Monday, June 21, 2010

35 years

Happy birthday to me! 35, now!

Trialed close to home this weekend. Indy finished her Novice agility title, so she's in Open for both classes now. She's still struggling with "who are all these people in the ring and why are they staring at me?" This is a new one for me, but I'm assured it's a normal baby dog stage, she did get distracted by people in class at a time too and she got over that quickly. She's rarely running over to them now, but it's just enough distraction to miss a weave or a jump. She'll get there. No Open jumpers Qs, due to moments of baby dog distraction, but nice overall. i'm very happy with her speed in jumpers.

Abby was a lot of fun. She's runs like heck! No table or weaves, but I'll take a bad dog who's having fun over slow, acurate and boring any day.

Kittie only ran in standard, which she did very well, one of those effortless runs.

Friday, June 18, 2010

11 years old

Happy 11th Birthday Rudy!! The pug who started it all!! without Rudy I may have never got so involved with dogs. I was still in school when we made the plunge and got a pug puppy....out of the newspaper. She was everything a pug, was not supposed to be. Smart, insanely active and drivey. I've yet to have a dog who plays tug with such intensity. We walked her everywhere, just trying to tire her out enough to get some peace, took her to classes. She is pug-like in some ways, she's had virtually every health problem that's common to the breed....bad eyes, knees, back problems and a lot of allergies.

She's taught me a lot. Pugs can do all sorts of things, the value of a good breeder and how important good nutrition and conditioning is for all dogs.

She's still going strong, no one guesses her to be 11yrs, or even the oldest of our dogs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No focus

Had class last night with Kittie, Abby & Indy, I just had no focus at all. Lots of sending dogs around jumps and running like a slug. Can I blame it on the ridiculous heat and humidity? Maybe....just one of those days. I was slow at work, two of my favorite dogs were scheduled to be walked. These guys aren't regulars, just random dates through out the year I always look forward to seeing them. The older one has cancer and the younger one came up lame, so that was upsetting. Lots of negativity in general before class, people talking about dogs not working out for competition. I think it was a combination of summer weather and general blah-ness but i just wasn't in the right state. At least dogs are more understanding than people!

Other observations

* It's raining AGAIN
* Went out to bring the dogs in, and found Willy with a decapitated bird.....trying to eat the bird's head. I figure, between all the berries he eats and now birds, I don't even have to feed him over the summer. He's a hunter gatherer pug.

Watch out birds!

Monday, June 14, 2010

broken camera

One minute my camera was perfect, the next it just stopped working. hmm, I'm thinking that maybe you're not supposed to just toss a loose camera into a backpack and sprint with it bouncing around. Hoping it can be fixed, I've had it about 4 years or so and really do like it. I'm not sure what i'd get this time around.

Potentially the last photos from camera;

"what do mean, I look pathetic?"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

swamp-front property

This has been the rainiest June ever. Our yard has pretty much turned into a swamp. The dogs think it's great, especially Indy and Abby. The house is a perpetual disaster, the kitchen may as well have dirt floors.

Indy, "what's wrong with a little mud?!"

Believe it or not, the floor actually is white.

Won't someone come out and play in the puddles with me?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kittie jumping E.T.S.

I've written many, many times about Kittie's jumping issues, and posted links to early take off syndrome articles. Here are some photos that very clearly show what the problem looks like.
Starting here, just hit next to see the progression;

Notice her take off point, notice how close she lands to the jump. It should be spaced evenly, with the jump itself at the center. See how much higher she jumps than she needs to.

We've done it all in terms of training and re-training again and again. This is just Kittie, I can handle to compensate for these issues to a point, but she will always drop bars.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The place we do most of our agility training is about a 40 minute drive away, an hour with traffic.....normally.....yesterday it took a whopping 2 hrs and 15 minutes. I'm so glad Donna let us crash the 2nd class. By the time I realized this was more than your ordinary traffic, we were basically trapped on the highway, with an hour into the drive, to turn around and go home at that point would have made me nuts, at least we got to have fun.

Indy is definitely having fun, she seems more and more into it all the time. Handling really tough sequences, with threadles. We do need to work on switching between obstacle and handler focus, and really training a "come" command for agility. She's just a wee bit forward focused at the moment, which is a good thing, but I need to be able to smoothly redirect her.

That traffic yesterday is my worst fear about moving outside of the city, that could turn you into a raving lunatic pretty quick! Still trying to find a property close enough, yet the perfect private dog wonderland where they can bark at birds and squirrels all they want.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"minor leagues" other agility venues

There was a CPE trial close to our house this weekend, at the end of the day there was a tunnelers fun run, all proceeds went to breast cancer research. A fun chance to run the dogs in a trial environment, even almost 11 year old rudy got to come out and play! and raise some $$$ for a good cause, a win win for everyone. Everyone did great, Indy ended up 1st, Abby 2nd (I believe they were 2nd and 3rd overall for all heights). Kittie ducked behind me to take an off course and Rudy missed a tunnel- she hasn't done any agility at all for several years, so it was great to see her out there really running!

We've never done CPE, truth be told 99% of the agility trials we do are AKC. I've done a few USDAA, it's a goal of mine to do more.

Around here (and maybe everywhere) there's very different attitudes about different venues. CPE, I'm sorry to say is negatively viewed as "the minor leagues" by many. This has always bugged me, it bothers me just as much as when people who only do venues like CPE & NADAC criticize those who only do AKC & USDAA saying "well, I want to have fun", implying that anyone even moderately competitive can't possibly be having fun. I want to go as far as I can with each of my dogs (just how far that is will vary) and certainly have fun, that's the number one reason I do all of this, to have fun, to play with my dogs and any success I have stems from that. I like running courses that are challenging, both physically and mentally, I wish AKC courses were more challenging. That doesn't make me better or worse than someone who is looking for a different experience with their dogs, as long as you have a good relationship with your dog, do your best to prepare them and yourself and don't blame the dog for your own shortcomings there's nothing wrong or lesser about any venue. I think it's wonderful that we have so many different types of organizations. In Europe, my pugs wouldn't even have an opportunity to play, since the lowest jump in many countries is 14"

The easy CPE tunnelers run was fun! It was a nice opportunity to just RUN and put the focus 100% on speed.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Abby a trial!

I've been just running right on by the weaves if Abby makes a mistake/decides she doesn't have time to finish them, not stopping her at all. Well, on the 2nd day of the trial this weekend Abby completed both sets of weaves on the first try. She knows how, she really is pretty nice weaver. Who knows, maybe there's hope if they would just get rid of the table in standard we'd be in business!

NAJ Indy

Indy earned her NAJ title and a leg towards her NA...would have been 2 legs, but she missed a weave pole and I didn't even notice it, so an NQ for that run. she's doing very well......I on the other hand need work. She's such a good girl, my front crosses are not only late, but positioned terribly.