Friday, December 30, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Heather and Trax were there. So awesome to see them run. What a great team they are. In standard on Sunday Cosi and Trax dropped the same bar on course. How funny is that? Must be genetic, Heather. It couldn't be our handling. LOL
Cosi and I Q'd in standard on Saturday, our only ribbon for the weekend. I was hoping for that first elusive QQ, but 2011 was not our year for it. We're done trialing now until February. In our down time we will relax, work on foundation pieces, play on the balance ball and peanut, and enjoy the holidays.
Merry Christmas to you, and wishing you all the best in the New Year.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
At the last agility trial Jack found a vendor who made custom signs. He commissioned a license plate sized sign showing Brisco as a year-old pup, smiling up at the camera, in his yard. We hung the sign on the gate where Brisco would keep watch, spin when a motorcycle went past, where anyone entering would know...this is Brisco's Yard.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The hotel was new to us; we had stayed in another location before. This one was closer to the site and was very convenient to restaurants. The dogs gave it a four paws up as it had lots of grassy areas for walks and sniffs and potties. Here is a photo of how Mike relaxes after a tough day on the road.
On Friday we started with standard. He had to be reminded of his contact behavior on the teeter; he tried to go on without doing 2o2o. I made him lie down; this caused him to be too close to the double, and he dropped the bar. Here's the video:
In jumpers on Friday, it was very twisty, turney course with lots of crosses and lead changes. Good. We've been working on our front crosses. I'm trying to not get my arms out so wide. We Q'd and came in third! Here's the video:
On Saturday we started out first with jumpers. Another good course with a tunnel as the first obstacles. Tunnels tend to crank him up, so I had to be on my toes. We had a fabulous run, but alas he dropped the third from last jump. But a great run, fun course, wish we could run it again. Here's the video:
Finally in standard on Saturday we watched the 20" dogs run the course. Not many Q's as the course appeared to have a lot of traps. As I prepared for the course, I kept thinking that I need to be aggressive in my handling. I held him to his contact behavior; again, he released early on the teeter. Guess what we'll be working over the winter!? We Q'd and came in 6th. Here's the video:
I guess you could say we QQ'd--Cosi Style. We Q'd once in jumpers and once in standard, just not on the same day. =:O) It's a step in the right direction. He was so fun to run this weekend. What a joy he is.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
With another year of agility trials almost at an end (we have two trials to go in 2011), I think about our progress this year. I re-worked our contacts to the point that I feel confident of his doing a 2o2o contact on cue. We progressed in FAST to 9 Excellent B Q's. One more and we will have our Master title in FAST. I keep working his foundation games, and they have proved valuable during our ringside warm up. Games of focus help us gel and connect before we go to the line. He still likes to test his start line stay, so there's a point to work during the off time in January. Keep your paws crossed for us this weekend. I hope to have video as I have a videographer this time. =:O)
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I made good choices, eh?
The dogs were impressive yesterday, too. We have a gate that separates the kitchen from the dining room. The dogs are only allowed in the kitchen. With company coming, I took the gate down so people didn't have to deal with it. Cosi, especially, made good choices. When we were in the dining room hanging the mirrors, he stood at the doorway, asking if he may come in. I gave him his release word, and he came in, laid down near me, and just hung out watching the commotion. I was so pleased that he remembered his criteria. An open door doesn't mean you bolt through it.
Then as guests were milling around getting ready to leave, I asked the dogs to get in their crates. They ran in and stayed there. I looked around after coming back in the house, and there they were, waiting for a cookie. Good dogs. Thank you, Susan Garrett, for good foundation training.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I enjoyed the show and was glad to see a showcase for these wonderful dogs. The American Kennel Club has been acknowledging outstanding dogs with a similar type of award. They break it down into categories such as companion dog, therapy dog, assistance dog, and police work.
With all the negative news these days, this bright spot of positive energy is welcome and comforting.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
This weekend I experienced a non-agility weekend. On Saturday I "slept in" until 5:30. I cleaned the house, decorated a bit for Christmas with new floral arrangements (a new skill I'm working on), then walked the dogs on the most perfect fall day. I put the dogs back in the van and headed over to the agility training center where we here having a house shower for our friend who lost her house in the flood in September. Good news--they may be able to move back in to their house on Thanksgiving weekend. Their two goldens--Tanner and Gus--were on hand to enjoy the party. It was great to see the support the agility community provided this couple.
Then, just to cap off a perfect Saturday, we got an extra hour sleep! Did you "fall back" with your clocks? Unfortunately, no one reset Cosi's stomach clock, and he pested at 4 a.m. (his 5 a.m.) for his breakfast. *sigh* Guess I sleep in my next life...
Monday, October 31, 2011
On Saturday we got 6 inches of snow. Here's a picture of our back yard as the snow begins. This was a dangerous snow as the leaves were still on the trees. The weight of the heavy, wet snow caused many limbs to break off. We had three huge ones fall into the yard. Thankfully they didn't hit anything. Many people in the area lost power--and are still without power. We were fortunate in that we never lost power.
Cosi loves the snow. This snow, however, was odd. As he was running in the yard, clumps of snowy slush would fall from the trees overhead. These blobs would whack him on his body. He'd look up as if to say, "What? I'm running here!"
Friday, October 28, 2011
In our small town Trick or Treat night is one of the few times where you get to see all your neighbors. We all sit on our porches to hand out the candy. Some have elaborate decorations complete with sound tracks. I bring the dogs out onto the porch with me to watch the kids go past. It's a good exercise in "just lie there and watch."
Sunday, October 23, 2011
On Saturday the courses--both standard and JWW--were fabulous. Good flow with good challenges in them. We ran great. Sunday's standard class was very tricky, very technical. Dogs were "biting the dust" right and left in the 24's and 20's. As I was getting Cosi ready to run, there was a father with his son sitting ringside. The son--a boy around 12 or 13--reached over to pet Cosi, saying, "Hi, puppy!" I said, "Not now, hon. He's getting ready to go in the ring. He needs to get his game face on." We ran brilliantly. We NAILED that course with only one off-course. All bars stayed up; contacted hit like there was no tomorrow! I was thrilled. As I came to Cosi's treat stash and was rewarding him for his great run, that same boy came over and said to Cosi, "You ran really good!" I grinned from ear to ear. Yes, he did. I have no video as my two buddies were busy with their own courses (it was a 3-ring trial), but I don't need video. I'll remember that run forever.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
The one judge at the trial had us use a new innovation to exit the ring. In AKC you must enter and leave the ring on leash. If you leave without your dog on leash, you are NQ'd. He had the club build an "air lock" at the exit of the ring. It was fencing with a gate on either end--an entrance and an exit gate. At the end of your run, you went into the air lock box. Your leash was inside the box. You got your dog on leash and exited out the back gate. This was fabulous, and I was so impressed with it that I wrote to AKC agility telling them about it. It kept the ring moving, and you could take a few moments to celebrate with your dog before putting his leash on. I hope it is adopted at more trials.
Oh, and yes, Anna, I had egg sandwiches both days. And they were fabulous!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Saturday, October 8, 2011
First, the one judge has everyone talking. The standard course was flat out ugly. It was tight and didn't flow at all. Cosi did well, dropping only one bar and had one off course. He held his contacts, so that was a plus. When the results came out, I was not surprised to see NO dogs Q'd in the 16" class. The big dogs didn't fare well either. Things that make you go hmmmmm....
I got to see my friend Scott run his small sheltie, Devon, in Excellent A jumpers. What a GREAT dog he is. He zoomed through the course with a Q and a first place. Well done, Miller Lite!
When there was a jump height change, I saw an unusual sight. The first 12" dog came in the ring. As the ring crew readied the course, she played warm-up games with her dog. I was surprised that no one told her to leave. Hello? Training in the ring is a huge No-No in AKC. Working your dog in the ring is getting an unfair advantage. *sigh*. Seems like I was the only rule-following fool who noticed.
I worked as ring crew for the open standard class. I got to observe the handling up close. In a word, oy. All everyone said was here, here, here. No direction like jump or frame or tunnel. Just here, here, HERE! As a result, dogs were all over the place, not running a course but just trying to guess where here is. I was wondering why our dogs just don't jump up and bite us in the butt. How's that for "here"?
I had high hopes for a QQ this weekend, but no luck on Saturday. We ran very well in jumpers, just dropped a bar on a tight turn. (Guess who was out of position?). We Q'd in FAST.
I will meet my good friend Janice for dinner tonight. We'll celebrate her speedy recovery from a recent hospital stay. Good friends+Good Dog=Great weekend.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Here is the link to one of his FAST runs. Nice contacts! Good weavers!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I also learned at class last night that a fellow agility competitor we all know in class lost her house in the flood. She and her husband and two golden retrievers got out to safety, but 4 feet of water covered her house. We will have a house shower for her next month to help replenish things such as kitchen items, linens, and food lost in the flood. The agility community is a good one, eh?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
...you use the dog bowls to fill the dishwasher so you can make a "full" load
...as you channel surf the television, you bypass a documentary about people in favor of a Dogs 101 episode on Animal Planet.
...when there is a dog in the movie and he gets hurt/lost as part of the storyline, all you can think is, "But what happened to the dog?"
...you hate when people snore but when your dog does it, it's "cute."
...you know what a GSD is.
...when car shopping, you only consider cars that you can get a crate in.
...every jacket/coat you own has a poop bag in the pocket.
...you don't remember the person's name, but you know their dogs. As in, "you know, what's-her-name...the one with the goldens?"
Can you think of some others?
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
This was an emotional day for many people. I was watching TV this morning at 8:30 and saw a documentary. It was very well done. It was both movie clips and still photos from people who took images from cell phones or cameras, and you practically re-lived the day. Then I watched a National Geographic Channel special of accounts from survivors. One was a man with a guide dog. To know what they went through...that really got to me.
No matter what the situation--life's trials and tribulations, elations and celebrations--our dogs are there with us. I know that dogs were used to find survivors as well as casualties after the attacks. They were also used as therapy dogs for the many people who needed help as they provided emergency services. Knowing that they played a role in that historic day makes me appreciate the work they do for us every day. Here is an account from someone who helped by making his therapy dog available at ground zero. Click here to read his account.
Friday, September 9, 2011
I was to attend a USDAA trial this weekend, but I still can't get to a main road. I have a 4-day weekend and no trial to go to! What's up with *that*!?
The back yard looked like a lily pond at one point. The doggies and I made it through the worst of it with only a flooded basement. We never lost power or had to evacuate like a lot of people around here. I am grateful for that.
Monday, September 5, 2011
This weekend at the Berks trial I had an opportunity to reinforce that, yes, I am serious about this behavior, and you will do it even at a trial. There are two cues for Cosi. The first is my word "touch" as he approaches the down side of a contact. The second is a physical cue. I put my arms behind my back. He watches me, and I figured I needed a cue to tell him we're not moving. With no arms to guide him to the next obstacle, he is more likely to stay put.
Berks was a three-day trial, and I had in my mind that I was going to use these three standard runs as practice, as money in the bank, towards reinforcing our contacts work. Forget Q's. Forget going fast. I wanted focus, 2o2o contacts, and controled speed. Friday was a nightmare. The beginning of the standard course was tunnel then A-frame. Perfect. A good test of our contact work. He came out of the tunnel, and he was high as a kite. He tried not doing 2o2o, so I had him lie down before going on. My message was, "You *will* stop!" He was frantic and our teamwork just wasn't there.
Saturday was 50 percent better. He tried to bag the first contact, but I waited him out. Bam! He went into the 2o2o position, and I was thrilled. Then he finally did a 2o2o A-frame! I was over the moon.
Sunday's course started with tunnel then dog walk. Good. Another good test of being high from the tunnel then get control on the contact; he nailed it. He did 2o2o for all three contacts and a down on the table. Check out that A-frame! Have you ever seen anything more lovely?!? I messed up with giving him a directional cue of "left" too early on the last sequence on the course. So, like a good dog, he spun, going left. We could have Q'd on the standard course, but, oh, well, next time. I was never more proud of him and our teamwork. Here's the video from Sunday:
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The owners of Eastland Alpacas really have a first class operation. They want you to interact with the animals, and they share their passion and knowledge of keeping alpaca. My sister got to hold a day-old baby, feed the herd, and learn about their upkeep. She's always wanted a "farmette," so this turned out to be a fun time.
Do shelties herd alpacas?
Monday, August 29, 2011
However, this past weekend, we went through Hurricane Irene together. It hit on Saturday late in the afternoon, and blew through until Sunday afternoon. It was 12 hours of torrential rain, wind, and flooding. My boys handled it very well. They even went out into the teeth of the storm on Sunday morning at 5 a.m. and pottied! What brave shelties. Cosi actually thought it was fun. He leaped out the door, ready to bark at the rain. Miss Jenny the Poodle (who hates to be wet) went from 6 p.m. on Saturday evening until Noon on Sunday with no potty break. She'd poke her nose out the door and said, "No, thanks. I'll wait." And she did. We tried and tried, but she wouldn't go outside.
The NJ shore trip I had planned for the weekend was a bust, but we'll try again next year.
Earthquakes. Hurricanes. What's next?! Wait! Don't answer that. I don't want to know.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Thank goodness for cell phones with data packages. Someone checked the internet on his phone and discovered there had been an earthquake centered in Virginia. We were feeling the effects.
About 15 minutes later we were given the all clear to return to the building. What an experience.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
It was amazing that (a) the dog didn't go after the horse, (b) that the horse didn't go after any of the dogs, (c) that no agility equipment was touched! I watched it several times, amazed at the outcome. Do you think it will go viral?
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I've been reflecting on this question all week. Our jobs are our source of identity. Without a job we often feel incomplete and, perhaps, even inadequate. I know. I was part of a very large corporate layoff in the '80's and was horribly lost without having a job to go to every day.
This also got me thinking about agility. Agility would be my answer to the question "What will you do after retirment?" I've been active in the agility scene since 2002. Brisco's first trial was in 2003, and I've been trialing ever since. The fact that amazes me is that even after nine years, this sport challenges me, is changing practically every year with rule updates and new venues, and offers as much or as little activity as I would like to give.
My retirement is years off, and as I think about what life would be like without going to a daily job, I wonder where agility will be at that point. What changes will come about? What new aspects are there to discover? What advances in dog training (the next "it" thing) will occur? Fun to contemplate.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
See that dot on the horizon? Cosi is chasing the plastic bag on the course line.
He's getting closer to the finish line!
Get that bag! Awesome run.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Cosi's 2o2o work continues. I purchased Sylvia Trkman's DVD on shaping tricks. What fun! I was laughing as I watched this video. Cosi and I have had three sessions so far. It seems he likes to back up as that's the behavior he automatically offers. I want to work on "sit pretty" and covering his muzzle with his paw. A work in progress for sure, but fun stuff. Can't wait to share it with Anna.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
Here is a picture at the all Sheltie trial when Brisco got his MACH. Fellow competitors Barb and Scott stop by to sign the bar.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Brisco and I competed in agility when the trials were all outdoors. No matter what the weather--pouring rain, heat, wind--we were there. He actually got blown sideways off a teeter one time! When I got my Lasik surgery done on my eyes, I couldn't wait for the next trial in the rain. I'd be able to see. One time Jack and I were in the van on the way to a trial, and it was pouring buckets of rain. Jack looked over at me and said, "You know this makes you hard core." We laughed. It was true. I had a partner that would go anywhere with me. Brisco was "hard core."
One time in Williamsport, the heat was unbearable. It was 80+ degrees in the morning when we ran jumpers, and I remember thinking we may not run standard. But when I walked the standard course, it was a good one. Brisco and I were among only a few 12" teams left. Others scratched because of the heat. We ran and Q'd then waited for results. Brisco took first place! We usually came in anywhere from 10th to 15th in a trial. A first place ribbon was a HUGE event for us. And that was Brisco--in it all the way. No matter what the issue--courses that ran uphill, wind, rain, heat--he was with me all the way. It was only one of the many reasons I loved him.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Brisco was my first agility dog, and I think they are always so special. I had never participated in sports before, so he lead me into a whole new chapter in my life. Here is our run at Nationals. Listen to the emcee as she reads the information I sent in about us. They asked us on the form, "What is something funny your dog does?" I wrote that Brisco likes to "talk trash" by barking and bouncing on the way to the ring. It was true. He was as mild mannered, as easy going as any Sheltie. But put a leash on him and take him to an agility ring, and he was ready to rumble!
Goodbye, my sweet prince.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I asked Scott after the run if he still gets nervous before a run. He said yes, and I'm glad to hear that. I do, too! I guess that keeps it all from "getting old." Each run is potential. Here's Cosi's FAST Q from the trial:
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Mom and Dad had to say goodbye to their 10-year-old dog, Susie, on Friday. She is pictured here in her favorite place, with my Mom, on her lap. Susie's heart was stressed due to Cushings disease. She fought a good fight, and lived to give my parents joy for 10 years.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I cannot stand people who have an out-of-control dog on a flexi leash. I just want to scream, "Get a REAL leash, people!"
*sigh* Thanks. I'm better now.
I just took Mike to the vet to get the rest of his vaccinations when in walks a woman with a 12-week-old lab puppy...on a flexi. Needless to say, the pup was all over the place. Amid, "Oh! Isn't she cute?" and "Look at the pup-py!" I was gagging. Mike was sitting on the bench next to me, and when he looked up at me, I could clearly read the bubble over his head. "Is this thing nuts or what?"
I was tempted to ask the woman her email address and send her the Puppy Peaks webinar links that Susan Garrett has posted. I heard her say, "This is my first puppy."
Live and Learn, sister. Live and Learn.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Monday Mike went to the vet's for his annual checkup. Aced it! He's still my handsome boy, and that's why he's at the top of this blog.
Tuesday I went to the dentist...and I'm still recovering. Such a mental block for me!
Moving on...Wednesday was dog class night (always a highlight for me and Cosi) and the break in the heat and humidity. We took an extra-long walk Wednesday night after class because it was such a beautiful evening.
Thursday we practiced in the yard, and even Brisco did a set of 6 weave poles, proving that even a 12-year-old can "weave it up"! I was working entries with Cosi, moving the jump around the clock on the set of six. Then off for another long walk on a lovely summer evening.
Friday is "date night," so we're going out to dinner with friends who are in town visiting family. That means no time for practice and no walkies for the pups. Bummer. However, Janice will be here on Saturday, which promises that the weekend will be glorious. We two shopping buddies will be hitting the outlets for bargains. Then I'll work with the pups in the evening and go walking as long as this summer weather holds.
What did you do this week?
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
We've been playing Snooker in class the past three weeks. My head and my heart are not in this game, but we give it good try. As to our success in Snooker, let's just say there are no Super Q's for us in the near future! LOL
Sunday, June 26, 2011
A fun activity that I am incorporating into our training routine is using the balance ball. I bought the above Fit Paws "ball" (it's really more like a flat oval) and the dogs love it. I ask Cosi to "spot" which means to put his back two feet on it and the front two feet on the ground (just like at the dog walk). Mike is really getting the knack of getting on and standing up. It's a great confidence builder. Jenny can get on, but not to keen on staying on just yet. More like, "There. I did your stupid thing. Now hand over the treat!" LOL
It's a fun exercise, works their core, and is a nice transition to shaping for other behaviors. Do you use a balance ball?
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
I signed up for another on-line, Susan Garrett course. This time the topic is...have you guessed yet? Foundation! It starts in a week. I'm eager to get started. I love her approach to training through games. I want to teach more balance work and incorporate more trick training into our routine.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
We got an update on the house rennovation project. Two items we ordered months ago are finally arriving. They will be the final touches; these last two pieces of furniture will complete the living room and dining room. Yea!
Finally, an update on agility. Cosi and I have been trying to master the rule set of Snooker. Anyone have any helpful hints? We're overwhelmed.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Brisco's been having some stomach upset this week. We're on "the basics" with lots of water, plain food, and no treats (gasp!). He ate better today and so far (fingers crossed), so good. Tomorrow will be the tell-tale day. With Brisco being 12 and a bit fragile, I'm quick to go into nursing mode when he's off. My number one fear is dehydration (with the vomitting). I'll keep you posted...
Monday, June 20, 2011
tell the people I love that I love them
enjoy each day as a gift
be present in the moment and give my attention to those around me
It may sound cliche, but these are my thoughts. So I acted on them. I made some calls to friends, emailed others, to re-connect. As I walk the dogs in the evening, I stop thinking about the day's events and what is troubling me. I look at the sky, the scenery, the dogs and think, "Thank you, God, for this beautiful day and these wonderful dogs." At work I look people in the eye and give them my attention instead of typing while they talk.
Not ground-breaking, earth-shattering stuff, but just a little something in memory of Mary.
I had a good experience on Sunday. I took the Recallers course from Susan Garrett on-line. GREAT course with such practical application (not just to agility). On Sunday I took Cosi to practice. I left him out of the van and we went to the potty area. The gate to the large, open field where he likes to go for a run was open. He spied it and headed towards it on a trot. I waited. He sped up (like, "Awesome! I'm gonna go for it!"). At the gate I called, "Cosi, come." He turned on a dime and came racing back to me, faster than he had been going to the field. I pulled his #1 favorite toy out of the gear bag, and we had a great game of tug. What a good boy. I'm here to testify that these foundation games Susan Garrett has devised work!
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
The judge at this trial liked pinwheels and it showed in his course design. All weekend we went round and round. We Q's in jumpers on Saturday and took first place. Sadly I have no video as my friend Rosie (who usually helps me out with that) was only three dogs behind me in the running order. I couldn't ask her to tape as she needed to get her dog ready to run. The jumpers run was a thing of beauty--smooth, under control, and efficient. LOVED it. We missed a QQ because in standard he dropped a bar.
On Sunday it was standard first, and he ran past the table. However, when I checked the results, if he didn't have that refusal, he would have beaten the first placed dog by 7 seconds. Wow! That kind of statistic keeps me hopeful. :-)
A great weekend with good--although dizzying--courses and fellowship with friends.
Friday, June 10, 2011
After the storm we went outside to see damages. We have large trees (probably over 100 years old) and with every storm we have limbs come down. One very large limb fell on the fence gate and popped it off the support posts. Another limb split the Rose of Sharon bush. Luckily the neither the house nor the shed were damaged. One limb had jammed against the back door, and I couldn't get out that way.
I felt bad for Cosi. He came home from camp yesterday afternoon all tired and feeling good. He had been outside in the heat and had gone in the pond to cool off. He was still wet when I picked him up. So I had to get out the blow dryer. If you leave a dog wet and damp, they can develop skin issues. The dryer is his #3 hated thing. Then I needed to trim his nails and feet. This is his #2 hated thing. Finally, a storm came--his #1 hated thing! I could just picture the balloon over his head. "Can this evening get any worse?!"
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
In the photo below David and I pose together before the ceremony. As you can see, it was a *bright* day!
Friday, June 3, 2011
The exit of the weave poles now has to be at least 12 feet from the edge of the ring (the fencing). Thank goodness! I know some dogs have problem weaving into a wall.
It used to be that if a handler knocked over a stanchion, you would NQ. Now it's if *either* a dog or handler knocks a stanchion, the team NQ's.
Finally, if a handler wants to change the score to NQ their dog, they may. For example, if you know your dog popped at #10 in the weave poles but the judge didn't see it or call it or the scribe didn't record it, you can correct the score and have your team NQ'd. Good news for the few honest people left in the world, eh?
Monday, May 30, 2011
Cosi gets in a quick nap on "Cousin Susie's" comfy bed.
The dogs are on their best behavior at Grandma's house. They are sharing beds and water bowls. Why is it that the water in someone else's bowl always tastes better? Is that like the doggie equivalent of the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?
The best thing about Grandma's house is the low windowsills. The house is like one giant yard to Brisco who bops from one window to another, "chasing" the (fill in the blank here: dog walking, person jogging, or kid on a bike) outside all the while in air-conditioned comfort! We love Grandma's house.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Do I hafta wear this? I wanted to be a penguin for Halloween this year!
I wonder if I can get in the treat jar. If only I had opposable thumbs...
You get it. No, YOU get it. It's one of those pinch bugs!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Here's a good foundation drill to work front crosses and serpentines:
Set up two jumps in sequence about 15 feet apart. With your dog on your left, run from jump #1 to jump #2, slowing up right before jump #2 to cue a turn. Turn towards the dog and now he's on your right. Run towards jump #1, slowing up to cue the turn, and turn towards the dog.
For serpentines, turn the jumps so they are parallel to each other. Set the dog up with his left shoulder just about at the jump bar. On the opposite side of the jump and with your left arm cuing the jump, release the dog. Switch to your right arm and indicate jump #2.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I recently saw a scene at a trial, and, after you read it, let me know what you would have done, what you think of the outcome. Here's what happened:
A woman ran her sheltie in standard and Q'd. She then ran him in jumpers and Q'd. This was her 20th QQ so she earned her MACH. The club was prepared for this, and a club member handed a jump bar to her while she and the dog were still in the ring. She took the bar and did a victory lap. The dog was unsure (why is she holding this big thing and running towards me?) and skittered away from her and out of the ring. Rule #1 in AKC: Your dog must be on leash when they leave the ring or it's an NQ. The woman tried to call the dog back to her. He had jumped onto a chair that was ringside and sat there, making no motion to go back to her. Rule #2 in AKC: If your dog leaves the ring, it must return to you to get its leash on or it's an NQ. A fellow competitor tried to "help" by picking up the dog and handing it to the woman. Rule #3 in AKC: If your dog leaves the ring, no one else may touch it or it's double handling and you NQ. The judge, meanwhile, was making faces as if to say, "OK. I'll overlook his leaving the ring. Hmmm....he's not coming back. No! Don't touch it, don't make me call this. Rats." The judge regretfully came over and told the woman she'd have to NQ her run.
Do you think the judge did the correct thing by NQ'ing the run? Here are some arguments that were floating around the crowd ringside:
She was already done with her run, what does it matter if the dog left the ring?
It was a MACH run, the judge should have given her the Q.
The judge was right because the other person touched the dog.
What are your thoughts?
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Cosi and I got our first leg in Excellent B jumpers with weaves. We had a good run on a tough course, one that a lot of fast dogs were messing up at the end. Here's the video:
We had fun at this trial, but then SSCBG is always a good luck charm for me. Brisco and I got our MACH at their trial. The tradition of good runs continues!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Mike and Jenny have always been tight. They play together, sleep together (see above photo), and he looks to her for security when he's unsure. I always say that Jenny--not me--raised Mike.
This week when Mike turned 7, Mom said, "That makes him 49 in human years. Is he having a mid-life crisis?" I laughed and said, "Yes, he's talking about getting a Corvette and dating a younger Poodle."
Our friend, Debbie, had the best ending to this story. She maintains that Jenny (11 dog years old) is a couger and will be driving Mike around town, showing off her "younger man"!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I came home tonight to find my green-pawed Sheltie. Had Cosi turned into a Leprechan? Or had he just been in the fresh-cut grass too long? If he's a Leprechan, I hope our luck holds long enough for the trial this weekend. Perhaps with a bit o' the luck of the Irish, we can get a Q.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Mike at 5 months...all ears and sweet expression
Mike after a bath...all fluff.
How can you resist that dear face?
Mike in his fully glory. His coat has always been spectacular.
Happy birthday, sweetie.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
When we came home and placed the palm tree in the living room, I was amazed at the difference. Here's a before picture:
Now here is the same corner of the living room with the new light and palm tree:
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Jenny The Jett
Brisconater (like Terminator)
Mike N Ike
Mike A Mike
Mick Da Mike
Cosi Bear (like Fosi Bear)
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Cosi has been doing well, keeping his head in the game for three days. We had a glorious Excellent FAST run this morning, snagging 79 of 80 points. I hadn't done that since Novice FAST. We came in third behind two top dogs, each of which had 80 points. I was very pleased with his run.
It continued in Excellent Standard. (see video below). I did my lead out, and he stood up (for the first time in a long time), testing the criteria. I gave him the hand signal for sit, and he did. I immediately released him and we were off. His stride was off, so he hit the double. But the rest of the run was fabulous! We were connected, he read my body commands (opposite arm to indicate *not* to take an obstacle), and we had a fast time. It's runs like this that keep me wanting to play.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Here are some highlights:
When Janice was here visiting, we were driving down a 4-lane divided highway when overhead we saw this massive bird. As it neared the ground, we saw it was a bald eagle. What an experience to see such a beautiful bird. The white head and tail feathers were quite striking.
Margie continued to work her magic on the rennovation of the house. She delivered some re-framed art work and decorative pillows. The furniture arrived, and she was on hand to help place everything. What a change! I'm overwhelmed. It turned out even better than I imagined. Everett helped to hang the artwork and curtains. He's been such a blessing. We couldn't have done it without him.
Our agility club co-hosted a huge trial that brought a lot of big name handlers to the event. One of those people was Susan Garrett. To say I was star struck is an understatement. There, in the flesh and blood, was the person I've been reading, seeing on the web, and following for the past three years. How exciting. I got to talk briefly with her ringside; it was the highlight of the weekend for me. Cosi and I Q'd in Gamblers and ran very well in standard and jumpers. If not for knocked bar (one in each class), we would have had a banner weekend. I watched my videos; he's head checking to see where I am. Looks like I have to get out the Success With One Jump video and get some practice exercises...from Susan Garrett, of course!
Monday, April 4, 2011
As the dogs and I walked this evening, I noticed all the signs of spring. The crocus plants are up and blooming, the daffodils are nodding in the breeze, and even the dogwood trees are starting to bud. These portents of warmer weather are a joy as we walk.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Last night we played laser tag. What a hoot! We were among four other groups that played. We were divided into a Red team and a Blue team. There were all age ranges and levels of experience. We were all on the Blue team and were hammered by the Red team, which, apparently, had experienced and *young* players.
Afterwards we went to a unique restaurant. It's theme is Robin Hood. They even have a tree house with a real tree growing right through the center where you can dine in privacy, overlooking the countryside. I'm sure in warmer weather, it would be lovely. The menu is pub fare, quite good. Then when the bill comes, you get to choose from three non-profit charities. Five percent of your bill goes to the charity--take from the rich and give to the poor. See? How cool is that!
Friday, March 25, 2011
I'll keep you posted on our fun and success. Cosi sure enjoyed Recallers 1.0! I know he's ready for more.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
The other plus was getting our connection back after we'd lose it. Cosi still needs to work on keep working even though he gets higher and higher as he runs. We'll keep on working, practicing, and trying to keep that connection as we run. Please keep your paws crossed for us. =:O)
Friday, March 18, 2011
I'm here to "tell tales out of school" on Miss Jenny. She's the perfect poodle--smart, sweet natured, bossy, and, at times, playful. But I'm here to tell you...this dog s-n-o-r-e-s! I had trouble sleeping last night because I was kept awake with the snores coming from her dog bed. Then she started dreaming. What a hoot! First she just snuffled. Then she growled. Finally a muffled bark came out. Must have been some dream. I was LOL at her.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Our jumpers runs this weekend were sooooooooooo close. On Saturday I pulled too soon and he popped at #10 weave pole. Totally my fault. Then on Sunday he had a Wahoo! spin, and the judge rung him up for a refusal. *sigh* We seem snake-bit in jumpers. On the plus side: #1 all the bars stayed up for both runs, #2 I got in front crosses, and #3 we ran a good, controled run. I'm feeling positive that we'll get a JWW Q soon.
Friday, March 11, 2011
A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day his supply of birds ran out, so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately he was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.
A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk rememdies with the assistance of a tribal brujo (witch) who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
MACH Bonnie's Brisco, age 12
I've been reading Susan Garrett's blog page about her puppy, Swagger, and it got me to thinking. Well, it got me reflecting, actually. When we see our puppies, we marvel at their instincts, their ability to learn so much so fast. We think about their potential and can't wait to see what's next.
Then the training for a sport (fly ball, agility, obedience, herding, field trials...) starts. They learn to play our games. When their mental game and physical capabilities come together, it's a thing of beauty. The other week in class, I was doing a lead out and as I watched Cosi coming towards me, I was in awe. I just stood there; I didn't move out of the way in time to cue the next obstacle. Coleen said, "Were you watching your dog?" I answered, "Yes. Isn't he gorgeous?"
When our dogs move into their "old age," we marvel at them again. They've accomplished our goals, they've developed their own "funny" ways, and we indulge them. My Brisco is now 12, and he's a champion in every sense of the word. As we go walking in the evenings, he's now at the back of the pack, whereas before he lead the group. But he's motoring right along with his funny gait. His one hip is sore, and he accommodates it by swinging it wide when he walks. He can still get a treat out of Daddy with just a sweet look and a chin on Daddy's knee. I don't think of him as old, yet when I see the white in his fur, I realize his prime is past. Yet I feel there is still a lot more to enjoy with Brisco.
Enjoy your dogs at every age. Enjoy the journey.