Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Knitting & Training Time

I've been taking some time to finish two knitting projects. First, I made some hats--one for a family member and others for a local charity. Once they were finished, I started on a pull-over sweater. Winter is when I love to knit as the days are short and it's dark by 5 p.m. We're having an early spring this year; it's been 60+ degrees F this week! It seems as though we skipped winter this year and went right to spring. No snow that stayed, just rain, rain, rain. And it always seemed to rain on agility class days. I lug Cosi's crate from the car to the building in the blasted rain every week.

I've been enjoying walking the dogs in the evening (it's starting to stay light even after 6 p.m.) wearing only a light jacket or sweatshirt. I had someone at work today ask me how much time in a week do I spend training my dogs. Other than the structured class time (1 hour) or practice time (2x a week for about 20 minutes a practice), I do a lot of "training" during our walks. It's a good time to teach directionals of left and right. Then I use the "out" command to get the dogs to move away from me if a car is coming towards us. I use "out" during FAST and Gamblers classes to get Cosi to move away from me and take obstacles.

How much time do *you* spend training your dog in a week?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Master FAST Title

Cosi and I got that last elusive Q in Excellent B FAST this weekend. That brings us to 10 Q's, which translates into a Master FAST title for RyLadd Spontaneous Combustion. Wahoo!

Saturday's standard course was very technical, so I looked at it as a training run. We had gorgeous contacts, and I was very proud that we only had one off course. I had a brain freeze during jumpers where I forgot to start my front cross. Cosi said, "While you're sleeping, I'm going to take this jump over here." No jumpers Q for us. Oh, well. We'll get 'em next time. I thoroughly enjoyed running with Cosi this weekend in the dirt. (Then when we got home today, guess which Shelties got baths and are now the most gorgeous dogs on the planet?)

Congrats to Trax on his Q's this weekend, turning in fabulous performances with Heather on the jumpers course on Saturday. You go, girl!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Trial Season

After being completly disappointed by Westminster this year (we talked so much about it in agilty class last night!), I doubt I'll watch more conformation. I guess I just don't "get" it.

On to better things! Cosi and I are headed for our first trial this holiday weekend. I'm eager to get back into the swing of things, see friends, and run and jump and bark. Keep your paws crossed for us.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day to my Sweetie. Thank you for all your support of me and my pursuit of agility excellence. Love you...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Bowl

OK. Now that the football Super Bowl is over, it's time for the Super Bowl of dog conformation to take place. That's right. It's time for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Gotta love an event that has a Sheltie on the front page of their web site.

I so enjoy watching this event every February. Not only is it well done on TV, it is also my chance to "breed shop." Here's the question: If you could have any dog, what would it be? As they read the breed standard and you see a gorgeous example of the breed in front of you, could you have this dog in your life? Fun game.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February

Here it is February first already. Our "down time" of January is gone. Tomorrow is Ground Hog Day, but I don't need a rodent to tell me we will have an early spring. Last night I walked the dogs in a fleece and jeans--it was 54 degrees F at 7 p.m. With this mild winter we are having, we should have spring by March!

I practice with Cosi yesterday, and we worked on contacts and jumping and turning. Jumping 180's and 270's is good practice for him. His left lead is his weak side. Anna reports continued success with Aurora's agility training. That is so exciting! I can't wait to see Anna and Aurora sturt their stuff in the agility ring. Cosi and I are gearing up for our first trial in two weeks. Keep your paws crossed for us.