Monday, February 28, 2011

Spur de Blur!!!!

That's his new name! My friend Kate came up with that and it's awesome! He was a blur this weekend!!! Super pumped and happy in his jumpers runs to finish his Open title and advance to Excellent where on Sunday his time was beat only by three super fast, very experienced dogs!! Wahoooooooooo!!!

He did refuse the teeter in both standard runs, darn it. Gotta paint a new board and put my teeter together and start working on him owning that again. In the summer it is right there on our way to our walks and he charges to it every day before our walks. Now, it's taken apart because of the plank starting to rot and winter here. Time to get to the lumber yard and start the painting process ASAP. It's hurting us again at trials, poor worried buggar.

But, I can not be more pleased about his jumpers!! Jumps have always worried him. He has always jumped HUGE avoiding knocking them because oh....dear.....the sound of PVC on the floor is worth melting into a ball of mush for. That's why quiet trials worry him, he hears every knocked bar from another dog and worries and worries.

Now? He is OWNING his jumpers!!! So fun to watch him shine! He had a 29+ second run even with running over to say high to the leash runner as he came around one section!!! Mr. Social!

Open run. Starts a little slow, but then kicks in the jets! -

His first Excellent Jumpers run, good little Monkey Pants! -

Roscoe? He did fine. Not super great, but fine for two more double Q's. He may not have felt that great. Folks who know him thought he looked off. He did fine, but he may have had gas or stomach issues or sore back or who knows. He's twelve, so he is going to have some off days. He needs 3 more double Q's for his MACH. Might need a bunch of speed points, but I am not sure. He is never a fast dog. He simply isn't athletic or well built for it, but he tries and has always done well. Good little ole man!!!

I have to add that it was one of the best run AKC trials, ever. The judge was awesome! She didn't linger and kept to a tight schedule with walk throughs. You had 8 minutes and NO more, at minute 7 she would yell out....."One more minute, walk fast!!!". Her briefings were....."Know the rules, in at the tire." or whatever obstacle. That's it, that's all. No long stories about what kind of dogs she runs, where she is from, what she had for breakfast, nope just the basics. Quick, simple and efficient and everyone appreciated that. The trial was done by around 5:00 each day. Amazing for an AKC trial. I LOVE that judge!!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

APDT Rally trial yesterday!

At the last minute we decided to run over in the snow storm to the APDT Rally trial yesterday. It was full, but they "squeezed" us in for one run. Roscoe ROCKED! I got 5 points off for "handler error". Did a finish-left when the sign said finish-right, damn it! He would have had a perfect score. The judge called me a bonehead. She's right, he had a lovely routine!!! He enjoys obedience work SO much! And it was great fun for him to go all by himself and be the ONLY one for my attention. Good little Roscoe!!!! That was his Level 1 title. We hardly ever do APDT rally, but with this new training center maybe there will be more we can do.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spur's latest running session

This was our first time with 100% success rate!! Been waiting for that to happen!! GOOD LITTLE MONKEY PANTS!!!! Silvia was SO right. No surprise there. I can't wait to send her some stuff to critique and see what she says.

I know the idea is to eventually reward only running and not jumping and technically he has many "jumps" here. True running is when back feet are seperated and he does have many hits here with back feet together. Now, that said I have videoed him on the flat and he isn't a dog that runs with feet very much seperated, but they are seperated. You can see in the slow motion how when his feet are together his body has a more humped form. Feet seperated and he is more in a straight body form. It is SO subtle and REALLY hard to tell in real time, thus my use of the hit it boards, but I am getting better at seeing it. My biggest trouble is tossing the ball. I may try using my chuck-it next time. You would not think tossing a ball was so hard, but there are times when it launches high and it really needs to be tossed low along the ground. You can see his head up on the top ramp and I think those are times when the ball has been tossed too high. I would like his head lower along the top ramp, ultimately, but that's all being way too picky at this stage.

I am very pleased with this session. To have no misses is really a nice feeling. All other sessions have been around 80% success.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Colby's eye is much better!

She had a recheck with her regular vet this morning to see if there was any more inflammation and to determine if we continue the Metacam for another week or can stop it. No inflammation seen, so we are stopping the Metacam. She is still on the two eye drops until next week's eye doctor appointment. YAY!

I'll tell you one thing I can be totally certain of........Colby will be one happy girl when the snow disappears. It makes the glare so bright and she has to squint SO much and navigating the world in the snow is not much fun for her. I am right there with her, I long for green grass and open pastures!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roscoe, shines at seminars!

I have sort of lightened my schedule this week due to school vacation and several mid-day regulars away and yesterday I decided to do a Lo Baker seminar in NH. This was kind of a follow up to the one in November where Spur had such a melt down. I decided to bring Roscoe and work him mostly. It was a GREAT fun seminar because there were only 8 attendees and one left early. We all got plenty of time, which is awesome!! And Spur got out to play for a bit, but it was pretty much Roscoe's day and he shined. He LOVES seminars. Not really sure why, more cookies? More time out working? I don't know, but he is great fun at seminars.

He gets all squeeky and crazy and presents challenges we don't usually have at trials and it's really fun working through those. It was a wicked fun day and Spur did fine. We learned a new weave pole game I can't believe I had never tried! Basically it is a game to help a dog do weaves without the handler moving. Not sure why Roscoe just gets that, but he does. I can stand still send him down 12 weaves away from me and he does them! Spur, not so much. Spur's great skill is weaving with me WAY ahead of him. I can basically leave him in the weaves and get far ahead. Nice skill to have, but not for a Gamble class that requires weaving away while I stand behind the gamble line.

So, this new game I learned requires a soft, highly visable treat. We used cheese, but it crumbled some, so I need to prepare bits of cheese that won't crumble. You have them do the weaves and toss the treat away at the end, then then come back and do them in the other directions. Again, tossing the treat, then they come back and do them again. Slowly, you stop moving your body and they just continue because they anticipate the treat at the end. It's pretty simple and a nice little exercise to get them weaving without body dependency. So, well practice that a bit. Not something I can do on grass, I don't think. I do think it requires a floor, but I'll figure something out. And we can do it now while we are working indoors.

Monday, February 21, 2011

We have a ROCK STAR!!

Or maybe I should call him a Trial Junkie? He SO loves a busy, loud, nutty trial!! It fuels him! His contacts were all great! I got more comments about them!! Good little guy had his Monkey Pants on, for sure!!! He isn't as fast, yet, as he is when we practice, but almost! Our practice lately has been in a place he is a bit uncomfortable and so these runs are nearly as fast. I need to figure out how to time the runs. I guess maybe just get a stop watch and time the video?

I wish I had his jumpers run, but for some reason it is all blurry. That does happen if the camera doesn't "lock" on to something at the start. It was a REALLY nice jumpers run!!!

Roscoe was out of sorts. Just not himself, for sure. Strange, because he has always like this place. I think the crate room was cold. He hated to have to wear his coat all day in the crate. I had a snuggle safe disk warmed for him, but just wearing his coat is a bummer to him. Not his favorite deal, but it was too cold without it. He did fine, though, he's such a pro.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I know this sounds a little snooty, but it's true........CPE isn't the most competitive venue, but I still enjoy it and the people there. It was a nice show, but I have to admit there wasn't the most intense competition there. Spur won every class, beating all dogs in all levels in each class except one. He is in level 3, but I compared to all levels just for fun. The one standard class two other dogs beat him by fractions of a second, but he did refuse the teeter. No refusals in CPE, so it was a "clean" run and he was still just fractions of a second slower than the two other dogs with faster times.

He FREAKIN' ROCKED!!! This video is Fullhouse and was his first class. You basically gather as many points as possible before the buzzer then run to the table to stop the clock. Nice first class that you can design your own course. He starts off a little slow, but then quickly picks up speed. Watch his second dog walk!! YAY Spur Man!!! That was a NICE dog walk.

I got his standard run, but that's all for video. Today I'll try to get more, if possible. I didn't stay for his jumpers score, but he was SMOKIN' and if he didn't run faster than all the other dogs I would be surprised. He was ON FIRE!! Definitely has his groove back!!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Glaucoma? Oh NO!

Sweet little Colby was in a LOT of pain yesterday morning. It came on so quickly. She seemed fine for breakfast, then about an hour later came looking for me shaking and looking all cramped. At first, I thought it was a belly ache, but then I noticed her eyes were nearly closed. It was obviously her right eye. That is her worst eye as far a the retinal atrophy AND it's the eye that was hit by the chuck-it ball a couple weeks ago. :( That photo was taken in 08 and you can see her right eye's pupil is more open. That's part of the retinal atrophy.

I rushed her to my vet and she tested her pressure. Right eye was 68 and left eye was 18. Oh dear. Glaucoma is when pressure builds up in the eye itself and it is very painful. I had already given her metacam for the pain before heading to the vet. My vet consulted with the ophthalmologist in Portsmouth and he said we really need to get her to him ASAP, or if the pressure continues to rise we could lose the eye. WHAT???? I couldn't clear my dog walks and get there until around 3:00. My vet looked at me and it was clear this was really an emergency. I called Rich, but he had meetings scheduled. I started calling my clients and then Rich called back and he said he could take her. I am very proud that he would drop everything for little Colby!!!! She is his favorite, for sure.
I kept my phone with me all day and got regular updates. Thankfully, and a little strangely, the pressure was down by the time she was seen by the eye doc. He said that's unusual, but not unheard of and he suspects it has something to do with the trauma from the ball. Of course, there is no knowing if that was the cause or if glaucoma was going to happen anyway. In a way, I hope it was from the trauma because then there is a possibility it will heal and repair whatever it is that caused this pressure build up. We are treating aggressively for the inflammation and to control the pressure.

The eye drops are INCREDIBLY expensive! I can't imagine if she needed them daily for the rest of her life! :O I am off to research Canadian pharmacy prices. OI!!!!

She is our princess, our most wonderful first MinPin. She is the best girl!!! As a MinPin should be, she is friendly and sweet and social and uncomplicated. She and I were a lovely agility team. She was my Invitational dog in 07 and flew with me to CA to compete at that event. I love this dog with all my heart, she is my special girl and worth every penny. She has been our most expensive pet! It seems like she is fragile and gets so many health issues. She seems so tough and rugged and a big time hunter, but she is SO fragile.

She hates her eye drops, they might sting a little, so poor thing has to endure torture now four time/day for a while. She was SO good at the vet's, they even noted on the sheet "Colby was an excellent girl for her exam today!".......and Rich said she was perfect. But, she already had eye anesthetic applied from my vet and was resigned to her eye being tested and looked at. At home, she isn't resigned, she is ready to fight, but we get it done and hopefully, she will get better about it.

We go back for a recheck in two weeks.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I know he likes it!

But, sometimes I have to remind myself. After one of our "special" meltdowns, I can't help but wonder. What happens to us? We just turn into a mess, ghosts and goblins come out and haunt us and we melt..........down. I know it's a relationship thing. He doesn't trust me. We have had SO many things go wrong, it's just eerie!! I have never, ever dropped a clicker on the Pin Heads. Never have they been stung by hornets that nested in a tunnel. Never (well, of course, they don't have tails) did they get a tail crunched under the teeter. NEVER!!!

Spur, these things happen to. He now doesn't even want to play ball in the livingroom where he catches it as I sit in the recliner. His absolute favorite game! I brought out treats. Catch it, get a treat. He recovered. He likes his treats. I know we can work through these funks, but it's SO hard!!!

I need a reminder. That he DOES like it -

Sorry for the shaking, Lisa probably hadn't eaten. She gets that way, forgets to eat. HUH??? I don't think that has ever happened to ME. I don't forget to eat. LOL!!!

He does like it. I have others, but I wanted to show a video with me in shorts!! OH happy day!!! I am stiff from all the bundles of clothes I have to wear these days. It was COLD yesterday and I was bundled up! Oh I hate the heat, but I do like wearing LESS clothes.

We can do this. We can recover and get our groove back. I hope.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


We made it to the beach!! My thought was a nice 2-3 hour walk at OOB, but when I checked the weather it said 23 degrees and a wind chill of about 12. Hmmm.........the poor Pin Heads! So, we opted for a shorter walk at Scarborough beach. Also, figured there would be less "traffic". OK, that wasn't so!! It was "MOBBED"!! I don't know the last time Scarborough beach has been so busy. We ran into at least a half dozen dogs, maybe more. But, I am very pleased to say there were no issues. Spur had to be called off one attack attempt, but really it was lame. He was strengthened by George's attempts to get the other dog to play and made moves to go in and stop that play, but I called him off. The other dog did NOT want to play, so we kept going and all was well.
The next situation was heading out along the path, we met three dogs coming in. And the path is small right now!! Basically, one person wide because of the deep snow. I stepped off into the 2' of snow on the side to let them pass us, but Colby managed to have a stand off with one cute dog. She FREAKED and screamed, silly girl. She doesn't see well enough to read their body language (which looked to me like an attempt to play), so I had to call HER off and apologize, but really nothing came of it. Geez, poor thing I should have just picked her up. Trouble is sometimes a tiny dog in someone's arms is more stimulating and intriguing to a dog on the ground, it is almost worse.
Spur, he was fine, good boy!!! Maybe he did learn something during that last fight.
It was COLD! Windy and COLD. The Pin Heads shivered most of the walk and I felt bad for them. Spur, he was deliriously happy to run and run and run! He SO loves the beach!! And it was really low tide, so there was plenty of beach!!!

I can't call this an idiot post, but Spur's groove? Ain't so groovy right now.

We seriously celebrated getting his groove back at the last couple trials!! The month and a half off seemed to really help us. Maybe we need more time off. Unfortunately, I we are signed up for quite a few trials coming up. Two are team events which I would not bag out of, and a bunch of other trials. Maybe we can get groovy again?

Yesterday at the run-throughs my heart was stabbed deep. HE LEFT THE FUCKING RING!!!???? That's how bad it was. Seriously sucky, sucking anti-groovy. I don't know what happened. He seemed nervous, but he is always nervous, his nervous energy sometimes fuels him. Was it the clicker I dropped on his head Thursday night, still bothering him? Maybe. Was it too quiet? Maybe, but it wasn't THAT quiet. There were a ton of pee spots in the ring. Several tunnels had been peed on (I saw it during the walk through, so it happened earlier perhaps by the folks setting up if they let their dogs wander while they set up?) and I spotted poo along the side of the ring. People were trying to clean up areas they found. Dogs were sniffing the tunnels. Roscoe wasn't that happy, he was really pokey and slow, but he DIDN'T LEAVE THE FUCKING RING!!!!!

I mean, seriously, Muffin Heads, that's like the worst feeling in the world. He recovered, I grabbed him and made him come back and try a tunnel and a bunch of jumps, another tunnel and RAN the dog walk and out. He seemed to recover and we did end on a good note, so that's all well and good, but seriously I drove home wondering why I do this. Does he hate it THAT much??? I had to come home and watch a bunch of his really good videos to remind me he likes it and has it in him. I just hope we can pull it together for next weekend's trial. It should be really busy and loud and crowded and those are the best trials for him, but if he leaves the ring at the trial that could be REALLY bad. There are sometimes not so nice dogs at these trials. CPE is very lenient about allowing aggressive dogs at trials. OI!

I don't know why this happens to us. We have such highs and such lows. I know, it's Spur, he is that way. He spent his first months with me walking directly behind me on our outings, never leaving me to explore his new found world. I know, he is Spur. He melts and the world dissolves around him at times, but goodness it's time for the Big Boy Pants, dude!!!! Your life doesn't suck! I came home and thanked Colby for all those years of easy, stress free, uncomplicated agility. She was SO easy. We were such a good team.

We will have a 2-3 hour beach walk today and hope it clears our heads some. I need to clear the fog.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Love comes early, since these guys don't know the calender.

I tried to attach a "handle" to the valentines, but they never hung right. They drooped down too much. Maybe if I had attached the "handles" lower. I wanted the dogs to look like the hearts were attached to their noses, but that really didn't work out.....
It just worked better having them hold them from the tops.
Colby wishes I had closed the shades, so her eyes wouldn't water and have to squint so much, but she's a good little girlie and held firm to her heart!!!!

Um, strange photo. Colby looks like a vulcan, poor thing, and about twice the size of Spur. He's actually three pounds bigger than she is. Weird optical illusion going on.........The sun was so nice and warm on a very cold morning, the last thing I wanted was to close the shade, but poor little Colby. She squints so much in bright sun these days, she pretty much has to just close her eyes. Sucks. Sucks to have your sight going. She's not even 12, yet, and in great shape in every other way. Why couldn't her hearing go first? Anything, but the eyes. It's such a bummer.

Yeah, yeah, where's Roscoe? Holding things in his mouth stresses him out. Why? I haven't a clue, but he isn't happy about it. He does "put away yer toys", if he has to, but he doesn't like doing it. He will pick things up VERY gingerly. He does play with toys, but he is particular about it. Tugging only occurs with JUST the right toy and just the right force and at just the right moment. He's a funny guy. I did teach him a formal retrieve with a dumbbell, but it took maybe a year before he was really solid about holding it. And even then he would tend to paw at it. Anxiety, I guess. He's pretty cute about retrieving it, he charges out and returns FAST, but holding for any length of time he stresses. He would not hold a heart. Hmmmm.........

Friday, February 11, 2011

This is one of those "idiot" posts.

I don't know if I have categorized "idiot" posts, but I guess I should. I am going to start with this one and label it idiot. I am an idiot. Well, it isn't my fault, my muscles are tired from trying to pick up poop with big fat mittens on all week and gripping leashes and scooping frozen shit out of the ice in the dog yard and carrying buckets of hot water for the horses week was hard. Not sure why, we didn't even have any storms. But, it was cold. Windy, cold. And I was busy. Not one single cancellation, so all dogs needed walks, me bundles in my warm clothes, but I am getting weary. The dogs are weary. The roads are covered with grit and ice and the conditions are just plain challenging. So, my excuse for being an idiot is my muscles are fatigued.

Is that an OK excuse? I dropped the clicker on Spur's nose last night at rally class. Oh, please world, don't crash in on him AGAIN. There was no stopping it. The world crashed in on him. I tried to recover him, I glued cookies to his nose, shoving one after another into his mouth. He gobbled them down, he likes his cookies, but that's about it. I finally put him away. He doesn't learn anything in that state. I felt bad. It just seems that with Spur something like that is always happening. I know, we DO have really good stretches where nothing melts him down, but then there are times like this. He is such a weenie. Last night he didn't have his monkey pants on.

Then Rockin' Roscoe was SO high. I know everyone loves to watch his enthusiasm, but I really need some more self control. He gets NUTTY high and all I hear are my fellow students saying......."Well, he is still in heel position". Um......really? When is heel position pogo sticking along my side. He goes from heel position for a chihuahua, to heel position for a great dane. Boing, boing, boing, leaping up and down and being NUTTY. It's not really good behavior and when he does that I just don't know what to do with him. I love that he loves to work, but GOOD GRIEF dude!!!! DUDE!!!! Calm down and FOCUS!!!!! And the worst thing is I end up starting to giggle and that just fuels his fire. Sigh...........he CAN be the nicest working dog in obedience. His stand is phenomenal, his heeling freakin' adorable with his high stepping hackney pony action, his self adjustments when he messes up are really cute, he is sharp and on and fun to watch, he loves it, but then he can get OUT OF CONTROL!!!!

It wasn't the best class last night. I was grumpy, too, because of the cold. It is getting to me. I am weary of ice, cold, snow and fat mittens and bulky jackets. I am tired of hauling three dog crates into the room so my dogs can stay warm and back out again at the end of class, nagivating the ever shrinking parking lot and slippery ice under foot. And, yet, we have a fair amount of winter left to endure................

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There was screaming!

Not here. Here he was navigating the yard.
Not here. Here he was peaceful.
Not here. Here he was sleeping. Last night at agility class. There was SCREAMING! I hear Sharon say to here dog....."It's OK Sophie, he isn't dying" which I think Sophie wanted to reply......."Yeah, but I can help him do that if it will shut him up!". He was SO high!!! We tried to figure it out and it dawned on me "Rodent Syndrome". That's what Dodman says he has. Likes to be closed in like in a box, a tiny rodent box. He does like his crates, covered and cozy. Class is now in a very small room. It's tight. It's do-able, but tight. Roscoe LOVES it there!! He was CRAZY!!!! I forgot the hoop for his up a-frame and he SLAMMED into it the first time. Damn. He's TWELVE, he shouldn't be slamming a-frames. We put the hoop there, he crashed the hoop and dragged himself to the top. Brought out a bigger, easier to see hoop. OH MY!!!

He was happy, happy, happy and I loved it. I love it when he's happy and works like a champ. He does start forgetting about collection when he gets really high, though, and I had to alter my path some. Did that, he scooted between my legs as he tried to stay wide. have got to avoid ME and take the jump - nice and tight. Finally, we figured it out.

Crazy High Rodent!!! No, Crazy High Screaming Rodent!! That was Roscoe last night at agility class. Sophie didn't get her wish. He lived to see another day and next week, just to let you know Miss Sophie......he really doesn't have to die. He's just crazy!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

OMG, OMG, OMG! It's Wednesday and it is NOT stormy!!

This is SERIOUSLY great!!

First - it means we will have agility class today!!!! We were supposed to start, month ago??? We haven't had class since, hmmmmm, I can't even remember. Early November?

Second - NO lost income!!!! Phew!! Wednesdays are my busiest dog walk days and I make a nice chunk of cash. But, not if everyone is home because of a storm and therefore don't need me. Some folks still pay me, which is lovely and very kind and generous, but certainly not something I require or feel is necessary. It's just part of my business, some days get cancelled. I don't feel anyone needs to pay me when I can't be there because of a storm. Couldn't the storms arrive on Tuesdays? My least busiest day? Nope, Wednesdays. At least, that's how it has been nearly every week this year. :O

I can't say I am happy about the -15 wind chill, but at least the sun is out and the sky is blue!!! And I don't have to shovel, scrape my windshield, hoof it through mountains of snow piled up and dodge plows. Or stay home and do paperwork. Bleck!!! And did I really just stay home and do paperwork? Um, check last week's storm. Hah, nah....I taught the dogs silly tricks instead. :P WAY more fun!!! LOL!! But, that was dumb I should have done paperwork. It's piling up again and I need to do my February newsletter. February is a short month, so if I don't get that done soon it will be March!!!!

Oh well, today I am simply rejoicing in the no storm event going on at the moment. -15 wind chill, whatevahhhhhh..............

Monday, February 7, 2011

Running dog walk session yesterday.

Decided to raise it to full height. At the trial Saturday he refused it twice and I really think it was because it looked like a teeter. Since our work the last three weeks has been on a lowered dog walk? Although one refusal could have been simply a tunnel choice, always a given. Something we do work on, but in a trial he will almost always chose a tunnel if that is a descrimination. The other one I don't know, he just went all the way around it. It was strange. There wasn't an off course option. Anyway, I thought it would be good to put it back to full height and check it out. So, here he is from yesterday. I LOVE how he DRIVES forward on his very first run!!! And how we have lots of good ones before a jump. That's cool! And the jumps I think have a lot to do with ball toss. Although there was one lobbed toss and he still got it. He SHOULD still get it no matter how the ball is tossed, but really that's asking a LOT at this point. The last one is a jump, but we didn't try again because he had a major meltdown when the ball his the bulletin board and the erasor dropped in front of him. Oi! No use trying to go again, especially with so many good ones.

I LOVE his run at 45 seconds or there abouts. LOVE that one!!! He looks relaxed and fast. He is still adjusting his stride a fair amount, but what I see happening here in this session are more runs where his body is lower. That's the posture I want, not so much that I am watching stride, but a lowered head/posture means faster more consistent striding. When his body humps up a little on the down is when he is adjusting and having to add a stride to get the contact. That's GOOD (to get the contact), but ultimately I want a more relaxed run. He's a good little guy!!! I do think he enjoys it, although the first jump with a no reward (I didn't mark it at all verbally this time), produced a very down expression. Not sure why, but he was a bit bummed. Maybe because previously he had been SO rewarded? I don't know. He seemed to recover, but there is a run where you will see his ears go back and a tiny slow down. That was because the up ramp bounced. In the next run you will see I added a support there. (Kind of wish I had added boob support, as I got so hot I flung off my sweater and forgot that this would be on youtube = public. Whatevahhhhhh..........)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

All Dog's Trial report

I have video, but not sure it's worth loading. We did well, really. Gamblers was first and had weaves 15 feet away. Not something Spur and I have practiced lately. In fact, our weaves are not independent much at all, I know. If I am throwing a frisbee, he nails them and I can do jumping jacks while his weaves to the end, but he doesn't generalize that to other settings and won't go after his frisbee in the presence of strange dogs, so it isn't helpful at class. I may start trying his ball for the weaves, but we never seem to have time after training his dog walk and doing some obedience. And since my yard is under two feet of snow, there is no weaving at home right now. :P

Roscoe, weaves are a given, so it was do-able, but coming out of a tunnel entry that was also 15 feet away. Should have been do-able if I had held back and driven to the weaves. Instead I kept going and my motion drew him to me no matter how much flapping and yelling "WEAVE, WEAVE, WEAVE" to him. He ended up coming to me, then flipping around and getting the weaves, good little tiny dog!!! But, he crossed the refusal line and spun around, so was called for a refusal......"TWEET", whistle blew, but he got a good cheer from the crowd for going back and being a good boy!!! Then he layered a jump, which many dogs took, so he essentially got the gamble, sort of, good man!

Standard was nice from both dogs. Spur beat Roscoe by several seconds, which he SHOULD and by more than several seconds, but I am always pleased when he does beat him. Roscoe is a good boy, but hardly athletic. His time wasn't that fast because of some miss-cues. We are still working it out at trials. Our start line was OK, but I need to clean that up. He is doing well with me holding him and focusing him and then release and go, but I think I can be a little more calm and focused myself. I get all frantic and wierd and hyped and that doesn't help him any. I also need to work every SINGLE obstacle completely. I wish we had more verbals. I am trying to learn Silvia's cik and cap and am a complete failure with those verbals. I can never get them right, so those are essentially failed verbals. I did teach him "wrap" last summer and I am not sure why I couldn't use that word for cik and cap, both directions, just using my body cues to cue direction?

I know he needs more information. He guesses a lot and when he starts to guess he starts taking obstacles and making his own decisions. That's cool, in a way! But, not if we want to Q. LOL!!! I must get better about giving him his information often, early and clearly. Yesterday, we were a little off. He got his standard, good man and won his class, but it wasn't a fast time. I always check the championship times and Tiki the pap was 6 seconds faster. Tiki is a world team contender, if they can get a decent measuring. He's pretty fast. Last weekend's difference in standard = Tiki was only 2 seconds faster.

We left early after pairs. Scratched Spur from snooker and jumpers and Roscoe from snooker, so we only missed three runs. Spur ran clean in pairs, Roscoe wasn't entered. The conditions outside the facility were HORRIBLE. They used safe salt at the door, but not the parking lot and there was NO place to walk/potty the dogs. My dogs ended up SCREAMING in pain from the salt burning their paws and at one point I had a dog under each arm, totally miserable. Not sure why that wasn't happening to the other dogs!!!??? Maybe I just didn't see it. It SUCKED!!! The weather was coming in and I didn't want to drive in nasty, freezing rain. SO glad we did, it looked, sounded aweful. We ended up having time to have a nice snow shoe and the Pin Heads managed the whole time!! That was WELL worth it. The weather started shortly after we got in. I lit a fire and snuggled down, thinking of my friends who stayed and if they made it home safe. Read on facebook later about their misery traveling. Yikes!!! But, everyone home safe.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Stand UP!!

I can hear my agility coaches yelling at me about that during our earlier training. I am better, I don't bend over as much. I still DO it, but not as much. In obedience........I FREAKIN' BEND OVER!!! It's hard with tiny dogs. They are SO far away. I mean, seriously, poor Roscoe has been stepped on too many times. OUCH! No wonder he hesitates to be REALLY close!! This is Roscoe's partial routine from last week. I am not sure I like my hand plastered to my thigh. I used to hold it in formal position on my stomach/waist, but my elbow was always in the way and he ended up forging SO much.

After getting Silvia's heeling video I decided I really want to try to get my dogs heeling with my arms swinging freely. Um.......OK........I have been doing obedience with my dogs for like.......oh geez.........10 years? More? The Pin Heads are twelve this year. Old habits are VERY hard to break. I am trying. You'll see I am a TINY bit better with Spur. But, my hand is more still than I would like. I am holding the clicker in that hand and treats in my right hand. Spur does not forge, but I would really like more eye contact focus and not as much dependence on my hand/arm. We are getting there, but not there, yet.

This is Spur from last night. I tried like HECK to stand up straighter. in progress, let's just say........I must tell Judy to yell at me........STAND UP!!!! He has a bobble on the slow pace. He wants to drop. I have been working on the moving drop, good little monkey pants. Obviously, I am slowing down when working on that because that was his cue to drop! OI!!! The great thing about video is I can pick up these things and remember them. So, this week I work on slow pace, no drop and moving drop from a normal pace. But, Spur's pivots and heeling position does look much better. Silvia's work on the pivoting was HUGELY helpful! He looks over all much more comfortable. This room has always been hard for him. It's so close, he and I have knocked into the signs before and......gasp.......that's enough to send him into a major junk. And the closeness of the other dogs is hard for him, so he is looking pretty good for how he has been in this room. :D LOVE his tiny white prancing paws!! They make me melt..........

We are off tomorrow to another USDAA trial. We may head home early if the weather starts coming in like they say it will. STOP IT WEATHER!!! Just heard about ANOTHER indoor arena collapse. That makes four. My poor friends. :(

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bored on a snow day!

I can't believe it, MORE SNOW! Just when the snow mobile trails were getting good for the wee dogs, more snow. UGH! Must get to the beach for some EXERCISE!!! It's just been too darn cold and at this point GETTING to the beach means trudging through the deep snow, unless we go to the popular beach and that just ain't happening with my wee dogs and Mighty Mad Spur.

So, we handle the boredom with silly tricks. I decided to just see if Spur would bring me a Kleenex when I sneezed. He retrieves well, so why not Kleenex? Yep, not an issue he got it! Roscoe? Hates to hold things in his mouth and the tissue grossed him out. Wierdo. Colby wanted to tear it up, but I think with some work she would have it pretty good. Spur, he got it. :D

I have been working on Spur with the suitcase trick. It's easy and fun and he was getting it. He is nervous about it, so we have worked a few sessions slowly. Roscoe?'s a trick made for him. The first session he had it down. Second session I had to hold him back!!! LOL!! He is a peice of work, that Roscoe!!!! And Shannan asked for video of his "Rev Yer Engines", so we stuck that in there. His signature move!!! :D

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spur's running session from Sunday

You might want to turn down the volume. Douce is barking in the background. We used that to help Spur. He had a bad meltdown coming into the building this time. Not sure what got him, but he was all down and wierd. I wasn't sure we were going to get anything out of him, so I am very pleased with this session. I see more success early on. Still too many jumps, but some fairly good speed for being in a bit of a funk. Apparently this work is rewarding enough that he snaps out of it. I really wanted to see more speed and confidence this time, but I am VERY happy he worked through his funk. :D

Last session was definitely improved speed with several 7 strided DW's. Ultimately, I know his comfort zone would be 6 strides, but 7 is pretty good. When he runs it with 8 strides I see him really work to adjust to hit the contact, 7 strides looks easier. 6 strides looks relaxed, fast and comfortable, so ultimately I think that may be our goal. However, I really don't care much about strides, so long as he is confident and happy. At the trial last weekend I think he had about 10 strides because his up and top part were slow, but he had good speed coming down and there was a 45 degree turn and he ran all the way through the contact even with me pulling off a little, so that's just FABU!!!

There is a yahoo group discussing running DW's and they got on to the difference between rotary gallop and transverse gallop. Um........WHAT??? OK, I DO know the difference, but guys, I study Spur's stride a LOT and I can tell you I have no idea when he runs his DW what form he takes. He definitely has his back feet closer together than is ultimate. A rotary gallop allows for the feet to hit the ground in more places with back feet seperated and therefore no jumping, but HELLOOOOOOOOOO Muffin Heads.............WTF???? I just can't see what's going on when I am running, when Spur is running, when I am tossing the ball, it's all just a bit of a blur. Thus the hit-it boards. I need that sound to tell me when he hits it. Plain and simple, I just can't see it. Some say they can hear their dogs in a rotary gallop vs a transverse gallope. OK, your dogs must have heavier foot falls than mine. ME, I have too heavy a foot fall, so I can't hear wee Spur's foot fall. OMFREAKINGOD!!!! The mind starts to spin.