2006 training goals 2006 Obedience log by week

August 2006

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It's been one of those weeks at work. I guess you've all had them. Monday started badly and bled into Tuesday. It must have been a bad temporal gash because I find it now Thursday evening and the blood runs still. I won't bore you with the details, but today I told my boss I was taking a 2 hour lunch and he just laughed and said "See ya later."

With that said, I haven't been training heavily at home this week. Lego did get his first good lesson on the "stand during heel with a signal only". He is actually catching on to that fairly quickly. We also worked on his signal responses. Shelby showed a desire to only retrieve the corner gloves and never the middle one. I thought most people had the opposite problem! Shelby and Nikita both worked on go-outs today. They seem good on those, but both are not very solid on following the hand signal to direct them to a jump.

Josie seems to be mostly recovered from whatever ailed her. She seems to almost be her spunky self today. It was the first day I left her at home in few days. She's been camping in a crate at work. She's an easy go to work dog. Most people that come in my office never even know there's a dog. 

On a good note, the business collections skyrocketed this week. We have easily covered expenses for the month.


I tried out gloves with Nikita again on Sunday. Once again I stuck to one glove that would always be in the direction we turned. I also moved out into the grass so the glove would be more highly visible. (all my concrete is white-ish) She was a bit unwilling at first, but after a couple of times where she could for sure see the glove at a distance and there was only the one, she decided this wasn't such a bad game after all. Shelby and I worked on gloves tonight. She started anticipating the send and not sitting on the turns. Then she had trouble with the middle glove. She kept wanting to deviate to one of the corners. No trouble at all with the corner gloves though. Maybe I should more her into the grass to for better visibility.

Josie seems to be a bit under the weather. She has a mild cough and seems a bit sluggish. I guess she'll be visiting the office for the next couple of days so I can keep an eye on her and try to ensure whatever she has she only minimally exposes the other guys.

On a more serious note, Cedar and Nikita had another "alpha who?" discussion today. Evidently Nikita has grown old enough that she no longer has an ironclad grip on being in charge. That's enough! It's obvious they are not coming to an agreement, so we are separating them when we are not around. Nikita will be a house dog for the sweltering summer and after Labor Day we'll be building an outdoor kennel run so they can both be outside together safely if it is necessary.



 It rained most of yesterday, and rain is in the forecast for the afternoons in the foreseeable future. But we made it out to run your run of the mill errands. I did make it by the craft store to buy Bandit's TEAM ribbon a shadow box. It now hangs on the wall next to Misty's. We also stopped into PetsMart and Petco to say hey to our rescue friends. APAWS had a gorgeous husky girl. Great personality too. The AAA people had some cute, cute, cute beagle pups. Very tempting. I satisfied myself with some puppy breath and kisses and hugs.

Lego's CDX certificate came in the mail a couple of days ago. So now he's officially recorded with the AKC. WHOOPIE! That feels good. Boy did he catch on quick to the articles too. We worked those some yesterday in a new place. The new place didn't affect Lego any, he brought back the right one every time. Granted, there is still a minute smudge of cheese on the right one, but what a joy to train. He is so ready to please and being wrong a few times doesn't phase him. Shelby did some directed jumping. She always seems to start a a bit ditsy on following my signal to the right jump, but she settles and does well. She also did signal practice on Friday with a great improvement. I mixed the signal order up and she was hesitant at first, but doing the right one. She gained a good bit of confidence. Maybe Shelby will be ready to try Utility A in December. I entered her in New Iberia agility Novice Preferred Standard. Hopefully she'll finish up her NAP there and she'll be done with competitive agility forever. I am planning on taking her and Nikita to an obedience fun match in a couple of weeks to see if they can do a go-out to a ring gate and not to my fence.

Speaking of Nikita, she and Cedar have had a couple of quick discussions recently about "alpha who?". None of them appear too serious as all I find is Cedar with slobber mud on her head and face with maybe an abrasion and Nikita with slobber in her fur. They seem to have to have this discussion every year. Nikita is not intent on a fight, but she certainly doesn't give in. She will finish what Cedar starts. I don't know what possesses Cedar. Nikita just wants to be left alone in her space. She doesn't rule with an iron fist or anything.

We are headed to Arkansas next weekend to see Rich's family. They want to take a family portrait. I want to stay home and enjoy a long weekend.


I was jolted into realization of my age today. I hate those moments. My mother sent me an email to let me know David was getting married. ACK! A quick history... Back in junior high, which is obviously much farther back than I wish it were, I was in a youth group that was staffed by semi-young volunteer couples that were interested in making a connection with the youth. Since I didn't "fit-in" with the popular girls I spent more time connecting with the leaders and their families. Several of these couples had young children. David was one such kid. He was probably between 3-5 years old the years I was in the group. He was a bit mischievous and seemingly constantly on the edge of trouble. But he thought I was cool and would beg for piggy back rides from me, which I, of course, indulged. I liked kids and they seemed to gravitate to me (they still do I think). See the picture below. David is the little boy with his fist in his mouth. (sorry pictures this old and scanned don't zoom well)

On the business front, it seems the business will pay for itself again this month. But, there's been NO work on our building in weeks. <sigh> There still seems to be a reasonable amount of new business trickling in to continue the phenomenon of collecting more than you spend. It still creates a lot of extra stress for me just to think on it too much.


Nikita and I tried gloves again on Monday. She did not want to play that game at all after the last experience of being wrong so much without understanding why. I had just the one glove out so if she brought it back she'd automatically be right. It took a bit of coaxing, but she finally reluctantly played along. JACKPOT reward. Lots of praise and treats. "Oh, well that was OK", she thought. I moved the glove to a different position. She crossed my body plane to try and go to where she'd just found the glove, but there was no glove. When she looked at me I pointed in the right direction. She picked it up and hesitantly brought it. JACKPOT reward. Moved the glove again. This time she went in the direction we were pointed and picked it up. JACKPOT reward and we quit and had a party. 

So, today I decided to do something 'easy' with her with a special tuna reward to keep her wanting to play with me. We did signals and she was right on the money perfect. Did everything the first try correctly. We'll bring gloves back out next week and work through the 'issues' I created some more. While I was at the signal game, I took the chance to work more with Lego. He did remarkable well, but gets distracted looking around. It's hard to follow signals if you can't see them. He needed more help with 'down' and 'come' than 'sit'. He would do 'sit' without any verbal cues.

Tonight was the LCCOC club meeting. We voted to move our tracking test to a new site for next year. It's a member's land and is supposed to have easier access from different points than just the one entrance the prison farm had. I also got an email from Meg that Brewster, who is 12, was referred to the vet school for his on-going anemia. They found a tumor on his spleen, so he's having surgery tomorrow to remove his spleen and send it off. We are crossing our fingers for good news.


Saturday started again with Lego running Open JWW. He kept the speed up and he didn't sniff any or run off. He stayed on the plotted path of the course . He ran past a couple of jumps and the weaves weren't good, but on the whole he looked like an agility dog and not an idiot. His Open Standard run was a blast. He missed the weaves pole entrance, but I did get him back and started correctly. Then he busted out at pole 10 because the tunnel entrance staring at him looked so much more inviting. I laughed out loud and said "Just go on then and we'll have some fun!" He came out of that tunnel like a bottle rocket and was screaming over the dog walk before I could hardly move my feet. We made it through the rest of the course in fine fashion! We have discovered that by the time Open dogs get on the table there have been a BUNCH of dog butts on it that need to be sniffed out before we can lay on it. Most annoying! Shelby proved one of my theories right too. She got her first Q in Standard. She had no problem with the broad jump at all. So, she just can't make 2 runs a day. It's too much for her! She did get a couple of refusals to visit the judge and ring crew though.

Shelby's first NAP leg

Lego started Sunday with a bang. He came off the start line in JWW like a rocket. It was a line of 3 diagonal jumps with a slight left turn to the weaves. I was still at jump two as he was headed to the weaves. I called the weave command very early and that seemed to help. He didn't blow past the weaves and have to be called back. He did however stop at the front of the weave poles and wait for me to catch up. I still consider this an improvement! I caught up and he bounced off me once and the got in the weave poles correctly.  There was a loop of a couple of jumps to a U-shaped tunnel. All I got out of my mouth after the weaves was "Go tunnel." He took the jumps in the loop straight into the tunnel. Forget calling out the jump command. All I could get out was "LEGS!" when I needed to turn him. I was having to handle from a distance and pray he listened. Which to my great amazement he did very well. He pulled out a Q in fine fashion for his second OAJ leg. Boy was that fun! As the day wore on I began to get a tad nervous though. One more of those great runs and my boy will be in Excellent Jumpers with the big kids. WOW! That's a little unnerving to think about. He had another decent Standard run as well, although 3 refusals at the weaves and a wrong course into the wrong end of a tunnel kept us out of the qualifying chances. Shelby had another nice standard run that would've been a Q but she wagged her tail at the judge while in mid-air and knocked a bar with the happy tail.

Lego's second OAJ leg

All in all this past weekend was nice if you forget the hotel. Lego hit every contact, although he missed every weave pole entrance.  He ran the path designated by the course map. And he was speedy and having a grand ole time. I guess we all know what we'll be focusing on! On the hotel note... I have stayed at this Motel 6 several times by myself without any ill feelings. This was NOT the case this weekend. They seemed to have a large population of people "living" out of the hotel for various reasons that would loiter around the corners and balconies with cases of beer and stay up until all hours of the night cussing at each other and roaming around and the like. I was uncomfortable in general there alone (thank God for Lego's stranger attitude!) and on a couple of occasions acutely nervous. There is a sign on the "local" hotel a block up the street that says "La Quinta coming soon". I am hoping by next year the La Quinta is open and I can try staying there for a change.

As for my buddies at the show... there were several LCCOC members that got a double Q or two. Erin and Gandalf had a couple of nice jumpers runs. One was even a Q! Gandalf also managed to be convinced that the non-wooden contact obstacles were NOT actually evil. Galadriel seemed to be having a good time, but I'm not sure she Q'd. I also met the newest Cox member, a 1.5 year old Sheltie for Jessie to train. Very cute. Ty and Megan got a double Q on Sunday. She even beat one of the world team dogs in Standard.. a great high for her.

18th - Nikita - 5  Wild bunnies -0 and a NJP

What a disastrous start to my day. I let Nikita and her two yard buddies out at 4:30 AM. I have learned to wait on letting anyone else out until they have time to run their yard once. I stood at the gate with my flashlight, and then I heard the tell-tale noise. The rattle of the chain link as some small mammal attempts an escape, but can't remember where the hole was they entered at followed by the noise of a baby screaming. DANG! I run into their yard calling for Cedar. She comes (she doesn't care much for bunnies once they stop moving). I know Jedi will have to be caught. I tell Cedar to wait and run with the flashlight towards the rustling noises around the bushes. There I find Nikita with the dead bunny and Jedi holding on to a bunny leg for all he's worth as she takes off running. Some meat tears loose in his mouth and I am able to run up and grab his collar. Cedar is easy enough to retrieve from her spot and I take them inside. I spend the next 10 minutes running around with a shovel and a flashlight with a half dead battery hollering for a black Siberian that I know is munching bunny in the half acre of darkness. It seems like a futile effort now that she is too wise to be cornered. I just end up running her around and around the yard. As I am sweaty and giving up to wake Rich for help I see her again. I called her to me instead of hollering LEAVE IT. May wonders never cease, she came right in to a perfect front holding her prize. GIVE IT, I say without too much confidence it will happen. DANG! She did. She dropped it right at my feet. She even let me shovel it up without a fit and I carried it out and threw it in the woods. Lesson learned... try the EASY way first!

Now that I'm hot and sweaty and peeved, I get Lego and Shelby out to potty so I can load them up to leave for the show. I decide against a shower and a new set of clothes considering I'm going to a dog show to sweat and get orange dirt covered. It's a good 2 hour ride to cool off. I get to the show site and am able to crate with club friends. Lego ran first in Open JWW. He had an OK run, he did stop to smell the one fingernail sized piece of horse poo he found but I was able to stop him almost immediately and continue on. Next was Shelby in Novice Preferred JWW. She did well, but had to visit the ring crew at least once. She Q'd to get her NJP. No more JWW for her. Lego had a nice Standard run in Open, but not qualifying. The fun part was that he actually ran the path the course took. He ran past a couple of jumps and blew the weaves, but not a bad showing at all. Shelby once again walked the broad jump and this time refused the double in the standard run. Maybe 2 runs is just too much. We'll see how she does tomorrow without running jumpers first.

Shelby gets her NJP


I worked Shelby and Nikita on gloves. Shelby did great for each one, so we practiced some better turns. Nikita, on the other hand, did not do great. She understands she's supposed to bring back a glove. It's the idea that there's more than one and I want a specific one that gets her. She always wants to bring back the first one she sees and then she fixates on it and that's the only one she brings back regardless of the direction we are facing. Then she gets frustrated when she doesn't get praise and a treat and wants to quit. If I lead her out to the glove she was supposed to get and show her there is one actually out there. Then she'll bring it back when I send. I need to go back with her to one glove. Put it in the center and send. Then move the one glove to a corner and send her. So she hopefully gets the idea that the glove will be wherever we're facing and there won't be another option. I feel bad that I've confused her and she shuts down now as soon as I pull out the gloves. 

I just finished packing the Expedition up for our road trip tomorrow. Lego is beside himself excited because he saw me packing up crates and food. So, I took the opportunity to give him a little massage and talk about the trip ahead and what the purpose was. He got the "perky" look when I said "Jump, WEAVE". I hope that's a good sign. Check back Monday for results.


Melting! If it isn't blowing in a nasty storm in the afternoon then we are melting. The mercury has been merciless. The heat indices have been in the low to mid 100s range and let's not even talk about the humidity. I soaked a whole shirt in the 10 minutes I was out filling up a kiddie pool and a couple of water buckets yesterday. The air conditioner runs non-stop just to keep the house around 78. I guess considering the outside is close to 20 degrees warmer than that I am not surprised at the struggle. I am supposed to have a soccer game tomorrow night. Tonight at the appropriate soccer time it was still in the 90s. I am not looking forward to playing in that kind of weather at all.

Lego and I did a quick round of glove retrieving tonight. I added the third glove for the first time. He did his turns nicely and brought back the correct glove each time. One time he had a bit too much fun. He was shaking it to "kill" it the whole way back. When he got back to me he threw it on the ground and dug at it. Then he looked up at me for a treat. I laughed, but no treat unless you're holding the glove you little delinquent. Just as I was thinking I should pick the glove up and return it to its place he snatched it up and held it in front of me like "see here it is... where's the treat". What a ham! It's nice to see him enjoying obedience that much. I don't want to squelch the joy and make it no fun at all. After that performance I did signals with him real quick. I am still adding the voice command to the signal for him. He was confused on 'sit', but did well all in all.

I'll be taking off at 4:30 AM Friday morning to head to Hattiesburg. Can't wait!


Progress! I tried out articles with Nikita again today. She does remember to sniff! She's not perfect, but she is now starting out sniffing and then if she can't find it on the first 3 or 4 tries she just brings one. I'm glad the sniffing part has been remembered though. It was a long ordeal to get her to sniff them. I feel like this may be possible now that I've surmounted this hurdle. Each time she finds the cheesy article by sniffing she is encouraged to sniff longer before giving up. Lego has also made progress. He only reverted to bringing back 'just any one' once and he got ignored for it. Then he sniffed every time. He has much more patience with the sniffing than Nikita and almost always finds the cheesy article. His biggest hurdle will be the stand for exam. I am not sure he will ever stand for someone to run their hands all the way down him. It just freaks him out so badly. Shelby and I tried out the signal exercise again too. Just to top off a good training day, she came every time for the come signal. So I think I have mastered doing the same thing with my hand every time and she is now more sure of what I want.


Yesterday I worked articles with Lego and Nikita again. Lego is funny. The first time I send him out he sniffs out the cheese flavored one and nibbles the cheese off then he brings it in to me. I give him a nice treat and he's thrilled. The next time I send him out he tries the old "bring back the first one I see" game to see if he can get his reward faster. Good news with Nikita though. I think we had a break through. She actually started sniffing the articles one at a time and choosing one to bring back instead of "the first one I see". She seemed more relaxed trying to work on articles once she saw a quick glimpse of what I wanted. We'll see if she remembers the sniffing part next time I pull out the articles.

This morning I got up at 5 AM to drive into Baton Rouge to swap blind tracks with a club member. It was a dismal showing on Lego's part. He has no trouble following scent. He just has trouble following the same scent and ignoring the great animals scents. He would hit the human scent and track well for awhile and then it he'd get distracted by some other scent or movement and "forget" what he was doing. He'd wander around and then hit the human scent and track well for another little while before getting distracted again. He did eventually finish the track and find the glove. I was somewhat disappointed though. He can do so much better. Granted I haven't had him out working on tracking since April probably. I need to work him some more regularly so we can enter the tracking test in Houston in November.

When I got home from tracking a nap was next on the agenda. I got in a good hour while Rich mowed the front lawn. Then we were going to go on a motorcycle ride this afternoon. We decided against the ride since it looked sure to rain. So, with a bit of extra time on my hands and a nice cloud bank rolling in to lower the temperature to only 86 degrees, I pulled out some agility stuff in the back yard. I worked short (5-10 minutes) intervals with 8 of the guys. (Maverick doesn't do agility!) 

I started with Cedar and her ball reward. She did amazingly well. I was pleased. She even did 6 weave poles at a trot instead of a stroll. Then I made Nikita do a little. She weaved too, but not happily. I am thinking she may come back out and try for those Open titles some sparingly. Jedi had a great time and he hit a couple of weave pole entrances at speed, even one coming off a turn. We quit quickly leaving him hopping around wanting more. That works much better than over-training until he's put out. Bandit and I worked on wrapping jumps. He loses an incredible amount of time in the ring with far-reaching slow turns around jumps. I think I got a bit of improvement there. He then practiced weave pole entrances at speed. He did them all fine IF I stayed off him and let him do it himself. I seriously need to focus on this in trials. I need to stay out of his way. Actually the same goes for all my guys. Everyone weaves better if I back off. Misty went out and did some weave pole entrances and she did great. She also worked on the teeter. She crept down it some. She needs more confidence to shove it down faster. Josie had a scream of a time. She was sticking teeter touching perfectly and waiting to be released. She worked away from me and hit weave pole entrances at speed from a bunch of angles. Once again, I stayed off her and let her do it. It made for a much nicer performance. Lego went out and worked on turning with me and weaving. May wonders never cease! He can hit weave pole entrances just fine IF I STAY OFF HIM. HRMM.. Is there a lesson here? That is usually where he gets a refusal in agility. I was hoping to improve that for next weekend. He did fantastic. I took Shelby out real quick to do teeter and weaves and broad jump. She only needs on more leg for her NJP. She has walked the broad jump twice at shows to flunk the standard courses. I can't make her do that here... even when she's tired. I am still sticking to the theory that the yellow and blue broad jump was hard for her to distinguish on the dirt and that she won't walk a white one. We'll see next weekend if I am right.

I am looking forward to the agility show next weekend in Hattiesburg. This time its an AKC show and Lego and Shelby are entered three days. I'd like to see Lego have some fast and fluent runs. The Q'ing part is not as important. That will come if I can get the fluent part going well. It will be nice too to not be at the show site from 7am to 7pm like we were in July for USDAA. I don't think any of my "hanging out" buddies will be there though. Rosey and Red and Cheryl and Bernie are skipping this one. I don't know as many AKC people. I am sure some club members will be there.


Yesterday we had another one of those freak, vicious afternoon storms. It came a deluge and whipped up a decent wind. I took the opportunity to work with Nikita and Lego on articles on the covered patio. Nikita still seems to not understand the point of this game. Lego, however, is catching on quickly. Once I showed him that there would be a cheese smidge on one of them every time, he started sniffing from the command to find it. He sniffs all the way to the pile, finds the cheesy one and licks the cheese off. The only hard part is teaching him to bring it back to me and exchange it for a better treat, and even that's not proving to be too difficult.

Shelby and I worked signals again this evening. She is still confused on the 'come' signal, but seems to be catching on. Maybe I have been too wishy washy about picking a definite 'come' signal. I have been doing it sorta the same every time. This is obviously not helping her. I have made an effort to pick a specific hand flick and arm motion and have been practicing it out of their site.

Lego had his annual vet check up today. In his mind this about equates with having your toenails yanked out. He is so freaked out by the whole experience he shakes visibly. Poor guy. I do my best to easy his anxiety. I brought tuna with me this time to reward any "normal" behavior. He seems better once he's out of the waiting room and in an exam room. The odd part is he seems to like the vet, a male, more than any of the ladies there. Lego is always more timid and nervous around men. STRANGE! He also does better the less people there are in the room. So, they make an effort to only have one stranger at a time in there. I am the only one who restrains him too. The bad news is he chipped off a tooth recently and I had the vet look at and he said it chipped into the meat of the tooth. This means bacteria can get in there too. He'll have to have it removed, which means a drop off at the vet for "surgery". I told the vet I was uncomfortable dropping him off there seeing as how he is complete distressed just stopping in with me there. I also think this might open the door to fear biting. I know if he gets cornered and can't get away and some strange keeps coming at him he feels the need to defend himself. Having him in a cage at the vet and then them trying to reach in and grab him seems like an incident waiting to happen. Thankfully I have a reasonable and intelligent vet. He said I can set it up so that I can come in with him and take him to the back and be there to help as they knock him out. Then they'll put him in a recovery cage while he's out and I can come in when he's awake and go back to recovery to retrieve him. Poor guy! He's still gonna hate that. 

Today was the first day in so long that I can't remember, that it hasn't rained a bunch in the afternoon. I decided to try and finish the mowing job that Rich started last weekend that got interrupted by rain. Naturally, the riding lawn mower refused to start. One of its battery terminals has a tendency to corrode up badly. And, of course, I couldn't find the wire brush to clean it up. So, I figured I could use the push mower to at least knock some of it out. About 45 minutes of that and I had about 1/3 to 1/2 of the remaining job down, but I was spent. I went in and got some dinner and changed clothes. A couple of hours later after the sun waned some I went back out to try and finish up the majority of it. Rich got home in the middle of this endeavor and cleaned up the riding mower and came cruising out into the yard to switch mowers with me. It didn't take any time at all to finish up with the riding mower.


Rich and I sold our off road motorcycles today to a patient of his. So now we have a small amount of back up cash in the bank again. Some of it is going out to pay for needed dentist/doctor appointments that are coming up on the schedule. The business collections have started out fairly well this month. But, the only progress on his permanent building in the last month happened a couple of days ago. It's now a shell with shingles on the roof. 

We did manage to get a homeowners policy from USAA for about the same price as our last year's policy. That's a relief!

As for dog stuff, well I hear Bernie and Cheryl got their first real obedience Q last Sunday (Novice A- 1st place). They also got their 2nd RA leg. I think the show bug has hit her big. She is planning on teaching Bernie to track too! She's decided that VCD1 is attainable and she's gonna work for it. 

It's been so DANG wet here recently. Every afternoon there's a big thunderstorm. It's making it hard to mow as well as train dogs. I vow to never complain about the drought again! Shelby and I worked hard on her come signal today. I hope I didn't over do it and scare her into not staying. She is so sensitive! I used a slip leash and pulled on it when I did the signal. She started coming as soon as I twitched though. We'll see in a couple of days if it improved her off leash signal or not.

5th - CDX!!!!

Today Lego and I were in Mandeville, LA for an obedience show. I was doing my best not to be super nervous since he only needed one leg. I really wanted him to finish up his CDX this weekend. Well, WOW! He had the best showing of his life. Never did he dance on heel. He did every front AND every finish (not always straight). I was so nervous about the sit stay. He seemed to be wilting before we even left the arena, but he held it anyway. I wasn't worried at all about the down stay. If you've ever seen Lego in a down stay you know way. He gets comfy for the long haul. He even BEAT someone , I mean some with a qualifying score. Of note as well, Donna Doumbourian and Belle finished their CDX today too. Red and Rosey had a keen showing in Novice and would've taken first if Red hadn't have wilted into a down with 20 seconds left in the sit stay. They did manage a first in Advanced Rally A. Cheryl and Bernie got a second in Advanced Rally A and should've Q'd in Novice but Cheryl did too many second commands on heeling. It was her first time to show in obedience, so she didn't know any better. I am not driving there tomorrow to show. Hope they all do well tomorrow too.

Lego's proud mom

Judge Barry Roland handing us our ribbon

The whole Open A qualifiers
Maria and Skye (4th), us, Donna and Belle(2nd), ?? and Carly(1st)

 I got home just in time for the power to go out at home in some freak vicious storm. A tree on our back acre fell on the lines between us and the neighbors. Also, a tree we've been watching since we moved in (one with a rotten base), one that survived Katrina and Rita, fell on our wooden fence. Thankfully there was no real damage.


I took Lego and Shelby out to obedience tonight. We were hoping to see Rosey's new puppy out there, but no such luck. I showed up a little after the basic classes started so I could use them as a nice distraction for Shelby to work articles and gloves. We started with gloves. Her biggest problem was not sitting after the turn. Instead she'd head right out to get the glove. This doesn't usually happen at home. It must be a stress thing. Then I put out the articles. She did them great! She remembered to sniff them all and she didn't lose it with the distractions around. I was very proud. Lastly I did some heeling and signals with her. She is still forgetting the come signal when she is in new and distracting places. Overall not bad at all.

Yes, it is the right one too!

I waited until the Open/Utility class to work Lego. He heeled very well (on leash). But, I only take him off leash at the training site for recalls. It is right next the interstate that is under construction, so there's not even a divider fence between us and the cars right now. Also the other side has woods. Last time he was off leash heeling there he bolted for the woods on a turn to check out a dead animal. He did come back after investigating it, but it's not worth the loss of my dog to try it again. The teacher worked a couple of "drop on recalls" with us and we called it a night. On the way to the car I got a male that was there to do a stand for exam for us. Lego held his ground this time (with me knelt beside him and an arm under his belly). We will continue to work the stands to see if we can solve the fear issue.
He CAN watch nicely                       


I had every good intention of doing some obedience Monday, but just after everyone was fed the heavens let loose with another whopper of a rain storm. It created a good excuse for being lazy since I was still tired from the long trial weekend. Yesterday I did, however, get the guys out for some obedience. I pulled out the broad jump for Lego since he has a show this weekend in Mandeville, LA. We also worked drops and heeling. I had a quiet little conversation with him about the show coming up this weekend and how important it was to heel on the green mats. I will have another one with him before we take off for the show. Who knows, maybe it'll help. He only needs one CDX leg now, and I can almost taste that title coming this year. But, with Lego, things can be so unpredictable. He also has an agility show in Hattiesburg, MS in a couple of weeks. Shelby is going too and will hopefully finish up her NJP.

The girls and I did heeling and signals yesterday. Nikita was near about perfect. WOW! When she decides she is interested in playing obedience that day she can really shine! Shelby had some moments in heeling out in the front yard when she got distracted and "forgot" she was heeling. This is what happens at shows, so I was glad for the chance to fix it here at home.

We got a copy of our homeowner's insurance renewal bill today. Our rate has almost doubled. YIKES! And we didn't even have any claims off the hurricane last year. AND we don't live in a particularly high risk area (of Louisiana). I figured on it going up a bit (a couple hundred maybe) but not doubling. We will be calling around tomorrow. Our first hope is USAA (who we have car insurance through). I assume most other insurers will be fairly high too. 

The business collections rallied in the last 3-4 days of the month of July and if we didn't cover expenses then we came darn close.