Saturday, August 25, 2007

Post 1 - Essex 0

Sign inside Higgs Beach Dog Park

We had been going to Angel Paws for about a year, when Higgs Beach Dog Park was opened on 30 April 2005 . Higgs Beach Dog Park is frequently called Key West Dog Park. It has a small and a large dog park, with the large park shaped like an L. There are a lot more dogs here than Angel Paws. Dad watches me because I get territorial about fence patrol at times and don’t always show good collie sense when it comes to fence patrol. Like the time I decided to try to intimidate two Great Danes and another time two Saint Bernards. I give the other dogs a stern warning, but sometimes they take exception. You know Dads, they don’t want you to hurt anyone or get hurt.

This time I saw an evil Key West Conch Tour Train. It was Hi-Ho Essex away. Dad saw me turn the corner at full tilt, then saw a lady run in my direction a couple seconds later. Dad doesn’t hear a fight but is thinking “Oh great, the Essex got in a fight over fence patrol.” He starts running my direction. He is about ten feet away from the corner, when he sees the lady and I come limping around the corner. To my embarrassment the lady tells him what happened.

I was so focused on chasing that Tour Train, that when I made my second turn, I failed to notice the sign post saying “Welcome to Key West Dog Park.” I ran into it at full speed, knocked myself out for a couple seconds and took three small finger nail size patches of fur off the right side of my face. Since I am limping, Dad feels my paw and leg and since I didn’t yelp he figured a severe sprain. Dad gave it three days then took me to the vet. Dog Park was off limit for an entire week.

The Incident from Dad's Perspective

The Post that jumped in front of me

When we go to the city park I keep an eye out for the coconut trees and sign posts just in case they decide to jump into my path. Hey, I am a just a very focused collie. I have my cool moments too and I love baseball.

Indian Fever, Go Tribe.

Dog Speed


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Mongo and Sasha

Playing Tug-of-War
Grrrr, Give me that palm frond

My good buddy Mongo barked at me long and hard about how disappointed he wasn’t in our last blog. After I smoothed it over we got into a good game of tug-o-war and chase. As you can tell there is nothing quite like a good palm frond to pull on. Mongo is a character. Ever since the Budweiser commercial during last years Super Bowl, he keeps trying to get black spots by rolling in the dirt, so he looks like a Dalmatian. Auntie Essex keeps telling him the Clydesdale horses and the Budweiser Wagon has never been in Key West. That doesn’t matter, he is convinced they will show up and he will get to ride in the front seat. Every time he gets those spots and his Dog Mom washes them off. Auntie Essex shakes her head and goes, Labs.

Mongo trying to look like a Dalmatian

Another pal is Sasha, the Rat Terrier. Sasha loves pouncing on Deacon. It is funny to watch them chase and wrestle. One time while we were restling, I grabbed her collar and flipped her in the air. Everyone laughed so hard. Sasha chases the big dogs and is very possessive about sticks.

Sasha and Deacon Wrestling.

Sasha at rest.

You have met the current regulars at Angel Paws, me, Auntie Essex, Mongo, Bear, PJ and Sasha. There are others who show up every once in awhile. We always are ready to meet new friends at Angel Paws.

Dog Speed,


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Key West Collie Call

Well, we had fun this evening. We had a collie call with two collies named Lady I and Lady II at Angel Paws dog park. Both are seven year old adopted collies that were named Lady before they were adopted by a really super Dog Mom within the last year.

Lady I resting, while Deacon plays it cool.

Lady 1 a cute sweet loving sable collie pictured above. Lady 1 was put up for adoption because her family had to move and their new home wouldn’t allow pets. Lady 2, the tricolor below, was abandoned by her family and later rescued. Her hair was matted and she had a hair fungus. Both Ladies are rough collies that had to get hair cuts within the last two months. As always there is a lot of tail wagging when ever collies get together.

Lady II takes five.
Essex, ever vigilant, on fence patrol

Essex said hi quick, then went on fence patrol duty. We played for over an hour, chasing and playing. Later on PJ, Bear and Mongo showed up. PJ is the cute little Schnauzer, that thinks he is a quarterback. Bear is a fun loving Chow Chow - German Shepherd mix that had to get a hair cut, because of matted hair after staying at a kennel. Mongo is a fun loving yellow lab. We didn’t get a picture of Mongo, but we'll post one soon. We all had fun and we hope to have another collie call soon. Hopefully, Lady 1 &2 coats will look more like rough collies, instead of smooth.

PJ loves to bark at the football.

Bear sports his haircut.

Dog Speed


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Origin of Fence Patrol

Essex racing down the fence line

Why did I start doing fence patrol? It started one sunny evening at Angel Paws Dog Park. Dad was still a rookie dog owner. We stopped by Angel Paws Dog Park and saw a lady and two dogs sitting down. We came inside, the lady didn’t say anything and Dad let me off the leash. I rushed over to say hi. Well, these dogs were pit bulls; and the female was in heat.

Rule 6 - Don't Bring Female Dogs in Season

Next thing Dad knew, I was trying to escape, yelping as the two dogs were bouncing me from either side. Dad rescued me and the lady got hold of her dogs. Now I didn’t get bitten, but I was scared pretty good. After that I started playing less and less with the other dogs. Instead I became Essex, Protector of the Dog Park, the fence patrol collie.

In action bouncing off an "Essex Berm"

Giving the offender my best herding bark

I would patrol the fence line, barking at golf carts, joggers, bicycles, diesel truck, RVs, and other things. I generally never chased cars though. People driving past call my name, thump their doors, honk their horn and speed up their vehicles, so I will give chase. I go flying down the end, skid and bounce around barking at the corner of the fence. After three years I’ve built the Essex Berms at both ends, so I can quickly change directions. You can see a well worn path from my fence patrol mission. Dad shakes his head at times, telling people he has to watch me. He states “Essex will let other dogs drink her water, eat her treats, but is territorial about her fence patrol.” Heck, I even bounce Deacon if he tries to join in.

One of two "Essex Berm"

Watching and waiting near my path

Dog Speed


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Angel Paws

I can remember the day I first saw Angel Paws. On that day instead of going for our usual walk, Dad put me in the car. I’m like okay this must be a trip to the vet. Instead we turned the opposite direction and before I knew it I was at this big grassy area with all kinds of new smells. Then other dogs arrived. Another person would throw a ball, they would chase it and I’d follow. I loved the smells and roaming around Angel Paws Dog Park. I think the dog park was made because they knew I was coming. I really liked the park and let Dad know it. What I did was whenever we made the turn on the street leading to the park I would frantically dash back and forth from the front seat to the back of the truck. I would get excited, tail swishing wildly and then I’d whimper and bark.

Oreo, the master tail biter

Snoopy, taking it easy

I made plenty of pup pals at the park. All those initial friends have moved to different cities. During my first two years in Key West, my best pals were Snoopy and Oreo. They were special and taught me doggy manners. Oreo was a frisky border collie mix; she liked to chase cats and motorcycles. She was a bundle of energy when the weather cooled off. Snoopy on the other hand was a beagle mix that reminded us of a kind hearted grumpy old man. He would do anything for dog treats. There was one amusing thing the pair did. If Snoopy was playing with another dog, Oreo would sneak behind him and bite his tail. Poor Snoopy would get mad and go after the dog in front of him. This happened time after time and Snoopy never figured out it was Oreo. Those two now live up in Jacksonville, Florida and have their own sites on Dogster. Below their pictures above is the link to their sites. Deacon has never met them, but I know he would like them.

Essex tries to get Snoopy to play

The other dog park regular was Hooter, a kind hearted yellow labrador that is six months younger than me. Hooter is a happy bouncy dog. He would always try to get me to wrestle and play. He was fun to be around but at times annoying. He visits Key West for several months during late fall and winter. We are always happy to see each other. When last I met Hooter, he was a big lab weighing in at 105 lbs. When we first met him and his Dog Mom, Deacon jumped on his Dog Mom. Hooter decided the kid needed to be taught a lesson and bounced him, BOL. I miss those three dogs, and look forward to Hooters return.

Left to right, Oreo, Hooter, Snoopy, Essex
Oreo explains the plan to Hooter, me and Snoopy

Well, enough time reminiscing about the past. We need to start nudging Dad to get ready for the Dog Park. We'll get to go in about an hour and a half, but if we annoy him enough we may leave early.

Dog Speed,