Monday, April 27, 2009

Stop-Buggin-Me!


I gotta rave about this product by Pugsley's Choice!! Tick season has arrived in full. Two weeks ago I was picking a tick a day off Spur. It seems that ticks like his white mane and he always gets the most. Not one found on the MinPins, yet. So, I tried this repellent, spraying it just before our farm walks on Spur's belly and chest. Not one tick!!!!! At first the smell kind of irritated me, but it wears off fairly quickly and I am not so offended by it any more. Geranium, tangerine, vanilla and lavender makes an interesting aroma. It seems to be working!!!!




Here is the link to order it -
http://www.pugsleys-choice.com/productbugof.html

Trial report

This was our first outdoor trial for 2009! A REALLY nice weekend, if maybe a little hot! My friend Laura and I only did Saturday, knowing we would want to be home on Sunday doing yard work. Colby would have double Q'd, but something outside the ring got her in the weaves and she popped out. BUT, she did her teeter which has been an issue every since her MAJOR fly-off in CT. It has always been a scary obstacle for her, but since the fly-off she has refused it a few times. Outdoors it is always better for her, so I was pleased at that. Everything else she did perfectly. Roscoe ran an AWESOME standard run, coming seconds with-in time of the super fast shelties and schnauzers we compete against. I was very pleased. Someone outside the ring commented on it being the fastest they had seen, yet, but I think because he is so small he can sometimes look faster. He was several seconds behind 4-5 other dogs. A very respectable time with about 30 dogs in our class! Jumpers had Colby in 5th place. Roscoe had a meltdown. I think maybe a bug or a bee got in his way. He just basically quit on me half way through and missed his weave entry.

We had a GREAT drive home listening to the RedSox/Yankees game, though! Wow, what an awesome game that was!!!! GO SOX!!!!

Yesterday all the dogs got baths. It was sunny and warm in the yard to dry off. We then headed out on a long farm walk with the shihtzus and George. I am using a tick repellent called "Quit Bugging Me" from Pugsley's Choice. Spur hasn't had a tick since I started using it!! I just spritz his belly and legs. He was getting one/day for a while there. I have them all with Frontline, but the ticks still have to bite them, so it looks like this repellent is working pretty well!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Packed up Mr. Jones



We had a visitor this week.

Mr. Jones!!

I don't usually take in dogs because Roscoe is such an asshole to them. But, Jones is Roscoe's first friend. The first dog he ever offered to play with. We see Jones on a regular basis and often share hotel rooms at dog trials with him and Roscoe is always pretty good with him. Jones is VERY dog savvy and doesn't let Roscoe's strange/aggressive antics bother him. Jones is very much a terrier and thinks pretty highly of himself. However, he is also a Mama's boy and has never been away from his Mama. I was surprised at how needy he was and how much he obviously missed his Mama. He followed me everywhere. Waited at the door when ever I went to the barn, acting like I had been gone for days when I returned 10 minutes later. He was a perfect guest, though, and Roscoe was an asshole to him. In Roscoe's house I guess play rules change. Jones took it all in stride and on occasion just spoke his mind. Which meant the two of them stood face to face....BARK, BARK, BARK ........at each other (although I think the words they said were not so nice!!!). Nothing more came of it. Jones just had to share his thoughts once in a while. A dog can only put up with so much! I am always hearing how tough Jones can be. He's such a terrier and can be difficult, at times. Well, there is "difficult" and then there is...... Roscoe!!! The night his Mama called to see how he was doing Rich told her when she returned she would be getting a dog with a penis, but it might not be the same dog! Damn, he is always trying to give away Roscoe!!! Mr. Jones was a welcome visitor and we already miss him! Well, maybe Roscoe doesn't miss him?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

USDAA Weekend trial report

It was a BLAST!! Much because we stayed with girlfriend Lisa, whose house and property is AWESOME!! A little clean and white for me, but so pretty!!! I was VERY glad I brought my travel comforter. I had to take the........gasp.........WHITE comforter off the bed before letting my dogs on it! She had her house SO nicely decorated and had candles going and pizza and drinks ready for us Friday night. Then before bed she set up our coffee and breakfast stuff. Her house is out of house beautiful, but very comfortable. HUGE yard, big pool. Very nice and she pampered us completely!

The trial was HUGE and Roscoe was WAY HIGH for NQ's all day going wide and off course at times. So, because he was doing that I decided to stay for his gamble, which didn't run until 8:30, with him being the second to last run of the day!! We had been there for over 13 hours!! :O I figured if he is going off away from me all day, he surely could do this gamble!! He was exhausted, as was I, and we messed up our opening so we were not in good position when the buzzer went off and wasted time getting to the start of the gamble line. He then DID the gamble, but the timer went off just as he took off for the LAST JUMP!! It was painful! But, I am VERY proud of the little buggar, he really did very well. Gambles have been our nemesis, so the fact that he DID it is HUGE. He ran clean in his pairs, but his partner didn't. Darn!

Colby had teeter issues, except for the first one and got her last Adv. Standard leg with a first place. She also won her gamble, so all she needs is a pairs leg to be completely in Masters. :D She NQ'd her pairs with a teeter refusal, but our partner had already NQ's us on the first half. I am SO bummed about our teeter issues. It is totally MY fault for allowing her fly-off in CT. I think she will be OK outdoors, but we have no place to train indoors right now, so that may be really problematic for us.

Lisa cooked us Lobster Saturday night, but with it going SO late she ended up making lobster salad. Again, the house had the candles all going, fireplace was lit, drinks ready. It was amazing! SO pleasant and relaxing compared to staying in a crappy hotel room! It was luxurious! The dogs loved it!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Warm weather fun!

One of my dog's greatest pleasures is rolling in gross stuff. Usually I stop it because I don't like them with gross stuff all over them. However, this time of year they really like the dried up dead worms. I find those fairly benign, they hardly smell and don't leave sticky stuff on the dog's fur. Here is Spur in total bliss, rolling on a dead worm!!!!
videoAnd here is a Triple Worm roll!! All three got in the picture this time!!!
video

Sunday, April 12, 2009

1st and....gasp....THIRD!!!

A Sky Terrier got second and beat Colby!!! Can you imagine?? It was an awesome little dog!

The course was all the exact same stations, just mixed up some with the Fast Forward at the end. Which caused Roscoe to forge for a point off and he was also kind of HIGH during the whole routine and got two points off for going wide. ??? The leash never got tight, so he wasn't THAT wide!!! Geez!! So, he got a 97 with a WICKED FAST TIME!! I forgot to check it, but someone said it was like 45 seconds. Oh MY!

Colby had about the same issues as yesterday. Just a little distracted, for a 96.

I think Roscoe might not have been so high if there had been some different stations. He acted like he knew what he was doing, been there, done that. He might have stayed a little tighter to me if we had a new station to do, but still everyone said he looked fantastic. Happy and quick and adorable!

Rally is very fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

1st and 2nd place!!!

Did you expect anything less??

Roscoe got first and Colby got second out of 14 dogs entered. Roscoe got one point off for "tight leash" at the very start of the routine, so out of a possible 100 points, he got a 99. It was a "Halt, then Fast Forward" and something we don't practice much. And as you can see from the video, he really never left my side. I just have the leash really short because he steps so high we often get the leash tangled, so I have to keep it pretty short.

Colby got distracted by some stuff, so she had points off going through the serpentines (orange cones) and a couple other places, but otherwise she did very well. She had a major meltdown at this facility three years ago. I have no idea what got her, but she left the ring during a routine. Something scared her, so I was worried she might remember. She did fine!!!

I can't believe how nervous I was??? I rarely get nervous doing agility. Somehow obedience is way more intimidating? We go again tomorrow!!!!


video

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trying my flip video on our farm walk

Remember it was only $40! The zoom feature is minimal and the quality not great. BUT, it is SO easy to carry, I had it in my back pocket!!! My dogs are FINALLY enjoying no snow/ice and the ability to race around the fields, chasing birds and hunting critters. And the Pin Heads are NAKED!!! They are SO happy about that! Still some mornings, like this morning, they need their coats, but most afternoons are naked runs!


video

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Casco Bay Trial this weekend!


Our first Rally-Obedience trial is this weekend in Bath at the Bath Middle School. I entered both MinPins both days. I can't WAIT!! Remember the last trial I had the flu and couldn't go. I feel chipper and fresh, after six weeks finally feeling back to normal. I did a drop-in class on Monday to work on our skills and we have our regular Rally class Thursday. I plan to do a few practice sessions today, but the dogs are pretty ready since they have many years of regular obedience experience. Rally is so fun and I can't wait to see how they do. As always, working in a different environment can be stressful for them/me, but hopefully we will be relaxed and really do well!! I will bring my little video camera and try to find someone to film us.
I told Roscoe this trial he doesn't have to put up with bad breath judges touching him like he did in regular obedience or sitting in a line up like he is a suspect in a mugging or something. He always wanted to do away with all those other dogs, especially the so called obedient goldens. He knew I wouldn't approve, so he sat there keeping his teeth to himself. He hated those stays. Rally doesn't include stand-for-exam by no stinkin' judge, or stays with a group. One reason I think Recalcitrant Roscoe will be happier in Rally.

Monday, April 6, 2009

He DID IT!!

Roscoe finished his PMAD, or Performance III Dog, title!! Yahooooooooooooo!! He needed his one Master's Gamble leg and he did it on Saturday. It was his fifth class of the day and he was WAY high and it included a distance challenge to weaves and he SMOKED it!! No hesitation going into the weaves and finished them with ease. Good little Bad Dog!!! This is a major title for my wee partner. We are totally proud of him! I am trying to load the video, but for some reason having trouble. I hope to figure it out soon. Not sure what's the issue, except that my computer is a "dinosaur".

OK, finally got the video to load!!
video
OK, so for those of you who don't know what the gamble is about, here is my best explanation - We get 30 seconds to run the course however we want, accumulating points depending on what obstacles we do. The more points the better, but you really want to end up as close to the gamble by the time the 30 seconds are up, as possible. At which point the buzzer goes off and you have 15 seconds to do the gamble. The gamble is different each trial as set by each judge and is generally 3-4 obstacles that have to be done at a distance. A line is set on the ground that the handler can not cross. So, essentially you have to send your dog to the obstacles away from you. That's hard for wee Roscoe. AND since this is a Master's course, there is usually an off-course obstacle that is very tempting for the dogs. In this course it is the red tunnel. Many dogs got "sucked" into the tunnel instead of doing the weaves. Roscoe never hesitated, good little man!!! I said "Weave" and he went straight to the poles, never looking at the tunnel!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bat Dog!




My goal was to teach him to lift one back leg, then the other. I used pillows and clicked/treated when his back feet were up on the pillows. Then I moved the pillows close to the couch and asked him to back up to the pillows, then faded them and used the couch. The idea was to eventually click/treat when he first lifts the leg to touch something behind him, but he is SO enthusiastic about this hand-stand trick I am going with it.

He simply loves learning tricks! Roscoe says......."Show me the money"........ and he will do anything!!! He was showing off last night at Rally class and everyone there thought he looked like a giant bat!! I can not disagree! Silly dog!

Off to CT for a USDAA agility trial!

It is in the same town my in-laws live, so we are staying there. Let's keep our finger's crossed Roscoe can handle the Gamble. Our nemesis!!! And that Colby can get her standard run clean. If she runs clean on Saturday I can scratch her Sunday run and we can leave early.

Last night at Rally class Roscoe was showing off his new hand stand trick. He backs up to the wall and puts his back feet on it. It makes him look like a giant bat!! Judy took photos and Katie took a video, so hopefully they will send those so I can post them. It's HYSTERICALLY cute!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dog approaches, LOTS of cookies!!


I forgot to mention something Julie Daniels stressed at the novice agility clinic last weekend. There were a couple of dogs that obviously did not have very good recall training and on occasion broke away from their handlers to race around the arena and go up to other dogs. This is something I have had to work hard on with Roscoe. When I first got him he would lunge and attack any in-coming dog. At only nine pounds, that could put his life in danger, and did on a few occasions, many years ago. So, I always made a point of stuffing his face with cookies when ever a dog decided to come into our space. He soon learned that on-coming dogs meant yummy things and he would look to me for his cookies. I could stuff his face and that would give the owner enough time to gather up their dog. Sometimes I would even toss a handful of cookies at the on-coming dog, to stop it in it's tracks and distract it from sniffing Roscoe. This strategy has worked pretty well for us and it also has changed Roscoe's emotions when dogs approach. In dog behavior speak that would be called changing his CER (Conditioned Emotional Response). Making it a positive CER, rather than a negative CER to on-coming dogs.


At the seminar every time a dog went on a "run-about", Julie would yell out to everyone else to "FEED YOUR DOGS!!". She stopped to explain the benefit and that this is an essential part of agility dog training. Teaching your dog to handle it when another dog approaches. It happens at trials. Dogs are in high drive mode and often get the zoomies, or simply forget themselves and run up to other dogs. It's just something you must get your dog used to if you want to make trialing a pleasant experience. It is something I had to work extra hard at with Roscoe. It used to make him nuts, stress him out and his performance suffered. It took me years of trials to get him comfortable and OK about all that sort of thing. Now, he simply looks at me and waits for his handful of yummy cookies. He has learned that on-coming dogs bring good things!!


I use this technique when out walking in public. We spend so much time at the beach in the winter and we are usually not the only ones. Other dog walkers are out and it is common to have at least one encounter with another dog. Sometimes it is just in passing on the path into the beach. At which time I do the same thing. Feed, feed, feed the dogs for staying with me and paying attention to ME and ignoring the other dog(s). It happens so often my dogs often see another dog and immediately look back at me to see if my hand might be reaching for the treats, which it usually is!!!
(Photo shows a strange dog that during a photo shoot at the beach! Spur sometimes gets worried, but this time had a fine time play with this crazy looking dog. Roscoe was busy getting treats!)

More photos


Since getting Spur just over a year ago I have wanted to get a group photo of me and the three dogs. I need to update my pet sit forms and change the photos I have on them, since the death of my beloved Jess. It has been two years since she died, so it is time. Last summer I tried at BARK camp, but I just didn't like the setting. Last fall we did group shots, but forgot to do one with me and the dogs. They all included Rich, which was lovely, but not appropriate for my work sheets/info. So, we did some the other day with Helen www.hpeppe.com. She was here to photograph me cleaning ears and doing nail trims for Dog Fancy, so we tried a few group shots. I think they came out nicely and I will use the one I have here in my profile page for the time being. I think winter can be dull and I would love to try again with green grass contrasting the stone wall. Or perhaps another setting without a ladder in the background.
This is one of the shots I love because she could crop out just me and Roscoe and that looks special!