Monday, May 31, 2010

I am holed up!

This is the day I don't want to open my doors and windows. Canada is burning! They don't know exactly, but something like 100 wildfires are burning up there from lightening strikes in the past week. The weather today is calling for "smoke early, mid-70's, clouds later". Since when is smoke a weather term?

Yesterday we smelled it, too. Yesterday I closed my windows because of the pine pollen. OH MY~ the one window I had open yesterday was open only about 6 inches and my desk by the window and all my stuff on it was COVERED in yellow pollen. We took a hike with the dogs and the parking lot was under the pines. I had washed the pollen off my windshield before we pulled in. After our hike I had to do it again just to see OUT!!!

The dogs water bowl in the yard ended up with a yellow line at the surface and I freshen that every morning. And what do I decide I need to get done yesterday? Wash windows. What was the point? Well, the construction is done out back, so the construction dust really needed to be washed off. Now the clean windows are covered in pollen. What difference did it make? Is this what is called "treading water"? Treading dust/pollen/dirt? Yep!

Tomorrow rain, they say. Phew! After last summer I can't believe I am hoping for rain, but it is seriously dry and the pollen and Canadian smoke is seriously thick!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Amazing POPPIES!! And a chicadee!

Damn, I wish I had a nicer camera. I can't believe I caught this action shot! The babies are hungry and mom and dad are very busy coming and going.
I have FOUR different colored poppies!!! (*I think if you click on each picture they come up larger?)






Look at the delphinium! And my foxglove moved from one side of the garden to the other. How cool is that??? I LOVE foxglove and delphinium


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Helen came over for a photo session.

She wanted to get some shots of Buzz, the JRT, leading Jewel. We also did some more shots of me and my guys that I can use for my business stuff - website, cards, notes, etc. She sent me a small sampling. She took a "million" shots, so she has a bunch to go through.
It was EXTREMELY hard getting the dogs to stay near Jewel. Colby wanted to hunt bugs and mice, Spur wanted to herd Jewel any time she moved, and Roscoe just wanted cookies. Could he BE any more obvious?? Paw up, clearly asking for another cookie? Yep, they got cookies, I have a bag attached to the back of my dorky crop pants (damn, couldn't I have worn something nicer???) to dole them out for "good behavior". And I find these shots funny. Jewel is a VERY little horse and she looks SO huge in these shot! She is slightly up hill, so it just makes the dogs look TINY and her look huge........

She photoshopped out the fence in this one!!! Lovely!!! -

My favorite, so far.............

She was obsessed about getting Jewel into the buttercups and I would say she was right! LOVELY setting!

Friday, May 28, 2010

I don't remember it being this hard with Roscoe

We are back to our outdoor agility classes. I am pumped!! I love classes outside! Not sure why, bugs, heat, damp grass, but it's OUTSIDE!! Yay!

But, Spur is showing stress. I turn into an alien when this happens. I know I am being judged and watched and I fall apart! Poor Spur has to deal with THAT! Roscoe, he hardly cares, so long as the treats are still somewhere around he would work. And work his heart out. Spur, it's just not all about the treats. I know I had struggles with Roscoe, but Spur seems like so much more difficult to handle. He needs "cheerleading" and that's so hard.

At home I train almost exclusively with toys. Run his dog walk, toss him a ball. Zoom out of a tunnel, toss the ball. Run through his weaves and jumps, toss a ball or frisbee. I try to bring out treats at home so he is used to treat rewards, but it just isn't the same. At class he worries about all the other dogs, so he just won't play. However, I may be able to toss him his ball reward, he gives chase, then maybe he doesn't bring it back and I don't worry about that?

I have GOT to stop the Alien from taking over at class. It's hard enough for Spur at class, so I need to make sure the Alien stays inside and doesn't come bursting out of my stomach at the wrong moment. Poor buggar just melts when that happens. I have a plan. Love my plans, they always work out, right???? RIGHT!!??? OK, now always, but it's good to make plans, isn't it? I am going to try to make my plans simple. First - lighten up about his dog walk. No hit-it board at class, it's too hard for him. Each dog walk is just slightly different and his striding isn't always the same so he missed the hit-it board like five times, but had good, awesome hits in the contact zone. I need to reward those and simply lighten up at class. Or just forget about his dog walk for a while and reward other things. Like any burst of speed!! Reward, reward, reward, he needs more rewards. For speed. He's looking really down and slow and worried, so moments of speed MUST be rewarded. I will try. I will try to lighten up, quick worrying and just lighten up! OI! It's so hard. He has the training, he knows his job, he knows the work. He just starts worrying and it all falls apart.

I WILL get this going with him. I will. Next week I am going to try putting him in a class by himself. Sharing class with Roscoe (and lately Douce and Stella) isn't helping him any, I don't think.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

It was so hot I needed an oven mit for my door knob!!!

We are passive solar here at our house. LOTS of south facing windows. Lots of heat producing windows. It's awesome in the winter. Summer, when it's really hot - not so nice. I close up the whole south side, shut all the windows and room darkening shades early in the morning to prevent the heat from coming inside. It works OK. We still get hot in here, but if I am quick about shutting everything it does work pretty well.

I had 11 dogs to walk. I have my scooter to ride. I cover myself with sunscreen and head out. After my morning session I was tempted to take the truck so I could drive with the AC going between walks. How weak! What a wimp! I didn't, I mounted my scooter and let the hot wind cool me. Yeah, right.

By my last afternoon walk I was covered in about five layers of sun screen, dog hair, dust and dirt and road grim. ICK! GROSS!! Could I come home and shower and relax. Nope, I still had to go visit Fluffy the kitty and then head to Buxton for agility class. :O I couldn't believe it, but I wasn't really looking forward to it. Agility class, my favorite thing to do! But, I head to Fluffy's. She and I have a nice visit and I leave her house to a nice cool breeze! Really?? Yep, it was like SO different in just that short a time! Agility class ended up not being too bad!! Come home to a house that was 66 inside!!! I had to shut all the windows! Wow!!!

So, how do I get my dogs out in this heat? We play in their kiddie pool!! I took some videos. Spur loves it, Roscoe wades and enjoys cooling his paws, Colby is busy hunting, as usual, but will stop for a dip in the pool or the bird bath. Either one will do, provided I have freshened and cooled the bird bath. :D I wish it was that easy to set up a pool for ME!!!



Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jewel's lyme titer results came back.

Pretty disappointing. It appears that all the antibiotic treatments I have tried (oral and I/V), the year of herbal remedy, homeopathy, nothing has touched her lyme. Her score hasn't come down at all. Still a "strong positive" in the very high range. It just stinks. My vet is going to call and discuss her case with the specialist at Cornell. But, really, the one thing I know about lyme is that we really don't know much about lyme. Sadly, that seems to be the case. We know some things like how the organism works, how smart it is, how incredibly sneaky it is and how it can devastate animals, but how to treat it, we don't know. I stopped the doxy I started after her vaccine reaction. She reacted so badly after her spring shots I thought she was a goner!! She looked like her feet were stuck to the ground and she simply could not move. It was sucky. We will never know if it was just a vaccine reaction or if the vaccines brought the lyme back "out of hiding". Either way she does seem to be doing better. I have put her on B-L solution, which is Devil's Claw, Yucca and B vitamins, and may just start using that as an every day supplement. It seems to work pretty well with her discomfort and works nearly as good as bute at times. The B vitamins are supposed to be great for animals with lyme. Oi. It's just depressing, but I think if I wanted I could take her out for a ride and just stay on the soft grass. I have let her out to the back field for about 1/2 each day and she FLIES down the gravely road to get there and back, so if she feels good enough to do that she can tote my 125lbs around for a while, I think. :D






Poor sweet girlie.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The old man is getting old. Is that redundant?

Old Man Zeus. I guess he IS old -
We think he is about 17, which really isn't THAT old, but for a "feral" cat that's pretty old. OK, it's old, for any cat, it's pretty old. Outdoor cats don't live that long, but HE has! He is car savvy and obviously coyote savvy and he simply manages to stay safe. He has never wanted to come in. My neighbor says he sometimes wants in HER house, but she doesn't have Roscoe, Colby and Spur. :O She does, however, have two of her own cats, so THEY don't want him in. She loves him and helps us take care of him. He has recently been diagnosed with thyroid issues, so he needs a pill twice/day. He's been a good boy about it.
He has lost so much weight the last year, I guess because of this thyroid issue. We are hoping his meds will help boost his appetite. He seems pretty good, except for being SO thin. We retest his blood soon. I need to make that appointment.

Over the weekend I went over to the dog show and watched my friends in Rally and regular Obedience. FUN, FUN and I wished MY dogs were entered. I would never enter an outdoor trial like that. Too risky with weather. Could be TOO hot, TOO cold, TOO windy, TOO something for my dogs and it just isn't worth it. For $30 entry fee I want climate control and guarantee.
I did get some shopping done. Stocked up on my Pugsley's "Stop Buggin' Me" and should be all set with that all summer and bought some "Sniff It" that they make. A nice enzyme activated spray that helps eliminate odors. Great for those times the dogs roll in something icky, but not THAT icky and a washcloth can usually handle it and a little "Sniff It" spritz takes care of it.
I also bought Colby a "bathrobe". :D I showed it to my friends and they got all bug eyed and amazed........"YOU COULD MAKE THAT YOURSELF, YOU KNOW!!!!".........as if I just threw away my week's earnings, or just took a shit in public or something. GOODNESS, Muffin Heads, it cost me $5!! Seriously, it was.... $5!!!....... and yes I suppose I could make it, but the time it would take would not be worth........ $5!!! I mean, it was all made, nice color, perfect fit - $5!!!!!
It's prefect for her. I don't bathe my dogs all that much, they are very clean dogs, but this is a nice item to have for those times she goes frog hunting and gets wet even on a hot summer day, if I have to put her back in her crate where there is no sun to dry her she gets cold. Just being wet makes her cold, so this will help dry her and keep her a little warmer while she dries. AND it can make a nice "cool coat". I can soak it in cold water and put it on her on a hot summer day. She is a dog who gets hot. She got hot yesterday while I planted my bistro planters. She was busy in the giant hosta hunting a toad. I had already rescued the toad, but she was sure it was still there so the hunt continued. She got hot and had to go dip in the water bucket I set up for them to drink from.
I LOVE her new bathrobe!!! It was........$5!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

ACK, the days just blend into one!

I have trouble when my house gets torn up. I am SO sick of the destruction. Another window had to come out. Another room covered in dust. Another room where all my neat and tidy items, all piles neat in space, in MY space, in my order I need to function. I can't function in debris!!! It SO messes with my head. I can't keep my self on tract. It's wierd. I have to have ORDER!! It is SO getting old.........Ugh, I don't like living in a home like this...........Debris? Colby thinks it's just fine and dandy!! In fact, the more debris, the better!! Just look are her at her favorite debris pile............


This is our wood pile, our storage area, our debris area, Colby's debris area. It is on the other side of the agility yard and when I am working the other dogs Colby has now decided hunting in the debris is WAY more fun. Her squinty eyes just can't handle judging the jumps and tunnels and dog walk, so she heads off to hunt. She could hunt here ALL DAY LONG!!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What is with the "Pack Leader" crap?

I know, The Dog Whisperer has made that such a popular thing? He is Pack Leader, hear him roar!! OK, I guess there is something to it, but GOOD grief, Muffin Heads.............I think sometimes when I read the Pack Leader crap I wonder about why we humans need to feel so powerful? We are talking about DOGS here, not Mutant Ninja Turtles or Romulins or Aliens taking over the universe. Dogs. Just dogs. They are fairly helpless furry friends of ours, our partners, our pals, dogs.
I just read a blog that talks about the importance of being Pack Leader and not letting your dog walk ahead of you. I have read that before and like not letting your dog on the furniture because then he/she is at your same level and that makes you equals. Really? Because my dogs are on my bed or my couch they are my equals? They no longer think of me as Pack Leader because they snuggle with me on the couch, or walk ahead of me on the path?
DUDES - SERIOUSLY - WHAT THE HECK????
My dogs walk ahead of me, behind me, beside me, we walk together. They are my pals, my buddies, my walking partners. Who is leader? Pack Leader? That would be me, I guess. I rule. What I say goes. Plain and simple, I don't have to be called "Pack Leader" for that to be so. I don't have to keep my dogs beside or behind me for that to be so. It's just the way it is. I am in charge, I control their lives. I open their doors, I feed them, I tell them when we walk and when we stay home. I rule. But, just because I let them walk ahead of me does not change that. I rule. They live by my rules. Whether they are walking head of me or on the couch, the rules are made by me. They know that!
I walk dogs for a living. It's my job. The dogs can sometimes walk ahead of me, gasp. On narrow streets or paths in the woods, that is sometimes the best way, we walk single file and cars pass by or single file through narrow wooded paths, it's just how it goes. Sometimes I need them at my side. They then walk at my side. I am NO less leader by allowing them to walk ahead of me. Seriously, they know that! They don't think that because they are ahead of me they rule. Nope, they don't. Sorry, I just don't buy it. The dogs I walk all know I am in charge. It's just that simple.
I just don't get that whole deal? Pack Leader, must walk first? I suppose that's a good term, Pack Leader, but really THIS Pack Leader doesn't care if a dog in my charge walks ahead of me, behind me, or beside me. They do any of those things when I say it's OK and safe to do that.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

He just told me he hoped I like a mess.

Um, not really, no. No, I don't really like a mess. Nope, don't like messes. NO messes. I like things neat and tidy and in order. I don't like THIS MESS!! -I supposed I should show you a photo of the last side he tore up. It's sort of back together. Not quite, but sort of. Neater and tidier (is neater a word?) that it was, so that's good, right????? I even have some of the inside wall painted. I should get a photo of that, right??? Later.

I am worried about my delphinium. This plant has struggled to survive. Why? Um, probably all the dog pee, but also all the painting, construction and tramping it has taken over the years. I should probably move it, but look at it NOW!!! I am afraid if I move it, it will die. Right now, it's THRIVING!! But, it's location is risky at the moment. That corner is being torn up and the rot removed. Brian is very nice and is protecting it........

If you look back at the top photo you can see it's location, just on the other side of the ladder. Brian nailed up a board to protect it. I hope it works.

The dogs are getting very tired of the pounding and grinding and tearing and mess. Ya think??? Me, too!!! And I have no patio and the weather is ultimate for patio attendance. No patio. Just a mess. :( I want my home back! I have this list. You know, the to-do list. Nothing is getting done on it because I am constantly picking up and vacuuming - amazing how much construction dust makes it's way into the house. My windows BADLY need washing, but why bother when this is going on??? I am busy painting the wall that was all torn up to move the window. My list - it's sits there unattended to. No attendance to the list or my patio. I can't believe I am saying I want my list back. It included planting flowers and my vegetable garden and, yes washing windows, but it was my "normal" list. My usual spring time list of things I do. It sits there unattended to while we listen to the house being torn up because of rot. Oi! That's what we get for hiring "Cro-Magnon Contracting" when we built the house.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spur's big OUTDOOR agility trial debut!!

This may be a first - it wore him out!!! He put himself to bed early last night.

I think it went well, but it started out slow! Poor buggar was a little over-whelmed and started out really pokey and slow and worried. I was bummed. My bubble was burst after being so full from the BARK trial, or the air let out just a little let's say. But, I must remember he is one who needs a TON of time to adjust and learn things. Nothing happens fast with Spur. Saturday he actually started out OK, just OK, for a win in his snooker class. We are up to PII (advanced level) now, so courses are harder. He qualified in his Steeplechase, but it was slow. Not many other dogs in his class, so it was pretty easy to qualify. That meant yesterday he got to run FIVE runs!! That's a LOT for a weenie dog.

He ran better. Each run he got more comfortable and better. Placed third in Steeplechase to win $10. Won his jumpers class as his last run of the day, so we improved with each run. He got more and more comfortable.

Roscoe - I only entered him in two runs each day and good thing. Saturday he got into reverse sneezes and he couldn't stop!! Like ALL FREAKIN' day, poor little thing. He was cramped and uncomfortable. I gave him a xanax, which snapped him out of it and relaxed his muscles enough, I guess. Saturday, a much happier dog, but I messed him up in Standard. Then in Grand Prix he just was tired, I guess. Not his usually and he fell off the teeter. He was fine, but obviously not himself. Outdoors is not his favorite place for agility. Especially after asking him to run in rain like ALL summer last year. That hurt us. I hope I can get him back. He has never run well outdoors. We may have to search for indoor trials as much as possible. Means more driving, but maybe I just have to suck it up.

I think there was a very low q rate at this trial. First outdoor trial for many dogs and that means a lot of distracted dogs. I think some classes no one qualified in. How crazy is that? It happens. It was a lovely trial, though. Beautiful weather!! GREAT site, lots of field and a pond and wooded trails for walking the dogs. Colby got to hunt frogs at the pond, which is about her favorite thing to do. I don't think she has ever caught one, but she LOVES to hunt them! It's like an obsession!!

So, no q's for Roscoe. Four q's for Spur = a Snooker, a Standard, a Jumpers and a Steeplechase. Good little Monkey Pants!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I am SO not happy!

More rot found on the "new" side of the house. WTF???? We just can't seem to find contractors who know what the hell they are doing! Rich is monitoring every single step Brian (carpenter) is doing during this repair work. Since we had the house torn up and the window out anyway, Rich decided to move it to where it will be if we ever move the kitchen around. We actually have plans for that, but I am SO not ready to do that. The window, it got moved. And that means a MESS in the house. Dust, crap, furniture moved around. And then there is all the banging. The constant banging of nails and sound of a nail gun all day. It's so irritating. I am trying not to get grumpy. Living through construction isn't an event I enjoy. We did it during the addition of the office and it was SUCH a bummer. We swore we would move out if we ever had to do that again. Our kitchen - I bet it stays right where it is for a very long time. :P

The new window location? I HATE it! I used to be able to walk into the kitchen from the livingroom and look directly out at the horses in the lean-to. Now, I have to lean over and walk right up to the new location. UGH!!! But, it's done. And some day??? We will??? Move??? The kitchen??? I don't know, but the window, it was moved. ME??? I am very grumpy. And now I have painting to do. Painting, painting, painting. I seems like a never ending project around here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Colby is better! Yet still leashed as we pass Chippie hunting grounds.

No lameness at all, that I can see. We leash walked her Monday. Yesterday and this morning on leash as we passed the chippie spots. There are several. Chippie grounds are prime lameness opportunities. Seriously, Muffin Heads, the sound of a chippie chirp sends her into a frenzy and a bolt in that direction, look out anything in her way!!! The dead apple tree is a favorite. The rock wall, always. Pumpkin Hollow - always. And the best? Stump Hollow -Also known as the Stump Graveyard. Why the favorite? OH, the possibilities for chippies here are great!!! Lots of places for them to live. The gravely fill hasn't offered good growing for weeds and grasses, yet, so good opportunities for SEEING the chippies. It's just AWESOME.Hi Spur!!! Other black dot is Miss Colby Carlson, nose deep in a hole no doubt. These were taken last week. Today - leashed as we passed by Stump Hollow. Way too many obstacles in Stump Hollow and the sound of a chippie turns her into a hunting machine!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Buying more love today!

Translation -

Horse vet coming today for spring visit/shots.

I will also be drawing a lyme titer on Jewel to see how we are doing. She seems fine, but this is always a bad time of year. It has been the time of year she has had issues. The ticks are terrible, the grass is growing lush and is a risk. We let her have SOME grass, but always it is a worry. All the times she has been sick have occured in the spring. Sucks. Her feet feel warmer than Precious', but that has always been the case. She doesn't look lame or sore, but sometimes it is hard to tell. I would LOVE to say she is doing great and there won't be any indication of lyme left in her body. Trouble is I doubt that's the case. Rounds and rounds of oral doxy, then 21 days of I/V tetracycline and I have this gut feeling she still has lyme. I am afraid it is there to stay. But, maybe I am being a Doubting Debby? I just hear the stories and know what we have been through. Is she OK? Yes. Will she ever be fully sound and healthy? Maybe not. I can live with that, she seems happy enough. We are riding, some.

Here she is enjoying a good roll after her limited time on the back pasture -


Colby and Roscoe are both on doxy for positive snap tests. I didn't bother with the titer test this time and went straight to the doxy. I will do the titers in six months. Both Pin Heads handle the doxy just fine and I am SO paranoid these days. Colby is so fragile. In fact, the other day she did something (probably over-did it digging for a rodent?) and was horribly lame!! OI!!! Even on doxy, which has anti-inflammatory properties, she was this lame -



I leashed walked her the next day. She seemed fine! Today, two days later? She seems totally fine. I don't know what she did, but I will keep her from over-doing it for a while (like THAT is easy, NOT!!) and see how it goes.

GOOD GRIEF!!! I seem to be plaqued with animal health issues? Why me? Why MY beloved animals? Our old Zeus kitty now has thyroid issues and needs a pill twice/day. Goodness!! Although, that's not such a bad thing. He is at least 17 years old and an outdoor "feral" kitty so he's doing DAMN good, really!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Bullseye and Patch

Can you tell which is which? I know, you are not supposed to name critters destined for the freezer, but whatever.........
You can see the moms on the other side. We don't know if they are pregnant. The youngsters cross the stream more and are lovin' their new buffet!!! There is a culvert and dirt path now across the stream, but the mothers rarely come over.

The fence has a pretty good charge and we have had to boundary train the dogs. The Pin Heads already understand that type of training, we did it for years at the farm I used to work. Spur, he has never had that and it is taking some time. One zap from that line and he may never come out for a walk again! :O But, he's getting it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jewel has a new handler!




Not sure how happy she is with her new handler?...........

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baby birds everywhere!!

Rich and I kept finding mud on our cars. Seemed like strange places for mud and perfect round spots of it??? And shortly after washing the cars, the mud was there?? What the?
Then we noticed the mud on the barn walls, too -
And you can't see it in this photo, but all along the top of the door guard was mud. Bits of mud all along the whole length of it!

Then slowly we saw one mud pile starting to form -

The Phoebes are making a new nest!! YAY!! GOOD spot for it! For years they nested above the light in one of the horse stalls. That was fine, but the feral kitties could sit at the top of the stalls and swat at them as they flew in and out. NOT a good idea. Bird brains!! They finally either were caught by a kitty or something else happened because they finally abandoned that nest. This new location is a much better idea! Funny how they had to try the mud all along the ledge before settling on that one spot. And why drop the mud as they worked? I don't know, but pretty soon I think we will have fledglings!
We already have fledgling sparrows on the porch light. They are feathering out and pooping all over the place. I noticed another pair of finches (?) making a nest on the lamp at the front door. So far, nobody has settled in the bird house out back. The blue birds usually take that, but they didn't do it last year? It may need to be cleaned out? We have never had to do that, but it may be "spoiled"?
Babies, babies, babies. :D


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I thought my new "Property of John Deere" tank top would help me?

One of the things we did on our stacation.......... I just learned that term!! Our weekend away here at home........ (stupid term!!) was head to The Tractor Supply store. WOW!! That's a cool store!! If you are a red neck, tractor drivin', mud slingin', chain saw toting, fence fixin', local around town who doesn't find what they need at Home Depot or Highland Avenue Greenhouses. The Tractor Supply Store ROCKS!!! I mean, I found myself in the tractor seat isle. I could buy me a whole new seat, a cover for my seat, a seat with a different style, a seat with a different back, a cushion for my seat, an extra cup holder for my seat, just about anything I wanted for my tractor seating area!! Really cool stuff!! I do get excited about going down the pet isle and finding a new toy that the dogs might like, but the tractor seat isle??? I was about to hyperventilate!!!
What did I end up buying? A $4.99 tank top with "Property of John Deere" on it. Why? It was $4.99!!! I bought TWO!!!
Thought perhaps because of my cool new Red Neck tank top I might be able to fix the mower when it broke down on me. I actually got the cover off all by myself and was pretty excited!! Then I learned there were more screws and bolts. A LOT more and I got nervous. I NEED that mower! Damn, had to go ask Rich for help. I hated to do that because he was at the VERY peak of the house side grinding it to prepare for new paint. I don't even like LOOKING at him up there. YIKES. But, I NEED that mower. I hated to ask him because I couldn't fix it even while wearing my ultra cool new Red Neck tank top that cost me $4.99. I think I need to go get some MORE of those tank tops!
YAY for Rich! He doesn't even have a Red Neck tank top on!!! Damn - IT!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our weekend away here at home!

We had planned to take a weekend away, but life just seemed like it was rolling downhill without us and we should just stay here and be the busy bees we are, preparing the gardens, working on the house, mowing the lawn, setting up the bistro and all the things that this huge property needs to be the incredible world it is! We love it here and sometimes it calls us and makes us work and tires us out, but we LOVE it!
I promised myself I would not just work the WHOLE time, I would do some running contacts with Spur, I would ride sweet Jewel, we would go shopping at The Tractor Supply store, I would read my book and we would go out for a nice dinner.
We took Spur over to Steve and Laura's to run on a novel dog walk. He needs that work, sort of like the teeter parties, but this work involves just me and him. The teeter parties were all about taking ME out of the scene and making the teeter such a fun, friendly game with his fans. The dog walk he likes, pretty well and I just need to instill the good hits on the down contact that we are getting at home. We did pretty well. I think we did 10 and had one definite, complete miss which you will see in one of the videos and I just keep going and ask for it again, then one hit that missed the hit-it board which you won't see. Rich didn't get that one. The others were all good hits! We need to tighten up his turns after, but I am please I can pull off and redirect him and he still hits it!! Good little Spurminator!!




This last one below has the miss. I have likes and dislikes when I watch it. I dislike the sound of my voice as I bring him back. I need to be happier. He SO melts when he thinks he is wrong. He can not take corrections or even no reward markers (for you non-dog training folks that would be like saying "Oops, too bad" or some such thing to mark it verbally that he has a miss.). I need to continue around happily. But, what I DO like is he was faster on his second attempt. THAT's HUGE!! That may be the first time he tried harder and went faster. What has happened on occasion with misses that don't get the ball tossed, we get deminishing returns. He wrings his little papillon paws and makes SURE to hit the hit-it board the next time, which results in a slower speed. That was OK, but I have been waiting for him to simply try harder and keep up his speed. I am SO pleased this time he DID try harder and was faster!! YAY!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It is inspiring!

When I rode so much on the beach my horse would be rewarded with a nice roll in the sand. This video makes me want to head back to the beach or teach my horse to lie down. I find myself with only so much time on my hands and the farm beckons and off we go. Same ole, same ole, but it never gets old! :D
I used to feel I HAD to trailer up and head off to the beach or trails or find groups to ride with. Now I seem perfectly happy "sale ole, same ole", but this video sure tugs at my beach strings. :D

Enjoy!!! -