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2006 training goals 2006 Obedience log by week

JULY 2006

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31st

I got back from the agility show at 8 o'clock last night. By the time I fed the dogs and myself and unloaded the car it was time for a shower and some sleep. As far as Q rates go this was a fairly dismal show for me, but thankfully Q rates aren't all that matter. I only left the ring a couple of times the whole 3 days disappointed in my dogs' efforts or performance. Jedi had some really nice runs with that one little bobble (sometimes a handler snafu) that prevented the Q. He actually gave it a real effort every time I took him in the ring. That was a bunch of times too. I never got the dog that throws you the finger and runs off to the other end of the ring. Josie came out with both barrels racing on Friday. The dog I know and love was back! By Sunday she did have some nervous, slow runs, so some of the issue with her nerves must be related to me and how tired I am. We were at the show site Friday and Saturday from 6:30 Am to around 8 to 8:30 PM. There were a bunch of people there.

Bandit ran twice a day in Master snooker and master gamblers only. I was seriously impressed with his showing in master gamblers. Seeing as how he had never gambled before the beginning of this year, he's sure figured this out. I have to say as well that the gambles were very doable for even the average dogs. He actually did the gamble two days! The first day he went out and was gambling nicely, but back-jumped one of the jumps that he was supposed to wrap. Other than that he never tried to come back over the line and he finished out the gamble and everything. I was thrilled. The second day was a jump-tunnel-teeter-jump gamble. I wasn't holding out a high expectation since teeters are not our best contact obstacle. I truly expected him to come out of the tunnel and skip the teeter. Much to my surprise, he didn't, and better than that he even performed it correctly at a decent speed and finished the gamble in time! His first master gamble Q! Day three was a weave pole gamble (only 6 thankfully) with an off side entry. Before we even started our run I'd nixed this run in my head. Bandit doesn't even weave well with me right there with him. I still tried to send him through the gamble of course. Well, the heavens stood still! Bandit did the weave pole gamble. He even weaved through those 6 poles with a bit of speed. He ended up .4 seconds over the allotted time, but I was on cloud 9. I think maybe Bandit's weave problem is truly his handler's problem. I need to trust him to weave and get the @**^#%$ away from him. He didn't manage any Q in Snooker at all. But, that one master gambler Q leaves him only 3 standard legs from a MAD. I guess we'll start focusing our efforts on standard for awhile.

Misty ran twice a day as well. She ran in advanced gamblers and master pairs the first two days and master snooker (instead of pairs) the last day. Unfortunately, after this trial we are still after that gamble Q for our AAD. She had two flawless pairs runs that were not as flawless by her partners. She was a half a second from a master snooker Q on Sunday too. Poor thing! She gave me her all and came up short in every run this weekend.

Josie had some really great runs, but only a few Qs. She managed a q in master jumpers on Friday (at 7:20 pm). I think we we Q-less Saturday. Although she'd have been awful close to a Steeplechase Q if she had not busted her A frame contact. Then on Sunday she pulled out a first place advanced gamblers Q. And once again, the irritating Grand Prix Q. We can't Q in advanced standard to save our butt, but Grand Prix is no problem. I had one fault in Grand Prix, but she was clean. I sent her in a U tunnel and then said "Come, walk it" instead of "Go walk it". So, she came back out of the tunnel towards me (standing by the dogwalk) and is aimed right at the dogwalk. I managed to freeze her and put her back in the tunnel. DUH! BAD, BAD handler!

Jedi was actually a pleasure to run most of the weekend. He looked like a dog that actually belonged in Masters again instead of the brainless twit I've had for a year or so. He was so close to a Q on most of his runs. He'll be over the "one error" hump soon. He managed a nice clean run in master jumpers on Friday night, but he was a second over time. Saturday he did Q in master snooker (his first). It was a very nice run and a respectable score (44). The judge (Cherie Whittenberg) is very familiar with Jedi and she gave us a "Nice run" as we exited. He had a stellar pairs run on Saturday (Friday it was not as stellar), but his partner E'd. He was a bit less focused on Sunday, but still an agility dog and not a goober. He manage to hit 3 weave pole entrances on the first try this weekend. And he always finished the weaves once he started. He never lost focus and popped out in the middle. This is a promising step forward. I was even spending time before the runs getting him all revved up instead of doing calming exercises like I used to have to do. A couple of times I had him so hyped I was dragging him in the ring by the tug leash. He was tugging his heart out and loving every minute of it.

As for my friends there...
Megan and TY got their MAD on Thursday, and as if that wasn't enough, she finished out Saturday with his ADCH! Way to go Megan!
One of my students, Cheryl, and her Aussie, Bernie, got their first Q this weekend at their first show. It was a pretty PI jumpers run too.
Meg and Brewster pulled out a couple of snooker Qs (one a Super Q). Not bad for an old man.
Erin and Galadriel got a couple of PII titles I believe. AND Jesse had a very smart looking jumpers run with Gandalf.

Now, time to focus on Lego and obedience for this weekend. We'll be in Mandeville, LA. He only needs ONE more CDX leg. I would love to finish that up this weekend close to home, with all my friends there.

27th

What an AWFUL stench! It seems that maybe that armadillo Shelby grabbed might have run off into the woods on the other side of the fence just to die and make it unbearable to hang out in the back yard. That's the only thing I can figure anyways. It smells strongly of dead animal and I am unable to locate one. I even took Jedi and Lego around the whole perimeter of the yard asking them to find it. They seemed blissfully ignorant of anything unusual.

I just finished figuring out how to pack up everything in the new Expedition. It all seems stable, so we'll see how it rides tomorrow. I off at 3:45 am... Yes AM... to drive to Hattiesburg, MS to the three day USDAA agility show. I can't wait. 

On a less exciting front, the business has not collected enough to pay it's bills this month. This is extremely stressful to me. I had hoped since the last couple of months were good collections that the every day stress of money would be over with.

25th

I'm sorry I ever complained about the lack of rain! It's rained every day the last week or so and the 10 day forecast looks like someone did a copy/paste function.

Shelby had her yearly checkup today and she's doing great! I've dropped her weight almost 10 pounds since last year this time when I'd let her gain a bit too much. She looks good and feels good and no one believes she's 8. I took this opportunity as well to work on signals in the distraction of the vet office. She wasn't horrible, but she needs more focus work.

I am beginning to worry some about Maverick. Even on supplements he seems to be having difficulty getting up after sleeping for awhile and if it's close to bed time he'd just as soon not get up out of his pillow even for a treat if he doesn't have to. But, if he's been up and around for awhile he is still interested in fetch and seems to be pain free. I fear he may be on the sliding downward slope though. I will bump his joint supplements and see how that does for him.

Yesterday it was mostly dried up by the time I got home, so I took the rare opportunity to work on heeling and drops with Lego and go-outs and directed jumping with the girls.

Yesterday morning Rich caught the dogs doing their morning yard watch routine. Actually for Maverick it's more than just a morning routine.
 

23rd

This morning we had an exciting wake up call. I got up to put the dogs out when they woke up at 6AM. I took Nikita, Cedar and Jedi to their yard and then I opened up the door to let the rest of the crew out. I heard the first couple of dogs toenails hit the concrete patio with that skittering noise that can only mean they took off at a dead run. I managed to slam the door in Lego's face before he got out and Misty was still asleep. I looked out to see what the scurrying was all about. They have been known to race to the ends of the yard and then just trot back to the patio and lay down. Not this time! Jedi and Cedar were going nuts in their yard and the 4 in the big yard were all in a mass. I ran out to see Shelby shaking to kill something. "HEY, LEAVE IT!" I shouted. That didn't work well. I had to trot out there in the yard and holler at Josie and Bandit who were dancing around Shelby and snapping at the thing she was killing. They stopped and I was able to grab them. Maverick came when called and followed me to the house. I put them in the sunroom and took off back outside, picking up the shovel on my way to the back of the yard. Shelby was still in the process of trying to crush the armadillo (as I discovered now). "DROP IT NOW!" She tried to scurry off with her prize, so I slammed the shovel against an adjacent tree. (LOUD BANG) "I said LEAVE IT!". This time she weighed her options and saw things my way. The critter took off running under the fence, but I doubt it has much of a lifespan left. About this time Rich sticks his head out the door to see if I need help with something. Evidently Lego was having a small whining fit inside that woke him up. When we returned from church we made an effort to block the armadillo hole under the fence. Hope he told his friends what a bad place this is!

Yesterday was bath day. Actually it was Frontline time, and since you can't bathe them for a week or more after you put it on I decided I'd do baths first. I gave seven dog baths. Jedi has his recently just before a storm and Nikita just didn't need one. So, I gave seven baths. I realized afterwards that it didn't hurt my back any either. When they all dried I did the flea stuff. Most of it was either won in a raffle or donated by my buddy Rosey.

We also had a breakthrough with the bells to go out. Rich and I were both standing in the hallway by the front door in front of the WindTunnel fan because we'd been outside. And what do I hear but the jangling of bells. I looked over and saw Josie wildly banging the bells on the front door. So, I make a big fuss about her as I take her out. Sure enough, she had to GO. YIPPIE! Maybe she'll help teach her delinquent brother now.

21st

I got to wear real shoes to work today. Yesterday I had to wear velcro sandals because I couldn't reach down to tie anything. After work yesterday I went by Rich's clinic and got a half hour or so of therapy. That helped a lot, then I had him adjust the mid back when he got home. Now it feels like a normal 'kink'. (like I slept wrong or something) I have every confidence it'll be but a faint memory by next weekend.

I have to tell about something I experienced at lunch today. My boss and I went 'out' (Wendy's) to lunch because there was a big meeting in our work area that we weren't involved in and they were extremely noisy. We were both tired of the ruckus and wanted a bit of more peaceful situation. We walked in to the restaurant behind a lady and her two kids. The little girl (about 2 I'd say) had on squeaky sandals. Not what you're picturing though. I mean they were intended to squeak with each step... like the light up shoes they can get. I swear someone recorded a hyper terrier playing with it's rubber squeaky ball to make this noise. I wish I'd had a recorder to put up the noise for you to hear.  I didn't even know you could buy these. Just following her in my boss looked at me and said, "I can see how that could get annoying real quick." YES! Thankfully after they got their order they strapped her in a high chair so the squeaking stopped.

19th 

Nikita and I worked signals again today since she seems to be letting them fall out of her mind. Then the fun started. I had a soccer game tonight. First I had to drive across to the south side of Baton Rouge in rush hour traffic. Then I got there and they were delaying the game for possible lightening in the area. Once we got started at least it was cooler (89-90) than it has been. In the last 15 minutes of the game I had an incidental collision with a guy on the other team. It wasn't even violent or anything, but when our shoulders hit I had one foot planted and on in the air to kick. The impact torqued my mid back good. I finished playing the game, but now I'm practically an invalid. I had to get Rich to take off my shoes because I can't bend to reach them. I can only lay perfectly flat, and it is still throbbing. This is such a freak little injury. I hope Rich can fix it up some tomorrow. I need to be up and going by next weekend's agility show.

18th 

Just a quick update. Lego and I did heeling and drops in the front yard yesterday. He was quite a bit more distracted out there looking for a loose dog to chase (or maybe a deer). Have no fear, he was on a long line the whole time. I just can't control the environmental issues out there enough to trust him. Shelby and Nikita did heeling and signals today. Nikita's "sit" signal seems to have disappeared, but the "come" signal was still there. Shelby did OK, when she watched me and didn't get the 'bobble' head.

13th

When I got home after work today it was clouding and beginning to thunder. It seemed like a nice cool option for doing some training.. at least until the skies let loose. So, I started with a bit of agility with Cedar for her favorite treat, the ball. I worked with her some before on agility with the ball as a reward with some decent results, but her focus has been short for agility and more on the ball. Today I saw some improvement in that area. She did a whole pinwheel without focusing on where she thought the ball was. After a couple of training exercises on the pinwheel I pulled out the teeter. That's one of her most feared obstacles. We have worked on it a couple of times with the ball. I usually have to hold her collar the first couple of times to settle her nerves. This time she went right up and let it bang without a problem! Instant ball reward! This approach may work for her at a show environment given some time. I need to get her out to the agility field to see an A Frame and dogwalk again. I may start entering her in a Jumpers class at a show as Misty and Bandit start the road to retirement. They only do a couple of things a day now that they are older and wear faster. Cedar gave me some hope for a possible agility title today.

Next in line before the rain, I worked on directed jumping with Shelby and Nikita. Nikita was NOT a willing participant this time and blatantly ignored me and walked off. We had to have a "come to Jesus" meeting (as it's called) to remind her how this training thing works. Then she flew over the jumps with ease when told and got her reward.. the peace to do as she pleased the rest of the day. Shelby was quite willing, but a bit blonde. She jumped every time I said to, but she wasn't watching my hand signal at all for which jump to take. I fussed at her quietly for not watching and she remembered how to play the game correctly quickly. Just as she finished up the skies let loose with a torrential downpour, so Lego will have to wait for his last training this week.

Well, Lego didn't wait after all. I decided to work on a more solid Stand in the house. I found he'll even move a slight bit on the stand for me when I go towards him if I have something 'scary' in my hand. This happened to be a brush this time. I showed him it was nothing to worry about and then I set it gentle on his head and watched him skulk down. I managed to convince him to balance it on his head. This prevented skulking. Then he got great treats. I found a stool and small cooler that was about the same height as the stool. I set them on the rug in the living room and set his feet on them in a nice stand and told him to stay. He wiggled a couple of times and fell off. Then he got the clue that wiggling was bad. Once he was stable I came at him with the 'evil'  ear cleaner that he usually runs from. He held his stay and when I showed him the ear cleaner. GOOD BOY. I put him on the ground again and gave him great treats and called it quits.

The clinic construction seems to be in some kind of limbo. I guess they're waiting on inspectors to check the plumbing or something. Also, the clinic hasn't been collecting the first part of this month like it has the last couple of months. It's a bit unnerving considering this is the month the clinic must start pitching in to pay bills.

10th

I got an unexpected day off today. Just as I was logging in at work Rich called and said he left his keys in the Expedition Sunday night and forgot to get them out. Normally this wouldn't be too big a deal, but his office help (with the extra office keys) had court this morning. So, I got to drive all the way back home to bring him his keys. (32 miles) On the way back he called to ask me to pick up the afore mentioned office worker who had called him to say her car had a tire FALL OFF. Yes, the tire actually came off! I detoured by her place and brought her with me to the office to meet Rich. He rode his motorcycle there to meet me, but it was raining when I got there and was supposed to rain all day. Being the great wife I am, I drove the truck up to the office and rode the bike home so he wouldn't be riding in the rain in his good clothes. By now it's been 2 hours since I left work. I called and said I wasn't coming back today. Instead of office work I got to clean parts of the house and pick up some groceries at Wal-Mart. I also picked up Papa John's for Rich and his staff for lunch. 

Interestingly enough, in the check-out lane where they put all the last minute 'must buys' they now have a box of cheap dog toys. I admit it. I bought one. All that money we spend on dog toys, balls, and distractions... well I found out happiness is an 88 cent rubber squeaky ball.
 

We got the title to the Explorer in the mail today, so we hopefully can get the donation process started and get it out of the yard and off our insurance by this weekend. We also got the offer from the insurance company to send me $2000 for pain and suffering and lost wages from the wreck. DOG SHOW MONEY! I will probably save out $500 to help buy me a dog walk for Christmas. I only need about 500 more pounds of IAMS UPCs to pay for the rest of the dog walk cost. Considering how much food we use a month I should just get enough by Christmas time.

9th

Somehow, yesterday became dog house clean out day. Once a year during the summer I try to get this done. Since there is hay in them in the winter, they get dusty and occasionally buggy once summer rolls around. Thankfully all our doghouses are the molded plastic kind where the top comes off fairly easily for cleaning. After a good wash out, they are left in the sun to dry. No better microbe killer than a super hot, beating sun. So, our yard turns into what looks like a junkyard of dog houses.

Drying houses

Today just as I got all the doggie bath paraphernalia together and went out back to start with Jedi, it began to rain. Much to his disappointment, I did manage to finish up Jedi's bath. The others were saved by the rain.

7th

Yesterday was Nikita's yearly checkup. The vet says he can see the beginning of cloudiness in her eyes. He says there's still no problem with light getting in. He can see the retinas easily on both eyes. I know is not uncommon for dog's lenses to cloud a bit as they age, but I don't like the reminder of her aging. She's also put on 3.5 pounds since her last checkup. Guess who's food ration is being cut back? In addition, I think Lego's starting to look a tad bit rotund. He's getting his food cut some and his "snacks" cut back. I don't need a fat agility beagle! He, of course, thinks it's torture. He's one I'm sure would eat until he killed himself given the opportunity.

I have been wavering back and forth on whether or not to blog on this subject. I think now I will. Earlier this week while running errands we stopped into Petland. In case you don't know about these stores, they are the "new and improved" pet shop you used to see in malls all the time. They sell puppies, kittens, bunnies, ferrets, and the like. They claim to "match people" to the "right pet" and other such nonsense. I know I shouldn't go there, but sometimes I just can't stop myself. Anyway, not only do they sell "registered" puppies (registered with what organization?? who knows) but this time they had what they called "designer" puppies. This amounts to a mixed breed pup that they sell as "fashionable" for an outrageous price. I expected some poodle cross as I've heard people rave about their 'schnoodle' and 'labradoodle'. Or maybe a small dog cross like a 'maltipoo' or the like. They had a French Bulldog/Beagle cross (can't remember their catchy name). I didn't even know these were supposed to be fashionable. They also had a 4 beagle pups that were just adorable (2 lemon/white and 2 tri). They were a bit too skinny and it made me very sad to see them in those tiny cages walking on mesh. I almost wanted to pay whatever the cost to spring them. That, of course, would only encourage their awful business, so I just shed a couple of tears for them and told them I was sorry they were born to such a terrible fate. Equally as sad was the full grown Pembroke Corgi. The price was reduced to $150 to help clear it out. Poor thing, all I could think was how it had grown up from a cute little pup all the way to adulthood in that tiny cage, on mesh, in a store window. How good a family dog you think that will be right at first? I don't understand why people support this type of business. The pups are born in bad conditions and then spend all their time in a cage without the room to be a puppy. OK, OK ranting is over.

5th

I practiced gloves with Lego today because it was rainy and I could do gloves on the patio where it was dry. I added a second glove for the first time. I used them as the corner gloves and left out the middle one. This was also our first attempt at a controlled retrieve. I usually just hold his collar and when I let go he gets the glove. He did remarkable well with the turning toward the glove. Then he actually brought back the one we turned to face each time. He loves this glove game. He races to the glove and snatches it off the ground and tosses it in the air. He seems to have such a good time. I have no intention of trying to untrain his joyful enthusiasm! If he ever makes it to show in Utility I hope that he makes the judges smile, and I'll take my point or two deduction gladly. Shelby and I worked signals on the carport. She is anticipating the down signal awfully bad. I am having to leave her in a stand and go to the end of the driveway and turn around and come back to reward the stand. (if she holds it that long) The actual signals she has down pretty well though. I haven't been anywhere to show since the first weekend in June. The first several "free" weekends were relaxing, but now I am missing the show scene and all my buddies I haven't seen. Next show is the last weekend this month. Then I'll have an obedience and an agility show in August.

4th - Happy Birthday Misty!

Today is the day we celebrate/recognize Misty's birthday. We plucked her off the side of the highway 11 years ago today as a wee pup. She's slowed down a bit since then, but she's still active and full of life.

We had a pleasant visit with my parents and brother. I was hoping that we'd get a bit cooler weather 300 miles north. That was not to be. It was 97-100 degrees every day we were there. Rich and I took Monday off to drive back and we're doing as much nothing as we can today. We just ran a few errands this morning. It has actually rained here the last couple of days and the lawn seems to be recovering a bit from the dry, crackling brown spots.

As far as ringing the bells to go out, Josie almost gets it. She will go stand at the door and I ask her if she has to go outside. Then she'll trot up and ring the bells. She hasn't made the leap to ring the bells to get my attention yet. But, she's closer than anyone else. No one else will ring them at all on their own yet.