Editor’s Note: Our guest blogger is Sharon Castle, an MDSA member from Webster, Texas. Sharon & Wolf earned their Veterans Class Title in MDSA’s December 2013 Video Event. Sharon is also a member of the Texas Six Steppers, a Houston-based group of musical freestylers who train with Emily Pyle and perform at various demo venues throughout the greater Houston area.
Congratulations Sharon & Wolf!
I first met Wolf when he was five weeks old. There were 10 little Sheltie puppies running around the floor. One of them came over to me, turned over on his back, and requested a “belly rub”. I knew from that point, Wolf and I would be on a journey together. This would be a journey of excitement and discovery. We have learned and achieved Championship titles in Rally Obedience and Agility. My favorite activity, though, is musical freestyle.
We first saw a demonstration of musical freestyle at the Reliant Park World Series of Dog Shows held every July in Houston, TX. I loved it the first time I saw it. What a wonderful way to work with music, play a character, learn choreography, and coordinate appropriate attire for my dog and myself. All in all, it looked like a really fun activity to do with my dog. We signed up to take lessons at that first demonstration. The very next July, Wolf and I were dancing at the show.
We do lots of charity shows in addition to the big Reliant performance. I can see the look of accomplishment and confidence on Wolf’s face when he hears an audience applaud. We have done solos and big group routines as well. The group routines are especially challenging and rewarding. We have had between 9 and 12 dogs in the group numbers, all choreographed by our teacher, Emily Pyle. She has the amazing ability to create intricate performances that really wow the crowd. My husband has become the “barkographer” for our group, the Texas Six Steppers. He not only videos the numerous practices for us, but he also puts together a “showcase” video of our best performances for the year. Every year after the Reliant show, we have a party at our house for the people and dogs that performed at the demo. We have a potluck lunch, a chance for people and dogs to have fun together and end the day watching videos of our performances (including bloopers).
Wolf and I have a Spirit of Sharing title, and both Novice, and now Veteran titles in MDSA freestyle. Wolf is incredibly smart, generous, patient, sweet, and I could not be more proud of him. And more importantly I am enjoying every moment of our journey together!!!
Sharon Castle and Wolf