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??


Way to Texas

Some of us are waiting for renewed passports so we weren’t able to do the actual border-run when our van needed to exit the country.  Extra people (Toveli, Laars and I) joined the traveling north as moral support, but just Everette and Danaka did the actual border crossing to get the van checked out…. just to get it checked back in in one day, making it all legal.

Their morning started before sunrise and said it was quite beautiful in the Monterrey area.

Collage sunrise Monterrey

Collage windmills

After that their day was uneventful (& not photographed <sad>), with landscape after Monterrey that was pretty flat with a cruddy but straight highway, and high tolls.

They had a fairly intense inspection going into the USA (Laredo, TX) with the men clumsily using a rickety ladder to get to the boxes on the top of the van (Everette said it was quite comical!), and aided by a Dutch Shepherd in and around the van.  Nothing found (nothing hidden!) but Everette did worry a bit about the cannabis oil I’ve been using for some basal cell carcinoma I’ve been treating.  I had taken it with us to Saltillo but kept it at the hotel with me….would the dog sniff the aroma of it out?  Would they rip the whole van apart, searching?

Cleared, Everette and Danaka ventured in to Texas for lunch, a bit of shopping, and turned around to easily enter into Mexico again.

They got their tourist visas & a T.I.P. (temporary importation permit lasts 6 months) for the van at the Columbia crossing in less than 10 minutes. So simple heading south.  They ventured back to Saltillo where Toveli, Laars and I were waiting at the hotel… spending a lazy day watching TV (for them, a novelty) and working on blog posts (me).

The deed is done and we can get back to Chapala and the rest of the family.  Yeah.  Home, here we come!



Wrong Turn @ Lungfish

Living here at Perico Hotel we’ve met such wonderful people, building a bit of a community like in a neighbourhood.  Sure, its a hotel (motel, really) where people are transient for the most part.  But its becoming more common for people to stay here for longer periods of time.  Some are pretty darn permanent!

We love management who interact in a friendly manner but always have business about.  Tom has his eyes on near-everything without being creepy about it, ya know?  He wants to make sure everything is fine with us, always willing to give a helping hand whether its a need for a trip to the airport, something picked up at Walmart, or ice cream supplied for birthday cake!

One of his lovely daughters came during our hiatus last summer to help Tom and Jan manage the place.  Fluent in both Spanish and English Tina is a hit with all the kids here, bubbly and sociable.  She’s the eldest of her siblings and says she misses the constant drone of noise offered up by gaggles of children.  She appears to enjoy the hub-bub of the kids being in her presence, sharing movies and TV shows together, helping decorate for celebrations, interacting with her dogs and helping her out with small projects.  She pays Laars 1 peso for every beer cap he cleans up from the grounds….keeps him in treats from the office, particularly after a Mexican party takes place here.  Laars loves Tina.

Tina has experience in media and has helped the kids with cinematography.  Currently she is the leading lady in a live theatre here in town.  Turn Left at Lungfish. (Tom and Tina in pic below)

Collage Wrong Turn

“A blind, dying intellectual meets a sassy, streetwise young woman when she comes to read to him in the hospital. This unlikely combination brings us laughter, a few tears, and a heartwarming evening of entertainment.”

Adult content obviously geared towards the overwhelming English retiree expat community of Chapala and Ajijic it wasn’t a show to take our family to.  Besides, the cost (225MX) is a bit prohibitive for us when multiplied by 6 or 7.  Anyways, Everette had just left town and I was given a complimentary ticket to the final dress-rehearsal open to family and friends. I got all dolled up to go to an all-adult evening out!  Awkward… a nice way.  I realize I’ve been in Mommy-mode f-a-r too long.

We were carpooling to town but just before leaving the grounds we realized Jimmy wasn’t able to go (he had a music gig) so there was a spare ticket.  Last minute we circled around past our suite, Daniel called out to Danaka and instructed her to ‘get in the van’ and I yelled out to Toveli that she was now In Charge!  We were off, with little time to spare.

What a beautiful little theatre! (Seats 112) I was very impressed with the aura, the architecture, the decor.  Simply elegant….a little piece of classy art tucked off an end-street in Ajijic.  Impressive!

A great vintage: the theatre was founded in 1965 and thus, like moi, is turning 50 this year.

We laughed, nearly cried and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Tina (and others, of course) did a fantastic job and soooo suited the role of Anita Merendino, with NYC accent and attitude.  Bravo!!

As I publish this, there are only 2 more shows left after tonight.  All sold out.

Standing ovations….I think people are really enjoying the show.  I know Danaka and I did!

Danaka Dudette Turns 18

The age of Adulthood?  I’m not sure, but a milestone of some sort anyways.

And unlike last year, she wasn’t sick on her own birthday, hiding away on a back bench as we traveled from Corrales to Michoacan state.  This year we are settled in, developing a community of friends and ready to party!

We were hoping A Little Moxie was going to join us, but they kindly left us some chilled Champagne that Everette toasted our beautiful daughter with.  Thanks, Meriah.

Collage toastsLunch was shared with invited guests (& like in Biblical stories Everette went out into the byways and invited all that he could find, so we had people come we’d never met before!)

Collage party

What’s a party without a cake?  NOTHING.  So we got a beautiful Tres Leche (3 milks) cake, moist and scrumptious to share with everybody.

Collage cakeTeen girls invited us for a Showing of their music video created in honour of the Birthday Girl.  What a hoot we had…particularly when it got to the Bloopers!!  Tears were seen running down faces from the hilarity of it all.  Priceless!

Thanks for all the acting/editing/producing, RambleCrunch.  You all Rock! (or is that Roar?)





Dogtown & Fort Renovations

The family found this wonderful Fort-Building-Spot in late spring 2013 where we originally met Joe the Blacksmith, where Laars got lost & fortunately bumped into Danaka, and the reddish earth stained our skin & penetrated any & all fabric.

Just outside Williams, AZ Everette ventured back in October where the kids found the remnants of their forts & re-construction began.

Proud kids

Proud kids

Dad helped out cuz he's great at construction projects

Dad helped out cuz he’s great at construction projects