Tag Archives: BravoPup!

卒業(またもや)おめでとう!

grdogpeep
クラスの仲間たち。左からAnita (立っているほう)とIsabella・Bill、Klondike (白い衣装で座っている)、 Mieko・Heather、Harley (三毛の衣装で座っている) とChris・ Jean (黒い衣装) とBrian・SusanとSassy (座っているほう)

 

5月5日は卒業式でした。クロンダイクがまたもやクラスを終了したのです。毎度お馴染みBravo!Pup Talent 3という、上級者向けのパフォーマンスのコースです。クラスメートはクロンダイクの他に4組いて、みんな頑張りました。仲良しになったので名残惜しく、早速みんなで集まって遊ぶ約束をしたほどでした。

たった6週間だったのですけれど、その間毎日練習した甲斐があり一段芸のレベルがあがりました。いつもクラスに通っている期間は犬と人間の繋がりが強化されなんでも数倍素敵に感じられます。犬にとっても人間にとっても楽しい時間です。犬を飼うのは「大変」だという人がいますが、手間暇かかるからこそ楽しいのです。クロンダイクはいつもよりごきげんでした。もちろんビルも。

会場は見ておわかりの通り、ペット用品のお店のフロアの一部。クロンダイクはこのお店が大好きなので、それもごきげんの理由と思います。普段は用事がないとなかなか連れて行ってもらえないですから。毎週大好きなお店へ行って1時間おやつをたくさんもらいながら遊べるのです。いいなあ。

groupbow
クロンダイク、ハーリーとブライアンが観客にお辞儀をしているあいだ、イサベラとサシーはお行儀良く待っています。
Bill&Klon (1)
今年の猛獣ショーの内容はまだヒミツです。この写真一枚だけお見せします。

Talent 3 Diploma 5-5-16

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Congrats to Talent 3 Graduates

 

 

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Graduates, from Left to Right:  Anita (standing) and Isabella; Bill, Klondike (seated, in white) and Mieko; Heather, Harley (seated in white, red and black) and Chris;  Jean (in black) and Brian; Susan and Sassy (seated)

May 5, 2016 marked the graduation of Bravo!Pup’s Talent 3 advanced performance class. Taught by the amazing Sandi Thompson,  the class wasn’t primarily about learning new tricks. Not that new material wasn’t taught, it was just that  everyone in that class walked in with a pretty good repertoire, so the focus was on polishing performance behaviors until they shined.

During the class, Klondike improved as performer, and had a great deal of fun. In fact, we are thinking about changing his name to The Thump because of the non-stop, super strength, full contact tail wagging he’s started. I think this happiness came from a combination of training treats, attention, the strengthened bond that comes from working closely with your best friend during training/rehearsal, the class’s location inside a Pet Food Express store (a favorite Klondike destination) and the positive energy in the room. But whatever the reason, we’re grateful for the experience.

It was also a blast for the bipedal participants, who greatly enjoyed spending time around their own kind (human and dog) and exercising a shared passion for dog training.

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Klondike, Harley and Brian take a well deserved bow while Isabella and Sassy wait their turn
Bill&Klon (1)
While details of our performance are still confidential, I was able to get Mr. Klondike to agree to release this one shot

Talent 3 Diploma 5-5-16

猛獣ショー、仕込み中

 

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シロクマ通信です。

えーさて。またもや学校へ行っています。これが多分6つ目のクラスです。今回のクラスは去年に続いてパフォーマンス。上級コースです。上級ったってやることがそんなに違うわけではありません。猛獣のほうはひとつひとつの動作をきれいに大きくすることが目標で、猛獣使いのほうは猛獣から離れた場所からでも芸ができるようにボイスコマンドの比重を増やす工夫をします。

先生は前回と同じBravoPup! のサンディさんで、ヒッジョーに辛抱強く優秀な方です。演劇を勉強していたこともあるのだとかで魅せかたの工夫も上手。1時間のクラスは楽しくて、毎回あっという間に過ぎていきます。

さてさて。それで、です。

前回は優等生だったシロクマ、今回はおくれを取っております。「華がある」のに頼ってしまい、技術をみがいていないからです。自己流ってんですか、好きなように動いて、それでもファンのみなさんに喜ばれてるのでいいじゃないか、という尊大な態度。一時輝いていても流れ星のように芸能界からいつのまにか消えてしまう、スター生命が短い人たちにそういうのいそうな気がしませんか。

というか、ピレネー犬の血がまずいんですね、おそらく。

ピレネー犬(グレート・ピレニーズ)っていうのは、前にも書きましたが家畜の番犬で、飼い主の指示を待たず、広い牧場で独立自営の精神で仕事をするようにできています。そう書くとカッコイイですけど、今回のような場面では、言うこときかない困った犬なわけです。

「お座り」と言われたことは理解しているのに、本当にすわっていいものかじっくり考えてから独自の判断で座ったり座らなかったりするのです。世の中には飼い主さんの言うことを聞くのが無上の喜びだっていう犬がたくさんいるのに、全くめんどくさいことです。

下の図はビルがどっかから見つけてきたピレネー犬の「芸」を見せているインフォグラフィックス。何を言っても全然耳に入らない様子。シロクマはここまでひどくはありませんが、こういう傾向は間違いなくあります。

Great Pyrenees Tricks

同級生たちは素晴らしいです。反応速度の速さ、動作のきびきびしていること、ほれぼれします。心底うらやましいです。

5週間みっちり訓練したら、少しはマシになるでしょうか。夏までに去年の防災シンポジウムよりいいショーを作り上げようと計画しているのですが…。

ではまた。

It Begins: Performance Three

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Last week marked the first meeting of Performance Three from BravoPup! The class is about learning more tricks, and polishing the current repertoire, getting the behaviors bigger, better, crisper and (most importantly) controllable at a distance so the trainer can reliably work with the dog  while staying behind the camera or off stage. The class is taught by Sandi Thomas, who as master dog trainer and former professional actress, truly understands what it takes to perform successfully.

The first day of class was largely about going over basic behaviors (sit, wave, hoop jump and weave, roll-over, play dead, bow and a few others).  Mr. Klondike, secure in his super-star status, didn’t see a need to focus on technical perfection and instead chose  a looser, more interpretive, perhaps more Pyrenees, approach to these mandatory events. Looked a little bit like this

Great Pyrenees Tricks

The other dogs in the class, Harley, Isabella, Brian and Sassy, had the technical skills of an Olympic figure skater, just nailing their behaviors perfectly. I’m pretty sure Mr. Klondike can get there, or at least get close, but we sure have our work cut out for us!

 

 

[Credit for cartoon: No idea, found it via a Google Images search. But whoever made it, thanks!]

Mr. Klonbeast Is Too Excited To Sleep!

In exactly one week, seven days from now, Klondike starts BravoPup’s invitation only advanced performance (tricks) workshop, Performance Three. And what to do? As Summer performance season rapidly approaches, should we polish up last year’s show, Klondike’s Fire and Earthquake Safety Symposium ? Do something  totally new? Klondike has always wanted to record a collection of his acoustic numbers with the London Philharmonic. He could start practising for that.

But whatever the workshop turns into, we’ll be sitting in grand style, because the Klondike performance  stool has been upgraded.

The old stool  worked fine but… to keep it stable when Klondike jumped on, jumped off or stood up on it I had to stand on the piece of plywood screwed to the bottom. Functional, yes, elegant no.

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Using My Left Foot To Stabilize

And, even worse, the stool wouldn’t fit into the trunk of my new car

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Too big for the trunk, and not entirely safe to put in the back with Klondike

After a couple of dead ends, Klondike and I reached out to Jan Saeger, local furniture maker extraordinaire

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Klondike Just Finishing His Inspection Of Jan’s Workshop

Jan then brought in Ian, the friendly machinist (and retired Red Cross rescue supervisor) next door, and vola! The new Klondike stool!

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The New Klondike Stool! Stable, Strong, With Easy Disassembly

The new stool features an extra heavy base for stability (no more using my foot!) and quickly disassembles at both base and platform for easy transportation.

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Klondike Shows Off HIs New Stool with Ian and Jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Klondike Graduates (Again!), Entertains Guests, Plays Nice, Finds Headless Body in Topless Bar

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Klondike jumps for joy as Sandi Thompson of Bravo!Pup presents Klondike’s diploma, officially certifying him as a Super Star.

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Klondike never tires of honing his craft and worked his tail off to get Super Star status in Talent 2, a second level tricks class run by the always awesome Bravo!Pup. There’s no doubt that Klondike loves training class. On the way to to class he may lay lazily on the backseat of the car, but coming back he’s sitting fully upright and in full sniff mode. And for a day or two after training class there is definitely a little bit of extra spring in his step and perhaps a bit more assertiveness in the demands he puts on his staff.

But Klondike’s life isn’t just the hard work of training.

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Here Mr. Klondike has decided to personally take a few moments from his busy schedule to chat with two member of his Tokyo Fan Club, who have made the journey to Northern California to meet him,  my niece Hanako and sister-in-law Keiko,

This is Klondike playing with a smaller dog at a local park. It’s really interesting (and kind of a source of pride for me) to see how gently Klondike adopts his playstyle so as not to hurt or overwhelm a dog probably fifty pounds lighter than himself.

Klondike’s Fire and Earthquake Safety Symposium

Klondike donated his time to share valuable safety tips with our guests on the Fourth of July.

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Aware of his hosting duties, Klondike served as a pillow for some of our younger guests. Yellow grass brought to you courtesy of the California drought.

猛獣ショー

シロクマ通信です。しばらくぶりです。

「タレント」クラスへ通った話、書いていませんでした。犬のクラスにもいろいろあって、これは犬に「芸」を教えるクラスなのです。役に立つことをしつけるのとは違い、すごいね可愛いねと言ってほめてもらうためのクラスです。

「お手」はごく普通でみんなできますが、「バイバイ」だとどうでしょう。おおすごいね、って言いたくなりませんか。一番最初のレベルではそんな感じで、そこからすこーしずつ技を高度にしていくわけです。目標、サーカスのプードル!

5週間の訓練を終えて、いくつか新しいことを覚え、基本的な考え方を理解して、さてこれで何をしようか…

猛獣ショーです。当然じゃないですか。

というわけでせっせと練習し、初級の芸を組み合わせて、始まりから終わりまで3分弱のショーができあがりました。

タイトルは「クロンダイクの火災と地震対策特別シンポジウム」(名前はそのときの気分でもっと大げさになることがあります)

垂れ幕も作りました。ロゴ入りのスツール飾りも。Photo(35)onStage

これは本番の写真です。場所はうちの居間ですが、数十人のお客さんの前で披露したのですよ。なかなかもっともらしいでしょう? お客様はみなさんけっこう本気で喜んでいました。というかまあ、パーティに呼ばれてそこの家の犬とホストがやっているわけですから喜んでみせないわけにはいきませんけど。なんか旦那芸っぽくて迷惑かもしれないシチュエーションですね。ふふふ。

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これが垂れ幕というか後ろにある看板の絵です。伝統的な見世物小屋の絵看板の様式で描いてあります。

すでに次の「タレント」クラスへ申し込みを済ませました。しばらくこのネタで遊べそうです。市民犬もおやつを余計にもらうのがうれしいみたいですし。

また書きます。

Klondike Makes The Front Page and Gets Styled!

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Read all about it! Klondike was delighted to be featured in the Spring 2015 edition of the PIDO Pointer, the official publication of the Point Isabel Dog Owners Association, courtesy of Marla Miyashiro. Check out the in depth interview with Klondike (really)  – it’s a pretty tail thumping read, if Klondike doesn’t say so himself!

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And speaking of Point Isabel, that’s Klondike you see above taking a restorative swim and dust bath between rounds of gopher digging, ball borrowing and chase playing. I regret not having any good before and after photos of his dirt rolls.  In the course of maybe thirty minutes he went from bright white to brown, to black and cream.

Interestingly, each dip in the water also seemed to raise his energy level. When we first arrived in the park he was in full Pyrenees mode. Polite, friendly, willing to be sniffed and sniff back, but much more interested in a slow and deliberate cruise around the park than vigorously playing with other dogs. Then he went into the water and emerged energized, ready to run and jump with any large dog at the park. Then he went in again and came out yet more pumped, and ready to run any dog who would play. It was pretty amazing watching his energy meter fill up!

And while there is no greater pleasure than watching a happy dog, having a wet, dirty dog to transport home by car is not what most people would consider a fun activity.  And to make matters worse, I had forgotten to bring a beach towel with me. So my choices were putting a sopping wet, muddy dog in the back of the car, or rinsing Klondike off with the hose, which he hugely dislikes, and then putting a clean(ish) but soaking wet dog in the back seat.

After some thought, I chose plan C.

Kate and Klondike at MudPuppiees

Mud Puppies Tub ‘n Scrub, the on-site groomers at Point Isabel and home to Katie, one of Klondike’s personal stylists. Yes, that is Katie you see above in the purple apron, Klon you see in the white fur and Klondike’s picture decorating the wall.

Klondike’s life is not limited to press interviews, outdoor sports and beauty treatments. He also has a very serious side. He’s back in school, enrolled in  BravoPups! Talent class, a basic introduction to performance.

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This is Klondike getting ready to catch a swinging trapeze

Klondike with Sandi - Ta Da tricks class

And this is Sandi of BravoPup! doing some one-on-one instruction with Klon. Gotta give the beast credit.. he knows how to stay hungry and focused!