About Cooper

2013 – Present

Cooper is a Border Collie who came into Terry’s family when he was 5 months old when his previous family realized what living with a Border Collie is like. These energetic herding dogs need a job or they will make up something to stay entertained. Cooper has been the beneficiary of Terry’s behavior modification expertise and, now in his second decade, doesn’t chase everything that moves (joggers, bicyclists, motorcycles, skateboards, etc.). He is athletic, smart as a whip, and loves to play, play, play. His middle name is Now What? The current answer is, “Why don’t we try Nose Work?”

About Sage

2020 – Present

Sage came into the family at 8 weeks of age in 2020. She enjoys the beautiful trails where we live in Washington. At home, she follows her big brother Cooper around everywhere, and loves it when her family goes camping and fly fishing. She has learned important life skills such as how to convince Cooper that she has the best toy, retrieving balls to your hand instead of playing keep-away, and how to get her humans to “click and treat.”

She is currently training in nose work and is proving that her natural scenting skills would make a great tracking dog, too. It is amazing to watch her track step by step, where a visitor has been when she has been in another room. Her other favorite activities are watching TV, especially the Dodgers and agility competitions, and hiking the trails with her Main Mama.

About Pretzel

2005 – 2021

Pretzel's Pool Party

Pretzel was all of 10 pounds soaking wet, but a 10-pound Rat Terrier doesn’t know they are so small. She was a terrier, after all, and she made all the larger dogs in the household know it.

Terry met Pretzel when she was a 4-month-old pup, driving her owners crazy with puppy nipping/mouthing, peeing all over the house, and constant motion. Terry helped her original owners solve the housetraining and nipping problems, but Pretzel’s need for mental and physical stimulation were more than they had bargained for. When Pretzel was 6 ½ months old, Terry got the call to find Pretzel a better home where she would get the attention she craved.

Terry took Pretzel in as a foster (yeah, yeah, yeah) and after an agonizing month of evaluation and consideration (and still mourning Buster’s death less than a year before), made the leap and decided to keep her. Pretzel was a real pistol and the life of the party. Smart as a whip, with endless energy and love of tug toys, Pretzel achieved USDAA’s Agility Dog Champion (ADCH) title, enjoyng a great agility career before retiring in 2014.

Terry had gone from sharing her life with Great Danes to being repeatedly surprised at how much she loved this little pipsqueak of a dog who burrowed under the covers at night and was the last one up in the morning.

About Kiwi

2001 – 2018

Kiwi was Terry’s “heart dog.” Affectionately identified as a Petit New Zealand Bobtail Griffon, or PNZBG, a very rare breed indeed, Kiwi came for the weekend at about 12 weeks of age, and stayed for 17 years. He was clicker trained since the third day of his visit when he discovered that he could get Terry to click and treat when he offered behaviors. From his very first photo, he always stared directly at the camera! Over the years Kiwi developed an increasingly impressive repertoire of behaviors. He was DogPACT’s link with the general public as he performed at many community events over the years, demonstrating the power of positive reinforcement and clicker training specifically.

Kiwi retired from the public eye in 2014 when his eyesight deteriorated due to cataracts. Although cataract surgery improved his quality of life, he never returned to the public spotlight, instead remaining a presence on Terry’s Facebook page—and in her heart.

At those community demonstrations, his two favorite crowd pleasing tricks were “Let Us Pray” and “Hut,” his football pose (shown above).

Kiwi also competed in agility throughout the years, slowly rising through the agility ranks after a very scary bee sting at one of his first trials. He became a “rental dog” for Terry’s agility students helping them to practice their handling skills. His favorite sport, however, was always Musical Freestyle. How could you not enjoy dancing and eating treats. Too bad about Mom’s two left feet.

About Moka

1994 – 2012
aka Sweet Little Miss Moki Jo

Moka, Terry's Dog

On October 24, 1996, I came home from my first professional dog training seminar (Ian Dunbar in Pasadena). It was almost dark when I got home, but I quickly loaded Chelsea, Buster, and Sandy Mae into my old 1966 Volvo station wagon and took them for a quick run at an industrial area’s open field. There, in the setting sun, they took off chasing what I guessed was probably a rabbit or gopher. They pounced. They had found a young, dark blue merle, 25-pound little dog with the biggest ears I’d ever seen. “Sweetie, where’d you get them ears,” I asked. As the daring trio ran off to eat the dog food someone had been leaving out for her, I knelt down and picked her up. I carried her 1/2 mile back to my car and took her home with us. (In my haste to get to The Field, I had forgotten to put leashes in the car, but as I got to know Moka, I soon discovered that was probably a good thing. She moved s-o-o-o ever slowly on a leash, only to toss her head and sprint into the wind when the leash came off, demonstrating why our favorite t-shirt was the Big Dog one that boldy stated, “We don’t need no stinkin’ leashes.”)

Moka went on to become a real momma’s girl, always checking where I was before her strongly independent personality took her off to explore. I simply can’t count the number of times I went in search of her, the other members of the canine family already loaded up in the car to go home. If I kept calling her, I found that she simply used this information to reassure her that I was still around and she could continue her adventure. If I just sat down where I had last seen her, or near the car, and kept quiet, she would magically appear and hop in the car. “Ready!”

She competed in agility with me until age 12, her favorite agility reward being cream cheese frosting. Moka also worked with me, side by side, on my behavior cases, specializing in assessing dog-dog aggression and inappropriate social behavior of young dogs and puppies.

On Thursday, May 10, at the age of 17+ and after a months’ long battle with oral lymphoma, I let my Sweet Little Miss Moki Jo go after a healthy serving of cream cheese frosting.

Yes, I also just recently let Sandy Mae go at age 18 (December 11). Don’t feel sorry for me for losing two dogs so close together. I am one lucky gal to have two dogs live so long. I hoped that they would reach that super-geriatric age together, and they granted me that wish.
Lucky me!

Special Memories

Finding her that first night at The Field and how absolutely confident and comfortable she was in joining our family (this was prescient of the Hofs Hut and Mesa, Arizona incidents below).

The eight months it took me to cut my teeth on this “new” positive reinforcement training stuff in order to convince her not to chase *everything* that moved and to convince naysayers that I would NOT resort to a shock collar. Moka’s chasing targets were varied, but her favorite were the bicyclists who used the perimeter of The Field to condition for their races. It was one mile around. We usually walked up on the grass berm, a vantage point from which you could see all around and across The Field. Moka loved joining their race practices: She took off like a shot, racing, racing, racing to catch up with one, positioning herself just at the edge of their racing bike’s toe clip, the thrill of the race shining from her dark brown eyes, as we stood up on the berm, shielding our eyes from the sun, as we looked for her. “Ah, there she is, she’s coming around the full mile; let’s go get her.” She also loved chasing joggers, pedestrians, skaters, motorcycles, skip loaders (those big dirt-moving things with the big buckets out in front), and my personal favorite, the helicopter that swooped down to take a closer look at all of us with our dogs in The Field (“Oh, no, you wouldn’t ….!” as she took off after it, racing the full length of The Field before it lifted into the sky).

Moka doing Agility

Sharing her spirited personality and early behavior modification program in an article for the The Clicker Journal, “Moki Jo … “The Recovered Chaser” (2001).

Her brilliance at hunting gophers like a cat (warning: graphic description ahead), playing and pouncing as they darted around. And when they no longer moved, merrily flinging them into the air so that they would continue to move so she could continue to pounce. When I couldn’t find her in waning light in the tall grasses and wildflowers of The Field, I would just listen for her playful “Yip, yip, yip,” and watch for a gopher flying through the air. “Ah, there you are.”

Her loud “resource guarding” to make it clear to the other dogs in the house that she was in full possession of the toy even if it lay a dozen feet away. She never touched anyone, but still had complete respect. Dogs are amazing.

The day she slipped through my legs at the front door to jump up on and bark at the UPS driver until I told John to just ignore her. When he did, she suddenly stopped barking, looked over her shoulder, sighted his big brown UPS van and tore off to it, jumping in, racing around among the packages in the back, barking, barking, reemerging to jump into the driver’s seat, the fire in her eyes. “Finally, in the driver’s seat of the UPS truck! Life is good.”

The time she, again (I know, I know, these things shouldn’t happen), slipped past me to bark and herd the mail carrier, who shoved that leather mail bag in her face (“Oh, joy, how exciting!!!!”) as she got him to spin and spin and spin that mailbag in a circle. “Stop, just stand still,” I pleaded. “She’ll stop.” He just couldn’t, so I grabbed him from behind, around the shoulders, and held him still. You could just see Moka deflate. “Aaah, man, why’d you have to do that?” she seemed to think.

The time my mom and I came out of the Hofs Hut on Long Beach Boulevard to find only three dogs in the covered back of my red and white 1973 El Camino. No Moka. Those skinny little windows on the side of those low-profile shells? Yup. Slithered through. Several agonizing hours later, after searching everywhere, we pick up the phone message. “I have your dog, ‘Mona.’ If you don’t want her, I’ll keep her. She’s really a cool dog and is just hanging out on my bed and gets along great with my dog.” When we went to pick up “Mona” (her tag was so dirty from digging for gophers, he thought the “k” was an “n”), there she was, happy as a clam to be at this perfect stranger’s home, lounging on his bed. “Oh, hi, we going home now?” He said he found her at the entry of the restaurant and she just followed him. Moka!

The time I was visiting my mom in Mesa, Arizona, and I answered my cell phone to hear someone telling me that she found my dog in their back yard in Arizona (back in the days when the area code told people where you lived). She was fine and happy, but when and how did I want to come get her? The address was just four houses down from my mother. She had been in my mom’s backyard, but the fence is only three or four feet high. She simply jumped up on it and took it like an intra-neighbor subway, hopping off into this woman’s backyard. Geesh. Moka!

The fun “we” had writing “Moki’s Musings,” a column for the SCAT/DASH agility club’s The Scribe, from Moka’s perspective and “voice,” signing it “Sweet Little Miss Moki Jo,” smiling as “she” took pot shots at her canine housemates and chronicled the Long household’s rescue activities, new canine family additions, my seminar and training reports, and those early agility days.

The night a friend and I were celebrating a birthday with carrot cake from Alsace Lorraine in Long Beach and, after a few glasses of wine, started sharing the cream cheese frosting with the dogs. The look on Moka’s face and her clutching of my hand with her front paws made Judith say, “Hey, you should take some frosting to the trial tomorrow!” I filled a small Tupperware salad dressing container with that rich frosting, and Moka was in heaven from there on, licking frosting from her nose after every agility run.

Her “happy dance and barking” at dinner time, only to pick at her food once it was presented to her. Quite the dainty eater she was.

The way she “dissected” new treats to make sure we weren’t trying to poison her, and never falling for a treat that contained only grains, potatoes, or breads. She was not the vegetarian!

At the advanced age of 17, five days before her death, running at The Greenbelt, the fire in her eyes as she broke into a run, giving Kiwi a passing yip and nudge as she flew past him. “Gotcha!”

The way she always raced to be in the lead of the canine pack on the way back to the car, her eyes shining as she executed her happy spin, celebrating her accomplishment.

About Sandy Mae

1994 – 2011

I never wanted a “small dog,” which I defined, back then, as anything under 40 pounds or so. I had had Great Danes and then Chelsea, an eighty-pound PooWoof, a “poodle in a Wolfhound” body. Then came Buster, weighing in at sixty pounds. This little white imp of a pup at 10 months old weighed in at only twenty some pounds.

Wow, did Sandy Mae teach me a lot. She taught me about joie de vivre, canine style. She helped me learn the craft of clicker training, always a willing volunteer in my education. And she worked with me, side by side, for 14 years, helping me teach unschooled dogs how to respect their elders and canine “cut-off signals.” Of course, she was also raised by Buster, who was the master of that game.

She still loved to run agility courses at age 12. When she was a young whippersnapper, first competing in USDAA, she jumped 22″. Later, she jumped 20″ and then 16″, and finally, she ran like the wind over 12″ jumps still barking at Auntie Sharon on the start line. Gotta bark on the start line, Ma!

Her later years were filled with camping, exploring, hikes, begging, and slowing down. She had no health issues. She lost her hearing, she lost some of her sight, but she just got old gracefully. As long as she was confident and perky, I was happy.

December 12, 2011 Memorial

Today I let Sandy go, happily munching warm Burger King French fries, loaded with fat and salt. The decision to let her go was a hard one, even with all the time I had to reconcile to the fact that she was declining in ways that affected her quality of life. But, I knew it was time. It was the right thing to do, but it still hurts like hell.

I’m okay, really. 18 years. Who could possibly ask for more? But, to share what Nikki wrote to me, it really changes it all: I, too, know the joy of 18 years. Thanks, Nikki, for reminding me to revel in what I had instead of what I thought I lost.

So when you see me next, don’t be sad (I’ll lose it!). Instead, pump your fist in the air, and say, “18!” Way to go, Sandy!!!”

P.S. Natalie, thank you SO much for contributing so much to Sandy’s enjoyment of “the senior” life. You were so good at sharing Boxie’s space and meatballs with her (during your class time) that I’ll never forget when she starting *barking* at you. That’s my Sandy, the bossy, demanding one.

Special Memories

Sandy Mae was rescued by my friend Diane from a neglectful home after she found Sandy chasing cars on the street just one too many times with one too many excuses about why she was loose — again. From a young age, Sandy would get out of the neighbor’s back yard and come over to Diane’s. Diane would let her come in and play with her dogs and then, regretfully, lower her in a bucket over the fence back into the neighbor’s yard.

Sandy was what I understand is called a “failed foster.” I said I would foster her, actually found her a home across the street with a very nice family, but asked for her back when Buster was inconsolable, sitting at the front door, whining at the house across the street, running to me, running back to the front door, and making it very clear that he wanted her back. Sandy, meanwhile, was barking and trying to dig out of their backyard to come back. Sigh. Really? A small dog, Buster?

There aren’t many candid photos of Sandy Mae because she was convinced that cameras meant flashing light and she was certain that flashing lights meant thunder. And she HATED thunder.

Eighteen years later I still remember:

  • that sassy, sassy bark, eyes bright, demanding that she be the center of the universe
  • she the teacher and me the student: Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to use a choke chain on such a free spirit so ready to be enjoyed for who she could be instead of who we could make her not be?
  • her will to recover after bilateral hip surgery at age 7
  • her love of Buster
  • with very little vision left, barking “at the blobs with pockets” (agility students) who surely had food to share (it worked!)
  • the smile on her face, especially at the beach, when she knew you were going to t-h-r-o-w “t-h-e “B-A-L-L.
  • 200% engagement in teaching us both clicker training and what a gas it was!!!!
  • barking at me to click faster, and get a grip on criterion and rate of reinforcement for crying out loud!
  • choking back a bark because it meant a timeout and no click (it sounded like a huge gulp with a little squeak that got out)
  • her “snaggle tooth,” one canine larger than the other and a bit of a puckish face
  • hanging her head out the little slider window in the back of my old El Camino, air snapping at white sedans going by (no flames, please, about not having her in a crate). Pickup trucks, no problem. Dark cars, no problems. White sedans, “get’em!”
  • getting her Master Agility Dog (MAD) title and following through on my pledge of French fries for a MAD
  • running agility in her senior years with Auntie Sharon … she loved her Auntie Sharon
  • waiting outside the little fence for Saturday’s agility class to finish so she could visit with Auntie Sharon … she demanded her Auntie Sharon
  • her friend (rest in peace, Chris) going to MacDonalds, buying a bag of French fries, driving around the outskirts of The Field where we walked our dogs, and gleefully flinging French fries out the window, then driving over to my house, picking up Sandy, and taking her for a French fry hunt. Just because he knew she’d love it, no special occasion, just because he loved Sandy Mae, especially Sandy Mae, always Sandy Mae … because she was “bossy and sassy and wouldn’t let anyone “train” her otherwise.” 🙂
  • running up on the berm at The Field to better keep an eye out for a little red station wagon and leading the charge with Buster to be the first one to get to Chris when he opened the car door.
  • Walking through every puddle in her path and even if they weren’t
  • rolling in mud and being so happy with her new appearance
  • her smile, always her smile and the sparkle in her eyes


“Even after 18 years, it hurts like hell.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m so glad you had such a glorious, wonderful life together.”
“I’ll miss little Miss Grabby Lips during agility class. Hugs.”

“Well, when it’s time, that’s one heck of a nice way to go…and 18 is “quite” impressive…so way to go Sandy (and leveraging high value treats at the end…she had the last laugh, huh?! She was a lucky girl!””

“You had a wonderful full life with her and she is lucky to have had you as her human partner!”

“She will be missed but celebrated.I hope I am lucky enough to have some of my pet partners with me that long!!”

“18 years of love and joy is indeed something to celebrate! And thank YOU for allowing us to make Sandy a class participant and for helping to teach Boxie how to share.”It was a positive experience for all.Hugs and love.”

“18” is a helluva ride!!”

“We should all be as lucky as Sandy to have lived the long, active and love filled life that she did”. When you have a moment when maybe you can handle a story that will touch you (and make you sad), check out: www.slate.com/the_perfect_day.single

“Hearing about Sandy eating French fries made me think of this story. I’m glad she got to enjoy junk food. Sandy is now romping freely. Here’s hoping that there is a Burger King at the Rainbow Bridge.”

“I am so sorry about Sandy Mae, but 18!” Wow!” And she felt good enough to eat french fries when you let her go. Kristy Netzer once told me that she let one of her dogs go (I think it was Jubilee) while she was eating ice cream, and I always thought that was the most wonderful way for that to happen.”

“Just so you know, if you come to class tomorrow, I will not mention Sandy Mae to you.”Know that you have my complete and utter sympathy, but I also know what it’s like to be hanging on by a thread, and one word can start the floodgates.”

“I, too, someday hope to know the joy of 18 years.”

“You were very lucky.” And so was Sandy Mae.”

About Buster

1992 – 2005
aka Buster Bill, B-Boy, Busterooney, Busterooneytooney

Buster at the park being photogenic.

Buster entered my life one Spring morning at the park two blocks from my house. I was walking my other two dogs, and there he was, a 5-month-ish puppy hanging around the softball diamond, skittish and scared. He was curious about Chelsea and Shadow, but avoided my approaches. I told myself that he had probably gotten out of someone’s yard, and they would be looking for him soon (yeah, yeah, yeah) so I left him there. But I thought about him all day, and finally went back to the park that afternoon. As fate would have it, there he was, trying to reach up to the drinking fountain by the dugout. Of course he couldn’t reach it, and struck quite a pathetic pose. That did it. I used Chelsea to lure him into my car and he came home with us.

From the first, Buster demonstrated a gentle, calm demeanor that would impress everyone who met him. At first, when I would reach to pet him, he would sit stock-still and look away. It took quite some time for him to realize that no one was going to hit him and that he was not only allowed in the house, but on the couch, as well.

Special Memories

Buster performing in the final photo shoot.
Buster performing in the final photo shoot.

Training him to do something he had been taught never to do: Putting his feet up on a table. This was for a  library book donation project. He handled it like a pro, and the photo was run in local papers.

Splicing so many garden hoses from his puppy chewing, I joked that my 75’ hose had been reduced to 25’ due to Buster’s teething.

Buster making the librarian laugh during the fundraising event.
Buster making the librarian laugh during the fundraising event.

The look in his eyes when he realized he could actually vocalize, and that it would be rewarded. My attempts at building confidence worked slowly but surely to create a myriad of attention-seeking behaviors that I would have looked aghast at if my clients told me they promoted such behaviors.

The fun he had being the star at public clicker training demonstrations.

The time he threw up on the start line at an agility trial due to performance anxiety (I let him transition to the cheering section after that!).

The countless adolescent dogs and puppies he taught manners over his career. His gentle, but firm insistence on proper canine greeting etiquette was an invaluable lesson for many boisterous, ill-mannered pups.

His love affair with Sandy Mae, which caused me to renege on placing Sandy Mae in another home after initially agreeing only to foster the little scamp.

Ringing his doorbell, at the beginning to let me know he had to go outside, but more often than not, to announce his needs … for chewies, for attention, for, for, for …. That bell became known as Buster’s Needs Bell.

The look on his face as he proudly brought me a huge, putrified, dead bullfrog he found while we camped at Lindy’s Landing in October 2004, a short two months after he completed a 6-month round of chemotherapy for lymphosarcoma. This frog was so big, that the back legs stuck out of one side of Buster’s mouth and the front legs out the other. Where or where was my camera?

Up to the end, his happy voice announcing the presence of Charm, his favorite puppy in the world. Grandpa Buster will be missed by that little guy.

His stoicism throughout four years of various health issues.

Leaning into me when I needed a hug, absorbing my petting like it was the last time he’d ever feel so good.


“Well I can hear Buster now, telling everybody how he picked up this crazy chick in a park …”

“For Buster, a beautiful mind and a beautiful soul … somewhere over the rainbow.”

“Buster was a special boy. He had a full and wonderful life with you. No one could have given him a better life than you!”

“Buster is not gone … just gone ahead. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it just changes forms. Buster will be thanking you for all eternity.”

“This is the absolute worst part of loving dogs – having to let them go so they can be free from pain.  But it is also the most loving and unselfish thing, too.  (Just to let you know, I’ve always admired you for deciding to put your training on hold to spend more time with Buster after he got sick.) Buster is now at the Bridge, healthy and running happily with Chelsea and all the other dogs waiting for their special people.”

“I really liked Buster and was always happy to give him back scratches as he leaned into me in doggy ecstasy!!  I’m glad you brought him to class so much so I could get to know him a little.  (He was the first one I’d greet every time.)  He had a quiet dignity all his own and was a special guy.”