Friday, July 30, 2010

A Swimming Weekend

Since Cosi and I will not be going to trials in August, I thought I'd make a little me time. I'm going swimming on Saturday for the first time in a very long time. I recently lost 25 pounds and had to actually go shopping for a bathing suit as the ones I had were two sizes too big. The weather promises to be lovely for being poolside on Saturday. Here's to treating ourselves with sun, relaxation, and drinks with little umbrellas!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Got Treats?

Our on-line training seminar with Susan Garrett starts this weekend. In preparation for playing "31 games in 31 days," I'm assessing my treat arsenol. I have some Laske Krunchers and some TreatCo steak biscuits, but I thought I'd ask you what are the treats your dogs enjoy? Any good tips or recipes? Let me know...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pittsburgh Weekend



Jack and Cosi and I traveled to Pittsburgh this past weekend for a 3-day trial in Cheswick. GREAT facility! The temperature outside was 98 with a heat index well over 100! The humidity was off the charts. I was scrounging the back of the van for a jacket as I was cold from the air-conditioning. The dogs were quite comfortable.

Cosi and I had five fabulous runs. The highlight of the weekend was an Excellent A FAST Q; I've posted the video with this article. The best part of the standard and jumpers runs were that we were together and focused. I saw a huge improvement in our jumpers runs, especially, because he wasn't racing me or getting so high that he just starts course-building. Instead I set the line and he followed. Lovely.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Caption Contest

Jack took this picture:

I think it deserves just the right caption. Put your suggestions in the comments and I'll choose a "winner."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Brilliant Recalls

Susan Garrett, the agility trainer extraordinaire, is conducting an on-line course to help you get brilliant recalls from your dogs. After reading the course outline and her blog page, I decided to participate in the course. So exciting! The course begins August 1.

When Cosi and I are ringside at a trial, he can focus on me if we play games with treats. But just standing with me--like when we're waiting our turn in line--gets him so excited because he sees other dogs on course, running. He wants to get out there and run; his focus goes from me to the agility course. Then running the course excites him (tunnels really do a number on him) and by obstacle #4, he's a loon. He can't think or focus, and the usual things happen: a bar drops, he goes off course, or blows past an obstacle.

The purpose of this on-line course is to play games with your dogs to keep their focus on you even in the face of distractions. I want to use these games to have tools I can use as Cosi and I wait our turn at the gate. The bonus is going to be playing these games with all my dogs. What fun!

I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

All A's

Mike--the gorgeous pup at the top of this blog page every day--had his annual checkup last night. He got all A's on his report card. Nothing more satisfying than knowing your dogs are in tip-top shape.

I had to laugh at the vet. Mike's coat is so thick and impressive; the first comment out the vet's mouth was, "Wow! What a coat! How's he handling the heat?" Mike's great in the heat; he's in the air conditioned house!

Mike's been my shy sheltie, and I've worked with him to build confidence and look to me for direction in "scary" situations. I see such progress in him and was so proud of how he handled the vet's office. It was packed with dogs, cats, and people. One person even came up to him to say hello. Mike did what I've taught him; he touches them with a nose then comes to me for a treat. We even played his favorite game (I always take a container of treats to the vet's office) called Rule Outs. When the exam was over, I asked the vet to play Rule Outs, and Mike performed beautifully. He a love, that Little Mikey-Mike.

Monday, July 12, 2010

No More Vacationland

Naps on the porch with the pups are the best!

It's back to the grind today--no more Vacationland. I had the most glorious weekend--snoozes on the couch with the pups, agility training time with Cosi, and fabulous walks with the pack early in the morning.

I also got in some knitting time. My co-worker asked me to make a pair of socks for her from yarn from her own Alpacas. How cool! She also hand dyed the yarn, so the socks were truly unique.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Updates

Dan and Jack at Dan's graduation.

I'm back from vacation and here are a few updates:

Dad comes home from the rehab hospital today. What a relief!

My nephew Dan is here visiting with us. It's so wonderful to connect with him. He's very busy with work and getting ready to go to college. He and Jack are talking highpoints. (They hike/climb to the highest point in the 50 states. Jack has 49 highpoints; Dan, 20.)

Cosi and I are working on our contacts and are now participating in Susan Garrett's "amazing recall" e-workshop. We get to train with Susan on-line! Too cool.

Thanks for staying tuned...