December RAT Tales – December is renew your RAT Membership Month!

image046On RAT Tales the Blog

December 2017

 Upcoming Events:

RAT HOLIDAY PARTY! JANUARY 7TH!
Last RAT Fun Run of the year  at Rivendale in Woodinville for a fun run on December 10th from 1pm to 4pm. Fun Runs are free for members, $10 for guests. You can invite any friends as long as they meet all other Fun Run requirements with the exception of membership. See https://ratagility.com/funruns/ for details on fun runs and directions.

Rat Tales has asked several  people what is a RAT membership worth to you?

The best answers we got are here:

 Membership gives you:

  • Access to the RAT List for information
  • Now, RAT Tales – The Blog continues
  • League
  • Pins, Pulls, Plaques, Links
  • Holiday party
  • Fun Runs
  • Demos
  • A free T-Shirt (when you join)
  • League
 And MIGS gets you:
  • Discounts on trials
  • Discounts on league and other events
  • Voting rights at meetings
You can renew on line here Membership Renewal
Have brags?  pictures,? announcements for the next Rat Tales the Blog?  Email Sandy Cox and Nick Nick if you sandy@dogculture.com

Spotlight on RAT members

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Agility is like climbing Mt. Rainier: on the way you meet lots of wonderful people, see lots of animals, experience challenges and successes. Enjoy the challenges of the journey!

Welcome to the Rat Tales Blog section called Spotlight on members.  Each month or so we will try to highlight a new member and an “old” member.  We hope you enjoy learning about your fellow agility friends.

Michael Vorkapich member since 2008

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Mike Vorkapich with daughter Alix and D’Argo and Aurora

RT :We understand Mike is currently Vice President of RAT and are asking him some questions.  For starters where do you live? What are your dog’s names, ages, breeds, etc , what do you like best about your dogs and how did you get interested in agility?

Mike:  I live in the State of Wonder. I am constantly amazed and delighted with the world around me.

My dogs are

1. D’Argo – 5 years old – Collie – Brings me socks as a sign of love.
2. Skye – 9 years old – Collie – Loves to stare in my face and avoid agility obstacles.
3. Deeds – 9 years old – Big Black Dog – His best trick is to circle around a chair.

I have had Collies for pretty much all of my adult life. For the first part of that, the dogs were “pets” or just family companions. They were slightly trained, well behaved and generally fun to have around. Then one day we rescued a one year old Smooth Collie that had lived in an outdoor dog run for that first year of her life. She was so excited and happy to be in the house with us and around a bunch of other dogs that she was driving us crazy. So one day my wife turns to me and says “YOU need to do something with that dog!” Emphasis on the YOU. Well, I had no idea what that thing would be. So I tried a bunch of stuff and wasn’t really inspired by any of it. Until, of course, we found agility. Charlotte immediately decided she loved it. She loved doing every single one of the obstacles and did them with enthusiasm. Not necessarily correctly, but she didn’t care. It was exciting! And then, one year later, we got another Smooth Collie, equally as energetic but much younger and more in tune with me. So we just kept going to classes and going to classes and, eventually, we figured out how to get Qs and how to have fun at trials.

RT: Mike has been competing in agility for 15 years in the following venues: AAC, ASCA, NADAC, UKC, UKI, AKC,USDAA, CPE but says ” TDAA won’t let us in because my dogs are two big”. “D’Argo is registered with DOCNA and soon to be registered with CKC.”

RT: What do you like doing outside of agility with your dogs?

Mike: My very favorite outside of agility is backpacking. But we have tried and compete some in Conformation,Lure Coursing,Herding, Carting, Treibball, Obedience, Rally Obedience and Tricks.

RT : What do you like about being a RAT Club Member?

Mike: I love the interaction with the other club members. Each and every one is a wonderful person in their own way. I like going to RAT events and seeing all the familiar smiling faces that are there for the same purpose as I am. Having a great time with our dogs! And I love the positive attitude everyone brings to RAT events.

RT: What RAT Activities have you helped with?

Mike: I currently maintain the club website,I am equipment manager for several trials each year.  I tend to help at most RAT trials, I have been managing the club’s demos for the last couple of years. I took over the fun runs for the last couple of years as well.
I have helped a bit with the membership database and the RAT Yahoo group (just a bit there)

RT: Do you have any particular interests you would like to share?

Mike: I love reading, both fiction and non-fiction. I help with 4-H pretty much every week and just this year, taken on the role of Superintendent for 4-H agility at the Puyallup Fair in September.
I am the chair for an Obedience/Rally Trial, Conformation show and an Agility Trial for the Overlake Collie Club and the Collie Club of Washington.
I love British humor. Currently, I’m watching and enjoying the latest season of Red Dwarf and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.
I love spending time with my daughters and granddaughter but I feel I don’t get enough of that. Mostly because they have their own lives.

RT: What funny things do your dogs do?

Mike:  D’Argo likes to bring me things. If I’m not paying attention to him, he will bring me a sock or a piece of paper or just about anything. If we are out and about, he will find the largest possible stick to haul around. If it looks like a small toppled sapling, that’s about the perfect size.  Skye always wants to play with her “blankie” which is just about any dog blanket. If I’m not playing with her, she will stand in front of me and just hold it in her mouth staring at me.
Deeds hasn’t really had a lot of training. We were watching him for my daughter and it’s turned into a permanent thing. So lately I’ve started to work with him. He gets so excited when he knows it’s training time (typically when another dog is getting to play) he starts jumping all over the place.

RT: What do you like  best about your dogs?

Mike: I like that they don’t make judgements about anyone. Everyone is awesome. They just enjoy the moment, everything we are doing is the best thing they have ever done or will ever do. And then we move on and that next thing is also the best thing ever. And Collies. I know it’s just the big nose, but to me they always look like they are grinning at me, just a bit.

New Members Jean Fielder and Karen Loomis  – September 2017

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Jean and Gadget

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Karen and Luna

Karen and  Jean live in Seatac  and own Luna a 22 month Border Collie and Gadget 11 year English Shepherd.

RT : How did you get interested in dog agility?

Karen : In 2001 we got our first Border Collie Gizmo. We had other dogs
but not a BC. We decided she needed an outlet for all her energy.

 RT: Are you competing? If so for how long?

Karen: I competed with Gizmo in NADAC for 3 years. Then I was diagnosed
with Breast cancer. That put agility on hold, by the time I came
out the other side Gizmo had a hip injury and she was getting old
and I didn’t want to compete with her. We lost Gizmo in 2015 and
Jan of 2016 I started to put out feelers for a BC puppy and along
came Luna. I think Gizmo had a paw in bringing Luna to us.

RT: I’m sorry to hear about your cancer & losing Gizmo but glad to hear you came through it and have Luna. What venues do you  plan to compete in?

Karen: I have Luna in agility classes. I plan on doing CPE, ASCA and
maybe NADAC. I also do nose work and barn hunt. Jean runs Gadget and I run Luna.

RT: What do you like about  being a RAT member?

Karen:  Meeting dog people and learning about fun runs and agility trials.

RT: Do you have any particular interests you like to share with our readers?

Karen: Jean is retired and volunteers at RASK walking the dogs. I
unfortunately still work but I love to garden with Luna’s help of
course.

RT: What funny things do your dogs do?

Karen: When Gadget farts, it sounds similar to fox hunting horn calls.
Luna is just a kook. I love them both.

RT: What do you like best about your dogs?

Karen:  Their unconditional love and loyalty.

RT: Karen  & Jean thanks for sharing your dog moments with us! It’s always fun to get to know RAT members and their animals.