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!