Next Time, I’m Gonna ……..

Hello, it’s me!!


That’s me (and Mom’s scar from her broken wrist from September) … and a nommed-on crunchable … waiting to get a crack at today’s renewal of the Barn Hunt tradition. For just $25 you get two minutes (that’s 120 full seconds) in the ring to test your mettle.

I’m now down 2.5 pounds from my peak weight (that would be comparable to a 180 pound person losing 18 pounds), slender enough to navigate the twists and turns offered by a pen of straw, ramps, tunnels, and … wait for it … wait for it … a RAT IN A TUBE HIDDEN BY STRAW!!!

All I had to do was climb the ramp, fully navigate the tunnel, and identify where the rat was hiding.

Of course, they let the experienced pups in the “Open” division go first. Frank and I waited, and waited, and waited for our turn.


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I like to chat with fellow competitors. You know, obtain tips, compare pee mail, that kind of thing.  You talk to the corgis and assorted breeds because of the TENSION. This competition is so important, so filled with pressure, that you have to do something to take your mind off of the task at hand.


And then … and then … they make an announcement.


The crowd literally rises to their feet (seriously), in large part because our “handlers” have to walk us over to this area where we cannot see the pen where we will compete. We can have no advanced knowledge of where the RAT is hidden, none.

There are (of course) a series of restrictive rules designed to enhance the competition.

  • No smart phone for Dad.
  • No watch for Dad
  • Aside – it was at this point that Dad nearly passed out from not being plugged into the Matrix for a few minutes.
  • Dad could not touch me.
  • Dad could not touch the bales of hay.
  • Dad could not get on his hands/knees and encourage me.
  • Dad could not nudge me into the tunnel.
  • Dad could not block exit from the tunnel.
  • Dad could not order a delivery pizza while I was in the tunnel.

I was scheduled to go out fourth in the first flight. One by one, they called us out. At about 3:00pm in the afternoon, it was my turn to delight the crowd.

Now, if you are reading this via email, I beg you to watch the video on the website … just visit and check out my full two-minute experience.

RIVETING … #amirite??

It took nearly five hours from leaving the house to getting into the ring … and it was all over in two minutes.

Ok, let’s clear up the controversy, because you likely saw that I spent a considerable amount of time gazing at the official in the ring. This didn’t happen because I was stupid, it happened because she must have had something in her pockets that I wanted to eat. I don’t think I’d just flush 40 seconds down the tubes for no good reason.

I nailed the tunnel.

I nailed the ramp.

This is where there was a difference in opinion.

Dad said I (again) did not show sufficient knowledge of the location of the RAT. I most certainly did show sufficient knowledge of the location of the RAT. I’m a dog, after all, and I’m under no obligation to point at the RAT or paw at the RAT or anything else. I simply walked past it, silently acknowledged presence of the RAT, and moved on.

Because Dad didn’t call out RAT (“again” … mind you, he did this to me back in December), I was notified that I FLUNKED the test.

From what I understand, the judges (the Russian judge in particular) demand that I pass the test THREE TIMES before I move on to Open Competition.

I’m 0 for 2.

But I don’t feel bad about that. In the staging area, a woman told my Dad that her dog was 0 for 20 (yes, 0 for 20).

So I’m ok. I don’t get a participation trophy, but I do get the satisfaction of being two-thirds of the way through the Novice level, a full third of the distance more than I achieved back in December.

Before leaving, I received something better than a participation trophy … I received “CONGRATULATIONS”.


We packed up the car, and we headed for home.


In the late 1970s, the Houston Oilers (or so I’m told) advanced to the AFC Championship Game two times, both times losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The head coach at the time had this to say about his team:

  • “One year ago, we knocked on the door. This year, we beat on the door. Next year, we’re going to kick the son of a b*$#? in.”

In December, I knocked on the door.

In February, I beat on the door.

Next time, I’m going to …………


P.S.: The head coach of the Houston Oilers never kicked the you-know-what in. He was fired a year later.