July 26th 2006 4:03 pm
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Data's Mom here: Well, Data did not win the Old Navy mascot contest. (See http://www.oldnavy.com/magic .) We pretty much guessed this by the end of the first week after voting ended, since we did not hear anything from Old Navy, and then it got confirmed late yesterday. We are disappointed, of course, though Data would probably be relieved to know that he doesn't have to fly out to California after all!!
It was a fun ride. I met lots of really nice folks here on Dogster who gave us good thoughts and lots of votes and were just a lot of fun to talk to! Got to be on local TV and in the paper! And most of all, I got to do some new things with Data and learn even more about what a special dog he is. TV cameras, groups of strangers petting him, haviing to perform for 5 hours straight - none of it phased him or slowed him down at all. What a dog! He is certainly a star to me!!
Thanks again for all the support many of you gave us!
July 8th 2006 11:18 am
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Data's Mom here: Well! The longest and the shortest two weeks of my life are done! Now we just wait. (Harder than it sounds! Ha!) I kind of wish I had more time for the voting, as I feel I just got into the swing of gettin' the word out about my wonderful guy, Data, as I am normally a very private person. (This has been good for me, though, to get me more "out there" in general!) I love my dog so much: win or lose, he's been getting lots of treats and fun things to do for being such a trooper through all of this. TV cameras, photographers, strangers, Mom talking to reporters when she should be taking Data to class ... what's a dog to do?!
Thank you to everyone who voted for Data and for all the wonderful notes people sent to me about him! I really, really appreciate it!
I admit that I originally came onto dogster because a Cattle Dog pal pointed out that cute Bean (also an Old Navy contender) was getting lots of nods here. Doesn't Data deserve that, too? she asked. Once here, though, I discovered that it is truly a lot of fun! I have met so many great folks and seen pictures of fabulous dogs. For the past several years, I've been involved in Very Serious competitive dog sports: obedience, Rally, agility, weight pulling, musical freestyle. I've also taught some dog training classes, and used to work with someone who specializes in retraining aggressive dogs (I edited her books and helped with classes). I'm nowhere near the highest level of any of the dog sports, mind you, and not someone who goes out to compete every weekend, but am pretty dedicated and mostly hang out with the every-weekend types. These folks are absolutely and completely devoted to their dogs, don't get me wrong. I think that working with your dogs is one of the best ways to develop a deep, meaningful relationship with them (especially a high-drive dog like Data). But it can all get quite competitive and serious. Dogster has been very fun for me: obviously still devoted, but more lighthearted, funny, affectionate. More the family side of life with dogs than the "Hey, I got 4 double Qs this weekend!" side. A nice balance. I am glad I came here!
Anyway, the whole Old Navy experience has been kind of surreal. Good, but out of character for me. Someone who was reluctant to compete in musical freestyle (because, unlike in other dog sports, you are judged on your audience appeal) went on live TV! Yikes! I gotta say, though, that it was another great opportunity to strengthen my bond with Data. After the first twelve dogs were chosen, Old Navy sent a film crew and photo crew to the house. They made some sort of multimedia package that went to the celebrity judges; these judges then chose the top 6 dogs. The film crews were here for 5 hours, working non-stop, and Data was just amazing. He did obedience and freestyle and tricks; he posed for the still photographers. He played on command, and stopped playing on command. Non-stop! My heart was just bursting with pride and love. In the obedience ring you have to be "on" for, at most, 10 minutes (usually 2 or 3 at a time). 5 hours and he never took his eyes off me, never wavered. No matter what happens with the voting, I'll carry that day with me forever.
OK, this is getting awfully long. I have to make the disclaimer I promised all my Cattle Dog and Border Collie friends. Most dogster folks already know this, but I promised! Neither Australian Cattle Dogs nor Border Collies are good choices as just "family pets" for folks who like to just hang out with a dog pal and watch TV. They are both super high energy, super smart, super active breeds, and the Cattle Dogs are mischievous and bossy and not infrequently crabby. With either of these breeds, if you don't give them a job to do and lots of exercise (e.g., 4 miles of running a day minimum), your dog will find something to do ... and you won't like it (he may herd your cats or your kids or destroy your house or pace until you want to tear your hair out - sounds funny but it is not!). Folks were concerned that Data's "stardom" may want to make folks run out and get an ACD or BC, so I just want to spread the word: don't go there unless you have a couple of hours a day to spend both exercising and training. Nuff said!
Wish us luck and I’ll keep everyone posted on what happens next!
July 3rd 2006 11:45 pm
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I hope you'll go vote for me to be the new Old Navy mascot at http://www.oldnavy.com/magic
I am known as The Prankster there ... just because I am a little mischievous!
I've had a great time doing local TV interviews. I do all my tricks and get steak!! I can do tons of great tricks. People at the Old Navy store brought out a camera and asked to have their pictures taken with me! Lots of fun!
I'm happy anytime I'm doing stuff with Mom.