Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who is this old dog?

Who the heck is this old dog, and what happened to Kittie? She's nine now, which is a weird age to me, sort of old and young at the same time...old for things like agility, but not like death is around the corner or anything...blah. She doesn't act old at all, but she sure looks old in these photos. I'm going to blame the lighting..or the camera, it must be something because it can't be that Kittie really is old.




And you can see a bit of pk on her eyes in this photo, she's had it since she was young. She can't handle any type of drops or ointment they irritate her eyes like crazy, luckily it hasn't spread beyond this stage in all the years.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just some dogs in the snow

We've been hiking a lot lately, not taking so many pictures though. It's been wet, cloudy and on the verge of getting dark most days, so not great for photos. Here's a few from yesterday of the girls. willy was there....somewhere.




Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fitness for agility handlers

Last night I went to a fitness class designed for agility handlers, held at my friends training facility www.yougolittledog.com It was about what I expected, proper stretching, some sprint and ladder drills and our form while sprinting was analyzed. Some of the ladder drills were pretty challenging, I think it's been about 20 years since I did anything quite like that!

About a year ago I made it a serious goal to get in better shape and start eating better. I wasn't in terrible shape by any means, but I had put on about 20 pounds, and knew I wasn't eating in a way that worked for me. I was very successful, lost the weight I had gained plus a few extra pounds. I started doing yoga a few times a week and running too. I stopped eating corn and wheat and got back to what I already knew worked best for me, lean protein and lots of fruits and veggies.

Now I can work towards fine tuning last year's goal and work towards conditioning myself specifically in ways that will help me run in agility (and keep me out of a knee brace you see too many of them at trials). Indy can move, and the faster I can get where I need to be the better.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

neurotic dog owners

I have to say, i'm definitely *not* a neurotic dog owner, which seems to be rare these days. Yes, if they seem off I worry, yes I spend time researching anything that is wrong, health wise with any of them, but I don't obsess and certainly don't rush to the vet over every little thing. All of us have days where we feel fantastic, days where we feel lousy and tired, but most are in the middle, hopefully more on the side of fantastic. I'm lucky to have a pretty healthy bunch, even as some of the pugs age they're doing well and seem spunkier than dogs half their age.

Many of my dogs have never had any type of prescription medication other than heart worm and flea and tick prevention. They see vets regularly, get their teeth cleaned as needed and we take care of anything that comes up promptly, but I just don't think it does anyone any good to rush to the vet constantly. It's stressful for the dogs, they end being loaded with pain meds and antibiotics that are likely not needed, it's just like people. The ones I know who are at the doctor for every little thing seem like they're constantly sick. My biggest focus with my dogs has always been about giving them a great, full quality of life. Lots of time playing and hiking, things to do to keep them mentally active and feeding them to the best of my ability.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home from the Crown classic

I really do love this show. It's a big event, the classes are much larger than usual, with a lot of dogs we normally don't see, there's lots of spectators, conformation, obedience and shopping. It's just has such a fun charged environment. It's a great show to see how dogs deal with that environment. I must say Indy did pretty well. Not perfect, but she was happy, and fast and didn't seem the slightest bit stressed, really good for a young dog, who just a few months back was distracted just by the bar setters and judge to go into a trial with loud spectators on all four sides of the ring. She's even resting nicely in her crate between runs!

Abby was entered one day, and I didn't run her, I walked the course and started immediately feeling panicked and emotional and even started tearing up for a quick second. The idea of it possibly being her last time in the ring was just too much, she's only five as much as she's a mess in the ring, she's the exact dog I wanted at the time I got her....she's Kittie's polar opposite in so many ways. Kittie's not slow, but she doesn't really drive either, I wanted a dog with speed and enthusiasm and I got it, but I sacrificed almost everything just for that, she didn't have a great foundation. When I chose her I wanted the wild child in the litter, Abby has taught me there's a big difference between a dog with a nice work ethic and a dog who's just off their rocker and wound so much they can hardly think. I may enter Abby in jumpers at some point....and I may not. Only time will tell.

Kittie's 9 years old today!! Happy Birthday Kittie!! She'll be running for possibly the last time on New year's weekend. Kittie always loves to run, so I'm going to try to just enjoy myself with her.

It's really hard to wrap my head around not running a pug. The pug's were my start in dogs, first in conformation, then agility. they taught me how to train, how to build drive and motivate. I do think I'm fairly good at training dogs that love to work, and find it fun. I probably would never have done agility, if I hadn't started in the breed ring. I was used to spending my weekends at shows and needed something to do once Kittie earned her breed CH. I thought, wouldn't it be fun if I could get novice titles! We did quite a bit better than that over the years! A big thank you to all my pugs for playing over the years and showing me (and everyone else) just how much pugs can do!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Retired??

I'm about 90% of the way toward retiring both Kittie & Abby from agility.

It's a sad decision to have to make with Kittie, because she loves agility, and can be really fun to run, but I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself due to what we believe is a problem with her depth perception. I'd love to bring her out for tunnelers, or touch and go in CPE or nadac sometime, but after the parkersburg trial on new years weekend, I really do think she's going to be retired from AKC competition.

It's a tough decision with Abby too, but after trying everything I can think of....time off, more steady competition, never fixing mistakes, always fixing mistakes etc etc....she just isn't cut out to compete. the trial environment is way too much for her, crating out of the car is worse. It's such a shame because she could be quite good and seems to enjoy running in classes. I probably will still run in practice here and there...who knows maybe I'll try her at a trial again, she's only Five, too young to retire, but too old to be acting like a baby-green-dog in the ring. Five should be a good point in a dog's agility career. Every dog doesn't need to compete, it's supposed to be fun and it clearly isn't for her...even though she tends to stress high and people tell me how much they love watching her, it's still stressful for her (and me).

On other news, Indy earned her AX title, she's now in EX B standard. We still need all three legs in Ex A jumpers. One little thing in each run, but she's doing beautifully, I watched the videos of her runs from this past weekend and even the ones with mistakes are so fun, there's such joy in that little dog when she does agility.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas portraits 2010

Taking photos of five dogs, with props, with bad lighting, when two of the previous mentioned five dogs would rather do almost anything other than sit still......is very, very difficult....but equally funny.

Here are some out takes




Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cute pug book

http://www.amazon.com/Mimi-When-Get-Big-Pug/dp/0615410421

My friend Caryl put this together....I mean everything, the little outfits, back grounds, photos and text. I recently got my copy and it's way too cute.

Good bye Thanksgiving * Hello Christmas

It was another great year for watching pugs camp out in front of the oven all day, Willy didn't even attempt to break in and steal the turkey this year, so all was good.

We did the unthinkable this year and bought our Christmas tree the day before thanksgiving, there just wasn't going to be time, and refuse to get a tree late in the season, what's the point? So, we had the "turkey tree", just lights with a wooden carved turkey on the top. The turkey's coming down today and the real decorating starts.

Indy and I went to a trial on black friday. Just so much fun running the baby. She's really getting into it now, she's pulling to get to the ring, she shakes in anticipation to run. No Qs, I made a poor choice (would have worked with the pugs) in jumpers and Indy hopped off the teeter....I am going to have to do some work getting her on more teeters. I'm thrilled though. The comments I hear about her at every trial are "she's a speedy little thing" and "she's so happy" and to me these are the best compliments ever to receive about a new baby dog just starting. The finer points will all come in time.

I did get one comment that bugged me....."oh you switched breeds? You wanted an agility dog"....well yes, I did decide to get a breed other than another pug, partially so I'd have a dog better suited to agility. I also wanted a dog suited to us in general. We're really active people and I wanted a dog who could keep up, but I only wanted to consider smaller dogs and I didn't think a terrier would be a good fit. Pap's personalities really appealed to me. Yes, I was curious to see what working with a more traditional breed would be like. What bothered me was the implication that the pugs aren't "agility dogs". I always just comment back that the "pugs have to work three times as hard". They have a lot working against them, but most pugs have such love and character that they do it anyway. No, they're not going to be able to beat the more traditional breeds, but they absolutely can be just as much of an agility dog.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mountaineer kennel club Trial



Really pleased with how Indy's doing. Sure there are things that need work, but I'm just not worried about them. She's such a fun girl, and she did just turn two! I think she was a little tired on the 2nd day. We drove back and forth and I was up at 4am, which means Indy was up at 4 am following me around.

No video of Abby. She just ran in jumpers, *open* jumpers. I can't even believe she's still in open, she has her AXJ title, but can't manage her AJP. She had I believe the fastest time of all the open dogs, but of course she skipped the last few weave poles. CPE and USDAA are looking better and better for abby....no weaves in jumpers!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another beautiful day!

We've been on a beautiful weather kick around here, not complaining. Could make due with a few less people making out in the park.....I think Indy spotted all of them today, seriously who rolls around in the grass at 3 in the afternoon in a public park. Indy, not a fan of public displays of affection.









That tennis ball on a tug is dangerous

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Silvia's cik & cap turning video

I finally went ahead and bought Silvia Trkman's first training video on cik and cap turns. It's a bit pricey, but it's really well made, thorough and easy to follow. I love watching her work with her dogs. Her website says it can take a few hours to download, but it only took about 15 minutes.

I found her method to be similar, (but different) to Linda Mecklenburg's method for teaching jumping. Both teach collection and turning first, both place the reward in position to encourage the dog to turn over the jump, but there are some key differences. I do wonder if Silvia's method would encourage more speed. I don't think the two really conflict in any way. This is a verbal based skill, but as she says in her video her handling is supporting it 99% of the time, it's simply more information.

I'm going to work through her method with both Abby and Indy over the next couple of months. Should be fun and it certainly can't hurt.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Home for a change

Just a quiet day at home today. Made that pie I was thinking about the other day, apple cranberry....and ate some of it. Did some dogwalks with Indy using the manners minder, looked good, but who knows her contacts can't actually be seen with the naked eye. For the most part I just played with the dogs outside in the beautiful fall weather.

Sassy Seniors rudy & willy


Rudy


Kittie & Abby


Abby


Indy

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love Fall

It's the best season ever. The past two days have been cold and rainy, but who cares, it's Fall! Everything is so crisp and cool, i always have energy to spare...so much better than summer-slugfest, where I barely want to move.

The Fall always makes me feel like baking and decorating. I don't even really eat baked goods. I turn into Martha during the Fall. Who wants some apple cranberry pie? I'm probably a little annoying to be around during the fall.....hyper perhaps? It's just so festive!

It's the perfect time to hike with the dogs too, no worries that it's too hot/cold. We hike so much during the Fall it's wonder i have time to bake and decorate like Martha.

I'm off to hike in the rain and annoy people with enthusiasm over the snow they're calling for tomorrow!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do you see the pain?

That's one of Abby's special no one but Abby can touch toys in Indy's mouth. It's piggy...second only to cow-cow. These are toys that only come out for agility and special occasions because they make Abby lose her mind.





A look of pure horror on abby's face


Which gives way to a look of utter disgust.


Indy pretty much always gets her way with the pugs, but not this time. Abby won. all is right in her world again



Just a quick note about the photos. Not well composed or anything, still just playing and learning at this point, but these were taken in manual, inside my house with pretty poor lighting, so I'm very happy. I've alway had trouble getting pictures of Indy; Miss perpetual motion, especially with poor lighting. I was worried I'd never venture from automatic mode, but I dare I say, shooting in manual actually seems pretty easy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Indy's running dogwalk



100% are in for AKC, but only a few would make USDAA's smaller 36" contact. There are a few really good ones in there, but I'm still not completely happy with it. If I could only feel confident in what I'm seeing an give better immediate feedback I'm sure I would make progress.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some photos....finally!

All my posts have been photo free for a few months now (yawn), but I finally got a new camera this past weekend. I researched like crazy, asked anyone and everyone's opinions on point and shoot, dslr, canon, nikon until my head felt like it was going to explode. I finally made a decision and got a Canon EOS rebel 2ti and I'm so glad I did. I was pretty happy with my old camera, but this is night and day...not even comparable. I'm in the process of learning how to use it, but here's what I got playing around yesterday.



Abby



Rudy



Kittie

Friday, October 29, 2010

I feel sick

Pitbull Runs Off Porch In Point Breeze, Fatally Attacks Dog On Walk - Pittsburgh News Story - WTAE Pittsburgh

This is right down the street from our house. I already stopped walking my dogs in the neighborhood we live in, because of a different dog aggressive pitbull...now this. We don't live in a bad neighborhood, we're walking distance from a large park and moved here because it's so dog friendly. My heart goes out to the people who lost little Carmine, so tragic.

I'm not going to get into the subject of breed bans, but pitbulls are becoming a bigger issue all the time around here. Yes, any dog can be aggressive and just about any dog can be wonderful if properly trained and socialized, but pitbulls really do need to come with a warning. Most people do a poor job training their labrador or shih-tzu, generally you can get a away with some mistakes with those dogs, there's just no room for mistakes with a dog as powerful as a pitbull.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

hit it board

I finally got the hit it board, it was sitting on my neighbors porch for over a week, and it's getting sent back.

It's sensitive enough for the pugs, but Indy can sit on the board and unless she's right in the center it doesn't beep....I tried it out on the dogwalk and I saw her hit it and it didn't register at all. She's a tiny little thing, and I can't imagine there's much force coming form her little paws. The manufacturer can make adjustments, but I doubt it will be enough for it work consistently well for the little peanut pup. Also, my dogwalk doesn't have slats, so it really sticks out to her, and I think she sees it more like a stride regulator....something to jump over! Sure I could train her to step on it, but I'm not looking (at this time) to train a foot target.

I'm trying to do as much dogwalk training as I can right now when I have another set of eyes....although even then it's hard to see.

I do want to mention Clean run has great customer service. No questions asked about returns.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Even more on dogwalk training!

I think i'm making some progress on really seeing what's happening on the dogwalk, and rewarding what I really want. I still need work, it's getting there.....I need to not be so afraid to mark mistakes, after all, how is she going to know what is correct?! Still waiting for my hit it board to arrive. the plan for now is to place the hit it board in what I consider to be the ideal place for her to hit and really jackpot those, give a quick reward/keep running for the ok ones and verbal mark and re do the one with striding I don't want.

Daisy Peel is teaching in VA at the end of the month, and I'm debating going down for her contact training seminars, both running and stopped. I should go, it's just I've been so disappointed by most seminars and it's about a 4 hour drive, which is a lot to do on your own (for me anyway), if I go with someone else I have to sign up for the whole weekend and there are no working spots left for the masters handling and this would mean the dogs would have to sit around in the car all day, I really don't want to do that to them, especially when in late October, when we could be doing some great hiking. I'd love to get her feedback for Indy's dogwalk, but I fear she's just going to tell me what I already know. There are no magic wands to fix things.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Debi & Mia



Here's the latest MACh pug in action, there's also video of her Mach run.

More MACh pugs!

I just got word that there are now 5 pugs with MAch titles. Way to go, showing pugs can do it all.

I did a little looking around and saw videos of Debi & Mia...what a great little pug. She's motivated, well trained and looks like she's having a ball...barking her way around the course!

I have felling there are going to be more mach and multi-mach pugs in the future!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

FCI

It's going to be an agility sloth weekend around here.....not doing much actual agility, but watching lots of it. I have my laptop hooked up to the lcd tv. I love worlds, really different, interesting courses, a huge variety in handling...and breeds in the small and medium compared to the US, and dancing lots and lots of dancing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

still obsessing about contacts

It's what occupies 99% of my thoughts right now, sad huh? Indy's pretty much perfect at home, unless I throw a toy, then she's jumping 100% of the time. I read somewhere...Daisy peel seminar notes, maybe? that using a toy for contacts can tend to put the dog into prey drive mode, and more likely to pounce off the contact. i would say that's what I'm experiencing. Still debating buying two hit it boards, and using both, to cover the bottom 20" of the contact. I can see what she's doing pretty well, if I'm running just ahead of her and putting all my focus on watching the contact, it all goes out the window when I'm trying to really run a sequence, I also noticed when watching video that I'm not really running....so indy isn't either, I'm turning into her (just a little), to see her contacts, which ends up being a collection cue, which may be why she always gets her contacts when I'm focused on just that.....the hit it boards could fix that. Although I worry they won't be 100% plus if she hits the slatted part it won't register either. the ones made in Europe seem perfect, but are too pricey for me at the moment (around 500.).

I've been thinking of using Abby as a contact training guinea pug. We played around with contact hoops on the A frame, didn't work, but for some reason I'm curious about using them on the dog walk for her, it's worth a try just to see how effective they are. What's the worst that could happen?

For some reason whenever things "brake" in agility, the problem seems to always need to have lots of cash thrown at it to fix it. Weave poles.....must be the new 24" spacing, better buy some new ones. Teeter problems better buy one just like they use in trials. Contact troubles...maybe we need a dogwalk with a rubber surface, maybe fancy electronic stuff, some hoops...maybe a new training video?? Need to generalize specific skills, better travel to every training facility within 200 miles to rent ring time.

good news

Not great news, but pretty good! The mass on willy's leg was mct, but there were clean margins and no signs that it has spread at all. We'll take that!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rabid foxes...what's next

Rabid foxes suspected in Pittsburgh-area attacks | PoconoRecord.com

All within miles of our house and right in the middle of where I walk the dogs most days.

Monday, September 27, 2010

USDAA agility

Yesterday was the first USDAA trial I've been to in years. My very first trial ever, 6 years ago was usdaa, my first Q ever was in the games class Snooker. I do like this venue overall. A few more runs a day, some different challenges in the course design.

It's not for everyone though, jump heights are tough for a lot of dogs, it's not venue that you see a lot of non-traditional breeds. The small dog classes (at least around here) are tiny. At the masters level there were only 4, 12" dogs competing, just weird. Part of that is the cutoff is closer to the AKC 8" cutoff. Dogs must be under 12" to jump 12". I couldn't decide what height to enter Indy, she's done a bit at 12" but we've focused more on 8" since that's her AKC jump height. I didn't want to over face her, and cause her to loose confidence, so we entered 8" in the "performance" division. In the future we'll most like enter 12"

It is a different atmosphere, to a point that makes me a bit uncomfortable with a tiny dog. Warm up jumps were set up out in the open in crowded areas, we weren't using them, just too risky. things were also really lax about dogs being on lead. AKC has become kind of nuts about this, if you carry your 5 pound dog out of the ring and are still in the process of attaching their lead as you leave, you will lose your Q, or if the dogs natural momentum at the finish carries them out of the ring, even if they turn back right away you can lose your Q....that's excessive and just adds unnecessary stress. But I really hate seeing dogs, not attached to leads other than with their mouths tugging outside the ring, in a perfect world where everyone really knew their dogs and payed attention to their dogs, it wouldn't be an issue, but that's never the case.

We'll definitely try more usdaa in the future though, I think it will be a nice venue for Indy once she grows up a bit.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I'm just going to say it

I sometimes really dislike running young dogs, there I said it. I know people who hate training foundation stuff. I love all the training. It's just that first 6 months to a year or so that they're trialing, and I feel like every time I turn around I'm adding something to the list to re-train. I don't rush into competition either, but it just feels like there are some things that no mater what I do, fall apart in competition. The teeter for example. I get my dogs to as many different building as possible, on different equipment, but nothing prepares them for the differences they see from week to week. This weeks teeter issues actually started last week. If you watch Indy's teeter form the last video I posted, you see she's a little tentative on the teeter, jumps off back a little from the end of the plank (perfectly legal), but it bounces up and lifts her back end just slightly. she's a sensitive girl and that got her thinking, and too much thinking seems to always end in trouble! I should have insisted she come all the way to the end and wait.

Kittie was the one exception, she *was* put in the ring early, I didn't know any better and my instructor at the time said I was ready, so off we went. She had a lot of holes in her training, and still had those holes years later, but Kittie always was who she was. Not too many surprises running her.

I know people who love running baby dogs.....it is fun starting a new dog off, trying to give them a good experience, but there's a point several months into trialing where I'm just exhausted by the novelty of just what are they going to do today?!? I'll laugh in a few days about this weekend, but for now I just shake my head.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Willy



Willy made it through everything just fine yesterday, he's sporting a fancy new lampshade, err... I mean e collar too. He doesn't seem to need it, hasn't even looked at his incision. Crossing fingers that his lump was nothing more than just a lump!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More thoughts on running contacts

I've been saying that "it's a matter of time before indy starts to get called for her dogwalk" The behavior certainly has gone through some changes over the past few months and while i have ideas, I'm not totally certain what to do.

She's always been fairly quick, but recently she's become all about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible....which is fantastic, but she's looking for every shortcut she can find to accomplish this, skipping the last weave pole and extending straight off the dogwalk. We've been trying to work through this and I do feel she's getting a grasp that she needs to hit the bottom of the plank, but (and here's what concerns me about the behavior holding up) she takes a lot of short collected strides to hit the contact, rather than running fully extended and slightly adjusting her stride as she's coming down to hit it. I worry since she's almost never at full seed when she makes an effort to hit it, that the behavior will fall apart in competition.....because she doesn't understand how to accomplish both hit the contact and run at full speed. I also have a hard time getting her as excited at home as she is in classes and trials.

I'm thinking of purchasing a "hit it board", it beeps when the dog hits the contact. but it's so small that I worry the criteria will be too strict to hold up long term.

Not many dog as tiny as Indy manage to miss their contacts, even without training of any kind...leave it to my dogs to catch some air any way they can!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Indy Sept 2010

Once we get this whole, can't calm down/focus enough to get through the weaves on the first try phase over with we'll be in business.

Indy got her last leg for her Open Jumpers title and her first EX A standard leg (not on video) this past weekend.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

that C word

I found a bump on Willy's front leg, so we went to the vet to have it checked out yesterday and the vet feels it's in her words "highly, highly suspicious of mct" so he's scheduled to have it removed next week. Last night I found two more bumps on him, on his rear leg.

Obviously i'm worried and upset......it's so weird when you think of the possibility of something like this in a dog who seems so healthy, so completely "normal". I refuse to obsess over this, I refuse to allow it to alter the way I think of Willy, and the way I interact with him. I've always said I would never put a dog through chemo. Only time will tell about that, but if this does turn out to be cancer, I refuse to put him through any pain just to stretch his life a few years. I want my dogs with me as long as possible, but most importantly I want them to have a good life. Willy gets very stressed out at the vets. He's one of those dogs who cries and carries on over everything. He's always been like this, even his breeder warned me that he was a "crier and screamer" at 8 weeks.

Willy's always been different that the girls, he loves to just hang out in the yard and forage for berries, dirt and anything else that could be considered food. He's a big worrier around big dogs, but he loves his girls. He's a total "fair weather" dog, he doesn't like to go for walks when it's wet, too hot or too cold, but is just thrilled about being out when it's nice out. He's my little marshmallow dog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

people people everywhere

We've been trying to take advantage of the nice weather and hike with the dogs in the early evenings while we still have the light to get out after work. Normally I try to squeeze in a hike during the afternoon or early morning, but it's nice to have Bill come along. Usually once we get off the main trails we're pretty much by ourselves, not yesterday. Runners, families mountain bikers at every turn, all this was okay. The dogs do need to see all these things regularly. But it seems on nice days there's always one who makes me lose faith in the human race. We were on a main trail, all our dogs were on leash at this point, just too much going on and we saw a large GSD mix off leash. The man looked like he was about to put the dog on lead when he saw us approaching, but as we came up it looked like he was just holding the dog by collar....while it stared at our dogs....that completely inappropriate, aggressive stare. I see people do this all the time, hold dogs by collar, as a means to control, while allow the dog to lock eyes on what/whoever....much the way people do in agility to rev a dog up! and that's just what it does with these dogs. We had to pass them, luckily it was a fairly wide trail, but by the time we had to pass him the dog was in a total frenzy, and i really worried it was going to get away from the owner.

Not the hike we were hoping for, this is why I sometimes can't wait for the bitter cold of Winter.

Monday, September 13, 2010

You can shape anything

The whole thing started on Labor day morning. It was the 3rd day of a trial weekend. Abby was only entered on Sat. and Monday. she does better with a "mental health day" in between....I Iove three day trials for this reason. I got the dogs up, and Abby looked horrible, she could barely open her eye. how a dog can scratch their eye while in a crate over night, I'll never understand. We had left over ointment from a previous eye injury so I started her on that, and she looked a lot better by the time I got home. Still occasional squinting, but looking on the way to recovery! Went to the vets to be sure, and he agreed she was doing good and to keep up with the ointment.

In the days that followed her eye seemed fine 99% of the time, but at some point every single day she would follow me around, just sort of winking at me. which of course I responded to in the only way anyone with a heart responds to a squinting pug. I carried her around, babied her, kissed her head and gave her cookies. When she kept doing this almost a full week later I took her back to the vet, who confirmed her eye was completely healed!! I got to wondering, is she winking and squinting, for attention? Could she have figured out that squinting at me, got her attention and cookies?? You bet she did. It took a solid day of ignoring her when she winked and praising her when she looked at me both eyes to get her to stop. now, I just need to get it on cue!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Running contacts- an update

Nothing is as easy it seems! Recently Indy's dog walk has been getting a little sloppy. Sometimes there are full blatant jumps, other times her striding is consistent the whole way down the plank, but she's so extended that that she's hitting at the very top of the yellow and the next stride is hitting the ground. All four feet hit the same spot, jackrabbit style!! It would be cute, but she's going to get called. I want it to be obvious to any judge that she hit her contact, I don't want to make them think, and boy oh boy is it hard to see what she's doing lately. I video taped and watched and watched and watched some more at full speed and could not for the life of me say whether her feet hit the lower section the dog walk or the ground just past. She already was pretty quick on the dog walk, recently she's really started to move! I had to slow it down to 12% of regular speed to really analyze what she's doing.

I hopefully fixed it. The first time she jumped on the dog walk, was outside and there was taller grass around the plank. This is Indy, she can be weird. She jumped every single time. It seemed like from that point on things got sloppy, she also started to get faster. It was like she did it once and thought well "this is easier and FUN". Got the plank out and did some remedial work. Also played around with her stop on the contact. I semi-taught her a four on stop months ago. she didn't forget! All I have to do is tell her GO or STOP when she's on the top plank of the walk and she does it. The stop certainly needs more work, more proofing but I'm amazed at how quickly she gets the concept and she seems to really like not knowing which it's going to be, and having to really pay attention. I think for her the stop even helps her running contact. It seems to remind her that there's something very important about hitting the end of the walk.

On a side note, I don't know how judges accurately can judge contacts. I think fast small dogs are even harder, it's tough to really see what's going on. I think electronic touch pads are only a matter of time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

car shopping

"Stinky" my 1998 forester is finally being retired. I loved that car, sure it had a fair bit of body damage from years of driving (and being parked) in the city, yes it smelled like a wet labrador retriever, but it was the first car I really, really loved......sort like a bad, abusive relationship towards the end. I just couldn't part with it, so I kept dumping more and more money into it. Thinking if I just fix this one thing, it will run for like two more years!! It just doesn't work that way at some point. I drove everyday through the blizzard this past year, only problem was getting held up behind all the cars stuck in the snow....oh and the one time I started to get cocky and parked in a snow bank (for the record, I did not get stuck, but came pretty close).

My 2001 Forester is currently my all purpose car, I'm using it for work as well as my own personal use while I wait to find my new car. Looking for a 2007 or newer Forester, what can I say I stick with what I love, or maybe I just resist change..... I'm also cheap, So i'm looking on my own and I have someone searching auto auctions for me. I really thought i might have my car now, but was priced out at the auction by 500. oh well

Anyone want to buy a 1998 Forester, rare 5 speed, two brand new tires, clutch less than a year old. almost a classic car!!! Slight odor problem

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another water dog!

I don't know what I do, but almost all of my dogs are obsessed with playing in the water!

I took Kittie, Abby & Indy to the park yesterday afternoon to play in the stream. It's been so miserably hot that there's no way to go on hikes during the afternoon. Indy has been to the stream exactly one time prior to this all year, and I'm not sure if she ever went last year. As soon as we got out of the car, she's pulling like a nut, chattering away. I had no idea what got into her, it was kind of embarasing I thought, guess we need to work on the whole, how to walk on a leash thing. Then I realized she was pulling to get to the water. As soon we got there, she was in! Dunking her head under, "scuba diving" for rocks and swimming with her big sister, Abby. Kittie likes to chase her ball, but rarely goes in too far, enough to cool off though.

There would be pictures, but I'm still without a camera. I have my eye on one that comes out later this month.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Relax and kick back agility

That would be how CPE was described to me at the trial this weekend, when someone heard that I had never done cpe before. That was also my first indication of the day that CPE agility, probably wouldn't be my thing. I can think of far better ways to kick back and relax with my dogs than any agility trial. What I like the most about trialing, is new challenges and course that really make me think and push myself. That is fun for me, and generally my dogs have fun, if I'm having fun.

I will say CPE is very nice for young dogs, for ring experience. Overall it's not that much different than most trials. Seemed far less frantic about getting to the line. Some classes, you just run around and do whatever obstacles you or your dog want to.....would have been great for training.....if they actually opted to use the contact obstacles, what's up with that?! Pretty much all the courses, even at the highest level looked variations of novice courses, so not huge challenges. Dogs can jump two height classes lower too, so very nice if you want to bring a retired dog out to play once in a while.

I think it's great that we have so many options to play agility. something for everyone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Call 911

Indy had a HAIR emergency! My biggest fear about having a dog with a pretty coat......

Took all the dogs hiking at Deer lakes park this weekend. We've been several times, never a problem. The trail was grown in somewhat and there were those little green things everywhere, no idea what they're actually called, but it's like tiny pieces of velcro that weave themselves into a papillons pretty hair. For a while I was trying to pull them out as we walked, but it was no use. It was awful, to look at Indy you would have thought there was no way, all her hair would have to be cut, but she patiently waited while I worked every single one out of her coat. Some hair came out, but none had to be cut, and she still looks pretty as ever.

You got to love a pugs short coat! they shed everywhere, but you just can't mess up their coats no matter what.

Don't think we'll be going back to Deer Lakes for a little while!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

OA Indy

Indy had a VERY good weekend! Earning all 3 legs for her open standard title and 1 open jumpers leg (she was only entered in Jumpers twice) I made a mistake, and missed a jump....Indy was perfect.

She was much happier at the trial. Indy's a party girl, and likes to be able to hang out, meet and greet, play with new friends and spend as much time as possible scuba diving in the near by stream. She even was caught actually *sleeping* in her crate. Spending too much time crated at shows just seems to shut her down, she has no shortage of energy so I guess there's no harm in her staying out more.

Kittie ran this weekend too, just in standard. Had an off course in one run and a dropped bar in another. Oh well. As someone (rudely) pointed out she is getting old. She's only 8 1/2. She's slowing down on walks these days, the heat seems to be getting to her more easily. I just don't know what to do, not ready for Miss Kittie to start aging.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Venturing out from AKC

Indy and i are going to be expanding out from just AKC agility. We're doing one day at a local CPE trial, entered in jumpers, standard and full house...which I have no idea what that is! But it should be fun to do something different.

In September we're entering two days of USDAA. Really excited about that one, I still haven't decided what jump height she'll be running. We're currently going through all the foundation stuff we did at 8" all over again at 12" She never knocks bars (what a concept), but I want to make sure she's really jumping correctly and confidently. 12" just looks so big, but I'm probably stuck in the mindset I've had for the pugs.....and Abby jumped 12" for a while, and was reasonably successful at that height.

I feel like I'm stuck in a bit of rut with just AKC, many of the courses are very similar and I'm bored with taking up my whole day to just run two runs. I also hate that once you get to the Ex B level you need DQs to make any progress towards anything, it can be really demotivating. We're always going to run more AKC trials that anything else, there are just so many of them locally and it's a really good fit for the pugs, but I'm excited to try some new things.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July trial

We went to a small trial that was outside this weekend. Friday I only entered Kittie, and Indy ran in fast for practice. We took Saturday off, it was me and Bill's anniversary. 11 years already!!

Sunday all three girls were entered, but with temps predicted to be in the 90s, I just brought Indy. running just Indy also meant my day was going to be very short, I was only at the trial for a little over two hours.

Indy earned her first Open Jumpers leg, with a 1st place. She would have had an open standard leg as well, but she ran by the outside of the chute and was already onto the teeter and I never fixed it. She's doing better with all the trial commotion. there were hats everywhere, the judge was wearing a big, red, white and blue top hat, all the ring crew were wearing hats and she did good. She's still not running as well she's capable, there's a big, big difference between Indy in practice and Indy in competition, but she's getting there!

My biggest concern is she seems to really stress about being left alone in her crate at trials. She doesn't make a lot of noise, but she's licking her lips (stress signal in dogs) whenever I see her, and she's not resting. I'm not sure how to handle that. Stay with her more...come back frequently, I just don't know.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tip of the day

When running in the AKC fast class, it's helpful to actually *know*the rules! Walking the course beforehand doesn't hurt either.

Just a little tip from me, this way when your baby dog easily does the send and earns close to the maximum number of points, you will actually qualify. We entered mainly for training and some ring time (otherwise today was Excellent only), so I never really gave much thought to Qing or not....but still...know the rules, and walk the course, very helpful.

Monday, June 21, 2010

35 years

Happy birthday to me! 35, now!

Trialed close to home this weekend. Indy finished her Novice agility title, so she's in Open for both classes now. She's still struggling with "who are all these people in the ring and why are they staring at me?" This is a new one for me, but I'm assured it's a normal baby dog stage, she did get distracted by people in class at a time too and she got over that quickly. She's rarely running over to them now, but it's just enough distraction to miss a weave or a jump. She'll get there. No Open jumpers Qs, due to moments of baby dog distraction, but nice overall. i'm very happy with her speed in jumpers.

Abby was a lot of fun. She's runs like heck! No table or weaves, but I'll take a bad dog who's having fun over slow, acurate and boring any day.

Kittie only ran in standard, which she did very well, one of those effortless runs.

Friday, June 18, 2010

11 years old



Happy 11th Birthday Rudy!! The pug who started it all!! without Rudy I may have never got so involved with dogs. I was still in school when we made the plunge and got a pug puppy....out of the newspaper. She was everything a pug, was not supposed to be. Smart, insanely active and drivey. I've yet to have a dog who plays tug with such intensity. We walked her everywhere, just trying to tire her out enough to get some peace, took her to classes. She is pug-like in some ways, she's had virtually every health problem that's common to the breed....bad eyes, knees, back problems and a lot of allergies.

She's taught me a lot. Pugs can do all sorts of things, the value of a good breeder and how important good nutrition and conditioning is for all dogs.

She's still going strong, no one guesses her to be 11yrs, or even the oldest of our dogs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No focus

Had class last night with Kittie, Abby & Indy, I just had no focus at all. Lots of sending dogs around jumps and running like a slug. Can I blame it on the ridiculous heat and humidity? Maybe....just one of those days. I was slow at work, two of my favorite dogs were scheduled to be walked. These guys aren't regulars, just random dates through out the year I always look forward to seeing them. The older one has cancer and the younger one came up lame, so that was upsetting. Lots of negativity in general before class, people talking about dogs not working out for competition. I think it was a combination of summer weather and general blah-ness but i just wasn't in the right state. At least dogs are more understanding than people!

Other observations

* It's raining AGAIN
* Went out to bring the dogs in, and found Willy with a decapitated bird.....trying to eat the bird's head. I figure, between all the berries he eats and now birds, I don't even have to feed him over the summer. He's a hunter gatherer pug.

Watch out birds!

Monday, June 14, 2010

broken camera

One minute my camera was perfect, the next it just stopped working. hmm, I'm thinking that maybe you're not supposed to just toss a loose camera into a backpack and sprint with it bouncing around. Hoping it can be fixed, I've had it about 4 years or so and really do like it. I'm not sure what i'd get this time around.

Potentially the last photos from camera;









"what do mean, I look pathetic?"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

swamp-front property

This has been the rainiest June ever. Our yard has pretty much turned into a swamp. The dogs think it's great, especially Indy and Abby. The house is a perpetual disaster, the kitchen may as well have dirt floors.

Indy, "what's wrong with a little mud?!"


Believe it or not, the floor actually is white.


Won't someone come out and play in the puddles with me?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kittie jumping E.T.S.

I've written many, many times about Kittie's jumping issues, and posted links to early take off syndrome articles. Here are some photos that very clearly show what the problem looks like.
Starting here, just hit next to see the progression;
http://www.cindynolandphotography.com/gtotc510/satexst8%5F2/gtotc510_3831.htm

Notice her take off point, notice how close she lands to the jump. It should be spaced evenly, with the jump itself at the center. See how much higher she jumps than she needs to.

We've done it all in terms of training and re-training again and again. This is just Kittie, I can handle to compensate for these issues to a point, but she will always drop bars.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Traffic

The place we do most of our agility training is about a 40 minute drive away, an hour with traffic.....normally.....yesterday it took a whopping 2 hrs and 15 minutes. I'm so glad Donna let us crash the 2nd class. By the time I realized this was more than your ordinary traffic, we were basically trapped on the highway, with an hour into the drive, to turn around and go home at that point would have made me nuts, at least we got to have fun.

Indy is definitely having fun, she seems more and more into it all the time. Handling really tough sequences, with threadles. We do need to work on switching between obstacle and handler focus, and really training a "come" command for agility. She's just a wee bit forward focused at the moment, which is a good thing, but I need to be able to smoothly redirect her.

That traffic yesterday is my worst fear about moving outside of the city, that could turn you into a raving lunatic pretty quick! Still trying to find a property close enough, yet the perfect private dog wonderland where they can bark at birds and squirrels all they want.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"minor leagues" other agility venues

There was a CPE trial close to our house this weekend, at the end of the day there was a tunnelers fun run, all proceeds went to breast cancer research. A fun chance to run the dogs in a trial environment, even almost 11 year old rudy got to come out and play! and raise some $$$ for a good cause, a win win for everyone. Everyone did great, Indy ended up 1st, Abby 2nd (I believe they were 2nd and 3rd overall for all heights). Kittie ducked behind me to take an off course and Rudy missed a tunnel- she hasn't done any agility at all for several years, so it was great to see her out there really running!

We've never done CPE, truth be told 99% of the agility trials we do are AKC. I've done a few USDAA, it's a goal of mine to do more.

Around here (and maybe everywhere) there's very different attitudes about different venues. CPE, I'm sorry to say is negatively viewed as "the minor leagues" by many. This has always bugged me, it bothers me just as much as when people who only do venues like CPE & NADAC criticize those who only do AKC & USDAA saying "well, I want to have fun", implying that anyone even moderately competitive can't possibly be having fun. I want to go as far as I can with each of my dogs (just how far that is will vary) and certainly have fun, that's the number one reason I do all of this, to have fun, to play with my dogs and any success I have stems from that. I like running courses that are challenging, both physically and mentally, I wish AKC courses were more challenging. That doesn't make me better or worse than someone who is looking for a different experience with their dogs, as long as you have a good relationship with your dog, do your best to prepare them and yourself and don't blame the dog for your own shortcomings there's nothing wrong or lesser about any venue. I think it's wonderful that we have so many different types of organizations. In Europe, my pugs wouldn't even have an opportunity to play, since the lowest jump in many countries is 14"

The easy CPE tunnelers run was fun! It was a nice opportunity to just RUN and put the focus 100% on speed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Abby Weaves...at a trial!



I've been just running right on by the weaves if Abby makes a mistake/decides she doesn't have time to finish them, not stopping her at all. Well, on the 2nd day of the trial this weekend Abby completed both sets of weaves on the first try. She knows how, she really is pretty nice weaver. Who knows, maybe there's hope Abby.......now if they would just get rid of the table in standard we'd be in business!

NAJ Indy



Indy earned her NAJ title and a leg towards her NA...would have been 2 legs, but she missed a weave pole and I didn't even notice it, so an NQ for that run. she's doing very well......I on the other hand need work. She's such a good girl, my front crosses are not only late, but positioned terribly.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Indy update


Indy's 18 months old now, still very much a baby, but growing up more all the time. I'm so happy with her, she's such a fun girl and a great all around dog. She's always ready to play or do some training, but she's calm, quiet and snuggly at home if there's not much to do. She's far more social with other dogs than I'm used to with the pugs, but it's never distracted her in classes, so that's great! I do have a feeling there will be more papillons in my future, just a perfect breed for me! I had my concerns venturing away from pugs when I got her, but it was a great decision.

Training wise she's come a long way and of course there are some things that need some work.

* weaves and dogwalk and just great, I'm amazed at what she truly seems to understand. Both are fully independent, with nice speed

*Teeter and Aframe are good, but need a little tweaking. Teeter- she's starting to self release when it hits the ground, I went through that with Abby and let it go and that turned into fly offs pretty quick. I need to remember to really reinforce her staying on the board. She seems a little confused by a lot of lateral distance on the teeter too. A frame- I'm such an idiot, I realized we never really worked on a variety of approaches onto the frame with her, just lots of straight approaches, so she seems a little unsure and it seems if there's a discrimination and she doesn't know where she's going right away, she's not sure that she can make it. I did however do some things right, her contacts on the frame have come together beautifully, she understands her job. I have worked on all sorts of exits, pushing off the Frame, front and blind crosses, lateral distance, she does well with it all.

* Jumping she's a fairly good jumper. Not a bar knocker, that's for sure!! She does tend to jump very flat and extended, so I need to continue working on collection skills and improving my timing/deceleration.

Trick training her has been fun. I don't know why more people don't spend time working on tricks. I need to put a video of her finished tricks together.

Some tricks that are still in the works (need work)
* limping on beck leg, without any assistance
* retrieving things and putting them in a small container. she does this, but she still kind of *throws* the toys at the container/me. I'd like to see her really paying attention to what she's doing, but the current version is pretty cute!
* rolling herself up in small balnket, we've got nowhere on this one. I do have a cue though *burrito*

She's entered in just a few trials over the summer. Taking things slow, letting her mature with no real pressure put on her. Just enjoying running a baby dog. something I haven't done before. It was always a race to get to Ex, then a race to get to Ex B. she'll get there, that's for sure, so no need to rush.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

WCOTC trial

Went to the WCOTC trial this past weekend. Kittie ran both days and Indy & abby each ran one day. Kittie was her usual self. she's really become very easy for me to run. she has her limitations and plenty of holes in her early training, but I know her and she's very comfortable to run. She's always ready to have some fun out there and tries her best!


Indy was a total weenie! Both runs were ok, but then ruined when she got afraid of something......dogs/people outside the ring, that she noticed when she was on the table in standard and the judges hat in jumpers. this really surprised me at first and then I got to thinking, she really hasn't done much agility outside, and she does still have a certain degree of fearfulness when we're outside hiking. A barking dog in the distance panics her, and she really can't focus. Poor baby, I think it's leftover stress from when she was attacked. This stuff really can stick with them. she just wasn't 100% herself last weekend, yet she ran well overall. Teeter and dogwalk were both great! She really loves to weave too!!

Abby was Abby, fast and bordering on out of control! No Qs for her, but she put on quite the show : )


Here's video of some of Kittie's runs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A surprise in the mail

I came home to a surprise yesterday. Kittie's invite to the PDCA showcase...or top 20, or whatever they're calling it now. I really didn't think she was in the top 5 for agility, since I barely ran her last year and then I moved her to preferred but she ended up #4 for standard.

Not sure if we'll go or not. The whole thing sounds a little silly. Dressing up in 50's attire.....conformation folks in 50s prom getups and companion event people dressed like the movie Grease (so, are the breed people the soc's and the performance people Greasers??) Bill says I should do it, but I think he just want photos of me in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes.

I wasn't even decided about nationals, Kittie runs terribly on the surface that agility is being held on this year and I definitely wasn't planning on spending the week.

Does anyone know just what the showcase entails? I see there's a required rehearsal. We've been invited before, but have never attended.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A plan to make a plan

I've whined several times about how I want to move out of the city, want less neighbors, should be happy in our cute little neighborhood where you can walk to cafes, indie movie theaters etc......but I'm just not. Well, it's time to start really forming some plans to make things happen. We're starting a serious search for properties within the city that fit the budget (I'm not a fan of having debt, we like to live well below our means) and our list of things we want in a new home, # 1 being no close by neighbors, I also have this obsession with having a mudroom. We have five dogs, we need a mudroom! Also get an idea of things in surrounding counties. We've done this before....and we ended up living in the city. It's a tall order. Even if this ends up being on a 10 year plan, I want to have a real plan for making things happen. Moving outside the city, with a 40min. to 2 hr commute just can't happen right now, but with some changes made it *could* down the road sometime.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

any day now.....

Supposedly AKC is voting on all those possible changes, A frame height for little dogs, positionless table among other things. We should know what's going on sometime in May. It's frustrating for me because if they do change the A frame height my dogs will never be able to practice on a 5' foot frame. Where we do 99% of our training the A frame can't be lowered. It may be just fine to "wing it" but I'm not a fan of surprising my dogs in competition.

I just wish there were some proposed changes for the teeter. Indy had another flying launch off the teeter on Monday night. she's not doing it because she doesn't care, she's doing it out of confusion. She was on 2 different teeters prior to this earlier in the week that tipped very differently and she really was confused and that hurts her confidence on the dog walk...."which kind of plank is this?? A teeter or walk, better slow down to be sure". Very frustrating for both Indy and I, it's not fair for her to surprised like that. when you're only 6 lbs some teeters are just starting to give a little as she approaches the end and others aren't moving at all and she has to wait a second, just for it to begin to tip if she's all the way at the end, the way she's been trained (she needs to go to the end, or many teeter won't tip at all). At least she landed on her feet this time.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

weekend run thrus

Took the young ladies to run thrus at splash and dash on Sat. It was packed, I wasn't expecting that! Lots of familiar faces bringing out new, young dogs....with mixed results. Baby dogs, you just don't know what may happen!!

Kittie on the other hand, you know exactly what to expect......lots of barking and squeeling, some knocked bars, and a near fly off on the teeter, but lots of FUN!

Abby, nice speed through out, a nice fast down on the table, nice contacts, but lots of discussions over the weave poles. She can weave independently...in the back yard.

Indy really did well. I ran her at both 8" and 12" and she did just fine at both heights. I really tested her contacts and weaves and she did fantastic. A while back she was very hesitant on this teeter, it's heavy and loud, but no problems anymore. she ran 3 times and I think her speed got better in each run. Such a good girl!!

My depressed problem pug

I swear Abby's been in some sort of depression since the arrival (over a year ago) of Indy. She just looks sad and sort of hollow a lot of the time, and she's been really ramping up all her "I don't care if it is negative attention, pay attention to me, me, ME" bad behaviors....barking non-stop, frantically running the fence, attacking the television....even when it's turned off!



Is this the face of depression?

To be fair she's the one who actually plays with Indy the most, Indy has been totally in love with Abby from the start. Abby gets just as much attention as always, nothing changed when Indy arrived. Abby has always been tough for me to figure out. Very high drive, yet super sensitive. Tells off every dog who looks at her the wrong way (confidence issues, perhaps?!) yet has not ever corrected Indy for *anything, ever*.

Kittie went through a similar phase when Abby joined us, except she turned into a total super-agility-nerd and never looked back.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More on the trial this past weekend

All three of the "young ladies" ran. Kittie wants everyone to know, she may stink in practice, but that's just because she's saving it for the ring. She was amazing, ran her heart out in every run. 4" may be kind of silly, but she loves it! she was almost 30 seconds under time in standard. Go Kittie!!!

Abby, Abby, Abby not quite ready to grow up just yet. Since moving her to preferred she still hasn't moved up from open.....needs two legs in both. Her jumpers runs were quite nice, both had weave pole faults, sometimes skipping the last pole, other times missing the entry. Standard, what a mess! She hates the table, either runs over it or makes a u turn as soon as it's in her sight and it's presence in the ring causes a total melt down. She did complete the weaves in standard though....go figure.

At this point I'm considering running her in some other venues, like nadac that have no table or just skipping standard with her for a while.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Indy's debut

Little Indy made her big debut in agility this weekend. i entered her in just, the jumpers with weaves class for 2 days to see how she would do, and handle the trial environment. Over all I'm very pleased with her. She did great. Day two though, complete and utter silliness, initiated by my very own disastrous handling. Yes, there is video of that run too, it may surface one day as a blooper video.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

vaccines and stuff

Okay, so due to my own fear a couple of the pups are now over due for their rabies vaccines. I do titers for distemper and parvo, but usually do rabies pretty much as required by the state. Indy was due back in Feb and Abby in March. I always worry, but after Indy's reaction as a 12 week old baby; puffed up like a balloon, acting skittish and strange for well over a week....I'm terrified.

Kittie badly needs a dental too, which is frustrating because, she just had a dental!!! I took her in, told them her teeth are bad, they peek in her mouth agree that a dental is in order. I pick her up later that day, they couldn't remove several bad teeth, that had broken off because she was only under light sedation, what?? did they not take a really good look at what was going on before deciding on the level of sedation?

I'll never understand my dog's teeth. Abby has the most gleaming, perfect teeth you've ever seen.....but she's had to have several removed because of slab fractures. Willy's teeth...nasty, nasty, nasty. He gets a dental and literally within 2 months they look just as bad as before. Rudy, the old lady of the family actually has pretty good teeth, from what anyone can actually see, she's not exactly cooperative. Kittie's teeth are a mess. a mixture of broken and just plain yuck. Indy's are looking the same as the day she came here, perfect! they all eat raw, spend a good deal of time chewing and get their teeth brushed.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Deer Lakes park

We went for a hike at Deer lakes park this weekend, (and yes, we did see deer!). the weather continues to be strangely perfect and spring/summer like. I've been to this park a few times and usually we wander around for hours searching for the good trails, only to find them after we're all about done for the day. Yesterday we actually found a nice 2.5 mile loop right away. It was perfect, some small streams, windy, hilly trails that opened up into big fields.













Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tinkle induced melt-down



So, Indy's a freak. Aren't all dogs in some way?

Last year Indy went through a stage where she didn't want to go in the back yard. Grass in the park was fine, even soaking wet grass, but not the yard. she also didn't like going in the grass at agility trials, at least the grass closest to the buildings. I had my suspiscions, that this was related to other dogs pee being on the grass, but never was sure and it went away out of no where last Fall.

Until yesterday that is, I went to a friends to help her get started training her young dogs' running contacts. she has a teeter from mad agility, so I brought Indy along to let her play on the teeter, it's the same kind a lot of trials here use and no where we train has one. She was okay on the patio, but paniced the second she went on the grass. no interest in her favorite ball, wouldn't take food and within a few minutes started drooling like crazy, totally stressed! Put her in her crate for a while, she came out happy as can be, played on the patio area, chased her ball.....then I threw it on the grass, panic, drooling melt down. Yep, 5 dogs peeing in one yard is too much pee for Indy. She's so funny, I guess cleanliness isn't a horrible trait, and this shouldn't be an issue in the ring at a trial, other than the hike I have to go to get her to pee. Maybe she needs booties, so her delicate paws don't have to touch any tinkle......

Monday, March 29, 2010

Way to Go Bogie the pug!

This was the first year that preferred dogs were eligible to compete at agility nationals, I wasn't sure what to make of this.....but what the heck, why not!! I think they were expecting a much larger turn out and the number of dogs representing each height was decided on *before* entry numbers were in, a whopping 78% of preferred dogs at the national made it to finals.

The big news though, a pug ended up 2nd place in the preferred 8" division. Way to go, Kris Huet and Bogie. I'm not familiar with them, so I don't know where they're from or how long they've been competing. I got the livestream, so I saw two of their runs, he's a nice running pug! Kris looked to be calm and smooth in finals too. A great representation of what pugs can do!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Hike


Wow, the first day of Spring and it was actually a perfect spring day here. Warm (not hot), sunny and it's been so nice lately that the trails are unusually dry! Everyone was happy to finally get out on a real hike, the water dogs even go their first chance to take a dip......and Indy has turned into a water dog too. Last summer she wasn't so sure about this wet stuff, but now she's the first one in.