Friday, March 25, 2011

Recallers 2.0

I just registered for Susan Garrett's next on-line course, Recallers 2.0. Her 5-minute formula is brilliant. It really changed the way I work with my dogs. Instead of yanking on a leash and correcting, we play games. These games, designed to build reinforcement for *me* to be their cookie, makes it *their* decision to come to me, to want to work, to seek out "da mamma." Plus it is a fun, fun way to train. It beats the socks off the old hard discipline methods of the past. And who doesn't have 5 minutes to play a game each day with your dog?

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

No more bags - UPDATE (photo included)

I have been living out of garbage bags for a few weeks while my two dressers were being re-finished. This rennovation project is taking on a life of its own! The "new" dressers came back today from Furniture Medic in Elizabethtown. They are gorgeous. He did a fabulous job refinishing and repairing the two dressers. They were my mother's. I'm so glad I could keep these items yet update them to go with the new decor.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

York Trial

Cosi and I stayed local this weekend and went to the York trial. It was indoors at a soccer place; great footing and easy commute. No Q's for us this weekend; however, we had bits and pieces of brilliance. For example, in the JWW run on Sunday there were two jumps side-by-side which made for tricky handling. Most handlers were sending in to the tunnel and then blind crossing out of the tunnel to the left-hand side jump. Since blind crosses are not in our system, I opted instead on sending Cosi "out" while staying on the right side of the two jumps. It worked. Then he dropped a bar on a pinwheel. See? We got the tough stuff and messed up the easy stuff. On Saturday the winner in the 16" class had a time of 38.2. We ran the course in 37 with one dropped bar. *sigh*

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

Jenny

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

Textbook

Cosi and I went to NJ for our first trial of the season. Our standard run on Saturday was textbook. He had perfect contacts, outstanding weaves, and good lateral distance. The connection between us was awesome. Here's the video:

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

Puns

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. However, all the league records were unfortunately destroyed in a fire. Thus we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

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

From Puppies to Old Age

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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Here we go...

Our spring agility season begins this weekend. Cosi and I are off to NJ to compete in the TBAC trial. I hope to work out the kinks and get off to a good start. I'm also hoping that the extra days at camp this winter helped to keep him in good shape for the season. He's an athletic dog to begin with, so it's easy to let him run and gambol at camp. The snow and ice this winter really restricted our structured walks. It was best to let him have the fields at camp to explore.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Skyrocketing Gas Prices

It seems everytime I pass the gas stations on the way to and from work, the prices are going ever upward. I wonder if someone has a full-time job posting the new (hourly?) prices.

This may have an impact on agility. I've seen trends before when prices/class/run went up and everyone cut back on their going to trials. You could send in an entry with just a stamp, avoiding the costly overnight delivery expenses, because the trials weren't filling. You could easily get in the classes and runs you wanted. Then the pendulum shifted, and trials were filling by the second day. Back to overnight delivery for entries!

I'm wondering if the gas prices will be prohibitive enough to keep people "local" (that's anywhere in a 100-mile range for agility folks) and not participate in the larger trials in other states. What do you see in your area? Are trials filling?