Saturday, March 31, 2012

I am trying to clean my house

I did some laundry, too. Washed Roscoe's fleece from his crate, it's white and has paw prints on it and I got it at Home Goods. Apparently, there are fleece and there are fleece. This fleece is cheap and one washing has it falling apart!! I ended up with fleece "bunnies" on all my wool socks. I shaved my socks.

And you thought those sweater shavers were a gimmick? Nah. They work and they work really well!! Especially when you wash a cheap fleece throw with pretty Smart Wool socks. Shit, those socks are EXPENSIVE and were a gift from a friend. I love those socks and they looked pretty crappy after washing with a cheap fleece from Home Goods.

Now I need to empty it and do the other sock! And you thought I had an interesting life!? Really, I am always amazed when I hear people read this blog. My life isn't THAT interesting. I shave socks!

Friday, March 30, 2012

And more Spur!!

I could never figure out how to save an old video off of youtube, so I decided to just film it from my computer screen. It worked fine. So, I experimented and made a little movie of Spur's transformation! Kind of cool, but I can't add text with the basic iPad iMovie program I have. It allows some music, photos, some simple editing stuff, but I don't know how to add text. What I might do is add text to a photo since I am able to add photos. I'll figure it out if I can, but for now here is my simple movie.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NOT funny!

OK, so it is all gone now, but still. Somehow waking up to that just made me grumpy! The flowers? They actually probably were very happy because it has been very dry. We need more moisture right now. Rain would be better than snow, however. Just for my mental state.

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Spur, it's all about Spur lately

And Roscoe isn't too keen on that. I try to get lots of Roscoe time and training, too, but when I am training Spur often Roscoe gets pissed. He peed in the house a couple times and that happened before when Spur was getting more training. He's now crated or has a belly band on for certain times. Damn!

We had a team trial this past weekend. Crazy busy trial and I was trying to redeem myself with my teammate by making sure to get a Q because I NQ'd us the last time. What do I do? I E on the very first run, ACK!!! I did a blind and did not connect with him. A stupid, "novice" mistake. He took an off course. TWEEEET, goes the E whistle. Damn IT. We then ran the next three classes REALLY well and managed to get into 3rd place out of 17 with our National Champion and his brother in 2nd. And then I E in Relay. Damn IT!!!! I made another stupid decision to run the half of Relay that had the teeter. It was teeter to tunnel and I thought that would really make him happy and the other half was really tough and my teammate is much more experienced. But, after the teeter he scooted off, like he sometimes does when it frightens him, and took an off course. BUT, we still managed to be JUST above the cut off and got a Q. PHEW!! Team is SO crazy!!!! Relay counts for like 40% or something. Thank goodness she ran her half clean. We made the cut off by something like 25 points, which isn't much.

I don't have any of the teams runs on film. I have his steeplechase runs, but no team runs. He had a very nice standard, under 40 seconds which is pretty good for him. And only 3 seconds behind Race, the National Champion, which again is REALLY good. We can sometimes be 10 seconds behind Race, LOL!! Race is ..... um .... lightening fast!!!!

His starts were not great this weekend. The courses were HARD. Like first jump a slice to the BACK side of the second jump. How demotivating! Another was jump, jump straight on to the BACK side of the third jump which was striaght on. Another really sucky way to start. I have to say this weekend's courses made me look forward to running some more AKC courses, LOL!!! Usually, AKC has nice long straight starting obstacles to get some speed up before doing something twisty and turny.

I'll post his steeplechase runs tomorrow, for now you'll have to do with Friday's practice. We ran the sequence and I think I did a better job of getting my verbals out in time. That's pretty BIG for me, LOL!!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Um, it's too hot!

It was 80 degrees yesterday! That's all well and good, but without any leaves on the trees there was no shade. I was out in the sun ALL DAY. I lathered up with sunscreen, but I felt like I had been beat up by the end of the day. It sucked my energy. The sun, an energy sucker.

I walked a lot of dogs who were REALLY feeling the heat.

My horses with their winter fur still, tried to find shade in the bare branches of the honeysuckle bushes. The only shade I could find were some areas of pine trees. It's INSANE!!!!

Today is nicer, but it is very dry. Dry and windy and the brown grass makes for a very high fire danger. Some cigarette butt tossed to the side of the road could easily start a brush fire.

I am trying to do my online class homework, but it was SO hot!!! My last work was on Monday and the glare from the sun messed up my video. The whole video thing is such a pain, but I DO love the class.

Here is our latest. Doing multi wraps for the first time. Spur thought they were kind of boring, but he sure needs this work. Lots of reinforcement for jumps. Jumps are NOT his favorite and they re certainly the biggest number of obstacles in agility. So, building drive for jumps is pretty important!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Super fun USDAA trial on Sunday!

No gamble, darn it, but that's how it goes. It was a gamble we could have gotten if I had handled it differently.

The last course of the day was the highlight, though. It was jumpers with a very international flare! Why "international"? Back sides of jumps, threadles, crazy stuff everyone complained about as they saw the map. Uh, OK, we watch the international folks run courses and ooh and aah about them, yet complain when we get a course in our little local trials??? Huh? I couldn't wait to tackle this course!!

For one major reason.......jump #18. It had a wrap possibility that was much like what we have been practicing!!! ***Follow the numbers carefully!!! This course was not what we normally see at our little local trials.

Spur was one of only a select few who ran this clean. He was the fastest of the three performance dogs in all heights to be clean, by over 5 seconds. :D He did well and he wrapped 18 like a champ!!!! On #8 I pushed to the back side, then him into the threadle to the back side of #9 and then let him jump behind me with a blind as I tucked in after 9 so he was then on my left for 10. 10 - 11 doesn't look so hard, but it was a definite slice and for some dogs who jumped 10 big they missed 11 all together. The threadle had many people stumped. And managing 18 a lot of dogs knocked that bar.

He had a really nice standard with hardly any time lost on the table, good Monkey Pants!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

OMG, I learn so much from video!

Here is Spur's first sequence for our online class. I am SO late with my cues. What is WRONG with me??? LOL!! He does pretty well, but boy do I need to get those cues out faster and earlier.

Roscoe did it first to help me learn it and BOY he sure doesn't know how to jump and wrap tight. Hah!! He had fun, though!!!!

The little Leta had to come out and play!!! She's TOO much!! She loves her balls!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Yikes, what happened to the days? It's Wednesday already!!

It's March, that's what happened. February, March and April = a lot of people go away. I have my full load of mid-day dog walks, plus a bunch of extra kitty visits for people away. I am BUSY!! And, the weather has been PHENOMENAL, so I am out enjoying it!!

Didn't get to the beach this week, mostly because the days were TOO nice and that means the beach will be very busy. It's just hard managing the dogs and the social skills they need with so many other dogs. It's just HARD. So, if my woods and fields are dry and we can play here, we do. And lots of farm walks.

And some homework for our online class, that I LOVE!! I just can't get over how fun it is, how HARD it is, and how Spur is SO enjoying the work!!!! I am seeing such a change in him!!! We worked over the weekend on right wraps. Something we had not done since the first time. Hah, those were not as tight as his left wraps now. Guess we can't just work on one, we must swap back and forth. Actually, that IS one of the next exercises, doing two jump figure 8's. I tried that today and I think he did great! It's hard to see how tight as I am running with him. And it's just a pain to set up the video.

Here is our latest submission. You can see his right wraps are not as tight. In one session however, he actually improved. The next time out he was MUCH tighter.

With the weaves I was trying to send him to the entry and then run in front and head the other way, but I had trouble getting there. He doesn't send as well as I thought he would on the hard entry side, so I'll work on that. He did better actually yesterday. Maybe the channels just look so different? He's catching on quickly, though. Amazingly fast!!

Roscoe SO wants to join in. I had to put him in the xpen during the weave work. I just don't think that's good on his back. The low jumps are OK, but weaving is hard on them. Maybe doing the channels would be OK, but I thought he would be in the way. Poor guy had to sit in the xpen, but I tossed him a bunch of cookies!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More homework and Roscoe just couldn't resist!

How could I tell him he couldn't play, too??!!! He really wasn't that much in the way, except on that last one where I nearly step on him. You can see how he sure was never taught to wrap a jump tight. LOL!! I let him join in as I didn't see how it was too much of an issue. Colby was smart enough to hang back, but at the end of each rep they all joined me and got cookies for doing a down. Roscoe would even offer his frog trick, hahahahaha!!!

I like this session because I am able to leave earlier. But, I think I still need to get him sending to the jump, committing to it from farther away. It IS better as I can leave and he doesn't pull away from the jump, but not a huge distance. In her assignment video she is probably about 15' away and sending her dog. That's pretty far distance!

Today I will try some right turns. We worked left turns only lately because my initial video showed he wasn't as tight on left turns and that makes sense because as we know from his RDW work he thinks better on his right lead. But, I better try some right turns before we progress. Goodness, this on line class is demanding!!!! I think we are supposed to have new homework tomorrow. ACK! I sure haven't mastered the homework currently. :O

It's really fun, though, and I am totally enjoying it. I haven't read a book in weeks, but I sure do love watching videos from people doing agility all over the world. GREAT fun!!! And I think these little exercises are going to REALLY help little Spur gain more confidence and speed. He sure seems to be having fun and that's really what it's about, right??? I'm not great at setting up my camera, but whatever. At least I am able to edit the videos in iMovie on my iPad with very little time!! THAT's very cool!!

My only complaint with the class is that people do not edit their videos enough. Some of them are WAY too long. I don't know how she stands it. I lose interest after about 1 1/2 minutes. Anything longer than that I my attention wanders or I stop watching. Some people send in FIVE minute videos or longer!!! She sometimes says something, but not often. I like to send in videos less than a minute, if possible. Why would you need more?? People will leave in their videos their tugging and rewarding and playing with their dogs. Why does that need to be there? It gets boring watching someone tug with their dog over and over and over. OK, great, you can play with your dog, that's great, but I don't need to see that again and again and again. I would certainly complain about that if I were the instructor.

Here is my SHORT video. Love that little Roscoe, he so wants to work!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

OH my, what a busy week!!

February, March and April are my busiest months. Many people go away during these months. So, my pet sits visits have increased a LOT!!!! I seem to be unable to keep up lately, but life is GOOD. I am very happy to have so much work and be making some extra cash!!! :D

Surprisingly, nearly all the snow melted this week and I got in some good homework practices. This session is trying some channel weaves for the first time. Silvia suggests using channels to practice hard stuff because weaving is hard on many dog's bodies. She says it isn't going to hurt your closed weaves, just practice those maybe once or twice, but when working some extra hard stuff and proofing solid weaving, open them. So, I was able to get my stick in the ground weaves in, the ground thawed just enough.

It was interesting watching Spur struggle a little with them. He had to do them a few times before remembering how to. He was trained on channels, but that was years ago. You will see in this video that he tries to "weave" pole ten a couple times. But, he does figure it out and does pretty well. In this session I worked on back crosses and stopping my forward motion. He did fine with those. He has a lot of groupies. He likes his groupies!

So, yesterday I tried some hard entries from the "soft" side. I started with the jump straight ahead so he curved into the entry, then I angled it to face the entry more which gave a straighter, more perpendicular approach which was harder. He missed the one time, but did pretty well!! I'll try some other challenges today. He had not trouble staying in them yesterday. I have them about 6 inches open. I tried at first opening them more, but that made it worse as he tried to weave one side, LOL!!! She basically likes the dogs to not have to "weave" when doing a bunch of reps, just run straight through.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Our homework again!

OK, so I snow shoe-ed a "runway" for doing our tunnel sends. The homework was to do sends to GO - straight exits. Then tunnel sends to call to hand. Then tunnel sends to front crosses. Then tunnel sends to shoulder pull, resulting in going back in the tunnel.

The first call to hand he read as a shoulder pull and went back in the tunnel. Then stopped dead with this expression like........"Huh, what the heck?". I gave him a cookie and tried again. He caught on quickly. I am MOST pleased by his awesome restrains!! Holy smokes, he sure is liking those!!! Go figure!

Today we went to the beach for a two hour walk with Mary. It was SO lovely down there! WAY low tide, tons of running for the dogs and Colby did great! It wasn't that crowded. In fact, we were alone most of the time. Roscoe tried to hump a big Newfoundland. We have met him before and he's a mellow dog, but STILL........DUDE......not a good idea! He's become a dirty old man. Then after the newfie left he thought about humping Mary's Cody. Um.........NO. Good GRIEF!!!

I had Spur wear his harness and did some restrain sends to chasing seagulls. He LOVED that! Mary was impressed! I walked dogs from 9:30 on and boy my legs were like rubber by the time we got back to the parking lot. I probably logged in nearly 16 miles today?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vomiting and diarhea?

So, busy weekend here, really. We had a houseful of Carlson's because of the storm. They were on their way to Sugarloaf to ski and the storm made their travel very slow, so they (five!) stopped here for the night. That's a lot of beds to make up!!! Fun to see them, BIL, FIL and two nephews and a neice.

Then I had just morning runs at the USDAA trial. Saturday was awesome, Spur's starts were FABULOUS!! I forgot to tell my videographers to be sure to GET the starts, so they aren't on the films, but he was SO fast I was out of position! Hahaha, good problem to have! No gamble, but I felt good. I breathed after the buzzer and that's HUGE!! Hahahahaha!

He had some loose poo that day, though, probably from some bits of pineapple? I don't get that very often, so that was a novelty and maybe didn't agree with him? Sunday we arrive, I potty the Pin Heads and bring their crates and such into the building and tuck them in. That's a feat in itself, so much easier if one can work out of their car, but too cold. Go get Spur and potty him.......ACK.....he proceeds to vomit up breakfast, several times, then have icky, messy poo. NOT easy to clean up in the snow and ice. Ugh........I look at him and he LOOKS fine, wants to go into the building and have fun, but I start to think maybe he's getting really sick. And maybe he has some virus and I don't want to keep him on the site if that's the case. So...........I put him back, pack up the Pin Heads and go home. :(

THAT SUCKED!!!!! Especially, since the courses looked really Spur-friendly!!! Good long start lines all the way across the ring, nothing twisty and turny until later in the course. Perfect for Spur. DAMN IT!!! The gamble even looks do-able!! But, we went home and sulked. And he acted TOTALLY FINE, going out to the yard and wanting his frisbee, bugging Colby to play. We took a short walk and he was RACING around. DAMN IT!!!

He then had a nice, solid poo. Go figure. It probably was the pineapple bits. Oi!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Before the snow came!

We got some more home work done. I tried the little push away I sometimes do and that added some speed. Had a little trouble when my agility cat joined in. I didn't see her coming and then there she was!!! Poor little guy got pretty bummed out not doing that jump, but watch him recover!!! He works through it good Monkey Pants!!

I also worked on just the restrain to tunnel/ball. I watched all my trial and class videos this year and noticed a pattern. If I do the little bouncing into place that I sometimes do with him he starts faster. I wasn't sure he liked that, but I guess he does, so yesterday I tried really pulling on his harness and, well, it sure seemed to work. Something I can definitely keep working on!!! Funny little guy!!! It also helped that he had an audience and little Stella competing for attention!!! That always makes him try harder!!! :D