Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bug's Summer Beer


Bug and I had a rally lesson this morning - we did last Sunday too. The pieces of our heeling are starting to come together. The footwork is killing me. I feel like I am in gym class in 4th grade trying to learn to dance! Hopefully that will get easier with time.

Today in addition to working on turns we worked on halts. As I mentioned, I had a brutal time with the footwork. First I flat-out couldn't make it work for me until I started chanting, "Left, Right, Match" when I heard "Halt" to remind myself of what I wanted to do. Then every time I halted I fed Bug instead of waiting for him to halt and feeding him. Finally I got it through my skull. It was positively reinforced by the fact that once I did it correctly Bug halted by himself SO MUCH NICER! than he had been. Bonus, I remembered to bring my Flip and Katrin videoed us and I can watch me doing it correctly and incorrectly!

I have moments of being frustrated with this (rally/obedience). I don't find it as fun as agility. Of course we are building the foundation and that is the slow bit of any training experience. At the same time I feel frustrated, I also feel excited as things start to come together. It is so fun to see Bug try so hard at whatever I ask him to do. He really does have a lot of heart. He's a bit weird about space and pressure, but he really tries hard, is smart, and it does show.

We are having some trouble with pivoting. Bug does not seem to like to step sideways with his rear. I am going to talk to the chiro and the PT (at Katrin's suggestion) to see if it might simply be that it is uncomfortable for him physically and/or if it would be beneficial for his hips to keep working on it. If not we might try and see if we can train an alternative.

I am feeling good about our progress and our teamwork. Slowly but surely we are getting there!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday Night Class

Ike and I had a SUPER class Tuesday. Only one of my classmates showed so we had a semi-private.

Ike runs in a very upright manner, but Tuesday night he was REALLY digging in. He had some awesome weave entries at top speed and a few lovely rear crosses.

Below are the course maps. The little red "X" is where I snuck in a rear cross on a few of the runs. In this course, when I did do the rear cross, I did not do the table. This worked out really well because Ike has a very strong draw to the table, so he was moving out very nicely when I did the rear cross.

The second course had a pretty tough weave entry. I handled it two different ways and Ike nailed it every time. He loves his weaves!

 I am continuing to work on my rear cross exercises at home and what a HUGE difference I am seeing. I can't say it is one thing.....I have been doing a combination of Katrin's methods, Amanda Shyne's methods, and Kathleen's methods. All of these combined are definitely giving Ike the complete picture!

There are run-thrus tomorrow morning. Depending on the weather I might stop by for one or two runs.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Ike!

This is the photo from Ike's class two weeks ago. It doesn't look quite as good as it did on the camera, but my classmate was still willing to share it with me. And because of the happiness on display I think it is awesome.

Nowadays you would never know this was a dog who I had to do remedial board work with and used to walk over the dog walk. He didn't really like agility, tolerated it for the mum. Now he LOVES it. You should have seen him flying around last night's course (more on that later). Patience surely pays off!

Friday, June 10, 2011


Boo. Last night Bug had PT. We are on a once every 3 weeks check-in schedule. My plan was to ask if we could go longer between appointments or perhaps stop until the winter when I know Bug will need maintenance due to the ice and snow.

Last night Bug's hamstrings were extremely tight. There was a lot of vesticulation as soon as Nina attempted to handle his rear legs.

Sigh. Big Sigh.

Bug has not done anything stupid lately. He hasn't done anything strenuous. He played with Hush - that's about it. Basically there is no reason for him to be sore.

Nina had me watch Bug hop on and off the dog bed (a wooden platform maybe 6" high) and I could see he wasn't using his rear correctly.

I am not sure what is going on. Nina urged me to make an acupuncture appointment; she thought that would be more helpful than chiropractic. I am going to make an appointment for him to see the chiro, too. While he seems to be doing stairs ok I have noticed he is not keen to jump up on the couch. That is often the sacrum, although I am not seeing other sacrum signs. I wouldn't be surprised if there was nothing going on either. It's just odd. And annoying.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


The past two weeks have been crazy busy!

Ike has had two AWESOME agility classes. Two weeks ago we had multiple lovely rear crosses. Our practice is PAYING off!  This week we had a gorgeous serpentine I handled from one side with distance. John also came to this week’s class. It was so much fun for me to have him see fast and happy Ike! I am not sure he will come again, but I hope he does.

Last weekend we also had visitors! Holly came down on Saturday to stay over with her bitch Sabrina and her puppy Hush. Bug loved having Hush visit. He thought she was great fun to play with. Sabrina tried to get Buggie to play with her, but he didn’t trust her!  It was a lot of fun to have Holly visit and see my new corgi-friendly house. Saturday night Holly, Katrin and I visited the show grounds with Sabrina, Tom, and Hush and had a nice dinner.

And, gulp, I handled Hush at the Wrentham show on Sunday. Guess what? NO NERVES! I suspected my nerves were related to Bug, the discomfort I felt about having weight on him when I wanted to do other things, his turn-out, my inexperience, and I could go on! With Hush the number one goal was/is to have fun! She is not my dog so I am not itching to do other things or worried about her weight (well, that’s not 100% true – I wish dogs could be shown at working weight and be successful, but that is a tired subject!). Hush didn’t do anything in the Winners class, but she had a good time – we both had a good time – and that is what counts.

Bug and I want to dog nap her!

Last night I took Bug to John’s softball game. He was really good. The first time I took him he was a bit over stimulated by the men RUNNING and the ball FLYING! Last night he was very chill. I think I will keep bringing him on occasion; it is good exposure to sudden movements and little kids.

I am continuing to work on Bug finding heel and Ikey’s rear crosses. And of course, as the weather gets nicer and nicer I find more and more things to do outside at my new house!