Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Local event sounds interesting!

I won't be here, I will be at an agility trial that weekend, but it sounds interesting. I have never heard of the presenter, but the price is right and her website looks like she is a pretty good person, using good methods. Check it out -


Living With A Shy or Fearful Dog
Presented by
Debbie Jacobs, the creator of the www.fearfuldogs.com
website and author of A Guide To Living &
Working With A Fearful Dog and the Fearful Dogs
blog.
Life with her own fearful dog Sunny has provided
Debbie with insights into fear based behaviors
and how to change them. This not-to-be missed
presentation is important for anyone involved
with dog care, training and rescue.
Whether your dog is timid or extremely fearful,
there are ways you can help! Learn why your dog
is afraid and what you can do about it. Begin taking steps toward creating a more
confident dog.
Saturday, October 10, 2009 2p-5p
At Your Barkin Call, Gray ME
http://barkincall.com/
$20 general public
$10 for shelter & rescue staff
Pre-registration suggested as space is limited.
Owners are asked to attend without dogs.
For more information contact Gooddogz Training 207-671-2522

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My legs hurt

Spur's dog walk was the slowest part of his debut runs. I know why. I have been trying to really get on him about running his contact. I am making him worry. I am making the dog walk a bummer. I am an idiot.

I spent a couple hours watching World Team videos. Man those dogs are fast. Man those handlers RUN the whole length of the dog walk with their dogs, managing their contacts, being RIGHT there to be sure the dog hits the contact. I didn't watch them all - there are hundreds - but I watched a lot and only saw one handler with a papillon actually pull off the dog walk and her dog nailed the contact. Cool dog! But, watching all those World Team members managing contacts, running right with their dogs made me go.......hmmmmmm.

I came home and RAN with Spur. Ran back and forth, over and over. His speed picked up, his contacts were nailed every time. He looked happy and was driving on to it. OK, how do I teach my good weave poles? I have them weave a couple of times, twice/day. Over and over, muscle memory, practice good weaves, makes for good weaves. How did I start Spur's dog walk? He ran it several times/day, over and over, getting faster and faster. So, we are back to that. Working it twice/day, running back and forth. It's a lot of work for me!!! My legs hurt............


**Dr. Dodman wants to see Roscoe again. It's been 3 1/2 years, so that's probably a good thing. He thinks maybe he just needs a tweaking of his prescription. Appointment is the 15th.

Monday, September 28, 2009

"I want a new drug, one that won't hurt my head, one the won't make my mouth too dry, or make my eyes too red"

That's what Huey Lewis says and Roscoe was singing that this morning. I wrote Doc Dodman (Roscoe behavior vet at Tufts - Dr. Nicholas Dodman) this -


Hi Doc!
Do you suppose Roscoe is not getting the effects of the Buspirone any more? He was started on it back in the fall of 04 and is currently on 5mg BID. I noticed a back sliding with his behavior around the first of this year. Just a slight difference, seeing the old Roscoe showing up on occasion. More reactive to other dogs and strangers. Then this summer we started with some marking in the house.
Also, I was using Xanax to help him with his trial stress for a couple years, but didn't need it the last year or so. He does agility and can be FANTASTIC and is very close to his championship, however this past year we are back to that downed performance/stress situation and the Xanax is no longer working for him. It just seems like we are slowly going back to the way he was before. Reactive with other dogs, stressed at trials and now this new marking.
He is currently wearing a belly band inside, which does stop the marking and he will wear for the rest of his life, if needed. He is ten this year. Another new behavior that we are seeing is humping. At times he launches on us or people he knows well, or not. Good GRIEF, the crazy buggar even humped a judge after getting a perfect score in obedience and when the judge handed me the ribbon and congratulated me, damn if that little shit didn't go try to hump HER!!! :O I was HORRIFIED, but luckily the judge took it in stride. I pulled him off immediately, but GOOD GRIEF!!!
The change in my household that perhaps could explain some of this is we adopted a young male dog (neutered at the shelter at age 3 months) in Dec. 07. That dog turned two this year in August. Roscoe gets along with him OK, but gets a little over-stimulated by that youngster and they do play a chase me game in the yard, where Roscoe will SCREAM and chase the youngster. Could explain the marking, but I am not sure about the behavior slide. It just seems to me that the Buspirone is no longer working. He is back to being on edge and reacting to things that I think before the Buspar helped keep a handle on.
Do you suppose he could use a new drug?
Thanks! Amy Carlson

I'll let you know what he says. I can't believe it has been so long since our first appointment with Dodman. Boy, time flies!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spur's big debut!!!

Went smashingly well!!! Or I should say...screamingly well!!! Goodness that boy can scream..........like a circus freak........like a raccoon in heat............like a piglet stuck in the fence..........like a child whose dog just ate her ice cream cone............like a posse (pap/aussie mix) who wants his mamma and wants her NOW!!!! YIKES!!!! Spur will never be able to hang ringside in an x-pen. Nope, no way, ain't gonna happen, ain't no friend I have that should have to put up with that, ain't no body mean enough ..........well maybe there are people mean enough to have to put up with Crazy Monkey Pants Screaming Circus Freak in an x-pen ring side. I don't know anyone that mean, but maybe they would have to deal with it. Everyone else, no way. It's cruel and unusual punishment and I send my apologies to the other attendees yesterday. Luckily, I could work out of the truck and he only had to be screaming in there while I ran the other dogs and luckily Cindy was there to shove cookies in his mouth - I think that's the only way she kept him quiet. YIKES!!! Screaming Circus Freak Crazy Monkey Pants made sounds yesterday that I hadn't even heard, yet. Usually, I run one of the Pin Heads first to get him jealous and really wanting to run. It's really helped us get over the teeter concerns and worries he has. Yesterday, I looked at Cindy and said "maybe I should just run him first?", she nodded slowly and deliberately. So he ran first.

It was a show-n-go, but I tried to make it like a show. They had a running order and timer, we had 90 seconds to do whatever we wanted. You will see in this video clip that I stop to reward the table a bunch. That's the time spent at the table - lots of cookies there.

video


In this his jumpers run, I just keep going. He's having so much fun, I can't bear to stop him!

video


Another jumpers run with TWO back crosses!!! We don't do back crosses well!!! He looked like a champ!! Nice, tight wrap around the wing jump! Good little Monkey Pants!! -


video


In this standard I stop and reward his poles. These poles had different bases then he has ever seen and his first run he missed the entry. Poles are not his weak point and he does them well and nicely and missing an entry here (a very rare event, he has nice weaves) didn't concern me, but I wanted to reward a good go since he is a worry wart and these were a new look to him.
video

I was very proud of the little buggar and I think I feel like he really is ready for the BARK trial Columbus Day weekend. I really do! The only thing I felt a little bummed about was his trotting on the dog walk. He worries about his job on the dog walk and I have got to make that more fun. We had some great, fast running dog walks for a while there, then when I started to really get on him for making sure he was getting his contact, he started slowing down. I am going to work on that, but that is a real project for me. I can't seem to figure out a consistent and clear and easy and definite way to get him running his dogwalk. He totally understands his hit-it board. I can totally know when he has hit it. But, he worries about it and is starting to slow down some. Ugh. I am going to start running it with him really close and being RIGHT there to reward the contact and be sure he gets it. He is much more likely to launch if I pull far away or off to the side. I may have to pick my battles and stay RIGHT with him on it for a while. No independent dog walks until we get a ton of good reps of being right. I don't know what else to do.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More flowers, fall photos!

Yesterday was just a stellar day!! 70 degrees, gentle breeze, dry air. About perfect!! Fall is my favorite time of year and I couldn't stop myself taking pictures. It was like an obsession! So much bright color and the fading light as the sun dips lower in the sky is different as it showcases everything and adds a glow not seen when it is high in the sky. My HUGE zinnias are stunning............... The sedum looks awesome and is great to cut and bring inside. It is even nice dried!


My flower pot just gets nicer and nicer! Thanks Miracle Grow!


The marsh maples are showing some really nice color. Here is sweet Jewel enjoying a muzzle free graze! She can have about a half hour or so this time of year, a couple times/day. See how the sun makes things look half and half and really bright on one side. I am not sure why I like that so much.

I love how the low fall light silhouette's her, and her flaxen mane frames her. The horses are growing their winter coats and are dark and undappled this time of year.

More hydrangeas..........





California Poppies!! They are an annual and I simply tossed the seeds in the gardens this spring! They fill up my garden and add such bright color this time of year when many of my flowers have gone by. They grew up in between the shoots of Russian Sade - love that lavender and orange together!!! They just go on and on!!!



The little elf cap seed heads are adorable! I am hoping they volunteer next year.
**If you click on each photo it should bring it up large. Check out the white hydrangea large! Such an incredible flower!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Love my flowers!



My hydrangea flowers!!! They grew SO huge this year, they even broke off in places during windy days. :O I love them, but they are a bit of work. They have to be cut back each year, although I keep wondering what would happen if I didn't do it? They are supposed to only grow 4' high, but they are over my head. I can't seem to keep them at a more reasonable size, but they are beautiful!

This photo was taken last year. I don't know why I like it so much. They look like little gophers who popped their heads out of their holes when they heard us approach, or maybe little pop up toys you could bop on the head and push back into the hole only to pop out again after recharging the springs, not five dogs waiting for their Charlee Bears for being good at sit/stay.
Colby - squinting away. I can't believe I didn't notice her retinal atrophy then??? Roscoe - his flying nun ears show he isn't pleased having to sit there with the others. Spur - always looking perky and ready for the next game! "I LOVE you!!" Stella - could she have any bigger eyes? I mean, really, like those eyes might fit on a German Shepherd!!! Douce - what eyes?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

World Team members Roscoe and Spur run clean!!!




Yes, well, they did the second time around the course. First time each had one fault. Darnit. Sorry the course map image stinks, but I can't figure out how to save it any better. Our instructor set it up for us last night. To see it better just click on the map and it will bring it up clearly and larger.
Roscoe faulted at 7 & 8 because I didn't go into the pocket to get the back side of 8 well enough. I was afraid he would enter the poles, which he is known to do. Spur faulted at 15 by taking the back side of it. I didn't call him to me enough out of the tunnel. Our second time through we ran clean, both dogs. Good little Monkeys!!!
We then practiced some crazy moves seen by the World Team members. Nutty, strange blind crosses that used to be taboo, are now all the rave! Hard to do well because you really have to take your eyes off your dog. We do them well at tunnels when the dogs don't see us anyway. At jumps, I find them hard. Roscoe handles them well, Spur gets a little worried and starts to wring his little paws. But, he recovers so well these days!!! Crazy Monkey was all nutty last night. After class chatting with fellow students, he adulterated his tug toy!! That has always been hard for him, tugging in class. Most of the dogs were already put away, but still he felt happy enough to tug and growl and be all pumped up!!! He has really changed a corner lately! MY little World Champion!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Trying to copy funny chick in CA

Is that considered plagiarism? Whatevaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. She asked me if anyone has ever seen us in the same place before? Really, does anyone know we are not the same person????......................

My exclusive interview with Spur -

AC - We have a show-n-go coming up this weekend. It will be your first and our real life test to see if you are ready for the BARK trial. What do you think, can you handle it?

Spur - You left me with Lisa last weekend and the shihtzu's. Why didn't I get to go with you? I missed you.

AC - OK, I am trying to seriously consider your feelings and ask if you think you are ready for this weekend. I had to leave you last weekend, I am sorry.

Spur - I don't like being left home, although Lisa is really cool. I LOVE Lisa!

AC - I am NOT kidding, I am asking a serious question, what about this weekend? Are you ready?

Spur - Yeah, I am ready. Will Lisa be there? I LOVE Lisa!

AC - No, she has to work. But, lots of your friends will be there. There will be contacts to run and you need to hit the contact zone, do you think you can do that?

Spur - Yeah, I can do that. I can also do back flips and jump really high straight up in the air and scream like a circus freak!! Especially if you bring Roscoe and run him first. I can scream and go crazy and wear monkey pants and pumpkin heads. And maybe Cindy will be there? I LOVE Cindy!

AC - What about back crosses? Will you do any back crossing or sending to tunnels, then wraps around jumps and call offs from the A-Frame? Can you do those things for me?

Spur - Maybe Mary will be there. I LOVE Mary.

AC - Spur, really, now concentrate. Can you handle doing this weekend's show-n-go and not melt down and instead be all crazy and happy for me like you are now in class and at home? Is it just about the love, or do you have fun doing agility, too?

Spur - Yes, I LOVE you.

Teeth cleaning anyone?

At least once a month I give my dogs rib bones to chew on and hopefully clean their teeth. It just depends on how they gnaw on them. This sort of gnawing just acts as dental floss for his front incisors.

This sort of gnawing cleans his molars.





But, it does depend on how hard they gnaw and once they get the meat and grizzle off I am careful not to leave them with the bones for too long. My Jess chewed so hard she broke a molar one time, so I am very careful. That was a major bummer, it had to come out.
After their bones this last time I noticed tarter still on Roscoe's teeth. He is ten and it may be time for a veterinary cleaning. I do brush their teeth, some. I should more. Roscoe HATES his teeth brushed, but we do get-er-done at times.
Had a wonderful time at my mom's 70th birthday. Saw some folks I had not seen in MANY years. Ate tons, partied, visited my aunt and uncle and played with my mom's dog, Joe. Everyone missed Spur, but we couldn't bring the dogs, it was just too many people. I noticed no one said they missed the Pin Heads. My friend Lisa stayed here with her shihtzu's. She likes to bond with Roscoe. Maybe she isn't right, either? Not many people want to bond with Roscoe. She said Colby was nice this time to the shihtzu's. Last time she didn't want them on "her" bed and was grumpy. Bitch!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Missed contacts?

Check out this photo link -


http://www.karenhocker.com/catalog/index.php?album=1097%2F091309%2F122&image=ad_091309c_272.jpg

She clearly hits the yellow zone with her right rear foot. I bet that was one of the many contacts the judge called on us over the weekend. I KNOW, running like that is risky, she is BARELY getting it, but she IS getting it! It's like the strike zone at the Red Sox game Wednesday night and Colby is an Angel's batter, right? Called a ball when it was really a strike. DAMNIT!!! (That would be DAMNIT for Colby's called contact, not the ball game. We liked that outcome!!!! LOL!!!) One reason I am trying like heck to teach Spur he MUST hit the contact zone with his FRONT feet. Last time I videoed him it was about 50% front feet hits and 50% back feet hits. I would like a better ratio.

I may not post much for the weekend. Busy watching the FCI World Champion Agility competition going on in Austria right now, via live video streaming. This is THE event of the year. The "Worlds"!!! And I even know some people there. OK, maybe they would not know my name, but they might know me if someone said "The chick with the black MinPins". Plus, it's my mom's 70th birthday, so we are heading up to Brooksville for a party!!!

http://www.agilityvision.com/streaming-video-fci-2009-agility-world-champioships-austria

Punkin Head Monkey Pants makes a change!

A little hard to see in this video, but I could barely keep up on the first four jumps!! He was straining on the start line to go! Then I make a terrible back cross at the serpentine and nearly collide with him. Oops, a month ago that might have melted him down to mush, a wringing his tiny paws in worry, barely able to work after that, not trusting that I won't step on him or bonk him in the head. It happens. It used to happen a lot. My heart would sink, his tiny little pumpkin head would melt into a liquidy pumpkin mash, only good for making pie, not running agility. I am only human and these things happen. Bad handling, bad decisions mid-course, it happens. OK, maybe it doesn't happen to all my good handling friends, all champion and going to the Nationals and shaving micro-seconds off their times, but it happens - to ME! With my tiny paw wringing puppymill bust Spurminator. However..............watch this video and see what happens!! We nearly crash, I try like heck not to worry about it and make it like it is no big deal, ask for the next jump with a back cross (huh? we don't do back crosses well, so ask for ANOTHER???), which he does beautifully, my plan to then reward the heck out of him, but NO........off he goes and does his weaves. Like ALL his weaves, he goes to the end!! I snap out of my stupid, frozen, worry bubble I am stuck in and run to reward his good effort. Good man, wanted to work, wanted to be right, worried some, but un-wrapped his tiny paws from his bubble-of-worry, put on his best little monkey pants and did a nice set of poles!!!!

We then go back, start over, I do a fairly nice front cross which sets him up nicely for the next back cross to the weaves and look how fast he weaves!! Charging into the tunnel after that for a lovely finish!! This all would never have happened a month ago. The Spurminator has made a change! Bubbles-of-worry last for only seconds now. Not days. Maybe he IS ready for the BARK trial in October?

video

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where have all the grasshoppers gone?

August and September usually bring big fat juicy grasshoppers. They fly, some, they get Colby into prey drive and hunt mode and I would even say they end up a pretty good part of her diet this time of year. But, they have been few and far between lately. Some years we could take a walk and she might catch and eat 5-10!! Not this year. If she gets one/week lately I would say that's all. So, what does she do? Find another bug to eat. Unfortunately, that would be a dragonfly. Damn!! I tried telling her we LIKE dragonflies they eat mosquitoes, but she just munched away. Grasshoppers just eat grass.

Did you know dragonflies can bite? Each year we get a few that trap themselves in our lean-to for the horses. One section has clear plastic along the top and they get stuck up there. I "rescue" them sometimes climbing a ladder, getting it to climb on my finger and releasing it. One time I felt a prick and looked at my finger tip and a tiny blood drop appeared??? WHAT?? Dragonflies bite??? Yep, they can!

Apparently, Colby thinks they are pretty tasty! She isn't keen on the wings and sometimes removes the wings first. I don't think they are as tasty as grasshoppers, since she eats the grasshoppers pretty much right away. Dragonflies have to be carried around for a while first.
You should see George, the border terrier, watch Colby catching and eating bugs. He is interested, but usually loses interest pretty quickly. I mean, really, what's a dragonfly when there are ground hogs to be had????

Last night at agility class Roscoe was NUTS!!! Just absolutely NUTS!!! As I put him back in the truck I asked him where was THAT Roscoe last weekend at the trial? Why does that Roscoe only come out at class? Spur was great again!! He did have one quick flinch at the teeter as it recoiled, but his second run he never looked back! He did miss one contact, but I tried to pull off. I can't do that, yet. Or maybe ever, really. I may have to manage those contacts for a good long time. I keep thinking I can teach a dog to "be a bat", but I can't teach a dog to run a 3 foot contact area? Although, when I think of how long it took me to teach Roscoe to hold a dumbbell for obedience, I guess if it takes me years to teach a solid running contact, I guess that's OK. It just seems like I should be able to get that going a little better???? I know, I know, very few people have really great running contacts, so that should make me feel better? It doesn't. I taught a dog to "be a bat" for crying out loud!!! Jess brought me a Kleenex when I sneezed! Come ON! HIT that contact, Spur! Heck, the struggles I have had with Spur make it OK that I might have to manage contacts, I guess. He is liking agility and doing his teeter and running fast, all things I wasn't so sure we would have a few months ago, so if managing contacts has to be done I should be happy.

I am happy, Spur is happy doing agility, he wants to do it. That's a really good thing!

Colby doesn't play at Light Night. Anne's field is lighted with big flood lights now that it is dark by 6:00. Class for us starts at 7:00. It's a little hard for ME to see and I have glasses that help me see. Her eyesight is weakening, so putting her in that situation could be dangerous. The last thing I want is a crash or fall or something. She just can't see well in that setting, so Roscoe now takes her spot. She's not too happy about it, but she comes out and does tricks and hangs out saying HI to her friends. That's OK with her. She can play at Tree Frog on Wednesdays at 4:00 when the light is still good!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The day the snow leopard appeared!

That's what Jewel thought, anyway. Her eyes bugged out, she snorted and tensed! Over the weekend a boulder appeared just outside the pasture. We figure the farmers were tilling and it got in the way, so they dragged it aside. Even the dogs thought it was worrisome and growled at it. Then just walked up and peed on it. I walked Jewel up to it, circling it slowly and she finally gave a sigh as if to say............"Geez, it's just a rock!"


I was getting ready for a nice photo shoot when suddenly their gaze left me. Well, except Roscoe who is only focused on the cookies in my pocket, cuz why else would they just go sit together on a rock?
This was what stole thier faces............

George and Kathy coming along to meet up with us.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Roscoe melts down

Riverside USDAA this past weekend and while he did OK on some runs, he was all stressed and wierd on others. I just wish I could figure it out. I tried his happy pills and it seemed to work for one run, but then not at all the next run. Go figure? He is such a crazy man in class and such a downer at agility trials some times. It doesn't happen in obedience, which is why it is so hard to figure. I hate that his potential is not there at trials during these melts downs. Bums me out, costs me money and it's tiring. And it can't feel good to him, either.

Colby, however, did very well. She much prefers outdoors, although Saturday was pretty wet. Wet enough she didn't make time in her standard, not wanting to lie down on the table, having to stop and shake after the chute. Cost her enough time to put her .09 seconds over time. Ouch!!!! $15 down the drain because of a little rain. She did do the gamble, though, for her first Master's gamble!! It included weaves which I always thought she really needed me right there. Nope, she never hesitated. We do practice distance to weaves at home, but in trials I have always felt she needed me right there. Good little girlie did it like it was no big deal!! The next day she was better for a second in Grand Prix and a Master's standard leg.

Found an incredibly interesting article. Go check it out -
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1921614-1,00.html

Friday, September 11, 2009

The archichoke and more!

The artichoke is still there and the little one has grown! And if you look carefully, just below the big one is an even littler one starting!! It's SUCH a strange plant! I have never seen one before! It was not something my folks ever grew. Or at least, to my knowledge. Maybe they tried? It takes up a lot of garden space, but I suppose if all the buds develop into full fruits it isn't so space consuming. Trouble is it is getting cold nights and that doesn't help it's growing.I had to put in my red flowers! LOVE the red petunias and this was my first year trying coleus plants. LOVE them! They have neat little seed head spires that are pretty, too. Takes a TON of watering, though. I have to water nearly twice/day on sunny days.
Ever wonder what The Spurminator looks like when he's tugging his favorite toy? A blur of fur!!!

He shakes that thing SO hard he has to close his eyes. He LOVES that toy! Now if I can only get him tugging it consistently at class or in the presence of other dogs. He is a worrier and sometimes worries too much to tug at class. It doesn't help that some big dogs have charged him at class, especially when tugging, so he has reason to worry. I am always on the look out, but sometimes it just happens and it bums him out.

I am filling out a show entry and his name is on it. :O Oh my, Spur's debut!!! Can't hide the fact that I am nervous, but we have to start somewhere. Maybe just one class each day, something easy. A lower jump height, maybe a gamblers or snooker where I can pick my own path.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jumper's run last weekend

Roscoe's jumper run on Sunday. It was his 7th double-q. He is way behind Colby because I did years of preferred with him, so it was extra easy and he only had to jump 8". He has struggled with trial stress for years. Crazy man at class and at home, but we often do not get the speed and intensity at trials. It has been a big struggle, but the last two years he has run a lot better. This run was .06 seconds behind Colby's time, which is good for him at a trial. I was pretty pleased. Folks who watched it saw the difference in him from the previous three runs over the weekend.

video

Often it comes down to the start line. A couple years ago I figured out he TOTALLY bummed out if I left him in a start line stay. Now, I still struggle for what to do at the start. Earlier this trial I tried doing the bouncy game, but it didn't work that well. Here I just removed his leash and ran!!! Seemed to work, but that doesn't always work for us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Formatted my camera

Which meant I had to dump those photos. Bummer. The hike up Burnt Meadow Mountain was so pleasant and I got some nice shots. Although, it really wasn't a "mountain", I don't think. Big hill?? I mean, we had only gone to Brownville. Not even as far as Fryeburg. Can Brownville really have mountains? I don't even know what classifies a mountain. It was about an hour hike up. Just over a mile hike, I think. We did have to pass the wee pups up some tough rock outcroppings, but really it wasn't THAT big a mountain. And I had to dump the photo of the asparagus I took at the community garden. Hopefully, that will still be there tomorrow morning and I can get another shot. It's REALLY cool!!


Tonight at Tree Frog agility we did a jumpers course. Two pin wheels and a box and lots of crosses. Hard for me and my wee dogs. Hard for anyone. To front cross or back cross, that is the question. I tried both ways. Remarkably, my dogs did better with a couple of back crosses, which normally we suck at. Here we are, me and Roscoe handling the pin wheel. In this one I am planning a front cross between the yellow and the orange jumps. We did it, OK. Just OK. Front crosses aren't easy, either, after pinwheels and in boxes. Timing is everything and it's just plain hard!
Then we got to do a speed circle. We like speed circles.........easy, fast, fun!!! No turns, just run!!! The whole outside of the ring, including weaves. I usually crop these photos to crop out me and crop out the junk all around, but I decided to leave all that. To show my good little dogs handling the weaves regardless of all that junk all around them, and me with my hands flapping and waggling and I am probably making Circus Freak noises. The dogs aren't the only Circus Freaks at times. They have good weaves, my dogs. Regardless of the junk and clutter and strange noises coming from me. They weave.This is Kelso, my friend's daughter's dog. He was Jen Pinder's dog. Now he is Delaney's dog and they are doing FANTASTIC!!! Jen gave Dee this dog because he was a little bit of a weenie dog. Anyone who knows Jen Pinder knows she isn't much into weenie dogs. But, Dee, she can handle it. In fact, she is handling this dog SO well no one will know he is/was a weenie dog. They are CLEANING up in trials right now and looking like World Champions! He is studying the course, finding shade under the table. He is a very cool boy!!
The light at Tree Frog is coming from the other direction, so photos just look all washed out. We are losing our light and it's sad. Outdoor class training will be coming to an end only too soon, I am afraid. Spur is just coming along and it stinks. I wish this town could handle an indoor facility, but it seems that just isn't to be. Sad, really.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh no, my camera is "broke"?

We went hiking yesterday and took some great shots, but then it stopped working. It kept asking if we wanted to format it, but that would lose all the photos we just took. I have to sit down with the manual and see if I can figure it out.
So, until then how about looking at this little cutie!!! -

He needs a home. Here is what I got about him -

"very sweet agile little male Pomeranian looking for a home,tho not neutered
yet,is a well behaved young 11 month old boy,gets along with people and
dogs,,learning to play and tug,,he is a good size,probably 12" or 13" tall.
we had him loose in the Motel room with no problems,,he has NO issues,,he
has lived with an 87 yr old woman who can no longer care for her self.'
he is a clean slate regarding training, and is very food motivated.
we feel he has potential in the Agility ring,he likes toys and is learning
to tug. please contact
(207) 772 1462
Joy Elliott
Portland, ME
bcelliot@maine.rr.com
Adorable little fellow who will make someone a very nice buddy. Too bad I am at my limit. What a minute, isn't my limit two? But, I have THREE. Oh well, what's the big deal about limits? I am at my limit NOW, though, right???

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Could-a, would-a, should-a been a MACH dog right now!

Ah, the elusive double-Q's bit us again. Yesterday's standard run was really a piece of cake. But, as the schedule had it I ran Roscoe first. He squared up over a double when he should have sliced it and ended up behind me. I should have kept my eyes ON him and made him stay with me, but NO, off he goes behind me taking an off course jump. So, a few dogs later I run Colby deciding to CHANGE MY PLAN????????...........and send her into a Z shaped tunnel with a back cross. She HATES that and decide she was sure I didn't mean that and she came back out. DAMN...........IT!!!! Had I stayed with my original plan and run the line, athletic little thing she is would have easily sliced the double and made a lovely entrance to the tunnel NO PROBLEM. Why in the world would I change my plan because Roscoe had trouble. Colby doesn't run like Roscoe..........ever! She would NEVER have cut behind me. She would have easily sliced that double. OI!!! She would be a MACH dog today and I wouldn't have to wait until the end of October for her next AKC trial to try again. DAMN............IT!!!

I am an idiot and it cost us a MACH title this weekend. Today she ran perfectly for her #19 double-Q. Sigh..........but as all my friends mentioned, the clubs MACH ribbon was SO ugly and tiny and not Colby-worthy anyway. Heck..........I would have LOVED that tiny, ugly MACH ribbon right now. Instead we need that ONE MORE DOUBLE-Q!!!! DAMN..........IT!!!

We got a pile more speed points, which we don't need, but are nice to have if we ever thought we might get a MACH-2. Hah, this weekend some stupid sheltie got a MACH-20!!! ????? HUH??? We did the math, that would be 200 trials where the stupid sheltie would have to qualify in both runs, BOTH days!! 200 weekends!!! TWO HUNDRED!!!!!...... WEEKENDS!!! DOUBLE-Q's BOTH DAYS!!! Stupid sheltie........................

Oh and Roscoe did get a double-Q today, for his 6th I think, with a really nice run in his jumpers. He was only .06 seconds slower than Colby, so that was nice. He is always slower than her, so to be so close to her time he was flying!! And the two of them were only 7 seconds behind the stupid, super fast shelties. I am always happy if they are less than 10 seconds behind those stupid shelties. And so long as we are faster than the shiba inu or the boston terrier or the glen of imaal.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rube Goldberg was here!!

OK, maybe it isn't worthy of a Rube Goldberg title, but I rigged up my own home made "hit-it" board. They sell for lots of money if you buy the electronic ones. I borrowed one once. It is fancy and kind of a pain. It makes a crazy electronic beep and you have to set it up each time. Carefully putting it away with it's holders so it doesn't lose it's potency? PITA!!! What I made is from a simple thin board I painted yellow like the contact zone. I hinged it to the first slat. Put two squeakers from some toys between it and the dog walk and there you have it, my very own "hit-it" board!! I can even bungee it to the other end. I made two. So the bungee one I can take with me to class!! How's that for handy???? I just bungee it at the top part, put the squeakers under it and it's good to go. Spur caught on quickly. Now I can REALLY push him to race the dog walk and risk leaping the contact. Then if he does, I say........"Nice try, buddy".......and have him then do a couple Amanda Shyne "show me it" work where he jumps on from the side and I give a couple cheerios. Then I will have him do the whole thing and if he hits it he gets STEAK!!!!!! I have done a couple reps already and it seems SO clear!

I'll get a video of it when I can grab a videographer. It's so clear and easy for me to know when he hits the contact zone. Before I might guess at times if he was going really fast and I was running, too. This way I KNOW! It squeaks regardless of where he hits it. Pretty cool, really!!!
For you non-agility friends, this is important work. Contact zones can make or break a run. They must have at least one toe in the yellow or NQ (No Qualifying, flunk, zip, zero, nada, failure!!!). It's a safety issue. They don't want the dogs leaping off and hurting themselves. Must hit the contact, damnit!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Exercise, exercise, exercise!!


No one can ever say my dogs don't get enough exercise. I am adamant about it. I think if your dogs do competition sports they should be in good shape. Period, the end. Well, maybe not the end, I have more to say, as always. One reason I am seriously considering a pool. I totally melt in the heat and struggle even to take our nice farm walks. I know the dogs could get some work out in a pool, if I had one. But, here we are again with nice cool weather and I no longer need a pool! I wasn't really serious.


What we need now are some fresh walks. The farm is stale. Not really, I mean I am always amazed at how much I enjoy our farms walks. Over and over again, every single day, I enjoy it out there. There is always something new. Like the new bull that showed up to "service" the cows. I rode Jewel over there yesterday and the only "servicing" I saw going on was the calves humping the bull. What's with all this humping stuff lately? The farm, it's always interesting. But, I can't wait to get back to the beach and the woods. I can't wait for those crazy races through the woods with Spur in the lead, or maybe George, and Stella and Roscoe close on their heels making noises like Team Small Dog says her dogs does........"we are talking jacked up circus freak on a danger motorcycle just let out of prison during the hooker parade insane.".........Yes, that would describe Roscoe and Stella during a Spur chase. Circus Freak, that's Roscoe. I mean, really, he DID hump a judge. Only a Circus Freak would do THAT!!!! What would Stella be? Circus Lady with Two Heads? Both heads making crazy jacked up lab gerbil on espresso trying to figure out which button to push to get her(s) pellet of food noises? Do you think Stella would hump a judge? No, WAY too dignified to do that, but she can scream after Spur like a Circus Freak. The beach, SOON we get back on the beach. The vacationers are nearly gone, the rules change, the beach. The Circus Freaks can chase seagulls and recharge on crab legs and left over hot dog buns or guts from the Quahogs the seagulls tried to eat. Whatever.........we need our varied walks.
I passed our woods hike parking lot tonight. Damn, it's been found out. There were more cars there than it could handle and they were lined along the road. I know who they are. Well, I mean I know they are bikers. Crazy mountain bikers that don't watch where they are going. How did they find OUR woods! It is MY woods, OUR woods, it's there for the dogs. We knew about it WAY before they ever did. Before the town spent all this money improving the trails and making maps and charts and signs that mark the way. My taxes, well spent. Now the bikers are there.