Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Traveling With Dogs

Cosi's breeder, Mary Galloway, sent me this photo of Cosi and Riot when Cosi was a pup. Look at those loooong legs. LOL

If any of you are on the AGILEDOG list service, you've read about the agility competitor, Judy Shinogle, who was killed last weekend on her way to a trial. This accident has touched many people across the country. I remember when there was a similar accident--although, luckily, the driver lived--closer to home. It spurred me to take some precautions. I'd like to share some tips for traveling with your dogs.

Secure your dog in the vehicle in a crate or in a dog seat belt. A loose dog will suffer injury in case your vehicle tips or swerves.

Get your dog a "traveling" collar with his name and a phone number on it. I have an agility trial collar I always put on Cosi. There are no tags on it so he's safe with it in a crate. It has his name and my home phone number written on the collar.

Put contact information and a description as well as a recent photo of your dog in a plastic sleeve, and attach it to the dog's crate with zip ties. For example, I put my vet's name and number, my home phone number, my spouse's cell number, Cosi's breeder's name and number. In other words, anyone who could help in an emergency whether it's take care of the dog medically or take them in if need be.

My heart goes out to Judy's family. The blessing is that she was a person who touched others' lives, and she will be remembered always as someone who loved her dogs. That's a fitting tribute.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Continuing Education

I registered to take Susan Garrett's Contact Success course. It's a 12-week course on teaching contacts. I really enjoy her on-line courses, chock full of tips which create plenty of "Ah ha!" moments for me. I've gotten so much out of the Puppy Peaks class, and I'm sure the contacts course will do the same.

Last night in class my friend said she was going to start working her 2x2 weaves with her new Border Collie. How exciting! She had been doing some baby jumps, and is now ready to work in more obstacles. Then she said something that really got me: "I'm so afraid of messing up this dog." It's like she read my mind. I felt the same way when I first got Cosi. He has so much potential, could I bring out the best in him? What if I mess up?

A very wise person told me that we are sent the dogs we need. Perhaps my fear of failure brought me Cosi. I'm always worried that I'm not the best handler for him, that he would be World Team material with someone else. I'm working on turning that around to listening to the lessons he has to teach me. Brisco taught me so much, and Cosi is opening up whole new chapters for me. As those thoughts flashed through my mind, I said to my friend, "Don't worry. Listen to what she has to teach you." It's all a journey.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Down Day

We finally had a weekend with no trial. We had a perfect down day. We walked then later played in the yard on a gorgeous spring day. Tomorrow is practice and maybe some swimming. At last week's Monday/Tuesday trial we Q'd in standard (a first-place run) and in FAST. My training goal for the next few weeks is the "go" command. He needs to run ahead of me when I tell him to go. There is too much head-checking which leads to dropped bars. We are enjoying the down time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gear Queen Purchase

In order to maintain my Gear Queen status, I must stay on top of the latest trends. To that end I purchased a collapsable wagon. I can now haul my gear bag, food bag, fan, mats, and crate to the site with no strain on my back. Behold my glorious red wagon:

It starts out like this and comes with a cover to help keep it together.

Then it opens and can carry up to 150 pounds!