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30th

I drove back and forth to Alexandria this weekend for obedience. I entered Kamikaze in Utility B hoping to nix some of her anticipation by mixing up the exercises. Wouldn't you know it though, the order of exercises Saturday was the standard order. She flunked signals again right of the bat. Then she brought article one part of the way in and dropped it to go check them again to be sure. She did eventually bring it in. Then on the finish tried going to the chair to pick up the other article. She threw the glove on my feet. At least the moving stand was good. At least the stopping part was. She walked to heel though. She blew first go-out in her typical way. Went out just past the jumps and arced over to take a jump as I said "SIT". Second go-out even worse. I took her straight to the car when we left the ring and we went home. 

I laid a track for Grace and Cheryl when I got back in town Saturday. I went home to wait the allotted 3 hours or so while Grace track aged. Kamikaze had to work for her dinner. I pulled out all the utility ring equipment I own. I have enough rig gates for a whole back of a ring and both jumps. Of course, Kazee did the go-outs perfect here. Even though I set up the equipment somewhere new. It's frustrating when it only seems to break in a ring situation. Since all the equipment was out and I had to pick it up before it rained Saturday night, Xanadu took a training session on go-outs. She is doing half ring go-outs well now with a turn and sit. I did some quick signal work with her too. Well, Spirit was some kind of upset that she hadn't had a turn. I took her out back and did Novice exercises. She has come so far on the stand stay and stays in the last couple of months. I think she may be ready to show at our show in May. That is my goal I think. She did pretty good heeling and  a nice recall and a whole set of stays by herself. She broke the down at exactly 3 minutes the first try. We tried a couple more times until I got the whole stay and return in. My phone rang as I walked back in the house with her. Cheryl was ready to meet. 

Cheryl laid Storm an almost full length TD track in a new place and then we started Grace on her track. Grace did very well. Stopped at all the articles and worked her way through the whole thing, even the part where the large Egret had been splashing around and playing on her track. Unfortunately her end glove walked away. When Grace finished I laid Bernie a two turn, short track and then we started Storm. She did so well!! I was stunned. She has quit looking to me for help at all and is pulling into her harness like a champ. It was beautiful. He biggest issue was absolutely no article indication. She stomped right over the glove and kept on going, following  Cheryl out of the field.  Since she tracked right over it I saw it and so it would have been a passing track . I called her to the glove and gave her treats on it. Cheryl says she's ready to certify, so I shot an email off to the local tracking judge to request an audience. 

I could tell Saturday afternoon I was getting whatever this cold or flu thing is that Rich has had all week. ACK! I got up Sunday and I'm telling you if I had not left my crate and dog stuff in Alexandria I likely would not have gone back. At least when I got there the order of exercises was different and go-outs were second. Her moving stand still had a walk to heel. Her first go-out was a clone of the first one Saturday. Since I knew this judge wasn't as tough on 'training in the ring' as some, I turned my back to her when she arced towards the jump. She took the jump aimed at my back. I turn my back on her in practice when something goes wrong at a distance. She came skulking around to see my face and I said "WRONG, try again", and lined her up for the second one. By Jove, it worked! She  did an almost textbook go-out with a turn and sit. When she took the indicated jump and came in I had a party instead of telling  her to get back in heel. She promptly flunked signals again, but I was so happy about the go-out anyways. She didn't throw the glove on me. She did have the same struggle on article number one though. Overall a better performance. I was so sick driving home, but happy I went. I spent most of the rest of Sunday looking something like this...

27th

Rich has been trying to get sick since this weekend. He finally really did get a horrible chest infection Tuesday. Wednesday he went to doctor and got antibiotics and steroids. I am hoping to avoid this nasty thing, but I already have a bit too much mucus floating around my system.

At lunch I laid tracks for Storm and Spirit. Spirit went first, so her track was about 20 minutes old. She did well picking her start direction. At every turn she went nuts searching around in wide circles, but each turn she worked out on her own. I did notice that just at the turn she head checks the correct direction before she searches so wildly. Almost like her nose knows, but her brain has to check everything out just to be sure. Storm's track was an hour old. She started well, struggled just a tad a the first turn. Nailed the next two well, even with a breeze. Then she overshot one and got lost. The good news is she didn't quit like she did last time and wait for me to help her. She worked and worked and worked trying to find her track. I gave her all the line and time she needed and she struggled to find the center of that leg the whole way, but when she got to the next turn she seemed to lock on again. She came up right by the glove. GOOD GIRL. I love that she is working things out for herself. 

23rd

I was in Crosby, TX this weekend at an AKC agility show. Only Kamikaze. Lego and Storm went. I gave the young beagles some time off. Don't want to overdue it with them. And I'd like Xanadu to do well in a couple of weeks running TEAM in USDAA, so some time off seemed good.

FRIDAY
The show started around 2pm so there was plenty of time to drive up Friday morning without even having to leave before the sun was up. Kamikaze started off in Jumpers where we pulled out a nice Q. The standard course wasn't bad, but I was worried about the weave entrance with both my guys. Kazee made a grand effort to make the weave entrance. She ended up taking the wrong side entrance, but she did them well. Drat! Another double Q that didn't quite materialize. Lego started in Jumpers as well. He got his 7th MXJ leg with a second place! Then he would've had his AX too, but the teeter this weekend was a very fast falling one and he didn't prepare for the drop soon enough. He was left floundering in space. DRAT! (again) Just so you know, there was a ton of small dogs and large dogs that got a fly off on the teeter as well.  Little ones were running toward the end, as trained to do, and it was falling fast on them when they were only half way to the end leaving them with no ground under their feet. Storm started out in Standard and had an OK run going on a course no one was qualifying on. I took off at a dead run off the table and didn't realize she was distracted and she went past the first jump off the table with her nose down. DRAT! DRAT! Even worse feeling since I could've slowed up and made that jump happen. She got another Q in Jumpers though.

SATURDAY
The day started with FAST. I was there early because I forgot. Since it was pretty darn chilly the beagles and I sat in the heated car and read a book for a couple of hours while Kazee dozed in her crate outside. The jumpers run with Kazee just went bad and then got even worse. Of course that means she Q'd in Standard for her 8th MX leg. Lego just barely got around that jumpers course for his 8th MXJ leg. Any day he Q's on a course I can't get Kamikaze around is an interesting day. Then we just couldn't keep it all together in Standard. Storm made it around Jumpers just barely in time for the Q. I really didn't want to waste our chance at a double Q since jumpers hadn't earned us any MACH points. We made good on the chance for her 7th double Q!

SUNDAY
Kamikaze did well in Jumpers, but hit a bar. She's not really a bar knocker as a general problem, so I try to just let those go. Of course, we Q'd in Standard again today since there was no double Q on the line. That's 9 MX legs for my girl. One more for that title! Lego Q'd in jumpers for the THIRD DAY IN A ROW. That's a definite record for him and his 9th MXJ leg. One more for that title! He could've finished his AX again, but stopped weaving at pole 7 or so. I'm sure I was stressing about it and leaned into his space to push him out. Storm did a bit better in Jumpers as far as time for another chance at a double Q. We pulled off that 8th double Q with her fastest yards per second of the whole weekend. 

20th

I took Xanadu and Spirit in to get their OFA x-rays done. While I waited a drove down the street a bit thinking I'd go in the Barnes and Noble. I ended up in a Victoria's Secret looking at underwear. It's the one brand I've found over the years I really like and some are wearing out. Of course there were a couple of sales tables to look at too. I got out for less than the cash in my wallet, so it was a good visit.

19th

I had my first agility class meeting tonight for Advanced Beginner type people. Cheryl and I go there earlier to work with our guys some before class. I worked some on Xanadu's running dogwalk and Aframe. Then her faster teeter.  Spirit played weaves and dogwalk. Storm did weaves and a little bit of everything. I though class went well for all involved. We did a course in parts and then I let them put it all together. I'll  be taking of Friday for Crosby, TX and three more days of agility!

17th

At lunch I got a track laid for Storm in another new place. I only aged it about 30 minutes this time. I was interested to see what her reaction would be since I pushed her a bit beyond her training last time. There was a breeze blowing from east to west across the field. Storm started well and did the first turn well. She is now walking with the wind at her back. She way overshot the next turn! (wind at back pushes scent ahead!) I held my ground until she found the leg. She was letting the wind push her several feet off the actual track. She made the next turn just fine though. (wind at her back again) Then she way overshot the next turn. Again, the wind is pushing scent ahead. I had to stand my ground again until she found the turn. She was walking the leg several feet off again. I was curious to see if she'd pull back to the track for the glove. I was happy to see her angling back into the track as she approached the glove. So, a tail wind pushes her past turns and a cross wind will push her a few feet off the actual footsteps. All good things to know and work on as well as store to remember if there is a wind on tracking day.

After work I decided to go over to my agility area and work on Xanadu's dogwalk. I added a word for racing to the bottom. Then I used that word for the bottom of the teeter to. She did great dogwalks and we got some improvement on her stall on the teeter too. She's never been keen about the teeter and stops at the tip point and lets it fall (slowly). I am hoping to get her a couple of steps past that point and get her to crouch as it falls. She was much closer to the performance I'd like to see after a couple of reps with good treats stuffed in her mouth as it falls. Storm was screaming mad to have a turn too. So, I took her over and did some weaves. I am trying to get a feel for when she is truly going to ignore the weaves and when I should just run on and trust that even if she looks like she's not going to do them that she will do them. I also practiced some blind crosses with her. Since I am mostly ahead of her when we run I can pull them off and that would make sure I never had to slow down. When I slow down, so does she, even if it's a moving front cross. Spirit got a turn too. She practiced some weaves and then worked on her dogwalk contact. Then we did some jump work. She is doing so well! To my great amazement, Sparkle said she wanted a turn. Well, OK then. She went through the jump chute a couple of times. Then over the teeter. The teeter is her monster. She did it fast and happy and had good treats shoved in her as it fell. Then she voluntarily did it again. Over the dogwalk and through the weaves too! She was just as pleased as punch to be there! Maybe I'll give her some more chances at Novice Standard soon.

16th

I got home pretty early from Kiln, MS this weekend. It was well before dark. I had a decent weekend there. Kamikaze ran in 24" this weekend in the hopes of picking up some multipliers on her MACH points. It was a good plan as there were only four 24" dogs entered.
Friday
Xanadu did well on the Standard course right up until the flip off the dogwalk in to the tunnel. She likes the dogwalk better than tunnels! She'd hop off the dogwalk and the back on. It went on for like 15 times. Once I got her in the tunnel she hit a very hard weave entrance and finished the course well. Then she had a good jumpers run that was ruined by her fascination looking on top of tunnels before going in them. (this started in Pensacola in December).  Storm Q'd in Standard. Then she had a great jumpers run where she hit a bar. I can't ever remember seeing Storm hit a bar! ARGH! A lost double Q! Lego did very well in standard, but hit the wrong side of that hard weave entrance. His jumpers run just didn't go as planned at all. Kamikaze had a great standard run going until I slowed down running by the dog walk instead of meeting her at the bottom. DANG IT! That moved cued her to go off the end of the dogwalk and turn towards me instead of flipping away into the tunnel. What a stupid move out of me. Her jumpers run went well though and we got a second place multiplier out of the deal. Spirit had today off and stayed home.

Saturday
Xanadu  had the day off today and stayed at home. Storm got a Q in jumpers in the morning. The handling went badly though. ICK! Near the end of the course I did a front cross one obstacle before I meant to and then I was in the wrong place and couldn't really recover. I had a hard enough time remembering which obstacle was next. Storm was forgiving of all the cutting behind and wild cues though. I considered myself lucky to get around the end. Storm and I closed the deal in Standard for her 6th double Q! Lego tried hard in jumpers, but I couldn't get him where he needed to be. He got walked off the standard course for air scenting and passing obstacles. I let it go twice since he came back immediately and got to work, but the third time I figured I would be pushing it to keep going. Kamikaze had a great run in jumpers. A bit wild feeling at the end, but a first place finish! Then I proceeded to mess up her standard run again. So frustrating! Spirit had a good Open jumpers run, but hit a bar, again. I really need to focus more time on her jumping form.  She did very well in Excellent Standard too, but I think it was a failure to weave the first try that messed that run up.

Sunday
Everyone ran today! Xanadu got her very first MX leg (Exc B Standard). She is stalling on the dogwalk instead of running it all out and she is stalling at the top of the Aframe instead of running down. These are her biggest time wasters right now. I don't have an Aframe to practice on, but I do have a dogwalk. Hopefully we can get in some Aframe work when I teach classes starting this week. I was excited Xan had her first double Q chance! She then proceeded to walk the entire jumpers course. The only part she did at speed was the weaves. I know in my heart that response from her means she felt the stress/pressure from me thinking about a double Q instead of thinking about having fun with my dog. She is way too tuned in to me! Storm had a nice standard run, but missed a weave pole. (at 3 or 4 I think) She did go on to Q in jumpers though. Lego gave it a college try in standard. I knew that weave pole entrance would be tough for him. He didn't make it in them the first try, but otherwise the run went well. He had a stellar jumpers run right up until the last few jumps. I was far behind and didn't get out a verbal cue in time to keep him off an off course jump. Kamikaze had a just beautiful standard run right up until I pulled her off the NEXT TO LAST JUMP! AARRGGHH! I wanted to melt into the dirt. All that hard work on a hard course just to drop your arm and turn away from the jump right at the end, the easy part. She was doing well in jumpers until I cued the wrong direction turn with my body language and we couldn't recover in time to make the jump. I felt a good failure after screwing up Lego too. Spirit had a very nice Exc Standard run and picked up her first AX leg! Then she proceeded to finally get her last OAJ leg. My first title of the year and let's all say a YEEE HAAWW for everyone now being in Excellent!

Storm's about decided camping out here for a couple of months isn't so bad! :)

11th

Yesterday I laid Storm an almost full length TD track and aged it almost an hour. Seeing how well she did on short and young it was time to test her a bit. The temperature was around 45 degrees and the terrain was damp. There was a slight breeze. She started well and made the first two turns pretty good. She struggled bad on the third turn, but did eventually pull it out. I'm not sure she was ever confident about it herself as that leg took quite awhile to mosey down. I have to say though, by this point all I could smell was the Church's chicken next to the empty lot. (Just sayin') She quit on me on turn four. Came and sat next to me. I told her I couldn't smell a track. I did help her find the turn and start the next leg. She finished turn 5 and the last leg all on her own and even pulled her head up and looked at me when she ran across the glove. I'll take that as article indication from her any day. She got good slimey soft food for treats and I dried her off and put her back in the, still running with the heat on, car. So, now I see we need work on length more than work on age I think. I was glad to see her finish on her own after trying to quit. All my tracking dogs have been pushed to it at one time or another and you want them to finish successful on their own after you help them.

Today I had to drive in to work and it was too cold out to leave any short haired dogs outside. Rich was able to put some out at lunch with heaters on  when he went home. They still were wired when I got home from laying around so much. There was much boisterous play inside that I made go outside. Storm practiced a couple of dumbbell retrieves and then I pulled out the broad jump for in the back room. The first try at the broad jump she just walked up to it and around it. I ran her by it once and she jumped it. Then I tried obedience style again and threw a treat as she trotted at it. Voila! Storm does broad jump. A few tries more and she was doing it whether or not the treat flew out of my hand. My guys have been neglected now for the last two days. Time to do something with them tomorrow. Maybe articles and signals with Xan and stays with Spirit? It's supposed to be even colder tomorrow, so I'm guessing the no class below 40 degree rule is going to cancel agility tomorrow night. So much for getting started early in January to be done in February.

9th

Ok back from the show around 7. It was a decent weekend for me.

Friday
The day started around 10 am with the FAST classes first. I wasn't in FAST, but Grace was so we were there to setup as Excellent was walking. My day started with Excellent Standard. Kamikaze had a fabulous run. It was a great Q, or so I thought. One of my friends told me the judge called her dogwalk contact. WHAT!!?? She did a perfect dogwalk, just like I taught her. Two front feet hitting on the last slat as she exited in a straight line. GRRRRRRR. I know bad calls happen, but it still stinks. Storm did get her Q though, and she was the only surviving 12" dog so she got first!  Xanadu missed her dogwalk. There was no doubt! She bailed off the side on the way down. Lego had a real decent run, but didn't Q. 

It was hard to let the bad call go and move on emotionally. Thankfully by the time jumpers came I was pretty much over it. Jumpers had a very hard opening for the big dogs. Elaine would've been proud of me. I walked the course twice through then spent all the time left on the first 5 obstacles. I tried so many ways to handle it in the walk. I even ask some other people what they were trying. I ended up sticking to my own way. I didn't see anyone else handle the opening the way I did, but it worked for Kamikaze and we Q'd! Lego had another not quite run. Xanadu crashed bar number three when she took off early and then saw me coming to an almost dead stop for the turn. She caught the bar right on the hip joints of both legs at full extension. When she landed she was stunned and had both back legs stretched out behind her. I took a deep breath, but she didn't recover. I picked her up and stretched out both back legs and and ask her if she was ready to go. She squirmed and I set her down and she took off for the last jump and cleared it fine and we went for treats. Storm got around the course for her 5th double Q!!

I asked Cheryl to lay a quick 'Z' type track for Storm before we left for the day. Storm did two short tracks tracking me very well, so I wanted to see her track someone else. The track was not easy even though it was short. It started close to a pond where all the surrounding ground had been sloped towards the water. Storm did get sucked down by the water a couple of times, but fixed herself. Then the last turn when you came out of that bowl area there was practically no ground cover. Cheryl didn't go far on the dirt when she saw what the cover was like. Storm did well there too and found her glove.

Saturday
The day started with Jumpers. I liked the course! The last obstacle was a tunnel. The dogs were weaving at it, so they had time to pick an end in their head. Or, some dogs struggle staying in the weaves while staring at a tunnel. To me that was the biggest course challenge. Storm took the wrong end even with me pulling toward the correct end and calling her. I should've used her attention word to get her head, but I didn't. Bad handler. Xanadu got it right though for her 5th MXJ leg. Lego had a stellar run. I pulled him off two jumps by calling too hard. He got the correct end of the tunnel too though. Kamikaze did just great. She's getting so good at reading me for tunnel entrances and not picking herself. She got another great Q.  Spirit had one of her best runs ever in Open Jumpers. She took down one bar, but her weaves were perfect on the first try. And they were fast too.

Standard wasn't too bad. Somehow Storm managed to go around the end of the dogwalk to take the wrong tunnel entrance when the correct one was right in front of us. ARGH! Ok, so it was tunnel suck day for Storm. I think Xan took down the triple, but I can't remember exactly what went wrong. I know it wasn't a Q. Spirit had another just great Excellent run. We have yet to Q in Excellent but it's not looking bad, just one little oopsie each time. Lego had an awful Lego moment. One he hasn't had in years. He actually left the ring. The ring was only roped off, no real barriers. He caught the whiff of someone's treats outside the ring. When I reached for him he dodged.  Another thing he doesn't do anymore. Once outside the ring a German Shepherd locked on to the dodging beagle. The owner of Shepherd was oblivious or a new herding dog owner. He didn't break the Shepherds stare and Lego was returning it. There was a good 25 feet between them at the present. I started screaming "NO SIR" but Lego was in attack mode. I knew stepping towards him would just push him closer to the dog. Thankfully some other people saw the impending bad situation and stepped between the stares and walked/jumped intimidating-like at Lego. It was enough to re-boot his brain and he is nervous around strangers anyway. He tucked his tail and stepped towards me and then he heard the words coming from my mouth and returned to me. I held his collar all the way to the crate telling him "UNACCEPTABLE!". He got nothing but a good crate door bang and my hiney stalking away. Kamikaze did just beautifully on the course and got her 3rd double Q!!

      

John laid Grace a change of cover, TDX like short track. Grace ran her track while I was running agility, so I didn't get to see it, but Cheryl came back all excited. She said Grace was great and handled the dirt, standing water, and tall grass like a champ and even stopped at all the articles. John's was stunned at how well they are doing too.

Sunday
The standard course this morning had the opportunity for a wrong tunnel entrance again. I sometimes forget how far along Kamikaze has come in the last few months. So, I called her hard before she took off for the jump in front of the tunnel to get the correct tunnel entrance. Stupid me! That pulled her off the jump and into the tunnel (correct entrance) ARGH! Then the end had the opportunity to take the tunnel again instead of the final jump. I called her hard again to pull her off the tunnel and I pulled her off the jump too. ALL bad handling faults. So for Lego's run I overcorrected my bad handling. I let him take the jump in front of the tunnel before I did my call and reverse flow pivot to hold his head away from the tunnel. Then when I let his head go I was late and he was too far to me to correct himself and make it in the tunnel at all. A part of me finds this funny. I should've known that would happen. He's not a big tunnel lover anyways and has been known to not take them even if they are right in front of him. The rest of his run was great though. Chalk up 2 NQ's to the handler. Then Spirit ran. And do I mean she RAN. I have never seen her move so fast around a course in my life. It was just great. Unfortunately she thought she'd play Underdog off the end of the dogwalk. Not something I usually worry about with her. I love the attitude though. Xanadu did the opening part perfect! Finally I can handle it with one dog. Then she proceeded to stall out on the dogwalk. She is supposed to have a dead run dogwalk all the way through. We even practiced a few days before the show. When she didn't run it I'd send her over a jump at the end and wrap back to try again. So.. guess what she did when she got to the bottom walking and there was a jump to take. LOL! Even with me turning right (away from the dogwalk) to go towards the table Xanadu was wrapping back to take the dogwalk at a dead run. I did manage to call her off it, but couldn't get her back to the correct jump in time to ward off the refusal. Lesson to learn... be careful what you practice. I kept the correct words in my head for Storm headed to the tunnel. I was able to keep her head looking at me and get the correct end of the tunnel. I figured I had done the hardest parts with her. Well, she proved me wrong. She took an off course A-frame that none of my guys, even Xan (a contact loving dog) looked at. ARGH!

Jumpers had a hard weave entrance and an opportunity for the wrong tunnel entrance. The weave entrance was straight on over a triple jump. ICK! Full extension to collecting for the weaves that are hard to distinguish head on. Kamikaze ran that course like a champ. She was smooth as silk all the way up until the next to last jump. I was a good bit behind and the third to last jump headed at the gate with a hard 90 degrees to the next to last and another hard turn back the other way. Kamikaze headed to the exit. I called HARD and she skidded sideways to barely make the next to last jump on a bunny bounce. We wasted some time there, but it was another nice Q. Lego had the smoothest run of his life I think. He finished two seconds faster than Kamikaze (under 30 seconds) for a second place finish and his 6th MXJ leg! Storm just wouldn't weave. After about 5 poles she started weaving and the rest of her run was great. Xanadu had a stellar run going. Then all of a sudden no little white dog bounding over jumps. I looked over my shoulder and she'd come to a stop nose on the ground in front of a jump. ARGH! Spirit had another just great Open Jumpers run with one bar down. Her weaves were great again though.

So Xanadu did 6 sets of weaves on the first try. One time was slow and hesitant. Five times were super sonic beagle weaves. Kamikaze Q'd 4 of 6 runs (5 of 6 if you asked me). One of our better records. The one bad NQ was all handler. Spirit was much faster with 3 of 4 weave performances being perfect and fast on the first try. Lego didn't pop out of the weaves at pole 10 any this weekend. So, some of my show issues were solved! Overall a great weekend!

6th

Been packing up to head to Pensacola. I've managed to put an insane amount of crates in there for the trip. I'm taking 5 dogs and picking up Cheryl and Grace as well. When we travel together it frequently feels like the 'Beverly Hillbillies' car. 

For some reason the dogs were a bit restless this evening. Could it have to do with watching me pack up? Probably. Well, anyway, I ended up just letting Josie, Kamikaze and Sparkle outside for a bit around 7. I could hear Sparkle doing her woo-wooing thing. She's the worst just plain barker. Glad her bark is a woo-woo and not a yap-yap. I can handle it better at least.  When Rich got home around 8 he went to call Sparkle in. She always comes in when he gets home so she can go out with him to hunt bunnies. He got Josie in and said she was eating something that looked like puke, but no Sparkle came in. I checked on Josie. Everyone else was interested in checking on her mouth area too. HRMMM... that's not just casual interest either. I go out back and call Kamikaze. She doesn't come. This is highly unlike her. I look around to see if I can spot her. She is over by the doggie deck sitting hunched over something. In the meantime Rich got Sparkle in the house. I holler for him to bring a light FAST. I can tell Kamikaze is guarding something. I aim the spot light at her and start walking. I can only see a mass by her feet until I get right up next to her. "LEAVE IT NOW!", I said. She stepped back and I grabbed her collar and escorted her in. The mass was what was left of a bunny. "HONEY! come get the shovel" Rich came out and I spotlighted the half a bunny (the front half). Then I asked him where Josie was eating something. We hunted down a pile of entrails that Josie had snagged and they went too. YUCK! Of course it had to be right before I take off for a show. This should make for interesting excretions all weekend. UGH!  To top of the evening I find someone has smuggled a pile of entrails inside and hid them under a doggie towel for safe keeping. That discovery brought me close to regurgitating. What a night. And then up early to pick up Cheryl at 5:30 am.

4th

Storm wasn't sure what to think of being left all day when we went to work. Her mom is around the house most everyday. She was glad we came back for sure. I dipped food for everyone and passed it around to all but Storm. Marie says she started tracking training with her last year, so I pulled out her tracking harness and laid her a short 'L' track.  She had to work for her dinner! She remembered the game pretty well. Then all my guys were mad they missed tracking. OOPS! I took all the beagles running this weekend over to my agility field for some quick practice. No more than 5-8 minutes a dog. Spirit did great. Better jumping form and really nice weaves. Hope both of those things stick for this weekend. Xanadu was OK, but not real drivey like she used to be. Her weaves were great. Hope the weaves stay around. I put her, and Spirit, through the jump chute several times too. Storm did great at my field even with wild animal smells. Lego basically practiced weaves a few times. He's been popping out in shows at pole ten if it's on-side weaves. Of course here he was perfect both sides.

Here's the view behind my computer most days. 

3rd

Storm adjusted well to me working at home today. She claimed on of the circle pillows behind my chair for most of the day.

She got a couple of hours of outside play time with the other beagles and actually spent time snooping around enjoying the yard. Last time she was with me she spent a lot of time standing on the patio, not wanting to let the door out of her sight. She curled up on a pillow with Xanadu and Spirit a few times to make a beagle pile. When I left the house she shared a crate with Xan or Spirit and that went well on both accounts. To keep my house interesting I grabbed a handful of treats and took Storm to the back hallway with me for a very short treat earning session. She did a quick heeling pattern, a couple of drops on recall and a couple of dumbbell retrieves for me. Spirit and Xan were dying for their turn too, but I had too much to do to work with everyone. Maybe tomorrow. The day ended with Rich and me plopped on the couch watching a movie. I spread out the doggie blanket on the couch next to me. I ended up with Xan and Josie curled up next to me, and Spirit next to them. Once Storm figured out the training time was over she wanted a part of the pile on the couch too, but the dog blanket was full next to me. She could've gotten next to Spirit, but apparently that wasn't close enough. She ended up in my lap curled up. TOO FUNNY! 

I am teaching an agility class for 6 weeks starting Wednesday night.  That will give me a chance to show up early and work the beagles for a few minutes each before I start the class.

You can take a gander at my 2011 show goals by clicking the link above. If you want to know how I did in 2010 you'll need to click on the link at the top to go back to December 2010 and then you can click the 2010 goals.

2nd

I had a good time in Birmingham at the agility show. Kamikaze destroyed the standard course on Friday trying to adjust to the indoor surface. It was bad, but she was trying to actually run so that's a plus. I wondered how the rest of the weekend might go after that. She was a good girl and adjusted her stride to a choppier one to keep her feet under her. We pulled out a Q in Jumpers, but just barely under time. There was one big de-motivating spot for her in the middle of the course that wasted a bunch of time as well as slowing her stride up. A 180 to a complete circle just ticked her off, but I did get her going again pretty well after that. After the show we went on a nice 45 minute hike in the woods down the trail. I was in bed by 9pm to avoid all the craziness of New Years in a hotel in a strange town.

Saturday morning was raining and raining. The storm was so bad that it even knocked power out in the hotel in the earlier morning hours. Standard went Excellent. Great run, hit a hard weave pole entrance. Left the ring stoked to hear that our dogwalk contact was called. BUMMER! But, it was a barely hitting the yellow kind of exit of the side. Then I managed to send her off course in Jumpers. Not a great day. I did get to visit with Khloe's (Kazee's sister) owners for a bit at the show. They didn't bring their guys out though because of the weather. I was disappointed to not see Khloe, but they played with Kazee. We ended up making plans to meet for dinner. They brought their two dogs to dinner (in the car) so I got to see Khloe after all and play with her. She looks so good now. Her cheeks are growing in and her attitude is great now. Can't wait to her how her 2011 conformation showing career goes.

Sunday was another spectacular Standard run. This time I pushed her past the table to the back side to gain a refusal. ARGH! Want to shoot the handler. We squeaked out another barely under time Q in Jumpers (another de-motivating opening for her). We were done by lunch time. I talked to Marie and she said she had some car issues and that she didn't think Storm would make it to me for Pensacola next weekend or Kiln the weekend after. Going through Monroe to pick up Storm on the way home would only add 3 hours to my drive. I was committed to that three hours anyway for meeting Marie half way to get Storm, so I just drove through Monroe on the way home. Marie had Storm all clean and made fish fudge for her treats for the next shows. She sent her tracking harness along too so we could practice some tracking.  Storm's at my house for a couple of weeks at least. Hoping three or more.