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February 2013

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27th

With the chance of rain finally down to practically nil for more than 2 days in a row, I drug out the obedience equipment for some practice. The last practice with Kamikaze and go-outs was frustrating. I am trying to explain that a go-out should be STRAIGHT. Apparently we missed that important part in initial training and it's biting me in the butt. I did have an epiphany about part of the crooked running possible being what I was doing just prior to sending her. I have adjusted myself. So, this afternoon Kamikaze did two perfectly straight go-outs in a row, first try. Time for a PARTY! Of course she then decided not to watch me for which jump to take when we did the directed jumping part... sigh. Well, progress. Xanadu had her turn and did two perfect go-outs as well and even listened on the jumping part. Then she got confused on signals. I am trying to decided if she needs to play Graduate Open or Utility at the end of May. (assuming she is not in season or heavily pregnant) I am leaning towards Utility. Spirit had a go at Open and did passably well. She needs some work on going to get the dumbbell on the first command. Kayak practiced his Open exercises all out of order (as I usually do) since I am thinking he can play Open B so the beagle girls can attempt Open A. He was great. Even went mostly straight on his broad jump. Now I have to remember to get stay practice in. Such a boring thing to practice. 

I finally got all the show 'stuff' out of the car from this past weekend and got what I need for THIS weekend loaded up. I am picking Cheryl up at 5am Sat. morning to head up to Monroe for a couple of days of agility. Kayak could move up to Excellent in JWW and Standard after this weekend. Fingers crossed. I did get him out to my agility field this morning to practice his weaving footwork. I need to get him on an Aframe to re-enforce the criteria that he two stride the down side. Unfortunately the Overcome Aframe is still on the trailer in my front yard. It's just too wet to get it back into the agility field. OF course I could just get it off and set it up in the side yard.

Windy is down to one and a half bales of hay. With all this 'wet' the ground is torn up and muddy in her area, so grass hasn't really had a chance. Rich found a guy just up the road selling 25 bales for $4 a bale this weekend. We've arranged to go pick up some Friday afternoon. That's a relief.

24th

We got the show finished up and got equipment off loaded back into storage by 4 or so this afternoon. PERFECT! I declare this the least stressful and most successful (personally) show I've trial chaired for. We got lots of positive feedback on the judge, her courses and the new to us arena. Our 4 club members would even like to find another date this year to have a show and we're talking having 2 1/2 days (add Friday afternoon) of show next February. 
SATURDAY
After Kayak's tracking this week Cheryl convinced me to ask the local tracking judge, Kay, to lay him a certification track. She was coming to our show, so it wouldn't be putting her out. I emailed her, she agreed. She laid us one Sat. morning. Turns out it was ready to run just about the time Kamikaze needed to be running pairs. So, Cheryl got to run Kazee in pairs. She's been making noises about running her, so I walked the course with her once and LEFT. They were perfect! I knew they'd be fine together. Now to convince her to run Kazee on a whole course one day. Kayak and I were not as lucky. He actually did very well. He missed the last turn. It was in a field next to horses and they came to say "HI" and it deleted his brain. ARGH! Kay says he definitely knows how to track and she'll give us another chance tomorrow.
Kamikaze pulled out a Steeplechase Q and a standard Q on Saturday too. I watched a ringer of a border collie run that Steeple course in 26 seconds so I knew I'd have to push Kamikaze hard to get close enough to that time to Q and I'm proud of us making it.
Xanadu ran Standard and she actually did pretty well. She hit the double and tried to off course to the Aframe so no Q, but it wasn't bad. 
Josie got to run twice today. She's semi-retired, but still loves it and can still make times. She ran Gamblers and Standard and Q'd in Standard.

SUNDAY
First run of the day was Grand Prix. I REALLY needed Kamikaze to get this one, but that course was HARD. There was one 26" dog and then me. The 26" dog crashed and burned. I knew I couldn't hold Kazee back or we wouldn't make time, but MAN I needed some close control. I decided to just RUN IT with the distance I knew she'd need for the speed to make it. We DID IT! We were the first dog around it clean. Then I watched practically every other dog crash and burn. I was feeling pretty good about us. There ended up being a total of 4 championship dogs to Q. After Grand Prix I ran Kayak on another certification track. This time he did it! He is still very baby dog about it. Gets distracted, bored easily, but kept getting back to work for me. Now, I have 4 days to get entries to the secretary for our local show.

Kamikaze went on to win a little cash in Steeplechase finals and bring it home with a jumpers Q. So, Kamikaze Q'd every time she stepped to the line this weekend! One more Steeplechase or Grand Prix Q and she's qualified for USDAA nationals in Murfreesboro, TN end of October.

Xanadu ran Standard and Jumpers. She didn't try at all in Jumpers, but the Standard run would've been a Q had she not jumped the dogwalk contact!

22nd

We got all the equipment loaded and unloaded at the arena this morning without any rain interference. It was very nice of a couple of the arena guys to basically unload the heavy stuff for us. When I got home Rich and I went to see a funny movie. That was a good stress relief before starting the weekend of agility I'm supposed to be in charge of.

I also got an email from Xanadu's boyfriend's owner that Timber passed his eye exam today. Now it's just a waiting game. When will Xan come in season?

Here's a shot I caught of Xan yesterday for your viewing pleasure.

20th

I did a little tracking today. In the morning I laid Kamikaze and Xanadu tracks to age. At about the right timing to age Kayak something for 30 minutes and run it on the way to the other tracks I went down the street and laid him out one too. I haven't tracked Kayak in a bit. I'd gotten frustrated with him marking instead of tracking, getting distracted and being a complete goober in general. He actually did OK. I held myself together while he stared at the sky at every turn and air scented things. He actually got back to work on his own every time after I waited him out. Kamikaze was next. She starts so well on a 3 hour old track! She does allow herself to get distracted by other scents and things since the real track is so old, but when I fuss at her she gets back to working the track again. She alerts very well to articles. Xanadu also starts very well on the old tracks too. She does NOT alert as well to articles and she's even worse about getting off track to check on other interesting scents and things. I think both are capable of getting TDX titles though.

I managed to run by a Wal-Mart that actually had some cheap blankets on sale we can use to protect the Overcome contact obstacles during transport. Mine have all been chewed to pieces by a certain young Siberian. The funny thing to me is that the exact blanket I bought on sale cheap was NOT on sale in colors blue or grey.

19th

I met up with Cheryl for some agility practice this evening. Everyone did VERY well. I had all the dogs that are healthy and trained for agility in the car with me. Sparkle got out first. She ran, I mean, ran a whole standard course. She even did a fly off the teeter. I was afraid that would make her scared. She is not a confident teeter dog. We went back and tried teeter again and she was fine, but she did remember to slow down. Xanadu and Spirit both ran like the wind. Josie was the only one I was disappointed in. She was way to interested in cat hunting to run a whole course well. Kamikaze and Kayak did great practicing their Aframe issues. Teaching Kayak to cut his stride to hit the yellow instead of stride over it and encouraging Kazee not to hesitate forever on the apex. I watched videos from this past weekend and she's loosing a good 4 seconds in every standard run at the top of the Aframe. Think I can fix that problem. Sprigs did good weaves. Then The Siberians and Xanadu stuck around long enough to demo different footwork styles in the weaves for Cheryl's beginner class.

Yesterday I pulled the Overcome Aframe up from my agility field in the swamp. I was scared we'd never get it out if it rained again before loading time.

17th

I drove back and forth to New Iberia yesterday and today. Cheryl and Mike did the same. It was WINDY on Saturday making the 50's seem rather chilly and today it was in the high 30s when I got there, but at least no wind. By the end of today I had stripped a few layers and was down to 3 shirts with no jacket over them. Good Siberian weather! On Saturday Kamikaze got ANOTHER QQ. Kayak Q'd in both his Open runs as well. So he has TWO Jumpers legs and one Standard leg.

He's getting close to running with the big kids. Both guys ruined Time 2 Beat. Kamikaze went BLONDE right near the end and Kayak missed both Aframe contacts. I got home with enough light to take him out to my field and talk about that Aframe problem.

Sunday went about as well. Kamikaze got QQ #3 in a row. She also finished her MXS title on Saturday.

Kayak had a bar in Jumpers and then popped at the end of the weaves and then I lost my place in space after we fixed the weaves, but it wasn't a bad run. I even did a hard rear cross over the 24" triple and he kept the bars up. He the Q'd in Open Standard. Now he moves up to Excellent with his next Q in anything. GO BOY!

When I checked mail this afternoon I found that Kayak's first conformation picture was here.

 

15th

I drove down to New Iberia late morning. They were having Excellent only agility starting this afternoon. Kamikaze had a good day. She came home with another QQ. The courses had lovely flow if you took the correct path. I drove home early evening to find emails from our USDAA judge. HALLELUJAH! Seems her spam filter decided to work overtime and sent all my messages to JUNK. I still don't get how it gets to be so close to the trial and the judge hasn't sent any flight info or anything though. Headed back to New Iberia Sat. and Sun. for more fun. Looks like it will live up to its nickname the next two days... "New Siberia".

Someone posted this on facebook and being the math geek I am I thought it was a SCREAM. It was entitled "Wife of PI"

14th

Rich woke up in the middle of the night with a coughing fit. Apparently he took several things to help make it stop. So, this morning he was dizzy every time he stood up and dizzy made him puke. He stayed in bed until around 10. When he got up I stripped the bed and washed EVERYTHING. We did make a movie for Valentine's Day. Of course it was a shoot 'em up one, but hey, I was good with that. 

In the mail I got the new coats I ordered for the hopeful new beagle pup! I found a sale, $10 a piece.

The judge for our USDAA show in a just 9 days has gone AWOL! I have sent three emails since the first of the month trying to get back with her. Today I even panicked and paid stupid Facebook a dollar to send her a message as well as leaving a voicemail on her dog training business phone. I am starting to freak out. I have also sent a message to USDAA to make sure she's sent in courses for approval. ARGH! She could be in a hospital somewhere and we'd never know.

The fridge vacuum job seems to have done the trick. She's working well again.

13th

My brother stopped in for an 'avoid Mardi Gras' visit. He was here Sunday evening when I got home and left here in time to get back before dark yesterday. Nothing spectacular to report about his visit it rained a good bit of the time he was here. Big surprise. We sat around and watched TV Monday. Rich stayed home sick with a nasty cold. Tuesday we did the same.

I am still paying off the new washer and dryer and now the fridge/freezer isn't cooling well. ARGH! We pulled it out to look behind it and all. Then I pulled the front, bottom cover. OH MY! Do you know how much dog hair and dirt can build up on your air intake coils in 9 years. UGH! I laid on the floor with a vacuum hose for about 30 minutes tonight trying to clean those up as much as I could.

11th

Got home from Memphis around bedtime last night. Kamikaze ran tournaments only at the USDAA show. She came home with a TEAM Q. None of her runs were very good, but we never E'd. Our team came in second. Kaz and I were one second over in Grand Prix. ARGH! There were several spots at which she wasted that much time with a wide turn, a walk down the contact. Frustrating. Xanadu had two runs a day. She kept all the bars up at 16". She only really RAN once. The kind of awesome running I love, but lose contact behaviors when it happens. I encouraged it though. She's coming in 2-4 seconds over time in jumpers, but she's not giving it much effort. So, overall I still think it is possible for her to finish her AAD.

Kamikaze kept me up half the night with the runs. So, maybe her less than spectacular performance this weekend was due to feeling under the weather. I am going to chalk it up to that anyway. We'll see how she does this coming weekend.

7th

Had kind of an 'unplanned things' day. Planned for the afternoon was a quick trip into town to give blood and fill up the Expedition in preparation to head to see Mom and Dad tomorrow. I started out on my quick plan just after noon. About a mile from the blood center my low tire pressure light comes on. This is a bit concerning considering it's around 60 out (so not cold) and it has not been on since the beginning of the trip. I pulled into the blood center parking lot and checked all my tires to see if one was visibly low. Figured I'd run by the local minor repair shop on the way home and get the tire fixed. ABORT!! I can actually hear air escaping from the passenger rear tire. I'm only a couple of miles from the shop, so I jump back the vehicle and make a mad dash to get there before the tire goes FLAT. I made it, and there's not really anyone ahead of me. Just one guy whose car is half way through an oil change. Unfortunately the jack and such are under the back cargo area. Since I'm total packed to leave, this is not a good thing. Half the stuff out on the curb!

I decided to just let him change the oil while it was there. This tire thing turned out to be a blessing in that when tire was removed it was clear my rear brakes were a hairline from being total GONE! UGH! So, I sat and sat (about 2.5 hours) until the tire was fixed, new rear braked installed and oil changed. Good thing I had a book in the car! At least that means tire should be sound for the long drive and I know the rear brakes won't be going out. At least it all happened close to the repair man and sans any dogs.

4th

Kayak had his yearly check up today. All is well. I also had the realization that my baby boy is now only his tracking title away from being a Versatile Companion Dog. WOOT!

I also picked up the USDAA club's new breakaway tire from Rich's office and put it together.

I love it and hope the competitors do to.

3rd

Overall it was a fun weekend in Crosby. A long day Friday driving as we drove to the opposite side of Houston through rush hour traffic to pay a visit to Cheryl's young girl's breeder. She was hoping to visit with a young adult male as a potential new addition at her house. Alas, the dog had other ideas. The only two boys that wouldn't come to see us (in the dark) were the two possible adoptees. We weren't able to touch them or interact with them at all. They ran every time we tried. After the failed visit we did get to go in and see a couple of cute 4 week old puppies. All this, and the drive back to Baytown, put us unloading at the hotel at like 9pm. UGH! When the alarm went off Saturday morning I was not ready to rise and shine.

Saturday started with little dogs in Excellent Standard and Novice dogs in Jumpers. Sprigs actually managed to run her Standard and Jumpers runs before Kamikaze even got her first run. It was her second QQ! Kamikaze and I blew Standard (one mistake I'll take blame for and one was hers) but Q'd in Jumpers without any MACH points since I had to call her off a jump and then we had wide turns. Kayak had a good day. He had a nice Open Jumpers run. He hit 2 bars as it was his first run at 24". One bar was just one of those things and he second one was audience scoping instead of watching what he was doing. I walked him off for that one. He did run the course with no refusals or off courses though. His standard run netted him his Novice Standard title with a perfect score. He did have to go visit the chute straightener though.

Sunday they swapped the order and big dogs went first. Kamikaze ran a great standard course that I thought was a Q. Come to find out there was an "F" on her sheet. I watched the video and figure she got an Aframe call. Judge was calling them tight and she strided over most of the yellow if no all of it. She did run well in Jumpers for another 8 points or so. Running Kazee in the big 20" class meant I missed my Open Jumpers walk through and missed the beginning of the class. Kayak should've been first dog in. WHOOPS! Judge was nice and let me jog the course between jump heights and run at the end of the class. It should've been a Q. He ran great, kept bars up, but he missed the wrap to the second pole. Then I tried to 'help' him the second try and was in his way. His standard run was great all but the Aframe. GRRR! He didn't finish his run through the bottom. I see we still need work. Here's his weekend. Sprigs ran well in Standard, but I pushed her off the weave entrance. Then in jumpers she decided to sniff instead of weave.

While I was gone I got my ebay purchased beagle crate in. It matches Xan and Spirit's :)! It's for the hopeful new puppy Xan's gonna give me this summer.

1st - Happy Birthday Cedar

Cedar is 13 years old today. She has been doing well on her thryoid meds. She is a little arthritic and mostly deaf, but happy.
Cheryl and I took off around 1 pm to head to Crosby,TX for agility this weekend.