Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Need a little brightness and color??

I sure do!! I searched through my photos and found some........

Love the Rosa rugosas!!! -

And this LOVELY huge zinnia...... One of our silly trumpet flowers that moves around our garden. It was given to us by Highland Ave. greenhouses one year and it just continues every year, but never in the same place!!! -
While I was going through my photos I found this old one. The Husky is our Sasha. The first dog Rich and I had together. A dog I sent home to him when I was doing my internship at the Animal Medical Center in NYC. She lived to be 15!! An awesome dog!!! Then from left to right.....Bear, Abby, Sasha, Molly and Sara. Sasha ruled that pack!! She ruled any pack she entered and there was never any question or challenge. She had that way about her. She was a great dog! We worked on a farm during that time period. For 15 years!!! At times we had up to eight dogs with us all day. Mine, some of the other farm worker's dogs, and all the family dogs. The rest of the family would drop off their dogs for care during the work day with me and the pack, tending the farm. The only dog that actually lived there was Molly, the lab.

Monday, March 29, 2010

What do we do on a rainy day? I mean POURING rainy day?

The dogs are SO bored, so we train. Tricks, mostly, since those are easy and fun. I need to "tighten" up Colby's put away her toys trick. She is expecting a reward for each toy and I have never asked for more before. I need to wait her out so she puts away ALL the toys then gets her reward. And she still wants to, on occasion, remove the toys. Silly girl!

Roscoe - he just started this trick. Still pretty frantic and not sure, but he figures things out pretty quick after a few more sessions -

That would be Spur in the background screaming, wanting HIS turn. He got his turn, but he is worrying about the sound of the balls hitting the bottom of the metal bucket. Oi, that Spurminator can find ANYTHING to worry about. We'll get it, though. In a few sessions I bet he has it all OK.

Henry Ford said........

"If you think you can, or you think you can't, you are right".

Poignant? You betcha! It's that mental thing, ya know!

In practice my dogs are ROCK STARS! (Talking about the boys, here. Colby rocked, mentally.) At trials, not so much. Me, too. Although, at times I struggle in practice because especially Roscoe can be SO nutty and crazy and I have to adjust so much it is hard for me to handle that nutty/crazy.

I watched the AKC National Finals this morning. Bought the VOD, so I could watch the runs for the next year. It was only $20, so why not? The little Rat Terrier FREAKIN' ROCKED!! Talk about a Rock STAR! That dog is fabu, man!!! The time to beat, until the last couple of big dogs. The dog can run it's dog walk in RECORD time. HOLY SMOKES!

It is really fun to see a dog and handler who worked really hard to get to that point. The handler said the dog was down to a NINE second dog walk doing a 2o2o. Oh dear. She then decided to train runnings. WOW! Amazing to see such success from a retrain.

I know, all my non-agility folks think I am talking Greek? Sorry!!! Someone asked Rich the other day why I like agility so much. You know, I struggled with the answer because I know the answer, but explaining it, no so easy. The answer is it is an adrenaline rush, I guess, and I am fueled by the little things. And you know, my dogs are not exactly out of control, wacko, speedsters. They just aren't. So why the adrenaline rush? It's the little things. That mental thing. Thanks Henry Ford, I do think I can and I AM right. I have that tiny taste and each bite makes me want more. Like bittersweet chocolate. (Oh dear, now I am getting all cliche'??? ACK!!!). I see my dog's potential. I know it's there and I just need to bring it out and every little time I DO bring it out I get a rush. For now, we practice, we study, we obsess, we thrive on someone else's adrenaline rush. I get a rush watching that Rat Terrier fly across the dog walk in record time!!!! Like a second? OK, maybe 1.3 seconds? Seriously, Muffin Heads, that dog FREAKIN' TAKES FLIGHT!!!!

Roscoe, here he is yesterday, while I watched the results come in on Facebook...........Finding his warmth. It wasn't that cold yesterday, but we had very little sun and it was really windy. What sun spots we had, Roscoe took full advantage of.

Then he clearly asked me to light the wood stove...........
If this were a video you would see shivering. Um, it was 68 according to my thermostat!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The noises!!

At class the other night several students asked if Roscoe was OK. I didn't hear that. I was too busy listening to his noises. He gets SO high running agility on dirt he simply can't contain himself. He starts this high pitched whining that sounds like he is in some sort of distress. It's a sound I like hearing. It means he is SO FREAKIN' HAPPY and can't WAIT TO RUN AGILITY!!! Some day I'll get that noise at a trial. I sometimes get a little squeak, just at the start line, or a little crazy noise while I remove his leash, but then once we get going I think he worries about the other dogs all around? I am not really sure, but he feels the pressure. He feels my pressure. My trial stress. And things tend to go a little slower and calmer, even though I probably tend to squeak more and be more frantic, which actually doesn't help him any at a trial. In practice, I may be kind of dense, but I am not really frantic or squeaking too much. I'd love to get those noises at a trial. I'd love to get "Practice Roscoe" to become "Trial Roscoe".

Spur, he has noises. LOTS of noises! Rarely do you hear his noises on course. At home, if he is REALLY excited, he will whine and bark while doing his weaves. At practice, not unless he is following Roscoe. At practice, the pressure. At home, a Rock Star.

Spur's loudest noises? When I am in the paddock with the horses. He goes NUTS, screaming at the top of his lungs, running along the fence. If he comes into the paddock with me, he's quiet.

Colby - she makes noises when out in the yard. It's HER yard, after all. She has to tell everyone who walks by. She tells the critters in the dark. She tells the screech owl. It's HER YARD! And her noises are clearly that........"MY YARD!!!".

Sometimes we want the noises. And sometimes we want the noises to stop.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nice day yesterday, today......not so much.

It was a lovely spring day! Look how green the grass is getting!!! Better start up the mower! :O Spur had a wonderful time with his ball tug that I only give him on occasion. He whacks himself with that ball, which I just can't understand! The weenie dog melts into a pile of papillon mush at the sound of a jump bar knocking down, yet he can whack himself in the head with a big, hard rubber ball????

My friend and her little dog, Buzz, came over for a walk. Buzz is the cutest short legged Jack Russell. He's just a funny little guy!

Jewel had spring fever and was FLYING around the paddock. Why is it when I get a nice photo of her the manure pile is always in the back ground? Ewwwwww! Oh well, it is a nice pile, actually. Can't wait to spread it around the gardens this year! Some of it is a couple years old and well composted. Good stuff!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Found photos!!

Remember last week I said Precious was hiding in the shade of the winter bare honeysuckle? Found it! -And remember my new sunglasses I said made me look like a bug and everyone else said were "in fashion"? Found it -
I DO look like a freakin' BUG! However, I love these glasses. They cover so much of my eyes that they don't allow any sun light in from above like my other ones did. THAT is really awesome. My other ones were basically useless unless I wore a ball cap. Which I love wearing, BUT in the middle of winter, no, I wear a fleece hat! And they allowed way too much light in from above. These BUG glasses? No light comes in, then snug up and cover so much of my eyes. But I think I look like a bug. What do I know, they are "in fashion" and that makes me cool, right? Sure. Let's just go with it - k? I am a cool bug!

This morning I got these photos of my dogs being stir crazy. The rain the last few days has them all cooped up and wanting to explode. Poor Colby has to put up with Spur's antics. She actually seems to enjoy it most of the time, but I do have to put a stop to it on occasion.
Roscoe? He plays by himself. With the leopard slipper toy. Give him a pole and he might even do a pole dance for us!
I also took these photos of the yard turning green in record speed this morning!!! You can almost HEAR the grass growing! The worm poo is everywhere, the robins feasting, it is definitely spring time and soon enough the lawn will need to be mowed. I like mowing, but I also like the winter off from mowing. I like the woodstove, watching movies and reading books. Watching the grass grow is sweet, but I do like some parts of winter. The dogs? They like the woodstove, but they sure like green grass and warm days and nights MUCH better. I am not sure I would like living where the seasons are all the same. I like the changes.........

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Running contacts! WOW!

OK, so this is what my goal is. Lofty? Maybe. Ok, YES, very lofty, but hey "shoot for the moon", right? I hear this dog was originally trained with a 2o2o. That's kind of amazing that she has such great contacts with a retrain. Very cool. Wish I knew how she did it. Roscoe is a retrain. He will never have that speed, but he can be really accurate. He can also totally leap. Oi! Spur, has shown some good speed, but he can also totally leap. Like leap through the contact zone flying so low to it that he just soars over it and it doesn't even look like a leap, but not one single hit in the zone! Like a low flying aircraft, doing a fly by at top speed, swishing the air around in circles, but not hitting anything nearby. That's Spur at top speed, no zone, no go, no Q, damn IT! We are working on it. Working on speed, zone, and dreams of Q's.

This dog seems to have a stride that just hits the zone perfectly. Spur, no. His stride at full speed puts his back feet barely at the top of the zone. That's pretty risky. How one gets that speed with both feet hitting the zone is amazing! Roscoe, if I could get that speed from him his stride definitely puts him in the zone. "In the zone", that's our goal. We want to be in the zone, Muffin Heads!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Videos from the weekend

Having trouble getting the videos to load on youtube. Some day, years from now, we will all wonder how we had the patience for youtube. Or anything as far as loading videos. I have NO patience NOW!

So, watching my video of Spur just GLARES out to me how bad my Start Line Smart Line is. It's just plain NOT SMART!!! Poor Spur melts down and actually wants to abandon ship, man!! OK, so here's the deal. I melt down. I have this thing about start lines. I don't use stays, I do running starts. SO! Why should that be SO HARD???? Cuz, I feel like I am on display, everyone waiting with baited breath for us to start. HUH? Truth is hardly anyone is even watching us. We aren't exactly the most exciting team to watch! I mean, really. But, what's my deal??? People who have these unbearably long lead outs take a TON of time, setting up their dog, walking the WHOLE LENGTH OF THE RING, then turning back to their dog, ever soooooooooo slowly telling the dog it's "goooooooood", then maybe another command like....."sittttttttttt, goooooooooooood" and THEN starting. I take, like, um, two seconds to do something totally stupid with my dog and then I just take off. Poor Spur. He's like, HUH? We don't do it that way in practice MOM. Well, I try to do it in practice like I would at a trial, but I never do.

Roscoe's standard (poor buggar gets his head/neck stuck in the end of the chute!!) He does the most awesome dog walk contact, teeter and a-frame contact, good little man!! -

Roscoe's snooker! Even though we got the buzzer at 7, we had already done 6,5, 7, 7, in our opening so we had plenty of points for a Q -

Weekend USDAA Team trial report

Oi, it was a long weekend. It really wasn't THAT long, but it felt like it. I don't know why, maybe because All Dog's is just one ring and there is no place to "detox" and walk the dogs and it was WICKED nice out Saturday and I am claustrophobic and All Dog's isn't my favorite place and, well, it just felt like a long weekend. My dogs all hate pottying around the parking lot and there isn't really any place else to go. Both me and my dogs like to take walks to clear our minds of the crowds and claustrophobia. Or, at least, I KNOW I DO!
Roscoe had his ups and downs. He actually ran perfectly clean the whole weekend, but clean isn't always his best. I know, I know, if I had a dog who ran it's heart out every time and NQ'ed because of off courses or knocked bars I would feel differently, but I do like it when Roscoe is all crazy and high like he is on dirt. On rubber, not so much. He did qualify in Steeplechase (PSJ for him) and ended up second in the finals with a nice run. He was 40 seconds and 1st place was 32, but still for Roscoe that was not a bad run. He isn't very athletic, AT ALL.
He and his team, tiny Divot the papillon, ended up 4th place in Team Versatility. They were very consistent. By the last two runs Roscoe was pretty much just going through the motions. He was tired, mentally.
Spur!!?? He ROCKED! I put him in Steeplechase (PSJ for him) and we started out with a really psyched dog, then something got him at the start line. He tried to leave, was blocked by the next dog up, then got him going and he refused the first jump and A-frame. Since at this point he was just trotting I didn't try putting him on the A-frame and just keep going. He did the next three jumps and tunnel and then refused the weaves. I said...."Come on, little buddy, DO your weaves!!" and he did, super! That got him going and he kick in the jets and had an AWESOME finish!! Good little Monkey Pants looked great! It's in there, I know it, we can do this!!!
Videos later.........

Friday, March 19, 2010

What happens to the day?

I don't know. It was a busy week. I had extra goldens to walk. It was warm and sunny. I was outside ALL DAY, ALL WEEK.It was a golden filled week!

Colby had moles to hunt.........

They all had cats to tree........

And Roscoe is just waiting for this weekend!!! It's all about Roscoe this weekend....

Off to the USDAA Team Tournament. Our team is Roscoe and Divot, the papillon. Our team name? "Roscoe Stomps a Divot".

Spur is entered in Performance Speed Jumping, but we may not make it to that class, the END of a very long day it looks to be. I have little patience with LONG trials and this one looks to be VERY long!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My FIL is here and he's an engineer!

He is on a mission to build me a contact trainer. An electric contact training like the ball launcher thing I posted here a while back. He is retired and enjoying this project. It kind of has him stumped a bit, but it is fun listening to him bat around his thoughts and ideas. Using blue tooth technology and touch pad sensors and stuff. Very cool, if he can figure it out. I am sure the technology will be there in the not so distant future, but for now all we seem to have is the "Hit-It Board" by

I am using that now for Spur. It's a SLOW process. He is getting it ever so slowly. Trouble is we rewarded him for not thinking about the contacts for so long, just running as fast as he could go, rewarding speed always. Maybe that wasn't the right thing. He has that memory. AND he isn't all that pumped up about food like the Pin Heads. It's OK to him, but what REALLY means something is the ball. But, the ball is what I used to get speed. Now I am using food to get accuracy and understanding of the contact zone being a place for paws. LOL! He's getting it, but we do have failures sometimes and I try like heck to just bring him back around and try again.

This morning's session NO failures, YAY! This afternoon with FIL filming us, we had a couple failures. Perhaps the stress of me chatting with my FIL that broke his focus? I don't know, but we tried to stop when it was a good hit.

Some hits were back feet only, some hits were one front foot and some were both front and back. I would love consistency, but I don't seem to be getting that. Oi, this is one of the hardest training projects I have ever encountered....

Both front and back -

Just back -

Just back -

Just one front foot -

It really is a tough training project!! I am dedicated to making it work and doing what I need to do to make this work. He seems happy enough with the work, so we keep plugging along.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tomorrow's post today?

I just feel like I won't have time for a post tomorrow. And today was SO nice I just HAD to get some shots of a pretty little horse named Jewel, sunbathing on the warm ground! I know I got one of Precious, who with her CRAZY Morgan winter coat still thick as can be, she was hiding in the weak shade of the honeysuckle tree, but damn I can't find it. Damn YOU Picassa photo program!!!!! Not my friend!! >:/
It didn't provide her much shade, but enough, I guess. Jewel never grows such a thick coat and LOVES her spring time mid-day sun naps!Notice the lower lip drooping as she snoozes..............

These were taken this morning on our morning farm walk, before it warmed up.

Colby - she looks so athletic and able, even though her eyes are squinting, she seems to see just fine in most light outside. Her blindness is really just a night time thing or going from light to dark, like when coming inside or entering the darkness of the barn after a bright sunny walk. She knows her way and manages. Outside, free running she seems to do quite well athletic..........

Roscoe - he looks like such a DORK! I have to say I don't ever use the word "athletic" when describing Roscoe...........

OK, so can I tell you how much I love the longer daylight?

However...........I gotta say it messes me up for a while! Next thing I know it is WAY later in the day then I had planned and I end up seemingly far behind on my plans for the day. I mean, really, it's nearly 6:30 and I am JUST coming inside. Now I have to shower, make dinner, plan tomorrow's schedule, and yet it is STILL light out and maybe I will just take the dogs out for another walk and who knows when dinner will be and I'll probably have to shower and go to bed with a wet head!

But, can I tell you how much I love the longer daylight?

I just get so pissed!!

Everyone told me Picassa was THE best photo program to work with. Easy, easy, easy for anyone to use. HUH???? I guess I am not anyone. I am someone. And this someone can't figure out Picassa. I am SO frustrated with it that I may dump it all and find another program. Anyone have an easier one they suggest? Wait! It was upon suggestion that I used Picassa, so maybe I shouldn't take any suggestions.

What I should probably do is FIGURE OUT WHY I CAN'T FIGURE IT OUT!!!!!

I load photo, by "importing". Then I open my Picassa program and can't FIND THEM! I need to be able to find them!!!! I can open my computer files and find them, but I can not find the files in the Picassa program that I JUST IMPORTED THEM TO!!!
WTF!!!! >:/

The photos I wanted to show were from the other night after one of our major down pours. The light on the marsh grass in front of our house was kind of eerie and had a very cool golden glow. Rich said it would not show in the photos. It really doesn't, but this is the photo.........This one shows it a little better. Maybe I had to take it through the window to show the golden glow?
This was taken this morning. (I KNOW, it's sideways! Remember that thing I said about Picassa???? I can't FIND IT TO ADJUST IT!!!!! Damnit!!!!). The SUN is out this morning and of course there is a golden glow. Can you find the Pin Head snuggled on the flurry bed on the chair that is only for the dogs?.........
He's just waiting for me to stop typing on the computer and head out for our the SUN!!!
OH, and today I get to try out my new sunglasses. They are HUGE and I look like a bug, but my last ones allowed SO much light to come in from above that they were really useless unless I wore a ball cap. These cover even my eyebrows and allow hardly ANY light in. I do look like a bug, but the people at my eye docs all said these were in fashion anyway, so not to worry. Fashion? ME, in fashion??? Bwaaaaaaaaa.............I'll get a photo if I can EVER FIGURE OUT MY PICASSA AGAIN!!! I have done it before, so whatever I am doing now is wrong, I guess. DAMN, I can be SO computer illiterate!!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mirroring and immersion training

We know we all learn from "mirroring". We do it almost automatically or unconsciously. Ever notice how when people are standing around talking, we often end up in the same stance. If one person is crossing their arms, very often the rest will, too. If one person rests on one foot, soon more in the group with, too. It's fun to watch that stuff happen.

Animals do the same thing. Like when one dog picks up a stick to play, so often the other one will, too!'s just something we do. - Not sure if I can call my weave pole training this morning as mirroring? I have done this Roscoe right ahead of Spur, to speed up Spur's weaves. Spur gets worried at times, and even though he loves his weaves and is quite good at them, we lose speed when he is worried. Run Roscoe through them ahead of him? NO worries, man, he ROCKS.........screaming after Roscoe doing the fastest, nicest weaves!!! It's useful, I think. It's amazing, really. I need to film it.

Immersion training? What the heck? On Patricia McConnell's blog she mentions that......

"IMMERSION–patients are immersed in therapy. Standard physical therapy was one hour a day, several times a week. In contrast, this therapy uses what they call “massed practice,” in which patients work for 3 to 6 hours a day. Think of how fast people learn a foreign language when they move to the country in which it is spoken, instead of practicing an hour a day…"

Good GRIEF, can you imagine? 3-6 hours of training? OK, no way, I can train and I have stamina, but 3-6 hours? NO. This reference is about working with stroke victims to help them regain the use of parts of their body.

However............I do think it may be useful with some of my work. As you know, my never ending quest for answers to Spur's running contacts brings me to wondering WHY am I having such a hard time with it. I can teach a dog to weave. My dogs weave. They love it, they know it, they weave. No wondering what's required, they weave. I wonder why I can teach a dog to weave SO well, so quickly, yet I am really struggling with running contacts. Roscoe was solid on weaves in two months. Seriously solid! Spur, about four months. Not solid, but really good. OK, so one thing I did was a sort of immersion therapy (training). I trained twice/day for five minutes. Every day, for two months. Spur, I did it for four months. Maybe if I had trained four times/day with Spur he would have been solid in two months? The training is short, seriously like five minutes each session. Can I use immersion training with Spur's contacts?

Maybe! I tried it last week. We had really good weather, so I could training every day. I decided that since he was really happy doing it, and since I have really messed up his contacts (he's quite good at running at top speed and missing it - bad trainer!!!), we could train up to 8 times/day. Five minutes only, but that many times. I never did manage to get in that many, but I think one day I did 7! The most repititions we did were 10. Most were between 5-7 repititions. I am using the electronic hit-it board. He is getting it. Getting it quite good now!

Me? I am sore. All that running, OI! I know, it's only like 5-7 times the length of the dog walk, but Muffin Heads, it's SPRINTING. I am sore.

Today I tested my training. I brought it to a new location. DAMN, he did it five times BRILLIANTLY !!!!! We had to do one re-do where he DID hit the contact zone, but not the hit-it board, so the beep didn't occur. That's fine, I just continued around and did it again, BEEP = JACKPOT!! YAY!!!! He isn't at top speed, but he loped each time. Not once did he trot, so I am feeling pretty pumped about things!!! I think he is really starting to understand. I think it is working. He seemed SO proud of himself! I was happy, he was happy, OH happy day!!!

My "immersion training" will have to wait a few days. This bad weather isn't good for running his dog walk. But, I am feeling like MAYBE we are on the road to getting this. FINALLY!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Must bring camera!

I stop doing that in the winter. My hands get too cold. Time to start the habit again because this morning I missed a photo-opportunity! The moles are active!! Well, more active, I guess I should say. I swear they have been busy all winter in my perennial garden chowing away on all my spring bulbs that are trying to sleep. My rock wall garden looks adulterated by moles right now and I am worried some of my bulbs are no longer there. Colby and Roscoe are busy "rototilling" the tunnels. Thankfully, they are focused on one area of irises that I really don't care about. Volunteer wild irises that aren't even that pretty, so it's OK, I guess. As OK as it can be to dig up my garden.

This morning on our farm walk we came across a mole "highway". It ran straight across the path and was FRESH! The dirt looked new, the mound wasn't there yesterday, it was definitely fresh and the dogs knew it. Roscoe started at one end and Colby on the other. It was amazing!! Rich and I (and Spur - who doesn't seem interested in mole hunts) stood there watching, thinking perhaps there IS a mole in there and they are trapping it between the two of them? Colby is quite good at mole hunting and instead of "plowing" her nose and digging in, she just grabs a chunk of sod and rips it out, then goes along that way. Gets the job done faster that way. It's really something to watch. Poor thing has to stop and spit dirt out of her mouth between grabs. Oi! The two met with just a nose between them. No mole. It was probably long gone? Did I say Colby was good at mole hunting? Well, kind of, if quickly uprooting the mole "highway" is good, she's GOOD!

Must bring camera.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hello Mr. Fox!

I know, I know, they "carry diseases" and "kill cats" and are supposed to be unwanted vermin? Really? I guess. I find them appealing. They stink, yes, they REALLY stink. But, they are so cute and furry and adorable!! I saw this one today while out doing my mid-day dog walks. I was in Oakhurst, heading to Jake, the Spinone's house. I had just walked Gritty, the golden. I just happened to have my flip video handy. I have been bringing it lately in hopes of capturing one of our "puppy parties" in Oakhurst. See, there is a new kid on the block. Dylan, the collie puppy! And sometimes everyone happens to be out walking at the same time and we all make a fuss over Dylan. He's cool. Cool as a collie should be, cool! He has many friends. Oakhurst is dog-central, it seems. Some days we see so many dogs. It's one of my favorite neighborhoods to walk. It's dog friendly, that's for sure!

Anyway, on my way to Jake's and I spot this fella. Just trotting along, minding his own business. No concern about me, right on his tail in my BAT - big ass truck. Nope, not at all concerned. Like not at all concerned enough to stop and hunt for a mouse or something, with me right there video in hand talking to him, truck running, it was strange!! I just stuck my flip out my window and got the whole thing.

Then he headed off on his merry way, crossing in front of my truck, so I couldn't continue with my video. Wish I could have because the bold little guy goes over to Posh's yard and pees on one of her soccer ball!!! Seriously, I saw it with my own two eyes!! Posh never even saw him, she was sunbathing in the back of her car, hatch up so she was comfy and snoozing in the sun. Posh is an Old English Sheepdog, who might not have liked Mr. Fox peeing on her soccer ball! Posh REALLY likes her soccer balls. She might not like this one now. :O

This is the cutest one.......

BAM! turned 8 yesterday!!

Cindy and I had a great birthday farm walk with BAM!. We spotted some idiot poodle people in the distance (I don't say that lightly, I have HAD it the idiot poodle people on the farm - they let their dog shit huge shit's and don't pick it up!!! It is PRIVATE property!!!!), so we had to stay close to my place, but the fields are clear, so he got to run and run and we got to watch his awesome ability. This dog is the prettiest red head! He has such incredible athletic ability. Absolutely fantastic to watch move. I wish I had brought my camera, but I forgot it, darnit. So this is from last winter.... I know I have more BAM! photos somewhere, but ever since I started using picassa I seem unable to find photos. It seems SO poorly organized and makes me nuts sometimes searching and not finding them! Probably my stoooooooooooooooooopidity, seeing that I am sooooooooooooooooo not good with data entry. You think?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring is HERE! To stay?

Spring is one of my least favorite seasons. OK, it IS my least favorite. It's SO brown. Brown grass, brown mud, brown trees, brown dirt, brown, brown, brown. Here is Colby racing back along the path, Spur following along behind. How brown is that??? Brown, brown, brown. The tiny sprouts of green appear from under...... the brown......

The horses apply their...... brown....... mask facials and full body applications......

Kind of like the facials people spend a lot of money on and got to fancy shops with fancy names like "Soma" or "Akari" or "Belissimo". My horses.....they go to the "Dry Lot". The BEST mud applications are at the "Dry Lot". Not sure why we call it the Dry Lot? It's hardly dry. Well, some days it is, but mud season.......I mean Spring, it's not really dry. The "Wet Lot"? Somehow that doesn't sound right. The horses have their own spa application. I love scraping the mud off, dead winter hair coming with it. Just watching them apply their mud masks is enjoyable, no matter how brown. OK, so THAT part of spring I like. I like some other parts, too, but really the brown is.......well.......brown............

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Collie Club Rally O trial report!

Well..........what can I say, Roscoe didn't continue his perfect score card. Nope, not HARDLY, the little monster!! He was way more comfortable there then I thought he would be. It is, after all, a hotel. Strange place for an obedience trial. They put down plastic in the seating and crate area, over the rug. It made warm up slippery and strange. But, he did fine. Fine enough that he was kind of a brat! We failed the three steps back. Gotta say, that didn't surprise me. I had to regroup on that exercise when I realised I trained his backwards weaving around my legs with the same cue word I use for the back up three steps. Dumb ass, I am.

So, failed that = 10 points off. I should have started the exercise over and tried it again, but I didn't. That would have been only 3 points off. Then as we come around by the crowd the little buggar takes a DETOUR!!! Detour, detour, someone in the crowd might have something good to eat!!! Alert, alert, here comes Roscoe!!! Um, NO, little shit, thankfully came running back to heel position, so actually no points off for that. Good GRIEF, DUDE, what WERE you thinking???? NO, you are not going to go steal food from the nice old lady in the skirt smiling at you thinking you are so cute with your high stepping Hackney Pony prance! NOT!!!!

Then, he pulls off the rest of it pretty well, but his honor stay..........OI! He whined and cried and complained the WHOLE time!! He was supposed to sit while the next dog went, but NO, little shit has to go down, sit up, go down, whine, whine, whine!!!! I was ready to roast him on a spit and feed him to the crows! >:/ Of course, everyone watching says he did "Such a super job! Great little dog", and on and on it went. I asked them if they SAW his stay??????? They were all like.....Oh yeah, but his routine was so cute! Um, cute, doesn't get a good score and he got an 80! ACK! NOT a good score.

And to top it off somehow we got put into the A class. We are supposed to be in B, since both dogs have CD's. So, the runs won't count. Just as well, I don't want an 80 score on his record! Let's just pretend it never happened - K?

Colby, she did good. Good little girlie, she is. She stayed in her sit with only a little whining. What's with this whining Pin Heads? She had two points off for going to sniff the wall. The wall??? Um, OK, whatevah? Then two points off for a crocked sit and double command I think in the corner, or something, but it was not bad for a 96. She was distracted, but not terribly bad.

My friend Lisa and her Shih Tzu's?? They ROCKED!!! Her first time doing Rally and her tiny Stella won her class with a 98. And Douce would have a near perfect score, but she messed up a couple of the exercises. They looked AWESOME!! Stella beat a doberman, a golden, a german shepherd and a collie!! How cool is THAT????

Roscoe's routine -

Colby's routine -

Douce, the shih tzu's routine. In Novice they don't have to do stays and are on leash -

Stella's routine -

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rally-O, here we come!

Collie Club trial today in Portland at the Marriot. I am a little worried about the footing. They cover the rugs with plastic. It will be interesting to see how my dogs handle that. Colby especially has issues with certain places. She did NOT like "It's A Dog's World", at all, and basically shut down on me. Judy said she wasn't THAT bad, but I think so. Not sure we would qualify if Colby pulls on of her......"MA! I DO NOT like it here and you are mean to make me work through it!".....routines. Roscoe, he should be fine. But, one never knows. He looked pretty good last night at class, but he is such a case at times he could get weird.

I'll try to get videos.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wind, wind, go away! Come again another day! Wait a do not come back, ever!!

Is that unreasonable? I mean, seriously, what good is it?? OK, so it spreads the seeds and pollinates the plants and carries molecular particles around the earth. Um...sure....but....could that happen in a gentle breeze??? NO? Do we really need 30-40 or even 90 MPH wind??? Word around the hood is they clocked 90 MPH winds in Cape Elizabeth last Thursday night. The cause of many, many issues here in our tiny town, leaving SOME people still without power. I just nailed up a board on my broken barn window.

Seriously, Muffin Heads, look what the wind does to The Spurminator's adorable papillon ears -Wind - you are not my friend!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You know, as winter's go, this one hasn't been SO bad!!

I mean, look at this photo from last year......... Could he BE more pathetic? The poor buggar was SO cold we basically wrapped him up to keep him warm, literally. The green vet wrap was to keep the deep snow out of his booties! He looks so happy about it all, doesn't he??? This, a dog who hates his feet touched!
HE thinks this winter has been just fine!! And my back does, too!

I think 17(?) yo old Zeus would agree.......

Making his way through the last big snow fall we had, in, um......January?

He manages, but he is getting older. Certainly, this old boy has outlived more barn cats then many and can help lengthen the short average life span of an outdoor male cat!!! You GO boy! He even plays with the girls in the barn now! It is SO cute! Nothing like age to settle a grumpy old man!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Yikes, crazy storm here!

They said something about 90 MPH winds clocked in Cape Elizabeth. Maybe not at my house, but close? We lost a couple panes from a window in the barn, an old apple tree, some roofing from the lean-to, but really not much damage! My neatly packed up agility stuff, gathered under my dog walk was strewn all over the place. PVC jumps everywhere!!! Dog wall fell over. Ladders supports blown into the prickers. NOTHING broken!!! I couldn't believe it!!

I took this opportunity to paint a new plank for my dog walk. Got that done and today I put it all back together. Phew! It looked like a war zone out there, but it's all back, neat and tidy again. And we have INTERNET!! How sad is it that I am really thrilled about that? Without it for four days I read more of my books and magazines, I watched several training DVD's I have been meaning to watch (Jenny Damm - GREAT BTW!!!). I did a bunch of trick training! Amazing what you can do when you are not sucked into cyberspace??? Really, that's kind of sad, but I missed cyberspace. I missed my cyber chat, my cyber world. I missed my trusty weather radar updates. I missed stupid TV shows.

But, we are back. In full - back in business!

I am reliving my day yesterday, a seminar with Lo Baker. WHAT fun!!! Roscoe LOVED it!! Back at Crappy Tails, where Roscoe simply goes NUTS and has SO much fun. It isn't the best footing for him, but he sure loves the atmosphere, the HUGE space. The seminar was SO fun. Lo is awesome, our fellow students were nice and fun to watch and I learned a TON. Spur even came out and did some work. Poor little paw wringer knocked a bar while we warmed up, so that set us back some. I was hoping Lo would see him jumping better, but after he knocks a bar he worries and worries and jumps REALLY early and big for fear of knocking another. Oi! But, he recovered pretty well and did some good work. He seemed happy enough at the end, so that's all good.