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27th

Saturday morning went with no glitches. It appeared we had actually thought of just about everything we needed. As the day went we were wishing for a rake. An easy thing to bring in the morning. Kamikaze had a just wonderful Master Gambler run. We were even in the right place when the buzzer went off. She did the first three obstacles (the hard part) and then went by the final jump since her handler didn't say jump. ARGH! Then she proceeded to have a great standard run that had a run-by on the next to last jump when her handler flapped wildly and said nothing, again. Maybe I should mention here that I haven't had much sleep. Xanadu was still sickly today. In spite of it, she had a decent try at Advanced Gamblers and even pulled out a Q! The second run of the day was Steeplechase and I told her she didn't have to do it if she felt too bad. She walked the first jump and walked by the second one. We left. Jedi had an OK gamblers opening, but no go on to the tunnel at all. Then his standard run he would NOT lay on the table and so he got himself pushed down and out of the ring we went. Josie had a simply great Standard run up until I started to panic about the weaves and leaned into her to 'help' and pushed her out of them, so no ADCH today!

I got a bit more sleep Saturday night and felt better for Sunday. The jumpers course was just great for Kamikaze. Mostly wide open running. Apparently she wasn't quite as well as I thought, or it was just a bit hot for her liking. She floated most of the course, including floating by a jump out of a tunnel to wave at the judge. Really??!? OK, well didn't need that Q anyway. She was a draw in pairs and I swallowed my pride and ask Jason and Chica to run with us. AND boy did they run! Kamikaze and Chica ended up first place in pairs for Kazee's fourth pairs leg. Last thing of the day was Standard. Kamikaze was much slower than in yesterday's standard run and I knew we were pushing it to make time. I over-handled her contacts a bit too. She took the final jump less than 1/2 second under time to pull out her MAD (Master Agility Dog) title!! WOO HOO! She's only the fifth Siberian in USDAA history to gain that title. And now only 4 Q's left for ADCH for her. (1 gamble, 1 pair,  2 standard)

Xanadu was a bit better today, but wasn't into a whole course of jumps. She'd do a few and trot by a few. She never did really stretch out and run until the last five jumps and then I saw my agility dog again. We've been having the same issue in AKC jumpers even when the jumps at 12". I think it's a handler problem and a 'jumps aren't as valuable as other things' problem. Her last run was Pairs with Kay and her Schipperke, Gator. We planned it that way. Believe it or not, we Q'd! Neither of us had any faults, although Xan still didn't stretch out and run. So now she has her first two Advanced legs. Jedi ran Standard OK. Still a slow down on the table. A couple of places he lost me and kept running in a straight line. Then the ending... as he came over the dogwalk I somehow tripped on the tunnel under it and went flying face first into the dirt. No injuries, other than pride. And the dirt has so much sand in it I got some burns. Josie had a just fantastic standard run up until the last two obstacles. The dogwalk, our nemisis, was next to last and I panicked! I started screeching "LIE DOWN" and holding back behind her. Both of which caused her to jump the side of the dogwalk just above the yellow.  And there was a collective moan. I should've raced to be right by her and came to an abrupt and upright halt at the end and quietly said "lie down" and all would've been fine.

There were helpers to drag all the equipment to the back and even get the heavy stuff loaded. Then they all disappeared when it got to the monotonous loading of jumps and such. Took us at least 30 minutes to finish up that. Then there was the loading of all of the club stuff (ribbons, binders, score keeping stuff, etc) and the personal stuff (crates, dogs). I had Spirit along with me for Sunday on the chance that we'd be done in time to have one more chance to certify to track. Kay was already going out to lay a TDX practice track for someone, so we weren't going to be a burden. I almost just passed up the chance. I was tired and she hasn't practiced since the two failures. I decided to go anyway and just let whatever be, will be. I felt bad leaving Rich pulling equipment to Cheryl's house and unloading with her there though. 

As soon as we got out to the track, wouldn't you know, the wind started gusting AGAIN. It happens to her every time I try to certify. She started well. I was trying to keep to one side of her to help her not be blown of the track by the wind and ended up not watching that I went in a straight line. I almost pulled her right off. That's it! I just started following. She made turn one and two so well I was shocked! Then leg three, she got lost. I mean really lost. I couldn't tell if she'd gone passed the turn or if the wind and the ditch were playing tricks on her. I just had NO idea. She searched and searched and searched. Crossed over the gravel road we were paralleling and searched some more. No luck. I walked back and forth up and down the area where I knew she lost it letting out all the line. No luck. I walked back and forth across the area with free line. No luck. I pushed her farther up the way were going. Maybe there was just competing smells here and we could get passed them. No luck. She started quitting. It was hot and she came to me several times, once even sitting down, asking for help. I did my best to encourage her and started pacing the area again, giving her free rein. No luck. I was feeling like I should just throw in the towel before she got more frustrated. One last push up and down the area, going farther up the line than before. Suddenly she starts looking more interested. Viola! The dog starts tracking again. At least that was the body posture I got. She goes on for a bit and then just stops with her head down. I thought she was just so hot that I told her to keep it up. She looked and me and drooped again. *hand smacks on forehead sharply* She is indicating the glove you fool! I raced up to her and yep, sure enough, a glove. I had a party! We were rolling in the grass together with me hugging her. I started pouncing at her and she was all bouncing and barking back. She did it! We are in the test in two weeks with Auntie Storm! The judge showed me the track map. She'd missed an open left turn (45 degree angle ) and kept going straight for some way. I never got far enough out for her to re-capture the leg at the turn, but she caught that leg half way up and made the last turn with ease. PLEASE KEEP THE WIND UNDER CONTROL in two weeks!

Cheryl and Mike met us to eat tonight. It was a good celebration of a trial well run and done and another tracking certification! Then Rich and I walked back in the door of the house to find Misty spread eagle on the kitchen floor in her own waste. The trash can next to her was crashed over as well. I raced to check on her. She was still with us, but could not stand or walk. The tell-tale signs of a grand mal seizure! I feel lucky that the other dogs in the house didn't jump in on her. I carried her to the back bathtub and left Rich to clean up the floor. Even with my arm under her for support she couldn't stay upright in the tub and she just laid down while I bathed her in warm water. I carried her to our bathroom and used Rich's hair dryer to dry her off. Then I laid her in her crate. I don't expect much by morning and am prepping myself for a final good-bye.

25th

OH NO! Xanadu is not feeling well. Her stomach is upset and she's got the runs and her back seems to be bothering her. Great! Right before the USDAA show in town. Kamikaze had the pukes earlier in the week, so I'm hoping it's just some doggie virus. Kamikaze is back to normal now, so here's hoping Xan will be better soon.

Well, Rich and I were able to load all OCAC's equipment plus the few borrowed items into the truck bed and trailer this afternoon. We got equipment to the site by 3ish and were pleasantly surprised to find a real amount of young and able bodies waiting to help unload. The stuff was off the trailer in no time. We even handed a young college lady the wheel and rolled out the 100ft. tape for her. Armed with a course builder's map, she was a quick study on learning to build a course! The first course was built before the judge even made it to the show site. Then I was able to set young helpers to filling the sand bags. The show was certainly starting well. The newly pained contacts, the bright new aluminum jumps and the new tunnels all looked too good to get dirty.

23rd A horse of my own?

One of my agility friends does horse training on the side. She has several of her own as well. She has a 4 yr. old Mustang mare that was a capture in Colorado. She's training her, but she isn't getting on with the oldest horse there. My friend will be looking for a new home for the Mustang after it is trained (sometime this summer).

I've always wanted a horse. But as I grew up I realized that might not be feasible. They are a big responsibility and I go, go, go. Then there's the cost for feed and a place to keep it, exercise it, shots. The list goes on and on. I made a comment that an already trained smallish (14 hands), young, Mustang sounded tempting. My friend is now thrilled with the idea that I am considering this horse. OH MY! She would make it easy for me to get the Mustang. Rich is not against the idea. Now, can I do a horse? I have no clue what horse care takes on a daily basis. Are there even any boarding places nearby? Would that be an easier option than fencing most of the rest of my property? I'd certainly give up the motorhome (with it's payment) to get a horse. I will be thinking up questions to discuss with my friend this weekend at the dog show.

I ran by Cheryl's on the way to teach class and picked up the rest of Overcome's equipment. She's been storing jumps and tunnels for us. I also picked up her teeter that we will borrow this time around. It really does stink that it will rain Thursday afternoon/evening. That makes loading the trailer Thursday an impossibility. All loading of trailer will have to be done between 1-2 Friday afternoon. At least the jumps and tunnels can stay in the truck since the tunnels are in the cab area. The newly painted contacts, all the jump bars, tire, chute, broad jump, table and such need to be on the trailer by Friday at 2pm. At least maybe tomorrow I can get all the accessory trial stuff (measuring device, wheel, ribbons, numbers, etc.) loaded in the Expedition. 

22nd

I finally got to ride the motorcycle! Been too long. It's just hard to find a time when so much of the time I'm toting a dog somewhere. I took it to the dog club meeting. Planning on taking it to work in the morning too!

I have set up tomorrow evening before agility class to go by Cheryl's and pick up Overcome's jumps and tunnels that she's been storing. I hope Rich and I can get the contacts on the trailer tomorrow too. Hoping it can all be loaded by Friday morning so I don't have to worry with anything but hooking up the trailer to the truck and driving Friday afternoon.

Kamikaze was sick Monday. She was a bit sluggish and then threw up her dinner. There were multiply puke piles to clean up. Poor girl! I am a bit worried about her, though today she kept her dinner down. She still seems just a tad 'off'. Hope she's feeling good for agility this weekend. A gamblers, pairs and standard  Q would be excellent!

I finally got some videos downloaded off the camera!
Kamikaze GP Q
Josie 4th Standard Q
Jedi's great try at Standard
Spirit first AX Q
Kamikaze's ALMOST MX (got a dw call)

20th

I have caught the sinus/chest stuff from Rich AGAIN! He's been sick for weeks and I've already had it once. ARGH! I took some cold/flu medicine on an empty stomach on the way out the door to the show this morning. That ended up being a big mistake. I did drive through and pick up some breakfast to help settle the uneasy feeling. It didn't help. I was queasy feeling all day. Storm had a decent run in standard and I managed to not blow it too. She got 13 MACH points. Obviously slowing down a bit from Friday's runs, but still nice. Then she just made time in Jumpers for her 9th QQ. I really wish with her I could run Jumpers first all the time. She has more pizzazz on her first run, and jumpers times are tighter than standard. Kamikaze had a really nice Standard run for her 10th leg, earning her MX title. Then she proceeded to turn into a sniffing 'beagle?' in Jumpers. She kept her nose to the ground first 8 obstacles, causing her to not hit the weave entrance. I had a quick chat with her after that and she found her inner agility dog to finish up. WHAT IS UP? I guess QQ are overrated if you're a Siberian.

Kamikaze, MX

I did have time after the show to paint the yellow zones on all the Overcome contacts. The paint turned out great. I am glad that part is done. Now to fill sand bags, load equipment (from two locations), buy snacks, find someone to pick up judge, etc., etc. 

19th

Unfortunately Spirit did not pass her certification Thursday either. Naturally, the wind picked up just as it was time to track. ARGH! This time the flunk was all my fault. She had a struggle on the first turn and never was quite sure about leg #2. She recovered on her own to make turn two with confidence. I was sure she was on. Then the wind messed with her at turn three. She did eventually pick a way. I was sure she was tracking something, but not sure it was THE track. The turn seemed to come very soon and it seemed it might make this leg a bit close to the start. I held my ground and she went back to searching. A second time she made the same determined tracking move that way. Lesson #1 in tracking... once your dog is trained... TRUST YOU DOG!! I refused to go with her again. Spirit's not the personality type to argue, so she came back and let me encourage her to move forward. I pushed her off the track. She still managed to turn me the right way, but it took me 50-75 feet to let her turn me. We were whistled for being too far off. 

Yesterday and today I was in New Iberia for an AKC agility show. Storm ran great yesterday, but stressed at the weaves in both runs and missed the entries. MAN! She was like 17 seconds under time in standard too. DANG! Kamikaze had two great runs yesterday too. She got a dogwalk call in standard to cost us a Q and then ran past the last jump in Jumpers to blow that leg too. Today Storm had a great run in Standard again and I called 'come' too soon and pulled her past a jump. In Jumpers she did a 'dog' thing. I was standing next to one side of a tunnel calling her to it. She came towards me and at the last second dashed to the wrong entrance. She ran her heart out though. Kamikaze had some 'moments' in standard today. Then she did pull out a Q in jumpers.

Thankfully, Rich took the time today while I was gone to repair the Overcome dogwalk. When I got home I had enough time to paint the main colors on the dogwalk and Aframe before dark.

I got a call from the trial secretary to ask me to run Josie in PII pairs since there was only one entry. So, Josie gets another run for fun this weekend. Hopefully it comes after the ADCH party. Come on, one standard Q on Saturday.. please!

16th

Yesterday while I was picking up the yard Storm engaged Kamikaze in a game of chase. How cute! Storm raced around with Kamikaze loping along beside her. It seems Kazee has learned Storm doesn't appreciate being rolled, which is what she does to our beagles. (and they get up still running) Then Storm stopped and bounced at Kazee and so Kazee took off running with Storm chasing.

The weather is FINALLY nice enough for me to teach agility class again tonight. It went well. Since I was going out there I pulled the trailer when I went so I could load up Overcome's contacts to bring home. Our show is in a week and a half and both dogwalk and Aframe need a bit of maintenance. With that said I haven't a CLUE when I will find the time. The Aframe just needs a new coat of grip paint. The dog walk needs some repairs, and some fresh paint wouldn't hurt it either. Then there's the tire we're borrowing from Loralie. It needs to be re-painted or taped as well as have the bungees replaced with regular cord. These are the times it really stinks to only have a handful of club members, one of which lives in TEXAS. We have decided not to return our equipment to the AKC club's training area. I now have a safe place here I can store it, or some can go to Cheryl's big back yard now if she wants. The equipment gets used several times a week out at the training area and no one takes care of it, does repairs, or re-surfaces it.

When I got the equipment loaded on the trailer, I saw I had a message on my phone. The tracking judge says she has a chance to lay another track for Spirit tomorrow afternoon if I'm interested. OF COURSE I'm interested.

14th

I got home just in time to sleep last night. The USDAA show in Crosby didn't go quite how I wished for it to, but overall not a bad weekend. Kamikaze and I weren't quite on the same page to start with. Jumpers was a no go. Next was Steeplechase and she was simple stellar. She was the only dog that ran it clean. She came in 3rd place in the first round for a solid Q!! WOW! After a year of chasing a Steeplechase leg she's gotten two in two weekends. That's 4 tournament legs now. One more to go. Master Standard was next and there was a tricky turn or two where I knew I could get an off course. Well, it happened right off the bat. Then another one at the other tricky turn. It was a weave pole gamble today. Kazee can actually do those :) It was just too bad the opening didn't go as planned. We ended up in a bad spot and I'd already confused her. I couldn't get her back and aimed at the gamble in time to finish it. 

Josie had a fabulous standard run going. Three obstacles left! Teeter, jump, jump. I thought I had it. She aimed at the teeter at an odd angle and it was forcing me to the side I had not planned to be on. My brain is saying, "Don't you DARE back cross that teeter, just make it work on this side for three obstacles" as my feet and legs start to back cross the teeter. ARGH! Josie will pull off the end of the teeter EVERY TIME on back cross. And so it went. Just smack the handler. Jedi actually had an OK run, again. Xanadu only ran Advanced Standard today. It was her first try at it. What a great run. Right up until that teeter, jump, jump. I took off after the teeter like I do with the other guys racing to the end. Forgot that makes her race to the end, skipping the jumps. I called her back, but she knew the end was there now and it took like 15-20 seconds to get her over the last two jumps. So, we were over time. I was so thrilled with the fast and accurate beagle though.

Sunday started with Snooker. I wasn't entered so I scribed and timed the whole class in the FREEZING weather and lost all contact with my fingers. Standard just didn't go well for Kamikaze and I again. At the end she even tried to dash out of the ring for her treats. I strong, "NO MAAM!" Brought her to a stop at the ring gate and she came back. That one act was more irritating to me than anything else that went wrong. She got a stern walk to her crate. Grand Prix was next and parts of the course were similar to standard. I was not thinking too positive about it. Especially since times on Grand Prix are tight. Well, stars be praised. Kazee got through that Grand Prix course with a wonderful run and several seconds under time. That makes FIVE tournament legs now and that conquers those requirements for ADCH. WOO HOO!!! Six legs left.

Josie had a gorgeous standard run for leg number 4. So, had I not pulled that boner of a handler move yesterday at the end of Standard we'd be having us an ADCH party. Well, we'll look at is as a chance to ADCH at our home show at the end of the month. That would be really cool. Maybe her foster mom will even come and watch. Jedi had a clean and fairly fast run in Standard right until the last two jumps. (really!??!) He thought he was done and trotted over to say hi to the score table. It took several long seconds to get his attention back and get him over the last two jumps, now 2 seconds over time. So, OK, maybe he can still pull off standard Q's after all. And if he'd done a nice table we'd have still made time. He's back to the 10-15 seconds on the table for a 5 second count. MUST FIX THAT! Xanadu ran Advanced jumpers. And I do mean RAN! YIPPIE!! I've struggled to get her to run a whole jumpers course at 16 inches. That's a bunch of jumps she says. She ran by a couple of jumps and I didn't try to fix them since she was driving so well. At this level she doesn't have time to fix things and still Q anyway. Since she ran so well I stuck around another two hours to run her Snooker run. She ran the opening so well. Then off coursed over the Aframe to start the closing. She was supposed to do the tunnel under the Aframe. Well, I'm bummed, but she ran so well and didn't hit any bars at 16 inches the whole weekend.

 

10th

The weather yesterday was drizzly and not too cold. It was supposed to be a good deal cooler today, but at least some sun. There were some 14mph gusts going most of the day and the temps topped out at 43. Why the weather updates? Today was the day we re-scheduled Storm and Spirit's tracking certification. Not my ideal conditions, but the ground is good and damp and that is good for scent. I met up with Kay, the tracking judge, around 4 to run tracks. I did Storm first for a couple of reasons. She is the one I really wanted to pass since she's not mine and we're hoping to get her tracking title while she's staying with me. Also, the last few times out she's been a demon of a tracker. She gets on and goes steady the whole way with very little searching at turns and almost no distractions get to her. If she does that again today it'll mean Spirit's track isn't aging a bunch while she tracks. The wind had settled down for the most part before we started her track. Storm was true to her last few times out. She started and just went. Only the last turn did she have to check around a bit for. It was almost a picture perfect track! She tracked right over the glove and picked it up. I called Marie on the drive to Spirit's track for a quick update. 

Unfortunately the wind picked up on Spirit's track and gusted on her quite a bit. The track was probably 45 minutes to an hour by the time we got there. She struggled a bit nailing down the actual track with the wind. Then she went. A bit more searching on turn number one, but then it was obvious when she found it. Turn two an three went better. Then turn four. ARGH! She apparently was pushed by the wind a good 25 feet past the turn before she realized. She searched and danced and ate weeds and wanted to quit. She even came to me and put her paws up. I turned my back and told her she could find it and I couldn't help. The lay of the land dictated a left turn, but I could never know exactly where it was. She finally committed to the last leg. I was so excited, she's almost there. Then she started doing the "I smell the glove" dance. I was almost giddy. But, then she never alerted to it. I figure, "OK, she's a bit off because of the wind. We'll just let her scope around a bit." She looked and looked. She finally gave it up and started tracking Kay out of the field. OH MAN!! Kay called us back to the glove. She had never come back over far enough to find it. She was 25-30 feet too far over (in the direction the wind was blowing). BUMMER to flunk at the end for not finding the glove when it was clear she knew it was around and was even looking for it. If I get back on afternoon next weekend in time from the agility show Kay will give her another chance. Otherwise she'll wait until after our tracking test. She's young and still needs a little work, but at least I know she's got that title in her.

6th

The drive to Memphis was uneventful. I planned my drive to hit Jackson at the same time as the predicted high of 37. Everything was cleared off by then. The predicted chance of bad weather in Memphis didn't materialize. There was a bit of rain that froze on some overpasses Saturday morning. There was one SUV tipped on its side on one of them. I made it to the show without incident and the predictions for the rest of the weekend were clear and rising temps. 

Kamikaze started out on fire Saturday morning. She Q'd in her first three events, Jumpers, Snooker and Steeplechase. That's gives her the Jumper Master title, 9 Snooker legs and her first Steeplechase! What a start!! She ran well in Standard, but ended up one second over time for turning the wrong way off obstacles twice. ARGH! But a nice run. She ended the day by Qing in Gamblers for her 4th Gamble leg. She's really cutting down on those Q's she needed to ADCH!!

Josie ran a great standard run. She hit all her contacts and laid down on the table immediately. Unfortunately she ticked a bar. I was still happy to see her running fast and happy. Jedi was not all that bad. Neither of his runs were Q's though. Xanadu was only running in TEAM this weekend. She had a sheltie from AR and a border collie from Memphis as teammates. She started TEAM with Snooker and had a fabulous run. Team Gamblers was a great run too, but she missed a dogwalk and an Aframe contact for playing Underdog off the end. In Team Standard I let down the Team. Xan E'd by taking an off course tunnel. There were many E's on that course. Thankfully my teammates ran well in their runs. At the end of day one and three events our team was above the Q line.

Sunday didn't start as well. Kazee and I were on different pages in Jumpers. Then Xanadu E'd Team Jumpers by getting three refusals. The rest of my team did well and we hung on above the line. Kamikaze redeemed herself in Standard and got a Q for her second Standard leg. She had a good Pairs run, but the partner got a refusal that just put us over time. Josie had another fabulous standard run, but she quit weaving at pole 7 to take the chute. ARGH! Jedi actually ran Standard clean, but well over time for turning wrong ways and running to see the judge and such. TEAM Relay went well for my team. We all stayed on course with only a couple of faults between the three of us. For once, I wasn't one of the faulted dogs. I felt pretty good about our chances to stay above the Q line. I've never gone into relay above the Q line and then not Q'd when my team managed to get all the way around the course. We ended up moving up a bit after relay and landed in 4th place. I am so glad it panned out for all of us. It was both of my teammates first try at running team ever. And now Xanadu NEVER has to run team again!! Overall it was a stellar weekend for me. Kamikaze now only needs one gamble, two pairs, three standards and two tournaments (of any kind) to ADCH. WOW! So glad to be out running USDAA again. I've been missing it.

3rd

The weather this week has been cold and rainy/sleety. Needless to say there was no tracking today. Tomorrow afternoon I am supposed to take off for Memphis to see Mom and Dad and do a USDAA agility show. Jackson, MS was a disaster this afternoon. Ice covered overpasses and elevated interstate areas by 2pm or so and it just got worse. The other Louisiana ladies going to Memphis and I have been in contact and we are all intent on going after the ice melts in Jackson some. Seems we should have a good driving window somewhere between 10 am and dark. By dark there is some predictions of snow in Memphis. Not much and it won't be cold enough to stick, but I am a bit concerned about the roads to the show Saturday morning too.

1st - Happy Birthday Cedar

Cedar turned 11 today! Argh! Her hair is getting that old dog look to it now. It's kind of dry and the top coat is bristly too.

The forecast for today was for strong storms with possible hail, damaging winds or tornados. Since I had to go to the office today all the dogs were trapped inside all day. Rich let them out to potty at lunch, but we didn't trust the weather enough to leave anyone out to play. Needless to say they were all wired when I got home. To help alleviate the  trapped inside blues I started working with dogs in the back hallway. Storm did some retrieves and a couple of drop on recalls. Then I let Spirit play with the dumbbell. She is still trying to figure this game out, but at least now I've got her racing after it and picking it up and bringing in most of the way back before she pitches at me. Xanadu got to see her articles again. It's been a good while since she's done them. I laid out 4 of each kind. This is only one of each kind short of a real pile. She did super!!! She was racing to the pile and she picked the right one every time. Sometimes she second guessed herself and looked to me for assurance. Mostly I just stood there and smiled. Once I told her 'yes'. She is close to doing these perfect, at least in my hallway.

Storm and Spirit have an appointment to try to certify to enter the tracking test Thursday if the weather holds out well.