Wednesday, October 29, 2008

USDAA Nationals Video Coverage

I'm so excited, I'll be able to watch usdaa nationals this year!

Go sign up!! It's free!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My business skills

Are non existent. The economy stinks right now, so what do I do? Hand two dogs I walk 4 days a week over to a friend who's getting back into dog walking after a year long hiatus. Smart huh?

But still, I feel good about the decision. These dogs had a really rigid schedule and they prevented me from taking on new clients, they were seriously limiting how much time I could spend with my "little dog" group, which my dogs are part of! and my friend needs the work much more than I do.

It's been two weeks and I can tell my dogs are happier, I'm not getting that *look* at the end of the walk, that "that's it?!" look. I'm happier because my day is less frantic, their rigid time schedule was starting to rule my whole the dogs would turn into pumpkins if they weren't walked exactly between 2:00-3:00.

I just hope I don't start losing clients with this economy.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Why are dogs so gross? The pugs, their friend's Luca, JB and I were walking on a trail along the creek and I see them all gathered around something along the brush. Rudy's got that look like she's getting ready to roll in it, so I call them to come. Abby's the first to come to running, but what's that dangling from her mouth???? A *huge* dead snake! Yuck! I swear she learned this from JB, he pulled this same stunt a few years ago. Luckily 1) it was dead 2) it was Abby who picked it up, she'll drop anything the moment you ask her to, which this was no exception...she had to pee on it afterwards mark it as HER snake? Does she plan on going back to get it later?

JB still ended up rolling all over the dead, pissed on snake.

Dogs are gross.

Monday, October 20, 2008

POTC trial and Wayne National Forest

We're back home from the Parkersburg Obedience training club's trial and Kittie now has her 1st double Q towards her MACH 2! She qualified in 3 out of 4 runs and did a great job. Would have been a perfect weekend for her except she off had an off course into a tunnel.....a really tricky spot on the course where there was a very fine balance, you either pushed out too far and they took the tunnel or you cut it too close they missed the weave pole entry. I thought Kittie would get it, she *used to* respond very well to my motion and the come command. Come always meant come, right now, switch off of all obstacle focus. She's getting more and more obstacle focus lately, which is a good thing, but I need to maintain handler focus when I need it!

Abby was definitely stressed. A lot of newer dogs were too, it is very loud in this barn, everything really echos. I asked a friend who I really respect what am I doing wrong when I came off the course and she said absolutely nothing....I'd rather it were me!

The worst part was after Abby ran around a couple of jumps in a row, the judge whistled her off course. I'm sorry, but that's just uncalled for. I paid money to be there, she's not out of control or a danger to herself or others I should be able to at least try to end on a positive note. When Kittie stressed in the ring years ago, she never got whistled off, even though she was obviously miserable...walking around the course, eyes glazed over. When dogs who are hyped up to the point that they're out of control, run frantically around the course taking anything and everything they don't get whistled off the course, even though in many cases that's stress too, some dogs stress high, some dogs stress low. Abby just gets very, very clingy. In my opinion she's worried about the environment itself, just too many dogs and too much noise for her. She does better at some locations than others, and she tends to run her best outside where the noise isn't magnified and there's more space. Abby's entered in a few trials next month and depending on how she seems I may sacrifice the runs for training, just go in and do a couple of jumps, maybe a tunnel and run right out. I may pull her the first day of the weekend and just spend time near the rings working to help her feel calm and secure. I now she'll come around, but it's so hard to know what to do to help her.

We did do some hiking at Wayne national forest.
You drive through a neat covered bridge coming into the park.
Kittie in the leaves

Kittie and Abby running up the hill in the leaves

We came across this oil.....thing, not sure what it is, but of course the pugs had to check it out

This picture cracked me up, Abby and Willy are making the exact same dopey face!
Everyone was pretty tired after a full day at the trial and a nice hike!

Friday, October 17, 2008


We're heading to Parkersburg later today, home of the scary barrels used as jump wings! Remember back in April, when both Kittie & Abby stunk it up because they seemed afraid of the barrels? We're going back, I assured the girls there are absolutely no ghosts, witches, scary clowns or Sara Palin hiding in there!!

It's a really small trial (thanks to the awful economy) and little dogs are running first, yay! So, we'll have lots of time for hiking after the trial. There's a great Mexican restaurant in town too. We should be back home nice and early on Sunday, maybe our orange front door will even get painted!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Not a lot going on

Things have been fairly quiet around here, no trials since The Wine Country Circuit in the Finger Lakes last month. Summer agility classes are winding down......(with no idea what we're doing about training over the Winter).

As it's getting cooler I've been thinking more and more about finishing up all the half done projects around the house. We did a lot of work on our kitchen when we moved here, but things like awful lighting fixtures and the broken dishwasher need to be taken care of soon! Along with our *orange* front door (I can barely see the pumpkins, they blend in!).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bill's New Problem

All this Summer while the pugs and I have been at trials or agility classes Bill has been on his mountain bike.....biking, biking, biking and some more biking. He just started taking races more seriously and it seems to be paying off, he got 4th place two weeks ago. Bill also found a new style of riding/racing he's in love with "cyclo-cross" He went to his first practice last Wednesday night and then entered a race that Sunday and what you know he took 6th place overall his first time out!!

It's like a combination of road riding, moutain biking and running. There are barriers set up that you have to jump off your bike and run over (while carrying your bike). There's a video below that shows it much better than I can explain. It makes perfect sense this would be a good fit for him, Bill was a very competitive distance runner for several years. Before I got into conformation (pre-agility) we spent most weekends at road racing or cross country events. Cyclo-cross combines cycling and some running, perfect...if you're Bill! He's scoping out races like I search for agility trials!!

Cyclocross Compilation

Sunday, October 5, 2008

$400. Crate

Isn't it cute? Something that would actually look great sitting in your living room. Too bad about the price though, that's a lot of entries fees!

No Agility demo afterall

We got to pugfest...or pugoween as it was called this year and were immediately told by Kelly (who had corned me into doing it this year) that there wasn't going to be a demo, the outside space where the demo would be, was actually rented to someone else and cops were already out there to get people and pugs off that space. *Great*, I just don't enjoy this sort thing, it's crowed with too many people and too many dogs and I get claustrophobic and want out of there! The demo at least was going to be some good training with oodles and oodles of distractions, it's a small miracle if you can get everyone to actually clear the course while you're running.

I really wanted to pack up all four dogs and head out of the city to explore some new hiking trails in the great Fall weather. We did find a trail right by the fairgrounds in south park where pugoween was held, but I didn't bring Rudy or Willy, so it was total guilt hiking, fun, twisty and steep trails, but couldn't help but to think about those two sitting home on a great day. Next year, I'm saying NO, repeat....."no, we will not do the agility demo"....please remind me not to do this again next year!

Another thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is the difference between "pet" and "performance" people and dogs just wanting to say "Hi". Among people who show dogs in breed, agility, obedience or whatever, you never, ever let your dog go right up to another dog unless they know each other, you just don't, certainly not in the dogs face, if the dog doesn't take your dog's face off the person attached to the leash may take off yours. This is just the way it is, then you go to a "pet" event and every single dog is right in your dog's face. Here's where I start to get really get torn and confused about this, their (pet people) dog's don't seem to care one bit, my dogs (and most dogs owned by show/performance people) are utterly offended and annoyed by this. Kittie hides behind my legs and ignore them. Abby did a lot better than she has in the past, only told off one pug who just wouldn't take a hint, she's getting a lot more confident and doesn't seem to need to tell off every dog who is doing wrong in her opinion like she used to. I'm certainly not going to start walking my dogs on flexi leads through crowded events telling them "say hi" as it's just not safe or necessary, but it makes you wonder if performance dogs are less tolerant of it just because they are not used to it.

Bill had an interesting take on it, agility/obedience etc dogs are so absorbed in paying attention to their owners, that other dogs in their immediate space get in the way of that, they have been so heavily reinforced for "attention" that everything else becomes a barrier. I'm not entirely sure about that, but it's an interesting concept.

My dogs are pretty tolerant, even friendly with dogs they meet in the park, but it's like when the leash is on, they're potentially on the clock, so to speak.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pittsburgh Pugfest

We're going to the Pittsburgh Pugfest this weekend. We've done an agility demo there for several years, we were going to skip it, but since they had already planned it and Kittie & Abby pretty much are the only pittsburgh area agility pugs we really have to do it. It's nice experience for them, but we're booking out of there asap after the demo. In past years I've stuck around, tried to help people get started, chat about pugs, training and agility, but it's so, so depressing. I've watched way too many people set jumps higher than the dog would jump in competition, drag the dog by their leash, shouting JUMP and then call them "dumb" or "stubborn" when they don't do it. The first year we bought a teeter out, not for new dogs to try but just for the demo...we couldn't keep people away from it, YIKES!!

Anyway my guys are all over their website: that's baby Abby in the red and black checkered fleece and Willy and Rudy in their coats on the top of the page (the photos change), and you can get your very own Abby screensaver.