Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some new photos

We did the Julie Daniels novice seminar yesterday with Spur. Great work for him. He was nervous and worked through it for the most part. I did bring the MinPins so they could spell him and give him a break. Brought Roscoe out and he was SO high!! Getting him focused and in control was tough, the work was all novice, easy stuff, like just wraps around a cone. He was so crazy he was sure that wasn't all I wanted and ended up spinning around the cone. I had to physically stop him and try to get him focused again. At which point he starts offering his latest trick, which is to put his back feet up on something. There he is backing up and putting his back legs on the cone!! Goodness!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Great party!

Roscoe did SO well last night. I crated him in the den with a big chewy. That kept him busy for over and hour. At least, I didn't hear any complaining for about an hour, then just a little whining. After a couple people left, I scanned the room and most people there were "dog people" who know Roscoe. I made an announcement to the few others about NOT touching the dog with the Red Sox bandana on and I let him out. He was totally fine! He did find a purse to resource guard, which must have had gum or something in it, so I hung that on the door out or reach. He even got in a couple people's laps, but I made SURE they didn't pat him and just held him. He did fine!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Throwing a Silpada party tonight!

Usually for parties I pack the dogs up and send them to a friend's for the evening. Since this is a smaller gathering and maybe half are "dog people", I am keeping them here. Colby and Spur will do fine, I am sure. Colby loves to be the center of attention and asks guest to carry her, which most oblige her. Spur may get a little nervous and retreat, but I bet he does fine.

What to do with Recalcitrant Roscoe? I can crate him in the den, but that may be too close to the party. I can crate him in the bedroom, but that might actually make him more upset. I figure I will crate him in the den and see how he does. If he is too upset I will take him upstairs. If it looks like the guests can handle him being out I will put his Red Sox bandana on (so they can tell which one is Roscoe) and let him free. Sometimes, so long as no one tries to touch him, he can be fine during gatherings. We shall see..................

Monday, March 23, 2009

Can't leave out Spur!

He looks so grown up and serious!!!

Saccarrappa Show-n-go yesterday

We made it to the Rally-O show-n-go. Spur looked like he could handle the crowds and was playing tug and doing some fantastic heeling outside the ring, but had a melt-down in the ring. I think he got worried when he heard a board drop when they lowered the jump for him. I took him out. He needs more time and exposure. Then I brought Roscoe in and he SMOKED it!! He was a little excited and kind of nutty, but SO animated and SO happy to be there working. Everyone commented on what a cute, active, happy obedience dog he is. It's true, he simply loves it. Colby came out and showed how a MinPin can be a little more sane and in control, LOL!!
This photo Helen took on Saturday. I am waiting for more, she only sent me a "teaser" as she goes through the tons she took. She isn't used to photographing action shots or dogs doing agility. I told her later most photographers tend to shoot straight on into the weaves, but it was nice to see a side shot. She wants to try again, straight on. She is only used to action shots of horses, so it was fun for her to try something different. She said Roscoe is such a SMALL subject compared to a horse!! Hahahahahaha!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nothing going on this weekend

No trials, no seminars, how boring! There is an obedience show-n-go on Sunday in Westbrook, which we will probably do. They are offering Rally-O run-throughs, so all my dogs could use that since Judy has the flu and our Thursday night class was cancelled. I do have Helen Peppe ( coming over tomorrow for a photo shoot. She needs to photograph someone cleaning ears. I will NOT be using Roscoe, he HATES his ears cleaned and might bite me in the process, so Colby and Spur will be ear-cleaning models. I also hope to get her to do a group photo with me and the three dogs and also some of Spur perhaps looking like an Aussie, so I can try for an AKC listing for him. I tried a while back with photos that made him look like a papillon and failed. The AKC committee did not think he looked papillon enough. I think he did except for the black. I have never seen a pap with that much black. Darn! His size is definitely more pap than aussie.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beach, beach, BEACH!!

We had TWO lovely long beach walks this week! It was a brisk 30 degrees with a slightly biting wind, but the sun was strong and the dogs had a BALL!! There is nothing like a race, screaming after each other on the beach!! Tuesday we spent and hour and a half down there. Hardly anyone else there, so we essentially had the beach to ourselves! It is the best way to condition the dogs during the winter months. The farm is so muddy right now and the woods still covered in snow/ice.

The beach is THE BEST!!! Roscoe's only request would be for the temperature to rize enough that he can go naked. He is naked in this photo for the photo shoot, but his tight lips show how cold he is! I am making him do tricks to keep from thinking about the cold air. He is kicking his back feet in this photo. We call it "Rev Yer Engines!!" and it's wicked cute!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lo Baker seminar

Roscoe had a BALL at the seminar yesterday!!! Goodness he has been SO pumped lately. Lo hasn't seen him work in a while and was really impressed. He was squeeking and straining to go around the courses!!! Everyone commented on what a great working dog he is. He didn't aggress at anyone or any dogs, so it was a good day. Even Spur got to play a little. He was sniffy and a little worried, but he did manage to recover and do a bit of a course!!! Everyone thinks he is the most adorable!!

We learned to be earlier with cues when needing tight wraps. We learned not to give Roscoe SO much room. Give him the room and he takes it and goes wide, so I have to MAKE sure he stays tight around wraps and tight turns. Certainly HE doesn't need all that room and since I can run I can be right there making sure he stays tight.

It was a fun day, for sure. Lo is a GREAT instructor. Focusing a lot on placement of reinforcement and being careful to reinforce exactly what you want. Especially if not to reinforce a jump after the following jump because that only reinforces that following jump. Be very, very careful about that. And that I need to toss my bait bag a LOT more getting the treats off me so he isn't so often reinforced by coming back to me. I KNOW all that, but it sure helps to be knocked into me over and over.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ray Hunt 1930-2009

May he rest in peace. The horse world just lost a treasure. One of the greatest horseman to ever live. He loved to recite poetry at his clinics and this was one of his favorites -

I talked to a friend just the other day
who’s got lots of opinions and plenty to say.
We discussed what we both like to see in a horse
His requirements and mine were different of course…
He likes a clean throatlatch and a long skinny neck,
and prefers that their hocks are set close to the deck.
Short backs and hard feet and clean slopin’ shoulder,
and a gaskin that looks like it swallered a boulder.
He likes a short face and a big ol’soft eye,
and says these are the horses he’s likely to buy.
And when he’d completed his lengthy discourse,
on all of the attributes of the quality horse.
He asked my opinion, and where do I start?
And I said that I….just want horses with heart.
I said I want heart above all the other.
I don’t care if he’s Smart Little Lena’s full brother.
Or just how much money that his grandmother won,
or whether he’s roan, palomino or dun.
But give me a horse with some grit and some try,
and some heart and some guts and that’s one that I’ll buy.
And I’ve found it’s the same with a woman or man….
the good ones won’t quit you when the shit hits the fan
by Monte Baker

Ray Hunt would have picked Roscoe. Roscoe surely isn't a great MinPin specimen, he has many conformation faults, but he sure has HEART!! Grit and try, definitely define Roscoe.

Rally class last night

Last night at Rally-O class Spur was a little tired. We had a long farm walk and he played ball all afternoon in the yard while I picked up sticks from the wind storm in December. It was GREAT to be out in the yard with lots of exposed grass!! Spur does the 6:00 class and the MinPins do the 7:00 class. Towards the end of Spur's class I put him away and brought out Roscoe. This is the beginner class, so the other students got to see an advanced dog work. Some had never seen Roscoe do obedience before and commented on his super good work and asked if we did regular obedience. Yes, he has a CD, but we didn't continue because of the out-of-sight stays. It isn't worth risking his life for an obedience title. That's why we are trying Rally now. No stays!! YAY!!! Roscoe worked really well last night. He has been kind of over-stimulated and hyperactive at class and a little out of control. My instructor is always amazed at his energy and intensity, but I have been working hard to keep him focused and in control. He worked great last night!!! He just LOVES it, but he is a little HIGH at class. It doesn't bother me too much because we are not like that in competition or at new environments. In his comfort zone he is nuts, but at trials the nerves get us both and things settle nicely.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nails today

It's hard for me to believe that Dr. Dodman wanted me to have someone else do Roscoe's nails. What was the point? He is stressed enough by ME doing them. His point was that someone else then has that nasty relationship with him and he and I don't have to do that. Uh, well, my whole point was I wanted to get nails done without so much stress and having a stranger do them would be WAY too much stress. With the help of Xanax we worked it out. He now waits for Colby to get her's done, then jumps up into my lap to get his done. He doesn't like it, but he doesn't lose his bowels (an event that used to happen with nail trims!) and there is very little anxiety. A whimper or two, but that's about it. How did I do it? Xanax, a warmed up soft blankie to wrap him in, lots and lots of yummy treats. Soon enough I didn't need the Xanax or the warmed blankie. He seemed to just settle and let it happen. He LOVES food, so he was always happy to get those special treats.
We are off to the Lo Baker jumping seminar on Sunday so I wanted nice, trim nails. I am a stickler for short nails and good grooming, so all the dogs had nail trims and Spur had his paws neatened up. Spur is so good about it, just lying on the floor letting me scissor the stray hairs. I love his newly trimmed paws, they are SO adorable!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Amherst Agility trial

It was a fun trial! Roscoe got his number 5 Double Q. He was faster than Colby in Standard, but just out of the placements. I really need to start pushing for more speed. I know he has it in him, but he isn't as athletic as the top dogs in our class. Still, he has the drive so he can do it. The Jumpers course was not a really open speed course, but he did really well. Again, just out of the placements, only 4 seconds behind the winning run and hundreds of a second behind fourth place. I felt myself slowing down at the figure 8 part and I think I could have pumped up some speed out of him there, he was really listening to me well.

Here is the Jumper's run -

Friday, March 6, 2009

American K9 Country trial tomorrow

We are off again for another agility trial in Amherst, NH. This time we head out with Lisa and Douce, the fast little shihtzu. My only trepidation is the warmer weather will undoubtably bring mud in the parking lot there. It can be SO muddy there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Feeling just a tiny bit better

I can't say I feel normal, but I do feel like there is hope. Last week hope was gone, I now know why some people die from the flu.

This week I am feeling sorry for myself. Agility classes are no more. I have put my name in to join the EXCLUSIVE training group that meets at a dressage barn, but so far I haven't heard anything. I have never asked to be invited because I figured it was too cold for the MinPins. It's supposedly heated to 45 degrees? But, at this point I am desperate. I brought some stuff over to the farmer's greenhouse, which on sunny days is really toasty. But, with all the snow we got and then the cold weather the ground inside is now just mud. Perhaps a few warm days and it will dry out, but it is impossible to work in there right now.

The dogs are feeling completely stir crazy and bored. I am trying to work on tricks. All three are learning to lift their back legs. I hope to get them to alternate one then the other, but right now for some reason they all want to lift their right hind only. It's very cute!!! I have them touching the couch (started with a pile of pillows) and now am trying to fade the couch and capture just when the foot is in the air. They SO enjoy learning new tricks and this one is fun!!!