Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2014

Last year (2014) was such a difficult time. I lot two family members (cancer) and learned many important life lessons. The T-shirt slogans come to mind: Don't sweat the small stuff. Live for today. You only go around once; make it worthwhile. As trite as they are, the reason they are trite is because they are true. Hug your dogs. Love your family. Pay attention to relationships. Be kind to one another.

2015 Update

I've been running both Cosi (now 9) and Dixie (now 3) in AKC trials this year. In July Dixie completed one year of agility trials. I see her "green dog" behavior on course, but keep working on foundation exercises and handling skills. She shows a lot of potential. Cosi is F.U.N. to run. We've been working together for 6 years now, and I so enjoy his company, his attitude, and his "game on!" expression. We're off to In The Net this weekend for the Dauphin Dog Training Club trial. Can't wait!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reflections

Now that the year is winding down and the holidays are upon us, I have been reflecting on this past year and our agility accomplishments.

Cosi is the most amazing dog. We travel well together, we hang out well together, and we run together and have fun. Next year Cosi will be 8 years old. We will make an appearance at AKC Nationals in March. My hope is to bring home a Q ribbon from Nationals. We've had a very busy agility season this fall. From September to December we went to 10 trials. Our Q rate has been less than impressive. I don't know if it's a hold over from my many successes with Brisco, but I don't feel that Cosi and I will ever reach that level of teamwork where we can Q on a regular basis. When we do Q, we place, which is nice. I despair of getting a MACH with this dog. We have 1300+ points (you need 750) but only 8 QQ's (you need 20). I despair of ever getting into double digits with QQ's. Thus, I'm thinking that next year I will back off the agility schedule to local trials. It's not worth the money of hotels and trial entry fees to keep failing. I don't have the speed and skills needed to make this dog successful. I've always felt that with a better (maybe younger?) handler, Cosi would be MACH 10 by now.

I close this blog with a heartfelt wish of a Merry Christmas to all and many blessings in the new year.

Signing off...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Down Time

Now that the marathon of 5 straight weekends of trials is over, I'm evaluating next steps. I enrolled in Puppy Peaks again for the year, and I'm thinking of going through the body awareness modules again. I want to work with both Dixie and Cosi on rear end awareness.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marathon Update

Cosi and I have been on a marathon pace this fall. We have been going to trials ever since the last weekend in September. We have two more to go. Last weekend in Northumberland we managed to snag two jumpers placements and one FAST placement. Seems it wasn't our weekend for standard courses. :(

I have been working jumping foundation skills with Cosi. With Judy Kolva's help, I've devised some exercises to cue him for turning better. With two first place placements in jumpers last weekend, I'd say it's working!

I had a very nice compliment last weekend. A fellow competitor--also a Sheltie person--came up to me after our FAST run. Cosi and I were eating our breakfast sandwich (thinking of you, Anna!). She patted Cosi's head and said, "Can I just say how much I love this dog?" I was stunned. Wow. What a lovely thing to say. I stuttered a reply, but really took the compliment to heart. I know I love him, but to have a fellow competitor appreciate his skill and joy of running--that really meant a lot to me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

LKC - Fun Courses

Cosi and I went to the Lancaster Kennel Club trial this weekend. What fun courses we had! We ran in FAST, Standard, and JWW both days. We Q'd in standard and in jumpers, but not on the same day. Same ol' song. LOL

The courses were a blast to run. Here are the standard and jumpers courses from Saturday:

Standard

Jumpers (came in first!)

On Sunday we Q'd in standard and took first--Wow! In jumpers there was tunnel, jump, tunnel. And, as I feared, the jump between the two tunnels came down. But he put down a blazing run at 26 seconds. I'm thrilled with our teamwork and how aggressively we are running. Fun stuff.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Do-Land

I have been watching Susan Garrett's videos that she is posting on her Facebook page. It is a series of three videos about overcoming struggles in dog training. She is brilliant. In part 2 today she talked about the three ways to overcome an "issue," whether it is nipping, chasing cars, or not holding a sit/stay. There is such valuable information in her videos, and she presents it in such an easy-to-understand manner. I highly recommend you watch the series.

Then, best news of all, she is opening the Puppy Peaks on-line class again. This class, by far, was the BEST on-line class I have taken. I had heard all her phrases and ideas, but this class put it all together for me. The Ah-ha moments were coming thick and fast every week. Such as, "Oh! THAT's what it means to redirect!" or "See? That's the problem I have too! What's she going to do to work through it?" Her videos of raising puppy Swagger, now two years old, were so valuable. The BEST ones were when things didn't go as planned. I learned so much about mechanics, timing, and rate of reinforcement. I felt empowered and armed with a "bag of tricks" that I could pull out a game or a plan to help my puppy Dixie overcome an issue such as meeting strangers.

As the movie critics on TV say, I would give this video series a two-thumbs-up rating. And if you have an opportunity to enroll in Puppy Peaks, you will reap many rewards. Go for it!

Here is the link for her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanGarrettDogAgility?fref=ts