Sunday, August 31, 2008
We had a super time. I can't wait to go back in the fall. My only complaint is that I didn't think the trails were that well marked and given that there is a lot of land....
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Thank you for taping this, Liz!
I actually have a call with an animal communicator about the strange behavior tomorrow. I may be slow on the uptake at times, but when the signs become painfully obvious I attempt to take near-immediate action.
Due to my concern about Ike's mental and emotional health, and a desire to get Carmie's weaves up to par, I skipped handling tonight and practiced agility! I have had a crappy week so far (funeral yesterday along one deer scat rolling dog and one bog hopping dog - yum. No one got baths either, shhhh!)....I needed to play with my dogs.
So, I broke out a brand-new screamin' monkey (the oldest one died) and practiced a very simple jump, weave, jump combo. Ike had a blast. He was bouncing his poles and super happy. Then I practiced with the Onion. I left two gates on the poles (entries cause I am a wuss). She was ROCKING them. This from a dog who hasn't seen weaves in more than six weeks. How on the gods green earth does her brain work?
I also practiced sending her to jumps from a 5'+ distance. She did really well! I keep saying, "I know it only takes 10 minutes a day to get those darn weaves." Now maybe I will practice what I have been preaching. Especially if it makes Ikey P happy. Everyone is inconsolable when another dog is running. Very funny.
I must make some cavalettis for the Bug. I think that would be very helpful segue into jumping. Especially now that he has discovered working is fun!
Monday, August 25, 2008
I entered Carmen in all four classes they offered on Saturday (Fullhouse, Regular, Wildcard, and Snooker).
But, first we had to be measured a second time. At the Act-Up CPE trial we were measured and the judge had us jump 8”. Then our permanent height card arrived and it said 12”. Hmmm. When the judge measured us this weekend, lo and behold Carmen is required to jump 12”. Unless I choose to run her as Enthusiast – the equivalent of Skilled in NADAC. So I opted to have her jump 12” Saturday. She will be a veteran in April and can then jump 8” if I run her as a veteran. My intention was to continue running her skilled in NADAC since she would be a veteran in April 09. I thought she jumped 8” in CPE and didn’t realize she would be jumping 12”. I need to figure out if Enthusiast legs can be transferred to Veterans in CPE. If yes I will probably run her Enthusiast – although she EASILY clears 12”.
The first class of the day was Fullhouse and we were given a “gift.” I wanted to start with the tire and Carmie jumped the bungee holding the tire in its frame! This is not a problem I have ever had with Ike but Carmie is an agility-baby and I have noticed she does this with some frequency with the tire. But guess what, the timer screwed up and the stopwatch wasn’t going, so we got to start again! Hooray!
In Fullhouse you must acquire the agility equipment equivalent of Fullhouse. 3 jumps, 2 circles, and one wildcard. Contacts were the Wildrcard and therefore worth 5 points. Carmie is a contact monster – she loves them! So we did the dogwalk twice. Our course was tire, dogwalk, jump, a-frame, tunnel, jump, jump, dogwalk, table. In Level 1 you only need 19 points, so Carmie cleaned up. We Q’d and placed first in our class. It was a really nice run and Carmie gave me the requested automatic sit on the table. Yay, Carmie!
Our next run was Regular and John, Ike, and my in-laws had the opportunity to see it. It was a nice clean run (we Q’d and placed), and I even remembered to try and take larger steps in my front cross and not double-step. I worked nearly every class I didn’t run, so my poor family was a bit bored and left before Carmie’s Wildcard run.
Thanks goodness. It was brutal. I think it was the hottest part of the day and Carmen was just plain ol’ beat, apparently. In Wildcard you have three opportunities to choose an easy or more difficult course option. In Level 1 Wildcard you must choose two easy options and one hard option. The first choice was tunnel or teeter and I chose tunnel because the next option was tunnel or a-frame and I know Carmen LOVES the a-frame. The final choice was a single jump or tunnel. The tunnel was angled a bit off and I thought the single jump would be the easier option. We got to the A-frame, Carmen put two paws on it, took them off, and starting sniffing. Oh no!! There had been dog after dog eliminating in the ring all day, so I was so afraid Ms I-Must-Mark was about to join the crew.
Really I think it was a combination of she was stressed because the prospect of the A-frame was so daunting in the heat and then she caught a nice sniff of urine. I quickly directed her into the tunnel and changed my plan. When Carmie came out of the tunnel I was momentarily lost – after all, this wasn’t the course I planned on running. Fortunately, although it felt like forever it must have only been a second, and I was able to get us back on track and Carmie gladly took the tunnel versus the jump. Q and 2nd. Yay, Carmie.
I was very worried about my girl after this run. She seemed so distracted during the run, which is VERY unlike her. I soaked my cool coat in my cooler’s ice water and put it on her after wetting down her loins in the kiddie pool. Then water and off to the crate. I worked Wildcard 3/4/5/C and decided that I would scratch from Snooker. I was concerned by how much the heat was affecting Carmen and I didn’t want to overdo it. When I took Carmie out she was bright eyed.
So, I re-soaked the cool coat and kept it on her until we went in the ring. Snooker consists of taking a “red” jump in order to take a “color” obstacle. You must do this three times before completing the closing sequence and depending upon what level you are you need to accrue a certain amount of points. Level 1 needs to gather 25 points (this includes the closing which are numbered 2 – 7 and worth the points they are numbered). I planned a very easy run because I wanted to make sure my girlie felt good. We did jump, tunnel, jump, tire, jump, tunnel, and then turned around to do the tunnel again as was the first obstacle in the closing. Success!! We accrued 37 points, Q’d, placed first, and Carmie was still bright eyed and energized!
A great day. Ms. Carmen completed two of her Level 1 mini-titles, CL-1-R (Regular) and CL-1-F (Fun Games) and we only need two more Q’s to completely finish with Level 1. This in only two trials, competing one day – what a great girl!
Friday, August 22, 2008
This week he started out leery, but I clicked and treated him for touching the cone and fed him a bunch of cheeses off of it. Bug thinks cheese is THE answer. Phew. So first we practiced switch and tight alone. I need to practice the “corgi knee bend” – standing up straight when you have a wee short dog. I am getting better about remembering it, but most of the time I am hunched over. Bad Julie. Bug is making very nice turns, but he is not driving into the turn, so we need to work on that at home. Part of that is he still thinks the cones are weird!! He seems to do better with Tight versus Switch – as did Carmen. So I think *I* must be more comfortable with Tight. I must be giving off some subtle clue that I am much more confident about Tight versus Switch. I’ll have to think about this.
Then we did the gate, cone, gate exercise. Click here and scroll down to get a visual. ; D
Bug thought the Gates were odd at first. I had to remind him he thought that last week and that I had cheese. Ah, all better. So we did out, here, switch, get out. Bug’s Get Outs are GREAT!! He has lots of confidence and his little legs eat up the ground. Then we did the same exercise with Tight.
I am beyond happy with his performance yesterday. He was so happy and all about playing the game with me. This is a big change from his first class where he was definitely stressed. He can still be leery but he gets over it SO much faster.
Then it was on to Carmen’s Jump class. Katrin set up a nice fast course that has a serpentine in it and the first time I ran Carmen I totally thought I was running Ike. Ha! Compared to Ike, Carmen just blazes. And she has SOOOO much fun. She actually woo-woo’d at me a couple of times, a huge compliment, since that is how she expresses excitement!
I had a HUGE amount of difficulty getting my front crosses in with her because she is so fast and I do that funny double-step. At one point I “cheated” and did a blind cross when she was coming out of the tunnel. Later I intentionally did a blind cross there. At this point, I am not physically capable of getting that front cross in. Perhaps with practice and a knee brace, but at the moment…. Nope. With Ike I had plenty of time to do my funny double-step. Carmen is so much faster!
I mentioned to Katrin that Colleen had suggested I practice without dog. Apparently she had back surgery years ago and did a ton of practice “dry” to re-teach her body how to move correctly. I have been doing front crosses with my funny step for a long time, so it is going to take some concerted effort on my part to change it. And I am definitely going to have to change it!!
I had a BLAST running Carmen last night. She was so fast and obviously having SUCH a good time. She doesn’t get freaked out if I try new things! Amazing. I can’t believe the progress she has made in such a relatively short time.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
It has been very quiet with Ike having this session off. Too quiet! Just kidding. I think we both appreciate it (do we?).
Yesterday I took the boys for a chiro appointment. I was afraid of what Anne would tell me....
Bug had a large canine viral papilloma removed on Monday. CVP is very common and contagious in dogs under 2 years of age – or those with compromised immune systems. You see it often in young dogs who frequent doggie daycares; most dogs over two years old have an immune system that has developed enough to fight the virus. The CVP typically appear during times of stress (moving to a new home fits the bill) and resolve themselves after a few months. Typically vets do not recommend removing them because they are “self-limiting” (i.e. once the body figures out how to fight them they go away), unless they are in a location that somehow inhibits the dog’s eating, etc. One of Bug’s CVPs had grown to be between the size of a pea and a raspberry. Not very appetizing. :D And I noticed he wasn’t going after tendons like usual – so I think it was bothering him a wee bit. (The smaller CVP resolved itself. Hooray)
Due to the sedation I was sure Bug’s pelvis was out. That and the fact that I had noticed he has been taking the stairs differently, so something was definitely out of alignment.
Anne said he needed a more major tune-up than expected but that they must have been super careful with him – his pelvis was still in place. Yes! The boys have a tune-up in a month and then they should be good for a while.
This works out well for our handling class escapades!
Carmen and I have our first trial in a while this weekend. We are heading up to Littleton for Gemini Dogs CPE Trial on Saturday. I am looking forward to it. Last year the weather was brutally hot for this trial and there is no shade at the site – this year, weather forecast holding, it should be pretty nice (and I have my shade tent).
I have entered Carmen in one Regular class at both September NADAC trials, but haven’t been practicing our weaves!! Bad handler – so I might scratch her from them. Depends upon whether I find some motivation this remainder of the month/beginning of September. I know if I devote 10 minutes a day we’ll get there, but lately even with Ike on vacation, I have been scrunched for time. I guess we’ll see how motivated I am to get her started on the way to….additional venues?
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Bug went first. Colleen had me take him completely off lead and run around cheerleading. The Bug STAYED WITH ME!! The Bug was INTERESTED!! Holy crap!! He was a COMPLETELY different dog than at our previous lesson. This was the make or break lesson, in that we were going to just revisit herding next year if he didn't have more confidence. Well, hooray Buggie!! It seemed like he got pooped pretty quick, and I think that is probably related to the stress as well as the heat and actual activity.
At one spot in the pen his nose kept hitting the ground and Colleen asked if we plan on doing tracking. I think both Ike and Bug would like tracking and am hopeful that I can get into the tracking club's fall seminar. Colleen thought he would be good at it. I know I asked Katrin about it when he first came home and she said, "he's a corgi - YES, he'd probably be good at tracking!"
Then it was Blue and Iris' turn. Blue had taken Iris to an Intro to Herding seminar in the late spring/early summer and Iris thought the sheep were a bit too big, but really liked the ducks. Fortunately Colleen has ducks, so if Iris didn't turn on to the sheep she could work the ducks. However, Iris turned onto the sheep while Buggie was working them! When she got into the pen she was happy and ready to work.
Bug found the ONE piece of shade outside the pen to lie in and watch Iris. I was pleased that after initially rolling about and drinking water he settled down and watched Iris, Blue, and the sheep very attentively.
Then we put our dogs up and Colleen got her bitch Hannah out. Colleen wanted us to work with Hannah so we could learn the mechanics of controlling the dog's movement with the rake with a dog who knows what is going on. I went first and it was kind of a disaster! Hannah decided I am a "soft" human and ran roughshod all over me!! Oye! She was very naughty and because of my inexperience with the rake I was a major contributor by giving her mixed messages. The good thing is that it made it VERY obvious when I did the *right* thing!
Colleen explained that the rake should always be at about the dog's girth line, not ahead of it because then you are reversing the dog's movement and not too far behind it. If you are lagging too far behind you need to reverse your direction and wait until the dog circles around and essnetially runs into the rake line. I had a lot of trouble shadowing Hannah. She is very fast and you are not supposed to run and yet you need to shadow the dog.
Finally Colleen took pity on me and had Blue work with Hannah. ;D Needless to say, I have a LOT to learn!!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I bring a super high value treat (today was roast chicken) and Katrin does the clipping (she's faster than I am). Monty has improved 110%. No evil, nasty snarking at his mum. Today Katrin was able to trim the hair between his pads AND worked on him putting his feetie up on the grooming table of his own volition.
The Bug on the other hand.....Katrin says he is getting better. I do think he is a little less squirmy and panicky, but not much. It is going to be a very long road with that one! ; D
The Bug and I attended handling class last night at Masterpeace. There were less than 10 dogs there, so a smaller class than the last time we attended. It went well!
Things I need to remember and work on:
1. When Bug is on the table the leash goes around my neck so it is out of the way and I am not holding it all clumpy-lumpy. I remembered the second time we were on the table. (But I did remember where to set him correctly – front feet maybe 3” from the edge – yay!)
2. Practice holding the leash for gaiting, etc. It feels long for its purpose and I am awkward about holding it in one hand.
3. Practice “wide-vision” when gaiting, i.e. stand up straight, look up and ahead, but still watch the Bug out of the corner of my eye in case I am walking too fast and he thinks he needs to lope.
4. Practice picking up the Bug’s feet the CORRECT way while he is on the table if I need to make an adjustment . The correct way being over the shoulder versus snaking between his legs or some other foolish way! Currently when I attempt to make a slight adjustment the Bug sits. I SAW him allow Holly to make adjustments so I know he can get over being freaked by me making an adjustment.
Mini-breakthrough…..I used hand touches to keep the Bug engaged and standing while waiting for our faux-judge Kerry to inspect us. I am trying very hard to only reinforce standing not getting up out of a sit, i.e. Bug sits because he is bored and I essentially lure him back into a stand by moving etc. Wouldn’t you keep sitting down if it meant you were going to move and maybe get a cookie? So we worked the hand touches. His cue is “hit it.” The added benefit is that He thinks it is a fun game so we get lots of happy ears!
It was a fun class. There was one person there who was not what I consider not very “nice” to their dog. Lots of angry verbal corrections – gives me the heebie jeebies. It also seems like a fair number of people offer repeated leash pops which I find odd. What’s that saying?
“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
The shows we attended this weekend were part of the Ballston Spa circuit, a 5-day annual show in New York (up a bit past Albany). Holly, Honor’s/Bug’s breeder, has had good luck there in the past and it is very close to her home which makes it quite convenient.
Katrin and James (FCR) came with to keep us company. I bathed and blow-dried the boy on Friday morning before leaving and off we went. Bug’s bum hair was a bit unruly and thank the dog gods for Katrin – she wrangled it into submission! Actually, we don’t know what happened, but Saturday morning it looked much better than Friday evening. I will chalk that up to Bug and James PARTYING all night. I know my hair always looks flatter when I have been up 24+ hours! Katrin did a great job of making it behave (see towel photo below). We attempted to crate the Bug with the towel on but he immediately got out of it! Hence the counter photo op.
Saturday I was a WRECK. The Bug was not. He was great! I was so relieved that he was so happy to see Holly and Leonard and seemed to *know* what his job is. Holly thought his topline looked good and he was moving well for her. Hooray! Like I said in the previous post, he went Reserve in Winners on Saturday. Holly was pleased with him, so therefore I am too!
Sunday, Bug’s bum hair looked even better and he was really being a little ham for Holly. Excellent. He went Reserve in Winners again, so we have more shows in our future. Holly and I are trying to figure out what dates work. I am also going to make the leap and do some UKC. After that initial handling class I was so incredibly stressed about handling. After this weekend I am much more at ease. I even gave Holly back her loaner lead and bought my own!
Since the boys are in pretty good shape chiropractor-wise, I can make attending Kerry’s classes on Wednesdays a regular thing. Between the one class I attended with Kerry and this weekend, I can see how handling could actually be a little bit of fun. I do still think it is pretty stressful that breed handling is so subjective, but …. I think I could have some fun with it and it will certainly be a useful skill for future puppies!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
No new champion to report. Alack!
Sunday I was MUCH, MUCH more relaxed and Bug was "on." He won his class and went Reserve in the Winners class again. Ah well. I told Katrin, the dog gods obviously want me to spend more time learning about handling. Bug seems to enjoy the dog show atmosphere and since we will be spending some more time in it, I am going to make the most of it!
The Bug was excellent - according to Holly (breeder) and Katrin. Saturday I was a NERVOUS wreck (even though I was just watching - Holly was handling Buggie). I had no idea how he would be, if the wart or his crazy butt hair was going to be held against us, etc. Bug won his class and went Reserve in Winners.
I haven't had time to post about Bug's and Carmen's classes on Thursday. Bug is taking the 5 Directions and Carmie is taking the Jumping class. They went well - I will try to squeak in an actual post this week before class.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Since Bug has come to live with me we have been working on door manners. Buggie sees a door and thinks – “get through it as FAST as possible.” This has multiple potential negatives from Ike who is bowled over to Bug if he runs out to the street and gets hit by a car or a massive mean dog is walking down the street and attempts to eat him. And of course, waiting at doors is just plain ol’ good protocol for puppies.
So we have been working at this very hard. Bug now understands that he needs to “wait” in his car crate until I tell him “Okay.” I am able to open the crate and he does not MOVE until I tell him “okay.” Of course then he is like a spring being released and I had better have a good handle on the leash!
This week I have noticed that he has been giving me extraordinary eye contact when I ask him to “wait” as we leave the house. The eye contact is constant until I say “Okay” and release him. I was distracted this morning and forgot to ask him to “wait.” He did it anyway!!! I had to release him, even though I forgot to cue wait! Yay for the Bug!!!
Now we need to work on waiting while entering abodes. This is when Ike is the most likely to get run over and is unhappy/uncomfortable with Bug’s posturing. I have just been holding Bug but I need to make him think about it so that is the next step. And of course I will work on continuing to reinforce his current “wait” skill set.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
1. What is your first name? Honor
2. What is your favorite food? Hmmm….cheese!
3. What high school did you go to? Maplewood
4. What is your favorite color? green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Honey Child
6. Favorite drink? Water
7. Dream vacation? The beach!
8. Favorite dessert? Watermelon – so far
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Top dog
10. What do you love most in life? My squeakies!
11. One Word to describe you. happy
12. Your flickr name No flickr
1. war is different, each war is the same, 2. Piórko, like Cheese!, 3. rufous hummingbird (salasphorus rufus), 4. can taste summer! a.k.a. childhood summer! a.k.a. childhood reminiscence! a.k.a. those were the good times!, 5. negli occhi...dolcenanna amore../Honey in the eyes..sweetnight my love.., 6. by step… steadily ♫♫, 7. different corner, 8. Smile!, 9. Max!, 10. speakeasy, 11. of the Raven (formerly Nature's Special Effects, 12. damgo
In class we practiced the Switch and Tight layout Katrin had us work a few weeks ago, but with Jumps! Hooray. Very fun. I felt like Carmen was moving pretty well. Katrin had some good points (of course) about me continuing my movement and not bending over so much. Carmie doesn’t really *get* it (Switch/Tight) yet – she is getting closer though. PRACTICE IS NEEDED!!
Then we practiced the “Go” exercise from last week with the table, two jumps, and curved tunnel. First I tried to send Carmen into the tunnel from where I would send Ike. Uh, nope. I had to support her much more. However she really picks up speed on the jumps out of the tunnel and when I sent her to the table she practically crashes into it. And I was able to hang way back sending her to the table. Alas, I still have not really worked on Carmen’s default table behavior. I had been asking her for a sit because her down isn’t solid, but last night I kept forgetting she isn’t Ike and asking her for a down (his wanna-be-default table behavior). Regardless I am happy she likes the table so much. When we went down to that end of the barn to start the exercise she immediately hopped on up.
She seems to have nice jumping form and more strength then when she first started class. I think she could jump 12” safely. Our next class is the Jumps class – I might talk to Katrin about whether I should wait until she has a better idea of her job or if it is an okay time to move her up to 12”.
We also got to meet Sandy’s new AS puppy Tedy. Oh my good dog gods, what a cutie. And Sadie was so good about tolerating all the attention he gets. I can’t wait to watch him grow up. I better not let John see him or he will puppy-nap him. He has a thing for Aussies!