Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wow, nearly a week???

Since my last post!!?? Everything takes longer when it is cold, that is the plain and simple of it! I saw a cleaning service at one of my jobs yesterday and the guy says to me........"Oh, your jobs must be a lot shorter these days". Huh, well, maybe my WALKS are a bit shorter, but certainly the jobs are not. It takes just as long. Getting in and out of houses with my hat, mittens, ice cleats, coats on dogs, etc., just all takes so much longer. And my chores at home take longer. There is the woodstove, the water for the horses, the heater disks for the barn kitties. Everything takes LONGER in this weather. And then at night, I am DONE by 7:30. Collapsed on the couch wondering why I am so tired. The dark, too, adds to that. Very thankful to have a couple sunny days. It sure has been a dark and dim winter.

OK, so as seems to be the trend, more trick videos!!! What else can we do?? The dogs, even the 15 year old Pin Heads, are driving me nuts! Spur has been out snow shoeing with me some, but some days it is just too cold.

So, our latest is Spur learning to roll a ball. Session number three. I first started sitting down, but then he just leaned on the ball and so Silvia told me to stand up and reward up with him standing on the ball. He sure seems to have this one and should have it fluent pretty quickly!! I will go to a smaller ball next!!!


And this is from the trial over the weekend. Spur did GREAT! His best favorite friend Mary was there and she sure knows how to get him excited before he runs!!!! :D

Friday, January 24, 2014

Some videos

It is STILL SO COLD. So, no long walks for us lately. The dogs are BORED!! So, we work on tricks. The mental work totally tires them out nicely!!! :D Roscoe STILL isn't totally figuring out the skateboarding, but it is better!!! The hopping is cute!!! Funny style, but perhaps he is still worried about his toes getting run over? The barrier helps, but he needs more practice.

Spur working on independent hand stand. I let him cheat too much because he then stretches his legs way high and it is SO cute!!! But, he needs to work on lifting himself a bit more. That takes some strength and balance, so not easy to do.

Jones' latest running dogwalk work. We are using the carpet to hide the contact and  try to get him to stop making the unnecessary adjustments on the down. It is working, but I need to not work on handling after. He doesn't need it, he is very responsive, so we just need him driving more and feeling it without trying too hard. He is nicely in if he just runs. The carpet is working, but he doesn't drive as nicely on this DW probably because it isn't rubber? It is a little slippery. But, if we work on just straight, easy exits and driving forward I think he would be back to his good footwork. Can't do much, this place is an hour drive. This session was three sessions with at least 10 minute breaks. I would never do this many reps at home. But, there will be no work at home for a very long time, damn winter. It is horrible here. Solid snow pack, really cold, just not nice weather. I am not happy about this winter, it is too cold for even woods hikes at the moment. >:/

I can't remember if I put here Spur's latest penguin trick. This was last week. We have only worked on it once, since then and are not much farther along. This is a tough trick, so it may take a while for independence. When I click he grounds his front feet, so I am trying to get him to stay up even after the click and take the treat and keep trying. It is SO cute!!! One of the cutest tricks, I think!!!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

So cold!!!!

Last week was SO much nicer!!! I took care of my friends dogs and was able to let the cat out for some social time. she is not safe with the border collies, so they had to stay out. I call this border collie torture. They not only watch the cat, but watch the little dogs play. Poor border collies. Sweet old kitty totally ignores them.

Rich guided blind Colby with her leash, but she did not really need it, she did great!!!

Now, it is just too cold, we probably won't be heading back for a few days. :( I want last week back!!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Before anyone else!!!!

We went to the beach!!! The beach where dogs must be on a leash no longer than 4 feet. SERIOUSLY!!!! we kept the Pin Heads on flexes, with Roscoe being deaf and Colby blind, they are just safer on leashes, but Spur got to run!!!! He ran and ran and ran and ran, although strangely there were no shore birds to chase. Usually there are some seagulls willing to give him a game, but today only a pair of loons floating off shore.

SO glad we did that, then it snowed all day. I am SO bummed, the farm and trails were just clear enough for Colby. And the old golden I walk during the week was starting to have more walking in his area. damn this snow!!!!! Spur has great fun in it, but the old dogs do not. And Spur has fun without snow, so I am SICK of it!!!

Spur says... "Bring it on!!!!"

My paperwhites finally decided to bloom after MONTHS!!! goodness, but then they toppled over, so I cut some. Pretty, smelly flowers.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


roscoe always has that look!!! Even when he is happily sunbathing!!!!
My paper white bulbs FINALLY bloomed!!! It took them months!!!

Very pretty!!!

the snow is nearly all gone and we are muddying it out back!! spur found enough snow to wash the mud off, but he managed to drag home pricker twigs!!!! Took me a while to get them out of his fur!!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

It was like a National Lampoon Family Vacation movie!!!

Seriously!!! I am sure I can not put it in writing like it was in real life. We celebrated Rich's dad's 80th birthday at Sugarloaf. One brother has a big house there, room for all 16 of us. They have a rental unit downstairs, so two kitchens, four bathrooms, a hot tub, a sauna (huh, no one used that this weekend???), the downstairs bathroom has a door to the bathroom, then a door to the shower and a door to the toilet, so really great privacy options. It was perfect!!! Four brothers and their kids. Well, Rich and I have no kids, but the other three have 2-3 kids each. Ages 8-20. Not sure when was the last time we were ALL together? So, it was PERFECT!!!

OK, except for a few things. Of course, you already figured that since I mentioned National Lampoon, right??? ;D

First off, this is Sugarloaf, biggest ski area in Maine. Very popular! All the boys and kids ski. Big skiing family. Dad even skis regularly, still, at nearly 80!! He is AMAZING! So, Friday all the boys and the kids ski. Dad and Mom arrive that day, so Dad didn't get to ski, and I arrive with one of the wives and kids in time for Happy Hour. Yay!!! We are now all together and Happy Hour has commenced and the hot tub is in full use and kids are running around, everyone is happy, they had a great day skiing, it's AWESOME!!!, one brother and his new girlfriend are in the hot tube and feel/see water dripping from the over hang above. Since it had been SO cold last week, we just thought perhaps the ice on the roof was melting because of the steam from the hot tub, so no biggie. Well, it starts coming down a bit more. And a bit more, and then we see it coming out of the light fixture!!!! OMG!!! I stand up and look up and say........."OMG, that is coming from the bathroom above!!!!" :O Yep, it was!!!!! One of the teenage boys took a dump and over-flowed the toilet and didn't realize it. Ewwwwwwwww..................

The scene after that was a bit..........well........National Lampoon!!! LOL!!!! And, well, not really very funny, it probably means some major repair on the ceiling, floor, walls, insulation, etc., at some point. I think for now it is fine, but all that water went somewhere and will end up molding, so I think it will need some work at some point, but at least it never made it to any sheetrock inside the house and they can probably access the walls/floor, etc., from the over-hang ceiling which is exterior. Phew. That gave us a LOT to talk about for that night.

The next started early in the morning.......the rain. And it rain, and it rained, and it RAINED!!! At 8 AM we realized we were iced in. The guy who checks the water system for the mountain and houses slide off the road in front of the house. That gave us entertainment, but we also realized there would be no skiing. At least, not until the conditions improved. We watched this BIG ASS bulldozer with CHAINS spin tires trying to get that little water truck out. Then Dad was given some ice cleats (more like crampons!!!) and he tested them on the icy, slopping driveway. GO DAD!!! We also "clogged" up the internet, all 16 of us on our iDevices checking radar and weather and Facebook and shit. Finally, it was simply shut off so we could NOT use our iDevices. Good idea, we needed to just BE with each other, play games, read, socialize and NOT be on our devices!!!! But, for a family who is EXTREMELY active and the whole idea of the weekend was to SKI, it was not easy. Kids fought, adults fought, too much food was eaten, fun was had, yes, but definitely not what we all had hoped for and it was sure claustrophobic for everyone. Finally, the sand truck came and we could all get out, two went skiing for an hour, until they said the rain just sucked. The rest of us just wandered around the base, in and out of shops, not buying much, some hot chocolate. Then home for more eating, socializing, gifts and cake with Dad.

Then the photo!!! Of course, you MUST have a family photo. When we will ALL be together again???? Did anyone bring a camera??? NO!!! The ONLY thing ANY one had was an iDevice. Seriously????? Again, one of those National Lampoon moments. You have to be kidding, no camera, nothing with a timer!!! But, I found an app for that!!! LOL!!! Well, OK, but iDevices as good as they are do not take great indoor photos. They just don't. So, we manage a few photos, but they will all need some help because of the strange white eye from the flash. But, the National Lampoon Greatest moment was right before the last attempt to get another photo, the youngest grandchild comes strolling up the stairs and looks at us! WHAT?????? OMG, it was like a scene from a movie!!! Every single one of us reacted the same way...........MICHAEL!!!!! WHERE WERE YOU??????? The family couldn't believe we had gone through that whole scene and forgot about Michael!!! He says........"I was pooping.......downstairs". Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Oh, that had to be the funniest moment!!!!! So, of course, we have to do the photos ALL over again!!! :D Poor kid, we made sure the dog was in the photos, but NO one realized little Michael was not there. :O

Seriously, I don't think National Lampoon could write a better script. It was definitely a weekend we will talk about for ever.

Happy Birthday Grampa Carlson!!!! It was memorable!!! For sure!!!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The cold just makes everything take LONGER!!!

Goodness, it has been cold. It means turning off my barn hot water in the basement every night, then on again in the morning. Heating up disks to put under the kitties beds. Adding warmer packets to my mittens. Warming up the car. All those little things just add up and make a day go by SO fast!! Then we light the woodstove and sit in front of it (80 degrees! Yeah!) and never leave until bed. LOL!!!

At least, we haven't shoveled snow in a week. YAY!!

So, a few videos. First, Spur's run from Sunday. I pulled off too quick on the FC before the chute, but other than that he ran great, good boy! Table to teeter, not his favorite, but he did fine.

I played around with Coach's Eye editing program. Time consuming, but kind of cool....

Some trick work to keep the dogs busy, they are SO bored when it is SO cold.......

Colby, now nearly completely blind, plays with her ball!!! We do this morning and night for her......

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Yes, I am bored. -10 here this morning and I could not bring myself to get up and drag all three dogs to NH for an agility trial. Just getting everyone out to potty in this cold is hard enough at home. 

But, at least the SUN is shining for e first time in days!!!! The horses were glad to get,out!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

What we do when the weather SUCKS!!!

We rent a place a long way away! Well, actually, it is only about 45 minutes away on New Years morning, when hardly anyone else is out on the roads. This place is at least an hour when it is a normal traffic day. Sucks, driving in traffic sucks. I could drive an hour in the country and not complain. In traffic, I get grumpy! Well, New Years day I wasn't grumpy! :D
So, I drove even farther! I drove to get Jones (only about five minutes from my house, but that is five minutes FARTHER than the facility, so it adds a total of 20 minutes if you count the time to return him!), then drove up to this new place. It was AWESOME!!! Warm, nice equipment, good company with Shona and Rankin and I also brought Spur, so he and Jones had a blast!!!
Trained Jones with the carpet on his DW. Silvia now says that we need to try to break his habit those major adjustments doing his funky 1 1/2 hit downs. They are not deep enough and if he would just run normally with two hits, he would be perfectly in. Same thing for Spur, only with Spur if he would only take out one hit and run normally he would be perfectly in. With Spur we just let it go. Not sure if she just didn't know how to help him back then? I asked if I have been TOO picky with these two dogs, both are showing great understanding, but working TOO hard to hit the contact. She just said......"Maybe". This carpet thing is new. It isn't even on her DVD. Basically, the idea is to hide the contact and try to get the dog to just run and stop making adjustments. It sort of worked with Jones. During the session I was pretty excited because he had nice, deep hits he hasn't had in ages. But, upon video review I saw he added a hit. But, at least he isn't making those strange adjustments, so we are going to continue and keep at it with the carpet. SO wish I could train more often, damn it. HATING THIS SNOW!!!

We now have another blizzard and so with all the snow there is NO hope of having my dog walk here at home out for months. :(


I think with Spur using the hit-it boards had something to do with his adding a hit. And now he is so patterned to that pattern it is hard to change. He only does his 2, 3, 2 pattern on my rubber DW. I have never seen that anywhere else, he always does 2, 3, 3. Jones is now doing 2, 3, 2 or 2, 2, 3. That adds an extra .2 seconds. Still, faster than a stop, so we will take it. No question he fully understands his job, which is nice, so it should only get better and better, but we don't want what happened with Spur to happen with Jones. We want to start getting him patterned to 2, 2, 2. If we can train on a rubber DW indoors with this carpet we might start to see that, but these slippery indoor DW's don't help. He just can't get enough grip to get momentum. Maybe the carpet will help, but he isn't soaring the first apex as much.

One more video, while I am at it. Colby, playing with her Special Ball! It is nearly as old as she is and I hope it outlives her because I can't find one JUST like it. I do have one like it, but to HER it isn't "it". I only let her play with it, with the occasional steal from Spur. Then I take it away for the next time. 

Is she dreaming of playing with her ball?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It is COLD!!!

M4:00 and the temperature is -3. Forecast says -3 overnight. Um, it isn't even night, yet. I think we might get colder. Ugh. Our wood stove has been giving us fits. the manual says "burning wood in a wood stove is not a science, but more an art".

OK, is that their way of saying they don't have answers???? And I sure wish the manual would explain why wood stove people do not return calls. We have calls in to several people, several times and not one has returned our calls. One store had a message saying they were closed this week for inventory, but would check messages and return calls. Huh. OK, so explain to me how you have a wood stove business and you close for inventory during your busiest time?????? I THINK if I had a wood stove business I might want to be open in the winter and close for inventory in the summer????? call me crazy, maybe I don't get it. 

Oh well, we will hone our wood burning art skills as best we can. and heat up the cat's heat disks for their beds. They LOVE those!!!!