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December 2005

November 2005   October 2005

28th

We got back from Memphis Monday evening. Misty, Lego and Josie went along. They like to visit, but they don't want to stay. They start howling and screaming from the backyard when you start packing the car to leave.  On Saturday afternoon Mom and I took them for a mile walk in the park that's two blocks from my parents house. It was good exercise for them seeing as how they spent 5 hours riding in the car. It was a good mental exercise in LEAVE IT, as well, what with all the squirrels dashing around. They did flunk the "leave it" a couple times. It didn't help that Mom was not very intent on making Misty, the one she was walking, behave. She thinks they deserve a little fun, and there are more than plenty of squirrels in their neighboorhood.  The dogs don't get many "out for a stroll" walks here. We live on a gravel dead-end road where everyone else lets their dogs roam the neighbors' yards. So there are not "strolls" at home, nowhere to stroll. It was quite a bit colder there. The dogs spent most of Sunday in crates in the house because it was so chilly. Mom and Dad gave us a gift certificate to buy groceries, so I went to the store last night. You can spend money faster than expected at the grocery store.

While I was in Memphis I stopped in to visit with Nikita's breeder (who is also a great friend). She is encouraging me to train Nikita for Utility. Nikita is the first in her lines to get agility titles and the first or one of the first to get a CDX. I don't have any good reason to NOT try. Nikita did win a full utility set-up when she got her CDX. Articles to fit her, an article bag, and gloves. Maybe I'm too lazy? Maybe I'm not a good enough trainer to get an independent thinker like her to play this game correctly? Maybe she's too old? (she'll be 8 in May) Maybe the thought intimidates me? Maybe agility is more fun? Where to start? Where to find the time? I'm trying to keep up with 5 in agility and work with Lego towards his CDX and TD and do basic utility training with Shelby. Too bad I need that full time job to pay the bills. Imagine what I could accomplish if I could be home more! I guess I will give it some serious thought. She already knows signals ...most of the time :) ... and she's a great stand for exam dog. It WOULD be a great accomplishment to get a UD on my first obedience dog, a siberian to boot. I don't have the money to be entering trials right now anyway so that leaves lots of free weekends to train. We'll see if it shows up on my New Years Resolution list next month. I will post my goals so I can keep up with what I intend to do and so others can see my path and ask me about my progress. What better way to keep focused? Speaking of New Years Resolutions, I am expecting to see an update to the Roxy Log to let us know how well you did towards your posted resolutions this past year. Will there be a list for 2006? 

22nd

We have yet to get a Christmas tree or even pull any of our decorations out of the attic. We're not exactly feeling Christmas-like I suppose. I guess this year we'll go treeless. We won't be here for the actual day anyway. We'll be headed to Memphis to visit with my family this weekend. It'll be a fast trip since I only get one day off work. At least there'll be good, hot food that I don't have to cook. There's a fenced yard so some of the furry kids can go too.

Rich got another new patient yesterday. It's seems to be going OK, just can't wait for it to actually make money.

19th

WHEW! Back from the Tylertown 4 day show and I'm pooped and sore. The show went well. I am overall pleased with the outcome.

Misty's team was in 4th place out of 15 teams going into the final event, team relay. Misty had run the first 4 runs very respectably for her age. She got 30 points in gamblers. 40 something in snooker. She got one refusal in jumpers and one in standard. All her team mates did equally as well (but faster) than her. Too bad that in relay I sent her over the wrong jumped (I got lost) and E'd our team. I feel very bad about that too. I needed that Team Q as much as my teammates. That mistake (and her teammate E'd too in relay..trying to push for time since I e'd) sent us hurtling to 10th or 11th place. The good news is Misty didn't get visibly worn down after those 5 runs in one day. I never saw her hesitate at a jump or sling herself over pushing off her front legs. She had 2 runs a day for Fri-Sun. She ran in Adv. Standard and Adv. Gamblers. She didn't pull any Q's out of her hat, but she was SO close on Sunday in Standard. She was 1.7 secs over time. If she hadn't have missed the tunnel entrances (on both tunnels) and had to come back to me to get in the tunnel she'd have made it ! AND she didn't even look worn out on her last run Sunday. I guess our rear leg conditioning and our jogging has helped her out.

Josie ran team with two other young dogs. We came in LAST place, but it was fun. Josie didn't E in any of the opening 4 events. She pulled down several refusals in standard and a couple in jumpers, but she ran great.  BOTH her teammates E'd in two events going into relay. She was last dog in relay and both her teammates had E'd their part so I decided to hang back and make Josie weave without any help. This netted us 3 R's at the weaves which became an E, but she did them great on her 4th try. That set us up for better weaves all weekend. Josie had a total of 20 runs this show. On run 18-20 I could tell she was a bit tired (mentally and physically) but she still made a good showing in those runs. On Friday she Q'd in Adv. Jumpers for her Adv. Jumpers title, and she Q'd in Master Snooker for her 2nd leg and ONE top ten point. I paired her with Jedi and let Rosey Andermann run her. She would do one obstacle and then come back to check in with me and then go back to Rosey for another one. After three or four obstacles we just gave it up and I let her jump in my arms when she came back. She popped out of the weaves in the middle in standard so no Q there. In Adv. Gamblers she had a nice showing and even did the gamble. She just decided the yellow paint on the A frame was optional, or she'd have Q'd in that too.  Saturday we Q'd in jumpers again with a first place. We were the only 16 inch dog to not E on that course. We Q'd in Pairs with Dino and Megan Foster. She was ROBBED of her standard leg. The judge called her for missing the dogwalk contact. I was right on top of her and I know she hit it with her back foot as she reared up to wave her front legs at me before she bailed of the side. Oh well, some days you get a gimmie and then others you get the shaft. She performed well in gamblers again, but wouldn't go out to the teeter on her own. It was a great Master Snooker setup and we should've Super Q'd. BUT  what have I been working with her on... OBSTACLE FOCUS. Look at the obstacles and not always at me! This bit me in the butt in Snooker. I had a nice plan for 3 7's in the opening with plenty of time to finish. She got the first 7 (three jumps in a row) and that nice tunnel opening just after the 7 proved unavoidable at that speed. She was in it before I even called her . OOPS. Well, at least she wasn't hesitating and waiting on me. On Sunday we Q'd in jumpers again.  In Snooker she got a bit distracted after the second red and when I called her she turned around and back jumped it. In Standard she didn't want to lay on the COLD table , so we wasted a lot of time there and then she popped out of the weaves again in the middle. The gamble was a series of jumps, so I thought it was possible, but she wouldn't go way out to the farthest one. We were ROBBED of our Grand Prix Q by that same judge! This time it was the A Frame contact. I was once again right on top of her and she hit it with BOTH front feet and then jumped all the way to the ground. I know we shouldn't do our contacts that way, but the rules say even a toe nail counts. How can she hit it with two feet and still get called?? Ok I'm done griping.

Bandit only needed one gamble and one standard for his AAD. I thought we had a reasonable shot at it, but no cigar. On Friday he managed his 3rd Q in Master Pairs with a very lucky draw (Twister a super fast BC). The course time was around 50 seconds and Twister did her half in about 11 leaving Bandit ample time to pull out his half. We were both clean and even got a 4th place out of the deal. He also managed his 5th Q in Master Snooker on Sat. with NO thanks to his handler. I forgot he was entered in Snooker and walked the course with a plan for Josie. The only way I learned he was entered was when 22's were running and Lucy Long asked me how many dogs until Bandit. I said "HUH? " She was like ... Well the running order says I'm after Bandit. I looked up and Bandit was on the line in 3 dogs. I raced to get him and yanked him out of the crate with just enough time to walk onto the start line. Poor guy! With no time to make up a plan for him and no brain power for an "on the fly" run I just did Josie's 3 7's plan and prayed he could make it through #5 in the closing for a Q. He did it and had time to do #6, but I was so relieved he made it through #5 I forgot to pull him hard after it to hit the #6 tunnel entrance and he went wide. Now for the clencher of the weekend for Bandit. The dog who has NEVER and I mean NEVER gambled in his agility career (he got his AD before gamble legs were required) got not one gamble this weekend, but 2. He pulled out a Q in the A frame gamble that Josie blew the contact on AND he pulled one on the teeter gamble. AND to boot, he never even hesitated or came back over the line to me or even looked at me. He listened to my cues and "felt" the body language for the go outs. WOW. Now if we can just get that last standard leg under time!

Jedi only needed one gamble leg for his AAD, but I wasn't holding my breath or anything. He started the weekend very Jedi-like. He took off at Mach2 over a straight line of jumps out to the corners to check things out. He never actually left the covered arena though, AND he would come back and I'd just get him to take a straight line of obstacles to the exit. The great news is he progressively IMPROVED. Saturday he managed to run the last half of several courses perfectly after his run arounds got out of his system. Then ... drum roll please.... on Sunday he ran FIVE, yes five WHOLE courses without the zoomies. He got 3 refusals in Grand Prix, 2 refusals in Master Standard, he gave it his all in Adv. Snooker and came up a few points shy (the obstacles were very spread out), and in Adv. Gamblers he had the opening points down and went right in to the gamble, but just wouldn't go all that way to the far jump. With a couple of steps over the line he made it out there and did the rest of the gamble great. The last event was Master Jumpers. He ran the course CLEAN, but a bit over time (he got the head bobs a couple of times and I had to holler to remind him of the current game at hand). The whole building erupted in screams and cheers for us. Even the judge was clapping and hollering. I got teary eyed too. It was nice for everyone to celebrate this small victory with me.

AND on a nice note... my buddy Rosey Andermann and her older guy, Sniper got their MAD this weekend and their Snooker Champion. Meg Haviland and Brewster got TWO super Q's which gave them their Snooker Master, Champion and lifetime Bronze. Blake Stafford and Gumbeau got their Tournament Master on Thursday. Megan Foster and Dino got their AJ and AS titles, so they'll be up in Master Snooker and Jumpers with Josie.  I love to celebrate with friends that do well!

SO, it was a wonderful weekend, and it helped relieve me of some of the stress at hand these days. Rich got some more new clients on Thursday. So that's 4 new patients the first week he was open.

13th

I took Misty to class last night. She did very well. It looks like she'll be good for this weeked. In contrast Rosey's older guy, Sniper, seemed to have injured himself at class. He was all happy and spastic because of the cool weather and her came down the dog walk perfect and bounced over to get his treat and just started whining and screaming a bit. We couldn't determine what he did. I talked to her today and she says he's better. I hope it's nothig serious and they can run , run , run this weekend.

Tonight I took Josie to class. I ran some short stuff with her before class and it all went well, but in class she was SLOW. I was actually out running her. This concerns me some. Of course it could be that I just let her play outside too much before class and she was tired. But it seemed more like she was tentative and nervous, not typical traits for her. I hope I haven't somehow given her the idea that she can mess up. I want her to run all out and whatever happens.. happens. I definitely need to focus on FUN and not Q this weekend. I want to see her FLY. This is easy to say, but much harder to do once you're there. I will need reminders from all my friends that the goal this weekend is FAST and FUN. Rosey will be running her one day in pairs with Jedi. She's all about fun because it doesn't matter if they Q or not. We'll see how this substitute handler thing goes.

Rich had his first new Personal Injury patient today. YEAH.

10th

We've had almost winter type weather here the last few days. We've even had fires in the fireplace to keep the living room toasty warm. Josie is fascinated with the fireplace fires.

It's really cute. She goes and gets all warm and then curls up in a snuggle ball. I went out this morning to burn some hurricane leftovers. We found out that Jedi's not above warming by the fire too.
 

Only 4 more days until my last agility trial of the year. I'm ready. Josie and Misty are running TEAM on Thursday. Bandit and Jedi are running Friday-Sunday with Misty and Josie.

Rich got power yesterday and is opening for business on Monday. He already has one patient scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.  

7th

Today we got all the permits to the electric company and they have put in an order to turn the electricity on. YEAH. They say maybe tomorrow, but Friday for sure there will be power. Rich has already had to turn away a couple people because he wasn't quite open. He should be good and up by Monday at the latest.

6th

Today the fire marshal passed our temporary office space for occupancy! This is the first requirement, and most stringent one to pass to get the electricity turned on. There is a HIGH probablility that the business can open this week. YIPPIE! 

4th

Today I set up another agility exercise from my Sourcebook.

As you can see it had many opportunities for training. I worked some on coming in towards me, going out away and weave entrances. I got the nice tuna pack out for weave training treats. That even got Lego focused on finding the weaves. HRMM.. maybe I've hit on something good to help me make weaves a desirable obstacle for him. That's the place I lose him the most in trials. I also worked on the distance teeter performance some with everyone. It's going better every time on them hitting the end before they turn to look for me. I took Misty through the jump chutes today, so she didn't do any exercise from this except weave entrances. This will be the last weekend I do any heavy conditioning with Misty. I want to be sure she's good and ready and not muscle tired for the show in two weeks.

Jedi and I had a small back-slide. I thought I'd whip him out and do a couple of things without bothering to get the clicker. BAD decision. BAD BAD BAD! I got frustrated and hollered at him a couple times. DANG IT! I hate when I do that with him. And it happens to be right here before a show too. It just is so easy to get irritated with him. I forgot how nice the clicker makes training him. I don't get irritable with the clicker in hand. I know he knows he didn't do the right thing unless I click so I have an easier time ignoring the junk he deals out.

Rich spent the afternoon at the office fixing things up. He's got an inspector coming out on Tuesday to hopefully give him approval of the fire marshal for electricity.

3rd

I was able to hook up woth Meg, the previous OCAC treasuerer, today at the bank and get all the financial stuff transfered into my name.

WOW! We got our Christmas picture in today. It came just in time for me to show it off at the Club Christmas party. It turned out pretty well.

The party was enjoyable and everyone seemed satisfied with the awards I purchased.

2nd

Today we FINALLY got the lease signed on the building we're having built. They now say they can start in January and it will be 5 months not 3 like they originally told us. Well, at least the lease is signed so now they have an obligation to start the processes needed. That's one more stress alleviated. We might, just might, even get electricity turned on in the temporary office space next week. That's all we're waiting on to open up. There are attorneys biting at the bit to send us clients. Hope we can get jumped through all the hoops soon.

I'm really looking forward to the LCCOC Christmas party tomorrow. I can't wait to see if everyone is pleased with the awards I ordered this year, and can't wait to give Blake Stafford , our resident junior handler, his MACH chair.

 


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