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30th

A couple of days back we picked up a steal of a deal on a GPS collar attachment for Twinkle. Found one on Sam's clearance rack as an 'open box,/last one' sale. Got if for about 2/3s off. So, she's been sporting her new attachment for a few days now. Rich paid for a one year service in advance and is enjoying playing around with the smartphone app that you can download with it. The service sends us a text/email (your choice) if she leaves her 'home zone' (as defined by you). You can then ask it to track her and it will give you turn by turn directions to her location just like using googlemaps to get you somewhere. We also get a message when the GPS tracker battery is low so we know when to put in on the charger. It also keeps up with her activity for you if you want to see how active she's been while you're away. 

Yesterday I got Sparkle's VCD certificate in the mail. Very happy to see it. Guess SHE doesn't care though. It's on the wall with the 4 other dogs'.

Also, yesterday my puppy journey began. Xanadu came into season. Feeling excited, nervous and and a bit scared all at once. Her sire's mom is feeling similar feelings. She is excited about a puppy too.

Today I caught a shot of Lego sleeping that made me smile. He's gonna be 11 in a month.

25th

Somehow Cheryl and I got suckered into teaching an obedience class again. It started tonight. Fairly big class. Most of them are a bit more advanced than most beginner classes we've taught. I took 7 of my own dogs to work before class. All of them but Xanadu entered in obedience at the end of May. I got in practice with 6 of them. Poor Kamikaze didn't get to practice since I ran out of time. 
Sprigs was very good on all the Novice stuff except Stand for Exam. She kept wilting into a sit when Mike came to pet her. This was an issue in the past that we worked on, but I've neglected it recently. She'll be doing lots of stands over the next month. After Novice exercises I pulled out her dumbbell. She retrieved it on the flat and over the jump. I was very pleased. It was her first time to retrieve it anywhere but at the house.
Sparkle did great on the Open exercises. We did them all off leash with tuna treats in hand. She is going to finish her CDX in the next couple of years I think.
Spirit had a few blonde moments, but overall she did really well practicing her Open exercises. I was happy she dropped on recall on the first try as well as doing the broad jump on the first try. There is definitely a CDX hidden in her!
Kayak, who's been practicing most Utility exercises at home, ran through all the Open exercises. He was just wonderful. A bit over the top about his retrieves (as usual). He can't seem to NOT pounce on the dumbbell and send it flying. After the Open exercises he practiced a Utility go-out. Not bad dude.
Xanadu did signals well. Dropped on the first drop signal everytime. (FINALLY) She needed one reminder about going out to the article pile on the first command, but then she searched her articles like a pro and didn't give up when it got hard. I was very pleased with that effort. She did her go-out and her moving stand like a champ. I haven't practiced gloves with her in many, many months. I put out the gloves and she was spot on the first try. Big Smiles :)
Twinkle's attention span for obedience type work is 30 seconds (up from 10-15 seconds). The good news is she did her "sit/walk around dog" and her "down/walk around dog" in this new place! She even did a finish left and right. She will walk in a semblance of heel position for like 10-15 seconds at a time. She's pretty good at sitting when you stop. I'm not sure how this whole Rally Novice thing will go in a month, but surely she can PASS. She's been taught all the exercises. Her least favorite is "call front, 1 step, 2 step three step". She actually does the "forward, one step, two step, three step better".

After class I stuck around a bit and did an out of sight stay line with Rosey  and her lab. Kayak was perfect. Spirit left the stay line once to come find me, but once I put her back she was fine. I am feeling good about this coming obedience show. 

21st

Had a great time at USDAA agility in Shreveport this weekend. We realized Saturday that the theme of the weekend was apparently Team RED DOG!

It was Kayak's first USDAA show. He was just old enough at the end of March to play. It was a pretty small show. He got to be the first dog of the entire show on the line. Then they had to build an entire course at the end of Saturday just for Kayak and Spice to run pairs. Thankfully they Q'd so it was worth everyone's time. It was Kayak's first time jumping 26" all weekend. He only hit one bar the whole weekend and it was on a slice lead out in Gamblers. We'll work on those. He Q'd in every run he was entered in except Gamblers and that was my fault. The club offered $5 off future entries coupons for first place. Kayak was the only dog in his height in Starters most runs, so he brought home a good chunk of coupons for next time.

Xanadu had a stellar weekend as well. She was only entered in Standard and Jumpers since that's all she needs to get her AAD (intermediate title). She typically gets around one Q a year in USDAA. It's either a knocked bar (jumping 16") or a some seconds over time keeping us from Qing. She shocked me first thing Saturday morning by getting her Q in jumpers. Then she followed Saturday afternoon with a Standard Q. That actually gave us a chance at finishing the title on Sunday with a Q in Standard. She was so, so close. One and a half seconds over time Sunday because she started the timers at the beginning by jumping between the tire and the frame. We had to go back and go THROUGH the tire. Wasted just enough time to make us over.

Kamikaze finished qualification requirements for USDAA nationals at this show. To boot she also got her Jumper Champion and Tournament Master titles. She picked up a Snooker Q last thing on Sunday too. We got some missed contact calls in Standard, but it was a lovely run. Somehow she couldn't possible do 12 weave poles in Gamblers.

17th - Happy Birthday Kamikaze

Happy 6th Birthday to the best red Siberian girlie ever! Here's to you and doing it all...

14th

I was in Lake Charles during the days this weekend playing agility, home in the evening taking care of critters. Rich was off in Dallas at a continuing education course. This wasn't my best showing ever. Kamikaze did OK. She Q'd 4 of 6 times getting another QQ. The two NQ's were a one handling bobble problem, not a dog problem. Kayak struggled with the horses stabled just by the arena. He came to a dead stop in front of a jump twice to stare at them. It's the first time he hasn't seemed engaged at agility too. He was slower and tentative. Sunday was better since I focused on verbal reinforcement on the things that went right. Sprigs and I just couldn't get it together. She dashed behind me once to take the Aframe. She missed weaving several times by sniffing instead of weaving. Then there was standard on Saturday. We just couldn't keep each other in our vision at all. TOO FUNNY. We had a great Standard run Sunday in which she ran by the LAST jump. 

11th

Kayak decided he'd like to excavate under the fence today. ARGH! AND it had to be on a day after a hard rain when everything's already muddy!

10th

We pulled out stuffed toys for a little while this evening and had supervised time playing with them. Lego likes to 'own' one, but he doesn't really play with them. Josie's orange dinosaur was the only one to be destroyed.

Kamikaze has started ditching all her hair too. Kayak is not far behind.

7th

This weekend was our home club's agility trial. We were just across the river in Port Allen, LA. Friday was for Excellent only dogs. I had Kamikaze entered in Fast, Standard and Jumpers hoping for a QQQ under this judge. We always like her courses. Kaz and I were successful in our quest for our third QQQ! (video failure on the Standard run) Kayak, Sprigs and Xanadu also went on Friday. Kayak and I had a mis-cue or two in Standard, but he got his second AXJ leg. Sprigs got her third QQ with a first in Standard and a second in Jumpers. That Jumpers Q also netted Sprigs her MXJ title.

There was a DVM chiropractor/acupuncturist on the show grounds treating dogs. I took Xanadu over first thing Friday. I know something's been not right in her back for some time. The nice lady worked on Xan like 30 minutes. She was so bad off in one spot in the back that she recommended some acupuncture for pain relief. I took Xan to the start line for both her runs Friday knowing she may be too sore to play. She actually did fairly well in Standard which was shortly after the chiropractor saw her. She did NOT feel like jumpers though, so I carried her off after a few obstacles.

The nice chiropractor also recommended I bring Xan back by Sunday for a quick re-check. At that time she was still sore in that area, but at least the spine wasn't out of place anymore. She got MORE acupuncture Sunday. Hoping she stays feeling better. Will get her seen again soon.

Saturday was another great day! Kamikaze came home with another QQ. Kayak and I had another mis-cue in Standard. I promise to get it together with him in Standard soon! He did come home with his AXJ title though! That moves him up to Masters and running for MACH points in Jumpers. Sprigs won Standard . Unfortunately Sparkle decided she couldn't possibly complete the dogwalk so my hope of finishing her NA was dashed today.

Sunday was a good day for everyone but Kamikaze. Kamikaze and I double NQ'd. I screwed Standard and she was slow and not turning well in Jumpers so she missed the weave entrance. Kayak, however, nailed that Jumpers course for his first 13 MACH points. He even placed, WOW! Once again we had that mis-cue in Standard that is plaguing us. Sprigs came home with another QQ, #4! She won Standard again (that's all three days) and got second in Jumpers. That also gives Sprigs her MX title. She came home with just over 80 MACH points from this weekend.

Sparkle was a rock star in Novice Standard this time! She made it around that course without any real problems and well under time to finish her NA title. This also finished her requirements for the Versatile Companion Dog 1 title. I've been believing for her to pull this off for years now. She can now forget everything she ever knew about agility for all I care. She'll never be asked to do it again. 

Kayak is starting to outrun Kamikaze even jumping at 4 inches taller than she is. I am thrilled with him. May I not screw it up! So I came home with FIVE titles, 3 QQ's, a QQQ and first MACH points. Here's what the vehicle looked like on the way home...

Side door crate
 
Rear of vehicle crates

So I got to looking at some stats. According to them Sprigs is a faster agility dog (with a scale for height) than Kamikaze. Since December (the start of qualifying for the next agility nationals) Kamikaze has 27 Q's, 10 QQ's and 258 points. In the same time Sprigs has 17 Q's, 4 QQ's and 275 points. Run, little Dachshund, run!

3rd

The dogs have been doing different things for dinner recently. I have started teaching Kayak go-outs and directed jumping. He is catching on fast. Kamikaze is doing the same. I am hoping to fix her ring only forgetfulness on the go-out and SIT part. Xanadu has done some go-outs, but I know better than to ask her to sit in wet grass so she's done articles when the yard is wet.

I forgot to tell you on the last post that there was a photographer taking pictures at agility. I put mine in an album here for easier internet viewing.