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 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


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.