Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not a fluke. So far.

Legend ran great again at today's trial. She was just like last time-every bit as happy and as fast as she has ever been. Maybe she's really pulling it all together!

She had a great JWW run-10 seconds under course time, probably her best. But she missed the last weave pole. I kind of feel like I pulled her off to turn her away from the off course tunnel, but then again I also feel like she should know to finish the weave poles no matter what.

The standard course was a challenging one, kept us on our toes the whole time. But she got through it clean and 15 seconds under time. Not as fast as last week but it was a tecnically more demanding course, and she was listening!

Off for more fun (hopefully) tomorrow!

And we saw Trip today! He's getting so big and so handsome, plus looking more like a border collie all the time. He remembered Legend right away and wanted to pounce all over her. Legend was not terribly impressed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I know what I said but...

I still haven't taken any new pictures. I know I said I would but I've been too lazy. I figure it's enough that I work all day and then train the dogs in the humid evenings, sometimes in the rain.

It was really wet and still a little bit sprinkly when we worked on Monday. The plus side of this was my chute tunnel (which I left out all night) was soaking wet. I know what you are thinking-how is this a plus side? It gave Lyric some good proofing. I figure if a prissy pom will go through a soaking wet chute in the heat and rain then she's probably ready for a chute at a trial. Probably. Never can tell with dogs. But so far she seems pretty unfazed by anything new.

Legend continues to work, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, on "here" and "out" and on improving her open obedience exercises.

Zodiac worked tracking-today was ok, earlier in the week was better. It's fun but a little hard because there really isn't anything much I can do to help him. He just has to figure it out on his own. Plus it's hard to know when he's really getting it and when he's just kind of poking along looking for treats. Oh well, I guess eventually the decreasing number of treats will show the truth!

Monday, July 26, 2010

One Year

I can't believe it's already been a year. It gets easier, but it doesn't go away.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My helper

This is how Icy was assisting me yesterday while I worked at the computer. Isn't she so helpful? At least she's cute!

The dogs got back to work this morning before it got too hot. Don't get me wrong, it was hot, but workable. Lyric got to work on doing weave poles as part of a sequence-with speed and no help finding the entrance. Is anyone really surprised when I say she did great? Because she did. The first time she came flying out of the tunnel and dove right and started weaving like a champ. She did great until about pole 10 and then she skipped one. It was such a good effort I rewarded anyway. The next time she did all 12. Then we turned around and I had her do a jump to the weave poles. Nailed it. We worked a few other non-weaving sequences and then went in before she got too hot.

Legend worked more on "out" vs "here" and some other random things. We also did some high value healing work. Nothing too formal, just lots of cookies for showing up in heel position. I'm hoping making heeling very highly rewarding and requiring her to "do it on her own" will improve her heeling in the ring. Worked for weave poles so we'll see.

Zodiac did a few tracks, he did them very well I thought. They were pretty simple but he seemed to really be focusing. All in all they did well. Now they get to sleep while we hit the lake and some night time roller coasters!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Free Day!

Today I'm not working, not at a trial and not traveling. Wow. But it's not really free since I've been catching up on laundry, bills, and other stuff around the house. I need to go out and pick the ripe stuff from the garden but it's like 100 degrees here so I'm putting that off a little longer. I also need to reset my agility course since I'll be home all week to work the dogs. Yes, I'm working this week but closer to home. Which is good. We have Lyric's first AKC trial coming up in about a month and have not had the time to work that I had anticipated.

We have also finally decided to put stalls in the barn. We have found a way to do it pretty economically. It's not fancy but it's better than standing in freezing rain again this winter. First we have to move all the junk out of the barn. What a fun project for the weekend right?

Squirt got a good report on his feet. He should not have to keep them wrapped -just cleaned and put some special hardener on them while the sole grows back. It will be nice to have a stall in case we need it though.

I sent in all my entries for the Border Collie specialty today. Legend and Zodiac are very excited. Actually they are sleeping but I'm sure they will be excited later.

I'll try and have more pictures this week since I'll be home to take some!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I knew it

Legend is fast. She's also smart, athletic, and full of energy. She has the potential to be one of the top 20 inch dogs. But usually she only shows that potential at home. Today she finally proved she could do it in the ring. She ran faster than she ever has, weaved like a dog on a mission and had a time comparable to those who actually placed. Of course she wasn't clean but at least I know she can do it. The question is, was it a fluke or are we on a gradual trend of improvement and faster times. Only time will tell-but it gives me hope that she someday live up to her full potential.

Her JWW run started out good, and she continued to build speed but I felt she could be doing better. So I started running faster and took my eyes off her for a second. During that second we lost our connection and she was off course. Oh well, no guts no glory.

We didn't get any Qs today but it sure was fun running my happy, fast dog! I hope she comes to all the trials.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's been that kind of week

Squirt's feet aren't healing right. He had to have a bunch of dead tissue removed and now will have a lot more foot bandaging and a prolonged recovery time.

One of my best friends is going through a personal crisis and since I live half way across the country I don't feel like I can be much help.

Jerry and I celebrated out ninth wedding anniversary.

I have spent appoximately 17 hours in the car since Sunday.

Only of those things I would consider a happy event. Oh well, could be worse.

Here is a cute picute of Legend I never posted.

Monday, July 12, 2010

UD or not UD

Years ago, before I really even started competing with my dogs I was at an obedience trial and watched the Utility dogs with a great deal of awe and admiration. I thought how much work that must take and how cool it would be to have a dog actually do that. I still agree with that. I would love to actually have a dog complete a UD title (and gasp, possibly even a UDX). Now then, what dog will that be?

Oreo tried. He tried as hard as he could. He was always stressed in the ring and it took all the right things in place to get him to qualify on any given day. Utility was just too much for him. He got close to a Q but never quite got one. He was older by then (maybe 11?) and burnt out on training. So we called it quits. I never expected to get that far anyway.

Zodiac was supposed to be THE obedience dog. He was smart, unflappable in the ring, and young. He blitzed through his CD and CDX. Then I barely trained for about 5 years. He got a bad back, became rather lazy and disinterested in obedience and I decided we would rather do tracking so he could get a VCD2. It's not totally out of the question that we will go back to utility training, but as I think I've mentioned before, he just doesn't have the zest for training he once did. It's noticeable at home and in the Rally ring-not the flash that he once had.

Lyric is out. I don't have time to train her in more than one sport. She loves agility. I think I'm good to have a pom with enough drive for one sport. Let's not push it and try for two.

So that leaves Legend. She's 4 1/2, has no CDX legs yet and was excused from the novice ring more times than I care to remember. But she's smart, loves to work and is maturing nicely. I got her to be an agility dog and not necessarily anything else but you never know sometimes. Maybe the third time really is the charm! Guess I better start working those utility exercises.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Obedience trial and other tidbits

Legend made her debut in Open obedience today. I was really happy with how she did given the amount of work we've been doing lately. Her heeling was not pretty but it really never is. It's just something we always need to work on. It's great until we get in the ring-then not so much. I probably need to work more in strange places but who has time for that? She was a little slow on the drop part of drop on recall and then failed to stop and sit in front. Her retrieve on the flat was really nice. It wasn't until the retrieve over the jump that we lost it. The dumbell tumbled to the left and for whatever reason she turned right after the jump and didn't see the dumbell. She wandered around and came back in front of the jump. I sent her again and she did it perfectly. She walked over the first board of the broad jump and then jumped the last two-so we got an NQ on that one too. But I think she got a good idea of what goes on in the open ring. I'm looking forward to trying again! And her out of sight stays were great. I have to admit I virtually never practice this, especially for the full amount of time so I was really proud of her. Sometimes she gets lazy and wants to lay down on the sit, or gets bored and sniffs on the down. But no problems today!

Zodiac competed in Rally. Despite no practice since the last trial he managed to pick up a 94 in excellent and first place and a 93 in advanced for third place. This makes RAE leg #9! My plan is to get the last leg at the BC specialty-just watch that will be the only time we NQ! Oh, and it was thunderstorming during his runs so that added some stress for him!

On another fun note we got to meet Phoenix and his mom who writes the Exercise Finished blog. It was pretty cool. It's kind of weird to meet someone you already kind of know, but have never actually met!

And here is a pic from Trip's mom-he's really learned to love the water. What a happy, lucky boy!

Now if the storm would pass we could get on the road!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So busy!

I worked 6 days this week. How did I ever get anything done doing that on a regular basis? Anyway when I wasn't working I was getting the laundry and other chores done and so I could get ready to leave again!

Tomorrow Legend, Zodiac and I are off to Sedalia for the obedience trial and then to St. Louis for a few days of work. Then, some commuting back and forth to work for a few days. Then back to St. Louis for a wedding, agility trial, and more work!

Squirt is a little better today. I did stop wrapping the foot too soon but part of the problem was a second abscess brewing in the other foot. No wonder he was so sore again. The vet mentioned there was a soft spot in the left foot, but that she didn't find an abscess when she worked on it. Well, it was just too early. I noticed yesterday that it had broke open and was draining. So now he is back to having wraps on both feet but I think keeping them clean and dry with the wraps is helping-there was less drainage today and the soles are getting harder. Hopefully he's on the road to recovery.

Now, almost time for bed. Early morning tomorrow!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Aren't they pretty?

I don't remember if I planted these last fall or this spring or what, but this is the first time they have bloomed and they are really cool!

Also, I think banana peppers are the most prolific plant you can grow. I'm still getting tons of them and we don't really eat them. But I'm also getting berries, cucumbers, and tomatoes. With watermelon and cantaloupe still to come!

Squirt is still really sore. Probably because I have not been home to keep his abscess holes clean and dry so they were all packed with dirt and mud tonight. I feel so bad for him, hobbling around all the time. He needs a nice padded stall and a personal caretaker.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I was working out of town all week last week and got home late last night. Well, not that late, but after dark. So today was a busy day of catching up around the house and yard and doing stuff with the "kids."

Jerry already had most of the yard work and some of the housework done so we were able to finish mowing and I picked veggies and berries and did some weeding. I have several watermelon growing but it doesn't seem like I have a melon for every bloom that was on the vine. Is that normal? We have tons of cucumbers and peppers (well, maybe not tons, but more than we will eat) and are starting to have tomatoes ripen as well. We decided to put off trimming the bushes for another day.

Squirt is improving but is still sore. He keeps wearing through the bandage on his foot. I took it off this morning to get some air. Then later I soaked both feet in betadine to disinfect them. The foot with the bad abscess I decided to wrap again to at least keep it clean for a little while. I think tomorrow before I leave I will take the wrap off and soak it and then let him out to pasture so he's not just standing in dirt all day.

Legend is entered in Open A at the obedience trial next weekend. Is she ready? Well, she can do all the exercises nicely but she has not really been proofed on them that well. Se we will see. Zodiac is entered in Rally. I've been trying to do more tracking with him but it's hard when I'm not home much.

Lyric is doing better with letting me get further from her without pulling off the jump. She is even starting to let me do some rear crosses. And her weave poles are improving rapidly. I really think that she'll be fine by the time she gets to open and has to do 12 poles and be judged. I actually think she'll do pretty well in novice next month but a trial is a whole new experience so you never know.

Now, time to get ready for a movie!