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29th

I met Cheryl out at the club agility field before her class to do some practice before this weekend. Kayak practiced his Aframes and was great. I also made sure he saw the 24" double and triple since I have him entered in 24" for the next few shows. I was very pleased with him. He is so much more responsive to my deceleration than Kamikaze is that I tend to pull him off things. Must work on me. Kamikaze did OK, but missed the weave pole entrance that Kayak nailed. hrmmm... who got better weave training? Sprigs got distracted in the weaves once. Xanadu hit the 16" triple. She ran once at 16" since she's entered in USDAA in a couple of weeks. Spirit's been dying to go somewhere since she recovered from spay surgery. I took her along this time. She was simply awesome even at 16". Her weaves were fast and she was extending over the triple instead of slinging herself over it. I guess it's time to give her another chance at a show soon.

I am not making any visible headway in teaching Sprigs to retrieve a dumbbell. Kayak, on the other hand is really doing well on articles. Today I started mixing them. 2 metal and 2 leather and the scented one. I also started making him do both a metal and leather before he gets released to eat.

27th

I got home around dinner from the conformation/obedience show in Alexandria. I showed Xanadu and Kayak in conformation on Friday. Xan got nothing, but Kayak managed to get Best of Winners for his first MAJOR! WOW! I was in shock. Good thing there were friends there to be sure I got a picture because I was so gonna walk off without even thinking about it. 
I checked into the Motel 6. Got a room with no trash can and no sheet to sleep under. Just a sheet on mattress and a comforter. No free WiFi either. I spent a few hours a day down at the Chick-Fil-A all weekend using their WiFi. And my Kindle, that had a book on it I was half way through, refused to boot all weekend. So down time after shows was somewhat boring.

Saturday morning Kamikaze was in Utility. We went first so I could make Beagle breed time. She was so good. She got her signals right in the ring for the first time in about a year. Then she even did a go-out where she stopped and waited and one even included the required sit. She failed the last exercise by taking the wrong jump. ARGH! Xanadu came out of the ring with nothing again. Kayak took Winners Dog for another point, but didn't get Best of Winners this time. Then Kayak acted the fool in Open obedience. FIRST, the judge actually walked up to my dog when we entered the ring and grabbed his collar to futz with it. She pulled it down from behind his ears to lower on his neck. WTH?? He flunked, FLUNKED heeling. Took off running when I said "heel" and I gruffly said his name. He then limited his antics to the general area around me while I walked, but he never heeled. Then he proceeded to do all the other exercises just fine. Including two retrieves in which the dumbbell went horribly awry when thrown. The retrieve on flat bounced behind the jump and he made a conscious choice to go around it to bring the dumbbell back. Then the retrieve on high dumbbell bounced out where the flat should have landed. He made a conscious, last minute choice to angle back across the jump. Those things I was proud of. Then he laid down on the sit stay after a little over 2 minutes. GRRRR! I told the judge we'd like to leave and she said "NO, not for training, not in my ring." WTH? I am sure they changed the rules to allow a handler to ask to leave at ANY TIME. I hated when the judge had you trapped in the ring even when things were going badly.

Sunday was a bust all around. Kamikaze missed signals, one article and only did one (a nice one) go-out. Xanadu got nothing... again. I think I am done trying with her in breed. Open and Siberian breed time ended up almost on top of one another. Only one other person showed up for Open so I decided I might have time to show. Kayak did all the exercises this time. Heeled fairly nicely except for spinning around to scratch on an about turn for an excessive amount of time. The he started scratching again before the figure 8. The judge came over to him again messed with his collar and fussed at me about his collar being too tight. WTH... again? I can stick my WHOLE hand between his neck and the collar. We train on it all the time. My guess is that the coat thickener was sticky and stuck his hair to his collar. I mean he was groomed to go into the breed ring. Whatever, Kayak proceeded to pass all the exercises. Once again, he busted the sit stay at about 2 minutes. I begged to go since I was getting highly nervous about the timing for breed. "It's a major, PLEASE." She did let me go then and we made it to breed in time. But, we got nothing.

24th

It was finally dry enough I figured I could go out and brush the caked mud off Windy. She stood nicely for the brushing without a tie on her. I even brushed belly and legs and cheeks. Then I got all brave and decided to haul some scissors out there and trim her forelock out of her eyes. She stood so well for the trim that I kept on. I trimmed her mane a bit and cut some dead looking ends of her tail. OK, so I haven't been able to work her into riding shape yet with all the rain and then slick and muddy conditions, but she is still being a nice horse to handle. I have to take a step back from frustration sometimes and think how great it is that that an animal born WILD can be so tame.

It was also the day to bathe and blow and primp the two show dogs headed out this weekend to be 'pretty'. Xanadu is pretty easy. She puts up with trimming, bathing, nails and such well. Kayak is a bit of a drama queen about parts of it. I was pleasantly surprised that he didn't scream the WHOLE time we were grooming. He did OK on the bath with not much noise coming from him. He only whined a little near the end of the blow drying. There's gonna be obedience for Kamikaze as well, but I didn't bathe her.

20th

I headed out to Folsom, LA yesterday and today to compete in obedience. It's be eons since I did obedience. Kamikaze was in Utility B both days. She continues to flunk the drop signal and the go-outs in the ring. She's just too bloody ring smart!! Starting to get frustrated. She knows a go-out in the ring is followed by a jump, so what's the point in stopping out there? GRRRR. Kayak got his CD title Saturday morning! 

Don't miss the howl at me when I walk away for the recall. He also deleted his brain on off leash heeling by scratching. I moved him up to Open for Sunday.
There was a trial Saturday afternoon that I entered Sprigs and Sparkle in. Sprigs did awesome her first time out in obedience. She came home with her first CD leg! I guess she's ready to get out there and show a little. 

Sparkle had a great performance in Open. It's probably one of her best efforts. I was very pleased. The pause on the retrieve was when she heard Kayak whining in his crate. Then she was looking over her shoulder as Cheryl went to open his crate and shut him up and missed the jump on the way out.

On Sunday Kayak did very well in his first try at Open. We got NQ'd for him cutting the last corner off the broad jump of all things. He was a bit questionable on anticipation for the retrieves too. I was so proud of his first set of out of sight stays. He was next to a large male German Shepherd that was leaning into his space and air scenting him and lip smacking before we even got out of the ring. I was very nervous. Thankfully the judge and stewards were on top of the situation and as soon as the Shepherd was no longer in a legal sit (from leaning so far) they extracted him from the stay line. Cheryl says Kayak never made eye contact with it or engaged it in any way. He looked straight ahead the whole time. During down stays Rosey and I got a good laugh out of his retrieve on high. He had his paw on the dumbbell and couldn't figure out how to pick it up with his paw on it. We got back in the ring and Kayak was laid out on his side sleeping.

17th

By Tuesday we were all tired of rain and being trapped inside. Sprigs and Twinkle took out some frustration on my Sudoku book. Thankfully the rain was gone by Thursday.

I was practicing drops with Kayak today on the patio. I was getting a fast stop, but then a play bow. ARGH! This muddy environment's got to stop.

Today I actually pepper sprayed a neighbor's loose dog. It has made a habit of wandering all the way to my house and aggressively barking at me. It's made walking Lego regularly a real pain. I can't afford him to lunge on that bad leg and he is property protective. Here's hoping said dog steers clear of me when it sees me from now on. Lego is doing well. He's frustrated with his confinement. Makes my life difficult too.

I caught Sparkle and Twinkle doing an evening snuggle with Rich tonight.

14th

Looking to this weekend when I am entered in an obedience show, I spent some time with the dogs doing obedience. Sprigs worked stays. I hope I didn't kill her drive. She is being a butt about  laying down after the sit stay and I grabbed her. UGH. Sparkle practiced her stays and retrieve and heeling. Spirit did drops and retrieve. The only usual ones that didn't get a turn were the Siberians. They were wet and muddy and it was rainy most of the day. Kayak did get his article practice before dinner though.

It's so wet here that your shoes sink anywhere you walk. The poor horse has no solid ground anymore and nowhere else to move her. And we're in for rain most of this week too. SO TIRED OF RAIN.

I got the counts for the conformation show end of month checked. I was hoping for a major in 13" beagles and a point in Siberians. Well, two days is a 5 point major and one day a 4 point in beagles. Siberians has 2 points in dogs, but a possible cross over major. Hoping for some wins!

13th

Cheryl and I got to play three days of agility in Mississippi this weekend. The weather was a bit less than cooperative, but seeing as the weather at home was worse I guess it wasn't so bad. It was a bit drizzly and muddy enough on the dirt roads around the camper parking to be a bit unnerving. The arena floor had soggy spots where moisture was just leeching up out of the ground that we had to fight all weekend. All the clothes and such came back caked in orange mud. At least the temperatures were not really chilly in all that damp. 
Lego road along and spent his weekend in the camper chillin'. He didn't appear the least bit upset that he was in the camper and not playing agility. Xanadu got to play on Saturday. Too bad I sent her off course once and she didn't like to weave in the sticky mud. She did a beautiful running dogwalk though. Sprigs was a bit of a prissy dog about the mud. She blew a QQ on Saturday by refusing to do the jumps in the mud. I sent her off course in Jumpers on Friday. She did manage her first QQ on Sunday though! Kayak's first run was his first attempt at FAST in which we Q'd. Then he proceeded to have nice runs in Standard and Jumpers where he hit a bar in each. We had a talk about bars on Saturday and he got a Q in both classes. That gave him his Novice Jumpers title and two Standard legs.

Sunday morning I knew I was in for it with him. He was trying to grab the leash and nipping my fingers on the way to the start line. He held it mostly together until the Aframe. He soared off the top of it. On the positive side, he took the next obstacle. That was a skill we worked on. He's been skipping obstacles after the Aframe to zoom around. I walked him off for the flying Siberian trick. After an appropriate amount of time in his crate alone I took him to the field next door and turned him loose to RUN RUN RUN. It paid off as he got his first Open Jumpers leg with a perfect score that afternoon. OK, lesson learned. Teenage boy needs to have some free exercise time at away shows or his brain explodes. His breeder described the weekend perfectly, "Some beautiful execution and some 'I'm a crazy Siberian teenager!' ". See all his exploits here.
Kamikaze had a mixed weekend, no QQs. My favorite run was Friday's FAST class. I was the only Q-ing 20" dog!

I got to see Xanadu's littermate, Dani, and her trainer there. She was interested in tracking so Cheryl and Spice were able to give a beginner dog visual intro for them while I did narration and answered questions. I'd love to see them get into tracking.

7th

Jedi had his yearly checkup today. He's doing OK for an almost 14 year old. We took some chest x-rays to see if we could find a reason for his persistent cough. Can't really see any reason on x-ray other than some changes in his lungs from his heartworm infestation back 12 years ago. Lego went along so we could see about his click. The vet can't make it click in range of motion at all. He listened to him walk. We're a bit stumped. He is not painful and his joint is stable so we will wait and see. A fellow agility competitor says her dog's TPLO knee surgery developed a click in about the same time frame. She said it went away after a couple of weeks. So, I am hopeful.

Kayak worked his open stays this afternoon. He was perfect first try. Sprigs saw her dumbbell again. We are at a stand still that doesn't seem to progress. She will take it when I offer it and even hold it while I walk away, but she WILL NOT pick it up. This has been going on FOREVER. Maybe I should start her on the "pick up the dumbbell to eat" method. It worked great on Kayak. Xanadu practiced her signals and articles. Those are what I consider her two weakest exercises.

5th

Lego has developed a click in his surgery knee. He doesn't seem bothered by it, but it drives me crazy. The vet isn't too concerned if he's still using it as before the click and it's not bothering him.


Yesterday I took Kayak out to my agility equipment to work on his Aframe to next obstacle problem and his teeter fly off from last weekend. He did well coming off the Aframe, but he's trying to develop a teeter issue. He actually bailed off the side of mine a couple of times before it tipped and then he'd jump the end after tipping and miss the yellow. We spent several sessions through out the day working on it. I was pleased that my 21" spaced weaves didn't stop him from weaving, though it did alter his stepping some.


I laid some tracks  for Xanadu and Kamikaze on the way out to Cheryl's this morning. I was headed there to let Kayak see some of her agility equipment before we head to MS next weekend.  He did very well at Cheryl's on her teeter and weaves. I am hopeful we have stopped any issue with the teeter short. Sprigs got to try out Cheryl's stuff too. She did great. I am hopeful for her to turn up with a QQ next weekend. Cheryl was a bit under the weather so we only stuck around about 30 minutes. After our visit there I went across Airline to PetsMart. There was room to lay Kayak and Sprigs short, two turn tracks. I went into the store for 20 minutes or so to snoop around while they aged. Kayak did very well on his track. It makes me hopeful. Sprigs struggles with getting distracted looking around, but it is clear she can be taught to stay on track. We left the store parking and headed out to the pre-laid tracks. Xan was up first on a 2.5 hour old track. She started well, made the first turn OK, then she struggled with smell distractions and stickery ground cover. She even found a dead puppy (mostly skeleton) to investigate. She only briefly thought about stopping at articles too. Not her best performance. Kamikaze's track was about 2.5 hours too. She started well. She had her first opportunity to track through a ditch on her track. She NAILED the ditch. Tracked right up to it, down into it, looked around, back out. I was very proud. She got all her articles and turns well. I am excited that she seems to have found her inner TDX dog. 

Kayak continues his article training before dinner. He's also working on Open obedience exercises. Xan and Kaz have both gotten Utility run throughs in the past couple of days. Sprigs has been getting some Novice obedience work in as well.

We are drowning down here. Rain, rain go away. The dogs are spending lots of time inside. We're all going to go stir crazy if it keeps up. Here's two best buds though.

2nd

Yesterday Rich and I went to the movies for the rainy New Year. We say Les Miserables. Not a bad movie, not the style either of us would fall in love with. I was impressed with how many supporting actors they had that could sing well. 
Today I took a video of Lego walking. He's begun to use that leg a good bit when walking. Still holds it up frequently when standing and if he's in a hurry to get somewhere he three-legs it.
I did get a little obedience work in too. Kayak worked articles for dinner again. I am impressed with how well this training method seems to be working for him. He is doing four metal. Today he sniffed every one of them twice before making his choice (the correct choice). He also got one turn at retrieving a glove. Xanadu did articles with good results. Sprigs practiced Novice including stays. Sparkle and Spirit did a retrive, drop on recall and some heeling.