Sunday, June 29, 2008

Trial results and other things

The good news is Legend does not seem to be afflicted with whatever ring stress she was experiencing at the last few trials. I am hopeful that this continues to be the case because no one wants a dog with that kind of issue! The bad news is we didn't actually qualify in anything this weekend. Althought there we lots of nice parts and some very close runs. She was apparently obsessed with the wrong end of the tunnel this weekend and actually just tunnels in general, which is odd for her. Zodiac finished his NAP and NJP but seemed to have trouble jumping again so I think he will be focusing on obedience almost exclusively for now.

In other news...

There have been requests for pictures of my hair cut-we'll see, I'm not much for posting pics of myself unless I'm running a dog at the time!

And now I have to give my soapbox speech. I have found that there is a lot of discussion lately on whether or not to spay/neuter your agility dog. Those who are against argue that it allows the dog to be more muscular and alters the time of growth plate closure thus giving you a competitive edge. I don't know for sure but I really doubt there are any studies comparing the performance of intact versus altered dogs. I do know however that there many medical and behavioral benefits to having your dog spayed and neutered. I personally would not want to risk the health and well being of my dog so that he or she might have some advantage over another dog. And quite frankly I find it surprising that, given the stronger than average bond a person has with their agility dog that anyone would risk a shorter or less healthy lifespan for them if they didn't have too. On top of that most people are not prepared for the responsibility of owning an intact dog-although many agility owners probably do keep a close watch on their dogs. Not to mention that in this world of extreme pet overpopulation I find that there is just very little reason for most dogs to be walking around intact. Granted there are some really nice dogs with health clearances and performance records that if bred will continue to improve their respective breeds but too many people just breed their dogs "because" and don't have a really good reason. If more people are leaving their dogs intact for performance purposes then more people will be tempted to breed them-without doing proper research and health checks. I guess the bottom line is I just see too many nice dogs without homes and too many dogs with reproductive disease to think this is a good practice. For every litter of average dogs people breed, dogs like Legend and Zodiac sit in shelters-waiting. I know this started as why not to leave you agility dog intact and has morphed into the pet overpopulation and irresponsible breeding but I guess I feel that one potentially leads to another, or that I just can't ever leave that second issue alone....

Anyway, my final two cents-my 3 altered dogs have 30 agility titles and counting and the male that was neutered as an adult always gets mistaken for a female. So not all theories hold true in all cases.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and now you know mine on this subject!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


For the first time in I don't know how long I actually splurged and paid someone to cut my hair. Usually I just do it at home. I cut the bangs and let Jerry shorten up the back. But I finally decided it needed some professional work and maybe something a bit less plain. Nothing drastic, just some layering. Looks nice but not really that much different depending on how I wear it. I guess that's what I was going for though. Jerry took these pictures of Icy the other day. Apparently she can make herself comfortable anywhere-she's on his night stand.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Contacts Revisited

I worked Legend again today and let her run the contacts. This may not work out. Now that she feels the freedom of not having to stop she is starting to miss the A-frame contact sometimes but is still doing well on the dogwalk. I guess I'll see how it plays out at the trial this weekend and then I'll have until fall to work on whatever method I choose. She should be easy to get back to 2-on/2-off since she targets well so I'm not concerned about it. And this has been great for her speed over the contacts. It just seems like it's so hard on their legs to fly over the A-frame and then slam to a stop, but then you don't want them to demotivate and slow down because they know the hard stop is coming...I guess that's a veterinarian vs. trainer debate I'll have to work on! Zodiac is gradually doing better at Utility but is still having a motivation problem. Actually he seems relatively unmotivated to do much of anything lately-he's so lazy. But he did some really wonderful go-outs tonight. We had a busy weekend. Saturday I worked and then we mowed grass and watched a movie (Fool's Gold) and went to Orscheln's late night sale to save 20% and then to Wal-mart for a few things. Sunday we went to Silver Dollar and Celebration City with some friends and had a good time. We all topped if off with some Cold Stone Creamery. Yummy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Flowers

I taught Legend two-on two-off contacts from the beginning and worked on then consistently to the point that she was really nailing them well (for the most part). But as we have been working on speed over the dogwalk I sometimes don't make her stop and just release her as she gets to the bottom so as to really reward the speed. When I did this I noticed she was doing a beautiful running contact. Today I let her do it several times and she never even thought about bailing off. She even did it nicely on the A-frame. So now I may experiment a little with that. I guess I can always go back to two-on two-off but why stop her if I don't need too??

I just like this picture of Zodiac so I am putting it in even though the post was about Legend. I know everyone loves Legend's colors and she is very photogenic but I think Zodiac is conformationally a more beautiful dog. They're all pretty cute though if you ask me!

Anyway here are some summer flower pictures. My mimosa tree did finally bloom. It didn't seem like it was this late in the year before but maybe it was. Perhaps I should pay more attention to my plants. And the lilies of course are lovely again....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Pictures

Here are some pictures Jerry took the other day. They are not of anything in particular but you can get some of his photographic perspective instead of mine for a change.

Icy is feeling better today and enjoying the canned food for a change while her gums heal. Wiggles is doing well. He has been active and eats pretty good-still only veggies and hay but that's ok. He is throwing his hay basket around and tipping his food dish so I know he's feeling pretty good. Still thin though. He and Spring are both doing well on the litter boxes and got their pens enlarged a little today.

Zodiac did a great Go-out today and did one jump great but forgot the second one. He did so-so on signals. He seems to be lacking some food motivation these days but frisbee is working well so we have been training with that some. Then he got to go to Jerry's softball game. He's the only dog that gets that privilege because Legend is too wild to sit still that long with all the people around and Oreo gets too worked up over the ball and wants to go fetch it. But Zodiac likes to hang out and get petted by kids and stuff.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Icy's Teeth

I brought Icy in for a dental today because she had a little tartar on her teeth. As I was cleaning I noticed that both her upper 4th premolars (the biggest teeth in the mouth) were loose. They had no gingivitis or periodontal pockets, just loose. So we took some x-rays and almost all of the root structure of both teeth had resorbed! Cats get weird lesions called Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions. Usually however they are right where the crown of the tooth meets the the gums and you can see them. Almost never are they this severe without any associated gum disease and a perfectly normal looking crown. So she had to have what remained of both teeth pulled. Here is a picture of her when we got home tonight-she was still looking pretty groggy!

Here are some raspberries from my berry patch. These are the first black raspberries that I have ever produced. And this is the most yellow ones I have had at one time. I have a red bush that is blooming quite a bit this year too. Not to mention more blackberries than any one person could ever eat-off only 3 plants!

Friday, June 13, 2008

More bad rabbits

Since Wiggles has completely unlitterbox-trained himself I decided to make his part of the pen much smaller. To do this (against my better judgement) I make Spring's part bigger. Mistake. It was too much too soon for her and although Wiggles used his box all night Spring missed hers more than once. Both were in small pens before I left for work this morning. Both had successful litter box days! Back to baby steps I guess. Now time for dinner!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Here are the ribbons from this weekend...
We have several of these bushes in our yard. They smell amazing and attract a lot of bees. I never really noticed that they bloom before this year. I don't know if I just forgot or if they have never bloomed before. I thought for sure I would remember the smell because that is what I noticed mostly. The flowers are not that impressive. I don't know what they are but I was wondering it they are some sort of Honeysuckle.

Speaking of blooming my Mimosa tree did not bloom this year-I am not sure why.
This Hosta was here when we moved in. Every year it comes back from the ground, gets hot and dry and then dies. But this year it actually survived long enough to bloom.
And here is a picture of princess Icy perched up on a pillow like that is obviously where she belongs.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rally Results

Well Zodiac and I got off to rough start on Saturday morning in Excellent. We both made some mistakes and the heat was taking its toll but we did qualify and place 4th-just not with scores we are used to. Sunday though we were back on top and scored a 99 (he lagged on his "fast") and placed first and that finished his Rally Excellent title. Legend mustered up all her self control and managed to score a 97 in Advanced on Saturday to place first and then out did herself on Sunday by scoring a 100, placing first and finishing her Rally Advanced title. I was very pleased with them both. We also got to visit some old friends and make some new ones!

Spring managed to do pretty well with the litter box thing while I was gone, Wiggles however seems to be unlitter training himself. Always something.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Better Rabbit

Well the extra litter box had no effect. She pooped next to all of them overnight. So this morning her pen size got drastically reduced and when we got home from work she had used the litter boxes appropriately all day. Hopefully this will become habit again and I can gradually open her pen up more. She needs the space to run and jump!

Zodiac, Legend and I are off to the Moberly rally trial tomorrow night. Oreo always gets excited when I get out a suitcase because he loves to go places. I feel bad that he doesn't get to go as much as he used to but taking 3 dogs to a hotel is just not practical if you don't have to take them, especially a dog on 4 kinds of medicine. It's bad enough that they all three eat different foods.

We found this guy below on our driveway tonight. It's kind of a fuzzy picture but something different anyway.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Naughty Rabbit

Well I had just been bragging about how Spring was already so well litter trained and then this week she started pooping next to her box. Rotten rabbit. I kept moving one of her boxes around and either way I moved it she pooped on the other side. So now I have three boxes lined up for her to choose from. Hopefully she will find one of them inviting or I will have to find a way to confine her again so her options are more limited. This is not the greatest picture but I took it to show how big she is getting.

On a good note Zodiac did a perfect signal exercise yesterday-first try!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Clean Cat

Icy was due for some vaccines so I brought her to work with me today to give her an exam and the vaccinations and then decided since I had some extra time to try to give her a bath. She's such a good cat, she hardly fought me at all and just sat in the tub like a dog. So now she is all pretty and shiny and I got some of her extra hair off. She does seem very sleepy this afternoon though-even more than usual, she must be stressed from her ordeal.

I worked on mowing the lawn and did some weeding today. My carrots are finally growing and I think some of my pansies. I did have a bunch of Canterbury bell seedlings coming up too but now I don't see very many, maybe the cats laid on them too much. Here is a picture of some our rose bushes that have been growing and blooming like crazy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

So how far was it?

I am still planning on running a 5K in July but the last 4-5 weeks I have only been running about twice a week. I think I've been getting a little bored with the treadmill. Tonight, however, seemed like a great evening for an outdoor run. I never run by myself outside (I've seen too many "48 Hours Mysteries" shows on TV and plus someone sent me a website where you can see where all the convicted felons live around you-creepy) but Jerry was happy to come along so off we went on a big loop around our house. We had a really nice run-it was the first time in quite some time I have not run on the treadmill and thus the first time in a long time I got to do any downhill running. Based on the time of our run and compared to the same effort put forth on the treadmill I had guessed the run at 2.5-2.75 miles. So we got in the car in measured it-3.4 miles. That hardly seemed right so we drove it in the truck-3.3 miles. Huh. Either both vehicles are wrong or my treadmill is clearly calibrated wrong. I'm hoping it's the treadmill because that would mean I'm in better shape than I thought. That's the thing about road races though. You can never be sure how they were measured and how accurate they are. Sometimes you get a good time and you don't know if you can believe it or not. Oh well-what can you do?

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Well we have stayed quite busy this week, although right now it seems I can't even remember what all we have done. Yesterday we worked and then went to a wedding of a co-worker of mine. Then we joined some friends from church for a Springfield Cardinals game and some ice cream. The Cardinals lost the game but we had a good time anyway.

Wiggles is not back to normal but he is eating 1 1/2-2 plates of veggies a day plus some hay. I don't think he will ever be normal again but as long as he seems comfortable we are just going to let him be. I have been opening the gate and letting him and Spring visit some while I supervise and they seem to like that. However with his condition and need for monitoring of appetite I am not sure they will ever get to live in the same pen together. We'll see. Spring continues to grow like crazy-she makes poor skinny Wiggles look so small!

Everyone else seems to be doing relatively well although if Oreo and Legend don't start sleeping quietly until time to get up they are going to find themselves on the other end of the house!

This is our barn cat Lefty hanging out on the landscaping blocks.