2014 training goals

January 2014

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Found out tonight Lego made the random draw for the TDX test in Nashville. TWO chances to track for my one long drive!


Monday I tried out the new tracking place I spotted on the way to Alexandria. The city of Central has build a new recreation area. Dex and Lego both got to do tracks out there. There's a pond and some woods and a big hill. Very excited for new tracking place! Both dogs did OK.
Then Tuesday came. ICK! Here we were iced in AGAIN and this time for TWO days. Rich even closed his office Tuesday and Wednesday. Atlanta and Birmingham got hit worse than originally thought and it brought their cities to a halt abruptly with people walking off from their cars on large highways searching for shelter for the night. Diane got stuck at work for 24 hours, unable to get home to her boys. They were glad to see her when she got there Wednesday afternoon. Ridge even seemed to enjoy the cold, wet stuff!


Well dang it! Friday turned out to be an 'ice day' so I didn't even get to drive to the conformation show after all that grooming work. GRR!

It looks a little like snow, but alas, it's all ice. It did melt off in time for me to hit the road Saturday to go over to Alexandria. Then, of course, I got nothing. I came back home. Drove back Sunday and got nothing again. Don't ya just LOVE conformation. I thought Kayak gated well and held a stack as long as no one touched him. We need to work on stable stand stay with the judge going over him. He still gets all wiggly in the rear end.

At least the other dogs were glad I was stuck here all day Friday. They were not amused by the ice event at all! Spent most of day cuddled up and loving the fire.

I discovered around noon that Windy was spending WAY too much time out in the sleet and not in her lean to. She had icicles on her mane. I had to bundle up and head out to help her. Dang horse was spooked by the towels I brought to dry her off. Took a good 15 min. to 30 min. just to get her back toweled off. Then I forced her hand into the lean to by moving all food and non-fozen water there. I even made a warm mash for her and hiked out here with it. By the time I checked on her at dusk she was dried out and seemed to be doing much better. Hope she's learned a little about the advantages of the lean to.

The mail actually came today. In it was Sprigs' VCD certificate!


This afternoon was bath and groom time for Mr. conformation dog who is showing three days this weekend in Alexandria. I then took some pics for his breeder to see.

This evening I got the call that Codex made the random draw for the tracking test in TN and so did Ridge! WOOT! Gonna go cheer for each other!


I got Codex and Lego out for some tracking practice today. Dex was a bit iffy in spots. Not feeling too great about him. Then I took Lego down the same track hours later. He struggled a bit at the spots Dex did, so I'm feeling better about Dex now. It was a great calming, soul cleansing experience to have the old man out tracking. He loves the game, he's solid at it. Just me and my dog out in the field. :)  
I also found out Kazee landed #8 Sibe in AKC agility even with 4 months of no AKC shows. Kayak's name even made the top 25.


I had 4 runs in obedience today. Xanadu did really well her second try in Utility. She blew me off on the drop signal, but ROCKED her articles. Thankfully the glove was #2 today so we got that. She did a great first go-out and I told her how awesome it was. She decided she must be DONE and wanted to leave. The second go-out she was like "WHY are we repeating something I did right the first time?" She only went half way and looked over her shoulder at me in the middle. I gave a second command to go all the way and she did. Kamikaze was just an anticipation from a Q today. She went on her first go-out when the judge said "are you ready?" ARGH! Spirit wilted her sit stay again so I left the ring after the sit stay with her. Kayak did all his crazy antics in the ring again with just passable heeling, but he did it all. He then nailed his stays again with the Rottie coming to visit again. SO he got his second CDX leg finally!

I got home with some daylight so Rich and I took on the task of replacing the light wire on the trailer I burned through last time I towed it. SUCCESS!


I had 5 runs in obedience today. No Q's this time. BUT I was very happy with everyone. Xanadu's first try at Utility was truly great. She nailed articles AND did her drop signal. VERY excited for that. She still bungled the glove (brought the middle one). An anticipation at the go-outs got her a little worried, but she recovered for go-out #2. Kamikaze did go-outs AND her drop signal both on the same day! We had an interesting turn of events on articles. Her first send out there she kicked an article with her rear foot. It landed on top of the correct one forming an 'X' shape. When she got around to sniffing there she knew the bottom one was right, but couldn't figure out how to get it out from under the other one. She worked the pile again hoping she was wrong. Nope... it really is that one she determined. After a minute or two of struggling to get it free I just called her back to me. Told her it was OK this time to not bring it. SO on the second send to the pile she trotted around it once and started back to me like "if it's OK to skip this exercise the first time then it should be OK the second time too". LOL! It took me FOUR repeat commands to get her to scent them and then she just snatched one and ran back to end the exercise. The brain power is too amazing. Spirit did all her exercises, though a wilty kind of heeling. Then she proceeded to sleep on the sit stay again. Sparkle did everything but her drop on recall and then slept on the sit stay too. Kayak was, well, happy to be there. He did his usual play and bounce on the retrieves. So badly on the high jump one that he knocked the dumbbell almost to the side of the ring. He then 'forgot' to take the jump on the way back and proceeded to play with his dumbbell in a corner. His heeling was laggy and off though. He NAILED the sit stay though. EVEN when an intact male Rottie got up next to him to come say 'HI'. The observers say my dog was rock solid and never looked at the Rottie at all. Tomorrow's another day.


Codex got a try at a tracking cert. today. He did awesome on the first 2.5 legs. Then he got distracted by some good animal poop. Pulled off track. Never quite made it back to the footsteps of that leg. Caught the next leg farther down and then we spent some time sweeping the area checking scents until he was (and I was) sure he was on track again and he walked right over the end article. SOOO now he's go his tracking cert. We need to work on getting distracted and work on stopping for articles. NOW all three boys in performance homes have their tracking certs. at just over 6 months! I sent off Codex's entry off to that test near Knoxville, TN. Ridge is also entered there. Here's hoping we can both get in and cheer for each other. I'm also sending off an entry for Lego in an X test in the Nashville area the day after Dex's test.


I took everyone entered in the obedience show out for their last practice before the weekend. Kamikaze is still trying to take a jump on the way out for go-outs. ARGH! Xanadu looked really good on go-outs and articles and I think I've about fixed her glove issue. Sparkle did really well for Sparkle. There is hope. Spirit is still anticipating things and her sit stay is still a wilt stay sometimes. Kayak is going to be fine if he'll stay sitting on his sit stay. I've sent a message to the tracking judge to see if I can get Codex a try at a cert. before the closing on that TN test. She's gonna work me in this week.


Cheryl and I took off to Birmingham this weekend to run some USDAA agility. And as a bonus I got to see baby Ridge for a day. Diane is obsessive about pictures, so there was a picture session. Ridge is 14" and 25 lbs now at almost 6 months. Codex is 12 7/8" and about 17 lbs. They are built very differently.

Ridge, Timber, Codex, Xanadu

I only came home with one Q out of my weekend. Very humbling to do some USDAA just after rocking the AKC courses. Kamikaze had some nice runs. One Standard run over time because of the two 180 wraps out there. One standard run went great until she refused the dogwalk at the end of the course. She did Q in Gamblers easily. The Snooker course closing got us. Had to push between two jumps to get from 2 to 3. That didn't happen. I got lost in Jumpers and had to have her wait on me. The times in USDAA don't allow for that kind of mistake. Kayak did OK. He refused the teeter in gamblers though. Took a spectacular off course to the Aframe in one standard run. Smashed the double (awful slice approach) in one Standard run. He tried to take and off course in Jumpers and by the time I stopped him and pulled him back we weren't going to make time. Xanadu ran like a wild child in Standard the first day but she didn't take all the obstacles. Had on off course to the teeter one day and then a heartbreaking .98 seconds over time for popping out of her down on the table and having to re-do it. ARGH!


Took Kayak and Codex out to the LCCOC agility field for a little work before the USDAA show this weekend. On the way out I laid in a track for Dex to run on the way home. Kayak and I had a talk about downing on the table and stopping on the dogwalk. It went very well for him! Feeling a bit better about his chances now. Codex saw the baby dogwalk and we struggled at some curved tunnels. It's been a good while since he's seen them. He also was much more spooky about the teeter noises and movement than last time. BAD me for not keeping those things in the forefront of his mind as he grew. Codex absolutely ROCKED his track though. WOW! He almost jogged most of it. Even the small leg near the high wires didn't phase him. I emailed the tracking judge to set up a day to give him a chance to certify. We want to enter a show in TN first of Feb. 'cause baby Ridge is entering too. We will give certifying a go next Friday!


More obedience work this a.m. Taught a private lesson and then worked my guys. Still some struggle on gloves with Xan, but vast improvements. Still some trouble on taking a jump in the go-out section with Kazee. Sparkle got to skip practice AGAIN. This time because she came up three legged limping for no apparent reason. A good stretch and massage and a slow, controlled walk around the yard helped some and she seems fine this evening. Here's a great shot of the red beagles all snuggled up. Xan on bottom, then Spirit using her as pillow and Codex on top.


Despite the horrible tracking practice Diane convinced me to go on to Houston for the test. SO, I drove over yesterday by myself with Lego and Sprigs and Codex. This morning when I loaded up to leave the hotel my tire low light was on. Strange as the temps were only 60s. I made a note to air them all up before I got back on the interstate to go home. At the draw for tracks Sprigs drew track #1. UGH! It was actively sprinkling to raining. I just knew this wasn't going to go well AT ALL. We get to her track and it's in the field that Sparkle passed in years ago. I get her out of the car without much hope of her doing ANYTHING resembling tracking in this weather. (60s and drizzle) She does what I expect and casts back and forth the whole first 30 yards. YUP. We're doomed. She's just enjoying a nice walk. THEN she manages to flush some flock of small birds that were taking cover on the ground just off her track. ARGH! REALLY? She is so much more interested in the birds than tracking. I spend the whole first leg fussing at her to leave the birds alone as she dashed that way several times to see if there were more. I am just waiting for the whistle so this nightmare will end. "We HAVE to be off track by now!", I think as she starts her dancing to the left and then just when I am convinced she's possibly following the track she changes directions and dances to the right. NO WAY is she tracking. Yet, there is still no whistle. HRMMM...Off we go in a concise direction. For a good distance. The judges walk up to a turn. OH MY! Could she really be trying to track?? Now I am praying for a miracle, a pass. I promised her no more tracking if she can just come up with the glove. A decisive turn! But wait, no we are in taller grass with tire ruts. This CAN'T be right. They wouldn't do this on a basic track. Too many areas close by with identical cover as rest of track. We're off and I know it. BUT I know WHY too. The scent would get sucked into the taller grass and ruts. As she exits the tall grass she is suddenly looking around like "WHERE did that scent GO?" She starts working backwards and I go with her trying to get back to where I am fairly certain she was still tracking OK. Then a sudden neck snap to the right and she starts bouncing and pulling. Just a few yards later and she is happily wagging her tail and staring at a GLOVE!! OH MY STARS! Sprigs' just passed that track. HOW I'll never know, but I'll take it. She's now a Versatile Companion Dog!!

Headed to last turn.

Judges on the ends and fellow beagler in middle was my track layer

Just for fun here's the judge's (the man) rendition of what the dog did on track. CRACKS ME UP! Pretty straight lines are the actual track.

The weather changed dramatically half way through the next lady's track. Temps dropped suddenly 15 or more degrees and the wind kicked up. Glad Sprigs got the first track. Lego, however, drew the last track of the day. I kept praying the wind would die down, but it didn't. He started right on track, but the wind pushed him off to the right each time it gusted by. We got whistled on the first leg. When put back on he did a very nice job and was all excited to find the first article. He crossed a mucky swampy area and a road (twice). He showed me some really nice stuff. Ready to run him on an advanced track again!
Loaded up and ready to head home by 1:30 or so. Stopped and aired all tires up a bit and the tire light went off and we headed home. About an hour out from home the tire light came on again. I figured that one rear tire (the lowest one when I left) had been losing a little air all along the last 3 hours on the road. I figured at the next town I'd air it up again. WRONG! It was having a FAILURE. Within a minute it was BLOWN COMPLETELY. I made it to shoulder of US highway fine. Turn on flashers and call Allstate Motor Club. They kept me on the phone 15-20 minutes to tell me that none of their providers were available to help, have a nice day. WHAT!!?? Why do I pay for this? Deep breathing and repeating "I am NOT a stupid girl." calmed me down. I got out and pull the two back crates out and set them on grass by vehicle and begin process of dropping spare and changing my own tire. Now it's dark though and I'm holding a flashlight in my mouth. I get to the point of the tire iron on the lug nuts. UHM... They are NOT moving even with me standing on the tire iron. UGH! Now I am about to cry for real when a Ford F-150 pulls up behind me on the shoulder and flips on some red flashy lights on the grill. A man gets out to check on me. An off duty paramedic. Turns out he's Mike's (Cheryl's man) boss. SMALL WORLD. He gets the tire changed for me and sends me on my way. THANK YOU. I got home LATE, after 8, and I was tired and cranky.


Yesterday Cheryl and I met up for some obedience practice since I have a show coming up this month. I got there early and worked on Codex some with heeling and stays. Xanadu and Kamikaze worked on Utility. I wish I could squish them into one dog. The things I didn't train as well with Kazee are better with Xan and some things Kazee does well Xan struggles at. Kayak just so needs to do his stays! All else with him is good. Spirit needs to find her WAIT before exercises. Sparkle some how managed to snooker me into leaving her home even though she is entered. OOPS!

Today Cheryl and I met up in the a.m. for some tracking practice. After Sprigs' horrible showing in New Orleans and headed into another test this weekend I wanted some reassurance she wasn't completely broken. Lego is also entered coming up in a TDX. I just wanted some assurances on his starting issues. WELL, Sprigs wouldn't track, like at all. Lego didn't start until I grabbed his harness and fussed at him and then he didn't turn. Went home feeling very bad about this weekend. AND the weather is going to be bad. Rainy for the a.m. tracks (Sprigs) and severe drop in temps and gusting 20 mph winds for the afternoon tracks (Lego). UGH!!! 

Meanwhile the temps here keep freaking out and dropping out of sight. Took this when temps outside were in the 20s. Sparkle and Twinkle were NOT interested in ANY outside activity. Just "NO".


Started the year off with a tracking test in the New Orleans area. Cheryl and Mike came down to watch and be supportive. Sprigs ran the last TD track. Even with me KNOWING what the track had to look like based on the lay of the land and the other two tracks that day we were still not able to pass. She didn't even really try that hard. The grass was thick and almost as tall as she was in spots. She seemed to be out for a stroll. GAAAHHHAA! Turned too soon on the first turn. (same mistake as first TD dog)

Only one dog passed all day. A Boxer passed the first TDU offering ever (as it's a new title).