Friday, September 30, 2011

Our homework

For Silvia's on line class was to teach the dogs to back up. Roscoe already knows that, but Spur is just learning.

I added Roscoe at the end of this clip. He's too much!! His reward? A half a summer squash I picked out of the garden. Crazy old man!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some lovely photos from Helen!

This one is my favorite!!!Doing his launch-flip trick!

I was impressed he did well with two people right in front of him with big cameras. He wooooooooooooofed at Helen's son Alex once, but then seemed to recover and do fine!

He is just SO cute!!!!

**Laura, Lance and Vito!!! I can't seem to post a comment on any blogs, even my own, that are sites. How stupid is that?? Anyway, thanks as always for your kind words. And your Lance looks awesome in Utility!! What a fun class. Never did it because I won't put my Pin Heads in out of site stays, but they are trained through Utility and Colby LOVES her articles!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lovely agility trial site!!!

I like any place that has plenty of shade and LOTS of areas to off leash walk the dogs. This place was GREAT!!!!! LOVED it!!

It was very wet Saturday. So wet they put shavings down on the course and heavy along each side of the weaves. I wasn't sure what Spur would think, so I grabbed a handful and brought them to the practice jump. He thought they were SO wrong and avoided that spot like the plague. On course, he was slow, but recovered and by the time we got to the weaves he did GREAT!!!!

Both DW's were perfect, good little man. First one was tunnel to DW to table. Nice set up for him. Next day was big open run to DW with a lovely tunnel staring straight at him, but the course went 90 degrees to the right ending up 180 degree different direction. Good little buggar never even looked at the tunnel and read my decel perfectly!!!! Came in second only to our current National Champion. :D

I was asked by my Nationals teammate if I thought Spur was a contender at Nationals. I said, nah, he's just not that fast. But, you know, he is consistent. This weekend if the National Champion or my teammate with Race, a blazing fast sheltie, don't Q Spur wins. This is the second trial like that. If those dogs make any mistakes, Spur wins. If they run clean, we come in third. That is becoming pretty consistent. The only thing is often we are 5-10 seconds slower than either of those dogs. :O That's a LOT slower!! LOL!! Not sure even in a big indoor crowded noisy trial he will gain that much speed. Who knows? He sure likes those kinds of trials.

His outdoor performance is just not that fast, yet. Indoors he is much more comfortable. I guess we will find out soon enough.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A big bull!!

And he had one thing on his tiny brain. Poor old girl. Goodness! It's like robbing the nursing home for crying out loud!!!!

They say the maples won't have much color this year. I think this section of woods will be OK and look pretty in a few days.

Here is another video of Spur's "experimenting". 80% which isn't so bad. And I REALLY like some of his hits. Deeper than ever.

Today we had two sessions. First one was about 70%, lots of experimenting. Second session was 100%, but I can tell he was tired. It was after our first session and after a long farm walk and after his dinner. About an hour after his dinner, but still I think he was tired. However, he was thoughtful and had some interesting hits. Experimenting.

Tomorrow and AKC trial. Damn it, supposed to rain. I am really getting sick of bad weather for outdoor trials. I mean, shit, this is fall in New England and supposed to be the ultimate in good weather. SHIT!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mouse and a mouse?

Miss Mouse is getting more and more comfortable. Not sure why this photo is so blurry? Spur was not 10 feet from her, which does concern me a little. She is pretty comfortable with the dogs. Spur sure looks like a large fox. Also, I am a little concerned she is hard of hearing or even deaf. She sometimes seems like she doesn't know we are there and then spooks. Strange. She is still a tiny bit congested and on occasion sneezes, but she looks great!!
Betty had to go back to the vet's and the Friend's of Feral Felines took her into their sanctuary to try to get her healthy. I felt that my barn was too dark and cold for her to recover well and she was in no condition to release. Hopefully, we will see some sun soon and she can sunbath there. She may come back, or we may try another so long as it is vaccinated because I am sure Mouse is a carrier at this point. The vets are all saying this is a horrible year for respiratory diseases with these cats and some of the worst cases, ever. Certainly, Betty was the worst case I ever saw.Now for the mouse - caution - this is GROSS!!! Last night at dog class I kept smelling something icky. I was wondering if somehow a bag of poop made it into my car???? The smell was gross and I couldn't figure it out. None of the dogs had poop on them, I checked, you never know especially Spur sometimes some poo sticks to his britches. Nope, nothing.

Then, I spotted it!!!!

OMG - how absolutely disgusting!!! Poor thing, must have climbed into the tire and didn't escape before I started driving????? And how long had it been there? I think back now some of the dogs I walked the last couple of days had smelled that tire. I just figured I had run over some "road pizza". NO, I had a dead mouse IN my tire!!!! How strange is that?????

By the time I got home it was gone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Huh, an "experimental" stage?

That's what Silvia said Spur is going through. Geez, I send my entries to a big event, the USDAA Nationals, and Spur has to go through and experimental stage. Good news is he is doing that NOW and not during the event, right? Oi!

One issue going on in this video is the first session the hit-it boards were not stable and he started to avoid them. ACK! Poor little guy. The next session I put only the one on the very end with the thought I would HUGELY jackpot any hits that low. Never did, except going the other way without the hit-it board. Hmmmm.

What I found interesting watching these are the strange one hind foot strides he does. Some he does on the contact, other times his second stride on the down ramp. It's like his one foot just goes along for the ride? Strange. I have noticed he has done that before. It's just an odd thing, almost like he is really heavy on the forehand and using his front to travel. I know he has to make adjustments and that may be one way. His power from one hind is slightly less than the power with two hind, but still it's a little odd?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fleas?? Really!

So, my mom came for a visit with Joe, her dog. She has been having trouble with fleas as many people have this year. What can I Joe can't come? I mean, seriously, I walk with dogs I know have fleas, I stay in hotel rooms with dogs I know have fleas, I work and walk dogs for a living who I know have fleas. It's just part of having dogs. But, I refuse to let them take over this house, so....................I worked till exhausted yesterday making the best effort I possibly could to stop that from happening. Spur got a bath and after he was dry I applied Advantix. The Pin Heads got Advantix. Everyone is telling me that's the product this year for fleas. It's tick season again, so it was time for something.

I vacuumed. Put a bit of flea collar in my bag and I vacuumed and vacuuumed and vacuuuuuuuuumed. I did the WHOLE house, under the beds and couches and chairs. I washed all the dog bedding that is washable. I washed the throws and comforters. I washed the sheets.

I refuse to let fleas take over this house!!! I will vacuum every other day this week with a fresh bit of flea collar. I am determined. We have been very lucky here and have not had fleas, so I am determined. I may be exhausted, but I refuse to have fleas.

Friday, September 16, 2011

It is all so interesting!

I had an interesting session with Spur. It seems he needs to learn to work into “nothing”. The leap at the trial was basically into nothing, into an open corner of the ring and the next obstacle was off a bit, a chute, but the whole corner was empty of obstacles.

Yesterday’s session I ran him into “nothing”. Big open field out ahead. At first I placed a chute barrel, no fabric, about 20 meters out. Going back towards the house and into the course he was fine, but lots of leaps going into “nothing”. What is not on this movie are two more reps at the end where he was deep in with three strides and definitely into nothing I removed the chute barrel after the break, but they came out so blurry I deleted them. So, at the end of this session he did do three reps deep in the contact. I guess I need to do some more sessions like this with him going into “nothing”?

Thing is it almost seems uncomfortable when he leaps. He lands pretty hard and if he would just keep running normally I think he would hit the contact low. I wonder if he thinks higher up is his only option? It's curious. Waiting to hear what Silvia thinks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trouble on the horizon? I think not!

Trouble was not "on the horizon". Trouble was right there in their laps! GEORGE!!! Does he look like trouble? The other day during our walk he was on leash, as he usually is........because he is trouble.......and he starts sniffing and racing back and forth by the stream. Kathy lets the leash out some and down he goes into the thick brush. Ooops........I smell it immediately and start to yell.......OOOOOOOOhhhhhhh NOOOOOOOO!!! She pulls him back, yep skunked. He gets into trouble even when ON LEASH!!! LOL!!!

Been a busy couple of days around here. Little feral Mouse was getting really antsy to get out of her cage. So, she was no longer having sneezing fits, just a tiny bit congested and I thought it would be best to let her go. Being confined may just be prolonging the cold and the stress might be making things worse. Out she went. That night she found her way to the loft!!! Amazing, she figured that out so quickly, but Leta may have shown her the way. She is now down, eating on the grain bit, hanging around. I can't believe how comfortable she seems!!! I can get quite close to her!!!!

She still sounds like Darth Vadar, but she seems OK. Betty, on the other hand, while no longer neurological is STILL quite sick. Goopy eyes, sneezing, congested. It has been over a MONTH!!!!! OI!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ut oh, trouble on the horizon!!

That's what Nate said to Kathy when he saw us walking. Lisa came over for the first time in.......weeks? And we took a nice farm walk. Before doing that, though, I asked for her good videoing help. Spur did four lovely DW's at the trial Saturday, but one he LEAPED............gasp. That is only the second time since we have a finished product. So to speak. The first time was that blind cross I tried to sneak in and took him by surprise.

He also leaped his a-frame which he has NEVER done even in practice. :O Oh my!!!! So, I decided since Lisa was coming we might get as much excitement as at a trial. It worked, he was PRETTY excited. And this is the result..........

Wow, how interesting!! Just about a week before I had my friend and trainer over for a quick visit and she watched him run his DW perfectly about 8 times. I did that because I needed to get back his speed after doing turns. It was perfect, every time. Now this!!! Yikes!

I sent it to Silvia. Her answer was basically that since it is really hard for him with three stride and nearly impossible with two that I may need to do more maintenance than most. Oh great. Love that. I just recently commented on a group list that RDW's were maintenance free. It seemed they were, until this weekend!!! Oi! Of course I have to have a dog with an "in between" stride. Two stride isn't enough, three is too many. But, he has been able to adjust with three strides pretty well, so we just need to do a few refreshers, I guess.

Or, she said we could lower the DW and really push for MORE speed and try for two. But, with the Nationals coming up next month that seems risky. So, for now back to as it was and doing a few sessions to refresh things.

After our session we headed to the farm. Nate saw us from the window and said to Kathy "Trouble on the horizon". Hahahahahaha!! Yep, that would be us, "trouble". So, out they came on the golf cart to meet up and Kathy and George joined us the rest of the walk. The pack, almost intact. Minus Colby who is still on lock down to try to heal her sore back. Poor thing. She stays home with a stuffed Kong.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Yay, this seems to be working!

Colby appears to be feeling much better. I wasn't totally convinced that stopping her farm walks would be a good idea as she had seemed better after them. But, it appears the vet was right. She has not had any walks for two weeks and is down to her prednisone once/day and seems so much better. She has once jumped off the bed, bad dog. OK, bad ME! But, in a way that's a good sign as she wasn't wanting to do that before.

I just have to be a bit more careful and make SURE she doesn't jump off the bed. She has also resigned to her fate. I can give her a Kong and leave her now and take the boys. That's cool, as I was on occasion if Rich wasn't home to babysit leaving poor Roscoe home with her. Of course, he was happy to have his Kong, but he sure loves his walks.

Trying a new strategy with Spur's table. I did some shaping work, no cue word at all. I brought him to the table and just waited. No down and I would toss him off. He leaped back on and if no down he got pushed off. Finally, he offered a down - CLICK and BIG jackpot!!! Tossed a treat off, then again he jumped back on and if he didn't immediately go down I pushed him off. We played this for a bit.

This morning I didn't say anything and stood there and he offered his down. :D I can't say it is lightening fast, but it's faster than it was. Trying to decide if I use a cue word and change it. I was saying DOWN and I can change it to FLAT. Or just nothing at all and wait him out. I am pretty sure in the heat of a trial I will say something. I know myself that well. But, I am going to try like heck to be really relaxed about it. Right now I am totally relaxed doing the training. I just stand there all relaxed and wait. It seems to be working. Time will tell. Today I will bring out different treats. High powered ones for the down and boring Charlee Bears for tossing off.

The table has been costing us precious seconds in USDAA. Thank goodness for AKC's positionless table. The count starts as soon as all four feet hit the table. They must stay on it, but they can stand, move around, down, sit, whatever. Of course, since we do so much USDAA I will be asking for a down, always. But, a slow down doesn't cost us anything.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You steal the sunflowers????

Remember the sunflower fields? Well, they are quickly developing and going "to seed". That's the point! The seed will be harvested and made into sunflower oil. OK, so apparently some people feel they can march right onto the farm and pick them before they go to seed. Um......HELLOOOOOOOOO..........first of all - this is private property! Someone OWNS this land, my friends The Maxwell's, and this is their CROP! These plants were not planted in huge fields for your veiwing pleasure or for free picking. I just can't imagine that???? What goes through their heads???

Nick got off his tedder and spoke to this one lady. She said the flowers were "dying" and she wanted to pick them before they died. He was livid!!! He kicked her off the private property!!! And made a nice little sign saying to STAY OUT! People feel entitled and I don't get that??????

Over at the community garden next to the sunflower field folks are growing ENORMOUS sunflowers. No one has just marched in and picked them. They are amazing!!

Can you imagine growing this only to find some stranger marching in and picking it because it is "dying". Who does such a thing?????? It makes me INSANE. People are so thoughtless sometimes.

On a lighter note, take a look at this little fellow!!! Very cool little garden creature.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nothin' like a good worm roll!

A lovely way to get one's back in alignment again!!! :D Roscoe had just finished and now it was Spur's turn. I didn't have my camera ready for Roscoe. Colby took a turn, too, but she was always turned away from me and I was reclining on the chaise lounge and too lazy to change locations!!!! It was Labor day after all and I was NOT about to labor any!!!
Notice the foamy drool?....

Monday, September 5, 2011

USDAA trial report!

Sorry, no video. I couldn't get anyone to do that for me, although I didn't try too hard. Kate videoed a couple times, but then we both realised she used someone else's camera!! LOL!! How funny is that? That person will be wondering what the heck!?

This was Spur's first outdoor trial in a while and he was a little out of sorts. Kind of sniffy at one point and slower than his norm lately. He did better in Snooker and we had an awesome run going, surely a Super Q which he needs, but I didn't support # 4 and.....TWEEET.....we only ended up with 35 points. You need 37 to Q. Darn it!!! He qualified in Steeplechase, but was kind of slow for a third place since I am a LOSER and missed my walk through and only got to see five dogs run ahead of us before running it cold. But, he Q'd and ran OK.

Sunday was better, but WICKED hot and humid. He wasn't super fast in Standard, but it was a very hard course and he nailed it for a win! None of the other 12" dogs Q'd. Then he ran really well in Grand Prix for a Q and a win! Again, none of the other 12" dogs Q'd. It wasn't that hard a course and we did a Jenny Damm move! She was there trialing after doing a week of seminars and I saw her coaching my friend Mary. It was a rear and then blind that worked perfectly to get a tight turn and not open up the off course tunnel. Spur loves blinds and we did five on that course, one being that cool Jenny Damm move. I introduced myself to her on Saturday and she was funny, looking at Spur she says......."What's that?"...and everyone chuckled. I said probably a pap/aussie and everyone agreed. He flipped up his papillon ears!

We ran a very nice Steeplechase finals but again a third place. Super fast Race and Sparkle beat us. By several seconds!

Last run was Jumpers and he won it and Q'd, but seemed very tired and slow. It was really hot.

My take on the weekend is that Spur likes loud, crowded indoor trials SO much better. I hope it's really loud and crowded at the Nationals.

**Laura, Lance and Vito - I have decided, with Silvia's suggestion, to stop working turns. She thinks he is too much like her Bu and worries and will end up slowing down if we work on them too much. She said with some dogs like Spur and Bu turns just get better without any training. She suggested I keep working curves, since he is higher on curves and try to get deeper hits with those, but stop working turns. I think that's a good plan!!!! We did some straight exits Friday and he got his speed back and was deep and awesome!! YAY! Perfect at the trial! :D

Friday, September 2, 2011

Working turns with Spur

After reviewing the video I see that placing the "stick" farther out actually made him worse? It looked better at first, but that's when he was going slow. He worries some with new stuff and is slower because of that. Silvia wanted to see if we could get him deeper on the flat as he was VERY high on the full DW. Not sure it is much better. Some, but the trouble is I really can't see his hits from my position very well. Hard to see how deep he is. From the camera angle it's easy to see. :P

His pivoting is so cute. He sure enjoys it. Not as psycho as Rock Star Roscoe, who can't possibly pivot because that's just too slow. He ends up whipping around in a circle, front feet come off the platform, he's just NUTS. Spur is way more thoughtful.

He sure looks HUGE in the pivoting part, A? I mean, shit, he's only 14lbs.