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??


Rochatas Bakery

Checking out coffee shops a few months back we stumbled upon Rochatas that Everette had spotted when driving the Carreterra into Chapala.  Usually Everette has seen many people there before so we ventured in, although today we were the only customers.

We were greeted by the owner Marco with whom we had a very pleasant conversation.  We quizzed him about the different art displayed around his place, and what I thought was bead work turned out to be a type of thread work!  Whatever, it was quite gorgeous work!!

Collage Art2

We sat to have our cafes (Marco roasts the coffee himself) but had to try out the baked goods, too.  Sweet and Bitter, that’s the blend.  The cakes looked scrumptious so we ordered a slice of Carrot (zanahoria) and German Chocolate.  Then when we were contemplating ordering a cheesecake (queso) for Toveli’s birthday (back in March) we were treated to a complimentary slice.  Two people, 3 slices of cake….shall we say “Sugar Fix”!?? But amazingly, none of the cakes were ghastly sweet.  A tad on the dry side, but still very tasty.

Collage Marcos

Marcos and his wife run the main bakery in Jocotepec and opened this smaller one in Chapala over a year ago.  They make Special Order cakes, and you can see why they are in demand when you look at the display case!! They have a huge photo album of some of the fabulous cakes they’ve made for weddings, birthdays or any other kind of celebration one could think of.

I wish them well with this endeavor.


Girls Take-over

Four young girls converged on the hotel reception and took over for the night.  They organized a sleep-over… why it’s called a sleep-over, I have no idea.  I could hear them thru our bedroom wall at 2am!!

These are friendships we had no idea would be discovered and nurtured when we hit the road in 2007.  Language isn’t a barrier.  A challenge, yes, but not a barrier.Collage sleepover

Auditioning & Trios

Singing.  Its the one thing Gaelyn wants to do this year, besides get over stage fright which is intimately connected to singing (for anybody other than herself!)

Gaelyn & Dee had attended a local choir’s finale this spring and the two of them made a point of meeting Tim, the choir director.  An audition was booked and somehow 3 people went for auditions at Tim’s house the following week, and 4 new choir members for autumn exited his house.  I had gone as moral support for our daughter and this happened:

Gaelyn was able to take some singing lessons from Dee before her and Gerry headed back up to the Great White North.  Toveli and E joined in the lessons (total of about 4 or 5).  But in that short amount of time Dee helped the girls gain confidence, control breathing, locate and use their diaphragm, achieve better tone and volume.

And at a Send Off for Dee and Gerry the girls sang 3 songs for the Desserts with Live Entertainment.

Did You Call Me Goat-head?

Upon our arrival back at Ajijic after 6 months (back to Canada) we got bad news.  A few of our friends had passed away in our absence.  I guess that’s not totally unexpected in a community full of retired and aging expats.

But Fred in particular shocked me.  A ‘foodie’ and restaurant-owner from New Orleans supposedly sat at a friends dinner table with beer in hand and cigarette between lips and….just didn’t respond when spoken to.  When tapped to get his attention, he fell off his chair.  He had just died sitting in place, without a gasp, a pain, a nothin’.  I want to go that way.  Well, not with the beer and smoke, but suddenly and without apparent pain (& with belly content!).

Anyways, I was glad one of my last conversations with Fred had been about places to eat he would recommend.  I wish I had asked for more because he had been spot on with our 28th Wedding Anniversary dinner last year.  And he recommended a great spot when I asked specifically where to get goat meat.

So in memory of Fred we (Everette, Toveli and I….after our long drive along the lake) went to check out the El Chololo for birria.  Succulent goat to gorge on.

Collage Birria

In retrospect, I think I ate some intestine, maybe some liver, but the meal was delicious and I’d definitely recommend it.  We’ll be eating here again sometime, probably on some trip to the airport since it isn’t far from there.  If you time it right, we’ll pick you up at the Guadalajara airport and stop by El Chololo where the parking lot is always full because the goat is that tasty!

When were you coming?