami, who had been secured in a crate in the front seat; another Australian shepherd named Nika; and Tobie, another border collie.
When the paramedics insisted Calhoun get in the ambulance, she refused until bystanders, including a border patrol agent, promised to keep looking for her dogs.
While Calhoun was being treated for cuts bruises and a punctured lung, word of the accident hit the Internet, and, within a matter of hours, 3,000 people had joined in a newly created Facebook group, many of them offering to help.
Calhoun, against the advice of doctors, signed herself out of the hospital to continue searching for her dogs, and learned as she was leaving that Tsunami’s body had been found.
According to the Petweekly.com story, by Deborah Davidson Harpur, volunteers were showing up to help in the search by then, and others were offering their assistance from afar, including animal communicators, pilots, ranchers who lived in the surrounding area, and HAM and CB radio operators. Someone even volunteered a military heat-seeking device.
By then, the number of members of the Facebook group had grown to 6,000.
Sadly, Nika’s body was found in the median of the freeway. With the three surviving dogs found initially, and the two later found dead, that left only one unaccounted for — Tobie
Elicia slept outside that night, in case Tobie came to look for her, and other volunteers slept in their cars or camped alongside the road before resuming the search for the remaining dog the next day.
That morning, Tobie was spotted by a volunteer. Elicia rushed to the location, spotted the dog running down the highway in front of a truck and eventually got Tobie to come to her.
Iceman, Destiny, and Breesea have some minor injuries, but they, and Tobie, who had been hit by a car, are expected to fully recover in the coming months.
Calhoun, on Facebook, offered thanks to all those that helped:
“Words cannot express my gratitude. I have just been home a few nights and am finally starting to absorb the impact of what has transpired. Walking into my house that first night was indescribable. My life is changed in so many ways now. I realize how blessed I was in surviving this crash.”
Posted by jwoestendiek June 18th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, agility, agility dogs, animals, arizona, australian shepherds, border collies, breesea, car, community, competitor, crash, desert, destiny, dogs, ejected, elicia calhoun, facebook, group, iceman, lost, missing, pack, page, pets, rollover, search, speaker, thrown, tobie, trainer, tsunami, vehicle, volunteers
It’s time for DogFest, the Baltimore Humane Society’s annual day-long celebration of dogs.
It’s this Saturday, Oct. 15 (with a rain date of Oct. 22) at the Baltimore Humane Society, 1601 Nicodemus Road in Reisterstown.
Gates open at 9 a.m., and activities continue until 6 p.m., with a full schedule of games, contests and events, and plenty of vendors, prizes, experts, food and adoptable pets
The entrance fee is $10, and parking is free.
As usual, the Humane Society requests no retractable leashes.
Keep reading for the full schedule. Read more »
Posted by jwoestendiek October 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, adoptions, agility, animals, baltimore, baltimore humane society, big, canine, canine agility, contests, costumes, dancing dogs, dog, dogfest, dogs, events, experts, fundraiser, games, kissing dogs, lookalikes, mutts, pets, shelter, singing dogs, small, tricks, vendors
Here’s a memorable scene from the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals, held earlier this month in St. Louis.
That’s Bracken, a border collie owned by Diane Allen, competing in the Incredible 30-Weave Up-and-Back competition.
The event featured dogs of all ages, breeds and sizes in Olympic-style competitions, such as Freestyle Flying Disc, Head-to-Head Weave Pole racing, Jack Russell Hurdle Racing, large and small dog agility, Speed and Catch, and the crowd favorite – dog diving.
The world record for dog diving was broken during the finals, with a leap of 31 feet, 8 inches.
A few days later, some of the competitors traveled to New York for an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman (Oct. 6).
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agility, animals, border collie, bracken, competition, david letterman, diving, diving dogs, dog challenge, dogs, flying disc, huurdle, incredible, incredible dog challenge, pets, purina, racing, st. louis, video
The Game Show Network (GSN) is bringing back an audience favorite — an all new one hour “Dog Park Superstars,” premiering Sunday (Sept. 25) at 8 p.m.
The show tests the skills of both dog and owner — and, even more, their ability to work as a team.
Over the course of three rounds, the competition tests what an owner’s dog can do, what the owner can prevent their dog from doing, and how well the owner knows their dog.
Each challenge is timed and each score determines who — among the five teams competing — stays in the game and who is sent to the doghouse.
The three remaining teams compete in the final challenge, with the winning pair being awarded a giant gold hydrant-shaped trophy.
The action is moderated by comedian Ben Gleib and ”canine life coach” Laura Nativo.
Gleib is a stand-up comedian and actor, and is a regular guest on the E! network’s “Chelsea Lately.” Nativo is an actress, producer and dog-trainer who has been dubbed “The Fairy Dogmother.” She starred in the CBS show, “Greatest American Dog,” hosts a live interactive show for dog lovers, “Preston’s Planet,” on TheStream.tv, and is founder of The Pawtastics, a nonprofit therapy dog team who blend education and entertainment, performing at children’s camps, hospitals and nursing homes.
You can see a preview of “Dog Park Superstars” here.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 24th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agility, animals, ben gleib, competition, dog, dog park superstars, dogs, game show network, games, gsn, laura nativo, owners, pets, premiere, preview, television, tests, tv
A purebred flat-coated retriever won best in show, but it was a one-eyed mutt named Dudley, and his dazzling performance in an agility contest, that won over the crowd at Crufts — the pretentious, I mean presitigious, UK dog show that concluded this past weekend.
Dudley, a six-year-old Lhasa apso-pug mix who lost his eye as a pup, and later was given up by his owners, won an official Crufts rosette for his performance in the agility ring, beating out other rescued dogs in the competition, according to the Southern Daily Echo.
While we’ve been known to poke fun at purebred dog shows, it’s good to see them — on both sides of the pond — opening things up to mixed breeds, like Dudley. And, if the crowd reaction to him is any sign, it’s something they should do a lot more of.
“He was definitely the crowd’s favorite and got a huge cheer as he ran round,” Dudley’s owner, Lara Alford, from Southampton, said. “Over the last few days he has had so many admirers – he’s probably been one of the most photographed dogs at Crufts this year.”
Dudley had his right eye removed as a puppy because of an infection. At 14 months, his owners surrendered him at an animal adoption shelter.
Alford, shortly after adopting him, noticed his speed and maneuverability and began training him in agility. As they run the courses, she always stays on his left side, so he can see her.
At Crufts, the training paid off. “It was one of the fastest rounds Dudley’s ever done,” she said.
More than 21,000 dogs vied for honors at Crufts, which opened Thursday. In the best-in-show competition, Jet, a flat-coated retriever, beat out a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, a German shepherd, a boxer, a wire fox terrier, a standard poodle and a bichon frise.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agility, animals, best in show, breeds, crufts, dog shows, dogs, dudley, flat coated retriever, jet, lara alford, lhasa apso, mix, mixed breeds, mutts, one eye, one-eyed, pets, pug, purebreds
There’s not much cooler than finding out your dog has a hidden talent.
Ace — despite his many talents, people skills near the top – has never been much at catching Frisbees. He’s never been the speediest beast at the dog park. Fetch has never held his interest. And he doesn’t swim, preferring slow wading in gentle waters.
So when we showed up bright and early for agility class at Four Paws Kingdom, the dog-dedicated campground in North Carolina where Ace, my son and I spent last weekend, I had low expectations. Ace is graceful, maybe, but, given his size, about 130 pounds, I never considered him agile.
Once I turned over the treats and Ace to my son Joe, who we’d designated official handler for the day’s activities, Ace — under the tutelage of dog trainer and campground owner Birgit Bartoschek — amazed me to no end.
His name now stands for: Agility Canine Extraordinaire.
Granted, he started off slow — rather than jumping over a series of three six-inch high hurdles, he found he could just as easily walk through them, knocking the rail down on each one he went through. On the third try though, and after the rails were raised higher, he began leaping, clearing most of them until, on his final try, he went back to just knocking them down.
Next on the course was a tunnel. I didn’t expect him to do any more than stick his head in, but with some encouragement, and a treat waiting at the other end, he rumbled right through it.
But, in pursuit of the treat dangling from my son’s hand he did, not even watching where his paws were going, his eyes on the prize the whole time as he walked — quite gracefully — from one end to the other.
The only obstacle he didn’t master was the curved tunnel. Without seeing the light at the end — or the treat at the end – he refused to go in. (And I don’t blame him a bit. Possibly, being from Baltimore, he feared he’d have to pay a toll once he got through.)
Birgit didn’t think he should attempt the see-saw during his introduction to agility, as that’s usually for more advanced dogs. The weave — where dogs slalom through the poles — was too advanced as well, she said.
Later on though, at the Agility Fun Park that Four Paws has in addition to its regular agility course, Ace, with my soon to be college student son Joe manning the leash, was able to succeed at beginner versions of both.
And I felt bad for ever doubting him — Ace, I mean.
It’s not good to have too-low expectations for our dogs; even worse probably to have too-high expectations.
Where’s the line between them? Beats me. But one thing’s for sure, you never know how you, your dog, or your kid is going to handle something new — until you try, or watch, with crossed fingers, as they do.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, ace does america, activities, agility, animals, campground, course, dog agility, dog friendly, dog's country, dog-dedicated, dogs, dogscountry, expectations, four paws kingdom, north carolina, ohmidog!, pets, rutherfordton, training, travel, traveling with dogs
The weather cooperated beautifully this time around as BARCStoberfest — delayed for a week due to rain — drew large numbers of dogs and their owners to Baltimore’s Patterson Park for a day of contests, activities and a fund-raising walk held under crisp, clear skies.
Contests were held for best costume, owner-dog lookalikes, best kissers and more. In addition to those official contests, we’ve got some unofficial awards:
Best leg warmers — second place:
(Official Lifesavers entry?)
Best leg warmer — first place:
(And a pretty dazzling flyball player, to boot.)
Best non-portable urinal:
(Toilet trees — for the man who has everything)
Cutest dog — scruffy division:
(If Hollywood ever needs another Benji…)
Best Hannibal Lecter imitation:
(Actually this fella was a sweetheart, all 195 pounds of him)
Highest Flying Dog
(Chi Chi — flyball star, Karma Dog, and friend of Ace)
Cutest dog — wiener division:
Posted by jwoestendiek October 25th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agility, animal welfare, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, barcstoberfest, dogs, event, festival, flyball, fundraiser, leg warmers, patterson park, pets, photos, rescue, shelter, toilet tree, walk
Some of the country’s most athletic dogs competed at the National Finals of the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge at Purina Farms near St. Louis over the weekend.
More than 30 canine athletes jumped, vaulted and dove their way into the records books as they competed in Olympic style events, including agility, Jack Russell hurdle racing, 60 weave pole, freestyle flying disc and the crowd favorite, dog diving.
Among those taking part was Olympian Greg Louganis, who competed with his dog, Dobby, in the small dog agility event.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agility, canines, challenge, dobby, dog, dog diving, dogs, events, flying disc, greg louganis, hurdle racing, incredible, jack russell, purina, st. louis, weave pole
DogFest, the Baltimore Humane Society’s biggest fundraising event of the year, kicks off Saturday morning at Shawan Downs in Hunt Valley.
The day-long event starts with a 5K-9 Fun Run at 7:40 a.m. At 10 a.m., the gates open and the activities begin — and there are a ton of them.
DogFest will feature agility runs, dog contests, pet education, a sandy beach and pools for the dogs to play in and a puppy pumpkin patch, where dogs can pick their own pumpkins.
In addition to numerous dog rescue groups on hand, DogFest will also feature Equine Rescue groups that will be exhibiting horses for adoption and offering horseback riding for kids and adults.
Admission is $10, with children in strollers admitted free.
Here’s a partial schedule:
Posted by jwoestendiek October 9th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agility, baltimore, baltimore humane society, contests, demonstrations, dog, dog fest, dogfest, dogs, event, fund raising, fundraiser, horseback riding, horses, hunt valley, rescue, schedule, shawan downs, shelter
Some of the most talented dogs from the West Coast descended upon the San Diego County Fair last week to participate in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge — including some who have mastered surfing, an event that was added to the competition for the first time this year.
The canine sporting event also featured dog diving, freestyle flying disc, head-to-head weave poles, Jack Russell hurdle racing, and agility.
The 2009 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge was part of the San Diego County Fair and took place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on June 13th and 14th. Canine surfers competed in heats that were scored by a panel of judges, including U.S. Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.
Posted by jwoestendiek June 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: agility, canine, county fair, diving, dog, dogs, event, flying disc, freestyle, hurdle racing, incredible dog challenge, jack russell, ohmidog!, purina, san diego, surf, surfers, surfing, video, weave poles