Dog Agility and Puppy Love

Hotel Perico was the site for the Agility Jalisco dog event last weekend in which famed Ian Dunbar was in attendance (he was our neighbour for most of the week!).

Our kids LOVE dogs, and especially puppies.  So to have the hotel grounds littered (!) with canines was a little bit of heaven for our kiddos.  At the same time it was a bit of a challenge for the resident dogs here who naturally wanted to protect their own turf from all those intruders.

Epic, still in major training-mode as we’ve (Maret, really) had her less than 2 months, did amazingly well.  She barked at the new vehicles and new four-legged potential playmates that paraded past our suites, but for the most part we passed the weekend with little incident.  Was helpful, I think, that I parked our big van in front of the patio doors so she could see less…but she still heard and smelled tons of attractive things.  Walks on leash were undoubtedly tiring for Maret as Epic had a kazillion new aromas to sniff out!!

Collage Dog staffBack to the Agility event…..our kiddos joined the Staff and had their ‘jobs’ for the weekend. Danaka and Toveli (along with Colleen {left} and E, another traveling homeschooler) were helping with the drinks/snacks and got to enjoy the shade of the terraza (terrace/patio) for the weekend.  Gaelyn & Toveli made posters to advertise the concession.  Gaelyn was in charge of Missy, a rescued dog we’ve had at the hotel for a month+  and Anders helped her parade Missy amidst the attendees in hopes of being adopted (its sounding like she might have found her fur-ever home!!)  Anders put flyers under the wipers on vehicles.  Maret was to keep an eye on garbage, but alas the visitors are so used to picking up dog poop none of them bothered to litter!!  So Maret visited, showing herself hospitable, and took photos/videos.  Laars also cuddled with puppies….a non-official job.  Me?…..I wandered (no staff shirt!), kept my kids fed, and Epic quiet.

Puppy Love.  One of the pups was adopted by a resident here at Hotel Perico so Gaelyn gets to puppy sit India now.

Puppy Love. One of the pups was adopted by a resident here at Hotel Perico so Gaelyn gets to puppy sit India now.

Spectators.  Missy watching, too.  And Tina.

Spectators. Missy watching, too. And Tina.

The official event was Saturday and Sunday.  Contestants came from all over Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain and the USA.  Some of the dogs were taking in their first agility event ever.  Some were so distracted by other scents in the course they just couldn’t stay focused.  There were handlers that totally lost it, their frustration and anger resulting in their own public temper tantrums!!  Pure entertainment, I would say.  Others pushed thru, trying to regain their dog’s attention and finish the course in good sportsmanship even though they were eliminated early in the course.  And some recognized the futility of asking their dog to respond when there was this fascinating new world out there for them to explore, and the handler quit and walked off the course….not tantrum-like but just in total acceptance of that which was out of their control!

It sounded like most people/dogs had a wonderful time over the weekend, in spite of being under direct sun in the heat of the day.  I heard that one dog said, “Forget it…it’s too hot!!” and laid down in the shade of one of the tunnels mid-course.  Smart doggie!!

Collage Dog Jump Collage Dogs jump

Sure, there were winners!  I think the top prize went to the handler/dog in the video I shared above.  But it’s more about the Experience than about the Outcome.  I’d say, the Experience was pretty awesome for all.  They’ve already booked to come back in the winter!

Collage Dog winnersTina & Maret are talking seriously about making some jumps and getting their own dogs trained….potentially for a competition, but more so for the fun of it.  Maybe they’ll be able to participate when they come back in November??


Always Our Baby! Happy Birthday


That’s one of our babies!  Up in the tree with one of her own babies!!

Rauchelle is our 2nd born.  And she was our baby for 8 1/2 years before she felt she was dethroned by the arrival of Danaka, and the other 6 that followed.  She found it a difficult transition…and asked if she could always be our baby.  Our answer:  You Betcha!!

Today we celebrated another one of her Birthdays…but we weren’t together with her unfortunately, like we were last year.  Second best was to celebrate in spite of her absence!

Rauchelle, I want you to know that your little brothers (the ones that are still shorter than you) were thinking of you all week, anticipating Celebrating YOU!  Anders walked into the suite with a bag of Queso potato chips the other day and said, “These aren’t for tonight.  These are for Rauchelle’s birthday.”  I asked where he got them from and discovered that he spent his own pesos to purchase them himself for the family.  Sweet Jesse!

Laars came in with initials of family members on a list….the invitation list for your party.  I asked what his party ideas were and what he was excited about most was that he had already made popsicles.  When I asked him ‘how many have you made?” he replied confidently, “Two!”  Wow, don’t think that was going to satisfy our crew so I helped him make some fresh lime/orange juice popsicles, enough so each of the kids could have one each…until I discovered that he ate one for breakfast this morning.  So Gaelyn made another orange juice one in hopes it would be frozen enough for Party Time.  It was!!

Collage selfie

Collage M&G

Collage GirlsWe had Aunt Jo and Uncle Kevin (along with Gatsby) come up for a BBQ

Collage Beer

Gatsby2so they could enjoy the expansive grounds, take in the breeze on another hot day thats saturated with the aroma from the Jacarandas…..and eat cake!  Chocolate with cream cheese from Marisa’s.

Collage CakeSo Rauchelle, I know its kind of late to say this on your Birthday, but we wish you a Fantabulous Year full of all your dreams and plenty of delights.  And you can still be Our Baby!!



From the story we hear….Tina enjoyed the day at the waterpark as much as our youngest three kids did!  She’s just as much a child-at-heart!

Everette and I had headed into Guadalajara with Ontarians for the day so we got the run-down in the evening.  When we thought the kids would have been home for hours, turns out they had only recently returned, having been gone SEVEN & HALF HOURS!  Slightly burned, Yes!  But majorly excited and exhausted….FOR SURE!

Collage waterpark

Supposedly Tina found Laars praying early in the day.  When she asked him “Why?” he said he was afraid that he he was going to die!  A bit scared….but managed to overcome his fears.  When going thru the pictures with him, though, he said the praying didn’t work.  When I questioned him as to why he thought that he replied, “Well, I did get burned, right? ” Yeah, but he didn’t die so I’d think his prayers worked.  No?Collage Treasure

There weren’t many staff nor other customers, so the park opened different slides/areas on rotation which made it exciting and built anticipation.  Because of course, the slide the kids really wanted to go on didn’t open until late afternoon!

Some slides were solely for double-donuts which sounded like lots of fun……even though Laars unwittingly crossed his legs which supposedly is like putting on brakes real hard, and Tina said she went flying, Laars landed on top of her and staff was pulling him up out of the water!  Sounds like fun!Collage Slide

By 8pm the kids were heading to bed: sun burned, water-logged with achey legs (those stairs!) and arms (the tubes) with great satisfaction and abundant love for that Tina!!

 *photos by Tina Leonard



Birthday boy was treated to breakfast out with his parents & Grandma S. at Cafe Negro where he stuffed himself with a Mexican burrito.  It’s a treat not to have to fight to be heard, or to get a whole plate food of yummy and not risk losing it.

We took him shopping for some new clothes, a pair of swim shorts and pizza for his Birthday meal.  After eating pizza on the terraza, he wasn’t given any time to put on his swim shorts his Dad and big brother…..

Collage A & ERJ

Escorted him off the terraza backwards and into the refreshing pool!

After a swim we had our friends join us for making Sundaes which seemed like a BIG hit.  International friends, from New Zealand, USA, Canada and United Kingdom….and of course, Mexican friends.

Collage guests

When the day was done Anders declared, “This is the BEST Birthday I’ve ever had!”

 Happy Ninth Birthday, Anders!

Katherine’s Early Birthday

Katherine and her family live in Guanajuato which is about a four hour drive from us here at Chapala.  We (6 of the kids and I) met the Sampsons here at Hotel Perico last February.  The children were taken with 1yo Katherine and she was attracted especially to our younger kids.  All the kids loved the attention David (dad) gave, and his willingness to teach them how to play soccer/futbol.

Last year Anders’ #1 attraction in Mexico was to go see the Pyramids of the Sun/Moon near Mexico City but we have yet to go that far east.  This year he said the thing he wanted most in Mexico was to come back to Hotel Perico, and what he wanted for his birthday (which is only a few days from now) was for David Sampson to come for his birthday!  Well, when I told David that he immediately said, “Maybe we can make that happen!” Although the dates haven’t worked out exactly, Sampsons came early to Hotel Perico for Birthday season and for David to play soccer/futbol with the kids.

It turned out that it is Katherine’s birthday this month also, and so her Grandma came from the USA to celebrate along with all of us this beautiful little girls second birthday!

Collage Katherine

Happy 2nd Birthday, Katherine!!