Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spur's interesting dog walk

He has had trouble going towards "nothing" on this new DW and with the curved tunnel under it. First, he is FLYING and tries to do it in 6 hits. His normal is 8! He does 2, 3, 3. 2 on the up, 3 on top, 3 on the down. He has to collect and adjust to do that. However, MY thought has always been that if he would just extend and run FASTER on the top he could do 2, 2, 3, but he never runs like that in a trial, so he is always in with 2, 3, 3. Silvia says that is fast enough, it is about 2 seconds, and not to push for speed. So, in these training sessions I just try to get him to work it out and get back his 2, 3, 3 footwork. You see him start with 2, 2, 2, then he collects on the top and puts in a 3rd, but it is often too late and then he can't hit with 2 on the down.

Interesting thing, going the other way toward the tunnel he hits every time, no problems.

Silvia is on vacation hiking, so when she returns I will see what she says. Glad to have slow motion video back. Splice was gone for a while, but seems to have returned. Yay! I have no other way to make slow motion on my iPad. There is no other program that I know of and my PC is too full to load an editing program on.

Monday, July 29, 2013

What did I do all weekend?

I watched agility on the computer. Live feed from Brussels, Belgium!! SO cool that we get to do that! Our friends were there running dogs, our on line instructor was there and other people I "know" were running dogs all weekend at the European Open. This year considered the World Event of agility because technically it is in South Africa this year and very few people want to go there for safety and long travel time. Dogs in planes for 18 hours doesn't sound good to ME, either!!

Here is one video, the team relay with Silvia my on line instructor from Slovenia running first. Watch all four dogs have SMOKIN' running dog walks! SO cool to see! Really cool dogs and very fun course! Not quite as technical as some we saw over the weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How useful is venting?

Does it make one feel any better? Hmmm, not so sure. But, here goes because this is MY blog and I can VENT here!!

First thing...........on facebook twice in a week someone has posted photos of their dogs in a hotel room on the bed without a sheet from home to cover it. What the hell??? That is common etiquette when rooming with your dog, you bring a SHEET to cover the bed! Personally, I just bring my own comforter and then I don't have to worry about it. I just want to be the "fun police" and say something, but I never do. Come on people, cover the bed! We are lucky to be allowed to bring out dogs into our hotel room, let's make sure we do what we can to keep hotels allowing that and that means bringing a sheet and covering the bed!! One dog was on a WHITE comforter!! :O

Second thing..........this one is more benign and kind of silly, but I am a tweener. It makes me crazy. We have 1/2 sizes for rings and shoes, why not for clothing???? I am between sizes and it makes is SO hard shopping. I needed some shorts. I end up having to take both sizes of each item into the dressing room and try them both on. I hate shopping already and this just makes it even more irritating! Why not have half sizes?????

There, vented. Feeling better.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I was contacted by the AKC rep in charge of canine partners. Their silly name for mixed breeds. She wanted a bio and photos for their newsletter. I sent her three photos and she chose this one and said it looked like a professional one and could I ask the photographer for permission to use it. Hah! I said....."Oh that's MY photo, so you CAN use it!!". Cool that she thought it was a professional photo! It IS a good one! One of my favorites!

She also told me that Spur is definitely the first MACH mixed breed in New England, if you don't count PA. She's from the south, she didn't know. Goodness, what about geography in high school???? I suppose PA is north of the Mason-Dixon line and part of the Northeastern states. How do I know that? High school geography! LOL!!!
Pretty cool that Spur is a first in something! Our trial secretary for the area thought he was, but she wasn't totally sure. There are a few other secretaries for New England. There are some really cool mix breeds all over the country and in other areas many more than in New England. I checked, he isn't even a top 25 this year. There are actually two mix breed dogs attending this weekend's "unofficial World Championships" in Belgium. How cool is THAT????? Technically known as the European Open. This year Worlds are being held in South Africa and since that means many dogs would have to be 18 hours in a crate to fly there and it is SO unsafe there, most people are not going. So, this year many are considering the EO this year's World Championships. I'll be watching live stream!!! Go MIX BREEDS!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


The heat finally broke! I don't DO heat well. I don't do it at ALL. I was useless. Kept the AC going in the office, sat up there in the middle of the day, slept up there. It sucked, really. I just HATE the heat. I live in Maine for a reason and the heat isn't part of it. 
Sunday it finally broke and I enjoyed my patio again. My garden is in full bloom and looks lovely, although it needs some tending. I just couldn't do it in the heat. 
These red rudbeckia are beautiful, but very tender looking. Not hardy like some of the yellow ones. I think hybrid plants are just not hardy enough for my garden. Too much dog pee!

 My monkshood? It is hardy and I am getting a little tired of it. I dug up a lot of it last year, but still have plenty. It isn't a good cutting plant and maybe that is my feeling about it. I don't know, it gets old after a while, too big, too cluttered.
 Still trying for that fantastic hummingbird photo. They only drink for 30-60 seconds, so I have to work fast. And the sun always seems to be on the wrong side.
 A cute pair of goldfinches enjoyed the monkshood.
 Huh, I think that's it's tongue! They say they have forked tongues.
 Also, still trying for the cedar waxwings with a berry in their beak.
 Amazing looking bird!

 I struggle with photos from the boat coming out in focus because the boat moves. We had a LOVELY boat ride Sunday with friends. Every angle we looked was the same, incredible island views just like this. Casco bay is an amazing place!

It is raining today and while that stinks, I am happier than when it is HOT. At least I feel like I can DO things in this weather. It gets old if we get it day after day, but for now it isn't so bad.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Did you know toads like a massage?


Just glad the garden snake has not found this little one OR that the dogs didn't see it! :O I seem to get one every year in the dog yard.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How dumb am I?

OK, so this just keeps bugging me. At the trial I sat next to a top competitor and instructor, someone who has made videos on training stuff. Yeah, public blog and I should be all PC and not mention names, but seriously, who really cares???? SHE doesn't, she called out a whole group of people with her comments..............Amanda Shyne...........OK, very nice lady, she has a PhD and is very smart and her dogs are great and all, but um..............the comment was that she wondered why anyone with any smarts would train a running contact? Helloooooo...........I'm sitting right next to you and trained my dog to have running contacts. I guess that makes me dumb? WTF???? It really took all my will power not to speak up.

Honestly, what irks me most is that she must not have a clue HOW to train a running contact. Because if she did, which MOST people don't, she wouldn't be making such comments. If it is trained right, and those who have it show that, it is just as solid as ANYTHING the dog does on course. Those people who have trained it right are less likely to miss a contact as they are to go off course or knock a bar. And, I have sat and watched finals at Nationals, even those with stopped contacts miss contacts. Contacts are the number one reason for an NQ at the top level during finals whether or not you have a running. Stopped contacts are just as likely to miss during finals!! In fact, I would dare say those with true, trained runnings rarely miss at finals. The dogs are trained to hit in HIGH excitement and it is easier to run the contact than to stop. It becomes self rewarding and more solid.

The trouble is when people don't train it right and that is the majority and then people make these stupid comments. It is a complicated process, for sure, but if trained RIGHT it is so remarkably solid! Those who have trained it can prove that.

Why would anyone with any smarts train a running contact? Because it is FUN!!! The most fun training project I have ever done and I have trained my dogs to do a LOT of complicated things. Stop making stupid statements like that unless you fully understand the subject. That's MY take on it. I can't wait to train my next dog for running contacts. It is FUN and challenging and rewarding, that's why I train it!! And my dog would not be fast enough with a stopped contact. That's why I trained it. I sure don't think that makes me dumb.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Long trial report!

Because, yes, it was a LONG trial!! :D Three VERY full days of agility! This was the New England USDAA Regional in RI. At a new indoor facility, YAY!! FREAKIN' amazing facility!! HUGE, three rings going all day long and hundreds of dogs and, yet, the AC kept us cool and comfortable. The footing was phenomenal!! One ring had Launch The Dog equipment! OMFG that stuff is SO awesome!!! The most solid and comfortable contact equipment. Pretty jumps without any extra jump cups. Really, really cool!!!

Spur teamed with Maddie, the little blonde dachshund. I can't believe it, but we don't have a team photo!!! WHAT??? OK, so Maddie is just adorable, a mini-dachshund and she is fast, as fast as her short little legs will take her. Which really isn't very fast. LOL!! But, she runs her heart out and her person is only sixteen and very mature. She did awesome and our team managed to place 5th out of 27 teams!!! I have to admit during relay (the last of five runs for team and each dog runs half the course), we cheered and high fived every time we heard the whistle for other teams. A whistle means the dog/handler just went off course for an E (elimination). If you E in relay you are screwed. The 1st place team got an E and went from 1st to 8th!!! So, Lizzie and I sat there cheering quietly and high fiving each other every whistle we heard because we knew that would help our cause. Spur had a bobble at the weaves which cost us dearly, but still managed to put us 5th, so we did very well. :D OUr team name? Spurred On By A Little Blonde!! :D The cutest team there, for sure!!!!

Spur had some amazing runs! One jumpers run was 5.8 yards/second, which might be his fastest so far. He LOVED the big, loud, crowded event!! MANY of his fans were there, so he walked around smiling at everyone and getting patted and cookies!!! He loved it. The footing was brand new field turf with rubber pellets. Really, really comfy for running on and great for the dogs. There were people from all over the country. Some of the best agility ever was there last weekend. We watched and watched and ran and ran and had a GREAT time!!!! The walking outside was even good. Big fields, some trees for shade, huge areas to let the dogs run. Really great facility! Too bad it is so far away. Friday during rush hour was a four hour drive, ugh. Sunday coming home was only 3 hours and 15 minutes, so not terribly bad.

I have some highlites and lowlites. Although, with Spur just seeing him happy is a highlite and even his bobbles he looks pretty happy and OK about re-doing things. I am SO proud of him!!!! I felt like he wanted to run every time we got to the ring and that felt great!!! We had a wonderful time just me and Spur!!! I left the MinPins home and it was SO much easier.

So, here are some of our runs......

I honestly can't wait until next year!!!! It was so well run and such a nice facility. So different from last year's dirty, dusty, dry and HOT outdoor event.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Funny computer

It changed my font?? It is now larger. Everywhere?? Ghost?

OK, so I decided I HAD to learn how to dock the boat. This was my first lesson and second success. It is not easy. I am not sure there are enough lesson days out there. :P

 We scooted over to check out the lettering on the sailboat. Looks SWEET!!

 OK, here is how awesome my zoom is. See the tiny bare tree top?
 This was sitting on it!
 OK, now that the grass is so tall the dog's world just got smaller. This is what we see.
 This is what they see.
 A few days and these baby swallows are HUGE!!!!
 Don't jump out little fella........

 There are still three in there, one just doesn't get pushy I guess. It is thriving, though.
 Still can't manage to get the cedar waxwings with the berry in their mouths.
 Another motion shot fail. He was chasing the pipers out of the newly turned over soil. Talk about 4 wheelin' it dude!
 It was only empty for a minute! I clean it daily when I change the horse's water trough.
 A pretty hybrid echinacea.
 A fledgling blue bird.
 And one more baby swallow, cus they are just SO darn cute!

Monday, July 8, 2013

So many things to photograph this weekend!

The baby swallows look like they have had lip collagen treatments, LOL!!

 So cute!!
 Getting hot and stretching out.

 TOO hot! It was 97 that day out there. :O

 Oink, oink......

 OK, really? You decide to take root on the top of the post?
 Mom bringing lunch.
 A phoebe. Hard to photograph grey birds,.


 I guess it is called preening

 Hah, lunch just arrived without being captured. Thanks spiderweb!
 Handsome dude!

 The old man......
 Silly looking things.

 And, a THIRD shows up!!! Poor thing probably isn't getting as much food, but I have seen that happen and they still thrive!! You GO number three!!

 Someone enjoys the fresh pool!