Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Abby Finger Lakes EX standard

Kittie finger Lakes Ex standard

Now on to agility

Kittie did great, qualified in standard every day, but had one stinkin bar down in every jumpers run. She's having fun, even if I'm getting really frustrated with all the bar knocking.

Abby has been really suprising me lately. She was pretty close to perfect this weekend, just one bar down in jumpers, but perfect in every other run!!! She's focused and happy out there. These were tough courses too! I'm thrilled with her contacts too.

These two are so different, Kittie's a total nutjob outside the ring. Barking, carrying on, but will start to just whilt away if she's ringside too long. Abby looks half asleep! Calm and quiet as can be, doesn't mind hanging out ringside, then as soon as you walk in the ring she perks up! Wonder if she'll change over time. It would be nice if she remained flexible, it's very difficult to time things out perfectly for Kittie and things happen that are out of my control.

I will say this was one of the worst organized trials I've ever been to though, dogs were *in the ring* waiting to go and they were still trying to find assisstant scribes, no one could move a dog without directly speaking to the judge, which resulted in lots of last minute changes, even your leash was put in a strange place at the finish. We didn't get done until 6:00, so there wasn't much time for sight seeing, hiking or much of anything...oh well.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Back from the Finger Lakes

Thursday morning we left bright and early to drive to Watkins Glen, NY. The drive was so pretty and the pugs were nice and quiet...a real bonus! We checked in at our cabin and headed out right away to Robert Tremen state park.

Things didn't start out so good. Walking across a stone bridge, coming into the park Kittie went to jump up on the bridge, but jumped right *over* the stone railing and was hanging for a second by her leash and collar.....I pulled her back up and over and she was completely unphased! I however was not!......especially as this is what we were hiking in. Rocky trails with old stone steps and railings (just like what she jumped over) built around, up and down the gorge with huge drops.

It's hard to tell here, but those little specks above the warterfalls are people, to give a better idea of the scale of the place.

The ever intense Abby. Down at the bottom of the gorge.

Rudy, Kittie, Abby & Willy.

Kittie looking cool as a cucumber...what's the big deal mom?!

More Later.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Agility Vacation

We're heading out for a 4 day trip to The Finger Lakes in NY. First day we're going to spend hiking, then Kittie's entered in 3 days of agility, Abby's doing 2 days. There's an all breed conformation show, obedience and even lure coursing going on at the same show which is held in Sampson State Park. I've heard the show site is just beautiful!

We're staying in a small cabin right on Seneca Lake, walking distance from waterfalls....can't wait!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

See ALL our latest pictures

The pack now has a new outlet to show themselves off, www.westoverpugs.shutterfly.com It's almost complete, still have to upload Kittie & Abby's photos. It's nice to be able to see everything all in one place. There's a link in the "link" section (where else?) too. I'll post all the new photos from their adventures there as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Queen MACH Kittie

Not necessarily a happy queen, but pretty cute! We have Mugsy's cape and crown from PV. What better way to show it off?! I'm not sure she knew she could actually move.
She told that cape what for the second it came off, she's not a big fan of "formal wear".

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our Weekend Off

Bill and went hiking in North Park with the pugs. It's only about 30 minutes from our house, but this was the first time we've been out there. We're so lucky to live in the city, but have so many great parks to explore.

Abby picked the trail......sounds a little creepy.....
I'd say this was more than a little creepy. No names or anything, just this.
How do we always seem to find this stuff??

They still had fun!

It's hard to tell in this picture, but they were all *so* tired, their eyes are barely open.

Then today I took Kittie and Abby out to Splash and dash agility, (the club I started out training with) to take the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test and they both passed!! Kittie was all kinds of wound up, because she remembered going to classes there and was sure she was there to do agility, but she settled down just enough to get the job done!

Then the club was having an open house, so we stuck around and participated in the agility demo, they just love working the crowd!

Why Do I Ask?

Recently I asked a simple question on the pug agility list, "How to develop more obstacle focus", I mentioned that the dog I was specifically asking in reference to (Abby) is young and competing at the Ex. level, just because I know she's young and wanted people to understand this is a dog who, even though she's running at high level really is still learning some foundation behaviors, like most Ex A dogs.

I don't push my dogs to compete while they're young. Agility is just a part of daily life, it was mentioned that "at 2 years old Abby needs to be playing not training" Isn't training play? That sure seems to be what my dogs think. All of my dogs have moved up very quickly, I made the decisions back when Abby was only 1 and got her novice and open titles to move her up.....the novice courses weren't doing her *any* favors. Those courses are so wide open, that all she was going to learn was to ignore my motion cues.....because all I was doing was running like heck, trying not to lose her in a trap, too much time in novice and a dog like Abby would just end up very confused about the handling system she was taught. I moved her out of open because the courses really aren't much different in Ex, sure she would probably Q a bit less, since no mistakes are allowed, but who cares. There was no reason not to move her up.

I'm just frustrated because I've been accused of pushing my pugs too hard several times from "pug people" who don't even know me. I only asked the question on the pug list, simply because a lot of companion breeds tend to be overly handler focused and most people I know and train with are not running small companion breeds like pugs. Teaching a dog to to take obstacles in front of them without you right there to babysit is a foundation skill, just like performing contacts or weave poles correctly.....I'm not asking for anything unreasonable.

Abby's young and very motivated and I know this skill will come, just like every other bobble we've worked though. She went through a phases of running past the first jump if I led out, of not weaving at trials and running past the table.....just like most green dogs go through various issues, no matter what their age.

The pug agility list is a great resource, but I think I'll take any questions I have elsewhere.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Running

We went to a local trial this weekend and after everything that's been going on, really all that I wanted to do was have fun with my dogs, especially Kittie and we did. No obsessing to keep bars up, we just ran (and the bars came crashing down) and had a good time together. Kittie had all nice runs all with one or two bars down. Abby was her usual mix of nice try runs and total chaos runs, but that's okay.

We'll be back to obsessing about converging on her path, front crossing late so she can land first, keeping perfect pace with Kittie and all that stuff that mentally exhausts me in a few weeks, but for now I'm just running like heck.......Kittie would have won every run this weekend if dropped bars didn't count, she had great times!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Best News!

Kittie's mass is benign!! Not much more needs to be said, just the best news ever! Now we can really celebrate!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Too much going on lately

So, here's a summary of my week.

August 31: Kittie gets her MACH!!! Finally!! Yippee, happy, happy, happy, me and Kittie dancing around on cloud 9 somewhere. Just the best feeling in the world!!

Abby's one mistake away from clean runs and mega points saga continues by running straight by the chute in an otherwise clean standard run, that just happens to be 22 seconds under time. What happened in JWW you ask? Abby flew through that course, hit a tough weave poles entry, ran the course 17 seconds under time (in EX JWW!!!) but knocked one bar : ( She's only 2 1/2, I just keep repeating that, again, again and again to myself. I am really happy with how she's working, but can we just get a Q, please?!

Sept 1: Kittie Qs in std, with another 1st place, bars down in JWW though.....Abby made one little mistake in std and then ran around like the 2 yr old she is in JWW....oh, well

Sept 2: Trip to the vet to have the weird mass on Kittie's leg checked out, hoping to hear "it's nothing to worry about" but instead was told, "there are some suspicious cells, we should remove it" yikes!! Talk about major highs and lows, Between her MACH and a possible mast cell tumor on her leg, I feel drunk.

Sept 3: Kittie has her surgery, goes well, but I'm told "oh, she has a fractured tooth that we couldn't get out since she was under light sedation, so we'll have to put her under again to remove that" oh, great. (had her teeth cleaned since she was going to be under anyway.

Sept 4: Just trying to return normal, running late as usual when I pull into a clients driveway, turn the key to shut car off and yank key out of ignition, but did this in the wrong order and the key is *out* of the ignition and the car is *still running*....drove it to the mechanics, without a key in it. When most people have car trouble, their car won't start, mine wouldn't stop.

Sept 5: should be packing for a trial, but we're skipping it, since Kittie still has stitches and Abby's not entered. Her incision is in a terrible place and they warned me it could take as little as 7-10 days to heal or as long as a month if it opens up. So far so good!!

Playing the waiting game to find out results for Kittie, it may take up to two weeks. Keep the little Miss MACH in your thoughts please.